Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and handing out candy and looking at cute and spooky costumes are highlights of my year.
But whether it’s a bratty Spider-Man who’s hell-bent on the trick part of trick-or-treating and makes you resolved to get a tubal ligation, or a delightfully terrifying zombie costume that leaves your heart pounding, sometimes the night just calls for some adult libations.
That’s where this drinking game comes in handy, complete with cocktail suggestions and a friendly reminder to always proceed with caution when pairing booze with a game designed to get you sloshed. Feel free to change this from a drinking game into a “reaching into the candy bowl” game if you’re not into the hard stuff — sometimes a sugary treat is a harried adult’s best friend.
More: Small-parenting-victories drinking game: Toddler edition
Take a drink when…
1. Kids complain about your candy selection
Does this look like Willy Wonka’s flipping chocolate factory? No? Then be grateful, kid, because this candy was bought with my hard-earned “allowance,” not yours.
Suggested drink: Dirty Shirley Temple. Rub adulthood in their faces.
2. You encounter obnoxious parents
“Is this candy gluten-free?” “You need brighter lighting on this walkway.” “You gave little Ariana more candy than to Reginald Jr.!”
Listen, parents. I’m here to see a few costumes, help some kids on their way to future dental work and generally make merry. I am not here to get a lecture on why I “really should consider some sugar-free candy next year.” Don’t like it? Get off my porch! Some kids’ parents… am I right?
Suggested drink: Four Loko. Dare them to judge you.
3. Teens who aren’t in costume come to your door
We get it — you’re “too cool” to dress up on Halloween. Not too cool to go around the neighborhood, asking your babysitting charges’ parents for free food, though? Hmm.
Suggested drink: A Negroni. It’s a sophisticated, “acquired taste,” hipster drink that will leave disaffected teens shaking in their boots. When they realize there’s a whole world out there beyond Boone’s Farm Blue Hawaiian, they might not be so eager to grow up.
4. Adult trick-or-treaters beg you for candy
Some people really do this! I get that dressing up in costume is fun, but can’t you save it for a party or something? If you’re old enough to vote, you’re old enough to buy your own damn Halloween candy.
Suggested drink: Single malt Scotch whisky. You are mature AF, and these adult trick-or-treaters will know it.
5. The doorbell rings when you’re in the bathroom
Sure, it’s not going to fix anything, but when your dinner of Halloween candy is (literally) backfiring, you hear the doorbell ring, and you realize you’re about to disappoint some kids by not opening the door, you may as well lean into the whole “being a disappointment to children” thing and take a drink.
Suggested drink: Wine juice box. Portable, spill-proof and more resistant to bathroom germs than an open container is.
6. You see an offensive (or lazy) current events costume
Parents of the world, don’t use your children as puppets for your political beliefs. Are there really any 7-year-olds out there who want to dress in a costume mocking Ryan Lochte? No.
Suggested drink: Candy corn martini. Proof that you captured the spirit of the holiday better than they did.
7. You see a racist costume
Take note: If you are worried for even a second that your or your child’s costume might be appropriative or racist, just don’t do it.
Suggested drink: Vodka, straight up.
8. You see a legitimately scary costume
I am in awe of people who have actually tried those liquid-latex zombie face rot makeup tutorials and pulled it off. Gory goddesses and gods of Halloween, I bow to you.
Suggested drink: Celebratory Champagne. This is what Halloween is all about.
9. An adorable baby in a cute costume comes to your door
I may be the embodiment of cliché, but when I see an infant in a cute costume, preferably a furry animal of some kind, my knees get weak, and I turn into a cooing, baby-talking wreck of a human being.
Suggested drink: Strong cup of tea with a shot of brandy. Snap out of it, already!
10. You’ve said goodbye to the last trick-or-treater of the night
Whether you’ve decided to turn off the porch light or you’ve been waiting with bated breath but haven’t heard the doorbell ring in an hour, Halloween has to come to an end eventually.
Congratulations, you did it! You survived another night of exhausting, exhilarating tricks and treats, and you deserve a rest.
Suggested drink: Gatorade and two ibuprofen. You’re an adult, remember? And the truly scary thing about Halloween after the age of 21 is that you probably have to go to work hungover the next day.