Are you out of fresh party ideas and want something exciting, hilarious, and ridiculous for your bachelor party?
The “Not a Cup” party could be exactly what you want.
Loved by college parties across the US and taking the world by storm. The anything-but-a-cup theme is hugely versatile. It allows every guest to easily join in, whether drinking alcohol or not.
Whether hitting the bars and clubs, holding a house party, a BBQ get-together, or taking a road trip with your closest pals, “anything-but-a-cup” suits all types of bachelor parties.
So what exactly is “anything but a cup?” And what can you use for it?
Suppose you’re willing to embrace the ridiculousness of this ultra-silly party theme. In that case, we have many ideas to pump those creative juices.
Anything but a cup parties (also known as the ABC party) have become wildly popular. All you have to do is open up TikTok to see legions of people taking the trend to new and crazier heights.
Essentially, the not-a-cup party is where you drink out of anything except a cup. But don’t think you can cheat the system by drinking straight out of a can instead. That won’t fly, either.
You must choose a drinking receptacle that isn’t a drinking receptacle.
Much hilarity ensues as people spend the night drinking out of Wellington boots, plastic toys, and spray bottles. The more “out there” you can choose your own vessel, the better.
The only rule to the ABC party is that your drinking vessel cannot be a cup, glass, or any other type of traditional drinkware.
Wine glasses? Nope. Beer bottles? Absolutely not. Premixed cocktails in a can? Put that down!
In other words, you and your guests can drink out of whatever you like as long as it’s not something you would typically drink out of.
Flower pot? Yep. Shoes? Absolutely. Syringe? Of course.
Now, this can undoubtedly be the only rule of the game, but if you fancied stepping this fun party theme up a notch or two, feel free to add any cup party rules, forfeits, and even challenges. After all, you don’t want things to be too easy, do you?
Try out some of the following extra rules for size:
Try to add some prizes into the mix too. People like to be appreciated for the effort they’ve put in. You could have an award for the best non-cup, a prize for the most ridiculous, or run competitions throughout the night where other prizes can be won.
We’ll level with you; while there are many drinking vessel choices, be cautious because not everything is suitable. There are several boxes the vessel you choose has to tick, including:
So now you know what to look for in your “not-cup” choice, without further ado, here are our favorite anything-but-a-cup ideas to get you inspired.
This is often one of the best cup party ideas because it looks ridiculous, is watertight, and is plenty big enough to hold a decent amount of drink and ice.
However, one considerable caution is to get yourself a new welly boot for the party. Don’t go drinking from anything with its share of fragrant feet gracing the inside. Not unless you like a side of cheesy feet with your beverage!
The ace thing about Lego is that you’re not limited to any shape or size, so you can go to town with your creative idea. Lego is also more or less watertight when built, but you can always line the inside with a plastic bag.
You can make yourself a colossal goblet that looks like a fortress or make something with multiple compartments so you can have several different drinks at once?
Add a macabre touch to your event using a blood bag to hold your drink. It’s strange and freaky but also super practical since the bags are designed to safely hold liquid.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to rob your nearest hospital for vital medical supplies. You can buy fake blood bags from Amazon that look exactly like the real deal.
A fish bowl is an excellent choice if you plan on sipping cocktails all night. This type of vessel is roomy, so you can fill it with ice for an extra-refreshing drink. Add a bunch of straws and share with friends too.
If you want to take it a step further, add plastic goldfish and plants for an extra touch of realism.
One precaution here is that fish bowls can be heavy – especially when filled with liquid – so don’t get anything too large otherwise, you’ll regret carrying it around all night.
Continuing with the bowl theme, how about using a cat or dog bowl for the job? Dog bowls may be the better choice here as they’re typically roomier than the average cat bowl and can accommodate more of your favorite beverage.
Why not run with this party theme and get everyone dressed in a dog costume?
A baby bottle is not only ultra-practical but also looks completely ridiculous when used by a grown adult, making it a great idea for a non-cup. Pair the baby bottle with a bib and bonnet for extra hilarity. Diapers optional.
A soap dispenser is small and portable, making it an excellent choice for taking out and about. It’s pretty silly, too, as you have to activate the pump to get to your drink.
Since you only get a little sip with each pump, this idea works best with liquor such as vodka or whiskey.
Make sure it’s clean before using it. Soap isn’t exactly known as an ideal mixer!
Bring out your Nordic tendencies with a Viking drinking horn. Not only is it a very practical drinking vessel, but horns also look extra cool, especially if you’ve got a big bushy beard to match. Bonus points if you wear the horned helmet to match.
Masquerade your drink as a household cleaning product by adding it to an empty spray bottle. One funny idea is adding a drop of food coloring to look exactly like the product. For example, blue food coloring in vodka and soda will easily fool people into thinking you’re drinking Windex!
It goes without saying to ensure the spray bottle is squeaky clean before using. Ingesting harmful chemicals is not part of the fun.
Pretend you’ve got guts of steel by chugging your drink from an empty hot sauce bottle. A bloody mary is perfect for this option since the consistency resembles a hot sauce. Add a splash of Tabasco for even more authenticity!
A ketchup bottle is another variation of this theme or any sauce bottle. Pick your favorite and find a drink that resembles the sauce.
Coconuts are the gift that keeps on giving. Their flesh and milk are delicious, and the shell makes a perfectly shaped drinking vessel. Amp the tropical factor by filling your coconut cup with pina colada and wearing a tacky Hawaiian shirt.
You can’t drink from a teacup, but no one said anything about drinking from a tea kettle!
Kettles are roomy and watertight and have a handy little spout to pour the drink directly into your mouth. They can, however, look a little boring, so a fun variation on this theme is to use a teapot instead.
Teapots come in a wide variety of shapes and colors. You can often pick up crazy-looking ones from thrift stores. Pair it with a tea cozy for extra effect.
If you’re more of a coffee drinker rather than tea, why not opt for a coffee pot? Like kettles, these are functional drinking vessels that come in an extensive range of shapes and sizes.
Our favorite is the round glass filter coffee pot. These are an excellent alternative to fish bowls since they are a similar shape but have the added advantage of featuring a handle making them less cumbersome to carry around all night.
If you plan to go as large as possible for your drinking vessel of choice, allow us to recommend the humble traffic cone.
Huge and ridiculous, this is one funny idea to opt for if you want something challenging to drink.
However, don’t go grabbing any old traffic cone off the street. Not only is that kinda illegal, but actual traffic cones are also gross and dirty. Again, Amazon is your friend for a clean and legal alternative.
If you think about it, the bedpan is a brilliant cup idea. It’s large, lightweight, and watertight. After all, its job is to hold liquid, just not usually the drinking kind. This will also certainly raise a few eyebrows for the weirdness factor.
Combine vodka with apple juice to gross out people even more for that authentic pee look!
The bucket is a much loved drinking vessel across the backpacker trail in South East Asia and for a good reason. It holds a decent amount of liquid and ice and has a practical handle to carry it around.
Add a spade to complete the look. It makes a helpful implement for shoveling in ice.
For the green-fingered folks, a plant pot is a novel cup party idea, especially if you add plastic plants or flowers to the pot. And since pots come in all shapes and sizes, you can choose the best one for the drink you intend to consume.
Alright, this is one of the more “far out” cup ideas, but it’ll definitely get people talking if you can pull it off.
Pick a doll’s head with no holes in the hair or eyes. Otherwise, the liquid will keep escaping. Or, if you choose one with holes, you can use heavy-duty duct tape to seal the inside.
What better way to use a water gun than to fill it with your favorite tipple? This is an extra fun idea since you can spray the drink into other party guests’ mouths.
Watch out. This idea is best for outdoor parties since it has the potential to be as messy as it is hilarious.
A gas can is a winning cup party idea. Big, secure, and watertight. This is an ideal choice for anyone that wants to drink large quantities of beer.
A gas can is also an “on-theme” choice if you plan a road trip for your bachelor party. Just make sure the drinking begins when the driving has ended.
If you want to make people do a double-take, choose an iron to sip your drink from. Possibly not the most practical choice, but it’s a pretty funny one.
Make sure it’s a steam iron because then you’ll have the little water reservoir in the iron, which can be filled with your drink of choice.
We’ve already covered Lego and plastic dolls’ heads, but there’s plenty more in the kids’ department to inspire you. The advantage of kids’ toys is that they’re generally made from plastic, so they are watertight and easily cleaned.
Another perfectly designed choice and ideal for the teetotallers in the crowd. Fill the hot water bottle with coffee. It’ll give you a nice energy boost for the event while keeping you toasty and warm!
This is the least practical choice on the list but could easily be one of the funniest, especially when trying to fill it with your drink. In fact, this could be a good one to use for a challenge. Participants must fill a balloon and drink from it without spilling a drop.
If you choose this method, you’ll probably need several backups, so bring a whole pack of balloons just to be sure.
It’s well-known that fruit and booze go sublimely well together, so why not use fruit for your drinking receptacle? A watermelon half will keep your drink secure. Mix the watermelon flesh with vodka and ice for an extra delicious treat. Or hollow out a pineapple for a tropical twist.
Alright, not a full-size garbage can, but the smaller ones you use for bathrooms, etc., would be ideal. Make sure it’s got a pedal-activated flip lid for extra laughs.
Buy a cheap garbage can for the party. You don’t want to drink from a used can – ewwww!
Show everyone how much of a savvy saver you are by stashing your drink inside a piggy bank. Unfortunately, the slot will be too small to fit ice through but should be plenty big enough to get a good slurp when needed.
This one is extravagant and not a good choice if you need to carry it around. But a chocolate fondue fountain can steal the show since it’s so large and unusual.
Don’t forget you’ll need a power source to pull this off. Otherwise, it won’t have the desired wow factor. Simply add your drink, plug it in, and watch the liquid pour!
A syringe is ideal for anyone planning to do shooters all night. Get a bunch of syringes together and load them all up with your shot of choice, then squirt into the mouth as desired.
Syringe shots are also a fun extra for party hosts to organize for each of their guests. They ensure lots of hilarity while keeping to the “no-cup” theme. Pro-tip, make jello shots inside the syringes!
Helmets and hats are typically made from a solid material and are watertight. They also offer a generous amount of room to fit your chosen beverage. And if your headgear isn’t waterproof, they’re usually pretty easy to adapt. All you need is plastic lining or duct tape for the job.
You’ve got many choices here, too, from easy decisions such as construction hats, football or motorbike helmets, and army helmets to more unusual headwear like top hats, horse riding hats, or even a clown hat.
If you’re pressed for time and need a last-minute solution, head to your kitchen cupboards to find something suitable. Many choices are hiding there, and you’ll quickly be able to select something funny to use.
For the less daring, pick your favorite saucepan. A pancake pan or saucepan lid provides a flat but suitable drinking receptacle for something a little more tricky.
A wheelbarrow is the perfect pick if it’s a “go large or go home” scenario. It’s portable, large, and watertight. You can fill it with ice for a refreshing cocktail, plus it’ll probably last you all night without requiring a refill.
And when the night is over, a willing friend can wheel you home in it!
This may be skirting a little too close to the rules, but since a cocktail shaker isn’t actually meant to be drunk out of, it gets a pass.
Besides, why waste time pouring your freshly shaken cocktail into a glass when you can just drink it out of the shaker itself? Practical and time-saving.
A risky one since it can be all too easy to spill the contents of a bag, but if you’re prepared to hang on to it, a plastic bag can make a surprisingly good drinking vessel.
Choose one made of solid plastic, though. Those flimsy bags won’t last you five minutes, and you’ll wear your beverage more than drink it.
This is not a particularly practical option, but it’s a darn funny one. Get yourself a pair of marigolds and drink away. Bonus points for freezing your drink in the glove beforehand so you can pretend to shake “hands” with guests as they arrive!
The nothing-but-a-cup theme is a fun party idea where guests can drink from anything except traditional drinking vessels such as cups, glasses, tumblers, etc. The theme is suitable for all types of parties. Everyone can get involved in it, whether they’re alcohol or non-alcoholic drinkers.
You can drink from anything as long as it’s watertight and clean. Also, make sure your choice of drinking vessel allows you to actually drink from it, and it’s a good idea to ensure the drinking vessel can be easily picked up and carried around.
Any alcohol will make you sick if you drink enough of it. However, you are less likely to get sick if you pick a drink that contains as little sugar as possible. Therefore, a vodka soda is a good choice. It has hardly any sugar, and the soda will help keep you hydrated.
Energy drinks are a popular alcohol-free choice and are known for giving the drinker a “buzz” thanks to the caffeine and other stimulating ingredients they contain. Coffee is also a beverage that will keep you alert and awake.
In states where marijuana is legal, you purchase THC-infused drinks, which can give the drinker a high.
All alcohol can give you a hangover. The key to lessening the hangover is to pick drinks with a low sugar content, like a vodka soda or gin and tonic. Alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic ones, and ensure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach.
We hope we’ve provided plenty of inspiration for your no-cups party. Whether you’re planning the bachelor party or simply attending as a guest, there’s no end to the number of items you can use as a drinking vessel.
And best of all, the no-cup theme can be adopted by anyone, young and old, shy and extrovert. Whether you play it safe with a saucepan or go all-out with a wheelbarrow, there’s something to suit every person.
If this idea doesn’t float your boat, we’ve got a host of other bachelor party suggestions to try for size or even the groom’s bucket list. Whether you’re after something sports-themed, a staycation, or a summertime event, The Groom Club has plenty of tips and hacks to make it go with a bang, and don’t forget about the bachelor party gifts!