When No One Comes to the Party

I've thrown a few parties, and I've attended almost as many. Along the way, I've learned a few things.

One of those lessons is that there are several big party holidays, such as New Years Eve and Halloween, when potential guests are likely to have partygoing options. If you dare to have a party on one of those holidays, you'd better have the best party, or risk having No One Come to Your Party.

But is that realistic? Do people really throw parties where no one comes?

Even if nobody comes to your party, at least you got your milestone birthday party supplies for cheap!


Do people really throw parties where no one comes?

Name: Paul Mission    

It does in movies. For example in Valentine's Day, a gal throws an anti-valentine's day party in an indian restaurant and no one comes.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 12:24 am

Name: jason    

Not so much as thrown a party. but told a bunch of people to meet up at a bar for my birthday and have only a few show up...so I just retry it the next night or weekend. I guess birthdays dont mean much after 21.

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 1:24 am

Name: Ashley    

Well I threw a party for my 21st birthday at my house and no one came because there was a freak blizzard that day. It was a very sad day. I had all the decorations up and all the alcohol but no one to share it with :(

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 1:55 am

Name: R10pez10    

I've never seen it happen but I guess the feeling would be akin to receiving an empty envelope in the mail

Saturday 31st of July 2010 1:56 am

Name: Ben    

I've arrived at a party where nobody else came. It's really akward, especially if you don't really know the host that well. (ps, who's a bigger loser in that situation: the person who throws the party that no one came to, or the person who shows up at the party that no one came to?

Saturday 31st of July 2010 2:35 am

Name: Val    

Yes, it happens. It happened to me when I threw a bridal shower for my best friend. No one showed up but afterward everyone had really good excuses. We cried for a little while and then I made her and my sister play all the games anyway. A week later I threw another one for her--a surprise this time, just in case it happened again--and there were lots of people.

Bosnia & Herzegovina
Saturday 31st of July 2010 3:47 am

Name: Toneman    

It happened to me. My twelfth birthday I told all my school chums to come over for a party. I decorated the house with streamers and all and made the food myself. nobody came at all.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 6:26 am

Name: Onan    

I was the only one to show up at a birthday party when I was twelve, although I think there were only about a half-dozen kids invited. Also, a few years ago I co-hosted a picnic for a couple hundred coworkers and only about a dozen showed up.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 7:39 am

Name: K-Man    

What about the reverse situation? You secretly throw a party and don't tell anyone, hoping that nobody will come, but everyone finds out somehow and comes anyway.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 8:00 am

Name: Sean Jungian    

Man, this is about the saddest, most depressing thread I've ever seen on Rob's site. Most people will not turn down free booze & food. My friends and I used to joke about accidentally throwing a boring party - we called it a "Mary Tyler Moore" party, since on the old show she threw the worst parties with only her coworkers attending.

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 8:18 am

Name: Joshua McGee    

I wonder if it would be more awkward -- for both host and guest -- to have exactly one guest show up.

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 9:11 am

Name: Mo    

Some friends wanted to throw a Super Bowl party, and they even enlisted me to make the food in order to bump up the attendance. (My cooking was widely known within our circle at the time.) There were seven of us -- me, my wife, our daughter, our friends and their two kids. No one else showed, despite more than one phone call that they'd come "later."

Saturday 31st of July 2010 9:57 am

Name: Nate    

I've thrown a couple parties where it was expected to be a large turnout, set up massive sound systems and dj equipment and lighting and everything, then have 15 people show up... It's awkward at first but then you realize you have enough alcohol intended for 50-100 ppl for 15 ppl and everyone gets trashed and dance all over the dancefloor since theres so much room.

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 11:43 am

Name: Drew    

We had two parties in a row where only a couple ofnfolks showedmup. We thought the house may have been jinxed. We threw a New Years Eve party with trepidation, but it was huge! Try and try again!

Saturday 31st of July 2010 12:54 pm

Name: Brandi    

When I was a kid, I couldn't have birthday parties -- no one would come, thanks to some dude name Jesus totally overshadowing my festivities. The prick.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 5:40 pm

Name: Evan    

During a severe blizzard a few years ago, me and a friend made a perilous journey on foot to an "apocalypse party" across town, and we were the only people who made it. As I recall, the hosts kicked us out back into the storm not long after we showed up.

United States
Saturday 31st of July 2010 6:12 pm

Name: Darren    

Having one tonight that might turn out that way.

Saturday 31st of July 2010 7:20 pm

Name: Miss Cellania    

I went to a New Years Eve party in which I was the only guest once. Totally embarrassing. And several had called just that evening to say they would be there. However, I have thrown several parties where I didn't invite anyone and the whole town showed up.

United States
Sunday 01st of August 2010 4:02 am

Name: Dimitri    

In Soviet Russia, the party throws you.

Sunday 01st of August 2010 5:43 am

Name: Ashley    

I've never thrown a party, because I don't have any friends to invite.

Monday 02nd of August 2010 12:20 am

Name: Allie    

Almost nobody. We had a month-long volunteer event, and at the end, we had a party for the volunteers because they worked so hard and were so upbeat. One person came, and she wasn't even a volunteer, lol. It was embarrassing and sad. To be fair, we didn't give people a lot of notice. Even for events I *want* to attend, I need to be hit over the head with reminders.

Monday 02nd of August 2010 6:55 am

Name: Derrick    

I threw a part for my 14th birthday, and only one person showed up. I was such a pitiful child.

United States
Monday 02nd of August 2010 5:27 pm

Name: Spasmastican    

In law school I had a pool party. All the international students came, but none of the female American law students did because they didn't want to be seen in bathing suits. Some of the meaner ones even implied I was a total perv for having a pool party. So even though there were some people there, they don't count because they were foreigner and not real 'mericans.

Monday 02nd of August 2010 7:52 pm

Name: Eliot    

I threw a Cinco de Mayo party, but none of the girls showed up. Our crew of dudes dubbed it Cinco de Sausage Fest and headed to the bar. It ended up being super fun and we still joke about it every year.

United States
Monday 02nd of August 2010 10:39 pm

Name: Dan    

In an old job, my boss threw a party at his house once. He kept talking about how huge it was going to be and we were pressured to attend. When I got there, my two cow orkers were there and nobody else. Eventually one other guy showed up. My boss had like 30 pounds of burgers left over. It was pathetic and boring.

United States
Tuesday 03rd of August 2010 11:01 am

Name: shandra    

I was the one person to show up to a friend's party. We speculate the friend has some kind of ruinous hosting masochism, where they are compelled to plan elaborate themed parties then awkwardly harass large numbers of people to attend beginning a month in advance without picking up on anyone's reluctance or other plans, thus driving everyone away. Except me, I guess.

Tuesday 03rd of August 2010 2:49 pm

Name: bex    

Last year nobody came to my birthday party. I mean, my boyfriend and my roommate were there. My sister showed up a little later. It was pretty sad.

United States
Tuesday 03rd of August 2010 3:22 pm

Name: Gster    

I once went to a party and was the only person to show up. But that may have been because I had the wrong date and was a day early. It was rather embarrassing, but the host was kind enough to let me in for a chat anyway.

United Kingdom
Tuesday 03rd of August 2010 5:35 pm

Name: Mathieu    

Yeah, I've been stood up on my birthday before. Almost as bad... I was taken out to lunch by some of my friends and ended up paying for my own birthday meal. Woohoo!

United States
Tuesday 03rd of August 2010 9:08 pm

Name: Matbasterson    

Back in college, my roommate and I threw a birthday party for me. Invited 75 people and had sufficient liquor and food for the festivity. A one-legged girl and her gay friend were the only attendees and we didn't know them. Important life lessons for stupid college guys: Physically disabled girls like to dance just like everybody else and gay guys won't hit on you.

United States
Wednesday 04th of August 2010 12:11 am

Name: smoog    

I threw an orgy and nobody showed up.

Wednesday 04th of August 2010 8:07 am

Name: Rob Cockerham    

Shandra wins with "ruinous hosting masochism"

Wednesday 04th of August 2010 9:04 am

Name: badlnb    

I sent out invitations for my 8th birthday party and got no responses and no-one showed up. Everyone was out of town or had other plans. Such is life when your birthday is on July 4. I never had another birthday party after that and now I don't celebrate my birthday at all. It's just another day.

Wednesday 04th of August 2010 10:58 am

Name: Michael Scott from Scranton    

I have thrown a party before in the basement of my office building and no one showed up...I am such a loser...

United States
Wednesday 04th of August 2010 1:02 pm

Name: nobodynose    

I've shown up so late for a party that almost everyone had left, there was no food and almost no alcohol left. Embarrassing. But I had a good excuse - my S.O. was buying a car and it took forever at the dealership.

United States
Wednesday 04th of August 2010 1:03 pm

Name: MacG    

I've never been in that situation, but I'm waiting for Rob's cheery follow-ups: My True Natural Disaster Story, World's Worst Mass Transportation Disasters, When Cancer Strikes Children and Puppies

St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Wednesday 04th of August 2010 2:14 pm

Name: Saddam    

I once had the opposite problem, I threw this killer party in Kuwait and EVERYONE came.

Thursday 05th of August 2010 6:41 am

Name: Peter M    

Yes, it does happen, especially to me ;( I even had a free bar too!

United Kingdom
Thursday 05th of August 2010 2:14 pm

Name: Rachel    

Had the opposite- a friend told everyone I was throwing a party (I wasn't) and it was the best party I ever had. Everyone was there. and I swear Jesus was there because the beer and pizza miraculously fed everyone, though I only had enough for three. And Rob is right about Shandra.

Friday 06th of August 2010 7:57 pm

Name: BumbleBee    

It was middle school and my friend Kelly's mom was going to throw her a surprise birthday party at the local bowling alley. She told me the time and date, so my dad dropped me off. I go in and NOBODY is there. At all. The decorations were there so I knew there was supposed to be, but I sat there for an hour with the guy running the place...Nobody showed. Not Kelly, or her mom or anyone.

Saturday 07th of August 2010 1:47 am

Name: Faye    

Do people still put up decorations for parties after, say, the 7th grade? Streamers and everything? It just makes it so much more sad when no one shows up....

Sunday 08th of August 2010 8:09 am

Name: Travis    

I had a party when only about 4 people showed. When the previous party I had about 30 people crammed into my apartment. I greatest consolation was the cleanup was easy.

United States
Monday 09th of August 2010 12:38 pm

Name: AJ    

Oh man, Toneman, I hear you. Happened to me on my 13th. What a rough year. I was a nerd. Ended up having cake alone with my parents. But now I earn the big bucks with my fancy degree, so I cry all the way to the bank.

Tuesday 10th of August 2010 10:11 am

Name: MaxGravy    

Parties are for losers.

Tuesday 10th of August 2010 8:45 pm

Name: Sarah P.    

I had a dream that I went to a tea party and they paid me a bunch o' money. Yah that would be cool.

Tuesday 10th of August 2010 8:47 pm

Name: Yes    

My wife and I once planned a big poker tournament party, complete with prizes for the winners. We invited about 20 of our closest friends. A bunch of them canceled at the last minute, and in the end 2 people showed up. That was a pretty crappy party.

Wednesday 11th of August 2010 12:32 am

Name: Evil Jim    

My girlfriend recently threw a party to promote some environmentally conscious products, much like a TupperWare party but with different stuff for sale. She invited scores of people from every social group she was a part of, knowing that only a fraction would come. Unfortunately, NO ONE came & it was just her & the product rep for two hours. Not fun times at all. :(

Saturday 14th of August 2010 1:37 am

Name: Gail B.    

Just attended an Anniv. Party thrown by the wealthy elderly couple engaged. There were stale crackers, some pieces of cheese, and pepperoni slices, some uncooked hotdogs still on the stove, 3 cans warm beer and 1 bottle of cheap wine. It was easy to quickly exit-as it was in our condo. social room. I went to the bathroom and never went back.

United States
Sunday 15th of August 2010 5:25 am

Name: Adam    

I once held a birthday dinner where not only did everyone have to cancel at the last minute, but I couldn't even go alone because the planned restaurant was closed.

United States
Tuesday 17th of August 2010 9:21 pm

Name: Sean    

We had planned a birthday party for my son for his 1st birthday and had invited like 5 families with 2 to 3 kids each. 4 had RSVPed, but all of them canceled except for one mom and her baby. We ended up scaling it back to just dinner and cake. It was still fun, but very disappointing for my wife.

United States
Wednesday 18th of August 2010 5:35 am

Name: Ben    

I sort of had this happen, though not due to a partying holiday. When I moved into my very first apartment, we had what was planned to be a big housewarming shindig. Due to schedule conflicts and life in general, we only had about half the guests we expected, so it ended up being a much lower-key affair than we planned - but it was still great!

Thursday 19th of August 2010 2:02 pm

Name: Natasha    

This just happened to me a month ago..I had planned a night out on the town with a bunch of people for my bday and last minute everyone but 4 people cancelled. I was so sad..but i guess it happens.

United States
Friday 20th of August 2010 6:06 pm

Name: jinga    

i think we should all just have one big party!

Friday 20th of August 2010 6:13 pm

Name: Person    

My husband threw me a surprise 30th birthday party and tons of people showed up. They were all of his friends because I don't have any.

Saturday 21st of August 2010 9:24 pm

Name: Charles U. Farley    

I am in a Black Flag cover band. There are always people at our partys.

United States
Friday 27th of August 2010 1:40 pm

Name: JM    

.. it happens very often to me.. i threw a birthday party.. guests fought amongst themselves and i stood like a loser.. they guests parted and i was given an option to chose either of the 2 groups..in the end 1 group left and said we will come later.. i again created an event for my party and invited 15 people.. NONE showed up.. they all came online on facebook..updated their status..

United States
Sunday 05th of September 2010 7:48 am

Name: Mark    

A couple came to our Xmas party when everyone else was out of town. They were great and exclaimed, "We have you all to ourselves!"

United States
Monday 06th of September 2010 10:39 am

Name: Victoria    

I just invited a bunch of people to meet me at a bar. About 8 people confirmed, and the other 20 or so that I invited couldn't be bothered to RSVP or acknowledge the invite. Out the 8 who confirmed, two came. One person kindly sent a text message to cancel. I made the best of it, but it hurt, and I didn't have very much fun. Now I just wanna get over it.

Sunday 12th of September 2010 7:24 pm

Name: suze    

for my 21st i just sent out a load of flyers to meet me in a local bar. i wasn't expecting many but about 120 people showed up! better than the 30th with 5 people! boo hoo x

Thursday 16th of September 2010 4:59 am

Name: Sara    

I'm throwing a birthday cocktail party for myself tomorrow, and the count is not looking good -- hopefully 13 when I invited 30. Three guests are gimmes from one of my roommates, and three guests are my roommates! I'm not looking forward to it, and I'm trying to psych myself up to make the best of it.

United States
Friday 24th of September 2010 9:20 pm

Name: John O    

Two birthdays in a row, I've put the general word out for everybody to come out and have a good time. Last year, 1 person I knew and her husband, and some other person I barely knew. This year, absolutely nobody. It makes sense. I'm not a very good person.

Tuesday 05th of October 2010 9:22 pm

Name: Obbop    

Threw a party at my house even I did not bother to attend and neither did anybody else. A sort of "anti-party." Good thing a real attended party did not pass near. It may have caused total annihilation of the planet'

United States
Wednesday 13th of October 2010 11:53 am

Name: K    

I invited a bunch of people over to my apartment for my 21st birthday but nobody showed up. I spent the night watching (*soberly* watching I might add) Mr. Holland's Opus by myself.

United States
Tuesday 19th of October 2010 11:44 am

Name: Sarah    

My biggest fear is that no one will attend my 21st, as I just moved to a brand new city where I knew no one a month ago. I'm making aquaintances, but don't feel I have any real friends :(

Wednesday 27th of October 2010 2:43 am

Name: La princess    

I hate throwing X-mas parties because people never shows up....but this year will be on me...hopefully my closest family will show, i will have great food n lots of liquor, i will enjoy it anyways ;)

United States
Wednesday 24th of November 2010 11:32 pm

Name: Kiki    

Pretty sad but, on the day of my 21st I got texts from a bunch of friends saying they'd be going to some graduation party instead. I was all excited because I had all this liquor and music set up at my house and only three people had shown up! 1 was a random guy from down the street and 2 were a friend and her boyfriend. Later a bunch of my boyfriend's friends came, and it tuned out fun.

United States
Sunday 28th of November 2010 10:45 am

Name: Erica    

We invited all of my friends to our house for NYE last year and no one RSVPed. Then a week before NYE my other friend decided to have a party and everyone was "in." I didn't go, but I decided I'm never having an NYE party again.

United States
Thursday 09th of December 2010 8:55 am

Name: Alice    

I give up on parties. I have thrown three parties this year, My Birthday, Halloween, and Christmas. Nobody responds with Yes, and it so sucks. I am thinking about moving to Montana, ditching all my "Friends" here on the East Coast. The worst part is everyone kept asking when I was having a party in my new house! Duck 'Em

United States
Friday 10th of December 2010 12:53 pm

Name: John    

My birthday was Saturday night and nobody came. Now, after talking to me and realizing that NOBODY showed up they all feel bad. Go f$#k yourselves!

United States
Monday 13th of December 2010 8:06 am

Name: Pandora    

Gave a party for my 6 year old twins one year, no one showed up. Never done a party for them since.

United States
Thursday 30th of December 2010 10:05 am

Name: Secret J    

I planned a huge Party for my 30th Birthday and Invited 40 friends. Thought that I had it all: * Swinging Bachelor Townhouse * Hot Tub * BBQ * Big Screen TV * Spent over $200 in Meat and Booze. Unfortunately what I didn't count on was a free concert by Pearl Jam on the same day. No one showed. Never threw another party again.

United States
Tuesday 18th of January 2011 10:18 am

Name: Alex    

This will prove how many friends I have: I read this and now I want to play the sims.

United States
Saturday 05th of February 2011 5:27 pm

Name: Rob    

I invited about 12 friends to a housewarming party - I ended up not moving the weekend I was supposed to and in all the confusion and frustration with estate agents, solicitors and other pondlife I forgot to tell anyone... So everyone turned up... to an empty house...

United Kingdom
Sunday 13th of February 2011 3:19 am

Name: Hostess    

I'm hosting a baby shower for my friend and it looks like maybe three people will come...if they don't show up I will have her read this and hopefully she will laugh as much as I have!!! :)

United States
Friday 01st of April 2011 10:48 pm

Name: Tommy    

For my 12th BDAY, I invited several friends over for pizza, ice cream, cake, and watch the animated versions of The Hobbit, Return of the King, and LOTR (we were all heavily into D&D and all things fantasy at the time). I guess that was too geeky for all of them as no one showed up, my mom ordered pizza and I watched the movies alone while my mom and her friends drank in the other room.

United States
Monday 25th of April 2011 1:45 pm

Name: Eviliz    

For my husband's 30th Birthday we bought the big wrestling match on Pay-Per-View, we decorated with posters and signs featuring all the favorite wrestlers of the moment, we made him a cake that was a giant cheeseball shaped like a wrestling ring with Slim Jim ropes and sausage turnbuckles, chips, dips, beers... and NOBODY showed up. 10 years later and he stil pouts about it.

United States
Wednesday 27th of April 2011 6:10 pm

Name: Joseph    

My sister invited a bunch of her friends to her 21st birthday recently. I was afraid nobody would show up since, if I'm being honest, she doesn't maintain her friendships well. Anyway, that night I had to go to a wedding and by 11 pm, there was still nobody at her hotel party. I felt really bad and when I showed up there were maybe 3 of her friends sitting on a couch watching TV. I left to pick up a stereo and when I came back, music was somehow banging, the hotel was full, and there were two gallons of Sailor Jerry's rum. I ended up drinking a bottle of Kraken rum by myself.

Wednesday 04th of May 2011 3:14 pm

Name: introvert    

Through FB I got in touch with some HS girls last year. I went to the reunions, and when I invited them to a get together for a friend who was in from out of town, only one-showed. Who needs shallow relationships that suck the life out of you? That's why I like being an introvert. Goes to show they never changed after 25 years.

United States
Friday 20th of May 2011 10:51 am

Name: Mee Mee    

For my 30th birthday, only 3 non-relatives showed up. I'm never asking for RSVPs again, because what's the point of people RSVPing if they're not actually going to come anyway?

United States
Sunday 22nd of May 2011 3:25 am

Name: John Doe    

Happy birthday to all of ya on which no one showed up!

The Netherlands
Saturday 04th of June 2011 2:34 pm

Name: Joyce    

Yesterday my friend threw a party that was part-summer party/part 30th bday party for me. Other than her & my bf, all the guests were HER friends. None of my friends showed up. It was a fun party, but when my friend asked if I was having a fun bday party, I felt kind of awkward. Combine this with last year's bday party where 2 friends (plus their bfs) showed up.. Im DONE w/ bday parties!

United States
Sunday 10th of July 2011 7:38 pm

Name: D Mandy    

I used to be stingy with invites to my "get-togethers", assuming everyone invited would come, and having a small house I wanted to keep the events manageable. Usually I would get my handful of regulars, but then I had one no-show BBQ, and a 2-guest dinner party. That's when I realized I needed to invite at least twice as many people as expected. And have more alcohol.

Friday 05th of August 2011 1:31 am

Name: Katerina    

I would invite maybe 50 people to my birthday party and 4 would show up...

Friday 19th of August 2011 7:32 pm

Name: Bre    

The Saturday of my 21st I wanted to have a party. I sent out over 100 facebook invites to my friends knowing maybe 20 would respond. I got about 12 yes's and maybe's. For a month I planned, spent all this money and time Only for 1 person to show up. I cried once she left. Crying inside right now. This just happened to me.

United States
Sunday 28th of August 2011 12:52 am

Name: Cookmaster    

It never happens. Only you.

Saturday 17th of September 2011 8:05 am

Name: dmhlrjnhljndsgjnfdsngsjnb;sldkjngblfds,d,    


Saturday 17th of September 2011 8:05 am

Name: CJ    

I've had this happen a number of times, to the point where I just don't plan to ever have another party. After a while, I got the message from the people that I thought were friends: you aren't important enough to bother with, unless we need something from you. Now, if my husband plans something, I know it will just be his friends. No one I invite will bother to come.

United States
Wednesday 21st of September 2011 7:46 pm

Name: Betty    

I had my 16th birthday party at a park on Halloween day, in the early afternoon. 100 people were invited and only my 5 closer friends showed up. It just gave me a reality check about how people are. I ended up throwing the pizza and cake that my parents bought at an elementary school play ground later that night. I was very bitter about everything until graduation. I still kind of am.

Friday 30th of September 2011 5:32 pm

Name: Anna    

Today is my 21st birthday and I wanted to get a small group of people together to go out for my birthday. In the last 6 hours, 7 people have cancelled, leaving me with exactly 1 friend to go out with. I'm thinking about calling it off and rescheduling.

United States
Monday 03rd of October 2011 5:33 pm

Name: arbuster    

When I was about 12, my church youth group wanted to have a Super Bowl party. Somehow we volunteered to host. I planned games, bought and made food, put up a bunch of football-themed decorations and then sat and waited. There were probably only 10 kids in youth group but it still was crushing when no one showed. I hated church anyway and I'm glad I never have to go back.

United States
Tuesday 04th of October 2011 6:56 pm

Name: arbuster    

Oh Man!! I was reading this because I was looking for advice whether to invite my boss to the party I'm throwing THIS weekend. Now I'm just really paranoid and preemptively depressed that no one will show up. I think you need a warning at the top of this thread.

United States
Thursday 06th of October 2011 8:22 pm

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