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19 Zoom Happy Hour Themes To Get Through Yet Another Month Of Quarantine

You can break out your Halloween box early.

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As we settle into yet another month of social distancing — yes, you should still be social distancing — finding ways to spice up your Zoom happy hour has become essential. The novelty of seeing your friends’ and family’s Brady Bunch-esque boxes has long worn off. We are deep in the throes of the virtual happy hour.

Until it’s safe to go to bars and restaurants, having a happy hour over Zoom is your best bet for keeping yourself and others healthy. Social distancing, along with wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible, is still one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. So, unless you and a small handful of friends can meet outdoors, where you and your respective germs can easily stay at least six feet apart, sipping sangria over Zoom should still be your go-to happy hour spot.

If you’ve exhausted all your Zoom happy hour games — even the happy hour games that aren’t drinking-centric — and the fun Zoom backgrounds just aren’t cutting it anymore, it may be high time for you to do the inevitable: throw a thematic Zoom happy hour. Listen, if Ariana Grande isn’t too good for a Midsommar-themed party, neither are we. And these are desperate times, people. Here are 19 themes for your next Zoom happy hour.

1
‘90s
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Break out your slap bracelets, your Tamagotchis new and old, your '90s playlists, your general childhood whimsy. There really is no wrong way to do '90s nostalgia. Unless you don't reference Spice Girls. Then you're doing your '90s nostalgia wrong.

2
‘00s

People born in the early aughts can vote thereby officially making the early 2000s “retro.” (I know. Take a moment, fellow millennials. We are Old™.) Think trucker hats and frosty lip gloss. Think peak Linsday Lohan. Think jeans with no back pockets for some reason. You could also expand this to a decades theme party if you don't want to retraumatize yourself with low-rise jeans.

3
TV Show Characters

Sure, you could go the typical route: have everyone pick a character from Friends, The Office, Sex and the City, etc. But why go not obscure and hyper-specific. Maybe everyone dresses up as an audience member from Oprah. Turn your Zoom call into your own Hollywood Squares. Pretend you're all robots from Westworld just to practice your old time-y accents.

4
Tea Party

Prepare a posh happy hour party with teacups, saucers, and gossip about the Royal family. Take a note out of Meghan Markle's book for your aesthetic. Perhaps you try out some hard tea, a thing that yes, of course, exists. Pour a beer into a teacup and call it good.

5
Beach Party
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Did you buy a swimsuit you are bummed no one will get to see? Do you crave the beach aesthetic with none of the sand? Do you want to get day drunk but have it be thematic? A beach-themed happy hour is what you seek.

6
Talent Show

There are a couple of routes you can go with this one. You could have everyone prepare a one-minute talent to show off. You could have everyone pick a talent they can pull off in 15-seconds which, in some ways, is even more difficult than doing something for a full minute. Dress up like you're all parents in the audience of an elementary school variety show. Camcorders required.

7
Dinner Party

Get a little bougie and have everyone order something from the same place. Set a place for yourself at the table, something I'm guessing you haven't done in a hot minute.

8
Halloween or "What Month Even Is It?"

Throw an early Halloween party as an excuse for a costume party. Dress in all black to be "spooky" and/or to mourn your social life. Eat the candy corn you somehow still have in the back of your pantry.

9
High School Dance
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Sure, you could make this a prom theme, but why leave out all the other awkward and uncomfortable dances you attending during your teen years? Pretend it's winter formal and make your friends don the same butterfly-clipped hairdo they did when they were 14. Assign someone the role of DJ and have them make the playlist as you prepare terrible jokes to shout sporadically throughout the evening. Pick someone to be a parent chaperone who has to keep telling kids to stop grinding.

10
Zodiac Signs

Go simple and make a cocktail based on your astrological sign. Turn your Zoom call into a fallout horoscope reading. Really lean into your zodiac sign either in attitude (lookin' at you, fellow organized Virgos) or in reminding everyone what your best trait is according to our sign.

11
The Dankest Meme

Everyone must come in their most internet-inspired outfit. You can pick a classic meme costume. (Yeah, sure, be nyan cat.) Pick a new favorite like the cat getting yelled at by one of the Real Housewives. Decide that this is definitely the time to debut the TikTok dance you've been practicing.

12
Disney World At Home
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While you absolutely should not be galavanting around Disney World during its opening weeks, you can bring a little bit of the magic to your next happy hour. Sure, people can dress up as their favorite Disney princesses, Disney characters, maybe even make a DIY Dole Whip. You could also dress up as an overheated toddler, an exhausted parent, a teen who does not want to be there, a quintessential Disney Adult.

13
Office Birthday Party

Miss the awkward, obligatory celebration of an office birthday party? Well, miss it no longer. Make sure everyone has a slice of a huge sheet cake and keep asking if people remembered to sign the card.

14
Monochromatic

There are a couple ways to take a color-coordinated theme. Maybe everyone has to wear all pink, background and drink included. Maybe everyone picks their own color and turn your Zoom call into a virtual Roy G. Biv.

15
Class Presentation

PowerPoint parties are the pseudo-educational themed celebrations you didn't know you needed. Either have everyone prepare a slide show on any topic of their choosing: your own personal drunk history, the official ranking of every Nicki Minaj song, what qualifies as a sandwich. For an extra challenge, have people prepare presentations for someone else to present san preparation.

16
The Fun Table At A Wedding
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If you've had to miss a wedding due to coronavirus, why not throw your own virtual wedding for absolutely no one in particular. Wear that cocktail dress, prepare a tray of cocktail weenies you would've eaten alone anyway, and make people dance the Cupid Shuffle at least twice.

17
Amateur Olympics

The 2020 Olympics may have been postponed until next summer, but you can still bring some of the competition to your next Zoom call. Whether it's flip cup challenges or these actual Zoom Olympic games one person has created, this is a chance for you to flex your athletic prowess.

18
Night One On The Bachelor

This is merely an excuse to get sloshed in an evening gown. Bonus points if everyone introduces themselves with a corny joke and has to but into the conversation with a "can I steal you for a sec?"

19
Pajama Party

You could also go the route of the Pajama Party. Is it any different from what you've been wearing every day? Maybe not but putting the word "party" in front of it makes it feel more official.

If all else fails, say screw it, break out the champagne and party horns, and throw a NYE party. Decide the new year begins when you say it does. 2020? I don't know her.