Now that I’ve turned 22 — not to brag — but I’ve been to a few bars in my day.
As someone who has been mostly successful at convincing bouncers to let me in for years, I put together some of my tried-and-true tips to convince the bouncer you totally belong with the over-21 year old crowd. I’m giving you the benefit of doubt, let’s just say you really did forget your ID at home.
For the record, just because these may, (or may have not), worked for me … does not mean they will work for you – use at your own risk.
1. Be A Girl
Sorry guys, this one sucks, but it’s true. If you’re a guy with a fake ID, all I have to say is: good luck. I’m pretty sure the library lets 18-year-olds in though, right?
Shouldn’t you be studying anyway?
2. Know Someone Inside
One of the best ways to get into a bar is to know one of the bartenders working inside.
Always be aggressively close with the bartenders. Even if you’re not, just memorize all of their names and start name dropping them. It’s basically the same as being their best friend.
Definitely make sure the bouncer hears you repeatedly announcing how excited you are to see Jason — or is it Robby? — so he can make your special vodka soda. “He makes it the best! I swear!”
If you somehow still get denied, try name dropping again. “Would Jason/Robby, who works top bar every Friday, be happy to hear about this?? I don’t think so.” That always works!
3. Pretend You Don’t Want to Be There
One of my best tricks used to be acting like I totally didn’t care if I got into that bar or not.
Always act like you have more important places to be, even if you’ve been standing in line for over half an hour.
Make the bouncer want it more than you do. It’s all about playing hard to get!
4. Be Above All the Other 20-Year-Olds in Line
If you’re in line with a bunch of people who you’re pretty sure are 20, you have to stand out from the crowd. It’s crucial to act super mature.
Start loudly talking about how you had some friends over last night for charcuterie boards to discuss the stock market. Or something. The point is, you’re old.
Advanced tip: add in a few eye rolls every time your friends start taking selfies. “What is Snapchat, anyway? Back in MY day…”
5. When All Else Fails, Sneak In The Back
Look, bouncers are humans too — they make mistakes. They must’ve just forgotten that you’re there Thursday – Sunday every weekend, so they totally won’t mind if you sneak in the back door when no one’s looking.
Besides, once they see you in your element — dancing on the bar even after the third time the owner screamed at you to get down — they’ll definitely regret ever trying to deny you in the first place.
Next time, remember your ID!