guests who just won't leave

swampwitchSeptember 2, 2006

I couldn't find a thread on this topic, so here goes...

I had a Halloween party once that was still going strong (but I wasn't) at 3:00 A.M. so I put on Nick Cave's "Your Funeral, My Trial" (which is very dirge-like) and everyone cleared out within 15 minutes.

So, my advice to get rid of guests who won't leave is to change the mood with music and lighting. If things are lively, put on something slow and vice versa. If the lights are low, brighten it up.

No offense to anyone, but rap and mainstream 70's and 80's music will drive me away every time!

Cheers, from


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Have a guests that comes late and wants to drink coffee and talk till your ears fall off,it's so bad that the Wooden Indian that I have at my home with his arms crossed even unfolded his arms to put his hands over his ears, Just kiddin,but, these people have no clue how much work goes into throwing a party and are usually single people that can sleep late and have zero resposibility.Everyone is leaving the party and they just dont get it,lights on,they dont get it.I hate to embarras someone but thats my only alternative(and they are family)My wife says "let me heat you up some leftovers"me,I say I'll make it to go.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 1:53PM
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I've always used Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon (skipping Money) to make people just crash at my place. At 3am, most people are too drunk to safely get home and I'd rather them stay than go. Dark Side works great for that.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 6:55PM
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My boss would excuse himself and reappear in his pajamas when he thought it was time people should go home. He would tell them, "goodnight" and then he would go to bed. No doubt his gracious wife was mortified, but it became a tradition--when the pajamas were donned, it was time to go home.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 12:44AM
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I think being forthright about the end of the evening is the best way to handle it. Even the good guests are not mind readers. SOmething like, "well Let's call it a night, thanks for coming" usually starts the ball rolling and if that doesn't do it start a yawn, they are contagious.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 2:09PM
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How about saying something like "Well, I hate to put an end to a wonderful evening but I'm fading fast.... let's plan another evening together very soon because we enjoy your company very much". (Assuming you do, of course... I'm not suggesting you lie.) Then, rise and start taking glasses/plates to the kitchen, set them in the sink, and head toward the door. No doubt they will do the same unless they are completely clueless!

I think men can pull this off much better than women who try to be the ultimate hostess until the end, LOL.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 12:16AM
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My father would go and fall asleep in a chair until everyone was gone.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 7:41PM
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I like jenn's suggestion. I've heard people say to start brushing your teeth, etc. But although that sounds funny, I think it would really humiliate my guests, just about the worst thing a host can do -- a lot worse than staying too long, in my opinion. Jenn's formula lets the guests feel valued rather than putting them on the spot.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 5:28PM
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IMHO, although it's honest, I can't imagine asking a guest to leave. The guest is there because s/he's happy to have been invited and is still having a good time! Being asked to leave, however tactfully, is still going to make the guests feel they've overstayed their welcome. (When I've seen this done, the guests start apologizing and obviously feel bad about it.) It seems like an unhappy way to end a fun evening.

I'm not sure the obvious-but-indirect approach is any better, unless it's a tradition of sorts or the guests know ahead of time this will be the signal the party's over.

I've found one solution is to talk to a good friend, and ask him or her to go around telling everybody good-bye, mentioning how late it is and how tired s/he is, etc. That will usually get the ball rolling, but there are always a few who don't clue in... maybe that's the time for the honesty! For me, changing the mood works because the guests feel THEY have decided it's time to go home.

Cheers, from

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 1:26PM
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Demi, did you by any chance work for my FIL? Engineering firm in Boston? Ooops, no you are too young for that!

I was an Offender this summer. We went for dinner at a friends house and sat enthralled with his stories while she danced between the table and the kitchen. He is old and wonderful, like an angel almost. We see them seldom and worry that someday it will be the last time. We want every last drop!!

Anyway, she finally started making the "go home" noise and we realized it was nearly midnight. I was mortified! Felt bad for a few days. Redeemed myself by bringing their favorite can-only-get-it-in-the-city bottle of liqueur back from New York a few weeks later.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:26PM
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Honestly, we are very open to having surprise overnight guests. Because of my husband's work schedule we tend to have later dinners. I either fill them up with coffee if they go home or let them crash here. We have a basket with hotel sized toiletries so I'm not scrambling or resentful of them. I have always thought it a mark of success when people look at the clock and say, 'Oh my! I didn't realize what time it was. Your house is so peaceful.' Though sometimes my husband falls asleep on the couch after a long day of work. We don't really have easily offended friends. I'm sure I could just say thanks for coming, hubby has work in the morning and they would get the hint. :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 11:25AM
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