Before the VMAs even begin, have everyone in your viewing party write down their guess for the presenter/performer/plebeian who’ll be on the receiving end of Rihanna’s side-eye. Gather all responses and place them in a sealed envelope.
Place a glass, crunk cup, or Britney Spears’ empty gaze in the center of the group. Every time Iggy Azalea loses an award, pour some of your drink into this communal chalice. (The gods will require an offering after fulfilling your wishes.)
*Named after former MTV VJ and leather-clad phantom of The Voice set, Carson “Tara Reid Dumped Me” Daly
Pour It Up, Pour It Up: Take a Drink If…
- Beyoncé is wearing something beaded and sparkly that looks like it could’ve come from the House of Deréon.
- Gwen Stefani shows her abs
- Taylor Schilling, Laverne Cox, and Uzo Aduba make a “_____ is the new black” joke while presenting.
- There is a cut to a celebrity who was just made fun of and they aren’t laughing.
- You get choked up during Sam Smith’s performance, don’t drink. You have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to mask. Just be fully present in this moment. Open yourself up to this experience. We are all Sam Smith. Sam Smith is us all.
- Jayden Smith looks confused.
- You can name a member of Maroon 5 who isn’t Adam Levine. Clearly you need this drink. And some time for self-reflection. Look at your life, look at your choices.
- You think you just saw Sia, but you aren’t sure, since she is like the G Train of musicians (oft spoke of and heralded, but never seen).
- Iggy spells her own name. (Which, sadly, is her best lyric.)
Take a Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot Shot If…
- Someone has aerialists in their performance.
- Michelle and Kelly are brought out of Witness Protection and allowed onstage with Beyoncé.
- Someone in the control room is slow on the bleep button and you hear a CUSS WORD.
- Someone mentions twerking.
- Someone twerks.*
- Jessie J makes a face resembling this one:
- A presenter fumbles while reading the teleprompter and tries to cover up their embarrassment with a chuckle and a reminder that hey, this is live TV, folks!
- Ariana Grande looks like the lead character of some mouth-breathing Redditor’s manga about plastic sex dolls that come to life in order to fight crime… IN THE SWINGIN’ SIXTIES!
- Pharrell is wearing a hat.
- Bruno Mars is wearing a hat.
——> If both Pharrell and Bruno Mars are wearing hats, funnel a beer using a copy of GQ.
- Taylor Swift sings and dances along to someone else’s performance like a fifteen-year-old girl who’s slightly beer drunk at a senior’s basement kegger and wants everyone to know how much fun she is having and how carefree she is because deep down inside she doesn’t feel anything at all and she can’t remember if that emptiness has always been there or if it grew out of the same dull impulse that made her ignore her mother’s phone calls and send her crush topless pictures. **
*If a white girl twerks, finish your drink and read some bell hooks.
**If it’s to hip hop, finish your drink and call your parents. They’re worried about you.
Anytime Kim Kardashian appears on screen, you must scream “WILLOW PAPE” and drink. If anyone forgets, they are the Kanye of the evening. From this point on, they are only allowed to drink beers that they have stolen from other party-goers’ hands. Each seizure must be preceded with “I’mma let you finish this drink but…”
If Beyoncé makes some sly remark about an elevator or veiled allusions to those divorce rumors, everyone must immediately bow down. The last to get on their knees and praise Queen Bey must be LaTavia’d/LeToya’d from the room, i.e. kicked out. (Until the next commercial.) The player may avoid exile only if they are able to recite Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s definition of a feminist from memory.
First Commercial Break
- Drink if you are unable to name three Rita Ora songs.
- Pour a shot for everyone in your group. The first person who is able to name what song Usher is performing tonight gets to assign their shot to another person. If no one is able to name the song, everyone takes their shot.
- See if anyone can explain why Lorde’s “Royals” is nominated for Best Rock Song. If anyone makes a convincing argument, they get to assign a shot to a person of their choosing.
CULTURAL APPROPRIATION SPEED ROUND!!!
Take a shot if you spot a white person…
- Wearing a bindi
- Wearing a war bonnet
- With gelled down baby hairs
- Sporting a grill
- If Miley Cyrus even does so much as STAND during Nicki Minaj’s performance of “Anaconda”
Last Commercial Break
You should be pretty drunk by now. Hey, remember Psy? Remember what song Psy sings? Just sing a little bit. Just a little bit, you got this! No? No, you don’t remember? Neither do we. Just checking.
At the end of the broadcast, open the Rihanna side-eye envelope. If you were right, assign the Carson Cup to the player of your choice. If no one was right, you all must split the Carson Cup.
Happy drinking, y’all!
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