The Reverse Irish Goodbye

I’ve mentioned the Irish goodbye a few times, which is a slang phrase that refers to a person ducking out of a party, social gathering, or very bad date without bidding farewell.

I am a big fan of the Irish goodbye, and have used it on several occasions. And in recent years it has become my preferred way of leaving a party.

But I never really thought about the opposite, in some ways, of the Irish goodbye – how to get people to leave a party you are hosting. That was until I came across an article on HuffPost this week.

Reporter Brittany Wong posed the question to her readers, and here are some of the responses she received:

  • “I just start putting away food and pull out a big trash bag.”
  • “When you want everyone to leave, come out wearing your robe.”
  • “I say, ‘I’m going to bed, guys. If you need to crash there’s blankets in the hamper. Stay as long as you like.’”
  • “Turn all the lights on, make everybody stop talking, get into a big awkward group picture, and then just start saying goodbye!”
  • “Tell your partner loudly, ‘Honey, let’s go to bed so that all these good people can go home.”
  • In the Midwest, slapping your knee, saying “welp” and then standing up usually gets the process going, at least if your guests are fellow Midwesterners.
  • “This might be South American thing but, I generally tell people ‘I’m going to bed, if you stay please do the dishes and make breakfast tomorrow.'”
  • from an etiquette expert: “You really can just say, ’It’s been really nice to have all of you here together tonight. I am getting a bit sleepy from the exciting evening and I am going to have to call it a night very soon. I hope you have enjoyed yourself and I look forward to seeing you again soon,”
  • from another etiquette expert: “honestly, one of the lovely things about British invitations is that they include the phrase ‘carriages at’ along with the time so that it is clear in advance when the party will be over.”
  • one person noted that there are signs (shown at top of post) which you can hang that will remind people of when to leave. just the simple fact that there is such a product may indicate that this is a serious problem.

These may all be fine ways to get people to leave your house when you want them to.

But I think I have the best solution – just don’t have people over to your house.

mic drop…

*image from Amazon

62 thoughts on “The Reverse Irish Goodbye

  1. The midwestern goodbye is ridiculously over-simplified. True, you slap your knee and say welp, but that’s just the beginning of a long complicated process that lasts somewhere between 15 minutes and an hour and which invariably several more welps, long periods of painfully staring at the floor and extreme levels of social angst and discomfort.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love these! I could have used these a couple of weeks ago. Being in the Midwest all my life, I have never been anywhere where a knee is slapped and I haven’t heard the word “welp” either. I keep hearing it’s a midwestern thing but I guess not in Iowa! Goodbyes take forever though. You start by standing up.. moving towards the door, slowly while everyone continues to chat. Once you get to the door, everyone stands there for awhile and then once out the door everyone continues to say their goodbyes and niceties. Finally, once in the car the goodbyes are said again and then the waving starts until the car leaves the drive! Just my observations. 😵‍💫It really needs streamlined but it appears to be inherited over the generations! 🙄

    Liked by 3 people

  3. as you know, i am a huge proponent and practitioner of the irish goodbye, life-changing for me. that being said, i really love the south american suggestion you posted here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Back in my late teens and twenties we knew it was time to wind down a party when someone put on S & G’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ LP. (Yes, I’m that old). The point being (I think) that we were now down to the slow dancing and pairing-off stage.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve found that bringing out a revolver and firing it into the ceiling tends to make the party-goers scatter. When that fails, we open the back door and unleash the hounds. The final trick, for those true die-hards, is to open up a gas jet, then light a cigarette.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This brought back memories of my first roommate experience. It was my first year teaching, and one of my two roommates often invited a bunch of his friends over to party late at night. As someone trying to be responsible, it was clear something would have to give after this happened several times. I ended up moving in with my girlfriend (my future wife).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Enjoyed that, Jim. I’d quite forgotten the ‘carriages at’ line – I’m sure a modern equivalent could be employed! I find a different problem these days: when people come over, they seem to leave far too early. Often, there is one individual who rises at about 10pm and says, loudly, “Right, time for us to go.” At which point his wife, engrossed in conversation and clearly enjoying herself, feels obliged to leave at the same time. And, seemingly embarrassed to stay out and party now their mums and dads aren’t around to tell them they can’t, everyone else leaves too. It’s terrible, having a perpetual mental age of 18 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d never heard that carriages line – has a nice ring to it.

      And I remember those days when I never wanted to leave a party – that rarely happens these days 🙂


  8. LOL! Yes, if you don’t have people over that does solve the problem!
    I do like the creative ways though. Fun post! And now I will know all the signals to leave if we are ever invited over. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so funny to me bc it’s exactly the type of thing I’ve done before… I can be a bit an antisocial sometimes especially when the spotlight is on me… I started doing this during the traditional festivities for my wedding like the get togethers for the shower and bachelorette party.. I would pick the closest person to me especially one who I know had to leave at a decent hour and I told them to loudly announce that it was getting late, want to get out of your hair etc etc.. Basically putting out the word lol.. Works everytime… I think also some people feel awkward leaving early so this is giving them an easy out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Two of mine:

    1) getting into bed and when people were leaving they came in when I was tucked in to say goodbye 🤣

    2) an old friend who always outstays his welcome who never gets social cues to leave had me keep saying “it’s getting late” while checking my watch. He only got the picture when I started falling asleep on the armchair of my sofa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that’s funny that the people would actually come into your bedroom to say goodbye!

      and it is also funny how some people just don’t get some social cues…


  11. I have done this many times. I have never heard it called an Irish goodbye but maybe that’s because I’m Irish! It’s the best way to leave a party as you won’t have people trying to stop you from leaving.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was hilarious. And finally, there’s a name for what I call ‘slithering out from a party without saying goodbye.’ I’m definitely with you on the Irish Goodbye. Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.