There’s no easy way to let someone know that they’ve overstayed their welcome. The following AskReddit users share their not-so-subtle moves that scream sayonara.
Source list available at the end.
When I was younger, I had a friend come over to play video games (the single player ones) on my computer. He’d play for hours and ignore my suggestions that we go and do something else. I eventually got so bored and frustrated that I left the room without him even noticing, went to the breaker box, and killed the power to the house. “Hmmm weird, the power must be out,” I said. He left shortly after.
My father-in-law used to have a big red ‘EXIT’ light (like the ones that you see in a movie theatre) installed over his front door that he would turn on silently when he wanted to go to bed.
I’ve read that when Robert Mueller was the director of the FBI, he would occasionally invite senior staff over for dinner and drinks. At quarter to 11, he would start turning the lights off in his house (starting furthest from the front door, to let his guests know that it was time to leave). He also made it clear that he expected to see all of them bright and early the next day at work.
My mom used to give our out-of-town guests one roll of toilet paper and tell them, “When this is gone… so are you.” She was a savage.
I have my AC unit set to a low temperature past 11pm because I love sleeping in the cold. It takes about 15-20 mins to start feeling cold. I can also control it through my phone, so I just turn it on when I want people gone within 20 mins. If someone complains then I just say, “Yeah, it’s set to turn on before I go to bed”. They usually get the point.
You put away the alcohol.
My aunt and uncle had people that would constantly drop in unannounced and just in time for dinner. Then, they would wait until very late before leaving.
They’d never offer to help with things like dishes/cleanup or prep work. They’d just show up to eat dinner and drink after dinner drinks.
When my aunt finally decided that enough was enough, she made sure the guests were able to see her put the dinner plates on the floor for the dogs to lick clean and then put them immediately back in the cupboard.
The guests stopped coming for dinner.
Play the Star Wars holiday special.
I had a buddy in college who’s house we’d party at on the weekends until really late. His roommate did this thing when it was getting to be that time, whenever someone shifted in their seat, he’d jump up and reach out his hand like he was going to shake yours and say, “Y’all be good now.” It was perfect for making you feel awkward enough to leave. We saw him do it so much that we all started doing the same thing when anyone overstayed their welcome.
I’ve personally tried going to bed. Everyone left except for one guy. He just slept on my floor. When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t know how to tell him that I had expected him to leave with the rest of the party last night, so we went rollerblading at 7 am.
My best friend’s almost 2-year-old will bring me my shoes when she wants me to leave. We will be chatting and having a grand old time, and here comes the baby with my shoes. Once she brought them and said, “You go!” Most of the time it’s just silence and handing me my shoes.
As a little kid, I cut footstep shapes out of construction paper and would lay them on the floor leading from the person to the door, if I thought they were staying too long.
As an adult, I had a (male, unattractive) roommate that would announce at the beginning of the party when “naked time” was. At that point, he would start stripping until people got so uncomfortable that they would have to leave.
I was once at a dinner party where the hosts suggested that we should take a group photo before everyone left. That meant that everybody stood up from their seats and posed for the photo. The hosts were then ready with everybody’s coats and jackets. We were out on the street in like 10 min. I remember thinking that this was an awesome way to kick people out. I’ve used it couple of times myself.
My in-law goes around with the coffee pot offering people a “last cup of coffee.” This tends to shut things down.
Look around and say:
“This has been mostly enjoyable, but all good things must come to an end.”
Then, usher them out with a smile and go to bed.
Make a post on Facebook at 10:45 that reads: “Had a great party, glad everyone left by 11.”
I start doing the dishes. I carry on the conversation like nothing has changed, but people get uncomfortable watching others do chores.
Never host so you can always leave when you want to.
My son (when he was about 4) walked into the middle of the room in his PJs and shouted, “The party is over!” People got the hint.
Cut them off your wifi.
My friend’s son said to me, “Why are you still here? You’ve been here a very long time.” She still gets embarrassed when I mention it. I thought he was adorable in his directness.
This is how we got people out of the barn at the Children’s Farm where I worked. Yell, “The barn is closing now.” No one leaves. Start pulling big doors shut and turning off lights, and people think you’re going to lock them in.
One time, I was hanging out with a crush. I had only been there for about an hour, but I guess I just annoyed him. He stomped into the room and announced that he was going to make himself a sandwich. I said, “That’s okay. I don’t need a sandwich.” He then proceeded to yell, “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH INGREDIENTS FOR YOU!”
I’ve had to stage an argument with my S/O before. Worked like a charm.
Posts may be edited for clarity.