Biggest Blowout Birthday Parties In Pop Culture

Posted by Rose Moore

Another leap year is here, and while some people might think of surprise proposals or an "extra" day, anyone with a birthday on February 29th knows why the last day of the month is going to be one of the biggest of the year—because it’s time to roll four birthdays into one! Sure, 29thers can just choose to celebrate their big day on the 28th or the 1st for the rest of the time, but it’s just not quite the same…and when there’s an excuse to throw a blowout party four times as big as any other birthday, why not take it?! So for all those leap year babies, we’ve got some inspiration for your 2020 party, straight from the biggest and best celebrations in pop culture.


The Great Gatsby

Partying like Gatsby is the stuff of legend…and now that we’ve officially hit the roaring ‘20s (for the second time), this is the absolute perfect theme for February 29th. Admittedly, not all of Gatsby’s parties were birthday parties, but knowing Gatsby (and the sheer number of people that he would invite to drink, dance, and play in the pool), it was probably someone’s birthday at every event. Grab some old-school champagne glasses, hire tuxedo-clad waiters and a huge house, dance the night away. Just don’t hide from the guests, or waste a life pining for a lost love.


Rory’s Double Birthday (Gilmore Girls)

Party like Rory Gilmore if you can’t decide whether you want a big fancy party, or something quieter at home. For her birthday in the first season of Gilmore Girls, she had two parties, and they couldn’t be more different. Yes, she had a more casual party at home with all her friends and family, where they opened gifts and had cake and generally relaxed…but she also had a formal event at her grandparent’s house, with catering, staff, and suits everywhere. Why choose when you can just do both?


The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

Maybe it’s not a party that you are after at all. Maybe, all you want for your birthday is to start fresh with an adventure, and in that case, skip the cake and balloons and take a leaf out of Allan Karlsson’s book and run away on your birthday! Allan skips out of the nursing home on his hundredth, and from there manages to go on a whole new adventure (following a lifetime of adventures), making new friends, acquiring an elephant, and ending up living on a tropical island. Sounds like a solid birthday plan.


The Black And White Ball (Swans Of Fifth Avenue)

Technically, of course, this was a ball simply to cheer up a friend, but if you are looking for party blowout inspiration, Truman Capote as depicted in Melanie Benjamin’s Swans of Fifth Avenue is the perfect place to start. In this look at the New York belles of the time, Capote throws the party to end all parties, a massive black and white ball at the plaza. Of course, it doesn’t make him truly happy, but this is the ultimate blow out. The highest of high society, the Plaza, Frank Sinatra, diamonds, champagne, vodka, society papers and exclusive invites…of course, it would cost you, but it’s worth four birthday budgets, right?


The Last Supper (Broad City)

This Broad City season finale is definitely one way to throw a big party. In "The Last Supper," Ilana’s father has agreed to pay for a big expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant, which is a fairly normal way to celebrate a big birthday. However, Ilana couldn’t just leave it at that! Instead, she actively eats delicious, high-end seafood, despite knowing that she has a shellfish allergy! She just brings along an epi-pen and enjoys the food anyway, which is definitely one way to go big on your birthday!


Bilbo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)

What would a list of birthday parties be without Bilbo’s eleventy-first birthday? Possibly the most famous birthday party in literature, Bilbo brought in Hobbits, food, and entertainment from all over the Shire, including Gandalf and his fireworks. The party itself was the biggest and best that the Shire had ever seen, and that’s before you include his speech that manages to insult half the guests, and that famous disappearing act. Just don’t wait until you are a hundred and eleven to throw a party like this. Humans don’t live as long as Hobbits, after all!


Special Mention: Harry Potter

Technically, Harry doesn’t really have a birthday party in the first book, and even after that, he tends to have quieter birthdays or non-celebrations (although that Burrow birthday with a snitch cake was amazing!). However, he needs a mention because if there was one thing that everyone wished they could have happen on their birthday, it would be finding out that you are actually a magical wizard and get to go learn how to do anything you want. Now that would be a true birthday blowout!