Few insults are worse than a drink thrown in your face. Here's how to do it right (or in some examples, wrong). Produced by Jessica Chou.
The act of throwing a drink in someone's face, or a drink slap, has been used since the earliest days of cinema — a fed-up woman throws her drink in a man’s face to show her disdain for the offender. It dates back at least to the silent film The Wages of Sin (1914), and there have been countless since then, and many that have made for some of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Television followed suit, with several recent episodes of critically acclaimed shows featuring the drink slap as a succinctly dramatic way for characters to make a point without ever uttering a word. Finally, the celebrity copycats started creeping in. Reality stars, sports figures, and even pop stars have thrown drinks — or had drinks thrown at them.
Check out our supercut, above, of all your favorite drink slaps — moments of pure surprise, emotion, anger, and camp. We can’t wait to see if Smash's Anjelica Huston throw more drinks at her ex-husband (or anyone else in her way), and if the new kids on Glee will experience the same slushie treatment this season. It’s a given that any Real Housewives spin-off will feature a thrown glass of wine or two ("Is throwing wine even something that gets you on a reality show?" 30 Rock’s character Jenna Maroney asks on the spoof show Queen of Jordan). How I Met Your Mother’s Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) is often a target of a martini or two, thanks to his womanizing ways, but fortunately he knows how to make the best of any situation: "So you had a drink thrown in your face. Happens to me all the time. Pretty soon you will be able to anticipate it, and when you do... free drink."
Which brings us to this observation: most of these drink-throwers are females. What is it about having a cold beverage in hand that is so empowering that makes them want to throw it the offender’s face? Is a gal throwing a drink the equivalent of a dude throwing a punch? Then again, the reality TV world erupted when Eric Williams dumped a drink on his ex-wife Jennifer Williams on Basketball Wives 3. Maybe it’s just the ladies that can get away with a little drink slap.
Our favorite real-life drink slap moments make us wonder if it is ever appropriate for a lady to actually throw her drink. While we don’t endorse this maneuver, if you just have to cross this dramatic move off your bucket list, learn from some of these tactless moments and save it for the perfect scenario. Take caution so you don't actually injure your target, but rather simply make an extravagant statement. And for God’s sakes, don’t use an actual good drink. As Alan Richman, food critic at The New York Times, noted last season on HBO’s Treme: "No one throws a Sazerac." Save the drink slaps for the poorly poured, sweet-and-sour mixed wells.