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Trustinglife's avatar

Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you?

Asked by Trustinglife (6603points) March 1st, 2009

Or have you been the one to throw it?

I went to an amazing 60th birthday party for a friend tonight. My friend was in total shock. Total shock. It was perfect. And the whole evening was simply wondrous.

I would love to hear any stories of surprise parties of any kind. Also, my mom’s 60th is coming up later this year, and I’m looking for ideas and inspirations for what we might do for her. Thanks!

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36 Answers

shockvalue's avatar

I’ve had one surprise party thrown for me by a few friends before I went off to college. Nothing fancy, but really nice. They cooked me a vegan pizza, and made me presents and gave me some awesome candy. It was one of the nicest thing’s anyone has ever done for me.

And I’ve thrown quite a few surprise parties for friends. Sometimes for no special occasion, but just because I think they are awesome people that deserve to be appreciated every once in a while.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve had a surprise bridal shower thrown for me at work, a surprise baby shower at work, and a baby shower that was supposed to be a surprise thrown by my best friends. That last one didn’t work out so well, since I was on bed-rest by the time the party was drawing near… so they had to tell me so I could clear it with my doc! I felt very touched by the gesture each time. I threw a surprise bridal shower for my best friend, too.

cyndyh's avatar

I’ve been on both ends of this one. I once had a surprise party thrown for me a day before my birthday just because I knew what the simple plans for the day of my birthday were already. It was fun and just a nice gathering at my place with friends and beer.

I once threw a surprise party for my husband and people started showing up when he was in the study. I thought he’d twig to the sounds from the other room, but no. Everyone was there for a good 10 or 15 minutes before he came out of the study to go to the bathroom and said, “what’s going on?” He’d heard me talking to someone, but he just thought my friend and I were about to go hang out at a coffee shop and hadn’t left yet. It was so funny. He never guessed a thing.

jlm11f's avatar

Yesss I really should be sleeping but aww hell i’ll type this out anyway. My friends threw me a lovely surprise birthday party for my 17th (?) birthday. My birthday is on Xmas, so I usually never get to celebrate with friends on the day itself. One of my friends had the movie Love Actually on DVD and most of us in our group hadn’t seen it. I wanted to borrow it, but they decided we should all just watch it together. So the night or 2 nights before Dec 21st, I was having a AIM conversation w/ the girl who was hosting and she said I need to be at her house at 11 am. Now, this might sound silly, but I do value my time off and my sleeping in days. And Love Actually is not the kind of movie that I would wake up earlier for, so I kept arguing that we should have it later on in the evening or something. My friend kept coming up with the most ridiculous excuses like “no, we need to have it when my mother is home” and when I proposed we have it at my house she said she can’t leave her 14 year old sister home alone because she tries to burn the house down. All of these excuses resulted in me thinking that the pre-vacation stress had finally gotten to her.

Finally I said that I’ll just watch the movie later on and then she turned it into a chat room conversation with other friends arguing with me. I know I was just being stubborn, but other than that I had no clue what was going on. Finally I agreed, and my best friend said she can pick me up and we can go to other girl’s house together. I went in, was genuinely surprised when everyone jumped out and screamed in unison. They had ordered a big cake (I love my cake) and had all chipped in either to buy or cook food/snacks and had decorated the house. We watched a bunch of movies and then went out for the latter half of the day. The reason it needed to be at 11 am was because one of the guests had work @ 1 pm so she wanted to be there for at least part of the party. Oh and they also chipped in and bought me a Chocolate Fondue Fountain as a gift. YUM!

Definitely one of the best birthdays ever. It was great not having to plan anything for once. Now of course, my friends won’t let me forget that I made it so hard for them to host my own birthday party. And I can’t believe I almost didn’t go haha. I have some pretty amazing friends <3

They were worried that I must be suspicious because I am typically more observant than this, but I really had no idea


I have yet to throw a successful birthday party on my own. I was part of one for another friend, but due to time constraints, I couldn’t take be responsible for much :(. I enjoy such stuff though, so I am sure I’ll throw one soon enough.

augustlan's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Surprise! There’s cake in the frizzer :)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I haven’t had one, but I did throw an really great surprise party for my mother-in-law’s 75th birthday. I rented a small party facility across from a hotel. We told her that we were going to dinner at the hotel for her birthday—immediate family. Then when we met in the lobby, I told the group that a photo of our daughter was on exhibit across the street in this little gallery and that before dinner, could we all go take a look at it. When we went across the street to the party room, all of her siblings and their families, her friends, neighbors, etc. were there. We had over 100 people. I did all the food myself, and we served wine and beer. It was a really fun party.

Jeruba's avatar

No one who knows me would think that was a good idea. In fact, a friend and I made a pledge to each other that we would always protect each other from such things.

Jeruba's avatar

Not everyone enjoys being thrust into the spotlight without a word of warning. Some of us like to know what to expect and prepare accordingly. People who love parties simply never seem to consider that their feeling is not universally shared. My friend and I are both among those for whom social events (other than very small ones) are stressful and draining, and having them sprung on us would make it very hard for us to be graciously appreciative toward the well-meaning friends who put us through it.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba I feel your pain! If any of the parties I mentioned had more than 20 people in attendance, I would have about died from the stress.

Trustinglife's avatar

@Jeruba Good point, thanks for sharing your feelings about it.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think my mother-in-law’s party worked out so well because she was expecting a celebration—she was dressed up for dinner at the hotel, she was going to be the center of attention of her own family, etc. so the surprise wasn’t so much that she was thrust into the spotlight, but she ended up spending the evening with everyone she cared about.

I’m a good party-giver, but not a party-goer. I like the cooking end of it.

MacBean's avatar

I’m with @Jeruba on this one. People who know me know better than to give me surprise parties. I’m not even much of a fan of parties for me that I do know about. When I was a little kid, I would hide when it was time for cake at my birthday parties. I had to be chased down and forced into a chair, and I cried when people sang to me. I hate being the center of attention.

Trustinglife's avatar

Ok! Everyone look at MacBean now. Did it work?

cookieman's avatar

My wife and I threw huge surprise parties for my mother’s 55th birthday and my inlaw’s 50th anniversarry.

The anniversarry party was the size and scope of a wedding as my inlaws never had a wedding the first time around (they were married over the phone by proxy).

My wife, then girlfriend, threw one for my birthday when we first started dating (I was sixteen). I don’t remember much as it was twenty two years ago, but I enjoyed it a lot.

MacBean's avatar


bythebay's avatar

I’ve given 2 surprise bridal showers; both of which tuned out wonderfully. One a large garden event at our home with over 50 guests and one a small tea party for 12. Both were such fun!
I gave my husband surprise parties for his 30th & 40th. 30th was at our club where he was playing golf that day. His friends brought him into the club after golf for a beer and voilĂ —there were 100 of us waiting to celebrate him. While he went and showered we had cocktails and the rest of the day was great! His 40th was devious as he thought we were hosting a party for a friend of his at our house. Because we entertain often, he never thought twice. He did all the house prep work, helped decorate, shopped for the beverages etc… when everyone started arriving they played it cool until the supposed “guest of honor” arrived. We then all turned to my husband yelled surprise and…you know the rest.

He surprised me on my 40th by taking me on a vacation; when we arrived on the island all of my good friends were there. That was a week of pure bliss. Everyone may not like to be surprised, but being thought of and fussed over in such a special way warms my heart.

ubersiren's avatar

I had a surprise baby shower and I was totally fooled. My mother-in-law had my parents and us over for lunch, and the idea was that all the guests just wait in the back yard until we were done eating, then sneak in and surprise me. But near the end of lunch, one of my mo-in-law’s friends came too early. She showed up at the front door with a big ol’ present. Hahaha… I just thought, “Wow, she’s really nice bringing a my mo-in-law a present like that.” I’m so stupid.

Bagardbilla's avatar

@trustinglife lurve for that comment to Macbean!
Too funny, i’m still laughing!

Mr_M's avatar

My cousin went through great lengths and expense to give his wife a surprise birthday party. We got there late. We turned a corner looking for a parking space and who do we see, face to face? She immediately knew something was up since it was not usual for ME to be there. Oh well.

Strauss's avatar

My wife threw a surprise for my 41st. We were helping a friend move, and were getting ready for what I thought was the friend’s housewarming. Wifey sent me running errands, for my own birthday party! About party time, she said, “There are some people in the back yard, you should go out there. Still totally unaware, I went out, and still didn’t realize it until several of them told me “Happy Birthday.”

LouisianaGirl's avatar

yes just this past year and the theme was LSU and everyone was wearing purple and gold and LSU stuff. I was too because they had a game that day and every time they play a game to show my support I wear an LSU Tigers jersey or shirt outfit. I got a lot of LSU stuff so everything worked out perfectly.

Jeruba's avatar

@bythebay, I love being thought of and fussed over as much as the next person! I just also have to brace myself if I’m to be the center of attention so I don’t want to run away like MacBean. I can do it, and these days I can even get up and speak in front of a group (it took a lot of practice on a small scale), and no one can see how uncomfortable I am, or so my friends tell me. But it is an ordeal.

My husband handles such events this way, bless him: ”— is a very special date for you. What do you want to do?” I could always say “Surprise me,” but I haven’t yet.

Your 40th does sound idyllic. How wonderful to have a memory like that.

galileogirl's avatar

We have never been a big ‘party’ family. When it was somebody’s birthday, there would be a mix cake for dessert for dinner. Two of my siblings and I have close birthdays so my mom would pick up a store sheetcake on a Saturday and set up a card table in the garage and invite the neighborhood kids in.

On my 44th birthday, my sister invited everybody over for a BBQ. It never occurred to me it might be a party, since I had long since stopped thinking about my birthday. So when I drove up I wasn’t surprised to see cars because there are siblings and their kids nearby.

I was floored when I walked in because all of my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews from all over the West were there. For the 1st time in my life I received birthday presents. The best one was from my Dad and it is still my dearest possession. When I was a teenager, I once told my parents I wanted a music box for Christmas. With 6 kids, though, gifts were always practical. For my 44th birthday my Dad gave me a carrousel horse music box.

Jack79's avatar

Once, and it really was a surprise. I was in Turkey for a journalism conference, and I didn’t think anyone knew it was my birthday. They probably got it off my passport or something.

In any case, there was this charity auction where I was asked to sing, several miles outside Ankara, and we were all taken there in buses in the middle of the night, and had dinner and so on. And then while I was on stage (oh and had been asked to strip btw, but that’s a different story), one of the auctioned items turned out to be…a birthday cake! I was genuinely surprised that anyone knew and it was truly one of the most wonderful moments of my life.

bythebay's avatar

@Jeruba: Your husband sounds very thoughtful, and aware of your need for mental preparation! Congrats on overcoming your fear of public speaking. Seeing here how poetic and intelligent you are, I can only imagine that hearing you in person would be a treat.

Jeruba's avatar

<blush> Thanks, @bythebay, you’re very kind. I haven’t overcome my fear! Only my paralysis. If I rehearse enough times—seven seems to be the magic number—I feel adequately prepared. Otherwise I babble inanities and stammer over my own name.

(Only the fearless have no need of courage.)

tiffyandthewall's avatar

my friend’s mum had me and a few of my friend’s other friends come to the mall one day to stand outside of the dressing room she was in and surprise her when she came out. (:

i’ve never had a surprise party thrown for me though. i haven’t even had anything resembling a party for my birthday since i was in elementary school.

bythebay's avatar

Aw tiff; we’ll throw you a Fluther surprise party!

Trustinglife's avatar

@btb, I was afraid you were going to tell her when it was – and blow the whole thing!

bythebay's avatar

@Trustinglife: Pffft! I can keep a secret!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

@bythebay aww thank you haha (:

onesecondregrets's avatar

The best friends I ever had threw me one years ago. I didn’t realize then how lucky I was to have people around me who cared about me. Enough to do just that, take time out of their lives just to put something together for me. Sigh.

humph's avatar

Its sad, I have never had a party thrown for me for any reason. Never had a birthday party for me other than cake with the immediate family. Heck last year I didnt even get a cake! I turn 40 next year and my kids have already had more parties that I could never catch up with them! I’ll cross my fingers for something for my 40th, but not counting on it.

Strauss's avatar

We had moved to the community about a year previously, and were in a pretty good social circle. A friend of ours had recently moved into a new home, and the wife told me we were going to throw her a housewarming, that just happened to be on my birthday. We prepared for days, cooking and making all the arrangements. I ran errand after errand. Finally, I came back to the house, after my last “errand”, and the wife said, “There are some people in the lanai room.” I went in, and someone said, “Happy birthday!” I said thanks; another “Happy birthday!” Another thanks. By the third “Happy birthday,” I cought on. I had been putting together my own birthday party!

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