Mainly in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United States and Canada the term house party refers, typically, to a type of party where large groups of people (usually high school or college students) get together at a designated house to play loud music and drink alcohol.
In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a house party can be referred to as a "free gaff" were lots of strongbow cider and buckfast is drunk. Such parties are classified as house parties in order to distinguish them from parties that take place in the college halls of residence and other places on campus.
An early example of a house party can be seen in the play Mostellaria (The Haunted House) by the Roman playwright Plautus. In it a young man called Philolaches is having a great time while his father is away on business.
Sometimes used as a guideline for teenagers in real life, house parties have become a prominent feature in several popular movies. While many have probably been present before the movie, Animal House is one of the first to properly provide a scene of a House party.
Ben Metcalf's verse novella "Urine" explains the etiquette of such parties as well as the proper means of ending them when the guests have gone out of control.
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