There are so many things to love about summer. The warm sunny days, being able to go outside in shorts and flip flops comfortably and, best of all, pool parties. They set the scene for a great summer, and we absolutely love them. Sure, the beach is great, and we all love to run through a sprinkler or slip n' slide every now and then, but there's nothing like a pool party to celebrate the end of school, a birthday, a well-deserved destination vacation or, you know, just because. We'd be lying if we said all those trips to the gym this winter and spring weren't just us getting ready to make whirlpools with our friends, play hours of Marco Polo or show off on the diving board at the local aquatic center. Pool party summer fun is always where our heads are at.
And what better place to find inspiration for your next big splash than pop culture? Movies and TV shows have delivered us some of the most iconic pool party scenes, and for that, we're forever thankful. From choreographed dance numbers to bursting romances, learning life lessons, and everything in between, Hollywood's biggest stars have given us ideas for more than just what pool floats and swimsuits we need to make an appearance at our next big event. Check out our list of 16 of our favorite pop culture pool party moments to help you get ready for your summer fun.
It was physically impossible for us to not start this list off with High School Musical 2. Can we find better pool party vibes? Probably not. Between Sharpay's incredible pink-piano-in-the-pool "Fabulous" moment and the final party featuring incredible choreography by the Kenny Ortega to "All For One," not to mention Troy and Gabriella's late-night pool escapades, this movie has a pool party for everyone, even surprise guest Miley Cyrus. We're going to need one of our friends to take one for the team and get a job at the local country club so we can have lavish parties all summer long too. Any takers?
We can't help but love the Riverdale episode, "Chapter 36: Labor Day," for so many reasons, but the pool party is definitely number one. After a long summer of, well, living in Riverdale, the gang gets together to celebrate as another year of school (and other very big problems) is just around the corner. We love the idea of getting everyone together for one big hoorah to celebrate the good times and try to forget all about the crazy. Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper and, of course, Cheryl Blossom know how to seriously serve summer lewks, and we hope our friends are down to do the same with us when we get everyone together for a bash.
It should go as no surprise that Leonardo DiCaprio knows how to throw a party. We all know and love the typical pool party schedule: fun games in the pool, grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and pop music on the speaker. But when it comes to really throwing an all-out banger, The Great Gatsby sets the record. Starting with the lavish mansion and ending with a pool full of streamers as Beyoncé plays definitely sets the tone. We're not sure where we're finding this kind of luxurious pool party this summer, but we're praying we do. And if not, well, catch us throwing confetti into our kiddie pools and soaking in the sogginess anyways.
For those of us who don't actually get a full summer break (ugh), we're taking a day off to bring the pool party to work and vice versa. Who says you can't have some summer fun with your co-workers right? And who better to inspire us to do this than the ever-lovable cast of The Office? In the aptly-named season eight episode "Pool Party," Robert throws one last party before he puts his home up for sale, and the Dunder Mifflin employees definitely take advantage. Between games of chicken, dunking each other and making romantic interests jealous, everyone has a great time, and we're hoping our co-workers are down to do the same.
If anyone knows how to put the 'party' in 'pool party,' it's Zac Efron. He makes our list for the second time with his movie, Dirty Grandpa, and for good reason. Who wouldn't want to play flip cup with Zac and Robert DeNiro? We can't think of anyone who'd say no to this. Sometimes, pool parties take a turn for the wild, and we're here for it. We're down to have a good time as long as no one gets arrested or has a heart attack, and we'll even considering inviting our own grandparents if it turns out at fun and crazy as this party. ZEfron is our biggest pool party inspo, and we're not mad about it.
It's no surprise that the Gossip Girl addition to our list comes in with some warnings. We love, for the most part, the fun pool party vibes we get in the first season's last episode, "School Lies," though we're not crazy about the whole accident and possible school expulsion follow-up. GG gives us big pool party inspiration when they get all their classmates together for a night of fun, and we can't help but think it looks like a great time. No, we're not suggesting you break into your school pool — at least we can't say that's what we're encouraging — but we do think you should get all your buddies together for a fun night swim. Night time pool parties: big yes. Getting arrested: big no. This rule can probably be applied to most of Serena Van Der Woodsenand Chuck Bass ideas, but we trust you'll do the right thing.
Will Ferrell is definitely our idea of a great pool party (or any party, for that matter) host. We'd love to be invited to this Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy party, and we're glad we have it for inspiration for our next summer get together. Fresh drinks, robes and a dog that can eat a whole wheel of cheese? Check. We're loving these '70s vibes, and we think our next pool party could definitely use a decade theme. Extra points to anyone that brings a jazz flute or a projector so we can watch Christina Applegate do her broadcasting thing while we happily float.
We are obsessed, OBSESSED, with the Shrill episode "Pool" more than we can say. In the series' fourth episode of its groundbreaking first season, Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant goes to a "Fat Babe Pool Party" and slowly but surely releases her inhibitions and insecurities and joins in on the dancing and swimming fun. We firmly believe that every body is a beach (read: pool) body, and we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable to have a great time at whatever bash we're throwing or attending. Our pool parties are for every single person no matter their size, shape, color, gender, etc., and that's the that on that.
We have many dreams, and one of them is to build our own giant pool oasis to share with our best friends and family à la The Emperor's New Groove. When Kuzco first pitched Kuzcotopia, we had some major qualms. You can't just drop an entire water park on somebody's house, dude! But, by the end of the movie, it all works out and he has the pool party of a lifetime with the entire neighborhood and his best friend, Pacha. We love a good character development almost as much as well the idea of turning our neighborhood into a pool party extravaganza. Why not get the whole block involved right? We'd love to set up a pool hop around the town and get everyone in on the fun.
Sometimes you just need to take matters into your own hands, and sometimes 'matters' translates loosely to building a pool in your backyard. The stars of Shameless are often known for doing what they want when they want, and that's the vibe we're aiming for this summer. Would we be able to get away with building a pool in our parents' backyard? We're not so sure, but we're willing to give it a try. Frank Gallagher didn't have much say in what was going on, nor did he really notice, to be fair, and we're hoping our family will be as chill on this one. We have a couple of neighbors we can borrow hoses from, plenty of siblings to help with the building and friends that will join in on the fun. Is it worth the cost, labor, and risk? You bet.
There are a number of ways to spice up a pool party, and adding a little competition is one of them. In Meet the Parents, Ben Stiller gets roped into a volleyball match that goes array, and we love every minute of it. Why not add a couple friendly games of volleyball, basketball, tag or anything you can think of really to liven up the party? It's even more fun when family gets involved. At least, for Robert De Niro it is. Adding some structured activity to a pool party can bring everyone together, and we're definitely thinking about incorporating it into our future pool parties. Talk about host of the year award!
Big Mouth always hits it right on the nose, and they keep it going with this season two pool party. Andrew Glouberman can't keep his eyes of bestie Nick Birch's sister, Leah Birch, Jay Bilzerian is absolutely failing at pool basketball, the boys are gossiping about their summer loves and Nick's parents are watching the whole thing. We love how exactly right this show gets casual pool parties. Not all our days in the pool are going to be bangers. Sometimes the best pool parties are the ones where you get to hang around relaxing with friends, goof off, be awkward and have fun.
If three is a crowd, then two is definitely a pool party. Because who said pool parties have to be big right? Take it from this The Edge of Seventeen scene where Hailee Steinfeld and Hayden Szeto have a pool party for two. We can't get over the romantic tension in this scene (or the extra large pool), and we have to admit that pool parties are a great place to fall in love, even if it takes until our fingers are pruned. This pool party is great inspiration for our next date night or maybe a romance-fueled scheme or two. Everything is a pool party if you try hard enough!
High School Musical already proved that choreography at a pool party can really up the mood, but we're going to need some more, er, easily performable moves. Caddyshack delivers big time in that category with a couple minutes of incredible synchronized swimming. We love the idea of creating a group dance number with twists and turns and a touch of ironically classical music. Let's be real. We've been making up dances with our friends since grade school. So, why not translate them into some water aerobics? This scene is perfect inspiration for the next pool party activity, and we can't wait to try it out.
We are of course ending our list with none other than The Sandlot. It's unfortunate and unfair that not all of us get to own a pool, but sometimes it works out for the best. Some of the best days, and best pool parties are those that take place at the public pool, surrounded by friends, neighbors, and — duh! — hot lifeguards. Whether it's for an official event like a birthday party or just another day where the temperature is happily above 75 degrees, hitting the local pool is always sure to be a good time. We love the idea of rounding up everyone for a day of fun in the sun, making new friends and falling in love at the local haunt, and we're always counting down the hours until the gate opens each morning.