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Party City Might Be Leaving Us, But the Memes Will Not Be Forgotten

An image from the series 'Party Down' featuring cast members in service attire—white button-up shirts and pink bowties.

It seemed impossible, but one of our joys in this world, the store where we killed time when we were bored, has filed for bankruptcy. Party City, where your parents got balloons and where you maybe looked for Halloween costumes, has finally met its defeat. For those unaware, Party City used to be the premiere spot for all your party planning needs. Wanted a banner for someone’s birthday that looked sort of weird but still got your point across? Go to Party City. Wanted the same Halloween costume everyone else had? Party City had you covered.

It was, for the most part, the place you went for any and all party necessities. But over the years, people got more creative with their parties and would turn to Etsy or use their own skills to make things. And then, when the Spirit Halloweens took over the spooky season, Party City felt like a distant beacon of parties past. But they still existed and operated year-round.

If you were in a Party City and saw someone else shopping there at the same time, it would be a miracle.

The news that the famed store has filed for bankruptcy protection does not mean it is gone forever, but it isn’t exactly instilling confidence. To be fair, the pandemic didn’t really help with the party side of things, as many of us stopped having gatherings altogether. What is (sadly) fun: all the morbid tweets about the demise of Party City.

Tweeting through its death

Party City was a resource for a lot of us—primarily those of us who did sketch comedy and needed something quick and couldn’t wait for Amazon to deliver it. Sometimes, you just need a really weird wig and where better to go than to the Party City? But with the demise of the comedy scene during the pandemic and improv/comedy theaters closing in major cities, Party City lost some of their best customers.

The death of the store (if it comes to that) does come at a time when Spirit Halloween is ruling as the supreme leader of in-store costume-buying experiences. Sure, the Party City experience included birthday parties, wedding decor, and more, but Spirit Halloween is a vibe. It’s a moment. And now it is their time to shine.

And where would we be without the iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race moment when Phi Phi O’Hara said that Sharon Needles should go back to Party City where she belonged. Honestly, if Spirit Halloween did exist as it does currently in the cultural mindset, this moment in Drag Race herstory would have been more accurate, but at least we’ll always have Phi Phi yelling about Party City.


If this really is the end of Party City as we know it, at least she went out just as we all would have wanted: In a flurry of tweets making fun of the store.

(featured image: STARZ)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.