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Here is a gigantic list of 390 party themes that are perfect for birthday parties, costume parties or festive celebrations for adults.

Yep, move over, kids. It’s time for the grown-ups to have some theme party fun! If you have spent so long planning kids’ parties that you’ve run out of creativity for coming up with a party for you and your own friends, look no further. 

There are 390 party theme ideas for you to choose from ahead of inviting all your favourite family and friends to join you for the mother of all parties. 

Use this big list of themes to get creative with your next birthday party, anniversary party or even Christmas get-together party. Whether you hire a party planner or make the party yourself, just because you’re grown-up doesn’t mean you can’t play dress-up! 

I’ve created a huge list of all the party themes in alphabetical order. If you scroll past this list, you will also find the themes split up into the following theme genres:

  • Movie inspired ideas
  • TV show-inspired ideas
  • Christmas theme ideas
  • Sport inspired ideas
  • Halloween theme ideas

Right, are you ready to dive in?


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390 Party themes! Great theme ideas for adult parties

I’ve literally added every single conceivable idea for a party theme to this list. Some of the themes are food inspired, and some are distinctly retro or nostalgic. There are plenty of ideas for dress-up and costume parties, but also plenty of ideas for simply having a party decor and party food theme.

  1. 1920s – Flapper
  2. 1920s – Gangster
  3. 1950s – Rock n roll
  4. 1960s – Swinging 60s London
  5. 1970s – Hippie 
  6. 1970s British punk 
  7. 1970s Disco Party
  8. 1980s Movie stars
  9. 1980s Pop stars 
  10. 1990s Pop stars
  11. 2000 Pop stars 
  12. 80s Club night 
  13. 90s Club night
  14. Abigail’s Party  
  15. Alice in Wonderland
  16. All American
  17. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  18. Ancient Rome
  19. Andy Warhol The Factory 
  20. Angels and Devils
  21. Animal Kingdom
  22. Anime
  23. Anything but Black
  24. Arabian Nights
  25. Around the world
  26. Astrology
  27. Austin Powers
  28. Avengers
  29. Awards after-show party
  30. Back to Prom
  31. Back to school
  32. Back to the Future
  33. Back to the Future
  34. Back to the noughties dance party
  35. Backyard BBQ
  36. Bad hair day
  37. Bad Santa
  38. Barbie
  39. Barbie and Ken
  40. Baseball Greats
  41. Basketball / NBA party
  42. Basketball Heroes
  43. Baywatch
  44. Beach party
  45. Better Call Saul
  46. Big Bang Theory
  47. Black, gold, silver theme 
  48. Black & White Movies
  49. Black and white colour theme
  50. Black tie
  51. Bluey
  52. Board game night
  53. Bob Ross painting party
  54. Boho
  55. Bollywood
  56. Brazilian Carnival
  57. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  58. Breaking Bad
  59. Bridgerton
  60. Britain’s Got Talent / TV talent show
  61. British royal family through the ages
  62. Brunch party
  63. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
  64. Bugsy Malone 
  65. Burlesque
  66. Camping party
  67. Candy theme
  68. Carnival
  69. Casino – the movie
  70. Casino night
  71. Characters from 80s movies
  72. Characters from 90s movies
  73. Characters from stage musicals 
  74. Characters from noughties movies
  75. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  76. Cheerleaders
  77. Chinese New Year 
  78. Chocolate fountain party
  79. Christmas in July
  80. Christmas sweater party
  81. Chronicles of Narnia
  82. Cinco de Mayo
  83. Circus
  84. City Slickers
  85. Class Disney character
  86. Classic 80’s (think Ferris Buller, Pretty in Pink)
  87. Clueless
  88. Coachella festival at home
  89. Cocktail party 
  90. Cocomelon
  91. Comedy show characters
  92. Comic books
  93. Cook-off or bake-off theme
  94. Country Bumpkin
  95. Country music
  96. Craft party
  97. Crazy hair
  98. Cricket afternoon tea
  99. Dance battle
  100. Dancing With The Stars/Strictly Come Dancing
  101. David Bowie
  102. Dead zombie pop stars
  103. Dead zombie movie stars
  104. Death to my youth party 
  105. Denim and diamonds
  106. Dessert bar
  107. Dia De Muertos/Day of the Dead
  108. Die Hard – everyone dresses as John McClane
  109. Dinner party 
  110. Dirty Dancing
  111. Disco
  112. Doctor Who
  113. Downton Abbey
  114. Dr. Seuss
  115. Dress as the thing you most fear
  116. Dress as your favourite celebrity
  117. Dress for the decade you were born
  118. Dress up as your favourite character from a TV show or film!
  119. Dr Who
  120. Egyptian Theme
  121. Elvis through the decades party 
  122. Enchanted forest
  123. English High Tea
  124. Escape room
  125. Fairy Tales
  126. Famous couples
  127. Famous Dead People
  128. Famous Sports People
  129. Fancy Dress (anything goes)
  130. Fantastic Beasts
  131. Favourite popstar
  132. Favourite things party
  133. Fire and ice
  134. Fondue
  135. Footballers and Wives (or husbands) 
  136. Footballing heroes
  137. Fresh Prince of Bel Air
  138. Friends (the TV show) 
  139. Game of Thrones
  140. Gameshow
  141. Gaming
  142. Gaming party
  143. Gangsters and Flappers
  144. Garden party
  145. Geeks and tech bros
  146. Ghostbusters
  147. Ghosts and ghouls
  148. Girls night in
  149. Glamping
  150. Glam Rock
  151. Glam squad
  152. Glastonbury at home 
  153. Glee
  154. Glitter and sparkles
  155. Glow in the dark
  156. Golf 
  157. Goth
  158. Grammys party
  159. Grease
  160. Great Leaders from History
  161. Great Wall of China
  162. Grill and chill
  163. Halloween
  164. Hamptons at home
  165. Happy Days
  166. Harry Potter
  167. Harry Styles
  168. Havana Nights
  169. Hawaiian Luau
  170. Heavy metal
  171. Heroes vs villains
  172. High tea
  173. Hip Hop
  174. Holographic
  175. Horror film classics
  176. Hot Tub Time Machine
  177. House of the Dragon
  178. Ibiza Chillout 
  179. Ibiza Rocks
  180. Ice cream bar
  181. Iconic footballing heroes
  182. International food
  183. James Bond
  184. Jane Austen novels
  185. Jane Fonda 80s workout party
  186. Jelly and ice-cream 
  187. John Hughes 80s party
  188. John Hughes movies
  189. Karaoke party
  190. Keeping up with the Kardashians
  191. Kids show characters
  192. Kings and Queens party
  193. La Dolce Vita 
  194. Las Vegas
  195. Lego
  196. Line dancing
  197. Lord of the Rings
  198. Love & romance
  199. Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
  200. Mad Max
  201. Mad Men
  202. Madonna through the decades
  203. Magic show
  204. Magnum PI
  205. Makeover
  206. Mama Mia
  207. Mardi Gras
  208. Martin Scorsese movies
  209. Marvel Characters
  210. Masks and Mimosas
  211. Masquerade ball
  212. Mediaeval
  213. Memory lane 
  214. Mermaids and mermen 
  215. Mexican fiesta
  216. Miami Vice
  217. Milkshake bar
  218. Minute To Win It
  219. Mission Impossible
  220. Moulin Rouge
  221. Movie marathon
  222. Movie stars of the 80s
  223. Movie stars of the 90s
  224. Movie stars of the noughties
  225. Murder mystery
  226. Music festival in your yard/back garden
  227. Music video party
  228. Neighbours (TV show)
  229. Neon UV party
  230. New York New York 
  231. Nightmare Before Christmas
  232. North Pole
  233. Notorious figures from history 
  234. Oktoberfest
  235. Olympians/Olympics
  236. Olympic heroes
  237. Onesie party
  238. Oscars party
  239. Outer space
  240. Painting party
  241. Pantone Colour of the Year
  242. Parisienne nights 
  243. Pastel colours
  244. Peace and love
  245. Peaky Blinders characters
  246. Pierrot 
  247. Pirates of the Caribbean 
  248. Pizza
  249. Plant and sip gardening party
  250. Poker party
  251. Pool party
  252. Pop art
  253. Pop culture
  254. Popstar 
  255. Pot luck party
  256. Pretty in Pink
  257. Pretty Woman
  258. Primary Colours Only
  259. Priscilla Queen of the Desert
  260. Project Runway
  261. Pulp Fiction
  262. Pyjama Party
  263. Quentin Tarantino movie characters
  264. Race day
  265. Rainbow party
  266. Real Housewives
  267. Reality TV Stars
  268. Red, blue and white
  269. Red carpet
  270. Redneck/Hillbilly party
  271. Reggae
  272. Retro
  273. Retro board games 
  274. Retro rave 
  275. Retro video games
  276. Revisiting your school prom
  277. Rio Carnival 
  278. Rockabilly
  279. Rock n Roll
  280. Rockstar
  281. Rocky Horror Picture Show
  282. Roller disco
  283. Safari
  284. Salsa 
  285. Sandra Dee sleepover party
  286. Saturday Night Fever
  287. Scavenger hunt
  288. Science fiction
  289. Scooby Doo mystery party
  290. Selfie party
  291. Seven deadly sins
  292. Shakespearean characters
  293. Signs of the zodiac
  294. Silent disco
  295. Silver soirée
  296. Slumber party
  297. Smores and hotdogs campfire
  298. SNL 
  299. Social media influencer party
  300. Spaghetti Western
  301. Spa pamper party 
  302. Speakeasy
  303. Speed dating/matchmaking party
  304. Spielberg movie characters
  305. Sports Day
  306. A Question of Sport – plan your own sports quiz
  307. Spice Girls
  308. Springtime in Paris
  309. Squid Game
  310. St. Patrick’s Day
  311. Star Trek
  312. Star Wars
  313. Stranger Things
  314. Strictly Come Dancing / Dancing With The Stars
  315. Studio 54
  316. Summer camp
  317. Sumo party
  318. Super Bowl
  319. Superheroes
  320. Superstar DJs 
  321. Surf’s Up
  322. Surprise party
  323. Survivor
  324. Sushi train 
  325. Taco bar
  326. Talent Show 
  327. Tantrums and tiaras 
  328. Tartan & Scotch
  329. The Bachelor / Bachelorette
  330. The beautiful and the damned
  331. The Breakfast Club
  332. The Crown
  333. The Future
  334. The Godfather
  335. The Goonies
  336. The Greatest Showman
  337. The Great Gatsby
  338. The Grinch
  339. The Inbetweeners
  340. The Kardashians
  341. The Mandalorian
  342. The Muppets
  343. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  344. The Queen’s Gambit chess party
  345. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  346. The Simpsons
  347. The Sopranos
  348. The Wizard of Oz
  349. Things starting with a certain letter
  350. Things That Fly
  351. Thrift Shop Finds (set a budget)
  352. Tiger King
  353. Time Travellers
  354. Titanic
  355. Toga party
  356. Top Gun
  357. Toy Story
  358. Transformers
  359. Trashy/tacky dress-up party
  360. Travel themed
  361. Tropical
  362. Truth or dare games
  363. Tux and Tiaras
  364. TV show characters 
  365. Ugly bridesmaid dress theme 
  366. Ugly sweater
  367. UK prime ministers through the decades
  368. Under the Sea/ Nautical
  369. Underwater/ocean
  370. Unicorn
  371. US presidents through the decades
  372. Venice Beach muscle party
  373. Video Killed the Radio Star
  374. Vintage Funfair Themed Party
  375. Vintage garden party
  376. Vintage Hollywood
  377. VIP party
  378. Viva Las Vegas
  379. Walk Like An Egyptian
  380. Westside Story
  381. White partyBlack party
  382. Wig party
  383. Wild west
  384. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
  385. Wimbledon whites
  386. Wine and cheese
  387. Winter Wonderland
  388. Wizard of Oz
  389. Woodstock
  390. Woody Allen movies
  391. Zen 
  392. Zombie Apocalypse Party


TV shows make great party themes. They are particularly brilliant if there is an iconic character or characters, such as Ross and Rachel for a little nostalgia or Jon Snow and Daenerys for an epic fantasy-style party.

Reality TV shows also make a great basis for creating a party theme for a party for adults. Keeping Up With The Kardashians provides endless opportunities for creative dressing up fun, as does the Real Housewives.

Favourite and super popular TV shows from across the decades make great party themes. Here is a list of TV shows that would make great party themes, either because they have iconic characters or iconic storylines or just because they offer up the chance to have lots of fun.

  1. Bay Watch
  2. Better Call Saul
  3. Breaking Bad
  4. Bridgerton
  5. Doctor Who
  6. Downton Abbey
  7. Favourite TV comedy show
  8. Favourite TV detective show
  9. Favourite TV quiz show
  10. Friends
  11. Fresh Prince of Bel Air
  12. Game of Thrones 
  13. Happy Days
  14. House of the Dragon
  15. Keeping up with the Kardashians
  16. Mad Men
  17. Magnum PI
  18. Miami Vice
  19. Neighbours
  20. Peaky Blinders
  21. Project Runway
  22. Real Housewives
  23. SNL 
  24. Squid Game
  25. Star Trek
  26. Stranger Things
  27. Strictly Come Dancing / Dancing With The Stars
  28. The Crown
  29. The Inbetweeners
  30. The Muppets
  31. The Simpsons
  32. The Sopranos
  33. The Walking Dead


Movie-inspired party themes to make for really big, fancy parties. Think of milestone parties, like 30th, 40th, 50th etc. You can pick a film that was huge in the birthday person’s birth year.

Go for parties with iconic characters, such as James Bond, Cher from Clueless or Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Or think about how the movie could inspire the party venue – or the party venue could inspire the party theme!

  1. Abigail’s Party  
  2. Austin Powers
  3. Avengers
  4. Back to the Future
  5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s 
  6. Casino
  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  8. Classic 80’s (think Ferris Buller, Pretty in Pink)
  9. Clueless
  10. Die Hard – everyone dresses as John McClane
  11. Dirty Dancing
  12. Fantastic Beasts
  13. Ghostbusters
  14. Grease
  15. Harry Potter
  16. Hot Tub Time Machine
  17. Iconic horror movie characters
  18. James Bond
  19. John Hughes movies
  20. Lord of the Rings
  21. Mad Max
  22. Mama Mia
  23. Martin Scorsese movies
  24. Moulin Rouge
  25. Pirates of the Caribbean 
  26. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  27. Pulp Fiction
  28. Quentin Tarantino movies
  29. Saturday Night Fever
  30. Spaghetti Western-inspired
  31. Star Wars
  32. The Breakfast Club
  33. The Godfather
  34. The Goonies
  35. The Greatest Showman
  36. The Great Gatsby
  37. The Mandalorian
  38. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  39. The Oscars – Academy Awards 
  40. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  41. The Wizard of Oz
  42. Titanic
  43. Top Gun
  44. Vintage Hollywood movie stars
  45. Woody Allen movies


Music-inspired party themes. Well, the sky is the limit. Pick from a favourite band or artist, or pick a music genre or music from a certain decade.

Music-inspired parties are great for invoking a sense of nostalgia, especially as they lend themselves to you getting really creative with the music playlist.

  1. 1950s – Rock n roll
  2. 1970s British punk 
  3. 1970s Disco Party
  4. 1980s pop stars 
  5. 1990s pop stars
  6. 2000 pop stars 
  7. 80s Club night 
  8. 90s Club night
  9. Back to the noughties dance party
  10. Characters from Musicals (stage or film)
  11. Coachella festival at home
  12. Country music
  13. Dance battle
  14. David Bowie
  15. Disco
  16. Elvis through the decades party 
  17. Favourite popstar
  18. Glam Rock
  19. Glastonbury at home 
  20. Glee
  21. Harry Styles
  22. Hip Hop
  23. Ibiza Chillout 
  24. Ibiza Rocks
  25. Karaoke party
  26. Line dancing
  27. Madonna, through the decades
  28. Music festival in your yard/back garden
  29. Music video party
  30. Reggae
  31. Retro rave 
  32. Rockabilly
  33. Rock n Roll
  34. Rockstar
  35. Roller disco
  36. Saturday Night Fever
  37. Spice Girls
  38. Studio 54
  39. Grammys winners


Sports party themes don’t necessarily mean having to play the actual sport. Get everyone to dress up as a sporting hero from the world of football or basketball.

  1. Baseball heroes
  2. Basketball / NBA party
  3. Basketball Heroes
  4. Cheerleaders
  5. Cricket afternoon tea
  6. Footballing heroes
  7. Iconic footballing heroes
  8. Olympic heroes
  9. Sports Day
  10. Superbowl


If you are looking for a way to add some humour to your next party, I’ve put together a list of ideas from bad hair days to tech bro cringeworthiness. Here are 14 funny party themes for adults that will have you and your guests laughing all night.

  1. Bad hair day
  2. Tacky tourist
  3. Unlikely celebrity look-alike
  4. Ugly sweater/Christmas sweater
  5. Mismatched party (wear clothes that don’t match)
  6. Crazy hat party
  7. Tech bro party – from Elon to Mark, party on, bro!
  8. Crazy sock party
  9. Halloween in April
  10. Awkward family photos
  11. Tacky prom night
  12. Celebrity Impersonators
  13. Trailer park bash
  14. 80s workout video


Give your party a fun theme if you want to really make sure your Christmas party stands out as THE party of the holiday season. There is so much pressure to have fun at Christmas that sometimes a theme is the best way of getting the party started.

Think Christmas movies or simply think glamour and luxury. Christmas number ones is a particularly fun idea, where everyone can choose their favourite Christmas number on and dress up as the music artist.

  1. 12 Days of Christmas 
  2. A Christmas Carol
  3. A winter wonderland
  4. Bad Elf on the Shelf 
  5. Bad Santa
  6. Black and gold 
  7. Candy canes
  8. Christmas crackers comedy 
  9. Christmas Elvis
  10. Christmas games night
  11. Christmas HoeDown
  12. Christmas in Vegas, baby!
  13. Christmas masquerade ball
  14. Christmas movie marathon
  15. Christmas number ones
  16. Christmas on the beach
  17. Die Hard – everyone comes as John Maclane
  18. Dress as a Christmas bauble
  19. Funny Christmas hats
  20. Gingerbread house building
  21. Ornament making party
  22. Snow and ice
  23. Tartan and Scotch 
  24. The Grinch 
  25. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  26. The Nutcracker
  27. Ugly Christmas sweaters
  28. Wreath making party


If you want to take your Halloween party to the next level, it is well worth giving it a theme. It’s also a great way of getting everyone to dress up because a general theme of ‘Halloween’ can sometimes be overwhelming.

Go for current spooky favourites from the world of TV or film, like Stranger Things or Squid Game or go for movie classics, like Halloween or It, or Freddy Kruger in Nightmare on Elm Street.

  1. A Nightmare on Elm Street
  2. Beetlejuice
  3. Black and white 
  4. Dead zombie movie stars
  5. Dead zombie pop stars 
  6. Dia de los Muertos
  7. Escape room
  8. Fortune telling party
  9. Ghost white party
  10. Ghouls night in 
  11. Halloween (The movie)
  12. Hallo-Wine party
  13. Haunted gingerbread house
  14. Iconic horror movie characters
  15. It
  16. Mad scientist 
  17. Murder mystery
  18. Neon glow party
  19. Rocky Horror Picture Show
  20. Scooby Doo
  21. Scream (The movie)
  22. Smores and hotdogs campfire
  23. Squid Game
  24. Stranger Things
  25. Vampire / Dracula
  26. Zombie prom night


You know your party guests – and yourself – best. So gauge just how much effort everyone is likely to put into getting dressed up for a themed party. If the answer is absolutely zero, then go for a theme that doesn’t involve fancy dress. You can easily theme a party with fun invites, decorations, food and music. 

But if you know that everyone is ready, willing and able to go full force with their fancy dress outfits, then the sky’s the limit with the party theme suggestions on this list. 

The only other thing to bear in mind before diving into the list of theme ideas is how much time you have ahead of your party

If you’re going for a full-on party theme, you want to give your guests a good amount of time to plan and get their outfits together. Around a month should do it for most themes. 

The same goes for being realistic about how much time you have to prepare for the party. Don’t go for an over-the-top fancy theme that you just don’t have the time to prepare for. 

A quick note: Whilst plenty of themes below can be adapted or are suitable for kids’ parties, if you are looking specifically for kids’ party themes, I’ve got a separate post with a big list of 99 of the best themes for kids parties.


Once you’ve chosen your party theme you need to work out how to bring it to life. Here’s a quick list of ideas for things you can do and include.

  • Themed party invitations – include dress-up ideas/instructions
  • Themed decorations
  • Party music playlist
  • Themed party food
  • Themed party food plates and cups
  • Themed party drinks – create a special themed cocktail?
  • Themed party favours


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McKenzie Lindgren

Saturday 12th of November 2022

GREAT themes! I’ve been searching for -hours- and I cannot believe the themes you came up with! They're awesome! However, now that I’ve picked out a few great themes from your list I don’t know how to obtain plates, napkins, cups, decorations, etc. to go with the theme. Any ideas? Will it all be DIY? Or spending a bunch of money on Zazzle? 🤷🏼‍♀️ Please help, advise, guide. 🙏🏻

Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Glad the ideas have been useful. Without knowing the themes you've gone for it would be hard to advise specifically. But if you want to keep your budget down I'd suggest going for a couple of key items that go with your theme, then picking a colour scheme that works with it. Invitations, pinatas and cakes are a great way of bringing a theme to life, as are party bags. I will be working on content bringing some of the top themes to life over the next few months, but as you can imagine, it's a big job for a team of one! Good luck with your party.