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10 Important Life Lessons Animal House Taught Us

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A film doesn’t become one of the most quotable movies of all time without imparting some level of relatable wisdom, and John Landis’ 1978 comedy classic Animal House does so in spades. Not so much a treatise on college life as Life itself, the work provides lessons that are as true today as they were on the Faber College campus circa 1962.

Here are 10 important life lessons we learned from Bluto, Otter, Boon, Pinto, Dean Wormer, and the rest.

10. “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

10. Dean Wormer

As gluttons and drunks continue to smile as empires burn, hedonism will always have its place. However, we mustn’t confuse debauchery with vitality, passivity with nobility, or fatuity with purity. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” And that guy was a drunken slob!


9. “Take it easy, I’m pre-law.”

“I thought you were pre-med.”

“What’s the difference?”

9. Pre-Law

Inside each and every one of us is the ability to rise above our stations and training to tackle whatever obstacle we may come across. And in our most desperate hour, time spent searching for an expert who knows what they’re doing would only exasperate the problem. Better to stand up, accept the leadership role, and ramble on like you know what you’re talking about.


8. “Thank you, sir! May I have another?”

8. Kevin Bacon

The need to belong in a group is a powerful psychological imperative, and we often sacrifice our beliefs, dignity, and comfort to achieve it — hence the popularity of fraternities. But whereas some celebrate the induction of pledges with libations, other more cruel organizations impart pain and humiliation. Now, which group would you rather be a part of?


7. “Will that work?”

“Hey, it’s gotta work better than the truth.”

7. Better Than Truth

Not everything carved on a stone tablet is sacrosanct. While honesty is said to be the best policy, we must look beyond the immediate effects of truth toward the long term and ask ourselves, “What will we gain by being honorable and forthright here?” When deception benefits us all, it is our social and civic duty to lie our asses off.


6. “Grab a brew. Don’t cost nothin’.”

6. Cost Nothin

Our fixation on material goods and financial status has become ingrained into not only our psyches but the very institutions that govern our lives. When global economies hinge upon our wanton need for objects to prove our wealth and happiness, we must step back, reassess, and partake in Life’s simple pleasures that don’t cost nothin’.


5. “He can’t do that to our pledges!”

“Only we can do that to our pledges.”

5. Our Pledges

Deep social bonds provide a direct conduit to our egos, opening ourselves to raillery and indiscretions that we wouldn’t tolerate coming from an impersonal acquaintance. So it is the testament of a loving relationship to be able to abuse, disgrace, and degrade our fellow man once you both belong to the same collegiate organization.


4. “Kroger, your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto.”

“Why Pinto?”

“Why not?!”

4. State Your Name

It is in our nature to search for meaning in all walks of life, from the self-reflective “Who am I?” to the philosophical “Why am I here?” But obsessing over reason and logic is futile in a world governed by chaos and caprice. When events and concepts with clearly defined catalysts are rare, we must always deal with the here and now and leave the scientific method to the objectivists.


3. “We gotta take these bastards. Now, we could fight ’em with conventional weapons. That could take years and cost millions of lives. Oh no. No, in this case, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

3. Futile and Stupid Gesture

Grand, noble acts of bravery are the stuff that sell history books, but we should never dismiss the impulsive and erratic deeds of those who’ve got nothing to lose. Because tactical endeavors borne from a bureaucratic braintrust and carried out on an indistinguishable battlefield are lost in the annals of war when matched with ten thousand marbles and a pirate costume.


2. “My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”

2. Drink Heavily

From the cradle to the grave, we’re told to face every one of Life’s challenges head-on without the slightest bit of hesitation or remorse. But we’re human and we need to occasionally self-medicate to feel a semblance of care and appreciation when it’s devoid in the outside world. And come on, who provides better advice than a future senator?


1. “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

1. Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor

Motivation is an ephemeral beast, impossible to be captured and tapped like a keg of bottom shelf beer. However, when times look their bleakest and the last shred of hope is left drained and bloodied on the floor, there’s always irrational anger to get ourselves off our keesters and blindly forge into battle on false pretenses. Whatever gets the job done.

Want more words of wisdom? Check out all airings of Animal House on IFC. 

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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