Nightlife

Flippers: The Ultimate Guide to Unreliable Clubbing “Friends”

Flippers: The Ultimate Guide to Unreliable Clubbing “Friends”
Chirag Bhojwani

It’s 9pm on a Friday night and you get the call or text message: I can’t make it tonight. In the nightlife world, it is very common for people to cancel at the last minute. Something mysterious happens when you cross going out partying with someone’s personal plans. While it’s not going to change, here’s what you need to know about the “Flipping” phenomenon.

Who is a Flipper?

Let’s aim to define who a flipper is, and what you can do to avoid being one. A flipper is someone who makes a plan with an individual or group of friends, and then cancels at the very last minute, without a valid reason for doing so.

Flippers excuses are typical and unsubstantial:

  • “I’m not feeling up to it, dude!”
  • “I’m super tired today!”
  • “I’m too drunk right now, man!”
  • “I’m really hung-over”
  • “I’m feeling out of it”

These are completely socially invalid reasons, and thus, if you cancel a plan using any of the above or similar statements, you are deemed a flipper.

In some parts of the world, there is nothing worse than being a flipper. Once the title, “flipper” sticks, it is almost impossible to shake off. You will lack credibility as a friend, and no one will take you at your word! And what is someone without his word?

Example of Usage
Katie: Should we invite John for the movie?
Ken: No way, he’s such a flipper.
James:  What time is dinner?
Ken:  8pm tomorrow, and don’t you dare flip!

How to Avoid Being Labelled a “Flipper”


If you’ve made a plan, stick to it.
If you say you’re going for dinner with an old high school buddy on a Friday at 9pm, make sure you’re there, even if you suddenly have a change of heart and wish you hadn’t committed to the old fart.  Got invited to a raging party that same night?  Tough luck!  You made a commitment and if it’s already Friday morning – it’s too late to cancel now.  Treat people exactly how you want to be treated. Karma is only a bitch if you are!

Invite your friend to an alternative plan.
Committed to a boring dinner with a friend but got invited to a Victoria’s Secret fashion show?  Take your friend along to the event; don’t ditch!   That way it’s just a change of venue, and you’re not flipping.

Cancel far in advance
If you’ve had a change of heart or have something else to do, give the group or individual ample time to know you can’t make it.  However, cancelling on a movie plan versus cancelling on a trip obviously has different levels of implications. For example, if the tickets haven’t been bought canceling on a movie with a friend, would probably be forgivable.  A little easier to understand than saying you can’t go to Vegas for the weekend, a day before the trip.

Find a replacement
Sometimes, if everyone has decided to pool in money together for an outing, or they need a certain number of people in a team sport, your flipping could cause an elimination of an entire plan. To avoid your tardiness from affecting others’ plans, try to find a replacement.  Your reliability will be appreciated, and you may not be considered a flipper if you help to keep the plan in action!

Don’t say yes to everything
To an extent, I blame the Facebook culture where we click the “attending” tab to every event invitation we receive. Real life doesn’t work that way.  If you are unsure about attending a particular event – says so!  Don’t make 5 different plans with 5 different people at the same time.  Sometimes, you just have to learn to say ‘No.’ Saying yes every time, might please your friends at first but not showing up to your best girlfriend’s house even though you said you would is unforgiveable. If you say you can’t attend, and then show up as a surprise you’ll make her happier, than committing, and the flipping.   Only confirm to events you are extremely keen to attend and know you can!

Types of Flippers


The Lazy Bum:
Cancels a plan, because he’s too hung-over or lazy, and would rather watch television on the couch.

The Social Climber: Cancels a plan because he gets a better offer with “cooler” people.  Remember; don’t make others a priority if they only make you an option.

The Social Butterfly: Makes too many different plans with too many different people.  They say yes to everything even if they don’t actually plan on attending.

The Sneak: Cancels with you, and then blames it on work, or an emergency because they would rather go somewhere else.

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