Illustration by: Tiffany Chan

By: Holly French

What’s the difference between a family barbeque and a zoo? One is filled with horrible, ravenous, snarling beasts ready to tear each other apart at the slightest loosening of their restraints — and the other houses animals. Under the constant judgement of your relatives, it’s important to gain the upper hand so you won’t get eaten alive. Fortunately, with these handy tips, you can survive your next family barbeque and learn how to make yourself seem superior to everyone else there to compensate for the fact you’re a broke student getting a degree in the field of Useless Information Nobody Else Cares About (with a minor in Disappointing Your Parents).


1) Always let your accomplishments speak for themselves! Sitting next to your perpetually unemployed stoner cousin Bobby is a great way to remind your relatives that you could be doing worse than getting a C in Physics.

2) Make sure to let your relatives know how great of an impact their achievements will have on the world! Take the time to inform your smug asshole cousin that his new car is a gas-guzzling pollutant that’s gonna ruin the planet, and if he really cared about the environment, he’d take the bus like you do.

3) Be environmentally friendly by never throwing your unwanted, half-eaten, or questionably-edible food into the garbage! Always throw it over the fence into the neighbour’s yard instead.

4) Keep the backyard discourse-free by not confronting your relatives in a way that could possibly start an argument! Instead, keep all your comments passive aggressive and underhandedly mean so that you will have your target staying up all night wondering if they really are as much of a douche as you have so cleverly implied.

5) Always be kind to your elderly relatives! Pulling out chairs and serving them food is a great way to worm yourself into their wills. Make sure to especially compliment them on all the expensive family heirlooms you want to inherit.