The 8 BEST Sweet Valley High Parties

26 Apr

A nine-year-old me dreamt of one day going to glamorous beachside parties where hotties like Nicholas Morrow and Jeffery French would be sidling up to me with a soda. A fifteen-year-old me waited for boys who forgot to call in a sweaty school hall with a teacher-Dad as a bouncer. A thirty-year-old me has a “derisive snort” at the white privilege of it all but secretly longs for the day when I trade in watching true crime on Netflix in my PJs for a night out at the Fowlers.

The Sweet Valley parties had it all. Well, except for alcohol. And sex. And since they average one per book there’s about 150 to choose from. Here’s my top 8:

1. The After-party in #3 Playing With Fire

This masterpiece features Bruce Patman, a boob grope, a bikini untie, warm wine in a paper cup, and Elizabeth judging her sister getting hot and heavy with Sweet Valley’s pin up boy in the bushes.  The party takes place at Ken Matthews’ place after some dance contest chaperoned by Mr Collins in the high school gym.

playing with fire

[ Is it just me or do Ken’s parents let him have lots of parties? Does Ken even have parents? I digress. ]

There are no memorable outfits, really, cause everyone except Robin Wilson is basically naked, but the highlight of the night is the saucy rhetoric between Bruce and Jessica, and the blush-worthy descriptions that clearly got toned down in later books after parents of ten year old girls complained:

He [Bruce] responded by turning his face to hers and kissing her hard, his arms crushing her against him, his mouth demanding what his body wanted to take.

Now I was about six or seven when I first read this, and although that completely went over my head, I just knew that cad was trouble. [And how on earth did my parents miss this? Nalice, much?]

2. Mike’s Party in #21, Runaway


Jessica is horrified when Nicky Shepherd, the latest 16-year-old to set her loins a-flutter takes her to an out of town party which features beer, joints, and girls with names like Sheila who have divorced parents. The horror!

Ok so I admit to being a somewhat judgy, non-inhaling Jessica in my sheltered youth, but she seriously needs to get off her high horse. And maybe not get in the car with Nicky’s drunk friend. The too-cute flashdance outfit on the cover makes up for her behaviour, somewhat.

3. The Beach Disco

Ok, so not really a party, but any night at Sweet Valley’s popular teen hangout spot dry-humping and drinking root beer was sure to be a hit.  Your average BD night begins with the Droids belting out some classics, and ends with a late night milkshake at the Dairi Burger [for the Enids] or a tryst at Miller’s Point [for the Jessicas].

leaving home

Among the very memorable Beach Disco bashes, one standout is the “spur-of-the-moment TGIF party” [direct quote] organised by the SVH party committee in #38 Leaving Home. Not only does this book dangle the possibility that Liz will leave Sweet Valley for Switzerland [please god], the party features the beautiful Jeffrey French AND it-couple Bruce and Regina.  #squadgoals

4. The Jungle Prom in Magna Edition A Night To Remember

a night 2 remember

Where to begin? The idea is conceived by Elizabeth as a fund raiser for saving the rainforest, sponsored by Environmental Alert and given the go ahead by Chrome Dome Cooper, the principal. Of course, what would be a prom without a king and queen, so Elizabeth and the Prom Committee make sure this happens. And of course, both twins end up vying for the top honour of Prom Queen. The party is crashed by some of Bruce’s rivals from Big Mesa who bring ALCOHOL, and Jessica spitefully spikes Liz’s Jungle Juice. Liz and Sam get unknowingly wasted, Liz honourably “wifdraws” from the contest and takes off in the jeep. She runs off the road, Sam is killed and… you know the rest. It would take about a five other books to tell that story.

The decorations:

Thanks to a hard day’s work from the Prom Committee, the cavernous, unromantic gym had been transformed into a veritable tropical paradise. Glossy green paper leaves and vines covered the walls; real potted palm trees scattered here and there lent the artificial jungle depths of realism [really?]. Life-sized cardboard cutouts of wild animals loomed from the foliage: lions, monkeys, giraffes and elephants. A smattering of colourful Environmental Alert posters completed the backdrops.

We get a whirlwind tour of the rainbow attire:

Cheryl Thomas wore bright lemon-yellow.

Terri’s dress was peacock blue.

Dana Larson looked feline in a black and orange tiger-striped minidress.

tiger dress

Maria gluttered in gold sequins.

Amy “Basic Bitch”Sutton could have passed for a model in a silver sheath.

A lot of guys had gone all out on the fashion front too. There were bright bow ties and tropical print shirts a-plenty.


5. The Fowler Wedding in #98 The Wedding

the wedding

There were TOO many Fowler Crest parties to choose from, but her parents remarrying each other after over a decade of estrangement was NECK LEVEL.

The guest list includes supermodel Tina Baker, Nicholas Morrow and the WOMAN HE MET ON A DATING SHOW along with a host of journalists, socialites and politicians. Minus a few points for the D-listers including stage five clinger Caroline Pearce and Todd who somehow managed to get on the invite list. [Even Liz’s invite doesn’t make sense. Will she cover this for the Eyes and Ears like all the other secrets entrusted to her?]

The deocrations are epic, in a white-linen mid-90s kind of way:

Fairy lights draped elegantly over each bough and twinkled in the early evening sunlight. Vases with blue, pink, purple and white flowers adorned each table under the huge tent that had been set up in the back garden. Vines of ivy had been shaped around the tent’s posts and woven into the garden furniture. White water lilies and small oil lamps floated on the surface of the pool.

Music for the ceremony is by the LA philharmonic of course, with the reception led by bandleader Skip Parker from ‘Night America, as Fleetwood Mac were not available on short notice.

The food includes Russian caviar, stuffed shrimp, vegetable tarts and a 50 tier marzipan iced cake, catered for by none other than Mrs D’Angelo from Valley Caterers and her new employee, MARGO. Could this party get any better?

Memorable outfits:

Bruce Patman, in his navy-blue Italian suit and silk tie, had his arm around Pamela.  In her tailored ecru linen dress, she couldn’t have looked more elegant.

blue suit

Olivia [invited becoz WHY?]was gorgeous in her yellow cotton dress, her mane of brown hair hanging loose around her shoulders.


Tina Baker wore a sparkling gold backless dress


Lila wore a slimming mauve dress with cap sleeves. A strand of pearls hung around her bare neck. She looked spectacular.



6. The Frat Party in College Weekend #118


It took a whole trilogy to send the twinkies 5 minutes away from home to stay with Steven on campus at SVU. Of course, within 5 minutes Jess has her claws into hottie Zach Marsden, while Liz starts emotionally cheating with a guy called Ian from her philosophy class. So when Steven decides to take his girlfriend girl Billie away for the weekend…. Can you imagine where this might end up? All hell breaks loose with a frat party in Steven’s apartment, complete with sorority sisters, kegs, vomiting, and broken furniture. I would pay to see the look on Elizabeth’s face.

Jessica’s last minute outfit choices:

Black palazzo pants paired with a flowing cream silk top? Tight red t-shirt dress? She decides on the teal two-piece linen suit

7 .The “Old Hollywood” Junior Prom

After the roaring success of the Jungle Prom, the genius teaching staff at SVH decided another prom was just what the juniors needed. In #142 The Big Night, they really deliver. Liz and Todd, now broken up but nonetheless unfazed by either that or the events of the prom earlier in the year, are on the Prom Committee.

Liz has been swept off her feet by hunky, brooding Devon Whitelaw who is basically Jess from Gilmore Girls slash Ethan Hawke’s character in Reality Bites.

Jessica gets her own back when her date from another school dumps her on prom night. Turns out Jordan from Palisades has found out about her recent efforts, when she and Lila made a catalogue of every guy they’ve ever dated complete with rankings and nasty comments.

At the last minute, Liz runs into Todd and is swept away by nostalgia, so they decide to go to the prom together. That leaves Liz to convince Jess to pull a twin switch and go with Devon pretending to be Liz, which is not at all hard given that Jessica is dateless, has a narci personality disorder and has been into Devon all along.

Pre-drinks are at Lila’s mansion. The venue has been stepped up a notch from the school gym to the Country Club. There are white linen tablecloths and silver trays with fancy appetizers. Silver Mylar stars, whatever they are, adorn the ceiling. The Droids have the night off and are replaced by a DJ playing soft background music. The after party is on a fucking yacht.

The highlight: “punch bowls were filled with bright fruit punch and sparkling cider, and tables full of sodas were situated around the corners of the room for easy accessibility.” 

Jessica? Are you reading this? Got the magic grain flask alcohol ready???? Clearly the ghostwriter was briefed on the Jungle Prom and is taking the piss.

Liz’s dress! Oh my. I spent about two months trying to find that for my own year ten formal.

8. The Last Hurrah in Super Edition #10 Last Wish

They’d been sixteen for approximately sixteen years, so it was only fitting that the twins turned 17 with a bang…. Or an earthquake.

last wish

A surprise party and a new jeep are fitting gifts for the twins now they’ve quit fighting over a guy for the fiftieth time that year. Dana Larson, performing for pretty much the last time until Senior Year oblivion, has penned an original track, “Double Trouble”. Vomit.

Lila, fearing the end of the world, pashes Todd in the bathroom. Ew. And finally, a ginormous earthquake topples the Wakefield’s top level and throws a fridge on Olivia Davidson. Seriously, from the moment Prince Albert started acting sus, I knew it was going to be all over for Sweet Valley as we know it.

On the plus side, the Daniel twins look so cute with their party hats on.


What was your fave? Other? Do tell




3 Responses to “The 8 BEST Sweet Valley High Parties”

  1. Ms. Kitsch April 26, 2019 at 10:50 pm #

    I’m so thrilled you’re posting again! I found your blog a few years back and have returned at least once a year to reread it, hoping you would start posting again. Total dream come true!

    Now I’m off to gleefully catch up on what I’ve missed!

  2. Danielle of Avonlea April 27, 2019 at 11:09 am #

    Totally LOLed at the Queen in her teal suit!

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