24 True Stories Of Spin The Bottle & 7 Minutes In Heaven

Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
Games like spin the bottle and seven minutes in heaven feel like the stuff of coming-of-age legend. Usually played at the threshold of puberty, they're simultaneously explicit and innocent. Stereotypes would have you believe that, for every cool kid who used spin the bottle as an excuse to practice French-kissing, there was a shy kid who hoped and prayed he'd just get one kiss from his crush.

But are those tropes the whole story when it comes to hookup games? We wanted to know what it was really like to play these slumber party standbys — so we culled 24 anecdotes from R29 staffers, readers, and anonymous Reddit users to get a better idea.

While we did find a few stories involving cool kids and crushes, we also came across some childish name-calling, a few very encouraging parents, and one kid who had to kiss a dog. These probably aren't the adolescence-defining learning experiences we may have imagined, but they are certainly indicative of just how awkward those preteen years can be.

Ahead, we present you with 24 true stories of spin the bottle and seven minutes in heaven. Prepare to be transported back to your BFF's basement.
1 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"When I was in eighth grade, during a game of spin the bottle, the host's mom joined the game. Us 12- to 13-year olds at the time thought it was cool, but later in life, I realized how fucked up it was for an adult to be making out with eighth graders."
—Reddit user rocktogether
2 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I just used spin the bottle as an excuse to kiss pretty girls while still being 'straight.'"
—E, 17
3 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"Not a steamy story in the least, although my palms were sweaty.
The bottle spun round and round, only to land right on my sixth-grade crush.

"She verbally responded in disgust, so I retreated to the cafeteria and ate a Snickers Ice Cream Bar."
—Mikey, 25
4 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I played spin the bottle at a party as a teenager and, I kid you not, THE MOM of the kid throwing the party joined in. I think she only kissed / got kissed on the cheek, but still...awk."
—Amelia, 31
5 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I had my first kiss with spin the bottle. The guy went straight to tongue, and the inexperienced kisser I was, I ended up licking his cheek."
—Samantha, 15
6 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I remember being a prudish 13-year-old and playing with my friends. They all made out with each other. Come my turn, I was too chicken, so I made out with a basket instead."
—deleted Reddit account
7 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"A group of us were more playing this at a party because we just had nothing better to do, and it seemed like it would be cheesy and entertaining enough until we figured out something else to do. Spun this guy I was just kind of acquaintances with. Camo-bro type of guy, smelled like tobacco chew, but nice enough. We get into the closet, and I straight-up tell him I'm not going to kiss him on principle, due to his nasty chew-breath. So he's like, 'Well, that's fair. Wanna play Uno?' We made a rule that we couldn't say actual words, just yells or moans or whatever for the entertainment of our peers. I laid down a draw four card and let out a squeal of excitement just as our friends opened the door, expecting...something else."
—Rachel, 22
8 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"When I was in year seven, I went to a party and, towards the end of the night, everyone got together to play a game of spin the bottle. After a few rounds, it eventually landed on two girls. Everyone laughed and blushed (being like 12-13 years old) and the two girls gave each other a quick peck. After that, both girls ended up crying because they did it and [they were] scared everyone at the party was going to tell everyone else in our grade."
—Reddit user GrilledCheeesus
9 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I played lots of times in middle school and high school, and it was mostly people awkwardly hemming and hawing before really short kisses."
—Reddit user joeydball
10 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I played one time in middle school. Our rules were: kiss, and if you take too long, then you have to use tongue. I was paired up first spin with a boy I found really creepy to begin with and didn't want to kiss, so it turned to tongue. Finally went in for it, and when he slipped tongue I freaked out and backed off. People laughed at him. I was labeled a 'bitch.' We never talked at school anymore, and I never played spin the bottle again."
—Reddit user Child_Of_The_Desert
11 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"My friends and I used to play spin the bottle in high school, because there wasn't really anything else to do. My first-ever kiss was with my best guy friend. He came out two years later. My second-ever kiss was with a good girl friend. She came out as bi by the end of senior year. They both said I was an excellent kisser, so there's that."
—Laure, 28
12 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"It didn’t get me laid or anything, but when I was, like, 13 I got to kiss a real-live teenager!"
—Reddit user groovyinutah
13 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I was at my friend's 13th birthday, which was my first 'boy/girl' party. Of course, we decided to play spin the bottle. I had a crush on my friend, Kevin, and I was hoping against hope that my spin would land on him. Needless to say, it didn't. Instead, it landed on the birthday boy, Jimmy. We went for it, and it was completely awkward. Not only were we 13, which is awkward by necessity, but it also turns out that he had a crush on me. It was rather hard to convince him that it was unrequited after that kiss."
—Reddit user elliesays
14 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"We played it where you could either kiss the person it landed on or give them a quarter. I once made $50 in one night!"
—Reddit user fecklessgadfly
15 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"When I was in, I think it was fifth grade, I went to a friend's sleepover birthday party. We weren't the closest of friends, and I didn't really know any of her friends. The night started out pretty tame, with everyone gathering around the computer to watch gay porn. That was already weird. And then, the birthday girl insisted we play spin the bottle, even though this was an all-girl party. I only got to spin once, and I landed on the dog who pushed his way into the circle. They made me kiss the dog. Brutus had doggie breath, but it was okay. I ended the night without once kissing an actual human being. First and last time I ever played spin the bottle."
—AJ, 22
16 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I had my first kiss with spin the bottle, truth or dare edition. You would spin the bottle and ask the person it landed on if they wanted a truth or a dare. This girl Lauren [spun] it; it landed on me. She asked me what I wanted. I wanted a dare. (Duh, truth is soo boring.) She dared me to make out with Jesse (who was my crush for all of middle school...and ironically was my prom date years later). AND WE MADE OUT AND IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I felt like a fucking legend.

"Afterwards, I remember making my Myspace name/status 'Gotta get some mouthwash cause I'm making out with boys tonight.' OMG I actually suck for doing that lol."
—Serena, 22
17 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"When I was 17, I had a close group of friends I made within the theater department. Seven of us were hanging out at my house, watching a movie, and we heard my mom moving around in the kitchen. Moments later, she appeared in the living room with an empty plastic Coke bottle and sharpie in hand. 'Why don't you guys play spin the bottle? I even put an arrow on it to show you which side is up.' I was so embarrassed, I buried my head in my lap, and everyone was laughing. She left the bottle and went upstairs. By the way, we did end up playing for about 10 minutes, but no one was willing to actually kiss each other. It would have been too weird."
—Alexandra, 26
18 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"My class was having a Christmas party. Everybody was going in the closet, playing seven minutes in heaven. I went last with this boy I didn't even know was in our grade. I really didn't want to kiss him, so I squatted down in the corner away from him (It was a big closet). Worst seven minutes ever. He was fumbling around. I could tell he was looking for me, and after we left the closet, he kept giving me these confused, angry looks. Can you say awkward? I might as well have had 'Uncomfortable' written on my forehead."
19 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"My class went on a school-sponsored camping trip thing in 7th grade. Being 7th graders, we decided to play a game of spin the bottle. The only catch was that the teacher chaperones had to supervise. We went ahead and did it anyway. As you can imagine, it was pretty awkward having to kiss your classmates in front of your teachers. It got worse when I was kissing a girl and one of the teachers decided to pipe up with a 'That's enough.' Man, that was a weird trip."
—Reddit user jward1990
20 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I played spin the bottle with a bunch of friends, including a girl I had a huge crush on, and my best friend, who was into a guy we met that night. My best friend and I made out, and she's a great kisser, but both of us decided it was weird to kiss each other. I ended up getting a room with the girl I had a crush on, but we got kicked out...by my best friend and the guy she liked. They ended up dating, so I guess my sacrifice was for the greater good, but the girl and I are just good friends now."
—Kate, 20
21 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"I played once in grade eight. Made out with tons of dudes and ended up getting strep throat two days later. Right before the school play, too."
—Reddit user Brynnwins
22 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"Senior Ball after-party. Played spin the bottle. Kissed girl. Indifferent."
—Reddit user thunderling
23 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"My BFF wanted to make out with her crush, but her crush's best friend was also into her and had asked him not to make a move on my BFF. So, one night when we were all at my house, my BFF suggested we play spin the bottle. The result: I had to make out once with my BFF's crush and twice with his friend before my BFF could have her first kiss with her crush. She then said we should play another game."
—Alex, 26
24 of 24
Illustrated by Louisa Cannell.
"[I played while] on a school trip in first year of high school (this means 12 or 13 years old in Belgium). We had this fancy bus where the back seats had a little round table. So the cool kids, myself included, decided to play spin the bottle. Which is how I got my first French kiss. It escalated into a full-on kissing orgy until one teacher noticed and put a stop to it."
—Reddit user fear_the_gnomes

More from Sex & Relationships


R29 Original Series