Bottle Wars Are The Latest Weird Flex For Megarich Clubgoers

Nationwide, clubgoers are flaunting their wealth by participating in a new trend called "bottle wars." Videos of these club-sponsored events have gone viral, showing young adults pouring expensive liquor bottles onto the club floor. They battle each other for the dubious honor of wasting the most money, leaving many people scratching their heads and asking, "Why?"

A TikTok video from a Houston, Texas nightclub has sparked debate about this concept. It prompted others, like DJ Akademiks, to repost the video to X, formerly known as Twitter. Akademiks, a podcaster and rapper also known as Lil AK, commented on the trend. He wrote that in Houston, "rich dudes are having 'bottle wars[,]' meaning they buy expensive liquor and instead of drinking it pour it out to flex on other dudes in the club."

However, the trend isn't confined to Houston. DJ Rocky Montana told Insider that he first encountered bottle wars nine years ago in Atlanta, Georgia, while touring with singer T-Pain. Now a disc jockey in Kansas City, Montana hosts bottle wars at a nightclub on Sunday evenings. There, patrons are incentivized to empty their bottle service onto the floor. Clubbers have reportedly wasted as much as $10,000, pouring out $900 bottles of Don Julio 1942 Tequila.

While most social media users condemn this supposed 'flex,' some are taking the time to explain the cultural significance of bottle wars.

The ritual of pouring one out isn't new

Despite the apparent waste, the cultural ritual of "pouring one out" actually has ancient roots, potentially dating all the way back to ancient Egypt, where people likely poured various liquids out to honor the dead. The ritual gained popularity in the U.S. through hip-hop culture, which originated in the 1970s.


Na the bottle war was crazy!! #fyp #houston #spacenightclub

♬ original sound – Jordan2x

For centuries, civilizations have performed libation ceremonies. One such ceremony often takes place during Kwanzaa, the African-American and Pan-African holiday celebrated annually at the end of December. This tradition allows people to honor the deceased by offering their spirits or souls a libation, often alcoholic, thereby incorporating those who have passed away into the important event.

Modern-day interpretations appear throughout pop culture and include pouring out liquid to honor friends and family members for various reasons. While a prayer usually accompanies a libation ceremony and the liquid is respectfully poured into a plant or the earth, bottle wars seem to disregard these details.

Still, as one defender of the trend pointed out on @jord.an2x_'s viral TikTok, the video was purportedly taken at the end of the night. "[Y]ou can't take the bottles with you[,] so people dump them out."