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Popular Drink Deals At Bars That Aren't Ever Good Deals

Your bartender isn't running a charity. Here are the biggest happy hour ripoffs.

Since they're talking about liquor tonight on "Guy Code," we're diving into the economics of drinking at bars (for those of you old enough to visit bars). Now, there's always the temptation to order "more for less" with whatever deal is advertised. You feel like a financial whiz for outsmarting the house, but they've got this all figured out. Do you think bars like serving you while they lose money? Of course not, and that's why they offer...

  • Buckets

    Bucket "deals" are all about assuming you can't do math very well. And for bar owners, it's usually a good assumption. Only $25 a bucket! You end up lugging that ice-filled thing all the way back to your seat before finally conquering the equation: $25 / 4 beers = not a deal.

  • Pitchers

    Pitchers, even more than buckets, prey on your inability to do math and know units of measure while in a less-than-sober state. How many ounces are in a pitcher? (64, though once the foamy head dissipates, more like 50.) How many ounces are in a pint? (16 in America.) How many glasses will you, thus, get out of said pitcher? (Three and change if you're lucky.) Not to mention, pitcher beer is often the most watery garbage in the house. (And do you really think those giant pitchers can fit in the bar's dishwasher? Ew.)

  • Yards

    Yards play into every human's thinking that something comically large must actually be worth our time. But, aside from the fact that a "yard" is unwieldy to handle (and makes you look like a total tool), there's deceptively less beer in them than you would think. At most, perhaps 32 ounces; more like a mere 16 or so. In other words, not any more than a standard glass of beer that costs half the price. Remember, it's not the size that counts; in the case of drink deals, it's the girth... I mean, "liquid capacity."

  • Fishbowls

    They look so tantalizing, like the "sizzling fajitas" of the drink world. The second you order one, everybody else in the bar knows. The only problem is that "fishbowl" isn't any sort of standard measurement, and most are actually smaller than a pitcher (36 ounces or so). By the time you and your friends have each taken a sip of the saccharine sweet, brightly-colored concoction, all you're left with is a $50 bowl full of ice and another trip up to the bar. Hey, at least you got a ton of neon bendy straws out of the "deal"?

  • Bottomless brunch cocktails

    There is perhaps no worse drink deal. All you can drink for one price ... how can that be bad?! Because those Bloody Marys and Mimosas are, most likely, mostly mixers. Long story short, you drink three glasses and leave the restaurant full of cheap tomato juice or OJ. And the soggy plate of Eggs Benedict certainly isn't worth $19.99.

    Honorable mentions

    Bottle service, "free" drinks at casinos, open bars at weddings, German boots of beer.

For more on the subject of liquor, watch "Guy Code" tonight at 11:30/10:30c on MTV2