22 things that are guaranteed to happen on every London night out

Did you even go on a night out if you didn’t experience these?


Right, the pandemic has hit, lockdown is upon us, and clubs have been shut since March 2020. All of us rave-craving students have been stuck indoors, missing the times when we could go on a mad night out to remember forever (or to forget the next day, whatever floats your boat).

Luckily, The Tab have the next best thing given the current situation: a comprehensive list of almost everything that happens on a typical London night out, from preparations for pres all the way to the morning after. So, if you are feeling bored and want to reminisce with us, have a read and take a good old trip down memory lane.

P.S. To the freshers who haven’t had the chance to experience any of these yet, here’s hoping this can prepare you for the day when you get the chance to explore the London clubbing scene.

1. Last minute alcohol run

There’s no better place to start. About half an hour before pres are meant to start, there will always be a couple of flatmates who volunteer to go to the nearest shop to stock up on booze and mixers. This always sets a good pace for the night ahead.

Side note: You say you will pay them back but chances are that doesn’t happen. But hey, you can always buy them an overpriced drink in the club to make up for it.

2. Friends showing up late to pres

“Pres start at 9, don’t be late!”

This is always the end of a phone call or group text to your mates, in which they tell you they will arrive on time. Only to get a call half an hour after pres started saying “we are just about to leave our flat and get on the bus/tube, we will be there soon”.

(Soon in student terms could mean anytime up to an hour later)

3. Pres lasting way longer than expected

Pres are unique experiences where you spend the whole time listening to tunes, endlessly playing beer pong, drunk jenga or ring of fire and seeing everyone get progressively more hammered as time goes on. So unique in fact that you say pres will end at 10:30pm, but it is now 11:30pm and you haven’t even left for the club yet.

Five people in a kitchen for pres

4. That one drunk friend – part 1

Mark my words, someone will always down drinks like there’s no tomorrow and get too drunk at pres to even make it to the club. For them the night ends at pres, as someone takes them back to their room to conk out. At least they had a good night at pres AND managed to get a good night’s sleep.

5. The mum of the group googling the route to the club

I’ll be honest and say this was mostly my role. What can I say I have a nurturing nature.

The mum of the group will be the one trying to get everyone away from the pres and onto the bus or tube in one piece. If this is your role, good luck trying to get everyone to walk in the same direction. However, if by the off chance some of your drunk friends decide to take their own way to the club, try not to worry, somehow they will always manage to get to the club before you.

Five people in a bus on the way to the club

En-route to the club

6. That friend who downs their ‘water’ before getting to the bouncers

You know someone plans to have an amazing night when they bring a bottle of water *cough* vodka lemonade *cough* out with them, and then down it in the queue before it gets taken away by the bouncers.

True mad lad energy.

7. That one drunk friend – part 2

We all know someone who has gotten to the entrance of the club, and tried to drunkenly convince the bouncers that they were stone cold sober. Yeah that never ends up working. The bouncers make them wait outside with some of their friends until they sober up, and one of two options happens. Either they somehow manage to get in the club 10 minutes later, or they don’t get in at all and decide to go home.

8. Going to the girls’ bathroom

As soon as us girls get in the club, we will all head to the bathroom and ask the boys to wait for us. We may go there with the intention of using the bathroom, but don’t blame us if we get distracted taking mirror pics (the Ministry of Sound bathroom mirrors are always good) or making best friends with some random girls in the bathroom. We will add them on every social media we can think of, only to delete them the next day.

Three girls taking a picture in the mirror

Thank you Ministry of Sound

9. The deadly mosh pits

If you like mosh pits, then the club will be your stomping ground. But if like me, you’re almost 5 ft 5 and not very strong, I hope you have some good friends around you to keep you in one piece.

There has been many a time where everyone gets ready to form a massive circle, and my friends have been quick to grab my arm or hold me so that I don’t get lost or trodden on (shout out to y’all). But hey it’s all part of the clubbing experience.

10. Seeing two of your best mates having a heated make out sesh

You’re dancing in the club, only to turn around and see your best mates exploring each other’s mouths. Who knows if they will remember it the next day. But if not, you get the privilege of reminding them what they got up to.

11. Getting hit on by guys/girls in the club

This can happen from students who are your age, or from some creepy 40-year-olds that you originally mistake for security guards in the club. Who even let them in to a student night to begin with?

12. The ‘patting dance’ to make sure you still have your belongings

You get paranoid that you have lost your phone or wallet, and pat down all your pockets until you find them. Although it may look very different to other people.

“No, I’m not randomly feeling myself, I’m just making sure I still have my phone.”

13. Someone always spending WAY too much money on drinks in the club

Whether this friend is buying drinks for your group or random strangers in the club, they will end up spending an extortionate amount of money. They will definitely be in for a shock when they check their bank balance the next day.

A table of VKs

Time to get even more hammered

14. Scouring the club for the photographer

The infamous club photographer. When someone sees them in the club, it becomes a mission to try and gather all your friends and get a group photo.

A few days later they will get uploaded to the club’s Facebook page and circulated around your group chats to look back on and see if they actually turned out good. Sometimes people blink or get distracted while taking the photo, but they will still get posted on everyone’s social media anyway.

Multiple girls in a club

15. Someone drunk texting the wrong person

Whether this is you or one of your friends, it is bound to happen. Good luck explaining that to the recipient the next day.

16. Losing your friends in the club

Chances are they are having an intense make out sesh with someone or going home with a rando. Don’t worry, they will show up back at the flat the next day to a load of questions from everyone.

17. Waiting for the night bus or tube for the glorious trip home

The night tube on a Friday or Saturday is your best friend. No need to wait in the cold, with semi-frequent services running to take you back to the comfort of your own bed.

But if you go out on a weekday, like Tuesday (Ministry of Sound) or Wednesday (a classic Loop sports night), be prepared for a long wait out in the cold for the night bus. Time to become penguins and huddle for warmth.

Three people on the tube

18. Trying to convince your flatmates to ‘adopt’ the cat you have found in the street

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Any cat you see on the way home automatically becomes your new best friend and a much-needed addition to your flat.

19. Late night McDonald’s trip

The night is not officially over until you get a cheeky Maccies or kebab on the way home, sit in your kitchen and have a nice post-clubbing meal at 4am.

People at McDonald's and eating food

Cheeky meal time

20. Debriefing the morning after

So it’s midday the next day, everyone has just woken up and stumbled into the kitchen. You all feel like trash and swear you won’t drink or go out again for a month. That is, until next weekend comes along and you think things will magically turn out differently.

21. That one friend who had TOO much of a good night last night

They will walk into the kitchen the next day with a load of hickeys and mysterious ‘bruises’ from god knows how many people. It is safe to say that those memories (and roasting from friends) will be stuck with them until the hickeys fade.

If you see your friend wearing a scarf in a lecture, you know what they’re hiding.

22. The social media memories

You chill and look back at everyone’s Instagram stories from the night before to hear some awful singing in the background (which is unavoidable), but more importantly, some amazing memories with your friends.

Well, there you have it. We hope you enjoyed and had fun reminiscing with us. Hopefully you recalled some fond personal memories that you can’t wait to experience again one day.