13 TV Conversation Starters for Your Fourth of July Barbecue

Photo: Vulture; Photos: HBO, FX

Fourth of July weekend has begun, and you know what that means: barbecues! And you can’t spell “BBQs” without “Qs,” as in “questions.” Fourth of July barbecues tend to start when it’s light out, but fireworks famously don’t happen until it’s dark, which leaves you with so, so many hours to fill with talking. And assuming you are afraid of accidentally letting your deepest, darkest secrets slip out, you’re going to need something safe to talk about — something like popular television shows!

There are a lot of hot television shows in the news right now — shows like The Bear, House of the Dragon, The Boys, and The Acolyte. (There are probably others, but ugh, too many logins.) So we at Vulture think it’s best to keep the talking focused on these four shows via thought-provoking, albeit whimsical, what-if-style conversation starters. If you find yourself deep in the heart of an awkward pause, just pretend you got a text, pull up the below, and get ready to see the conversation sparks fly, as if you’re holding sparklers in your mouths (don’t do that).

Follow-up: Specifically characters from The Bear, House of the Dragon, The Boys, and The Acolyte?

a. Dragon
b: Bear
c: Chewbacca people
d: Super-hero blood
e: Hot dog

Follow-up: Would the Australian boy call it a “barbie”?

Sample conversation: “Oh, he’s supposed to be British.” “Really?” “Yeah, but the actor is from New Zealand. Actually, so is the guy who plays Homelander.” “Weird.”

Follow-up: Which actor from The Bear would you want to be at this barbecue?

Follow-up follow-up: And it can’t be Matty. That’s too obvious.

Follow-up follow-up follow-up [glancing around]: Wait, is there an actor from The Bear at this barbecue?

Sample conversation: “But we aren’t chefs.” “Okay, what if we switch it to ‘friend’? Like ‘Yes, friend’ and ‘Heard, friend’?”

Suggested follow-up joke: “Category is … be blonde!”

Sample conversation:Dragon pro: Dragons can cook a cow in a second. Dragon con: They probably smell really bad. Bear pro: The Bear staff can make a nice spread. Bear con: Their clothes are so weirdly fancy that they’d be too sensitive about spilling mustard.”

Follow-up: Have you ever seen the Francis Mallmann episode of Chef’s Table? So, like, what if it was like that with whole bears on stakes or whatever, but the fire is not made by Francis Mallmann but dragons (and the guy with one eye telling the dragons to fire the bear meat)?

Follow-up follow-up: How many people could one dragon feed?

Follow-up: Could you cook a hot dog with a lightsaber?

Follow-up follow-up: Could you cook a lightsaber with a hot dog? Just kidding.

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