Thursday, July 18, 2024

RIP Solo Cup Founder: 9 Ways The Plastic Chalice Changed The World

Cheap beer drinkers are mourning all over the country today. Not only have seemingly 1,243,986 of our childhood heroes passed away in the past year, but we can add one more visionary to that list: Robert Leo Hulseman, the 84-year-old inventor of the plastic red Solo cup, aka America’s “Natty Ice” chalice.

But why was the Solo cup, invented in the 1970s, so pervasive? There are a few reasons of note: its bright recognizable color, its fill lines (various demarcations for wine ounces, shots, etc.) and it was tough enough to stand up to the fists of angry frat boys who’D missed their Ping-Pong ball toss.

Red Solo cups have certainly put their stamp on American culture — from fake telephones to magic tricks to drinking games. To celebrate Hulseman’s invention, we thought it appropriate to list all of the major moments in the history of the Solo Cup.

College Drinking Games


Whether you’ve “racked ‘em, stacked ‘em and brought ‘em backed ‘em” in beer pong (yes, I’m embarrassed I know that line) or filled a red Solo cup with various beers for the card game Kings or flipped the cup 180 degrees in flip-cup, you know the importance of the Solo cup on any college drinking game aimed at chugging the most cheap beer in a given window of time.

Solo Cup Song

In the week since Hulseman’s death, this 2011 track has been making the rounds on the interwebs. There are probably some people who think Toby Keith is an artist, but I’m not one of them. Nevertheless, the EveryTrucker with an Acoustic Guitar paid homage to the penny plastic wonder. And the song carried so much charm it was also covered by the cast of Glee.

Party Hacks

Sticking with the party theme, the YouTubes has provided these party hacks utilizing the versatility of the Solo Cup – from boosting speakers to shading lights. If you’re of the ilk to use Solo Cups chances are you’re one who needs a few life hacks. Treat yourself!

Third Grade Art Teacher Brush Holder and Dart Collector

Ah, nostaligia and drunkenness. There’s narry an elementary school art teacher who didn’t use Solo cups to store their young student’s paint brushes, colored pencils and makers. Remember water colors? Yup, you cleaned your brushes in Solo cups. And now that you’re an adult, you’ve been to dive bar after dive bar and all their dartboards? Yup the darts are stored in plastic Solo cups. They’re the eternal gift!

Anna Kendrick For Once Not Looking Upset

I’ll just leave this clip here. She’s smiling. She’s really smiling! (And amazingly coordinated!)

Really Summing Up the Cast of American Pie


It’s the movie that represents late 90s and early 2000s suburban high school culture. It’s Stifler, it’s a penis in a pie, it’s Solo Cups.

Golf Practice

When people say they’ve been working hard all day, but they look untrustworthy, it’s probably because they’ve been doing this.


Remember childhood?


This might be the perfect time to use a Solo cup for something beautiful to honor the late great Robert Leo Hulseman.


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