Sitcom Situations

How to Be a Third Wheel

Third wheeling is almost never voluntary and almost always starts with that innocent exclamation, “Hey, guys, let’s all *insert fun group activity* in *insert nearby city or shop that is far enough away to be considered a day trip.*” Four or five of your friends initially volunteer. Two of them are dating but that’s not a big deal, right? You can just hang out with the others, right? These are all warning signs that a third wheel catastrophe is about to strike. If you ignore these red flags and end up abandoned on a bus at the last second with the two lovebirds, your only real option is to embrace the situation and be the best third wheel that any friend or tricycle could ask for. Here’s how:

Bring Your Phone

The number one thing to keep in mind when your two friends start holding hands and fondling each others earlobes is that, at that point in time, your phone must become the most interesting device you have ever owned. Admire the touch-screen technology that has suddenly regained its novelty. Purchase every application you’ve ever debated getting. (A ghost-hunting app? Sure! You’ve always considered yourself an adventurer after all! A stapler app? Why not! The soothing sound of staples pushing through stacks of paper has always peaked your interest.) Contact everyone you’ve ever talked to since you learned how to text. The elementary school teacher that taught you how to read? You never formally thanked them. Their number is probably somewhere on the internet. If not, find the book online and read it in their honor. This step also requires that you learn to walk and stay glued to the screen at the same time so take precaution. However, just know that if, by the end of this debacle, you can’t parkour and read the at the same time, you are a second wheel at best.

Partially Participate in Conversations

You have essentially tagged along on what is now a date between your two friends, which automatically adds some complexity to your situation because you must establish a balance between their private moments and your group moments. General commentary about things like your crazy science professor or the dateability of older celebrities is acceptable, but once the conversation drifts into Valentine’s Day plans, it is your duty to develop an interest in your surroundings and avoid jokingly suggesting romantic date destinations like Chuck E. Cheese.

Maintain an Appropriate Distance

This is similar to the previous point but in the physical sense. Let’s say you reach the point in your extended date where person one and person two are interlocking fingers and snuggling as they’re walking. After you swallow your crippling lonliness, slowly let yourself drift behind the couple if you haven’t done so already. (This shouldn’t be a huge deal because, if you are repeat third wheel offender, you know that sidewalks were only made for two people anyway.) Just for extra clarification, the following actions are prohibited: slipping your hand between theirs while announching the start of a “hand cuddle puddle,” separating them with your arms like the Red Sea for the purpose of feeling more included, poking one and saying that the other did it, stepping on their ankles, walking so close in front of them that they are forced to step on your ankles, trying to maintain a conversation while walking backwards, etc.

Make a Mental List of All the Things You’d Rather Be Doing

– Pull aching tooth with tweezers.
– Build a house of cards. Must touch the ceiling to qualify.
– Sculpt a toilet replica.
– Start planning your younger sibling’s future wedding (because you know they’re getting married before you).
– Fill a bathtub with spiders. Soak in it for a few hours.
– Skydive without a parachute.
– Watch a farmer decapitate a chicken.
– Spoon out eyeballs.
– Write a dissertation on the process of writing a dissertation.
– Pluck out each individual hair one-by-one from your entire body.
– Wake up to a zombie apocalypse.
– Wake up to a killer bee apocalypse.
– Wake up to a zombie AND killer bee apocalypse.

Et cetera. These thoughts will keep you entertained for the remainder of the day.

Wish for a Distraction

Remember that one person in high school that you would duck around corners and hide under desks to avoid because they would never stop talking? That is the person you want to run into because if you can’t interact with your friends for the entirety of the day, you might as well run into someone to occupy your time. And who knows. If you’re lucky, you can tag along with them until you find the nearest train station and make a quick escape. Problem solved.

Come with us, they said. It will be fun, they said. This is the start to every basic third-wheeling disaster. If, for some reason, you manage to overlook the warning signs, I hope this guide helps make you the best third-wheel friend in history. You might as well make the best of a bad situation, after all.

Image via

  • Michelle Vendetti

    Lmao hysterical lololol

  • Hannah Marie Seeger

    haha thank you for that!!….ironically i comment with a picture of my boyfriend and I of five years, but I’d like to think we try our best to make the third wheel of our group most comfortable.

  • Colleen Sweeney

    I was a third wheel when I was 11/12, back in 1994/1995 when I didn’t have a cell phone. Try being a third wheel in a movie theater in that situation. Before the movie even started I was uncomfortable watching them do one of those driving games sitting next to each other, giggling and being stupid. And then I had to sit through ‘Harriet the Spy’ while they were giggling and being aggravating. I swore I would never do that again, and ended up a third wheel when I was sixteen with the same friend and another guy. In that situation, I was a bit more prepared, and was able to go off on my own for a little while.

  • Iris Casarez

    Lol this reminds me of my bff who I just invited to comedy night with my bf n I..she clearly stated bfor agreeing if this is ur date night, then no…lol I tell her my bf n I are past date night..and if anything since her and I rarely hang hell probly be the one feeling like a third wheel…but I do try to have them involved in all the conversations

  • Katherine Wheeler

    This was great. One time I was a third wheel without being aware that the other two were dating… one of my more awkward moments.

  • Катерина Миновска

    Taking the fact that my best friend is very hot, she hasn’t been single since 2009 (to be fair there are only 3 boyfriends), and I haven’t had a boyfriend, well, since never, meaning I have been the third wheel all my life. Two of my other best friends are dating and I have rolling around as the third trying to figure out how to make things less awkward than they already are.

  • Anita Ann Babu

    This is hilarious indeed! I have made a couple of good friends while being a third wheel to some couple or the other, all my teenage life. Thanks for the tips :)

  • Kikay Meguines

    Ha! this reminds me of one of my bf’s “bff”.. i totally feel like the third wheel when were out together. She totally takes over. Last time she wanted to hang out i brought 2 of my gfs with me so i wouldnt feel left out! Its silly i know to feel this way but im never tagging along unless my gfs are with me. i feel awkward and left behind. I wouldnt want to be on my phone or making a list of all the things i would rather be doing (lol) while im on a “date” with my bf and his friend.

  • Mélissa Plante

    Very funny! Since all my friends have boyfriends, I’m getting professional at being a thrid wheel, even sometimes the fifth wheel. And yes, those nights, my phone is my bestfriend :)

  • Óscar Antonio Martínez Suárez

    Hi !

    I’d love the “Write a dissertation on the process of writing a dissertation.” part.


Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!