Traditions of Bauer BBQ

These are traditions of Bauer BBQ. They don’t always get done every year, but most years you can find these landmark events.

Since its beginning as a big party, the Bauer BBQ was always held in the backyard of the Bauer House on Skyline Drive. The exceptions are 1987 (hanger of Johnny Bauer’s flying school), 2007 (Main Street set), and 2008 (Jessup Farm while Josh and Cassie lived there).

Putting up the flag always starts the day. Different people put it up different years, but it usually ending up being a pretty meaningful scene and often the opening scene of the episode.

There was always lots of food,  although what this food was differed according to who was around and helping put it on. Bauer Burgers were a must, but they also did hot dogs and some years chicken. Also, repeatedly mentioned was Bert’s apple pie. Buzz’s chili made several appearances. Jesse Blue made homemade guacamole at least one year.

“The Hat” was always a fun part of the festivities. It first appeared in the early 1980s when Ed, then Peter Simon, had to don a chef’s hat and apron to man the barbeque. Simon hated the hat and was very happy to pass it on to the duty to Rick, as played by Michael O’Leary, but fans were always so glad to see “the Hat.” It made it seem extra special.

A moment that everyone looked forward to was “The Speech.” A high point almost every year would be a speech. Who gave the speech would very year to year. It normally focused on themes like family and freedom. Sometimes it would touch on things going on in the show, sometimes it would touch on things going on in the world. For example in the 2001 Bauer BBQ they went around and each character said what they valued most about America, in 2006 they gave a tribute to Ross Marler (who had died the previous year) and in 2009, they talked about the history of the Bauer Family and the town with Rick Bauer paying tribute to Bert Bauer.

A big part of the event was the pool and or hot tub. Sometimes they just used it for an excuse to get beautiful people in swimsuits, but other times it was the source of drama. In 1998, one of the Bloss twins almost drowned in the partially covered hot tub, in 2002 Bill fantasizes about having sex with Beth’s alter Loreli, and in 1995 Matt and Vanessa actually had sex in it after the other guests had left.

There were games that were played every year. The most famous of these is the Egg Toss. Characters partnered up, usually in interesting ways, and tossed eggs to each other, each partner taking a step backward after each successful toss. The winning team successfully tossed the egg without missing or breaking it the longest. There are a variety of games played for example, some years featured a Three-Legged Race including the very last one in 2009.

The end of the Bauer BBQ always featured Fireworks. Usually we saw them as flashing lights reflected over the cast.

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