Red Cups Manufacturer Finally Confirms What Lines On Each Cup Actually Mean

The manufacturer of red solo cups has confirmed what their lines mean.
Credit: Alamy

The manufacturer of those famous red cups has finally confirmed what those little lines on each cup actually represent.

If you’re looking for the ultimate drinking game accessory, you can’t really get better than a red cup.

They stack together perfectly, making them perfect for beer pong, plus have the ideal weight to topple, so they’re a flip cupper’s best friend.

But there’s always been one mystery that’s plagued the red cup lovers.

What, exactly, are those lines on the cups for?

Well, luckily, the manufacturer of everyone’s favourite party cup has revealed all…

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The markings on red solo cups have long been a subject of internet investigation.

In fact, there’s a whole Reddit page dedicated to unravelling the mystery.

While people do generally accept that the cups indicate some sort of measurement, people just can’t figure out what they measure.

One writes: “None of these numbers seem right. Either this post is bulls***, or my American portion sizes are f***ing with my understanding of what is an acceptable amount of wine and cereal.

“Who the f*** is using a solo cup for mouthwash?”

Beer pong
The iconic red cups are often used in party games. Credit: Pexels

Because the red cups are commonly associated with alcohol, many believed that the lines were to indicate drink sizes.

The lines roughly equal 1, 5 and 12 ounces of liquid when poured into the cup and these measurements roughly match up with serving sizes for spirits, wine, or beer.

However, any of the more prolific drinkers out there will know that these measurements don’t really check out.

As Snopes explains: “A shot of liquor is generally 1.5 ounces rather than 1 ounce, not many people drink wine out of Solo cups, and beer is usually poured into a Solo cup until the cup is full rather than being carefully measured out at 12 ounces.”

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So what are these measurements actually for?

Well, Solo, the manufacturer of the most famous brand of red cups, has revealed all on its website.

It reads: “You seek the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of our time. Launched in the 1970s, our original 18 oz SOLO Cup featured lines that roughly equalled 1, 5 and 12 ounces.

“These lines mean something different for everyone!

“For some, it means a responsible pour at their next tailgate. For others, it means a more secure grip as they man the grill at the BBQ. And for our littler fans, it means they can stack and unstack our cups into a pyramid without them sticking together.”

Snopes takes the randomness of these red cup lines a step further.

The site claims that Dart Container Corporation, the parent company of the Solo brand of iconic red Party Cups, says: “The lines on our Party Cups are designed for functional performance and are not measurement lines. If the lines do coincide with certain measurements, it is purely coincidental.”

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Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.