I'm not talking butchering "Total Eclipse of the Heart" — that's what you're signing on for. No, these breaches of etiquette are far more heinous, and can ruin the experience for everyone around you. Take heed!
Yeah, I'm serious about my karaoke. Not because I'm such a good singer — I'm not — but I commit. As everyone knows, you don't need to have pipes like Christina's; you just need a good attitude and a few drinks in you. But over the years, these things have infuriated me.
1. Singing the Same Song Someone Else Just Sang, But Better
In fairness, I've only ever seen my brother do this — the song was "Ice, Ice Baby" — but it was a real dick move.
2. Joining a Stranger In a Duet, Uninvited.
The place? Winnie's. The song? "I Want You to Want Me." The Interloper? Some random guy who joined in on the second chorus. Maybe this could have been charming, but dude didn't know the words. I was furious, but, I mean, the show must go on. I smiled and tried to trade lines with him, but instead he just fucked up the whole thing. Maybe he intended this to be some kind of audacious pick-up, and in fairness he was kind of cute, but in that moment I hated him more than I hated any other living being.
3. Letting Your Kids Hog the Mic
People are divided on kids at karaoke. I have no beef with it — as long as they do appropriate material and let other people sing. Natch, this is actually on the parents, and yes, aging hipsters whose 9-year-old sang "Fuck and Run" at 11:30, I am talking to you.
4. Hogging the Mic with Showtunes.
Awesome singer brings down the house with "Your Song?" Amazing. Awesome singer and all his trained-singer theatre friends spend the evening doing the score from "Chess?" Not so much. Nothing can kill a night faster.
5. Working Out Relationship Issues Through Song.
Karaoke can be emotional. Especially when everyone's had a few, the night's winding down, and you're remembering all those duets to "Somethin' Stupid." But now is not — I repeat not — the time to sing an accusatory "Boys Don't Cry" or break out "You Oughta Know." Believe me, everyone will be uncomfortable and, no matter how drunk they are, everyone will remember.