15 Fictional Characters We Want to Invite to Our Next Dinner Party

When you attend a dinner party, you buy-in to an unspoken social contract: as the fantastic dinner party guest that you are, you bring a gift for the hostess (aka wine, please bring us wine) and you agree to be more or less well-behaved throughout the course of the evening.

As we fantasized about our dream dinner party guests, some of our favorite fictional characters inevitably came to mind. We’d be thrilled to wine and dine with these 15 characters all evening long.

My Brilliant Friend
by Elena Ferrante

Stuart’s Fictional Dinner Party Guests: Elena and Lila

I’d like to host a dinner with an eye on close friendships. Friendships are fascinating because they are the one relationship in life that you aren’t required to be in because of birth or bound to by law. Those in attendance would ideally have a multiple-decade friendship like Elena and Lila of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND. And even though he’s not fictional, I’d love for my best friend to be sitting at the table, too.

The Mothers
by Brit Bennett

Tolani’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: The Mothers

I waited years to sit at the grown-ups’ table at family dinners, hoping to catch a juicy story or an important life lesson. In Brit Bennett’s THE MOTHERS, the narrators, “the mothers,” walk the line between guidance and gossip quite ruthlessly. Despite it all, congregants of the Upper Room Chapel see them as pillars of the community who, unbeknownst to the churchgoers, know all of their secrets. So watch what you say at the dinner table.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Kerry’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Sherlock Holmes

I’d invite to dinner the canon Sherlock Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. Aside from having fascinating experiences to provide scintillating conversation, Holmes is also witty, eccentric, and enlightened. Sure, he may deduce something about you that you’d rather keep secret but unless it’s a crime, he wouldn’t care. He could bring Irene Adler, too.

American Psycho
by Bret Easton Ellis

Chris’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Patrick Bateman

I’m not one for dinner parties, but I know that a great guest to bring to one would be Patrick Bateman. He would really wow people with his business cards and talking to people about Huey Lewis and the News. Then, I would quietly slip out the back door and make it home in time to watch “Laverne & Shirley.”

The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman

Wendy’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Rachel Pomié Petit Pizzarro

Rachel Pomié Petit Pizzarro is a woman full of fire and life. A businesswoman, a romantic, a renegade, she’s quite the nineteenth-century badass, not taking anyone else’s advice on how to live her life. I respect and admire her passion, vulnerability, and fearlessness in the face of the judgment of her insular St. Thomas community. She followed her heart, suffered for it, and lived the life she wanted—with a great love and many children, one of whom was the artist Camille Pissarro, father of Impressionism. No doubt, she would command the room.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl

Allison’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Willy Wonka

The man who invented Lickable Wallpaper and Everlasting Gobstoppers would probably bring a fantastical hostess gift, share tales of Vermicious Knids, lead a raucous sing-along, and have the dirt on Veruca Salt. Was she really such a bad egg?

It
by Stephen King

Sarah Jane’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: The young Losers’ Club

I’d want to be 11 years old and host a picnic in The Barrens with the young Losers’ Club from IT. The group has a bookworm, a future writer, and a future librarian, so we’d have lots of bookish things to talk about, and Richie would keep us in stitches with his impersonations.

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

Wendy’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Atticus Finch

Perhaps it’s a cliché to want to have dinner with Atticus Finch—lawyer, father, all-around good man. Atticus is known for his conscience, grace, compassion, and morality. I suspect that his words would be full of insight and wisdom, and challenge me to sit straighter in my chair.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
by Stieg Larsson

Erica’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Lisbeth Salander

I know that Lisbeth Salander is anti-social to an extreme and would never, ever, actually show up to a dinner party—but this is a fantasy, right? She’s a brilliant, rebellious, and no-nonsense computer genius who uses her talents to expose government corruption and men who abuse women. With an exemplary strategy for revenge, Lisbeth plays the long game when destroying peoples lives—and she proves that it can be the most ruthless approach of all.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
by J.K. Rowling

Elizabeth’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Moaning Myrtle

For a table filled with illustrious fictional characters, I’d love to save a seat for poor old Moaning Myrtle. Repeatedly the butt of Hogwarts students’ jokes but also much-needed comic relief in the series’s darker second novel, I think Myrtle and I would get along well since half the time dinner parties are spent bemoaning other people anyways. (Plus as a ghost she’d probably have the best gossip!)

The Bean Trees
by Barbara Kingsolver

Erin’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Estevan

I’d like to have dinner with Estevan from Barbara Kingsolver’s THE BEAN TREES. I would probably be intimidated by his vast knowledge and life experiences, as he was once an English teacher in Guatemala before fleeing his home country as a refugee, but considering I thought hearing about his experiences in the book was both fascinating and heartbreaking, having dinner with him and getting to hear more would also be wonderful.

& Sons
by David Gilbert

Julianna’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest:A. N. Dyer The patriarch of David Gilbert’s novel & SONS is a little eccentric (and a little hermetic), but he’s responsible for "Ampersand," the novel that defined a generation, and it’s the closest thing you’ll probably ever get to meeting Salinger himself.

Saint Mazie
by Jami Attenberg

Julianna’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: Mazie Phillips

Though she’s technically based on a real person, Jami Attenberg’s titular (fictional) character would be an amazing guest in her own right. Mazie is brazen, bold, and compassionate—she sees the city change from inside her movie ticket booth, and would have some great stories.

The Three Musketeers
by Alexandre Dumas

Amy’s Fictional Dinner Party Guest: d’Artagnan

Extending an invite to d’Artagnan is essentially inviting Porthos, Aramis, and Athos to come along, too, which would be my ideal dinner party situation. Four swarthy musketeers with endless stories of adventure and drunken escapades would be a welcome source of entertainment. d’Artagnan’s strong moral compass and penchant for revenge make him an interesting conversationalist, assuming he wouldn’t be in a hurry to make it to his next duel. I would just have to make sure there was enough wine, especially since Athos claims to have drunk 150 bottles during one stay in a cellar in Amiens.