Lady Drunk

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Lily: I Need a Drink.
Olive: You're holding a drink.
Lily: [dumps out drink] I need a stronger drink.

You know Lady Drunk. She's that female Stock Character who's an alcoholic, older woman (in her 40s to her 60s or so) and usually has either a bitter, misanthropic personality or is the all-too-grown-up version of the Hard-Drinking Party Girl. (In the latter case, she is quite likely to be a Christmas Cake as well.) Likely having started out as an upper-crust Grande Dame, she tends to drink from a martini glass and may be used as a stock member of a Big Screwed-Up Family. In her day, she was probably quite attractive and rather promiscuous.

The character type may have originated with the idea that once the lady who Really Gets Around loses her looks, she starts drinking as compensation.

Not to be confused with a girl drink drunk.

Examples of Lady Drunk include:

Anime and Manga

  • Pictured above: Eva Heinemann from Monster is a slightly younger example.
  • Sumeragi Lee Noriega from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a genius tactician whose mistake led to many deaths years ago and she still can't get over it, drowning her sorrows in wine.
  • Tsunade from Naruto
  • Kokoro from One Piece. She practically speaks like she's drunk even when she's sober. She probably started drinking, because Tom (her boss) was imprisoned and died in jail and Franky/Cutty Flam, her quasi-adoptive son, was seemingly killed when he tried to stop the sea-train, that was transporting Tom to jail.
  • In Walkin' Butterfly, Michiko's agent Ryo Tago is a former model and an alcoholic in her 40s.
  • Rika Furude from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni definitely counts. This is horribly Squickish being that she's a prepubescent child. Sort of.
  • Sayoko from Ah! My Goddess is much too bitter to be a Bottle Fairy.
  • Reiko from Sensual Phrase. Who pretty much drank herself to death, leaving her son Sakuya in the care of her old boss.
  • Margery Daw from Shakugan no Shana is definitely one. When she's not helping fight the Monster of the Week, she's passed out drunk on the couch or fighting the Monster of the Week while drunk.


  • Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate.
  • The mom in Spanking the Monkey.
  • The mom in Orange County.
  • Lorraine McFly in the first two Back to The Future films:
    • In Part I, during the original timeline (before Marty ever goes back to 1955)
    • In Part II, during the 1985-A scenes (where she's married to Biff-A)
  • Elinore Schwab in O.C. and Stiggs is a comic exaggeration of this and pretty much every other drunk trope, hiding her booze all over the house and taking Quick Nips from, among other things, a set of dummy binoculars.
  • Flora in The Women: "Get me a bromide -- and put some gin in it!"
  • Carlotta Vance in Dinner At Eight
  • The mom in Donnie Darko.
  • State of the Union has the Sazerac-swilling Mrs. Alexander. It's specified in the Drink Order that, except for her, nobody is supposed to have too much to drink, but Hilarity Ensues when Mary decides to have some of what she's having. She's more convivial than most examples of this, however.
  • Thea, the title character of Applause.
  • The mum in Slap Her, She's French.


  • Winky the house-elf from Harry Potter gets drunk on butterbeer out of depression of being disowned by her master. (It has no effects on humans but is strong on elves.)
  • Nanny Ogg is very fond of a drink, and another drink, and a third (make it a double, please). She's generally a very cheerful person, but otherwise fits.
    • In the Art of Discworld, Pratchett mentions that they actually do still turn out Nanny Oggs in Britain. You can generally find them enjoying a pint of the local bitter and having a good time all 'round.
    • Madame Sharn, the dwarfish fashion designer from Unseen Academicals has some elements of this character type.
  • A certain noblewoman in The Malloreon by David Eddings is described as a 'lush'. She lives in the deep country and has nothing else to do but drink. Beldin, an otherwise irascible person, treats her with uncharacteristic sympathy. The epilogue reveals that Beldin talked Zakath into setting her up in the Mallorean capital... and ordering her jackass husband to stay the hell away on threat of his life. She's described as causing minor scandal, but being much happier.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Alternate Reality Episode The Blue Angel, the Doctor's Beloved Smother is one of these, and refuses to believe that he never drinks... while discussing his psychiatric medications with him. (Antipsychotics are a very good reason not to drink, if you'd rather not die.) She's also a mermaid, and has apparently found some way around the Mermaid Problem.
  • Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind starts drinking surreptitiously after living through the Civil War.
  • Madelene Burden in The Woman And The Ape is a pretty severe example. She is a society wife with virtually nothing to do, who takes a test-tube of medical spirits with her whenever she leaves the house. About halfway through the book, she has a Heroic BSOD and decides to give up drinking, which she carries through with no apparent ill effects.

Live-Action TV

  • Kitty Forman of That '70s Show fits part of this trope.
  • Dr. Mary Albright of 3rd Rock from the Sun has some elements of this. Her mother, played by Elaine Stritch, is a bit closer to the "true" version.
    • In the episode "Dick'll Take Manhattan", the Solomons visit an alternate dimension where Mary is a lonely, burnt out lounge singer and fits this trope like a glove.
  • Lucille Bluth of Arrested Development.
  • Ellen Tigh from Battlestar Galactica. Alcoholic, promiscuous, encourages her husband's alcoholism, collaborates with the Cylons, is one herself...
    • This troper was somewhat amused to note that even after her husband murders her and she gets resurrected by the Cylons with her full memories restored, Ellen Tigh remains the exact same psychotic, poisonous bitch.
      • The way it was played, it almost seemed as if she knew all along.
  • Maryanne (Christine Baranski) in Cybill.
  • Kitty Montgomery from Dharma and Greg. At times at least.
  • Nina from Just Shoot Me
  • Amber Malone, Rayanne's mom in My So-Called Life.
  • Meredith Palmer from The Office (US version) is essentially a working class variant on this. Recently Michael tried to put her in rehab, and she said no no no!
  • Aunt Lily from Pushing Daisies fits this pretty well.
  • Marsha, the landlady from Spaced, is a former groupie who now spends her time drinking wine and arguing with her daughter.
  • Claire Meade of Ugly Betty was originally introduced as this character.
  • Celia Hodes of Weeds.
  • Karen Walker from Will and Grace. Depending on if she's drunk or on pills, she can be this or happy-go-lucky.
  • The mum from Absolutely Fabulous, though if you think she's bad, her best friend tops this by being worse than her.
  • Lily's mom in Cold Case.
  • Sam's mom in Without a Trace, although she's more of a party girl who never grew up, much to her daughters' detriment.
  • Mrs. Schagalla in the German comedy series/stage up "Bei Stratmann's"
  • George's mother Benny in The George Lopez Show, though she is not rich and never was very popular.
  • One of this troper's favorite Saturday Night Live skits is when "Drunk Girl" appears on Weekend Update.
  • Flo Henshaw, Donna's Mother in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
  • Martha Rogers, Castle's mother, though she seems to be keeping herself mostly happy.
  • Letitia Darling in Dirty Sexy Money.
  • Sue Ellen Ewing of Dallas, who seems to be trying to bring on a case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with how soused she gets while pregnant.
    • It's worth noting that Sue Ellen is one of the earliest TV examples of this trope, definitely the first to make an impact on American pop culture.
  • Adelle DeWitt of Dollhouse fits this pretty well, though on the younger side and provoked by the pressures of a wavering moral compass.
  • All the women in Cougar Town like to drink, but Barb is the closest to this trope, with Jules a close second.
  • Brandy of Noah's Arc is a bit younger than the typical Lady Drunk, but still fits the trope otherwise (her position of power somewhat puts her in an "older" role). Her jaded and sarcastic personality also fits the trope.
  • Kay Chancellor of The Young and The Restless is portrayed as the show's grand dame, admired and respected by most of the show's other characters, but also a recovering alcoholic, who's committed some heinous acts while drunk, including killing her second husband.
  • Jordan and her friends on Scrubs, this is made especially obvious after Jordan's brother Ben dies. One of them even specifies that she gets the shakes if she goes too long without getting laid or having a drink.


  • Joanne (originally played by Elaine Stritch) from the Stephen Sondheim / George Furth musical Company, especially in her song "The Ladies Who Lunch."
  • The title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She even gets a rousing Diva Song about alcoholism, "As We Stumble Along."
  • Elle's mom in Legally Blonde : The Musical.
  • Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Heavily implied to be Honey's future as well.
  • Gay Wellington in You Can't Take It with You.
  • Madame Dilly in On the Town is a cynical old harridan who can't give a singing lesson without a bottle of whiskey to take a Quick Nip from.
  • Mary's mother in Vanities, whose funeral at the end of the musical brings the three friends back together. Also, Joanne in the third act, where her hatred towards Mary surfaces during a champagne binge.

Video Games

  • Ethel Prune of Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest.
  • Eleanor Silverberg from Suikoden IV fits this trope very well. She comes from the famous Silverberg family of strategists, but is an older woman who lives (mostly) alone on an island where she sits and drinks all day. As an added bonus, she also drugs visitors.
  • Hera in God of War III.
  • One of the possible endings in Princess Maker 2.
  • The first thing Bad Girl does in No More Heroes? Kill a cloned gimp with a baseball bat. The second thing? Open her fridge, revealing it's full of beer, and drain a can in about four seconds. She's only in her early twenties, but her choice of occupation has completely numbed her.

Bad Girl: So fuckin' thirsty. *chug chug belch* Damn that's smooth. Wanna drink?
Travis: Thanks, I'll pass.

  • Suika the oni from Touhou is normally seen drinking sake.

Web Comics

  • Dr. Narbon (Senior) from Narbonic might qualify - you'd need a nuclear explosion to part her from her boxed wine. And even that might not work.
  • Mother Greensworthington from Sore Thumbs is a high-society twit who is never seen without a martini glass in hand.
  • Ms. Lalonde from the MS Paint Adventure Homestuck, as well as her post-Scratch counterpart Roxy.
  • Martha (Miriam's mom) in Out There.
  • Katie and Sylvester's mom Janelle in A Game of Fools.
  • Diva's mom in Evil Diva. Though we never see her drunk, and it's played for laughs mostly.

Mrs. Beelze: Do you really need to hear anything more, your honor? It's nearly noon and I could use a martini.
Virgil: Mrs. Beelze, you've had one in your hand the entire time.
Mrs. Beelze: It's warm. Move to dismiss.

  • May from Wapsi Square is what you get when you combine this trope with Mad Scientist. In fact, the reason the indestructible golems of the setting can get drunk is that she didn't want to have to lay off the drinks after she made herself into one. Currently she acts as like a slightly crazy aunt, with a margarita always in hand.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Pickles of The Oblongs. She's generally in a good mood and at times can be the Only Sane Man.
  • Cleo's mom from Clone High fits this to a tee. She seems to have been quite the looker when she was young but turned to alcohol when men started losing interest in her as she grew older. She is now dating a blind man and appears drunk in every scene she's in. She also seems to be slightly envious of her adoptive daughter.
  • Mallory from Archer.
  • Stacy Lovell, the creator of the Malibu Stacy dolls in The Simpsons.

Lisa: I'm sure we can think of something together. Come on!
Stacy: Not now, I'm... too drunk.
Lisa: No you're not!
Stacy: (sips slowly from a martini glass, stares into space and sighs)
Lisa: Uh... I'll come back tomorrow.

    • Also, Dr. Hibbert's wife passes out upon hearing that Springfield is to enact a ban on alcohol.
  • Helga's mother Miriam in Hey Arnold! is all but stated as this.
  • Snot's mom from American Dad.

Real Life

  • The Queen Mum. A nervous host once blurted out, "I hear you like gin." With perfect poise, she responded, "I hadn't realized I enjoyed that reputation. But if you'd be so kind, make it a double." And when questioned on the fate of a nebuchadnezzar[1] of champagne she'd been given: "Oh, I expect I'll just polish it off myself."
  1. 24 bottles' worth!