The Alcoholic

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Vincent price as a drunkard.jpg

    I went to the pub early on Monday
    I stayed there until way after Sunday

    —Skulldugger's version of Bully in the Alley

    He likes his liquor, and in large amounts. He may realize he has a problem, and get on and Off the Wagon, or he may be a Drunken Master, and this is merely a part of his 'training,' or a result of his -- 'skills.'

    Sometimes, this character is merely Drowning His Sorrows, and will bounce back later in the series. Other times, he's been this way from the beginning and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Worried friends may try to help by Nailing Him To The Wagon, though this attempt at forcing him to go Cold Turkey isn't guaranteed to succeed.

    In fiction (especially of a comedic nature) Pink Elephants is a common side effect of alcoholism.

    Real Life alcoholics are not always lying in the gutter - sometimes they are just people who drink alone, or for the sake of drinking, but never appearing to drink to excess (due to tolerance). Hollywood, however, prefers the 'gutter' form as it is more obvious and pathetic than the man who wanders around the house with a glass in his hand, constantly in a mild stupor.

    There is no known cure for alcoholism. Someone who has managed to quit the habit is considered a recovering alcoholic, and if committed to it, remains in whatever therapy he or she used to become sober. That said, there are people who quit without therapy, or who stay sober without therapy, as well as some (very) rare people who don't become sober but do become moderate and responsible drinkers; their mere existence is controversial to the point of Flame Wars over whether they are "in denial" or if it really is possible to drink responsibly once having become addicted. Needless to say, this is not recommended.

    The Always Female versions are Hard-Drinking Party Girl and Lady Drunk, but alcoholism is only one of her character traits.

    Compare Drunken Master, Hard-Drinking Party Girl, Off the Wagon, Beergasm, Quick Nip, I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!. Oddly, there are "alcoholics" who can get drunk off of milk. The Teetotaler is his direct opposite.

    No real life examples, please; it is quite enough to note that there are plenty of them.

    Examples of The Alcoholic include:


    • Berman, of the Magic Bullet infomercials, is quite obviously hungover when he stumbles into the kitchen. He's the drunk of the whole shebang.

    Anime and Manga

    • Sumeragi Lee Noriega from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • Quent Yaiden from Wolf's Rain. I'm sure he's been mentioned in a similar context before.
    • Yoshiyuki's father from Deep Love.
    • To some extent, Major Katsuragi in Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the second episode, Shinji observes her fridge contains fifty gallons of beer.
    • Sylia Stingray from Bubblegum Crisis 2040 is definitely abusing something. She's seen drinking pretty often, but might have a drug habit on the side.
    • Arguably Kitsune in Love Hina - most of the time she's depicted either drinking or obviously drunk.
    • Axis Powers Hetalia:
      • Latvia. Despite being too young to drink - in human age
      • Denmark also definitely qualifies as this.
      • As well as Russia.
    • There are two notable examples is Monster, both of whom are drowning their sorrows.
    • While Happosai, one of the most consistently villainous characters in Ranma ½, is better known for his other appetites, he's also quite a boozehound when the opportunity arises. When your students' first plan to finally kill you is to feed you several barrels of sake, then seal you up inside one and throw it and some dynamite into a cave that they then block with a Zig Zag Tassle boulder... and it works... you've got a drinking problem.
    • Fairy Tail: Cana drinks thirty percent of the liquor from a giant barrel.
    • Hiroshi's neglective father in Domu: A Child's Dream: A Child's Dream. He does nothing but lie around his apartment intoxicated and that's why his wife and son left him.
    • In Brigadoon Marin and Melan Tadashi is nearly always seen drunk, drinking, or asking for more sake. It's shown to have seriously damaged his family.
    • Mr Fujisawa from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World. He is even sad that he can only have his fantastic strength if he doesn't drink.
    • Mr Legend from Tiger and Bunny.
    • Cross Marian from D.Gray-man.
    • Jonouchi's father in Yu-Gi-Oh! was this and a gambling addict, leading to a divorce and likely why Jonouchi himself ended up hanging out with gangs.
    • One Piece has its share of bawdy, rowdy, beer-swilling types (it's an anime about pirates, after all) but few are as blatant about it as Vasco "Heavy Drinker" Shot, one of Blackbeard's crew. As if his nom de plume wasn't enough, this guy is literally never sober, always carrying a huge jug of sake on his back that he regularly drinks from. As rotten as any member of the crew, he once suggested invading a town simply to get more booze.

    Comic Books

    • Daniel Cross in Assassin's Creed: The Fall.
    • Howard Nissen from Give Me Liberty, after having to deal with more than fifty separatist movements in the US and his mostly right-wing secretaries actively opposing him. Moretti may also be blamed.
    • Spider-Man never touches liquor, but it's something that has had an effect on his supporting cast:
      • Mary Jane's father was one, who abused his wife and possibly his daughters. Mary Jane's extroverted "party girl" personality was her way of coping.
      • Flash Thompson's father was worse, and there was no question that he was an abusive husband and father. Flash himself had a bout with this, but managed to clean up his act.
      • Electro had a father who was one, as did Dr. Octopus. Ock himself went through it after a nervous breakdown that left him destitute, and while no longer drinks heavily, is still often seen with cocktails while plotting evil schemes.
    • This was the case with Bruce Banner's horribly abusive father, Brian. It contributed to his questionable mental state, rotten and violent temper, and giving his son a great deal of pent-up aggression that was the biggest factor in the birth of the Hulk.
    • Iron Man
      • Tony Stark went through a serious alcohol problem in the comics, which was treated realistically and respectfully. But thanks to Never Live It Down, this is the default portrayal of him in other media. In The Movie, nearly every scene that's not a fight scene has him drinking an alcoholic beverage of some sort. As the sequel was partially an adaptation of the storyline dealing with the drinking problem, it was Foreshadowing.
      • Stark helped Carol Danvers (aka Ms. Marvel, Binary and Warbird) get a handle on her drinking problem. The Ultimate version takes this to the Ultimate extreme. A prime example is this dialogue between Black Widow and Stark:

    "Listen... but do you really think it is wise to knock back so many vodkas before you fly that thing?"
    "Oh, absolutely, darling. In fact, it's really quite essential... I mean, who in their right mind's going to climb into it sober?".

    • Of course, there's a secondary reason for Ultimate!Stark's alcoholism: he has an inoperable brain tumor that will kill him in under five years, which means he must be dealing with some massive migraines.
    • Katchoo in Strangers in Paradise.
    • Captain Haddock in Tintin. The portrayal is horrifying in his first appearance - The Crab with the Golden Claws, where he's arguably more dangerous to Tintin than the baddies they're fighting. Although often the subject of jokes, readers are left in no doubt that it's an addiction and has terrible side effects not only on Haddock himself but everyone around him. It's also a running gag that he is so addicted to alcohol, he's incapable of drinking non-alcoholic drinks, especially water. Fortunately, his addiction slowly weakens during the course of the series thanks to a combination of Character Development, horrible repercussions, and Tintin's efforts to keep him away from alcohol.
    • In Watchmen, the Mothman's alcoholism gets so bad that he is eventually committed to a sanitarium. This would not have been unusual for the time period, though.
    • In PVT Murphy's Law, a brigade of troops coming back from a long deployment overseas find themselves craving alcohol so badly that back in the US, a beer company executive bolts upright in bed because he can feel a great disturbance in the force. This has actually happened twice in the comic so far.
    • Heinz the punk from German comic Rudi.
    • Jack Point carries a hipflask of whiskey everywhere and drinks it at every available opportunity.
    • As Gotham Central progresses Renee Montoya descends further and further into depression as she experiences the violence and corruption of the Gotham City Police Department. After being involuntarily outed by Two-Face, forced to beat up a Corrupt Cop in order to get evidence to exonerate her falsely-implicated partner and experiencing the general events of Gotham City she begins to drink heavily and grows increasingly violent. This is noticed by her girlfriend, Daria Hernandez, and her partner, Crispus Allen, and it looks like she might actually decide to get some counseling to deal with this issue...when Crispus is murdered by Jim Corrigan who then walks on the crime. When her character returns in 52 the creator commentary reveals that she has become an actual alcoholic and has driven away her remaining friends and family.
    • Often in combination with An Aesop in the stories of Wilhelm Busch.
    • In Asterix and Caesar's Gift, Tremensdelirius, like other legionaries, is awarded a plot of land by Julius Caesar for twenty years of service. But since he spent all twenty of them drunk, Caesar decides to award him the title deed to a certain little Gaulish village. Tremensdelirius sells it to an innkeeper for more wine when he's broke.
    • Inspector Gill of Fish Police. This is even mentioned in one letters section, where a reader points out that Gill went a whole issue without drinking. Moncuse counters that by saying that the violence and sex in that issue make up for it.

    Fan Works


    • In Blazing Saddles, Jim, aka the Waco Kid, ever since his Literal Ass Kicking. He gets better.
    • Arthur: Arthur Bach is one of the best-known Played for Laughs examples.
    • Tom Reagan from Miller's Crossing. And since it is Film Noir, everyone else.
    • Dexter in The Philadelphia Story.
    • Uncle Tadpole in Bran Nue Dae, evidenced when he spends Willy's last few dollars on booze, forcing them to hitchhike a very long distance. Don't really see him drinking again after that incident though.
    • Jack Torrance from The Shining. Tried to stay on the wagon but the haunted hotel kept throwing him parties with ghost booze that worked like the real stuff.
    • The king of this trope is Withnail from Withnail and I
    • This is actually Captain Invincible's super-weakness, to the point that it gets exploited in song by Christopher Lee!
      • It is, however, completely played straight. In a parody of different ages of superheroes, Captain Invincible made the transition by getting betrayed by the people he helped and running away. Years pass in an alcoholic stupor and he returns Darker and Edgier with a tendency to drink himself catatonic.
    • Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend.
    • Deckard in Blade Runner.
    • Iron Man 2: Tony Stark. Apparently kills the pain of palladium poisoning.
    • The lead couple in Days Of Wine And Roses. When they meet, she won't touch the stuff, but then he finds an alcoholic drink she likes (he already has a bit of a problem). By the end of the movie, they've both hit bottom. He dries out, but she doesn't.
    • Ben Sanderson in Leaving Las Vegas is purposefully drinking himself to death.
    • Nine to Five. Margaret. "Atta girl!"
    • Thea in Applause.
    • In the Bleak Midwinter featured Carnforth Greville, an actor frequently seen leaving rehearsal under various suspicious pretexts.

    "Chaps, I'm just dipping down to the... post office for a quick... stamp."



    • The Hunger Games gives us Haymitch, who is perpetually shown drunk or at least midly intoxicated, largely an effect of the horrors the Hunger Games he competed in. He is an alcoholic to the point where the main characters worry about him after police shut down the local liquor brewers.
    • Sam Houston in Trail of Glory is shown as a high-functioning alcoholic, which he also was in real life.
    • Harry Driscoll in Adam Davies' The Frog King.
    • The protagonist of Russian novel Moscow Petushki by Venedikt Erofeev.
    • Several Stephen King protagonists (especially the writers), have this particular affliction, most notably Jack Torrance from The Shining and Jim Gardener from The Tommyknockers. King himself went through alcoholism and recovery during the course of his career, so that's not too surprising. Ironically, many people think he wrote better books before he stopped drinking. In his memoirs, King himself denies that there's any relationship between being a good writer and being an alcoholic.
      • He mentioned in his memoirs that he had no recollection of writing Cujo. That was one pretty impressive bender there.
    • Commander Sam Vimes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld is a recovering alcoholic, though he objects to the term (he was a drunk, he wasn't rich enough to be an alcoholic).
    • Harry Potter
      • Winky the house elf, who being an elf gets drunk on butterbeer.
      • And Professor Trelawney with her cooking sherry.
      • Hagrid is heavily implied to be one. He swears at least once that he'll never drink again (it doesn't take), and the trio end up taking care of him more than vice versa.
      • It is implied that Sirius has a drinking problem in Order of the Phoenix.
    • In the Night Watch[context?] series, there is a vast amount of booze consumed by all and sundry - in fact, in Night Watch, there's an entire chapter devoted to all the Light characters having a massive drinking party. Then again, these are Russian books...
    • Johnny Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
    • Charles Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski. Most of Bukowski's novels are autobiographical, so it's pretty obvious that he really enjoyed beer by the bucketful.
    • Cat from the Night Huntress books has high alcohol tolerance, and drinks gin like water. She also needs a freaking drink more often than is really healthy; Bones comments that her gin bottle is like a security blanket for her.
    • Several characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. Cersei becomes one over the course of the series, which is part of the reason Jaime finds her increasingly repulsive. Sandor Clegane has long been one, and even in the second book is rarely seen sober; in the third book, he basically wanders around getting drunk when and wherever possible (with a ten-year-old in tow, no less). It's his downfall. Turns out it's kind of hard to fight when you're that drunk.
    • Athos of The Three Musketeers is almost always Drowning His Sorrows, but Never Gets Drunk (or at least doesn't show it).
    • In Expendable, former Explorer Phylar Tobit is an alcoholic. Festina is disgusted by him, but also secretly feels somewhat envious. All Explorers receive psychological conditioning to make them fastidiously clean and tidy; in becoming a stinking drunkard, Phylar has managed to overcome that programming and in a way beat the system.
    • Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games, who started drinking pretty much after he won The Hunger Games because he lost his friend and ally in it. Oh, and his family soon after.
    • Marmeladov in Crime and Punishment.
    • Played for cynical effect in The Black Cat. An alcoholic protagonist kills his black cat in an insane manner, and later kills his wife when he's hunting for another black cat with little to no remorse.
    • Stag Preston in Spider Kiss, and it just makes his other negative traits that much worse.
    • Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, which, despite being one of his many fall-backs, a drink or two or twenty causes him to work more efficiently.
    • Renzo Leoni in A Thread of Grace occasionally gets so drunk that he'll pass out in the bed of a strange woman and has to check the fabric of his clothes and the class of woman to remind himself which fake identity he had adopted the night before. He's still a charismatic and effective resistance leader.
    • Jakub WedrowyczK Jakub, as well as pretty much everyone in his home village, this being set in Poland. Yet they don't seem to be intoxicated very often, or at least not strongly enough to decrease their Badass Grandpa abilities.
    • Geoffrey Firmin in Under the Volcano.
    • The Man Who Fell to Earth: Thomas Jerome Newton is an Alien Among Us who becomes one over the course of the work.
    • Richard Lopez of Ship Breaker is an extreme alcoholic, who is almost constantly drunk. Of course he's also a drug-addicted Archnemesis Dad and an Axe Crazy sociopath so this is honestly the least of his problems.
    • Margo's father in Time Scout. He's the sort who's drinking away his troubles due to the death of an infant child.
    • Huckleberry Finn's dad in both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    • Harry Hole, the protagonist in a series of crime thrillers by Norwegian Jo Nesbø. A detective in the Oslo Police Department, Harry is usually tolerated by his superiors and colleagues despite his habitual alcoholism and unorthodox methods because he is a brilliant detective.
    • Bridget in Bridget Jones's Diary seems to be heading for alcoholism (in the books anyway—it's less clear in the movies). One of her New Year's resolutions is to drink no more than 14 "units" of alcohol a week.
    • In Devdas, the titular character relies too much on Drowning My Sorrows after his childhood friend Paro gets married to someone else (because of Parental Marriage Veto concerning their social classes), and becomes this. It leads to his demise, right at Paro's doorstep, and she's not even allowed to go see him.
    • David and Simon from Haunted 1988. The former had cleaned up in the film version.
    • Bertie's Uncle George in Jeeves and Wooster "discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought." Occasionally "his liver lodges a formal protest" and he goes to a healing center to get cleaned up, only to go back to drinking as soon as he returns to London.


    • Kopalny, one of the mascots of the Top Secret magazine, is a lovable bum who loves beer and has frequent hangovers, and spends most of the time complaining about having to work menial jobs around the office.

    Live-Action TV

    • Garibaldi from Babylon 5: For most of the series, he avoids alcohol, except for a couple of occasions where he is either drowning his sorrows or falling Off the Wagon due to intense job stress. Overall, through the course of five years, we only see it happen twice (albeit one occasion had it happen for half of season five, but some say that season never happened anyways.
    • Battlestar Galactica: Both Saul Tigh and his wife Ellen, especially in proximity to one another though his biggest bout of drinking was on Galactica after he was forced to kill her on New Caprica. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is also referred to as a (very high-functioning) alcoholic both by other characters (there are repeated references to "not needing another Tigh onboard") and by the actress portraying her (Katee Sackhoff is quoted saying that Starbuck "drinks most of her calories").
    • Dylan McKay in the original Beverly Hills, 90210.
    • In The Big Bang Theory Penny is pretty well stated as having a difficult relationship with alcohol, binge drinking whenever sad or upset. When Leonard's mom, a cold psychiatrist, first came to visit she quickly psychoanalyzed Penny's insecurities and all the childhood issues Leonard had came to the forefront. Needless to say when Leonard was considering "turning to alcoholism as a career path" he visited Penny, who was all ready for downing shots. In the first half of season five it's implied Penny was depressed over her... complicated... relationship with Leonard and thus showed her to be drinking more often.
      • Raj didn't drink before the series began but mid season one learned that he was able to overcome his "can't talk to women" issues with a bit of a buzz. For the most part he manages okay, but being introduced to alcohol gave way to occasional problems with it.
    • Victor from German crime comedy Dr. Psycho. It is the main thing he and psychiatrist Max clash about, but after someone gets shot while Victor is drunk on duty, his police colleagues chime in with Max as well.
    • Dr. Noah Drake from General Hospital, who was Put on a Bus for many years, returned to the show as a Shell Shocked Senior with a drinking problem.
      • Luke Spencer has been drinking non stop for years and years. It only recently became a full-blown problem when he ran over his grandson.
    • Jinx in In Plain Sight
    • Nate Ford on Leverage
    • Jeff on Chuck
    • Jack Shephard after he left the Island on Lost; also Frank used to be one.
    • Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me has a decidedly volatile relationship with the bottle (specifically whiskey), as do many other characters.
    • Letti Mae Thornton in True Blood
    • Claire Meade in Ugly Betty
    • Leo McGarry on The West Wing was a recovering alcoholic.
      • Also, Vice President John Hoynes - stopped drinking at age 22.
    • Fun Bobby, an occasional boyfriend of Monica's in Friends. Alcohol was what made him entertaining. When he quit drinking, Monica started upping her alcohol intake to cope with his stories about shoelaces.
    • Mad Men:
      • Herman "Duck" Philips from is a recovering alcoholic. Until, that is, Season 2's "Maidenform," when he falls Off the Wagon in the middle of his nasty divorce. While somewhat sympathetic and under control at first, the liquor gets the best of him, and by Season 4's "The Suitcase," he is a raging alcoholic and a massive dick, too.
      • Freddy Rumsen, who once gets so drunk at work that he passes out and pees himself during a pitch to Samsonite. Naturally, he's fired (which doesn't do anything for his sobriety) and Peggy inherits his office (much to her chagrin, as Rumsen had been the first to notice her talent for copywriting) and his legendary office stash of booze. After this incident, Rumsen was Put on a Bus until Season 4, when he shows up again, a member of AA. Roger Sterling has come to hate going out with Rumsen for this very reason, as he apparently thinks Freddy is a bit holier-than-thou about it.
      • While Don Draper has been drinking like a fish since the beginning, he was never shown as really drunk (lubricated perhaps, but never hammered) until Season 4 (in the wake of his divorce from Betty). After that, he's depicted as being sloshed at least every other episode, even to the point of puking in "The Suitcase." (Hm. That episode was about a Samsonite ad campaign. Perhaps Samsonite=alcoholism to the writers?) At this point, it's fairly clear that we are witnessing Don Draper's Slow Descent Into Alcoholism.
    • Sam Malone on Cheers is a recovering one.
    • Kitty Forman on That '70s Show is a borderline case; she drinks a lot, but never gets completely wasted.
    • Abby Lockhart on ER
    • Walter Findlay on Maude
    • Father Ted: Father Jack Hackett knows three words: "Girls!", "Fek!", "Drink!". Without regular supplies of the third one he gets peppery.
    • Bernard Black from Black Books.
    • Damn near everyone on The Drew Carey Show.
    • Everyone from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
      • So much so that when one of the characters thinks to put boxed wine in soda cans for public consumption, everyone thinks it's a great idea.
    • Eddie of Bottom, who cheerfully drinks Old Spice, cooking oil, and bleach. Note to reader: Only one of these things actually contains alcohol, and only one of these things is supposed to be edible. They are not the same thing.
    • They appear to be setting this up with Dr Zoe Hanna in Casualty.
    • Sports Night had a nice aversion: Dan Rydell refused to drink alcohol, and stated once that he had had his last drink some years before on a specific date. He was inundated with commentary (both positive and negative) about his being a recovering alcoholic, which he consistently denied. Nobody believed his denials, the network was getting pressure to make him come clean about his supposed alcoholism, forcing him to go on the air with the real story: his brother got drunk once and wrecked a car, killing himself, and on that day, Dan stopped drinking.
    • Ned The Wino on Good Times and Woodrow Anderson on Sanford and Son: they were played by the same person.
    • Jim Lahey's character trait in Trailer Park Boys, albeit not the only example. At one point, Ray was desperate enough to pull the copper pipes from his walls to sell for booze money, and he always has prodigious stacks of empties lying around. Julian is rarely seen without a rum and Coke in his hand. Ricky never misses an occasion to get drunk, either.
    • Patsy and Edina on AbFab.
    • This is one of Ted Altman's many personality flaws on Intelligence. Rarely does an episode go by that he is not seen drinking, even once.
    • Every one of the Riggins men in Friday Night Lights . Dad Walt Riggins and his sons Billy and Tim are all frequently shown drunk, drinking or hungover.
    • The Wire: Jimmy McNulty. He lays off in season four as he gets his act together, but falls off the wagon again in season five. Bunk, his drinking partner, never wavers from his course, and the series contrasts the two characters, with McNulty getting Bunk out of trouble and resisting pressure to get back on the bottle.
    • Calamity Jane on Deadwood. Al also drinks a whole damn lot.
    • Karen Walker of Will and Grace.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A significant portion of Xander's family are either directly stated or implied to be alcoholic. Of course, being the Butt Monkey, he's sort of contractually obligated to have a family of drunken assholes. Who are implied to be even more unpleasant.
    • Angel: The term is never overtly used but while all the characters have a reason to drown their sorrows mid-series, Wesley is the one who doesn't stop. The latter half of series 5 has the gang mentioning with increasing frequency just how heavily Wesley is drinking. It's also implied that Wesley's fully aware it's becoming a problem.
    • Woody from Mad Dogs.
    • Example from Community, Shirley's backstory before she came to Greendale is shown to be partly this trope.
    • Dave Attell in Insomniac with Dave Attell always managed to hit several bars in one night no matter the town, usually drinking beer and shots of Jagermeister.
    • Clive in Grandma's House
    • Adam on Girls is a recovering alcoholic who has been attending AA meetings since age 17.
    • While never explicitly stated, Star Trek has two likely examples:
      • Scotty's solution to distracting an alien that takes over the ship in the episode By Any Other Name is to have a drinking contest with him, during which it's shone that he hides booze in his quarters. Upon finding himself in the 24th century, one of the first things he does is find Ten Forward (Enterprise's' bar) and berate the bartender for serving poor quality scotch.
      • Dr. McCoy often prescribes alcohol to his patents, seems to store booze in sickbay, and prepares beans with bourbon.


    • Alice Cooper was a massive alcoholic at the height of his career. He said on Top Gear that after he vomited up blood, he'd decided it was time to stop.
    • Elvis Costello's "Beyond Belief" is very clearly being narrated by someone on the verge of a drunken stupor: "So in this almost empty gin palace / In a two-way looking glass, you see your Alice." The singer himself once got into serious trouble because of remarks he made while inebriated. The lyrics to "Man out of Time" are also noticeably booze-sodden: "You drink yourself insensitive and hate yourself in the morning.
    • Dice has an album called The 40 Made Me Do It.
    • Kid Rock has shown up drunk to recording sessions.
    • Shane MacGowan, founder, songwriter, and lead singer of The Pogues, is legendary for his drunken performances, self-destructive behaviour, dental problems, and almost-miraculous ability to stay alive despite doing things that would have killed any normal man. Basically, he has been drinking heavily pretty much nonstop since about 1970 or so. His alcoholism got so bad that The Pogues threw him out of the band in 1991, not wanting to put up with his crap anymore. They didn't acquiesce to working with him again for another ten years. A lot of his songs make heavy reference to alcoholism, in all its various forms.
    • X Japan. Almost everyone out of the band (aside from vocalist Toshi, who by almost all accounts Can't Hold His Liquor) is legendary for their alcohol problems: late guitarist hide died in part from his alcoholism in a drunken accidental suicide, bandleader/drummer/pianist Yoshiki is well known for being The Alcoholic (and a rather destructive one), ex-bassist Taiji has had to be hospitalized for alcoholism-related problems, and rhythm/second guitarist Pata is sadly well known for being an alcoholic.
    • Gary Stead, from the Saint Etienne Concept Album Tales From Turnpike House. He spends most of the album as a comedy alcoholic in the Barney Gumble mould (in "Milk Bottle Symphony" he "staggers downstairs with a heavy head", i.e. a hangover), but eventually "Last Orders For Gary Stead" reveals him to be Drowning His Sorrows over an awkward divorce.
    • The unnamed subject of Richard Thompson's bitter, brilliant "God Loves A Drunk." Notable for the balance of the portrayal—while drunkenness itself is portrayed very harshly, the titular drunk is treated quite sympathetically and gets to do his own lashing out against the banal nature of the life he's escaping.
    • The narrator in Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" may or may not be, as might the narrator in "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again." The narrator in "Moonshiner" definitely is.
    • Metallica used to be called "Alcoholica". James Hetfield even had to enter a rehab facility, but he has been sober ever since. As insane as it is, Dave Mustaine, who used to be in Metallica, was kicked out of the band because of his drinking problem. James Hetfield fired him for drinking too much. Part of the problem though, was simply Mustaine's behavior when drunk, as he was apparently a quite violent drunk, while the other members would be more withdrawn under the influence.
    • Tom Waits professed to alcoholism earlier in his career: songs like "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)" and "Bad Liver & A Broken Heart" are semi-biographical.

    "I was really starting to believe that there was something amusing and wonderfully American about being a drunk. I ended up telling myself to cut that shit out."

    • From Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera, the main character DT Jesus is a junkie with an implied drinking problem as well. What motivates him to turn his life around is finding his childhood hero, a famous blues guitarist, is little more then a homeless wino.
    • Billy Joel's "Piano Man" is steeped in alcohol. Every other line is about someone drinking. Most evocative songs about alcoholism are written from the point of view of alcoholics. Not this one; it marries insight with acerbic detachment: the piano player is the outsider just making a living in a den of drunks.
    • Swedish rocker Eddie Meduza. He was known for his "party hard" lifestyle, which spiraled into full-blown alcoholism in the '80s. Eventually he cleaned up his act in the '90s after doctors told him he would die if he had another drink. Unfortunately he couldn't keep it up and relapsed, which led to his death in 2002. Many of his later songs sarcastically "praise" the "joys" of being drunk all the time.

    Newspaper Comics

    • One arc in Bloom County from the 80s has Budweiser mascot Spuds MacKenzie as a Presidential candidate until a DUI incident reveals a drinking problem "of previously unspecified seriousness", reported as he drinks an entire keg; to make it worse, witnesses confirmed he was drinking Heineken beer (rather than Budweiser, the brand he advertises). Eventually he checks himself into the Betty Ford Clinic (sharing a room with Mr. Ed), only to be kicked out for smuggling beer in.

    Professional Wrestling

    • Scott Hall in WCW and later WWE. That his real-life drinking problem was played for laughs left a bad taste in many viewers' mouths.
    • Andre the Giant was notorious for his ability to drink somewhere in the region of 7,000 calories of booze each day. Thing is, being a giant, it took INSANE amounts of booze to get him drunk—for example, 1,428 oz (that's 119 12-oz bottles) of beer to make him pass out.
    • Stone Cold Steve Austin.
    • Jake Roberts: During his original run in the World Wrestling Federation, substance abuse problems began to mount for "The Snake," and came to a head after he left the organization. By 1996, he returned, having cleaned up and was now depicting himself as a born-again Christian who had left the bottle behind. A feud was created around his newfound sobriety, with Jerry Lawler playing the shameless antagonist. Lawler – then a mean-spirited, arrogant heel – constantly mocked Roberts and alleged that he had shown up at events under the influence. Roberts eventually had enough and eventually came to the arena "drunk" to lower Lawler's guard.


    • Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling, Artie Lange, and especially Jeff the Drunk of The Howard Stern Show.
    • Comedy pair Hudson and Landry featured a few skits involving drunks making phone calls. Their best known skit is about a already hammered drunk ordering more liquor.
    • Phil Harris portrayed himself this way on The Jack Benny Program; once even claiming that he only drank so Jack would have something to joke about.
      • Beyond Harris, the entire band was portrayed as being a bunch of drunken reprobates, particularly guitarist Frank Remly.
    • Barry Cryer is seen as this by everyone else on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. He seldom mentions it himself.

    Jack: One of the judges for this year's Beer Festival was our very own Barry Cryer. Barry sampled several dozens of different lagers, a variety of beers, and one or two champagnes, and as such, never made it to the festival.



    • Cyrano De Bergerac: Ligniere. He dislikes orange juice and milk, only stays at the theater to drink four glasses of wine, he happily retires to betake again his pet vice in a tavern, and when Christian tries to save him for a trap, he’s advised to left notice to Ligniere at five different taverns.
    • Doc Delaney, in William Inge's Come Back Little Sheba.
    • The title character of PDQ Bach's The Stoned Guest, whose voice type is described as "basso blotto."
    • Eric in An Inspector Calls is frequently "squiffy". It's obvious to most of his family, but his mother's in total denial about it.
    • Sir Toby Belch in William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night, a comic relief character who is almost always drunk. He is known to retain a snarky, witty attitude even when intoxicated.

    Video Games

    • In Max Payne 2 it is revealed that former deputy police chief Bravura is a recovering alcoholic, and he offers to take the protagonist to meetings with him. It isn't made clear if he is merely misreading Payne's survivor's guilt or if Max actually has a problem. The upcoming third installment seems to portray Max as being a full blown substance abuser.
    • Mr. Galloway of Bully who is also arguably the coolest teacher in the game.
    • Part of the first quest in Fable 2 is returning a drunk's lost bottle. The 'good choice' is to give it to his wife, who's trying to make him quit, while the 'evil' one is giving it back to him.
    • Granin in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. To the point that he divulges Sokolov's location to Snake while intoxicated.
    • Gen of SaGa Frontier is a drunken samurai. His 'win' animation after the battles show him drinking...and drinking...and drinking.
    • Players of Final Fantasy X could speculate that the jug of sake hanging from Auron's belt was well used.
      • Jecht is a better example: Tidus mentions having trouble remembering a time when he wasn't drunk. This apparently ended when he stabbed a shoopuf in a drunken panic (he thought it was a fiend); after Braska was forced to give the animal's handler all their money, Jecht never drank again. (You can find a recording of the aftermath of the incident around the same area where it happened.)
    • In the first Diablo game, there was Farnham the Drunk, a comedic character who actually had a tragic side to him; he had to watch most of his friends get slaughtered during a raid in the dungeons. In the sequel, there's Geglash in Act II. While he is played for comedy, he is also an experienced fighter, and Atma notes that he has been drinking more than usual since the 'troubles' began.
    • Kenshin Uesugi in Samurai Warriors. Depending on who you ask, real life as well!
    • The mouthy Demoman of Team Fortress 2 seems to be perpetually drunk on the battlefield. His default melee weapon is even a scrumpy bottle! Interestingly, the comics imply that he's a perfectly reasonable guy while sober... which means that he's always drunk off his ass in-game.

    Demoman: (on sudden death) Thankfully, I already don't remember this.

    • Sleip of Blaze Union. She doesn't fit into the Always Female versions at all—she's young, she's cutesy, she's Ms. Fanservice, and she's very resistant to the idea of sobering up.
    • Oghren in Dragon Age Origins and the expansion, Awakening. His alcoholism seems to have started as a way of Drowning My Sorrows. Oghren used to be a renowned warrior and his wife was named a Paragon, the greatest honour a dwarf can ever achieve. When she left him and set off into the Deep Roads, however, things went downhill.
      • Depending on the choices you make in the game, Alistair may become one as well.
    • Touhou: Gensokyo's resident drunkards, Suika Ibuki and Yuugi Hoshiguma.
      • And, to an extent, the series's creator ZUN as well. Pictures of him are hard to find. Pictures of him without some form of alcohol are nonexistent.
    • Jim Raynor in StarCraft II, in reaction to what he feels is his role in Kerrigan being turned into the Queen of Blades. Matt Horner apparently has to clean up after him a lot.
    • The eponymous character of Conker's Bad Fur Day.
    • Grayson Hunt of Bulletstorm is a revenge-obsessed drunkard. The player can decide to take Ishi's threat to kill him if he starts again to heart, by shooting the bottles of alcohol you see.. or taking a drink, and getting point bonuses for killing enemies while drunk.
    • Dwarf Fortress: The one thing that all of the dwarfs have in common is that they 'need alcohol to get through the working day'. Almost everything else will vary between them (including what they like, what they hate, their personality traits, etc.), but alcohol is their default drink of choice (though, that said, the type of alcohol that they like best also varies).
    • Baofu from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment always enjoyed tipping a few back. With him, alcohol is integrated as a philosophy and as a way to know a real person as "the truth can be seen in a shot glass". An example below:

    Baofu: Hey Maya, why don't you try to become the best wine?
    Ulala: What do you mean?
    Baofu: The best wines are those that are treated well, but ultimately become spoiled or bad if misused over time. It's the same with humans.


    Web Animation

    • Verosika Mayday, an antagonist in Helluva Boss and Blitzo's former girlfriend. By both her and Blitzo's account, she went into rehab for this soon after they broke up, and since she still drinks (going so far as to carry a flask of infernal whiskey in her purse) it is clear the treatment didn't take.

    Web Comics

    • Hazel from Girls with Slingshots is often drinking or drunk. She writes all of her articles smashed. Occasionally Lampshaded when she gets so drunk she forgets what happened, or realizes how common intoxication is for her. Such as when she "levels up" her faux sober threshold to nine beers.
    • Kyotoshi Lypha from Inhuman, starting after his parents were killed in a planet-wide massacre. His fridge contains only vodka and a clean, folded towel.
    • Faye Whittaker in Questionable Content. Almost everyone in Questionable Content drinks frequently (like a lot of 20-somethings) but Faye is the only one whose pointed out to take it to excess.
    • Out There: One of the most common settings is Sherry's bar, but only Clayton fits the trope. Miriam is more accurately described as a Bottle Fairy, and none of the other characters seem particularly dedicated to the task.
    • Captn Crazy and Hugo, the rat. Played for laughs.
    • String Theory has the alcoholic Dr. Schtein. He's also an avid user of a large number of other drugs.
    • No Need for Bushido has Ken, who, after running out of sake in the middle of a battle, decides to go maul an enemy camp and take their supply. He then proceeds to do this several more times until he get so drunk he falls unconscious, and when he regains consciousness, he finds he's run out yet again and goes out for some more.
    • Elf Blood has Shanna, who was constantly depicted drinking alcohol in the earlier sections of the comic. She doesn't appear to suffer any deleterious effects from her condition though, or at least none that have been shown yet.
    • Lyle Gabriel from Achewood is nearly always drunk and usually blitzed well beyond the point of coherence. It gets less comedic as time goes on; later strips depict him as being unable to function if he doesn't drink constantly.
    • Taisei from Sakana is "drunk 50 % of the time". When having a hangover is also pretty much the only time he is depressed.
    • Decoy Octopus in The Last Days of Foxhound.
    • Nitrous Blight of Zokusho Comics could head this way if he's not careful. He is a powerful telepath and alcohol is one of the few ways to dull the volume of the thoughts of others.
    • Graham in Wizard School is abducted to the Academy after a drunken bender - and is immediately asking small children to summon alcohol for him.

    Web Original

    • Danielbeast in Lonelygirl15 became an alcoholic at one point, as a result of trying to drown his sorrows.
    • Glitch, of the Whateley Universe, who's obviously alcoholic, and a sophomore in high school. He blames his parents for all his problems.
    • Arthur's mother in Theatrica who falls of a roof, pissed, and dies.
    • During her review of Xanadu, due to not being impressed with how bored the voice actor of Zeus sounded, The Nostalgia Chick's impersonation of him made him sound ridiculously drunk instead. She herself is nearly always seen with a bottle of beer.
    • Harley Morenstein of EPICMEALTIME rarely appears without a bottle of Jack in hand. One time, he and the others made breakfast with alcohol.
    • The Nostalgia Critic: The Critic is a complete and utter lightweight, but still drinks a lot.
    • Ask That Guy With The Glasses has a bar for setting. The host has replaced his book with A Glass of Chianti.
    • In the "Ask Jack" video from the The Horribly Slow Murderer With the Extremely Inefficient Weapon series, Jack reveals that the reason he is still fat despite running from the Ginosaji for years is because he's developed eating and drinking problems to cope with the insanity. During the segment he's trying to eat a plate of spaghetti and drink a glass of wine while the Ginosaji is still slowly beating him to death with a spoon.
    • In RWBY Ruby and Yang's Uncle Qrow constantly drinks on-screen and has been described as always drunk. (However, it appears that the events of late Volume 6 might have changed this.)
      • Willow Schnee, Weiss's mother, is an alcoholic -- more than one snide or disapproving comment is made about it. When she finally appears on screen in Volume 7, she seems to be something between this and a Functional Alcoholic.

    Western Animation

    • The titular character of Archer claims that if he were to stop drinking, the cumulative hangover would kill him. His mother, Malory, is just as bad, frequently seen drinking cocktails herself.
    • In Futurama, robots are alcoholics by default, as alcohol works as their fuel. However, they stumble around as if they were drunk when they're sober... and at other times (particularly in earlier episodes) they are portrayed binge-drinking human style. Bender himself speaks with a mild slur at all times.

    Morbo: Our top story, all alcohol on Earth has mysteriously disappeared. Consequences are minimal, except among the most hardened alcoholics. Linda?
    (Camera zooms out, showing that Linda is obviously going through horrible withdrawal symptoms.)
    Linda: I CAN NO LONGER FACE MY CHILDREN! (Sobs as Morbo tries to comfort her.)

    • Miriam Pataki from Hey Arnold! is a textbook example, though mainly off screen. On screen all she wants is a "smoothie".
    • The title character of BoJack Horseman is a jerk, he hates himself, and is almost always drunk. Despite the fact that, being a 1,200 pound Funny Animal horse, he has a far higher tolerance level than a human, something he himself has stated. But at least he never denies it.
    • Clay Puppington in Moral Orel. And how!
    • The entire band Dethklok in Metalocalypse, but particularly Pickles the drummer. Alcoholism and drug use is such a heavy part of Pickles's past and personality that when his former bandmates headlined a Straight Edge-esque concert with a new singer, he was mortally offended and vowed to crash the concert.
      • Special points also to Nathan Explosion, who apparently needs regular liver transplants, and is shown receiving one as part of fan touring of Mordhaus.
    • Family Guy:
      • Brian Griffin is rarely seen without a glass of something in his hand. In comparison he is probably worse than Peter - Peter usually goes out drinking for fun with friends, but Brian often drinks alone, or to 'drown sorrows', or for the sake of drinking.
      • Peter Griffin of occasionally.
    • Rick, from Rick and Morty. It's a rare occasion for him not to be drunk, but the times when he's truly plastered are when he stops being a jerk and starts being a truly evil jerk; his very small level of sobriety the likely reason he has yet to become a full-fledged super-villain. In fact, the very first scene in the pilot episode consists of a so-drunk-he-can-barely-stand Rick trying to wipe out humanity with a "neutrino bomb", nearly succeeding until Morty beats some sense into him. And then the opening credits start...
      • Beth has it too, clearly having learned it from Rick, but she's not as bad.
    • The Simpsons
      • Homer Simpson. He can consume more beer (leading into excessive intoxication obviously) more than Peter can.
      • Barney Gumble appears worse than Homer, but is often seen trying to overcome his problem—Homer has not even acknowledged he has a problem. He does occasionally, but usually for a throwaway gag, not as part of an episode's plot.
      • Lionel Hutz is shown to have a pretty severe drinking problem on occasion.

    "Mrs. Simpson claims she forgot she had this bottle of sweet, Kentucky Bourbon... brownest of the brown liquors... What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial! ...Excuse me! (runs out of courtroom)

    • Roger of American Dad.
    • Pickles of The Oblongs
    • Uncle Waldo from The Aristocats. He is first seen being chased out of a restaurant as an attempt to avoid being killed and eaten as part of a dish called "Prime Country Goose a la Provencale" that apparantly involved him being "stuffed with chestnuts and basted in white wine." And because of the latter, Uncle Waldo actually became extremely drunk as a result of this.
    • Captain K'Nuckles of The Mis Adventures of Flapjack comes off as this, always needing a pick me up or becoming wasted at the Candy Barrel.
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In one episode, a pony with a cluster of grapes for a Cutie Mark drinks straight out of a punch bowl. One of the artists who worked on that scene admitted that they were deliberately presenting the pony as a heavy drinker, and fanon has turned "Berry Punch" (her Fan Nickname) into the Ponyville town drunk. The joke continues in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", where Berry Punch is the first one shown to freak out at the prospect of no more cider.