[[quoteright:350:[[Website/CollegeHumor http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/drank_IN_this_ccup_6258.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Both sides of the spectrum.]]

At a [[WildTeenParty party]] or other place that results in a lot of drinking on TV, especially if the place is far enough away to require driving, there is usually one person, pre-selected or out of his/her own volition, who has to not drink at all in order to remain sober enough to drive the other partygoers/drinkers home safely. This is known as the designated driver. This is a TruthInTelevision, as most times in order to follow road safety laws, people aren't allowed to drive home if drunk.

It should not be confused with either DesignatedHero or DesignatedVillain, which deals with something else entirely. If the designated driver's companions are doing things rather more dangerous than drinking, that's a GetawayDriver.



* ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'': Identifying yourself as the Designated Driver at Hawg Wallers means free soda for the night.

* Subverted in ''Film/TheWorldsEnd''. When the five men discover the AlienInvasion in their hometown during the pub crawl, they discuss whether they should head back to London and let Andy drive since he is [[TheTeetotaler teetotal]]. Cue to Andy [[INeedAFreakingDrink drinking five shots in a row]] as a reaction of what they've just seen.


* Inverted on the ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode ''Mr. Monk Is the Best Man''. Because Stottlemeyer let Monk plan his bachelor's party, Monk supplied 12-ounce bottles of beer to each of the 12 members, resulting in 144 ounces total. In Stottlemeyer's words, that meant they only had enough to make them just slightly sleepy (i.e.,, not drunk enough to require designated driving), or to give it all to one of the members to make him very polluted and make him the Designated Drunk. The majority of the partygoers ultimately go with the latter decision, and Randy Disher volunteers to become the "designated drunk".
* Mentioned on ''Series/LittleMosqueOnThePrairie'', where the local Muslim population suddenly becomes incredibly popular at around Holiday season and are invited to all the parties, because the Christians need sober people to drive them home.
* Given that ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' takes place at a bar, this trope is inevitable.
** The b-plot of one episode has a drawing for the night's designated driver and Norm "wins". He ends up driving everyone else home while being forced to remain sober the entire night.
-->'''Carla:''' Sorry, Norm. Until the night is through, you're still the designated driver.
-->'''Norm:''' Right. I know that and you know that, but did you have to call every bar in town and tell ''them''?
** Another episode opens with Sam offering to call a cab for a trio of men who have been drinking the entire night. One of them mentions that another is their designated driver. It then turns out all of them thought that another of them was the designated driver. Sam calls them a cab.
** Joked with in another episode. The guys go to a new burger place and gorge themselves. Frasier complains that he only got to eat one. Norm explains that was because he's the designated driver.

* Inversion: Industrial band Caustic refers to a "Designated Drinker" due to frontman Matt Fanale's sobriety.
* Montell Jordan's 1995 hit "This Is How We Do It" contains the lyric
-->So I reach for my 40 and I turn it up
-->Designated driver take the keys to my truck
* In one line of "Beer Run", Garth Brooks laments that it's his turn to drive.
* In a Hollywood Undead song, Charlie Scene states he is the "designated drinker", an obvious parody of this trope

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* One Creator/JeffFoxworthy bit is about things you can do if you're a designated driver. For example, drop everyone off at the wrong house. Preferably in their boss' front yard.
--> "Where the hell are my flamingos?"


* From ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'' we get [[WrenchWench Tuuri]] [[TheEngineer Hotakainen]]. However, the trope is very subverted: she's appointed the Designated Driver for the team as... the rest of the RagtagBunchOfMisfits [[AreYouSureYouCanDriveThisThing can't actually drive]] [[DrivesLikeCrazy to save their lives]], rather than have any plans to get too drunk to. She's the only one who knows how to work gears and all the other steps you need to do, even though she's not exactly had a lot of practice actually being behind the wheel, either.
* Captain Amish of ''Webcomic/AtomicLaundromat'' once acted as the designated driver for a number of superheroes. Unfortunately, it didn't work very well. As he is Amish, his "car" is a horse and buggy, and, while the good Captain is a teetotaler, [[http://www.atomiclaundromat.com/comic/designated-rider/ his horse isn't.]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In the episode "New York City vs. Homer Simpson", Moe's Tavern ends up having to institute a new designated drivers policy after his patrons' drunken antics caused a lot of car accidents. Because of this, Moe declares that they're going to pick the designated driver "the same way they choose the new Pope": everyone draws from a jar of pickled eggs, and whomever gets the black egg "wins". Barney ended up getting the black egg, thus forcing the town drunk to go sober for the night; the stress of staying sober the whole night (especially after Duffman shows up with a truckload of beer because Barney won a contest) leads to Barney illegally parking Homer's car...in New York City.
** Subverted in an earlier episode, "Homer vs the 18th Amendment", where Moe tells all of the arriving patrons that it is going to be the biggest drinking day of the year due to it being St. Patrick's Day, and asks for the Designated Drivers to identify themselves. He then tells them, "Beat it. I have no time for cheapskates."
* In the first ChristmasEpisode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', Peter is forced to assume this role and not join in the drunken antics of his friends because Joe already had a few glasses of eggnog.