[[quoteright:350:[[Creator/ValerianRuppert http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/saloon-keeper-valerian-ruppert_copy_2048.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"What can I do you for?"]]

->''"I'm Guinan. I tend bar and I listen."''
-->-- '''Guinan''', ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''

Working in a bar is never easy. You have to deal with [[PlayerCharacters lowlifes, drunks, soldiers]] who will harass the female entertainment and some of the clientele with their better armed arsenal, and the average Joe who [[TheConfidant confesses his life problems to you]] as you pour him another round. This is the life of The Bartender: he pours a round and just quietly listens and observes the setting.

Unless, of course, he's asked for advice. Just how valuable this advice might be depends on the story, but when you're desperate and maybe a bit drunk, it might seem like a good idea. Expect him to hear "IllTellYouWhenIveHadEnough" pretty often. The ''real'' weirdos will be the ones who get DrunkOnMilk.

Many bartenders are [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep known only by their nickname]]. They also often take up the duty of a {{quest giver}}s in [[YouAllMeetInAnInn any fantasy]] (or [[FeudalFuture science-fantasy]])-themed TabletopGame.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* Blueno from ''Franchise/OnePiece'' took advantage of this as he disguised himself as one for several years to find any information about an ancient Warship.
** Makino owns a bar in Fuusha village.
* In ''TowerOfGod'', one of Hwa Ryun's jobs is being the clerk in a karaoke bar.
* In the ''GhostInTheShell'' TV series, one of the Major's underground contacts is a bartender.
* ''Manga/{{Bartender}}'', predictably, is an anime centered around a Bartender, his bar and the stories of its patrons.
* [[TeamMom Mirajane]] of ''Manga/FairyTail'' is this for the entire guild.
* Meliodas of ''Manga/NanatsuNoTaizai'' is the owner of the Boar Hat bar.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* At the center of the ''ComicBook/{{Criminal}}'' universe is Gnarly, the ex-boxer who runs The Undertow, a dive bar frequented by crooks, con-men and people who just plain run out of luck. Like most bartenders, he has seen and knows a lot more than he lets on, and is extremely judicious in applying it.
* A NiceGuy bartender shows up in one story in ''{{Preacher}}'' and ends up helping Tulip's best friend with some sage advise while she's feeling down about her (lack of a) love life. And then, because this is a GarthEnnis comic, we get a hilarious (for us, not for him) story about how he ended up chemically castrated after he got mistaken for a child molester by the police.
* Kadies in ''SinCity'' usually has waitress Shellie in the role as an earpiece as evident by Dwight's background confessions seen in many stories. Her (and Kadie to a lesser extent) seem to be able to get Marv calmed down, no easy feat.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fanfiction ]]

* Tapper Smurf, the proprietor of [[LocalHangout Tapper's]] [[GoodGuyBar Tavern]], in ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf''. Interestingly, his name is a ShoutOut to the arcade game ''VideoGame/{{Tapper}}''.
* ''FanFic/TheInfiniteLoops'': In the MLP loops, once Big Macintosh starts Looping, he takes to building a bar for other Loopers, giving them a place to help [[INeedAFreakingDrink cope after harsh loops]], as well as just giving them a place to hang out and share stories.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* [[Creator/CheechAndChong Cheech Marin]] plays the surly, [[OralFixation toothpick-chewing]] bartender of the local BadGuyBar in ''{{Desperado}}''. He didn't even have a name; he was just called "[[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep Short Bartender]]."
* Creator/DannyTrejo tended bar in both ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn'' and ''AnchormanTheLegendOfRonBurgundy''. The roles wouldn't be that noticeable if they weren't being played by DANNY FREAKING TREJO!!!
* Brian Flanagan (played by TomCruise) learns the fine art of bartending from Doug Coughlin (Brian Brown) in ''{{Cocktail}}''.
* The extremely creepy Lloyd of the extremely creepy Overlook Hotel in ''Film/TheShining''.
* Joe in ''The Sky's the Limit'', who is addressed in the movie's BreakawayPopHit, "One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)."
* In ''KeepingTheFaith'', the FramingDevice is the priest (name?) "confessing" to The Bartender.
* In ''Film/{{Bunraku}}'', Creator/WoodyHarrelson's character is a bartender who goes simply by the name [[NoNameGiven The Bartender]].
* ''Film/TheFifthElement''. Priest Vito Cornelius is shown pouring out his sorrows at a bar. The RevealShot shows the bartender listening to this drunken spiel is a faceless android.
* JohnWoo plays one in ''Film/HardBoiled'' to give ChowYunFat's CowboyCop 'Tequila Yuen' advice. He mentions at one point that he also was a cop.
* The bartender from ''VideoGame/{{Tapper}}'' plays this role in ''Disney/WreckItRalph''.
* Angelica from ''WinADateWithTadHamiliton''.
* ''AnatomyOfAMurder'' has Alphonse Paquette, bartender of the Thunder Bay Inn and one of the witnesses to the murder of Barney Quill.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[spoiler:Justin]] Callahan of the ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' stories by Spider Robinson.
* "Mac", who runs [=MacAnally's=] in ''TheDresdenFiles''. [=MacAnally's=] is one of few places which is neutral ground for supernaturals, so every non-"vanilla human" in Chicago will drop by sooner or later. He doesn't talk much, though.
* Creator/LarryNiven's ''Draco Tavern'' stories are told from the perspective of the human barkeep to an alien [[CityOfWeirdos Bar of Weirdos]].
* [[spoiler:Aberforth Dumbledore]], the barkeep of the Hog's Head in ''Literature/HarryPotter''.
* ''[[Literature/TheShipWho The Ship Who Searched]]'' by MercedesLackey has a scene where the male lead pours out his woes to a bartender and receives some good advice -- along with a LampshadeHanging, as it's revealed that a lot of bartenders in this future setting have received formal training in psychological and relationship counseling because of how often they're in scenes like this.
* In ''Literature/TheShining'' by Creator/StephenKing, Jack talks with Lloyd the bartender, someone he knew before coming to the Overlook, but in this particular case, it's actually the Overlook serving as bartender.
* Xavier runs a bar in ''LonesomeDove''.
* In Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Barliman Butterbur hands down [[TheConfidant private]] letters among some of his customers and shares with them important information. Though he sometimes errs in giving advice, Gandalf trusts him and makes him his deputy QuestGiver.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', Hibicus Dunelm, proprietor of the Mended Drum, knows what the routine is when a solitary figure is DrowningHisSorrows. Unfortunately, he tries it on Death, and the resulting conversation leaves him rather uneasy.
** Mr Cheese, the owner of the Bucket, the [[GoodGuyBar Watch pub]] in ''Discworld/MenAtArms'' is described as a good listener. He listens to things like "another beer" and "keep them coming". And he knows what to say: "Certainly, sir" and "Credit? Of course!"
** The bartender at the bar where Silverfish, Detritus and Gaspode are drowning their sorrows in ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', on the other hand, has learnt it's best not to say anything. "It may never happen" or "It could be worse" don't go down well with his clientele, because it has and it was.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''TheBigBangTheory'': InvokedTrope in one episode. When Sheldon sees Penny working the bar, he expects her to act like the typical bartender, pouring drinks for him to drown his sorrows in and offering him sage advice.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': In "Beer Bad" Xander gets a job as bartender and looks forward to acting as TheConfidant to pretty girls, only to get run off his feet and insulted by arrogant frat boys. When one pretty girl does look ready to pour out her troubles, Xander brushes her off because he's too busy worrying about Buffy getting plastered with those same frat boys. He ends up quitting his job in a huff just because the owner brewed up some cursed beer that turned those drinking it into Neanderthals. Some people just can't be satisfied.
* ''{{Cheers}}'': Sam Malone not only tended the bar, he owned it. At least for a while. Both Woody Boyd and Ernie "Coach" Pantusso worked as bartenders at the Cheers bar as well.
* ''{{Series/Deadwood}}'': Al Swearengen tended the bar, when he wasn't being the town's crimelord.
* ''Series/{{Eastenders}}'': Has The Queen Vic(toria) pub, which is basically the centre of Albert Square. If you run it, you're in charge of the square. Usually, bad things happen to you, too. Several characters fight for the title King/Queen of the Vic.
* ''Series/LifeOnMars2006'': Nelson is an oracle nonpareil who may just be the protagonist's subconscious. He's also a {{Fauxreigner}} in that he plays up a Jamaican accent so people don't take him too seriously ("Folks just seem happier with the other Nelson"). He turns up again in the very last episode of ''AshesToAshes'', which reveals (MAJOR spoilers): [[spoiler: that he's more or less the British coppers' equivalent of ''St Peter.'']]
* ''TheLoveBoat'': Isaac "your bartender". Always willing to lend an ear.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': In the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E1Pilot pilot episode]], Miles Matheson, at first, until Charlie Matheson came looking for him.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Quark.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Guinan, source of the above quote.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': In the original pilot "The Cage," the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Boyce, has a drink kit to use when he wants to get a patient of his to open up. As he says "Sometimes a man will tell his bartender things he'd never tell his doctor."
* Boaby the Barman at the Clansman in ''Series/StillGame''. It's not clear if his surly attitude is the cause or result of the constant abuse he gets from the clientele.
* One sketch in ''ABitOfFryAndLaurie'' involves a bartender that manages to simultaneously offer his customer advice and bar snacks through a HurricaneOfEuphemisms.
--> '''Laurie:''' ''"Let's face it we haven't slept together for years. The best she can hope for is a bit of-"''
--> '''Fry:''' ''"Savoury finger?"''
--> '''Laurie:''' ''"And naturally, she won't give me so much as a-"''
--> '''Fry:''' ''"Good juicy tongue in the back passage!"''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/TobyKeith's song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGXmf8VV5qI Hope on the Rocks]]" is from the point of view of a bartender who acts as a confidante for all those who come to drown their sorrows.
* "The Wishing Well" by Trent Willmon is a similar storyline to the above song.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Roleplay ]]

* Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG has this role filled by siblings Bart and Carrie Enderson. Ironically, they're both {{Secret Keeper}}s to two mercenaries that despise each other.
** There was also an [[EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep unnamed]] pirate bartender who appeared in Greybeard's flashback.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Nick, owner of Nick's Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant, and Entertainment Palace in ''The Time of Your Life''.
* ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie'' has Charles F. Maude of Maude's Roadside Retreat, Sweet Apple, Ohio.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The bartenders in the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' games are usually of the rough, shady, and not very friendly variety. Probably a member of the ThievesGuild.
** Pretty much a given, since the ThievesGuild is ''under'' the bar in game 1, in game 2 the bartender is a minion of the most prominent criminal in a corrupt city, and in game 5 the entire bar is owned by that same person; there aren't any taverns in games 3 and 4.
* Telma in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', to ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask's'' Mr. Barten, the keeper of the Milk Bar in Termina.
* A Turian bartender in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'''s Dark Star lounge [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the advice-giving portion of the Bartender trope; if Shepard attempts to milk him for gossip, he suggests you ask around before commenting that he doesn't get "why humans always ask him that."
** Another lampshade is hung by Aethyta, the Asari bartender on Ilium, who turns out to be a Matriarch. When the character asks what she's doing tending bars, when Matriarchs are supposed to be councilors and figures of wisdom, her reply is, basically, "that's why Matriarchs make the perfect bartender."
*** The third game reveals that [[spoiler: she's Liara's father (no, not her "other mother", her father) and was keeping an eye on Liara's intel-broker activities for the other matriarchs. She moves to a bar on the Citadel once the Reaper war starts.]]
** In [[WretchedHive Omega]], a Batarian bartender tries to poison Shepard, but since this is [[{{Badass}} Shepard]], he fails. Shepard then has the option to return to either force the bartender to drink his own poison (Renegade), get a paranoid Turian to shoot him (Paragon) or tell him to scram (also Paragon). He's promptly replaced by a salarian.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tapper}}''
* The elderly and professional George Watstatt from ''VideoGame/RealityOnTheNorm'', sometimes replaced by the young and eager Dave Nihilist.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in [[http://everblue-comic.com/2010/12/13/page-17-3/ Everblue]].
* In Webcomic/TheBugPond, a bug named Raspberry runs a juice bar where Flash goes to express his woes.
* Crystal of Webcomic/SluggyFreelance hosts the bizarre cast of the comic in her bar, always ready to comfort them with a smile and a free drink she mixed herself. [[LethalChef For your own safety, do NOT try her experimental cocktails.]]
* Darin of ''WapsiSquare'' is the wise, almost fatherly variety. [[http://wapsisquare.com/comic/09262001/ Here]] is his introduction.
* Bacchus, the protagonist of Webcomic/NectarOfTheGods, is this kind of character, who tends to the bar giving characters advice and serves them a [[ImpossiblyDeliciousFood perfect cocktail]] to soothe their troubles, and practically every other character in the comic is a bartender as well.
* Kendrion from ''Webcomic/EvenInArcadia'' spends time [[http://epidigm.net/arcadia/2011/05/17/the-sojourner-page-15/ pouring his rejected heart out]] to a barmaid who ends up [[http://epidigm.net/arcadia/2011/05/31/the-sojourner-page-17/ giving him advice.]]
* Eric Patterson, from ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure''.
* In ''Webcomic/FarOut'', [[http://kimiq.com/farout/en/2013/04/03/farout-page-28/ one appears behind the bar as the character walks in.]]
* ''Webcomic/InhumanRelations'': Slavko the bartender is always ready to dispense wisdom to his patrons. [[http://inhumanrelations.com/comic/understanding-women/ And someday, he just might have some wisdom to dispense.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Dominic of ''WebVideo/VideoGameConfessions'' is this. It's not easy for him, because the bar in question is mostly visited by troubled Video Game Characters.
* Bora from Literature/DragomirsDiary.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Moe Szyslak from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', voiced by Creator/HankAzaria.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has a robot named iZak work as a bartender at times, parodying Isaac from ''The Love Boat'' (see Live Action TV).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Bravestarr}}'', Handlebar was the resident bartender in New Texas. He fought more than he listened, though.
* Horace, from ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', who is the proprietor of the Drunken Clam in Quahog.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'': The Brain works part-time at his parents' ice cream shop, filling this role in later seasons.
----