Alcoholic Parent

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"Don't you know you've got your daddy's eyes? Daddy was an alcoholic."
Alcoholic, Starsailor

The Alcoholic with children. When it's the mother, it's usually Lady Drunk. When it's the father, it's usually Abusive Parents, although there's a fair number of abusive alcoholic mothers in fiction as well (including a number of abusive alcoholic Lady Drunk mothers, particularly when a wealthy or upper-crust character needs a Freudian Excuse). Unfortunately also Truth in Television. Compare the Addled Addict, who may or may not have children.


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Dramatic Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ran Mouri's Bumbling Dad Kogoro in Detective Conan fits in both sides of the spectre. On the "Dramatic" hand he does have a good perception in solving cases at times, but most of the time, he just wastes time drinking, and at least once he's been straight-up drinking his sorrows away. He still loves Ran and cares for Conan in his own way, though.
  • Arisa Uotani's father in Fruits Basket is assumed to be an alcoholic.
  • Shinichi's father in Kore Wa Koi No Hanashi, who held down a hard-working job, but drank a lot and was also verbally and physically violent towards his wife. Though whether he ever harmed Shinichi is never mentioned.
  • Tomoya's father in CLANNAD, straight up out of sorrow. He gets better.
  • Aiko "Anko" Tokosumi's mother in Bokurano. Specially when her husband is caught cheating on her and, since he's a popular Intrepid Reporter, it becomes a very public affair.
  • Jounounchi's father in Yu-Gi-Oh!; we never see him in person, but there's a pile of bottles outside his door and his only interaction with his son is drunken ranting.
  • Kevin Smith's father, George in The Prince of Tennis
  • Miyata's father in Hajime no Ippo was this after losing his boxing career, which causes his wife to divorce him. He gets better when he sees his son has inherited his talent and decides to help him, becoming both his coach and a good single father.
  • Sakuya Ookuchi's mother Reiko in Sensual Phrase. She actually drank herself to death.
  • Junko Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. Episode 3 has her arriving home late and so sloshed that her husband and kids have to tuck her into bed, but otherwise she's a pretty normal person.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula ZERO, Henri Claytor's unnamed father picked up the drinking habit after Hayato won first championship and being the youngest CF champion instead of his son. This was also Henri's Start of Darkness, and the seeds of his hatred for Hayato were planted from there.
  • Yuri's father, Mr. Legend in Tiger & Bunny. He was not a good parent when drunk.
  • Taro Misaki's father Ichiro in Captain Tsubasa was this in the past. While not a bad person, it still caused friction in Taro's family and led his wife to divorce him.
  • Christina Gabriel in Heat Guy J.
  • Oskar von Reuenthal's verbally abusive father in Legend of Galactic Heroes.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Dio Brando's abusive, alcoholic father was the reason why Dio lived most of his young life in poverty (Even by 19th century England's standards,) which in turn drove him to do whatever it took to gain wealth and power.

    Comic Books 
  • Jonah Hex's father, Woodson Hex.
  • Captain America's father was an alcoholic but Steve still loved him.
  • Iron Man might have gotten his alcoholism from his father, and the second movie made sure to include a scene of Howard drinking while shooting a film clip. Though Howard apparently isn't Tony's biological father. It's still possible that he inherited alcoholism from one of his biological parents.
  • The current Nova, Sam Alexander, had a father who was an alcoholic that may stem from his flashbacks during his time as a Nova. In spite of this flaw, he was shown to be a Good Parent and good husband the point where Eva even implied that he is experiencing a "rough" time. Though he became sober after staging a Slave Revolt against the Chitauris
  • Cassandra Cain's father David is an alcoholic, though it's unclear if he was always one, or if he started Drowning His Sorrows after she ran away from him.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Isabella, Luso's and Frimelda's mother in The Tainted Grimoire, is this to the point of Parental Neglect.
  • Severus Snape's father is usually portrayed as this (along with being Abusive Parents) in Harry Potter fanfics.
  • Old West: James Douglas, father of Rattlesnake Jake, was both this and a Domestic Abuser. Little Jake was forced to witness every night the beatings his mother Selena received from James, with the final night resulting in Selena's death and the beginning of Jake's life as an outlaw.
  • Gaara's father is often portrayed as an abusive, raging drunk in fanfics, but there's no evidence from canon that he is or is not an alcoholic.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Thalia's mother.
  • Huckleberry Finn's "Pap".
  • Bob Ewell, in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Johnny Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
  • Jay-Jay's foster mother in The Prince of Central Park.
  • Jack Torrance in Stephen King's The Shining had an alcoholic father and himself was one.
  • Both of Christopher Hitchcock's parents in Everworld.
  • Peter's father in Rivers of London is a pretty serious drug addict, he isn't a bad father though just relatively ineffectual (that Peter's mother is a serious Apron Matron probably meant she picked up the parenting slack pretty effortlessly though).
  • Catherine's and Heathcliff's foster father in Wuthering Heights.
  • In Bryan Miranda's The Journey to Atlantis, the father of Stacie.
  • The father in Angela's Ashes. He holds down a job for maybe a day when he can find work, and will drink off what he earns rather then bringing it home.
  • Nan's mother in The Wizard of London spends most of what she earns (or Nan gets by begging) on gin.
  • Maik's mother in Why We Took The Car. However, she is aware of her problem and a loving mother nonetheless, different from her husband.
  • The Rat's father in The Lost Prince is a drunkard and given to beating his son.
  • Opal's mother in Because of Winn-Dixie.
  • Downplayed but still played straight with Gloria Blundell in the Rosamunde Pilcher novel Winter Solstice. She's "never incapable, never hungover" as her husband Oscar puts it, but she gets through a lot of liquor. It's strongly implied that her drinking contributed to the car accident that got herself and her daughter killed.
  • Julian in The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah). His experiences in The Battle of The Somme inflicted serious psychological harm, and he is never seen without his brandy. However, his Parental Abandonment prevents the full effect of this trope from being felt by his daughters.
  • In Berättelse om herr Roos, Anna's father died from drinking, and her mother has become an alcoholic too.
  • Cal's and Niko's mother from the Cal Leandros series was an alcoholic. Sophia Leandros would go as far as throwing empty bottles at Cal when he was a kid and ranting at him about how much of a monster he is, even though it was her who sold her... reproductive ability to an Auphe for a pot of gold, which she quickly spent on more alcohol. At least on one occasion she also stole Niko's college money. While she burned to death prior to the first book in the series, the experience of growing up with Sophia as a mother teaches even resident bad boy Cal to never drink more than one beer as he believes to have inherited his mother's penchant for alcoholism.
  • Kate Shugak's parents were (mostly) functional alcoholics who died when Kate was quite young, leaving her to be raised by relatives. Her mother's death is the reason that Kate does not drink, and why she hates bootleggers so much.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Jack Shepard's father Christian on Lost.
    • Workman Roger Linus, father of Benjamin Linus.
  • Sue Ellen in Dallas
  • Allegedly, Jeff Winger's father on Community, doubling as an abusive parent.
  • Tara's single mother in True Blood.
  • John Winchester in Supernatural. You never actually see him drinking, but it's mentioned many times.
    Sam: So he’s working over-time on a “Miller Time” shift; he’ll stumble back in sooner or later.
    Sam: You don't want to see him [John] when he's drinking.
    Sam: Yeah, he’s just deer hunting up at the cabin and he’s probably got Jim, Jack, and Jose along with him. We’re just gonna go bring him back.
  • Xander's parents (and entire family, really) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Played both for laughs and drama.
    • Also, Faith's mother.
  • Leo on The West Wing had an alcoholic father who committed suicide when Leo was a kid. Leo grew up to be an alcoholic and drug-addicted parent himself (though with a good relationship with his daughter, who only says how proud she is when he confesses to it in a press conference). He got better.
  • Olivia Benson's mother on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was Flanderized from a single mom with an implied drinking problem to a violent, non-functional drunk. It likely has some background to it - Olivia was born as the result of rape.
  • Shawn's father from Boy Meets World was a recovered alcoholic.
  • CSI has an episode where the team searches for a missing teenage girl who has an alcoholic father, implied to be physically abusive. When the team questions him, he basically states that he couldn't care less where her daughter is at, and seems happy at the thought she skipped town.
  • Megan and Lily's father in Privileged. Though he's recovered when we first see him, he relapses when Shelby abandons them a second time
  • Meredith & Lexie's father in Grey's Anatomy, to the point where eventually he needs a liver transplant from Meredith to survive.
  • Lianne Mars, mother of the titular character in Veronica Mars. Which is why she is Put on a Bus by Veronica, after failing to complete rehab.
  • Robert Chase's mother on House; his father then pulled a Disappeared Dad when Robert was 15, leaving Chase alone for 5 years to watch as his mother slowly drank herself to death.
  • Kelly's mother on Beverly Hills 90210, although she got better.
  • JAG: Bud Robert’s father. Mac’s late father was this also.
  • Carolanne Adama from Battlestar Galactica (2003) is implied very strongly to have been this.
  • On Castle, Beckett's father fell into alcoholism after his wife's murder, but recovered thanks to his daughter.
  • Ray Vecchio on Due South. He brought it into the open during 'North' when he got in an argument with his dad's ghost.
  • Pretty much spelled out when Nadia makes Drunken Peaches on Bitchin' Kitchen:
    Nadia: My dad used to make this recipe all the time, but instead of port, he'd use homemade wine! ...and there were no peaches. [beat] *quietly bites into a peach*
  • Degrassi has Ellie's mom who passed out once and almost burned down their house because she left the stove on. This causes Ellie to temporarily move in with her boyfriend Shawn.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", the prostitute reveals how her late father turned to drinking to drown his sorrows from living in poverty due to his incestuous relation with his sister.
  • On The 100, both Raven and Murphy had alcoholic mothers. Raven suspects her mom had her just so she could trade Raven's food rations for liquor. Murphy's mother drank herself to death, and died blaming him for his father's death.
  • In Flesh and Bone Claire and Bryan's father is a vicious drunk.

    Music 
  • The John Denver song "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)".
  • Billy Currington's "Walk a Little Straighter, Daddy."
  • Weezer's "Say It Ain't So."
  • Demi Lovato's "For The Love of a Daughter".
  • Melanie Martinez's "Dollhouse" and "Sippy Cup" are about a teenage girl whose family is very dysfunctional. Her mother is an alcoholic due to her husbands infidelity.
  • Flyleaf's "Fire Fire" contains the lyrics "You're ashamed of where you're from. 'Crying cause your father's drunk". It's implied to be about an abusive dad who ends up running off by the end of the song.

    Theatre 
  • Vanessa's mother in In the Heights, who drinks away Vanessa's wages that were to be spent on their electricity bill.

    Video Games 
  • Ethel Prune, Lillian's mother, in the first Laura Bow game. It's somewhat played for laughs, although we are shown the damaging effect it has on her daughter and the way the family ostracizes them both because of it.
  • Junpei's father in Persona 3. In The Answer, one flashback shows Junpei at Paulownia Mall, having fled his father's drunken ravings, wondering how pathetic you have to be to get hammered on cooking wine.
  • Jecht toward Tidus in Final Fantasy X, though Jecht being neglectful and absent are the bigger issues between the two of them. It takes an incident involving him attacking a shoopuf to get him to quit cold turkey.
  • The protagonist's mother in Among the Sleep has a drinking problem and the monster of the game represents her drunken, abusive side.
  • Bad Day on the Midway:
    • Dixie's father was drunk and depressed, though he never was abusive towards her and instead treated her as a regular parent would.
    • Lottie's mother started drinking when her husband left one day. This led to the two being caught in a car accident, her mother dead and Lottie without legs.
  • Satoko's adoptive uncle in Higurashi: When They Cry, Teppei, drinks and plays cards with his buddies instead of being a responsible parent. He also makes her buy alcohol and beats her up when drunk. The kicker? She's around nine years old. Unlike other examples on this page, Teppei has no love for Satoko at all, and it's unknown whether her aunt drank any alcohol at all, either.
  • Stardew Valley:
    • Pam's alcoholism-induced neglect drove her husband away and forced her daughter Penny to take on the responsibilities of the household at an early age, turning Penny somewhat resentful.
    • It's bad enough that little Jas lost both her birth parents, but her only remaining legal guardian, Shane, is actively and intentionally drinking himself to death due to chronic depression and a Soul-Sucking Retail Job.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings us Philip Strenger, aka the Bloody Baron, whose missing wife and daughter you must find in the quest Family Matters. It's revealed that he was physically abusive to his wife.
  • Kate's Henpecked Husband of a father in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is a Salary Man who spends much of his free time at the bar.

     Web Original 
  • RWBY:
    • Weiss implies that her mother is alcoholic when she casually mentions her drinking early.
    • Villain Mercury Black similarly implies this about his deceased father, comparing Qrow's smell to "my a dad after a long day".

    Western Animation 
  • Following Moral Orel's Cerebus Syndrome ((See Below)) Clay Puppington's status as this in played for drama, particularly in episodes like "Nature."
  • Conor from Song of the Sea has had this problem ever since his wife, Bronagh, vanished without a trace.
  • One episode of Jem featured a boy being kicked out by his abusive dad. Word of God is that his dad was an alcoholic. They were supposed to reappear in an episode that revealed that, however the script was nixed.

Comedic Examples:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Yusuke's mom Atsuko in YuYu Hakusho is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, and two of the funniest scenes involving her happen when she's drunk.
  • Ryuuji's mom Yasuko in Toradora!. Somewhat more understandable as she actually works as a bar hostess, thus her job includes drinking quite a bit and interacting with drunk people.
  • As said above, Kogoro Mouri of Detective Conan fits in both the Dramatic and Comedic sides of the trope. When the Comedic side is invoked on him, he's seen dancing or sleeping dunkenly with his tie around his forehead and is more of a Butt-Monkey than usual.
  • Hanae Ichinose in Maison Ikkoku is constantly drinking, especially with the neighbors and will start a fan dance while drunk. She has a son named Kentaro who along with Otanashi, feels like the only normal person in the building.
  • Kobayashi from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is an Alcoholic Parental Substitute for Kanna, though she's high-functioning enough that it never causes any problems. It leads to an adorable moment when she comes in for Parents' Day at school and Kanna reads her appreciation letter.
    Kanna: Kobayashi is a nice person who turns into a different person when she's drunk, but she's still a nice person. I love Kobayashi even if she loves maids.

    Fan Works 
  • The background pony "Berry Punch" is treated this way within the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanbase. Fans first noticed her when she pulled her daughter into her house in one episode. This led to her becoming known as "Overprotective Pony Parent", or "OPPP" for short. Not too long afterwards fans noticed her Cutie Mark was a group of berries. It thus became fanon that her special talent was related to wine-brewing, which ultimately caused a lot of jokes about her being a drunkard. The concept of her being an alcoholic has become Ascended Fanon but is censored around sly jokes. Berry Punch is thus written by most fans as a (usually single) mother who drinks a lot. Her mothering skills tend to vary heavily from fan to fan. She can be anything from a responsible and overprotective mother who likes to drink to a barely coherent and neglectful mother who is always drunk.

    Film 
  • The Back to the Future trilogy:
    • Lorraine McFly in the beginning of Back to the Future.
    • It's implied in Back to the Future Part II that she drinks (in the alternate 1985, at least), most likely so she can cope with the fact that she's married to Biff Tannen. Biff even says "Who's gonna pay for your clothes, huh? And your jewelry, and your liquor?" when she threatens to leave him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. Also a Lady Drunk, and (true to form) this gives all her children serious issues that would be horrifying if they weren't the main characters of a sitcom.
  • Eric's Almighty Mom Kitty on That '70s Show. (It was pretty subtle in the beginning, but it reached near lampshade proportions by the end of the series)
  • The Strangers with Candy episode "Dreams on the Rocks" is all about this. Spoof Aesop: "It's better to be a happy, gin-soaked grape than an anguished raisin in the sun." (It Makes Sense in Context. Well, it doesn't, but... you know.)
  • Scrubs:
    • Dr. Cox can be a pretty heavy drinker even after having his son Jack. Cox controls himself at home and is a loving father, but it didn't keep Jack's first full sentence from being "Daddy drinks a lot" (Though in that episode it was played for drama, as the reason who Cox was drinking so heavily was that he had a Heroic B.S.O.D. after having been responsible for the deaths of three patients.) Not that mom-Jordan is exactly a light drinker either mind you.
    • Played for Drama as part of Dr Cox's back story. His father's favorite hobby was to get drunk and beat him and his sister through every room in the house, while his mother did absolutely nothing to stop him. A loving gesture was when he threw an empty bottle at young Perry and deliberately missed.
  • iCarly: Sam's mother is implied to be this, with lines like her being passed out on the couch, and various other subtle indications that she's an alcoholic wreck.
  • Edina Monsoon (in addition to drug use and other dysfunctional habits) in Absolutely Fabulous.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? gives us the "Drunk Mother" Hoedown.
    Chip Esten:
    Well, I knew Colin's mother. Yes, I must tell the truth
    When she was nursing Colin, her milk was 90 proof
    She wanted to kick the habit! She didn't know what to do.
    But if your baby looked like that then you'd be drinkin' too!
  • Way over on the Black Comedy end of the spectrum there's The Kids in the Hall's "Daddy Drank" skit:
    Daddy: All right now, son, I want you to get a good night's rest. And remember, I could murder you while you sleep. It's easy, son, all you have to do is be quiet and willing to do it. And son, I am willing to do it. And, I've got quiet shoes. Good night, son. Sleep well.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Christopher Titus often made jokes about his late father's alcoholism, claiming that in every single photograph he has of his dad has him with a beer in his hand. When he wound up on the local news for being pulled over for drunk driving, Chris and his brother taped it and the family gathers around to watch it on holidays.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck: Mom Lalonde is definitely this, almost never being seen without a martini in hand. Clearly for laughs, though - the worst she does to Rose is offer her a sip of the martini in an act of ironic negligence. Also offering her a beautiful, pink pony. Too bad Rose hates ponies and the color pink.

    Web Originals 
  • One of the many squicky things that Ask That Guy with the Glasses has revealed about his parents is that his hated mother drinks too much. And from what Critic's (now known to be ATG's twin) told us about her, all the more reason to think of her as an Evil Matriarch. Aunt Despair, a character Critic apparently based on his in-universe mother, is an awful parent who has never been shown sober.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's parents were both drinkers, which explains her own alcohol problem better.

    Western Animation 
  • Rick and his daughter Beth in Rick and Morty, though Beth's alcoholism is generally played for drama.
  • Homer Simpson from The Simpsons, to the point that one of the contact numbers at Springfield Elementary is at Moe's Tavern.
  • Drinky Crow in one episode of The Drinky Crow Show, until he gets drunk and makes omelets out of them.
  • Clay Puppington on Moral Orel starts off Played for Laughs. Then we start seeing the effects it has on his family and Orel in particular, and it veers right into Dude, Not Funny!.
  • Pickles Oblong (the mother) on The Oblongs.
  • According to Word of God, Miriam Pataki on Hey Arnold!. The show hints it fairly strongly with her overall lethargic and depressive personality, as well as her allusions to "coffee", "tabasco" and "smoothies." It's also stated in "The Beeper Queen" that she's lost her driver's license, which could be inferred to be due to a DUI violation, something supported by Bob mentioning in another episode that she had to do community service. Had the Spin-Off series The Patakis gotten greenlighted, Mrs. Pataki would have been doing a 12-step recovery program (Alcoholics Anonymous, or something similar).
  • Peter Griffin from Family Guy, who got that from his biological Irish father. It's a great honor in Ireland to be the town drunk.
  • South Park:
    • A possible subversion wit Stan's dad. Randy Marsh likes to drink with friends, but is only seen drunk in a couple episodes. In one episode he gets a DUI, has to attend AA meetings, where instead of taking responsibility and controlling his behavior, he is told he has a "disease." At the end of the episode, he possibly learns discipline and self-control.
    • South Park does play the trope straight with Kenny's parents, though. Whenever Kenny's home life is shown, his parents are almost always drunk and either screaming or hurting each other. It's even revealed that they once joined the Cult of Cthulhu just for the free beer at the meetings, which is implied to be the reason behind Kenny's ability to die over and over again. At one point, they even lose custody of their kids because of their alcoholism.
  • Both of Kevin's parents in Kevin Spencer. His mother even dies of consumption in the final episode.
  • One of the kids at Pokey Oaks in The Powerpuff Girls apparently has one. In "Paste Makes Waste" a children's drawing can be seen at the school featuring an angry man holding a bottle of alcohol with "Daddy" written under it.


Alternative Title(s): Alcoholic Dad, Alcoholic Mom

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AlcoholicParent