Lily: I need a drink.
Olive: You're holding a drink.
Lily: [dumps out drink] I need a stronger one.The Lady Drunk is that female Stock Character who's an alcoholic, older woman (in her 40s to her 60s or so, and sometimes younger if the drinking takes enough of a toll on her appearance) and usually has either a bitter, misanthropic personality or is the all-too-grown-up version of the Hard-Drinking Party Girl. She tends to have a certain amount of class or status, having likely started out as an upper-crust Grande Dame. Often drinks from a martini glass and may be used as a stock member of a Big, Screwed-Up Family. In her day, she was probably quite attractive and rather promiscuous. The character type may have originated with the idea that once the lady who Really Gets Around loses her looks, she starts drinking as compensation. Not to be confused with a girl drink drunk.
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Anime and Manga
- Sayoko from Ah! My Goddess is much too bitter to be a Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
- Rika Furude from Higurashi: When They Cry definitely counts. This is horribly Squickish being that she's a prepubescent child. Sort of.
- Eva Heinemann from Monster is a bitter, middle-aged drunk who has become embittered with life after her break-up with Tenma. She's been married and divorced three times, and would sleep with anyone willing, mostly to spite her former fiancee.
- Sumeragi Lee Noriega from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 is a genius tactician whose mistake led to many deaths years ago and she still can't get over it, drowning her sorrows in wine.
- Tsunade from Naruto. The first time we meet her she spends her time in and out of casinos and bars, but even as Hokage she likes her sake.
- Kokoro from One Piece. She practically speaks like she's drunk even when she's sober. She probably started drinking, because Tom (her boss) was imprisoned and died in jail and Franky/Cutty Flam, her quasi-adoptive son, was seemingly killed when he tried to stop the sea-train, that was transporting Tom to jail.
- Reiko from Sensual Phrase. Who pretty much drank herself to death, leaving her son Sakuya in the care of her old boss.
- Margery Daw from Shakugan no Shana is definitely one. When she's not helping fight the Monster of the Week, she's passed out drunk on the couch or fighting the Monster of the Week while drunk.
- Kurokawa-sensei from Strawberry 100%, Manaka's math teacher and advisor to the Film Club. Beautiful, busty, and a frequent drinker.
- In Walkin' Butterfly, Michiko's agent Ryo Tago is a former model and an alcoholic in her 40s.
- Applejack in the "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" fanfic Shadow Snark
Shadow Snark: I've seen you two times, both times you were completely smashed.
- Star Sparkle in Divided Rainbow.
- Ruby Punch in just about every "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic" fanfic. This is a takeoff of how she was supposed to be a playful drunk in the canon, but the censors wouldn't allow it.
- We have Yukari from Gensokyo 20XXV, who, according to chapter 59, seems to be drinker, albeit moderately or as close to moderately as it can get, seeing as she takes a few sleeping pills with two shots of liquor, usually before bed. This even earned her a nickname, "Three Shots and Sleeping Pills".
- Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate. Middle-aged mother, bitter about her failed life and unhappy marriage and disappointments.
- Lorraine McFly in the first two Back to the Future films:
- In Part I, during the original timeline (before Marty ever goes back to 1955). Alcohol seems to be her way of coping with her disappointing lower-class life with a failure of a husband, even if she does love him.
- In Part II, during the 1985-A scenes (where she's married to Biff-A). Alcohol seems to be her way of coping with the horror of being married to Biff.
- In a bit of Fridge Brilliance, she's shown sneaking a drink on prom night in 1955.
- Elinore Schwab in O.C. and Stiggs is a comic exaggeration of this and pretty much every other drunk trope, hiding her booze all over the house and taking Quick Nips from, among other things, a set of dummy binoculars.
- Mrs. Dennit in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Constantly drunk, hates her prick of a husband, embarrasses him in the luxury box at the race track.
- Helen from The Blue Dahlia is an angry, bitter drunk. She reveals to Johnny that their dead son didn't die from diptheria, like she said—the boy died when Helen crashed the car while driving drunk.
- Mrs. Kebabian in America America. Former Trophy Wife now trapped in a loveless marriage to a businessman who married her when she was eighteen. Routinely gets drunk in the daytime—her maid cuts her off at one point, and her husband notes an empty wine bottle in the room. Falls in lust with Stavros, tells him through drunken tears about how she wasted the best years of her life in her marriage and now mourns her lost youth. Eventually gives Stavros $50 (not a bad stake in 1890s America) to help him get settled.
- Mrs. Oates, the household cook in The Spiral Staircase. She's quite upset when her husband takes away the brandy, and then later deliberately drops a candle in the basement so Albert won't see her steal another bottle of brandy. When Helen needs help at the climax, as she is being hunted by a Serial Killer, Mrs. Oates is passed out drunk in the kitchen and Helen can't rouse her.
- Joyce in Dangerous. A series of professional and personal disasters have convinced everyone, including Joyce herself, that she is a "jinx", ruining her career as a stage actress. In her first scene she's drunk in a bar, ridiculing poor Don for being a fan of hers back in the day, slurring her way through Romeo and Juliet dialogue until she passes out. The next morning, before breakfast, she's smashing open Don's locked liquor cabinet so she can get more alcohol.
- Winky the house-elf from Harry Potter gets drunk on butterbeer out of depression due to being disowned by her master. (It has no effects on humans but is strong for elves.)
- Professor Trelawney, the Divination teacher, also has a bit of a drinking problem (especially when she's upset), to the point that her profile on Pottermore lists 'sherry' as one of her hobbies.
- Nanny Ogg is very fond of a drink, and another drink, and a third (make it a double, please). She's generally a very cheerful person, but otherwise fits.
- In the Art of Discworld, Pratchett mentions that they actually do still turn out Nanny Oggs in Britain. You can generally find them enjoying a pint of the local bitter and having a good time all 'round.
- Madame Sharn, the dwarfish fashion designer from Unseen Academicals has some elements of this character type.
- A certain noblewoman in The Malloreon by David Eddings is described as a 'lush'. She lives in the deep country and has nothing else to do but drink. Beldin, an otherwise irascible person, treats her with uncharacteristic sympathy. The epilogue reveals that Beldin talked Zakath into setting her up in the Mallorean capital... and ordering her jackass husband to stay the hell away on threat of his life. She's described as causing minor scandal, but being much happier.
- In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe Alternate Reality Episode The Blue Angel, the Doctor's Beloved Smother is one of these, and refuses to believe that he never drinks... while discussing his psychiatric medications with him. (Antipsychotics are a very good reason not to drink, if you'd rather not die.) She's also a mermaid, and has apparently found some way around the Mermaid Problem.
- Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind starts drinking surreptitiously after living through the Civil War.
- Madelene Burden in The Woman And The Ape is a pretty severe example. She is a society wife with virtually nothing to do, who takes a test-tube of medical spirits with her whenever she leaves the house. About halfway through the book, she has a Heroic B.S.O.D. and decides to give up drinking, which she carries through with no apparent ill effects.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Cersei has a flagon of wine often at hand after the deaths of Joffrey and Tywin.
- Dolly Pickles from Cloudstreet is drunk when she's introduced. She's such an alcoholic that when she tries to quit, she gets a blinding headache and breaks her leg falling down the stairs trying to get to the kitchen(/alcohol cupboard).
- Simona Ahrnstedt gives us Nora Gripklo in her novel "De skandalösa", who hardly is old, but otherwise fits this trope. She has turned to alcohol after her husband died prematurely.
- Maik's mother in Why We Took The Car has a drinking problem.
- In The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Doña Maria is a lonely old widow with a My Beloved Smother relationship with her daughter Clara. After Clara leaves her, sailing off to Spain with her new husband, Doña Maria is broken-hearted. She starts drinking constantly. She makes a habit of drying up for a week ino order to prepare herself to write the monthly letter to her daughter, then drinks herself into oblivion for three weeks after the letter is sent.
- Toras Redone, from the Kharkanas Trilogy. Though she a commander in the Hust Legion, she is also a married woman from the nobility, and used to be very beautiful. Kellaras notes how she still is beautiful, but in a dissolute way, due to the amount of alcohol she consumes.
Live Action TV
- Dr. Mary Albright of 3rd Rock from the Sun has some elements of this. Her mother, played by Elaine Stritch (in a neat little Casting Gag: see Theatre below), is a bit closer to the "true" version.
- In the episode "Dick'll Take Manhattan", the Solomons visit an alternate dimension where Mary is a lonely, burnt out lounge singer and fits this trope like a glove.
- Lucille Bluth of Arrested Development.
Lucille: Get me a vodka rocks.Michael: Mom, it's breakfast.Lucille: And a piece of toast.
- Lindsay, a former Hard-Drinking Party Girl, has occasional shades of this, usually when going on lunch or dinner dates with her mother (and with Lucille's constant sniping usually being the thing that drives her to drink).
- Lindsay is convinced vodka can go bad like milk because apparently that's how Lucille explained her drinking to her when she was a child.
- Ellen Tigh from Battlestar Galactica. Alcoholic, promiscuous, encourages her husband's alcoholism, collaborates with the Cylons, is one herself...
- Game of Thrones: Cersei Lannister's trusty goblet is never far from her hand.
- Nina from Just Shoot Me!. Not cynical or bitter, but very, very pas their prime.
- Meredith Palmer from The Office (US version) is essentially a working class variant on this. Michael tried to put her in rehab, and she said no no no!
- Marsha, the landlady from Spaced, is a former groupie who now spends her time drinking wine and arguing with her daughter.
- Karen Walker from Will & Grace. Depending on if she's drunk or on pills, she can be this or happy-go-lucky.
- The mum from Absolutely Fabulous, though if you think she's bad, her best friend tops this by being worse than her.
- Olivia in Sunset Beach was a former trophy wife turned alcoholic. Her husband berated her daily about it, but never took any steps to alleviate the pain she assuaged with vodka.
- Sam's mom in Without a Trace, although she's more of a party girl who never grew up, much to her daughters' detriment.
- Sue Ellen Ewing of Dallas, who seems to be trying to bring on a case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with how soused she gets while pregnant.
- Adelle DeWitt of Dollhouse fits this pretty well, though on the younger side and provoked by the pressures of a wavering moral compass.
- All the women in Cougartown like to drink, but Barb is the closest to this trope, with Jules a close second.
- Brandy of Noah's Arc is a bit younger than the typical Lady Drunk, but still fits the trope otherwise (her position of power somewhat puts her in an "older" role). Her jaded and sarcastic personality also fits the trope.
- Kay Chancellor of The Young and the Restless is portrayed as the show's grand dame, admired and respected by most of the show's other characters, but also a recovering alcoholic, who's committed some heinous acts while drunk, including killing her second husband.
- Jordan and her friends on Scrubs, this is made especially obvious after Jordan's brother Ben dies. One of them even specifies that she gets the shakes if she goes too long without getting laid or having a drink.
- Lady Patience Hardacre in Brass (a comedy version, but both very drunk and still capable of getting men into bed when she tries).
- JAG: In the episode "War Cries", Ambassador Bartlett discusses Embassy security and the implications of a recent shooting incident (a Marine sentry shot and killed a young boy that was climbing the Embassy walls, who he claims shot at him first) while drinking Scotch.
- Joan Callamezzo from Parks and Recreation. She once had an interview planned with Ron, coming in extremely hungover from a week-long booze cruise, stating that "the show will go on." She started the show by declaring "the show will not go on", and collapsing- leaving Ron to take viewer's calls. She also underwent Sanity Slippage in the final season during a three-year Time Skip.
- Good Girls Revolt has Bea, who likes her bourbon (and her martinis). When she has a glass with Wick and Finn, they are visibly impressed that she drains it in two gulps while they take smaller sips.
- Sweet Saraya acted like violent lunatic her entire SHIMMER run until she went out with Mayumi Ozaki for a drink. It was further establised after SoCal Val's hostile takeover of Valkyrie in SHINE. Sweet Saraya, being the "unofficial" hit woman of the group, announced she was using her new "raise" to get pissed to the point and proceeded to become so indulged in drinking she neglected her thrawl, Su Yung.
- The Women has the Countess de Lage, who tends to get wistful about "l'amour" over drinks after having divorced four husbands. "Get me a bromide — and put some gin in it!"
- Joanne (originally played by Elaine Stritch) from Company, especially in her song "The Ladies Who Lunch."
Joanne: What was that clock chime?Larry: Five-o'-clock.Joanne: Thank God, cocktail hour!
- The title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She even gets a rousing Diva Song about alcoholism, "As We Stumble Along."
- Madame Dilly in On the Town is a cynical old harridan who can't give a singing lesson without a bottle of whiskey to take a Quick Nip from.
- Mary's mother in Vanities, whose funeral at the end of the musical brings the three friends back together. Also, Joanne in the third act, where her hatred towards Mary surfaces during a champagne binge.
- Marthy from Anna Christie is an alcoholic in late middle age, sad and bitter, with a "thick red nose" and "bloodshot blue eyes". But she rises to the occasion when her companion Chris's long-lost daughter Anna shows up at the bar.
- State of the Union has the Sazerac-swilling Mrs. Alexander. It's specified in the Drink Order that, except for her, nobody is supposed to have too much to drink, but Hilarity Ensues when Mary decides to have some of what she's having. She's more convivial than most examples of this, however.
- The Ladies of the Corridor by Dorothy Parker and Arnaud d'Usseau has Mildred Tynan, who started drinking heavily when she found out her husband was cheating on her. Now a divorcée somewhere in her mid-thirties, she's rarely seen in a good mood without a bottle of whisky. In her highest drunken spirits, she's fond of singing "Anchors Aweigh" off-key and loud enough to disturb the neighbors. She has a long Mirror Monologue in which she talks to her image about how "we used to look nice and we used to be nice."
- Eleanor Silverberg from Suikoden IV fits this trope very well. She comes from the famous Silverberg family of strategists, but is an older woman who lives (mostly) alone on an island where she sits and drinks all day. As an added bonus, she also drugs visitors.
- Hera in God of War III, though it's implied something has been driving her to drink rather it being her normal personality. By the time Kratos makes it up Mount Olympus, she's probably pretty grateful that she's already drunk.
- The first thing Bad Girl does in No More Heroes? Kill a cloned gimp with a baseball bat. The second thing? Open her fridge, revealing it's full of beer, and drain a can in about four seconds. She's only in her early twenties, but her choice of occupation has completely numbed her.
Bad Girl: So fuckin' thirsty. *chug chug belch* Damn that's smooth. Wanna drink?
Travis: Thanks, I'll pass.
- Touhou's oni characters both qualify, true to their mythological sources. Suika Ibuki is a Pintsized Powerhouse physically, but is much older than she looks and can be harshly critical of others. She owns a magical sake gourd which never runs out of booze, and thus has never been seen sober. Yuugi Hoshiguma is a Statuesque Stunner who looks and acts more lady-like but has a similar love of drink. Her treasured artifact is a sake dish that improves the quality of any liquor poured into it; like Suika she carries this into battle with the protagonist, and famously doesn't spill one drop. The tengu are also noted drinkers, though not quite as much as the oni. Aside from them, pretty much all of Gensokyo is noted to be really fond of hitting the sauce now and then, with the occasional exception of Sanae Kochiya.
- The Splicer known as Rosebud from BioShock has a drunken slur on her words. Apparently, when her daughter was taken to be made into a Little Sister, she hit the bottle hard.
- Wang Yi in the Dynasty Warriors series has exactly two things on her mind: Revenge against Ma Chao, and getting very, very hammered. Not always in that order.
- Fallout: New Vegas potential companion Rose of Sharon Cassidy, who goes by Cass, is a trader encountered drowning her sorrows after her caravan was massacred. She's pushing forty, is strongly moral but slightly cynical, and traveling with her grants you the Whiskey Rose perk. She can also teach you how to make moonshine out of maize, mutfruit, yeast and a fission battery if you're really thirsty.
- Edison Lighthouse, one of the main characters in Groovy, Kinda is rarely without a drink in hand. She gets drunk every night, and cheerfully confesses that she's never sober enough for a hangover. She does vow that, now she has a boyfriend, she'll stop getting drunk every night in bars and going home with strangers here: Vow and Then.
- Dr. Narbon (Senior) from Narbonic might qualify - you'd need a nuclear explosion to part her from her boxed wine. And even that might not work.
- Mother Greensworthington from Sore Thumbs is a high-society twit who is never seen without a martini glass in hand.
- Ms. Lalonde from the MS Paint Adventure Homestuck, as well as her post-Scratch counterpart Roxy.
- Diva's mom in Evil Diva. Though we never see her drunk, and it's played for laughs mostly.
Mrs. Beelze: Do you really need to hear anything more, your honor? It's nearly noon and I could use a martini.Virgil: Mrs. Beelze, you've had one in your hand the entire time.Mrs. Beelze: It's warm. Move to dismiss.
- May from Wapsi Square is what you get when you combine this trope with Mad Scientist. In fact, the reason the indestructible golems of the setting can get drunk is that she didn't want to have to lay off the drinks after she made herself into one. Currently she acts as like a slightly crazy aunt, with a margarita always in hand.
- Mrs. Pompoms from El Goonish Shive was first seen with a glass in hand and has a very misanthropic attitude.
- Madame Mim from Penny Blackfeather is a world-weary, living-in-the-past hedgewitch who strolls through the town with a large bottle of gin.
- The Nostalgia Chick is a twenty seven year old Psychopathic Womanchild, but her alcoholic bitterness still fits this trope.
- Rebecca Stone from Demo Reel is even younger (23), but can make Irishmen her bitches in drinking contests.
- Ella Morton (formerly of Rocketboom) in The Elegant Guide to Drinking
- Mrs. Van Buren from The Most Popular Girls in School, so much. Here's proof from Episode 24:
Doctor: First of all, unless you gave birth to a hammerhead shark, you did not have a 16 month pregnancy. Second, Mrs. Van Buren, how much exactly do you drink?Jayna: Well, not much. I mean, I'll have a glass and a half of wine at lunch. Then, nothing like an ice cold zima when the sun's setting. Zinfandel spritzers while I'm cooking dinner for the girls. Red, not white. Several gin and tonics with my evening meal, which take me straight into dessert and some delicious cherry wine. Then I'll curl up with the latest issue of O Magazine and half a bottle of scotch. Then, a quick shot of whiskey before bed so my dreams are peculiar and nice. Come morning, I can hardly get out of bed without a spicy Bloody Mary—Can you blame me, señor, I like the bite, cha cha! Then a couple of wine coolers, two, three, in the mid-morning for energy, zappo! And what do you know we're back at lunch, and it means wine time in my book.Doctor: Good god. In my professional opinion, I would have to say that the growth which you believed to be a two-year-old child growing in your belly, who by the way would be able to talk by now, is nothing more than a tremendous amount of fat.
- In RWBY, this is heavily implied to be the case for Weiss Schnee's mother; when Weiss returns home from Beacon Academy and asks as to her whereabouts, her brother Whitley offhandedly says that she's "drinking in the garden". Given the fact that the woman's married to the likes of Jaques Schnee, you can't entirely blame her.
- Snot's mom from American Dad!.
- Mallory from Archer.
- Debatably, Linda Belcher from Bob's Burgers, with her love of wine, and her often drunken demeanor.
- Cleo's mom from Clone High fits this to a tee. She seems to have been quite the looker when she was young but turned to alcohol when men started losing interest in her as she grew older. She is now dating a blind man and appears drunk in every scene she's in. She also seems to be slightly envious of her adoptive daughter.
- Her name is, literally, Cleo's Drunk Foster Mom.
- Helga's mother Miriam in Hey Arnold! is all but stated as this.
- Beth of Rick and Morty is shown to be frequently slosh down boxes of wine and one of her daughter's memories is her piss drunk in her bed, accidentally hitting her with a wine bottle. Being that her father is an alcoholic is certainly a factor.
- Stacy Lovell, the creator of the Malibu Stacy dolls in The Simpsons.
Lisa: I'm sure we can think of something together. Come on!Stacy: Not now, I'm... too drunk.Lisa: No you're not!Stacy: (sips slowly from a martini glass, stares into space and sighs)Lisa: Uh... I'll come back tomorrow.
- Edna Krabappel. "Dinner for one, wine for three…"
- Also, Dr. Hibbert's wife passes out upon hearing that Springfield is to enact a ban on alcohol.
- The Queen Mum, although she was rather mild about it; she had the typical drinking schedule of an early-to-mid-20th-century British aristocrat, which meant at least ten drinks a day—but spaced out over anywhere from eight to twelve hours starting at about noon and ending between 8:00 and midnight (although to be fair in the other direction, one of those drinks was a martini, drunk with her port at six, and reportedly a rather stiff one at that). This drinking schedule was abandoned even by most of the aristocracy by the end of her life (she died in 2002), so it seemed rather more excessive than it was. She nevertheless found the characterization amusing, and played off on it frequently; nervous host once blurted out, "I hear you like gin." With perfect poise, she responded, "I hadn't realized I enjoyed that reputation. But if you'd be so kind, make it a double." And when questioned on the fate of a nebuchadnezzar (20 bottles' worth!) of champagne she'd been given: "Oh, I expect I'll just polish it off myself."
The Queen Mother did live and remain fairly active to age 101, despite or even because of her drinking.