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 usually has either a bitter, misanthropic personality or is the all-too-grown-up version of the Hard-Drinking Party Girl. (In the latter case, she is quite likely to turn into a Christmas Cake as well.) Likely having started out as an upper-crust Grande Dame, she tends to drink 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.
open/close all folders
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 slightly younger example.
- 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 One Hundred Percent, 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.
- The mom in Spanking The Monkey.
- The mom in Orange County.
- Lorraine McFly in the first two Back to the Future films:
- 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.
- Carlotta Vance in Dinner at Eight
- The mom in Donnie Darko.
- 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.
- Thea, the title character of Applause.
- The mum in Slap Her, She's French.
- Mrs Dennit in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
- The mom in Blast from the Past.
- Bella, Nancy's long-lost biological mother in Min and Bill, is a particuarly mean, hateful example of this trope.
- 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.
- Winky the house-elf from Harry Potter gets drunk on butterbeer out of depression of being disowned by her master. (It has no effects on humans but is strong on 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 BSOD 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.
Live Action TV
- Kitty Forman of That '70s Show fits part of this trope.
- Dr. Mary Albright of 3rd Rock from the Sun has some elements of this. Her mother, played by Elaine Stritch, 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...
- Maryanne (Christine Baranski) in Cybill.
- Kitty Montgomery from Dharma and Greg. At times at least.
- Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones.
- Kirsten Cohen from The O.C..
- Nina from Just Shoot Me!. Not cynical or bitter, but very, very pas their prime.
- Amber Malone, Rayanne's mom in My So-Called Life.
- 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!
- Aunt Lily from Pushing Daisies fits this pretty well.
- Marsha, the landlady from Spaced, is a former groupie who now spends her time drinking wine and arguing with her daughter.
- Claire Meade of Ugly Betty was originally introduced as this character.
- Celia Hodes of Weeds.
- Karen Walker from Will and 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.
- Lily's mom in Cold Case.
- 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.
- Mrs. Schagalla in the German comedy series/stage up "Bei Stratmann's"
- George's mother Benny in The George Lopez Show, though she is not rich and never was very popular.
- Flo Henshaw, Donna's Mother in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
- Martha Rogers, Castle's mother, though she seems to be keeping herself mostly happy.
- Letitia Darling in Dirty Sexy Money.
- 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.
- Bree Van de Kamp and her chardonnay on Desperate Housewives.
- 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.
- Mrs Slocombe in Are You Being Served?
- 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."
- The title character in The Drowsy Chaperone. She even gets a rousing Diva Song about alcoholism, "As We Stumble Along."
- Elle's mom in Legally Blonde : The Musical.
- Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Heavily implied to be Honey's future as well.
- Gay Wellington in You Can't Take It with You.
- 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.
- The Forbidden Broadway song "Stritch" mocks Elaine Stritch for being typecast as this.
- 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.
- Ethel Prune of Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest.
- 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.
- One of the possible endings in Princess Maker 2.
- 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.
- Suika the oni from Touhou is normally seen drinking sake. And when we say "normally", we mean "never seen without her sake gourd".
- This is faithful to the original mythological source, and extends to other oni as well. Yuugi is similarly portrayed with a sake dish which she prominently holds onto in both of her appearances, which is pointed out in official spell card comments for Subterranean Animism and a particular Internet meme.
- Syrenne from The Last Story.
- 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.
- Rose of Sharon "Cass" Cassidy in Fallout: New Vegas, who has turned to drowning her sorrows after the loss of her caravan.
- 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.
- Martha (Miriam's mom) in Out There.
- Katie and Sylvester's mom Janelle in A Game of Fools.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Pickles of The Oblongs. She's generally in a good mood and at times can be the Only Sane Man.
- 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 a 20th-century British aristocrat, which meant at least ten drinks a day—but spaced out over anywhere from eight to twelve hours (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). 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."