The Alcoholic

Drink in hand, bitter expression, generally haggard appearance...yep, we've got ourselves a Classic Drunk.

"I drink because I don't stand a chance and I know it. I couldn't drive a truck like other men and I couldn't get on the cops with my build. I got to sling beer and sing when I just want to sing. I drink because I got responsibilities I can't handle."
Johnny Nolan, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


He or she likes his or her liquor, and in large amounts. He or she may realize he or she has a problem, and get on and Off The Wagon, or he or she may be a Drunken Master, and this is merely a part of his or her 'training,' or a result of his or her — 'skills.'

Sometimes, this character is merely Drowning His Sorrows, and will bounce back later in the series. Other times, he or she's been this way from the beginning and has no plans to stop anytime soon. Worried friends may try to help by Nailing Him To The Wagon, though this attempt at forcing him or her to go Cold Turkey isn't guaranteed to succeed.

Real Life alcoholics are not always lying in the gutter - sometimes they are just people who drink alone, or for the sake of drinking, but never appearing to drink to excess (due to tolerance). Hollywood, however, prefers the 'gutter' form as it is more obvious and pathetic than the man or woman who wanders around the house with a glass in his or her hand, constantly in a mild stupor.

There is no cure for alcoholism. Someone who has managed to quit the habit is considered a recovering alcoholic, and if committed to it, remains in whatever therapy he or she used to become sober. That said, there are people who quit without therapy, or who stay quit without therapy, as well as some (very) rare people who don't become sober but do become moderate and responsible drinkers (and their mere existence is even more controversial, to the point of Flame War over whether they are "in denial" or if it really is possible to use responsibly once having become addicted).

As one more note, making a Real Life actual alcoholic (as in a physically addicted to alcohol one, not just an emotionally addicted one or ordinary irresponsible drinker) go Cold Turkey is putting their life at risk, as alcohol withdrawal can lead to delirium tremens, which, if untreated, results in death. Physically addicted alcoholics must be tapered off of alcohol, slowly reducing the amount they drink, or weaned from it in a proper hospital setting where if they begin to go into delirium tremens, it can be treated.

The Always Female versions are Hard-Drinking Party Girl and Lady Drunk, but alcoholism is only one of her character traits.

Compare Drunken Master, Vodka Drunkenski, Hard-Drinking Party Girl, Off The Wagon, Beergasm, Quick Nip, I'll Tell You When I've Had Enough!, and Addled Addict. Oddly, there are "alcoholics" who can get drunk off of milk. The Teetotaler is his direct opposite.

We also have a Useful Notes page on Alcoholism And Alcohol Abuse


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  • Berman, of the Magic Bullet infomercials, is quite obviously hungover when he stumbles into the kitchen. He's the drunk of the whole shebang.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Sumeragi Lee Noriega from Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
  • Quent Yaiden from Wolf's Rain. He's probably been mentioned in a similar context before.
  • Yoshiyuki's father from Deep Love.
  • To some extent, Major Katsuragi in Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the second episode, Shinji observes her fridge contains fifty gallons of beer.
  • Sylia Stingray from Bubblegum Crisis 2040 is definitely abusing something. She's seen drinking pretty often, but might have a drug habit on the side.
  • Arguably Kitsune in Love Hina - most of the time she's depicted either drinking or obviously drunk.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia
    • Latvia
    • Denmark also definitely qualifies as this.
    • As well as Russia.
    • Prussia shows signs of it, too, always having a beer in hand, though he may be closer to a male Hard-Drinking Party Girl.
  • There are two notable examples is Monster, both of whom are drowning their sorrows.
  • While Happosai, one of the most consistently villainous characters in Ranma ½, is better known for his other appetites, he's also quite a boozehound when the opportunity arises. When your students' first plan to finally kill you is to feed you several barrels of sake, then seal you up inside one and throw it and some dynamite into a cave that they then block with a Zig Zag Tassle boulder... and it works... you've got a drinking problem.
  • Fairy Tail: Cana drinks thirty percent of the liquor from a giant barrel.
  • Hiroshi's neglective father in Domu: A Child's Dream. He does nothing but lie around his apartment intoxicated and that's why his wife and son left him.
  • In Brigadoon: Marin and Melan Tadashi is nearly always seen drunk, drinking, or asking for more sake. It's shown to have seriously damaged his family.
  • Mr Fujisawa from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World. He is even sad that he can have his fantastic strength only if he doesn't drink.
  • Mr Legend from Tiger & Bunny.
  • Cross Marian from D.Gray-Man. Who's hinted to be drowning his sorrows, given his room filled with wine bottles, and his character quote.
    "Sake is the best medicine."
  • Mansam from Toriko. All of the ingredients of his Full Course contain alcohol.
  • Zoro from One Piece absolutely loves his Sake, and the guy never seems to get drunk so no hangovers for him.
    • Even more amazing is old lady Kokoro introduced in the Water 7 arc. She is never seen without a bottle of booze in hand, so one can only assume she constantly drinks and therefore is constantly drunk. But despite this she somehow retains the ability to drive a freakin speeding out of control train.
  • Ms. Igarashi of Pani Poni Dash!, who often shows up to school drunk, or at least smelling of alcohol.

    Comic Books 
  • Daniel Cross in Assassin's Creed: The Fall.
  • Howard Nissen from Give Me Liberty, after having to deal with more than fifty separatist movements in the US and his mostly right-wing secretaries actively opposing him. Moretti may also be blamed.
  • Iron Man
    • Tony Stark went through a serious alcohol problem in the comics, which was treated realistically and respectfully. But thanks to Never Live It Down, this is the default portrayal of him in other media. In the movie, nearly every scene that's not a fight scene has him drinking an alcoholic beverage of some sort. As the sequel was partially an adaptation of the storyline dealing with the drinking problem, it was Foreshadowing.
    • Stark helped Carol Danvers (aka Ms. Marvel, Binary, Warbird, and Captain Marvel) get a handle on her drinking problem. The Ultimate version takes this to the Ultimate extreme. A prime example is this dialogue between Black Widow and Stark:
    "Listen... but do you really think it is wise to knock back so many vodkas before you fly that thing?"
    "Oh, absolutely, darling. In fact, it's really quite essential... I mean, who in their right mind's going to climb into it sober?".
    • Of course, there's a secondary reason for Ultimate!Stark's alcoholism: he has an inoperable brain tumor that will kill him in under five years, which means he must be dealing with some massive migraines.
    • Ultimate!Stark also has brain tissue all over his body that makes him more intelligent but also causes him to feel constant agony. Wearing a special bio-suit and being plastered 24-7 helps him to cope with it.
  • Sunfire from the Uncanny Avengers, who turned to drinking after an ill-advised Face-Heel Turn where he betrayed the X-Men and joined Mr. Sinister's Marauders. When Wolverine finally tracks him to Tokyo, Sunfire drunkenly assumes that his former ally is there to kill him for his betrayal.
  • Katchoo in Strangers in Paradise.
  • Captain Haddock in Tintin. The portrayal is horrifying in his first appearance - The Crab with the Golden Claws, where he's arguably more dangerous to Tintin than the baddies they're fighting. Although often the subject of jokes, readers are left in no doubt that it's an addiction and has terrible side effects not only on Haddock himself but everyone around him. It's also a running gag that he is so addicted to alcohol, he's incapable of drinking non-alcoholic drinks, especially water. Fortunately, his addiction slowly weakens during the course of the series thanks to a combination of Character Development, horrible repercussions, and Tintin's efforts to keep him away from alcohol.
  • In Watchmen, the Mothman's alcoholism gets so bad that he is eventually committed to a sanitarium. This would not have been unusual for the time period, though.
  • In PVT Murphy's Law, a brigade of troops coming back from a long deployment overseas find themselves craving alcohol so badly that back in the US, a beer company executive bolts upright in bed because he can feel a great disturbance in the force. This has actually happened twice in the comic so far.
  • Heinz the punk from German comic Rudi.
  • Judge Dredd Megazine Jack Point carries a hipflask of whiskey everywhere and drinks it at every available opportunity.
  • As Gotham Central progresses Renee Montoya descends further and further into depression as she experiences the violence and corruption of the Gotham City Police Department. After being involuntarily outed by Two-Face, forced to beat up a Corrupt Cop in order to get evidence to exonerate her falsely-implicated partner and experiencing the general events of Gotham City she begins to drink heavily and grows increasingly violent. This is noticed by her girlfriend, Daria Hernandez, and her partner, Crispus Allen, and it looks like she might actually decide to get some counseling to deal with this issue...when Crispus is murdered by Jim Corrigan who then walks on the crime. When her character returns in 52 the creator commentary reveals that she has become an actual alcoholic and has driven away her remaining friends and family.
  • Greg Rucka also used this trope with Tara Chace in Queen And Country. Don't misunderstand, Tara is a highly functional alcoholic, but she is definitely an alcoholic. At one point, she is shown having fallen asleep with an empty bottle of whiskey. Another time, she is shown drinking from another bottle of whiskey in the shower. On another occasion, she and a coworker, both already drunk, decide to break into a liquor store to get more alcohol. As much of a Bad Ass superspy as Tara may be, she clearly has a huge drinking problem. She does quit drinking after she finds out she is pregnant, however.
  • Often in combination with An Aesop in the stories of Wilhelm Busch.
  • In Astérix and Caesar's Gift, Tremensdelirius (a pun on "delirium tremens", the trembly hallucinations that are a side-effect of withdrawal in an alcoholic), like other legionaries, is awarded a plot of land by Julius Caesar for twenty years of service. But since he spent all twenty of them drunk and publicly insulted Caesar in a fit of Alcohol Induced Stupidity, Caesar decides to award him the title deed to a certain little Gaulish village. Tremensdelirius sells it to an innkeeper for more wine when he's broke.
  • Inspector Gill of Fish Police. This is even mentioned in one letters section, where a reader points out that Gill went a whole issue without drinking. Moncuse counters that by saying that the violence and sex in that issue make up for it.
  • Arsenal from Red Hood and the Outlaws is a recovering one. He laments hanging out in a bar in #4 even though he's only drinking soda.
  • Among his many other vices (spousal abuse, rape, hypocritical religious zeal, etc.), Klara Prast's (Runaways) husband was a drunk who often blew her meager wages on alcohol.
  • Major Disaster became a serious alcoholic during his time in Justice League Elite. His drinking became so bad that his powers malfunctioned during a particularly disastrous battle with the Justice Society, causing an explosion that nearly killed Hawkgirl. He later became sober after Manitou Raven died protecting him from a bomb.
  • Ninjette in Empowered is initially introduced as a comic Hard-Drinking Party Girl but her heavy drinking is treated with increasing seriousness as the comic's Cerebus Syndrome develops. In the "Nine Beers With Ninjette" short it's finally confirmed that she's an alcoholic and knows it.
  • Several in Jack Chick tracts.
    • In "Happy Hour", Jerry ends up spending most of his family's money drinking, causes his wife to die after pushing her over during an argument over his drinking, and uses the grocery money on alcohol. Naturally, while his kids think that he should have died instead of their mother, they end up forgiving him and Christianity is what he needs to get over his alcoholism.
    • In "Tiny Shoes", Juan's alcoholism is the reason why he is unable to keep his promise to buy shoes for his son. After the saloon is destroyed by lightning, he decides to buy the shoes, but by then, Juanito has died of pneumonia after walking out in the rain to search for him.
    • In "Mad Machine," a father and a son go to a facility described to treat alcoholism. The father's told that he'll like it there, but he says that his son is the patient
  • In Vampirella, Pendragon cannot resist the lure of alcohol.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Bots have a Fuel Intake Moderator Chip which allows them to filter their fuel, switching it off allows them to get drunk, and Trailbreaker (later Trailcutter) is always drinking, from his spotlight to most of his regular appearances. In Season 2 Megatron forcibly switches the FIM chip on with a blow to his head to ensure permanent sobriety.
  • Cerebus the Aardvark:
    • Cerebus gets smashed whenever he can, and can knock back prodigious amounts of booze, such as drinking whiskey out of full brandy sniftersnote  and scotch out of buckets. In the early issues, this was usually played for laughs, but by the time Guys came around, the alcohol-based comedy is balanced by playing all the consequences of Cerebus' boozing much more seriously. For instance, Cerebus has to deal with the aftermath of very rude things he says about his former mercenary pal Bear while drunk, and in the middle of a booze pass-out, he tells "Dave" that he just wanted to die.
    • Cirinist society actually enables this trope; unmarried men tend to be sequestered in bars because the state provides free room and board for them and all the alcohol they can handle. The thought process is that they will either get tired of that lifestyle, shape up, and leave to find a wife, or eventually drink themselves to death. The Guys Story Arc is set in a bar and deals with this concept in multiple fashions.
    • In keeping with his real-life basis, F. Stop Kennedy can't stay away from his gin. In Going Home, he spends many evenings on the boat ride with Cerebus and Jaka drunkenly soliloquizing on the roof of his cabin.

  • Sunny Breeze, the protagonist of Racer and the Geek, is this. He drinks at least Once an Episode and gets drunk in the majority of them. He's got damn good reasons to want to drown his sorrows.
  • Edward Elric (of all people) in Fullmetal Lol
  • The Immortal Game has Sir Unimpressive, who's never seen without a flask of whiskey. Twilight at one point wonders where he keeps managing to get it refilled.
  • Earth and Sky: Prince Blueblood is sloshed in every scene he's in. Justified by the fact that being stuck in a loveless marriage of convenience with Diamond Tiara is hardly a state of marital bliss.
  • A Collection of Pointless Adventures has Web.
    • Fluttershy also fits this trope.
    • As does Wario, to a lesser extent.
  • In Under The Northern Lights King Ukko is a bitter drunkard. Heavy drinking is socially mandated among reindeer, but he does it enough that even they react negatively.
  • Blackjack from Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons never, ever passes up an opportunity to get wasted, especially when Wild Pegasus whiskey is available. Though seeing how she's been through more mental, physical, and spiritual trauma than nearly every fictional character except for Guts from Berserk, can you blame her?
  • In Boys Do Tankary, Vincent and Gage were this, apparently since the age of seven. They had fought in a war on opposite sides, and Nyra, who was Vincent's sister, but on Gage's side, got captured by Vincent's side, who raped and murdered her squadmates after taking her prisoner. When Vincent spared Nyra, they were put into a cell with a gun and told one had to kill the other by the end of the month, and Vincent complied; both he and Gage were driven to drink by the experience. Nyra, however, turns out to be alive, and Gage resolves to quit drinking.
  • Dante, or rather, Donte, is the Slayer of Tequila in The Kanyeverse.
  • We have Rei the drunk secretary from Kill la Kill AU and this has gotten her into trouble, as she's sent four kids on a beer run. Apparently, she is rarely sober, as she doesn't seem to be sober when she hired as a babysitter. Apparently, this is a deconstuction, seeing as we are shown the harmful consequences of her being one, i.e, she is mentioned to be passed out in her own vomit from time to time.

  • In Blazing Saddles, Jim, the Waco Kid. He gets better. Gig Young was originally cast in the role, but his real-life alcoholism led to him being fired after one day on set, where, according to Mel Brooks on the commentary track, he had the shakes constantly. Some of the reverse angle shots of the Sheriff coming to wake the Kid were shot with Young there.
  • Arthur: Arthur Bach is one of the best-known Played for Laughs examples.
  • Tom Reagan from Millers Crossing. And since it is Film Noir, everyone else.
  • Dexter in The Philadelphia Story.
  • Uncle Tadpole in Bran Nue Dae, evidenced when he spends Willy's last few dollars on booze, forcing them to hitchhike a very long distance. Don't really see him drinking again after that incident though.
  • Jack Torrance from The Shining. Tried to stay on the wagon but the haunted hotel kept throwing him parties with ghost booze that worked like the real stuff.
  • The king of this trope is Withnail from Withnail & I.
  • In The Return of Captain Invincible, this is Captain Invincible's super-weakness, to the point that it gets exploited in song by Christopher Lee!
    • It is, however, completely played straight. In a parody of different ages of superheroes, Captain Invincible made the transition by getting betrayed by the people he helped and running away. Years pass in an alcoholic stupor and he returns Darker and Edgier with a tendency to drink himself catatonic.
  • Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend.
  • Deckard in Blade Runner.
  • Iron Man 2: Tony Stark. Apparently kills the pain of palladium poisoning.
    • Anton Vanko is also implied to have been one, with his "20 year vodka filled rage" destroying himself and his son Ivan.
  • The lead couple in Days of Wine and Roses. When they meet, she won't touch the stuff, but then he finds an alcoholic drink she likes (he already has a bit of a problem). By the end of the movie, they've both hit bottom. He dries out, but she doesn't.
  • Ben Sanderson in Leaving Las Vegas is purposefully drinking himself to death.
  • 9 to 5. Margaret. "Atta girl!"
  • Thea in Applause.
  • In The Bleak Midwinter featured Carnforth Greville, an actor frequently seen leaving rehearsal under various suspicious pretexts.
    "Chaps, I'm just dipping down to the... post office for a quick... stamp."
  • Laurie Strode in Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later has become quite the alcoholic. Though, considering who her brother is, who can blame her?
  • Implied with Frank in Mystery Team.
  • In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Doctor Parnassus has kept himself perpetually blotto ever since the death of his wife.
  • Daniel Plainview of There Will Be Blood.
  • Eddie (Walter Brennan) in To Have And Have Not. He may be a rummy but he's a loyal, (fairly) brave rummy.
  • In Khalnayak, Ballu's Mommy Issues have led to him becoming this.
  • The Sheriff in Bad Day at Black Rock.
  • Lonesome Rhodes in A Face in the Crowd.
  • If Dean Martin is in a film without Jerry Lewis, Martin is probably playing one of these. "Dude" in Rio Bravo is just one of many examples.
  • Gary King from The World's End. Everyone else sees how harmful his binge drinking is, although he sees it all as a bit of fun and seems to be in denial. Gary is still in the teenage mindset of alcohol making you an adult. He's stopped drinking by the end of the film.
  • Ned in Holiday is permanently drunk or hung-over.
  • Parodied in Airplane. Ted Striker has a "drinking problem", by which he means he always misses his mouth.
  • Woody from Nebraska. His son David tries to point this out to him but he refuses to listen to him. It's later revealed to be a result of his time in the Korean War, having been shot down while being transferred
  • Nick Halsey in Everything Must Go is a very realistic and self-destructive portrayal.
  • Non-Stop: Air Marshal Marks, by his own admission. This is also one of the reasons the terrorists chose a flight he was on, figuring an alcoholic wouldn't be able to stop them.
  • Viktor Cherevin, the Big Bad of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is revealed to be this. It's also one of the reasons why he's dying.
  • Sarah Packard of The Hustler, who drinks almost constantly to dull the pain of being a Broken Bird.
  • Lawrence comes off as this in The Wolfman (2010). Played pretty straight in the book adaptation of the movie.
  • Both of Trevor's parents and his grandmother in Pay It Forward.
  • Would You Rather: Conway (John Heard) is a recovered alcoholic - but Affably Evil host Shep Lambrick challenges him to drink a glass of wine for $10,000 - or an entire decanter of top-shelf Scotch in exchange for $50,000. Conway eventually opts for the Scotch.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the younger Charles has been a drunk for the past decade by the time Logan meets him.
  • Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a fairly realistic example, played for all the drama it's worth: He turned to drinking some time after his brother was murdered by a toon, who'd dropped a piano on the poor guy. If some of the comments made by minor characters are to be believed, he prefers whiskey.
  • In Anamorph, Detective Aubrey doctors all of his drinks with alcohol when he thinks no one is looking.
  • Mike in Coherence. His wife mentioned that his drinking problem destroyed his career in showbiz.
  • Jimmy Blake (played by Dean Martin) in The Cannonball Run movies. He is seldom seen without a drink in his hand - even while driving - and the race organizer describes him and his partner Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis, Jr.) as more juiced-up than their Ferrari.
  • Donna Stern in Obvious Child almost, dare I say it, made alcoholism adorable in Obvious Child, despite it undeniably contributing to how the film's principle dilemma happened in the first place. Also a subversion of Wine Is Classy, as Donna is all about getting the most affordable Pinot she can get her hands on.
  • Miss Hannigan is one in Annie, and it's largely Played for Laughs. She spends the majority of the movie in her cups. Pepper, the cynical oldest foster kid, makes fun of her for it.
  • Many characters in Leviathan2014.

  • The Wakecliff family in A Brother's Price had some very bad and rather suspicious times. A family of fifty-eight all died within one season. Eldest Wakecliff, the head of the family, took to drinking heavily and later died of alcohol poisoning after going on a binge when she heard about six of her kin dying in a carriage accident.
  • A relatable example with Kyle Griffin, the protagonist of The Impairment where he turns to booze to help lower the stress he feels after being framed for the murder of his roommate by an extra-terrestrial. Needless to say, it's not much of a comfort as that's where all the trouble always starts.
  • Huckleberry Finn's dad in both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    • Muff Potter as well. Injun Joe uses this to his advantage and frames him for murder, and because Muff was too drunk to remember what happened, he can't disprove it.
  • Several characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. Cersei becomes one over the course of the series, which is part of the reason Jaime finds her increasingly repulsive. Sandor Clegane has long been one, and even in the second book is rarely seen sober; in the third book, he basically wanders around getting drunk when and wherever possible (with a ten-year-old in tow, no less). It's his downfall. Turns out it's kind of hard to fight when you're that drunk.
  • Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, which, despite being one of his many fall-backs, a drink or two or twenty causes him to work more efficiently.
  • Renzo Leoni in A Thread of Grace occasionally gets so drunk that he'll pass out in the bed of a strange woman and has to check the fabric of his clothes and the class of woman to remind himself which fake identity he had adopted the night before. He's still a charismatic and effective resistance leader.
  • Johnny Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
  • Played for cynical effect in The Black Cat. An alcoholic protagonist kills his black cat in an insane manner, and later kills his wife when he's hunting for another black cat with little to no remorse.
  • Marmeladov in Crime and Punishment.
  • In Devdas, the eponymous character relies too much on Drowning My Sorrows after his childhood friend Paro gets married to someone else (because of Parental Marriage Veto concerning their social classes), and becomes this. It leads to his demise, right at Paro's doorstep, and she's not even allowed to go see him.
  • Commander Sam Vimes from Terry Pratchett's Discworld is a recovering alcoholic, though he objects to the term (he was a drunk, he wasn't rich enough to be an alcoholic).
  • Harry Driscoll in Adam Davies' The Frog King.
  • In The Girl Who Would Be King, Lola's mother Delia was an alcoholic. Over the course of the novel, Lola ends up becoming an alcoholic herself.
  • Harry Hole, the protagonist in a series of crime thrillers by Norwegian Jo Nesbø. A detective in the Oslo Police Department, Harry is usually tolerated by his superiors and colleagues despite his habitual alcoholism and unorthodox methods because he is a brilliant detective.
  • Harry Potter
    • Winky the house elf, who being an elf gets drunk on butterbeer.
    • And Professor Trelawney with her cooking sherry.
    • Hagrid is heavily implied to be one. He swears at least once that he'll never drink again (it doesn't take), and the trio end up taking care of him more than vice versa.
    • It is implied that Sirius has a drinking problem in Order of the Phoenix.
  • David and Simon from Haunted 1988. The former had cleaned up in the film version.
  • Doc from The Host has shades of this.
  • The Hunger Games gives us Haymitch, who is perpetually shown drunk or at least mildly intoxicated, largely an effect of the horrors the Hunger Games he competed in. He is an alcoholic to the point where the main characters worry about him after police shut down the local liquor brewers.
  • Jakub Wędrowycz stories: Jakub, as well as pretty much everyone in his home village, this being set in Poland. Yet they don't seem to be intoxicated very often, or at least not strongly enough to decrease their Badass Grandpa abilities.
  • Bertie's Uncle George in Jeeves and Wooster "discovered that alcohol was a food well in advance of modern medical thought." Occasionally "his liver lodges a formal protest" and he goes to a healing center to get cleaned up, only to go back to drinking as soon as he returns to London.
  • In Expendable, former Explorer Phylar Tobit is an alcoholic. Festina is disgusted by him, but also secretly feels somewhat envious. All Explorers receive psychological conditioning to make them fastidiously clean and tidy; in becoming a stinking drunkard, Phylar has managed to overcome that programming and in a way beat the system.
  • Grantaire in Les Misérables almost always had a bottle in his hand, and actually sleeps through the final battle because he's passed out from alcohol.
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth: Thomas Jerome Newton is an Alien Among Us who becomes one over the course of the work.
  • The protagonist of Russian novel Moscow - Petushki by Venedikt Erofeev.
  • Cat from the Night Huntress books has high alcohol tolerance, and drinks gin like water. She also needs a freaking drink more often than is really healthy; Bones comments that her gin bottle is like a security blanket for her.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Bruin has a drinking problem, and tends to turn into a Berseker when he's had too much. He tends to drink before battle to take advantage of this.
  • Richard Lopez of Ship Breaker is an extreme alcoholic, who is almost constantly drunk. Of course he's also a drug-addicted Archnemesis Dad and an Axe Crazy sociopath so this is honestly the least of his problems.
  • Stag Preston in Spider Kiss, and it just makes his other negative traits that much worse.
  • Kurak in the Star Trek: Klingon Empire novels. At one point, she refuses to believe that she has alcohol poisoning, because as far as she's concerned alcohol is only a poison to "weak" races such as humans. Usually Klingon physiology fights off the negative effects of alcohol, but she'd consumed so much that even Klingon biology couldn't cope.
  • Arthur's mother in Theatrica who falls of a roof, piss drunk, and dies.
  • 1st Sgt. Welsh in The Thin Red Line, possibly due to the stress of his job.
  • Athos of The Three Musketeers is almost always Drowning His Sorrows, but Never Gets Drunk (or at least doesn't show it).
  • Margo's father in Time Scout. He's the sort who's drinking away his troubles due to the death of an infant child.
  • Sam Houston in Trail of Glory is shown as a high-functioning alcoholic, which he also was in real life.
  • Geoffrey Firmin in Under the Volcano.
  • Charles Bukowski's alter ego, Henry Chinaski. Most of Bukowski's novels are autobiographical, so it's pretty obvious that he really enjoyed beer by the bucketful.
  • Several of Marian Keyes's novels feature alcoholics, such as Lucy's father and her boyfriend Gus in Lucy Sullivan is getting married and of course the alcoholics in the treatment centre in Rachel's Holiday.
  • Several Stephen King protagonists (especially the writers), have this particular affliction, most notably Jack Torrance from The Shining (also Danny Torrance in Doctor Sleep) and Jim Gardener from The Tommyknockers. King himself went through alcoholism and recovery during the course of his career, so that's not too surprising. Ironically, many people think he wrote better books before he stopped drinking. In his memoirs, King himself denies that there's any relationship between being a good writer and being an alcoholic.
    • He mentioned in his memoirs that he has no recollection of writing Cujo. That was one pretty impressive bender there.
  • The Last Full Measure references Ulysses S. Grant's previous alcoholism and explains its origins. He's shown almost going Off The Wagon after the disastrous assault on Cold Harbor, but one of his aides intervenes. General Ledlie also appears and gets no sympathy, since his inebriation in two battles resulted in disaster for his men.
  • Arthur Huntingdon in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, to the point that it ends up killing him before he's forty.
  • Runge Margavo from the sci-fi anthology Riesel Tales: Two Hunters loves his alcohol, though he doesn't usually take his addiction to absurd levels.
  • The ditzy popstar Cherry Pye in Carl Hiaasen 's book Star Island drinks constantly and to excess, often resulting in a disastrous aftermath, like Axl Rose headed zebra tattoos, which must be cleaned up by her handlers.
  • Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited.
  • The mugger in The Man Who Controlled Metal is a completely unrepentant drunk. Until he gets scared straight, anyway.
  • August from Of Fear and Faith is a recovering alcoholic and the stress from his bouts with The Legions of Hell occasionally drives him back to the bottle. Despite some close calls, he's yet to fall off the wagon however.
  • Cithrin in The Dagger and the Coin becomes this by the end of the first book, which is especially distressing when you consider just how young she is.
  • Adrian Ivashkov from Vampire Academy, is addicted to alcohol, played with in that it's more to block out spirit.
  • In The Godfather a doctor is talking to a friend of Johhny Fontaine, telling the man yhat if he doesn't cut out the smoking and drinking he'll be dead in five years. The man gives off an apparently horrified reaction as he says, "My God! Doc, are you serious? I'll be dead in five years? You mean it's going to take that long?
  • Frank Browning in the Ahriman Trilogy is the sad variety, drinking to forget the horrible things he's seen.

    Live Action TV 
  • Two examples from WKRP in Cincinnati - Played for Laughs with Dr. Johnny Fever who has abused his body with drugs and alcohol for decades, culminating in an on-air sobriety test with a state trooper where his reflexes get better with every drink he takes, to the great ire of the trooper. Played seriously with Herb Tarlek who is shown to have a very serious drinking problem that almost destroys his family and career.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Various one-time characters were alcoholics, and the consequences associated with their drinking would always be played seriously. However, the one where it was played most dramatically was Isaiah Edwards, the Ingalls' long-time friend and confidant. Early in the series (and hinted at in the pilot movie as well), Edwards is a drifter who consumes alcohol in large quantities, all to drown the sorrows of losing his wife and daughter from smallpox. Thanks to the Ingalls, Edwards is able to sober up – or in the very least keep his drinking under control – while he becomes a family man and somewhat successful farmer, and later a logging tycoon. However, during Season 8, John Jr. dies under mysterious circumstances, and while Mr. Edwards is deeply in grief, when he learns the truth about his eldest son's death – he was killed by a corrupt businessman whom newspaper reporter John Jr. was about to expose as a crook – he falls off the wagon, destroying his family and business in the process … and it nearly also destroys his bond with the Ingalls. Only with the help of God and the Rev. Alden (himself a recovering alcoholic) does Mr. Edwards find resolve to go on without the bottle and face his demons head on.
  • Garibaldi from Babylon 5 - For most of the series, he avoids alcohol, except for a couple of occasions where he is either drowning his sorrows or falling Off The Wagon due to intense job stress. Overall, through the course of five years, we only see it happen twice (albeit one occasion had it happen for half of season five, but some say that season never happened anyways.
    • Londo Mollari is almost never seen drinking anything that isn't alcoholic, and he spends most of the first season at bars, strip clubs, and casinos. It actually helps him later on when he's infected with a Keeper, which has a lower alcohol tolerance than he does.
  • White Collar gives us an interesting subversion. Mozzie takes immense pleasure in diminishing Neal's wine supply on a regular basis. He has a drink in his hand in pretty much every other scene. Unlike many of his alcohol-loving counterparts from other shows, however, Mozzie can hold his liquor (or in his case, wine) with no problem. Only one episode shows him getting drunk, and that was justified, given that he was helping Neal with a case where they had to counterfeit a bottle of whiskey.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Both Saul Tigh and his wife Ellen, especially in proximity to one another though his biggest bout of drinking was on Galactica after he was forced to kill her on New Caprica. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace is also referred to as a (very high-functioning) alcoholic both by other characters (there are repeated references to "not needing another Tigh onboard") and by the actress portraying her (Katee Sackhoff is quoted saying that Starbuck "drinks most of her calories").
  • Dylan McKay in the original Beverly Hills 90210.
    • Noah Hunter in the later episodes as well.
  • In The Big Bang Theory Penny is pretty well stated as having a difficult relationship with alcohol, binge drinking whenever sad or upset. When Leonard's mom, a cold psychiatrist, first came to visit she quickly psychoanalyzed Penny's insecurities and all the childhood issues Leonard had came to the forefront. Needless to say when Leonard was considering "turning to alcoholism as a career path" he visited Penny, who was all ready for downing shots. In the first half of season five it's implied Penny was depressed over her... complicated... relationship with Leonard and thus showed her to be drinking more often.
    • Raj didn't drink before the series began but mid season one learned that he was able to overcome his "can't talk to women" issues with a bit of a buzz. For the most part he manages okay, but being introduced to alcohol gave way to occasional problems with it.
  • Lucille from Arrested Development. She's rarely ever seen without a drink in hand. At one point, her rival Kitty challenges her to a drink-off. Lucille promptly grabs a glass of wine, downs it, and casually says "That one doesn't count."
  • Victor from German crime comedy Dr Psycho. It is the main thing he and psychiatrist Max clash about, but after someone gets shot while Victor is drunk on duty, his police colleagues chime in with Max as well.
  • Dr. Noah Drake from General Hospital, who was Put on a Bus for many years, returned to the show as a Shell-Shocked Senior with a drinking problem.
    • Luke Spencer has been drinking non stop for years and years. It only recently became a full-blown problem when he ran over his grandson.
    • Add A.J. Quartermaine to the list, because of his drinking he's wiped his brother's memory, lost his child and his mind, and had to fake his death.
  • Jinx in In Plain Sight
  • Nate Ford on Leverage
  • Jeff on Chuck
  • Jack Shephard after he left the Island on LOST; also Frank used to be one.
  • Brandy from Noah's Arc. Also doubles as a Meaningful Name.
  • Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me has a decidedly volatile relationship with the bottle (specifically whiskey), as do many other characters.
  • Letti Mae Thornton in True Blood
  • Claire Meade in Ugly Betty
  • Leo McGarry on The West Wing was a recovering alcoholic.
    • Also, Vice President John Hoynes - stopped drinking at age 22.
  • Fun Bobby, an occasional boyfriend of Monica's in Friends. Alcohol was what made him entertaining. When he quit drinking, Monica started upping her alcohol intake to cope with his stories about shoelaces.
  • Mad Men:
    • Herman "Duck" Philips from is a recovering alcoholic. Until, that is, Season 2's "Maidenform," when he falls Off The Wagon in the middle of his nasty divorce. While somewhat sympathetic and under control at first, the liquor gets the best of him, and by Season 4's "The Suitcase," he is a raging alcoholic and a massive dick, too.
    • Freddy Rumsen, who once gets so drunk at work that he passes out and pees himself during a pitch to Samsonite. Naturally, he's fired (which doesn't do anything for his sobriety) and Peggy inherits his office (much to her chagrin, as Rumsen had been the first to notice her talent for copywriting) and his legendary office stash of booze.

      After this incident, Rumsen was Put on a Bus until Season 4, when he shows up again, a member of AA. Roger Sterling has come to hate going out with Rumsen for this very reason, as he apparently thinks Freddy is a bit holier-than-thou about it.
    • While Don Draper has been drinking like a fish since the beginning, he was never shown as really drunk (lubricated perhaps, but never hammered) until Season 4 (in the wake of his divorce from Betty). After that, he's depicted as being sloshed at least every other episode, even to the point of puking in "The Suitcase." (Hm. That episode was about a Samsonite ad campaign. Perhaps Samsonite=alcoholism to the writers?) At this point, it's fairly clear that we are witnessing Don Draper's Slow Descent Into Alcoholism.
  • Sam Malone on Cheers is a recovering one.
  • Kitty Forman on That '70s Show is a borderline case; she drinks a lot, but never gets completely wasted.
  • Abby Lockhart on ER
  • Walter Findlay on Maude
  • Father Ted: Father Jack Hackett knows three words: "Girls!", "Fek!", "Drink!". Without regular supplies of the third one he gets peppery.
  • Bernard Black from Black Books.
  • Damn near everyone on The Drew Carey Show.
  • Everyone from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    • So much so that when one of the characters thinks to put boxed wine in soda cans for public consumption, everyone thinks it's a great idea.
  • Eddie of Bottom, who cheerfully drinks Old Spice, cooking oil, and bleach. Note to reader: Only one of these things actually contains alcohol, and only one of these things is supposed to be edible. They are not the same thing.
  • They appear to be setting this up with Dr Zoe Hanna in Casualty.
    • Nurse Charlie Fairhead had an alcoholism subplot a few years ago.
  • Ned The Wino on Good Times and Woodrow Anderson on Sanford and Son: they were played by the same person.
  • Jim Lahey's character trait in Trailer Park Boys, albeit not the only example. At one point, Ray was desperate enough to pull the copper pipes from his walls to sell for booze money, and he always has prodigious stacks of empties lying around. Julian is rarely seen without a rum and Coke in his hand. Ricky never misses an occasion to get drunk, either.
  • Patsy and Edina on AbFab.
  • This is one of Ted Altman's many personality flaws on Intelligence. Rarely does an episode go by that he is not seen drinking, even once.
  • Every one of the Riggins men in Friday Night Lights . Dad Walt Riggins and his sons Billy and Tim are all frequently shown drunk, drinking or hungover.
  • The Wire: Jimmy McNulty. He lays off in season four as he gets his act together, but falls off the wagon again in season five. Bunk, his drinking partner, is also something of a Mr. Vice Guy - McNulty has to bail him out of trouble more than once, but it's pretty clear which of them is the most self-destructive. McNulty is indirectly called a "high-functioning alcoholic" by the F Bi guys profiling his fake serial killer] in season five.
  • Calamity Jane on Deadwood. Al also drinks a whole damn lot.
  • Karen Walker of Will and Grace.
  • Almost the entire cast, but especially Hawkeye in M*A*S*H, due to the constant suffering they have to deal with, fortunately they're all functional enough to still be an excellent MASH unit. In one episode, Hawk manages to kick drinking for a while, but admits that he needs alcohol to get by, and he relapses by the next episode.
  • Robert Baratheon of Game of Thrones, which eventually leads to his death. In one memorable scene, he discusses the state of the Seven Kingdoms with Cersei, saying that every powerful man in Westeros has a different agenda. When Cersei asks him what he wants, Robert simply holds up his goblet of wine.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A significant portion of Xander's family are either directly stated or implied to be alcoholic. Of course, being the Butt Monkey, he's sort of contractually obligated to have a family of drunken assholes. Who are implied to be even more unpleasant.
  • Angel: The term is never overtly used but while all the characters have a reason to drown their sorrows mid-series, Wesley is the one who doesn't stop. The latter half of series 5 has the gang mentioning with increasing frequency just how heavily Wesley is drinking. It's also implied that Wesley's fully aware it's becoming a problem.
  • Woody from Mad Dogs.
  • Example from Community, Shirley's backstory before she came to Greendale is shown to be partly this trope.
  • Dave Attell in Insomniac With Dave Attell always managed to hit several bars in one night no matter the town, usually drinking beer and shots of Jagermeister.
  • Clive in Grandmas House
  • Adam on Girls is a recovering alcoholic who has been attending AA meetings since age 17.
  • While never explicitly stated, Star Trek has two likely examples:
    • Scotty's solution to distracting an alien that takes over the ship in the episode "By Any Other Name" is to have a drinking contest with him, during which it's shown that he hides booze in his quarters. Upon finding himself in the 24th century, one of the first things he does is find Ten-Forward (Enterprise's bar) and berate the bartender for serving poor quality 'scotch', and then goes to drink alone in a holodeck.
    • Dr. McCoy often prescribes alcohol to his patents, seems to store booze in sickbay, has been seen drinking that booze on-duty, and prepares beans with bourbon.
    • Damar picks up a bottle of kanar after killing Tora Ziyal and doesn't put it down until the final season. Weyoun even describes him as "half-dressed" when he starts turning up to work without a bottle, not realising that Damar is sober now because he's decided to backstab the Dominion in the hope of saving Cardassia.
  • Sam Axe from Burn Notice is constantly seen knocking back a drink of some sort, with his preferred drink being a mojito. But in spite of he large quantities on liquor he consumes, he's only been noticeably drunk at the beginning of The Fall Of Sam Axe, and only ever mentioned having a hangover once. In fact, the way you know something is hitting Sam especially hard is if he refuses to drink!
  • Dr. Cox from Scrubs is well defined as drinking way too much, presumably as a way to cope with some very big personal issues as well as the stress of working at a hospital. The Janitor mentions he has access to all personnel records and his major hang-up is "drinks a lot." For the most part it doesn't affect his job, except for one instance detailed in "My Fallen Idol" where he shows up completely drunk. That episode has Jack say "Daddy drinks a lot," which Jordan says is his first full sentence. JD also calls him a "borderline alcoholic" in one episode.
  • Papa Titus from Titus, as per Christopher Titus' stand-up act. Christopher turned to alcohol after his custom car shop went under and started calling himself an alcoholic, to which Papa Titus took offense because he "hasn't earned it."
  • Dean Winchester in Supernatural. After six seasons of already-reckless drinking and Drowning My Sorrows, he hits the sauce hard during his depression in season seven. He's heavily implied to have learned it from his dad.
    • Also partially learned from his surrogate dad, Bobby Singer. Sheriff Mills only knows Bobby as "the town drunk" before she learns the truth about his life.
    • Sam also has this tendency when he finds himself overwhelmed (it's implied that he spent the first few months after Dean went to Hell in a constant drunken stupor). Rufus and Ellen were hard drinkers, too. It seems to be a pretty common affliction for hunters, which is pretty understandable, considering.
  • Sarah Mackenzie in JAG is a recovering alcoholic. Got once Off The Wagon after her ex-boyfriend died in her arms.
  • Charlie Harper from Two and a Half Men became this in later seasons. At first, he did drink a lot and was drunk on more then one occasion, but he wasn't always drunk. In the later seasons, any scene of him at home usually has him with a alcoholic drink of some kind and well on his way to being drunk or already drunk.
  • Amish Mafia has Crazy Dave. He kept on screwing things up with Levi and was caught drinking while driving a buggy. It got so bad that he ended up in an Amish Crazy House.
  • In Season One of Arrow Quentin Lance is shown to have started drinking after the death of his daughter, Sara, five years previously. In Season Two, Laurel starts using alcohol and anti-depressants to cope with her own grief and depression.
  • In Halt and Catch Fire, the first time we see Gordon Clarke, he's being released from the drunk tank.
  • Judith from Last Tango In Halifax. She can't even quit drinking when she's pregnant.
  • Otis Campbell on The Andy Griffith Show.
  • The Hour, which is set in the fifties, has nearly everyone drinking at some point, but Lix and Hector drink far more than the others and are the only ones labelled as such. Randall used to be one, but he's recovered.
  • While he hasn't become a full blown alcoholic per say, Sam has started turning to alcohol in the second season of The Wrong Mans, being caught drinking on the job at least once. This is because his seemingly-recovering life was turned upside-down by an attempted car-bombing, forcing him to relocate to an area where he's not as popular and (try to) accept that his girlfriend thinks he's dead. Combined with the fact that Phil's suddenly become popular and his Mean Boss constantly abuses him, it's not hard to see why.
  • Don Cragen from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a recovering alcoholic. He occasionally mentions attending A.A. meetings.
  • On the 2015 season of "Worst Cooks in America", contestant Sarah makes nearly orgasmic noises when informed that wine is an ingredient in a dish, and consumes at least as much of it as she uses in her dish.
  • Barney Miller had a number of people who were brought in drunk, but only a couple who were explicitly alcoholic. One was a minor federal official who was Drowning His Sorrows over being stuck with the department of "underdeveloped suburban areas, mines, parks, and Indians" for his work on Nixon's campaign. Another was a career robber who tried to hold up a store with a Finger Gun, having been too drunk to remember that you put it in your pocket first.

  • Kopalny, one of the mascots of the Top Secret magazine, is a lovable bum who loves beer and has frequent hangovers, and spends most of the time complaining about having to work menial jobs around the office.

  • Screamin' Jay Hawkin's breakout hit "I Put a Spell On You" was intended to be a love ballad, but Hawkins (and the rest of the band) were so drunk when they recorded it that it came out as ... well ... just listen to it. When it became a hit, Hawkins had to teach himself how to sound like that when sober.
  • Alice Cooper was a massive alcoholic at the height of his career. He said on Top Gear that after he vomited up blood, he'd decided it was time to stop.
  • Elvis Costello's "Beyond Belief" is very clearly being narrated by someone on the verge of a drunken stupor: "So in this almost empty gin palace / In a two-way looking glass, you see your Alice." The singer himself once got into serious trouble because of remarks he made while inebriated. The lyrics to "Man out of Time" are also noticeably booze-sodden: "You drink yourself insensitive and hate yourself in the morning.
  • Dice has an album called The 40 Made Me Do It.
  • Ozzy "The Prince of Darkness" Osbourne. His songs "Suicide Solution" and "Demon Alcohol" are about this.
  • Kid Rock has shown up drunk to recording sessions.
  • Both Bon Scott (from AC/DC) and John Bonham (from Led Zeppelin) died in 1980 from alcohol abuse.
  • Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead. He claims to drink a bottle of Jack Daniels a day, and that he has done so since he was 30.
  • Shane MacGowan, founder, songwriter, and lead singer of The Pogues, is legendary for his drunken performances, self-destructive behaviour, dental problems, and almost-miraculous ability to stay alive despite doing things that would have killed any normal man, such as falling off a Japanese Bullet Train. Basically, he has been drinking heavily pretty much nonstop since about 1970 or so. His alcoholism got so bad that The Pogues threw him out of the band in 1991, not wanting to put up with his crap anymore. They didn't acquiesce to working with him again for another ten years. A lot of his songs make heavy reference to alcoholism, in all its various forms.
  • X Japan. Almost everyone out of the band (aside from vocalist Toshi, who by almost all accounts Can't Hold His Liquor) is legendary for their alcohol problems: late guitarist hide died in part from his alcoholism in a drunken accidental suicide, bandleader/drummer/pianist Yoshiki is well known for being The Alcoholic (and a rather destructive one and a repeat Drunk Driver before he seemed to have learned his lesson about it), ex-bassist Taiji was a documented, confessed alcoholic and possibly Off The Wagon around the events of his death, and rhythm/second guitarist Pata is sadly well known for being an alcoholic.
  • Gary Stead, from the Saint Etienne Concept Album Tales From Turnpike House. He spends most of the album as a comedy alcoholic in the Barney Gumble mould (in "Milk Bottle Symphony" he "staggers downstairs with a heavy head", i.e. a hangover), but eventually "Last Orders For Gary Stead" reveals him to be Drowning His Sorrows over an awkward divorce.
  • The unnamed subject of Richard Thompson's bitter, brilliant "God Loves A Drunk." Notable for the balance of the portrayal—while drunkenness itself is portrayed very harshly, the eponymous drunk is treated quite sympathetically and gets to do his own lashing out against the banal nature of the life he's escaping.
  • The narrator in Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" may or may not be, as might the narrator in "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again." The narrator in "Moonshiner" definitely is.
  • Metallica used to be called "Alcoholica". James Hetfield even had to enter a rehab facility, but he has been sober ever since. As insane as it is, Dave Mustaine, who used to be in Metallica, was kicked out of the band because of his drinking problem. James Hetfield fired him for drinking too much. Part of the problem though, was simply Mustaine's behavior when drunk, as he was apparently a quite violent drunk, while the other members would be more withdrawn under the influence.
    • Speaking of Megadeth, Gar Samuelson apparently had a huge problem with this, and it wound up being a factor in his death (the actual cause still isn't known other than that it was alcohol-related).
  • Tom Waits professed to alcoholism earlier in his career: songs like "The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)" and "Bad Liver & A Broken Heart" from Small Change are semi-biographical.
    "I was really starting to believe that there was something amusing and wonderfully American about being a drunk. I ended up telling myself to cut that shit out."
  • GG Allin. The guy was even burried with a bottle of Jim Beam beside him in his casket.
  • From Savatage's Streets: A Rock Opera, the main character, DT Jesus, is a junkie with an implied drinking problem as well. What motivates him to turn his life around is finding his childhood hero, a famous blues guitarist, is little more then a homeless wino.
  • Swedish rocker Eddie Meduza. He was known for his "party hard" lifestyle, which spiraled into full-blown alcoholism in the '80s. Eventually he cleaned up his act in the '90s after doctors told him he would die if he had another drink. Unfortunately he couldn't keep it up and relapsed, which led to his death in 2002. Many of his later songs sarcastically "praise" the "joys" of being drunk all the time.
  • Elton John (and his main lyricist Bernie Taupin) often played this trope for laughs, or at least as character study, in songs like "Elderberry Wine", "Social Disease", and "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" with the occasional tragic drunk thrown in as in "Talking Old Soldiers". Understandably, it slowed down as Taupin himself sobered up in the late 1970s and Elton followed in 1990.
  • The aptly named song "Alcohol" by the Barenaked Ladies, which opens with the line "Alcohol, my permanent accessory" pretty much sums up the attraction of drinking in the line "Alcohol, Alternative to feeling like myself."
  • Ringo Starr, of all people, had a major problem with this, which escalated after the breakup of The Beatles. Fortunately he's made a good recovery and is now completely sober.
  • "Between the Bars", and some other songs by Elliott Smith, is about this.
  • Warrel Dane and Jim Sheppard were infamous for both their excessive alcohol consumption and their mean, obnoxious, immensely offputting behavior while drunk, and it's been hinted by Jeff that this was part of why he and Van both left the band and essentially caused it to be put on indefinite hiatus.
  • James Lee was known to have had alcohol issues that may have been a form of self-medicating (he's struggled with depression over the years), and it's strongly suspected to have been the reason why he was fired. He has apparently gotten better, though.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Scott Hall in WCW and later WWE. That his real-life drinking problem was played for laughs left a bad taste in many viewers' mouths.
  • André the Giant was notorious for his ability to drink somewhere in the region of 7,000 calories of booze each day. Thing is, being a giant, it took INSANE amounts of booze to get him drunk—for example, 1,428 oz (that's 119 12-oz bottles) of beer to make him pass out.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
  • Jake Roberts: During his original run in the World Wrestling Federation, substance abuse problems began to mount for "The Snake," and came to a head after he left the organization. By 1996, he returned, having cleaned up and was now depicting himself as a born-again Christian who had left the bottle behind. A feud was created around his newfound sobriety, with Jerry Lawler playing the shameless antagonist. Lawler – then a mean-spirited, arrogant heel – constantly mocked Roberts and alleged that he had shown up at events under the influence. Roberts eventually had enough and eventually came to the arena "drunk" to lower Lawler's guard.
  • Keni'chiro Arai of Dragon Gate. His initial gimmick was a hardcore fan of the Hanshin Tigers baseball team who'd drink heavily at the games. The drunk part of his gimmick slowly disappeared - then he went through a Face-Heel Turn, dropped the baseball fan part of it and became a full time alcoholic who carried bottles of beer and sake to the ring with him.

  • Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling, Artie Lange, and especially Jeff the Drunk of The Howard Stern Show.
  • Comedy pair Hudson And Landry featured a few skits involving drunks making phone calls. Their best known skit is about a already hammered drunk ordering more liquor.
  • Phil Harris portrayed himself this way on The Jack Benny Program; once even claiming that he only drank so Jack would have something to joke about.
    • Beyond Harris, the entire band was portrayed as being a bunch of drunken reprobates, particularly guitarist Frank Remly.
  • Barry Cryer is seen as this by everyone else on Im Sorry I Havent A Clue. He seldom mentions it himself.
    Jack: One of the judges for this year's Beer Festival was our very own Barry Cryer. Barry sampled several dozens of different lagers, a variety of beers, and one or two champagnes, and as such, never made it to the festival.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Foster Brooks made a career of jokes built around his heavy drinking. This was often played off as Fair for Its Day, with Brooks explaining that he had mixed up his dates and would never have intentionally shown up in this condition.
  • Christopher Titus described his dad as always having a beer in hand, including funerals, waterskiing and PTA conferences. It's a firmly established part of his childhood memories that associates the can opening up with his dad saying something soul crushing.
  • Dean Martin used to do his act seemingly drunk with a glass of whisky (usually claimed to have actually been apple juice, though stories vary) in his hand, but while he wasn't a teetotaler, he wasn't the lush he pretended to be either. The HBO movie "Rat Pack" lampshades this rather hilariously: the camera pans up the side of the Sands hotel, showing glimpses of what's going on in everyone's room: Sammy has a girl and a drink, Peter has a girl and a drink, Joey has a girl and a drink, Frank has two girls and a drink ... and at the very top is Martin, sitting in bed alone watching TV, drinking a glass of milk.
  • Robin Williams would play his prior addictions for laughs.
    "When I became a reformed alcoholic I realized I'm the same asshole I just have fewer dents in my car."

    Tabletop Games 

  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Ligniere. He dislikes orange juice and milk, only stays at the theater to drink four glasses of wine, he happily retires to again betake his pet vice in a tavern, and when Christian tries to save him from a trap, he’s advised to leave notice for Ligniere at five different taverns.
  • Doc Delaney, in William Inge's Come Back Little Sheba.
  • The title character of P.D.Q. Bach's The Stoned Guest, whose voice type is described as "basso blotto."
  • Eric in An Inspector Calls is frequently "squiffy". It's obvious to most of his family, but his mother's in total denial about it.
  • Dodge in Buried Child. Arguably Halie and Vince as well.
  • Several characters in Road can be played this way. Many of them have little to do but drink.

    Video Games 
  • In Max Payne 2 it is revealed that former deputy police chief Bravura is a recovering alcoholic, and he offers to take the protagonist to meetings with him. It isn't made clear if he is merely misreading Payne's survivor's guilt or if Max actually has a problem.
    • In Max Payne 3, Max has become a full blown alcoholic. About halfway into the game it becomes one of Max's main goals to quit drinking.
  • In The Sims 3, you can make any Sim this, though due to the substitution of "juice" and "nectar" for alcohol, it takes either a fix names mod or imagination. That said, it's easy enough to make your character do nothing but drink. Unfortunately, as the game doesn't have any effect for this, you will need to accomplish symptoms via personality traits. Some good ones are Party Animal (which has a lot of drinking-related wants), Dramatic (which allows "Fake Passing Out,") Hot-Headed or Grumpy (for the violent drunk), and Inappropriate or Insane (bad behavior) or Clumsy (Exactly What It Says on the Tin). Giving them the Nectar Maker or Mixologist skills also helps.
  • In World of Warcraft, it's possible to make your player character one, granted that you have enough gold for the stronger alcohol items. If you're a Blood Elf, you don't even need the gold - there's a location close to your starting zone, that after a quest you can undertake around level 10, gives weak but free alcohol.
  • Mr. Galloway of Bully who is also arguably the coolest teacher in the game.
  • Part of the first quest in Fable II is returning a drunk's lost bottle. The 'good choice' is to give it to his wife, who's trying to make him quit, while the 'evil' one is giving it back to him.
  • Granin in Metal Gear Solid 3. To the point that he divulges Sokolov's location to Snake while intoxicated.
  • Gen of SaGa Frontier is a drunken samurai. His 'win' animation after the battles show him drinking...and drinking...and drinking.
  • Players of Final Fantasy X could speculate that the jug of sake hanging from Auron's belt was well used.
    • Jecht is a better example: Tidus mentions having trouble remembering a time when he wasn't drunk. This apparently ended when he stabbed a shoopuf in a drunken panic (he thought it was a fiend); after Braska was forced to give the animal's handler all their money, Jecht never drank again. (You can find a recording of the aftermath of the incident around the same area where it happened.)
  • In the first Diablo game, there was Farnham the Drunk, a comedic character who actually had a tragic side to him; he had to watch most of his friends get slaughtered during a raid in the dungeons. In the sequel, there's Geglash in Act II. While he is played for comedy, he is also an experienced fighter, and Atma notes that he has been drinking more than usual since the 'troubles' began.
  • Kenshin Uesugi in Samurai Warriors. Depending on who you ask, real life as well!
  • The mouthy Demoman of Team Fortress 2 seems to be perpetually drunk on the battlefield. His default melee weapon is even a scrumpy bottle! Interestingly, the comics imply that he's a perfectly reasonable guy while sober... which means that he's always drunk off his ass in-game.
    Demoman: (on sudden death) Thankfully, I already don't remember this.
  • Sleip of Blaze Union. She doesn't fit into the Always Female versions at all—she's young, she's cutesy, she's Ms. Fanservice, and she's very resistant to the idea of sobering up.
  • Oghren in Dragon Age: Origins and the expansion, Awakening. His alcoholism seems to have started as a way of Drowning My Sorrows. Oghren used to be a renowned warrior and his wife was named a Paragon, the greatest honour a dwarf can ever achieve. When she left him and set off into the Deep Roads, however, things went downhill.
    • Depending on the choices you make in the game, Alistair may become one as well.
    • Dragon Age II gives us Fenris, who spends his free time drinking alone. Given his backstory, you can't really blame him.
  • Possibly Bo Rai Cho from Mortal Kombat. It's never actually confirmed that he has an addiction, but seeing as he invented Drunken Boxing and can use vomit as a weapon during a fight, it is possible.
    • Not to mention the fact that his name is derived from borracho, the Spanish word for "drunk".
  • Touhou: Gensokyo's resident drunkards, Suika Ibuki and Yuugi Hoshiguma.
    • And, to an extent, the series's creator ZUN as well. Pictures of him are hard to find. Pictures of him without some form of alcohol are nonexistent.
  • Jim Raynor in StarCraft II, in reaction to what he feels is his role in Kerrigan being turned into the Queen of Blades. Matt Horner apparently has to clean up after him a lot.
  • The eponymous character of Conkers Bad Fur Day.
  • Grayson Hunt of Bulletstorm is a revenge-obsessed drunkard. The player can decide to take Ishi's threat to kill him if he starts again to heart, by shooting the bottles of alcohol you see.. or taking a drink, and getting point bonuses for killing enemies while drunk.
  • Dwarf Fortress: The one thing that all of the dwarfs have in common is that they "need alcohol to get through the working day". Almost everything else will vary between them (including what they like, what they hate, their personality traits, etc.), but alcohol is their default drink of choice (though, that said, the type of alcohol that they like best also varies).
    • Dwarves are born alcoholic: dwarven babies drink booze instead of breast-milk.
  • Baofu from Persona 2: Eternal Punishment always enjoyed tipping a few back. With him, alcohol is integrated as a philosophy and as a way to know a real person as "the truth can be seen in a shot glass". An example below:
    Baofu: Hey Maya, why don't you try to become the best wine?
    Ulala: What do you mean?
    Baofu: The best wines are those that are treated well, but ultimately become spoiled or bad if misused over time. It's the same with humans.
  • The town doctor in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist was such a habitual drunkard that in an early puzzle, a prescription written by him had to be looked at through the bottom of a whiskey glass in order to become legible.
  • Dead Rising 2: Off The Record has Chuck Greene reduced to alcoholism after the death of Katey. He carries a bottle of whiskey everywhere, and his boss theme is actually called "Firewater".
  • Generals and admirals in Napoleon Total War start to drink heavily if left idle for too long, which has of course increasingly negative consequences on their troops' morale and their own leadership capacities.
  • In The Novelist this is one possible outcome for Dan.
  • Dungeons Of Dredmor presents this as the fate of all wizards. Being that you, and everyone, gets mana from booze, they presumably needed to get absolutely tanked on a regular basis. Even their formidable magic prowess couldn't save them, however, and thus the only wizards you do find are dead, either by a pile of empty bottles (some of them describing some... less-than-healthy beverages), killed by a colleague with a mean drunk streak, or both.
  • Conway of Kentucky Route Zero can be interpreted as this. He falls back into it in Act 3
  • Moira from "Piss" is an extreme example, she regularly drinks so much she sometimes suffers from amnesia to the point where she occasionally even needs her diary to remind her who she's deliberate though as she's desperate to numb the memory and pain of her Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Carno's second wife Victoria from "Phantasmagoria" is implied to have been this, although we only see one flashback of her being drunk. Whether she suffered from alcoholism before being married off to Carno or whether she started drinking heavily soon after their marriage as a result of his abuse is unclear, but either way it seems she was suffering from and trying to numb some kind of mental/emotional pain as it's her spirit you hear (but don't see) sobbing in the wine cellar.
  • Played with in The Walking Dead. Some examples also display Genre Savviness as they seem to understand it's not smart to get drunk with all the zombies around.
    • Chuck was a homeless alcoholic before the apocalypse.
    • Kenny appears to have a history of alcohol abuse. In season 1, after his plan to find a boat seems to fail, he resorts to getting drunk off a bottle of whiskey. Much later in season 2, he adamantly refuses to have any alcohol at all, hinting strongly at his past with alcohol abuse.
    • Christa in season 1 refuses a drink at first, but then grabs the bottle and takes an extremely long swig while the other characters stare at her in disbelief. It is revealed Christa is pregnant so that could have been the reason for her initial refusal.

    Web Comics 
  • In Eternal Knights, Officer Jack Dawson is often seen drinking at Zora DaiQuirides bar. He sometimes drinks while on duty. He has bottles of alcohol around his apartment, including a 40 of Pabst in his living room.
  • Hazel from Girls with Slingshots is often drinking or drunk. She writes all of her articles smashed. Occasionally Lampshaded when she gets so drunk she forgets what happened, or realizes how common intoxication is for her. Such as when she "levels up" her faux sober threshold to nine beers.
  • Kyotoshi Lypha from Inhuman, starting after his parents were killed in a planet-wide massacre. His fridge contains only vodka and a clean, folded towel.
  • Edison Lighthouse, in Groovy Kinda, rarely appears without a drink in hand. At 39, she's old enough to be a Lady Drunk, but she's far too cheerful.
  • Almost everyone in Questionable Content drinks frequently (like a lot of 20-somethings) but some take it to more extremes than others.
    • Faye is called out on it at one point in the comic, and while characters such as Steve and even Marten are known to drown their sorrows once in a while, Faye was drinking so heavily and so often that her friends feared she might be an alcoholic. It got better after she started going to therapy and started having healthy relationships.
    • Steve went through a period following his breakup with Ellen where he was binge drinking constantly. He was drunk so often that the US Government hired him as a spy, knowing that people would never believe it and would chalk it up to an alcohol-induced hallucination.
  • Out There: One of the most common settings is Sherry's bar, but only Clayton fits the trope. Miriam is more accurately described as a Hard-Drinking Party Girl, and none of the other characters seem particularly dedicated to the task.
  • Captn Crazy and Hugo, the rat. Played for laughs.
  • String Theory has the alcoholic Dr. Schtein. He's also an avid user of a large number of other drugs.
  • No Need for Bushido has Ken, who, after running out of sake in the middle of a battle, decides to go maul an enemy camp and take their supply. He then proceeds to do this several more times until he get so drunk he falls unconscious, and when he regains consciousness, he finds he's run out yet again and goes out for some more.
  • Elf Blood has Shanna, who was constantly depicted drinking alcohol in the earlier sections of the comic. She doesn't appear to suffer any deleterious effects from her condition though, or at least none that have been shown yet.
  • Lyle Gabriel from Achewood is nearly always drunk and usually blitzed well beyond the point of coherence. It gets less comedic as time goes on; later strips depict him as being unable to function if he doesn't drink constantly.
  • Taisei from Sakana is "drunk 50 % of the time". When having a hangover is also pretty much the only time he is depressed.
  • Decoy Octopus in The Last Days of FOXHOUND.
  • Nitrous Blight of Zokusho Comics could head this way if he's not careful. He is a powerful telepath and alcohol is one of the few ways to dull the volume of the thoughts of others.
  • Graham in Wizard School is abducted to the Academy after a drunken bender - and is immediately asking small children to summon alcohol for him.
  • In Victoria games, you need alcohol to train and supply army units. You can have all the metal, gunpowder, and men in the world, but you literally cannot make even one more cannon if it's crew don't get there beer.
  • Homestuck: Roxy Lalonde spends the first three parts of Act 6 hammered. By the fifth part, she admits that she had a problem.
  • Starslip Crisis has Cutter Edgewise, space pirate!. Well, former space pirate, anyway. He's nearly always at least semi-drunk, though he's still likely to be more level-headed than Vanderbeam.
  • Detective Noir of Hero Material drinks nigh-constantly out of his flask. He never gets too drunk to do his job, though.
  • Muh Phoenix: Tony Stark. Emma Frost as well.
    Iron Man: Like Mama Stark always said, you're never too drunk to fly a giant robot.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Adriana bases one of her in-character actions on "Aunt Felicia after two bourbons". Her brother Bill says that's a mean comment, but a true one.
  • Father Abaddon in Dresden Codak.
    "Father Abaddon, have you been drinking?"
    "I've never stopped."
  • Billie and Ruth from Dumbing of Age. It is very much Played for Drama
  • Golgo in Rice Boy. Played for Drama and portrayed surprisingly realistically. In his case normal alcohol apparently doesn't cut it for him and instead he drinks a substance known as "Black Drink" made by an apothecary, which is much stronger than most beverages.

    Web Original 
  • Danielbeast in lonelygirl15 became an alcoholic at one point, as a result of trying to drown his sorrows.
  • Glitch, of the Whateley Universe, who's obviously alcoholic, and a sophomore in high school. He blames his parents for all his problems.
  • During her review of Xanadu, due to not being impressed with how bored the voice actor of Zeus sounded, The Nostalgia Chick's impersonation of him made him sound ridiculously drunk instead. She herself is nearly always seen with a bottle of beer.
  • Harley Morenstein of Epic Meal Time rarely appears without a bottle of Jack in hand. One time, he and the others made breakfast with alcohol.
  • The Nostalgia Critic: The Critic is a complete and utter lightweight, but still drinks a lot.
  • Ask That Guy with the Glasses has a bar for setting. The host has replaced his book with A Glass of Chianti.
  • All of the main cast of Demo Reel has some drinking problem or another. Donnie leaves empty scotch glasses around his office, Rebecca can't handle caffeine but can drink an Italian mafioso under the table. Quinn and Karl are Irish and German ex-spies respectively, and treat drinking without each other as Serious Business. Tacoma is the only one remotely reluctant to get drunk and even he caves pretty fast to the idea. Of course, all of them have Dark And Troubled Pasts and are trying to drown their sorrows.
  • In the "Ask Jack" video from the The Horribly Slow Murderer with the Extremely Inefficient Weapon series, Jack reveals that the reason he is still fat despite running from the Ginosaji for years is because he's developed eating and drinking problems to cope with the insanity. During the segment he's trying to eat a plate of spaghetti and drink a glass of wine while the Ginosaji is still slowly beating him to death with a spoon.
  • 514 from Lucky Day Forever. His fridge is filled with Little Prolie Beer. Used to show that 514 buys into the Whites' propaganda.
  • Linkara portrays the already discussed Ultimate Iron Man (and at times the regular one, when it's not wrong to do so) with a drunkard voice that's utterly hilarious.
  • Vaguely Recalling JoJo: Dio Brando during the Phantom Blood spoof, which is an exaggeration of Dio tasting alcohol and enjoying it during the scene where he tests the Stone Mask on a test subject.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama, robots are alcoholics by default, as alcohol works as their fuel. However, they stumble around as if they were drunk when they're sober... and at other times (particularly in earlier episodes) they are portrayed binge-drinking human style. Bender himself speaks with a mild slur at all times.
    • "You've been drinking too much! Or not enough. I forget how it works with you."
    • "I don't need to drink, I can quit any time I want."
    • "Bender, you're blind stinking sober!"
    • In one episode where Bender can't/won't drink, he's depicted as staggering, slurring his speech, and with a patch of rust resembling beard stubble.
    • In the episode Benderama, Bender uses a self replicating device to make 2 smaller copies of himself. This process repeats itself until thousands of molecule level Bender's rearrange the molecules of earth's oceans note , turning it into Alcohol.
    Morbo: ...Water is now b-booze, and everyone's tiddly much protally fit-shaced.
  • Miriam Pataki from Hey Arnold! is a textbook example, though mainly off screen. On screen all she wants is a "smoothie".
  • Clay Puppington in Moral Orel. And how!
    • It turns out he was introduced to alcohol by Bloberta. Once he became an alcoholic, she quit being one.
  • The entire band Dethklok in Metalocalypse, but particularly Pickles the drummer. Alcoholism and drug use is such a heavy part of Pickles's past and personality that when his former bandmates headlined a Straight Edge-esque concert with a new singer, he was mortally offended and vowed to crash the concert.
    • Special points also to Nathan Explosion, who apparently needs regular liver transplants, and is shown receiving one as part of fan touring of Mordhaus.
  • Family Guy:
    • Brian Griffin is rarely seen without a glass of something in his hand. In comparison he is probably worse than Peter - Peter usually goes out drinking for fun with friends, but Brian often drinks alone, or to 'drown sorrows', or for the sake of drinking.
    • Peter Griffin, occasionally.
  • The Simpsons
    • Homer Simpson. He can consume more beer (leading into excessive intoxication obviously) than Peter can.
    Homer: And [I'll get to] get drunk on a Tuesday.
    Marge: Today's Tuesday and you've had six beers!
    Homer: But I'm not drunk.
    • It's a running gag that when somebody asks Homer if he's been drinking, he never says no.
    Marge: How drunk are you?
    Homer: Not. Very.
    • Barney Gumble appears worse than Homer, but is often seen trying to overcome his problem — Homer has not even acknowledged he has a problem. He does occasionally, but usually for a throwaway gag, not as part of an episode's plot.
    • Lionel Hutz is shown to have a pretty severe drinking problem on occasion.
    Hutz:"Mrs. Simpson claims she forgot she had this bottle of sweet, Kentucky Bourbon... brownest of the brown liquors... What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial! ...Excuse me! (runs out of courtroom)
    Lionel Hutz: Mrs. Simpson, you're in luck, your sexual harassment suit is exactly what I need to rebuild my shattered practice! Care to join me in a belt of scotch?
    Marge: It's 9:30 in the mourning.
    Hutz: Yeah, but I haven't slept in days. (Takes a large belt of scotch, and waves the dregs at temptingly at Marge) Last chance! (Finishes the bottle)
    • In the 14th season episode Bart vs Lisa vs the Third-Grade Ms McConnell, who is something of a Gossip Girl, denotes that Lisa's Teacher Ms. Hoover an alcoholic, though if you had students like Ralph Wiggum you would be too.
    • Lindsey Naegle is a self-proclaimed alcoholic and has been seen at AA meetings.
    • In each of his guest appearances, Ron Howard appears wearing a bath robe and with a drink in his hand. Seeing Homer drinking a cocktail of his own invention—a concoction of vodka and wheat grass which Homer dubs a 'lawn mower'—he cheerfully asks Homer to make him one.
  • Roger of American Dad!.
  • Pickles of The Oblongs
  • The Stork from Looney Tunes
  • Uncle Waldo from The Aristocats. He is first seen being chased out of a restaurant as an attempt to avoid being killed and eaten as part of a dish called "Prime Country Goose a la Provencale" that apparantly involved him being "stuffed with chestnuts and basted in white wine." And because of the latter, Uncle Waldo actually became extremely drunk as a result of this.
  • Captain K'Nuckles of The Misadventures of Flapjack comes off as this, always needing a pick me up or becoming wasted at the Candy Barrel.
  • Teleportation Larry ofThe Awesomes is pretty much constantly drunk, which is almost always a liability.
  • All of Dethklok are alcoholics, really, but the most notable example is Pickles the Drummer, who started drinking to cope with being The Unfavorite. Once, when the media alleged that he's not as much an alcoholic as he acts, he vows to drink even more just to prove them wrong.
  • Franklin Sherman of The Critic almost always has a drink in his hand and it's heavily implied alcohol plays a major role in his Cloud Cuckoo Lander tendencies.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic background character Berry Punch is very often portrayed as a drunk due to her cutie mark (Symbol of a special talent) of grapes and a strawberry — two common ingredients in wine. Lauren Faust mentioned in a Q&A that her nickname for the character was Pinot Noir, making this about as close to canon as possible for a kids show.
  • Mouse Fitzgerald of Twelve Ounce Mouse uses this trope as his defining trait. He's seen practically every ten minutes with a beer in his hand.