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Alcoholic Parent

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

The Alcoholic with children. When it's the mother, it's usually Lady Drunk. When it's the father, it's usually Abusive Parents, although there's a fair number of abusive alcoholic mothers in fiction as well (including a number of abusive alcoholic Lady Drunk mothers, particularly when a wealthy or upper-crust character needs a Freudian Excuse).

Unfortunately also Truth in Television. Compare the Addled Addict, who may or may not have children, and Junkie Parent.

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Dramatic Examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Evance from Beauty and the Beast of Paradise Lost became a drunk after his wife disappeared. He forced their daughter Belle to work as a seamstress, drank all the money she earned, and kept her locked up as a punishment for insisting to go to the forest when she was a child, causing her mother to commit a Heroic Sacrifice to save her from a monster. Said monster kills him later, when Belle runs away and Evance tries to recapture her.
  • Revy's father in Black Lagoon was a violent, drunken Lower-Class Lout who regularly beat her and (judging by her comments about Greenback Jane reminding her of her family services caseworker) was regularly under investigation for abusing her. He became Revy's first kill.
  • Aiko "Anko" Tokosumi's mother in Bokurano. Especially when her husband is caught cheating on her and, since he's a popular Intrepid Reporter, it becomes a very public affair.
  • Taro Misaki's father Ichiro in Captain Tsubasa was this in the past. While he's not a bad person, it still caused friction in Taro's family and led his wife to divorce him.
  • Ran Mouri's Bumbling Dad Kogoro in Case Closed fits into both sides of the spectrum. On the "Dramatic" hand, he does have a good perception in solving cases at times, but most of the time, he just wastes time drinking, and at least once he's been straight-up drinking his sorrows away. He still loves Ran and cares for Conan in his own way, though.
  • Tomoya's father in CLANNAD, straight up out of sorrow, causing him to become distant from his son. He gets better.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Shinjuro Rengoku, the former Flamer Hashira, became a deadbeat drunk father after losing all his will as a warrior upon reading about Sun Breathing, and his wife's passing; his son Kyojuro remarked Shinjuro was a good father before all of that.
  • Food Wars!: Asahi's (unnamed) mother. She would often try to drown him in the sink when he refused to give her alcohol, and it goes without saying that he didn't mourn her when she passed away.
  • Arisa Uotani's father in Fruits Basket was this in the past, causing him to become neglectful of her, though by the events of the series, he's shown to be in the process of recovering.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula ZERO, Henri Claytor's unnamed father picked up the drinking habit after Hayato won the first championship and became the youngest CF champion instead of his son. This was also Henri's Start of Darkness, and the seeds of his hatred for Hayato were planted from there.
  • Miyata's father in Hajime no Ippo became this after losing his boxing career, which caused his wife to divorce him. He gets better when he sees that his son has inherited his talent and decides to help him, becoming both his coach and a good single father.
  • Christina Gabriel in Heat Guy J is an irresponsible Hard-Drinking Party Girl, leaving her 10-year-old daughter Monica to be the household breadwinner.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Dio Brando's abusive, alcoholic father was the reason why Dio lived most of his young life in poverty (even by 19th century England's standards), which in turn drove him to do whatever it took to gain wealth and power.
    • In JoJolion, this trope returns with Yasuho Hirose's mother, Suzuyo. It's implied that the latter is very frequently found drunk and passed out in their house.
  • Shinichi's father in Kore wa Koi no Hanashi, who held down a hard-working job, but drank a lot and was also verbally and physically violent towards his wife. Though whether he ever harmed Shinichi is never mentioned.
  • Oskar von Reuenthal's verbally abusive father in Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
  • Baku's father in Onegai My Melody. Sometimes it's Played for Laughs, but it's also established that he drinks on the job (he trims foliage) and strains his family's (15 mouths total) already tight budget.
  • Kevin Smith's father, George in The Prince of Tennis, who is a neglectful jerk towards his son.
  • Junko Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl. "I'm Not Afraid of Anything Anymore" has her arriving home late and so sloshed that her husband and kids have to tuck her into bed, but otherwise she's a pretty normal person.
  • Sakuya Ookuchi's mother Reiko in Sensual Phrase. She actually drank herself to death.
  • Yuri's father, Mr. Legend in Tiger & Bunny. He was not a good parent when drunk.
  • Jounounchi's father in Yu-Gi-Oh!; we never see him in person, but there's a pile of bottles outside his door, and his only interaction with his son is drunken ranting.

    Comic Books 
  • Cassandra Cain AKA Batgirl's father David is an alcoholic, though it's unclear if he was always one, or if he started Drowning His Sorrows after she ran away from him.
  • Captain America's father was an alcoholic, but Steve still loved him.
  • Iron Man might have gotten his alcoholism from his father, and the second movie made sure to include a scene of Howard drinking while shooting a film clip. Though Howard apparently isn't Tony's biological father, it's still possible that he inherited alcoholism from one of his biological parents.
  • One of the characters to hold the name Nova, Sam Alexander, had a father who was an alcoholic, which may stem from his flashbacks during his time as a Nova. In spite of this flaw, he was shown to be a Good Parent and good husband, to the point where Eva even implied that he was experiencing a "rough" time. Though he became sober after staging a slave revolt against the Chitauris.
  • In Peter Pan, Peter's mother is an abusive alcoholic.
  • Robin (1993): Jack Drake starts Drowning His Sorrows after he makes some financial gambles that result in Drake Industries going bankrupt. He goes from ignoring Tim while traveling and being cluelessly chipper about his terrible parenting, to ignoring Tim while locking himself in his room while moping and drinking.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dick Tracy: Model's parents are unemployed alcoholics who are never seen without a bottle or a glass in their hands. The teenaged Model provides the only income coming into the household.

    Fan Works 
  • Codex Equus: Sunny Mane Vaughoof's post-Second Great War trauma drove him to drink, exacerbating his pre-existing anger issues into something worse to the point where he abused his wife, Pepper Cook, and his two sons, Moon Ray Vaughoof and Sunny Field Vaughoof. While his Freudian Excuse does explain why he became that way, it doesn't excuse or justify his actions at all, and this was shown in how he once took Moon Ray and Sunny Field out fishing without any incident when they were young. His actions understandably caused his two sons to fear and hate him, and while they do eventually forgive him, it's only to rid themselves of his posthumous influence.
  • How to Break a Family: Mr. Read turns to alcohol in the fourteen years after DW's disappearance and his divorce from Jane.
  • Kimber grew into one in the Jem sequel fic Lasting Fame. Her teenage daughter has become distant as a result of her mother's depression and alcoholism.
  • In Laying Waste To Halloween, Percy's stepfather Gabe is frequently drunk and abusive towards Percy.
  • Mike's New Ghostly Family: Mike Schmidt's birth father started out as a hard but fair man, but when his wife died, he ended up Drowning His Sorrows, his alcoholism turning him abusive, with him constantly and brutally beating up Mike with a belt for the slightest provocations. It continued for six years before Mike ran away from home. Mike's escape finally made him realize how horrible he became, and decided to leave him alone to not force him through any more suffering, reuniting with him only on his deathbed, tearfully apologizing for all abuse he put his son through in the past.
  • Old West: James Douglas, father of Rattlesnake Jake, was both this and committed Domestic Abuse. Little Jake was forced to witness every night the beatings his mother Selena received from James, with the final night resulting in Selena's death and the beginning of Jake's life as an outlaw.
  • In The Power of the Equinox, Scootaloo is constantly hit by her alcoholic adoptive father Brutus Meadows. It used to be a case of Happily Adopted, but after Brutus's wife Vibrant Glow ran into serious gambling debts, he became an alcoholic and, as a result, abusive.
  • Ruby and Nora: Willow Schnee loves alcohol as much as she loves women.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • Weiss, Whitley, and Winter's mother Willow has been an alcoholic for 30 years. Willow drinks to avoid thinking about her troubled home life and husband, as well as to deal with her schizophrenic hallucinations. She's rarely ever sober and is very distant from her children. Winter has a heavy disdain for alcoholics thanks to her mother. Her kids consider her no better than their abusive father Jacques, but deep down Willow does care for her children. After Weiss's Interrupted Suicide, Willow decides to quit and join an AA group.
    • Mercury's father Marcus was a physically abusive alcoholic. Mercury ended up killing him during a fight.
    • Qrow is Ruby's biological father, though he hasn't told her and she knows him as her parental-like uncle. He drinks to help deal with the memories of having to kill his lover, and Ruby's mother, Summer during a spy mission.
  • It's mentioned in Super Villain Prevention 101 that Harley Quinn's father is a neglectful alcoholic. He often couldn't afford his psychiatric medicine, so he turned to alcohol to self-medicate.
  • The Tainted Grimoire: Isabella, Luso and Frimelda's mother, is this to the point of Parental Neglect.
  • Touch (2005): Roxy mentions that there was always plenty of cheap alcohol around her childhood home thanks to her alcoholic Junkie Parent of a mother. Her mother was also neglectful and abusive.
  • Wine Red no Kokoro goes into depth on Gotz's alcoholism in Harvest Moon 64. He always liked to drink, but after the vineyard went bad, he began going out more and more and it soon turned from fun into alcoholism. He's never physically abusive to his daughter Karen or wife Sasha, but there's a lot of arguing and he used to punish Karen by locking her into rooms when she was younger. It got to the point where Karen began helping at the local bar as a child because she wanted to be close to her father.

    Films — Animated 
  • Conor from Song of the Sea has had this problem ever since his wife Bronagh vanished without a trace. While he does try his best to be a good father, he's still distant to his children and visits the pub to drown his sorrows on his daughter's birthday because it reminds him of his wife's disappearance.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Eric's uncle Hugo in The Boy Who Could Fly. Obviously not a parent, but Hugo is Eric's guardian. His drinking gets so bad that he lost custody of him a couple of times.
  • Lucy's father, Battling Burrow, from Broken Blossoms is a drunkard boxer who beats his daughter when he's angry.
  • Catherine Called Birdy (2022): Birdy introduces her hedonistic father Rollo as "very vain and often drunk". He's so out of it that he's whittled away much of the family money.
  • Cherrybomb (2009): Luke's father is a shambling, drunken wreck who unsuccessfully tries to kill himself, and then abandons his son altogether.
  • The Confirmation:
    • Walt has troubles with alcohol, although he tries to stay sober around his son.
    • Allen mentions that Vaughn is passed out drunk at one point.
  • The father in the framing story of Creepshow, which is fairly common in works by Stephen King. He thinks it's his God-given right to slap his kid.
  • Eve of Destruction: Dr. Eve Simmons's father was an abusive alcoholic who eventually killed her mother by pushing her into traffic. Because EVE is made in the doctor's likeness and implanted with her memories, she tracks "her" father down and kills him.
  • Feast of Love: Oscar's dad is one, halfhazardly driving home drunk before parking his car halway on the lawn. He gets very aggressive while drunk, verbally abusing both Oscar and Chloe, sometimes also threatening her with violence too.
  • In Forrest Gump, it's implied that Jenny's father is an alcoholic (as well as sexually abusive).
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): Mark Russell reveals that in the aftermath of his son Andrew's death, he turned to drinking as a way of coping for a time, and he expresses profuse shame that his surviving child Madison had to see him like that.
  • In The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery, John Egan is a He-Man Woman Hater who refuses to have women even tangentially involved in his work. He drunkenly confesses to George that his misogyny comes from experiences with his alcoholic abusive mother, whom he eventually murdered by pushing her down a flight of stairs.
  • In The Grizzlies, Zach's parents are alcoholics and drug users, manifesting in parental neglect to the point of starvation. Kyle's father also drinks heavily, which results in physical abuse toward his wife and son. Alcoholism is implied to be a widespread issue in the Inuit community due to intergenerational trauma from colonialism and residential schools.
  • I Accuse My Parents, a movie featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, is an attempt at a dramatic example. The lead character, Jimmy Wilson, claims that his alcoholic parents' loveless marriage and lack of attention was responsible for his life of crime. However, anyone who watches the movie, including Joel & the 'Bots, can tell that it has more to do with his own stupidity and lying to cover up what his home life was like.
    Laughing Girl: She's drunk!
    Crow: It's funny!
  • In Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent, Alan's father is a drunk who physically abuses his wife and son.
  • In Lykkefanten (also called Southern Comfort), Ida's mother has become a terrible alcoholic as a way of coping with her divorce, to the point where Ida spends much of the film trying to conceal the problem for fear that she and her brother will be sent into foster care.
  • Amy is going to AA meetings in Men with Brooms, though she ends up falling Off the Wagon. Her son's rather blunt and understanding response to Chris Cutter's attempt to explain it away as her being sick implies that this happens relatively often.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street:
  • No Time to Die: Madeleine Swann's mother drank as "medicine", probably to cope with the fact that her boyfriend/husband Mr. White was a killer. She even asked her own daughter to bring her wine, and it's said daughter who had to clean when she dropped alcohol on the floor.
  • In One Foot in Hell, Julie tells Dan that her father was a drunk who used to pimp her out to his friends to earn drinking money.
  • As portrayed in Saving Mr. Banks, P.L. Travers's beloved father has a hell of an alcohol problem.
  • In Silent Tongue, Eamon McCree is a drunk who was a terrible parent to his three children, including selling one of his daughters to Prescott Roe to be married to Prescott's son.
  • In Stella Maris, after her last servant leaves her, the alcoholic Louise adopts a girl from an orphanage to be her new servant. She does nothing but yell and abuse Unity. When Unity comes home without her groceries, Louise beats her unconscious. She ends up being arrested and sent to prison for three years.
  • In Summer with Monika, Monika's father is a drunk who is friendly unless Monika snaps at him.

  • "Pap" from Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, who beats Huck and takes money from him to buy liquor.
  • The father in Angela's Ashes. He holds down a job for maybe a day when he can find work, and will drink off what he earns rather than bringing it home.
  • In Berättelse om herr Roos, Anna's father died from drinking, and her mother has become an alcoholic too.
  • Cal's and Niko's mother from the Cal Leandros series was an alcoholic. Sophia Leandros would go as far as throwing empty bottles at Cal when he was a kid and ranting at him about how much of a monster he is, even though it was her who sold her... reproductive ability to an Auphe for a pot of gold, which she quickly spent on more alcohol. At least on one occasion she also stole Niko's college money. While she burned to death prior to the first book in the series, the experience of growing up with Sophia as a mother teaches even resident bad boy Cal to never drink more than one beer, as he believes himself to have inherited his mother's penchant for alcoholism.
  • Semyon Marmeladov in Crime and Punishment. His drinking destroys the life of his family; he loses his job, squanders their money, and his daughter is forced to become a prostitute. He eventually dies when he gets run over by a carriage while drunk.
  • Lucas's mother Terri used to be one in A Dog's Way Home. She was a war veteran who turned to drugs and alcohol after returning home. Her alcoholism and drug addiction led to her neglecting her son growing up. As an adult, Lucas tries not to think about this, but Terri is still upset about neglecting him as a child. Terri's alcoholism recovery is a major part of her character and she regularly goes to group counseling for veterans. The titular dog, Bella, ends up being her service dog to help with her seizures and her depression.
  • Joe St. George from Dolores Claiborne was thought to be one, though his wife Dolores disputes it, claiming that he liked to drink, but was capable of moderating himself. Whatever the case, he also had a decidedly unwholesome interest in their teenage daughter Selena.
  • In Don't Look Back, Sam's mother, Joanna, is almost constantly drinking wine in her every appearance, implicitly because of the stresses of her unhappy marriage and her current circumstances with her daughter. She drops this entirely at the end when she plays the part of the Big Damn Heroes.
  • Eleanor & Park: Richie is constantly drinking and has driven drunk with his stepchildren and son in the truck more than once. Eleanor considers it a miracle that he hasn't hurt anyone or caused a kid to fall off the back of the truck.
  • The Essex Serpent: Naomi Banks is the daughter of a fisherman who is also the local drunk. Her mother is dead. Mr Banks spends most of his time in pubs and Naomi kind of has to take care of him as well as of herself.
  • Forbidden: The Whitleys' mother, Lily.
    Lochan: Two hours ago you were too damn hungover to make it down the street to fetch your own children from school, and you couldn't even remember you'd asked someone else to pick them up!
    Lily: But, darling, aren't you pleased I'm feeling so much better?
  • Trisha's father from The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon possibly drinks more than he should. A nightmare she has one night in the woods indicates her subconscious feelings about this.
  • Joey Pigza Swallowed The Key: Joey's mother was known to drink during her pregnancy with him.
  • In Bryan Miranda's The Journey to Atlantis, the father of Stacie. Not only does he beat said character and their siblings, he's a general asshat as well.
  • Kate Shugak's parents were (mostly) functional alcoholics who died when Kate was quite young, leaving her to be raised by relatives. Her mother's death is the reason that Kate does not drink, and why she hates bootleggers so much.
  • The Rat's father in The Lost Prince is a drunkard and given to beating his son.
  • Julian in The Nightingale (Kristin Hannah). His experiences in The Battle of The Somme inflicted serious psychological harm, and he is never seen without his brandy. However, his Parental Abandonment prevents the full effect of this trope from being felt by his daughters.
  • The Origin of Laughing Jack: Isaac's father uses most of his earned money on lots of alcohol. He often returns home and shouts at his wife in a drunken rage during their arguments, sometimes escalating to beating or worse. At one point, she doesn't get back up from his beating, and the father is executed.
  • Danny Capistrano of Paraiso Street. One of his daughter's methods of getting back at him is finding ways to make his hangovers worse.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Thalia's mother was a cold and distant alcoholic.
  • Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty: In "The Giant's Daughter at Spring Formal", the giant's daughter has to throw away her father's alcohol bottles so her mother won't find them.
  • Peter's father in Rivers of London is a pretty serious drug addict. He isn't a bad father though, just relatively ineffectual (that Peter's mother is a serious Apron Matron probably meant she picked up the parenting slack pretty effortlessly though).
  • Part and parcel of the back story of The Shack. The protagonist had a violent alcoholic father who only got worse when the son tried to get help for himself and his battered mother. He ultimately murdered his father by poisoning his liquor.
  • Jack Torrance in Stephen King's The Shining had an alcoholic father and himself is one. He once broke his son's arm in a drunken rage.
  • Spinning Silver: Gorek became a full-blown drunk after his wife's death, which drove him deep into debt, caused him to mismanage his farm, and exacerbated his neglect and abuse of his children. Wanda is quietly furious to realize that his liquor expenses are keeping them in poverty, and the last straw comes when he tries to marry her off in exchange for a weekly supply of booze.
  • After being removed from his Pup Pack, Lucky from Survivor Dogs was adopted into a less-than-stellar home. The children were too rough and handsy while the father was a drunkard who would beat Lucky. When the door was left open one day, Lucky ran away and has been on his own ever since. His days as a Leashed Dog are a blurry memory but they painted his opinion on humans. He still hates the idea of being a pet and thinks it's unnatural for dogs to wear collars.
  • Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird physically abuses his daughter Mayella and is strongly implied to sexually abuse her as well.
  • Touching Spirit Bear: Unfortunately for Cole, both his parents are alcoholics. His mom drinks to forget, and when his dad drinks he becomes a monster.
  • Johnny Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. He wasn't abusive — indeed, he was very gentle and loving, and quite charming — but his problem meant that he couldn't provide for his family, and ultimately is what kills him while he is still young.
  • Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch: Mary Beth, whose addiction is due to the severe trauma she's received. She neglects her daughter as a result of her drinking.
  • Maik's mother in Why We Took the Car. However, she is aware of her problem and a loving mother nonetheless, different from her husband.
  • Downplayed but still played straight with Gloria Blundell in the Rosamunde Pilcher novel Winter Solstice. She's "never incapable, never hungover" as her husband Oscar puts it, but she gets through a lot of liquor. It's strongly implied that her drinking contributed to the car accident that got herself and her daughter killed.
  • Nan's mother in The Wizard of London spends most of what she earns (or Nan gets by begging) on gin.
  • In Wuthering Heights, Hindley Earnshaw becomes an alcoholic parent to his son Hareton after the death of his wife Frances drives him to the bottle. Little Hareton is terrified both of his father's "wild beast's fondness" and of his "madman's rage," and at one point a drunken Hindley accidentally drops him from the top of a staircase, almost to his death.
  • Christine Taylor was this to her daughter Rayona in A Yellow Raft in Blue Water up until she was diagnosed with a terminal illness that made her go back to the Indian reservation she came from.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100:
    • Raven suspects that her mom had her just so she could trade Raven's food rations for liquor.
    • Murphy's mother drank herself to death and died blaming him for his father's death.
  • The 4400: In "Blink", it is revealed that Tom's late father Mitch drank heavily because he hated being a beat cop.
  • The father of Ruthie's then-boyfriend Peter from 7th Heaven, who returns home after three years away and proves to be a Jerkass at first, until Eric convinces him to be a little more enthusiastic about life. While he's been sober for a while at that point, he was a nightmare when he was hitting the bottle according to Peter.
  • Arlene Vaughn to Hayley Vaughn on All My Children, coupled with a sex addiction.
  • Carolanne Adama from Battlestar Galactica (2003) is implied very strongly to have been this. According to her son Lee, she was physically and mentally abusive and probably never cared about her husband or children at all.
  • Kelly's mother Jackie on Beverly Hills, 90210 is an alcoholic who goes on and off the wagon throughout the show.
  • Pretty much spelled out when Nadia makes Drunken Peaches on Bitchin'Kitchen:
    Nadia: My dad used to make this recipe all the time, but instead of port, he'd use homemade wine! ...And there were no peaches. [Beat, then quietly bites into a peach]
  • In The Bold Type, Sutton's estranged mother Babs was an alcoholic, which led to Sutton leaving home at age 16. When Sutton has to contact her in order to get her birth certificate for a passport, Babs tries to make amends and reveals that she's since worked on sobriety and a more stable life, leading her and Sutton to reconcile.
  • Bones has Booth's father. He's said to have drunk to deal with his war experience and it often tied into beating Booth and Jared.
  • Shawn's father from Boy Meets World is a recovered alcoholic.
  • On Castle, Beckett's father fell into alcoholism after his wife's murder but recovered thanks to his daughter.
  • Jeff Winger from Community makes a throwaway reference to having a drunken and abusive dad when explaining how TV makes an excellent parent.
  • CSI:
    • There's an episode where the team searches for a missing teenage girl who has an alcoholic father, implied to be physically abusive. When the team questions him, he basically states that he couldn't care less where his daughter is at and seems happy at the thought that she skipped town.
    • Ray Langston indicates his dad became one after his stint in Vietnam, along with giving in to his violent tendencies.
  • Daredevil (2015): Wilson Fisk's father was a drunk and abusive loser who beat his wife and son on a regular basis, and pressured Wilson into having a taste of liquor.
  • Degrassi has Ellie's mom, who passed out once and almost burned down their house because she left the stove on. This causes Ellie to temporarily move in with her boyfriend Sean.
  • Ray Vecchio on Due South. He brings it into the open during "North" when he gets in an argument with his dad's ghost.
  • Euphoria:
    • Maddy's dad is supposedly "between jobs", but he spends much of his time passed out drunk.
    • Lexi and Cassie's mom is a shameless lush.
  • Family Matters: Harriet fears that Eddie is sexually active after finding a romantic note from his girlfriend, but Eddie informs his father that the girl's mother has a drinking problem and that he had finally convinced her to attend an Alateen meeting.
  • In Flesh and Bone, Claire and Bryan's father is a vicious drunk.
  • Rhonda Wexler to Karen Wexler on General Hospital, indirectly resulting in one of her boyfriends molesting Karen during her drunken blackouts.
  • Meredith and Lexie's father in Grey's Anatomy, to the point where eventually he needs a liver transplant from Meredith to survive.
  • Robert Chase's mother on House. His father then pulled a Disappeared Dad when Robert was 15, leaving Chase alone for five years to watch as his mother slowly drank herself to death.
  • JAG:
    • Bud Robert's father, who was physically abusive to both him and his brother Mikey.
    • Mac's late father, who was also a bit abusive, though she managed to forgive him on his deathbed.
  • The Law & Order franchise:
    • Law & Order: Mike Logan's mother would get drunk and hit him after his dad hit her.
    • Ben Stone's father had an out-of-control drinking problem, the sad experience of which gives Stone insight into the alcoholic doctor defendant in "Prescription for Death."
    • Olivia Benson's mother on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was Flanderized from a single mom with an implied drinking problem to a violent, non-functional drunk. It likely has some background to it — Olivia was born as the result of rape.
  • Lost:
    • Jack Shepard's father Christian was a drunk who never showed his son any approval or affection. His alcoholism eventually cost him his job when he performed surgery on a pregnant woman while drunk.
    • Workman Roger Linus, father of Benjamin Linus. He was verbally and possibly physically abusive to his son, who often came home to find his father passed out in an alcoholic stupor.
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", the prostitute reveals that her late father turned to drinking to drown his sorrows from living in poverty due to his incestuous relationship with his sister.
  • Megan and Lily's father in Privileged. Though he's recovered when we first see him, he relapses when Shelby abandons them a second time.
  • The Republic of Sarah: Sarah and Danny's mother is a massive alcoholic whose drinking was covered up for years because of she was a state senator. Later she joins AA after years of Sarah urging her to.
  • Scrubs has this as part of Dr. Cox's back story. His father's favorite hobby was to get drunk and beat him and his sister through every room in the house, while his mother did absolutely nothing to stop him. A loving gesture was when he threw an empty bottle at young Perry and deliberately missed.
  • John Winchester in Supernatural. You never actually see him drinking, but it's mentioned many times.
    Sam: So he's working overtime on a "Miller Time" shift; he'll stumble back in sooner or later.
    Sam: You don't want to see him [John] when he's drinking.
    Sam: Yeah, he's just deer hunting up at the cabin and he's probably got Jim, Jack, and Jose along with him. We're just gonna go bring him back.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Her Pilgrim Soul", Dr. Kevin Drayton tells Nola Granville that his wife Carol's mother was an alcoholic and that she wants to have children so that she can be the kind of mother that she never had herself. Hearing about Nola's difficult childhood with her Fantasy-Forbidding Father allows Kevin to understand how Carol feels for the first time.
    • In "A Saucer of Loneliness", the middle-aged Margaret lives with her alcoholic, emotionally abusive mother, who constantly belittles her because she doesn't have a man in her life. She tells Margaret that she should be respectable, but her own behavior is anything but. She eventually throws Margaret out of her apartment because of all the negative publicity generated by her refusal to reveal the contents of the message from the Flying Saucer.
  • Lianne Mars, mother of the titular character in Veronica Mars. Which is why she is Put on a Bus by Veronica, after failing to complete rehab.
  • Leo in The West Wing had an alcoholic father who committed suicide when Leo was a kid. Leo grew up to be an alcoholic and drug-addicted parent himself (though with a good relationship with his daughter, who only says how proud she is when he confesses to it in a press conference). He gets better.
  • You Me Her: Izzy's parents were both like this. Her mom used vodka and pills, while her dad was a general alcoholic, leaving years before.

  • Billy Currington's "Walk a Little Straighter" is about a man who comes home and to his son's graduation day so drunk he can't walk straight. However, the singer still loves him and resolves not to follow his example.
  • The father from the John Denver song "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)" "came home a quarter past eleven, fell down underneath [the] Christmas tree" and is heavily implied to beat his wife.
  • Flyleaf's "Fire Fire" contains the lyrics "You're ashamed of where you're from / Crying 'cause your father's drunk". It's implied to be about an abusive dad who ends up running off by the end of the song.
  • Demi Lovato's "For the Love of a Daughter", is about an alcoholic who physically and possibly sexually abuses his daughter.
  • The second girl in Ludacris's song "Runaway Love" is a ten-year-old with an abusive, alcoholic stepfather.
  • Melanie Martinez's "Dollhouse" and "Sippy Cup" are about a teenage girl whose family is very dysfunctional. Her mother is an alcoholic due to her husband's infidelity.
  • Weezer's "Say It Ain't So" is about an alcoholic father who beats his son, who tries to just ignore it.
  • The start of Jaymes Young's "Stone" mentions how the person being sung about has an absentee Disappeared Dad. Their mother turned to alcohol afterwards.
    Your father came and went like the ocean's tide and the day he left he never said goodbye
    Your mother started drinking like the whole world died
    You've been waiting for a miracle your whole life

  • Vanessa's mother in In the Heights, who drinks away Vanessa's wages that were to be spent on their electricity bill.
  • Kimberly Akimbo (2021): Kimberly's dad is an inattentive, beer-guzzling sod.

    Video Games 
  • The protagonist's mother in Among the Sleep has a drinking problem, and the monster of the game represents her drunken, abusive side.
  • Bad Day on the Midway:
    • Dixie's father was drunk and depressed, though he never was abusive towards her and instead treated her as a regular parent would.
    • Lottie's mother started drinking when her husband left one day. This led to the two being caught in a car accident, her mother dead and Lottie without legs.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Part of Varric's backstory. He doesn't talk about it much, but he does make several allusions to it in party banter during Dragon Age II; his mother was a Lady Drunk and most of his childhood was spent taking care of her.
    • Also part of Dorian's backstory. Nine out of ten mentions of his mother involve her drinking. It's implied that it was her way of coping with an unwanted Arranged Marriage.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Jecht toward Tidus in Final Fantasy X, though Jecht being neglectful and absent are the bigger issues between the two of them. It takes an incident involving him attacking a shoopuf to get him to quit cold turkey.
    • Cid Randell in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance became a drunk after his wife died. Mewt, who is Cid's son, is upset by his father's drinking and cringes at his behavior. The localized version of the game removes the drunk aspect and replaces it with Cid simply having trouble at work and being a loser.
  • Jim Ortiz from Harvest Town became an alcoholic after his wife divorced him. Despite his best efforts to love and care for his young son Justin, Jim's drunken habits are one of the major points of conflict between him and his son.
  • Satoko's uncle in Higurashi: When They Cry, Teppei, drinks and plays cards with his buddies instead of being a responsible guardian to her. He also makes her buy alcohol and beats her up when drunk. The kicker? She's around nine years old. Unlike other examples on this page, Teppei has no love for Satoko at all, and it's unknown whether her aunt drank any alcohol at all, either.
  • I Was a Teenage Exocolonist: Besk, Dys and Tang's mother, is remembered as a depressed drunk by the latter. An event during which Marz is looking at photos from her childhood includes one of Dys and Tang at their shared fifth birthday party with their mother just out of frame, holding a drink.
  • Ethel Prune, Lillian's mother, in Laura Bow: The Colonel's Bequest. It's somewhat played for laughs, although we are shown the damaging effect it has on her daughter and the way the family ostracizes them both because of it.
  • In Mystic Messenger, Seven and Saeran's mother was a physically abusive, emotionally volatile, raging alcoholic; because of her, Seven restrains from drinking at all, save for the very rare sip of champagne for special occasions.
  • Nekomew's Nightmares: Heavily implied with Nekomew's mom. Lots of liquor bottles are present in one of Nekomew's memories after the passing of her husband, which may also imply that she did not take his death well and started abusing her own children in a drunken state.
  • Junpei's father in Persona 3. In "The Answer", one flashback shows Junpei at Paulownia Mall, having fled his father's drunken ravings, wondering how pathetic you have to be to get hammered on cooking wine.
  • Stardew Valley:
    • Pam's alcoholism-induced neglect drove her husband away and forced her daughter Penny to take on the responsibilities of the household at an early age, turning Penny somewhat resentful.
    • It's bad enough that little Jas lost both her birth parents, but her only remaining legal guardian, Shane, is actively and intentionally drinking himself to death due to chronic depression and a Soul-Sucking Retail Job.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • Kate's Henpecked Husband of a father in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life is a Salary Man who spends much of his free time at the bar.
    • Karen's emotionally abusive father Gotz from Harvest Moon 64 spends most of his nights at the local bar. Karen herself can become this, to a degree, if she marries either the protagonist or Kai. While she mostly calms down after marriage, her love of wine still borders on alcoholism.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings us Philip Strenger, aka the Bloody Baron, whose missing wife and daughter you must find in the quest "Family Matters". It's revealed that he was physically abusive to his wife.

    Web Animation 
  • ACTUALLY HAPPENED: In "I've Had 3 Foster Families, And I've Seen Things", a girl named Chloe is put into foster care after her mother dies of alcoholism-related reasons.
  • In His History Revealed: A Dr. Robotnik Biography, Robotnik's father Harold turned to alcohol over time. He died of liver failure when his son was in high school.
  • RWBY:
    • When Weiss talks to Yang about the former's family life in Volume 5, she reveals that her father Jacques's lack of interest in her 10th birthday party led to him confirming to his wife that he only married her so he could obtain the prestigious Schnee name and company. Her mother's subsequent breakdown led to her drinking in the family home's garden and no longer taking any active part in her children's lives. When Willow Schnee finally makes her appearance in Volume 7, she's alone in her husband's study during a major event and drinking vodka straight from the bottle.
    • Cinder first meets Mercury just as he's killing the assassin she's arrived to hire — Mercury's own father. Mercury's legs are bandaged but hint at devastating injuries and the possibility that his father was abusive. When Mercury reports to Cinder that Qrow has arrived at Beacon Academy, he describes Qrow as smelling like his father after a long day. Qrow is an alcoholic and Mercury runs into him shortly after he spent time getting drunk in a bar, implying that Mercury's father might have been an alcoholic.

  • In Headless Bliss: The Creepy Twins' father is said to have spent nearly all of his earnings on booze. This made him an even worse father, and one of the twins had to find a new source of food...
  • Tripping Over You: Liam's mother Riva is a Posthumous Character, but apparently she drank herself to death. It's why Liam himself adamantly refuses to drink alcohol.
  • Unsounded:
    • Emne Toma prefers to drink, shop and party to parenting her daughter and has alcohol on hand every time she's in a scene.
    • Sette's father claims her mother was a lush who got drunk and passed out on the waterfront, subsequently being drowned by waterwomen. The veracity of this claim is disputed by other characters.

    Web Videos 
  • The Human Pet: Eric's mother, whom his sister described as having succumbed to drinking due to their father's abusive nature.
  • One Take: Samuel, who abused his son James and his daughter Jasmine, the latter feeling more of the consequences. However, he's remorseful and working on it.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10 (2016), it's implied that Kevin, Ben's schoolyard bully, has this. It's outright stated that he doesn't have family he can depend on. The villain Forever Knight uses this to get Kevin to work for him for a time. The Tennysons are even aware of this and are just sort of waiting for Kevin to work things out. In some episodes, Max even has minor parenting moments with the boy, like rocking him as he sleeps and giving him a small talking-to about empathy. One episode has Kevin trashing a theme park, which Gwen points out isn't like him and just asks what's wrong. Gwen and Ben are just told that Kevin's upset over hearing every kid at school talk about going when no one takes him. The viewers are treated to a short flashback of Kevin being angry over hearing kids talk about it at school and that a girl's dad took her. It crossfades to Kevin still looking angry standing in his hallway, having just come home from school. From where he stands, he can see into the living room, where a TV plays an ad for the theme park. The channel is changed mid-ad to one for "Beverage: the last beverage you'll need". The camera switches to show Kevin's front side again and we see that the person who changed the channel appears to be a man wearing sweatpants or pj's in a recliner. Kevin then goes upstairs without either of them saying a word.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: While it only comes up in a couple of episodes ("A Mine is a Terrible Thing to Waste" and "Talkin' Trash"), Wheeler's father is an alcoholic. His first appearance shows him berating his young son, who is trying and failing to get more drinking money for him. Wheeler spent a lot of time away from home to avoid him and ultimately chose to live on the streets rather than deal with the constant disparagement. Later, his mother calls him back to New York, saying his father's health is failing. Wheeler comments bitterly that it shouldn't be much of a surprise.
  • One episode of Jem features a boy being kicked out by his abusive dad. Word of God is that his dad was an alcoholic. They were supposed to reappear in an episode that revealed as much, but the script was nixed.
  • Moral Orel:
    • Following the show's Cerebus Syndrome, Clay Puppington's status as this is played for drama, particularly in episodes like "Nature", in which he gets more and more drunk during a hunting trip with Orel, culminating with him going into a rage and shooting his son in the leg.
    • Bloberta used to be one, and was the one that drove Clay into it to coerce him into marrying her.
  • Beth from Rick and Morty, who currently provides the trope image, is sometimes played for laughs, but mostly for drama. In "Total Rickall", her daughter Summer has at least one memory of Beth already wasted in the morning and accidentally hitting her in the eye with a wine bottle.

Comedic Examples:

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

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

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

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

  • Ryuuji's mom Yasuko in Toradora! is often rather hungover during the day, which leads Ryuuji to do most of the chores around the house. There is some justification for this since she actually works as a bar hostess, thus her job includes drinking quite a bit and interacting with drunk people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. Also a Lady Drunk, and (true to form) this gives all her children serious issues that would be horrifying if they weren't the main characters of a sitcom.
  • iCarly: Sam's mother is implied to be this, with lines like her being passed out on the couch, and various other subtle indications that she's an alcoholic wreck.
  • Way over on the Black Comedy end of the spectrum there's The Kids in the Hall's "Daddy Drank" skit:
    Daddy: All right now, son, I want you to get a good night's rest. And remember, I could murder you while you sleep. It's easy, son, all you have to do is be quiet and willing to do it. And son, I am willing to do it. And, I've got quiet shoes. Good night, son. Sleep well.
  • Scrubs: Dr. Cox can be a pretty heavy drinker even after having his son Jack. He controls himself at home and is a loving father, but it didn't keep Jack's first full sentence from being "Daddy drinks a lot" (though in that episode it was played for drama, as the reason for Cox drinking so heavily was that he had a Heroic BSoD after having been responsible for the deaths of three patients). Not that mom Jordan is exactly a light drinker either mind you.
  • The Strangers with Candy episode "Dreams on the Rocks" is all about this. Spoof Aesop: "It's better to be a happy, gin-soaked grape than an anguished raisin in the sun." (It Makes Sense in Context. Well, it doesn't, but... you know.)
  • Eric's Almighty Mom Kitty on That '70s Show has a somewhat dependent relationship with alcohol, mostly after she hits menopause. It's pretty subtle in the beginning, but it reaches near-lampshade proportions by the end of the series.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway? gives us the "Drunk Mother" Hoedown:
    Chip Esten:
    Well, I knew Colin's mother. Yes, I must tell the truth
    When she was nursing Colin, her milk was 90 proof
    She wanted to kick the habit! She didn't know what to do
    But if your baby looked like that then you'd be drinkin' too

  • "Thunderbird" by They Might Be Giants is a tongue-in-cheek, dissonantly up-tempo song about a struggling alcoholic whose drinking habit strains his relationship with his daughter.
    I know, I know, I said that I would quit
    Alright, I promise, no more after this
    You don't know how I tried
    To forget what it was like
    I remember now, I remember now
    Why they call it thunderbird

    Video Games 
  • In Kindergarten, Buggs's Disappeared Dad was apparently an alcoholic, judging by how Buggs's reaction upon being given a breathalyser is to fondly reminisce about how his mother would make his father use one.

  • Ennui GO!: Adelie Pritchard is rarely ever seen not holding a glass of wine or, less often, getting completely plastered. Downplayed in this case, since she's never seen drunk around her son Max, but she's also not shy about openly drinking in front of him and it's always played comedically. Helps that Max doesn't really have a problem with his mom's alcoholism.
  • Headless Bliss has Queen Diov, mother of Annùn, who's shown in some scenes to find solace in the bottle. Literally in one case.
  • Homestuck: Mom Lalonde is definitely this, almost never being seen without a martini in hand. Clearly for laughs, though — the worst she does to Rose is offer her a sip of the martini in an act of ironic negligence. Also offering her a beautiful, pink pony. Too bad Rose hates ponies and the color pink.

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Chick's parents were both drinkers, which explains her own alcohol problem better.
  • One of the many squicky things that Ask That Guy with the Glasses has revealed about his and The Nostalgia Critic's parents is that his hated mother drinks too much. And from what Critic's (who is ATG's twin) told us about her, all the more reason to think of her as an Evil Matriarch. Aunt Despair, a character Critic apparently based on his in-universe mother, is an awful parent who has never been shown sober.
  • Ozzy Man Reviews: Eddie Stark from Eddie Stark, Australian Dad (Gag Dub of Gameof Thrones) is an archery coach and he has a drinking problem. For example, he's drunk when he's training his son Bran. Eddie is in denial and says that a man needs a drink and that he has two beers, tops. Bran insists that he's lying, and Eddie threatens to beat Bran up.

    Western Animation 
  • One of the kids at Pokey Oaks in The Powerpuff Girls (1998) apparently has one. In "Paste Makes Waste", a children's drawing can be seen at the school featuring an angry man holding a bottle of alcohol with "Daddy" written under it.
  • Rick from Rick and Morty is a grandfather, and he's almost always seen either already drunk or chugging down whiskey from his flask.
  • Homer Simpson from The Simpsons, to the point that one of the contact numbers at Springfield Elementary is at Moe's Tavern.
  • South Park:
    • A possible subversion with Stan's dad. Randy Marsh likes to drink with friends but is only seen drunk in a couple of episodes. In one episode, he gets a DUI and has to attend AA meetings, where instead of taking responsibility and controlling his behavior, he is told that he has a "disease". At the end of the episode, he possibly learns discipline and self-control.
    • South Park does play the trope straight with Kenny's parents, though. Whenever Kenny's home life is shown, his parents are almost always drunk and either screaming or hurting each other. It's even revealed that they once joined the Cult of Cthulhu just for the free beer at the meetings, which is implied to be the reason behind Kenny's ability to die over and over again. At one point, they even lose custody of their kids because of their alcoholism.

Alternative Title(s): Alcoholic Dad, Alcoholic Mom


Drawn Together

You can all get your eye bleach now.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior

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