December 10, 2015

You may find that no matter what you watch on TV, a bartender always appears refilling someone’s glass, whilst they’re full of woe, pouring their soul out to a stranger.

We thoroughly researched and analysed a handful of shows and films to create this blog to show you the best TV bartenders of all time (okay, we’ll admit this was a fun project).

It’s fascinating to see the different characterisation from bartenders – some are funny, some miserable and some… should just choose another career.

The Shining – Lloyd

Jack Torrance arrives at a hotel and applies for the position of a Caretaker. A chef strictly advises him to not enter room 237 and tells Jack that he has a special ‘shine’ which the hotel shares.

Jack later meets Lloyd -a archetypal, yet sinister Bartender. Lloyd the Bartender listens to Jack’s relationship concerns and orders him a bourbon on the rocks.

The bar is then mysteriously filled with liquor and Lloyd serves Jack umpteen drinks until he reverts back to his alcoholic ways.

Jack Torrance: Hi, Lloyd. Little slow tonight, isn’t it?
(laughs maniacally)
Lloyd: Yes, it is, Mr. Torrance.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – Dennis Reynolds

Dennis Reynolds is the co-owner of Paddy’s Pub, although he spends most of his time drinking the drinks than serving them. Working with his father and best friends, he’s constantly looking for easy ways to get rewards.

Most of the episodes take place in the bar, where Dennis is regularly lazing around trying to think of ways to attract ladies and get more money.

At one point, the four best friend owners of Paddy’s Pub decide to transform it into a gay bar to increase revenue, and later decide to perform to ‘entertain’ their customers… and entertaining it is.

The TV show is packed with humour and it’s astounding to see how they manage to keep Paddy’s running for so long.

Dennis Reynolds: One, please.
Crack Dealer: One what?
Dennis Reynolds: One… rock of crack. Is that going to be enough?
Dee Reynolds: How much would you recommend for a first time user?
Crack Dealer: I’ll make you a deal. Two-for-one special.

Cheers – Sam Malone

Cheers is an American TV series that tells the story of a group of employees one in particular called Sam Malone – a womanising bar owner who hires a waitress named Diane Chambers.

The show is filled with Sam and Diane constantly bickering due to her snobbishness in his laid-back bar.

Sam was everyone’s favourite TV bartender and was previously a Baseball player after his career went downhill.

Diane: Alright… what do you suggest we do?
Sam Malone: Nothing.
Diane: UGH! That’s your solution to everything: nothing! Is that what you’re going to do for the rest of your life? Nothing?
Sam Malone:  I haven’t decided yet. 

The Love Boat – Isaac Washington

The 1970s TV series, The Love Boat, is set on a cruise ship and shows many adventures of the different passengers – some romantic, and some humorous.

The bartender, Isaac Washington, is one of the most recognised bartenders on our screens for his ability to spread positive energy across the ship and give passengers advice.

He nurtures the passengers and takes pride in his job, that’s not to say he’s a push over or doesn’t have a sense of humour.

Isaac Washington: (Isaac has poured a green drink all over Doc’s pants) Oh, I suppose you wanna punch me out, huh?
Doctor Adam Bricker: No, I wanna go change my pants. Then I want to punch you out.

Pulp Fiction – ‘English Bob’

Pulp Fiction is a crime film that has eclectic dialogue and violence. But somewhere within the charged scenes is a bartender named Paul. Paul aka English Bob works at Marsellus Wallace’s strip club.

His laid back approach and consistency to keep his mouth shut often keeps trouble out of the bar, but not always.

Paul the Bartender: So, I hear you’re taking Mia out.
Vincent Vega: At Marsellus’s request.
Paul the Bartender: You met Mia yet?
Vincent Vega: No.
(Jules and Paul laugh)

Coyote Ugly – Violet Sanford

If you’re part of the one percent of the world who haven’t seen Coyote Ugly, here’s a short synopsis…

Coyote Ugly is a romantic-comedy from 2000, telling the story of how Violet Sanford leaves her home in New Jersey to escape to New York City and pursue her dreams of becoming a songwriter.

After Violet’s apartment is robbed and she only has a few dollars in her pockets, she finds a bar called Coyote Ugly and applies as a dancer and bartender to earn more cash.

Violet plays a standardised bartender, where she is working hard in a bar to get to the next stage in her life. She’s forced to break out of her comfort zone to adapt to the working life in a bar.

Violet: I don’t mean to press my luck, but would you mind telling me why you’re hiring me?
Lil: Because, the, um, average male is walking around with a toddler inside of his pants, a two year old right there inside his dockers.
Violet: Men have two year old children in their pants – that’s why you’re hiring me?

New Girl – Nick Miller

New Girl is a hilarious TV comedy that begins with one new girl moving into an apartment with three boy strangers, after a split with her boyfriend.

Throughout the seasons, we see their relationship develop into a family-like state with plenty of humour, secrecy and fall outs along the way.

One of the guys, Nick Miller is a college drop out and now works as a bartender. He’s always joking around, although many times we see him comforting his broken heart with alcohol.

He uses his career as a bartender to lure in College students and impress them with his attempt at flair bartending, although the bottles always end up on the floor.

Schmidt: Well, let me ask you this: have you been wearing my underpants?
Nick: Sometimes, yeah. Who cares?
(Schmidt makes a disgusted face)
Nick: (to Schmidt and Winston) You guys don’t wear each other’s underpants? You’re lying. We all wear each other’s underwear.

Have you seen any of these TV shows/films? If you can think of any more famous TV bartenders, tweet us at @all_bartenders to keep the discussion going.

(Featured image: tvtropes.org).

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