It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and what better way to celebrate the luck of the Irish (besides chugging a Guinness or two) than toasting TV's Best Drinking Buddies? As Irish playwright William Butler Yeats once said, “The problem with some people is that when they aren't drunk they're sober,” and these characters are definitely more entertaining when they’re tying one on.
Norm and Cliff, ‘Cheers’
These two Boston childhood friends sure did love their afterwork brews at the place where everybody knows your name. Norm (George Wendt) was the lovable teddy bear with the ever-present quick retort (Woody: "How would a beer feel, Mr. Peterson?" Norm: "Pretty nervous if I was in the room"). Cliff (John Ratzenberger) was the blow-hard mailman who rattled off false facts and half-true boasts (“Everyone in the Swiss Army owns a Swiss Army Knife. That's why no one messes with Switzerland”). Together they made up one of the most popular and beloved barflies in TV history – and sang one helluva “Lollipop” rendition.
Kalinda and Alicia, ‘The Good Wife’
Their friendship was born when mysterious badass Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) asked straight-laced Alicia (Julianna Margulies) for an afterwork tequila session in Season 1. Secrets were spilled, things got sloppy, and Kalinda became more human and Alicia got loosey goosey. And it was also at the bar where the two best friends began to rebuild their friendship after Alicia found out that, uh, Kalinda slept with her husband. Flash forward a few seasons and their devotion to each other – and to tequila - is stronger than ever.
The Cast of ‘How I Met Your Mother’
McClaren’s Pub – along with that same booth and, of course, booze - is pretty much responsible for a lot of the gang’s most “legend -- wait for it -- dary” moments. It was where Ted (Josh Radnor) first laid eyes on Robin (Colbie Smulders) and the place where Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) went to celebrate after their engagement. It was also Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) main base for picking up the ladies (pre-Robin) with one hand, and ordering a fancy scotch with the other. I’m almost positive that these people would probably not even be friends with each other if they didn’t drink.
Homer and Barney, ‘The Simpsons’
Sure, these two high school friends have had their problems over the years -- like competing snow plow businesses and fighting over who gets to go to space -- but it’s alcohol, and specifically Duff’s Beer, that unites them more than anything. Who cares if Homer (Dan Castellaneta) is responsible for Barney’s (Castellaneta) horrendous alcoholism? When you’ve been quoted as saying "Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems” (Homer), and you have a friend whose catch phrase is “BURRRRPPPPP!” (Barney), then you truly know it’s a match made at Moe’s.
The Cast of ‘Cougar Town’
Jules (Courteney Cox) and her gang of friends and family (Christa Miller, Busy Philipps, Brian Van Holt, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, Dan Byrd) "wine" in the best way possible. They consume it -- Pinot Grigio! Cab Sauv! Who cares as long as it’s wine! -- in the morning, at night...pretty much whenever they damn well feel like it. They do so without judgment, and more importantly (and hilariously), they do so with glee. One time Jules even attempted to quit drinking for an entire month, and her friends staged an intervention so that she would start drinking again (Ellie: "Twelve steps, shmelve steps. Alcohol makes people fun”). Now, that’s what I call true friendship (and true oenophilia).
Don Draper and Roger Sterling, ‘Mad Men’
‘Mad Men’ is pretty much the drunkest show on television, what with each main character drinking from morning ‘til night. But in this booze-soaked world, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is surely king, along with his business partner and friend, Roger Sterling (John Slattery). They drink to discuss business. They drink to discuss women. They drink because, well, they’re raging alcoholics but they make it look all so very fancy and refined with their tailored suits and slick hair, right? They may agree on what they drink (an old-fashioned! A gimlet! Anything so long as it’s straight booze!), but they differ on why they drink. As Roger once told Don: “You do not know how to drink. Your whole generation, you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it’s good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do.” Especially those men who are mad.