RANKED! Our 9 Favorite TV and Movie Bartenders
We watch a lot of TV shows and movies and a lot of them include depictions of bartenders. There are even multiple shows that specifically take place in and around bars (we’re looking at you Cheers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). It seems like characters in every action movie or crime drama meet in a bar before or after whatever trials and tribulations befall them, relying on the bartender to sling them some liquid courage and provide wise counsel or a listening ear. That’s why we’ve ranked our favorite onscreen bartenders. If these barkeeps worked at our local watering hole, we’d never go home.
Photo: Photo by Touchstone Pictures (Getty Images)
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9. Lil ('Coyote Ugly')
Maria Bello mans the bar as Lil, the sexy and tough owner of Coyote Ugly, in this wet and wild film about female bartenders who not only pour drinks but double as dancers and bouncers.
8. Dwayne ('Forgetting Sarah Marshall')
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is the story of a man in paradise who also happens to be nursing some heavy-duty heartbreak. One of his best influences in that trying time is Dwayne the bartender (Da'Vone McDonald). Bonus points because he knows how to pronounce the name of the state fish of Hawaii. ("Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, bitch.")
7. Razor Charlie ('From Dusk Till Dawn')
We’re always stoked to see Danny Trejo on screen. One of his scariest, most intimidating roles is that of Razor Charlie in the bloody crime, and vampire romp From Dusk Till Dawn.
6. Spider ('Goodfellas')
Although Spider doesn’t serve his drinks from behind a bar, he’s still one of our favorite bartenders for several reasons: he’s played by future mobster character actor Michael Imperioli and he gets shot in the foot and still talks trash.
5. Dennis Reynolds ('It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia')
Most of the scenes on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia take place inside the gang’s bar. At various times, pretty much everyone (except for Charlie and Frank) can be found pouring drinks behind the bar. We prefer Dennis (Glenn Howerton) because Mac is always daydreaming and Dee is like a mean bird. Plus we’d always pick Dennis for the "game of games" Chardee MacDennis.
4. Lloyd ('The Shining')
No bartender list is complete without Lloyd (Joe Turkel) from The Shining. He’s spooky, he’s a generous pourer, and he’s dead set (he’s also dead) on not allowing Danny Torrance to bring in any “outside influences” into the hotel.
3. Moe Szyslak ('The Simpsons')
Very few shows that weren’t specifically centered around a bar have more memorable bartenders. Moe is sad, bitter, and somehow endearing at the same time. Plus, we always enjoyed Bart’s prank calls to the bar, which infuriated Moe. "Does anyone know Amanda Hugandkiss? I need Amanda Hugandkiss!"
2. Brian Flanagan ('Cocktail')
Brian (Tom Cruise) wants to be a millionaire, but instead becomes a popular flair bartender. It’s a story as old as time and it’s so dated now that it’s a whole lot of pastel and neon throwback fun that we can really get behind.
1. Doc ('Boondock Saints')
There’s something really lovable about this loud-mouthed, cussing Irish bartender that we look forward to every time we watch this movie. Obviously, the brothers are the focal point of the film and their friend Rocco has a lot of great scenes, but we could have used more Doc (Gerard Parkes).