Whether you love them or love to hate them, some of the most popular characters in TV shows and movies are dragged down by their addictions. Which, in some cases, takes a huge toll on their finances.
1. Wendy Case (Sons of Anarchy)
Impact: Meth-addicted Wendy uses throughout her pregnancy, which results in her child Abel being born 10 weeks premature and with a hole in his stomach. Abel is given a 20% chance of survival. (Season 1, Episode 1)
After agreeing to commit suicide via an overdose, Wendy survives and goes into rehab. (Season 1, Episode 1)
Considering the extent of Wendy’s addiction, it is likely that she spent around $200 per day on heroin and methamphetamine. $200/day x 30 days = $6,000/month.
2 Charlie Pace (Lost)
Impact: Charlie swallows a packet of heroin and becomes asphyxiated. He is resuscitated and arrested for drug possession. (Season 6, Episode 1)
Suffering from withdrawal pains, Charlie argues with Jack, causing a cave to collapse on Jack. (Season 1, Episode 7)
Estimating that Charlie had used heroin for five years before the crash, he probably worked up a decent tolerance to a $160 per day habit (prior to being stranded on the island). $160/day x 30 days/month = $4,800/month.
3. Bubbles (The Wire)
Impact: Bubbles’s close friend Johnny Weeks dies of a drug overdose. (Season 3, Episode 12)
Bubbles is picked up by police and mistakenly interrogated and beaten. (Season 1, Episode 11)
An average heroin addict spends $150-$200 per day. $150/day x 30 days/month = 4,500/month
4. Renton (Trainspotting)
Impact: Renton nearly dies of an overdose at his drug dealer’s apartment.
Renton’s actions lead his friend Tommy to start using heroin. Tommy gets addicted and becomes severely ill with HIV and dies.
Considering that Renton has been using heroin for about 10 years, he probably uses a considerable amount ($150) each day to avoid withdrawal. $150/day x 30 days/month = $4,500/month.
5. Tyrone Biggums (Chapelle’s Show)
Impact: The homeless Tyrone makes his first appearance on the show with his addiction to crack obvious by his white, blistered lips and itchy skin. (Season 1, Episode 2)
After spending time in prison and being clean, Tyrone Biggums is released and goes back to his previous drug addictions and living on the street. He will do anything to get his drugs and loves peanut butter and crack sandwiches.
The average crack cocaine addict spends about $200 per day. But considering Tyrone’s resourceful he likely spends about $150/day. $150/day x 30 days/month = $4,500/month.
6. Christopher Moltisanti (The Sopranos)
Impact: The Family attempts an intervention on Christopher. After Tony finds out Christopher killed Adriana’s dog and Christopher insults Tony’s mother, the group beats Christopher; he ends up in the hospital with a skull fracture. (Season 4, Episode 10)
After wrecking the car he was driving Tony in, Tony decides to suffocate Christopher and kills him. (Season 6, Episode 18)
As a gangster, he wouldn’t have paid full retail prices, but he would have purchased high-quality booze and drugs. We estimate that he spent $40 per day on alcohol and $3,000 per month on heroin. ($40/day x 30 days/month) + 3,000 = $4,200/month.
7. Raoul Duke (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Impact: Raoul experiments with a variety of illegal substances as well as alcohol, and his rampages lead to the destruction of hotel rooms and car crashes.
After large amounts of numerous drugs and alcohol, Raoul Duke’s mind becomes severely altered. Crazy hallucinations and insanity sets in as the surreal becomes indistinguishable from reality.
Throughout the movie, Raoul is constantly getting high on an exotic array of substances. We estimate his daily spend to be around $100 per day. $100/day x 30 days/month = $3,000/month Throughout the movie, Raoul is constantly getting high on an exotic array of substances. We estimate his daily spend to be around $100 per day. $100/day x 30 days/month = $3,000/month.
8. Towelie (South Park)
Impact: Towelie’s career as a high-tech government weapon comes to an end as a result of his drug use.
Towelie was originally designed to be a high-tech government weapon, but once he smoked pot, that gig was up. His pot smoking over the years has progressed to the point of a bona fide addiction. Towelie’s use affects his personal relationships as none of the guys can count on him to show up on time or sober.
Towelie is high 24/7. He smokes at least a joint’s worth every two hours that he is awake. This would be around eight joints per day, which is equivalent to about 1/8 of an ounce per day (approximately $45). $45/day x 30 days/month = $1,350.
9. Peter Russo (House Of Cards)
Impact: Botching an important radio interview, Peter loses the opportunity to become Governor.(Season 1, Episode 10)
Peter falls asleep in his car, allowing Underwood to murder him and make it look like suicide. (Season 1, Episode 11)
Considering that Peter was a politician, it is unlikely he drank cheap alcohol, so we estimated $40 per day on alcohol. $40/day x 30 days/month = $1,200/month.
10. Vincent Vega (Pulp Fiction)
Impact: Vincent’s heroin use causes Marsellus’s girlfriend, Mia, to overdose and nearly die.
The role of heroin in Vincent’s life and his employment by drug lord Marsellus leads him to an early gangster-style death.
Vincent did not appear to be a daily user, but always seemed to have some with him. He probably used 2-3 grams a week at $100 per gram. 3 grams x $100/week x 4 weeks/month = $1,200/month.
11. Tony Stark (Iron Man)
Impact: Tony gets drunk while wearing his Iron Man suit at a party and ends up fighting his old friend Lt. Rhodes, destroying parts of his home, and frightening his guests and co-workers. (Iron Man 2)
Tony Stark is found with some type of drink in his hand. It is quite obvious he has an addiction to alcohol, which leads him to make many risky decisions. In the Iron Man comic books, Tony Stark loses his company, Stark Industries, due to his alcohol abuse.
Judging by Tony’s net worth of $12 billon, we estimate that he spends $80 a day on high-quality alcohol when in an active drinking bout, which probably occurs two weeks every month. $80/day x 15 days/month = $1,200/month.
12. Don Draper (Mad Men)
Impact: Don loses control of his car and is arrested for drunk driving. (Season 2, Episode 5)
In a drunken state, Don gets in a brawl with Duck Phillips, who works at a competing firm. He then has hallucinations and breaks down when he learns Anna has died. (Season 4, Episode 7)
Don prefers blended whiskey and drinks a considerable amount (about a handle a day). Using today’s prices, that would be about $25 per day. $25/day x 30 days/month = $750/month.
13. Lucille Bluth (Arrested Development)
Impact: Lucille is arrested for sinking a ship, the RMS Queen Mary, and is sent to prison. (Season 4, Episode 10)
Angry at her son Buster, a drunken Lucille signs up to adopt a Korean boy, which she forgets about and regrets. (Season 1, Episode 14)
A functioning alcoholic, Lucille loves her vodka. Years of living in luxury probably accustomed her to the top-shelf brands, and she most likely drinks a $25 bottle per day. $25/day x 30 days/month = $750/month.
14. Barney Gumble (The Simpsons)
Impact: Barney watches an embarrassing birthday video and realizes he is an alcoholic. Sobriety leads to a strained relationship with his best friend Homer and a new addiction to double-tall mocha lattes. (Season 11, Episode 18)
Barney is regarded as the town drunk and is the frequent butt of jokes, unable to speak clearly, dress properly, and function as a normal person. He has been an alcoholic since he was approximately 17, and he is currently 61. Since he was sober for two seasons, that’s 42 years of drinking.
One would guess Barney drinks about 20 beers per day. With Moe cutting him a break, he is spending at least $1 on each beer. 20 beers/day x $1/beer x 30 days/month = $600/month.
15. Sherlock Holmes (BBC)
Impact: Sherlock Holmes is found in a “drug den.” (Season 3, Episode 3)
Sherlock Holmes is known to have a leather case that contains a syringe and cocaine solution. He is a habitual user who uses the drug when lacking stimulating cases. It is hard to know whether his impulsive behavior, deception, and non-conformance to society is a cause of his drug use or him being a sociopath, or both.
We estimate that Sherlock Holmes uses cocaine intravenously a few times daily to stimulate his mind. At .1 grams per dose, this adds up to about .3 grams per day or around 2 grams per week. Current street prices are around $60 per gram. $60/g x 2 g/week x 4 weeks/month = $480/month.
16. Cheech & Chong
Impact: Cheech and Chong get arrested and deported to Mexico. (Up in Smoke, 1978)
Cheech is locked up in a mental institution. (Nice Dreams, 1981)
Is it possible these two were born smoking marijuana? Cheech and Chong’s smoking habit leads to having the police always on their tail and finding themselves in some kind of trouble. It is not unreasonable to find them living in squalor and doing just about anything to make money to buy weed.They each seem to smoke about an ounce a week. The weed in the 1970s is probably analogous to “mid-grade” weed today, which sells for around $100 per ounce. $100/ounce x 1 ounce/week x 4 weeks/month = $400/month.
17. Dr. Gregory House (House)
Impact: House comes to the realization that his hallucinations and grip on reality are a cause of his Vicodin use. He checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. (Season 5, Episode 24)
House is investigated and eventually brought to trial for drug abuse. He comes close to going to jail and losing his medical license. (Season 3, Episode 11)
House takes about a handful of Vicodin once per episode. Assuming he also takes a handful of five pills in the morning and again before bed, this puts House at 15 Vicodins per day (or 450 per month). An average prescription contains 30 pills, so he would need 15 prescriptions per month. Considering that house is a doctor, and has good insurance, he is probably paying $15 max per prescription. $15/prescription x 15 prescriptions = $225/month.
18. Dr. Abby Lockhart (ER)
Impact: Abby’s alcoholism leads Carter to the decision not to propose to her. (Season 9, Episode 16)
Showing up to a party drunk, Abby has a blackout, which results in her cheating on her husband and sleeping with her boss. (Season 14, Episode 7)
Abby is the type of alcoholic who cannot stop once she starts, yet she doesn’t seem to drink every day. The average American spends about $500 per year on alcohol, and on average, Abby probably tends to drink about twice that amount every year. $1,000/year / 12 months = $83/month.
19. Bender (Futurama)
Impact: Bender stops drinking alcohol, which his fuel cells require, and he is seen staggering around and acting crazy. He is told “You’re blind, stinking sober!” (Season 1, Episode 3)
Bender attends a party and becomes addicted to electricity. During an electrical storm, he receives a near-lethal dose and realizes he has a problem and seeks help. (Season 1, Episode 9)
Bender requires alcohol to recharge his fuel cells, but it is questionable whether he requires as much as he intakes. When he stops drinking and becomes sober, he exhibits signs of intoxication and grows a red beard of rust. Due to a design flaw, he produces a huge amount of waste-gas heat, which he expels via belching and flatulence.
The average U.S. electric bill is $107 per month. Electricity has made Bender’s life pretty unmanageable, so it is likely that he consumes half of what the average house does in a month. $107/month / 2 = $53.50/month.
Impact: Popeye runs into some friendly Indians; being intimidated by them, he punches out several of them. Unfortunately, Popeye believes “I yam what I yam”, eats a can of spinach, and punches another row of Indians, leveling them off like dominoes. Popeye finishes his tyrant by punching the Indian Chief so hard he becomes another race altogether. (Episode 2 of the cartoon series, 1933)
Addicted to spinach, Popeye uses every opportunity at his disposal to eat a can of spinach, which balloons his biceps to an incredible size. He then has no problems beating anyone who is in his way during his violent outbreaks. He also brags that he’s “strong to the finish cause he eats his spinach, he’s Popeye the sailor man!”
We estimate that Popeye eats one can per day, and a pack of 12 is $20. $1.67/can x 30 cans = $50.10/month.
21. Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)
Impact: Jesse is kicked out of his parents’ house and is estranged from his family. (Season 1, Episode 4)
The death of his girlfriend, Jane Margolis, is caused by an overdose from the speedball that Jesse gave to her. (Season 2, Episode 12)
Since he is a meth cook, his drugs were most likely free.
22. Entire Cast (It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia)
Impact: Dennis and Dee become addicted to crack. (Season 2, Episode 3)
Frank is sent to a mental hospital. (Season 4, Episode 10)
“The Gang” are a group of five addicts running a bar in South Philadelphia. They are all alcoholics and many have other addictions, as well. They are unethical, obsessive, and abusive to each other and those around them. They love to conspire and manipulate and find joy in causing physical and emotional pain to others.
The cast gets their alcohol for free from the bar where they work. Their use of other substances is too intermittent to quantify.
23. Jay and Silent Bob (Clerks)
Impact: The duo spends most of their time loitering outside the Quick Stop, selling and smoking weed, stealing, and abusing most of the people around them.
The stereotypical stoners, Jay and Silent Bob, are supposedly in their early- to mid-20s, with no ambitions, jobs, or hygiene to speak of. Smoking weed and going to parties is the extent of their lives, offering nothing to society or the betterment of themselves.
As marijuana dealers, they most likely consume their product free of charge.
24. George Jung (Blow)
Impact: George is pulled over by the police while driving. His wife Mirtha turns on him and tells the police he has cocaine in the car. Jung is sent to prison for three years, during which time his wife divorces him and takes custody of their daughter.
George is set up by the FBI and DEA and is sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Based on a true story, George Jung was once worth around $100 million, but his involvement with drugs leads him to lose all of his money as well as his relationships with his wife, child, and parents. The real George is currently in prison with a release date of November 27, 2014; he will be 72 years old.
As a drug trafficker, George most likely did not pay for the drugs he consumed.
25. Tony Montana (Scarface)
Impact: Tony’s mother Georgina is ashamed of his involvement in drugs and wants nothing to do with her son.
Drug cartel lord Alejandro Sosa sends a group of assassins to Tony’s mansion, resulting in the death of his sister Gina and finally, after screaming “Say hello to my little friend!” Tony is killed as well.
Tony was making $15 million a month with his drug dealings with Sosa, but greed and feelings of invincibility brought on by cocaine addiction leads to the death of everyone close to him, including himself.
Tony most likely did not pay for the drugs he consumed since he was a drug trafficker.
26. Harry Goldfarb (Requiem for a Dream)
Impact: Harry’s continued use of heroin with dirty needles leads to a severe infection, resulting in the amputation of his arm.
Harry convinces his girlfriend Marion to have sex with her psychiatrist in exchange for money to buy drugs. Harry’s relationship with Marion falls apart.
As a drug dealer, Harry probably does not pay for the heroin that he consumes.
27. Amy Burley (True Blood)
Impact: Amy, Jason Stackhouse’s girlfriend, kidnaps a vampire named Eddie to have her own personal supply of V. (Season 1, Episode 9)
Amy kills Eddie, which leads to her relationship falling apart with Jason. (Season 1, Episode 10)
Amy does not purchase her blood but rather obtains it through unscrupulous circumstances.
28. Jessie Spano (Saved By The Bell)
One Month Binger
Impact: With the pressures of midterms and a performance with her singing group, Hot Sundae, Jessie becomes addicted to over-the-counter caffeine pills. (Season 2, Episode 9)
As Jessie’s addiction progresses, her boyfriend A.C. Slater is very disappointed with her. It culminates when she becomes unable to cope and has a meltdown in front of her friend Zack, who cancels her performance. During her outburst, Jessie sings her own version of the Pointer Sisters’ song with the lyrics “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so scared!” Jessie decides to get counseling.
Jessie only used caffeine pills briefly, so her monthly expense is not applicable.
29. Mrs. Mia Wallace (Pulp Fiction)
Impact: Mistaking a bag of heroin for cocaine, Mrs. Wallace overdoses on heroin and nearly dies before being revived with an adrenaline shot to her heart.
Obviously not in love with her mobster husband and bored with her life, Mrs. Wallace is always found in a drug-induced state as she attempts to entertain herself. It is frequent that she watches her husband hurt and kill people that even look at her in the wrong way.
Mia was a recreational user of cocaine, and her heroin use was accidental, therefore the cost of her use is not applicable.
30. Jack Bauer (24)
Impact: To maintain his cover during a sting operation of Ramon Salazar, a Mexican drug lord, Jack begins using heroin and becomes addicted. (Season 3)
Jack is fired from CTU by the new director, Erin Driscoll, due to his prior heroin addiction. (Season 4)
Jack’s use lasts less than one season, so his monthly expense is not applicable.
31. Will Smith (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
One Week Binger
Impact: Having trouble staying awake while juggling work, school, and his girlfriend, Will decides to take amphetamines to help him. Although most people would think these are not dangerous, we see how only a few pills can put someone in the hospital or worse.
Will mistakenly gives his cousin Carlton amphetamines thinking they are vitamins, and Carlton ends up in the hospital. (Season 3, Episode 19)
Since Will only used them for a short period of time, his monthly expense is not applicable.