Humans, as a species, have been drinking coffee since the 15th century, or perhaps even earlier. And since we discovered how to harvest beans, roast them, grind them, and soak them in hot water in order to force them to give up their sweet, sweet caffeinated nectar–we’ve been, well, addicted. Something about a nice hot cup of joe sliding down your throat is at once comforting and then later energizing. Tea? Tea’s okay, I guess. But for a more bitter depth of flavor and a much higher caffeine content, coffee is the way to go each morning (and afternoon, and evening if you’re hardcore) to get your day started right.
But it’s not just us real people who have fallen in love with coffee. Our love of java has translated onto the screen, as well. Some of our favorite fictional characters love it just as much, if not more, than we do. The portrayal of coffee drinking is as common in movies as a first kiss scene in a rom-com, but some of these characters really take it to the next level. Whether you take your coffee iced, frozen, hot, black, white, sweet, tall, grande, or venti — there’s a coffeephile for everyone in this list of the biggest coffee addicts in movies and TV. Sit down with your version of choice — we’ll wait if you need to make a Starbucks run — and enjoy our picks for the top ten on-screen java enthusiasts on this, International Coffee Day.
Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe from Pulp Fiction
You know how hardcore people prefer their coffee, right? Always black. Well, not “The Wolf.” This character is a real clean-up act: one of the best from Pulp Fiction, who comes to save Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) after they uh, accidentally shoot a guy in their car and get, you know, blood and skull all over themselves and the car. Winston Wolfe, played by the always excellent Harvey Keitel, knows exactly how he likes his coffee. Lotsa cream, lotsa sugar. There’s absolutely no shame in that, especially when a bad-ass like The Wolf drinks his coffee like it’s ice cream.
Edward from The Bucket List
The one-percenters of our nation live a life that most of us might never get to experience and drink coffee we might never get to drink. In The Bucket List, Carter (Morgan Freeman) gives Edward (Jack Nicholson) a great lesson in coffee production, mainly of Edward’s beloved kopi luwak, a brand of coffee that goes for $100-$600 a pound. Because it turns out, that kind of coffee is produced from the excrement of a luwak cat. Yup, poop. These cats eat coffee berries, and then expels nothing but beans in its fecal matter, which workers then collect, clean, and roast. Then rich people drink it. And no, I’m not sh*tting you.
Roger “Verbal” Kint from The Usual Suspects
Can coffee solve a mystery? Oh yeah, it can. If you’ve never seen The Usual Suspects, please go ahead and skip to the next entry–we’re about to ruin the ending for you. Here’s your official and last SPOILER ALERT. So small-time criminal Verbal Kint is telling a long-winded story about a heist gone wrong when Agent Dave Kujan tells him that his now-deceased friend Dean Keyton is Keyser Soze–villainous mastermind. Verbal Kint, full of emotion, limps away. But inside the police station, drinking sh*tty police station coffee, Kujan sees the bottom of the mug and recognizes the name of the porcelain brand as Keyser Soze’s lawyer. Verbal Kint’s limp turns to a steady walk–who was the real Keyser Soze all along? We already knew that coffee was a hero. In this case, the power of cinema shows us just how important the drink can really be.
Kathleen and Joe from You’ve Got Mail
Something like 90 percent of this movie takes place in a coffee shop, right? Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks have excellent chemistry as Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox, but they also give an excellent tour of the coffee shops of the general New York City area, many of which you can still visit. As one of the first major films about online romance, the movie was sort of groundbreaking, but not everyone agreed at the time. Ultimately, the movie You’ve Got Mail is sort of like coffee: you either like it or you don’t. And unlike coffee, the movie aged pretty well, even with the outdated technology references.
Hamilton from Best in Show
Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock nail their portrayals of Meg and Hamilton Swan in 2000’s show dog comedy cult classic, Best of Show. In this clip they describe the whitest “how we met” story of all time: during their time at law school, he saw her while he was at a Starbucks, and she was across the street at another Starbucks looking at a J. Crew magazine. He was drinking a grande espresso — for the uneducated, that’s two solid shots of espresso. Now that they’re together, they like to go to Starbucks on weekends and look at L. L. Bean catalogs. And unfortunately, Hamilton said he’d become a “chai tea soy milk latte” kind of guy. Ugh, another coffee apostate!
Penny from The Big Bang Theory
There are two kinds of people when it comes to coffee. There are those who need coffee to simply wake up and survive and get through the day (or night) — then there are those like Sheldon, who consider caffeine to be a dangerous drug that is akin to heroin. So when Penny finally gets Sheldon to drink some coffee, he enters a state of energy that no nuclear physicist could ever recreate.
Nancy Botwin from Weeds
Dealers don’t (often) partake in their products. Nancy Botwin is no exception. When she begins selling marijuana to her upper-class neighborhood, she maintains an addiction of her own: iced lattes. Rarely is she seen without the translucent plastic cup, straw, and lid that keeps her going in the face of her newfound life of crime. As Nancy finds herself getting into sketchier situations with her new career, the iced latte is an icon of her former, privileged life.
Dale from Twin Peaks
Have you ever been to a coffee shop with a friend who is a real coffee snob to the point of pretension? Of course they don’t take anything in their coffee, are you crazy? That’s what Special Agent Dale Cooper is like in the serial drama Twin Peaks. A show that was surreal with elements of horror and comedy, along with the thrill of a mystery and elements of the supernatural, Dale’s infatuation with high-quality black coffee is one of the highlights of the normalcy of the show.
Tweek from South Park
There’s a reason they don’t recommend caffeine for children. The effects of the great bean upon children is, at worst, harmful–at best it just makes them too damn hyper and too difficult to deal with. But don’t tell that to Tweek’s parents on South Park. The two own a coffee shop together, and they’re always providing the stuff — local! organic! handcrafted! fresh! — to their twitchy and anxious son, Tweek. Now, at the age of eight, he’s a complete and total addict, unable to deal with life outside of coffee.
Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
There is no greater lover of coffee than Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. She drinks at least a pot of it a day: her body is probably more coffee than blood or water at this point. Coffee has been there for her more than any man ever has. She has shared this addiction with her daughter, Rory, as well. But if coffee is to blame for her snappy comebacks and clever witticisms, we’ll take it. It makes her that much more lovable.