Coffee addiction is very real—even for fictional characters, like the beloved but overly-caffeinated java junkies listed below.
For some, a temporary coffee addiction functions as a great comedic subplot. For others, this compulsion goes deep and becomes a running joke or important source of character development.
Here are 15 TV characters—from Agent Cooper to “Stan the Java Man”—who simply won’t stand for decaf.
Nancy Botwin (Weeds)
How addicted?: As Vulture demonstrates in this supercut, Nancy Botwin’s iced-coffee addiction is glaringly obvious and totally explains how she’s always on her toes in the most dire of situations. Too bad this marijuana-infused coffee didn’t exist in her day.
Best coffee quote: “Don’t you just loooove coffee?”
Tweek (South Park)
How addicted?: Because his family owns a coffee shop—and three coffeemakers sitting side-by-side in his home—Tweek is so addicted to coffee that he lives in a perpetual state of “tweaking out.”
Best coffee quote: “AUGHHH!” (Exclaimed often while his head cocks to the side and his eyes twitch spasmodically.)
Captain Kathryn Janeway (Star Trek Voyager)
How addicted?: Captain Janeway doesn’t mess around when it comes to her coffee, which she takes black. In fact, she launches the expedition of an entire nebula on the basis of its coffee-related potential.
Best coffee quote: “Coffee—the finest organic suspension ever devised. It has got me through the worst of the last three years. I beat the Borg with it.”
Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report)
How addicted?: As Colbert explained in one episode, he is so addicted to coffee that he has installed a Starbucks franchise beneath his desk, complete with his own personal barista.
Best coffee quote: In reference to President Obama’s latté salute: “I believe the president’s salute was a latté disrespect. It was un-Americano. This is a mocha-ry of our military that should have us flying our flags at half-caf. No Sanka you, sir, not in my Maxwell House. It makes me unfrappy to see. We gotta put that dopio on an espresso train to cappu-China before it’s too café au late. Thank you for letting me venti my anger.”
Spencer Hastings (Pretty Little Liars)
How addicted?: Spencer’s addiction to coffee is intense (like everything else about her), so it’s no surprise that she favors a strong brew. So strong, in fact, that the rest of her friends won’t let her serve it to them.
Best coffee quote:
Hannah: “Sorry, Spence, but your coffee gives me the shakes.”
Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks)
How addicted?: If there’s one thing Kyle MacLachlan’s sexy character will give a thumbs-up to, it’s a mug of Double R’s coffee—served black, of course, and with a slice of cherry pie.
Best coffee quote: “You know, this is—excuse me—a damn fine cup of coffee. I’ve had I can’t tell you how many cups of coffee in my life and this, this is one of the best.”
Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)
How addicted?: From the very first Gilmore Girls scene, Lorelai’s addiction to coffee and resulting high-strung nature are readily apparent. Luke often threatens to cut Lorelai off, but she keeps demanding “coffee, coffee coffee.”
Best coffee quote: “Oh, I cant stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking the coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words-putting-into-sentence-doing.”
Stan “The Java Man” McNer (MAD TV)
How addicted?: Recurring MAD TV character Stan the Java Man redefines coffee addiction, turning to caffeine patches—yes, plural—in an attempt to get clean. He literally licks it off the floor and urinates straight coffee.
Best coffee quote: “I was trying to move my industrial bean grinder out of my bedroom and into the foyer and as I was lifting—pow!—my left eyeball popped out of my head and blew the glasses off my face.”
Kenneth Parcell (30 Rock)
How addicted?: After Tracy Jordan puts an espresso machine at his desk, the lovable page Kenneth goes from fearing any beverage served at “the devil’s temperature” to being completely obsessed. The whirlwind bender nearly lands him back in his home state of Georgia to seek recovery from the evils of Manhattan.
Best coffee quote: “I love how it makes me feel. It’s like my heart is trying to hug my brain.”
Leroy Jethro Gibbs (NCIS)
How addicted?: Special Agent Gibss’ coffee addiction is a holdover from his marine days, and the stoic takes it just as seriously as his no-nonsense line of work. Case in point: He refuses to drink sub-par coffee, like the low-quality stuff brewed at his workplace.
Best coffee quote: “You better have a good reason for spilling my coffee.”
Pretty much every character in Friends
How addicted?: Given how much time the group spent sipping from oversize mugs at Central Perk, it has been theorized they were all strung out on coffee at all times. Like, to the point that a normal person would actually die.
Best coffee quote: Rachel, reciting the group’s orders incorrectly: “Alright, don’t tell me. Decaf cappuccino for Joey, coffee black, latté, and an iced tea. I’m getting pretty good at this!”
Jack McFarland (Will & Grace)
How addicted?: Although it was only temporary, Jack develops an unhealthy infatuation with coffee that coincides with the “cute with a capital Q” barista serving it to him in the episode “Coffee and Commitment.” Luckily, he’s able to recover with the help of Karen’s typical tough-love approach.
Best coffee quote: “The busier it gets, the hotter he gets, and the hotter he gets, the sweatier he gets, and the sweatier he gets… I forgot where I’m going with this, but the point is: Me likey he and he likey me and the best part is—shazam!—he gives me free iced coffee every time I go in, which is every hour on the hour and occasionally on the half hour!”
Penny (The Big Bang Theory)
How addicted?: Penny’s love of coffee is probably as intense as her love for Leonard. She’s uses it not only to wake up in the morning, but also as an excuse to coax a date into her apartment at the end of the night.
Best coffee quote: “Out of coffee. Need coffee.” (Said while pouring a cup of coffee.)
Gale Boetticher (Breaking Bad)
How addicted?: While the rest of us are still trying to figure out how exactly to work a percolator, Walt’s cohort takes the science of making coffee to the next level with a Rube Goldberg-looking apparatus.
Best coffee quote: “See, in my opinion, it’s all about the quinic acid level. You want just north of 4,800 milligrams per liter, but if you over-boil to get there, you’re gonna leach your tannins. Bitterness, yuck. So I pull a mild vacuum. That way, I can keep the temperature no higher than 92 C. Judge for yourself.”
Philip J. Fry (Futurama)
How addicted?: Fry’s a total coffee fiend. As only an animated character could, he risks his life to consume 100 cups of java in one episode.
Best coffee quote: “Of course I’ve been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn’t stop thinking about coffee!”
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