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Stock Characters: Bar Edition

If you've ever studied Theatre, you already know that a "stock character" is "a stereotypical person whom audiences readily recognize from frequent recurrences in a particular literary tradition." This is a list of stock characters you can find in any bar. Note: there is almost zero chance that all of these will be at the same bar/same time, but you can find them in A bar, I promise.

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The retired, been here forever-regular

He's been coming here since he obtained a fake ID in high school, and he never left. He may live in his mom's old house or, even more likely, in the apartment building 2 blocks from the bar. He stops in every day around the same time, leaves around the same time every night. His wife gives him "bar money" to get him out of her hair.

When he walks in the front door, every bartender greets him, "Hey, Jim-bo!" (yeah, his name is probably 'Jim-bo'). He's (at least) partially balding, and he'll be wearing a denim button up, or a bowling shirt, and definitely dad jeans. He'll sit on HIS bar stool scoffing at failed flirting attempts, smiling sweetly at every lady that walks in, and he'll probably be drinking PBR or Stag.

Hint: He's totally harmless, but don't get sucked in for too long, or you'll have to listen to him complain about his wife. There's worse things to endure, but it will definitely kill your buzz.

The Sorostitutes

This one is plural, because they travel in packs. They will almost match, have on heels they will not be able to dance in, and their hair and makeup will look like it took hours to perfect. Every time another one joins the group, you'll hear, "OMGGGG" squeals as they tip-toe-high-heel-run at each other to hug, but very lightly because you cannot mess up that hair!

They'll drink "purple hooters" or jell-o shots, but only about 3 or 4 each, and that's all it will take for them to be drunkenly rambling to each other about how they're "super jealous of the car Brittany's dad just bought her", how pretty they look, and how they, "Just don't get why Jenni doesn't dump him already, he's NOT even that hot!".

Hint: It'll sound like a there's bunch of clucking hens taking pictures with one hand on their hip, and leaning back and out (like the Leaning Tower of Piza). Do not be alarmed; It's just a pack of girls that paid to have friends.

The Bros

The Bros typically go hand in hand with the Sorostitutes. I would say that it's a frat thing, but you don't have to be in a frat to be a Bro. Bros wear the too-tight t-shirt they bought in PCB on spring break last year, sunglasses IN the bar, and cargo shorts. They "dare" each other to consume incomprehensible amounts of alcohol and try as hard as they possibly can to find someone to hook up with for the night. They drink light beer and jager-bombs and one of them will definitely throw up in someone's car on the way home.

If you get trapped by a Bro, your best bet is to tell him, "There's someone outside talking mad-shit about you". The Bros are always down to fight, especially if they think it is to defend "their honor"...

The Down-and-Out

The down-and-out isn't always the down-and-out. Maybe just for tonight, maybe for a month, but they're here to drink their sorrows away. If it's a guy, he's probably drinking Jack and Coke - a lot of it. If it's a woman, she's probably drinking the house wine. Maybe they were dumped, lost their job, etc. If you sit near them, prepare for an earful of their depressing life stories combined with half-ass advice so "you're life doesn't suck" like theirs.

Hint: It's time to call them a cab when they start informing the bartender (and every one else) that they're "not that drunk!" Almost immediately after that, they will open the flood gates and tears will cascade down their ugly-crying-face. (it'll remind you of Niagara falls, but it won't be nearly as beautiful).

The Hipster

He'll be donning a bow tie, scarf, skinny jeans, a vintage band t-shirt ("you've probably never heard of them..."), probably a plaid shirt over that, and his facial hair will be groomed to perfection (ironically, of course) and work boots that will never be used for actual work, EVER.

He'll sit with his other Hipsters, because he couldn't possibly be bothered with a non-counter-cultured person. They'll be on the patio, smoking their American Spirits. He'll drink PBR, but only if it's NOT cool to drink PBR. In the case that it IS cool to drink PBR, he'll find something else that society hates more.

Hint: Don't bother talking to him, he'll just tell you that "everything you ever thought is wrong", your favorite band "is just a bunch of sell-outs", and that he's "really into [insert weird/outdated hobby here] right now, so he doesn't really have time for a job".

The Cougar

She's been at the bar since 3pm when she dropped her middle-school aged kids off at grandma's house. She will most definitely be in a breast-revealing tank-top and it will DEFINITELY have sequins and fake diamonds. The push-up bra under the tank will force her boobs INTO your face, so be careful not to stand too close. Her black heels will peak out from her boot-cut, ass-highlighting jeans that are OBVIOUSLY also bedazzled.

The glittery smokey-eye makeup will do nothing to hide the crows feet, but nothing can hold her back from flirting with 20-somethings all night long. This is the woman you will see leaving with The Bro that isn't barfing. He bought her martinis all night, and he's planning on cashing that in for a little action.

He's going to get more than a little action, but he'll regret it in the morning when he's sneaking out of her bedroom window to avoid an early-morning run-in with her children.

The Sports Guy/Girl

No matter what, there's always SOME game on at the bar. Inevitably, this mean that there will be someone that cares about said game as if their life depends on it. He/she will be screaming at the TV after every play and only communicating with other bar patrons during commercial breaks. He/she is wearing a t-shirt with the team name for which they are rooting, probably a hat with the logo, too, and jeans.

This person will be seen drinking Bud Light by the bucket and if their team wins, they'll scream, do a victory dance, and be expecting high-fives from everyone in the bar.

Hint: It doesn't matter if you don't even know who just won. It doesn't matter if you care about sports. It doesn't matter if you're allergic to touch. You're GOING to get a high-five, and it's probably going to hurt.

The Party Couple

This couple gets along pretty great, because they party well together. They can sit at the bar and drink all night, laughing and making friends with other bar patrons. They have probably become regulars at a few of their favorite, cheap bars and they always order (at least) two drinks at a time (because there's two of them...duh). They're casually dressed because they know how to dress for their favorite bars.

Hint: If there are multiple couples in the bar, and you're having trouble figuring out which is the designated "Party Couple", there's a few tell-tale signs:

1. Most likely seated near the Been-Here-Forever-Regular. They're regulars here, too, and they always get sucked into listening to him bitch about his wife.

2. They're taking shots together while listening to Forever-Regular talk.

3. They're NOT fighting. This is not their first rodeo and they go out together for drama-free nights.

The Under-Ager

This person can be either male or female, but the female Under-Agers are easiest to spot. She'll be way over-dressed because she thought it would make her look older, same goes for makeup and sparkly jewelry. She can be found stealing her Of-Age friends' drinks and running around and dancing like a drunken idiot. If she does get up the courage to ask the bartender for a drink, it'll be something stupid, "I'll have a 'Sex on the Beach' please". She won't like it at all, but it's the only alcoholic beverage she can think of under-pressure.

Hint: If you can't find her, and it's around 11pm, she's already throwing up in the ladies room. She's been stealing sips of everyone's drink all night, had two wine coolers (that a Bro bought for her), and she took three drags off of a stranger's cigarette because she thought "it would make her look cool". Her Under-Ager body can't handle any of that, and she's barfing up her stomach lining with her head in a toilet that most of us won't even actually sit on.

The First-Timers

He forgot to make reservations at her favorite restaurant ("like, he promised!"), they're already dressed up for date-night and do not want to wait two hours for a table. They came into the bar you're at because they were starving and they both need a drink.

You can spot this couple the second they walk in: they're over-dressed ("because they were supposed to go someplace nice") and their body-language will let you know they were fighting in the car right before walking in. She'll try to order a bottle of wine, or something ridiculous, but she'll settle for a chilled cider ("I guess...") and he'll be drinking something strong to drown out the sounds of her bitching.

Hint: Avoid interacting with this couple, at all costs. If you get sucked into listening to her bitch, it won't stop. If you act interested in what she's saying, he'll assume you're flirting and try to fight you. If you even look at him, she's going to scream in your face about "stealing her man". DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. Simply giggle to yourself and enjoy the fact that you are not a part of their mess.

There's Too Many To List, Really.

Bars provide an amazing service, for all kinds of characters: alcohol. So if you're at a bar and find yourself surrounded by these stock characters, do yourself a favor:

"[Insert bartender's name], can I get another round, please?"

Hint: Always say, "Please". They get to decide how much alcohol goes in your next drink, and because manners, duh.

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