Flasks in Movies and TV

Who else watched the Oscars ceremony and saw Benedict Cumberbatch take a swig from a flask?

Flask at the oscars

Benedict Cumberbatch using a flask

We just saw Wild, the movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Towards the start of her adventure hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail by herself, Witherspoon realizes she packed the wrong things and thus is out of food. She flags down a truck and gets into it even though she doesn’t trust the driver 100%. What choice does she have? They talk for a bit, he hands her a flask – she drinks and so a friendship and bond is formed.

This got us thinking about movies/television and the part flasks play in them. We’ve always paid special attention whenever flasks were present. We knew that we would only be able to scratch the surface so we reached out to three popular-culture experts to ask them their thoughts.

Before we begin, let us say that by no means is this a definitive list – so for any major omissions, please forgive us and send us the omitted instances. Details of this are at the end.

Flasks have a rich place in movies and TVs as a prop. Like any prop, they provide depth to the character.

Some Like It Hot

Of course who can go past Marliyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. Not only does she have a flask, but a garter flask at that!

Leaving Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas Flask
Nicholas Cage won an Academy Award for his role of Ben Sanderson in Leaving Las Vegas. In the movie’s pivotal scene, Elisabeth Shue hands him a silver flask.

The flask isn’t just a flask – it is a symbol representing her acceptance of his drinking. It is this scene that won Cage the Oscar.

Little Nicky

Going as far away from an Academy Award winning movie as one can we have Little Nicky. The flask plays a pivotal part in the movie and the quote “get in the flask” is well known.

Harry Potter Franchise

harry potter flasks

Harry Potter fans will be familiar with Mad-Eye Moody and his flask.

We spoke to pop culture expert, Luis Prada about this and he said:

Then there’s a movie flask of Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody from the Harry Potter series — a flask filled with an actual magic potion. Moody is fearful of the darker side of the wizarding world, so he drinks exclusively from a flask he keeps on his person as all times to ensure no one slips him an evil potion. Thematically, the flask represents two things: the first being Moody’s paranoia (which is proven to be justified after he is kidnapped and is replaced by a villain who uses the flask to drink a potion that transforms him into a Moody body double), and the second being trust.

In a pivotal part of the series, Harry and his collective are being hunted by the villainous Death Eaters. Moody makes everyone drink a potion from his personal flask that transforms his friends into clones of Harry to confuse attackers. Before this, Moody is highly personal and rarely allows anyone into his life, as represented by his usage of the flask. By allowing others to drink from the flask, it shows his evolution as a character; that he’s reached a point where he has finally found people he can trust.

Seinfeld

Festivus is one of the more memorable episodes of Seinfeld. No alcohol is allowed at the meal so George’s boss, Mr Kruger drinks from a hip flask he brought with him. You can find this around the 2.38 minute mark

Hunger Games Franchise

hunger games flask

In the Hunger Games, Haymitch Abernathy played by Woody Harrelson likes to have a drink. His relationship with alcohol is plays a pivotal part with this character.

Hugo

hugo picIn Hugo, Ray Winstone plays the alcoholic uncle of Hugo and they feature a flask to illustrate his love of a drink.

Animal House

animal house
We spoke to Kevin Maher, a pop-culture expert and the host of the live series “Kevin Geeks Out”.

National Lampoon’s Animal House features all kinds of drinking, but one of the more pointed portrayals comes from Verna Bloom’s Mrs. Wormer.

As the wife of the evil college Dean, Marian Wormer is part of “the establishment”, but she doesn’t pass up an invitation to a frat house toga party. Mrs. Wormer arrives late (having just come from the “God-damn senior honors dinner”) and crashes her Buick station wagon in front of the Delta House. Before entering the party, she takes a long pull from the silver flask stashed in her purse.

In a booze-heavy movie, Mrs. Wormer is the only character to use a flask. The snobs from the Omega House drink (imported?) beer from ceramic German mugs, while the Delta slobs guzzle Jack Daniels straight from the bottle. But Mrs. Wormer’s thirst is something that’s kept concealed. The flask reflects a bored housewife’s double-life. Unlike the joyless villains in the movies, Mrs. Wormer has a vice (and not just screwing a college kid who’s almost old enough to be her son) – her drinking humanizes her and makes the Dean’s wife much more relatable.

The Animal House novelization includes Mrs. Wormer in the extended “Where Are They Now?” post-script, noting that she went on to five unsuccessful stints in A.A. Wherever she is now, her flask is probably with her.

Star Trek Into Darkness

In the rebooted version of the Star Trek film series when Kirk meets McCoy, the doctor drinks from a flask. You can see it in this clip around the 53 second mark

Life on Mars

life on mars
Life on Mars wasn’t on television for long but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a cult classic. What time traveling policeman wouldn’t want to make use of a flask?

Gangster Squad

gangsterYou can be assured that drinking out of a flask was never cooler than when Ryan Gosling did it with Emma Stone’s head in his lap

True Detective

true detective
Rust Cohle flew across our screens like one of the meteors he would like to stare at. Given what he’s seen and what he’s been through, he definitely needs a drink!

Spy Game

spy game flask

This is an under-rated thriller starring Brad Pitt and Robert Redford. We were reminded of it by pop culture expert, Sam Meyer – . Apparently there’s a gift of a flask in “Spy Game”, but I haven’t seen that movie.
And Sam is right! In a a critical scene, Pitt hands Redford a flask.

New Girl

new girl

Not surprising that a show that has it’s own drinking game also features a flask
Nick’s love of a drink is well known!

Modern Family

modern family
In this Emmy award winning fan favorite, Phil uses a flask to get close to Jay

Mad Men

mad men

If anyone knows Don Draper they know his love of a drink, especially during business hours!

Other Film Instances

  • Airplane! – 1980
  • The Outsiders – 1983
  • Silver Bullet – 1985
  • Rocky IV – 1985
  • Big Trouble in Little China – 1986
  • Highlander – 1986
  • Maximum Overdrive – 1986
  • Crocodile Dundee 2 – 1988
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer – 1992
  • Tombstone – 1993
  • The Beverly Hillbillies – 1993
  • Jurassic Park – 1993
  • Wagons East! – 1994
  • Natural Born Killers – 1994
  • The Quick and the Dead – 1995
  • Strange Days – 1995
  • The Brady Bunch Movie – 1995
  • Star Trek First Contact – 1996
  • The Postman – 1997
  • Wishmaster – 1997
  • Bulworth – 1998
  • Varsity Blues – 1999
  • Sleepy Hollow – 1999
  • Titanic – 1999
  • From Dusk Till Dawn 3 – 2000
  • American Pie 2 – 2001
  • A Beautiful Mind – 2001
  • 25th Hour – 2002
  • Road to Perdition – 2002
  • Freddy vs Jason – 2003
  • Thirteen – 2003
  • National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion – 2003
  • Friday Night Lights– 2004
  • Constantine – 2005
  • Lord of War – 2005
  • You, Me and Dupree – 2006
  • There will be Blood – 2007
  • Great Debaters – 2007
  • Leatherheads – 2008
  • Observe and Report – 2009
  • Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows – 2011
  • A Haunted House – 2013
  • Dallas Buyers Club – 2013
  • 12 Years a Slave – 2013
  • Grand Budapest Hotel – 2014
  • 22 Jump Street – 2014
  • Sin City 2 – 2014
  • Saved by the Bell (Unauthorized Movie) – 2014
  • Stonehurst Asylum – 2014
  • The Expendables 3 – 2014
  • The Fault in Our Stars – 2014
  • St. Vincent – 2014
  • Boyhood – 2014
  • It Follows – 2014
  • Blended – 2014
  • Black Mass – 2015
  • The 7th Son – 2015
  • Black Sea – 2015
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015
  • Dirty Grandpa – 2016
  • The Magnificent Seven – 2016
  • Bad Santa 2 – 2016
  • The Night Before – 2016
  • Gods of Egypt – 2016
  • The Lost City of Z – 2017
  • Winchester – 2017
  • War for the Planet of the Apes – 2017
  • The Ridiculous 6 – 2017
  • Neverknock – 2017
  • American Assassin – 2017
  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard – 2017
  • Kingsman, The Golden Circle – 2017
  • Halloween – 2018
  • Blockers – 2018
  • The Ritual – 2018
  • Between Worlds – 2018
  • Escape Room – 2019
  • The Highwaymen – 2019
  • In the Shadow of the Moon – 2019

Other Television Instances

  • Real Husbands of Hollywood
  • Greg Gutfeld
  • In Living Color
  • American Gods
  • Impractical Jokers
  • American Horror Story (multiple seasons)
  • Dads
  • Betty White’s, Off Their Rockers
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Falling Skies
  • The Simpsons
  • Gotham
  • The Strain
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Pawn Stars
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Two and a Half Men
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Tosh.0
  • Blunt Talk
  • WestWorld
  • Surprise! Instant Xmas Carol! 2016
  • The Magicians
  • Family Guy
  • Rick and Morty
  • Happy!
  • Band of Brothers
  • Young Sheldon
  • Yellowstone
  • Seinfeld
  • The Prodigal Son
  • Monk
  • Battlestar Galactica

If we failed to mention any instances of flasks in popular culture that you know of, please email sales@flasks.com and we will update the post and send you a free flask upon request!

One thought on “Flasks in Movies and TV

  1. Ian

    I would like to know where to buy the flask that is shown in Hugo and Spy Game. Any idea where I could purchase one?

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