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

  1. Airplane! – 1980
  2. The Outsiders – 1983
  3. Silver Bullet – 1985
  4. Rocky IV – 1985
  5. Big Trouble in Little China – 1986
  6. Highlander – 1986
  7. Maximum Overdrive – 1986
  8. Crocodile Dundee 2 – 1988
  9. School Ties – 1992
  10. Tombstone – 1993
  11. The Beverly Hillbillies – 1993
  12. Jurassic Park – 1993
  13. Wagons East! – 1994
  14. Natural Born Killers – 1994
  15. The Ascent – 1994
  16. The Quick and the Dead – 1995
  17. Strange Days – 1995
  18. The Brady Bunch Movie – 1995
  19. Star Trek First Contact – 1996
  20. The Postman – 1997
  21. Wishmaster – 1997
  22. Bulworth – 1998
  23. Varsity Blues – 1999
  24. Sleepy Hollow – 1999
  25. Titanic – 1999
  26. From Dusk Till Dawn 3 – 2000
  27. American Pie 2 – 2001
  28. A Beautiful Mind – 2001
  29. XXX – 2002
  30. 25th Hour – 2002
  31. Road to Perdition – 2002
  32. Freddy vs Jason – 2003
  33. Thirteen – 2003
  34. National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion – 2003
  35. Friday Night Lights– 2004
  36. Constantine – 2005
  37. Lord of War – 2005
  38. Cinderella Man – 2005
  39. You, Me and Dupree – 2006
  40. See No Evil – 2006
  41. There will be Blood – 2007
  42. Great Debaters – 2007
  43. Leatherheads – 2008
  44. Babylon AD – 2008
  45. Observe and Report – 2009
  46. Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows – 2011
  47. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance – 2012
  48. A Haunted House – 2013
  49. Dallas Buyers Club – 2013
  50. Grown Ups 2 – 2013
  51. 12 Years a Slave – 2013
  52. Grand Budapest Hotel – 2014
  53. 22 Jump Street – 2014
  54. Sin City 2 – 2014
  55. Saved by the Bell (Unauthorized Movie) – 2014
  56. Stonehurst Asylum – 2014
  57. The Expendables 3 – 2014
  58. The Fault in Our Stars – 2014
  59. St. Vincent – 2014
  60. Boyhood – 2014
  61. It Follows – 2014
  62. Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda – 2014
  63. Blended – 2014
  64. Black Mass – 2015
  65. The Night Before – 2015
  66. Seventh Son  – 2015
  67. Black Sea – 2015
  68. Avengers: Age of Ultron – 2015
  69. Dirty Grandpa – 2016
  70. Incarnate – 2016
  71. The Magnificent Seven – 2016
  72. Bad Santa 2 – 2016
  73. The Night Before – 2016
  74. Gods of Egypt – 2016
  75. The Lost City of Z – 2017
  76. El Camino Christmas – 2017
  77. Winchester – 2017
  78. War for the Planet of the Apes – 2017
  79. The Ridiculous 6 – 2017
  80. Neverknock – 2017
  81. American Assassin – 2017
  82. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – 2017
  83. Kingsman, The Golden Circle – 2017
  84. Halloween – 2018
  85. Blockers – 2018
  86. The Ritual – 2018
  87. Between Worlds – 2018
  88. Escape Room – 2019
  89. The Highwaymen – 2019
  90. Doom: Annihilation – 2019
  91. In the Shadow of the Moon – 2019
  92. The Old Guard – 2020
  93. Antebellum – 2020
  94. Bill & Ted Face the Music – 2020
  95. The Unholy – 2021
  96. Those Who Wish me Dead – 2021
  97. Reminiscent – 2021

Other Television Instances

  1. Real Husbands of Hollywood
  2. Greg Gutfeld
  3. In Living Color
  4. Key & Peele
  5. American Gods
  6. Impractical Jokers
  7. American Horror Story (multiple seasons)
  8. Dads
  9. Betty White’s, Off Their Rockers
  10. The Vampire Diaries
  11. Falling Skies
  12. The Simpsons
  13. Gotham
  14. The Strain
  15. Inside Amy Schumer
  16. Pawn Stars
  17. Bob’s Burgers
  18. Two and a Half Men
  19. Pushing Daisies
  20. Tosh.0
  21. Quantum Leap
  22. Blunt Talk
  23. West World
  24. Surprise! Instant Xmas Carol! 2016
  25. The Magicians
  26. Family Guy
  27. Rick and Morty
  28. Happy!
  29. Band of Brothers
  30. Young Sheldon
  31. Yellowstone
  32. Seinfeld
  33. The Prodigal Son
  34. Monk
  35. Chucky
  36. Battlestar Galactica
  37. The Umbrella Academy
  38. Outmatched
  39. Paranormal: Caught on Camera
  40. Midnight Mass
  41. Beyond the Unknown
  42. Perry Mason

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!

3 thoughts 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?

  2. Noah Gipson

    I’m sorry to tell be the first to tell you, but thats not the original flask Marlyn Monroe used in the movie some like it hot. If you look closely in the movie, the flask is slim and not as bulky as the one you say you found. When you find the original one please let me know. Its been 2 days now, and i’m still searching for that flask. thank you for reading this whoever read it.

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