Article Lead Image

LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

These films contain the most references to booze and drugs

Spoiler: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg rank very high on multiple lists.


Joey Keeton


Posted on Mar 22, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 6:20 am CDT

If you’ve ever wondered which movies mention booze, marijuana, and gambling the most, you’re in luck. Project Know has compiled 30 years of Hollywood’s most popular scripts (a total of 1,273), and broken them down by mentions of various vices. For a broad overview of psychoactive substances appearing in popular movies’ scripts, they’ve provided this handy graph. 

Image via Project Know

Surprisingly, methamphetamine seems to have hit its peak in 1984, but the study only searched for the terms “meth” and “methamphetamine,” leaving out words like “ice,” “crank,” “speed,” “crystal,” and “bathtub coke,” which means that it may have missed the drug’s rise to fame over the last decade

As the data shows, booze received quite a spike in 2007, which makes sense—that was the year Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Superbad was released, which takes the No. 1 spot for alcohol mentions in a film with a whopping 171 occurrences of booze-related words. (Leaving Las Vegas might take issue with that, but it’s possible that film’s script simply said, “Booze is in every single scene,” and left it at that.)

Image via Project Know

As far as marijuana goes, Rogen and Goldberg once again take the top spot, this time with their epic tale of reefer, Pineapple Express. Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke came out in 1978, so it was unfortunately not included in this study. Blood and Wine is probably very happy to be included on any list that isn’t titled “Biggest Flops Starring Jack Nicholson,” and I have no clue what Asylum is. 

Image via Project Know

As far as gambling goes, Casino takes the top spot, closely followed by Croupier, a fantastic film that’s gone criminally unnoticed (you can help correct that—it’s currently streaming on Netflix). Rounders didn’t make the cut, which is probably explained by the fact that “cards” wasn’t a word included in the study’s methodology—whereas “poker” isn’t said much in Rounders, “cards” appears 164,685,485 times in its script.

Image via Project Know

The graphic for drugs and alcohol combined looks very similar to the alcohol-specific one, but the combo does allow Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas into the rankings. The film’s source material would have likely taken the top spot, but the film itself is a lot more show than it is tell with its illicit substances, so it only nabs the No. 9 spot here.

Image via Project Know

For a further look at the study, visit this page on Project Know’s website. And if you’re addicted to something mentioned on these graphs, their homepage offers a lot of info on getting that sorted out. 

H/T Project Know| Photo via LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 22, 2015, 11:00 am CDT