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There Are Four Types of Drunks in This World and You're One of Them

Are you a Mary Poppins, or a Mr. Hyde? Depends on if you're more like to make out or black out after a few margaritas.
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US

It's hard not to feel the sense of total fucking overkill when it comes to taking online quizzes that supposedly reveal this or that about your personality. What Powerpuff Girl are you? Are you true to your astrology sign? Do you give incredible blowjobs? Are your arms too hairy? Which character from Charmed are you? Are you a spelling master?

No, but seriously, here's one that you might want to think about, and with answers that are backed up by legitimate research: what kind of drunk are you?


Maybe you have an uncle who is a notably creepy drunk ("Youuu have your mother's assssss…") or a best friend who is an incredibly resourceful drunk (how did she make that delicious pizza out of string cheese and pumpernickel?!), but individual quirks, skills, and demons aside, most of us fall into the same limited categories.

Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia surveyed 64 men and women and found that drunk alter egos can essentially be categorized into four different archetypes. Their study, published in a recent issue of Addiction Research & Theory, even has the pop-culture-friendly names for each type that you'd come to anticipate from a Buzzfeed quiz. Participants self-reported on their personality traits while sober and then contrasted them with the loosey goosey version of themselves that came out after hitting the margarita machine. Hooray, science!

First, there are the Hemingways, which is the most common group (via self-identification, anyway). Hemingways do not experience a dramatic change of personality when intoxicated, maintaining the majority of their intellect and conscientiousness. Ernest Hemingway, who is obviously the namesake of the group, was a largely functional alcoholic who claimed that he could "drink hells any amount of whiskey without getting drunk." Most people get drunk, but not every single person at your kegger is going to shove their tongue down your throat in a state of red-wine-fueled sexual desperation or punch a hole in your wall after an inexplicably upsetting conversation about Super Smash Bros.


Which brings us to the Mary Poppins. This type of drinker, primarily female, is "defined by being high in Agreeableness when sober," not turning into an inconsiderate moron but increasing in "extroversion." Your friend Emily who is fond of sloppy selfies after chugging a bottle of rose and sweetly holds back your hair while you vomit is a true Mary Poppins. You have probably gone home with a Mary Poppins in your time after a particularly invigorating night out, and if you, yourself, are a Mary Poppins, you have probably gone home with many.

About a fifth of people are Nutty Professors, who are living embodiments of the term "liquid courage." Perhaps shy or at least reasonable when sober, they experience a "dramatic" increase in extroversion and drop in conscientiousness when drunk. Nutty Professors likely love karaoke, yelling, taking off their shirts—think your coworker who will barely look at you in the kitchen but then blows everyone away with their slinky rendition of "Like a Virgin" at the company holiday party.

Finally, there are the Mr. Hydes, who account for 23 percent of drinkers. Ah, you know the ol' Hydes, alright, as they are the ones who seem to almost physically embody trouble and get a glint of evil in their eye around the time of glugging down their third IPA. With "a tendency of being particularly less responsible, less intellectual, and more hostile when under the influence of alcohol than they are when they are sober," the Mr. Hyde is not so fun to be around and is the most likely archetype to black out or get arrested. But don't be fooled by the name—two-thirds of "Mr. Hyde"s are female.

So which type are you?

We can't tell you—only you can. Actually, make that your close friends. You wouldn't want to think yourself a Hemingway when you're actually a Hyde.