Created By: Goldfritha on March 24, 2012 Last Edited By: IAmATropist on August 3, 2013
Nuked

Sentimental Drunk

Drinking alcohol makes a character more pleasant.

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Drinking alcohol makes some characters nicer than soberity, often with large doses of melancholy. Large doses of maudlin sentimentality are common and may lead to declarations of "I love you guys." or tears.

Also termed a "happy drunk" (though it can also induce sadness) or "friendly drunk" as opposed to the "mean drunk" or "nasty drunk."

Sub-Trope of In Vino Veritas.

Can be Truth in Television because alcohol lowers inhibitions.


Examples

Film
  • A character from the movie Wayne's World acted like a happy drunk, going around saying "I love you, man!" and hugging people.
  • Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate becomes both more pleasant and more melancholic when he drinks.
  • In the Charlie Chaplin classic City Lights there was a character who was exceedingly friendly and generous when drunk, but tight fisted and mean when sober. The fact that he also tended to black out and not remember what had happened when he was drunk adds to the confusion.

Literature
  • In Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog, Ned compares the sentimentality that time drops can cause to an Irishman in his cups, or a sober Victorian poet.
  • In L. M. Montgomery's A Tangled Web, Penny Dark gets drunk in order to convince Margaret to call off their engagement by repulsing her. Unfortunately for him, it makes him sentimental and convinced he really is in love with her. His actions convince her that she can't call it off.
  • In Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson's Hoka stories, one alien while drunk goes off in sentimental memories of his youth. Then he shifts to Mean Drunk on seeing a human -- or primate, as he puts it.
  • Slughorn and Hagrid get drunk together at Aragog's funeral. This puts Slughorn in a much more relaxed mood, so that Harry can question him about the covered up memory.

Live-Action TV
  • In one episode of King Of Queens, Doug notices that Carrie is more friendly when drunk, and encourages her to go out drinking as much as possible.
  • In a two-parter (I think) of Cheers, the minister to perform Woody and Kelly's wedding dies, so they (Sam et. al.) find a minister uncle to perform the ceremony. But he's drunk so they sober him up. Then he's not actually nasty, but he refuses to perform the ceremony because he hates marriage. So they get him drunk again.
  • In a Friends episode, "Fun Bob" was the life of the party (in an appropriate and functional way) when drunk, but was lethargic and boring when sober.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: at Duff Gardens Bart & Milhouse go on a ride to make you feel like you're drunk, after which they're buddy-buddy. "You're my best friend!" "This guy...this is the guy..."
  • Family Guy: Stewie acts like this after he drinks something Brian tells him is alcohol.
  • One episode of Tom and Jerry had a drunk Tom act like Jerry was his best friend.


Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • March 25, 2012
    Arivne
    A person like this is sometimes called a Happy Drunk or Friendly Drunk (as opposed to a Mean Drunk).
  • March 25, 2012
    SKJAM
    • Its Walky and Shortpacked: Mike is a total jerkass when sober, but a swell guy when drunk; this has led people to keep him soused as much as possible.
  • March 25, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    Truth In Television aspect being that alcohol lowers inhibitions, so it can make otherwise gruff people drop their stern or macho exterior and express affection openly.
  • March 25, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • The Simpsons: at Duff Gardens Bart & Milhouse go on a ride to make you feel like you're drunk, after which they're buddy-buddy. "You're my best friend!" "This guy...this is the guy..."
    • Family Guy: Stewie acts like this after he drinks something Brian tells him is alcohol.
  • March 25, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • One episode of Tom And Jerry had a drunk Tom act like Jerry was his best friend.
    • A character from the movie Waynes World acted like a happy drunk, going around saying "I love you, man!" and hugging people.
  • March 26, 2012
    MarkThis
    What about sentimental as in "melancholic"? When I drink wine specifically, I get all sad and soulful and stuff. I don't know any characters like that, but that's "sentimental" too, right?
  • March 26, 2012
    TrustBen
    Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate becomes both more pleasant and more melancholic when he drinks.
  • March 28, 2012
    Alvin
    In a two-parter (I think) of Cheers, the minister to perform Woody and Kelly's wedding dies, so they (Sam et. al.) find a minister uncle to perform the ceremony. But he's drunk so they sober him up. Then he's not actually nasty, but he refuses to perform the ceremony because he hates marriage. So they get him drunk again.
  • March 28, 2012
    pawsplay
    I think jovial, convivial, and silenic would be better adjectives than sentimental.
  • April 15, 2012
    Goldfritha
    except that they don't have to be happy. Hence the tears. That might be a different trope.
  • April 16, 2012
    ElCheViva
    Slughorn and Hagrid get drunk together at Aragog's funeral. This puts Slughorn in a much more relaxed mood, so that Harry can question him about the covered up memory.
  • April 17, 2012
    Synchronicity
    There is a Mean Drunk trope in YKTTW, consider linking to that.

    Still one for making a supertrope for the different kinds of drunks as well.
  • April 18, 2012
    Goldfritha
    In Vino Veritas is a supertrope
  • June 4, 2012
    Dacilriel
    In the Charlie Chaplin classic City Lights there was a character who was exceedingly friendly and generous when drunk, but tight fisted and mean when sober. The fact that he also tended to black out and not remember what had happened when he was drunk adds to the confusion.
  • June 9, 2012
    NimmerStill
    This seems to be two different tropes, one where the alcohol makes the person genuinely pleasant to be around, and the other where it makes them (often sickeningly, creepily) sentimental.

    For the former category, there was a Friends episode where "Fun Bob" was the life of the party (in an appropriate and functional way) when drunk, but was lethargic and boring when sober.
  • July 17, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    I concur. This is really two tropes. You might call the happy one "the life of the party". Maudlin sentiment is an entirely different thing.
  • July 17, 2012
    karstovich2
    As I see it, "Happy Drunk" has three subcategories:

    • The Life of the Party: Self-explanatory.
    • The Mellow Drunk: Happy but not lively; more likely to sit in a chair and chat than go out and dance.
    • The Sappy Drunk: Gets sentimental and wistful when drinking. Can overlap with either of the above two. Is not necessarily happy--it can be a sad sentiment.
  • July 17, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Almost, but how can "not necessarily happy" be a subcategory of "happy"?
  • July 17, 2012
    surgoshan
    • One episode of The Big Bang Theory sees Leonard confront a bully who made his life miserable in high school. The bully at first tries to shrug it off as just fun between guys, though Leonard explains how unhappy it made him. After a few drinks, the guy becomes sentimental and melancholy and apologizes, and the two share a sweet moment. In the morning, sober, the bully remembers nothing and departs with a few barbs at Leonard's expense.
  • July 17, 2012
    surgoshan
    Ooh, since people are discussing splits...

    Happy Drunk, Sappy Drunk, Crappy Drunk. I believe that should cover everything.
  • July 18, 2012
    MorganWick
    Bun-Bun in Sluggy Freelance (please expand)

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=3fwhs5go9if5ob0cueg6d3d8