Created By: DaibhidC on June 13, 2014 Last Edited By: Snowy66 on April 1, 2018
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Drunken Glow

A red nose or heavy blush indicates a character is drunk.

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How do you convey a character is drunk? Well, staggering around and slurring their words (with the occasional Alcohol Hic) is the most obvious way. If you want to be more whimsical about it, there's the Pink Elephants. If you want to get it across instantly as soon as the audience sees the person, given them a red, bulbous nose. In Japanese media, characters might get a Luminescent Blush or Blush Stickers on their cheeks instead of just a red nose.

The Truth in Television here, to a limited extent, is rhinophyma, a type of skin condition that causes growth of the nose along with redness and dilation of blood vessels. Traditionally, this has been called a "drinker's nose", but alcohol only aggravates the condition, it is not a root cause. In any event, it is a persistent condition, whereas characters in fiction will only have red noses when they're actually drunk (although for The Alcoholic, this could be all the time).

Since the exaggerated fictional version is a rather "cartoony" concept, it's largely a Comedy Trope. As such, it's a Sub-Trope of Gag Nose.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Boruto:
    • A flashback shows Naruto being taken home drunk by most of his male friends. Not only is Naruto's face flushed but his entire face is pink. Several of the others faces are pink as well. Sai even had a faint blush.
    • When Konohamaru, Moegi, and Shino are shown drinking, Konohamaru and Moegi's faces are flushed. When Hanabi starts drinking with them her face turns completely pink (as does Konohamaru's).
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, Gohan gets drunk from eating an apple. Aside from the half-opened dizzy eyes and hyperactive behavior, he gets a red streak over his face.
  • In One-Punch Man OVA 6, a drunk Tatsumaki is shown with a distinct drunk Blush Sticker. She's also uncharacteristically happy given her tsundere personality.

Comic Books
  • Legionary Tremensdelirius in Astérix and Caesar's Gift. Other characters in Asterix who've been drinking are sometimes show with red noses as well, but Tremensdelirius is consistently drawn with detailed pitting on his nose that really does look like rhinophyma.
  • In Chilean comic book Condorito, there's a drunken character, Garganta de Lata (lit. Tin Throat) that always is seen drunk and with the red nose. Also, characters in the comic book that were drunk (Always Male, Condorito included) also are despised with red noses.
  • Very common in Franco-Belgian Comics like Gaston Lagaffe and Lucky Luke, with alcoholic characters having deformed noses (the town drunk in Spirou and Fantasio).

Comic Strips
  • Although the line drawing means they can't actually be shown as red, drunken characters in Beau Peep are drawn with the nose shaded in.
  • When Andy Capp is shown coming home from the pub, his nose is similarly shaded.

Fan Works

Literature
  • The Black Echo by Michael Connelly : Lucius Porter, a washed-up homicide cop with a giant beer gut and an alcoholic's red nose who spends all his time drunk in bars.

Music
  • The Mitch Benn song "Red Nose in the Sunset".
    Red nose in the sunset,
    Red eyes in the rain,
    Green face in the mirror,
    Hungover again.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • On the Classic Disney Short "Alpine Climbers", Pluto falls in the snow and is rescued by a Saint-Bernard, getting drunk on the brandy in his barrel. At the end, both dogs are drunk, and their noses flash red for the Iris Out.
  • The Looney Tunes short "High Note" is about anthropomorphized musical notes, one of which gets drunk. Since the note has no face, let alone a nose, his entire "head" is red.
Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • June 14, 2014
    kenshinta
    The flush can extend to the chest, which might be the case for Live Action examples. It's also common in anime and manga that the love interest looks cute with an alcoholic blush. Also usually only men are portrayed with just red noses while girls and Moe characters sport the Luminescent Blush version. If you're only looking for red noses, then say so, but I am all for expanding the trope to include drunk blushing in general.
  • June 14, 2014
    Lawman592
    Caricatures of noted liquorist WC Fields often depict him with a red nose.
  • June 14, 2014
    oneuglybunny
    Theater
    • The classic bulbous red nose of circus clowns was meant to convey this trope. It implies that these clowns have been drinking, and thus their judgment is fuzzy and their coordination is shot.
  • June 14, 2014
    SKJAM
    • Thirsty of the Hi and Lois newspaper comic is a heavy drinker, and is portrayed with a red nose. (Somewhat toned down in recent years.)
  • June 14, 2014
    Arivne
  • June 14, 2014
    eowynjedi
    • Mr. Snoddy in Danny The Champion Of The World has a red nose—Danny and his friend find out that this is the reason when they catch him filling the glass of "water" he keeps on the desk from a gin bottle.
  • February 15, 2015
    DAN004
    Dunno, but I've seen jokes about how Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is actually a drunkard, referencing this trope. :P
  • February 15, 2015
    Dalillama
    • The folksong "Of All The Birds" includes the line "Cinnamon and Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves [[note: These are traditional spices for mulling wine or cider]], that gave me my jolly red nose."
  • February 15, 2015
    Gideoncrawle
    It seems to me the bulbous red nose is used more to indicate habitual drinking than a specific instance of drunkenness.

    • In the comic strip, Hi And Lois, the resident boozehound is routinely drawn with a round, shaded nose. His name is Thurston, but he is usually called by the nickname, "Thirsty".
  • February 15, 2015
    acrobox
    Could this be generalized to Drunken Glow or something of that vein. The red may be around the nose but its fairly common for it to be the cheeks, or even the whole face.
  • February 17, 2015
    Chabal2
    Very common in Franco Belgian Comics like Gaston Lagaffe and Lucky Luke, with alcoholic characters having deformed noses (the Town Drunk in Spirou And Fantasio).
  • February 17, 2015
    TonyG
    • On the Classic Disney Short "Alpine Climbers", Pluto falls in the snow and is rescued by a Saint-Bernard, getting drunk on the brandy in his barrel. At the end, both dogs are drunk, and their noses flash red for the Iris Out.
    • The Looney Tunes short "High Note" is about anthropomorphized musical notes, one of which gets drunk. Since the note has no face, let alone a nose, his entire "head" is red.
  • April 30, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Compare to characters blushing in Japanese media when drunk.
  • April 30, 2016
    StarSword
    Video Games:
    • The Crusader Kings II mod "Better Looking Garbs" adds this to the appearance of a character with the "Drunkard" trait.
  • April 30, 2016
    BKelly95
    This condition is also known as a "gin blossom". In fact, a picture of WC Fields in this condition is said to have inspired the name of the band The Gin Blossoms.
  • May 3, 2016
    randomtroper89
    • The Black Echo by Michael Connelly : Lucius Porter, a washed-up homicide cop with a giant beer gut and an alcoholic's red nose who spends all his time drunk in bars.
  • January 28, 2017
    eroock
    Bump.
  • January 29, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    So, my WMG: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer was drunk when Santa Claus picked him to be the lead, and that's the reason why the other reindeer shunned him for being an obnoxious drunkard.
  • February 1, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Comic Book:
    • In Chilean comic book Condorito, there's a drunken character, Garganta de Lata (lit. Tin Throat) that always is seen drunk and with the red nose. Also, characters in the comic book that were drunk (Always Male, Condorito included) also are despised with red noses.
  • May 20, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    What about flushed cheeks?
  • May 21, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ The OP hasn't edited this for a while now.
  • May 21, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    ^ I noticed. But is blushing a seperate trope or not?
  • May 21, 2017
    NightShade96
    ^ Pretty sure it isn't.
  • June 28, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    I agree with changing this to "Drunken Glow" in order for it to be abouta all types of drunken flushing.
  • August 22, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    • In Boruto, a flashback shows Naruto being taken home drunk by most of his male friends. Not only is Naruto's face flushed but his entire face is pink. Several of the others faces are pink as well. Sai even had a faint blush.
    • In many Harvest Moon games, if the protagonist drinks too much their face will turn bright pink.
  • August 27, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    The creator hasn't edited this in a while, so I'm revamping it.
  • August 28, 2017
    Larkmarn
    Description needs revamping since it's just about the nose.
  • August 27, 2017
    Snowy66
    • In Dragon Ball Z Dead Zone, Gohan gets drunk from eating an apple. Aside from the half-opened dizzy eyes and hyperactive behavior, he gets a red streak over his face.
  • August 28, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    There's this weird Japanese trend (as usual for Japan) where women apply blush from cheek to cheek to resemble that "drunk look".
  • August 28, 2017
    Tallens
    • Oliver: The song "Oom-pah-pah!" refers to this in one of its lines, referring to a red nose caused by either drinking or fornication.

    May I suggest that as a page quote?

    "What is the cause of his red, shiny nose? Could it be oom-pah-pah?"
    Nancy, Oliver, "Oom-pah-pah!"
  • August 28, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    I think, in some older cartoons, this is sometimes paired with cross or X-shaped eyes. I'm not sure, though.
  • September 9, 2017
    Snowy66
  • September 10, 2017
    Arivne
    Anime and Manga
    • Bleach anime Season 9, Episode 168. When Captain Amagai becomes drunk after drinking a small amount of alcohol, he has a Luminescent Blush on his face.
  • September 10, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    ^^^^ It needs a note clarifying that "oom-pah-pah" is an Unusual Euphemism
  • September 10, 2017
    Skylite
    There is a newer indicator of drunkenness that I haven't seen mentioned. In WebComics several titles use three floating bubbles beside the head of the character to indicate inebriation. The bubbles are not necessarily perfectly round but hang around until the character sobers up or is completely shocked sober.
  • September 25, 2017
    Pichu-kun
  • September 26, 2017
    longWriter
    The Lockhorns: Whenever Leroy came home drunk from a bar, his nose was shaded to indicate flushing.
  • March 6, 2018
    Pichu-kun
    Bump.
  • March 30, 2018
    Kaiseror
    • Slightly Damned always has it's drunk characters blushing, the one we see it on the most is Iratu.
  • March 30, 2018
    zarpaulus
    More information on the Alcohol flush reaction
  • April 1, 2018
    Miss_Desperado
  • April 1, 2018
    MikeShogunLee
    That it I'm going rouge!
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