Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
At least in North America and most of western Europe, the university system tends to lead to people having a lot of free time, communal televisions, and access to alcohol.
The audience drinking game is an ancient and much-respected system for trope identification that evolved out of these factors. In the days before resources such as this catalogue, the drinking game was the most popular and accessible means of identifying tropes and cliches.
It works like this: each regular occurrence in a show, film, etc is documented, and assigned a numeric score based on its prevalence, triteness, or perversity. During a viewing of the show, each time such a documented phenomenon occurs, players drink a number of sips of their preferred alcoholic beverage equal to the numeric score. A non-alcoholic beverage of your choice may also be substituted.
This may be used in fiction to make fun of another work, or just to have an excuse for the characters to drink. In the former case, the characters may comment that anyone actually attempting the game would quickly end up stinking drunk, passed out, or in need of medical intervention.
See JustForFun.Drinking Game for fan-based examples, or to add your own. Also see TV Tropes Wiki Drinking Game for one of the most egregious examples on the interwebs. Also, visit our DrinkingGame.Fan Fiction if you want to end up passed-out blind drunk.
There is a similar, non-alcoholic form of this in joke Bingo boards dedicated to a certain subject (show, debate, etc), where each square represents a trope or buzzword commonly associated with that subject.
“Well, thank you for you time. It was very informative. But why are those people shouting every time someone mentions ‘heat sinks’?”
“That’s very annoying.”
“Hey, it’s a drinking game. If you wanted dignity and formality and all that shit, you should have visited during business hours instead of barging into my home on our day off. Now excuse me, I need to get drunk.”
In Aspirations, it is mentioned the Slytherins used to have a drinking game based on Ron and Hermione bickering. Snape had to ban it due to all the alcohol poisonings.
In X-Men fanfic Welcome to the Institute, Hank by Artemis's Liege, Logan, Hank and Scott devise a drinking game whilst grading student essays. They can take a drink whenever Jubilee misspells a word, Jean-Paul mentions "death", Bobby confuses his homonyms, Rogue attempts to invoke symbolism, and Piotr writes better prose than anyone else despite being an ESL student.
If the other player tells a story without the lie counter going up, take a sip.
If you challenge the story and get an explanation that doesn't make the counter go up, take two sips.
If you tell a story and your counter goes up, drain the mug.
Film - Animated
In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible sneaks up on a group of mooks who are watching the Omnidroid face down the army on TV.
Mook: Every time they run, we take a shot.
Film - Live Action
The Wild Zero DVD has a drinking game in the options menu. Turn it on and a beer icon appears whenever the game wants you to drink.
In New In Town the new manager drunkenly tries to explain how she's going to save the factory, and the rest of the workers take a drink at every buzzword.
In BASEketball, a boozing session in a local bar turns into an impromptu drinking game, with Coop, Remer, Squeak and 12-year-old liver transplant patient Joey downing shots of tequila every time a fight breaks out on Jerry Springer.
In Our Man In Havana, Wormold challenges Captain Segura to a game of checkers... except each piece is a mini/sampler bottle of whisky, which Wormold has been collecting for some time. (Wormold plays the Scotches, Segura the bourbons.) When you capture a piece, you have to drink it. This makes for some interesting changes in the usual strategies, which Captain Segura doesn't realize until far too late.
Briefly seen at the beginning of Jason Biggs vehicle Loser, as one of his roommates' party habits - they drink every time a character says "Hey Ma" during The Mary Tyler Moore Show spinoff Rhoda.
In the Lisa Shearin novel Armed and Magical, two Guardians talking with Raine as she watches the local University's commencement ceremony mention that on the occasions that they aren't on duty during commencement, they show up anyway - so that they can sit at an outside table at the bar across the street from where the speeches are made, at which point they drink shots every time the archmage makes a sarcastic comment during his speech. They freely admit to getting totally hammered during these occasions.
"Asshole", whereby a politician rebuts with something like "What my honorable opponent fails to realize..." in such a cadence you know he really means to imply yelling "Asshole!" at the other guy in a false display of courtesy.
Divide into teams amongst yourselves, the "yeas" and the "nays". As a congressional vote is being tallied, players drink each time a new "yay" or "nay" is cast for their respective side. Landslides could lead to liver failure. The other team has to drink if you can correctly identify the Vivaldi movement playing over the voting footage.
There's one with involving sightings of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) caught napping, eye-rolling or wheezing on camera, with convolutedrules as to what each player must do.
Live Action TV
An episode of Frasier started with Martin and his sons realizing they are all fans of Antiques Roadshow, so they then watch it together, taking shots whenever someone says "veneer".
While not an audience drinking game, one episode of Workaholics opens with Ders presenting his invention called 'booze chess', with mini alcohol bottles as chess pieces. By the time he's finished explaining, Adam has pounded most of his pieces, and drunkenly says "chessmate." Ders says they should just drink.
Marshall invented a game Marshgammon that has a rule where anyone who answers "What?" must drink a shot.
Ted has a Superbowl drinking game, though as Barney puts it: "It's not a game if you drink any time anything happens." If only everybody who made a drinking game lived by those words...
One episode shows that morning show host Robin Scherbatsky is very popular among students in Ted's class, but only because they have a drinking game going where they take a shot every time she says "But, um..." Robin turns the game back on them by saying "but, um" numerous times, forcing the drinkers to get completely drunk and sick.
An episode of Saturday Night Live had fun with this, with Chris Elliott and Chris Farley playing "Hi Bob" (A drinking game invented by watchers of The Bob Newhart Show where you drink every time somebody says "Hi Bob") backstage... with Bob Newhart himself standing there. It gets worse when Bob ends up having a discussion with another cast member about said drinking game in the player's hearing. Since you can't discuss "Hi Bob" without saying "Hi Bob"...
In the 2008 vice presidential debate sketch, Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) indicates that she's aware that there's a drinking game of her saying the word "Maverick."
The Big Book of Top Gear brings you Top Gear Bingo! Phrases to watch out for: "How hard can it be?" "Oh, cock" and of course "...in the world."
The Colbert Report website provided a "decoder sheet" for one Presidential debate, somewhere between a drinking game and Debate Bingo. Drink triggers included 'McCain makes war veteran face' and anyone mentioning Main Street.
In Series One of Skins in Chris' episode the friends play a drinking game watching an exercise video where they have to drink every time they see a nipple, a butt crack, or a camel toe, they have to drink a shot.
On the 30 Rock episode "Klaus and Greta", the writing staff plays the Today Show drinking game which involves taking a shot every time they give a dumb travel tip.
On the Bones episode "The Body in the Bounty", the Jeffersonian gets a visit from a Bill Nye-expy named Bunsen Jude the Science Dude and Hodgins turns out to be a big fan of the show. When the titular Science Dude points out that Hodgins is a bit older than his usual audience, Hodgins reveals that back in college, he and his friends would watch the show and take a drink every time Jude said his Catch Phrase—"Amazing!"
In one NCIS episode commentary, Michael Weatherly repeatedly pointed out when those playing at home should drink.
In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode riffing on the film Outlaw (of Gor), Servo suggests drinking every time the annoying sidekick says Cabot's name; according to IMDB, the name is said fifty-five times throughout the entire movie, mostly by the sidekick.
In an episode of Storage Wars, one of the pickers says that she and her husband have a drinking game, taking a shot for every time the auctioneer's wife says "Folks." For the rest of the episode, every time she says "folks," a little beer appears in the right-hand corner of the screen.
Survivor: Back from the Outback had a really good one. Just prior to a commercial break, Jenna Lewis groused about Elisabeth's tears, "It's like a drinking game!" Elisabeth cries, take a drink. Jenna said she was annoyed by this, probably forgetting the fact that she was prone to crying fits herself.
David Mitchell: I can't help but feel that the company wouldn't need to seek a merger if we hadn't adopted as company policy the idea of downing a glass of rare vintage claret every time someone says "merger".
In the short-lived That '70s Show spinoff, That 80s Show, there was a scene where several characters were watching Dynasty, and one suggests that they all take a shot every time someone gets slapped. Later, one character says something incredibly stupid, and gets slapped for it. They all take a drink.
One website has a Mythbusters drinking game. It recommends that you only play small portions of the game, because if you drink for every trigger, you will die of alcohol poisoning.
Two and a Half Men has the bar Pavlov's, named for the scientist who researched classical conditioning with his infamous dog. There's a drinking game showing the bar is aptly named. Whenever the bell at the bar is rung, everyone has to bark and take shot. When Charlie and Alan ring a doorbell later that night, they both can't help but bark.
A Mash episode has Hawkeye and Trapper playing checkers with full shot glasses as the game pieces, which they down shots from as each gets captured.
In Sonny With A Chance, when the cast of So Random is watching Mackenzie Falls and a character says falls, they throw their drinks in the air.
In the Series 3 Made In Canada episode "Beaver Creek: The Movie", the characters of Show Within a ShowBeaver Creek are unamused to learn that there is a drinking game based around Beaver Creek, with rules including a shot of tequila whenever Adele says "The beaver are in the creek", a Black Russian whenever Parson Hubbard says "God willing", and a B-52 when the parson tips his hat. Made worse in the cast's eyes by the fact that the drinking game was devised not by university students, but by employees of Pyramid, the company that produces Beaver Creek.
In one episode of Modern Family, Cam says he's created a new drinking game "Every time I'm depressed, I take a drink." Mitch tells him that game already exists, "It's called alcoholism."
A segment of Tosh0 had a video of a man drinking a bowl of gravy. Each audience member also had a bowl of gravy and had to drink it every time the video said, "Bowl o' Gravy!"
The Brewing Network's drunk of the week award, which usually involved contestants giving their drinking resume, telling them what they act like when drunk or encouraging stupid behavior. This has been dropped as a regular contest, as taking the calls and deciding a winner became a chore to do. It is still occasionally given out if they get a caller who drunkenly entertains them the right way.
One of Margaret Cho's routines mentions The Love Boat Drinking Game. "You pick a character at the beginning of the show, and every time that character came on screen, you would drink. You could always spot the alcoholics cause they're the ones going, 'I wanna be the ship!'".
One routine from Bill Bailey's Part Troll mentions "Drink Along With Dallas" - whenever someone on Dallas has a drink, you have one too. Unfortunately for Bill the first episode he saw was the oil barons ball - he ended up in casualty.
Legitimate Theater Company in New York did Twelfth Night: The Drinking Game. Triggers included drinking when someone praises Olivia's beauty, whenever there's Ho Yay, when someone takes a drink onstage, and whenever there's a coded Shakespearean reference to the vagina.
During the Alpha ProtocolPAX 2010 presentation, the guys of Obsidian Entertainment have a drinking game based on the word "Choice" due to their presentation being about the aversion of (and titled) But Thou Must. The word Choice proceeds to come up multiple times due to both the presentation itself and the guys just trying to get the others drunk.
In the Scottish television gaming programme Consolevania, the presenters Rab and Ryan invented the ShenmueDrinking Game, where you must take a drink every time Ryo Hazuki says 'I see', at any point in the games. In the programme it ends up with Rab pished after one drink ("fuckin' lightweight, always has been") and Ryan with his trousers down trying to get a taxi in Glasgow.
Episode 36 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has the Yu-Gi-Oh! drinking game (complete with helpful counter): Take a drink every time we mention friendship. Gets especially amusing later when the 'friendship' counter includes things like Yugi's "I take it back! Your friendship isn't worth that much!"
During the Third Anniversary Spectacularmathon party, Marik tries to create several drinking games for him and Bakura, only to be thwarted at every turn. First they try "every time Zombie Boy says "brains", drink." This is after Zombie boy revealed himself to be perfectly capable of talking normally. Then they try "every time Bandit Keith says "In America", drink." This is after he's revealed to be Canadian. (You really think Marik would have remembered that one...) Then, they try "every time you see an offensive stereotype, drink". Sadly for them, Shadi and those wacky Kaibacorp nazis weren't invited, British Bakura had just recently been escorted to the hospital (don't ask how Dark Bakura was there too) and Yami had just killed the gay clown. Finally, when a time bomb is sent to the party, Marik says "Every time we all explode and die, we take a-*BOOM!*
Bonds Beyond Time Abridged had fun with this in the credits
Every time there's a plot hole, take a drink. Good luck. :) (Beat) Okay, fine. Here's the real drinking game. Every time Yusei slips into a Canadian accent, take a drink. Seriously, check out 30:58. "Withoot".
The Nostalgia Chick has started doing drinking games, beginning with the Hercules Drinking Game which includes some general rules for every Disney movie (Every time a character talks or sings about what they want) as well as movie-specific ones (Whenever the fat muse says something funny, whenever Hades flames up).
Linkara has one in his Titans #1 review for every time a full page or two page spread shows up. (Depending on what you were drinking, you could end up pretty plastered, considering just in the single comic there were 11 of them.)
Linkara also has one for the part 2 and the rules for it are the same. If you do this one try something non-alcoholic.
One might suggest double shots for any comic with a double spread that must be turned on the side as he loathes those so much.
In his 200th review special Linkara suggests in the credits that viewers take a shot every time he says something is "pointless."
Dr Ashens provides one for the viewer in the description of his Barcode Battler review.
"Take a shot every time I say "Right," and "...or something." Alcohol poisoning may ensue."
The Nostalgia Critic played the Stephen King drinking game while reviewing It. He was definitely plastered within a half hour, it seems, which made the review even funnier. Especially when Dr. Smith came in while the Critic was full-on drunk.
Nostalgia Critic (while trying to shoot Dr. Smith):"I'll get you. All five of you."
In his review of The Langoliers, the Critic takes one drink when the film mentions Maine, but he stops after that because "I don't want the hangover."
When reviewing The Tommyknockers, he didn't want to participate but offered the home version with beer glasses, pool toys, ball caps, and a talking Mr. Toomey (from The Langoliers) action figure.
He briefly does this in Raiders of the Lost Story Arc for Ducktales. For every scene that is in the opening alone, take a shot. The end result? 6 shots and a drunk critic.
Tipping Forties: For every LP the guys do words are chosen to drink on and each week a few are picked by the SA forums. Fans are encouraged to participate at home. At least for the Tales of Symphonia LP this has backfired: someone seems to be playing two hours ahead of the crew in order to pick the words used most often, such as "world" and "Cruxis."
The Let's Play group Spoiler Warning has an official drinking game (rules vary somewhat depending on the game). When the videos were still vimeo-based, fan-added annotations stating 'drink' would be added whenever it would be appropriate.
The fans have now created a spreadsheet listing all the drinking moments in the Fallout 3 season, complete with graphs indicating the blood alcohol content and the reasons for drinking. The final episode would have you take 45 drinks by itself.
One of the Running Gags in Superdickery is to take a shot every time Jimmy Olsen gains superpowers or is transformed. If several different Jimmy Olsens are shown on the cover, take one shot for each of them.
The game "ends" with the "Planet of a Thousand Jimmies" cover. Have fun!
Simon suggests two rules for his YoGPoD podcast: every time he and Lewis mention Jaffa Cakes, you have to eat a Jaffa Cake. Every time you eat a Jaffa Cake, eat a Jaffa Cake.
SF Debris: SF Debris had several hilarious Drinking Games mentioned in his reviews.
When reviewing the pilot of Game of Thrones, his drinking game has two rules: 1) "Severed head! Take a drink." 2) "Naked girl! Take a drink." Hilariously, he ends up acting drunk at the end and mixes scripts as he throws in a discussion of philosophy of The Matrix, which was the subject of SF Debris' previous review.
He suggests one in his review of "Spock's Brain" from Star Trek: The Original Series: Drink for every Title Drop. He is even courteous enough to inform us how many times it happens. Fifteen, if you were wondering.
Subverted for Star Trek: Voyager's "The 37s": Takes a drink every time Brannon Braga deems something as "ancient".
Ultra Fast Pony's 19th episode is even named "The David Bowie Drinking Game", and the opening credits encourage the viewers to take a drink for every reference to David Bowie. Cue Rarity chanting, "Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie Bowie..."
In the Jacks Films' "Your Grammar Sucks" series,note He has people send him screencapped comments, and he displays them on-screen as he humorously reads them off starting with YGS 21, Jack does a drinking game special once every ten episodes under the bro-dude persona of "Chad Broseph Huntington", where he takes a drink every time he laughs or makes a mistake reading a comment. He messes up quite a lot, as he is reading comments that are supposed to be filled with horrible grammar, not to mention that they're also usually pretty funny. One must admire the effort.
LoadingReadyLive has LoadingReadyLager, The Official, but not Endorsed drinking game constructed by the fans (with some help from the crew). Given the frequency of some of the things on the list, you could very well end up with a bad case of Dead. Rules here.
In Vixen's reviews of Romeo X Juliet and The Princess Bride, she did a drinking game. In Romeo x Juliet, she took a shot every time the anime deviates from the original play. In The Princess Bride, she took a shot every time a memorable line from the movie is uttered. In the latter, she's completely drunk by the end.
Drawn Together ended (and began) an episode with the characters actually watching the show and drinking whenever someone did something gay. Naturally, everybody is completely smashed by the end.
In 'A Fish Out of Water' the guys all play a drinking game about things they've done during sex. By the end of it Quagmire has drank nearly all the beer by himself, is close to passing out and the guys are struggling to think of things that wont't cause him to drink.
Futurama suggests this in the opening of one episode: "When you see the robot, drink!"
Umpire: Okay, let's go over the ground rules. You can't leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.
Chief Wiggum:[annoyed] Hey, we know how to play softball!