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Drowning My Sorrows
aka: Drowning Their Sorrows
When one "Freaking Drink" isn't enough.
When you drink like that, it isn't for pleasure. It's because your thoughts have become diseases. You do it because it's the only easy cure you can find.
Ginn Hale, Wicked Gentlemen

When characters get frustrated, they need a freaking drink. But when they are depressed, they get drunk. Then they might start acting very strangely indeed.

A well-known Truth in Television. It is often played for sympathetic laughs, but it can also be dramatic, pathetic, embarrassing or angsty, especially if it goes with Off The Wagon. Characters who do this may also suffer from Bad Dreams and are prone to not eating enough, and it might lead to spending the night with somebody as the next step in "healing".

Men who undergo this for a period often grow a Beard of Sorrow during the time. Their residences often show the Mess Of Woe.

If a friend shows up, the Power of Friendship can convert this to To Absent Friends. Sometimes. If not? A nail gun and a wagon can work wonders.

The Hard-Drinking Party Girl does this from time to time. The Wide-Eyed Idealist tries this by getting Drunk on Milk. See Drunken Montage, an older trope that pictures the character stumbling through the big city night. See also The Alcoholic. A nicotine addict reaches for the Cigarette of Anxiety.

If the depressed character recovers, it will probably lead to a He's Back moment.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • Cross Marian in D.Gray-Man. Hoshino says he's "closest to the truth", and that he lives hiding bitter things. His old room at HQ is filled with wine bottles, plus a face drawn on his wall. Then it's outright a given when we get his character quote in the fanbook from Hoshino.
    "Sake is the best medicine."
  • On Maison Ikkoku, Godai and Mitaka have decided to duke it out once and for all for the hand of the fair Kyoko. Too bad this is Tokyo, where it seems like every street corner has a cop waiting to book you for causing a public disturbance. The guys end up at a beer vending machine drowning their sorrows.
  • David from Blood+ after the Red Shield's headquarters was sunk in order to kill Diva and the associated trip beyond the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Lisa Kujoh aka Sumeragi Lee Noriega in Gundam 00 personally implies that her constant drinking is for this single purpose.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima! one of Negi's fellow teachers accidentally gave him some sake while eating in Satsuki's restaurant. The scene quickly degenerated into this trope as a drunken Negi cried out his troubles.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni:
    • The (very underage) Creepy Child Rika drinks wine when she's depressed, as seen in the second season. A TIPS in the game confirms that she drinks for the purpose of getting drunk.
    • Same thing happens pretty often in another game of the series, Umineko no Naku Koro ni with Kinzo, also a few times with Beatrice and Battler.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross:
    • Misa Hayase goes to a bar and gets blind drunk in despair after she misinterprets Hikaru giving Minmay a place to stay for the night as him rekindling his romance with her. She's found by Claudia, who talks to her about her own relationship with Roy Fokker over a couple of glasses of wine.
    • Roy was this before he met Claudia, which is explained in Macross Zero with the death of his lover in the events of Zero causing a long segment of depression.
  • Bleach:
    • Izuru Kira and Rangiku Matsumoto are seen drinking after Kira's captain and Rangiku's old friend, Gin Ichimaru, leaves Soul Society with the Big Bad, Aizen. Also, Kira does the same with Shuuhei Hisagi, whose captain Kaname Tousen also left, and in the anime the aftermath of their drinking round is a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • In the manga, he decides to have tea when Rangiku offers it to him.
    • He's seen doing it again in the last episode of the anime, but it's now Played for Laughs since this happens because he doesn't approve of Rose as his captain. Iba and Yumichika watch over him and are rather peeved.
  • Roy Mustang in the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist frequently goes to get himself drunk at local bars with best friend Maes Hughes. It's seen that he has a tremendous amount of angst over the things he did in Ishval (in this version he's the one who killed Winry's parents under higher-orders, which back then almost drove him to eat his gun on the spot), and one would assume that he usually gets drunk for that reason.
  • Naruto:
    • Before she became the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade is seen several times gambling/getting drunk from sake to get her mind off of having lost her brother Nawaki and boyfriend Dan, who both died horribly and (presumably) painfully.
    • In Ninja Clash In The Land Of Snow, Yukie is seen drinking in the beginning of the film, lamenting how difficult the life of an actress is. This ties into her grief over losing her father and country to her uncle's betrayal, which has left her traumatized and bitter for years.
    • Naruto does it in Shippuden episode 183 when Sakura berates him for sneezing at her, only he does it by overeating ramen.
  • Lampe and Kim san Kaku go out and get plastered at the end of the intro comic of Astro Boy volume 5 after they learn they were both designed after Osamu Tezuka's dorky elementary school classmates.
  • A realistic occurrence takes place in Monster, after Tenma is demoted and then dumped by his cold bitch of a fiancee. And said fiancee, Eva, does it as well... for years.
  • Sailor Moon features two examples. The first one is played straight, and it comes from in the R season,: Usagi notices that Mamoru has a "new" girlfriend (he doesn't, but since he believes he cannot be with her, he puts on a Jerk Ass Facade and pretends that Unazuki is his new girl) and she tries to drown her sorrows in dumplings; when Luna tries to reprimand her, she cries and says she's too depressed to care about getting fat. The second is far more Played for Laughs and happens in the Super S season, when Naru is manipulated into dating Tiger's Eye for three months after he claimed he was going to die, her boyfriend Umino goes on a drinking binge with fifteen milkshakes; Chibiusa is grossed out and comments on this, even pointing out that sake is the traditional beverage for such behavior.
  • Sayoko from Ah! My Goddess does this everytime she loses to Belldandy at something. So she must be tanked 24/7.
    • Subverted by Urd, who needs to drink to restore her powers.
  • Jeanne takes to drinking vodka by the bottle in Rose of Versailles after the Affair of the Necklace. Oscar is also occasionally seen surrounded by empty wine bottles.
  • Darker Than Black:
  • Tsuzuki in Yami No Matsuei during an especially angsty moment in the Kyoto arc when he starts questioning his own humanity.
  • England and China do this, mourning and sobbing spectacularly about their younger brothers America and Japan, both who had rebelled and separated from them.
  • Lunch reacts like this in the Dragon Ball Z anime after the death of Tenshinhan, and subsequently catches Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. (Note that this of course, was filler. In the manga, she disappeared earlier than that.)
  • In Kuragehime, Tsukimi tries to fall asleep to forget her broken heart, but can't. She asks one of the girls at the boarding house she lives in for advice and is given a one-word response: booze. She ends up falling unconscious after one cup of sweet sake.
  • Although we only see Yukiji's Hard-Drinking Party Girl tendencies in Hayate the Combat Butler, it's made very clear that she was doing this in regards to the debt her parents left with her and her sister, and her subsequent dealing with the issue, that led her down the path to the humorous path we see in the story.
  • Kazehana, resident Hard-Drinking Party Girl of Sekirei does this during a season two episode after the death of Uzume. Much to her annoyance, she can't get drunk.
  • In Skip Beat!, Tsuruga Ren does this when he is unable to fully understand his character, Katsuki.
  • In Oniisama e..., Prof. Misonoo does this in his backstory when his first wife left him and she took kid!Takehiko along with her. This thing happens in real life too, as recently divorced spouses often respond by drinking in order to forget about the whole thing.
  • In Sangatsu no Lion, Yasui, one of Rei's opponents, is known to become a violent drunk whenever he loses a shogi match.
  • In One Piece, Kokoro took to the bottle after her friend and employer Tom (the mentor to Franky and Iceburg) was arrested by the government and taken away to Impel Down for building Gold Roger's ship, the Oro Jackson, with the implication that Tom eventually died in prison. When the Straw Hats first meet her, her Lady Drunk status appears to be just a character quirk, until the arc's back-story is eventually revealed.
  • Although it isn't with alcohol, Jeremy from A Cruel God Reigns falls into this. He buys drugs (they appear to be LSD) from his classmate to help alleviate the pain from being beaten by his stepfather. Later on in the series, Jeremy becomes a Hooker with a Heart of Gold and a Functional Addict, and is driven to heroin use to help him cope with the flashbacks he experiences and with the guilt from accidentally killing his mother along with his stepfather.
  • In Lucky Star, Yui apparently did this before visiting her uncle and cousin when she thought her husband, with whom she has a commuter marriage, wasn't going to be home for their anniversary, which was going to be their special night.
  • Reiko Ookochi, Sakuya's mother from Sensual Phrase, who does this after her husband abandons her. So much so that she drank herself to death.
  • A G-rated versionappeared in episode 8 of Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka?. Chiya brought Sharo to three coffee houses in a row to drown away the latter's sorrow of being found to be a very poor Scholarship Student and that she was lying about being rich . Sharo has very low tolerance on caffeine and has been seen to be drunk on coffee.
  • In the Urusei Yatsura movie "Always My Darling" after being depressed that Ataru has fallen under the influence of a love potion and tells her he only loves Princess Lupica, Lum goes to a space bar with her friends Oyuki and Benten downing drinks with pickled plums inside which makes her species drunk.
  • Umi Monogatari has this as a crucial plot point, though no alcohol is involved. Instead, there's a soothing song the island priestess sings; it even calms Marin out of her Heroic BSOD. And the ocean. The islanders' tears and a ritual involving tossing stones that represented their sorrow into the sea formed Sedna out of their collective grief.

     Comic Books 
  • Iron Man, already established as a recovering alcoholic, fell off the proverbial wagon hard when his company got taken over during the '80s.
    • Obadiah Stane went out of his way to make Tony's life hell for the express purpose of making him fall off so that he could take over.
    • Later, when Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) loses her power the second time (as Binary), she fell onto this and caused her to get expelled from The Avengers. She manages to get out of this thanks to the counseling from Iron Man himself, as fellow alcoholic.
    • He just did it again. In Fear Itself he started screaming at Odin and the other gods, yelling that if they wanted a sacrifce he'd give them the "only thing he could give worth anything": his sobriety, by taking a huge swig of alcohol. Even though it was a Narm scene, it was a total tearjerker to see him so broken.
  • Spider-Man also did this in one issue. (Although, given everything, we should probably cut him some slack...)
  • John Constantine does this at least twice in Hellblazer, most notably in the Tainted Love arc where, after a painful breakup, he not only drinks constantly but lives on the street for months, refusing to "magic" his way out of it.
  • Flare did this in the "Duel" story, which was a crossover with Eternity Smith.
  • X-Men: Cyclops, after a revelation that he was having a psychic affair with Emma Frost, ended up in a strip club and was drinking his sorrows in wine.
  • Katchoo does this a few times in Strangers in Paradise, usually after a bitter argument with, or involuntary separation from, Francine or David.
  • From Teen Titans.
    Impulse: Remember me?
    Brainiac 5: Are you kidding? I drink to forget you.
  • In Blackest Night Titans, Red Star was drinking in memory of his family (Pantha and Baby Wildebeest).
  • Renee Montoya does this at the start of 52. Of course, at that point it wasn't so much drowning her sorrows as it was just plain drowning. At least she learns her lessons.
    Kane: [Hands her a cup] Some hot cider, might make you feel better.
    Renee: Only if you added some bourbon to it.
    Kane: I didn't. But I can. If you like.
    Renee: No. Seems that all the problems I have when I start drinking are still there when I stop.
  • It's heavily implied (read: all but explicitly stated) that this is why Empowered's Ninjette is the Hard-Drinking Party Girl she is.
  • Superman went to the bottle in response to losing all of his powers in JLA: Act of God.
  • This happens early in Savage Dragon continuity. After a love interest gets Stuffed In A Fridge, the main character drowns his sorrows at a bar. A Bar Brawl soon follows after a supervillain decides to literaly bully a dragon.
  • In All Fall Down, Portia resorts to this after the loss of her powers, as do several superhero wannabes after being disarmed by the Ghoul.
  • Shift of the The Outsiders indulges in this after being forced to kill Indigo. Despite claiming that alcohol doesn't affect his physiology, he manages to get pretty damn hammered.
  • Werewolf by Night likes the occasional beer, but it becomes clear how miserable and depressed he is in volume 2 (1998) when he is rarely seen without a bottle of whiskey. His girlfriend has asked him many times to stop drinking, but that doesn't stop him from having a bottle in hand even when behind the wheel of a car.
  • Tara Chace in Queen and Country by Greg Rucka has a penchant for this; Rucka does this with a few of his heroines. See the Renee Montoya example, supra.
  • Several tellings of the Doctor Strange origin show Stephen Strange hitting the bottle and the skids between the accident that ends his surgical career and his tutelage under the Ancient One.
  • Averted in Sonic the Comic. Sonic is shown in disguise at a bar after believing he killed the Freedom Fighters as Super Sonic but doesn't drink alcohol.

    Fan Works 
  • Done very frequently in Racer and the Geek. Given what the protagonist has seen and done, it's understandable that he drinks himself into a stupor practically every night.
  • Rodney Skinner in the fourth installment of The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain. The second version of the volume, told from his point of view, revealed his reaction to Elizabeth (who he's hopelessly in love with) announcing her engagement to Ben Everett. Unaware that she did so under duress, he spends the day drinking himself stupid until Tom comes along to drag him out of the bar.
  • Mark Printzen in chapter ten of The Ollivanders At War. By the time Andrew and Hector find him, he's reduced to singing angry songs about Dutch sailors and whores.
  • In With Strings Attached, Paul spends an unspecified amount of time stuck in a kind of goto loop of misery and drinking. He's dying of jealousy because he's the only one of the four who didn't get any magic; he's lonely as hell, because the others are all playing around and ignoring him; and when he tries to learn magic on his own, he proves incapable. He does grow a Beard of Sorrow, though the Fans end up making him shave it off. And he gets a He's Back moment when the Fans return from Winter Solstice Break and maneuver him into his long-awaited magic.
  • Sirius Black tries this in Chapter 117 of The Moment It Began after his brother Regulus dies.
  • After Calvin gets invited to a fancy New Year's party instead of his parents in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, Dad notes this:
    "Come on, dear. You can drown your sorrows in the cider."
  • Death Note Equestria: Colgate does this when L's methods get to be too much for her. Meanwhile, Celestia is strongly implied to have developed an outright drinking problem because of Kira's actions.
  • The MLP Project: Pinkie Pie gets absolutely wasted after attending Twilight Sparkle's funeral.
  • Empath from Empath: The Luckiest Smurf becomes an alcoholic from drinking sarsaparilla ale in the alternate timeline where Smurfette marries Papa Smurf. Hefty in the main timeline story "Empath's Wedding" sits alone in Tapper's Tavern with a single glass of sarsaparilla ale on the night before the wedding, wondering why Smurfette won't marry him and realizing that he just couldn't compete against Empath. By morning, it is clear that Hefty is hung over just from that single glass.
  • This is the last thing we see Atreus do in Here be Dragons, since his starship was destroyed by Dooku using it to ram a drug cooker's.
  • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity:
    • Trixie and Cheerilee reference word for word having done this in Morning Glory, Trixie apparently simply due to feeling uncomfortable being with the other ponies at Fluttershy and Big Macintosh's wedding reception (despite having been hired to entertain the foals), and Cheerilee due to losing Big Mac to Fluttershy.
    • Dash and Caramel on the anniversary of Pinkie's death.
  • Non-alcoholic version in the Facing The Future Series. In order to help Danny cheer up over Sam being out of town, Tucker took him to an all you can eat buffet. Unfortunately, due to a spell from Desiree, a Gluttony Montage followed.
  • In Worldwar: War of Equals, alien pilots in occupied Mexico stage a protest against their superiors demanding safer missions out of fear from both stealth fighters and rumored airborne laser weapons. Despite reassurance of safety, many pilots still handle their stress with ginger.

    Film 
  • Agent Mulder does this in The X-Files: Fight the Future after he finds out that the FBI blames Scully and him for a bomb explosion and wants to split them up.
  • Back to the Future III has a subversion. Doc goes to get drunk after losing Clara and despite telling the bartender to "leave the bottle" doesn't actually drink anything, but acts strangely anyway. Well, to the other patrons, he's acting weird. To the rest of us, he's just moping and rattling off common knowledge about 1985.
    Some Guy: How much has he had?
    Bartender: None. That's the first one and he hasn't touched it yet.
  • Rick Blaine does this in Casablanca. You know the quote:
    Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
  • In A Few Good Men, Daniel Kaffee gets roaring drunk after an important witness for his case commits suicide.
  • In the "Weird Al" Yankovic vehicle UHF, George goes out drinking and orders something pink with a little umbrella in it. It's a blueberry daquiri. The drink clashes horribly with his somber mood. The commentary reveals that it was supposed to be much more flamboyant, but someone in the prop department missed the memo.
    Bob: You don't drink.
    George: Yeah, but I've been meaning to start.
  • Inigo Montoya does it in The Princess Bride after losing a sword fight and losing Vizzini, thinking he'll never be able to kill the six-fingered man now.
  • In The Four Musketeers, Athos (Oliver Reed) gets drunk to forget about his betrayal by Milady De Winter.
  • Drowning Sorrows appears in The Three Musketeers (1993), with Kiefer Sutherland as Athos.
  • Mr. Miyagi (the one played by Pat Morita, NOT Jackie Chan) in The Karate Kid 2. The scene in the first film when he's drinking because of his and his dead wife's anniversary qualifies, too. Especially because he passes out.
  • The First Wives Club: Goldie Hawn's character bawls about how she would have been cast as the sexy lead character of Monique in a movie not five years ago, but now she's Monique's mother. She babbles about how other actors would be better suited to the role, ending in Sean Connery, but counters the last, noting that Sean Connery would be Monique's boyfriend, as he's 500 years old but "still a stud..."
  • George Valentin in The Artist, which he does for a great portion of the middle of the film after his unwillingness to adjust to talkies from silent pictures backfires on him, along with his own film, Tears of Love, bombing and bankrupting him. At one point, he is dragged out of a bar by his old butler, Clifford.
  • Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, who still grieves over the death of his brother years earlier.
  • Toy Story parodies this trope: Buzz Lightyear gets "drunk" at a little girl's tea set.
  • The Punisher (2004) has the titular character resort to drinking Wild Turkey Bourbon (TM) straight in his depression after the murder of his entire family. The way the bottle was clearly labeled and placed on the table facing the audience smacks of Product Placement.
  • Similarly, Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 2 takes up drinking as he grieves over the death of his father in the prior movie. Harry's drink of choice is Makers Mark Whiskey.
  • Basically the entire plot of Leaving Las Vegas.
  • Jason Lee's character does this to an absurd degree in Kissing A Fool.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark invokes the trope twice; first Indy drowns his sorrows when he thinks Marion was blown up by the Nazis, then Belloq thinks he's drowning his sorrows with Marion, but as we already know, she's drinking him under the table trying to escape.
  • The explanation given for why Michael was in prison for a year in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: He planned on asking a girl to marry him, but she didn't show, so he opened up the bottle of champagne he brought, and in the course of a bottle decided the best course of action was to get her a new ring. From the Tower of London.
  • Subverted in Captain America: The First Avenger. Cap tries to drown his sorrows after Bucky, his best friend, is killed, but the super-serum he's been given has sped up his metabolism to the point that he can't get drunk no matter how much he imbibes.
  • Tecate beer is common for this trope, as it is one of the few beer brands that will pay for product placement even when characters use it in this way:
  • The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, has retired U.S. Army Captain Nathan Algren drunk for a good third of the movie, drowning his sorrows and being haunted by nightmares due to his role in the American Indian genocide around the time of General Custer.
  • In Bat 21, after a rescue mission has gone disasterously wrong, Captain Clarke walks in on Colonel Walker hunched over a chair holding a mostly empty bottle of whiskey. After the colonel finally notices the intrusion he says, "We lost six people today, Clarke. Kids, all of 'em. Just kids."
  • After Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline) admits to his fiancee Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack) that he's gay shortly before they're to get married in the 1997 comedy In And Out, Emily is shown drowning her sorrows at the same bar Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck) is at. When a wedding dress-clad Emily hits on Peter and Peter reveals that he too is gay, this creates a hilarious Heroic BSOD moment that was coincidentally what was shown on that year's Oscars telecast when Joan Cusack was nominated for an Oscar for that role.
  • The reason Ron is the town drunk in The Warrior's Way.
  • The protagonist of British World War II movie Ice Cold in Alex starts out the film drinking heavily as a result of the stress he's been put under during the campaign in Africa, and the plot is driven by his yearning for a cold beer 300 miles away.
  • The Incredible Hulk's stinger strongly implies that General Ross was drinking heavily (he was saying "reload" while downing several cups of liquor) after the events of having to let Hulk escape, before Tony Stark asked him to have someone participate in the Avengers initiative.
  • X-Men:
    • Subverted in X-Men Origins: Wolverine during one of the post-credits scenes, we see Wolverine in a Japanese bar. The bartendress asks him if he's drinking to forget, to which Wolverine replies he's drinking to remember.
    • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the younger Xavier attempts to escape from his emotional torment by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
  • In the Russian war movie The 9th Company, one of the characters quietly declares that he would drink until he forgot about Afghanistan when the titular company is lightheartedly discussing what they would do after the war. This turned the mood somber very quickly.
  • Bridget Jones' Diary: Bridget finds out that Daniel cheats on her with a skinny American and that he wants to marry her. But she will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect. She chooses vodka and gets drunk.
  • In The Truman Show it's implied that Marlon is a heavy drinker because of the guilt he feels over constantly lying to his best friend.
    • Interestingly, while that implication is there in the finished film, it's not present in some earlier versions of the script. Originally, Marlon was written as being almost entirely guiltless about his role on the show, and, in a deleted scene where the show's staff and actors meet behind the scenes, he gleefully mentions how much severance money the actors get if and when Truman dies, a remark that makes even the other actors uncomfortable.
  • In Iron Man 2 Tony decides to get absolutely plastered at his birthday party as his arc reactor is slowly killing him. He ends up blowing up half his house.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk after losing the Enterprise, followed by Scotty when Kirk is forced to accept his resignation when he won't allow the experimental torpedoes onto the ship.
  • Linda and Ned have a discussion about this in Holiday. See also the "Theatre" entry.
  • Sarah Packard in The Hustler frequently does this, to forget her various past loves.
  • Lawrence after learning of Ben's death and then seeing what's left of him in The Wolfman (2010).

    Literature 
  • Okonkwo does this at one point in Things Fall Apart.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunts Ghosts novel Honor Guard, after a disaster, Gaunt takes to drowning his sorrows — and not eating properly.
  • Aral Vorkosigan tries this in Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor before his fiancee shows up and invalidates the need. His son Miles does it too, on occasion; evidently, it's hereditary. Though his mother (that's the fiancee we mentioned) does also say it's partially Miles's attempt to uphold tradition.
  • As mentioned in the Film examples, Athos of Dumas' The Three Musketeers is prone to this. In the novel, it's depicted as habitual and inexplicable until he tells his I Have This Friend story.
  • David and Leigh Eddings have used this at various times in The Belgariad and its prequels.
    • Belgarath tried this in Belgarath the Sorcerer, after learning of his wife Poledra's Death by Childbirth. Aldur (his Master, a Physical God) seems to have stepped in and stopped him by making him physically ill to the point where he couldn't touch the stuff. (Belgarath then spent some years with the ladies of Maragor; when Beldin finally retrieved him, he said that Belgarath's drunkenness was still legendary in Camaar.)
    • Silk does this in The Belgariad after speaking with his mother for the first time in years. To elaborate, his mother used to be a beautiful woman, but caught a blindness inducing illness that left her face horribly scarred, and nobody could ever bring themselves to let her know. The scene is powerful precisely because of the contrast with Silk's Jerk Ass Facade and the overall humorous tone of the series.
  • Genghis Khan in Conn Iggulden's Bones of the Hills takes to the airag after Temulun is killed during a raid (after being raped by Kokchu).
  • Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel The Killing Grounds opens with a former soldier trying to drown his sorrows. He ends up blowing his brains out as more effective.
  • In Discworld, Sam Vimes was like this up until his marriage to Sybil Ramkin. It's implied that his Knight in Sour Armor cynicism, combined with a job Vetinari had purposely made irrelevant and pointless, is what drove him to drink.
    • In Feet of Clay, Nobby Nobbs is told he's heir to the title of the Earl of Ankh, and Nobby's fear of responsibility briefly drives him to drink. In Soul Music, one of the methods Death tries to forget his troubles is drinking, but all it does is make him even more depressed. He does manage to make an awesome drunken speech (and drunken collapse) though.
    • The Luggage, an animated chest whose sentience is debatable, once got itself drunk on orakh (liquor made from cactus sap and scorpion venom, used to mitigate the effects of Klatchian Coffee) after being rejected by Conina.
    • Detritus, Gaspode and Thomas Silverfish all do this about halfway through Moving Pictures; Detritus is drinking because his girlfriend Ruby wants to be courted like the humans do and he keeps getting it wrong, Gaspode is drinking because Victor is ignoring his warnings about Ginger being in the thrall of Eldritch Abominations, and Silverfish is drinking because he hates the way C.M.O.T. Dibbler is running his movie studio, relying on spectacle instead of True Art.
  • The Vampire Chronicles has a fair amount of this going on. Louis in Interview with the Vampire not only drinks away his sorrows but picks fights and sleeps with prostitutes, hoping to get himself killed. Later in Blackwood Farm Quinn also drinks away his sorrows and his fears. In Queen of the Damned, this is slightly subverted, as Daniel Molloy tries to drink away his madness (from the knowledge that vampires are real).
  • Averted and played straight in Starfighters of Adumar - Wedge heads to a bar mostly for privacy while he thinks through some questions of honor vs. the chain of command (he doesn't get very drunk, either). However, at the bar, he runs across Admiral Rogriss, who decided the answer to his problem (basically the same as Wedge's) was to get stone drunk.
    • Played straight in an earlier book of the series, when Ton Phanan, the Combat Medic of the squadron who is allergic to bacta and thus gradually becoming more and more cybernetic, drinks and tells his wingmate that he needs less and less to get drunk, because every year, less meat, more machine. He feels that his extensive cybernetics are an outward sign that his future has been destroyed, and he has no one.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hagrid in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (implied). Sybil Trelawney as well, in the same book, more blatantly - how many times does one need to read "the strong smell of cooking sherry" before getting the hint?
    • In Goblet of Fire, Winky the house-elf drinks several bottles of Butterbeer a day after being fired by Mr. Crouch. Butterbeer is a very mild drink for humans (children can drink it without any problem) but it's pretty strong for house-elves.
  • In the backstory for A Song of Ice and Fire, a young Littlefinger does this after being (rather cruelly) rejected by his crush, Catelyn. Unfortunately for him, Cat's sister, Lysa is infatuated with him and seems to like her men unconscious...
    • King Robert Baratheon has spent years drinking, hunting, and whoring, while being married to Cersei Lannister. He still can't get over the death of his beloved Lyanna Stark, her death left a hole in him which the seven realms couldn't even fill.
  • When The Little Prince visits a planet with no one but a tippler on it, he inquires why the man is drinking constantly:
    Tippler: So that I may forget.
    Prince: Forget what?
    Tippler: Forget that I am ashamed.
    Prince: Ashamed of what?
    Tippler: Ashamed of drinking!
  • In the first Red Dwarf novel, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Lister's response to finding out that Everybody's Dead, Dave is a spectacular mental breakdown complete with massive alcohol abuse. It is not played for laughs; in fact, it goes beyond this trope to look more like a narrowly-averted attempt at suicide by alcohol.
  • H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy has a sad-whimsical description of the process:
    "Take a drink because you pity yourself, and then the drink pities you and has a drink, and then two good drinks get together and that calls for drinks all around."
  • Happens in the Night Huntress series. Three days after Bones leaves her, Cat's apartment is littered with empty gin bottles and ice cream cartons.
  • Dragonriders of Pern series:
    • Lytol drinks to unconsciousness whenever he is forcibly reminded of his dragon's death, as a way of easing the pain of the loss. This is considered better than the alternative; most riders who lose their dragons kill themselves.
    • There's a small instance in the first book of the same series. F'lar assumed leadership of the weyr from previous Weyrleader R'gul. After Weyrwoman Lessa performs the huge event of the plot, R'gul insists that it's not possible and F'lar must be mad, and privately prepares to resume leadership once F'lar's incapability is publicly known. When people show up who prove that it really did happen exactly the way the leaders said, "R'gul got very quietly drunk."
  • In Good Omens, the demon Crowley once received a commendation from his superiors in Hell for starting the Spanish Inquisition. He didn't actually start it, he just happened to be in the area when it happened. When he finally started looking around to see what this Inquisition was all about, he ended up spending most of his time afterward drinking himself stupid.
  • Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities does this pretty much 24/7.
  • Haymitch Abernathy of The Hunger Games has been doing this ever since he left the titular Deadly Game as a teenager. Considering his only ally and friend in the arena was killed without him having even the slightest chance to save her and most of his family and friends were then killed to punish him for his almost nonexistent "rebellion", and his job ever since has been to accompany and train two kids a year for an almost certain death in the titular Deadly Game, you can see why.
  • Belisarius Series: It's something of a tradition of Antonina's, when Belisarius goes away on a potentially hopeless mission against the Malwa, to get thoroughly trashed, accompanied by Irene.
  • Several characters in Carrera's Legions, including the main protagonist, sink to this, usually over having their hearts broken.
  • Leesil, one of the protagonists of The Saga of the Noble Dead, drinks heavily in the first arc to suppress his memories of the time he spent as an assassin.
  • In Time Scout, Margo eventually realizes her father, though he's a bastard, may have developed his drinking problem as a result of her dead brother.
  • In the Knight and Rogue Series Fisk claims that he handled being dumped by his first crush "in the time honored way" while telling the audience about a time Jack had come to scold him for being to sentimental and attached to people while he was drunk.
  • In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, a common reason to be in the Bar on Jehovah.
  • In A Deeper Blue, Mike does this at the start, unable to get over Gretchen's death in Unto the Breach.
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, on the first days of his espionage mission when he was visiting South Africa, Hamilton wishes that he could get totally trashed over his cover job of a child slave trader, but can't afford the resultant loss of control in what's effectively "enemy territory".
  • In Dorothy Gilman's The Clairvoyant Countess, Mr. Faber-Jones, after his wife leaves him.
  • In the Chrestomanci series Christopher considers getting drunk after not being able to reach Millie. He's 15 at the time.
    "One could get awfully drunk here," Christopher remarked, surveying a dusty wall of bottles marked Nuits d’été 1848. "I have quite a mind to drown my sorrows, Grant. I saw Millie. I talked to her. Do you know how to open champagne?"
  • In Spin, Carol Lawton spends most of the book perpetually wasted. Though one might assume that she drank primarily because of her loveless marriage to the overbearing E.D. Lawton, the real cause of her constant boozing is later revealed to be her misery over the knowledge that her one true love, Tyler's mother, was utterly straight and devoted to her husband.
  • In Sheeps Clothing, Wolf Cowrie polished off most of a bottle of brandy after he is forced to kill his vampirized ladylove.
  • In The Man Who Carried Trouble Bill ends up in a bar, doing some hard drinking after a bad week.
  • In Feed, after he's told that the outbreak on the family ranch resulting in the deaths of his daughter, his wife's parents, and about half their employees, was intentionally caused by someone injecting a horse with live Kellis-Amberlee and causing it to amplify into a chompy zombie, Senator Ryman tells Shaun and Georgia he'll talk to them about the matter the next day, after he breaks the news to his wife and then, as he puts it, "get very, very drunk".
  • The Hard Heart cantina on the Death Star becomes this to a greater and greater extent as the plot progresses. Some time after the destruction of Alderaan the proprietor asks the bouncer to remove the few patrons who were having too much fun, and the remainder are quiet, shell-shocked.
    It felt like a memorial service, and, in its own way, it was.
  • In The Dragon's Path, the first book in The Dagger and the Coin, this is Cithrin's response to losing out on a key deal for her bank. She makes an earnest attempt to drink herself into oblivion.

     Live Action TV 
  • Almost every (major) character has done this at least once on Scrubs. Probably most notable is the occasion when Dr Cox spends around a solid week doing this after killing three patients by causing them to have rabies-infected organs transplanted and needs babysitting by all the other characters.
  • Damon often resorts to this on The Vampire Diaries.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
    • The Irish Drinking Song game in this series is based off this, and is sometimes played after the 'winner' is decided so the host can join in.
    • There's a game aptly titled 'Bartender' where one player acts as the bartender and the other three sing their sorrows out (which are provided by the audience members.)
  • Neal and Mozzie get drunk in the White Collar episode "Family Business," shortly after Neal discovers that the man pretending to be Sam is actually his father, James. It's partly justified in that it was for a case Neal was working (they had to counterfeit a particular brand of whiskey), but he points out that after the events of the last few days, he's more than happy to let himself get drunk.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Giles starts drinking heavily after Jenny's death. Not played for laughs, although Buffy's self-righteous attitude ("Oh my God, are you drinking?") can generate some unintentional laughs. Give the dude a break, his girlfriend just got murdered! Jenny's death drove Giles to seek fiery vengeance, not a bottle. He did get scarily drunk, alone, when the fallout from his Ripper days first encroached on Sunnydale in the from of a demon-possessed corpse by the name of Eyghon. He worked his way through a list of old friends' phone numbers (plus half a bottle of scotch) only to learn they were all dead. His missing an appointment with Buffy for the first time ever was enough to tip her off that something was wrong.
    • In the episode "The Wish", an alternate-universe Sunnydale without Buffy is overrun by vampires. Giles leads a ragtag band of vampire hunters, and his apartment littered with liquor bottles spells out his desperation.
    • He also got drunk in season four's "The Yoko Factor" when Spike's manipulations got him feeling he was useless.
    • In "A New Man", he was so upset about feeling useless that he went out and got drunk with Ethan Rayne. Bad idea.
    • In one episode, Willow isn't drowning her sorrows. She's just bathing them.
    • After a hard day Buffy herself drowns her sorrow with some good old booze. Of course it's Spike's idea. She regrets it later (as she spend the rest of the night puking). Next time Spike asks if she wants a drink she passes.
    • The episode where Buffy's beer-drinking spree made her go, in her own words, one million years BC. If ever there was a more literal way to convey the message, "drinking is bad, kids." The only more literal way would be if the episode had been called "Beer Bad", WHICH IT WAS. Given this exchange at the end of the episode, one gets the impression that Joss Whedon couldn't resist subverting the anti-alcohol message:
      Xander: And was there a lesson in all this, huh? What did we learn about beer?
      Buffy: Foamy!
      Xander: Good. Just as long as that's clear.
    • Anya tries to drown her sorrows at the Bronze, but as she looks outwardly like a teenage girl the bartender stubbornly insists on an I.D. "I'm 1,120 years old! Just give me a frickin' BEER!!!"
    • There's Spike in "Lovers Walk". Apparently alcohol does affect vampires.
    • "Life Serial" has the trio trying to destroy Buffy's life. By the third day Spike steps in and helps her with scotch, before she agrees to go with him to a Bad-Guy Bar for information. She promptly takes a bottle of alcohol and spends the night snarking as she gets drunk off her dial.
  • LOST has this trope, as revealed in multiple characters' flashbacks.
    • Christian Shephard spent the last week or so of his life drowning his sorrows in Australia. ** Jack's taken to doing so in the flash forwards.
    • Desmond, especially when he realised he couldn't escape the island and returned in this state in the season 2 finale. Plus his time travelling woes led him to the bottle too (although Charlie and Hurley were exploiting him a bit).
    • Sawyer is fond of drinking to drowns his sorrows as well.
  • The Canadian TV series Butch Patterson Private Dick, features a title character who drinks for a number of reasons, not least his shame over his tendency to wet his pants, to prematurely ejaculate, or his inability to have sex without paying a woman for it. He normally keeps up a brave front, but he occasionally lets his private shame and self-pitying show through, bursting into tears, yelling at whoever is in the room and then running away.
  • Angel:
    • Angel appears to be doing this in the pilot episode of his show, but it's merely a cover to allow him to stake some (other) vampires.
    • Wesley, Lorne and Spike all drowned their sorrows after Fred died.
    • Played straight when Angel fires the rest of his staff - they immediately go to a karaoke bar they know, get incredibly drunk, and sing "We Are The Champions". Badly.
    • Maybe not drowning, but Wesley certainly takes his sorrows for a swim after his split from AI.
  • Michael attempts to do this in Roswell, only to discover that he's genetically an extreme lightweight. He spends the rest of the night in severe pain.
  • Ashes to Ashes. Alex Drake may be the only woman born who can hold her own in a wine bar with Gene Hunt and an epically bad mood, and she has every excuse in the world for doing so.
  • It happens in both versions of Life On Mars as well. "What? I had no idea how long this stakeout was going to last!"
  • Nathan Petrelli, complete with Beard of Sorrow, at the beginning of the second season of Heroes.
  • The X-Files, "The Blessing Way": When Mulder is presumed dead at the beginning of Season 3, Frohike shows up at Scully's house and mumbles something vaguely nonsensical. Scully takes one long look at him and asks, "How drunk are you?" to which Frohike replies by holding up a near-empty bottle of something that is probably stronger than wine. She just nods knowingly and lets him in, implying that she's done a bit of drinking herself.
  • When Leonard's mother, a neurophysiologist and psychologist, comes to visit on The Big Bang Theory, her influence prompts Leonard to knock on Penny's door and simply ask, "Do you have any alcohol?" The two of them spend most of the rest of the episode getting sloppy drunk.
  • Damar of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine spent several episodes getting drunk, to drown out first his unease and his conscience over dealing with the Dominion, his murder of Dukat's daughter, then his problems when promoted to leader of Cardassia. His snapping out of this and becoming a good guy marks the beginning of his becoming truly Bad Ass. And he slips a bit of information to Quark, leading to a particularly entertaining scene in which he is trying to tell Kira and Odo what he learned while roaring drunk.
    "I just shared a bottle of kanar...with Damar!...Hey...that rhymes! [unintelligible giggling]"
  • Supernatural:
    • It's shown that Sam and Bobby both drink a lot after Dean's death by hellhound at the end of season 3. Bobby, at least, has been hinted to be avoiding alcohol now, but with the whole Apocalypse, Sam using his powers, and Dean's memories of Hell, the boys have still been drinking in a not-so-healthy way.
    • After finding out that God doesn't intend to do anything about the Apocalypse, Castiel goes and drinks a liquor store.
      Castiel: I found a liquor store.
      Sam: ...and?
      Castiel: And I drank it!
      [later]
      Dean: Where have you been?
      Castiel: On a bender.
    • Dean's at the bottle again in season 7 after Cas's death.
    • In the season 9 finale, after bringing Dean's dead body back from the fight with Metatron, Sam hits the scotch.
  • Battlestar Galactica has this happen to several characters several times during the show's run. Bill Adama hits this trope hard in the fourth season, so much so that his best friend and second in command (and accomplished alcoholic himself) Saul Tigh has to snap him out of it.
  • Ben Harper from My Family: One episode features him being unable to get at his booze, resulting in him grinding through a fair chunk of the 10,000 or so choices on the combination lock in order to get at whiskey that turns out to be cold tea, courtesy Nick's new job as a background actor.
  • Subverted in an episode of Titus: Christopher Titus' father, habitual drinker Ken Titus, goes on the wagon, and his relatives find his sober behavior so insufferable that within two weeks they have an intervention to urge him to start drinking again.
  • In I Dream of Jeannie Roger and Tony were depressed and decided to get loaded on ice cream sundaes.
  • A flashback in one episode of Frasier shows Niles hitting the (wine) bottle especially hard during his divorce with Marris, making a reference to the term when he said, "Who knew my sorrows were such strong swimmers."
  • Babylon 5:
    • Vir, after killing Emperor Cartagia. Notably, the scene manages to go from dead serious to completely hilarious and back, mostly because Vir doesn't get drunk very often.
      Vir: I was drinking to Emperor Cartagia... but he wasn't here, so I had to drink for him. So first it was me drinking for Cartagia, and then me drinking for me, and then I got caught in this cycle... and then Emperor Cartagia, his glass broke!
    • It's also a significant part of Garibaldi's backstory. Garibaldi restarts drinking when he realizes that he can't kill Bester for brainwashing him into accidentally betraying Sheridan.
    • Londo is also a heavy drinker. First he drinks to the lost glory of the Centauri Republic, then to Adira and finally to ruined Centauri Prime and to keep the Drakh Keeper from ruining his Thanatos Gambit. Unlike the other examples, it's not a phase or a problem so much as a universal constant.
  • Probably the best way to explain Meredith's relationship with tequila, on Grey's Anatomy, is through this delightful quote, by, of all people, Alex Karev, who wasn't exactly her BFF:
    Alex: When your life is sucky you get drunk and sleep with inappropriate men. It's your thing.
  • Just about every M*A*S*H character was prone to this at some point or another.
    Hawkeye: Drowning your sorrows, Margaret?
    Margaret: No... just taking them out for a little swim.
  • Gossip Girl: Modus operandi of Chuck Bass.
  • After being killed and brought back to life in Torchwood, Owen went out drinking. This, however, ended badly for him seeing as dead people can't digest anything. He also goes through more mild forms of this after Diane leaves him.
  • On Fringe most of the cast has gotten in on this at one point or another.
    • Walter Bishop is normally on any number of psychotropic drugs at once. When he hits rock bottom, instead of drowning his sorrows, he smokes them out. To similar, but far more hilarious, effect.
    • Olivia drinks so often it's pretty much her nightly ritual now.
  • On Good Times, Keith does this after feeling frustrated about not being able to play football, working part-time as a cab driver, and the lack of full-time work. The drinking escalates when his old college roommate (now a pro football player) comes to visit. Keith then starts insulting everyone around him and he slaps Thelma. Thelma packs his bags and tells him that he can either quit drinking for good and stop feeling sorry for himself or he can leave her for good. Keith chooses Thelma.
  • Colleen McMurphy, on China Beach.
  • In Farscape, Aeryn spends all of "The Choice" drunk while she mourns Crichton's death.
  • In Yes, Minister, Jim Hacker, at the end of "The Whisky Priest," seems at first to just Need A Freaking Drink (OK, several drinks). Then:
    Annie: You're sort of a whisky priest. You do at least know when you've done the wrong thing.
    Jim: Whisky priest?
    Annie: That's right.
    Jim: Good. Beat. Let's open another bottle.
    Annie: You haven't got one.
    Jim: That's what you think. *Turns, opens a red box, which turns to be filled with bottles of whisky* Who said nothing good ever came out of Whitehall?
  • During the Las Vegas season of The Real World, Frank drinks water in anger during Steven and Trishelle's first hook-up.
  • Many Korean Dramas use this trope, both as drama and as comedy.
    • In Best Love, Ae Jeong drinks an entire bottle of wine in one gulp to make a point, Jae Suk gives a drunken confession of love to his boss, and Aw Hwan mumbles a request to Jenny not to drink red wine with anyone but him. And so on...
    • Woo Ri and Min Sook get sloshed while male-bashing in Can You Hear My Heart. Joon Ha does it one night which leads to his confession that he's the Long Lost Sibling.
    • The fusion historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal has Kim Yoon Shik giving a drunken Lee Seon Jung a ride back to the school one night.
    • Twinkle Twinkle: Mostly serious sorrowful drinking, especially by the female leads.
    • You Are Beautiful: Go Mi Nam gets drunk on champaigne his first night and ends up throwing up on the lead singer of the band he just joined. This is after throwing up in a flower pot, and before anyone knows he's a girl.
  • In the Community episode "Mixology Certification" Annie starts off the night ordering root beers but as she gets progressively worked up about planning out her entire life she eventually switches to screwdrivers.
  • Inspector Lynley, after his wife's death in the series five finale, which he believes is his fault, takes to this. His partner, DS Barbara Havers, is not amused, but even though she's his Most Important Person, even she can't reach him. It takes an It's Personal case, a near brush with arrest for murder, and Barbara nearly being killed to make him something remotely like himself again. The first thing he does after he comes to his senses is apologise to Barbara, after which she remarks, "You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but d'you fancy a drink?" Clearly, this time she trusts him not to go off the deep end.
  • On Boy Meets World, Cory does this once after his break up with Topanga in season five. In a later episode, Shawn does this after he is unable to find his real mother.
  • In the third episode of Black Mirror Liam ends up getting drunk after suspecting his wife was flirting with another man. Decides to get the babysitter involved before driving over and attacking the guy.
  • On Lie to Me Foster gets totally smashed (on a bottle of Lightman's very, very expensive Scotch, no less, which she stole from his office). When he confronts her, she is both hilarious in her chattiness and heartbreakingly honest, as she displays her vulnerability and her love and loyalty for Lightman, while finally taking a stand against his aggressive personality.
  • Flack, after Angell's death on CSI: NY. Unfortunately, he passed out, and someone took him to their place because he was drunk,where he got caught up in the middle of an arrest later on. No one knew where he was at the time, even when he was supposed to come to work, and Mac had to try pulling him back to reality once they found him, which the group had been trying to do for a while while he rebuffed them. Fortunately, nearly losing his job and worse, his life, woke him up.
  • Scandal: Both the President and Cyrus do this (sometimes together).
  • In the Horatio Hornblower miniseries, this is how Mr Buckland deals with being an Acting Captain and not quite fit for command — drinking lots of port. He starts with "freaking drinks" to calm himself down and ends up getting drunk on regular basis. He's once found napping in a net in his cabin, holding an empty bottle. One scene depicts him sadly pouring himself port, and the wine over-flows the glass and he just sadly watches the stream flowing on the table.
  • Dexter:
    • Sgt. Doakes discussed this with Dexter, telling him that lots of cops deal with the stress of the job with either booze or drugs, and that lots of them became addicts.
    • Debra drinks once when she reminisces about her father, a legendary cop on the force, Harry Morgan. She was proud of herself to moderate her drinking, but any time she hears some crap that happened with him, she needs to drink.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Jack Robinson tries this after the accident in "Blood at the Wheel".

    Music 
  • "Back to Black" both the song and much of album by Amy Winehouse are this.
  • "Friends in Low Places": The original version of this classic drinking song penned by Dewayne Blackwell and Earl Bud Lee fit the trope perfectly. It was about a man, profoundly depressed that his ex-girlfriend is getting married, decides to get absolutely, freakin' drunk on her wedding night, and Mark Chesnutt's depressing version fit the bill. And then, a handsome young man from Yukon, Oklahoma, came in and completely inverted and twisted the song around … turning it from a a depressing drunk into a good-time, kiss-my-ass, who-needs-you-bitch singalong that became one of country music's enduring hits. Any wonder why Garth Brooks was so gifted?
  • "Neon Moon" by Brooks and Dunn
  • "Killin' Time" by Clint Black
  • "Senorita Margarita" by Tim McGraw
  • "Drinkin' Me Lonely" by Chris Young
  • "Bottle Let Me Down" and "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" by Merle Haggard
  • The Irish folk song "Keg of Brandy" may qualify. The narrator seems to be a (rather sweet) alcoholic tramp who is very world-weary, especially on the subject of romance and marriage.
  • For true bottom of the bottle sorrow:
    So buy this weary fool some spirits and libations, it's these railroad station bars
    And all these conductors and porters, and I'm all out of quarters.
  • Smile Empty Soul's "Bottom of A Bottle":
    I do if for the drugs... I do it just to feel like I'm alive...
    I do it for the love.... that I find at the bottom of the bottle...
  • Tom Waits, "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart." Waits' voice is almost uniquely suited to this kind of song. He has quite a few other songs like this, including "The Piano Has Been Drinking", "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You", "Invitation to the Blues", and "Saving All My Love for You".
  • "Drink" by They Might Be Giants.
  • "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion: "Well it's been ten years and a thousand tears/ And look at the mess I'm in/ A broken nose and a broken heart/ An empty bottle of gin..."
  • "Another Drinkin' Song" by Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • "Alcohol" by Barenaked Ladies
  • "Straight Tequila Night" by John Anderson
  • "Alcohol" by Gogol Bordello
  • "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett
  • "Red, Red Wine" by Neil Diamond and later by UB 40
  • "Beer" by Reel Big Fish
  • "Russia on Ice" by Porcupine Tree
  • "The Price of Love" by The Everly Brothers, with its laboured yet lovely rhyme:
    Wine is sweet, gin is bitter
    Drink all you can but you won't forget her.
  • The Byrds' "An empty bottle, a broken heart, and You're Still on My Mind".
  • "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by John Lee Hooker, later covered by George Thorogood.
  • "Whiskey Lullaby" by Brad Paisley, oddly by both the cheated-on soldier or his cheating girlfriend. It...doesn't help.
  • Yowane Haku, the fan-made Anthropomorphic Personification of clumsy new users to the Vocaloid software, does this constantly because she feels she'll never be as good as Hatsune Miku, the character on whom she was based. Because of this and her woobie tendencies, she's become just as popular as Miku herself. She and Akita Neru eventually became official vocaloids and Haku's popularity led to a rise of instances she was shown to be much more capable of singing than she used to. If it isn't for the previous reason of her dreams of singing as beautifully as Miku being shattered that makes her drink herself into stupor, she does so for the fun or sake of it and usually is portrayed as sluggish, lazy and clumsy, but a little more happy than originally portrayed. This has been met with mixed receptions, since Haku is supposed to be the Anthropomorphic Personification of people who fail to use the Vocaloid software effectively/correctly, and doing a bad Miku song/Haku song on purpose defeats, in itself, Haku's raison d'etre. note  It's all kinda complicated and rather Fan Dumb-y.
  • "Slo Gin" by Tim Curry is a text book example with lyrics like "slo gin, gotta wash away the pain inside" and the somewhat infamous refrain, "I'm so fucking lonely and I ain't even high".
  • "Whiskey Bottle" and "I Got Drunk" by Uncle Tupelo.
  • A great deal of country music practically glorifies this trope. In addition to the ones already mentioned, "Queen of the Silver Dollar" and "Whiskey River" come to mind.
  • The Rolling Stones' "Honky-Tonk Women" features the line "I just can't seem to drink you off my mind."
  • "Novocain," by Jeremy Messersmith. And it's one of the prettiest song you'll ever hear.
  • "Here Comes A Regular" by The Replacements
  • Bob Dylan clocks in with "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," ending with this verse:
    I started out on burgundy/But soon hit the harder stuff/Everybody said they’d stand behind me/When the game got rough/But the joke was on me/There was nobody even there to call my bluff/I’m going back to New York City/I do believe I’ve had enough
  • "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback features elements of this.
  • The appropriately-named "Drinking Song" by Jenny Owen Youngs. The chorus, "There's solace at the bottom of the bottle", is oddly cheery.
  • Gary Stead, The Alcoholic of the Saint Etienne Concept Album Tales From Turnpike House appears in three of the twelve tracks. In "Milk Bottle Symphony" he has a hangover and by "Teenage Winter" he's ignoring the debt collectors to go down to The Hat And Fan (no longer a British Pub, but a horrible franchised Wetherspoons-style mess mostly staffed by Australians) again, but "Last Orders For Gary Stead" tells the true story of a man hiding in the bottom of a beer glass to escape the reality that his life is rubbish and his wife has left him.
  • The Charlie Daniels Band's "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye".
  • "Tear in My Beer" by Hank Williams Sr (and a mashup duet created by his son)
  • Invoked by Glaswegian Baroque Pop band Camera Obscura in the first verse of "Let's Get Out of This Country"
    I've drowned my sorrows and slept around...
  • Nas's "Drunk by Myself". What makes this song stand out is the fact that his drinking is accompanied by trying to get away from all his troubles in a speeding vehicle.
  • In Drake's song "Marvin's Room", he is in a club drunk dialing one of his ex-girlfriends.
  • "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", a classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer standard recorded by Frank Sinatra, among others.
  • "Death of a Clown" by The Kinks. ("I'm drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin...")
  • "Hurricane Drunk" by Florence + the Machine:
    I'm going out/I'm going to drink myself to death.
  • Brazil has "Garçom" ("waiter", the guy who the binge drinking protagonist speaks about his broken heart) and "Pinga Ni Mim" (Double Entendre: as it can be both "drops on me" - as the chorus mentions a leak - and "cachaça on me"; but many don't know it's about drowning romantic sorrows as they only learned the chorus).
  • The title of Type O Negative's "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)" indicates that the singer is drowning his sorrows with red wine.
  • Used oddly in U2's "The End of the World":
    "In my dream, I was drowning my sorrows / but my sorrows had learned to swim."
  • "Pour Me" by Hollywood Undead.
  • The Proclaimers:
    • "It's Saturday Night"
    "The drink that I had three hours ago
    Has been joined by fourteen others in a steady flow"
    • "A Long Long Long Time Ago"
      "I just settled down with a bottle of gin
      So I moved on to whiskey, and it hit me again
      Memories were raining punches down upon my head..."
  • Gorillaz bassist Murdoc Niccals has apparently been perpetually drunk for months on end, as of current canon. During his Pirate Radio shows, he rambles about how lonely he is. It's unsurprising: Noodle was missing in action after the "El Manana" video and may or may not have been trapped in Hell, so he replaced her with a cyborg; Russel was also missing, whereabouts unknown, so he replaced him with an automatic drum machine; and 2D wanted nothing to do with him, so Murdoc kidnapped him and kept him prisoner, and 2D is now sober enough to start realising exactly how bad Murdoc's treatment of him has always been.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Pablo Marquez, after it was revealed La Tigressa was only showing interest in him because she was put up to it by El Bronco #1 in WWC.

    Theater 
  • Parodied in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Hugo's girlfriend has left him. He announces that he's going to go drink himself to death and leaves. Several scenes later, he staggers back onstage: "Milk. But it worked." At one point in the interim, he's shown trying to order a drink, but since he has only a vague idea what even the names of alcoholic drinks are, he doesn't do it very well. He ends up asking if the bartender can make him a "vodka malted." Note that this however depends on the production. Some will portray him as just having gotten angry...and some imply that he somehow managed to get a hold of actual alcohol.
  • The song "Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please" from Panama Hattie.
  • Philip Barry's play Holiday contains a discussion between Linda and Ned Seton about this. Linda, mortified to find she has fallen in love with her sister's fiancé, contemplates getting drunk on champagne, and asks her brother what it's like. In the end, she decides to be stoical about the situation, and goes to join the engagement party instead.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Exalted, Demetheus accidentally killed a friend during a fight, and then proceeded to go on such an epic sorrow-drowning bender that the Goddess of Intoxicants herself, Burning Feather, came down from Yu-Shan to sober him up.

     Video Games 
  • Gorman in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask does this with milk, and somehow ends up drunk anyway, even though he himself states this is impossible.
  • Played straight by an NPC in Twilight Princess. After you complete his quest, and leave his house, you can come back and find him missing. He's gone to the local tavern, and is seated at the bar, crying his eyes out because his girlfriend is seeing someone else.
  • Escape from Monkey Island has Carla drinking at the microbrewery on Jambalaya Island to forget her time on Monkey Island. Unfortunately, Guybrush inadvertently reminds her of what she was drinking to forget, and she complains "Thanksh a load, Threepwood. Now I gotta shtart all over again."
    Guybrush: Drinking isn't the answer, Carla."
    Carla: That depends on the question, doeshn't it?
  • Wing Commander III: Halfway into the game, Col. Blair drowns his sorrows after discovering Angel's fate. After the cutscene showing her fate, you're given a choice of talking with Rachel or drinking some more. Unless one is a masochist, talking is probably better than drinking. Especially because of the scramble alert following shortly thereafter. Alcohol and spacecraft do not mix, and flying drunk will make your ship behave erratically.
  • Haku Yowane from Vocaloids is notorious for this; she drinks because she knows she's just a failed Expy of Miku. Neru Akita, on the other hand, has a different way of handling her jealousy of Miku...
  • The Japanese version and the DS retranslation of Chrono Trigger implies that Frog did this when he learned King Guardia was wounded in battle, though the act itself is not shown on screen. In the SNES translation, such a thing would be unheard of.
  • Happens in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where Cid is originally drinking heavily after the death of his wife. In the American translation, he merely has trouble keeping a job.
  • The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 is characterized this way. His melee weapon is the very bottle he draws his "comfort" from, and his taunt for said weapon features him shouting "Cheers, mate!" and taking a hearty swig. A good number of his in-game lines either sound completely drunk or reference his being so ("I'm drunk - you don't have an excuse!", "Imagine if I hadn't been drunk!", etc.). His "Meet the Team" video features the strongest example of this trope, with him going from sober to somewhat wasted by the end and bemoaning the fact that he is "a black Scottish cyclops".
    "They got more *BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*s than they got the likes o' me!"
  • Nearly every dwarf in Dwarf Fortress has in their bio: "Urist McAlequaffer needs alcohol to get through the working day" and will add "and is working more slowly due to its scarcity" should the fortress run out. Given the myriad horrible things that can (and frequently do) happen to the dwarves, it is rather easy to see why they would drink so much? Besides them being, you know, dwarves.
  • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is implied to do this rarely and only when he gets really, really, REALLY depressed, like in On the Way To a Smile: Case of Tifa.
  • While it is unknown if he actually does this, Yuri from Infinite Space occasionally makes other characters (usually his sister) worried that something is bothering him when he starts to drink a lot.
  • This seems to be the source of Oghren's alcoholism in Dragon Age: Origins. He got on the sauce after his wife left him and he was restricted from ever carrying a weapon while in the city or fighting in the Deep Roads. Other dwarves openly mock him for it. Constantly.
  • Hinted at with Fenris in Dragon Age II. Hawke can find him drunk on the anniversary of his escape, which could also be the same day the people who helped him were killed by his hands. Oddly, though, he's more cheerful drunk than he normally is.
  • Deadly Premonition: After the murder of her daughter, Sallie Graham starts spending a lot of time getting drunk at the SWERY '65 bar.
  • More or less speculative, but...in Final Fantasy IX, when Garnet resigns herself to becoming The High Queen, Zidane is found by their friends in a bar sulking about the possibility of his and Garnet now becoming more distant regarding their relationship. The way Zidane speaks throughout the whole scene certainly seems like he was in a drunk stupor, but...
  • In Mass Effect 2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker, you can find info on Captain Anderson that due to the pressure of being in politics and working with the head-up-their-asses Citadel Council, he's since taken up heavy drinking. And watching conspiracy vids, just to see how much bull the public is fed, probably bringing Udina along just to see the conspiracy shitstorm.
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • Tali of all people is seen getting soused after Miranda dies on Sanctuary. She manages to get wasted off of triple filtered Turian brandy, introduced through an "Emergency induction port". (Note that Tali also gets drunk even if Miranda survives the Sanctuary mission, but in that case the topic that's driven her to drink is a bit different.) And then, assuming you have "From Ashes", she drunk-dials a less-than-amused Javik and becomes convinced he has a crush on Liara.
    Shepard: That's a straw Tali.
    Tali: Emeeerrrgency. Induction. Port.
    • Ashley also gets wasted at some point, but you only see the aftermath, what with her curled up on the floor with a massive hangover. Shepard can then proceed to make fun of her.
    Shepard: I was just thinking it would be a good time to test the fire alarm.
    Ashley: I'll pay you a million credits not to do that, sir/ma'am.
    Shepard: Two million, and we have a deal.
    Ashley: You're a damned space pirate.
  • After Starkiller defeats him at the TIE fighter construction facility above Nar Shaddaa, Rahm Kota is found in a bar in Bespin.
  • Deego in Rogue Galaxy is first found drowning his sorrows after a combat mission went badly wrong.
  • Cass, one of your possible companions in Fallout: New Vegas is found doing this in a crappy military bar after her caravans have (suspiciously) been vaporized. She's still The Alcoholic after she joins your party but at least she isn't depressed.
  • Taro Namatame from Persona 4 is shown drinking after the death of his mistress. His mental state during said moment might be a contributing factor for how he was easily manipulated by Adachi into throwing people into the TV.
  • One of the Game Overs in Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has Dunning offering to cheer Kyle up by getting drunk with him. It's a Game Over because Kyle is too drunk to do anything else for the rest of the night.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    • Solid Snake mentions that, while he lived in isolation in Alaska, that he was "drinking too much," presumably to drown out his PTSD.
    • Rosemary mentions something similar in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where she mentioned that Raiden was frequently returning home exceptionally drunk for reasons that are strongly implied to be the result of his PTSD memories of his being a former child soldier returning to him.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Granin and Skowronski (and to a lesser extent the Russian personnel), respectively, were shown to be drowning their sorrows for being abandoned. It also overlaps into Vodka Drunkenski.
  • Chris Redfield in recent promotional spots for Resident Evil 6 was shown to be drunk when Piers found him. It's implied that his being drunk was because of something that happened several months earlier when someone unleashed a biological weapon on his team, to which he and Piers are the sole survivors.
  • In Assassins Creed III, Connor recruits an old ship captain by the name of Robert Faulkner, who fell into drunkenness after his ship, the Aquila, was decommissioned and he lost his purpose. He leaps at the chance to sail her again for the Assassins and by all appearances remains sober afterward, or at least as sober as any other sailor.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Jack Marston implies that he has become a heavy drinker to cope with the death of his family
  • In Harvest Moon 64 this is implied to be the reason behind Karen's heavy drinking. She comes from a rather broken family, with a somewhat abusive father and a depressed mother, and has her fair share of angst.
  • In Conkers Bad Fur Day, Conker ends up back at the bar where his adventure began to drown out the pain of his girlfriend Berri's death which was exacerbated by being forced to take the Panther King's throne. On a more humorous note, the Grim Reaper can also be seen getting smashed after he has spent the game dealing with Conker and his extra lives.
    • The Shadow Hearts series has, in it's first game, Koudelka, a scene between the titular heroine and Edward getting drunk and telling each other their stories. It takes a sad turn when they reveal each other's pasts.
  • World of Warcraft: In the cinematic for Mists of Pandaria, a shipwrecked Orc and human are forced to fight toghether against Chen Stormstout, who sweeps the floor with them. In an "outtake" released much later, they go to a tavern to get some drink, still not quite sure what happened.
    Human: So...it was a bear?
    Orc: In a hat! (passes out)

    Webcomics 

     Web Original  
  • In The Gamers Alliance, Ax, Nobuo and Refan tend to drink heavily whenever things go horribly wrong for them.
  • Daniel in lonelygirl15, in "Truth Or Dare", and again in "Intervention". Jonas in "Beer Bath" (in a scene that lasts for nearly 8 minutes; it's not pretty).
  • Gavin of KateModern binges on large quantities of alcohol when depressed.
  • In I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC, Spider-Man does this once with milkshakes. No explanation is ever given as to why he'd use something non-alcoholic when the majority of the story takes place in a bar.
    • Superman did the same thing and even joined him.
    • Iron Man went through this when Batman's movie surpassed his movie. He got so drunk that he ended up at Wayne Manor.
  • A World of Laughter, a World of Tears sees President Walt Disney drowning his despair in whiskey once it's clear how much damage his reaction to the Civil Rights Movement has done/is going to do.
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad drowns his sorrows when he finds out that his friend The Cheat is dating Marzipan.
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Mr Rochester, apparently. He is seen with a glass of scotch on his table in episode 10, and in episode 11 he says he knows he has many faults and that he finds it easier to drink than to regret. One of his tweets to his assistant reads: "Can you schedule a meeting for 2 hours from now and can you arrange a scotch?"
  • The protagonist of Superhero Black Hole has done this. This is not recommended for time-travelers, as they can drunkenly travel back in time and then change history and be unable to return to the present—as happens to our hero.
    Protagonist: Because drunken time-jumping is a lot like trying to slam on a car’s brakes, but your foot keeps slipping and you hit the accelerator instead. It’s terrifying. Eventually, I stopped myself, and wound up in a few years ago. Which is where I accidentally punched a poilceman, obliterated all chance of me going back to Letrodacta’s birth, and eventually wound up here.

     Western Animation  
  • Futurama:
    • Bender is doing it in the Pilot episode. He's getting drunk because he found out that he — a bending unit — was used to bend parts for suicide booths. Fry wonders why would a robot need to drink, and Bender assures him that he doesn't need to drink and can quit any time he wants. It was later changed and established that robots indeed do need alcohol to function properly.
    • In "I, Roommate", Bender gets so depressed about Fry throwing him out of their apartment that he stops drinking and (since robots need alcohol to function properly) starts to act drunk. He even grows a Beard of Sorrow made out of rust!
      "I'm crazy and sober and don't know what I'll do!"
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants drowns his sorrows in ice cream on The Movie. It has the same effect on him as alcohol.
  • Done in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, with Straight Man Mac loading himself up on ice cream to forget his troubles. Mac's metabolism can't handle sugar, and he acts like he's on speed.
  • The Simpsons: Probably the only reason Moe's Tavern has stayed in business all these years. With a special nod to an episode where he gives Homer a special drink, specifically made to cause short-term memory loss. Of course, when he can't remember what he's supposed to forget, Homer comes to some pretty wild conclusions.
    • When Smithers opts for Moe's Tavern after being denied entry to a cooler hotspot in town:
      Moe: Frankly, I'm surprised you're not across the street, where they drink for fun, instead of here, where, uh... horrible addiction compels you.
  • Both parodied and played for drama in Moral Orel. In the first season, Clay Puppington's alcoholism is less pronounced and played for laughs. But in the later parts of the second season and the entire third season, things take a darker turn.
    • In "Nature" where he gets progressively drunker and at one point of sorrow, screams "WHY DO YOU STOP WORKING ON ME?" at the bottle.
    • Another example is in the episode "Sacrifice" where he gives a very depressing and drunken monologue about life in the aptly named "old Forgetty's Pub" and then antagonizes everyone inside the bar so much, that he drives them all away.
  • Teen Titans: In "Car Trouble" in the first scene of the third act Cyborg is sitting despondently on a curb, having failed to get his car back from Gizmo, surrounded by empty milkshake cups. Presently Raven shows up, looks at the cups and remarks, "Fourteen milkshakes. Not a good sign."
  • Toki Wartooth does this after his father's death in Metalocalypse, getting hammered numerous times since then. The other band members note on this, with Skwisgaar saying he doesn't want to babysit Toki during Seth's wedding, and everyone being shocked that he's drinking straight vodka in the morning. Ironically, he knocks out Nathan's assailant with a vodka bottle in the season 2 finale.
  • K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack seems to do this with "maple syrup". Also, in "High Land Lubber" he actually asks Peppermint Larry for something to drown his sorrows, even though Peppermint Larry gives him prune juice.
  • In the Bugs Bunny version of Casablanca, Bugs himself is drinking carrot juice saying something similar to the film's true quote.
  • Occurs in the Recess episode, "I Will Kick No More Forever", when Vince starts losing his touch in every sport. The scene that features this trope is when he stays home from school binging out on root beer and donuts (complete with Balloon Belly) while watching video recordings of his previous games. Mikey even asks, "Don't you think you've had enough!?"
  • In the South Park episode "Ass Burgers", this is effectively what the cynics do, all ridiculousness aside. By the end of the episode, this is what Stan turns to, possibly on a long-term basis, just to get through a normal day.
  • In the first season finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "The Best Night Ever", Spike is disappointed when the girls leave to do their own thing at the Grand Galloping Gala instead of enjoying the night together like he suggested. At the end of the episode, we find Spike's spent the night stuffing his face with donuts and hot cocoa at Pony Joe's donut shop. He even briefly acts like a sullen drunk.
  • The Legend of Korra features Bolin doing this with noodles after he sees his crush Korra kiss his brother. He becomes uncoordinated, sullen and the next day is clearly hungover.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Gideon Rising", Grunkle Stan goes to Greasy's Diner and orders "your strongest, most expired cider" to drown his sorrows over losing the Mystery Shack to Gideon Gleeful and having to send Dipper and Mabel home early.

     Real Life  
  • Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Even in the 1860s and 1870s, Macdonald's drinking binges were legendary, but in truth the poor guy had good reason to want to get loaded, not least of which were the serious financial problems he faced, and the even more serious problems stemming from the poor health of his wife and daughter. On top of all that, Canada has been described by many of its prime ministers as extremely difficult to govern. It's not hard to see why Macdonald would need a good stiff drink now and again.
  • It seems that John Kerr, former governor-general of Australia, did this after the public backlash resulting from his dismissal of the Prime Minister in 1975 started to get to him. When presenting the 1977 Melbourne Cup, he was visibly drunk.
  • When Vince Neil's daughter was dying of cancer, he began drinking even heavier than he usually did to cope with his despair. After the funeral, his friends shipped him off to rehab. It didn't take, and he remains a heavy drinker to this day.
  • Let's face it: Many, many people do this, and sometimes they don't stop.
  • There's often a joke about this. Basically, if you're drinking to forget, remember to pay in advance.
  • Wehrmacht soldiers had alcohol abuse in their ranks to such an extent the commander-in-chief of the Germany army stated in 1941 that he believed alcohol was jeopardizing "discipline within the military".
  • Reportedly, when Josef Stalin realized Adolf Hitler had doublecrossed him, his initial reaction was to lock himself in a bar and go on a week long drinking binge.
  • Dan Savage semi-jokingly recommends this after a breakup: "To calculate how long it will take to get over her, divide the time you were together in half, subtract one month for every year you are over thirty, and have another beer."
  • Doug Walker admitted in a charity drive that he'd drank a lot more after his pet project Demo Reel ended.

Draco in Leather PantsPt/Índice de TraduçãoDungeons & Dragons
Driven to SuicideSadness TropesDrowning Our Romantic Sorrows
Drinking On DutyHard Drinking TropesDrowning Our Romantic Sorrows
Drink OrderFood TropesEat Dirt Cheap
Dreadful MusicianCharacter Flaw IndexDrunk with Power
The Dog Bites BackImageSource/Western AnimationDVD Commentary

alternative title(s): Drowning His Sorrows; Drowning Her Sorrows; Drowning Their Sorrows; Drown Their Sorrows
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