"A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts."A Latin phrase meaning "The truth in the wine" (or, if you will, "In wine, [there is] truth"). Used in popular media to illustrate what happens when a character consumes alcohol and his true personality emerges. Truth in Television in that a drunk person has a much harder time keeping secrets and convincingly lying, but TV Land generally exaggerates it enormously. Symptoms include:
- Personality Inversion: The Stoic turns on the Ocular Gushers, Loser Protagonist becomes a Casanova Wannabe, the Nice Guy becomes a Jerkass.
- Personality Distillation: Sergeant Rock becomes Drill Sergeant Nasty, the Hair-Trigger Temper starts looking around for a chopping implement.
- Libational Libido: One or both characters of a pair let slip the Unresolved Sexual Tension the fans all knew they were living in denial of. Cue the Kissing Under the Influence.
- Loose Lips: A character gives away a secret that they would be adamant about not telling anyone, or would be careful to avoid even hinting at while sober; once drunk, they'll talk more easily, and tend to casually let the secret slip. The secret can be anything from a part of their personality that they keep repressed to a secret they're trying to guard for their employers (for example, the location of the MacGuffin).
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Anime and Manga
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl Misato from Neon Genesis Evangelion tends to turn from Team Mom and crisp military officer into an immature, somewhat selfish slob after just sniffing a beer.
- Alcohol also causes her to undergo a more sombre personality inversion when Kaji is carrying her home. While we've seen hints of it earlier in the series, this the first moment where the alternating mask of confidence and professionalism/playfulness slips away completely and we are shown the full-extent of the fear and self-hatred that she carries inside.
- Azumanga Daioh has strait-laced teacher Nyamo spending the weekend with the girls and drinking all the booze they smuggled in, to prevent Yukari from getting into it... and promptly telling the kids everything they ever wanted to know about sex (and
probablyalmost certainly a few things they didn't).
- Also earlier in the series, Nyamo and Yukari go to a restaurant. Yukari has too much to drink and undergoes a massive Personality Distillation.
- In My Balls, the sweet, unassuming shopkeeper girl turns into a raging nymphomaniac whenever she takes a drink. Which might potentially be a good thing, except the protagonist will destroy the world if he ever ejaculates.
- Yuno from Hidamari Sketch turns from Cheerful Teen into straight-faced Deadpan Snarker(?) ranting It Just Bugs Me! about various Nonindicative Name when drunk.
- Muteki Kanban Musume: Crude and violent Miki becomes amazingly demure and polite when drunk, while her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing rival Megumi shows her True Colors.
- In one Naruto Shippuuden omake, Shizune drunkenly confesses that she's jealous of Kurenai for having a boyfriend and maybe even husband while she is too busy working for Tsunade to find one. Unfortunately, Tsunade happens to hear it. (Ironically, this omake is shown a few episodes before Asuma dies and a couple months later in the manga Shizune herself dies. Temporarily).
- England from Axis Powers Hetalia considers himself a gentleman. He isn't quite one when sober, and he's often cranky and irritable. But when he gets drunk, he will run around naked and cackling, or sometimes start crying over that one ungrateful whelp. Sometimes both.
- In To Love-Ru, it turns out that if you give the girls alcohol (or in this case, a pollen that makes them act drunk), they go through types 1 and 3 of this trope. Haruna's personality zigzags, Yui initiates Marshmallow Hell, Run tries very hard to kiss Rito but can never seem to get the right person, Mikan tries to confess, and Yami starts seeing things.
- Both the manga and anime of Ah! My Goddess feature a comedic variation of this trope. Belldandy is completely unaffected by alcohol, but ends up getting drunk off a can of soda, and ends up getting a personality distillation; she's already a friend to all living (and non-living!) things, but this gets cranked Up to Eleven and she ends up going on a miracle spree, granting miracles and wishes for everything she comes across, including a telephone pole who was tired of standing (so she knocked it over). It wasn't this extreme in the manga, though.
- In the Sgt. Frog manga, Tamama confesses his love for Keroro out loud at a New Year's drinking party. Also, a bottle of sake turns Angol Mois from a quiet and polite girl to a party animal.
- If you think Haruka Hasegawa from Moyashimon is scary under normal circumstances, you should see what she's like when drunk, as poor Misato found out. And it doesn't take a lot of booze to get her cutting your face with her Femme Fatalons and joking (we hope) about biting your nose off.
- In the manga version of Chrono Crusade:
- Satella convinces Rosette to try some wine at a dinner party and they both get rip-roaring drunk as a result. Satella reveals that she's a shotacon, then starts to muse that she should give up trying to find her family's killer. Rosette's response to alcohol is to shout at Satella for giving up so easily, saying that people with not much time left to live don't have the luxury of doing so, then nearly starts to cry when thinking about Joshua...only to end up accidentally breaking an expensive vase when Chrono takes her outside to get some air.
- In a later flashback, Aion and Chrono enjoy a drink together. Aion compliments Chrono for his prowess on the battlefield, but Chrono shows regret for the lives that have been lost, leading them to start an argument over how they should treat the memory of their fallen comrades, with Chrono saying they should be honored and remembered and Aion saying that having pity for the dead is the arrogance of the living and "the dead don't care what you do."
- In an audio drama that takes place after the cooking episode of Mai-HiME, the main characters (who are underage, as Nagi helpfully points out) start drinking alcohol, and end up confessing several personal details, such as Mai talking about having to look after Takumi after her parents' death.
- In D.Gray-Man Komui even uses this for his own good. In the drama CD he feeds Allen, Lavi and Kanda a drug that should make them blurt out their true thoughts about his precious, precious Lenalee. It works. And aside of that has similar effects as alcohol. Complete with Alcohol Hic and Allen losing his temper. Allen - high on the drug - even mentions it feels just the same when he ate a box of liquor filled chocolates.
- In one episode of InuYasha the gang comes across some magic mist that makes people who breathe it get drunk. Sango, who's in love with Miroku but was in the Can't Spit It Out stage, suddenly becomes brazenly sexual and flirty ... with Inuyasha!
- In a flashback arc of One Piece, mermaid queen Otohime gets so depressed about her subjects being afraid to integrate with the surface world that she gets rip-roaring drunk, takes up a microphone, and starts calling her people out on their cowardice.
- In the Ace Attorney manga, Turnabout Gallows has Brock Johnson, who suspects Robin Wolfe killed his brother, giving alcohol to his brother Bobby Wolfe in order to get information, but Bobby apparently passes out after one beer without divulging anything useful. It turns out that Brock's real plan was to get Bobby drunk so that he could take the fall for him murdering Robin.
- In Hanamaru Kindergarten, Tsuchida is only able to confess his feelings for fellow teacher Yamamoto when he's drunk. The other teachers are so happy that they start up a celebratory conga line-slash-bunny hop, singing "He confessed! He confessed!" Unfortunately, Yamamoto's drunk too, so she participates in the conga line too and then promptly forgets the whole thing upon sobering up.
- Invoked by Fumi in the Aoi Hana manga, who uses the "liquid courage" of the Christmas champagne she'd been drinking to confess to Akira. Since she has already done so several times, and they are currently dating, an exasperated Akira can only exclaim "I already know that!"
- Tokyo Ghoul uses this primarily for comedy, but also a little drama.
- Poor Amon gets caught between office rivals Akira and Takizawa, quickly discovering neither of them can hold their liquor. Takizawa rants about his insecurities concerning Akira, calling her a bitch in the process and cussing his partner out over the phone. After he leaves, Akira turns moody and drunkenly blames Amon for her father's death. However, she also ends up crying and shows a more vulnerable side while still drunk. After he takes care of her (and rejects her drunken, half-naked clinging), she warms up considerably and begins to develop feelings for him.
- Omakes reveal that Yomo is a major light-weight, and becomes incredibly talkative while drunk. He admits to struggling to find the words to express his concern for others, and his friends later suggest that he drink in order to have a serious conversation with Kaneki.
- Likewise, Tsukiyama ends up plastered with Yomo and babbles about how incredible Kaneki is and struggles to express himself.
- Dr. Moira McTaggart is quite the mean drunk.
- Parodied in German comic Rudi. Some cute song birds start sieg-heiling, picking fights and generally acting like most obnoxious drunks after drinking beer.
- Scott Pilgrim sees Knives and Kim get drunk and immediately engage in a passionate make-out session.
- In A Brief History of Equestria, it's shown that General Wind Whistler used this as part of her plan to build support against Commander Sullamander. She invited Generals Downpour and Torrent (who weren't blind supporters of Sullamander, like the other Joint Chiefs-Of-Staff) to her home for dinner, and slowly got them drunk on wine. Once their inhibitions were down, she got them to admit to hating Sullamander, and talked them into joining her in leading a coup. Wind Whistler's daughter, Pansy, bore witness to this and was extremely impressed.
- Higher Learning: After drinking a whole bottle of sake Asuka got drunk enough to confess Shinji she liked him.
- A running gag in the Reading Rainbowverse is Fluttershy's passionate and outgoing nature... when drunk. She almost invariably regrets what she says because of how she says it... but never because it isn't true.
- Played for Drama in an Ah! My Goddess fanfic where Bell and Sayoko end up in a bar, with Bell standing in for an ill Keiichi. When Sayoko makes a 70-proof confession on how lonely she is, Bell responds by by kissing her on the lips.
- A new world:Story of a lost Shinobi when Cana convinces Naruto to drink with her. He fully admits that the Elemental Nations are a Crapsack World with constant fighting and that trying to be a Messianic Archetype is starting to weigh down on him and he'd much rather stay in Earthland.
Naruto: "Ya know, I like this place. Earthland. Compared to mine, this place is peaceful. Sure there are fights but it ain't as bad as back home. There we always got a fight or a war to worry about. If it were up to me, I'd stay in Earthland."Mirajane: "So why don't you?"Naruto: "Because that crazy egomaniac Madara, wants to rule the world and that jerk who I promised to bring back are still running around."
- In Frozen Hearts, this trope comes into play at the worst possible time. Heins, Hans' brother, who Can't Hold His Liquor, eats some fondue, gets drunk, and reveals his and Hans' true identities at Queen Elsa's masquerade ball, which they're attending with assumed names. This is something they desperately want to keep secret, since the truth getting out results in the brothers immediately being arrested and thrown in the dungeon.
- When R!Syaoran starts drinking with Kurogane in Shatterheart, he reveals to be open with his emotions and very affectionate, both things Syaoran is not when sober.
- In An Uncommon Witness, Femme Fatale Rue Corvo uses wine on Autor Brahms in order to get information out of him. Autor, with just two or three cups, is drunk enough to reveal detective Fakir's involvement in the case against her family but also unintentionally gives her hints about Duck being the witness that can bring her father down.
- In the RWBY fic A Night of Debauchery, Pyrrha drinks "her own weight" in alcohol, and starts flirting with Jaune very heavily. Unusually, the readers know her feelings are true but Jaune does not.
- In Emergence, when they get drunk at a Halloween party on Earth, Weiss angrily rants about how much she hates her father, while Yang casually starts telling everyone that she and her friends are from another world. Fortunately, the party-goers dismissed this as drunken rambling.
Films — Animated
- Played with in Ratatouille, where an attempt to invoke this trope goes all too well, but not as intended. When Skinner gets Linguini drunk, trying to get him to confess he's being manipulated by a rat, he just gets an even-more-dorky Linguini (see: personality distillation in the description). Rat patootie, indeed.
Films — Live-Action
- Michael from The Boys in the Band. After falling Off the Wagon, he quickly reveals himself to be a self-hating Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
- In the movie Blind Date, Kim Basinger's character undergoes a personality inversion from mousy and nervous to brash and wild after a few drinks. Hilarity Ensues.
- The Hangover had Stu Price undergo a classic Personality Inversion - with the bonus of not even remembering in the morning. He pushes this even further in the sequel, where he even admits "There is a demon inside me".
- In Eurotrip, the four main characters end up in a Czechoslovakian nightclub and all get smashed on Absinthe (green liquor that is very, very strong). Two of them, who happen to be twins, then promptly end up dancing together and making out....until they come to their senses mid-snogging session and scream their heads off.
Worst. Twins. EVER!
- Charlie Chaplin's City Lights has the Tramp talking a drunken millionaire out of killing himself. The rich sot befriends him, invites him to stay in his mansion, drive his car, etc...but then turns on him when he sobers up. This cycle keeps repeating itself throughout the film.
- In Raise the Red Lantern, Songlian gets drunk and reveals that Meishan is having an affair with Dr. Gao, leading to Meishan's execution.
- In Happy Accidents, Sam keeps his identity as a time traveler secret from everyone but Ruby...until he gets drunk at an art show and promptly tells a small group of Ruby's friends.
- In The Maltese Falcon, Gutman alludes to this when he first meets with Spade:
"I distrust a man who says 'when'. If he's got to be careful not to drink too much, it's because he's not to be trusted when he does."
- In State Of The Union, Mary Matthews is told to refrain from speaking her mind for the sake of her husband's political campaign. Things don't turn out so blandly between her and the delegates after she decides to have what the Lady Drunk's having.
- Shows up verbatim in Tombstone in a conversation between Doc Holliday and Johnny Ringo. Holliday insults Ringo and Earp says, "Don't mind him, he's drunk." This exchange ensues:
Doc: In vino veritas. ("In wine, truth." i.e. I mean what I say.)
Ringo: Age quod agis. ("Do what you do." i.e. Watch what you say.)
Doc: Credat Iudaeus Apella, non ego. ("Let Apella the Jew believe, not I." i.e. You're a fool to warn me.)
Ringo: Iuventus stultorum magister. ("Youth is the teacher of fools." i.e. You're young and inexperienced, and that makes you the fool.)
Doc: In pace requiescat. ("May he rest in peace." i.e. I'm about to kill you.)
- In The Smurfs, Grouchy has a scene in which he overindulges in M&M's and has a "candid" conversation with a green M&M plushie.
- In Kellys Heroes, Kelly gets a captured German officer to reveal the location, amount, and protection of a cache of gold bars by getting him drunk.
- One of Watanabe's coworkers at the wake in Ikiru has this reaction when others are proclaiming that they'd have done the same thing if they knew they were dying.
Ohara: Compared to Watanabe-san, we're all just worthless scum!
- Done rather heartbreakingly in Guardians of the Galaxy with Rocket Raccoon. While drunk, he rails about how he didn't want to be made the way he is, and how he's sure that everyone views him as a monstrous freak or a joke. It did not help that Gamora and Drax had been calling him "rodent" and "vermin" throughout the film up until that point.
- When fourteen year old Manuela gets drunk in Mädchen in Uniform she ends up confessing that her teacher gave her a petticoat in front of her classmates, and unfortunately in front of the headmistress. After sobering up she is punished and banned from speaking to Fräulein von Bernburg again.
- Terry Pratchett has fun with this several times:
- The dwarves of the Discworld are quiet, law-abiding workaholics... until they get a drink or two, at which point years of pent-up aggression takes over.
- In The Last Continent, the cowardly and cynical Rincewind turns into a boisterous optimist after a few Ecksian beers.
- Carpe Jugulum has timid Non Action King Verence transforming into The Berserker after having a single sample of the Nac Mac Feegles' "brose," which is specifically designed to do just that. These are the fairies that consider Nanny Ogg's "sui-cider" a delicacy, after all. It's also lampshaded that giving him fifty times the brose, just because he's bigger, probably wasn't the best idea.
- Downplayed in Unseen Academicals, where Lord Vetinari gets stone drunk. It's mentioned that men twice his size with a reputation for being able to hold their drink had been hauled home in wheelbarrows, but despite having drank just as much as they had the only noticeable difference in Vetinari's behavior is that he's a bit more sad, philosophical, and talkative than usual, and it's a bit harder the next day for him to do the crosswords in the morning paper. Apparently, he's very good at acting sober. Or very, very Knurd.
- Played straight in that same book, where the normally strait-laced Glenda finally starts to loosen up after a few glasses of sherry.
- A major plot point in The Three Musketeers hinges on a devastating autobiographical story Athos tells while drunk.
- In Flowers for Algernon, the super-genius Charlie Gordon reverts back to a barely-functional moron (in the clinical sense) when he gets drunk.
- In the second Montmorency book On the Rocks, the titular character gets addicted to opium and goes from secretive, but fun, to broody and possibly too loose-tongued for the safety of himself and others. Or so Fox-Selwyn tells us; Montmorency doesn't spend much time actually on opium, most of the time he's having withdrawals.
- The Wheel of Time:
- Ovid advises men to fake this in a chapter of his Ars Amatoria. Depending on interpretation, he either says that women will believe drunk men to tell the truth about sweet and true love, or that men will get away saying really dirty things to respectable women, since the woman won't mind and the men watching over the woman (father/brother/husband etc.) will assume the "advancer" is just blubbering drunk nonsense.
- Quoted almost verbatim by Joy in The Republic Of Trees regarding the Kissing Under the Influence episode with Michael. Interestingly, she is the only teetotaler in the group...
- In Insurrection, a politician says some extremely bigoted things to the leader of a rival party while under the influence of legal recreational drugs. When he sobers up, he remembers what he said, realizes that he meant every word of it and what that said about him, and spends the rest of the book trying to be a better person.
- Alluded to in The Serpent's Shadow, when Maya Witherspoon brings a young man injured on the orders of one of the book's villains to the Fleet Street Clinic. The head nurse is worried about the attraction he shows to a female medical student/clinic volunteer, until Maya points out that there's just as much truth in a quarter-grain of morphine as there is in wine.
- Wine is routinely used as a quick and dirty version of Truth Serum in A Song of Ice and Fire books. It's quite effective, especially on prisoners who probably aren't eating too well.
- Although it is very subtle, in Sansa's last chapter for A Feast For Crows, Littlefinger is clearly drunk on wine and hubris, and is a lot more open in his desires to kiss Sansa and reveal his plans to her.
- In "The Evil Drink Does," from Isaac Asimov's Azazel, the main character suggested that a rather straitlaced woman, who was worried about being a perpetual virgin, should loosen up a bit by getting drunk, only to be told that a single drink made her violently ill. He then asked the title imp to adjust her body chemistry so that alcohol became a "healthful food" for her. That resulted in her becoming thoroughly uninhibited. Unfortunately, due to its having actual nutritive value and to the quantity she drank for years afterwards, she also became morbidly obese.
- In the Matador Series, Pen teaches Khadaji Pubtending alongside his Sumito lessons, both for its practicality (A good pubtender is always in demand across the galaxy) and this trope:
Pen: Ah, but it is a perfect job for a priest, even one so un-priestly as I. Consider: who has a better opportunity to see people with their masks lowered than a pubtender? Men will confide things to you drunk they wouldn’t tell a brother when sober; stoned women will reveal secrets they’d never speak as pillow talk while straight. More than one pubtender has come from the ranks of practicing psychologists-or gone there from some bar.
Live Action Television
- In Smallville, while Clark is immune to alchohol, red kryptonite is his personal replacement, explicitly stated to strip away his inhibitions. So far, while on red kryptonite, he has managed to buy expensive stuff with money stolen from his parents, make advances towards Lana, Chloe, Lois, Alicia, and other girls, run away to Metropolis, "married" Alicia, crash Lana's engagement party and dropped cruel (but arguably accurate) comments to Martha and Chloe, and become best pals with Zod.
- In Breaking Bad season 4, after Walter drinks too much wine, he hints to Hank that Gale was not the mastermind behind Blue Sky. In other words, Walt sheds away his cold, logical exterior, and gives us a sneak preview of his egocentric reasons for getting into the business in the first place.
- The Big Bang Theory: Get Sheldon drunk, and he'll perform Fiddler on the Roof karaoke, or do stand-up and moon the audience. Give him caffeine and he'll think he's The Flash. Give him a Valium and he'll tell you that he's Batman.
- Until the season 6 finale Raj could only talk to women while drunk. Unfortunately he had a tendency to blurt stuff out while so intoxicated.
- Played for Drama on an episode of Community titled "Mixology Certification", which is centered around the group's visit to the bar to celebrate Troy's birthday. Almost everybody gets drunk, leading to minor personality changes and lost inhibitions (including Jeff and Britta almost blowing up their secret Friends with Benefits arrangement). The celebration ends with all the characters miserable and disillusioned.
- Henry Sellers in Father Ted.
- Subverted in one episode, where House pretends to do this to break up Cuddy and Lucas
- In another episode, Thirteen says, "Being drunk doesn't change who you are, it just reveals it."
- An episode of Lexx, when they met Oberon and Puck and Oberon's Wife (Titania?). Titania was played by a bearded dwarf in drag and Oberon seems to really hate being married to "her". Stanley asks Puck how they got together in the first place, it's explained that Oberon was very very drunk. Puck invokes the trope when Stanley is doubtful as to how drunk one would have to get to find Titania attractive: "So yer saying, he's the kind of guy who really prefers..." (cut off by Puck before he can explicitly question the Fairy King's heterosexuality)
- Oberon actually tries to marry Stanley later in that same episode, ostensibly as an upgrade from his even more mannish current wife, but given what Puck has told us...
- Parks and Recreation really had fun with this in "The Fight". There was super-positive Leslie crying and babbling over her fight with Ann, Tom's inflated ego, serious Ben saying "Baba Booey" in an extremely self-satisfied tone, Andy's intense singing, April's incoherent rapid-fire Spanish, and... this.◊
- This is why Elaine in Seinfeld can't keep a secret.
Elaine: Come on, tell me! I'll put it in the vault!
Jerry: No, the vault's no good.
Elaine: Why's the vault no good?
Jerry: Because everyone knows the combination. [gestures drinking from a bottle of liquor]
- A science fiction version occurs in Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Naked Now", which includes Wesley taking over the ship, Tasha Yar seducing Data, and Picard and Crusher almost admitting their love for each other. The classic Trek version was better, with Sulu rampaging shirtless through the ship with a rapier and a Redshirt randomly pressing buttons on the reactor control console while singing Irish love songs over the PA system.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine plays it straight, with stoic O'Brien only admitting how he feels about best friend Bashir after a few drinks. The scene includes this gem of Buffy Speak:
O'Brien: You're not an in-between kind of guy. People either love you or hate you.
O'Brien: I mean, I hated you when we first met.
Bashir: I remember.
O'Brien: And now...
Bashir: And now?
O'Brien: Well... Now, I don't.
Bashir: That means a lot to me, chief, it really does.
O'Brien: And that is from the heart! I really do... not hate you anymore.
- When drunk, Robin from How I Met Your Mother becomes Super-Canadian.
- Well, she was drinking Moulson.
- Barney goes through several stages of drunkeness, including "Richard Dawson Drunk" (he kisses every woman he meets like the Family Feud host); "Friends With Strangers Drunk"; "Marcel Marceau Drunk" (he walks like the famous mime's walk-against-the-wind routine); "Jabba Drunk" (he talks incoherently like Jabba the Hut; and finally, "Truth Serum Drunk", where he compulsively tells the truth.
- From one of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's "Thank You Notes":
"Thank you summer barbecues, for always featuring fun family games like horseshoes, croquet, and 'Let's see how many daiquiris Grandma can drink before she gets racist'."
- A recurring character on Saturday Night Live, during the Weekend Update segment, is Drunk Uncle. His conversations always devolve into rambling rants about all the problems he perceives in modern culture.
- Drop the Dead Donkey. Newsreader Henry Davenport gets drunk at his award ceremony.
"I remember the days when the television industry was run by giants. Whereas now it is run...BY PYGMIES! LIKE HIM! AND HIM!"
- Double-subverted on Doc Martin. Louisa tries this on Martin, but he says that alcohol just makes him sleepy. But then he admits that he loves Louisa. And then he falls asleep.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- In "A New Man", Giles runs into Ethan Rayne and the two friends-turned-arch enemies get drunk in a pub together, with Giles spilling his frustrations about how obsolete he feels in the face of the covert techno-military demon-fighting efforts of the Initiative.
- In "Life Serial", Buffy has been drinking straight from the bottle after a very bad day, and delivers a long rant to Spike over how her life sucks, the world sucks, and specifically Spike sucks for not fixing all this with some gratuitous violence, even though he's the only person she can stand to be around.
- In Dorothy of Oz, Mara Shin blurts out to Abee about her huge crush on him...all the while yelling at him that he can't be the real Abee because her Abee is a kind and gentle person. Abee is understandably confused, especially when she compares him to both a fish cake and a gourmet pastry.
Abee: Should I be flattered or angry?
- Exemplified in the country song "The More I Drink". In fact you find this trope a lot in country music.
- One of the songs on The Who's Rock Opera Quadrophenia ("Dr Jimmy") is about a guy who has two substance-related Split Personalities:
Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him,
He only comes out when I drink my gin.
- The David Burns song "The Whiskey Never Lies" is all about this trope.
You said you had it bad fer me, you'd take me to the moon
You said no other moved you so, no other made you swoon
But when the drink was in your blood you sang another tune
And that was when I learned the truth, the whiskey never lies
- The Lonestar song Tequila Talkin' is about the aftermath of this. The singer spends the entire song trying to convince his ex-girlfriend (and quite possibly himself) that the only reason he told her that he still loved her and wanted her back was because he was drunk.
It was just the tequila talking
When I told you I'm still not over you
I get a little sentimental
When I've had one or two
And that tear in my eye was the salt and the lime
Not the memory of you walking
If I said I'm still in love with you
It was just the tequila talking
- They Might Be Giants' "Your Racist Friend" touches on this in passing:
He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking
Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding
- Christopher Titus discussed this in stand-up, reporting that while he was borderline-hedonistic, his father was also a loving and responsible man.... But when drunk his personality would flip and he'd often say horrible things that destroyed his children's self-confidence. Titus said that as a little boy not understanding what was going on it felt less like his dad was getting drunk and having a personality shift and more like his father transformed into a super-hero who waged war on self-esteem.
- The whole plot of Bertolt Brecht's play Mr Puntila and His Man Matti is an illustration of this trope. Puntila, when sober, is a boorish, exploitative boss, but get him drunk and he becomes the most affable and generous of men.
- This trope plays a major role in the play God of Carnage, as well as its film adaptation. It plays out mainly in the Personality Inversion variety.
- Tom Daley in That Championship Season is an alcoholic who spends the play getting ever more drunk and telling his former basketball teammates and their coach what he really thinks of them and the arrested adolescence in which he feels they have been living for twenty years by relying heavily on Coach for life advice, even though the latter is incapable of framing their adult dilemmas in terms of anything other than athletic or jingoistic metaphors. The play climaxes with Tom Calling the Old Man Out by revealing just how destructive Coach's emphasis of winning above all else has always been to their lives.
- The heroine of A Dance with Rogues is way, way more promiscuous when really drunk. The two times the player has the option of getting really drunk are during the scene with Pia in the first chapter and the contest with Gemli in the second; during the first if you get drunk enough you don't remember what happens but Pia implies it was really, really great, during the second if you lose the drinking contest your character, a human with relatively normal sexual tastes, will screw a filthy, stinky, hairy, dwarf.
- In the first season of TellTale's Sam & Max games, during the fourth episode, Bosco will hawk a "truth serum" that, upon purchase, turns out to be a bottle of vodka. This seems less useful than Bosco makes it out to be, since the duo is well aware that In Vino Veritas is under no circumstances guaranteed, but they do in fact use it as such when Max needs to start a war and Whizzer is being tight-lipped to maintain peace among the brothers.
- In one scene in Persona 4, the main cast is under the mistaken impression that they're drinking booze, leading to Yukiko telling Kid Detective Naoto everything about what the True Companions have been doing. Naoto doesn't believe a word of it.
- How they managed to get drunk off non-alcoholic beer... well, it's probably the Placebo Effect.
- Subverted in the case of Detective Adachi, who lets a few things regarding the case slip while drunk at the Dojimas', but no more than he usually does sober. Also averted, as he manages to not reveal his true intentions and crimes even while drunk. His ramblings while drunk may, in fact, also be the result of him being just as duplicitous as he usually is, making this a complete aversion. Hard to tell.
- One quest in Jade Empire has you getting a man named Three Sheets Dutong drunk to confess that the Imperial writ that he used to cheat Old Mother Kwan out of her tea house is fake. There are three stages of drunkenness; first he's cheerful and doesn't want to talk about something as "dry and boring" as the writ, then he's depressed and is willing to confess to faking the writ, then he gets too paranoid and must be given a sobering potion. The player must give him the right number of drinks to get him into the second stage of drunkenness to finish the quest.
- Dragon Age
- In Dragon Age II, we have Fenris. It is shown during a few of his more personal cutscenes between him and Hawke that he can really hit the bottle. In one scene alone there are at least two empty bottles on the table he and Hawke are sitting at and he is working on a third. Hilarity Ensues when he tells Hawke (if Hawke is a mage) that he or she is "A finer mage I've never met" which goes completely against his Mage hating usual self. He also throws a few rather sexy smiles Hawke's way, further showing how much of his usual broodiness goes away when he drinks. In Vino Veritas indeed.
- Done more subtly with Solas in Dragon Age: Inquisition should you bring him to the Winter Palace. He mentions rather glibly that the servants were eager to refill his cup, and while doesn't completely drop the Hermit Guru Nice Guy act, the wine does cause him to reveal a more cunning side with a love of court intrigue - something that a self-confessed drifter should have no experience with. He backtracks later once he sobers up, and if you call him out on his odd behavior, he claims he simply witnessed such things in the Fade.
- Another one in Inquisition occurs if the player is romancing The Iron Bull. Bull normally only starts calling the Inquisitor "kadan", Qunlat for "my heart", after the Inquisitor has made it clear that s/he is serious about the relationship. Bull also has a drinking scene after the player kills a dragon for the first time. If that scene is initiated after sleeping with Bull (it is not possible to see the scene where the Inquisitor affirms the relationship before the drinking scene), Bull slips up and calls the Inquisitor kadan right before complimenting him/her on his/her "fantastic ass/tits".
- Brought up by an NPC in Radiant Historia when he mentions how alcohol sales are high in times of war.
- In Hanako's route in Katawa Shoujo, when they drink wine at her party, she gets drunk and starts clinging at Hisao, telling him she doesn't want him to leave, altogether being much more open about her emotions than usual. Hisao, who had also been drinking, finds this quite discomforting and is very firm about putting her to bed before either of them do anything they'd regret.
- Gets quoted in Sherlock Holmes Versus Jack the Ripper by the detective after a drunk reporter reveals information essential to the case.
- The Demoman from Team Fortress 2 is actually a genial, easy to get along with guy off the clock and off the bottle. On the job, and with ample swigs of Scrumpy, he becomes the Demoman everyone is more familiar with.
- In Jagged Alliance 2, one of the first missions the player gets is to organise food shipments to the besieged rebel base. The only person who is capable of doing so is Father Walker, a priest sympathetic to the rebel cause, but he initially refuses to help out of fear. However, he is also a well-known drinker and once you give him some alcohol, he drunkingly agrees to supply the rebels with the much-needed food.
- Invoked in-universe in Morenatsu, by Tatsuki. He's in love with the Player Character and wants to tell him, so he deliberately gets drunk at the festival because he can't build enough courage to tell him while sober. Despite the fact that he's drunk, Tatsuki keeps enough presence-of-mind so that the scene still comes off as gentle and sweet.
- In almost every Tradewinds game, if you tip the bartender enough, she'll provide information that someone let slip while drunk. In the first game, it's the location of Shangri La, a floating city.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, one of the ways you can recruit the resident booze hound Rose Cassidy is by challenging her to a drinking contest with a Barter skill of 75. You need a full Endurance stat of 10 to beat her, but with a low stat:
The Courier: Mmmmmwhen ah firsmet you, ahmm thought you werem the mmmbiggestmm mmbitch in the world.
- In It's Walky!, Jerkass Mike becomes sweet and friendly after a few drinks. His girlfriend, Dina, quickly takes advantage of this and attempts to keep him perpetually drunk. Note that this is basically treated as rape (though the rest of the cast doesn't care because its Mike and they have their own problems), but when he finally sobers up he comes within an inch of killing Dina.
- And it's back in Shortpacked!, with Amber (although she just blackmails him so she can date him sober).
- In Penny and Aggie, the normally quiet, stoic Jack gets belligerent when drunk.
- Also, Helen tends to blurt out things she really shouldn't after she's had a few too many spiked popcicles.
- Jack's girlfriend, the devoutly Christian Katy-Ann, seeks to understand his drinking by getting drunk herself for the first time, and reveals to her friends her repressed sexual urges for him. The scene is mainly Played for Drama, but culminates in a Played for Laughs moment where she calls out for Jack (who isn't there) to ravish her as she begins to strip.
- Bun-Bun the Killer Rabbit from Sluggy Freelance is usually a knife-wielding psychopath with a hair-trigger temper... but give him enough to drink, and he becomes a genuinely nice and friendly fellow. His drink of choice is Rum. Which may have something to do with his past(s) as the captain (and first mate) of a shipful of the Pirates above the Oceans Unmoving...
- The cast once shot him with a tranquilizer dart. He got really happy and friendly (like the human who'd just gotten tranqs too), and very joyfully beat them all up.
- Due a tragic past Sidney Burns of Mob Ties is better kept slightly tipsy, if he isn't well, see for yourself
- The Girl in A Girl and Her Fed drops her cynical, world-weary persona and develops an abiding interest in fluffy kittens after drinking four screwdrivers simultaneously.
- In PHD, Cecilia, who is often a workaholic, gets "drunk" on chocolate. She suddenly acts very sociable and takes her shirt off, before Tajel stops her.
- In Something*Positive, Davan is complaining about a dating sim video game:
PeeJee: Sounds like someone's cranky because he can't even maintain his virtual romances.
Davan: At least with computer games there's a cheat code. I'd have killed for a button combination to enter that forced the women I've seen to say what they actually mean.
PeeJee: Most guys I've dated have found that "up, down, circle, circle, three shots of vodka" works well.
- In this Questionable Content strip, Marten says some unkind things to Faye while drowning his sorrows over Dora breaking up with him because she needs to work out her own trust and intimacy issues. Of course, it has far more to do with his current emotional state than his true thoughts about Faye and his relationship with her. A better example might be his earlier drunken conversation with Angus in regards to Faye (in which he candidly disclosed their history and his assessment of whether Faye could handle a real relationship).
- Footloose: The two half werewolves Dan and his sister suffer from personality inversion, Dan become friendly and sociable while, Jin becomes sarcastic and serious
- In Bob and George, Megaman is "I love you man," and Protoman tells him not to touch him.
- Eerie Cuties had an all-girls party where a very young succubus drank some liquor and proclaimed "I feel like alllllll my inhibitions just melllllted away". Oh, and aside of girls being uncomfortable with her sudden urge to cuddle up in the absense of boys, they almost have seen her soul-draining a small crowd by accident once — those guys were reanimated, but the aftermath didn't look pretty.
- Homestuck: It took being drunk for Rose to finally admit that she and Kanaya were actually dating and go in for a kiss.
- Zii from Menage A 3 enjoys her booze, but usually preserves her self-control (though she may cut loose with the practical jokes even more than usual when drunk). However, when she does get really plastered, she tends to say too much.
- She spends weeks valiantly repressing her habitual lecherous promiscuity for the sake of her budding relationship with Erik. But while on a girls' night out, after intercepting multiple drinks bought for sex-goddess DiDi by various men, she ends up rather buzzed in her apartment with an ex-lover who has been trying to get back into her pants and someone whose pants she has been on a quest to get into, on and off, since the comic started. Cue Orgy and personal disaster.
- On a later occasion, she hits the booze hard in order to blunt the pain of feeling obliged to flirt with the unappealing Yvan. Eventually, she gets drunk enough to express her burning envy of Gary's weird reputation as an oral sex master. Then she passes out. Whether her honesty there registers with anyone is uncertain.
- Four vodka cranberries are enough to turn Ally of Sunstone into the honest drunk.
- Nicely crossed over with Sympathetic P.O.V. when Phelous and The Cinema Snob get a taste of The Nostalgia Critic completely wasted. We've see him clingy, tearful, vulnerable and touchy-feely plenty of times, but they haven't, and they're shocked by it.
- The Nostalgia Chick hates (or used to hate) having emotions. She's also an alcoholic. These two facts usually don't mix well for her.
- Both Rebecca and Donnie from Demo Reel share too much about their pasts when they're high for the former and drunk for the latter.
- The Tom and Jerry cartoon "Part Time Pal" has Tom getting all chummy with Jerry after taking alcohol.
- Columbia's "Pickled Puss", released a year later (1948), used that same plotline. A cat becomes friendly with a mouse he'd been chasing—to the point of annoying him—after eating several herring pickled in pure hootch.
- In a variation, TerryToons' Little Roquefort cartoon "Playful Puss" has Percy friends with Roquefort while under the influence of catnip.
- Jared from Superjail is a neurotic, spineless wreck of a person normally, so you can imagine that he's given into vice before. It's just that as a recovering alcoholic, even being near alcohol makes him hallucinate violently.
- Orel's dad in Moral Orel is an alcoholic who gets a whole drunken rant in the second season finale, Nature, which culminates in the line "Drunk... is... NATURE!"
- Metalocalypse: Every single of the band's mothers, but especially Toki's, who goes from an incredibly strait-laced religious person with a high amount of restraint to a total pervert when she gets drunk on alcohol.
- And let's not forget the band's manager/lawyer Charles Ofdensen, who is generally a soft-spoken, sort of uptight guy...until you pour enough alcohol into him. Then, he starts doing things like playing with Nathan Explosion's hair.
- On Daria, Trent suggests that he and Jane get through a family reunion by passing out drunk. Jane points out that not only is she underage, but Trent tends to get "honest" when he's drunk and it's probably not a good idea for them to tell their relatives what they really think of them.
- Subverted in Wonder Woman. Steve Trevor buys rounds of tequila shots for him and Diana in an attempt to get her to loosen up and open up to him. Unfortunately for Steve, Amazons have an incredibly high tolerance to alcohol, so after quite a few shots, Diana is still completely sober while Steve can barely sit up.
- "Crumley Cogwheel" was a 1963 Paramount Modern Madcap about an office schlub who has spent 20 years with Michigan Nuts And Bolts and had never asked for a raise. His boss gives him a week to do so or else he will be fired. On the last day, Cogwheel is on his lunch break, and instead of going to his usual tea house, he goes into a bar. Only after he gets plastered does he summon up the courage to not only barge into his boss' office during a board meeting, but also demand a raise. His boss is completely impressed, and gives Cogwheel his raise—of one dollar. Stunned of utter disappointment, Cogwheel faints (Boss: "Poor guy...I guess the shock was too much for him").
- The Beatles episode "I'm Down" has the boys helping an Italian wine-making family replenish their inventory. Wine is consumed, but nobody shows any sign of being drunk.
- The Private Snafu short "Spies," has this when he gets drunk and blabs the final pieces of his military secret to Axis spies.
- Real Life example that may or may not be true. This is the reasoning behind a custom attributed to the Germans and Persians by Tacitus and Herodotus respectively: In their assemblies, matters are debated twice. Once sober, once drunk. Though it's more a 'too drunk to think their way through lies and subterfuge' than personality shifting.
- The Romans didn't trust completely sober people, as they thought you could never be certain of what such man was thinking or plotting, if he never allowed wine to loosen his tongue.
- Caesar was known for never drinking or indulging in vices of any kind, always telling the truth and his general incorruptibility. This really annoyed his rivals.
- From the mouth of John Wayne, "I never trust a man that doesn't drink." Probably for the same reason as the Romans.
- Real Life aversion: King Charles II of England said of Prince George of Denmark (Queen Anne's husband), 'I have tried him drunk, and I have tried him sober, but there is nothing in him.' Boring guy all 'round.
- Queen's song "The Show Must Go On," widely considered to be one of Freddie Mercury's best performances, was recorded while Mercury was severely ill and close to death due to AIDS (the song was released a month before his death). It was originally thought that due to his illness, Mercury wouldn't be able to sing the song, but he took a swig of vodka and proceeded to nail the song. In one take.
- Several of Mel Gibson's rants have been attributed, correctly or not, to his self-admitted problems with alchohol.
- Eric Clapton was apparently drunk when he launched into a racist, nativist tirade during a 1976 Birmingham concert.
- The basic concept behind most real life Truth Serums is that they render a person more likely to talk in general and less able to come up with a convincing lie. Incidentally, the only two substances that have been proven to be fairly consistently effective as (relative) Truth Serums are alcohol and marijuana. The former was a favorite of the KGB, whose agents were able to keep cover while their Western opposite numbers started gushing. The latter was tried out by the FBI, in the form of THC-laced cigarettes, on a member of The Mafia, who spilled the beans on a heist, embarrassing the CIA's MKULTRA (which was trying to do the same thing with more exotic substances like acid) in the process.
- Undercover FSB agents may still try this technique. Imagine their surprise when it fails on a scrawny-looking American college student.
- Even the more exotic substances used in fiction (most commonly sodium thiopental) are generally hypnotics that work in the same fashion: making the brain too tired to lie.
- The 'Tokubetsu Kogeki' ('Kamikaze') pilots were given a mug of sake as part of their pre-mission sending-off ceremony. Symbolic value (minimal) aside, it was most likely included to dampen their nerves and fear. This was common practice in many branches of all armed forces participating in the conflict, air and naval forces (wherein losses were radically fewer in absolute and usually in relative terms) aside.
- Vodka was the most important alcohol of the war, present as it would have been (at least in part, as per the 'let's all share a bottle between our squad before we assault that machine-gun nest/attack that panzer with our last molotov cocktail/use sharpened shovels to charge and clear that house of Germans' mentality) in most if not all the corpses of the 8-11 million Soviet soldiers who died in the defence of their Motherland. Note that vodka was not freely available to Soviet servicemen, but was rationed to the amount of 100 grams (two shots) per day. This practice began as a "reinforced ration" (along with 50 grams of pork fat/bacon) for soldiers fighting the 1939 Winter war in the extreme Finnish climate. Later, during the Great Patriotic war, the 100-gram ration was first made universal, then restricted only to frontline units deployed in advance operations (with other units getting their booze only on holidays). These 100 grams of vodka earned nickname "Boyeviye sto gram" - Combat 100 grams in Soviet Union and the phrase is still used when someone indulges in Liquid Courage.
- The court of Mongke Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan) once hosted an event where representatives of the three major religions in the area, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, all met as part of a philosophical debate. Between each round of the debate, as was customary at Mongol wrestling matches, each of the participants drank from bowls of kumis which resulted in increasingly frank and insulting statements from all involved until several rounds in the Christians eventually resorted to loudly singing hymns rather than keep listening, so the Muslims started chanting the Qu'ran in an attempt to drown out the Christians, and the Buddhists simply retreated into silent meditation. The contest ended in a draw once everyone was too drunk to continue.