It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Bodie: How are you going to play it?
Simply put, a character fakes being drunk. This is often a way of achieving Obfuscating Stupidity
Variants: The person's pretending to be high. They may even be a tad
buzzed/high to complete the effect.
Compare Fake High
, where the character thinks they're drunk or high when they're not.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Death Note, Matsuda, after being caught by Yotsuba, pretends to be drunk so he can fake his death via falling.
- In Soul Eater, Stein pretends to be drunk to trap Medusa. Unfortunatly even though he gets her to admit she's a witch, he's too late to stop her putting her plan into action.
- Zoro and Nami do this in One Piece during Whisky Peak. Nami also used it frequently as a tactic for her pirate robbing prior to becoming a Straw Hat.
- It's hard to determine at any time just how much of Vash the Stampede's apparent drunkenness is honest and how much is the trope. While at times he shown to be so plastered as to be unable to maintain his Obfuscating Stupidity, at other times he's been able to snap sober in a blink.
- Done by George to good advantage in With Strings Attached; he's pretending to be drunk and defeated so Brox and Co. don't take him seriously, but he's actually gathering information on the house where John is imprisoned so he can figure out how to rescue him. Later, when he does come up with a plan, he keeps up the drunk act so he can have an excuse to talk his way past the guards (who are admittedly sympathetic to him and John) and climb onto the roof.
- Beverly Hills Cop. While in the bar, Axel Foley pretends to be drunk to make an armed robber think he's harmless and get close enough to take him out.
- The Fugitive (1993). While Gerard and Newman are approaching the house with one of the escapees inside, they pretend to be drunks. Gerard even says "Be drunk, Newman."
- The Sting. Henry Gondorff pretends to be drunk to justify acting offensively toward Doyle Lonnegan. To enhance his act he gargles with gin to get alcohol-laden breath and brings along a gin bottle full of water to drink from.
- Bruce Wayne does this in Batman Begins, he fakes being drunk as an excuse to insult all of his party guests and shoo them out of his house (thus preventing them getting killed).
- Beerfest: "We're not that drunk."
- In Down Periscope, the entire crew of a submarine (minus the sole woman) pretends to be a boatload of drunk fishermen to fool the other side during a war game, singing "Louie Louie" at the top of their lungs and as far from the proper key as they can manage.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark - Marian, who can drink a huge Himalayan under the table, plays drunk with Belloq long enough to (try to) make a break for it.
- In Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt's character pretends to be drunk and wanders into a room full of targets, asking for a round of poker. He sits down and plays cards with them, tricking them into letting their guards down and eventually shooting them all to death.
- He then checks the other players' cards and collects his "winnings".
- Lucy of The Awful Truth uses this as part of a plot to embarrass her husband in front of his prospective in-laws.
- Colombiana. The Dynamic Entry of the protagonist as an adult Professional Killer involves her ramming into a police car, stumbling out along with a couple of bottles, then getting cuffed and thrown into a holding cell to sleep it off when she threatens to throw up. Turns out this is a Get Into Jail Free ploy to gain access to her target.
Live Action TV
- The trope came into play during the Jake Roberts vs. Jerry Lawler feud of 1996. Background: Roberts returned to the World Wrestling Federation in 1996, using a reformed Christian persona who has quit the bottle, playing off his real-life experiences. Lawler – then a shameless heel – played on Roberts' past, claiming that he was a "drunk" and was appearing at wrestling events under the influence. On an episode of WWF Monday Night RAW, Lawler cut a mean-spirited promo in the ring mocking Roberts and alcoholics in general, when an "intoxicated" Roberts staggered to the ring with a whiskey bottle; however, the crowd – and Lawler, immediately after getting sucker-kicked and DDT'ed – quickly realized it was a ruse to catch Lawler off guard and give him his comeuppance. (Roberts then poured whiskey in Lawler's face to further embarass him.)
- The Dungeons & Dragons module T1 The Village of Hommlet. Elmo the ranger acts inebriated, but is only pretending in order to get other people to underestimate him.
- In The Desperate Hours the protagonist pretends to be drunk and abusive to make his son's schoolteacher leave, to hide the fact that three wanted fugitives are keeping them hostage (and had left liquor bottles lying around).
- The Count in The Barber of Seville pretends to be a drunken soldier as part of his Zany Scheme to marry Rosina.
- Caius Cosades of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind claims to be addicted to the drug "moon sugar" (and its refined variant, Skooma). Given that he is: a) the imperial spymaster, b) said to hold his "liquor" fairly well, and c) implied to have killed people who have underestimated him, it can be assumed it is an act.
- This was one of the tactics used by the MIT Blackjack Club to avoid attracting attention. Sure the drunken wash-out is winning tonight, but there's no way he could be counting cards, right? Of course, eventually the casinos caught onto the scam.
- That famous joke (or urban legend, or story, or whatever) about the cop watching a bar who spots an obviously-drunk guy getting into a car, pulls him over, and finds out he's totally sober- it turns out it was his turn to be the decoy.
- A variant exists where the guy shows every sign of being drunk as a skunk, but every breathalyzer they pull on him turns up completely clean. Eventually they figure out he's not drunk, he's on drugs.