"Most people, on waking up, accelerate through a quick panicky pre-consciousness check-up: who am I, where am I, who is he/she, good god, why I am cuddling a policeman's helmet, what happened last night?"
Man, I reek of booze, and I can't remember a thing. Where am I? Oh God, looks like I'm on the what did I do last night page!
Might be a Noodle Incident where not even the characters know or remember what happened. Often, but not always, involves drugs or alcohol. Strictly speaking it doesn't have to be a night. It can be any alcohol or drug-induced craziness plus memory block.
The character wakes up confused in a compromising position, and then utters in confusion: "What did I do last night?" As they learn more about what happened they repeat themselves, only this time in horror: "What did I DO last night?!" Often the episode become a quest to learn the truth. Usually in comedy it's a it's Not What It Looks Like situation, but in drama it often is what it looks like, resulting in a Wham Episode and an Aesop about not drinking.
Getting a tattoo or joining the Armed Forces is a common outcome, as is the ever-popular Bedmate Reveal. If they're in Las Vegas, an Accidental Marriage is likely.
This is a common romance comedy trope, sometimes used as a Ship Tease. For example, have two people end up in bed whom the fandom have been pairing up (despite their hating each other in canon). Have them freak at the thought that they might have had sex. Maybe have them sort of try out a "relationship" only for it to be "The Masochism Tango", but by the end of the day they figure out that no sex occurred, happily resulting in a Snap Back.
Another version can occur where everybody else does know what happened last night, but decide to conceal it so as to have some fun with the poor guy who can't remember. If the audience gets to see the poor drunk's patchy memories of the evening, they may be portrayed via Binge Montage.
See also Bedmate Reveal, Did They or Didn't They?. Compare Alternate Identity Amnesia.
You Wake Up in a Room is a darker, less comedic variation. May overlap with Waking Up Elsewhere and/or Unfamiliar Ceiling.
Can also be related to Missing Time, although this doesn't usually involve alcohol. It can be Truth in Television, although the amount of alcohol you must consume to lead to Real Life memory loss is pretty close to how much you need to die from alcohol poisoning.
How did these examples get here?
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What are these Advertisements?
Jake has these experiences in the AXE shower gel commercials.
In a Norwegian commercial, a woman wakes up in a bed in a huge hotelroom with wedding-stuff thrown all around. Her confusion becomes complete when George Clooney enters the room. Turns out she married THE George Clooney while she was drunk.
A now banned TV advert for sanitising mouthwash shows a hungover man, very much the worse for wear, coughing, gagging, and then vomiting up a very alive and very scruffy dog - the message being that morning-after breath is not nice to smell. The ad was discontinued after protests.
In Gintama, Gintoki ends up assisting a ninja, almost married and the target of a stalker (all the same person, Sacchan) due to one of these.
Later on: Otose, Tae, Kyuubei, Sacchan, Tsukuyo, and Madao. Subverted in that it is a prank to get him stop drinking, then double subverted in that it turns he DID sleep with Madao. Both of them promptly try to get drunk enough to forget that ever happened.
Maison Ikkoku: Godai gets drunk, loudly and publicly announces his love for his Love Interest (who is embarrassed), then sweeps the afore said Love Interest off her feet and carries her to bed, where he promptly passes out. In the morning he wakes and tries to figure out what happened. His roommates are a bunch of Jerkasses so when he asks what happened they tell him two different versions:His Love Interest hates him because was teasing her and didn't put out, and his Love Interest hates him because he stripped and danced nude for her. The third roommate tries to give him a third version (also suitably horrific), but at this point he is so horrified that he runs away screaming. Trying to piece everything together with some other clues he concludes that he has to go and apologize to his Love Interest. Of course she interprets this as Godai retracting his confession of love.
Another version of this takes place in the Wham Episode when Mitaka gets drunk (with Godai when their plan for fisticuffs doesn't pan out) wakes up and finds breakfast already made for him. Asuna had spent the night at his place taking care of him. Mitaka is worried that something happened between them, so he finds her and asks her if he did "something indecent". She responds, "Please don't worry, I don't mind a thing", referring to a drunken kiss. Mitaka assumes she meant something else. (The look on his face was priceless!) It doesn't help when she adds: "I won't forget, because I'm a woman." Then she comes to tell him that her dog is pregnant and his dog is the father. Well... guess what he (and everybody else who overhears) thinks she is referring to? Before you know it he's married- and then discovers the truth. This allowed the use of both the comedic version and the dramatic version at the same time, while providing an anviliciousaesop on not drinking, that is nonetheless perfectly acceptable because of the Rule of Funny.
Manga example: the titular protagonist of Psychometer Eiji has the ability to read psychic imprints left on objects by their owners, generally images of significant events from the owners' recent past. He also likes to party hard. This combination is put to use in several Filler chapters as a break from the rather dark main plot.
Azumanga Daioh: While Minamo Kurosawa doesn't wake up in so much of a compromising situation as in the throes of a headache, she has no idea what she did, even (especially?) when Chiyo asks what (cue the gentle string music) means, and Sakaki can't look her in the face, and the other girls thank her for her education, and when she asks where Chiyo heard about things like that, Yukari tells her that she herself was the source. (She had just talked about how "pervy" relationships can get.)
The OVA for Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid is essentially about this happening to Tessa (thanks to Melissa Mao), and her struggles to figure out (without tipping off people who don't know about it) how she ended up waking up half naked in her commander's chair. Very Moe.
In volume 2 of Moyashimon, Hasegawa ends up getting drunk in Misato's room and passing out. Sawaki, Misato and Kawahama avoid the backlash by making things look evenworse: Misato puts a pot on his head with his face painted on, and Kawahama and Sawaki strip naked, with Sawaki hanging from the ceiling upside-down with "baka" painted on his back. Hasegawa leaves without incident, not wanting to remember what she was doing last night.
Kawahama: Making your enemy more confused than yourself is the best way to overcome panic.
Also happens with Oikawa and Muto sampling some of Itsuki-sensei's aphrodisiac chocolates, getting roaring drunk, and Oikawa waking up naked next to Muto.
In the manga Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi, Ritsu gets drunk and ends up partially-confessing and sleeping with Masamune (his current boss and former boyfriend). He does not remember any of it the following morning, despite waking up in his bed and feeling very, er, sore, afterwards. He suspects but is in complete denial, much to the great annoyance of Masamune, who has been trying to get him to admit that he likes him for months. Yes, Ritsu has a lot of blank spots in his memory... and Masamune was probably justified when he called him a bastard for not remembering.
The Nordics have a meeting in Hetalia Bloodbath 2010 to figure out what happened to them after they got knocked out by the shadowed figure.
This was Netherlands' reaction when he wakes up on the ground to find his clothes torn and a similarly disheveled Spain sleeping on top of him.
In Koimoku editor-in-chief Juumonji has a moment like this◊ after waking up only with her bra on on top of a pile composed of 1 man and 3 women (all of them dead drunk) without any specific memory about what happened after they started drinking last night.
How did Comic Books end up here?
In the European Vacation storyline in Gen13, Sarah Rainmaker and a shirtless Bobby "Burnout" Lynch wake up in bed together after getting drunk and realize that they "did". Made more awkward by the fact that Rainmaker is a lesbian and Bobby is still massively crushing on her.
The Sin City story "Just Another Saturday Night" has Marv coming to his senses with dead bodies and a wrecked cop car nearby. The rest of the story consists of him trying to piece together how he got there. As he says, "When you've got a condition, it's bad to forget your medicine."
When Tony fell off the wagon, he kept on having alcoholic blackouts. He had once even stolen a medieval suit of armor and forgot about it just a little bit later while in jail.
Yankee from the German comic Lula und Yankee apparently painted all over his girlfriend's backside. And his buddy's face. Good thing it was not a real tattoo.
"God... What have I done? Also, why did I do whatever it was I've done? Also, where am I?"
Willow's there with her, and Buffy thinks they slept together. Willow does nothing to dissuade the idea. Turns out she ends up preggers. Apparently the Slayer had so much to drink and partied so much she can't remember who knocked her up. Then subverted when it turns out Andrew had built another Buffybot, had it switch brains and think it was pregnant, and sneaked the real Buffy out of town thinking she was a suburban single woman when a psychotic Slayer tried assassinating her.
In an issue of New Warriors, Namorita gets plastered and has sex with (she thinks) a random guy from a bar. It turns out that he's a super-villain and uses the opportunity to steal all the team's secrets, leading to the death of one of their grandmothers.
Transmetropolitan has Spider and Yelena wake up in bed together after spending a night so wasted that they can't remember what happened (and considering how many substances Spider is on at any given time, that is saying something). Yelena insists that they absolutely didn't do it, but unfortunately for her Spider's glasses automatically take pictures in any situation where it seems like he is being "attacked", and these confirm they the two did the deed.
The Shade's origin begins like this. Nobody knows what happened, he just stumbled out of the night into Victorian London with the knowledge he'd just seen some sort of ritual. A lion was involved. However, he also got a bad case of amnesia, got involved with a band of murderous accountants, discovered he'd gained shadow powers and it turned out the ritual had involved the death of several dozen people. It's implied the ritual involved opening a gateway into the home of an Eldritch Abomination.
Why is Fan Works here? And where are my pants?
In the Stargate/X-COM crossover XSGCOM, the Commander of X-COM wakes up after his bachelor party on another planet, with no recollection of how he got there.
In Of Love And Bunnies, this happens twice: once when the Rangers drink Aquitian water, and the other after the Ranger Kegger. Tommy really can't remember the second.
In the pro wrestling fic Worst Nightmare, Molly Holly wakes up one morning to find out she lost her virginity to Road Dogg.
There is a series of Harry Potter fanfics, the premise of which was started as a challange by an author by the tag of Bloody Brandy, in which after a Vegas Bender Harry wakes up next to a woman he married the previous night.
The Fanfic series 'Emerald Flight'' is based off of Bloody Brandy's challenge and is by far the longest of the series. This one featuring Harry marrying Supergirl....and then every other iteration of her.
In the Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine fanfic Misfits the passed Aspirants are welcomed to the brotherhood with a beer bash. The last thing the POV character remembers is a power armor helmet full of beer before waking up on the transport.
Used almost word for word in thisAxis Powers Hetalia kink meme fill, after England drunkedly crashes an American Revolution re-enactment and America has to drag him home.
A Trail a Mile Wide. Taking place a short time after the end of the second Mass Effect game, the crew-members of the SSV Normandy SR 2 find themselves banned from a colony after a truly epic shore leave. The story is told from the perspective of a very hungover Fem Shep as Garrus gleefully recounts some of night's highlights.
Auntie Mame: After going out to "live" with her employer's male friend, Agnes is unable to remember the night before, except that they went to a movie with a wedding scene. Shortly thereafter, it's discovered that she's pregnant. Fortunately, she later finds out that it wasn't a movie; it was her wedding, and the man who got her pregnant was chivalrous enough to marry her before sleeping with her (although he believed that she was rich, and so may have had an ulterior motive).
Dude, Where's My Car? starts out with this, and the rest of the plot is about what happened to the stoners and their aforementioned car. We never really find out what happened that night besides the following: they got incredibly drunk, won a mini-golf competition, stole some money from a lap dancer (bought a car, clothes, got tattoos and a dove) and got an incredibly powerful weapon from some aliens.
Near the end of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a night of drug binging results in Raoul waking up to find his hotel room completely trashed and his friend Gonzo completely freaking out in his own drug haze.
Happens a couple of times in City Lights, where an important plot point is that the Millionaire is a party animal, and the Tramp's best friend, while drunk, but doesn't remember anything or recognize his friend while sober. After one wild party, the camera cuts to the Tramp and the Millionaire asleep in the Millionaire's bed. After the Tramp gets up to get a glass of water, the Millionaire awakens and begins looking around in confusion... and then the Tramp calmly climbs back into bed with him.
Hannibal shows a good reason not to be drinking buddies with a psychopath: "Here, why don't you cut off your face?". Said drinking buddy notes: "It seemed like a good idea at the time." (The amyl nitrate and other fun chemicals also being consumed probably made this seem better.)
In Sixteen Candles, the nerd wake up in a girl's pink convertible and has to ask her if they had sex last night or not. She's fairly sure they did, but neither can remember the specifics.
Nerd: Did I do that to your hair? (a big chunk is missing from the back)
Girl: At this point anything is possible.
In Father Goose Miss Freneau thinks she's been bitten by a poisonous snake (she wasn't), and Mr. Eckland gives her whiskey to ease the pain. She wakes up the next morning not remembering anything.
In The Pink Panther Sir Charles lures Princess Dallah to his room and she gets drunk on champagne. She passes out and he puts her into his bed. She wakes up the next morning not remembering anything.
In the film version of Valley of the Dolls, Neely O'Hara gets high on the titular dolls and wakes up in a sleazy room with a strange man looking through her purse. She's lying in bed, and it's heavily implied they slept together.
28 Days starts out with two characters coming home completely trashed and accidentally setting a bra on fire. When they wake up in the morning neither of them remembers why the bra is charred, or much else.
Near the end of Carry On At Your Convenience, following an uncharacteristically wild party, W.C. Boggs (Kenneth Williams) wakes up in bed with his secretary (Patsy Rowlands). When he asks her, rather nervously, whether they... you know, she looks smug and says that if he doesn't remember, she's not going to tell him.
This phrase is spoken word for word by Sgt. Bung in Carry On Screaming! the morning after his nocturnal rampage as Mr. Hyde.
Darkly invoked in The Godfather Part II. Senator Geary is given a room at a Mafia-run brothel and plied with booze and god knows what else. When he wakes up, there's a dead prostitute in his bed and blood everywhere......and that nice Tom Hagen is there to promise Geary that Michael Corleone will make his problems vanish, and they can be friends. And if he should see fit to drop a federal investigation into the Corleone family, that'd make them even better friends.
There's a scene of Al Neri washing his hands afterwards, which implies that Geary was drugged and Neri was responsible for carrying out the hit.
The first Mission: Impossible movie appears to refer to this scene, as it's cold opening features a crime boss in a room with a dead prostitute. Already horrified by his actions, he's even more so when his Dirty Cop associate tells him that the girl is a favorite escort of a rival crime boss. The cop demands information from him in exchange for protection. After he's whisked away, it's revealed to the audience that the cop is really Ethan Hunt in disguise and the "dead" girl is a fellow agent.
The Quick and the Dead. The Lady wakes up on a bed in the Kid's gunshop and the Kid says he won her in a poker game. The Lady isn't fooled, saying the last thing she remembers is the Kid passing out from too much booze.
What is Literature doing here?
According to The Salmon Of Doubt, a posthumous collection of some of his miscellaneous writings, this happened to Douglas Adams fairly often.
The science fiction novel Golem100 by Alfred Bester has a place where two characters take drugs. The next ten pages or so are freaky concept art with no pictures. Then the text restores, and a policeman explains to them just what they were doing that time (each art piece represents about an hour of debauchery, such as streaking an entire city block).
In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Death and Diplomacy, Jason and Bernice are trapped together for an extended period of time, get drunk, accidentally trigger each other's childhood traumas, get really drunk... and nine hours later Benny's rather dazed POV is pointing out that usually, when one wakes up plus one drinking partner and minus chunks of one's memory, the most that happened is a little half-hearted groping before both parties passed out, before going on to mention that this time around, "half-hearted" feels somewhat less likely than "ferocious, violent, convulsive, and multiple."
This is the main theme of Henry Kuttner's Galloway Gallegher stories, collected in Robots Have No Tails. Gallegher is explained to be a super Spark inventor, but his spark only gets sparky when he's very drunk. Thus almost every story starts with him waking and spending the rest of the story trying to figure out just how the crazy invention he made last night works.
"Most people, on waking up, accelerate through a quick panicky pre-consciousness check-up: who am I, where am I, who is he/she, good god, why am I cuddling a policeman's helmet, what happened last night?
In the Ellery Queen novel Ten Days Wonder, Howard Van Horn suffers blackouts. He will wake up days or weeks later with no idea where he is or what he has done in the meantime. Very definitely notPlayed for Laughs.
From the 13th century Saga of the Jomsvikings: After getting utterly wasted at a banquet at King Svein's of Denmark, Sigvaldi, chief of the eponymous Viking band, makes a solemn, public vow to conquer Norway. When he wakes the next day, he remembers nothing.
The Red Dwarf novelizations retcon Dave Lister's means of joining the Jupiter Mining Corps into this (in the show he was intentionally working to buy a farm on Fiji). For his birthday he decided to go on a pub crawl on earth with his friends, based on visiting every location on a Monopoly board. After hitting a few places and getting confused, he stepped out to buy such a board, and woke up some time later on another planet wearing women's clothing and in possession of a fake passport. In this continuity the job serves as his manner of getting back home.
The seventh season opener does this to set up a particularly convoluted Twist Ending, where the two drunk people waking up in bed together didn't have sex...but a ton of much, much creepier stuff did happen.
In the season twelve opener, Drew wakes up hungover in his basement after a Wild Teen Party, with "Nice Bum" written on his backside. He then finds out that he had sex with his ex-girlfriend Katie.
Apparently this happens to the alcoholic Fun Bobby all the time. As Phoebe puts it when describing a typical Fun Bobby story, "So I wake up, and I'm in this dumpster in Connecticut..."
The definitive one on that show has to be when Ross and Rachel accidentally get marriedin Vegas, however. Full story: after Ross doodles on Rachel's face on the plane in apparently indelible ink, he atones by "bringing Vegas to [them]" and playing cards with her in the room and drinking everything in the minibar. Ross then suggests it would be funny to eat a lot of grapes, and Rachel compromises by suggesting they get married and then eat a lot of grapes. The next morning, neither of them remember a thing and have to be reminded by their friends.
Ross: They would not let us get married when we were that drunk!
Joey: They let you get married when you're drunk! Most people who get married in Vegas are drunk!
Also happens to Ross when he sleeps with Chloe, the copy girl, after deciding to "take a break" in his relationship with Rachel.
Chandler does one of these a few times: once when he sleeps with his annoying ex-girlfriend Janice on Valentine's Day after being accidentally set up, and another time when he makes out with one of Joey's many sisters at a party. He doesn't know which one.
Ross:(to Rachel, who has been defending Mark for just helping her out of niceness, pointing to a horribly hungover Chandler) You see what men do? Don't tell me men are nice. Thisis men!
Also, Luke and Lorelai go out for an evening and drink too much, and the next morning Lorelai is disturbed to realize that they didn't use protection when they had sex, leading to a But I Can't Be Pregnant! subplot. She's not.
Brandy in the Noah's Arc movie wakes up after a drug-fueled night in a total state of confusion.
The whole premise of the Psych episode "Last Night Gus", which begins with Shawn on the floor wearing sandals that aren't his, Gus also in an awkward position, Lassie with a black eye on the couch with Woody the Coroner, Lassie's gun having fired three bullets, and Gus's car is trashed. And everybody seems to be pissed off with them and a murder victim got killed by three shots.
In the episode "Hunting", Cameron does not forget, per se, but she does regret it.
Played rather cruelly in the fifth season finale: House wakes up after spending the night with Cuddy and finds little clues of their liaison all around the house, like her lipstick... except she didn't spend the night at all, he hallucinated everything. The moment when he realizes that it was all in his head is terrifying and sad.
Also played very seriously in "House's Head"/"Wilson's Heart", the medical mystery of which revolve around House desperatly trying to remember the events which lead up to him waking up in a strip club mid-lap dance bleeding from his scalp.
In "The Choice", House wakes up in an underage neighbor boy's bed after a night of binge drinking. While still creepy, it's not nearly as bad as it sounds—it was meant to show House was having problems with his sobriety.
In one episode, Ted woke up one night to find he'd hooked up with a woman, sprained his ankle, gotten his coat burned, had a phone number he didn't know written on his arm, and for some reason had a pineapple on his night stand. Almost everything was explained through a series of flashbacks, except the pineapple, which remained a Riddle for the Ages.
A later episode also uses this trope, only this time Ted wakes up with a butterfly tattoo just above his butt (referred to by everyone as a "tramp stamp").
Robin, getting ready to become naturalized as an American, decides to make a stop at her favorite bar, a pub for Canadian expatriates called "The Hoser Hut." Barney finds her the next day hungover and confused in a Toronto hotel.
It's how Lister ended up leaving Earth, according to the novel.
In the second-season episode "Thanks for the Memory", Lister wakes up after a drunken party with one foot in a cast and no idea how it happened. (It turns out that alcohol was not in fact the cause of his amnesia. This time.) It was so embarrassing they voluntarily wiped their own memories
In the third-season episode "The Last Day", following another drunken party:
Lister: On a mining ship, 3 million years into deep space, can someone explain to me where the smeg I got this traffic cone? Cat: Hey, it's not a good night unless you get a traffic cone. It's the policewoman's helmet and the suspenders I don't understand.
The climax of of the episode "Parallel Universe". Lister and a female version of himself try to determine how they ended up in bed together:
Lister: "I remeber bettin' ya I could climb the disco wall using only me lips..."
In another episode Jack get's drunk with his old navy buddies and they give him a tattoo. He goes to the hospital for an operation to remove it while Janet tries to convince him not to go because she thinks the operations is a vasectomy.
Even worse: in that same episode, Mr. Furly thinks Jack is going into the hospital to have a sex change.
A non-humorous example: The first episode of Veronica Mars has Veronica waking up from a party in bed without her underwear after being rufied at a party.
Veronica: You wanna know how I lost my virginity? So do I.
In The Young Ones episode "Time" Rick wakes up and finds a girl (Jennifer Saunders) in his bed. Being a randy little devil, he naturally assumes they had sex. Hilarity Ensues, until she tells everyone she just needed a place to crash and got into Rick's bed after he fell asleep.
Variation, after Saffron shows up on the ship and explains her "marriage" to Mal, he asks Jayne how much he had to drink the night before, on the theory that obviously he's missing something... Turns out Jayne doesn't know; he passed out.
Also used very briefly in "Jaynestown", so Kaylee can mess with Simon a little.
In a MADtv skit, a man wakes up with a hangover to learn that he had been elected US president while drunk. His presidency was highly successful and popular (he's in the middle of his second term when he wakes up), he annexed three new states to the US (Cuba, Saskatchewan and Germany) and even managed get the cure for cancer discovered (by gathering the CEOs of the world's biggest companies and "infecting them with cancer").
He's also married to Winona Ryder.
Exact words used in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 sporking of the short "The Chicken of Tomorrow"... to describe the stumblings of a newly-hatched chick. Made even funnier in the short "Keeping Clean and Neat," where a ten-year boy struggles to drag himself out of bed.
One episode of Black Books does this. Bernard is trying to figure out why some friends of his are so angry with him. Unlike some other examples, the only clue he's got is that he's incredibly hungover (nothing new for him). Turns out (spoilered'd for your sensitivity) He'd taken a dump in their wicker clothes basket. Then suggested that their six-year-old son was doing drugs, and claimed that he had the cold, dead eyes... of a killer. He falls and breaks his arm when leaving in a huff because they refused to apologize for blanking him. Their son's face is locked in a mask of horror, which Bernard brushes off as "He's a kid. Everything's new to them."
In Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Neville wakes up after a night on the town in Dusseldorf with a strange woman's name tatooed his arm. He spends the rest of the first series worrying about how he is going to explain this to his wife when he returns home.
Liz Lemon, having gone to the dentist for some surgery, naturally undergoes anesthesia that evidently affects her... strongly (as in, put a waffle in her DVD player and thought that it was the best movie ever). When she goes back to work, she finds an entry marked "Future Husband" in her contact list. This kicks off a sort of mini-arc.
She also takes her recovering alcoholic former boyfriend out to dinner before his wedding. He orders salmon, and seems to be getting rather tipsy somehow. Seems the sauce contains whiskey, the alcohol of which would normally burn away while cooking. However, he unknowingly ordered the sauce on the side, and gets drunk. The next morning he complains of lower back pain, and doesn't notice that he somehow ended up with a tribal tattoo.
My Name Is Earl features this, when Earl wakes up one morning with a hangover and a married woman married to him who is six months pregnant.
Mad Men features a very serious one of these after Don Draper wins a Clio Award; the blackout lasts from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, during which Don makes a pitch that succeeds in the worst possible way, hooks up with an adwoman who had been actively seeking him out since the ceremony, then hooks up with an entirely different woman (apparently the waitress from a nearby diner), who calls him Dick when he wakes up in the morning. Oh, and the reason that the pitch succeeds in the worst possible way? He has to hire an incompetent relative of Jane Sterling's as a copywriter. Peggy was pissed.
The oldest brother, Tony Russo, of Blossom had been a recovering drug addict who had huge gaps in his memory. He even once forgot that he went to college and realized it while he was wearing the sweatshirt.
Two and a Half Men: Charlie. A lot. But one example in particular had him wake up the next morning finding out he tried to mail his pants back to the manufacturer because he snagged himself zipping up.
Smallville: They had a blatant rip-off of The Hangover after Clark and Lois co-joined Bachelor/Bachelorette party in season ten. It involved charmed champagne from a magic-wielding ally, a complete black-out after the first sip, a stolen money transport in the barn, the resident Straight Man turned Elvis Impressionist, a wedding-dressed Chloe in Clark's closet and one half of a signed marriage licence.
A subversion in Freak: when Chloe asks Daniel what happened last night, he somewhat apologetically asks if they had sex because he was really drunk and didn't remember anything. Turns out he has his memory at Lex's secret lab wiped and the same happens to Chloe later. Although considering the pain and humiliation she went through in Lex's hands, it's probably for the best.
Happens occasionally on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit when a victim is dosed with Rohypnol or similar. Played straight in the episode "Hammered," in which a man genuinely doesn't remember raping and murdering a woman while drunk.
Erin in the first episode of Crownies when she wakes up at home after the office Christmas party, still dressed but missing one stocking, and having no memory of how she got there. She later discovers her bra hanging on the conference room doorknob.
An entire plot thread of the Warehouse 13: episode 'Love Sick' involved Pete and Myka waking up in bed together and trying to figure out what they did the previous night. It eventually comes out that they deliberately engineered the situation so that they would be able to retrace their footsteps and rescue Jinks.
A much less humorous variation occurs in an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which focuses on a teenage boy who died during a drug trip. His friend desperately wants to remember what happened that night to catch his killer. The friend experienced extreme sensitivity to sounds during his trip and strangled the victim to quiet him.
A similar case on CSI NY involving booze spiked with LSD finally resulted in the newly 21-year-old suspect being tasered by a cop after running through the streets with a bloody axe. Turned out the kid was completely innocent, and the killer of his two friends and two girls they picked up was after the girls for looting from his drug supply.
It also happens to the other guys. Raj wakes up in the morning next to the blonde who took him home drunk the previous night. She is middle-aged and possibly eighty pounds overweight. After one drunken night he wakes up in bed with Penny.
Raj. THIS.NEVER.HAPPENED. OK?
Apparently Howard and Raj once got drunk at Comic Con and ended up in an intimate threesome with a three hundred pound Wonder Woman cosplayer.
This clip from the Criminal Minds episode "Snake Eyes". Garcia wakes up one morning after having way too much wine and the only thing she remembers is having a huge fight with her boyfriend Kevin note Also known as Xander. So she was freaked out when she saw Morgan stepping out of her shower, in only a towel. Nothing happened between them. She invited Morgan over, they watched a movie, he slept on the couch. It would be out-of-character for Morgan to take advantage of her like that.
Invoked in Burn Notice, when a con-man is drugged in the course of a drinking session with Sam, and set up to think he's spent a ridiculous amount of money, the idea being that he'll reveal where he keeps his accounts. When this plan doesn't work, they do it again to make him think he's murdered a mark.
In the Ever Decreasing Circles episode "One Night Stand", the prudish Martin Bryce is targeted by a prank-loving colleague who gets him drunk and arranges for a local girl to be in his room when he wakes up the following morning. The horrified Martin assumes he has cheated on his wife, Ann, even though he cannot remember a single detail of his "indiscretion".
The M*A*S*H episode "Mr. And Mrs. Who?" has Charles returning from R-and-R in Tokyo with the mother of all hangovers and is trying to sleep it off when Klinger tells him that "Mrs. Charles Winchester" is waiting for him on the compound. It turns out in drunken revelry, Charles wanted to marry the lady he met, and she agreed if only to quiet him down. The "wedding" was performed, as it turns out, by a bartender. At the conclusion, a ceremony to dissolve this ersatz wedding was held in the mess tent, with B.J. presiding with a Sad Sack comic book instead of a Bible.
Modern Family: In "Heart Broken", Mitchell has too many cocktails at a 'Lonely Hearts' party he and Cam threw for their single friends. He wakes up the next morning to find that he has dyed the cat pink, stolen the neighbour's Christmas decorations and invited Dylan to live with them. It actually turns out Cam did that last one.
Carnivàle: Happens in the episode "Babylon", where Ben gets drunk, staggers out of the saloon and wakes up deep in Bayblon's silver mine. which had collapsed thirteen years before.
General Hospital. The newly rebellious Karen (reacting badly to memories of being molested by her mother's boyfriend) dresses like a tramp then goes to an underground rave. Her drink is spiked with Ecstasy. The next episode begins with her waking up in a strange man's apartment, but he (truthfully) assures her that nothing happened, that he in fact rescued her from the guys who drugged her before they could do anything and merely brought her home to sleep it off.
ER: Abby falls off the wagon and goes out drinking with her co-workers. The next thing she remembers is waking up in her boss's apartment, wearing nothing but her underwear, while he's shirtless. She freaks and runs out. Although she's clearly hoping that he merely took her home to sleep off her alcoholic binge, flashbacks reveal that they did in fact sleep together.
Where'd these jokes come from?
A guy wakes up at home with a terrible hangover. All he remembers from the night before is the address where the party was and using a large brass toilet with buttons on it. In an attempt to remember what he did the previous night, he goes to the house and knocks on the door. A woman answers. "Excuse me, but was there a big party here last night?" "Boy, was there ever!" the woman says. The guy asks "Do... you have a big brass toilet with buttons on it?" The woman leans back into the house and yells "Harry! The guy who shat in your tuba is here!"
A man wakes up in his bed remembering nothing of the party he went to the night before. He sits up in bed with a splitting headache and notices his robe and slippers are sitting out for him, and there two aspirin on his bedside table with a glass of water. Puzzled, he takes the aspirin and goes downstairs. He finds a pot of coffee brewing and his wife making a huge breakfast for him. "What happened?" He asks. His wife says "You came home completely drunk last night, puked on the neighbors lawn and then passed out on our yard, wetting yourself." "Well..." he says "So the nice treatment?" His wife says "Well, when I was grumbling and trying to get you out of your clothes last night, you came to long enough to say 'Get off me, woman! I'm a married man!'"
A guy wins $5000 on an instant lottery ticket. He collects his money, then stops at a bar for a celebratory drink. That's the last thing he remembers before waking up in a nearby alley the next day, his money all gone. He goes back to the bar and asks the bartender if he knows what happened to his money. "You spend the whole lot here", said the bartender. "You got wasted and bought drinks for everyone, danced around, passed out a couple of times...everybody had a great time". "That's a relief!" says the guy. "I was afraid I'd squandered it!"
What's This Manhwa...?
In I'm at End of Your Sight Dong-ha gets very drunk waiting for Je-Hyung (who doesn't have a telephone) and repeatedly vomits around his house. He wakes up wondering why his trousers had been taken off. He wondered if it was because Je-Hyung wanted to drive him out of the house naked.
Music seems to be here. Huh?
Amanda Marshall's "Sunday Morning After":
Oh my God, I woke up with a snake tattoo... Oh my God, and I think that my tongue's pierced too, It's the Sunday morning after, And baby, who the hell are you?
There's a stranger in my bed, There's a pounding my head Glitter all over the room Pink flamingos in the pool I smell like a minibar DJ's passed out in the yard Barbie's on the barbeque This a hickey or a bruise?
...so I started calling around And all my friends say I started shooting doubles when you walked in All my friends say I went a little crazy seeing you with him You know I don't remember a thing But they say I sure was raising some cain I was a rock star, party hard, getting-over-you comeback kid Hey I must have did What all my friends say
Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville" —
...I don't know the reason I stayed here all season, Nothin' to show but this brand new tattoo, But it's a real beauty A Mexican cutie And how it got here, I haven't a clue.
Buffett uses this trope again in is song: Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling.
And again in his version of Lord Buckley's God's Own Drunk.
Seems to be a favorite of his, as he employs the trope yet again in Semi-True Story.
The constant breeze and flashes, why, I don't really have a clue No one to tell us who was touching me or exactly what I should do My throat was dry, my hopes were high, but nothing really ever got said Who was in my room last night? Who the hell was in my bed?
Lit's "My Own Worst Enemy"
...Can we forget about the things I said when I was drunk I didn't mean to call you fat I can't remember what was said or what you threw at me Please tell me Please tell me why The car is in the front yard And I'm sleeping with my clothes on Came in through the window last night And you're gone, gone
I realize I missed a day But I'm too wrecked to care anyway I look around and see this face What the hell, have I lost my taste? Don't want to find out Just want to cut out
"What I Did Last Night" by Catherine Britt:
Mama says I gotta start acting like a lady Daddy’s just worries about his baby How am I supposed to straighten up and fly right When I don’t even remember what I did last night
"Veins" by Blue Öyster Cult
I open my eyes From a dreamless night With a sense of dread You could cut with a knife So I'm thinking that Maybe I killed somebody You never know - you never know when You might have killed somebody
"Dagen Derpå" by Jim & Stian, is Norwegian for "The Day After". When translated into English the lyrics are:
Have you ever woke up with a girl, you don't know who is? Was she fat, and pale as the snow, and was she laying there naked? You stand up with messy hair, and think to yourself What the hell did I do last night? The day after, you don't remember what happened You only have distant memories from a bottle of bad homemade liquor It sucks to wake up the day after To smell the scent of a woman That does not want to leave.
Now I'm pickin' up beer cans, what a mess, oh man, who's that passed out in the yard? All that's left in the fire pit is one of my lawn chairs and a piece of siding on my barn. Somebody doin' donuts must've hit the mailbox, 'cause it's layin' out there in the road. There's a flood in the bathroom, a hog in the kitchen, a dude on the couch with a bloody nose. I guess we used the tabletop for a game of beer pong, and the back porch for a dance floor. Somebody took the shower rod, turned it to a stripper pole; man, there's a hole bust through my door! I dunno what the hell went on 'round here last night, but we musta had a good time!
The opening to the 6-minute clip for LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" implies a hangover (from all that party rockin', no less) that lasted 28 days.
(For) one drink too many took the smile right off of her face;
One lousy drink too many took the girl right out of my place;
Well, I tried to talk her out of going home,
But instead I fell flat on the floor;
And all I remember is a great big bang,
I guess she must have slammed the door....
Wait, what's with these Newspaper Comics?
Zits: Jeremy wakes up one morning with his boxers over his head. He resolves to try and remember his dreams.
Garfield: Garfield wanders into a patch of catnip, then wakes up the next morning in an Atlantic City alleyway next to a Barbie Doll.
When did I list Tabletop Games?
Pathfinder has Cayden Cailean, a Boisterous Bruiser who was drunk off his ass when somebody bet him that he could survive the Cathedral of the Starstone. Three days later, when he sobered up, he was the god of Freedom, Bravery, and Alcoholic Beverages, with no memory of the intervening period.
"Liar! I was a perfect lady last night! But why does my tummy hurt so?"
One quest in Skyrim starts innocently enough with a drinking contest with a random gentleman in a random bar...you then blackout and wake up half the map away in Markarth, being yelled at by a nun for trashing the local temple. What follows is a string of goat selling, monster proposing, and other debauchery you can't remember. It can potentially be worse if the girl who you borrowed the wedding ring from was your wife. Turns out your drinking buddy was none other than Sanguine, Daedric god of wine and merry-making, out for laughs. And on top of that, Sanguine had so much fun with you that in memory of the hilarity, he gives you an artifact staff that summons Dremora Lords on command.
"I once smelled a luckydo so powerful, I woke up with a hangover."
In Mass Effect 2 it's possible to go to a bar and order drinks. When you get to the Krogan Liquor, Shepard blacks out and wakes up in a bathroom.
There's also a very hungover Samantha Traynor after the party in the Citadel DLC:
Traynor: So, last night. I didn't... do anything, did I? I've been checking the extranet. No hits yet, so maybe I just imagined that last part. I'm almost sure someone was recording us though.... It's not my fault, I was overserved!
And, of course, Tali.
Tali: I... am going... to die. I didn't know you could go through that many toxin filters in one night.... Do I have a tattoo? I remember something about a tattoo....
Whose Web Comics are these?
In PK Comic after night of heavy drinking Jake finds out that he hooked up with Roberta, a drag queen in this strip
Although he seems to remember sleeping with a giant fish on the same night in this strip.
Shortpacked!: Robin eats a bowl of Cadbury cream eggs, blacks out, and wakes up to find out she's been elected to Congress.
In a rare variation where the reader gets to actually see it in action, Leslie gets the previously fired Shortpacked gang their jobs back after getting a contact sugar high from Robin licking her neck. Immediately afterwards, she comes down from it with no memory of what she just did.
The second time Robin eats Cadbury egg cereal, she wakes up in a cardboard box on the street, having passed a law creating a utopia, banged a guy, made a sex tape which got leaked onto the internet, and been dumped and kicked out.
Intentionally invoked by Mike. Amber and Ethan (who is gay, but slept with Amber years ago before he discovered this) wind up at a bar together and get drunk. What follows looks like a Bedmate Reveal showing that they slept together. The end of the strip, however, reveals that they both slept (separately) with Mike, who did it to drive a wedge between them. Also, a sensual oil massage from Faz may have been involved at some point.
Amber: We did not do this!
Mike: You kidding? It was your idea.
Amber:Your facts have no effect on me!
This strip reveals that even Cybertronians are not immune to this trope.
Used in VG Cats with Samus Aran at a Christmas party. She realizes to her horror that she had sex with Master Chief. Samus promptly flees his begging for another round and douses herself in a cold shower.
The fictional band Owns Big Mecha in Sordid City Blues has the song "What The Hell Did I Do Last Night" in their repertoire.
Also, at the opening of one of Owns Big Mecha's shows:
One particularly geeky example was provided by Full Frontal Nerdity. The main characters went to a New Years Eve party at the "Goblin Hole" and look through their pockets to figure out what they did while under the influence of "Klingon War Nog". Frank finds a character sheet for the elf ranger from the D&D movie, Lewis finds a receipt for the Everquest sourcebooks, and Nelson (who hates anime) found Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
Out There establishes the use of this trope early in its run. On the first night they meet, Miriam and John end up spending the night in a hotel together after she ties one on (nothing happens, except a REALLY good dream). In another arc about a year later, Miriam and Sherry go out drinking and the next day Miriam's memory of the night is so spotty that she can't remember if she cut her own hair (she didn't; Sherry cut it while she was sleeping). Another time, a hung-over Miriam thinks she remembers Sherry sabotaging her one-night stand, and assumes she must be remembering wrong (she isn’t). Not long after, Miriam and Clayton end up in bed together, and Miriam needs a recap the next day to find out what happened. Later, while touring with Steven's band, Miriam gets drunk at a party and and is later surprised to find a phone number written on her belly in indelible ink. Still later, Miriam wakes up on Araceli's couch and has trouble remembering what they did the night before, but she figures it out on her own, confirming (in her own mind) that she doesn't have a drinking problem, after all.
And then inverted in "Linking Up With Linkara", where Linkara is happy to find out he's had amazing wild sex with Nostalgia Chick and Marzgurl while drunk...he just wishes he could remember it. And they tell him it was an incredible once-in-a-lifetime event that could never be repeated. Of course they're just messing with his head.
Later, Nostalgia Chick and BFF Nella play a Hercules drinking game, and wake up surrounded by bunnies, with a third friend dressed like Spider Woman and hanging from a bar by her feet while sleeping, with a strange man in front of the couch making omlets on a hot plate, and Nella's mouth smeared with unfamiliar lipstick. This is capped with the words "based on a true story".
The lipstick is partly explained...It was the Makeover Fairy! "They're gonna look so pretty!"
In Lost in Translation: Bromance Version, Donnie spends the night drinking and probably more with Uncle Yo. After Yo starts asking personal questions, Donnie leaves, making his way to a bar where he meets Egoraptor. The next scene he wakes up lying in bed with a bottle in his hand and more on the table and floor, and when he looks over and sees Egoraptor instead of Uncle Yo, he groans like this has happened before.
In a slightly funnier version, in the episode (fittingly enough) The Blair Witch Hangover, Rebecca and Tacoma wake up to find the studio trashed, both of them scruffy and hungover, and Tacoma in a Disney Princess dress, and spend the rest of the episode trying to figure out what they did the night before.
This thread, entitled 'I played Oblivion blacked-out drunk and here's what happened (via picture story)'. Basically a few days after a night of heavy drinking (of which he remembers little), he loads up Oblivion to find that he had played it for about four hours while drunk. In that time, he managed to, in his words:
Murder 131 people
Assault 65 people
Steal 198 items
Build up a bounty of 99575 coins
Build up an infamy of 140 points
Steal 1 horse
And create an enchanted sword called 'fcuk you UP!'
One Mr. Welch rule is "The party doesn't need to know about the time I woke up duct-taped to the back of a Drow Matron-Mother."
I woke up this morning and my room has been completely trashed...and I think I'm wearing a chicken suit!
This happens in Freeman's Mind when he wakes up in the trash compator having completely forgot everything that had happened before, the aliens, the gunfights, everything - vaguely remembering that he had killed people in his dream... and a midget was involved...
This happens at the start of Chell's Mind when she wakes up.
This is the start of the series Husbands when Cheeks and Brady wake up from a drunken night in Vegas and find out they're married (and they haven't been dated for long). They also can't find they're friend, Haley.
In Pay Me, Bug!: Grif Vindh has, on one job, earned more than most independents make in their lifetime. So, naturally, he and his crew go on an all night bender with some other crews that they're friends with. The next morning, they have a little trouble remembering what happened during the party. This isn't the first time this has happened, either: They've had to institute The List, a computer record of everyone's possessions that they had entered the party with, bets that were made, and the winners and losers of those bets.
Drunk Fortress has this happen every so often, but a particularly memorable incident:
Wrex:Everything is fire and tantrums. I have an empty bottle of everclear, absinthe, and Blue Curacao. I have no idea what happened. FPS is like 3. let's just start a new fortress. I have no idea what happened, and can only surmise the lava cannon backfired horribly. I can upload the save if someone wants to look at it, but christ its a mess. I hope it dosen't become a tradition that fortresses blow up when I take control.
The College Humorparody of I Gotta Feeling. The guy breaks his leg, antagonizes his girlfriend, and sleeps with an unattractive girl. In the end he decides that it was worth it, since he got in a nice fight and even better, now has an awesome kite.
Ultra Fast Pony: Sweetie Belle tries to explain to Rarity why the boutique is completely trashed:
Sweetie Belle: So, me and my band tried to patch things up the other night. Yeah, didn't go very well. [...] Also, don't go in the bathroom. Someone vomited blood in there, and it might have been me. Details are a little bit fuzzy.
Western Animation? Where did that come from?
Happens a lot in Family Guy during assorted cutaway gags.
Of course, this happened in The Simpsons, as a parody. Bart and Milhouse ask Apu for a slushy with maximum sugar. It's so much that they go on a psychedelic trip. Bart wakes up and finds that while drugged out, he... joined the Junior Campers!
Meanwhile Barney (who also tried the slushy) wakes up in a Greek cargo ship wearing a sailor outfit:
Barney: Uh oh! Not again!
In "Viva Ned Flanders", Homer and Ned wake up from a Vegas bender to discover they've married cocktail waitresses.
After Homer gets drunk and trashes Springfield Elementary, his attempt to remember what happened the night before takes the form of a silent film with missing reels, which cuts abruptly from Homer having a beer at Moe's, to dancing around a maypole while wearing a toga.
"I need you to pick me up. I think I'm in Chinatown. Not our Chinatown."
This made up most of the plot in the season 19 Simpsons episode "Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind," where Homer wakes up in the snow on the other side of town and must remember why Marge and the kids aren't home.
Used as a side joke in Futurama, "The Sting". "Why am I sticky and naked? Did I miss something fun?"
No drunkenness, but Time Keeps on Slippin does this with time skips. The cast acts normally during the skips, but afterward can't remember what happened. During once such skip, Fry inexplicably got Leela to marry him. She accuses him of tricking her somehow, and he spends much of the episode desperate to find out what he did right. In the end, it turns out he used a powerful gravity gun to spell out a message of love with actual stars, but alas they are sucked into a black hole before he can show Leela.
In The Venture Bros. episode "Showdown at Cremation Creek", #21 and #24 wake up hungover from the bachelor party of the previous night and to their horror find the Venture family locked in their holding cells on the one time they had specific instructions not to mess with them:
In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearts and Hooves Day", Cheerilee has this reaction after the effects of a love potion wear off after she and Big Mac (also affected) have fallen into a hole.
Cheerilee: Am I wearing a wedding veil? Big Macintosh: Eeyup. Cheerilee: Are you sitting on a feather bed in a hole in the ground? Big Macintosh: Eeyup. Cheerilee: Girls! Can you explain why it looks like I'm getting married at the bottom of a pit?
In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Algae's Always Greener", after Plankton used his life-switching machine to switch places with Mr. Krabs, he wakes up dazed in Mr. Krabs' office and says "Great Neptune above, what happened last night?"
In the Adventure Time episode "Return to the Nightosphere", Finn and Jake wake up in a cage in a pile of bananas, and this is pretty much Finn's reaction.
Darker and Edgier, with a Downer Ending, one French International rugby player woke up one morning in a police cell with no recollection of the previous night's events... Only to find that he had murdered his wife.
Another one with a Downer Ending, rapper Big Lurch smoked PCP with a friend one night, waking up the next morning... to find he was covered in blood and with no memory of gutting his friend's girlfriend with a knife, or of the knife breaking and him using his nails and teeth to make a hole in her chest and eat a large portion of her lungs!!!
The Persian Capital Persepolis was burned when Alexander and his men captured it. Standard pillage and burn tactic of the ancient world? No, just a drunken boast from Alexander that got out of hand.
All to impress one of his courtesans, to boot.
"Alexander took the lead, setting fire to the palace, followed by his drinking companions. Such was the end of the palace that ruled all of the East. Macadonians were ashamed that a city of such distinction had been destroyed by their king during a drunken orgy. As for Alexander, it is generally agreed that when sleep had brough him back to his sences after his drunkern bout, he regretted his actions."
"Like many happenings at very successful parties, it seemed like a good idea at the time" — Mary Renault
A man named William Nixon (no relation) turned himself in to the police after learning he'd robbed a gas station in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland while drunk.
From the Norwegian version of Big Brother: On the first morning of the first season one of the participants walked into the living room and found two of the others (opposite sex) sleeping on the couch, tightly embraced. They later denied the whole thing.
The reason Ozzy Osbourne gave up drinking and drugs was that he had this happen to him regularly - the last time it happened, he woke up in prison, and when he jokingly asked what he'd done, he was stunned to hear that he'd tried to murder his wife Sharon, almost strangling her to death. A happy ending, actually, since it made him get off the drugs and it helped him change his (already abusive) relationship with Sharon into a healthy marriage.
John Larroquette once woke up on a plane... with no idea where it was headed. Too embarrassed to ask, he found out when they landed in his hometown of New Orleans.
A popular Facebook meme in 2011 was to post something on your status to the effect of "You and I wake up (in prison/in the back of a car/covered in shaving cream/or any odd circumstances). What are the first three words out of your mouth?" And then see what other people would say.
A lot darker, but in most situations this is considered rape because you need to be Safe, Sane and Consensual. Being too drunk to even remember what happened is considered a very, very bad thing.
Sleepwalking, there have been documented cases where people have got into their car and started driving (and making it to their destination safely), made whole meals, shopped for groceries, committed armed robbery, rape, and murder, all while fast asleep.