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Alcohol Hic

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"... You've been drinking scotch, Diabetus?"

Alcohol does very strange things to people. It makes people slur their speech, it can make them see double, and some people even pass out after having even a single drink. And worse. However, the strangest of all the effects that alcohol can have on people is... hiccuping? In much of fiction, the hiccup is a shorthand for "this person is drunk", because, apparently, having them slur their words and stagger around the house isn't easily understood.

Why they use a hiccup isn't really understood, though one possible explanation is that, since alcohol reduces inhibitions and can make even the most boring things hilariously funny (for no reason readily apparent to people outside of the bottle), a prolonged fit of the giggles, chuckles, or outright cackling laughter provokes a case of hiccups. Of course, this explanation doesn't work for those souls who don't have much to laugh about at the moment, but they can always cry so much they get the hiccups.

Truth in Television for some drinkers. For example, many people get uncontrollable hiccups after drinking (especially beer or ale) with meals. Alcohol can also produce more acid in the stomach and irritate the digestive system, which can lead to hiccups.

For drawn media, another common symptom of inebriation is bubbles, known as "squeans".

Not to be confused for a hick that likes to drink.

Can overlap with Hiccup Hijinks.

Examples *hic*:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • ElfQuest: Pike after eating dreamberries. Not actually alcoholic, admittedly, and with fewer unpleasant side effects. Though, this does raise the obvious allegations that dreamberries are a narcotic...
  • Drunken people in the Asterix books hiccup a lot. This is sometimes played with, as in Asterix and the Laurel Wreath, where an inebriated Roman goes not only hic, but also haec and hoc (all actual Latin words, all meaning "this").
  • Tintin: Captain Haddock, and Snowy in the earlier stories, often hiccups when drunk.
  • Linsee from Pocket God gets the hics when she's drunk on fermented coconut milk.
  • In Violine, Violine hics after drinking a bottle of whiskey to demonstrate that it is not poisoned.
  • In Condorito, any character who is drunk -especially Garganta de Lata, the eternal alcoholic - will irremediable show it by hiccuping "¡Hic!".
  • In Mortadelo y Filemón, plastered characters come almost always accompanied by hiccuping "¡Hic!".
  • In the Chick Tracts The Mad Machine, a young boy hiccups to show that he is an alcoholic. Seen here.

    Comic Strips 
  • In the Popeye comic strips, a single hiccup is enough to prove to the press that King Blozo is a drinker, despite his insistence that he isn't. It turns out to be the pea soup his cook gives him.
  • The Mary Worth comic strip is a champion of temperance, making nearly every character who is weak or bad a conspicuous, hiccuping drinker — often endearing them to many readers (see: Helen Clark in The Comics Curmudgeon).
  • Happens occasionally to Bung, the alcoholic court jester from The Wizard of Id.
  • Andy Capp will sometimes hiccup whenever he gets way too drunk.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: In the prologue Misato talks to Shinji after knocking back seven beers, hiccuping and slurring while she gives relationship advice.
  • Anything for Family: Joker briefly hiccups while drunkenly trying to plot his revenge on the Masked Shadow for kidnapping his daughter.
  • The Bolt Chronicles:
    • A drunken Soapy hiccups while talking to Mittens in "The Clouds."
      Soapy: Allow me to, hic, introduce you to my gigantic feline pal.
    • Mittens hiccups when she gets tipsy after drinking spiked punch in "The Wedding Reception."
  • In Yule Ball Drama a drunk-on-Butterbeer Winky hiccups constantly until learning that Hermione wants to bond with her shocks her out of it.
  • In The Object of her Affection an undercover agent pretending to be drunk hiccups every few words.
  • Long Time No See: After having one couple of drinks, Rei suffers from hiccups, slurred speech, and disorientation.
    Rei: "Heeey, Ssssinji! I almoss' thought you would misss all the fun!"
    Shinji: "Are you drunk again, Rei?"
    Rei: "Nonsensss! I had jusht one drink with the Major!"
    Shinji: "That's just what I meant. You know that you can't hold much alcohol. Did Misato trick you again?"
    Rei: "Trick? She juss' told me to have shome fun...Wheeere'sss... sss... eh... aah – you know who I mean."
    Shinji: "Oh, she didn't feel very well and couldn't..."
    Misato: "Whoo'sh no' well?"
    Rei: "Ah... shh... she... You know!"
    Misato: "She can't be shick! She wash shupposed to party wish ush! Ooohhh, poor Shinshi! All alone here shen! And knowing you, mosht likely worrowying abou' her! Come, party wish ush! We're shupposed to have fun here after all!"

    Films — Animation 
  • Dumbo the elephant. Partly justified in that he's drunk off champagne (though it would really make him belch more than hiccough). Besides, Dumbo already had the hiccups a bit before he got drunk. They just got worse afterward. Played straight with Timothy.
  • Sir Hiss in Disney's Robin Hood (1973) after being trapped in a barrel of ale.
  • Robespierre in Gay Purr-ee, when he and Jaune Tom get drunk on champagne. He also sneezes from the tickly bubbles.
  • Pinocchio:
    • Gideon's only "dialogue" is a drunk hiccup (courtesy of Mel Blanc, who did a lot of these in Warner Bros. cartoons).
    • Also, one of the humorous clocks made by Geppetto seen at the beginning is of a little drunk man who hangs out the window of a tavern and it makes a hiccup-like sound instead of ringing.
  • Uncle Waldo the goose from The Aristocats, who escaped becoming dinner by drinking the wine that was supposed to baste him.
  • When we're first introduced to Honest John in An American Tail, he's drunk from some bottle of liquor and hiccuping periodically.
  • Smee in Peter Pan, when he gets drunk while Hook is manipulating Tinker Bell.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, the poor mouse who lets slip "Rat" during "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind" is hiccupping throughout his speech and song as well.
  • King Stefan's minstrel in Sleeping Beauty sneaks so much of the kings' wine he can barely stand up and hiccups constantly.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens in the original Miracle on 34th Street in the opening scene, which lets Kris Kringle know that Macy's parade Santa is drunk.
  • Mike's hiccup in The Philadelphia Story (which was followed by a comedic blooper which stayed in the final film)
    • They even included it in the musical remake, High Society.
  • Near the beginning of The Long Kiss Goodnight, Samantha lampshades this trope while on the way home from a Christmas party with her clearly drunk friend, jokingly mentioning bubbles coming from his mouth that make a "hic" sound when they pop.
  • Hazel Flagg, who's never been to the big city before and is a lightweight, does this in Nothing Sacred after overindulging during a night out on the town.
    • Homer Flagg also does it in a similar scenario in the Martin and Lewis remake, Living It Up.
  • Charlie Chaplin did this in Pay Day, Modern Times, and several other films in which the Tramp was drunk, because in silent films you didn't have audible dialogue and slurring of words to let the audience know the character was intoxicated. A hilarious variation occurs in City Lights when The Tramp, in a drunken stupor, accidentally swallows a whistle, causing him to disrupt the party, unintentionally flag down several taxis, and call a pack of dogs.
  • Mary Poppins: Mary Poppins hiccups after taking a spoonful of "Rum Punch" flavoured medicine.
  • Norville Barnes hiccuped a few times as he was drowning his sorrows in The Hudsucker Proxy.
  • Buddy Love after getting drunk in the original version of The Nutty Professor (and the elixir wearing off a little too soon).
  • Stephen does this in A Free Soul when he shows up drunk for his mother's birthday party.
  • Eddie in To Have And Have Not. He was horrified at the suggestion to drink some water to cure them.
  • In the original Heaven Can Wait (1943), hiccups are absolutely the only sign that a couple has been drinking, yet everyone immediately jumps to the conclusion.
  • Pretty much most of the time a character gets drunk in a Laurel and Hardy film.
  • Chief Baker Charles Joughin in the RMS Titanic documentary-drama, A Night to Remember.note 
  • Since The Monster is a silent film, we actually see a title card that says "Hic!" after Johnny gets into the liquor that Amos poured into a water jug.
  • Andy in The Champ let out one when he showed up drunk to a meeting with some boxing promoters from Los Angeles. He tried to claim it was something he ate. They didn't believe him.
  • Albert gets the hiccups in Young Einstein when he first tries beer.
  • Fred from Disney's RocketMan hiccups a couple of times after Wild Bill gets him drunk at the bar.
  • Cleopatra does this in Cleopatra after drinking too much wine with Antony, and she becomes embarrassed because queens aren't supposed to hiccup.
  • Scarlett has it in Gone with the Wind when she takes up drinking after the death of her second husband.
  • Angelo Maggio in From Here to Eternity lets out a loud hiccup when he’s found drunk in the bushes when he’s supposed to be at his post.
  • In No Kidding, an absolutely plastered Cook lets one out when Matron tries to pass off to the children that she's ill.

  • In The Ruby Red Trilogy, Gwen starts hiccupping after getting drunk on Lady Brompton's special punch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the hilarious I Love Lucy incident where Lucy does a commercial for Vitameatavegamin, she hiccups once several minutes into her inebriation.
    • Also lampshaded in another episode, where Lucy believes everyone has forgotten her birthday. Feeling unloved, she goes to the park and starts crying, which causes her to start hiccuping. A man walks by and mistakes her for a poor person, which she denies:
    Lucy: No, trust me. (hiccup) I'm loaded!
    Man: Yes, I can see that.
  • Foster Brooks, who played a stage alcoholic for decades despite being a teetotaler, hiccuped as part of his schtick.
  • Something of a Running Gag in Bottom, whenever someone notices there's alcohol is missing, Eddie will randomly hiccup.
    Richie: Why'd it take so long? The bus station's only two streets away!
    Eddie: Yeah, well -hic- the wind was against me...
  • In My Name Is Earl, Earl apparently gets the hiccups when he's both drunk and nervous as displayed in "Stole A Motorcycle".
  • An early episode of Mythbusters tested several tricks that are supposed to defeat a Breathalyzer. (They all failed.) At the end of the episode, loopy-drunk Adam is giving the wrapup and Jamie throws in a fake hiccup.
  • A combination of this and Hiccup Hijinks happened to Jack Tripper in an early episode of Three's Company. While Jack wasn't actually drunk, he did have enough beer to give himself the hiccups, potentially blowing his cover by revealing himself to Chrissy's mother, whom he was hiding from.
  • One episode of I Dream of Jeannie has the titular character get hiccups after she accidentally poofs into a wine bottle when trying to hide.
    • In another episode, "Uf-Oh", Jeannie get hiccups after was revived for Tony and Roger with moonshine, after suffering a blackout.
  • M*A*S*H: In "Mr. And Mrs. Who?", the staff is holding a ceremony to cancel out an ersatz marriage of Charles and Donna Marie Parker, a lady he met in Tokyo on R&R. He was drunk and said he wanted to marry the first girl he met, so a bartender (a Druid at that) conducted the "wedding." During the dissolution ceremony where everyone is plain toasted:
    Hawkeye: We are gathered here in conclave met...
    Klinger: Hic-Cup!!
    Hawkeye: Thank you...

  • The Spike Jones cover version of "Cocktails For Two" uses this as a routine sound effect.
  • The Spike Jones song, "Clink Clink Another Drink". Naturally, the hiccuping vocals were provided by none other than Mel Blanc.
  • Truth in Television, in The Doors song, Five to One, Jim Morrison, who was drunk during the recording session, can be heard hiccuping during the song.
  • One of the pieces on Allan Sherman's Peter and the Commissar album is called "Variations on 'How Dry I Am'." After the third bar, Boston Pops then-conductor Arthur Fiedler produces a resounding hiccup.
  • Also shows up, appropriately enough, in the final verse of his song The Drinking Man's Diet.
  • One version of a famous drinking song sometimes ends with a comedically timed one:
    The liquor was spilled on the barroom floor and the bar was closed for the night,
    When a little mouse crept from his hole in the wall and sat in the pale moonlight.
    He lapped up the liquor on the barroom floor, then back on his haunches he sat;
    And all night long you could hear him
    roar'', "Bring on the goddamn cat! *hic*"
  • Part of Mexican singer, Lupillo Rivera's, signature style is that many of his songs are performed as if he was a hiccuping drunk.

  • One of the enemies from Medieval Madness, the Duke of Bourbon, is a drunkie.
    "I am the Duke of Bourbon! I looove you, man!" (hic)
  • The playfield for Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons has a drunk in the lower-left corner of the playfield.
    "*Hic* The brest band *Hic* best brand *Hic* ever!"
  • Mousin' Around!: The backglass art shows a drowsy cat (who's heavily implied to have been plied with whiskey) hiccuping.

  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "The Loaded Custodians", Miss Brooks sniffs an empty bottle left-behind by the long dismissed Mr. Jensen, the previous custodian. It causes her to hiccup once.
    • "Cure That Habit" has Mr. Conklin mistaken for drunk, in part because he has the hiccups.


  • In Albert Herring, Albert starts hiccuping after his first drink of lemonade. The reason for this is that Nancy and Sid have spiked it with rum, but nobody else knows it.
  • Charlotte in A Little Night Music. Her hiccups, along with an unfortunate remark about Desiree's affairs with married men, provoke this quip:
    Desiree: Dear Countess, may I suggest that you try holding your breath—for a very long time?

    Video Games 
  • Elmo, Temple of Elemental Evil's perpetually drunk arms at man... err, man at arms, does all of these, plus if recruited by a female PC, "Prudy lady" is part of some of his combat quotes.
    • Troika's Arcanum also features it on Sogg Meadmug.
  • In BioShock series, picking up two or more alcoholic beverages in quick succession will cause the screen to blur and sway, along with a very audible hiccuping noise. Infinite even has an achievement for killing enemies while being drunk.
  • The player characters in Tibia will hiccup when drunk. In text, as the game doesn't have sounds.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, if your character's drunkenness is at or near its limit, a -hic- will sometimes appear at the end of your lines in the in-game chat.
  • In World of Warcraft, when your character consumes the in-game drinks, a "...hic" will sometimes be added to the end of your lines in chat, as well as random 'S'es becoming 'sh'es.
    • This mechanism used to have hilarious consequences when applied to words like "sit". It was supposedly "fixed" in a patch.
    • This is particularly humorous when, after a long day of questing, you buy one of those fancy keg things from Dalaran and muck about in Ogrimmar. Eventually, a tale off somebody having aggroed some wandering elite, or a patrol, and somebody will proudly proclaim that he/she "shaved your assh back there... hic!".
  • Ultima Online had this as the only side effect of drinking. There are no combat penalties for fighting even after drinking all the alcohol your inventory can hold.
  • Subverted in ToeJam & Earl, where the title characters will start to burp obnoxiously after consuming a Root Beer.
  • Rise Kujikawa in Persona 4 has a drunk hic on the class trip, at the club, right before the merry friends play the King's Game. It turns out that she really wasn't drunk. She just thought she was.
  • In the Apple II-era game Infiltrator II, you can find a bottle of vodka in an enemy base, and if you so choose you can drink it and hic to your heart's content.
  • King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. For genies, peppermint acts like alcohol does for humans. Give Shamir Shamazel a peppermint and he suffers from hiccups, slurred speech, and disorientation.
  • It's rare to find a scene where Blaze Union's Sleip isn't hiccuping (or belching or suppressing the urge to vomit), but then she does spend most of the game completely plastered.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, chapter 23. Those who have seen the rest of the following conversation know that this guy was clearly drunk.
    Shinon: Good for you, huh? Har har! ...Hic! You're in love with a pwetty wittle princess, you're fighting side-by-side with yer sub-human pals. Yes! Yer moving up! Oooo, look at you! It's big mister Ike! Leading the good life!
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, Alice hiccups every couple of seconds when she's shrunk.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: Conker, obviously when drunk, hiccups whenever you try to jump.
  • Happens in the Dragon Quest series (especially in the remakes) when you talk to guys who are drunk in pubs. There is also one time in Dragon Quest IV when you talk to a drunken guy outside the bar in Endor at night, and he feels like he's not "wurring my slurds or anything".
  • Matt from Mother 3 hiccups constantly, hangs out in the Tazmily bar often, and demands that people not mention that he "smells like booze". He's not actually drunk; he just has bad hiccups.
  • Charme in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, during her bar cutscenes.
  • Officer Parker in Back to the Future: The Game before he turns his life around.
  • The drunk Nazi guard on the first floor of Buchenwald Castle in Indiana Jonesandthe Last Crusade.
  • Volerti, in case 4B of Aviary Attorney is absolutely drowning his sorrows but still hiccuping frequently. With sound effects!
  • Flugenvald in Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, the village drunkard, whose dialogue is peppered with alcoholic hics.
    Hrruh? No. These damn Koboldsh *hic* Kobolds! Can't stand them *hic* Say, you wouldn't be amicable *hic* err, amenable, to helping me out with 'em, eh?
  • In Chapter 4 of Stella Glow, Queen Anastasia attempts to see the kingdom from her subjects' point of view for a bit. It ends with her going to the Red Bear Tavern and getting totally hammered, and even though she's slurring her words, speaking at uneven pitches and speeds, and giggling a lot, it's not until she hiccups that Alto realizes just how drunk she is.
  • Dota 2 features Mangix the Brewmaster, who is permanently drunk and, naturally, hiccups a fair bit.
  • When you're battling King Dice in Cuphead, one (or a few) of the members of the King's Court he may pick out if you play a game with him is the Tipsy Troop. These guys are Stationary Bosses who resemble a martini, a shot glass filled with whiskey, and a bottle of cognac. Heck, these guys hiccup while they talk in their Game Over quotes, due to the alcohol in their bodies.
  • In the tavern in Dragon's Crown, the fairy Tiki will be seen sitting in a goblet full of a foamy alcoholic beverage with even some of it in her hair. Intoxicated, from time to time, she'll let out a hic.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: At one point, Ryder can find their squadmate Peebee on Aya, in the local museum, having underestimated angaran hooch (see, it's got a high alcohol content, but a low absorption rate). Throughout the following conversation, Peebee occasionally hiccups between sentences.
  • Strange Flesh: Dissolution, a sluggish pool of orange booze, causes damage and drunkenness with every hiccup; the Bartender himself will do this during his idle state while intoxicated.
  • World of Warcraft: If you get drunk in game, in addition to random 'S'es becoming "Sh'es, a "...hic" will sometimes be added to your lines in chat.
    Patch 1.6 note: You no longer spout profanity when talking about sitting while drunk.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Ms. Walsh gives one of these when the protagonist finds her drunk at school.
  • Harry in Snatcher hiccups a few times while talking in a scene when he's drunk.

  • The Whiteboard:
    • Jinx, in this New Years Eve strip has his speech interrupted with hics after one drink (being only ten or so years old).
    • In this later strip, a no-neck who's had a few too many has his comment peppered with hics.
  • Slightly Damned: Iratu hiccups during his first appearance, completely sloshed.

    Web Original 
  • On MagiStream, an adoptables site, players can buy drinks from Remy's Inn that change their forum posts to look like they are typing drunk, with hiccups ("hic") added in.

    Web Videos 
  • By the end of The Hardy Show episode "Win The Shot, Call The Spot", Truth or Dare without the Truth and with booze, Jeff and Matt Hardy are completely wasted on vodka, and Jeff actually does spend the credits having an uncontrollable bout of the hiccups.
  • This episode of Drunk History on Funny or Die. Hilariously.
  • At the end of the Breakfast of Booze episode of Epic Meal Time: "Next time, we eat a cult. ... *hic!*"
  • Occurs about five minutes in to The Nostalgia Critic's Drinking Game review of It. He only gets more hammered from there.

    Western Animation 
  • Many Warner Bros. cartoons, when the stereotypical drunk staggers past, slurs a vague statement, and hiccups. Usually accompanied by a highly ironic tune.
    • High Note featured a drunk musical note staggering around, hiccuping.
    • Another Merrie Melodies Cartoon called I Gopher You starring the Goofy Gophers depicts one of the gophers hiccuping and acting drunk... after falling into a pickling vat.
    • The drunken Delivery Stork in the blue cap who appears in several '50s shorts.
    • The mustachioed worm from "The Wacky Worm" (an avatar of Jerry Colonna) gets drunk after hiding from a bird chasing him in a bottle of cider. When he hiccups, he contracts, so he has stretch himself back. After a hiccup:
    Bird: You're inebriated!
    Worm: (aside) Ah, yes! Disgusting, isn't it?
    • "Piker's Peak," a Bugs/Sam encounter, has Sam frozen in a mound of snow. A St. Bernard comes up, opens the cask around his neck, makes a cocktail, and proceeds to drink it himself. He trots back to home base barking and hiccuping alternately.
  • In the Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Cartoon Wild Bill Hiccup, there was a character who was a parody of Wild Bill Hickok, who hiccuped constantly while holding a bottle.
  • The Jolly Rum Cookies in the Cookie Carnival Disney short do this in their song.
    • Speaking of Disney, Pluto is drunk in not one but two of his early pictures, "Alpine Climbers" and "Pluto's Quinpuplets", complete with full hiccup flourish.
  • In the Tom and Jerry cartoons, Tom often does this when inebriated. He spends nearly the whole of "Part Time Pal" quite drunk, for example — first on hard cider, than some errantly-spilled bay rum. The hiccups actually help him avoid Mammy's swinging broom.
    • Happens to Tuffy in the 1954 cartoon "Touché, Pussy Cat!", after he breaks open a cask of wine to flood the street and stop Tom from catching him.
      • Tuffy is subject to this again in "Robin Hoodwinked". When he accidentally gets eaten by Tom when trying to get a key inside him, Tom starts hiccuping and drinks some wine to stop them. While Tom's cured, Tuffy ends up getting hiccups.
    • In the 1967 short, "Cat and Dupli-cat", while Tom and the dupli-cat are fighting over Jerry, the dupli-cat hurls a bottle of christening champagne at Tom. While the bottle hits Tom in the face, the strike also dislodges the cork and the champagne spills directly on Jerry, inebriating him. Tom and the dupli-cat then successively grab the mouse, but Jerry is propelled up to a yardarm on the mast. In an act of drunken bravado, the now-annoyed Jerry motions both cats to join him, ties the two cats' faces together by their whiskers and around the mast by their tails. Jerry resumes singing "Sta. Lucia", while drunkenly hiccupping, with bubbles emerging each time he hiccups, and forms the words "THE END".
  • Molly Moo Cow gets this after getting drunk in "Molly Moo Cow Meets Rip Van Winkle".
  • Abner the Country Mouse (he's an actual mouse), who is apparently unfamiliar with the effects of alcohol, does this after drinking the contents of a champagne glass in The Country Cousin.
  • The Simpsons Barney Gumble's trademark belch is a more realistic variation of this trope.
  • The Casseticon Rumble did this in the original The Transformers cartoon episode Microbots, where the Decepticons get "over-energized" on Energon cubes. Made even funnier when you consider Transformers don't even need to breathe.
  • In the episode of DuckTales (1987) "Too Much of a Gold Thing", Scrooge McDuck gets a set of these when his Gold Fever reaches a dangerous peak, hiccuping every time he so much as says the word "gold". The villainous El Capitán shows this as well, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie also start hiccuping when Scrooge's obsession proves infectious.
  • In the "Tiny Toon Adventures" segment "One Beer" after getting intoxicated off a single beer Buster, Plucky, and Hamton hiccup several times throughout their speech.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearts and Hooves Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders brew a love potion for Big Macintosh and Cheerilee. They each hiccup after downing some.
  • Kaeloo: