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Drowning My Sorrows
aka: Drowning His Sorrows

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When one "Freaking Drink" isn't enough.

"When you drink like that, it isn't for pleasure. It's because your thoughts have become diseases. You do it because it's the only easy cure you can find."
Ginn Hale, Wicked Gentlemen

When characters get frustrated, they need a freaking drink. But when they are depressed, they get drunk.

A well-known Truth in Television. It is often played for sympathetic laughs, but it can also be dramatic, embarrassing or angsty, especially if it goes with Off the Wagon or in Real Life cases of alcoholism. A character who is usually very stoic or tough but turns into a pathetic drunk can be very pitiable, showing just how much they miss somebody, but be careful not to keep it going for too long or they may lose characterisation as a tough guy.

Characters who do this may also suffer from Past Experience Nightmares and are prone to not eating enough, and it might lead to spending the night with somebody as the next step in "healing".

Men who undergo this for a period often grow a Beard of Sorrow during the time. Their residences often show the Mess of Woe. If he never recovers, then he's definitely hopeless.


If a friend shows up, the Power of Friendship can convert this to To Absent Friends. If the depressed character recovers, it will probably lead to a He's Back! moment. Sometimes. If not? Time to throw him into a solitary confinement chamber.

The Alcoholic is an extreme consequence of this trope played straight for long periods of time. The Hard-Drinking Party Girl does this from time to time. Characters in a Sugar Bowl replicate this in a family-friendly way by getting Drunk on Milk And Ice Cream. See Drunken Montage, an older trope that pictures the character stumbling through the big city night. A nicotine addict reaches for the Cigarette of Anxiety.

For characters who can't do this, see Never Gets Drunk. Compare Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • During the Christmas special of Aggretsuko, when Haida thinks Retsuko found a date for Christmas Eve, he grabs a bottle of liquor that was set for him at the bar and chugs it.
  • Sayoko from Ah! My Goddess does this every time she loses to Belldandy at something. So she must be tanked 24/7.
  • Lampe and Kim san Kaku go out and get plastered at the end of the intro comic of Astro Boy Volume 5 after they learn they were both designed after Osamu Tezuka's dorky elementary school classmates.
  • Bleach:
    • Izuru Kira and Rangiku Matsumoto are seen drinking after Kira's captain and Rangiku's old friend, Gin Ichimaru, leaves Soul Society with the Big Bad, Aizen. Kira later does the same with Shuuhei Hisagi, whose captain Kaname Tousen also left (only in the anime, since in the manga, he decides to have tea when Rangiku offers it to him). He's seen doing it again in the last episode of the anime, but it's now Played for Laughs since this happens because he doesn't approve of Rose as his captain; Iba and Yumichika watch over him and are rather comically peeved.
    • The final chapter of the manga has a very tragic example with Kyouraku and Ukitake, the latter of whom was killed by Heroic Sacrifice in a last ditch effort to protect the Soul King. Ukitake's death hits Kyouraku hard and it's shown after the 10-year time-skip that he visits his grave every day, usually drinking and talking to the stone as if his best friend is still there with him.
  • David from Blood+ after the Red Shield's headquarters was sunk in order to kill Diva and the associated trip beyond the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Case Closed:
    • Kogoro Mouri is an Alcoholic Parent, but he's rarely seen straight-up invoking the trope. It does happen once in a while, however, especially when he's got cases that personally trouble him; he does so in a filler case where it looks like the sweet girl he once was a tutor for has become a murderer and that sends him into a depressive fit. For worse, he's right and the poor girl's reasons are very dramatic.
    • Played for Laughs in a White Day-related case, where Inspector Megure's wife Midori gets toasted when it looks like her husband has forgotten to get her a gift. He did, he just forgot to tell her.
  • Although it isn't with alcohol, Jeremy from A Cruel God Reigns falls into this. He buys drugs (they appear to be LSD) from his classmate to help alleviate the pain from being beaten by his stepfather. Later on in the series, Jeremy becomes a Hooker with a Heart of Gold and a Functional Addict, and is driven to heroin use to help him cope with the flashbacks he experiences and with the guilt from accidentally killing his mother along with his stepfather.
  • Darker Than Black:
  • In Dear Brother, Prof. Misonoo does this in his Backstory when his first wife left him and she took their child, Takehiko, along with her. This thing happens in real life too, as recently divorced spouses often respond by drinking in order to forget about the whole thing, and in his case it's worse because according to Japanese family laws, there's a good chance that he'd never see his son again, or at least for many years.
  • Tsuzuki in Descendants of Darkness during an especially angsty moment in the Kyoto arc when he starts questioning his own humanity.
  • Cross Marian in D.Gray-Man. Hoshino says he's "closest to the truth", and that he lives hiding bitter things. His old room at HQ is filled with wine bottles, plus a face drawn on his wall. Then it's outright a given when we get his character quote in the fanbook from Hoshino.
    "Sake is the best medicine."
  • Lunch reacts like this in the Dragon Ball Z anime after the death of Tenshinhan and subsequently catches Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. (Note that this, of course, was filler. In the manga, she disappeared earlier than that.)
  • In the first Fullmetal Alchemist series, Roy Mustang frequently goes to get himself drunk at local bars with best friend Maes Hughes. It's seen that he has a tremendous amount of angst over the things he did in Ishval (in this version he's the one who killed Winry's parents under higher-orders, which back then almost drove him to eat his gun on the spot), and one would assume that he usually gets drunk for that reason.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula ZERO, Kyoko Aoi is seen drinking some few cocktails at a bar after she sees Shinjyo and Kaga fight. In the bar, she talks to Kaga about how she first met Shinjyo and how much he's changed since then.
  • In Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics, after the doctor’s attempt on setting himself free from Death after saving the king in "The Godfather Of Death", he is seen depressed and anxious as he drinks a whole bottle of wine.
  • Although we only see Yukiji's Hard-Drinking Party Girl tendencies in Hayate the Combat Butler, it's made very clear that she was doing this in regards to the debt her parents left with her and her sister, and her subsequent dealing with the issue, that led her down the path to the humorous path we see in the story.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
  • Higehiro: In the very first episode, after Gotou rejects him, Yoshida gets very drunk.
  • Kaoru from I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying used to spend most of her free time drinking and smoking to deal with her loneliness and a job that she hated. The key words here are "used to".
  • A G-rated version appeared in episode 8 of Is the Order a Rabbit?. Chiya brought Sharo to three coffee houses in a row to drown away the latter's sorrow of being found to be a very poor Scholarship Student and that she was lying about being rich. Sharo has very low tolerance on caffeine and has been seen to be drunk on coffee.
  • In Lucky Star, Yui apparently did this before visiting her uncle and cousin when she thought her husband, with whom she has a commuter marriage, wasn't going to be home for their anniversary, which was going to be their special night.
  • On Maison Ikkoku, Godai and Mitaka have decided to duke it out once and for all for the hand of the fair Kyoko. Too bad this is Tokyo, where it seems like every street corner has a cop waiting to book you for causing a public disturbance. The guys end up at a beer vending machine drowning their sorrows.
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Yasui, one of Rei's opponents, is known to become a violent drunk whenever he loses a shogi match.
  • Lisa Kujoh aka Sumeragi Lee Noriega in Mobile Suit Gundam 00 personally implies that her constant drinking is for this single purpose.
  • A realistic occurrence takes place in Monster, after Tenma is demoted and then dumped by his cold bitch of a fiancee. And said fiancee, Eva, does it as well... for years.
  • Naruto:
    • Before she became the Fifth Hokage, Tsunade is seen several times gambling/getting drunk from sake to get her mind off of having lost her brother Nawaki and boyfriend Dan, who both died horribly and apparently very painfully.
    • In Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow, Yukie is seen drinking in the beginning of the film, lamenting how difficult the life of an actress is. This ties into her grief over losing her father and country to her uncle's betrayal, which has left her traumatized and bitter for years.
    • Naruto does it in Shippuden episode 183 when Sakura berates him for sneezing at her, only he does it by overeating ramen.
    • Kuroda in Naruto (1997) is an alcoholic who constantly drinks. He's lost in fate in friendship after his jealous best friend literally stabbed him in the back and then killed himself.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi one of Negi's fellow teachers accidentally gave him some sake while eating in Satsuki's restaurant. The scene quickly degenerated into this trope as a drunken Negi cried out his troubles.
  • Inverted with Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion. For most of the series, she is bordering on being The Alcoholic, but after the murder of Kaji, her boyfriend, she quits drinking alcohol and instead switches to copious amounts of canned coffee.
  • One Piece:
    • Kokoro took to the bottle after her friend and employer Tom (the mentor to Franky and Iceburg) was arrested by the government and taken away to Impel Down for building Gold Roger's ship, the Oro Jackson, with the implication that Tom eventually died in prison. When the Straw Hats first meet her, her Lady Drunk status appears to be just a character quirk, until the arc's back-story is eventually revealed.
    • Even as an adult, Doquixote Doflamingo still suffers from nightmares of his hellish childhood, so to cope with it, he drinks generous amounts of alcohol.
    • Kaido is seen hitting the bottle after Caesar Clown and Doflamingo, two of his main sources of revenue and artificial Devil Fruits, are taken out by Luffy. He's shown to be a terrifying Mood-Swinger when he's off his ass, bawling like an infant one minute and literally sending one of his men FLYING with a humongous club the very next.
  • In Overlord, Shalltear falls into a guilt-ridden state after she became mind-controlled and learned she actually tried to kill Ainz. She spends her time in Nazarick's bar continuously drinking, though because of her resistance to poison, the alcohol barely makes her drunk and gives her Exhausted Eye Bags.
  • Pokémon:
    • Mallow drowns her sorrows with Pinap Berry juice in an episode of Sun and Moon. The Oranguru tending the G-rated bar is willing to hear out her frustrations about her father overworking her in the restaurant.
    • Later in the same saga, in "Acting True To Form", Meowth goes to the same bar to drown himself in Pinap juice after being borderline replaced by an Alolan Meowth.
  • In Princess Jellyfish, Tsukimi tries to fall asleep to forget her broken heart, but can't. She asks one of the girls at the boarding house she lives in for advice and is given a one-word response: booze. She ends up falling unconscious after one cup of sweet sake.
  • Episode two of Punchline has Rabura drinking heavily because a customer had called her exorcism skills into question.
  • Rebuild World: A hunter who followed Akira to a ruin he discovered to beat him to the Lost Technology relics inside, after accidentally triggering the automated tram inside and flooding the ruin with monsters left him Sole Survivor, he resorted to selling the location of the ruin to pay for drowning his sorrows over getting his friends killed.
  • Jeanne takes to drinking vodka by the bottle in The Rose of Versailles after the Affair of the Necklace. Oscar is also occasionally seen surrounded by empty wine bottles.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Tomoe Yokishiro became a Lady Drunk after the death of her fiancé and First Love Akira. She once walked away drunkenly from a pub and ended up stepping into one of Battousai!Kenshin's fights, leading to their first meeting.
  • Sailor Moon features two examples:
    • The first one is played straight, and it comes from in the R season,: Usagi notices that Mamoru has a "new" girlfriend (he doesn't, but since he believes he cannot be with her, he behaves like a jerkass and doesn't correct her mistaken impression) and she tries to drown her sorrows in dumplings; when a worried Luna tries to reprimand her, she cries and says she's too depressed to care about getting fat.
    • The second is far more Played for Laughs and happens in the Super S season, when Naru is manipulated into dating Tiger's Eye for three months after he claimed he was going to die, her boyfriend Umino goes on a drinking binge with fifteen milkshakes; Chibiusa is grossed out and comments on this, even pointing out that saké is the traditional beverage for such behavior.
  • Kazehana, resident Hard-Drinking Party Girl of Sekirei does this during a Season 2 episode after the death of Uzume. Much to her annoyance, she can't get drunk.
  • Reiko Ookochi, Sakuya's mother from Sensual Phrase, who does this after her husband abandons her. So much so that she drank herself to death.
  • In Skip Beat!, Tsuruga Ren does this when he is unable to fully understand his character, Katsuki.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross:
    • Misa Hayase goes to a bar and gets blind drunk in despair after she misinterprets Hikaru giving Minmay a place to stay for the night as him rekindling his romance with her. She's found by Claudia, who talks to her about her own relationship with Roy Fokker over a couple of glasses of wine.
    • Roy was this before he met Claudia, which is explained in prequel Macross Zero with the death of his lover Iris in the events of Zero causing a long segment of depression.
  • The ending of the Yuri Genre one-shot Tender Tear ends with the protagonist going out drinking with an old classmate as they both bond over the fact the women they fell for had boyfriends. Riku is under the drinking age so she couldn't actually drink herself but the effect is the same.
  • Umi Monogatari has this as a crucial plot point, though no alcohol is involved. Instead, there's a soothing song the island priestess sings; it even calms Marin out of her Heroic BSoD. And the ocean. The islanders' tears and a ritual involving tossing stones that represented their sorrow into the sea formed Sedna out of their collective grief.
  • In the Urusei Yatsura movie "Always My Darling" after being depressed that Ataru has fallen under the influence of a love potion and tells her he only loves Princess Lupica, Lum goes to a space bar with her friends Oyuki and Benten downing drinks with pickled plums inside which makes her species drunk.
  • Yandere Kanojo: Being underage, Reina drowns her sorrows by eating pickled vegetables instead of drinking alcohol.
  • Zom 100: Bucket List of the Dead:
    • Akira used to only drink to dull the pain and exhaustion he felt from his Soul-Crushing Desk Job. He only realizes just how tasty beer is to him once he's freed of said job and can drink it for relaxation.
    • One of the first things Reika says on panel is how she needs a drink to cope with the Zombie Apocalypse. Even after she's turned into a zombie, she still has a bottle of whiskey in her mouth until she lunges at Maki to turn her.

  • Hudson & Landry's "Ajax Liquor Store" has a besotted customer calling the store and making a rather healthy order (five-fifths of tequila, five-fifths of scotch, two cases of beer, one 16-oz.) to be delivered.
    Clerk: Are you having a party?
    Customer: Nah... I'm just tryin' to work up the nerve to go to confession.

    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, Portia resorts to this after the loss of her powers, as do several superhero wannabes after being disarmed by the Ghoul.
  • Shift of the The Outsiders indulges in this after being forced to kill Indigo. Despite claiming that alcohol doesn't affect his physiology, he manages to get pretty damn hammered.
  • In Blackest Night Titans, Red Star was drinking in memory of his family (Pantha and Baby Wildebeest).
  • Several tellings of the Doctor Strange origin show Stephen Strange hitting the bottle and the skids between the accident that ends his surgical career and his tutelage under the Ancient One.
  • In Earth 2, Jay Garrick finds himself drowning his sorrows in Buzz Beer after he just got dumped by his girlfriend Joan Williams (who in pre-New 52 DC Universe continuity was his wife) when Mercury came falling out of the sky, granting him the power of superspeed.
  • It's heavily implied (read: all but explicitly stated) that this is why Empowered's Ninjette is the Hard-Drinking Party Girl she is.
  • Renee Montoya does this at the start of 52. Of course, at that point, it wasn't so much drowning her sorrows as it was just plain drowning. At least she learns her lessons.
    Kane: [Hands her a cup] Some hot cider, might make you feel better.
    Renee: Only if you added some bourbon to it.
    Kane: I didn't. But I can. If you like.
    Renee: No. Seems that all the problems I have when I start drinking are still there when I stop.
  • The one image of Malcolm Reynolds we get in Firefly: Brand New 'Verse is of him either asleep, passed out, or very drunk at a bar next to an alcohol bottle.
  • Flare did this in the "Duel" story, which was a crossover with Eternity Smith.
  • John Constantine does this at least twice in Hellblazer, most notably in the Tainted Love arc where, after a painful breakup, he not only drinks constantly but lives on the street for months, refusing to "magic" his way out of it.
  • Iron Man:
    • Tony, already established as a recovering alcoholic, fell off the proverbial wagon hard when his company got taken over during The '80s.
    • Obadiah Stane went out of his way to make Tony's life hell for the express purpose of making him fall off so that he could take over.
    • Later, when Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) loses her power the second time (as Binary), she fell onto this and caused her to get expelled from The Avengers. She manages to get out of this thanks to the counseling from Iron Man himself, as a fellow alcoholic.
    • In Fear Itself he started screaming at Odin and the other gods, yelling that if they wanted a sacrifice he'd give them the "only thing he could give worth anything": his sobriety, by taking a huge swig of alcohol.
  • Queen and Country: Tara Chace has a penchant for this.
  • This happens early in Savage Dragon continuity. After a love interest gets Stuffed In A Fridge, the main character drowns his sorrows at a bar. A Bar Brawl soon follows after a supervillain decides to literally bully a dragon.
  • Red Sonja frequently turns to alcohol to deal with her depression. Her volatile state when drunk has made her the bane of any unfortunate barkeep's existence.
  • In Revival May Tao goes this route after realizing she may be a journalistic one-hit wonder.
  • Robin Series: After having to declare bankruptcy, sell his mansion and move into his condo in the city Jack Drake refuses to leave his bed for anything but to grab a bottle, change the music or grab a book leaving his wife and son to have to do all the paperwork involved in liquefying his assets and keeping the family afloat.
  • Subverted in Sonic the Comic. Sonic is shown in disguise at a bar after believing he killed the Freedom Fighters as Super Sonic but doesn't drink alcohol.
  • Spider-Man also did this in one issue. (Although, given everything, we should probably cut him some slack...)
  • Katchoo does this a few times in Strangers in Paradise, usually after a bitter argument with, or involuntary separation from, Francine or David.
  • Superman:
  • From Teen Titans.
    Impulse: Remember me?
    Brainiac 5: Are you kidding? I drink to forget you.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Mr. Big defied the Kingpin for the control of the criminal world. His henchmen, the enforcers, betrayed him and sided with Kingpin, and hold Mr. Big while Kingpin killed him. Sometime later, however, Ox is trying to get drunk, saying that "we are not men!", regretting the betrayal of his former boss.
  • Werewolf by Night likes the occasional beer, but it becomes clear how miserable and depressed he is in volume 2 (1998) when he is rarely seen without a bottle of whiskey. His girlfriend has asked him many times to stop drinking, but that doesn't stop him from having a bottle in hand even when behind the wheel of a car.
  • X-Men: Cyclops, after a revelation that he was having a psychic affair with Emma Frost, ended up in a strip club and was drinking his sorrows in wine.

    Comic Strips 
  • Attempted and averted in a strip by Argentinian cartoonist Quino. A man desperately crawls into a bar/diner and begs for a drink, "to forget her". The worried bartender asks him: "To forget who?". The man stops for a second, opens his mouth, and closes it. After a minute of futile attempts at remembering, the realization strikes, so he smiles, straightens up, grabs the menu and orders a normal meal.

    Fan Works 
  • The Child of Love: Subverted in chapter 8. Misato is sitting at the kitchen table, head buried in her hands because she is grief-stricken and hopeless to save Asuka’s life. A beer can is sitting on the table in front of Misato, suggesting she has been drinking to try to forget...until the narration states that she has not touched her beer yet.
  • The Desert Storm: At the start of the story, Obi-Wan Kenobi is introduced as having become The Alcoholic to cope with his grief in the four years following Order 66.
  • Doing It Right This Time: In the first story draft Rei decided to get hammered when she thought she had missed her second chance and Asuka had beaten her to the punch again because she was under house arrest (long story) for long enough for Asuka getting there and get her claws into Shinji before she did.
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 10 Shinji has spent several months keeping watch over his comatose girlfriend Asuka, not knowing whether she will ever wake up or not and his father — whom he has not seen in years — shows up to lecture him about supposedly neglecting his duties because he is infatuated with a pretty face. Feeling more angry and depressed, Shinji goes to a bar to drown his sorrows in alcohol.
  • HERZ: During a scene, Misato recalls she got hammered because she didn't have the guts to confess to Kaji.
  • Walking in the Shadow of Dreams: Asuka uses to do this when she is depressed — which happens a lot. Usually, she drinks heavily and then she latches onto Shinji for comfort and reassurance.
  • Done very frequently in Racer and the Geek. Given what the protagonist has seen and done, it's understandable that he drinks himself into a stupor practically every night.
  • Rodney Skinner in the fourth installment of The Private Diary of Elizabeth Quatermain. The second version of the volume, told from his point of view, revealed his reaction to Elizabeth (who he's hopelessly in love with) announcing her engagement to Ben Everett. Unaware that she did so under duress, he spends the day drinking himself stupid until Tom comes along to drag him out of the bar.
  • Mark Printzen in chapter ten of The Ollivanders At War. By the time Andrew and Hector find him, he's reduced to singing angry songs about Dutch sailors and whores.
  • In With Strings Attached, Paul spends an unspecified amount of time stuck in a kind of goto loop of misery and drinking. He's dying of jealousy because he's the only one of the four who didn't get any magic; he's lonely as hell because the others are all playing around and ignoring him; and when he tries to learn magic on his own, he proves incapable. He does grow a Beard of Sorrow, though the Fans end up making him shave it off. And he gets a He's Back! moment when the Fans return from Winter Solstice Break and maneuver him into his long-awaited magic.
  • Sirius Black tries this in Chapter 117 of The Moment It Began after his brother Regulus dies.
  • After Calvin gets invited to a fancy New Year's party instead of his parents in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, Dad notes this:
    "Come on, dear. You can drown your sorrows in the cider."
  • Death Note Equestria: Colgate does this when L's methods get to be too much for her. Meanwhile, Celestia is strongly implied to have developed an outright drinking problem because of Kira's actions.
  • The MLP Project: Pinkie Pie gets absolutely wasted after attending Twilight Sparkle's funeral.
  • Empath from Empath: The Luckiest Smurf becomes an alcoholic from drinking sarsaparilla ale in the alternate timeline where Smurfette marries Papa Smurf. Hefty in the main timeline story "Empath's Wedding" sits alone in Tapper's Tavern with a single glass of sarsaparilla ale on the night before the wedding, wondering why Smurfette won't marry him and realizing that he just couldn't compete against Empath. By morning, it is clear that Hefty is hung over just from that single glass.
  • This is the last thing we see Atreus do in Here be Dragons, since his starship was destroyed by Dooku using it to ram a drug cooker's.
  • The Dear Sweetie Belle Continuity:
    • Trixie and Cheerilee reference word for word having done this in Morning Glory, Trixie apparently simply due to feeling uncomfortable being with the other ponies at Fluttershy and Big Macintosh's wedding reception (despite having been hired to entertain the foals), and Cheerilee due to losing Big Mac to Fluttershy.
    • In The Changelings Have a King, Dash and Caramel on the anniversary of Pinkie's death.
    • Also in Changelings, Cheerilee and Crescendo after the former is chewed out by Big Mac for suggesting that they and Fluttershy form a herd since Fluttershy cannot have any more foals (which Mac had not even known) and the latter learns Spike is planning to propose to Rarity, whom Crescendo has realized he is still in love with.
  • In Worldwar: War of Equals, alien pilots in occupied Mexico stage a protest against their superiors demanding safer missions out of fear from both stealth fighters and rumored airborne laser weapons. Despite reassurance of safety, many pilots still handle their stress with ginger.
  • From Maim de Maim, we have Ryuuko in chapter 22. She even mentioned this to be such.
    • At first, it looked like Nui was doing this, however, it was subverted, when it was she stated that she was combining the alcohols from the collection to commit suicide with.
    • After his saddening 'breakup' with Satsuki, Junketsu, of all living organisms, resorts to the very substances that his brother's wearer always indulged in on a daily basis.
  • In I Against I, Me Against You, Spike goes to Berry Punch's bar when he can't take any more of having Grif and Simmons as roommates... and drinks apple juice.
  • In Son of the Desert Roy tries to drown his PTSD flashbacks in booze. It turns him from a wreck to a drunk wreck.
  • Why Am I Crying?:
    • Filthy Rich became an alcoholic wreck after the tragic death of his wife Crystal Eyes and their unborn son, and again when his daughter Diamond Tiara was hit by a carriage and died.
    • Big Macintosh apparently does this whenever someone brings up his deceased parents, as it is mentioned that he left the farmhouse for hours and returned with cider on his breath whenever his little sister Apple Bloom asked him how they died.
  • I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC:
    • Spider-Man does this once with milkshakes. No explanation is ever given as to why he'd use something non-alcoholic when the majority of the story takes place in a bar.
    • Superman did the same thing and even joined him.
    • Iron Man went through this when Batman's movie surpassed his movie. He got so drunk that he ended up at Wayne Manor.
  • Advice and Trust: After having a tense talk with Rei, Ritsuko spent the whole night drinking wine and crying.
  • In Thousand Shinji, when Shinji went missing for one whole month and was in a coma for another month, his guardian Misato resorted to drink copiously to try to overcome the pain.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: After the Battle of the Citadel and Shepard being spirited away by the Dominion, Kasumi retreats to Dead Man's Port to drink herself into a stupor after all her attempts to locate him fail.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations: Mitsuzane, through his backstories, started turning to the bottle two months after Kouta and Kaito's climactic battle, despite him underage at that time. This is the reason why Micchy openly revealed his alcoholism to Gou and Samus.
    Samus's Point of view: Mitsuzane had a very serious problem with alcohol. It all started two months after the Helheim Invasion, Mitsuzane had began to abuse alcohol when he was still unable to cope up over his depression. He had frequented in bars to drink, spending his family's money just to satisfy his greed for liquor to forget his troubles. Takatora also mentioned that while he was in comatose at that time, that his brother's isolated state and his alcoholism usually got him into trouble.
  • Wearing Robert's Crown: Having spent years of restraining himself to well-watered wine, Drakebert drinks himself into a stupor after executing Quentyn Martell.
  • Bart Simpson: Attorney at Law: Bart ends up doing this. In college, he ended up drinking himself into a stupor after Gina cheated on him. It was so bad, he even contemplated suicide. Jessica Lovejoy worming her way into Bart's life and Gina returning to Springfield drive him back to the bottle, forcing an intervention by Milhouse and Alex.
  • The Vow: Lord Chang succumbs to drinking wine after his wife passes away.
    • While Lord Shen is wallowing in the shame of being crippled during the epilogue, he considers doing this. However, he ultimately defies this trope when he remembers the above mentioned Chang and decides he doesn't want to become like the swan noble he despises.
  • In the Belle/Aurora Disney Princess one-shot To a Merry Christmas, Belle invites the princesses to a Christmas Eve party. Late at night, she goes down to the library when she spots Aurora drinking and reading by the fireplace. It turns out Aurora was drinking eggnog with brandy, though it wasn't her eggnog and she hadn't expected it to be quite as strong. Aurora has been troubled since her life changed. She misses living in the woods and doesn't like being called "Aurora". She makes herself keep up a facade of being a perfect Princess Classic but it's not something she's used to. Belle ends up drinking with Aurora as they talk. Afterwards, Belle escorts Aurora to her room however this leads to them sleeping together due to Aurora's fears of sleeping alone.
  • This occurred to Celestia in the backstory of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Drop of Moonshine. After banishing her sister Celestia began drinking copious amounts of alcohol. This caused her council to force her to go cold turkey by throwing away all the alcohol in Equestria. Celestia eventually banned alcohol period, though after Luna came back her sister convinced her to legalize it again. As a result, ponies no longer understand what alcohol is.
  • This is implied in the animation for the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan-song "Lullaby for a Princess". Luna is briefly shown crying with a large number of bottles nearby.
  • Parodied at one point in The New Adventures of Invader Zim, where Tenn goes to a diner to mope over her being demoted to Tak's assistant, drowning her sorrows in soda and doughnuts. Her interactions with the bartender are played as if she's in a bar.
  • Subverted in Old West. The relationship between Rattlesnake Jake and Grace Glossy becomes strained after Jake kills Grace's estranged husband for bruising her. Rango finds Jake in the saloon holding a glass of untouched whiskey. Eventually Jake smashes the glass in his foul mood, saying that he won't allow himself to be destroyed by booze like his father was.
  • The Raven's Plan: After realizing that the Remembering really is a case of having been sent back in time and not just a nightmare, Stannis resorts heavily to drinking in order to cope with the guilt of everything he did in the original timeline.
  • Fixing RWBY: Yang's Hard-Drinking Party Girl attitude is in part a way of coping with her abandonment issues over her biological mother Raven running off when she was an infant.
  • In Much Ado About Shakespeare: Love's Labours Won, Archie Kennedy drinks ale at the Inn after his panic attack fades away and he's anxious having confessed his love to his fellow officer and friend inadvertently. He's not sure how his friend will react, and kind of hopes he didn't realize because he recited Shakespeare's sonnet to him but checked himself before he would finish the most revealing final line.
  • Soda at 70 Proof starts with Rachel at a bar getting drunk on soda because she misses Nigel. After three drinks in less than thirty minutes, Fanny decides she's had enough and takes her back home.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic A RoseAnd A Thorn 5: Resurrection, Midnight makes for an absolutely pathetic drunk at Club Rouge. He drinks to forget, but all he forgets is how many drinks he's had. Mirage pulls him into a dressing room, where he continues to cry in front of her, barely comprehensible, before walking out, throwing up, and passing out on the sidewalk.
  • Happens to Kurenai in Son of the Sannin in the aftermath of Konoha's raid to Root's headquarters. Shizune finds her at the local bar looking miserable, since she's depressed over learning that her former student Yakumo Kurama, whom she presumed dead years ago, was actually taken by Danzo and turned into one of his puppet agents.
  • The Power of the Equinox: After the ruling council fails to convict Dimmed Star who continues walking free, Business Savvy retreats to drink in a tavern while keeping on a chair next to him a photograph of his son Dream Gavel whom Dimmed Star killed.
  • Farewell to Life the Way We Knew It: It's mentioned that, due to the high unemployment rate, many people hang around bars, even in the morning.
  • The Queen of Hearts: After her parents died, Elsa would often drink wine, sometimes even whole bottles.
  • In Between My Brother and Me: Mors Omnibus, Yvonne is slurping down two bowls of oh no kaung swe — a Burmese noodle soup dish made with chicken and coconut milk — the chapter after she has to kill Yusho Sakaki. She even asks Mallow (who runs a Burmese restaurant in this story) if she has noodles for said sorrows.
  • Inverted in Final Toll. The happy and oblivious Romani gets drunk, but Cremia doesn't touch a bottle.
  • While on their forced European vacation in If They Haven't Learned Your Name, Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson get smashed at a seedy bar in Croatia (Steve has to take a sip of some kind of mysterious liquor every minute to remain drunk) and commiserate about their respective fallen friends, and those friends' sexual practices. This eventually leads to Steve brokenly confessing to Sam that he feels like he's being eaten alive by the mantle of Captain America, and the two crying into each others' shirts.
  • An elderly Johannes "Jojo" Betzler drinks heavily in Butterflies.
  • In Epiphany, Aerith gets plastered in her room after meeting Sephiroth. Overwhelmed by the knowledge that tens of thousands of people in Midgar will die in a matter of days, Sephiroth's own evil plans, and the Arbiters blocking her attempts to stop all of it, she copes with it all by downing Elmyra's cooking sherry and baking brandy that night.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: After banishing her sister into the sun, Luna spent most of the next twelve years getting thoroughly sloshed, usually showing up in a random town and demanding booze, until a mob of rampaging dragons shook her out of her funk, and made her realize the harm her absence was inflicting on Equestria. She is now Nailed to the Wagon. She also leaves out a salient detail that it wasn't just losing Celestia that caused this, but having to give up Cadenza.
  • In Finding The Way, Din Djarin raids Moff Gideon's stash of Corellian Whiskey after showing his face to Grogu and giving him to Luke Skywalker.
  • In Futures Freak Me Out, Shinji and Asuka fly to Germany to visit Asuka's family, and they verify her father continues to show zero concern for his red-haired daughter; so Asuka decides to drag Shinji to the nearest bar and get very, very drunk.
  • Chasing Dragons:
    • The Watch commander of Gulltown is doing this when Ser Harry Flash arrives to investigate the Old Faith situation in the Vale, due to Denys and Gerold Arryn's heavy-handed attempts to stomp out the movement only leading to widespread unrest and a burgeoning potential Civil War.
    • Jaime spends some time on the Summer Islands doing this in light of how his life has spiraled ever since renouncing his inheritance. It lasts until a local priest literally smacks some sense into him and offers to help him redeem himself.
  • In the RWBY/Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep crossover ''RWBY: Aqua's Mission, it is revealed that Taiyang Xiao Long has taken to alcohol in an attempt to cope with Summer Rose's death. Deconstructed in chapter 8, when the group was going to visit Summer's grave on her second birthday after her death, only for Taiyang to have a nervous breakdown and drink a lethal amount of alcohol. It was only due to Aqua restarting his heart with a Thundaga spell that he didn't die.
  • The Nutdealer Expanded Universe: "Red Nut Ale" consists of Nathan drinking the eponymous spirit while he broods about Tommy's betrayal.
  • In the Once Upon a Time/Mr. Right fanfic Love at First Sight (Once Upon a Time), after breaking up with Robin and being attacked by a cat on the same day, Regina decides to drink a whole bottle of wine and is continuing to do so when Kathryn finds her.
  • Once Upon a Time / Marvel Cinematic Universe fanfic Swapping Genres: After finding out that Neal is Rumplestiltskin's son, Emma gets drunk to get over being lied to. Coincidentally, this leads to Emma getting a Curb-Stomp Battle from Black Widow.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Gaston tries to do this after Belle rejects his marriage proposal, but decides it isn't working and throws his beer in the fire.
  • During the Fully Automatic Clip Show in the third act of 5 Centimeters per Second, it cuts from Takaki's ex-girlfriend to him at a bar, briefly shows a flash of the two of them sleeping at opposite sides of a bed and then returns to him drowning a drink, clearly implying this.
  • In Loving Vincent, Armand has a few too many drinks after losing his job...ending in a drunken brawl that lands him in jail for the night.
  • In Shrek 2, Shrek is at a tavern with Donkey and Puss in boots, drowning his sorrows with milk after the Fairy Godmother made him believe that Fiona had left him for Prince Charming.
  • Toy Story parodies this trope; Buzz Lightyear gets "drunk" at a little girl's tea party. Yes, on imaginary tea.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Russian war movie 9th Company, one of the characters quietly declares that he would drink until he forgot about Afghanistan when the titular company is lightheartedly discussing what they would do after the war. This turned the mood somber very quickly.
  • In ...And Your Name Is Jonah, Jenny copes with Danny's absence by drinking wine while watching I Love Lucy.
  • George Valentin in The Artist, which he does for a great portion of the middle of the film after his unwillingness to adjust to talkies from silent pictures backfires on him, along with his own film, Tears of Love, bombing and bankrupting him. At one point, he is dragged out of a bar by his old butler, Clifford.
  • Back to the Future Part III has a subversion. Doc goes to get drunk after losing Clara and despite telling the bartender to "leave the bottle" doesn't actually drink anything, but acts strangely anyway. Well, to the other patrons, he's acting weird. To the rest of us, he's just moping and rattling off common knowledge about 1985.
    Some Guy: How much has he had?
    Bartender: None. That's the first one and he hasn't touched it yet.
  • In The Baker's Wife, the baker resorts to this after his wife runs off with another man.
  • In Bat*21, after a rescue mission has gone disastrously wrong, Captain Clarke walks in on Colonel Walker hunched over a chair holding a mostly empty bottle of whiskey. After the colonel finally notices the intrusion he says, "We lost six people today, Clarke. Kids, all of 'em. Just kids."
  • Bridget Jones' Diary: Bridget finds out that Daniel cheats on her with a skinny American and that he wants to marry her. But she will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect. She chooses vodka and gets drunk.
  • Rick Blaine does this in Casablanca. You know the quote:
    Rick: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
  • Near the beginning of Deadpool 2, after Vanessa's death and becoming a Death Seeker over it, Wade Wilson starts drinking more than usual at Sister Margaret's. In between swigs, he bemoans George Michael's passing, and that "At least we still have Bowie..."
  • In The Fly (1986), Seth and Veronica's celebration of his successfully teleporting a baboon via his telepods is put to an abrupt halt when she, having found a message from her editor/ex-lover indicating that he is trying to blackmail her into leaving Seth and returning to him, decides to confront him, only giving Seth a cryptic explanation as to why. Now alone, Seth puts what he knows about Veronica and her editor together and comes to the conclusion he's being cuckolded, and gets drunk on the champagne he was sharing with her by way of celebration. At first this is Played for Laughs as he ends up ranting about his woes to the baboon, but then Seth decides that since it seems to be perfectly fine, why not become Professor Guinea Pig and teleport himself? He promptly gets to it, and doesn't notice that a housefly is in the telepod with him as he goes through...
  • In A Few Good Men, Daniel Kaffee gets roaring drunk after an important witness for his case commits suicide.
  • The First Wives Club: Goldie Hawn's character bawls about how she would have been cast as the sexy lead character of Monique in a movie not five years ago, but now she's Monique's mother. She babbles about how other actors would be better suited to the role, ending in Sean Connery, but counters the last, noting that Sean Connery would be Monique's boyfriend, as he's 500 years old but "still a stud..."
  • In The Four Musketeers, Athos (Oliver Reed) gets drunk to forget about his betrayal by Milady De Winter.
  • Girls Like Magic: After hearing Jamie getting into a fight with her ex, Maggie comes over bearing alcohol and ice cream for this purpose. Jamie quickly takes up her offer.
  • In The Guilty, Rashid's guilty conscience over lying to cover for Asger and his nervousness over testifying the next day causes him to hit the bottle.
  • Linda and Ned have a discussion about this in Holiday. See also the "Theatre" entry.
  • The Hunger Games: Just like in the books, Haymitch is pretty drunk when he first meets the latest set of kids he'll have to prepare to fight to the death. Unlike in the books, it's not a formal agreement he makes with Katniss and Peeta that keeps him out of the bar. The film makes a clear point of displaying how he sobers up only after it becomes clear to him that Katniss and Peeta have a legitimate chance of surviving the games (and on several occasions he is reminded that tributes and children from other districts actually see being recruited for the games as a good thing, even fun).
  • Sarah Packard in The Hustler (1961) frequently does this, to forget her various past loves.
  • The protagonist of British World War II movie Ice Cold in Alex starts out the film drinking heavily as a result of the stress he's been put under during the campaign in Africa, and the plot is driven by his yearning for a cold beer 300 miles away.
  • After Howard Brackett (Kevin Kline) admits to his fiancée Emily Montgomery (Joan Cusack) that he's gay shortly before they're to get married in the 1997 comedy In & Out, Emily is shown drowning her sorrows at the same bar Peter Malloy (Tom Selleck) is at. When a wedding dress-clad Emily hits on Peter and Peter reveals that he too is gay, this creates a hilarious Heroic BSoD moment that was coincidentally what was shown on that year's Oscars telecast when Joan Cusack was nominated for an Oscar for that role.
  • Mr. Miyagi (the one played by Pat Morita, NOT Jackie Chan) in The Karate Kid Part II. The scene in the first film when he's drinking because of his and his dead wife's anniversary qualifies, too. Especially because he passes out.
  • Jason Lee's character does this to an absurd degree in Kissing A Fool.
  • The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, has retired U.S. Army Captain Nathan Algren drunk for a good third of the movie, drowning his sorrows and being haunted by nightmares due to his role in the American Indian genocide around the time of General Custer.
  • In Like Normal People, Roger's mother drinks to deal with the stress of caring for him, the lack of money, and her worry over his future.
  • The explanation given for why Michael was in prison for a year in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: He planned on asking a girl to marry him, but she didn't show, so he opened up the bottle of champagne he brought, and in the course of a bottle decided the best course of action was to get her a new ring. From the Tower of London.
  • In the Puerto Rican short film Modesta, this sign can be seen in the tavern.
Si toma para olvidar
Pague antes de tomar
(If you drink to forget
Then pay before you drink)
  • Mr. Ricco: When George, a police detective, finds proof that a cop shot an unarmed man and planted a shotgun on him, he tells a fellow officer, "Let's get drunk."
  • Inigo Montoya does it in The Princess Bride after losing a sword fight and losing Vizzini, thinking he'll never be able to kill the six-fingered man now.
  • The Punisher (2004) has the title character resort to drinking Wild Turkey Bourbon (TM) straight in his depression after the murder of his entire family. The way the bottle was clearly labeled and placed on the table facing the audience smacks of Product Placement.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark invokes the trope twice; first Indy drowns his sorrows when he thinks Marion was blown up by the Nazis, then Belloq thinks he's drowning his sorrows with Marion, but as we already know, she's drinking him under the table trying to escape.
  • Harry and Cecil from Revenge for Jolly! consume huge quantities of beer, prescription drugs, and weed after the murder of Harry's beloved dog.
  • In Riot on Sunset Strip, Andy's mother is a raging alcoholic, which she says is because of the horrible suffering she's been through. She never specifies exactly what happened to her.
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Ivan drinks copious amounts of vodka as he mourns Marichka during his loveless marriage.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, after losing Eurydice by looking back, Orpheus drowns his sorrows in his music and skateboarding for at least a year.
  • Coogan, Finegarten, and Culley sit around drinking heavily after Felix's death in S.O.B..
  • Similarly, Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 2 takes up drinking as he grieves over the death of his father in the prior movie. Harry's drink of choice is Makers Mark Whiskey.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness: Kirk after losing the Enterprise, followed by Scotty when Kirk is forced to accept his resignation when he won't allow the experimental torpedoes onto the ship.
  • Tecate beer is common for this trope, as it is one of the few beer brands that will pay for product placement even when characters use it in this way:
  • Drowning Sorrows appears in The Three Musketeers (1993), with Kiefer Sutherland as Athos.
  • In The Truman Show it's implied that Marlon is a heavy drinker because of the guilt he feels over constantly lying to his best friend. Interestingly, while that implication is there in the finished film, it's not present in some earlier versions of the script. Originally, Marlon was written as being almost entirely guiltless about his role on the show, and, in a deleted scene where the show's staff and actors meet behind the scenes, he gleefully mentions how much severance money the actors get if and when Truman dies, a remark that makes even the other actors uncomfortable.
  • In the "Weird Al" Yankovic vehicle UHF, George reaches rock bottom after learning that the TV station he works for is days away from becoming insolvent, and then his girlfriend, Teri, breaks up with him because he forgot her birthday. A frustrated George decides to go out for a drink, and orders something pink with a little umbrella in it. It's a blueberry daiquiri. The drink clashes horribly with his somber mood. The commentary reveals that it was supposed to be much more flamboyant, but someone in the prop department missed the memo.
    George: I need a drink!
    Bob: You don't drink.
    George: Yeah, but I've been meaning to start.
  • Vamps: A distributing case of drowning one's sorrows with blood, combined with being a Villainous Glutton when Cisserus drinks a whole restaurant dry, and implies that she'd killed more people directly before that, after a celebrity she'd attempted to seduce rejects her.
  • The reason Ron is the town drunk in The Warrior's Way.
  • What Price Hollywood? has Max as The Alcoholic who only gets worse when Mary marries Lonnie.
  • Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, who still grieves over the death of his brother years earlier.
  • Lawrence after learning of Ben's death and then seeing what's left of him in The Wolfman (2010).
  • Wonder Woman (2017): The war left Charlie an emotional wreck; he became a heavy drinker once discharged and has regular nightmares, freaking out upon waking up from them.
  • Agent Mulder drinks in The X-Files: Fight the Future after he finds out that the FBI blames Scully and him for a bomb explosion and wants to split them up.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Subverted; during one of the post-credits scenes, we see Wolverine in a Japanese bar. The bartendress asks him if he's drinking to forget, to which Wolverine replies he's drinking to remember.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The younger Charles Xavier attempts to escape from his emotional torment by consuming copious amounts of alcohol.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Angel has several bottles of alcohol to choose from when Apocalypse pays him a visit. Warren Worthington III is drunk because although he managed to escape from the East Berlin fight club venue, he has no friends and nowhere to go.
      • Ms. Maximoff drinks heavily in the middle of the day because she still resents Erik Lehnsherr for abandoning her before Peter was born, which would've been in the mid-1950s, a time when unmarried women with children were ostracized.

  • Frank Browning does this in the first book of the Ahriman Trilogy when he thinks he's failed again.
  • The Alice Network: Eve tends to drink to kill the pain. Charlie and Finn sometimes join her. (Finn in particular mentioned that he drank a lot after coming back from the war, and that this led to some of his worse decisions.)
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: After needing to break to her family the news that she only has a year left to live, Myne wakes up in the middle of the night and notices her father drinking alone in the kitchen.
  • David and Leigh Eddings have used this at various times in The Belgariad and its prequels.
    • Belgarath tried this in Belgarath the Sorcerer, after learning of his wife Poledra's Death by Childbirth. Aldur (his Master, a Physical God) seems to have stepped in and stopped him by making him physically ill to the point where he couldn't touch the stuff. (Belgarath then spent some years with the ladies of Maragor; when Beldin finally retrieved him, he said that Belgarath's drunkenness was still legendary in Camaar.)
    • Silk does this in The Belgariad after speaking with his mother for the first time in years. To elaborate, his mother used to be a beautiful woman but caught a blindness-inducing illness that left her face horribly scarred, and nobody could ever bring themselves to let her know. The scene is powerful precisely because of the contrast with Silk's playing a jerk and the overall humorous tone of the series.
  • Belisarius Series: It's something of a tradition of Antonina's, when Belisarius goes away on a potentially hopeless mission against the Malwa, to get thoroughly trashed, accompanied by Irene.
  • Hazel in Big Blonde takes to alcohol in order to deal with her sadness and her bad marriage. She quickly becomes an alcoholic.
  • A Boy Made of Blocks: When Alex tells Dan that he's been laid off, Dan says, "Put the controller down. We are going out and we are getting shit-faced."
  • In Tom Kratman's Caliphate, on the first days of his espionage mission when he was visiting South Africa, Hamilton wishes that he could get totally trashed over his cover job of a child slave trader, but can't afford the resultant loss of control in what's effectively "enemy territory".
  • Several characters in Carrera's Legions, including the main protagonist, sink to this, usually over having their hearts broken.
  • The Miskatonic Affair: A very depressed Cassandra does this with a bottle of red wine over the thinking of how the world will come to an end if the villains succeed in their plans to bring about the apocalypse with the Necronomicon.
  • The Cat Who... Series: Qwill, prior to the start of the series, although he has sworn off alcohol by the time the first book begins.
  • In the Chrestomanci series Christopher considers getting drunk after not being able to reach Millie. He's 15 at the time.
    "One could get awfully drunk here," Christopher remarked, surveying a dusty wall of bottles marked Nuits d’été 1848. "I have quite a mind to drown my sorrows, Grant. I saw Millie. I talked to her. Do you know how to open champagne?"
  • In Dorothy Gilman's The Clairvoyant Countess, Mr. Faber-Jones, after his wife leaves him.
  • Genghis Khan in Conn Iggulden's Bones of the Hills takes to the airag after Temulun is killed during a raid (after being raped by Kokchu).
  • In The Dragon's Path, the first book in The Dagger and the Coin, this is Cithrin's response to losing out on a key deal for her bank. She makes an earnest attempt to drink herself into oblivion.
  • The Hard Heart cantina on the Death Star becomes this to a greater and greater extent as the plot progresses. Sometime after the destruction of Alderaan, the proprietor asks the bouncer to remove the few patrons who were having too much fun, and the remainder are quiet, shell-shocked.
    It felt like a memorial service, and, in its own way, it was.
  • In Discworld, Sam Vimes was perpetually drunk up until his marriage to Sybil Ramkin. It's implied that his Knight in Sour Armor cynicism, combined with a job Vetinari had purposely made irrelevant and pointless, is what drove him to drink.
    • In Feet of Clay, Nobby Nobbs is told he's heir to the title of the Earl of Ankh, and Nobby's fear of responsibility briefly drives him to drink. In Soul Music, one of the methods Death tries to forget his troubles is drinking, but all it does is make him even more depressed. He does manage to make an awesome drunken speech (and drunken collapse) though.
    • The Luggage, an animated chest whose sentience is debatable, once got itself drunk on orakh (liquor made from cactus sap and scorpion venom, used to mitigate the effects of Klatchian Coffee) after being rejected by Conina.
    • Detritus, Gaspode and Thomas Silverfish all do this about halfway through Moving Pictures; Detritus is drinking because his girlfriend Ruby wants to be courted as the humans do and he keeps getting it wrong, Gaspode is drinking because Victor is ignoring his warnings about Ginger being in the thrall of Eldritch Abominations, and Silverfish is drinking because he hates the way C.M.O.T. Dibbler is running his movie studio, relying on spectacle instead of True Art.
  • Dragonriders of Pern series:
    • Lytol drinks to unconsciousness whenever he is forcibly reminded of his dragon's death, as a way of easing the pain of the loss. This is considered better than the alternative; most riders who lose their dragons kill themselves.
    • There's a small instance in the first book of the same series. F'lar assumed leadership of the weyr from previous Weyrleader R'gul. After Weyrwoman Lessa performs the huge event of the plot, R'gul insists that it's not possible and F'lar must be mad and privately prepares to resume leadership once F'lar's incapability is publicly known. When people show up who prove that it really did happen exactly the way the leaders said, "R'gul got very quietly drunk."
  • Evidence of Things Not Seen: When Tara's mom learns that her husband was a drug dealer murdered by a 17-year-old prostitute he was having an affair with, she goes straight to her room with a bottle of wine and drinks until she passes out.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Honor Guard, after a disaster, Gaunt takes to drowning his sorrows — and not eating properly.
  • In Good Omens, the demon Crowley once received a commendation from his superiors in Hell for starting the Spanish Inquisition. He didn't actually start it, he just happened to be in the area when it happened. When he finally started looking around to see what this Inquisition was all about, he ended up spending most of his time afterward drinking himself stupid.
  • Two examples in Green Angel: The first is the titular Green, who drinks to numb her grief after the nearby city is blown up and her family is among the casualties. Later on, there's the Forgetting Shack, where numerous people drink themselves blind and dance to exhaustion due to suffering similar losses.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (implied). Sybil Trelawney as well, in the same book, more blatantly — how many times does one need to read "the strong smell of cooking sherry" before getting the hint?
    • In Goblet of Fire, Winky the house-elf drinks several bottles of Butterbeer a day after being fired by Mr. Crouch. Butterbeer is a very mild drink for humans (children can drink it without any problem) but it's pretty strong for house-elves.
  • Haymitch Abernathy of The Hunger Games has been doing this ever since he left the titular Deadly Game as a teenager. Considering his only ally and friend in the arena was killed without him having even the slightest chance to save her and most of his family and friends were then killed to punish him for his almost nonexistent "rebellion", and his job ever since has been to accompany and train two kids a year for an almost certain death in the titular Deadly Game, you can see why.
  • Just Juliet: Juliet tried to do this with alcohol and drugs after losing her mother as a young teen.
  • In the Knight and Rogue Series Fisk claims that he handled being dumped by his first crush "in the time-honored way" while telling the audience about a time Jack had come to scold him for being too sentimental and attached to people while he was drunk.
  • H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy has a sad-whimsical description of the process:
    "Take a drink because you pity yourself, and then the drink pities you and has a drink, and then two good drinks get together and that calls for drinks all around."
  • When The Little Prince visits a planet with no-one but a tippler on it, he inquires why the man is drinking constantly:
    Tippler: So that I may forget.
    Prince: Forget what?
    Tippler: Forget that I am ashamed.
    Prince: Ashamed of what?
    Tippler: Ashamed of drinking!
  • In The Man Who Carried Trouble Bill ends up in a bar, doing some hard drinking after a bad week.
  • Vanessa from My Dark Vanessa relies on alcohol, cigarettes, and sometimes Ativan to get through the day.
  • Happens in the Night Huntress series. Three days after Bones leaves her, Cat's apartment is littered with empty gin bottles and ice cream cartons.
  • In A Night in the Lonesome October, the monk Rastov drinks heavily to dull his awareness of all the suffering in the world that he is unable to prevent. After his death, his familiar Quicklime goes on a several-days-long bender, using fermented windfall fruit as his source of alcohol.
  • In Feed, after he's told that the outbreak on the family ranch resulting in the deaths of his daughter, his wife's parents, and about half their employees, was intentionally caused by someone injecting a horse with live Kellis-Amberlee and causing it to amplify into a chompy zombie, Senator Ryman tells Shaun and Georgia he'll talk to them about the matter the next day, after he breaks the news to his wife and then, as he puts it, "get very, very drunk".
  • Out of the Dust: Billie Jo's mother had been saving up money for a while. After she becomes terribly burned and deformed due to an accident involving kerosene, her husband takes the money and goes out to drink. This leaves Billie especially bitter because she couldn't help her mother much in her condition. The burns on her hands prevented her from giving her mother water to drink, despite her mother's pleas. It takes a while for her to forgive her dad.
  • In the Paladin of Shadows novel A Deeper Blue, Mike does this at the start, unable to get over Gretchen's death in Unto the Breach.
  • In the first Red Dwarf novel, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Lister's response to finding out that Everybody's Dead, Dave is a spectacular mental breakdown complete with massive alcohol abuse. It is not played for laughs; in fact, it goes beyond this trope to look more like a narrowly-averted attempt at suicide by alcohol.
  • Leesil, one of the protagonists of The Saga of the Noble Dead, drinks heavily in the first arc to suppress his memories of the time he spent as an assassin.
  • Dayless the Conqueror in Shadow of the Conqueror. Despite his incredible power and success, he was profoundly unhappy as an emperor due to him separating himself from his passions and morality. Downing large quantities of fine wine was the first, but definitely not the last, tactic he used to stave off his sorrow.
  • In Sheep's Clothing, Wolf Cowrie polished off most of a bottle of brandy after he is forced to kill his vampirized ladylove.
  • Shtum: As soon as Ben and Jonah arrive at Georg's house, Georg takes Jonah for an hours-long walk. Ben takes the opportunity to get smashed and fall asleep in front of the TV to cope with the prospect of not seeing Emma for the next few weeks.
  • In the backstory for A Song of Ice and Fire, a young Littlefinger does this after being (rather cruelly) rejected by his crush, Catelyn. Unfortunately for him, Cat's sister, Lysa is infatuated with him and seems to like her men unconscious...
    • King Robert Baratheon has spent years drinking, hunting, and whoring while being married to Cersei Lannister. He still can't get over the death of his beloved Lyanna Stark, her death left a hole in him which the seven realms couldn't even fill.
  • In Spin, Carol Lawton spends most of the book perpetually wasted. Though one might assume that she drank primarily because of her loveless marriage to the overbearing E.D. Lawton, the real cause of her constant boozing is later revealed to be her misery over the knowledge that her one true love, Tyler's mother, was utterly straight and devoted to her husband.
  • In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel The January Dancer, a common reason to be in the Bar on Jehovah.
  • Averted and played straight in Starfighters of Adumar — Wedge heads to a bar mostly for privacy while he thinks through some questions of honor vs. the chain of command (he doesn't get very drunk, either). However, at the bar, he runs across Admiral Rogriss, who decided the answer to his problem was to get stone drunk.
    • Played straight in an earlier book of the series, when Ton Phanan, the Combat Medic of the squadron who is allergic to bacta and thus gradually becoming more and more cybernetic, drinks and tells his wingmate that he needs less and less to get drunk, because every year, less meat, more machine. He feels that his extensive cybernetics are an outward sign that his future has been destroyed, and he has no one.
  • Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities does this pretty much 24/7.
  • Athos of Dumas' The Three Musketeers is prone to this. It's depicted as habitual and inexplicable until he tells his I Have This Friend story.
  • In Time Scout, Margo eventually realizes her father, though he's a bastard, may have developed his drinking problem as a result of her dead brother.
  • The Tuning Station: When Ted's dad cut him off, he kept expecting Ted to come crawling back after a few weeks, but he never did. After that, his dad started drinking because he felt that the destruction of all his relationships was God's punishment for how badly he treated others.
  • The Vampire Chronicles has a fair amount of this going on. Louis in Interview with the Vampire not only drinks away his sorrows but picks fights and sleeps with prostitutes, hoping to get himself killed. Later in Blackwood Farm Quinn also drinks away his sorrows and his fears. In Queen of the Damned, this is slightly subverted, as Daniel Molloy tries to drink away his madness (from the knowledge that vampires are real).

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • Angel appears to be doing this in "City of, but it's merely a cover to allow him to stake some (other) vampires.
    • Wesley, Lorne and Spike all drowned their sorrows after Fred died.
    • Played Straight in "Redefinition" when Angel fires the rest of his staff — they immediately go to a karaoke bar they know, get incredibly drunk, and sing "We Are The Champions". Badly.
    • Maybe not drowning, but Wesley certainly takes his sorrows for a swim after his split from AI.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008). Alex Drake may be the only woman born who can hold her own in a wine bar with Gene Hunt and an epically bad mood, and she has every excuse in the world for doing so.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Vir, after killing Emperor Cartagia. Notably, the scene manages to go from dead serious to completely hilarious and back, mostly because Vir doesn't get drunk very often.
      Vir: I was toasting Emperor Cartagia. And since he wasn't here, I drank for him. And then, I couldn't be rude, so I had to drink with him. So first it was me drinking for him and then him drinking for me and then I kinda got into this kinda cycle. And then here comes Cartagia, his glass broke — or maybe it was my glass. Would you like some? Because you know what, I think this is Cartagia's glass after all, so it would be quite appropriate, don't you think?
      Vir: How much more before I can look in the mirror and not see myself? Because I keep looking, and I'm always there. And right now, I don't want to see me.
    • It's also a significant part of Garibaldi's Backstory. Garibaldi restarts drinking when he realizes that he can't kill Bester for brainwashing him into accidentally betraying Sheridan.
    • Londo is also a heavy drinker. First, he drinks to the lost glory of the Centauri Republic, then to Adira and finally to ruined Centauri Prime and to keep the Drakh Keeper from ruining his Thanatos Gambit. Unlike the other examples, it's not a phase or a problem so much as a universal constant.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) has this happen to several characters several times during the show's run. Bill Adama hits this trope in the fourth season, so much so that his best friend and second in command (and accomplished alcoholic himself) Saul Tigh has to snap him out of it.
  • When Leonard's mother, a neurophysiologist and psychologist, comes to visit on The Big Bang Theory, her influence prompts Leonard to knock on Penny's door and simply ask, "Do you have any alcohol?" The two of them spend most of the rest of the episode getting sloppy drunk.
  • In the third episode of Black Mirror Liam ends up getting drunk after suspecting his wife was flirting with another man. Decides to get the babysitter involved before driving over and attacking the guy.
  • On Boy Meets World, Cory does this once after his break up with Topanga in Season 5. In a later episode, Shawn does this after he is unable to find his real mother.
  • The Boys (2019). Averted with Grace Mallory, the former leader of The Boys. After her grandchildren were murdered as a result of her investigation into the Supes, she retired and took up birdwatching, saying it was that or alcoholism.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Giles starts drinking heavily after Jenny's death, and it's not played for laughs. Jenny's death drove Giles to seek fiery vengeance, as well as a bottle. He also got scarily drunk, alone, when the fallout from his Ripper days first encroached on Sunnydale in the form of a demon-possessed corpse by the name of Eyghon. He worked his way through a list of old friends' phone numbers (plus half a bottle of scotch) only to learn they were all dead. His missing an appointment with Buffy for the first time ever was enough to tip her off that something was wrong.
    • In "The Wish", an alternate-universe Sunnydale without Buffy is overrun by vampires. Giles leads a ragtag band of vampire hunters, and his apartment littered with liquor bottles spells out his desperation.
    • He also got drunk in Season 4's "The Yoko Factor" when Spike's manipulations got him feeling he was useless.
    • In "A New Man", he was so upset about feeling useless that he went out and got drunk with Ethan Rayne. Bad idea.
    • In "Something Blue", Willow isn't drowning her sorrows. She's just bathing them.
    • The episode where Buffy's beer-drinking spree made her go, in her own words, one million years BC. If ever there was a more literal way to convey the message, "drinking is bad, kids." The only more literal way would be if the episode had been called "Beer Bad", WHICH IT WAS. Given this exchange at the end of the episode, one gets the impression that Joss Whedon couldn't resist subverting the anti-alcohol message:
      Xander: And was there a lesson in all this, huh? What did we learn about beer?
      Buffy: Foamy!
      Xander: Good. Just as long as that's clear.
    • In "Doppelgangland", Anya tries to drown her sorrows at the Bronze, but as she looks outwardly like a teenage girl the bartender stubbornly insists on an I.D. "I'm 1,120 years old! Just give me a frickin' BEER!!!"
    • There's Spike in "Lovers Walk". Apparently alcohol does affect vampires.
    • "Life Serial" has the trio trying to destroy Buffy's life. Spike steps in and helps her with scotch before she agrees to go with him to a Bad-Guy Bar for information. She promptly takes a bottle of alcohol and spends the night snarking as she gets drunk off her dial. She regrets it later as she spent the rest of the night puking. Next time Spike asks if she wants a drink she firmly declines.
    • In "Entropy", Anya tries to get Spike drunk so he'll curse Xander after breaking up with him. As Spike has been dumped by Buffy, the two end up sharing the bottle and having Sex for Solace.
  • In Burn Notice, it's inverted with Sam Axe, who's almost always seen with a beer in hand. It's the times he's not drinking that show he's either being serious or he's dealing with personal issues.
  • The Canadian TV series Butch Patterson Private Dick, features a title character who drinks for a number of reasons, not least his shame over his tendency to wet his pants, to prematurely ejaculate, or his inability to have sex without paying a woman for it. He normally keeps up a brave front, but he occasionally lets his private shame and self-pitying show through, bursting into tears, yelling at whoever is in the room and then running away.
  • In the first episode of Charité at War, Anni's brother Otto, a Shell-Shocked Veteran, gets massively drunk on his sister's party in an attempt to forget about his war trauma. It's not pretty, but at least he doesn't make it a habit.
  • Charmed (1998): After Phoebe pulls a Face–Heel Turn to be with Cole, who's now the Source of Evil, Piper blames herself because she's the older sister and is supposed to look out for Phoebe. Leo eventually finds Piper drinking the alcohol inventory at her nightclub to try and deal with her despair.
  • On an episode of Cheers, Rebecca is devastated when she loses her last chance to confess her feelings to the boss she's nursed a crush on for years. Sam comes to her apartment to console her, but quickly makes his excuses when he realizes he doesn't have the willpower to stay there without trying to seduce her. Left alone and bereft, Rebecca casually lines up a series of shots of liquor to consume in succession. Subverted when Sam calls from the downstairs lobby, insisting it's the only way he can be there for her without giving in to his baser nature.
  • In the Community episode "Mixology Certification" Annie starts off the night ordering root beers but as she gets progressively worked up about planning out her entire life she eventually switches to screwdrivers.
  • Flack, after Angell's death on CSI: NY. Unfortunately, he got beat up on the subway and almost passed out. A former C.I. took him to his place because he was so drunk. No one knew where he was at the time, even when he was supposed to come to work, and Mac had to try pulling him back to reality once they found him, which the group had been trying to do for a while but he rebuffed them. Fortunately nearly losing his job (and worse, his life) woke him up.
  • Dexter:
    • Sgt. Doakes discussed this with Dexter, telling him that lots of cops deal with the stress of the job with either booze or drugs and that lots of them became addicts.
    • Debra drinks once when she reminisces about her father, a legendary cop on the force, Harry Morgan. She was proud of herself to moderate her drinking, but any time she hears some crap that happened with him, she needs to drink.
  • Doctor Who: In "Extremis", a group of scientists at CERN do this after reading The Veritas, before they blow themselves up.
  • The Dropout: Ian Gibbons is fired and later rehired but Reassigned to Antarctica. He ends up stuck in a meaningless do-nothing job and unable to quit (he needs the health insurance). To cope with this, Ian increasingly retreats into a bottle.
  • In Farscape, Aeryn spends all of "The Choice" drunk while she mourns Crichton's death.
  • A flashback in one episode of Frasier shows Niles hitting the (wine) bottle especially hard during his divorce from Maris, making a reference to the term when he said, "Who knew my sorrows were such strong swimmers."
  • On Fringe most of the cast has gotten in on this at one point or another.
    • Walter Bishop is normally on any number of psychotropic drugs at once. When he hits rock bottom, instead of drowning his sorrows, he smokes them out. To similar, but far more hilarious, effect.
    • Olivia drinks so often it's pretty much her nightly ritual now.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robert Baratheon's drinking problem is strongly implied to be caused by his lost Lyanna. He even claims that "seven kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left behind."
    • Bronn encourages Tyrion to drink until it feels like he did the right thing in "The Lion and the Rose".
  • Goodbye My Princess:
    • Gu Jian spends most of his time drinking after he almost dies and realises Xiao Feng has lost her memory.
    • Mi Luo gets drunk when Pei Zhao marries Luo Xi.
  • Good Omens (2019): When Crowley thinks Aziraphale is dead he's so upset that he completely gives up on his plan to run away from the impending Armageddon and gets drunk in a nearby pub.
  • On Good Times, Keith does this after feeling frustrated about not being able to play football, working part-time as a cab driver, and the lack of full-time work. The drinking escalates when his old college roommate (now a pro football player) comes to visit. Keith then starts insulting everyone around him and he slaps Thelma. Thelma packs his bags and tells him that he can either quit drinking for good and stop feeling sorry for himself or he can leave her for good. Keith chooses Thelma.
  • Gossip Girl: Modus operandi of Chuck Bass.
  • Probably the best way to explain Meredith's relationship with tequila, on Grey's Anatomy, is through this delightful quote, by, of all people, Alex Karev, who wasn't exactly her BFF:
    Alex: When your life is sucky you get drunk and sleep with inappropriate men. It's your thing.
  • Nathan Petrelli, complete with Beard of Sorrow, at the beginning of the second season of Heroes.
  • In the Horatio Hornblower miniseries, this is how Mr. Buckland deals with being an Acting Captain and not quite fit for command — drinking lots of port. He starts with "freaking drinks" to calm himself down and ends up getting drunk on a regular basis. He's once found napping in a net in his cabin, holding an empty bottle. One scene depicts him sadly pouring himself port, and the wine overflows the glass and he just sadly watches the stream flowing on the table.
  • In I Dream of Jeannie Roger and Tony were depressed and decided to get loaded on ice cream sundaes.
  • In the miniseries Innocent, Tarık began self-medicating with alcohol after the death of his wife Emel, whom he believes he killed himself during a heated argument.
  • Inspector Lynley, after his wife's death in the series five finale, which he believes is his fault, takes to this. His partner, DS Barbara Havers, is not amused, but even though she's his Most Important Person, even she can't reach him. It takes an It's Personal case, a near brush with arrest for murder, and Barbara nearly being killed to make him something remotely like himself again. The first thing he does after he comes to his senses is apologize to Barbara, after which she remarks, "You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but d'you fancy a drink?" Clearly, this time she trusts him not to go off the deep end.
  • Many Korean Dramas use this trope, both as drama and as comedy.
    • In Best Love, Ae Jeong drinks an entire bottle of wine in one gulp to make a point, Jae Suk gives a drunken confession of love to his boss, and Aw Hwan mumbles a request to Jenny not to drink red wine with anyone but him. And so on...
    • Woo Ri and Min Sook get sloshed while male-bashing in Can You Hear My Heart?. Joon Ha does it one night which leads to his confession that he's the Long Lost Sibling.
    • The fusion historical drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal has Kim Yoon Shik giving a drunken Lee Seon Jung a ride back to the school one night.
    • Twinkle Twinkle: Mostly serious sorrowful drinking, especially by the female leads.
    • You Are Beautiful: Go Mi Nam gets drunk on champagne his first night and ends up throwing up on the lead singer of the band he just joined. This is after throwing up in a flower pot, and before anyone knows he's a girl.
  • On Lie to Me Foster gets totally smashed (on a bottle of Lightman's very, very expensive Scotch, no less, which she stole from his office). When he confronts her, she is both hilarious in her chattiness and heartbreakingly honest, as she displays her vulnerability and her love and loyalty for Lightman, while finally taking a stand against his aggressive personality.
  • It happens in both versions of Life On Mars as well. "What? I had no idea how long this stakeout was going to last!"
  • Lost has this trope, as revealed in multiple characters' flashbacks.
    • Christian Shephard spent the last week or so of his life drowning his sorrows in Australia. ** Jack's taken to doing so in the flash forwards.
    • Desmond, especially when he realized he couldn't escape the island and returned in this state in the Season 2 finale. Plus his time travelling woes led him to the bottle too (although Charlie and Hurley were exploiting him a bit).
    • Sawyer is fond of drinking to drowns his sorrows as well.

  • Just about every M*A*S*H character was prone to this at some point or another.
    Hawkeye: Drowning your sorrows, Margaret?
    Margaret: No... just taking them out for a little swim.
  • The Mentalist: Jane gets hammered on Bloody Marys in "Red Rover, Red Rover". This was on the anniversary of his family's death. Since he had a "regular table" with two empty places, it is possible he does this on special dates (birthdays, happier anniversaries, etc.).
  • Miami Vice: After his second wife Caitlin is killed, Crockett spends the next three weeks drunk, cleaning and polishing everything on his boat.
  • Midnight Caller: After shooting his partner Rusty, Jack "climbed into a bottle" for six months.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Jack Robinson tries this after the accident in "Blood at the Wheel", because he thinks the Victim of the Week is Phryne herself — a prospect he later admits is "unbearable".
  • My Country: The New Age: Seon-ho starts drinking after Bang-won kills Nam Jeon, depriving Seon-ho of his revenge.
  • Ben Harper from My Family: One episode features him being unable to get at his booze, resulting in him grinding through a fair chunk of the 10,000 or so choices on the combination lock in order to get at whiskey that turns out to be cold tea, courtesy Nick's new job as a background actor.
  • The Outpost: After Garret is reportedly killed, Gwynn starts to drink and gamble frequently while not occupied with her duties.
  • In The Pinkertons episode "On Account of Huckleberries", this is how Sheriff Logan responds when the corpse of a woman he once loved is discovered and he's accused of her murder. It only makes things worse for him.
  • During the Las Vegas season of The Real World, Frank drinks water in anger during Steven and Trishelle's first hook-up.
  • The Rise of Phoenixes: Zhi Wei gets drunk after being disowned.
  • Michael attempts to do this in Roswell, only to discover that he's genetically an extreme lightweight. He spends the rest of the night in severe pain.
  • Chimatsuri Doukoku, the Big Bad from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is stuck in another dimension, without being able to conquer earth, he deals with his frustration about not being able to do anything by drinking large amounts of sake (rice wine). His Power Rangers Samurai counterpart Master Xandred averts this trope by using medicine for his constant headaches instead.
  • Scandal: Both the President and Cyrus do this (sometimes together).
    • Mellie became a pretty heavy drinker in Season 3, and it escalated to the point of constant inebriation after Jerry's death. She still has occasion to hit the hooch now and then.
  • Schitt's Creek: When Bob kicks him out of the garage, Johnny spends the afternoon getting drunk at the cafe. When Jocelyn brings him home, he confesses to Moira that he is demoralized by their situation and doesn't feel like a good provider anymore. In a role reversal, Moira consoles him and assures him he's the one holding the family together.
  • Almost every (major) character has done this at least once on Scrubs. Probably most notable is the occasion when Dr. Cox spends around a solid week doing this after killing three patients by causing them to have rabies-infected organs transplanted and needs babysitting by all the other characters.
  • Damar of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine spent several episodes getting drunk, to drown out first his unease and his conscience over dealing with the Dominion, his murder of Dukat's daughter, then his problems when promoted to leader of Cardassia. His snapping out of this and becoming a good guy marks the beginning of his becoming truly badass. And he slips a bit of information to Quark, leading to a particularly entertaining scene in which he is trying to tell Kira and Odo what he learned while roaring drunk.
    "I just shared a bottle of kanar...with Damar!...Hey...that rhymes! [unintelligible giggling]"
  • Stranger Things:
    • Hawkins sheriff Jim Hopper delved deep into alcoholism after his daughter died of cancer and his wife divorced him.
    • In "Trick or Treat, Freak," Nancy attends a Halloween party with Steve, while still racked with the guilt over the death of her best friend Barb at the hands of the Demogorgon the year before. She quickly gets wasted on the alcoholic punch being served. Steve tries to snatch her cup away when he notices her getting too intoxicated to walk, and in the struggle, she ends up spilling punch on her dress. When he takes her to the bathroom so she can try to dry off, she lashes out at Steve and implies that she doesn't love him. A heartbroken Steve storms out, and Jonathan has to take her home and put her to bed.
  • Supernatural:
    • It's shown that Sam and Bobby both drink a lot after Dean's death by hellhound at the end of Season 3. Bobby, at least, has been hinted to be avoiding alcohol now, but with the whole Apocalypse, Sam using his powers, and Dean's memories of Hell, the boys have still been drinking in a not-so-healthy way.
    • After finding out that God doesn't intend to do anything about the Apocalypse, Castiel goes and drinks a liquor store.
      Castiel: I found a liquor store.
      Sam: ...and?
      Castiel: And I drank it!
      Dean: Where have you been?
      Castiel: On a bender.
    • In "The End", Dean travels to a Bad Future where Castiel has lost all his powers and now feels useless, so has become a new-age guru losing himself in sex and drugs.
    • Dean's at the bottle again in Season 7 after Cas' death.
    • In the Season 9 finale, after bringing Dean's dead body back from the fight with Metatron, Sam hits the scotch.
  • Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms:
    • Bai Qian gets drunk after catching Li Jing cheating on her.
    • Feng Jiu starts drinking after she's sent back to the Fox Kingdom.
  • Subverted in an episode of Titus: Christopher Titus' father, habitual drinker Ken Titus, goes on the wagon, and his relatives find his sober behavior so insufferable that within two weeks they have an intervention to urge him to start drinking again.
  • After being killed and brought back to life in Torchwood, Owen went out drinking. This, however, ended badly for him seeing as dead people can't digest anything. He also goes through more mild forms of this after Diane leaves him.
  • Damon often resorts to this on The Vampire Diaries.
  • We Are Who We Are: Richard gets quite drunk after three soldiers who he trained are killed in Afghanistan.
  • Neal and Mozzie get drunk in the White Collar episode "Family Business", shortly after Neal discovers that the man pretending to be Sam is actually his father, James. It's partly justified in that it was for a case Neal was working (they had to counterfeit a particular brand of whiskey), but he points out that after the events of the last few days, he's more than happy to let himself get drunk.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
    • The Irish Drinking Song game in this series is based on this and is sometimes played after the 'winner' is decided so the host can join in.
    • There's a game aptly titled 'Bartender' where one player acts as the bartender and the other three sing their sorrows out (which are provided by the audience members.)
  • Word of Honor:
    • Zhou Zishu starts drinking after he leaves Tian Chuang and again after his fight with Wen Kexing.
    • Wen Kexing also gets drunk after the fight.
  • The X-Files, "The Blessing Way": When Mulder is presumed dead at the beginning of Season 3, Frohike shows up at Scully's house and mumbles something vaguely nonsensical. Scully takes one long look at him and asks, "How drunk are you?" to which Frohike replies by holding up a near-empty bottle of something that is probably stronger than wine. She just nods knowingly and lets him in, implying that she's done a bit of drinking herself.
  • 7 Yüz: Aylin tasks her husband Bülent to hit the bar with Metin in "Biyolojik Saat", hoping it will distract him from his breakup with Gökçe. It doesn't go as expected, as Metin Can't Hold His Liquor and spends the early hours of the morning vomiting profusely.
  • In Yes, Minister, Jim Hacker, at the end of "The Whisky Priest", seems at first to just Need A Freaking Drink (OK, several drinks). Then:
    Annie: You're sort of a whisky priest. You do at least know when you've done the wrong thing.
    Jim: Whisky priest?
    Annie: That's right.
    Jim: Good. [Beat] Let's open another bottle.
    Annie: You haven't got one.
    Jim: That's what you think. [turns, opens a red box, which turns to be filled with bottles of whisky] Who said nothing good ever came out of Whitehall?

    Multiple Media 

  • Back to Black both the song and much of album by Amy Winehouse are this.
  • This trope is a stereotype of country music, and for good reason. Examples include:
    • Jason Aldean: "Any Ol' Barstool"
    • John Anderson: "Straight Tequila Night"
    • Kelsea Ballerini: "Hole in the Bottle" is about someone in denial about this, insisting that she's not sad about her recent breakup and that there must be some other reason why the recently opened bottle of wine in front of her is now empty.
    • Dierks Bentley: "Drunk on a Plane" is about a guy who couldn't get his honeymoon trip refunded after his fiancee left him, so goes to Cancun by himself and gets himself (and everyone else but the pilot) blasted.
    • Clint Black: "Killin' Time," "This Nightlife"
    • Luke Bryan: "Home Alone Tonight," a duet about two people realizing their both drowning their sorrows and decide to hook up, sending both of their respective exes "payback pictures" before they leave the bar.
    • Brooks & Dunn: "Neon Moon," "My Next Broken Heart, "That Ain't No Way to Go", "Whiskey Under the Bridge," "More Than a Margarita," "One Heartache at a Time," "Tequila Town," "Brand New Whiskey," "Hurt Train," "Goin' Under Gettin' Over You," and "She's Not the Cheatin' Kind."
    • Garth Brooks: "Friends in Low Places," note  "Two Pina Coladas"
    • Chris Cagle: "Anywhere But Here"
    • Mark Chesnutt: "Too Cold at Home," possibly "Bubba Shot the Jukebox"
    • The Chicks: "Tonight the Heartache's On Me"
    • Charlie Daniels: "Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye"
    • The Dillards: Implied in "Old Home Place". The singer says that all his money went to the taverns directly after mentioning his girlfriend running off with another man.
    • Tyler Farr: "A Guy Walks into a Bar" and "Redneck Crazy," which involves this and stalking your cheating ex.
    • Merle Haggard: "Bottle Let Me Down" and "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink"
    • Randy Houser: "Anything Goes"
    • Alan Jackson: "Pop a Top," "Don't Rock the Jukebox"
    • Lady A: "Hey Bartender" and the reason for questionable decisions in "Need You Now"
    • Lonestar: "Tequila Talking"
    • Tim McGraw: "Senorita Margarita" and "Refried Dreams." The latter is unique (and goofy) even by genre standards and is solidly in Early Installment Weirdness for the artist.
    • David Lee Murphy: "Party Crowd"
    • John Michael Montgomery: "Beer and Bones"
    • Willie Nelson: "Whiskey River"
    • Joe Nichols: "Brokenheartsville"
    • Brad Paisley: "Whiskey Lullaby", oddly by both the cheated-on soldier or his cheating girlfriend. It...doesn't help.
    • Eddie Rabbit: "Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)
    • Blake Shelton: "Neon Light"
    • Cole Swindell: "Ain't Worth the Whiskey." The singer makes up all sorts of reasons he's actually drinking...definitely not because of this trope. Definitely not.
    • Trick Pony: "Pour Me""
    • Porter Wagoner: "Queen of the Silver Dollar"
    • Hank Williams: "There's a Tear in My Beer"
    • Chris Young: "Drinkin' Me Lonely," "Where I Go When I Drink," "Neon." Subverted in "Sober Saturday Night."
  • Lots of songs on Arctic Monkeys' debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not deal with this. The album deals with kids clubbing in downtown London, so it's justified in that these kids need a freaking drink mainly to escape from their wounded pride.
  • The Irish folk song "Keg of Brandy" may qualify. The narrator seems to be a (rather sweet) alcoholic tramp who is very world-weary, especially on the subject of romance and marriage.
  • For true bottom of the bottle sorrow:
    So buy this weary fool some spirits and libations, it's these railroad station bars
    And all these conductors and porters, and I'm all out of quarters.
  • Smile Empty Soul's "Bottom of A Bottle":
    I do if for the drugs... I do it just to feel like I'm alive...
    I do it for the love.... that I find at the bottom of the bottle...
  • Tom Waits, "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart" from Small Change Waits' voice is almost uniquely suited to this kind of song. He has quite a few other songs like this, including "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Invitation To The Blues" (also from Small Change), "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You" from Closing Time and "Saving All My Love for You" (from Heartattack and Vine).
  • They Might Be Giants
    • "Alienation's For the Rich"
      Well I ain't feelin' happy
      About the state of things in my life
      But I'm workin' to make it better
      With a six of Miller High Life
    • "Drink", as the name of the song implies.
      Let's drink, drink, this town is so great
      Drink, drink, 'cause it's never too late
      To drink, drink, to no big surprise
      But what words rhyme with "buried alive"?
    • Also implied in "Your Own Worst Enemy"
      Full bottle in front of me
      Time to roll up my sleeves
      And get to work
      And after many glasses of work
      I get paid
      In the brain
    • Another implied example from "They'll Need a Crane"
      Lad looks at other gals
      Gal thinks Jim Beam is handsomer than lad
    • From "Answer"
      It may take an ocean of whiskey and time
      To wash all of the let-down out of your mind
  • "Ball and Chain" by Social Distortion:
    Well it's been ten years and a thousand tears
    And look at the mess I'm in
    A broken nose and a broken heart
    An empty bottle of gin...
  • "Another Drinkin' Song" by Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • "Alcohol" by Barenaked Ladies
  • "Alcohol" by Gogol Bordello
  • "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett
  • "Red, Red Wine" by Neil Diamond and later by UB40.
  • "Beer" by Reel Big Fish
  • "Russia on Ice" by Porcupine Tree
  • "The Price of Love" by The Everly Brothers, with its laboured yet lovely rhyme:
    Wine is sweet, gin is bitter
    Drink all you can but you won't forget her.
  • The Byrds' "An empty bottle, a broken heart, and You're Still on My Mind".
  • "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" by John Lee Hooker, later covered by George Thorogood, starts as a funny story about the singer's woes with his landlady and the rent, before the second half takes him to a bar where every time it sounds like something else is going to happen, he orders another bourbon, another scotch, another beer.
  • Yowane Haku, the fan-made Anthropomorphic Personification of clumsy new users to the Vocaloid software, does this constantly because she feels she'll never be as good as Hatsune Miku, the character on whom she was based. Because of this and her woobie tendencies, she's become just as popular as Miku herself. She and Akita Neru eventually became official vocaloids and Haku's popularity led to a rise of instances she was shown to be much more capable of singing than she used to. If it isn't for the previous reason of her dreams of singing as beautifully as Miku being shattered that makes her drink herself into stupor, she does so for the fun or sake of it and usually is portrayed as sluggish, lazy and clumsy, but a little more happy than originally portrayed. This has been met with mixed receptions, since Haku is supposed to be the Anthropomorphic Personification of people who fail to use the Vocaloid software effectively/correctly, and doing a bad Miku song/Haku song on purpose defeats, in itself, Haku's raison d'etre. note  It's all kinda complicated and rather Fan Dumb-y.
  • "Slo Gin" by Tim Curry is a textbook example with lyrics like "slo gin, gotta wash away the pain inside" and the somewhat infamous refrain, "I'm so fucking lonely and I ain't even high".
  • "Whiskey Bottle" and "I Got Drunk" by Uncle Tupelo.
  • The Rolling Stones' "Honky-Tonk Women" features the line "I just can't seem to drink you off my mind."
  • "Novocain," by Jeremy Messersmith. And it's one of the prettiest song you'll ever hear.
  • "Here Comes A Regular" by The Replacements
  • Bob Dylan clocks in with "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" from Highway 61 Revisited ending with this verse:
    I started out on burgundy/But soon hit the harder stuff/Everybody said they’d stand behind me/When the game got rough/But the joke was on me/There was nobody even there to call my bluff/I’m going back to New York City/I do believe I’ve had enough
  • "How You Remind Me" by Nickelback features elements of this.
  • The appropriately-named "Drinking Song" by Jenny Owen Youngs. The chorus, "There's solace at the bottom of the bottle", is oddly cheery.
  • Gary Stead, The Alcoholic of the Saint Etienne Concept Album Tales From Turnpike House appears in three of the twelve tracks. In "Milk Bottle Symphony" he has a hangover and by "Teenage Winter" he's ignoring the debt collectors to go down to The Hat And Fan (no longer a British Pub, but a horrible franchised Wetherspoons-style mess mostly staffed by Australians) again, but "Last Orders For Gary Stead" tells the true story of a man hiding in the bottom of a beer glass to escape the reality that his life is rubbish and his wife has left him.
  • Invoked by Glaswegian Baroque Pop band Camera Obscura in the first verse of "Let's Get Out of This Country"
    I've drowned my sorrows and slept around...
  • Nas's "Drunk by Myself". What makes this song stand out is the fact that his drinking is accompanied by trying to get away from all his troubles in a speeding vehicle.
  • In Drake's song "Marvin's Room", he is in a club drunk dialing one of his ex-girlfriends.
  • "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", a classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer standard recorded by Frank Sinatra, among others.
  • "Death of a Clown" by The Kinks. ("I'm drowning my sorrows in whiskey and gin...")
  • "Hurricane Drunk" by Florence + the Machine:
    I'm going out/I'm going to drink myself to death.
  • Brazil has "Garçom" ("waiter", the guy who the binge drinking protagonist speaks about his broken heart) and "Pinga Ni Mim" (Double Entendre: as it can be both "drops on me" — as the chorus mentions a leak — and "cachaça on me"; but many don't know it's about drowning romantic sorrows as they only learned the chorus).
  • The title of Type O Negative's "Red Water (Christmas Mourning)" indicates that the singer is drowning his sorrows with red wine.
  • Used oddly in U2's "The End of the World":
    "In my dream, I was drowning my sorrows / but my sorrows had learned to swim."
  • Tears for Fears:
    • "Wino" note :
      Could you be wrong
      To choke on the smoke and the drunkenness
      Drowning in sorrow with each breath
    • "Mad World":
      Their tears are filling up their glasses
      No expression, no expression
      Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
      No tomorrow, no tomorrow
    • "Closest Thing to Heaven":
      There's been a lot of drinking
      Looking at ghosts of you
    • "Who You Are":
      Someone's drinking all alone
  • "Pour Me" by Hollywood Undead.
  • The Proclaimers:
    • "It's Saturday Night"
    "The drink that I had three hours ago
    Has been joined by fourteen others in a steady flow"
    • "A Long Long Long Time Ago"
      "I just settled down with a bottle of gin
      So I moved on to whiskey, and it hit me again
      Memories were raining punches down upon my head..."
  • Gorillaz bassist Murdoc Niccals has apparently been perpetually drunk for months on end, as of current canon. During his Pirate Radio shows, he rambles about how lonely he is. It's unsurprising: Noodle was missing in action after the "El Manana" video and may or may not have been trapped in Hell, so he replaced her with a cyborg; Russel was also missing, whereabouts unknown, so he replaced him with an automatic drum machine; and 2D wanted nothing to do with him, so Murdoc kidnapped him and kept him prisoner, and 2D is now sober enough to start realizing exactly how bad Murdoc's treatment of him has always been.
  • Savatage:
  • Eagles:
    • It's stated in "Lying Eyes" that the protagonist gets drunk to deal with her loveless marriage and general poor life decisions.
    • The subject of "Tequila Sunrise" is on a long bender because his love interest isn't interested in him.
  • "A Sadness Runs Through Him" by The Hoosiers is about a depressed man who drinks heavily.
    Time and again boys are raised to be men
    Impatient they start, fearful they end
    But here was a man mourning tomorrow
    Who drank, but finally drowned in his sorrow
  • Haku Yowane from Vocaloids is notorious for this; she drinks because she knows she's just a failed Expy of Miku. Neru Akita, on the other hand, has a different way of handling her jealousy of Miku...
  • The protagonist of "Six Degrees Of Separation" by The Script takes to drinking to deal with the issue of still being in love with their ex. "Nothing" is also about this.
  • Implied in Poets of the Fall's "Nothing Stays the Same," as the singer admits he's "been doused in elixir to numb my pains."
  • Verse two of "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" by The Beatles:
    I've had a drink or two and I don't care
    There's no fun in what I do if she's not there
  • Gary Portnoy's theme song from the sitcom Cheers, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name".
  • The Fountains of Wayne album "Welcome Interstate Managers" is full of references to drinking, a case of Real Life Writes the Plot due to Chris Collingwood's alcoholism. In particular:
    • "Mexican Wine" is about trying to make the best of things after a series of tragedies, which includes having many glasses of the titular Mexican wine.
    • "No Better Place" is basically a series of incidents of the narrator being reminded of his friend/lover who moved away, and drinking heavily in response.
  • Allen Sherman's album "My Son, The Celebrity" has a cut called "Schticks of One, Half Dozen of the Other," which is a general hodgepodge of song parodies. One of them, to the tune of "Polly Wolly Doodle," refers to his diet:
    Fare thee well, Metrecal,
    And the others of that ilk.
    Let the diet start tomorrow
    For today I'll drown my sorrows
    In a double malted milk.
  • "Dizzy" by Waterparks:
    Daylight savings gives me time to think
    Which is the last thing that I want since I don't drink
    So I can't numb my feelings to avoid my thoughts
    That climb to the back of my head tying my veins in knots
  • Andy Fairweather Low's "Wide Eyed and Legless":
    Well, I've tried every thing
    That I know will get rid of this fling
    And I can't understand
    Why I'm wide eyed and legless again
  • The woman in "Lipstick on His Collar" by Caro Emerald gets drunk in a bar to cope with her lover habitually cheating on her.
  • In Taylor Swift's "Death by a Thousand Cuts," the narrator attempts to drown her sorrow after a break-up with little success.
    I get drunk, but it's not enough
    'Cause the morning comes and you're not my baby
  • The Magnetic Fields' "Too Drunk To Dream":
    So why do I get plastered?
    And why am I so lonely?
    It's you, you heartless bastard
    You're my one and only

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Pablo Marquez, after it was revealed La Tigresa was only showing interest in him because she was put up to it by El Bronco #1 in WWC.
  • Nicole Matthews took to drinking, to the detriment of all other things, after she lost the SHIMMER Singles Title.


  • Parodied in the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Hugo's girlfriend has left him. He announces that he's going to go drink himself to death and leaves. Several scenes later, he staggers back onstage: "Milk. But it worked." At one point in the interim, he's shown trying to order a drink, but since he has only a vague idea what even the names of alcoholic drinks are, he doesn't do it very well. He ends up asking if the bartender can make him a "vodka malted." Note that this, however, depends on the production. Some will portray him as just having gotten angry...and some imply that he somehow managed to get a hold of actual alcohol.
  • In Cactus Flower, after Julian realizes that cutting off both Stephanie and Toni has left him without a woman to take care of his needs in the office or outside it, he goes out and gets drunk.
  • Can-Can: The first act ends with Aristide being dramatically rejected by Pistache and his career being derailed by a manufactured scandal. The second act begins with him waking up in an unfamiliar bedroom in unfamiliar nightclothes at an artists' studio loft and no memory of the intervening period. The artists explain that they rescued him after he got blind drunk and picked a fight with an entire nightclub full of people who already had a grudge against him.
  • Philip Barry's play Holiday contains a discussion between Linda and Ned Seton about this. Linda, mortified to find she has fallen in love with her sister's fiancé, contemplates getting drunk on champagne and asks her brother what it's like. In the end, she decides to be stoical about the situation and goes to join the engagement party instead.
  • Act II of Love Never Dies opens with Raoul getting sloshed in a seedy bar on Coney Island, lamenting his losing Christine to the Phantom. Meg comes on after his big solo to lampshade it (and provide a bit of foreshadowing.
  • In the Spanish zarzuela Marina, one of the songs, "El Brindis", deals with men drinking to ease the pain of unrequited love.
    A beber, a beber y apurar (To drink, to drink and drain)
    Las copas de licor (The cups of liquor)
    Que el vino hará olvidar (As the wine will make you forget)
    Las penas del amor. (The pains of love)
  • In Merrily We Roll Along, Mary Flynn, who previously didn't drink at all, takes a hearty swig from a champagne bottle after Frank chooses to wait for a call from Gussie rather than come with her and Charley. For the rest of the show (chronologically), she is either wasted or getting there.
    Ru: So, what do you do?
    Mary: I drink.
    Ru: No, what do you really do?
    Mary: I really drink.
  • In the 1940 Cole Porter musical Panama Hattie, Ethel Merman's title character had the song "Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please."
  • In The SpongeBob Musical, Mrs. Puff decides to do "all the living I should have done before!" in the hours leading up to the eruption of Mt. Humongous, and spends much of the show getting hammered on kelp juice.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Inverted in Dungeons & Dragons, who's dwarves react differently to Alcohol. As Mordenkainen puts it, "Humans drink to forget, dwarves drink to remember". A dwarf under the influence of alcohol vividly remembers past deeds, to the point of nearly reliving them. In the company of other dwarves, they can reminisce about the time they fought a dragon, or any similar deed. Alone, however, they may linger on negative memories, and a dwarf who drinks alone is best avoided.
    • This is also the reason Duergar (grey-dwarves, the Evil Counterpart to normal dwarves) rarely drink much. Since their history is somewhat more traumatic than the regular dwarves, they avoid drinking, lest they risk revisiting memories of their centuries-long torture by the Ilithids.
  • In Exalted, Demetheus accidentally killed a friend during a fight, and then proceeded to go on such an epic sorrow-drowning bender that the Goddess of Intoxicants herself, Burning Feather, came down from Yu-Shan to sober him up.

    Video Games 
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Connor recruits an old ship captain by the name of Robert Faulkner, who fell into drunkenness after his ship, the Aquila, was decommissioned and he lost his purpose. He leaps at the chance to sail her again for the Assassins and by all appearances remains sober afterward, or at least as sober as any other sailor.
  • Jack McClendon, from the BioShock 2 DLC Minerva's Den, turned to drink after an ill-advised contract to make robotic Little Sisters left him with nothing but a huge R&D bill and a massive amount of unsold inventory. He is clearly wasted in the audio diary you find in his office, along with what appears to be his corpse, implying he drank himself to death.
  • The Japanese version and the DS retranslation of Chrono Trigger implies that Frog did this when he learned King Guardia was wounded in battle, though the act itself is not shown on screen. In the SNES translation, such a thing would be unheard of.
  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker ends up back at the bar where his adventure began to drown out the pain of his girlfriend Berri's death which was exacerbated by being forced to take the Panther King's throne. On a more humorous note, the Grim Reaper can also be seen getting smashed after he has spent the game dealing with Conker and his extra lives.
  • In Darkest Dungeon one of the ways the characters can relieve the stress of braving horrifying dungeons full of horrifying monsters is by getting tanked at the local tavern. If you're unlucky, said characters might get the Resolution quirk after a bad night of drinking so they can't relieve stress in a tavern, or get the Tippler quirk after gaining a dependency on alcohol meaning they can only relieve stress in a tavern. If you're really unlucky, the character might end up with both quirks meaning they can't relieve stress in town at all.
  • Deadly Premonition: After the murder of her daughter, Sallie Graham starts spending a lot of time getting drunk at the SWERY '65 bar.
  • This seems to be the source of Oghren's alcoholism in Dragon Age: Origins. He got on the sauce after his wife left him and he was restricted from ever carrying a weapon while in the city or fighting in the Deep Roads. Other dwarves openly mock him for it. Constantly.
  • Hinted at with Fenris in Dragon Age II. Hawke can find him drunk on the anniversary of his escape, which could also be the same day the people who helped him were killed by his hands. Oddly, though, he's more cheerful drunk than he normally is.
  • Nearly every dwarf in Dwarf Fortress has in their bio: "Urist McAlequaffer needs alcohol to get through the working day" and will add "and is working more slowly due to its scarcity" should the fortress run out. Given the myriad horrible things that can (and frequently do) happen to the dwarves, it is rather easy to see why they would drink so much? Besides them being, you know, dwarves. Notably, sentients of any other sort only start flocking to alcohol in the same manner when they've achieved the famed "doesn't care about anything anymore" level of emotional jadedness, and they'll match dwarves drink for drink no matter how much it hurts their lesser livers.
  • Escape from Monkey Island has Carla drinking at the microbrewery on Jambalaya Island to forget her time on Monkey Island. Unfortunately, Guybrush inadvertently reminds her of what she was drinking to forget, and she complains "Thanksh a load, Threepwood. Now I gotta shtart all over again."
    Guybrush: Drinking isn't the answer, Carla."
    Carla: That depends on the question, doeshn't it?
  • In The Evil Within, it is mentioned that Sebastian Castellanos started drinking heavily after his daughter died in a fire implied to not have been an accident.
  • Cass, one of your possible companions in Fallout: New Vegas is found doing this in a crappy military bar after her caravans have (suspiciously) been vaporized. She's still The Alcoholic after she joins your party but at least she isn't depressed.
  • Happens in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, where Cid is originally drinking heavily after the death of his wife. In the American translation, he merely has trouble keeping a job.
  • Cloud from Final Fantasy VII is implied to do this rarely and only when he gets really, really, REALLY depressed, like in On the Way To a Smile: Case of Tifa.
  • More or less speculative, Final Fantasy IX, when Garnet resigns herself to becoming The High Queen, Zidane is found by their friends in a bar sulking about the possibility of his and Garnet now becoming more distant regarding their relationship. The way Zidane speaks throughout the whole scene certainly seems like he was in a drunken stupor, but...
  • In Fire Emblem Gaiden, if Gray and his crush Clair survive but his best friend Tobin does not, Gray crosses the Despair Event Horizon and falls into this. The remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, is more merciful: he gets drunkenly depressed too, but Clair manages to help him recover and they marry, naming their firstborn son after Tobin.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, Piers gets washed away from his homeland by a tidal wave, followed by his mother dying from a heart attack. When you finally bring Piers back to his uncle's house, you find said uncle surrounded by spilled bottles.
  • In Harvest Moon 64 this is implied to be the reason behind Karen's heavy drinking. She comes from a rather broken family, with a somewhat abusive father and a depressed mother, and has her fair share of angst.
  • While it is unknown if he actually does this, Yuri from Infinite Space occasionally makes other characters (usually his sister) worried that something is bothering him when he starts to drink a lot.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In Mass Effect 2 DLC Lair of the Shadow Broker, you can find info on Captain Anderson that due to the pressure of being in politics and working with the head-up-their-asses Citadel Council, he's since taken up heavy drinking. And watching conspiracy vids, just to see how much bull the public is fed, probably bringing Udina along just to see the conspiracy shitstorm.
  • Mass Effect 3:
    • Tali of all people is seen getting soused after Miranda dies on Sanctuary. She manages to get wasted off of triple filtered Turian brandy, introduced through an "Emergency induction port". (Note that Tali also gets drunk even if Miranda survives the Sanctuary mission, but in that case, the topic that's driven her to drink is a bit different.) And then, assuming you have "From Ashes", she drunk-dials a less-than-amused Javik and becomes convinced he has a crush on Liara.
      Shepard: That's a straw Tali.
      Tali: Emeeerrrgency. Induction. Port.
    • Ashley also gets wasted at some point, but you only see the aftermath, what with her curled up on the floor with a massive hangover. Shepard can then proceed to make fun of her.
      Shepard: I was just thinking it would be a good time to test the fire alarm.
      Ashley: I'll pay you a million credits not to do that, sir/ma'am.
      Shepard: Two million, and we have a deal.
      Ashley: You're a damned space pirate.
    • In deleted content, Engineer Donnelly can be found in Purgatory drinking alone, very heavily, in the event that he survived the collector base and Engineer Daniels didn't.
  • By the third Max Payne 3 game, Max has become a raging alcoholic alongside his painkiller addiction.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    • Solid Snake mentions that, while he lived in isolation in Alaska, that he was "drinking too much," presumably to drown out his PTSD.
    • Rosemary mentions something similar in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where she mentioned that Raiden was frequently returning home exceptionally drunk for reasons that are strongly implied to be the result of his PTSD memories of his being a former child soldier returning to him.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Granin and Skowronski (and to a lesser extent the Russian personnel), respectively, were shown to be drowning their sorrows for being abandoned. It also overlaps into Vodka Drunkenski.
  • Taro Namatame from Persona 4 is shown drinking after the death of his mistress. His mental state during said moment might be a contributing factor for how he was easily manipulated by Adachi into throwing people into the TV.
  • In Pretentious Game 3, this is how the gray square copes with his guilt over the fact that his affair with the bright pink square led to the light pink square divorcing him.
  • In Psychonauts 2, Raz discovers that Bob Zanotto, Lili's great-uncle and one of the founding members of the Psychonauts, has turned to drinking to deal with all the trauma in his life (from the death of his mother to the battle against Maligula to the apparent demise of his lover/husband Helmut Fullbear).
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Jack Marston implies that he has become a heavy drinker to cope with the death of his family
  • Resident Evil:
    • Chris Redfield in Resident Evil 6 is introduced getting himself wasted at a local European bar in order to forget the tragic event of him witnessing his whole team being transformed into monsters. Only Chris and his subordinate Piers survived and he feels immensely guilty for not being able to save his crew. It takes Piers to find him and get him to face the truth in order to overcome it.
    • A similar scene occurs in Resident Evil: Vendetta when Chris and Rebecca go to ask Leon for his help. Traumatized by having to put down his infected team, Leon is deep in the bottle and initially hostile when asked to take on another assignment. When Chris tries to stop him from ordering more to drink, Leon defiantly takes out a flask.
    • Resident Evil 7 gives this implication in regards to retired Marine/family Patriarch Jack Baker having a drinking problem in the past.
  • Deego in Rogue Galaxy is first found drowning his sorrows after a combat mission went badly wrong.
  • The Shadow Hearts series has, in its first game, Koudelka, a scene between the titular heroine and Edward getting drunk and telling each other their stories. It takes a sad turn when they reveal each other's pasts.
  • After Starkiller defeats him at the TIE fighter construction facility above Nar Shaddaa, Rahm Kota is found in a bar in Bespin.
  • In the backstory to Submerged, after the siblings' mother was lost at sea, their father lost himself in booze. When Miku tried to snap him out of it, he drunkenly tried to stab her and her brother intervened and took the spear in his belly. You spend the game trying to save him.
  • The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 is characterized this way. His melee weapon is the very bottle he draws his "comfort" from, and his taunt for said weapon features him shouting "Cheers, mate!" and taking a hearty swig. A good number of his in-game lines either sound completely drunk or reference his being so ("I'm drunk — you don't have an excuse!", "Imagine if I hadn't been drunk!", etc.). His "Meet the Team" video features the strongest example of this trope, with him going from sober to somewhat wasted by the end and bemoaning the fact that he is "a black Scottish cyclops".
    "They got more *BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP*s than they got the likes o' me!"
    • A taunt added in a late 2016 patch, called the "Scotsmann's Stagger", has the Demoman continuously drinking from a bottle while tipsily walking forwards and letting out drunken in-game lines with every few steps.
  • Although everyone in Touhou Project is fond of strong drink (including the creator), Parsee Mizuhashi is explicitly stated to drink to forget her constant jealousy.
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4: Vincey is already a Lady Drunk doing this from before she enters The Squad, being a Shell-Shocked Veteran from being Sole Survivor of her special forces unit. She notably averts Functional Alcoholic in that she's The Load on missions randomly ending her turn prematurely, until Character Development sees her unleash her true potential via her squad mission.
  • Parodied in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: the player character can subject the hapless, hulking, tattooed bartender at the Asylum Club to a totally nonsensical sob story, then breezily decline to order a drink and walk away.
  • Wing Commander III: Halfway into the game, Col. Blair drowns his sorrows after discovering Angel's fate. After the cutscene showing her fate, you're given a choice of talking with Rachel or drinking some more. Unless one is a masochist, talking is probably better than drinking. Especially because of the scramble alert following shortly thereafter. Alcohol and spacecraft do not mix, and flying drunk will make your ship behave erratically.
  • It turns out that The Bloody Baron from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt became The Alcoholic he is due to also being a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
  • World of Warcraft: In the cinematic for Mists of Pandaria, a shipwrecked Orc and human are forced to fight together against Chen Stormstout, who sweeps the floor with them. In an "outtake" released much later, they go to a tavern to get some drink, still not quite sure what happened.
    Human: So... it was a bear?
    Orc: In a hat! [passes out]
  • In XCOM 2, Not too long after the fall of XCOM, the once upstanding Central Officer Bradford had picked up some alcoholic tendencies during his time of despair before he went on to save the Commander and start the XCOM uprising.

    Visual Novels 
  • Amnesia: Memories shows Ikki to be this type of drinker, for the most part. He'll sometimes go drinking with Kent in a social matter, but his drinking is generally shown as a way to deal with emotional matters. He tends to drink when having difficulty dealing with his fanclub or other relationship problems, even calling the heroine while intoxicated, blabbing about a little, and pouring his heart out more than intended. He also turns out to be a cuddler when drunk.
  • Whether he won or lost, after the first case of Aviary Attorney Jayjay Falcon spends three days, working on a fourth, in a very sorry state at a shabby students' bar. Sparrowson has to wake him up and bring him home. Ending route 4B has Volerti going My God, What Have I Done? and hanging out at that same bar, to Falcon's dismay.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry the (very underage) Creepy Child Rika drinks wine when she's depressed. A TIPS confirms that she drinks for the purpose of getting drunk.
  • One of the Game Overs in Hotel Dusk: Room 215 has Dunning offering to cheer Kyle (who had just mistakenly upset a guest to the point of checking out early) up by getting drunk with him. It's a Game Over because Kyle is too drunk to do anything else for the rest of the night.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the lack of any progress in finding her missing daughter upsets Natsumi to the point that she turns to alcohol, to the dismay of her nephew. She says at the same time that she hasn't been able to keep down any food. She gets steadily worse throughout the later chapters until Akira confesses to her about what really happened to Ami.
  • This occurs in Umineko: When They Cry with Kinzo, as well as a few times with Beatrice and Battler.

    Web Animation 
  • Anon: Chelsea's go to solution for any hardship she faces is to get drunk, unfortunately it almost always leads to her verbally or physically assaulting whoever's closest to her.
  • Vinesauce's The Blue Shell Incident opens with Luigi ordering a spaghetti on the rocks from Toad, miserable over losing Mario.
  • Boris aka "Daddy" from Caillou The Grownup has taken to drinking because he’s depressed that he has to put up with his son Caillou who became a Psychopathic Man Child that makes his life a living hell.
  • Homestar Runner: Strong Bad drowns his sorrows when he finds out that his friend The Cheat is dating Marzipan.
  • Minilife TV: In "Mime Support", Larry says that after he got fired from his job as a mime for talking, he fell into a state of depression and started drinking until his money ran out.
  • Calamity is a believer in this in No Evil, although it's not her sorrows she's trying to drown; it's her brother Ichabod's.
    Calamity: You know what's good after a long, depressing run? Booze!
  • RWBY:
    • Qrow's first appearance is in a bar in Vale; his dialogue has a noticeable slur and, when he walks away, he's visibly swaying. When Winter irritably accuses him of being drunk, Glynda informs her that Qrow is always drunk, and he often swigs from a hip flask even in front of children or during important strategic meetings. Although some scenes of him being drunk have a comic element to them, such as everyone staring in disbelief as he carries on drinking when Glynda complains, or his behaviour when he introduces Oscar to Team RWBY, no scenes are ever played entirely for laughs: the disbelief and anger in Glynda's meeting at his behaviour is genuine, and Ruby is visibly exhausted with Qrow's drunkenness when Oscar is introduced to them. As Volume 5 makes it increasingly clear that he can't handle leadership without retreating to a bar, the comedy elements become less noticeable; as the pressures the team are facing start to take their toll, he becomes increasingly reliant on the bottle until Volume 6 focuses exclusively on the disadvantages to himself and everyone around him of his vulnerability to emotional stress. After spending Volume 6 as The Load, he admits to Clover in Volume 7 that he's decided to give up alcohol.
    • A flashback revealing Ozpin's origin story reveals that his back story includes such terrible trauma that he retreated into alcohol and spent years as an alcoholic before he wasn able to pull himself out of it. Oz and Salem were originally lovers until his tragic death became Salem's Start of Darkness. When he was reincarnated, he reunited with Salem and they had a family together. When he realised she was planning on wiping out the human race to populate it with their own descendents, he tried to leave her and take their children with him. Salem caught him in the act and, in the ensuing battle, they destroyed their entire kingdom and their children were killed in the crossfire. Oz was so lost to his pain that he spent several reincarnations drunk until he was able to pull himself back together.
    • Willow Schnee is an alcoholic who stopped being a mother to Weiss years ago. On Weiss' tenth birthday, Willow confronted her husband Jacques over his increasing focus on business to the point of missing events with their children. In the ensuing argument, Jacques admitted to have married her only to gain control of the Schnee Dust Company. Willow began her drinking habits after that, drinking more and more as time went on. It's all but stated that this is her coping mechanism for being stuck in a loveless, sham marriage.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Can You Spare a Quarter?: Jamie tells Graham how other street children take drugs and alcohol to handle this miserable lifestyle.
  • The protagonist of Superhero Black Hole has done this. This is not recommended for time-travelers, as they can drunkenly travel back in time and then change history and be unable to return to the present — as happens to our hero.
    Protagonist: Because drunken time-jumping is a lot like trying to slam on a car’s brakes, but your foot keeps slipping and you hit the accelerator instead. It's terrifying. Eventually, I stopped myself and wound up in a few years ago. Which is where I accidentally punched a policeman, obliterated all chance of me going back to Letrodacta’s birth, and eventually wound up here.
  • In Theatrica, drowning one's sorrows is just what the doctor ordered.
  • A World of Laughter, a World of Tears sees President Walt Disney drowning his despair in whiskey once it's clear how much damage his reaction to the Civil Rights Movement has done/is going to do.

    Web Videos 
  • In Aaron after an argument with his brother, Adam storms out of the house and reappears the next morning drunk.
  • There's a running gag in Atop the Fourth Wall that reviews of Marville drive Linkara to drink; when Issue #3 comes around, even his alter-ego Holo-kara manages it.
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Mr Rochester, apparently. He is seen with a glass of scotch on his table in episode 10, and in episode 11 he says he knows he has many faults and that he finds it easier to drink than to regret. One of his tweets to his assistant reads: "Can you schedule a meeting for 2 hours from now and can you arrange a scotch?"
  • Cobra Kai: A recurring issue for the now-adult Johnny, particularly following a significant failure.
  • Gavin of KateModern binges on large quantities of alcohol when depressed.
  • Daniel in lonelygirl15, in "Truth or Dare", and again in "Intervention". Jonas in "Beer Bath" (in a scene that lasts for nearly 8 minutes; it's not pretty).
  • Happens to Sideburns in Positively Dreadful after finding he still can't beat Donkey Kong Country after so many years.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Bugs Bunny version of Casablanca, Bugs himself is drinking carrot juice saying something similar to the film's true quote.
  • Jeremie Belpois attempts to do this with hot chocolate when he is upset about the fact that the uranium battery is almost all used up and if XANA dies, so does Aelita. He is interrupted before he gets close to raising it to his lips.
  • Done in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, with Straight Man Mac loading himself up on ice cream to forget his troubles. Mac's metabolism can't handle sugar, and he acts like he's on speed.
  • Futurama:
    • Bender is doing it in the pilot episode. He's getting drunk because he found out that he — a bending unit — was used to bend parts for suicide booths. Fry wonders why would a robot need to drink, and Bender assures him that he doesn't need to drink and can quit any time he wants. It was later changed and established that robots indeed do need alcohol to function properly.
    • In "I, Roommate", Bender gets so depressed about Fry throwing him out of their apartment that he stops drinking and (since robots need alcohol to function properly) starts to act drunk. He even grows a Beard of Sorrow made out of rust!
      "I'm sober and crazy and don't know what I'll do!"
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Gideon Rising", Grunkle Stan goes to Greasy's Diner and orders "your strongest, most expired cider" to drown his sorrows over losing the Mystery Shack to Gideon Gleeful and having to send Dipper and Mabel home early.
  • In "Riot's Hope" from Jem, Riot sits around at a party drinking not-alcohol gloomily by himself after learning his mother is sick and being forced to interact with his abusive father.
  • The Legend of Korra features Bolin doing this with noodles after he sees his crush Korra kiss his brother. He becomes uncoordinated, sullen and the next day is clearly hungover.
  • K'nuckles from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack seems to do this with "maple syrup". Also, in "High Land Lubber" he actually asks Peppermint Larry for something to drown his sorrows, even though Peppermint Larry gives him prune juice.
  • Metalocalypse:
    • Toki Wartooth does this after his father's death, getting hammered numerous times since then. The other band members note on this, with Skwisgaar saying he doesn't want to babysit Toki during Seth's wedding, and everyone being shocked that he's drinking straight vodka in the morning. Ironically, he knocks out Nathan's assailant with a vodka bottle in the Season 2 finale.
    • It's strongly implied that this is what drove Pickles to become The Alcoholic. When Seth burned down the garage, he blamed Pickles and the rest of the family accepted it. He was six when he started drinking.
  • Both parodied and played for drama in Moral Orel:
    • In the first season, Clay Puppington's alcoholism is less pronounced and played for laughs. But in the later parts of the second season and the entire third season, things take a darker turn.
    • In "Nature" where he gets progressively drunker and at one point of sorrow, screams "WHY DO YOU STOP WORKING ON ME?" at the bottle.
    • Another example is in the episode "Sacrifice" where he gives a very depressing and drunken monologue about life in the aptly named "old Forgetty's Pub" and then antagonizes everyone inside the bar so much, that he drives them all away.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: G-rated versions of this trope have cropped on occasion:
    • In the first season finale, "The Best Night Ever", Spike is disappointed when the girls leave to do their own thing at the Grand Galloping Gala instead of enjoying the night together as he suggested. At the end of the episode, we find Spike's spent the night stuffing his face with donuts and hot cocoa at Pony Joe's donut shop. He even briefly acts like a sullen drunk.
    • In "The Break Up Breakdown", Big Mac, Spike and Discord are hiding in the bushes when they overhear Big Mac's girlfriend Sugar Belle saying things that sound suspiciously like she's planning to break up with him. The next scene cuts to Big Mac's home, where he's sobbing uncontrollably and guzzling apple cider.
  • Occurs in the Recess episode, "I Will Kick No More Forever", when Vince starts losing his touch in every sport. The scene that features this trope is when he stays home from school binging out on root beer and donuts (complete with Balloon Belly) while watching video recordings of his previous games. Mikey even asks, "Don't you think you've had enough!?"
  • Implied in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power when Catra finds Shadow Weaver holding a goblet and slurring slightly after Adora calls her out for her lifelong mistreatment of herself and Catra, tells her she'll never let her get the power she seeks, and then goes with them to quite possibly die.
  • Happens in Shinbone Alley after Mehitabel tells Archy he's too low class to see her any more. He goes and gets plastered inside a liquor bottle.
  • The Simpsons: The only reason Moe's Tavern has stayed in business after all these years.
    • With a special nod to an episode where he gives Homer a special drink, specifically made to cause short-term memory loss. Of course, when he can't remember what he's supposed to forget, Homer comes to some pretty wild conclusions.
      Moe: Frankly, I'm surprised you're not across the street, where they drink for fun, instead of here, where, uh... horrible addiction compels you.
    • In "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" upon being told his plant needed $56 million in renovations to avoid being shut down Mr. Burns pulls out a liquor bottle and pounds shots for several hours, drunkenly stumbling to his car and sobbing.
  • In the South Park episode "Ass Burgers", this is effectively what the cynics do, all ridiculousness aside. By the end of the episode, this is what Stan turns to, possibly on a long-term basis, just to get through a normal day.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants drowns his sorrows in ice cream in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. It has the same effect on him as alcohol.
  • Steven Universe: In "Mr. Greg", when Greg feels like he'll never be able to patch things up with Pearl, he goes down to the hotel bar and is seen with a glass full of maraschino cherry stems.
  • Teen Titans (2003): In "Car Trouble" in the first scene of the third act Cyborg is sitting despondently on a curb, having failed to get his car back from Gizmo, surrounded by empty milkshake cups. Presently Raven shows up, looks at the cups and remarks, "Fourteen milkshakes. Not a good sign."
  • When Tom gets jilted in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Blue Cat Blues," he starts drinking. Apparently, in this cartoon, milk gets him drunk. His eyes form fuel gauges to register when he's full.

    Real Life 
  • Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. Even in the 1860s and 1870s, Macdonald's drinking binges were legendary, but in truth, the poor guy had good reason to want to get loaded, not least of which were the serious financial problems he faced, and the even more serious problems stemming from the poor health of his wife and daughter. On top of all that, Canada has been described by many of its prime ministers as extremely difficult to govern. It's not hard to see why Macdonald would need a good stiff drink now and again.
  • It seems that John Kerr, former governor-general of Australia, did this after the public backlash resulting from his dismissal of the Prime Minister in 1975 started to get to him. When presenting the 1977 Melbourne Cup, he was visibly drunk.
  • When Vince Neil's daughter was dying of cancer, he began drinking even heavier than he usually did to cope with his despair. After the funeral, his friends shipped him off to rehab. It didn't take, and he remains a heavy drinker to this day.
  • Let's face it: Many, many people do this, and sometimes they don't stop.
  • There's often a joke about this. Basically, if you're drinking to forget, remember to pay in advance.
    • Another half-joking reminder: You may drink to drown your sorrows, but they can swim.
  • Wehrmacht soldiers had alcohol abuse in their ranks to such an extent the commander-in-chief of the Germany army stated in 1941 that he believed alcohol was jeopardizing "discipline within the military".
  • Dan Savage semi-jokingly recommends this after a breakup: "To calculate how long it will take to get over her, divide the time you were together in half, subtract one month for every year you are over thirty, and have another beer."
  • Doug Walker admitted in a charity drive that he'd drank a lot more after his pet project Demo Reel ended.
  • Dan Aykroyd began binge drinking after John Belushi died. He managed to cut down. Sort of. He now owns a wine brand, is co-owner of a vodka brand, and owns the rights to Patron tequila in Canada.
  • In an interview for the Apple TV+ docuseries "The Me You Can't See", Prince Harry admitted to doing this, along with taking drugs (thus explaining much of the "bad boy" behavior he was notorious for in his twenties) to cope with the pain of his mother's death.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Drowning His Sorrows, Drowning Her Sorrows, Drowning Their Sorrows, Drown Their Sorrows


Baldur's Gate III

As the goblins celebrate at your camp after siding with them in their raid at Silvanus' Grove, Shadowheart can be found getting hammered in a vain attempt to forget that she had taken part in the slaughtering of tieflings and druids at the grove.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrowningMySorrows

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