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Drowning My Sorrows
aka: Drowning Their 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 or are in shock, they need a freaking drink. But when they are depressed and worn down by life, they down drink after drink to numb their pain.

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. Somebody who does this way too much may get Barred from Every Bar. 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.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Clippy does this in the Microsoft Office XP promotional short "Clippy Faces Facts", after it is implied that he's been kicked out by his own family.

  • 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 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.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Alexander Afanasyev's "Little Master Misery": Deconstructed. Every day, Misery goads Ivan into going to the tavern and drinking to forget that he is poor, his family has no food, and his brother is a greedy asshole. Naturally, getting drunk every day does not drive his problems away; in fact, it makes his situation worse. After one month, he is even poorer, having pawed his few belongings and even borrowed money to buy another drink, his family keeps starving, and he cannot even work his own land because he sold his barrow and his plough to buy more alcohol.
    Next day, early in the morning, little Master Misery began complaining. His head ached and he could not open his eyes, and he did not like the weather, and the children were crying, and there was no food in the house. He asked the peasant to come with him to the tavern again and forget all this wretchedness in a drink.

    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 (and Lefou's) 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 Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio after his son Carlo is killed in a bombing Gepetto takes up drinking, and he carves Pinocchio while he is drunk, resulting in his unfinished appearance.
  • 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.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Ralph appears to be trying to do this... in Tapper, appropriately enough. It's hinted to be fairly common with him, as when he doesn't show up for work, Felix first assumes he's passed out in the bathroom at Tapper's.

    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 they're 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"
    • Kenny Chesney: "Beer in Mexico." Subverted in "The Good Stuff," in which the singer, a newlywed, goes to do this after he and wife get into their first fight. When he asks the bartender for "the good stuff," he's told that it's all the little moments with his wife he'll miss when she's gone.
    • 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
    • "Lucky Ball and Chain":
      But now I rock the barstool and I drink for two
      Just pondering this time bomb in my mind
    • "Narrow Your Eyes"
      Now we'll toast the sad cold fact
      Our love's never coming back
      And we'll race to the bottom of a glass
  • "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 sounds upbeat as a man praises how wonderful alcohol is only to let slip that he's only drinking out of self loathing and his girlfriend is apparently getting increasingly worried about him. Small wonder given that he's getting so drunk he tries putting her clothes on.
  • "Alcohol" by Gogol Bordello
  • "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffett sounds mostly mellow as a man sings about watching the summer go by shitfaced on the porch playing his guitar and musing about a breakup with all the margaritas the only thing keeping him feeling even that good. The people walking by feel sorrow for him and blame his ex, but he at first doesn't hold a grudge but then slowly realizes it's his own fault. He goes home when he cuts open his foot on a bottlecap and starts drinking there instead.
  • "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
  • In the music video for Lil Nas X's "THATS WHAT I WANT", he learns that the man he loves (and had sex with) is married to a woman with whom he has a child. He then drinks wine straight from the bottle, alone in his house, until he passes out.
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Nobody Loves You Like Me" starts out this way with the narrator in the midst of a divorce, sitting at a bar "all alone, but I'm drinking for two/Drowning the man that I used to be." It appears to get even darker from there.
  • Implied in BLACKPINK's "The Happiest Girl" as a way to get over the collapse of a bad relationship.
    "All it takes is a smooth pop of a bottle top to fix a heart."
  • Dean Martin's "Little Ole Wine Drinker, Me":
    I'm prayin' for rain in California
    So the grapes can grow and they can make more wine
    And I'm sitting in a honky in Chicago
    With a broken heart and a woman on my mind
  • "Old Red Eyes is Back" by The Beautiful South tells the tale of an old man who spends all of his time drinking at the bar in a sullen silence. He laments the course his life has taken, between the women he allowed to pass him by and the ideas he'd had that he never worked on. He deliberately ignores his doctor's recommendations to stop drinking, and, when he eventually passes on, all of the bar owners in the district held a memorial for him. He is buried with an empty whiskey bottle, and a tear from each eye staining his cheeks.

    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.

    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.
  • MoniRobo: Hanayo drinks her sorrows at a bar when her sister Reina stole her latest boyfriend Sorao. She got so drunk that two shady guys took advantage of it and tried to take her somewhere, only for her childhood friend Rio to scare them off.
  • 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.
  • Fazbear and Friends (ZAMination): In "The END of Fazbear and Friends," the last episode of the series, Bendy gets drunk on Bacon Soup while lamenting about his failed goal of being popular that Mickey Mouse, and also comments that it was a great gag too.

    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.
  • Kontrola:
    • Natalia drinks heavily at a bar when she's miserable pining for Majka.
    • After she breaks up with Paulina, Natalia also has to get her as Paulina's gotten very drunk and is outside on an icy bridge.
  • 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.

    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 governnote . 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


Triple Gooberberry Sunrise

SpongeBob was going to leave as he was to depressed for Goofy Goobers, but when he heard that his friend, Patrick got the Triple Gooberberry Sunrise, he figured one of those couldn’t hurt.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrunkOnMilk

Media sources: