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Drunken Glow

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How do you convey a character is drunk? Well, staggering around and slurring their words (with the occasional Alcohol Hic) is the most obvious way. If you want to be more whimsical about it, there's the Pink Elephants. If you want to get it across instantly as soon as the audience sees the person, given them a red, bulbous nose. In Japanese media, characters might get a Luminescent Blush or Blush Stickers on their cheeks instead of just a red nose.

The Truth in Television here, to a limited extent, is rhinophyma, a type of skin condition that causes growth of the nose along with redness and dilation of blood vessels. Traditionally, this has been called a "drinker's nose", but alcohol only aggravates the condition, it is not a root cause. In any event, it is a persistent condition, whereas characters in fiction will only have red noses when they're actually drunk (although for The Alcoholic, this could be all the time).

Compare and contrast Sickness Equals Redness, where illness instead of alcohol is the cause of the redness.

Since the exaggerated fictional version is a rather "cartoony" concept, it's largely a Comedy Trope. As such, it's a Sub-Trope of Gag Nose.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Aggretsuko, when the office staff go out drinking they're pretty much all blushing Through a Face Full of Fur in short order.
  • Boruto:
    • A flashback shows Naruto being taken home drunk by most of his male friends. Not only is Naruto's face flushed but his entire face is pink. Several of the others faces are pink as well. Sai even had a faint blush.
    • When Konohamaru, Moegi, and Shino are shown drinking, Konohamaru and Moegi's faces are flushed. When Hanabi starts drinking with them her face turns completely pink (as does Konohamaru's).
  • Not even ten seconds after drinking her first cup of sake in CLANNAD After Story, Nagisa's face immediately goes pink and starts to be a Clingy Jealous Girl for Tomoya. Her mom Sanae follows, but it's much less extreme.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, Gohan gets drunk from eating an apple. Aside from the half-opened dizzy eyes and hyperactive behavior, he gets a red streak over his face.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid Life has a chapter where Fate ends up this way after getting drunk while she and Nanoha were visiting Hayate. Of course, Vivio (who was on a trip with her friends) chooses to have a video call right as Nanoha is tucking her into bed and ends up mistaking it for a very different type of blushing.
  • In One-Punch Man OVA 6, a drunk Tatsumaki is shown with a distinct drunk Blush Sticker. She's also uncharacteristically happy given her tsundere personality.
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: In episode 39, an Officer Jenny and a Nurse Joy get drunk on berry juice. They each have Blush Stickers.
  • Franky and Yor from Spy X Family have blushy faces in episode 5 after getting drunk in celebration of Anya getting accepted into Eden academy.

  • Drinking Bacchus: All wine Bacchus is drinking has provoked a subtle blush on his face.

    Comic Books 
  • Legionary Tremensdelirius in Asterix and Caesar's Gift. Other characters in Asterix who've been drinking are sometimes show with red noses as well, but Tremensdelirius is consistently drawn with detailed pitting on his nose that really does look like rhinophyma.
  • In Chilean comic book Condorito, there's a drunken character, Garganta de Lata (lit. Tin Throat) that always is seen drunk and with the red nose. Also, characters in the comic book that were drunk (Always Male, the titular Condorito included) also are despised with red noses.
  • Very common in Franco-Belgian Comics like Gaston Lagaffe and Lucky Luke, with alcoholic characters having deformed noses (like the town drunk in Spirou and Fantasio).

    Comic Strips 
  • Although the line drawing means they can't actually be shown as red, drunken characters in Beau Peep are drawn with the nose shaded in.
  • When Andy Capp is shown coming home from the pub, his nose is similarly shaded.

    Fan Works 
  • Anything for Family: Joker's face flushes red when he downs a whole bottle of rum by himself.
  • After a one week hiatus, Pinkamina from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic blog Ask Pinkamina Diane Pie was shown drunk. Even with the normal pink of the artstyle, it's obvious that she's flushed. Pinkamina ends up passing out mid-reply.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Cerasse, when she and her sisters are playing cards, with the prize being a cup of wine from a bottle.
    As the thinker of the group, she had already won the prize disproportionately often and it showed in the slight blush on her cheeks
  • While playing a Drinking Game in The 3 Little Princesses, Rosalina and Daisy get so drunk they start flushing. Peach's Blush Stickers just darken.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: In "War In The Ruins" Due to spiked punch, that's estimated at 90% vodka:
    Fluttershy, a slight blush on her face and a cup of punch in her hands.
  • In To Belong, Charming's cheeks flush when he's drunk.
  • RWBY: Scars: Yang flushes after getting drunk with CFVY.
  • Elphaba in Verdigris mentions seeing a very red-faced munchkin who she later realized was an extremely drunk munchkin.

  • The Black Echo by Michael Connelly : Lucius Porter, a washed-up homicide cop with a giant beer gut and an alcoholic's red nose who spends all his time drunk in bars.

  • The Mitch Benn song "Red Nose in the Sunset".
    Red nose in the sunset,
    Red eyes in the rain,
    Green face in the mirror,
    Hungover again.

    Video Games 
  • The Crusader Kings II mod "Better Looking Garbs" adds this to the appearance of a character with the "Drunkard" trait.
  • Life Is Strange 2: In Episode 2, Charles' face (complete with glazed eyes red nose) clearly suggests he's drunk. That section of the game happens immediately after the end of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit.
  • Last Word: Referenced in the red-colored Mrs. Prattle, in this official screenshot's caption:
    Mrs. Prattle: Red with passion, or flushed from wine? (Contest Version.)
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Risa of the Gerudo brings this up when roleplaying a conversation with a Hylian man. She pretends the guy is turning red from drink and notes that Gerudo don't because they're red already.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius: The Professoressa gets a bright rosy tint to her cheeks and nose as she drinks during the 2020 Holiday side story which then remains there along with her slightly tipsy demeanor from then on.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The alcohol flush reaction causes this in some drinkers and is notably prevalent in East Asians, hence its nicknames "Asian flush" and "Asian glow". This may be why the trope is so common in Japanese media.


Sailor Moon

Usagi gets very drunk.

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