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Frothy Mugs of Water

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Gnomelette: I'm on a quest to find and eat some potion.
Colette: Eat? Are you sure you're talking about potion?
Gnomelette: It's something that's only for adults that makes them feel good.
Raine: It seems he really does mean potion.

The censorship of alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs in a family-friendly work. Often, the media makes no attempt to disguise the effects of intoxication, only the source. Drinks will be changed into "fruit juice" or "tea". Cigarettes and the like will likewise be changed into the most similar everyday object. The effects of being drunk are often attributed to something else such as poison or sleeping potion, or a sense of being "relaxed". Too much tea, apparently, makes you so amazingly relaxed that you lose control of your legs, throw up in a corner and lose consciousness. A non-alcoholic variant, seen almost exclusively in dubbed anime, involves changing coffee into cocoa or hot chocolate because the characters involved are "too young" to be drinking coffee (similar to an old myth that drinking coffee while young will "stunt your growth"). Or simply because kids aren't known to enjoy the taste of coffee in the west.

Of course, they could've used root beer or sarsaparilla (which are equally frothy and are identical in color to their alcoholic kin), and attribute the resulting behavior to a sugar high, but then that would get the healthy eating bodies after the importers of the show instead. Add that to the fact that new science is starting to suggest that sugar highs don't actually exist.

This often happens in family films. Any use of real drugs or alcohol will give a film a PG-13 rating, restricting profits. Television shows, which are made and/or aired by companies that also make films, tend to follow this lead. Note that in some cases, this is required — for example, U.S. law prohibits depictions of cigarettes in television programming for minors, so those will always be edited out or into something more innocent. (Oddly, the law only prohibits cigarettes — this is why Sanji from One Piece has his cigarette airbrushed out in the American broadcast version of the Funimation dub, but Captain Smoker is allowed to keep his cigar.)

An exception to this rule occurs in a Very Special Episode themed around alcoholism. A character (usually a teenager) takes up drinking in an attempt to appear "cool" and "grown up", only to find that alcohol completely screws them up. The episode ends with an Anti-Alcohol Aesop in which the character and their friends talk about the importance of drinking in moderation - if you drink at all.

See also Family-Friendly Firearms, which can involve applying the same type of censorship to guns.


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  • This Aquafina commercial invokes the trope quite literally. It shows people having fun in a bar, singing and drinking... water. One even breaks through the window, but it's meant to just be because he's happy to be hydrated.
  • This public service announcement from New Zealand's Health Promotion Agency. It parodies a beer ad, but it says not to add yeast or hops.
  • Paul Hogan, "Crocodile" Dundee himself, once did a commercial for Foster's Ale, mentioning that, due to American laws, he couldn't actually be seen drinking it on camera. Cue him saying, "Three two, fade to black..." as he brings the mug up to his lips. The end of the commercial cuts back to a mostly finished mug with his voice-over.
  • One scene from Osmosis Jones has Bob telling Frank that his body needs fluids due to his fever. When Frank asks if beer counts as a fluid, Bob replies "Are you kidding? Of course it's fluid!" The TV trailers that featured this scene wound up substituting "beer" for "soda".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Parodied to Hell and back in The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You, which caps off Momoha's debut with a drinking party... where all the girls do things to look drunk without actually touching any booze. Because Shueisha's publisher personally showed up in their dreams and forbade them from glamorizing underage drinking. (Whether this was the actual reason is questionable, as the manga runs in Young Jump, which is explicitly targeted to an older demographic than Shonen Jump - which, as noted below, has gotten away with worse.)
  • A flashback in Ayakashi Triangle appears to show Mei sharing sake cups with Tanumaro's ancestor, with her drinking from a comically over-sized one despite only being sixteen. However, their bottle is labelled "甘酒 (amazake)", indicating it's a drink with little to no alcohol—Mei's large cup was a joke on her sharing Suzu's Sweet Tooth. The official English and Spanish versions don't translate the label, making it seems like she's drinking much more alcohol than original intended.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, the loanword "juice" is a catch-all to describe a variety of flavored drinks, whether they contain actual fruit juice or not. "Ahh... dear Koyomi, buy some juice, will you?" precedes her purchase of milk tea. In another episode, Yomi is going for juice and asks if there are any takers. Only Osaka requests what we would consider "juice" in the usual sense; other responses were "cola", "oolong tea", and... "beer", prompting Minamo to admonish Yukari not to ask for that. It is a case of Truth in Television, as "juice" in Japan can refer to just about any beverage of a sweetened nature. Well, maybe not tea (unless there was enough sugar in it to stand up a yak) but you get the idea.
  • In Brave Witches, there's a sequence where Krupinski drinks wine straight out of the bottle, is shown clearly drunk, and wakes up the next morning obviously hung over, but her beverage is only ever described as "adult grape juice". She even keeps Hikari from drinking it on the basis that it's for grown-ups. This is likely meant to skirt Japanese broadcast regulations generally prohibiting the depiction of minors consuming alcohol: it's not alcohol if you don't explicitly call it that! There's also a scene in an earlier episode where she explicitly mentions that a bottle contains champaigne, but it's not actually drunk on-screen.
  • Played with in the June Bride case in Case Closed - the bride's favourite drink is "Lemon Tea", but it was changed to "Lemon Punch" in the Case Closed dub. It seems weird considering lemon tea is popular in English speaking countries, but this quirk is that she drank this lemon tea since she was a kid - and is chided as "Childish" and told "This stuff will rot your teeth". Fruit punch on the other hand, is very sugary and is usually something kids drink.
  • Averted in the shojo family-friendly series Chibi Maruko-chan, where Maruko's dad—and occasionally her grandpa—is often depicted drinking alcoholic beverages with no censorship. In one "maki" in the 9th tankoban and its anime adaptation as the final episode of the first series (1990-1992), Maruko's dad gives her a sip of sake: She spends the rest of the episode quite clearly intoxicated, along with her father and grandfather, singing and dancing.
  • Inversion: the Tokyopop translation of the Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening manga changed "tomato juice" to "beer". As in, what Dante drinks most of the time.
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure:
      • A villain (a monster alcoholic Nanimon) is originally shown getting drunk off sake in "The Gateway to Home". The dub changes this to soda. Yes, apparently soda makes Digimon tipsy. "The bubbles go straight to his head."
      • Another episode featured Wizardmon bribing DemiDevimon with Sake changes things to Wizardmon buying the imp's loyalty with "a bottle of green chili sauce". Apparently, it's great on tacos.
    • Digimon Adventure 02:
      • In one episode, Mummymon is cooking. He comments, while slopping what's clearly vast amounts of red wine into a pot, that he's adding "just a dash of vinegar".
      • Later that season, during the World Tour arc, the Mamemon Brothers have taken over Versailles Palace so they can eat their Christmas dinner. Clearly drunk, and drinking from what is clearly wine glasses, we hear the line "Mmm, good juice!" in a voice that actually sounds drunkenly slurred, over a scene during which no one onscreen could have been speaking. Mind you, this was around the time the dubbers started pushing the envelope; the speaker couldn't have been more clearly drunk, and anyone who knows it's a dub of a Japanese show would call shenanigans on a line with no mouth movements.
    • A Digimon Tamers episode based on the tale of the mythical Orochi (who was defeated through its drunkenness) has Orochimon being defeated by the kids plying him with sake. This is suggested by Juri, who's observed customers at her father's bar getting sleepy after too much sake. The dub changes the sake to "milkshakes", with Jeri saying warm milk makes people sleepy (even though milkshakes are supposed to be cold). Additionally, his "Sake Breath" attack is dubbed as "Inferno Blast".
    • Digimon Data Squad has this too, in the English dub. In the original, Yuishima offers his partner Kamemon some hot sake, while in the English dub it's "warm milk".
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In an early episode of the Saban dub for Dragon Ball Z Master Roshi's beer is edited into a frothy mug of water. The Nicktoons edited version of Dragon Ball Z Kai instead changed it to a frothy mug of milk, which provides the "after" part of the current trope image.
    • At one point, Mr. Satan (Hercule) is wandering in the desert till he finds a bar with a sign showing a mug of beer and the word Beer. In the edited dub aired on Cartoon Network, the word "Root" has been badly drawn above the word Beer, and shifts around in different frames.
    • Despite the removal of most of the appearances of beer in the show, one beer was kept in the Saban dub. When Goku goes to find something to drink, he finds a beer, but dismisses it in favor of a Sports Drink. Of course, the dubbers played the scene up for its Public Service Announcement value. This is retained in Dragon Ball (Z) Kai's dub, but it's been edited to what appears to be milk. This only applies to the Nicktoons Network and CW4Kids version of the show, the DVDs and the Toonami versions are uncut.
    • Frieza and King Cold's glasses of wine were once changed into water/miscellaneous blue alien liquid for the Toonzai cut.
    • This card, which was inspired by the scene, comes from an actual collectible card game called Ani-Mayhem.
    • The original Dragon Ball has another version. Master Roshi uses Drunken Boxing on Goku in one fight, and the censored dub changes it to "Mad Cow Style", complete with cow clipart hovering in the background and mooing sound effects.
    • In Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, Bulma's birthday party is said to be serving punch, but characters still act drunk with Gohan in particular being told to ease off the punch bowl after his, in the original, alcohol induced showboating.
  • In Food Wars!, Ryoko Sakaki brews her own alcohol (unclear whether it's sake or amazake), but when she and her dormmates (all underage) are drinking it, the anime states "This is juice and nothing but juice."
  • Kiddy Grade: One of the main characters is Really 700 Years Old, but looks like a kid. She's often drinking "vintage" grape juice, which may lead her to blush as if it was wine. This one was also in the original Japanese. Lumiere's "grape juice" is undeniably wine.
  • The coffee version was also seen in the original Streamline Pictures dub of Kiki's Delivery Service, in which Osono the baker offers Kiki "cocoa" instead of coffee.
  • The French Kimagure Orange Road dub has characters getting drunk on apple juice, and even getting double vision because of it.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! either removes scenes with alcohol or calls it something else in the English dub. Averted in one episode, the dentist episode, where Dedede is seen drinking wine from a wine glass. Surprising because, while no attention was called to it, he still very visibly gulps it down, and they don't make him say anything like "That was good fruit juice!".
  • Last Exile provides what might be an interesting inversion—the mugs which look an awful lot like beer steins, reserved by many for special occasions and may be served at bars really do contain water; clean drinking water is a luxury in drought-stricken Anatoray, with special "First Water", the purest form, costing about what a commoner earns in a day.
  • The English dub of The Littl' Bits changed Snoozabit from an alcoholic to a narcoleptic, and his drink of choice from wine to dandelion juice.
  • One English-dubbed episode of Maple Town had wine referred to as "grape juice", but shortly after, one of the voice actors slipped up and called it "wine".
  • Played with in MÄR, where the (underage) main characters often consume Papula Nut juice. Based on the description and effects, it's not alcoholic, but it contains some other intoxicant with similar effects. It's clearly treated like beer, though no one objects to serving it to 14 year olds. It also makes good medication for insomnia.
  • In the Manga of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, the Mermaids get drunk on soda. When Lucia drinks some soda by accident, the resultant mood swings are replaced with a mood crystal in the anime.
  • Minami-ke:
    • Characters are shown drinking 'imported juice' at New Year. Doesn't even pretend to be convincing censorship, since it leads to some rather peculiar behavior on the part of one of the characters.
    • In Minami-ke Okawari, where it happens again. The crew get some suspicious-looking cans of juice for a picnic, leading to interesting results.
  • When Gundam 0080 aired on Cartoon Network, all the alcohol bottles had the word "Soda" digitally painted onto them. Given that an important secondary character is a bartender, this made the editing rather surreal.
    • And a different secondary character is a stereotypical drunk Russian who pilots his Humongous Mecha with a flask hanging from the upper console; they didn't bother editing that.
    • They didn't remove the flask, but the dialogue was altered from the commander telling the Russian not to drink too much before battle to asking if the Russian brought his "lucky canteen."
    • Similarly, Steiner's cigarette was edited out and replaced with a smoking toothpick.
  • Inverted in Mnemosyne: When Rin asks for Mimi to bring her some water, she is poured a glass of vodka. Upon Rin drinking it and breaking into a coughing fit, Mimi takes a jab at the trope by saying, "Oh, come on. Vodka means water in Russian, you know. Besides, I thought you'd like this better."
  • This is parodied in Monster Musume when Rachnera gets drunk from drinking coffee. There's no censorship involved and it actually is coffee, but her species actually gets drunk from caffeine. It doubles as a Genius Bonus because, yes, spiders actually do get drunk from caffeine: take a look.
  • The Monster Rancher dub had pirate Captain Horn coming to town to raid... a supply of chocolate milkshakes as opposed to rum.
  • Conversed in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. Nozaki mentions that he, as a Shoujo Genre Sequential Artist can't have characters smoke or drink in his manga... so instead, they've got chocolate cigarettes and get drunk on juice.
  • Naruto:
    • During the Sasuke Retrieval arc, Lee leaves the hospital early, grabbing what he believes is his medicine so he can take it on the way to join the others. It's actually some of Tsunade's sake, and Lee winds up using secret Drunken Boxing techniques after he gets buzzed on it. The manga translation changes it to Tsunade's "secret potion" instead — written in bold italic, lampshading the edit. The anime refers to it as "personal elixir" and drops the "drunken flush" on Lee's face. The boxing technique becomes "Loopy Fist". This is odd, because Naruto generally has a fairly liberal translation — extreme violence, poisonings, sexual content, and adult drinking have all been left in at various points. Only underage drinking is a no-no, even by accident. Funnily enough, most of the medical substances referred to as "elixir" actually are alcoholic, often much much moreso than sake.
    • Ironic in that the first Shipudden movie have Guy almost call an alcoholic candy he gives to Lee by its actual name, with no attempt at censorship (it is a DVD release after all).
    • Even before all that, the original Naruto pilot had Naruto being taken to a bar, and was toasting with what looked like beer, but a note on the side specifically said it was root beer. This is explicitly because Naruto is underage.
  • The 4Kids dub of Ojamajo Doremi changed sake into "Sleeping Potion."
  • In the 4Kids dub of One Piece, Sanji is seen with a lollipop instead of a cigarette. This has cropped up elsewhere. The broadcast version of the FUNimation dub just removes it entirely (which is a lot easier when it's one of the only edits).
    • Also, in a restaurant scene during the Baratie arc, Fullbody tries to use his sense of smell to guess the brand of wine grape juice and impress his date. Said "grape juice" is then described in exactly the same way as a bottle of wine would be, even down to the year and vineyard name.
    • In an early episode, alcohol is simply referred to as "the strong stuff", while in another episode, Nami claimed Buggy and his crew "passed out from acid indigestion".
    • In the Spanish sub, alcohol is at least once called "jugo de poder" (Power Juice), which actually sounds more like an euphemism for the real thing.
    • During Usopp's fight with Choo, he throws a bottle of sake at him and then shatters it with his slingshot. A short time later, he fires a Flame Star at Coo, which ignites the alcohol on him, forcing him to run to a rice paddy. In the 4kids dub, he throws oil at him, and proceeds to set it on fire.
    • But the crowner in the series is the Commodore. Commander Smoker... or rather, "Chaser" in the dub. He has the power to become or exude smoke, and is conveniently not effected by his chain-smoking habit. The incredibly ''bad-ass'' two cigars he constantly smokes have been digitally erased, but bizarrely, the smoke and his incessantly open mouth have been left intact. This occurs in both the 4Kids and the censored FUNimation versions, though it can still be explained by his power. note 
    • The funny part is, the uncut version of the FUNimation dub takes some references to alcohol further than even the original Japanese!
      • When Shanks finds out about Luffy's first bounty, he insists his visitor starts drinking, then yells at his crew, "EVERYBODY! LET'S GET DRUNK!!!" (They even mention he's already hungover from the previous night of drinking.)
      • When Chopper first describes Dr. Kureha to Robin: "She really loves alcohol, but the best way to describe her is a woman, who's like a pirate, who's also a doctor. Did I mention she really loves alcohol?"
    • In fact, the original follows this to a very mild extent: since some of the Strawhats are (even after the Timeskip) under Japan's legal drinking age of 20, the anime has almost always shown them drinking out of barrel-like mugs since Syrup Village, as a sort of Plausible Deniability. The manga, which initially favored clear glass steins, eventually followed suit by the end of Skypiea.
  • Outlaw Star: The Toonami edit eliminated references to Gene Starwind drinking alcohol. In one episode, his sleeping off a night of drinking is rewritten as sleeping off a night of overeating, and flashback scenes of Gene imbibing in the bar are cut.
  • In Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat, Inspector Holic shows up drunk on orange juice.
  • Pokémon: The Series has several examples, mainly the fault of 4Kids:
    • Some episodes had wine recolored, particularly for Boss Fantasies. Criminal masterminds sure love their... juice. Sometimes the shape of glasses would be changed too, in these cases to look less like wine glasses.
    • Averted in the dub of Mewtwo Returns — direct to video in North America. Giovanni is seen drinking whiskey on the rocks in early scenes.
    • Averted in "Island of the Giant Pokémon" where Ash's and Team Rocket's Pokémon are separated from their trainers. For some reason, the Pokémon stumble across a sake bar being run by a Slowbro. Ekans and Koffing are sobbing over their drinks, Meowth is passed out on the table, and Bulbasaur is yelling at Squirtle in a belligerent, drunken rage.
    • Parodied in the AG episode "A Six Pack Attack", in which Team Rocket somehow gets drunk off water. Even more shocking is that this happened in the Japanese version too: beyond an edit on the Kids' WB airing to change the wine glasses to normal glasses, the dub did not edit this scene in any way, and all but lampshades it by having Meowth say "I'll drink ta' dat!"
    • Cilan's job was changed from "Sommelier" to "Connoisseur" in the English dub due to the original name being associated with alcohol. Other references to wine in the dialogue and character names (i.e. Cabernet/Burgundy) were kept, though.
    • During Kukui and Burnet's wedding, the English dub changed the wine glasses to cups. They also changed the tint of the drink so it looks more orange, making it look like juice rather than liquor.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Zoicite catches Nephrite with a brandy bottle, and he says something like "You're very relaxed". In the DiC dub, she catches him with it and sarcastically says, "Your plan is to poison Sailor Moon's lemonade?" Both Usagi's instances of Intoxication Ensues have her drinking what's obviously a ridiculously small amount of wine, which was changed into her getting "hyper" from drinking "too much juice".
    • The coffee version of this trope was seen in the episode where Usagi and Mamoru visit Ali and An's apartment; thus, Alan and Ann end up making Serena and Darien hot cocoa... with a coffee maker. This is especially ridiculous because it was very much Mamoru's drink of choice, at one point abandoning his girlfriend in a romantic moment over a flimsy excuse to go drink more coffee.
    • Averted in "Protect the Melody of Love! Usagi is a Cupid". Usagi uses her disguise pen to sneak into an adult jazz club. She orders a cream soda, and Luna freaks out that she is ordering a drink at all. DIC handled this by not showing the episode.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats had Guru Lou's drunken behavior explained as the effects of MSG in the food he was eating.
  • Parodied in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, when Maria is seen polishing off a mug of beer in class and Ishido pops up in front of the screen and hastily explains, "This is children's beer!" There is children's beer in Japan, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • In the Toon Disney version of Shinzo, Kutaal somehow gets drunk on apple juice.
  • In the fifth episode of Slayers, Gourry has stopped in a town while trying to find Lina. A man at a bar pours him a glass from a white bottle clearly, if poorly, labeled in English as "Milk", and it comes out light blue. This is a little more forgivable, skim milk (0.25%) does appear bluish under certain conditions.
  • Sonic X:
    • The 4Kids dub had a scene with a group of journalists being offered some salami at a political party to keep them there until Sonic shows up. In the original, it was a bottle of wine. Exactly what audiences who don't know that make of the inevitable gag when Sonic finally does show up and all the journalists are too drunk for the photo-op is a mystery.
    • During the Metarex saga, Eggman goes to a bar Vector is running and has a nice refreshing glass of prune juice.
    • There's a famous changed scene in which Knuckles goes into a bar and has a pint of beer, which is inexplicably edited into a fast food restaurant in the 4kids dub.
  • Star Blazers had the doctor constantly soused on spring water. Given the context, though, it might as well count as Woolseyism. Also, toasting with sake was changed to toasting "with water from a favourite spring on Earth". note 
  • The Macross portion of Robotech has Rico, Bron, Konda, and the "punch" at the SDF-1 landing celebration. Surprisingly, a few other references to alcohol were left intact. However, Konda's line can suggest that someone spiked the punch.
    Konda: "It's called punch. I don't know what's in this stuff but it's sure got me charged up!"
  • Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike has a scene where Captain Niren offers Yuri some "juice" (specifically "grape juice" in the English dub) before handing him what is very clearly a glass of wine. Based on his tone, it's likely that Niren was being facetious.
  • Tenchi Muyo! also frequently had sake turned into tea in the edited version for Cartoon Network. Of which Ryoko drank. And on which Ryoko got drunk. Yep. Some people just can't hold their tea. Amusingly, different voice actors read the edits: their voices would completely change, mention tea, and then change back.
    Nobuyuki: I've brought us some... "tea".
    Katsuhiko: Oh, that special tea.
    • They wasted a great Public Service Announcement moment with that. In the original, when Ryoko offers Tenchi sake, he says he doesn't drink.
  • Parodied in one strip of Inaba of the Moon and Inaba of the Earth: Tei knocks back a mug of what is obviously beer, although she claims it's herbal tea. None of the characters are buying it. The strip in question also has a note that all characters depicted are adults.
  • In an episode of Transformers: Energon, Dr. Jones asks Rad to join him in celebrating Megatron's defeat with a glass of "sparkling fruit juice". Later in the episode, he has a clear drunk blush.
  • Yo Kai Watch: The dub version has a scene with half-dog, half-salaryman Manjimutt sitting at an outdoor bar. Clearly he's drinking sake, but in the English dub, it's rather humorously replaced with toilet water.
  • An aversion in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds — Yusei is told to go to a Bad Guy Bar to find a contact. When he gets there, he orders milk from the bartender, not because of any changes in localization, but to take the piss at the bartender who tells him "kids aren't allowed in here". The bartender even begrudgingly serves him milk after Yusei shows proof of who sent him. This scene is unchanged between the original and dub.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • The 4Kids dub turned wine into "grape juice" too. "Gorgonzola cheese, and the world's finest fruit punch" is the go-to snack of Pegasus while watching Looney Tunes-like cartoons and laughing his ass off, which is one of the few cases in which the change ended up making a fair amount of sense to fans considering how profoundly childish the man is.
    • Though, in The Movie, Pegasus wakes up in the middle of the night thinking he was having a bad dream. He remarks by saying "No more white wine spritzers before bed." Later on, one of his henchmen offers him a red wine spritzer, which he accepts. Take note that the movie was made by 4Kids in the first place, and released in the US before Japan.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has sake changed into hot sauce. The related drunken monsters ended up becoming "Dizzy" monsters... off of hot sauce? And this hot sauce causes a hangover. (They try to explain that it happens because there is a lot of onion in the sauce... makes totally sense) Later on, a one-shot pro duelist uses a Wine deck, and while the names of cards are changed to less ridiculous titles ("Wine Token" becomes "Crimson Token", for example), the glass of wine he's holding is colored to look like orange juice.
  • On YuYu Hakusho, one of fighters Yusuke battles is a man named Chu who uses Drunken Fighting and even drinks a potent brew called Ogre Killer (which is known for liver damage and causing blackouts where the drinker wakes up the next day cuddling with a big hairy prisoner in a jail cell). Of course, this is in the original. In the Cartoon Network edit, all the drinking references were removed and Chu was rewritten as a boisterous Australian who, despite his clownish antics and erratic behavior, was a skilled fighter. He is, however, in the anime seen drinking from an unlabeled bottle several times -they just don't mention what the contents are at all.
  • Inverted in many Brazilian dubs: "root beer" is commonly mistranslated as "cerveja" ("beer"), so it's pretty weird to see kids drinking beer. It happens in the Latin American Spanish dub of Dragon Ball, too.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman will not drink any alcohol for fear of losing his edge, but drinks ginger ale pretending it is liquor to keep up his secret identity.
  • A Disney Adventures reprint of Bone in the late-90s had Phoney order root beer at the Barrelhaven Tavern instead of regular beer.
  • Translations of Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • In the Swedish translation of Donald Duck, toasts involve a bottle of "läskeblask". The name suggests it's soda läsk, but it comes in champagne bottles. Finnish translation has "Sihijuoma", which basically means "Sizzling drink". In some stories in Finnish, Sihi is explicitly the name of a brand of soda that appears as a plot point. If some appearances are censorship, at least they have been smoothly integrated.
    • One story had, at least in the Finnish translation, Scrooge McDuck receiving a complimentary bottle of syrup on the mail from his syrup factory on Scotland. He immediately poured some into a glass and offered it to a business partner to drink. At least it was very runny. Do you do that with syrup? Eh, whatever. It was obviously Scotch.
    • A Dutch translation had some people toast with lemonade. In martini glasses.
    • Similarly, an Italian story featured a detective character who drinks a lot of beer. In reprints, it was changed with water. Water that you have to pay for in a pub. And Scrooge haves a canteen full of seasoned water.
    • Another Italian story had Mickey and Goofy going to a pub because the bartender thinks that someone is stealing his precious seasoned wine, with gratuitous scenes of people drinking wine and beer and getting drunk (Goofy included). In reprints at first the only edits they did were in a pair of lines to make clear that Mickey and Goofy are teetotalers while keeping all the alcohol references in (a scene where the bartender insists to offer a beer to Mickey now haves him say "Come on, I got root beer just because it's you!", while Mickey's reaction to Goofy getting drunk was changed from "Talk about a hangover!" to "Poor guy! It was his first time with alcohol!"), but a later reprint further edited the dialogue to remove any trace of alcohol (which kills completely two gags in the story: the scene where the bartender gets rid of a pair of drunkards trying to get free drinks by brandishing a wooden club and stating that it's "his most seasoned grapewine" and the finale, where Goofy buys the pub and "cleans it up" into a latte shop).
  • Fantastic Four: Since the early days of the comic were done when the Comics Code Authority still held sway, one issue has Doctor Doom serving the FF a special "berry juice" at a party. A berry juice laced with hallucinogens.
  • Enforced with the cover of Action Comics #869, which originally showed Jonathan and Clark Kent drinking beers together on the family farm. The issue was recalled and re-printed with a large, hastily written "SODA POP" on the bottle label. They didn't even take the time to draw the Soder Cola logo on them.
  • Early Swedish translations of Tintin albums have Captain Haddock drinking a lot of "kalasmust" — 'party juice'. The Finnish translation of Tintin called Captain Haddock's drink "malspiikki", which in reality is the name of an obscure rope-weaving tool. Rather clever, in that by using a made-up name they allowed the reader to draw their own conclusions about the nature of the drink while avoiding having to explicitly mention alcoholic beverages. Oddly enough, in English, a malspiikki is called a marlin spike, which is the name of the Captain's ancestral home. In the later Finnish translations, he indeed drinks whiskey (specifically, of the Loch Lomond brand) without shame. The English version actually let it be called whiskey, since his rise from a hopelessly drunken sot to a heroic figure is an important subplot. However, they did request that Hergé edit the panels so we never actually see him drink any of it (instead showing him with a bottle of liquor which got more empty between panels). The Tele-Hachette animated version tones down the Captain's drunkenness in The Crab With Golden Claws to having his coffee spiked with sleeping drops. The drug smuggling becomes diamond smuggling, too.

    Comic Strips 
  • Also parodied in the June 22, 2013 Curtis - Curtis comments to his dad that as hot as it is, "An ice-cold beer would really hit the spot!" Then he's heard opening a can of something in the kitchen, and Mr. Wilkins, freaking out, rushes in... and Curtis promptly assures him that it's "Root Beer, Dad!"
  • Parodied in one FoxTrot strip where the kids talk about drinking glasses of "root BEER." They're doing it deliberately to taunt their dad, who has given up beer for Lent.
  • On one of Jon's more disastrous dates with Liz in Garfield, Liz is stated to be drinking a Shirley Temple, a standard non-alcoholic cocktail made with ginger ale, grenadine, and a maraschino cherry. Granted Jon's tie caught on fire during the date, and he put it out by sticking it her drink. Had she been drinking Shirley Temple Black instead, things could have gotten worse.
  • In Peanuts, Snoopy as the WWI flying ace would go quaff some root beers with Bill Mauldin every Veterans Day.
  • Subverted in the Great Rough-House War arc in Thimble Theater; Popeye and General Bunzo of Nazilia decide to drink to their new friendship. The King Blozo reminds them of the prohibition in the country. They counter that they're drinking from a bottle clearly labeled "GRAPE JUICE". Blozo sniffs the bottle and remarks, "It probably was grape juice fifty years ago."

    Fan Works 
  • In the Adventures of the Silver Bullets, Percy Jackson drinks his sorrow at the local tea shop (which offers free hats). It gets so bad he mistakes Ed and Armstrong for Marie Antoinette and her little sister.
  • Downplayed in Arc Phantoms. Yuya's Persona is Dionysus, God of Wine, but the narration reveals that he drinks grape juice. That said, when Yuya drinks it, he's described as stumbling around as if drunk.
  • Lampshaded in Chrono Trigger: The Musical. In "Yearnings of the Wind," all references to beer and alcohol are crossed out and replaced with soda and sugar. Averted in "Burning! Bobonga!" where the DS remake's alcohol references are kept in.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged parodies the phenomenon seen on the page image: "I'm drinkin' O.J. *ping* Now it's apple juice! *ping* Now it's beer! Yay beer!" Now it's a Nestle Crunch Bar! *ping* Now it's a Gummi Bear! *ping* Now's it's Nappa! "Wait... what the hell?!"
  • Drop of Moonshine explains the reason behind My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic's usage of soft cider as an equivalent to hard cider. It actually isn't censorship. Equestrians have no concept of alcohol anymore. Nearly a thousand years ago, Celestia banned liquor after she recovered from the alcoholism brought on by what happened with Luna.
  • Eiga Sentai Scanranger has the eponymous heroes celebrating their first major victory with The Mentor and the Friend on the Force with grape juice.
  • Played with in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, where Tapper's Tavern serves sarsaparilla ale.
  • Inverted in the Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic Aegis of Eris. Homunculi are immune to all poisons and toxins (alcohol included). Alcohol has no effect on them, but Greed still wants the social benefits of drinking. His drink of choice in the second chapter is "an iced tea/lemonade blend that could easily be mistaken for beer".
  • Averted in My Huntsman Academia. The drinks Yang has at Junior's bar are said to be non-alcoholic in the original RWBY. In this story, the drinking age in Vale is 16 and alcohol regularly shows up at parties. Yang also takes Izuku out to the bar on multiple occasions.
  • In keeping with this trope being present in Odd Squad, Olive's Last Partner has Olive, Otto and Oscar going to Club 24 (which in itself is a nightclub depicted in the story as being for all ages, but depicted in the show as being seemingly adult-oriented) and having sparkling white grape juice. Juice in general is known as a blatant stand-in for alcohol in canon, with Oprah treating it like a purely alcoholic drink (but not suffering any side effects of alcoholism).
  • Pokémon: Clefairy Tales: Averted the "coffee" man who was drunk and passed out in the original Japanese versions of the games is also drunk and passed out here.
  • Rise of the Minisukas: The Minisuka "Noir" is a hard-boiled detective parody, complete with a black-and-white trench coat and fedora. And, as befitting a stereotypical private eye, "Noir" goes to bars. However, she drinks only seltzer water and the bartender charges her nothing because the "cup" is much smaller than a thimbleful and he doesn't sees it worth grousing over.

    Films — Animation 
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven 2: The first thing Charlie and Itchy do after returning to Earth is hit a dog bar and try to order root beers. This despite them blatantly consuming alcohol (and Charlie getting murdered while drunk) in the first movie.
  • In Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don't Come Back!!), Snoopy goes to a "café" and gets drunk on a frothy beverage. The mug labels it as "root beer"... even though they're in France and it isn't called that in French.
  • Done subtly in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: All the background characters at the Roofless restaurant are seen with glasses of red wine on their tables, but any main characters there (Flint, Tim, Earl and his family) have wineglasses full of water. Also, a number of background characters are seen lifting their glasses to their mouths, but the camera always cuts away before they actually drink. On top of that, most of the glasses are knocked off of the tables by the steaks falling from the sky.
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within has a man drinking from a giant can of Pepsi, and the DVD commentary mentions it was supposed to be a big can of beer.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Parodied mercilessly in The Big Bus, when a bar fight breaks out, and somebody threatens other characters with a broken milk carton.
  • There's a marijuana variation of this in Desperately Seeking Susan. One scene has Susan and Gary sharing what looks like a machine-rolled tobacco cigarette. However, their reactions are exactly what one would expect from smoking marijuana.
  • Inspector Gadget 2 plays this for laughs. Gadget is undercover at a bar called the Blue Monkey, and he momentarily lets his cover slip by ordering a "nice, tall glass of milk". The bartender looks at him, puzzled, and he covers with:
    "I mean... um... chocolate milk. Make it a double!"
  • In the 2019 Kim Possible Live-Action Adaptation, Drakken guzzles down milk to celebrate his (temporary) victory over Kim, leading Shego to sarcastically comment, "Never let it be said you don't know how to party" (though she too takes a celebratory sip minutes later). Drakken is next seen looking hung over among several empty containers.
  • Narrowly averted by The Lord of the Rings. DVD commentary indicates that they had considered changing Gandalf's trademark pipe for toffee, with the explanation that he was trying to quit smoking. It was (perhaps wisely) decided against doing this.
  • Even legendary boozer W. C. Fields bent under it — ordering an ice-cream soda in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, he asides to the audience "This scene's supposed to be in a saloon but the censor cut it out. It'll play just as well this way," even blowing the foam off his soda as one would a heady beer. Mind you, later in the picture he leaps out of an airplane to retrieve his dropped flask of whiskey.
  • In Pinocchio (2022, Disney), Pleasure Island no longer offers cigars and beer to the children like in the original animated film, with Pinocchio instead overindulging on candy and root beer.
  • Thank You for Smoking:
    • Lampooned when the main character (a lawyer for the cigarette companies) has to fight a proposed idea to replace any cigarettes in old movies with images like candy canes. A slide show is made to show the various proposed images, and these images look so ridiculous that it's clearly played for comedy in this film.
    • Despite the title, no one in the film is actually shown smoking. This was deliberately done by the director, who wanted to avoid any problems with showing it. Smoking is seen on screen once in the film: when Naylor and his son are watching Sands of Iwo Jima, when John Wayne's character is killed near the end.

  • W. E. Johns's Biggles stories were originally written for adults. When they were republished for children, references to whisky were changed to lemonade. Pilots would willingly risk their lives on dangerous missions when offered the reward of a crate of lemonade.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules: Greg's mom takes issue with him playing a game called Magick and Monsters — not for the monsters, but for the fact that characters consume pints of mead (fermented honey wine) in the game. As a result, she makes him substitute "drink" for mead.
  • Amusing subversion: at one point in C. S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, Uncle Andrew takes a steadying swig of something described as "some nasty grown-up drink." (In a later scene, some newly-created talking animals conclude that his name is "Brandy" because he makes that sound so often.)
  • In The Silver Chair Puddleglum takes many sips out of a square black bottle that contains some drink that the children don't like. Later he gets completely sozzled (and then hungover) from drinking a giant's version of the same.
  • A Tale of...: Disney's normal aversion for this trope is seen in Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen, a Darker and Edgier take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It casually mentions alcohol and foods containing alcohol several times.
  • In a children's Read-Along book-and-tape set of the Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie, Roger's bad reaction to shots of bourbon couldn't be edited out completely because it's actually a plot point. So the story changes it to Roger spazzing out after drinking a soda.
  • In one of the sequels to The Wizard of Oz, the Nome King receives a visit from two fellow villains. They party late into the night, and the next day, the Nome King is particularly grouchy and has a headache, implying he's hungover.
  • Older Than Radio, thanks to the temperance sects of Protestant Christianity, who took all references to wine ("yayin" in the Hebrew Old Testament and "oinos" in the Greek New Testament) in the Bible to mean unfermented grape juice... except in verses that warned against drunkenness. This isn't just censorship but impossible to boot — without modern refrigeration, sulfites, and sorbates, grape juice will begin to ferment within minutes of having been pressed, since grape skins are naturally covered in yeast. note 
  • Similar to the Bible examples, the Arabic translations of the Harry Potter series omitted any references to alcohol use, except by Death Eaters, since alcohol is forbidden in Islam, the religion of the vast majority of Arabic-speakers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Acapulco: Invoked. When discussing Julia's bachelorette party, Maximo claims to his teenage nephew Hugo that Hugo's mom Sara was pounding orange juice. Hugo is unconvinced, saying that they were obviously drinking alcohol, but Maximo insists that it was orange juice because he's the one telling the story.
  • In the campy Batman series, this seemed Depending on the Writer. In the episode with Liberace, he and a guest were treating root beer as wine; in another episode, however, the Penguin offers his Perky Female Minion actual champagne.
  • Blackadder:
    • Blackadder II: inverted in "Potato", after being forced to produce a gift for Sir Walter Raleigh and Lord Melchet or face beheading, they reveal two bottles of "fine wine". It is in fact water... frothy water. Baldrick's water, to be precise.
    • Used as a plot device in the episode "Beer". Edmund, manipulated into holding a drinking party at his house the same evening that he is entertaining his puritan aunt and uncle, attempts to maintain his sobriety by telling Baldrick that whenever his master orders "incredibly strong ale", Baldrick is to give him water instead:
      Edmund: So, Baldrick, when I call for my incredibly strong ale, I want you to pass me water, in an ale bottle — understand?
      Baldrick: Yes, m'lord. When you ask for ale, I pass water.
  • Played with in-universe in the episode “Father Knows Less” on Boy Meets World. Cory’s ball ends up falling into his teacher neighbor Mr. Feeny’s yard, where he’s sitting and drinking a glass bottle of what looks like a brandy or whiskey. Feeny invites Cory to sit and have a drink with him, to which Cory is initially confused but gradually becomes excited when it’s clear Feeny is making no attempts to stop him. Only after toasting and taking a sip does Cory exclaim, “Hey this is apple juice!”
  • Played with in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Willow goes all out in a bid to seduce Oz, with one minor detail: she has a wine cooler by a candlelit table filled with not wine, but soda. Played for Laughs, as Willow amusingly (and tries to get Oz into bed).
  • In the old Dennis the Menace series, the first George Wilson always was asking for his nerve medicine.
  • In the Happy Days episode, "Richie Falls in Love," Richie sits down, depressed, at a bar and orders a beer. The bartender asks him, "draft or bottled," and Richie responds, "root." The bartender mockingly calls him "root beer" for the rest of the episode. Averted in the season 1 episode, "Richie's Cup Runneth Over", where he and Potsie attend a bachelor party and Richie ends up having beer "in teeny-weeny little glasses"... seventy-two teeny-weeny little glasses, to be exact.
  • In an episode of House, the title character notices that one of the actors on his favorite soap opera seems to be legitimately ill, and this trope turns out to be crucial to the diagnosis (see "Real Life", below). The actor's character arc had him becoming an alcoholic, frequently seen with a gin and tonic—at which point the actor would be drinking pure tonic water. House eventually diagnosed him with a quinine allergy.
  • Played with a lot in How I Met Your Mother, the entire premise of the show being that Future Ted is telling the story to his kids.
    • The narrator (Future Ted) describes all marijuana usage as "eating sandwiches", this manifests itself as the actors physically eating sandwiches. With cigarette lighters poised. One time they baked the "sandwiches" into brownies.
    • And when Ted's trying to write a family-appropriate toast for Marshall's wedding:
      Ted: [voiceover] Afterward, we stayed up 'til ten at night, doing shots of chocolate milk.
      Barney: Calcium promotes healthy teeth and bones!
      Robin: Thanks, Marshall, for teaching us you don't need alcohol to have fun!
      Marshall: Oh, don't thank me; thank my parents for teaching me good values.
  • Inverted in Legend. Since everyone in Sheridan, Colorado thinks of him as the vice-free Nicodemus Legend, alcoholic author Ernest Pratt drinks his whiskey out of a teacup.
  • The Monkees have milk whenever they're at a bar.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: In the spy-episode, there's a scene where spy!Mr. Potato Head and spy!Baloney are in a lounge, listening to agent!Queenie sing before getting information from her. The show doesn't draw attention to it, but their wine glasses are filled with milk.
  • Power Rangers:
    • The very first season gives us an example near the end of the "Green With Evil" arc. As the villains celebrate their seemingly-assured victory, what was clearly wine in the Sentai footage becomes "cranberry and oyster juice".
    • The second-season two-parter from Mighty Morphin', "Wild West Rangers", features The Wild West-era Angel Grove, with a Juice Saloon.
    • In Power Rangers Samurai, Master Xandred regularly takes his "medicine". His counterpart, Chimatsuri Doukoku, drinks sake. It appears, though, that the attempt to seal Xandred by the previous generation of Samurai Rangers results in him being in constant pain even now. There was also a "grape juice toast" suggested by one of the villains.
  • On an episode of Sesame Street, some Muppets sang "Consider Yourself" from Oliver!. When they got to the line "...and the drinks are on the house", one Muppet kept the lyrics kid-friendly by shouting, "SOFT drinks!".
  • One episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody has Cody singing 100 bottles of Pop on the wall. It's just as dumb as it sounds.
  • In Vazelina Hjulkalender, it's claimed that Bruspulverguttene drink soda even though it's obviously liquor.

  • Most notably the radio edit and music video versions of "My Name Is" by Eminem, when the word "vodka" is replaced with "Kool-Aid" in the lyric, "I just drank a fifth of Kool-Aid, dare me to drive?" The bowdlerised version of "Stan", when the censors removed a scene of the title character drinking while driving and the words "drank" and "vodka".
    • Eminem also recorded alternative lyrics to "Purple Pills" called "Purple Hills" with all the drug references and most of the profanity changed, with lines like "gotta be Acid cos the X is gone" turning into "gotta be Tums, the Ex-Lax is gone".
  • "Malted Milk", an Eric Clapton song about a guy Drowning His Sorrows in, well, guess what. Keep in mind this is the same guy with another song known just as "Cocaine." Though given that Clapton had a notorious sweet tooth back then (The Beatles' "Savoy Truffle") was written about him, it may not have been a euphemism to him. It's actually a cover of a depression-era song by Blues master Robert Johnson. "Malted milk" is period slang for beer.
  • Folk musician Jack Pearson, whose primary audience is Christian children, performs a rousing rendition of the classic "City of New Orleans," in which railroad bums say, "Hey won't you pass the paper bag that holds the bottle (of lemonade)." The same thing happens with "Big Rock-Candy Mountain", alcohol dribbling down the rock-faces is often bowdlerized into lemonade. The lake of whiskey, however, often slips by un-noticed.
  • Some versions of the video to Junior Senior's Move Your Feet have the squirrel downing shots, accompanied by a caption which reads 'Non-alcoholic nut juice.'
  • In the Kidz Bop version of Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, when Grandpa's "been taking this so well. See him in there watching football, drinking juice (not 'beer') and playing cards with cousin Mel." Apparently, gambling is OK, just not drinking.
  • The verse of Meat Loaf's/Jim Steinman's song I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) certainly fall under this category: "Somedays I just pray to the God of Sex and Drums and Rock'N Roll".
  • Songdrops: "The (Not Exactly) Nursery Rhyme Song", the parody of "Humpty Dumpty" ends on "All the King's horses and all the King's men, scrambled him up with some bacon and gin... ger ale".
  • The Playground Song "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer On the Wall" is sometimes bowdlerized to "bottles of milk" or some other suitable child-friendly variant.

  • Stern Pinball's Family Guy has operator options to tone down its adult humor, and in the milder modes, all references to "beer" are replaced with "root beer". The game even has a sticker to change the playfield beer can into a can of root beer instead.
  • NASCAR does it with beer logos — the backglass features Rusty Wallace's No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, but locations sensitive to alcoholic advertisements could swap it out for a logo-free alternative.
  • Reversed in Obsession Pinball; the original release of "Balls 'n Bats" had an upper mini-playfield with rollovers that spelled S-A-F-E. When it was ported to the IBM Personal Computer (and renamed Absolute Pinball), the rollovers were changed to spell B-E-E-R instead.

  • Cabin Pressure: First Officer Douglas Richardson takes advantage of this trope in-universe; wanting to keep up his image as a "hard-boozing sky god," he pretends to drink copiously when in reality he's stone-sober, and has been for years. Passes off apple juice for whisky, most commonly. Sells the actual whisky.
  • The producers of The Lone Ranger voluntarily eliminated almost all mentions of alcohol from the show. Instead of saloons, the local toughs would instead meet in "cafes".

    Tabletop Games 
  • The cycle racing game Démarrage does not have doping with a risk of being caught out by a lab test. Oh no. It has getting a tow from the team car, with a risk of being caught on camera.

    Video Games 
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike After a victory, the commanding officers gather for a party back at base. Rachel holds up a mug and proposes a toast with "glasses of Omega Land's finest water!" If that is their finest water maybe they should stop buying so many tanks and invest in some purification filters instead. To be fair, roughly half of the game's cast is in their mid-to-late teens.
    • Max also mentions root beer in a context that makes it sound more like actual beer.
  • The "vacation juice" item in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp looks an awful lot like a cocktail, and the implications of a special juice you only drink on vacation speak for themselves.
  • Played with in Banjo-Tooie. At Jolly's tavern, Jolly himself only pours ginger beer, which is basically a stronger-tasting version of the similarly named (and similarly non-alcoholic) ginger ale, and no other beverages are seen. However, the tavern has the "rather wobbly" Captain Blackeye as a customer; despite his behavior he insists he's just a bit seasick. He threatens you with violence before asking you to buy him another tankard of "water", then slides off his chair.
  • The Compilation Re-release of the Baten Kaitos duology replaced all the references to alcohol in the magni (cards that contain the essence of things) you can collect. For example, Sacred Wine is now Sacred Water, and the Japanese Rice Wine is now simply Rice Brew.
  • Brave Fencer Musashi changed a raging alcoholic to a man with an overbearing love for pork chops, and changed the liquor to soda. It makes for a humorous scene when a tavern keeper who's obviously drunken himself into a stupor is said to be in a caffeine buzz.
  • Scias in Breath of Fire IV was given a heavy rewrite when the game was localized - a shy stutterer in the translation, in the original he was completely shitfaced the entire game, and his stutter was actually a drunken slur. Very Drunken Master.
  • Bust a Groove: Strike's hip flask is changed to a can of soda. Strike's song "Power" has references to alcohol replaced with instrumentals.
  • One of the items you can pick up in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was translated to Grape Juice in the US version. Said item is dropped by a ghostly priest in the Confession Room, and its icon looks suspiciously like the Eucharistic bread and wine. The Green tea was originally sake, and the Barley tea was beer.
  • In Chibi-Robo! Captain Plankbeard repeatedly drinks from a wooden jug during conversation. After a few drinks, he remarks that "I love the taste of water."
  • Chrono Trigger has a couple of these as well:
    • When questioned about his excessive "soda" consumption, a random NPC in a bar asserts that he knows when he's had enough "sugar". The exchange is heavy-handed enough that it feels like translator Ted Woolsey's own passive-aggressive comment about having to go along with such obvious censorship.
    • There's also the famous incident of Toma's Pop: you get a bottle from the adventurer in 600AD, and he asks you to pour it on his grave, which you do in 1000AD.
    • Always make sure to have Lucca in your party when going to 65,000,000 BC for the first time, strictly for the scene where she develops a hangover after a long night of drinking soup.
    • The new DS translation reverses this, having the characters drink a beverage called "Skull Smash" at the prehistoric party, so named because when you drink it, "Next day, skull feel like smash." The other alcohol references are back in, too.
  • Cookie Run has at few counts of this. Vampire Cookie is said to have been made with a 'special aged grape juice' and carries a glass of it with him wherever he goes. He also seems to be constantly drunk (relaxed attitude, confusion at his surrounding, occasionally slurring his words, etc.)
    • Sparkling Cookie is clearly made of champagne, with fizzy blond hair and a pet that's pretty obviously a champagne bottle.
  • In Cooking Stars a barrel of wine in the Italian restaurant is referred to as "grape juice".
  • Characters in Cthulhu Saves the World drink "...milk", which is clearly depicted as a frothy brown liquid. It's very clearly a send up of this trope, as is most else in the game.
  • Parodied in Cubicle Quest via an exchange with the break room bartender in the Dungeon of Work.
    Bartender: To comply with Nintendo censorship standards, I am required to say the substance in the bottles behind me is "juice."
    Bob: This isn't an old RPG, though, it's just going for a retro feel.
    Bartender: Oh, really? In that case, I can say that it's all heroin and orphan's tears.
  • Dark Chronicle/Dark Cloud 2 provides the player with a bottle of "grape juice". It comes in wine bottles, and is the favorite drink of the Firbit tribe, who are essentially stereotypical Irish leprechauns. The mere possibility that Monica might have some that she might be willing to share is enough to get them to invite her and Max into their house. Naturally, the censorship only occurs in the English adaptation.
    • Just minutes later in that same series of cutscenes, the Firbit elder hands you a bottle of this "grape juice" with the intent of bringing his friends running at the scent of it. Though hard to discern, it has a label that reads "Noir", like the type of red wine "pinot noir".
  • A particularly egregious case occurs in Dark Savior. As the game takes place almost entirely on a prison island, normal money isn't used. In the Japanese version, you instead use porno magazines, cigarettes, and liquor. In the US version, this suddenly becomes scary magazines, chocolate, and jalapeno juice. All references to alcohol consumption in the storyline were similarly changed to this obviously unpalatable beverage.
  • Dead or Alive 2 features layered cocktails and what is ostensibly a huge mug of beer as trophy items; neither is especially inappropriate for a T-rated game, and yet both are very clumsily dubbed "juice" anyway. By DoA 3, Team Ninja noticed they weren't fooling anyone and dispensed with the trope altogether.
  • Parodied with Queen of Deltarune. She carries around A Glass of Chianti, but it's filled with "Family-Friendly Battery Acid (For Ages 3 And Up)" which has the same effects on the Darkners of Cyber World as liquor. She appears to be quite The Alcoholic, as her Big Fancy House has an entire pool of the stuff (which is as lethal to Lightners as one would expect.) Her boss fight even has the acid chalice serve a shield for her!
  • The online RPG DragonFable hangs a lampshade on this at one point by having two background characters converse, with one saying "I would surmise that things did not go well, considering this is your 5th mug of Exotic NON-alcoholic beverage."
  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 allows you to brew drinks in casks, though all mentions of alcohol are removed. Putting in rice or wheat creates what is quite clearly sake and beer, but the game instead refers to them as a "rice smoothie" and "farmer's frappé".
  • That is orange juice in Duel Savior Destiny. Totally not alcohol, and they didn't turn it orange in this release to cut down on adult content. Absolutely not, no sir.
  • EarthBound features a man walking around Fourside with flushed cheeks and a yellow mug in his hand going on a weepy tirade and crying into his "cappuccino". In fact, all references to alcohol are changed to coffee, turning a bar into a cafe and creating dialogue like "Kids shouldn't drink espresso! It'll stunt your growth, stubby!" Although considering that sometimes cups of coffee would become animate and murderous, maybe he's got a point.
  • The 4X game Europa Universalis has an advisory rating for alcohol and tobacco references. These amount to the presence of "tobacco" and "wine" as trade goods within the game.
  • Fallout 3 features Med-X, an obvious Brand X of morphine. Reportedly, the game would have been rated AO in some countries if the morphine hadn't been renamed. Alcohol is everywhere though, and your player can even become dependent on it.
    • The series averts this completely with tobacco and booze of all kinds (though more often than not the player character can't use tobacco), but subverts it with chems; the drugs are all fictional, but they're every bit as addictive and potentially harmful as the real stuff.
  • In Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, one character promises to buy everyone a round of water after a mission. Justified since booze is everywhere and water is a hot commodity in a post apocalyptic desert-it's so valuable it backs the money.
  • The bars in Fantasy Life instead of beer have "Barley Juice", which still makes the character hiccup after over consumption, is noted as tasting bitter and when consumed raises the luck stat.
  • FarmVille:
    • In this legendary Facebook timesink, you can start a "Winery". In said winery, you will occasionally see your recipes randomly switch from "Sweet Saki, White Wine, and Red Table Wine" to "Sweet Energy Drink (without doubt, the funniest of the lot), White Grape Cooler, and Rich Grape Juice" and back again. In either case it's used as biodiesel.
    • Farmville 2 had an event that was obviously a wine-tasting festival, but it was insistently referred to as a "berry juice" festival, even though most of the berries involved were grapes.
  • In Final Fantasy VI, in order to get an old man on his side at one point, Locke needs to bring him some "cider". Note, though, that in America (where the translation was done) there are two kinds of cider, one non-alcoholic and the other alcoholic, also known as hard cider. In British English, "cider" exclusively refers to the alcoholic kind, so the trope's averted.
    • The English version of the game also changed the name of every "Pub" into a "Cafe". Didn't change any graphics, though, so it's still clearly a pub. The GBA (and later the mobile and Steam versions) port changed the signs back to pub.
  • In Final Fantasy XI, orange juice is made by dissolving oranges... apple juice is made by dissolving apples... pineapple juice is made by dissolving pineapples... melon juice is made by dissolving two types of melon... and "grape juice" is made by decaying bunches of grapes. Uh, yeah. Sure, guys. Best part? Mulsum, another item in the same game, is made with Water, Honey, and "Grape Juice". Mulsum is a real beverage, and a quick check on Wikipedia reveals the ingredients to be... Water, Honey, and Wine. Also the Yagudo Drink, which is "a secret brew loved by the Yagudo" (bird-men). It's made by decaying three parts grape to one part cherry. All these drinks regenerate MP, with the Yagudo Drink as the strongest -? in two senses of the word, it seems. The Spiritual Sequel, Final Fantasy XIV, averts this. References to alcohol, taverns and drunkenness abound freely.
    • At the end of the initial Main Story Quest in Shadowbringers, Thancred gets into this more by choice.
    Thancred: I thought to indulge in a little revelry myself last night...until Urianger to list all the names of my drunken conquests. I ended up drinking water. Water.
  • In a hilarious ingame joke in Square Enix's Final Fantasy XII, one of the bartenders will offer you a "frothy mug of scuttlebutt." For those who don't know, scuttlebutt is an old sailor's term for water. If your character turns him down he laughs uproariously and says that you're not very quick on the uptake for jokes. Then again, this joke is somewhat serious; after accepting the "frothy mug of scuttlebutt" the bartender relates to you how he almost died of thirst one time and how sweet tasting water truly is.
  • At one point in the Japanese version of Final Fantasy Legend II, your characters investigate an opium smuggling ring. In the American release, the contraband the smugglers are smuggling is...bananas.
  • Freddi Fish 4: The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch: Instead of a saloon, the western-themed Briny Gulch has a sodaloon that sells soda at the bar.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age there's an extended shout-out to Yamata no Orochi, including a Susano-o NPC who gets the serpent drunk on sake before you have to battle it. In the translated versions, the sake is changed to a sedative herb called dragonsbane.
  • At least two different Japanese RPGs use coffee as a stand-in for alcohol. The old Grandia is a particularly toe-curling example, when the hero finds several bottles of "coffee" in his (approximately 8-years-old) cute-little-girl-sidekick's room, and she tells him that her father hides it there so her mother won't find it. His reaction? "Phew, for a moment there, I thought you were more mature than me."
    • There's also a "cafe" in Parm that only opens late at night and doesn't let kids in. It's full of adults drinking... yes, "coffee".
    • Jin the Drunken Master was changed into Java, the kinda-hyper coffee fanatic.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • The original SNES game, GBC, and Magical Melody censor the alcohol into either "juice" or "soda". Averted in every other title, where the alcohol stays alcohol. Throughout the series you can buy wine, beer, champagne, sangria, and cocktails (with wine being the most common drink). Drinking the alcohol items results in the main farmer character's decrease in his fatigue or stamina bar and bars appear in several games. This can get a bit weird in the Distaff Counterpart versions, though... when your farmer is pregnant. Wine is also available as a gift in many of the games. You can even make your own.
    • Played straight with "berry juice" in the original SNES game. They drink berry juice... In a bar. Characters are very obviously drunk on the "juice", such as Nina at a festival and Ellen's drunkard dad, yet it's never referred as wine. The sequel game Harvest Moon 64 takes place a few decades later and averts this trope heavily. It even introduced the most well-known alcohol loving character in the series, Karen, who works at her bar (the bar Eve worked at in the original) and lives at a vineyard.
    • Played straight in Magical Melody, in which you can consume "soda". There's even a soda-related achievement with an title that makes an alcohol-related pun ("High Spirits"). Eve is back and she's still a bartender yet they drink "soda". It doesn't have the excuse of being a mid-90s Nintendo game like the original does. It's possibly Natsume either meant it as a Mythology Gag to the original game (it was a tenth anniversary) or, more likely, they worried the Super-Deformed style would attract more little kids than previous games.
    • In the European version of Story of Seasons (2014) you can't drink any of the wines. This censorship is not present in the other regions.
  • The Katamari Damacy series has changed the name of most of its alcohol and tobacco references; "Corner Store" was a tobacconist's in Japan, the "Shop Sign" was originally a bar, and the alcohols are euphemisms (Glass Bottle or Ice-cold Drink for beer, Grape Juice for wine, Pineapple/Melon/Soda Drink for cocktails, Sparkling Bottle for champagne, and Expensive Bottle for old Scotch). However, the Pipe and the Beer Garden Sign stayed the same, and the so-totally-not-cigarettes Chocolate and "Lite" Chocolate were also chocolate in the Japanese version.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has some fun with this trope.
      • One of the major establishments in Clock Town is the Milk Bar. It only opens at night, and only serves adults and patrons. One NPC goes there to drink away his troubles. And yes, they're drinking very expensive milk. This isn't censorship; in one sidequest, you actually save the dairy farm that supplies the bar. To make the joke go even further, the "infinite magic milk" you can buy has the wine-like name of Chateau Romani. In the Japanese version, however, Chateau Romani is supposed to be spiked with a special liquor. It's even very overtly Lampshaded. If you talk to the NPC at the right time, he'll mutter "It's milk... how can anyone get tipsy off of miiiiiiilk?!". He then starts getting the hiccups.
      • On a darker note, on the last night before the moon falls, Romani is excited because Cremia is letting her drink Chateau Romani even though she is still a child. The implications are Cremia wants to give Romani this adult rite of passage now because she knows neither of them will survive the coming cataclysm, or worse still, that Cremia wants Romani to be heavily sedated so she won't feel any of the pain or fear that would likely result in the moments before the impact kills them both.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass features a Milk Bar too, one that the bartender said Link was too young to be in. Due to the importance of milk-based healing items in Zelda games, it seems plausible that people really like their milk in the Zelda-verse.
    • Averted in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. You can even find one NPC drowning his sorrows at the bar after completing his sidequest. One of the reasons it was T-rated. This didn't stop the fanart-artists from keeping the joke alive by drawing tons of fanart, showing Link once again drinking milk in Telma's bar (though that could still work, depending on Hyrule's laws, as Link is only 17). In fact, the alcoholic milk is quite popular among all kinds of Zelda fanart-artists.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another aversion. Some of the inns in the game have taverns inside, with certain patrons who have clearly been hitting the bottle a few times too many (complete with Alcohol Hic). Like in Twilight Princess, though, they won't serve Link because he's underage.note 
  • Lunar had some fun with this: "Mmm... hic Donuts."
  • The NES Eurocom game Magician features this trope. In towns, you'll come across "Ye Olde Guilde", establishments you can enter to listen to patrons' gossip, as well as buy liquid that comes in what is obviously a tankard or beer stein. Buy said liquid three times, and the game tells you the protagonist, Paul, has wiled away the rest of his afternoon drinking in the guild, allowing the Big Bad to destroy the world unhindered. The liquid in question? Goat's milk.
  • The Mega Man Legends prequel, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, had a Servbot getting drunk from a fountain of root beer. Well, at least they kept the beer part. It's actually saké as the clear liquid never changes color
  • In the US version of Monster Rancher 2, the Kato species apparently likes to drink olive oil. And get stumblingly drunk off of it. Even though its "Oil Fire" attack still shows a "triple X" symbol on its "olive oil" bottle. Oddly, it can still request an uncensored "Cigarettes" item.
  • Moshi Monsters had a drink called "wobble-ade". It was said to make you "wobbly", Poppet in the movie mentions Zommer being "on" it, Roland Jones is seen drinking it with a spaced-out expression, Elder Furi implies that having too much of it could cause hallucinations, and it comes with a "please glug responsibly" disclaimer. Despite this, the creators described it, not as alcohol, but as "soda".
  • Subverted in Persona 4. On a field trip to Tatsumi Port Island (the setting of Persona 3), the gang slips out and goes to a nightclub. Rise buys the group a round of "soft drinks," but despite Naoto saying they're non-alcoholic, almost everyone becomes various degrees of tipsy, resulting in an amusing series of drunken antics. Subverted in that Naoto was telling the truth; not only wouldn't the club serve alcohol to minors, the club exclusively served non-alcoholic drinks (even to adults, due to some drunk driving incidents in the area), and the kids had convinced themselves they were drunk.
  • In Planet 404, the drinks available at the bar are Apple juice, Frothy mug of water, Non-alcoholic milk and JRPG Soda.
  • In Pokémon Red and Blue, Yellow, FireRed and LeafGreen, the "coffee" man who is lying on the ground is really drunk and passed out in the original.
  • The title of a WiiWare game simulating beer pong was changed from Beer Pong to Pong Toss: Frat Party Games.
  • Soda Popinski, from the NES version of Punch-Out!!, is from Russia. And carries a bottle with him into the ring. It's soda, really. They even changed his name (originally "Vodka Drunkenski") and everything. They don't even attempt to hide it outside of the name, however. His skin is a glowing red, and his between-round taunts consist of blatant drinking jokes. "I can't drive, so I'm just going to walk all over you!" In the Wii remake, Soda is clearly drinking soda out of plastic bottles, spinning it into a G-Rated Drug. He's apparently become addicted, chugging entire sodas in the middle of a fight. He actually makes fizzy sounds when punched, and whenever he's knocked down, he won't stand up until he squeezes one last drop out of an empty bottle. As usual though, his speech (when translated from actual Russian) gives him away as being genuinely drunk.
  • Ruphand: An Apothecary's Adventure: The Levitt's Landing inn / bar references censorship with a frothy mug of drink when interacted with, that comes in flagons:
    Brill: It's a flagon of soda.
    Wait, what? It's obviously soda, not soda-Urgh! Who keeps censoring this?
  • Played with in Samurai Maiden. Hagane, the cyborg ninja from a technologically advanced parallel universe, explicitly, literally drinks machine oil. However, the dialog, the reactions, and its effects on Hagane are exactly like consuming ethanol alcohol, such as Tsumugi being shocked at how much Hagane can down in a single sitting, Hagane mentioning she keeps walking up at noon because she was drinking all night before, and her describing an alcohol addiction to cope with the stresses of her job, only with oil instead.
  • Parodied in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Emma hands you a bottle of Ashina Sake, and tells you it's the Sculptor's favorite "tea", quotation marks included. The quotation marks are also there when the Sculptor says the "tea" smells good, but they're not there when Wolf tells the Sculptor he brought him his tea. Apparently Wolf is Sarcasm-Blind and thinks it really is tea, even though he'll still call it sake when giving other brands to the Sculptor, or even the same brand to anyone else.
  • Shadowrun for SNES features several bars and nightclubs, in which hard-ass, embittered covert-ops mercenaries relax between jobs involving murder and theft and drink iced tea. Must be from a certain island...
  • Downplayed in some English releases of Shin Megami Tensei I. Bars exist, and you can order drinks from one, but the bartender will point out that you're too young, and then gives you orange juice. The Heroine in the first half of the game is implied to be above twenty, but since she's being hunted by the police, it might not be a good idea to show them her ID.
  • In Shovel Knight, you can go to the village and down the ladder into a bar where you can see huge kegs of... juice. At least the frogman has a field day with that.
  • The Sims:
    • Kegs are "juice kegs" and the bars serve juice and water.
    • There is an item called the "bubble blower": a sims will sit cross legged by an enormous hookah pipe, float up into the air and giggle. This item is most often desired by college student sims.
    • The World Adventures Expansion Pack for The Sims 3 brings back "nectar" from Makin' Magic as a stand-in for grape and elderberry wines. It is apparently bad for 'young Sims' and becoming self-employed as one gets you the title of Vinter.
    • The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 include a mixology skill, that allows you to learn to make different drinks and NPCs employed by bars are known as mixologists.
    • The University Life Expansion Pack for The Sims 3 allows sims who drink a lot of juice to get "juiced" or "super juiced" which provide temporary boosts in mood.
    • The Sims Medieval, however, has casks in which Sims can brew Ale and Wine, and Sims who are drunk are called such. There's even a "Drunkard" flaw.
  • From Skies of Arcadia, we get Loqua. It's just juice. Really. We swear. In the original, Loqua (or rather, Liquor) is supposed to be made from the juice of berries, mixed in with a bit of the universe's Green Rocks. The translation just omits the fact that the juice is fermented. When you acquire your new ship, The Delphinus, a talk with Aika reveals that she thinks the new boat is great — "It's even got a kitchen!" Walking a few feet past Aika reveals a minibar.
    • Willy, Gilder's pet parrot, smoked in the Japanese version. This was removed for a western release.
      • Gilder himself also smoked in a number of his victory animations. A lot of NPCs who smoked had their cigarettes removed as well.
  • In the Australia level of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, you have to beat up some thugs in a "lemonade bar". Made even more hilarious by one of the thug's quotes "Oi! This is our lemonade bar!" This gains some additional hilarity for an Australian player, as 'lemonade' means Sprite/7-Up in Australian English (and UK English), not the lemon juice drink meaning intended to "explain" the remarkably beer-like beverage's yellow colour. But then, the whole level is additional hilarity for an Australian player.
    • Even with in the hands of a new company, this trope shows up in the Wild West level of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, but this time, you serve Bentley's homemade sarsaparilla at a bar.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, the extensive list of food items includes a number of teas which can be produced by cooking grains... but only by characters that are 21 or older, and one of them is Opera's favorite food. And then there's the "seltzer" which continuously appreciates in value throughout the game.
  • The saloon in chapter 5 of StarTropics 2 serves sarsaparilla. Mike can also try a shot of Red Eye Ginger Ale. "mmm... dynamite!"
  • In Street Fighter 6, Jamie's fighting style is effectively Drunken Boxing, complete with taking a swig from a jug to power up his moves. However, he explicitly states that it's not booze he's drinking but instead a special herbal remedy.
  • Suikoden stubbornly changes wine to "tea" in the North American dialog, except for a couple of slips. This persists even in cases where the graphics obviously depict sake services, or characters are clearly carousing.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga has a hilarious segment in which the characters are involved with what is obviously a wine-making business, with grapes and grape vines, fermenting, vintages, etc. — which all the characters describe as "soda". It's not so much censorship as a joke...though it became somewhat funny in hindsight when handcrafted artisan sodas actually became a thing in The New '10s. In the airport, soda is banned on-site and will be confiscated.note  In addition, Starbeans Cafe serves "Bean Juice." Not coffee. Bean juice. Quite bit of gameplay is even dedicated to finding specific beans to use in particular "blends." There were going to be cameo appearances by other Nintendo characters who would come and drink the coffee, but they were written out of the game.
    • The Japanese version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has Bobbery ask for a bottle of 'Vintage Red' as a final request when he believes he is dying. (It is later revealed he was just sleepy.) The international version has the name of the beverage changed to 'Chuckola Cola' and the color changed from red to purple, even though the words wine or alcohol are never even used and Bobbery never acts drunk afterwards. Chuckola Cola is the name of the "soda" from the aforementioned Superstar Saga, making this edit more believable and nearly unnoticeable to the casual player. The only slip-up is that they forgot to change the color of the smaller sprite that briefly appears when you are prompted to hand it over. The European versions zigzag on this; it's heavily implied to be wine in the Spanish version and directly called "grand cru" in the French version, while the German version implies it's soda, and in the Italian version it's said to be berry juice.
    • This also applies to places and things that were only named after alcohol; Super Mario RPG's Japanese version features an area named the Wine River. When it was translated into English, it became the Midas River (because of all of the gold coins you can get there). Another instance of this is when you reach the end of the sunken ship and find the shark pirate Johnatan "Johnny" Jones, who is drinking a glass of red drink from a similar red bottle. When you finish the fight with him, you can check the bottle and Johnny tells you "This is 100% currant juice. It's pretty strong stuff, mate!"
    • Lampshaded in Paper Mario: The Origami King. After you rescue the crew and passengers of the S.S. Princess Peach, you can later find some guests making a toast "to great friends, good food, and family-friendly glasses of fruit juice."
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Symphonia had a series of items with identical effects that, with the possible exception of the generic brand, were obviously various local alcohol beverages (ex. Mizuho had Mizuho sake). Even though it was rated "T", the English version changed these all to "potion", possibly because anyone could drink them, even the twelve-year-olds Genis and Presea.
    • Interestingly, in Tales of the Abyss, which was localized later, all alcohol references were left intact. Jade is even depicted drinking in a bar at certain points.
    • A Duel Boss in Tales of Phantasia is justified by most of the team hung over after a big party the previous night. In the official translation? They "ate too much". It takes place on a sea voyage, so it's not that implausible... except both the mages very clearly got drunk out of their skulls during the partying, as evidenced by the dialogue.
    • This is repeated with Symphonia's sequel/spin off, but the ESRB's new rating summaries still consider it alcohol. Load of good that did Namco.
  • Tapper, a game about bartending, spawned a Bowdlerized version named Root Beer Tapper. Justified as many arcades didn't want to have a game that could be seen as advertising alcohol to minors (the Budweiser Product Placement didn't help matters here). The Atari 2600 version was apparently censored as well. Instead of beer, the beverage of choice is Mountain Dew.
  • Thousand Arms features a "chili drinking contest". Chili is yellowish and served in mugs, and causes the characters to get wobbly and finally pass out. It does cause them to breathe fire, though. A funny thing to censor in a game full of non-subtle sexual innuendo.
  • Justified in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. The game is a dramatization of the character's tabletop RPG session, and the game master is 13. The local pub, "Izzy's Fizzies," is very explicitly a soda bar.
  • Mobile game Tiny Tower, a tower-building simulation, lets you build various businesses on each floor of your tower, which have various products for sale. Among the businesses available are a pub that sells "root beer", a fancy restaurant that sells wine glasses full of "sparkling grape juice", and a brewery that makes kegs and bottles of soda.
  • At Arfur's Inn in Viva Piñata, everyone drinks milk. Surprisingly though, the only thing you can do there is hire helpers.
  • In Wario Land II, Wario turns into Drunk Wario when he comes into contact with a beer stein. In the translated version, he turns into "Crazy Wario" after coming into contact with a "crazy ball". It's apparently just "Dizzy Wario" for both regions in Wario Land 3; Wario receives this status effect from being spun around by a hummingbird enemy.
  • In World of Tanks, each nation has a food-based consumable item that will give a tank crew improved performance if equipped before a fight. Germany's is Chocolate. In World War 2, "tank chocolates" was a nickname for Pervitin, a brand name of methanphetamine tablets used by Wehrmacht soldiers as a stimulant.
  • In Yo-kai Watch, one sidequest in the US version tasks you with tracking down an old man who eats so much "candy" and gets so "sugar high" that he refuses to see the doctor. Naturally, you find him outside of a bar. Said bar itself is never explicitly referred to as such, though given the people tipsily singing karaoke inside, it's pretty obvious what it's meant to be.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: The disbarred, disgraced, fallen-on-hard-times Phoenix Wright is known to drink "grape juice" by the bottle. By the green, long-necked, glass bottle to be specific. Anyone playing would certainly think this trope is in full force and that it's obviously just censored wine, but nope, it's actually grape juice in the original Japanese too. Apparently series creator Shu Takumi's favourite drink is grape juice and he did this as a joke. "Grape juice" in obvious wine bottles and glasses continue to show up in later games in the series, upgrading the joke to Running Gag.
    • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice: This trope is actually inverted in the fourth case, where alcohol is explicitly mentioned in the English translation, while the original Japanese dances around it. This trope is also parodied in the fifth case, along with the previously mentioned Running Gag, where another character is shown drinking "grape juice" and Apollo mentions that Phoenix told him it makes people feel "relaxed". Athena gives him an "Are you serious?" look and asks him if he's sure Phoenix wasn't talking about the fermented kind, since she's never heard of actual grape juice doing that.
  • The Ace Attorney Running Gag of "grape juice" in what are clearly wine bottles and glasses carries over into Ghost Trick, which was made by the same developers and theoretically shares the same universe.
  • Majikoi! Love Me Seriously! plays with this with "Kawakami Water", which explicitly has the same effects as sake. Only, it actually is water, "so it's okay."
  • In VA-11 HALL-A, one of the drinks you can make is literal "Frothy Water", which the game describes as being "PG-rated shows' favorite Beer ersatz since 2040".

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner tends to gloss over consumption of alcohol by almost exclusively referring to beer as "Cold Ones".
  • Minilife TV: In "The Party (Season Finale)'', Chris and Ian have "ambiguous drinks" by their sides as they do nothing on the roof and they later serve them at the party.

  • In Blue Moon Blossom, a coffee shop in the village has signage that shows what appears to be a mug of coffee, but the party inside and general atmosphere around the establishment implies that its patrons may be drinking some kind of alcohol instead. The drinks shown are also served in clear mugs or stein-looking vessels, and the drinks themselves are quite light-colored. Coffee with cream added can be that shade of brown, but who parties with coffee? The censorship aspect of the trope is downplayed because the comic is not deliberately aimed at children, there's no explanation of what they're drinking, and the drinks are probably depicted this way more out of simplicity than anything else.
  • Parodied in Cucumber Quest, which calls Cordelia's ever-present wineglass "juice for grownups" and Carrot's favorite drink is "green grape juice for grownups."
  • The Fourth shows characters outright drinking beer, but the author blurb underneath says that "it's apple juice."
  • Fruit Incest has regular appearances of milk bars and "cat beer" despite the existence of regular bars and alcoholic drinks.
  • Homestuck features at least one instance of a troll passed out in a pile of soda bottles. Possibly justified by Bizarre Alien Biology. On the other hand, both Roxy and Rose are minors and develop alcohol problems that are definitely not Played for Laughs.

    Web Original 
  • Also inverted by The Angry Video Game Nerd. While the nerd drinks Rolling Rock and Yuengling, James drinks water while shooting, as evidenced by the transparency of the supposed beverages.
  • Also parodied in The Billy Goat Caller, where, during a Heroic BSoD the main character slams a shot glass onto the table... And then a carton of "Juicy Juice". He drinks himself under the table.
  • Channel Awesome:
    • Inverted in The Nostalgia Critic's review of It. The supposed hard liquor he's drinking is actually apple juice. Made funnier by the fact that, in the commentary, Doug reveals the liquor in question is actually a very expensive brand that was given to him as a gift...needless to say, the person who gave it to him was not happy until the situation was explained.
    • Similarly, Bennett the Sage has said that whenever he's seen drinking in a review it's a non-alcoholic beverage instead. The specific example given was during his MD Geist review where the celebratory scotch he drinks at the end is actually apple juice.
    • Likewise, The Dom in his Lost In Adaptation review of Dune, is driven to chug a large bottle of booze due to one scene. The bloopers in the credits reveals the truth from a very sick The Dom.
      "Okay... I would like to not do that again. Because that was the third take. And I just drank three cartons of apple juice."
  • At the end of The Irate Gamer review of Monster Party, he, the Devil and Ronnie are all at a bar drinking apple juice from beer mugs.
  • A writer on MTV Multiplayer: "Nintendo Is Making the Perfect [Soda] Drinking Game"
  • Parodied in The New Adventures of Captain S. After suffering a crushing defeat, Captain S gets wasted drinking milkshakes.
  • Understandably parodied in this now-widely-circulated video of third-graders re-enacting Scarface (1983). They used a foot-high pile of popcorn as a stand-in for cocaine.
  • Inverted in the Yogscast Minecraft Series when buckets of "beer" in the dwarven mines are actually filled with frothy milk because there is no beer in Minecraft. Lewis Brindley looks at the label for the "beer" and it says "milk."

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Bad Timing", Lumpy Space Princess goes to a tavern and drowns her sorrows in cucumber water. The fact that some gin and tonic recipes call for a cucumber as a garnish doesn't help.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • It's also used for a Does This Remind You of Anything? with Sonic telling Scratch, "You robot chickens make me sick. Get a couple of pints of motor oil in you and suddenly you're tough guys!" Of course, Scratch and Grounder Can't Hold Their Liquor when it's real.
    • The show offers this line after Sonic and Tails walk into a tavern: "Couple of chili dogs and a beer. Root beer, that is!" Averted in the Sonic Sez about liquor. "I wanna try this booze!"
  • Spoofed in The Amazing World of Gumball, where the Wattersons sing "99 Bottles of age-appropriate beverage on the wall".
  • Amphibia: In the episode “The Sleepover to End All Sleepovers”, Lady Olivia informs the kids that if anyone needs her, she’ll be in her room “drinking... ‘juice’”.
  • In the episode of As Told by Ginger called "Fast Reputation", Ginger crashes a high school party where supposedly Will Patterson will be chugging "cherry cola".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has several instances of implied alcohol consumption which probably wouldn't have flown in a lot of other shows. For example, Zuko's ship crew drinks something out of tankard-looking cups. And there's at least two bars in the series, one of which shows up twice and features June drinking something that probably isn't tea. Toph's mother and Earthbending master are briefly seen drinking what appears to be an East Asian liquor called baijiu. The "cactus juice" from the episode "The Desert" might also count, but that seems to be The 'Verse's version of peyote, which makes it even worse since peyote is an illegal hallucinogen.
  • A few episodes of The Backyardigans use apple juice as a stand-in for alcohol. The most notable instance is "Blazing Paddles", a Western-style episode which supplies the memey line "What's a fella gotta do around here for some apple juice?".
  • The first Ragdoll episode of The Batman has Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (Catwoman) ordering water and lime from the bartender at a party. Though likely a Shout-Out to how the comic version of Bruce Wayne is known to pretend to get drunk on ginger ale as part of his guise as a Millionaire Playboy... c'mon, water?
  • Strangely inverted with the Italian dub of Biker Mice from Mars: in the original, the heroes favourite beverage is root beer, but here is treated as the alcoholic kind.
  • Bluey:
    • In "Baby Race", Bandit sings "99 Bottles of Thing on the Wall".
    • In "Whale Watching", Bandit and Chilli are very lethargic after a late-night party, and while this could just be Sleep Deprivation, there are several jokes implying that they're hungover (since the episode apparently takes place on New Year's Day, and Bandit hesitates before claiming he's "sleepy").
  • In Bravestarr the beverage of choice, served at the saloon, is called "sweet-water", although despite the name and pink color, discussion about it seems to place it in the same context as beer.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • Parodied with an episode that opens in a speakeasy — after soda is banned for kids, in a spoof of Prohibition.
    • Another episode has sugar also used as such, with cups filled to the brim with them and used in drinking contest. The "intoxication" being a very jittery sugar rush.
      Black John Licorice: Not bad lass, but this battle be to the depths... of your blood sugar levels!
  • Cow and Chicken have often characters drinking frothy mugs of milk.
  • Averted in the Defenders of the Earth episode "100 Proof Highway", which not only shows characters in a drunken state but explicitly attributes this to the effects of alcohol. It should be noted, however, that this is a Very Special Episode and, as such, focuses on the dangers associated with drinking liquor, including the fact that too much of it can get you killed.
  • Averted in Dragons: Riders of Berk, where Hiccup is clearly shown getting his dad a drink in a tankard from a large barrel in the second episode.
  • In the DuckTales episode "Sir Gyro de Gearloose", Gyro cools down a fire-breathing dragon with "cider," with no mention of whether it's hard or soft. Apparently, it's hard, as the dragon begins hiccuping and stumbling around with a very happy expression.
  • Apparently, the US dub of the British Christmas Special Father Christmas has Santa getting a bottle of alcohol changed to him getting a bottle of cologne. In the UK, the traditional thing for children to do on Christmas Eve is to leave a glass of sherry for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, so Santa's drinking is something we've all come to accept. Europe in general is somewhat more liberal than the US when it comes to alcohol and depictions thereof.
  • In The Flintstones, Fred drinks "cactus juice", and it's often ambiguous as to whether it's a soft drink or not; one episode where it's accidentally switched with soda pop suggests it's not something kids should drink.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Downplayed in "Gideon Rises", when Stan realizes he can't care for the kids without the Mystery Shack, and he'll have to send them home early. He goes to a diner and asks for their "strongest and most expired apple cider". When cider ferments, it becomes alcoholic. However, it's said in a way that not everyone will recognize what he's talking about. (In America, the word "cider" usually refers to a non-alcoholic variety of apple juice rather than the alcoholic one.)
    • In one of the between-season shorts, Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland film a PSA commercial about peer pressure, wherein one of the "pressures" a "teen" pushes on his friends is drinking "expired apple juice."
    • In "Taking Over Midnight", the Pines throw a karaoke party. The resident Manly Man side character arrives holding two large kegs, only to then reveal that they're filled with meat.
    • In "The Golf War"; the pirate Lilliputtians celebrate a good cannon shot by slicing open a can of root beer so it gushes out into their mugs and gets nice and frothy.
    • During The Stinger for "Soos and the Real Girl", Stan and Goldie are living it up on a trip to Las Vegas, and are seen drinking bubbly "Rich People Water" out of champagne glasses.
  • In Hey Arnold!, according to Word of God Helga's mother Miriam is a textbook alcoholic, even though you never see her drink liquor. All you see is that she makes smoothies. Lots and lots of smoothies. With "tabasco sauce" added, and in one episode, it looks like she reaches for Tabasco that's around wine-looking bottles...conveniently outside of their nine-year-old daughter's reach. As some people have pointed out, this actually counts as Fridge Brilliance since if Helga says that her mom makes "Smoothies" at school, nobody will bat an eyelash.
  • The DreamWorks mini-series Invasion: America has a bowdlerized "kids' version". Lines mentioning alcohol are dropped, leading to some odd conversations. Some entire episodes were dropped which pretty much killed the kids' mini.
  • Jem:
    • In the episode "The Bands Break Up", both Kimber and Stormer coincidentally have fights with their bands about feeling unappreciated. They visit what looks like a bar to presumably wallow around and drink their sorrows out however it sells milkshakes. It could be justified in Kimber's case that she's presumably under the California age limit for drinking alcohol, however Stormer stands out as she's seemingly in her twenties. She has a Sweet Tooth though.
    • In the second music video to "Take It Or Leave It", Riot is first shown at a party staring into a glass with ice in it before he slams it down in anger. The drink is purple like juice. While punch is something that is served at parties, his forlorn demeanor at the time implies it should be something else. The fact that he is a 80s rock star makes the image a bit unusual. The purple beverage also appeared in the music video to "Under My Spell" and it is in wine glasses, though it's a bit too off-colour to be wine.
    • In "Straight from the Heart" the Stingers drink orange beverages out of martini glasses.
  • In the Justin Time episode "Babushka's Bear", a parody of the spy genre, Justin serves chocolate milk when disguised as a bartender on a train.
  • Averted on Kaeloo: Characters are shown drinking alcohol and under its effects while it is explicitly stated to be alcohol.
  • The Loud House: In "Flying Solo", Lincoln and Clyde sing "99 Jars of Jam on the Wall".
  • Martha Speaks:
    • In "Down on the Farm", Martha sings, "99 Slabs of Beef on the Wall", though perhaps this is because she's a dog.
    • In "Martha Out West", Helen's Fantasy Sequence involves a saloon selling strawberry milkshakes.
  • In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Captain K'nuckles is always carrying around a flask of maple syrup and is constantly taking QuickNips of it and shuddering as if he downed some whiskey. The fact that he spends all his money on it (and candy) makes him look something of an alcoholic.
  • This early Mickey Mouse short titled "When the Cat's Away" deserves an extra special mention for showing the cat as being in love with his Moonshine, downing the whole jug in five gulps, promptly grabbing a rifle and marching over the horizon. To top it all off, it was made in 1929 during the Prohibition. Then again, Disney never believed in this trope.
  • Mummies Alive!, of all shows, averted it. During an episode about the team struggling to get back to their base after their powers had run out, they spot a guy trying to get into his car while clearly drunk. Ja'Kal puts a stop to scaring the crap out of him. 'Some people will go out in any condition!'
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In "Over a Barrel", the bar in the wild west town Appleloosa serves salt licks. And the bartender physically throws out an old, visibly drunk pony who had too much salt. (You might say he couldn't hold his licker.)
    • Also used in the episode "The Ticket Master", where Pinkie Pie mentions sarsaparillas as part of her Imagine Spot of the Grand Galloping Gala.
    • There is the scene in the pilot that is the origin of the "confound these ponies, they drive me to drink" meme, where Twilight Sparkle drinks something that turns out to be hot sauce (not that she realized it).
    • In "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", the ponies are seen lined up to get, and drinking, frothy mugs of nonalcoholic cider (non-pasteurized cider does froth, but not to that degree). There's no physical way for it to go hard in the time shown, but some of them certainly look completely plastered making one wonder if the show makers knew exactly what they were doing. This still got this episode banned in the UK. It was sold by the pony named Applejack.
    • In "The Best Night Ever", Spike eats doughnuts and drinks hot cocoa, but acts like it's alcoholic, prompting Pony Joe to ask, "Don't you think you've had enough?" Spike answers, "Another doughnut! Extra sprinkles!" while slamming his cocoa on the counter.
    • In "Sleepless in Ponyville", Sweetie Belle goes into a rendition of Ninety-Nine Buckets of Oats on the Wall instead of Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer.
  • Parodied in Over the Garden Wall regarding a bunch of highschoolers at a Halloween party:
    Sara: Nah, we're just gonna hang out and drink age appropriate drinks.
    Wirt: Like, juice?
    Sara: Yeah, and whatever. Age appropriate stuff that's not illegal.
  • The Owl House: Eda is very fond of "apple blood", a craving which definitely seems to have some alcoholic connotations.
  • Peppa Pig and her family also leave a glass of sherry for Santa and a carrot for his reindeer, along with a mince pie. In this case, however, the sherry is simply referred to as "a drink."
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In an episode, they travel to a star that has been named after them. It's a milkshake bar, but when the viewer first sees inside it looks like a stereotypical grungy bar, along with one alien going up to another and saying (while slightly slurring) "I love you, man". Also, the milkshakes are made in cocktail shakers, which are usually used to make mixed drinks in bars.
    • In"Crack That Whip" Dr. Doofenshmirtz can't be bothered to fight Perry the Platypus properly because he is suffering from a major hangover after going to an "evil mixer".
    • In one episode, Major Monogram lists out the things Doofenshmirtz bought to create his Stain-inator. Listen closely; one of them is red wine.
    • Played straight in yet another episode, where several characters attend a New Year's party. All of them, including the adults, drink sparkling cider.
  • The Pink Panther: A particularly odd version occurs in the 1956 cartoon "Pinkarella". The original short features a drunk witch flying around on her broom, drinking a glass of champagne and using her wand to refill the glass whenever she drains it. When the cartoon aired on television, the scene was censored by redrawing the champagne glass as a chicken leg-which the drunk witch would magically renew whenever she gobbled it down.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998):
    • Possible Lampshade Hanging in an episode. One scene features the Mayor using wine glasses filled with liquid as musical instruments. He then takes a sip from one, looks straight the camera, and says, "Mmm, apple juice!" Then again, given the character of the Mayor, it's extremely likely those glasses actually were filled with apple juice.
    • Fuzzy Lumpkins once quickly made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it mention of a "jug o' water," referring to what was obviously supposed to be moonshine.
    • Averted in "Supper Villain". The children are shown drinking an orange drink in cups while the adults have wine in wine glasses.
  • ReBoot have them drink "energy shakes". But when the pirates are involved they all get drunk, throw up, and pass out.
  • Regular Show:
    • Benson is often shown intoxicated at the Park gang's favorite joint, Wing Kingdom, seemingly drunk on chicken wings. He generally has wing sauce at the corners of his mouth and has a loud and rambunctious demeanor when he is eating wings.
    • Whenever they mention soda here, chances are they're covering up for beer.
    • Also, in the episode "Over the Top", Pops says that he's going to order an "aguarita" at the bar. Keep in mind this is a guy who very often mixes up his words... (That may have been what he was actually getting, as Benson offered to buy the guys a round of drinks - up to a limit of $1.50. Rigby also says he will get an "ice on the rocks.")
  • Robots in western animation seem to have a preference for oil as a beverage. Such examples occur in:
  • Rugrats: One episode has Phil and Lil singing, "99 Bottles of Milk on the Wall". Perhaps justified, as they're both only one and may not even know beer exists.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Mr. E and Pericles sit down for a truce. E pours a purple liquid into wine glasses, and puts down the container revealing that it's grape juice.
  • Played with on Sheriff Callie's Wild West. Since this is a children's animated western aimed at preschool - early grade-school audiences, the characters all enjoy "frosty glasses of milk."
  • Averted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as not only do we see characters drinking and some get visibly drunk on screen, they are outright stated to be drunk as well (may also count as a subversion since it takes place in another galaxy and the alcohol in question is of the extra-terrestrial variety).
  • Parodied in Super Duper Sumos. The villains, toasting their success, offered around "Politically acceptable sparkling fruit drinks".
  • This comes up once or twice in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. In "Count Koopula", the Marios come across what looks like a wine cellar, but when Mario reads one of the bottles, "Marinara Chateau Koopula, 1938... Hey, it's tomato sauce!" In "Pirates Of the Koopa", the Bros. infiltrate a Bad Guy Bar run by Koopa.
    Luigi: Eh...gimme a milk.
    [Bartender looks at him oddly]
    Mario: In a dirty glass!
  • The SWAT Kats like to throw themselves down on the sofa and pop open a couple of cans of condensed milk (being, after all, cats), treating it as if they are about to down a few brewskis; this seems to apply across the series, as Mayor Manx once christened a new fighter jet with a bottle of milk.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
  • Many cartoons set in The Wild West will invariably end up in a bar, where the protagonist will ask for either milk or a sarsaparilla (a soft drink similar to root beer that was popular at the time). This is sometimes accompanied by an attempt to sound like a tough guy by specifying " a dirty glass!"
    • This trope did not, however, stop many a Gargle Blaster joke involving Daffy Duck from Looney Tunes. Apparently you can only get away with implying alcohol consumption if it's so absurdly strong it almost kills you.
    • Parodied in an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants about one of SpongeBob's ancestors from a Wild-West style era of Bikini Bottom. The character asks the bartender (who looks, sounds, and acts like Squidward) for some milk. The bartender responds sarcastically with "Do you think you can handle it?". After drinking the milk, the character appears drunk.
    • Also parodied on The Simpsons, where the saloon in a rather lame Ghost Town only serves sarsaparilla.
      Grandpa: Ah, can't get a good sarsaparilla like this back in Springfield. It angries up the blood.
      Bartender: Heh, you like it, huh?
      Grandpa: Up yours!
    • Played straight in the Space Western Galaxy Rangers where Doc and Niko walk into a Bad Guy Bar and Doc jokingly orders a "ginger a dirty glass." Granted, Doc takes nothing any more seriously than he absolutely has to, and the pair were on duty.
  • Winx Club:
    • An episode of the dub has a character drinking what the show refers to as courage brew. In the original... it's grapefruit juice. Not that the original is completely innocent: the dub makes a point of having a character say "I like milkshakes" before drinking from a stein in the first season finale, and then replaces cappuccino with cocoa in the 2nd season finale.
    • When the Winx and Specialists spend some time in Gardenia, the Specialists start working at the Frutti Music Bar, which operates like a normal bar (busy in the evenings, live music, etc.). However, the only drinks it's mentioned to serve are juices.
  • Wakfu: One episode prominently features bamboo milk. Oddly, they appear to drink actual alcohol at the end of the episode (complete with froth-covered tankards), even though Amalia is only 13.
  • In the BBC animated series William's Wish Wellingtons after wishing he were a cowboy, William goes to a saloon and orders a frothy mug of lemonade.

    Real Life 
  • Venezuelan breweries get around the ban on promoting beer products like this. They show all your elements of a typical beer commercial (parties, girls in bikinis, etc.) then, bam!. Everything is safe, since it's a Malta commercial.
  • Some Chilean advertisement for sodas use teenagers (Or very young adults) doing everything you'd expect of beer ads, including doing crazy, spontaneous stuff, pulling parties out of nowhere and flirting and dancing... but is just soda. Those ads are aimed to kids 10-16 who want to party like grown ups but aren't allowed to drink alcohol.
  • This trope was common during the Perestroika in the USSR, when Gorby had the bright idea to restrict not just all alcohol in the country (the prices of vodka and other alcoholic drinks were raised and the amounts and times of day one could buy them were restricted), but all depictions of alcohol, too.
  • The Soviet Union was also subject to an inversion of this trope during the early years of the Cold War: around the tail end of World War II, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov was introduced to Coca-Cola by Dwight D. Eisenhower, a fan of the drink, and latched onto it immediately. However, because the brand was seen as a symbol of American imperialism in his home country, Zhukov made a covert request to the Coca-Cola Company to have them manufacture and send over a clear version of Coke packaged to resemble vodka (commonly known as "White Coke"), allowing him to continue drinking it without scrutiny in the Soviet Union.
  • Actors generally don't drink real alcohol on set, as the scenes have to be shot many times (making it disastrous if they used the real deal; just ask Orson Welles). Thus, water is used to simulate clear alcohols like gin, and steeped tea is used to simulate darker alcohols like bourbon.
    • Froth and fizz in these cases is mimicked by adding carbonated sodas. Or in some cases, if the actor isn't actually going to drink the concoction, they'll use soap.
    • Sometimes, they use things like apple juice or non-alcoholic cider, or substitute wine for sparkling fruit juice.
  • This actually is the case with some beer commercials. While Beer does indeed froth when poured, it's actually not as frothy as commercials and movies portray it as— so they will actually use dyes and soap for commercials.
  • In stark contrast to its films, Disney will not admit to selling souvenir shot glasses at its theme parks. The official story is that they are "toothpick holders."
  • The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando has butterbeer complete with a novelty beer mug. It's actually very similar to cream soda with a vanilla/butterscotch-esque, creamy froth on top. Its rival Walt Disney World rolled out something similar for the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland expansion. What the Gaston's Tavern restaurant calls "LeFou's Brew" is, according to a visitor's report and taste test, really an apple juice slushie with "passion-fruit-mango foam" (!) on top. And it's available in a novelty beer stein or goblet if you pay extra. If one wants actual alcohol in the Magic Kingdom, they'd have to visit the Be Our Guest Restaurant (also Beauty and the Beast-themed, which makes sense [see Western Animation]) at dinnertime. Incidentally, this "brew" originated — minus the foam and liquor insinuation — at Disney's California Adventure as Red's Apple Freeze.
  • According to Jim Bob Duggar, Jesus turned water into grape juice. The belief that people in biblical times drank grape juice instead of wine does pop up in some fundamentalist sects, based on the fact that the words for fermented and unfermented grape juice are the same in Hebrew. Of course, this ignores the fact that the words were the same because fresh grape juice will naturally turn into wine on its own because of the yeast present in grape skins, and people in that era had no pasteurization, refrigeration, or added sulfites to halt the fermentation process, so the only difference between grape juice and wine was that the former was what you had right after you squeezed it out of the grape. Besides, wine was actually more sanitary than water at the time because the alcohol inside made it unsuitable for water-borne pathogens, which is why Jesus turning water to wine is so miraculous in the first place.
  • Many churches substitute red wine with unfermented grape juice during communion for various reasons (to comply with teetotaler morality, to avoid the dicey implications of giving children actual wine, somebody's allergic, to not pose a temptation for recovered alcoholics, etc.), on the grounds that wine is grape juice from a certain point of view. This can be a shock for a parishioner raised on one or another visiting a different church.
  • Welch's markets red and white varietals of sparkling grape juice, for those who wish to do a non-alcoholic but otherwise authentic toasting ceremony. It even comes in a traditional glass champagne-style bottle.
  • Baseball players will often substitute chewing tobacco with bubble gum or sunflower seeds. The "Big League Chew" brand of bubble gum even mimics the shredded appearance and packaging style of chewing tobacco to further this trope.
  • "Mocktails" are mixed drinks intended to mimic the look and taste of a cocktail without any of the booze (hence the name). They're intended for minors, designated drivers, expectant mothers, and teetotallers who want to join the fun but cannot for their respective reasons.


Martha Speaks

Helen imagines a saloon, but all it sells is milkshakes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / FrothyMugsOfWater

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