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Hair of the Dog

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"If you're living high on that cheap credit hog
Don't look for a cure from the hair of the dog."
F. A. Hayek, "Fear the Boom and Bust"

Are you hung over? Did you forget to drink water before bed? Do you wish to avoid the Hideous Hangover Cure? All that is no problem, no problem at all: here's some of whatever it was you drank last night! Your hangover will be over in no time flat!

A classic remedy for the hangover, insofar as it dulls your ability to feel the effects of the hangover. Of course, all it does is delay the hangover by a couple of hours.

The name of the trope is of course traditional: it derives from the (entirely false) superstition that if you were bitten by a dog, you could avoid rabies by applying the hair of the dog that bit you to the wound.

This is Truth in Television, to some degree; as said before, it's not so much a cure as a mask.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Spike in Cowboy Bebop adds gin to his Hideous Hangover Cure.
  • Zenigata from Lupin III cures his hangovers with beer.
  • Mimi from Mnemosyne believes in this, and always has a little "Russian Water" for Rin's usual Hangover Sensitivity induced headache.
  • Misato Katsuragi from Neon Genesis Evangelion always gets piss-drunk after work and drinks literally gallons of beer. When she wakes up next day with a hangover, she alleviates it via Beergasm. How she manages to stave off hangover while on duty is a mystery.

    Comic Books 
  • In an issue of the comic version of ALF, Gordon dreams that he hang-glides, landing in Death Valley instead of his intended destination. A bartender offers him "hair of the cat that bit him", which he gratefully accepts. (Only to discover that neither the bartender nor the bar exist, and the drink is sand.)

    Film — Animated 
  • In A Bug's Life, two bugs toast each other with "hair of the dog you bit".

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts. "Night Shift" opens with a Space Trucker finding his friend passed out in a trench. After reviving him, they lampshade this trope on deciding to go to the storeroom to get some pills so they can go on drinking. As they leave the trench we get a Reveal Shot of an alien facehugger, showing why he was passed out in the first place.
  • A Christmas Story On Christmas morning the Old Man is rubbing his head and grimacing as if he has a hangover. Apparently a morning bottle of wine is a Christmas tradition at Ralphie's house. After a glass of wine he is back to his usual self.
  • Angelina Jolie's character in the film Life or Something Like It is offered this the morning after having presented a news report blind drunk.
  • The Shining: Jack, a recovering alcoholic who by this point is just one push away from going completely insane, sits at the bar and asks the (ghost) bartender for "the hair of the dog that bit me." The bartender's fulfilment of his request is what finalizes the Overlook Hotel's hold over him.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: The first thing Eddie Valiant does after being woken up after a night of Drowning My Sorrows is to grab a fresh bottle of Wild Turkey and start pounding it down.

  • In All the King's Men, Willie Stark didn't drink until his first campaign for Governor. Then, one night, he drinks for the first time in his life. Suffering from the hangover of his life, Sadie Burke recommends the hair of the dog. He then delivers the speech of his life.
  • In America (The Book), the RNC schedule has a wake up call at 7:15 am and Hair of the Dog at 7:16 am (followed at 7:25 by "Adulterer Walk Of Shame").
  • Lampshaded in David Edding's Belgariad: when this "cure" is suggested to a hung over person who has never been hung over before, he is first confused, then suspicious.
    Wait a minute...wouldn't that just...
  • In the John Grisham novel The Chamber, Adam Hall goes to question the retired FBI agent who arrested his grandfather, Sam Cayhill. The FBI agent is drinking when Adam arrives, and invites Adam to join him. Adam wakes up the next morning hungover and is offered a Bloody Mary with breakfast to ease the pain, but declines. The FBI agent doesn't.
  • Discworld has wine made from re-annual grapes (which are planted this year and harvested last year). Because of the temporal paradox, a character finds in Pyramids that re-annual wine gives you the hangover before you've drunk it; he's advised to "have a hair of the dog that's going to bite you".
  • Hunter S. Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas claims to drink Bloody Marys in the morning for the "V8 nutritional content." We suspect that it's actually the vodka.
  • Laughing Boy: Slim Girl introduces Laughing Boy, a Navajo with no experience of alcohol, to whiskey as a means of controlling him. She specifically instructs him that he may wake up feeling bad after drinking, and if he does, he should drink some more.
  • In Magic's Price, protagonist Vanyel witnesses his two 'escorts' (read:jailers) attempting to sober up with Hideous Hangover Cures, including a little more of what had caused their troubles the night before.
  • Appears more than twice in the Sten series, but in Vortex, the eponymous hero is suffering from a Emperor-induced hangover. Kilgour apologizes that they haven't got the "hair of the dog" that bit him, since few outside of the Emperor's inner circle drink the rare and archaic Scotch.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Occurs in Jeeves and Wooster a couple of times with Gussie ... leading him to make a few truly awful speeches/mistakes.
    • And with Bertie in the very first episode. One of the first things Jeeves does upon arriving is to mix him up an eye-opener containing (among other things) cognac, black pepper, and a raw egg. A few seconds after Bertie downs it, his hangover is gone and he's completely awake and articulate.
  • M*A*S*H: A variation in the ninth season episode "Letters" - Father Mulcahy cures Irving, a dog, of being a lush by feeding him enough alcohol to make him sick of it, and as he announces to the crowd, "Actually, he's having a little hair of the man that bit him."

  • In The Clash's "Rudie Can't Fail," from London Calling, the titular character has been "drinking brew for breakfast."

    Video Games 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, some of the 'hair of a dog that bit ya' is part of a hangover cure. Literally. And you'd better have the toothmarks to prove it, even if you're not the one intending to take the cure.
  • Law Of The West: You can recommend the alcoholic town doctor to cure his hangover with the hair of the dog that bit him. If you do so, however, he'll be too drunk to save you if you get shot later.
  • There is a quest in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate that is actually called Hair of the Dog, and consists of collecting several Slagtoth Oils to cure a hangover.


    Web Original 
  • Mentioned in the Econ Stories video Fear the Boom and Bust, where F.A. Hayek likens the Keynesian model to irresponsible overindulgence. Keynes is hung over in bed at this point after a night of partying and bragging about his approach.
  • During a joint review of Garzey's Wing, one line of dialog is so mind-breakingly stupid that it kills Spoony. A less stupid line a moment later causes him to pop back to life. In response to his confusion, Bennett the Sage responds "Hair of the dog?"
  • Star Wars Downunder. The android Bluey tries a beer to get rid of the headache after his head was knocked off by Darth Drongo, but it just makes his head fall off again.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: Archer claims that he can never stop drinking because he is constantly drinking away the effects of his previous drinking, and if he quits cold turkey, the cumulative hangover will kill him.

    Real Life 
  • Cocktails in the Corpse Reviver family were originally designed to make the morning after a little less painful.
  • Although this isn't normally a good idea, this is how you treat alcohol withdrawal (although with a smaller amount). It's also one accepted treatment for methanol poisoning, the idea being that it sidetracks the liver and prevents the production of the toxic metabolites that make methanol so nasty.
  • This is why Bloody Marys, mimosas, and champagne are popular at brunches.
  • Doing this constantly is a sign of alcoholism. It's the "E (Eye Opener)" on the CAGE questionnaire used in medical settings to screen patients for alcoholism.