He said Louise this coke's no good and I've made up my mind to quit
Now you take this key and I'll go upstairs and then you lock the door
And Lord I swear I'll stay up there, till I don't want dope no more.
Bob likes his booze. A lot. He may be a recreational alcoholic, or drinks to escape remembering his Dark and Troubled Past. Fate, being a cruel and fickle mistress, has other ideas. Alice drags Bob (usually shambling and slurring rather than kicking and screaming) somewhere without liquor of any kind. The reasons vary; Alice may be doing an intervention, she may be trying to save his life from people out for his blood, or Bob (all by his lonesome) stumbled onto a bus/ship/plane/rocket/Farside Island to a place where the only spirits are of the figurative variety.
Effectively, Bob has been nailed to the wagon and will be forced to go sober against his wishes. He'll whine, complain and take every opportunity to get a drop of booze. (Oddly, he will seldom see Pink Elephants, although in Real Life, they are the consequences of withdrawal rather than drunkenness.) However, once he's over a rather epic hangover and finishes his physical withdrawal, he'll do the emotional equivalent of curling into a ball in a corner because now he can no longer avoid facing his life. If he can resolve whatever emotional hangups were leading him to drink the sadness away, he may decide that being sober is better, and it will stick. If he's fundamentally unchanged, he'll jump Off the Wagon into the nearest vat of beer.
While this kind of gesture is usually well-intentioned, in Real Life completely cutting a person off from physically addicting drugs can cause withdrawal symptoms so severe that they could actually die from the body's chemical imbalance. So for any readers hoping to get a loved one off the juice, remember to do so gradually.
Despite the use of beer in the description, this trope also applies to other forms of drugs. Notably caffeine.
A form of Kind Restraints. Compare Going Cold Turkey, when the sudden withdrawal is a voluntary decision on Bob's part. Also see No Matter How Much I Beg, where the character makes the decision to shut himself away from temptation, with friends enlisted to enforce that decision after the fact.
- El-Hazard's Mr. Fujisawa: He hates being sober, but he gains super-strength from it, so the other characters enter a conspiracy to keep him off the bottle. He doesn't take it well. And while El-Hazard does have native alcoholic beverages, in the OAV at least, Fujisawa is also a smoker and El-Hazard has no tobacco equivalent. Fujisawa runs out of smokes about half way through the last episode and the nicotine cravings kick in just in time for the finale. Good thing it turns out that it turns his sober level super-strength Up to Eleven.
- Tintin and the Picaros has Captain Haddock getting slipped a drug by Professor Calculus that makes him extremely nauseated whenever he takes a sip of liquor. He's none too pleased when he finds out, but the drug becomes a Chekhov's Gun when it's later used to sober up the Picaros so they can launch their revolution (the dictatorship has been parachuting crates of booze to them so they'll be too drunk to shoot straight).
- Red Rackham's Treasure has all his whisky onboard replaced with the pieces to Professor Calculus's submarine; he's none too pleased when he finds steel plates instead of his beloved whisky. Thankfully (for him) he doesn't have to wait too long after the discovery that his beloved alcohol has gone missing; once the wreck of the Unicorn is discovered, they find it's full of bottles of rum, which are (surprisingly) still drinkable with only the usual effects.
- Bloom County:
- Binkley once forced his father to quit cigarettes cold turkey by disposing of all of those in their house and hiding his wallet and his car keys so he couldn't go out and buy more.
- Opus hid Steve Dallas's cigarettes. This might not have been his best idea.
- "Even with nicotine IN his bloodstream, Steve is a maniac!"
- Steve: "WHERE'D YA HIDE 'EM?! ... POUND! POUND! POUND!"note
- In Fallout: Equestria Littlepip is tranquilized by Velvet Remedy and dragged to a rehab clinic when her addiction to Party-Time Mint-Alls gets out of control.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, when Elizabeth and Jack are dropped off on a remote island by Barbossa, Elizabeth is annoyed to discover that, rather than being as remote as Jack led people to believe, it was actually a hideaway for rumrunners. Jack plans to get piss-drunk, and does so. After he passes out, Elizabeth take the opportunity to use all the rest of the rum as fuel for a honking huge signal bonfire. It works, but Jack is more hung up on the fact that all the rum is now gone.
- Jeff Portnoy, Jack Black's character from Tropic Thunder.
- Nathan Algren in The Last Samurai. A chronic alcoholic for almost a decade after being forced to slaughter an innocent Indian village, he takes a job in Japan to train Imperial conscripts and is subsequently injured and captured during their first real battle. While he's on the mend, Taka gives him sake at first, but then withholds it after seeing how desperately he needs it. Algren asks for sake, then screams for it, then screams period at the guilty memories he can't drown in booze anymore.
- Renton has his parents, in Trainspotting, lock him in his room to force himself through withdrawal. In his case, he does see Pink Elephants. Specifically, a baby crawling towards him on the roof. It gets worse, but it sticks eventually.
- In Cornered!, the storeowner forces his junkie nephew, who is craving for a fix, to stay in the apartment above the store every night until he's well.
- To make sure he's sober before his hearing, Denzel Washington in Flight is confined to his hotel room with a security guard barring exit and entry, with a mini-bar stocked with nothing harder than Diet Coke. The unlocked adjacent room, however, has a fully stocked mini-bar.
- In Resolution, our hero chains his friend to the wall to make him get straight. This turns out to be a very bad idea.
- In Dogma, after two drunk angels tell God to Take This Job and Shove It, He decrees that the rest of them can no longer drink alcohol. The booze-loving Metatron resorts to sipping and then spitting out his drinks.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail has a sexual variant when Sir Galahad the Chaste gets sidetracked to a castle full of sex-starved babes. He's about to give in when Sir Lancelot nails him back to the wagon in an Unwanted Rescue.
- In Father Goose Walter is nailed to the wagon twice in the same movie:
- In the first instance his friend and employer Cmdr. Houghton hides his booze around the island that Walter is using as a coastwatching base, giving him the hiding places only when Walter radios in with Japanese troop movements. Houghton then has to give up all the booze locations as incentive to get Walter to go on a risky mission.
- Having got all the booze, the mission turns out to be the rescue of (initially) prudish school teacher Catherine and her students. Catherine then arranges for the children to steal all the booze and hide it again.
- Ghost: The "subway ghost" has learned how to manipulate objects (and teaches the protagonist), but not enough to light and smoke a cigarette (which apparently was his addiction when he was living). "I'd do anything for just one drag!"
- One day, an alcoholic, a heroin addict and a smoker go to Heaven. Saint Peter tells them that in order to access Heaven, they will be locked in a room with an infinite supply of their favorite drug for a year and, should they use it even once, they'll go to Hell. One year later, Saint Peter finds the alcoholic laying in a pile of empty bottles and the heroin addict full of needles, but the smoker calmly sits in the middle of the room with not a single cigarette used. Saint Peter congratulates him and asks how he did it. The smoker calmly answers : "You forgot the lighter."
- Long Joseph in Otherland, who was the father to one of the heroes, drank to avoid responsibility for his children and sadness over his wife's death. He's forced sober when they hole up in an abandoned government base to escape assassins.
- Wars of Light and Shadow:
- In Ships of Merior, Asandir makes sure that Dakar (a well-established drunk, glutton, and lech) keeps a hastily-given promise (which he fully intends to break) by cursing him so that the finest alcohol tastes like turpentine, the tastiest food tastes like shit, and the thought of getting with a woman gives him sharp pains in his groin, until he gets off his stubborn duff and catches up with Arithon.
- Later, in Warhost of Vastmark, Arithon ensures that Dakar remain sober by pitching all the alcohol over the side of the ship while Dakar is passed out.
- During the Gulf War, P.J. O'Rouke was sent by Rolling Stone to join the war correspondents in Saudi Arabia, and recounted that because the strictly Islamic nation was dry in more ways than one, some of them sobered for the first time in years (himself possibly included), and found that "what they thought was the pain of genius was actually a hangover".
- Upon the announcement of the Quarter Quell in Catching Fire, Peeta dumps all of Haymitch's liquor, much to the latter's dismay, and caps it off by going to District 12's liquor seller and threatening to turn her in to the Peacekeepers if she sells to him. This is in spite of the fact that Haymitch had previously had a rather terrifying withdrawal when he ran out of liquor, but the sobriety doesn't last long anyway.
- As apparent revenge against Maladict (a vampire who's managed to replace the blood thirst with something else), a soldier in Monstrous Regiment steals Maladict's coffee machine and beans, resulting in a vampire getting more and more insane and having mind flashes note and willing to revert to drinking blood as the book goes on. It turns out Strappi's just a bastard, and it helps that he hates Mal. Though attempted murder-by-proxy was maybe not the best way to show it.
- Eddie of Stephen King's Dark Tower books gets nailed to the wagon when Roland kidnaps him into a heroin-less Mid-World through a magic door in The Drawing of the Three. Notably, the nailing is permanent.
- Also happens to Jack in King's The Shining, since all liquor was removed from the Overlook during the hotel's shutdown for the winter.
- In The Dresden Files book Proven Guilty, Molly Carpenter inflicts this on a pair of addicts by using Black Magic to rewire their cravings into prohibitive revulsion for their drug of choice. Although it's effective and well-intentioned, it's also a form of Mind Rape for overriding their free will, and one of her victims winds up with serious psychological damage because she got careless.
- Peter Benchley's novel Rummies has addicts sent to a rehab center that relies on this, forcing its patients to immediately quit and avoid whatever they're addicted to.
- Paula's parents force her to detox in Ugly Memories by ML Lanzillotta. This hurts more than it helps. In fact, the withdrawal-induced sleep deprivation indirectly leads to Paula getting kicked out of rehab at the story's climax.
- Happens accidentally in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when The Gang (notably hypochondriac Frank) believes they're all coming down with a deadly illness. They're sealed in one of the bar's bathrooms, where their worsening physical conditions lead them to believe they really are dying. Eventually, Charlie reveals he replaced all the cleaning solution with alcohol, and they decide to have one last drink. Several minutes later, they find that all their symptoms have suddenly vanished, and realize that they weren't sick in a traditional sense, but rather going through withdrawal symptoms due to all being severe alcoholics. They decide to save dealing with the latter revelation for a later date.
- In Eureka, Doctor Grant (who is from the late 1940s and believes Smoking Is Cool) is injected with nanobots that hurt him when he smokes.
- This happens to Hal in Season 4 of Being Human (UK) to get him off blood.
- Supernatural: Dean and Bobby lock Sam up in the panic room to "detox" from demon's blood.
- Stargate Universe: Dr. Rush. Involuntary caffeine and nicotine withdrawal (he was a heavy smoker and coffee drinker on Earth but they could only grab emergency supplies and they didn't include coffee or cigarettes) is amongst the reasons why he blacks out in the middle of a rant.
- Hawkeye and Trapper are forced to remain sober after their beloved still is confiscated by Frank Burns. They are disturbed to discover just how dependent they have become on their rotgut gin.
- In another episode, one of BJ's patients turns out to have a morphine addiction. When BJ finds out, he turns to this trope, and after an agonizing (for the patient, at least) half an episode, the patient seemingly kicks the habit.
- One episode of Frasier has him attempt to counsel his agent Bebe into quitting smoking. He ends up holing her up in his apartment for three days, but in the end all the encouragement she needs is to be reminded that her "85 year-old and on his third pacemaker" fiancé won't marry her unless she quits.
- Charlie from Lost is a heroin addict until he crashes on the island, where he has no access to drugs. Or so he thinks.
- In the Babylon 5 episode "Objects at Rest", Londo visits Sheridan and Delenn at their home on Minbar to give them a gift, where there is no alcohol on the premises (or likely easily obtainable on the planet), due to the Minbari having a huge neurological aversion to alcohol that gives them a psychotic reaction to it. This is actually an unfortunate thing for Londo and all involved, given that alcohol is the only thing that can temporarily disable the Keeper that controls Londo, and disabling it is the only way that Londo can warn the couple of the danger of the gift he brings them. (Likely the same Keeper also prevented Londo from packing booze for the trip, though he drank plenty on Centauri Prime, where the Drakh who controlled him through the Keeper could watch him directly as well.)
- Star Trek: Picard: In "Broken Pieces", Raffi decides I Need a Freaking Drink.
Raffi: Burgundy. (replicator beeps, nothing happens) Red wine. (replicator beeps, nothing happens)
EHH: (materializing) What is the nature of your hospitality emergency?
Raffi: I need a glass of red wine.
EHH: You disabled alcohol services from your quarters two days ago.
Raffi: Reinstate it. Override.
EHH: You locked yourself out of override and... (consulting PADD) meta-override.
- In Persona 5, following the fourth Palace, the gang spends a week rehabilitating resident Hikikomori Futaba Sakura, who had spent two years shut away in her room at Sojiro's house due to the trauma of her mother's apparent suicide and the subsequent shunning she received from her family. Somewhat averted in that, while she takes numerous opportunities to hide behind someone or wear a mask, she clearly wants to improve and has little trouble adding to conversations or even holding them if the subject interests her.
- You can do this to colonists with addictions in Rimworld, by removing both their legs (by installing and removing peg legs) so they physically can't get to the drug stash (and replacing the legs with prostheses once they are no longer addicted). You can also just arrest them and lock them up until they get through withdrawal but that has the risk of them violently resisting arrest, or breaking out and heading back to the drug stash. If you want to avoid blatant Video Game Cruelty Potential you can simply burn all the drugs, but some are valuable trade goods, or useful in certain circumstances.
- This happens to Liriel, aka "Blueberry" in Drowtales, notable for her being a teenager by drow standards (but chronologically in her thirties). She's forced sober because Ariel takes her (she's Ariel's slave) to the overworld to look for a friend and her alcohol stash is destroyed in an attack. She grows increasingly loopy as time goes on and at one point attempts to eat some grass, taking Kyo'nne's earlier reference to there being "herbs" on the surface that can get you high a bit too literally. Liriel's reason for alcoholism? She was trying to suppress the pain of Diva'ratrika's Aura Possession, and being forced off the wagon finally lets Diva break through fully.
- Phillip from Goats during the whole multiverse arc. He's kept prisoner in a "dry dimension" where there's no beer.
- Rumisiel from Misfile is forced to stay sober while living with Ash and her dad. It's a work in progress for all of them.
- Tanked gets Nailed To The Wagon in Bear Nuts chapter 29: "Tanked Goes Dry", when one of Evil's pranks causes the zoo to lose it's liquor license, cutting off Tanked's supply. None of the other bears are particularly happy about this since Tanked starts throwing tantrums all over the place. The following chapter (":The Origin Of Tanked") reveals that, thanks to a particular childhood experience, going sober might be legitimately bad for Tanked.
- Gamzee Makara from Homestuck gets nailed to the wagon when he runs out of sopor slime to make pies from. The slime is known to have degenerative effects on troll's brains. To say "shit hits the fan" is putting it lightly, considering that he murders Equius, Nepeta, and attempts to off Terezi.
- One Metalocalypse villain's Start of Darkness resulted from his legally mandated sobriety.
- Life's a Zoo: Happens to the entire cast in "Self Helpless" when all the housemates are forcibly deprived of their addictive vices.
- In the Halloween episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo ties Mac to a bed in order to prevent him from eating any candy, setting off his maniacal Sweet Tooth.
- In the Kaeloo episode "Let's Play Trap-Trap", Kaeloo forces Quack Quack to go without yogurt for an hour. He then experiences withdrawal symptoms and finally goes insane and tries to cannibalize everyone after hallucinating them as yogurt containers.
- A smoker was on a long distance Coach bus—that didn't allow smoking. When she just couldn't take it anymore, she got up and exited the bus while it was on the highway, dying in the process.
- Very much Truth in Television, as any medical professional working in a holiday destination can testify. A nice family vacation in some remote mountain village, and daddy cut off from all his usual secret sources of booze, makes for an exciting trip to your local hospital to treat withdrawal symptoms. Which can be life-threatening, so Don't Try This at Home.
- Also Truth in Television for people looking for rentals. In many places, even outdoor off-property smokers are refused or evicted, so the choice often comes down to quit smoking (or lie about it and hope to never be caught), pay far more for a less controlling roommate, or be homeless. Also extends to alcohol for some roommates/living situations - there are some that will evict people for as much as having a can of beer in their room.
- Many visitors to Muslim countries find that getting booze can be quite difficult, expensive, or both, resulting in severe cutbacks to consumption or even total sobriety. The reaction to this varies, but Central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East are not considered great destinations for boozehounds.
- An almost-literal version of being nailed to the wheel: when the British Army abolished flogging in 1881, the draconian Field Punishment Number One was substituted. This was in use until after the end of WW1 and only abolished in 1923. Used for offences just short of court-martial, including and often imposed for habitual drunken-ness, the punishment involved tying the offender by wrists and ankle to a wheel. Whether or not this wheel belonged to a vehicle in motion was at the whim of the officer. The punishment was explicitly referred to as "crucifixion" and was probably the last survival of the mediaeval punishment of "breaking on the wheel". note . An appalled observer of one punishment wrote:
"One fine evening two military policemen appeared with a handcuffed prisoner, and, in full view of the crowd and villagers, tied him to the wheel of a limber, cruciform fashion. The poor devil, a British Tommy, was undergoing Field Punishment Number One, and this public exposure was part of the punishment. There was a dramatic silence as every eye watched the man being fastened to the wheel, and some jeering started. Lashing men to a wheel in public was one of the most disgraceful things in the war."