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Single Malt Vision

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Billy Clanton: You're so drunk, you can't hit nothin'. In fact, you're probably seeing double.
Doc Holliday: [takes out a second gun] I have two guns, one for each of ya.

Booze makes you see double (or triple, quadruple, or more, especially if Rule of Funny is in effect), and sometimes the drunk will assume both of whatever he's looking at are real.

A variant has the drunk afflicted with double-vision trying to interact with "the one in the middle" (although since most people only have two eyes, normally you'd only see two of whatever it is). Another variant has this trope happen as a result of blunt-force trauma rather than intoxication (combining this trope with Concussions Get You High).

Generally a Discredited Trope nowadays.

For hallucinating things that actually aren't there while under the influence, see Pink Elephants.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kimagure Orange Road: Kyosuke and Madoka are whiling away in a bar and Madoka notices Kyosuke seems somewhat plastered. When she asks if he's all right, he exclaims: "Woww! Look, look, theee are two Ayukawa sisters! Just like my sisters, Kurumi and Manami!"

  • From an Emo Phillips stand-up routine: "She sends me to the principal, and I get to his office and I sit down and he looks at me and says, 'Emo, Emo, Emo.' I said, 'I'm the one in the middle, you drunken slob.'"
  • "Sir, you've had enough to drink. You need to leave now." "Enough sha drink? I'll tell ya... nuffta... Ya s-shee that dog over there coming in the d- thdoor? S'got two eyes, f'I were drunk I'dda seen four eyesh on'im." "Sir, the dog is headed out the door."

    Comic Books 
  • RenĂ© Goscinny liked using this joke, especially when he was writing Lucky Luke or Asterix.
    Roman Legionary: Come on, you two fattiesh! Let'sh fight!
    Obelix: [offhand backhand] There are not two fatties! There's only one, and he isn't fat!
  • One Lucky Luke story has the stagecoach horses get drunk. Later one says he's going to pass straight between the tombstones, ramming it head-on.
  • Also a running gag in Jommeke, where almost every character that first encounters the twins Annemieke and Rozemieke assumes that he is seeing double.
  • Tintin:
    • In one book, the Thompson Twins get angry at Captain Haddock for getting drunk again. Thanks to this trope he sees himself being shouted at by four identical people and retreats to his bunk, complaining about being outnumbered.
    • As seen in the page image, this happens to Snowy too... and that is not the only instance... he once saw two Tintins yelling at him when he got drunk in the middle of a chase scene.
    Snowy: It's not... hic... fair. [Hiccups again.] Two of you... picking on a... hic... poor little dog!
  • A non-drinking version shows up in the Punisher story "The Streets of Laredo": While dazed from a fall, Frank sees three gang bosses coming after him, and swings for the middle one, saving his life.

    Fan Works 
  • In chapter 8 of Advice and Trust, Ritsuko is so hammered after drinking wine heavily than she sees three wine bottles instead of two. Unusually, the trope is very much Played for Drama here, as it's used to show just how badly she's dealing with recent events.
    It was also very cold, lonely, and empty, save for a cat, two empty bottles of wine, and a crying woman.
    'Well... mmaybbe threeee bottles. Cann't tell, they whon stip movin'

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It's a Wonderful Life:
    • When a very humorously drunk Uncle Billy asks George Bailey which hat he should take while leaving a party, George suggests "the middle one".
    • Later, during the "Pottersville" segment, George asks a homeowner whose tree he drove into in the real world what happened to his car. Examining his undamaged tree and smelling booze on George's breath, the man cracks, "You must mean two other trees."
  • In Tombstone, Doc Holiday gets into a confrontation with an outlaw who dismisses him as just a drunken piano player. The outlaw says Doc is too drunk to shoot accurately and is probably seeing double. Doc responds by drawing two guns, simultaneously spinning them in opposite directions, and declaring that even if he is seeing double he can still shoot both figures.
  • Near the climax of Jumpin' Jack Flash, Terri staggers back in to her job at the bank, having recently been drugged by one of the bad guys. Her boss informs her that she has managed to "shatter the Guinness record for tardiness", to which she replies...
    Terri: *giggles* I'm not gonna say anything. Well, maybe one or two things. C'mere. All six of you, come here!
  • Played disconcertingly straight in North By Northwest - after Cary Grant is force-fed a quart of whiskey and put behind the wheel of a car, he's trying to escape his pursuers, and seeing the road before him go two different directions.
  • In Red Cliff, envoy Jiang Gan sees double after drinking with his old friend Zhou Yu. In this state, he overhears a plot for two admirals to betray Cao Cao by either sending supplies to his enemies or killing him.
  • In The Trip (1967), many of Paul's LSD-induced hallucinations feature quadruple, quintuple, or sextuple vision.
  • In Psych-Out, a frequently used effect, especially when a character is on drugs, shows a large image in the middle of the screen with smaller copies circling around it.
  • Spectre. Madeline Swann is Drowning My Sorrows after getting the news from James Bond about the death of her father. After contemptuously rejecting the idea of sleeping with him, she collapses in the bed while Bond sits in a chair. Swann mutters to herself that she can see two James's, "Lucky me."

  • A boy asks his father what "alcoholic" means. His father says: "Well, see these four trees? An alcoholic would think there are eight of them. Do you understand?" The boy says he does but corrects him that there are two trees.
  • Two drunks leave the pub, look into the sky and start arguing whether there is one moon or two. They decide to ask a passer-by about it, who thinks a while and asks them: "In which row?"
  • A student arrives drunk for his exam and sees two identical professors sitting in front of him.
    Student: To which of you should I go?
    Professor: You two, go one by one!
  • Q: What did the drunk say after passing between a pair of nuns? A: "How did she do that?"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Father Ted: When Father Jack sobers up for the first time in years in "Cigarettes, Alcohol and Rollerblading", he looks up at Ted and Dougal and asks "Where are the other two?"
  • In the Friends episode, "The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister", Chandler gets very drunk at a party at his apartment, and when Joey's seven-or-so similar-looking sisters show up, Chandler quips, "Okay, how many of that girl do you see?"
  • In Coupling: Season 3 episode 4. In Sally's version of the story, she sees Patrick and a friend of his get their coats to leave. In Patrick's version, this is revealed to just be double vision of him getting his coat.
  • In an episode of Cybill, Lady Drunk Maryanne is trying to get information out of a guy nearly twice her size by matching him shot-for-shot. She wins, but when Cybill comes over and asks her if she did it, she very calmly stands up and replies, "I know everything. And as soon as we get home, (points to Cybill) I'm gonna tell you... (points to Cybill's left) and you... (points to Cybill's right) but not you."
  • In She-Hulk: Attorney at Law's Wedding Episode "Jun Jen", Jen gets drunk at Lulu's wedding. When Titania attacks her outside, we see the scene from Jen's perspective; there are two Titanias.
  • Supernatural. Lampshaded in "Frontierland" when Sam goes back in time to meet Samuel Colt, bringing Colt's own diary as proof as his claim. Looking at the two diaries, Colt says he's either drank too much or not enough.
  • Blake's 7. In "Dawn of the Gods", Avon wakes up Vila who's been knocked unconscious. Seeing a multiple Impairment Shot of his Vitriolic Best Buddy staring down at him, Vila moans, "I'm in Hell, and it's full of Avons."
  • Arrow
    • In "Honor Thy Father", Oliver Queen is not happy to find his seventeen year-old sister Thea drunk in a nightclub. Her comment about seeing two big brothers becomes Dramatic Irony when Tommy Merlyn (who's there with Oliver) is later revealed to be Thea's half brother.
      Thea: Big brother! (embraces him) I am so wasted right now there is...there's two of you.
    • In "Unfinished Business", the Villain of the Week injects Oliver with an overdose of Vertigo and taunts him that he can't aim a single arrow thanks to this trope. So Oliver notches three arrows at once and lets fly—two miss, but the middle one is dead on target.

  • A Tourist's Guide to Lancre, in its description of a pleasant walk through the Lancre fells, advises those who started with a drop of scumble at the Goat & Bush to take the middle path.
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, a very drunk Zaphod is amazed to see Trillian sit on her own lap, before banging his heads together trying to get all four (justified: four eyes = four images) of her to resolve into one image.

  • What Foreigner's "Double Vision" is about: drinking until you can't see straight.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A variation on this is described as a story in one of the old Dark Sun Dungeons & Dragons setting books. In it a half-giant is persuaded to drink less alcohol in a night, but gets in trouble on his first night doing so. The reason being that when he was more drunk and heading home, he always knew to take the middle road of the three he saw. After drinking less, he only saw two and didn't know which was correct. Which eventually gets him poisoned and robbed by a passing Elf.

    Video Games 
  • In Fallout 2, in New Reno you meet Father Tully, a Christian priest. He is totally drunk, and your character can ask him how many fingers he sees... Of course he sees 6 fingers.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, you can challenge Cass to a Drinking Contest to snap her out of drowning her sorrow over her lost caravan. This involves 12 bottles of whiskey and a check against your Endurance score. Beating her with 10 Endurance results in this trope, followed by her being pissed off because she lost at whiskey drinking, previously stated to be her forte.
    Cass: Enough! All five... four... ALL OF YOU! Shit.
  • In Fate/Grand Order's fourth chapter, at one point you get roped into a drinking party courtesy of Francis Drake, get wasted, and when Mash notices, she tries to ask you How Many Fingers? she's holding up. As it turns out, you got so piss-drunk that you see two of Mash.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: In Episode 3, Moxxie gets super-drunk after getting locked inside a beer keg and drinking half of it so he could breathe. After Millie gets him out, Moxxie looks up at her with a goofy grin and says "When did you get four heads? I wanna kiss 'em!" before making smooching gestures.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • A slight variation on the trope (in this case, it's a played-straight version of the trope Concussions Get You High), in one episode of Looney Tunes. Pepe Le Pew is struck on the head with a club several times by the cat he is always pursuing, causing him to see six of her. He replies afterwards, "The one in the middle may remain; the rest of you, another day."
  • The Simpsons: In "Homie The Clown" this joke is subverted. Homer gets kidnapped by gangsters who think he's the real Krusty, who owes them money, and when the actual Krusty inadvertently arrives, one gangster, Legs, rubs his eyes and says "I'm seeing double here! Four Krustys!"
  • Daria: On the season two episode "The Daria Hunter," Jake and Mr DeMartino are getting drunk on whiskey and talking about their messed-up childhoods. When Helen comes in and shrieks that Jake is drunk, Jake laughs that he's not, followed by a cut to his POV where there are two blurry visions of Helen.
  • Played with in Moral Orel.note  We see Clay's point of view (he's not actually that drunk at this point) in which he sees both Block and Shapey. Having assumed Block was Shapey the whole time, he thinks he sees two of the same kid and shrugs it off.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: "The Monster O'McDonaldland Loch" has a bit where Grimace gets hit in the head and thinks that two Ronald McDonalds are asking him if he's okay.

    Real Life 
  • This is the basis for the alleged "two hats" cure for the flu: put a hat on your nightstand, go to bed with a bottle of scotch, and keep drinking it until there are two hats on your nightstand.


Video Example(s):


Uncle Billy loses his hat

At a celebration Uncle Billy has one too many to drink and loses his hat, George helpfully retrieves it for him.

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Main / SingleMaltVision

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