Drinking Game

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
If shark comes out of the TV set, throw beer and run.

"Perhaps booze would alleviate this situation."

"With a little bit of creativity, anything can be turned into a drinking game!"

At least in North America and most of western Europe, the university system tends to lead to people having a lot of free time, communal televisions, and access to alcohol.

The audience drinking game is an ancient and much-respected system for trope identification that evolved out of these factors. In the days before resources such as this catalogue, the drinking game was the most popular and accessible means of identifying tropes and cliches.

It works like this: each regular occurrence in a show, film, etc is documented, and assigned a numeric score based on its prevalence, triteness, or perversity. During a viewing of the show, each time such a documented phenomenon occurs, players drink a number of sips of their preferred alcoholic beverage equal to the numeric score. A non-alcoholic beverage of your choice may also be substituted.[1]

This may be used in fiction to make fun of another work, or just to have an excuse for the characters to drink.

See the Just for Fun subpage for fan-based examples, or to add your own.

Examples of Drinking Game include:

Fan Works


  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible sneaks up on a group of mooks who are watching the Omnidroid beat up on the army on TV.

Mook: "Every time they run, we do a shot."

  • The Wild Zero DVD has a drinking game in the options menu. Turn it on and a beer icon appears whenever the game wants you to drink.
  • In New In Town the new manager drunkenly tries to explain how she's going to save the factory, and the rest of the workers take a drink at every buzzword.
  • In Baseketball, a boozing session in a local bar turns into an impromptu drinking game, with Coop, Remer, Squeak and 12-year-old liver transplant patient Joey downing shots of tequila every time a fight breaks out on Jerry Springer.
  • The Showgirls Updated Rerelease includes a drinking game designed by the producers for their own film.
  • Happens in Scream4, during the Stabathon night - you're supposed to take sips for cell phones getting no signal, cheap scares, people screaming "NO!"...
  • Briefly seen at the beginning of Jason Biggs vehicle Loser, as one of his roommates' party habits - they drink every time a character says "Hey Ma" during The Mary Tyler Moore Show Spin-Off Rhoda.


  • In Armed and Magical, two Guardians talking with Raine as she watches the local University's commencement ceremony mention that one the occasions that they aren't on duty during commencement, they show up anyway - so that they can sit at an outside table at the bar across the street from where the speeches are made, at which point they drink shots every time the archmage makes a sarcastic comment during his speech. They freely admit to getting totally hammered during these occasions.
  • America (The Book) gives a few to play while watching C-SPAN:
    • "Asshole", whereby a politician rebuts with something like "What my honorable opponent fails to realize..." in such a cadence you know he really means to imply yelling "Asshole!" at the other guy in a false display of courtesy.
    • Divide into teams amongst yourselves, the "yeas" and the "nays". As a congressional vote is being tallied, players drink each time a new "yay" or "nay" is cast for their respective side. Landslides could lead to liver failure. The other team has to drink if you can correctly identify the Vivaldi movement playing over the voting footage.
    • There's one with involving sightings of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) caught napping, eye-rolling or wheezing on camera, with convoluted rules as to what each player must do.

Live-Action TV

  • An episode of Frasier started with Martin and his sons realizing they are all fans of Antiques Roadshow, so they then watch it together, taking shots whenever someone says "veneer".
  • An episode of How I Met Your Mother shows that morning show host Robin Scherbatsky is very popular among students in Ted's class, but only because they have a drinking game going where they take a shot every time she says "But, um..." Robin turns the game back on them by saying "but, um" numerous times, forcing the drinkers to get completely drunk and sick.
  • An episode of Saturday Night Live had fun with this, with Chris Elliot and Darrell Hammond playing "Hi Bob" backstage... with Bob Newhart himself standing there.
    • In the 2008 vice presidential debate sketch, Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) indicates that she's aware that there's a drinking game of her saying the word "Maverick."
  • The Big Book of Top Gear brings you Top Gear Bingo! Phrases to watch out for: "How hard can it be?" "Oh, cock" and of course "...in the world."
  • The Colbert Report website provided a "decoder sheet" for one Presidential debate, somewhere between a drinking game and Debate Bingo. Drink triggers included 'McCain makes war veteran face' and anyone mentioning Main Street.
  • In Series One of Skins in Chris' episode the friends play a drinking game watching an exercise video where they have to drink every time they see a nipple, a butt crack, or a camel toe, they have to drink a shot.
  • On the 30 Rock episode "Klaus and Greta", the writing staff plays the Today Show drinking game which involves taking a shot every time they give a dumb travel tip.
  • On the Bones episode "The Body in the Bounty", the Jeffersonian gets a visit from a Bill Nye-Expy named Bunsen Jude the Science Dude and Hodgins turns out to be a big fan of the show. When the titular Science Dude points out that Hodgins is a bit older than his usual audience, Hodgins reveals that back in college, he and his friends would watch the show and take a drink every time Jude said his Catch Phrase--"Amazing!"
  • In one NCIS episode commentary, Michael Weatherly repeatedly pointed out when those playing at home should drink.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode riffing on the film Outlaw (of Gor), Servo suggests drinking every time the annoying sidekick says Cabot's name; according to IMDB, the name is said fifty-five times throughout the entire movie, mostly by the sidekick.
  • In an episode of Storage Wars, one of the pickers says that she and her husband have a drinking game, taking a shot for every time the auctioneer's wife says "Folks". For the rest of the episode, every time she says "folks", a little beer appears in the right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Survivor: Back from the Outback had a really good one. Just prior to a commercial break, Jenna Lewis groused about Elisabeth's tears, "It's like a drinking game!" Elisabeth cries, take a drink. Jenna said she was annoyed by this, probably forgetting the fact that she was prone to crying fits herself.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look demonstrates why this isn't always a good idea:

David Mitchell: I can't help but feel that the company wouldn't need to seek a merger if we hadn't adopted as company policy the idea of downing a glass of rare vintage claret every time someone says "merger".

  • In the short-lived That '70s Show spinoff, That '80s Show, there was a scene where several characters were watching Dynasty, and one suggests that they all take a shot every time someone gets slapped. Later, one character says something incredibly stupid, and gets slapped for it. They all take a drink.
  • One website has a MythBusters drinking game. It recommends that you only play small portions of the game, because if you drink for every trigger, you will die of alcohol poisoning.
  • At the 2011 SAG Awards, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy discussed and displayed their Martin Scorsese Drinking Game. This then becomes a Brick Joke when Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy did it again at the Oscars, right in front of the man himself.
  • Two and A Half Men has the bar Pavlov's, named for the scientist who researched classical conditioning with his infamous dog. There's a drinking game showing the bar is aptly named. Whenever the bell at the bar is rung, everyone has to bark and take shot. When Charlie and Alan ring a doorbell later that night, they both can't help but bark.
  • A M*A*S*H episode has Hawkeye and Trapper playing checkers with full shot glasses as the game pieces, which they down shots from as each gets captured.

Recorded and Stand Up Comedy

  • One of Margaret Cho's routines mentions The Love Boat Drinking Game. "You pick a character at the beginning of the show, and every time that character came on screen, you would drink. You could always spot the alcoholics cause they're the ones going, 'I wanna be the ship!'".
  • One routine from Bill Bailey's Part Troll mentions "Drink Along With Dallas" - whenever someone on Dallas has a drink, you have one too. Unfortunately for Bill the first episode he saw was the oil barons ball - he ended up in casualty.


Video Games

  • No words can properly describe the hilarity that is Persona 4's King's Game. King's Game (Ou-sama Game) involves a group drawing straws with numbers on them. One straw will mark who is the "King" and the King assigns what number should do a certain activity. The people with the called numbers then do the activity. Needless to say, Hilarity Ensues if mixed with alcohol.
    • Even when not mixed with alcohol.
  • During the Alpha Protocol PAX 2010 presentation, the guys of Obsidian Entertainment have a drinking game based on the word "Choice" due to their presentation being about the aversion of (and titled) But Thou Must!. The word Choice proceeds to come up multiple times due to both the presentation itself and the guys just trying to get the others drunk.
  • In the Scottish television gaming programme Consolevania, the presenters Rab and Ryan invented the Shenmue Drinking Game, where you must take a drink every time Ryo Hazuki says 'I see', at any point in the games. In the programme it ends up with Rab pished after one drink ("fuckin' lightweight, always has been") and Ryan with his trousers down trying to get a taxi in Glasgow.
  • The first 2 Halo games made a good drinking game when playing co-op campaign: everyone who isn't playing has to drink whenever one player kills the other.

Web Comics

Xemnas: Do you have any idea what will happen should Sora die?
Axel: No...but you could explain what would happen.
Zexion: Okay, boys, drinks at the ready!

Web Original

  • Episode 36 of Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series has the Yu-Gi-Oh! drinking game (complete with helpful counter): Take a drink every time we mention friendship. Gets especially amusing later when the 'friendship' counter includes things like Yugi's "I take it back! Your friendship isn't worth that much!"
    • During the Third Anniversary Spectacularmathon party, Marik tries to create several drinking games for him and Bakura, only to be thwarted at every turn. First they try "every time Zombie Boy says "brains", drink." This is after Zombie boy revealed himself to be perfectly capable of talking normally. Then they try "every time Bandit Keith says "In America", drink." This is after he's revealed to be Canadian. (You really think Marik would have remembered that one...) Then, they try "every time you see an offensive stereotype, drink". Sadly for them, Shadi and those wacky Kaibacorp nazis weren't invited, British Bakura had just recently been escorted to the hospital (don't ask how Dark Bakura was there too) and Yami had just killed the gay clown. Finally, when a time bomb is sent to the party, Marik says "Every time we all explode and die, we take a-*BOOM!*
  • The Nostalgia Chick has started doing drinking games, beginning with the Hercules Drinking Game which includes some general rules for every Disney movie (Every time a character talks or sings about what they want) as well as movie-specific ones (Whenever the fat muse says something funny, whenever Hades flames up).
    • Linkara also has one in his Titans #1 review for every time a full page or two page spread shows up. (Depending on what you were drinking, you could end up pretty plastered, considering just in the single comic there were 11 of them.)
    • Linkara has one for the part 2 and the rules for it are the same. If you do this one try something non-alcoholic.
    • One might suggest double shots for any comic with a double spread that must be turned on the side as he loathes those so much.
  • Dr. Ashens provides one for the viewer in the description of his Barcode Battler review.

"Take a shot every time I say "Right," and "...or something." Alcohol poisoning may ensue."

  • The Nostalgia Critic played the Stephen King drinking game while reviewing IT. He was definitely plastered within a half hour, it seems, which made the review even funnier. Especially when Dr. Smith came in while the Critic was full-on drunk.

Nostalgia Critic (while trying to shoot Dr. Smith):"I'll get you. All five of you."

Western Animation

  • Drawn Together ended (and began) an episode with the characters actually watching the show and drinking whenever someone did something gay. Naturally, everybody is completely smashed by the end.
  • On Family Guy, about The OC:

Stewie: We can drink every time Ryan seethes!

Umpire: Okay, let's go over the ground rules. You can't leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.
Chief Wiggum: [annoyed] Hey, we know how to play softball!

  1. If you're at all in doubt about your body's tolerance for alcohol, please do substitute a non-alcoholic beverage. Drinking games can be fatal.