Frothy Mugs of Water

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Family-friendliness gets Master Roshi Drunk on Milk.

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 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".)

Of course, they could've used root beer or sarsaparilla (which are equally frothy and identical in color to its 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.

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.[1]

This can also be enforced in live action works, beyond the legal purposes, actors tend to act better when sober, making giving them real booze a bad idea.

Naturally, this is so common that it's often a deliberate gag in the original version: I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!.

Examples of Frothy Mugs of Water include:


  • This Aquafina commercial invokes the trope quite literally.
    • Granted, they forgot to remove the "Cold Beer" sign at 0:42.

Anime & Manga

  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In an early episode of the Ocean dub Master Roshi's beer is edited into a frothy mug of water.
    • 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 dub, the word "Root" has been badly drawn above the word Beer, and shifts around in different frames.
    • There's actually one beer kept in the dub. When Goku goes to find something to drink, he finds a beer, but dismisses it in favour of a Sports Drink. Of course, the dubbers played the scene up for its Public Service Announcement value.
    • This is retained in Dragonball (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.
    • Frieza and King Cold's glasses of wine were once changed into water/miscellaneous blue alien liquid for the Toonzai dub.
    • Parodied on Dragonball Z Abridged where Master Roshi's drink changes from orange juice to apple juice back to beer. In a postscript scene, the drink changes from a Nestle Crunch bar to a gummi bear to Nappa's head.
    • For those who are wondering, this card (the former main page image example) which was inspired by the Trope Naming scene comes from an actual collectible card game called Ani-Mayhem.
  • The original Dragon Ball has an interesting version. Master Roshi uses Drunken Boxing on Goku in one fight, and the dub changes it to "Mad Cow Style", complete with cow clipart hovering in the background and mooing sound effects.
  • In Sailor Moon, Zoicite catches Nephrite with a brandy bottle, and he says something like "You're very relaxed". In the 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.
    • The coffee example 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.
  • Tenchi Muyo! also frequently had sake turned into tea. 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.

  • On Yu Yu Hakusho, one of fighters Yusuke battles is a man named Chu who uses Drunken Fighting and even drinks a potent brew called Ogre Juice (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.
  • 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.
      • Although we do get a sequence of Kana being suspicious of the 'juice' and commented on its weird smell and taste upon inspection. Haruka and Chiaki also question the weird taste, but Hayami ropes them into a game where the choice was either strip or drink. It's pretty clear that Hayami brought booze in juice containers and wanted to get everyone else drunk, and Kana is surprisingly the only one to not be fooled.
    • And let's not forget in Minami-ke Okawari, where it happens again. The crew get some suspicious-looking cans of juice for a picnic, leading to interesting results...
    • This is surprisingly common in Japanese manga-to-Anime adaptations when the drinkers are underage. In Love Hina, there's a scene where two underage characters are in an izakaya drinking their troubles away. In the manga it's unambiguously draft beer, in the Anime... big frothy mugs of oolong tea.
  • One of the main characters in Kiddy Grade is Really Seven Hundred Years Old, but looks like a kid. She's often drinking 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.
  • During the Sasuke Retrieval Arc of Naruto, 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.
    • In either a mistake or a case of Getting Crap Past the Radar, 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).
  • 4Kids's Macekre of Yu-Gi-Oh! turned wine into "grape juice" too. "Gorgonzola cheese, and the world's finest fruit punch." Pegasus is extremely childish so at least the juice is in character.
    • 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 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. In fact, Misawa, who is at least 15, attempts to drown his sorrows in ketchup after a brief but unfortunate encounter with Taniya. 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. Surprisingly, when the games with the monster "Intoxicated Bug of the Ice Boundary" were translated to English, its name wasn't altered. Either Konami is being more lax in their demands for censorship (they did let a monster called Ill Blud get through, after all), or "Intoxicated" just isn't a strong enough euphemism for "drunken" for them to change it.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's actually averts this. At one point, Yusei is told to go to a shady bar, order some milk, and ask for a contact - that wasn't a dub change, it was really milk.
  • 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".[2]
  • Samurai Pizza Cats had Guru Lou's drunken behaviour explained as the effects of MSG in the food he was eating.
  • Digimon
    • A villain (a monster alcoholic Nanimon) is originally shown getting drunk off Sake. The dub changed this to soda. Yes, apparently soda makes Digimon tipsy. "The bubbles go straight to his head."
    • Another Digimon Adventure episode featured Wizardmon bribing Demidevimon with Sake changed to "a bottle of green chili sauce".
    • In Digimon Adventure 02, 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."
    • A Digimon Tamers episode based on the tale of the mythical Orochi (who was defeated through its drunkenness) constantly demands vats of milkshakes, which put him to sleep. Jeri, who's parents own what is clearly a bar, remarks that milkshakes indeed make the customers tired. Additionally, his "Sake Breath" attack is dubbed as "Inferno Blast".
    • Savers 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".
  • 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).
    • This was actually Lampshaded in the 4Kids dub. When "Zolo" stole Sanji's lollipop (actually a recolored version of something he was using to sharpen his sword), he says "I want to find out what it is he's always slurping". Jokes about nicotine lollipops have been made by the fandom, so this might be similar to when they broke out the Abridged Series-esque humor for their Yu-Gi-Oh! GX dub.
    • 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 Chu, 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 Chu, which ignites the alcohol on him, forcing him to run to a rice paddy. In the 4kids dub, he throws soda at him, and proceeds to set it on fire.
    • In the Funimation dub of the flashback episode about Luffy's past, Shanks and his pirates are drinking lots of sake and rum. Also, when Shanks offers kid Luffy some juice and Luffy drinks it, he turns around and exclaims "I don't know one pirate who drinks juice!"
    • But the crowner in the series is the Commodore. Commodore 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 Funimation versions, though it can still be explained by his power.[3]
    • 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!!!" Take That, 4Kids! (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 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.
    • Truth in Television - "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.
  • The American dub of Sonic X 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.
    • Perhaps the salami had been spiked?
      • Salami? I thought it was orange juice! Either way, they cover the reason they're all passed out as being so bored, they fell asleep.
    • During the Metarex saga, Eggman goes to a bar Vector is running and has a nice refreshing glass of prune juice.
  • 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.
  • In Zoids Fuzors, a character walks into a tough frontier bar and orders... a raspberry soda. This was, once again, in the original Japanese.
  • Pokémon: 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.
    • Also averted in this episode, 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.
    • But then, what about that episode where Team Rocket gets drunk on water? It was like that in the original too, making it even more bizarre. In fact, the only real edit done, was a Kids' WB only changing of the glass style.
      • Then Meowth just had to lampshade it by saying "I'll drink ta' dat!"
  • Variant: In the Buena Vista dubbed and dubtitled versions of Kiki's Delivery Service, an offer of coffee is changed to hot chocolate, presumably because the heroine is only thirteen.
  • Averted in the Latin American dub of Patlabor. The episode where Noa, Asuma and the others go out for dinner and get plastered was not only kept in that particular dub without censorship, but the VAs made all the efforts to portray the characters' drunken states believably. And it was aired in local and cable TV stations normally, including Fox Kids (now Jetix Disney XD). Of course, unlike a lot of these examples, the Patlabor characters are adults and can legally drink alcohol.
  • 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.
    • Sounds like Getting Crap Past the Radar. Fruit punch spiked with pure grain alcohol or strong spirits is a common cheap booze served at parties.
  • 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.
  • Disney's dub of Ponyo averts this trope: Lisa grabs a can of sake from the fridge during her I Need a Freaking Drink moment, which was kept in the translation. Then again, part of Studio Ghibli's contract with Disney was "no cuts", and alcohol has been drunk and even referred to by name in many of Disney's own films (see Western Animation below).
  • Subverted in Hidamari Sketch. The underage main characters throw a welcoming party for their new neighbors, toasting each other with orange juice- which one of them has surreptitiously spiked with beer. The Yonkoma where this occurs includes a reminder box for readers that "Alcohol is only for those aged 20 and above!", while the incident was quietly omitted from the anime..
  • 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. Odd cows in those parts...
  • In the original Wedding Peach, the Love Angels frequently make toasts to celebrate their victory or their friendship. In the English dub, Momoko takes pains to let the audience know that they are toasting "with milk." Subverted in that it really is milk, even in the original Japanese.
  • Last Exile provides what might be an interesting inversion - the mugs which look an awfull 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-striken Anatoray, with special "First Water", the purest form, costing about what a commoner earns in a day.
  • The Anime Michiko to Hatchin doesn't usually make any effort to hide that Michiko is almost extensively drinking and smoking. In episode 4, however, little Hatchin gets drunk in a bar - from what is labeled as juice. Michiko hangs a lampshade on it, when she notices that Hatchin was indeed only having juice.

Michiko' You're messed up. Getting drunk off juice?
Hatchin' * moving her head around* S-SHUT UP!!

  • 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.
  • The 4kids dub of Ojamajo Doremi changed sake into "Sleeping Potion."
  • In the Panyo Panyo (kids verison) of Di Gi Charat Inspector Holic shows up drunk on orange juice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Toon Disney verion of Mushrambo/Shinzo, Kutaal somehow gets drunk on apple juice.
  • In Toriko, in one scene, the lead is enjoying a fine 20 year vintage...crystal cola.
    • Though after tasting it he compares it to champagne.
  • Done for non-censorship reason in Desert Punk: water is rare and alcohol is apparently non-existent so casually drinking clean water from a nice glass is imagined by Kanta instead of drinking fine champagne.
  • One English-dubbed episode of Mapletown had wine referred to as "grape juice", but shortly after, one of the voice actors slipped up and called it "wine".
  • The Monster Rancher dub had pirate Captain Horn coming to town to raid...a supply of chocolate milkshakes as opposed to rum.
  • Played with in Marchen Awakens Romance, 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.
  • 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.

Comic Books

  • 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 Herge edit the panels so we never actually see him drink any of it. The godawful 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.
  • 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" [4] 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.
  • Batman uses this trope as a means of maintaining his Secret Identity. Namely, while this Badass Normal would never drink for fear of impairing his mind or reflexes with any amount of alcohol, he will often act drunk while holding glasses of ginger ale (Or, if someone else is providing the drinks, pouring the wine/champagne/whatever into a potted plant when nobody's looking). Very strangely, this effect was achieved without any Bowdlerisation nor parody at work by Frank Miller in All-Star Batman and Robin. The goddamn Batman finds some armed thieves guarding bottles of a certain liquid and uses one of said bottles to set the thieves in fire. While this sequence only works if Gotham is under some sort of prohibition, the liquid is actually bleach. A very logical theory is that this scene encompasses two of the most common reactions to ASBAR, grabbing the Brain Bleach and killing it with fire.
  • A Disney Adventures reprint of Bone in the late-90s had Phoney order root beer at the Barrelhaven Tavern instead of regular beer.
  • After 1983, due to pressures of anti-tobacco groups, the cowboy Lucky Luke was no longer portraited with his (until then) always present cigarette in mouth. To not let the visuals of the character strange (specially his eternally puckered lips), the cigarette went replaced by a wisp of straw. This is also mentioned in the trope No Smoking.
  • Action Comics #869 was recalled because it featured a, well over 21, Clark Kent and his father on their private farm holding bottles that say "beer", with an unintelligible word that may very well be "root" in front of it. This the "fixed" version covered up the writing on the bottle with a crudely done "soda pop" label that doesn't even match the art style or curve of the bottle.


  • Lampooned in Thank You for Smoking, where at one point 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.
    • Of course, 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.
  • From Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na: "Give me coke... on the rocks. Make it strong."
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Parodied mercilessly in The Big Bus, when a bar fight breaks out, and somebody threatens other characters with a broken milk carton.
  • Notably averted in British war film Ice Cold in Alex. At the climax of the film, John Mills had to down a whole glass of beer in one... but the crew had to make at least five takes. Mills confessed to feeling "slightly heady" by the time the scene was finished.
  • 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.
  • 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 milk. Make it a double!

  • Back to The Future III averts this. Marty goes into the bar and asks for a glass of water. (Justified, as his throat is really parched since he's been walking through a desert for the better part of the day.) The bartender replies, "In here we serve whiskey!", and pours a glass. Later on, however, it's played straight: after Clara leaves Doc, and he goes to drown his sorrows. Initially, the bartender refuses to give him alcohol, but eventually relents. We later find out why the bartender wouldn't give Doc whiskey: he Can't Hold His Liquor.


  • 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.)
    • On the other hand, most characters in the Narnia chronicles happily take strong waters on suitable occasions, and anyone who doesn't drink or smoke is something of an oddity, including Eustace's parents. In Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Edmund and Lucy are happily quaffing mead within a short time of returning to Narnia—though in Narnia they count as honorary adults up to and including being skilled warriors.
  • 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.
  • Older Than Radio, thanks to the temperance sects of Protestant Christianity, who took all references to wine ("yayin" and "oinos") 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.
  • The Pendragon Adventure has sniggers, a drink on Cloral usually served at a bar. It's probably not alcoholic (since Bobby can drink it without getting in trouble), but the bar has an overall very cheerful tone.
  • Lensman: Technically this is what Kimball Kinnison drinks when he goes undercover as a dock worker. He's ordering the same strong liquor as the other workers, but he's mind-controlling the bartender into serving him something nonalcoholic instead.[5]
  • 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.

Live-Action TV

  • 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". Lord Blackadder, 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 Lord Blackadder orders his "incredibly strong ale", Baldrick is to give him water instead:

Lord Blackadder: So, Baldrick, when I call for my incredibly strong ale, I want you to pass me water. Understand?
Baldrick: Yes, m'lord. When you ask for ale, I pass water.

  • In the Pushing Daisies episode "Dim Sum, Lose Sum", Chuck translates the old Chinese man's story about illegal gambling at the dim sum restaurant. She translates his phrase as "you'd have a woman on each arm, and all the milk you could drink!" and then immediately acknowledges that milk may not be the right word as her Mandarin is rusty. Or, that could be what he actually said, since a professional gambler wouldn't want to play with all the [alcoholic beverage] he could drink, unless it was a case of the Drunken Master.
  • Used in-universe in Frasier, where Martin would go on stakeouts with a flask of "clam chowder" when Frasier and Niles were children. When he goes on a stakeout with Niles during the episode, he brings one along, only for Martin to choke on it.

Martin: C'mon, let's have some clam chowder... Ugh, this is clam chowder.
Niles: Well what were you expecting?!
Martin: Irish whiskey!

  • In How I Met Your Mother, the narrator (Future Ted) describes all marijuana usage as "eating sandwiches". Since the entire premise of the show is that Future Ted is telling the story to his kids, 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.

  • An Unshot Red Dwarf episode parodies this, with Lister getting drunk on GELF water, which, unknown to Lister, is famed for its high alcohol content.
  • One episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody has Cody singing 100 bottles of Pop on the wall. It's just as dumb as it sounds.
  • On an episode of Sesame Street, some Muppets sang "Consider Yourself" from the musical 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!".
  • In-universe example: one episode of Cheers had Rebecca manage the bar while Sam and the guys play poker in the back room. Rebecca then discovers the bar's liquor license has expired (the renewal was returned due to insufficient postage) and is forced to serve non-alcoholic drinks.

Sam:Rebecca, could we have another round of beers? The guys are going through it like it's water.
Rebecca:Well, it's not!

  • The Monkees have milk whenever they're at a bar.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In Power Rangers Samurai, Master Xandred regularly takes his "medicine". His counterpart, Dokoku Chimatsuri, 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.
    • The second-season two-parter from Mighty Morphin, "Wild West Rangers", features a Wild West-era Angel Grove, with a Juice Saloon.
  • Played with, like everything else, on 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 heartwarmingly tries to get Oz into bed.
  • Averted by the Finnish children's TV and movie character Rölli, who gets drunk on Jack Daniel's whiskey in this memorable clip.


  • 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.'
  • The verse of Meat Loaf's/Jim Steinmann'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". Drums, huh?
  • 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".
  • 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)." Riiight...
  • "Malted Milk", an Eric Clapton song about a guy Drowning His Sorrows in, well, guess what.

Newspaper Comics

  • Peanuts - Snoopy as the WWI flying ace would go quaff some root beers with Bill Mauldin every Veterans Day.
  • Parodied in one FoxTrot strip where the kids talk about drinking glasses of "root BEER."
  • 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 probation in the country. They counter that their drinking from a bottle clearly labeled 'GRAPE JUICE'. Blozo sniffs the bottle and remarks, "It probably was grape juice fifty years ago."


  • 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".

Video Games

  • In Sly Cooper 3, in the Australia level, 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, 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 * facepalm* .
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda Majoras 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.
    • At least in the American version, you don't know what makes the milk that Link drinks so "magic"... could be a little bit of milk-plus, to sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence (well, it is useful in battle for healing). Having it spiked with liquor seems the least disturbing.
    • 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.
    • 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. In fact, the alcoholic milk is quite popular among all kinds of Zelda fanart-artists.
    • Romani's Hyrulish Cream. It's like alcoholic magic-restoring chocolate milk.
    • Zigzagged with the Noble Pursuit, a drink resembling a martini that first appears in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Whether this truly contains alcohol is debatable. Link has to bring ice to the Noble Canteen in Gerudo town so the bartender can make one for Pokki, but Link cannot buy one for himself, as he looks too young to drink (despite technically being about 117 years old). However, the reason Pokki wants one is because she is very thirsty from hiking a long time, and seeing as liquor is diuretic, it would not help, suggesting there is some other reason it is adult-only. When Link makes one himself in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the flavor text says it is "The Noble Canteen's most famous drink...or an iced tropical-juice mixture that does it justice", suggesting Link's version is a "mocktail" of the drink.
  • At least two different Japanese RPGs use tea as a stand-in for alcohol. The old Grandia is a particularly toe-curling example, when the hero finds several bottles of "tea" 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".
    • Don't forget Jin the Drunken Master being changed into Java, the kinda-hyper coffee fanatic.
  • In Wario Land II, Wario turns into drunk Wario when he comes into contact with a beer bottle. In the translated version, he turns into "Crazy Wario" after coming into contact with a "crazy ball". It's apparently just "Dizzy Wario" in both regions in Wario Land III; Wario receives this status effect via being spun 'round by a hummingbird enemy.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly averted in Mega Man Battle Network 4, where in the English release absolutely no attempt is made to hide the fact that a teenage girl is getting drunk off sake. Yes, it is actually referred to as sake in the English release. That was one of the few redeeming things about the English translation.
  • 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, Glider's pet parrot, smoked in the Japanese version. This was removed for a western release.
  • 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. In the airport soda is banned on-site and will be confiscated.
  • 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".
    • 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 one character in particular in your party when going to 65,000,000 BC for the first time, strictly for the scene where they develop 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.
  • Tales of Symphonia, as shown in the quote above, 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.
  • 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". For those of you who don't know what Mulsum is, it's 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 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.
  • 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. This may have been Getting Crap Past the Radar, of course.
    • 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 online RPG Dragon Fable 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."
  • At one point in the Japanese SaGa 2, your characters investigate an opium smuggling ring. In the American release, Final Fantasy Legend II, the contraband the smugglers are smuggling is... bananas.
  • In The Sims series, 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 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.
  • The Shadowrun game 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.
  • Ace Attorney
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix's life is on the skids [6] He keeps an entire crate of grape juice by his side at work at all times; they come in wine bottles. Here the censorship is in the Japanese original. With four to five murders per game; alcoholism seems minor in comparison. After 1-4 he seems pretty hungover from all that juice.
    • In the second game, there was a wine bottle full of "tomato juice". Considering the fact that the drinker was the star of a kids show, it's possible that the execs make him drink tomato juice instead of wine to keep his family-friendly image. In the Phoenix Wright world, children's television shows are Serious Business.
    • In Investigations, hardboiled Badass homicide detective Badou Ittetsu/Tyrell Badd's cigarette is eventually revealed to actually be a lollipop. Possibly this is a Kojak reference. Who loves ya, Badou?
      • And in an earlier (sort of) case, there's a man entirely surrounded by various bottles obviously intended to be whiskey, cognac, etc. He still makes mention of the fact that he's drinking a calming glass of grape juice. A bottle of spilled "grape juice" is also mistaken for blood.
    • Some fans have joked that Matt Engard's glass of brown liquid (whiskey/brandy) is actually chocolate milk.
  • Lunar had some fun with this: "Mmm... hic Donuts."
  • A particularly egregious case occurs in the Saturn game 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.
  • 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. He's apparently become addicted, chugging entire sodas in the middle of a fight. Whenever he's knocked down, he won't stand up until he squeezes one last drop out of an empty bottle.
  • Tapper, a game about bartending, spawned a kids' version named Root Beer Tapper. You're more likely to find a Root Beer version out there, given it's more family friendly nature.
  • Yoshi's Island (Super Mario World 2): Coming in contact with spores makes Yoshi walk around drunkenly, while the background becomes wavy and changes to all the colours of the rainbow. One might dismiss it as a simple Interface Screw, if Yoshi wasn't so darn happy while it's happening.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Harvest Moon series entirely averts this as all references to and items involving alcohol are kept in-tact in the localized version. Drinking the alcohol items results in the main farmer character's decrease in his fatigue or stamina bar. This can get a bit weird in the Distaff Counterpart versions, though... when your farmer is pregnant.
    • To expand on just how booze-friendly the series is, take the example of the New Year's Festival in Harvest Moon 64. All the adults gathers in the town square, and every time you talk to them, you have to chug a mug of wine. The "lightweight" characters like the priest and librarian will go home after being talked to just once, while the bar workers require multiple shots to get to leave. You're also classed by how much your character has drunk over the year—if you seldom frequent the bar, you'll end up quickly passing out. If you're diligent and binge all year, though, you can drink the entire town under the table with no ill effects. This is actually a vital goal if you want to marry Karen.
    • Played straight with "berry juice" in the original SNES game, though. Berry juice. In a bar.
    • Also 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").
    • Wine is also available as a gift in many of the games. You can even make your own.
  • The title of a WiiWare game simulating beer pong was changed from Beer Pong to Pong Toss: Frat Party 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.
    • Bit of Fridge Brilliance: Omega Land is being ecologically destroyed by Black Hole. Good water may be hard to find.
  • 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.
  • 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 obscure 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.
  • At Arfur's Inn in Viva Pinata!, everyone drinks milk. Surprisingly though, the only thing you can do there is hire helpers.
  • 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.
  • In the second Golden Sun an NPC gets one of the Bosses drunk on Sake before you fight it. In the American version Sake is changed to Dragonsbane. Amusingly a townsperson states that dragonsbane is 'like catnip for dragons'
  • 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.
    • There is also a perfectly justified example in the pre-asskicking speech given by Sarah Lyons before the assault on the Jefferson Memorial. She says something along the lines of, "Let's go, and I'll get everyone a nice cold glass of water afterwards". The justification comes from the fact that booze is ubiquitous in the Wasteland, whereas pure, non-radioactive water is almost as rare as gold. Also, they are on a mission that, if successful, will purify all the water in the D.C. tidal basin.
    • Alcohol is everywhere though, and your player can even become dependent on it.
  • 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.
  • World of Warcraft completely adverts this. Alcohol is sold in every major city and there is even a Oktoberfest style holiday. However there are two items that parody this trope. The first is a pair of Synthbrew Goggles which when worn gives the character all the effects of being drunk (blurry vision, staggering walk) without drinking. The second item is also a pair of goggles, only these give you the "Beer Goggles" buff, making all other characters around yours look more attractive.
    • The Horde equivalent is somewhat less and more disturbing. Simultaneously.
  • 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.
  • Averted in Eternal Sonata. Little effort is made to censor drunkenness or the fact that there's alcohol present. In fact, a dialogue once you enter Forte actually has you lend money to a man who promptly heads to the tavern to drink himself into madness.
    • But lead character Allegretto does get warned he's too young to drink.
  • Averted in Dragon Warrior VII, in which everyone, up to and including his own parents, are happy to provide the sixteen-year-old main character with booze when it's meal or party time.
  • Averted in Space Quest, where you can get Roger drunk at the Rocket Bar.
  • Averted in Infinite Space. Nia even gets roaring drunk at one point in the game, and in Act 2, several characters occasionally remind the main character not to drink too much.
  • In Chibi-Robo! Captain Plankbeard repeatedly drinks from a wooden jug during conversation. After a few drinks, he remarks that he "Loves the taste of water".
  • Heavily averted in Dead or Alive, where the character Brad Wong is very much an alcoholic, with pre-game animations where he says "Let's have a drink!" He even uses Zui Quan style, better known as drunken fist.
    • It wasn't always so; check out the various trophies in Dead or Alive 2 and have a good laugh at the the huge glass mug of foamy, yellow-brown "mixed juice" and the layered cocktails that are obviously -obviously- nothing more than good old, censor-pleasing "tropical juice."
  • In Ryu ga Gotoku, despite being an Adult, Tatsuya is still below the drinking age of Japan (at 20), so when he goes to a Hostess club, he is only allowed to drink sparkling juice, cola or tea.
  • Scias in Breath of Fire 4 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.
  • Characters in Xbox Live indie game Cthulhu Saves the World drink "...milk", which is clearly depicted as a frothy brown liquid.
  • In The Sims 3 World Adventures expansion the players can learn how to make, "Nectar" and it will always be referred to as such, but it's very obviously wine as it comes in wine bottles, is apparently bad for 'young sims' and becoming self employed as one gets you titled a Vintner.
  • 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), and the kids had convinced themselves they were drunk.
  • 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.

Visual Novels

  • Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai plays with this with "Kawakami Water", which explicitly has the same effects as sake. Only, it actually is water, "so it's okay."

Web Comics

  • Parodied extensively in Adventurers!
  • Fruit Incest has regular appearances of milk bars and "cat beer" despite the existence of regular bars and alcoholic drinks.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Dreamworks mini-series Invasion: America has kids' version. Lines mentioning alcohol are dropped, leading to some odd conversations. Some entire episodes were dropped which pretty much killed the kids' mini.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures
    • In the video special "How I Spent My Summer Vacation", the "99 Bottles of Beer" song gets bowdlerised (by Hamton Pig's family) with "beer" awkwardly replaced with "non-alcoholic beverage". Plucky calls them out on it, and Hamton's mom replies indignantly "We don't drink in our family, Plucky."
    • Completely averted in "One Beer". Buster, Plucky, and Hampton getting drunk off a single bottle of beer and end up getting killed when they steal a police car and crash off a mountain, they then tell the kids at home that alcohol isn't cool.
  • 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 to get drunk on ginger ale as part of his guise as a Rich Idiot With No Day Job... c'mon, water?
  • 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.
  • An episode of the Winx Club 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.
  • 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, aka the "root" in root beer.
    • This trope did not, however, stop many a Gargle Blaster joke involving Daffy Duck. 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.
    • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic 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. Also used in the episode "Ticket Master", where Pinkie Pie mentions sarsaparillas as part of her Imagine Spot of the Grand Galloping Gala.
      • There was also 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 "Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 the ponies are seen lined up to get, and drinking, frothy mugs of nonalcoholic cider. No really, there's no physical way for it to go hard in the time shown. Unless magic was involved...
  • Disney deserves a special mention here because of its consistent refusal to bow to this trope. Disney's animated movies predate many of the examples on this page, and they often show the consequences of excessive drinking in a bad light. Just goes to show how ridiculous this type of censorship is.
    • This early Mickey Mouse short titled When The Cats 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.
    • Sleeping Beauty has the Jester get badly drunk on wine, hiccup and pass out while the two kings celebrate.
    • A scene in The Aristocats features a very drunk goose.

Goose: "...and basted in white wine!"
O'Malley: "Basted?! He's practically marinated in it!"

    • A later scene has a man drinking a bottle of some unidentified substance (probably wine or Absinthe) alone outside a café witness a group of cats being chased by a mouse, causing him to gingerly decide he's had enough.
    • Dumbo has the eponymous character accidentally get drunk and start hallucinating. Off half a bottle of Champagne diluted in an entire tub of water, which Dumbo only drinks a few trunkfuls of. Lightweight.
    • In Pinocchio, the kids drink beer and smoke cigars, and it turns them into donkeys. This is from the original book as well, not a Disney moral-pitch.
    • In Disney's Robin Hood, Sir Hiss is stuffed into a cask of ale and comes out extremely drunk. Later, Prince John storms into a room in a rage carrying what appears to be a crystal flagon of wine, which he winds up throwing at Sir Hiss and the Sheriff.
    • In the DuckTales (1987) 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.
    • In The Movie of Disney's Kim Possible, Shego is shown drinking something, and although it's never stated what the beverage is, it's unlikely that the criminal-underworld nightclub was serving Pepsi.
      • Looks rather shamelessly like a Long Island Iced Tea to me.
    • Fantasia uses Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony as backing to a weird pastiche of Classical Mythology, including grape harvest and winemaking. Dionysus, complete with grapes on his head spends most of the segment quite drunk. At least they skipped the traditional orgy.
    • In The Sword in the Stone, the neglectful adoptive parent of Arthur celebrates his bad ideas by getting quite drunk with his hiccuping messenger friend (while Archimedes mocks them from on high).
    • In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, 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. However, 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'.
    • Beauty and The Beast has Gaston Drowning His Sorrows, then he throws the mugs in the fire and decides it's not helping. Although in the DVD Commentary, the guys joked that it was root beer, "highly flammable root beer", as the mugs are thrown into the fire.
      • The "Be Our Guest" number feature the line "The wine's been poured" and has singing mugs of beer being offered to Belle.
    • The Great Mouse Detective averts this twice. During Ratigan's Villain Song, an extremely drunk henchman named Bartholomew accidentally calls Ratigan a rat. He is subsequently thrown by Ratigan to Ratigan's pet cat, who eats him. Later, while undercover, Basil and Dawson get drinks from a bar. Basil discovers that the drinks have been drugged, but Dawson gets very drunk and makes a fool out of himself before he can warn him.
    • A Goofy Movie combines Disney's traditional subversion of this trope with a Spit Take. Specifically, when PJ sees that Max has successfully gotten onstage with Powerline, Pete promptly spits an entire mouthful beer onto the screen. We then see the concert as the beer pours down the screen.
    • In Aladdin a glass of what's pretty obviously red wine is on a table for a few minutes, before Jasmine throws it in Jafar's face.
      • Also, in the third movie of the franchise, the genie confronts Aladdin about the upcoming wedding. Upon remarking that Aladdin may want a bachelor party, Genie poofs into a rather ahem . . . large woman carrying a mug of . . . frothy liquid. What's more is when the Magic Carpet attempts to take some of the froth, Genie stop him, saying something along the lines of "None for you, you're the designated flyer."
      • And let's not forget the "combination hookah and coffee-maker that also makes julienne fries" the merchant tries to sell at the start of the first film.
  • Parodied in Super Duper Sumos. The villains, toasting their success, offered around "Politically acceptable sparkling fruit drinks".
  • 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.
    • This could possibly be Fridge Brilliance; the term "Smoothie" may be a keyword for "Alcohol", specifically so Helga and Olga (But mostly Helga) doesn't raise suspicions at school. "Smoothie" is a pretty innocent sounding term anyways.
  • Possible Lampshade Hanging in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls. 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.
  • 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 look something of an alcoholic.
  • Parodied in an episode of Codename: Kids Next Door, where an episode opens in a speakeasy—after soda is banned for kids, in a spoof of Prohibition.
    • One episode has sugar also acted as such, with cups filled to the brim with them and used in drinking contest. The "intoxication" being a very jittery sugar rush.

Pirate Captain: Not bad lass, but this battle be to the depths...of your blood sugar levels!

  • Robots in western animation seem to have a preference for oil as a beverage. Such examples occur in
    • My Life as a Teenage Robot with Jenny
    • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command with XR
    • Transformers Animated with the Contructicons. Oil as an alcohol stand-in in Transformers fiction goes back farther than Animated—even G1 canon has a location on Cybertron called "Maccadam's Old Oil House". Not just oil - one episode of G1 features the decepticons getting completely shitfaced on energon.
    • Futurama's Bender runs on alcohol. He drink regularly and excessively. However, if Bender doesn't drink alcohol then he begins to act intoxicated as his systems run out of fuel to burn. Drinking alcohol is, for him, sobriety.

Fry: Bender, I think you drank too much. Or too little, I forget how it works with you. The point is, you haven't drunk exactly the right amount.

  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog 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!"
  • In the Justice League animated series episode 'Flash and Substance' three villains discuss taking down the Flash and boast about how they're real macho, tough guy villains. Immediately after, the waitress comes and takes their orders, which are all family friendly drinks. Mirror Master has double soy latte; Capt. Boomerang Arnold Palmer; Trickster cherry cola; but Capt. Cold's order of milk raises the eyebrows of his company -- "My ulcer's been acting up".
  • A particularly odd version occurs in the 1956 Pink Panther 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.
  • Cow and Chicken have often characters drinking frothy mugs of milk.
  • 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!'
  • ReBoot has everybody drinking "energy shakes". But when the pirates are involved they all get drunk, throw up, and pass out.
  • Whenever they mention soda in Regular Show, 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."
  • 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.

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.
  • This blog post. ( It turns out that the root beer was mixed with vodka)
  • Actors will generally use a lookalike substance when drinking in character onstage or onscreen. Reasons for doing so are fairly obvious, from performance concerns to budgetary concerns to legal concerns if the actors are underage.
    • For instance, Dean Martin, who affected the performance of a drunken playboy, but who in real life was a temperate drinker, would have his highball glasses (a near constant accessory for him on his TV show) filled with apple juice. Partly this was because of personal preference, but also because of the professional concerns of being genuinely drunk on camera.
    • Subverted: On movie sets, W.C. Fields kept handy a vacuum flask of mixed martinis, which he referred to as his "pineapple juice". One day a prankster switched the contents of the flask, filling it with actual pineapple juice. Upon discovering the prank, Fields was heard to yell, "Who put pineapple juice in my pineapple juice?!" The line, in various permutations, has gone on to become something of a Memetic Mutation.
    • Similarly, smoking cigarettes in an indoor workplace or public space is illegal in California, thus affecting a majority of TV shows and movies. For shows like Mad Men which require characters to smoke, herbal cigarettes are used.
      • Using real cigarettes on stage is still a big debate issue in the theatrical world. There are issues with people in the audience being allergic to smoke, and laws regarding smoking inside. On the other hand, the fake cigarettes that can be used don't look real because they don't burn (which is a concern in smaller theatre spaces), and the vapor cigarettes are also not entirely convincing.
        • In most cases, it's easier to simply never have actors smoke onstage and to employ creative blocking to ensure the audience doesn't notice.
    • On the other hand, actor Ben Miles (Patrick) on the British Coupling consistently drinks pints of Guinness on-screen because he was told that it's very difficult to fake on camera with non-alcoholic substances.
      • For the sake of both continuity and sobriety, very little is ever consumed onscreen.
    • Also, John Mills in the film Ice Cold in Alex. The final scene, where he celebrates getting the ambulance safely back to Alexandria in a bar, by having an ice-cold pint of Carlsberg - it was real Carlsberg, because there wasn't anything else that looked convincingly like ice-cold Carlsberg. The script calls for him to down it in one, and they had to do about half a dozen takes.
    • See also: Johnny Vegas (and indeed, hosts Vic and Bob) was reportedly somewhat inebriated during his entire tenure on Shooting Stars
    • See also Fake Food. When you're likely going to be doing many, many takes, drinking real alcohol in each scene isn't a good idea because people eventually get drunk and it can wear down on the budget.
      • Aiding to this trope is a bit of Reality Is Unrealistic. In the case of Beer, a lot of people expect it to be a lot foamier than it actually is.
    • One of the recurring characters on theErnie Kovacs Show was the insipid, nervous magician Matzo Hepplewhite, who carried a gong with him that he rung whenever he needed his assistant to bring him a shot of whiskey to steady his nerves. During the filming of one episode (which was aired live), the crew replaced the iced tea used as a stand-in for liquor with the real stuff, leading to a very drunk Kovacs at the end of the show.
    • A segment in Cirque Du Soleil's Mystere involves a woman in the audience being presented with "champagne". If you are seated close enough to the performer quietly bantering with her, you'll hear him reveal that it's actually "Sparkling cider -- sorry to disappoint you!"
    • One episode of How I Met Your Mother had all the five main characters, plus their regular taxi driver Ranjeet, gather at the bar for some celebretory champagne. Unbeknownst to them (until they put the glasses to their lips), the champagne was real. Ranjeet's actor is Muslim, and is not supposed to consume alcohol.
    • This was averted in one episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? where there was actual rum used as a prop for a scene and Colin then had Ryan drink it. Ryan is visibly tipsy by the end of the sketch. (It probably also helped he was a diabetic.)
  • In the Absolutely Fabulous DVD commentary, Jennifer Saunders admits that the large quantities of Champagne that Edina and Pasty consume are, in fact, ginger ale. She also says that there is no Product Placement of their drink of choice, so it is unlikely that their production budget would cover the enormous cost.
    • This isn't always the case: the gag reel from the episode set in Provence shows the result of multiple takes where real French wine is called for...
  • This trope was common during the Perestroika in the USSR, when Gorby had the bright idea to ban not just all alcohol in the country, but all depictions of alcohol, too.
  • During the filming of the Toby Keith video Beer for my Horses the crew was originally intending substitute whiskey. Willie Nelson instead insisted on his own brand, leading to very drunken actors.
    • This is Willie we're talking about here. They're lucky he didn't switch out anyone's cigarettes...
      • Speaking of which: During the shooting of Half Baked, all of the marijuana used was fake...except for the day Snoop Dogg showed up.
  • One high school in California gave the graduating class beer steins at graduation, a tradition that ended in 2004. When the graduating class of 2001 questioned the logic behind giving 17 and 18 year olds beer steins, the ASB director announced, sarcastically, "They're water mugs!"
    • Something similar happened in 2009, when the Moral Guardians got in a tizzy over souvenir shotglasses being part of the graduation memorabilia package.
    • My high school in 2002 gave out prom favors, on prom night, at the prom, beer mugs for the guys, wine glasses for the girls. Granted they were filled with Werther's Toffee...but still.
  • 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."
    • Averted in Epcot, where alcoholic drinks are served in several of the World Pavilion restaurants, without any attempt to hide what they are.
  • Argentine football coach Carlos Salvador Bilardo was almost arrested for toasting a victory on the field (alcohol on sports venues being illegal in Argentina). When he was approached by a justice official, Bilardo retorted that he was just drinking "GA-TO-REI".
  • At least one movie depicting an (underage) drinking party used kegs filled with a mixture of apple juice and root beer. In addition to looking reasonably like beer, this had a side benefit: the vile taste meant that the many extras in the background displayed exactly the reactions you'd expect from a group of people who haven't actually acquired a taste for beer yet and are choking it down strictly for the alcohol and/or to seem "cool."
  • Some beverages made of water and yoghurt like the Indian lassi and Turkish ayran actually do froth, making it literal frothy water. It seems where beer is prohibited, people get creative.
  • In Universal Studio Orlando's Harry Potter theme world you can buy 'butterbeer' complete with novelty beer mug, it's actually brown soda-water with a vanilla extract put on top of it to make it froth, so a quite literal Frothy mug of water.
  • Of course, non-alcoholic versions of beer exist, such as Sharp's and O'Doul's -- so you can get all the acquired-taste experience of drinking "real" beer without the actual beer. You may have to look around for a kind that tastes like beer rather than beer-flavoured water, but they exist.
    • You'd wonder why they call root beer just that, even if it's just a fancy name for sarsaparilla drinks and lacks alcohol. Aside of course from it being frothy and colored almost like real beer.
    • Near-beer is parodied in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge with near-grog; "It's just as nasty-tasting and foul smelling as the real thing, but without the alcohol."
  • In bartending schools, students work with bottles of dyed water. A sensible practice, for several reasons—but it does lead to both gaps in instruction (you can't make layered drinks) and a sense of reality warping around you (Coca-Cola and Jägermeister are the same thing).
  • Temperance bars were bars across 19th century England that did not serve alcohol.
  • The Henry Weinhardt's Private Reserve drink company, known mostly for its various ales, also produces high-quality soft drinks. The vanilla creme was specifically designed to mimic the appearance of beer as closely as possible. It was created during Prohibition.
  • The Claytons non-alcoholic beverage. Marketed in Australia and New Zealand during the 1970s and 1980s as "the drink you're having when you're not having a drink." The name entered the Australasian lexicon as a synonym for "ersatz" or "ineffectual".
  • In Back to The Future, when Marty and his mother are in the car, Marty takes a big gulp of *something* in a flask, which, while filming was some non-alcoholic substance... But, as a prank, someone filled it with actual whisky, and the result is a hilarious moment of Michael J. Fox spitting it out all over the place. Last clip.
  • Strangely Inverted in Russia, where, as an act to reduce drinking, it is still okay by law to advertise alcoholic products on TV on Prime Time. However, it's against the law to portray people and animals in those advertisements.
  • In the event of a dry wedding, people still want a glass of "bubbly" for the toast and the photos of the bride and groom, they will often resort to ginger ale, Sprite, or another clear carbonated beverage.
  • This is (probably) the origin of the screwdriver cocktail: American engineers working in Saudi Arabia (where alcohol is illegal) would smuggle vodka into the country in containers of orange juice.
    • As opposed to some fans at UK football matches after alcohol was banned in the stadium, who smuggled vodka into the stands by injecting it into oranges.
  • In one of the Christmas episodes of 8 Out of 10 Cats Jimmy gave away a extremely large bottle of whiskey to Shaun. Jimmy mentions about replacing it with something fake and Shaun was really shocked it was real. However with "Jedward" in the studio, forcing any sane man to drink, predictable things happen and the whiskey was taken away.
  1. 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.
  2. Earth has been devestated so that last remaining pure springwater provides a surprisingly moving reminder of what everyone is fighting for.
  3. He went from being "White Chase" Smoker to "White Smoke" Chaser, which at least makes more sense in English.
  4. "Sihistä" means "to sizzle", hence "Fo Sihistä, my Nistä"
  5. Bartenders keep a bottle of something safe on hand in case they need to take part in a toast or a round. Truth in Television at the time.
  6. :he's clocking in at a loser job after being disbarred due to presenting forged evidence, which wasn't even his fault.