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So, The Hero and The Lancer are in a love triangle with the White Magician Girl or the Action Girl. They both love her, and they each know that the other loves her, but she doesn't know how either of them feel. They Cannot Spit It Out to their Love Interest that she is a love interest. Since it would take too long for either one to work this triangle out on his own, they decide to talk with each other first.

They do it over a few beers, of course. Or a lot of beers. Or something stronger. Anyway, what they do is get hammered and slovenly unpack their Wangst for the audience. This sometimes makes for borderline unintended Ho Yay.

Ladies do this too. They usually drink wine, but again, it can be something stronger.

An Always Male version is for the two romantic rivals to fight over the woman. Something intervenes, and they end up getting drunk instead. Especially common with a Worthy Opponent. They might come to a new understanding and appreciation of each other, but it's not guaranteed.

Sometimes, especially if they're female, the rivals will decide that it's all the Love Interest's fault and will present a united front against him. Usually this united front dissolves before the end of the episode.

See also Drowning My Sorrows. A softer Always Female variant is Heartbreak and Ice Cream.

Examples of Drowning Our Romantic Sorrows include:

Anime and Manga

  • Maison Ikkoku: Godai and Mitaka are intending to fight each other, but due to various complications they end up just getting drunk together.
    • This actually happens twice. In the first instance they come to an agreement that it's all Kyoko's fault for stringing both of them along, but afterwards you just get a Snap Back. The second time is when they are trying to fight, and this time the aftermath results in some major consequences that ends up leading to the Grand Finale.
    • Godai does this several times with Sakamoto over the course of the series, although usually they are not after the same woman.


  • This happens in Hellboy II, between HB and Abe Sapien. Don't ask me how a psychic fish-man and the Beast of The Apocalypse gets drunk on light beer, but they do. Afterward, they sing a duet of 'Can't Smile Without You'. Crowning Moment of Funny.


Live Action TV

  • Can we consider the scene in Battlestar Galactica Reimagined where Anders is drunk over Kara's disappearance, and falls off a Viper, to have Lee come to his aid? Anders and Lee both had feelings for the apparently dead Kara Thrace. Of course, Lee wasn't drunk.
  • Done in the first season of Roswell with Kyle getting Max drunk while Liz is on a blind date with someone else. Since Max is an alien hybrid who reacts rather strongly to booze much Hilarity Ensues
  • Done in an episode of Frasier. Too bad the brothers didn't say the name of their loved ones. If they had, they'd have known it wasn't the same person.
  • A one-sided and thus really awkward version happens in The West Wing episode "Commencement." Amy, Josh's on-again-off-again love interest, and Donna, his assistant and long-time Will They or Won't They?, are working late together. Donna has had one beer; Amy has had three or four. Early in the episode Amy said something to Josh that bothered him and she doesn't know why, but Donna does, and they've been skulking around the issue all day. Amy finally brings it up. Donna says, "You have to get Josh," and explains at length. Amy says, "You said 'you have to get Josh'?" Donna, now in the other room: "I didn't mean to say that you don't... get him." Amy: "Are you in love with Josh?" Donna: "...." Massive Attack: Love you love you love you love you...
  • Angel and Spike attempt to do this over Buffy during "The Girl In Question," but their high vampiric alcohol tolerance prevents them from getting properly hammered on the relatively small amount of liquor they've brought on their plane.
  • Used to the point of being a Running Gag in Chinese Paladin 3. At first, the use of the trope is genuinely tragic (The Hero moping over his I Want My Beloved to Be Happy decision), but then becomes funnier when a pair of lovers in the midst of a Masochism Tango are competitively drinking each other under the table. By the end of the series, when a former antagonist struggling with What Is This Thing You Call Love? comes up, the hero merely hands him a bottle and sends him off.



  • The musical Sweet Adeline built the male ensemble number "Some Girl Is On Your Mind" out of this.
  • Tom and George empty a decanter of brandy this way in Noel Coward's Design for Living.

Web Comics

Western Animation

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