The effects of friction on the ion acoustic (IA) wave in fully and partially ionized plasmas are studied. In a quasineutral electron-ion plasma the friction between the two species cancels out exactly and the wave propagates without any damping. If the Poisson equation is used instead of the quasineutrality, however, the IA wave is damped and the damping is dispersive. In a partially ionized plasma, the collisions with the neutrals modify the IA wave beyond recognition. For a low density of neutrals the mode is damped. Upon increasing the neutral density, the mode becomes first evanescent and then reappears for a still larger number of neutrals. A similar behavior is obtained by varying the mode wavelength. The explanation for this behavior is given. In an inhomogeneous plasma placed in an external magnetic field, and for magnetized electrons and unmagnetized ions, the IA mode propagates in any direction and in this case the collisions make it growing on the account of the energy stored in the density gradient. The growth rate is angle dependent. A comparison with the collisionless kinetic density gradient driven IA instability is also given.