The excited-state orientation hydrogen-bonding dynamics, and vibronic spectra of isoquinoline (IQ) and its cationic form IQc in water have been investigated at the time-dependent density functional theory quantum chemistry level plus Franck-Condon simulation and interpretation. The excited-state orientation hydrogen bond strengthening has been found in IQ:H2O complex due to the charge redistribution upon excitation; this is interpreted by simulated 1:1 mixed absorption spectra of free IQ and IQ:H2O complex having best agreement with experimental results. Conversely, the orientation hydrogen bond in IQc:H2O complex would be strongly weakening in the S1 state and this is interpreted by simulated absorption spectra of free IQc having best agreement with experimental results. By performing Franck-Condon simulation, it reveals that several important vibrational normal modes with frequencies about 1250 cm−1 involving the wagging motion of the hydrogen atoms are very sensitive to the formation of the orientation hydrogen bond for the IQ/IQc:H2O complex and this is confirmed by damped Franck-Condon simulation with free IQ/IQc in water. However, the emission spectra of the IQ and IQc in water have been found differently. Upon the excitation, the simulated fluorescence of IQ in water is dominated by the IQ:H2O complex; thus hydrogen bond between IQ and H2O is much easier to form in the S1 state. While the weakened hydrogen bond in IQc:H2O complex is probably cleaved upon the laser pulse because the simulated emission spectrum of the free IQc is in better agreement with the experimental results.