Deranged Animation

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Animation, freed from the limitations of live-action films, allows you to show anything you could ever imagine. Here, that freedom is used to dispense with all semblance of reality, and sanity, taking the viewer into a crazy world where anything goes. Some people find this "anything goes" attitude delightful. Usually it wasn't made on drugs despite some viewers' beliefs: the creators had this material running around their head while straight (no, not that kind of straight).

This can be a pretty rich well of Nightmare Fuel for younger viewers.

See also Art Shift, Disney Acid Sequence, Off-Model, Uncanny Valley, This Is Your Premise on Drugs, Nightmare Fuel, What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic, and Widget Series. Compare Non Sequitur Scene, Surreal Horror, Non Sequitur Scene Episode]], and A Day at the Bizarro, where things only temporarily become deranged (usually).

Examples of Deranged Animation include:


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Anime Film[edit | hide]

  • Many elements of Catnapped, particularly Papadoll (a monstrous dog) and Buburina (a freakishly animated evil cat queen). Just check at her freaky eyes and facial expression when she's hypnotizing characters.
  • Dead Leaves - the description in the header said it best:

Describe Dead Leaves here. Alternately, describe FLCL on distilled crack cocaine and LSD here.
Okay, but this is gonna be weird...

    • In an interview on the disc, one of the creators was asked what his inspiration was. His reply was simply "I'm a Drunkard." Said interview was conducted in a rooftop bar while the group were being served drinks of ever increasing potency. It eventually culminated in what one of the group described as ?detergent?.
    • Also, in one Adult Swim bumper, they quoted an interview (but didn't say which one) where the producers stated that Anime/FLCL is "the type of show we make to let off steam after tackling something like Evangelion."
  • One must wonder what combination of illicit substances the animators at Studio Manglobe were taking when they animated Ergo Proxy.
    • Ergo Proxy's animation isn't THAT weird, aside from one or two episodes. The plot, on the other hand...
  • Spirited Away: Someone had poured something into Studio Ghibli's water supply.
    • Justified in that the entire movie, save for 10 minutes in the beginning and the end credits, are set in a spirit world bathhouse.
    • Part of the chaos in the minds of Western viewers has to do with the cultural aspects of each of the many spirits and aspects of the fantasy. An Asian viewer will recognize symbols and elements from Eastern mythology, just as Western viewers internalize Christian, Norse, and Greek/Roman mythology.
    • Apparently whoever polluted Ghibli's water supply for Spirited Away poured it in again, judging by how weird Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is.
  • Interstella 5555? Too easy.
  • As is Unico In The Island Of Magic.
  • Satoshi Kon appears to have used something to help him with his work at times, judging from Perfect Blue, Paranoia Agent, and especially Paprika.
  • Tekkon Kinkreet/Tekkonkinkurito is bizarre throughout, but the Minotaur segment tops it all.
  • All of Mind Game.
    • Every piece of animation Masaaki Yuasa has directed.
  • The Adolescence of Utena (well, the series is like this too, but mostly the movie). It runs like a dream on hallucinogenics. It includes scenes like a morphing butterfly/girl/bedsheet in a cabbage patch and Utena turning into a car. Listening to the director's commentary however, reveals that not only was its creator sober and off drugs, but he's also an incredibly calm, thoughtful individual in general and everything has an allegorical meaning.
  • The End of Evangelion gets really weird and creepy once Instrumentality starts.
    • Also, the little there was in the way of animation in episode 26 was rather... trippy.
  • Aachi and Ssipak is a Korean film about a world powered by feces, and the little blue guys who provide it.
  • Noiseman Sound Insect is a beautiful short film, but also very, very messed up.
  • Angels Egg. When even the goddamn creator throws up his hands and admits he has no idea what the film is supposed to say, you know you're in bizarro-land. Gorgeously-animated bizarro-land.
  • Cat Soup has been described by reviewers as "Hello Kitty on acid."
  • Akira, once Tetsuo starts to mutate. It's also nightmarish and Nausea Fuel as well.
  • Kanashimi no Belladonna is trippy throughout, but the repellent Visual Innuendo during the representative rape scene in particular stands out.
  • Radio City Fantasy's more surreal segues go into this territory.
  • Though some of its chapters are breathtakingly or horrifyingly realistic, there are some stories in The Animatrix that just went out of the loop. "Kid's Story" has its moments, but "World Record" and "Matriculated" take the cake in terms of distorted, wild animation.

Anime Series[edit | hide]

  • There's this show called Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo...
  • The guys who made Excel Saga had to be hyped on something. Whether it was crack or way too much coffee and not enough sleep is up to you.
    • Then he goes and makes Puni Puni Poemi, which compresses an even greater amount of insanity into 1/13th of the time.
      • Excel Saga does have some semblance of sense and logic, just as long as you're aware of what all the parodies and references are, what's being satirized, and why. It's not so much some kind of "random for the sake of random" or "on drugs" type of psychedelic trip. (That distinction goes to Bo-BoBo). Excel Saga, however, is one big non-stop barrage of in-jokes poking fun at the director Shinichi Watanabe's own thoughts, feelings, and ludicrous experiences at working in multiple genres of anime, as well as original manga author Koshi Rikudo's cynical, social satire, self-mocking, and controversial statements about his own nation's strange policies and economic troubles. Although the existence of the Puuchuus and why they randomly turn into Takao Saito and Leiji Matsumoto characters when struck with a blunt object? Yeah, I'm not even going to try and explain that.
  • FLCL, which could almost qualify as a drug in and of itself.
    • It was. It was the anti-depressants for everyone who'd been forced to work on Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • And anything else made by Kazuya Tsurumaki. This guy won't ever need drugs—he's crazy enough just as is.
  • Gankutsuou is set in a futuristic world so trippy one would almost think it was made by Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, not Studio GONZO.
    • That's because you haven't read the manga, which was definitely made on several substances unknown to mortals and on summoning Salvador Dali's soul after he went through the nine circles of Hell.
  • Kaiba. The plot summary alone sounds a little out there... And then you see the art style. Kaiba looks like a child's TV show, with trippy architecture and illogical types of technology, gone Cerebus Syndrome and mixed with adult themes. Buildings are depressingly creepy, even with the bright colors and lack of geometric structure. Then you consider how the authorities steal bodies, look into other peoples' personal worlds, execute enemies, have sex, pilot spaceships, HIT BUTTONS AND PRESS LEVERS, etc,.
    • And Kaiba has nothing on Kemonozume (by the same director, Masaaki Yuasa). In fact, the art style is actually fairly representative of everything Yuasa (and Studio 4C, for that matter) has done since Mind Game.
    • And while we're on the subject, Mind Game heavily featured about three or four animation styles, all of them rather...unconventional.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion is a subversion. It's commonly thought that the series was created while Anno was off his anti-depressants. When, in fact, Anno had fully recovered by the time of making Evangelion. Though he did use notes from his period of depression to help him write Shinji's character.
  • Maybe Revolutionary Girl Utena could have just been a product of pretentious artsiness and some bad relationships, but nobody in a normal state of mind could have written the movie version, Shoujo Kakumei Utena ~ Adolescence Mokushiroku.
  • Genesis of Aquarion is an Affectionate Parody / Homage to cheesy Super Robot shows of the 70s that runs on the power of stoner anti-logic.
  • In the same way that Neon Genesis Evangelion forgot its anti-depressants and Lucky Star was on Valium.
  • xxxHolic is a wonderful manga, but the art style CLAMP employed does not translate well to video. The anime is fine, but the movie is trippy, surreal, and somehow enjoyable.
  • Enjoy this list of the top ten (yes, only ten) "WTF?" moments from Dragon Ball Z.
  • Chiyo-chichi. Had to be some weird "dream" for Sakaki to come up with that. The animators just smoked something.
  • The second opening to Death Note. Very bright colors and Japanese metal for a show about a kid playing god? Someone had to be tripping.
  • Mononoke takes this and plays it for every drop of horror possible.
    • The producer now has an established record of this sort of thing; see the entry for Trapeze below.
    • And Kenji Nakamura's gone at it again with C.
  • Episode 18 of the Axis Powers Hetalia anime. There's no way that the decision to have the Roman Empire randomly pop out of the sea and sing about the differences between heaven and hell was made while sober.
    • And then there's the movie ("Paint it, White!") where he appears again and sings a rock version (!) of his Heaven and Hell song. It doesn't even make sense in context. ...well, the context itself doesn't really make any sense, either.
  • Welcome to The NHK has snippets of this in which the protagonist is taunted by appliances.
  • One has to wonder what the animators of Bleach Episode 133 were smoking when they made it. Everyone has a rapeface. Even Hitsugaya. And Yachiru Kusajishi.
  • Trapeze. Oh dear god((s)/dess(es)) Trapeze. A little series about psychiatry at which its own entry notes (legitimately) that it makes viewers fear for their own mental health. Take a novel series about an unusual psychiatrist, mixing it with hallucinogenic vitamin shots, adding one's brains and a major TV announcer, and placing all of these in a blender and setting to "liquefy". And then having a big-name model dress up as a perky-goth nurse and injecting said medicine whilst the doctor leers nearby in a psychedelic fursuit. And this is a Cliff's Notes version of the series BEFORE the True Insanity starts per episode.
  • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
  • CGI series Ga-Ra-Ku-Ta, or Mr. Stain on Junk Alley, which features a hobo named Mr. Stain that finds an object in each episode that royally screws him or his friends up, such as him finding a box of crayons that make anything you draw become real which leads to his friend losing his entire face and begin sucking everything in sight up due to his face becoming a black hole.
    • It certainly doesn't help that Junk Alley is apparently built above the ruins of a sunken, Lovecraftian city. Though that would probably explain most of the weird, creepy things that happen.
  • Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt. Ben 10, Invader Zim, Powerpuff Girls - all of the Western cartoons you used to watch were pureed and delivered intravenously directly to the brains of the people behind Dead Leaves and FLCL, then Gainax stuck a pen under their trembling fingers and told them to draw.
  • The Wedding Peach OVA where the Love Angels become cat girls contain EXTREMELY traumatizing images, such as when they go catty over Yanagiba and when they take the forms of the schoolgirl versions, when they innocently move about the wall of the school, yet another Nightmare Face with catty features they don't have anymore until they see Yanagiba.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica invokes this whenever the witches show up to show how they encroach on the real world. Justified as this is a Studio Shaft anime. It's required by law that a Shaft series have this.
    • To put this in perspective, go watch that video linked in the entry for Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. When Madoka gets going, it uses that as a baseline and kicks the pedal through the floor.
  • Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu a.k.a. Hare Nochi Guu is an acid trip from start to finish. The weirdness is too much to state on one paragraph, but suffice to say, the first opening features dancing palm trees and a world inside a stomach. And that's the less weird thing you'll get.
  • Naruto when he goes four tails, he becomes a reddish black demonic fox of this, with growing an extra upper torso to shooting pillars of multiple arms from the ground. And that's just his fight with Orochimaru, its next appearance with Pain goes Beyond the Impossible with this.
    • In fact, episode 167 of Shippuden is this and severe Off-Model.
  • Usually not common in the Pretty Cure franchise, but at one point in episode 13 of Smile Pretty Cure we get two terrifyingly freaky shots of Miyuki's face from below. Said shots have already reached Memetic Mutation status around the fandom.

Eastern Animation[edit | hide]

  • The animation in His Wife Is a Hen is a tad... well, let's start with the boxes that just shrink into thin air after use.
  • Svetlonos (Torchbearer). A trippy stop-motion animation that features what looks like an ancient Greek hero walking into a set of ruins filled with deadly clockwork traps operated by female statues. Female statues that feel pain when broken. And lets not get into the carnivorous rats that tear apart anything that dies within the ruins, or the mechanized flying creature that spouts artificial blood when defeated or the hideous machine at the end that needs human blood to keep the heavens running.
  • Everything by Ivan Maximov. For example this thing.
  • Almost everything done by Marcell Jankovics, but "Son of the White Mare" takes the cake with it's vibrant colors and surreal artistic representation. Let's just look at the Big Bad (a gigantic supercomputer that walks on two legs) and his two lackeys (a Humongous Mecha and a three headed rock monster), who all look completely out of place for what is supposed to be ancient mythology.
  • Armen Film Animated Shorts, directed by Robert Saakyantz. This short, for example, is about a constantly shapeshifting monster-magician in Turkish national clothes. And yes, this is a Soviet animation.
  • Doggy Poo, an absurd little piece of Korean junior existentialism about a sentient doggy poo searching for the meaning of his own existence. Clip and commentary here, from Charlie Brooker's You Have Been Watching.
  • A good number of arthouse animation master Rene Laloux's work. Short films in particular border on What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic with hideously fascinating animation. Gandahar is heavy Freud Was Right and unnervingly bizarre, and then there's Fantastic Planet...
  • Everything by Jan Svankmajer.
  • Porgu AKA Hell is most definitely this, starting out relatively sane and slowly descending into a nightmarish vision of man's debauchery.

Web Animation[edit | hide]


Western Animation Film[edit | hide]

  • We could make this easy on ourselves and say "Every Disney Acid Sequence EVER". Here are some that stand out:
    • Fantasia. After the film became a hit among the "head" crowd on college campuses in the late 60s and early 70s, somebody asked animator Art Babbitt (who animated the dancing mushrooms on that film) if he had been influenced by drugs. He jokingly admitted, "Yes, it is true. I myself was addicted to Ex-Lax and Feenamint."
    • "Pink Elephants on Parade" Or 'Why elephants shouldn't drink alcohol.'
    • The finale of the 1940s Disney animated feature The Three Caballeros ("Donald's Wacky Peyote Trip!") is the best representation of a drug-induced hallucination ever seen.
    • The Hepphalumps and Woozles song in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.
    • Genie's introductory song in Aladdin.
  • Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure, is the near-legendary Richard Williams' trippy adaptation of the classic children's characters. It includes such madness as a giant taffy-blob monster named The Greedy, who is constantly shoving globs of himself into his mouth, and a diminutive king who inflates whenever he laughs, and is subjected to forced tickling which causes him to swell to immense size. That's not even scratching the surface; watch for yourself and find out...
  • This version of A Christmas Carol was produced by animation god Chuck Jones and directed by Richard Williams. It is the only version of the story thus far to ever win an Oscar, and deservedly so as it perfectly captures the book's mood. It's barely ever shown on television however, thanks to its trippy and nightmarish imagery. (If the sight of the open-jawed Jacob Marley doesn't scare the piss out of you, the demons living under the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present will...)
  • Hugo The Hippo. The title doesn't cover the madness within.
  • The philosophical film Waking Life is less over the top than most examples on this page, as it is a series of vignettes where people monologue about dreams and philosophical concepts. It does get a bit trippy, sometimes.
  • Anything Ralph Bakshi had anything to do with.
  • Yellow Submarine. Duh.
  • Fantastic Planet—This example is a little on-the-nose. Literally, in the case of some of the creatures.
  • The Wall: venomous Vagina Dentata flowers, marching fascist hammers, a vermiform judge with an anus for a face...
    • Also Wish You Were Here.
  • The Point! has a musical number about a whale decomposing, a three-faced man, and a talking tree. Unlike most of the other examples, this one was made on drugs. Just watch it.
  • I Married A Strange Person!. Bill Plympton makes incredibly surreal animation more often than not. He must have started his career after reading a book listing all the rules for animating the human face (chiefly, "don't distort or transform things too much or you'll end up in the Uncanny Valley"), then dedicated his life to breaking all those rules.
  • "Max don't have sex with your ex". And there are more like this from the same band.
  • Street ofCrocodiles. Stop motion animation that uses things like antique doll parts, machinery, and fresh meat. You have been warned. According with Mark Romanek, that short was one of his major inspirations for the music video of Nine Inch Nails "Closer".
    • The same can be said about the other shorts made by the Brothers Quay.
  • When That Guy With The Glasses tackled We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, he did it as a parody of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas because it embodied this trope so well—especially the business with the Eccentric Circus.
  • This infamous sequence from the claymation The Adventures of Mark Twain where three cute kids meet an angel named Satan. "Life itself is only a vision, a dream. Nothing exists save empty space and you. And you are but a thought."
  • Twice Upon a Time, especially the Nightmare Sequence involving sentient office supplies.
  • Allegro Non Troppo has several examples: The evolutionary march, The Faun's story, and the Firebird sequence (NSFW).
  • David & The Magic Pearl, well known to anyone familiar with YouTube Poop, features plenty of this.
  • Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo: Just like the Teen Titans animated series before it, Its contains bits of deranged animation in it, plus there's bits of deranged anime as well.
    • And since Art Initiates Life turns out to be in play, Deranged Animation can get literal!
  • "Rock Odyssey" from Hanna-Barbera productions, circa 1982, which was unreleased in the US.
  • Certain pieces of animation by Don Bluth in general qualify, as his aesthetic is largely based in what he learned while working at Disney—but tends to be a lot weirder and full of wacky moon-logic. This argument begins and ends with Rock-a-Doodle.
    • There are some who have claimed that even A Troll in Central Park is better than you'd think if watched under... certain circumstances. (The plot involves a Fairy creature and his magical plants hanging out in a city park, so don't blame us.)
  • Stella's transformation sequence in Help! I'm a Fish! embodies this trope.
  • The Brave Little Toaster is full of this, most notably in the title character's Nightmare Sequence involving a Monster Clown. Certain parts of the junkyard sequence near the end of the film also count, such as the build-up to the Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The "It's Tough to be a God" sequence in The Road to El Dorado, justified because the main characters are implied to be extremely drunk.
  • Frank Zappa worked with Stop Motion clay animator Bruce Bickford, producing a great deal of animation, which can be seen in Zappa's concert films Baby Snakes and The Dub Room Special, as well as in a film exclusively devoted to Bickford's animation, The Amazing Mr. Bickford. These videos contain images that include Zappa transforming into The Devil, explicit clay figure sexual intercourse and masturbation, mutilation, Gregory Peccary (a pig character from one of Zappa's songs), Zappa being attacked by monsters, and other weird imagery that fluidly morphs into other weird imagery. Bickford has done similarly weird stuff on his own accord. None of it was influenced by drug use, especially not the stuff he did with Zappa, who hated drugs.
  • While definitely not a animated film Twilight Zone the Movie has a version of It's a Good Life that involves Anthony having powers to insert people into a saturday cartoon nightmare as well as creating a terrifying rabbit and a goblin-demon that gets more deranged in design as it continues to pester the residents of the house.
  • It's just for one frame, but The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland has a moment where the wizard is drawn with freakishly deformed features.


Western Animation Shorts and Music Videos[edit | hide]

  • Take one look at Woody Woodpecker's original design and tell me this isn't one of the most ugly things you've ever seen.
  • The music video of the song joey by the band BOY is just begging to have an explanation.
  • Myriad Harbor by The New Pornographers gives a whole new meaning to the term "hair band".
  • Ready, Able by the band Grizzly Bear is absolutely insane, and watching it under the influence of any mind altering substances is either a really awful, or incredibly great idea. The morphing depressed plasticine figures are scary, yet infinitely interesting.
  • The animation of Don Hertzfeldt. "My spoon is too big."
    • I AM A BANANA!
    • "MY ANUS IS BLEEDING!!" (Yeah!)
  • Sally Cruikshank is a queen of this trope. Some examples:
  • Every single thing in Nick's Random!Cartoons shorts collection, which was an attempt to capitalize on kids' obsession with surrealist humor and the non-sequitur.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Now Hear This", which manages to look like a dialogue free Disney Acid Sequence.
    • The climax of the short "Wearing of the Grin" is a bit unnerving, to say the least, with Porky Pig being forced to tap-dance in "the Green Shoes" through a surreal landscape as two leprechauns laugh at his misfortune.
    • The '90s short "Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers" starts out as a pretty standard "Body Snatchers" parody—then goes way off the deep end, using weird cheap animation for the invaders. (Though that was the point. Bugs himself called them "Robot Retreads" while thinking up a way to get things back to normal.)
    • "The Big Snooze" has Bugs Bunny invading one of Elmer Fudd's dreams and infecting it with some Nightmare Fuel.
    • Perhaps the strangest and most bizarre animated fare in all of Looney Tunes was "Porky in Wackyland". It's supposed to be bizarre, and they warn you ahead of time, but still, it was definitely over-the-top.
      • The backgrounds for the cartoon's remake, "Dough for the Do-Do", are even MORE surreal!
    • Anything made by Bob Clampett is Grade A Certified guaranteed to have at least some degree of this trope.
  • John and Faith Hubley are masters of this trope.
  • The Video for Weird Al's "Polka Face".
  • Tex Avery's MGM short "The Cat That Hated People" has its title character taking a rocket to the moon and encountering a lot of really weird shit.
    • Tex Avery in general. The "rules" of Western Animation were pretty well established by the time he came to MGM, and he had a fine time subverting each and every one of them.
  • The Squirrel Nut Zippers' video for " The Ghost of Stephen Foster" specifically mimics creepy old-timey cartoons like "Balloon Land" and similar, focusing in this case on a couple getting stuck in a haunted hotel.
  • This "Cosmic Clock" segment from 3-2-1 Contact manages to make geology trippy and unsettling.
  • O Canada.
  • The animated music video of Roger Glover's "Love is All" (sometimes known by the album title The Butterfly Ball), which used to pop up on HBO and Nickelodeon in the 80s. Full of crazy transformations, anthropomorphic animals wearing creepy masks, and other examples of why 70s animation was a cesspool of horror (unless you were a weird kid).
    • Fun fact : French TV watchers did see that music video many, many times. It was used during the Eighties as a fill-in by the 2nd TV channel (there were only 3 in France at the time) when experiencing "technical difficulties". Then some 90's syrup brand used the exact same song and animation on its commercials, which aired between every Saturday morning cartoon at the time. Perhaps it was that singing frog imagery that French people enjoyed so much...
  • Spumco (the guys who did Ren and Stimpy) did a video for Weird Al Yankovic's "Close But No Cigar", which features a rather perverted cat who latches onto beautiful young (human) women, gives them the intestines of small animals as gifts, and then messily devours the women at the first minuscule flaw he detects.
    • And when one is in a bathtub, and the cat has a straw and is drinking the water, it looks like the straw is going up... yeah...
    • Uh, no it doesn't. Someone has a deranged mind.
  • The video that Spumco did for Bjork's "I Miss You", which is a thoroughly disturbing piece of art (you have to wonder what was going through John Kricfalusi's head when he designed this).
  • The Yogi Bear special that Kricfalusi did for Cartoon Network. You haven't lived until you've seen Boo-Boo, Yogi, and Cindy each revert to primitive, horrific animals... To be fair, it's only Boo-Boo and Cindy. Yogi never does reform to a primitive, horrific animal, as he is kept the straight man throughout the whole short.
  • From Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Running Down a Dream, a homage to Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay. the actual strip was just as insane.
  • Every single animated segment of Monty Python's Flying Circus, which somehow succeed in making even less sense than the actual sketches.
  • Nearly everything related to Chad VanGaalen, but in particular the video for his song "Molten Light", which he animated himself. The acid trip animation is not helped by the fact that the song is extremely disturbing by itself, on both a lyrical and aural level.
  • This is where we remind you of Gene Deitch's Writer Revolt run on "Tom and Jerry". Ye gods...
  • 200, a trippy tribute to the US Bicentennial by Vincent Collins. Actually commissioned by the United States Information Agency.
    • More or less all of the creator's other work seems to fall under this - Fantasy and the much more nsfw Malice In Wonderland for instance.
  • Honda's "Hate" advert, and its associated web-advergame from a few years back. LSD trips to sell diesel engines.
  • jaunty tune* "Hate something/Change something/Hate something change something/Make something better...".


Western Animation Series[edit | hide]

  • Pinky and The Brain is a relatively conventional animated series that faithfully obeys all the tropes of animation. Then there's one episode where a spaceman wants to eat people's brains. His sidekick spends the entire episode with a giant bite taken out of his skull, and every background is a masterpiece of surrealism.
  • Aeon Flux actually makes more sense with the dialogue off.
  • Two words: "Kidd Video"
  • Gandahar, another nightmarishly bizarre Rene Laloux work.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants, more so in later seasons.
  • Nickelodeon is known for this. See The Ren and Stimpy Show, and in particular the episodes "Marooned" and "Hermit Ren".
    • WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON'T AGREE WITH ME? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE DEALING WITH?
    • The early "Ren and Stimpy" episodes, overseen by John Krickfalusi, were enjoyably weird in a Bob Clampett / Tex Avery-ish way. Unfortunately, the Nickelodeon executives thought they were too weird and fired him. They probably regretted this decision once they saw some of the things the new show-runners came up with in John K.'s absence, like the "Hermit Ren".
      • Actually "Stimpy's Invention" definately wins the Ren and Stimpy award for most bizarre animation the series has ever produced. That entire "Stimpy... I'm so... Happy" sequence? Seriously. But wonderful all the same.
  • Rocko's Modern Life, as well. The worst, though, is in "To Heck and Back". Try explaining the udder-headed demon that sprayed milk from the teats whenever he laughed to a five-year-old. Go on. Try.
    • It also has an in-universe example with The Fatheads and Wacky Deli. "I am the cheese. I am the best character on the show."
  • Invader Zim. Everything is dark, full of sharp angles, dirty and neglected. The huge metropolis where the show takes place looks as uncaring and uncared for as the people that inhabit it. Some buildings look tall enough to look almost impossible. The characters, besides being darkly colored and being drawn with inhumanly sharp lines, are also disproportionate, with huge heads, triangle-shaped bodies and noodle-like limbs. It's almost kind of subtle if you only read descriptions about it, but once you look at it for yourself and think about it, the whole art style looks wrong.
  • CatDog. Season 2 especially.
  • The Magic Roundabout is a French children's show, later translated into English for the BBC. It is often said to be about drugs with each of the main characters representing different drugs and their effects. Plus it has Magic in the title, Magic Mushrooms, Magic Roundabout... it's so clear people! However the wife of the creator said it was complete nonsense, maybe true as this idea did come from high University students.
    • The Movie took the idea that Dylan the Rabbit was stoned and ran with it in a string of Parental Bonuses. The scene where Brian admonishes him "This is not the time to experiment with exotic substances!" is the best thing in the film.
  • Beavis and Butthead. Made even worse in The Movie, in a sequence where Beavis ingests peyote in a desert and hallucinates. The whole sequence is guest-directed by Rob Zombie. This should give you an idea of how crazy it is.
    • Well, actually it wasn't directed by him. But it was BASED on original Zombie still artwork that was handed over to a different animator for that sequence. But yeah. However, to be fair, B&B's animation aside from that sequence has always been rather subtle and downplayed most of the time. The show rarely gets "wacky". It's rather stiff and rigid by design, actually. (Except for those first few episodes in which the animation quality was horrendouly off-model and shoddy, anyway. But as far as Mike Judge is concerned, "those episodes never existed.")
  • The Mighty Boosh is full of deranged animation depicting all sorts of things: Vince Noir's childhood in the forest with Bryan Ferry, the cosmic origins of Funk, the parable of the peacock and the magpie, the legends of the Crack Fox and of Charlie the bubblegum creature, etc. etc. etc.
  • The Powerpuff Girls occasionally dipped into this.
  • The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
    • Many silent-era and pre-Code cartoons from The Golden Age of Animation refuge in this trope.
    • Early Betty Boop like Bimbo's Initiation, especially had a tendency to dispense with any semblance of reality just for the sake of a laugh. Or, sometimes, for the hell of it, as when a squadron of fighter planes turns into a flock of birds and back again.
    • In one particular Betty Boop cartoon, Betty is frightened by a spectral walrus singing and dancing like Cab Calloway. No, really.
  • The original Popeye animated series get progressively more bizarre in their gags the further you go back and realize Looney Tunes style, Cartoon Physics and other notions of what is real hadn't been standardized yet in early Western animation.
  • Superjail! There simply aren't words.
    • To a lesser extent, fellow Adult Swim alumnus Drinky Crow, and keep in mind that this is AFTER the executive meddling. Read the Maakies comic strip for the full eyeball salvo.
  • Some viewers of the claymation cartoon Gumby have assumed that its myriad surreal imagery was influenced by drug use. However, Gumby's creator Art Clokey claims that drugs were not an influence: "The strongest thing I've ever taken was coffee or orange juice." (The documentary Gumby Dharma reveals that Clokey did briefly experiment with LSD and other drugs in the late 60s, but this was after he made the classic Gumby shorts, and he had sworn off drugs by the time he returned to filmmaking.)
  • The cult classic cartoon Doctor Snuggles is often assumed to have been influenced by drugs of some kind, but creator Jeffrey O'Kelly insists that "nothing as predictable and as brain damaging as drugs were used to conjure up the fantasy reaches of the series. Only pure imagination trips."
  • This. As the note beside this video says, "This is either the intro to the '70s era children's PBS program 'Vegetable Soup', or it's the first thing Jerry Falwell saw the moment he arrived in Hell."
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had a fair bit of this, though it's hard to tell when it's this or just plain Off-Model.
  • A lot of 80s cartoons, but Rubix the Amazing Cube should have a special mention. This show is not comprehensible to any degree.
  • "Mission: Magic!" was an early-'70s Filmation series about a certain Miss Tickle, a magical teacher à la Miss Frizzle in the better-known Magic Schoolbus series. She and her students go on adventures through a dimensional porthole in her blackboard, where they are assisted by an owl, an Egyptian cat statue who comes to life, and a pre-"General Hospital" pre-"Jesse's Girl" Rick Springfield. At the end of every adventure, during a Disney Acid Sequence, Rick sings a song about that particular episode's Aesop. Yes, this series actually existed and it is every bit as trippy as it sounds.
  • The Samurai Jack writers generally followed the rule that if there were three ways to do something, and one of them was weirder than the rest, they would come up with a fourth way that was weirder than all of them put together. Honestly, there is no way that constables chasing Jack in an insect locomotive could possibly make sense.
    • Oh, and the infamous chicken episode.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack fits the trope to a T, especially since the show was fond of Gross Up Close Ups.
  • Chowder. The creator was tripping some serious balls in the kitchen.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel, erm, um, ehm—let's just say that it was absolutely made on drugs. Probably acid. Or at least some kind of hallucinogen.
    • More specifically, the premise, the pace, and the bizarre situations scream mind alteration.
    • Just try and close your eyes and not see the dadaist imagery. The surreal and bizarre non-stop chain-punning of Xavier will still warp your mind.
  • Sesame Street, fer gosh sakes.
    • In particular, the orange singing "La Habanera" from Carmen.
    • The Yo-Yo Master is another excellent one.
  • In The Goode Family episode "Helen's Back" the sequence in which Che the dog chases and devours a chipmunk. Che is portrayed as a freaky fanged monster.
  • The Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode Flipmode.
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures.
    • The original shorts featuring animation by Jim Tyer is very much deranged, too.
  • Enjoy Purno De Purno.
  • Teen Titans dips into this often. The blatant use of Japanese animation in a Western show is all well and good and leads to regular funnies. But then, we have Mad Mod. Mad Mod who created the ultimate school from Hell and gave us a seriously deranged chase sequence. And then he comes back in Season Three to do it again. This time with a giant foot. Then there's Mother May-Eye... It has several episodes in this style, then reverts back to the darker episodes. Or has one episode that doubles as both this and a dark episode.
  • When Itchy & Scratchy were bought out by a rival show, Krusty (The Simpsons) tries showing an incomprehensible Russian cat-and-mouse cartoon called Worker & Parasite, a parody of the Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry cartoons. Krusty's reaction says it all:

"What the Hell was that?"

    • Actually, "Worker & Parasite" is a parody of Eastern European animation, which is known to be very surreal in nature.
  • "What time is it? Adventure Time!!!"
  • Halloween is Grinch Night. It stats about 2 minutes in and WHAT THE HELL
  • This trailer for a German kids' movie.
  • The Disney Channel cartoon Fish Hooks.
  • Hero108. Deer antlers are tuning forks? Chameleons have video screens on their sides? Crabs are living frontlifters? A clock made out of living peacocks? Pineapples are dead aliens? And Penguin King coughing up his skeleton to break off a piece of the northern lights?
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy's animation style is odd enough to provide a decent example of this trope. The fact that every episode starts out with something completely unrelated to the actual plot of the episode gives it more credit.
    • And we also get episodes like 1 + 1 = Ed.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force has an absolutely bizarre premise which would fit this trope on paper. And it would probably be more often if (A) they weren't animated emaculately in Flash, and (B) they didn't constantly lampshade themselves.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog features several Art Shifts of varying displays of animation. Also, the art style is a bit unusual considering an injury has the character let out a goofy expression complete with idiotic laugh, which mostly happens to Courage.
  • Regular Show is a Slice of Life story about a raccoon and a giant blue jay working at a park under the ownership of a giant lolipop and run by a gumball machine, in which a normal day for them is slacking off work until Benson gets them to do something, and then the Eldritch Abomination makes it obligatory appearance and messes everything up.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum's adventures are so bizarre and surreal they definitely fit this trope, but their status of "The Ren and Stimpy Show in CGI" is further strengthened by the very cartoony, Off-Model in a John Kricfalusi way art style.
  • Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?: The show looks like a bunch of rough sketches made into a flipbook.
    • The style actually looks more like the original 1970s version of "Schoolhouse Rock".
  • The Problem Solverz, with its brightly-colored animation and strange character designs. The pilot episode "Neon Knome" is the epitome of weird.
  • Squidbillies. Dan Halen with all his weird schemes and nonsense he inflicts upon Dougal County would count alone but Early Cuyler's life cranks it Up to Eleven. He has a "truck-boat-truck", which is exactly what it sounds like and equipped with massive monster truck tires. Plus there's unrelated craziness like a snake boy, a boy with sticks for arms and legs, and a field full of sheriff clones.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Katamari Damacy gives you this impression right off the bat. After finishing the intro theme (which suspiciously involves lots of mushrooms), you'll already be wondering what drug the creators on when the were making it. And it just keeps getting weirder from there. To start with, you play as a guy with a cylinder for a head rolling things up to make stars, and your dad, who is the king of the universe by the way, pukes rainbows that work as a teleporting device. Right.
  • The intro to The Beatles: Rock Band. It starts off normal, going on a whistle-stop tour through their career. Then it reaches the halfway point and - *BLAM* - the drugs kick in. Duuuude.
    • This one makes perfect sense though, if you consider that the point in the video where everything gets weird is the point in the band's career when drugs became a serious factor in the creation of new songs. The tune playing for most of that part is I Am The Walrus, for cryin' out loud!
  • This deliciously surreal Touhou Fan Vid which retells some of the story events of Silent Sinner In Blue combines semi-serious scenes with heartwarming nostolgia, art that is very on-model to the signature style of series creator ZUN, and many, many bizarre visual gags and memes. Also, Eirin dances!
    • The flash video for IOSYS's remixed remix of Reisen's Leitmotif, It doesn't stop at the affected area, but goes deep inside and Aah Aaahn ~ The Final Udongein, is a completely surreal, semi-nightmarish glimpse into what you might see if she used her madness-inducing Lunatic Eyes on you.
  • Um Jammer Lammy can get odd sometimes. This part of the game will have you wondering whether someone spiked Lammy's pizza, or the Parappa the Rapper universe is just that messed up.
  • The Legend of Zelda CDi games.
  • Tonic Trouble. It starts on top of a snow- and palmtree-covered mountain and gets crazier from there...
  • Yume Nikki. Most of the animation in question is walking loops. Still gives a lot of people nightmares.
  • The Super Mario series has plenty of creatures that are far from real, but Super Paper Mario has character designs which just don't make sense in three dimensions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog. Try to explain Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity, Sonic and the Secret Rings or Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) to someone who's not familiar with the games. Go on, try. And as for the special stages in the games that have them... "Dude... the fish, dude."
  • Technically, Paul Robertson's works are animations, not games, but they're all done in the style of video-game sprites. Kings of Power 4 Billion% is possibly the most deranged.
  • Any coloured cutscene in the Thief series.
  • In the final battles in Hellsinker as well as the extra stages the graphic design goes from just wierd to just plain surreal.
  • Episode 11.5 of Asura's Wrath takes a Key Animator from FLCL, combines his talent with Studio 4°C, and mixes it with the already Crazy Awesome nature of the game to bring some really insane animation that will make you go "What the Hell just happened?"
  • Earnest Evans used multi-layered sprites to try and make the main character's movements more fluid. It...didn't work out.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • This game. Sleep well. Though to be fair, it's pretty creative.
  • Anything by PES.
  • Egoraptor tends to use this a lot for the Awesome series, though Awesome Reach is probably the most infamous.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Human dreams are the Ur Example. They don't make sense. They're not supposed to make sense. Crucial parts of the brain are deactivated. Things sorta make sense in context while you're dreaming, but are this trope after you wake up (if you dare to remember them).