What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?

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Departure of the Winged Ship by Vladimir Kush (2000)

Otto: Whoa! A talking dog! What were you guys smokin' when you came up with that?

David X. Cohen: We were eating rotisserie chicken.

Any work whose creation seems to have involved large amounts of hallucinogens, cocaine, crack, or any other illicit substance that makes people think really weird ideas are also really good ones. The plot hinges on bizarre transformations, freakish-looking creatures, and nonsensical actions that only seem to make sense in realms of logic far removed from your own. That it was the product of a deranged mind looks like a foregone conclusion.

And then you find out that it most certainly wasn't.

The creator claims that they weren't taking drugs—or at least weren't taking them then—or the creator just doesn't seem like a person who would take drugs of any sort.

Note that in real life, composing any work of art (or doing anything more complex than opening a door, for that matter) is borderline impossible when tripping on hallucinogens like DMT or mescaline. Sufferers of manic disorder exhibit symptoms that are similar to those of drug intoxication, and quite a number of magna opera are created under such circumstances. Most admitted users of entheogens tend to do their work between trips, not during. And stuff like cocaine doesn't actually make you hallucinate or think trippy things, though it does make doing more cocaine sound like a fantastic idea. However, if a creator does manage to produce a work while (or shortly after) being under the influence of a mind-altering substance, this is the equal and opposite trope, Made on Drugs.

Commonly uttered in response to a Widget Series, Non Sequitur Scene, or Dada Ad. Compare with Mind Screw and of course This Is Your Premise on Drugs. Can also overlap with Better Than It Sounds. And enjoy this Onion AV Club inventory of notably trippy children's shows.

Examples of What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs? include:

Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • This 1969 IHOP commercial.
  • The "Adventureland" ad Friskies catfood makes one wonder how much cat-nip is in there...
  • This moebius strip of an ad by Dior, featuring Jude Law.
  • The "SubLYMONnal" line of commercials by Sprite.
  • Bob's Discount Furniture commercials sometimes feature things like talking claymation furniture, himself multiplying to sit on each cushion on a couch, and old west scenes. Also the actual store tends to have some pretty strange things in it.
  • There was one joke where one of the people working on the talking dog Above The Influence commercial was completely stoned when he came up with the premise.
  • Quiznos. Enjoy!
  • This Kia Soul commercial. What does it have to do with cars? Nobody really knows.


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Bobobo-Bo Bo-bobo. Most of the "jokes" are Japanese puns, so the English dub appears as a series-long Non Sequitur Scene. It really does make some kind of sense in Japanese, but something was definitely Lost in Translation. It's still a pretty wacky, spontaneous and tripped-out series regardless. It's because of the very nature of the anime that the constant disorientation caused by the altered jokes in the dub never feels out of place.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena. Especially The Movie, but a good 75-80% of the series in total is just... weird.
  • G Gundam. Many of the Gundam designs are based on stereotypes of various countries, but often seem like those stereotypes as seen by someone on crack. Neo Spain's Gundam has a giant bull's head for a body, Neo Holland's Gundam is a windmill, Neo Sweden's Gundam looks like Sailor Moon for some reason, Neo Mexico's gundam is wearing a sombrero and is called "Tequila Gundam", and Neo America's combines football, cowboy gunslinging, boxing, and surfing and is piloted by a guy who acts like a rockstar and is constantly surrounded by bikini girls.
  • One of the Pokémon movie shorts, titled Gotta Dance!! might qualify as this. The MacGuffin of the episode is a baton that, when activated, causes every Pokémon within hearing range to start involuntarily dancing. This goes on and off for most of the short, which is both charmingly idiotic and hilarious.
  • Some of the... odder things in One Piece can lead one to conclude it wasn't only the characters eating magic fruit.
  • The latter half of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Every time you think you're starting to understand it, Clamp adds more complexity to the story.
  • FLCL. It's the only show where you see a robot getting pulled out from a kid's forehead!... among other things.
  • Some of the wackier scenarios in Kyo Kara Maoh!
  • Super Milk-chan is made of this.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, the last third, at least, as well as the movie "The End of Evangelion."
    • It's been said that the last half of Evangelion was greatly influenced when Anno went off his psychiatric drugs, which is also the point where the viewer realizes that the characters have pretty bad psychological issues. Anno also used personal notes about how he was thinking during his Clinical Depression to add more depth to the story.
  • Dead Leaves By the people who brought you FLCL, but with an extra dose of methamphetamines. Just you go ahead and try to make any sense of the climax.
  • The So Bad It's Good Yaoi manga series Vibrator Company starts with a pair of salarymen, employees of the titular company, breaking into a warehouse full of sex toys and exchanging vibrators as a token of their love for one another. This is probably the least ridiculous thing that happens - from there on in it's a nonstop crazy train of suggestively-shaped office buildings, security guards dressed as teddy bears and industrial espionage. Over sex toys.
  • The opening for episodes in the second season of Death Note, even more so when compared to the first season.
  • The Mochis storyline from Axis Powers Hetalia. Just... what is Himaruya smoking?
    • "IT'S OKEY! I'M AMERICAN!", and as the aliens put it... "oh god, WTF." And this is not even translations; it's written by HIMARUYA himself.
    • Also the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, which starts out as a relatively normal webcast by Finland, turns into a creepy survival story that spawned a truly incredible amount of Wild Mass Guessing, and then the big reveal: the culprits were actually the cat-eared inhabitants of a parallel world where walking around naked is the norm, who need to find a nation with a certain mark on either their chest or butt to keep their world from exploding. In this world there are apparently 123 Frances, and America is kinkier than all of them.
    • And now we have alpacas.
  • Almost any anime produced by Studio Shaft, especially those by Akiyuki Shinbo, reeks of this in varying levels of weirdness and randomness.
  • Jing King of Bandits in 7th Heaven. The engine room of the train is one guy singing that causes the dogs to bark at the dodo causing it to run faster. The carnival part is arguably worse.
    • In general, if you are important somehow to the story line, your name is an alcoholic beverage.
  • As you may have picked up above, Studio Gainax is rather fond of its trippy anime, ranging from jovial drunken orgies to horrifying bad trips.
  • Dororon Enma-kun Meera Mera. Especially episodes 9, 10 and 11.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan is this in a nutshell. Seriously the show's premise is a psychopathic Yandere angel who repeatedly bludgeons people to death and brings them back to life, and also transforms characters' heads into those of animals. I mean, seriously, WHAT?
  • Excel Saga is designed to be this kind of series. As its page quote says: "Excel Saga: For when crack isn't enough."
  • Although Puella Magi Madoka Magica in and of itself doesn't count, the Negative Space Wedgie-esque designs of the witches' mazes definitely do.
  • The woman who wrote the Yami no Matsuei manga seems to have had trouble coming up with ideas; as such, her arcs were often heavily cribbed to the point that the style of the work completely changed. The story was trimmed down to essentials and retooled for the anime, and all this hilarity removed. Cracky sequences include:
    • The "Catholic boys school kinky murder mystery of sex and intrigue, caused by a demon, with a side of undercover crossdresser" arc.
    • The 'Tsuzuki stuck in bad romance novel with a female version of himself as the lead (who winds up with the Expy of one of his male friends)' arc.
    • The 'the department abruptly competes in Ministry of Hades Field Day and Terazuma is unable to kiss Hisoka even for athletics points' arc.
    • The 'hot springs arc with the spontaneous talking animals in clothes where the Fairy Queen turns out to have gotten ill from eating Tsuzuki's muffins and nobody gets paid' arc.
  • At one point in the Lucky Star OVA, the four main girls decide to visit a pet store. After they have looked around, Minoru appears (proclaiming he's Zero) and presents them with a container carrying two frogs that oddly resemble Keroro and Tamama. Their trademark croaking is cuddly at first, until we are treated to gross-out close-ups of the frogs, the croaks becoming louder and more disturbing and the scene becoming more warped. Then, we suddenly cut to the girls in frog costumes doing... stuff... near a pond. Then, as a final slap to logic, Minoru poofs into being again, dressed as a stage magician, and flies off singing "wa-wa-wa-wasuremono...".


Art[edit | hide]

  • Salvador Dali­, despite what one might think from his paintings, made a point of not using psychoactives of any sort. He simply stayed up until he started hallucinating from sleep deprivation, then painted what he saw.
    • "I don't do drugs. I am drugs."
    • Although Dali sometimes made use of a mild (and legal) hallucinogen. He went to sleep very late after eating a Camembert cheese.
    • The other story was that in the evening Dali would sit in his favourite chair holding a set of keys over a dinner plate. As he started to drop into sleep, his grip on his keys would loosen and the resulting clatter would wake him up, leaving early dream images (which can be very weird) in his mind.
  • Joan Miró, a Surrealist painter and colleague of Dali, was initially inspired by the hallucinations that he would endure from poverty-induced starvation. Talk about taking lemons...
  • Quoth M. C. Escher, "I don't use drugs--my dreams are frightening enough."
  • Zdzislaw Beksinski's eerie, surrealist paintings are based on his dreams (or more likely nightmares from living in Poland during WW 2).
  • The pictured artist, Vladimir Kush, just has a thing for metaphors.
  • Artist and webcomic creator Ursula Vernon has done exactly one painting (Toadback Road) inspired by ideas she got when smoking pot. The rest of her work, no matter how weird, plays this trope straight.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Many, many comics published by DC Comics during The Silver Age of Comic Books. Prime examples are any Superman-related comic from the 1950s or anything involving Bob Haney. And the Jimmy Olson series, (which, according to this list, also contained vast galloping herd of Unfortunate Implications.)
    • Marvel Comics, on the other hand, did in the inside art what DC did in the covers. Artists like Steve Ditko (who doesn't even consume alcohol), Jim Steranko (whose stories even contained some veiled anti-drug elements) and, to a lesser extent, Jack Kirby, famously created some trippy concepts.
      • Doctor Strange in particular made use of such psychedelic terrain imagery, that although it wasn't made on drugs, it was mentioned to be a popular comic for drug-users.
      • Steranko was one of the first artists allowed to write his own stories simply because no one else could write anything approaching his level of WTFery.
    • I second these two.
  • Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, a highly symbolic story illustrated by Dave McKean that features very weird and unusual versions of Batman and several of his villains and was primarily written late at night after long periods of no sleep, as Morrison was very straight-edge at the time.
    • While not technically drugs lack of sleep can cause hallucinations.
    • That being said, read Batman RIP and tell me that it wasn't made on drugs. It contained a full issue of Batman getting high off of weapons-grade heroin, dressing up in a red and purple Batsuit and calling himself "The Batman of Zurr-en-Arrh" while beating criminals up with a baseball bat and talking to Bat-Mite, who may or may not have been a product of said weapons-grade heroin. This was an elaborate throwback to an obscure Silver Age-era story about Batman getting superpowers on Planet X, which was equally as trippy.
    • And then there were his runs on Doom Patrol, Animal Man, and The Invisibles, which were most definitely made on drugs. A lot of drugs.
      • Surprisingly, Morrison says that Doom Patrol and Animal Man were not written on drugs. Given that he says The Invisibles most certainly was written on drugs, it seems unlikely he would lie about the first two and not the third.
      • Morrison has said some of Doom Patrol was influenced by shrooms but his work before that (including Zenith, Arkham, and Animal Man) is all straight-edge. Morrison has mentioned he's less into drugs and more into chaos magic which is where the majority of his trippiness comes from.
  • See the bit immediately above about Grant Morrison? Same deal with anything by Alan Moore, but with added gnostic theory, obscure literary references, and erotica.
    • This would be Alan "expelled from school for selling LSD" Moore?
  • If the Doom comic is not a Stealth Parody, this seems to be the next logical conclusion.
  • Carla Speed-McNeil's comic book series Finder may or may not be set on Earth in the distant future and features feathered dinosaurs who teach university courses, a college student minoring in anthropology and majoring in prostitution, a character who dreams of reuniting with his long lost father in the form of a locked outhouse, domed cities with pedestrian traffic jams and apartment buildings carved out of living trees ...and the author is a happily married woman with two kids (and a lot of weird interests).
  • The image is from a series named Mighty Samson, which is your typical fantasy barbarian series à la Conan—but it takes place After the End in the post-apocalyptic land of N'Yaark, which is overrun with mutants, monsters, and Mix-and-Match Critters.
  • Marvel's Star Wars Expanded Universe comics were all over the place in quality, and some issues were... out there. Many, many cat aliens, the psychic energy-eating rabbits called Hoojibs, the eight-foot green Lepus Carnivorous, a rather inane superweapon, and just in general some very odd plots and characters.
    • "Eight-foot green Lepus Carnivorous"? Grunny, is that you?
  • The Umbrella Academy. Pick any issue from either "The Apocalypse Suite" arc or the "Dallas" arc, really, and then consider that its writer has been clean and sober for years now.
    • The Breakfast Monkey. Then consider the fact that the creator of The Umbrella Academy wasn't doing drugs yet when he created The Breakfast Monkey.
  • Radioactively grown turtles that fight as ninjas and eat pizza. Need I say more?
  • Neil Gaiman's Sandman series has a good few stories like this. Especially Despair and Delirium's chapters in Endless Nights.
  • The DC Universe "New Guardians" mini-series has a cast of racial and ethnic stereotypes that frequently talk about sleeping with as many people as possible. Okay that doesn't qualify, but the 2nd issue, which has Snowflame, a drug dealing supervillain that worships cocaine as a god and snorts to gain superpowers, so everyone wanted him to win. And all this from a comic that tried to talk about real world issues.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the late 1960s-early 1970s, when a lot of mainstream film and TV was going trippy, the style filtered down to kiddie entertainment. Sid and Marty Krofft Productions's works, as well as the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, are prime examples of this trope in action as a result.
  • While the role of drugs in the conceptualization of H.R. Pufnstuf is pretty easy to assume, the Brothers Krofft swear that it was not made on drugs, and did at one point fire a crew member for showing up stoned.
  • LazyTown is an excellent modern example. Its creator is a teetotaler for Pete's sake.
    • ... And its message is not even "don't do drugs"; it's "don't do sugar"!
  • The preschool show Boohbah likewise seems like LSD in the form of a TV show.
    • Such TV is merely live cartoons: cheaper.
    • Some people like to leave the TV on when that show comes on "because it's trippy".
  • The Prisoner
  • Doctor Who
    • Particularly the early surreal adventures The Celestial Toymaker (1966) and The Mind Robber (1968).
  • In the world of Tokusatsu, we have Voicelugger.
  • According to Monty Python Speaks, the writing team have been accused of drug-taking during the series, when aside from Graham Chapman's booze they were as sober as any 1970s British office worker. That isn't to say they never partook (the book doesn't delve that much into their personal lives), just that their writing was not informed by it.
    • And it's not like with Chapman his alcoholism was his muse or anything; it was thoroughly debilitating and made him less and less productive, until by all accounts most of the reason he finally quit was so that he could play Brian properly and they wouldn't run into problems like they had filming Holy Grail, when he was constantly either drunk or suffering from withdrawal and initially couldn't do the Bridge of Death scene because his delirium tremens were too bad. The others have said that he was naturally random when writing and was responsible for many of the weirdest elements in Monty Python, but it wasn't because of the drinking.
    • In Monty Python Speaks Eric Idle talks about how they kept an "office hours" work ethic, without any drugs. He openly muses how one can even the keys of their typewriter while high.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse, especially the theme.
  • Spoofed on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. During an interview-style sketch, the interviewer (Michael Ian Black) asks them if they use drugs as inspiration for the show, as if it's some clever revelation, and Tim says they do (and calls it "marijuano").
    • Word of God says they aren't high while performing or while writing (generally speaking). This isn't to say they don't smoke and don't get inspiration out of it...it's just that the actual production process is done sober. Subverted, then?
    • Also, its spinoff Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule. To a slightly lesser extent.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! was created by Christian Jacobs, who is Mormon. Practicing Mormons don't even ingest caffeine, let alone hallucinogenic drugs. That means that stuff like this was the product of a sober mind. Terrifying.
    • Christian Jacobs is also MC Bat Commander in The Aquabats. That should explain a lot.
  • The Wiggles is an Australian kids show that was apparently played straight though that might be open to interpretation.
  • "Magic, Magic E" and the less well-known "Drop That E" were two songs from the British educational series Look and Read. Though today they both look like obvious attempts to get one past the radar, they actually have a fairly watertight alibi, as they were written almost a decade before the rave era took off.
  • Mr. Show parodies this trope in "Druggachusetts," a blatant take on H.R. Pufnstuf that is explicitly all about drugs. Co-creator and admitted pot-smoker David Cross has commented on how frustrated he gets when stoners assume that writers for the show were perpetually stoned, rather than simply hard-working and creative.
  • Bananas in Pajamas. Even the title sounds like it was made on drugs.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. Joel Hodgson in particular has been thought to be a stoner due to his sleepy eyes. Hodgson has repeated in interviews that the idea that his character was a stoner was his own fault, as he had stayed up all night the night before the taping of the pilot building the robots, and as a result, he was sleepy when they filmed it. It can be especially bad during Season 1, when the staff were working 12-hour days 7 days a week. Hodgson has also mentioned pretending to be sleepy helped him manage his stage fright, which he slowly managed to alleviate (but never get 100% over) as the show progressed.
  • Several creations by J.J. Abrams. Most notably Lost and Fringe.
  • The BBC's Robin Hood. No really. It has Robin hang-gliding from the parapets of a castle, Maid Marian practicing Tai Chi outside her house, a mangy old lion set loose on Sherwood Forest, costumes that were apparently bought at The 11th century Gap, arrows that defy physics, berets, a black Friar Tuck, hair gel, a man who throws ninja stars, a casino (complete with show-girls), and a plug in the cellar of Nottingham Castle that is somehow able to stop the flow of the River Trent.
  • Some people believe that Double Dare was so surreal it had to be inspired by drugs.
  • Green Acres had so many oddities, but everyone (except Oliver Wendell Douglas) acted like there was nothing unusual. Some examples: Arnold Ziffel, the pig that was treated (and acted like) a person; farmhand Eb, who instantly started acting like he was Oliver's son (and Lisa supported his claims) to the extent that Oliver ended up buying him a convertible and sent him to college; Ralph, the obviously female handyman who showed no feminine qualities and acted like a guy; Lisa's incredibly horrible cooking (which was so bad that she was able to make a gasket for Oliver's car out of her pancake batter); and all of the structural problems in the house, such as the hidden cellar, the phone at the top of the telephone pole, and the closet that opened out into the yard.
  • Charlie Brooker viciously rips into this trope in a Screenwipe episode covering children's television, in reaction to the common invocation of this trope in regard to surreal animations such as The Clangers.
  • A good amount of SCTV sketches seem to fall under this category, such as "Wet Nurse" and "The Vikings and the Beekeepers". The former is a parody of medical dramas featuring a nurse with comically large breasts, and the latter is... Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The 1980s sketch show Fridays on ABC. For those who've never heard of the show, think Saturday Night Live, then move the show out to Los Angeles and add sketches where characters smoke weed, abuse prescription drugs, sniff glue, or make references to snorting cocaine, drinking alcohol, or taking Quaaludes. Not all of Fridays sketches featured characters doing drugs, but a lot had ideas that made you wonder if the writers were users themselves (or were so obsessed with being the Spiritual Successor to SNL that they simply made batshit insane sketches), like the seventeen-minute Rocky Horror Picture Show parody with John Roarke as Ronald Reagan dressed as Tim Curry's Dr. Frank N. Furter.
  • The Mighty Boosh: Noel Fielding and Julian Baratt have refuted this claim by saying they attempted to write on acid once, only to end up staring at a spider on the floor for six hours.
  • Supernatural started off as a perfectly normal show, with dark undertones and occasionally humourous episodes. And then came season 5, with giant men dressed up as the toothfairy, the characters starring in a Japanese quiz show and Paris Hilton as a pagan god.
  • PJ Katie's Farm, a children's show, is seriously bizarre.
  • Many production logos from the 60's and 70's, especially NBC's Psychedelic Peacock of Doom.
  • The danish The New Talkshow with Anders Lund Madsen. The show relies on Anders Lund Madsen's weirdness and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Magnum, P.I.: The seventh season finale—which was intended to be the Series Finale—seemed more like a hallucination than a story with an actual plot line.
  • The early 70s Saturday morning kid's show Make A Wish and its closing credits.
  • Almost everything on Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, particularly the infamous "cocktail tree".
    • Unless you consider alcohol a drug, in which case? It's one helluva drug. Two words: Kwanzaa cake.
      • Speaking of cakes, how about this classic from Cake Wrecks? Or anything else done by Ms. Famulari?


Myths & Religion[edit | hide]

  • There is some speculation that the Book of Revelation, as well as a few other passages of The Bible involving visions, were written under the influence of hallucinogens.
    • "Nice fellow, somewhat too fond of strange mushrooms, though".
    • Some people do object to this characterization of Revelation:
      • Several have pointed out that Revelation makes perfect sense viewed through the lens of the time it was written. Political commentary written in symbolically apocalyptic form was popular in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, and contemporary scholarship tends to regard it as an allegory for the reign of Nero.
      • Also worth mentioning is the attempts to interrelate Revelation with other bits and pieces of Biblical prophecy, and in particular the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Many Christians, particularly Protestants, see Revelation as being a sort of key that unlocks the mysteries of the rest of Biblical prophecy. This business only really began in the 19th century (although Christians have been finding interesting patterns and suchlike more or less since the canon of the Christian Bible was defined), and eventually led to things like Left Behind, so...use your judgement. (No pun intended).
      • Finally, none of this changes the fact that Revelation is still pretty darn trippy, particularly as compared to other Biblical prophecies, so even with the above, one really must wonder....
        • The book of Ezekiel is pretty trippy as well.
  • The Norse Myths have their moments. A notable example is the tale of the death of Baldur. While enjoying the Asgardian pastime of throwing any object at his body and watching them bounce off of him harmlessly, Baldur gets killed from a spear thrown by a blind guy named Höðr, who received it from Loki. The spear is made out of mistletoe, which is fatal to Baldur because mistletoe was apparently too young to swear an oath to not be able to kill Baldur. Everyone is upset that their favorite god is dead, so Odin knocks up a giantess named Rindr and they have a son named Vali who grows up in a day and exists for the sole purpose of killing Höðr dead, then promptly does so. Afterwards, they give Baldur a Viking Funeral with all his possessions (including his still living horse) and to lighten the mood, Thor kicks a random passerby dwarf (who was given a name for no clear reason; Litr) into the fire. Comic relief, I guess. There are a few different versions with a few minor changes (like that Loki guided the spear) but the majority of it remains the same. Hard to tell if it was mead-induced or if it was just bad storytelling.


New Media[edit | hide]

  • The Let's Play of Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Special Edition. The game itself is drugs.
  • Raocow's various Let's Plays of Super Mario World ROM hacks. Most of his more recent ones can be found on Dailymotion here, though there may be a few videos missing that are probably on Google video.
    • Raocow is also straight-edge, meaning that he simply has a bizarrely appealing thought process.
      • Raocow does comics, too. The art to a.t.x.s. does raise some suspicions,...
  • To anyone who has heard some of Alan Maxwell of KIPM's stuff. The Serpent Princess Tiamat is a wonderful Sci-fi story; the God, Illuminator of Our Lives broadcast? Downright out there.


Puppet Shows[edit | hide]

  • The puppet music video for The Wiggles' Point Your Finger and Do the Twist, as well as the fan edit of the more hilariously creepy acid trip known as "Scary Finger."
  • The Muppet Show has quite a few screwed up sketches, like this one, especially in its first season. Here's a list of other strange moments.
    • Jim Henson in general. Check out Time Piece and The Cube if you don't believe me.
    • And then there's the rejected original pilot for The Muppet Show entitled "Sex And Violence" (they may as well dropped the other shoe and called it, "Not For Kids"). Highlights include a convention for horrifying Muppet versions of the Seven Deadly Sins and a very strange early version of the Swedish Chef among other characters.
  • Teletubbies the show makes very little sense it involves four brightly colored creatures with televisions on their stomachs and antennas on their heads who can't even speak properly except for the words "again" and "tubby custard" and their names, it also has a wide field filled with rabbits who are never addressed and a sun with a baby's face on it, how this wasn't made on drugs is a mystery.
    • Children's television hasn't got any less insane for being contemporary. Remember how odd Teletubbies was first time you saw it? Imagine upping your crack dose and getting Sir Derek Jacobi involved. Behold -- In The Night Garden!
    • Both Teletubbies and In The Night Garden are created by a company called Ragdoll Productions Limited, who also created Boohbah and Brum. Beginning to see the pattern there?
  • Once Upon a Time, (June the 11th, 1934, to be more precise,) in Sweden, a child was born. This wasn't especially uncommon in itself, but it just so happened that this child was named Staffan Westerberg... One day, when he was 41 years, 2 months and 22 days old, (in other words, it was now September the 1st, 1975,) Staffan became the producer and show host of what was (supposedly) a children's show, Vilse i Pannkakan, Lost in the Pancake. This show featured finger puppets that Staffan played with, all of them with Meaningful Names, like the titular main character, Lost. It also included, amongst many other things, a Corrupt Corporate Executive potato, a Hobo, a firefighter who gets it together with a motorized angel and, naturally, a moose, all living on the titular pancake. Oh, and the show was actually An Aesop about society and politics... These days, Staffan Westerberg is more or less Sweden's official scapegoat for the psychological problems of the entire 70's generation.
  • Wonder Showzen. Since one of the head writers is the voice actor for Towelie, this was probably the case.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons has a lot of this trope. See also: Flumph, Spelljammers, and Gelatinous Cube.
    • Every list of silly monsters from D&D includes the pinnacle of fabulous-ness, the Senmurv. Sad thing is, it's based off the Simurgh from Persian mythology.
    • 4e as a whole quickly got reputation for this. First, it seems to have "cool words" carefully collected from the previous ones and then shuffled around at random, but this may be just a market drone flying into circuitry, right? And then you look into details, like rogues having a power that makes opponents strike or bite themselves and surprisingly hard check to find out the obscure knowledge that dire bears "typically" attack with their thick, clawed, bestial arms. Things like that can really make one wonder.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Cirque Du Soleil shows. Mystere acknowledges this with a gag in which the principal clown mocks an encounter with the Firebird by miming a puff off of a marijuana cigarette.
  • One might consider Peter Shaeffer's Equus...
  • Starlight Express attracts three main demographics: children, lovers of Camp, and stoners.


Web Animation[edit | hide]


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Given the frequent appearance of of "blue mushrooms" in CRFH, and the overall surreal nature of the series, it is hard not to think that Maritza Campos has some experience with 'shrooms herself, but at the same time, the artwork and storytelling seem too tight to have been produced while tripping.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia. History and politics become so much stranger when you imagine the countries as people.
  • This ink pawah strip.
  • Kukuburi can be summed up as "Whoa."
  • The Life of Nob T. Mouse is a surreal jaunt through a childlike interpretation of quantum physics; written and drawn by a teatotaller and featuring a talking mouse that runs a café.
  • Problem Sleuth starts off a a little wacky, but then quickly flies off the deep end. Once you realize that everything that happens is fan-suggested, though, the lack of drugs inherent in the creative process is a little easier to accept.
    • Andrew Hussie's next series, Homestuck, is a strange case; on one hand it's significantly more "out there" than Problem Sleuth in terms of how far beyond the impossible it goes, but on the other hand it's much less so in terms of having consistent internal logic and very clear plot progression, Timey-Wimey Ball aside (no offence meant to PS).
    • Then there's Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, which even inquires as to just how high you even have to be just to do something like that (the line even originated as a riposte to someone inquiring if SBAHJ had been made on drugs). Much as you'd expect, it employs quite a lot of jokes about stoners (SUDDENLY WEED DREAMS).
    • Hussie weighs in on this question in general:

"It's hard to underscore enough how ridiculous I and most creators I've talked to find this notion that being high is the wellspring from which all bizarre, absurd, or otherwise creative material must necessarily come from. For the most part, there's a very significant difference between quality work and pot addled horseshit.
"It's not that I think all drugs are JUST SO TERRIBLE on principle. But including them as a staple to the creative process is usually a serious detriment to the work in my view.
"But in looking at your question again, maybe you didn't hold this view anyway. Nonetheless, it's a topic that rears its head now and then."

  • Pokey the Penguin: A barely "drawn" surreal comic about penguins living in the Arctic, chronicling their adventures which commonly consist of a string on non-sequiturs.
  • Go ahead. Try to explain the premise of Achewood to anyone who's never heard of it.
    • The title itself refers to a fictional substance akin to wormwood (as in absinthe), which produces feelings of ennui and despair.
  • Mountain Time is practically nothing but this trope. See here for a good example of its logic.
  • Keithiscoolbykeith used to be a fine example of a badly-drawn yet compellingly surreal webcomic. Sadly it now seems to have disapeared from the net, making illustration difficult... unless anyone out there cached the damn thing.
  • The Fae Kingdom in DMFA fits this trope pretty well at times. Two words: Skydiving Psychology.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Kony 2012 - the news article here says that the director's family denied allegations of being on drugs or alcohol. Though, to be fair, he was seen running through the streets of San Diego in his underwear.
  • Not YouTube, Yooouuu Tuuube. Take any video from YouTube and chuck it here. For example: this + YooouuuTuuube = whooooaa.
  • Anything from Rather Good. For example, Bunnies love USBcells.
  • An educational short dubbed from Portuguese, entitled Island Of Flowers. It had such moments as an Overlong Running Gag audio matched to visuals of the Holocaust, describing everything from the perspective of Humans Through Alien Eyes (including explaining what water is), having a shriek of pain when someone jabbed a model of a human brain, and so on. It was nine minutes of bipolar, nightmarish and hilarious non-sequiturs that vaguely segued into a message about garbage in the last minute or so. Watch it here, for we must share the hilarious yet horrifying imagery. At one point it described a History test. The visual for a question about Genghis Khan was a picture of Mozart, and the visual for a question about Mesopotamia was a picture of California. This movie was shown as part of the curriculum for a college course on Human Ecology.
    • It's brilliant. The "vaguely segued into message about garbage" is the whole point of the movie. The Island Of Flowers is a place where poor people have to eat out of the trash, after pigs rummaged through it. That is, they get to eat what the pigs didn't want themselves.
  • Similar to the above, but less balls-out insane: Look Around You. The entire series is on YouTube. It appears to be from the late 70's, and is a rather odd parody of British educational programming. By "rather odd," I mean "Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo" level insanity.
    • It was actually made around 2005 for BBC 2. The 70's look is amazingly spot-on.
    • And the "Helvetica Scenario" from the pilot episode, "Calcium", is grade-A horror.
  • Although alcoholic "grape juice" is a recurring gag in the blog novel Fartago, and although author Tony Caroselli admits to frequently enjoying red wine, he also adamantly and persistently insists he only once tried to write any of it while any drunker than "very slightly buzzed" and found it so impossible to keep track of the dialogue style of the writing that he had to sleep it off and try again in the morning.
  • The crew behind Loading Ready Run has often dealt with accusations of drugs being behind some of their videos, despite never having written on a script on anything more than alcohol (and rarely that, especially after the editing process). The crew finds people jumping to the conclusion of drugs over them just naturally being funny a tad annoying, especially after every week for 6 years.
  • Cinemassacre's Munky Cheez.
  • Let's see. Channel Awesome has a nostalgic reviewer that led a takeover of a micronation in Nevada, a hobo reviewer who openly admits to being on drugs, one video game reviewer who lives in a space station with a clone army, another who's a clone of his dead Black Lantern true self, and a comic book reviewer that has Sentai powers. The last two, plus one anime/cartoon reviewer, have evil dopplegangers. Anyone who tunes into this site for the first time is going to guess the creators are on really heavy drugs or are a bunch of uber-dorks. It's the latter.
  • The Laziest Men On Mars - The Terrible Secret of Space. It was derived from an IRC prank that the creators were involved in.
  • The famous "Double Rainbow" meme by Yosemite Bear (real name Paul "Bear" Vasquez). Unlike many other examples on this page, however, it's not because the video is surreal or trippy. It's because...a guy sees a double rainbow. Instead of simply looking at it, or maybe taking a picture of it, he shoots a video of it and rants and raves about how amazing the phenomenon is, holding the camera shakily, all the while crying and moaning as if he were having an orgasm? And then he posts the video on the Internet?...Yeah.
  • The web series Battle for Dream Island, which is apparently a reality series where the contestants are anthropomorphic versions of common everyday household and/or natural objects.
  • Snooki suddenly woke up, and raised her arms. "My pretties, my children." she said in a frightening voice. "Kill them, kill them all so that our species may conquer this world!"
  • Cracked.com's The 5 Most Aggressively Crazy Websites on the Internet lists a few. Mark Hill compares Boohbah, for instance, to "the findings of a scientist adding LSD to baby food."

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The 1984 claymation film The Adventures of Mark Twain, especially the part where Satan shows up.
  • Every Adult Swim original show could go on here, except maybe Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and The Venture Brothers. Especially 12 oz. Mouse, which is deliberately horribly drawn and features heavy drinking and drug use.
  • For a show based on things your parents would tell you to do as a child, Stoppit and Tidyup was completely and utterly batshit.
  • The better part of episode 20 of Wakfu. Thank God it was All Just a Dream.
  • The Magic Roundabout. The visuals are trippy enough, but the UK Gag Dub turns it Up to Eleven. And it's hard to argue that Dylan the Rabbit isn't intended to be an Erudite Stoner.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel, like you wouldn't believe.
  • A show produced for Nickelodeon that was picked up by Cartoon Network called Adventure Time with Finn and Jake appears to be massively influenced by drugs. The show's creator even has it listed as a question on his FAQ. He says, no, that he is just a "weird, funny guy."
  • Quite a few episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants, but notably the episode where Squidward demands a locker to store his clarinet in at work. It soon delves into the locker becoming a Hyperspace Armoury, some weird giant eagle head in a land of clarinets, Squidward in a pinball machine and being immediately afterwards found by a giant Patrick, etc...
    • A notable example from one of the first several seasons of the show is an episode when Squidward, forced to work a late-night shift with Spongebob, taunts him with a story about the ghost of a fry cook. Eventually, all the aspects of the story start to happen in real life and are duly explained, with the exception of flickering lights. It turns out that Nosferatu was standing in the corner playing with the light switch the whole time. And yes, I mean the freakishly deformed version from the 1922 film. The episode ends with the cast scolding the vampire affectionately for his antics.
    • And in the episode where Squidward uses an elevator to get back from the future (kind of a long story), he ends up in a completely blank world and all gets trippy from then on.
    • Yet another example of this happening to Squidward is when he is kicked off The Flying Dutchman's ship. Two words: Spaghetti Hell.
  • Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack are marginally so. In fact, it's safe to say that as Cartoon Network continues to produce original animated programming, it becomes more and more like you're watching some drug-fueled hallucination.
    • This isn't the first time though, before that CN had Cow and Chicken, which is about the title characters who have parents who are only legs and no other bodies.
  • A number of episodes of Teen Titans. Almost any episode with Mad Mod in it, and especially "Fractured".
  • The Ren and Stimpy Show could count as a standout example. A whole 20-minute episode dedicated to a talking fart or cheese transforming into a princess don't convince you? The intro alone screams "This is the most fucked up thing you'll ever see".
  • Rainbow Horse on BabyFirst. The creator probably shared the same belief as above-mentioned creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show. To babies and viewers hopped up on crack it's probably a interesting trip. To others, it only makes them go LOLWTF?
  • Phineas and Ferb has a Running Gag involving a giant baby alien from another dimension that eats things, usually Doofenshmirtz's inventions.
    • Speaking of giant babies, may we mention the giant baby heads, another running gag?
  • South Park. In early interviews during the show's first season, creators Parker and Stone cheerfully confessed that they were either drunk or stoned or both when they came up with the idea for "Chef", and that he needed to be voiced by someone like Isaac Hayes.
    • Though they have admitted to a fair amount of later seasons being conceived during more than one hotboxing session.
  • The "World Of Oz" shorts Rankin Bass produced in the early 60's. The nostalgia network Retro TV runs them and other trippy interstitials between the shows on the Filmation block (which are probably a trope in themselves). With flat weird characters, jerky animation, and psychedelic backgrounds, they're like four-minute acid trips.
  • Krantz Studios produced some trippy series in the late sixties and early seventies, namely Spider Man 1967 and Rocket Robin Hood.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog. Deranged Animation with most of the plots and images being scary. Even the humor is quite bizarre to say the least.
  • It's pretty obvious that Seth MacFarlane smokes a fat pound before every Family Guy recording. Interstingly though, he claims to have cut down a bit starting in 2008, which might explain all those aggresively weed friendly episodes at that time. Poor bastard must have had the Junkie Itch.
  • Invader Zim, anyone? The series was made by Jhonen Vasquez. This is the same person who wrote and drew Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee, about a serial killer and a phobic and abused little boy respectively. They let a show made by this guy air on Nickelodeon - for kids. Pretty sure ANYTHING Jhonen makes fits this trope.
  • The Problem Solverz is loaded with flashy neon colors and utterly weird character designs. The pilot episode Neon Knome has even more Surreal Humor and random trippy moments.
  • Kidd Video, especially in its second season. So much that even Robbie Rist, who played Whiz on the show, commented on it.

Robbie Rist: I don’t know what they put in the water cooler in the animation department, but it became this crazy thing that... it was like Lidsville. It was this acid-influenced, crazy animation. It became something like Alice in Wonderland, and I was in my twenties and watching these second-season episodes, going, “Is this for kids?” It was just a little bit too weird.

  • Perfect Hair Forever, which in fact seems exceedingly unlikely to have not been made on drugs.
  • The Thief and the Cobbler (particularly the Recobbled Cut) is a prime example. Think of it as Disney's Aladdin on Vicodin, LSD, and a little bit of marijuana. (but mostly LSD)
  • Spliced. The cast of characters include an unidentifiable orange animal with a weird blob where his legs should be, a two-legged rhino with a bird head on his back, a blob with a pig's nose, chicken wings, a rooster's comb, a shrimp's tail and an udder which makes up the lower half of his body, a gorilla with a pony's head, an Evil Genius miniature blue-and-black dolphin with monkey arms, a cat-headed octopus, and a platypus.
  • The Caliph-Stork and other Russian treats were shown on local American television in the 1950s and early 1960s, influencing a generation.
  • Anything by this lady.[context?]
  • That tv show version of Tak and the Power of Juju is discribe as Conker's Bad Fur Day for kids. Other than that the characters looks they out from an openings to one the Katamari Damacy. There voices also sound like a couple fighting violently.
  • YTV's Sidekick and Scaredy Squirrel also has similar elements from Tak. Other than living in a mess-up city, not only only that both shows Big Bad characters are voiced by Harold Green, but they look (and sound) like there on crack.
  • KaBlam!
  • The Gene Deitch Tom and Jerry shorts they have very wild wonky animation that's all over the place, ugly character designs, and trippy and psychedelic sound effects.
  • The opening sequence to Birdz has the cast dancing against a kaleidoscope background while the most obnoxiously funny cover of "Surfin' Bird" plays.
  • The Fleischer Brothers early shorts and their early Betty Boop cartoons the animation and plots are very bizarre, almost everything is alive and singing including buildings and objects, stretchy limbs, wild facial expressions,etc.
  • Pick any episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat. You'll think the animators were high on acid that day.
  • What a Cartoon Show half of all cartoons shown.
  • Pearlie, a Qubo show. Believe it or not.
  • Squirrel Boy has a lot of stuff that doesn't make any sense.
  • The Cartoon Network series, Regular Show, is, if the prequel short 2 in the A.M. P.M. is any indication, an acid-trip of J. G. Quintel's in which he turns into an anthropomorphic blue-jay after eating LSD-infused candy.
  • Yakkity Yak: It hardly makes sense, but they managed to put it on US television.
  • Shuriken School


Other[edit | hide]

  • Everything made by Rob Zombie makes you wonder how he ever came up with it under any kind of sobriety.
  • Algebra formulas.
    • Statistics are even worse, since the hypothesis of many statistical distributions makes you wonder if Statistics is math on drugs.
    • Topology, where a mug and a doughnut are the same thing (a surface in the three-dimensional space with one hole somewhere, to put it bluntly).
  • Quantum mechanics. This is a theory so unutterably strange that one of the creators of the theory, Niels Bohr, has been quoted saying that "those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it." And yet it is the best description of particle physics currently in existence. This is the same theory that says anything can spontaneously happen (albeit under extremely strict circumstances).
    • The true story of how Schrödinger (of Schrödinger's Cat fame) invented quantum physics: he stocked up a cabin in the mountains, which he stocked with enough supplies for several months. After three months of complete isolation, he returned to civilization with complete theories that worked perfectly. Nobody but Schrödinger knows what happened up there in the mountains, and nobody else ever will.
    • And by extension, String Theory.
      • One criticism of/joke about String Theory is that it really should be possible for the public to differentiate between science and the ramblings of crazy people on park benches.
  • Cryptology - the study of how to write and solve codes. The field involves all fields of mathematics, and is very interdisciplinary. Where traditional maths are taught in a linear path of lessons that increase in difficulty, cryptology is like a professional contortionist that requires much much mental flexibility.
  • Pick almost anything made by Mike Patton. For an example, watch this and remember the man who wrote it takes nothing stronger than caffeine.
    • If you ever get a chance to play the video game The Darkness, the titular demon/spirit/pure bloody evil Darkness is voiced by Patton. His vocal performance was done entirely without effects in his home studio.
  • Say what you will about Jack and Kage, the director and co-writer of the Tenacious D movie, musician/director Liam Lynch is most emphatically not on drugs. Same goes for his skit and music videos podcast, Lynchland, which is even more surreal.
  • As Eddie Izzard once said, "People think I'm on drugs, but I'm not, really. Just a little coffee... put me on drugs it has the opposite effect! I start going: 'Oh! Pensions! Very sensible. And car insurance, yes...'"
  • Doug TenNapel's work is usually seen as very weird and surreal by a mainstream perspective, and therefore people tend to assume he's on drugs. Contrastingly, he's a rather conservative Christian who admits to being offended by the assumption that anyone would need drugs in order to create something weird.
  • Andy Kaufman is another example of a 1970s performer whose work, from Foreign Man, to bringing a sleeping bag out on stage and taking a nap, to his various Worked Shoots, to his posthumously published writings, would suggest he was on something illicit when he conceived them. But since childhood he had been prone to eccentric behavior (he conceived routines such as "Mighty Mouse" then), and his drinking and drug use as a teen hardly figured into his artistic equation. As an adult he was a near-health nut who practiced Transcendental Meditation.
  • Tim Allen sold far more drugs than he ever took.
  • Cartoonist John Kricfalusi, who is best known as the creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show which is known for its Deranged Animation was asked in an interview if he used drugs. He replied, "Of course not, I don't need them".
  • Comedian Bill Bailey is eager to point out that watching someone on acid is boring in response to TV show pitches along the lines of "It's X, but on acid!").
  • Seth MacFarlane used to smoke pot, but stopped because it made him paranoid. He once got so high that he was convinced one night that if he stopped moving his body, he would die.
  • Political cartoonist Joel Barbee made some pretty bizarre cartoons. Looking at them beforehand, you'd probably never guess them being drawn by an old conservative who wasn't on any known drugs.
  • The German comedian, actor, director, author, and musician Helge Schneider uses non-sequiturs, absurdistical actions and statements, weird behaviour and voices, exaggerations, purposefully bad playing, sheer stupidity and mundanity mixed with rather insightful contents. He stopped taking drugs as his career went upward.
  • As serious as the SAT is for many students, College Board's Test Day Simulation video is really bizarre. Apparently, pencils and snack foods are going to rain from the sky, you will take the test in a room made of cardstock, and old, vintage-looking cartoons will appear in the window. Yeah.
  • What about dreams? They can get pretty funky from time to time.
    • Quite a few entries on this page were inspired by- or were recreations of dreams the author had. Salvador Dali also induced dream-like hallucinations on himself by going without sleep for extended periods of time, then painted the results.
  • David Cross has noted that he's offended when people ask him how high he was when he wrote a piece of comedy. He insists that all his comedy comes from hard work, not drugs.
  • Bosozoku, a kind of Japanese biker gang/street racing culture make illegal modifications to bikes and cars. In most street racing cultures, this means nitrous oxide, underglow and such. For the Bosozoku, they defy any explanation.