Widget Series

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"If you find the Japanese offensive, then you'll find this game offensively Japanese."
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Zero Punctuation, on Zack and Wiki

A Widget (WJT) is marketed as a Weird Japanese Thing, relatively offbeat compared to what is considered mainstream or popular. This has become more inclusive as anime and manga have developed a more mainstream presence, but usually exploits culture differences. The Widget Series often consists of Surreal Humor or a Gag Series.

Sometimes they have small, short releases to test the audience, although they may have a guaranteed viewing among Otaku.

Japanese cultural differences are the reason this trope exists and the reason it's not more popular. The Japanese are fond of ambiguity, particularly enjoying open-ended conclusions that create more questions than they answer. This is in contrast to Western (particularly American) storytelling, where ambiguity and loose threads are seen as flaws; and the ending is expected to explain and resolve all major plot points. Simply put, Japanese culture can be refreshing to an outsider, but too much may cause a feeling of overload.

Until about 1996 with the introduction of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball to American pop culture, most anime was out of the American mainstream, with only a (very) few exceptions, principally ones that were and are considered to be of extraordinary quality in storytelling or artistry[1]—and every anime could be considered a Widget Series. Or something worse. Incidentally, even now many Japanese series are never ported over precisely because the original creators know it's weird and don't think there's a large market for it.

A weird series doesn't have to be Japanese to qualify as a Widget: some European and American series, like the ones from the examples below, are weird enough to compare with their Japanese brethren. Terms you'll likely see in this page include:

  • WTF (A Weird Thing from France)
  • W(H)AT (A Weird (Humorous) American Thing)
  • Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
  • EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity)
  • WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing) and WIT (Weird Icelandic Thing).
  • PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)

If it doesn't make sense in its own culture, it's most likely a case of What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?. This trope may sometimes (but not always) overlap with Cliché Storm. Not to be confused with the 1990s animated series Widget the World Watcher, which despite the name isn't quite weird enough to be a Widget Series.

Examples of Widget Series include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]


Comic Books[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Complete World Knowledge trilogy, which consists of books with Long Titles, filled to the brim with "100% false" facts, though the appendices in the paperback versions acknowledge the fact that occasionally a truth manages to end up in one of them by accident. In addition, the page numbering does not restart in later books in the series, instead picking up where the previous one left off. The second book also serves as a page-a-day calendar, which among other things reveals an Escalating War of bizarre precipitation between Richmond, Virginia, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the late 1970s. This would be classified as a WHAT.
  • Since Total Recall is already under Film, Philip K. Dick.
  • Wicked! and Deadly! by Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings are two children's series revolving around the bizarre, including a killer superadvanced sheep army, and immortality-conferring tea. Anything by Paul Jennings generally counts.
  • Bizarro Fiction, as a genre, is comprised hugely of WATs, wabbits, wickets, and STANZAs as of this writing. However, multi-language examples are slowly rising.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Combine a Game Show and Cooking Show format in Iron Chef. Iron Chef America is a more "normal" but more fast-paced version of the original.
    • Some have said that the problem with Iron Chef USA (the one with Shatner) was that the creators assumed the original was only popular for laughing at wacky foreigners, so they didn't take it seriously. ICA occasionally pokes fun at the Kayfabe of the show (According to Alton, there are several Kitchen Stadiums, at least one of which is in space), but otherwise takes it seriously as a competition between culinary masters.
    • Dotch Cooking Show was an even more intense cooking game show that pitted two amazing-looking dishes against each other and a panel of seven choosing which dish to eat at the end of the episode. Each dish had its own crazy-awesome special ingredient. At the end, the people who voted for the winning dish got to eat it and the chef who made the losing dish had to (oh, darn the luck) eat it alone. This show was amazing.
  • LazyTown is a Weird Icelandic Thing (WIT).
  • Takeshi's Castle. MXC is a WHAT (Weird Hilarious American Thing) made from it.
  • The works of Sid and Marty Krofft Productions are Weird Hilarious American Things that can match the weirdest of Widget Series weird for weird in being weird.
  • Téléchat, a French-Belgian puppet show from the 80's, the series is a parody of tv news presented by a black cat with an arm cast (which he uses as an all-purpose box) called Groucha and his female counterpart, an ostrich called Lola. The news (which Groucha does with the help of a sentient microphone) relates the life of "gluons", supposedly the smallest things in existence . Sometimes Lola will also have a talk round, with a fork and a spoon (with human faces!). There are also nonsense commercials with a green orang-utan in the jungle, who always manages to screw up the take, to the chagrin of the spot's director; and Léguman, a parody of Japanese Sentai show.
  • In the same vein of odd children's shows we have Telefrancais, a Wicket which features, among many other oddities, a talking pineapple puppet that lives in a junkyard and looks like a rejected furby; A fourth-wall breaking annonceur; and Les Squelettes, a musical group consisting of singing, dancing, instrument playing skeletons who will occasionally perform a number on the outside of a moving plane. It was also made in The Eighties.
  • La Vie des Botes was a French sitcom about a robot family and talking objects (just like Pee-wee's Playhouse), this show aired regular cartoons between the live-action segments, the channel, TF1, put many hope on this project (because it was a co-production with Canada, some designers from E.T and Alien worked on it) but it wasn't successful and it stayed for just one year, today, very few people remember this show.
  • Banzai was a British parody of Japanese game shows, deliberately designed to be strange and incomprehensible.
    • Greatest stunt? Pitting several ventriloquists against each other in the Puppet Petrol Pump challenge - the vent.s themselves had to put petrol in a car blindfolded, and the puppets had to shout to tell them when to stop. Closest to £20 worth won.
  • SASUKE and Kinniku Banzuke, which air in the US as Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke, respectively.
    • And G4 is really trying to play up their status as wacky Japanese shows. Not only did they throw "ninja" into the first show's name, but the on-camera host who appears before and after segments on Unbeatable Banzuke, who only speaks Japanese and needs to be subtitled? He's the host hired by G4 solely for the American version.
  • Fawlty Towers and anything by Monty Python are Weird British Funny Things (WBFT or "Wobbuffet").
    • Black Books even moreseo. Dave "Mouse Ears" Smith, pesticide by coffee machine, and "Then it's left... at the dead badger."
  • The six episode variety show, Vermillion Pleasure Night. Recurring skits included a drama about a family of mannequins, a spaceship boarding house with a tortured alien, and a bunch of actresses being Barbie dolls. These are then interspersed with one off stories about cannibal cuisine, bondage nurses, and things that just take a sharp left turn halfway through a given sketch. This show hits you with weird repeatedly and never lets you up.
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia) is a term that would apply rather nicely to The Wiggles and much of Peter Jackson's early work. See also... Mr Squiggle.
  • Bananas In Pyjamas, a kids' show about giant anthropomorphic bananas. That wear pajamas. And get cheated nearly every episode by the giant anthropomorphic rat that runs the corner shop. Oh, those crazy Aussies...
    • The issue of their inherent desire to chase and hug giant living teddy bears.
  • Round the Twist. Plots include a skeleton's curse that forces the cursed to end every sentence with "without my pants" (from the episode of that title), gum leaves that can transfer injuries to anyone who can hear a song played on them ("The Gum Leaf War"), a ghost haunting an outhouse ("Skeleton On The Dunny"), and superpower-conferring underpants ("Wunder Pants")...in the first season. It gets weirder.
    • Overarching plots including music played by ghosts who are trying to save their lighthouse, two ghosts wanting to save their loved ones from accidentally crashing on a boat thanks to human error 100 years ago, and doing so by possessing all of the regulars, including a young girl possessing a teenage boy and a viking love book.
    • Only to be expected considering it's based on the books by Paul Jennings
  • That "Human Tetris" game show lost much of its widgety charm when adapted for Fox as Hole In The Wall.
  • Kids in The Hall is, to most Americans, a Weird Canadian Thing. ("Wicket", maybe?)
  • Speaking of Weird Canadian Thing, with sketches like Farm Film Report and the story of vikings and beekeepers, SCTV could be considered as such.
  • I Survived a Japanese Gameshow plays on this. The American contestants participate in a Japanese gameshow, and are eliminated one at a time.
  • Father Ted, an Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity. Collectively had the entirety of England, Wales and Scotland asking "what does feck mean exactly?"
    • So it's a Weird Irish Thing, or WIT.
      • Strictly speaking, since the production company is British it's a Weird Anglo-Irish Thing (WAIT?)
  • Pushing Daisies might count as a WHAT. It involves an explosive scratch-and-sniff card, Paul Reubens and an author of adult pop-up books - in the same episode. And then we have the red-and-white striped morgue.
  • The Andy Milonakis Show is an American widget series.
  • Doctor Who veers off into Weird British Thing territory every-so-often. Especially when they make jokes based around British humor or accents.
    • One episode had Rose Tyler trying to get the Queen of England to say "We are not amused." Hilarious for British audiences (and probably several Western audiences familiar with that real-life meme) but to Asian audiences, it would be odd-sounding and out-of-context.
  • Bernd the Bread: depressive, pessimistic, box-shapped Bread from a kids show whose hobbies include staring at his ingrain wallpaper and collecting TV test cards... and a weegeet (Weird German Thing) Just look at his profile! [dead link]
  • The Upside Down Show, a show involving interaction via pressing buttons on the remote control such as the "Heavy and light" buttons, is most definitely a WAT Also qualifies as a STANZA, given that it was filmed in Australia with an all-Australian cast.
  • The Mighty Boosh is definitely a Wabbit.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. WHAT, indeed.
  • The Muppet Show, and their early appearances on Ed Sullivan, probably qualify as a WHAT. Their movies, however, do not.
  • Reportedly, one Japanese show called Susunu! Denpa Shonen [2] took an unsuspecting volunteer (who they told was going on an "important show-business related job", but that was it), then had him live in a small apartment, naked, with no supplies other than a pen and magazines. Then he had to live off of prizes won by magazine sweepstakes until he had the value of a specific amount of money. All this time, the guy was on TV and didn't know it, since he had been told it would be broadcasted after he was done. It doesn't get weirder than that, folks.
    • It did get tragic, though. At one point they decided to move him to another apartment, while he was asleep. During the covert transfer, they brought along his prizes, but forgot one... specifically, the big bag of rice that was his only food supply. He cried. A lot.
  • Twin Peaks definitely counts as a WHAT. It features an FBI agent with a sweet tooth as the main protagonist, a quirky soundtrack, an eccentric eyepatch-wearing woman with Super Strength, and a dimension populated by strange beings who have the ability to control other peoples' bodies. If that isn't a WHAT, I don't know what is.
  • A Weird Dutch Thing: Big Brother.
  • Two American sitcoms: Eerie, Indiana and The Adventures of Pete and Pete.
  • Super Sentai, this is the reason an American adaptation, that would eventually become Power Rangers, got stuck in Development Hell. Executives thought was too much of a Widget Series to succeed on American TV.
  • The Monkees is filled with enough randomness and absurdity to qualify.
    • Especially during the second season, where they were either stoned out of their minds or simply went aloof with their adlibbing antics…”Frodis,” anyone?
  • Beakman's World would qualify as a WHAT. A zany-haired scientist in a neon green lab coat, his perky female assistant, a man in a rat suit, two penguins who watch the show from their home in the South Pole, famous dead guys, a kooky and fun atmosphere to learn about science... need I say more?
  • From the creators of Italian Spiderman comes Danger 5. Danger 5 are an international team of spies charged with fighting against the Nazis and, ultimately, assassinating Hitler. This is a difficult task, as the Nazis are armed with dinosaurs, diamond women soldiers, and various other useful weapons. It's also set in an alternate 1960s, despite being about World War II.
  • Any of Conan O'Brien's late night shows would count as a WHAT. Yes, even his tenure on The Tonight Show.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Go on YouTube and search for "Halfby". You will not be disappointed.
    • You will if you're expecting weirdness—both the music and videos seem pretty normal to me. (And pretty catchy and clever, for that matter.)
  • Neutral Milk Hotel - WHATs, but they're not humorous.
  • Bjork is a Weird Icelandic Thing.
    • Arguably, Icelandic music culture itself is a WIT.
  • Polysics, a Devo-inspired WJT tha mixes equal parts new wave, electronica, and Crazy Awesome.
  • On that note, Devo itself qualifies as a WAT.
  • Wall of Voodoo's second album, "Dark Continent" here is one track.
  • Weird Al Yankovic is a Weird American Thing, by virtue of parodying stuff Americans would be familiar with. Or not.
  • Shonen Knife and their bizarre lyrics about jelly beans and rubber bands.
  • Psychostick is a WHAT mixed with Lyrical Dissonance. For example, one of their most popular songs is explaining how a song is not a song, but a sandwich, set to hard rock. Another is a borderline screamo talking about tacos and how awesome they are. It does not make sense in context either.
  • When the genre first emerged around 1974, punk rock was a totally alien phenomenon. Really, think of mainstream Seventies rock. Now, think of Johnny Rotten.
    • Even more so, the really early bands that most people skip over. Specifically:
      • The New York Dolls crossed glam into cross-dressing.
      • Clevelanders The Electric Eels would wear biker jackets adorned with safety pins and swastika badges just to provoke their audiences' disgust. For added confusion, they would double-bill with The Styrenes, who were often accompanied by several dancers.
      • London's Subway Sect looked like a gang of delinquent clerical workers and taped themselves performing Molière plays for kicks. Their lyricist would also intentionally use longer words than were necessary to avoid sounding too "rock".
      • Half Japanese were founded in Coldwater, Michigan in 1974 (or '75) by two teenage brothers with no formal musical training. Or interest in formal musical training. Especially chords. To boot, their first full album was a triple-LP set.
      • Suicide were formed by an organist and a performance artist in 1970 as a kind of free jazz outfit, and were probably the first band to self-identify as "punk". The New York duo's music was so weird and abrasive that no studio would touch them until 1977.
    • Another very early (pre-'77) "punk" group, Talking Heads, simply fit the WAT trope to a T...
  • The Australian "little bands" scene of the late '70s and early '80s is a STANZA among STANZAs.
  • Taking it one step further, The Residents.
  • Faith No More. TRY and deny the fact that their music is weird as all hell.
    • Honestly, many Mike Patton fans would deny that claim, since FNM's music is actually pretty straightforward compared to most of his other work. Pretty much any musical project he's involved in ranges from W(H)AT to What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?, with Faith No More falling on the low end of the weirdness spectrum.
  • New wave band The B 52s. They have a couple normal songs, but the vast majority of their stuff falls squarely into WAT territory. These are the minds that gave us Rock Lobster.
  • Noise and Noise Rock, while not especially popular there, are much more mainstream in Japan than in many other countries, if only because said has been producing weird, noisy groups like Les Rallizes Dénudés and Hijokaidan since The Sixties and Seventies. Which, technically, predates both genres.
  • Japanese chiptune DJ Higedriver doesn't fall into this with his more widely known work, which are primarily amazing non-vocal chiptunes. But you take a look at some of his other albums, and you're finding songs like "2nd Massachusetts love platoon"
  • Split Enz was a case of a band actually trying to be as Widget-y as possible (Weird New Zealand Thing more precisely), though later subverted as they eventually got fed up with their Widget status.
  • Yet another shining gem from Japan is Kyary's PONPONPON song; complete with ducks, eyeballs, bread, dancing pink lunchladies with raspberries for heads, and pterodactyls that circle the Tokyo tower. And that's not even covering the weird parts.
  • The Arrogant Worms, a Weird Canadian Thing.
  • The Boredoms.
  • The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band were a WBFT in the 60s before Monty Python existed, and have been cited as a major influence on Python. (Neil Innes later went on to work with Python, The Rutles and Terry Gilliam, while Vivian Stanshall had a less successful career performing comic monologues that were even weirder.)
  • Gorillaz are most definitely a Weird British Thing. The band consists of a blue haired, pain killer addicted lead singer with no eyes, a green skinned alcoholic satanist bass player, a young Japanese Tyke Bomb guitarist mailed to them when she was ten, a drummer from Brooklyn with a Demonic Possession issue, and a homicidal cyborg version of the afore mentioned guitarist. They have such adventures as trying to blow up 300 ft. elk, fighting off the zombies that reside outside their studio, and escaping deals with the Devil by hiding out on an island made entirely of plastic floating in the ocean. Oh, and they technically don't even exist.
  • Jonny Jakobsen, also known as Dr. Bombay, Dr. Macdoo and Carlito is case of really wierd sweden made music. A notable Fauxreigner.
  • To many, Rush qualify as a Weird Canadian Thing. Political undertones in long-winded, wordy lyrics all wrapped up in a crispy Power Trio shell, while their singer/bassist/keyboardist sings at such a pitch that it takes a few listens to figure out whether he's male or female. And then people find out it's Better Than It Sounds.
  • Black Sabbath qualified as a Wabbit when they first popped up. Heavy metal was brand new and apparently, at least once, one of their very first songs during an early concert sent half the audience running out of the venue screaming. And despite being hated at first, they've been Vindicated by History and are now widely hailed as the fathers of heavy metal, with each of the original members (and one replacement) being called a virtuoso or musical genius in his own right.
  • Versailles is a widget band in a widget genre. Still managed to get a decent international following, despite the cursed-with-immortality backstory, Kamijo's love of the stage, and Hizaki's frilly dresses.
  • Cibo Matto's first album. To elaborate, many of the songs feature weird, Earthbound-esque Sampling, the topics range from making a birthday cake or a chicken that grew up a ran away from its owner, and it's all in a hybrid mix of Surprisingly Good and Gratuitous English.
  • Watch the music video for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's Ponponpon. Weird Japanese Thing times one hundred. Also, What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?
  • Much of the humour of the STANZA Flight of the Conchords (and their TV show, where New Zealand is a Cloudcuckooland) comes from exploiting this trope.


New Media[edit | hide]

  • The Touhou fan video, Border of extacy by IOSYS is a widget with illogical pixellated imagery. Let's just extend that to "Half of all touhou-related songs and music videos" rather than list examples for half a page. Though some make more or less sense than others.
  • Health with Little Red Riding Hood. Oh God, Health with Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Cooking with Dog, a Youtube program featuring a woman demonstrating how to cook simple Japanese dishes "hosted" by a dog with a thick Japanese accent. Equal parts weird, cute, Japanese, and useful.
  • Homestar Runner. All crazy retro pop culture references, all the time. And are those guys supposed to be people or what?
    • Sweet Cuppin' Cakes is an in-universe example.
  • The Asdfmovie series is a rather odd series of sketches not tied together at all that involves potatos with guns, throwing cheese at aliens and "doing an internet".
  • The Italian Spiderman series on YouTube is a STANZA. It is filmed in English, dubbed into Italian and then subtitled back into English. As well as being a parody, its' plot is fairly nonsensical, and it features various wonders such as surf-offs derailed by attacking penguins, and detachable exploding boomerang moustaches.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • The Knight Life, a Life Embellished webcomic with a tendency towards parody, is very much a WHAT. Such characters as a housewife who puts on an armless costume and fights crime as "The Masked Maggot," or a lowlife who works as a human rug and can identify shoes by how they press into his back, make sense if and only if one's familiar with the parts of American culture they're mocking.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Though it has a very large following in the US, Warhammer 40,000 is ultimately a Weird British Thing, especially when it was unabashedly the fantasy Warhammer Fantasy Battle In Space!
  • Maid the RPG. Original flavour Japanese weirdness in RPG form.
  • Ho L: Human Occupied Landfill. Hand-written in several late-night sessions in an IHOP, and originally offered no character creation since "everyone just makes the same types of characters over and over again". When character creation was included in the expansion, stat rolling included several strange and useless abilities, such as an "Almond Joy" stat. ("Roll 1-3: Sometimes you feel like a nut. Roll 4-6: Sometimes you don't.")


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • No More Hereoes would gualify featuring an upside down boss battle and a boss battle using gimps as baseballs among other things.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and its sequel. Even the Americanized version, Elite Beat Agents, still thrives on quite a bit of WJT-ness.
  • Super Mario Bros.: This is game series in which you play as an Italian plumber and have to repeatedly rescue a princess from an evil turtle-dragon, while fighting off his armies of walking mushrooms, talking bombs, and bumper-car-like turtles. To help in your quests, you get such things as leaves that turn into raccoon-suits which give you flight, flowers that shoot fire balls, mushrooms that make you grow, and an Extreme Omnivore dinosaur that you can ride. The reason such weirdness doesn't really get addressed by fans all that often is because 1) At the time the original was made, video games rarely made sense to begin with, and 2) although the former is no longer the case today its long standing popularity has gotten people used to it.
    • Mario vs. Donkey Kong was developed by the Redmond, Washington-based Nintendo Software Technology Corporation, making it an example of a WHAT sub-series to the above. The games involve Mario facing Donkey Kong after the latter wants some of the Mini-Mario toys the former produced.
    • Mario Kart 7 was partially developed by Nintendo EAD in Japan and partially by the Austin, Texas-based Retro Studios, making it both a WJT and a WHAT.
  • If Wario Ware doesn't count, nothing does.
    • Doubly so is Rhythm Heaven, otherwise known as Rhythm Tengoku, which is like Wario Ware, except weirder, more musical and more more Japanese.
  • Gitaroo Man is another... interesting video game example.
  • As said above, Katamari Damacy is a big blatant WJT. Namco is aware enough of this trope that the later games intentionally play up the weirdness.
    • And Noby Noby Boy, by the same designer.
    • And Muscle March, from the same company. Best described as Follow the Leader on drugs.
    • Namco churns out games like these every now and then. Look up Taiko No Tatsujin and Panic Park.
  • The somewhat strange Neverwinter Nights module Resurrection Gone Wrong.
  • NiGHTS Into Dreams could be considered an example of this - some of the weirdness comes from the fact it's about dreams, of course, but you can bet if it had been made in the West they wouldn't have gone half as weird, no matter what the subject matter demanded. Plus, the western-marketed sequel is considerably more generic.
  • Super Galedic Hour seems to be a recreation of some kind of game show, but it's hard to be sure when one of the events is Butt Sumo, and all the contestants are voluptuous women in skimpy animal costumes. It really has to be seen to be believed.
  • Ar tonelico... boy howdy.
  • Cho Aniki is a game famous for its comically exaggerated homoerotic overtones.
    • Incidentally, there's also a recent Japanese meme centered around muscular gay porn star Billy Herrington, a.k.a. Aniki, arguably the real-life version of this. Viral videos derived from this meme commonly use footage of overtly homoerotic wrestling, such as in this one.
  • Lemmings (DMA Design), Worms (Team17) and Blast Corps (Rare) probably all count as W.B.T.s (Weird British Things... wabbits?)
  • Arcana Heart, one of the few cute-schoolgirl fighters that plays well as a game, and the only one ever that made it to American consoles.
  • Incredible Crisis is about a family that has the worst day ever trying to get home early for Grandma's birthday. You live through each family member's day (The father Taneo, mother Etsuko, son Tsuyoshi, and the daughter Ririka) and guide them through ridiculous scenarios by playing minigames, including, but not limited to, Taneo chased through office hallways by a giant globe, Etsuko fighting a twenty-story tall stuffed bear in a jet fighter, Tsuyoshi shrunk to the size of an insect and escaping a gigantic mantis, and Ririka riding a bicycle to escape from a giant wrecking ball.
  • The freeware game Arm Joe, a 2D fighting game based on Les Misérables. It has, in addition to the standard cast of characters; PonPon, a Mini-Cooper driving rabbit from another dimension, Robo-Jean (who shoots lasers out of his chest, fires rocket punches and lightning bolts), and the physical embodiment of the concept of Judgment in the book.
  • As with the previous Wario Ware and Incredible Crisis examples, most minigame compilations probably count, including games like Bishi Bashi Special and Rayman Raving Rabbids (a WTF considering Ubisoft is French).
    • Tenkomori Shooting (1998, Namco) is all about "shooting", but is a minigame compilation and WJT. Little easy on the 'weird', but hey, it's about monkeys doing minigames to rescue their friends; that's as weird as it needs to be!
  • Doshin the Giant probably qualifies, especially the sequel, where you must save Doshin by pissing on things.
    • You aren't just pissing on things, you're running around the show floor of a business convention pissing floaty pink hearts at the booth babes.
  • Yume Nikki is one great big Nightmare Fueled-widget.
  • Chibi-Robo!. Gi FT Pi A. Let's face it. ALL of skip Ltd.'s games fall under this trope. It's most telling when they use the popular idea of a Crossover video game to make Captain Rainbow, about the title character and his Secret Identity Nick helping out second-rate Nintendo characters get their wishes granted.
  • Gun Nac, Compile's parody of their own past shooters. Its stages are based on the Japanese days of a week, with appropriate enemies. So the first stage, being the Moon stage, has you fighting robotic Moon Rabbits that fire carrots at you. The second stage, being the Fire stage, puts you against giant match boxes and cigarette lighters. The third stage, being the Water stage, pits your ship against umbrellas and a giant mermaid. And so on...
  • Similar to the above, the Parodius series, which plays like the Gradius games... except nowhere in the Gradius series can you play as a torpedo-riding Playboy Bunny who blasts a fifty-foot tall Vegas showgirl while dodging incoming fire from giant penguins.
    • It's actually a lot more difficult to explain than that. Parodius probably out-widget most widget series in general. Just trying to describe Parodius boss battles will make anyone sweat and tremble, then fall into a coma. Look at it yourself. [2]
  • Chulip. One Let's Play thread author even prefaces his introduction to the game as "Violently Japanese". The object of the game? To kiss as many things as possible.
  • Earthworm Jim is another fine example of a WHAT.
    • Partly a WHAT, partly a Wabbit (many Earthworm Jim developers, including the lead developer Dave Perry who also set up Shiny Entertainment, are British). Is there a name for multicultural weirdness?
      • UMM (Unusual Multicultural Media)?
  • Dynamite Headdy is definitely a widget, although some of the more aggressively widgety elements were excised in the North American and European localizations.
  • Ace Attorney owes its success to lots of curious people wondering what the hell the Japanese were thinking making a game based entirely around wacky, over-the-top lawyers. The excellent localization helped, too.
    • In Japan it's not seen as so odd because it's pretty true to the Japanese Court system.
  • Sin and Punishment: Successor To The Earth for the N64. Since it arrived here, albeit seven years late, it should qualify. Its sequel (which did make the jump to American shores), somewhat less so.
  • The Ganbare Goemon (aka Mystical Ninja) series. The two localized N64 games provide a good sample of its feudal craziness.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos. A game where you play as the President of the United States of America, behind the cockpit of a Humongous Mecha, as he launches a one-man counteroffensive to take back America, city by city, from his Vice President Richard Hawk, confident that he can win because he is The President of the GREAT UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!! He does by destroying everything in sight with BURNING AMERICAN FREEDOM!!! And America doesn't get this game because....?
  • Crimsoness, a short, weird, angstyry, Japanese indie game.
    • Because it's OMGWTFOTL IN MS PAINT!
    • Whatever the hell Crimsoness is, it's certainly not angsty. There's WAY too much aggressive face-punching for that.
  • Swedish example: Mondo Medicals and Mondo Agency. Just...what the fuck.
    • You obviously haven't seen the rest of Cactus's games. They're all weird.
  • While the first two games of Konami's Crime Fighters series were straight arcade beat'em ups with just a few oddball things here and there, the final game in the series, Violent Storm, goes all out Widget, it's a pastiche of Post-Apoc locales with post-apoc punks and all kinds of weirdness culminating in a boss battle with a pre-fetus Tetsuo expy. And his bodyguard gives KEFKA a run for his money on the ridiculous-looking bishie clown angle, looking like an effeminate Blanka. There's also a shout-out to Cho Aniki with Julius the bodybuilder, possibly the funniest 'stampeding fat guy' enemy type ever created, the lollypops (yes that's their name. Like Andore, they come in regular and Jr. varieties), a Ninja Turtle expy in Sledge, a train conductor with a gigantic ticket puncher, and cameos by a few of the programmers who can be beaten up and knocked off the stage. And on said train stage, there's a momma pig with little baby pigs walking around. The baby pigs can be picked up, and when thrown become FOOTBALLS. (the American kind)
  • Battle Circuit from Capcom is a lesser widget entry than the above, focusing more on anime/game references than the weirdness, though the final boss and Dr.Saturn more than make up for it. And one of the characters is a little girl riding a pink ostrich wearing an eyepatch. The ostrich, not the girl. And the ostrich is MALE. Also for no apparent reason one of the bosses is an Elvis impersonator.
  • The MOTHER trilogy is an odd case - the west interprets it quite clearly as a WJT series, yet it was intentionally designed to be viewed as a WHAT series (Japanese developers notwithstanding) from a Japanese perspective.
  • Monster Party features the most bizarre assortment of Everything Trying to Kill You, including a Sequential Boss that starts as a shrimp and turns into an onion ring and then a kebab. Bandai never released the game in Japan; it sold poorly in America, probably on account of its awful gameplay mechanics.
  • Imagination Reality Paradise, is an amazingly random puzzle game with a lot of Interface Screw and perhaps some Nightmare Fuel thrown in. Most definitely a WJT.
  • Project Rub (aka Feel the Magic XY/XX) is absolutely mindboggling. At one point you have to get some goldfish out of a man's stomach, at another you follow a helicopter on a unicycle, and at another you dance with a girl at a campsite (incorporating the fire into your moves), and at yet another you have to bowl a man rolled into a ball at some people waiting for a bus. As you can probably guess, those who do buy the game are in for a real treat.
    • Also see The Rub Rabbits, the sequel/prequel, in which you meet your true love, win her over, defend her from other suitors (who dance, or parachute from the sky), and fend off the advances of a perky schoolgirl. You do this by running up the down escalator while dodging sumo wrestlers, paddling a log across a giant-crocodile-infested sea, eating delicious cakes (and avoiding the bad ones) while tied to a chair, closing the rapid-fire pop-ups on her computer, doing aromatherapy to help her do yoga, and fighting a mecha-bear.
  • Katamari Damacy + Cho Aniki = Muscle March. This is unadulterated silliness and ridiculousness at its finest.
  • The flash game Death Dice Overdose as a bizarre and trippy western video game.
  • Zeno Clash is a Wichet (as in, Weird Chilean Thing).
  • Cross Edge definitely qualifies, as it's a Massive Multiplayer Crossover featuring the likes of a few of the other Widget Series games listed here.
  • Kirby, anyone? The game about a constantly hungry pink puffball living in a dream land full of happy people, sentient trees, insane walruses, and chef potatoes?
  • zOMG! is a game that has you fight, among other things, gift boxes, lawn gnomes, jackets that behave like wolves, and cyborg alien rodents. Your weapons are rings, which have effects such as launching beehives, wrapping the monsters in duct tape, and covering yourself or an ally in cooking spray. Pop-culture references abound. And the game takes place on a Planet Eris as it is. Definitely a WHAT.
  • Pop'n music would lose half its charm without its silly cast of characters, including but not limited to: the rabbit- and cat-like mascots, a Cute Witch who can turn her broom into a guitar, a girl who runs continuously runs left really fast as if hopped up on sugar, an angel disguised as a Hot Librarian, and a DJ who occasionally communicates with some sort of devilish spirit. And on top of that, the multicolored notes all have eyes and are called "Pop-kuns."
  • Rose and Camellia and its sequel, two Flash games about noblewomen bitchslapping each other.
  • The Power Instinct Fighting Game series has, in addition to a retinue of Serious Business martial artists typical for the genre, not one, not two, but three little old ladies, a perverted old man, a hulking amazon (well, Reality Is Unrealistic; fighting game women tend to look like slender beauties, not wrestlers), a Magical Girl, her Stripperific roller-blading alter-ego, a man in a dog suit (really!), a fat kid wearing nothing but a giant bib and has his... objects show when knocked into the air... well, rest assured that's not all. A usual fighting game might have one such character just for laughs. But these weirdoes are what Power Instinct is really about.
  • PuLiRuLa, a totally bizarre arcade Beat'em up by Taito, the characters are kids with magic sticks who turns the weird-looking enemies into animals, things getting weirder in the level 3.
  • Nezumi Man is gameplay-wise a Mega Man clone, but includes a sentient fridge, a kangaroo, and a dragon cosplayer among its bosses. Oh, and nearly everyone is a Super-Deformed rat.
  • The DJMAX series has a Weird Korean Thing in the NB Ranger series of music videos, which consist of Power Ranger lookalikes opposing love by beating up couples on dates.
  • The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble, a French point'n'click with bizarre humor.
  • Toss the Turtle. Get a Turtle Power , a cannon, your Gun Of Choice, and add several crazy things like smoking French phoenix-like birds, bananas who can shoryuken the shit out of you, and angry ground creatures with a tenuous hold on their sanity, all for the purpose of getting cash, and you got something that is a grade-A WHAT.
  • The entire Bomberman franchise. To recap: An absurdly cute robot with more than enough explosives to make even the MythBusters squeal with joy saving the world (or the universe) on a regular basis. Enemies include: homicidal balloons, giant coins that can phase through walls, your evil twin, Wario, a different evil twin, a furry BDSM mistress with a giant robot that shoots eye lasers, entire teams made up of evil twins, a bodybuilder with Cool Shades, and what some may argue is you in the future. This isn't even touching Multiplayer, by the way.
  • Gadget Past As Future, by Haruhiko Shono. It resembles Myst, but without any real puzzles; you play a brainwashed secret agent in a nation resembling that from Nineteen Eighty-Four and have to help a group of scientists gather a bunch of gizmos to build a spaceship to escape earth before a comet hits and its ending gives redefines the meaning of not providing any fucking explanation for anything.
  • Flower definitely belongs here since it's a game about opening flowers and the inability to lose.
  • Similarly, Endless Ocean, which embraces the player doing things at his own leisure and does little to nothing to penalize him. It even got mocked by professional reviewers for not including such expected things as a life gauge, weapons, or a point.
  • Another Weird Swedish Thing is Garden Gnome Carnage. The premise: You're a garden gnome tied to a building on wheels, and you're trying to hold off elves from dropping Christmas presents into the chimney (because gnomes hate holidays) by swinging into them and dropping bricks on them, in addition to the occasional air strike. Oh, and this game was made by Daniel Remar (of Iji and Hero Core fame).
  • Parodied in The Simpsons Game. Big Super Happy Fun Fun Game is a stage built entirely from references to Okami, Pokémon, and Katamari Damacy, while also using series gags like Mr. Sparkle. Furthered when every character explicitly notes it as being in Japan, much to Homer's frustration.

"Okay, so we're in Japan. But I'm not eating any sushi, unless it's covered in chocolate and there's no sushi in it!"

  • Vib Ribbon - You control a rabbit wandering across a mobius strip dodging random obstacles that appear in time with the music. Oh, and despite being made in the late 90's, everything is using vector graphics like it's the early 80's. And you can make your own levels by putting in your own CDs. It's proof positive that WJTs and minimalism are quite happy together.
  • Tengai Makyou, a series of comedic role-playing games that spoofed the everloving hell out of Western misconceptions of Japanese culture (and vice-versa, in the fourth game).
  • Tail Of The Sun - You lead a tribe of cavemen in building a tower out of mammoth tusks tall enough to reach the sun.
  • Vegetable Game. As far as we can tell, it's about a crudely-drawn bear hugging escalatingly bad people, from "Jaywalker" up to "Adolf Hitler". No vegetables involved at all. Also, the game repeatedly tells you not to play it.
  • Three Dirty Dwarves is a weird Hungarian thing. You control three dwarves who use sport gears as weapons and armors. Enemies include naked ninjas, an entire gym which attack by throwing can of steroids, and a blue troll covered by junkyard dogs biting his body. The backgrounds and the animated intro also have a distinct Eastern European Animation style.
  • While the Bangai-O series itself qualifies, its first installment is the best example. The giant robot action may not be nonsensical, but the plot, characters and dialogue certainly are.
    • It's a Treasure game. Plot is a distant second to gameplay in their titles, usually being an Excuse Plot at best.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia is an Eastern RPG about moe girls fighting the Console Wars, as envisioned by Sega and Nippon Ichi Software.
  • Game Freak first thought Pokémon would be a widget. Oh, were they surprised.
    • Being a Cash Cow Franchise doesn't mean it's not a WJT, what with the weird premise of kids going out to stuff wild animals (and even gods) into tiny balls to make them fight for fun and profit, and nobody bats an eye about it, as if cockfighting with explosions is perfectly normal in this society. To think that this somehow started out of a childhood interest in catching and collecting bugs...
  • Toejam and Earl is pretty much a WHAT.
  • Irisu Syndrome is a Widget Game of the "OH GOD WHY" variety.
  • Patapon is about a tribe of eyeballs-on-stickleg warriors who essentially believe the player is their god on account of the player possessing a drum. They wish for the player to guide them to Earthend so they may gaze upon "IT" and know eternal contentment, but they don't even know what IT is. Everyone not a Patapon is convinced that gazing upon IT will bring the world to an end.
    • Given that the original art design was done by a French artist called Rolito, this is also partially a WTF
  • In a somewhat retroactive way, Capcom's Japanese branch believes that the Mega Man franchise is one of these and doesn't appeal as much to international audiences, as it was meant to be geared towards children in the first place. Naturally, the international fandom isn't amused.
  • The localization of Samurai Zombie Nation changed the player character, tasked with defending the United States from an Eldritch Abomination, from a floating tengu mask into a floating samurai head, disguising its WJT-ness not one bit.
  • Catherine.
  • Ninja Baseball Bat Man is, oddly enough, both a WJT and a WHAT. It's an Irem arcade game, but the very premise is from an American. As for what the game's actually about? If the awesomely absurd title doesn't make it clear enough, The Angry Video Game Nerd sums it up nicely.
  • Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom is an Adventure Game where a cucumber hero and a baby persimmon sidekick Save the Princess and battle with farmers in games of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
  • Do Don Pachi DaiFukkatsu's console-exclusive Arrange B mode is this for scoring system buffs. Enemies that change bullet patterns and point values as the player plays more, lots of Smart Bombing (even moreso than most Eighting Raizing games), enough bomb recharging to make the announcer ask "Are you ready?" over and over, among other things that break many established shmup conventions.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend is about a human hunter-gatherer girl who goes to a high school for pigeons and doves, and discovers romance along the way.
  • Namco's Wagyan Land, a Platform Game where you fight with projectile katakana and bosses try to defeat you with Shiritori.
  • The newest entry in the Final Fantasy series, contained within the Dissidia Final Fantasy universe, Theatrhythm Final Fantay, has been described as Final Fantasy meets Elite Beat Agents. To restate for candidacy, it's a Japanese Role Playing Game anthology fused with a Rhythm game (similar to that of Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero, with wildly varying graphics (from Kingdom Hearts coded-style chibis, to eight- and sixteen-bit (Nintendo/Game Boy/ Super Nintendo/ Game Boy Color-era), to fully rendered CGI (same quality as Playstation One-Three, Xbox 360)), and it's in the same series as a FIGHTING GAME. Oh, and it's on the Nintendo 3DS, so it's all in stereoscopic 3D.
  • Hellsinker is this with a healthy heaping of Mind Screw.
    • To further drive the point home, one of the main characters is a frail blind girl who uses a naked crystal fairy as a sword, another one is an artificial Hermaphrodite half god. Also in one of the final battle's you fight a kitten togheter with the spirit's of four dead children inside a computer system of some sort.
    • And when it comes to the game mechanics the game pulls no punches, for example if you want a good score you have to utilize tactics that would be downright suicidal in other games.
  • Work Time Fun puts the W in WJT.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog, a game series where you play as a hardcore blue hedgehog with Super Speed, who must foil the evil plans of an egg-shaped mad scientist resembling the late Teddy Roosevelt (who tends to trap small animals inside his robot soldiers). All while frequently running through loop-de-loops. Some of the said hedgehog's friends include a two-tailed fox and a red echidna that can glide. As Sonic was intentionally modelled after cartoon characters from The Golden Age of Animation to appeal to a Western audience, this essentially qualifies the series as a WAT made by Japanese developers. Of course, much like its rival franchise, its popularity (outside of Japanese borders) has helped people get used to it to this day.
    • The remake of Sonic the Hedgehog CD is an example of UMM (unusual multicultural media) due to being a collaboration with a Western developer and the game's Japanese owner.
  • Umihara Kawase is a game where you control a schoolgirl using a lure on rubber line to maneuver through Bizarrchitecture stages with multiple pathways, and avoiding various species of aquatic life, including fish with legs.
  • Bunny Must Die, a game where you play a playboy bunnygirl cursed with cat ears and that can manipulate time, who fights such enemies as a photorealistic picture of a cat and an expy of Dracula that spouts Zero Wing quotes and inflicts instant death by flashing you. Those are just some the named characters, never mind some of mooks.
  • Inverted by the Raocow-centric Super Mario World ROM Hack, A Super Mario Thing, which was a collaborative effort by the members of the TalkHaus community (being said French-Canadian LPer's forum), and managed to totally baffle a Japanese Lets Player, Ryuu.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw looks to be a serious WJT contender, but it's not out yet.
  • The Edna & Harvey franchise are a rare example of a PEGS, since both games are point-and-click adventure games in which you play insane female protagonists.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Axe Cop. What actually happens in the comic is weird enough, but when you factor in that the writer is a six-year-old boy, it truly achieves WHAT status.
  • Electric Wonderland can come off as pretty crazy, due to it taking place in a Cyberspace world unbound by the laws of physics.
  • Princess Pi tends to rely on nonsensical logic.
  • Dolan is the epitome of a Weird Finnish Thing.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Many 90's cartoons, particularly ones that came from What a Cartoon Show, such as Cow and Chicken and its Spin-Off I Am Weasel.
  • Avez-vous déjà vu...? is a Weird Thing from France (W.T.F.) that can easily beat FLCL and Azumanga Daioh for the title of the weirdest series in the world! Although it seems like all the information about this... strangeness... is in French, you can find some videos on the Internet by googling the title. It was made by Alain Chabat, who's considered as king of the weird in France.
  • Cartoon Network is almost a Widget channel, especially when you add in the incredibly bizarre creations of Adult Swim and the very, very weird bumpers for both CN and [as]. Examples:
  • Adult Swim's original animation block is filled to the brim with a variety of American widgets, starting from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
  • Chapi Chapo , a Weird French Thing, consists of the playful adventures of two small...children that manipulate innumerable boxes, and sometimes even physical laws.
  • Fireman Sam (a series about a small Welsh village in which pretty much everything is A Job For The Fire Service) originated in Wales as Sam Tan (tan being welsh for fire, which is quite ironic seeing as Sam's job is to put out fires, so translated it could be Fire Sam).
  • Any episode of Teen Titans that begins with its theme song in Japanese is pretty much this. Especially the one where it is sung by a one shot, otaku character, according to Andrea Romano's comments in a DVD Easter Egg.
  • The Fleischer Studios with pretty much anything they did. There's a ghost of a walrus singing a song written by Cab Calloway, rotoscoped from Cab Calloway's dancing; as well as Koko the Clown's antics. Counts as a W.E.N.T, or "Weird Early Nineteen-hundreds Thing."
    • How about "Weird Early Twentieth Century Animated Thing" (W.E.T.C.A.T.)?
  • Parodied in The Simpsons, when an already manically bizarre promotional videotape for the Japanese cleaning product Mr. Sparkle includes, for no apparent reason, a brief clip of a reporter asking a two-headed cow, "Any plans for summer?"
    • Then the cow shatters with a look of horror on its face(s) upon viewing Mr. Sparkle.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Just watch the opening. Though, much of the oddness comes from the sheer amount of Nightmare Fuel.
  • Some Tom and Jerry cartoons would probably count, since only jazz music was an instant hit worldwide and the culture took a little time to catch up, and also purely American-centric television tropes like Mammy Two-shoes. (Granted, on that second part, minstrel show anything would count. Droopy had a crapload of those kinds of jokes.) Not that they didn't exist in other countries, it just existed in different forms. Errr, is there a trope for humour that plain doesn't translate well?
  • Panique au Village (A Town Called Panic) is a bizarre Belgian stop-motion shorts series.
    • also, Pic Pic André Shoow by the same authors
  • The Ren and Stimpy Show... when it's not being Ho Yay-laden Nightmare Fuel, anyway.
  • Les Renés, another Weird Thing from France, a series about a cyclop family, created by the French artist Hervé Di Rosa.
  • One of the earliest French CGI series, Chipie & Clyde, a series about a selfish wolf called Clyde who live in a loft and his antagonist, a girl called Chipie, who is able to send him by magic to make a test each time he says the F word.
    • in the same case, Les Quarxs, a scientist who shows some weird creatures that came from nowhere which caused him some serious problems in his work.
  • King of the Hill comes across to outsiders, even within the United States, as a Weird Middle American Thing.
    • Other than that, though, King of the Hill may be the ultimate anti-Widget Series.
  • "Rejected," by Don Hertzfeldt. Or just about anything by him.
    • Or INSPIRED BY him, like those Pop Tarts commercials.
    • "You're watching the Family Learning Channel. And now, angry ticks fire out of my nipples."
  • South Park occasionally veers into this territory, especially in its more nonsensical episodes.
    • In the directors' commentary of FLCL, the director and the interviewer commented that South Park comes across as a big-time Widget Series in Japan since so many of the popular culture references are lost.
  • The 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 was like a Widget series.
  • Aardman animations are often filled with British terms that non-Brits might not be familiar with.
    • Rex the Runt manages to be the epitome of this. A bunch of claymation dogs and their adventures through time, outer-space, 'inside brains'...
  • Pingu is totally a weird Swiss thing. It's a Claymation series about a Bratty Half-Pint little boy penguin, who can stretch and squash himself into any shape he desires, who speaks a non-sensical babble thus leaving the stories of the show to be told through inference via body language, and of which several episodes have been Banned in China due to Nightmare Fuel and Toilet Humor.
  • Kappa Mikey. That is all.
  • KaBlam!!, even moreso in earlier episodes.
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Gumby, anyone?
  • Oscar's Orchestra on CBBC. Set in the very distant future, about a group of sentient music instruments (Oscar is a grand blue piano, and their leader) fighting the music-hating world dictator Thaddius Vent.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants could be seen this way by people who aren't used to it.
    • So, it 's a Weird American Thing (WAT)
  • Jacob Two Two is very much a wicket. It includes major references to hockey, is set in Montreal, has an explicitly stated Quebecois character, and has assignments about Canadian explorers. Not to mention the Canadian style of humour in the show.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch
  • Fat Dog Mendoza: The adventures of a boy in a superhero costume and his dog (which looks more like a giant cat's head with legs and a tail). They're best firends with a girl who has purple hair, their teacher has two heads (one named Polly, the other Esther), the villains include a guy with feet for hands and another with a giant green head... and that's just the premise.


Other[edit | hide]

  • Most small Toyotas since about 2000 have this to some extent or another. Matter of fact, on the international front, ridiculous little dinky cars and hatchbacks from all around the world are perceived this way by Americans.
    • The ultimate example would probably be the autorickshaw, a demented little car-thing built around a motorcycle.
    • A western example would by the short-lived Yggdrasil 'green' motorcycles. We can't link to an example, unfortunately, as the website has been down for about two years. If you've played or seen screenshots of the game series Xtreme G, they resembled those cycles but only went about 140-170kph and were sold in small numbers in mainland Europe as an environmentally conscious alternative to move from point A to B. They were cheap to buy, but annoyingly expensive to maintain, and attempts to sell them elsewhere were met with confusion and head scratching elsewhere (and even at home) due to the way-too-futuristic designs and odd seating arrangement. (ridden as if you were straddling a rocket Wile E Coyote style).
      • Smart cars may also be seen this way. However, those outside North America likely perceive the lack of micro cars and the preponderance of big sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs for city dwellers as just as strange. This is caused by Japanese and European car makers not bothering to sell their micro cars and more left-field models in North America in a self-fulfilling cycle of lack of demand from lack of products from lack of demand...
      • Actually, the lack of microcars is understandable in a market filled with giants: put a pickup (which can weigh up to five tons, empty) against one of those and tell me which folks will live. Weird, maybe; practical, very.
        • That comparison is only valid if by 'pickup' you mean 'ten-wheel dump truck.'
    • The whole Morgan car company is a weird British Car Company: two-seat roadsters with a 1930s design and wooden chassis? Three wheelers with the one wheel at the back?. A car with crossed eyes? Clarkson did a thorough investigation of the phenomenon of British sports cars and their drivers here.
  • Japanese pop groups composed of cute teenage girls, such as Morning Musume and other Hello! Project groups, come across to Western audiences as Weird Japanese Things.
    • Dunno if others agree, but Hangry & Angry, with Hitomi Yoshizawa and Rika Ishikawa from Morning Musume.
    • Not as WJT as non-pop Visual Kei bands though. The most common thing said about that style has to be "Wait a minute, is that a man?', and even putting the Viewer Gender Confusion to one side, there's still the crazy music videos, genre-jumping every other album, hair twice the size of the person underneath it and OTT engrish to deal with.
  • Men With Brooms is possibly more Weirdly Canadian than Kids in the Hall. It's a sports comedy about curling, that also features Paul Gross, Leslie Nielsen (as a retired curling guru and hallucinogenic mushroom enthusiast), a guest appearance by Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip, a bagpiper in a kilt with no explicit connection to the plot, and a running gag involving beavers.
  • Cirque Du Soleil. A Weird French-Canadian Thing, which first caught attention in the U.S. because it was so different from the long-established, Ringling Bros.-dominated circus format. No animal acts, one ring, little dialogue, New Age/world music, etc. It actually took a lot of inspiration, and later performers, from established European and Asian circuses, but managed to make its own artistic statements and remain distinctive, to the point that their overall style has spawned its own imitators. (By the way, the Japanese love Cirque, to the point that the non-touring show ZED was created for Tokyo Disneyland.) In addition, their 2003 TV show Solstrom is a true Widget Series: a mostly silent fantasy series that links acrobatic and novelty acts together via whimsical stories involving mischievous "sun creatures" (actually characters from the various stage shows) running amuck on Earth.
  • "Hitsuji de Oyasumi" is a series of short talk CDs featuring various Japanese voice actors Counting Sheep. Not just a few sheep, either; most of the albums go to 400, plus short openings and closings and occasional other mid-count comments. There are at least 22 volumes of this.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a weird British thing, especially during the scenes when they use the Infinite Improbability Drive.
    • Douglas Adams himself alluded to how much Cricket Rules is a Weird British Game in Life, The Universe, And Everything with the commentators of Test Match Special not at all fazed by Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and a sofa appearing from nowhere on the pitch at Lord's. And only the British would be so insensitive to use the hallowed 'Wicket Gate' as part of a game.
  • Although books of humorous stories and "laws" about how things go horribly wrong are a somewhat common genre, The Peter Principle, with its punny names and fantastically banal "case studies", is not only the most famous but the most uniquely wickety of all of them. (It was, however, inspired by Parkinsons Law, a hilariously turgid Wabbit.)
  • Japanese Bento Lunch Tools. Ever see egg molds? Take a boiled egg, while it's still hot, shell it, and place it into one of these. The resulting shape can be anything from a bunny to a fish to an ice cream cone. There are also ones that essentially makes egg logs with the yolk in varying shapes, such as flower, star, heart etc.
  • Some comments about the Handley Page Victor bomber run along the lines of "Only the British would make their nuclear deterrent look like that". Ditto for the Russians and the Tu-95.
  • The Japanese have invented a bra that turns into a shopping bag.
  • Japan now has the Toylet. It's a urinal game system. Your pee is the controller. And it's made by Sega.
  • This weird Estonian thing that gives a person one euro if one Estonian kroon is inserted into it, instead of 15.6466 kroons to one euro. It's a cow.
  • Ao Usagi's art. A lot of it is Touhou fanart. Some of it is incredibly normal. Sometimes it's a boob in an orange peel.
  • tykylevits' videos make very little sense until you do some research and find out that, yep, he's from Finland. Then it seems perfectly normal.
  • The Topp Twins are a STANZA.
  • Pretty much everything shown on this site, really.
  • There are also the Japanese vending machines which dispense things like live crabs/lobsters and used panties.

  1. *cough*Akira*cough*
  2. Don't Go For It, Electric Boy!