Created By: Glucharina on May 13, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on April 6, 2015

Obvious Drug

Drugs with names which clearly indicate what they do.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
In a real world, drugs are called weed. Or LSD. Or meth. Or cocaine. You can see that their names are not very indicative. How can you say that cocaine is something that can get you high based on its name?

In fiction, however, drugs tend to be named Euphoria, or bliss, or whatever, so you will know it will make you feel good.


Examples

Film
  • The Stand. Flu Buddy is used to treat the common flu.
  • There's a drug in Freddy vs. Jason called Hypnocil that makes its users have no dreams. Hypnotized peoples minds are just kind of blank if you believe Hollywood, so it might count.
  • A very non-humorous example in 'Quietus' from Children of Men. It's a suicide pill. You can get it cheap from the government.

Literature
  • The Harry Potter series. Skele-gro is used to re-grow lost bones.
  • Hyperion. The drug Flashback causes the user to experience flash backs to previous life experiences.

Live-Action TV
  • Father Ted had Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze.
  • On Arrested Development GOB carries around some drugs he calls "forget-me-nows," which he surreptitiously gives to people when they discover the secret to one of his tricks illusions. When GOB describes their chemical make-up Tobias identifies them as Roofies, aka "the Date Rape drug."

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer 40,000: Anti-Ague is administered daily to Guardsmen. "Ague" is an old name for malaria, so it presumably acts like quinine.

Video Games
  • Fallout series
    • Buffout - Increases strength stat
    • Turbo - Increases reflexes and movement speed
    • RadAway - Flushes out radiation (portable chemo)
    • Rad-X - Increases radiation resistance
    • Med-X - Increases pain tolerance and damage resistance
    • Stimpak - Heals injury

Western Animation
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Shake Like Me". If you're bitten by a radioactive black man and became black, taking Blaccine (anti-black vaccine?) will return you to normal.
  • The Simpsons
    • In the episode "Bye Bye Nerdie", Repressitol keeps repressed memories from resurfacing.
    • In "Crook and Ladder" Homer takes Nappien in order to sleep through the night.

Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • May 14, 2011
    Ghilz
    Happens in RL too. Speed for one. Heck, check here
  • May 14, 2011
    PaulA
    Ecstacy.
  • May 14, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Fallout series:
    • Buffout - Increases strength stat
    • Turbo - Increases reflexes and movement speed
    • RadAway - Flushes out radiation (portable chemo)
    • Rad-X - Increases radiation resistance
    • Med-X - Increases pain tolerance and damage resistance
    • Stimpak - Heals injury

    There are quite a few more.

    Also, I took the liberty of fixing you Seen It A Million Times link.

    Laconic suggestion: Drugs with names that clearly indicate what they do.

    Needs A Better Title. Suggestion: Obvious Drug
  • May 14, 2011
    IronLion
    I don't think this is tropable - it's just a very narrow version of Exactly What It Says On The Tin.

    Also, "euphoria" and "bliss" would almost certainly just be street names for something whose chemical name doesn't quite roll off the tongue, such as "ecstasy" for methylenedioxymethamphetamine. The reason cocaine is widely referred to by its proper name is that it's short and memorable.
  • May 14, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Come to think of it, there's not much narrative purpose for this, which would make it Chairs.

    Still, with regard to the above comment, that is what a Sub Trope is for. If there were a reason for this in story (as opposed to just making them easier to identify), it should go ahead.
  • May 14, 2011
    randomsurfer
    On Arrested Development GOB carries around some drugs he calls "forget-me-nows," which he surreptitiously gives to people when they discover the secret to one of his tricks illusions. When GOB describes their chemical make-up Tobias identifies them as Roofies, aka "the Date Rape drug."
  • May 15, 2011
    Bisected8
    Truth In Television; in Real Life brand name drugs tend to have, marketable indicative names. The generic/scientific names for the compounds also tend to be descriptive, albeit in more scientific terminology.

    Also, the Fallout example is something of an enforced trope; in Fallout 3 Med-X was going to be called morphene (as it was in earlier games) but censors in Australia refused to classify the game if that wasn't changed.

    While I'm at it; "chemo[therepy]" is a treatment for cancer it doesn't do anything to help radiation poisoning.
  • May 15, 2011
    ElaineRose
    This is a running theme with some Troll drugs in Disc World. (Can't remember the complete list here). Scrape, slab, etc.
  • May 15, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Is this Up For Grabs? Glaucharina hasn't made any edits, despite the examples we've posted.

    Between that and some above debate over tropeability, shall we toss this to the discard pile?
  • May 16, 2011
    Minkovsky
    Seems a little Chairs to me, but then again, so many works actually used it as a plot element. There's a new series Doctor Who episode which uses it.
  • May 16, 2011
    Duncan
    Overlaps with Fantastic Drug.
  • May 16, 2011
    KTera
    @Bisected8: Morphine did not appear in the previous Fallout games, as far as I know.
  • May 17, 2011
    EternalSeptember
    I think this is a trope.

    Real life tropes often have non-indicative names. Fictionals always have indicative names. It is used a literary device to indicate the drug's purpose.
  • May 17, 2011
    jaytee
    Yeah, this is tropeable in my opinion. September hit on it exactly^.

    Soma from Brave New World probably counts, being named after an ancient intoxicant.

    Can-D and Chew-Z from The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch are subversions. They seem like this trope but the names are far more benevolent sounding than the drugs themselves.
  • May 17, 2011
    cathstuart
    Damn! Beat me to it @jaytee. Soma is a clear example of this trope.

    Anyway, also the hilarious sleeping pill 'Comanapracil' from {{30 Rock}}. "May cause drowsiness, sexual nightmares and sleep crime".

    On a similar note:

    • 'Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze' - Father Ted.

    • 'Nappien' - The Simpsons. (Also from The Simpsons 'Repressitol' - a drug for keeping repressed memories repressed.)

    • A very non-humorous example in 'Quietus' from Children Of Men. It's a suicide pill. You can get it cheap from the government.
  • May 19, 2011
    leaveonlyfootprints
    Star Wars has 'Death Sticks,' which are presumably in-universe cigarettes.
  • May 19, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    "V" vampire blood sold as a drug in True Blood, is a hallucinogen with the side-effects of making the user horny, it makes males longer lasting, and if a male takes too much of it at once- Priapism.
  • May 19, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    Sorry, if you don't get it, V is also real-life slang for female genitalia, and by extension- sex.
  • May 19, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    OP hasn't edited or commented in a week. Since most of us seem to think this could work shall it be made Up For Grabs?
  • May 20, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    I'm new, so I don't think my opinion counts for much, but I'd say if they left for a week already.... Private message to check first? It's just my opinion, but I figure that it might be a polite thing to do before declaring it Up For Grabs. Then again, maybe I'm wrong? I'm probably wrong.
  • May 20, 2011
    jaytee
    I think that since the OP never replied even once, we can safely consider this up for grabs. If they decide they don't like it, we can apologize. :)

    The title might need to be changed, since it doesn't seem to just be about indicative drug names, but drugs named for their effects. "Weed" is an indicative name, but it's clearly not the same as naming a drug "Bliss."

    Maybe Ecstasy Makes You Ecstatic?
  • May 20, 2011
    Riddlewizard
    It's snappy, but it also sounds a bit redundant. Nothing personal. What about these? "exactly what it says on the baggie" or "exactly how the dealer described it"

    And as log as I'm here, There's a drug in Freddy Vs. Jason called Hypnocil that makes its users have no dreams. Hypnotized peoples minds are just kind of blank if you believe Hollywood, so it might count.
  • May 23, 2011
    Arivne
    Some from The Other Wiki's List of fictional medicines and drugs.

    Film
    • The Stand. Flu Buddy is used to treat the common flu.

    Literature
    • The Harry Potter series. Skele-gro is used to re-grow lost bones.
    • Hyperion. The drug Flashback causes the user to experience flash backs to previous life experiences.

    Tabletop Games
    • Warhammer 40,000: Anti-Ague is administered daily to Guardsmen. "Ague" is an old name for malaria, so it presumably acts like quinine.

    Western Animation
    • Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Shake Like Me". If you're bitten by a radioactive black man and became black, taking Blaccine (anti-black vaccine?) will return you to normal.
    • The Simpsons episode "Bye Bye Nerdie". Repressitol keeps repressed memories from resurfacing.
  • May 23, 2011
    Glucharina
    Hi, I'm back, most people seem to accept it as a trope, so I will man it again.
  • May 23, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    I'm supporting this, but I have one gripe that should be addressed.

    Is "makes it easier to identify" enough of a narrative purpose to merit a "Trope"?

    If so, this should definitely go ahead.
  • May 23, 2011
    jaytee
    ^A trope need not be important to the narrative to be a trope.

    And this really goes beyond making something "easier to identify." It can also be related to Rule Of Funny and can be related to the tendency of Real Life pharaceutical companies and illicit drug users to give drugs somewhat indicative names.

    Speaking of Real Life examples:
    • Quaalude is meant to be a portmanteau of "Quiet Interlude," with the addition of double-a's to seem friendlier (see also Maalox).
  • May 23, 2011
    cathstuart
    You for got to add 'Comanapracil' from 30 Rock. Get it, 'coma', 'nap'... (I'm no good with linking to ptitles).

    "May cause drowsiness, sexual nightmares and sleep crime".
  • March 27, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • March 27, 2015
    Boston
    I Love Lucy has, famously, "Vitameatavegemin," a health tonic, which is concocted from — you guessed it — vitamins, meat, vegetables, and minerals. (And alcohol!)
  • March 27, 2015
    randomsurfer
    • The Simpsons:
      • In one episode Homer takes Nappacin in order to sleep through the night.
      • In another episode, Bart is diagnosed with ADHD and is prescribed Focusin to get him to focus.
  • March 27, 2015
    Folamh3
    Good idea for a trope, although I'd suggest renaming it. "Obvious Drug" suggests a drug which very clearly looks like a drug (like a mysterious brightly-coloured liquid in a syringe). I'd suggest a name which means "a drug, the intended function of which is very obvious from its name".
  • March 27, 2015
    robbulldog
    Brooklyn Nine Nine: Roger Peralta, Jake's dad, is accused of smuggling prescription drugs, including a "Turgidol".

    Scully immediately identifies it for the rest of the 99; "Canadian erection medication. Very potent...What? I don't need it...But I love it."
  • March 27, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    I think it needs a better name. The current one seems like something that is clearly a narcotic at first sight instead of the name telling you what the medicine does.

    EDIT: ^^ Beat me to it.
  • March 27, 2015
    DAN004
  • March 27, 2015
    zarpaulus
    The Simpsons entry has two tabs on "Repressitol".
  • March 27, 2015
    GiorgioDaneri
    • The Simpsons
      • Focusyn, the experimental drug to treat Bart's ADHD, and it helped bart to focus in school.
  • March 27, 2015
    zarpaulus
    ^ That one's been mentioned too.

    Literature

    Tabletop Games
    • Eclipse Phase has a long list of these. For instance, "Klar" boosts alertness and enhances clarity and perception, BringIt makes you produce pheromones that make others want to hurt you, Comfurt is a genetically engineered yogurt full of anti-depressants, and Schizo gives you paranoid schizophrenia for a day.
    • Stims in Hc Svnt Dracones, Ever-ready increases your readiness score, Ironhide hit-points, and Fullnight staves off fatigue for a while.
  • March 27, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
  • March 28, 2015
    Folamh3
    Maybe "Exactly What It Says on the Tin Drug" or something in that vein (if you'll pardon the pun).
  • March 28, 2015
    Bisected8
  • March 28, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    Not sure such a snowclone would work on the site now.
  • March 28, 2015
    StarSword
    TV:
  • March 28, 2015
    DAN004
    Who's managing this?
  • March 29, 2015
    Dalillama
    • Girl Genius features a powerful stimulant called Moveit, which comes in numbered formulations of various strengths. Moveit #11 is so strong that it's fatal to ordinary humans.
  • March 29, 2015
    Arivne
  • March 29, 2015
    Gowan
    • In A Brothers Price, there is a drug called "Everlast". It is given to men to increase their sexual endurance.
  • March 29, 2015
    NemuruMaeNi
    "What-It-Does-ium" Consumable maybe? Like, a very common trope, to an extent an application of Exactly What It Says On The Tin idea to medicines, remedies, potions, etc. There's a weak point: some things would really be doing just what their name says ("Healing potion 50"), others would just vaguely point in the effect direction. Those stimpacks from Fallout. How do you guess from the name alone that it simply restores current health to up to maximum? It could stimulate thought process instead with that name, or clear drowsiness.
  • March 30, 2015
    Snicka
    The description only refers to drugs people consume for pleasure, but many examples are actually drugs used in medication.
  • March 30, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ but they're both drugs, right?

    So... who wanna grab this and modify the description?
  • March 30, 2015
    randomsurfer
    WWF: In one segment The Dudley Boys steal Chris Jericho's gear and discover that he uses a balm for his posterior, which is helpfully labeled "ASS CREAM" in giant letters.

    Why isn't the Simpsons Focusin example added?
  • March 30, 2015
    zarpaulus
    ^ There's a lot of examples that need to be added.
  • March 31, 2015
    randomsurfer
    But the Simpsons Nappacin and Focusin examples were provided in the very same reply. Why add one and not the other, is my question.

    EDIT: Ah, I see. Nappacin was provided twice, so the example was perhaps added from the time where Focusin wasn't also given.
  • April 6, 2015
    aurora369
    In the Soviet cartoon "Adventures of Leopold the Cat", the titular cat, too kind and friendly to hurt someone, had to ingest "Ozverin" (lit. Rampagine) to attack his enemies.
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