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Indices: Crime and Punishment Tropes, Madness TropesBy royal decree, all citizens of the realm must make their clothing out of taffy and stand on their heads three times a day! Mondays have been outlawed! The color puce is an abomination! In other words, this is when the lawmakers have gone insane. The usual result of your more literal cases of With Great Power Comes Great Insanity. Might have been written by The Caligula, or put up by the Hanging Judge in a Kangaroo Court. Often Played for Laughs—and is usually Black Comedy even in more serious examples. May involve a lot of Felony Misdemeanor or Disproportionate Retribution.
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- Judge Dredd: Judge Cal passes a number of ridiculous laws during his insane term as Chief Judge, such as outlawing happiness. Sometimes he got more creative:
Cal: "I have today passed a law to maintain public order! Deputy Chief Judge Fish will announce it!"Fish: "Bloop!"Cal: "You have heard the law. The penalty for disobedience is death!"
Esposito: From this day on, the official language of San Marcos [in Latin America] will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!Fielding Mellish: What's the Spanish word for straitjacket?
- In Monstrous Regiment, the god Nuggan has been reduced to this, with a list of Abominations that now includes babies, garlic, blue, rocks, ears and accordion players, although Vimes for one agrees with him on that last one.
- There is at least one book devoted to this subject, You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws
- Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake - Gormenghast has so many strange laws and rituals that by the time someone has become it's Earl they are probably quite insane themselves. So the laws and rituals become more insane. Gormenghast is the Crapsack World logical extreme of this trope.
- Alice in Wonderland: The Queen of Hearts was defined by being a woman that had to be obeyed on every single little whimsical law she made on the spot, even the ones that make no sense, and every single crime, no matter how small, all had the same sentence: beheading. When Alice first arrives to her kingdom, she meets a group of guards that are rushing to paint every rose on the garden red (they were white), because she just woke up in the morning hating them being white (and made them illegal). During Alice's judgement later on the book, the Queen kept on making things Alice did while defending herself illegal on the spot (and, again, kept calling for her beheading for each transgression).
- The song "King of Spain" by Moxy Fruvous has a mild (and relatively benevolent) example:
It's laissez-faire,I don't even give a care;Let's make Friday part of the weekendAnd give every new baby a chocolate eclaire
- Dungeons & Dragons: in the adventure X3 Curse of Xanathon, the title curse causes the Duke of Rhoona to proclaim several odd laws, such as "All taxes must be paid in beer", "All riders must sit backwards on their horses" and "Horses can only be fed meat".
- Pathfinder: Mayor Barzillai Thrune's decrees at the start of Hell's Rebels include edicts to control rats and stray dogs, mandatory display of the queen's portrait, restrictions on the wear of embroidered clothing, a ban on drinking tea after sunset, and a ban on mint.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Insofar that it was a game mechanic. Judges oversee every battle to ensure that you don't break some arbitrary law that changes every other battle.
- In the Feelies for Zork Zero, it is revealed that King Dimwit Flathead made every Thursday into "Birthday," on which everyone had to give him presents.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: There are two acts punishable by death in The Shivering Isles, attacking its ruler, Sheogorath, and attempting to grow a beard.
- The post-apocalyptic New Quahog in Family Guy was briefly ruled by Peter, who, among other things, randomly assigned duties from a "job hat" and not based on expertise...
"Oooh, village idiot! That's a good one! On Tuesdays you get to wave your penis at traffic!"
- The Simpsons: In "Homer Vs. the 18th Amendment", the punishment for disobeying Springfield's prohibition law is to be launched out of the city by catapult.
- Gravity Falls: The titular town was founded by (ex-) President Quentin Trembley, and his lunacy was reflected with such things as a law that allowed humans to marry woodpeckers and the "Finders Keepers" Law (which essentially meant that; as long as you have physical possession of an object, it is legally yours; and if someone else comes along and steals it, it is legally theirs—even if you could legally prove that they stole it from you, if you can't steal it back, then well... "losers weepers"). This latter one provides a pretty big source of drama during the first season finale.
- Truth in Television: a quick Google search for "crazy laws" will inform you that it is illegal to forget your wife's birthday in Samoa, among other things.
- When Oliver Cromwell came into power after the English Civil War, he introduced laws amongst others) that banned eating mince pies on the 25th of December and several other Christmas traditions.
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