By 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
. Often Played for Laughs
--and is usually Black Comedy
even in more serious examples.
Up for Grabs
- 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 accordian players, although Vimes for one agrees with him on that last one.
- Basic Dungeons And 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".
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?
- There is at least one book devoted to this subject, You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws
- 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.
- Judge Cal in Judge Dredd:
Cal: "I have today passed a law to maintain public order! Deputy Chief Judge Fish will announce it!"
Cal: "You have heard the law. The penalty for disobedience is death!"
- 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.
- The song "King of Spain" by Moxy Fruvous has a mild (and relatively benevolent) example:
I don't even give a care;
Let's make Friday part of the weekend
And give every new baby a chocolate eclaire
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!"
- 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 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.