[[caption-width-right:180:Rated XXX. [[labelnote: By the way]] We're not kidding when we say that's the actual city flag of Amsterdam.[[/labelnote]]]]

->''"So tell me again about the hash bars."''
-->-- '''Jules Winfield''' from ''Film/PulpFiction''... and everybody else who's ever met somebody who's been to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is the modern Sodom and Gomorrah. You can do everything in Amsterdam. You can do drugs till you drop, explore the wildest boundaries of sexual debauchery, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and have your fries with mayonnaise]].

The rest of UsefulNotes/TheNetherlands is just [[LandOfTulipsAndWindmills one field of tulips after another with the odd windmill]] here and there; from the way people talk about it, you'd figure the Netherlands and Amsterdam were different countries.
As Freestate Amsterdam is wall-to-wall nightlife, it's never day there.

There is at least a grain of truth in this, since the Netherlands does have fairly lenient soft-drug laws and a thriving sex industry... and the Dutch do eat far more mayonnaise than most countries. However, Amsterdam is hardly more liberal than other major cities in Europe,[[note]]The most liberal drug laws in Europe are actually in UsefulNotes/{{Portugal}} and UsefulNotes/TheCzechRepublic, where most drugs are decriminalized in personal-use quantities[[/note]] and in many aspects more restricted. Holding an open can of beer on the street is officially illegal (although it will rarely if ever get you a fine), smoking a joint outside is frowned on by the locals. The red light district doesn't differ all that much from the ones in, say, Brussels or Hamburg, except the prostitutes in Amsterdam at least look happier. Magic mushrooms have been banned (though the mayor flat-out refuses to order police raids to check and [[ExactWords truffles are not banned]]), and marijuana is actually only decriminalized rather than flat-out legal, meaning you simply won't be fined. And the sex museums, dildo shops and weed shrines? That stuff's just for tourists. The city has no stoner subculture to speak of--you either smoke or you don't, but it doesn't make you part of a social group--and most of the true hippies are stranded Americans looking for some change. In fact, the Netherlands has a much lower rate of cannabis use than the United States. Mentioning weed to most people over 50 and/or Christian gets the same reaction as it would in the States.

As for the wooden shoes: nobody really wears them anymore. There are some small rural villages (e.g. Spakenburg) where people still occasionally dress in traditional clothing, of which wooden shoes can be a part, but the only other places you'll see the things are kitschy souvenir shops.

Any natives of the country you meet anywhere are guaranteed to have a last name that starts with [[TheVonTropeFamily Van, De, Van de, Van den, or Van der]]. In reality, a sizable minority of the Dutch have such last names, but don't expect to meet any of the others in any work of fiction.

Note about the flag: Rated XXX, that sounds pretty cool, but actually it's much older: each of those [=Xs=] are St. Andrew's crosses, in honor of the city's patron saint (same as UsefulNotes/{{Scotland}} and [[UsefulNotes/RussiansWithRustingRockets the Russian Navy]], which also have X-designs on their flags). The official explanation of the three crosses is that they represent the biggest threats in Amsterdam's history: fire, because medieval houses were made of timber and stand next to each other, increasing risks of huge fires; flood, because the River Amstel often flooded; and plague, because the canals were filthy and one could contract all kinds of diseases from the water therein. Another theory goes that the crosses were part of the coat-of-arms of an old noble family, who were patrons of the town of some sort, and so the town adopted their design in its own coat of arms, but it is not known which family that was. (Probably not [[TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily that one]].)



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Parodied and lampshaded in ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' by the [[MoeAnthropomorphism character representing the Netherlands]] who's described as a depraved chain-smoker, apparently is somewhat of a {{lolicon|AndShotacon}} and uses some kinds of 'shady drugs', whatever they are. Hilariously, a recently translated strip featuring him showed a profile shot of him with his nostrils missing, leading to comments that he may have done some damage to them with his habits...

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Belgian comic ''ComicBook/{{Urbanus}}'' has an issue called "De laatste Hollander" (the last Dutchman) which features this version of Amsterdam.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' version of Holland is explored in ''Fanfiction/TheBlackSheep''. In true Pratchett tradition, Sto Kerrig is Holland with all the knobs turned UpToEleven. Windmills, clogs, Edam cheese, canals and tulips are all involved. The state capital, [=DamHamster=], boasts ''kaffeehuisen'' where strange mind-altering and appetite-enhancing tobaccos are smoked in abundance. There is also a [=SexMusee=] celebrating all aspects and variations of the human sexual experience. A [[UsefulNotes/{{France}} Quirmian]] visitor is suitably moved by both.

* In ''Film/EuroTrip'', the characters get incredibly high after eating brownies they thought contained marijuana, hooting and hollering about getting high, much to the Rastafarian baker's annoyance. [[spoiler:They're regular brownies.]] Another character's first positive sexual encounter occurs there, while yet another is viciously sodomized in an S&M brothel, by Creator/LucyLawless. Subverted throughout, as it's clearly the tourists' stupidity on show here rather than the Free State.
* Subverted in ''[[Film/OceansEleven Ocean's Twelve]]'' where the robber gang meets a local contact in an Amsterdam cafe and has a conversation so bizarre they seem to be on drugs. Turns out they're just messing with one character's head.
* Vincent Vega, of course, [[SeinfeldianConversation tells us all about this]] in ''Film/PulpFiction''.
* Found in ''Theatre/PassingStrange'' - The Youth gets into implied threesomes at a marijuana cafe in beautiful AMMMSTEEERDAAAAM!
* The SequelHook of ''Film/HaroldAndKumarGoToWhiteCastle'' has the two stoners planning to go Amsterdam to find Harold's love interest. That and...
-->'''Kumar''': You know what's legal in Amsterdam, right?
* After the characters win the eponymous ''Film/{{Beerfest}}'', they stumble across Willie Nelson in an Amsterdam back-alley, who invites them to join Weedfest.
* ''Film/{{Hostel}}'' starts out here, but then [[DevelopingDoomedCharacters the characters get bored with all the sex and drugs in Amsterdam]] and head east for even more exotic delights in Slovakia. This turns out to be a [[HellHotel Very Bad Idea]] ...
* The ''Pizza'' round-the-world delivery arc involves a trip to a more realistic version of Amsterdam... where the delivery is put in jeopardy (again) when the cast [[IntoxicationEnsues get high]].
* ''Film/DeuceBigalow: European Gigolo'', even though the promotional poster shows him in Italy. He even wears a T-shirt with the page image above. [[spoiler:Interestingly, the villain of the movie is [[WellIntentionedExtremist a manwhore killer out to remove this image of his city]].]]
* Surprisingly, considering the ''Film/JamesBond'' series' tendency to have 007 visit TheThemeParkVersion of any given country (see ''Film/{{Octopussy}}''), when he visits in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'' all he really indulges in is a rather vicious fight in a lift.
* Creator/CheechAndChong's ''Still Smokin'''.
* ''Series/RootIntoEurope'': Mr. Root meets with a Dutch police chief in Amsterdam to discuss the dangers of drug abuse, only to discover that he'd inadvertently eaten a number of magic brownies from a dessert cart moments before.
* '''Sex, Drugs & Democracy''' is a documentary film that explores Hollands liberal attitude towards drugs, prostitution, porn, sex education, and homosexuality making the argument that it has not increased crime rates and otherwise negatively effected Dutch society.
* Interestingly the 2007 film ''Nightwatching'' plays this trope completely straight despite being set over 300 years ago during the Dutch Golden Age. Amsterdam is depicted as a WretchedHive infested with murder, corruption and [[spoiler:child ]]prostitution, sadly this was TruthInTelevision during the time period.

* Mostly averted by ''Literature/TheFaultInOurStars'' (Creator/JohnGreen ''really'' likes Amsterdam and goes whenever chance he gets), although the 16-year-old protagonists are served champagne in a restaurant quite openly.
-->'''Dutch Cabdriver''':Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In an episode of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' Jim asks his co-workers about possible vacation destinations. Toby recommends Amsterdam, stating that after his divorce, he went there for about a week... or maybe a month... he seemed a bit hazy on the details for obvious reasons.
* One game of ''Greatest Hits'' in ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' started with Drew Carey taking suggestions for "a city where you would go to have a great time". Amsterdam is one of the suggestions called out, and judging from the players' and even the audience's eventual reactions, they all know what kind of time one would have there. Sadly they went with Paris. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKqC8verxPM 2:30 here.]]
-->'''Drew:''' ''(mock drunken singing)'' [[BawdySong Ohhh the whores of Amsterdaaaaam...]]
* In an episode of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Earl is in a coma, and his friends are waiting anxiously for him to come out of it. [[EruditeStoner Darnell]] suggests that they try to stimulate his mind with both old memories and new experiences. He holds up a postcard from Amsterdam, saying (with a smirk) "I call it Amster-jam. You'll know why when you get there." [[spoiler: The postcard does not rouse Earl from his coma, but does appear in his coma dream as a decoration that his wife is putting up.]]
* In ''Series/TheWire'' season 3, the police designate vacant neighborhoods as "free zones" where drugs are tolerated. When explaining this to a drug crew, Herc refers to one of the free zones as "Amsterdam in Baltimore". The free zones then become known collectively as Hamsterdam.
* On ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', [[DaChief Director Vance]] has a {{flashback}} to his first mission to Amsterdam, where he met [[BadassIsraeli Eli David]] enjoying some hashish. He also visited the red light district, though he was less interested in the hookers than he was in the Russian hitman who wanted him dead.

* The Dutch brothers Eddie and Alex Music/VanHalen were less than happy when Sammy Hagar composed "Amsterdam", with lyrics such as "oh Amsterdam, stone you like nothin' else can".
* Music/MarkusSchulz's song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ps7oe5hAGg "Dancing in the Red Light"]] is a {{trance}}-y {{leitmotif}} for the city of Amsterdam, which is justified by Amsterdam's thriving ElectronicMusic fandom/scene.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROr5uMpBDnk "American in Amsterdam"]] by Music/{{Wheatus}}, which may or may not be BasedOnATrueStory, is pretty much ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. It doesn't go very well for the participants.

* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'': The episode "Do Not Open" starts with the narrator and his friends (all recent graduates) going on holiday to Amsterdam, for exactly the reasons you'd expect (though he also takes time to [[IReadItForTheArticles admire the architecture]]).

* ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal 2'': The "Holland: Field of Screams" stage is an example of the rural part of this trope. It consists of several tulip fields surrounded with... well, more tulip fields, and a pair of windmills.
* ''Final Fight 2'' had some form of a post apocalyptic Holland with invented letters on signs, fighting trough windmills, bombs hidden in the ground, carrion birds, and ending up in some kind of a massive... sewer? Dock?
* Mentioned but not seen in ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3''. The final Empire mission takes place in Amsterdam (which for some unexplained reason is the seat of [[MegaCorp FutureTech]] headquarters) and features everything you'd expect: tulips, canals, fancy brick buildings, Imperial soldiers mocking the red light district, etc.
* The level "Flight of Fancy" in ''Franchise/SlyCooper [[VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves 3]]'' is set (on the ground) in the rural version as well, complete with rural farmhouses and windmills...but justifies it by being set around an actual such location, at [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windmills_at_Kinderdijk Kinderdijk]].

* Netherlands in ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'' is portrayed as a stoner who provides drugs and sex to Denmark. Partially to get a rise out of [[YaoiFangirl Sister Japan]].

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* [[http://bash.org/?295932 This]] Bash quote.
** [[http://bash.org/?715368 This one]] as well.
* [[http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=marijuana&defid=83756 This]] in Website/UrbanDictionary. Apparently Amsterdam is the only country (yes, ''country'') where marijuana is legal. Amusingly the statement isn't even correct if applied to Netherlands as a whole; marijuana is legal in Bangladesh, Portugal, Peru, and Uruguay but not in the Netherlands (where it's merely decriminalized).
* Star Trek Month by WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic features a cameo by Sci-Fi-Guy who says he owns a copy of the Star Trek Holiday Special (a parody of ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial'') and it's so bad, it is only legal in Amsterdam.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''[[Recap/FamilyGuyS3E20RoadToEurope Road to Europe]]'' from WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy, Brian and Stewie wind up in a hash bar in Amsterdam, and the duo gets ''extremely'' high on the marijuana smoke that's thick in the air at the bar.