[[quoteright:285:[[Webcomic/GirlGenius http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MP_1924.JPG]] ]]
[[caption-width-right:285:Agatha in her Madness Place]]

->"There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line." \\
--[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Levant Oscar Levant]]

Humans have human frailties, and even a character working on something vitally important will eventually have to rest. Tiredness, hunger, or just enemies bursting into the workplace can break anyone's concentration. There are also moral reasons to stop -- the experiment is a crime against nature, the "volunteer's" crying finally gets to you, etc. Most people understand the occasional need to take a break.

{{Mad Scientist}}s think that kind of attitude is for wimps.

When these guys get involved -- or perhaps we should say ''[[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder obsessed]]'' -- with a project, they ignore all distractions. The prisoner's crying? I don't hear anything. Crime against nature? I haven't been outside in ten years, so I don't really care. Food, sleep? Obstacles. And enemies jumping into the lab are like bonus "volunteers." You don't even have to hunt them down with a taser first!

Those [[PowerBornOfMadness who have found the Madness Place are very productive]]...for a time. [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Sometimes even a long time]]. But eventually, [[BoredWithInsanity they come back]], and have to deal with mere mortals again.

For obvious reasons, this trope is usually associated with the MadScientist, but it can appear alongside other [[CloudCuckooLander personalities]]. As touched upon above, those in the madness place tend to [[ForgetsToEat forget to eat]], [[GeniusSlob bathe]], and sometimes talk. They may think they've said something, or think it's so blindingly obvious they shouldn't have to mention it. In a sense, ItsAllAboutMe.

Compare HappyPlace. Not to be confused with [[EscapeFromTheCrazyPlace the Crazy Place]].


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* TheWoobie Chrona in ''Manga/SoulEater'' spends time in this, a HappyPlace and a BlackBugRoom. [[AmbiguousGender S/he]] spends much less of the anime in it due to a [[EarnYourHappyEnding happy]] GeckoEnding ([[spoiler:[[HeelFaceDoorSlam less so in the manga]]]]). [[MadScientist Dr. Stein]] is constantly at risk of slipping into his. Other "victims" include [[spoiler: Justin Law and Death The Kid]].
* Arguably, what Fran of ''Manga/FrankenFran'' goes into when she begins an operation.
* In ''Manga/NeonGenesisEvangelionAngelicDays'', Yui is still alive; one of her jobs at NERV is to gently nudge Gendo out of the Madness Place from time to time.


* ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'': Jack Skellington spends a lot of time attempting to figure out Christmas after returning to Halloweentown from Christmastown.



* ''Franchise/{{Superman}}: Literature/LastSonOfKrypton''. When Superboy gives a teenage Lex Luthor his own laboratory, Lex goes into this state.
-->Some of Lex's classmates and a few of the teachers he had not yet intimidated left food outside the laboratory door. Clark Kent, the only student that the Smallville High faculty trusted not to copy answers that were often more accurate than teachers' answer keys, got the job of leaving Lex's tests and homework in the laboratory mail slot. Some days the food was gone in the morning, but it generally remained. Twice during the two weeks the accumulated assignment pages were tugged in through the mail slot. The next morning, both times, they were in a neat pile, correct and completed, on the ground outside under a basket of rotted fruit. No one ever saw the door open, not ever. Even Superboy had no idea what was going on inside. He had lined the walls and venetian blinds with thin lead sheeting. For three weeks Lex was very like a mystical medieval hermit living in a cave.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' (the book, not the musical), the title character tells [[TheHero Christine]] that he sometimes goes weeks on end working on his opera, ''Don Juan Triumphant'', without eating or sleeping much. Unfortunately for him, [[{{Deconstruction}} a few weeks in the madness place have to inevitably be made up for by another few weeks of sleeping most of the time due to being utterly exhausted]].
* The title character of ''{{Monstrumologist}}'', a scientist who studies ''monsters'', often goes into week-long frenzied periods of nearly constant experimentation and research after he finds a new object of study. These are, of course, followed by periods of deep depression. Including ignoring his twelve-year-old assistant.
* In ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'', Frankenstein creates his monster during in one long fit of inspiration. At completion, he snaps out of it and immediately regrets his actions.
* ''[[Literature/ZonesOfThought A Deepness in the Sky]]''. The Focus biovirus traps people in this as a permanent condition, so they can be used as brilliant but unquestioning drones for the Emergent dictatorship.
* In ''Literature/PleaseDontTellMyParentsImASupervillain'', Penny tends to enter this when using her powers. So far it hasn't resulted in any crimes against nature, but she still rarely has any conscious idea of what she's constructing beforehand.
* In ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', we get a somewhat downplayed version with [[TheAce Daenerys Targaryen]] as she isn't loud about it and "[[ReturnOfTheKing For Politics, Survival and Getting My Family's Stuff Back!]]" doesn't quite have the [[ForScience same ring to it]]. Yet, some of the greatest leaps of insight (be they magical, mundane or [[TakeAThirdOption just too out there to be forecast and prevented by others]]) she makes are preceded by a rather weird reliance on visions and dream-states with the accompanying logic they give: the thing is, she makes it work for her more often than not--particularly in the short-term. ([[DidntThinkThisThrough Longer-term...]] [[NotQuiteTheRightThing there can be a few issues, however]].) She often displays states close to tracing, lucid dreaming or what looks an awful lot like natural self-hypnosis using mantras or sayings to spur herself along. As she is about the only major Targaryen example we get to go on in the series itself, you've got to ask questions about how much [[InTheBlood the House as a whole]] has done similar things down the centuries... be the individuals either the great, middling or the outright nutty ones. Even her [[TooDumbToLive less-than-impressive]] [[TheAlcoholic brother]], [[{{Jerkass}} Viserys]], could fixate on trying to avenge his House ''for years''--to his detriment, in his case.

[[folder: Live-Action Television]]
* ''Series/{{Homeland}}'': Carrie is prone to manic episodes in which she is totally unfit for society, but can process incredible quantities of intelligence to make great insights.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Listen" is basically about the Doctor going straight into this place, to the point of doing some ridiculously dangerous and stupid things in pursuit of a mystery that may not actually be anything other than [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight his imagination]].

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* In ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'' Geniuses are known to do this, but there's no actual rules for it.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'':
** The Lunar have this as a power in the shape of Inevitable Genius Insight.
** While less straightforward than Lunars, most Exalted are capable of going to the Madness Place by using charms to forgo or mitigate the need for food and sleep, and many possess the kind of personality to do so. In particular, any scientifically minded exalt is at risk of going there when the [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Great Curse]] sets in.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'': In this game, your dorfs will sometimes be taken by a 'strange mood', which will cause them to find a workshop, kick out whoever's using it, and lock themselves up in it. They will then start either yelling, mumbling, or drawing the materials they want, unless they're psychotically depressed, in which case they'll either steal a corpse or kill a dwarf and use his remains to make their project. The will never leave for food, booze, or rest. If you get them all the materials they want, they'll create a valuable artifact and instantly gain legendary experience in the field of whatever they were making (with the exception of one mood). Failure to get them the materials, however, will cause the dorf to slip into incurable insanity and invariably die (and in the case of one flavor of insanity, [[AxCrazy try to take your other dwarves down with them]]).



* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** The first three panels of [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2007-02-02 this strip]] with Tedd in full MadScientist mode. Note the ScaryShinyGlasses.
** This is also the focus of the [[http://egscomics.com/index.php?arcid=87 "One Way Road"]] arc. Only it's referred to as "Obsessive geek overdrive mode."
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' is the TropeNamer. When Sparks [[strike:retreat]] advance to their Madness Place, amazing things can happen.[[note]]Amazing things may or may not include killing, rebuilding a glider in mid flight, building an escape machine in your sleep, and killing and reanimating yourself and your boyfriends to cure one of them of a disease.[[/note]] Also given a more high-brow term in-setting: "Spark-induced fugue state". You can tell how deep into the madness place a Spark is by the way their speech bubbles are. Mild bouts have a more mad font. Deeper in, their speech bubbles have wavering edges on top of the mad font (as seen in the trope image). Really deep in involves yelling (such as when Gil minionizes Wooster [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20060306 through sheer force of will]]).
* ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'' has this happen fairly often to [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder SRMD]] sufferers, often after they get caught (though fortunately the symptoms are pretty predictable at that stage)


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''The Dr. Steel Show'', Episode 2, Music/DoctorSteel seems to be going to this place as his robotic toy creation begins to work and walk around. [[spoiler: At least until he runs out of quarters...]]
* In the ''WhateleyUniverse'', Devisers (MadScientist types) have a penchant for going into their Madness Place every now and then. It's so prevalent amongst those portions of the student body that the cafeteria even offers 'Deviser Specials', comprised of finger food and other offerings edible on the fly.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Gear from ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' has a tendency to go into one of these and come out with a whole bunch of high tech gadgets.
* When Twilight Sparkle of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' gets stressed over something she can't figure out, her focus on it can get just a ''little'' neurotic.
** In "Lesson Zero" she becomes certain that her mentor will punish her if she doesn't write a friendship report -- and if she doesn't have anything to write about, ''she will make something worth reporting''. This ends in her having a mental breakdown which causes her to enchant the entire town into an obsessed stampede.
** "Its About Time" sees her go even deeper into this place when she tries to avoid a horribly unspeakable evil her future-self warned her about. She disaster proofs the whole town, goes to Tartarus and back, then locks herself in her laboratory and doesn't eat or sleep for an entire week as she tries to avert the crisis. [[spoiler: What did future!Twilight want to warn her about? [[SelfFulfillingProphecy Not to go creepily obsessive about the future]].]]
** Hell, it's noticeable as far back as the ''pilot episode'', with the strong implication that her FriendlessBackground comes from spending too much time working on advanced magical theory instead of getting out and about in the fresh air. There's a certain amount of FridgeHorror to it if one tries to imagine what her life would have been like without that trip to Ponyville.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla had this in RealLife. Then again, it makes sense for him, as he [[strike:[[OlderThanTheyThink invented]]]] [[TropeCodifier codified]] the trope of MadScientist.
* HenryCavendish was apparently never able to leave this state due to (at a bare minimum) crippling shyness. As a child he supposedly locked himself in a room and derived all of Euclid's laws by hand. He ended up doing important work in just about every field of physics (including ones that didn't yet exist) as an adult but never published any of it.
* Though generally a mild case when it happens, people with ADD and/or ADHD can sometimes be struck with a brief flash of inspiration and slip into this, where the idea must either be acted upon immediately or nearly forgotten and needing potentially hours of concentration to recover a majority of it.
* This is common with people who abuse methamphetamine.
* This trope essentially ''is'' the manic phase of UsefulNotes/BipolarDisorder