[[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 who have found the Madness Place are [[PowerBornOfMadness very productive]]...for a time. Sometimes even [[GoMadFromTheRevelation 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]]. May be caused by ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder, though going to TheMadnessPlace isn't necessarily due to a medical disorder. Compare NeurodiversityIsSupernatural, where atypical mental conditions do more than make you good at MacGyvering superweapons.



[[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.

* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9559865/6/Rebuilt Rebuilt]]'' Harry's mechanical genius irregularly sends him into a state where he ignores food, sleep and the entire outside world, resulting in blackouts when his body shuts down afterwards.

* ''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 ''Literature/{{Monstrumologist}}'', a scientist who studies ''monsters'', often goes into week(s)-long frenzied periods of near-constant experimentation and research after he finds a new object of study. These are, of course, followed by periods of deep depression, which include 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 rarely has any conscious idea of what she's constructing when her powers are involved. The sequel extends her "madness place" as the ability to take technology from her own personal future. If anything, this is even more terrifying than the normal defiance of physics.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', we get a somewhat-downplayed version with [[TheAce Daenerys Targaryen]], as she isn't loud about it and "[[RightfulKingReturns 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 she makes (be they magical, mundane or [[TakeAThirdOption just too outside the box]] for others to predict) 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 trancing, 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 outright nutty ones. Even her [[TooDumbToLive less-than-impressive]] [[TheAlcoholic brother]], [[{{Jerkass}} Viserys]], could fixate on trying to avenge his House ''for years''. To [[SanitySlippage his detriment]], [[AlcoholInducedIdiocy in his case]].
* Igors in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' don't have a Madness Place themselves, but their masters often do. If an Igor is working for a mechanical genius who ''isn't'' in the Madness Place (such as Hubert Turvy in ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', who is constantly fretting about how the Glooper might cause people trouble) they tend to get a bit disconcerted, because there's something ''weird'' about people like that.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': If Madness and Greatness are two sides of the same coin, then King Baelor Targaryen is the test-case. He built a great Sept and an impressive work of architecture, was kind to the poor and brought peace between the Iron Throne and Dorne, but he also neglected his responsibilities and made a mockery of the Crown.
* ''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 jumping straight to this place, to the point of doing some ridiculously dangerous and stupid things in pursuit of a mystery that may or may not exist outside [[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. They 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 dorfs down with them]]).

* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** The first three panels of [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2007-02-02 this strip]] are pure Tedd in full MadScientist mode. Note the ScaryShinyGlasses.
** This is also the focus of the [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?id=1296 "One Way Road"]] arc. 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 and/or death ray 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]]). Occasionally being under drugs (or coffee) can make the things they say entirely incoherent, though the results are still impressive.
--> "In my experience, a strong Heterodyne will take about two hours to '''truly''' warp the laws of nature."
* ''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 Literature/WhateleyUniverse, Devisers (MadScientist types) have a penchant for going into their Madness Place every now and then. It's so prevalent among those portions of the student body that the cafeteria even offers "Deviser Specials", comprised of finger food and other offerings edible on the fly.
* Depending on how strong/stable they are, [[GadgeteerGenius Tinkers]] in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' may slip into a state like this when using their powers and working on a project. How strong it is and how long it lasts often depends on how sane they are. Thinkers do something similar when using their powers, but it's much easier to bring them out of it.

[[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.
** "It's About Time" sees her go even deeper into this place when she tries to avoid a horrible, 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 MadScientist trope.
* Creator/PhilipKDick wrote most of his books in multi-day writing binges (often helped by stimulants) during which he never left the typewriter.
* Henry Cavendish 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 exist yet) 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. The idea must either be acted upon immediately or forgotten (requiring potentially hours of concentration to recover any of it), so they slip into this. Also happens when they're working on something they're interested in. It's called "hyperfocusing".
* This is common with people who abuse methamphetamine.
* This trope essentially ''is'' the manic phase of UsefulNotes/BipolarDisorder
* The more down-to-earth version of this is a state of mind called "flow" where a person is focused on a task they find interesting or challenging, while utilizing internalized skills. It is a state of intense focus and relaxation at the same time and a person engaged in it will typically ignore basic biological needs, potentially for days on end. Artists and scientists often find it easier to attain this state of mind, but anyone can reach it. Playing video games can often induce this state in a player. The problem comes when the state ends and you suddenly realize you haven't eaten or gone to the bathroom in sixteen hours.