->''"From my heart and from my hand''
->''Why don't people understand''
->''My intentions..."''
-->--'''Music/OingoBoingo [[InvokedTrope tells it like it is.]]'''

Weird Science is the name for the style of storytelling made famous by the ScienceFiction "pulp" (named after the poor quality paper on which they got printed) magazines of the [[TheThirties 1930s]] and [[TheForties 1940s]]. By the [[TheFifties 1950s]], sales fell off, probably because of the advent of television. A few of these magazines had covers far trashier than the contents, others reveled in cheese with the writers entertaining no delusions that they created great art.

''Astounding Science Fiction'' (later ''Magazine/{{Analog}}''), ''Unknown'' (also known as ''Unknown Worlds''), and ''Galaxy'' published generally high quality fiction. ''Magazine/AmazingStories'', ''Weird Tales'' and ''Startling Stories'' and others occupied the middle strata while ''Captain Future'', ''Planet Stories'' and many, many others published the more shamelessly trashy material. (''Unknown'' and ''Weird Tales'' actually published mostly fantasy and horror, though individual ScienceFiction stories and elements would get incorporated in the stories too.) They specialized in imaginative stories of ScienceFiction, with the less highbrow magazines in particular having a good deal more "Boys Own Adventure" flair. The actual name ''Weird Science'' comes from EC Comics ComicBook, which tended to use the KarmicTwistEnding or, more rarely, the CruelTwistEnding. (EC also published ''Weird Fantasy'', actually another ScienceFiction comic, and merged the two titles later.)

The stories featured exotic worlds and gee-whiz gadgetry, [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe buxom space babes]], [[GoodOldFisticuffs two-fisted heroes]] and, most important, [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment plenty of gee-whiz gadgetry]]; it is this last that can be called Weird Science. Many of the most notable names in science fiction and fantasy got their start writing in these magazines, and, as the century progressed, the standards both for storytelling and scientific plausibility increased, although an exciting story was always more important than a realistic one.

Their influence is still widely felt: any ScienceFiction that involves derring-do with robots, rocketships and rayguns and doesn't worry about technical realism can be said to use Weird Science, but it is especially likely to be found in PlanetaryRomance.

Note also that Weird Science is not the same as HollywoodScience; the former throws realism to the wind in order to create spectacle whereas the latter comes from not bothering to get things right that could have been. They often have similar effects, but different causes; Weird Science springs from RuleOfCool, whereas HollywoodScience grows from [[TheyJustDidntCare poor research.]] (The extreme case, most often found in comedy, is ItRunsOnNonsensoleum.)

Not to be confused with the [[Film/WeirdScience movie]], [[Series/WeirdScience series]] or [[OingoBoingo song]] of the same name, though the premise certainly is.
----
Weird Science tropes:
* AIIsACrapshoot
* AliensAndMonsters
* AncientAstronauts
* AppliedPhlebotinum
* ArchaeologicalArmsRace
* CoolStarship
* DoAnythingRobot
* EnergyBeings
* EnergyWeapons
* FantasticScience
* ''ForScience!''
* FormulaicMagic
* HomemadeInventions
* ImportedAlienPhlebotinum
* LostTechnology
* MadScientist
** MadScientistLaboratory
* MagicFromTechnology
* MarsNeedsWomen
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist
* PlantAliens
* PostModernMagik
* PsychicPowers
* RobotBuddy
* SchizoTech
* ShinyLookingSpaceships
* SovietSuperscience
* SpaceClothes
* SpaceIsMagic
* StupidJetpackHitler
* SufficientlyAdvancedAlien
* SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic
* SuperPoweredRobotMeterMaids
* TechnicolorScience
* {{Technopath}}
* TeenGenius
* TinCanRobot
* TeleportersAndTransporters
* TransformationRay
* {{Unobtainium}}
* WaveMotionGun
* WeekendInventor

{{Settings}} where Weird Science is likely to be found:
* AfterTheEnd -- ''long'' AfterTheEnd
* ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway
* TheFinalFrontier
* RaygunGothic
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* As noted above, the TropeNamer, EC's ''Weird Science''. EC also published ''Weird Fantasy''. They later merged the two publications into ''Weird Science-Fantasy'' (because sales had flagged). Later on they published the short-lived ''Incredible Science Fiction''.
* [[TheDCU DC Comics]]' anthology titles ''Mystery in Space'' and ''Tales of the Unexpected''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* The ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|Serial}}'' and ''Series/{{Buck Rogers|InTheTwentyFifthCentury}}'' serials, and subsequent television or film remakes, are archetypal.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' famously draws from a tremendous range of influences, many not even from SpeculativeFiction, but all held together by a distinct Weird Science sensibility.
* ''MomAndDadSaveTheWorld'' somewhat parodies this, but in an affectionate way.
* ''Film/{{Stargate}}'': the movie had a lot to do with this trope, as does the [[Franchise/StargateVerse series]]'.
* ''Film/TheCore'': the idea of taking a giant drill vehicle into the depths of the planet is this trope; unfortunately, ''everything'' else in the movie is particularly bad HollywoodScience.
* The ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' films (and the entire {{tokusatsu}} genre, for that matter) tend to be full of this. In ''Film/GodzillaVsMegaguirus'', the humans have developed a hilarious new weapon to deal with Godzilla: The "Dimension Tide" is a gun that will generate a small ''black hole'' and launch it at Godzilla. The hole will suck up Godzilla, sending him into a parallel dimension, and then vanish. (In the real world, in addition to being monstrously heavy and difficult to create, black holes are also fucking dangerous. Possibly more so than a giant lizard loose in your city. And they don't just vanish into thin air... [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole#Evaporation at least not peacefully]].) At one point, Godzilla tries to defend himself against the Dimension Tide by ''[[BeamOWar shooting the hole]]'' with his energy beam breath.
** An interesting case of Godzilla being on the ''receiving end'' of [[GodzillaThreshold his own threshold]].
* The ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' franchise makes heavy use of this.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* As mentioned above this was a staple of the 30s and 40s pulps. DocSavage lived off this in particular.
** Odd example, ConanTheBarbarian encounters a lost civilization in "Shadows of Xuthal" which has radium lighting and an elixir that both prologed life and healing just about any wound or injury that wasn't immediately fatal.
* Literature/{{Tarzan}} sometimes encoutered lost civilizations that used this.
** [[Literature/JohnCarterOfMars Barsoom used this to the max.]]
* The ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' stories, originally published in ''Magazine/AmazingStories'' and ''Astounding Stories''.
** Careful with this one... while it certainly applies to the Lens itself and the principles it uses, the straightforward physics is [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness harder]] than it looks. Most of the basic concepts, although [[UpToEleven taken to spectacular extremes]], are pretty sound according to the general understanding of physics and cosmology at the time the books were written. It's mainly a combination of the scale and spectacle, the way many of the ideas have been hit hard by ScienceMarchesOn, and certain persistent and oft-repeated misconceptions among the insufficiently-careful readership, which makes things look like this trope. Smith was a scientist himself, and in most of his works did mostly try to stick to what was more or less plausible at the time (with the exception of the ''Skylark'' series, where he did [[WordOfGod explicitly]] [[HollywoodScience abandon realism in the cause of spectacle]]).
* Empire City in A. Lee Martinez' ''Literature/TheAutomaticDetective'' runs on this.
* ''The Chinatown Death Cloud'' and its sequel ''The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown'' by Paul Malmont pay homage to this era with a couple of yarns in which [[DocSavage Lester Dent]], [[Radio/TheShadow Walter Gibson]], Creator/RobertAHeinlein, Creator/IsaacAsimov, Creator/LRonHubbard and other pulp writers investigate (and sometimes create) StockUnsolvedMysteries -- despite their very real flaws in comparison to the perfect straight-jawed heroes they churn out for a living.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' had an uneasy relationship with this trope, striving for something believeable, yet at the same time not having as much concern for being accurate. Gene Roddenberry's famous dictum to never actually explain any technology but just use it and let the audience accept it fits right in with the nature of Weird Science.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', in its "classic" phase, had an ambivalent relationship to it as well, usually reveling in it, though at various times CreativeDifferences and [[GenreShift Genre Shifts]] would affect how much the creators acknowledged it. The new series (and its spinoffs) under Creator/RussellTDavies embrace it.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' has lots of this.
* ''Series/LostInSpace'', especially in the bizarre alien gadgets and the MonsterOfTheWeek.
* The "Captain Proton" adventures on ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' were an unabashed celebration of this trope (somehow fitting for the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' that tended to veer away the most from scientific plausibility).
* Homaged in the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Far Beyond The Stars" where Captain Sisko falls into a coma and dreams that he's a science fiction writer for the 1950s PulpMagazine "Incredible Tales". [[OrWasItADream Or is he sci-fi writer Benny Russel escaping into a delusion based on his own writing?]]
* PowerRangers occasionally falls into this in its technology-based seasons.
* While the movie was this to a lesser extent, the TV show Series/WeirdScience was this trope.
* This is one of the main features of {{Fringe}}, with everything from travel between universes to Nazi biological weapons that kill everyone who is not blonde and blue-eyed.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* [[Creator/MidwayGames Bally]]'s ''Pinball/DrDude'', which uses a Molecular Mixmaster and an E'''X'''cellent Ray to turn {{Nerd}}s into winners.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''.
* {{GURPS}} [=IOU=] had the skill, '''Science!'''
** So does ''SpiritOfTheCentury'', a celebration of the 20s pulp era.
*** Weird Science and Mad Science are playable advantages in the game - the former allows you to make advanced gadgets that would be possible by modern technology while the latter covers pretty much anything you can come up with (although the GM ''can'' make a GameBreaker prohibitively expensive...)
** {{GURPS}} 4e actually has a skill called "Weird Science" which lets you invent ridiculous devices. Whether you are believed or they work is entirely dependent on the setting.
*** GURPS 4e also has "Science!" as a Wildcard skill, which can be substituted for ANY science skill but costs a ton to buy.
* Gnomes in many DungeonsAndDragons settings, including {{Dragonlance}} and {{Spelljammer}}.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' has this as one of the sets of player skills. This being an explicitly Faustian setting, the knowledge to make the gadgets comes from less than heavenly sources, and every new gadget you invent makes you a little more insane.
* ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression'' has both Weird Science and a sort of [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] take on HollywoodScience; [[MadScientist Geniuses]] are capable of building Wonders, devices that ''should not work'' by the principles of proper science, but [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve do anyway]]. Until a [[{{Muggle}} mortal]] touches them, [[GoneHorriblyWrong anyway]]...
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', the Sons of Ether run on this trope.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Adventure}}!'', being another celebration of 20s pulp, allows any Inspired character to try their hand at super-science. Daredevils can create Advancements, devices a generation or two ahead of their time; Stalwarts and Mesmerists can also create Innovations, devices that mimic the Inspired's extraordinary abilities.
* In ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', the blue/red Izzet League from the guild-dominated plane Ravnica run on this. Impossible is literally just a suggestion at best for them, and the things they create are [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=289222 weird indeed]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' runs on the outrageous science of 50s sci-fi flicks. The ''Old World Blues'' DLC from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' takes this trope and runs with it. The first {{NPC}}s you meet in the expansion are a group of scientists who sound like they just came out of a 50's sci-fi flick. One of them has NoIndoorVoice, claiming that people keep tampering with his volume knob. They also use BuffySpeak when trying to repeat the names of the gadgets that the others among them have invented, and the main threat is a MadScientist who is [[WorldOfHam just as Hammy as everyone else.]]
-->'''Dr. Borous: ''WHAT HORRORS AWAIT THE LOBOTOMITE IN BIG MOUNTAIN!??''''' ...... [[RhetoricalQuestionBlunder Really, anyone know? I'm at a loss here.]]
* ''RatchetAndClank'' tends to run up against some pretty weird science and occasionally throws "science" to the wind because it's ''fun'' to have a tiny, furry alien with a tinier RobotBuddy wielding {{BFG}}s against an army of {{Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot}}s.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''AllOverTheHouse'' veers into this trope almost every time Emily builds a new invention.
* ''WebComic/GirlGenius'' lives and breathes off this.
* The simulated "Spacemonauts" segments of ''WebComic/GunnerkriggCourt'' is a loving parody of this trope.
* ''WebComic/SluggyFreelance'' loves this stuff.
* Anything Frederick and Doctor Franky create in ''TheLifeOfNobTMouse'' fits this trope well.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive.'' Though ''especially'' anything Tedd makes... or gets his hands on... or breathes on...

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The Wiki/SCPFoundation shared universe is this plus {{Horror}} taken UpToEleven. Particularly notable for deriving quite a bit of said horror by [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructing]] this trope in a CrapsackWorld. In a world where LostTechnology and [[ArtifactOfDoom Artifacts of Doom]] are dug up every time a parking lot gets built, {{Teen Genius}}es build {{Doomsday Device}}s because they [[{{Wangst}} got dumped]], [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday the new toy store]] is selling [[TomeOfEldritchLore weird books]], [[TheGamePlaysYou unusual games]], {{Happy Fun Ball}}s and {{Creepy Doll}}s, ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight are all too real, and everyone on the planet is constantly playing SuperpowerRussianRoulette, few artifacts are viewed with as much fear and suspicion as the portal to a universe ''[[RealLife where the rules make sense]]''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' combines this with tropes from more realistic influences.
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is pretty weird with its science... well, more silly than weird, but still.

----