I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin
"Hey, kid! Wanna smoke some candy with me?"Sometimes, a completely mundane substance is treated as if it had psychedelic effects and was highly addictive. Compare:
— Blue Laser Commander, Cheat Commandos
- Alien Catnip, where mundane substances really are drugs to someone due to Bizarre Alien Biology;
- Drunk on Milk, for drunkenness;
- Evil Tastes Good, which might involve a completely mundane substance like Turkish Delight magically being made addictive;
- Fake High: when druglike effects are achieved through the placebo effect;
- Fantastic Drug, when the "drug" doesn't even exist in reality;
- Frothy Mugs of Water, where this happens because, originally, it was a drug, but was censored either to a more G-Rated Drug or a completely harmless substance;
- G-Rated Drug, where a Moral Guardian approved "soft" drug's effects are vastly exaggerated to fit a storyline that would otherwise require harder drugs to work.
- High On Catnip - when a catlike character ingests catnip
- Intoxication Ensues, where otherwise straightlaced characters accidentally ingest a drug, or too much of their prescribed meds, and Hilarity Ensues;
- Marijuana Is LSD, where Marijuana's effects are highly exaggerated;
- Mushroom Samba, where characters "trip" on hallucinogens of some kind without meaning to;
- Toad Licking, where a character gets high by licking toads.
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- As discussed in this Cracked.com video, a large number of breakfast cereals would belong on the DEA's controlled substances list if their commercials were taken at face value, because they are depicted as astonishingly addictive and stuff that people will go to great lengths to obtain. Some of this may be a result of marketing to children, who have to beg or bargain with their parents rather than simply going down to the store and buying a box for themselves. Parodied and almost justified in an episode of The Powerpuff Girls, where a box of cereal actually contains a huge (stolen) diamond, and the thief will do anything to get it back... including dressing up as a cereal mascot and trying all the usual tricks, only to be thwarted again and again.
- An American Public Service Announcement commercial about drug use has kids "sloming" (Sticking Leeches On Myself...ing) as an allegory for marijuana use, very much invoking the "Jump Off a Bridge" Rebuttal. (Because obviously, no one would ever enjoy getting high if it weren't for peer pressure.)
- A similar UK anti-smoking ad has "blue sticks", and another had people blowing party noisemakers.
- A UK advert for "Burger King" featuring The Burger King has his burgers being treated this way, with the King acting as a man's imaginary friend and holding a burger all throughout his day, until he manages to eat one at Burger King.
Anime & Manga
- Parodied in Welcome to the N.H.K., where Misaki, jealous of Satou's love for an older, hard drug-using woman, tries to overdose… on mints. Like so many things in this series, it manages to be incredibly tragic and absolutely hilarious at the same time.
- In Kogepan the anthropomorphic breads get drunk out of milk.
- If Belldandy drinks even just a sip of cola, she gets drunk. On the other hand, real alcohol has no effect on her.
- The American dub of Digimon has one episode wherein two of the main characters get an enemy red-faced and drunk on brown-bottled "soda" so they can sneak past him when he passes out. It is explained that "the bubbles go right to his head."
- Parodied in a Pokémon episode, where Team Rocket somehow gets drunk off water. It's ironic, given this is a series historically known for alcohol-related edits thanks to 4Kids.
- In episode 7 of Kotoura-san, Hiyori's cooking is so bad that, when she and Manabe eat some in episode 7, they both act like they're drunk and/or on some sort of hallucinogen.
- In the 1960s, MAD had a comic about a hippie trying to extract bananadine (see Real Life below) from a banana peel. He failed, only to see stars upon slipping on the peel and hitting his head on the worktop.
- Uncle Ump's Umpty Candy is outlawed in Mega-City One as it's addictive. There's no narcotic in it— it's just that good.
- Joan from Amelia Rules creates a drink called Joan's Jet (half ginger ale, half grenadine and a mentos) at Amelias 11-year birthday party. The ensuring sugar rush after she gets one too many fully justifies the name. Apparently it can also cause bad trips:
Mary Violet: AAAGH! The bubbles! The bubbles are exploding in my BRAIN!Joan: Mary Violet! Wait! That's a normal reaction!
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
- There are two Donald Duck stories of which the older about Donald's fixation with soda is a rather obvious parallel to alcoholism, right down to his loved ones staging an intervention, and sending him to rehab. And secret stashes of soda in the house. The newer shows Scrooge McDuck addicted to coffee, now with parallels to drugs.
- In an older Carl Barks story, Scrooge McDuck is depicted addicted to nutmeg-tea; interestingly, considering the real, drug-like effects of large doses of nutmeg. As a (possibly unintended) subversion of sorts, he never cuts the habit, but gets a fresh supply of the substance at the end of the story. According to Don Rosa's canon, he still keeps indulging the stuff with the old enthusiasm.
- The newcomers in Alien Nation get drunk on sour milk.
- Laurel and Hardy manage to get "drunk" via wishful thinking in Blotto, even though their prohibition-era booze has been replaced by a noxious, but non-alcoholic, mixture by Mrs. Hardy.
- The aliens in District 9 are addicted to cat food. This is a reference to the rather horrible stereotypes about the inhabitants of slums such as the actual location where District 9 was shot.
- A peach does the job and knocks Sarah into a fever dream in Labyrinth. (A sexy fever dream?)
- In The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.
Conner: That's heroin.Murphy: (after a while of consternation) How the fuck would you know?Conner: Fuck you. I know shit.
- In the film version of Reefer Madness: The Musical, at the end of "Listen To Jesus, Jimmy," Jesus challenges Jimmy to "take a hit of God" and see if he can "handle the high". Jimmy refuses, saying, "I've got a new god now!"
- In How To Get Rid Of Cellulite, the three protagonists get stoned to the point of Mushroom Samba on banana peels.
- The Big Chocolate Bar features a ban on chocolates and sweets in a school camp resulting in every single allusion to drugs possible: hopelessly unhealthy students go into catastrophic withdrawal; "dealers" begin making homemade chocolates and selling them on the black market; groups of smugglers transport cases of sweets into the camp, using the limited supply to charge up to twenty dollars per product. Finally, a student robs a general store and overdoses on the stolen confectionery. It's hilarious.
- In the Dark Tower novel "The Drawing of the Three", when Roland gets food from our world, he is surprised that the sugar-laden Pepsi is legal, since it is so pleasurable. He considers it strange that anyone would want drugs like heroin, which Eddie is addicted to, when sugar is 100% legal, since Eddie buys the Pepsi in plain view of the police.
- This is Fridge Brilliance because sugar does indeed activate the same pleasure receptors as heroin (and pure sugar is flat out unknown in Roland's world)
- The Boy Who Reversed Himself by William Sleator features travel in 4th and 5th dimensions. If one is not careful, one can get flipped around while in the fourth dimension, so that a 'reversed' version of yourself (think, mirror image, with L/D chirality) returns to the normal three dimensional world. The teenage protagonist does just this, and finds that the cafeteria food is much different than expected. The french fries taste like nail polish, but the ketchup...she ends up fairly drunk on reversed ketchup.
- At one point one of the protagonists even takes some ketchup packets to the high dimension, flips them, then gives them to another kid, and says she'll give him more if he helps her out.
- Jasper Fforde likes this trope. In the Nursery Crime book The Fourth Bear, the bears have problems with porridge, honey, buns and marmalade (in increasing order of addictiveness). Thursday Next has a sideline smuggling cheese from Wales, and there's a scene in First Among Sequels reminiscent of Pulp Fiction where she meets her contact and tests the product.
- In The Dresden Files, the Little Folk (pixies) love pizza with a passion that is not rivaled by any in this world. Watching them devour it has been variously compared to Jaws and a school of piranhas. Harry Dresden pays them in pizza and in return they provide him with whatever services he asks of them. As Sanya puts it:
"You are a drug dealer. To tiny fairies. For shame."
- In The Underland Chronicles, some of the carnivorous plants in the Jungle subdue you by getting you high.
- In Villain.net, Jake becomes addicted to the power Villain.net gives him. Literally. If he goes too long without it, he'll die. He even notes that he's just like those drug addicts his teachers would rant on about.
- In Harry Turtledove's World War series, the spice ginger has an addictive effect on the reptilian Race.
- In Herbie Brennan's The Faerie Wars Chronicles, coffee is stated to have a psychedelic on faeries, and so tea is served instead. Of course, in a later book it's revealed that tea is to faeries what alcohol is to humans, and one character gets rather drunk after her first taste of tea, so serving it as an alternative seems a bit odd.
Live Action TV
- On (both versions of) Being Human, blood is like drugs for vampires.
- In Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Magic = Drugs.
- In Wizards of Waverly Place, you'd better think twice before giving an elf chocolate.
- Almost every single episode from the first season of Smallville treats the Monster of the Week as a metaphor for drug addiction.
- Bottom, Burglary. Richie ponders that the burglars are maybe looking for drugs, Eddie notes they don't have any - therein lies the problem as the burglars will continue to search in vain 'til sunrise. Thinking of an appeasement strategy, they try to think of the strongest thing throw down the stairs to make them go away. The best Eddie can think of is Lemsip.
- The episode "Roe To Perdition" treats caviar as an addiction. Frasier and Niles become dealers (even considering buying inferior caviar and "cutting it with the good stuff"), while Roz turns into a strung-out fish-egg addict. Parodied at the end where the Caviar smugglers turn out to be DVD smugglers.
- Another episode has Niles purchase a brownie stuffed with marijuana, but after a mix up he eats a plain one while his father gets the spiked one. He acts stoned, but is largely confused by his father's odd behavior.
- Parker Lewis Can't Lose once dealt with video game addiction. In an abrupt about-face, the episode ends with the characters not demonising video games or even the playing of them, but saying what matters is how you approach them. They even give the "addicted" character a Game Gear after he proves he has control over his game playing habits by destroying all his video game material.
- And in doing so instill in him a new, much harsher addiction to batteries, which those damned things went through like popcorn.
- In Freaks and Geeks, all of the Freaks get 'drunk' off of nonalcoholic beer. Lindsay's little brother has switched a keg of alcoholic beer for nonalcoholic beer under the influence (haha) of anti drug assemblies from school. This is Truth in Television though, since the people drinking the nonalcoholic beer don't know it's nonalcoholic, resulting in the placebo effect.
- In First Wave, Cade literally rubs some salt in Joshua's wounds; he proceeds to get all dreamy about how nice Earth is and give the reasoning for his soon-to-be revealed Heel-Face Turn. Cade is shocked at his state of mind, realizing salt is their heroin. In a later episode, we even see a Gua hunting down another in a back alley, where he has been hanging out with human heroin junkies feeding his addiction to salt.
- Spoofing the immense amount of media coverage Starbucks' three-hour nationwide shutdown received, Stephen Colbert did a segment on The Colbert Report in which he reacts to three hours without coffee by going into severe withdrawal. He physically attacks those around him, digs desperately through garbage cans for old Starbucks cups that he can burn and inhale, and, when Starbucks "finally" reopens, huddling naked in a shower stall and dousing himself in cup after cup of coffee.
"Me have craaazy times in 70s and 80s. Me like the Robert Downey, Jr. of cooookies."
- In a Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch about hoodlum grandmothers, one of them is addicted to crochet. "She can't do without it. Twenty balls of wool a day, sometimes."
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- episode "Rapture", Sisko gets hit by an electric charge from a malfunctioning console and spends the rest of the episode under the same effects as LSD.
- From The same Series, Jem'Hadar soldiers are terminally dependent on a substance known as "Ketracel White". their DNA falls apart if they go too long without it. and It looks like a white fluid, albeit administered via the side of the neck
- In 30 Rock, Kenneth the Page "Rides the brown serpent" when a cappuccino machine is introduced to his desk.
- He also once said that he was "addicted to coke back in my wall street days". Cut to a flashback of him working at a video store (with a Wall Street poster on the wall), drinking a can of Coca-Cola, and giggling like a stoner.
- Bill's 'lemon sherbet' in the early seasons of The Goodies, even to the extent of a policeman asking what he was on.
- Possible Trope Namer, The Sketch Show had a brief sketch where a woman going through customs is assured that her tub of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" is okay to go through. The customs officer them pulls out a bag labelled "I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin." Beat. "I think that's all in order."
- In Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm's obsession with fixing up a junker he bought is played like a substance addiction. He raids his savings for automotive parts, his grades drop because of all the time he's spending on the car, and his brother holds an intervention, complete with a guy from the AAA.
- Seinfeld had shower-heads with illegally high pressure.
- One of the characters in The Legend Of Dick And Dom has a one-episode addiction to gingerbread; we don't see her actually intoxicated on it, but she hoards it, denies she has a problem, gets withdrawal symptoms when her friends take her stash away, obsessively hunts for more and finally starts seeing people as giant gingerbread men and dreamily chewing on them.
- Parodied in The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, as the Secret-Past children try to work out what their mother has got hooked on in prison. Gin? Laudanum? Opium and tonic? No, more addictive and incapacitating than any of these, she's become a treacle-fiend!
- Characters in Young Blades are occasionally shown getting extremely high on coffee. In one episode, the royal doctor convinces the king to ban coffee due to its harmful effects, suggesting that people "indulge in some harmless stimulant like tobacco" instead.
- Kenan & Kel with Kel's orange soda. There's an episode where he gives it up and some of the effects...well… The actor who played Kel would later end up doing time for cocaine possession.
- iCarly played Spencer's pranking obsession like a drug addict relapsing, complete with an intervention to try and break his habit.
Spencer: At first I was just pranking on weekends.
- You Can't Do That On Television attempted to cover drug abuse in one episode. Rather than show actual drug use, they showed sketches of kids addicted to getting cream pies in their faces.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch had "Pancake Madness," an episode where Sabrina gets hooked on pancakes (it's explained that no one in the Spellman family can eat them due to this weakness). Highlights include Sabrina trying to make her own pancakes in the middle of the night, binging on pancakes at school and ballooning to a massive size, and trying to sneak off to "a twelve-step meeting at Howard Johnson's." The episode also made specific references to drug abuse: going off of pancakes was expressly called "detox," and one of the side-effects of that detox was bizarre hallucinations (in Sabrina's case, a musical number about eating pancakes and a giant talking syrup dispenser named Mrs. Mapleton bringing her to the "International Pancake House" to eat the breakfast forever). At the end of the episode, Sabrina breaks her addiction, but comments that she'll always want pancakes, and will have to take things "one day at a time."
- A promotional video for Melissa Lefton's debut album was a parody of Behind The Music and depicted her tragic decline into Sunny Delight orange juice addiction.
- Josh Ramsay of Marianas Trench is infamous for the insane amounts of Coke Zero, never plain and certainly not diet, that he drinks◊
- Potatoes, as outlined in "Addicted to Spuds" (and in its original version, "Addicted to Love", love).
- An earlier Weird Al example being "Pac-Man."
- "Animal Forest" by 14 Year Old Girls portrays Animal Crossing this way:
It's a game, that's what I tell myselfBut it has so much play, I think I might need helpI'm always late for class and I got fired tooBut every day I'm hooked because there's always something new...
- Lemon Demon has a couple songs like this, respectively about crayons and explosives.
- Sugar Rush by Anthony and Those Other Guys lives on this trope.
- With its references to burning incense, Led Zeppelin, and "magic potions", you'd think The Kentucky Headhunters' "Dry Land Fish" is about psychedelic mushrooms. It's actually about the morel, a type of edible mushroom often used in cooking.
- Parodied in the music video for Do It Now, Remember It Later by Sleeping With Sirens. The band is seen "huffing a mystery substance" which turns out to be donuts.
- The whole point to Larry Groce's "Junk Food Junkie", about a health food-eating hippie who keeps a stash of Twinkies and Fritos locked away to conceal his shameful addiction from his fellows.
- EarthBound. Magic Cake. 'Nuff said.
- Don't forget the Coffee and Tea the Mr. Saturns and Tenda give you. After all, the Coffee and Tea make you trip out.
- The genie in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow is addicted to mints and acts drunk when he's eaten too many. At the end of the game, you can give the genie a mint leaf, which makes him accidentally kill himself.
- The moai heads in the Sam & Max: Freelance Police game "Moai Better Blues" get...well... stoned on basalt.
- Soda Popinski in Punch Out. A single drop from his bottle causes him to spring up from being knocked down, get red and steamy and release a barrage of uppercuts. Another example of Bowdlerization leading to this; Soda Popinski was originally the Trope Namer for Vodka Drunkenski.
- In the background fiction of Sword of the Stars, Hivers find cheese intoxicating.
"The Queen may one day lose her taste for peace, but her children will never lose their taste for cheese."
- Yume Miru Kusuri never states outright what drug your protagonist get doped up with on one route, but it's apparently cocaine, according to the effect it has on your character and the description of it's appearance.
- In the Edo portion of SaGa 2 on the Game Boy, several townspeople have banana cravings.
- In Chibi-Robo, Jenny's stuffed toy bear Sunshine goes absolutely crazy for flower nectar, to the point where it resembles cocaine addiction complete with withdrawals, hyperactivity, and mood swings.
- Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy.
- Nuka Cola in Fallout is addictive for some reason.
- Combine that with "Does This Remind You of Anything?": In Brain Dead 13, Lance gets fatally poisoned by an evil Mushroom Man in the maze in one death scene. It could fall between these, Getting Crap Past the Radar, and Mushroom Samba.
- Corrupted!Wheatley seems to get high from watching Chell solve puzzles. GLaDOS confirms that the system gives the AI a euphoric response for testing that gets smaller as you get used to it, and Wheatley doesn't have the intellectual capacity to overcome the withdrawal symptoms.
- Joe from The Silent Age orders the fanciest cocktail the barkeep can make and after tasting describes it in a variety of such intriguing ways you're left wondering.
Joe: Sweet mercy… It's like riding sidecar with a unicorn down a mountain of cashmere sweaters.
- Homestar Runner
- Strong Bad can be seen getting trashed enough to think that Bubs' Concession Stand can take him to the moon… thanks to soy sauce.
- There are also drinks that are quite obviously "adult beverages," but are always referred to as Cold Ones. Or perhaps Cool Ones on a mild spring day. This makes Coach Z's addiction to Listerine all the more baffling/humorous. Well, there is alcohol in mouth wash, of course.
- There's also the Strong Bad e-mail "caffeine," where Strong Sad starts buzzing on the titular chemical.
- The kicker? The coffee he drinks is decaf. Who knows what kinda damage would have been done if he'd drank anything stronger.
- In the third episode of Space Tree, Ghost Spider gives the Commander non-alcoholic beer, which causes him to go to jail for drunk flying. Although everything about that was fake.
- Waverly Films made Flamin' Hot Cheetos into a G-rated drug, but it's not a G-rated short.
- Nutty from Happy Tree Friends is addicted to sugar and behaves as if it were stronger than cocaine.
- In Xanauzumaki's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Abridged Series, magic beans are morphed into this.
- OFF puts Sugar in this role. Of course, it's made quite differently (and more nightmarishly) than its real life counterpart. Just don't stand between an Elsen and his dessert, or the normally meek and cowardly lil' guy might just get a lot more violent.
- In Sluggy Freelance the MMORPG "Years of Yarncraft" is frequently treated like an addictive narcotic (how much that's Truth in Television is up to you.)
Gwynn: Why can't my friends abuse hardcore drugs like normal people?
- For Kiki the hyperactive ferret, a small amount of sugar is roughly equivalent to a large dose of crystal meth.
- Instant Classic has pop (especially diet pop) as a standard G-Rated Drug, with the worker at the movie theater concession stand acting as a bartender.
- The characters in Calamities Of Nature experiment with the slurpee bong.
- Showbiz from Achewood is addicted to, of all things, Rockford Fosgate automobile audio equipment. He does not have a car.
- In Nip and Tuck, the Show Within a Show Rebel Cry features bans on caffeine and white sugar.
- Rocky from Lackadaisy Cats has had an… interesting reaction to pancakes as a child.
Rocky: I CAN SEE ETERNITY.
- Of course, having made this claim, the author goes on to posit that this may be incorrect, and it's just all the sugar he's getting from drenching them in syrup. Which is still this trope.
- Subverted in the first strip of Drugs & Kisses, where the characters obtain a stock cube off their local dealer, only to find to their dismay that it has been partially cut with cannabis resin
- Twice Shiniez has shown what can happen when people let BDSM go to their heads. Ally and Alan neglected their collage work and turned their relationship into a competitive game of ego feeding. Ally even refereed to herself as having been like an addict. Marion was so keen to convince Alan to go further with her she lost her job and neglected to properly consider the safety issues of self bondage.
- Larxene from Ansem Retort takes it Up to Eleven by getting kicked out of rehab for getting addicted to the placebos.
- In Scary Go Round, Shelley manages to get high on jam.
- In episode 7 of The New Adventures of Captain S, the main character gets drunk after drinking four milk shakes.
- Rob Paravonian (Better known as the Pachelbel Rant guy) wrote a song called Pushing Band Candy about his band's fundraiser candy bars, to the point where his ability to hustle these sweets made him something close to (and later an actual) Drug Dealer.
- A three-part episode of Awesome Video Games has Ace and Chet's cousin Lester come over, essentially acting like a drug dealer, and introduces them to "codes" via the Game Genie for their NES. Side effects include smoke coming out of their NES, a really messed up Super Mario Bros., psychedelic hallucinations, and getting high…scores.
- Clone High used raisins, which they rolled and smoked, turning some students into flower children and causing others to go on a bizarre "trip".
Let's all smoke crack, instead!
- In a subversion, it turns out raisins don't get you high. It was all a scam by a raisin industry spokesperson to get people to buy them, and all the effects were psychosomatic.
- Clone High used that trope twice. In the pilot, Abe is forced to buy non-alcoholic beer for a party, but everyone acts drunk anyway.
- Of course, this happens in real life, if the drinkers don't know it's non-alcoholic. Even with regular beer, drinkers tend to act drunk long before their body actually gets the chance to absorb the alcohol.
- So does it mean that thinking yourself immune to alcohol LESSEN its effect on you?
- In Jackie Chan Adventures, Jackie gets bitten by a poisonous snake, leaving him very thirsty and disoriented during a fight against the Terrible Trio... a perfect set-up for a family-friendly Shout-Out to his movie Legend of Drunken Master. They do this again later, with him getting the bends.
- Family Guy
- One episode had Stewie become addicted to pancakes.
- Another episode has a Cutaway Gag featuring the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street heating cookie dough like it was heroin.
- Yet another episode had Chester Cheetah snorting up ground up Cheetos like cocaine while listening to Rush and proclaiming "there is no fucking drummer better than Neil Peart!" before smashing a glass table with his fist.
- And who could forget Mort Goldman's bizarre addictions? Antihistamines can apparently make you think you're Mr. Peanut, and olives are highly addictive narcotics that make you wither away into a tall, cut, deep-voiced parody of yourself. "What has happened to you, Mort Goldman?"
- In The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, ice cream was used to make Spongebob and Patrick drunk, complete with 5 o'clock shadow.
- Something similar happens to Guano in an episode of Kappa Mikey.
- When Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends goes into a sugar rush, he acts hyper, selfish and irresponsible, as well as willing to do anything for more, even walking around naked in public. The aftermath is treated like a hangover.
- People with blood sugar issues can and will experience painful crashes after a fairly intense sugar high.
- It's actually the sugar in alcohol that causes the hangover, so yeah.
- It's actually the dehydration caused by alcohol that causes the hangover, but too much sugar in the drinks can give you a headache.
- Rocko's Modern Life
- The show did the whole getting-drunk-on-ice-cream thing as well, at Filburt's bachelor party. Heffer even attempts to fly a plane while intoxicated.
- Done also with Filburt's first taste of candy in the Halloween episode.
- Rocko's nail-biting was treated like alcoholism, due to the disapproval and embarrassment of his friends and the difficulty he had quitting, which eventually required a 12-step program (in this case, involving a group of cartoonish critters who called themselves "The Twelve Steps").
- The Simpsons
Krusty: "All this does is get me to normal."
- One segment of the episode "Love, Springfieldian Style" parodies the Sid Vicious biopic Sid and Nancy, with Nelson as Sid Vicious and Lisa as Nancy Spungen. Since both characters are kids, they use chocolate instead of heroin (they freebase it over spoons, snort it like cocaine, and immediately flush it down the toilet when the police show up). The episode even has a deliberately Anvilicious "Only losers put chocolate in their bodies!" speech.
- The Simpsons does the not-really-a-drug thing repeatedly: for example, Bart and Milhouse's syrup-only Squishee in "Boy-Scoutz in da Hood", or Lisa drinking the "water" on the Little Land of Duff ride in "Selma's Choice".
- Krusty smokes ground-up moon rocks out of a crackpipe.
- In "Sweet and Sour Marge", Springfield's addiction to sugar is revealed. Disco Stu even refers to it as "the white stuff".
- Bart and Lisa go on a trip after eating highly potent English chocolate while in London...
- The trippy episode where Homer eats "The Merciless Hot Peppers of Quetzalshacatenango, grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum", a.k.a. Guatemalan Insanity Peppers ("El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer").
- Getting drunk happens a fair bit in the Simpsons, such as when the family goes to a milkshake carnival and Homer drinks so many he ends up drunk.
- Bart tricks Rod and Todd Flanders into trying Pixie Stix by telling them they're sugar-free. He then cackles as they instantly get hooked.
- In "Marge vs. Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays", babies pass around pacifiers like bongs.
- There's an episode (if someone knows the title, please add it) in which Barney replaces its alcoholism with addition to caffé mocha. Of course Moe adapts to that change of habits.
- In the Beavis and Butt-Head episode "Buy Beer", the boys think they've gotten drunk on non-alcoholic "near beer". They even completely fail a sobriety test, leading the cop to conclude that "You guys aren't drunk... you're just really stupid."
- South Park
- In the episode "Major Boobage", the concentrated urine that male cats spray in the presence of other male cats gets people high. This causes hallucinations of a fantasy world based on Heavy Metal, where almost everything looks like breasts. At the end of the episode, Kenny has rid himself of his addiction to cat urine, and is shown enjoying life. As he smells some flowers, Stan comments that he is getting high on life. When Kenny begins frantically snorting the flowers, Stan notes, worriedly, that he's getting really high on life.
- In "Guitar Queer-O", Stan goes from playing Guitar Hero at superstar quality to playing Heroin Hero, a game which consists of injecting heroin and chasing a dragon (which cannot be caught). He thinks it's awesome, but rapidly becomes addicted, ending up looking like a pathetic junkie waste, while his skill at Guitar Hero goes down the drain from lack of sleep and practice, and his attitude deteriorates. It rapidly ruins his 'career' as a Guitar Hero player and results in him fouling up an important game in public, then throwing up and passing out on the 'stage'.
- An episode lampshades this by treating KFC as an addictive substance, complete with withdrawal, rehab clinics, dealers, cartels, and an eventual chicken war. Hilariously, the episode started with the local KFC being replaced by a medical marijuana dispensary, and the massive influx of crime was blamed on marijuana prohibition being too lenient.
- In Transformers Animated, oil is often treated as beer. The Constructicons try to get some of decent quality anytime they're not building anything, and Megatron even has his own "private blend" that he drank out of an oil barrel squeezed into the shape of a chalice. However, no one actually gets "drunk".
- In a slightly more subtle drug analogy, the episode "Fistful of Energon" has the upgrade-craving bounty hunter Lockdown encouraging Prowl to try a few of his upgrades in order to catch Starscream. Prowl finds himself becoming dependent on them and despite his controlled, stoic nature he finds it hard to give them up again. Ratchet even comments that he's seen upgrade addiction before in other younger mechs.
- However considering Lockdown pries his upgrades off of online bots, that might be more G-Rated cannibalism; and for Prowl and Bumblebee it's more about pride and irresponsibility.
- In the original series, episode "Microbots", the Deceptions "over-energized" on Energon and acted drunk.
- In Transformers Prime Ratchet wants to help the Autobot cause. He injects Synth-En into himself to perform experiments, and finds that it makes him strong and fast enough to engage in full battle. It also makes him far more aggressive. This works like performance enhancing steroids and was made for a year when the UK was hosting the Olympics. Robot roid rage is NOT pretty.
- Also in Prime, Megatron has a bad habit of doping on Dark Energon, which causes increased aggression, decreased rationality, and psychological dependence, among other more supernatural side effects. It gets to the point where he swears off of it to avoid falling prey to said supernatural side effectsnote ... and then jumps right off the wagon the moment things start getting difficult because, well, he's addicted.
- In a slightly more subtle drug analogy, the episode "Fistful of Energon" has the upgrade-craving bounty hunter Lockdown encouraging Prowl to try a few of his upgrades in order to catch Starscream. Prowl finds himself becoming dependent on them and despite his controlled, stoic nature he finds it hard to give them up again. Ratchet even comments that he's seen upgrade addiction before in other younger mechs.
- One episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog had people brainwashed into flan addictions. It led to people rioting and raiding the store to get it and Eustace and Muriel stealing a flan truck.
- In the American Dad! episode "A Stan in the Hand", Stan becomes addicted to his burn ointment, and acts like a crack addict (constantly twitching, scratching himself, etc.) when he can't get his ointment 'fix'.
- There was also the episode When a Stan Loves a Woman where Steve gets addicted to an energy drink called "Cougar Boost" and he does whatever it takes to buy more, even going as far as selling his friends fake tickets to see Battlestar: Galactica on ice. By the end, Steve's friends appear in his room and look like they are about to do an intervention, but instead they beat Steve up because they found out that the tickets were fake.
- An episode of Dexter's Laboratory had a "flour" smuggling ring. They even used tacky puns:
Main Evil Guy: Gentlemen, we are about to make a lot of bread.Jamaican Guy: I can't wait to be rolling in that dough!
- In The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Captain K'nuckles is a borderline alcohol-esque addict to candy and maple syrup; he even keeps a pint of syrup in his coat pocket, a la whiskey. In the Flapjack universe, candy (or anything sweet) is treated as being somewhere between drugs/alcohol and treasure.
- One episode of The Snorks featured Bigweed replacing the Snorks' "reefberry" crop with berries that made them act like they were on pot.
- Codename: Kids Next Door
- Root beer is treated as regular beer, complete with age restrictions, prohibition-era-style speakeasies that serve it, and kids drinking it at keg parties.
- There's also the episode Operation: L.I.C.O.R.I.C.E. where Numbah 5 and Black John Licorice have an all-out drinkin match to the death! Did I mention that the drinks of choice were frothy mugs of PURE SUGAR?! To the death, indeed... of your blood-sugar level, that is!
- In Operation: S.P.A.N.K.E.N.S.T.I.N.E. Numbah 2 reveals in a voice-over that he used to be addicted to chocolate sauce.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
- Monterey Jack has an ongoing addiction to cheese and immediately goes into a bizarre trance whenever he sees or smells it (it's one of the show's running gags), then goes after it, unaware of humans (or anthropomorphic animals) trying to capture him. It's the center of the plot in "Mind Your Cheese and Q's" (probably the only 1980s-1990s "addiction episode" that wasn't Anvilicious, as Monterey Jack immediately breaks his promise not to overindulge in cheese ever again and the other members accept it), when he tries to give it up.
- Dale had a similar reaction to chocolate in one episode, which Monterey Jack finds disgusting.
- Both Drawn Together and Robot Chicken had episodes that revolved around sugar being treated like a cocaine analogue. Robot Chicken had the "Styx" Rabbit accidentally call it cocaine before quickly correcting himself, Breaking the Fourth Wall in the process.
- Riley Daring from The Replacements has a full-blown sugar addiction that causes her to go hyper and hallucinate (if her babbling abut being surrounded by dinosaurs is anything to go by).
- The Scooby Snacks from Scooby-Doo. Shaggy and Scooby are extremely addicted to them.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Daphne has a pretty serious chocolate addiction.
- Gumby had a serious milkshake problem.
- An episode of The Powerpuff Girls has the girls getting a single piece of candy as a reward for saving the day. They instantly get addicted, and make a shady deal with Mojo Jojo to get more. When Mojo steals the candy himself, they beat him to an inch of his life over it.
- Home Movies has Jason get drunk off candy and trying to seduce Melissa with a kiss.
- Mrs Flatbottom's lemonade in the Squirrel Boy episode "Flatbottom's Up". The effects of drinking it are displayed as an LSD-style trip.
- Chocolate Boy on Hey Arnold! gets his name from his massive addiction to chocolate, which he often acts like someone who is addicted to crack.
- The Frosty Freeze Freeze slushie is featured as a major plot point in Fanboy and Chum Chum too many times to let it slip. For an incredibly exaggerated example, see the episode "Berry Sick" - or, for that matter, this sequence.
- In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police cartoon, there were two separate references to a character spending a portion of their life in a hallucinatory daze after eating a bad cheese sandwich.
- In one Teen Titans episode, Cyborg's dependency on a new Processor was treated like a drug addiction.
- In the "Over a Barrel" episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic there's a saloon called "The Salt Lick" that apparently serves... salt licks, judging from the bartender's comment when he tossed an apparent drunk out.
- Then again, in part one of the pilot, Twilight Sparkle pours what looks like an alcoholic beverage into a glass, especially judging by her expression.
- And in "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", much winking and nodding is implicitly made about the nature of the ostensibly soft cider, especially considering the presence of fanon-drunkard pony Berry Punch.
- Subverted by The Looney Tunes Show. When Bugs Bunny starts drinking the soft-drink Spargle, he becomes incredibly manic and goes crazy trying to get more when his stash runs out. But it turns out Spargle's not just a soft-drink; at the end of the episode, the makers of Spargle get arrested for secretly putting "dangerous, highly addictive chemicals" in their product.
- In "Bobcats On Three!" Bugs gets addicted to Porky's catering when the latter switches to his grandmother's old recipes. This is because all the dishes call for a large amount of butter and very delicious, but unhealthy in large doses. Bugs starts going out of his way to throw parties just so Porky can cater, and doesn't admit he has a problem until he causes a tidal wave and empties out a public pool when he saves Daffy from drowning.
- In the Gravity Falls episode "The Inconveniencing", Mabel finds a display case of a banned German confection called "Smile Dip". She proceeds to ingest bleven-teen packs of it and has a Disney Acid Sequence full of rainbows and magical creatures.
- Robot Chicken has had a couple of sketches that show cartoon characters throwing interventions. One had Popeye's family having one to help him with his addiction to spinach, and another had the Gummi Bears have one for Tummy due to him drinking too much of their gummyberry juice.
- In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Topped With Buttercream", the pets sneak into the sweet shop next door (owned by Youngmee's Aunt Christie) along with Aunt Christie's hyperactive pet rabbit Buttercream Sunday, and indulge themselves on all the candies, doughnuts, cookie dough, frosting, and other sweets in the shop's kitchen. They start to get sick and show characteristic signs of being on drugs, such as jitteriness and eye twitching. Penny Ling even starts hallucinating while on her sugar high. A while after they realize they've accidentally locked themselves in the pantry, the pets end up forming a crude tribe while still on their sugar highs. However, they eventually snap out of it.
- The pets, except Pepper, become addicted to Mitzi's scents in "Sue Syndrome." Mitzi even describes her signature scent as making those who smell it "delirious." These six pets become hooked by those smells within hours. By the end of the day, they have become incredibly dependent on Mitzi and require smelling her aromas every few minutes to not go completely mad, constantly desperately begging Mitzi for more. This is unintentional on Mitzi's part, and she would rather not have her scents be so addictive.
- The legend of bananadine. Popularized by the Anarchist Cookbook, this drug was allegedly extracted from banana peels. Unfortunately for people looking to get an easy, legal high, researchers at NYU found that banana peels had no intoxicating chemicals. (They have, however, been known to cause severe headaches when smoked.) This hasn't stopped the urban legend from persisting to this day.
- Refined sugar, when first introduced into a culture, often produces addictions. One could argue it doesn't really stop...
- Another form of household "white stuff," plain old salt, can get so firmly entrenched in a culture's palette that people end up consuming much more than is healthy just because they're used to it. It can take months to reduce one's desire for sugar and salt in food, and just get used to what food tastes like without heaps of one or the other. It doesn't help that most prepared food comes loaded with both already.
- When asked in an interview what his first drug experience was, Eric Clapton said sugar, noting that he used to spread it on bread as a child.
- The Beatles' "Savoy Truffle" was George Harrison's Take That to Clapton's sugar jones ("Good News" is a UK brand of chocolates). The increasingly-potent and strange lyrics sound realistically enough like a bad trip to the dentist: but it's difficult not to wonder whether some other sort of white powder was being referenced, covertly.
- Nutmeg is a dissociative hallucinogen, like DXM (which is found in some cough syrup) or datura; it tends to produce solid, realistic, and unpleasant hallucinations indistinguishable from reality. Unlike other drugs, there are very few habitual users - almost nobody who tries nutmeg once ever wants to do it again, even if they enjoy the more "mellow" kinds of hallucinogens, plus, you have to eat several heaping spoonfuls of the stuff to make it work, and even then it can cause difficulty urinating, nausea, cottonmouth, and, most of all, eating all that nutmeg at once tastes pretty bad.
- Severe overhydration can lead to neurological misfires in the brain, inducing symptoms similar to drunkenness, a.k.a. "water intoxication". Yep, you can get wasted on water, but only if you guzzle enough to overload your kidneys and seriously endanger your body's fluid balance.
- This is called hyponatremia, and it will kill you. Don't try it.
- The reason this is likely to kill you is that if your blood becomes much less salty than the fluid in your cells, osmosis will cause water to flood into your cells until they explode.
- In one standup session, comedian Ralphie May recounts his first experience with "Cuban Coffee" - a Cuban espresso shot reputed to be three times as strong as a regular espresso. At the time he was unaware of this, and so demanded his Cuban coffee - first brought to him as a shot - be returned as a full cup. "For the first thirty minutes, I could see into the future!" he declares, followed by, "and then I put the cup down, and crapped my pants." (Laughter.) "Yes, without any warning, I dropped a deuce. Or as they call it, a dos."
- Turkish coffee can be extremely potent and serves almost as a replacement for alcohol, which is forbidden according to Islamic law. In fact, when coffee was first introduced into the Ottoman Empire (or it might have been the Seljuks), some Islamic scholars did in fact declare it an intoxicant, and so haram. The government attempted to ban it, which worked even less well than our own equivalents, despite the executions. Another Islamic scholar finally declared that coffee should be allowed because, while alcohol made you lose your focus, coffee increased it, so you would have more energy for your prayers and good deeds. (which raises the question of whether coffee would be legal for those who weren't intending to do any good deeds...)
- Gunsmoke to some people. Real gun nuts crave the smell of burnt powder and may let out an exorbitant whoop after firing off their first burst in a long while.
- Somewhat related (in that burning things are involved,) the distinctive smell of burnt two-stroke oil is one of the main reasons some people are so fond of the two-stroke engine.
- Sex. Well, for some people.
- Also love (and, for the more cynical, infatuation). Increased heart rate, lessened coherence and judgmental ability, and dangerous withdrawals? I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!
- World of Warcraft. There's a reason why they call it "Warcrack". By the same token, a lot of things on the Crack Is Cheaper page.
- Diablo II as well. Just google "Diablo II ruined my life". 54,100 results.
- In Korea, it's StarCraft.
- Blizzard is
an evil, evil companyGOD.
- God? More like the devil. If some people could sell their soul to Blizzard for an advantage over other players, they probably would.
- Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri or, as appropriately-initialed SMAC.
- Minecraft 
- Diablo II as well. Just google "Diablo II ruined my life". 54,100 results.
- Magic: The Gathering is called "Cardboard Crack" by most people who play it.
- TV Tropes, see TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life for examples.
- For that matter, any ordinary household drug can be used to get high. Just read about the stories of teens and young adults who have abused all kinds of over the counter medications, from aspirin to cough syrup. It gets even worse when you think about all the medications a doctor can prescribe which are perfectly legal and anyone can get their hands on and abuse without the proper supervision, such as painkillers and antidepressants, which can produce a high very similar to that of those found in street drugs if consumed in large quantities.
- Some people can actually get high due to a very small amount of prescribed painkillers... especially if they rarely take medication for anything before then.
- The most commonly abused pharmaceuticals (Rx only) are narcotic painkillers (opiates, i.e. Percocet, Vicodin, Oxy Contin, Morphine, etc), benzodiazepines (anxiolytics/sedatives/hypnotics, i.e. Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, etc), and stimulants (ADD/ADHD/narcolepsy/weight-loss, i.e. Adderall (amphetamine salts), Dexedrine (dextro-amphetamine), Desoxyn (dextro-methamphetamine), etc). Each class has its own specific effects, and different drugs in each class can have remarkably different effects from one-another.
- Also, some people lack certain enzymes in their liver that are required to metabolize certain drugs/medications at a normal rate, and thus the drug will build up in their system to a higher level than normal, and will remain active for much longer. This is similar to the "red flush" that a percentage of Asian-descent experience when consuming even a relatively small amount of alcohol. Tolerance also plays a significant role, in that while say one 5mg oxycodone tablet may produce significant effects in someone who has never taken any opiates before (and ~50-90mg could be potentially fatal), most people who are on opiate medications long-term (chronic pain, cancer, etc) develop tolerance to where they're taking as much as, if not more than, 80mg of oxycodone 4-6 times per day (close to 500mg daily, 100x the dose of an opiate-naive patient). Same goes for many other medications, and it's also prevalent in addiction.
- Capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers, can make you euphoric, if eaten in enough quantity, as it causes the body to release endorphins. The same principle lends a degree of addictivity to strenuous exercise ("runner's high") and even activities that would seem unpleasant, like cutting oneself.
- In the absence (or shortage) of oxygen, human cells are supposed to resort to lactic acid fermentation. With the right genetic quirk, they may resort to alcohol fermentation instead (a similar, but not identical process) - so if your personal biochemistry is slightly off, exercise will get you drunk. Try explaining that one to the officer who just pulled you over for a DUI.
- Chocolate is occasionally mistaken for cannabis by sniffer-dogs and other cannabis tests. This is not made any easier by the fact that cannabis is often smuggled inside chocolate, to try to take advantage of this confusion.
- The placebo effect: Researchers have discovered that if you think you're getting drunk, you'll act drunk even if the drink doesn't actually contain any alcohol. This happens in Clone High among other works of fiction.
- A diabetic person with insulin shock looks and acts a lot like a person who's drunk.
- Modelmaker's high: organic solvents used as plastic glue and airbrushing medium.
- Fasting causes the liver to convert fat into ketone bodies to feed the brain while conserving muscle mass. Some of these ketone bodies can decay into isopropanol, which is quite similar to ethanol.
- "Holy Ghost intoxication" or "drunk in the Spirit", a spurious claim from Scripture (usually from Acts chapter 2 and Ephesians 5:18) preached by the likes of Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Browne, and Kenneth E. Hagin, and presented in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles as The Moral Substitute to getting high from real drugs.
- John Crowder went so far as to advertise "sloshfests" where people can get "wasted on the Holy Spirit".
- And there's the Joel's Bar: Drunken Glory Broadcast website.
- VICE has a YouTube video on this subject called "Getting Drunk On God".
- There is a teaching about God giving people the "spirit of drunkenness", but it's usually done as a form of judgment rather than a blessing.