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- Judge Dredd: Judge Cal passes a number of ridiculous laws during his insane term as Chief Judge, such as outlawing happiness. Sometimes he got more creative:
Cal: I have today passed a law to maintain public order! Deputy Chief Judge Fish will announce it!
Cal: You have heard the law. The penalty for disobedience is death!
Esposito: From this day on, the official language of San Marcos [in Latin America] will be Swedish. Silence! In addition to that, all citizens will be required to change their underwear every half-hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check. Furthermore, all children under 16 years old are now... 16 years old!
Fielding Mellish: What's the Spanish word for straitjacket?
- In Monstrous Regiment, the god Nuggan has been reduced to this, with a list of Abominations that now includes babies, garlic, blue, rocks, ears and accordion players, although Vimes for one agrees with him on that last one.
- There is at least one book devoted to this subject, You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant: 101 Real Dumb Laws.
- Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake: Gormenghast has so many strange laws and rituals that by the time someone has become its Earl they are probably quite insane themselves. So the laws and rituals become more insane. Gormenghast is the Crapsack World logical extreme of this trope.
- Alice in Wonderland: The Queen of Hearts was defined by being a woman that had to be obeyed on every single little whimsical law she made on the spot, even the ones that make no sense, and every single crime, no matter how small, all had the same sentence: beheading (thankfully the King pardoned everyone when her back was turned, a fact omitted from the Disney version). When Alice first arrives to her kingdom, she meets a group of guards that are rushing to paint every rose on the garden red (they were white), because she just woke up in the morning hating them being white (and made them illegal). During Alice's judgement later on the book, the Queen kept on making things Alice did while defending herself illegal on the spot (and, again, kept calling for her beheading for each transgression).
Live Action TV
- On Americas Dumbest Criminals, these would be called "Dumb Laws."
- The song "King of Spain" by Moxy Früvous has a mild (and relatively benevolent) example:
I don't even give a care;
Let's make Friday part of the weekend
And give every new baby a chocolate éclair
- Dungeons & Dragons: in the adventure X3 Curse of Xanathon, the title curse causes the Duke of Rhoona to proclaim several odd laws, such as "All taxes must be paid in beer", "All riders must sit backwards on their horses" and "Horses can only be fed meat".
- Planescape; in Mechanus, the natives are so obsessed with laws, that you can be arrested for things like singing in a place where it isn't allowed - at a specific time of day. Regulus, the home of the modrons, is the worst. An introductory adventure involves the Player Characters being arrested for wearing the wrong color and sentenced to a community service task that will clearly take ten years to do. (If they successfully help the supervisor fight off some invading chaos imps, they can get the sentence reduced to time served.)
- Pathfinder: Mayor Barzillai Thrune's decrees at the start of Hell's Rebels include edicts to control rats and stray dogs, mandatory display of the queen's portrait, restrictions on the wear of embroidered clothing, a ban on drinking tea after sunset, and a ban on mint.
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. In a case of Gameplay and Story Integration, Judges oversee every battle to ensure that you don't break some arbitrary law that changes every other battle. As the game goes on, the Prince of the Realm suffers something of a Villainous Breakdown and decreeing more and more laws.
- In the Feelies for Zork Zero, it is revealed that King Dimwit Flathead made every Thursday into "Birthday," on which everyone had to give him presents.
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: There are two acts punishable by death in The Shivering Isles, attacking its ruler, Sheogorath, and attempting to grow a beard.
- The strip "Assorted Fruits of Wrath" has a crusading army get blown away by its own god for violating a scriptural law about not opening the wrong end of a banana (no mention of which end that is).
- In the strip "Don't", the town magistrate has to explain to the townsfolk that all the new signs forbidding things like "sex during thunderstorms" and "trimming your beard" aren't loony laws, but loony curses. The community spectre they're stuck with is a spiteful sort.
- The post-apocalyptic New Quahog in Family Guy was briefly ruled by Peter, who, among other things, randomly assigned duties from a "job hat" and not based on expertise.
Peter: Oooh, village idiot! That's a good one! On Tuesdays you get to wave your penis at traffic!
- The Simpsons: In "Homer Vs. the Eighteenth Amendment", the punishment for disobeying Springfield's prohibition law is to be launched out of the city by catapult.
- Gravity Falls: The titular town was founded by (ex-) President Quentin Trembley, and his lunacy was reflected with such things as a law that allowed humans to marry woodpeckers and the "Finders Keepers" Law (which essentially meant that; as long as you have physical possession of an object, it is legally yours; and if someone else comes along and steals it, it is legally theirs—even if you could legally prove that they stole it from you, if you can't steal it back, then well... "losers weepers"). This latter one provides a pretty big source of drama during the first season finale.
- Truth in Television: a quick Google search for "crazy laws" will inform you that it is illegal to forget your wife's birthday in Samoa, among other things. Many of these are urban legends, however: in Britain the Law Commission has published a list of which of the commonly-quoted ones are real.
- When Oliver Cromwell came into power after the English Civil War, he introduced laws (amongst others) that banned eating mince pies on the 25th of December and several other Christmas traditions, due to the Puritan desire to purge Christian religious festivals of "pagan" and "Catholic" elements.