->''And if I make no sense to you,''\\
''Well, I make no sense to me!''\\
''The dreams I have are sticky as dreams''\\
''That leave trails of words''\\
''That will mean churches' fall!''
-->-- '''Music/{{Current 93}},''' ''Black Ships Were Sinking Into Idumaea''

The good news about this guy is that he can see the future. The bad news is that it turns out that seeing the future is not good for your mental health. Perhaps it was the stress of breaking through the boundaries of time, perhaps it is the strain of seeing so much all at once, possibly including alternative futures. It could be that now he can see the future, the concepts of time and causality don't make sense any more. Maybe they can't handle seeing the truly BadFuture awaiting them. Or it could be that [[PowerBornOfMadness they are only able to see the future because they are mad]], writers often don't distinguish. Either way what we have here is easily one of the most useful and irritating types of Seer. Work out what they mean and you have genuine cast iron visions, [[PoorCommunicationKills get confused or ignore it and you will find it coming back to bite you]].

They tend to speak entirely in [[SpySpeak metaphor]], [[ProphecyTwist riddles]], [[VaguenessIsComing vagueries]], and [[CrypticConversation oblique poetry.]]

A partial inverse of WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity, related to GoMadFromTheRevelation, PokeInTheThirdEye and PrescienceIsPredictable. Compare TheSchizophreniaConspiracy, InfallibleBabble, HisNameIs.

Compare also TheCassandra, when a character doesn't get mad from predicting the future, but still gets ignored, and sometimes considered as mad by others, because he can predict the future.

See also WaifProphet, JunkieProphet, and FaintingSeer.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' has an elderly woman who mainly serves as the focal point of the [[PalantirPloy surveillance spectres]] for Astronomics. She's silent and comatose for the first half of the city, but once sunspot activity starts picking up and the circumstances that led to the Heaven's Gate incident start occurring again, she starts mumbling vague statements about how she can "hear" [[AlienSky the stars]] and that [[spoiler: a great disaster's going to befall the Contractors]].
* The old man from ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent''. [[spoiler:After he dies, he passes the role on to Maniwa. The series ends with Maniwa finishing the calculations the old man started and pulling back in shock, though we don't learn why.]]
** Assumedly, [[spoiler:it has to do with the ViciousCycle he describes post-credits.]]
* To some degree, Ran from ''Anime/{{Texhnolyze}}'', who can see one of the many possibilities of the immediate future.
** She's never exactly mad though, although her powers apparently include the ability to [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Drive People Mad From The Revelation]]. On the contrary, she's disturbingly deadpan, putting on her fox mask whenever she's in danger of actually showing any emotion.

[[folder:Audio Drama]]
* ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'': When the Doctor goes mad in "Zagreus", he suddenly develops the abilities to see the future, past and alternate timelines.

* Creator/CrossGen's ''The First'' has Orium, whose MeaningfulName is a portmanteau of "oracle" and "delirium." He's a creepy old god who was given the [[BlessedWithSuck gift]] of true sight by Altwaal after the latter was disappointed with his vision as a leader.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'': Dr. Manhattan's powers (including the ability to see the future) have made him so out of touch with humanity he has forgotten how to act "normal." The future-sight is a major part of this, as he perceives time non-linearly and can get confused as to when he actually is.
* In ''ComicBook/CaptainBritain'', the precognitive Cobweb ends up like this when the Fury arrives in the 616 universe and [[RealityWarper Mad Jim Jaspers]] starts taking over the world.
-->Shouldn't be here... pattern broken... there was a Crooked Man and he... [[AGlassOfChianti white wine turning red]]... white and red, like blood and bone, like chessmen... the board's askew... the gamer's hands are scorched and blackened... all strategies are shredded in the random wind... nothing is certain now...
* Dajjal of ''ComicBook/{{Supergod}}'' can see all futures and people think of him as crazy but he sees sanity as a social norm and he's beyond society.
* Delirium in ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' is occasionally shown to have insights into the future even Destiny doesn't have. Since she's the AnthropomorphicPersonification of insanity, it can be assumed she's an oracle ''because'' she's mad, rather than the other way round.
* Blindfold, a young mutant in ''[[Comicbook/XMen The X-Men]]'', is a blind girl born without eyes who can perceive various alternate futures and has odd speech patterns, as though answering questions that have not yet been asked, or saying "thank you" for things that have not happened yet. Not surprisingly, she was created by Creator/JossWhedon during his run on ''Astonishing X-Men''.
** A later comic explained the bizarre speech patterns: [[spoiler: it turns out that Blindfold was the only person capable of sensing Cipher, another mutant with the power of "total stealth." She was in conversation with Cipher the whole time, which explained why she spoke as though there was another person in the room with her.]]
** A later storyline establishes she was unwell before even that. Her mutant hating brother's vengeful astral form had assaulted her and stolen part of her power and sanity after being executed for murder of their mom in attempted murder of her.
* ''ComicBook/AgeOfBronze'': Cassandra's prophecies are accurate, but because she's mad people rarely see the truth of this. In this case, she wasn't driven mad because she spurned Apollo, rather, [[spoiler:she and her brother were raped by a pedophile in Apollo's temple, who jeered that no one would believe them even if they reported what happened]], so her CassandraTruth became something of a SelfFulfillingProphecy.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has Doctor Strange - he's usually coherent, if cryptic, but sometimes seems to go completely around the bend.
** [[spoiler: Luna Lovegood]] after becoming the new [[ComicBook/TheSandman Delirium]], though she's more coherent than her predecessor.
** Ruth in ''Ghosts of the Past'' is a canonical example, being Blindfold of the New X-Men. This time, however, her strange speech patterns and being somewhat UnstuckInTime are caused by her mutant powers manifesting just as [[spoiler: Harry and Maddie]] threw down in psychic brawl with global scale side-effects.
* Oracle Lunara from ''FanFic/OfDarknessAndLight'' speaks backwards when giving predictions, so she even needs a translator. She's a bit mad as well, with a really strange sense of humor and all. [[MeaningfulName She's not called Lunara for nothing]].
* [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Frodo]] is one of these in the ''FanFic/{{Bagenders}}'' prequel episode set in Troy.
* In ''Fanfic/GeorgeWeasleyAndTheComputationalError'', George finds it convenient to claim that he's one instead of admitting that he is from the future. For bonus points, he says his becoming a MadOracle was a product of the Ministry trying and failing to make an artificial seer.
* The [[Fanfic/TheConversionBureau Bureau]] [[MirrorUniverse Universe]] [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Bon Bon]] became one of these after [[spoiler: being ForcedToWatch Lyra get [[TakenForGranite petrified]] and [[LiterallyShatteredLives smashed to pieces]]]] in ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum''. The [[BreakTheCutie trauma of the event]] [[DrivenToMadness drove her completely insane]], not helped by the "temporal stroke" she suffers that leaves her brain in two separate time zones - one part is always in the present, and the other part just wanders around, able to see every possible future the timeline can produce. Most of the time, she's a babbling mess who randomly spews out total gibberish or unintelligible non-sequiturs, but when she ''does'' give a genuine prediction, it's accurate and the heroes have found them quite useful.
* ''Fanfic/TheLionKingAdventures'' Series 5 brings us Ugaidi, a cub who was tortured by the creatures guarding the Dark Caves. This drove him insane, but somehow [[PowerBornOfMadness gave him the power]] to see the future... which, due to his madness, he's only able to express in [[VaguenessIsComing nonsensical broken sentences and warnings]]. [[spoiler: ''The Final Task'' reveals that in actuality, the Roho and the Hermit of Hekima granted him his powers and altered his memories, all in an effort to warn Simba and his friends of the coming of [[UltimateEvil The Writer]]. Unfortunately, this process [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatResponsibility drove him insane]].]]
* In the ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'' series we have this with Yukari, who, as she was losing sanity, wrote in her seventh diary entry what was occurring in her dreams. It is interesting to note that she's seen most of those things that occur in Gensokyo 20XXIV in her dreams.
* In the Music/{{Vocaloid}} fanfic ''FanFic/RottingCamellias'', Mew is a pretty straight example of this trope.
* Angelique from ''The Empress Returns'' (sequel to ''FanFic/TheGodEmpressOfPonykind'') is a psyker whose powers manifested at a very young age, leaving her a mental wreck who speaks only in convoluted (and usually unpleasant) prophecies about those she's around. She has moments of lucidity when around more maternal figures (such as Sister Bianca) or more powerful/mentally stable psykers (such as Twilight or Celestia).
* In ''FanFic/RobbReturns'', [[spoiler:Patchface, who somehow knows that dragons are coming back and that the Others are starting to make their move.]]

* In ''Film/TakeShelter'', it's unclear until the end if the main character is a mad one or just an oracle one.
* The [[Creator/CrispinGlover Fireman]] in ''Film/DeadMan'', who reveals the end of the film at the beginning.
* Seneca from ''Film/CarryOnCleo'' is portrayed as this, moaning and twitching about the "Ides of March" and annoying Julius Caesar. [[spoiler:Although a vague prophecy, the March gets its own back on Caesar, leaving a smug Seneca to mumble "I told you so" at his dead body.]]
* ''Literature/TheThirteenthWarrior''. The protagonists go to consult an old woman who supposedly knows how to defeat the 'demons' who are attacking them. A local girl mentions that she's quite mad, whereupon one of the Vikings replies sarcastically: "The perfect advisor."
* 6 in the movie ''WesternAnimation/{{Nine}}'', but 1 refuses to believe him and just keeps him in a corner with a curtain over it, where he spends all his time drawing what he sees in his head.
** The deleted scenes also show once he finally saw what was in his head, he got a new vision, and apparently heard/saw in his head [[spoiler: the monster made out of 2's body. "Huh..2? 2..is...coming?"]]
* ''Film/TwelveMonkeys''. Such oracles throughout history are implied to be time travelers who have gone insane.
* ''Film/DonnieDarko''. The ability to see the future takes a heavy toll on Donnie's already unbalanced emotional and mental state.
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean''. In some ways, Tia Dalma is like this. While not really mad, she takes pleasure in speaking in riddles and making people wonder what she really meant.
* Mad Medium variation from the [[NoNameGiven crazy homeless guy]] in ''Always'', who can hear the voice of Richard Dreyfuss[[spoiler:'s ghost]] and repeat what Dreyfuss is saying. The message gets a little lost in the man's general rambling, making him a less-than-ideal communication device -- Dreyfuss's attempt to [[spoiler: discourage a young hotshot pilot from pursuing his widow]] comes across as just the opposite.
* Mitsuo Hori, the "Super Psychic" in ''Film/NoroiTheCurse''. His house and his clothing are covered with tinfoil, he mutters, fidgets terribly, is obsessed with "Ectoplasmic Worms" and is prone to get violent when he receives psychic impressions/information. However, he provides very useful information to the investigation.
* In ''Film/SuspectZero'', long term use of the remote viewing abilities O'Ryan's former FBI unit is said to have possessed, combined with the lack of an "off" switch for the abilities themselves, is shown to lead to severe mental breakdowns. Many among the unit eventually were driven to suicide, or suffered psychotic breaks.
* ''Film/TellMeHowIDie'': A pharmaceutical company is experimenting on a drug that allows people to see into the future. The villain is a patient from a previous drug trial who was given increasingly higher doses until the visions took a toll on his sanity and he started getting visions where [[AxCrazy he violently murdered everyone around him]].

* The novel ''Literature/FinalDestination: Dead Reckoning'', a spin-off of the film series. Throughout the book an unnamed vagrant, who apparently experienced the same vision of a nightclub collapsing as the FinalGirl Jess, appears, usually right before Death kills someone, to offer cryptic, borderline non-sensical advice, all the while throwing in random references to mice and the moon.
* One of the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' books features an intelligent Magical Computer which does this, speaking in triads. (Its predictions turn out to be accurate, though, once the meanings of cryptic names like "The Hesper" are sorted out.)
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' kind of tweaks this. Harry says the reason Oracles all talk in riddles and goofy parables and weirdnesses is that they while they see snatches of possible futures, they may not know exactly what events lead to them from the present. Similarly, the tendency towards [[VaguenessIsComing really vague prophecies]] is a way of avoiding paradoxes.
** In addition, a number of "oracles" in the past ([[Myth/ClassicalMythology the Oracle of Delphi]] is specifically mentioned) who were also mad were actually that time's current incarnation of the Archive, a repository of all human knowledge, who were driven mad by said knowledge and yet were able to make accurate predictions of the future through simply analyzing what they possessed and drawing accurate conclusions from it.
* Ophelia from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' is often portrayed like this in the mad scenes. Many researchers believe that her madness gives her an ability to sense everything (Unfortunately, she's unable to express her thoughts properly, which makes her a Cassandra-like character).
* {{Justified|Trope}}, {{Discussed|Trope}}, and {{Deconstructed|Trope}} in the ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'': madness makes it easy for the SentientCosmicForce Prophecy to borrow a person's mind, but limits it to the understanding of the vessel's mind. The near-EmptyShell Mrin Prophet delivers the most comprehensive prophecy of the planet completely out of order because he's too insane to understand ''time''; the Darine Prophet produces short outbursts that are only useful as an "index" to the Mrin Codex; and the sorcerers have to have any number of other local lunatics' ravings transcribed, since only they have the background to distinguish between someone whose mind is touched by Prophecy and someone who's just a bit loopy.
* The Clayr of the ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy seem to be a ''clan'' built of Mad Oracles. When their power to See is concentrated into a set number of people, they can receive clear visions of the future or present -- assuming there is a future to ''See.'' However, in most circumstances, their Sight is divided among the hundreds of Clayr, granting each of its members with random fragments of possible futures. This also gives the Clayr a rather incoherent sense of time and causality (which might explain the number of one-night stands they have.) The trope apparently grows more pronounced with age, to the point that the oldest Clayr - who can apparently live to be a hundred and fifty years old - have to retire to special "Dreaming Rooms" when they become too disjointed in time.
* In ''Literature/PerdidoStreetStation'' and ''Literature/IronCouncil'' by Creator/ChinaMieville, there's the Weaver, a giant multi-dimensional spider who can see the strands of past and future and always speaks in never-ending streams of free verse. This isn't that bad for the Weaver, since it was never human to begin with, but the human characters in the book find its advice disconcerting and incomprehensible. Plus, it can kill you with a wave of its pedipalp if it doesn't like you (or just thinks the weave of the universe will be prettier that way).
* ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'', The Erevis Cale Trilogy. Erevis and companions visit Sephris Dwendon, the chosen of the God of Knowledge, seeking information on the MacGuffin. Initially Sephris is only a little cracked, yet after [[spoiler: being raised from the dead, not because he wanted to be, but because of a sense of duty]] Sephris becomes more than a little crazy. Bitter, cynical, carving mathematical formulae into his flesh.
* The Sibyl at Orm in ''[[Literature/TheDarkAngelTrilogy A Gathering of Gargoyles]]'' turns out to be mad Doona from the house in which Aeriel grew up as a slave. [[spoiler: Subverted in that Doona is actually not the Sibyl. She killed her and took her place.]]
* Creator/HPLovecraft's Franchise/CthulhuMythos: The Mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, writer of the Necronomicon. Technically not an oracle, as he probably couldn't see into the future (although the contents of the Necronomicon are too vague to say for sure), but other than that he fits this trope very well. Strange visions, cryptic texts, being completely off his rocker etc.
* Raymond Feist's ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' contains an oracle which is mad because it shares a body with a god like being granting her its powers.
%%* Raistlin's mother in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}''.
* The witch in Creator/DanAbnett's TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Blood Pact''. She CannotTellALie -- and apparently, can't ''shut up'' either.
* In the Literature/CircleOfMagic books, the character Zhegorz is introduced as a madman, apparently a schizophrenic. It eventually turns out that he's actually able to scry on the wind, both sights and sounds, a very rare ability, which is why everyone assumed he was hallucinating... so unexplained visions + insistence from all sides that he must be mad + commitment to a BedlamHouse = all the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, only based in reality.
* Tsinga from David Clement-Davies' ''Literature/TheSight'' is a pretty darn good example of this.
* The Fool in ''Theatre/KingLear'' is sometimes played this way, depending on the production.
* In Eric van Lustbuder's ScienceFantasy series ''The Pearl Saga'', this is mentioned as happening to all oracles, which is why the prophecies were written by dragons rather than oracles. So when Giyan is forced by circumstances to unlock her latent oracular powers, it signals the beginning of her descent into madness as she grows more and more tormented by fragments of possible futures.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/{{Kull}} / Literature/BranMakMorn story "Kings of the Night", Gonar poses as this to get taken seriously. Down to and including performing HumanSacrifice for his foretellings.
* May Castellan from ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians''.
* Mrs. Tachyon from the Creator/TerryPratchett novel ''Johnny and the Bomb''. Her dementia isn't due to SEEING through time so much as TRAVELING through it--- and constantly losing track of whether she's speaking to someone from the past, present, or future....
* Similarly, Old Mother Dismass in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': perfectly coherent, but having a conversation in a different timezone than everyone else. Described as having "a detached retina in her second sight".
* The Illustrated Man, a Creator/RayBradbury character who was [[BlessedWithSuck given tattoos that showed ever-changing visions of the future]]. Unfortunately, they tend to show people's deaths, often violent ones, so he [[WalkingTheEarth can't stay in one place very long because people don't react well to seeing how they die]]. As a result of this, he has become unstable and violent, to the point where people sometimes see ''him'' killing them in his tattoos...[[YouCantFightFate and then it happens]].
* Averted in ''Literature/HarryPotter:'' Luna Lovegood is '''not''' mad, but she '''seems''' mad and she speaks CassandraTruth about the Present.
** Played with with Divination instructor Sybill Trelawney. While most of her predictions fall along the lines of YMMV, she will on occasion make a true prophecy (including both about Voldemort) and appears to be in a mad state when she does - using a different voice and not remembering that she said it. Her behavior throughout the series is also rather bizarre, though much of this can be attributed to her attempting to make Divination seem more useful and mysterious than it actually is and her addiction to cooking sherry.
* TheJester Patchface in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': while he's generally humored by those around him, treated as just an insane fool, his short ditties are not only prophetic, but aptly disturbing at that.
** Dedicated worshipers of both R'hlorr and the Drowned God come across this way to those of the Faith. Human sacrifice and visions play a huge part in both religions, after all -- things the Faith of the Seven hasn't been keen on for years. Heck, the Red Priests and Drowned Men can seem to jump off the deep end as far as the less extreme factions of their religions go.
* Literature/{{Dune}}: Paul Atreides/Muad'Dib/the Kwizatch Haderach (and later Leto II, his son) are widely regarded as this. The reader sees enough of their inner thoughts to know they're not exactly "mad" ''per se'', but it does seem to be a huge burden to sift through all the might-bes and work out which of the infinitely many possible paths leads to the desired outcome, and since Paul and Leto actually care about this, it makes them do things that sometimes seem pretty random to other people. Like [[spoiler:disappearing from the Padishah Throne and becoming a desert vagabond]], or [[spoiler:arranging for your own death ... ish ... sort of thing]].
* In Alfred Bester's story ''The Push of a Finger'', the Stabilization Bureau's Prog building doesn't contain a human oracle, but a mechanical one; it can't go mad, but it does illustrate how a human one could: one of the techs working it explains it as a sort of probabilistic machine that does millions of predictions and kind of "averages" them into a likely future, and if you were human and happened to get the one with the hyperintelligent lobster people, then that would pretty quickly either drive you actually mad or make people think you were.
* The intercessor from ''Literature/{{Maledicte}}'' is a scruffy guy standing on the street corner muttering about the gods, whom everyone knows are dead anyway. [[spoiler: They aren't]]. As a potential intercessor, Gilly fears he might be a little mad as well.
* The White Queen from ''[[Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland Through the Looking-Glass]]''. For example, she threw the Mad Hatter in jail after having a vision that he would commit a crime in the future. As for the "mad" part, well, it's the "Alice in Wonderland" books. Being mad is kind of a requirement.
* The ''Literature/ImmortalsAfterDark'' series has Nix, also known as Nucking Futs Nix. She's hilariously insane, having lost the ability to sort out the past, present, and future, but there's a method to her madness; all knowledge that she dispenses or withholds is carefully calculated to achieve a certain result. Even her madness is accounted for in her plans, such as when she found a Post-It to herself on the underside of her sister's bed (no explanation as to what she'd be doing there). Her antics include keeping a pet bat. No, it doesn't live in a cage.
* Toki in the ''Literature/MadgieWhatDidYouDo'' series is a downplayed example, in that, while she does suffer from mental illness, she is usually on medicine to make her coherent, however, she does serve as an oracle, sometimes predicting the events in the story.
* [[GeniusSlob Delores]] from ''Literature/LastMage'' is impossibly smart and clinically depressed, in the Franchise/SherlockHolmes sort of "my brains burn out when I've nothing to do" way.
* Quasiman from Literature/WildCards. When he says he remembers you, it's a good idea to listen to him, because he's probably in your future. However, he gives one the impression of being... not all there (literally- bits of him, both mind and body, pop in and out of local space-time, one piece at a time).
* Goosefeather in ''Literature/WarriorCats'' was often seen as this by his Clanmates due to his erratic behavior, and indeed, many of his prophecies and signs seem rather questionable. The problem is that there are some actual premonitions in there too, so everyone ignores him when he starts getting ''really'' bad feelings about Tigerkit's future.
* Subverted in ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoNewAdventuresCatsCradleTimesCrucible Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible]]''. The Pythias were the seers who ruled Gallifrey before Rassilon came to power. The last Pythia goes mad because she's ''losing'' her oracular abilities, and can no longer see the future clearly.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Fourth Doctor is the only Doctor whose PsychicPowers enable him to see visions of the future, and also the one with the most tenuous sanity in his default mental state. These two factors may be connected.
** In the TV Movie, the Eighth Doctor seems to show prophetic powers, giving people hints about their future and knowing facts about their past. He is one of the less sane Doctors.
** Invoked in "The Fires of Pompeii". Donna threatens to warn the people of Pompeii about the oncoming volcano eruption, if the Doctor won't save them all. The Doctor says that no one will believe her, and instead think she's a "mad old soothsayer". Later, two oracles (an older man and a young woman) make a number of correct predictions about the Doctor and Donna, but they say it in such a way that the woman's family can't make heads or tails of it. And one of the predictions ([[spoiler:"Daughter of London, you have something on your back"]]) makes no sense to any of them until a later episode.
** Dalek Cann becomes this in the series four finale. He travelled back into the Time War itself to rescue Davros, but breaking through the "time lock" turned him into this. In an interesting twist, [[spoiler: he also saw what the Daleks truly were, sparking a HeelRealization. Thus he didn't tell anyone that the Doctor and his companions would stop Davros to save all of reality.]]
** Then there's the Visionary from "The End of Time", a Time Lady who spends her time scribbling prophecies and rambling. She foretells the end of the Time War and the Doctor and the Master's confrontation on Earth. At one point, she basically tells Rassilon his next move [[SelfFulfillingProphecy seconds before he does it.]]
-->'''Visionary:''' Ending, burning, falling. All of it falling. The black and pitch and screaming fire...
** Idris, the CrazyAwesome "bitey mad lady" from "The Doctor's Wife". She has good reason for her behaviour, because [[spoiler: as the living soul of the TARDIS, she's experiencing the whole timeline at once.]]
* The Hybrids in the reimagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', who only say things like "Mists of dreams drip along the nascent echo and love no more" and "Intruders swarm like flame, like the whirlwind; Hopes soaring to slaughter all their best against our hulls."
* Creator/JossWhedon likes this trope:
** [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Drusilla]] is a cross between this and WaifProphet. Unlike many such prophets, her madness can make her, not just other people, unable to act on them properly. In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' episode "Redefinition" she sees a vision of Angel setting her and and Darla on fire, but doesn't really understand it and takes in only how pretty the fire is. When it actually happens she's a lot less happy about it.
** River Tam from ''Series/{{Firefly}}''
*** Both of them have very similar styles of speaking.
** An AlternateUniverse Episode of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' featured the title character as this, when he inherits the visions sent by the PowersThatBe. In the normal episodes this didn't happen to Cordelia, but [[FridgeHorror it could have]] if she hadn't chosen to become part demon, since humans weren't meant to have the visions and they were destroying her brain.
** In BTVS "The Gift" Tara, who has been {{Mind Rape}}d by Glory and reduced to a babbling childlike state, suddenly points to Giles and shouts, "You're a killer!" foretelling his [[ShootTheDog murder of Ben]].
** Also CrazyHomelessPeople in "The Real Me" (and in later episodes, people driven insane by Glory) can see that Dawn isn't real.
-->Stop them talking! ''(Dawn screams)'' I know you...[[ContinuityNod curds and whey]]...I know what you are. You-don't-belong-here."
* From ''Series/{{Flash Forward|2009}}'' ("The Garden of Forking Paths"):
-->'''Demitri''': YoureInsane!
-->'''Dyson Frost''': Most oracles are, you know? They see the future and the knowledge... ends up destroying them.
* Frankie Howerd used a mad soothsayer in ''Up Pompeii'' (Senna the Soothsayer) and a similar character, a mad beggar (Derti Dhoti) in ''Whoops Baghdad''.
* Played with in ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. Root is regarded as insane by the rest of Team Machine due to her fervent MachineWorship and sociopathic tendencies, and has a habit of making cryptic yet accurate predictions that she claims come from God (actually the [[ArtificialIntelligence Machine]] [[HearingVoices talking to her via an implant]]).

* Pythia, more commonly known as the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The chamber where she gave her predictions was supposedly filled with vapors that rose from the ground. Since she spent so much time in the chamber, it drove her into a frenzied state. This is the reason why most of her predictions were so cryptic, she was loopy from the fumes. Some sources even state she needed an interpreter to translate. Thus making this [[OlderThanFeudalism yada yada...]]
** The Real Life Oracle of Delphi was much more mundane. The Pythia was a middle aged local woman (young virgins having proven prone to kidnapping); she didn't rave or speak in tongues and those cool 'delphic' prophecies seem to be entirely fictional. The usual questions handled by the real Oracle concerned matters religion and ritual.
*** The fact that Delphi was, partly because of the Oracle, a major hub for gossip, meant that often the Pythia and the clergy were just well informed.
*** The 'vapors' have been proven to be entirely fictional as well. The chamber has been thoroughly examined, and there is no place in it through which any vapors could have entered from an underground source, and the local geology makes the existence of any such source extremely unlikely in any case.
*** While the 'vapors' were not of volcanic origin or some natural gas (like ethylene, a substance believed to have been responsible: it's been reported that the waters from which the Oracle drank have surprisingly high content of it), recent studies have shown that it may have been oleander that the Oracle chewed and her priests burned below her chamber to induce the prophetic visions. Regardless if it was oleander or ethylene, the former known to the ancient Greeks and the latter attested to rise up under Delphi after earthquakes, there was certainly some form of airborne substance involved.
*** In fact it is far from certain any kind of psychogenic substance was involved. It is perfectly possible to invoke a state of altered consciousness by auto-suggestion. The Pythia was not manic, vase paintings and contemporary accounts describe her as sitting quietly on her tripod holding a branch of laurel and a bowl of holy water a position not conducive to hysterical convulsions, and answering the inquirer in a calm, direct manner. Whether she was coached ahead of time or answered according to her inspiration of the moment is another question.
* Cassandra is like this in some versions, either perceived or actual, due to [[CassandraTruth never being believed]]. In her most recent portrayal, in Eric Shanower's ''Age of Bronze'', she was very much this. ''Age of Bronze'' has a tendency to [[DoingInTheWizard do in the wizard]], so her origin story there is ''deeply'' ambiguous.
* Dionysus also functions as a MadOracle--his role as the god of ''ecstasy'' both refers to emotional ecstasy [[APartyAlsoKnownAsAnOrgy (for his followers' wild parties)]], and ''religious ecstasy'' [[DrunkenMaster (for the trances/rituals that his prophets underwent).]]

* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'': This appears to have been a side effect of the infestation of Jane Prentiss - before she lost her mind completely, she gave a mad, rambling, stream-of-consciousness statement (which forms the episode "Hive") that included premonitions about the future of Gertrude and the Institute.

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Johnny Carson's "Carnac the Magnificent" routine on ''Series/TheTonightShow'' had him play a character like this. The routine worked like this: Carson would enter dressed as Carnac, wearing a large feathered turban and a cape, to Indian music (usually stumbling as he did). Ed [=McMahon=] would produce a set of envelopes which he claimed were sealed. "Carnac" would hold each one to his head, say what he believed was the answer to the question written within, then open it, and read the question. Of course, revealing the question was always the punch line to a joke. One example:
-->'''Carnac's answer:''' Over 105 in Los Angeles.
-->'''Question inside envelope:''' [[TakeThat Under the Reagan plan, how old would you have to be to collect Social Security?]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''Creator/WhiteWolf'' love this trope.
** In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', Abyssal Exalted can take a background known as Whispers. This allows them to directly consult their dead-but-not-gone EldritchAbomination masters. Seeing as the Exalted have minds that are still essentially human while the Neverborn are most definitely ''not,'' characters with high Whispers are a little, um, odd.
** In ''TabletopGame/HunterTheReckoning'', members of the Hermit creed all have a direct line to the PowersThatBe, giving them oracular insight at the cost of overloading their psyches, which forces them to withdraw from human contact (hence the name).
** In ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'', all members of the Malkavian [[VampireVarietyPack Clan]] are this, whether they know it or not. They all go insane as part of the Embrace (and that doesn't count the tendency to Embrace those who are already insane), but they become attuned to the "Malkavian Madness Network" (a sort-of latent HiveMind that runs through the clan's [[MonsterProgenitor Antediluvian]]) and thus know things that no one else does.
** ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'':
*** One Goblin Contract (such Contracts have some ''nasty'' side effects) serves as both ends of the trope. You can uncover anything you want to know about anything you've encountered... but you gain a derangement for the duration of the next day. And you only get the ''mild'' derangements if you roll high; if you roll low, you can look forward to 24 hours of schizophrenia. And once that wears off, you ''forget'' what you learned. Hope that you're lucid enough to write it down.
*** The College of Worms is an [[PrestigeClass Entitlement]] that believes in the value of portents and omens. Unfortunately, for every three serious scholars of fate, there's one loon who thinks the College is the perfect place to ''express themselves''.
** The Ministers in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' are fantastically powerful [[TheArchmage Archmasters]] who lead the [[AncientConspiracy Ministries]] of the [[DeityOfHumanOrigin godlike]] Exarchs and serve as their representatives in the material world. However, the psychic bond to their patron Exarch basically burns out their minds, so these paragons of magic spend their time sequestered in {{Pocket Dimension}}s, drooling and babbling gnomic prophecies.
* Precognition is a fairly well-known power of psykers in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', but carries with it TheDarkSide. Aside from the Eldar, The Dark Side seems to win more often than not with would-be prophets. Just ask the Night Haunter.
** Kairos Fatereaver, the oracle of Tzeentch is this trope. Tzeentch is able to see into the future himself, but even he doesn't know which possible future will come to be. So he threw his vizier Kairos into the point where all timelines intersect, giving him the ability to see everything that has happened and will ever happen. The downside is that he came back unnaturally aged (daemons are immortal and normally don't age), with an extra head and completely off his rocker. To make things worse, his heads contradict each other and there is no way of knowing which one is telling the truth at any given time.
* The TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' campaign setting has the Mad Seer Hyksosa, among others. It's pretty common, really.
** So common, in fact, that it's an NPC class.
** The Contact Other Plane divination spell has a chance of causing severe (if temporary) mental lapses.
* In ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' those few Chanari, Martian desert people, who gain psychic powers tend to have significant mental illnesses.

* Some productions of ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' depict Mercutio as this, with his rambling speeches foretelling the tragedies that befall the characters by the play's end.
--> "A plague o' both your houses!"

* ''[[VideoGame/CityOfHeroes City of Villains]]'' has Diviner Maros and Mender Lazarus, who can see through all of time and often confuse cause and effect and talk to you about adventures you haven't even taken yet. Maros even uses his gift to lampshade the way that other contacts often send you out to figure out where the next mission is on your own, as seen here.
-->"The Freakshow in the cult are going to try to kill you now, but since you don't yet know where to go to take the fight to them, they have the advantage. However, we can edit out all of the tedious searching for hideouts and interrogation. I will tell you where to go."
* The Hand of Repose in the ''VideoGame/{{Exmortis}}'' games serves this purpose when allowed to speak; normally, he acts as a living gateway for the Exmortis demons to return to Earth through, but his position as an anthropomorphic wormhole has allowed him to see a little way into the future - resulting in the Prophecy of the Hand booklet given to you in the second game. And in a particularly interesting twist, [[spoiler:the Hand is none other than the PC of the first game.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}'''s Postbag from the Hedge pages sometimes have the Chaos Elemental give cryptic hints of future content.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' gives us 'The Unredeemed Turret'. Turrets in the game are sweet, [[KillerRabbit sapient little robots designed to riddle everything moving with as many bullets as possible.]] Any that are different are placed on the 'redemption line' to die a horrible flaming death. At one point in the game you're able to rescue one who thanks you, and makes some rather ''strange'' statements, such as "get mad", "the answer is beneath us", "her name is Caroline", "Prometheus was banished by the gods for giving knowledge to man. He was sent to the bowels of the Earth...pecked at by birds", and finally, [[NonSequitur "don't make lemonade."]] It's all {{Foreshadowing}}. [[spoiler:The turret's words referencing that beneath them are about Old Aperture, where the company was founded. Cave Johnson was the founder, and as expected (given Aperture Science) was quite insane, so much so that when he learned he was dying and recalled an aphorism about making lemonade from life's lemons he went on a bizarre rant about turning the lemons into bombs to [[{{Metaphorgotten}} blow up life's house]]. His assistant was Caroline, who was turned into [=GLaDOS=]. And [=GLaDOS=] does indeed get cast into the earth to be pecked at by birds.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' on Eden Prime there is an ''apparently'' insane scientist who only gives terrified, cryptic statements and claims to be the OnlySaneMan. When you learn of [[spoiler:the Reapers]], you'll realize exactly what he was talking about.
** And again in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' where the crazy doomsayer on Omega appears to have read the game script ahead of time. His cryptic prophecies all turn out to be correct later.
* From the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' franchise:
** [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas "No-Bark Noonan"]] of Novac appears to be a crazy conspiracy theorist, and he is, but his information holds surprising and important insights somewhere amidst all the nuttery.
** [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}} Mama Murphy]] has "the Sight," which she claims allows her to glimpse the future, the past, and the present. She has an odd cadence to her speech as if she isn't entirely within the moment. She uses [[JunkieProphet various chems to invoke the Sight]], and it's likely that a lifetime of substance abuse has fried her brain.
* [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed Subject 16]] is unstable at the ''best'' of times -- and stark raving mad at the worst -- but his ramblings are always far more relevant than they first appear. He ''does'' know what he's talking about. The problem, naturally, lies in figuring out ''what'' he's talking about.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** Ulstyr Moresby, a character from [[Literature/TheElderScrollsInUniverseBooks 'Chance's Folly']], one of the many books that can be found in the series. The eponymous 'Chance' is an infamous thief who learns about an ancient tomb that, though full of traps and monsters, has untold riches within. She enlists the assistance of Ulstyr, a gigantic warrior who mutters incoherently to himself and is generally viewed as an eccentric by the other townsfolk. Throughout the story, whenever he speaks (including before they actually start the journey), he repeats several key phrases:
*** Chitin: The Chitin armour he ended up taking along with him helped to protect him from a rainstorm that arose on the pair's way to the tomb.
*** Hot steel: He brought a sword that was imbued with fire magic, which proved effective against the ice elementals that dwelled inside the catacombs.
*** Fifty-three: When they reached the room where the treasure lay, there were fifty-three bags within, all filled with gold.
*** Drain ring: Chance was hiding an enchanted ring under her glove that allowed the wearer to sap the vitality of its target (which, growing suspicious of how many of Ulstyr's ramblings seemed to be coming true, she considered using against him once they could claim the treasure).
*** Walls beyond doors: [[spoiler:When Chance entered the room, the door snapped shut behind her. On her side, the door looked exactly like the walls around her, leaving her with no way to escape.]]
*** Two months and back: [[spoiler:Ulstyr left and then returned to the tomb after two months, by which time Chance had died in that very same room.]]
*** Prop a rock: [[spoiler:Ulstyr stopped the door from trapping him by propping it open with a rock, allowing him to take the treasure for himself.]]
*** At one point, Chance wonders to herself if the rumours about the insane being in communication with the Daedric Prince [[MadGod Sheogorath]] were true, and if he was relaying this information to Ulstyr through this madness.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'': Dagail, Bosmer leader of the Leyawiin Mages' Guild Hall, hears 'The Voices' which tell her of the future. On her own, the voices drive her into madness, barely able to form a coherent sentence (which is problematic, considering you're there for a written recommendation), reducing her to cryptic words and statements. Luckily, her father (who had the same power) has [[PowerLimiter an Amulet that reduces The Voices to a manageable level]]. [[spoiler:Once she's lucid, Dagail reveals that she knew you would come and help her eventually, and that Kalthar was the one who stole her original Amulet]].
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'', where bit NPC Sarah is having a mental breakdown because every day hundreds of people are having visions ''through her'', forcing her to relive her traumatic memories over and over.
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' is based on the [[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade tabletop game above]] and retains the Malkavians' prophetic madness.
** A Malkavian PlayerCharacter has unique dialog options that frequently reveal hidden information about people the moment you start talking to them. It's outright stated that a Malkavian character has absolutely no idea what any of the things he/she sees about people actually ''mean'' and can't help but utter them aloud.
--->'''Bertram:''' Oh ''shit.'' A Malkavian. I guess I'll finally get what you're talking about in a month or so. Man, I hate talking to you guys! It's like I'm getting answers to questions I haven't even asked!
** Rosa is one of the Thin-Bloods hiding on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier. She's more coherent than any given Malkavian, but does dip into incoherence due to unwanted glimpses into the future: nonetheless, for twenty dollars, she'll give you some cryptic riddles that seem like nonsense until you actually start encountering what they refer to in the game.

* ''Webcomic/TheGodsOfArrKelaan'' gives us the {{Cloudcuckoolander}} Oracle Sephin.
* [[http://www.squidi.net/comic/index.php As seen here]], ''Webcomic/AModestDestiny'' has Morris, who went insane when, after a HeroicBSOD, he woke up among numerous corpses and assumed he had killed them. He later gained prophetic powers when Black Bart, masquerading as a priest, picked an official-sounding passage from the bible - and christened Morris as the new pope.
* "Dodie", the hobo oracle from ''Webcomic/SeaOfInsanity'', is this trope in spades. His mind is described as "an empty shell, filled with prophesy". This does not make The Sibyl, the friendly neighbourhood {{seer}}, feel better about her chosen career.
* In ''Webcomic/AmericanBarbarian'', [[http://www.ambarb.com/?p=344 the god.]]
* In ''Webcomic/AutumnBay'', [[http://autumnbaycomics.com/comics/18/ Stephen, Adam, and Callie run into Benny]], a homeless man who has scribbled the [[RoomFullOfCrazy cryptic and prophetic words and phrases]] onto the walls of the subway tunnels.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Mac from the [[ComicBook/LessThanThreeComics <3-Verse]] can see the future when he's not stoned, but he's stoned almost all the time. I wonder why...
* Circe, in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse''. Yes, ''that'' Circe. She's a couple thousand years old, and she's now a teacher at [[SuperheroSchool Whateley Academy]]. And when she predicts things, she tends to ramble weirdly. Okay, sometimes she rambles weirdly when she's not predicting stuff...
** In the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', there are very, very few powerful precogs. The strongest one shown in-universe is Mrs. Potter, who has been the proverbial butterfly for quite a lot of the series' events. The reason for this is simple: the sheer, unadulterated flow of information quickly burns out their minds, leaving them stark raving mad. This was ''weaponized'' against Mimeo, an extremely powerful [[PowerCopying Mimic]] -- he attempted to copy Mrs. Potter's power, and collapsed into a gibbering heap until the effects wore off.
* Subject Five of ''Literature/UnlikelyEden'' speaks in an oddly reversed poetic manner. Every one of her predictions is reputed to be inevitable. It's just that no one (including her) can be sure what they ''mean''.
* Moira Vu Noi in ''Roleplay/TheGunganCouncil'' is borderline insane with the number of visions she has seen, including those of Darth Apparatus which made her develop an [[{{Yandere}} insane obsession]] for him.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' gives Grandpa a flash of this.
* Banana Barbara from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' paints pictures that predict the future. And each time she does it she [[ThousandYardStare stares around blankly]].
* Ronaldo from ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' is on the one hand a kooky conspiracy theorist, but on the other hand has an odd habit of predicting things entire seasons before they're actually revealed. Some examples: he's the first person who ever mentions the term [[spoiler: Diamond Authority]], despite having no idea what it actually is or any real evidence it exists at all, and he's also the first person who ever says anything about [[spoiler: a human zoo]], again having no knowledge that such a thing actually exists.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Administrivia/NoRealLifeExamplesPlease, but it is assumed that if anyone actually ''had'' precognitive abilities (most likely some sort of [[RetroactivePrecognition deja vu]] rather than any active ability), the complications of such ability would drive them completely mad. [[spoiler: (You'd have the ability to see the past, present, and future all at once; at the very least, this would skew your perception of time, and probably result in [[EasyAmnesia short term memory loss]]. This is not even considering the consequence of trying to change destiny and wondering [[YouAlreadyChangedThePast whether it did any good.]] )]]