Any work whose creation seems to have involved large amounts of hallucinogens, cocaine, crack, or any other illicit substance that makes people think really weird ideas are also really good ones. The plot hinges on bizarre transformations, freakish-looking creatures, and nonsensical actions that only seem to make sense in realms of logic far removed from your own. That it was the product of a deranged mind looks like a foregone conclusion.
And then you find out that it most certainly wasn't.
The creator claims that they weren't taking drugs — or at least weren't taking them then — or the creator just doesn't seem like a person who would take drugs of any sort.
A sad implication of this mindset is that truly creative works demand the use of mind-altering drugs — which, if you are a creator who wasn't taking drugs but gets this accusation leveled at your work, can be something of an insult depending on your opinion of them. And in real life, composing any work of art (or doing anything more complex than opening a door, for that matter) is borderline impossible when tripping on hallucinogens like DMT or mescaline. Sufferers of manic disorder exhibit symptoms that are similar from drug intoxication, quite a number of magna opera are created under such circumstances. Most admitted users of entheogens tend to do their work between trips, not during (whether or not said work is inspired by the trips). Stuff like cocaine doesn't actually make you hallucinate or think trippy things, though it does make doing more cocaine sound like a fantastic idea.
Commonly uttered in response to a Widget Series, Big Lipped Alligator Moment, particularly egregiousMakes Just as Much Sense in Context moment, or Dada Ad. Compare with Mind Screw (which refers to works that are densely symbolic and/or surreal) and of course This Is Your Premise on Drugs. And enjoy this Onion AV Club inventory of notably trippy children's shows.
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This compilation of japanese Fanta commercials. It almost makes sense.
The "Adventureland" ad for Friskies catfood makes one wonder how much cat-nip is in there...
It features dancing turkeys, and fish-fin sailboats, to name a few things.
Bob's Discount Furniture commercials sometimes feature things like talking claymation furniture, himself multiplying to sit on each cushion on a couch, and old west scenes. Also the actual store tends to have some pretty strange things in it.
There was one joke where one of the people working on the talking dog Above The Influence commercial was completely stoned when he came up with the premise.
Also the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010, which starts out as a relatively normal webcast by Finland, turns into a creepy survival story that spawned a truly incredible amount of Wild Mass Guessing, and then the big reveal: the culprits were actually the cat-eared inhabitants of a parallel world where walking around naked is the norm, who need to find a nation with a certain mark on either their chest or butt to keep their world from exploding. In this world there are apparently 123 Frances, and America is kinkier than all of them.
Bobobo Bo Bobobo. Most of the "jokes" are Japanese puns, so the English dub appears as a series-long BLAM. It really does make some kind of sense in Japanese, but something was definitely Lost in Translation. It's still a pretty wacky, spontaneous and tripped-out series regardless. It's because of the very nature of the anime that the constant disorientation caused by the altered jokes in the dub never feels out of place.
Cuticle Detective Inaba. Let's see...Inaba is a genetically engineered wolf-man who gains superhuman powers by eating hair. His secretary is a sadistic trap, and his nemesis is a money-eating goat who calls himself "The Don." Don's primary minions are a samurai with a bag on his head and a sexy female assassin who spends most of the first episode shooting Don in the head. The page description goes into more detail, which doesn't really help.
Dead Leaves. If you actually managed it this far, go ahead and try to make any sense of the climax.
The opening for episodes in the second season of Death Note, even more so when compared to the first season.
At one point in the Lucky Star OVA, the four main girls decide to visit a pet store. After they have looked around, Minoru appears (proclaiming he's Zero) and presents them with a container carrying two frogs that oddly resemble Keroro and Tamama. Their trademark croaking is cuddly at first, until we are treated to gross-out close-ups of the frogs, the croaks becoming louder and more disturbing and the scene becoming more warped. Then, we suddenly cut to the girls in frog costumes doing... stuff... near a pond. Then, as a final slap to logic, Minoru poofs into being again, dressed as a stage magician, and flies off singing "wa-wa-wa-wasuremono...".
Madlax is a prime example of how strange you can get in a plot. Funny enough the director and writer conceived the series ending during an intoxicated brainstorming session.
It's been said that the last half of Evangelion was greatly influenced when Anno went off his psychiatric drugs, which is also the point where the viewer realizes that the characters have pretty bad psychological issues. Anno also used personal notes about how he was thinking during his Clinical Depression to add more depth to the story.
Here's some examples of the mad shit that happens in End of Evangelion: a giant robot begins spewing organs and growing extra eyes after being defeated, some more giant robots grow faces (which look like Rei, the show's resident Emotionless Girl) all over their bodies and commit suicide with a spear, with their bodies just hanging in space for a while, a giant version of Rei has a tree covered in eyes (which is actually another giant robot, which is actually the main character's mother) plunged into a vagina in the middle of her forehead (which already has an eye in it), everyone gets hugged by their true love and turns into orange juice while a normal version of Rei watches them (yes, it's a different Rei for each person; there are at least a million of her now), and a giant pink eye rising out of the Earth to kill everyone.
Some of the... odder things in One Piece can lead one to conclude it wasn't only the characters eating magic fruit.
Oruchuban Ebichu is about a housekeeping hamster who is often beaten mercilessly by her owner. Then there's a guy who's in love with Ebichu.
One of the Pokémon movie shorts, titled Gotta Dance!! might qualify as this. The MacGuffin of the episode is a baton that, when activated, causes every Pokémon within hearing range to start involuntarily dancing. This goes on and off for most of the short, which is both charmingly idiotic and hilarious.
Many of the Pokémon shorts that come coupled with the feature length films venture into this territory with their cheerful, idealistic tone, and the fact that nobody is speaking coherently.
The So Bad, It's GoodYaoi manga series Vibrator Company starts with a pair of salarymen, employees of the titular company, breaking into a warehouse full of sex toys and exchanging vibrators as a token of their love for one another. This is probably the least ridiculous thing that happens - from there on in it's a nonstop crazy train of suggestively-shaped office buildings, security guards dressed as teddy bears and industrial espionage. Over sex toys.
Youko Matsushita, the author of Yami No Matsuei, seems to have had trouble coming up with ideas; as such, her arcs were often heavily cribbed to the point that the style of the work completely changed. The story was trimmed down to essentials and retooled for the anime, and all this hilarity removed. Cracky sequences include:
The 'Catholic boys' school kinky murder mystery of sex and intrigue, caused by a demon, with a side of undercover crossdresser' arc.
The 'Tsuzuki stuck in bad romance novel with a female version of himself as the lead (who winds up with the Expy of one of his male friends)' arc.
The 'the department abruptly competes in Ministry of Hades Field Day and Terazuma is unable to kiss Hisoka even for athletics points' arc.
Zdzislaw Beksinski's eerie, surrealist paintings are based on his dreams (or more likely nightmares from living in Poland during WW2).
Salvador Dali, despite what one might think from his paintings, made a point of not using psychoactives of any sort. He simply stayed up until he started hallucinating from sleep deprivation, then painted what he saw. The only exception were the times when he went to sleep very late after eating Camembert cheese, has slight hallucinogenic effect.
The other story was that in the evening Dalí would sit in his favourite chair holding a set of keys over a dinner plate. As he started to drop into sleep, his grip on his keys would loosen and the resulting clatter would wake him up, leaving early dream images (which can be very weird) in his mind.
"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."
Quoth M.C. Escher, "I don't use drugs—my dreams are frightening enough."
The pictured artist, Vladimir Kush, just has a thing for metaphors.
Averted by Bryan Lewis Saunders. This guy purposely took drugs and then created self-portraits, to see the effect the substances would have on his art...
Artist and webcomic creator Ursula Vernon has done exactly one painting (Toadback Road) inspired by ideas she got when smoking pot. The rest of her work, no matter how weird, plays this trope straight.
Marvel, on the other hand, did in the inside art what DC did in the covers. Artists like Steve Ditko (who doesn't even consume alcohol), and to a lesser extent, Jack Kirby, famously created some trippy concepts. Then there is Jim Steranko, who was one of the first artists allowed to write his own stories simply because no one else could write anything approaching his level of WTFery. It helped that his stories had included some veiled anti-drug elements.
Doctor Strange in particular made use of such psychedelic terrain imagery, that although it wasn't made on drugs, it was mentioned to be a popular comic for drug-users.
You'd think the comics of Jhonen Vasquez were made on something. Then you listen to his interviews and you realize he just draws whatever he thinks is funniest. Then we get Fillerbunny and Wobbly-Headed Bob.
Almost anything by Grant Morrison. What surprises many, though, is that everything he wrote before Doom Patrol was written while he was straight-edge. This includes Animal Man, Zenith and Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. Arkham was primarily written late at night after long periods of no sleep, to take advantage of the resultant hallucinations (See Salvador Dalí below). Around the time he was writing Doom Patrol he began experimenting with psychoactives. Morrison has mentioned that he's less into drugs and more into chaos magic, which is where the majority of his trippiness comes from.
Batman RIP contained a full issue of Batman getting high off of weapons-grade heroin, dressing up in a red and purple Batsuit and calling himself "The Batman of Zurr-en-Arrh" while beating criminals up with a baseball bat and talking to Bat-Mite, who may or may not have been a product of said weapons-grade heroin. This was an elaborate throwback to an obscure Silver Age-era story about Batman getting superpowers on Planet X, which was equally as trippy.
See the bit immediately above about Grant Morrison? Same deal with anything by Alan Moore, but with added Gnostic theory, obscure literary references, and erotica.
This would be Alan "expelled from school for selling LSD" Moore?
Carla Speed-McNeil's comic book series Finder may or may not be set on Earth in the distant future and features feathered dinosaurs who teach university courses, a college student minoring in anthropology and majoring in prostitution, a character who dreams of reuniting with his long lost father in the form of a locked outhouse, domed cities with pedestrian traffic jams and apartment buildings carved out of living trees ...and the author is a happily married woman with two kids (and a lot of weird interests).
Marvel Star Wars comics were all over the place in quality, and some issues were... out there. Many, manycat aliens, the psychic energy-eating rabbits called Hoojibs, the eight-foot green Lepus Carnivorous, a rather inane superweapon, and just in general some very odd plots and characters.
"Eight-foot green Lepus Carnivorous"? Grunny, is that you?
The Umbrella Academy. Pick any issue from either "The Apocalypse Suite" arc or the "Dallas" arc, really, and then consider that its writer has been clean and sober for years now.
The Breakfast Monkey. Then consider the fact that the creator of The Umbrella Academy wasn't doing drugs yet when he created The Breakfast Monkey.
Disney Italy has a writer/drawer named Silvia Ziche, who specializes in this kind of stories. One of her most (in)famous stories had Mickey Mouse and co. starring as the baguette-wielding hero of a science fiction show where everyone improvises and that is directed by a sadistic woman named Annabel Lecter, all of this because Pete, Portis and the Phantom Blot decided that the best way to divert investigations on their heist was to have Mickey and themselves star in that show, continuing stealing (and losing all their sleep) to fund it as the relatively sane premise, with completely insane and random gags and Brick Jokes that make the reader seriously wonder about her sanity.
One example to explain better. The above-mentioned story had the Phantom Blot's character sic a killbot on Mickey's character, only for a troubleshooter to appear with his Ikea Weaponry to deal with the bot. The first attempt at assembling the gun produced a model of the Eiffel Tower. The second produced a 1:1 model of the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The third attempt finally produced a BFG with multiple barrells... After the killbot's battery had died and the current episode had ended!
Also, PB had managed to stay out of starring in it for a while, until Pete and Portis, pissed at him, conscripted him as the new character, and Annabel forced him to wear a ridiculous costume. Unable to take it off due the director's wrath, Phantom Blot covered it with his trademark ghost-like black cloak... Only to have something rip the cloak in two occasions, making him look ridiculous live to the entire planet.
The Warrior comic, everything from the visuals to the dialogue, none of it makes a lick of sense.
The Italian comic book Suore Ninja (that's Italian for "Ninja Nuns"). The protagonists are three nuns with ninja training, who, in the first issue, have to defend the Vatican from a Zombie Apocalypse caused by the Italian Gay community improvising a Gay Pride on the border between Vatican City and Italy as soon as the new pope is elected and the ballots burned to signal the election with white smoke had been made by an Italian paper mill built on an Indian graveyard (in a very cosmopolitan Italian city) whose tribe had been cursed by an homophobic Etruscan warlock, resulting in the white smoke choking the homosexuals and then reviving them as zombies. Following issues get crazier. As of issue 4, the crime fiction-obsessed pope Constantine Vitalian has solved the mystery of the death of the fictional cat Maramao (protagonist of an old Italian pop song dedicated to his death), the villains have stolen pieces of saints to Saint Frankenstein, and it was discovered that pope John Paul I had not died by an heart attack but eaten by a Tyrannosaurus rex chasing a time-travelling Constantine Vitalian who was trying to cheat at a lottery. And the strangest thing is that the pope's solution to Maramao's mistery makes sense!
Club Nintendo Germany's comics. You think Super Mario Bros. or Kirby are strange as is? This has such oddities as Mario and Link as Van Helsing against Wario and the Legions of Hell, the cast of Baywatch, Yoshi teaming up with the Blast Corps team and most strangely, Mario finding out while on holiday that everyone else skiing has turned into sentinent cheese. just look at it.
Crack Fics are essentially this. Many writers even attempt to advertise their fics through claims that they were under chemical influence while writing. This is not always effective, and many readers take such claims as a warning to avoid the fic entirely.
Fantasia. Cossack-dancing flowers? Water-carrying brooms? Volcanoes spewing pink gases? Ballerina hippos?! A black demon atop a mountain?!? Art Babbitt — an animator who was responsible for dancing mushrooms of all things — stated the only drugs he took were "Ex-Lax and Feenamint", two laxative drugs.
Fantasia is drugs. Synaesthesia, visuals, sounds, dancing mushrooms, evolution, the works.
Felix the Cat: The Movie required a lot of Padding to work at all as an adaption. (Un)fortunately, a lot of it was very trippy to compensate.
Ghost in the Shell The second Movie, Innocence. The intro sequence was a quite comprehensible with the symbolic, half 3D animation of the construction of a puppet. Later sections, especially the carnival part are awfully trippy and full of meaningless (or maybe not?) detailed diversions for the eye, a lot more enjoyable on drugs.
Heavy Metal is essentially a series of loosely connected and animated sequences that frequently get extremely trippy.
Igor can well be seen as this, especially if you listen to their dialogue. The characters themselves look like they had too much crack, too.
The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film begins going inside a tree. The opening music number alone shows off some freaky looking characters. Including a clown who can tear his own face off and vanish in a puff of smoke.
The Thief and the Cobbler. The movie's Recobbled Cut is both trippy as hell and awesome. This isn't even talking about the chase scene, the only part of the movie anybody remembers at all. (Don't worry, none of it is disturbing like The Wall or anything, it just makes you question the creator's sanity. It's made by the same person who made the Raggedy Ann movie and the Chuck JonesA Christmas Carol, so you know it's fucked up.)
Disney's film The Three Caballeros makes a lot of efforts on this page look positively mundane in comparison.
We Are the Strange: A doll boy who lives alone in a forest wants to go get ice cream, but he sees no point unless he has someone to enjoy it with. He befriends a girl who just broke up with an abusive boyfriend and the two of them set off for the ice cream parlor... which happens to be in a spooky town haunted by monsters... and then the doll-boy dances with Mega Man and Pac-Man... and then he plays WarioWare while inside a Humongous Mecha...
Ralph Bakshi's Wizards. The last big battle scene involves mutant and demon Nazis fighting war-harded Elves and Fairies set on a crazy rotoscoped background, and all the while set to jazz rock.
Yellow Submarine. Particularly the Sea of Time/Monsters/Holes/Phrenology/Holes sequences. In the behind-the-scenes portions of the DVD, it's revealed that while the animators never did drugs, they would often return to work a little drunk after having a few too many pints during their lunch break.
In his book Up Periscope Yellow, Al Brodax, the man behind the production, who wrote or co-wrote most of the non-musical sequences, swears the only time he ever had drugs was in a meeting with John Lennon after he'd finished the script.
With the success of Submarine, Buena Vista (Disney's distribution arm) re-released Fastasia as "the ultimate visual experience. Ward Kimball was asked if he and the other animators were on drugs when they made it, and he said "Yes...Pepto Bismol and Ex-Lax!"
Films — Live-Action
Any musical filled with Disney Acid Sequences made under the influence of Technicolor, which got everyone excited when it was new. In those years, film productions were encouraging each other and competing for the most spectacular use of colors they pack onto celluloid.
The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T. It's bizarre even for Dr. Seuss. "Bart, hand me some of that pickle juice." "Jeepers, are you sure? That's some powerful stuff!" "I won't let some Siamese twins on rollerskates make a monkey of me!"
The fudged-up, trippy mess that was Across the Universe. Either the filmmakers were emulating The Beatles in every aspect of their lives, including the '60s level drug use, or they were doing an approximation.
Apocalypse Now is a notable aversion. A large number of the cast and crew really were on drugs (and / or large amounts of alcohol) during filming.
When it comes to the trippy cinema of excess of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, the eternal question "What were they thinking?" can be replaced with "What were they smoking/snorting/ingesting/freebasing?" In the case of The Apple I'm sure an itemized list could be assembled at the end of filming: pounds of cocaine, tubs of LSD, a truckload full of PCP, disco biscuits aplenty, and enough amphetamines to kill an entire stable of horses.
Avatar. The main character transfers his consciousness to a 10-foot-tall blue alien-human hybrid that looks like a big blue cat. The aliens all have what can best be described as USB braids that can have them commune with animals and their god which takes the form of a glowing tree. Said god has seeds that look like jellyfish. Almost all the plants on the planet glow in the dark.
Barbarella: the story, the characters, their clothes, their names, the sets... First time you watch the movie you'll be staring at the screen in disbelief. It could only have been made in the Drugs Decade. There is not a single scene, dialog or set that could count as an exception. The original Jean-Claude Forest comic book is even odder from there...
Being John Malkovich involves people entering a portal into John Malkovich's brain and temporarily taking over his body...yeah.
Bokustatsu Tenchi Dokuro-Chan. Imagine a world where angels kill you over & over again & get explosive diarrhea if you take their halos off.
Busby Berkeley Numbers. The vast majority of his production numbers are in black and white, but feature a great deal of geometric shapes and patterns.
Irish film The Butcher Boy evolves around a misfitted lad whose life keeps going down the drain until he suffers a psychotic reaction and goes on a killer spree. Note that this was BEFORE Ireland's legalization of pot.
Casino Royale (1967) could best be described as "James Bond on massive amounts of acid" but had a fairly respectable creative team behind it. Aside from being a spoof, much of the effect comes from creative issues leading to there being five different directors whose scenes did not mesh very well. The ending includes a UFO, Frankenstein's Monster, cowboys and Indians, a flying roulette wheel, a monkey, and a seal.
The Cell. A lot of the trippy visuals were based on artwork. Those artists might have been on drugs for all we know.
Geof Darrow, one of the lead concept artists on The Matrix. He designed the Sentinels and the giant battery-tower-things. He was also the artist for a graphic novel called Hard Boiled, which was also known for an almost obsessive attention to weird details in the art (and was written by Frank Miller, besides). As producer Joel Silver said, "You know how in the movie Morpheus tells Neo he has to free his mind? Geof's mind is free." Darrow noted that he'd been asked more than once what kind of drugs he took, and as he was now in his forties, said "Centrum Silver and Metamucil".
Delicatessen by the French filmmakers Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (who also created City of Lost Children above) has its bizarre charm.
El Sexo Y Lucia is a movie that starts at the beginning, then flashes forward, to the middle and all over the place. Part of the story involves one of the main characters telling bedtime stories to his daughter, but the daughter doesn't even know it's her dad. In the stories that he tells, the main character can jump into holes in the ground and pop out at any other point in the story, which was kind of what the movie was doing. In addition to the odd sequence of the movie, the mother of his daughter doesn't find out that the father has been in contact with the daughter until after the father helps cause the daughter's death, the father sleeps with the babysitter just to get to his daughter, the babysitter's mother is a porn star, and the title character falls in love with the father after reading his fictional book. All of this is played straight.
Fantasy Mission Force. To make a long story short, Abraham Lincoln and three other Allied major generals are kidnapped during World War II and are to be taken to Tokyo for propaganda. A crack team (emphasis on crack) is assembled to recapture them. This Ragtag Bunch of Misfits encounters a village of Amazon women who throw colored toilet paper, a haunted house and finally a fortified Nazi barn, where they find out the entire mission was an Evil Plan and make a final stand against an army of samurai, aliens and Roman gladiators. Quite possibly the most insane film ever made.
Flubber. They have a robot that shown old TV shows and movies as being scary.
Forbidden Zone. Kind of inevitable if you're going to make a low budget live action movie musical inspired by Deranged Animation of the 1930's, but that description really only scratches the surface. Director and script co-writer Richard Elfman claims to have never used drugs though.
To hear tell, anything done by The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo qualifies. Before Danny Elfman repurposed them into a groundbreaking if sometimes squicky new wave rock band, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo were a very way-out theater-arts troupe. Forbidden Zone, in fact was directly based on their stage show at the time — meaning that yes, cabaret audiences got to ask the same question on a nightly basis...
On the Criterion edition of FLLV, one of the commentary tracks is by Hunter S. Thompson. He expresses great displeasure at seeing his book fall into the hands of a straightedge director, even one with a track record like Gilliam's. He's also pretty critical of the trippy parts of the film.
“Hare + Guu aka "Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Goo." It's not even possible to explain the plot.
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. If one watches it sober, the ridiculousness of the plot, the cheesiness of the special effects, the stupid dialogue, and the bizarre combination of '70s vibe and unquestionably late '90s setting conspire to convince you that you really should have watched it stoned.
Certainly averted in any film made by Alejandro Jodorowsky. He's stated that his goal was usually to produce a film which impacts its audience like a psychedelic or hallucinogenic drug, and he often took an Art Imitates Life approach to this goal. Stories abound of him taking LSD during film productions, and it's known that he used Enforced Method Acting in at least one case: The peyote/mescal trip in The Holy Mountain was filmed by dosing the cast with psilocybin mushrooms.
There's a Danish film called "Jolly roger", which is about two Archangels accidentally losing the octopus of destiny (Or, as it is more commonly refered to "The timesquid") and sending the Janitor of heaven (Who's an eastern European immigrant)down to hell to retrieve the greatest pirate ever to sail the seven seas. So that he can, accompanied by his modern-day granddaughter, conquer the squid back from a bunch of modern-day pirates who think that a good way to handle the timesquid, the object without which the entire fabric of creation would simply unravel, is to drop it from the tallest mast until it does as it's told. This must all quickly as God is suffering from depression without his beloved Squid and is considering remaking creation because, as he puts it, "it's much simpler that way". It culminates in an "epic" showdown, during which the timesquid almost dies and is revived by pouring rum into its aquarium 'till it gets drunk and teleports the bad guys to the reception desk of hell.
Shunya Itou's Joshuu Sasori series probably qualifies. The stageplay-like flashbacks, the Noh-style interludes, the bus that transforms into a courtroom in a tunnel, the zooming over characters shoulders as they argue...whether he was on anything when he came up with them is unknown, but given the Japanese attitude to drugs, it seems unlikely.
The Lair of the White Worm is a barely coherent cult horror flick based on a novel by Bram Stoker. It is believed that Stoker was suffering from syphilis while writing the original novel. It was then made into a movie by Ken Russell, the same guy who did Altered States, Gothic and Tommy. It was bound to end up looking like a drug trip.
Liquid Sky is best watched when profoundly stoned, as this is the only way the viewer is likely to be able to approximate the state of its creators' minds during it making.
The Kin and Dark Floors, both created and worked on by Finnish monster rockers Lordi, only make sense when the viewers are under the influence of rather powerful hallucinogens. The creators, however, were sober throughout production.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) is a perfect example. See hereand here. The director says he wanted to see if movies could show time going in a non-linear direction or even sideways. The first two-thirds of the movie seem normal until the point where you can tell when the director made this "decision". (While the filmmakers themselves were not on drugs, lead actor David Bowiewas struggling with cocaine addiction at the time of the shoot.)
MirrorMask. Picture a world inhabited almost entirely by creatures out of the darkest corners of the Uncanny Valley. Then up the weird factor by about fifty.
The movie is like stepping into a Dave McKean painting, as that's who was in charge of the visuals. Most of the "Helena's" drawings were actually done by McKean. Also remember that McKean was responsible for most of the The Sandman covers. Yeah. It's kinda like that.
Actually, Neil Gaiman just thinks like that. And the world mythology he studies obsessively really is that weird. Check out Coraline while you're at it, and his classic The Sandman graphic novels.
Also, it makes perfect sense if you just imagine that this is where the Shinigami from Death Note come from. That's why everybody has to wear a mask 24/7.
What's really trippy is the song "Wake the White Queen" that is based on Mirrormask.
Monkeybone. A cartoonist nearly dies, leaving his body open to use to another soul — a chance pounced upon by his eponymous creation (which, in his head, is the embodiment of his libido). While Monkeybone wreaks surreal havoc in this world, his creator has to barter with Dream (Giancarlo Esposito) and Death (Whoopi Goldberg) in the hereafter.
Supposedly the cut footage would have made it more coherent.
Moonwalker. The entire movie makes no sense. Part of it are a lot of different music videos with Disney Acid Sequences and the main story is about how Michael Jackson fights with some drug dealers who want him dead because he listened to their secret plan of making children become drug addicts. His powers in the movie include becoming a Transformer-like robot by wishing upon a star.
Moulin Rouge! was always bound to be this, but having Baz Lurhmann as a director certainly didn’t hurt.
The Shining. The cast of the movie, before filming, would indeed all get stoned in the most powerful legal fashion available - Stanley Kubrick just screened Eraserhead.
Six String Samurai. Buddy Holly treks across a post-apocalyptic wasteland and battles cavemen, bowlers, the Russian Army, "the Windmill People" and Slash from Guns N' Roses on his way to "Lost Vegas," which was once ruled by Elvis.
Say what you will about Jack and Kage, the director and co-writer of the Tenacious D movie, musician/director Liam Lynch is most emphatically not on drugs. Same goes for his skit and music videos podcast, Lynchland, which is even more surreal.
Synecdoche, New York. It starts off mildly conventional, but after we've encountered the family living in a house that's perpetually on fire for 30 years, the bizarre fake city in a warehouse, the play with 3 million actors, and the diary that updates daily even though the girl writing in it is apparently on the other side of the planet... man, Charlie Kaufman's one weird guy.
The Three Stooges short Cuckoo On a Choo-Choo has Moe playing a railroad detective who finds a stolen boxcar, Larry spending the whole short channeling Marlon Brando, and Shemp playing a drunk who's in love with a 6-foot canary he sees in his hallucinations. And practically the whole short is set in that boxcar, giving it a somewhat claustrophobic feel. Add all those elements, and you have arguably the strangest Three Stooges short ever.
It was said to be Larry Fine's favorite Stooges short, an assessment not shared by the poor visitors for whom he would frequently screen a copy of the film.
2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie. It has been claimed that drug-users would sneak into theaters just to watchthe climax while stoned. The producers capitalized on it when they re-released it in the 1970s with the tagline, still the ultimate trip!
All of Dziga Vertov's films. All of them. Here's just 13 seconds from The Man with the Movie Camera. Even his manifesto reads like the Timecube of film theory:
"It is not a Cine-eye we need but a Cine-fist... we must cut with our cine-fist through to skulls, cut through to final victory and now, under the threat of an influx of 'real life' and philistinism into the Revolution we must cut through as never before! MAKE WAY FOR THE CINE-FIST!"
Canadian indie film Waydowntown features a stoned guy swimming through hallways, his depressed friend called "Sadly I'm Bradley", a demented guy who eats flowers when upset, a nerdy emo security guard who stares at breasts with his cameras and a sneaky old guy who shoplifts.
The Wizard of Oz: There's a scene where Dorothy falls asleep due to magical poppies only to be woken by magical snow, for heaven's sake! The depressant opium is made from poppies, from which we get sedatives such as heroin and morphine. "Magical snow" is presumably a reference to the stimulant cocaine. The original book was written in 1900, smack dab in a period that historians call "The Great Binge", in which most of todays narcotics were legal and easily obtainable. The trippiness of The Wizard of Oz is made more legendary by the pop culture habit of using Dark Side of the Moon as an alternate soundtrack and getting stoned..
Zardoz was made on drugs. If you listen to John Boorman's highly entertaining DVD commentary track, he openly admits it.
So the reviewer at Ruthless Reviews was closer to being right than he probably realized?
"Imagine a science-fiction film where the entire special effects budget was spent on cocaine."
The Abarat series. Seems Clive Barker painted 300 oil paintings containing very weird characters and settings. Then he came up with a story for them to "live in".
There is a persistent belief (even on this very wiki page, see below) that Lewis Carroll wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland while stoned out of his mind on opium or hallucinogens. The book contains scenes of mushrooms causing Alice to grow and shrink, talking animals, a caterpillar smoking a hookah, the list goes on. The argument is unfortunately pure fantasy, since Carroll was by all accounts an upstanding, devout, model Victorian of the upper-middle class and not the sort of person to experiment with mind-altering substances. He didn't even drink! All instances of "drug references" can be easily explained away by pointing out that Alice is both a children's book and a satire of Victorian society. Many of the characters are direct references to people Alice and Carroll knew personally.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865. During this time heroin and cocaine were a common ingredient in cough medicine, coca-cola, and other things. It is possible for him to have used one of these substances during his writing of Alice.
For example, the caterpillar smokes a hookah because he is a satire of British generals of the day, many of whom lived in India and indulged in opium.
There are many MANY interpretations of those books. One says it's a satire of Victorian society, another says it's a Freudian tract disguised as a children's book. One says it was actually meant to be a horror story disguised as a children's book. The list goes on and on and on. That's how messed up it is. Or how messed up we are.
There is a marvelous book titled The Annotated Alice that gives footnotes and references for all the analogies, allegories, and logic puzzles in the Alice stories, edited by famed mathematical puzzles dude Martin Gardner. Suffice to say, the annotations contain nearly as much text as the original stories.
Also 'Alice in Sunderland', which shows how merely growing up in the city of Sunderland could cover it all; local legend, people, and history.
Another theory is that it was making fun of the newfangled and confusing mathematical concepts being invented at the time. The theory is that Lewis created Wonderland to give an idea of the sheer insanity one would find in a world built on such patently ludicrous ideas. One of the hallmarks of the Alice books is taking things to their illogical conclusion. This also describes a standard mathematical technique - proof by contradiction. Carroll's actual job was lecturing in mathematics and logic.
One hypothesis concerning some of the odder characters is that they were inspired by hallucinations brought on by migraine headaches.
The scenes where Alice gets bigger/smaller are supposedly based off the author's own experiences; he reportedly suffered from what's now (colloquially) known as Lewis Carroll Syndrome, a mental disorder where an ordinary object, for example a tea cup, is seen as either much bigger (e.g., the size of a car) or much smaller (like in a child's tea set) than it actually is.
The short story "Alpha Ralpha Boulevard"... if it wasn't written while the author was high... The quest for the Abba Dingo on a floating highway surrounded by clouds and the machine at the end engraves messages in people's hands.
Sections of American Psycho seem to delve into this trope. The protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is a massive consumer of drugs, which was heavily inspired by Bret Easton Ellis's own life.
Isaac Asimov's poem "I Just Make Them Up, See!" describes "Dr A" being accosted by someone who wants to know the secret of where he gets his wacky ideas, and who seems to have narrowed it down to drugs, booze or indigestion nightmares.
Chapter 3 of Brave New World starts out normally enough (as normal as Brave New World ever is), but quickly becomes so fragmented and random (cutting from one scene to another with increasing frequency, finally becoming a sequence of disjoined one-sentence paragraphs) that the reader gets the distinct impression that the author was indulging in some hallucinogenic substances while writing it. Considering that the author in question is Aldous Huxley, this is definitely a possibility.
Huxley claimed not to have used psychedelics before 1953 and Brave New World was written in 1931. For Island (which Huxley regarded as a follow-up to Brave New World), however, the inspiration by hallucinogens is definitely a possibility (especially as drug use for entheogenic purposes and self-knowledge is endorsed in this novel).
Averted by William S. Burroughs, who admitted that everything he wrote was in at least in some part autobiographical of his drug episodes and the times in between. He's the main character of Junkie, after all.
Parts of Naked Lunch, probably, were written while Burroughs was still an opiate addict (not by design, but as a matter of need). His preferred creative tool was majoun (highly-concentrated cannabis cooked into a sort of candy; think of it as pot brownies turned Up to Eleven). Even this drug use was primarily for imagination- and imagery-producing-enhancement; during sessions geared more toward production and editing, he was sober (mostly).
Burroughs and his biographers created a myth of the young outlaw junkie-poet gathering experiences (both mind-blowing and degrading) to be committed to paper during his later, more sensible years. In fact Burroughs—like so many "ex-junkies"—never entirely lost his desire for narcotics. Only now—after his death—are more complex truths becoming apparent: he had significant relapses into opiate use. Which was not an impairment to the degree one might expect.
The poem "Kubla Khan" would have been a lot longer had Samuel Coleridge not been interrupted from his writing of it by the infamous "person from Porlock". He had taken two grains of opium before he put pen to paper, and the vision faded while he was desperately trying to get said Porlock resident to leave.
Most books by Philip K. Dick. Some particularly notable examples include The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch and A Scanner Darkly, but it really applies to nearly all of his books. He reportedly never used LSD, but had hallucinations anyway (epilepsy or schizophrenia are possible causes). He wrote all of his books published before 1970 on amphetamines (ironically A Scanner Darkly was the first full novel NOT to be written on them), which enabled him to write incredibly quickly, sometimes towards 60 pages of finished copy per day. He was also got mixed up with the 1970s drug culture - the basis for A Scanner Darkly.
Ah, well, my writing falls into two degrees, the writing done under the influence of drugs and the writing I've done when I'm not under the influence of drugs. But when I'm not under the influence of drugs I write about drugs. I took amphetamines for years in order to get energy to write. I had to write so much in order to make a living because our pay rates were so low. In five years I wrote sixteen novels, which is incredible. I mean, nobody, I don't think anybody's ever done it before. And without amphetamines I couldn't have written that much. But as soon as I began to earn enough money so that I didn't have to write so many books, I stopped taking amphetamines. So now I don't take anything like that. And I never wrote anything under the influence of psychedelics. For instance, Palmer Eldritch I wrote without ever having even seen psychedelic drugs. — Philip K. Dick
His most famous novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and its movie adaptation, Blade Runner, is one of his LEAST messed up works, yet can still be hard for many people to follow. This lead to the studio forcing Harrison Ford to record rather horrible narration to explain what was going on. Except that half the time it explained something completely different, making the movie even trippier if you actually pay attention.
Frank Herbert was also no stranger to mind-expanding substances, and they're included in some form, usually as a central theme, in every one of his works.
Dune doesn't appear to have been written on or inspired by drugs (Word of God is it was inspired by ecology), but it's really damn trippy in places and arguably the plot and the setting revolves around people taking drugs.
Doctor Who Expanded Universe novelists are not paid in money, they're given another hit of the drug of their choice.
The Eighth Doctor Adventures novels Interference and The Adventuress of Henrietta Street were written by an author who once blogged about how the medication he was on was giving him bizarrely realistic dreams which seemed to take place over a matter of months, which, naturally, was making it difficult to tell what was really real. It kind of shows in his writing, at times. There are some flat-out trippy passages in Henrietta Street. And then there's almost a nested form of this trope; the Doctor tries writing a book, and what he writes is even trippier, to the point that a recipe reads as a description of an Eldritch Abomination. It's lampshaded:
These ‘turn back!’-style warnings are common in the mystical texts of the period, though usually if there’s a reference to demons it’s code for the creatures of the reader’s own psyche, terrible things one can see if exposing oneself to too many poisonous vapours. In fact, there’s a sense in which the Doctor’s journey reads like a hallucinatory experience, at least partly brought on by the smoke.
Faction Paradox is this when combined with a large side of horror and pure distilled awesome.
The Doctor Who New Adventures novel Sky Pirates! or the Eyes of Schirron — a book that existed to showcase as many bad puns and silly sex jokes as the author could get away with. Interestingly enough it sold well enough for the author, Dave Stone, to be invited back for at least one direct sequel.
Jason X Death Moon. The author had a habit of going on nonsensical rants that have nothing to do with what little story there is. There's one part that's just pages and pages talking about nothing but Bride of Frankenstein star Elsa Lanchester in a disjointed fashion...
Thomas Pynchon reputedly wrote parts of Gravity's Rainbow while on acid, and afterward couldn't remember what his intentions had been. Even the less hallucinatory sections are still pretty weird.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy scene after Ford and Arthur are improbably rescued by the Heart of Gold and are suffering various side-effects of the Infinite Improbability Drive: Ford briefly turns into a penguin, Arthur's limbs start to detach from his body, and later the two encounter "an infinite number of monkeys" who want to show them their version of a William Shakespeare play. What do you mean, it's not a Mushroom Samba?
"Hell, how am I going to operate my digital watch now?!
The monkeys can be explained (kind of) as it is a reference to an explanation of probability that states that an infinite number of monkeys typing randomly could come up with (given enough time) the Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Movie has fun with this; The first time the drive is fired to take them to Viltvodle VI, they turn into sofas. They maintain calm for exactly three seconds. When they use it again to go to Magrathea, they transform into knitted dolls. Arthur vomits yarn.
Douglas Adams, the author, in the foreword of the omnibus edition, says that he originally came up with the idea while he was lying, drunk, in a field in Innsbruck, Austria. Played straight here.
Parts of the Illuminatus! trilogy almost certainly were made on drugs, considering that its authors were major proponents of drug-legalization in real life. There are many scenes in which the protagonists indulge in cannabis and LSD, with detailed descriptions of the effects. The extremely non-linear narrative along with sudden jumps to surreal imagery that has little to no bearing to the plot probably reflects the points where the authors themselves decided to indulge some.
Imajica, a fantasy/horror novel and Radical Feminist tract by British author Clive Barker. Features drugs, sex, violence, more sex, magic, making people's heads explode by magic, creepy disturbing sex, torture, speaking in tongues, and messianic prophecies... and that's just what happens to the main character.
The works of H.P. Lovecraft seem so twisted and surreal, and often even involve drug use by the characters themselves, that the Cthulhu Mythos experienced a huge surge in popularity throughout the drug culture of the 1960s and '70s, whose members assumed he must've written his stories under the influence of something. Lovecraft himself, however, was a neurotically strict and sheltered intellectual who never touched drugs or alcohol, and dismissed sex as a distraction for "lesser minds".
Heroin was legal, and found in common cough medicine, until 1924. Before 1924 was mostly Lovecraft's Dream Cycle period. In the story Celephais the protagonist, Kuranes, "began buying drugs to increase his periods of sleep". This could be indicative of Lovecraft's own habits, as he used his dreams for inspiration rather than straight up illegal drugs.
Stephen King wrote that he was so plastered while working on Cujo that he's unable to remember writing it. However, this is an inversion - he actually was on drugs, but despite this, the novel is not surreal or incomprehensible.
He has also admitted to being very big into hallucinogens in the late '60s, which was also about the time he started piecing together the premise of The Dark Tower.
Michael Moorcock admits to having written much of his more throwaway 1960s and 1970s work on amphetamines, purely in order to work fast and make money. Although he has described his working method at the time as involving planning the plots carefully over several days sober, then taking lots of speed and writing the book in 24 hours or so.
Dr. Seuss qualifies too, though it's not so hard to believe he wasn't writing while on drugs when you consider that he would have needed a clear head to write about:
# The more oppressive a dictator becomes, the less it eventually takes to topple him (Yertle the Turtle)
# People who are racist should chill out and accept people as equals without discrimination (The Sneetches)
# Trashing the environment is a bad thing and restoring it is a good thing (The Lorax)
So that nobody has any doubts, Hunter S. Thompson's books and articles were made on drugs. All of them (and by that I mean all of his works and all the drugs). He was also probably armed at the same time. And with his lawyer who was also on drugs.
J. R. R. Tolkien faced much the same assumptions about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from the exact same hippie/stoner fans, particularly a widespread belief that Gandalf's pipeweed is really pot. That's in spite of the prologue to The Fellowship of the Rings saying that "it was a variety, probably, of Nicotiana" and Bilbo himself calling it "tabacco" at the end of The Hobbit.
"Your love of the halflings' leaf has surely slowed your mind."
"Finest weed in the South Farthing!"
Anthony Trollope has a passage whose obvious interpretation has changed in the last century in The Small House at Allington: on being pressed for information about a lady-love with the initials "L. D.", Johnny Eames insists that his true love is "L. S. D.", a slang term not for acid (which hadn't been invented yet), but money (pounds, shillings, pence).
Most of Kurt Vonnegut's books are hard to summarize simply because their plots really do sound like something only a crackhead could think up.
In the late 1960s-early 1970s, when a lot of mainstream film and TV was going trippy, the style filtered down to kiddie entertainment. Sid and Marty Krofft's works are prime examples of this trope in action as a result.
The preschool show Boohbah likewise seems like LSD in the form of a TV show. Some people like to leave the TV on when that show comes on "because it's trippy". In Cracked's "The 5 Most Aggressively Crazy Websites on the Internet", Mark Hill compares Boohbah to "the findings of a scientist adding LSD to baby food."
Such TV is merely live cartoons: cheaper.
The Brady Bunch: Even an iconic, white bread program from the early 1970s had its share of trippy episodes ... literally, but these were real-life incidents associated with two episodes, both of which have been recounted by Barry Williams (who played Greg) and Lloyd Schwartz, the son of series creator Sherwood Schwartz, in various recaps and autobiographies:
Season 2's "The Practical Joker," where Robert Reed was supposedly very drunk when he showed up to film a scene of Mike and Greg trying to coax a mouse to run through a maze (as part of a science project); depending on the source, this was the final scene needed to complete filming of the episode and was a retake. "Mike being drunk on film" averted when Lloyd Schwartz causes a spotlight to break, stopping production for the day and allowing time for Reed to sober up before production resumed.
Season 4's "Law and Disorder" – by Williams' admission, he was stoned when filming a scene for this episode. (It took place in the driveway, where Mike brings home a sailboat hull and announces they're going to fix it up and go sailing).
Particularly the early surreal adventures The Celestial Toymaker (1966) and The Mind Robber (1968).
Even the various opening titles of the programme over the years can make you wonder what substances the effects team have previously experienced.
Some people believe that Double Dare was so surreal it had to be inspired by drugs.
The 1980s sketch show Fridays on ABC. For those who've never heard of the show, think Saturday Night Live, then move the show out to Los Angeles and add sketches where characters smoke weed, abuse prescription drugs, sniff glue, or make references to snorting cocaine, drinking alcohol, or taking Quaaludes. Not all of Fridays sketches featured characters doing drugs, but a lot had ideas that made you wonder if the writers were users themselves (or were so obsessed with being the Spiritual Successor to SNL that they simply made batshit insane sketches), like the seventeen-minute Rocky Horror Picture Show parody with John Roarke as Ronald Reagan dressed as Tim Curry's Dr. Frank N. Furter.
Green Acres had so many oddities, but everyone (except Oliver Wendell Douglas) acted like there was nothing unusual. Some examples: Arnold Ziffel, the pig that was treated (and acted like) a person; farmhand Eb, who instantly started acting like he was Oliver's son (and Lisa supported his claims) to the extent that Oliver ended up buying him a convertible and sent him to college; Ralph, the obviously female handyman who showed no feminine qualities and acted like a guy; Lisa's incredibly horrible cooking (which was so bad that she was able to make a gasket for Oliver's car out of her pancake batter); and all of the structural problems in the house, such as the hidden cellar, the phone at the top of the telephone pole, and the closet that opened out into the yard.
While the role of drugs in the conceptualization of H.R. Pufnstuf is pretty easy to assume, the Brothers Krofft swear that it was not made on drugs, and did at one point fire a crew member for showing up stoned.
LazyTown is an excellent modern example. Its creator is a teetotaler for Pete's sake.
... And its message is not even "don't do drugs"; it's "don't do sugar"!
"Magic, Magic E" and the less well-known "Drop That E" were two songs from the British educational series Look and Read. Though today they both look like obvious attempts to get one past the radar, they actually have a fairly watertight alibi, as they were written almost a decade before the rave era took off.
Magnum, P.I.: The seventh season finale — which was intended to be the Series Finale — seemed more like a hallucination than a story with an actual plot line.
According to Monty Python Speaks, the writing team have been accused of drug-taking during the series, when aside from Graham Chapman's booze they were as sober as any 1970s British office worker. That isn't to say they never partook (the book doesn't delve that much into their personal lives), just that their writing was not informed by it.
And it's not like with Chapman his alcoholism was his muse or anything; it was thoroughly debilitating and made him less and less productive, until by all accounts most of the reason he finally quit was so that he could play Brian properly and they wouldn't run into problems like they had filming Holy Grail, when he was constantly either drunk or suffering from withdrawal and initially couldn't do the Bridge of Death scene because his delirium tremens were too bad. The others have said that he was naturally random when writing and was responsible for many of the weirdest elements in Monty Python, but it wasn't because of the drinking.
In Monty Python Speaks Eric Idle talks about how they kept an "office hours" work ethic, without any drugs. He openly muses how one can even the keys of their typewriter while high.
Terry Gilliam has said that people were always coming up to him saying they loved Monty Python because they would get high with their friends, watch it and laugh their heads off... and how he didn't consider this much of a compliment because they could have gotten the same result with just the pot.
Mr. Show parodies this trope in "Druggachusetts," a blatant take on H.R. Pufnstuf that is explicitely all about drugs. Co-creator and admitted pot-smoker David Cross has commented on how frustrated he gets when stoners assume that writers for the show were perpetually stoned, rather than simply hard-working and creative.
My Mother The Car. Premise: An attorney buys a 1920s jalopy that (1) talks and (2) turns out to be the reincarnation of his dead mother. How can anyone not think there was considerable consumption of mind-altering substances by the creators of this show (or at least by the NBC executives who greenlighted it)?
Mystery Science Theater 3000. Joel Hodgson in particular has been thought to be a stoner due to his sleepy eyes. Hodgson has repeated in interviews that the idea that his character was a stoner was his own fault, as he had stayed up all night the night before the taping of the pilot building the robots, and as a result, he was sleepy when they filmed it. It can be especially bad during Season 1, when the staff were working 12-hour days 7 days a week. Hodgson has also mentioned pretending to be sleepy helped him manage his stage fright, which he slowly managed to alleviate (but never get 100% over) as the show progressed.
The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan was a devout Catholic, but you'd probably never guess it by watching his series, especially the final episode.
The BBC's Robin Hood. No really. It has Robin hang-gliding from the parapets of a castle, Maid Marian practicing Tai Chi outside her house, a mangy old lion set loose on Sherwood Forest, costumes that were apparently bought at The 11th century Gap, arrows that defy physics, berets, a black Friar Tuck, hair gel, a man who throws ninja stars, a casino (complete with show-girls), and a plug in the cellar of Nottingham Castle that is somehow able to stop the flow of the River Trent.
Charlie Brookerviciously rips into this trope in a Screenwipe episode covering children's television, in reaction to the common invocation of this trope in regard to surreal animations such as The Clangers.
A good amount of SCTV sketches seem to fall under this category, such as "Wet Nurse" and "The Vikings and the Beekeepers". The former is a parody of medical dramas featuring a nurse with comically large breasts, and the latter is... Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
Also invoked in-universe with "The Doctor Braino Hour", featuring John Candy as a Grateful Dead-loving hippie hosting a drug-oriented talk show. Except his "drug use" turns out to be sticking pills in his nose and spraying perfume into a paper bag over his head.
Supernatural started off as a perfectly normal show, with dark undertones and occasionally humorous episodes. And then came season 5, with giant men dressed up as The Tooth Fairy, the characters starring in a Japanese quiz show and Paris Hilton as a pagan god.
In Super Sentai, the Monsters Of The Week can be basically themed around anything; some can get VERY surreal, with some monsters being themed around food or harmless inanimate objects.
Téléchat, a 1980's French-Belgian TV show. Seefor yourself. Yeah, it's a vegetable-man raping a fly.
Spoofed on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. During an interview-style sketch, the interviewer (Michael Ian Black) asks them if they use drugs as inspiration for the show, as if it's some clever revelation, and Tim says they do (and calls it "marijuano").
Word of God says they aren't high while performing or while writing (generally speaking). This isn't to say they don't smoke and don't get inspiration out of it...it's just that the actual production process is done sober. Subverted, then?
Yo Gabba Gabba: Time TV critic and father of young children James Poniewozik said that it would "convince you someone slipped something in your Fruity Pebbles".Nota bene This was a positive review. Poniewozik named it the 8th-best new show of 2007. It was created by Christian Jacobs, who is a practicing Mormon. Mormons are told not to ingest coffee, alcohol or illegal drugs. That means that stuff like this was the product of a sober mind.
Christian Jacobs is also MC Bat Commander in The Aquabats. That should explain a lot.
Try reading a songmeanings.net page on any song (especially by an artist associated with stoners like Pink Floyd or Modest Mouse) without getting a comment like "wooah man i want some of the drugss that tihs gut wuz on lol" or insisting that the song is actually about drugs.
What happens when an already weird Swedish-made song meets Japan? Well....
Averted with 3InchesOfBlood. They've always been up front about their drug use. Their third album was even described as being inspired by "low quality beer, bong hits and listening to black metal in the dark."
Almost anything by Tori Amos. Particularly the albums From the Choirgirl Hotel, Boys for Pele, and To Venus and Back. ESPECIALLY To Venus and Back.
Well, "Father Lucifer" was written after Tori met Satan on a drug trip with a South American shaman. I think it's possible that drugs influence(d) Tori. Just listen to "Datura". It sounds like a trip on... well, datura.
The Beatles claim that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was inspired by a picture John Lennon's son drew about a girl named Lucy, not the drug "LSD". Currently, the most accepted explanation is that although parts of the song are probably drug-inspired, it's equally inspired by the drawing, and the title's "LSD" acronym is a complete coincidence.
The rumor was probably helped by the sequence for that song in Yellow Submarine.
Ironically, one of their few songs they admitted was about drugs was the innocuous-sounding "Got to Get You Into My Life".
(The others: George Harrison said that "I Me Mine" is not just about selfishness is general but also about how selfish people get when they're on acid, and John Lennon said that "Dr. Robert" was about a real man who was a doctor in both senses of the expression.)
And ONLY the first two lines of I Am The Walrus were written on acid, according to Lennon. Not 100%, but a rather insignificant portion of the actual song. (And if anything, those lines prove the explanation in this trope right; something repetitive like "I am he as you are he as you are me" is as far as you are going to get if writing lyrics while on acid.) The weirdness in the rest of the song was intentional. John Lennon wanted it to sound druggy and incomprehensible; it was his way of messing with people who were looking for "deeper meanings" in Beatles songs. As he said, "Let them figure that one out!"
Parts that seem to be drug-inspired could have been written in the style of The Goon Show, but not all.
Big & Rich came up with some pretty psychedelic Country Music (yes, you read that right) on their first album, Horse of a Different Color, including a track sounding an awful lot like it came off a Queen album. Most of their weirder music is courtesy of Big Kenny, whose two solo albums also fall under this trope (especially the first one, which is brightly-colored, theatrical synth-pop with mostly delirious lyrics); John Rich is far more sedate.
It's worth noting that Captain Beefheart claimed that none of his music was made under the influence of drugs. However, his band members have refuted this.
Aversion: David Bowie has said that he doesn't even remember recording 1976's Station to Station because he was so strung out on cocaine at the time (this was soon after the filming of The Man Who Fell to Earth, mentioned under Films: Live Action!). And "TVC15" is apparently about a hallucination Iggy Pop had about his then-girlfriend being swallowed by a TV-set.
Cicada's "Psycho Thrill" might count. The song itself is quite cute and catchy, but take a good look at the music video and tell me it wasn't made by someone on an illegal mind-altering substance.
Born On A Horse by Biffy Clyro. So, um, what does it mean?
Actually, it really does seem to be about drugs. Maybe.
Alice Cooper used to abuse alcohol heavily, then sobered up in the 80s. His pre-sobriety work is sometimes trippy, sometimes scary. His later work, particularly Along Came a Spider, often goes straight into horror.
Elton John had a history of fighting drug addiction. Nowadays his outfits and certain lyrics are the only part of him that trips balls.
Subverted by early Incubus: both their Fungus Amongus and Enjoy Incubus albums are filled with drug references. And the video for "Take Me To Your Leader", coupled with the lyrics, can only be explained with them being high on something... They quite poissibly stopped using drugs in their later albums, though.
Anything by Miranda July. Not exactly music, but it doesn't really fit anywhere else, and she did release it as an album... If you do manage to find any of her albums, it'd probably be a good idea not to listen to the whole thing at once. And under no circumstances should you listen to her on hallucinogens.
Kesha, subverted in she's very honest about her drinking past in her music.
This now viral video, PONPONPON. Apparently the artist, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, wants to indulge in this.
Lady Gaga, period, especially The Fame Monster and Born This way and the video's for "Bad Romance," "Born This Way", "You and I" and "Alejandro" beg to differ. She has done cocaine in the past. She denies she does it now, but people have said she acts like she's on cocaine most of the time.
According to Wikipedia, "Just Dance" was written in ten minutes during a hangover. Does that count as under the influence of alcohol?
Discussed with Lady Gaga as she has simultaneously confirmed using drugs while creating and denied it as she saw fit.
Led Zeppelin is also a definite aversion. If my memory serves correctly, Page has even implied that he barely even remembers recording Presence because he was so strung out on heroin at the time (and that's an album where there are hundreds of tracks on some songs). Then again the fact that he stayed up several days straight apparently without sleeping probably contributed somewhat too. The whole album was recorded and mixed in a total of eighteen days.
The Ben Bernanke music video by Lemon Demon, as well as the song.
"Great Day" that is an average day...from the PoV of a cocaine addict. It may have well been written on drugs, too.
Just watch Linkin Park's music videos, especially for When I'm Gone and What I've Done. Even if they weren't inspired by an acid trip, they would be really weird to watch while on drugs...
Liam Lynch's "Happy Song." Seriously. Here are the lyrics. Tell me it is not about a drug trip and/or being high.
Before at least one live performance of his song "Special Olympics", Stephen Lynch told the audience that he was wasted when he wrote it.
“Down Under" by Men At Work. The whole song relates a bizarre adventure (presumably a drug trip) taken by the singer, who is stated in the first verse to be high on opium. (It's quite the anthropology lesson in Australian drug slang. The song's incomprehensibility if you're unfamiliar with these terms makes it little more than a really catchy pop song that makes no sense, which might explain its radio popularity in the 80s…)
They Might Be Giants are often mistaken for drug addicts because of the surreal nature of their songs. They drink a metric shitload of coffee, but that's it.
The video for the song Un Monde Parfait, by French singer Ilona Mitrecey.
Monster Magnet frontman Dave Wyndorf is a very heavy drug user, and often includes drug references in his songs. His style of music is even called Stoner Rock. Yet despite this, he has said in interviews that he never does drugs while writing music, and in fact looks down on musicians who do. His opinion is that drug use dulls creativity, and that musicians who write music while high could have written much better music while straight.
Some of Of Montreal's albums, especially Skeletal Lamping, sound like Quaaludes set to music, and certainly make references to (other people using and pushing) drugs. But lead singer Kevin Barnes has repeatedly denied drug use — he's just utterly lost his mind. Even "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethian Curse" (Chemicals) from Hissing Fauna is, according to Word of God, about serotonin.
"The Most Unwanted Song" wasn't made on drugs. It was carefully made to incorporate the most annoying Music Tropes ever, according to the people surveyed. It's mind-bogglingly, almost endearingly bizarre. Especially when they get to the country/opera/rap bit. And the children shouting with joy over every holiday in the calendar year, and the prospect of doing the appropriate shopping at Wal-Mart. If you don't go "WTF" at least once, you are an alien. And it's longer than Inna Gadda Davida? Enjoy.
Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie" was widely construed to be about marijuana, but it refers instead to a Jamaican cooking pot. It was, however, based on a song called "Pass The Kouchie", which did indeed refer to a cannabis pipe.
Most people still don't know (or care), and dutchie now has become slang for a joint.
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame stated that he used to think drugs made him creative. He then gave drugs up and he went from a few years between each album to a creativity burst of releasing a few in a year (some for free.)
Ted Nugent is an adamant straight-edge, and aside from some brief experimentation in The Sixties, has never used drugs and, by his own confession, has had maybe three beers in his entire life. In this light, his entire musical catalog falls into this category.
Ted Nugent's sixties group The Amboy Dukes became a One-Hit Wonder with "Journey To The Center Of The Mind", a song that was pretty blatantly in favor of drug use. Nugent wrote the music, but not the lyrics, and has claimed that he was too naive to realize what the song was about at the time. Oddly, he recorded his own version of the song for his 2007 solo album Love Grenade without changing any of the lyrics.
Oasis song Champagne Supernova and its video, even though there are ridiculous oxymorons and unrelated adjectives, and the line "Where were you while we were getting high?"
Loverboy by Billy Ocean. While there are two videos for the song, this version in particular seems to have been made while watching Star Wars on drugs.
The music video for Chris Dane Owens' "Shine On Me" would be an example even if Owens' eyes weren't bloodshot throughout the video.
Ozzy Osbourne, in his own words "for the last God-knows how many years, I've been a major practicing drug addict and alcoholic", now claims to be completely drug-free, having even stopped taking a powerful anti-seizure medication that he says was largely responsible for his speech impediment. He says all he's on now is "lots of coffee" and that if they ever make coffee illegal, "I'm fucked."
He said that his latest album, Black Rain, is the first one he's ever recorded while sober.
He is currently studied by scientists who want to find out how some people manage to shrug off the effects of unGodly amounts of drugs, while others succumb after a few tries. They actually discovered several genes in his genome that allow his body to metabolize alcohol and opiates better than the average person.
"Dr. Looney's Remedy", a witch doctor-themed song by children's music group Parachute Express. Complete with a trippy jungle video replete with plenty of Aracuan Bird.
Reportedly the only drug Mike Patton uses is caffeine, which can be surprising given stuff like this video, stranger moments of Faith No More and especially his work with Mr. Bungle and Fantomas. Yes, despite Faith No More having an album called Angel Dust (a few songs on that album were things he wrote during a sleep deprivation experiment though). Adult Themes For Voice, his bizarre a capella sound collage of a solo debut, was inspired by nothing more than fits of boredom during a lengthy Faith No More tour that he happened to pack his tape recorder for. And while he has written at least one song about drug use, it's intended as a satirical skewering of the party lifestyle rather than a recounting of any personal experience.
The video for the Pet Shop Boys song "Go West". My first thought on watching it was "magic mushrooms". Really, it has to be seen to be believed. Some of the characters even look like mushrooms.
That's nothing compared to "Can You Forgive Her?". Go West's video does have thematic ties to its song. CYFH's video has absolutely nothing to do with the song, in addition to being weird.
While marijuana is involved in the song, the music video is about Petty as a morgue assistant who takes home the corpse of a woman (played by Kim Basinger) for a dinner date. Necrophiliac sex with her is the "last dance". Talk about MTV trying to pretend it's about something else...
Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell said, "My take on it is it can be whatever you want it to be. A lot of people think it's a drug reference, and if that's what you want to think, it very well could be, but it could also just be a goodbye love song.
Pink Floyd. Especially The Wall and its movie. Keyboardist Richard Wright was fired from the band during after recording The Wall because of a drug problem. just... out there. Waaaay out there. And the drug Wright was fired over was COCAINE — probably the OPPOSITE sort of drug with which Pink Floyd is associated.
These lines from "Nobody Home" were said to be about Wright.
"I've got nicotine stains on my fingers I've got a silver spoon on a chain I've got a grand piano to prop up my mortal remains"
Anything written by Syd Barrett in '67 likely averts this. The man lost his mind due to his acid use. According to Nick Mason's Echo's book, they didn't realize anything was really wrong with him (they knew he did LSD, but that was all) at first because he was still capable of creating new songs like a factory. Although he was still a great songwriter before and after his LSD phase.
Puff The Magic Dragon got some heat from the Moral Guardians about praising drug use, something the band that made it denied quite vehemently. Since the other music of Peter, Paul, and Mary is so strait-laced, this is apparently just an accident.
It was never intended that way, but the song is sometimes re-interpreted as a metaphor for drug addiction, with the little boy's growing up and leaving behind his toy dragon / imaginary friend representing giving up drug abuse and taking responsibility for one's own life.
Queen. With the exception of Freddie Mercury in the 70s, and his cigarette smoking, the band's songs were not written under the influence of anything stronger than tea and alcohol. Brian May, the guitarist, actually goes so far as to ban smoking from his later concerts and any building he owns.
Special mention to the the song 39. While the lyrics sound bizarre and incomprehensible at first, reality is stranger than fiction: they describe space travel on subluminar velocities and time dilation according to Einstein's theory of relativity. Brian May, who wrote the song, is PHD in astronomy, and certainly knows his stuff. He described the song as "space folk".
The opening line of Robert Christgau's review of Search and Nearness by The Rascals in 1970:
Talk about acid casualties—these guys are victims of psychedelica even if they never touched the stuff.
Red Hot Chili Peppers. Particularly "Behind the Sun." And considering that between them they've probably done enough illicit substances to kill a herd of buffalo, it really is hard to believe it wasn't made on drugs.
The band has said in interviews that "Under The Bridge" is explicitly about heroin usage. The giveaway line is "...drew some blood", which refers to blood flowing up into the heroin syringe before the drugs are injected into the vein.
"Their Satanic Majesties Request" by The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger has admitted that the band was on acid throughout the entire recording of the album. Keith Richards claims he has no memory of the sessions at all.
Mainly subverted by Rush. While they've made no secret of their heavy use of hallucinogenics in the 70s (Hemispheres...), they've apparently been straight since then, yet the only apparent change is their songs have gotten shorter. Listen to Grace Under Pressure sometime...
Really? Pretty sure they were clean back then too. Most of their stuff is not actually very trippy anyways. At best, one song is about smoking weed in the far east, and another is an adaptation of a poem written while on a drug trip. Indeed, while albums such as Hemispheres were rather straight forward, Grace Under Pressure contained some of the most unusual, metaphorical and trippy lyrics in their entire catalog.
Coleridge says he wrote Kubla Khan (the inspiration for Rush's Xanadu) after an opium dream. Why I clarify that it is Coleridge's account as despite his opium addiction, he often exaggerated or lied about his opium usage - similar to how a rapper might play up crimes they committed to create interest.
"A Passage to Bangkok" on 2112 is obviously about weed and hash.
Geddy Lee outright admitted in the 2010 Rush documentary "Beyond The Lighted Stage" that they were stoned when they wrote/recorded "Caress of Steel".
And in a spectacularly rare interview circa 2008 or so, Alex Lifeson admits that he still partakes in a bit of the old sweet leaf every now and then. Neil doesn't and nobody really knows if Geddy still does or not.
The music video for "Ladies And Gentlemen: My Brother, The Failure" by Thursday is fairly straightforward at first, if not strange because, unlike the lyrics, the video doesn't seem to have anything to do with brothers. It goes to hell around the time the main character's wedding dress-wearing wife starts ballroom dancing with giant cockroaches, who then get into a fist fight with an exterminator.
The oeuvre of eurodance band Toy-Box has to be heard to be believed, but their music videos are especiallydeliciously cracked out.
Many people feel Jethro Tull, in particular writer/singer/flutist Ian Anderson, was on drugs given Ian's jumping around on stage and his crazy, wide-eyed expressions. However, Anderson rarely drinks, smokes little (or none at this point) tobacco, and does not do drugs at all. In fact, he once said that his few experimentation experience actually hindered his creativity.
Bonnie Tyler's videos for "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and to a lesser degree "Holding out for a Hero." The literal version of the former actually makes sense, in so far that what's happening is what is sung.
Unexpect. I almost hope these guys are on drugs, because the idea of a sober and otherwise sane person coming up with a track like Megalomaniac Trees is... unsettling...
It's not the sort of conclusion you’d draw from listening to the song (though you might if you ever saw her perform live), but Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine fame says she wrote "Cosmic Love" (the most popular track from their first album) while extremely drunk.
Close to the Edge by Yes (all three tracks, not just the title track) hovers tantalizingly on the border of almost making sense, but not quite. Whether this indicates anything about the process of creation...
Actually, everything ever made by Yes, ever.
Steve Howe and Chris Squire have both commented in various interviews over the years that a lot of the seemingly trippy, surrealistic lyrics in Yes' "classic" period (i.e. the 1970s) came about not through drugs, as everyone assumes, but because Jon Anderson considered their voices as just another instrument. He would string nonsense lyrics together based on whatever words would fit the music and, as long as the words sounded good when they were sung, he didn't care if they made any sense or not. (This may also have been a case of Jon knowing his audience, many of whom probably were on drugs at the time.) To be fair, while the lyrics may not have been inspired by drug use, the band members have made no secret of their use of cannabis at the time, with the exception of Wakeman, who preferred alcohol.
This music video is quite possibly why Eddie Murphy pursued acting and not music after doing stand-up comedy.
The late Frank Zappa had a well-known dislike of drugs, yet wrote songs such as "The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet" and "Billy the Mountain", which is about how you shouldn't try to persuade a mountain to fight in 'Nam, and gave his children names like Moon Unit, Dweezil, and Diva. He'd fire band members for smoking half a joint, and then go record an album like Lumpy Gravy.
Zappa had done marijuana a handful of times in social situations to be polite, and enjoyed the occasional beer. His real drugs were coffee and cigarettes. And the rest of the band members were not strangers to drugs, despite Zappa's "no drugs on the road" policy. This policy was mostly so the cops would not have an excuse to bust him, and Zappa, perfectionist he is, wrote music that is very hard to play, especially if you’re not sober!
Sounds like he didn't need any drugs; he was just naturally that way. Frank Zappa On Drugs would be an accountant or insurance adjuster or something.
He wrote a rock opera that has a character based on L. Ron Hubbard (okay, not based, he just uses Hubbard's name) who heads a cult focused around sex with household appliances. Plus, the main character joins the cult and has sex with household appliances...that speak German.
In his book The Real Frank Zappa Book he relates the story of how as a child he would play with a large lump of mercury as a toy. So while his weirdness may not be drug induced it may be chemically so. In the same book he wrote, "I like pepper, tobacco and coffee. That's my metabolism." He also once said in an interview "Tobacco is my favorite vegetable." In another interview, he said "I live my life eating these things" (indicates his cigarette) "and drinking this black water in this cup".
There is some speculation that the Book of Revelation, as well as a few other passages involving visions, were written under the influence of hallucinogens. Some people do object to this characterization of Revelation:
Several have pointed out that Revelation makes perfect sense viewed through the lens of the time it was written. Political commentary written in symbolically apocalyptic form was popular in the late 1st and early 2nd centuries, and contemporary scholarship tends to regard it as an allegory for the reign of Nero.
Also worth mentioning is the attempts to interrelate Revelation with other bits and pieces of Biblical prophecy, and in particular the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Many Christians, particularly Protestants, see Revelation as being a sort of key that unlocks the mysteries of the rest of Biblical prophecy. This business only really began in the 19th century (although Christians have been finding interesting patterns and suchlike more or less since the canon of the Christian Bible was defined), and eventually led to things like Left Behind, so...use your judgement. (No pun intended).
None of this changes the fact that Revelation is still pretty darn trippy, particularly as compared to other Biblical prophecies, so even with the above, one really must wonder....
The book of Ezekiel is pretty trippy.
Christ myth theory proponent John Allegro claims the entire New Testament - and indeed the entire early Christian church - made up this "Jesus" guy while Paul (who was tripping balls himself) was feeding them lots and lots of wicked shrooms. He actually lost his job after he published the book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. In fairness to Allegro, however, it should be noted he is to date the only Christ myth theory proponent to present a compelling reason why Paul, Peter or anyone else would make up some other guy who was supposed to be the Messiah, rather than just claiming to be the Messiah themselves.
Norse Mythology has moments. A notable example is the tale of the death of Baldur. While enjoying the Asgardian pastime of throwing any object at his body and watching them bounce off of him harmlessly, Baldur gets killed from a spear thrown by a blind guy named Höđr, who received it from Loki. The spear is made out of mistletoe, which is fatal to Baldur because mistletoe was apparently too young to swear an oath to not be able to kill Baldur. Everyone is upset that their favorite god is dead, so Odin knocks up a giantess named Rindr and they have a son named Vali who grows up in a day and exists for the sole purpose of killing Höđr dead, then promptly does so. Afterwards, they give Baldur a Viking Funeral with all his possessions (including his still living horse) and to lighten the mood, Thor kicks a random passerby dwarf (who was given a name for no clear reason; Litr) into the fire. Comic relief, I guess. There are a few different versions with a few minor changes (like that Loki guided the spear) but the majority of it remains the same. Hard to tell if it was mead-induced or if it was just bad storytelling.
Descriptions of the Bardo in The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
To anyone who has heard some of Alan Maxwell of KIPM's stuff. The Serpent Princess Tiamat is a wonderful Sci-fi story; the God, Illuminator of Our Lives broadcast? Downright out there.
There's also the rejected original pilot for The Muppet Show entitled "Sex And Violence" (they may as well dropped the other shoe and called it, "Not For Kids"). Highlights include a convention for horrifying Muppet versions of the Seven Deadly Sins and a very strange early version of the Swedish Chef among other characters.
The biography of Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones says Henson mostly kept to alcohol, maybe smoking a joint or two once in a great while. It also reports that he took LSD once in The Sixties and found it disappointing.
The Teletubbies show makes very little sense. It involves four brightly colored creatures with televisions on their stomachs and antennas on their heads who can't even speak properly except for the words "again" and "tubby custard" and their names. It also has a wide field filled with rabbits who are never addressed and a sun with a baby's face on it. How this wasn't made on drugs is a mystery.
Children's television hasn't got any less insane for being contemporary. Remember how odd Teletubbies was first time you saw it? Imagine upping your crack dose and getting Sir Derek Jacobi involved. Behold — In The Night Garden!
Both Teletubbies and In The Night Garden are created by a company called Ragdoll Productions Limited, who also created Boohbah and Brum. Beginning to see the pattern there?
The puppet music video for The WigglesPoint Your Finger and Do the Twist, as well as the fan edit of the more hilariously creepy acid trip known as "Scary Finger."
Wonder Showzen. Since one of the head writers is the voice actor for Towelie, this was probably the case.
LEGO's first attempts at constructible action figures, Slizers and Robo Riders were admittedly fueled by the kind of abstract imagination-booms you'd expect to see drug users produce, the latter especially: giant robotic motorbikes with goofy faces wielding weapons, whose riders are the front wheels , which the bikes can launch like missiles to combat an evil virus. In fact, the theme became a failure because the designers' went so overboard with their ideas, not realizing that kids liked Slizers due to the story and characters, not for the trippy concept alone. Interestingly, the origin of LEGO's first big action-figure hit, BIONICLE, can be traced back to medication — co-creator Christian Faber was taking his medicines to combat a small brain tumor, when he came up with the idea of nano-sized warriors drifting in the ocean in medicine capsules, arriving at the head of a giant robot who's lying sick in the water.
There was some platformer back in the 80's that featured the main character consuming mushrooms; whereupon he would immediately believe himself to have grown gigantic like Alice, or, if it was a green mushroom, that he would be revived upon death! He would also take frequent trips through pipes and could collect leaves that created a puff of smoke that would transform him into a raccoontanooki tanuki. Then there was the surreal imagery of winged turtles, turtles flying around on little clouds, and walking mushrooms with angry little faces. In fact, there were faces, or at least eyes, on everything: mushrooms, stars, clouds; the hills themselves, even, in the sequels that would follow. Super Mario Bros..
Mario games have only gotten even more insane as time goes on, especially the Role Playing Games. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story takes the cake, where, amongst other things, we have segments where Bowser is nearly crushed by his stolen castle and is saved by Mario and Luigi doing an overhead shooter minigame that gives him an adrenalin rush that causes him to grow into a giant, where he does things like fight his own castle hand to hand, with said castle flying around on a rocket. Also from the Mario and Luigi games, Fawful's dialogue, which never makes sense.
Edmund McMillen's game Aether seems like this: a boy finds an octopus-like creature which moves by using its Overly-Long Tongue in space. The goal is to restore colour to the initially monochrome planets. However, like in many of his other games, the process is a metaphor for isolated people creating their imaginary worlds As the colour is restored to other planets the Earth, which represents the real world shrinks and disappears completely at the end, as the boy doesn't need the real world anymore.
If there wasn't drug use involved in the production of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force golf videogame, someone has to be given a stylish canvas blazer with sleeves that do up at the back. This kicks in when you realize you're playing as a fast-food cup killing giant monkey wrenches with The Power of Rock on a golf course made entirely from candy, with the level soundtrack consisting of an infinite loop of some rock song using the word "PARTY" far too often, as a result of a meatball putting on a cursed T-shirt. This is only about halfway through the game.
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings et al. has Mira. After going through the trippy psychadelic Trail of Souls, you end up in a place with candy towns and a picture book city that looks like something out of Paper Mario.
The whole game. It plays very much like a typical JRPG plot put on a steady dose of LSD.
Billy Hatcher and The Giant Egg was a game that involved kids in chicken suits who beat up crows with eggs. They had to save chicken elders who were trapped inside eggs by making a chicken noise. They were doing this to save Morning Land, a world inhabited by chicken people.
Binary Boy had the protagonist walking on a single rail, but able to flip down and move below it. There was also the moon turning out to be a hostile alien ship and the final level, where the obstacles in your way are other planets and their moons, space lightning and the flocks of migratory birds circling the Earth's orbit.
While the BIT.TRIP series wasn't made on drugs, it certainly feels like it when you get to MEGA and on occasion, ULTRA. Interestingly enough, the storyboard for Growth (BEAT's last song) was made on drugs - dental drugs, to be exact.
Brutal Legend has you defeat hordes of enemies with the The Power of Rock, and face off against antagonists directly inspired by contemporary music styles like groups of pale, mascara-stained goth girls. Believe it or not, the creator Tim Schafer is as straight-laced as they come. He's just that Crazy Awesome.
Most of the games made by Swedish game developer Cactus seem to take place in bizarre nightmare worlds, but Mondo Medicals / Mondo Agency really take the cake. There are Let's Play Walkthroughs available.
Cargo! The Quest for Gravity and othergames by Ice-Pick Lodge have been thought to have been made on drugs. It involves kicking anthropoid babies for FUN, or making them dance for FUN at which point random objects fall from the sky. Enough FUN means continents get their gravity back, but beware the giant penguins. And the protagonist also says random things like: "Autumn falls, continents fly away to warmer countries."
Many games by Jake Clover tend to be psychedelic, but Sluggish Morss takes the cake. Just... What. Clover’s stance on drugs is currently TBA.
If you ever get a chance to play the video game The Darkness, the titular demon/spirit/pure bloody evil Darkness is voiced by Patton. His vocal performance was done entirely without effects in his home studio.
Death Crimson OX, a light gun game for the Dreamcast. You play two youngsters who are using handguns invented 5,000 years ago in ancient Sumeria. You aim to defeat the plans of a monstrous terrorist general who still manages to wear a pair of snappy tan trousers despite having a mutated upper torso. You end up fighting giant robots, Langoleer-looking things, animate skeletons, guys who are...blue and scimitar-wielding Bedouin (within the first fifteen minutes, no less). The bosses include a Perky Goth who bounces erratically on a disk of light, cyborg rats and a giant ant. But the second-to-last boss beats them all. A man who has been "possessed" by having his head replaced with what looks like a giant egg and what looks like Japanese Kanji written on it and a pair of giant red lips. His weak points travel from his elbow to his crotch and once his body is defeated said big red lipped egg swells up, flies off of his body, splits into six other head/eggs and starts shooting lightning bolts at you.
Donkey Kong Country, no surprise being that it's a spinoff from what became Mario. You play as a gorilla in a tie trying to get back a hoard of bananas that were stolen by an army of anthropomorphic crocodiles, whose ranks also include giant hornets covered in spikes, and that's just scratching the surface without getting into stuff like the giant oil drum boss. Later games determined to out-surreal the SNES trilogy, Donkey Kong 64 having bosses that include; a giant armadillo the size of whale with a metal shell and two cannons the shoot fireballs, a fire-breathing dragonfly/lizard thing, and giant fire-breathing puffer fish. Donkey Kong Country Returns replaced the crocodiles with, tikis... Tikis that mind control animals with music...
DTET, a Tetris fan clone, has trippy backgrounds and visuals that must be seen to be believed.
There is an older, less well-known Tetris-based game entitled The Trippy Block Game — its gimmick is that it's a two player game: one player plays Tetris, while the other controls the erratic swinging and distortion of the playfield.
EarthBound. You're a little American boy out on a quest to fight an ultimate evil that a space bug from an asteroid told you about. Said ultimate evil's army consists of worthless protoplasm, unassuming local guys, ramblin' evil mushrooms, dice wearing little top hats, and erratic spheres that smile at you while they explode. You also get the help of little... people, of whom have doctors that work in trash cans, irregularly colored hot springs, and coffee that sends you into an acid trip. All of this is nothing, however, compared to Moonside, described in detail in Bizarro Universe.
Let's not forget the final boss, Giygas, who looks like something out of a bad drug trip: a red and black sea of screaming faces forming the shape of a fetus. The strange dialogue and mind-bending theme music of the final battle doesn't help, either.
Tanetane Island in Mother 3 is a much scarier sequel to the above's shenanigans.
Earthworm Jim 2 featured, among other things, a ride on a stair chair with portraits of sharks on the wall while avoiding falling old ladies and listening to bagpipes, playing a game show inside someone's intestines while dressed as a blindworm, and a boss fight against a fire-breathing steak on top of a giant pizza. Its creator Doug Tennapel is a sober, conservative Christian.
Exposure to Yoshitaka Amano's concept art for the early Final Fantasy games tends to invoke this response. Interestingly, one of his later works for that series is much more coherent. Stylistic evolution, or rehab?
Subverted by Golden Sun: Dark Dawnbecause the creators have admitted that they actually were drunk when they came up with the idea to make a new game in the series... and it shows. Whereas previous games were about saving the world from dangerous magic returning to it, Dark Dawn is about the old heroes forcing their kids to go on a dangerous adventure to take the feather from a giant god-bird to fix a hang-glider they need to explore the volcano where God used to live. Somehow, the whole thing concludes on a cliffhanger.
Hatoful Boyfriend is a freeware, otome-style Visual Novel (with a female protagonist and male suitors) where you date pigeons. No, you did not misread that.
Most of the characters are reasonably close to stock otome boys, once you get past the pigeon thing... and then there's Oko San, a genetic throwback to non-sapient pigeons obsessed with sports and pudding, and Anghel Higure, who is insane and sees everything in fantasy-JRPG cliches and religious Faux Symbolism. Even by Hatoful standards, these two are seen as weird.note Though Anghel can be excused for apparently being High as a fucking kite.
The "herbs" could plausibly be Japanese maple leaves, which totally look like pot leaves. Not that this makes the intro sequence (or the game in general) any less trippy.
Just to be clear, the backstory to this game is "God went on a bender and destroyed the cosmos".
Kokoronokokoron, a cute game but some thought that it looked trippy due to some anthropomorphic characters.
The Zelda games made for the Philips CD-I system featured bizarre distorted animation that seemed almost designed to frighten children. Brace yourselves and watch this example. There are several reasons the animation is like this. 1.) the traditional Russian school of animation does everything by hand, with pen and paper; so the animators were inexperienced at working with computers and 2.) The anime-style artwork of Zelda isn't exactly compatible with the Eastern European school of art.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. A giant, sentient lunar body with a creepy expression, with the inside of said lunar body being a lone tree in the middle of a field with children running around it. In addition, there are creatures that spit rocks under the rule of a monarchy, cows getting abducted, reliving the same 3 days over and over, a terrifying, unsettling mask salesman who's always grinning, a temple that requires you to FLIP THE UNIVERSE UPSIDE DOWN to complete, an opening sequence right out of Alice in Wonderland, it's all there. And the final boss is a world-destroying, psychotic child-like demon that clucks like a chicken and does the moonwalk inside the moon.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Your entire objective during the game is to wake up a giant, flying, multicolored whale. Who lives in an egg. On top of a mountain. On an island that doesn't exist anywhere but in the minds of Link and the Wind Fish himself. Add on top of that the thoroughly bizarre characters, such as a goat who writes letters, signing them "Princess Peach," or demonic enemies that look and act exactly like Kirby. Never mind Tarin's bizarre transformation into a fat pink raccoon after eating a magic mushroom. The scary thing was that he seemed to enjoy it. The developers have claimed that one of their main inspirations for the unusual plot and characters was Twin Peaks.
Good god, LSD Dream Emulator. The name of the game and the opening scene really shows the outright trippiness of the game. It's based off a 10-year dream journal, so that's to be expected.
The Neverhood is very trippy, yet it’s essentially based on The Bible. Can you really put that on drugs? The composer Terry Scott Taylor doesn't appear to be on drugs either, yet his soundtrack to the game can give a different impression.
Noby Noby Boy is easily the most absurd game premise ever. You're a worm boy who can stretch and eat things and people. There's no objective you just kind of move around a tiny suburban environment seemingly floating in the sky.
Gabe: What happens if your Noby Noby Boy gets cut in half? Tycho: You have to devour your own asshole. Gabe: Game of the fucking year.
Odama was described by the now-defunct Electronic Gaming Monthly as "We can just imagine Yoot Saito, Odama's creator, lounging on a beanbag chair years ago and smoking heroic quantities of marijuana, listening to Close to the Edge by the band Yes, and daydreaming about pinball. What other story explains the inspiration for a game that combines a stone ball the size of a house with an army of expendable soldiers in demolition-friendly feudal Japan?" Yes, that is a verbatim quote. And you command these troops by yelling commands into a microphone.
That would be that the main character is on a Mission from God, only to find out that she's not only God's kid, but she is God, meaning she not only is My Own Grampa, but the quest she was sent on? She sent herself on it, the latter problem over something she herself as God caused.
Also, Um Jammer Lammy, an off-shoot in the Parappa the Rapper series, is a giant trip. Very little of the game makes sense. Nonsensical moments include Lammy being Mistaken for Pregnant after eating too much pizza and being taken to a maternity ward run by a giant big-bosomed caterpillar who keeps vomiting, to Lammy's demise, and Lammy's famed catchphrase, "MY GUITAR IS IN MY MIND!"
Parodius. The series was created by Konami as a parody of their own series, Gradius. Just one of many examples is the first boss in one of the games: a panda bear wearing a pink tutu with a pink (quacking) duck's head sticking out of the top of its head. Play this game and just try to argue that the development team wasn't passing around something illegal amongst themselves.
Patapon. You're the god of a tribe of eyeball people, which you must command into battle against other tribes of eyeball people by drumming four sacred, colored drums, so they can reach their ultimate objective; IT, which is located at the end of the Earth and no one knows what it is, but is said to grant eternal happiness. Along the way, you deal with masks with great powers that wipe out memories when worn; giant multicolored easter eggs with several Sealed Good in a Can inside, including a princess and the core of the world; massive Eldritch Abominations with a second head on their stomach; star-shaped people that drop money from their body, demons, bird-riding people, and overweight djinns and Fungus Humongous that chuck rocks. Yep, not made on drugs indeed.
Oddly enough, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, at least when compared to the rest of the series (and most notably, the games that they are a remake of). Some of the dialogue is just... well... comparable to the type of stuff found in theMetal Gear Solid series. Other things involve rematches in which a trainer's team is oddly unbalanced in terms of levels, a trainer with three level 50+ Metapod (who also reveals in the post-battle conversation that he initially mistook you for a giant Venonat), and a man who seems downright mentally unstable (see: Crowning Moment of Funny). There are also the elevators. There's one elevator in the Olivine Lighthouse, which goes all the way to the top. However, the area you need to get to is locked from the inside, so you have to climb the stairs. The stairs...do not go all the way to the top, at least not directly. You have to jump out of a fourth-story window to land on a third-story balcony in order to progress. Then there's the elevators at the Celadon Condominiums. There are two, one that only goes to the second floor and the roof, and one that goes to the first and third floors, but not the second floor, and to a different part of the roof. Both the second and third floor have doors for both elevators, with a sign over the doors to the elevator that doesn't stop at that floor telling you this.
Also, the Kimono Girls. Especially the last two you meet. Later, they help you summon the legendary Pokémon, in a cutscene that appears to have been dreamed up by Hayao Miyazaki.
Considering that the writers for the Pokémon games are the writers for Earthbound...
In the same games there's also this, quite possibly the most trippy thing in any game, ever.
In general, most Pokémon species often fit this trope quite well with their bizarre looks and all.
Psychonauts, with its concept of going into people’s heads and the extremely bizarre things you find in there. It’s particularly prominent with The Milkman Conspiracy and the Meat Circus.
Pu Li Ru La, especially the third stage, described in one Let's Play as "the closest thing to a drug-fueled hallucination you can ever get without actually taking drugs." Hardcore Gaming 101 speculates that one of the background figures in that stage was a drunken staff member, and the Japanese version has a random appearance by a literal pink elephant.
Rayman. The bosses include a giant mosquito, a big saxophone with eyes, a man made of stone, and —best of all— a woman named "Space Mama" who travels around in a washing machine wearing a viking hat and wielding a rolling pin that shoots Frickin' Laser Beams. Also, the final few levels take place in a world made entirely out of candy.
The Rayman Origins level where you get swallowed by a dragon counts. The dragon's insides are inhabited by green monsters wielding toilet plungers, its heartburn is fire, and its intestines go upwards and up through its mouth!
Rez, although the basic concept behind the game is to invoke synesthesia, a feeling of all one's senses blurring together, which has been reportedly experienced by people who've taken LSD.
Rez is also allegedly inspired by the works of Wassily Kandinsky. Whether he was on drugs...
Roll Away (AKA Kula World / Kula Quest) - A game where you play as a beach ball and have to collect items and keys to finish the levels. You have to roll across platforms hundreds of feet in the air, with psychedelic colored sky, and the ability to roll onto any side of the platform. Across nearly 200 levels. It may well be one of the most trippy video games ever made.
Samba De Amigo. Not so much the concept (though some of the characters are very weird), but the backgrounds are very psychedellic and often downright trippy.
Siren: Blood Curse will make you ask that at least once. Earlier games in the Siren series definitely had a few moments (such as fighting a giant disembodied and screaming head) but this game takes it up a notch. There are half-insect shibito flying around on lacy wings. Shibito that have heads that look like giant maggots standing on their ends. Closets with large disembodied heads that scream at you if you open them up. But what takes the cake is the final boss. You fight it in a trippy arena of swirling and shifting colors that would not look out of place at all at an Iron Butterfly concert. The boss is a stripey, multicolored insect-like creature that shifts its form by flying apart and coming back together into various strange shapes. And you defeat it by using the blue flames of a magic cube and a sacred samurai sword. And you have to keep track of it by sightjacking (essentially going into someone’s head to see through their eyes) your invisible, dead friend. Yeah.
As for the special stages in the games that have them... "Dude... the fish, dude" is all that can really cover the ones in the first game, aside from a full description - you're in a rotating maze of colorful square blocks that look like gems, along with red and white checked circular... things that either do nothing or change the speed or direction of the rotation of the maze, and other circular things that flash red and are marked "GOAL" that send you out of the stage if you touch them (the maze spins faster and faster all around you while the screen turns white and an odd sound effect plays), trying to find a magical gem somewhere in the maze that is surrounded by smaller diamond-shaped blocks that change color each time you touch them before disappearing, and the background is dark blue with green tiles that turn into fish and birds while the matching generic scenery switches between being clouds and bubbles. Yes, really.
Sonic Shuffle, Sega's answer to Mario Party, is quite possibly the weirdest Sonic game there is. (yes, even weirder than Colors) The story involves the main four having to save a fairy world or something, by obtaining the "power stones" scattered around game boards. Just like Mario Party, you play mini-games every now and then, the weirdest one definitely being "Sonic Cooking", in which Player 1 controls a giant frying pan, and Players 2-4 must avoid being burnt by the flames. It has to be seen to be believed. Another one of the countless bizarre things in the game is the one creature you can pick up from landing on a certain space on the game board, that will eat itself after a while.
The Whoa Zone from Super Paper Mario. Am I going up, or down, or sideways, or... Aaargh!!
The Sega 32X platformer Tempo is one of the strangest games ever. You play as an anthro grasshopper that looks more like a child in an insect costume, and he goes to many strange places while being filmed for a TV show, such as (what looks like) the inside of a CD player that has insects endlessly dancing in the background, a fuzzy white beast that has living cheeseburgers and multiple hearts inside it, a Christmas-themed winter wonderland, a circus, and more. And then the bosses are weird too, you fight living boxing gloves, headphones, boots, and more (a few of the bosses don't even have anything to do with the level you just finished, such as the boxing glove one, which you fight after finishing the Womb Level).
Also, the American box art is weird too, and has nothing to do with the game whatsoever. Get this: The box art shows a mutant human/insect crossbreed wearing a headset, sunglasses, and a scaly reptile-like suit, holding a musical note in one hand, and kicking a red squid-like alien in the face.
Touch Detective. Oh boy... Zombielike denizens that are the "normal" inhabitants, a robot butler, walking fungi, a Dream Land accessed via microwaved mushrooms, and the Cornstalker. It makes the Funny Animals look normal and the humans out of place.
A literal example is from Touhou in the form of Imperishable Night, which was partially designed while ZUN was drunk. It is noticeable in that it's the easiest game in the series. Though that's not saying much.
The battle against Reisen in Super Marisa World.
Twisted Metal. Not only is this a trip, it's a pure nightmare trip. Yet David Jaffe claims he doesn't use drugs - he's just really immature.
Ufouria is an obscure NES game, where, among other things: One of the main characters attacks by knocking his eyeballs out of his head with a wooden mallet and letting them fly out to enemies, you climb giant trails of drool in order to get to higher places, the world's rivers are controlled by a giant faucet, and one of your allies is a wingless bird who flies via means of a propeller cap and who carries you around on a rope made of... actually, it's probably best not to contemplate what it's made of. It's about equal parts drugged up and unadulterated Japan.
Ultima Underworld II featured mushrooms that distorted your vision; potions that made the colour map go crazy; levitating brain creatures which would attack your mind with a similar effect; and a plant which, when eaten before sleeping, would send you to a bizarre dreamworld full of bright colours and strange imagery. Later in the game, the player would arrive in this world consciously.
World of Goo. Essentially it's Lemmings (which, by the way, arouses several questions on its own accord). But instead of lemmings there are various living multicoloured lumps of, well, goo with eyes. And they build inticate web-like structures out of themselves so that their more lucky... comrades?... siblings?... could reach a discharge pipe and be sucked in it. And there are flying lumps of goo that can reverse time. And the major goal for the goos is to leave the planet and fly away. And a part of their journey lies in digital environment. And all the excessive goos are stored in a special realm for you to build a highest possible tower out of them. And all of this is one huge Take That at consumerism.
Yume Nikki. A girl with no past, no backstory whatsoever, lives in a flat with no other people or explanation. The building is only as wide as the flat, and she's a Hikikomori. She keeps a dream diary full of terrors. The scary thing? The creator "Kikiyama" could be a boy, a girl, a smoker, an alcoholic, could take drugs, could be anything. Kikiyama wasn't even in Japan during the 2011 earthquake.
Almost all animators who use the Source-manipulation program Garry's Mod to make videos, most notably Rubberfruit, Minifett and so on. Some of their stuff makes you feel like you are on some form of stimulant.
Ratboy Genius — surreal setting, surreal characters, inexplicable dialogue, and a general Random Events Plot. In particular, one commenter suggested that Green Monster is always blazed out of his mind, and the creator said "Maybe he is."
Given the frequent appearance of of "blue mushrooms" in College Roomies from Hell!!!, and the overall surreal nature of the series, it is hard not to think that Maritza Campos has some experience with 'shrooms herself, but at the same time, the artwork and storytelling seem too tight to have been produced while tripping.
Homestuck is by the same author, Andrew Hussie. It’s a strange case; on one hand it's significantly more "out there" than Problem Sleuth in terms of how far beyond the impossible it goes, but on the other hand it's much less so in terms of having consistent internal logic and very clear plot progression, Timey-Wimey Ball aside (no offence meant to PS).
Then there's Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, which even inquires as to just how high you even have to be just to do something like that (the line even originated as a riposte to someone inquiring if SBAHJ had been made on drugs). Much as you'd expect, it employs quite a lot of jokes about stoners (SUDDENLY WEED DREAMS).
Hussie weighs in on this question in general:
"It's hard to underscore enough how ridiculous I and most creators I've talked to find this notion that being high is the wellspring from which all bizarre, absurd, or otherwise creative material must necessarily come from. For the most part, there's a very significant difference between quality work and pot addled horseshit.
"It's not that I think all drugs are JUST SO TERRIBLE on principle. But including them as a staple to the creative process is usually a serious detriment to the work in my view.
"But in looking at your question again, maybe you didn't hold this view anyway. Nonetheless, it's a topic that rears its head now and then."
Faye: ... these lyrics read like Tolkienon PCP. Dora: According to the band's website, massive amounts of both were involved in the recording process.
Go ahead. Try to explain the premise of Achewood to anyone who's never heard of it.
The title itself refers to a fictional substance akin to wormwood (as in absinthe), which produces feelings of ennui and despair.
Mountain Time is practically nothing but this trope. See here for a good example of its logic.
Keithiscoolbykeith used to be a fine example of a badly-drawn yet compellingly surreal webcomic. Sadly it now seems to have disapeared from the net, making illustration difficult... unless anyone out there cached the damn thing.
We’ll probably never know what exactly was going through the head of the creator of Mass Effect 3: Generations, a comic done in entirely blue-purple hues and which featured things like vorcha bats and spider-like quarian husks. However, the creators of its audio drama did admit to being stoned while making it.
Let's see. Channel Awesome has a nostalgic reviewer that led a takeover of a micronation in Nevada, a hobo reviewer who openly admits to being on drugs, one video game reviewer who lives in a space station with a clone army, another who's a clone of his dead Black Lantern true self, a comic book reviewer that has Sentai powers and a crazy butch lesbian tyrant god (it took her three weeks to come back from the dead the first time, but she's managed it more than once) with her own nation and an army of cloned minions whose cloning process requires fellatio and who dresses like a female Marilyn Manson, complete with face paint. The third and second to last two, plus one anime/cartoon reviewer, have evil dopplegangers, and the last one has a good one. Anyone who tunes into this site for the first time is going to guess the creators are on really heavy drugs or are a bunch of uber-dorks. It's the latter.
Although alcoholic "grape juice" is a recurring gag in the blog novelFartago, and although author Tony Caroselli admits to frequently enjoying red wine, he also adamantly and persistently insists he only once tried to write any of it while any drunker than "very slightly buzzed" and found it so impossible to keep track of the dialogue style of the writing that he had to sleep it off and try again in the morning.
An educational short dubbed from Portuguese, entitled Island Of Flowers. It had such moments as an Overlong Running Gag audio matched to visuals of the Holocaust, describing everything from the perspective of Humans Through Alien Eyes (including explaining what water is), having a shriek of pain when someone jabbed a model of a human brain, and so on. It was nine minutes of bipolarly nightmarish and hilarious non-sequiturs that vaguely segued into a message about garbage in the last minute or so. Watch it here, for we must share the hilarious yet horrifying imagery. At one point it described a History test. The visual for a question about Genghis Khan was a picture of Mozart, and the visual for a question about Mesopotamia was a picture of California. This movie was shown as part of the curriculum for a college course on Human Ecology.
It's brilliant. The "vaguely segued into message about garbage" is the whole point of the movie. The Island Of Flowers is a place where poor people have to eat out of the trash, after pigs rummaged through it. That is, they get to eat what the pigs didn't want themselves.
Kony 2012 - the news article here says that the director's family denied allegations of being on drugs or alcohol. Though, to be fair, he was seen running through the streets of San Diego in his underwear.
The crew behind LoadingReadyRun has often dealt with accusations of drugs being behind some of their videos, despite never having written on a script on anything more than alcohol (and rarely that, especially after the editing process). The crew finds people jumping to the conclusion of drugs over them just naturally being funny a tad annoying, especially after every week for 6 years.
Similar to the above, but less balls-out insane: "Look Around You". The entire series is on YouTube. It appears to be from the late 70's, and is a rather odd parody of British educational programming. By "rather odd," I mean "Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo" level insanity.
It's actually just like a slightly retarded Wikipedia session, especially with the jumps between topics like opening new tabs.
It was actually made around 2005 for BBC 2. The 70's look is amazingly spot-on.
The famous "Double Rainbow" meme by Yosemite Bear (real name Paul "Bear" Vasquez). Unlike many other examples on this page, however, it's not because the video is surreal or trippy. It's because...a guy sees a double rainbow. Instead of simply looking at it, or maybe taking a picture of it, he shoots a video of it and rants and raves about how amazing the phenomenon is, holding the camera shakily, all the while crying and moaning as if he were having an orgasm? And then he posts the video on the Internet?...Yeah.
It's probably better to say that Time Cube exists because no drugs were involved.
The Wanderers Library runs on this. More than anything else, the goal of the writing is to be just plain weird and different. Goats that sweat butter, computer creation myths, bacterial poetry, and asphalt maintaining wizards are just some of the things you may find.
The CGI animations of Wendy Vainity, with their surreal visuals and trippy music.
YouTube Poop. In fact one maker answered the question "Did any of your ideas for Poops come from recreational drugs or alcohol?" with a "Yes.".
Not YouTube, YooouuuTuuube. Take any video from YouTube and chuck it here. For example: this + YooouuuTuuube = whooooaa.
Come to think of it, that video used in the example by itself also qualifies.
Highlighted by How to Score Big Making Money Writing for Television. A half-hour DVD extra that just records Matt Maiellero and Dave Willis writing "The Cloning" episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force at Maiellero's house.
The Episode of Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers named "Marshmallow Trees" begs this question, they plant trees that produce giant coloured marshmallows as fruit which then grow to gargantuan sizes, cause a snow of seeds and threaten to take over the whole planet within days leading to a convoluted chase through the multi-coloured snow/marshmallow covered landscape chasing hillbillies trying to stop them releasing "gobblebugs" that eat everything then promptly turn into a rain of pretty flowers.
Adventure Time with Finn and Jake appears to be massively influenced by drugs. The show's creator even has it listed as a question on his FAQ. He says, no, that he is just a "weird, funny guy."
The Amazing World of Gumball: A series about a blue cat who lives with a goldfish with legs, filled with bright colors and Medium Blending of various animation styles. French-British Ben Bocquelet, however, doesn't use any mind-altering substances, and rarely drinks anything stronger than hot chocolate. Again, it's a Cartoon Network program, earning its place among the other examples of this trope.
Tex Avery did a weird cartoon called "The Cat that Hated People," and it even had two animators (Grant Simmons and William Shull) who worked on Fantasia.
The opening sequence to Birdz has the cast dancing against a kaleidoscope background while the most obnoxiously funny cover of "Surfin' Bird" plays.
The Fleischer Brothers early shorts and their early Betty Boop cartoons the animation and plots are very bizarre, almost everything is alive and singing including buildings and objects, stretchy limbs, wild facial expressions, etc.
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue: Considering the intent of the special being a Drugs Are Bad PSA, that's a stupid question to ask. Then again, if you look at it with a cynical eye, then it does feel like someone had to have been on drugs to come up with something this batshit insane.
Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack are marginally so. In fact, it's safe to say that as Cartoon Network continues to produce original animated programming, it becomes more and more like you're watching some drug-fueled hallucination.
This isn't the first time though, before that CN had Cow and Chicken, which is about the title characters who have parents who are only legs and no other bodies.
And now there's Regular Show, which was adapted from the drug-influenced 2 in the AM PM, a short film about two gas station convenience store clerks who eat acid-laced candy and go insane.
Flapjack wasn't made on drugs. It was made on candy!
Jem and the Holograms. It's about this girl and her magic earrings which she uses to connect to a super-computer and create a holographic alter ego superstar to raise money for a home of foster girls while fighting the Big Bad manager of her rival bands and keeping her identity hidden. As you can see it makes perfect sense.
Everything about KaBlam! seems like a tacit commercial for recreational drugs, paid by local drug dealers.
Kidd Video, especially in its second season. So much that even Robbie Rist, who played Whiz on the show, commented on it.
Robbie Rist: I don’t know what they put in the water cooler in the animation department, but it became this crazy thing that... it was like Lidsville. It was this acid-influenced, crazy animation. It became something like Alice in Wonderland, and I was in my twenties and watching these second-season episodes, going, “Is this for kids?” It was just a little bit too weird.
The animation studio who did Season 2 also did several episodes of The Real Ghostbusters. The Boogeyman episode? That was them.
Cartoonist John Kricfalusi was asked in an interview if he used drugs. He replied, "Of course not, I don't need them." With regards to his most famous work, The Ren & Stimpy Show, he was asked on his Reddit what he took when he thought of it, and replied "I get that a lot, but I just drink a lot of beer." The results include whole 20-minute episodes dedicated to such premises as a talking fart and cheese transforming into a princess. The intro alone screams "This is the most fucked up thing you'll ever see". The Adult Party Cartoon followup is even worse about this, to the point of the episodes barely having a plotline and straying from it frequently anyway. This is ironic, given that Kricfalusi believes kids don't want good plotlines, they just need interesting visuals - Adult Party Cartoon has premises that actually make less sense, with less coherency than the original series.
Seth MacFarlane used to smoke weed before every recording session of Family Guy. He's cut back since 2008 because the weed was making him paranoid.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pinkie Pie has the ability to pull objects out of thin air and can appear from ANYWHERE, even from inside something smaller than she is, like a bowl of sponges. She is however, put to shame by Discord, who among other things, once created a glass and filled it with chocolate milk that rained from a cloud made of cotton candy, drank the GLASS, not the chocolate milk, which still floated in mid air like it was in a glass, and then threw it away, causing it to explode.
Phineas and Ferb has a Running Gag involving a giant baby alien from another dimension that eats things, usually Doofenshmirtz's inventions.
Speaking of giant babies, may we mention the giant baby heads, another running gag?
The Powerpuff Girls, a cartoon with a slick, quick animation style that was very cutting edge at the time about three little girls who fight a green monkey, fuzzy pink hillbilly, and crossdressing Satan among others. In a special about the show Craig McCracken denied it being about ecstasy.
Why Ecstasy specifically? The central MacGuffin of the show is "Chemical X", which gave the girls their powers (and turned Jojo the monkey into Mojo Jojo the supervillain). Chemical X is even used as a drug-analogue in one episode (Mojo Jojo gives it to a group of disabled or otherwise ostracised kids, giving them superpowers; when the effects wear off, he tells them he'll only give them more if they agree to destroy the Powerpuff Girls). However, it's generally treated more like steroids on ... well ... steroids, or like "radioactivity" in your typical Marvel comic.
Rainbow Horse on BabyFirstTV. The creator probably shared the same belief as abovementioned creator of The Ren and Stimpy Show. To babies and viewers hopped up on crack it's probably a interesting trip. To others, it only makes them go LOLWTF?
Joe Murray's response to this accusation with regards to his work on Rocko's Modern Life: "What most people fail to appreciate is that if I was on drugs I never would've gotten anything done."
South Park. In early interviews during the show's first season, creators Parker and Stone cheerfully confessed that they were either drunk or stoned or both when they came up with the idea for "Chef", and that he needed to be voiced by someone like Isaac Hayes.
Though they have admitted to a fair amount of later seasons being conceived during more than one hotboxing session ("hotboxing" is when you smoke weed in an enclosed space and close up all the windows and doors to keep the smoke in).
In-universe example in The Smurfs: The 1986 episode "Lure of the Orb" depicts how the creativity of various Smurfs is adversely affected (over time) after they become high by touching a witch's orb. Farmer, Handy, Harmony, Painter and Poet all fall victim to the orb, and their work is bizarre, sloppy and haphazard. Only later, after Hefty has rescued the Smurfs from the witch (who had later captured them, intending to use them as slaves), do the Smurfs (affected by the orb, but now sober) see the results of their work while under the orb's influence, and realize how bad their skills were affected.
Spliced. The cast of characters include an unidentifiable orange animal with a weird blob where his legs should be, a two-legged rhino with a bird head on his back, a blob with a pig's nose, chicken wings, a rooster's comb, a shrimp's tail and an udder which makes up the lower half of his body, a gorilla with a pony's head, an Evil Genius miniature blue-and-black dolphin with monkey arms, a cat-headed octopus, and a platypus.
The Caliph-Stork and other Russian treats were shown on local American television in the 1950s and early 1960s, influencing a generation.
The episode where Squidward demands a locker to store his clarinet in at work. It soon delves into the locker becoming a Hyperspace Armory, some weird giant eagle head in a land of clarinets, Squidward in a pinball machine and being immediately afterwards found by a giant Patrick, etc...
A notable example from one of the first several seasons of the show is an episode when Squidward, forced to work a late-night shift with SpongeBob, taunts him with a story about the ghost of a fry cook. Eventually, all the aspects of the story start to happen in real life and are duly explained (including the slime oozing from the walls, which is apparently routine), with the exception of flickering lights. It turns out that Nosferatu was standing in the corner playing with the light switch the whole time. And yes, I mean the freakishly deformed version from the 1922 film. The episode ends with the cast scolding the vampire affectionately for his antics.
And in the episode where Squidward uses an elevator to get back from the future (kind of a long story), he ends up in a completely blank world and all gets trippy from then on. This also happened when he’s kicked off The Flying Dutchman's ship. Two words: Spaghetti Hell.
Sometimes, the show outright lampshades the absurdity of what’s happening. Once, Spongebob sees a rock and plans to DRIVE it. Squidward points out it’s impossible, but is RUN OVER by Spongebob driving the rock mid-sentence. Another episode had Spongebob and Patrick sitting by a campfire UNDERWATER, which goes out as soon as they realise it.
For a show based on things your parents would tell you to do as a child, Stoppit and Tidyup was completely and utterly batshit.
Stripy is one of the weirder non-verbal cartoons out there. It features a rabbit-like Cartoon Creature who laughs at everything and a circus man he is constantly trolling.
To explain, Robin and the Titans had just been buried by the cows used to power a fleet of flying saucers they had been fighting and had just disappeared when Robin made that question. Then Beast Boy explained him that it was all a plot from New-Fu, a piece of alien tofu that was collecting cows to fuel his starship and return home before blowing up Earthbecause "It's the way of the New-Fu, and that he was using a fast food specialized in meat products (actually tofu crapped by the New-Fu), to cover his base. And Cyborg had just ate the New-Fu during the explanation.
The show actually seems to have its own weird formula for this. Generally, the darker the season's main arc, the more bizarre the filler episodes are. Just see Season 4, which flips between heavy Nightmare Fuel and comedic insanity.
The "World Of Oz" shorts Rankin/Bass produced in the early 60's. The nostalgia network Retro TV runs them and other trippy interstitials between the shows on the Filmation block (which are probably a trope in themselves). With flat wierd characters, herky-jerky animation, and psychedelic backgrounds, they're like four-minute acid trips.
The Simpsons tends to have strange things in it, especially in the Treehouse of Horror specials, but this... Well, let's just say that the only thing that makes sense in it is Cthulhu
Statistics are even worse, since the hypothesis of many statistical distributions makes you wonder if Statistics is math on drugs.
Calculus: algebra on harder drugs.
Comedian Bill Bailey is eager to point out (in response to TV show pitches along the lines of "It's X, but on acid!") that watching someone on acid is boring.
Cryptology - the study of how to write and solve codes. The field involves all fields of mathematics, and is very interdisciplinary. Where traditional maths are taught in a linear path of lessons that increase in difficulty, cryptology is like a professional contortionist that requires much much mental flexibility.
Lampshaded during one of ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham's bits, where Peanut accuses him of doing drugs, and Jeff repeatedly denies it. Peanut then suggests he was created on drugs to counter.
Peanut: "If that's true how did you come up with meeeeeeee?!"
In "Controlled Chaos", Peanut suggests that Jeff came up with Jose Jalapeno (On A Steek!) while drunk off his ass. Jeff denies it, but says that that's how he came up with Peanut.
As Eddie Izzard once said, "People think I'm on drugs, but I'm not, really. Just a little coffee... put me on drugs it has the opposite effect! I start going: 'Oh! Pensions! Very sensible. And car insurance, yes...'"
Andy Kaufman is another example of a 1970s performer whose work, from Foreign Man, to bringing a sleeping bag out on stage and taking a nap, to reading from The Great Gatsby, to his various worked shoots, to his posthumously published writings, would suggest he was on something illicit when he conceived them. But since childhood he had been prone to eccentric behavior (he conceived routines such as "Mighty Mouse" then), and his drinking and drug use as a teen hardly figured into his artistic equation. As an adult he was a near-health nut who practiced Transcendental Meditation.
Almost everything on Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, particularly the infamous "cocktail tree". Unless you consider alcohol a drug, in which case? It's one helluva drug. Two words: Kwanzaa cake.
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. Purportedly written by Paracelsus, supposedly an alchemical text by way of allegory, actually reading it without background makes you wonder what the writer was on.
Quantum mechanics. This is a theory so unutterably strange that one of the creators of the theory, Niels Bohr, has been quoted saying that "those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it." And yet it is the best description of particle physics currently in existence. This is the same theory that says anything can spontaneously happen (albeit under extremely strict circumstances).
The true story of how Schrödinger (of Schrödinger's Cat fame) invented quantum physics: he stocked up a cabin in the mountains, which he stocked with enough supplies for several months. After three months of complete isolation, he returned to civilization with complete theories that worked perfectly. Nobody but Schrödinger knows what happened up there in the mountains, and nobody else ever will.
And by extension, String Theory. One criticism of/joke about String Theory is that it really should be possible for the public to differentiate between science and the ramblings of crazy people on park benches.
Everything made by Rob Zombie makes you wonder how he ever came up with it under any kind of sobriety.
Ursula Vernon dodges questions about where she gets the ideas for her painting by saying she did a lot of drugs. (She did, but they didn't give her the ideas.)
Political cartoonist Joel Barbee made some pretty bizarre cartoons. Looking at them beforehand, you'd probably never guess them being drawn by an old conservative who wasn't on any known drugs.
this Classic from Cake Wrecks, or anything else done by Ms. Famulari?
The German comedian, actor, director, author, and musician Helge Schneider uses non-sequiturs, absurdistical actions and statements, weird behaviour and voices, exaggerations, purposefully bad playing, sheer stupidity and mundanity mixed with rather insightful contents. He stopped taking drugs as his career went upward.
What about dreams? They can get pretty funky from time to time. Quite a few entries on this page were inspired by- or were recreations of dreams the author had. Salvador Dali also induced dream-like hallucinations on himself by going without sleep for extended periods of time, then painted the results.
David Cross has noted that he's offended when people ask him how high he was when he wrote a piece of comedy. He insists that all his comedy comes from hard work, not drugs.
Bosozoku, a kind of Japanese biker gang/street racing culture make illegal modifications to bikes and cars. In most street racing cultures, this means nitrous oxide, underglow and such. For the Bosozoku, they defy any explanation.
And what they take up to eleven, the Dekotoru culture takes up to twelve: Japanese truckers whose vehicles look like the results of Optimus Prime having a drunken one-night-stand with a pachinko parlor.
The Wachowskis. The Matrix movies were enjoyably trippy. Then the siblings skipped on their meds and we started wondering what scary-ass version of Speed Racer they watched on Saturday mornings...
Tour de France: So many successful riders have been exposed as using illegal performance-enhancing drugs that many people assume that any winning rider must be a doper.
This video, perhaps most notorious for appearing during a hacked My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic livestream. A brown CGI... thing walking down a street, while the world's most stereotypical rap song loops endlessly. What else could it have been on?