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Widget Series

"If you find the Japanese offensive, then you'll find this game offensively Japanese."
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw, Zero Punctuation, on Zack and Wiki

"Japan put so many things inside my head that I can't get out"
Fancy Mon, in the comment section of the RoboGeisha trailer

A Widget (WJT) is marketed as a Weird Japanese Thing, relatively offbeat compared to what is considered mainstream or popular. This has become more inclusive as anime and manga have developed a more mainstream presence, but usually exploits culture differences. The Widget Series often consists of Surreal Humor or a Gag Series, or in darker cases, Surreal Horror.

Sometimes they have small, short releases to test the audience, although they may have a guaranteed viewing among otaku.

Japanese cultural differences are the reason this trope exists and the reason it's not more popular. Japanese storytelling conventions embrace a number of elements that are much less commonly found in media produced by most other societies – some common examples include extreme absurdist humor (with a particular penchant for untranslatable puns), a fascination with gender-bending, and a fondness for ambiguity and open-ended conclusions. Simply put, Japanese culture can be refreshing to an outsider, but too much may cause a feeling of overload.

Until around the introduction of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball to American pop culture in 1996, most anime was out of the American mainstream, with only a (very) few exceptions, principally ones that were and are considered to be of extraordinary quality in storytelling or artistry (such as AKIRA) – and every anime could be considered a Widget Series. Or something worse. Incidentally, even now many Japanese series are never ported over precisely because the original creators know it's weird and don't think there's a large market for it.

A weird series doesn't have to be Japanese to qualify as a Widget: some European, North American or Australasian series, like the ones from the examples below, are weird enough to compare with their Japanese brethren. Terms you'll likely see in this page include:

  • WTF (A Weird Thing from France)
  • W(H)AT (A Weird (Humorous) American Thing)
  • Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
  • WART (Weird & Awkward Russian Thing)
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
  • EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity)
  • WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing) and WIT (Weird Icelandic Thing).
  • PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)

If it doesn't make sense in its own culture, it's most likely a case of What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?. This trope may sometimes (but not always) overlap with Cliché Storm. Not to be confused with the 1990s animated series Widget The World Watcher, which despite the name isn't quite weird enough to be a Widget Series. See also Values Dissonance and Humor Dissonance.

Note: Keep in mind that this trope is cultural, and is subject to the aforementioned Values Dissonance; what may seem normal or only marginally strange to one culture may come off as mind-blowingly weird to another, and vice versa. If an example here strikes you as not as unusual as the entry makes it out to be, you may want to take it to the discussion page instead of instigating an Edit War.

Examples with their own pages:


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • It would honestly be easier to list the works that don't fall under this trope, but these ones really stand out.
  • Akikan! is a series about about empty soda/juice cans doing battle to determine whether steel or aluminum cans are superior, for the standardization of cans into one format, strengthening the industry. Oh, and the cans take the forms of cute girls in strange outfits...
  • Arakawa Under the Bridge and its sequel. There's a reason Studio Shaft decided to animate this one.
    • And Saint Young Men by the same author, which is about Jesus and Buddha sharing an apartment in modern-day Japan.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia (and Hetalia: World Series): World history + countries turned into impossibly cute/hot guys + Ho Yay = this show (especially the English dub, in which most, if not all, of the dialogue is more risque than what the Japanese version has).
  • Azumanga Daioh lives up to this kind of stuff, as does the author's follow-up series, Yotsuba&!.
  • While Bakemonogatari is probably still bizarre in Japan, the religion/mythology of Japan at least let the original audience understand things like the crab gods and lost cows. And the puns. Oh god, the puns...
  • Black★Rock Shooter: Let's get this straight. We have the story starting in a Mental World with a Stripperific outfitted girl fighting other dream versions of girls, no clear heroes or villains, just some girls fighting each other for some reason, and this is before we meet the Yandere Wheelchair Woobie, Kagari, whose favorite hobby seems to be chucking gross-colored macaroons at people in both the real and Mental World. And an older woman who serves everyone coffee, but calls it "dirty water" when asked if she likes it. Then there's some Fractured Fairy Tale about a bird soaking up rainbow colors until it turns black and dies. And the color of the bird the hero most admires is actually the black dead one.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan is a parody of every Harem Genre trope and plenty more, and does it by taking them to ridiculous extremes, so it looks especially strange to those not familiar with the genre. Unusually though, whilst the tropes are Japanese, the humor is nearer to American Gag Series like South Park. And by many indicators it is more popular in the West.
  • Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: the characters confuse their enemies into submission, confusing the viewer in the process. The main character is a Kenshiro knock-off with a blonde afro who uses "fist of the nose hair", and the enemy is an evil empire that wants to shave everyone's head. That covers the first couple of episodes, and it gets weirder.
  • Cat Soup, which is considered to be weird even by the standards of weird Japanese things.
  • Chinko No Tsubuyaki is a manga about boys who have talking penises. Talking. Penises. This one is so bizarre that it's often brought up in internet conversations purely as a benchmark of "how weird can Japanese media get."
  • Cromartie High School is a parody of old shounen shows, about a normal(ish) guy that starts going to school full of "badasses". And a gorilla. And a robot (that doesn't realize he's a robot). And a mute man that looks strangely like the deceased lead singer of Queen.
  • Dai Mahou Touge, which is sort of a mix between Puni Puni Poemi and Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan, with a protagonist who compensates her lack of hyperness with pure evil.
  • In Date A Live, there are girls who can cause massive damage to the world just by appearing. And killing them is just about impossible. The solution? Date them. And the Dating Sim-like choices that occasionally pop up as you do so are not decided by you, but by a group dedicated for this very purpose? An idea that only Japan can come up with.
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!: The Devil is forced to work at MgRonald's, and enjoys it so much that he pulls a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Dog & Scissors: A teenage bookworm is murdered and inexplicably reincarnated as a daschund. His (former?) favorite novelist adopts his new doggy self and torments him with scissors.
  • Donyatsu is a post-apocalyptic Slice of Life about cats which, for some reason, have bodies modeled on various donut-shaped snack foods.
  • Excel Saga. The American release even has the title written in faux-Japanese letters.
    • From the same people: Puni Puni Poemi. Two OVA episodes of sheer insanity. The 'magical girl transformation' involved shoving a knife up the rectum of a talking dead fish.
  • FLCL. It's pronounced 'fooly cooly' (not even the characters know the meaning), and is about a crazy woman who beats a young boy with a guitar to summon giant mecha out of his head so she can kill them, in between hitting him with her Vespa just for fun.
  • Getsumen To Heiki Mina. Magical Bunny Girls who fight aliens trying to cause trouble at sporting events. And their attacks are vegetable-themed.
  • Gintama. Its humor relies on a lot of Japanese puns, references to Japanese pop culture, Japanese-style humor, and a basic knowledge of famous historical Japanese figures. Though later on they also have gags like "Willis Smith" and sneezing the name "Mai-ke-ru Jackuson!" And a whole lot of in-universe running gags and random Widget Series staples. Not to mention that it has two Star Wars parodies
  • Girls und Panzer: Moe girls pilot tanks as a sport on top of a gigantic floating city.
  • Gloom Party takes the cake. It's a yonkoma series that the English publishers, DMP, knew would be incomprehensible to an American audience, since a large amount of the gags are Japanese puns, or refer to Japanese phenomena. Therefore, they added the words How to "read" manga to the title, made sure that the American edition contained only the strips that Western readers wouldn't understand, and added a short explanation of the joke to every strip, turning it into a guide to incomprehensible Japanese humor.
  • The Gothic World Of Nyanpire: An abandoned black cat is found dying alone during a rainy night. The same night, a vampire shows up and feels bad for the kitten. He decides to cut his finger and feed a drip of his own blood to the cat. Which results in the cat turning into an actual living vampire cat. He gains fangs, wings, and a yellow cross on his stomach, and later gets the name "Nyanpire" since he's a vampire. He lives with an owner who owns a Siamese cat named Chachamaru. He later befriends a Samurai cat named Masamunya who starts developing a crush on him. And a fallen angel from heaven named Nyatenshi who is constantly seen chasing a cat named Katsuo by holding a stick over a sardine that Katsuo has.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san: Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos takes the form of a hyperactive Otaku teen girl and comes to Earth ostensibly because of her job as a Space Cop, partly because she wanted easy access to Anime and Toku goods, but primarily because she fell in Love at First Sight with Ordinary High-School Student and HP Lovecraft fan Mahiro Yasaka and wants to be his Manic Pixie Dream Girl wife (with lots of sex involved). He responds with Slapstick and forks. They're later joined by Nyarko's old classmates Cthuguha the Living Flame (who has an equally obsessive lesbian crush on Nyarko) and Hastur the Unspeakable One (who's a Cute Shotaro Boy with a crush on Mahiro), all culminating in a parody harem-slash-Love-Dodecahedron with LOTS of pop culture references. And that's just the base premise; we haven't even touched on the plot yet...
  • Haré + Guu: A boy and his mother live in the jungle, until the mom adopts a Humanoid Abomination in the form of a little girl who has another world in her stomach. Weirdness ensues.
  • The two spinoffs of Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi-chan and Nyoron Churuya-San, definitely qualify. Just read the lyrics to the Haruhi-chan theme song.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler, a series about a boy whose parents stick him with an enormous debt to the Yakuza, so he tries to abduct a little girl and ends up as her butler. The series also features aliens, robots, ghosts, demons, talking animals and involuntary time travel.
  • Hentai Kamen. It's about a martial artist slipping a pair of panties on his head (by accident) and transforming into... a guy with underwear on his head.
  • Hikaru no Go: taking an ancient Tabletop Game as strategically complex as Chess and making a successful Shōnen out of it? Only the Japanese could do something like this.
  • Hyouge Mono, a series with feudal warfare, Samurai, and a guy who's obsessed with tea ceremonies and pottery art. Though it is based on an award winning manga, so something went right somewhere.
  • Jewelpet becomes more bizarre and laden with Japanese ancient and pop culture references starting with its third season, which alienates a lot of non-otakus.
  • Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: humanity is nearing extinction... and being replaced by (stupid, stupid) fairies. This is all played for satire and Black Comedy.
  • Story wise, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure starts out as a fairly normal take on a zombie/vampire tale, albeit with some definite twists. But then there's the names, which almost all reference western rock and roll (Robert E. O. Speedwagon, Tompeti, Oingo and Boingo, etc.). And the art, which largely consists of muscular men in elaborate clothing striking model-esque poses. And some crazy character designs, such as Jotaro, whose hat seems to morph into hair about halfway around his head. Then in part 2, Battle Tendency, the cyborg Nazi, shows up and the craziness just grows exponentially. Part 3, Stardust Crusaders, is both the story arc where things really start to become totally insane, and the only part of the manga officially released in the US. America even got the Capcom fighting game based on Stardust Crusaders, which is the origin of the ZA WARUDO meme.
  • Joshiraku: cute girls having quirky conversations about inconsequential subjects in the dressing room of a rakugo theater = rakugo being a uniquely Japanese form of comic storytelling by a single performer sitting still in the middle of the stage with only a fan and a piece of cloth as props.
  • Kamen no Maid Guy – that's Masked Maid Guy in English. A gigantic masked sociopath in a maid uniform terrorizes an absurdly well-endowed samurai schoolgirl for her own good. You just don't get that particular kind of "huh?" anywhere else on Earth.
  • Kill la Kill - A teenage girl dons a Sentient Stripperiffic Sailor Fuku while wielding a giant half-scissor blade to fight her way through a high school ruled with an iron fist by its Absurdly Powerful Student Council in a post-apocalyptic world where clothing is fascism, all to find out who killed her father. And it's taken totally seriously in universe.
  • Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy
  • Kujibiki Unbalance is part parody, part homage to every anime genre Japan has produced. The resulting mix of postmodernism and Clichestorm is strange, especially to viewers who don't know the genres in question.
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is weird enough by itself but it's also weird about Japan, showcasing vestiges of ancient traditions still practiced there.
  • The Legend of Koizumi. World leaders use extreme high-stakes Mah-Jong to decide everything from deals to papal elections to SAVING THE WORLD! Everything is over the top shounen, playing all of the stereotypes of nations and their leaders entirely straight.
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. Basically, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle on crack. Two kids jump through distorted, Alternate-Universe versions of their town trying to get back home. Each of them parodying a different cliche of Anime, Otaku, and Japanese culture in general. To people not familiar with Japan, the series is pure, incomprehensible randomness.
  • Mawaru-Penguindrum: Two brothers must find a mystery object known as the 'Penguindrum' for an entity residing in a penguin-shaped hat that is possessing and keeping alive their Ill Girl sister, in company with small cartoonish penguins that only they can see. And then the copious amounts of Mind Screw start.
  • Midori Days: boy who is often mistaken for a school bully wakes up one morning to find a miniaturized version of a girl from his neighborhood attached to his right arm. Literally.
  • The short film Mori No Ando is... strange to say the least.
  • The basic premise of My Bride Is a Mermaid is explainable (boy gets saved by mermaid; must marry her to keep up The Masquerade), but the execution of the premise is nothing short of insane, involving Mermaid Yakuza, The Terminator (really), and more Art Shift than one would think could be crammed in.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion starts off looking a little quirky (mostly the Creepy Cool Crosses), but once Leliel arrives (episode 15), it becomes an escalation of psychological jargon, strange visions, obscure Biblical references and stock footage.
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers, from the director of Excel Saga. An anime musical series about farmers who want to become musicians but are constantly low on cash. One of the characters falls in love with a panda. Aliens appear.
  • Nichijou's cover art of a classroom, completely ordinary except for the deer standing on a student's desk, sums it up pretty well. Its Show Within a Show, Helvetica Standard, is widgety even by Japanese standards.
  • Ninin Ga Shinobuden. Attempting to explain the weirdness (especially Onsokumaru) will get you some weird looks.
  • One Piece. Okay so you have a kid who wants to be not just any pirate, but the KING of the pirates, and he eats a magical fruit that turns him into a Rubber Man, then he befriends a Cyborg powered by cola, a woman who can make extra limbs bloom like flowers, a break dancing french chef, and a man who uses three swords, at the same time! And then there's a talking, shapeshifting reindeer doctor and a singing skeleton. And those are just some of the main characters. The antagonists are even crazier.
    • The fact that One Piece is so insanely popular in Japan, but rarely becomes more than a Cult Classic even among manga in other countries, is probably one of the things that cement this trope.
  • Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu!: Extra-dimensional invaders attack Earth not for its resources or to conquer it but... for its twintails? Rather, they're attacking Earth to drain the "zokusei" (something that has no direct definition in the West) of its people. Said Zokusei manifests in typical Otaku fetishes like bloomers, model-making, and of course, twintails.
  • Ouran High School Host Club relies heavily on Japanese puns and wordplay, and might be a little bit strange to someone with little or no understanding of either.
  • Oyasumi Punpun[1] - a mute little bird (think Woodstock but three feet tall), drawn in line style while everyone else is drawn realistically, tries to comprehend his bad home life and the behaviour of people at his kindergarten. Occasionally, he summons God for answers; God has an afro and is getting tired of the same questions.
  • Pani Poni Dash!. It's about a school full of very weird students. And a ten year old MIT grad teacher. And a cat who says he's God. And a bunny who only exists to be abused. And space aliens who have little to no impact on the plot except to make Star Trek jokes. And a class rep who defies all logic or sanity. And apparently it's all shot on a soundstage and the cinematographer is very bad at hiding it.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is surreal both plot-wise and design-wise, using Western animation art styles for the most part. Namely in the style of 90's American cartoons that were WHAT series in their own right.
  • Patalliro is an old-school example. It's a very weird shoujo comedy with BL elements that started in the late 70s and is still running today.

    Comic Books 
  • WHAT - Sam & Max: Freelance Police. A couple of gun-toting Funny Animals Fight Crime (sometimes on purpose), and go on mildly psychedelic adventures through Eagleland childhood nostalgia and American pop cultural references. To non-Americans it ranges from mildly incomprehensible to completely incomprehensible, which may be why the largest fansite for them is British.
  • Madman. It's hard to place it in one particular genre or the other. Usually, it's every genre all at the same time.
  • Savage Dragon is too violent and sexual to be a typical superhero book but way too fun to be a serious adult comic. Some of the villains this series has seen include a man who fires human waste with enough force to decapitate, a deadly Flying Brick with a chicken head, and a cute 3-foot tall warlord that takes over entire galaxies (and was friends with the hero's adopted daughter for a time). Then we have strange twists on expies of Doctor Doom or Captain Marvel. Then we have the other end of the spectrum with characters like Darklord and the Fiend who are very disturbing and deadly.
  • Never before has Canada's largest city been so quirky. Scott Pilgrim includes but is not limited to lesbian half-ninjas, psychic super vegans, bionic arms, Sexy Demon Hipster Chicks, abilities to manipulate pure sound using sheer determination, angry Chinese fathers with katanas protecting their obsessive daughters, and gay men as far as the eye can see (though the book focuses on a heterosexual couple).
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Donald Duck has a Secret Identity as Paperinik, known in English-speaking countries as Superduck or the Duck Avenger; he finds an Artificial Intelligence in a skyscraper. They Fight Crime.
  • Herman Hedningnote , a wierd Reference Overdosed swedish comic with the sickest sence of humor you are likley to encounter. One has to wonder what the hell is going on inside Jonas Darnell's head.
  • Novas Aventuras De Megaman, thanks in no small part to having a Genre Shift almost every issue, being Darker and Edgier, Bloodier and Gorier and Hotter and Sexier than most versions of the Mega Man (Classic) franchise.
  • The genre of superhero comics is WAT to many people around the world. After all, one can stand a masked vigilante fighting crime, a wizard dealing with demonic incursions, or a mad scientist threatening the world from his faraway lair. Perhaps even a flying man wearing a cape and helping people. But to see all of them at once, teaming up to fight off an alien invasion? Only in America.

    Eastern Animation 
WART (Weird & Awkward Russian Thing)

    Fan Works 
'''WJT" (Weird Japanese Thing)

    Film 
  • EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity)
    A Note: The Irish film industry is very small, even the large scale local films are only comparable to most US Indies. As a result, most domestic films don't bother toning it down for foreigners, and just make movies for ourselves. Expect profuse swearing, Grey and Gray Morality, a propensity for offbeat characters and very, very dark humour.
    • Waking Ned Divine: The eponymous Ned dies of a massive heart attack after winning the lottery. The local town bands together to cover up his death in order to claim his winnings. Hilarity ensues. Also, a very old man rides a motorcycle while very, very naked.
    • The Butcher's Boy: A young lad in rural 1960's Ireland loves nothing more than playing with his best friend. Then his mother commits suicide and he slowly starts going mad. As a result he's sent away to a borstal, where he has visions of a foul mouthed Virgin Mary, played by Sinead O'Connor, before being molested by a priest. Eventually he escapes, and returns home to his abusive alcoholic father, before finally losing it completely and going on a murder spree, having hallucinated the world being destroyed by nukes and being repopulated by humanoid flies. This is a comedy.
    • The Guard: An over the top homage to 70's Dirty Harry-esque, mismatched partner Cop Movies ... set in small town Ireland. The eponymous Guard (Irish Cop) takes acid, molest corpses, hires prostitutes, insults his American counterparts, buys his dying mother cocaine and contracts an STD. By comparison, the drug dealers he's taking down discuss existentialism and morality, and there's an off kilter scene about gay IRA operatives.
    • ''A Film With Me In It": a film about a guy who really wants to be in a film but has been generally unlucky in his life, who keeps ending up with people being killed in incredibly incriminating accidents around his flat while he and his best friend keep proposing film scenarios in order to figure out how to get out of their predicaments.
  • PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)
  • Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
    • Bon Cop, Bad Cop. The entire setup, most of the humor, and even the title are all hinged upon Canadian bilingualism.
    • Anything by David Cronenberg: Videodrome, Rabid, etc.
    • Ginger Snaps - Werewolves as a literal metaphor for puberty. Shooting up drugs (well, wolfsbane) is the only way to temporarily slow the transformation. Its two sequels ramp up the weirdness even more.
  • Widget (Weird Japanese Thing)
    • The Takashi Miike film Gozu is a mixture of this and J-Horror making it even more weird and surreal.
    • Takashi Miike in general is like this The Happiness of the Katakuris, which is (vaguely) like Fawlty Towers meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The scene where the dead rise from their grave for a karaoke number on the value of life must be seen to be believed...For more Miike weirdness, though, make a beeline for Dead Or Alive, a convoluted Yakuza melodrama bookended by some of the craziest stuff you've ever seen.
    • Funky Forest: First Encounter is a surrealist collection of vignettes, some of which interact with one another and none of which make much sense at face value. For a taste of the madness, head here.
    • RoboGeisha. We dare you to watch the trailer without bursting out laughing or dropping your jaw in sheer WTF. Or both.
    • Sukiyaki Western Django. A Spaghetti Western, in English, with an almost totally Asian cast.
    • Tampopo is a western in '80s Japan about ramen, complete with John Wayne-alike, varmits, and dramatic string music, interspersed with other unrelated sketches about food. And it is hilarious.
  • WTF (Weird Thing from France)
    • Rubber. A movie about a sentient murderous tire. And the people who watch the film.
    • Celine and Julie Go Boating
    • The films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, anyone?
      • Delicatessen is about a butcher in post-apocalyptic France murdering the janitors he employs in his apartment building and serving them in his shop, and when his daughter falls in love with one of the janitors, she enlists the help of a team of militant vegetarians to save him.
      • The City of Lost Children is about a mad scientist who lives on an oil rig offshore from an unspecified Steampunk city abducting children so he can steal their dreams; and when he abducts the little brother of a circus strongman, the strongman and a little girl from an orphanage go on a quest to get him back. And it involves a brain in a tank.
      • Amélie is about a woman attempting to make her neighbors' lives better by taking a garden gnome from one of them and taking pictures of it vacationing around the world, tricking an abusive greengrocer into thinking he's insane, and escorting a blind man to a train station giving him vivid descriptions of the surroundings.
      • Micmacs is about a video store clerk falling in with a clan of weirdos who live in a junkyard after he gets shot in the head, and then him and the clan taking revenge on the two biggest weapons manufacturers in France (one of whom created the landmine that killed his father, the other one which made the bullet that he got shot with) via a procession of Home Alone-style antics.
    • Last Year at Marienbad is a French film that lacks a traditional plot, backstory, named characters...etc. It is VERY arty.
    • Fantastic Planet
    • Daft Punk's Electroma. Who ever imagined a town populated by people wearing Daft Punk helmets?
    • The Triplets of Belleville
    • A Town Called Panic. A film based on a show animated entirely with toy figurines about a horse, cowboy, and indian toy being roommates. Horse is the main character.
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
    • Black Sheep is a black comedy STANZA about Killer Sheep.
    • Meet the Feebles is practically the Muppets on a cocktail of acid and weed.
    • The entire Ozsploitation genre, as chronicled in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, after the R-18 sticker was approved in 1971.
  • Other/Unknown
  • The weird German movie Sei zärtlich, Pinguin (Be gentle, penguin)
  • The strange Spanish movie Amanece, que no es poco (At least it's dawning). The title itself refers to the last scene, where the sun rises.... from the WEST. Cue Title Drop from the no-longer-caring main characters.
  • Santa Claus lives in outer space with tone-deaf singing children from all over the world? His sleigh is pulled by laughing reindeerbots? He teams up with his pal Merlin to battle an effeminate poodle-poking demon in red tights? You can see all of this and more in the So Bad, It's Good Cult Classic Santa Claus 1959, a Weird Mexican Thing.
  • All the movies starring the Mexican luchador El Santo also definitely qualify as a Mexican Example Of Weirdness (MEOW).
  • Aachi and Ssipak is a strange South Korean animated socio-political action comedy about a dark futuristic world that is powered by fecal matter. Needless to say, there is a lot of Toilet Humor.
  • Mystics In Bali. Oh lord, Mystics in Bali! It's basically a WINDOT, a.k.a. Weird Indonesian Thing. Even weirder is that a lot of it is actually based on Indonesian mythology!
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a surreal, allegorical 1970 Czech movie set perhaps in the 1800s about a 13-year-old girl's sexual awakening. Seemingly, every character who interacts with her is infatuated with her and/or a vampire. Or secretly her parents. Cut to cheery Gainax Ending.
  • Judging by the trailers of movies like Obonsam Besu note , 2016, and The Godfathernote , the entire movie industry of Ghana seems to run on this trope. It's a SWAG (Surreal and Weird Arriving from Ghana). And special mention to Nkrato for this comment:
    "I was expecting the silly karate, CGI monsters, and lots and lots of talking. Like any good Ghana Film. But nothing, absolutely nothing could prepare me for the cat mouth missile at 0:44"
  • Practically the entire resume of music video and film director Michel Gondry.
  • Valhalla Rising: a Danish/UK film about a mute one-eyed Norseman and a young boy, both slaves, who kill their pagan masters and join a bunch of Crusaders trying to get to Jerusalem. However, the crew gets lost and end up in America, where they all go crazy and get killed by mostly-unseen natives or each other. The film has very little dialogue, with long stretches of almost complete silence.
  • A few Turkish films from the 1970's were pretty (in)famous for their blatant plagiarism of characters and effects, practically no budget for the effects they didn't steal and some really bizarre plots. This resulted in such films as Three Big Men (where Captain America and El Santo fight Spider-Man, who has become a murderous thief), Rampage (A.K.A: Turkish Rambo) and The Man Who Saves the World (better known as Turkish Star Wars).

    Literature 
  • The Complete World Knowledge trilogy, which consists of books with Long Titles, filled to the brim with "100% false" facts, though the appendices in the paperback versions acknowledge the fact that occasionally a truth manages to end up in one of them by accident. In addition, the page numbering does not restart in later books in the series, instead picking up where the previous one left off. The second book also serves as a page-a-day calendar, which among other things reveals an Escalating War of bizarre precipitation between Richmond, Virginia, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the late 1970s. This would be classified as a WHAT.
  • Since Total Recall is already under Film, Philip K Dick.
  • Wicked! and Deadly! by Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings are two children's series revolving around the bizarre, including a killer superadvanced sheep army, and immortality-conferring tea. Anything by Paul Jennings generally counts.
  • Bizarro Fiction, as a genre, is comprised hugely of WATs, wabbits, wickets, and STANZAs as of this writing. However, multi-language examples are slowly rising.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are 19th-century Wabbits. Many of the odder things in these Dream Lands are takeoffs of aspects of Victorian Britain.

    Live Action TV 
WHAT (Weird Humorous American Thing)

Widget (Weird Japanese Thing)
  • In-universe, 30 Rock shows a nonsensical musical soundbyte featuring Jenna smiling, winking, and laughing at the camera. She then says (out of the commercial) that she has no idea how it advertised Tokyo University.
  • Combine a Game Show and Cooking Show format in Iron Chef. Iron Chef America is a more "normal" but more fast-paced version of the original.
    • Some have said that the problem with Iron Chef USA (the first American adaptation, featuring William Shatner) was that the creators assumed the original was only popular for laughing at wacky foreigners, so they didn't take it seriously. ICA occasionally pokes fun at the Kayfabe of the show (according to Alton, there are several Kitchen Stadiums, at least one of which is in space), but otherwise takes it seriously as a competition between culinary masters.
  • Dotch Cooking Show was an even more intense cooking game show that pitted two amazing-looking dishes against each other and a panel of seven choosing which dish to eat at the end of the episode. Each dish had its own crazy-awesome special ingredient. At the end, the people who voted for the winning dish got to eat it and the chef who made the losing dish had to (oh, darn the luck) eat it alone. Oh and the losers are forced to watch the winners eat as they get nothing at all. This show was amazing.
  • Takeshi's Castle. MXC is a WHAT (Weird Hilarious American Thing) made from it.
  • SASUKE and Kinniku Banzuke, which air in the US and Australia as Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke, respectively. G4 heavily plaued up their status as wacky Japanese shows. Not only did they throw "ninja" into the first show's name, but the on-camera host who appears before and after segments on Unbeatable Banzuke, who only speaks Japanese and needs to be subtitled? He was the host hired by G4 solely for the American version.
  • Brain Wall, known to many American YouTubers as simply "Human Tetris". It lost much of its widgety charm when adapted for Fox as Hole In The Wall.
  • The six-episode variety show Vermilion Pleasure Night, which The Other Wiki compares to a Japanese version of SCTV. Recurring skits included a drama about a family of mannequins, a spaceship boarding house with a tortured alien, and a bunch of actresses being Barbie dolls. These are then interspersed with one off stories about cannibal cuisine, bondage nurses, and things that just take a sharp left turn halfway through a given sketch. This show hits you with weird repeatedly and never lets you up.
  • One Japanese show called Susunu! Denpa Shonen note  took an unsuspecting volunteer (who they told was going on an "important show-business related job", but that was it), then had him live in a small apartment, naked, with no supplies other than a pen and magazines. Then he had to live off of prizes won by magazine sweepstakes until he had the value of a specific amount of money. All this time, the guy was on TV and didn't know it, since he had been told it would be broadcasted after he was done. It seems almost pointless to mention that this is something that could only exist in Japan; in many countries the makers of the show would probably face criminal or civil penalties, and in the US (and maybe elsewhere, but especially the US), they'd be sued six ways from Sunday.
  • Super Sentai. This is the reason an American adaptation, that would eventually become Power Rangers, got stuck in Development Hell. Executives thought it was too much of a Widget Series to succeed on American TV.
    • Within Sentai itself, there's Battle Fever J, which has bizarre costumes and a lot of dancing. However, it introduced the first robot in Sentai, and was thus the first Super Sentai. Toei eventually added Goranger and JAKQ into the ranks of Super Sentai, possibly to ensure that Battle Fever J wasn't the first one on the list.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger went to Widget territory more than once, especially in its early episodes, as can be seen in the Power Rangers Dino Thunder episode "Lost and Found in Translation". Amazingly, it managed to do that while still being overall Darker and Edgier than its Power Rangers counterpart.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger is a LOT Lighter and Softer than the rest of the franchise and is considered a comedy. In direct contrast, Power Rangers RPM was a Pragmatic Adaptation which, as the top of the RPM page describes it, is to Power Rangers what The Dark Knight was to Batman, making this one real jarring to those who watched both versions.
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger in the vein of the above, features Samba transformations and two villains who represent the emotions Joy and Happiness, with many of their antics qualifying as killing with kindness. Also the Red Ranger appears to be The Kid-Appeal Character.
    • And then there's their unofficial series, Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger,where the characters fight monsters in their heads using the power of delusions. There's a reason why their name means "Unofficial Task Force Akibaranger". They're struggling to become an official team of Super Sentai.
    • Season 2: The akibrangers take on a cosplaying sentai villain Fanboy, meet alternate version of rangers. including Ryuuranger whose been reduced to a Chinese food mascot named China Red. They also get a second robot that is the size of a remote controlled car. no that its any less effective than their full size car.
  • The Japanese show Oh! Mikey (also known as "The Fuccons") is a parody show featuring a Standard '50s Father, House Wife, and their son... With all the characters being played by mannequins whose faces never change. And raucous laughter. Yeah.

WIT (Weird Icelandic Thing)
  • LazyTown. The least bizarre thing is the pink hair on the central character.

WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing)
  • Norwegian TV-series Brødrene Dal and KLM. Made by the comedy trio, Trond Kirkvaag, Knut Lystad, and Lars Mjøen.
    • KLM being for more for adults (still being rated 'for all ages' causing it to having loads of Getting Crap Past the Radar). Heavily inspired by Monty Python causing the actors to be dressed in drags, jokes about christianity and especiallly about priests, dirty jokes, news parodies and the gods know what more.
    • Brødrene Dal is more aimed at children, yet still some Getting Crap Past the Radar. Here the really different men play brothers, or maybe Same-Sex Triplets, or just In Name Only. Named after 3 famous Norwegian valleys, although they might have a 4th brother in the narrator simply called Fortelleren, and in the 4th season maybe even a 5th which not even the brothers remember. The actors for the brothers themselves also act as many different characters.
      • The 1st season, og Profesor Drøvels Hemmelighet (and Prosfessor Drøvel(Uvula's) Secret) is for them to search for a friend who has something important to tell them. It has a ton of refferences to different Norwegian culture, pop-culture and some European fiction. Most similar to KLM having small shorts as Something Completely Different changes.
      • The 2nd season, og spektralsteinene (And the spectral stones) can be best described as a Norwegian Doctor Who, having Time Travel between many famous fictional works like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe, and more, but also real-life happenings like World War II with them meeting their father and helping him in La Résistance, aka. Milorg, and in the end being named after themsleves. Ends with them traveling through space meeting aliens, driving the Doctor Who refference home.
      • The 3rd and meant to be the Finale Season, og Legenden om Atlant-is(and the Legend of Atlant-ice), The Narrator finally appears on camera, being more unreliable than ever. The brothers are forced to find a sacred sami vase. In this season is it a World of Pun, and refferences to popular TV-shows at the time with stuff like A-Team Firing, and a tent that's Bigger on the Inside, etc. Near the end the Narrator takes a vacation to Mallorca and refuses to narrate anymore. In the end the brothers submit their adventures to have books written about them. On the way out they meet the Narrator who has wrtitten himself as the hero as the story.
      • The 4th season and the Finale Season, og mysteriet om Karl XIIs gamasjer(And the mystery of Charles XII's gaiters), was made on request from the King of Norway himself. Made as a tribute to it being 100 years since the Dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. It's about Time Travel yet again. This time they have to find Charles XII's gaiters or else Sweden will force Norway into union with them again at the day of the 100 years annivasary. This season makes a Series Continuity Error, with the brothers living together again, and Brummund having a Secret Wife who lives in his room, who regulary comes down and steals the other brothers' breakfast, she also is a giant Parental Bonus by smoking a lot, her often being Ready for Lovemaking, and even being implied to be a whore. And why does even Brummund keep her as a secret, and often locked up in his room? It was even made in 2005! To make this season even weirder does their 2 nephews and niece come. The brothers doesn't remember the brother who's aparently is the father at all (might be the Narrator's or even Brummund's kids, or not). The three of them are all Mary Sues to an extent and do not serve any real purpose to the story, and who their parents are is never told either.
      • The 5th installment, a movie, og Vikingsverdets forbannelse(And the Viking Sword's Curse) is the real final adventure of the brothers. Made after Trond Kirkvaag lost his life to cancer, but with Brummund somewhat being in the movie due to putting him in from a taped version of the Stage Play. The brothers buy a time-machine on TV-shop, and are thrown 1000 years back in time. Now they are in the Viking Age. It became too weird even for Brødrene Dal itself and wasn't well recieved.

WTF (Weird Thing from France)
  • Téléchat, a French-Belgian puppet show from the 80's. The series is a parody of TV news presented by a black cat with an arm cast (which he uses as an all-purpose box) called Groucha and his female counterpart, an ostrich called Lola. The news (which Groucha does with the help of a sentient microphone) relates the life of "gluons", supposedly the smallest things in existence. Sometimes Lola will also have a talk round, with a fork and a spoon (with human faces!). There are also nonsense commercials with a green orangutan in the jungle, who always manages to screw up the take, to the chagrin of the spot's director; and Léguman, a parody of Japanese Sentai shows. Because of its quirkiness and freakish ambiance, this show scared a whole generation of French kids, who will tell you that it still gives them some feeling of dread if they try rewatching the show. An outsider wouldn't necessarily be traumatized, but would get that this thing was weird in a distinctly French (well, Belgian and French) way.
  • La Vie des Botes was a French sitcom about a robot family and talking objects (just like Pee-Wee's Playhouse), which aired regular cartoons between the live-action segments. The channel, TF1, put many hopes on this project (because it was a co-production with Canada, some designers from ET The Extra Terrestrial and Alien worked on it) but it wasn't successful and it stayed for just one year; today, very few people remember this show.
  • Lazy Company, a French TV (mostly) comedy about four hapless GIs during the Battle of Normandy, featuring a Captain America ersatz, Hitler disguised as a nun, mad scientists, a friendly Japanese pilot, and general wackiness all over the place.

Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
  • In the same vein as Téléchat, we have Téléfrançais, a Wicket produced by TVOntario for the purpose of teaching French to English-speaking children that features, among many other oddities: a talking pineapple puppet that lives in a junkyard and looks like a rejected Furby, a fourth-wall breaking annonceur, and Les Squelettes, a musical group consisting of singing, dancing, instrument playing skeletons who will occasionally perform a number on the outside of a moving plane. It was also made in The Eighties.
  • Nanalan'. Another Wicket for kids. A green little girl with a speech impediment visits her nana and plays in the backyard. For some reason, us Canadians thought that both this and Téléfrançais were educational. Have fun trying to find out what her dog's name is.
  • Kids in the Hall.
  • With sketches like Farm Film Report, the story of Vikings and beekeepers, and of course, Bob & Doug McKenzie, SCTV could be considered as such.

Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Banzai was a British parody of Japanese game shows, deliberately designed to be strange and incomprehensible. The show's greatest stunt? Pitting several ventriloquists against each other in the Puppet Petrol Pump challenge - the vents themselves had to put petrol in a car blindfolded, and the puppets had to shout to tell them when to stop. Closes to £20 worth won.
  • Fawlty Towers.
  • Anything by Monty Python, to the point where much British comedy is considered "Pythonesque" by non-Brits whether or not it's actually similar to Python's material.
  • Black Books. Dave "Mouse Ears" Smith, pesticide by coffee machine, and "Then it's left... at the dead badger."
  • Doctor Who veers off into Wabbit territory every so often, especially when they make jokes based around British humor or accents. (The "lots of planets have a North!" joke, for one, only works if you understand what a Northern English accent sounds like.)
    • One episode had Rose Tyler trying to get the Queen of England to say "We are not amused." Hilarious for British audiences (and probably several Western audiences familiar with that real-life meme) but to Asian audiences, it would be odd-sounding and out-of-context.
  • The Mighty Boosh.
  • The American episode of Screenwipe had Charlie Brooker showing an American focus group a handful of shows that he felt would be seen as Wabbits, including EastEnders, The Bill, Countdown, Bullseye, and Springwatch. The Americans hated them... except for EastEnders, apparently.

STANZA' (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
  • STANZA is a term that would apply rather nicely to The Wiggles.
  • See also... Mr Squiggle.
  • Bananas in Pyjamas, a kids' show about giant anthropomorphic bananas. That wear pajamas. And get cheated nearly every episode by the giant anthropomorphic rat that runs the corner shop. Oh, those crazy Aussies...
    • The issue of their inherent desire to chase and hug giant living teddy bears.
  • Round the Twist. Plots include a skeleton's curse that forces the cursed to end every sentence with "without my pants" (from the episode of that title), gum leaves that can transfer injuries to anyone who can hear a song played on them ("The Gum Leaf War"), a ghost haunting an outhouse ("Skeleton On The Dunny"), and superpower-conferring underpants ("Wunder Pants")...in the first season. It gets weirder: Overarching plots including music played by ghosts who are trying to save their lighthouse, two ghosts wanting to save their loved ones from accidentally crashing on a boat thanks to human error 100 years ago, and doing so by possessing all of the regulars, including a young girl possessing a teenage boy and a viking love book. Based on the works of Paul Jennings, who's in Literature above.
  • The Upside Down Show, a children's show involving interaction via pressing buttons on the remote control such as the "Heavy and light" buttons. While the Sesame Workshop was heavily involved in it, the fact that it was created by Shane Dundas and David Collins, and filmed in Australia with an all-Australian cast, makes it most definitely a STANZA.
  • From the creators of Italian Spiderman comes Danger 5. Danger 5 are an international team of spies charged with fighting against the Nazis and, ultimately, assassinating Hitler. This is a difficult task, as the Nazis are armed with dinosaurs, diamond women soldiers, and various other useful weapons. It's also set in an alternate 1960s, despite being about World War II.

EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example Of Intentional Oddity)
  • Father Ted, while produced and funded by the British Channel 4, was written and created by two Irishmen, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, and all of the actors, characters, locations, and crew were Irish. Collectively had the entirety of England, Wales, and Scotland asking "what does feck mean exactly?"

Weegeet (Weird German Thing)
  • Bernd the Bread: depressive, pessimistic, box-shapped Bread from a kids' show whose hobbies include staring at his ingrain wallpaper and collecting TV test cards... Just look at his profile!

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Knight Life, a Life Embellished webcomic with a tendency towards parody, is very much a WHAT. Such characters as a housewife who puts on an armless costume and fights crime as "The Masked Maggot," or a lowlife who works as a human rug and can identify shoes by how they press into his back, make sense if and only if one's familiar with the parts of American culture they're mocking.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Though it has a very large following in the US, early editions of Warhammer 40,000 were very much a Weird British Thing.
  • Paranoia is a crowning example of American absurdity at its finest.
  • Maid RPG. Original flavour Japanese weirdness in RPG form.
  • Hol: Human Occupied Landfill. Hand-written in several late-night sessions in an IHOP, and originally offered no character creation since "everyone just makes the same types of characters over and over again". When character creation was included in the expansion, stat rolling included several strange and useless abilities, such as an "Almond Joy" stat. ("Roll 1-3: Sometimes you feel like a nut. Roll 4-6: Sometimes you don't.")
  • A lot of card-carrying mad genius Jenna Moran's (best known for Nobilis and Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine) non-commercial pet projects are just straightforwardly weird. One that's currently on hiatus is about mischievous little fairies and has a task resolution system based off circuit diagrams and predicate logic.
  • Experimental / indie / made for contest [RPGs] in general. From "Appliance Adventure" (a game about intelligent, talking household appliances) to "Get Out of Infernopolis" (storytelling gameified UNO where there is only one player / soul and everybody else is a GM / petty demon who makes the one player's life miserable).

    Web Animation / Web Original 
  • The Touhou fan video, Border of extacy by IOSYS is a widget with illogical pixellated imagery. Let's just extend that to "Half of all touhou-related songs and music videos" rather than list examples for half a page. Though some make more or less sense than others.
  • Health with Little Red Riding Hood. Oh God, Health with Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Cooking with Dog, a YouTube program featuring a woman demonstrating how to cook simple Japanese dishes "hosted" by a dog with a thick Japanese accent. Equal parts weird, cute, Japanese, and useful.
  • Llamas with Hats is, to put it simply, a series of videos describing the adventures of a psychopathic llama who visits and devastates a South American city, sinks a cruise ship, and nukes an entire city. All the while, his squeakily-voiced friend with a flowery hat voices his concern and condemns the madman's orphan-dooming actions by crying CAAAAAAARL! Repeatedly.
  • The Italian Spiderman series on YouTube is a STANZA. It is filmed in English, dubbed into Italian and then subtitled back into English. As well as being a parody, its' plot is fairly nonsensical, and it features various wonders such as surf-offs derailed by attacking penguins, and detachable exploding boomerang moustaches.
  • The Big Lez Show is another Youtube STANZA. It's an MS Paint animated series about Lezlie Mackerel, an extra-terrestrial living in Australia along with his Sasquatch friends, weird loud yellow creatures known as Choomahs, and... whatever the hell Clarence is. Virtually everyone speaks in thick, curse laden Australian Slang, are huge stoners, and various other weird stuff happens.
  • Homestar Runner. All crazy retro pop culture references, all the time. And are those guys supposed to be people or what?
    • Sweet Cuppin' Cakes is an in-universe example.
  • The ASDF Movie series is a rather odd series of sketches not tied together at all that involves potatos with guns, throwing cheese at aliens and "doing an internet".
  • The Annoying Orange, which has now crossed over to Cartoon Network.
  • Although the plots in Neopets tend to be a bit more serious, the site itself has a LOT of weirdness. And that's why people love it.
  • Dutch Youtuber Massagraf. He usually makes YouTube Poops of Belgian kids' shows, which can (at times) be rather weird. An even weirder thing, however, is his Samsonimatie series, in which he takes characters from Samson En Gert and makes them do ridiculous things, such as drinking each other's heads through a straw. And if that's not weird enough for you, there's also vogeltje.
  • The Animutation genre can best be described as an American attempt at imitating widgets.

    Webcomics 
  • Axe Cop. What actually happens in the comic is weird enough, but when you factor in that the writer is a six-year-old boy, it truly achieves WHAT status.
  • Electric Wonderland can come off as pretty crazy, due to it taking place in a Cyberspace world unbound by the laws of physics.
  • Princess Pi tends to rely on nonsensical logic.
  • Dolan is the epitome of a Weird Finnish Thing.
  • Listening To 11975 M Hz is made by a Texan who is also a marine. You really, really would not guess that by reading it if you're going by stereotypes.
  • Homestuck is fairly internally coherent, but the extremely unusual storytelling, as well as the sheer absurdity of the plot, definitely qualifies it as a WHAT.
  • Mountain Time is about as WHAT as it gets, what with its constantly-derailing story lines, characters that range from astronauts to neurotic hamsters to Jewish garden hoses, and settings that are often nonsensical (such as clouds that turn into hams).

    Western Animation 
  • Many 90's cartoons, particularly ones that came from What A Cartoon! Show, such as Cow and Chicken and its Spin-Off I Am Weasel.
  • Freakazoid!. If you're a newcomer to the show, and not tearing your hair out in frustration, crying "WHAT!? THE!? HELL?!?" by the time the chimpanzee line rolls around in its opening theme, then you should probably check yourself into the nearest psychiatric ward. And that's just one of the many, MANY oddities that this show likes to throw at you.
  • Avez-vous déjà vu... ? is a Weird Thing from France (W.T.F.) that can easily beat FLCL and Azumanga Daioh for the title of the weirdest series in the world. Although it seems like all the information about this... strangeness... is in French, you can find some videos on the Internet by googling the title. It was made by Alain Chabat, who's considered as king of the weird in France.
  • Adventure Time, the bizarre adventures of a boy and his dog in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world, much of which is totally surreal. The show itself also has a Widget Episode in "Food Chain", animated by Masaaki Yuasa. It is bizarre even by the show's own standards. At one point the characters turn into birds and sing an aria from The Magic Flute, and it just gets stranger from there...
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Just watch the opening. Though, much of the oddness comes from the sheer amount of horror.
  • Regular Show has the tagline "It's anything but [regular]". The events that happen in the episode are very surreal, and their resolutions more so. It also has its In-Universe widget anime: Planet Chasers Starlight Excellent. It's so nonsensical, it traps your mind within the videotape.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball is this in terms of animation (a mix of stop-motion, compuet-generated effects and traditional animation), characters (the protagonist is a blue cat with an orange fish as his brother, and his parents are a pink bunny married with another blue cat; his schoolmates include a Tyrannosaurus rex, a paper-made gal, a female cactus and a cloud) and events (very silly incidents that are taken too seriously).
  • Uncle Grandpa. From the moment Uncle Grandpa reappears in the picture frame after disappearing from view from outside, and then walking into frame from the side (if not sooner), it's been made incredibly clear that this show isn't simply on a rocket train to Weirdsville, it already arrived long ago, made itself at home and set up shop.
  • [adult swim]'s original animation block is filled to the brim with a variety of WHATs, starting from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
  • Sealab 2021, which has surreal, rambling plots and often outright insane characters.
  • Harvey Birdman, a show with the eponymous superhero-turned-lawyer as its protagonist. Many of his cases are based around jokes referencing old, sometimes obscure American cartoons.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast an anarchic, animated 'talk show'.
  • Black Dynamite, which focuses on fantastically warped versions of characters from out-of-date African American culture and just plain weirdness.
  • The rest of [adult swim], and quite possibly all other media that has ever been made, is put to absolute shame by Xavier: Renegade Angel. The main character is a creature with the legs of a goat, six nipples, the beak of a bird, and a snake for a hand. One episode ends with a casino being destroyed by sentient drops of blood. And that's one of the relatively normal episodes.
  • Mike Tyson Mysteries, which is exactly what it sounds like — an Affectionate Parody of Hanna-Barbera's 70's "mystery-solvers" cartoons, starring a foppish ghost, a talking pigeon, a pre-teen Asian girl, and Mike Tyson As Himself.
  • Chapi Chapo , a Weird French Thing, consists of the playful adventures of two small... children that manipulate innumerable boxes, and sometimes even physical laws.
  • Fireman Sam (a series about a small Welsh village in which pretty much everything is A Job For The Fire Service) originated in Wales as Sam Tân (tân being Welsh for fire, which is quite ironic seeing as Sam's job is to put out fires, so translated it could be Fire Sam).
  • Any episode of Teen Titans that begins with its theme song in Japanese is pretty much this. Especially the one where it is sung by a one shot, otaku character, according to Andrea Romano's comments in a DVD Easter Egg.
  • The Fleischer Studios with pretty much anything they did. There's a ghost of a walrus singing a song written by Cab Calloway, rotoscoped from Cab Calloway's dancing; as well as Koko the Clown's antics. Counts as a W.E.N.T, or "Weird Early Nineteen-hundreds Thing."
    • How about "Weird Early Twentieth Century Animated Thing" (W.E.T.C.A.T.)?
  • Parodied in The Simpsons, when an already manically bizarre promotional videotape for the Japanese cleaning product Mr. Sparkle includes, for no apparent reason, a brief clip of a reporter asking a two-headed cow, "Any plans for summer?"
    • Then the cow shatters with a look of horror on its face(s) upon viewing Mr. Sparkle.
  • Some Tom and Jerry cartoons would probably count, since only jazz music was an instant hit worldwide and the culture took a little time to catch up, and also purely American-centric television tropes like Mammy Two-shoes. (Granted, on that second part, minstrel show anything would count. Droopy had a crapload of those kinds of jokes.) Not that they didn't exist in other countries, it just existed in different forms. Errr, is there a trope for humour that plain doesn't translate well?
  • Panique au Village (A Town Called Panic) is a bizarre Belgian stop-motion shorts series.
    • also, Pic Pic André Shoow by the same authors
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show... when it's not being Ho Yay-laden creepiness, anyway.
  • Les Renés, another Weird Thing from France, a series about a cyclop family, created by the French artist Hervé Di Rosa.
  • One of the earliest French CGI series, Chipie & Clyde, a series about a selfish wolf called Clyde who live in a loft and his antagonist, a girl called Chipie, who is able to send him by magic to make a test each time he says the F word.
    • in the same case, Les Quarxs, a scientist who shows some weird creatures that came from nowhere which caused him some serious problems in his work.
  • The Clangers, a '70s British children's show which was about pink alien mice that spoke in whistles; one could call it a BBT (Bizarre British Thing).
  • King of the Hill comes across this way to anyone who isn't from Middle America or the Deep South. Ironically though, King of the Hill may be the ultimate anti-Widget Series. On top of that, the lead character feels this way about anything outside his comfort zone.
  • The short Rejected, by Don Hertzfeldt. Or just about anything by him.
    • Or INSPIRED BY him, like those Pop Tarts commercials.
    • "You're watching the Family Learning Channel. And now, angry ticks fire out of my nipples."
  • South Park occasionally veers into this territory, especially in its more nonsensical episodes.
    • In the directors' commentary of FLCL, the director and the interviewer commented that South Park comes across as a big-time Widget Series in Japan since so many of the popular culture references are lost.
  • The 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a Widget series to anyone familiar with the original Mirage Comics. (and let's be honest, the premise itself is pretty widget-y).
    2003 Raphael: Was that a mutant... banana?
    2003 Michelangelo: This dimension is seriously messed-up.
  • Aardman animations are often filled with British terms that non-Brits might not be familiar with.
    • Rex the Runt manages to be the epitome of this. A bunch of claymation dogs and their adventures through time, outer-space, 'inside brains'...
  • Pingu is totally a weird Swiss thing. It's a Claymation series about a Bratty Half-Pint little boy penguin, who can stretch and squash himself into any shape he desires, who speaks a non-sensical babble thus leaving the stories of the show to be told through inference via body language, and of which several episodes have been Banned in China due to horror and Toilet Humor.
  • Oscar's Orchestra on CBBC. Set in the very distant future, about a group of sentient music instruments (Oscar is a grand blue piano, and their leader) fighting the music-hating world dictator Thaddius Vent.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants could be seen this way by people who aren't used to it.
  • Jacob Two-Two is very much a wicket. It includes major references to hockey, is set in Montreal, has an explicitly stated Quebecois character, and has assignments about Canadian explorers. Not to mention the Canadian style of humour in the show.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch: Take two or more celebrities, put them in a wrestling ring and make them duke it out until one of them is left alive. With lots of bloodshed and violence, this show is a prime example of Widgetness in claymation form.
  • Fat Dog Mendoza: The adventures of a boy in a superhero costume and his dog (which looks more like a giant cat's head with legs and a tail). They're best friends with a girl who has purple hair, their teacher has two heads (one named Polly, the other Esther), the villains include a guy with feet for hands and another with a giant green head... and that's just the premise.
  • Due to Society Marches On, many cartoons from the 1930s and '40s are becoming this. We're beginning to WHAT ourselves.
  • Gravity Falls: Twin Peaks style supernatural animated weirdness, and on Disney to boot.

    Other 
  • Most small Toyotas since about 2000 have this to some extent or another. Matter of fact, on the international front, ridiculous little dinky cars and hatchbacks from all around the world are perceived this way by Americans.note  The ultimate example is the autorickshaw, a demented little car-thing built around a motorcycle.
    • A western example is the short-lived Yggdrasil 'green' motorcycles. We can't link to an example, unfortunately, as the website has been down for about two years. If you've played or seen screenshots of the game series Xtreme G, they resembled those cycles but only went about 140-170kph and were sold in small numbers in mainland Europe as an environmentally conscious alternative to move from point A to B. They were cheap to buy, but annoyingly expensive to maintain, and attempts to sell them elsewhere were met with confusion and head scratching elsewhere (and even at home) due to the way-too-futuristic designs and odd seating arrangement. (ridden as if you were straddling a rocket Wile E Coyote style).
    • Microcars/small cars in general and Smart cars in particular may also be seen this way in North America. This is caused by Japanese and European car makers not bothering to sell their microcars and more left-field models in North America in a self-fulfilling cycle of lack of demand from lack of products from lack of demand... Conversely, a lot of places in the rest of the world perceives their relative absence and the preponderance of big sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs for city dwellers as just as strange. The last few years have however seen SUVs getting commonplace in Europe, so the trend might be changing.
    • The whole Morgan car company is a weird British Car Company: two-seat roadsters with a 1930s design and wooden chassis? Three wheelers with the one wheel at the back?. A car with crossed eyes? Jeremy Clarkson did a thorough investigation of the phenomenon of British sports cars and their drivers here, noting the irony of a country infamous for its wet, chilly weather being the home of a car that seems meant to be driven on warm, sunny days.
  • In one of his solo feature-length DVD releases, Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson has also introduced many British and American gearheads to this DOT (Dutch Oddity of Transportation), the Vandenbrink Carver. It was subsequently reviewed on Top Gear proper by the Hamster here.
  • Men With Brooms is possibly more Weirdly Canadian than Kids in the Hall. It's a sports comedy about curling, that also features Paul Gross, Leslie Nielsen (as a retired curling guru and hallucinogenic mushroom enthusiast), a guest appearance by Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip, a bagpiper in a kilt with no explicit connection to the plot, and a running gag involving beavers.
  • Cirque du Soleil. This Weird French-Canadian Thing first caught attention in the U.S. because it was so different from the long-established, Ringling Bros.-dominated circus format. No animal acts, one ring, little dialogue, New Age/world music, etc. It actually took a lot of inspiration, and later performers, from established European and Asian circuses, but managed to make its own artistic statements and remain distinctive, to the point that their overall style has spawned its own imitators (By the way, the Japanese love Cirque, to the point that the non-touring show ZED was created for Tokyo Disneyland). Their 2003 TV show Solstrom is a true Widget Series: a mostly silent fantasy series that links acrobatic and novelty acts together via whimsical stories involving mischievous "sun creatures" (characters from the various stage shows) running amuck on Earth.
  • "Hitsuji de Oyasumi" is a series of short talk CDs featuring various Japanese voice actors Counting Sheep. Not just a few sheep, either; most of the albums go to 400, plus short openings and closings and occasional other mid-count comments. There are at least 22 volumes of this.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy is a weird British thing, especially during the scenes when they use the Infinite Improbability Drive.
    • Douglas Adams himself alluded to how much cricket is a Weird British Game in Life The Universe And Everything with the commentators of Test Match Special not at all fazed by Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, and a sofa appearing from nowhere on the pitch at Lord's. And only the British would be so insensitive to use the hallowed 'Wicket Gate' as part of a game.
  • Although books of humorous stories and "laws" about how things go horribly wrong are a somewhat common genre, The Peter Principle, with its punny names and fantastically banal "case studies", is not only the most famous but the most uniquely wickety of all of them. (It was, however, inspired by Parkinsons Law, a hilariously turgid Wabbit.)
  • Japanese Bento Lunch Tools. Ever see egg molds? Take a boiled egg, while it's still hot, shell it, and place it into one of these. The resulting shape can be anything from a bunny to a fish to an ice cream cone. There are also ones that essentially makes egg logs with the yolk in varying shapes, such as flower, star, heart etc.
    • On a slightly more extreme note, this kit.
  • Some comments about the Handley Page Victor bomber run along the lines of "Only the British would make their nuclear deterrent look like that". The same seems to apply to the Avro Vulcan, which also happens to cross into Cool Plane territory.
    • Ditto for the Russians and the Tu-95.
  • The Japanese have invented a bra that turns into a shopping bag.
  • Japan now has the Toylet. It's a urinal game system. Your pee is the controller. And it's made by Sega.
  • This weird Estonian thing that gives a person one euro if one Estonian kroon is inserted into it, instead of 15.6466 kroons to one euro. It's a cow.
  • Ao Usagi's art. A lot of it is Touhou fanart. Some of it is incredibly normal. Sometimes it's a boob in an orange peel.
  • tykylevits' videos make very little sense until you do some research and find out that, yep, he's from Finland. Then it seems perfectly normal.
  • The Topp Twins are a STANZA.
  • Pretty much everything shown on this site, really.
  • There are also the Japanese vending machines which dispense things like live crabs/lobsters and used panties.
    • Japan banned vending machines selling used panties quite some time ago. They still pop up every now and then, but they're illegal. If you happen to come across one, chances are it'll be in a really seedy part of town.
  • American "Christian Media" can come across this way to secular people, even other Americans. Sometime in The Seventies, evangelical Christians in the US became deeply enraptured by the concept of creating alternatives to "secular" pop culture. This grew to encompass literature (the Left Behind series is one of the most visible examples), music, movies, video games, dating sites, and more, to the point where it eventually became an entire separate subculture.
  • The Japanese have a weird obsession with making as much noise as possible when driving a car or motorbike (even if that noise is the sound of the engine being shredded). They love to rev the crap out of mopeds for no apparent reason.
  • Invoked with the Cybiko, which was a Russian portable computer that was Totally Radical for the millennium! It tried to convince people that it was a WJT by using Gratuitous Japanese, Intentional Engrish for Funny and all around quirkyness


Alternative Title(s):

WJT, Weird Japanese Thing, Widget