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"As far as [Yi Min] was concerned, ginger was just a condiment ... But when Ssofeg tasted it, he might have died and gone to the heaven Christian missionaries always talked about in glowing words."

Bizarre Alien Biology is a staple of Speculative Fiction. One of the common ways of showing it off is to show the oddity of extraterrestrial diets, especially in regards to Earth food. Perhaps vinegar is toxic to these guys, but they need regular infusions of arsenic to survive?

With this in mind, it's no surprise that certain mundane-to-us substances might make them a bit... funny.

Ordinary substances being intoxicants for aliens (or similarly otherworldly beings) is very likely to come up in stories that feature them. It can be serious; for example, exploring the ramifications of ginger addiction. Of course, it can also be Played for Laughs, because it's funny to watch someone get trashed on gummi bears.

You can also see the equivalent in fantasy fiction; it's fairly common for certain kinds of vampires to react to human blood as though it were a drug.

Subtrope of Drunk on Milk. Compare Fantastic Drug and Spice of Life. See also Klingons Love Shakespeare, I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin! and Mars Wants Chocolate. Compare and contrast No Biochemical Barriers. Not to be confused with High on Catnip which is about actual catnip acting as a drug to (usually feline) characters. Sister Trope to A.I. Getting High. If it's not intoxicating, just really tasty, see Aliens Love Human Food. See Far-Out Foreigner's Favorite Food.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ah! My Goddess: It turns out that plain old cola has the same effect on Belldandy that alcohol should ("should" being the operative word - She's a Norse goddess, and thus Never Gets Drunk). Fortunately, she's just as nice drunk as she is when sober, if not more so, which actually causes problems of a different sort.
  • Eris, the alien Cat Girl in Cat Planet Cuties, gets high off what else? Catnip! Though it makes her (more) hyper instead of stoned.
  • Death Note: Applesnote  have the same effect on Shinigami as cigarettes or alcohol do on humans, and Ryuk actually goes through withdrawal symptoms if he can't have any.
    Ryuk: I do handstands and my body twists up like a pretzel! It's not a pretty sight!
    • It's unclear whether or not Ryuk was lying about this. He does get really weird when he doesn't have apples, but when he becomes unable to communicate with Light for a long time he snaps out of it immediately and goes about his business. It's possible that he just really likes apples and is trying to annoy Light into giving him more. Supported by the fact that other Shinigami develop tastes for other foods when they visit Earth. One takes a liking to chocolate, while another enjoys bananas.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch: Lucia gets drunk off cola too in one chapter of the manga and spends the rest of the time worrying about what she can't remember. In the anime, this was further Bowdlerised into a magic emotion-controlling jewel.
  • Monster Musume: Rachnera, the spider-girl, gets drunk off of caffeine, just like real spiders. One cup of black coffee has her completely plastered.
  • In Plus-Sized Elf, french fries are this for Elfuda, an... elf from another dimension who has developed an addiction to the deep-fried potato treats to the point of putting on more than a few extra pounds. Unfortunately, elves from her dimension are known for being lithe and graceful, meaning she has to find a way to shed that weight before she can go back. Which she succeeds by the first chapter but decides to come back to eat fries. Her only grief was that she wanted to know how to lose weight to go through the dimension door (which work with weight sensor) so she can visit her family from time to time but she'll rather laze up in the human world than the frugal magic world.
  • Sgt. Frog:
    • High levels of humidity can cause Keronians to act drunk, though this usually only affects Keroro. It also increases their strength, intelligence and reaction time. This is used to justify why the usually lazy and weak Keroro is the leader of his group: the humidity is just naturally higher on their homeworld, where he performs at peak efficiency.
    • For a more literal example, earth's star fruit have an effect on Keronians (Keroro's race) that Kururu literally describes as similar to prescription drugs. They don't pass out or anything, but it gives them a sense of extreme well-being and an extreme desire for more. To the point where Keroro dreams of making all food in the world transform into star fruit...
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What?, Shiraori can get drunk on alcohol like normal humans, but a single cup of coffee is enough to render her insensate along with a clone which tried to filter it our of her system. Oddly it has to be caffeinated coffee; decaffeinated coffee has no effect nor does caffeine or any of the other individual ingredients.
  • Lum and Ten (and, implying by extension, any other Oni) from Urusei Yatsura would get drunk off of "umeboshi" — otherwise known as pickled plums. Note that they're otherwise immune to alcohol, drugs and poison. It's one of those "reversed reaction" things — in Japan, they're commonly eaten as a hangover cure. There was also an alien fruit juice that had that effect on humans (and not on oni).
  • According to the Vampire Knight Fanbook, vampires do not consume human blood for nourishment: they are born incurably addicted to it and the withdrawal will drive them insane. Blood-substitute pills were developed by vampire scientists to remove their dependency on humans. To add further confusion, the act of feeding itself is almost always presented with erotic overtones, comparable to foreplay or rape depending on context.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, the inhabitants of Planet Wangcai cannot eat chocolate, not because they're dogs and the candy is poisonous to them, but rather because it's addictive to their species. This forms the basis of the plot of one Season 7 episode where Lele, the son of the planet's ambassador, consumes chocolate by accident and becomes addicted to it.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Astro City story "Apeman Blues", Reflex 6 breaks up a speakeasy that puts kidnapped humans into a drugged stupor so aliens can get high feeding off their memories and emotions.
  • Each species in ElfQuest responds differently to dreamberries and the wine made from them. Humans get sick. Trolls and preservers just get drunk. Elves mostly get drunk too - and can become the equivalent of alcoholics - but if they drink enough, it can act as a mild hallucinogen, and unlike alcohol, drinking it regularly actually improves an elf's memory. Thus the biggest drunk in the tribe is also the "Howlkeeper" (storyteller and historian).
  • The Martian Manhunter loves Oreo Cookies. Really loves Oreo cookies. (Or possibly "Chocos".)
    • In The Sandman (1989), he celebrates meeting one of the Endless by sharing a box with Scott Free at the Watchtower.
    • In a story he tells to Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, it turns out they have an effect on his Martian physiology similar to nicotine. Later, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle decide to prank him by buying every single box of cookies in a radius of several blocks to keep them away from him. To their horror, J'onn turns into a raging maniac hellbent on quelling his munchies. After calming down, he used his abilities as a shapeshifter to literally rip out the affected bits of his body, and later enjoyed a more normal relation with the snack, though he still greatly enjoys it. (However, when Wonder Woman questions whether any of that actually happened, he responds that it was a good story.)
  • In the Marvel Comics series Strikeforce: Morituri, the alien Planet Looters find chocolate to be a powerful intoxicant.
  • In The Transformers: All Hail Megatron, after the Decepticons have been defeated and driven from Earth, Ironhide and Optimus Prime take a break to relax and drink some enriched, weapons grade radioactive isotopes, which they treat like hard liquor.
    • Expanded upon in More Than Meets the Eye; there are a variety of Cybertronian liquors, ranging from a "weak energon spritzer" favored by prudes like Ultra Magnus, to "weapons grade nucleon" that can knock a Transformer out for hours. It's even possible to become the robotic equivalent of an alcoholic, by turning off your "fuel intake modulation chip" and overindulging. This happens to Trailcutter. It's also possible to forcibly turn said chip on permanently, forcing the bot to go cold turkey, through Percussive Maintenance. This also happens to Trailcutter.
    • Drugs exist as well, including "circuit speeders", which are of the Performance Enhancing variety. Roller uses them to help keep up with the various "Outliers" (mutants) he works with, as he has no special powers beyond being very big. Ratchet confirms that these are both addictive and can cause dangerous side effects.
  • In The Vision, it's revealed that the android Victor Mancha is addicted to vibranium, which is apparently the robot equivalent of hard painkillers. This tragically leads to Victor accidentally killing Vision's son after getting high.

    Fan Works 
  • The Homestuck fic Complimentary turns Terezi's canon Super-Senses note  up. It results in this.
    Of course Vriska loves that shade of blue. Of course Karkat can’t seem to get away from it. The smell is intoxicating, but the undercurrents are too bitter to make it truly wonderful.
    They smell so delicious together, the two of them, Vriska and Karkat. A wild, crazy blue offset by a shocking, angry contrast that swirl together in her mind’s eye, so decadent she could lick it forever and never get tired of the taste.
    She smirks, and after a moment of silence the scent of bright cherries floods the air. Terezi’s knees go weak at the smell, and she opens her mouth, trying to taste as much of it as possible. Blueberry throws itself into the mix with wild abandon, and it’s the more wonderful than she could have ever imagined. Colors burst in her mind’s eye, and she moans from the taste itself, senses overrun with pure pleasure.
  • Diaries of a Madman has quite a few, but the naga are probably the most extreme example, as mercury is used as a recreational drug.
  • Earth's Alien History: As per canon, ginger acts like a narcotic to the Race. It is downplayed compared to canon, however, as the Race also brought Rabotevs and Hallessi along with them, who are immune to its effects.
  • The Hero of Three Faces: Paul Gadzikowski's fanfiction comic strips suggest that both Kryptonians and Time Lords get drunk on milk.
  • Luminosity has vampires be this way about human blood, to the point that rational!Bella points out that this is a benefit to going vegetarian — the stints where you can't be drinking are much easier.
  • Medicated: When Anne drinks an energy drink from the Boonchuys' cupboard in her frog form, she ends up having hallucinations and a Freak Out.
  • In Oversaturated World, the primary intoxicant for Equestrian ponies is salt, rather than alcohol. Apparently, the equine nervous system is really sensitive to extra sodium ions.
  • In the Invader Zim fanfic RebelZ, Irkens are shown to get drunk on something they call "gingzor"... which to Dib's surprise eventually turns out to be ginger ale. They even treat ginger snaps as edibles.
  • Rocky Horror fanfic Seducing Mother Earth has Riff Raff and Magenta experience the horrors of chocolate addiction.
  • In Sonic X: Dark Chaos, fertilizer is revealed to be the equivalent of cocaine and steroids combined for Cosmo's race.
  • Some Star Trek Fanfics can be found hilariously exploiting the fact that chocolate acts on Vulcans as alcohol would on a human.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A deleted scene from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension establishes that the Red Lectroids get a narcotic effect from sucking on dry cell batteries.
  • In the Bud Spencer movie Aladdin the genie loses his powers during nighttime. After a group of government officials decide to dissect him suspecting him to be an alien, they find out that anesthetic only makes him giggle. After he asks for something to drink, it turns out a can of cola knocks him right out.
  • In Amanda And The Alien, the titular alien discovers that for him/her/it, paprika is a powerful aphrodisiac.
  • The Newcomers in Alien Nation get drunk on sour milk. Alcohol has no effect on them. The aliens' own narcotic in turn tastes like dish cleaner fluid to humans, and looks about the same.
  • In District 9, the alien Prawn have a voracious hankering for cat food. Black markets spring up for the stuff and all. We can speculate they get high on tyrosine or taurine in the fish protein — other food would do it, but cat food is cheap (and funny).
  • High Plains Invaders: Not exactly harmless to humans, but Jules works out that the Bugs can become intoxicated by ingesting refined uranium.
  • In My Favorite Martian, ice cream turns out to be intoxicating for Martians. When Uncle Martin reluctantly tries his first scoop, he loses all self control and gorges on the frozen treat until he has a Balloon Belly. Later that afternoon, he even gets a hangover from how much he ate.
  • In My Stepmother Is an Alien, the alien played by Kim Basinger accidentally discovers that caffeine makes her loopy.

  • Animorphs
    • Instant maple and ginger oatmeal is addictive to Yeerks, makes them lose control over their hosts, replaces part of their brain stem, and drives them crazy. Yes, the characters realize that it's absurd. It veers into the horrific when you realize that the oatmeal also removes the Yeerk's need to leave its host head occasionally, and it makes the Yeerk immortal. The poor host is going to have an insane alien slug in his brain till he dies.
      Jake: Battles involving oatmeal are just never going to end up being historic, you know?
    • Ax seems to develop a near addiction to anything related to taste, as his species normally have no sense of taste. Some of the things he enjoys gorging himself with include: cinnamon buns, chili, engine oil, and cigarette butts. The human race ends up exchanging doughnuts for alien technology.
  • The dinosaur protagonists of Anonymous Rex use various spices as potent drugs.
  • In The Belgariad, candy has a much stronger effect on dryads than on humans. One of the prologues even has Belgarath having to be very careful to avoid getting Ce'Nedra's ultimate great-grandmother hopelessly addicted to chocolate (he doesn't mind her being addicted to it, mind you — he just needs her able to function without it).
  • Captain Future:
    • One of the characters has a pet called Eek who eats metals, preferring heavy ones. Large doses of silver or gold were shown to make him rather drunk.
    • In one of the books, Otho (a shapeshifting android), disguised as a human, goes to investigate in a bar. First, he drinks a bottle of Gargle Blaster without any visible effect, then he orders wine... laced with radium chloride. That one works.
  • In The Company Novels, chocolate (referred to as Theobromos) is the only thing that can intoxicate the time-traveling operatives, and thus you get things like one character having a "dealer" in premium chocolate.
  • In the Confederation of Valor series the alien Krai drink a beverage called "sah", which for them is the equivalent of a hot cup of tea. For humans, it's the equivalent of a hot cup of PCP with an amphetamine chaser. The law requires that anyone buying it be a Krai, and holds the Krai in question responsible if a human gets any.
  • The most common illegal drug for Discworld trolls is Slab, ammonium chloride cut with radium. There are plenty of others, as well.
    • Lower on the harmful/addiction scale, molten sulfur seems to be the troll equivalent to beer. Even some human bars serve it, though it needs to be handled with heavy gloves and poured in an insulated mug.
    • Similarly, many Discworld vampires attend support groups to help them give up drinking blood.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Time Lords are very hard to get drunk. Ginger pop, however, hits them hard. Shakespeare once spiked the Doctor's beer, and Hilarity Ensued. (Though unlike in the Mork & Mindy example, it's the ginger that's an intoxicant, not the carbon dioxide.)
  • The Draco Tavern: Rick stocks intoxicants for a wide variety of alien races, including pure alcohol, spongecake soaked in cyanide, and rocks he refers to as "green kryptonite". Chirps use small devices called "sparkers" that pass an electrical current through their nervous system.
  • In The Dresden Files, pixies have this reaction to most human snacks like donuts. Harry has secured the loyalty of a corps of the "Little Folk" through regular offerings of pizza, so that they refer to him as their "Za Lord."
    Sanya: You are a drug dealer. To tiny faeries. For shame.
  • Dr. Greta Helsing: Absinthe hits vampires far harder than humans — although they're not as sensitive to the alcohol, trace amounts of hallucinogens that wouldn't affect a human at all can send a vampire into a life-threatening delirium.
  • Butterbeer, in the Harry Potter novels, while mild to wizards, is depicted as being quite intoxicating to house-elves.
    • It's debatable just how "soft" butterbeer actually is. The simplest explanation is that it is a mildly alcoholic malt beverage: not enough alcohol to have a major effect on even a very young human (Harry has his first nip at 14, and the stuff doesn't seem to be age-restricted like firewhisky), but if a house elf (roughly half the size of even an adolescent human) rips through a six-pack in under an hour, well.... We should note that historical Tudor-era England had a drink called butterbeer, made of butter, eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and ale; it's not terribly alcoholic—since it involves diluting beer, and if you use a weaker English brew like session ale (beer in the 16th century would've been weaker, as it was the safe alternative to drinking water and the English hadn't gotten ahold of tea yet)—but still enough you could get drunk after a few pints. Here's one of numerous recipes.
  • In the Honor Harrington novels, the otherwise carnivorous treecats find celery irresistible. In fact, it was their pilfering of human celery that led to the first human-treecat encounter. Turns out it that the genetically modified celery grown on Spinx actually enhances treecat telepathy, although they find the taste of all types of celery irresistible.
    • Note, however, that the treecats don't actually have the enzymes to digest cellulose, so eating too much celery can be rather bad for them.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth regularly references this trope as a consequence of Playing With No Biochemical Barriers. The majority of species can breathe the same atmospheres and eat the same food, they just don't always find it comfortable. It's the little things that get them — for example, the racoon-like Tolian race is unaffected by alcohol, and instead gets smashed on the lymphatic fluids of certain animals. One that drives drug cops of all races into conniptions is that just about every race has something as part of their essential diet that some other race considers high-value drugs.
  • In Iceworld by Hal Clement, the human characters make a living by trading with aliens, giving them tobacco for precious metals. The aliens are hit far harder by cigarettes than humans are.
  • In Stephen Hunt's Jackelian Series Steampunk novels, the Mechanical Lifeforms called "steammen" can get high by burning magnesium in their coke-fueled boilers.
  • The Jenkinsverse: Gaoians, like the vast majority of aliens, are immune to the intoxicating effects of alcohol. However, they can get the same symptoms after eating turkey meat.
  • Isaac Asimov's Kid Stuff: The elf mocks Jan Prentiss for trying to ply it with alcohol because drink doesn't affect elves the way it does humans. Literal catnip (with honey), however, is implied to have a similar inebriating effect.
  • In "The Ego Machine" by Henry Kuttner, robots are able to get drunk from an electricity overdose.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's urban fantasy novels, caffeine is an instantly addictive drug for elves.
  • In Frank and Brian Herbert's novel Man of Two Worlds, ordinary basil acts as a powerful psychoactive for the Dreens, Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who created most of the universe with their thoughts. They call it Bazeel.
  • One Man-Kzin Wars short story featured a mixed human and Kzin crew surveying a distant planet and discovering a substance that causes the felinoid Kzin to act just like cats on ... catnip. Hilarity ensues, followed by quarantine.
  • Plague Ship: Played literally. The protagonists are trying to trade with a Cat Folk race for valuable gemstones. The problem is, the aliens are unwilling to sell the gems for regular goods... but once they get a sniff of catnip and valerian...
  • Retief: At least one species gets high on stale Pepsi. (Yes, explicitly Pepsi.)
  • The Ship Who... Sang: In the chapter Dramatic Mission, a Klingons Love Shakespeare effort involves humans using Corviki tech to project themselves into hydrazoan-like spare Corviki bodies or "envelopes" so they can act freely in the methane-ammonia atmosphere of the planet. The Corviki love the adapted performance of Romeo and Juliet, and their way of conveying this approval is intense and overpowering, even overwhelming - yanked back to herself, Helva is both relieved and saddened to lose the feeling. Many of the actors are reluctant to return, so powerful are Corviki accolades - but the aliens listen when this is explained to them and restrain themselves from that point forwards. Still, some of the actors choose to Stay with the Aliens and that's part of why.
  • Sholan Alliance: Coffee and chocolate can have some interesting effects on Sholans. Turns out for them caffeine is an intoxicant instead of a stimulant like it is for humans.
  • Space Beasts: Various Earth foodstuffs are dangerous to extraterrestrials and magical creatures.
    • The Aves — intelligent herons — have extreme reactions whenever they eat strawberries; they don't get addicted, but for the male Aves they seem to have a similar effect as mixing ecstasy with Viagra. The male Aves get a painful long-lasting erection and a fierce desire to hump anything they can get their hands on. Zander ends up assaulting his own wife in public after tasting a strawberry, and Revel rapes the ant girl Yin after she force-fed him some strawberry champagne; both felt extreme shame and embarrassment once they snapped out of it.
    • As for magical races (or more specifically their half human descendants), each species of Fae has its own drug: for elves it's wasabi, for fairies peanut butter, for goblins bananas. For half human/half Fae these addictions are extremely powerful. The only way to bring them "back down to Earth" when they give in to their addiction is through physical pain — normally that means a spanking.
    • Some species of Humanimal (specifically prehistoric species like dinosaurs) can be extremely sensitive to modern foods. Rodan the Pteranodon man finds that chocolate has an effect on him similar to the effect that strawberries have on male Aves. He almost gets demoted when he rapes an enemy girl soldier.
  • The Stainless Steel Rat series. Here too robots are able to get drunk on electricity.
  • Star Carrier: The Agletsch get drunk off of acetic acid (vinegar).
  • Star Trek
    • The novelization of Star Trek IV claims that sucrose (i.e., refined sugar) is an intoxicant for Vulcans; it uses this as a Hand Wave to justify some of Spock's more bizarre actions in the movie.
    • Sulamids in the novel Spock's World are offhandedly said to have the same reaction — or some reaction, anyway; mention is made of untangling their tentacles after getting into the sugar bowl.
    • The Final Reflection depicts refined sugar as a mild intoxicant for Klingons because of the way their metabolisms process it; in the novel, the Klingon characters get buzzed on fruit juice.
    • In the modern Star Trek Novel 'Verse, strawberries are a mild narcotic to the Mizarians. Human merchants find productive trade on Mizar and its outposts.
    • Another Star Trek book (most likely one of the Star Trek Log series of TAS novelizations) postulates a crew member whose metabolism is fueled by high-proof alcohol, but who gets drunk on orange juice.
  • In the Star Wars Legends the Arcona can become addicted to table salt, and there's even a quick and easy indicator. The entry in the Essential Guide to Alien Species features an excerpt from the journals of the anthropologist Mammon Hoole, describes an encounter he had with a young male of the species who was ready to mate, and had gone through a depressingly logical and tedious process to decide which of a selection of females it was going to be. When the young man, with Hoole in tow, reached the domicile of the lucky woman, he was shocked to find that since he had last seen her, her eyes had turned from green to gold, giving away her salt addiction and marking her as unsuitable for mating.
    • Another character, who had started training at Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy, became salt addicted when Tionne Solusar made her famous pot roast for dinner. Two days later, all the salt in the Academy was gone, and the gold-eyed Arcona had ran away.
  • In Sweet Silver Blues, Morley Dotes bribes a colony of brownies to spy on a mansion for him with sugar. They are later shown strewn all over the neighbor's lawn, giggling and stoned to the gills.
  • In Joe Haldeman's "A !Tangled Web (1981)", the !tang (who look like "perambulating haystack[s] with an elephant's trunk protruding") become intoxicated from eating sugar, and alcohol is like a psychedelic drug to them. On the flip side, "one bite of !tang bread contain[s] enough mescaline to make you see interesting things for hours"; one human fellow who eats some spends time "amusing them with impersonations of various Earth vegetables."
  • In John Ringo's Troy Rising series, maple syrup is, to one species of aliens with which humanity interacts, an addictive beverage with effects similar to that of alcohol on humans.
  • Twilight vampires will occasionally run into someone whose blood is like this for them, to the point of being nigh-irresistible. Like the main couple. To a notably lesser extent, any human's blood.
  • In Unsong fallen angels are angels that have passed the Despair Event Horizon due to exposure to humanity's sins. Holy water lets them temporarily regain their heavenly nature and powers.
  • In the German SF novel Der Verbannte von Asyth, Earth coffee turns out to work (and apparently smell and taste) remarkably like the alien drug "klukol", basically an alcohol equivalent, on the eponymous protagonist's species.
  • Whateley Universe: Some mutant biology quirks can cause this. For example some exemplars, Like Toni, find chocolate intoxicating due to their hyperactive metabolism.
  • In The Witcher books at least greater vampires suck blood only to get drunk. There was even one abstainer — being cut into a dozen pieces buried separately for a century or so after overindulgence can drive the lesson home quite well.
  • Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series has ordinary ginger acting close to cocaine for males of the reptilian Race, but it's the way it puts females into completely unscheduled heat that creates some interesting complications, like introducing the concepts of romantic love, marriage, The Oldest Profession, and rape (of the "slipping a mickey" kind) to a race of beings that finds humanity's constant sex drive repulsive. Humanity, of course, is more than happy to feed the crippling addictions of the alien invaders, with various human governments backing drug smugglers and the Soviet Union even weaponizing powdered ginger.
  • In Wyjście z cienia by Janusz Zajdel, the aliens came to Earth for the produce in the first place, but what made them stay is honey and livid pinkgill mushrooms, which are mildly poisonous to humans - upon ingesting them, the aliens start moving in a very wobbly way (one falls under a train). It's a hint to their true nature as sentient anthills.
  • In the Young Wizards series, chocolate has a variety of effects on different alien species; it acts as a drug for some, but others just like how it tastes. It's also why UFOs really visit Earth. Carmela forces an entire battalion of aliens to back down by threatening a wrapped chocolate bar in the eighth book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of ALF has ALF becoming addicted to eating cotton, which has lots of weird side effects on him such as causing him to dance around wearing a bowler hat and holding a banana while singing showtunes.
  • Alien Nation has sour milk as akin to alcohol. Considering that milk contains lactose and does ferment if handled properly, this simply means that they really like kumiss or kefir, or just plain old yogurt and cheese. Since human cells and the bacteria involved in milk spoilage produce lactic acid under anaerobic conditions this might suggest that the aliens are more like fungi than mammals and produce alcohol when exhausted.
  • To the Pyrians in Andromeda ammonium phosphate (fertilizer) is a highly addictive and deadly drug. One planet based their economy on smuggling it to them, when Captain Hunt found out that was why the Pyrian fleet was blowing up their freighters he stopped trying to help them.
  • In Babylon 5, Minbari become psychotic and violent if they drink even a small amount of alcohol.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slayer blood is this for Vampires. It's also mentioned that a vamp can become high by feeding off someone who is high.
    Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there it would've been like Woodstock. I was actually at Woodstock... that was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move.
  • Farscape:
    • In one episode, Zhaan, a good looking, blue skinned plant-derived alien, spent almost the entire episode in an observation room sunbathing by the light of a star during a nova period. In something vaguely akin to photosynthesis, she was enjoying the high energy spikes of light a lot.
    • There's also Rygel, who, upon arriving on Earth, gets addicted to the sugar in Halloween candy. In a later episode he mentions that most planets consider sucrose a poison and highly restrict it.
      Rygel: Crichton, how illegal is this dren? You have to get me more! I don't care what it costs!
  • The Gua in First Wave can easily get addicted to table salt, although their High Command frowns on such weakness and orders the addicts killed. This was discovered by accident when Foster was interrogating a wounded Gua and poured salt on the open wound. The result was a seriously stoned Gua. Given the Gua mastery of genetic engineering, it's strange they don't remove this weakness from their hybrid husks.
  • The Good Place has "Janets", afterlife personal assistants that can answer almost any question and create almost anything requested. Being exposed to magnets make them drunk, and they get a hangover after the fact.
  • Apparently mold that’s poisonous to us humans is “meth plus helium” to Wesen in the series Grimm.
  • Mashin Sentai Kiramager: The Crystalian equivalent of alcohol happens to be nearly identical to Japanese tea. In one episode, Mabushina, who wasn't aware of this and apparently Cant Hold Their Liquor, tries drinking tea and ends up going on a rampage, and then has to piece together what happened after it wears off.
  • Mork & Mindy
  • In My Parents Are Aliens, the Bizarre Alien Biology of the titular parents cause them to get very high from various innocent things. A Running Gag was that eating ice cream would cause Brian to sprout a pair of moose antlers.
  • A more literal example appears in Red Dwarf, when The Cat compares a Reality Is Out to Lunch sequence to "triple-strength catnip".
  • On an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Sabrina becomes addicted to pancakes (part of an old Spellman family curse, of which there were many), and at one point gorges herself to the point of bloating. When she tries to go cold turkey, she experiences withdrawal symptoms, hallucinating that Salem is a pile of pancakes asking whether she is hungry, imagining that the school is putting on an elaborate musical number imploring her to eat pancakes, and dreaming that a giant syrup bottle tries to persuade her to come away to a haven for witches addicted to pancakes, where she can eat to her heart's content. It was a really weird episode.
  • In the short-lived sci-fi series Something is Out There, the female alien protagonist Ta'ra gets inebriated on caffeine.
  • A variation appeared in Space: Above and Beyond, Cooper becomes addicted to a certain painkiller while being treated for injuries. The drug is no more addictive than any other painkiller to normal humans, but when used on In-Vitroes like Coop, the addiction rate is close to 82% for a single dose. He also meets an In-Vitroe prostitute addicted to the same drug, and Colonel McQueen is a recovered addict himself.
  • The Vulcans of Star Trek become intoxicated on chocolate.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, the 456 use human children as a euphoric drug, incorporating the child into their physiology and getting high off the child's hormones.
  • In True Blood, the blood of people with Faerie ancestry like Sookie is intoxicating to vampires.
  • Ultraman: Alien Fanton is one of the alien species that are peaceful but have a gluttonous appetite. It is said that drinking yogurt doesn't fail to get them drunk due to their Bizarre Alien Biology.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the Forgotten Realms, there's a specific, rare variety of cheese that's both intoxicating and addictive to halflings. Sale of this cheese is carefully regulated in the halfling nation.
    • Spelljammer has the dohwar, a race of intelligent, mercantile space penguins. They're unaffected by alcohol, but instead get drunk on sugar — a single apple will affect them like a strong beer, while some tablespoons of maple syrup or honey will get them blind drunk.
  • Plushies in the German game Plüsch, Power & Plunder can get addicted to washing powder if they have to go into the washing machine too often (which is the case if they get dirty).
  • Vampires in Vampire: The Masquerade can't consume drugs or alcohol, but feeding off a human with such substances in their system will affect them. Some vampires will become addicted enough to intentionally seek out intoxicated victims, although this addiction is nothing compared to their need for blood itself.
    • A vampire drinking the blood of a changeling can suffer some truly bizarre effects, including hallucinations, emotional outbursts, or being love-struck.
    • In contrast, the blood of a werewolf (a dangerous addiction indeed) is more like steroids, increasing the vampire's physical power (i.e., granting extra dots in physical Disciplines like Potence and Celerity) as long as the blood is in their system, at the cost of increased aggression and loss of emotional control (in the form of penalties to resist Frenzy).
  • In the Warhammer, orcs get drunk on lamp oil. Similarly, goblins get drunk on mushroom brew.

    Video Games 
  • Deep Rock Galactic inverts this. The invading Dwarves that are the player characters are healed by Red Sugar, a mineral that naturally occurs within Hoxxes 4, and remark it's highly addictive.
  • Kayle in League of Legends gets what can only be described as a massive sugar high after encountering a magical disease within the Institute of War. The disease normally breaks down the infected person's organs at a cellular level. Bizarre Alien Biology is offered as the reason.
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc features hallucinogenic plums and alcoholic plum juice. Murfy claims that Globox's drunk reaction to the juice comes from being allergic, but Andre does say that the juice is better when fermented.
  • Hivers in Sword of the Stars have taste and smell organs that are wired in a way that strongly fermented human foods, especially cheese, becomes like mild narcotics to them. It's mentioned in the supplementary novels that cheese is one of humanity's main exports to the hivers.
    • On the flip side, raw, unprocessed garlic is dangerous to hivers because of their over-sensitive olfactory organs. Hiver warriors eat cloves of it as a manhood ritual.

  • In Cassiopeia Quinn, sugar is pretty unhealthy for Xerrans. A single drink of So
da can even knock one flat out! On the other hand, it's arguable that it would knock anyone out who doesn't have the metabolism of a hyperactive squirrel, no matter how much 'nutrition' they put in.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama
    • Bender, being a robot fueled by alcohol, malfunctions as if heavily inebriated whenever he doesn't drink enough. He even develops a patch of rust around his mouth, mirroring a human's 5 o'clock shadow. Since all robots are powered by alcohol, being based on Professor Farnsworth's original design, all of them may act like this if deprived of booze. This leads to a montage reminiscent of every alcoholism story where he wanders the streets, tormented by signs like "No Liquor License", "Water Fountain" and "Christian Science Reading Room".
    • "Hell is Other Robots" has Bender getting high by overloading on electricity, complete with an LSD-reminiscent hallucination when he first tries "jacking on".
    • Anchovies are either addictive to Decapodians like Zoidberg (which led to anchovies being eaten into extinction), or they just taste ridiculously delicious. Or both.
  • The integration of the Boov with humans in Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh is shown by hot dog vendors also selling "Sock Dogs", dirty old socks filled with random garbage that the Boov love to eat. One episode details their origin that show sock dogs were invented because hot dogs were so incredibly addictive to the Boov that they became aggressively greedy for more. Even the eternally kind and considerate Oh became callously selfish to get more.
  • The entire plot of schlocky Christmas special Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer happens because of a fruitcake that Cousin Mel had spiked it with what turned out to be reindeer nip in a plan to ruin the family business by making their customers ill. The reindeer dropped everything and trampled the titular old lady to get it.
  • The worms in Men in Black: The Series are addicted to coffee as if it was a hard liquor; even to the point that they would suffer from withdrawal if the coffee machine ever broke. In one episode it is revealed coffee is reserved to only the elite in their planet.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Star Butterfly loves sugar and likes to put massive quantities of it onto everything — inventing the "sugarrito" (a burrito smothered in sugar). Her favorite cereal on Earth seems to also be an example based on the name: "Captain Blanche's Sugar Seeds". Justified as Mewni's main food staple (to a ridiculous degree) is corn. Cornbread, popcorn, corn on the cob - but nothing sugary, even candy corn. Having such a low sugar diet until coming to Earth likely helped accentuate Star's sugar sprees.


Video Example(s):


Mabushiina on Tea

As it happens, Japanese tea has the exact same makeup as "Meroro Fumofumo". Completely normal to a human, but to a Crystalian like Mabushiina, it's very strong alcohol that renders her completely off her face with a single glass.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / AlienCatnip

Media sources: