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Bazaar of the Bizarre

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"I'm just trying to find the bathroom!"

"Hawkers in the market offered to sell me ambrosia-on-a-stick, and a new shield, and a genuine glitter-weave replica of the Golden Fleece, as seen on Hephaestus-TV."
Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief

An exotic street bazaar from "Arabian Nights" Days, juiced up on nonsensteroids. All manner of strange, unearthly, forbidden, and fantastic items can be found in a Bazaar of the Bizarre. Usually, the rules of a Truce Zone are in effect, and sworn enemies can meet safely there (though arriving and leaving can be tricky). This may just be sacred custom or may be enforced by Functional Magic or other Applied Phlebotinum.

Often encountered by the heroes early on, to drive home the otherworldliness of a place and establish that anything can happen. If the characters are traveled enough, they may own a small version themselves as a Trophy Room. Modern-day fairy tales set in cities often feature a fairy market appearing as the Bazaar.

Roguelike computer games often feature these. On a shop level, you'll tend to find a general store (food, drink, and tools), a weapons and armaments shop, a shop that caters to the clergy (defensive and healing spells and potions, appropriate clothing, and blunt weapons), one for mages (attack spells, staves and rods, and such), and one may sell just anything, occasionally including seriously out-of-level artifacts.


Compare with the The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday (when the bazaar vanishes), Museum of the Strange and Unusual, Secret Government Warehouse, Kitsch Collection, Inn Between the Worlds, Secret Shop, Black Market, Welcome to Evil Mart, World of Mysteries, Bar Full of Aliens and Heroes "R" Us. The Trope Namer is Fritz Leiber's short story "Bazaar of the Bizarre," although the 'bazaar' of that story is actually The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday with a sinister twist.

Contrast with Grail in the Garbage (which might be found in the bazaar's trash heap).



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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977): There's a rather dangerous one in a large space station called Bazarre, whose main function is to serve as a black market hub safe from the prying eyes of the Galactic Empire. As such, the big attractions, at least to the protagonists, are TIE fighter parts. Immediately after arrival, Luke, Lando, and Chewie are looked over by a being who would like to buy them as meat, and the administrator who dismisses them, when he sells them intact TIE fighters at an external location, booby-trapped the thing and sabotaged their shuttle. Fortunately, they left Chewbacca with him, and the Wookiee was strong and smart enough that his relatively hasty efforts to kill him and escape came to nothing.
  • Monstress: According to Professor Tam Tam, Zamora used to be this — a trading port between the Federation of Man and the Arcanic Empire, where all sorts of oddities and valuables, including stories and friendships, were exchanged. It's now a no-man's-land city on the edge of the truce lands, whose inhabitants are tough from constant war and always prepared for an attack from either the Cumaea or the Arcanics.
  • Smax: Signs in a city point out a Goblin Market and Knockturn Alley.
  • Valérian: Syrte is the greatest market in the empire of a thousand planets sells living stones and telepathic pets among other things.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): The asteroid on which Jerryboree is situated more or less qualifies.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin: The Marketplace. In the movie, it seems to be selling mostly normal things, such as necklaces, fruit, and fresh fish. In Aladdin: The Series however, there's a shop run by a witch that definitely makes the marketplace a little stranger.
  • Iblard Jikan has some, one can be glimpsed in the more fantastic sections of Whisper of the Heart, and there are more in Naohisa Inoue's other works.
  • Spirited Away: The abandoned amusement park shops, which become filled with gods, spirits, and other creatures when the evening and the spirit world comes in.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks: Portobello Road. It's the one place to go if you need a magic book. "Anything and everything a chap can unload/ Is sold off the barrow in Portobello Road." Based on the real-life Portobello Road Market in London.
  • Hellboy II: The Golden Army: The Troll Market. Quite similar to the market in The Books of Magic listed above, it's a secret place for The Fair Folk to trade all sorts of knick-knacks.
  • Star Wars: Mos Eisley Cantina, from A New Hope, though not a market in the strictest sense, is a place of business where drink and food are purchased, and the ambiance is undoubtedly bizarre, what with the exotic music and clientele and all their fantastic accouterments. It is also dangerous and violent, thus operating under the rules of a Truce Zone, i.e. no blasters allowed on-premises, so as to cultivate a business-as-usual atmosphere in spite of the diverse races and species which converge there from all across the galaxy; however, the letter of the law is not entirely followed.
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: There is a popular tourist destination, appropriately called Big Market, that adores this trope. For one thing, it's on a desert planet but exists in a completely separate dimension, and can only be accessed with Hard Light VR headgear. It boasts over a million different shops that sell all kinds of things, from standard-issue tourist knick-knacks to rare exotic creatures. Just to drive the point home, the tour guide at the gate is dressed and acts like a stereotypical Arabian merchant.
  • Place Cachée is a hidden wizard street in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It's basically the Paris equivalent to Diagon Alley from Harry Potter.

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy has such markets, but they're mainly used by Muggle tourists who know next to nothing about magic. The only protection their trinkets offer is that they let a real magician know that you aren't a threat to him.
  • "Did You Hear the One About...", one of Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon short stories, features Al Phee, "intergalactic traveling salesman". He uses the phrase "Bazaar of the Bizarre" to describe the things he sells but is ultimately revealed to be a time-traveling con artist by Time Police officer (and possibly the daughter of Philip José Farmer) Josie Bauer. Making this a classic "Shaggy Dog" Story about a Traveling Salesman and a Farmer's Daughter.
  • Discworld
    • Thaumatalogical Park, just outside Unseen University. Although, in keeping with the skewed Magitek of the setting, it's closer to Silicon Valley than a Goblin Market.
    • Ankh-Morpork itself is an example for the races of Discworld: it's a trade city that hasn't warred for years and years (until Jingo, that is) and is about the only place where dwarves, trolls, vampires, werewolves and other living and unliving creatures would all trade rather than fight. Quite a few plots of the books of the Night Watch series are dedicated to keeping it that way.
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser gives its name to the magic item section in Dragon magazine.
  • Filthy Henry Fairy Detective, by Derek Power, says that Real Life Dublin market, Moore Street is full of fairy stalls and shops that are Invisible to Normals.
  • Goblin Market, a lengthy 19th-century poem by Christina Rossetti (sister of Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who illustrated the poem), is the Trope Maker for this trope, at least for all of these fantasy examples given. In it, there is a literal "goblin market" wherein little goblin beast-men of diverse appearance hawk their wares to innocent passers-by, tempting them with all kinds of exotic and luscious fruits.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Diagon Alley, the go-to marketplace for young wizards preparing for a new school year, hosts shops selling such things as magic wands, potion supplies, astrological equipment, Crystal Balls, wizards' Familiars and assorted things of use to fledgling magic users.
    • Nearby Knockturn Alley is the Black Market equivalent of this. While Diagon Alley hosts reputable shops selling the magical equivalent of household goods and school supplies, Knockturn Alley is where you go if you want to purchase morally dubious or openly illegal items such as poisonous candles, hangman's rope, human bones and fingernails, cursed necklaces, shrunken heads and the like.
  • Little Grrl Lost, by Charles de Lint, has a Fairy Market like this. Wings and amazingly good pastries are the hot items of the season when the protagonist, Elizabeth, comes through.
  • Magik Online has the Midnight Market, which serves as a neutral meeting ground free from the rule of Concordia,and is filled with creatures of all kinds
  • Myth Adventures: The Bazaar on Deva. It sells "everything you can imagine, and a few things you can't." It's implied to cover the planet.
  • Neil Gaiman uses this trope in a number of his works:
    • The short story "Invocation of Incuriosity" has a flea market that's otherwise normal but has one stall run by a time-travelling refugee from the Dying Earth.
    • Neverwhere: The Floating Market is a major, if transient, hub in London Below, where almost anything can be traded for almost anything else: information for a handkerchief, an iron rose for a bag of cheese, a choice corpse for three-quarters of a bottle of Chanel N°5, a Hand of Glory ("Guaranteed to work") for some junk and a somewhat alive guide for... unspecified Liquid Assets, among many others. There's also some great curry.
    • Stardust: The fairy Market at Wall, with vendor cries including "Bottled dreams, a shilling a bottle!" and "Swords of fortune! Wands of power! Rings of eternity! Cards of grace!" Some of the traders require payment in Insubstantial Ingredients, such as memories. The street entertainment is just as weird as the stalls, including a reverse dancing bear (large men dancing to a bear playing a hurdy-gurdy).
  • In On a Pale Horse, there are "cloud malls" which apparently sell a wide variety of magical items. Some of them are Black Magic (i.e. powered by Satan) and hence are illegal. But the mall will merely pull up moorings and float away if there's trouble.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: Bingtown has the Rain Wild Street, where the exotic and expensive, potentially magically imbued merchandise of the mysterious Rain Wild Traders can be bought. It's so expensive, many of the shops have hired guards. Fitz mentions how just walking down the street dizzied him due to his heightened senses of the Wit and the Skill.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Reynard the Fox features one that appears to have fallen on ... hard times. Fighting there is punishable by death via robot.
  • Rivers of London: The nazareth (illegal London street market) in Whispers Under Ground. According to Nightingale, the standard term for a magical nazareth is a goblin market.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Daenerys Targaryen explores a few bazaars filled with exotic people, strange merchandise, and of course danger at every turn. The most notable of these is probably the one at Vaes Dothrak, where various Dothraki warlords (who are constantly trying to kill each other) can meet in relative safety. In fact, because of the strict rules against weapons and bloodshed, assassins and guards who prevent theft have to know how to bloodlessly strangle their victims
  • Time Out Of Time has The Traveler's Market, where items both magical and not can be bought. Timothy, Sarah, and Jessica visit it in "Beyond The Door" to find a cure for Timothy's brother's rat fever infection.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Auction Kings, Paul is proud that his auction house sells many strange items. Bob will sometimes bring pieces to Paul that would do poorly at his own antique furniture auction house.
  • Charmed (1998): There's one run by demons, which has power hawkers and offers fresh Eye of Newt among other things.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor seems to like introducing new companions to the universe by way of these. Amy and Clara were both brought to one in their first TARDIS trips ("The Beast Below" and "The Rings of Akhaten", respectively). Martha also saw one in her second trip, the first off-planet, in "Gridlock".
    • "Turn Left": The street market on the planet Shan Shen. It was vaguely Chinese in flavour, and led to Donna having a most peculiar encounter with a fortuneteller and a giant beetle which let her see her own alternate past.
  • Farscape:
    • "That Old Black Magic" introduces the crew to one of these. Technically speaking, Crichton's the only one who finds any of it weird at first; then of course, it's revealed that the building at the end of the bazaar is owned by the Evil Sorcerer Maldis, and things only get stranger from there...
    • There's also the commerce settlement in "Bringing Home the Beacon". Quite apart from being a dead Leviathan embedded in the side of a small planetoid, it's also home to a number of strange stalls and shops — not least of which is the massage parlour that has a sideline business in genetic transformations. It's also a meeting ground for Commandant Grayza and War Minister Ahkna.
  • Firefly:
    • "The Message" features a winding marketplace filled with circus sideshows and exotic food, including an "ice planet" (presumably a flavored ice ball) dangling from a stick, which River deems "problematic" when she can't figure out how to eat it.
    • There's also the Eavesdown Docks of Persephone, which the crew visits twice (In "Serenity" and "Shindig") which seem to be a major mercantile area. This is Badger's stomping ground.
  • Oddities: The Obscura Antiquities shop is all about this. Straightjackets, skulls, malformed foetuses in jars, bull testicle elixir, barber-surgeon equipment... if they don't have it, they probably know someone who does.
  • M*A*S*H: In "Snap Judgement", Klinger finds out about a mobile bazaar called "Little Chicago" that sells mostly stolen items, so he investigates, finding his own watch and the Polaroid camera that was stolen from Pierce and Hunnicutt. When heading back, he is stopped at a checkpoint and is found with the camera, which he had personally reported as stolen. Little Chicago packs up and leaves before the MPs can find it; this, coupled with the unfortunate circumstances and Rosie advising Hawkeye to tell Klinger not to sell anything there for a while causes a previously-closed investigation on him to be reopened.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Rule of Law", the Daedalus colony has a marketplace with many different alien species.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Lost: The Goblin Markets, derived, at least in name, from the poem Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti, in which half-animal men sell tempting but poisonous fruit. Buy magic swords, second-hand skills, supernatural powers that Fell Off the Back of a Truck, even slaves. All it's going to cost you is three whiskers from a housecat, a week of dreams, or your ability to cry...
  • Don't Rest Your Head offers the Bizarre Bazaar, where dreams and memories, as well as other oddities, can be exchanged for goods and services. Strangely, while those at the Bazaar tend to be at truce, the gathering is illegal, and therefore subject to raids by the terrifying Officer Tock. Worse, it only occurs at 13 o'clock, when the Mad City is at its most deadly.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Dragon Magazine had a regular feature of unique (and often quite warped and twisted) magical items which it called "The Bazaar of the Bizarre". While not a physical location even in a fictional sense, the feature often served the same purpose for Game Masters and Players looking for something new and unusual.
    • Sigil from Planescape (regularly misappropriated for other settings and cosmologies, even the non-Great Wheel-using 4th edition). The whole city. Though any mercantile districts would probably have even stranger things you can buy or trade for than the rest of the city already does. A dagger of Baator steel? Behind that corner. Breath Radiance spell? Someone willing to sell a scroll or two can be found. A more specific example is the shop of A'kin the Friendly Fiend (exactly how friendly depends on the source), whilst another is "Vrischika's Curiousity Shoppe".
    • Merchant cities of Forgotten Realms. Waterdeep isn't called "City of Splendors" for nothing, it's a major trade center where they don't bat an eye at weird stuff and minor magic items. The Old Xoblob Shop has anything adventurers can pick up in forgotten ruins, from random weapons to treasure maps to weird curio like drow sculptures or lizardman boundary poles, and uses an iron golem as candelabra/bouncer. Calimport actually has a bazaar in a pocket dimension known as the Dark Bazaar. "Invitations" are given out by shadowy figures, and it's a neutral ground for various fiends, celestials, monsters, and, of course, people. Sshamath is a drow magocracy rumored to have anything for sale, up to lesser artifacts. They may well do at Dark Weavings Bazaar, and services to get a few absent things too; The Genie's Wish is mostly a glittering version aimed at the visitors too clueless to get all implications of its name.
    • The 3rd edition Tome of Magic has Fark's Road, a bazaar hidden by shadow magic where shadowcasters, illusionists, and odd critters trade cross-planar goods. Since it isn't tied to any particular city and is hidden by an illusion, it can pop up anywhere the GM wants it to, even in established settings.
    • While Graz'zt's entire triple realm, three connected layers of the Abyss known as Azzagrat, is already a very commercial area of the plane, the second layer of the capital Zelatar, Gallenghast, is by far its most prominent mercantile area. Traders from all over the Great Wheel gather there, offering everything from spices to slaves, powerful magic items, and other alien goods of any nature one could imagine. It's thought to be a relatively "safe" area, but this is not exactly true. The entire capital of Zelatar is something of a haven for merchants, Graz'zt's decree giving protection to them, but it's not always an enforced rule. The word of the Dark Prince may be the closest thing to law in Azzagrat, but if those who guard the merchant think they can get away with it, they will rob or extort the merchant. Graz'zt himself even occasionally invites people of interest to his estate so as to take anything he may want from them, simply because.
  • Exalted: You can buy all kinds of things in the bazaars of Malfeas or the "goblin markets" of The Fair Folk. Even among the former, however, the bazaars of Makarios, the Sigil's Dreamer, are unique.
  • Pathfinder:
    • One such location in the City of Brass, the thriving trade capital of the Plane of Fire. Mortals, outsiders, and everything in between risk life and limb to earn extraplanar transport to the city, where everything, meaning literally everything, is for sale. If it can't be purchased at the City of Brass, it's likely one-of-a-kind and/or lost to the ages.
    • The Sunken Plaza in Port Peril, built into one of the caverns riddling the cliffs behind the city, is a complex three-dimensional agglomeration of shops, walkways, and stairs that caters to both the city's poorer classes and people looking for unusual wares. There, besides cheap household fares, one can purchase potions, juju fetishes, every sort of magic item, assorted artifacts of suspicious origins, and exotic beasts from throughout the tropical continent of Garund.
  • Rifts:
    • A whole world book is devoted to the Splynn Dimensional Market on Atlantis, where both the merchants and customers tend to be demons, aliens, and dimensional travelers and with all the bizarre goods and services one would expect from such beings in massive variety, including plenty of live, intelligent merchandise.
    • The hidden city of Cibola in South America is a smaller competitor of the Splynn Market that specializes in drugs, potions, and medicine. Its good counterpart, Manoa, also has a yet smaller, but non-evil dimensional market.
    • Phase World in the Three Galaxies has a gigantic interdimensional market, with sections run by many dimensional dealers, each section large enough to be its own Bazaar of the Bizarre. A number of worlds throughout the multiverse have their own markets, but no known ones compare in scale to Phase World or the Splynn Market and their overwhelming variety of goods.
  • Rogue Trader: The spaceport of Footfall, due to being the closest thing the Kornus Expanse has to civilization (ie. not very close) and the meeting points of rogue traders, mercenaries (both human and xeno), and other unsavory characters, is an excellent place to find whatever it is you might be looking for. It's gotten to the point where inquisitors stationed there don't even bother trying to stop the black market sale of alien artefacts, just limit the damage. One adventure there features an Auctionhouse of the Bizarre, but that is actually an inversion: the bidders are expected to offer unusual and valuable items to trade instead of bidding for money.

    Video Games 
  • Bookworm Adventures has a level called Crazy Murray's Bizarre Bazaar, although it's arguably not an example of this trope because you can't buy anything there (you do get attacked by the merchandise, most of which flies).
  • Dragon Age II has the Black Emporium, run by a creepy immortal mage and full of such things as a Box of Screaming, an invisible nude statue of the Prophetess Andraste, a vase full of tears, a portrait of the late King Cailan painted on black velvet Elvis-style, and sundry magical weapons, armor, and potions. The Box of Screaming (which mentions a "bronze sphere") makes it clear that it's an homage to Planescape: Torment. The Black Emporium is so beloved by players that it makes a return for Dragon Age: Inquisition. In both games, it's only available as DLC.
  • Fallen London: The economy of London centers around the Echo Bazaar. Guess where you can go to buy things. You can buy souls (other people's, that is), combat veteran weasels, banned books, stolen letters, secrets that come in three flavors, a drug that teleports you into your own dreams, guns made by blacksmith rats, the actual blacksmith rats themselves, brass from Hell which never cools, fungus hats, live hats (with teeth), live gloves (also with teeth), "ridiculous" hats (no teeth, but exceptionally silly), cats, bats, lizards, eyeball-stealing spiders, pet tigers, poisoned umbrellas, glowing beetles for decoration/lighting, an elixir of immortality (though only three people have ever scraped together enough money, and two of them used Fate), clothes made out of fabric that drinks light, clothes made out of fabric woven from nightmares, vaguely-Mongolian armor, coats covered in nothing but pockets full of helpful gadgets, demonic rifles from an alternate timeline and expired contracts for aforementioned souls. And let's not get into the kind of stuff you can sell at it. The characters in it are possibly weirder. Oh, and the Bazaar itself is also a Genius Loci.
  • Fallout 4 has an in-universe example in the collectible comic from the Unstoppables! issue "Visit the Ux-ron Galaxy". It shows a cover of a bazaar full of the most weird and creative alien creatures the designer could think of, including a crabman arm wrestling with a barbarian, a slug taking its robot out for a stroll (it walks on disturbingly human-like legs), and a man with a submachine gun talking to a gaseous cloud with shoes and a bowler. Somehow, reading this will let the player permanently gain +1% chance of avoiding all damage from an attack.
  • Gaia Online:
    • Cash Shop seems to be either this or The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: You can buy anything from, say, an ancient curse (Death Whisper) to an incredibly dangerous plant or egg.
    • There's also the Gaia Marketplace, which sells all items on the site, from clothes to food to said ancient curses to heartwarming orphans.
  • NetHack: The Black Market, an enormous shop containing potent items at ridiculously high prices, guarded by creatures that make even the regular shopkeepers look like wimps.
  • Planescape: Torment has one where you can buy lots of fantastical spices with impossible tastes, all sorts of exotic magical weapons, and... cloth? It also has Vrischika's Curiosity Shoppe, mentioned above, where you can buy Deva's Tears, a modron action figure, a Monster Jug (which is a jug that has a monster in it), Yevrah's Ring of Almost Invisibility, and Baby Oil. In fact, a lot of quests require the strange items that can be bought here — a chocolate quasit, deva's tears and a fiend's tongue, a rune-inscribed ale stein, Gorgon Salve, and an Elixir of Horrific Seperation. Also, the modron action figure is the key to finding the Secret Character Nordom.
  • Quest for Glory: One can find the Baazar of Shapeir in the plazas of Shapeir in Quest for Glory II. In Quest for Glory III, the Baazar of Tarna sells cloth, leather, beads, ropes, honey, oils, and junk items including a World War I gas mask. The Baazar of Gaza is mentioned being in Egypt to the north.
  • Runescape has the Grand Exchange, which is where players can sell and buy items to and from other players. Any item from the game can be bought, as long as a player brings it to the exchange. It may take a while for one to do so, but it'll likely happen.
  • Secret of Evermore: Nobilia houses one. Stocked goods range from bags of rice, to ceramic pots, to golden jackals, and even to priceless artifacts, all of it being traded and sold amongst each other. Ebon Keep in Gothica has a much smaller variation.
  • Team Fortress 2 implies a few of these in the backstory. For example, weapons manufacturer Mann Co. is occasionally in the business of "collecting" and selling haunted swords, and the Sniper made the Bazaar Bargain weapon from a bunch of inexpensive junk at an unnamed Arabian bazaar.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines: Mr. Ox's shop, found late in the game in Chinatown. The shop itself is treated as a combat zone, and Mr. Ox himself is an Ambiguously Human old man who talks you into retrieving a pair of eyeballs and putting a bad luck charm in a goon's locker. Though while Mr. Ox does reward you with mystical artifacts, you can't actually buy anything from him without patches or mods.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sweet Enchantments: The cast shops for supplies at the Goblin Market, depicted here as an expansive multi-level shopping mall with shops marketing a nigh-unlimited variety of goods both mundane and magical. The cafe staff go there because the Goblin Market offers the freshest produce, but other items mentioned for sale include jeweled golden birds popular for their unique song and the ever-popular lamps that grant wishes.

    Web Comics 
  • In Girl Genius the Black Market of Paris is an underground bazaar where one can find all sorts of things that are not available in the more well-regulated markets as well as plenty that is, like parts scavenged off old clanks or other salvaged and stolen Spark made artifacts, stealthy weapons, steamy romance novels, beer, and baguettes.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: The Utterly Bazaar is located at a multiversal crossroads like the Wanderer's Library and full of people selling anomalous products — things that are definitionally unexplainable or impossible according to the laws of reality as we understand them.
    • Meanwhile, SCP-2444 is a flea market with alternate-dimension vendors carrying fairly harmless but very strange alternate-universe products.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long: The Magus Bazaar is accessed through a portal in the last stop of the New York subway.
  • Amphibia has a Bazaar of the Bizzare called The Bizzare Bazaar. Anne and Sprig find an invitation to this place in the hollow of a tree and venture there despite lacking Hop Pop's permission. The quest was made in an effort to discover more about the music Box that sent her Amphibia in the first place. It doubles as a Wretched Hive where thievery, cheating, and mischief are common.
  • Ben 10: Mr. Bauman's market in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien and Ben 10: Omniverse caters specifically to the aliens secretly living on Earth.
  • Futurama: In "Spanish Fry", the crew visit the Galactic Bazaar Space Station — which announces itself with an electronic billboard reading "Legal Items, etc." — to visit the Beast with Two Bucks alien sex shop to try and recover Fry's lost nose, as "human horns" are thought to powerful aphrodisiacs by aliens.
  • The Simpsons: Several appear, usually during Treehouse of Horror specials. In "Treehouse of Horror II", Homer buys a monkey's paw at one while visiting Marrakesh.

    Real Life 
  • Yellow Springs is a small town a little north of Cincinnati that holds several annual festivals and art faires. Because the town is very eccentric already, you can find everything from homemade clothing and jewelry to artwork, carved stone, foreign clothing, zombie hunting gear (no, seriously), exotic stones and gems, comic books, African instruments, and occult and witchcraft tools and supplies.
  • The Mumbai Chor Bazaar: common saying goes that "If you lose anything in Mumbai, you can buy it back at Chor Bazaar". Incidentally, the word "Chor" means "Thief", which makes the place, (in name and also slightly in nature) "Thieves' Market".
  • Renaissance faires, in general, are inclined in this direction. There are regular merchants who peddle hand-blown glass, food, and costume elements; but they often also have things like fortune tellers, herbal concoctions, weaponry of variable legality, and occult wares.
  • Comic-Con and other fan conventions. Looking for merchandise from your favorite books, movies, video games, TV series, and (of course) comic books? It's all right here. Probably. Yes, even quasi-legal Rule 34 artwork.
  • Bob Berdella, a serial killer from Kansas City, MO had a booth at the flea market actually called "The Bizarre Bazaar." It specialized in occult items including skulls.
  • Every comic book, anime, sci-fi related or collectibles convention ever held has as many bootleg video booths as it can reasonably support, economically. They deal in unreleased shows and movies, recent shows not yet on DVD burned from DVR's, copies of DVD's not yet available in America (or wherever you are), underground horror movies (don't ever look at the back cover unless you're sure, August Underground's Mordum is some strong stuff) and, umm, porn (yeah, sure, Britney Spears and Anna Kournikova made a sex tape together). Pay in cash.
    • Not every convention. Many of them now screen for that kind of stuff to avoid legal troubles (conventions have been shut down and sued over that sort of thing)
    • Even completely legal sale areas in cons often end up with a huge variety of different kinds of products. For example, a role-playing con can have artwork, board games, weapon replicas, military surplus gear, new age books, and of course RPG books both new and old, for sale. Not to mention anime, video games, and merchandise that isn't usually available in that country.
  • Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. At the fish stand, they will literally throw the fish to you when you order.
    • The fish may have the notoriety, but Pike Place really is a massive four-block, multi-building, multi-story sprawl. It's home to at least four fish markets, dozens of restaurants, a half-dozen bakeries, ethnic groceries of all stripes, a cheesemaker (yes, they make it on-site), the "original" Starbucks coffee note , a dentist, a public health clinic, a day care, a senior center, at least two fortune-tellers, a matchmaker, a burlesque cabaret, and a life-sized piggy bank. note  Several of the shops inside the Market, like Tenzing Momo and the curio shops in Down Below, are this in their own right. Tourists, save at least a full day, a gigabyte on the camera's memory card, and an empty stomach. You will need all three.
  • Philadelphia has two of these: Reading Terminal Market and the Italian Market. Reading Terminal has a stronger focus on food, but you'll find stuff from everywhere—and let's not forget the real attraction: the Pennsylvania Dutch, who show up Tuesdays-Saturdays with their countryside goods (including large amounts of things that you either (a) didn't realize existed/could exist or (b) didn't know were made in Pennsylvania). The Italian Market, on the other hand, has practically everythingnote  along its four-block stretch of 9th Street, and even people who've been going for years will sometimes find out about a little shop they've overlooked all this time.
  • Saturday market in Portland, Oregon. the largest regularly held outdoor crafts sale in the world
  • eBay: Possibly the world's largest (non-physical) example, since (almost) anyone can sell (almost) anything. Of course, you can't sell certain things like living things, illegal items, or metaphysical concepts like souls, though people have tried.
  • Those who have been to the Middle East may find the real-life version somewhat disappointing by comparison. Still, many bazaars or suqs are really fascinating (like the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul or any street market in the Old City of Jerusalem).
  • Pretty much any of the souqs in Marrakesh, especially those lining Djeema El Fna. It leans more on the fantastical than most other markets - you can buy spices, glass lamps, mirrors, and so forth.
  • The internet in general, really. If you look hard enough, you can find anything.
  • Camden Market in London. It's kind of like that market scene in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, but less fictional. Especially the Locke Market, which is a kind of sub-market. It's as if someone transplanted Morocco into inner-city London. Well, it was... until it burned down. It was rebuilt but it does not retain the same charm.
  • The 10th-Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw was, well, a stadium converted into a huge market, dealing in pirated software and clothes and practically everything else. It got to the point where people were just going there for a walk or to eat the best Vietnamese food in the city, and allegedly, foreign tourists were having guided tours of it. It was recently closed, though. On a smaller note, if a bazaar in Poland attracts "the Ruskies" (in general people from the former USSR), it automatically gains this kind of reputation, and not without a reason — you can jokingly ask if they've got a Geiger counter and they reply that you need to wait a week or two.
  • For a more mundane and narrow-interest version, the Comic Market (usually shortened Comiket). Things you won't ever see in the official Anime and Manga, you can get here... Caveat emptor: Sturgeon's Law is in full effect. There are many similar events in Japan.
  • Sungei Road Thieves' Market, in Singapore. On a good day, you can find anything from really old money, to old typewriters and rotary-dial phones, to hard-to-find toys and plushes (albeit in terrible, unmint condition usually), to bootlegs of every imaginable kind, to military and school uniforms (though it's actually illegal to resell the former here in Singapore, but most people in there don't care it seems), to Communist China memorabilia, to old computers, to brand-new Apple MacBooks and Samsung Galaxy Tabs, to broken computer parts, to almost-obviously stolen bicycles (the local newspapers touched on this once), to watches, to amulets of every kind imaginable... the list goes on and on. Probably about the only thing you can't find are anything that might explode (since there are draconian laws on that), and food. Many of the things here are usually old unwanted items that rag-and-bone men have collected from all over the island. Occasionally you might find someone's pet bird having been brought along, but these are not for sale... usually.
  • The Big Applesauce is full of these. It's not a question of if you can find something in New York City, it's a question of where.
  • The Lost Horizon Night Market. They come in trucks and vans, show up in random places, stay for a few hours in the middle of the night, and leave as quickly as they came, leaving no trace behind. Seriously, it's actually like that. They've shown up in New York, California, and a ton of other places.
  • Just about any flea market can be this, particularly the larger ones that are open only on weekends. Some, such as Treasure Aisles in Cincinnati, feel more like small malls packed with odd little stores selling just about anything from used VHS tapes to pet supplies to rugs to food.
  • Bazaar of All Nations was a shopping mall in suburban Philadelphia that was pretty much a more permanent version of the same. It was an actual mall (not a flea market) composed of esoteric boutiques that constantly came and went.
  • Las Vegas' Gold and Silver Pawn had this reputation long before Pawn Stars: All of the other pawn shops in Las Vegas are owned by a single corporation which uses a pricing catalog. If it isn't in the catalog, the only choice people have to sell their goods is this pawn shop, leading it to owning many unusual items.
  • Affleck's Palace in Manchester, an old Victorian warehouse now divided into little kiosks mainly selling alternative music and clothing.
  • The Round Top Antiques Fair- This combined with The Ginormous Open Air Market That Wasn't There Yesterday, Mishmash Museum, and the Museum of the Strange and Unusual A twice-annual week-long open-air market in a small rural town in Central Texas. What makes this one stand out from the thousands of other events like it? Over the last 50 years, it has grown from a small collection of booths to one of the largest antiques festivals on the planet, stretching along 25 miles of highway, attracting buyers and sellers of collectibles and oddities from around the globe. Vendor offerings are wildly eclectic, ranging from typical kitsch, rusty antiques, and artisan crafts like one might find at any fair or flea market, to professional booths with bizarre specialties like art deco typewriters, vintage airplane parts, or victorian clothing. In recent years, the increasing notoriety of the festival among high-end collectors has lead to the opening of several auction houses, cataloguing high-dollar items from artwork to classic cars.
  • Madrid has El Rastro, an open-air flea market celebrated all Sundays as well as holidays that is one of the most known sights of the capital of Spain,
  • The typical municipal market in Latin America already takes We Sell Everything to its logical conclusion, but few places of commerce in the real world are more bizarre and scary than Managua's Mercado Oriental. It is a labyrinthine mess of dead ends and covered passages that is at times quite dark and crowded and incredibly easy to get lost (and mugged) in. On the other hand, the selection of goods boggles the mind. You will find everything from used electronics (of questionable provenience) to lots and lots of food, unrefrigerated meat to the latest gadgets made in China, and everything else you can or can't imagine. There will also be a steady supply of product piracy of all kinds as well as pirated DVDs and music both of the real and of the Mockbuster kind. But before you go there, be warned The Wikivoyage article warns against going there for a reason.
  • The Mercado de Sonora of Mexico City is an expansive bazaar with traditional pottery, live animals, herbal medicines, and goods for witchcraft and esoteric faiths.
  • The Maxwell Street Market in Chicago, featured in the Blues Brothers.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Bizarre Bazaar


The Troll Market

Behind a hidden door under the Brooklyn Bridge can be found the famed Troll Market: a meeting ground for supernatural beings from all over the world, it's possible to find almost anything here - from tooth fairies to magical artefacts.

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Example of:

Main / BazaarOfTheBizarre

Media sources:

Main / BazaarOfTheBizarre