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All cultures are to be treated with equal respect. This is a modern educational tendency brought about by anthropology and cultural relativity, and in modern TV land, by and large, even when dealing with a completely fictional culture, this is a rule that is pretty well adhered to.

The one big exception to this is Cloudcuckooland. This is a place with some really strange customs and traditions. While a Fish out of Water or an unforgiving viewer might just instantly assume that mental illness must be involved when they land in an unfamiliar location and everyone just acts strange for no reason, all doubts are laid aside once the reality of this location sets in. In Cloudcuckooland, everyone acts like a culturally out-of-it nutjob, even when they're talking to each other about completely mundane things. When in Cloudcuckooland, survival in the cultural environment relies on one strict observance — as far as everybody here is concerned, you're the one who's really crazy!

Or, to be simple, this is the place where the Cloudcuckoolander lives. It's the only place in fiction where being a Cloudcuckoolander is happenstance — in these environments, the characters you remember are going to be the normal ones.

The unusual trope name is a translation of "Nephelokokkygia" from Aristophanes's play The Birds. However, Aristophanes' Cloudcuckooland was not actually an "odd place", but a fictional paradise state where everything is perfect — and which, therefore, doesn't exist. Accordingly, a "Cloudcuckoolander" was someone demented or naive enough to believe in such an impossible place.

This is not the same thing as The Wonderland, where everything is strange too, but with a bigger emphasis on fantastic surrealism instead of comical surrealism, with the inhabitants of Wonderland not necessarily having to be insane or even funny. Furthermore, the Cloudcuckooland does not need to be bizarre itself, only the people that live in it.

Compare with Hufflepuff House, where most of a story's "wacky" characters that are neither cool nor "Draco in Leather Pants" enough to become Ensemble Darkhorses are usually lumped together and given a place to play.


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  • Several commercials in the '80s for Cap'n Crunch cereal feature Crunch Island, discovered by Cap'n Crunch himself. The wildlife included singing trees and baseball bats, which were baseballs with eyes and bat wings. One known town is Practical Joking Ghost Town (full of ghosts that play really dated jokes on visitors) and the central mountain — Mt. Crunchmore — carved in the shape of its discoverer's face.

    Anime & Manga 
  • You would think that the world of 300x in Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo is this, until you see Bo-bobo World, which takes place inside the main character's head and is even more ridiculous.
  • Penguin Village in Doctor Slump is a definite example. But any setting with characters like Arale is going to be on a different field of sense.
  • The Magic Users' world in Dorohedoro. Strange fashions, stranger masks, odd architecture, a restaurant whose main attraction is a toilet connected to Hell...
  • Definitely the titular guild in Fairy Tail. Many of the legal guilds (and several dark ones) qualify as well, though Fairy Tail is by far the most outlandish.
  • In the alternate dimension into which Yuuri is swept in Kyo Kara Maoh!, there are some bizarre traditions. For example, dropping a spork is a signal of intent to fight someone, a slap on the left cheek is a legit marriage proposal, and there are some unusual greetings. The reason is because this is an alternate universe with independent languages, laws, and customs. Actually you really need to give the writer some credit for thinking up some of this stuff. It's mostly played for laughs but still pretty creative.
  • Haré+Guu features one in the Another Dimension that is one of Guu's stomachs. The four (human) residents are not particularly concerned about the rather surreal landscape and creatures that surround them.
  • There is nobody at Tenchi Academy who is completely sane in Hayate × Blade.
  • Nichijou seems to take place in contemporary Japan, but the setting has more than enough oddities to count as this, such as traffic light symbols being birds instead of people and a sport combining go and soccer apparently being real and treated as Serious Business. The premise of the series is basically mixing very normal things turned awesome with very weird things turned normal, causing the characters to have a totally inverted perception of what's supposed to be made a big deal.
  • The world of One Piece definitely fits here. It wouldn't be uncommon to encounter a floating island that magnetizes things to it, a place that rains lightning, or an area that has air you walk on. That's not even counting the bizarre organisms that happen to live on this crazy town of a planet...

    Comic Books 
  • In The DC Universe, Htrae (a.k.a. Bizarro World) is an entire planet populated with counterparts of the main DC Comics characters with a Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad mindset. When they interact with other versions of Earth, they come off as insane.
  • In a Justice Society of America issue, Brainwave put each society member in bizarre mental world where they were convinced they were, in no particular order, a thermometer, a sponge, a fatal disease, a solar system and a laughing stock. Johnny Thunder, the Cloudcuckoolander of the team, thought the world of people that had object-shaped heads according to their profession to make a lot of sense.
  • Emperor Joker turns the entire universe into Cloudcuckooland. Including Darkseid.
  • Al Capp's Dogpatch in Li'l Abner (also a musical).
  • Cloudcuckooland itself appears briefly in one of the prose sections of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as part of the "Europe" section of The Traveller's Almanack, a fictional world travel guide to the setting. The guide mentions that the floating ruins of Cloudcuckooland can still be spotted in a certain area of Greece if you have a strong enough telescope, but that the fortress has drifted so high that actual birds can no longer reach it.
  • Gotham City, you can't throw a stick there without running into someone wearing a costume who has most likely based their entire life and all their possessions around the theme of said costume.
  • Franco-Belgian Comic Philémon largely takes place in "Le Monde des Lettres", literally "The World of Letters", a chain of mystical islands that form the letters for "Atlantique Ocean" on maps and globes, with rules and physics highly reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • A combination of Played for Drama and Played for Laughs, as the series is set in a massive Mega City in a post-apocalyptic U.S, under the control of the extremely strict Judges. Due to a combination of hopelessnes, and just plain boredom caused by mass unemployment due to near-total automatization, the citizens of the Mega Cities across the world, but most notably in Mega-City 1 where most of the stories take place, are prone to some very extreme Cloudcuckoolander behavior. The comedic version is called "Simping", and can basically be anything, but most of it revolves around ridiculous fashion and stupid behavior. Played for Drama with people "going futzie", which is when all the combined boredom, despair and pointlessnes of life just drives a random person insane.
    • The planet of AB/Bedlam appeared in the Judge Dredd story "The Jigsaw Man." A planet where everyone was mad, the landscape defied physics and the titular man caught a disease that made him disappear in neat, geometric squares, remaining alive even as his organs vanished until he was nothing but a mouth.

    Comic Strips 
  • Flyspeck Island, as mentioned in the newspaper comic strip Curtis as the home of Cloudcuckoolander Gunk.
  • Kokonino Kounty in Krazy Kat.
  • The Republic of Elbonia in Dilbert.
  • Dingburg in Zippy the Pinhead. And that's the strip's main setting.
  • The concept of Bo Nanas is that the title character, a monkey, is the Only Sane Person in a world where every human being he runs into is genuinely weird (if harmless).

    Fan Works 
  • Ebott's Wake: Downplayed. The titular town isn't cartoonishly wacky, but it's as wacky as you can get while still letting you take the work seriously (most of the time). Alpaca stampedes. A chili festival that has to be separated into "beans" and "no beans" camps (with cops enforcing a demilitarized zone) to avoid armed conflict. A tourism board that makes slogans like "A cut aside." Oh yeah, there's also a ton of monsters made out of magic, but even the humans have largely gotten over that part.
    Alphys: "Five impossible things happen in this town every morning before breakfast."
  • Rise of the Minisukas: When Asuka arrives in Tokyo-3, she finds the place invaded by countless miniature versions of herself. One of her teammates is creepily obsessed with getting revenge on the Minisuka who pranked her. Said Prankster was captured by a giant swallow, saved by a purple-haired hermit samurai, and then abducted by a fox, a bear, a gang of beatboxing rabbits, and a monkey on a unicycle as making her way out of a forest infested by murderous clowns. Her professor is locked in a mental loop, repeating the same drivel about the Second Impact over and again. And hardly someone seems to find so much nonsense noteworthy. After the incident with the man punching a tiger which prowled into an ice cream parlor, Asuka finally gives up on trying to make sense out of Tokyo-3.
  • Swing123 and garfieldodie's Calvinverse:
    • Calvin's town has seen a Mad Scientist and his robot exit their Yellowstone Park lair, had its citizens replaced by Creepy Monotone clones, been attacked by a monster...
    • Even stranger is Socratesland, from the Calvin & Hobbes: The Series episode of the same name. Strange scenery, strange residents (including figments of Socrates' personality, frogs that laugh like Socrates, tiny Socrates clones...), and a general sense of weirdness pervades the area, much to the other characters' misfortune.
  • Shipping and Handling has Inanima, a fairytale land populated by living objects, and is entirely the figment of Pinkie Pie's imagination. This does not prevent her from bringing other ponies in there (she hired Ditzy and Watt to help rescue a distressed damsel once, and trapped Screwball there since it is a separate reality) and she routinely brings her coltfriend Watt over for amazing imaginary adventures, to the point that his imagination has started to affect the place. To an uninformed outsider, though, it looks like them playing make-believe with a bunch of objects.
  • Invoked in the Pony POV Series by the author AND in story. In story to contradict the Makarov Arc's overwhelming seriousness and military tones. In story by Princess Celestia who purposely redirected Princess Cadence and entourage there so the silly and childish locals could treat the Alicorn of music and her friends to childish and silly fun and remind them that not all craziness is bad.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The LEGO Movie, Cloud Cuckoo Land is an actual cloud and home to Uni-Kitty and the hideout for the Master Builders. See the entry on the quotes page.
    Batman: (as a clown and a crocodile dance around him) I hate this place.
  • Pepperland, from Yellow Submarine. Must be seen to be believed.
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure has "Looney Land", a world of bizarre sight gags and strange creatures who seem to find even the mildest joke hilariously funny. It's home to King Koo Koo, a pint-sized tyrant who gets his kicks by making himself bigger through laughing at others, and his prank-loving knight Sir Leonard Looney, who finds new victims for the king to forcibly make into new members of his court.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Kazakhstan in Borat is treated this way. It didn't work so well, despite trying to take Refuge in Audacity. Of course the real joke wasn't picking on Kazakhstan, it was that no matter how ridiculously backwards and offensive he got, lots of supposedly normal people would go along with it...
  • Cool World. Unlike most Toon worlds, it's dark and hellish, quite often verging on an Eldritch Location.
  • The nameless town from Edward Scissorhands.
  • In Gymkata there is the crazy town Cabot has to go through as part of the game, which includes a guy who cuts off his own hand in the middle of fight because he couldn't let go of a pipe he grabbed for some reason.
  • Superior, Arizona, the town where the protagonist Bobby gets stranded in U Turn, is depicted in this way.
  • Ballymoran in Zonad. The Irish name of the town is Baile Amadáin which translates as "Idiot Town".

  • Older Than Radio: The Wise Men of Gotham.
  • In Jewish folklore, there's Chelm, the town of fools. As tradition has it: "It is said that after God made the world, he filled it with people. He sent off an angel with two sacks, one full of wisdom and one full of foolishness. The second sack was of course much heavier. So after a time it started to drag. Soon it got caught on a mountaintop and so all the foolishness spilled out and fell into Chelm." Chelm was a very popular setting for some of Shalom Aleichem and Isaac Bashevis Singer's parables, to say nothing of old Yiddish jokes that were in circulation.
  • Finnish folklore also has a town of fools, called Hölmölä (lit. Fooltown or Foolville). Swedish and Norwegian folklore also have a similar place.
  • German folklore has Schilda, and its citizens, the Schildbürger (around 1600). The story goes that the people of Schilda were so smart, that they were highly in demand around the world as kings and advisers, leading to a depopulation of the town. To counteract this, the citizens started to play so dumb as to interpret every metaphor literally. This ruse was so successful that their stupidity became as legendary as their intelligence. Examples include trying to plant salt on their fields, marking a spot on a boat to remember a sunken treasure, and finally burning the whole city to get rid of a cat.

  • The planet Mars, where Michael Valentine Smith is raised by Martians in Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Early in the book, Smith acts like a Cloudcuckoolander because Martian customs and philosophy are very different from Earth's.
  • Older Than Radio: This is the premise behind Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has a similar premise and thus its own (less surreal) Cloudcuckooland.
  • The Neverending Story briefly shows the City Of Old Emperors, set up for would-be rulers of Fantasia, who invariably lose their minds once they sit on the throne. They are then driven into the city, where they wander around aimlessly, repeating pointless tasks under the supervision of a monkey.
  • Gerald Durrell was either a very dedicated collector of eccentric friends (both human and otherwise) or simply had an uncanny ability to encounter the local nutters. As a result, all of his fictional and autobiographical work is laden with eccentric people, particularly his childhood in Corfu, which portrayed either the island or Greece as a whole as Cloudcuckooland depending on the paragraph (with, it has to be said, the utmost affection). When he started writing fiction, though, he had free rein to indulge his affection for eccentricity, and so the fictional island of Zenkali in The Mockery Bird ended up inhabited entirely by people who were a trifle odd. The King, who is referred to by everyone as Kingy, runs the messenger service and rickshaw taxi. The English Governor is a dotty old fellow who mumbles vaguely polite nonsense nobody can hear, while his wife randomly assumes a man she's just met has to be married for no particularly clear reason. An advisor in the technical employ of England is an old man with a lot of dogs who complains constantly but is otherwise quite likeable. One of the local churches is run by a very enthusiastic American woman who gets really gung-ho into everything, including her plans to take up guerrilla operations to stop an airfield from being built. The local paper is run by a perpetually drunken Irish journalist with a compositor who barely speaks English, leading to two or three stories being merged together in strange ways; Kingy is its biggest fan. The head of the Botanical Institute anthropomorphises the last surviving Ombu tree to such an extent that he talks about its preferred kind of music, and a significant researcher spends his entire time running around telling anyone with influence how important his findings are but never actually explaining them to anyone. The list goes on.
  • The Behin society from Kazohinia fits this trope pretty well. Until you realize they aren't so different.
  • Gulliver's Travels consists of the narrator travelling to a series of these, mostly intended as satire on stupid real-world customs, political issues and wars. Especially Laputa, the third Cloudcuckooland, which is a literal flying city. At least until he gets to the land of the talking horses, which is basically perfect.
  • In the Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle short story "Spirals", an orbital-station-turned-interplanetary-ship is referred to by its inhabitants as "Cloud Cuckooland". It then turns into a real example when the air recycling system starts outputting alcohol instead of oxygen. An orgy almost ensues.
  • The Xanth series is basically set in Cloudcuckooland, but even they have regions crazier than normal — the Region of Madness, comic strips and to a certain extent Ida's moons.
  • Hundred Acre Woods in Winnie the Pooh, simply because all the inhabitants are highly eccentric. Tigger and Owl especially, even though Pooh has his own moments. But then, they are Living Toys. Even Christopher Robin applies some odd child's logic; just read the explanation at the beginning for what the reasoning behind the name Winnie-the-Pooh is.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Wellsville is definitely a Cloudcuckooland. In a World… where superheroes (who can skip rocks on Neptune) run around in blue and red striped tights, metal plates and tattoos get main character status, and everything (and we mean EVERYTHING) is Serious Business, Wellsville is just plain weird.
  • On Cheers, Woody Boyd's hometown of Hanover, Indiana was occasionally depicted as one of these.
  • Greendale College from Community, a place where mass pillow or paintball fights bring the campus to a stand-still, monkeys and ex-teachers live in the vents, the Glee Club controls minds, there are magical hidden trampolines, zombie out-breaks and a flag with a butt for a logo. Oh, and the whole thing is controlled by a shady, creepy air-conditioning repair annex which has eyes everywhere.
  • Dog River, Saskatchewan, is this sort of place in Corner Gas. The few people who could qualify for Only Sane Man awards don't really seem to mind.
  • If your only knowledge of Canada came from watching Due South, you'd think it was a cross between Stoneybrook from The Baby-Sitters Club and Bear Country from The Berenstain Bears.
  • Eureka. Every person in town is a genius, usually a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and the top of their profession. For example, the town Sheriff is a US Marshal, the local dog-catcher is one of the world's top animal trackers, the chef at the local café is one of the world's top chefs, and so on. It doesn't help that most of the residents have little or no contact or interest in the outside world.
  • Craggy Island, home of Father Ted. Ted himself is relatively sane; his coworkers are Father Jack, who's alcoholic and prone to delirium, Father Dougal, who Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality, and Mrs. Doyle, who has a host of quirks — most prominently, being obsessed with serving tea. The island's other residents include a violent gun nut, a married couple who are constantly trying to kill each other, and an entire populace (including the supposed policeman) who react to a stolen lifeguard whistle as if it were a spate of serial killings. On the other hand, the non-resident characters were often just as crazy, so it's quite possible the whole world of Father Ted is like this.
  • New Zealand from Flight of the Conchords, especially considering how the characters from New Zealand (especially the Prime Minister) act quite odd.
  • In The Golden Girls, Rose's hometown of St. Olaf, Minnesota, fits the bill nicely. All of a sudden, Rose's strange habits are a result of her upbringing. A small example of this place's insanity: Once, the small Minnesota town's most active volcano (!) threatened to erupt. Rose, as the town's dumbest virgin, volunteered to be the sacrifice, on the directions of a bunch of Druid priests in town for the opening of Stonehenge Land. As it turns out, they were just Shriners looking for a good time.
  • How To With John Wilson presents New York City as a very bizarre place, with all the strange things and people John comes across every episode.
  • Dibley from The Vicar of Dibley definitely counts, given how nearly everyone acts like a loon, and the place itself is often shown to be far from normal.
  • The world as seen in Look Around You is this, as the laws of physics, and science in general, work on Insane Troll Logic (ie. a variety of apples that are explosive, a dry cleaning machine that can give you an Easy Sex Change by spraying you with hormones, then-Prince Charles being able to control hurricanes); all of it is treated as being perfectly normal.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE, according to Ivory on the 2000 VHS WWF Divas: Postcard from the Caribbean:
    "Nobody's normal here, we're all a little bit wacko."

  • Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978) reveals that the entire universe is like this, more or less. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which hasn't been released on Earth due to unfortunate circumstances, also has the words "Don't Panic" written in large, friendly letters on the backside of its cover. The reasoning behind these words is as follows: If you are about to die, then consider how lucky you are that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your current circumstances seems more likely, then consider how lucky you are that it won't be troubling you much longer.
    • One of the bad signs in the later books is when things start becoming saner; this is accompanied by the Hitchhiker's Guide being moved away from the hitchhiker market.
    • Wonko the Sane believes this about the rest of Earth, which is why he built an inside-out Asylum for it. His self-assured perspective that everyone outside is crazy and inside is sane parallels Arthur's perspective about the rest of the Galaxy aside from Earth. Yet throughout "So Long and Thanks For All the Fish", in England and California the same craziness is demonstrated and Lampshaded by the natives; just like the rest of the Galaxy.
  • In The Navy Lark, Potarneyland qualifies.
    • So does Portsmouth and London if the Naval and Civil Service staff encountered are any guide.
  • The entire planet, as portrayed in The Goon Show.

  • Tropers: The Series has Tropesburg. Not only are most of the Tropers wacky, most of the NPCs are as well, and other wacky figures tend to show up and cause trouble Once per Episode.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In GURPS Fantasy, Sahud as originally written had this going on. The explanation given as a justification was that it was founded by a random mix of Chinese, Korean and Japanese peasants transported from Earth by the Banestorm. The involuntary settlers attempted to rebuild their social system from their confused memories of what the upper classes looked like from afar, resulting in a land that came across as The Mikado as written by Monty Python.
  • JAGS Wonderland has a series of "Chessboards," lower realities that reflect ours in increasingly muddled ways. Chessboard One is mostly a normal world populated by lunatics who look like people you know. Chessboard Two is closer to a straight-up Dark World. Chessboards Three and lower are various forms of this trope, getting worse and worse until you hit the final layer, Chessboard Seven, which can barely be called a reality at all.

  • The town of Kulyenchikov in Fools, a town where everyone believes they are forever cursed to be stupid.
  • The entire kingdom of Slekochovakia in Knights of the Square Table, headed by a strange King obsessed with topiary and an apathetic Queen whose catchphrase is literally “let them eat cake.”
  • Greater Tuna: "Well, what else do you expect from a town that has an elk-hunting season and no elk?"
  • Cirque du Soleil's early show Nouvelle Experience has The Everyman spirited away to a Magical Land that doubles as this — while the Color-Coded for Your Convenience character groups range from naughty Devils to childlike Flounes and white-clad Angels, they're all eccentric and mischevious and initially are frightened by the friendly newcomer's offer of a handshake. It's telling that the sanest person in the land, the Great Chamberlain who tries to keep order amongst all of these groups, still decides to try walking a slackwire in the wake of a polished performer's act just because it looks like fun...
  • Title And Deed by Will Eno is a monologue from a character who comes from an unnamed Cuckooland, where for instance asking out a person is done by taking an instrument you have never played before and performing an improvised song outside their window. If the potential mate comes to the window and tries to sing along, they have accepted your proposal.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • EarthBound (1994):
    • Saturn Valley. An RPG town where all the NPCs are cephalothoraxes with massive noses and eyebrows, have a thick accent represented by an extremely strange font, and are quite fond of interjecting with an enthusiastic "boing"? Lucky for the player that there's an audio clue for the one that actually says something important.
    • There is also Moonside. No means Yes and Yes means No in Moonside. "Do you understand?" "No." "I knew you'd get it."
  • Banjo-Tooie has a stage called Cloud Cuckooland. Despite this, while the stage design is rather weird and random (some believe that it's a dumping ground for all the leftover ideas the devs had after making all the other levels) the NPCs found there aren't noticeably much stranger than the rest of the insane cast.
  • Crypt Worlds is about an entire world full of crazy people and dark overtones. In spite of alternate "dimensions", unexplained sky animal threats, morally dubious gods, and robot invasions, none of the characters ever acknowledge how weird things have become.
  • Tri-Ace loves this trope in their optional dungeons. Lots of Fourth Wall breaking abounds, from the developers readily acknowledging Retirony on an early character in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, to the announcements from nowhere informing the characters that they're entering Bonus Dungeon territory (and from time to time, characters even noting that "[That enemy] was a lot tougher than in the main story!"), to absolute unbridled madness (such as kobold versions of main characters in Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, and the constant barrage of unending craziness from mostly everyone in Covenant, ranging from old characters discussing their advanced age in a JRPG, most of the female cast mercilessly mocking the main character and mistakenly getting the impression that he's done Squick-worthy things with a pair of underaged characters with their mother present in the conversation, Hrist challenging the party just because she's pissed over the fact that she hasn't gotten her own game yet, Freya challenging the party because the party's resident Jerkass mage told her that she's extremely beautiful yet wouldn't even consider getting into a relationship with her because of her undeniably advanced age despite her being a goddess and immortal, the resident Creepy Twins getting their own Fourth-Wall Mail Slot where they read letters from the programmers and harass The Hero for butting in and Gabriel and Ethereal Queen lamenting over the fact that Seraphic Gate is starting to show its age and slowly falling apart while trying to get their next role in a reality show starring Silmeria to enemies getting progressively weirder names, from tall armored warriors getting names like Unit 00, vampires that are literally called Accepting Blood Donors and No Ketchup, Please, bug enemies getting names like George and Ringo, wolf enemies being called Dire (unfitting animal name here) and Gabriel himself getting an everchanging title on each playthrough, including Posessed, Obsessed, Depressed, Underdressed, Headdressed and Distressed and Wylfred's father getting increasingly stranger meanings for "father". When all the above is juxtapositioned with the main quest's extreme seriousness and over-the-top Olde English, it's even funnier.)
  • Psychonauts. Even the "real world" has some fairly... interesting features occasionally. The Lungfish, the Asylum, psychic animals... then you go inside someone's mind. Interesting fact: almost every character in the game has severe psychological issues.
  • Katamari Damacy and the rest of the series have crazy scenarios. Wrestling Ring stairs! Fish watching TV! Race Karts that jump over arches!
  • In some Sonic the Hedgehog continuities, the Special Zone (aka the Warps of Confusion) is a mixture of this and Hyperspace Is a Scary Place. Notably it's based on the very trippy special stages in the first Sonic game (the background consists of birds morphing into fish in an Escher-like manner as discordant twinkly music plays, etc.)
  • The entirety of Kingdom of Loathing, which is populated by stick figures who live to spoof the everloving hell out of MMORPG tropes and features monsters such as orc frat boys, animated wads of poutine, and misspelled undead (or possibly undaed) such as the skleleton and the zmobie.
  • In Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, a Translation Train Wreck version of Pokemon Crystal Version, all of the dialogue is completely nonsensical and gramatically incorrect.
  • The Shivering Isles in the eponymous expansion pack for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is a World of Chaos run by the local Daedric God of Madness.
  • While the Kaka Clan of BlazBlue are themselves strange, the... place that Cloudcuckoolander Taokaka's Astral takes place in is... even stranger. White, fluffy clouds, giant fish flying through the sky, randomly appearing Chibikaka... you just have to question whether this is supposed to be some place for real, or you've been trapped in the kitten's dream world or something.
  • Sharence from Rune Factory 3 is this, moreso than other Rune Factory game towns. The characters have their own, bizarre quirks. Despite most characters being weird beyond belief, some of the weirdest characters are your love interests.
  • To an extent, the various Netherworlds in the Disgaea series. Demons sure are weird...
    • Also, the inhabitants of the Netherworld, Celestia and the human world each view the other two as this.
  • Improbable Island actually justifies this; the premise of the game is that a device known as the Improbability Drive is generating chaotic energy, causing all sorts of weirdness to ensue. As a result... well, the entire place and all its inhabits can get quite surreal most of the time.
  • Touhou Project has Gensokyo, basically a nature preserve for all the weird and wonderful things the rest of the world doesn't want anymore, and it very much shows. Most notably, when a pair of goddesses decided to move to Gensokyo and bring their human priestess with them, said priestess spent the next few games going completely mad, to the point where "You can't let yourself be held back by common sense!" is almost her Battle Cry.
  • The Ace Attorney world, especially outside the courtroom. There are only a few sensible people around, and when faced with the insanity that surrounds them, they snark.
  • Aperture Laboratories of Portal and its sequel show a rather dark version of this. The original use of the portal-gun was for bath-curtains. They created a bouncing gel which was originally meant to be a dieting substance, but was pulled off the shelves, for, uh, unreleased reasons. Their on-and-off-switches for ventilation fans are powered by giant lasers. Their experiments may contain trace amounts of tumours, hallucinations, mantis men, time-travel, death, and cake. They created GLaDOS to rule it, and that went well....
    • The series doesn't have a lot of characters, but almost everyone we meet is a Cloudcuckoolander. We've got GLaDOS, the facility's omnipotent AI who's got a few screws loose, and cares only about science and bratty mocking. There's Wheatley, the dense but sweet British robot who was designed to make GLaDOS stupid, and goes evil when hooked into her body. Doug Rattmann was a scientist whose paranoid schizophrenia saved him, since it turned out that he was at the mercy of an evil robot, and with his love for the Companion Cube writes helpful and creepy messages on the walls. There are the testing robots, Atlas and P-body, who are both overly playful, eccentric and oddly human. The founder of the facility, Cave Johnson, was egotistical and stubborn, and a little bit hazy on the morals. Caroline his secretary seemed sensible, except she got turned into GLaDOS. Really, the only one at all "normal" is Chell, and she doesn't speak because of pathological stubbornness!
  • The Dream Weavers World in Spyro the Dragon (1998) follows this trope pretty well. The levels all take place atop floating islands and castles, the dragons give very vague hints and riddles, the enemies all transform in strange and dangerous ways, and attacking jesters distorts the environment. In the game's Reignited treatment, this world also houses most of the more "out-there" dragon designs, with features like seemingly unnatural scale patterns.
    Advice? Hmmm... a wise dragon once told me, 'Aim high in life, but watch out for flying boxes.'
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • Pyroland, as best exemplified in the Meet The Pyro trailer, where the Pyro mistakes his committing wanton acts of violence and destruction against rival mercs as fun and joy in a pastel-colored world of lollipops and bubbles with cherubs. Players can also enter Pyroland with certain items such as the Pyrovision Goggles, which make the game world garish and colorful, other players talk in high-pitched voices, replaces screams of pain with laughter, and replaces gore with balloons and confetti.
    • It's not just Pyroland, either. Taking some time to look at the comics, you realize rather quickly that the whole TF2 universe is nuttier than a can of peanuts. For starters, the entire world is owned by one of two opposing corporations, founded by a pair of brothers who have spent over a hundred years fighting over worthless pits of gravel. These two companies are currently owned by a single woman who keeps the fighting going. All their weapons are supplied by Mann Co., a company that makes highly dangerous products that, amongst other things, occasionally burst into flame. This company is owned by an overly masculine Australian who roams the world searching for fights. Australia itself is a hyper-masculine country, where everyone (yes, even women) has a mustache, and whose leadership is decided by having a boxing match with a kangaroo. Additionally, the second floor was invented 200 years before the stairs were, and in the intervening time people rocket jumped up to the second story. And that only scratches the surface...
  • The world of Dikembe Mutombo's 4½ Weeks to Save the World, where the state of Ohio (as in, the actual landmass) is too busy dancing to a certain South Korean dance song to vote in the upcoming election, bears and turkeys can talk and wear sweaters, there are "laser stores" and bear porn, and a literal Hollywood Fat Cat is trying to shrink everyone's brains with teen vampire romance movies.
  • The world of Zeno Clash is a very bizarre world, but special mention must go to the forest the Corwids inhabit. Each Corwid has their own obsession — one decided to walk in a straight line until his death. Another decided to try cannibalism, and found other Corwids willing to be eaten just for the experience. Yet another decided he wanted to be invisible... by plucking out the eyeballs of every creature that could see him. Even other Zenos think the Corwids are nuts.
  • Undertale has its share of odd moments, but the Temmie Village still manages to stand out. It's inhabited entirely by Temmies (and Bob), which are basically a Cloudcuckoolander species. They speak in misspelled/grammatically-incorrect sentences (except for the shopkeeper when she gets serious), you can find one trying to incubate a hard-boiled egg, and another is apparently allergic to her own species. Even the message at the village's save point is rather odd.
    You feel... something. You're filled with detemmienation.
  • Baten Kaitos: Mira, the "City of Illusion". A floating island that can only be accessed via the Trails of Souls, it constantly fluctuates between dimensions and is home of the most bizarre areas of the game.
    • Parnasse, the Confectionery Village. A town literally made of sugar, spice and ice cream. Baking contests are Serious Business there.
    • Reverence, the Picture Book Village. A town that resembles a pop-out book and is inhabited by weird balloon-like creatures that speak mostly in cryptic nonsense.
    • Detourne, the Mystical Garden. A garden maze where the main area is based on The Tower of Druaga, complete with retro graphics, and where gravity can be manipulated by tipping the scales of a giant balance located in the center.
    • Coccolith, Labyrinth of Mirrors. A looping maze seen from the perspective of a broken mirror.

    Web Animation 
  • Free Country, USA from Homestar Runner is filled with odd-looking eccentrics. The sentient beach ball who speaks entirely in bubble sounds is probably the most normal character. Then you have alternate worlds like those in "Sweet Cuppin' Cakes" and the "Powered by the Cheat" cartoons.


    Web Original 
  • Truth in Television, at least according to Fark: Florida. It has its own tag for a reason.
  • Manchester, where Karl Pilkington of The Ricky Gervais Show grew up.
  • The Elrich setting in The Wanderer's Library revels in its Cloudcuckoo-ness.
  • The titular city of Welcome to Night Vale shows what happens when a town has not just one dark secret, but a couple thousand, and people are so used to this that it all gets reported on during the evening radio.
  • The folks associated with Kakos Industries and them some are rarely ever sane, seeing as how they're all bent on being Evil as possible alongside a number of other odd quirks. Even the titular Only Sane Man who owns the company has multiple instances of paranoia and becomes briefly obsessed with a box.
  • PurpleEyesWTF is fond of creating settings like this. Between his Code MENT, None Piece, and Soul Whatever videos, almost nobody has their head screwed on right. It's to the point where one of his Only Sane Man characters from Code MENT, Death the Kid, became a Cloudcuckoo Lander once he returned to his home series.
  • With its Surreal Humor, occasionally dashed with Surreal Horror, ClickHole has been described as as "what if BuzzFeed had its headquarters in Cloudcuckooland?"

    Western Animation 
  • Perhaps the earliest popular version of this trope is Wackyland, as made famous by Porky Pig. Of course, maybe the real moral of that story is that a cartoon universe isn't a safe place for normal humans to be.
    • Tiny Toon Adventures created a Wackyland in Acme Acres. Then it threw in Gogo the Dodo for good measure. He and Wackyland seem no less weird than in Porky's day.
    • Similarly, in the Tex Avery cartoon The Cat Who Hated People, the moon is portrayed in a very similar way as Wacky Land: so much so that the cat suffers An Aesop and decides people are preferable to this weirdness.
  • Adventure Time is set in the land of Ooo, a world populated with strange, idiosyncratic characters whose often outlandish and whimsical appearances are complemented by bizarre perspectives and unpredictable behavior.
  • Rolf's "old country" in Ed, Edd n Eddy seems to be this, judging from the odd customs glimpsed from time to time.
  • Catscratch has the world inside the secret door. Naturally, it's ruled by local Cloudcuckoolander Waffle.
  • Jamie and the Magic Torch was set in a literal Cloudcuckooland (actually named that) which was also a Dreamland.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Rock Bottom", which, for lack of a better description, is Bikini Bottom done wrong. Full of weird and oddly-speaking people.
    • "Spongebob in Randomland" features, well, "Randomland", a location almost certainly inspired by the previously mentioned Wackyland. The laws of physics don't apply and random creatures roam about. Even trying to get to this location is completely random. "You just walk around... randomly."
  • Quahog from Family Guy, due to its many Cloudcuckoolander characters. The mayor himself is also the greatest Cloudcuckoolander in the show.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Twilight Sparkle sees Ponyville as this in the pilot episode. She gets better.
    • Cloudcuckoolander Discord turns Ponyville into this in "The Return of Harmony".
  • Yakestonia from Doug. The traditional greeting is "Zwooba, Zwooba, Zwooba!" while making fart noises under your armpits. And Christmas follows Halloween traditions...and Halloween follows Easter traditions.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • The titular town of Gravity Falls, which is wrought with the strangest beings west of weird and north of normal. Some of the residents of this town include rainbow puking gnomes, Manly Minotaurs, Pterodactyls, a Homocidal Shapeshifter, and a yellow triangular dream demon, among only a few of the strange abnormalities that the twins face. This later becomes downplayed when it turns out the town is a Weirdness Magnet due to its proximity to a dimensional "thin patch" leading to a nightmarish alternate dimension, which was not seen but drove one of the characters who was sucked inside to try and erase his memories of the horrible things he saw.
    • The normal townspeople aren't much better. They celebrate a second Halloween during summer, their elections for mayor involve people throwing seeds towards their preferred candidate and they release a bald eagle so it will kiss the new mayor. People are also allowed to marry woodpeckers. And among their citizens they have an overly-cheerful couple running the mortuary and a hillbilly old coot who happens to actually be a supergenius. Soos put it in better terms: "Everyone in this town is a tad strange. Except, ironically, Tad Strange."
    • The series also contains the mindscape, essentially another plane of existence where one of the more prominent antagonists appears to exist.
  • The animated version of The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton features a land called Puzzle Village. The norm for everyone who lives there is to wear a bundle on your head for no apparent reason and never say anything that actually makes sense. Throughout the episode in which the village appears, Jigs might have disappeared, but it's Molly and Peter who are well and truly 'lost'.
  • On ToddWorld, in the world of ToddWorld, the main character Todd eats macaroni and cheese in the bathtub and likes to wear underwear on his head, but this no more bizarre than some of the things some of the other characters do on the show. In fact, the show's over-arching Aesop is that everyone is unique and special and to celebrate those differences.
  • In South Park, Canada is depicted as such. It's a world with only one road, square everything, the people's heads flap like garbage can lids, their prime minister is a massive green hologram (That's actually Saddam Hussein), Nova Scotia is inhabited by "little mushroom people", Quebec (or French Canada as other Canadians call it), is inhabited by Cirque du Soleil performers who are thought of as weird even by other Canadians, they also consider Quebec as Canada's Cloudcuckooland. And then there's a "giant" who routinely terrorizes them, a culture based around toilet humor and eating Kraft Dinner, a military armed with hockey sticks and chainsaws, and the most insane royal wedding ceremony ever. Needless to say it's so over the top that these episodes are utterly beloved by Canadians.
  • Teen Titans Go! has Jump City. A Superhero-themed town where supervillains run amok and threaten to blow up the city every other day, "defended" by a team of "superheroes" who generally blow up the town the other days of the week. For the most part, the citizens seem not to care, though they did on one occasion join the villains in conducting a fair and impartial trial of the Titans. On another, got so fed up that moved en masse to Stockton, CA...

    Real Life 
  • Japan, or at least it's stereotyped as such. At least some of it may have to do with it being one of the first non-Western countries to develop a modern industrial society, thus giving them the means to export their cultural products that many other non-Western nations lack — and with Western cultures still being the default in the industrialized world, Japan stands out that much more. Furthermore, from the 1630s to 1868, Japan heavily restricted contact and trade with the outside world and other cultures, producing a cultural ecosystem that existed in isolation from many outside trends and which evolved in its own directions.

    At the same time, it's a subversion for the Japanese people themselves, with the Japanese mainstream being very conservative and shunning anything that dares to stray from the norm. They take their strange-to-outsiders traditions (like Hadaka Matsuri and Honen Matsuri) very seriously, and Cloudcuckoolanders within Japanese society are ostracized. For example, being into cosplay during your high school years can cost you any chance of ever going to college, and acting or looking strangely in public will likely cost you your job. And don't you ever show too much emotion in public! Of course, this applies only if Moral Guardians find out it's you. Anonymous Cloudcuckoolanders can't be bashed. And unusual trends that manage to stay around against all odds will eventually "earn" acceptance, and from then on be treated as if they were perfectly normal and things have been this way all the time. Karaoke is a good example. And keep in mind that all of this is unwritten law, but everyone is expected to follow it.
  • For a long time, The United States was known for having a culture that was slightly "off" compared to European standards of civility. Chalk that up to the nation's dominant ideological trends having been rooted in various offshoots of classical liberalism, which places a heavy premium on personal freedom; one of the many side-effects of this is that people who would've been considered eccentric elsewhere are comparatively normal in many parts of the country, their weirdness even being embraced as part of what made America great and unique from stuffy old Britain. The emphasis on individualism is unique even among Western nations. Back in Europe, where classical liberalism originated, there is more of a collectivist influence where people are expected to pull together for the common good and not make waves. Plus, the Melting Pot meant that, as immigrant cultures came into contact with one another, they often borrowed from each other and hybridized into uniquely American variants that most Europeans would find unrecognizable. Lastly, there was the frontier. If even the Americans found you too weird, you could just head out west and find a spot where there simply weren't enough people around to stop you from letting your freak flag fly. There's a reason why The Wild West has such a sizable pool of larger-than-life figures. The tropes Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names, Americans Are Cowboys, and Only in America are all related to this.
    • Within the US, the state of California is stereotyped as being this trope personified, and has been for a very long time. It goes back to at least 1938, if Life magazine is to be trusted — they even call it a "cloud-cuckooland". Hollywood and San Francisco especially have this reputation, thanks to the film industry and the counterculture respectively.
    • Florida is also well-known as a source of unlikely "News of the Weird" stories. (Though as noted in the linked page, this is due as much to the state's notoriously lax privacy laws as it is to its Cloudcuckoo status.)
    • While it's mainly known today as the easternmost point in the Rust Belt, in the 19th century upstate New York was well-renowned as a hub for eccentrics, spiritualists, weird religious offshoots, utopian communes, and radical social activists and moral reformers.
    • For a large chunk of its early history, New England was a dumping ground for weirdos of all stripes. Massachusetts started as a resettlement project for Puritans, who were then a fringe Protestant sect, while Rhode Island and Connecticut were both founded by people exiled from Massachusetts for religious reasons (yes, there were people too weird for the weirdoes in colonial days). It's still a part of New England's character to be outspoken and slightly unhinged compared to the rest of the eastern United States.
    • The cities of Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas embrace their reputations as Cloud Cuckoolands. Both cities have "Keep Portland/Austin Weird" as unofficial mottos, and both are heavily identified with hipsters and the counterculture.
    • Utah is often seen by non-Mormons as an exaggeration of the stereotypical lifestyle of suburbia, combined with strange-to-outsiders religious traditions and a frontier community spirit. Arguments and misunderstandings over such have even led to wars in the past.
  • Thanks to popular "high quality" memes originating from there, such as Dolan and Spurdo Spärde, Finland gained quite a reputation in that regard.
  • As a general rule, whenever a town has the nickname "People's Republic of ____", it's probably this.
  • Many college towns throughout the world are full of eccentrics. A large population of newly-independent young people exploring strange new ideas tends to do that.
  • The Internet. Let's see, Internet Jerks are normal, there are Trolls regularly, and strange mannerisms abound. It probably says something about how well it fits in when GIFT could be misread as GIFTS;- as in Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders.
  • This wiki. YOU are crazy for reading it, and all the crazy stuff on it. Don't deny it now.
  • Tumblr:
    • Users are often known to make incredibly bizarre text posts while sleep-deprived at 4 in the morning. The original poster reblogging it a few hours later asking what the hell they were thinking is optional.
    • There's an Ask a Pony blog out there with a post where Pinkie Pie explains that tumblr is actually a multiversal communication network because a splinter of the Doctor's TARDIS got embedded in Tumblr's coding when it exploded. And that's also why it defaults to a blue background. And why it's called Tumblr. And she explains this to her friends to explain why they're talking with people who think they're fictional.
  • Any room utilized as a dressing room for a theatrical production while it's being used for that purpose. It's a fact that anyone who is involved in acting and skilled at it is at least a little bit crazy, so what else would you expect when you set up these rooms where multiple actors will be crowded together in various states of undress?
  • Germany has this reputation as well. In fact in the early 2000s the radio call-in show Loveline had a Germany or Florida game where a caller would tell a weird story that had been in the news and the hosts would guess if it happened in Germany or Florida.
  • Russia, if Internet videos are to be believed. It may be a partial inspiration for fictional Eastern European Cloudcuckoolands. Russians are not only well aware of their status, but also openly proud of it to the point of considering this a part of their culture, with countless folk songs, urban legends and anecdotes addressing the craziness of everyday life in Russia. Even within the country, several places have earned their memetic status for being even more of a Cloudcuckooland. The most notable examples are Chelyabinsk and Omsk.
  • Enter the band or choir rooms at school and it will probably look like insanity when not in rehearsal. Make them marching band kids and it will become even crazier. Heck, just throw a bunch of musicians in a room together and it will seem like a different world.
  • Any and every community theater. Actors in particular can be the source of much weirdness. The techs, meanwhile, can either be rolling their eyes as they try to keep things under control, or merely think they are, when in reality they're Not So Above It All.


Video Example(s):



Porky ventures into Wackyland to find the last Do-Do. To call it a weird place would be a gross understatement.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / Cloudcuckooland

Media sources: