Follow TV Tropes


Concussions Get You High

Go To

Linda: Colin! Can you give me a hand with this? (Beat) Colin, are you alright? Colin?!
Colin: I'll tell him you're looking for him.

In real life, concussions have a number of unpleasant symptoms. These include, but are not limited to headache, nausea, and dizziness. They also involve minor brain damage in addition to those. Fortunately for our protagonist, this is fiction. Here, if one gets a Tap on the Head or a particularly violent Dope Slap, one need only worry about sporting a dopey grin and falling over, or, at worst, experiencing a Non Sequitur, *Thud*. In fact, the effects of slapstick concussion look alarmingly like the effects of euphoric drugs.

(Don't worry about after-effects, either any Circling Birdies can be dismissed with a quick shake of the head, and a Cranial Eruption can often be pushed straight back in. And multiple head injuries will never make the problem worse, ever).

This is for the most part Artistic License, but there can be a surprising grain of Truth in Television in it someone acting mildly drunk after taking a blow to the head is a good indicator of concussion, and they should probably see a doctor. An Injury Bookend can bring this state to an end.

Related to Hard Head, Tap on the Head, Non Sequitur, *Thud*, and How Many Fingers?. May result in Delirious Misidentification.


    open/close all folders 

  • A Sega Game Gear ad involves someone hitting his head with a squirrel to see colour in their Game Boy.

  • More literal than most examples: in MAD #116 (January 1968) the Don Martin cartoon "A San Francisco Trip" shows a hippie preparing some banana peel shavings in a frying pan, and trying to smoke the result in a pipe. Nothing happens. He angrily stalks away — immediately slipping on the peel he cast aside earlier. He bashes his head (KLANG), and is left sitting on the floor seeing paisley-styled hallucinations. Also references the then-current legend of bananadine. You can see it here.
  • Regardless of whether it's Roman legionaries, Proto-Germanic kuningōz, turncoat Gauls, or what have you, any Asterix character on the receiving end of a blow to the head or a potion-enhanced Megaton Punch will be punch-drunk for a while.
    • "The Big Fight" takes it even further with menhirs (stone monoliths the size of a man) landing on people, who end up with nothing worse than Easy Amnesia and a cheerful disposition (even causing the Villain of the Week to tip his hat to every he sees).

    Fan Works 
  • The Lion King Adventures features many slapstick moments, almost always resulting in one of the cubs getting a goofy smile and a dazed expression on their face.
  • Sore ga Ai, Deshou?: Averted; after Mai whacks him over the head during their first informal meeting, Andy is left dazed and is warned not to fall asleep or he might die.
  • Hunting the Unicorn averts this. Blaine gets a concussion from a moderate fall in a fight before he gets kidnapped by his Stalker with a Crush, rambles about nonsense for half an hour, and runs off in a panic, which extends the police search for him. He degenerates into having headaches that he can't communicate about properly, gets nauseous, and in The Red Bull, he's making no sense to anyone. He tries to reason with his stalker, and instead watches Kurt nearly get choked out. Considering this took place over the later half of a day and would be stressful for an uninjured person, it's understandable that he starts crying Broken Tears when the paramedics finally load him up.
  • Subverted in Power Rangers GPX, when Pink Ranger Hitomi suffers a concussion during a fight. Unlike other examples, it's depicted realistically; she's perfectly aware of her surroundings, is able to identify how many fingers her elf friend holds up, but forgets the time and day, has to remain still, and is out of commission for several days. She also gets some Ship Tease with her elf girl-friend.

  • The Three Stooges would often use this, by having whoever was hit on the head take on a silly facial expression and slump over to the sound of chirping birds.
  • In the Chinese film Kung Fu Genius, one of the Big Bad's lackeys takes too many hits to the head in one fight, and instantly becomes a child-like Cloud Cuckoolander for the rest of the movie.
  • In Grease, after getting whacked on the head with a car door, Kenickie seems rather pleased by the fact that he's now seeing two of everything.

  • Subverted in Gottes Bodenpersonal: Eine unwahrscheinliche Liebesgeschichte ("God's ground crew: an unlikely lovestory"): after getting hit on the head Lauren thinks it is this trope when s/he sees Christian's worried face and realizes that someone cares. Lauren isn't used to this, at all, and suspects it's either heaven, or entirely a product of hir imagination.
  • Heroes Of Olympus Jason Grace keeps getting hit on the head, once with a brick, and it's become a running joke among fans that he's constantly being hit without any noticeable signs of brain damage, although he is out for a while on at least one occasion.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Boy Meets World episode "Easy Street" Eric gives himself a concussion trying to escape from a car that was buried in the snow. Upon recovering Eric is loopy, cheerful and generally appears pleasantly intoxicated.
  • The Brittas Empire: In "Laura's Leaving", Colin gets a concussion (due to a glancing blow with his cupboard) and shows up at the centre fairly loopy and with a short memory span.
  • On The Office, jerkass Dwight starts acting uncharacteristically nice after crashing his car. The others eventually realize that he has a concussion and take him to the hospital. During this bout of identity amnesia Dwight also shows absentmindedness and compulsive behavior not unlike fictional portrayals of being high on marijuana.
  • In the Young Blades episode "Rub-a-Dub Sub," a character gets an anchor dropped on his head. The episode tag features him in a dungeon, delirious and spouting random nonsense.
  • On Days of Our Lives Nick Fallon was concussed while disposing of a bomb. This induced an euphoric state, during which he flew to Las Vegas and married a hooker named China Lee.
  • In one episode of LazyTown, Hulk Hogan hits the "evil dude" in the head, which causes him to talk gibberish.
  • In a Law & Order episode based on the infamous Tailhook Incident, the detectives watch footage of their supposedly drunken victim staggering down a hallway. It turns out that her brain was hemorrhaging due to having been struck on the head when her killer tried to rape her.
    • A similar scenario in a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode has a victim brought to the hospital slurring his words and reeking of booze. His blood alcohol level turned out to be 0. It turns out he'd been hit with a wine bottle, thus leaving him with a skull fracture that made him act intoxicated.


  • Deconstructed in the Eminem song "Brain Damage", a fictionalised account of a real incident of school bullying that put the young Marshall Mathers in a coma. Slim laments that everyone thinks he's on drugs due to his brain damage, but the symptoms of it aren't enjoyable for him at all - all he gets out of it is blurry vision, deafness, a destroyed attention span and anger issues.

    Video Games 
  • In any Fallout game, human characters, including the player character, can suffer concussions via a critical blow to the head. In the 3D, first person games, this will be accompanied by the screen occasionally blurring and tilting, as if the player was drunk. There's also a ringing noise, which can be true to real life concussion symptoms, but isn't associated with being high or drunk.

    Web Video 
  • In a blink and you'll miss it moment from the TGWTG brawl, The Nostalgia Chick wakes up from a guitar blow to the head and openly flirts with the Critic by making the "call me" signal. Luckily for her, he's too wrapped up in the Nerd.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Classic Disney Short "Clock Cleaners", Goofy gets hit on the head while on a tall building, and wanders onto a construction site afterward, completely entranced.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale short "Working For Peanuts", Donald Duck chases the two chipmunks until slamming his head into a wall after they escape through a hole. He then sits there with swirly eyes and a toothy grin on his face; later on in the short the elephant he was taking care of finds him still like this.
    • A similar one happens in the short "Dragon Around" where Donald Duck is building a road and the chipmunks' tree is in the way, so he has to get rid of it. When his crane (which the chipmunks think is a dragon) gets damaged so that the shovel's teeth are removed so it can no longer dig, he resorts to try ramming the tree with it, only for the chipmunks to loosen all the screws/bolts/nuts, so as Donald is charging towards the tree, his crane falls a part leaving only him charging towards the tree, then hitting his head on it, leaving him dazed. Dale then imitates Donald after finding it funny.
  • A Sealab 2021 episode had the crew trapped in a malfunctioning storage closet. Beard Guy comes in to fix the problem, but Captain Murphy beats his head in. Upon briefly regaining consciousness, he displays this trope.
    Beard Guy: I got my think a concussion. Now must remember not fix stuff. Gonna lay down back, cuz our concussion have us sleepy.
    Debbie: Uh, should Beard Guy be asleep with a concussion?
    Quinn: No, absolutely not.
  • An episode of Ren & Stimpy features Stimpy excusing himself because "It's time for my appointment". He walks over to a door in the wall, inserts a quarter, and the door lifts to reveal a horse. The horse kicks him in the head, sending him flying. His reaction to this is almost orgasmic.
  • A noticeable aversion from Ozzy & Drix. When Hector takes a nasty spill off his bike, he displays actual symptoms of a concussion. Noticeably, intense dizziness, confusion, and increasing drowsiness, while the anthropomorphic cells of his body (barring foreigners Ozzy and Drix) experience memory loss. The entire plot of the episode is Ozzy and Drix, being the only ones who aren't naturally a part of Hector's body, are therefore actually aware of the danger poised, and having to kick-start his brain, so he doesn't fall into a coma and die.
  • Another notable aversion is Family Guy. Generally, whenever someone gets struck in the head they get knocked out. This is taken to its most realistic conclusion in the episode "Cop and a Half-Wit" where Stewie gets very real symptoms of brain damage after he gets dog piled by bigger, older kids at a football game. His right pupil becomes extremely swollen, he's incredibly confused and hears sounds that aren't present like running water or a phone ringing.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Pappy's Puppy Prescription", Gargamel gets a bit loopy after he collides with a tree that he couldn't see when he was using a pair of special goggles that can only see blue in order to find Smurfs.
  • Daffy Duck gets rather loopy near the end of Duck Amuck, reciting "The Village Blacksmith" while banging a hammer on an anvil that the artist's pencil changes into a bomb.
  • Bugs Bunny staggers around drunkenly after getting hit in the face with a girder in the Merrie Melodies short Homeless Hare.


Video Example(s):


Lucy gets hit on the head

Lucy gets whacked on the head by the minute hand of Big Ben, causing four cat-shaped bowls of soup to go over her head.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / CirclingBirdies

Media sources: