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Contemplating Your Hands

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"Do you ever wonder why we're always, like, wearing gloves?"

"They call 'em 'fingers', but I never see them fing!"
Otto, The Simpsons

It is common for people undergoing the Mushroom Samba to become fascinated with their own hands, often with lines such as "I can see auras!". Expect their hands to suddenly seem "huge", which may be shorthand for demonstrating the ability of narcotics, especially opioids, to alter spatial perception.

Not the same as contemplating your navel. Common hobby of The Stoner. See also These Hands Have Killed for when a character contemplates their hands for an entirely different reason.


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     Fan Works 
  • Subverted in this fanfic with "My hand's freakin' BLUE duuuudeeee!"
  • George does this in With Strings Attached after his first transformation into a cat, which is pretty trippy. When he turns back to himself, he stares at his hands—"Beautiful pink stars!"
  • In Enlightenments, Wander briefly gets distracted by his hands at the start of his mushroom trip.

     Films — Animated 

     Films — Live-Action 
  • In Death at a Funeral one of the characters, Simon, accidentally ingests a designer drug thinking it Valium. One of the things he says—or, rather, screams—before he realizes what's going on is "WHY ARE MY HANDS SO BIG!?".
  • In Look Who's Talking, baby Mikey has an experience like this in utero when his mother (who is in labor with him) receives an epidural.
  • Willard does this during one of Kurtz's speeches in Apocalypse Now, checking his hand to see if he was just having a bad trip or not.
  • Jack Black's character does it in Envy, as a way of introducing his offbeat character to the audience.
  • In the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gimli and Legolas have a drinking contest. Now, according to Tolkien's notes, alcohol is not supposed to affect elves, however, they drink so much of it that Legolas mentions that he's starting to feel tingles in his hand and begins gazing at it like a stoner. At the same time, Gimli is busy passing out.
  • Marwood in Withnail and I: "My thumbs have gone weird! I'm in the middle of a fucking overdose!"
  • Jake Sully does this in Avatar in a deleted scene where he has to go on a "Dream Hunt" by means of a venom-induced trip.
  • Riot on Sunset Strip: At the beginning of her acid trip, Andy intently studies her hands and feet before she begins her dance.

  • In the beginning of White Fang, the last surviving dogsled driver (who is being stalked by the starving wolves that killed his partner) does this for a moment. In this case, it's less him being stoned and more him taking a little bit of what may be the last night of his life to consider how remarkable life (represented in part by the complexity of the human hand) really is, and how much it's going to suck to get eaten once he runs out of firewood.
  • Tita does this when she goes insane for a short while in Like Water for Chocolate or Como Agua Para Chocolate. It's not used comedically, though.
  • Makes an appearance in the notorious Scare 'Em Straight anti-drug tract Go Ask Alice.
  • Appears to have become a (non-drug-induced...probably) feature of Inheritance. Seems to overlap with Author Appeal, as various main characters have chosen to contemplate their thumbs.
  • In the original The Mysterious Benedict Society book, the members of the society all study the backs of their hands after one of them points out the stupidity of the phrase "I know it like the back of my hand," since most people don't know the backs of their hands very well.
  • In the novel 2010: Odyssey Two, Heywood Floyd wakes up in zero gravity with his hand floating in front of his face, and momentarily mistakes the lines on his palm for the surface of Europa (the resemblance really is uncanny).
  • Bib Fortuna does this in "Of The Day's Annoyances", part of Tales from Jabba's Palace, when he realizes that the B'omarr monks are going to remove his brain from his body and put it into something without hands.
  • It's common for characters in Dinoverse who're put into the bodies of bipedal dinosaurs to study their hands. Candayce, in the body of a Leptoceratops, which is semi-quadrupedal, is particularly displeased.
    "They weren't hands. Not exactly. They were scaly paws. Or claws. Kind of. Three sharp fingers and two other stubby things that formed a, well, a hoof. Like a horse might have."
  • Not shown, but in Kevin J. Anderson's Death Warmed Over, Dan consults the accounting records of an herbalist's shop to try to track down a poisoner. Unfortunately, the proprietor was stoned out of his mind on the day in question, and all that's written on the relevant page is "my hand looks funny".
  • In Danny, the Champion of the World, Danny contemplates his hand just before it is caned by Captain Lancaster. He also spends time examining the damage afterwards, which is described in detail; and it is also what alerts his father to the incident.
    I looked at my palm with the fortune-teller's lines running over it, and I could not bring myself to imagine that anything was about to happen to it.

     Live-Action TV 
  • The Trope Codifier is probably WKRP in Cincinnati, when a stoned Johnny observes his hand is a little expressway map.
  • Donna on That '70s Show.
    • A common Stock Parody when a group of characters experiments with drugs is showing them in a circle like the one from that show.
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, describing Woodstock: "That was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person, and I spent the next six hours watching my hand move." (Spike's an Idiot Houdini; he spent six hours tripping in public and the sun didn't come up or anything. Well, maybe he was in a tent. And it was raining...)
  • The fourth season episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye, features a concussed Hawkeye Pierce on a lengthy spiel about the human hand.
  • On The Odd Couple (1970) Felix takes a sabbatical in a monastery and spends a day marveling over his hand (before realizing that his foot is just as interesting).
  • Stephen Colbert receives a gift of "little stamps" from his Colbert Report interns—upon licking them, his right hand suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
    • Done again in the Christmas Special when he meets Willie Nelson ("I'm so high, you're hallucinating") and one of his hands turns into a reindeer's hoof.
  • Dinosaurs: In "A New Leaf", Earl is high on "happy plant" and looks at his hands. He then wonders why they use a numbering system based on ten when they only have eight fingers.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin says that after mistakenly taking marijuana she said, on air, "This just in: look at my hand, how weird is my hand."
    • Additionally:
      Marshall: [looking at Ted's hand] I recognize the cliched nature of what I'm about to say, but...whoa.
  • The clearly-stoned shoeshine boy in the "My Hands!" sketch in The Kids in the Hall. This observation eventually evolves into more disturbing areas.
  • Parodied in an episode of Joey: Joey is hanging out with a couple of stoned guys and they follow this routine. The difference is that Joey isn't stoned, he's just a ditz.
  • This happened once on NCIS, when Tony was on painkillers. "My fingers...they're finging..."
  • In an episode of Community, after getting high, Pierce puts his hands on someone's shoulders then freaks out about them being someone else's hands and runs away. Justified in that this is part of a larger thematic freakout he is having about how alienated he feels because of his age.
  • Frasier gets high on cold medication in one episode. At one point, Niles holds a finger in front of Frasier's face. Frasier can't stop staring at it.
  • iCarly: Sam thought she was missing her thumb while high on laughing gas.
  • The Wonder Years: When Kevin attends a wedding, he gets drunk on a bottle of champagne and begins staring at his "magnificent hand".
  • A brief one: in episode 1.07 of Dollhouse, when Topher and DeWitt have accidentally gotten high, DeWitt says, "I find lentils completely incomprehensible," then gets distracted by her hands.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the Q (not Q, a different Q) becomes human, and, during a monologue, becomes distracted by the appearance of his own hands.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode Timeless Seven of Nine contemplates her hand after a single glass of synthehol champagne.
  • In one episode of Sliders, Colin acts this way after getting shot by a tranquilizer dart. He becomes mesmerized by his hands and wonders why he has so many fingers.
  • In one episode of Waterloo Road, when Josh is high on marijuana in class, he is seen raising his hand and staring blankly at it.
  • In a season five episode of Supernatural, Castiel time travels twice (first to go back in time and then to return to the present) which is both times extremely difficult and leaves him very unwell. After his arrival the second time he holds up his right hand and stares at it, presumably to reassure himself that he's in one piece.
  • In one episode of The Smoking Room, Len absentmindedly sniffs at a tube of glue Clint used to fix down a loose floor tile, and before long he's away with the fairies.
    Len: Aren't hands strange? They're like feet, only on your arms...

  • In Pink Floyd's The Wall, during "Comfortably Numb", Pink says that when he was young, he had a fever, and his hands felt like two balloons, and now he has that feeling once again.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Doonesbury did this a lot in its early years, and occasionally still does it.
    BD: [after eating pot brownies accidentally placed in his care package] Have you ever looked at your hands? I mean, really looked at them?
  • Get Fuzzy referenced the gag by having Bucky say "have you ever really looked at your paw?" after doing 'nip all day.
  • Parodied in The Quigmans, with Mayberry LSD.
    Andy: Hey, Barn, you ever really looked at your hands?
  • Andy does this off-panel while strung out on allergy medication in FoxTrot.
  • In one Garfield strip, Garfield wonders if it's going to be another boring day. Jon answers his question when he dully says, "Aren't fingers amazing, Garfield?"
  • In one Dilbert arc, Dilber loses that subconscious connection between his job performance and salary, and realizes that he gets paid even when he does nothing but flick his fingers. His co-workers notice this, and soon the entire department is flicking their fingers, much to the Pointy-Haired Boss's annoyance.

     Video Games 
  • Kingdom of Loathing has you literally fight "the urge to stare at your hands" as a random encounter when you eat "astral mushrooms" and go on a Mediocre Trip.
    "(You may wonder why you can actually attack, with your weapon, a feeling that you're having. Yup, you certainly may wonder that. We won't stop you.)"
  • Though amnesiac rather than stoned out of his mind, The Kid from Ever17 wonders about his metaphorical "forgotten sixth finger" at times when he looks at his hand and contemplates his lost memory.
  • In Crash Twinsanity, after clearing Cavern Catastrophe, Crash is seen doing this after he and Cortex both get out of the caves. Cortex was not impressed, to say the least.
  • Paladins has a spray where Jenos is looking at his hands, which, in the context of the Io Reveal trailer, was meant to be a My God, What Have I Done? moment for him, but it immediately became a meme format because of how silly it looked. Memetic Mutation happened, and the developers later released said spray "Interstellar Crisis" as a reference to it, as well as an avatar.

     Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    Calix's Father: When a boy has come of age and must pass the trial of manhood, his father tells him this tale only once, precisely as it was told to him. For that is the way of things. Prepare yourself for the horror you are about to face as I tell you the story of how we came to be here...duuude! There was, like, this sorceress? And one of our warriors totally spit on her. She went "That's it; I'm sending your whole village to the bad place forever!" And she totally did! And the gods took pity on us and protected our village in a bubble, of, Kinda wished they took enough pity on us to rescue us. Thanks, Gods! Now we have to cast our children outside for the gods to judge them worthy to return! Sniff! Sometimes I think the gods stink more than the sourserious...sar-saurus...sorseres...sorceress! [moves his hand as in confusion while looking for the word, then begins waving both of them in front of him] Hey, do this with your hands really fast! [serious again] ...You will tell this to your son precisely as it was told to you.
    Calix: Grandpop liked to smoke the blue plants, right, Pop?
  • Tim of Loserz demonstrates it here.
  • According to xkcd, if you're a fan of the Peirce Quincuncial map projection, you have really looked at your hands.
  • In the Amsterdam plot arc of Drugs And Kisses, Bobby shows up to a business meeting after a three-hour visit to a coffee shop and immediately starts staring at his hand.
  • In 21st Century Fox, Jack finds that the D.N.A. robots have to look at their hands and intensely study the joints in order to calibrate their hand-eye coordination. He wonders why anyone would have programmed them like that, and then he realizes it was written by the programmer the team dubbed "Druggie".
  • In The Order of the Stick strip "The Highfather", Odin, who is a bit loopy due to the Northerners of the previous world hating magic, meaning the Northern God of Magic wasn't getting the right kind of belief, observes "Mortal height is fun. My hands are hand-sized!"

     Western Animation 
  • In the The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Flakers", Richard does this when high after a dentist visit, saying that they don't match.
  • Big Mouth: This is the first thing Jessi and Nick do when they eat THC gummies, laughing like idiots about their "finger knees" (knuckles).
  • Futurama:
    • In the episode "The Problem With Popplers", Lrr, ruler of the planet Omnicron Persei 8 does this after eating a hippie: "Dude, my hands are huge. They can touch anything but themselves..." And then he touches them together. "Oh, wait."
    • Zoidberg does it with his pincers in "Bender Gets Made" when given a big dose of painkillers to shut him up.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Weekend at Burnsie's", Homer gets marijuana for an eye injury, and he and Otto ponder: "They call 'em 'fingers', but I've never seen 'em fing...oh, there they go." (This was itself a line borrowed from an earlier episode of The Critic.)
    • From the same episode:
      "We could stop this law from being put into action, or we could just sit here and watch our hands."
      "Whoa, they're huge!"
    • Lisa also did this after drinking the water at Duff Gardens in "Selma's Choice".
      "I am the Lizard Queen!"
  • Gravity Falls: Ford stares at his hands often, but this is less to do with him being high and more to do with his sixth finger.
  • Family Guy: In a Cutaway Gag, Peter goes live-action (with the actor wearing a head in the original animated style) during a drug-induced freak-out.
  • The finger-less Powerpuff Girls seem to be all right with this. Inverted and lampshaded in "Criss Cross Crisis". The Professor's gone-wrong experiment causes everybody to switch bodies, with Buttercup in the Professor's body. When she sees she now has fingers, she bursts into tears.
    • When the phone rings, she tries to pick it up, but doesn't realize she needs to use fingers to grab it and only slaps the phone with her open palm.
      Buttercup: "Professor, your hand doesn't work!"
  • Beavis from Beavis And Butthead occasionally stares at his own fist while in Cornholio mode.

     Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Big and Kenny Boy

After Big unknowingly drinks Kenny's psychedelic concoction, the pair trip in the woods.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrugsCausingSlowMotion

Media sources: