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G-Rated Drug

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We heard chocolate is addictive, but this is ridiculous.

Blair: You sure Layla's asleep?
Nina: Don't worry. I [used] warm milk with extra honey. She'll be out for hours!

When writers want to do a Very Special Episode but don't invent a one-shot abuser friend, they generally feel skittish about having their character suddenly use so-called 'hard' drugs. Coupled with this is the infamous rigidity of broadcast standards and practices, who sometimes frown on the depiction of drugs even if it is completely negative.

Thus, any drugs commonly portrayed are just unnamed drugs in a ominous-looking context, such as red-and-white caplets or vaguely white powder. Occasionally over-the-counter but still-unnamed drugs are used, which carries a bit more realism. The writers might also just invent a fictional drug.

A riskier prospect is to depict a named drug, but with ridiculously overblown effects considering the known real-world impact of the drug and the shortness of the storyline. This was commonly done with marijuana despite the public perception of its effects as "bland," and thus a major reason such depictions are avoided in case they are not taken seriously. In any case, the strength of any drug never seems to result in symptoms of withdrawal in further episodes.

Alcohol can usually fit the bill, since it's commonly viewed as merely "adult" or even inoffensive and culturally mainstream, rather than sinful or dangerous.

In comedies, a complete non-drug may be treated as if it were, like sugar addicts or milk-alcoholics: that's I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin! In Speculative Fiction, the drug may be entirely fictional, making it a Fantastic Drug (which, if it gives superpowers, would be Psycho Serum).

Despite the name of the trope, this can show up in works with adult ratings, not just G-rated/family-friendly works, usually for the following reasons:

  • Moral Guardians - and in many cases, the actual creative teams - may feel uncomfortable using real drugs in certain contexts, even if the rating would otherwise allow for it. For example, if the story depicts use of a deadly narcotic as fun, cool and useful with no bad consequences, it can sometimes be reasonable to fiddle "opium" into "Tropeium" to prevent unnecessary negative attention and get on with telling the story. This tends to show up in types of work that wouldn't be taken seriously by executives as having a valid artistic reason to use a real drug, so tends to turn up in trashy sci-fi TV, lurid exploitation flicks or pulpy power-fantasy video games.
  • Truth in Television! While many G Rated Drugs are fictional or don't work, there are plenty of legal, inoffensive drugs that do have the ability to make people addicted. Someone trying to make an autobiographical work about their addiction to workout supplements, antitussives or over-the-counter sleep aids will run into this by default.

See also No Smoking, Frothy Mugs of Water, Toad Licking, Drunk on Milk, Klatchian Coffee, High on Catnip and G-Rated Stoner.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • Bones Coffee: In "The Ultimate Coffee That Will Heighten Productivity", "High Voltage" is portrayed as something akin to cocaine.
  • There was an entire series of commercials in the 80s/early 90s about people having increasingly agitated monologues about how unfair it is that some circumstances prevented them from getting their morning bowl of Corn Pops, while the theme from Jaws played in the background. Surprisingly, these commercials were made by Kellogg's with the implication that the cereal was just that good, ignoring the implications that people who can't get Corn Pops act like junkies going into withdrawal.

    Anime & Manga 
  • One chapter of Ah! My Goddess started with Belldandy first drinking everyone under the table at a party, and she explains that alcohol simply has no effect on her. Then she has one can of cola and is instantly intoxicated. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In season 2 episode 4 of Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts, Himeji gets drunk off some chocolates she ate. And due to her Yandere and Clingy Jealous Girl tendencies, she and Shouko force their respective Love Interests and resident Butt Monkeys Akihisa and Yuuji to play a strip card game with them. And both girls win pretty handily.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, the normally serious Spinel Sun (aka Suppi-chan) gets drunk/high on sugar, and goes crazy after eating just a few sweets.
  • The Level Upper in A Certain Scientific Railgun is a sound file that amplifies the powers of any esper that listens to it. However, it comes with the side-effect of causing its users to collapse into a coma. It's distributed illegally throughout Academy City by shady people and it's generally treated as if it were a deadly drug.
  • Ryuk in Death Note needs apples! He practically has withdrawal symptoms if he doesn't eat any for a prolonged amount of time.
  • Chihiro Kawai from Pretty Sammy has an extreme addiction to karaoke, at one point going through withdrawals after her new computer (which she mistook for a high-tech karaoke machine) breaks. In a later episode she even ties up and gags a bus attendant and steals the woman's microphone so she can lead a tour bus in a rendition of one of her songs.
  • In the Welcome to the NHK light novel and manga, nearly the first thing we see the protagonist do is snort a small amount of a 'legal drug' he 'brought off the internet'. In the anime, the drug was removed, and the resulting trip was changed from a drug-induced hallucination into a psychotic hallucination.
  • Chitose in YuruYuri gets drunk off chocolates as well, and has a tendency to kiss anyone in the vicinity when she does it.

    Asian Animation 
  • Season 7 episode 39 of Happy Heroes is about Lele the Funny Animal dog accidentally consuming chocolate and becoming addicted to it (unlike the real-life animal, chocolate is not poisonous to Lele's species of dog alien, though it is still strong enough to make them delirious). It eventually devolves into Big M. and Little M., both disguised as cats, secretly selling him chocolates in a suitcase.

    Comic Books 
  • In Justice League International, Martian Manhunter developed an addiction to Oreos, which were later renamed "Chocos" due to copyright issues. When Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) played a prank on J'onn by hiding his Chocos, he went on a rampage.
  • Iron Man #178 featured a lighthearted story about a group of kids who dress up as the Avengers and pretend to fight crime. In a scene parodying Tony Stark's struggles with alcoholism at the time, Mikey, the club's former Iron Man, is shown aimlessly wandering around Brooklyn without any shoes on and guzzling a bottle of...Coca-Cola. When Mikey begins questioning his own memory, he even says "I have been hitting the old sugar-water lately."
  • Judge Dredd parodies this trope several times.
    • In "The Comic Pusher", with vintage comic books. Of 2000AD, at that.
    • Another couple stories center on Umpty, candy that tastes so good it causes cravings. Overlaps as Fantastic Drug.
    • Finally, genuine sugar has been banned - citing numerous health reasons - and in the present of the comic counts as a hard drug. Caffine has been banned for similar reasons.
  • The "Knuckles" spin-off series of Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) featured a mini-arc involving the Chaotix investigating the distribution of an addictive substance called Lemon Sundrop Dandelion, under the guise of secret sauce for a theme park's chili dogs. It had led to the death of one of Charmy the Bee's old friends before the story began. Its hallucinogenic side effects are coincidentally similar to actual LSD (hence the equally-coincidental connection to the comic's drug name).

    Comic Strips 
  • Dandelions were implied to be hallucinogenic, addictive and self-destructive in Bloom County several times.
  • Frequently in Peanuts, whenever Linus is without his blanket, he suffers painful-looking withdrawal symptoms. In one sequence Charlie Brown agrees to keep Linus company during a night in which his blanket is missing. Charlie explains as the punchline, "The first night without the blanket is going to be the hardest."

    Eastern European Animation 
  • KikoRiki: Honey is treated like one in "The Sweetness of Honey", with Barry suffering from an addiction to it that constantly puts him in a bad condition.

    Fan Works 
  • Along with previously established G-rated drugs in The Sims 4, Catastrophe Theory treats mood potions as a drug because they're technically mood-altering substances. It's unclear whether taking mood enhancers is habit-forming, but it's highly discouraged by some sims for being unnatural.
  • In the Fairly Oddparents fanfiction, Origin of the Pixies, magical beings are subject to getting drunk on sugary substances like candy and soda rather than alcohol.
  • Ace Lives: In one of the one-shots, Luffy is banned from drinking caffeinated drinks (specifically, coffee) because it turns him into a hyperactive ball of mass destruction on par with Whitebeard. When the Whitebeard Pirates themselves realize this, Whitebeard orders Marco to dump all the coffee the fleet had, much to his sons' frustration.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: Liv's addiction to salty snacks is framed as a parallel to her dad Krusty's smoking habit, complete with a shot in "The Heiress Diaries" where she puts a French fry in her mouth at the same time Krusty puts a cigarette in his.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K: Inquisitorial agent Hecate has a Sweet Tooth and is constantly eating candy... because sugar turns out to be a placebo for the real Fantastic Drug she is addicted to.

    Films — Animated 
  • While 9 is rated PG-13 for its Family-Unfriendly Violence and terror, 8's addiction to magnetism still fulfills this trope.
  • Archibald Snatcher, the Big Bad of The Boxtrolls, is obsessed with cheese as a status symbol, even though eating it causes a violent allergic reaction that not only makes his face swell up in a nasty fashion, but causes him to act like a surly drunk and even hallucinate at one point. One of his lackeys, Mr. Pickles, even warns him "You know what cheese can do to you..."
  • While Fantastic Planet is hardly G-rated, the film abounds with drug imagery, drug effects, hallucinatory other-worlds — and yet, no real drugs.
  • In Frozen Fever, Elsa's cold starts to make her act increasingly delirious as the short continues. It's implied the cold medicine Anna got from Oaken didn't help matters (in olden days, it was common for "patent medicines" to contain strong narcotics like cocaine and heroin).
  • In The Good Dinosaur, Arlo and Spot eat some fruit from the ground. Judging from the hallucinations following, it was well fermented fruit.
  • The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure: Two egg-napping Struthiomimus brothers, Ozzy and Strut, treat eggs like some kind of drug. Ozzy is obsessed with eggs to the point he dedicates a Villain Song of how he loves to crack and taste the eggs in explicit details, while Strut simply wants to stick with a plant-based diet since he's starving and plants are far easier to get than eggs.note  Ozzy, of course, bullies Strut for trying to go clean and insists they shall only eat eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Bowdlerized in Kiki's Delivery Service where Kiki and her friends are shown to drink coffee (with no ill effects). The English translation implies they are drinking hot chocolate instead.
  • Simba pretty much uses the philosophy of Hakuna Matata in The Lion King (1994) in the same way some drug addicts use drugs to solve their problems.
  • In Sahara, Gary the snake can't help but inhale flower pollen every chance he gets.He willingly refuses to do this near the end of the film however, as helping Ajar rescue his sister is more important.
  • During The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie, Spongebob gets a hangover from too much ice cream.
  • Trolls: The Trolls are this to the Bergens. They serve as psychedelic drugs that when consumed orally, they help make a Bergen feel happiness. Poppy helps the Bergens realize they don't need to eat Trolls to be happy as they had happiness in them all along.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • All Night Long: Johnny, as part of his complicated Manipulative Bastard scheme, tempts Cass with a marijuana joint. This triggers a monologue from Cass about how he had to go to rehab, which Aurelius (his boss) paid for, but now he's straight. He then proceeds to fall Off the Wagon with Johnny, and this super-dangerous marijuana joint causes him to get angry and violent and fling gratuitous insults at a producer, until Aurelius fires him. The film was made in 1962 and apparently the writers didn't have the nerve to make the drug heroin or cocaine.
  • In Chuck E. Cheese in the Galaxy 5000, there's "Zoom Gas." The antagonists flood their cockpit with it then start acting all giddy and driving at absurd speeds. Hmmm....
  • El Indio in For a Few Dollars More smokes what is presumably marijuana, but it's never mentioned exactly what it is. There's a few points where we see him so stoned he falls asleep with his eyes open or ends up giggling uncontrollably, but other than that the film deliberately makes it unclear whether Indio's psychotic behavior is caused by the drugs, or whether he's actually medicating a mental illness with them and without them he'd be even worse. (The fact that he twitchily requests joints from his underlings after killing people for trivial reasons supports this interpretation). Presumably, the intention was to placate Moral Guardians in America, without ending up in the Reefer Madness hysteria school by claiming weed will turn you into a bipolar rapist.
  • The Happytime Murders, despite being an R-rated film, has this in the form of sugar and sugar-based products (e.g. rock candy, syrup, etc.), which are treated as hard drugs for puppets.
  • Radagast in The Hobbit feels the effects of Gandalf's pipe-weed, and Saruman later comments disapprovingly on his consumption of mushrooms. At the risk of informing you of something you already know: Tolkien unambiguously intended "pipe-weed" to be interpreted as Nicotiana, not Cannabis. Though tobacco does contain, as the genus name indicates, nicotine, and that can give people who aren't used to it a "buzz".
  • The Extremis serum in Iron Man 3 has some hints of this. Jack Taggart very clearly seems to be going through withdrawal, and Aldrich Killian states that test subjects who can't regulate their dosage properly will be dropped from the trials, as addiction will not be tolerated.
  • Labyrinth features a peach, which after all is just a peach, but seems to operate a lot like a hallucinogenic roofie.
  • The Lotus Hotel in The Lightning Thief. While in the book, it was the arcade games that kept you there, the film has them literally eat lotus blossoms during their stay. This is treated as them getting high.
    Annabeth: I think I figured it out, I know why we're here.
    Percy: Why are we here?
    Annabeth: To HAVE FUN!
  • The drug-fueled, hallucination-laden madness that is Naked Lunch (the film, at least) revolves around Lee's addiction to... extermination powder? Granted, it was meant as an indirect adaptation of the original novel, in which heroin was the culprit.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera averts this with Zydrate. The promo stuff makes it seem G-rated, but then its first appearance in the actual movie is when Grave-Robber extracts it from a corpse, and it has some pretty nightmarish effects. Towards the finale, Amber Sweet, the daughter of the owner of GeneCo, Rotti Largo, has her face fall off because of a shoddy, last-minute surgery to fix her accidentally-scarred face right before the opera. The really nightmarish thing is that she isn't screaming because she's so high off Zydrate. The nightmarish effects are because, when you're extracting it from a corpse, it's bound to be a little less than 99 44/100% pure. The official GeneCo version just seems to be a very effective (and incidentally addictive) painkiller.
  • In The Smurfs, Grouchy has a scene in which he overindulges in M&M's and has a "candid" conversation with a green M&M plushie.
  • According to actor Topher Grace, his portrayal of Venom in Spider-Man 3 was deliberately meant to evoke the image of a drug addict, with the symbiote substituting for any actual substance abuse.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Xavier being dependent on his medicine, and suffering intense pain from his powers returning when he stops taking it, is about the closest a PG-13 film can come to depicting the effects of drug abuse and withdrawal.



  • Jasper Fforde loves this trope
    • Characters in Shades of Grey use different colours as recreational drugs. "Lime" is seen as a gateway drug, while "Lincoln" is more dangerous.
    • In Nursery Crime, bears are addicted to porridge.
    • In the Britain of Thursday Next, cheese is a controlled substance.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's modern urban fantasy books, elves react to caffeine the way humans to cocaine. (Give an elf a can of cola and he'll be very happy. Give him a double shot of espresso, and it could kill him if he's not used to it.)

Individual works

  • Animorphs, maple and ginger instant oatmeal is highly addictive to the Yeerks, unfortunately it also permanently removes their need to leave their hosts to feed, and drives them insane, although it does also weaken their ability to control the host's body.
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the tour passes by a room where the Oompa-Loompas are drinking "butterscotch and soda" and "buttergin and tonic", which make them "tiddly".
  • In Kage Baker's Company series, the cyborg process gives (along with superpowers) immunity to all the usual drugs — but, unexpectedly, cyborgs get stoned on chocolate.
  • Touched on in The Dark Tower novel The Drawing of the Three. Roland is in the body of Eddie, a drug user who is currently drug running to get his fix. When Eddie gives Roland a hot dog and Pepsi, he has a major sugar rush and wonders, dumbfounded, why someone would need heroin when something like this (sugar) is widely and legally available.
  • In The Dresden Files, pizza is this for pixies. Harry Dresden keeps a small army of them on as retainers for recon work and other support jobs (plus picked up a faerie extermination squad to keep roaches and rats out) in exchange for a weekly "bribe" of hot, fresh pizza. Lampshaded in Changes when Harry does this in front of Sanya.
    Sanya: You are a drug dealer. To tiny faeries. For shame.
  • In The Falconer the small faery Derrick gets drunk on honey.
  • The Strugatsky Brothers' novel The Final Circle Of Paradise has an agent being sent to a seaside resort to investigate a number of mysterious deaths that may indicate an overdose by a new drug. His goal is to find the suppliers and the manufacturers, so it can be shut down before spreading to other places. Everyone is reluctant to talk about it, but someone lets it slip that the drug is called "slug" (or "slag" in the original version), which turns out to be a "vacuum tubusoid", a cheaply-made commonly-available electronic component that someone accidentally inserted into a radio receiver (it has the same shape as a heterodyne receiver) while taking a bath, resulting in an LSD-like effect enhanced by adding aroma-salts to the bath water and taking a few anti-mosquito tablets. At the end, the agent fails to convince his superiors that this is not your typical drug ring and quits, deciding to fight the threat to human civilization (i.e. everybody spending their days in bathtubs with the "slug" plugged in) by changing the way people think.
  • Averted on multiple occasions in Hank the Cowdog In the first book, Hank gets drunk on fermented corn—which he goes out of his way to inform the reader is alcoholic, complete with slurred speech, loss of balance, and a Drunken Song. It happens again in a later book, where he tricks a monkey into opening bottle of beer from the fridge which they both share. Another Drunken Song ensues. The cowboys are also frequently seen chewing tobacco.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, Dakota, a son of Bacchus, is addicted to Kool-Aid. With three times the normal sugar.
  • In Hal Clement's "Iceworld" the aliens suffer a single dose activated addiction to nicotine that will kill them if they are not forever supplied with the drug.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe introduces us to the Arcona species, for whom simple salt acts as a hallucinogen. The innocent-sounding "spice" is a stand-in for drugs, with the most common being glitterstim (basically space LSD), and a Shout-Out to Dune.
  • In Julie Cross's Tempest: A Novel Adam drinks a 6 pack of red bull and ends up wired for the rest of the night. It's stated that even a single can of coke keeps him up all night building bridges out of toothpicks.
  • Mr Tulip in the Discworld novel The Truth is addicted to the idea of drugs, and is noted several times as taking various substances as if they were drugs, regardless of what effects such substances might actually have. He's been known to snort things like mothballs, for example.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • Moroi and Strigoi release endorphins when they feed. This is treated as seriously as any other drug, however. There are three notable references to the drug-like qualities.
    • Those that are "feeders" are perfect examples. They allow the Moroi to drink from them in return for the high. Those who have been a feeder for a long time are portrayed to be very out of it, almost constantly high.
    • Blood Whores are Dhampires that let Moroi feed on them. While feeders are treated with respect, Blood Whores, surprisingly, are not. Rose has to deal with something similar in the first book, as when she ran away with Lissa, she would allow Lissa to feed on her.
    • When Strigoi Dimitri captures Rose, he keeps her incapacitated by feeding off of her.
  • In Worldwar by Harry Turtledove, it turns out that ginger is an extremely addictive drug to the Race (with effects similar to cocaine) and within a few months of the invasion, drug smuggling rings have sprung up and humans are exploiting the addiction. The bigger problems start when females arrive and it turns out that ginger sends them into estrus (they normally mate in seasons). This results in two new institutions among the Race: prostitution and romantic love.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In a combination of this and (heh) Crack is Cheaper, 3rd Rock from the Sun had Dick becoming obsessed with Fuzzy Buddies and wasting much of the Solomons' finances on them.
  • ALF: Alf once got addicted to cotton, where the effects seem like a combination of being both high and drunk.
  • Arrow replaced Roy Harper's heroin addiction from the comics with a dependence on a fictional Japanese Psycho Serum called "Mirakuru."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had magic during season 6, especially during the episode "Wrecked".
  • In California Dreams they had a very special episode in which one of the girls is convinced to take steroids to qualify for an Olympic volleyball team. She's eventually found out, and has an intervention (complete with breakdown in the middle of the local teen hangout) after which it is never referred to again.
  • Stephen Colbert's painkiller addiction on The Colbert Report, which lasted for the duration of the actor's wrist injury. The broken wrist was real; the painkillers were SweetTarts.
  • The Doctor Who serial "Nightmare of Eden" has the drug Vraoxin, an organic substance whose origin are unknown but whose properties are ultimately lethal.
  • Dollhouse features a mysterious "memory drug" in the season one episode "Echoes". Supposedly, it triggers suppressed memories. Effectively, the characters in contact with it act like they are on a strong psychotic substances like mescaline.
  • In Family Ties, Alex Keaton becomes addicted to unspecified "diet pills" (in the days when this would likely be an amphetamine or NDRI) which operate as a stimulant, in an attempt to handle the stress of scholastic life. He eventually crashes, missing the big exam that has been the build-up of the entire sequence.
  • In Farscape, one episode has the crew travelling back in time to Earth through a wormhole. They arrive on Halloween, and Rygel gets hopped up on sugar, acting a bit like a crack/speed addict.
    Rygel: Chrichton! How illegal is this dren?
  • An early First Wave episode reveals that ordinary table salt has a cocaine-like effect on the Gua (either that or it's an unintended side-effect of their Half-Human Hybrid husks). Later, Gua salt dens are found. It's shown that any Gua caught ingesting salt is executed.
  • For some reason, in the original Hawaii Five-O episode "Up Tight", every reference to LSD was removed and the word "speed" substituted. The women's behavior when they were using it, and the charismatic Leary-like guru who dispensed it, all indicated LSD, not speed.
  • How I Met Your Mother plays this for laughs, having Future!Ted refer to marijuana as "sandwiches" in order to avoid outright mentioning the drug to his kids, and the live action has the characters eating sandwiches and laughing hysterically afterward. In one episode they baked a bag of "sandwiches" into brownies. There are other (intentional) logic holes too:
    The dean is coming! Put out your sandwich!
  • From iCarly:
    • In the episode "iDo", Sam wears a meatball patch. It works like a nicotine patch, but is supposed to reduce her cravings for meat. She's wearing several, and they don't seem to be working.
    • Canadian fatcakes are illegal in America for some reason
    • In "iLost My Head in Vegas", Gibby eats an entire bag of sugar, reacts like he's having a bad trip, tells Freddie he's freaking out and then screams "I'm falling".
  • Kamen Rider has sometimes used the drug metaphor for whatever's turning people into the Monster of the Week:
    • The Gaia Memories in Kamen Rider Double give their users superpowers, but improper use results in addiction, insanity, and withdrawal symptoms. It doesn't help that people who use them are called Dopants. Don't even think about mainlining one; it will mess up your body. And may your deity of choice help you if you get an adulterated Gaia Memory from a shadier-than-usual dealer...
      • And most Dopants only use one Memory for a VERY good reason, the only one shown to have used more than one (in fact a large number) got a VERY disturbing death.
    • Zodiarts Switches in Kamen Rider Fourze have a very similar effect to the aforementioned Gaia Memories, with the major difference being that Zodiarts Switches are Magical Space Drugs instead of Magical Earth Drugs.
    • Lock Seeds in Kamen Rider Gaim don't have any drug-like effects with their usual use of summoning Invase Mons, but they're sold by a shady character named Sid, who dresses and behaves suspiciously like a drug dealer. It doesn't help that Sid and his superiors have an ulterior motive and specifically target kids because they're immature and don't know better.
      • ...But for less usual uses, the drug effects become more apparent. For starters, any Invase that eats a Lock Seed goes One-Winged Angel. The Riders also use Drivers to use the Seeds' powers on themselves; and when one gets his Driver destroyed he definitely seems to be going through power withdrawal (including hallucinations). And then there's the fruit that the Seeds come from, which is supernaturally tempting and - while apparently safe for Invase to eat - causes a transformation into a mad Invase when consumed by humans.
  • In an episode of Kenan & Kel, Kenan challenges Kel to stop drinking orange soda for a week, it leads to Kel acting like he is going through a drug abstinence, including shakings and nightmares.
  • In an episode of MythBusters, Tory Grant and Kari tested a myth about smugglers smuggling contraband across borders by driving with no lights on to evade detection. The (theoretical) contraband being smuggled in this scenario? Canadian maple syrup.
  • The Nanny: In "Shopaholic", Fran becomes addicted to shopping in order to cope with her ex-boyfriend Danny's engagement to Heather Biblow. She even goes through withdrawals and has to have a "fix" via smelling shopping receipts.
  • NCIS: Abby and her Caf-Pow! It's definitely treated like a coffee addiction; there's episodes of her trying to quit and episodes that mention that she drinks a lot of Caf-Pow.
    [Gibbs walks into her lab with his hands behind his back]
    Abby: What are you hiding?
    [Gibbs reveals a Caf-Pow]
    Abby: Oh no! It's too late, I can't.
    [Gibbs reveals a No Caf-Pow]
    Abby: Gibbs, you are an enabler. And I love you for it. [takes both of them]
  • Odd Squad: In place of more adult beverages like beer and wine, Oprah drinks juice. Her daily intake tops one thousand juice boxes a day before she decides to cut back to one hundred. In "Xs and Os", she goes through withdrawal symptoms after weaning off of juice to save money due to overspending, to the point where she becomes a Technically Living Zombie and needs only a single juice box from Otis to return to normal. The liquid seems to be alcoholic only to her, as other characters are shown drinking juice without getting drunk off of it, whether it's due to them being able to withstand its effects or otherwise.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Sabrina gets addicted to pancakes, which isn't THE family secret, but a family secret.
  • In Sam & Cat, Sam drinks root beer the way adults drink regular beer.
    Sam (yelling at Cat): I drink root beer because of you!
  • Saved by the Bell had Jessie, caffeine pills, and one of the most memorable scenes in the history of television.
  • Sliders:
    • In an episode, the main characters slide into a Prohibition-like world, where caffeine has taken the place of alcohol. Along with the clothing and music styles of the 20s, they also got speakeasies, where coffee is sold in tiny bags for $5 each, gangsters, and corrupt cops.
    • Another episode has the opposite: a world where there are no illegal drugs, and being an addict is mandatory. Cops walk around with tranq guns to calm down those who have gone off meds, until they can get an implant that allows easy injections directly into the bloodstream.
  • Small Wonder had an episode called "Vicki and the Pusher." Instead of consuming the drug she obtained in the schoolyard, Vicki hid it in a flowerpot.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The first season episode "Symbiosis", which featured a planet of people addicted to the narcotic "felicium" because it was a virus cure (and therefore invoking this trope) and another planet that did nothing but supply the drug even after the disease it was supposed to treat had long been eradicated, since the residents were so addicted to it.
    • The episode "The Game" that did it with a video game that directly affected neurotransmitters in all kinds of ways and was described constantly as addictive.
  • Parodied (in their usual absurd fashion) by Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! with an advertisement for the fictional children's product, the Cinco i-Jammer and e-Bumper. The device is a digital jukebox with "two revolutionary dance tones," which clearly seem to have some form of highly questionable effect. Then, you factor in the fact that it makes you so wonky that you have to eat food paste ("Oh Hungee")
  • Victorious has:
    • Bibble, a sugary candy from Britain. Cat gets addicted to it, bringing a wheelbarrow full of the candy wherever she goes. Her friends try to get her off the candy, giving her bibble-flavored gum as an alternative. Eventually, her parents hire a bodyguard to stop her from eating bibble. Bibble is mentioned in Cat's Spin-Off show, Sam & Cat.
    • André sitting alone drinking 'chocolate beverage' in "The Diddly-Bops" is suspiciously similar to an alcoholic.
    • In "How Trina Got In", Sikowitz drinks some bad coconut milk. From the looks of it, bad coconut milk is a hallucinogen...
  • WandaVision: In "Don't Touch That Dial", Vision, an android pretending to be a human, accidentally swallows some chewing gum and it clogs his internal machinery. As a result, his behavior swerves from prim and proper to extremely cocky and inebriated.
  • Welcome Back, Kotter: The episode "What Goes Up ..." featured Freddie (one of the show's four main students) becoming addicted to painkillers after being prescribed them to heal a basketball injury. He convinces a scared Horshack that the pills are really just "vitamins" (but is unsuccessful with his teacher or other friends), only seeing the light when Horshack tries to contact the pusher who sold Freddie the pills.
  • The Young Ones: "Vyv - can you actually, like, kill yourself with laxative pills?"

  • In Froggy Fresh's two-part music video 'Fun Trip', recurring protagonist James gets all the kids in town hooked on a the titular powdery blue candy (made with pure Brazilian sugar). It turns users into blue-eyed addicts, and withdrawal requires two weeks to detox.
  • As recorded on The Hamilton Mixtape, Lin-Manuel Miranda's part in "Wrote My Way Out" compares being without his pen to being in withdrawal and he begs someone to give it back to him.
  • Eminem:
    • Several early Slim Shady songs use real drugs that Slim consumes in impossible ways:
      • In "Any Man", Slim gets high on weed by injecting it.
      • In "Greg":
        Fuck an acid tab, I strapped the whole sheet to my forehead
        Waited 'til it absorbed in and fell to the floor dead
      • In "Off The Wall" Slim gets high on Tylenol by holding the pills in his palms into they melt into his pores.
    • In the radio edit of "My Name Is", Slim drives dangerously while high on Kool-Aid. (Since it comes in a verse which is largely about him struggling with his suicidal urges, this is arguably darker than the original.)
    • In "Still Don't Give A Fuck", Slim Shady gets high on laxatives. Eminem apparently wrote this in response to the censorship he faced for his drug lyrics, finding it hilarious that you could rap about destroying your colon but not your mind.
    • The D12 song "Purple Pills" is an over-the-top parody of an Ode to Intoxication, describing the stupidity and violence of the group as they go on a night-out/shameless drug binge. The famously incoherent radio edit, "Purple Hills", replaces the drug references with legal substances, meaning that Kon Artis is freaking out, losing feeling in his limbs, nearly dying of an overdose, and hallucinating leprechauns due to being on "Tums - the Ex-Lax is gone".
    • Throughout Relapse, Slim consumes absurd amounts of branded pharms, many of which are not even recreational - like Zantac (a drug used to treat IBS), Ventolin (an asthma inhaler), Seroquel (an antipsychotic)...
    • For a more dramatic example, NyQuil tends to show up in Em's post-overdose discography as if it was a much harder drug than the tame over-the-counter sleep aid that it is. The reason for this is that, during the height of Eminem's sleeping pill addiction, NyQuil was a serious trigger for him; he'd resort to NyQuil to treat his rebound insomnia, but if he messed up with the dose it would make him extra wired and would end up back with him swallowing handfuls of Ambien. NyQuil therefore tends to turn up as a metaphor for his addiction altogether.
    • Several songs ("If I Had...", "Any Man", "I'm Shady" and "Lucky You") mention Mini-Thins, a legal ephedrine supplement sold as a weight loss aid, but frequently abused by people not able to get good drugs. During Eminem's drug addiction, he himself had issues with another ephedrine supplement, Xenadrine, marketed as a workout supplement, which he used to abuse to deal with the side effects of his addiction to sleep medication (and which gets a shoutout in "We Made You").

    Puppet Shows 
  • Dinosaurs:
    • The show has an episode about thornoids, which are sentient drugs meant to increase strength and muscles size, but have side-effect of growing thorns.
    • Another episode focuses on Robbie and Spike happening upon a plant in the forest which they eat, and become high. Robbie brings it back home and soon Earl and Charlene get high on it, and Earl brings it to work where everyone there eats it too — including his boss Mr. Richfield — and they're in a marijuana-like high for most of the episode, eventually running out of food in the house. In the end, they go back to the forest to find more of the plant, only to find Spike — who never left where he was — covered in dirt and leaves after just being high in the forest for a week. Robbie then lampshades this by breaking the fourth wall and telling the audience that drugs are bad because drug use compels sitcoms like Dinosaurs to do obligatory drug-PSA episodes like this one.
  • Fraggle Rock had "Wembley's Wonderful Whoopee Water," which, based on the description, was basically a clear caffeinated soda. Unusually, the episode that featured it was NOT about drugs, but a Green Aesop; it was procuring the whoopee water that was dangerous, not its use.
  • The Muppets Mayhem: During a camping trip the Electric Mayhem (except Zoot who doesn't eat sugar) and their manager Nora eat some marshmallows that expired in June 1992, 30 years before the episode takes place. The marshmallows cause everyone to vividly hallucinate as if they'd taken something much stronger.

  • Children's radio show Jungle Jam and Friends had an episode in which characters discover that they get a pleasant buzz from being knocked on the head by a falling coconut, a practice they refer to as "clunking." What follows is a perfect metaphor for the controversy surrounding the consumption of cigarettes, complete with political rallies, discussions about the dangers of "second-hand clunking," and the eventual revelation of a fatal outcome for the clunker: terminal hiccups.

    Video Games 
  • In one of the first questlines in Callahans Crosstime Saloon, you're tasked with saving an endangered jungle-dwelling variant of chocolate bean plant, considered to produce the tastiest chocolate in the world. In order to convince the land owner to spare the bean (he wants to clearcut the area for wood) you have to make a bar of the stuff with an extremely makeshift process that is crude, clumsy and missing many necesseary ingredients... and the taste is still enough to briefly send the man into an euphoric fugue state, after which he's completely sold on preserving the plant, even if it means giving up the logging business. You're later informed that the plant was saved, and the owner became insanely wealthy producing chocolate... chocolate that had to be classified as a drug and restricted, because it was just that good. The owner had unrestricted access and died very happy, weighing about as much as a SUV and having to be buried by collapsing his house because the body couldn't be carried.
  • Cuphead has Cagney Carnation's fuzzies, whose attacks become a quickie type of drug in the patched version in that if you get hit by one, the entire screen will get blurry and distorted (and the sound will get static-y) for a second or two.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D's Nintendo 64 port, the Steroids were renamed "Vitamin X".
  • All of the Fallout games use made-up drugs with drastic effects far beyond those of real-world drugs (for example, drinking a beer will make the character objectively stronger for a short time, letting him/her carry more and use heavier equipment). Fallout 3 was set to contain real-world morphine, but Australian Moral Guardians led to the game being banned until "morphine" was replaced with the generic "Med-X." Fallout: New Vegas even introduces "Fixer," an anti-drug that will kick your addictions in exchange for some Interface Screw.
    • The series also subverts this, since the drugs and their beneficial effects are fictional, but prolonged use will cause harmful effects and create stat-damaging dependencies that have to be treated.
  • The first two entries in Gameloft's Gangstar series of ''Grand Theft Auto'' clones has players engage in what appears to be a drug-dealing minigamenote , though Crime City and Kings of L.A. were censored to the point that narcotics are instead substituted with confectionery products.
  • Heavy Rain has Norman Jayden, an FBI agent with a Boston accent that comes in and out from line to line and a powerful addiction to blue luminescent powders, even more over the top in the end because it's hard to know what's coming from the drugs/withdrawal, his magic sunglasses from the future or the way he himself seems a bit unhinged to begin with.
    • The addiction is treated as something akin to an addiction to painkillers, since he takes the medication to stave off the side effects of using his future police glasses (which include blinding headaches, nausea, and occasional loss of basic motor functions). Throughout the whole game he walks a fine line between using the glasses too much and taking too much medication to compensate. There is actually at least one instance where the player can make the choice to press on with the case (and risk further damage to Nahman's system) or to quit and save him the trouble (at which point the player switches to another one of the playable characters).
    • Though the ARI (afformentioned future-glasses) are actually capable of permanent damage. Three endings illustrate this. Two of these are more permanent than the third. It has these effects even on people who have never used it. Norman has 20 thousand points in an ongoing game of VR pong.
  • One of Impossamole's power-ups is a can marked with an S, presumably standing for "steroids", that increases Monty's kick power.
  • Black ISO-8 is treated this way in Marvel: Contest of Champions, with characters referring to it and the abilities it grants like one would crave a drug. The "Contamination" event involves tracking down the source of it, eventually revealing Joe Fixit to be behind it.
  • The later installments of Mega Man Battle Network have a variant in the form of Dark Chips. The chips are extremely powerful when used in battle, but harms the NetNavi to use them; said NetNavi becomes addicted to them with repeated use, until they are too far gone for their operator and they eventually get deleted.
  • In Metal Gear Solid V, the player can gather medicinal plants in order to develop various items, usually drugs or drug-based weapons. As the game could not be seen to endorse real drug manufacture, species associated with illegal drugs were tweaked.
    • "Golden Crescent", an ancient analgesic cultivated in Afghanistan and used to make Instant Sedation weapons, is an opium poppy recoloured blue, a colour impossible for poppies to be in real life. The name 'Golden Crescent' is a traditional name for the area opium is cultivated, though in-game we're informed the plant's name comes from its golden, crescent-shaped leaves (which it does not have).
    • "Haoma" is a central nervous stimulant plant used to make drugs that enhance senses or speed up perception of time. It is said to have been included in a sacred drink named Haoma in Zoroastrianism, but is Ephedra sinica with the stem and bud colours reversed. (Ephedra is the plant which gives us ephedrine, a stimulant drug and a naturally occurring member of the amphetamine family, and is the most archaeologically evidenced candidate for the active ingredient of Soma, a sacred drink of the ancient Aryan war god cult).
    • Wormwood and the two Digitalis species are real plants that are medically useful in real life, but the effects of them in the game are not representative of their real purposes. V vapes wormwood for recreation - while wormwood in reality is believed to have some recreational psychoactive effects, these are more along the lines of 'pleasant, stimulated feeling of everything being just right' rather than 'deliriously fast-forwarding an entire day's worth of time'. Digitalis is a valuable drug in the real world for slowing dangerously high heartbeats, but in the game is used to create tranquillisers, and Ishmael makes V instantly alert and resilient to pain with an injection of (digitalis-derived) digoxin in the opening sequence as if it was some kind of intense stimulant.
  • Monster Party used 'pills' that turned Mark into a flying gargoyle that would shoot lasers, essential making him a much more powerful character. The effect would be temporary and would often leave the player scrambling for another pill.
  • The Treynia and Hydropolis update of Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds has a huge chunk of the people of Treynia addicted to Caramel Powder courtesy of the Black Circle. Side effects include becoming spaced out, speaking slightly incoherently and having a voracious appetite. Does This Remind You of Anything? indeed.
  • Upon returning from the ruins of old Aperture in Portal 2, GLaDOS explains that the system that allows the core AI to maintain the facility is embedded with a function that gives the AI a jolt of euphoria upon a test subject completing a test. She's explaining this because she's currently not the one running the testing. Rather a Too Dumb to Live personality core named "Wheatley" is due to some shenanigans earlier in the story. Wheatley initially responds positively to the euphoric state but quickly starts becoming tolerant, which GLaDOS says is inevitable and the only way she managed to keep from continually craving the sense was because she enjoyed the testing for the sake of science. Without the secondary motivation, Wheatley becomes more ravenous and incensed to see tests completed like an addict needing a new high.
  • In Puyo Puyo!! 20th Anniversary, Witch accidentally leaves her potions on Primp's schoolyard. Klug mindlessly drinks the stuff and immediately gets very drunk, resulting in him going through intense mood swings. Lidelle is constantly giggling when Klug meets her later in that same story, implying she too has consumed a potion.
  • Played for Laughs in Roundabout where Georgio eats some candy dots and it somehow causes them to have an acid trip. Funnily enough, that scene alone gave the game a "use of drugs" content warning, even though the character is clearly eating candy.
  • The Sims 3: Late Night has the bubble bar. The Sims 2 had the bubble blower, which caused Sims to giggle and even float!
  • In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Rajan is a seller of illegal "spices" and acts very much like a drug mogul. Consume enough "spice", and you might be driven into a rage. And also be highly vulnerable to hypnosis. It's also used for food flavoring.
  • Fangame Sonic: After the Sequel has the Sugar Splash Zone and the piles of sugar lying around the stage that give Sonic beady eyes and make him run faster when he runs into them. Cue cocaine jokes.
  • The Warriors has a healing drug called "Flash" that is sniffed.
  • Yoshi's Island: Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy and the entire screen will turn Technicolor and swirl, and walking straight will become a challenge. Just imagine if it happened to you in real life.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "personal favorites", Strong Bad claims he once tried to fly Bubs' Concession Stand after drinking an entire glass of soy sauce.
    • According to "imaginary", too much "blue drink" will apparently warp a child's mind enough to start creating imaginary friends.
    • At the end of "Characters from Yonder Website", it turns out Strong Bad and company were hallucinating the mellow, far-out antics of their more crudely-drawn versions after drinking too much expired "Smarty Juice", a beverage which lists such side effects as "drowsiness, euphoria, and unbelievably soothing children's programming."
  • Sam & Mickey's Barbie's Childhood reveals in episode three that when their Barbie was too young to drink alcohol, she drank a lot of juice, instead.
  • Starter Squad: Bulbasaur is shown to enter a stoned-like state whenever he gets injected with venom from any other Pokémon's Poison Sting attack. Luckily, he's part Poison-type himself and it doesn't cause him any long-term harm.
  • In episode 2 of Team Neighborhood to cope with the stress of loosing internet the Soldier makes chocolate pudding at 4am and proceeds to snort it like cocaine, leading to a vivid hallucination.

  • DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything: Most Dicers, who are students, are willing to do anything for more Dice to use for themselves, which leads to some of them specifically buying and selling them. These Dicers become mentally weak and violent if they don't get more Dice.
  • Eerie Cuties: At one point, Nina switches bodies with her older sister Layla, but doesn't want Layla to wake up and realize what has happened, so right before she makes the switch, she consumes a heavy dose of the most powerful sedative she can imagine:
    Nina (in Layla's body): Don't worry. I drank warm milk with extra honey. She'll be out for hours!
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd and Grace spend an evening stoned on catnip while Grace was in a cat form.
  • Homestuck: Meulin and Kurloz apparently get stoned on catnip together. Catnip does have relaxing and euphoric effects similar to weed when smoked by humans in real life, but it's not potent enough to get anyone stoned enough to completely space out for about ten minutes like Meulin suspects 'nip' made her do. Damara is shown smoking a blunt and asks Meenah to get stoned with her, but it's never explained what exactly she is smoking.
    • Later, there is a powerful magic artifact known as a juju, shaped like a lollipop, the licking of which causes great power and great insanity. From an outside perspective, it resembles a powerful hallucinogen.
    • There's also Faygo, which affects trolls in a similar way to how alcohol affects humans. Eridan is fairly unimpressed by it, but Gamzee is more or less addicted to it and Terezi becomes so on the meteor.
  • Housepets!: Orange Soda has the effect of making pets drunk.
    Miles: [narrating] I must say, I did not expect intoxication was possible from a can of orange soda.
  • When Knights of Buena Vista covers Frozen, chocolate changes from Anna's Trademark Favorite Food to being an addiction, due to minor Min-Maxing.
  • Schlock Mercenary: Sergeant Schlock is addicted to Ovalkwik mix, which he eats directly from the can - although the ingredient statement suggests it might not be so G-rated, containing among other things nicotine, codeine, and something called "hyper-ephedrine."
  • Sleepless Domain: When Kokoro mentions her ex-girlfriend Outrageous Lime being "too hardcore" for her, Undine has a brief Imagine Spot of Lime offering Kokoro a package of generic drugs resembling cigarettes, helpfully labelled "The Drugs".

    Web Original 
  • Auto-Tune the News: Steve Buyer warns that lettuce is exactly the same as tobacco, so be careful (and stop regulating tobacco).
  • Joked about in episode 4 of the Disc Only Podcast. The four guys talk about giving drug-like street names to cereal after Jerod confesses that cereal is his favorite snack. They even act out drug dealing with cereal.
  • Dr. Crafty: Nurse Worse, being a Cute Frankenstein's Monster Girl, gets her drug fix by attaching electric cables to her bolts. When Crafty calls her out on it because of high power bills, she excuses this as being for "medicinal purposes".
  • Jimmy, a guest character in The Out Crowd snorts garlic powder. Tang and Kool-Aid, sometimes mixed together. You Hoo is this for Prof. Mindy.
  • SMPLive: Golden apples are illegal contraband on the server, and are treated like drugs, likely due to their in-game buffs that they give when eaten.
  • Played with in Tokyo Mew Mew in a Nutshell, where the gymnastics team offers Ichigo steroids so she can look mannish like them.
  • One of the mods in the Yogscast's Minecraft mod packs includes a Mana Potion which when drunk can cause random effects like speed boosts, blindness and dizziness. When Duncan and Kim discover this, they treat it very much like a drug (and an enjoyable one). They have also referred back to this a few times since.

Alternative Title(s): Family Friendly Drugs


High-Voltage Coffee

In "The Ultimate Coffee That Will Heighten Productivity", High Voltage is portrayed as something akin to cocaine.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

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