There are works that some people on shows will insist are more entertaining, or make more sense, if you're watching/reading/listening to/playing it while under the influence of a mind altering substance; be it alcohol, pot, acid, mushrooms, ecstasy, or whatever, man. Some people may say every work is better, but in general, there seems to be a select group of works that are claimed to be this way.
This usually happens with works supposedly made when the creators were under the influence of the same substances regardless of their actual sobriety. Most often it's Stoner Flicks that get this or if it just has a stoner character, especially an erudite one. Works that use Faux Symbolism also receive this. It also happens with works that involve swirls of bright colors, strobe lights, laser lights, mushroom sambas, or Disney Acid Sequences. Frequently, the work just has to involve something strange or out of the ordinary, so this is very common with fantasy and science fiction as well as works involving a Mind Screw. Also possible with works that are supposedly aimed at kids but the content calls this into question. Game shows from the 1970s- particularly the original Match Game- also fall under this due to their funky 70s-ness, raunchy humor and feel of intoxication (the way they were taped, the panel that week would often have drinks before the Thursday and Friday shows were taped, so they were under the influence, albeit in a non-pot way).
Whether or not the creators intentionally make it this way varies, as will whether or not they admit to it for several reasons. Doing so can lead to backlash from Moral Guardians and can cause problems for people under Contractual Purity because Drugs Are Bad. However, this can be affected by Values Dissonance which can lead to a Flip-Flop of God. It can also lead to a Misaimed Fandom, which can lead to the aforementioned problems but can also help how successful the work is leading to a Shrug of God.
This is a recurring joke among people who riff/recap/MST horrible movies online.
Has nothing to do with watching someone being stoned to death.
- Similar to the trope image example, a two-panel cartoon made for the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story series has a Smurf staring at a dull picture Painter created with colored squares, who says "I know how to fix that", and in the next panel, he is smoking a joint, his eyes have turned green, and he says that the picture looks much better — though this makes Painter upset that his picture has to be appreciated like this.
- The Piratesverse: In "An Adventure With Dracula", the Pirate With Gout comments that The Magic Flute is far easier to watch if one has a few drinks beforehand.
- Half Baked has the Enhancement Smoker, a character based entirely around this concept. The best part is how well he's played by Jon Stewart, and how many fans think this trope applies to the The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
Enhancement Smoker: You ever see the back of a twenty dollar bill... on weed? Oh, there's some crazy shit, man. There's a dude in the bushes. Has he got a gun? I dunno! RED TEAM GO, RED TEAM GO.
- Used in Knocked Up — when the guys go to Las Vegas, Pete brings along some psychedelic mushrooms and they deliberately save them for when they go to see Cirque du Soleil's Mystère. The experience is awesome at first, but by the end the drugs turn on Ben and he freaks out. (The commentary on the DVD notes that Cirque had no problem with their work being used in the context of this trope!)
- Woody Allen displays a dim view of this in Annie Hall when a California party guest says "You ever see Renoir's Grand Illusion? It's hilarious when you're stoned!"
- Invoked in Super Troopers when the guys use some confiscated pot to help them look for "evidence" in tapes of the Afghani-produced Johnny Chimpo cartoon.
- A common activity of the title character of Ted.
- Mac and Devin Go to High School opens with an animated talking joint named Slowburn who actually acknowledges the audience and invites them to light one up before watching. When Todd in the Shadows and The Rap Critic reviewed the movie, they pointed out that "watch it stoned" is not typically a compliment, and that a good Stoner Flick should be one that's still funny and entertaining even if you're not high.
- An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, Kevin Smith has a hilarious bit about how Dora the Explorer is perfect to watch while stoned.
- In The Count of Monte Cristo, Everything's Better On Hashish, according to protagonist Edmond Dantes, the eponymous Count, who delivers a flowery speech to Franz extolling its virtues with much hyperbole. Among the things that are Better On Hashish is, apparently, suicide, or so he convinces a depressed Maximilien Morrel towards the end of the book.
- In his non-fiction book Danse Macabre, Stephen King mentions that he made a grave mistake by getting stoned before watching Robot Monster, because he almost laughed himself into a hernia.
- In Illuminatus!. beatnik magazine editor Joe Malik prefers to watch the most mindane and run-of-the-mill American TV shows - potboiler detective series and soap operas - whilst stoned out his gourd, as he perceives greater depth of meaning in them in this frame of mind. Old monochrome movies are fertile turf for him, and in as many words, he gets to see and deconstruct the underlying tropes. this is extremely instructive with the adverts in between segments of shows - he realizes the nature of the manipulation tools involved.
- The 4/20/10 episode of The Colbert Report subverted this. Angry at stoners for celebrating their decadent lifestyle, the show lays out a series of frightening stimuli for the stoned viewer, including: loud banging noises as if the police were at your door, Stephen asking, "Are you ok? Everybody's been saying you're acting weird," and a police officer yelling at the screen.
- Speaking of Colbert, he once made a one-off joke about how small children and stoners are alike because "they sit there and drool while watching Yo Gabba Gabba!" (or something to that effect).
- Bill Bryson says he used to love watching Open University drunk.
- Craig Ferguson occasionally brings this up for laughs on The Late Late Show during the Cold Opening sketches where he's using a Hand Puppet and will make a comment along the lines of, "If you've been smoking marijuana this evening, you're welcome".
- One episode of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! parodied their show's stoner audience by claiming that they make the show while "smoking marijuano" [sic] in a ridiculous "interview" with Michael Ian Black. (They've said in straight interviews that no drugs are involved during the writing or filming of the show; the whole thing was a knowing wink and a nod to the audience.)
- Patti on Good Girls Revolt watches the news stoned to feel a part of it (her boss asks her why being at News of the Week doesnt make her feel part of the news). She also suggests this to him regarding music and even gives him a joint to try out. Towards the end of the first season, Gregory and Jane discuss paintings at an exhibition and he wonders whether hed enjoy them more if he were on LSD.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: In the "Mandatory Minimums" episode, John discusses how a man got 55 years in prison for selling marijuana despite its main side effect being "making episodes of Frasier slightly funnier."
- Genesis used to get annoyed in the early 1970's when people thought that you had to be on drugs to appreciate their music, because they had to be perfectly sober to play it. Except for Phil Collins, their then-drummer, who was happily high on marijuana during almost all of the depressing "Lamb" tour.
- Queens of the Stone Age are frequently categorized as "stoner rock," although the band members have rejected this label. They've stated in interviews that they gave up weed in junior high, and go on to make the point that Britney Spears probably sounds good if you're high. It doesn't mean she has any 'hidden depths'.
- Surprisingly averted by Hawkwind, or so at least the sleeve notes to their first album might have one believe:
We started out trying to freak people (trippers), now we are trying to levitate their minds, in a nice way, without acid...
- One of the most blatant lampshade hangings in musical history: the title of Spacemen 3's album Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To.
- Subverted by X Japan. Despite ongoing rumors that their original name "X" refers to ecstasy and having several songs referring to the use of various drugs (weed in Standing Sex, heroin in the non-gay sex remake of Stab Me In The Back, a likely oblique reference to ecstasy itself in Orgasm, heroin in IV, among others), all the band members aside from hide and Taiji categorically denied actually using drugs beyond alcohol and tobacco, and officially, the band is named after "infinity."
- Sitar legend Ravi Shankar hated it when hippies treated his music as Psychedelic Rock and showed up at his concerts under the influence. While Shankar was not a teetotaler, he felt the conflation of Indian culture with drug culture was insulting and cheapened his art. He remarked, "I assured them that if they wanted to be high, I could make them feel high through the music."
- Many of the experience reports on Erowid (a psychoactive encyclopedia) include mentions of how great show/song X is on drugs.
- The Nostalgia Critic occasionally invokes this, such as in his list of the "Top Ten Worst Anti-Drug PSA's" or in his review of The Super Mario Bros Super Show! and The Legend of Zelda animated series. Midway through the second half of his review of Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa, he realizes the movie came with a strip of acid that he forgot to take, but all it does is make it look like the movie's being played in The Matrix.
- Justin Pierce, creator of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, has an online shop with original posters and other nicknacks. One of these posters proclaims "ABSINTHE makes bad art look AMAZING".
- In Midnight Screenings, usually Brad or Dave will talk about liking to watch some movies when high, even movies they like anyway. Two minutes into Jupiter Ascending, Brad realized he should have gotten high before watching. Sarah assured him he could just get high next time he watched it.
- Cracked's J.F. Sargent decided to test this by watching six "stoner" movies sober and on drugs.
- Invoked by the Youtube channel Super Deluxe, which has an entire series of videos called Stoned Mode that they specifically state are "best watched while baked".
- Also invoked by CinemaSins:
- During his review of Pete's Dragon, which he has made very clear is almost as odious as suffering through The Fast and the Furious movies (He complains more about the former, but the latter actually killed the sin counter). He wonders if he was meant to watch it on drugs, you hear him hit on a bong, and he remarks that it's still not watchable.
- During some of the slow motion scenes in 300, Jeremy wonders "Was I supposed to take drugs before watching this movie? I mean, I could have. I just wish I'd known."
- Invoked by Honest Trailers in their episode on A Wrinkle in Time (2018), which they describe as a film with two target audiences: ten-year-old girls, and people high on LSD.
- PONY.MOV: Before watching the final battle between Rainbow Dash and Discord, Spike smokes a blunt saying, "Might as well make this interesting."
- The Simpsons:
- South Park:
- In "Quest for Ratings" the main group of kids can't figure out why Craig's "Close-Ups of Dogs in Funny Hats" is more popular than their news show. This changes when they get stoned on cough syrup and spend the whole time watching Craig's show.
- "Ike's Wee Wee" has Mr Garrison watching Teletubbies while completely off his face on Cannabis.
- "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off The Fatty Foods" have a couple of stoners at the planetarium, the only others there aside from the kids who were forced to go.
- In the American Dad! episode "Rough Trade", Stan is trying to get used to Roger's daily routine:
Stan: Roger watches this crap all day? What am I missing?
Klaus: An elevated blood alcohol content.
- Family Guy:
- In "Death Has a Shadow", Peter attends a stag party, but the porno he brought was taped over by Meg for a history assignment. The guys decide to drink more in hopes that "the Statue of Liberty would take her clothes off".
- In "420", Brian lists "ratings for Doctor Who are through the roof" as one of the social benefits of marijuana being legalised.
- In "Whistle While Your Wife Works", Brian mentions watching Real World/Road Rules Challenge with Jillian. When Stewie reminds him he hates MTV, he responds with "Pot helps."