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Widget Series

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"Japan put so many things inside my head that I can't get out."
Bao Nguyen, in the comment section of the RoboGeisha trailer

A Widget (WJT) is marketed as a Weird Japanese Thing, relatively offbeat and is compared to what is considered mainstream or popular (at least, for North American/Western European audiences). This has become more inclusive as anime and manga have developed a more mainstream presence, but usually exploits culture differences. The Widget Series often consists of Surreal Humor or a Gag Series, or in darker cases, Surreal Horror.


Sometimes they have small, short releases to test the audience, although they may have a guaranteed viewing among otaku.

Japanese cultural differences are the reason audiences get this impression and the reason they don't. Japanese storytelling conventions embrace a number of elements that are much less commonly found in media produced by most other societies – some common examples include extreme absurdist humor (with a particular penchant for untranslatable puns) and a fondness for ambiguity and open-ended conclusions. Simply put, Japanese culture can be refreshing to an outsider, but too much may cause a feeling of overload.

Until around the introduction of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball to American pop culture in 1996, most anime was out of the American mainstream, with only (very) few exceptions, principally ones that were and are considered to be of extraordinary quality in storytelling or artistry (such as AKIRA) – and every anime could be considered a Widget Series. Or something worse. Incidentally, even now many Japanese series are never ported over precisely because the original creators know it's weird and don't think there's a large market for it.


A weird series doesn't have to be Japanese to qualify as a Widget: some European, North American or Australasian series, like the ones from the examples below, are weird enough to compare with their Japanese brethren. Terms you'll likely see in this page include:

  • WTF (A Weird Thing from France)
  • W(H)AT (A Weird (Humorous) American Thing)
  • Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
  • WAST (Weirdly Awesome Soviet Thing)
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
  • EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity)
  • WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing) and WIT (Weird Icelandic Thing).
  • PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)
  • WOK (Weird Occurrence from Korea)

If it doesn't make sense in its own culture, it's most likely a case of What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?. This trope may sometimes (but not always) overlap with Cliché Storm. Not to be confused with the 1990s animated series Widget the World Watcher, which despite the name isn't quite weird enough to be a Widget Series. See also Values Dissonance and Humor Dissonance.


Note: Keep in mind that this trope is cultural, and is subject to the aforementioned Values Dissonance; what may seem normal or only marginally strange to one culture may come off as mind-blowingly weird to another, and vice versa. If an example here strikes you as not as unusual as the entry makes it out to be, you may want to take it to the discussion page instead of instigating an Edit War.

Examples with their own pages:


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WJT (Weird Thing from Japan)
  • Sakeru Gummy's Long Long Man series of commercials is unique in that it employs a narrative that could easily qualify it as a Soap Opera - it's about a woman who's torn between the affections of her boyfriend, who loves to share his Sakeru Gummy candies with her, and the "Long Long Man", who prefers a longer version of said candy. Since the commercials originally aired, they've gathered some attention from Western viewers as another example of Japanese weirdness.
  • UFO Kamen Yakisoban is an Affectionate Parody of tokusatsu series such as Kamen Rider, starring Yakisoban, a superhero with the power of noodles and sauce who hailed from the Yakisoba Planet. The ads were so popular he even got a tie-in video game, a direct-to-VHS movie, and many pieces of merchandise.
  • This ad for Chara Paki Choco has a giant hand with a face watching over some girls as they play with the chocolate advertised. Then, it turns out the hand with a face is actually one of the girl's hands, reminding them that the heart is strawberry flavored.
  • Latvian Railways' railway crossing safety ads are a Strange Thing from Latvia (STFL).
  • A WST case is Danish candy company BonBon, which had weird and\or disguting names such as Dog Farts, Pee Diapers, Rotten Fish and Ant Piss - just look at these commercials!. Some were dropped, but not all, given an attempt of the parent company to drop all the naughty names led to fan outcry and their restoration. They're even known internationally for theme park BonBon-Land, which has statues of the mascots and attractions based on them (for instance, the Dog-Fart Roller Coaster, which includes speakers with fart noises and a feces in the scenery).

    Comic Books 
  • WHAT - Sam & Max: Freelance Police. A couple of gun-toting Funny Animals Fight Crime (sometimes on purpose), and go on mildly psychedelic adventures through Eagleland childhood nostalgia and American pop cultural references. To non-Americans it ranges from mildly incomprehensible to completely incomprehensible, which may be why the largest fansite for them is British.
  • Superman/Batman, the sucessor to the old World's Finest teamup comics, is so heavily reliant on continuity that it can result in this to the uninitiated. For example, the Maximums arc (A Spiritual Crossover with The Ultimates... or at least it starts that way) begins by showing Superman and Batman committing Superdickery on unsuspecting Captain Ersatzes of Marvel characters, leading them to vow revenge and invade their earth, while two deformed and psychotic doubles of Superman and Batman (Bizarro and Batzarro) try to save the originals by going to multiple alternate earths (including one where Superman is a communist). In the end it turns out the Maximums were creations of the Joker and Mr. Myxpltk who were playing a game of chance with one another in exchange for cosmic power, who proceed to forcibly Fusion Dance the Maximums into a being called the Maximum Maximum and then do the same to the various version of Superman and Batman and make them fight. Having the knowledge of who these characters are and what all these plot points are Mythology Gags of only makes it make somewhat more sense.
  • Archie’s Madhouse is a series of weird and fantastical stories based on the Riverdale gang, fitting it snugly in the WHAT category. Madhouse was also a springboard for the equally bizarre Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
  • Madman. It's hard to place it in one particular genre or the other. Usually, it's every genre all at the same time.
  • Savage Dragon is too violent and sexual to be a typical superhero book but way too fun to be a serious adult comic. Some of the villains this series has seen include a man who fires human waste with enough force to decapitate, a deadly Flying Brick with a chicken head, and a cute 3-foot-tall warlord that takes over entire galaxies (and was friends with the hero's adopted daughter for a time). Then we have strange twists on expies of Doctor Doom or Captain Marvel. Then we have the other end of the spectrum with characters like Darklord and the Fiend who are very disturbing and deadly.
  • Never before has Canada's largest city been so quirky. Scott Pilgrim includes but is not limited to lesbian half-ninjas, psychic super vegans, bionic arms, Sexy Demon Hipster Chicks, abilities to manipulate pure sound using sheer determination, angry Chinese fathers with katanas protecting their obsessive daughters, and gay men as far as the eye can see (though the book focuses on a heterosexual couple).
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Donald Duck has a Secret Identity as Paperinik, known in English-speaking countries as Superduck or the Duck Avenger; he finds an Artificial Intelligence in a skyscraper. They Fight Crime!.
  • Herman Hedningnote , a weird Reference Overdosed Swedish comic with the sickest sence of humor you are likely to encounter. You have to wonder what the hell is going on inside Jonas Darnell's head.
  • Novas Aventuras De Megaman, thanks in no small part to having a Genre Shift almost every issue, being Darker and Edgier, Bloodier and Gorier and Hotter and Sexier than most versions of the Mega Man (Classic) franchise.
  • The genre of superhero comics is WAT to many people around the world. After all, people can understand a masked vigilante fighting crime, a wizard dealing with demonic incursions, or a mad scientist threatening the world from his faraway lair. Perhaps even a flying man wearing a cape and helping people. But to see all of them at once, teaming up to fight off an alien invasion? Only in America.
  • A Dutch cartoon series called Boes (the inspiration for Ox Tales), about a Dutch farmer and his misadventures around the farm, including a lot of humour involving various farm and exotic animals, with lots of surreal Body Horror scenarios.
  • The Beano and its characters (Minnie the Minx, Dennis and Gnasher, etc.) count as a WBT, having very British humor and not being exported elsewhere to countries not familiar with said humor or the characters.

    Comic Strips 
  • Kabouter Wesley from Belgium, has talking animals and talking objects like food and a house. The protagonist has an illegal chicory plantation and a neogotic chapel in his home. Oh, and that aforementioned house has spores, which form traintracksnote , on which comes a train that runs over the protagonist. Who also dies multiple times in the series, always being alive the next episode. Once even within the same episode, for no reason.
  • The Knight Life, a Life Embellished webcomic with a tendency towards parody, is very much a WHAT. Such characters as a housewife who puts on an armless costume and fights crime as "The Masked Maggot," or a lowlife who works as a human rug and can identify shoes by how they press into his back, make sense if and only if one's familiar with the parts of American culture they're mocking.
  • Footrot Flats, a STANZA, is probably one of the most New Zealandy pieces of media ever made. Being set on a rural farm, there's a fair bit of exploration of the countryside and wildlife, as well as elements of both Maori culture and language, as well as white New Zealander common culture (such as their obsessions with football and cricket).

    Eastern Animation 
WAST (Weirdly Awesome Soviet Thing)

WHIT (Weird Hungarian Thing)

  • Gustavus: Continuity-free adult comedy about a hapless, balding bastard dealing with the absurdities of '60s-'70s urban Socialist life. Each episode starts with a pretty standard setup with a genuine satirical message that gets excessively weirder and veers strongly into ridiculous cartoon logic territory, often mixing it with Black Comedy. Characters and the world itself become pliable, metaphors become literal, and Gustav himself gets crazier as each story progresses — and some shorts barely have a story beyond a series of sight gags.


  • Fantadroms, a Latvian cartoon about a shapeshifting cat robot that goes around his homeworld stopping various disputes between other characters. This trope actually prevented this show from getting an American release - Streamline Pictures had plans to release an American localization of the show, but they scrapped it partially due to them considering it too bizarre for American audiences.

    Fan Works 
WJT (Weird Japanese Thing)
  • The Touhou M-1 Grand Prix features a Monster Mash of characters, including many from Japanese Mythology, from a shmup video-game doing stand-up comedy.
  • A.A. Pessimal uses the canonical country of Agatea as the launch-pad for all those things Japanese which Western observers find to be culturally strange or impenetrable. There is a fashion in Ankh-Morpork, for instance, for imported Agatean illustrated novels of the sort popularly known as Man-Gi comics. The canonical character of Miss Pretty Butterfly (Koukouchou-sama), now Principal Tutor in Agatean Studies at the Assassins' Guild School, who is used as a walking illustration of stereotyped "Japanese" culture and society. Depending on her mood, her hair can go through all the classic Japanese styles, such as Hime Cut, Ojou Ringlets, Odango Hair, and many others, from day to day.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example of Intentional Oddity)
    A Note: The Irish film industry is very small, even the large scale local films are only comparable to most US Indies. As a result, most domestic films don't bother toning it down for foreigners, and just make movies for ourselves. Expect profuse swearing, Grey-and-Gray Morality, a propensity for offbeat characters and very, very dark humour.
    • Waking Ned Devine: The eponymous Ned dies of a massive heart attack after winning the lottery. The local town bands together to cover up his death in order to claim his winnings. Hilarity ensues. Also, a very old man rides a motorcycle while very, very naked.
    • The Butchers Boy: A young lad in rural 1960's Ireland loves nothing more than playing with his best friend. Then his mother commits suicide and he slowly starts going mad. As a result he's sent away to a borstal, where he has visions of a foul mouthed Virgin Mary, played by Sinead O'Connor, before being molested by a priest. Eventually he escapes, and returns home to his abusive alcoholic father, before finally losing it completely and going on a murder spree, having hallucinated the world being destroyed by nukes and being repopulated by humanoid flies. This is a comedy.
    • The Guard: An over the top homage to 70's Dirty Harry-esque, mismatched partner Cop Movies ... set in small town Ireland. The eponymous Guard (Irish Cop) takes acid, molest corpses, hires prostitutes, insults his American counterparts, buys his dying mother cocaine and contracts an STD. By comparison, the drug dealers he's taking down discuss existentialism and morality, and there's an off kilter scene about gay IRA operatives.
    • A Film with Me in It: a film about a guy who really wants to be in a film but has been generally unlucky in his life, who keeps ending up with people being killed in incredibly incriminating accidents around his flat while he and his best friend keep proposing film scenarios in order to figure out how to get out of their predicaments.
    • Grabbers, a monster film about a group of giant squid-like bloodsucking aliens that attack a seaside town. High-alcohol blood is poison to them, so when they rampage one evening there's only one way to survive the night: get everyone to the pub and keep them sloshed all night long.
    • Adam and Paul, a more-or-less plotless dark comedy about two heroin addicts (modeled on Didi and Gogo and Laurel and Hardy) who spend a day wandering around Dublin trying to scrape money together to buy a fix. There are Amusing Injuries, an encounter with a patriotic Bulgarian, lots of dialogue that goes absolutely nowhere, and a generally weird and tragicomic tone.
    • The Young Offenders, a pair of Lower Class Louts go on a road trip on stolen bicycles in order to salvage cocaine bales from the sea in order to get rich and are pursued by a cop with an unhealthy obsession with arresting bike thieves and an Evil Cripple with a nail gun.
  • PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)
    • The weird German movie Sei zärtlich, Pinguin (Be gentle, penguin)
    • Der Schuh des Manitu and its semi-prequel/sequel Traumschiff Surprise
  • Wabbit (Weird British Thing)
  • Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)
    • Bon Cop, Bad Cop. The entire setup, most of the humor, and even the title are all hinged upon Canadian bilingualism.
    • The Twentieth Century A surrealist, aggressively historically incorrect retelling of the story of Mackenzie King, Canada’s longest-serving prime minister. Though almost every substantial fact about King’s political career, and indeed, Canada itself is portrayed laughably wrong (prime ministers are not selected by winning a seal-clubbing contest, for example, and King did not have a crippling boot-sniffing fetish) there’s just enough truth snuck in, in terms of events, characters, and places, to make it function as a work of social commentary on the habits of the late Victorian-era Canadian ruling class (which, incidentally, wasn’t even King’s era). The director has described it as “a nightmare King might have had,” in the sense it’s full of things King would have been aware of, but warped beyond all recognition.
    • Anything by David Cronenberg: Videodrome, Rabid, etc.
    • Ginger Snaps - Werewolves as a literal metaphor for puberty. Shooting up drugs (well, wolfsbane) is the only way to temporarily slow the transformation. Its two sequels ramp up the weirdness even more.
    • Anything by Guy Maddin, but especially his 2015 film The Forbidden Room, which was full of stories inside of stories inside of stories inside of stories, including (but not limited to) such topics as Filipino banana vampires, evil skeleton-leotard-wearing insurance defrauders, an educational film on how to take a bath, a man bidding against his own doppelganger on a cursed bust of the god Janus, and a musical number where Udo Kier had to have a lobotomy to stop him from thinking about butts.
  • Widget (Weird Japanese Thing)
    • Takashi Miike films, particularly his most extreme films such as Gozu and Ichi the Killer, tend to represent the most bizarre, violent and fetishistic Japanese strain of films to people outside of the nation.
    • Funky Forest: First Encounter is a surrealist collection of vignettes, some of which interact with one another and none of which make much sense at face value. For a taste of the madness, head here.
    • RoboGeisha. We dare you to watch the trailer without bursting out laughing or dropping your jaw in sheer WTF. Or both.
    • Sukiyaki Western Django. A Spaghetti Western, in English, with an almost totally Asian cast.
    • Tampopo is a western in '80s Japan about ramen, complete with John Wayne-alike, varmits, and dramatic string music, interspersed with other unrelated sketches about food.
    • Tokyo Gore Police: A film which takes Gorn to new heights.
    • The Calamari Wrestler, and Minoru Kawasaki's follow-up film, Executive Koala are Widgets, being respectively about a wrestler who becomes a giant squid and a giant Koala who may have murdered his wife.
    • Survive Style 5 Plus. An entirely Japanese movie... starring Vinnie Jones.
    • Wild Zero. Japanese punk rockers, bikers and a trans woman fight zombies, aliens and evil managers wearing short shorts. And it is GLORIOUS.
    • Onechanbara, known in the US as Bikini Samurai Squad. Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They fight zombies.
    • Hausu. There is a killer piano in this movie. It isn't the only killer inanimate object, either. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, people.
    • Big Tits Zombie. The title says it all.
    • Fish Story: The long and complicated tale of how, thanks to a series of coincidences, an obscure punk song from a failed 1970s punk band saves the world in 2012.
    • Tetsuo: The Iron Man: A Deliberately Monochrome Body Horror movie about a salaryman cursed to slowly transform into a walking pile of scrap metal.
  • WHAT (Weird Humorous American Thing)

  • WTF (Weird Thing from France)
    • Rubber. A movie about a sentient murderous tire. And the people who watch the film.
    • Celine and Julie Go Boating is pretty out there.
    • The films of Jean-Pierre Jeunet
      • Delicatessen is about a butcher in post-apocalyptic France murdering the janitors he employs in his apartment building and serving them in his shop, and when his daughter falls in love with one of the janitors, she enlists the help of a team of militant vegetarians to save him.
      • The City of Lost Children is about a mad scientist who lives on an oil rig offshore from an unspecified Steampunk city abducting children so he can steal their dreams; and when he abducts the little brother of a circus strongman, the strongman and a little girl from an orphanage go on a quest to get him back. And it involves a brain in a tank.
      • Amélie is about a woman attempting to make her neighbors' lives better by taking a garden gnome from one of them and taking pictures of it vacationing around the world, tricking an abusive greengrocer into thinking he's insane, and escorting a blind man to a train station giving him vivid descriptions of the surroundings.
      • Micmacs is about a video store clerk falling in with a clan of weirdos who live in a junkyard after he gets shot in the head, and then him and the clan taking revenge on the two biggest weapons manufacturers in France (one of whom created the landmine that killed his father, the other one which made the bullet that he got shot with) via a procession of "Home Alone" Antics.
    • Last Year at Marienbad is a French film that lacks a traditional plot, backstory, named characters, etc. It's a pretty good representation of some of the more difficult-to-access aspects of French cinma.
    • All the 60's films of Jean-Luc Godard, which pretty much sum up the craziness that was the French New Wave, and French art film in general.
    • Holy Motors, is about a man being driven around Paris in a limousine — every time it stops, he exits in costume as a different character, and the entire style of the movie seems to change along with him. The movie goes out of its way to basically frustrate any and every expectation or definition as to what it's about or how to describe it, as it jumps from bizarre monster movie to serious family drama to violent crime thriller to sudden, inexplicable musical number. It also begins with a different man finding a movie theater hidden behind his bedroom wall, has an insanely awesome accordion-based intermission, and concludes with an extremely melancholy but still WTF-worthy barrage of conceptual non-sequiturs.
    • Daft Punk's Electroma. Who ever imagined a town populated by people wearing Daft Punk helmets?
    • A Town Called Panic. A film based on a show animated entirely with toy figurines about a horse, cowboy, and indian toy being roommates. Horse is the main character.
    • Practically the entire resume of music video and film director Michel Gondry.
  • STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)
  • WOK (Weird Occurrence from Korea)
  • Other/Unknown
    • Sweet Movie and W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism are Weird Serbian Stuff. Just the intros to our articles have serious problems summing up the movies.
    • The "mo lei tau" genre of Hong Kong films, the most well-known purveyor being Stephen Chow. "Mo lei tau" roughly translates to "nonsense talk" and consists of madcap, slapstick and over-the-top humor.
    • The strange Spanish movie Amanece, que no es poco (At least it's dawning). The title itself refers to the last scene, where the sun rises.... from the WEST. Cue Title Drop from the no-longer-caring main characters.
    • Santa Claus lives in outer space with tone-deaf singing children from all over the world? His sleigh is pulled by laughing reindeerbots? He teams up with his pal Merlin to battle an effeminate poodle-poking demon in red tights? You can see all of this and more in the So Bad, It's Good Cult Classic Santa Claus (1959), a Weird Mexican Thing.
    • All the movies starring the Mexican luchador El Santo also definitely qualify as a Mexican Example Of Weirdness (MEOW). Any and all movies featuring him (or any luchador, for that matter: El Blue Demon had a few films of his own) can be best described as "the sixties Batman tv series but sillier, and Mexican". They have a cult following in Japan, presumably because of this.
    • The Holy Mountain: If there's one film that Alejandro Jodorowsky has created that definitely falls under this trope, it's this.
    • Mystics In Bali. Oh lord, Mystics in Bali! It's basically a WINDOT, a.k.a. Weird Indonesian Thing. Even weirder is that a lot of it is actually based on Indonesian mythology!
    • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is a surreal, allegorical 1970 Czech movie set perhaps in the 1800s about a 13-year-old girl's sexual awakening. Seemingly, every character who interacts with her is infatuated with her and/or a vampire. Or secretly her parents. Cut to cheery Gainax Ending.
    • Taxidermia is a Whit (Weird Hungarian Thing) possibly-generational epic featuring three extremely different but equally gross segments that go, in full Genre-Busting mode, from weird historical sex comedy to puke-filled inspiration sports film parody, finally arriving at ultra-gory horror film territory.
    • The Lure is a Whippet (Weird Polish Thing) about two mermaids winding up in 1980s Warsaw, Poland and joining a band that plays at a dance club. One falls in love with a musician, and the other one's a cannibal. It took Sundance Festival by storm... and the Polish critics are confused why. Completely Different Title must have helped, though.
    • Judging by the trailers of movies like Obonsam Besu note , 2016, and The Godfathernote , the entire movie industry of Ghana seems to run on this trope. It's a SWAG (Surreal and Weird Arriving from Ghana). And special mention to Nkrato for this comment:
    "I was expecting the silly karate, CGI monsters, and lots and lots of talking. Like any good Ghana Film. But nothing, absolutely nothing could prepare me for the cat mouth missile at 0:44"

  • Although books of humorous stories and "laws" about how things go horribly wrong are a somewhat common genre, The Peter Principle, with its punny names and fantastically banal "case studies", is not only the most famous but the most uniquely wickety of all of them. (It was, however, inspired by Parkinsons Law, a hilariously turgid Wabbit.)
  • The Complete World Knowledge trilogy, which consists of books with Long Titles, filled to the brim with "100% false" facts, though the appendices in the paperback versions acknowledge the fact that occasionally a truth manages to end up in one of them by accident. In addition, the page numbering does not restart in later books in the series, instead picking up where the previous one left off. The second book also serves as a page-a-day calendar, which among other things reveals an Escalating War of bizarre precipitation between Richmond, Virginia, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the late 1970s. This would be classified as a WHAT.
  • Since Total Recall is already under Film, Philip K. Dick.
  • Wicked! and Deadly! by Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings are two children's series revolving around the bizarre, including a killer superadvanced sheep army, and immortality-conferring tea. Anything by Paul Jennings generally counts.
  • Bizarro Fiction, as a genre, is comprised hugely of WATs, wabbits, wickets, and STANZAs as of this writing. However, multi-language examples are slowly rising.
  • Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are 19th-century Wabbits. Many of the odder things in these Dream Lands are takeoffs of aspects of Victorian Britain.
  • Max Havelaar is considered to be by lots of Dutch literature critics to be one of the weirdest works in Dutch literature to be ever written. The main reason why is because the book is one of the first to change of writer and writing style dependent on the one character who at the moment of writing is writing the story (which is nowadays common thanks to postmodernism, but the book was written in 1840, which was long before the very first postmodern writers were born).
  • At Swim—Two Birds, a bizarre comic novel by Flann O'Brien, in which the protagonist, also an author, wanders Dublin and doesn't do very much of anything, comes across some strange quasi-fictional phenomena and eventually has to deal with his characters breaking the fourth wall and rising up against him.
  • Discworld is a pure Wabbit. Most of the setting and plot elements are completely bonkers and can generate What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs? reactions from first-time readers.
  • The Moomins is often difficult to describe to people who've never heard of it before. It's a slice-of-life series about a family of trolls who look like anthropomorphic hippos and occasionally go on adventures. The author of the books, Tove Jansson, was an anarchist and it often shows. What's really unusual is how much of a classic the series is considered in its native Finland, being nowadays an institution of national identity with The Merch of it being about as omnipresent as Winnie-the-Pooh. Again, it's about anarchist hippo trolls. It's also big in Japan, which is unsurprising.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a weird British thing, especially during the scenes when they use the Infinite Improbability Drive. Douglas Adams himself alluded to how much cricket is a Weird British Game in Life, the Universe and Everything with the commentators of Test Match Special not at all fazed by Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, and a sofa appearing from nowhere on the pitch at Lord's. And only the British would be so insensitive to use the hallowed 'Wicket Gate' as part of a game.
  • Redwall is another literary WABBIT. It's about mice and other animals living in what is called an abbey but is more of a church crossed with an apartment complex, a gated community, a daycare, and an assisted living facility, and they constantly have to fight off vermin such as rats and foxes who plan to take over the "Abbey" For the Evulz. Then there are the stranger characters such as a owl who speaks in rhyme (Sir Harry the Muse), Somerset-accented moles, World War II fighter pilot hares (Basil Stag Hare, among others), and tribal squirrels obsessed with fighting (the Gawtrybe).

    Live-Action TV 
WHAT (Weird Humorous American Thing)
  • While iCarly itself isn't a WHAT, the Show Within a Show webcast certainly qualifies as such.
  • The works of Sid & Marty Krofft Productions are WHATs that can match the weirdest of Widget Series weird for weird in being weird.
  • The Whitest Kids U' Know is, in many ways, a WHAT version of The Kids in the Hall, clearly taking its inspiration from that show but possessing its own bizarre sense of humor based around snark, Refuge in Audacity, and enough Lampshade Hanging to run an electrician supply house.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch, much like the comic it’s based on, has a lot of bizarre moments. And it’s not just the spells. Its animated counterpart would follow suit.
  • I Survived A Japanese Game Show is a WHAT version of a Widget. The American contestants participate in a Japanese game show, and are eliminated one at a time.
  • Pushing Daisies. It involves an explosive scratch-and-sniff card, Paul Reubens, an author of adult pop-up books (all in the same episode), a red-and-white striped morgue, and a very American '50s Retro Universe. Oh, and it's about a baker who can bring the dead back to life with a touch, and can't ever touch his thus-revived girlfriend or she'll die permanently. Should probably mention that.
  • The Andy Milonakis Show is like a Nickelodeon sketch show on mushrooms. It must be seen to be believed.
  • Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. WHAT indeed. (Is you'll be saying...unless you're an American stoner)
  • Chuck puts an ungodly amount of classified government information into the brain of a Best Buy-Expy retail slave and then sticks him with a Statuesque Stunner Femme Fatale and Adam Baldwin to keep him safe and his family unaware. Gets even funnier in the seasons that work Subway sandwiches or references to same into EVERY episode.
  • The Muppet Show, and The Muppets' early appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, probably qualify as WHATs. Their movies, however, do not.
  • Twin Peaks features an FBI agent with a sweet tooth as the main protagonist, a quirky soundtrack, an eccentric eyepatch-wearing woman with Super Strength, and a dimension populated by strange beings who have the ability to control other peoples' bodies.
  • David Lynch and Mark Frost followed up TP with On The Air, a short-lived sitcom about the producyion of a 1950s variety show that included among other things a possibly magical duck, a definitely magical talking dog, a studio technician with a medical condition that caused him to see 25.62 times more than anyone else (everything from childrens' toys to dancing Santas) along with the Hurry Up Twins who do nothing but rush around the studio saying "Hurry up! Hurry up!"
  • The Monkees is filled with enough randomness and absurdity to qualify, especially during the second season, where they were either stoned out of their minds or didn't care any more and ad-libbed. ”Frodis,” anyone? The subsequent film Head cranked it up a few notches.
  • Beakman's World. A zany-haired scientist in a neon green lab coat, his perky female assistant, a man in a rat suit, two penguins who watch the show from their home in the South Pole, famous dead guys, and a kooky and fun atmosphere to learn about science.
  • Any of Conan O'Brien's late night shows would count as a WHAT. Yes, even his tenure on The Tonight Show.
  • Wonder Showzen. This is all that needs to be said about it (besides Vulgar Humor, that is).
  • Bibleman comes across as this to anyone who isn't American. Or at least an American Evangelical Christian.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show! is often incredibly ridiculous, and indeed seems to revel in it. Laser guitars, cartoons randomly popping up, and odd plotlines often involving a rather strange Monster of the Week are only the start.
  • The Spoils of Babylon and its Spin-Off The Spoils Before Dying. Affectionate Parodies of bloated, pretentious miniseries from the 70s and 80s that were based off Doorstopper novels, acted out by an All-Star Cast playing actors playing characters.
  • Oobi is a show aimed at preschoolers where all the characters are played by live-action, talking hands with eyes on them.
  • Duck Dynasty and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, two of the main drivers of the "rednecksploitation" boom in American Reality TV in the early '10s. Specifically, they're Weird Images of the South (WITS), even for many Americans.
  • Stranger Things makes it obvious right from the title. Rooted in nostalgia for The '80s, it is a WHAT homage to the WHATs of the past, particularly Stephen King's Americana-based horror novels and the family adventure films of Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, combined with dollops of H. P. Lovecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, and Silent Hill.
  • Breaking Bad, from the moment it premiered, was joked about (especially by non-Americans) as a show whose plot, about a schoolteacher who turns to selling crystal meth in order to pay his medical bills, could only have taken place in the United States due to its expensive private healthcare system. This parody video jokes that, had the show been set in Canada, it would've been over the minute Walter White first arrived at his doctor's office.note  Combine that with Mexican drug cartels, neo-Nazi gangsters, and a New Mexico setting presented in full New Old West mode, and you've got the makings of an epic Widget crime drama.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The show starts with the titular character getting saved from a Apocalypse Cult but then goes into Mood Whiplash when the more... bizarre things appear, such as animated Imagine Spot sequences and a talking backpack. Mix it in with bizarre character names straight out of a Rik Mayall Britcom (Titus Andromedon, anyone?) and you get one of the most weird things Tina Fey has ever done.
  • Public-access television was a gold mine for these sorts of shows in the '80s and '90s. They were non-commercial stations where anybody could create a TV show to be locally broadcast, and many of these shows were made to the... unique tastes of the kinds of people who would create a TV show with No Budget and no training just for the hell of it, ranging from mundane programs devoted to education and the arts to fringe political and religious activists to stuff that went out of its way to figure out just how far one could go on television. While much of its role has since been absorbed by the internet, there are still numerous public-access stations that produce shows like this. This article by Ross Wolinsky for Cracked goes into detail on some of the weirder things to come out of public access.
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum downplays this. In order to fully enjoy this Edutainment documentary series, the viewer has to not only find the very Serious Business behind ice cream, denim, tattoos, etc. (especially as experienced by Americans) as interesting and even inspiring rather than odd and/or pathetic, but be a fan of the CloudCuckoolander character actor/jazz musician who is exploring them in his cheerfully idiosyncratic way. The two trailers for the show are upfront about its eccentricity, especially the first one — Goldblum notes "Be forewarned, I am in the show a lot" and goes on to say "So if any of this tempts you, or wearies you, you can make a decision right here." But it ended up one of the most-hyped charter productions of Disney+, with National Geographic dubbing it into a double-digit number of foreign languages, and was only the third of the streaming service's many original productions to get the go-ahead for a second season.
  • Barney & Friends is a WHAT that comes across as this to anybody who is not American (or from Southeast Asia), a young child, a member of its Periphery Demographic (!), or a member of its hatedom. It's about a group of children who gather in their schoolyard (and later a park) to play and end up causing a plush dinosaur doll named Barney to magically turn into a man in a dinosaur costume who teaches them and the audience moral lessons through song and dance, while also helping the kids "use their imagination" to engage in various activities. Barney is also assisted by three other dinosaurs in helping out the kids. And then there's the even stranger elements such as a storytelling black woman who uses a knockoff Anywhere Door as her method of transport, a rainbow bearded-pirate literally named "Rainbow Beard", and a puppet bookworm librarian.
  • The Masked Singer is a WHAT adapted from a WOK, and involves celebrities performing in extravagant costumes that hide their identities, leaving a panel of judges to try and figure out who they are. The weirdness escalates once certain celebrities are unmasked, with possibly the most insane being Sarah Palin in season 3 and Kermit the Frog (!) in season 5. In fact, a Reddit comment on this clip from the season 5 sing-along special says it all:
    MrKitchenSink: After watching this show for a while, you kind of forget how weird it is. But every so often, you get a moment like this one where a dude in a rooster costume leads Kermit the Frog, Logan Paul, Caitlyn Jenner, Danny Trejo, and Nick Cannon in a performance of "Never Gonna Give You Up", and you're just struck by the realization that this show really is a total fever dream.
  • TLC, which once stood for The Learning Channel, has degraded into an entire WHAT channel thanks to Network Decay.

Widget (Weird Japanese Thing)

  • In-universe, 30 Rock shows a nonsensical musical soundbyte featuring Jenna smiling, winking, and laughing at the camera. She then says (out of the commercial) that she has no idea how it advertised Tokyo University.
  • Combine a Game Show and Cooking Show format in Iron Chef. Iron Chef America is a more "normal" but more fast-paced version of the original.
    • Some have said that the problem with Iron Chef USA (the first American adaptation, featuring William Shatner) was that the creators assumed the original was only popular for laughing at wacky foreigners, so they didn't take it seriously. ICA occasionally pokes fun at the Kayfabe of the show (according to Alton, there are several Kitchen Stadiums, at least one of which is in space), but otherwise takes it seriously as a competition between culinary masters.
  • Dotch Cooking Show was an even more intense cooking game show that pitted two amazing-looking dishes against each other and a panel of seven choosing which dish to eat at the end of the episode. Each dish had its own crazy-awesome special ingredient. At the end, the people who voted for the winning dish got to eat it and the chef who made the losing dish had to (oh, darn the luck) eat it alone. Oh and the losers are forced to watch the winners eat as they get nothing at all. This show was amazing.
  • Takeshi's Castle. MXC is a WHAT (Weird Hilarious American Thing) made from it.
  • SASUKE and Kinniku Banzuke, which air in the US and Australia as Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke, respectively. G4 heavily plaued up their status as wacky Japanese shows. Not only did they throw "ninja" into the first show's name, but the on-camera host who appears before and after segments on Unbeatable Banzuke, who only speaks Japanese and needs to be subtitled? He was the host hired by G4 solely for the American version.
  • Brain Wall, known to many American YouTubers as simply "Human Tetris". It lost much of its widgety charm when adapted for Fox as Hole In The Wall.
  • The six-episode variety show Vermilion Pleasure Night, which The Other Wiki compares to a Japanese version of SCTV. Recurring skits included a drama about a family of mannequins, a spaceship boarding house with a tortured alien, and a bunch of actresses being Barbie dolls. These are then interspersed with one off stories about cannibal cuisine, bondage nurses, and things that just take a sharp left turn halfway through a given sketch. This show hits you with weird repeatedly and never lets you up.
  • One Japanese show called Susunu! Denpa Shonen note  took an unsuspecting volunteer (who they told was going on an "important show-business related job", but that was it), then had him live in a small apartment, naked, with no supplies other than a pen and magazines. Then he had to live off of prizes won by magazine sweepstakes until he had the value of a specific amount of money. All this time, the guy was on TV and didn't know it, since he had been told it would be broadcasted after he was done. It seems almost pointless to mention that this is something that could only exist in Japan; in many countries the makers of the show would probably face criminal or civil penalties, and in the US (and maybe elsewhere, but especially the US), they'd be sued six ways from Sunday.
  • Super Sentai. This is the reason an American adaptation, that would eventually become Power Rangers, got stuck in Development Hell. Executives thought it was too much of a Widget Series to succeed on American TV.
    • Within Sentai itself, there's Battle Fever J, which has bizarre costumes and a lot of dancing. However, it introduced the first robot in Sentai, and was thus the first Super Sentai. Toei eventually added Goranger and JAKQ into the ranks of Super Sentai, possibly to ensure that Battle Fever J wasn't the first one on the list.
    • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger can only be described as what happens when you take Japanese beliefs and folktales (mainly of ninjas and Youkai; the latter of which are known for being very weird in their won right), adapt them as People in Rubber Suits fighting each other, add a Rakugo narrator to commentate on them, and then filter all that through the Camp sensibilities of the Batman (1966) TV show - complete with the Hit Flashes.
    • Gekisou Sentai Carranger, which was essentially an extremely silly Self-Parody of Super Sentai. This resulted in some problems when adapting to Power Rangers Turbo as the seriousness of the American show did not go well with the Denser and Wackier Japanese footage. Seriously, there was an episode where the Monster of the Week bakes the heroes into a giant pizza! Go-Onger below was its Spiritual Successor.
    • Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger went to Widget territory more than once, especially in its early episodes, as can be seen in the Power Rangers Dino Thunder episode "Lost and Found in Translation". Amazingly, it managed to do that while still being overall Darker and Edgier than its Power Rangers counterpart.
    • Engine Sentai Go-onger is a LOT Lighter and Softer than the rest of the franchise and is considered a comedy. In direct contrast, Power Rangers RPM was a Pragmatic Adaptation which, as the top of the RPM page describes it, is to Power Rangers what The Dark Knight was to Batman, making this one real jarring to those who watched both versions.
    • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger in the vein of the above, features Samba transformations and two villains who represent the emotions Joy and Happiness, with many of their antics qualifying as killing with kindness. Also the Red Ranger appears to be The Kid-Appeal Character.
    • And then there's their unofficial series, Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger, where the characters fight monsters in their heads using the power of delusions. There's a reason why their name means "Unofficial Task Force Akibaranger". They're struggling to become an official team of Super Sentai.
    • Season 2: The Akibarangers take on a cosplaying sentai villain fanboy, meet alternate versions of rangers, including Ryuuranger whose been reduced to a Chinese food mascot named China Red. They also get a second robot that is the size of a remote controlled car, not that it's any less effective than their full-size car.
  • Ultraman Taro, a Self-Parody of the Ultra Series that draws inspiration from Japanese fairy tales. It's got incredibly silly kaiju like the opera-singing Orphy, the volleyball-playing Garaking, and Mochiron, a tiki monster from the Moon that loves to eat mochi rice cakes. It's got wacky plotlines that involve such things as an alien boy band having to play pop music to calm down a drunken kaiju, an android replica of a woman killed in a car accident bringing back the ghost of her pet parrot as a giant monster to kill all motorists in Japan, and an Oni-like alien shrinking the characters and putting them inside a bean to be eaten by one of their friends. And that's just the tip of the insanity iceberg.
    • Ultraman Ace too, especially in its later cours. Episodes treated with utmost seriousness have dealt with things like an alien stealing pandas to make them a Cash Cow Franchise on his homeworld, a kid whose bedwetting problems bring a monster recurring in his dreams to life, a man being turned into a cow by the Big Bad using a cursed nasal ring, a man-eating hot-air balloon literally draining the fun out of children, and a Kappa kaiju who disguises itself as a swimming pool and turns kids into kappas by eating their navels with the help of an android couple. The series is also infamous among fans for featuring some of the wackiest kaiju ever, including a violin kaiju.
  • The Fuccons (Oh! Mikey in Japan) is a parody show featuring a Standard '50s Father, House Wife, and their son... With all the characters being played by mannequins whose faces never change. And raucous laughter. Yeah.

WIT (Weird Icelandic Thing)

  • LazyTown. The least bizarre thing is the pink hair on the central character. When the Canadian kids network YTV had the rights to the show, they put out a promo deriding the show for its weirdness, and theorized that the show must be made in Iceland by a giant gorilla - followed by a clip where the villain, dressed as a gorilla, climbs a giant antenna.
    "Oh, it is made in Iceland? By a giant gorilla? Oh, well that explains it."

WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing)

  • Norwegian TV-series Brødrene Dal and KLM. Made by the comedy trio, Trond Kirkvaag, Knut Lystad, and Lars Mjøen.
    • KLM being for more for adults (though still being rated 'for all ages'). Heavily inspired by Monty Python causing the actors to be dressed in drags, jokes about christianity and especiallly about priests, dirty jokes, news parodies and the gods know what more.
    • Brødrene Dal is more aimed at children. Here the really different men play brothers, or maybe Same-Sex Triplets, or just In Name Only. Named after 3 famous Norwegian valleys, although they might have a 4th brother in the narrator simply called Fortelleren, and in the 4th season maybe even a 5th which not even the brothers remember. The actors for the brothers themselves also act as many different characters.
      • The 1st season, og Profesor Drøvels Hemmelighet (and Prosfessor Drøvel(Uvula's) Secret) is for them to search for a friend who has something important to tell them. It has a ton of references to different Norwegian culture, pop-culture and some European fiction.
      • The 2nd season, og spektralsteinene (And the spectral stones) can be best described as a Norwegian Doctor Who, having Time Travel between many famous fictional works like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Robin Hood, Robinson Crusoe, and more, but also real-life happenings like World War II with them meeting their father and helping him in La Résistance, aka. Milorg, and in the end being named after themsleves. Ends with them traveling through space meeting aliens, driving the Doctor Who refference home.
      • The 3rd and meant to be the Finale Season, og Legenden om Atlant-is(and the Legend of Atlant-ice), The Narrator finally appears on camera, being more unreliable than ever. The brothers are forced to find a sacred sami vase. In this season is it a World of Pun, and refferences to popular TV-shows at the time with stuff like A-Team Firing, and a tent that's Bigger on the Inside, etc. Near the end the Narrator takes a vacation to Mallorca and refuses to narrate anymore. In the end the brothers submit their adventures to have books written about them. On the way out they meet the Narrator who has wrtitten himself as the hero as the story.
      • The 4th season and the Finale Season, og mysteriet om Karl XIIs gamasjer(And the mystery of Charles XII's gaiters), was made on request from the King of Norway himself. Made as a tribute to it being 100 years since the Dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden. It's about Time Travel yet again. This time they have to find Charles XII's gaiters or else Sweden will force Norway into union with them again at the day of the 100 years anniversary. This season makes a Series Continuity Error, with the brothers living together again, and Brummund having a Secret Wife who lives in his room, who regulary comes down and steals the other brothers' breakfast, she also is a giant Parental Bonus by smoking a lot, her often being Ready for Lovemaking, and even being implied to be a whore. And why does even Brummund keep her as a secret, and often locked up in his room? It was even made in 2005! To make this season even weirder does their 2 nephews and niece come. The brothers doesn't remember the brother who's aparently is the father at all (might be the Narrator's or even Brummund's kids, or not). The three of them do not serve any real purpose to the story, and who their parents are is never told either.
      • The 5th installment, a movie, og Vikingsverdets forbannelse(And the Viking Sword's Curse) is the real final adventure of the brothers. Made after Trond Kirkvaag lost his life to cancer, but with Brummund somewhat being in the movie due to putting him in from a taped version of the Stage Play. The brothers buy a time-machine on TV-shop, and are thrown 1000 years back in time. Now they are in the Viking Age. It became too weird even for Brødrene Dal itself and wasn't well recieved.

WTF (Weird Thing from France)

  • Téléchat, a French-Belgian puppet show from the '80s. The series is a parody of TV news presented by a black cat with an arm cast (which he uses as an all-purpose box) called Groucha and his female counterpart, an ostrich called Lola. The news (which Groucha does with the help of a sentient microphone) relates the life of "gluons", supposedly the smallest things in existence. Sometimes Lola will also have a talk round, with a fork and a spoon (with human faces!). There are also nonsense commercials with a green orangutan in the jungle, who always manages to screw up the take, to the chagrin of the spot's director; and Léguman, a parody of Japanese Sentai shows. Because of its quirkiness and freakish ambiance, this show scared a whole generation of French kids, who will tell you that it still gives them some feeling of dread if they try rewatching the show. An outsider wouldn't necessarily be traumatized, but would get that this thing was weird in a distinctly French (well, Belgian and French) way.
  • La Vie des Botes was a French sitcom about a robot family and talking objects (just like Pee-wee's Playhouse), which aired regular cartoons between the live-action segments. The channel, TF1, put many hopes on this project (because it was a co-production with Canada, some designers from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Alien worked on it) but it wasn't successful and it stayed for just one year; today, very few people remember this show.
  • Lazy Company, a French TV (mostly) comedy about four hapless GIs during the Battle of Normandy, featuring a Captain America ersatz, Hitler disguised as a nun, mad scientists, a friendly Japanese pilot, and general wackiness all over the place.
  • Le Bébête Show looks like The Muppet Show, but all the Muppets are replaced by caricatures of French political figures. For example, François Mitterrand is portrayed as a frog named Kermitterrand (and naming himself God)

Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)

  • In the same vein as Téléchat, we have Téléfrançais!, a Wicket produced by TVOntario for the purpose of teaching French to English-speaking children that features, among many other oddities: a talking pineapple puppet that lives in a junkyard and looks like a rejected Furby, a fourth-wall breaking annonceur, and Les Squelettes, a musical group consisting of singing, dancing, instrument playing skeletons who will occasionally perform a number on the outside of a moving plane. It was also made in The '80s.
  • Nanalan' is another Wicket for kids. A green little girl with a speech impediment visits her nana and plays in the backyard. For some reason, us Canadians thought that both this and Téléfrançais! were educational. Have fun trying to find out what her dog's name is. Here's one short.
  • The Kids in the Hall.
  • With sketches like Farm Film Report, the story of Vikings and beekeepers, and of course, Bob & Doug McKenzie, SCTV could be considered as such.
  • The 90's version of The Mr. Men Show, which was produced in Canada, had many weird and random segments during the show that were very out of place, including random quizzes, people dancing against stock backgrounds depicting places like the mountains and a church, a Japanese man who knows karate visiting a science lab and a man being fed corn like a baby.
  • The Noddy Shop may look like your average kids' show, but some parts of it seem very strange. There's Aunt Agatha, a woman who has a high-pitched voice, obsesses over the ocean and rats, thinks she's a mermaid and can produce the sounds of a big ocean liner; a woman who runs an ice cream shop while dressed up in an ice cream cone costume; small creatures called goblins that act like a reverse family with the parents being childlike and the kid being the parent figure; a talking lobster who can play a piano and has a family; talking babies who claim to be toilet trained; singing lips without faces that live in a box; and an alligator who has big breasts, which is something not normally seen on a show made for preschoolers.
  • The Red Green Show is a well-known Wicket. A group of middle-aged rural Canadian men engage in various shenanigans in their lakeside lodge (including one stance where one of the members made hot sauce with a secret ingredient that was jet fuel) whilst the titular character creates DIY projects usually out of random junk held together with duct tape. For some reason, American PBS viewers found this to be hilarious.
  • Today's Special centers around a mannequin with improbable dancing skills who lives in a department store and has a magic hat that brings him to life every night. Other characters include a Magical Computer who behaves like a human being, a mischievous oversized mouse who always talks in rhyme, and "the Mime Lady" who appears in random segments for no reason. And that's just the regular cast.

Wabbit (Weird British Thing)

  • Banzai was a British parody of Japanese game shows, deliberately designed to be strange and incomprehensible. The show's greatest stunt? Pitting several ventriloquists against each other in the Puppet Petrol Pump challenge - the vents themselves had to put petrol in a car blindfolded, and the puppets had to shout to tell them when to stop. Closest to £20 worth won.
  • Anything by Monty Python, to the point where much British comedy is considered "Pythonesque" by non-Brits whether or not it's actually similar to Python's material.
  • Black Books. Dave "Mouse Ears" Smith, pesticide by coffee machine, and "Then it's left... at the dead badger."
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace pretends to be the rediscovery of a cult 1980s horror series, somewhat in the style of actual British shows of the period but deliberately bad, with a made-up history on top of it.
  • Exploitica was a late-night Channel 4 equivalent of Mystery Science Theater 3000, except without actors, just text commentary in the letterbox space or superimposed on characters as thought bubbles. Subjects dryly mocked included B-movies, exploitation films, outdated educational reels, and a Gene Autry serial, for some reason.
  • Jam was another late-night Channel 4 program designed to make you think the next morning that you probably hallucinated it. Deeply surreal Black Comedy specially aired with no intro, end credits, or ad break.
  • The Mighty Boosh can be described as an endless series of nonsequiturs, or the aesthetics of a children's show (low budget, bad costumes, puppets, musical numbers) mixed with vulgar humor and stoner plots. Based on a radio program and something non-British people often cannot believe really exists.
  • The American episode of Screenwipe had Charlie Brooker showing an American focus group a handful of shows that he felt would be seen as Wabbits, including EastEnders, The Bill, Countdown, Bullseye, and Springwatch. The Americans hated them... except for EastEnders, apparently.
  • Noels House Party. Specifically, Mr. Blobby. Originally created as a fake children's show character used for a Candid Camera Prank-type section of the show, that monstrosity spiraled out of control and became a franchise that fits this trope in its own right.
  • There is a particular genre of British scifi/fantasy/horror which makes up for having no effects budget by filming at nice homes and focusing very intently on very ordinary objects with some spooky music, until eventually the very fact that you see nothing clearly menacing becomes unsettling. Some examples include Sapphire and Steel (the wall is haunted), The Owl Service (the plates are haunted), The Stone Tape (the stairs are haunted), etc. It's very British.
  • The Young Ones: four college students who can't stand each other share a house with a series of random talking objects. In addition to frequent cutaway gags and other non-sequiturs, Once an Episode a band (or lion tamer) will perform, usually in their house.

STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)

  • STANZA is a term that would apply rather nicely to The Wiggles.
  • See also... Mr. Squiggle.
  • Bananas in Pyjamas, a kids' show about giant anthropomorphic bananas. That wear pajamas. And get cheated nearly every episode by the giant anthropomorphic rat that runs the corner shop. And there's the issue of their inherent desire to chase and hug giant living teddy bears.
  • Round the Twist. Plots include a skeleton's curse that forces the cursed to end every sentence with "without my pants" (from the episode of that title), gum leaves that can transfer injuries to anyone who can hear a song played on them ("The Gum Leaf War"), a ghost haunting an outhouse ("Skeleton On The Dunny"), and superpower-conferring underpants ("Wunder Pants") the first season. It gets weirder: Overarching plots including music played by ghosts who are trying to save their lighthouse, two ghosts wanting to save their loved ones from accidentally crashing on a boat thanks to human error 100 years ago, and doing so by possessing all of the regulars, including a young girl possessing a teenage boy, a viking love book and a mysterious visitor from a lost land. On top of that, two seasons have extra story arcs, both involving hints that a child is deliberately cultivating weaponizable stenches. Based on the works of Paul Jennings, who's in Literature above.
  • From the creators of Italian Spiderman comes Danger 5. Danger 5 are an international team of spies charged with fighting against the Nazis and, ultimately, assassinating Hitler. This is a difficult task, as the Nazis are armed with dinosaurs, diamond women soldiers, and various other useful weapons. It's also set in an alternate 1960s, despite being about World War II.

EIEIO (Excessively Irish Example Of Intentional Oddity)

  • Father Ted, while produced and funded by the British Channel 4, was written and created by two Irishmen, Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, and all of the actors, characters, locations, and crew were Irish. Collectively had the entirety of England, Wales, and Scotland asking "what does feck mean exactly?"
  • Moone Boy, a surrealistic series featuring a Martin Moone, a somewhat dimwitted schoolboy, and his imaginary friend (who can talk to other people's imaginary friends) growing up in Boyle, Ireland from 1989 to the early 1990s which would occasionally shift into an animation style that resembled Martin's drawings.

PEGS (Peculiar & Eccentric German Subject)

  • Bernd the Bread: depressive, pessimistic, box-shapped Bread from a kids' show whose hobbies include staring at his ingrain wallpaper and collecting TV test cards... Just look at his profile!


  • El Chavo del ocho has shades of this. It's a comedic Mexican series with a fairly normal plot but has a serious case of Dawson Casting. The very obviously adult comedians playing children can come off as unusual.
    • El Chavo is specially seen as widget to the rest of Latin America. While the show's popularity in its home country has waned in recent years, it's still widely beloved across countries like Venezuela, Colombia, and specially Brazil, of all places. Part of the appeal comes from just how zany and exotic the Mexican slang and mannerisms are to other Latin Americans (it helps that the stereotypes are very exaggerated), while still managing to be fairly relatable. Hell, El Chavo is just one of the pieces of media that makes English speakers think that the Spanish-speaking world (and Brazil & Portugal) is a paradise for crazyness.
  • Kingof Mask Singer, a Korean Talent Show where every contestant is a celebrity hidden behind an elaborate costume, tends towards this. Vulture described its American adaptation, The Masked Singer, thusly:
    "What if Gritty walked out on a soundstage made to look like an arena concert, belted out Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me,' was described as ‘a professional’ by Jenny McCarthy, took off his head to reveal he was Joey Fatone, and the entire experience felt three clicks away from an episode of Black Mirror?”
  • Xou da Xuxa is a Brazilian Oddity (BRAZO), which was hosted by model-turned-singer & TV presenter Xuxa Meneghel, wherein she dressed in scantily-clad outfits while presenting games, cartoons and various special guests' acts as well as performing musical numbers, while assisted by a mosquito named Dengue and a turtle named Praga. Surprisingly, it became a huge hit and led to two Spanish-speaking versions being produced with Xuxa at the helm (El Show de Xuxa produced in Argentina for Latin America, and Xuxa Park for Spain) as well as an American version (Xuxa). It got weirder with the Brazilian version of the Spanish Xuxa Park series (mainly known in the English-speaking world for the series-ending fire on the set), which began every episode with Xuxa emerging from a spaceship, and ended each episode with her leaving in the same spaceship.
  • Hachaverim Shel Barney is a Odd Israeli Occurence (OIO) that was adapted from Barney & Friends, itself a WHAT, that has even more shades of this, especially to viewers who aren't Israeli or Hebrew speakers. It's the same as Barney & Friends, but takes place in Israel (something that is very prevelant in this version) instead of America. And there's it's very own weird elements including a Nightmare Fuel-inducing Israeli rendition of Rainbow Beard the Pirate.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Though it has a very large following in the US, early editions of Warhammer 40,000 were very much a Weird British Thing. Orks were based on Football Hooligans, there were visible references to British '80s Punk, jabs at certain politicians were made, etc. Although as time went on it became more universal and less overtly British.
  • Paranoia is an example of American absurdity at its finest.
  • Maid RPG. Original flavour Japanese weirdness in RPG form.
  • Hol: Human Occupied Landfill. Hand-written in several late-night sessions in an IHOP, and originally offered no character creation since "everyone just makes the same types of characters over and over again". When character creation was included in the expansion, stat rolling included several strange and useless abilities, such as an "Almond Joy" stat. ("Roll 1-3: Sometimes you feel like a nut. Roll 4-6: Sometimes you don't.")
  • A lot of card-carrying mad genius Jenna Moran's (best known for Nobilis and Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine) non-commercial pet projects are just straightforwardly weird. One that's currently on hiatus is about mischievous little fairies and has a task resolution system based off circuit diagrams and predicate logic.
  • Experimental / indie / made for contest [RPGs] in general. From "Appliance Adventure" (a game about intelligent, talking household appliances) to "Get Out of Infernopolis" (storytelling gameified UNO where there is only one player / soul and everybody else is a GM / petty demon who makes the one player's life miserable).

    Web Animation / Original 

    Web Comics 
  • Axe Cop. What actually happens in the comic is weird enough, but when you factor in that the writer is a six-year-old boy, it truly achieves WHAT status.
  • Electric Wonderland can come off as pretty crazy, due to it taking place in a Cyberspace world unbound by the laws of physics.
  • Princess Pi tends to rely on nonsensical logic.
  • Dolan is the epitome of a Weird Finnish Thing.
  • Let's Speak English thought it necessary in the strip for 24/02/2016 to explain the vital importance - as well as the social convention - of wearing a face mask in Japan if you suspect you are ill, so as not to spread anything contagious in a densely populated country. Up until early 2020 this was indeed a Weird East Asian Thing that had to be patiently explained to Westerners, and was taken as proof that the Japanese are impossibly weird and alien.
  • Listening To 11975 M Hz is made by a Texan who is also a marine. You really, really would not guess that by reading it if you're going by stereotypes.
  • Homestuck is fairly internally coherent, but the extremely unusual storytelling, as well as the sheer absurdity of the plot, definitely qualifies it as a WHAT. Furthing it is how American pop culture such as Con Air and Insane Clown Posse directly ties in to the plot.
  • "WHAT?!" perfectly describes the appropriate reaction to Awful Hospital AND perfectly summarizes it as THAT kind of WHAT. Everything about it is brain-meltingly surreal, to say the least, besides all the unorthodox characters and bizarre workings of the fictional universe it takes place in.
  • Lookism a WOK, where to begin. Most of his life Park Hyung Suk has been bullied for being fat and unattractive. After his mother shows up at school and sees that he's bullied, she takes all the money she got and lets him transfer schools. It's a school with 7 departments, and he's enrolled to the fashion department. But On his way, the hairdresser cuts his hair to look like Kim Jong Un, and after being beat up on the street, he locks himself into his new apartment. After crying himself to sleep, ha awakens again due to a Potty Emergency. When done and washing his hands, he sees a Bishōnen in the mirror. It's him, with a Heroic Build! But in the bedroom, his old body is sleeping. It's not a "Freaky Friday" Flip and can best be described as Literal Split Personality as he changes between bodies each time he sleeps. Instead of taking the normal path of revenge, he decides to befriend as many as he can. So it's a fighting, gag, Psychological Horror, Romantic Comedy, and possibly more series with male fanservice(the same way some Anime & Manga has female fanservice for no reason what so ever all of sudden), while aimed at the same age and gender group as seinen manga.
  • Mountain Time is about as WHAT as it gets, what with its constantly-derailing story lines, characters that range from astronauts to neurotic hamsters to Jewish garden hoses, and settings that are often nonsensical (such as clouds that turn into hams).
  • Where do we even start with Sonichu and its magnitude of WHAT-ery? The basic premise alone is already bizarre; the adventures of a Sonic the Hedgehog / Pikachu hybrid and his real life creator, and only gets more wild from there; with one of the main villains being a witch based on one of the author's college deans, Time Travel, and rival webcomic creators being put on a show trial.

    Western Animation 
W(H)AT (Weird (Humorous) American Thing)
  • The Fleischer Studios with anything they did. There's a ghost of a walrus singing a song written by Cab Calloway, rotoscoped from Cab Calloway's dancing; as well as Koko the Clown's antics. Counts as a W.E.N.T, or "Weird Early Nineteen-hundreds Thing."
  • Some Tom and Jerry cartoons would probably count, since only jazz music was an instant hit worldwide and the culture took a little time to catch up, and also purely American-centric television tropes like Mammy Two-shoes. (Granted, on that second part, minstrel show anything would count. Droopy had a crapload of those kinds of jokes.) Not that they didn't exist in other countries, it just existed in different forms. Errr, is there a trope for humour that plain doesn't translate well?
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show was not known only for its bizarre, grossout humor, but also off-kilter music choices...
  • King of the Hill comes across this way to anyone who isn't from Middle America or the Deep South. Ironically though, King of the Hill may be the ultimate anti-Widget Series. On top of that, the lead character feels this way about anything outside his comfort zone.
  • The short Rejected, by Don Hertzfeldt. "You're watching the Family Learning Channel. And now, angry ticks fire out of my nipples."
  • South Park occasionally veers into this territory, especially in its more nonsensical episodes. Being a series that relies heavily on American popular culture and news, an outsider may find an easier time comprehending the episodes with Talking Poo. In the directors' commentary of FLCL, the director and the interviewer commented that South Park comes across as a big-time Widget Series in Japan since so many of the popular culture references are lost.
  • The 80's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a Widget series to anyone familiar with the original Mirage Comics. Lampshaded during Turtles Forever. After transporting into the dimension of the 1987 TMNT cartoon, the 2003 Turtles witness the heroics of their 1987 counterparts as they rescue April from evil leprechauns, monster bowling balls, mutant pizza slices, and... well, Raphael says the last one:
    2003 Raphael: Was that a mutant... banana?
    2003 Michelangelo: This dimension is seriously messed-up.
  • Kappa Mikey. Helps that the premise is about a Western Animation character living in Anime Land.
  • ChalkZone. Kids having adventures in a world inhabited by walking, talking chalk drawings means lots of weirdness, alright.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants could be seen this way by people who aren't used to it.
    • The show's third movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run features two rather bizzare characters: a tumbleweed with a human's face and a human who lives in an underwater version of Atlantic City.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door is a series where kids are menaced by an evil conspiracy of adults and protected by a Benevolent Conspiracy of kids, in a reality where Saturn's rings are made of stuffed animals, the stuffed animals themselves have real animal counterparts (some of which are gigantic), jungle gyms lead to islands with chocolate volcanos populated by wedgie-sauruses - you get the idea. Anything can happen here, and probably will in this crazy world.
  • Gravity Falls: Twin Peaks style supernatural animated weirdness, and on Disney to boot. Though not as weird as everyone else on this list.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is what happens when you combine this trope with Black Comedy and Grossout Show. Episode premises have included a principal and a hippo being turned into rappers, Billy turning the world into a 30s-era cartoon by juggling chickens, an invisible fart-imitating duck annoying everyone, and a parody of Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters trying to conquer the world by stealing beds.
  • Wander over Yonder. Take Looney Tunes, the wackiness of SpongeBob SquarePants, the character designs of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and a space setting. Now, put them in a blender, and voila! A weird, wacky little cartoon.
  • Cow and Chicken is a W(H)AT about a couple, who both happen to be a pair of legs, who have two children: a cow and a chicken. The duo are harassed in every episode by an insane, crossdressing demon who emphasizes his lack of pants and the former of the two can turn into a Spanish-speaking superhero. What.
    • If you think that's weird, from the same creator as Cow and Chicken is YooHoo & Friends, which is exactly what you get when you take some obscure Korean preschool cartoon based on a cute toyline and Westernize it by re-dubbing and re-animating it into a fourth-wall breaking comedy show about five greedy executives who are turned into cute, fluffy animals by the Father Time (voiced by the Flavor Flav), and in order to wish themselves back into being humans, they must do good deeds and help out the environment. If literally any of that was confusing to you, you now know exactly what you're in for.
  • Pickle and Peanut If the name alone didn't tip you off, how about spoonfuls of Deranged Animation, excessive Art Shifts, Medium Blending, and just all-out weirdness.
  • Teen Titans made reference to this, as the weirder episodes (such as those involving insane Reality Warper villains like Mad Mod and Mumbo Jumbo) usually had the theme song done in Japanese whereas the more "serious" episodes had it in English. Follow-up series Teen Titans Go!, while less Animesque, just outright drops the seriousness and embraces WHAT territory.
  • WordWorld: Everything and everyone is made of the letters in their name, and new objects (and even new characters) can be created by just putting the appropriate letters next to each other. It's especially strange by PBS standards.
  • Future-Worm!: A boy makes a time machine out of his own lunch box and befriends the eponymous character, an unbelievably badass worm, complete with a beard. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Steven Universe: The title character is a half-alien, half-human boy with three alien aunts, one of which is actually two smaller aunts, but also herself, and one human dad. He is also his mom, who is also the alter ego of a space goddess who became fascinated with humanity and waged war against her older sisters to save the Earth from being hollowed out for its organic resources. He owns a pink lion who was revived from the dead with his mother's tears whose mane contains a pocket dimension that functions as a hold-all storage unit.
  • HBO's late-90s show Crashbox was a rare edutainment example— the premise of the show was a bunch of robots inside a giant, steampunk-ish computer would create game cartridges for segments where the viewers would learn stuff, ranging from a robotic match teacher who taught "Psycho Math", to a talking pair of ears who would try to guess where they were based on the noises they heard.
  • Drawn Together, TV's first animated reality show where characters die and come back in the same episode without explanation, making it the most unrealistic animated show ever created. Really think about how completely insane that is. Word of God implied nothing in this show is ever meant to make any sense other than that it's funny.
  • Bojack Horseman is a W(H)AT. The fact that nobody finds anthropomorphic animal actors in a human-filled world and walking in broad daylight to be odd brings questions to first-time viewers' minds.
  • From much of the same team as Bojack Horseman, we have Tuca & Bertie, a WHAT taking place in a similar World of Funny Animals with much more offbeat humor, which is faster-paced to boot. The first episode alone involves the titular duo searching for an urn belonging to Bertie's boyfriend Speckle, containing his grandmother's ashes, ultimately leading to the two chasing a turtle through the city into a bakery, where the ashes are baked into a cake... only for Speckle's grandmother to be reincarnated as a cake. She then tells Speckle to eat her, so she can live on in his stomach.
    Eat the ghost cake! Eat the ghost cake!
  • TaleSpin is an old Disney cartoon about the golden age of seaplane travel. What makes it very bizarre is that characters are very, very randomly taken from The Jungle Book (1967), a work with a vastly different tone and plot. They have been anthropomorphized and revisioned, with Shere Khan for example going from a regular wild tiger living in a forest to a bipedal businessman.
  • Phineas and Ferb is a WHAT describable as Ed, Edd n Eddy on crack. The series revolves around two boys who decide to spend a supposedly 104-day summer vacation by doing all sorts of crazy & inane activities (mainly making crazy inventions in their backyard), all while trying to hide their shenanigans from their bratty older sister. And then there's the stranger elements such as each episode's subplot where the family pet becomes a secret agent and fights an evil German mad scientist, and random appearances by a giant floating baby head.
  • PB&J Otter is a WHAT animated series from the same people as Doug about a trio of river otters who live on a houseboat on a lake of undetermined location who do a "Noodle Dance" to solve problems, and live alongside a variety of neighbors including millionaire poodles, a toilet seat-collecting "mayor", and "watchbird" cranes.
  • Centaurworld, a typical episode of which involves a talking horse competing in a drag queen show or a kleptomaniac antelope counseling her kidnappers through their OCD. Centaurworld's widget-ness is used as a setting element; it's a planet that exists alongside a fairly realistic medieval Earth, and the protagonist (who got stranded in it from the latter) has extreme difficulty coping with the weirdness there.

Wabbit (Weird British Thing)

  • What’s the Big Idea? is a Wabbit mainly because the concept of a philosophy show for preschoolers is rather unheard of.
  • The Secret Show, a show about two secret agents going on adventures that include explosive boogers and a sentient evil brain that feeds on fear.
  • The Clangers, a '70s British children's show which was about pink alien mice that spoke in whistles; one could call it a BBT (Bizarre British Thing).
  • Aardman Animations animations are often filled with British terms that non-Brits might not be familiar with.
    • Rex the Runt manages to be the epitome of this. A bunch of claymation dogs and their adventures through time, outer-space, 'inside brains'...
    • The Presentators is one of these; an extremely short-lived series about a trio of otherwise-normal Cartoon Creatures hosting a TV show, featuring theme parks based on countries, hats that make music when lifted from the table, and reality-warping weather maps that can crush people with giant pencils.
  • Oscar's Orchestra on CBBC. Set in the very distant future, about a group of sentient music instruments (Oscar is a grand blue piano, and their leader) fighting the music-hating world dictator Thaddius Vent.
  • Pib and Pog is a pure WABBIT with its maniacal humor and guise as a preschool show.
  • Nina Needs to Go! turned out to be a Wabbit for most foreign markets, as the concept of a grandma who does insane stunts to take her grandkid to the bathroom on time seemed to be a little bit over the top and strange for them.
  • Llan-ar-goll-en is a wabbit (sort of) about a man solving mysteries in a live-action world with an animated doggy sidekick in the small, titular village. You'd think it sounds awfully a lot like Blue's Clues (and you're right), but what's especially weird about it is what it contains. From flying bikes to talking handbags and singing letter stamps, and with the main cast comprising of a pirate and wizard, this show is nothing short of a Welsh Mind Screw.
  • Doctor Snuggles is a "Wabbit". A lot of elements in this show are best understood in the context of British culture with a 1970s vibe to it. You have British elements like an idyllic countryside and tea drinking; psychedelic animation; a Funny Animal supporting cast to the title character; plus talking trees!

Wicket (Weird Canadian Thing)

  • Jacob Two-Two is very much a wicket. It includes major references to hockey, is set in Montreal, has an explicitly stated Quebecois character, and has assignments about Canadian explorers. There's also the Canadian style of humour in the show.
  • Teletoon's Spliced. The premise being about Mix-and-Match Critters is just the top of the barrel for this Wicket where the very first episode involves bowling pin aliens invading Earth.
  • Another Wicket from Teletoon is Jimmy Two-Shoes. How many other versions of Hell have giant talking sandwiches (among other objects), a month in which everyone falls asleep for a day, evil pickles, biker clowns, a perfume that turns wearers into giraffes, talking animals, racing fleas, evil space unicorns, and a demon version of the Tooth Fairy? It's probably worth noting that a lot of these happened in Season 2 as opposed to the more defined Miseryville of Season 1.
  • Yakkity Yak, an obscure and short-lived Gag Series by Teletoon that also aired on Nickelodeon in 2003. It's about the adventures of a yak who lives in the town of Onion Falls and dreams about being a comedian. By itself, that's weird enough, but to add to it, his best friend is a pineapple-headed person, his agent is a trilobite, and a mad scientist with hair that changes colour based on his mood and a robot daughter/assistant lives in his basement. Yup, a Wicket in the purest sense of the term.
  • Teletoon gives us yet another pure, undiluted Wicket in Wishfart, a series best described as The Fairly OddParents on crack. The main characters are a non-traditional leprechaun, a talking puffin, and a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. Every episode title is a non-sequitur uttered in the episode. And a normal episode for the series would be the leprechaun eating cabbage to impress a mermaid that leads to snowmen declaring war on everyone. Even the freakin' title screams of Wicket!note 
  • Hoze Houndz is a huge Wicket. Think Fireman Sam but if it was made by Furry Fandom members on a lot of drugs. One piece of fanart on DeviantArt had a comment recalling an episode "where the main characters go to a fast-food restaurant and they get toys that were actually superpower accessories." In other words, a typical episode.

WTF (Weird Thing from France)

  • Avez-vous déjà vu... ? is a Weird Thing from France (W.T.F.) that can easily beat FLCL and Azumanga Daioh for the title of the weirdest series in the world. Although it seems like all the information about this... strangeness... is in French, you can find some videos on the Internet by googling the title. It was made by Alain Chabat, who's considered the king of the weird in France.
  • Chapi Chapo, a Weird French Thing, consists of the playful adventures of two small... children that manipulate innumerable boxes, and sometimes even physical laws.
  • Les Renés, another Weird Thing from France, a series about a cyclop family, created by the French artist Hervé Di Rosa.
  • One of the earliest French CGI series, Chipie & Clyde, a series about a selfish wolf called Clyde who live in a loft and his antagonist, a girl called Chipie, who is able to send him by magic to make a test each time he says the F word. In the same case, Les Quarxs, a scientist who shows some weird creatures that came from nowhere which caused him some serious problems in his work.
  • Peepoodo & the Super Fuck Friends, a French animated series which heavily parodies children's cartoons in the vein of Happy Tree Friends and Kaeloo, and although there are some very helpful lessons on sexuality scattered throughout, it's packed with unbelievably graphic and raunchy content. (one episode even discusses coprophilia and urophilia) Also, almost every single one of the characters has their junk hanging out.
  • Soupe Opéra: Definitely a Weird Thing from France. Fruit and vegetables move around and form animals, all to '90s-sounding music.
  • Kaeloo: The entire cast are mentally unstable talking animals, they live on a planet that runs on magic (with no buildings, stores, schools, offices, etc.), there's ridiculous amounts of violence and destruction, and the characters have access to time machines, love ptions and the like.
  • La planète de Donkey Kong (especially its final years under the DKTV title) is pretty weird by design: it's basically a post-modern sketch show featuring a handful of the Donkey Kong characters, who behave very differently from their portrayals in any other media, and features humour and subject matter raunchier than what you'd expect for something based on a Nintendo property. What pushes it in WTF territory is the frequent references to French pop culture and that most of the skits are built around untranslatable puns.

STANZA (Strange Thing from Australia/New Zealand/Australasia)

WST (Weird Scandinavian Thing)

  • John Dillermand is a Danish children's TV series about a man and his very long and prehensile penis, that can act independently of him and get him into trouble.


  • The Amazing World of Gumball is this in terms of animation (a mix of stop-motion, computer-generated effects and traditional animation), characters (the protagonist is a blue cat with an orange fish as his adopted brother, and his parents are a pink bunny married with another blue cat; his schoolmates include a Tyrannosaurus rex, a paper-made bear, a cactus and a cloud) and events (very silly incidents that are taken too seriously). Many episodes revolve around the characters reacting to and examining tropes the way a normal person would, making their setup all the funnier.
  • Any episode of Teen Titans that begins with its theme song in Japanese is this. Especially the one where it is sung by a one-shot, otaku character, according to Andrea Romano's comments in a DVD Easter Egg.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons, when an already manically bizarre promotional videotape for the Japanese cleaning product Mr. Sparkle includes, for no apparent reason, a brief clip of a reporter asking a two-headed cow, "Any plans for summer?" Then the cow shatters with a look of horror on its face(s) upon viewing Mr. Sparkle.
  • Panique au Village (A Town Called Panic) is a bizarre Belgian stop-motion shorts series. Also, Pic Pic André Shoow by the same authors.
  • Pingu is totally a weird Swiss thing. It's a Claymation series about a Bratty Half-Pint little boy penguin, who can stretch and squash himself into any shape he desires, who speaks a non-sensical babble thus leaving the stories of the show to be told through inference via body language, and of which several episodes have been Banned in China due to horror and Toilet Humor.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch: Take two or more celebrities, put them in a wrestling ring and make them duke it out until one of them is left alive. Then make the whole setting a World of Ham. With lots of bloodshed and violence, this show is a prime example of Widgetness in claymation form.
  • Fat Dog Mendoza: The adventures of a boy in a superhero costume and his dog (which looks more like a giant cat's head with legs and a tail). They're best friends with a girl who has purple hair, their teacher has two heads (one named Polly, the other Esther), the villains include a guy with feet for hands and another with a giant green head... and that's just the premise.
  • Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island. Take SpongeBob SquarePants and VeggieTales, throw them in a blender, add a whole load of plots so nonsensical and random that you head will be spinning by the time the episode's over, and make them into a cartoon. Voila, one of the weirdest cartoons ever made.
  • Wunschpunsch is a WTF, WICKET, and a PEGS at the same time. Who thought a series wherein a cat and a raven are forced to stop their witch owners' spells from destroying the city they live in could be so crazy?
  • Baby Jake is a combination Wabbit/EIEIO about the titular character, who is a baby's face on an animated body, with it's babbling translated by the character's 6-year old brother, who resides in a windmill in England. To parents, it's irritating and annoying. To others, it makes them go "What the hell did I just watch?"
    • From the other side of the pond is the W(H)AT Go, Baby!, a series of shorts that aired during Playhouse Disney in the 2000s and briefly returned in 2012 when it rebranded to Disney Junior. Like Baby Jake, the characters are animated photographs.
  • Ready Jet Go! qualifies as a W(H)AT and partially a Wicket since the series is produced in the US and the voice cast is from Canada. The show is quite wacky, taking place in a Quirky Town and starring a Quirky Household, having many absurd jokes, and some plots that only make sense in context.


In General/Multiple Media

  • Most American Christian media can come across this way to secular people, or even other Christians. Sometime in The '70s, evangelical Christians in the US became deeply enraptured by the concept of creating alternatives to "secular" pop culture. This grew to encompass literature (the Left Behind series is one of the most visible examples), music, movies, video games, dating sites, and more, to the point where it eventually became an entire separate subculture. Chick Tracts also fit the bill.
  • tykylevits' videos make very little sense until you do some research and find out that, yep, he's from Finland. Then it seems perfectly normal.
  • There are also the Japanese vending machines which dispense things like live crabs/lobsters and used panties.
  • One aversion. Up until early 2020, television footage from the Far East showing Japanese, Korean, Chinese etc. people going about their everyday business in cities or on mass transport - whilst wearing breathing masks covering mouth and nose - was taken in Europe and the USA as yet more proof of how weird places like Japan were. And then in 2020...


  • Ao Usagi's art. A lot of it is Touhou fanart. Some of it is incredibly normal. Sometimes it's a boob in an orange peel.
  • Another Whippet (Weird Polish Thing): old Polish movie posters have earned a reputation for mind-blowing weirdness on the Internet, with places such as Cracked or Something Awful doing articles on their content or parodies thereof. In the modern day, a typical movie poster to be seen in Poland is probably the same one as published internationally. However, it used to be so (especially in the commie times) that they were created from scratch by artists who never had much to do with popular art, and frequently had no access to the film beyond the title and perhaps a summary; not to mention, in those days, the market was never buyer's so if you went to a cinema the question was "what is" rather than "what to pick". As a result, they created artsy images that would suit an art gallery perfectly, but with nary a thought given to whether or not would they make a viewer actually watch the film they were supposed to advertise.

Audio Books

  • "Hitsuji de Oyasumi" is a series of short talk CDs featuring various Japanese voice actors Counting Sheep. Not just a few sheep, either; most of the albums go to 400, plus short openings and closings and occasional other mid-count comments. There are at least 22 volumes of this.

Live shows

  • Cirque du Soleil. This Weird French-Canadian Thing first caught attention in the U.S. because it was so different from the long-established, Ringling Bros.-dominated circus format. No animal acts, one ring, little dialogue, New Age/world music, etc. It actually took a lot of inspiration, and later performers, from established European and Asian circuses, but managed to make its own artistic statements and remain distinctive, to the point that their overall style has spawned its own imitators. (By the way, the Japanese love Cirque, to the point that the non-touring show ZED was created for Tokyo Disneyland.) Their 2003 TV show Solstrom is a true Widget Series: a mostly silent fantasy series that links acrobatic and novelty acts together via whimsical stories involving mischievous "sun creatures" (characters from the various stage shows) running amuck on Earth.


  • Men With Brooms is possibly more Weirdly Canadian than Kids in the Hall. It's a sports comedy about curling, that also features Paul Gross, Leslie Nielsen (as a retired curling guru and hallucinogenic mushroom enthusiast), a guest appearance by Canadian rock group The Tragically Hip, a bagpiper in a kilt with no explicit connection to the plot, and a running gag involving beavers.

Tools and Gadgets


  • Most small Toyotas since about 2000 have this to some extent or another.
    • On the international front, ridiculous little dinky cars and hatchbacks from all around the world are perceived this way by Americans.note  The ultimate example is the autorickshaw, a demented little car-thing built around a motorcycle. The American muscle cars, on other hand, are perceived this way outside America, since the idea of shoving an Enormous Engine in a box-shaped family car, let alone a large luxury car, comes off as ridiculously huge and thirsty for the rest of the world (with rare exceptions like Australia).
    • A western example is the short-lived Yggdrasil 'green' motorcycles. We can't link to an example, unfortunately, as the website has been down for about two years. If you've played or seen screenshots of the game series Xtreme G, they resembled those cycles but only went about 140-170kph and were sold in small numbers in mainland Europe as an environmentally conscious alternative to move from point A to B. They were cheap to buy, but annoyingly expensive to maintain, and attempts to sell them elsewhere were met with confusion and head scratching elsewhere (and even at home) due to the way-too-futuristic designs and odd seating arrangement. (ridden as if you were straddling a rocket Wile E Coyote style).
    • Microcars/small cars in general and Smart cars in particular may also be seen this way in North America. This is caused by Japanese and European car makers not bothering to sell their microcars and more left-field models in North America in a self-fulfilling cycle of lack of demand from lack of products from lack of demand... Conversely, a lot of places in the rest of the world perceives their relative absence and the preponderance of big sedans, pickup trucks, SUVs and even the aforementioned American muscle cars for city dwellers as just as strange. The last few years have however seen SUVs getting commonplace everywhere, from America to Europe to even Japan, so the trend might be changing.
    • The whole Morgan car company is a weird British Car Company: two-seat roadsters with a 1930s design and wooden chassis? Three wheelers with the one wheel at the back?. A car with crossed eyes? Jeremy Clarkson did a thorough investigation of the phenomenon of British sports cars and their drivers here, noting the irony of a country infamous for its wet, chilly weather being the home of a car that seems meant to be driven on warm, sunny days.
    • The Caterham 7.
    • In one of his solo feature-length DVD releases, Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson has also introduced many British and American gearheads to this DOT (Dutch Oddity of Transportation), the Vandenbrink Carver. It was subsequently reviewed on Top Gear proper by the Hamster here.
    • Top Gear also had a segment about the bizarre creations of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact civilian car industry, ranging from Russian compact sedans with holes in the bottom for ice fishing purposes and some kind of...thing from Czechoslovakia with three wheels and a body made of leather.
  • Some comments about the Handley Page Victor bomber run along the lines of "Only the British would make their nuclear deterrent look like that". The same seems to apply to the Avro Vulcan, which happens to look more like a fighter plane than a bomber. Applies for the Russians and the Tu-95.
  • The Japanese have a weird obsession with making as much noise as possible when driving a car or motorbike (even if that noise is the sound of the engine being shredded). They love to rev the crap out of mopeds for no apparent reason.

Alternative Title(s): Weird Japanese Thing, Wicket, Weird Canadian Thing, Widget