It's no secret — The Simpsons has relied as heavily on drug humor as Diff'rent Strokes did on "Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis." Ranging from binge drinking to marijuana use to LSD-like hallucinations, all the members of the Simpson clan — and a great many other residents of Springfield — have enjoyed a wide variety of drug-induced exploits.
Even The Simpson's Movie included at least one instance of Homer craving something psychotropic, saying, "More, please!" to an Indian chief's flaming brew. So let's re-cap some of the "high" points of what is arguably the world's foremost pop culture institution.
6. Guatemalan Insanity Peppers
Drug blog Dosenation.com calls it a highlight of The Simpsons' "nods and winks to the drug-using populace." Exquisitely crafted in theme and form, this segment could be seen as the ultimate tribute to the psychedelic drug experience, complete with self-discovery, adventure and even an animal guide (a coyote with the voice of Johnny Cash).
We imagine The Simpsons writers are especially proud of this 1999 episode. Notice when Homer first swallows the psychotropic pepper, he says, "More, please" — the exact line he's now using in the new movie's trailer. Maybe the writers are sending a secret signal to all Homer's fans in the drug culture:
He's still a druggie after all these years.
5. "Wow, that saxophone would make a great pipe."
Homer gets a prescription for marijuana. Marge is troubled, the kids bemused, but Homer, who indulges as expected, is also conflicted. His remedy: "Do as I say, not as I do."
In other episodes, Homer...
- Has insomnia and watches a late night TV commercial for "Nappien," which "won't cause foot-fattening or elbow stink."
- Takes expired medication he finds in a neighbor's trash. When Marge tells him to stop, he says, "But Marge, what if I'm not getting enough ... [glances at label] ... estrogen!"
- Invents a drink — the Flaming Homer, a.k.a. the Flaming Moe — in which the main ingredient is children's cough syrup.
- Gets the entire town of Springfield high when he distributes a beverage made from carrots and peyote.
- Takes another man's medications while visiting his father in the nursing home. Grandpa comments, "The pink ones keep you from screaming."
- Gets high on cleaning-chemical fumes and hallucinates that he's being attacked by Scrubbing Bubbles, Mr. Clean, and other characters.
- As he and Ned Flanders drive to Las Vegas, they pass a car driven by a warped and hallucinating Hunter S. Thompson as drawn by Ralph Steadman.
4. "What am I smokin'? Oh yeah..."
About as straightforward as possible — even in Spanish — and without any apology. Otto the bus driver is portrayed as smoking pot while driving the kids to school.
In other episodes, Otto...
- Complains about blatant false advertising as he storms out of a housewares store called "Stoner's Pot Palace."
- Is told by Mettalica to never listen to their music again, ostensibly for being a druggie.
- Mistakenly answers this true-or-false question while practicing for his driving test. "Alcohol improves your ability to concentrate."
Marge Simpson hallucinates that the walls are melting, and that a roasting turkey is talking to her, after she drinks tainted tap water. (Shown here in an extra-trippy version that was redubbed for foreign markets.)
In other episodes, Marge...
- Attends the Broadway play Kickin' It, "a musical journey through the Betty Ford Center," with the kids during a trip to New York.
- Is maliciously portrayed in a political ad as saying "Now it's time to do some coke off the blade of a knife..."
- Has a false-positive test for crack and PCP after taking a parenting course. Confesses to being high on LSD, "love for my son and daughters."
- Checks into a rehab clinic herself after excessive drinking with Homer.
Lisa has LSD-like hallucinations after drinking the water while on a ride at Duff Gardens. Proclaims, "I can see the music," and "I am the lizard queen!" (Homer had been binging on an enormous sandwich he'd brought home from the company picnic, and sent her to the park with her Aunt Selma.)
In other episodes, Lisa...
- Becomes addicted to "Trucker's Choice" brand speed, a gift from Bart.
- Has LSD-like hallucinations featuring The Beatles after receiving nitrous oxide at the dentist's office. Later in the same episode, the entire family gets high when the dentist accidentally leaves the gas on.
- Comments to Bart that the air at a Hullabalooza music festival "smells like Otto's jacket," a reference to their pot-smoking school bus driver (see below).
- Comments that the pot smoke emanating from Homer's room "smells like the art teacher's office."
Bart Drinks "malk" at school, "now with vitamin R" (a slang term for Ritalin).
In other episodes, Bart...
- Gets drunk on beer during a St. Patrick's Day parade.
- Asks Marge to pick up some "Flintstones chewable morphine" when he gets the flu.
"If our drug czar thinks he's going to have a conversation with a cartoon character, he must be smoking something."
Do you have a favorite Simpsons drug reference? Tell us which ones we overlooked in the comments.
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