‘The Simpsons’ On Drugs: 6 Trippiest Scenes

Homer Simpsons Smokin' Weed

It's no secretThe 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.
And of course, Homer's fondness for Duff beer is legendary.

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."
3. Marge's LSD?

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.
2. Naked in the Fermentarium

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."
1. "Ow! My Bones Are So Brittle."

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.
And in 1990, federal "drug czar" William Bennett made headlines when he warned patients at a drug treatment center that watching The Simpsons was "not going to help you." (He'd spotted a Bart Simpson poster on the wall that said "Underachiever — and proud of it.") Later when he made a conciliatory offer to sit down and talk to Bart, Matt Groening issued a counter-statement on behalf of Bart.

"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.

See also:
The Cartoon Porn Shop Janitor: Carol Burnett vs. Family Guy
Paul McCartney on Drugs
10 Worst Spider-Man Tie-Ins
Hallucinogenic Weapons: The Other Chemical Warfare
The Great Wired Drug Non-Controversy
Pulp Fiction Parodies on YouTube

69 thoughts to “‘The Simpsons’ On Drugs: 6 Trippiest Scenes”

  1. Ralph Wiggum’s opium-induced trip into a Winsor McKay-inspired fantasy land is perhaps the most clever and artful of all the drug references in the entire history of the show.

    If one counts alcohol, there are allusions to, or depictions of, drug use in almost every episode. Here are a few more:

    : Turkish sailors admit to slipping hashish into Marge’s food to mellow her out, which prompts her to say (to the effect), “which came first, turkey the bird or Turkey the you guys?”

    : After Homer wins a Pulitzer Prize for his anonymous whistleblowing internet journalism, he resorts to making up conspiracy theories to get hits on his website. He inadvertently exposes a real conspiracy, and the shadowy cabal behind it drugs him, kidnaps him and imprisons him on a “weird island.” Every time he tries to escape, he is drugged. He gets used to it pretty quick, and says “they knew my one weakness… drugs.”

    : Professor Frink gives Bart and Lisa a glimpse into their future as teenagers. On prom night, Bart’s limo is driven by Otto, who jumps out of the driver’s seat naked and says, “I can fly! Just kidding, I know I can’t fly, I can glide!” as he jumps over a cliff. In the same episode, Smithers is seen accompanied by a woman, and when Bart says “I thought you were gay,” Smithers answers “not as long as I keep taking these injections.” He shoots up and gloriously declares “I like boobies!”

    : In another glimpse into the future, stoner Bart asks President Lisa to “legalize it.”

    : Homer and Otto both apply to work at Mr. Burns’ new prison facility at the same time, where they have to undergo urine tests. Otto takes one look at his swirling technicolour piss and swaps it with Homer’s. Burns calls Homer before him and reads off the crazy list of drugs supposedly ravaging Homer’s system.

    : Burns takes up with a woman several decades younger, and is only able to perform sexually by injecting himself with an aphrodisiac made from the “pockets of a pocket fox,” a rare extinct animal. Homer shoots up with it and ravages Marge so loudly he traumatizes his children.

    : Truck-drivin’ Homer dumps a bunch of pep pills down his throat. When he’s warned not to take so much, he balances them out by taking an equal amount of downers. As he drives his semi down the highway, he swings wildly between hyper-alertness and narcoleptic drowsiness.

    And, O, my friends, there are so many more…

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  3. What about the treehouse of horror episode where homer enters a 3rd-demension…. that’s supposed to be a DMT trip.

    The insanity pepper is mocking peyote.

  4. hi, some one know the names song when homer goes flying at the car between the towers i’m talking about the first picture.

    I know the first song its form deep purple “smoke in teh water” but, what about the second?

    This is the link of the video–>


  5. Years ago, I remember an episode in which Marge was in the kitchen and takes a sip of psychedelic water, and then floats out the window while strawberry fields plays on the soundtrack.

  6. does anybody remember a scene when krustyexplains to bart,” the only thing that keeps me going is smoking crushed up moon rocks…” then smokes a bowl inside the simpsons living room…

  7. the episode where marge and lisa get manicures and they start telling each other stories lisa tells one about snow white and the seven dwarfs. they sing ” ho hi ho hi, lets take some shrooms and go to our rooms.. “

  8. LOL! @kk, I thought I’d seen all the episodes, but that’s one I missed. Do you have a link to that Simpsons episode you could post? thx.

  9. I’m still surprised the pink elephant Barney see’s when he gets drunk didn’t get an honorable mention.

  10. The Simpsons really do leave some long lasting memories. My childhood wouldnt have been the same without them. Plus, who doesnt love people quoting the simpsons mid conversation? Some of the best jokes!

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