Jan 14 2010

The Most Memorable Fictional Drugs in Movies and Television

Published by at 12:00 pm under Lists,Movies,Television

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Whether it’s Tony Montana snorting lines of coke the length of pool tables, Cheech and Chong puffing on some quality bud, Harry Goldfarb injecting himself with smack, or crack smoking on The Wire, mind-altering and recreational drugs have been a major part of movies and television for a long time.  But there are also a gangload of fictional drugs to consider, when the stuff that already exists isn’t potent enough.

Some fictional drugs can be simply a great time, while others grant the user incredible perspective or abilities.  One thing’s for sure, they are all a lot more powerful than the dime bag you bought from the creepy guy on the corner.  Anyway, there are quite a few that stick out, so take a look at the most memorable fictional drugs in movies and television.

Neuroin – Minority Report

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John Anderton has a bit of neuroin habit, and he likes to take a puff of the stuff before watching old home videos of his son.  But Anderton’s habit is pretty mild compared to that of many others, including the addict parents of the precogs that help to make up PreCrime.  Neuroin can be taken using an inhaler – like the one shown above – which is exactly how Anderton takes it when he wants to go from melancholy to euphoric.  Essentially, it’s like a gaseous heroin.

Nuke – Robocop 2

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Inside that device that looks like something you’d stick a check in while at a drive-thru bank is nuke, a red liquid that drug that is administered via an injection directly into the bloodstream.  It’s highly addictive and causes effects that I guess are closest to that of cocaine, which makes it so popular on the future streets of Detroit.  Nuke effects everyone, from cyborg cops to 12-year-old drug dealers.  Most people take nuke through a quick injection into the neck.  Hardcore.

Moloko Plus – A Clockwork Orange

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Before Alex and his droogs go out on the town for lashings of the old ultraviolence, they like to sharpen themselves up at the Korova Milk Bar by drinking Moloko Plus – milk laced with vellocet, synthemesc, or drencrom.  The different drugs placed in the milk obviously have different effects, but Alex seems to prefer drencrom.  The movie doesn’t really go too much into the Moloko Plus outside of Alex’s narration, but the passages in the book describe just how messed up Alex and his droogs get.  And yeah, it’s pretty insane.

Quietus – Children of Men

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Quietus isn’t a recreational drug, but it certainly is used by those looking for an escape.  In a time when women are unable to reproduce, many people would rather die quickly, painlessly, and with dignity instead of watching the world around them tear itself apart as our very civilization crumbles.  The British government understands these concerns, thus the availability of Quietus, the most effectively-marketed suicide pill ever.  (Like there are suicide pills that failed due to poor marketing)

Prozium – Equilibrium

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The effects of Prozium cause human emotions to come to a screeching halt.  Prozium was created in the hopes of avoiding World War IV; if nobody had any strong emotions, then it follows that nations wouldn’t go to war.  The drug is administered via an injection into the jugular, and all citizens of Libria are required to take Prozium.  Just missing one shceduled injection, however, can result in the resurfacing of emotions, as John Preston discovered himself.

Liquid Karma – Southland Tales

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Liquid Karma is the name of the new, revolutionary fuel source in Southland Tales, but it’s also used as a drug, especially by soldiers fighting in World War III.  “Blood Red” is the most potent type of Liquid Karma one can buy, and users may experience telepathy and a deeper, epiphany-like connection with God.  As Southland Tales is about the end of the world and is really a metaphor for the Book of Revelation, you have to wonder if Richard Kelly intended for Abilene to use Liquid Karma as an allusion to the theory that John wrote the Book of Revelation while high on shrooms.  In any event, drugs – even fictional ones – don’t get much harder than Liquid Karma.

V – True Blood

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“V” is really just slang for vampire blood, one of the most life-changing substances one can put into his or her body.  The effects of V not only make you an animal in bed, but will also heighten your senses and make you as one with the universe.  In fact, doing V with a partner is even better than sex.  Literally.  Not surprisingly, if these drugs were real, I’d have to pick V as my drug of choice.

Ephemerol – Scanners

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Ephemerol was intended to be used as a tranquilizer and a morning sickness remedy, as well as having the effect of suppressing telepathic and telekinetic abilities in adults.  But oh, there’s just one slight problem – ephemerol actually causes telepathic and telekinetic abilities in the children of those who take it.  And that’s how we get exploding heads.

Substance D – A Scanner Darkly

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There are two types of people: those who are addicted to Substance D, and those who haven’t tried it yet.   This psychoactive substance – whose “D” stands for “death” – eventually severs the connection between the right and left hemispheres of the user’s brain, resulting in two totally different personalities, with each personality being unaware of the other.  So yeah, it messes you up pretty bad.

Spice Melange – Dune

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The Spice Melange is perhaps the most powerful drug on this list.  Found only on the planet Arrakis, where it is produced by giant sandworms, Melange grants the user longer life, increased vitality, and in some people, precognition.  Even better, Melange can be used by navigators to plot courses through space-time, turning what once seemed like impossible intergalactic voyages into routine trips.  Knowing all that, it makes sense why Melange is considered the most valuable substance in the universe.  As for side effects?  Your eyes turn blue – I think that’s better than having to go to a methadone clinic – but prolonged use may eventually turn you into a huge slug-like creature.

Valkyr – Max Payne

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This green liquid drug is prevalent in New York City and can give its user increased speed and strength.  The downside?  Nightmarish hallucinations, incoherent babbling, and complete disassociation with the real world.  Some people can tolerate the drug, but most just go insane.

U4EA – Beverly Hills, 90210

U4EA has got to be a euphemism for ecstasy, so of course the kids out in Beverly Hills are going to be all over it. If someone is gonna slip something in your drink, it could be a hell of a lot worse than U4EA.

I’m sure there are a lot more fictional drugs that I haven’t listed, but these were the ones that really stuck out to me the most. If you know of any good ones I’ve left off, let me know in the comment sections. And remember to just say no…





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94 responses so far

  • Lyre

    GLeeMONEX from “Brain Candy”! If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it!

  • Madison

    @ Lyre

    Is that with the Kids in the Hall? I will have to check it out.

  • corbs

    Formula 51 with Sam Jackson. He makes a blue mento looking drug that causes euphoria and is used as a club drug like ecstasy. The thing is all the chemicals he uses to make the drug cancell each other out and it is actually a placebo.

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  • Kevin

    Supercool from Upright Citizen’s Brigade!

  • chris

    I wanted to see Totaly Awesome Sweet Alabama Liquid Snake…

  • oldskooldave

    Cake from Brass eye!! how could you miss that!

  • http://www.totalactionadventure.com Curtis

    What about Toad from Family Guy? Or Raisins from Clone High?

  • jeff

    promicin from the 4400…there’s a 50 percent chance it will give you superpowers or kill you.

  • Alex

    Third Eye from The Dresden Files

    It opens up your third eye. The third eye sees the true form of everything, like a good cop would be an angel and a bad cop would be a demon, everything is more vivid, seeing more colors than you can imagine. Oh, and everything you see with your third eye stays with you for as long as you live, without ever fading in the slightest, never going away, nice for good visions, horrible for bad visions.

  • Gary

    Let’s not forget Focusin from the Simpsons.

  • Jack

    What about adrenochrome???

  • z

    adrenachrome from fear and loathing !

  • Neal

    That drug on that one episode of captain planet.

    That was a weird episode.

  • Dancer
  • Ryan

    Lyre, when I stumbled across this article Brain Candy was the first thing that popped to mind!

    Better than GLeeMONEX is Bruce McCulloch’s drug:
    “I’ve invented a pill that gives worms to ex-girlfriends.”

  • Braden

    Adrenochrome from Fear and Loathing. Although its an actual substance, its not a drug and does not give hallucinogenic effects

  • Madison

    @ everyone

    I didn’t include adrenochrome because it’s a real substance. it doesn’t matter that the effects aren’t like what are shown in Fear and Loathing – the effects of pot brownies aren’t what was shown in Transformers 2, and I didn’t include those, either.

  • Gonzobot

    I can’t believe you don’t have Adrenachrome on here. One of the best fake drugs I’ve ever tried ;)

  • Madison

    @ Jeff

    Great call on the 4400. The movie ones were a lot easier to remember than the television ones.

  • diskurzion

    Zydrate from Repo: The Genetic Opera.

    That is all.

  • Atheris

    Zydrate comes in a little glass vial.
    A little glass vial?
    A little glass vial!

    How could you forget Zydrate from “Repo! The Genetic Opera”

  • Joshua K.

    The red and blue pills from The Matrix.

  • Daryl G.

    Good call, someone; Cake from BrassEye is one of the best, and most real, fictional drugs.

  • harley

    There’s Crystal Dream in Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man

  • RichieGoodtimes

    Mist from Prayer of the Rollerboys.

    Not only would it get you high…it would sterilize you.

  • Dave

    What about Stummies?!

  • mrs. lovejoy

    lest we not forget about Swank. It’s 100X more addictive than marijuana.

  • http://xlerate.posterous.com xlerate

    Somehow the mighty super strength inducing ‘Jabroka’ from the 1988 film Alien Nation was omitted.
    If you remember, this actually transformed the Aliens into super cracked out illegal aliens.

    And it was AWESOME 80′s neon blue.

    Yeeeeaaaah!!!

  • Maxwerm

    “Cheese” or cat piss from South Park. “Have a cup of coffee, Ken.”

  • Bernard

    No Soma from Brave New World?

    It keeps a hole society functioning and has no side effects.

    It’s like weed and extasy combined with Ice Cream ^^

  • Raain

    Provasic. Fugitive.

  • http://unreality Mikey J.

    Plutonian Nyborg from Heavy Metal. Good Nyborg man.

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  • GOSANE

    Pattern, Rutger Hauer’s character in the Lexx series was a big fan.

  • Matlock

    No Provasic? Really?

  • EJ

    Lyre and Ryan, I was thinking the same damn thing. “We beat Penicillin!”

    And Dave, Thank God you did. lol

    Brain Candy is a film my buddies and I used to watch drunk on Friday and Saturday nights after returning from downtown Orlando. We knew those jokes inside and out, man. Its a classic, classic film.

  • Weremuppet

    “Crystal Twist” from COPS. No, not the live action show, but the early 90′s cartoon. It even inspired a Crystal Twist junkie to smash the window of a jewelry store and try to jam a diamond into his forehead! BTW, is that online somewhere? I’m going to go find that now.

  • J.R. Bob Dobbs

    what not Gleemonex?

  • Swampbat

    What about Ketracell White from Star Trek Voyager? Kept an entire race of aliens in line and ready to fight.

    What about the dopamine from I Come In Peace? Would that count? You did get injected with a massive dose of heroin and then the dopamine was extracted directly (and fatally) from your brain. I know it’s “natural” but it was induced and done for profit.

    Dokes from The Running Man. “Rich blokes smoke dokes.”

  • Warren

    The “Venus” drug from Star Trek

  • mdmzupdoc

    i guess it’s not considered a “drug” per say, but Ralph Fiennes’ character dealt SQUID recordings. experiences recorded directly from the cerebral cortex which when played back through a MiniDisc-like device allow a user to experience all recorded sensory inputs as if actually doing it themselves.

  • mdmzupdoc

    That was the movie Strange Days by the way.

  • phoo

    What about Polydichloric Euthymol (PDE) from Outland with Sean Connery. Any drug that can make you jump into an air lock in space without a pressure suit is pretty hard core.

  • http://www.wakkrecords.com The Jackyl

    Where’s Totally Awesome Sweet Alabama Liquid Snake???

  • Crucible

    The movie didn’t have it, but the Judge Dredd comic series had this candy called Umpty, “the sweet that was too good to eat.” It was just candy, but it was so good it caused an instant psychological addiction, and was therefore made illegal. Dealers were called “Umpty-baggers.”

  • Xin

    Yeah, I definitely have to third Zydrate for this list. It takes you there.

  • Joe Snuffy

    Plutonian Nyborg from Heavy Metal.

  • ethaniel

    what about ‘cake’ from brasseye? Even real people endorsed the fight against cake.

  • Barn

    Soma from “Brave New World” – I remember reading that book in school & thinking to myself “that sounds like a cool drug LOL” – I wouldn’t be suprised if Soma was the inspiration for many of the other ficticious drugs in movie & TV plots.

    Also that weird stuff they drank on Star Trek TNG that was suppose to be like alcohol but the effects could be “easily dismissed” if needed.

  • Simon

    Oh! You forgot Cake from Brass Eye see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass_Eye

    In their episode on Drugs the genius Chris Morris invented a drug called “Cake” and duped celebrities to film segments telling kids to stay off the “evil, killer drug”

    From the Wikipedia article:

    David Amess MP, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Basildon, was fooled into filming an elaborate video warning against the dangers of a fictional Eastern European drug called Cake, and went as far as to ask a question about it in Parliament.

    The drug purportedly affected an area of the brain called “Shatner’s Bassoon” (altering your perception of time), can give you a bloated neck due to “massive water retention” (allegedly known in the then non-existent Czechoslovakia as “Czech Neck”) and was frequently referred to as “a made-up drug” (a drug, they were told, not made from plants but made up from chemicals).

    Other celebrities such as Sir Bernard Ingham, Noel Edmonds and Rolf Harris were shown holding the bright-yellow cake-sized pill as they talked, with Bernard Manning telling viewers that “One kiddy on Cake cried all the water out of his body. Just imagine how his mother felt. It’s a fucking disgrace” and that “…you can puke yourself to death on this stuff — one girl threw up her own pelvis-bone… What a fucking disgrace”.

    Manning, along with other participants, told the public that Cake was known on the street as “loonytoad quack”, “Joss Ackland’s spunky backpack”, “ponce on the heath”, “rustledust” or “Hattie Jacques pretentious cheese wog”, and then informed anyone offered it to “chuck it back in their face and tell them to fuck off”.

  • HunterMac

    Hmm – I’m surprised that noone metioned Tek from TekWar.

  • Spike

    Yellow Bentines. Clarky Cap.

  • speedy gonzalez

    Stimutac from Sealab 2001.

  • Cynthia

    Glint from “Strangers With Candy”

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  • Dave

    Hypnocil – suppresses dreams – from the later Nightmare On Elm Streets and Freddy v. Jason

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  • Browncoat

    Are there no other browncoats?? How about “Pax” from Serenity…. the real origin of reavers.

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  • Vicky

    There is no I in Teamocil, at least not where you’d think.

  • mich1s

    What about one of the all-time classic made up drugs – and it sounded plausible!!!

    Withnail & I – Danny the Dealer selling the boys some Phenodihydrochrolide benzorex (or as he then goes on to say “…street, The Embalmer…”)

    A genius moment from a genius film!

  • Kat

    How about Soma from Brave New World?

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  • Chandler

    What about RDU90 from The Fugitive? And what was the stuff the aliens took on Alien Nation?

  • Jorn

    It wouldn’t qualify for this list, since it was from a book, not a TV show or movie, though it is a novelisation of a TV show. In the first Red Dwarf book, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, there are references made to a drug called, simply, “Bliss”

    Quite simply, Bliss makes you feel like you are God. Infinite power, wisdom, all that. The high lasts for about two minutes, the resulting crash lasts 28 years, and the only way to get over it is to use more Bliss.

    Also, you can get additicted to it just by looking at it, which makes police raids rather difficult to carry out

  • BlueAloe

    I have to second the suggestions of Ketracel White from Star Trek (made an entire species into super-strong warriors, only one individual is known to be immune), and Pax from “Serenity” (created by the government to calm people, it made 99% of the population lay down and die and the other 1% into insane killers).

  • david

    Don’t forget “edge” from Class of 1999.

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  • sroz

    While ‘adrenochrome’ is an actual substance, it’s effects on the user, and it’s usage as a drug of ‘abuse’ (aka fun) are a complete fiction, therefore, it totally belongs on this list.

    and ditto the others above: Orwell’s SOMA is probably the granddaddy of all fictional drugs and it’s omission is glaring.

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  • http://www.filmletes.com Lori

    Love love love that you included “V” in here. And to end the whole list with 90210 is just genius, my friend. well done

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  • mj

    you forget “soma” from a brave new world

  • scarab

    VURT FEATHERS….. Featured in ‘Vurt’ and ‘Pollen’ by Jeff Noon

  • SB

    What about the entire movie called Naked Lunch?

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  • Tina

    My mind went straight to the Simpsons. What about that hot pepper Homer ate that had him hallucinating he was talking to a coyote Johnny Cash? And he licked that frog that one time…and TOMACCO was def a drug that I would have passed on. And when Lisa took her happy pills and saw Smiley Faces everywhere?

  • Madison

    @ Tina

    You’re right. I think there could probably be a fictional drug list (Duff beer is a drug, too, right?) just based on the Simpsons alone.

  • Eteoklis

    MATRIX MATRIX MATRIX!!!

  • http://insanefountain.blogspot.com Insanefountain

    What about Alien Endorphin Addiction from Cult classic Liquid Sky (1982) and in the Dark Angel (1990). In Dark Angel the Alen is a total addict and has a great spike like thing for removing it from the victims whilst they are still alive.

    Also the 51st state from the same film or formula 51 in the States.

  • http://insanefountain.blogspot.com Insanefountain

    What about Alien Endorphin Addiction from Cult classic Liquid Sky (1982) and in the Dark Angel (1990). In Liquid Skiy they specifically targeted Heroin addricts.

    In Dark Angel the Alen is a total addict and has a great spike like thing for removing it from their victims Brain whilst they are still alive.

    Also the 51st state from the Film of the same name but formula 51 in the States.

  • bas

    the red pill from the matrix ofc :p :D

  • Xarcanon

    The Spice from dune also had the effect of making your body physically dependent on it. If you tried to stop taking it you would die, so you had to keep using constantly, and upping your dose as your body got used to it. This included people who just moved to the planet, as there was enough just in the air to cause the effects.

  • Paul

    This thread is on on fire :D
    Lot of drug users here, eh?
    I think you forgot Power

  • Waldo

    with a little more research you might have found out that U4EA is actually a real drug :
    4-methyl-aminorex , a stimulant not unlike the Dreadfull Meth ,
    there is even a reference on it on Wikipedia (there they use the nick name : U4Euh)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-Methylaminorex

  • Waldo

    “Durazac” from Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) -

    Mr. Grocer: “Here’s the new stuff, kid. Durazac 15. Makes Prozac seem like a decaf latte. Want a couple? I’ve got jars.”

  • mule

    u4ea is a drug!! Just really rare, invented in the 60s, illegal in the 80s…can find it on erowid.
    Get your facts right!

  • http://www.andrewski.com Andrewski

    Dreamshit from the book Perdido Street Station was pretty cool also, it allowed you to experience other people’s dreams

  • janne

    Actually, I’m pretty sure soma wouldn’t count since it’s not fictional, just nowhere near as perfect as it’s portrayed.

  • Nicole

    I realize this thread is quite old now but it’s the closest thing I have found to try and find what I am looking for. Years ago I saw a trailer for a movie about a town that was feeding people drugs to get them to work. I cannot find the name of this movie anywhere and I am wondering if anyone here has any idea what movie I am looking for? If so, please help!!

  • Meg

    I’m thinking Fruity Oaty Bars from the Firefly movie “Serenity.” It apparently “makes a man of a mouse,” and will “make you bust from your blouse.” Sounds like an altering drug to me. ;)

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