From tragic after-school specials to the copious pot consumed Broad City, recreational drugs have been integral to many a story on TV. But the recent emergence of Riverdale's ridiculous-but-awesome drug Jingle Jangle has brought to light a special class of TV drugs: the fictional kind. Absurd as they are, Riverdale's Jingle Jangle junkies are hardly the only reckless youth getting high on a made-up supply. Whether to just pass time, numb pain or to party, plenty characters have spat on their D.A.R.E. training to walk on the wild side.
They may not be terribly inventive but, hey, the consistently wacky names are good for a laugh. Check out these 9 reasons a whole bunch of fake people can't feel their face.
[Disclaimer: None of these drugs exist, but TV Guide doesn't encourage the use of real drugs either. If you feel like you need help getting sober, free detox/rehab help exists too; you can start here.]
1. Jingle Jangle, Riverdale
Now that the seedy "wrong side of the tracks" high school in Riverdale has been revealed, so too has the source of the hottest new drug in town. Jingle Jangle is dealt almost exclusively by the Ghoulies of South Side High, and while the effects of this drug are still super ambiguous (it's an upper, but it also might be an aphrodisiac??), it's clearly bad news. Anything you can chug out of a pixie stick is totally not FDA approved.
2. Blue Sky, Breaking Bad
Some steadfastly argue that Blue Sky isn't fictional because it's technically meth. But in an early contribution to the canon of You're Doing It Wrong Internet literature, Scientific American published a 2013 interview with Breaking Bad's science consultant, Donna J. Nelson, who said blue crystals aren't realistic but artistic license the show took. Apparently nothing says "I'm a better anti-hero than you" like a little food coloring.
3. Vertigo - Arrow
Created by the nefarious Count Vertigo, his eponymous feel-good is a lot like MDMA -- which is what people who can remember anything from the early 2000s know as ecstasy. Vertigo came in green-and-black pills and made users, like Thea Queen (Willa Holland) feel "floaty" in small doses. But Vertigo hits harder when injected into the bloodstream and can cause excruciating pain and make people hallucinate their greatest fears. Paranoia in exchange for a brief head high? Definitely not worth how corny users must have felt buying it.
4. Cat Pee, South Park
Mr. Mackey unwittingly gets the boys curious about getting high off cat urine after he lectures against the practice and Kenny is the first to try the hallucinogen. After his awesome, albeit crazy, trip, the trend goes viral, causing panic among parents and all South Park's cats to be captured and sequestered. Kenny becomes a full-on addict, and ends up peer pressuring the previously sober Gerald into trying cat urine one last time. At least the teens on Riverdale are keeping it limited to pixie sticks.
5. Synthehol, Star Trek: the Next Generation
Star Trek'schemical variant (i.e. cousin) of alcohol actually sounds pretty dope: same taste and smell as the sauce people know here on Earth but none of the bad effects, including hangovers or, for that matter, intoxication. Why drink it then? The jury's still out -- and astute viewers have noted that, for the trouble, Bloodwine is a better buzz -- but suffice it to say, it's the franchise's most loved weapon against sobriety. Here's where truth is stranger than Trek: scientists have been working on a real-life version, which could allow people to drink as much as they want and then "turn off" the inebriating effects with a pill. Sounds legit.
6. V, True Blood
Vampire blood is life, the always-invigorating Lafayette Reynolds (Nelsan Ellis) established early on in HBO's spooky series, and if it's consumed by humans it'll be something like Viagra, Adderall, marijuana and LSD all in a few tiny drops. An aphrodisiac, strength tonic, hallucinogen, healing elixir and performance drug, the (illegal!) vampire blood connects users to the vampire from which it came and remains a secret among vampires who don't want people hunting them for it. Think that stopped Lafayette from selling it or Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten) and Amy Burley (Lizzy Caplan) from fiending for it? Hardly.
7. Cloveritol, Scrubs
What this drug, which some Big Pharma group bribed Kelso (Ken Jenkins) into pushing onto patients by giving him free golf trips, does exactly isn't clear, though it sounds like some kind of mood enhancer or stabilizer. We know this because Cloveritol's slogan is "When life's not fair at all, use Cloveritol," which could be applied to literally everything that happens once someone leaves the house. Think anyone still has any samples left?
8. Electricity, Futurama
Yup, the precious nectar that makes charged phones possible gets robots in the year 3000 hammered. Bender discovered "jacking on," as it's called, at a concert where all the other robots were doing it (isn't that always the case?) and then got addicted. He gets clean eventually with the help of the Church of Robotology, which is just as much a parody of the times as it was commentary on our dependence on 20th century energy.
9. U4EA, Beverly Hills 90210
Beverly Hills, 90210didn't call U4EA (that's "euphoria" for everyone who hasn't had enough coffee today) ecstasy outright, but that's essentially what party girl Emily Valentine (Christine Elise) slips into Brandon Walsh's (Jason Priestley) drink at some naughty underground rave type party one time. Brandon gets lit and loves it -- until he doesn't, eventually so zonked out of his noggin that he can't drive, gets home mad late and later finds his car vandalized and stripped. The whole ordeal ends with Andrea (Gabrielle Anne Carteris) giving Brandon a good dressing down on the dangers of drugs -- replete with her frying an egg in a pan, just like in the "This is your brain on drugs," ad of the 80s. Radical! Emily, one can only assume, went on to do porn and then live in a boxcar.