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"Ever really get into your hand, man? I mean, all those lines, it's like a tiny expressway! Your thumb is an off ramp!"

—Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati

It is common for people undergoing the Mushroom Samba to become fascinated with their own hands, often with lines such as "I can see auras!". Expect their hands to suddenly seem "huge," which may be shorthand for demonstrating the ability of narcotics, especially opioids, to alter spatial perception.

Not the same as contemplating your navel. Common hobby of The Stoner. See also These Hands Have Killed for when a character contemplates his or her hands for an entirely different reason.

Examples of Contemplating Your Hands include:

Fan Works

  • Subverted in the Avatar fic But Then I Got High with "My hand's freakin' blue, duuuudeeee!"
  • George does this in With Strings Attached after his first transformation into a cat, which is pretty trippy. When he turns back to himself, he stares at his hands—“Beautiful pink stars!”


  • In Death at a Funeral one of the characters, Simon, accidentally ingests a designer drug thinking it Valium. One of the things he says, or rather screams before he realizes what is going on is "WHY ARE MY HANDS SO BIG!?".
  • In Look Who's Talking, baby Mikey has an experience like this in-utero when his mother (who is in labor with him) receives an epidural.
  • Willard does this during one of Kurtz's speeches in Apocalypse Now, checking his hand to see if he was just having a bad trip or not.
  • Jack Black's character does it in Envy, as a way of introducing his offbeat character to the audience.
  • In a deleted scene from Return of the King, Gimli and Legolas have a drinking contest. Now, according to Tolkien's notes, alcohol is not supposed to affect elves, however they drink so much of it that Legolas mentions that he's starting to feel tingles in his hand and begins gazing at it like a stoner. At the same time, Gimli is busy passing out.
    • This even though the plot of The Hobbit involved elves in Legolas'...castle...get drunk on Legolas' father's wine and pass out.
      • My understanding is that Elven wine is to normal alcohol as a double shot espresso is to skim milk.
      • But it isn't Elven wine. It's made by "The men of Dorwinion" and it's apparently stronger than what they usually drink, which is the reason given why the guard at the prison (who wasn't supposed to be touching the stuff, at least not on duty) drinks himself into a stupor.
  • Marwood in Withnail and I: "My thumbs have gone weird! I'm in the middle of a fucking overdose!"
  • Bobby from An Extremely Goofy Movie does this with everyone's gloves, performing a Lampshade Hanging in the process.
  • Jake Sully does this in Avatar in a deleted scene where he has to go on a "Dream Hunt" by means of a venom-induced trip.


  • In the beginning of White Fang, the last surviving dogsled driver (who is being stalked by the starving wolves that killed his partner) does this for a moment. In this case, it's less him being stoned and more him taking a little bit of what may be the last night of his life to consider how remarkable life (represented in part by the complexity of the human hand) really is, and how much it's going to suck to get eaten once he runs out of firewood.
  • Tita does this when she goes insane for a short while in "Like Water for Chocolate" or "Como Agua Para Chocolate". It's not used comedically, though.
  • Makes an appearance in the notorious Scare'Em Straight anti-drug tract Go Ask Alice.
  • Appears to have become a (non-drug induced ... probably) feature of Inheritance, seems to overlap with Author Appeal as various main characters have chosen to contemplate their thumbs.
  • In the original The Mysterious Benedict Society book, the members of the society all study the backs of their hands after one of them points out the stupidity of the phrase "I know it like the back of my hand," since most people don't know the backs of their hands very well.
  • In the novel 2010: Odyssey Two, Heywood Floyd wakes up in zero gravity with his hand floating in front of his face, and momentarily mistakes the lines on his palm for the surface of Europa (the resemblance really is uncanny).

Live Action TV

  • Donna on That '70s Show.
    • A common Stock Parody when a group of characters experiments with drugs is showing them in a circle like the one from that show.
  • Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person, and spent the next six hours watching my hand move."
    • Wouldn't the sun come up during that time? Did he have enough sense to get under cover? (Knowing Spike, that's unlikely.)
      • If the 6 hours started early enough, not necessarily. But also, it was Woodstock... and so probably raining heavily enough the next morning that the sun didn't come out.
      • Also, this is Spike, the vampire who made running around spewing smoke and screaming with a blanket over his head... still not very cool. He also could have just hung out in a tent full of people too stoned to notice someone sucking their blood.
  • One episode of M*A*S*H features a concussed Hawkeye on a lengthy spiel about the human hand.
  • On The Odd Couple Felix takes a sabbatical in a monastery and spends a day marveling over his hand (before realizing that his foot is just as interesting).
  • Stephen Colbert receives a gift of 'little stamps' from his Colbert Report interns - upon licking them, his right hand suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
    • Done again in the Christmas Special when he meets Willie Nelson ("I'm so high, you're hallucinating") and one of his hands turns into a reindeer's hoof.
  • On Dinosaurs, Robbie is high on "happy plant" and looks at his hands. He then wonders why they use a numbering system based on ten when they only have eight fingers.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin says that after mistakenly taking marijuana she said on air "This just in: look at my hand, how weird is my hand".
  • The clearly stoned shoeshine boy in the "My Hands!" sketch in The Kids in The Hall (this observation eventually evolves into more disturbing areas...)
  • Parodied in an episode of Joey in which Joey is hanging out with a couple of stoned guys and they follow this routine. The difference is that Joey isn't stoned, he's just a ditz.
  • This happened once on NCIS, when Tony was on painkillers. "My fingers ... they're finging ..."
  • In an episode of Community, after getting high, Pierce puts his hands on someone's shoulders then freaks out about them being someone else's hands and runs away.
  • Frasier gets high on cold medication in one episode. At one point, Niles holds a finger in front of Frasier's face. Frasier can't stop staring at it.
  • Sam thought she was missing her thumb while high on laughing gas.
  • When Kevin attends a wedding on an episode of The Wonder Years, he gets drunk on a bottle of champagne and begins staring at his "magnificent hand"
  • A brief one: in episode 1.07 of Dollhouse, when Topher and DeWitt have accidentally gotten high, DeWitt says "I find lentils completely incomprehensible," then gets distracted by her hands.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, one of the Q (not Q, but a different Q) becomes human, and during a monologue becomes distracted by the appearance of his own hands.
  • In one episode of Sliders, Colin acts this way after getting shot by a tranquilizer dart. He becomes mesmerized by his hands and wonders why he has so many fingers.


  • In Pink Floyd's The Wall, during Comfortably Numb, Pink says that when he was young, he had a fever, and his hands felt like two balloons, and now he has that feeling once again.

Newspaper Comics

  • Doonesbury did this a lot in its early years, and occasionally still does it.

BD (after eating pot brownies accidentally placed in his care package): Have you ever looked at your hands? I mean, really looked at them?

  • Get Fuzzy referenced the gag by having Bucky say "have you ever really looked at your paw?" after doing 'nip all day.
  • Parodied by The Quigmans, with Mayberry LSD[1].

Andy: Hey, Barn, you ever really looked at your hands?

  • Andy does this (off-panel) while strung out on allergy medication in FoxTrot.

Video Games

  • Kingdom of Loathing has you literally fight "the urge to stare at your hands" as a random encounter when you eat "astral mushrooms".

(You may wonder why you can actually attack, with your weapon, a feeling that you're having. Yup, you certainly may wonder that. We won't stop you.)

  • Though amnesiac rather than stoned out of his mind, The Kid from Ever 17 wonders about his metaphorical "forgotten sixth finger" at times when he looks at his hand and contemplates his lost memory.

Web Comics


Calix's father: When a boy has come of age and must pass the trial of manhood, his father tells him this tale only once, precisely as it was told to him. For that is the way of things. Prepare yourself for the horror you are about to face as I tell you the story of how we came to be here... Duuude! There was, like, this sorceress? And one of our warriors totally spit on her. She went "That's it; I'm sending your whole village to the bad place forever!" And she totally did! And the gods took pity on us and protected our village in a bubble, of, like... protection. Kinda wished they took enough pity on us to rescue us. Thanks, Gods! Now we have to cast our children outside for the gods to judge them worthy to return! Sniff! Sometimes I think the gods stink more than the sourserious... Sar-saurus... sorseres... sorceress! (moves his hand as in confusion while looking for the word, then begins waving both of them in front of him) Hey, do this with your hands really fast! (serious again) ...You will tell this to your son precisely as it was told to you.
Calix: Grandpop liked to smoke the blue plants, right pop?


Western Animation

  • From the Futurama episode, "The Problem With Popplers," King Lrr of the Omicronians does this after eating a hippie: "Dude, my hands are huge. They can touch anything but themselves..."
  • In The Simpsons, Homer gets marijuana for an eye injury, and he and Otto ponder: "They call 'em 'fingers', but I've never seen 'em fing... oh, there they go." (itself a line borrowed from an earlier episode of The Critic)
      • From the same episode:

"We could stop this law from being put into action, or we could just sit here and watch our hands" "Woah, they're huge!"

    • Lisa also did this after drinking the water at Duff Gardens.

"I am the Lizard Queen!"

  • In An Extremely Goofy Movie, Bobby contemplates his gloves.

Bobby: (looking at his hands) Did you ever wonder why we are always, like, wearing gloves?

  • Family Guy - In a Cutaway Gag, Peter goes Live Action (except for his head) during a drug-induced freak-out.
    • His head's Live Action, too - it's just the most noticeable part of the costume.

Real Life