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File:Tasteblue 1708.png

It looked like a piano sounds shortly after being dropped down a well. It tasted yellow, and felt Paisley. It smelled like a total eclipse of the moon. Of course, nearer to the tower it got really weird.


Momentary tasting colors/temporary synesthesia. This is where a character, due to magic, poison, drugs, blow to the head, etc. starts tasting/smelling/hearing colours or other variations. Related to and may be followed by Non Sequitur Thud. Colors like blue are popular.[1] Often played for humor.

Doesn't cover characters just speaking metaphorically.[2] The character tastes something which rightfully does not have a taste at all, or experiences other synesthetic weirdness. May be related to Insubstantial Ingredients, where whatever they're eating actually contains abstract concepts.

Not to be confused with Editorial Synesthesia where the characters sense things normally, it's just things have to be displayed differently for the viewer. For the conventional taste of unconventional things see Tastes Like Feet. See also When Is Purple?.

Examples of Tastes Like Purple include:

Comic Books


"Why does everything taste green?"


Klarion the Witch-Boy (dum, dum, dum): "You taste like Christmas."
Stephanie: "You say that like it's a bad thing."


Fan Works

  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, Comed-Tea "somehow (tastes) green and fizzy".
  • In In Flight, Shirou's ability to sense magical phenomena is interpreted by his brain in terms of smells. Normally when trying to identify the various Sekirei's powers, this is pretty straightforward, however in Miya's case, one aspect of her aura, he can only describe as smelling like "remorse".
  • In My Immortal, Ebony says something "indigoally" at one point.
  • Nightmare from Nightmarefics asks for square-flavored licorice in one chapter.
  • Shows up in My Little Denarians when Harry and Pinkie are navigating around the Outside.


  • History of the World Part One: "Everything's so green!"
  • Tangled: "I don't know why, but overall it just smells like the color brown."
  • One of the taglines for Fantasia was "Hear the pictures! See the music!"
  • In Hudson Hawk, while pretending to be crazy, Anna intones: "What does the color blue taste like? Bobo knows!"


  • In Sourcery, the crazy magics cast by the Sourcerer are said to have that effect on things. (See quotes page)
    • In Soul Music, Ponder manages to rig up a magical apparatus to let the wizards see sound waves. Ridcully initially thinks Ponder is trying to pull this trope deliberately:
    • Also in Discworld: Infinity is blue. Trust me.
    • There also exists a cult of monks who are determined to find out what the creation of the universe sounded like. In order to become an member, one has to listen to a coin being flipped 50 miles away and correctly identify if it landed heads or tails. In order to become a master, one has to also be able to identify the color of the coin.
    • In Wings by the same author airplane food is described as always having suspicious wobbly stuff that tastes of pink.
  • Neuromancer: Molly suffers this due to the side effects of some painkillers 3Jane gives her. Case, being jacked into her senses, gets to "enjoy" it too.
  • An Animorphs book offhandedly mentioned that Jake and Marco once spend an entire afternoon arguing on whether cheese could taste green.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, Helion glances at Vafnir's view of the meeting. It all appears as music to him.
  • In the book Last Dragon, someone comments that a fruit tastes like moonlight.
  • In The Hunger Games Catching Fire, when Katniss and Peeta are at the capital, Katniss mentions in passing eating a soup that she describes in her narration as "tasting like springtime."

Live Action TV

  • Firefly, where everything goes bendy for Jayne.
  • House: Dr. Gregory House takes a hit of LSD to cure his chronic headaches and experiences synesthesia.
  • Ugly Betty: This trope is said word-for-word by Betty, who at the time was accidentally drugged by perfume. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • 30 Rock: Said word-for-word by Jack Donaghy while whacked out on pain relievers after his heart attack
  • Snipets: Said word-for-word by a child in one of the series of PSAs for children made in the 1970s, when he tastes some blueberry yogurt.
  • Survivor: The final 4 tie vote in Survivor: Marquesas was decided by a random drawing of rocks. Whoever gets the purple rock goes home. One of the contestants said "Oh, it feels like purple" when he picked his rock. Guess who got sent home?
  • Greg the Bunny: In the first episode, Tardy the Turtle is eating crayons and says "Crayons taste like purple"
  • Glee: In "Blame it on the Alcohol", Rachel declares that the wine cooler "tastes like pink!"


  • Practically the whole song by Chris Rice, "Smell The Color Nine".
    • "Cuz' Nine's not a color... And if it were, you can't smell a color, no... That's my point exactly."

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons. In 2nd Edition, the Complete Psionics Handbook had psionic abilities that did this: Feel Light, Feel Sound, Hear Light and See Sound.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 has the synesthete psionic power, which inflicts this on the user. It's primarily used to "see" with your skin, and thus protect against gaze attacks.
  • Eberron 's Dal Quor is the region of dreams, and the kalashtar are descended from refugees. The "Races of Eberron" supplement mentions that they may have memories of "tasting colors or smelling sounds."
  • Warhammer 40,000 has direct exposure to Chaos causing things like being attacked by clouds of anger, and daemons are made of emotion.


  • R.C Sherriff's Journey's End has the following exchange about the food in the trenches:

Osborne: What kind of soup is this Mason?
Mason: Its yellow soup sir
Osborne: Its got a very deep yellow flavour


Video Games

  • In the Interactive Fiction game So Far, the green crystal rod found under the tree is described as smelling "blue", among other things.
  • In Adventure Quest, the elemental type of damage for wyverns' poison attacks is "purple".
  • When consuming a tiny bottle of absinthe in Kingdom of Loathing, the resulting message says the absinthe "tastes like licorice, pain, and green.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, one of the gift items is a bottle of Chasind Sack Mead, described as having a flavor "reminiscent of warm summer days and apple blossoms on the wind, with an unexpected aftertaste of Father going off to war, never to return."
  • In League of Legends the champion Lulu the Fae Sorceress is a young Yordle girl who went off with a fairy for a few centuries to learn their magic and became total Cloudcuckoolander as a result. One of her lines is "Yup! That tasted purple!"

Web Comics


Liz: How does it taste?
Greg: Pink. Very, very pink.

  • Malfunction Junction: "I just found out what the worst Chinese food in the world tastes like. ... It tasted like communism. Like a Maoist army oppressed my tongue, then moved south to commit human rights violations against my gastrointestinal system. I'm pretty sure this stuff violates UN rules."
  • Terezi from Homestuck was the victim of an Eye Scream incident and thus is technically blind, but she learned to effectively see again, well enough to view things that are at least several miles away, by smelling and tasting colors. Several other trolls have Psychic Powers, but Terezi's ability is treated as a learned skill rather than a power. This probably runs on nonsenseoleum, but it could also be Bizarre Alien Biology.
  • In 8-Bit Theater', after eating food at a bad restaurant, Fighter claims he can see through time. The rest of the party comments that they also can see through time.
  • In Urban Jungle:

Phil: Hold on, everything smells blue again.


Web Original

  • Played with in Ask a Ninja, where he says that to kill a chimerathon (a 26.2 mile long chimera), you have to cut off its ears and shove them up its nose because it can't stand the sound of how it smells.
  • In one Ask That Guy episode: "You'll be able to hear colors and smell happiness."
    • "...That, or... die."
  • In web radio drama OrgLIX, after having eating almond-flavoured jelly-beans, Demyx pauses to wonder whether "real almonds would make you hear colours too?"
  • One edit of the infamous Sonic Joke Book features a Buzzbomber recommending some medication to a friend. When asked about them it responds "I can hear colors."
  • Salad Fingers: The famous line from episode 2: Marjorie Stewart-Baxter, you taste like sunshine dust!
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "mini-golf", Strong Bad briefly speaks in reverse after returning from a trip to Sweet Puttin' Cakes, and remarks "My mouth tastes like... backwards."
    • Which was a reference to an earlier cartoon where, after waking up on the couch one day, he mentions that his mouth tastes like email.
  • In A Very Potter Sequel Ron and Harry share Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Harry winds up with broken computer while Ron gets defeat.
  • EPICMEALTIME has made chili that "tastes like crazy alcohol rainbow pig".
  • Marik Plays Bloodlines, when Marik's character drinks blood for the first time. "Mmm, that's good homeless person. Wait, what am I doing? He probably tastes like shattered dreams and despair!
  • When Ink City moved to Dreamwidth, one of the signs something had happened was that Dot tasted purple.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Selma's Choice" Selma takes Bart and Lisa to Duff Gardens, and Lisa drinks the water from the boat ride on a dare: "Ooh, I can see the music!"
    • In "Homer and Apu" Lisa has a similar quote on eating a Spice heavy meal: "I can see through time".
    • Homer's "food sense" is so pronounced he can smell the letters on a birthday cake and hear pudding.
    • In one episode, Lisa finds a crankiness cure and gives it to Grandpa. They try to isolate out of a drop of his sweat by giving every chemical in it back to him one at a time. One reaction was "I taste music."
  • Futurama: Philip J. Fry is the Trope Namer:
    • "Roswell That Ends Well": "Hey, what smells like blue?"
    • "The Why Of Fry": "Did everything just taste purple for a second?"
  • Clone High: "I can taste the sun!"
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: after recovering from an attack by a poisonous frog, Kowalski says "I can taste sound, but that's over now."
  • An episode of Family Guy has Peter's toy company taken over by a tobacco company. They produce a line of smoking babies that puff a cigarette and giddily announce "Tastes like happy!"
  • Jimmy Neutron: Jimmy once broke the citizens of Retroville out of their addiction to his super-delicious home-made candies by giving then treats that shock them. Sheen, however, enjoyed the sensation, and continued shocking himself until "Everything's bluuuuue!"
  • Inverted in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, where the stuff they use to make rainbows in "Sonic Rainboom" is spicy enough to induce a Fire-Breathing Diner reaction in Pinkie Pie.

Real Life

  • Considering you're currently reading, you're mentally hearing what you're visually processing.
  • Truth in Television:
    • People with synesthesia effectively have wires crossed in their brain, causing signals sent to one of the senses, eg hearing, to be interpreted by other senses as well. Such people may literally see sounds, or taste or hear colors. Synesthesia can also be temporarily induced by psychedelic drugs.
    • Or numbers have a colour. for example: five could be blue.
    • Bouba/kiki effect. When asked to assign the names "kiki" and "bouba" to two shapes, the vast majority of people, across cultures, will assign "kiki" to the spiky shape and "bouba" to the round shape.
    • It's well-known that our sense of taste is heavily influenced by our sense of smell. But other senses can influence the way we taste things, too: try putting blue food colouring in a glass of lemonade and asking a friend to guess what flavour they're drinking.[3]
      • Some cheap artificial colors have very distinct tastes. A lot of purple candy is functionally inedible due to the incredibly rancid aftertaste conferred by that coloring agent.
      • Or try a glass of Crystal Pepsi.
    • The blue Mountain Dew. Just... the blue Mountain Dew.
      • For the curious, it tastes like blue electricity, with a distinct aftertaste of watered-down cough medication.
  • Comedian Lewis Black remarked that NyQuil comes in two flavors: Red and Green. And they're the only substances on Earth that actually taste like Red and Green.
  • People regularly assign temperatures to flavors, regardless of the temperature of the substance itself. For example, mint tastes cold while cinnamon tastes hot and chocolate tastes warm. Chefs must keep this in mind with combining ingredients.
    • Molecules like menthol (found in mint) and capsaicin (the molecule that give chili peppers their bite) found in ingredients cause temperature sensation by bonding to the temperature receptors in the tongue thus causing a food to taste "hot" or "cold".
  • Some artificial flavors have become heavily associated to the artificial colors they're usually paired with. Thus, "bubble gum" flavor is commonly called "pink" flavor, and the stuff that used to be laughingly called "cherry" in soft drinks is increasingly just being sold as "red."
    • This is best seen in the weird phenomenon known as "Blue Raspberry." The only real way to describe the flavor is... "blue."
  • Yellow Chocolate.
  • There is a certain fruit, native to South America: the Acca sellowiana, or feijoa. It is commonly described as tasting like the color purple.
  • Blue Moon ice cream, served almost exclusively in the American Midwest. Ice cream aficionados disagree on exactly what it tastes like but "blue" is not an unheard of description.
  • The best description for the taste of Big Red soda is...tastes like red.
  1. Likely because it would be considered the most bizarre and unlikely in nature. (Name any color, and you can probably think of a few natural foods that are of that color, "tasting red" might lead to thinking of apples, "tasting yellow" could lead to bananas or lemons. Aside from blueberries, which are often more purplish, blue is a rare color in foods.)
  2. A key difference between this trope and Tastes Like Feet is that normally it would be impossible for people to taste or hear colors, but it is quite possible for people to taste things like feet and motor oil. The exception of course is those with the condition synesthesia. And most of the color examples at Tastes Like Feet are metaphors: a food with color X is described as tasting like color X. Those don't belong here. Only include examples where a character is made to taste (or hear or see, but taste is most common) something which rightfully does not have a taste at all.
  3. Bonus points if they say purple.