21 Times TV and Movies Convinced Us MDMA Was a Good Idea
Before we begin, let me just say Thrillist in no way endorses the consumption of illegal substances, and believes that all festive celebrations are best supplemented by a soda water, a few tabs of vitamin C, and a can-do attitude. That being said...
MDMA (aka molly, ecstasy, E) has had something of an onscreen renaissance in recent years. Historically depicted as the drug of choice for wayward teens or burnout ravers, as MDMA has entered mainstream party culture with a vengeance, the drug's depiction in pop culture has also evolved. All of a sudden, characters left and right are poppin' molly like frat boys at a Tiësto concert, and the drug's consumption is just as likely to yield an epic dance-off, a sweaty make-out, or a rapid-fire party montage as it is to serve as cautionary tale. Don't try this at home, but instead, live vicariously through 21 TV shows and movies that actually made MDMA seem like a pretty good idea.
Workaholics, "Orgazmo Birth"
What they took: Skinny Girl Mojitos spiked with molly water.
What happened: After Blake trades half a popsicle for some molly, the drug accidentally ends up in the baby shower punch bowl, leading to the most TURNT baby shower ever -- that is, until Colleen's water breaks on Adam's face.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Looks preeetty fun, although probably not only the FDA's list of approved pregnancy nutritional supplements.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, "Frank Sets Sweet Dee on Fire"
What he took: Some ladies give Dennis an MDMA-like substance in the line for the club.
What happened: Dennis turns into a glow-in-the-dark, rave-dance monster (and then does it again the next night...and again the night after that).
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Dennis' nightly metamorphoses into day-glo Michael Flatley seem well worth the painful-looking comedowns.
How to Make It in America, "Big in Japan"
What they took: Ecstasy.
What happened: Darren professes his love to Rachel at the club... and then makes out with a dude.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? If you're heteroflexible and want to feel, to quote Darren, “the best I’ve ever felt in my whole life."
What they took: "The strongest ecstasy I've ever done in my life."
What happened: Dave (James Franco) doses his buddy Aaron (Seth Rogen), and we see snippets of their night of EDM-fueled Champagne-spraying hedonism.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Apart from the cleanup, definitely.
Younger, "Hot Mitzvah"
What they took: Lauren's specialty: "Manischewitz and Molly."
What happened: Everyone gets so lovey-dovey and in-touch with their emotions that Liza (Sutton Foster) decides to tell her boyfriend the big secret about her age (hint: she's pretending to be Younger).
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Yeah, but only if you're ready to unburden your deepest secrets on the dance floor of your friend's adult Bat Mitzvah.
Party Down, "Sin Say Shun Awards Afterparty"
What they took: A guy gives Casey (Lizzy Caplan) "a hit of ecstasy" at an adult entertainment awards after-party the gang are catering.
What happened: Casey gets super affectionate, kisses Henry (Adam Scott) and says that his fingers feel like "the mane of a unicorn, or some such mythical creature" (a feeling that will be familiar to anyone who has ever been in a "stroke the furry wall" situation of his or her own). Unfortunately, once Henry finds some to take, Casey has already come down and wants to go home.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Fun while it lasts, but try to make sure you're tripping at the same time as the person you're secretly in love with.
Looking, "Looking for the Promised Land"
What they took: As Agustín (Frankie J. Alvarez) says nonchalantly, handing the gang some pills on the way to a woodland rave called the Promised Land, “It's just molly.”
What happened: The boys dance (and chew) their faces off, Agustín goes skinny-dipping, Patrick (Jonathan Groff) has passionate sex against a redwood tree, and everyone generally enjoys themselves.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? No complaints here.
Peep Show, "Jurying"
What they took: While Sophie (Olivia Colman) and her pals chow down “four brown bears and a couple of foghorn leghorns,” straight-laced Mark (David Mitchell) only pretends to eat his dose, because he doesn't want to wake up "dribbling in a phonebox with a trucker’s penis in my ear."
What happened: Mark is terrible at pretending to be high, claiming that he feels like he's trapped inside a giant Aero Bar and that he's getting "the famous munchies."
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Better than being the only sober person in a group of obnoxiously high people.
Red Oaks, "MDMA"
What they took: David's Parents, Judy and Sam, are advised to take MDMA -- aka, "empathy medicine" by their marriage counselors.
What happened: Half-naked and hopped up on empathy and euphoria, the couple try to initiate a cuddle puddle with their son and his girlfriend.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Sure! After all, as the therapists wisely advise, "MDMA is used for therapy only. It’s perfectly legal, non-addictive, and never used recreationally.”
What they took: Lily (Mila Kunis) slips a tab of ecstasy into the drink of fellow ballerina Nina's (Natalie Portman) drink at the club.
What happened: Strobe lights. Disorienting, crazy strobe lights. Oh, and then Nina hallucinates having sex with Lily before Lily morphs into her evil doppelganger and smothers her with a pillow.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? If you’re prone to hallucinations or suspect that you have some sort of terrifying darkness within you waiting to be unleashed, we’d have to go with nah.
Sleeping With Other People
What they took: Friends-who-are-secretly-in-love Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) are “rolling” -- slang for being high on MDMA -- when they go to their friend’s kid’s birthday party.
What happened: Lainey leads the party full of children in an impressive synchronized dance routine and everyone has a goddamn blast.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? The kids had fun, the grownups had fun, what's not to enjoy?
What they took: Latrell (Terry Crews), intending to drug Tiffany (Marlon Wayans in white-face and drag, because this movie is a wee bit dated), drinks a cocktail he has spiked with an unnamed E-type drug.
What happened: Pomeranian-stroking and frenetic, shirtless rave-dancing.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Only if you want to DANCE LIKE YOU'VE NEVER DANCED BEFORE.
What they took: At a party, melancholic protagonist Andrew (Zach Braff) takes a pill of "X" with a smiley face on it.
What happened: Andrew mains emotionally-disconnected from the festivities as everyone else has fun. Zero 7, the least-turnt rave music ever, plays.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Not if you’re perpetually melancholy and/or named Zach Braff.
Transparent, "Rollin" and "Moppa"
What she took: Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) takes some "moon rocks," which are apparently "just like E," only you don't have to take Xanax on the comedown, according to her friend Syd (Carrie Brownstein).
What happened: While Ali's three-way doesn't go as planned, she salvages her night by taking a hallucinatory cab ride and then frolicking in a fountain under some fairy lights like a goddamn water nymph. When Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) chooses this moment to come out to her daughter, Ali doesn't bat an eyelid, stroking her and cooing "I see you completely as I've never seen you before."
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Great for accepting your loved ones when they reveal their true selves, not so great when you rise the next morning and realize your entire life has changed overnight.
Californication, "The Raw and the Cooked"
What they took: Charlie (Evan Handler) and Marcy (Pamela Adlon) "drop some E" before a dinner party hosted by Frank (David Duchovny).
What happened: Marcy does a lot of hair-stroking and nuzzling, Charlie keeps fondling people's clothing, and plenty of heavy petting ensues.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Better than sitting through Frank's painfully uncomfortable, intermittently hostile dinner-party while sober? You bet.
Eastbound and Down, "Chapter 2"
What he took: Ecstasy.
What happened: A sweaty Kenny (Danny McBride) confesses his love to April (Katy Mixon) at the elementary school dance, declaring: "This is about real emotions. This is about me loving you, for real, and not just in a to make me cum kind of way, in a real way." He follows up his proclamation with a stunning array of dance moves: the pelvic thrust, the energy ball, the pretending-to-jizz-in-your-face, and then, finally, the projectile vomit.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Until that last move, yeah.
What they took: At a slumber party at Pandora’s house, Katie (Megan Prescott) spikes her mom’s chocolate brownies with 40 bucks worth of MDMA.
What happened: An upbeat pajama-clad dance party devolves into tears, a series of ill-considered hookups and a whole lot of teenage angst.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Not unless you're prepared to deal with some messy consequences the next morning.
Orphan Black, "Nature Under Constraint and Vexed"
What he took: Felix (Jordan Gavaris) describes himself simply as being “high” (but he's at a rave, and wearing ass-less chaps, so you do the math).
What happened: Felix is having a blast -- and well on his way to sealing the deal on a five-way -- when his troublemaking foster sister Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) shows up to ruin his fun.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Totally, although if your foster sister is a clone embroiled in an international conspiracy, unforeseen complications can arise.
Six Feet Under, "In the Game"
What they took: Bereaved matriarch Ruth (Frances Conroy) accidentally eats one of the ecstasy tabs her son David (Michael C. Hall) hid in his aspirin bottle.
What happened: A trippy purple-hued hallucination where Ruth follows a giant stuffed bear through a forest and meets her dead husband (Richard Jenkins), like a macabre, saucer-eyed Alice in Wonderland.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? Not if you're afraid of A) hallucinating the ghosts of departed loved ones ,or B) giant stuffed bears.
Sex and the City, "All That Glitters"
What she took: Samantha takes advantage of the ladies' club night in true Samantha fashion: seeing a bunch of penises and taking a hit of X from "her friend Bobby's friend, Bobby."
What happened: Samantha and Richard have amazing sex and she uncharacteristically confesses her love to him.
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? If you're in the mood for lurv.
Family Guy, "Model Misbehavior"
What he took: Ecstasy.
What happened: “Oh, Brian, your fur is so soft! Oh, your ears, your ears are like dog ears. Aggghhhh, this couch. Aghhhh. Oh, Stewie your head is so smooth, how are you doing that? How you doing that? Aghhh, everything here is fantastic. AAAAaaaagh these clothes. AaAaaaghhhhhh."
Does this make doing MDMA seem like a really good idea? AAaaaaaghyeah.
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Anna Silman is a staff writer at Thrillist and a law-abiding citizen, she swears. Find her on Twitter @annaesilman.