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The Weirdest Doom Patrol Moments In The Series

Do you like ragtag groups of misfits, excessively rampant violence, trippy visuals, and emotionally resonant moments? Then Doom Patrol might just be for you. The Doom Patrol has been a  DC Comics mainstay since the 1960s, but the version of the team the show adapts is from the late-'80s reboot, penned by the incomparable Grant Morrison. Morrison took the book's lack of constraints as an excuse to run utterly buck wild and inject his distinct brand of gonzo weirdness into it. When DC chose to adapt the Doom Patrol for a one-off appearance in Titans, it was Morrison's run they took their cues from.

The success of this appearance resulted in a spin-off series being greenlit, and in February 2019, Doom Patrol debuted. It quickly established itself as one of DC's weirdest — and best — productions. We're here to celebrate the show's most bizarre moments, from its stampedes of killer butts to its dazzling musical sequences. Be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD!

I, Robot ... Man?

The very first character we meet in Doom Patrol's inaugural episode is the racecar-driving stud Cliff Steele, played by Brendan Fraser. In this scene, Cliff endures an accident on the speedway. We are subsequently treated to a bizarre montage of his memories, intercut with Niles Caulder (Timothy Dalton), AKA the Chief, assembling what will become Cliff's new robotic body. When Cliff wakes, he realizes he's missed close to a decade of time. Then, Rita Farr (April Bowlby) rips off the metaphorical Band-Aid and shows Cliff the truth of what he has become: A human brain in a robot body.

In this unique sequence, we see the reconstruction of Cliff, AKA Robotman, from his own point of view. It's more than a little off-putting and leaves the viewer wondering just what has become of him. This, of course, leads to the Frankenstein-style reveal of his new body, and his horrific reaction to it. It's an engaging work of science fiction and a perfectly bizarre start to an off-kilter series. But really, when you're a comic book character named Cliff Steele, aren't you kind of asking for something like this to happen to you?

The farting donkey portal

Yes, you read that correctly. Introduced at the end of the pilot episode, this donkey farts out the words "The mind is the limit" into the sky, and serves as the key plot device of the second episode, aptly titled "Donkey Patrol."

The donkey proceeds to suck Rita Farr, Larry Trainor (AKA Negative Man), and Vic Stone (AKA Cyborg) into another realm, where they are at the mercy of Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk). He proceeds to marathon their biggest fears and traumas. We see the accident that led to Vic's cybernetic enhancements, a first glimpse of Rita's dark past, before she gained her powers, and Larry's deeper psychological layers, especially in regards to the fact that he is a closeted gay man. This goes on until the energy spirit who resides inside of Larry (which is seriously the least bizarre thing about this) proceeds to free them from Mr. Nobody's clutches. This results in the donkey spitting them, and the town, back up, before it finally explodes.

We're only two episodes in, and we already have a donkey portal that leads to unchecked mental scars for three of the primary characters.

Cliff Steele performs "People Like Us"

If loving a musical sequence where we get to see Larry sing with a drag queen, intercut with Robotman doing the robot, is wrong ... well then, we don't wanna be right! In "Danny Patrol," Cliff and Rita go off to contend with one of Crazy Jane's worst personalities, while Vic and Larry end up on Danny Street. Danny is a sentient, teleporting, genderqueer street with several colorful and wonderful denizens, who the show lovingly calls Dannyzens. Danny is just about the nicest, friendliest, and least judgmental place on earth, encouraging anyone and everyone to be themselves.

Sadly, Danny is the target of the aptly named Bureau of Normalcy, a secret government agency on a cruel crusade to collect and study those deemed to be "abnormal." Based on that description, people like Larry, Danny, and the Dannyzens are at the top of their list. This leads to a glorious fantasy sequence where Larry and the local cabaret proprietor, Maura Lee Karupt, burst into "People Like Us," a song about people who society deems to be strange. All the while, the show cuts back to Cliff showing off his dancing chops to a kind boy dressed as a cardboard robot.

It's a gloriously vibrant and unapologetically strange sequence. May we all find a place as wonderful as Danny in this crazy, mixed-up world.

Niles Caulder's caveman romance

Is "James Bond doing the dirty with a cave-lady" on the list of things you thought you'd never see? Well, time to take it off: It happens on Doom Patrol.

As the first season progresses, we get a few glimpses into what spurred Niles Caulder to assemble his motley crew of unique individuals. Specifically, we get a look at Niles' quest for a strange horned creature, spotted in the Yukon. Niles was tasked by the Bureau of Oddities — the organization that would go on to become the Bureau of Normalcy — to find the beast for close study. Things take an unexpected turn after he becomes injured and lands in the clutches of a strange cavewoman. Eventually, it is revealed that the cavewoman has the power to summon the creature. After another near-death encounter, the cavewoman begins to care for Niles, which leads to ... well, exactly what we described earlier. This liaison results in the conception of Niles' half-caveman daughter, Dorothy. After her introduction in season two, Dorothy reveals herself to be equipped with her own set of unique abilities, much like her mother.

"The butts are loose!"

En route to the season one finale, the Doom Patrol infiltrates the Bureau of Normalcy's holding facility, known as "the Ant Farm." They're out to rescue a captured Cyborg, as well as a brainwashed hero known as Flex Mentallo (Devan Long). This episode, "Cyborg Patrol," is a definite standout full of big reveals, including Cyborg being tricked into viciously beating his own father into a coma by Mr. Nobody. But not even that development can match up to the magnitude of weirdness contained in the one we're talking about. We're here to celebrate the moment in which a stampede of killer butts, the Ant Farm's weirdest specimens, is accidentally released. Yeah, you read that right. Very few shows could find a way to logically include a scene in which the central threat is a barrage of bouncing butts, but Doom Patrol found a way.

Remember those drawings the weird kid in your art class would make, that'd make the teacher question where their life went wrong? Someone at DC made a legit monster-of-the-week out of it. This, of course, results in the now-legendary quote, "The butts are loose!" The weirdness of Doom Patrol is definitely reaching some peak levels here, but remember: Everything we've listed so far is only from the first season. We're just getting started!

Red Jack makes butterflies scary

Doom Patrol's second season really hits its stride in "Pain Patrol." This episode features a truly macabre adaptation of Red Jack (Roger Floyd), one of the creepiest protagonists from Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run. Niles first encountered Jack in the 1800s, when he was operating under the much more famous moniker of Jack the Ripper. Jack is a demented being who subsists off the pain of others. He goes so far as to transform his victims into butterflies, collecting them in order to preserve their agony. 

This leads to a horrific series of scenes. Larry is tortured Saw style, his toxic radiation used to melt the victims below him. Niles is forced to experience the pain he has dealt to others. All of this culminates in a truly twisted David Cronenberg-esque sequence in which Larry, Niles, and even Rita are forced to painfully grow butterfly wings out of their backs in a sickeningly superb moment of special effects wizardry.

Doom Patrol never shies away from creepy and unpleasant imagery. But this moment might just top the list, as far as sheer unpleasantness is concerned. Red Jack is a truly despicable character no matter the medium, and could probably serve as fodder for his own horror film.

Doom Manor is overtaken by sex ghosts

We're pretty sure the Doom Patrol writing team closes their eyes and chucks two darts at a corkboard full of various word prompts. In the case of "Sex Patrol," we think the winning words were "sex" and "ghosts."

The Dannyzens make their triumphant return in this episode. They're hoping to rejuvenate the recently wrecked Danny, currently just a humble genderqueer brick. The only way to supply Danny with enough positive energy is to throw an epic party. This episode is peppered with a ton of stand-out moments, such as Cliff on robo-ecstasy, and some intriguing early signs of Dorothy being manipulated by the Candlemaker.

But the real weirdness — well, the main weirdness — begins when Rita asks Flex Mentallo for a curious favor. Rita's been on a mission to control her body-morphing abilities, something she seems only able to do when her mind is clear. The last time her mind was clearest was after a mishap with Flex's muscle-based abilities, which caused her and the rest of the team to experience, um, spontaneous sexual release. Thus, the favor. This increased flux of sexual energy summons a being known as Shadowy Mr. Evans, whose offspring's cry would result in the whole world being turned into a lustful hellscape, wiping out all children. Trust us, that is just as weird for us to recap as it is for you to read it.

Steel & Stone

We're suckers for a good '70s-style throwback, and this sequence from "Finger Patrol" is a choice example. In this episode, Vic brings Cliff along with him on a jaunt to Detroit. After providing Vic with some lady advice, Cliff proposes the cute idea of forming a crime-fighting duo. This results in a wonderful send-up of 1970s cop shows like Starsky & Hutch, getting every wonderfully cheesy detail right. We're not just talking about the funky soundtrack and the groovy font for the Steel & Stone logo, though those are admittedly amazing. We're also talking about the hairdos, the outfits, and the over-the-top interactions, including Niles as the stereotypical angry police chief.

It's the briefest sequence on this rundown of weirdest-ever moments, but we had to include it, if only for how ridiculously charming and accurate a spoof it is. C'mon DC and Warner Brothers: Give Steele & Stone six seasons and a movie! The fans demand it!

The Doom Patrol takes on their own stupidity

"Dumb Patrol" features a pink bio-organism that, when inhaled, causes a person to have extremely bad ideas. How's that for an attention-grabbing premise?

While Rita is off breaking back into the world of acting, the rest of the team — including Cyborg's new gal pal, Roni Evers (Karen Obilom) — receive a mysteriously marked package. The contents are a bizarre group of beings known as Scants, who feed off of the chemical people secrete when they do something stupid. This, of course, results in Larry, Jane, Vic, and Roni coming down with a bad case of stupid brain, which supplies the episode with ample shenanigans.

Delightfully, the design of these beings looks like something you'd be more likely to see on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba or in a Sid and Marty Krofft production. But here they are in Doom Patrol, in all their pink, giggly glory. Hands down, they're the basis of one of the funniest outings of the second season.

Attack of the imaginary friends

If someone had told us that Doom Patrol's second season would conclude with the crew getting picked off by physical manifestations of their childhood imaginary friends — well, we probably wouldn't have been shocked by this point. But boy, is it still weird.

Dorothy has an imagination so vivid, she is capable of summoning various imaginary friends, such as the previously-mentioned horned creature, a giant spider, a bizarre female creature with a lantern for a face, and the season's antagonist, the Candlemaker. But that's not all: Dorothy's powers cause other people's imaginary friends to manifest as well. Chaos, naturally, ensues. Rita tap dances with a life-sized version of one of her paper dolls. Cyborg converses with a cowboy version of his father. Cliff contends with his old imaginary friend from Bible Camp, Jesus. Yes — Jesus Christ himself appears in this show, and proceeds to beat up Robotman. This moment encapsulates the absurdity Doom Patrol so successfully leans into: It's bizarre, hilarious, and genuinely meaningful.