History Main / AliensNeverInventedTheWheel

6th Dec '16 2:11:12 AM KeithM
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** While this made sense for the Inca, it starts becoming a weaker explanation when you get to Mesoamerica, which also used the wheel for assorted things like pottery and toys, but not for carts or other forms of transport, and in some cases did live in areas where wheels would have been used.
17th Nov '16 1:48:57 PM TheUnknownUploader
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** The Brobdingnagians similarly have no idea what gunpowder is.
17th Nov '16 1:46:09 PM TheUnknownUploader
Is there an issue? Send a Message


** Arthur Dent can never seem to find a cup of tea. At one point, a food synthesizer's computer is so stumped by the concept of tea that it effectively shuts down (although it eventually synthesizes some of the best tea Arthur had ever tasted).

to:

** Arthur Dent can never seem to find a cup of tea. At one point, a food synthesizer's computer is so stumped by the concept of tea that it effectively shuts down (although it eventually synthesizes some of the best tea Arthur had ever tasted).tasted [[spoiler: with the help of Zaphod's ancestor' ghost]]).
19th Oct '16 7:45:47 AM dmeagher13
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

** The other reason for this is keeping up the {{Masquerade}}. Wizards can't risk enchanting items that could be mistaken for {{Muggle}} goods, or else Muggles will pick them up and possibly hurt themselves, or expose the magical world.
15th Aug '16 10:03:23 AM LadyJaneGrey
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* OlderThanRadio: In ''Literature/GulliversTravels'', the Lilliputians inspect Gulliver's belongings, and don't recognize most of them, including his jackknife, watch, and snuff-box; they quickly become afraid of his pistols, especially when asked for a demonstration. They know what his comb and handkerchief are, however.
14th Aug '16 10:42:42 AM MasamiPhoenix
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* The aliens from M. Night Shyamalan's ''Film/{{Signs}}'' have mastered interstellar travel but have trouble with wooden doors. They also seem to have never come up with the idea of hazmat suits. (They appear to have landed on a planet where pretty much everything is made of flesh-dissolving acid and decided to wander around completely naked.)
7th Aug '16 1:20:49 AM AnotherDuck
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Many civilizations never learned how to smelt metal until more technologically advanced civilizations came along to show them, sometimes millennia later, often skipping the "bronze age" entirely and going straight to iron.
* Though it might be presented this way in video games, bronze is not necessarily a "lower level" to iron. Iron indeed needs higher temperature that could maybe not be achieved independently without prior experience with bronze. On the other hand, smelting iron requires only iron ore, so any civilization that has found it can produce it. Smelting bronze requires both copper and tin, which could be often separated by hundreds or even thousands of kilometers (though if you're lucky, they may also be both present in the same ore, such as stannite). During the Bronze Age, copper from the Middle East was smelted into bronze with tin from Britain. That required both advanced metallurgical knowledge (not only properly mixing two totally different materials, but knowing you ''can''), and far-reaching trade networks to bring the two together. Good steel is tougher than bronze, but bronze is tougher than the wrought iron ancient civilizations could produce. However, steel was difficult to produce prior to the 19th century, so few bothered with the hassle of manufacture. The only reason bronze stopped being ubiquitous is because the trade network collapsed, and iron was good enough for most purposes.
* No civilization in the Americas could smelt iron prior to European contact. Oddly however, at least one of them smelted ''platinum'' into accessories and no one knows where they even got it from to begin with. Then the Spanish invasions happened and you should know how that went.



* Some isolated tribes exist with only technology that's literally been around since the Stone Age. Some don't even appear to work stone, though they can be ingenious with wood.
30th Jul '16 2:19:35 PM Pseudoname
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* The monsters of ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'', despite matching or outstripping humans in intelligence, never invented ''anything''. While this may seem like a weakness, this is because their sheer physical power, arsenal of deadly abilities, low-level biological forcefield, and natural FTL capabilities made any technological innovation pointless. This point is backed up by how they picked a fight with humans, despite the massive technological gap, and still haven't needed anything to make up for the disadvantage. In fact, they're actually ''winning''.
30th Jun '16 5:06:09 PM Doug86
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* ''Series/StarTrek'':

to:

* ''Series/StarTrek'':''Franchise/StarTrek'':
29th Jun '16 2:29:10 AM StFan
Is there an issue? Send a Message





!! Examples:

to:

!! Examples:
!!Examples:



[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

to:

[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]
[[folder:Anime & Manga]]






[[folder: Comic Books ]]

to:

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
[[folder:Comic Books]]



[[folder:Film]]

* The Thermians from ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' don't know the concept of fiction, period. As a result, they mistake TV series like ''[[ShowWithinAShow Galaxy Quest]]'' and ''GilligansIsland'' for real events. This is related to the fact that they also didn't know what lying was, until they met the BigBad (who incidentally figures out the plot and finds it hilarious).

to:

[[folder:Film]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The Thermians from ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' don't know the concept of fiction, period. As a result, they mistake TV series like ''[[ShowWithinAShow Galaxy Quest]]'' and ''GilligansIsland'' ''Series/GilligansIsland'' for real events. This is related to the fact that they also didn't know what lying was, until they met the BigBad (who incidentally figures out the plot and finds it hilarious).



* ''PrinceOfSpace'' features aliens invading ''because'' of this trope. The invaders from Krankor have superior spacefaring technology, but their ''fuel'' technology is inferior to Earth's; they need the new formula for rocket fuel to start a true invasion of the stars (they have only one working ship, as opposed to the fleet they could fuel with the new formula).

to:

* ''PrinceOfSpace'' ''Film/PrinceOfSpace'' features aliens invading ''because'' of this trope. The invaders from Krankor have superior spacefaring technology, but their ''fuel'' technology is inferior to Earth's; they need the new formula for rocket fuel to start a true invasion of the stars (they have only one working ship, as opposed to the fleet they could fuel with the new formula).









** Arthur Dent can never seem to find a cup of tea. At one point, a food synthesizer's computer is so stumped by the concept of tea that it effectively shuts down[[hottip:*:although it eventually synthesizes some of the best tea Arthur had ever tasted]].

to:

** Arthur Dent can never seem to find a cup of tea. At one point, a food synthesizer's computer is so stumped by the concept of tea that it effectively shuts down[[hottip:*:although down (although it eventually synthesizes some of the best tea Arthur had ever tasted]].tasted).



* In the ''EternalChampion'' story by Creator/MichaelMoorcock, where the human's technology level is roughly Middle Ages, the elf-like non-human Eldren have invented many 20th Century modern weapons of destruction, including futuristic ray guns but have never succeeded in making a flying machine. Erekose (who, in another life, has much experience with modern technology) is surprised at this gap in their knowledge.

to:

* In the ''EternalChampion'' ''Literature/EternalChampion'' story by Creator/MichaelMoorcock, where the human's technology level is roughly Middle Ages, the elf-like non-human Eldren have invented many 20th Century modern weapons of destruction, including futuristic ray guns but have never succeeded in making a flying machine. Erekose (who, in another life, has much experience with modern technology) is surprised at this gap in their knowledge.



* The Race from Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''{{Worldwar}}'' can fly between solar systems, possess nuclear weapons, and have incredibly powerful computers, yet they have no concept of chemical weaponry, or any sort of battle-field appropriate gas masks - their closest invention, filtration suits, are for cleaning up nuclear waste. This is partly because the Race haven't fought a real war in literally tens of thousands of years, but also because their extreme social conservatism creates effective technological stasis; any sort of major innovation is exhaustively studied to make sure it doesn't create social harm (ie upset the status quo), a process that takes so long that broadcast television apparently took ''sixty years'' to be legalised after it was invented.
* In ''{{Everworld}},'' it's noted that the Coo-Hatch have invented a kind of super-durable steel that can cut through just about anything, but have never discovered gunpowder. [[spoiler:Until the protagonists accidentally help them do that]]. It's also worth noting that David points out their grasp of something as comparably simple as knot-tying and the use of a pulley leaves much to be desired.

to:

* The Race from Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''{{Worldwar}}'' ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' can fly between solar systems, possess nuclear weapons, and have incredibly powerful computers, yet they have no concept of chemical weaponry, or any sort of battle-field appropriate gas masks - their closest invention, filtration suits, are for cleaning up nuclear waste. This is partly because the Race haven't fought a real war in literally tens of thousands of years, but also because their extreme social conservatism creates effective technological stasis; any sort of major innovation is exhaustively studied to make sure it doesn't create social harm (ie upset the status quo), a process that takes so long that broadcast television apparently took ''sixty years'' to be legalised after it was invented.
* In ''{{Everworld}},'' ''Literature/{{Everworld}},'' it's noted that the Coo-Hatch have invented a kind of super-durable steel that can cut through just about anything, but have never discovered gunpowder. [[spoiler:Until the protagonists accidentally help them do that]]. It's also worth noting that David points out their grasp of something as comparably simple as knot-tying and the use of a pulley leaves much to be desired.






[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

to:

[[folder: Live Action TV ]][[folder:Live-Action TV]]



* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** The Asgard, who are ridiculously far ahead of humans, have to enlist the Earthlings' help to fight the Replicators, against whom Asgard beam weaponry was useless, but [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter guns worked wonders]]. Thor mentions that the thought of using chemical propellants to fire a slug of blunt lead simply never occurred to them. Presumably, they hadn't used propellant weapons in several million years and didn't think of using them.
** There's also the fact that all Asgard are clones whose consciousnesses have been around for thousands of years. This tends to lead to some rigidness in views, although they're still damn good scientists.

to:

* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
**
''Series/StargateSG1'': The Asgard, who are ridiculously far ahead of humans, have to enlist the Earthlings' help to fight the Replicators, against whom Asgard beam weaponry was is useless, but [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter guns worked work wonders]]. Thor mentions that the thought of using chemical propellants to fire a slug of blunt lead simply never occurred to them. Presumably, they hadn't used propellant weapons in several million years and didn't think of using them.
**
them. There's also the fact that all Asgard are clones whose consciousnesses have been around for thousands of years. This tends to lead to some rigidness in views, although they're still damn good scientists.



* ''{{Series/Supergirl|2015}}'': In this show's universe, neither the Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented popcorn or an equivalent.

to:

* ''{{Series/Supergirl|2015}}'': ''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}'': In this show's universe, neither the Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented popcorn or an equivalent.



[[folder: Multiple Media]]

* The inhabitants of the Matoran Universe in ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' react with bafflement when they discover a parchment left behind by their {{Precursors}} and wheels affixed to the feet of the ancient warrior Umbra. Despite knowing what wheels are and several creatures [[BizarreAlienLocomotion having caterpillar tracks for legs]], their ground vehicles all had insect legs, and only one vehicle (the [[CoolBike Destral Cycle]]) was ever shown to canonically use wheels for their intended purpose.

to:

[[folder: Multiple Media]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* The inhabitants of the Matoran Universe in ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' react with bafflement when they discover a parchment left behind by their {{Precursors}} and wheels affixed to the feet of the ancient warrior Umbra. Despite knowing what wheels are and several creatures [[BizarreAlienLocomotion having caterpillar tracks for legs]], their ground vehicles all had insect legs, and only one vehicle (the [[CoolBike Destral Cycle]]) was ever shown to canonically use wheels for their intended purpose.
purpose.



[[folder: Video Games ]]

to:

[[folder: Video Games ]]
[[folder:Video Games]]



[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* In ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', the troll species has a bit of this.
** While the troll species does have recreational drug use, it has apparently never occurred to them to try [[TheSmokingSection lighting their drugs on fire and inhaling them]]. When Cronus is questioned about his cigarette (which he got simply to add to his GreaserDelinquent motif), he states that he would never actually ignite it, and simply sees it as a waste of a good cigarette.
** Trolls, due to being bisexual by nature, don't have words for single-gender sexuality. It's thought of more as a fetish than an actual biological preference. Further, since their reproductive process doesn't result in families and involves an insectoid queen, Karkat has a difficult time understanding the concept of why "incest" would be a bad thing.
** Averting it is PlayedForLaughs at a few points, such as when Terezi tries describing cotton candy as an exotic alien delicacy only for Dave to quip "we have cotton candy dumpass".

to:

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': The tech level of Remnant is extremely impressive in most respects, with holograms, massive flying airships, combat androids, etc. However, the troll species setting has a bit ''complete lack'' of this.
** While
space technology. The reason being that Dust, which the troll species does have recreational drug use, it has apparently setting uses for virtually all its power needs, ceases working once you get above the atmosphere for reasons unknown, and given that Dust is extremely efficient and cheap, they've never occurred to them to try [[TheSmokingSection lighting their drugs on fire and inhaling them]]. When Cronus is questioned about his cigarette (which he got simply to add to his GreaserDelinquent motif), he states looked toward developing any other type of fuel. This also means that he would never actually ignite it, and simply sees it as a waste of a good cigarette.
** Trolls, due to being bisexual by nature, don't have words for single-gender sexuality. It's thought of more as a fetish
Remnant's global communications network is less advanced than an actual biological preference. Further, since their reproductive process doesn't result the Internet in families real life, since, without any orbiting satellites, it's dependent on four giant towers and involves an insectoid queen, Karkat has a difficult time understanding lots of relay stations: if even one of the concept of why "incest" would be a bad thing.
** Averting it is PlayedForLaughs at a few points, such as when Terezi tries describing cotton candy as an exotic alien delicacy only
central towers fails for Dave to quip "we have cotton candy dumpass".whatever reason, the entire network is taken offline.



[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Apparently, TheMercuryMen have sophisticated technology; they can transport between worlds and manipulate gravity. But going from planet to planet via chemical-propelled rockets is something new and threatening to them.
* Nonhuman species in ''Literature/TheJenkinsverse'' never invented the gun: black powder weaponry is too heavy and recoils too hard for aliens to use effectively: They were never able to develop a version that could fire accurately which wouldn't also harm the weapon's operator. For this reason, only humans have invented ballistic weaponry, firearms and effective defences against firearms.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': The tech level of Remnant is extremely impressive in most respects, with holograms, massive flying airships, combat androids, etc. However, the setting has a ''complete lack'' of space technology. The reason being that Dust, which the setting uses for virtually all its power needs, ceases working once you get above the atmosphere for reasons unknown, and given that Dust is extremely efficient and cheap, they've never looked toward developing any other type of fuel. This also means that Remnant's global communications network is less advanced than the Internet in real life, since, without any orbiting satellites, it's dependent on four giant towers and lots of relay stations: if even one of the central towers fails for whatever reason, the entire network is taken offline.

to:

[[folder: Web Original ]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Apparently, TheMercuryMen have sophisticated technology; they can transport between worlds and manipulate gravity. But going from planet to planet via chemical-propelled rockets is something new and threatening to them.
* Nonhuman
In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', the troll species in ''Literature/TheJenkinsverse'' has a bit of this.
** While the troll species does have recreational drug use, it has apparently
never invented the gun: black powder weaponry is too heavy occurred to them to try [[TheSmokingSection lighting their drugs on fire and recoils too hard for aliens inhaling them]]. When Cronus is questioned about his cigarette (which he got simply to use effectively: They were add to his GreaserDelinquent motif), he states that he would never able actually ignite it, and simply sees it as a waste of a good cigarette.
** Trolls, due
to develop a version that could fire accurately which wouldn't also harm the weapon's operator. For this reason, only humans being bisexual by nature, don't have invented ballistic weaponry, firearms words for single-gender sexuality. It's thought of more as a fetish than an actual biological preference. Further, since their reproductive process doesn't result in families and effective defences against firearms.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': The tech level of Remnant is extremely impressive in most respects, with holograms, massive flying airships, combat androids, etc. However, the setting
involves an insectoid queen, Karkat has a ''complete lack'' of space technology. The reason being that Dust, which difficult time understanding the setting uses concept of why "incest" would be a bad thing.
** Averting it is PlayedForLaughs at a few points, such as when Terezi tries describing cotton candy as an exotic alien delicacy only
for virtually all its power needs, ceases working once you get above the atmosphere for reasons unknown, and given that Dust is extremely efficient and cheap, they've never looked toward developing any other type of fuel. This also means that Remnant's global communications network is less advanced than the Internet in real life, since, without any orbiting satellites, it's dependent on four giant towers and lots of relay stations: if even one of the central towers fails for whatever reason, the entire network is taken offline.
Dave to quip "We have cotton candy, dumbass."



[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* A ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Treehouse of Horror]]'' episode had Kang and Kodos coming to Earth to share their alien technology, which included the most advanced video game they'd ever created: Pong.
* On ''TheSuperHeroSquadShow,'' Skrulls never figured out how to make string cheese.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Interactions with Peridot imply that wheels were never invented on Homeworld or became so obsolete as to be forgotten.

to:

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Treehouse of Horror]]'' episode had Kang Apparently, WebVideo/TheMercuryMen have sophisticated technology; they can transport between worlds and Kodos coming manipulate gravity. But going from planet to Earth planet via chemical-propelled rockets is something new and threatening to share their alien technology, which included the most advanced video game they'd ever created: Pong.
them.
* On ''TheSuperHeroSquadShow,'' Skrulls never figured out how to make string cheese.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Interactions with Peridot imply that wheels were
Nonhuman species in ''Literature/TheJenkinsverse'' never invented on Homeworld or became so obsolete as the gun: black powder weaponry is too heavy and recoils too hard for aliens to be forgotten.
use effectively: They were never able to develop a version that could fire accurately which wouldn't also harm the weapon's operator. For this reason, only humans have invented ballistic weaponry, firearms and effective defences against firearms.



[[folder: Real Life ]]

to:

[[folder: Real Life ]]
[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': A ''WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror'' episode has Kang and Kodos coming to Earth to share their alien technology, which includes the most advanced video game they'd ever created: Pong.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow,'' Skrulls never figured out how to make string cheese.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Interactions with Peridot imply that wheels were never invented on Homeworld or became so obsolete as to be forgotten.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]



This list shows the last 10 events of 224. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.AliensNeverInventedTheWheel