History Main / NikolaTesla

15th Jun '13 10:58:10 AM MarkLungo
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Nikola_Tesla_at_wardenclyffe_laboratory_9227.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[MundaneUtility Nikola Tesla's reading light]].]]

->''Genius, scientist, inventor,''\\
''penniless at death, yet ignored.''\\
''Nikola Tesla,''\\
''who remembers?''
-->-- '''JoyElectric''', "Nikola Tesla"

-> ''Tesla was the electric Jesus.''
-->-- [[http://www.myvidster.com/video/114083/Drunk_History_Nikola_Tesla_thanks_g3rm Drunk History]]

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943): electrical genius, brilliant engineer, MadScientist, possibly [[{{Asexuality}} asexual]] (or just [[CelibateEccentricGenius celibate]]), pigeon-loving weirdo, poor businessman. Born in the village of Smiljan from Serbian parents (Austrian Empire at the time, Croatia today) and immigrant to the United States, Tesla is best known for his eponymous electrical transformer, the [[ShockAndAwe Tesla Coil]], closely followed by his development of the first feasible alternating current power generator, ultimately built at NiagaraFalls. Other patents of his include the equipment for radio, vertical take-off and landing, fluorescent light bulbs and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a remote-controlled boat.]] (X-rays and quasars? Possibly.) However, a combination of poor business decisions, economic trouble, and pressures from archrival Thomas Edison eventually led to the end of his good fortunes, and he acquired obsessive/compulsive tendencies and other eccentricities. He ultimately died alone in a hotel room after failing to sell a giant DeathRay to the US government. It is safe to say that without this man, the 21st century would not exist as we know it. And hardly anyone knows him.

[[http://www.lardbiscuit.com/fancy.html This essay]] lists 4 reasons for Tesla's lack of public recognition.
# Tesla lacked marketing ability and business knowledge. He concentrated on science and ignored the need to build a network of contacts. [[note]]An unfortunate tendency to make [[BadassBoast wildly enthusiastic claims]] about how every new invention would bring about world peace, provide limitless free energy or occasionally both probably didn't help.[[/note]]
# ThomasEdison had such ability and knowledge; he also made political connections and promoted his public image.
# The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_barons corporate leaders]] of the time were scared of Teslaís objective to invent free energy and took advantage of his business naiveté.
# The UnitedStates government covered up his inventions during WorldWarOne and WorldWarII since they were scared that the German Empire or the Nazis would develop a superweapon from his designs.

These are the facts. Everything else is [[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs.]] Artificial lightning? Never left home without it! (In fact, one of the highlights of any of his demonstrations was [[ShockAndAwe shooting lightning from his fingertips.]]) [[Series/MythBusters Earthquake machine]]? Probably not. [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Faked his death and escaped to Soviet Russia?]] Doubtful. Assisted by a league of [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed assassins]] as old as time itself? No. Caused TheTunguskaEvent with the help of Marconi while testing an experimental antigravity teleportation engine? ...[[ConspiracyKitchenSink You're just messing with us now, right]]?

Conjecture and conspiracy aside, some of the things that we do know Tesla was either working on or had plans for are quite terrifying. Aside from the above mentioned Artificial Lightning, Earthquake Machine, and the Death Ray (a particle beam weapon, to be precise) he tried to sell to the Government, Tesla had plans (whether or not any were close to functional is up for debate) for Force Shields, Gravity Manipulation, Wall Phasing and Teleportation. You know what they say about 'genius and madness'!

Because of both his [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder behavioral and intellectual eccentricities]], Tesla is both the UrExample of the RealLife MadScientist (literally as some of the first depictions of the trope in film came from Thomas Edison's studios) and the fictional person to go to for all technological arcana and fringe science. The tesla, the [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay S.I. unit]] of magnetic field strength (defined as a field that applies a one-newton force to a one-coulomb charge moving orthogonally at one meter per second), takes its name from him.

For examples relating to his most famous invention, see ShockAndAwe.
----
!!'''Nikola Tesla in fiction:'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''[[http://www.mangapark.com/manga/Henjin-Henkutsu-Retsuden/c0/all Chronicles of the Bizarre and Eccentric: Nikola Tesla]]'' (1989) by Hirohiko Araki of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''AtomicRobo'', Tesla built the title character. In his earlier days (Volume 3, ''Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time''), he also stopped a CosmicHorror with Charles Fort and Creator/HPLovecraft's father by using a death-ray. It doesn't work out as well as they had planned.
* A brief note in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' implies that in that world, Tesla and Edison merged their electric companies, contributing to the SteamPunk-ishness of the series' Britain.
* ''TheFiveFistsOfScience'' features Tesla and MarkTwain teaming up to fight Thomas Edison. With a SteamPunk [[HumongousMecha giant robot]]. After Edison summoned [[EldritchAbomination cosmic horrors]]. Also Tesla was trying to become a superhero. It's pretty much as awesome as it sounds.
* Tesla is a significant character in the DCComics Elseworld ''[[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]]: Age of Wonder'', in which he quits Edison Machine Works at the same time as Lex Luthor and Clark Kent. The combination of wacked-out science ability, ruthless business savvy and superpowers changes the world, until Luthor remembers he's a {{supervillain}} and asks Tesla to take out those Death Ray plans again.
* As part of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' portion of IDW's ''Infestation 2'' CrossThrough event, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.
* Gets put into historical focus and made an inspiring figure to the hero in {{Jeff Smith}}'s {{Rasl}}.
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[[folder:Film]]
* In the film adaptation of ''Film/ThePrestige'', [[CelibateHero Tesla]] is played by, [[MemeticSexGod of all people]], Music/DavidBowie. [[spoiler:He also invented a cloning machine.]]
-->''"Anything is possible, Mr. Angiers; what you are asking for is simply expensive."''
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079985/ The Secret of Nikola Tesla]]'' by the Croatian director Krsto Papić, done in 1980.
* In the film ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', the main character - then a well-intentioned grade-school MadScientist - has a poster of Tesla which proclaims him a "Rockstar Scientist." [[{{Badass}} He's air-guitaring a lightning bolt.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Tesla plays a brief but important role in ''Film/ThePrestige''. [[spoiler:He rips physics a new one by inventing a SteamPunk matter duplicator.]]
* Tesla is a character in Spider Robinson's extended universe of ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' books.
* In ''[[FarFetchedFiction The Witches Of Chiswick]]'', it's revealed that in the ideal timeline, Nikola Tesla was respected and befriended several other scientists - particularly Charles Babbage. Which led to him perfecting his inventions and bringing about the space age (plus broadcasted electricity and androids) in the Victorian era. This is screwed up when time-traveling witches pollute the time line which leads to a [[{{Dystopia}} dystopic]] time line. This is patched up and we end with the current timeline we all live in.
* His inventions are a center point to the plot of an early ''RepairmanJack'' novel.
* Tesla is the replacement/rival for SantaClaus in the short story [[http://escapepod.org/2008/12/25/ep184-as-dry-leaves-that-before-the-wild-hurricane-fly/ As Dry Leaves Before The Wild Hurricane Fly.]]
* He's not exactly a character in the novel ''Crazy For Cornelia'', but Cornelia, a big ol' fan of [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning]], is an obsessive fan of him.
* Flaming's ''The Kingdom of Ohio'' features the rivalry between Tesla and Thomas Edison, Tesla being the good guy of course.
* Tesla is a character in the ''Worldweavers'' books, where he also has elemental powers.
* He appears in the AlternateHistory novel ''New Amsterdam'' by Elizabeth Bear, where he has fled to France from Russia's encroaching imperialism and the French government has hired him to build his broadcast energy system for Paris. His death ray, a concentrated form of his broadcast energy, also makes an appearance but is ineffective, [[spoiler: at least against werebeasts.]]
* Tesla is a central character in Samantha Hunt's novel ''[[http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/books/review/Thomas-t.html The Invention of Everything Else]]'', which fictionalizes his last years of life. You know that page quote above about everything being "[[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs]]?" The book is that trope in ''spades''.
* In ''Behemoth'', the sequel to ''{{Leviathan}}'' by Scott Westerfeld, the [[SteamPunk Steam]] / [[DieselPunk Diesel Punks]] that make up the [[WorldWarOne Central Powers]] have 'Tesla Cannons,' which are, predictably, lightning generators. In the third book in the trilogy, ''Goliath'', Tesla becomes a major character. He is [[AxCrazy a great deal]] [[MadScientist more unstable]] than in real life. Which is saying something.
* Some researchers have suggested that the character of [[CthulhuMythos Nyarlathotep]] was inspired by Tesla.
* Tesla is a PosthumousCharacter in ''TheGrimnoirChronicles'' and his inventions are vital to the plot of the first book. ThomasEdison takes the role in the second book ''Spellbound''.
* Tesla was featured quite prominently in the Titanic themed novel ''DistantWaves''.
* ''The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown'' by Paul Malmont, in which PulpMagazine sci-fi writers have been tasked by the US Government in WorldWarII with creating [[WeirdScience miracle weapons]]. After Tesla dies, a team including Creator/RobertAHeinlein, Creator/IsaacAsimov and Creator/LRonHubbard investigate his experiments in the hope of finding a DeathRay or a new source of power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/MythBusters'' tested Tesla's earthquake machine. While there were some surprisingly large vibrations, the idea that it could take out a building without external power was quite busted.
** The bridge these guys were using their Tesla inspired device on was relatively modern, meaning that it had been built to withstand mechanical resonance. This theory has already been proven by incidents such as that of the Angers Bridge in 1850 (with the vibration of soldiers marching in step dislodging the bridge) and of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 (with the wind happening to have a frequency that matched the structural frequency of the bridge) This could potentially work, but that would depend on whether or not the building or bridge had been fortified against such frequencies.
* ''{{Sanctuary}}'' recently took Tesla and turned him into a pseudo-vampire with delusions of world domination. He's one of the most popular characters on the show.
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' gave someone else credit for Tesla's DeathRay. But hey, at least they named the local school Tesla High School. Which has got to count for something, right?
* Croatian mini-series ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0273375/ Nikola Tesla]]''
* Canadian period drama ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' has Tesla show up in the first episode, partly to fight it out with another business over whether Toronto is lit by alternating or direct current and partly so that Murdoch can fanboy him.
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'' has a handgun shaped and sized machine made by Tesla that shoots electricity and causes short term memory loss. He and Edison also apparently stopped their war long enough for both of them to create the warehouse's electrical system. The designing of the actual warehouse, however, was done by MCEscher, which is enough to give anybody NightmareFuel...
* An episode of ''Series/TeamKnightRider'' revealed that in his childhood, Trek had managed to design a fully functional version of Tesla's earthquake machine, which was being used by a renegade priest to do "God's work" by destroying Las Vegas.
* The mid-90s tv series ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112045/ Legend]]'' featured a good-natured, brilliant, mad-scientist character named Janos Bartok (played by by the LargeHam John de Lancie AKA [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]]) who was expressly inspired by Tesla.
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[[folder:Music]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_%28band%29 Tesla (Band)]]
* The band [[DreamTeam 8in8]] (Music/BenFolds, AmandaPalmer, [[OkGo Damian Kulash]], and NeilGaiman) opened their album ''Nighty Night'' with a {{pun}}-laden love song to a time-traveling Tesla. [[http://music.amandapalmer.net/album/nighty-night]]
* JoyElectric, the Christian Electronica band, has a rather odd song dedicated to Tesla (as noted in the page quote).
* JayElectronica, no connection to the above, used a photo of Tesla as the cover to his set of EPs, "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit C." Seen [[http://cdn.nahright.com/news/m.php/2009/12/jay-electronica-exhibit-c-ep-artwork-450x450.png here]] and [[http://beatsfromthebarn.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/albumart.jpg here]]. Electronica also name drops Tesla in a verse of "Exhibit C."
* Tesla Girls was a minor hit for the new wave band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark... and its music video was a major source of controversy.
* Unitopia has a tribute to Tesla on its album Artificial World, and it's as schizophrenic as any progressive rock epic has ever been. However, it seems fitting given the subject.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants has a song dedicated to Tesla (titled, appropriately enough, Tesla) on their 2013 album Nanobots.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''{{GURPS}} InfiniteWorlds'' setting includes among its many [[AlternateUniverse Alternate Earths]] one codenamed "Gernsback'', in which the marriage of Nikola Tesla to the daughter of J.P. Morgan is the key divergence point which produces a late 20th Century Earth almost identical to [[RaygunGothic the future as envisioned by Golden Age Science Fiction]].
* Tesla is an important figure in the "Ravaged Earth" setting of the ''SavageWorlds'' RPG. In that timeline, following the [[Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds Martian Invasion of 1898]], a.k.a. the "Red War", Tesla used scavenged pieces of Martian technology to invent a whole host of new inventions, becoming incredibly rich when he sold them to Edison. In that world's setting of 1936, he is the head of a major scientific research institution.
* In an early edition of the ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' supplement ''TabletopGame/GURPSAlternateEarths'', Telsa's one date with the niece of JP Morgan did not go disastrously bad (in real life, he freaked at her pearl earrings... a phobia to round objects). With Morgan's financing and her calming influence, he was able to set the world into a version similar to Creator/HGWells' ''Film/ThingsToCome''.
* In the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness game ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', Nikola Tesla was a Son of Ether, a Tradition of MadScientist mages. His ArchEnemy Thomas Edison was either a rival in the Technocratic Union or a pawn of the Technocracy, depending on who you asked.
* He's been merged into ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression''; this time he's a Etherite, putting him as one of the villains. Then again Etherites are often considered to be the least nasty of the villians, more interested in their crazy theories and experiencing the wonders of science than hurting anyone. They just tend to have a mental breakdown when someone disagrees with them, and have easy access to rayguns.
* In the {{Eurogame}} ''Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization'', one of the six Modern Era leaders available for your civilization is Tesla (at least, in the more recent editions - the original version of the game had BillGates filling the same role).
* The rather detailed AlternateHistory BackStory to tactical boardgame ''Tannhäuser'' has Tesla defecting to rival great power [[TsaristRussia the Matriarchy]] and equipping them with that world's equivalent to SovietSuperScience (which was combined with the power of the old pagan gods to create highly effective MagiTek). The leader of the free world, [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent US President Thomas Edison]], considers his bad treatment of Tesla [[MyGreatestFailure the main cause of]] such a FaceHeelTurn. Oh, and did I mention that the year's 1948, that WorldWarOne never concluded, that [[ImperialGermany the Reich's]] warmachine is powered by [[{{Ghostapo}} demonic pacts, ancient artifacts,]] BlackMagic and ''{{Zeppelins|FromAnotherWorld}}?'' And that the latter just recently [[FromBadToWorse started a tentative alliance]] with a similarly occult-inclined ImperialJapan? Yeah, the setting pretty much runs on RuleOfCool.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''[[http://www.ihosopera.com/rep_tlihh.html Tesla - Lightning in His Hands]]'' is an opera based on the life of Tesla.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TeslaTheWeatherMan'' has an [[AlternateUniverse AU]] version of Tesla wielding a gauntlet that [[WeatherControlMachine controls the weather]] against Edison and his robot army. [[CrazyAwesome Yes]].
* ''Zen Pinball'' has a pinball table themed around him, and it's easily the most popular table.
* ''TombRaider: Legend'' had an entire level set in a secret Siberian lab that belonged to Tesla.
* ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' has Tesla Coils as aids that can be brought in through tears.
* ''CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' gives his Tesla Coil technology to the Russians (in the real world Tesla coils do not work that way, but ''Red Alert'' has always preferred RuleOfCool to realism.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has higher-level Enclave soldiers decked out in Tesla Armor, which has giant glowing electric coils on the back, and gives the wearer a better handling of energy weapons.
** Books entitled "Nikola Tesla And You" add +1 to your EnergyWeapon Skill.
** Tesla Armor appeared also in previous installments, but, despite the fact that it was quite fancy-looking, shining item, it was quite useless.
** In the DLC "Broken Steel", you have to find a Tesla Coil in order to build the Tesla Cannon, a BFG that ''[[LightningGun shoots lightning]]''.
** It's back in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', and '''it's even better'''!
* ''VideoGame/{{Dystopia}}'' has a gun called the Tesla Rifle. It's primary fire arcs electricity from the gun to the target, and the secondary fire launches a shiny, slow-moving ball that discharges electricity as it flies through the air.
* In ''{{Arcanum}}'' you can lay your hands on Tesla Guns and other Tesla-as-adjective weapons, provided you play a technological character. As it seems, every [[TheVerse 'verse]] has a Tesla to develop electric technologies.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', it's revealed that Tesla had an ancient artifact, called a "Piece of Eden", apparently loaned by the secretive Templar order, from which he reverse-engineered all of his inventions. He wanted to take it many steps farther and start the Internet decades early while providing the world with free electricity; Thomas Edison, a Templar, notes in a letter that this would be easy. As it would also completely reshape the world away from what the Templars want it to be, they engineer his downfall, only for the Templars' rivals, the Assassin order, to recruit him so he can use '''science''' to destroy a Piece of Eden for them. Naturally, the result of that is the TheTunguskaEvent.
* In the ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series, there are a number of weapons named after Tesla, such as the Tesla Claw, a lightning gun of sorts, and the Tesla Barrier, an upgraded shield that arcs electricity at nearby enemies.
** He also pops up in the {{backstory}} to ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}}'', where he's credited with the invention of VTOL aircraft akin to the modern V-22 Osprey in the early 1930s. (Sort of TruthInTelevision, if you can call a patent application and an article ''Popular Mechanics'' "inventing" something.)
* ''DarkVoid'' features an alternate dimension where the main character, his ex-girlfriend, and Tesla all end up. Tesla ends up outfitting the player with {{jetpack}}s to battle the game's villains.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has Tesla as the Engineer's 1800s predecessor.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'' has a secret alien "gift" known as the tesla rifle. It is a rifle that can electrocute every monster near!
* ''[[MegamanBattleNetwork Megaman Battle Network 5: Team Protoman]]'' features Ms. Tesla Magnus, operator of Magnetman, the electric Navi of the installment.
* ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' has another Tesla gun.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' has the nasty mid-game unique Nikola, known for blasting players to smithereens with his chain lightning.
* ''[[SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Super Robot Wars]]'' gives us the Tesla-Leicht Institute (TLI), a mecha design and development think-tank, as well as the Tesla Drive, a portable anti-gravity device used to make mecha fly (or in the case of the [[LightningBruiser Alt Eisen Riese]], allow it to simply stand up under the weight of its own armor and armaments).
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Tesla appears early in ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'' as one of the residents of Atheist Heaven. (Tesla was actually Christian, but it works for the jokes.)
* Tesla is the star of one of Creator/KateBeaton's [[http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=61 most famous comics]]. Also extrapolated upon in [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=256 this one right here]].
* Tesla invented Little Miss Mechanical, ''TheIntrepidGirlbot'''s oldest ancestor.
* Tesla appears in ''[[http://www.thinkin-lincoln.com/ Thinkin' Lincoln]]'', where he exists as an omnipresent [[EnergyBeings being of pure energy]].
* A recent plot line in ''[[http://www.newadventuresofqueenvictoria.com/ The New Adventures of Queen Victoria]]'' concerns the consequences of Tesla turning Queen Victoria's broken watch into a TimeMachine.
* Tesla makes a brief appearance in ''[[http://www.geist-panik.com/ Geist-Panik]]'' in which he builds the Teslamp, "A beam weapon that can tear reality asunder" concealed in a flashlight.
* An edition of ''TheOatmeal'' entitled "[[http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla Why Nikola Tesla Was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived]]" went to great lengths to make the case for Tesla being one of History's most unsung heroes. It goes to just as much trouble to illustrate why Tesla's classic rival Thomas Edison was a "douche."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Both Website/{{Cracked}} and BadassOfTheWeek [[http://www.cracked.com/funny-284-nikola-tesla/ have entire pages devoted]] [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/tesla.html to proving to the world]] how much an underestimated genius Tesla was. Website/{{Cracked}} [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16072_5-famous-inventors-who-stole-their-big-idea.html in particular]] [[http://www.cracked.com/funny-3345-historical-figures-who-were-actually-dicks/ likes to]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_14870_7-great-men-in-history-and-why-you-should-hate-them_p2.html remind us]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18501_7-incredible-scientific-innovations-held-back-by-petty-feuds_p1.html of Edison's utter douchery]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18465_6-spectacularly-bad-ideas-from-historys-greatest-geniuses.html in regards]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18539_7-lost-bodies-work-that-would-have-changed-everything.html to Tesla]].
* In the Chinese webfic ''Time to Shoot Down the Moon'' (written by a troper called T*sl*shark), the NATO extends Tesla's research and built "Coil Antennas" in Alaska and on the Moon to serve as a mean of long-range communication and detection, also generators of weaponized plasma lightning. The AI overseeing the Coil Antennas on the Moon is named Nick for some obvious reason, and many of the staff there belong to the Scientist's Vigilante, a secret organization founded by Tesla.
* The mad scientistís time in Colorado Springs plays a vital role in the blog novel ''FlyoverCity!''
* In the superhero podcast novel [[http://www.secretworldchronicle.com/ The Secret World Chronicle]] (not related to the Funcom game "The Secret World") Nicola Tesla and Andrew Marconi are digitized computer intelligences living in a secret science commune under the Himalayas.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Videos]]
* He faces off against ThomasEdison in ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory'' and scores a crushing victory; 83%! He's presented as a "impeccably dressed" genius who was ripped off by Edison. He can also [[ShockAndAwe shoot electricity from his finger tips.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The character Nikolai Technus from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is named after Tesla.
* On ''CloneHigh'', the words "Tesla rules" are perpetually visible on the blackboard in Mr. Sheepman's classroom. Tesla himself never appears.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}!'' talked about Tesla's work and character in surprising detail, even noting his questionable sanity and his rivalry with ThomasEdison. (It's noteworthy that Tesla here is portrayed as ChristopherWalken.)
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Peter tries to console his sister-in-law and tells her she wasn't the only one to get a bum deal, then they cut away to a turn of the century boardroom:
-->'''Man:''' Mr. Edison, we're going to use your invention to power the world. And Mr. Tesla, we're going to use yours in the background of {{Frankenstein}} movies.\\
'''Thomas Edison:''' Aw, I wanted that one!
* Tesla is a supervillain in a flashback in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers.'', allied with the Avon Ladies. [[CriticalResearchFailure Interestingly]], he's depicted as fighting against his RealLife HeterosexualLifePartner MarkTwain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Tesla was featured as a character in RealLife, believe it or not.
* He finally achieved honoured status in scientific literature when the SI unit for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_flux_density magnetic flux density]] was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_%28unit%29 named after him]] (previously known as "Webers per square metre").
* [[http://www.teslamotors.com/ Tesla Motors]], which builds high-performance electric vehicles, is named in tribute to him.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster The Tesla Roadster aka The Tesla Dark Star]] - a sports car that gets an average of 240 miles on a 4-hour charge (the record is over 300 miles) and goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S The Tesla Model S]] due for production next year, a family/executive sedan with a 300-mile battery pack and 17-inch touchscreen controls.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_BlueStar Tesla Blue Star]]
* {{ZOMG Smells}} makes a scent as a tribute to Nikola Tesla entitled [[http://www.zomgsmells.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=50 The Melancholy Death of Nikola Tesla]].
[[/folder]]

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to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Nikola_Tesla_at_wardenclyffe_laboratory_9227.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[MundaneUtility Nikola Tesla's reading light]].]]

->''Genius, scientist, inventor,''\\
''penniless at death, yet ignored.''\\
''Nikola Tesla,''\\
''who remembers?''
-->-- '''JoyElectric''', "Nikola Tesla"

-> ''Tesla was the electric Jesus.''
-->-- [[http://www.myvidster.com/video/114083/Drunk_History_Nikola_Tesla_thanks_g3rm Drunk History]]

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943): electrical genius, brilliant engineer, MadScientist, possibly [[{{Asexuality}} asexual]] (or just [[CelibateEccentricGenius celibate]]), pigeon-loving weirdo, poor businessman. Born in the village of Smiljan from Serbian parents (Austrian Empire at the time, Croatia today) and immigrant to the United States, Tesla is best known for his eponymous electrical transformer, the [[ShockAndAwe Tesla Coil]], closely followed by his development of the first feasible alternating current power generator, ultimately built at NiagaraFalls. Other patents of his include the equipment for radio, vertical take-off and landing, fluorescent light bulbs and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a remote-controlled boat.]] (X-rays and quasars? Possibly.) However, a combination of poor business decisions, economic trouble, and pressures from archrival Thomas Edison eventually led to the end of his good fortunes, and he acquired obsessive/compulsive tendencies and other eccentricities. He ultimately died alone in a hotel room after failing to sell a giant DeathRay to the US government. It is safe to say that without this man, the 21st century would not exist as we know it. And hardly anyone knows him.

[[http://www.lardbiscuit.com/fancy.html This essay]] lists 4 reasons for Tesla's lack of public recognition.
# Tesla lacked marketing ability and business knowledge. He concentrated on science and ignored the need to build a network of contacts. [[note]]An unfortunate tendency to make [[BadassBoast wildly enthusiastic claims]] about how every new invention would bring about world peace, provide limitless free energy or occasionally both probably didn't help.[[/note]]
# ThomasEdison had such ability and knowledge; he also made political connections and promoted his public image.
# The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_barons corporate leaders]] of the time were scared of Teslaís objective to invent free energy and took advantage of his business naiveté.
# The UnitedStates government covered up his inventions during WorldWarOne and WorldWarII since they were scared that the German Empire or the Nazis would develop a superweapon from his designs.

These are the facts. Everything else is [[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs.]] Artificial lightning? Never left home without it! (In fact, one of the highlights of any of his demonstrations was [[ShockAndAwe shooting lightning from his fingertips.]]) [[Series/MythBusters Earthquake machine]]? Probably not. [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Faked his death and escaped to Soviet Russia?]] Doubtful. Assisted by a league of [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed assassins]] as old as time itself? No. Caused TheTunguskaEvent with the help of Marconi while testing an experimental antigravity teleportation engine? ...[[ConspiracyKitchenSink You're just messing with us now, right]]?

Conjecture and conspiracy aside, some of the things that we do know Tesla was either working on or had plans for are quite terrifying. Aside from the above mentioned Artificial Lightning, Earthquake Machine, and the Death Ray (a particle beam weapon, to be precise) he tried to sell to the Government, Tesla had plans (whether or not any were close to functional is up for debate) for Force Shields, Gravity Manipulation, Wall Phasing and Teleportation. You know what they say about 'genius and madness'!

Because of both his [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder behavioral and intellectual eccentricities]], Tesla is both the UrExample of the RealLife MadScientist (literally as some of the first depictions of the trope in film came from Thomas Edison's studios) and the fictional person to go to for all technological arcana and fringe science. The tesla, the [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay S.I. unit]] of magnetic field strength (defined as a field that applies a one-newton force to a one-coulomb charge moving orthogonally at one meter per second), takes its name from him.

For examples relating to his most famous invention, see ShockAndAwe.
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!!'''Nikola Tesla in fiction:'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''[[http://www.mangapark.com/manga/Henjin-Henkutsu-Retsuden/c0/all Chronicles of the Bizarre and Eccentric: Nikola Tesla]]'' (1989) by Hirohiko Araki of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''AtomicRobo'', Tesla built the title character. In his earlier days (Volume 3, ''Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time''), he also stopped a CosmicHorror with Charles Fort and Creator/HPLovecraft's father by using a death-ray. It doesn't work out as well as they had planned.
* A brief note in ''TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' implies that in that world, Tesla and Edison merged their electric companies, contributing to the SteamPunk-ishness of the series' Britain.
* ''TheFiveFistsOfScience'' features Tesla and MarkTwain teaming up to fight Thomas Edison. With a SteamPunk [[HumongousMecha giant robot]]. After Edison summoned [[EldritchAbomination cosmic horrors]]. Also Tesla was trying to become a superhero. It's pretty much as awesome as it sounds.
* Tesla is a significant character in the DCComics Elseworld ''[[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]]: Age of Wonder'', in which he quits Edison Machine Works at the same time as Lex Luthor and Clark Kent. The combination of wacked-out science ability, ruthless business savvy and superpowers changes the world, until Luthor remembers he's a {{supervillain}} and asks Tesla to take out those Death Ray plans again.
* As part of the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' portion of IDW's ''Infestation 2'' CrossThrough event, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.
* Gets put into historical focus and made an inspiring figure to the hero in {{Jeff Smith}}'s {{Rasl}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the film adaptation of ''Film/ThePrestige'', [[CelibateHero Tesla]] is played by, [[MemeticSexGod of all people]], Music/DavidBowie. [[spoiler:He also invented a cloning machine.]]
-->''"Anything is possible, Mr. Angiers; what you are asking for is simply expensive."''
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079985/ The Secret of Nikola Tesla]]'' by the Croatian director Krsto Papić, done in 1980.
* In the film ''WesternAnimation/CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', the main character - then a well-intentioned grade-school MadScientist - has a poster of Tesla which proclaims him a "Rockstar Scientist." [[{{Badass}} He's air-guitaring a lightning bolt.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Tesla plays a brief but important role in ''Film/ThePrestige''. [[spoiler:He rips physics a new one by inventing a SteamPunk matter duplicator.]]
* Tesla is a character in Spider Robinson's extended universe of ''Literature/CallahansCrosstimeSaloon'' books.
* In ''[[FarFetchedFiction The Witches Of Chiswick]]'', it's revealed that in the ideal timeline, Nikola Tesla was respected and befriended several other scientists - particularly Charles Babbage. Which led to him perfecting his inventions and bringing about the space age (plus broadcasted electricity and androids) in the Victorian era. This is screwed up when time-traveling witches pollute the time line which leads to a [[{{Dystopia}} dystopic]] time line. This is patched up and we end with the current timeline we all live in.
* His inventions are a center point to the plot of an early ''RepairmanJack'' novel.
* Tesla is the replacement/rival for SantaClaus in the short story [[http://escapepod.org/2008/12/25/ep184-as-dry-leaves-that-before-the-wild-hurricane-fly/ As Dry Leaves Before The Wild Hurricane Fly.]]
* He's not exactly a character in the novel ''Crazy For Cornelia'', but Cornelia, a big ol' fan of [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning]], is an obsessive fan of him.
* Flaming's ''The Kingdom of Ohio'' features the rivalry between Tesla and Thomas Edison, Tesla being the good guy of course.
* Tesla is a character in the ''Worldweavers'' books, where he also has elemental powers.
* He appears in the AlternateHistory novel ''New Amsterdam'' by Elizabeth Bear, where he has fled to France from Russia's encroaching imperialism and the French government has hired him to build his broadcast energy system for Paris. His death ray, a concentrated form of his broadcast energy, also makes an appearance but is ineffective, [[spoiler: at least against werebeasts.]]
* Tesla is a central character in Samantha Hunt's novel ''[[http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/books/review/Thomas-t.html The Invention of Everything Else]]'', which fictionalizes his last years of life. You know that page quote above about everything being "[[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs]]?" The book is that trope in ''spades''.
* In ''Behemoth'', the sequel to ''{{Leviathan}}'' by Scott Westerfeld, the [[SteamPunk Steam]] / [[DieselPunk Diesel Punks]] that make up the [[WorldWarOne Central Powers]] have 'Tesla Cannons,' which are, predictably, lightning generators. In the third book in the trilogy, ''Goliath'', Tesla becomes a major character. He is [[AxCrazy a great deal]] [[MadScientist more unstable]] than in real life. Which is saying something.
* Some researchers have suggested that the character of [[CthulhuMythos Nyarlathotep]] was inspired by Tesla.
* Tesla is a PosthumousCharacter in ''TheGrimnoirChronicles'' and his inventions are vital to the plot of the first book. ThomasEdison takes the role in the second book ''Spellbound''.
* Tesla was featured quite prominently in the Titanic themed novel ''DistantWaves''.
* ''The Astounding, the Amazing and the Unknown'' by Paul Malmont, in which PulpMagazine sci-fi writers have been tasked by the US Government in WorldWarII with creating [[WeirdScience miracle weapons]]. After Tesla dies, a team including Creator/RobertAHeinlein, Creator/IsaacAsimov and Creator/LRonHubbard investigate his experiments in the hope of finding a DeathRay or a new source of power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/MythBusters'' tested Tesla's earthquake machine. While there were some surprisingly large vibrations, the idea that it could take out a building without external power was quite busted.
** The bridge these guys were using their Tesla inspired device on was relatively modern, meaning that it had been built to withstand mechanical resonance. This theory has already been proven by incidents such as that of the Angers Bridge in 1850 (with the vibration of soldiers marching in step dislodging the bridge) and of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 (with the wind happening to have a frequency that matched the structural frequency of the bridge) This could potentially work, but that would depend on whether or not the building or bridge had been fortified against such frequencies.
* ''{{Sanctuary}}'' recently took Tesla and turned him into a pseudo-vampire with delusions of world domination. He's one of the most popular characters on the show.
* ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' gave someone else credit for Tesla's DeathRay. But hey, at least they named the local school Tesla High School. Which has got to count for something, right?
* Croatian mini-series ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0273375/ Nikola Tesla]]''
* Canadian period drama ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' has Tesla show up in the first episode, partly to fight it out with another business over whether Toronto is lit by alternating or direct current and partly so that Murdoch can fanboy him.
* ''{{Warehouse 13}}'' has a handgun shaped and sized machine made by Tesla that shoots electricity and causes short term memory loss. He and Edison also apparently stopped their war long enough for both of them to create the warehouse's electrical system. The designing of the actual warehouse, however, was done by MCEscher, which is enough to give anybody NightmareFuel...
* An episode of ''Series/TeamKnightRider'' revealed that in his childhood, Trek had managed to design a fully functional version of Tesla's earthquake machine, which was being used by a renegade priest to do "God's work" by destroying Las Vegas.
* The mid-90s tv series ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112045/ Legend]]'' featured a good-natured, brilliant, mad-scientist character named Janos Bartok (played by by the LargeHam John de Lancie AKA [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Q]]) who was expressly inspired by Tesla.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_%28band%29 Tesla (Band)]]
* The band [[DreamTeam 8in8]] (Music/BenFolds, AmandaPalmer, [[OkGo Damian Kulash]], and NeilGaiman) opened their album ''Nighty Night'' with a {{pun}}-laden love song to a time-traveling Tesla. [[http://music.amandapalmer.net/album/nighty-night]]
* JoyElectric, the Christian Electronica band, has a rather odd song dedicated to Tesla (as noted in the page quote).
* JayElectronica, no connection to the above, used a photo of Tesla as the cover to his set of EPs, "Exhibit A" and "Exhibit C." Seen [[http://cdn.nahright.com/news/m.php/2009/12/jay-electronica-exhibit-c-ep-artwork-450x450.png here]] and [[http://beatsfromthebarn.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/albumart.jpg here]]. Electronica also name drops Tesla in a verse of "Exhibit C."
* Tesla Girls was a minor hit for the new wave band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark... and its music video was a major source of controversy.
* Unitopia has a tribute to Tesla on its album Artificial World, and it's as schizophrenic as any progressive rock epic has ever been. However, it seems fitting given the subject.
* Music/TheyMightBeGiants has a song dedicated to Tesla (titled, appropriately enough, Tesla) on their 2013 album Nanobots.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''{{GURPS}} InfiniteWorlds'' setting includes among its many [[AlternateUniverse Alternate Earths]] one codenamed "Gernsback'', in which the marriage of Nikola Tesla to the daughter of J.P. Morgan is the key divergence point which produces a late 20th Century Earth almost identical to [[RaygunGothic the future as envisioned by Golden Age Science Fiction]].
* Tesla is an important figure in the "Ravaged Earth" setting of the ''SavageWorlds'' RPG. In that timeline, following the [[Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds Martian Invasion of 1898]], a.k.a. the "Red War", Tesla used scavenged pieces of Martian technology to invent a whole host of new inventions, becoming incredibly rich when he sold them to Edison. In that world's setting of 1936, he is the head of a major scientific research institution.
* In an early edition of the ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' supplement ''TabletopGame/GURPSAlternateEarths'', Telsa's one date with the niece of JP Morgan did not go disastrously bad (in real life, he freaked at her pearl earrings... a phobia to round objects). With Morgan's financing and her calming influence, he was able to set the world into a version similar to Creator/HGWells' ''Film/ThingsToCome''.
* In the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness game ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'', Nikola Tesla was a Son of Ether, a Tradition of MadScientist mages. His ArchEnemy Thomas Edison was either a rival in the Technocratic Union or a pawn of the Technocracy, depending on who you asked.
* He's been merged into ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression''; this time he's a Etherite, putting him as one of the villains. Then again Etherites are often considered to be the least nasty of the villians, more interested in their crazy theories and experiencing the wonders of science than hurting anyone. They just tend to have a mental breakdown when someone disagrees with them, and have easy access to rayguns.
* In the {{Eurogame}} ''Through The Ages: A Story Of Civilization'', one of the six Modern Era leaders available for your civilization is Tesla (at least, in the more recent editions - the original version of the game had BillGates filling the same role).
* The rather detailed AlternateHistory BackStory to tactical boardgame ''Tannhäuser'' has Tesla defecting to rival great power [[TsaristRussia the Matriarchy]] and equipping them with that world's equivalent to SovietSuperScience (which was combined with the power of the old pagan gods to create highly effective MagiTek). The leader of the free world, [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent US President Thomas Edison]], considers his bad treatment of Tesla [[MyGreatestFailure the main cause of]] such a FaceHeelTurn. Oh, and did I mention that the year's 1948, that WorldWarOne never concluded, that [[ImperialGermany the Reich's]] warmachine is powered by [[{{Ghostapo}} demonic pacts, ancient artifacts,]] BlackMagic and ''{{Zeppelins|FromAnotherWorld}}?'' And that the latter just recently [[FromBadToWorse started a tentative alliance]] with a similarly occult-inclined ImperialJapan? Yeah, the setting pretty much runs on RuleOfCool.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* ''[[http://www.ihosopera.com/rep_tlihh.html Tesla - Lightning in His Hands]]'' is an opera based on the life of Tesla.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TeslaTheWeatherMan'' has an [[AlternateUniverse AU]] version of Tesla wielding a gauntlet that [[WeatherControlMachine controls the weather]] against Edison and his robot army. [[CrazyAwesome Yes]].
* ''Zen Pinball'' has a pinball table themed around him, and it's easily the most popular table.
* ''TombRaider: Legend'' had an entire level set in a secret Siberian lab that belonged to Tesla.
* ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' has Tesla Coils as aids that can be brought in through tears.
* ''CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' gives his Tesla Coil technology to the Russians (in the real world Tesla coils do not work that way, but ''Red Alert'' has always preferred RuleOfCool to realism.)
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has higher-level Enclave soldiers decked out in Tesla Armor, which has giant glowing electric coils on the back, and gives the wearer a better handling of energy weapons.
** Books entitled "Nikola Tesla And You" add +1 to your EnergyWeapon Skill.
** Tesla Armor appeared also in previous installments, but, despite the fact that it was quite fancy-looking, shining item, it was quite useless.
** In the DLC "Broken Steel", you have to find a Tesla Coil in order to build the Tesla Cannon, a BFG that ''[[LightningGun shoots lightning]]''.
** It's back in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', and '''it's even better'''!
* ''VideoGame/{{Dystopia}}'' has a gun called the Tesla Rifle. It's primary fire arcs electricity from the gun to the target, and the secondary fire launches a shiny, slow-moving ball that discharges electricity as it flies through the air.
* In ''{{Arcanum}}'' you can lay your hands on Tesla Guns and other Tesla-as-adjective weapons, provided you play a technological character. As it seems, every [[TheVerse 'verse]] has a Tesla to develop electric technologies.
* In ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'', it's revealed that Tesla had an ancient artifact, called a "Piece of Eden", apparently loaned by the secretive Templar order, from which he reverse-engineered all of his inventions. He wanted to take it many steps farther and start the Internet decades early while providing the world with free electricity; Thomas Edison, a Templar, notes in a letter that this would be easy. As it would also completely reshape the world away from what the Templars want it to be, they engineer his downfall, only for the Templars' rivals, the Assassin order, to recruit him so he can use '''science''' to destroy a Piece of Eden for them. Naturally, the result of that is the TheTunguskaEvent.
* In the ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'' series, there are a number of weapons named after Tesla, such as the Tesla Claw, a lightning gun of sorts, and the Tesla Barrier, an upgraded shield that arcs electricity at nearby enemies.
** He also pops up in the {{backstory}} to ''VideoGame/{{Resistance}}'', where he's credited with the invention of VTOL aircraft akin to the modern V-22 Osprey in the early 1930s. (Sort of TruthInTelevision, if you can call a patent application and an article ''Popular Mechanics'' "inventing" something.)
* ''DarkVoid'' features an alternate dimension where the main character, his ex-girlfriend, and Tesla all end up. Tesla ends up outfitting the player with {{jetpack}}s to battle the game's villains.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has Tesla as the Engineer's 1800s predecessor.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'' has a secret alien "gift" known as the tesla rifle. It is a rifle that can electrocute every monster near!
* ''[[MegamanBattleNetwork Megaman Battle Network 5: Team Protoman]]'' features Ms. Tesla Magnus, operator of Magnetman, the electric Navi of the installment.
* ''ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' has another Tesla gun.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' has the nasty mid-game unique Nikola, known for blasting players to smithereens with his chain lightning.
* ''[[SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration Super Robot Wars]]'' gives us the Tesla-Leicht Institute (TLI), a mecha design and development think-tank, as well as the Tesla Drive, a portable anti-gravity device used to make mecha fly (or in the case of the [[LightningBruiser Alt Eisen Riese]], allow it to simply stand up under the weight of its own armor and armaments).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Tesla appears early in ''Webcomic/DresdenCodak'' as one of the residents of Atheist Heaven. (Tesla was actually Christian, but it works for the jokes.)
* Tesla is the star of one of Creator/KateBeaton's [[http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=61 most famous comics]]. Also extrapolated upon in [[http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=256 this one right here]].
* Tesla invented Little Miss Mechanical, ''TheIntrepidGirlbot'''s oldest ancestor.
* Tesla appears in ''[[http://www.thinkin-lincoln.com/ Thinkin' Lincoln]]'', where he exists as an omnipresent [[EnergyBeings being of pure energy]].
* A recent plot line in ''[[http://www.newadventuresofqueenvictoria.com/ The New Adventures of Queen Victoria]]'' concerns the consequences of Tesla turning Queen Victoria's broken watch into a TimeMachine.
* Tesla makes a brief appearance in ''[[http://www.geist-panik.com/ Geist-Panik]]'' in which he builds the Teslamp, "A beam weapon that can tear reality asunder" concealed in a flashlight.
* An edition of ''TheOatmeal'' entitled "[[http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla Why Nikola Tesla Was the Greatest Geek Who Ever Lived]]" went to great lengths to make the case for Tesla being one of History's most unsung heroes. It goes to just as much trouble to illustrate why Tesla's classic rival Thomas Edison was a "douche."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Both Website/{{Cracked}} and BadassOfTheWeek [[http://www.cracked.com/funny-284-nikola-tesla/ have entire pages devoted]] [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/tesla.html to proving to the world]] how much an underestimated genius Tesla was. Website/{{Cracked}} [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16072_5-famous-inventors-who-stole-their-big-idea.html in particular]] [[http://www.cracked.com/funny-3345-historical-figures-who-were-actually-dicks/ likes to]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_14870_7-great-men-in-history-and-why-you-should-hate-them_p2.html remind us]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18501_7-incredible-scientific-innovations-held-back-by-petty-feuds_p1.html of Edison's utter douchery]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18465_6-spectacularly-bad-ideas-from-historys-greatest-geniuses.html in regards]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18539_7-lost-bodies-work-that-would-have-changed-everything.html to Tesla]].
* In the Chinese webfic ''Time to Shoot Down the Moon'' (written by a troper called T*sl*shark), the NATO extends Tesla's research and built "Coil Antennas" in Alaska and on the Moon to serve as a mean of long-range communication and detection, also generators of weaponized plasma lightning. The AI overseeing the Coil Antennas on the Moon is named Nick for some obvious reason, and many of the staff there belong to the Scientist's Vigilante, a secret organization founded by Tesla.
* The mad scientistís time in Colorado Springs plays a vital role in the blog novel ''FlyoverCity!''
* In the superhero podcast novel [[http://www.secretworldchronicle.com/ The Secret World Chronicle]] (not related to the Funcom game "The Secret World") Nicola Tesla and Andrew Marconi are digitized computer intelligences living in a secret science commune under the Himalayas.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Videos]]
* He faces off against ThomasEdison in ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory'' and scores a crushing victory; 83%! He's presented as a "impeccably dressed" genius who was ripped off by Edison. He can also [[ShockAndAwe shoot electricity from his finger tips.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The character Nikolai Technus from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is named after Tesla.
* On ''CloneHigh'', the words "Tesla rules" are perpetually visible on the blackboard in Mr. Sheepman's classroom. Tesla himself never appears.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Histeria}}!'' talked about Tesla's work and character in surprising detail, even noting his questionable sanity and his rivalry with ThomasEdison. (It's noteworthy that Tesla here is portrayed as ChristopherWalken.)
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Peter tries to console his sister-in-law and tells her she wasn't the only one to get a bum deal, then they cut away to a turn of the century boardroom:
-->'''Man:''' Mr. Edison, we're going to use your invention to power the world. And Mr. Tesla, we're going to use yours in the background of {{Frankenstein}} movies.\\
'''Thomas Edison:''' Aw, I wanted that one!
* Tesla is a supervillain in a flashback in ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers.'', allied with the Avon Ladies. [[CriticalResearchFailure Interestingly]], he's depicted as fighting against his RealLife HeterosexualLifePartner MarkTwain.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Tesla was featured as a character in RealLife, believe it or not.
* He finally achieved honoured status in scientific literature when the SI unit for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_flux_density magnetic flux density]] was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_%28unit%29 named after him]] (previously known as "Webers per square metre").
* [[http://www.teslamotors.com/ Tesla Motors]], which builds high-performance electric vehicles, is named in tribute to him.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster The Tesla Roadster aka The Tesla Dark Star]] - a sports car that gets an average of 240 miles on a 4-hour charge (the record is over 300 miles) and goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S The Tesla Model S]] due for production next year, a family/executive sedan with a 300-mile battery pack and 17-inch touchscreen controls.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_BlueStar Tesla Blue Star]]
* {{ZOMG Smells}} makes a scent as a tribute to Nikola Tesla entitled [[http://www.zomgsmells.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=50 The Melancholy Death of Nikola Tesla]].
[[/folder]]

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[[redirect:UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla]]
11th Jun '13 8:54:48 AM Jake
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Nikola Tesla (1856-1943): electrical genius, brilliant engineer, MadScientist, possibly [[{{Asexuality}} asexual]] (or just [[CelibateEccentricGenius celibate]]), pigeon-loving weirdo, poor businessman. Born in the village of Smiljan from Serbian parents (Austrian Empire at the time, Croatia today) and immigrant to the United States, Tesla is best known for his eponymous electrical transformer, the [[ShockAndAwe Tesla Coil]], closely followed by his development of the first feasible alternating current power generator, ultimately built at NiagaraFalls. Other patents of his include the equipment for radio, vertical take-off and landing, and fluorescent light bulbs. (X-rays and quasars? Possibly.) However, a combination of poor business decisions, economic trouble, and pressures from archrival Thomas Edison eventually led to the end of his good fortunes, and he acquired obsessive/compulsive tendencies and other eccentricities. He ultimately died alone in a hotel room after failing to sell a giant DeathRay to the US government. It is safe to say that without this man, the 21st century would not exist as we know it. And hardly anyone knows him.

to:

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943): electrical genius, brilliant engineer, MadScientist, possibly [[{{Asexuality}} asexual]] (or just [[CelibateEccentricGenius celibate]]), pigeon-loving weirdo, poor businessman. Born in the village of Smiljan from Serbian parents (Austrian Empire at the time, Croatia today) and immigrant to the United States, Tesla is best known for his eponymous electrical transformer, the [[ShockAndAwe Tesla Coil]], closely followed by his development of the first feasible alternating current power generator, ultimately built at NiagaraFalls. Other patents of his include the equipment for radio, vertical take-off and landing, and fluorescent light bulbs. bulbs and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a remote-controlled boat.]] (X-rays and quasars? Possibly.) However, a combination of poor business decisions, economic trouble, and pressures from archrival Thomas Edison eventually led to the end of his good fortunes, and he acquired obsessive/compulsive tendencies and other eccentricities. He ultimately died alone in a hotel room after failing to sell a giant DeathRay to the US government. It is safe to say that without this man, the 21st century would not exist as we know it. And hardly anyone knows him.



# Tesla lacked marketing ability and business knowledge. He concentrated on science and ignored the need to build a network of contacts.

to:

# Tesla lacked marketing ability and business knowledge. He concentrated on science and ignored the need to build a network of contacts. [[note]]An unfortunate tendency to make [[BadassBoast wildly enthusiastic claims]] about how every new invention would bring about world peace, provide limitless free energy or occasionally both probably didn't help.[[/note]]
7th Jun '13 8:12:58 PM EarlOfSandvich
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* Tesla is a supervillain in a flashback in ''TheVentureBros.'', allied with the Avon Ladies. [[CriticalResearchFailure Interestingly]], he's depicted as fighting against his RealLife HeterosexualLifePartner MarkTwain.

to:

* Tesla is a supervillain in a flashback in ''TheVentureBros.''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers.'', allied with the Avon Ladies. [[CriticalResearchFailure Interestingly]], he's depicted as fighting against his RealLife HeterosexualLifePartner MarkTwain.
5th Jun '13 8:23:35 PM Kalmbach
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Added DiffLines:

* Tesla is a supervillain in a flashback in ''TheVentureBros.'', allied with the Avon Ladies. [[CriticalResearchFailure Interestingly]], he's depicted as fighting against his RealLife HeterosexualLifePartner MarkTwain.
26th May '13 12:08:53 AM nombretomado
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* ''BioshockInfinite'' has Tesla Coils as aids that can be brought in through tears.

to:

* ''BioshockInfinite'' ''VideoGame/BioshockInfinite'' has Tesla Coils as aids that can be brought in through tears.
24th May '13 5:10:06 PM Swimmisan
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Added DiffLines:

* ''BioshockInfinite'' has Tesla Coils as aids that can be brought in through tears.
18th Apr '13 8:10:50 PM ChaoticNovelist
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** As an ironic historical note, had Tesla beat Edison at the whole electricity business and broadcast electricity become the dominant business model, modern electronics would have to have evolved in a radically different direction, since shooting loads of high frequency alternating current through the air is seriously bad news for transistors.
** However, even his innovative genius would have hit a wall, as he completely rejected atomic theory, instead choosing to see electricity as a kind of ethereal fluid. The fact that many of his energy-directing schemes were also complete nonsense, they would have strangled transistor technologies in the crib, and his notes turned out to be completely useless mean we would have ended up scrapping the whole infrastructure and starting from scratch.
18th Apr '13 7:59:57 PM ChaoticNovelist
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These are the facts. Everything else is [[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs.]] Artificial lightning? Never left home without it! (In fact, one of the highlights of any of his demonstrations was [[CrazyAwesome shooting lightning from his fingertips.]]) [[Series/MythBusters Earthquake machine]]? Probably not. [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Faked his death and escaped to Soviet Russia?]] Doubtful. Assisted by a league of [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed assassins]] as old as time itself? No. Caused TheTunguskaEvent with the help of Marconi while testing an experimental antigravity teleportation engine? ...[[ConspiracyKitchenSink You're just messing with us now, right]]?

Conjecture and conspiracy aside, some of the things that we do know Tesla was either working on or had plans for are quite terrifying. Aside from the above mentioned Artificial Lightning, Earthquake Machine, and the Death Ray (a particle beam weapon, to be precise) he tried to sell to the Government, Tesla had plans (whether or not any were close to functional is of course entirely up for debate) for Force Shields, Gravity Manipulation, Wall Phasing and Teleportation. You know what they say about 'genius and madness'!

Because of both his [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder behavioral and intellectual eccentricities]], Tesla is both the UrExample of the RealLife MadScientist (literally, in some cases - some of the first depictions of the trope in film came from Thomas Edison's studios) and the fictional person to go to for all technological arcana and fringe science. The tesla, the [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay S.I. unit]] of magnetic field strength (defined as a field that applies a one-newton force to a one-coulomb charge moving orthogonally at one meter per second), takes its name from him.

to:

These are the facts. Everything else is [[WildMassGuessing very, very much up for grabs.]] Artificial lightning? Never left home without it! (In fact, one of the highlights of any of his demonstrations was [[CrazyAwesome [[ShockAndAwe shooting lightning from his fingertips.]]) [[Series/MythBusters Earthquake machine]]? Probably not. [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Faked his death and escaped to Soviet Russia?]] Doubtful. Assisted by a league of [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed assassins]] as old as time itself? No. Caused TheTunguskaEvent with the help of Marconi while testing an experimental antigravity teleportation engine? ...[[ConspiracyKitchenSink You're just messing with us now, right]]?

Conjecture and conspiracy aside, some of the things that we do know Tesla was either working on or had plans for are quite terrifying. Aside from the above mentioned Artificial Lightning, Earthquake Machine, and the Death Ray (a particle beam weapon, to be precise) he tried to sell to the Government, Tesla had plans (whether or not any were close to functional is of course entirely up for debate) for Force Shields, Gravity Manipulation, Wall Phasing and Teleportation. You know what they say about 'genius and madness'!

Because of both his [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder behavioral and intellectual eccentricities]], Tesla is both the UrExample of the RealLife MadScientist (literally, in some cases - (literally as some of the first depictions of the trope in film came from Thomas Edison's studios) and the fictional person to go to for all technological arcana and fringe science. The tesla, the [[TheMetricSystemIsHereToStay S.I. unit]] of magnetic field strength (defined as a field that applies a one-newton force to a one-coulomb charge moving orthogonally at one meter per second), takes its name from him.



* He faces off against ThomasEdison in ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory''.

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* He faces off against ThomasEdison in ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory''.''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory'' and scores a crushing victory; 83%! He's presented as a "impeccably dressed" genius who was ripped off by Edison. He can also [[ShockAndAwe shoot electricity from his finger tips.]]
24th Mar '13 12:04:09 AM Pikawil
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* As part of the 'Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' portion of IDW's ''Infestation 2'' CrossThrough event, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.

to:

* As part of the 'Franchise/{{Transformers}}: ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' portion of IDW's ''Infestation 2'' CrossThrough event, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.
24th Mar '13 12:03:58 AM Pikawil
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* As part of IDW's "Infestation 2" event, and a sequel to Transformers: Hearts of Steel, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.
* Gets put into historical focus and made an inspiring figure to the hero in {{JeffSmith}}'s {{Rasl}}.

to:

* As part of the 'Franchise/{{Transformers}}: Hearts of Steel'' portion of IDW's "Infestation 2" ''Infestation 2'' CrossThrough event, and a sequel to Transformers: Hearts of Steel, which took place in the Industrial Revolution, Nikola Tesla fought {{Cthulhu|Mythos}}-powered Decepticons alongside Optimus Prime. Just go ahead and bask in that sentence for a bit.
* Gets put into historical focus and made an inspiring figure to the hero in {{JeffSmith}}'s {{Jeff Smith}}'s {{Rasl}}.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.NikolaTesla