We Will Not Walk In The Future
We have SO MUCH transportation tech, who even walks anymore?


(permanent link) added: 2012-02-27 13:05:23 sponsor: RickGriffin (last reply: 2012-02-29 22:16:35)

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Doc: And in the future, we don't need horses. We have motorized carriages called automobiles.
Old Timer: If everybody's got one of these auto-whatsits, does anybody walk or run anymore?
Doc: Of course we run. But for recreation. For fun.
Old Timer: Run for fun? What the hell kind of fun is that?

This wasn't on We Will Not Use an Index in the Future so I am assuming it is not currently a trope. I have MOSTLY seen this as a joke, or at least treated humorously, where transport convenience is so saturated in the culture the future people never take more than one step to go anywhere. Often when this is invoked, they are confronted with a situation where *gasp* the HAVE TO WALK ACROSS A ROOM.

This is often a comment on modern sedentary lifestyle (see Big Fat Future). Sometimes it's invoked in a modern setting, where one or more characters will take a transport for the "convenience" even though walking is probably more practical. Also discussed quite frequently, as characters will assume (or fear) that increased transportation technology will lead to nobody walking anymore, ever.

If people take transportation for a reason other than convenience/laziness, then it's probably not this trope.

This was in WALL•E and also an episode of Harvey Birdman where the Jetsons were confused that the floors were not covered in moving sidewalks.

If the name is too Snowclone-y I'm certainly up for alternate suggestions (though the nice thing about this one is it's very straightforward)
Comics:
  • The story "Blobs!" in the very first issue of the MAD comic book has this trope; humans have become so used to being carried everywhere by their machines that their arms and legs have atrophied to uselessness. It was a homage to the classic SF story "The Machine Stops", so I think you can guess what happens at the end.

Music:
  • "Walking In L.A." by Missing Persons, suggests we already live in such a society.
    You won't see a cop walkin' on the beat.
    You only see 'em drivin' cars out on the street.
    You won't see a kid walkin' home from school.
    Their mothers pick 'em up in a car pool.
  • This is one of the future developments in the Zager and Evans song "In the Year 2525."

Film - Western Animation:
  • In WALL•E, this trope is literally true. Humans have to relearn how to walk.
  • The Jetsons with their moving sidewalks everywhere, including in their house, comes pretty close to this trope. They do walk a bit, but they ride much more.
    • Parodied in an episode of Harvey Birdman where the Jetsons find Harvey's office not covered by moving sidewalks, they struggle to make it to the other side of the room. It takes all night. They're attacked by wolves along the way.
  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode You Only Move Twice: after using exercise treadmills, Homer and his new boss step on a conveyor belt (thus making their exercise a bit pointless). Although not actually set in the future, the setting is science-fictiony since the boss turns out to be a Bond-style supervillain.

Literature:
  • In Isaac Asimov's "The Caves of Steel," people don't even need cars-- they use high-speed conveyor belt sidewalks called "slidewalks" to run around the cities at high speed. There's even a chase sequence that's also a car chase sequence because of this!
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