Created By: DannyVElAcmeFebruary 24, 2011 Last Edited By: DannyVElAcmeMay 22, 2013

Maintenance Bay

That big hangar where ships and robots get worked on.

Name Space:
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Trope

Seen It A Million Times, Needs More Examples

Renamed and expanded in scope by popular demand, now get cracking with those examples!

A stock scene in Science Fiction and Humongous Mecha shows: a robot or ship is being stored in a facility(usually a hangar or large storage bay), with countless catwalks and rafters surrounding it, technicians working on them, and deep, meaningful conversations happening with it as a backdrop.

This type of shot has many functions. First of all, it's a good way to see the machine in detail without it constantly moving around, allowing us to admire it up close(usually, the machine will be more lovingly drawn/rendered, since it's a still shot). Second, it's a great way to determine the machine's scale: by showing humans working on it, we can compare them to the machine to have a good sense of how big it is. Third, when in repair or maintenance, it allows us to see the machine's insides, which are usually only shown during battle damage. Finally, the machine can't be active all the time, or there'd not be any actual character development for the pilots, so this allows the machine to stay onscreen while still allowing the plot to move along.

This type of shot is common with machines of pretty much all sizes, but usually the bigger the better. If the machine is a setting by itself(like a mothership or large vessel), this kind of shot serves to not only be able to better admire the machine, it can also serve as a transition to a different setting outside the ship, such as a large station.

Examples

  • It's practically impossible to mention a Humongous Mecha show which DOESN'T have this kind of scene.
  • Serves as a good source of Scenery Porn for Star Trek fans when the Enterprise is being worked on.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • February 24, 2011
    salieri
    can this trope be broadened to other 'big things in hangars' which have catwalks for example: Spaceships
  • February 24, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @Salieri: Maybe if there were a broader trope dealing with this kind of scene this could be a subtrope, since I want to limit this one to giant robots. After all, while they're pretty much the same in function, shots like these with a robot have a certain more oomph to them than with other kind of machinery. After all, a giant spaceship is arguably more plausible and mundane than a giant metal man.
  • February 24, 2011
    RL_Nice
    If you're looking for examples, there's the Hesei and Millennium era Mechagodzilla and MOGUERA and NBE-1 Megatron.

    I agree with salieri, though. I think this trope can be expanded to include other big cool machines. Like spaceships.
  • February 24, 2011
    Grain
    Possible title: Hangin' In The Hanger
  • February 24, 2011
    Jokubas
    One Must Fall 2097 shows your robot being repaired between fights with a shot like this.
  • February 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    In Buck Rogers In The25th Century there were lots of scenes in the hanger.
  • February 24, 2011
    EponymousKid
    Pictured: A robot and virtually nothing else. I have no idea what I'm looking at -- and if I weren't passingly familiar with Eva, I wouldn't be sure that's even a robot in the pic.
  • February 24, 2011
    INUH
    There are 3 people standing in front of it on some machinery that appears to be attached to it.
  • February 25, 2011
    Arivne
    Danny V El Acme/OP: Is this only about single ships (as the description implies), or are multiple ships being worked on O.K.?

    Film
  • February 25, 2011
    SD81
    Isn't this just the Batcave?
  • February 25, 2011
    Deboss
    Would this include things like hangars? If so, I suggest Hangar Bay as a redirect.
  • February 25, 2011
    INUH
    ^And if it doesn't (though I see no reason for it not to), that needs to be a trope of its own.
  • February 25, 2011
    EponymousKid
    INUH: Yes, it's clearly a giant something and there's some kind of machinery in there. It might as well be a giant guy in a car if you're going to pretend that qualifies it.

    The fact remains that EVA-01 doesn't really look very robotic. I've no doubt that there are countless dozens of images from the Gundam series that would be much more illustrative of the concept.
  • February 25, 2011
    troacctid
    "Every Humongous Mecha show ever" doesn't count as an example. It should be a line in the description saying "This is especially common in shows about Humongous Mecha".
  • February 25, 2011
    KZN02
    Related to Cool Garage?
  • February 26, 2011
    henke37
  • August 25, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    Bump me, jojo
  • August 25, 2011
    Unknown Troper
    Battlestar Galactica has a large one.

    Babylon5 has an even bigger one.
  • August 25, 2011
    acrobox
    Falco's ship is in the docking bay
  • August 26, 2011
    terrafox
    It should be noted that most Real Life examples are far more mundane, being little more than an enclosed warehouse with a door opening large enough to fit whatever is intended to put into it. The majority of equipment is far smaller than the machine being worked on and thus made portable. There will be a few wheeled stands, possibly a light duty ceiling crane and the like, but it will almost never have the various robotic arms and other cool-looking machinery that makes them more closely resemble a manufacturing assembly line than a maintenance hangar.

    • The newest Star Trek film had a few of these shots. Oddly, the movie also had this, without walls, the first time the Enterprise is shown under construction
    • Gasaraki showed this from time to time and also had military field maintenance yards, which were this without walls (and portrayed more realistically) during the desert arc.
  • August 26, 2011
    JonnyB
    At the end of Star Trek 2 and the beginning of Star Trek 3 they have a space station with a hangar so big several starships can fit inside.
  • May 1, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    Bump.
  • September 30, 2012
    AFP
  • September 30, 2012
    TBeholder
    So, it's a setting.

    Drydock?

    • X-COM series base facilities include Hangar (UFO: Enemy Unknown) or Vehicle Repair Bay (Apocalypse). They're big and mostly open, of course, and become entry points for enemies when the base is raided, so you're likely to have some shoot-outs there.
  • September 30, 2012
    lexicon
    What's the difference between this and blonde or mom or prince or corset or house. They're nouns but they need meaning. Even Cool Garage isn't just any garage. It has to look impressive instead of grungy.
  • February 11, 2013
    DannyVElAcme
    Bumping. Sorry for not paying much attention to my own YKTT Ws, I'm nearing army deployment, so things have been kinda hectic lately :/
  • February 11, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Good luck with that.

    Film:
    • An alternate version of a scene in Attack Of The Clones has Obi-wan and Mace Windu discussing the former's misgivings about Anakin being sent on a solo mission inside a Jedi starfighter maintenance hangar. (The version that made it into the movie has it happen in a Temple corridor, and Yoda is also in the scene.)
    • In SWAT, this is where Jim Street ends up after being kicked off the SWAT team. He's specifically in the equipment maintenance area, but it's part of the SWAT team garage.
  • May 18, 2013
    AFP
    Film example:

    • Wing Commander: Several scenes take place in the hangar deck of the TCS Tiger Claw, such as when Lieutenant Blair meets his Wing Commander, Jeanette Deuvereux, mistaking her for a low-ranking greasemonkey.

  • May 19, 2013
    Arivne
    Anime and Manga
  • May 22, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • There's a Maintenance Bay way back in the stern of the Axiom in Pixar's Wall E. This is where nutty robots attempt to repair even nuttier robots.

    Film
    • The 1975 film The Hindenburg shows the great rigid airship emerging from its birthplace / service bay in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

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