Created By: Artemis92 on July 13, 2012 Last Edited By: Artemis92 on August 8, 2013
Troped

High Up Ice-Up

Fly too high, and your wings will freeze up from the cold.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The higher you go, the colder the air gets. The logical extreme of this results in ice forming on anything that gets too high up; birds, jets, jetpacks, anything. This is a common event in early aviation stories, creating suspense as the co-pilot or a passenger must go out on the wing or tail to dislodge the ice. This can also be invoked, as a sort of inverted Wronski Feint. Compare and contrast Icarus Allusion.

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime/Manga]]

  • Pokémon: One episode of the anime sees this happen to a brave Pidgey.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Classical Mythology]]

  • Interestingly, the Greek tale of Icarus and Daedalus inverts this: As both are flying over the sea with their fake wings, the former flies up too close to the sun, something that the latter warned not to do since it could melt the glue for the wing construction and make the wings break. Predictably enough, Icarus ultimately fell to the sea and perished. As ever, though, Science Marches On; we now know that high altitude doesn't (exactly) mean increase in heat, but rather the reverse.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

  • Iron Man: Played straight, and later invoked against Obadiah Stane.
  • Gamera Vs Viras (AKA Destroy All Planets): At the end of the movie, Gamera is impaled by the head of the Big Bad. He flies high up into the atmosphere, causing the Big Bad to freeze to death.
  • In the 2003 Hulk movie, the pilot of a fighter jet that the Hulk has grabbed onto does a variation on this to get him to let go-- he flies straight up until the cold and lack of oxygen cause the Hulk to pass out.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

  • In Tarnsman of Gor, Tarl takes his tarn (a giant bird that some warriors ride) extremely high up; he doesn't realize how high he is until the tarn starts to struggle with the thin air and ice crystals hit him in the face. Then he lets the tarn descend to a more manageable altitude.
  • In I Shall Wear Midnight, Tiffany keeps her broomstick tethered to herself on a piece of string because if she ties it to a bush, some kid is likely to steal it and fly so high this trope would come into play.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]

  • From Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly":
    Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
    Unheeded warnings I thought I thought of everything
    No navigator to guide my way home
    Unladened, empty and turned to stone

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]

  • Truth in Television: Icing on the wings is a very real danger of high-altitude flight.
    • Also, severe storm clouds form hail because powerful updrafts can reach as high as 50,000 feet. Hang glider pilots have gotten sucked into storm cells and encrusted with ice.

[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • July 13, 2012
    acrobox
    i thought ice was super effective because birds fly south for the winter
  • July 13, 2012
    Artemis92
    ^ Bears and bugs hibernate, but Ice isn't super-effective against Normal or Bug.

    If there are any aviation or ornithology geeks here, could we get some Real Life examples, please?
  • July 14, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
  • July 14, 2012
    Artemis92
    Added Gamera example and changed the title from Icarian Ice to Icarian Ice-Up.
  • July 14, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In Tarnsman of Gor Tarl takes his tarn (a giant bird that some warriors ride) extremely high up; he doesn't realize how high he is until the tarn starts to struggle with the thin air and ice crystals hit him in the face. Then he lets the tarn descend to a more manageable altitude.
  • July 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Not too fond of the name, as I don't know if "Icarian" is such a commonly known adjectival form of "Icarus". Ice Up At The Stratosphere?
  • July 15, 2012
    captainpat
    You need to elaborate on the first three examples.
  • July 15, 2012
    Artemis92
    ^^ I like the mythology reference and alliteration, and it isn't something that takes long to type. Ice-Up at the Stratosphere might make a good redirect, though. I started with Icy Icarus, but having the trope name be the process itself makes it easier to use in a sentence. Anyone familiar with the myth should recognize it easily enough; anyone who isn't will be once they read the article.

    ^ Better than having just the name of the work. I'm going to separate the examples into folders once there are enough.
  • July 15, 2012
    captainpat
    ^ See Clear Concise Witty. "The name of a trope must be clear, so that readers can intuitively guess the definition at a glance"
  • July 15, 2012
    Artemis92
    ^ If it's in any sort of context, the Ice-Up part should be telling enough.
  • July 15, 2012
    Valhelm
    Speaking of Pokemon, this happens in one episode of the anime. A pidgy ends up nearly dying after being covered in frost while doing something heroic.
  • July 15, 2012
    Artemis92
    ^ Was it covered in frost because it was flying too high, or because it was hit with an Ice-type attack?
  • July 15, 2012
    SalFishFin
    The Pidgey was flying high.
  • July 15, 2012
    LordCirce
    This was played in the live-action Green Lanturn movie, where Kyle Rayner flew his plane up to "ice-up" the two drones he was competing against. Also, the Harry Potter "Ice-Up" referred to above was more because of the Dementor's Movie Only ability to generate ice, rather than the altitude that Harry was flying at.
  • July 15, 2012
    captainpat
    5x^ No, not really. I doesn't work without knowing the Icarian part. I'm don't why you're so against having a clear or clearer name. Ice Up At The Stratosphere seem like it gets the point across of this trope without me needing to read the description or knowing the "Icarian" part.
  • July 15, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    We should avoid character named tropes, especially when it's named after characters that are not an example of the trope. Even being aware of the trope namer, it doesn't make much sense to associate the story with the exact opposite of what happens in the story.
  • July 15, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That too. It would be as if Cruella To Animals had a definition closer to Friend To All Living Things .
  • July 16, 2012
    Bibliophile
    In the Harry Potter example, the ice is due to the dementors not how high he is flying. We seen in other parts of the movie ice forming as dementors apporach.
  • July 16, 2012
    Artemis92
    Took out the Harry Potter example, and am trying to find out if jet engine (compressor?) stalls are actually caused by ice.

    *pout* I like Icarian Ice-Up; it sounds cooler. D'you think we could at least keep it as a redirect?
  • July 16, 2012
    Arivne
    The Gamera vs. Viras film came out in 1968, 44 years ago, so it doesn't really need to be spoilered.
  • July 16, 2012
    LordCirce
    ^^Probably. I think a name like Frozen Stall would work well. I agree that Ice-Up in the Stratosphere seems to be just a bit unwieldy.
  • July 16, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    One old looney toons cartoon used that in a short gag where a plane flying at high altitude had not only ice but a live polar bear on its wing.
  • July 16, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    " I like Icarian Ice-Up"

    Hey, I've had some pet names in ykttw, and still had to give them up, as they were clever at the expense of clarity.
  • July 16, 2012
    Chabal2
    One Planetary story had a character get rid of an invulnerable mook with a chokehold by flying so high up the mook froze. Does that count?
  • July 16, 2012
    Xtifr
    Since "Icarian" is an extremely obscure word, and Icarus isn't even an example, I think a clear name is a much better choice. If it launches with "Icarian", I think it's pretty much guaranteed to be sent to TRS for renaming the moment it launches.
  • July 16, 2012
    Artemis92
    ^ Alright, I'll change it to Stratosphere.

    And take out the stuff about Icarus.
  • July 21, 2012
    JonnyB
    Truth In Television: Icing on the wings is a very real danger of high-altitude flight.
  • July 21, 2012
    SonicLover
    Would Icarus qualify as an inversion?
  • July 21, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    Truth In Television: severe storm clouds form hail because powerful updrafts can reach as high as 50,000 feet. Hang glider pilots have gotten sucked into storm cells and encrusted with ice.
  • July 21, 2012
    FruityOatyBars
    Yeah, I'd say Icarus is an inversion.
  • July 22, 2012
    planswalker
    something to help spruce up the description:

    the Ace Pilot in his tricked-out ultra-fighter may use this tactic to get away from a swarm of tailing mooks. If they're supposed to be intelligent mooks, the hero can evade them by flying higher than they can and jetting away. If they're the "mindless seek and destroy" flavor of mook, they'll follow and get iced.
  • August 31, 2012
    Artemis92
    Bump. Not in favor of loading the description with puns.
  • September 1, 2012
    SKJAM
    While I can't name any specific examples at the moment, this is a common event in early aviation stories, creating suspense as the co-pilot or a passenger must go out on the wing or tail to dislodge the ice.
  • September 18, 2012
    Artemis92
    Added that last bit to the description, and took out the "Related to" thing, because it's not really related to them.

    Does anybody think it still needs examples, or is it ready to launch?
  • July 17, 2013
    Artemis92
    Necrobumping. Will toss eventually if nothing happens. :/
  • July 17, 2013
    StarSword
    Film:
    • A sea-level version: In The Empire Strikes Back both the Rebels and the Imperial Army had to modify their vehicles to prevent icing damage in the invariably sub-freezing temperatures of Hoth. In the case of the Rebels' speeders these included heaters near the repulsor drive and de-icing nozzles on the control surfaces.
  • July 17, 2013
    KaiYves
    In the 2003 Hulk movie, the pilot of a fighter jet that the Hulk has grabbed onto does a variation on this to get him to let go-- he flies straight up until the cold and lack of oxygen cause the Hulk to pass out.
  • July 17, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare Icarus Allusion.
  • July 17, 2013
    Larkmarn
    For the Pokemon example: Include the Pidgey example, don't don't mention Flying being weak to ice. The reasoning for that is because birds migrate away from cold temperatures, it has nothing to do with this trope.
  • July 17, 2013
    acrobox
    The reason for Pokemon type effectiveness is totally ambiguous and has never been given a Word Of God treatment. I always associated with birds migrating form cold temperatures too but no where is that said to be the case, and no where is it said to be related to the icing problem either. but all that just to say, agree with the first sentence of the above ^
  • July 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
  • July 23, 2013
    SharleeD
    • In I Shall Wear Midnight, Tiffany keeps her broomstick tethered to herself on a piece of string because if she ties it to a bush, some kid is likely to steal it and fly so high this trope would come into play.
  • July 23, 2013
    Artemis92
    ^x7 This was never mentioned in the movies. Was it mentioned in a novelization, or is it just a fan theory? I'm not sure if fan theories count as examples (unless, of course, they're in fan works).

    ^x2 Would these two lines be context enough for you? Stane: My suit is superior to yours ''in every way!" Tony: Really? How'd you solve the icing problem? (Actual dialogue might be different; if I decide to put it in, I'll look it up.) Also, the example as it as gives quite a lot more context than the samples on the page you linked to; are you sure info on how it was played and which characters were involved isn't enough?
  • July 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ "Played straight" isn't a context; it just tells you that the trope occurs in the work in question. The amount of information conveyed by the phrase "invoked against X" is only marginally better, especially when the name of Obadiah isn't even Pot Holed to Big Bad. For a reader who isn't familiar with the work, it basically tells just that "trope happened", which makes it a Zero Context Example.
  • July 23, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about High Altitude Ice Up? Just a bit zippier name.
  • July 23, 2013
    m8e
  • July 23, 2013
    acrobox
  • July 24, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Music

    • From Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly":
      Ice is forming on the tips of my wings
      Unheeded warnings I thought I thought of everything
      No navigator to guide my way home
      Unladened, empty and turned to stone

  • August 4, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe try adding this blurb:

    Interestingly, the Greek tale of Icarus and Daedalus inverts this: As both are flying over the sea with their fake wings, the former flies up too close to the sunlight, something that the latter warned not to do since it can melt the glue for the wing construction and make the wings break. Predictably, Icarus fell to the sea. Of course, since Science Marches On, high altitude doesn't (exactly) mean increase in heat, but rather the reverse.
  • August 8, 2013
    Artemis92
    Added the Discworld, Pink Floyd , and mythology examples, and changed it to High Up Ice Up. Gonna folder it up and launch it later, when I'm on anything but my phone. EDIT: Snake can edit the Iron Man example himself when it launches, if he wants.
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