No Launching Please
Per this thread
from TRS, with general consensus to trope transplant.
Indices: Theme Parks
Amusement parks are the thrill of children everywhere and the bane of adults seeking to keep them under control. With rides filled with excitement, thrills, and a bit of danger, these areas are a kid's paradise.
However, due to pesky safety regulations, equipment and seats made to accommodate adults, not to mention pesky liability issues and lawsuit-happy parents, park regulations dictate that younger children can't ride the most intense, exciting, and hyped rides. In Real Life
, these safety concerns are perfectly valid and are there to protect children - safety harnesses that fit an adult may be too large to properly restrain a child. In fiction, this is rarely if ever pointed out.
This trope is prevalent across various media, though will rarely occur in works not set between the middle of the 1900's and Twenty Minutes into the Future
. Generally, usage of this trope is followed by said kid desperate to find a way onto the ride, and doing so may be considered a Rite of Passage
into becoming a teenager. This trope may either be played for laughs in order to highlight the zany schemes that the kid(-s) take in order to sneak onto the ride, or for drama if the kids end up getting hurt due to neglecting the precautions of a very Reasonable Authority Figure
In contrast, it may also be used as an excuse for a child or young teenager who is legitimately scared of said ride. Of course, the plot requires that said child actually be tall enough to ride, in which case elaborate, wacky hijinks are played in order to avoid the ride, before finally admitting his or her fear, going on anyway, and generally enjoying themselves. This variant is almost always played for laughs.
No Real Life Examples, Please!
- This is Truth in Television
, and we'll leave it at that.
- The plot of Big is sparked by a thirteen-year old being told he wasn't tall enough to go on a roller coaster.
- In an episode of The Cleveland Show Rollo is exited to go to an amusement park because he's finally tall enough to ride on the roller coaster. But when he gets there they measure him not counting his Giant Afro and he's still too short.
- One Curious George book has George go to an amusement park but being too small ride on a roller coaster or play with bunnies in the petting zoo. He then has a dream that he grew to five times his previous size, only to find he's now too big to fit on the roller coaster and too large to play with the bunnies safely.
- Dexter's Laboratory: The episode "Ewww That's Growth" is about Dexter being upset about his pint-sized height; one of the ways his stature makes his life harder is that he's denied going on a rollercoaster with his family. After he makes himself very tall with an invention of his, he is allowed onto the ride (during which he crashes painfully into a wall.)
- The Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition level "Babe Land" has a sign with Duke's likeness before a ride entrance, saying "You must be 48 pixels tall to enter".
- In Final Destination 3, a couple of boys who've ducked past the "You Must Be This Tall" sign are kicked off the Devil's Flight coaster by the attendant.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: Hayate's absurdly rich mistress has an entire amusement park that was given to her as an elaborate Kick the Dog--all the rides require a height she is as yet unable to reach...and may never grow into.
- In the Strong Bad e-mail "theme park" in Homestar Runner, The Cheat tried to be tall enough to ride the Bowels of Trogdor roller coaster, but was unable to do so even when standing on tiptoes and wearing a top hat, so Strong Bad recommended he goes to Sweet Cuppin Cakes Land instead, much to his disappointment.
- Kick Buttowski has this problem with a ride. The ride operator takes pity on him.
- The Mighty B!: Bessie is too short to go on the ride, but her dog threatens the operator and he bends the rules so the dog won't rat him out.
- A little person on an episode of 'Murphy Brown'' complained about how embarrassing it was to be shooed away by Mickey Mouse at Disney Land.
- Walter in The Muppets is shown being unable to go on a carnival ride.
- In Problem Child 2, during the fair scene, Junior tries to get on the Crazy Dance ride, but is told that he has to be as tall as the tentacle, which he just barely isn't ("But it's only a millimeter!"). After getting the usual teasing from the local bully, he encounters Trixie, the girl who's just as bad as Junior is, who wears elevator shoes in order to get on the ride. This gets Junior mad enough to mess with the speed of the ride to make everyone barf.
- Subverted and lampshaded in the Robot Chicken sketch, "Attack of the Giant Midget." A midget, turned into a giant by a Mad Scientist, goes on a rampage through an amusement park. It comes to a "you must be this tall" sign, then pauses a moment to let the irony sink in before continuing on its rampage.
- The Sinbad the Sailor segment of Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights has the captain (who is depicted as a dwarf not unlike Mr. Spacely or Mr. Peebles) being too short for a log ride filled with the treasure he's after. He reacts by destroying the measurement sign and gets on the ride anyway.
- The What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode "Roller Ghoster Ride" featured a few scenes that had a young boy being told that he was too short to go on certain rides, such as the Sky-Diving Simulator, the Slingshot, and the Rocket Coaster. In the end, after the villain of the episode was caught, the boy gets to ride with Shaggy and Scooby on the food-based ride that was built for the amusement park.
- In The Simpsons, Bart attempts to subvert the trope by applying ice cream bars to the bottom of his shoes to meet the height requirement. It gets played straight when the ride starts and he nearly falls out going through a loop because he is not big enough for the safety bar to catch him.