Created By: aerojockey on October 2, 2011 Last Edited By: Dalillama on June 10, 2014
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Hippie Van

Hippies\' rides are always vans and buses, most often VW microbuses

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Whenever hippies are depicted as having wheels, the ride is almost always a van, and most often a Volkswagen microbus or a converted schoolbus. The van will often have a trippy design on it.

This is Truth in Television. By nature, hippies are gregarious, don't usually have a lot of money, and Volkwagens are cheap. Thus a VW Bus is an ideal choice for hippies and their many friends to travel the world on a limited budget. Of course, as the hippie movement grew, the Bus became a symbol strongly associated with the hippie movement, and then hippies started buying VW Buses just because it was hip.

Besides low cost and high capacity, vans have a other advantages for the hippie. Small, high windows make it easy to for hippies to comfortably smoke pot and do other drugs outside the sight of passing drivers. Also, the van is convenient to sleep in during weekend music festivals. Many Hippie Buses have camper expansions or other modifications to make it into a living space.

Works that provide examples of this trope:

Examples

Films - Animated
  • Cars, sort of. Fillmore was more a case of a hippie being a van, with a trippy paint job.

Films - Live Action Literature
  • Subverted in Illuminatus!, where Hagbard Celine's method of choice for drug transportation is an upmarket BMW. He criticizes George Moon's VW, pointing out that a bunch of hippies in a VW Microbus will be stopped and searched EVERY time, while a white guy in a suit driving a BMW will not be troubled even once by the police.
Live-Action TV
  • Dharma and Greg. Dharma's old-school hippie-parents have a VW van, which is usually either broken down or in the process of breaking down.
  • In the Father Ted episode Tentacles of Doom, a bishop who has just left the church says he's off to India with "a few friends." These turn out to be a cluster of hippies in a VW microbus, who beckon him in the open sliding door and hand him a joint as they drive off.
  • Stargate SG-1: In episode "1969" the SG 1 team accidentaly travels back to the year 1969. They have to find the Stargate and end up hitchhiking with a hippie couple (on their way to a concert in woodstock) driving a hippie painted school bus.
Music
  • From the C. W. McCall song "Convoy":
    Eleven long-haired Friends of Jesus in a —>chartreuse micro-bus."
  • The lyrics to Men At Work's song Land Down Under start with
    -"Traveling in a fried-out combie," (trans. a VW camper van in extreme disrepair).
    -"On a hippie trail, head full of zombie" (trans. stoned).

Web Original
  • One of the SCP Foundation's stranger findings is a VW microbus currently en route for Alpha Centauri. Investigation revealed that a borderline Mad Scientist developed radical propulsion technology that allowed four hippies to blast off to the stars in the fifties. However, the idea of hippies in space quickly stops being funny when you read the diary: it turns out none of them knew of the distances involved (they only make it past the moon after a few days, thinking they'd reach Alpha Centauri in a few weeks, and the bus is currently around Mars) and die of scurvy or starvation.

Western Animation
  • In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", an ancient, abandoned VW bus is discovered. After Fry explains how it works, the crew get it repaired and go off on a hippie - themed road trip, following the band "Beck" on their "Bendaid" tour.
  • Scooby-Doo. Shaggy, at least, is arguably a hippie (Velma seems to have some underlying hippie vibe going as well), and given that the Mystery Machine is a VW trippy design, it's this.

Video Games

Real Life
  • Ken Kesey and his friends (the "Merry Pranksters") toured the U.S. in a series of converted schoolbuses named 'Furthur'.


Community Feedback Replies: 35
  • October 2, 2011
    Chabal2
    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: The Truth drives a VW with a psychedelic paintjob called the Mothership.
  • October 2, 2011
    Marr965
    Uh, minor nit-pick. It should be spelt "Volkswagen", not "Volkwagon". It's German, you see, meaning "People's Car". Explaining the cheapness bit.
  • October 3, 2011
    nitrokitty
    The "All Hippies Drive Vans" name is a bit subjective and will probably get cut. I'd consider renaming it to just Hippie Van to make the trope about the vans themselves, not just the fact that hippies drive them.
  • October 3, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    • In Futurama episode, "Bendin' in the Wind", an anchient, abandoned VW bus is discovered. After Fry explains how it works, the crew get it repaired and go off on a hippie - themed road trip, following the band "Beck" on their "Bendaid" tour.
  • October 3, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    Dharma And Greg: Dharma's old-school hippie-parents have a VW van, which is usually either broken down or in the process of breaking down.
  • October 3, 2011
    randomsurfer
    @nitrokitty's point: In the Simpsons episode "D'ohin' in the Wind" Homer goes on a hippie Freak-Out with Seth & Munchie, who drive a Saturn.
    Homer: Come on, where's your freak bus?
    Seth: I drive a Saturn.
    Homer: A Saturn?
    Seth: We used to have a bus.
    Munchie: In a way, the sixties ended the day we sold it. December thirty-first, 1969.
  • October 3, 2011
    SKJAM
    • From the song "Convoy" (and possibly replicated in the movie with the same name): "Eleven long-haired Friends of Jesus in a chartreuse micro-bus."
  • October 3, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    another music example. The lyrics to Men At Work's song Land Downunder start with

    -"Traveling in a fried-out combie," (trans. a VW camper van in extreme disrepair).
    -"On a hippie trail, head full of zombie" (trans. stoned).
  • October 3, 2011
    Skywatcher68
    nitrokitty makes a good point. Some hippies drive VW Beetles.
  • October 3, 2011
    Skywatcher68
    Oh, and The Doctor encounters a pair of nudists in the Gridlock episode. I think they qualify. Heck, they all could save the suit and the neat freak.
  • October 3, 2011
    Skywatcher68
    @SKJAM: no micro-bus in the movie. They had a school bus.
  • October 3, 2011
    Dcoetzee
    • American Dad: Hayley's boyfriend Jeff, who lives in his van.
  • January 17, 2014
    KarjamP
    You don't just dump ancient YKTTW threads with little activity.

    You never know if the trope might be salvageable or not.

    Instead, do the YKTTW Bump.
  • January 17, 2014
    Larkmarn
    What I think would be a much better trope is a Car Stereotypes trope, documenting different associations that various cars get and including this with them.

    Minivan = Soccer Mom Jeep = No-nonsense military guy Humvee = Rich Dudebro or Alpha Bitch VW Bus = Hippie Red sports car = Midlife Crisis Car
  • January 17, 2014
    DAN004
    Do All X Do Y tropes get no love nowadays? :P

    ^ BTW, add to that: Limo = rich individual
  • January 17, 2014
    Dalillama
    ^^ That sounds more like an index to me

    Live Action TV
    • In the Father Ted episode Tentacles of Doom, a bishop who has just left the church says he's off to India with "a few friends." These turn out to be a cluster of hippies in a VW microbus, who beckon him in the open sliding door and hand him a joint as they drive off.
  • January 17, 2014
    Chabal2
    One of the SCP Foundation's stranger findings is a VW microbus currently en route for Alpha Centauri. Investigation revealed that a borderline Mad Scientist developped radical propulsion technology that allowed four hippies to blast off to the stars in the fifties. However, the idea of hippies in space quickly stops being funny when you read the diary: it turns out none of them knew of the distances involved (they only make it past the moon after a few days, thinking they'd reach Alpha Centauri in a few weeks, and the bus is currently around Mars) and die of scurvy or starvation.
  • January 17, 2014
    Dalillama
    @Skywatcher68 Converted schoolbuses might well be included in this one; in Real Life you certainly see a lot of hippies in them, and we can probably come up with several more examples in fiction. In that case the title could be changed to Hippies in Buses, covering microbuses and schoolbuses both

    Namespaced, organized, and generally formatted, also added new suggestions.
  • January 17, 2014
    hbi2k
    Second the motion to rename to "Hippie Van". Shorter, simpler, more usable, makes it about the vehicle and not the driver.
  • January 17, 2014
    DAN004
  • January 18, 2014
    Arivne
    Italicized work titles and put a blank line between media sections to improve readability.
  • January 18, 2014
    robinjohnson
    For some reason Van Full Of Hippies appeals to me, but failing that I'll support Hippie Van.

    • South Park did this with the band Korn appearing in a hippie Volkswagen camper, as a parody of the Scooby-Doo gang.
  • January 21, 2014
    hbi2k
    Van Full Of Hippies does have a nice ring to it, but it's not quite as exact. You could put a bunch of hippies into the A Team van and it would technically be a van full of hippies, but it wouldn't be a Hippie Van.
  • January 21, 2014
    reub2000
    Can we put in this quote with the futurama example:
    Professor Hubert Farnsworth: Where's the device that lets to speed up or slow down the passage of time?
    Fry: [pulls out a bong] Under the seat.
  • June 9, 2014
    m8e
    If school busses are included.

    • Stargate SG 1: In episode "1969" the sg1 team accidentaly travels back to the year 1969. They have to find the stargate and end up hitchhiking with a hippie couple (on their way to a concert in woodstock) driving a hippie painted school bus.
  • June 9, 2014
    Arivne
    Other Sites
  • June 9, 2014
    AgProv
    Subverted in Illuminatus, where Hagbard Celine's method of choice for drug transportation is an upmarket BMW. he points out a bunch of hippies in a VW Microbus will be stopped and searched EVERY time. but a guy in a suit in a BMW will not be troubled even once by the police.
  • June 9, 2014
    randomsurfer
    ^Unless you're Driving While Black. (Although I suppose that didn't come up in Illuminatus.)
  • June 9, 2014
    Dalillama
    I'll probably get this launched tomorrow or in a couple days unless anyone else feels like doing so before then.
  • June 9, 2014
    Quatic
    The A Team — okay, I know, not conventionally "hippies" but think about this: this was essentially a group of four free spirits travelling around in a van, including one tripped-out crazy guy and another known for wearing styles like this.
  • June 9, 2014
    DAN004
    Hippie Van was good...
  • June 9, 2014
    hbi2k
    By my count we currently have 10 examples of vans vs. 6 examples of buses, so it should probably be called Hippie Van with Hippie Bus as a redirect and a note in the description that a microbus is a common variation.
  • June 9, 2014
    Dalillama
    ^, ^^ oh, all right, I changed it back. I was figuring microbus, school bus, Hippie Bus. Personally, I'd prefer to call it A Busload Of Hippies, but people don't seem to like that style of naming.
  • June 10, 2014
    AgProv
    @randomsurfer; oddly enough... off-topic, I know. But Illuminatus does touch on race issues. The character of Otto Waterhouse, who on becoming a cop is despised by other black people and not fully accepted by white... I'm trying to remember, but there is a bit in the trilogy about a black character who is forever stopped by the police for just ab out every imagined offence.
  • June 10, 2014
    Dalillama
    ^ Oh yes, Wilson and Shea were totally aware of the Driving While Black thing, and disapproved strongly (although they also disapproved strongly of pretty much everything else the police ever did, on account of the habit of it being done to them and their hippie friends.)
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