Hippie Van YKTTW Discussion

Hippie Van
Hippies' rides are always vans and buses, most often VW microbuses
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(permanent link) added: 2011-10-02 02:52:42 sponsor: aerojockey edited by: Dalillama (last reply: 2014-06-10 07:51:31)

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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:


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.
  • 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'.

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