The Invisibility Problem
Attempting to interact with invisible objects causes difficulties


(permanent link) added: 2011-06-27 03:05:58 sponsor: starstar (last reply: 2011-07-28 11:52:32)

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Invisibility makes things hard to see. So, even when an invisible person or object is known to be present, it can be very hard for those around them to interact with them.

A sub-trope of Required Secondary Powers applied to Invisibility. Commonly associated with the Not-So-Imaginary Friend. If one person can see through the Invisibility Cloak expect the Stock Phrase "He's over there." If the invisible person in question is a woman, expect a Thanks for the Mammary.

Film
  • In Fantastic Four, Mr. Fantastic has difficulty kissing an invisible Susan Storm. He ends up kissing her nose by accident
  • In Megamind, the title character forgets where he parked his invisible car.

Literature
  • In Harry Potter Hermione complains that Harry's invisibility cloak makes it difficult to hold conversations.
    Hermione: I never know whether I'm looking at you or not.
    • Harry Potter also once mentions the trouble with the "Invisible book of invisibility". (In the schoolbook shop.)
  • Stuart Little (the original book): Stuart's car has a button he can press to make it invisible, but once he does he can't find the button again to de-invisiblize it and accidentally presses the starter button.
  • Aquilla the invisibility button in the spaceship causes as many problems as it solves.

Live-Action TV
  • On The X-Files Scully tries to autopsy an invisible boy who had been killed by being struck by a car. She evenually resorts to sprinkling some kind of powder on the corpse so she can see it.
  • Defied by Captain Jack in Doctor Who: "First rule of active camouflage. Park somewhere you'll remember."
  • Attack of the Show had a segment with Olivia Munn as Wonder Woman. She ran out into a field trying to find her invisible plane and ran into it. Hard. Watch it here.

Radio
  • ABC Radio in Australia did a series of sketches called The Adventures of Captain Invisible and the See-Through Kid in which all of the gags revolved around this, such as them both jumping into their car and waiting for the other to start only then to realise that they had both jumped into the back seat.

Tabletop RPG
  • 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeons Master's Guide. Advice on dealing with the use of invisibility spells on characters.
Furthermore, the associates of the invisible party are not able to see him or her any better than foes are, so this can cause problems, too. Now consider a [snip] large area invisibility cast upon a party. Imagine the chaos within the area as characters stub their toes on the heels of the person before them [snip].

Webcomics
  • The current arc of Vexxarr involves aliens who built a planetwide cloaking device as a defense against the Lattrox; unfortunately, with it active they can't find anything at all, including the cloaking device's OFF switch.
  • In one comic of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, Wonderella discovers that her Invisiblimp now has an ugly flame design, which completely defeats the purpose. Of course, Wonderella ordered the paint job herself the previous weekend, while she was drunk.

Western Animation
  • This is a Running Gag in SpongeBob SquarePants with Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy's Invisible Boatmobile. They tend to forget where they parked it.
    Barnacle Boy: I told you making the boatmobile invisible was a stupid idea!
  • A Manatee Gag on Family Guy shows Wonder Woman sitting while flying through the air. Superman (who can fly on his own power) flies up to her.
    Superman: Hey there Wonder Woman. Flying your invisible plane, I see.
    Wonder Woman: Boy, this is awkward. I'm actually in the lavatory of the invisible plane.
    Superman: Oh, you mean right now you're...
    WW: Yeah.

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