Created By: VampireBuddha on May 15, 2011 Last Edited By: DAN004 on August 30, 2016

Speed Freak

Someone who's obsessed with speed, either on moving quickly or rushing things

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Trope
DAN 004 wuz ere takin over ur druft

This draft took elements from The Speedster Kid and Egotistical Speedster because the two come from their obsessions for speed. This is also broadened to cover "doing things quickly."

For this character, there's nothing better than doing things at the shortest amount of time possible. Be it moving from to one place to another, or doing their routines in general.

A character who's a Speed Freak tends to be:
  • Energetic and hyperactive, sometimes to the point of inattentiveness. Bonus points if the person is an immature character, young or otherwise.
  • A Motor Mouth.
  • someone who views everything as a speed challenge.
  • Very cocky and extremely prideful of his speed. Expect this person to claim that nobody can defeat him in speed, and lots of Too Slow taunts. From the speedster's viewpoint anyone slower than him comes across as so incredibly slow (and by extension stupid) that the speedster often lacks the patience to deal with them making them seem arrogant and condescending. (Compare Insufferable Genius and Arrogant Kungfu Guy.)
  • Impatient and reckless, they who prioritize on doing things quickly over anything else, which may cost them trouble.

In a Speculative Fiction series, this character type is the most likely to have Super Speed. They may be fond of Last Second Showoff.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Speed of Sound Sonic in One-Punch Man is very proud of his speed and skills, which are indeed miles above the average human. Unfortunately, he's resolved that he'll defeat Saitama one day, which always ends very badly for him (he's repeatedly and accidentally on the receiving end of a Groin Attack, while Saitama has no idea who he is).

Comic Books
  • Quicksilver is one of the fastest in the Marvel Universe and he is very annoyed by everyone around him. He explains this once, saying that to him everyone else is moving very slowly including their thought processes. Picture having to wait in a slow-moving line for hours for something mundane. That's what every single second is like for him.
  • The Flash has Super Speed and always talks and acts like a hyperactive older teen at most. In some cases he's indeed immature, in others, he's smarter than he acts.
  • Tommy Shepherd aka Speed of the Young Avengers, who is a mouthy, immature Jerk with a Heart of Gold with Super Speed. He wisens up a bit over the course of the series.

Film
  • Lightning Mc Queen from Cars at first is characterized as this: an impulsive, cocky race car who wins the Piston Cup. Much of his character arc is about him slowly turning into a more humble person from his experiences at Radiator Springs, and learning that winning and fame aren't everything.
    Mc Queen: Speed. I am speed.
  • Kung Fu Panda: in the short Secrets of the Furious Five, Po tells the story about how Mantis used to be - a cocky, impatient and brash person who, because of his agility, always rushes things and thinks that everything else around him is so slow. Then, because he was captured by [some bad guys] and imprisoned, he's forced to learn patience - to wait for the right time to escape. And his efforts bear fruit later.
  • In The Incredibles, Dash is fond of childish pranks using his Super Speed and is rather simple minded.

Folklore
  • The hare who races the tortoise in the Aesop's Fables is a Smug Snake, cocksure that his lapine speed guarantees his triumph. His overconfidence causes the hare to lollygag during the race, allowing the Determinator tortoise to win.

Literature
  • Brianna from Gone. ZCE
  • Lapine genesis is discussed in Richard Adams's Watership Down, wherein the first rabbit sired so many progeny that the Earth was overgrazed. When the almighty Frith admonished him to control his kin, this rabbit defied God, saying "I cannot control my people. I think that no one can, for my people are the fastest in the world." In consequence, Frith reformed many other animals into predators, bent upon hunting and slaying rabbitkind. This genesis story is faithfully illustrated in the Animated Adaptation by Nepenthe Studios.
  • Mr Toad, from The Wind in the Willows, a "boy racer" and a very dangerous driver, whose first reaction after getting out of prison is to get back into his car and drive like a maniac again, having learnt nothing.

Tabletop Games
  • Orks in Warhammer 40,000 in general are fond of going really fast, but the aptly-named Kult of Speed is the only group that enjoys it more than killing.
  • Champions adventure The Great Super Villain Contest. One of the NPC villains is a speedster called The Dash. He became a villain for fun, not to gain money or power. His greatest joy in life is sneaking up on a hero and smashing him at full speed from behind.

Video Games
  • The Scout from Team Fortress 2. Being the fastest runner of the team and has a cocky, Bratty Half-Pint personality.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog, while the extent of it varies from interpretation, he is frequently a rather cocky if heroic character. In some cases he might be just Book Dumb or Brilliant, but Lazy.
  • Mercury in Smite is a very cocky God that boasts about his speed and quickness and usually acts in a braggart fashion about it. His gameplay revolve around using his super speed to take down Gods quickly.
  • Kantai Collection: Shimakaze fancies herself as the fastest ship girl in the fleet and as such is pretty hyper and cocky.

Western Animation
  • Transformers examples:
    • Blurr in Generation 1 is the fastest Autobot on Cybertron, and likes to remind people of it.
    • Cheetor in Beast Wars has this to an extent; he chooses as cheetah as an altmode partly because it's the fastest animal the scanners detect.
    • Velocitron in Cybertron is an entire planet of speed freaks, and their culture centres around racing. Hot Shot also becomes this trope during the series, and it is on Velocitron where he unlocks his cyber key power.
    • Bumblebee in Animated, since he took elements from Cheetor and Hot Shot, is another speed freak, to the extent of secretly competing in illegal street racing. Wasp and Blurr also seem to enjoy high speed.
  • Speedy Gonzales is a downplayed case, like most of the Looney Tunes protagonists, he has a highly confident and sometimes outright smug side, but otherwise is an altruistic good-natured little guy. Granted the one time Speedy lost a short was due to showing off.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rainbow Dash is one of the fastest fliers in the world (if not the fastest), so much so that speed is what got her her cutie mark. She isn't modest about this in the slightest.
    Rainbow Dash: There's no need to go struttin' around and showin' off like that.
    Trixie: Oh?
    Rainbow Dash: That's my job!

Community Feedback Replies: 51
  • May 15, 2011
    QuakPenguin
    The Cosby Show one of Denise's friends was nicknamed Kara "the Turbo Tongue" because of her ability to speak really fast and nothing else!
  • May 15, 2011
    Ryuuma
    • Oracion Seis member Racer from Fairy Tail IS this trope: he's dressed in, well racer garments, can summon motocycles and wheels out of nothing and his magic mainly revolves on speed or rather, on the perception of speed in others. His Catch Phrase is "Speed is Good!"
  • May 17, 2011
    TonyG
    Looney Tunes characters Speedy Gonzalez and the Roadrunner.
  • May 17, 2011
    redpyro
    • Most speedsters fit the category (so far I have yet to see one who actually dislikes going fast, but there are some who doesn't seem to enjoy it as much as this trope requires)
    • Kamio from Prince of tennis enjoys running fast and even says some stuff about being in the "rythm"
    • The titular character from Prince of Persia (2008) seems to dislike all the powers he gets through the game... except for the one that makes him run so fast he can wallrun (he makes expresions about enjoying it)
  • May 17, 2011
    CaveCat
    An episode of Winnie-The-Pooh had Rabbit and the others trying to get Pooh to speed up, thinking that he is late for everything that happens. Of course, Gopher fixes the problem by putting Pooh on roller skates. Unfortunately, it works a little bit too well.
  • May 17, 2011
    Andygal
    Ofanim from In Nomine are angels of motion, and are stereotypically known for driving like maniacs as well as just plain being constantly in motion.
  • May 17, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • Ricky-Bobby from Talladega Nights, he always either wins races or crashes because he goes all fast all the time even when he shouldn't. When he was a kid he'd always say "I wanna go fast!" A misattributed quote from the movie:
      "America's about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed." -- Eleanor Roosevelt
  • May 17, 2011
    ILoveAeroBars
    • The Blue Blur a.k.a Sonic the Hedgehog loved speed, especially in the DIC cartoons. One of them even called him the Fastest Thing Alive in the opening theme.
  • May 17, 2011
    jaytee
    Really, this Needs A Better Title. Too easily confused for someone who is actually addicted to uppers. (ie. there's nothing to tip readers off that it's a pun)
  • May 17, 2011
    CaveCat
    Yard Bird from Samurai Pizza Cats
  • May 18, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Paranoia adventure "Vapors Don't Shoot Back''. Fiber-O, the NPC who takes the PCs to their first assignment, drives his autocar at such a high speed that his passengers' lives are endangered.
  • May 18, 2011
    TooBah
    In the remake of The Italian Job, Stella (Charlize Theron) drives fast and recklessly. Turns out to be a plot point.
  • May 18, 2011
    VampireBuddha
    @ Tony G: Are you sure? I seem to remember them as just having super speed, not being addicted to speed itself.

    @jaytee: This isn't a pun. Speed freak is a common term for people who love speed. Indeed, that's what it's more commonly used for, and I honestly doubt anyone (other than you, apparently) is going to see it and think "This must be about someone addicted to ecstasy!"
  • May 18, 2011
    jaytee
    You've never heard speed freak refer to someone addicted to amphetamines (also known as "speed"; ecstasy is a different beast altogether); I've never heard anyone who enjoys speed refered to as a speed freak. I assure you, "speed freak" is an existing term, analogous to "crackhead" or "coke fiend," and the potential for confusion is there. Assuming otherwise is falling prey to Small Reference Pools and to imply that I am the only person that thinks differently than you is quite rude.

    I don't see any harm in throwing around a few ideas for new titles, do you?
  • May 18, 2011
    AFP
  • May 18, 2011
    Rolf
    Contrast Frigle Speedser

    Cant recall name so.. dunno :)
  • May 19, 2011
    Arivne
  • May 19, 2011
    AGroupie
    I agree with jaytee, definitely Needs A Better Title. It does sound like an amphetamine addict.
  • May 19, 2011
    dotchan
    • Real Life - Eric Liddel, as quoted in Chariots of Fire:
      I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.
  • May 19, 2011
    AGroupie
    hide for the Real Life section just because he managed to fit *both* definitions of the term ;) from running around on stage like he did to singing rapid-fire breakdowns or Scat Singing in songs that are nearly *impossible* to replicate (try "Dice" or "Doubt" as a couple of examples) and was rumored to be a methamphetamine addict.
  • May 19, 2011
    VampireBuddha
    @jaytee: Fair enough, though I maintain that Speed Freak is the best and most used name for this trope, plus it's a pre-existing term. (Well, I initially considered Need For Speed, but that's already being used for a video game series).
  • May 19, 2011
    jaytee
    I think Speed Freak might work as a redirect... but then again we could be due for an amphetamine-related trope any day now.

    You're right that Need For Speed would be perfect... That's probably why it got used for a video game a decade ago :) We could do Do You Feel The Need For Speed... Wordy, but could work.

    There's Speed Demon, which I feel like I've heard more than Speed Freak, but of course, someone could confuse it for a pun about some kind of gremlin with a jetpack. Less likely than getting confused for a drug addict though.

    I'll work on some snappy ideas.
  • May 19, 2011
    KyleJacobs
    Anime And Manga
  • May 19, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    It didn't occur to me that it would refer to an amphetamine addict. I've never heard it used that way. And I agree it's the best and most used name for the trope. You guys are just gutter-brains.
  • May 20, 2011
    jaytee
    ^Thanks, that was super(!) constructive.
  • May 20, 2011
    VampireBuddha
    So now we've got two people in favour of Speed Freak and two against.

    I think I've heard Speed Demon before, so it's an OK title, but I still favour Speed Freak. Still, Speed Demon is a good redirect if nothing else.

    Although come to think of it, there's a project in the forum at the moment to move all work pages out of the Main/ namespace. Perhaps move Need For Speed into Game/ and use Main.Need For Speed for the trope? (Something like this has previously been done with Band Of Brothers, by the way).
  • May 20, 2011
    jaytee
    ^I think that last bit sounds like a great solution. I was going to suggest it, but wasn't sure if we only displaced works pages for special reasons. I was unaware we were slowly moving toward moving them off of Main/.
  • May 20, 2011
    Arivne
    Thirding Speed Demon.

    Tabletop RPG
  • May 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I've heard Speed Demon, but I wonder if it might make people think the character is in some way supernatural.
  • May 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    I'm going to register my vote against Speed Freak for the reasons noted above, but remain neutral on Speed Demon.
  • May 24, 2011
    Fanra
  • May 25, 2011
    jaytee
    ^^^I agree, but I think the potential for confusion is less than with Speed Freak.

    With Speed Freak, we have two pre-existing terms for two different concepts.

    With Speed Demon, we have a pre-existing term that means the same as the trope along with a potentially confusing interpretation that requires the reader to assume we're making a pun on the aforementioned pre-existing term.
  • May 25, 2011
    jaytee
    I should mention that while I prefer Speed Demon to Speed Freak, I don't have my heart set on it. We could probably do better.
  • March 28, 2015
    DAN004
    I'm okay with Speed Demon, but just a wild suggestion: Likes Everything Fast?
  • March 22, 2016
    DAN004
    Before I grab this, there's something bugging me: is this indeed specific to "someone who likes going fast" or can that be interpreted as "someone who likes rushing things"?
  • March 22, 2016
    NateTheGreat
    In the cartoon The Batman we have Speedfreak, a villain who loves to go fast and has the superpower of being a cyborg that can use nanites to transform any vehicle he's in into a flashy sportscar.
  • March 23, 2016
    marcoasalazarm
    Here is a Literature example, and a classic: The Wind In The Willows has Mister Toad, who is so much of an example of this that he has spent a large amount of his fortune in both buying the newest fastest thing around (like horses) and paying the devastation that his demented driving has left behind (and his firnds continuously tell him that, at the rate he's going, he's going to spend it all soon - not that he cares). He even falls for a (very simple) con from the Big Bad because Toad would obtain a car (not only faster than a horse, but incredibly rare during the time the novel takes place) in exchange and nearly ruins everybody's plans to help him escape from prison (it's a long story) by running the train being used for said plan to borderline-derailing speeds. The epilogue of the story has him swearing to become a better person... when he becomes enthralled by an airplane flying above his house.
  • March 23, 2016
    Chabal2
    Also from 40K: The Tzeentchian daemon known as the Changeling once infiltrated an ork Waaagh! and started making up a story about their gods competing to see who was the fastest. Driven to recreate this feat, the orks piled into their vehicles and, thanks to the Changeling's misdirection, drove off a cliff.
  • March 24, 2016
    DAN004
    Answer my question plz...
  • March 24, 2016
    marcoasalazarm
    Think it could be applied as "someone who likes fast living"-which could be both, but the more literal application of this Trope would be "people who love speed above everything else-even their own safety".
  • March 24, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated or Western Animation
    • The closing scene of Disney's Zootopia has Officers Hopps and Wilde pull over a maniac clocked at 115 through the downtown streets. The perp is revealed to be Flash the sloth from the DMV, complete with a custom plate "FST NML".
  • March 25, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    First, an example:
    • Dorothy L Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey has a habit of driving fast, and this is an occasional joke in the works. In Gaudy Night, he tells Harriet Vane how "three counties and as many driving summonses later" he got important information for their case. His nephew Gerald ("Pickled Gherkins") takes after his uncle, having even learned to fly a plane in the interwar years. Sayers wrote a series of letters between the various Wimsey family members which indicate young Gerald joined the RAF when World War II started. Jill Paton Walsh, who continued the adventures of Wimsey and his kin, also mentions young Gerald's propensity to drive fast, and he is noted to have died in the service during the war.

    @ DAN 004 I rather think it's both, or else it might too Chairsy. The behaviour is supposed to have additional meaning, so I'd think the trope would have to be inclusive to convey that additional meaning.

    The tendency towards speed might indicate a generally energetic character (as with Lord Peter, who is an active man despite being an aristocrat), or it might be associated with youth and impetuosity (as with his nephew Gerald).
  • March 25, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Link to Drives Like Crazy and you're on to something.
  • March 25, 2016
    DAN004
    What I mean by "rushing things" is doing work/routines quickly even when you may not need to. It's often a good trait, but it may sonmetimes be detrimental.

    Do you guys want this trope to count that kind of people? Currently it doesn't.
  • March 28, 2016
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ Oh yes, these sorts of characters likely do drive like crazy.

    ^ That is also true and, as you say, it cuts both ways. Such people may be efficient and energetic, or they may overlook important details. I think it should count; it's every bit as much evidence of the character trait to do housework or office work quickly as it is to drive fast—if you follow me.
  • March 28, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ it's decided then.
  • August 25, 2016
    DAN004
    I swear I gotta broaden this.

    Contrast... that trope about "cocky procrastination".
  • August 26, 2016
    TPPR10
    Anime And Manga
    • Shirley from Strike Witches. She was originally known from breaking multiple land speed records until she heard about the Witches, at which point she enrolled into service just so that she can go even faster than she has gone before, with her dream being one day break the sound barrier. She also modifies her Striker Unit so that it specifically increases her speed instead of her other physical attributes and is known to being a reckless driver whenever she has a chance to just let loose on the road.
  • August 26, 2016
    DAN004
    I guess I'm also gonna merge this with the draft called The Speedster Kid.
  • August 30, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Before we launch:

  • August 30, 2016
    DAN004
    Wait a sec, I've added the examples of the other drafts but not this one yet?! O_O
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