Created By: TzetzeApril 27, 2010
Troped

Courier

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A character, usually in a futuristic metropolis, whose job is to carry messages from Point A to Point B. Despite the fact that it's Twenty Minutes Into The Future, people still need packages, pictures, or high-security messages delivered by hand. Couriers usually have little or no equipment, and travel with Le Parkour.

May be justified with the Hand Wave of government monitoring of electronic communications; the couriers may be asked to deliver illegal contraband which would be intercepted by authorities if transmitted over the internet.

Examples:

Anime
  • Last Exile has them flying vanships.
  • Get Backers mixes in super powers and takes it to the logical extreme.

Comics
  • The subject of the story "The Courier" in Flight volume five.

Literature

Live Action TV

Tabletop RPG
  • Shadowrun. Runners sometimes get hired to do a courier job. One memorable one was to deliver a dragon's egg.
  • I.C.E.'s Cyberspace. The Skateboys is a gang that carries messages and packages while riding motorized skateboards.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Get Ed is about a whole team of these.

Needs A Better Title, Is This Tropable, Blah Blah Blah
Community Feedback Replies: 28
  • April 26, 2010
    Wyvernil
    May be justified with the Hand Wave of government monitoring of electronic communications; the couriers may be asked to deliver illegal contraband which would be intercepted by authorities if transmitted over the internet.
  • April 26, 2010
    SonofRojBlake
    Johnny Mnemonic, both movie and original short story. In fact the description would suggest that Johnny Mnemonic is the original high-tech courier.
  • April 26, 2010
    Lavalyte
    The job of the 1/2 the cast of Dark Angel.
  • April 26, 2010
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Shadowrun. Runners sometimes get hired to do a courier job. One memorable one was to deliver a dragon's egg.
    • I.C.E.'s Cyberspace. The Skateboys is a gang that carries messages and packages while riding motorized skateboards.
  • April 26, 2010
    Randalf
    Literature: Chevette Washington, the protagonist in William Gibson's Virtual Light
  • April 26, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Needs A Better Title if you want to specifiy Twenty Minutes Into The Future/Sci Fi only.
    • Star Wars: Leia was couriering(?) plans to the Death Star. When she was about to be taken prisoner she stored them in R2D2, thus making him the courier.
  • April 26, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Get Ed is about a whole team of these.
  • April 26, 2010
    Tzetze
    @randomsurfer: Twenty Minutes Into The Future was my intention, yes, which is why I didn't add Leia.

    Needs A Better Title indeed.
  • April 26, 2010
    LeeM
    Comics: There's a Kazu Kibuishi story about a boy who's thinking of quitting his courier job in a futuristic city, until he sees how grateful one person is to receive her parcel.
  • April 26, 2010
    Tzetze
    That's the one I mentioned in the OP. ^_^
  • April 26, 2010
    Randalf
    Title suggestion: Sci Fi Fed Ex
  • April 27, 2010
    Arutema
    • inFAMOUS: Cole is couriering the Ray Sphere when it activates.
  • April 27, 2010
    henke37
    • Last Exile has them flying vanships.
    • Get Backers mixes in super powers and takes it to the logical extreme.
  • April 27, 2010
    LeeM
  • April 27, 2010
    jason taylor
    May also be justified by the (in-verse) fact that the internet can't travel between star systems and a courier can.
  • April 27, 2010
    jason taylor
    The IISS does this in Traveller.
  • April 27, 2010
    RainKrystal
    I second FedUps
  • April 27, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The main characters of Futurama.
  • April 28, 2010
    Tzetze
    So, limit this to Le Parkour in the city, or include space ships? That seems like some more general trope about mail.
  • April 28, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Jordan- I created a page some time ago on the Street Samurai, not sure how much these two are separate.
  • April 28, 2010
    savage
  • April 30, 2010
    Tzetze
    Just punny enough to work. Dunno, though, I'm not a fan of Xtreme Kool Letterz.
  • April 30, 2010
    savage
    Well, Par Courier sounds like it has something to do with golf. And Parkourier is a single word and I tend to dislike those (and I thought we tried to avoid them if at all possible?). I wouldn't mind Parkourier though. If we do call it that then we should probably split it off from general futuristic delivery services though. Planet Express maybe?
  • April 30, 2010
    savage
    Just a bit to add to reply to Unknown Troper 68.55.112.182: Street Samurai are more mercenaries for hire. They're usually in the same genre and there can be a blurring of lines but Street Samurai are usually considered to be more there for their combat ability while the Par Kourier is more about getting something somewhere fast and under the radar.

    For an in-universe example of the differentiation between the two, in Snow Crash Hiro is a Street Samurai and Y.T. is the Par Kourier (albeit on a super skateboard instead of on foot).
  • April 30, 2010
    Camacan
    Given the working title is Courier I'm assuming it's not limited to couriers who do Parkour. Couriers come in all shapes and sizes and have a wide variety of transport.

    • You chase down couriers carrying electronic documents by car in Red Faction:Guerilla. Afterwards you upload them to the Faction by radio. Hmm.
  • May 2, 2010
    Tzetze
    Well, I used "Courier" because I couldn't think of anything. I think I'll launch this tomorrow as Par Kourier.
  • May 2, 2010
    eleth
  • May 2, 2010
    Catharsis
    The main character in The City Of Ember is excited about being a messenger in the city.

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