Created By: nitrokitty on June 27, 2012 Last Edited By: nitrokitty on December 20, 2012
Troped

Centrifugal Farce

Spinning people around for hilarity and profit.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
The black spots tell you it's working.[[note
Image by timmon26[[/note]]]]

In order for astronauts and fighter pilots to withstand the large amount of G-forces incurred upon takeoff, high-G training is a critical part of the preparation for any launch. This is to prevent g-induced loss of consciousness caused by the forced movement of blood from the brain to the lower extremities. Research done since the 1970's has shown that training to resist g-induced loss of consciousness significantly extends the pilot's resistance to blackouts and and extends their g-tolerance in both magnitude and duration. The method of training pilots to withstand these high g-loads is fairly simple.

Stick them in a really big centrifuge and spin them around really, really fast.

Naturally, this has found a home in media, often exaggerated for comedic effect. Characters subjected to the centrifuge will appear to be traveling at Ludicrous Speed, complete with comically flapping lips, eyeballs bugged out, and squashed faces. In some cases, the hapless victims may even be Squashed Flat.

In addition to training centrifuges, carnival rides provide another common source of hilarity. Normally harmless amusement rides become whirling machines of doom and vomit in the hands of overzealous writers. After being subjected to the insanity, characters will often stumble off in a daze, followed up by a Non Sequitur Thud.

Subtrope of When Things Spin, Science Happens. See also Everything's Better with Spinning.

Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
  • An A-1 Steak Sauce commercial depicted a man using one of these centrifuges to get the absolute last drop of sauce out of the bottle. "Yeah, it's that important."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • Moonraker. While on a tour of Drax' aerospace facility James Bond was put in such a machine by Holly Goodhead and given a spin. While he was undergoing this Holly was called away and Drax's henchman Chang took over, turning the dial up and subjecting Bond to multiple gravities of force. Just before falling unconscious, Bond used one of his gadgets to shoot the control panel and turn the machine off.
  • In a rare example of being used for its intended purpose, the centrifuge appears in The Right Stuff as part of astronaut training.
  • Not related to training, but on The Iron Giant, Hogarth and the Giant are playing test pilot with an old car. The Giant spins the car a little faster than Hogarth imagined.
  • The centrifuge is used in the film Spies Like Us. The heroes then go to lunch looking and sounding weird.
  • The movie Rocketman (about a manned mission to Mars) has one. When the Idiot Hero is riding it, he somehow causes the seat to detach itself and goes plowing through several corridors.
  • Moscow Cassiopeia had these.
  • The infamous "Tequila" scene from The Sandlot involves a bunch of kids trying chewing tobacco to emulate their baseball idols, and then getting onto a fast spinning carnival ride. Vomit ensues.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In the Moonbeam series of picture books about a chimp at NASA, there is a scene where Moonbeam is put in one these machines, and spends the next few pages stumbling around bumping into things.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • In Sam & Max Hit the Road, the Cone Of Tragedy at the Cushman Bros. Carnival spins around at insane speeds, as befitting its name. If you ride it, you will lose all your stuff.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]] [[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Adventure Time: Princess Bubblegum puts a cow into a centrifuge to make the perfect block of cheese.
  • BenMummy and a Werewolf-esque alien fight next to one of these in an episode of Ben10.
  • The Disneyland show episode "Man in Space", which was made in 1955, had a section on how astronauts would be trained, including being put on a centerfuge. Seeing how far the show predates the actual space program, it's remarkable how far ahead the scientists involved (who were consultants on the episode) were preparing.
  • The Simpsons: Homer & Barney each get put in one of these when they're being trained as asutronauts. Homer in particular briefly turns into Popeye due to the G's.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In the episode Wonderbolts Academy, the Dizzytron is an obvious parody of this trope. It's also an unusual usage, as it's designed to launch pegasi into the air after it's done spinning--the pegasi are then timed on how quickly they can recover and land safely.
  • Pinky and the Brain were put into a one in the episode "Where No Mouse Has Gone Before".
  • One episode of Arthur had an amusement park ride called the Hurl-a-Whirl that did pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin: basically a dumbbell-type centrifuge, except the car itself spun perpendicular to the arm as well. The individual cars actually had a dial to increase the ride speed, with the highest setting being "Liquefy".
  • An episode of Rugrats showed Angelica getting on something like this at a carnival. It turns out to be a very high speed one, and when Stu tries to get the operator to shut it off, he misunderstands and turns it Up to Eleven. When Angelica gets off, and Didi asks if she's alright, she responds, "I think so, Uncle Stu."
  • Happen to Chip and Dale in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers with Gadget and Jack at the controls. They are Squashed Flat when the centrifuge finaly stops.
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • June 27, 2012
    AgProv
    When I feel like it, I might add the Steampunk example in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel The Last Hero. There's even a picture...
  • June 27, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Actually the Vomit Comet refers to something else: an airplane that astronauts ride in, which makes steep dives in order to simulate microgravity for a period of a few seconds. The machine you're referring to is called an "Aerotrim."
  • June 27, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Used in Battlestar Galactica to simulate difficult targeting conditions by Viper pilots.
  • June 27, 2012
    Arivne
    nitrokitty/OP: This is why it's critically important to write the description before submitting a YKTTW proposal.

    Is this trope about:
    • (a) The plane that simulates zero gravity for its passengers while descending (the Real Life "Vomit Comet")
    • (b) The Aerotrim device
    • (c) The large machine that spins in circles and simulates high gravity for its passengers

    If the answer is (c) I have a film example.

    Film
    • Moonraker. While on a tour of Drax' aerospace facility James Bond was put in such a machine by Holly Goodhead and given a spin. While he was undergoing this Holly was called away and Drax's henchman Chang took over, turning the dial up and subjecting Bond to multiple gravities of force. Just before falling unconscious, Bond used one of his gadgets to shoot the control panel and turn the machine off.
  • June 27, 2012
    animeg3282
    I have an example of (a) In Twin Spica part of the astronaut training program is to go up in the 'vomit comet' Hilarity and vomiting ensues.
  • June 27, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Is late and will finish YKTTW in the morning, but was thinking of this: [1]

    Was rereading The Right Stuff and the centrifuge was also referred to as the vomit comet.
  • June 27, 2012
    Alvin
    I think the centrifuge one is used in the Film Spies Like Us . The heroes then go to lunch looking and sounding weird, I think.
  • June 27, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Just a technical note, don't try to embed image UR Ls in a YKTTW post - it breaks formatting. Enclose it in double brackets so that it's piped.
  • June 29, 2012
    Arivne
    ^^ Yes, Spies Like Us had a centrifuge scene. Here it is, subtitled in Spanish.

    I would change the name to something involving "centrifuge" and "gravity", so that it doesn't cause confusion with the airplane "Vomit Comet".

    High Gravity Centrifuge? Centrifuge Gravity Test? Something like that.
  • June 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: Homer & Barney each get put in one of these when they're being trained as asutronauts. Homer in particular brefly turns into Popeye due to the G's.
  • June 29, 2012
    JonnyB
    Definitely needs a different name. The Vomit Comet is an entirely different way of flying, altogether.

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
  • June 29, 2012
    thewriter
    BenMummy and a Werewolf-esque alien fight next to one of these in an episode of Ben10
  • June 29, 2012
    Omeganian
    Moscow Cassiopeia had these.
  • June 29, 2012
    TonyG
    • Not related to training, but on The Iron Giant, Hogarth and the Giant are playing test pilot with an old car. The Giant spins the car a little faster than Hogarth imagined.
    • The Disneyland show episode "Man in Space", which was made in 1955, had a section on how astronauts would be trained, including being put on a centerfuge. Seeing how far the show predates the actual space program, it's remarkable how far ahead the scientists involved (who were consultants on the episode) were preparing.
  • June 30, 2012
    Stratadrake
    • An A-1 Steak Sauce commercial depicted a man using one of these centrifuges to get the absolute last drop of sauce out of the bottle. "Yeah, it's that important."
  • July 8, 2012
    nitrokitty
  • July 8, 2012
    PaulA
    • In the Moonbeam series of picture books about a chimp at NASA, there is a scene where Moonbeam is put in one these machines, and spends the next few pages stumbling around bumping into things.
  • July 10, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Any more suggestions?
  • August 4, 2012
    nitrokitty
    YKTTW Bump for hats. I'd also be grateful if someone could come up with a good page image, the sillier the better. My search turned up nothing good so I'm turning to the YKTTW community for help.
  • December 17, 2012
    Chabal2
    The movie Rocketman (about a manned mission to Mars) has one. When the Idiot Hero is riding it, he somehow causes the seat to detach itself and goes plowing through several corridors.
  • December 17, 2012
    NESBoy
    Pinky And The Brain were put into one in the episode "Where No Mouse Has Gone Before".
  • December 17, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I'll sort them into folders after I get home from work tonight.
  • December 17, 2012
    TropeEater
    PLATTERer speaking, and this name is HILARIOUS and just NEEDS to stay.
  • December 17, 2012
    nitrokitty
    The trope tags are before I changed the name, and I'm too dumb to figure out how to remove them.
  • December 18, 2012
    Arivne
    Only a moderator can remove tags.
  • December 18, 2012
    nitrokitty
    I think this page is about as done as I can get it, and I'm about to launch it, hats or no hats. This things been kicking around YKTTW long enough. I'll leave it up for a couple more days if anyone wants to voice any objections or add more examples, but otherwise I'm set to go.
  • December 18, 2012
    ShadowHog
  • December 18, 2012
    StarSword
    Western Animation:
    • One episode of Arthur had an amusement park ride called the Hurl-a-Whirl that did pretty much Exactly What It Says On The Tin: basically a dumbbell-type centrifuge, except the car itself spun perpendicular to the arm as well. The individual cars actually had a dial to increase the ride speed, with the highest setting being "Liquefy".
  • December 19, 2012
    Tallens
    • An episode of Rugrats showed Angelica getting on something like this at a carnival. It turns out to be a very high speed one, and when Stu tries to get the operator to shut it off, he misunderstands and turns it Up To Eleven. When Angelica gets off, and Didi asks if she's alright, she responds, "I think so, Uncle Stu."
  • December 20, 2012
    m8e

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=zyn5j4zrksot1dfiadh9ln4p&trope=CentrifugalFarce