Unregistered Foreigner
A Fish Out Of Temporal Water, or just a foreigner, can't prove who they are.


(permanent link) added: 2011-08-15 15:35:52 sponsor: hotrods4ben (last reply: 2011-09-30 19:00:43)

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Needs a Better Title, Rolling Updates

Alt titles: Has No Identity in the Future, Foreign Fish

Say you've been transported to the future. You may have been frozen or something, or maybe you are from another planet or even dimension. They have the population categorized and everything (a telltale sign that it's a Dystopia, or at least an Obstructive Bureaucracy world), but you don't have any records! They might fix that quickly, or you might be a fugitive since not having any identification is against the law!

See also Un-Person, may lead to them believing Time Travelers Are Spies.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Kaztano in Durarara!! is an Italian immanent illegally living and working in Japan. He gets kidnapped by a pharmaceutical company's goons for use in experimentation because illegals hiding from the government so they don't get kicked out are less likely to be missed. Kadota's gang steps in and saves him, though.
  • Saito in Zero no Tsukaima is a human from Earth who got sent into a world of magic when it was Louise's turn to summon her Familiar. Despite being Louise's official familiar, he's still known there as a commoner because he cannot use magic. Later on, it is revealed that Saito is a reincarnation of the legendary Void mage familiar Gandalfr, whose ability is to wield any weapon on contact, for as long as it is intended as a weapon.

Film
  • In Idiocracy, Joe has to get his arm tattooed with a UPC and his name, and he accidentally tells the computer his name is "Not Sure". Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Fifth Element, Leeloo wasn't from Earth, and never formally went through any kind of process to be given identification before she escaped. Korben Dallas is ordered to take a Brawn Hilda commando with him as his cover wife on a starship. Instead, he uses the Brawn Hilda's cover Multipass for Leeloo.
  • In the Mel Gibson film Forever Young, Captain McCormick is cryogenically frozen in the 40's and then forgotten about after he is believed to have died in a lab accident. He ends up being thawed out, and when he tries to report in at the base he was stationed at, they initially believe him to be some loony and send him on his way.
    • Subverted, in that they do eventually find his records, but they had to look in a historical file to find them.
  • Averted in TRON and TRON: Legacy: Kevin and Sam, respectively, have no records when they first enter The Grid, so they are rounded up and given a Data Disc which immediately sync with them and make a set of records for them.
  • In The Terminal Tom Hanks's character has no legal ID because while he was flying in to JFK Airport his country ceased to exist.
  • The premise of Encino Man, since it's about a caveman.

Literature
  • In Ubik, Joe Chip accidentally time-travels from the far future year of 1993 back to 1939 (or maybe not, the novel is kind of a Mind Screw). When a police officer pulls him over for failing to signal before turning, Joe realizes he doesn't have a period-appropriate driver's license, so he gets a citation for that as well. Then the writing on the citation ends up being a message from Runciter.

Live-Action TV
  • Used in the Doctor Who episode "The Long Game". It's not illegal to have no ID chip, but some of the technology (public information terminals, etc.) don't work without one. The Doctor and Rose don't bother, because the Doctor can use his sonic screwdriver to hack any terminal he wants information out of, but Adam gets one fitted so that he can look stuff up without the Doctor knowing.
    • In "Inferno", the Doctor travels into an alternate history where England is ruled by a totalitarian government. When he tries to explain who he is, the authorities assume he's just being unco-operative, leading to the famous exchange:
      Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart: Your identity is being checked with Central Records. When we know who you are, the real interrogation will begin.
      The Doctor: But I don't exist in your world!
      Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart: Then you won't feel the bullets when we shoot you.
    • Averted in "The Beast Below". Not only does the Starship UK census recognise Amy as a citizen, but finds no alarm in her being, according to its own calculations, 1306 years old.

Western Animation
  • Everybody in Futurama has a career chip implanted in their wrist, and luckily Fry has no problem getting one installed.

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