1910's to 30's Creator/StratemeyerSyndicate kids' series following the adventures of boy inventor Tom Swift. Each book began with Tom inventing some new gadget that conveniently proved essential to resolving the plot. Invented or popularized many GadgeteerGenius tropes.

While popular in his time, Tom proved to have less staying power than his Stratemeyer stablemates [[Literature/TheHardyBoys Frank and Joe Hardy]] and Franchise/NancyDrew, perhaps because of how quickly his "cool technology" was superseded in the real world. An Atomic-age attempt to revive the franchise with a new series starring his son failed when people started questioning the wisdom of atomic-powered airplanes and automobiles. If anything Tom Swift Jr.'s Gee-whiz tech went obsolete even faster than his father's did.

Revived IN SPACE! in the early 1980s, in [[HollywoodCalifornia Southern California]] in the 1990s and [[http://tomswift.bobfinnan.com/ts5.htm in the first person]] in the 2000s.

Origin of the "TomSwifty", such as ''"Pass me the shellfish," said Tom crabbily'' or ''"How was your colonoscopy?" asked Tom probingly.'' This is something of a BeamMeUpScotty (or "Play it again, Sam") situation, as while Stratemeyer was [[http://www.fun-with-words.com/tom_swifties_history.html eager to employ adverbs]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Swifty reluctant to use]] [[SaidBookism the plain verb "said"]], actual "Tom Swifty" puns were rare.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Inevitable, due to the time they were written.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: Probably the UrExample.
* EitherOrTitle: All of the books in the original series, such as ''Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle; or, Fun and Adventure on the Road''
* FirstContactMath: Tom Swift Jr. and his father communicate with aliens this way.
* GadgeteerGenius: Possibly the UrExample of this trope too.
* KidDetective
* MadLibsCatchPhrase: Mr. Damon in the first series always said some form of "Bless my [noun]!"
* MinovskyPhysics: The radiation-blocking Tomasite plastic can block radiation, and is a good neutron reflector. Period. Apart from that, it's just a strong, hard plastic. The repelatron device can do one thing: Push on the specific combination of elements it's been tuned to. The potential complications and the difficulties of keeping the things properly tuned are not ignored.
* {{MST}}: ''[[http://keithpalmer.ca/mst3k/favourites/tom-swifts-war-tank.txt Tom Swift's War Tank]]'' is one of the more extensive {{MSTing}}s available.
* ParrotExposition: Notoriously overused in the earlier novels and the source for much of the humor in the aforementioned {{MSTing}}.
* RaygunGothic including the inevitable {{Zeerust}}
* {{Revival}}: Tom Swift Jr. in the 1950s, and again in the 1980s, and again in the 90s, and for good measure in 2006.
* [[RecycledINSPACE Recycled IN SPACE!]]: The adventures of Tom Swift the Somethingth, interstellar traveller.
* SaidBookism
* {{Sidekick}}: Mr. Damon and Ned in the original series, Bud in the 1950s, Ben in the 1980s, Rick in the 1990s. Given who they're playing the Sidekick to, they also get to be TheWatson.
* StoryArc: The "Jr." novels had an ongoing arc about Tom's interaction with the alien "Space Friends". Since the arc never really went anywhere before the series ended, it's arguably also an AbortedArc.
* TeenGenius: Tom, of course, and his twin sister as well in the 90's version. Tom is probably the UrExample of this trope as well.
* TomSwifty: TropeNamer, though as mentioned actual examples are rare.
!!The ''Mystery Science Theater 3000'' presentation of ''[[http://keithpalmer.ca/mst3k/favourites/tom-swifts-war-tank.txt Tom Swift's War Tank]]'' has examples of:
* TheDitz: Ned.
* FourthWallBreaking: Ned's stupidity becomes so severe that Joel and the bots run out of ways to riff him and are forced to ask the readers for help.
* IdiotBall: Ned and Mr Damon keep a firm grip on this at all times, but it seems that anyone who isn't Tom gets their sticky mitts on it at some point.
-->'''Servo''': Ah, it all becomes clear, now. The residents of Shopton, except for the Swifts, share a collective intelligence. Someone else in town must be buttoning their coat and thereby placing a strain on the town's remaining IQ resources.
* InvincibleHero: Lampshaded by Servo:
-->'''Servo''': I've never read any of the books in this series, and I'll bet I know everything there is to know about him already. He's really good at everything that he does, which is everything done by any American of his age and class. Girls admire him, but he only has pure love for one. He's RogerRamjet played straight. He is, in effect, every bit as annoying as every MarySue ever penned.
* ObfuscatingStupidity:
-->'''Joel''': Meanwhile, back on the Swift plant, Eradicate and Koku had undergone a change since their Master had been away....
-->'''Servo [as Eradicate]''': I disagree -- even given Rossini's questionable reusage of material from his earlier operas, "The Barber of Seville" is one of the greatest Opera Buffas ever written; even the renowned Verdi himself said as much.
-->'''Crow [as Koku]''': True, my friend, but I still think you're downplaying Mozart's "Don Giovanni" too much -- that raised the level of Opera Buffas to unknown levels which Verdi himself only matched with "Falstaff," some eighty years later.
* OverlyLongGag: Crow, Servo and Joel's description of Swift's ColdBloodedTorture. Justified in that it lasts as long as it takes for Mr Damon and Ned to realize that Tom Swift, inventor extraordinaire and tank engineer, may have ''possibly'' been kidnapped by the German spies they know full well are prowling around Shopton.
* RunningGag: "I get paid by the word, you know."
* StuffBlowingUp: [[RuleOfFunny Crow destroys Tom's airfield as revenge for ditching him in a biplane over the no-fly zone in southern Iraq]].
* TooDumbToLive: Ned. Oh ''boy'', NED.
* WhatTheHellHero: Tom Swift has a tank to test. He wants to see how it fares when driven through a building. He spots a barn in a farmyard. Does he stop and ask the farmer's permission first? No.