[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Malt_Shop.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Ah, the memories....]]

->'''Brian (Manager of ''The Greasy Fork''):''' ''Britta, you promised that this private party would be done by eight. You're doing this during the peak business hours for nostalgia-themed diners.''
->'''Annie:''' ''Oh, is that true? Has that been researched?''
->'''Brian''': ''It has, Annie. After they get frightened by the evening news, many seek the comforting foods and soothing music of a pre-racial America.''
-->-- '''Series/{{Community}}'''

Obligatory bit of [[TheFifties 1950s]] PopularHistory. All the kids [[LocalHangout hang out]] here, play {{Pinball}}, and listen to the jukebox play NothingButHits. Carhops are optional. The Malt Shop may also be referred to as a diner, a soda fountain, a drug store or a café but the general look is always basically the same. In a TimeTravel story ending up in TheFifties, often the first place gone into after the MisterSandmanSequence (as in ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', for example).

There ''is'' some historical basis to these places; during most of the early-[[WorldWarTwo post-war]] era, from the mid-1940s to the 1950s, very few modern "chain" fast-food places were in business yet and the infrastructure to support them was still being built. As a result, there were a ''lot'' of privately-owned, short-order diner-style restaurants that served things like burgers and non-alcoholic malted beverages. Not all of them were hopping, hip places where the kids hung out, but pick a major suburb and you could probably find at least one. Many of the most successful ones would go on to ''become'' the major chains of TheSeventies and TheEighties, driving their smaller competitors out of business.

The GreasySpoon is the MaltShop's less romanticized (but equally conventionalized) cousin. Watch out for the teenagers who are SweetheartSipping or the possible eruption of a DinerBrawl.
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Pop Tate's Choclit Shoppe in [[ArchieComics Archie]].
* The RetroUniverse of Fawcett City in DCComics' ''Power Of Shazam'' includeed a malt shop (possibly the same one from Captain Marvel's initial ''Whiz Comics'' appearances). It even played a plot point in the recent ''Black Adam'' miniseries.
* Kitty Pryde and Storm bond over milkshakes at ''The Malt Shoppe'' in Uncanny ComicBook/{{X-Men}} #130.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Mel's Drive-In from ''Film/AmericanGraffiti''
* Lou's Café from ''Film/BackToTheFuture''
* Naturally, one of these shows up in ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}''.
* One is included (free of charge) in the 1957-set ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull''. It winds up getting trashed in a DinerBrawl.
* A futuristic version of one of these appears in ''Film/StarWarsEpisodeIIAttackOfTheClones'', complete with a robot waitress and a fat Italian-American-sounding alien in an apron in the kitchen. [[WordOfGod George Lucas]] has stated that this is an homage to his earlier ''Film/AmericanGraffiti''.
* Parodied in ''Film/TopSecret'', when Nick Rivers and the Resistance fighters end up in a 1950s-style malt shop...in the middle of EastGermany. Includes a dance number to jukebox music.
* The film of ''Film/TheMusicMan'' sets one of its scenes in an ice cream parlor. The movie is from 1962, though the musical is set 50 years before that.
* ''Film/ThingsToDoInDenverWhenYoureDead'' is narrated by a character in a malt shop, which also plays a minor role in the story.
* This is where [[GunFu Smith]] and the HookerWithAHeartOfGold meet up at the end of ''Film/ShootEmUp''.
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Malt Shoppe]] is the main hangout of the {{brainwashed}} honor students in ''Film/DisturbingBehavior'', with one of the characters [[LampshadeHanging pointing out]] the [[TwoDecadesBehind anachronistic nature]] of the location. It proves to be one of the first clues that something is [[TownWithADarkSecret seriously wrong]] with the town.
* In ''Film/PulpFiction'', Vincent takes Mia to Jack Rabbit Slim's, a nostalgia restaurant designed to resemble a 50's malt shop. Mia orders the Five-Dollar Milkshake.
* Naturally, a setting for several scenes in ''Film/{{Grease}}''.
* One appears at the beginning of ''Film/SchoolTies''

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Arnold's from ''HappyDays''
* The Pie Hole in ''PushingDaisies'' resembles one of these, in keeping with the show's RetroUniverse aesthetic.
* The Groovy Smoothie in ''{{iCarly}}'' is a modernised version, used as the LocalHangout. It is frequently mentioned early on but doesn't actually appear until halfway through the second season.
* Parodied on a ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' sketch with a "nostalgic" diner which for the sake of period accuracy refused to serve black customers.
* Bizarrely, the first round of time travel on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', where Dean sees his youthful parents-to-be on a date to one of these...in ''1973''. Possibly the influence of her protective father.
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "Walking Distance" features a malt shop when a man returns to the town he grew up in to see that nothing has changed. He first realizes something strange is going on when the malt shop is still selling milk shakes for a dime, and comes to realize that he's somehow traveled back in time.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music ]]

* Music/WeirdAlYankovic: "And I burned down the Malt Shop where we used to go [[AntiLoveSong just because it reminds me of you!]]"

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* Bally's ''Pinball/EightBall'' is set in one of these.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Shows up in the musical ''Reefer Madness'', which is technically set in TheThirties [[AnachronismStew but has more of a 1950s feel in general]].
* Not shown in the opera ''Theatre/StreetScene'', but discussed in a sextet in praise of the drug store and its ice cream.
* One of the later scenes in ''Theatre/WestSideStory'' is in Doc's drugstore. The jukebox plays [[ThemeTuneCameo the same "Mambo" heard at the gym dance]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The various pizza joints in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' are designed to resemble these, fitting with the {{Eagleland}} setting.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* [[AsianStoreOwner Akbar's]] Malt Shop in ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' Akbar seems to be one of the saner people in the town.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''ScoobyDoo'' gang visited these quite a bit in parts of the plot that would normally have taken them to a bar. Also, the Scooby gang would often start an episode in a malt shop (in the 1969-80 show), when they weren't on a beach.
* {{Futurama}} had this in their time travel episode to 1945.
* An episode of FamilyGuy features a restaurant with a retro 50s malt shop motif. Cleveland, being black, was not allowed to enter.
* Seen in the ''SchoolhouseRock'' segment "A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing" as the narrator engages in some SweetheartSipping with her "[[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend best friend]]."
* Prominently featured in the 1946 [[WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts Disney]] short "All the Cats Join In", with its jazz soundtrack produced by Benny Goodman, features teens partying in a malt shop, doing swing dancing as a jukebox plays. Meaning this trope is a little bit OlderThanTheyThink by at least a few years.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Although many of them have completely abandoned the "traditional" trappings, honestly, pick a famous fast-food chain today; an overwhelming number of them began life in, essentially, this format with a single location. Prominent examples include McDonalds, Wendy's, Jack-in-the-Box...
* Johnny Rockets, a national chain of sit-down hamburger restaurants with a 1950s motif, including waitpersons with paper hats and checkered aprons, chrome finish on ''everything'', and 5-cent jukeboxes.
* Sonic Drive-In is a chain of drive-in diners that began in the '50s and has survived and thrived into the present day, complete with carhops who wear roller skates. In Northern cities, they're known primarily for the fact that they advertise even though the nearest Sonic may be tens or even hundreds of miles away (Northern weather isn't that conductive to drive-in diners).
* The Classic 50s is a one-of-a-kind drive-in in Norman, Oklahoma that is more or less identical to Sonic except even ''more'' nostalgic of the 1950s. Kids meals even come in cardboard replicas of classic cars!
* There is one down in Hillsboro, OR. That area is the sort of place where specialty businesses crowd around.
* The A&W chain of fast-food joints have become known for marketing based on nostalgia: They base many of their commercials, and even the interior on the "classic fast food joint" look of TheFifties. Of course, it's not a MaltShop ''per se'', but it has many elements of one, including ice cream/root beer floats and nostalgic black and white photos on the walls. The motif is broken a little at co-branded locations as the design elements have to share space with boating materials (Long John Silvers) or pictures of Colonel Sanders.
* Route 66 lives and breaths 50's nostalgia, so there are plenty of old drive-ins and malt shops along the route to cater to tourists.
* Even the UK gets in on the act with the Ed's Easy Diner chain, which seems to toe the line between being a nostalgia cafe based on a malt shop, and being an affectionate parody of one. It has the jukeboxes, art-deco motif and malt shakes, but they also have a menu of practically nothing but variations on hotdogs, chilli and burgers, signs on the walls such as 'No dancing in the aisles', and the shakes themselves are enormous.
* Ruby's Diner is a chain based on this motif, albeit more from TheForties.

----