->''"It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end [...] Neither are any wars so furious and bloody, or of so long continuance as those occasioned by difference in opinion, especially if it be in things indifferent."''
-->-- Musings upon the Big/Little end heresy, ''Gulliver's Travels''

One of the precursors of SpeculativeFiction, ''Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships'' was written by Creator/JonathanSwift as a parody of the [[ForgottenTrope now-dead genre]] of traveller's tale, satirising 18th century follies, but is now, sadly, largely remembered as a children's tale, despite being Swift's masterpiece and a [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids heavily satirical and adult book]].

On Gulliver's first voyage he is shipwrecked in Lilliput, where everything is one-twelfth normal size. After many incidents (mainly getting entangled in [[SillyReasonForWar a holy war over which end to open a hard-boiled egg]]), he escapes on a raft, returning to England. His second voyage takes him to Brobdingnag, where everything is twelve times normal size. Gulliver is kept as a pet by the locals, and has many philosophical conversations with the king of Brobdingnag before being carried off by an eagle, which drops him where he can escape.

On Gulliver's third, and less well-known, voyage, his ship is attacked by {{pirate}}s, but he is rescued by the flying island of Laputa, home to a society of proto-{{TV Genius}}es. After various incidents, including the first description of aerial bombing and a conversation with the ghosts of historical figures, Gulliver returns home via Japan. As mentioned below, a deleted section of this satire attacked the English for their treatment of Ireland, but for the most part it was intended as a scathing condemnation of the nascent European Enlightenment, with the {{TV Genius}}es representing the philosophers, scientists, and academics of his time.

On Gulliver's fourth and final voyage, his crew mutinies. He's marooned on the isle of the Houyhnhnms, where the horses are intelligent (the titular Houyhnhnm) and the humans are animals, called Yahoos. Gulliver soon decides the Houyhnhnm are superior to normal humans, who he comes to see as barely any better than the Yahoos. After the Houyhnhnms throw him out, Gulliver returns to England where he spends all his time talking to his horses as he finds all humans (including his own family) to be nothing more than Yahoos who happen to wear clothes.

''Gulliver's Travels'' has [[TheFilmOfTheBook been filmed]] several times, but most of the adaptations omit the last two voyages. Often, a {{bowdlerise}}d version of the voyage is printed as a children's book. Go [[WesternAnimation/GulliversTravels here]] for the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation 1939]] animated film version, and [[Film/GulliversTravels2010 here]] for the 2010 film starring Jack Black. In 1968 Creator/HannaBarbera produced a loosely-inspired animated adaptation ''The Adventures of Gulliver'' about teenaged Gary Gulliver.

There also a TV mini-series starring Creator/TedDanson and Creator/MarySteenburgen. In this version Dr. Gulliver has returned to his family from a long absence. The action shifts back and forth between flashbacks of his travels and the present where he is telling the story of his travels and has been committed to an asylum. It is notable for being one of the very few adaptations to feature all four voyages, and is considered the closest adaptation to the book despite taking several liberties, such as Gulliver not returning home between each part.

And in 2011 Creator/TheBBC produced a SettingUpdate for Radio 4 called ''Brian Gulliver's Travels'', which abandoned the original locations entirely in favour of ones that made satirical points about ''modern'' Britain. Interestingly, it duplicates the FramingStory above of Gulliver describing his stories from a mental institution.

Also, Creator/RobertAHeinlein wrote a scathing satire of the fourth journey in his YA novel ''Literature/StarmanJones'', stating that anyone who would prefer the anti-individualistic lifestyle of the Houyhnhnms over human free will doesn't deserve to be human to begin with. Swift would likely agree, given that the fourth journey was in part a scathing satire of UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, which Swift ''loathed''.

Humphry Carpenter made a WholePlotReference to the book "MrMajeika on the Internet", which includes modernized parallels to the lands of the Lilliputians, Brobdingnagians, Laputans and Houyhnhnms, as well as a mouse named Gulliver.

The actual story is a staple of the PublicDomain, making it very easy to track down and read.

!!'''This book provides examples of:'''
%% Zero Context Examples have been commented out. Please write up an actual example before uncommenting.
* AbridgedForChildren: ''Gulliver's Travels'' has appeared in children's abridgements, generally consisting only of the Lilliput and Brobdingnag sections, as tiny and gigantic people were thought to be easier for kids to relate to than scientific frauds, BlessedWithSuck immortals, historical satire and out-and-out misanthropy. The Lilliputian-fire extinguishing scene is always naturally euphemized.
* AbsentMindedProfessor: Subverted; the Laputans are absent-minded all right, but none of them have any hidden intelligence to speak of.
* AgeWithoutYouth: The Struldbrugs are built around this trope, as they were meant to {{Deconstruct}} the dreams of immortality people had in Swift's time.
* AllWomenAreLustful:
** In Brobdingnag, Gulliver mentions many women liked undressing him and undressing in front of him, as well as doing other things which he hardly describes, but found unpleasant due to GrossUpCloseUp.
** The men of Laputa are so focused on mathematics and astronomy they probably can't remember women even exist. So whenever a visitor from another country comes up, the women of Laputa rush on the opportunity.
** In the Houyhnhnm-land Gulliver is almost raped by a Yahoo preteen girl.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Yahoos. It is noted [[FieryRedhead the red-haired Yahoos take this]] UpToEleven.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: The Yahoos' origin implies that the whole species are the descendants of a European couple who shipwrecked on Houyhnhnm-Land decades before Gulliver showed up, and just kept breeding and breeding, with [[BrotherSisterIncest each of their children breeding with each other]] and each generation becoming increasingly feral until they were nothing but a race of inbred savages roaming around the island. Which just confirmed Gulliver's belief that HumansAreBastards.
* AmoralAttorney: Although there are no attorneys in the story, Gulliver's description of the profession to the Houyhnhnms implies that ''all'' lawyers are this.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** Gulliver gives a LongList of various evil things and people that were absent in the country of the Houyhnhnms. After listing "gibers, censurers, backbiters, pickpockets, highwaymen, housebreakers" and "dungeon, axes, gibbets, whipping-posts, or pillories" among other things, he ends with "dancing-masters".
** The title of the third voyage, going through several long and complicated countries' names before ending with Japan. At the time, Japan might have been an imaginary country as far as most ''gaijin'' were concerned: the only foreign presence was a tiny colony of Dutch traders at Nagasaki, with all other nationalities being forbidden from the islands on pain of death.
* BilingualBonus: The flying city of ''Laputa'' is a harsh allegory of England and its colonial dominion over Ireland; the name means "the whore" in Spanish.
%%* BlackHumor: Along with BlackComedy, a specialty of Swift's.
* [[{{Bowdlerise}} Bowdlerisation]]: There have been numerous adaptations of the Lilliputian chapters into children's books with all the naughty stuff and political context stripped out. In one version, for instance, instead of peeing on the Empress's palace, he uses an enema syringe.
* BrotherSisterIncest: See AmbiguouslyHuman.
* BunglingInventor: Everyone in Balbinarbi is this.
* CannotTellALie: Gulliver prides himself on his honesty, especially in the face of "dishonest" traveler's tales.
* CantArgueWithElves: The Houyhnhnms, and to a lesser extent, the Brobdingnagians, look down on Gulliver's society as pitiful. Arguably a subversion, however, in that neither of these societies is without significant problems obvious to readers (if not to Gulliver himself).
* CloudCuckooLand: Laputa, the citizens of which devote their lives to math, music, science and philosophy but are utterly ignorant of everyday practicalities.
* ColonyDrop: A proto-example; the rulers of Laputa quash resistance in rebellious surface cities by landing their FloatingContinent on top of them.
** Actually [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed,]] since such measures are almost never used, because they are able to seriously harm or even destroy Laputa; in one case, Laputians had to agree with demands of a rebellious city whose inhabitants turned out to have a way of turning the landing into a crash.
* ColossusClimb: The Lilliputians on Gulliver; later Gulliver on the Brobdingnagians.
* ComplainingAboutRescuesTheyDontLike:
** When the Empress's apartment is on fire, Gulliver saves her [[ToiletHumor by urinating on it.]] The Empress, in return, refuses to live there again.
** Gulliver himself when he is rescued at the end of the book by the Portuguese captain. He wanted to stay a hermit on some island, and detested being taken back home again.
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: Lilliput. The treasurer and general have the king wrapped around their fingers, and people are elected based off how well they do at limbo and tight-rope walking.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: [[BlatantLies The oh-so perfect and virtuous Houyhnhnms]] have a servant race (implied to have different color fur from the "higher-up" Houyhnhnms) that can have as many kids as they want.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Averted when two female Yahoos in heat set their sights on a bathing Gulliver, [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters who is horrified to think he could be mistaken for a Yahoo.]]
* DownerEnding: Gulliver loses hope with the human race. He even hates his own family.
* TheEveryman: While a learned man and a surgeon, Gulliver is otherwise this.
* FanDisservice: An encounter with some of the young ladies of Brobdingnag has probably turned Gulliver off breasts for life, as every single imperfection in the skin texture is [[GrossUpCloseUp magnified to the same degree]].
* FishOutOfWater: Gulliver everywhere, even in England after each voyage.
* FloatingContinent: Laputa is probably the TropeMaker. It utilizes a giant magnet which pushes towards\against the earth depending on which pole is pointing downwards. Strangely enough, it's the only one of their inventions that works.
* ForScience: Seems to be the main motivation in the Academy of Lagado, whose half-baked ideas range from extracting sunbeams from cucumbers to [[BodyHorror turning a dog inside out]] to cure its diarrhea.
** Plants use sunlight to split carbon from carbon dioxide, and excrete the dioxide (02, aka breathable oxygen). Applying heat catalyzes the release of the stored solar energy as light and heat, leaving the carbon as ash. So, technically, even if it's hard to ignite, you ''can'' extract sunbeams from cucumbers.
* FramingDevice: The novel opens with a letter ostensibly written by Gulliver to his "cousin Sympson" in which he complains that the story of his travels as it has been printed contains numerous misprintings and factual errors, and bemoans the fact that it has as yet produced no noticeable improvement in the moral character of the human race, on account of which Gulliver has resolved to stop writing. This is followed by a short note from Sympson to the readers in which he explains that certain duller passages were removed so as not to bore the reader and expresses his hope that they will enjoy the story anyway.
* FromBadToWorse: The causes of Gulliver's (mis)adventures gets worse with each part of the book. In the first part, he gets shipwrecked. In the second, he gets abandoned. In the third, he gets attacked by pirates. In the fourth, his own crew mutinies against him.
* GoingNative: By the end of his journey, Gulliver considers the Houyhnhnms superior and starts calling himself a Yahoo. He seems prone to this, considering how quickly he acclimated to Lilliput and Brobdingnag and how much trouble he'd already had adjusting to normal after those two adventures.
* GulliverTieDown: The TropeNamer.
* HiddenElfVillage: Brobdingnag and Houyhnhnm-Land, in contrast to Lilliput and Laputa; since the latter two countries are exposed to other nations, they can start wars with them almost automatically.
* HumansAreBastards: By the end of the book, Gulliver is fully convinced every human being on Earth is a filthy, savage Yahoo, including himself.
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: Gulliver in Brobdingnag, a country of giants.
%%* IntellectualAnimal: The Houyhnhnms again.
* InWhichATropeIsDescribed: Every chapter begins with these descriptions.
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum: The inventions in the academy of Balnibarbi are so ridiculous they fall under this category, satirizing the "scientific advancements" in Swift's time.
* KnowNothingKnowItAll: The Laputans from ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' are [[PlanetOfHats an entire flying country of]] Know-Nothing-Know-It-Alls. They devote their entire lives to math, music, philosophy, astronomy, and politics, failing at each one spectacularly.
* LanguageEqualsThought: The Houyhnhnms, lacking many common human vices, have no words for them in their language and have to resort to roundabout euphemisms to describe them, e.g. "to lie" becomes "to say a thing which is not".
* LastNameBasis: Gulliver. Due to the book being written in first person and mostly known to modern audiences through PopCultureOsmosis, many people aren't aware he even ''has'' a first name. It's Lemuel.
* LegallyDead: In order to prevent the Struldbrugs from concentrating all wealth in their hands, they are made that at the age of eighty.
* {{Lilliputians}}: The TropeNamer. The original Lilliputians are the little people in this story, who live in Lilliput.
* UsefulNotes/TheLongitudeProblem: On the one hand, Gulliver carefully reports both the latitude and longitude of all the various fictional places he visits. On the other, when he's in Laputa fantasizing about what he could do if he were immortal, one of the problems he imagines being able to solve is "the discovery of the longitude". The effect is to create the impression that either Gulliver or Swift himself isn't entirely clear on what "the discovery of longitudes" actually means.[[note]]Finding the longitude of a stationary location like an island is relatively easy, if tedious; Swift probably meant a method for ascertaining the longitude of a ship under way, which nobody knew how to do at the time (the first practical method was invented a couple of decades after his death.)[[/note]]
* MeaningfulName: [[BilingualBonus La Puta]]. Also Lindalino, which is a pun on Swift's [[UsefulNotes/{{Dublin}} hometown]] - it has [[IncrediblyLamePun double 'lin's']]. Get it?
* MonkeysOnATypewriter: One of the absurd inventions created by the [[CloudCuckoolander Laputan]] [[TVGenius intellectuals]] is a device for randomly combining words so that "the most ignorant person, at a reasonable charge, and with a little bodily labour, might write books in philosophy, poetry, politics, laws, mathematics, and theology, without the least assistance from genius or study".
* MoralDissonance: The Houyhnhnms preach of their own superiority but have incredibly hypocritical beliefs about the Yahoos and refuse to be persuaded otherwise when presented evidence to the contrary. Whether the reader is supposed to acknowledge this or not has been debated for centuries.
* {{Neologism}}: The origin of the words "yahoo", "lilliputian", and "brobdingnagian".
* NobodyPoops: Averted with a vengeance. Along with the examples listed elsewhere on this page, while in Lilliput, a couple of luckless locals get stuck with the job of carting off Gulliver's solid waste every day.
* {{Omniglot}}: Gulliver learns the languages of the places he visits with remarkable (and convenient) speed.
* OnlySaneMan: Lord Munodi, Gulliver's Balnibarbian host who, in contrast to the rest of the Laputan nobility, lives on the land below and administers his estates competently.
* OutsideContextProblem: Gulliver, in Lilliput and Houyhnhnm-Land. Not so much in Brobdingnag (they had dwarves there,
* {{Parody}}: Of the now mostly-forgotten genre of "traveler's tales", of which Daniel Defoe's ''Literature/RobinsonCrusoe'' is the most famous example today.
* PerfectPacifistPeople: [[SubvertedTrope The Houyhnhnms (a race of sapient horses) at first appears to be this trope, until they get the bright idea of driving the Yahoos to extinction via castration.]]
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Gulliver becomes this in Lilliput, in which the inhabitants attempt to use him as a superweapon in their war against their bitter rival Blefuscu.
%%* PlanetOfHats: All the countries Gulliver visits:
%%** In Lilliput, everyone is a minuscule war-monger that believes in cracking boiled eggs on the little-end. Blefuscu is the same, except they believe eggs should be cracked on the ''big''-end.
%%** In Brobdingnag, everyone is a giant, as well as poor and judgmental.
%%** In Laputa, everyone is a KnowNothingKnowItAll; in Brobdingnag everyone is a crackpot inventor; and in Glubdubdrib everyone is a necromancer.
%%** In Houyhnhnm-Land, all Houyhnhnms are [[IntellectualAnimal Intellectual Animals]] (even the servant race), and the Yahoos are AlwaysChaoticEvil ([[FieryRedhead redheads even more so]]).
* PottyEmergency: A strange case occurs in Lilliput. Gulliver awakens after a hard evening of drinking to discover two things: The Palace is on fire (the emergency) and his bladder is full (the potty). So he combines the two and takes a leak on the palace to put out the fire.
* RoyalDecree: The conditions the Lilliputian king gives Gulliver for his freedom.
* SacredScripture: The Lilliputians have "the Blundecral (which is their [[Literature/TheQuran Alcoran]])."
* {{Satire}}: Considered by many people the greatest work of Juvenalian satire in the English language.
* ScienceIsBad: Balnibarbi. Mostly because none of their inventions are practical or even make sense and end just ruining the environment.
* SeriousBusiness: The Lilliputians are at war... over which end of an egg to break open. This was meant to satirize religious disputes over seemingly petty differences like the Doctrine of Transubstantiation, which had caused (and continued to cause) vast amounts of war and bloodshed in Swift's day.
* SignificantAnagram:
** Many critics have pointed out that the Lilliputian capital "Mildendo" is an anagram of "dildo men."
** Swift's description of the Conversational Machine in the third book hints that it is actually a complex cryptogram, which some people since claim they have cracked. This was apparently the reason Swift was so upset when a few letters in his made up words were altered for the original printing.
** "...in the kingdom of [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} Tribnia]], by the natives called [[UsefulNotes/{{London}} Langdon]] ... the bulk of the people consist in a manner wholly of discoverers, witnesses, informers, accusers, prosecutors, evidences, swearers, together with their several subservient and subaltern instruments..."
* SillyReasonForWar: The Little-Endians (Lillput) and the Big-Endians (Blefuscu) are at war over which end one should crack a boiled egg on. Like everything else in the book, it's a political allegory for Protestant-Catholic wars between England and France.
* SocietyMarchesOn: Of a sort. The extensive and insulting portrayal Gulliver gives of medicine in the fourth book seems very strange coming from a surgeon. But in Swift's time, surgery was not considered a branch of medicine. Surgeons were second-tier craftsmen at best, and Gulliver is a ship's surgeon, who tended to be the worst of their profession.
* SoleSurvivor: Gulliver is the only survivor of the shipwreck in the first voyage.
* SterilityPlague: The Houyhnhnms decide the best way of wiping out the Yahoos is to castrate them all. They got the inspiration for this from Gulliver's description of how horses are treated in England (male horses were castrated to break their spirits and control the population).
* StrawVulcan: The Houynhnms, who use logic to dictate everything and look down on one when it forms an emotional bond with Gulliver.
* SuperiorSpecies: The Houyhnhnms are considered this by Gulliver and themselves (the word "Houyhnhnm" in their language even means "perfection of nature").
* ToiletHumor: In addition to all the high-minded satire, the book has plenty of this as well, Gulliver putting out the Lilliputian castle fire by pissing on it, [[FanDisservice the lengthy descriptions of]] [[GagBoobs Brobdingnagian breasts]], Gulliver getting covered in Yahoo feces; Swift likely would have gotten along well with Creator/TreyParkerAndMattStone.
* UnreliableNarrator: Gulliver goes on and on about how the Houyhnhnms are the most magnificent creatures to walk God's green earth, despite their willingness to exterminate other species. Meanwhile, people like his own family and the Portuguese captain who show him nothing but kindness are disgusting, sinful monsters.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The Struldbrugs, who [[AgeWithoutYouth just get more senile and decrepit as they age]].
* YouAreACreditToYourRace: Gulliver considers the Portuguese captain who rescued him as this, as well as an English queen Swift was fond of.
%%* {{Zeerust}}: Laputa.
!!'''The Ted Danson mini-series provides examples of:'''
* AdaptationalVillainy: Dr Bates gets only a cursorial mention in the book; in the mini-series he has Gulliver committed to an insane asylum so that he can marry Gulliver's wife.
* BedlamHouse: The original Bedlam House, no less.
* CompositeCharacter: All of Gulliver's children are replaced a single son named Tom.
** The Brobdingnagian King's role is given to the Queen.
* GenderFlip: The Brobdingnagian king is replaced with the Queen, and Gulliver's Houyhnhnm master is now a mistress.
* HappilyMarried: Gulliver and his wife Mary, as opposed to the novel.