Batman Can Breathe in Space
"Guess those candybutt astronauts didn't have the stones to try it."
Superman: Great Kandor! Batman, your space helmet doesn't cover your head? How can you—?
I'm Batman. And I can breathe in space.
Find yourself in space without an oxygen tank? Not a problem! Breathing in the vacuum of space is just as easy as breathing on Earth, especially if you are a superhero or somehow able to leave the atmosphere under your own power.
May also be related to Super Not-Drowning Skills
and Harmless Freezing
, since breathing while underwater or in a solid block of ice isn't really a big deal either.
In Real Life
, people can theoretically survive in space for a minute or two (only some of it conscious), given medical assistance afterwards. It is actually recommended to not
hold your breath, as the internal pressure will cause your lungs to rupture.
It should also be noted that the Milky Way does have an extremely thin "atmosphere", the interstellar medium, held in place by the gravity of all of the material in the galaxy, but it's far too thin to do a living Earth creature any good (typical densities of the ISM are about 1 atom per cubic centimeter; the air you are breathing is about 10^19 - ten billion billion
times more dense).
Often a form of Art Major Physics
. When characters aren't just hanging out but talking
in the great vacuum, you have Space Is Noisy
. A form of The Needless
. If everyone
can do this, it's probably because Space Is Air
open/close all folders
- Herman Li and Sam Totman of DragonForce on an asteroid in this ad for Capital One. Presumably, they are protected by The Power of Rock.
- A PBS promotion for Sesame Street briefly has Big Bird and a five-year-old girl on the Moon during the Apollo landings with no protection whatsoever.
Anime and Manga
- Everyone in The End of Ends can breathe in space.
- Subverted for drama in My Little Denarians. This trope is explicitly in effect here on Equestria's moon (as seen when everybody banished there by Discorded!Celestia eventually comes back quite alive), but still not on Dresdenverse Earth's, leading to a My God, What Have I Done? moment for Twilight Sparkle after she uses a spell to send some attacking gunmen there to let them "cool off" and only then finds out about the difference.
Films — Animated
- Elegantly averted in Titan A.E., in which Korso and Cale make a magnificently scientifically-accurate "jump" from their damaged and drifting shuttle to the airlock of another ship. They even remember to exhale first, and are treated afterwards for frozen skin and decompression. In the novelization, they even shut their eyes and spray their faces with foam from the fire extinguisher before they make the jump, to protect the delicate tissue there. Hot damn.
- In Treasure Planet, everyone can breathe in space. No explanation; they just... can. Chalk it up to Rule of Cool, since the whole movie treats space like an ocean. Space is called "The Aetherium". And there's all sorts of spaceborne organisms, like Space Whales.
Films — Live-Action
- Reginald Martin (under the pen-name E.C.Elliot) wrote a series of fourteen juvenile SF books featuring protagonist Kemlo and his friends, the "spaceborn". Merely by being born on an orbital space station, they gained the power to "breathe" in space, and needed to wear protective suits to enter an atmosphere.
- In Donald Moffitt's Second Genesis, the "cuddlies" have evolved to survive in space for extended periods. They have adaptations such as extra lungs, nictitating membranes across the eyes, sealable nostrils, and the ability to supersaturate their cells with oxygen like whales. Presumably they also have toughened skin and bodies to prevent the pressure in their own bodies from rupturing its way out.
- In From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne, soon-to-be-shot-into-space adventurer Michael Ardan is asked whether it is not foolish, since there is little if no air on the Moon? "Then I will only breathe on special occasions!" he quips.
- This book was written in 1865. That so much of it was correct is rather eerie.
- In Life The Universe And Everything, the gang was able to stand on a bare asteroid after Slartibartfast extended an SEP field over them, thus making the problem of lack of air "Somebody Else's." Which is pretty damn irresponsible when you think about it...
- Or rather not, as the concept of the SEP field is better summarised "not MY problem".
- Sergei Pavlov's Moon Rainbow series feature some humans who entered into a symbiotic relationship with a (non-sentient) race of living Nanomachines, which apparently could do an instant and reversible matter-energy conversion on the whim, and thus acquired a whole bunch of cool super powers. One of these powers was that they didn't actually need to breathe anymore, as the symbiotes would supply required oxygen directly into the cells through the energy-matter conversion.
But convincing one's own body that it doesn't need to do one of its most important functions was an another matter entirely. One of the main characters used up all his oxygen (it's a long story) and ended up suffering an extremely frustrating and futile desire to breathe... for a good six hours after his last bottle died. Though, he was still new to his powers yet.
- In the Animorphs series, it's revealed that Andalites do not require space suits, instead simply wearing masks with a breathable gas that prevents decompression. It's... considerably less efficient for humans, and merely draws out the process of suffocation in space.
- Spider Robinson's Stardance novels wind up with humanity dividing into air-breathers and space-farers, through the consumption of some reddish gunk found in Titan's atmosphere. The spacers can live quite normally in vacuum with their biological symbiote/suits.
- HP Lovecraft's work features not one, but three alien species, not counting the famed Cthulhu himself, who are capable of flying through space completely naked. Cthulhu, the Byakhee and the Mi-Go may get a pass, since they're explicitly said to be extradimensional beings made of exotic matter, but the Starfish Aliens known as the Elder Things are not. It is explained that they "absorbed certain chemicals" in preparation for their journey through space, though at least on Earth the required knowledge was later lost.
- In the sci-fi series Akiko, this is handwaved hilariously when the eponymous character takes her first trip into space in a roofless shuttle—there's plenty of air in space!
- In John Varley's Eight Worlds books and stories, wherein humanity has been driven from the Earth by enigmatic aliens and is forced to live on the other worlds of the Solar System, humans are often fitted with a portable force-field generator which operates automatically when they walk from pressurised to unpressurised areas. The force-fields merge when brought together so that people can embrace and make love in vacuum. Meanwhile, in the rings of Saturn, the Symbs are humans who live in symbiosis with biological, semi-sentient spacesuits. They spend their entire lives in vacuum, the symbiots providing them with all the oxygen they need and recycling their waste for nutrition via photosynthesis.
- In a novel from Star Trek: The Lost Era, a Neyel transported aboard a ship after being blown out into space isn't quite dead after all; it turns out Neyel have engineered themselves to survive vacuum for a time. As is pointed out, they're not the only race who can survive space; mention is made of the Nasat, a nod to Starfleet Corps of Engineers.
- Averted and played with in the Lensman series. In Gray Lensman Kimball Kinnison breathes space just long enough to close the airlock he was standing in when his spacesuit got punctured, and when he looks at himself afterwards: "Eyes, plenty bloodshot. Nose, bleeding copiously. Ears, bleeding, but not too badly; drums not ruptured, fortunately - he had been able to keep the pressure fairly well equalized. Felt like some internal bleeding, but he could see nothing really serious. He hadn't breathed space long enough to do any permanent damage, he guessed." But then, much later in Children of the Lens, Kinnison undercover as the writer Sybly Whyte produces: "Fools! Did they think that the airlessness of absolute space, the heatlessness of absolute zero, the yieldlessness of absolute neutronium, could stop QADGOP THE MERCOTAN?"
- In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Givin race evolved on a world whose wacky lunar orbits regularly robbed areas of atmosphere. As a result the Givin developed an exoskeleton that doubles as a spacesuit. The Force Did It.
- In Know no Fear, Roboute Guilliman is vented into space and presumed dead. Several chapters later, he reappears none the worse for wear despite being exposed to hard vacuum (or at least the thin edge of Calth's atmosphere) for a significant amount of time. The cover illustration depicts him fighting on the outer hull of a starship in this manner. It helps that he's a Super Soldier to the super-soldiers.
- In Book of the Short Sun, the alien Inhumi are supposedly able to fly unaided and unprotected between planets. It is left as an exercise to the reader to decide whether this is actually possible, even in-universe.
- The novel "Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of Thonboka" by L. Neil Smith, had the Oswaft, aliens who evolved in space and were perfectly happy there, absorbing enough loose atoms in a nebula to grow bigger than aircraft carriers. They could even do hyperspace jumps.
- Peter F. Hamilton's "Fallen Dragon" has some people encounter immense creatures engineered to serve as a kind of galactic library. They orbit red giant stars and live off the radiation and the matter in the solar wind.
- Major Tom in this video for Space Oddity.
- Rammstein in their video for "Amerika", where they appear on the Moon in astronaut suits but without helmets. Justified, since the Moon surface where they perform is revealed In-Universe to be just a set.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin's Spaceman Spiff persona is once seen repairing his spaceship without adequate vacuum protection. This is Artistic License on the part of the character rather than the author.
- Calvin himself breathes in space just fine, such as in the strips where he sneezes himself into orbit, grows too large to stand on the Earth, or flies to Mars with Hobbes on his wagon.
- If the backglass and Astral Finale of Junk Yard are taken into consideration, the player character flies into space with nothing but a fish bowl for oxygen.
- The Match Sequence for The Party Zone shows Captain B. Zarr flying through outer space in his rocket, with the cockpit open and exposing him to vacuum with no ill effects.
- The Rule of Fun/Cool physics of the Dungeons & Dragons setting Spelljammer allow this: there is no oxygen in space, but whenever an object goes into space, it takes an "envelope" of air with it. So everyone can breathe in space, for a minute or handful on their own. The amount of air is proportional to the size of the object, which helps the crew of a huge ship, but not a giant, for example, since it uses proportionally as much air. After a while, the air becomes stale and eventually runs out, though far-traveling ships usually avoid it with air-creating spells or plants. Escape velocity or burning up in the atmosphere aren't problems - if you go up high enough, you end up in space, simple as that. All of this was designed to allow Space Pirates to stand on the decks of their wooden ships... In Space. Incidentally, the way gravity works is even weirder.
- And that's within the solar system containing crystal spheres. Outside, the universe is filled with volatile, gaseous phlogiston. You still have to worry about running out of air, but if you do, breathing phlogiston places living things in suspended animation. People preserved thusly can be revived even millennia later by giving them fresh air, with only a slight chance of death from shock. Putting people in air tight coffins for trips between crystal spheres makes for the ultimate budget travel option!
- Warhammer 40,000 space marines can breathe in space even without their holy Powered Armor. They're also three metres tall Super Soldiers with bullet proof chests and can survive on a healthy diet of concrete and metal, so this doesn't receive much attention.
- Not actually true. They can, however, hold their breath for quite some time, and they do have specific adaptations that can create a hardened layer over the skin as a sort of organic vacuum suit, plus the ability to voluntarily enter a sort of deep coma with a metabolic rate near zero. So they can survive prolonged exposure, but breathing isn't how they do it.
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse features a type of shapeshifting wererats known as the Munchmausen Ratkin who, in addition to ignoring temperatures of absolute zero or burning hot lava, don't suffocate in a vacuum. It's heavily implied that they can do this because they're batshit insane.
- In Mage: The Ascension, mages could breathe in space. Technocracy mages could not, since they were committed to a worldview (!) that included "no air in space". (One sourcebook recommends recruiting any Technocracy mage who can breathe in space, because they're clearly rejecting Technocracy views or they'd die trying this.)
- Vampire: The Requiem notes that vampires technically can breathe in space. Then again, isn't the inability and lack of need to breathe, regardless of environment, one of the key qualities in defining a vampire?
- Another Rule of Cool/Rule of Funny example is Tales From The Floating Vagabond. The owner of the titular bar installed an atmosphere generator. The setting notes that races discover they can breathe in space as soon as the light from the bar's sign reaches them.
- This can be simulated in games that feature superpowers. GURPS can simulate it nicely with enough points. It's even (relatively) cheaper in Mutants & Masterminds, being somewhat in-genre.
- This trope is referenced directly by name in the first level of Lego Batman 3. Specifically, Robin jokingly asks Batman why he needs a spacesuit, having always thought, well, you know.
- During the last level of Binary Boy, both the Boy and a few other humanoid characters can walk around in space without protection just fine (even though the Boy did need a scuba mask when going underwater.)
- Lampshaded and played for laughs in Double Dragon Neon. While on a rocket powered ten floor pagoda, Billy and Jimmy only need to hold their breath to go outside the space ship. During those sections you can visibly see their cheeks are puffed out.
Billy: We'd better hold our breath, this is a hard vacuum.
Jimmy: Good idea, bro!
- The DuckTales NES game has a moon level, yet Scrooge McDuck doesn't get sprites of him in a space suit. Parodied here:
"Wait Uncle Scrooge you need a suit out there! How are you alive? You need heat! Also air!"
- The remake finally explains why Scrooge can do that. He's been chewing oxygen-flavored taffy (Though this doesn't explain how he can survive the extreme cold and lack of air pressure, among other things).
- Duke Nukem waffles on this. In Duke Nukem 3D, Duke can handle the vacuum of space just fine with only a t-shirt and a cigar for defense. In Duke Nukem Forever however, Duke needs to hold his breath to walk on the surface of the moon. Still Beyond the Impossible, but it seems that Duke's spacesuit-grade lungs went the same way as his ability to carry more than two guns at once during his twelve year break. Duke is seen wearing a spacesuit on the postcards that came with the Balls of Steel Edition of Forever (also featured on the walls in a few spots in the casino level.) Presumably Duke didn't want to demasculate the other astronauts when that shot was taken. Space Suit was an planned inventory item that would have activated automatically like the Scuba Gear. In the pre-release 1.0 demo leak, it changes Duke's speed/physics to moon conditions while letting him survive in the vacuum of space. However, only one such vacuum area was built (in the level Dark Side) so the Space Suit was turned into a decorative sprite, and the vacuum area was altered slightly with a forcefield so that it could be played normally. It's still in the Zoo demo level, so its cutting must have been a late one.
- Final Fantasy IV has the party travel to the moon. They can walk around on the moon without needing anything to help them breathe. Though it is a artifical moon that was home to the species Cecil was a part of, so there may be air.
- In Half-Life The aliens that live on Xen before being teleported to Earth all appear to be able to breath as well. Either they can all Breathe in Space, or Xen has some form of atmosphere similar to Earth.
- The atmosphere would have to be similar between Earth and Xen; the Xenians wouldn't be able to survive for very long on Earth if it wasn't.
- In Portal, Chell, seems to get by okay on the moon for a good twenty seconds or so, although this is presumably with all the air from Aperture Science being sucked toward her through the portal she placed up there (plus, in Real Life, death in vacuum is neither guaranteed nor instantaneous, popular portrayals notwithstanding), and she does ultimately pass out once brought back to Earth.
- During the first level of Halo 2, it's possible to push Sergeant Johnson out of an airlock and onto the outer hull of the Cairo space station. He survives, despite wearing only his dress uniform. While some would argue that Johnson is just that badass, it's probably due more to a programming oversight.
- The Kirby series featured many levels or scenes that take place in space, most of them with the little pink hero traveling on the Warp Star. In Kirby Mass Attack, Daroach even lampshades it when talking about a level that takes place on an asteroid: "How can you even breathe in space?" The oddest thing may not even be him surviving, since he's an alien but the fact Kirby is still able to vacuum up everything in sight when there is no air.
- Mass Attack is also where Kirby is too weak to survive underwater anymore but space seems to take less effort.
- Mass Effect:
- In Mass Effect 1, every squad member wears a completely sealed helmet in any remotely hazardous location, including ones without any atmosphere. Mass Effect 2 lets this slide; half the team wears nothing more than a breath mask in hard vacuum (though Zaeed's admittedly covers his entire face). Special mention to Jack, who goes about in her usual Stripperiffic outfit and a breath mask.
- In Mass Effect 3, DLC squadmate Javik doesn't wear as much as an oxygen mask in vacuum. Apparently, Protheans really can breathe in space. This is also the result of certain DLC looks for squaddies - Ashley and James can apparently survive with just a visor or headset.
- Averted in the opening to Mass Effect 2. The Player Character gets spaced and his/her suit punctured, resulting in death as expected.
- In Metroid Prime, not only can Ridley breathe in space, he can fly directly from a space frigate to the surface of the planet it orbits without burning up while entering the planet's atmosphere! Oddly enough, in Metroid Zero Mission he does fly a spaceship to the surface of Zebes.
- The "burn up in the atmosphere" thing is just because of the velocity you hit the atmosphere with. The shuttle, for example, has to deal with the heat because it has to slow down from orbital velocity (which is really friggin' fast, relatively) in order to land. If you had some way of "hovering" above a planet without orbiting, you could descent with relative ease.
- Easily hand waved. At that point Ridley is just as much machine as dragon.
- What isn't so easily handwaved is how Ridley flies from the Ceres Research Station to Zebes in Super Metroid.
- At the end of Persona 3, the main character's Universe Persona allows him to levitate unaided into outer space for the final battle. Then again, he makes the trip from Earth to the core of Nyx's embodiment (the Moon) in just a minute or two from everyone's perspective, so some sort of metaphysical transportation might be involved. Whichever the reason is, it is presumably why he doesn't need a spacesuit.
- Ratchet can survive wearing no protection on baby planets that logically shouldn't hold any atmosphere. He did gain an O2 helmet in the first game and presumably still has it — not that they alter his model to include it in any of the subsequent games. The mask still leaves his upper face and tail exposed to hard vacuum with no ill effects.
- Curiously, in the Gemlik Base level in the first game, Captain Qwark is inexplicably able to breathe and talk in the open vacuum of space when confronting Ratchet, who needed an O2 mask just to transverse the level. This is odd considering Up Your Arsenal had him bragging about how he spent six days clinging to Dr. Nefarious' spaceship, while holding his breath the whole trip.
- In Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet has a helmet with a visor that normally only covers his eyes, but it extends to cover his whole face and a rebreather appears automatically upon Ratchet entering a vacuum, diving underwater, or entering certain toxic atmospheres. There are still some baby planets where the rebreather doesn't activate, but these worlds also tend to have plants and animals that are apparently doing just fine out there, so this trope may still be in effect.
- Plus in the Future games, the O2 mask was changed from a full helmet to a small face mask.
- It varies in the Sonic the Hedgehog games; most stages set in space don't have a problem with breathing, but there are some exceptions, especially any stage where only Super forms are permitted. It may be possible that the other space station-based stages have artificial atmosphere.
- In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic is only exposed to vacuum briefly when either reaching the Death Egg while grabbing onto Robotnik's rocket ship, or leaving the space station as it explodes and falling towards the planet. This naturally shifts the focus for suspension of disbelief from not needing air into surviving re-entry.
- In Sonic 3 & Knuckles, Death Egg Zone Act 2 looks like it takes place outside the eponymous space station, however, the enclosed architecture suggests it's sealed anyway and the background is a huge window. Alternatively, the Death Egg is large and sophisticated enough to have an artificial atmosphere of its own, but fighting a giant robot on the outskirts of a orbital space station is apparently enough of a explanation.
- This game also has a relatively lengthy True Final Boss fight set outside the Death Egg in high orbit, however, it requires Sonic to be in Super or Hyper mode which is invulnerable anyway.
- Super Sonic can still DROWN when he's underwater for too long without breathing in an air bubble. (Although this feature is not present in Sonic the Hedgehog 4) So he has to breathe when he's underwater, but not when he's in space. Hyper Sonic can't drown, though.
- And in Sonic Adventure 2, even though characters can get sucked out of the space station through broken windows, none of them have any trouble breathing in the vacuum when they venture outside.
- Meanwhile, Sonic X ignores this and has Sonic and (non-human) friends in space with no troubles breathing at all.
- Used and averted in Sonic Robo Blast 2. Various parts of Egg Rock Zone involve entering a hard vacuum, and you will run out of air pretty quickly. But then, you finish the zone and get to the Final Boss, and your character can breathe in space just fine.
- While Terrans in Starcraft all wear heavy powered armor that doubles as an environment suit, Zerg and Protoss foot-soldiers seem to have no problems whatsoever operating in the vacuum of space without protective gear. While the manual handwaves this for the Zerg as the result of their having assimilated a spaceborne race in the backstory, there's no explanation for why the Protoss can breathe in space. They may not need to as they don't have any recognizable mouth or nostrils through which to breathe anyway.
- A close look at the victory screen when playing as Protoss reveals what appears to be a respirator, as well. Their shields may also play a part.
- It's since been shown that the Protoss are photosynthetic, they only need light to survive.
- In the Space battles in Star Wars Battlefront 2, there exists a glitch where you can exit a capital ship without a fighter, and (after some frustration) walk around on top of it. Gravity works as normal, and you don't take any damage. It is averted, however, on Polis Massa, as you take steady damage outside of the facility (unless you are playing a droid). This however triggers Fridge Logic when one wonders why the sealed clone and stormtrooper armor fails to protect its wearers.
- Super Mario Bros. series
- In Super Mario Land 2, Mario needed a spacesuit.
- In Super Mario Galaxy, the issue is never brought up and Mario can just breathe in space as if it were filled with air. Then again, there is a conspicuous "woosh" sound when he flies from planet to planet; maybe that space is filled with air...
- Strangely averted in Super Paper Mario, where Tippi will insist that you need to get a "space helmet" (Which is just an empty goldfish bowl) before you can start chapter 4 proper. You're then given the option to be a wise guy by refusing to put it on, with an appropriate result.
- And in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, he didn't need anything to breathe, either on the moon or in transit to it. Even though travel consisted of being shot from a cannon. Goombella realizes and lampshades this if you ask her about the moonbase's entryway. It's because paper doesn't need oxygen.
- Mario Sports Mix gave us the star ship. Not only is it in space, but also right next to the sun and in the middle of a meteor shower. And yet no one suffers negative effects from it. You are even rewarded for catching the meteors.
- In Mario Kart 8, the background Toads on Rainbow Road need spacesuits, but the racers don't.
- The PS2 Rogue Galaxy, like Spelljammer, takes Rule of Cool and runs with it for the Space Pirate concept.
- Super Robot Wars series
- According to Mazinger Z, the Boss Borot has an open-air cockpit. But when Mazinger Z appears in Super Robot Wars, the Boss Borot can be deployed in space just fine without apparent modifications (it will perform like crap due to having a terrible rating for space combat, but in both Mazinger Z and Super Robot Wars the Boss Borot is a Joke Character anyways). This actually has a Justification: any mech (not just Borot) that isn't airtight simply has the pilot wear a spacesuit.
- Also, Rom Stoll can talk in space as he does his lectures. However, he's a robot.
- Whenever Yoko uses her sniper rifle attack of the Yoko M Tank on outer space terrain in Super Robot Wars Z2.
- La Tale has several dungeons that take place both inside and outside a space station. The only effect it has on you is an enhanced jumping ability.
- Touhou: Anyone can breathe in space... as long as it's the fantasy version. If you cross the border of the fantastic and the real when you're on the moon, you die.
- The true final stage of Imperishable Night takes place halfway between Earth and Moon. One of the heroines actually lampshades it.
- In Silent Sinner in Blue, Sakuya opens a window while inside a flying spaceship.
- During Tenshi's Last Spell in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, you are fighting on top of stone pillars reaching above the atmosphere.
- Tumble Pop has the last two levels set in outer space and on the Moon, but the sprite of the main characters remains the same.
- In World of Warcraft, you can fly over the Twisting Nether while in Outland, which given Outland's broken nature, would be an area of questionable atmosphere. You can also fly to the flight ceiling with no worries about the air running thin. This is a fantasy world, meaning the explanation is just a simple hand wave away.
- You could argue that (ignoring game mechanics) the reason your character stops at the sky box is because the air's gotten too thin to go any higher comfortably - especially since the sky box isn't that far up.
- You also can only do that in specific locations, say, between two of the outstanding peninsula and some of the floating islands. Trying to wing off in a random direction for long enough will subject you to 'Fatigue,' which will eventually kill you. This could be the game mechanic equivalent of running out of oxygen.
- Its also worth pointing out that the Twisting Nether isn't space. Space in the Warcraft universe is called The Great Dark. The Twisting Nether is kind of like hyperspace, mixed with hell. Point being, it's magic.
- Prior to the Dev Team declaring only those things to be canon that are in-game, it was canon that the Twisting Nether was a dimension in which thoughts became reality and the laws of physics were irrelevant. Outland was yanked into the Twisting Nether by the events of Warcraft II.
- Xenosaga has chaos able to survive in space (for an unspecified amount of time) and talk too. Probably Justified, as he's the personification of Anima and (the power behind) Jesus.
- In the Felix the Cat Licensed Game for the NES, there is a level where you must travel through space. This in fact averts this trope—your magic gives you a spaceship, but losing your magic makes you die instantly, as does your magic timing out (so you have to keep on refilling your magic meter). Makes for a surprisingly difficult level.
- The Super Smash Bros. series plays this straight with the Star Fox stages. Brawl actually parodies this with one of Fox's Codec conversations, where Slippy gives this trope quite the Lampshade Hanging. You can hear more about it right here.
- Space Channel 5 is inconsistent with this one. Some levels show Ulala in outer space while wearing a full spacesuit, but at the end of the game she leads a parade through hard vacuum without even an oxygen supply.
- Starkiller in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. He flees the planet Kamino in Darth Vader's starfighter, the TIE Advanced x1. Every official schematic of said vehicle asserts that it has no life support system (Like every other part of the TIE line, hence why the TIE Pilots wear those costumes).
- The reason of which is another, more logical example in the SWU at large. Darth Vader, thanks to his "armor" being a glorified life-support system, is essentially always in a space suit. Early drafts of a A New Hope even had him fly through space (The Force?).
- Putt-Putt and Pep can breathe in space perfectly well in Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon. Strangely, Pep does wear a helmet at first, but loses it as soon as they land on the moon.
- Breathing in space is no problem for the deities of Asura's Wrath. Same with The Gohma, or (Evil) Ryu and Akuma in the DLC. Their loose clothing flaps in Dramatic Wind with no care for the vacuum of space.
- In Kid Icarus: Uprising, everyone can breathe in space with no problem. Then again, that's probably the least unrealistic (and most consistent) aspect of space in that game, plus we don't see any mortals from Earth up there, just demons, space pirates, and an angel or two. Pit has to hold his breath underwater though.
- Lampshaded in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten: During the penultimate chapter, the protagonists go to the moon to stop the Big Bad's plans of destroying the world. Fuka, the only human in the group, immediately notices that she can breathe normally. Fenrich explains that angels and demons don't need oxygen, neither does Fuka, because she's technically dead.
- While all units in MechWarrior Living Legends are air-tight and have closed life support systems, nothing particularly bad happens to the pilot of a BattleMech or a Battlearmor when their cockpit is breached and exposed to the elements - even on a map like Extremity or Inferno
- They can't exactly breathe in space, but according to the X-Universe's X-Encyclopedia the Paranid can survive unprotected in hard vacuum for about forty minutes on average.
- Lampshaded in Lunar Defense Force, a fangame in which Shroobs are about to invade Equestria and Princess Luna fights them on the moon.
Shroob number whatever: Am I the only one who can't breathe?
- The ending of Super Heroine Chronicle has both Original Generation girls Noel Kazamatsuri and Meru Ransheru to breathe and talk in space. They also stop a space ship that somehow is attracted to Earth's gravity when said space ship is nowhere near Earth.
- Shortpacked! is the Trope Namer ("How would he know? Has he tried?"). More recent strips show that, while Bruce Wayne can breathe in space, Dick Grayson can't. One Bigger Than Cheeses comic lampshades this with the title "Breathing in space doesn't help on the sun"—the comic itself is about what would really happen in a fight between Batman and Superman. Also, neither can The Flash... oops!
- Parodied in Batman and Sons, in "Mr. BatMom"◊.
- In Schlock Mercenary, the F'sherl-Ganni genetically modified themselves to let them survive in space for brief periods of time, while carbosilicate amorphs don't breathe in any normal sense (though they do have to protect their eyes from vacuum damage - by swallowing them). Trope namer referenced almost to the letter here, with Shortpacked! mentioned in that strip's note.
- Gunnerkrigg Court - In-universe example: Dr Disaster's simulation. Antimony notes that she has a lot more fun when she just doesn't think about it.
- Sluggy Freelance:
- Aylee's species doesn't need to breathe and was originally found in the vacuum of space. When she forgets that humans do need to breathe, Hilarity Ensues.
- Lodoze, a parody of Lobo, can apparently breathe in space because he's so tough. (Although, as Bun-bun puts it shortly before making short work of him, it's easy to be "tough" when you're completely invulnerable.)
- Terinu - Terinu freaks his companions when he demonstrates this ability in an early issue of the comic. All There in the Manual explains that since his race was designed to be used as power sources on ships, they were designed with extreme survival measures in mind, with special mucous filling their lungs and nasal passages and forming a transparent shell over their eyes to prevent damage, and using their Bion abilities to provide energy to their bodies in lieu of blood oxygen.
- In A Miracle of Science, Captain Quevillion can breathe in space thanks to Sufficiently Advanced technology that holds a layer of air around her body. Fairly consistent technobabble is offered to justify this.
- Inverted in this Freefall strip, where Helix the robot learns why he can't survive in vacuum.
- Eddie of Emergency Exit is playing a tabletop rpg, and he wants to play as an astronaut who can breathe in space like Batman.
- Jeff lampshades the Super Mario Galaxy example and Hal agrees, but Bowser Jr. tells him to shut up in episode 8 of Bowser's Kingdom.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal shows us that Peter Pan is unrealistic. Despite them still being able to fly in the comic.
- Turns out that Mab from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures can breathe on the moon — what with the Fae being a race of Reality Warpers who run on Rule of Crazy, it's not really that surprising. The really interesting part here is that Pyroduck (who is a dragon) is wearing a spacesuit, which indicates that dragons (who are otherwise considered nearly as powerful as the Fae) CAN'T breathe in space. And also that Furrae apparently has some sort of space-program.
- The titular character of Vexxarr frequently makes space walks (or whatever his species does) with no more protection than a sweater. Apparently Bleen only need to breathe once a week or so, like eating. There's also the "rock crabs" who live in space and their silicoid predators.
- The president from the Galaga comic can breathe in space due to wizardry. He's also immune to Explosive Decompression.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse:
- Subverted by Vegetto, Bra, and Gohan, who have to hold their breaths and use their ki to protect themselves from the vacuum of space. Played straight by Majin Buu.
- Completely averted by Krillin in the Cell special. Gross.
- Hadriex apparently can breath and talk in space like it ain't nothing. As seen in this video.
- It turns out that Tennyo from the Whateley Universe can fly through space, because she just doesn't need to breathe. Or other stuff. And, based on her DNA, she's not anything close to human.
- While there are several heroes and villains in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe who are immune to all the problems usually involved with vacuum exposure (usually by way of being otherwise invulnerable), nearly all of them still need to breathe (they use some form of breathing apparatus when they do go into space). The ones who don't need to breathe are either Energy Beings, or else are The Shield (whose immunity to injury includes an immunity to suffocation).
- Lampshaded at the very end of this Random Crap with Homestar Runner video:
- In Bowser's Kingdom episode 8, Jeff, Hal, and the rest of the Koopa Troop are seen in outer space. Jeff even questions how they're alive in space.
- The Adventures of Captain Bucky and his Space Marshals, in Outer Space. The intrepid space adventurers put on their Oxygen Rebreathing Atmospheric Lung helmets, but no spacesuits so the sexy legs and bare arms of The Squadette are still uncovered as they go moonwalking.
- Several Looney Tunes shorts (primarily in the The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Show / The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show show the characters doing this, particularly Bugs Bunny in the Marvin the Martian Episodes, and Daffy Duck as Duck Dodgers. Even Porky Pig and Sylvester could survive in space after a flying saucer takes them into space on top of the spacecraft, having cut out underneath their campsite.
- This is done in the Out of the Inkwell cartoon "A Trip to Mars", where both Max Fleischer and Koko fly off to the moon, with no oxygen masks.
- The Magic School Bus does this in a holiday episode, where Arnold takes off his space helmet on Pluto. The result? His head turns to ice, and the audience gets nightmares. However, the very next shot is of him sitting in the classroom, blowing his nose due to a serious cold he got. Because that's the worst thing that ever happened from taking off your helmet on Pluto.
- Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows us that the mouse can breathe in space. Batman was SO 1939...
- Space Ghost
Michael Norman: You're not sure how you became a ghost, are you really a ghost, are you sort of making this up as you go along?
Zorak: (stifles a laugh)
Space Ghost: I... uhh... what, you think I'm lying?
Michael Norman: Do you require oxygen?
Space Ghost: Um... no.
Michael Norman: Well, then, I suppose you're not a living thing.
Space Ghost: Um... Oh! I mean, yes! I do! I do require oxygen!
Michael Norman: (sighs)
Space Ghost: Um, I mean, no I don't?
(cut to commercial)
- Space Ghost's sidekicks Jan, Jace and Blip can also breathe in space with no problems. So can most of the alien opponents they encounter.
- The kids in Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius pulled this off.
- Ben 10
"What, how are we even breathing?"
"An excellent question, but not even remotely the point."
- Ben 10 also features several alien species which can survive just fine in space, one of which Ben transformed into in order to continue fighting.
- In fact, it appears to be that everything can breathe in space except humans, since every time he's been in space his alien forms have been able to breathe.
- Averted in more recent episodes: Ultimate Spidermonkey was unable to breathe in the vacuum of space.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Ben 10: Omniverse, where after boarding a derelict spaceship Ben takes off his helmet without bothering to check whether there's still atmosphere. His new partner Rook asks how he knew it would be okay, and Ben just responds that it's never been a problem in the past.
- Plo Koon in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Even though he has a mask, it's actually an air filter rather then a breathing device. It's explained in supplementary materials as a property of his thick Kel Dor skin. Not that weird, really, considering there are other species in the Star Wars Expanded Universe that survive in vacuum through similar means (like the Givin, to name one). Curiously, Koon explains in the episode that he will be able to "endure the pressure for a short time," despite the fact that, in space, it is the LACK of pressure that he would need to endure. (Maybe he was referring to his internal pressure?)
- In the DuckTales episode "Where No Duck Has Gone Before", Launchpad accidentally dumps himself into outer space when he opens the wrong door. Not only can he breathe, but he can also talk.
- ThunderCats don't bother about breathing gear either when they venture into space. And they don't even bother handwaving it... suppose it could have to do with their magic/tech catsuits?
- One humor fic had fun with this, with Jaga, during his long sojourn piloting the ship all alone, becomes suicidal and throws open an airlock... only to be flummoxed by discovering that ThunderCats can apparently breathe in space. (Tigra makes an editorial comment about how he hadn't noticed before, but that they can and it's really weird.)
- Not even just the cats. Mandora may have been a gynoid, but Captain Bragg and his circus, and when he hauls the Lunattacks and Mutants to Exile Island (an asteroid with its own problems).
- In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Bad Day On The Moon", Sam and Max are able to breathe on the moon (which has no atmosphere) without special equipment, Max shrugs it off by saying "I guess those prissy paranoid astronauts didn't have the spine to try it." Given that the characters reach the moon by driving there in a 1960 Desoto convertible, this is not that surprising.
- The episode was adapted from the comic of the same name, where the line is "those candy-butt astronauts didn't have the stones to try it."
- The ability to breathe on the moon isn't even handwaved for the game Bright Side of the Moon, which provides the page image.
- League of Super Evil: Skullosus tangles with a military guy over a cold ray, succeeds, and retreats to his space station. Shortly thereafter, the military guy, with no space-suit, pops up in the base. He got there by the helicopter hovering just outside the window, and Skullousus incredulously points out that should be impossible:
"Helicopters in space? How does that even work?!"
"No time to quibble over logic!"
- Starfire in the Teen Titans animated series is explicitly stated to be able to survive the conditions of space. In the comics back in the 80s, it was explained that her species breathes nitrogen, which at the time was believed to be highly prevalent in space. It was recently retconned to hydrogen which is present in space, but considering how thinly it is spread... And the fact that hydrogen is a fuel, not an oxidizer. Nitrogen at least is a weak oxidizing agent, but hydrogen is a reducing agent, meaning that a hydrogen metabolism would use hydrogen in place of FOOD, not oxygen.
- Catscratch has the cats doing this in the premiere. Given that Doug TenNapel wrote it, you shouldn't be surprised.
- The Bugs from Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles can walk sans spacesuits across the surface of Pluto, an asteroid, a steaming alien jungle, the deserts of a methane planet, the ocean floor off Hawaii, and the shore of same with equal ease.
- The ghosts in Danny Phantom don't seem to need to breathe, both Danny and Vlad in ghost form flies around in outer space without any problem. Danny and Vlad did wear a spacesuit helmet, though the latter survived the lack of air just fine without one—without the rest of the suit it would have been pretty useless. They are half-ghosts.
- In the DCAU (Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League) there is a general consensus that even metahumans can't breathe without oxygen — even Superman uses a Space suit or at least breathing gear. There are, however, a few exceptions.
- Batman has snuck onto the Watchtower without the use of teleporters or shuttles, when it was in orbit.
- Lobo rides a rocket motorcycle through space without life support. He can also talk in space unaided, something no-one else in the DCAU can do.
- Averted in another JLU episode, where Superman breaks out of the Watchtower and flies into space to stop the Watchtower's hijacked railgun from firing on CADMUS and Superman is pretty weakened and beat up afterwards. Most likely not actually averted, as he seemed just fine until the gigantic fusion beam cannon fired about 10 feet in front of him.
- During the episode "The Return", a wave of superheroes attempts to stop Amazo before he enters orbit. Of them, only Superman needed special gear. Green Lantern gets a pass because his ring generates life support. S.T.R.I.P.E. does wear a suit of Powered Armor, so it's probably self-contained. Captain Atom is composed of pure energy and doesn't need to breathe. Orion's flight-rig can generate atmosphere. Starman isn't human. The only weird one in that mix was Dr. Light, who somehow copied GL's trick.
- An especially funny moment in Superman: The Animated Series has Bizarro flying into space only to begin suffocating a few hundred kilometres out, forgetting that Bizarro needs oxygen badly.
- The rule appears to have been revoked for Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (which is near enough to a DCAU story that it fits here), as Superman is shown in the first scenes flying unaided in space. Although here Superman is voiced by Mark Harmon, and he can do anything Batman can.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, during the first episode, Batman is shown occasionally in space without breathing gear. Plus, the breathing gear he gets is just a plastic covering of the mouth hole in his suit. Then again, with that hole plugged, the suit covered his entire body. Being that this was a heavily gadget-laden Batman, perhaps the suit was self-contained?
- Young Justice followed JLU's lead by showing that Superman and Captain Marvel needed oxygen masks to breathe in space. Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner didn't need masks, but were shown protected by the aura their power rings generated.
- People breathing is space is one of the less bizarre aspects of how space works in SilverHawks. SilverHawks and ThunderCats use most of the same wonky rules for space, being by the same creators. There's air, gravity, and in the case of SilverHawks, night and day by virtue of switching on a gigantic light on a schedule. Ironic, as the show pretends to educate children about astronomy and space facts. Granted, the SilverHawks are explicitly stated to be full-conversion cyborgs and Limbo to be an Alternate Universe. God only knows what the rules are there.
- Fireball XL 5. Need to breathe in space? Take an oxygen pill. No spacesuit necessary. Lasts for hours.
- She Ra Princess Of Power - Averted but later subverted in the episode "Horde Prime Takes a Holiday". She-Ra climbs an unbreakable grappling hook (that He-Man pulled out of his pants... yeah...) to Horde Prime's spaceship. Once she gets to the upper atmosphere she remarks that she's having a hard time breathing, so she turns her sword into a space helmet (don't ask, it's She-Ra). She continues the trip to the spaceship with nothing but a space helmet and her skimpy outfit. Later on though she takes the helmet off to turn it back into a sword and cut the rope.
- Played straight in other episodes, one of which began with She-Ra and Swift Wind taking a leisurely flight through space without a care and another had He-Man talking and breathing with no trouble, despite being in the space between galaxies. It could be justified that they were transformed into their super-powered alter-egos.
- He-Man himself can breathe in space in The New Adventures of He-Man. However, the series consistently shows that, even if He-Man can breathe in space, the Galactic Guardians need at least a minimal space gear. It's never outright stated, though.
- The Fairly OddParents
- In one episode, the main characters were floating in space with no suit and breathing. When Timmy asked how this was possible, he was told this was a TV Show. Justified, as they were in a Show Within a Show based on Space Ghost.
- Cosmo takes Timmy to "the planet of Almost Enough Atmosphere." Timmy and Wanda suffocate, while Cosmo's too stupid to realize he would.
- In The Powerpuff Girls, the girls frequently end up in space for one reason or another, and have no trouble breathing, talking, shouting, or, in The Movie, hearing screams and gasps from the Earth while on an asteroid. Depending on the Writer: in one episode they did have spacesuits on.
- Used frequently in Super Friends. Actually, usually only Superman went into space without breathing equipment. Nonetheless, the other Super-Friends were able to survive with just fishbowl helmets. Oh, and Space was Noisy.
- While Futurama generally averts this, only the robotic Bender not requiring a space suit, the "talking in space" issue is not averted. Then again, in a series where vessels can easily travel between galaxies despite not travelling faster than light (because the speed of light was increased) and the Planet Express ship specifically travels by moving the universe around it, this isn't that unusual. In a few episodes it's played straight, though. In Into The Wild Green Yonder the Planet Express ship crashes into a space station through a massive glass window. When it backs up and reverse out, there's nothing holding the air in place.
- This happens to Batman himself in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. After the destruction of the Kryptonite meteor, Batman is trapped in what can only be described as a small airplane for several minutes in space, while Superman beats up the President. Finally, Superman gets around to rescuing his best friend, who is unconscious, but still alive.
- Yogi's Space Race is just one of countless examples, but Huckleberry Hound actually revels in this. He can be found on the top of his and Quack-Up's racer relaxing and trying to get a tan (Huck even mentions this in the first episode, saying that since they'll be passing "the Sun", that he wanted to take the opportunity)!
- X-Men - The X-Men travel to Asteroid M for The Climax of Pryde of the X-Men.
- The Herculoids. Zandor and Zok, while Zok was carrying Zandor to another planet in the episode "Sarko the Arkman".
- In an episode of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, one of the Joes improvises a spacesuit out of a glass jar, some plastic trash bags, rubber bands, and determination.
- Completely and utterly subverted in South Park. Both Willzyx (episode: "Free Willzyx") and Tom Cruise (episode: "201") are lying dead on the Moon, having long since asphyxiated. It's a surprise Kenny hasn't died this way yet.
- The very first episode of Biker Mice from Mars had this trope. When the mice are being pursued by Plutarkians, Vinnie gets up and opens a door on the side of their spacecraft and leans out to fire a bazooka at the Plutarkian ship. And it's quite clear that there's no airlock or anything like that.
- In Transformers, it's kinda messy to sort it out. On one hand, Cybertron clearly has an atmosphere, because we see a huge fire erupt in the pilot, space-traveling humans have no trouble breathing there, and some Decepticons are able to control the weather by creating acid rains. However, only one episode, War Dawn, ever shows the presence of this atmosphere visibly, indicating that either the writers weren't communicating very well with the animators (quite possible, given that the writers were American and the animation was outsourced to South Korea) or the audience was simply treated to a disproportionate number of night shots (also quite possible, given that Cybertron became a rogue planet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_planet) in the aftermath of The Ultimate Doom).
- Some people might complain that the acid rain shown in "Divide and Conquer" is harmful to Transformers but harmless to humans. However, acid rain is a mix of EXTREMELY dilute nitric and sulfuric acids, and human skin is pretty effective at resisting weak or dilute acids. This is why humans can walk around in acid rain and not suffer anything worse than mild eye irritation. Delicate electronic circuitry is not so robust, and generally doesn't react well to rain of any kind, acidic or otherwise.
- A shot from one of the badly animated season 3 episodes showed Spike (a normal human) floating through space for a short while without any gear.
- Extends to Transformers Animated, too. When Captain Fanzone is teleported to Cybertron, he can get by just fine.
- In Transformers Prime, Cybertron is stated to have an atmosphere toxic to organics (this may or may not be another result of the war). Jack needs to wear a spacesuit for his trip there, and the Decepticons later threaten to expose all three human kids to it.
- in Tom and Jerry, Tom shows this ability in a few cartoons. This is a show where he can also jet through the air and come apart like a multistage rocket.
- Phineas and Ferb tends to flip-flop depending on the situation. In "Rollercoaster", the rollercoaster car accidently flies into space, passes over a satellite, and is ablaze during reentry, but the kids show no discomfort from lack of air, and Phineas casually remarks that they should've charged a higher admission. Conversely, in "Out To Launch", everyone is wearing space suits whenever they're outside safe environments. (The Milk Shake Bar asteroid explicitly has an Earth-like atmosphere, despite its size.) Also, in "Unfair Science Fair Redux", Candace has no problem hanging out on Mars in only her regular casualwear. Well, no problem with the atmosphere, at least. The rather clingy martians who want her to stay with them are a different issue.
- The New Adventures of Superman episodes.
- "Prehistoric Pterodactyls". The title creatures breathe just fine while Superman was taking them unprotected through space to another planet.
- "The Robot of Riga". Superman carries Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane through space unprotected while returning them to Earth from the planet Riga. The odd thing is that the episode had already established that the Rigans had spaceships (that's how Jimmy and Lois reached Riga in the first place), so it could have shown him taking them back in one.
- On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Beezy manages to climb to Miseryville's moon and sculpts it into a heart without the need of any kind of gear. Oddly enough, Jimmy and Lucius needed suits in an earlier episode.
- On an early episode of The Venture Bros. Brock Sampson got sucked into the vacuum of space for a good 10 minutes before he was rescued. He survives since he's just. That. BADASS!
- The Simpsons
- Mocked relentlessly while they watch an old black and white sci-fi movie. "Space air, leaking in!" "Put on your space breathing goggles, everyone!"
- Discussed in "Pokey Mom." While Homer is recovering from a back injury from being gored at the prison rodeo, he talks to the warden about a prisoner's painting of a unicorn in space.
He painted a unicorn in outer space! So I'm askin' you, what's he breathin'?! Homer:
There's no air in space! Homer: There's an air in space museum
- In Megas XLR, the protagonists must be able to breathe in space, because there's no way that car-head is air-tight.
- The friends of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! can breathe in space without incident.
- Practically everyone in Lavender Castle is able to breath in space.
- Invoked and lampshaded in íMucha Lucha!. One episode had the protagonists travelling to Mars, wearing nothing but their leotards:
Ricochet: So, that whole "no air" thing?
Buena Girl: Don't even go there.
- Played straight in Legion of Super Heroes; possibly forgivable due to the series taking place in the 30th Century and there is plenty of advanced technology available.
- Torq from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command does this. And talks, too. And rides a rocket bike through space. Because he's a shameless Expy of Lobo (In a Disney Channel show!), down to being voiced by Brad Garrett.
- Wander over Yonder constantly zigzags this trope. In most instances, the characters are just as fine in outer space as they are in a breathable atmosphere. Other times, they're perfectly okay provided they hold their breath or are in a contained area (such as a bubble or a spaceship). A few times however, the characters do show halfway realistic effects to being out in space, yet they're perfectly fine when standing on an asteroid or a small planet which shouldn't have any atmospheres to speak of.
- Wallace & Gromit can breathe just fine on the moon in "A Grand Day Out". They don't exhibit weightlessness in outer space either. A ball Wallace kicks into the air strangely does though.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy typically plays this straight, but in "Wishbones" Rule of Funny dictates that during Skarr's wish the statue of himself rising out of the ground under him extends in height until it reaches outside Earth's atmosphere, after which he suffocates and suffers Explosive Decompression.
- Young Samson & Goliath episode "Moon Rendezvous". Kunev Khan flies his rocket ship to the Moon with the title characters as stowaways. After arriving, Kunev Khan, Samson and Goliath cheerfully walk around in the Moon's near-vacuum with no side effects at all. And Samson and Goliath's super powers don't explain it: they exposed themselves to the non-existent atmosphere before they changed to their super-powered forms.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy has the three main characters launched into space twice. The only problem they experience is the height.