open/close all folders
- The cavemen from the GEICO commercials, who are insulted by the company's slogan "So easy a caveman can do it", and even more with the excuse that they did not know cavemen still existed. Which is a baldfaced lie, since the first ad had the caveman being offended actually the boom operator at the shoot.
Anime & Manga
- Baki the Grappler has Pickle. For a caveman, he is pretty Bishounen, though. Not hairy at all, after stealing some clothes he can pass for a common human. A 8 feet tall common human with fangs and claw-like nails.
- The titular character from the Archie's Weird Mysteries special "The Archies in Jugman". He was unfrozen when a geothermal heating system was installed in Riverdale High School.
- The DCU
- Anthro was frozen in a block of ice in Tales of the Unexpected, and thawed gradually. As it turns out, he speaks only French. Of course. (This is contradicted by Final Crisis, where he becomes an old man and dies in his original time period. Of course, the Dr Thirteen story in TotE was so meta, it's hard to imagine it as proper canon.)
- Another unfrozen caveman, Java, is the main Mook for Corrupt Corporate Executive Simon Stagg, a regular thorn in the side of Metamorpho.
- The immortal Vandal Savage, much more sophisticated and urbane than pretty much anyone else on this page (he's become quite the gentleman and genius in his thousands of years), but still rather hairy and still might kill you with his bare hands. And then eat you.
- Gnaark, introduced in a time travel story in Teen Titans #38, and later a member of Titans West.
- In 1959, Bill Finger wrote "The Caveman from Krypton" in Worlds Finest (Vol. 1, #102) about a Kyptonian caveman who was frozen in molten lava(!) and was blasted to Earth when Krypton exploded. Initially brutal, he began to warm up to Superman and Batman but died in the end of the story.
- The primarily Alpha Flight villain, the Master of the World, was a tribal hunter gatherer in prehistoric North America before being experimented on by the Plodex
- Taras Vol, a one issue character from an issue of Cable, was an immortal caveman diner owner.
- Ogú, a caveman (or "Golagola", which is how he and his people identify) who often accompanies the present-day boy Mampato in the latter's adventures through time and space. A variation, in that he still lives in his original time period, with Mampato coming to pick him up, and that he's happy to go with his best friend (especially since the adventures often involve fighting).
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe: The Danish comics had a recurring female caveman who was brought into the present by Donald and his nephews. Of course, she had super strength—which got her into a lot of trouble, with people blaming Donald for her actions.
- Rare female example: Tahra in Bikini Cavegirl is transported to the future by mistake.
- The earliest in film is probably from 1960's Dinosaurus!.
- The eponymous caveman from the B-Movie Eegah!. Unlike the others, he's extraordinarily long-lived and the Last of His Kind.
- In Encino Man, a caveman is discovered frozen in a block of ice in Californian teenager Dave's backyard while he and a friend, Stoney, are digging a swimming pool. The heater thaws the ice while they're at school. Stoney and Dave find out that he's made a mess of the house, so they dress and clean him up. They bring him to school as a foreign exchange student (Linkavitch Chomofsky, aka Link), where he becomes popular. At the end of the movie, a cavewoman, Link's mate, is found taking a bath at Dave's house.
- This was followed up in the Made-for-TV Movie sequel, Encino Woman.
- Charlie, of the unfrozen type, in the film Iceman. Unlike most examples here, the results are portrayed fairly realistically.
- Subverted in Luggage Of The Gods!: A group of cavemen live in the mountainous area of South America, separate from our world around them. They find fallen airplane luggage and their economy capsizes.
- Discussed and subverted in The Man from Earth, in which the main character is an immortal caveman who, having changed with the times, talks and acts like everyone else. He's actually only about 14,000 years old and from a nomad culture, so "caveman" is a bit of a stretch.
- Another one is the Italian film "Mia moglie è una bestia" ("My Wife's a Beast"), where a guy finds a beautiful frozen cavewoman, and re-animates her, believing her to be one of the guests at the costume party he attended before.
- Night at the Museum: The people and animals in the museum exhibits come alive every night, among them some Neanderthals.
- Isaac Asimov's short story "The Ugly Little Boy" featured a caveman child who came to our time thanks to time travel experiments done by a research organization.
- "The Resurrection of Jimber Jaw", a short story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, features an unfrozen caveman with politically uncorrect views.
- Another Burroughs' example is The Eternal Lover (a.k.a. The Eternal Savage and Sweetheart Primeval). A cliff-dwelling warrior of 100,000 years ago, Nu, is magically transported to the present, falls in love with Victoria Custer of Beatrice, Nebraska, the reincarnation of his lost lover Nat-ul, and the two are transported back to the Stone Age.
- One of the spin-off Doctor Who novels involves a time-misplaced Neanderthal. The Doctor and Rose abandon Jack Harkness with him in Essex to teach him how to live in the present while they go to have adventures in his time. He ends up marrying a girl who's considered ugly by human standards and living happily ever after.
- Though set on a future alien planet rather than contemporary Earth, Riverworld uses elements of this trope when a group of people from various time periods all awaken together. A single caveman is among them, and his behavior and interactions with the later-era humans is in accordance with this trope.
- In John Darnton's Neanderthal, there are two Asian Neanderthal tribes—a cannibalistic one and a peaceful one.
- Mark Canter's Ember For The Sun: A pregnant Neanderthal woman is unfrozen. Instead of thawing her, the scientist frees the embryo and implants it into a modern woman. In an interesting use of the trope, the surrogate mother then gives birth to Ember Ozette, a born and raised modern-day Neanderthal.
- R. A. Lafferty had the recurring character of Austro, a genius Australopithecus.
- Joseph, one of the immortal protagonists of The Company Novels started life as a caveman (in fact, his father was responsible for some of the famous cave paintings). Also, the Company has some immortal neanderthals on staff who can't do public work because of their appearances.
- "The Gnarly Man" by L. Sprague de Camp is about a Neanderthal named Shining Hawk whose aging process was frozen when he was struck by lightning early in his life. He has survived by his wits on the periphery of human society since the extinction of his own kind, using a succession of false identities and getting by as a blacksmith or in menial professions like his present one; appearing as as an 'ape man' in a travelling freak show. He has been a witness to much of history from the margins, making little personal impact on it. He's also frustrating as hell to the scientists trying to get information from him, both cause he's deliberately tried to be low-key and stay away from important/influential people (he mentions at one point the only King he ever even personally saw was Charlemagne, from a distance when he was addressing a crowd) and because every conversation about history goes like "Yeah, that was in the 13th century. No, wait, maybe it was the 11th. I remember all the bystanders had beards, so it wasn't the 12th..."
- In one of the Scooby-Doo Mysteries novels, Scooby-Doo and the Caveman, a caveman steals a professional figure skater's trademark silver skate.
- Steven Erikson's satirical novella Revolvo has a neanderthal running around in a contemporary Canadian city. His presence riffs on the (now proven) theory that early humans interbred with neanderthals leading to a certain amount of neanderthal DNA in some modern humans. In this particular individual, the buried DNA has come to the fore, causing him to think and behave like a neanderthal. Since it's a satire, what he ends up doing is hunting and killing vegetarians and vegans because they smell like prey to him.
- Alley Oop from The Goblin Reservation was brought to the future twenty years before the novel events. He's a bit slow in adapting to some cultural aspects, but is very intelligent. He is also prone to Tall Tales when it comes to his time.
Live Action Television
- Doctor Who: Seven and Ace confront a talkative, very polite Neanderthal named Nimrod used as a butler in the memorable episode "Ghost Light".
- Horrible Histories has fun with this: Stone Age Master Chef.
- The second half of the first (and only) season of the 1960s Fantastic Comedy It's About Time had the astronauts and cavemen return to the 1960s, with the cavemen having to adapt to modern life.
- Malek in Land of the Lost was an intelligent, if brutal and domineering, Cro-Magnon who easily dominated the superstitious, frightened Sleestak. They considered him a god and paid him tribute. It isn't clear how he got to the Land or where he learned to speak perfect English, but he is certainly evolved. However, this Trope was somewhat subverted in his ignorance of modern technology like flashlights and antibiotics.
- Curtis, a Cro-Magnon, from Phil of the Future. He is found in the Diffys' time machine and ends up living with them. Eventually, he learns how to speak better English.
- Koda, the Blue Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Charge is a caveman from 100,000 years ago. Bonus points for accuracy in that anatomically he correctly looks identical to a modern human. After bonding with the blue energem, it granted him immortality to survive being flash frozen over the millennium until he's revived in the modern era. Still having some problems with modern technology and speech though.
- In an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch her Aunt Zelda found a two million year old fossil, brought it back to life, and evolved so he can speak. Which is okay with Sabrina. She can't remember what it feels like to be astonished.
- Cirroc, a recurring character on Saturday Night Live. He was discovered and thawed in 1988 after being frozen in a glacial crevasse. He fits into society and speaks quite well, and uses his caveman background as a Simple Country Lawyer act.
- The eponymous Stig Of The Dump is found in a dump. It's implied (but never stated) that there's some sort of Time Portal between Barney's time period and Stig's (at one point Barney travels back to the paleolithic and helps Stig's tribe build a megalith).
- One of the episodes of El Chapulín Colorado deals with the discovery and education of an unfrozen caveman played by Ramón Valdez and named Chimpandolfo. At the end Chapulin does manage to turn Chimpandolfo into a perfectly civilized gentleman... at the price of him getting crazy and acting like a caveman instead.
- The eponymous caveman Alley Oop eventually has an arc in which he visits different time periods with a time machine. He gets to go to the moon and drive an electric racecar.
- Ruben Bolling's comic strip Tom the Dancing Bug has a recurring character australopithecine in modern times - he assimilates well into society but occasionally lapses into feral behavior.
- Back in the nineties, Prince Valiant met the last of the Neanderthals, living alone in the wilderness, the rest of his clan gone. Within the last few years, he discovered a Lost Land that had many more, and three of them accompanied him back to Camelot.
- Bárbaro Cavernario, mostly seen in CMLL. Besides antiquated dress and an affinity for dirt/face paint, he's pretty well spoken.
- The protagonist of Hatoful Boyfriend is a hunter-gatherer who lives in a cave, yet otherwise goes through all the typical romantic high-school situations. She even has a cell phone! It turns out all surviving humans live in caves in the wilderness.
- In the Zoo Tycoon 2 expansion pack Extinct Animals, you can place glaciers in exhibits to make certain animals (namely Ice Age mammals such as mastodons and saber-toothed cats) feel more comfortable in the modern period. Occasionally, this glacier will contain a frozen caveman who will gradually thaw out and then wander around the zoo as if he were any other guest. All the cavemen have Flintstones-style names.
- The eponymous Dawn of Time initially seems to be a cavegirl in a primitive world, but it later turns out that most of er contemporaries live in more civilized surroundings, even though it's still millions of years in our past. More a case of her being Raised by Wolves (although actual wolves apparently haven't evolved yet), or at least a Neanderthal.
- An episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force featured "Oog", a caveman who ended up in modern times thanks to Frylock's time-travelling supercomputer. In spite of getting longevity and a massive boost in intelligence in the bargain ("Now me stopping to go behind bush to relieve myself, instead of just going while I walk!"), he was still a character on Aqua Teen, and it showed; when he was feeling the slightest bit unstimulated, he'd scream "OOG BORED!" and try to rip his own head off.
- Krull the Eternal in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, who combines elements of Vandal Savage and Shazam's King Kull.
- The Camp Lazlo episode "Cave Chatter" had Lazlo, Clam, and Raj thaw out a frozen caveman that they conclude was the first Bean Scout, naming him Beastly Bumblepuss.
- Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels is an original take on this, featuring the titular frozen caveman thawing out in an era of less primitive cavemen as well as modern society.
- Cro plays with the trope with an unfrozen talking mammoth.
- Bubba Duck from DuckTales, a boy Neanderthal duck brought to the present day in a time machine.
- Cave Guy on Freakazoid!. Subverted in that he's a giant, loincloth-wearing, club-dragging caveman who speaks in a haughty accent, subscribes to The New Yorker and owns a diversified stock portfolio.
- The Cryogenic Support Group in Futurama includes a caveman.
- In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy finds and unfreezes Fred Flintstone.
- Java, from Martin Mystery, is the 200,000 year-old caveman, a friend and aide-de-camp to Martin and Diana, who works at Torrington as a cook and a janitor. He assists them in their investigations, serving as the team's tracker. His brute strength proves useful when battling monstrous foes or breaking through barriers.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Boyfriend From 27000 BC", the two boys find a frozen caveman and unfreeze him.
- In an episode of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?, "Scooby's Night with a Frozen Fright," a caveman was thawed from a block of ice and went around causing mayhem.
- Parodied in a South Park episode from 1999, where they thaw out a man who had been frozen since 1996 and treat him as they would a prehistoric caveman.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Cave Dwelling Sponge" had SpongeBob accidentally thaw out a frozen cave-sponge by pouring hot chocolate on his icy tomb.
- Gnarrk from Teen Titans, a caveman living in a Lost World with his friend Kole.
- An episode of The Tick shows time-travellers from the future building a resort in the prehistoric past, exploiting the australopithecines as help - one of whom gets transported to Arthur's apartment, causing the Tick to shout "Arthur! MONKEY OUT OF NOWHERE!!!"
- The Slag Brothers from Wacky Races, a pair of cave-men who raced in a car made out of stone.
- There are still a number of uncontacted tribes located throughout the world that have been isolated since before written history, and thus retain much of the same practices they had many thousands of years ago. For example, the Sentinelese are estimated to have lived on their island for the past 60,000 years and still live as hunter-gatherers.
- It's not exactly 'contemporary', but there is a theory that the legends of ogres, trolls and such stem from encounters with small groups of cavemen that survived into historic times.
- There are folktales of surviving cavemen in the Caspian region. Not a lot of evidence for it, though.