[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BillAndTed http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Bill-and-Ted-robots_8435.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Homemade alien robots are most excellent.]]

->'''Marty''': Are you telling me that you built a ''time machine''... out of a [=DeLorean=]?\\
'''Doc''': The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car why not do it with some style?
-->-- ''Film/BackToTheFuture''

Who says you need a billion-dollar grant to build cool inventions? As every wacky scientist knows, advanced inventions can be, in the words of Creator/RobertZemeckis, "built in somebody's garage". Want your own spaceship? [[IncredibleShrinkingMan Shrink ray]]? TimeMachine? The spare parts lying around in your basement should be sufficient.

Of course, Homemade Inventions won't be perfect. Due to being built out of various mechanical parts, they will have a "cobbled together" look. (If this occurs in a film, you can bet the art department had a lot of fun with it.) Sometimes, they'll [[RubeGoldbergDevice work in a far more elaborate and convoluted manner]] than their purpose would seem to require; their power source may be as humble as [[HamsterWheelPower the family pet in an exercise wheel]]. Still, they will nearly always work and, when they don't, [[PhlebotinumBreakdown they'll fail spectacularly]]. These inventions will probably be created by the BunglingInventor, the WeekendInventor, TheProfessor or the TeenGenius. More than half the time, these inventors will [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup neglect to make sure that they know how to reconstruct their inventions]].

And, of course, the inventors [[ReedRichardsIsUseless won't try to exploit their unbelievable science-defying constructions to gain fame and riches]].

See also: BambooTechnology, MacGyvering. Compare GadgeteerGenius and DoomItYourself.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'', Skuld creates a de-bugger out of a rice cooker.
* Niea from ''Anime/NieaUnder7'' tries to build [=UFOs=] from scrap parts. [[spoiler:In the end she makes one that actually works. Almost, anyway]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The inventions of Gyro Gearloose in the DonaldDuck comic books. This is especially intriguing in Creator/DonRosa's version of Duckburg which has a distinct timeline where all the adventures take place in the 1960s, but thanks to Gyro Gearloose, all modern technology (and indeed, technology yet to be) can be represented.
** However, Rosa has made some specifications to what Gyro can't do: he can make a functional time-machine, but not an interstellar space ship. So far he hasn't created a computer with a display, either, although he completely accidentally created a functional AI (Little Helper).
** He''did'' create an interstellar spaceship, but not every story is Barks-Rosa canon...
*** Well, the talk was about Barks-Rosa canon - most writers apart from Rosa set the stories in pseudo-present day, in any case. If Duck-stories in general are a subject, then Gyro can do anything that the current writer wants from him.
* The Junkman, from ''Comicbook/AstroCity'', has this as his theme. After being forced to retire, he decided to show the world the foolishness of throwing things away. He robs a bank with toy soldiers made into miniature robots, an Etch-a-Sketch repurposed as a fluoroscope, and other equally recycled equipment.
* In the early days of ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', the title character regularly built strange-looking inventions with (occasionally) even stranger purposes, such as a trash compactor that can pack two tons of garbage into the volume of an ordinary brick or talking robot dog.

[[folder: Fan Fic ]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has this, the most notable being Sherman's (short-lived) time-traveling washing machine.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'', Gru has to resort to this to build his rocket after he fails to get funding from the Bank of Evil.
* ''Disney/MeetTheRobinsons'': The Memory Scanner, while the TimeMachine is just a jury-rigged family car.
* ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit'':
** In the very first film, Wallace constructed a ''working spaceship'' out of, presumably, equipment you can pick up at the hardware store. It gets crazier from there.
** In a particularly bizarre inversion (especially given the above fact), Wallace's Techno Trousers were apparently made by NASA.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The ''Franchise/BackToTheFuture'' trilogy, of course. In addition to the functional [=DeLorean=] time machine. In fact in the DVDCommentary, Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis pointed out this Trope's role in history and decided that having Doc build it in his garage was the best way to go. If the government built one it wouldn't work, and if a corporation built one, that would be too scary. Doc Brown's other inventions are also obviously made in his house.
** While perhaps not technically an invention, the ice maker Doc in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'' makes while in the WildWest is probably a good example. He presumably already knew how to make such a thing, but it was [[RubeGoldbergDevice far larger and more convoluted than it needed to be]], due to some of the necessary parts not having been invented yet.
* In ''Film/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'', Wayne invents a '''ShrinkRay''' in his basement. It takes massive providence to get it working, but still, shrink ray. Averted in the sequel, though: his achievement has gotten him work at a [[MegaCorp massive tech conglomerate]] and he continues to improve the device there.
%%* ''Flubber''
%%* The time machine in ''Film/{{Primer}}''.
* The jetcar in ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossThe8thDimension''. We actually see a mechanic working on it in Buckaroo's garage.
* The spaceship from ''Film/{{Explorers}}'', which was built from a Tilt-a-Whirl and an Apple [=IIc=].
* Some of the equipment in ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'' is supposed to have this feel. The boys certainly didn't have much of an operating budget.
* Data has many of these in ''Film/TheGoonies'', although, most of them are carried in his jacket.
* ''Film/IronMan'': Tony Stark builds the first Iron Man suit out of spare weapons parts. It's much cruder than his later versions, but it gets the job done and breaks him out of captivity.
** Similarly, his EvilCounterpart Ivan Vanko/Whiplash seemingly just slapped an arc reactor together out of stuff in his garage.
** Technically, Tony Stark made at least the first three versions of the Iron Man armor outside of a real facility. The first version was made from "scraps" in a cave. The second and third were actually built in his garage. It just so happens that his garage contains equipment that most modern factories lack.
%%* ''Film/WeirdScience''
* In ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', Anakin Skywalker built a functioning humanoid robot with full human-like AI, and what must have been a super-sonic racer, all on a son-of-a-slave's budget before his voice broke. To be fair, his owner was a droid and starship/podracer/what-have-you salesman, so while's pretty damn smart to make these things as a kid, it's not like he made them out of random parts.
* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'': Caractacus' works exhibit this, such as his automated breakfast maker.
* ''Film/TheAstronautFarmer'' builds a spacecraft on his farm, though he orders parts that aren't on hand, like fuel and a rocket.
* The Good Robot Usses from ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney''. Despite being made out of random items from a hardware store, their quality can be justified as they were made by the smartest being in the universe.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek''
** FasterThanLightTravel is invented this way, according to ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact''. Well, sort of. The main body of the ship is an old missile, which is pretty much beyond the realm of your average homemade invention, but Lily mentions that "it took me six months to scrounge up enough titanium just to build a four-meter cockpit."
** In ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'', Khan and his followers had to fashion protective gear from what they had when Ceti Alpha VI exploded and their planet turned into a desert with constant lethal dust storms. (The mask Khan wears appear to be off-center, made from some other piece of gear with a view-slit punched through it.)
* {{Exaggerated}} and PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/WetHotAmericanSummer'', where the nerdy kids build a device that can somehow both track and adjust the trajectory of a rogue satellite out of mundane household objects including a colander, a stack of ''doughnuts'', and a D20.
* ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' has Pee-Wee's breakfast machine.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* One of the [[Literature/TheIncredibleWorldsOfWallyMcDoogle Wally [=McDoogle=]]] books involves Wally using a time machine made out of a toaster, a vacuum cleaner, and a TV remote. He received this gadget from his future self, who had created it ''accidentally'' by trying to fix all three devices at the same time.
** Granted, he's supposed to be insanely klutzy. Enough so that its surprising that he, his family and his friends are even still alive after five minutes.
* In Victor Koman's ''Kings of the High Frontier'' a group of [=PhD=] students build a ''working spacecraft'' out of surplus parts in an abandoned warehouse.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's short story "Robot AL-76 Goes Astray" is about a robot who accidentally arrives at a junkyard and builds a powerful mining tool from the junk, powered by 2 D-cell batteries. No one could figure out how it did it and it didn't know, because when the robot demonstrated his new tool, the top 2/3rds of a nearby mountain were atomized, causing the junkyard owner to panic and [[ThreeLawsCompliant tell it to "forget what happened."]]
* In ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman,'' the title villainess uses parts from common household appliances to build robotic duplicates of the two elementary school-age protagonists. Not only can the robots [[MakeMyMonsterGrow expand to four times their original size]], they also have SuperStrength, can fly, have [[RocketPunch rocket-punching arms]], and wield [[ItMakesSenseInContext hidden starch sprayers.]]
* The YA novel series ''Mad Scientists' Club'' features a group of such inventors, whose inventions get as ridiculous as a remote-controlled flying saucer convincing enough to fool the entire town.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheTommyknockers'', after being exposed to the effect of an alien spacecraft, the people in the small town of Haven build all kinds of futuristic devices made out of household appliances and largely powered by batteries, occasionally supplemented by [[spoiler: [[LivingBattery the odd]] [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Forsaken Child.]]]]
** In the short story "Word Processor of the Gods", also by King, a man inherits a bodged-together word processor with RealityWarper powers, which his nephew constructed from several mismatched brands of computer components, wires from Radio Shack, the motor from an Erector Set and an old model-train transformer.
* Discussed in ''Literature/HowToBeASuperhero'' as a way for cash-strapped heroes to get by, whether it's with homemade equipment or self-inflicted {{Cyborg}}ing...

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/TheATeam'' lived and breathed this trope.
* In the ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' episode "The Luminous Fish Effect", Sheldon's mother reveals that at the age of thirteen Sheldon built a nuclear reactor in a shed. Unfortunately for Sheldon, his efforts to obtain enriched uranium were discovered by the authorities, who put an end to the project.[[note]]This is VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory; see the RealLife section below, except Sheldon probably made less of a mess.[[/note]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink "Blink"]]: When the Doctor and Martha find themselves in 1960s Britain without the TARDIS, the Doctor builds a device to detect other inadvertent time travellers out of what looks like an old fashioned tape recorder, a telephone handset, a postcard, and other... stuff. It works quite well for what he needs, but not without some unintended side effects:
--> "Tracked you down with this. This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."
** Depending on the incarnation, the Doctor has taken this to an art form, most notably the Third, Fourth, Seventh, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors. Turned UpToEleven with the Ninth/Tenth Doctor's and the Eleventh Doctor's first console rooms.
* The Scifi Channel's series ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' is about a whole ''town'' full of genius inventors, all busily cooking up amazing stuff (and amazing trouble) in their garages. One of the main characters even works out of an auto shop.
* ''Series/GilligansIsland'', of course. As has often been remarked, the Professor can make a radio out of baling wire and coconuts but can't fix a two-foot hole in a boat.
* Alton Brown of ''Series/GoodEats'' can apparently build a time machine just as well as he can [[MacGyvering MacGyver]] useful kitchen devices. He uses it to get blueberries in season.
* In ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', Billy often built inventions in his garage.
* ''Monster Warriors'' is probably the worst offender. Not only Tabby can make laser weapons out of plastic bottles and a blender in a matter of seconds, but she is always able to find a huge pile of trash everywhere. Mainly because Luke's hobby is to collect it inside his house and car.
* The robots from ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''. As the theme song from the early seasons explained:
--->''Now keep in mind Joel can't control\\
when the movies begin or end,\\
because he used those special parts\\
to make his robot friends!''
** Not only are the characters themselves built out of spare stuff lying around in universe, but the show creator Joel Hodgson built the puppet props the same way in his garage in about two days.
* These were Joe's stock in trade on ''Series/NewsRadio''. The gag with Joe was that he would build absolutely ''everything'' himself, even gadgets that could be easily and cheaply obtained from a store.
* The title character of ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'' devoted an entire segment of each episode (and later multiple segments of each episode) to homemade inventions that could be built with a pile of junk and some duct tape. A choice example is Red's showing the audience how to make their own backhoe using a luxury car, a Thighmaster, a folding ladder, a trash can, some clothesline pulleys, and a lot of duct tape.
* Quinn Mallory, hero of the show ''Series/{{Sliders}}'', built a cross-dimensional portal in his mother's basement.
* In an episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', an alien takes refuge in Carter's house. While there he managed to grow an emerald the size of a tennis ball using Carter's microwave and then later borrows her toaster for parts to make a stargate. Well, that and several thousand dollars worth of specially-ordered parts that he got over the Internet, but hey...
** Due to the lack of available DHD on hand, the SGC spent fifteen years and millions of dollars cobbling together their own dialing computer, while a large part of the base contains the necessary equipment to maintain the gate's extensive power requirements. All to replace something that does both and is the size of a small table.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': When Kirk and Spock are stuck in the 1930s without computer equipment because the Enterprise was erased from history, Spock builds a "mnemonic memory circuit" using "stone knives and bearskins". Naturally it works just long enough for them to determine what changed the timeline before exploding spectacularly.
* Most of the modifications done to the cars on ''Series/TopGear'' are done in a standard garage by the presenters (with a little help). Top marks have to be awarded when they attempted to create their own space-shuttle Reliant Robin, even if the task of assembling the rocket motors themselves had to be outsourced... to a tiny engineering firm that was only a small step up from HalfADozenGuysInABasement, and thus probably count as a straight example themselves.
* On ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}'', MadScientist Quinn is constantly inventing something new--things she calls "Quinnventions." However, [[RunningGag none of them ever turn out the way she wants to]]. In one instance, [[EpicFail she almost blew up the school]]!

[[folder: Pinball ]]
* These are frequent in ''Pinball/JunkYard'', and needed to progress through the game. You'll make such things as a radar and a submarine before ultimately making a flying jalopy to head into space and fight Crazy Bob.

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* The Dumpster Diver merit in ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression''.
* The Quick Gadgeteer advantage in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' is all about this.
* Homemade inventions are the stock-in-trade of one of the character classes in the ''Underworld'' RPG.
* Junkers in ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}: [[AfterTheEnd HellOnEarth]]'' cheat by asking tech spirits to make their cobbled-together inventions work.
* Gnoblar scrappers in ''Warhammer'' tend to build things out of old rubbish and whatever they've scavenged, such as scraplauncher catapults. Ork Mekboyz in ''Warhammer 40,000'' take this to truly extreme levels, cobbling together anything from a chainsword to a building-sized gargant out of scrap metal and interesting shiny things.
* The Military Engineer and Improviser classes in ''TabletopGame/StarWarsSagaEdition'' allow you to take this trope to ridiculous extremes, which can include cobbling together a fully functional blaster cannon using nothing more than some scrap metal and a few bits of wire you happen to be carrying, in less than six seconds.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Well, there's VideoGame/CommanderKeen's Bean-With-Bacon Megarocket, which is capable of interstellar travel (at well above lightspeed, obviously). It was made from, among other things, his mom's vacuum cleaner, a Creator/{{Nintendo}} controller and his dad's lawnmower.
* ''VideoGame/HeartOfDarkness'', featuring Andy the kid genius. Among his inventions are a cobbled-together interdimensional vessel, a plasma-gun and a control-helmet made from a colander.
* ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'': Any broken item "fixed" by Jeff.
* Several of Bosco's Boscotech creations in the ''[[SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam and Max]]'' games from Telltale Games. They're surprisingly effective (even the tear gas grenade launcher that's just a salad shooter loaded with onions), but all of them are overpriced (like a hundred million dollars for a "truth serum" that consists of a bottle of vodka).
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' allows you to collect various "schematics" for weapons, which you can then build from the junk that clutters the environment. The results resemble this trope. Good examples include the shishkebab (basically a lawnmower rotor blade connected to the petrol tank of a motorbike to form a [[KillItWithFire flaming sword]]), the Rock-It-Launcher, which is built from a vacuum cleaner (amongst other things) and can fire pretty much anything you find lying around, a rifle that shoots railroad spikes, a landmine (made out of a lunchbox, a cherry bomb, a sensor, and a few bottle caps) that's about five time stronger than ordinary landmines and has roughly the same firepower of a mini nuke as well as, of course, the Nuka-Cola Grenade that's made with turpentine, Abraxo cleaner and the radioactive variant of Nuka-Cola in a tin can. When thrown, it explodes in a giant blue fireball, with lingering radioactive damage afterward.
* ''VideoGame/DarkCloud 2''. ''You'' see a belt, a milk can, and a pipe. [[GadgeteerGenius Max]] sees an renewable energy pack for his personal mecha --which is also built out of a barrel (or a refrigerator,) piping, and traffic lights for eyes.
* In ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2'' you could make a barrel extender out of a tube, glue and duct-tape (never mind it's not rifled and somehow the perfect caliber no matter what weapon you put it on). You could also make a rod-and-spring attachment, and build a fully functional X-Ray scanner out of a Lame Boy, a Fumble Pack, wires, chewing gum, and an X-ray lamp. Worked on AA batteries.
* That is the way most technology in ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'' works. Half of the parts used in making technology items can be found in a garbage bin. Some others must be bought, though. And all of the recipes can be assembled in a complete wilderness without access to any thing like a workshop.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims 3'' add-on "Ambitions" the new skill and career choice allows Sims to invent a time machine with nothing a single work table and some scrap metal.
* One playable character in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' can assemble a stun rod from a car battery and a metal pipe. Of course, since there's a ZombieApocalypse going on, improvisation is key.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': According to the [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Bazaar_Bargain Bazaar Bargain]]'s publicity blurb, the Sniper created it from an old bolt-action rifle, a long piece of metal, some bolts, one half of a binocular and a military-grade laser sight, all bought for just under three dinars.
** And there's also the Saxxy-winning [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNX3NvImiy8 "Meet the Dumpster Diver"]], where Soldier makes a new rocket launcher, grenades, and helmet from discarded trash.
* In ''VideoGame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'', VideoGame/{{Wario}} invents a device in his back room that lets him [[IntrepidFictioneer warp into his TV]] so he can appear on a ShowWithinAShow and become a PhantomThief.
* ''[[VideoGame/NancyDrew The Haunted Carousel]]'' features Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine, a riddle-spouting robot built from an old oven, bicycle parts, and the trumpet off a gramophone.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]
* Padma Maharassa of ''Webcomic/FriendlyHostility'' uses a variation on this. Despite being a genuine engineering genius who has worked for the government before (for [[http://friendlyhostility.com/d/20040322.html obscene amounts of money]]), all of his inventions, homemade or not, have a disquieting tendency to, well... [[http://friendlyhostility.com/d/20040417.html eject toast.]] Why this is so is open to speculation, although it has been suggested that Padma simply really likes toast.
* This is a staple ability of Sparks (mad scientists) in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', especially [[GadgeteerGenius Agatha]].
* Tedd in ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' built [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2002-08-23 a belt]] that could transform the wearer into a cat-person, [[http://www.egscomics.com/index.php?arcid=72 tweaked a Wii Fit balance board]] so it could measure the weight distribution of someone as they transformed and built a series of devices that can [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-11-23 transform]] [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-06-20 the]] [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-10-23 wearer]] under certain conditions out of [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2012-11-23 toy gadget watches]].
* Kat's anti-gravity device in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', which she somehow made out of a thermos and coat hangers.
* Building super-tech out of random junk is an important part of Molly's shtick in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob.''
* In ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'', Dave tries to fix a friend's microwave and ends up creating an interdimensional portal that causes his gaming group to be attacked by angels. (Guess what was wrong with the microwave? It was unplugged.)
** This ability also shows up when most [[MadScientist mad scientists]] first manifest. Helen Narbon created life - horrible, tentacled, man-eating lifeforms - from the food in an Italian restaurant's kitchen, plus some chemicals from their women's restroom.
* Tony in ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'' is known to do this with alarming frequency. And half of them are about 50% ''bubblegum''. And old modems.
* MadScientist Tigerlily Jones of ''Webcomic/SkinHorse'' once built a spring-powered wormhole generator out of wire coathangers lying around in Tip's apartment. She also built a six-foot-wide sentient spider-shaped robot out of an old Cadillac.
* Riff's inventions in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' sometimes invoke this trope.
* Gary in ''Webcomic/TruLifeAdventures'' built half a time machine in his apartment as part of a revenge scheme against the toy store.
* Erwin the sentient AI in ''Webcomic/UserFriendly'', especially considering he was programmed in COBOL by a sentient life form born from lint and dust accumulated in a server casing. Some of the various bodies he builds for himself may also count - [[spoiler: Lego Mindstorms battlemech]], anyone?

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* Just about all of the devisers and gadgeteers in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse start out like this, since no one knows they have a superpower until they've built a robot out of old junk from their basement, or whatever. The deviser Knick-Knack still builds stuff that looks like this, including a capture bubble that looks like a lava lamp, and a laser hidden in a Franchise/HarryPotter souvenir wand.
* Chief engineer Dave Howery is known for this in ''Script/AHDotComTheSeries'', a character trait first introduced in "Hey Hey We're the Monkeys" which soon became a defining one. Mainly he builds excessively advanced (and [[AIIsACrapshoot psychotic]]) robots to do the most mundane functions due to being BrilliantButLazy.
* The prototype in ''Literature/TheFirstRun'' was made from Scraps from junkyards, trucks, telecom stations, old fighter jets, all recycled.
* Strong Bad's alternate universe portal in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' is simply a blender with a Game Boy floating in some strange green liquid.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* [[WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius Jimmy Neutron]] does this all the time.
* The 2×4 technology in ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''.
* Buckwheat often built these in Creator/HannaBarbera's version of ''WesternAnimation/TheLittleRascals''.
* The various devices built by the Eds, especially Edd, in ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In a Treehouse of Horror episode, Homer made a time machine out of his ''toaster. By accident.''
** The season ten episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" [[note]]The episode where Homer becomes a UsefulNotes/ThomasEdison-esque inventor after hearing on the radio that the life expectancy of males is somewhere in the 70s, and Homer realizes that he's at the halfway point of his life and he hasn't done anything that would be considered memorable after his death[[/note]] was all about Homer creating homemade (and really dangerous and/or useless) inventions, such as the makeup gun and the "Everything's OK" alarm.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': Wade does it. The Tweebs do it. Evil!Ron does it.
* Even the animated version of Gyro Gearlose in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ducktales}}'' would build all sorts of stuff as cheaply as possible. Possibly justified since his employer was such a cheapskate.
* HomemadeInventions are Donatello's brain and butter in the ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' cartoons. It grows to particularly ridiculous levels in ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'', where he is able to build submarines, hovercraft, and [[DrillTank drill tanks]] with homemade materials and the occasional bit of salvaged alien technology.
* This is usually what ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' are [[CatchPhrase going to do today]].
-->'''Candance''' ([[RunningGag every single episode]]): MOM, Phineas and Ferb are making one of their dumb inventions again!!!
** Phineas and Ferb are actually a brilliant subversion because while they make stuff at home, and often use rather unusual components, they are constantly having (usually industrial-grade) supplies delivered and as a result, their inventions tend to be more reliable and less Rube Goldbergian than most examples.
* Timmy's Dad on ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' makes several of these. Most of them [[StuffBlowingUp blow up]]. It hurts him when his family tries to use real technology, though not as much as his inventions hurt them.
** Once, after ''successfully'' assembling a personal computer out of a typewriter and a television:
--> "Wow, I'm a genius! I'm gonna go make ice cream out of birdseed and gum!"
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'': Stu Pickles attempts this many times. Almost all of them fail with hilarious results.
* Anything built by Gadget Hackwrench on ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers''.
* Huey of ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' created the Black Power Fist, basically a taser built into a glove, at home. Justified in that he did not invent it but found instructions on the Internet, and that it was specifically designed to be built from cheap and readily-available materials. Still impressive given his age and lack of any previously-mentioned mechanical background.
* Fred [[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones Filntstone]] occasionally delved into this. They work...just as well as one would expect[[note]]Including his wife Wilma...[[/note]]
* The lesser known Creator/HannaBarbera series ''These Are the Days'' is a PeriodPiece about the Day family, whose husband/father makes these.

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* A powerful case of TruthInTelevision, as decreasing component costs and increasing education have made many fun, dangerous, and hi-tech options available to many garage scientists.
** A variety of [[http://www.powerlabs.org/index.html enthusiasts]], [[http://www.powerlabs.org/index.html extracurricular students]], and [[http://www.anothercoilgunsite.com/nf-projects.htm bored people]] have put together giant lasers, glove-sized lighters, electromagnetic 'guns', various pranks, and useful tools.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hahn One individual teenage Boy Scout]] managed to strap together a nuclear breeder reactor in his mother's garden shed. It didn't work very well, and he caused a serious hazmat issue and was very lucky to avoid jail time and/or cancer of the damn near everything, but it's still an impressive achievement of a sort.
** Decay not enough? Fission not enough? Why not just go to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor#Hobbyists fusion]]?
** While this is irrelevant, two things bear noting: One, Mr. Hahn's reactor design was self-propagating; given enough fuel, it would continue to produce energy, and, actually, would produce more fuel, being a breeder reactor. Two, the fusor mentioned above is definitely not a break-even design; it runs off of household power, and is primarily useful as a conversation piece and as a neutron source.
** Don't forget the concept of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BEAM_robotics BEAM robots]].
** Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computers in their garage.
** The [[http://reprap.org/ RepRap]] machine is a "self-replicating rapid-prototyping tool" that was not only built in somebody's garage, but can create about half of its own parts so that you can build one in your garage as well.
** However, no matter how many internet crackpots claim otherwise, you still can't build a jetpack in your garage, as the ''Series/MythBusters'' proved.
*** Well, at least not one that ''works.''
** The work of 'home inventor' Philo T. Farnsworth, making this LITERALLY ''Truth In Television''. (He's credited with inventing the first practical TV system)
** X-Prize.
** Chinese Farmer + Books + Scrap Metal - [[MemeticMutation In A Cave]] = [[http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/chinese-farmer-uses-scrap-metal-to-build-working-helicopter Helicopter]].
*** There's also a [[http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hV0rzEDq7TWnlm7tMmr2zeQmiRig Nigerian man who built a helicopter]] from parts of an old car and a crashed aeroplane.
** Hewlett-Packard was founded in a garage. The garage is now a Silicon Valley tourist attraction.
* There are whole subgenres of biopunk dedicated to homemade biotech. Of course, materials and energy costs are still too high for the movement to have gained any real steam as of yet, and then there's all those safety and ethics experimentation laws. If your homemade stove goes off, you might kill yourself. If your homemade bacterium goes off, you might kill ''millions''.
* 'Chechnyan Firecrackers' is a slang term for home-made firearms... which are legal in most states of the US, by the way. Have fun! In fact, there have been several examples over the years of enterprising people building operational firearms with things commonly found in ''prison''.
* The entire website [[http://www.instructables.com Instructables]] is based around this concept, and features a wide arrange of various homemade gadgets from online DIY posters, engineering of all kinds, as well as numerous arts and crafts projects. One guy even showed how to make his car run... ''[[http://www.instructables.com/id/Convert-your-Honda-Accord-to-run-on-trash/ on trash]]''!
* Early aviation: the Wright Brothers' airplane; and later, the Silver Dart, the first Canadian flight (also the first flight in the British Empire), the first self-powered aircraft takeoff, and the first aircraft to use ailerons to roll.
** Canada's first working helicopter was made by the Froebes: three brothers who were western Manitoba farmers and aviation enthusiasts. The only part that they didn't make themselves was the engine, which was taken off one of their (full-sized) kit planes. Prior to the helicopter, they had built several human-powered ornithopter prototypes literally recycling trash from the farm - however, none of those actually ''work''.
** Many of the design features of the modern hang glider were concocted by individual enthusiasts messing around with sailcloth and kites on their weekends off.
* Thermal lances made of an air compressor and rather unexpected materials, as in "[[http://boingboing.net/2009/04/15/bb-video-the-flaming.html cuts steel with bacon]]".
* Much of the Maker movement revolves around this. Device to mute the tv whenever Kardashians are mentioned? Yes please.
* The autobiography ''The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind'' [[IncrediblyLamePun revolved around]] William Kamkwamba's homemade windmill. This included spectacular failures such as a short setting his home on fire when his roof collapsed. In true MadScientist fashion, he built a breaker box rather than fixing his roof.
* The Wizard of Menlo Park himself, Thomas Edison, was self educated and set up a chemical lab in a box car of the train he worked in (until he was fired for... um... a fire that resulted from the lab). Many of his early inventions were made in his barn and a barn also served as his first research lab.