Moving Buildings

Basically, a building suddenly starts to inexplicably move, but it's just Rule of Cool. Bonus points if it shows anything happening inside during the move.

See also Everything Dances. If it's a fortress designed specifically to move, see Base on Wheels. If it's a statue that starts to move, then it may be a Living Statue.


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  • This Halifax advert shows a building being launched into the sea like a ship.
  • This T-Mobile advert shows a guy dragging his house. Another guy is dragging a shop, and we even see a lady inside a moving office building.
  • This trailer for Tony Hawk: SHRED has someone playing the game on the skateboard peripheral... and the whole house starts moving and jumping off of ramps as he plays, ending it with the house crushing Tony Hawk's car.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Howl's Moving Castle, the titlar castle moves using various magical effects, and it has legs.
  • In FLCL episode 1 "Fooly Cooly", when Haruko attacks Naota insde the hospital, the building starts moving around and finally jumps into the air and falls back to the ground.
  • One of Team Rocket's mechas from Pokémon.

    Comic Books 
  • A classic Strange Adventures cover has skyscrapers sprouting mechanical legs and going on a rampage.

  • In the Monty Python short film "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", the building remains a building, but it's mobile enough to be used as a pirate ship.
  • Top Secret. Nick Rivers is aboard a train. It appears to pull away from the station, but as we look out the train's window we see that the station has pulled away from the train.
  • In Up, Carl turns his home into a makeshift airship by tieing thousands of ballons to it.
  • Monster House, especially at the end of the film.
  • In The Jerk, Navin attempts to prevent a car full of thieves from escaping before he can call the cops by tying a rope between their car and the side of a building. When they drive off anyway, they end up dragging half the building away with them. And it's a church. With a wedding being celebrated, and the groom and bride trapped in different parts.

  • James Blish's Cities in Flight novels take this to its (il)logical conclusion by having entire cities fitted with antigravity and faster than light propulsion. The idea of flying cities was later used in a British Airways commercial depicting Manhattan in flight.
  • One of Tanith Lee's Claidi novels has a building with moving rooms.
  • In the short story collection The State of the Art by Iain M. Banks, opening tale "The Road of Skulls" features a pair of pilgrims trying to reach a city. The city is actually on huge wheels and is perpetually moving away from them, laying the road they're traveling on.
  • Philip Reeve:
    • The Mortal Engines series is set in a post-apocalyptic future in which entire cities, mounted on tank treads, wander the landscape eating each other. They call it "Municipal Darwinism."
    • In his prequel series, which documents the rise of Municipal Darwinism, various smaller-scale variations on the theme can be seen. In A Web Of Air we see the funicular houses of Mayda, which rise and fall on diagonal tracks up and down the valley the city is set in. In the same book, the previously static city of London lumbers gradually to its, uh, wheels and tracks.
  • In Vernor Vinge's Rainbows End, the library at the University of California in San Diego is designed to move under computer control in case of earthquake. At one point, hackers take over the building's computers during a public demonstration, to make the building dance along to the music. It doesn't work quite as planned.

    Live Action TV 
  • The World Space Headquarters complex in Fireball XL5 incorporates a control tower that rotates for no very obvious reason except Rule of Cool.
  • And then in Stingray (1964) all of the buildings in Marineville can be lowered underground on hydraulic jacks in case of an attack. This idea also surfaced in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • CSI had an episode where someone literally stole a house and dumped it in the desert.
  • Norwegein duo Ylvis's show I kveld med Ylvis translation  had two segments Dagens Spørsmål translation  and Tid for Hobby translation  apparently set in one of these note . They show mundane tasks being preformed (such as setting up a tent and hammock, or replacing a light in a chandelier) whilst constantly losing balance and being tossed about as the room they're in swerves and shifts about, and not acknowledging the inexplicable motion at any point. Hilarity Ensues.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The h2g2 building in which Zaphod and Marvin have taken refuge - this is bodily uplifted by the dread Frogstar Fighters and transported through space to the world of the Infinite Perspective Vortex. En route, Zaphod is exposed to the terror of the Alien Disco.
    • And also, the scene where Arthur and Ford are first exposed to the Infinite Improbability Drive. They briefly visit the holiday resort of Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Where the sea remains steady as a rock but all the buildings on the seafront roll up and down, like waves.

    Video Games 
  • Most of the major Terran buildings in Starcraft can just pick up and move on whenever they wanted to.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Balamb Garden and Galbadia Garden are buildings that can fly.
  • Early in Final Fantasy VI, it's shown that Figaro Castle is capable of submerging.
  • Some of the Sentinal Buildings in the Warcraft series do this as well, since they are sort of building / walking-tree hybrids.
  • The Boomsday Machine from Super Mario Galaxy 2.
  • In Breath of Fire II, the entire city of Township gains the ability to fly after an optional quest. This is required for the best possible ending.
  • In Super Mario World, after clearing Ludwig Von Koopa's castle, Mario's pulls the plunger to destroy it, but instead the whole thing lifts off into the sky like a rocket, only for it to crash into the hill in the background afterwards.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, there's an apartment block where the apartments rise and fall, like elevators.
  • Mike, the evil living building in The Fairly OddParents.
  • The Looney Tunes episode "Designs for Leaving" has Daffy Duck outfit Elmer Fudd's home with modern gadgets. One of these is an elevator that lowers the second story... which crushes everything in the first story. Also, the Big Red Button that Elmer is warned not to push lifts the entire house hundreds of feet up in the air, in case of tidal waves. And, Daffy has yet to install the little blue button to bring it back down.
  • One episode of SpongeBob SquarePants has Squidward installing an advanced security system. When Squidward accidentally sets it off, the whole building grows arms and feet and starts attacking Bikini Bottom.
    • In the episode "Secret Box", Patrick says that no one must know what's in the box, "not even... Squidward's house!" And sure enough, the house is leaning in to listen.
  • Prof. Frink on The Simpsons once invented a burglar-proof house that would sprout mechanical legs and run to a "safer location" if it detected it was being robbed. The demonstration model he built took two steps, and exploded in flames.
    Prof. Frink: [As a 'family' of to-scale dummies falls out of the house, also on fire] Well, obviously the real people won't, won't burn ... quite so quickly.

  • The Widening Gyre, a steampunk setting for Hero System, has several Walking Towns. If danger approaches, the entire town can unfold legs and leave the area.
  • In Eastern European folklore and legend, the witch Baba Yaga has a house that can walk around on giant chicken legs. She's shown up in a number of adaptations.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons' Stronghold Builder's Guidebook has locomotion as a feature for a fortress as an option. how fast and what kind of movement depends on what your willing to pay.