Moving Buildings
Baba Yaga: Redefining Chicken Walker since the 1700s.

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, such as rooms shaking, swerving or tilting and objects or even people being displaced.

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.
  • In a UK advert for McDonald's' Great Tastes of America advertising the Tennessee Stack, Chuck is in a kitchen of a house presenting it in the style of a cooking show. Suddenly, the room starts to bounce and shake, disrupting his balance and displacing the objects in front of him. It turns out the house he's in is riding on the back of a pick-up truck being driven across a bumpy road.
    Chuck: What's going on?
    Driver: Sorry, Chuck. There's some kind of bumpy things in the road.
    Chuck: Easy! This is a cooking show, not an action movie!

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Howl's Moving Castle, Howl's castle castle walks around on giant mechanical legs, powered by some combination of magic and steampunk.
  • 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.
  • Ohtori Academy is this in Adolescence of Utena.
  • 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.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In Eastern European folklore and legend, the witch Baba Yaga has a house that can walk around on giant chicken legs. This house has shown up in a number of adaptations.

  • 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.

  • In the novel Bad Magic one character's house has an emergency escape feature where it sprouts wings and flies away. This causes significant problems when the owner is forced to use it, since The Masquerade is in full effect and his house ends up having to land in the Pacific Ocean.
  • 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.
  • In the Discworld book, Witches Abroad, Mrs. Gogol's home in the swamp grows four legs and walks around as needed. It's a reference to Baba Yaga's house on chicken legs, but because it's in a swamp Mrs. Gogol's house has duck legs instead.
  • Maul Lockdown: This is Cog Hive Seven's specialty as the warden can shift the prisoner cells around till they connect with that of another prisoner. Then the deathmatch begins.
  • In Howl's Moving Castle, Howl's castle glides across the ground with no visible means of propulsion.
  • Seveneves:
    • The habitats on the Great Chain keep rotating to simulate gravity.
    • The Eye itself constantly moves around the Ring Habitat, acting as a form of transport.
    • The Cradle, being a counterweight attached to the Eye, is essentially a floating town that moves above the surface of Earth. It gets parked in sockets from time to time.
  • The brass city in the Xanth series has a pedestal with a button on top of it that when pressed, causes the buildings to move about.

    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:
    • In the scene where Arthur and Ford are first exposed to the Infinite Improbability Drive, they briefly see an apparition 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.
    • The h2g2 building in which Zaphod and Marvin have taken refuge is bodily uplifted by the dread Frogstar Fighters and transported through space to the world of the Total Perspective Vortex.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Widening Gyre, a steampunk setting for HeroSystem, has several Walking Towns. If danger approaches, the entire town can unfold legs and leave the area.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Most of the major Terran buildings in Starcraft can just pick up and move on whenever they wanted to. In the sequel, the command center can carry SC Vs with it as it flies.
  • Warcraft III: Night Elf buildings (which are actually giant, sentient trees known as Ancients) can get up and walk around, very, very slowly. Doing so reduces their armor, but it can be useful (and one level is based on exploiting this gimmick by giving you very scant resources spread around the map).
  • Early in Final Fantasy VI, it's shown that Figaro Castle is capable of submerging.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, Balamb Garden and Galbadia Garden are buildings that can fly.
  • 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.
  • Lego City Undercover: Blackwell Tower, which turns out to function like a space rocket.

    Web Original 
  • In the Thrilling Adventure Hour's episode "The Piano Has Been Thinking", the Barkeep's Saloon is taken over the the AI of its doors and proceeds to get up and leave after being jilted in love by Croach, and having its second attempt stopped when the player piano is destroyed. It briefly spends some time afterward as a bounty hunter.

    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 film "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.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
    • One episode 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. The same thing later happened to a real house.
    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.
  • An instance of this happens in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien where sentient buildings (Which later grow teeth) attack Kevin. These were somehow created by Elena Validus using the nanochips first seen in Ben 10: Alien Swarm.
  • In the Classic Disney Short "The New Neighbor", after Donald Duck and Pete's climatic neighborhood battle, Pete is seen sitting on the front porch of his house defeated as it is being towed out of town.
  • Professor Nimnul from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers once invented flying carpets and used them to steal what was placed on them. The Rangers had the brilliant idea to nail these carpets down to prevent this. So, Nimnul turns up the power resulting in an entire mansion lifting off.

    Real Life