Fasten your belt! Cat:
Hey I do not
need fashion tips from you! Lister: Safety
There are No Seat Belts on the Cool Ship
(when there are even seats
), particularly not on The Bridge
. Whenever the ship is hit by Energy Weapons
, even if the Deflector Shields
hold, everyone on board will be flung about by the Star Trek Shake
. Either the designers assumed that Space Is an Ocean
, or everyone has a standing battle station.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
did a Lampshade Hanging
on this, giving The Captain
a chair whose arms folded down to function as a seat belt. Kirk wound up being tossed around anyway despite this. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
also had an impressive sequence of the bridge crew aboard the Excelsior buckling up in similar fashion before activating the transwarp drive — which instantly broke down
The lack of seat belts is part of No OSHA Compliance
(as well as no common sense).
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Inconsistently done in the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, which can't seem to make up its mind if Mobile Suits have seat belts or not. Most notably averted in Victory Gundam, where all mobile suits have a fairly sizable, inflatable lap restraint that expands to cover the torso in an emergancy.
- Averted in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, where the arms of the chairs on the Excelsior folded down to become essentially a safety bar.
- There was a scene at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis, cut from the final version, where Picard enters the bridge to find some techies installing a new captain's chair. It includes an automatic seat belt of sorts; a pleased Picard notes that "it's about time!"
- In Star Trek Into Darkness, Spock puts on a restraint system when the Enterprise is crashing. The bridge crew also activates their restraints when they refuse to obey his order to leave.
- Averted in Serenity, where, as the title ship is Coming In Hot, everyone does strap down.
- There are seat belts on the Space Ball One in Spaceballs. However, do not expect Lord Helmet to use one.
- The Fast and the Furious: Oddly enough, the lack of seat belt use seems to have little effect on anyone's ability to survive catastrophic crashes.
- Likewise in Shoot 'em Up. Smith's car is rammed head-on by a Van in Black full of mooks. Having shot out both windshields, Smith flies through the air, lands in the back of the van and shoots all the mooks. His Bond One-Liner is "So much for wearing your seatbelt." It's that kind of movie.
- Where Eagles Dare: While being escorted by Weissner and a carload of Nazis, Smith and Schaffer attack their guards, causing the vehicle to crash. Weissner is flung headfirst through the windshield and flies several feet in front of the car.
- In "The Last Seduction" Linda Fiorentino has been found out on her criminal activities but (while driving) convinces the man to accept sex in lieu of capturing her. When he undoes his seat belt to expose himself she deliberately drives into a tree, killing him.
- Averted, then subverted in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel ''War of the Prophets''. The future starship Phoenix has effective seat restraints, even though the Federation is falling apart and the universe is about to end. They're so effective, Captain Nog uses them to restrain the bridge crew so he can sell them and the ship out to the Romulans. (He has a very good reason.)
- Averted in the Star Trek: Titan series, then double subverted when only Riker (the belts work perfectly for Vale and Troi) gets thrown to the floor anyway as he wasn't sitting down when they were hit, leading him to note "Obviously the lesson here is to stay in my chair".
- Subverted in Larry Niven's later Known Space stories: No one uses or even needs seatbelts since every vehicle in the universe is comprehensively equipped with outrageously effective automatic safety, restraint and crash protection systems. Who need a seatbelt when your driver's seat has a built-in force field?
- Actually makes sense given the high speeds of the vehicles in question. Even as an emergency backup, a seat belt is not going to save you if your supersonic flying car crashes and all the other mechanisms fail.
- Very definitely averted in Honor Harrington, where warships' duty station seats have full-up shock frames to hold the crew in place — which come in handy when you take a graser hit near the bridge. Not so much when you take one to the inertial compensator; everyone on the ship is instantly turned to "strawberry jam".
Live Action TV
- Halo: At the end of the first mission, Master Chief and Cortana get into an escape pod with a group of Marines and crewmembers. Cortana suggests that Master Chief strap in, but he merely braces himself and says "We'll be fine." Everyone else straps in, but MC and Cortana are the only survivors when the escape pod lands, because of his Powered Armor. One joke fan theory says that he bounced around and killed everyone else.
- None of the player ship bridges in Star Trek Online have seatbelts, and some of them (the Destiny bridges, for one) don't even have chairs. Fortunately they're just a cosmetic option.
- Mass Effect manages to avert this.... kinda. In the third game Traynor actually mentions being strapped into a safety harness during the action the Normandy sees over the quarian homeworld. This makes a particular amount of sense since it's mentioned in the backstory that it's standard practice for ships in combat to turn their a-grav off to reduce energy expenditure and heat build up. We never actually see such a safety harness anywhere on the ship, however. Traynor's line falls into the series' general pattern of averting Space Does Not Work That Way in the backstory, but not in the things we actually see.
- In 8-Bit Theater, Black Mage made a similar comment and carried out the same actions as Bender did in the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well". However, this was his plan (that he would be thrown clear of the burning wreckage). Of course, the fact that the universe hates Black Mage meant that he was immediately crushed by a giant, and the others escaped thanks to quick thinking on the part of Red Mage (for further irony, this was at the cost of the very items that could have saved Black Mage from his predicament).
- Averted in Kim Possible: The show makes sure that they put on helmets or parachutes or buckle up in their flying car.
- Spoofed in Sev Trek: Pus in Boots, an Australian 3D animated send-up of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After sitting down in his Captain's Chair, Captain Jetlag Pinchhard pulls across a seatbelt. Later when the Enterforaprize rams another ship airbags inflate from the consoles, but one of those ensigns who are always standing around at the back of the bridge goes flying through the air.
- Spoofed in Futurama: When the professor takes control of the Planet Express ship, Fry and Leela fasten themselves to their seats with about 30 seat belts, and Bender rivets himself to the wall. And, of course, the professor ends up "driving" at about two miles an hour.
- In "Roswell That Ends Well", everyone sits down and buckles their seatbelts in preparation for a crash landing except Bender, who smugly insists, "Those things kill more lives than they save." In accordance with the laws of Tempting Fate, Bender is the only one sent flying when the ship touches ground.
- Planes and manned spacecraft place great emphasis on seatbelts. Occupants are unlikely to survive crashes at most speeds, but seatbelts allow them to survive the huge accelerations and turbulence involved in day-to-day use. Artificial gravity and compensating for inertia remain fictional, and any sudden deceleration involving a hard surface can damage the body.
- There is also the Boring, but Practical fact that being strapped down to your seat means you will not be tossed around the cockpit when performing energetic maneuvering, thus meaning you won't be tossed away from the controls.