So this is what the building she's in looks like.
Number Two: Over the last thirty years, Virtucon has grown by leaps and bounds. About fifteen years ago, we changed from volatile chemicals to the communication industry. We own cable companies in thirty-eight states.
[the thirty-eight states illuminate on a map]
Number Two: In addition to our cable holdings, we own a steel mill in Cleveland.
[a steel mill miniature illuminates in Cleveland]
Number Two: Shipping in Texas.
[a model ship off the coast of Texas illuminates]
Number Two: Oil refineries in Seattle.
[a model oil refinery illuminates in Seattle]
And a factory in Chicago that makes miniature models of factories.
Models of larger things are often used in fiction for a variety of reasons. Heck, if there isn't an immediate thing happening with the model in one scene, it's likely something will happen later
One common use is models to describe plans (that will go wrong of course
). Often overlaps with The Big Board
, Exposition Diagram
and Planning with Props
Another is a Corrupt Corporate Executive
showing the plans he makes for some place he is going to rebuild after tearing down some place (that the heroes have to save).
Sometimes a model can actually be one of the special effects props on a show, thrown in as a nod to attentive fans
A Super Trope
Name comes from a line in Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Compare Fun Size
Anime and Manga
- In The World God Only Knows Haqua tries to summarize the events of her introductory arc with a miniature model of the school and animated dolls. It ends up with the figurines of Keima and Haqua engaging inů questionable activities.
- In one Gaston Lagaffe strip, Prunelle manages to bring in De Masmaeker to look at the scale model of their planned office building, hoping to get him to sign the contracts later. While he's showing off the admittedly impressive model, Gaston comes in with a miniaturized Gaffophone a reader sent him, and proceeds to play it. The building model proceeds to collapse instantly.
- In the Tintin album Tintin The Calculus Affair, the Bordurian military elite displays the effectiveness of a proposed new sound weapon through the destruction of a "large North American city" (an Expy of New York) on a TV screen to the delight of its audience, only to reveal that they had merely used a smaller scale version to destroy a model. Everyone is disappointed.
- In The Fountainhead, people tampering with a model of a building Howard designed, to show that people aren't willing to take his work as it is.
- In Black Adder Goes Forth Melchett and Darling show George a model of the stretch of ground that has been captured in the latest battle. It turns out that the model is on a scale of 1:1, so the actual gain is only a few square feet. Closer examination reveals that it's not even a model — it's the actual square of turf.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy Bot admires a model "City of the Future" at a science fair, but notes that she's never seen people that small.
- In Battlestar Galactica, Bill Adama worked on a model of an Age of Sail ship over the course of the show, which he ends up destroying it in a fit of rage. The destruction was an ad lib by Edward James Olmos, who didn't know the model was very expensive (after all, in Real Life someone working full time can take a couple months to build one) and in fact on loan from a museum.
- Whoops. Still, it was that very act that REALLY drove home how screwed up things were in that episode.
- Doctor Who "Boom Town:" Margret Blaine (really an evil alien) is planning on blowing up the planet and escaping in a Tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator, which is hidden in the model of the power plant she's planning to blow up.
- In The Mighty Boosh episode "The Nightmare of Milky Joe" there appears to be a ship in the distance that may rescue our heroes from the island they're stranded on. It's only a model, as Vince proves when he reaches out and plucks it right off the horizon.
- In The Architect Sketch from a Monty Python's Flying Circus episode, the model for a set of flats has collapsing floors and catches on fire. During a presentation to the clients, no less.
- The Goodies. "The Lost Island of Munga", opens with a model longboat floating in the water while Graeme's voice tells how long ago a crew of Vikings were blown off course by a mighty storm.
Graeme: Suddenly the sea gets rough, there is a mighty wind, and a fearful noise fills the air!
Bill: Because Thor pulled the plug out!
Reveal Shot shows Graeme is actually reading out loud from a book while sitting in the bath with a toy longship.
- Ref. The Architect Sketch from a Monty Python's Flying Circus episode, the model for a set of flats has collapsing floors and catches on fire. During a presentation to the clients, no less. (above)
- This was actually topical satire: in 1969 in London, a tower block called Ronan Point was so shoddily designed and built that it collapsed in exactly this way, with loss of life. Freemasonry was suspected as the reason why the London council approved this design, by that architect, using that construction firm. Nothing was ever proven, but a year or two later, a construction company executive involved in the Ronan Point disaster was convicted and jailed for bribing councillors in a different part of Britain. Several local councillors were also jailed for corruption and misusing public finances.
- The parody of 50's sci-fi movies, Babes in Outer Space by Steve Lovett opens when a woman watching television is shocked by the sight of a Space Station being destroyed by a Death Ray. The next scene is a press conference where it's revealed that space exhibits in theme parks throughout the country are being targeted in an insidious plot to curb the dreams of future Space Cadets.
- The Mann vs. Machine map Coaltown in Team Fortress 2 includes a small museum containing, among other things, a model of ... the map itself.
- One section of The Last of Us has you pass through a room containing a model of a bridge that was apparently either designed or commissioned by whoever used to work there.