[[quoteright:320:[[Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/submarine.jpg]]]]

''[[AC:[[StockSoundEffects *PING!*]]]]''

Humanity has been fascinated for a long time with going under the sea and this is epitomised in the Main/SubStory. Fiction and fact-based drama [[UsefulNotes/TypesOfNavalShips involving submarines]] has many advantages to it:

* You don't need to spend lots of money on sets or Main/StockFootage. You can create plenty of suspense with [[SensorSuspense just a scanner and a pinging sonar]].
* You can justify a Main/ShirtlessScene (Old submarines like German U-boats had no air conditioning and were very cramped and very hot).
* [[CabinFever Confined spaces tend to bring out the worst in people]] and are good for horror movies.
* There's the added danger that if the sub goes to the bottom involuntarily, the chances of everyone dying are pretty high.
* Nuclear power plant in an isolated submarine? Asking for dramatic trouble.
* Torpedoes can run for a good ten or fifteen minutes.
* SilentRunningMode is an excellent source of suspense.
* HotSubOnSubAction is [[RuleOfCool just plain cool]].
* The whole thing is a contest of wits with plenty of scope for a GuileHero.
* There is gobs and gobs of TechnologyPorn.
* Both sides are to some degree blindfolded and depend on hearing each other making for an interesting combat situation.
* The stakes are all or nothing. If a sub survives an engagement likely everyone aboard will survive while if it is sunk it will be so far underwater that everyone will die.
* [[UsefulNotes/HistoryOfNavalWarfare Historical settings]] like the UsefulNotes/ColdWar or UsefulNotes/WorldWarII lend plausibility to the story; with all the secrecy back then, an adventure that took place hidden under the ocean seems like it really could have happened.

Many of these are Main/DuringTheWar, but they don't have to be. Indeed they don't even have to involve the military. They don't ''even'' have to be underwater, as SpaceIsAnOcean means that fictional spaceships will often behave like subs. Films such as ''The Fantastic Voyage'' and ''Film/TheCore'' have recycled SubStory tropes in more fantastical settings ([[FantasticVoyagePlot a man's bloodstream]] and [[LavaIsBoilingKoolAid the Earth's mantle]], respectively).

Home of many a Main/CoolBoat with a BadassCrew. Expect at least one SilentRunningMode scene.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/BlueSubmarineNo6''
* ''Anime/{{Ozuma}}'', submarines [[RuleOfCool in the sand]]!
* ''Manga/ArpeggioOfBlueSteel''
* ''Manga/TheSilentService''

* ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine''. This sub is part [[Series/DoctorWho TARDIS]], but it's small for a fantasy ship, with lots of pipes, and has very intimidating controls. And while its engine isn't ''quite'' as dangerous as a nuclear reactor, it's good for some drama.
* ''Film/DasBoot''
* ''Film/{{U 571}}''
* ''Film/TheEnemyBelow'', which was Main/RecycledInSpace as the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Balance of Terror".
* ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' has another sub duel Main/RecycledInSpace with two starships inside a nebula. There's even a scene in which ''Enterprise'' "submerges," waits for ''Reliant'' to pass overhead, and then "surfaces" to attack.
** Later ''Franchise/StarTrek'' films would play with the trope further, with the ''Enterprise'' and other Starfleet ships having to contend with cloaked Klingon warships:
** ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'': The USS ''Grissom'' is destroyed in a surprise attack by Kruge's Bird of Prey; later on the ''Enterprise'' is also badly damaged by Kruge's ship.
** ''Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier'': The ''Enterprise'' spends much of the film being persued by another Bird of Prey commanded by Klaa.
** ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry'': A Klingon starship carrying Chancellor Gorkon to meet with the President of the Federation is attacked by a cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey hoping to frame the ''Enterprise'' for the attack. The film's climax has the ''Enterprise'' and the USS ''Excelsior'' battling the advanced Bird of Prey which, unlike her predecessors, does not need to [[InvisibilityFlicker uncloak to fire her weapons.]]
* ''Film/{{Below}}'' by David Twohy (of [[Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick Riddick]] fame) plays the "bringing worst in humans" part for all the scares it can get out of it.
* ''We Dive at Dawn''- British film made during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, involving a British sub of the P-class being sent to the Baltic to sink a new German battleship. Despite being a propaganda film, it's still pretty good.
* ''Film/OperationPetticoat'' - a comedy about evacuating nurses from the Philipines to Australia in December 1941.
* ''Film/DestinationTokyo'' - a drama made during the war based on a recon patrol into Tokyo Harbor. The effects were so good that the Navy used it as a training film.
* ''Film/RunSilentRunDeep'' - surprisingly realistic take on sub warfare around the Japanese home islands.
* ''Film/SubmarineCommand''
* ''Up Periscope''
* ''Film/MorningDeparture'' - actually set just post WWII, but plays much more like a WWII story than a Cold War one.
* ''Film/HellcatsOfTheNavy'' - which won the Golden Turkey Award for the worst UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan film of all time.
* ''The Bedford Incident'' which is a loose retelling of ''Literature/MobyDick'' [[SettingUpdate uses a Soviet Submarine in place of the whale.]]
* ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''
* ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'' features multiple submarines. Among its more notable aspects is a movie featuring Main/PageThreeStunna pics somehow getting a PG when the BBFC reclassified the thing and Barbara Bach's shower. On naval ships, water is at somewhat at a premium (no, you can't get it directly from the sea; that's salt water and you need to desalinate it first) and sailors take a "Navy Shower" (rinse, lather, rinse off). Bach has the shower running. The captain clearly liked her; "Hollywood Showers" are only permitted if you've done something special.
* ''Film/DownPeriscope''
* ''Film/K19TheWidowmaker''
* ''Film/IceStationZebra''
* ''Film/CrimsonTide''
* ''Film/WingCommander'': A [[HumansByAnyOtherName Terran]] space fighter carrier finds itself fighting against badly stacked odds. They spend much of the movie trying to hide from the enemy [[CatFolk Kilrathi]] fleet, while trying to find some way to [[DelayingAction delay their attack]] on Earth long enough for TheCavalry to get in position to stop them. A lot of the movie was intentionally made as an homage to ''Film/DasBoot''.
* ''Film/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea''
* ''Film/OperationPacific''. The WWII exploits of the fictional USS ''Thunderfish'' are culled from actual wartime submarine incidents. The Technical Advisor for the film was ADM Charles Lockwood, COMSUBPAC during the war.
** CDR Perry is wounded on the bridge and gives the order to "take her down", sacrificing himself to save his ship. This scene is based on the actual incident that earned CDR Howard Gilmore of USS ''Growler'' the Medal of Honor.
* ''Film/{{The Damned|1947}}'' is about a group of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who attempt to flee to South America aboard a U-boat as the war is ending.
* ''Film/GrayLadyDown'' features two submarines: the USS ''Neptune'' and the experimental mini sub ''The Snark''
* ''Black Sea'', where two separate groups of Brits and Russians crews were hired together to search for a sunken WWII sub carrying Nazi gold. And then things started to get worse...

* ''Literature/TwentyThousandLeaguesUnderTheSea'' - the Main/TropeMaker.
* Literature/{{Discworld}}'s [[Creator/LeonardoDaVinci Leonard of Quirm]] builds a reconnaissance submarine in ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}''.
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'' novel ''The Grim Grotto''.
* One of Robert Fulton's early submarines plays an important role in ''Ratcatcher''; the first Literature/MatthewHawkwood novel.
* ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'' is all about the Red October submarine, and the above-water forces hounding it.
* Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/TheTemple''.
* ''Das Boot'' (1973) by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, a novel about a German submarine in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Better known via its film adaptation ''Film/DasBoot'' (1981).
* Edward Beach's ''Run Silent, Run Deep'' and its sequels, made into a Clark Gable film. Also his book ''Submarine!'', a memoir/history of the WWII Silent Service.
* Two novel series by submarine historian Edwyn Gray, one about a British S-Boat and one about a German U-Boat, both in WWII.
* Creator/GlenCook's "Passage at Arms" follows the story of a Climber ship, a type of spaceship that can under very specific circumstances essentially drop out of conventional space and fly almost undetectable except for a "pseudo-Hawking black hole" several millimeters wide. The primary danger is that while in climber space the ship cannot release the heat buildup from any of their systems.
** The book is actually more-or-less a remake of ''Literature/DasBoot'' [[RecycledInSpace IN SPACE]]!
* The "spider drive" vessels in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series are basically submarines [[RecycledInSpace In Space!]]
* ''The Dragon in the Sea'' (AKA ''Under Pressure'') by Creator/FrankHerbert depicts tense underwater combat TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture between nuclear submarines. Despite being published in 1956 it has survived the ravages of ScienceMarchesOn and ZeeRust remarkable well.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The 1999 MadeForTV movie ''The Hunley'' is centered around the experimental Confederate submarine ''Hunley'', which had thus far claimed the lives of two of its crews while being tested. A new crew is put together, and they must find a way to use their submarine against the [[NavalBlockade Union Navy blockade]] of Charleston. [[spoiler: The sub sinks, and takes its third crew with it, but not before destroying a Union warship by [[RammingAlwaysWorks lancing it]] with a large explosive device.]]
* The episode "Why We Fight" from season five of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' is a WWII flashback where Angel is sent by the U.S. government to help bring in a captured U-boat.
* ''Series/TheUnit'' has an episode involving a rather trippy dream and the women of the series getting action-y in said dream, plus a South Korean submarine.
* And of course, a submarine is the best place for a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck-dkBf-T9I certain kind of sandwich]].
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'' featured several episodes taking place on submarines, with plots ranging from historica events, espionage to fish-out-of-water stories to the occasional bit of HotSubOnSubAction.
** 12 out of 227 episodes featured sub stories.
*** 1x3 ''Shadow''
*** 4x16 ''Silent Service''
*** 5x7 ''Rouge
*** 5x22 ''Overdue & Presumed Lost
*** 6x15 ''Iron Coffin''
*** 7x5 ''Mixed Messages''
*** 7x14 ''Odd Man Out''
*** 7x23 ''In Country''
*** 7x24 ''Enemy Below''
*** 8x7 ''Need To Know''
*** 8x17 ''EmptyQuiver''
*** 9x7 ''Close Quarters''
* ''Series/SeaQuestDSV''
* The episode "The Last Voyage of the ''Jimmy Carter''" of ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', is a [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble flashforward/flashback]] set on humanity's last working military submarine, on a secret mission in the war with the Machines.
* The ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekS1E14BalanceOfTerror Balance of Terror]]" is a sub duel [[AC:[[RecycledInSpace in space]]]] fought between Kirk and a WorthyOpponent Romulan Captain.
** The ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS04E07StarshipDown Starship Down]]" is essentially ''Film/DasBoot'' [[AC:[[RecycledInSpace in space]]]].
* The ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' episode "D minus 0" is also a sub story RecycledInSpace.
* ''Series/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea''
* ''Series/LastResort''
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': "Cold War" is set on a crippled Soviet sub beneath the arctic ice, with something very nasty loose on board.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', of all things, had the episode "Tsunami", in which a slave galleon is capsized and sunk by an enormous wave. Xena, Gabrielle, and a handful of survivors are trapped below deck in a small part of the ship that still has air, and are trying to figure out how to get out of the ship and get to the surface before they run out.

* Music/TheBeatles' "Yellow Submarine", which inspired [[WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine the film]].
* Music/{{Gorillaz}}' music video of "On Melancholy Hill" mostly features a fleet of submersibles piloted by the album's artists.
* Music/{{KISS}}' "Torpedo Girl" is about Ace being visited by a submarine in the place where he was swimming, and meeting, of course, the titular girl.
* Music/IronMaiden' "Run Silent Run Deep".
* Music/Raven "Run Silent Run Deep", about a -likely, WWII- submarine attacking a convoy.

[[folder: Radio]]
* ''Deep Trouble'', a BBC radio series, is a comedy set on a Royal Navy nuclear submarine with an [[ArmedFarces incompetent crew]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ArchimedeanDynasty'' and ''Videogame/{{Aquanox}}''
* ''VideoGame/ColdWaters'', a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/RedStormRising''
* ''VideoGame/DangerousWaters''
* ''Deep Fighter''
* ''VideoGame/{{Harpoon}}'' (based on a miniatures game)
* The ''VideoGame/SilentHunterSeries''
* The ''Silent Service'' series from Microprose
* ''688 Attack Sub''
* ''VideoGame/SubCulture''
* ''Sub Rebellion''
* ''Subwar 2050''

* ''Webcomic/DeepDiveDaredevils'': Set in TheThirties, a DieselPunk story about a CoolBoat and its' BadassCrew.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDeep'': The series follows the Nekton family, a family of daring underwater explorers who live aboard a state-of-the-art submarine, The Aronnax, and explore uncharted areas of the earth’s oceans to unravel the mysteries of the deep.