In real life, being a wheelchair user can range from inconvenient to extremely limiting. However, in fiction, this need not be the case! Thanks to Trope Co.™
you can be the proud owner of one state of the art super chair! Features include
A subtrope of Disability Superpower
and Cool Chair
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Anime & Manga
- The wheelchair in the last episode of Samurai Champloo is revealed to be a cool chair because it contains a hidden gun in one arm, a stick of dynamite in the other, and more dynamite stashed under the seat, all in place to lay a last resort final blow on a weakened Mugen. It still isn't enough to kill him.
- The Agency head from Ga-Rei Zero- tools around in a wheelchair for most of the series and seems smart but not very threatening. Turns out it has miniguns, blades and sacred wheels that engrave protective runes on the street. And that she's very proficient with the use of all three.
- The Gundam franchise has several machines that combine this with Humongous Mecha, consisting of a humanoid torso on top of a tank or hovertank base. The best-known is the Guntank from the original series, but examples exist in several universes, including Gundam Wing (the Tragos) and Gundam 00 (the Union Realdo Hovertank).
- Riehlvelt in Hunter × Hunter can apply rocket thrusts to his wheelchair, which is also equipped with electric whips. He is apparently in the top 1% of the world population in combat capability.
- Runover in Black Joke is a mob bigwig who was paralyzed in an assassination attempt. He modified his chair to go after the perpetrator. He got his nickname from how he killed the guy — by using his new chair to flatten his would-be killer's Ferrari.
- In A Certain Magical Index, Byouri Kihara rides a wheelchair that is armed to the teeth with weapons and can transform into a spider-like mecha.
- X-Men: Charles Xavier's chair bounces back and forth between this and more conservative varieties Depending on the Artist.
- And timeline: the antigravity models are generally established as gifts from his soulmate Lilandra (empress of a spacefaring alien race). They're avians, so completely skipped over the concept of a "wheeled chair" when designing their own accommodations for disabilities.
- Taki Matsuya, also known as Wiz Kid, has the power of "technoforming," the ability to make metal morph into any machine he can think of. His own wheelchair is usually the closest thing at hand. It's usually a normal wheelchair, but he'll modify it to fly, shoot missiles, etc.
- Acutely (and deliberately) averted when The DCU's Barbara Gordon became Oracle, actually preferring "normality" to show she does not want special attention. Gail Simone even explicitly forbid things like hidden missile launchers when taking suggestions for a new chair. The fanciest thing she's had are holders for her eskrima sticks.
- Also because she's still as physical and active as she can be. Sadly played straight in the Birds of Prey TV series, which (to the dismay of actress Dina Meyer) gave Barbara a power chair rather than a manual one.
- It's been explicitly stated a few times that she doesn't even have handles on her chair, as she'd rather get where she's going by herself than be pushed. Though this depends on who's drawing it.
- Lampshaded in the first Largo Winch: Nerio, a very old and even richer man stuck in a wheelchair is talking to the man who asked to come kill him (Makes Sense In Context). The gunman tells him to turn around slowly, to which Nerio responds "What, are you afraid I keep machine guns in the armrests? You go to the movies too often."
- Doom Patrol: Niles Caulder's chair bounces as an example.
- In Marvel's The Tomb of Dracula, Quincy Harker (great-grandson of John and Mina Harker) had his wheelchair rigged with stake-firing rocket-launchers.
- The brace variation occurs in New Warriors. Handicapped Badass Silohuette walks with the aid of twin braces that she has outfitted with tasers and spikes.
- Wild Wild West. Dr. Loveless' wheelchair had a built-in rear-firing gun, and could deploy legs that allowed it to move like a 4 legged animal and stamp down on opponents. It was steam-powered.
- Alien: Resurrection: the wheelchair in question also disguises a small arsenal.
- Steel features one of these in the climax for its best character.
- In Once Upon a Spy, Christopher Lee's Mad Scientist had a rocket launcher concealed within his wheelchair.
- In the German kids' film Vorstadtkrokodile, Kai adds miniature rockets to his wheelchair, giving him quite a boost when he's chased by bikers. He also adds loudspeakers controlled by his cell phone, which causes his friend Hannes to comment, "Were you on Pimp-my-wheelchair?"
- In Zombrex: Dead Rising Sun, George tricks out his wheelchair with a bunch of stuff found in a maintenance room in order to take down psychopath Takahashi.
- Marty from Silver Bullet has a pretty badass wheelchair built by his uncle.
- The kids' grandpa in the Spy Kids films has a wheelchair that can hover. Actor Ricardo Montalbán actually was confined to a wheelchair by that point in his life.
- Villainous example: In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Freddy conjures up a rusty, spike-covered killer wheelchair to attack a paraplegic youth in his dream.
- Pisces, resident Genius Cripple of the Zodiac Girls uses one.
- There's a number of Discworld novels where Windle Poons' wheelchair has any number of outrageous attachments and functions. It serves as a chariot at some point in Moving Pictures.
- In Snow Crash, Ng uses a heavily-modified airport firetruck as his 'wheelchair'.
- In one of the "Bedlam's Bard" novels by Mercedes Lackey, a secondary character is left a paraplegic by events in the book. In the epilogue, we learn that she was given an elvensteed— a shapeshifting magical being able to take the form of any transport from horse to Harley Davidson— to help her get around. It pretends to be a normal wheelchair when mundanes are around, and can pretty much do whatever she needs at any other time; no need for a handicap-accessible remodel of her home with it on the job.
- Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor's "chair" is barely a chair at all - it's an all-enclosing life support system on wheels with psycannons and psychic amplifiers built into it.
- Kohler's wheelchair in Angels and Demons contains all sorts of gadgets. Granted, it's not as cool a collection as many on this list, but it still counts as a Super Wheel Chair in that setting.
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians: When Chiron goes among mortals, he conceals his horse legs in a Hammerspace wheelchair.
- In The Four Constables, (set in Ancient China), Emotionless' wheelchair can launch a barrage of deadly mini-rockets.
- Zoom by Robert Munsch
- A Song of Ice and Fire: This is basically Hodor's job description for the cripple Bran Stark.
- Subverted in World War Z. A disabled man in a perfectly ordinary wheelchair nonetheless has one advantage: any crawling zombies that attack him from behind get the wheels instead of his legs. He mentions that this has saved him from infection more than once.
- Susannah from the The Dark Tower series lost her legs in the early 60s, when wheelchairs were constructed of heavier materials and were quite clumsy. She's thrilled by the amazing lightness and agility of the '80s-era wheelchair that Eddie finds for her, considering it to be this trope.
- In The Moon Maze Game, Asako Tabata is a veteran Gamer stricken by muscular dystrophy. She's given a special dispensation to participate in the Game using a mobile body-capsule with tracks and articulated arms; to justify its presence in a Victorian-scifi Game scenario, it's given a Steampunk motif and a backstory involving Captain Nemo.
Live Action Television
- The short-lived series M.A.N.T.I.S. dealt with a paraplegic inventor who developed an exoskeleton that granted him full mobility. Then at some point he realised that it was only a minor step from there to Powered Armour...
- A villain in Black Scorpion called Slapshot has a similar suit of Powered Armor for a similar reason. Only his was provided by a Mad Scientist.
- The mobile life-support chair of Davros, the creator of the Daleks, in Doctor Who.
- The pimped out wheelchair Randy gets for the comatose Earl on My Name Is Earl.
Joy: Damn, Darnell, I'm tempted to cripple you just so we can get one of those.
Darnell: And I'm tempted to let you.
- William Albacastle / Willy Pete, authorial character of the White Wolf Mage: The Ascension supplement Iteration X and a major character in the novel Judgement Day by Bruce Baugh has a damn cool chair. His motorized wheelchair houses treads, robotic arms, and Hades knows what else.
- TSR's Top Secret!: Dragon magazine #56, module "Mad Merc". The title character is an Evil Cripple used a wheelchair with a built-in jetpack, which allowed him (and up to 100 lb. extra) to fly up to 500 yards. It could travel at up to 30 m.p.h. for up to 1 minute, and was capable of hovering.
- Warhammer 40,000 has Space Marine Dreadnoughts, Walking Tanks crewed by greviously wounded but Not Quite Dead veteran Space Marines. Depending on the Writer and exactly how severe a mauling the Marine took, it can cross over into We Can Rebuild Him.
- The Overseer in the first Fallout game has guns in his chair, though it's not clear whether it's mobile.
- Overseer chairs are not mobile. The guns are a common feature in many vaults (The Master employs his if you resort to hostility) as a last line of defense.
- In the Halo series, the Prophets, though possessed of enough strength to occasionally stand up and walk around, have all become too physically weak to perform all of their required locomotion on their own thanks to generations upon generations of utter sloth, and thus depend upon their Gravity Thrones (large hoverchairs, sometimes with built-in energy shielding, defensive weapons, and/or short-range teleportation devices for good measure) - or the more compact Gravity Belts, for the less ostentatious - to get around. Thus, what were once Cool Chairs have developed into this trope instead.
- Flipper Burns in The Longest Journey has a hoverchair; a Fetch Quest in the game involves getting a new antigravity module for it.
- Bentley's wheelchair in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves and afterwards.
- In No One Lives Forever 2, Volkov's wheelchair (in which Cate personally put him in the first game) is equipped with rocket launchers and jet engines.
- Professor Ching from the obscure arcade brawler The Outfoxies rides for no reason other than its super, at least in the Japanese version.
- In Rise Ofthe Triad, Sebastian Krist's wheelchair fires rockets and mines.
- In Quake 2 Superheroes, Cripple with a Big Gun was a class with 40 HP and no strafing ability but the capacity to make an invulnerable ramming shield on a cooldown and unlimited chaingun ammo.
- In De Blob, Prof has a hoverchair with a number of technological attachments. In the sequel, the Big Bad steals it and uses it for the rest of the game. In the last level he discovers it has a cannon as well.
- Yagrum Bagarn from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has a variant. The Corprus Disease has left him bloated and unable to use his legs, so he gets around on a steam powered set of mechanical spider legs.
- The old man character in Happy Wheels has a jet engine strapped to his wheelchair.
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, the controversial superhero Slave is a super-strong, weapon-encrusted powerful robot remotely operated by the brain of a quadrapelegic genius. The operator gets sensory input from the robot, and while hooked up to it the robot is functionally the operator's body. The designer of Slave intended it to be a way for paralyzed people to regain their mobility, after a fashion. One wonders why he isn't hooked up to the robot 24/7.
- Shut Up Cartoons, introduces Clifford, a mentally handicapped boy who can't speak or move without a wheelchair. A recent episode revealed this chair can Turn into a giant robot.
- Juryrig and Kludge are both wheelchair-bound at Superhero School Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. They both have their chairs souped up. Both fly and have weaponry. Juryrig has a personal forcefield generator in hers.
- Dan The Accuser Mason's wheelchair turns into a Powered Armor which he uses to fight crime.
- Alistair Smythe uses one in the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series. His father only agreed to create Spider-Slayers for the Kingpin in exchange for the funds to build it - unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to see Alistar in it. It's so cool that he keeps using it even after he becomes a bio-engineered monster with working legs.
- Stephen Hawking appeared on The Simpsons (as an animated character, of course) in "They Saved Lisa's Brain". Hawking saves Lisa from the power-hungry Springfield chapter of Mensa in a special wheelchair, complete with an Inspector Gadget style retractable helicopter attachment and a spring-loaded boxing glove. He also appeared in several other episodes.
- Stephen Hawking also appears in The Fairly OddParents to explain how 2 + 2 really DOES equal 5 before flying away in his rocket-powered wheelchair. He and Crocker were classmates in college and, when Hawking flew away, Crocker was after him trying to convince him 2 + 2 actually equalled 6.
- Stephen Hawking also appears in Futurama.
- And in one episode of Dilbert, where his chair has a wormhole generator.
- Teo's wheelchair with hang glider attachment in Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Recurring Kim Possible character Felix has a Super Wheel chair, with hover tech and Videogame integrable AI.
- One that may have been: The proposed re-versioning of Sailor Moon in Toon Makers Sailor Moon had Sailor Mercury in a wheelchair. She would have had a wheelchair enabled sailboard which fired lazers of some sort in the animated sequences.
- Gargoyles has Halcyon Renard, the aged CEO of Cyber-Biotics and father-in-law of David Xanatos, in a wheelchair that has weapons built into its arms and a retractable Pope-Mobile-style bubble to protect the rider. Justified, in that this man has made his fortune in the robotics industry and had no reason not to use his skills and wealth for his own benefit. Also, flashbacks reveal he was once able to walk. Since businesspeople in this universe have no issue with sending mercenaries after each other, the weaponized chair may have started as a basic safety precaution.
- The Batman: The Brave and the Bold version of The Chief gets around in a wheelchair that can fly and shoot lasers, among other things.
- The future Joker's combination wheelchair/dodgem car in "The Knights of Tomorrow!".
- Mayor Tortoise John in the 2011 film Rango has a wheelchair with mechanical grabbers, mechanized self-moving wheels (like an electric wheelchair without electricity), and a golf club.
- The Magic School Bus had a kid with a wheelchair as magic as the bus.
- In X-Men, Taki Matsuya demonstrates this during the episode No Mutant is an Island.
- Professor X also has his hover-chair. In this continuity he has it long before he encounters the Shi'ar, and we never learn who made it.
- Meet Lance Greathouse, wheelchair designer ex-creator of battling robots.
- Complex rehab wheelchairs, built for a single permanently disabled user, are this compared to the steel-and-vinyl folding ones that hospitals have fleets of. High-tech cushions and supports built into super-lightweight manual or high-speed/high-tech power bases can make a significant difference in how well someone can function.