We Will All Fly in the Future
Even the pets get jetpacks.
One way to establish a setting as occurring in the future is to show everyone — or at least a nontrivial portion of the population — flying about. Whether it is by personal jetpacks, mass transit aircars, or simply letting everyone flit around like birds, the power of flight will be as effortless and casual as walking on the grass. People flying for the shortest and most frivolous reasons will be commonplace, and may even qualify as idle recreation for some.
Might be justified if the characters are in a low- or zero-gravity environment without Artificial Gravity
Oddly enough, this trope is seldom, if ever, crossed with Big Fat Future
, perhaps because the visual appeal of a flying populace requires future folks who are fully fit.
If a visible means of flight is used, it will often be via Jet Packs
, Helicopter Packs
, or Flying Cars
Also see I Believe I Can Fly
Film - Animated
- As originally presented, the Legion of Super-Heroes gave everyone in the 30th century flight rings to allow effortless flight.
Film - Live-Action
- Not quite flying, but all the crew aboard the Axiom in Pixar's WALL•E lives their lives in hoverchairs, which were originally intended for the elderly and infirm. Any humans who need something done for them must summon a robot to do it for them, including exercise.
- Once The Last Mimzy has returned to the future with a sample of Emma Wilder's DNA, humanity is brought back from the brink of extinction, and the future looks bright as children float through the air to assemble on a grassy knoll for their school lessons, which last about three minutes. Everyone then floats away like dandelion seeds.
- In Meet the Robinsons, floating bubbles are used as public transportation.
- Not a future but in a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, in the Star Wars series, everyone and their mom owns a flying car, motorcycle, speeder, etc.
- The Fifth Element has flying cars for everyone.
- Metropolis has a number of shots of biplanes flying between skyscrapers.
- In the Time Warp Trio book "2095" personal anti-gravity discs the size of large lapel pins are commonplace, and worth only a few cents (when a slice of pizza is over a hundred dollars).
- There is a short story by Robert Sheckley, where everyone on Earth has learned to levitate efficiently, and then the protagonist gets infected with a Mind Virus that disrupts his levitation and spreads quickly onto others, so The Government comes after him.
- In Damon Knight's novella Dio (or The Dying Man), humans have genetically engineered themselves into gorgeous, model-quality (or better) immortals. Their ability to levitate is a plot point in the first couple of pages, where the title character loses this ability (in midair).
- A borderline example: On the third season of Heroes, the Bad Future has literally everyone having superpowers after apparently a superpower-granting serum becomes commonplace. Peter only realizes he is in the future by how many people on their normal daily routines started to fly around or teleport, or use superspeed in their business suits, with briefcases.
- In the futuristic setting of Xenon, everyone flies around just because they can.
- Warhammer 40,000 has numerous units with flight capabilities, usually either via a Jet Pack or by flying wings.
- Iron Crown Enterprises' Cyberspace RPG had ubiquitous jet packs, though they were usually limited to police, military, and corporate use.
- Required in Shattered Horizon, which takes place entirely in zero gravity.
- Everyone flies in Tribes, due to ubiquitous nature of jet packs in the series. These are built into every single suit of Powered Armor ever produced, effectively giving every notable character flight capabilities.
- In The Jetsons, the predominant forms of movement are either moving walkways or flying around using aircars or jet packs.
- Most incarnations of Transformers feature numerous flyers. The original idea was that only the Decepticons could fly, but that was quickly dispensed with, and flying characters regularly form a significant number of any faction.
- in Futurama, they do not even know what a wheel is because all cars have been floating, flying, and/or hovering for so long that wheels are too ancient to remember. And if that doesn't fit the bill, they also have tubes that wind through the city of New New York that people hop into and are whisked away in to whatever destination they need to get to in the city. And if that is still not enough to qualify, they also have every other means of insta-flight available to them. Such as rocket boots, antigrav belts, and jet packs. Want to fly in Futurama-verse? Pick your poison.