Hsu: 2001 is OVER. All your hopes and dreams for 2001—dashed!
Chan: No flying cars! No hyper-intelligent robots! No pixie-like girls in shiny silver miniskirts!
Hsu: "Darn," on that last one, by the way.
"Wait a minute, those existed in the 50s?! What a rip-off! I want one! I demand one right now!"
— Spoony, during his riffing on Captain Z-Ro
Dear BBC. Well it's now 30 years down the line, and I'm no closer to owning a robotic housemaid. Tomorrow's World? Tomorrow's horseshit, more like!
— Ed Byrne: , Mock the Week, "Unlikely letters to be read out on Points of View"
Leo McGarry: My generation never got the future it was promised... Thirty-five years later, cars, air travel is exactly the same. We don't even have the Concorde anymore. Technology stopped.
Josh Lyman: The personal computer...?
Leo McGarry: A more efficient delivery system for gossip and pornography? Where's my jet pack, my colonies on the Moon?
Doctor Thirteen: Ugh. Universe and future, like they're one and the same... it's so bright and shiny sci-fi. I'm waiting on that jet-pack they promised us in the sixties.
"Architect": As'm I... still.
Doctor Thirteen: Well, you're not going to get it. But you still cling to the promise. We all do.
You can't say everyone's got a water buffalo when everyone does not have a water buffalo! We're going to get nasty letters saying 'Where's my water buffalo?' 'Why don't I have a water buffalo?' and are you prepared to deal with that?! I don't think so! Just stop. Being. So. SILLY!
— Archibald Asparagus, VeggieTales
I walked up on to this stage, when we all know I should have FLOWN. Via jetpack! Who's with me?... Are my shoes electric? No. Does my pillow comb my hair at night, while I am sleeping? No, sadly, it does not. So where, I ask you, is the hoverboard technology we all saw in Back to the Future 2 over twenty years ago!
— Shawn Spencer, Psych
[The iPhone] can contact nearly anyone in the world, locate me on aerial maps, and plot directions to any location in the country. It is unquestionably the future, and you would have crashed your stupid flying car anyway.
Mark: This isn't the future! THIS IS THE LOUSY STINKIN' NOW!
John: We still have hope for 2030 or even 2020. I mean, people are working on humanoid robots as we speak!
A filler comic from StongRadd's webcomic-to-be
Where's my hovercraft?
Where's my jetpack?
Where's the font of acquired wisdom that eludes me now?
— They Might Be Giants, "The World Before Later On"
I'm going to write a story set after the Singularity, a million years hence, when we are all intergalactically-empowered immortal sentiences in the Beyond, and people will STILL BE COMPLAINING ABOUT NOT HAVING SODDING JETPACKS.
Boy: It's 2011. I want my flying car.
Girl: Dude. You're complaining to me on a phone, on which you buy and read books. And which you were using to play a 3D shooter until I interrupted you with what would be a video call if I was wearing a shirt.
Boy: Can't I have a flying car, too?
Girl: You'd crash it while texting and playing Angry Birds.
''It wasn't that long ago that...we had a future that we could clearly imagine. The future wasn't tomorrow, next week, next year, or next century. It was a place with a form, a structure, astyle [sic]...The future was a world with a distinct architecture. It had its own way of speaking. It had its own technology. It was for all intents and purposes a different land where people dressed differently, talked differently, ate differently, and even thought differently. It was where scientists were wizards, where machines were magically effective and efficient, where tyrants were at least romantically evil rather than banal, and where the heavens were fairyland [sic] where dreams could literally come true...
As Midnight brought in the year 2000 (or 2001 if you prefer), something odd began to sink in. For people of my generation, who had lived through the tarnished promises of the Atomic Age, the Space Age, the Computer Age, and the This That and Another Age, the year 2001 was a gateway. We waited twenty, thirty, forty years and some longer to pass though that gate into a time when spaceships the size of ocean liners plied between colonised planets, where cities were colourful collections of brand new towers without a single old building or blade of grass, where people wore jumpsuits like they were the togas of a technocratic Rome, where robots were our powerful and obedient servants, and where jetpacks were as common as galoshes...Our future was supposed to be a sort of technocratic, atomic-powered, computer-controlled, antiseptic, space-travelling Jerusalem that would at last free us from the curse of Eden and original sin...We expected a sort of bloodless, benign French Revolution with Hugo Gernsback as our Voltaire and Carl Sagan as our Robespierre. And what did we get? The City of Man with Tivo.
— Tales of Future Past
In five years, we're gonna have flying cars and hoverboards and self-lacing shoes... it better happen. Otherwise they should have made it the year 3000. Even if they made it 2100, we'd all be dead. It wouldn't make a difference anyway. Better to be a mystery than to be wrong!
Hobbes: A new decade is coming up.
Calvin: Yeah, big deal! Hmph. Where are the flying cars? Where are the moon colonies? Where are the personal robots and the zero gravity boots, huh? You call this a new decade?! You call this the future?? HA! Where are the rocket packs? Where are the disintegration rays? Where are the floating cities?
Hobbes: Frankly, I'm not sure people have the brains to manage the technology they've got.
Calvin: I mean, look at this! We still have weather?! Give me a break!
How can we breathe with no air? Where's Grandpa Max? If this is the future, does everybody have jetpacks? Who won the last five world series? No seriously, where are the jetpacks?''
— 10 year old Ben, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
I thought by now we'd live in space
and eat a pill instead of dinner
and wear a gas mask on our face,
a President of female gender.
Though progress marches on,
our troubles will grow strong
and my expectancies, become my fantasies.
You turn my blood to sand, the earth stands still again.
— Daniel Amos, "(It's the Eighties, So Where's Our) Rocket Packs"
O'Malley: How did you know these were rocket pants?
Whiskey: O'Malley, if you woke up in the future and you weren't wearing rocket pants, what's the first thing you'd do?
O'Malley: Kick everything's ass.
Whiskey: That's right. And since you weren't ducking when I woke up, I knew my pants could fly.
"We've all got gadgets coming out of our ears; ipods, satnavs, an electrical item for every job. To many, it must seem like we're living in the future. But to other's the cry has always been: "Well if this is the future, then where's my jetpack?" Well today, those people will definitely have a smile on their face."
The future ain't what it used to be.
— Attributed to Yogi Berra; this trope in a nutshell.
"You know what's so disappointing about the future?" growled the torrid half-Klingon. "NO FLYING CARS!" She swung back her arm and hurled the speedster as hard and far as she could.
— Attack of the 50-Ft Half-Klingon