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* The backstory to Creator/HarryTurtledove's short story "Herbig-Haro", later expanded on in the prequel "The Road Not Taken". Antigravity and FTL travel turn out to be so ridiculously easy to discover that it can be done by civilisations "who can barely smelt metal" (one race is mentioned to have bronze starships because they couldn't smelt iron), but the science involved is so different that it doesn't work with any other form of science or technology, and throws off the development of UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod. Also, once you have antigravity and FTL, it could be said that you don't ''need'' many other forms of science or tech, so they are never developed. You end up with civilizations that essentially stall at whatever technology level they were at when antigravity is discovered. Humans find out about this when they are invaded by aliens, the current dominant local interstellar power, who march out of their anti-gravity propelled starships and attempt to conquer the planet with ''muskets'' and linear battle tactics. Given that they attempt to invade early 21st century Earth, it's a short invasion, and humans promptly spread out to the stars with their superior technology.

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* The backstory to Creator/HarryTurtledove's short story "Herbig-Haro", later expanded on in the prequel "The Road Not Taken". Taken", uses this trope as its basic premise. Antigravity and FTL travel turn out to be so tech are ridiculously easy simple to discover that it can be done by civilisations "who can barely smelt metal" (one race is mentioned to have bronze starships because they couldn't smelt iron), but discover, but the science involved is so different that it technology doesn't work with any other form of science or technology, and throws off the development of UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod. Also, once you have antigravity and FTL, it could be said effectively destroys UsefulNotes/TheScientificMethod. This means that you don't ''need'' many other forms of science or tech, so when a race discovers antigrav, they are never developed. You end up with civilizations that essentially stall tend to freeze themselves at whatever technology technological level they were at when antigravity is discovered. Humans find out about this when at the time; there are references to a race that uses bronze spaceships because they are invaded by aliens, never discovered ironworking. In "The Road Not Taken", the current most dominant local interstellar power, who march out of power attacks Earth, but since their anti-gravity propelled starships and attempt to conquer tech stalled out around the planet with ''muskets'' and linear battle tactics. Given that Age of Exploration they attempt to invade get [[CurbStompBattle steamrolled]] by the early 21st century Earth, it's a short invasion, and humans promptly spread out to the stars humans. The story ends with their superior technology.surviving leaders horrified at the idea that [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone they've handed the key to space travel to such an advanced race]].


* ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Star Wars]]'' Literature/NewJediOrder inverts this, as everyone in the known galaxy has never seen a book before, but the Chiss use them. [[WordOfGod According to George Lucas]], the entire galaxy reached the electronic age so long ago that [=eReaders=] and datapads have been around for millenia, completely eliminating the need of paper (no paper was allowed to be visible on screen in the movies for any reason) for so long that the concept of the codex book was lost.

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* ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse ''[[Franchise/StarWarsLegends Star Wars]]'' Literature/NewJediOrder inverts this, as everyone in the known galaxy has never seen a book before, but the Chiss use them. [[WordOfGod According to George Lucas]], the entire galaxy reached the electronic age so long ago that [=eReaders=] and datapads have been around for millenia, completely eliminating the need of paper (no paper was allowed to be visible on screen in the movies for any reason) for so long that the concept of the codex book was lost.


* The NBC {{sitcom}} ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' pretty much ran on this concept. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3WHR6pqPRo This]] is a particularly good example.
* In the pilot episode of his series, ''Series/{{Alf}}'' flushes the Tanners' toilet and exclaims "Interesting concept."
* The native dimension of Lorne from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' never invented music, and he's the only native who ever learned to sing. They ''do'' have dance, which looks rather dumb with no audible accompaniment.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': PlayedForLaughs in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E11FearHer "Fear Her"]], where the Doctor once pointed out the fact that humans are the only species in the universe that has invented edible ball bearings.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', Crichton misses various things from Earth which he is unable to acquire in space such as chocolate, milk and jeans. Also, you have to go to Earth if you want to get your favourite DRD some [=WD40=].
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': The Asgard, who are ridiculously far ahead of humans, have to enlist the Earthlings' help to fight the Replicators, against whom Asgard beam weaponry is useless, but [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter guns work wonders]]. Thor mentions that the thought of using chemical propellants to fire a slug of blunt lead simply never occurred to them. Presumably, they hadn't used propellant weapons in several million years and didn't think of using them. There's also the fact that all Asgard are clones whose consciousnesses have been around for thousands of years. This tends to lead to some rigidness in views, although they're still damn good scientists.



* The NBC SitCom ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' pretty much ran on this concept. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3WHR6pqPRo This]] is a particularly good example.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where the Doctor once pointed out the fact that humans are the only species in the universe that has invented edible ball bearings.
* Also in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'', where Jack tries to cheer up Owen during a team camping trip.

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* The NBC SitCom ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' pretty much ran on ''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}'': In this concept. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3WHR6pqPRo This]] is a particularly good example.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Series/DoctorWho'', where
show's universe, neither the Doctor once pointed out the fact that humans are the only species in the universe that has Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented edible ball bearings.
popcorn or an equivalent, so Kara was terrified of the popcorn maker when she first came to Earth.
* Also in ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'', where ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'': Jack tries to cheer up Owen during a team camping trip.



* In the pilot episode of his series, Series/{{Alf}} flushes the Tanners' toilet and exclaims "Interesting concept."
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': The Asgard, who are ridiculously far ahead of humans, have to enlist the Earthlings' help to fight the Replicators, against whom Asgard beam weaponry is useless, but [[KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter guns work wonders]]. Thor mentions that the thought of using chemical propellants to fire a slug of blunt lead simply never occurred to them. Presumably, they hadn't used propellant weapons in several million years and didn't think of using them. There's also the fact that all Asgard are clones whose consciousnesses have been around for thousands of years. This tends to lead to some rigidness in views, although they're still damn good scientists.
* The native dimension of Lorne from ''Series/{{Angel}}'' never invented music, and he's the only native who ever learned to sing. They ''do'' have dance, which looks rather dumb with no audible accompaniment.
* ''Series/{{Supergirl|2015}}'': In this show's universe, neither the Kryptonians nor any of their trading partners apparently ever invented popcorn or an equivalent, so Kara was terrified of the popcorn maker when she first came to Earth.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', Crichton misses various things from Earth which he is unable to acquire in space such as chocolate, milk and jeans. Also, you have to go to Earth if you want to get your favourite DRD some [=WD40=].



[[folder:Web Comics]]

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[[folder:Web Comics]][[folder:Webcomics]]


** Earth ''itself'' lost the concept of the wheel at some point after civilization collapsed and was rebuilt. They somehow managed to get to [[FlyingCars the hovercar]] before they needed it.

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** Earth ''itself'' lost the concept of the wheel at some point after civilization collapsed and was rebuilt. They somehow managed to get to [[FlyingCars [[FlyingCar the hovercar]] before they needed it.


* In ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'': Earth is known has the home of the Pizza Bagel. Apparently other civilizations have done Pizza and Bagels, but never thought to combine them.

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* In ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'': ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': Earth is known has the home of the Pizza Bagel. Apparently other civilizations have done Pizza and Bagels, but never thought to combine them.them.
** Earth ''itself'' lost the concept of the wheel at some point after civilization collapsed and was rebuilt. They somehow managed to get to [[FlyingCars the hovercar]] before they needed it.


* A literal version of this trope is Spielberg's remake of ''War of the Worlds'', where the aliens are shown in the basement of a house, quizzically playing with the wheel of a bike, in an homage to the original novel (see the Literature section below). They're also touching and even ''licking'' everything. It would appear they also have no concept of germs which ends up being their downfall.

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* A literal version of this trope is Spielberg's remake of ''War of the Worlds'', ''Film/WarOfTheWorlds'', where the aliens are shown in the basement of a house, quizzically playing with the wheel of a bike, in an homage to the original novel (see the Literature section below). They're also touching and even ''licking'' everything. It would appear they also have no concept of germs which ends up being their downfall.

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* ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'' is really bizarre in this aspect, considering the story is set between levels 3 and 4 of the MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Despite the anthropomorphics having jet engine technology and also jet-propulsed planes and ships, there's no ''fighter jet'' technology and no military seafaring outside civilian grounds, even if some planets does have seas. In the case of the former, this is for a myriad of in and out-universe reasons, mostly to avoid jet fighters from [[SpotlightStealingSquad stealing the spotlight from the characters]].


* In ''WesternAnimation/Futurama'': Earth is known has the home of the Pizza Bagel. Apparently other civilizations have done Pizza and Bagels, but never thought to combine them.



* UsefulNotes/PreColumbianCivilizations only used wheels for children's toys. This makes more sense when you realize that at the time, the Americas didn't have any domesticated animals suitable for pulling wheeled carts. The only beast of burden native to the Americas is the llama of the Andes Mountains. The Inca Empire used llamas, but as pack animals (which carry goods on their backs) as opposed to draft animals (which pull goods in carts). Llamas can scale stairs and steep slopes well enough on their own, and wheels would just slow them down in such an environment.

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* UsefulNotes/PreColumbianCivilizations only used wheels for children's toys. This makes more sense when you realize that at the time, the Americas didn't have any domesticated animals suitable for pulling wheeled carts. The only beast of burden native to the Americas is the llama of the Andes Mountains. The Inca Empire used llamas, but as pack animals (which carry goods on their backs) as opposed to draft animals (which pull goods in carts). Llamas can scale stairs and steep slopes well enough on their own, and wheels would just slow them down in such an environment. Additionally, wheels good enough for human pulled carts require a lot of effort to get to move, so improving the wheels to get good results takes a lot of effort.


Might be the reason some AliensStealCable and AlienArtsAreAppreciated. May also be the reason that there is NoSuchThingAsAlienPopCulture. Contrast with the political version: AliensNeverInventedDemocracy.

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Might be the reason some AliensStealCable and AlienArtsAreAppreciated. May also be the reason that there is NoSuchThingAsAlienPopCulture.NoSuchThingAsAlienPopCulture and why AutomobilesAreAlien. Contrast with the political version: AliensNeverInventedDemocracy.

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** Their (preceding) cable TV special (named "Invisible thread") has the aliens explain. They knew it was a trick, but said no other species would pretend there was something like that.

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** It's also worth noting that [[KnightInShiningArmour European knights]] largely did away with carrying shields themselves in the same era as the golden age of the Samurai. When covered head-to-toe in a full suit of plate or chainmail armour, a shield is somewhat redundant.

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[[folder:Radio]]
* ''Radio/JourneyIntoSpace'': In ''Journey to the Moon'' / ''Operation Luna'', the Time Travellers have no concept of music.
[[/folder]]


** This all despite having advanced matemathics as well as medicine

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** This all despite having advanced matemathics mathemathics as well as medicine


** In one episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', the crew meets an alien race which is quite advanced, but was completely oblivious to the concept of ''music'' before hearing the Doctor sing. Even after they did become fond of it, they seem to enjoy the music primarily because of its mathematical rather than its artistic aspects.
** Data on ''Next Generation'' once mentioned a race that developed a written language before the use of speech or gestures.

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** In one the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', "[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E13Virtuoso Virtuoso]]", the crew meets an alien race which is quite advanced, but was completely oblivious to the concept of ''music'' before hearing the Doctor sing. Even after they did become fond of it, they seem to enjoy the music primarily because of its mathematical rather than its artistic aspects.
** In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS2E5LoudAsAWhisper Loud As a Whisper]]", Data on ''Next Generation'' once mentioned mentions a race that called the Leyrons who developed a written language before the use of speech or gestures.


* The hunter-gatherers of Australia were still using very simple technology and had only very limited agriculture when the Europeans discovered the continent.

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* The hunter-gatherers of Australia were still using very simple technology and had only very limited agriculture when the Europeans discovered the continent. They weren't even using bows and arrows.

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