Follow TV Tropes


Awesome Backpack

Go To
The backpack The Medic wears is called the Emerald Jarate.note 

"Why worry? Each one of us is wearing an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back..."
Peter Venkman, Ghostbusters

An ordinary backpack doesn't do anything too special, being that it's just there to carry things around, and, by its nature, weighs you down and gets in the way in the process. An Awesome Backpack is different though, such that you end up wishing you could get your hands on one. While most Awesome Backpacks aren't for carrying things around, it can still involve a normal backpack if it constantly provides items that are a central part of a character's capabilities (especially for Crazy-Prepared characters).

Subtropes include: Ammunition Backpack, Backpack Cannon, Helicopter Pack, Jetpack, and any backpack variety of Bag of Holding.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kagome's backpack in Inuyasha: modern food and medicine in a medieval setting, plus arrows.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, this seems to be the theme of the series. The main character's mobile suit is unique for its abilities to wear a different Awesome Backpack for every situation, which carries onto the mass-produced versions in the sequel. The Justice also has an Awesome Backpack, which doubles as a hoverboard.
  • The Beargguy from Model Suit Gunpla Builders Beginning G has the Landcell unit. It looks like a school backpack, yet it's outfitted with space thrusters to allow it to move through space and holds its Beam Recorder/Saber and a missile launcher.
  • Likewise, the Build Strike Gundam and Zaku Amazing in Gundam Build Fighters have backpacks that turn into Mobile Armors.

    Comic Books 
  • The original Rogue Trooper's backpack was so awesome it was one of the characters, being implanted with the biochip of one of his fallen comrades! Also something of a Bag of Holding.

    Films — Animation 
  • RJ's golf bag full of random man-made items in Over the Hedge isn't particularly special, but seeing as Verne feels the need to point this out to his friends...

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ghostbusters features the Proton Pack (featured as the subject of the trope quote), a man-portable particle accelerator which, through an attached "Neutrona Wand", is used as a sort of lasso to wrangle the ghosts into a position to be trapped properly. The wildly undulating particle streams also have a nasty habit of causing lots of collateral damage.
  • Sarah Harding's backpack in The Lost World: Jurassic Park saves her ass on a few occasions.
  • Kick-Ass, in the climax, gets his hands onto the jetpack, complete with two shoulder-mounted retractable miniguns.

  • The kosho warrior (basically a futuristic samurai) in Barrington J. Bayley's The Zen Gun carries an arsenal of mentally aimed weapons in his backpack.
  • Nakor from The Riftwar Cycle has one with a magic portal in the bottom that terminates in a fruit warehouse, allowing him to always produce an orange from it no matter where he is. He can also use it to hide things in the fruit warehouse. And, later, in a cave where his things are less likely to get stolen.
  • The "Knapsack" from Fablehaven - poke your head inside (or crawl right in) to reveal a good sized storage space, with food, water, a Yahtzee-obsessed demon, and odds and ends that you will never, ever need unless you are in a fantasy novel.
  • The "adventurer's bags" from the "Adventurers Wanted" series. Each bag is rather light, made of sturdy material, can never be stolen, and has at least three rooms. yes, rooms. What's more, you can go buy more rooms! Rooms that get bigger, rooms with swimming pools, even a garden! They also appear to have an endless source of energy - they come with lights.
  • In The Looking-Glass Wars, Hatter Madigan's backpack, in keeping with Hatter's general badassery, is capable of opening up like a Swiss Army knife, revealing assorted blades and corkscrews.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road, Rufo has a small backpack which is light and easy to carry, but which unfolds and keeps unfolding until it provides multiple large tents, a dining set complete with tables, chairs, a canopy, dishes and silverware, plus food and cooking gear, complete equipment load-outs for a variety of missions, clothing and other stuff as needed. Just be careful bringing it through a portal between the universes or dropping it in a swamp, as it tends to cause a small nuclear explosion.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The four-armed robo-tank-repair-backpack of a Techmarine. Indeed, with the exceptions of Scouts and Terminators, all Space Marines wear awesome backpacks, often including such things as eagle's-head exhausts, trophy racks, and (in the case of Chaos Possessed) functioning batlike wings.
    • Special mention, in addition to those discussed above, goes to the Sanguinary Guard's ornate decorative wings on their jump packs and the Grey Knight Interceptors' teleporter vanes.
    • Tau XV-8 and XV-88 Battlesuits typically have their jetpacks as backpack-equivalents, and these have attachment points for systems - meaning that they can have upgrades such as sensors, drone controllers, shield generators, rocket launchers...
  • The Warcasters in Iron Kingdoms wear steampacks that generate a power field, enhance their physical traits, and nullifies the roleplaying penalty to casting Arcane spells while wearing armor.
  • Manhunter. Characters can buy an Antigravity Backpack that allows them to fly at up to 120 kilometers/hour.
  • Traveller:
    • The grav belt had its Artificial Gravity equipment and power supply in a backpack.
    • The New Era sourcebook Vampire Fleets. The Fer de lance anti-Virus system and its battery power source are stored in a backpack.
  • Shadowrun
    • Shadowland magazine Vol. 5 article "Bigger, Badder and Powered". One option for powered armor is the Extended Power Supply, which is a backpack attached to the rear of the armor that doubles duration of use.
    • 3rd Ed. Man & Machine: Cyberware supplement. The Savior Advance Medkit can be worn as a backpack. It can inject stimulant, coagulant and painkilling drugs into the recipient's bloodstream, as well as healing nanites that can reseal damaged flesh, prevent blood loss and prevent the victim from going into shock.

    Video Games 
  • The medigun backpack in Team Fortress 2.
    • Especially the Quick-Fix's impressive-looking backpack.
    • The Soldier has a few backpacks, all displaying flags when in use.
    • The Pyro has some interesting air tank replacements, including a Zeerust rocket pack, a Sugar Bowl orchestrina, and a backpack full of fireworks.
  • The Gluon gun in Half-Life, partially a Shout-Out to the above proton packs, as the alternate name for the weapon in scripting is the "Egon".
  • Banjo's backpack in Banjo-Kazooie could be considered a subversion: most of the awesome comes from Kazooie, not the backpack itself. Double (maybe even triple) subverted in Banjo-Tooie where the backpack has powers on its own and can do many things you wouldn't be normally able to do... but it still pales in comparison to Kazooie.
  • The Mario series had a brief love affair with this trope during the GameCube era.
  • Bagman from Rogue Trooper is the ultimate in this trope. Fully sentient, and loaded with whatever gadget Rogue needs at the moment. It even has a mechanical arm to hand the desired item to Rogue.
  • Various backpacks in multiplayer of Red Faction: Guerrilla
  • Ratchet & Clank. Clank is an Awesome Backpack most of the time.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies has some pretty awesome backpacks, the best one being a FRICKIN KRAYT DRAGON SKULL! For reference, this is a Krayt dragon and they are still one of the most fearsome enemies in the game.
  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Pokémon Platinum:
    • The backpacks owned by Lucas and Dawn can store 999 copies of every item in just one of the infinite spaces, in addition to the Key Items, which are things like (well, collapsible, but still) bicycles.
    • Future protagonists have messenger bags that do the same thing.
  • In Psychonauts, Rasputin's (Raz) backpack may not look like much, and may store a few odd things, but keep in mind that his backpack keeps track of his powers as they advance by adhering flying merit badges! And he has some pretty sweet powers!
  • Tribes: Everyone gets jetpacks (and we do mean everyone)! The equippable Packs might also qualify, although some are more awesome than others.
  • Global Agenda, trying very hard to be a modern Tribes, did this. The jetpacks open up when you activated them, and don't close for a few seconds. You can color them. They're shiny. The devs realized at some point that the thing you spend hours looking at should be pretty. The medic ones have tubes of something running through them. Not sure what it is, but it has almost as much animation in making the tubes of shining goop bounce as for the rest of the player model.
  • Fallout 3 gives you the Shishkebab, complete with a motorcycle gas tank on the back.
  • Field agents of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified wear increasingly bulky backpacks that provide a number of advantages, such as improved accuracy, protection, or armor-piercing bullets.
  • The character Gazlowe from Warcraft wields an attack robot on his back, although this is only visible since Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm.
  • Male Chemists in Final Fantasy Tactics. Female Chemists have an Awesome Fannypack instead.
  • In Eternal Fighter Zero, Ayu Tsukimiya is able to use her winged backpack as her primary weapon: its tiny wings grow larger to slap, or outright punch Ayu's opponent.
  • Starbound has the Environmental Protection Packs, or EPPs for short. They possess a variety of features, from supplying oxygen for biomes with no breathable air such as outer space or the ocean, to providing protection from environmental hazards such as excessive radiation, extreme cold or extreme heat. They can also be fitted with augments to give them secondary abilities such as acting as a light source or increasing one of your stats.
  • The GrabPack from Poppy Playtime is a mechanical backpack outfitted with pneumatic-powered firing mechanisms that you can use to grab far-away objects and complete electric circuits thanks to the conductive cables. Presumably for the sake of fitting Playtime Co. branding, the "hooks" are cartoony red and blue hands.
  • Backpack Hero is about a mouse managing the inventory in her backpack to optimally explore dungeons. This backpack is the core of the game, with most means of damaging people, healing, and magic all stored in there. There are even bonuses for proper inventory spacing and positioning.
  • Far Cry 6 has Supremos, various craftable back-mounted devices that have various different abilities. This ranges from a jetpack that can function as a short-ranged flamethrower as well as giving you an airdash to a mortar that fires homing missiles.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: The Allied Chrono Legionnaires wear bulky, tortoiseshell backpacks that allow them to teleport around the battlefield.
  • Reverse: 1999 has An-an Lee's backpack, the Ghost Catcher 2021k. It's a unique marvel of magic and science that lets her fight ghosts and other threats with ease, even though in their Gaslamp Fantasy world, the arcane and the technological were once thought to be mutually exclusive.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Felix the Cat's Magic Bag of Tricks, which can turn into anything he needs for any situation, be it a unicycle, a jet plane, a rocket, etc.
  • Dora the Explorer's backpack...really! That thing turns into a submarine and a hang glider! It's the coolest thing in the show.
  • Depending on the plot, Kim Possible's backpack is either a generic backpack with not so generic stuff inside, or a Jetpack disguised as a backpack. At one point, she throws it out of a window and it inflates into a boat.
  • Invader Zim's PAK can extend robotic extra limbs that shoot lasers, among other things. It's also necessary for his survival.
    • Word of God says that their entire personality is in there. Not only that, some Wild Mass Guessing theories say that the only reason the entire Irken race even have bodies is so they can carry PAKs around to conquer planets with. It's their brains, their life-support systems, their pretty much everything.
  • Simon Belmont in Captain N: The Game Master has a backpack from which he pulls out a wide variety of items. Some are curiously specific to the situation at hand.
  • Johnny Test had the Turbo Action Backpack, with an A/V system, heavy weapons, and a shrink ray.
  • Static Shock has Richie's robot backpack.
  • Most of Gizmo's weaponry in Teen Titans (2003) is some type of awesome backpack.
  • Jaime's scarab in Batman: The Brave and the Bold could be thought of as an Awesome Backpack that talks (sort of).
  • The Filmation's Ghostbusters wear Ghost Packs, which are far more mundane Bags of Holding... EXCEPT for the fact that they can also turn into jetpacks.
  • Transformers: Animated: People tend to forget about Wreck-Gar's seemingly endless supply of garbage. In one episode alone, he pulled out a spoiled roast beef, three stop signs, and was able to vacuum up thousands of microbots.
  • Birdman (1967) episode "Meets Reducto". The title villain's Shrink Ray device is a pistol connected to a backpack that holds the Reduction Device's electronic components.
  • Steven Universe has his "Cheeseburger Backpack", introduced in the episode of the same name. It's really just a novelty backpack he ordered online, but it's surprisingly roomy.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: Milo's backpack, which he got from his old babysitter Veronica, has all sorts of random things in it that can help deal with problems caused by Murphy's Law.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Dendy's "hack pack" serves as a travelling laboratory, a supercomputer that can hack into just about anything, and a secure carrying case for her POW Cards collection.

    Real Life 
  • Real Life: flamethrowers.
  • Another Real Life example would be an astronaut's PLSS, allowing them to do a free flight EVA.
  • The LC series of backpacks the US military has used since at least Vietnam. Who doesn't want a backpack that's 40 years old, survived combat, trans-Pacific travel, extreme climate and climate changes, and STILL WORKS?
  • Pangolin Backpacks. A backpack made from old trucking tires, slides down via magnets, and is incredibly sturdy.
  • Parachutes.
  • Various models of Super Soaker and other brands of high-end squirt guns draw water from an attached backpack, giving the wearer a far greater supply of ammunition than that afford by a purely handheld model.