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Infinite Supplies

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'Hmmm,' thought Neelix as he rummaged through his supplies. 'We're running out of instant shuttlecraft.'
The Relevance of Discretion, a Star Trek: Voyager fanfic

The complete opposite of Perpetual Poverty.

This is when the main characters not only never run out of basic items like food and clothing, but they never seem to have a problem getting hold of all their assorted signature weapons, cool cars and other gear. No matter how difficult it would be for your average person to obtain because of rarity, cost, or illegality, our heroes seem to be able to procure it with about as much effort as it takes the average person to buy a cheeseburger.

Where do they get this stuff, (especially the toys)?

Note that just having one or two episodes where supplies are mentioned is not an aversion if they completely ignore the supply situation in later episodes.

Some ostensible Scavenger Worlds can inspire Fridge Logic this way if major drama is made out of the difficulty of finding food, medicine and the like, but the characters are driving around in petrol-powered cars the whole time and fighting off the bad guys with guns, and nobody ever deigns to explain where the fuel and ammunition are coming from.

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     Anime and Manga  

  • Those Who Hunt Elves: Ritsuko is played up as sort of a Cosplay Otaku Girl /k/ommando, but even so her ammo dump never seems to run dry of bullets, grenades, landmines, miscellaneous tacticool equipment or even ARTILLERY SHELLS for the Russian surplus T-72 tank it's all carried on while Trapped in Another World for two seasons. Speaking of this tank (owned by an otherwise perfectly Ordinary High-School Student), it also presents one of the few aversions in the show, as at first it runs on something resembling gasoline squeezed from pear-like nuts until they have the misfortune to run dry and nearly abandon it before it no longer requires fuel, due to being possessed by the ghost of a kitten.
  • Poor Kelly. Due to the fighting in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, she's gone through probably one fairly expensive car per episode, and yet still seems to be able to get her hands on another one without any kind of insurance gouging, because she always has something fancy.
  • Space Battleship Yamato: Especially during The Quest For Iscandar. They always seemed to have spare parts and building materials to repair Yamato so that it was good as new for the next episode. They even completely replaced that third bridge at least once. Mining asteroids for metals in the solar system is easy enough to repair basic hull damage. Our solar system's asteroid belt is rich in minerals. But what about after you leave for interstellar space. But what about plastics, ceramics, electronic components, and all of the other parts that require materials that may or may not be in your average asteroid. Yamato did have a factory aboard (Sandor's so called dynamic do-all in Star Blazers) but there's just no way to have every type of material on hand to fix or replace every item aboard.
    • The Star Blazers comic book adaptation by Tim Eldred establishes that after every battle, they scavenge the wrecked enemy ships for parts and materials.
  • In Pokémon, the characters always have money on hand and almost always have enough supplies. They are never shown buying items and it's never mentioned where they get their money.


  • Most superheroes, in both cartoons and live action, are guilty of this. Sometimes it's explained, but often it isn't. Batman has Wayne Enterprises as a front to bankroll his ventures, but how does Superman afford to pay the grounds crew responsible for maintaining the Fortress of Solitude while he's living in Metropolis? It's possible to explain this away — Superman, for example, had a horde of robots he had built using his superpowers to maintain the Fortress — but most don't bother.
  • Played straight with Iron Man. No matter how many government agencies he pisses off, how much public support he loses, and whether or not his company is still in his control, Tony has enough supplies to build his Iron Man suits. At worst, he may be forced to build a slightly inferior suit, but he never runs out of the metals, circuitry, fuels or power supplies needed. Because he's Tony Stark dammit, and he can build these things in a cave with a box of scraps!


  • The Lord of the Rings: Overlapping with Bottomless Magazines, Legolas seems to have infinite arrows, in contrast to the book, where the replenishment of his arrow supply is a constant source of concern.
  • Subverted in Men in Black, where Kay tells Jay exactly how the organization is funded, saying they hold patents on a lot of inventions that were either given to them or confiscated from aliens, including microwaves and liposuction.
  • Averting this is the subject of The Resistance Banker. Funding La Résistance in a Nazi-occupied country, and supporting the families of those who have fled to England, costs a lot of money, and personal charity by patriotic citizens is not enough. The Framing Device that runs through the movie is Gijs being called to account by the Belgian government after the war—they have a Mass "Oh, Crap!" on finding that almost 100 million guilders have been spent (which they're expected to pay back) when the Government in Exile only authorised 30 million.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: As seen by Ralph's sleeping place, when Felix fixes the building, he does not summon the bricks back, but creates new ones which he can do for an unlimited amount of time.
  • The aversion in El Alamein: The Line of Fire is used to drive home that War Is Hell: a motorcycle-driving Bersagliere at the start stops when he passes by some wrecked cars to scavenge some fuel, and is happy when he gets half a liter, the protagonist is warned to guard his canteen of pure water because it's rare on the frontlines (the veterans steal it when he's distracted by a corporal getting disintegrated when an artillery shell falls on him), as shown when water supplies arrive in repurposed fuel barrels and the only one who protests is Serra, the corporal above, before being killed, explains Serra that what little artillery they still have is all in the north (and they're at the extreme south of the frontline), they have no toilet paper (and he advises to learn quickly how to use sand as a substitute), water is rationed to drink only (and he suggests to also use sand for it), and food arrives rarely. Rarely enough that when a truck directed to headquarters get lost and brings them Mussolini's horse the lieutenant decides to kill it to feed his platoon.
    • Subverted with the British Army: they seem to have this, but the Italians know they're simply closer to Alexandria and their supply lines are shorter, so they're resupplied more easily.


  • The Culture of Iain M. Banks's novels has created a utopian, post-scarcity society through harnessing the forces of the universes' underlying "grid", apparently effortless energy-matter conversion and the inception of benevolent A.I.s far beyond human capabilities. The virtually limit- and effortless availability of goods and services to the individual as well as to the society itself has led to a culture which largely lives for its own hedonism.
  • The characters in The Leonard Regime always have needed equipment, often illegal to possess. Justified due to the ease of purchasing on the black market and the government's inability to stop it.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka seems to have no problem procuring the means not only to keep his chocolate factory running at full steam and house an entire workforce, but to apparently constantly expand it — it's actually become an Elaborate Underground Base — and outfit it with an amazing array of inventions that use technology the outside world might fight over...even though he rarely ventures outside of it (to the point that no one, in the novel, has seen him in 10 years when the story begins) and apparently makes no contact with anyone beyond it, nothing so much as a phone call!

     Live Action TV  

  • Gilligan's Island generally played this straight, though a number of episodes involved the foraging of supplies found on the island or washed ashore.
  • MoonBase Alpha on Space: 1999 had an apparently infinite supply of Eagle Transporters. They blew up one every episode, it seemed, and never ran out. The Eagle hanger is actually shown in a couple episodes of, and it stores probably 20 or so of the things. The modular design lets them also disassemble and reassemble Eagles when needed. It's also said in an early episode that they have enough Eagles to completely evacuate the base (in one trip), which would imply dozens are available.
  • Red Dwarf did the same trick with Starbugs, until the reconstructed Red Dwarf in season 8 showed there were at least a dozen of them available. Occasionally averted with food supplies (the ship was meant to support a crew of at least a thousand, according to one source). However, they run out of cow's milk by series 2 for instance, resorting to the emergency backup supply of dog's milk, and in another episode a shortage of strawberries drives Lister to invent a Matter Replicator (with some serious bugs). Things get even worse in the seasons where they're stuck in the Starbug.
    • The first episode of series VII involves Lister resorting to time travel to replenish the supplies of lager and curries after a flood on the supply deck. The series also ofen mentions items which had not been seen before (such as lobsters and Lister's dressing gown) being scavenged from derelicts.
  • Star Trek: Voyager was a particularly egregious offender. Voyager was stranded on the other side of the galaxy, far away from Federation space, but they rarely had any supply problems. Quite an engineering marvel for a small scouting vessel. Some of these issues came from Executive Meddling, the show was built along the idea of the ship getting more run down and crew more haggard over the years, but it would lose that episodic quality and the network asked them to eliminate those factors.
    • Voyager has both played this straight and disregarded it. In the early seasons, "replicator rations" and the use of a greenhouse to grow crops on the ship were prominent subplots, along with Neelix having to scout out supplies and contacts for the crew (as he was intended to be an intermediary between the ship and other alien races for supplies). On the other hand, the ship was damaged so often and lost so many key components - including a grand total of 16 shuttles - that it's hard to fathom how the ship made it back to Earth in one piece, let alone looking just as spotless as when it first set out at the beginning of the series. Later episodes like "Fury", where a time-travelling Kes causes a Vidiian warship to blow out three of Voyager's decks (in an episode set during the early seasons, when rationing and supplies were vitally important), make the ship's ability to effortlessly repair damage even more ridiculous.
    • One Hand Wave is that replicator technology allows them to, which allows them to produce almost anything by using energy to rearrange inert matter. While the energy itself was finite they didn't need to find replacement parts for the ship itself because they could easily replicate it. This was put on display as the crew designed and built the Delta Flyer, a custom shuttle that incidentally could explain how they kept replacing the Type-8 shuttles that kept crashing. In some episodes the ship's progress was forced to a halt in order for Voyager to scout out more supplies on various nearby planets or miraculous substances in nearby space phenomena (leading to Janeway's infamous quote, "there's coffee in that nebula!"), or to trade for supplies on inhabited ones - in some cases Voyager was fortunate to find extremely generous humanoids who gave them supplies for free. However, this is somewhat contested by Janeway when she states early in the series that they had no way to replace any photon torpedoes that they expend. Either the replicator is only capable of reproducing comparatively basic forms of matter, or there is something about the torpedoes construction in particular that prevents them from being replicated. (Though as this montage shows, maybe they could replace them after all!)
    • The subversion of this trope is most noticeable in the disaster episodes such as Year of Hell, where the ship demonstrated special energy conservation modes, Voyager being seen in extremely poor condition with life support restricted to only a small part of the ship and very strict rationing - all unnecessary items were fed back into the replicators in order to be converted to useful supplies. Additionally, in one episode Voyager is pulled into some sort of void from which there is no way to escape. There are certainly not infinite supplies. All ships stuck there are forced to attack and plunder other ships recently pulled into the void as their only way of survival - that is, until Voyager forms an alliance, pooling resources and supplies, and eventually escaping the void. In a late-series episode the ship landed on a planet for some much needed maintenance overhaul they couldn't do while in space, which could imply that the wear and tear on the ship was kept out of sight and out of mind until Torres made the request.
  • Firefly and Farscape were very conscious of realistic supply problems for the crews. So is the new Battlestar Galactica. Even the old Battlestar Galactica crew fought to stave off rag-tag-fleet-wide famine shortly after the destruction of the colonies. And many a dogfight in space was fought over Cylon fuel depots or tankers.
    • While there were constant shortages of food, water, and fuel on Galactica, they had a seemingly endless supply of booze and smokes.
    • The old BG revealed in later episodes that food remained a problem. The crew of the Galactica herself had at least adequate food (justified in that they have to be fighting-capable to keep the fleet alive), but there were a lot of hungry people on the other ships, though maybe no longer starving. When Lucifer attempted to lead the Fleet astray, we got to see some of them.
      • When the food synthesiser gets contaminated in the new BSG, getting access to an alternate supply ("the algae planet") not only provides plot fodder for a couple of episodes, but the crew of Galactica can be seen to be eating rations of slimy green goop a whole series later, in place of the ramen-esque noodles seen in earlier episodes.
    • The legendary Farscape episode, "Crackers Don't Matter", revolves around the crew going slowly insane defending their stacks of tasteless crackers, the only food available on the ship.
    • Then in Farscape Season 3 they held up a bank and stole enough money that they never seem to be in short supply of anything from that point on. Interestingly enough, on the occasions that they are in need of supplies (in "Thanks For Sharing" for example), it's not because they're short on money, but because their reputation has scared potential traders off.
    • Firefly extended its aversion of this trope to the supplies that would be in demand when colonizing new planets with scarce resources. It subverted viewer expectations in the (original) pilot episode, when the valuable loot that the crew is smuggling turns out not to be precious metal or money as expected, but "protein bars" to feed new settlers—where a single bar of perhaps a pound was enough to feed a family of four for a month, and give them basic immunizations to boot. This happened again in "Shindig", when it's revealed at the end of the episode that the valuable cargo that the crew is hired to smuggle is a herd of cattle. Shepherd Book buys his way onto the ship with a valuable box of strawberries.
      • The strawberriers were just a portion of the pay. Fresh berries and fruit aren't that expensive in established worlds, but in space protein rations are the way to go.
    • The original Battlestar Galactica also had farm ships that provided the fleet with food, although having a large clear dome on a craft that's rarely near a star seems a bit pointless.
      • The same applies to the Botanical Ship(s) from the new series. Strangely there is a large domed luxury liner, and under the dome there is an elaborate simulation of the sky and sunlight (though "the horizon could need work") which could have been applied to the farm ships, meaning the Colonials have a way round it, but don't use it
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: "Just repeat to yourself: 'It's just a show...'"
    • Oddly enough, MST3K did explain this one with the Umbilicus that Dr. Forrester used to send stuff to Joel and the Bots. Later on, after Dr. F's funding is cut and he detaches the Umbilicus, Observer, aka Brain Guy, uses his ultra-powerful consciousness to magically pop anything Mike and the Bots need into existence.
    • There's also the episode which reveals the Satellite of Love has a feedlot which the bots use to raise record-setting hogs. Where does a huge feedlot fit on a tiny satellite? "Just repeat to yourself: 'it's just a show...'"
    • A Running Gag in the last few seasons is that the ship is actually huge, Mike just never bothered to explore beyond a few rooms. A tennis court and swimming pool are also mentioned.
  • Despite being stuck on an island the characters on Lost never seems to run out of supplies. Every time they came close, they find another source. At one point, food falls from the sky.
  • The Last Man on Earth: The survivors have limitless fuel, water and canned food pilfered from the areas around them. Season 2 briefly toyed with this by suggesting that their food and fuel might start to go bad, but that was quickly discarded for more comedy in a Cozy Catastrophe setting.
    • In the final episodes, they abandon the casita partly because they'd looted all of the stores in the area. (The live explosives and dead people in the walls were the other reasons). They plan to move to the resort city of Cancun, but ultimately change their mind when they find a sustainable farm with an orchard and a herd of goats.
  • The kids in The Tribe occasionally talk about needing food or water, but rarely actually run short, and of course there's never any shortage of fantastic, perfectly tailored clothes and brightly coloured make-up.
  • Andromeda: Subverted. Andromeda is a huge ship, and was fully supplied at the start of the series. It is also repeatedly stated that between Gadgeteer Genius Harper, Spaceship Girl Rommie and the tools onboard, the crew can build pretty much anything and everything they need from scrap and stardust. In spite of this, plenty of episodes are spent scavenging for supplies they can't reproduce like nova bombs or highly specialised engine parts.

  • In The Bible, being blessed by God and being faithful to Him means you'll never have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, whereas being rebellious and unfaithful to Him will make your life difficult to the point where you even despair for your very life. In fact, some of God's miracles, like the widow's oil producing many potfuls from just one, seem to run on this trope.

     Video Games  

  • Team Fortress 2.
    • The Medic's Healing Machine never runs out.
    • The Engineer's Dispenser is an upgradeable implementation of this trope. Heaven help you if a Pyro or a Heavy stays near one. They Never have to stop shooting.
    • "The Sandman" seems to have a infinite supply of baseballs as long as you let it "recharge". Knock your ball away and you can pick it up, but if you don't it will respawn in your hand after a while. Similarly, you can take as many sips of that BONK! energy drink can you want as long as you wait a few seconds between each use.
    • A similar case with the Jarate is lampshaded in the comic that introduced the item, stating the jar of piss refills itself every 20 second because the Sniper takes medicine to enlarge his kidneys and dull the pain of his organs shutting down.
    • Mad Milk is an even more bizarre example. Even though its development name is Mann Milk, Word of God very explicitly states that it really is mutated milk and not "something else". Which begs the question: how does the Scout get more of it on his own, without a single cow around any of the battlefields?
    • Spies have an infinite supply of sappers, which is specially troublesome to engineers if they start sapping the other end of a teleport.
    • A recent update exchanged the weapon scraping mechanic with an ammo crate drop so that players can grab and use dropped weapons instead of instantly converting them into ammo and/or scrap metal (exploded building parts still give scrap metal to engineers, though). Each dead character still drops the same amount of ammo no matter how much or how little they actually have on their person.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2'
    • The One Man Army perk in multi-player mode allows you to switch your class at any time. You can switch back to the class you're using. It refills all of your ammo. It becomes a Game-Breaker when you effectively have infinite rifle grenades.
    • A recently-discovered "Care Package Bug" allows another version of infinite supplies: with careful timing, swapping the care package marker and one's regular weapon while mantling over a chest-high structure gives you another marker after you receive and use your care package. Infinity Ward allegedly patched the bug, but made it easier to exploit, instead.
  • Advance Wars series is an odd case, where the APC has limited fuel — just like every other unit - but has infinite supplies to give to any other unit. It just can't refuel itself. However, having two APCs plays this trope considerably straighter, since either one can refuel each other indefinitely.
  • Fallout 3's merchants can somehow get their hands on more ammo, guns, Prewar boxed and canned food (that's still edible if slightly irradiated after 200 years) and in the case of Flack and Shrapnel more nuclear weapons. Some can even get their hands on Power armor.
  • Bases never run out of supplies in the Space Empires games. Ever. Even if it's at the other end of the galaxy, it has infinite supplies. The same can't be said for ships, which can lose all their supplies one turn short of getting to a resupply depot in their home system. Eventually you can get a device that generates limitless supplies.
  • In Saints Row, once a vehicle has been added to the Saints' garage, they (or more specifically specifically, the Boss) will have access to unlimited numbers of that vehicle, with the only restriction being a $500 payment to repair and redeploy a vehicle if it was added to the garage in a damaged state (first two games) or to have it hand-delivered to you by a homie (Saints Row: The Third). Since the Saints are practically a multinational corporation by the start of the Third, this sort of makes sense—until hijacked, prototype STAG vehicles like the VTOL and Specter start appearing, as well.
  • Played straight in the X-Universe for sublight fuel and shipboard consumables (e.g. food and oxygen). Averted for munitions and energy cells for the jumpdrive. Flavor text in the Encyclopedia Exposita implies that consumables do take up space (with several TP+ yachts mentioning generous food storage), but it's Gameplay and Story Segregation
  • Borderlands and Borderlands 2 explain this with digistruction, which allows matter to be transferred from one place to another, and all the weapons and cars your character uses are constructed at vending machines and Catch-A-Ride stations. How the people who run those things manage to find all the raw materials is unexplained.
  • Evolve justifies this with material assemblers, which can create nearly anything if given the blueprints and raw materials.
  • Spellforce:
    • The first game plays this straight since all the resources regenerate (even the trees grow back), but balance it out with the fact that putting more than one worker on them gather them faster than they regenerate.
      • Noteworthy is the Forester building, in which you send elves worker to plant trees, while it take a small time to do so, they plant trees and grow them quite fast, so you can ends up with a forest surrounding the building and your woodcutters always working.
    • The second game averts since. In fact, being very careful with what you have is a big part of gameplay.
  • The Elder Scrolls series has the artifact "Orgnum's Coffer," an almost weightless chest that produces gold from naught. When Orgnum himself (the King of the Maormer (Sea Elves)) possessed the Coffer, the gold it produced was unlimited. In the possession of others, it vanishes after creating a certain amount of gold.
  • Overwatch: All characters have an unlimited amount of ammo, and all of their special abilities operate on a cooldown.
  • Mogeko Castle has various items to collect, which you can farm that item endlessly if you please. One wonders how a single trash can can hold infinite amounts of garbage, a bookshelf contain infinite amounts of porn, or Moge-ko's drawers contain infinite amounts of her panties.
  • Most things in Dragon Quest Builders 2 have to be collected manually, though completing the various scavenger hunts on the Explorer's Shores grant the player unlimited amounts of commonly used crafting materials like wood or coal.
  • Golf Story: You never run out of golf balls. Ever. You can throw or shoot them to the point where the entire map you're on is covered.

     Web Comics  

  • Gunnerkrigg Court: It's only obliquely touched upon in-comic, but Word of Tom explicitly states that there are no tuition fees for students at the Court, and the needs of students and staff (food, housing, uniform clothes for any occasion, personal laboratories, lathes, etc.) are provided free of charge.
    • Apparently, every Court student has unusual talents of some sort, so it may be less of a school and more of a research project. Time will tell.

     Web Original  

  • SCP Foundation:
    • The unimaginably huge costs involved in the "Containment" part of the SCP Foundation are explained as being partly funded by governments, but in general the writers chose to not address this situation and let the readers do the imagining. Some of the costs are offset by using the more benign SCPs, and the more extreme measures (like the termination of D-Class personnel at the end of every month) have been slowly phased out.
    • Some of the experiments with SCP-914 have been made with the express purpose of trying to get an item to provide partial or complete templates for salable products. The problem comes up with some of the most salable products also being either beyond currently "normal" technological parameters, being unreproducible even when within parameters, or containing tricks and traps due to 914's cat-like sense of humor. (Word of God is it is not sentient, but it definitely has an attitude.)
  • This becomes an issue for long-running stories in The Slender Man Mythos. In Marble Hornets, for instance, the main character has spent at least a solid 3 years drifting while trying to figure out the link between his missing friend and the nightmarish creature in a suit. How exactly he pays for anything is never explained.
  • Averted in The Clockwork Raven: its protagonists, stranded on a Floating Continent, frequently have to dismantle parts of their home to shore up other things that are more important.

     Western Animation  

  • Stan Smith from American Dad! is, thanks to Rule of Funny, able to get any equipment or resources he needs from the CIA for his own personal use, including virtual reality machines, experimental drugs, body doubles, funds for a team of mercenaries, and loads and loads of weapons.
  • Justified in The Zeta Project where Zeta, the titular robot, can generate as much credits as he needs. Other Infiltration Units also have this ability — in one episode in an airport a rogue agent who worked on Zeta notes that he was equipped with this so he could travel lightly and easily, after he attaches a device that disables it.
  • 12 episodes into G.I. Joe: Renegades, the Joes, despite being fugitives on the run, seem to have no trouble staying well-armed despite being shown that their clips can run out (at a suitably dramatic moment). Possibly justified if they are using lasers, as the weapons may be rechargeable. No explanation yet, however, where they get money for food, parts, and gas.
  • Phineas and Ferb have no problem getting all the equipment and material they need (and always on very short notice) to build the Fantastic Contraption Of The Day. It's come to a point where the delivery guys hardly even bother to ask "Aren't you a bit too young to...?" anymore. Where they get the money to pay for all of this is a different matter.
  • Wile E Coyote apparently has same day shipping and endless shopping points for his ACME products...
    • A cut-away gag on Family Guy hints at an explanation, he returns the defective/failed ACME products for store credit every time.