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Instant Home Delivery

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Well, that didn't take long.

A character orders something (that they will likely end hurting themselves with) and places the order in the mailbox/calls it in/whatever you can think of. The ordered goods will be delivered within seconds. At its extreme, the character places their order form in the mail box, closes it, and then opens the mailbox again to pull out what they ordered, without any postal carrier even touching it.

Please do not confuse this with Express Delivery or any other childbirth-related trope. May be an Acceptable Break from Reality in a Video Game.



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  • Ads for Jimmy John's sandwich shops, which specialize in deliveries, frequently depict the sandwich arriving seconds after a customer orders. One humorously has an elderly gentleman at a retirement community ordering a sandwich, and when the delivery guy arrives seconds later he asks "what took ya so long?"

    Anime & Manga 
  • In an episode/chapter of Hayate the Combat Butler, Nagi orders something from Amazon and it is delivered in 30 minutes. Lampshaded by Hayate and Maria, who wonder when Amazon started offering that service.
  • A running gag in Persona 4: The Animation is Aiya's ability to deliver beef bowls anywhere, including the middle of a chase scene, to a customer who never gave a location.
  • According to a mangaka-approved doujin from Dance in the Vampire Bund, Lorenzo Pharmaceuticals (The vampire-owned corporation that mass-produces the artificial blood Stigma) has this reputation. At one point a desperate doctor working in a field hospital in the middle of Afghanistan that was cut off from all communication and was desperately running low on blood tromped out an order for Stigma in the dirt outside the hospital. Two crates were air-dropped in less than 48 hours later.
  • In Darwin's Game, when a buyer purchases anything from the in-app store, the physical goods are instantly delivered to their current location. Kaname was shocked the first time he saw it in action.
  • Seen in Episode 3 of Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God. Anubis orders some pizza on the phone, and then the second he closes the phone, Horus is already at his place with the order.

    Comic Books 
  • Thanks to matter-manipulation nanotechnology, instant delivery is a common feature of life in Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan.
  • A tie-in comic book to Who Framed Roger Rabbit lampshaded this as one of the better things about living in Toontown. In fact, the item Roger ordered arrived before he placed the order, prompting him to declare that the modern world is moving a little too fast.
  • Subverted in Scott Pilgrim Volume 1. Scott orders CD's from so that the girl he likes/is obsessed with/is stalking will deliver them. One scene change later he runs to the door, and no one is there. His roommate reminds him that he put the order in less then three hours ago. In actuality the package arrives the next morning; given Amazon, this is damn near uncanny.
    • Played with even more in The Movie; the delivery arrives straight after Wallace's lampshading, but only thanks to one of the movie's many Smash Cuts. Scott's still sitting by the door, though.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield:
    • Once Garfield ordered a cup of coffee over the Internet. It arrived instantly.
    • In this strip Jon orders a pizza over the telephone and the delivery guy is right behind him in the next panel.
  • Erudite and intellectual Zebra of Pearls Before Swine occasionally mails letters to the lions who are attacking his herd. He always gets a reply the next day, but it's never good news.
  • Acknowledged in Baby Blues. Darryl and Zoe put an order for an item in the mailbox. After staring at it for a second, Zoe asks "What's taking so long?" As Zoe is a toddler at the time, we can guess that her concept of mail delivery came from cartoons.

    Films — Animation 
  • is renowned for their speedy deliveries in the film Storks. So the protagonists make use of it to get back to the warehouse just as quickly by ordering something off the site, and then issuing a return with the company and hiding inside of the box.
  • Played with on Penguins of Madagascar. The penguins have arrived at Shanghai, but due to Kowalski's miscalculations, think they're in Dublin. When they figure out that the villain is going to strike Shanghai next, they get inside a box and mail themselves there. The mail truck arrives moments later, picks up the package, then goes around the block and deposits the package back in the same spot.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • LazyTown:
    • Robbie Rotten does this Once per Episode when thinking up a scheme to get rid of Sportacus or for other reasons. He orders something over the phone, which immediately shows up. Products he's ordered include three copies of himself and a life-size pyramid.
    • The heroes once order a cookbook, which also takes very little time to arrive.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: "We ordered it from Instant Monkeys Online, and it came instantly, just like the ad said!"
  • Happens in the Charmed episode "Sin Francisco", thanks to magic.
  • In an episode of My Hero, George orders an animal translator from his home planet so he can understand why Janet's mum's dog is so upset. Janet protests that by the time it arrives, the dog will be gone... at which point the package arrives. George complains about service decay.


    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • As an homage to this trope's frequent usage in classic cartoons, Toon allows players to mail-order items and have them delivered by their next turn. However, the items ordered are more likely than not "shoddy goods" that will backfire on their users.

    Video Games 
  • Need more ammo or a better gun during a firefight in Metal Gear Solid 4? Don't worry, Drebin offers instant battlefield delivery. Bizarrely, they hint that they use the Mark II to carry the stuff back and forth, despite the fact that it moves nowhere near that fast...
  • Ditto for Just Cause 2: Sloth Demon/Tom Sheldon appears instantly when called with whatever gun, vehicle, or upgrade you were about to ask him for. He can also shuttle you around in his helicopter, which apparently flies several times faster than a fighter jet.
  • The Sims 2 features nearly instantaneous home delivery of groceries, not to mention the fact that you can enter purchase or construction modes and instantly buy and place any product in the game's catalog.
  • In addition to more conventional shops, Xenosaga allows the party to purchase things via UMN (the Internet, essentially) and all goods arrive instantaneously
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Items in Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core are bought over Zack's company-issue cellphone. The items appear in your inventory the moment you purchase them, even if you're miles from civilization.
    • Final Fantasy XIII does this too, just using save points instead of a cell phone. The sequel reveals that shops in Cocoon deliver their products via automated delivery drones that receive the order, collect the item, and bring it to the customer. The trope is justified in Cocoonite cities like Palumpolum, slightly less so in abandoned areas like the Vile Peaks, and outright un-BS-able in the far reaches of Pulse. And no, the fal'Cie masking their orders (as revealed in the menu for the last couple shops) does not justify the delivery times.
  • The Russian Mafia black marketeers in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction might as well start identifying themselves with the tagline "delivered by airlift in 30 seconds or less."
  • Sheep, Dog 'n' Wolf enabled you to post an order for an item in a certain mailbox, only for it to arrive by air mail seconds later. Sometimes next to the mailbox, other times in ridiculously out of the way places.
  • In Day of the Tentacle, a diamond is sent by "Pronto Post Light-Speed Delivery" and arrives about one second after hanging up the phone. "Now that's service!" Bernard quips. Pony Express riders in the colonial era seem to have a similar response time with picking up a letter from a mailbox.
  • Maniac Mansion established the Edison house as having some kind of magic mailbox. Weird Ed's package and mailing off a manuscript or demo tape to Three Guys Publishing are essential to several of the story endings.
  • In Harvest Moon: Animal Parade for the Wii your character can order pretty much anything over the phone and have it delivered instantly, but it costs twice as much as if you went to the store and bought it.
  • Animal Crossing:
    • In the series, special orders at Tom Nook's store (and, in the first game, fossil identifications) take only one day to show up in your mailbox at no extra charge. That's slower than some of these examples but still several times faster than real-world free shipping.
    • In New Leaf mail is always delivered at certain times of day. Anything you order from the store catalog will arrive at the next delivery time no matter how long that will be. So if you order something at 4:59pm, it will arrive one minute later. But if you order something at 5:01pm, you'll have to wait until next morning to get it.
  • Earthbound has a pizza delivery guy who will satisfy your Hyperactive Metabolism within three minutes, real-time. Even if you are in a volcanic cavern on the other side of the world, a Floating Continent that can only be reached by teleportation, or a secret alien base beneath Stonehenge, he will show up anyways.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it is possible to acquire a cow from the Lon Lon Ranch. This cow will soon show up at your house all the way over in Kokiri Forest... your tree house. Which is accessed by a slender vertical ladder. How they get the cow up there is anybody's guess.
  • In Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge, the Labion Terror Beast mating call whistle shows up almost immediately after Roger places the form in the mail.
  • In An Untitled Story, any furniture bought from the landlord in SkyTown will be delivered to your home as soon as you leave the screen.
  • Sorcerer, the second game in the Enchanter trilogy, justifies this via Time Travel and Rule of Funny, as the company promises delivery of the item as soon as you mail out for it.
  • An upgrade in the campaign mode of Starcraft II allow your SCVs to have Supply Depots instantly beamed down onto the battlefield from the ship, which lets the SCV spend more time collecting minerals and gas or constructing other types of buildings. Justified in this case, as it is a technology reverse engineered from Protoss warping capabilities.
  • Several examples in Kingdom of Loathing, but one of the oldest is the Discount Telescope Warehouse telescope delivery: "You drop the order form in a mailbox in Seaside Town, and see a bolt of light whoosh across the sky over your head, toward your campsite. When you head back, there's a shiny new telescope there!" Upgraded lenses arrive similarly, but after fully upgrading the telescope, "You fill out the form and drop it in a mailbox in town. No sooner has it hit the bottom of the box than a tiny pixie appears next to you" to give you meat compensation instead.
  • Somewhat averted in Pokémon Channel, as anything you order will turn up the next day, but played straight if you order a bus pass.
  • Interactive Fiction Kurusu City has a local store. Since you don't have cash to purchase the item at the store, you have to take the ship and bill option. It takes 43 seconds to be delivered, and as an cruel Unwinnable by Design, can crush an item you forgot to collect from said mailbox.
  • Averted with the items you order from Tanaka in Persona 3 and Persona 4, as well as the items you buy from the shopping channel and Shady Commodities in Persona 5. They arrive in a few days, which is about the time you'd expect for a mail-order delivery.
  • Sophia's Shop in Persona 5 Strikers, where she somehow manages to source a dark web vendor selling gold bars within Yongen-Jaya when Ryuji jokingly orders one, and soon finds vendors that can more than adequately substitute for the temporarily closed Untouchable and Takemi Medical Clinic.
  • Played with in Little Inferno, where you have to order items to burn from the Tomorrow Corp. catalog, and they do take time to arrive...but they still take only seconds or minutes (for the expensive late-game items) to arrive to your house, and if you get impatient, you can spend tokens to make them arrive instantly.
  • World of Warcraft imposes a one-hour delay on most in-game mail, including earnings from selling on the Auction House - less for realism than to avoid abuse. However, there is no delay for mail between members of the same guild or characters on the same account, nor items you buy on the Auction House or most mail from NPC's. The mail is also delivered to every usable mailbox in the game at once; wherever you are, it will be in the local mailbox if you look.
  • Ratchet & Clank: The PDA can be used to instantly order ammo regardless of your current location. It even works in the vacuum of space on the Gemlik Base, outside the Blarg Tactical Research Station, or outside Drek's fleet.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's battle royale mode has delivery by drone. Generally reaches your exact position within a minute of placing the order, though you might have to deal with enemies shooting the package out of the sky before it can get to you.
  • Mario Party 3: There's an item called Cellular Shopper, which calls a store and lets you buy one item. There's no turn wait, you get it immediately.

    Web Animation 
  • In episode 3 of The Strangerhood, the Mysterious Voice has a delivery truck drop off a new pair of pet fish for Sam as soon as he suggests getting some. Sam lampshades it with a remark of "That was fast", but it's most likely the Voice planned that from the start since he planned for the fish to die too.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Played with in The Angry Video Game Nerd's Atari 5200 review, in which he ordered a replacement controller for the system which turned out didn't fit properly and was useless. He's seen placing the order, then a cutaway to a clip from Paperboy, throwing the parcel, then the Nerd opens his front door and gets hit in the face with it.
  • "My new internet penis is here!"
  • The Cinema Snob orders a bucket this way.

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes:
  • In "Ducking the Devil", Daffy Duck places a mail order for a trombone. It arrives in a few seconds without the letter being retrieved.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Route of All Evil," Cubert and Dwight order a pedal-powered spacecraft out of the back of a comic book. The ad says "Allow four to six seconds for delivery." As the boys wait impatiently by the mailbox, Cubert sniffs, "More like seven."
  • Averted whenever anyone orders something on The Simpsons. The scene will always cut to the delivery "six to eight weeks later."
  • In one episode of Danny Phantom Sam orders pizza (and later some updated computer software) and they both arrive within seconds. It's implied that she gets this kind of service because she comes from a wealthy family, the "little people" just have to wait it out.
  • Happened in Invader Zim. The delivery was intergalactic and still took place in a few seconds.
  • In Goofy Gymnastics, Goofy places his order form for home exercise equipment in the post box, and the moment he closes the door, the bottom door of the box opens, with the package containing the equipment coming out.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog: Courage usually gets his stuff delivered just a few seconds after ordering it from a guy named Mr. Mouse.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Any stuff the two protagonists order for their big ideas is delivered the same day, and early enough for them to still have time to carry out their plan.
  • Johnny Bravo does this when Johnny's mom orders a mail-order robot nanny, which arrives at her front door the instant she puts the envelope into her mailbox (which had also been ripped out of the ground and brought into the house by Johnny.)
  • On Kaeloo, anything the characters order immediately falls out of the sky.
  • In an episode of The Crumpets, Cordless orders fast food, in addition to gifts for Ms. McBrisk, which all arrive in few seconds by helicopter.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II", SpongeBob wins a prize from a contest and begins to ask "I wonder when my prize will get here?", and he turns back to find a delivery boy right next to him with his prize in hand (and even a handkerchief when he cries tears of joy).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: A variant in "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?" where the "delivery" is the Princess of the Moon, but still very close in spirit. When Spike sends the message asking advice from Luna, she's at the door a second later. Sure, she certainly teleported (you can in fact hear the sound effect before she opens the door), but you have to wonder how fast she read the message itself.
    Fluttershy: Wow, that was fast...
  • Not quite instant, but in the Shaun the Sheep: Adventures From Mossy Bottom episode "Express Delivery", as soon as Blitzer orders the Farmer's new glasses online, the computer screen shows a graphic of the post van making its way to the farm, like a "track my pizza" app. When the sheep run out to stop it, it turns out to already be within a few miles.
  • Parodied on Jellystone! episode "A Fishsticky Situation" when Brain from Top Cat orders a pair of macaroni shoes on her phone and chooses the instant delivery option... which raises the price from $8 to $8,000. This ends up relevant later when Top Cat needs to order more tomato bisque to cure the townspeople, who have been turned into fish people from eating expired fish sticks and getting it delivered instantly costs them all the money they have left.

     Real Life 
  • The US Postal service prototyped a system to use cruise missiles to deliver packages and letters. The system worked well but it was deemed too noisy to enter full scale production.
  • Digital content can be downloaded instantly after purchase from online platforms such as the iTunes Store, Steam, the PlayStation Store, Nintendo's Virtual Console, and the like. The only limit is your Internet speed, and occasionally how badly their servers are being hammered at the time.
  • Amazon patentednote  a system of drones and flying airship warehouses and drones. An airship is loaded with commonly ordered items and cruises about the city. When a customer orders something available with the service, the crew of the nearest airship load it into a delivery drone, which then flies to the customer.


Video Example(s):


Horus' Delivery Service

Anubis and Thoth order some pizza over the phone, and the second Anubis closes the phone, their pizza has already arrived.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantHomeDelivery

Media sources: