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Land, Sea, Sky

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This is a form of Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, in which the three elements of Earth, Water and Air are made a trinity.

Land is usually depicted as steady and stable, Sea as unpredictable, and Sky as free spirited. Land may also involve death because of burials, and sky will often be the "king," especially in works created before human flight, since no matter where you are, you're always under the sky.

Sea is usually depicted as the most hostile of the three; considering most of the time humans are at sea, they're on a pretty small (relatively speaking) ship, and at the mercy of the extremely unpredictable sea, which could decide to throw storms, whirlpools, tsunamis and other unpleasant things at you at any moment, this is hardly surprising.

In an Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors setting, expect Sea to overcome Land note , Land to overpower Sky note , and Sky to defeat Sea note .


These are considered to be the three classic Theatres of War, each with its own branch of the military (Army, Navy, and Air Force respectively) specialized to fighting in it.

See also Four-Element Ensemble (where Fire comes out to play along with this trope) and Fire, Ice, Lightning, another common elemental trio, and also Fire, Water, Wind if Earth is swapped with Fire. Sub-Trope of Power Trio.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Magmatron from Beast Wars Neo is made of three units: Landsaur, Skysaur and Seasaur.
  • The Bigs from The Big O fit the common characterizations of their spheres — Big O (land) Big Duo (sky) Big Fau (sea)
  • Black Clover has the main trio — Asta is the Land to Noelle's Sea and Yuno's Sky. Asta fights with giant rusted swords that generate Anti-Magic, a power from the underworld. Noelle is able to generate massive amounts of Water Magic. Yuno uses Wind Magic empowered by the wind spirit Sylph.
  • In Bleach, there's a subtle name theming referred to these three elements in the Shiba siblings: Kaien (Kai = Sea)note , Ganju (Gan = Rock, hence earth)note  and Kukaku (Ku = Sky)note .
  • Captain Earth: the Manatsu family is composed of Daichi (earth), his father Taiyou (sun) and his mother Umi (sea). The three gates that Captain Earth goes through are similarly named.
  • Dairugger XV (aka Vehicle Force Voltron) has an Air Team, a Sea Team, and a Land Team. In addition to forming the titular Dairugger when all fifteen are combined, each individual team can combine into a larger vehicle. The Air Team forms Kurugger, the Sea Team forms Kairugger, and the Land Team forms Rikurugger. The Voltron adaptation called them the Strato Fighter (Air), Aqua Fighter (Sea), and Turbo Terrain Fighter (Land).
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: Tanjiro's Water Breathing and Zenitsu's Thunder Breathing are obvious fits for Sea and Sky, respectively. Though more subtle, Inosuke as Land gets a subtle lampshade when he and Tanjiro first fight, with Tanjiro noting just how low to the ground the other boy fights.
  • The 2005 Gaiking series has Gaiking become Sea to Vulking (Land) and Raiking (Sky). It's rarely obvious due to Gaiking being a Jack-of-All-Stats and using fire-based powers, but in the fight where the two are captured, the Daiku Maryu drags the other two dragons under the ocean to take advantage of the fact that each of them suffer from Crippling Overspecialization and the Daiku Maryu doesn't. Both the original series and the remake also fit the theme with Gaiking's support machines (Bazolar and Kill Jaguar are Land, Skylar and Stinger are Sky, Nesser and Crab Bunker are Sea.)
  • The three forms of Getter Robo are sky, land, and sea. Especially obvious for the G Getter.
  • GoLion had Kogane and Suzuishi for sky (Black Lion powered by Thunder, Green Lion powered by Wind), Kurogane and Saidou for land (Red Lion powered by Magma, Yellow Lion powered by Sand), and Shirogane and Farla for sea (the Water powered Blue Lion Was owned by Shirogane, then Farla after the former’s death).
  • The three major humanoids in Land of the Lustrous follow this rule. The Gems, being landlocked and born from a cliff, represent Land; the aquatic and ever changing Admirabilis represent Sea; and the ghostly and form-changing Lunarians represent Sky, as they also live on the Moon.
  • First half of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny featured with Earth Alliance's transformable Gundam trio: ground combat Gaia (transform into dog-like mode), aquatic combat Abyss (transform into stingray-like mode), and aerial/space combat Chaos (transform into bird-like mode) representing land, sea, and sky respectively. The first two even bearing Meaningful Name.
  • In the .Hack// first series, the great heroes of The World MMORPG are Balmung of the Azure Sky and Orca of the Azure Sea. Eventually, Kite joins them, although his title is "Azure Flame" rather than earth.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S, Nanoha is a Tactical Instructor for the Air Force, Fate is an Enforcer who is also part of the Dimensional Navy, and Hayate is part of the Ground Forces. However, after the Grand Finale, Hayate eventually joins the Dimensional Navy as well. Chrono, Lindy, Reinforce Zwei, Teana, Shario, Griffith, Lucino, Cinque, Dieci and Wendi are part of the Dimensional Navy. Vita, Signum and Agito are part of the Air Force. Shamal, Zafira, Erio, Caro, Vice, Alto, Genya, Ginga, and Subaru are part of the Ground Forces.
  • The main characters and their Mashin in Magic Knight Rayearth: Hikaru/Rayearth (Land), Umi/Selece (Sea), Fuu/Windam (Sky). Note that Hikaru's attacks use fire, but since her Mashin lived in a volcano, it's earth heat.
  • In One Piece:
    • One can see the three Admiral's elements in such a light: Akainu (Magma Man) is Land, Aokiji (An Ice Person) is Sea and Kizaru (Hard Light) is Sky. Is also reflected in their fighting styles, with Aokiji freezing the sea to fight and Kizaru attacking from above. Their personalities fit too, Akainu is a hardline enforcer of absolute justice, Kizaru often seems blisfully ignorant of his actions and Aokiji treats most matters with cold disdain and indifference.
    • The fighting style of the Monster Trio of the Straw Hats (Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji): Luffy's style is fluid and unpredictable like the sea, Zoro is strong and unmoving like the land, and Sanji is fast and strikes hard like the sky (even moreso now he possesses an ability called Sky Walk).
    • Kaido's All Stars fit the mold in two different ways: race wise, we have Jack, a fishman (sea), Queen, a human (land) and King, a Winged Humanoid (sky). Power wise, we have their transformations in a Mammoth (Jack, land), a Brachiosaurus (Stock Ness Monster, sea, Queen) and Pteranodon (sky, King).
  • The Amazon Trio from Sailor Moon: Tiger's Eye (land), Hawk's Eye (sky) and Fisheye (sea).
  • The Gundam Tryon-3 in Gundam Build Fighters Try is spitted in Riku Tryon (Land), Umi Tryon (Sea) and Sora Tryon (Sky).
  • The first three cures in Go! Princess Pretty Cure are Cure Flora (Land), Cure Mermaid (Sea) and Cure Twinkle (Sky/Star). In a variant of this trope, the sky character's powers are based more on star shaped projectiles instead of wind. Later they're joined by Cure Scarlett, creating a Four-Element Ensemble instead, though the previous generation of cures in this setting still fits the bill- there was no previous Cure Scarlett.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has this motif in three of the giant Daigan mecha piloted by the Heavenly Kings: the Daigankai (Sea) is a huge centipede-like submarine, Daiganten (Sky) is a colossal airbase-like mecha and finally the Daigando (Land) is a massive, nearly invincible land-based tank.
  • The three new Digi-Destined from Digimon Adventure 02 have quadruped Armor Digivolutions to travel faster over the vast Digital World: Davis' Raidramon (Land), Yolei's Halsemon (Sky) and Cody's Submarimon (Sea). Even the opening features a scene of them running to the distance.
  • In Pokémon 3, each of Molly's battles with Ash, Misty and Brock followed this motif. She battled Brock on land. Then she battled Misty underwater. And finally, Ash took the battle with Entei to the skies once Charizard arrives.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: Yuma is Land due to having a warrior ace monster, several warrior cards and having experience in hiking and trekking. Shark is Sea due to having a heavy sea motif and a Water themed deck. Kaito is Sky due to having dragon-type ace monsters, several other galaxy-based cards, and mainly travelling via flight (plus his dub name is “Kite”).

    Comic Books 
  • The Terrible Trio, a group of Batman villains introduced in the Silver Age, were criminals wearing masks of animals: Fox (Land), Shark (Sea) and Vulture (Sky).
  • The big three Marvel (or rather, their predecessor Timely) heroes of World War II: Captain America is Land, Namor is Sea, and Human Torch (Jim Hammond, not Johnny Storm) is Sky.
  • Robin Series: A trio of villains Tim encounters in Bludhaven include Monsoon, a woman with hydrokinesis, Badlands, who looks like he's made out of stone and can cause localized tremors, and an unnamed flyer. He's luckily with Shadowpact at the time since these powers are a bit much for a Badass Normal to deal with on his own.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Godzilla
  • Hellboy: Abe Sapien is a sea creature and can breathe under water, Hellboy is mostly land-based and Liz has fire powers with flames that generally expand in the air.
  • The climatic finale of Ultraman Gaia: The Battle In Hyperspace had the Ultramen team Gaia, Tiga and Dyna battling against three kaiju, respectively on land, underwater, and high in the air.

  • In Julian May's continuity of the Black Trillium series, there are three Archwizards: of the land, sea, and sky. Binah, the only non-evil sorceress in the original book, is retconned as the Archmage of the Land.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the three tasks of the Triwizard Tournament can be categorized as this: the first task is sky, and involves Harry using his broomstick to win it, the second task is water, where the competitors have to dive under the lake, and the third task is land, and takes place in a magical hedge labyrinth.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
    • In the end of Quenta Silmarillion, all three of the eponymous Silmarils are distributed equally across the sky (Eärendil's Silmaril), earth (Maedhros'), and sea (Maglor's).
    • The Three Rings, which followed an "Air, Water, Fire" motif instead, essentially swapping Earth for Fire. In the first draft, the Ring rhyme goes "Three rings for the Elven-kings of earth, sea and sky".
  • In Septimus Heap, during the Triple Restore, Septimus, Jenna and Aunt Zelda take the roles of the Air, Water and Land during the spell.
  • The Dr. Seuss book Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories features three stories: one featuring turtles (sea), one featuring birds (sky), and one featuring a rabbit and a bear (land).
  • The Lorax features three species threatened by the Once-ler harming the environment: the Brown Bar-ba-loots (who are threatened by deforestation), the Humming-Fish (who are threatened by water pollution), and the Swomee-Swans (who are threatened by air pollution).
  • China Miéville's Bas-Lag Cycle has this as a central motif, with each of the books revolving around one of the three. Perdido Street Station is about a Winged Humanoid trying to regain the ability to fly, and about an invasion by giant winged moths (Sky); The Scar is about an ocean voyage to the edge of the world, and about a floating city ruled by pirates (Sea); and Iron Council is about a war between two cities, and about an effort to build a railway across a great desert (Land).
  • In Journey to the West, out of the six Kings serving Sun Wukong before he served in Heaven, the three with the "Demon King" moniker fit the theme, being the Bull Demon King (Land), Water Dragon/Alligator Demon King (Sea) and the Peng/Roc Demon King (Sky). Later on, the three main characters have this as a subtle theme: Sun Wukong himself is the most agile of the trio and fond of his ability to leap across the sky on a cloud, and is a proud trickster (Sky), Pigsy is a fat, lazy and gluttonous oaf who fights with a rake and is the least spiritually-aware of the trio (Land), while Sandy is a large and intimidating ogre who's also the best swimmer of the trio and lived in a swamp (Sea).
  • The three Endbringers from Worm: first came Behemoth (Land), who lives in the Earth's mantle and is the strongest but slowest of them; then was Leviathan (Sea), who lives in the oceans and is the quickest, and finally Simurgh (Sky) who lives in orbit around Earth and is the most intelligent of them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Very common in Super Sentai and Power Rangers series, such as Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan (Vul Eagle = air, Vul Shark = sea, Vul Panther = land). The most important position, that of the Red Ranger, is usually the one with sky.
    • Choujuu Sentai Liveman we have in the main trio: Red Falcon (Sky), Yellow Lion (Land) and Blue Dolphin (Sea), the same in their mechas.
    • Gekisou Sentai Carranger/Power Rangers Turbo has the three Evilmagic Mecha/Divazords used by the villains, resembling a yellow lion (land), a blue shark (sea) and a red bird (sky) respectively. Since Carranger is a parody series of its own franchise, the Evilmagic Mecha parody the heroes of Sun Vulcan and Liveman.
    • Seijuu Sentai Gingaman/Power Rangers Lost Galaxy has the Steel Starbeast GigaRhinos / Centaurus Megazord (land), Giant Steel Starbeast GigaBitus / Zenith Carrierzord (sea), and Steel Starbeast GigaPhoenix / Stratoforce Megazord (sky).
    • The Hayate/Wind Ninja Academy in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger/Power Rangers Ninja Storm teaches these three disciplines, and the three core Rangers each wield one. Interestingly enough, the Rangers that join the team later use different abilities altogether (the next two, from a rival academy, use Thunder; and the sixth is Non-Elemental). The Ninja Storm Rangers also have corresponding extreme sport hobbies: Tori surfs, Shane skateboards (and, consequently, spends a lot of time grabbing air), and Dustin's motocross racing has him driving on earthy tracks.
    • Juken Sentai Gekiranger/Power Rangers Jungle Fury actually gives this to the villains rather than the heroes in the three Fist Demons/Overlords; giving you Kata/Carnisoar (Hawk/Air) Rageku/Jellica (Jellyfish/Sea) and Maku/Grizzaka (Bear/Land). The heroes do have their own version, though, as their secondary mentors (and therefore secondary weapons and mecha) are based on the Elephant, Bat, and Shark.
    • In Engine Sentai Go-onger, the three pollution ministers of Gaiark have this theme, with their monsters each revolving around one of the three motifs. This doesn't appear in Power Rangers RPM due to the pollution angle being dropped.
    • Tensou Sentai Goseiger/Power Rangers Megaforce has a team of two Rangers of each, except for sea, which only has one (Goseiger explains it as the second sea Ranger being killed off in the backstory; Megaforce downplays the motif and ignores the imbalance entirely). Gosei Knight/Robo Knight uses all three, as does the series Big Bad, a Fallen Angel. There's also one Mecha Expansion Pack for each category, and the three villain factions qualify as Warstar has a Space Base (representing sky), the UMA Beasts have an Elaborate Underground Base, and the Matrintis have an Underwater Base.
    • Shuriken Sentai Ninninger/Power Rangers Ninja Steel has this for the Mecha Expansion Packs. OtomoNin Paonmaru/Rumble Tusk Zord is an elephant (land), OtomoNin Surfermaru/Sub Surfer Zord is a shark-themed submarine (sea) and OtomoNin UFOmaru/Astro Zord is a flying saucer (sky).
    • Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger has three main mecha; based on a Tyrannosaurus (land), Mosasaur (sea), and Pteranodon (sky).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • As of the Season 6 finale, Daenerys' forces use this motif. In addition to having an army of Dothraki and Unsullied at her command, the core of Dany's faction is an alliance between the dragon-riding Targaryens (Sky), the desert-dwelling Martells of Dorne (Land), and the sea-faring Greyjoys of the Iron Islands (Sea).
    • In the series' backstory, the alliance of Great Houses who made up the core of Robert's Rebellion used the motif, as emphasized by their animal sigils. The Starks of the North (direwolf) and the Baratheons of the Stormlands (stag) were Land, the Tullys of the Riverlands (fish) were Sea, and the Arryns of the Vale (eagle) were Sky.

  • The Three Great Beasts, Behemoth (Land), Leviathan (Sea), and Ziz (Sky).
  • Classical Mythology
    • Zeus got sky, Poseidon got the ocean, and Hades drew the short straw for the Underworld but he also gained control of everything found underground, including gold and precious gems, making him the richest of the gods. Land was left for humanity.
    • There are the primordial gods Gaia (the earth), Oranos (the sky), and Pontus (the sea). Gaia, the first and born out of Chaos, conceived Oranus and Pontus via parthenogenesis, and then mated with them. Most notably, the Titans and Greek pantheon were the byproduct of her union with Oranos. Additionally, Tartarus (the hell-pit) was sometimes perceived as a primordial deity/force of nature

  • The three monsters that attack our heroes in the video for Of Monsters and Men's "Little Talks" are a giant two-headed crow, a shambling beast, and an octopus-shark.

  • The heroic trio in the modern version of Battle Beasts is Vorin the ram, Gruntos the walrus, and Merk the falcon.

    TV Tropes 
  • In a way, this trope and Fire, Ice, Lightning could be seen as two sides of the same coin — Land/Earth coincides with Fire (due to the Earth's molten core and the fact that fire can't travel in water or air), Sea/Water coincides with Ice (water becomes ice when frozen) and Sky/Air coincides with Lightning (lightning drops from the sky during a storm).

    Video Games 
  • In Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising, the three Green Earth commanders fit: Eagle has stronger air units and is the proud leader of the trio, Jess has strong ground vehicles and tends to be very practical (her resupply power actually makes her pretty handy with air and sea units despite the attack power penalty she suffers with them), and Drake specializes in naval warfare and has very damaging CO powers.
  • The three games in the "Dusk" subseries of Atelier series are Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk ("of the Land of Dusk" in the Japanese title), Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky, and Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea.
  • In the Baten Kaitos series, the three objects used to seal Malpercio are the Earth Sphere, the Ocean Mirror and the Sword of the Heavens, when the sealing is shown in the 2nd game the line " Marno Ar Hello, [Insert Name Here], accursed one, for the sake of the earth, the sky and the ocean, thy life must end!" is used. Of note is that during the games until the ending, the earth "polluted and barren", the ocean is sealed away ("and the Lost Ocean") and the lower part of the sky filled with the poisonous "taintclouds".
  • Used in one of the riddles in Batman: Arkham City. Although the wording suggests the classic military interpretation the actual answer is a shipping company.
  • In Clock Tower 3 at one point Alyssa must solve a riddle involving the three rooder's stones of Earth, Sky and Sea. To be specific, she must put them in the right order to free some ghosts.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 the 3 factions units emphasize on their armies strength. The Soviets are Land for their tough tanks, the Empire are Sea as their navy's excel in taking on enemy ships, and many of their units are amphibious, and the Allies are Sky because they have the most advanced air units that are fast and hit hard.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The three Weapons awakened in the original Final Fantasy VII conform to these states. Diamond is the land, Jade the sea and Ultima is the sky. The international releases added Emerald and Ruby breaking the trend.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV the Conjurer and White Mage class use the life giving elements of Earth, Wind and Water as part of their attack moveset in comparison to the Thaumaturge and Black Mage classes focus on the destructive Fire, Ice, Lightning elements.
  • Kingdom Hearts uses this for Theme Naming:
    • Although the three elements are not the main source of their power, Sora means 'sky' in Japanese, Riku can be translated into 'land', and 'Kai' in Kairi can be translated into 'ocean'. Sora and Riku pick up some specific wind and earth attacks in 3D - we'll see if Kairi does the same.
    • Also applies in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Ventus, Terra, and Aqua means 'wind', 'earth', and 'water' respectively in Latin. Their Elemental Powers are more emphasised than the other trio (so far).
    • To a lesser extent, Roxas (An anagram of "Sora" with an X added, while also meaning "red" itself, so could be interpreted to be "twilit Sky"), Axel/Lea (Meadow), and a split between Naminé (nami = wave) and Xion (shio = tide).
    • More subtle would be Sora, Donald, and Goofy! Sora is still sky, but he's paired with a duck (water creature) with offensive magic, and a dog (land creature) with stalwart defenses. Combine it with Sora's free-spirited nature, and they fit to a T.
  • Kirby's Animal Friends follow this theme, each specializing in a particular element.
    • The original three friends from Kirby's Dream Land 2 were named appropriately. Rick the Hamster (from riku, land) can climb up walls and doesn't slip on ice; Kine the Sunfish (from kai, sea) excels at swimming and can inhale underwater; and Coo the Owl (from kuu, sky) has improved aerial mobility and can soar through high winds.
    • Kirby's Dream Land 3 added three more friends that follow similar themes: Nago the Cat can jump three times, ChuChu the Octopus can stick to walls and inhale underwater, and Pitch the Bird struggles to fly but excels with copy abilities.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The first three transformations in Majora's Mask; Deku is air (flower helicopter), Goron is land (stone rolling), Zora is Sea (dolphin swimming).
    • In The Wind Waker, the first three MacGuffins (namely the Goddess Pearls) are collected from the sky spirit Valoo, the earth spirit the Great Deku Tree, and the sea spirit Jabun respectively. Also, the Master Sword is powered up in the Earth and Wind Temples, while the Triforce of Courage is obtained after assembling its fragments in the Great Sea.
    • This extends to the Golden Goddesses themselves. Farore is associated with wind, Naryu is water and while Din is mostly linked to fire, she also formed the terrain of Hyrule itself.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Sea is represented by the Zora, their watery Domain, and their Divine Beast Vah Ruta, an elephant that sprays massive amounts of water from its trunk. Sky is represented by the Rito, their windy and mountainous realm, and their Divine Beast Vah Medoh, a bird that flies high above their village. Land is split in two: there are the Gorons, their fiery and mountainous realm, and their Divine Beast Vah Rudania, a lizard that crawls around Death Mountain's caldera shooting fiery cannonballs on lower elevation places; and there is the Gerudo, their desert realm, and their Divine Beast Vah Naboris, a camel that stomps around the desert producing sandstorms.
  • In Mass Effect 3, the three largest armies can be seen to represent this in their favoured forms of warfare. The Krogans utilise a ground-based Army and Tanks (Land), the Humans use a Space-Navy with many Carriers to quickly deploy Marine forces (Sea), while the Turians provide aerial-support and bombing runs (Sky).
  • Mega Man Legends: A subtle example with the fights against the Bonnes: first, Mega Man fights their land-based machines in the city and the forest on foot. Then he fights their sea-based machines on Lake Jyun on a borrowed boat. Finally, he fights their sky-based machines atop his own airship. Then they circle back to land for Theodore Bruno.
  • Mega Man X4 has three of Repliforce's high ranking members of the Army (Slash Beast), Navy (Jet Stingray) and Air Force (Storm Owl).
  • Three of the Four Guardians of Neo Arcadia in Mega Man Zero 1 fit this mold. Each functions as the military general of their own unit: Sage Harpuia commands the Rekku Army (the air force), Fairy Leviathan is leader of the Meikai Army (the navy), and Fighting Fefnir controls the Jin'en Army (the army). This is off-set partially by the fourth Guardian (Hidden Phantom) and his Zan'ei Army, which was Neo Arcadia's stealth force and anti-Resistance intelligence unit.
  • Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen has the Slates of Earth, Sea and Sky. Scattered throughout the world, you need to gather them and put them all in a machine inside the Pyramid in order to activate the Warp Whistle system.
  • Monster Hunter has Rathian as the Queen of Earth, Rathalos as the King of the Skies, and Lagiacrus as the Lord of the Seas.
  • Pokémon:
    • Groudon (land), Kyogre (sea), and Rayquaza (sky), all of which were based on the aforementioned Three Great Beasts. It has another one in the form of Berries, surprisingly enough. Three especially rare Berries—Liechi, Ganlon, and Salac—are described to contain the power of the sea, land, and sky respectively.
    • With the addition of Trubbish/Garbodor, it completes a Poison-based parody of this trope begun in Pokémon Red and Blue, where it forms a "Pollution Trinity" alongside Grimer/Muk, and Koffing/Weezing. Trubbish/Garbodor is the Trash (Land Pollution) Pokemon, Grimer/Muk is the Sludge (Water Pollution) Pokemon, and Koffing/Weezing is the Smog (Air Pollution) Pokemon.
    • The fully-evolved forms of the original starter Pokemon. The Grass/Poison-type Venusaur is the land, the Water-type Blastoise is the sea, and the Fire/Flying-type Charizard is the sky.
    • A relatively subtle example with the Creation Trio — Dialga is part Steel-type (Land), Palkia is part Water-type (Sea), and Giratina is part Ghost-type (Sky). Since they're the Creation Trio, this is probably meant to represent the three states of matter.
    • The seventh-generation games continue playing this with "Ride Pokémon": Tauros, Stoutland, Mudsdale, and Machamp on land; Lapras, Sharpedo, and Mantine in the sea; and Charizard in the air.
    • And there are the Alolan starters. Fiery Litten is the land, Water-type Popplio is the sea, and Grass/Flying Rowlet is the sky.
    • Type:Null and its evolution Silvally also count. They're meant to look like a combination of various animals, specifically evoking the mythical griffin. More specifically, however, they resemble a mix of a lion (land), a shark (sea), and an eagle (sky).
  • Resident Evil 5: the Earth, Sea, and Sky Emblems used to open a gate in one level.
  • The party members of Shiren the Wanderer 2 are Riku, Himakichi, and Asuka. Riku means land, Himakichi is a Kappa, and Asuka is the name of the ancient capital of Japan associated with flying birds. Oh, and the Sixth Ranger can breathe fire, making them a Four-Element Ensemble.
  • In Team Fortress 2, an achievement named "The Cycle" requires a Scout to kill three enemies in a single life: one while he is airborne (sky), one while he is on the ground (land) and one while he is underwater (sea).
  • Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature features three animal spirits that the player can choose from at the start of the game: Wolf (land) powers up the player's focused shots, Otter (sea) powers up the player's Smart Bomb, and Eagle (sky) powers up the player's unfocused shots.
  • In We Happy Few, this is how each of the three character players escape Wellington Wells with three different methods. Arthur escapes by going into a mine so he could get to the only bridge that leads to the mainland. Sally steals a boat and uses it to sail her and Gwen off the island. Ollie uses a parade balloon and flies out of town after broadcasting the truth.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: The episode "The Terrible Trio" features the eponymous trio from the comics. They all are bored, rich men who inherited family fortunes from oil (land), a shipping magnate (sea), and an aerodynamics firm (air). Their disguises as criminals are, respectively, Fox, Shark, and Vulture.
  • Centurions features Max Ray ("brilliant sea operations commander"), Jake Rockwell ("rugged land operations specialist") and Ace McCloud ("daring air operations expert").
  • DuckTales (2017) has Scrooge McDuck a treasure hunter (land), Donald Duck a sailor (sea) and Della Duck an aviator (sky).
  • Gargoyles: In the Five-Episode Pilot, the three disks are kept in an underground base (land), on a tiny island in the bay (sea) and in an air fortress (sky).
  • An episode of Teamo Supremo featured three recurring villains teaming up with this trope in mind- Laser Pirate (Landnote ), Dehydro (sea), and Helius Inflato (sky).
  • Meta-example with ThunderCats (1985) (set on land, feline-themed) and its Recycled IN SPACE! counterparts TigerSharks (set in the ocean, sea creature-themed) and SilverHawks (set in space, bird-themed).

    Real Life 
  • Modern militaries are divided up into an Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • The mascots for the Sydney 2000 Olympics were an echidna (Land), Platypus (water, although not sea since platypi are fresh-water animals), and kookaburra (sky).
  • The reptile groups that ruled the world during the Mesozoic Era could be seen as this: the dinosaurs dominated the Land, the marine reptiles patrolled the Sea and the pterosaurs soared through the Sky. More directly is the Archosaur Power Trio that all evolved together at roughly the same time in the Triassic period in the aftermath of the Permian mass extinction that kicked off the period; dinosaurs (land), crocodilians (sea), and pterosaurs (sky).
  • Our fossil fuels consist of coal, petroleum oil, and natural gas. There are also the renewable energy sources of geothermal energy (land), hydroelectric and tidal energy (sea), and wind energy (sky).
  • The primary states of matter- solid, liquid, and gas.
  • Tom Hanks has starred in three different "survival thriller" films about everyman protagonists forced to use their wits to survive dangerous situations: Cast Away, Captain Phillips and Sully. Cast Away is about a FedEx employee stranded on a deserted island (Land), Captain Phillips is about a merchant ship captain taken hostage by pirates (Sea), and Sully is about an airline pilot whose plane suffers complete engine failure (Sky). As a bonus: he also starred in Apollo 13, which is the same thing set in Space, where he plays an astronaut; it's even Based on a True Story, just like Captain Phillips and Sully.


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