Follow TV Tropes


Old Faithful

Go To
Right on time.

A trope most frequently seen in Western Animation set in a national park or other natural area, but tends to show up in other works as well. The Old Faithful (name may vary) is a geyser that, true to its name, erupts at very precise intervals, to the point that you can accurately predict when it will happen. For sake of plot, these eruptions tend to happen at either the most convenient or most inconvenient moment possible. Often accompanied by a sign that states the geyser's name and occasionally the time it is scheduled to erupt.

Frequently used for gags that involve unlucky characters ending up on top of the geyser just as it is about to go off. Sometimes the geyser can be set up as a trap for the same effect or be used for dramatic effect. Water-Geyser Volley may or may not apply.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: the Jaya Arc talks about Knock-Up Stream, a gigantic upward flow of water that comes from an undersea geyser. As told by Montblanc Cricket, his ancestor Norland used to ride the geyser on his ship to find the lands on the sky, Skypiea, and its signature Golden Belfry.note  So the Straw Hats wants to go to Skypiea to see the land on the sky and check out said legend... and the next Knock-Up Stream is conveniently on the next morning.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animated 
  • Ice Age: Sid sits on a geyser as Manny and Diego count down to when the geyser erupts and sends Sid flying.
    Manny: Sure is faithful.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A somewhat obscure parody film, Lobster Man From Mars has the lobster finished by a geyser at the last second.

  • In A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings trilogy), there's a geyser called Bryn's Lung (named after the sea god), although it's also made fun as being another part of said god. When not erupting, it leads to an underwater cave where either you get water based powers or die drowning.

    Web Original 
  • Cartoons featuring a parody of this type of geyser are common on the internet. Just google "old faithful cartoon" and have fun.

    Western Animation 
  • Phineas and Ferb: the "Old Reliable" geyser from the episode Candace Loses Her Head. Surprisingly, it does not play a significant role in the story.
  • These type of geysers frequently showed up in classic cartoons like Looney Tunes. One example would be Tweet Tweet Tweety: Tweety hides in a geyser that will erupt at 12:00 and a clock at the sign reads 11:55. Sylvester pulls the hand back to 11:30 and goes after him. Tweety comes out of a different hole near the sign and pulls the hands of the clock at 12 and the geyser lifts Sylvester in the air.
  • The Tex Avery short "Big Heel-Watha" featured a geyser documented to erupt every fifteen minutes.
  • The Donald Duck Cartoon "Good Scouts" has Donald falling into a geyser, plugging the hole with his butt. He reads the sign next to it, which reads "Old Reliable Geyser: erupts at 12 o'clock." Donald then looks at his watch and realizes it's twelve o' clock, and is soon shot up by the geyser. The cartoon ends with Donald on the geyser running on a boulder while being chased by a bear.
  • Humphrey the Bear: "In the Bag", Humphrey has to clean all the liter in the park to get his dinner, so he just throws it all in a hole. Unfortunately, that hole is the geyser Old Fateful, and Humphrey tries to stop it before it gives him away.
  • Camp Lazlo: The Bean Scouts and Squirrel Scouts visit one in the episode "Squirrel Seats". Raj ends up sitting in it to prevent it from erupting as part of a Zany Scheme to stop Lazlo getting back on the bus.
  • The Loud House: the episode Raw Deal played with this trope. The national park the family visits has a geyser, but it stopped erupting long ago. It finally erupts again at the end of the episode, and only Lincoln gets to see it.
  • The Pink Panther: in "Pink Of The Litter" in which Pink is sentenced to clean up the debris in Litterburg. At one point, Pink drives a tip truck full of trash to Old Reliable, and dumps the refuse in the hole. The geyser erupts as Pink is driving away, negating all his work.
  • Darkwing Duck: One of these called "old reliable" shows up in the episode Bearskin Thug; Steelbeak ties Gosalyne up above it as part of a Death Trap, but in the end, he and his henchmen end up getting hit by the erupting geyser themselves.
  • Transformers: Rescue Bots: In the episode "Rules And Regulations", we are introduced to a super-hot geyser called "Old Parker" that goes off every forty-five minutes. This geyser is located in the middle of an EMP dead zone that disables technology (including Autobots), which leaves three of the Bots frozen on top of the geyser when they try to find Cody after a misheard communication.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil in the episode "Camping Trip" Marco wants to show Star one of these, named Old Youthful. Due to constant delays and interruptions of Star's dad the journey there is 'troublesome', but in the end, they make it.
  • in Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run, Old Faithful is one of many national monuments that Know-Nothing Know-It-All Daffy Duck thinks are located in New York City.
  • Gravity Falls: Episode "Roadside Attraction", the woods around Mystery Mountain contain one of these, and it's accurate to the second. The protagonists use it to to escape from a spider-person who had them all trapped in the Sky Tram.
  • Nature Cat: In the episode "Under Pressure", Nature Cat and friends learn about geysers when they go on an adventure in Yellowstone with Ronald and Grampy Donald to see how they work. Eventually, Nature Cat and Ronald race to Old Faithful to see it with everyone else.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Tourist", Wander and Sylvia visit "Old Slooshy" on a sightseeing trip. However, the geyser doesn't go off at the marked time, and an impatient Wander uses a giant plunger to force it to erupt. This causes it to erupt in an even more spectacular fashion, which he misses.
  • Featured in the Filmation's Ghostbusters episode "Belfry Leads the Way". During their attempt to conquer a race of mole people who live underground, Prime Evil and Apparitia wind up standing directly beneath the geyser. The Ghostbusters defeat Prime Evil by maneuvering him into getting caught up in the blast. Also used as the setting for Belfry's Aesop epilogue.

    Real Life 
  • The Trope Namer is the real life ''Old Faithful" geyser at Yellowstone National Park. It is indeed predictable (erupting every 44 to 125 minutes), but not to such extreme degrees as often seen in fiction.
  • When Dave Barry went to Japan and saw a waterspout that goes off for five minutes at a time exactly twice an hour, he was extremely dubious (book excerpt):
    We got there about ten minutes before it went off, and we watched the big clock until boom, right on schedule the hot water started spouting. It stopped exactly five minutes later, and the crowd went into the convenient gift shop, just as another tour bus pulled up to witness another on-time water-spout performance. How very convenient! Exactly two shows an hour! I expressed great skepticism about the Water-Spout Hell to Beth. I compared it to Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone, which is highly reliable, for a geyser, but doesn't operate on anything like this kind of clockwork schedule.
  • The geyser Strokkur in Iceland is even more predictable than the Trope Namer, erupting every five to ten minutes, though each eruption typically only lasts a couple of seconds. Geysir, or the Great Geyser, is nearby and gives the phenomenon its name, but only erupts very rarely.


Video Example(s):


Sure Is Faithful

Sid sits on a geyser as Manny and Diego count down to when the geyser erupts and sends Sid flying.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / OldFaithful

Media sources: