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Despite how badass motorcycles are, sometimes they're just not quite right for the situation. For one, they're large, they're noisy, you need to stay fully on them, it's hard to fight hand-to-hand and they can't maneuver well in tight spaces. So for some, roller skates are better.

A person using this is very often a kid or has a childish personality, and are also often a Fragile Speedster. If they're in an especially big hurry they can even add rockets for a little extra boost.

This trope frequently occurs in Humongous Mecha. Logically, they are there to make it easier and faster for the mecha to move across reasonably even ground, but also to help lazy animators. The wheels will either be on the feet, or the feet will transform to reveal wheels. They may even have wheels for feet. Caterpillar tracks are common substitutes for wheels. Spider tanks under 4 meters (roughly 12.5 feet) tall will normally feature wheels on the bottom of their feet.

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Sometimes they may also be good at ice-skating and, in rare cases, may actually wear ice skates into non-ice places. Which are usually explained by the wearer having ice powers or having advanced tech built into the skates.

A roller skater could run into trouble if they go off the pavement, since the tiny wheels are more likely to trip on an obstacle or sink into soft ground and get stuck. The latter especially applies to wheels on the feet of bipedal mecha, which would create a lot of ground pressure on a small contact area. However, the work may ignore this problem under the Rule of Cool.

Not to be confused with Wheel o' Feet. A form of Travel Cool. Don't expect roller skaters to use helmets unless the work is explicitly marketed to young children, in which case they're practically required to demonstrate proper helmet use.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The mecha in Armored Trooper VOTOMS use this extensively, and are probably the Trope Codifier for mecha.
  • Battle Angel Alita features Motorball, a game where people in skates need to cross a finish line while carrying a heavy ball - if the opponents don't tear you apart first.
  • Black★Rock Shooter: Chariot has large wheels with spikes on their outer sides for her legs which help in her high speed battle style.
  • Jango, the Humongous Mecha from Burst Angel, has rollerskates and a jet engine. Actually has a function, as they're meant for speeding through Tokyo's highways.
  • The Knightmare Frames in Code Geass use roller wheels called landspinners as their primary method of locomotion (until flight packs get mass-produced). Played the most straight with the Shen-Hu, whose landspinners are actually designated "rollerblade-type" and are formed by a pair of blade-like projections on the feet which form down, as opposed to the wheel being on a separate limb as with all other models.
  • Quint Nakajima and her daughters Subaru and Ginga in Lyrical Nanoha all use skates with magical rocket boosters on them to get around (as well as having a unique magic skill that can create pathways in midair for them to skate on). They also serve as Empathic Weapons. However, they are more Lightning Bruiser than Fragile Speedster.
  • The Tachikomas in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had wheels for feet to allow for high speed movement. In the first season, the wheels also fold into three-toed feet for climbing up sheer faced walls, or occasionally, hanging from the ceiling. When the Tachikomas return in the second season, they instead have spheres on their feet that allow them to roll along any smooth surface in total defiance of gravity.
  • Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura skates to school every day and uses them in battle on occasion, with one particularly impressive example when fighting The Fly.
  • But of course, the first skating Humongous Mecha is the MS-09 Dom from Mobile Suit Gundam, which uses jets built into its legs to skate along the ground instead of running.
  • Shute from SD Gundam Force has a set of these, with the usual speed boost rockets. He's also added magnets to the wheels, which let him skate on sometimes vertical metal surfaces.
  • This is taken to an extreme in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation: Divine Wars, in which just about every mecha not capable of atmospheric flight can instead hover-skate over not only the ground, but the water as well.
  • In the first episode of Kaleido Star, Sora Naegino catches a pair of loaner rollerblades to chase after a luggage thief, going awning-hopping to finally track him down. Her rollerblade skating abilities come handy later, when she has to train for a role in Dracula that includes ice-skating. Too bad she loses to May, a top-notch ice skater.
  • Roll Cake-chan from Sorieke! Anpanman. She is a rollerskating girl who loves making roll cakes.
    • Both Anpanman and Baikinman also did this in the intro for the Edutainment specials.
  • Air Gear uses this liberally with the ATs, which actually fly.
    • Technically, they don't let you fly, just use crazy amounts of momentum to launch you in the air really far. (Most of the cast DOES end up flying later, but it's not because of the ATs.)
    • To give an indication of how far these things can throw you using only momentum and center of gravity adjustment, the current record for longest no ramp(unless you count the starting pad they jump off of, but there is no ramp of the end of it) leap is 35.09 meters. For those who are not on the metric system, and are too lazy to do the conversion, that's 115ft 1.5in. And for those who may be having a hard time visualising that, 35.09 meters is roughly the same height as your average three storey building. Yeah.
  • Lil Slugger of Paranoia Agent wear rollerblades, though he isn't as good as he is utterly terrifying.
  • The Alien Party in Alien Nine chases extra-terrestrials around their elementary school on in-line skates. Armed with butterfly nets. And symbiotic aliens as helmets.
  • Suzuna from Eyeshield 21 loves to wear these, even when cheerleading. Her ice-skating skills are also top-notch, too.
  • Genki in the anime version of Monster Rancher uses them very often in battle.
  • The titular machines from RideBack are normally bikes that can transform into small-sized mecha with the bike wheels instead of feet, allowing their pilots to cover both Badass Biker and Rollerblade Good depending on situation.
  • Minamo from Real Drive has shoes that sprout rollerblades at opportune moments.
  • After her season 2 power up, Amulet Heart has a pair of rollerblades. Which can fly.
  • Trigun brings us Rai-Dei the Blade, a samurai who uses Dangerous Forbidden Techniques with his katana against gunslingers. To compensate for his reduced effective range, he wears rocket-powered roller blades. Somehow, Vash manages to keep a straight face while fighting him.
  • Konoka Konoe from Negima! Magister Negi Magi skates her way to school. This is used to contrast her with her panting, diligently running companions and thus display her easygoing, carefree nature.
  • The Humongous Mecha from 20th Century Boys must be bipedal according to The Book of Prophecy. The scientist kidnapped to design it emphatically points out that this is completely impractical. His solution is to treads under the hollow feet support the weight of the machine, while the feet only lift up and down.
  • Kirby in Kirby: Right Back at Ya! achieves rollerblades when he copies the Paint ability from Paint Roller.
  • Giriko of Soul Eater has skates made of chain saws. Seeing as he can change into a chainsaw, it's not a huge stretch to change only his legs.
  • Examples from Macross:
    • Ever since the original series the Variable Fighters have pulled this in GERWALK mode, skating around on the jets from their legs (that in fighter mode are their engines) Dom-style.
    • The Alternate Continuity Macross II has its entire series of Destroids equipped with these. Helps especially with the Giant Monster, the largest mecha after the transforming starships.
    • The Prequel Macross Zero has the Destroid Cheyenne and the Octos. The feature not being present on the Destroids of the original series is implied to be because those are far heavier, and the rollers just wouldn't work.
    • Macross Frontier brings it back for Destroids with the Cheyenne II, and introducesthe EX-Gear with the same ability (that in the Non-Serial Movies acquire rocket-powered skates courtesy of the EX-Gear's Jet Pack). The Cheyenne II also show up in Macross Delta.
  • Bakusou Kyoudai! Lets & Go!! devotes the entire second season on roller stakes. Every major character wears them as a part of their uniforms.
  • Transformers Armada Hot Shot can lower the wheels around his ankles and roller skate on them.
  • Ghiaccio from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind has this as part of his powers (albeit with ice skates instead of rollerskates). His Stand, White Album, manifests as a suit made of ice complete with built in skates, and he can freeze the path in front of him so that he can skate through it, being able to catch up to even a speeding car.

    Comic Books 
  • In her early appearances, Jubilee (Marvel Comics) was a mall rat who got around on rollerblades.
    • Professor X was taught to rollerblade by Jubilee (his legs happened to be working that evening). Then she led him into the lake.
  • In her early Disco days, Dazzler used roller-skates.
  • Several Marvel characters, such as Speedfreek and Blue Streak, use jet-propelled skates. Rocket Racer and Night Thrasher use skateboards.
  • There was a short-lived comic called Skateman, about a skating hero, but it predates rollerblades.
  • Carrie Kelly (Catgirl) in The Dark Knight Strikes Again usually appears on skates.
  • The Dark Action Girl Rollergrrl in The Incredibles comic series
  • Whenever Iron Man needs to get around fast and flying is not an option, some of his armor suit boots have roller skate wheels that pop out for some speedy ground transportation. On some occasions, using them also recharges his batteries in the process (this was when IM needed his entire chestplate to stay alive).
  • Robin Series: Tim fights a group of teens who rollerblade around the Bristol Township north of Gotham vandalizing things and robbing people by chasing them down on his skateboard.
  • Ramona from Scott Pilgrim has a pair of rollerblades that can melt the snow beneath her feet.
  • In the Sin City graphic novel Family Values, Miho rollerblades her way through the Basin City mafia, leaving a trail of bodies in her wake.

    Eastern Animation 

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, several members of the Rocket Racer Gang, including Himiko Toga, are equipped with rocket-boosted roller skates by Mysterio, giving them blistering speed that they use to commit rampant assault and robbery. She ditches them while making her escape from Peter.
  • Wings of Rebellion: Crow summons wheels on his boots, making rollerblades out of them, when he wants to move around quickly through Mementos and the Monamobile is unavailable.

    Films — Animated 
  • GoGo from Big Hero 6 uses these like an Olympic athlete.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Ginormica uses cars as roller skates to escape from the alien robot. Later she uses the same trick with hoverboards. And in the video game her car-skating becomes the whole shtick of her levels.
  • In Robots, Cappy (voiced by Halle Berry) kicks down wheels embedded in her feet and "rollerderbies" a few bad guys to help Rodney and Bigweld escape, then later in the underground battle with Madame Gasket (voiced by Jim Broadbent) she uses them again.
  • We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story has a scene in which Rex uses a pickup truck as a skateboard to escape the police. He also grinds down the wire of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The climax of Birds of Prey (2020) has Harley Quinn fighting Roman's men on roller skates. She ditches the skates before confronting Roman on the pier.
  • The Triplets from Dogma, being roller-hockey themed mooks.
  • The titular kids in Hackers got around on blades, and The Plague used a skateboard.
  • Subverted in Jackass: The Movie, which has them trying rocket-skates which sent the guy flat on his ass after a couple feet, showing that the rocket powered skates aren't quite Truth in Television yet.
  • The Postman Fights Back has a fight scene on a frozen lake where the heroes are ambushed by a number of bandits on ice skates.
  • Prayer Of The Rollerboys In the wake of the rollerblade fad, this Corey Haim vehicle features a dystopic, near-future LA where the toughest gang on the streets is a bunch of teenage white supremacists who ride rollerblades into their rumbles.
  • Return to Oz features a threatening gang of "wheelers", who have rollers for hands and feet and cackle maniacally.
  • Rollerball, with James Caan as an idol of a Blood Sport featuring both skaters and people on motorcycles.
  • Exaggerated in Roller Blade: Almost EVERYBODY is going around in roller skates, with absolutely zero explanation as to why they can't just walk. It also seems that they summon there power from it, when Hunter (Sister Fortune) awakes with the nuns without her skates, she immediately panics (but they're just cleaned) and Marshall Goodman wants his son to learn skating because of reasons. There are also characters who use skateboards (like the punks) and even moments where people don't skate at all (like Marshall Goodman's son or Hunter at one point), but this doesn't go well for them most of the time.
  • Solarbabies.
  • Splitting Heirs: Henry is first seen on rollerblades and will be seen with them once in a while throughout the movie.
  • There is a scene in the live-action Transformers film where Bonecrusher transforms into his robot form and proceeds to rollerblade down the highway after the heroes, only to be blocked by Optimus Prime when he turns around to do the same.
    • Sideswipe, a character in the sequel Revenge of the Fallen, literally has wheels for feet. Damn, he's good...
  • The Warriors. The leader of The Punks that corners the Warriors in the public toilet on Union Station rolls about on skates, though this doesn't give him any advantage in the close quarter Bathroom Brawl that follows.
  • Whip It is about a misfit who discovers that she has a hidden talent when she joins a Roller Derby league.

    Literature 
  • Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller. One of the main characters is Soq, a gender-neutral street kid working as a messenger for the underworld, who uses this trope to race around the City on the Water, a job that's both illegal and dangerous.
  • InCryptid: Antimony is a derby girl, so it's natural she's good with skates. They're one of the only things she takes with her when she's on the run from the Covenant.
  • In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Claire's movement is frequently described as skating, though she actually wears ground-repelling shoe inserts.
  • In Starship Troopers the Marauder suits can glide on wheels in the feet. But most of the MI prefer not to use them because of the rocky terrain they usually have to cross.
  • Subverted in World War Z where a mercenary tells how he saw a kid on roller blades wielding a hockey stick with a cleaver at the end of it. He was grabbed at the ankle (making him fall), and then dragged into a gutter. And then called a "dumbass". By Paris Hilton.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • The unnamed girl who's the focus of the music video of the Dire Straits song Skateaway.
  • The music video for Halestorm's It's Not You features two flat track Roller Derby teams, with Lzzy occassionally also skating.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the d20 Modern sourcebook Cyberscape, you could get retractable roller blades as a cybernetic implant, allowing you to improve your move speed quite a bit.
  • BattleTech has rules for adding treads to the feet of mechs. There are only a few canon designs who sport them, all construction vehicles (with one that's fully armed and armored for combat, it's classified as construction equipment as a form of Loophole Abuse), but it provides a few useful effects, primarily reduced penalties for damage to the legs as long as the treads are intact and the ability to drive across rough terrain without the risk of falling over. They're just too heavy and impractical for use outside of specialized designs, which is why they're not seen on more machines.
  • Gorkamorka, a late 90's Warhammer 40,000 Gaiden Game, had the unofficial BladerZ mob from the fan driven Gubbinz magazine that consisted of a number of Boyz and a Nob wearing BladeZ BootZ. These wheeled BootZ give the model a movement bonus and the ability to hang onto the back of a vehicle, but meant that they were unable to climb ladders or mount vehicles.
  • The mecha of Heavy Gear run with retractable roller skates for high speed movement over flatter ground. No rockets, and usually doesn't say much about the pilot's personality — they're just around to make transportation easier. Carried over to the video games.
    • Heavier models instead have caterpillar built into their feet in place of wheel, but they work just the same.
  • Mage: The Ascension had rocket-powered rollerblades that could run up walls. And along ceilings. And reach 200 MPH in 20 feet. Failing the rather difficult athletics rolls with them spelled painful disaster.
  • One of the cyberbits you could've put on in Shadowrun (at least its third edition) was, basically, in-line Gadget skates.

    Toys 
  • Onua Nuva could use his Quake Breakers as all-terrain treads. Umbra also wore rollerblades that let him move at the speed of light.

    Video Games 
  • Shadow the Hedgehog doesn't need a Wheel o' Feet to prove that he's fast...he's got hover skates.
    • Sonic Riders features hover skates as a variety of Extreme Gear. Naturally, Shadow's default Extreme Gear in the first game is a Skate-type gear.
  • Lan Hikari can switch between walking or skating.
  • Daisy in Agents of Mayhem wears skates as part of her uniform, since she's a former roller-derby player. Her special power gives her a sudden boost to speed and durability and causes her to automatically body-check any enemy she skates into.
  • Lilica Felchenerow from Arcana Heart.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: In his transformed form, Viper has spur-like wheels attached to his legs that he uses not only to move around but also to attack.
  • The Ridepod gets them as a leg upgrade in Dark Cloud 2. They improve overall speed and mobility while using it, making them an important invention early into the game.
  • The Stage 5 boss of Einhänder, Ausf D Durer.
  • Grace from Fighting Vipers was equipped with a pair of roller blades.
  • In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Enhanced Shock Troopers in the Shinra HQ rollerblade around, which makes landing solid hits on them with melee attacks a real pain in the neck.
  • Front Mission 4 has this in its intro video in a most certainly badass way.
    • This is also something that can be upgraded onto humanoid leg parts, allowing equipped wanzers to move in straight lines (such as down streets) much farther than they could walk. They can't actually turn while using these though, unlike in the cutscenes.
  • Jet Set/Grind Radio has all the playable characters in skates. Including the unlockable characters of the last boss, the last boss' human form, and the heroes' dog.
  • The King of Fighters: Kula Diamond usually doesn't show it but she can create blades of ice under her boots in her "run" animation. Some of her kick attacks also use it.
  • Top Man from Mega Man 3 has roller blades on his feet. He uses them to move fast across the room while spinning and shooting spinning tops at Mega Man. Unfortunately, this means that when you get his weapon, you don't get the tops - you get his ability to do a 360. And since Mega Man doesn't have roller blades, he can only use said ability in the air. At least it's useful for getting rid of those annoying enemies that bump you into pits while you are jumping merrily around. It also kills the final boss in one hit.
  • Mega Man himself gets some in Mega Man Legends. Except that they do away with wheels entirely and use jets.
  • Mega Man ZX: in the second game, Argoyle and Ugoyle have wheels for legs that they can use for combined speedy moves. When you gain their forms and use them, you can dash indefinitely with those wheels, as opposed to normal limited-distance dash of previous Mega Man games.
  • Fatman from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is an overweight demolitions expert. Including his blast suit, he weights half a ton...so, obviously, he needs to wear roller blades for increased maneuverability. Predictably, he falls down a lot, and has trouble getting up.
  • A variant in Overwatch: Lucio wears a pair of glowing blades that let him wall-run.
  • Persona 4 Golden: In lieu of the motorbikes that the rest of the team (except Kanji, who uses a bicycle) uses for transportation, Teddie uses a pair of roller skates. For his Cavalry Attack, he pirouettes skates-first onto an enemy, then jumps off and poses.
  • Pokémon X and Y feature rollerblades as a form of transportation for the player and has Gym Leader, Korrina, being a big user of them. They're much faster than the Running Shoes (which you now start the game with) and since they're controlled with the Circle Pad, they also let you break free of the Invisible Grid for the first time in a main-series Pokémon game.
  • Clara from Power Instinct has the ability to turn into an age-progressed version of herself decked out in an odd, Stripperiffic costume and rollerblades. One of the games makes this special form of hers a dedicated, selectable character.
  • The protagonists of the action game Rapid Reload is an expert on rollerblades, with one notable level having him pursuing mooks in a Minecart Madness level while on skates.
  • Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, when Raphael/Phantom R is escaping from Louvre, he is chased by the police force's "famed Paris Rollerskate Brigade".
  • In Saints Row: The Third the Decker specialists are gothic school girls with Tron Lines and roller skates that allow them to almost Flash Step around the battlefield.
  • Skylanders Swap Force has Roller Brawl, a spitfire of a girl and vampire roller derby champion, who joins the Skylanders when she draws the unwanted attention of the series' Big Bad. For extra awesomeness, her roller skates don't have wheels, they have circular saws.
  • Smite's Ne Zha skates around on his chakrams.
  • Steel Battalion: Line of Contact changed 5th gear into a wheel mode. Fast and smooth on level terrain, but worse for climbing and much harder on the balancer during turns, increasing the likelihood of the VT tipping over if the pilot isn't careful.
  • Two characters in the Street Fighter franchise wear rollerskates.
    • Yang from Street Fighter III, is often seen wearing a pair, usually in cut-scenes, but never in actual combat.
    • Area, a Mad Scientist girl introduced in Street Fighter EX 2 Plus, wears a pair in battle along with a big gauntlet (actually an invention of her father).
  • Sammy "Skate" Hunter, Adam's kid brother from Streets of Rage 2.
  • Ratsel Feinschmecker's Aussenseiter of Super Robot Wars is a Super Robot with large wheels attached to it's feet that allow it to skate along the ground to make fast attacks.
  • Averted in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, where bladers are whiny brats who are to be thoroughly embarrassed by the skateboarders.

    Web Original 
  • Clothesline, from the MSF High Forum, always, always, always wears roller stakes. Why? Because she isn't allowed to use her motorcycle indoors anymore. When outside, she uses her motorcycle. Tragically, her steering sucks. She cannot park without hitting someone.
  • Neon Katt from RWBY fights while wearing a pair of rollerblades. This ends up being her downfall when she trips over some rubble.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Kayla gets rollerblades as part of her Clothing Switch in 'Store Story'.

    Webcomics 
  • Carla in Dumbing of Age is always on roller skates, although she eventually accepted that the rules against skating in the hallways actually applied to her.
  • Thog from The Order of the Stick had his beloved rocket skates...
  • The Rock Cocks: Emily Roller never takes her skates off.

    Western Animation 
  • Wile E. Coyote used rocket skates in his very first appearance. Needless to say, it did not end well.
  • In Beast Wars, Megatron's Transmetal form's beast mode is a roller-skating VTOL T-rex.
    • Beast Machines gives the "wheels as feet" to Rattrap. It's pretty much a hindrance to him, though. Vehicon General Thrust has a mono-wheel setup similar to Claptrap.
  • Loogie from Get Ed has a pair of jet-propelled skates. While he may or may not qualify completely for Fragile Speedster status, he's certainly the most...eccentric...team member, talking to his sock puppet catfish Dr. Pinch.
  • Inspector Gadget is equipped with a pair of Gadget Skates. In the first Live-Action Adaptation, he briefly used a pair of Gadget Blades.
  • Rhodey makes fun of Tony for the idea of putting roller blades on the Iron Man suit in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Later in the season, he does just that.
  • Kim Possible travels on rocket skates often enough.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Alix Kubdel and her supervillain self Timebreaker use roller skates. As Alix, they are nomal skates, but as Timebreaker, they grant her Super Speed and allow her to time travel, provided she's charged them with other people's life force.
  • One of the toys that Boris bought out with his enormous supply of counterfeit box tops in the Box Top Badman arc of Rocky and Bullwinkle was atomic roller skates.
  • Static Shock: Gear invents rocket skates that can fly.
  • Maxwell from Stone Protectors got these as a superpower, along with being able to climb. Out of the Five-Man Band he really got heart-level powers.
  • Streex of Street Sharks is a tiger shark with roller blades.
  • Starlee Hambrath, from the "Fast Forward" season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) is never without her two-wheeled inline skates, which appear to be built into her jumpsuit.
  • In Transformers: Animated, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime both have one of their wheels on each of their robot-mode that they have been occasionally been shown to move around on. On the other hand, Prowl has his vehicles mode wheels in his knees and can use them to ride up walls.
    • Optimus and Prowl only ever pulled this trick once. Bumblebee used his skates alot more, given he's the Fragile Speedster.
  • Red Riding Hood/Wonder Red from Super Why! wears rollerskates both normally and transformed, but they become much faster rollerblades when transformed.
  • Spyke on X-Men: Evolution was never far from his skateboard until he was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.

    Real Life 
  • Roller Derby. Though the Fragile Speedster bit is usually hugely, hugely averted (jammers and pivots tend to be Lightning Bruisers, with blockers being a mix of Lightning Bruisers and Mighty Glaciers). All modern roller derby rules sets explicitly forbid the use of rollerblades for competing skaters - only quad skates are permitted on the track (though referees are permitted to use rollerblades per WFTDA rules, referees train with the league, requiring them to own quads).
  • A Libyan fighter shows us what a drive by on rollerblades would look like.

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