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Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink

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Some shows love playing genre conventions, a Fantasy Kitchen Sink will have everything in the mythological handbook and then some, Trope Overdosed works will keep adding tropes so long as they run, and then there are even shows that make new tropes.

These are not those shows. (Or can they be?)

A Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink is for all intents and purposes the playground of Science Fiction Tropes and everything associated with them. Have an Artificial Intelligence construct able to run the Cool Starship? It makes you coffee in the morning. Humongous Mecha? You walked by several on the way to work. Faster-Than-Light Travel? Totally mastered to the point where even Joe Penniless can get a ride to the stars. Laser and particle beams as weapons? Everybody and their dog has one. The list of possible areas seems to be endless.

A good way to tell if a work is a Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink, is ask three questions. Is it in the Sci-Fi genre? Is it softer than reality by a wide margin? Does it use all or much of the stuff in the genre of Sci-Fi and not Hang A Lampshade on it? Answer yes to all three and you likely are dealing with a Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink.

Popular in Space Opera. Also popular in Mega Crossover fanfic. Naturally compare Fantasy Kitchen Sink; when both sinks are combined, it becomes Science Fantasy. See also Standard Sci Fi Setting, a particularly popular instance of Sci-Fi Kitchen Sink.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece has a Mad Scientist with a specialization in chemistry, cloning, time travel, cyborgs, robots, lazers, and more.



    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has become this, with androids, ancient aliens, AI and time travel. With the introduction of the Darkhold and Ghost Rider it's spilling into Fantasy kitchen sink territory as well.
  • Doctor Who, by virtue of being an extreme Long Runner with a massive expanded universe, ranges through the entirety of time and space. After 50+ years of stories, that's a lot of sci-fi ideas - you've got high-tech military forces battling witches and ancient astral demons, mixed in with genocidal robots and sentient nano swarms.
  • Star Trek didn't invent alien races or teleporters or stories that examine the ethical implications of whatever theoretical technology the writers could dream up. But it deserves credit for mixing those elements together and codifying it. It's telling that "that extra who keeps showing up with different jobs is actually a series of clones" is an entirely plausible fan theory.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000 - sometimes it's like each army is there to be a representative of a different sort of science fiction. Your Space Marines are your, unsurprisingly, post-Heinleinian Space Marines infused with knights and religious fervor; the Imperium fields big BattleTech-style mechs; the Imperial Guard are essentially Star Wars' stormtroopers (which are even referenced by name!) with several different flavors ranging from World War I trench warfare (the Death Korps of Krieg) to Vietnam-style survivalists (Catachans); Tyranids are books are about Bug War; Tau are animesque mecha and firepower and The Federation; Eldar are Clark's Third Law Sufficiently Advanced Aliens that lean heavily towards ninja-style weapons (everything they fire are shurikens), rely on psychic powers, and take the traditional Japanese leaning; spaceship battles feel like they come out of the Honor Harrington universe; Necrons are Terminator and so on. If anybody wants to write about or parody a certain type of science fiction, then they can.
  • Traveller is the first RPG to truly mix every science fiction trope into one setting. The subgenre can change depending on where your character is located in the galaxy. If they're constantly traveling through space by ship, it's a Space Opera (which is what the game was originally advertised as). If your character is stranded on a primitive world, far away from civilized space, it's a Planetary Romance. If you're on a high-tech planet where everything is connected to the internet, it becomes Cyberpunk. When you go out into the Spinward territories, you're in a Space Western. Even a Post-Apocalyptic setting is possible if it's set between the Second and Third Imperium eras.
  • Trinity was launched as one of these as well. You want Cyberpunk? America's corporate-owned and full of technopaths. You want wasteland? Paris and a huge chunk of the surrounding land got nuked. You want Space Opera? Mankind's made first contact and is currently involved in political dealings with at least three different species. You want Psychic Powers? What flavor do you want them in?
  • Infinity is much the same - Cyberpunk tropes happily contained in PanOceania's warring hypercorps and corporate troops alongside Space Knights, European troopers in armor heavily inspired by Appleseed's E-SWAT, and soldiers that are heavily based on the film version of Starship Troopers (down to the "Would you like to know more?" catchphrase), space Samurai, ninja, and sprawling animeesque and East Asian sci-fi in Yu Jing, a Used Future in the Ariadnans (who are mostly military-fiction, unchanged 20th/21st century units wielding rifles that wouldn't be out of place in a modern setting) and the Nomads (who experiment with bioengineering, giving us Space Catgirls and put the punk in cyberpunk with anarchist sci-fi tropes and punk-inspired designs, with futuristic Roller Derby gals as a unit), an America left devastated by a nanoswarm, becoming a Mad Max-esque apocalyptic wasteland, Dune-esque Haqqislam units who literally control the Spice flow, Halo-esque Morats hired by an insane conglomerate of AIs, bio-tech, organic Tohaa - all watched by a Tron Lines-and-Apple-esque faction, ALEPH, who attempt to bring order to the human factions.
  • In addition to Lasers, Particle Beams, Plasma weapons of many kinds, Hover vehicles, Robot Drones, and a dizzying array of Powered Armor and Humongous Mecha, Rifts also features Psychic powers, Extra-dimensional refugees, Chemical Augmentation(which will kill you) Mental augmentation(which will drive you nuts), Bionic Augmentation(which can actually be handled pretty well, with a little counseling), Alien Invasions, temporal anomalies, and more Negative Space Wedgies than you can shake a stick at. And that' not getting into the Monsters, Magic, Dragons and Eldritch Abominations.

    Video Games 

  • Axe Cop uses a wide variety of sci-fi tropes in creative (and frequently ridiculous) ways.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Science Fiction Kitchen Sink