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Ship Out of Water

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It's not just planes that need landing gear anymore.
Boats are made for one purpose: to travel on water. Or so you'd think. In fiction, if need be, characters can take their boat straight onto land directly out of water. In action sequences, it's a sign of badassery, but it can also be a Comedy Trope. Often overlaps with Sand Is Water.

It can distinguish a Cool Boat from a normal boat.

The opposite of Amphibious Automobile, which is a land vehicle that can go straight to water, though obviously there is a lot of overlap. Not to be confused with Saharan Shipwreck or anything to do with Shipping.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Area 88 has the Mafia-built Desert Carrier, an aircraft carrier on tracks that can submerge itself in the desert sands to escape detection. It boasts an air wing of robotic Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets and a similarly automated tank escort.
  • Capone "Gang" Bege of One Piece has a ship that can roll across land on treads.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Popeye is known to do this on occasion, thanks to his Reality Warping powers. The theatrical cartoon "The Man on the Flying Trapeze" is one example, where he sails a ship straight onto Olive Oyl's front lawn.

    Eastern Animation 
  • In the first, beach-themed episode of Nu, Pogodi!, the Wolf is chasing Hare in the water with a motorboat and eventually ends up accidentally swimming out on land, leaving the beach, and driving the boat down a highway, wreaking havoc along his way.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Fitzcarraldo revolves around a huge undertaking of dragging a boat over a mountain situated between two rivers to circumvent some rapids. Made more notable that the film was made by actually dragging the boat over a mountain.
  • When they are late for a wedding, the protagonists of The Hangover Part II save time by skipping the mooring and driving the boat straight onto land.
  • The James Bond franchise loves this trope:
    • Live and Let Die has a number of the boats involved in the bayou chase cut across land.
    • In Moonraker, after being pursued by Drax's thugs in Venice, Bond has his gondola converted into a hovercraft.
    • In the opening sequence of The World Is Not Enough, Bond takes the Q-Boat through the streets of London as he pursues the "Cigar Girl".
  • In Man in the Wilderness, trappers transport a boat on wheels loaded with beaver pelts through hundreds of miles of forest with the help of 22 mules. They hope to reach the Missouri River so they can sail to the nearest trading post.

  • In Dave Barry Slept Here, before the Panama Canal was built, the usual way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific "was for a ship to start picking up a head of steam as it went past Cuba, so it would be going full speed when it rammed into the Isthmus of Panama, sometimes getting eight or even ten feet into the jungle before shuddering to a halt."
  • The Elric Saga has the Cool Boat called The Ship that Sails Over Land and Sea, which can do exactly what its title implies. It can leave the ocean and sail on land as if it were water.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gilligan's Island: More than one episode features Gilligan either paddling a boat up onto the beach or swimming up part of it, usually in response to being scared.
  • World's Dumbest...: One clip from Canada features a group of people who have taken their snowmobiles out into water; Mike Trainor comments that this is normal to him, as he likes to take his motorboat out onto golf courses.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The 3rd edition sourcebook Arms and Equipment Guide, offers a magical keel that can turn boats into this.
    • Dungeon magazine #37, the adventure "The Mud Sorcerer's Tomb". The Mud Sorcerers created seven Ships of Earth and Sea (AKA mudships). Each one is capable of sailing on both land and water, as well as underwater.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 has a plethora of amphibious units, though not all of them can be created at both the War Factory and Naval Yard.
    • The ones that can only be produced through the Naval Yard are the more obvious examples of this trope, such as the Soviet Stingray (a Spider Tank on land) and the Allied Assault Destroyer (which is a battleship on treads). Interestingly, being on land makes the latter more lethal, as it can run over most vehicles including tanks.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto games after Vice City, you can drive boats around and even go through land for a brief period of time. Of course, if you don't go back to the water, the boat won't work anymore.
  • In Just Cause 3, having a boat on land is actually one of the feats, and you get ranked based on how much distance the boat covers before getting back into water.
  • At one point in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the brothers board a beached ship that had once been on water. The water evaporated, leaving the ship aground with an undead Skeleton Crew.
  • Metal Slug 2 has Big Shie, a big battleship with treads.
  • Played for Drama in Portal 2. An Easter Egg allows Chell to travel through a seemingly-unremarkable door and discover an enormous dry dock, where a ship was once stationed. That ordinarily wouldn't be unusual...but this dry dock is miles underground, with no possible way of connecting to water. A life preserver left on the dock reveals that the ship was the Borealis—creating a bit of Arc Welding with Half-Life 2. It seems that Aperture Science, desperate to finally beat their longtime rival Black Mesa in a race for government funding, began their experiments with teleportation technology without properly testing it first—making the entire ship, along with every single person on it, disappear to parts unknown. Now the Borealis is somewhere in the world, packed to the brim with high-powered, unstable technology... and there's an alien invasion on. If the Combine finds the ship before the heroes do, things will get much, much worse.
  • Supreme Commander: The Cybran Nation's Salem class destroyer can deploy legs, allowing it to walk on land. In the sequel, all Cybran naval units can be upgraded to have this ability with the Land Emergence Galleon System.
  • Totally Accurate Battle Simulator has the Longship unit, a few vikings who carry a ship full of soldiers into battle before throwing it at their enemies.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Helmet", Richard wins a boat, which Nicole says he'll never use. In the end, Richard is seen driving the boat on the street, loudly tearing up the pavement, and explains to Gumball that the ocean is about a hundred miles away.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In "Night of the Batmen!", the Penguin had a submarine with crawler tracks that allowed it to leave the ocean and career through the streets of Gotham.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: "The Saga Of Windwagon Smith" is about a sea captain that builds a sailing ship on top of a wagon so he can sail the American prairie like an ocean.
  • Stickybeard's ship in Codename: Kids Next Door, an absolutely massive vessel that crushes whole neighborhoods as it travels on land.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog plays this straight in the episode "The Sand Whale Strikes", in which a sand whale mistakes Eustace for his father, who cheated him in a card game years earlier. After the whale makes off with Eustace, Courage goes to Ma Bagge for help, and they go after the whale via rowboat... on land. In fact, at one point, Courage nudges Ma out of the boat, and she starts panicking that she's drowning, only to realize she's on land.
  • The Fairly OddParents! has a pirate ship that got wished into this, complete with features straight from an off-road vehicle.
  • Looney Tunes: At the end of the Bugs Bunny cartoon "14 Carrot Rabbit", Bugs inexplicably boards an ocean liner on land in front of Fort Knox.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In the episode "Rabbit Marks the Spot", Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Gopher sail through the hundred-acre wood in a sailboat fitted with wheels.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • The boatmobiles are an interesting case. They are essentially underwater cars, complete with wheels, driven on roads. This is justified due to the show's underwater setting, where Water Is Air and creatures that should be swimming walk on the seafloor instead. To complicate matters, there's also "regular" boats that float on the goo that passes for water, not to mention the Flying Dutchman's Ghost Ship, which floats overhead but still underwater.
    • This is lampshaded on the episode "Aargh!", where Mr. Krabs captains a pirate ship, which crashes on a reef. When he asks for a status report, SpongeBob responds, "The whole ship's underwater," which was, of course, already the case, but Krabs takes it as being marooned.
  • Zak Storm: The Chaos has a land mode as well as an air mode, allowing him to not only move on water but on land and in the air, too.

    Real Life 
  • When faced against a seemingly unpassable naval blockade in the bay of the enemy city of Taranto, Spanish general Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba opted to beach his caravels, drag them through land and deploy them in the bay behind the enemy blockade, bypassing the whole thing. The citizens were so shocked that they surrendered shortly after, not wanting to test further Córdoba's ingenuity.
  • The DUKW, an amphibious personnel carrier used by the US during World War II to transport troops from a ship to shore. Now used by the Dells Ducks Tour (and other regional tours) to ply the waterways and roads of the Wisconsin Dells.
  • Of course, Those Wacky Nazis had their own example in the Seeteufel (literally "Sea Devil" in German, but meaning "Anglerfish"), a two-person submarine that could drive out of the water on crawler treads.


Video Example(s):


Assault Destroyer

Massive, state-of-the-art vessels that can take plenty of punishment at sea or on land.

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