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Trip to the Moon Plot

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Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars

The Moon is Earth's closest neighbor, and since the beginning of time, humans have fantasized about visiting it. What is that mysterious, unexplored world like? If we go there, will we find a civilization? Or is the whole place made of cheese?

The dream became a reality in the 1960s, when the Apollo space program successfully sent people to the moon. The first two people setting foot there were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the crew of Apollo 11, in 1969. It was "one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind". There have been five further successful Moon landings in the following three years, with twelve people having walked on the Moon in total.

Although the Apollo program ended in 1972, and no humans have been to the Moon since then, this doesn't stop authors from writing stories about people travelling to the Moon, with varying scientific accuracy. The journey's goal can vary from scientific exploration to treasure hunting or an evil ploy to Take Over the World (granted they don't make their own moon).

Subtrope to Interplanetary Voyage. If part of a normally Earthbound series, constitutes a Space Episode.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicles of the Moon Exploration have Nobita and Doraemon traveling to the moon and creating their own sentient, Moon Rabbit race on it's surface, before discovering a civilization of Human Aliens living underneath the moon's surface. And a ruthless, genocidal alien conqueror wants to wipe them out of existence.
  • Touhou Bougetsushou starts with rumors that Yukari is planning a second invasion of the Moon, and Remilia decides she's gonna beat her to the punch and claim the Moon for herself, commissioning a magical spaceship from Patchouli (who also serves as Mission Control) for Remilia, Sakuya, Marisa and Reimu to visit the True Moon, which is perfectly habitable beneath the illusion of a barren satellite the resident Lunarians put up to avoid any attempts at conquest from humanity. Following the journey and a confrontation with the Lunarians, the group returns safely to Gensokyo, never knowing the entire thing was a trap for the Lunarians by Yukari... who got caught anyway. ...and in the process put Yuyuko and Youmu, her actual spies, in the Moon, allowing them to steal a bottle of rare sake for Eirin, who's left flabbergasted and terrified as to how Yukari managed it, fulfilling Yukari's real objective.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin has two volumes dedicated to going to the moon: Destination Moon and Explorers on the Moon. It's in a context of space race with espionage.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): Diana and Etta travel to the moon when Amazon astronomers think something has gone wrong there. It turns out Mars had attacked and taken the lunarian queen captive.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Fan Works 
  • Harry Is a Dragon, and That's OK: Ever since he read a book about Muggle space travel, Ron's dream has been to travel to the moon. With the help of his friends, he builds a prototype Magitek spaceship and reaches the moon by his final year.
  • In A.A. Pessimal's Discworld and The Big Bang Theory crossover The Many Worlds Interpretation, Ankh-Morpork's supercomputer HEX facilitates a meeting of academic minds between Unseen University and Caltech, Pasadena. HEX has not computed for Doctor Sheldon Cooper, however. Sheldon twocks the Engine and takes it on a joyride, despite Penny trying like Hell to stop him. A lunar mission ensues, where Penny gets to be First Woman on the Moon. She is not at first greatly impressed or happy about this.

  • From the Earth to the Moon involves a social club deciding to take trip to the moon on the suggestion of an eccentric frenchman.
  • The First Men in the Moon has two Edwardian Englishmen take a trip to the moon for a bit of a jolly gadabout.
  • Mr. Men: The story Mr. Men: Trip to the Moon has the Mr. Men and Little Miss go to the moon. Mr. Nonsense so he can find some jumping cows and Mr. Greedy so he can see if it's made of cheese.
  • Rocket Ship Galileo, the first of the sci-fi juveniles by Robert A. Heinlein. The teenaged protagonists with the help of their physicist uncle, modify a rocket used for international mail transport with an atomic engine and fly it to the Moon. The publishers initially rejected the script as being too far out. Mind you, they find a Nazi Space Base on the Moon as well, but as the novel was written in 1947 that was probably the least unlikely part of it.
  • In the Diogenes Club story Moon Moon Moon by Kim Newman, the Moon is a magical place populated by all the characters who've travelled to the Moon in fiction. An Evil Sorcerer wants to use them to destroy Apollo 11, but Richard Jeperson (who uses a Portal Door to get there just ahead of the Apollo landing) persuades them to Face Death with Dignity and not destroy those who have been inspired by their deeds to carry them out for real.
  • Doctor Dolittle: Doctor Dolittle in the Moon has the Doctor and his animal friends taking a trip to the moon because that's where the Decision Darts landed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • For All Mankind has this as the premise of the first two seasons: due to the Russians landing a Cosmonaut on the Moon first, NASA extends the Space Race to greater lengths against the Cosmonauts, from discovering water ice on the Moon to eventually creating permanently-manned Moonbases.
  • From the Earth to the Moon is a twelve-episode miniseries retelling the most important events of the real-life Apollo program (including the actual Moon landings).
  • The Goodies. In "Invasion of the Moon Creatures", Graham Garden is placed in charge of the British space program, sending up first a couple of rabbits, then 'volunteering' his two friends Bill and Tim. Hilarity Ensues.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons: The episode "Lunarville 7" has Scarlet, Blue and Green go to the moon on a mission to investigate an unauthorized construction taking place in the Humboldt Sea. It turns out to be a Mysteron base.
  • Sesame Street dedicated an entire season to Slimey's voyage to the moon and his return to Earth.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge: The Soviet mission "To The Moon" has you being deployed to the Moon to destroy Yuri's lunar base. But due to the lack of atmosphere there, you are only limited to building vehicles (and two infantry units, Cosmonauts and Desolators) to assault the enemy base with.
  • The DuckTales video game has a level where Scrooge travels to the Moon looking for the Green Cheese of Longevity.
  • The final mission for LEGO City Undercover takes place on the moon in a base created by the Big Bad. The goal of the mission involves taking him back to Lego City to serve justice.
  • The very first Duke Nukem game is a 2D scrolling shoot-'em-up against the Final Boss Doctor Proton in his Elaborate Underground Base. However, the final showdown results in Proton fleeing on his flying throne to the moon, where he vows to continue his quest to Take Over the World. The second installment has The Hero battle through more mooks on Proton's moon base before defeating Proton forever.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: In the seventh chapter, Mario and the party travel to the moon via a giant cannon, as the final Crystal Star and the villains' headquarters are located there.
  • Poptropica:
    • Lunar Colony Island has your character going to the moon to follow an astronaut who believes that she has found aliens. You visit a series of labs to track her down.
    • On Astro-Knights Island, your UFO crash lands on the Pewter Moon. It's inhabited by aliens, who look similar to the people back on Earth aside from their green skin. The aliens help you build a rocket so you can visit other planets, and you can then return to the moon to regenerate health if your rocket takes any damage.
  • In Wario Land 3, after collecting a specific Plot Coupon, Wario can travel to the Moon in the level Above The Clouds, where he can enter it through a doorway and collect the treasure inside.

    Web Videos 
  • Rats SMP: The third and last part of the "Ghosts of Ratmas" event on Day 60 takes the rats on a trip to the Moon in the "Future", where they have to stop the intelligent cats' Doomsday Device from destroying the Earth and turning an Class 3 Apocalypse How situation into a Class X one.
  • Stampy's Lovely World: Episode 85, titled "Trip To The Moon", is about Stampy flying his rocket ship to the moon, and then back to Earth again after setting a flag down to mark his presence.

    Western Animation 
  • The first Wallace & Gromit short, A Grand Day Out, involves the two main characters taking a trip to the moon to find some cheese.
  • Futurama: The second episode, "The Series Has Landed", has Planet Express going to its first delivery to the moon. Fry is excited, because he's a Fish out of Temporal Water; to the others, it's just a routine flight, as the moon has long since been colonized, and the only thing of interest there is an amusement park.
  • One episode of The Penguins of Madagascar has the penguins going to a vacation on the moon. However, their rocket only takes them as far as the roof of a nearby building, where they mistake an alley cat for a "mooncat".
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • "Sandy's Rocket". Sandy plans to take a rocket to the moon, but SpongeBob and Patrick take it for a joy ride. They miss the moon entirely and land back on Bikini Bottom, which they mistake for the moon and capture their friends, who they think are aliens. They then take the rocket back "home", but it runs out of fuel halfway and crashes on the moon.
    • "Mooncation": Sandy and SpongeBob take a vacation on the moon. They go crater-boarding and do tricks.
    • "Goons on the Moon" has SpongeBob, Sandy, Pearl, and Squidina all going to the moon for a science experiment. Squidward ends up coming along too when he delivers Sandy's food. On the moon, they meet Santa Claus and accidentally push the moon out of orbit. SpongeBob turns into the replacement moon.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "Haredevil Hare", Bugs Bunny is sent to the moon, where he meets Marvin the Martian (in his screen debut) and tries to stop him from blowing up the Earth.
  • Phineas and Ferb: "Moon Farm" features the kids going to the moon, with the intent to create a moon farm, just to make ice-cream out of it.
  • An episode of Legend of the Three Caballeros combines this trope with Ancient Astronauts: the Egyptian pyramids are revealed to be rockets by an ancient civilization. The Caballeros board a pyramid following the villain Felldrake, who prepares to invade Earth by an army of Moon-Bots hidden on the dark side of the Moon.
  • In an episode of The Busy World of Richard Scarry, Fixit Fox builds a space rocket that Mr Frumble accidentally launches to the Moon, with Huckle Cat, Lowly Worm and the Beggars also inside. There's surprisingly much Artistic License – Physics in the episode for a series that usually takes its educational content seriously - they sometimes claim the Moon has no gravity (rather than just lower gravity), and the Beggars set up a candle-lit dinner despite the lack of atmosphere.
  • Underdog must journey to the moon to thwart Mad Scientist Simon Bar Sinister. Simon has hijacked a NASA rocket to install his weather machine on the moon, where he'd be immune to all the cataclysms his device would generate.
  • In the Rugrats (1991) episode, "Destination Moon", when Chuckie throws his toy rocket ship, Tommy, Phil, and Lil believe he threw it all the way to the moon. The babies then have an Imagine Spot where Grandpa Lou's new trailer is a rocket ship that they use to travel to the moon to get Chuckie's toy rocket back. In reality, the moon is Tommy's garage.