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.
- 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.
- Fly Me to the Moon is an animated film about a trio of flies sneaking on Apollo 11.
- The Scooby-Doo movie Moon Monster Madness has the gang visit the moon and of course, they have to solve a mystery involving a sinister alien.
- Capture the Flag is about 2 kids and a retired former astronaut travelling to the moon to stop a Corrupt Corporate Executive from destroying any evidence about the moonlanding, and claiming the moon for himself.
- A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès is one of the earliest (if not the earliest) Science Fiction films in history, about a group of scientists travelling to the Moon. It is based loosely on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H.G. Wells. It features the iconic shot of the scientists' rocket hitting The Man in the Moon in the eye.
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Dr. Evil installs a laser weapon on the Moon, and Austin has to follow him to his moon lair to thwart his plan. The film, appropriately, takes place in 1969, the year of the first Moon landing.
- Apollo 13 is Based on a True Story, a dramatized retelling of a Moon mission that had to be aborted due to an on-board explosion.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.