Follow TV Tropes


Walking Techfix

Go To

The opposite of Walking Techbane, these people are just uncannily able to get recalcitrant technology to work. It's not just fixing them, it's miraculous things like getting computers to behave when touched or make the BSOD go away by looking at it. Techfixes are people for whom Percussive Maintenance works.

Just as Techbanes can be quite knowledgeable about computers but unable to operate them, certain Techfixes may not know anything about the technology they fix.

Often an ability of the Technopath. Might have Machine Empathy as a secondary effect.

If it's only a specific device (usually a vehicle) they have this effect on, see Only I Can Make It Go.


    open/close all folders 

    Fan Fiction 

  • In the Forges of Mars trilogy, Abrehem Locke discovers that he can make damaged or disused machines work again just by touching them. Several characters take this ability as a sign that hes been blessed by the Machine God and is Machine-touched.

    Live-Action — Films 
  • In the TRON universe, a human programmer who has entered the computer world has this ability. It is uncertain whether a person less skilled in controlling what goes on in a computer from the outside would have the same power.
  • At the beginning of Kidnapping, Caucasian Style, Shurik is riding a donkey, which suddenly stops dead in its tracks as they stumble upon Edik and his stopped truck he's fruitlessly trying to start. Then, as Nina happens to walk by past the two of them, the donkey follows her, while the truck starts on its own.

    Live-Action — Series TV Series 
  • Fonzie from Happy Days has this ability due to his coolness. Not only will anything he performs Percussive Maintenance on start working, but he can even use it to "fix" things that aren't broke, like making a vending machine dispense soda without money.
    • This is Truth in Television for older soda vending machines. Proper abuse would frequently result in merchandise or a failure in the coin-return system, causing the machine to spit soda and cash everywhere.

    Tabletop RPGs 
  • In the Deadlands: Hell on Earth setting, a junker can assemble scrap into a machine that just looks like it could work, then get a technology spirit to inhabit it and finish the job.
  • Paranoia has the mutant powers of Mechanical Intuition (which gives you an uncanny insight into how machines work) and Machine Empathy (which makes bots and other A.I.s like you and generally do what you want). Confusingly, Mechanical Intuition is an example of the Machine Empathy trope, while Machine Empathy is not - those who have it are actually Technopaths.
  • The Technomancer Crypteks from Warhammer 40,000 are a subversion of this trope, they are technically androids, just with the faintest echo of their biological former selves, they don't use the Warp to achieve magic effects but they apply for Clarke's Third Law which translates ingame in the form of them being capable to reanimate destroyed models, fix vehicles and make all Canoptek units fight with more lethality by just being close to them.

    Video Games 
  • Command & Conquer's engineers can generally repair buildings to full health instantly.
    • Renegade gives the Engineers heal guns that fix buildings, vehicles, and people.
    • In CnC4 engineers can repair anything with their guns, like in Renegade, but can also restore incapacitated husks to full effectiveness instantly. This allows going over the unit cap, sometimes massively so.

  • The title character of Gene Catlow, starting with the first strip and eventually dubbed Tech Master by the machines.
  • Although the storyline is now over, for many years up until 2000, Fiona from Kevin & Kell could fix any computer (or machine for that matter) by just pointing at it. It was granted to her by the Great Bird Conspiracy (posing as aliens) to fix the Y2K bug with.
  • There was a story arc in Help Desk where telling Alex about a broken computer (or machine) would cause said machine to fix itself. Since Ubersoft Help Desk employees aren't supposed to be helpful, he was told to take a vacation until it stopped happening.
  • Techno Wizard Dave from Narbonic can fix everything from an ordinary computer to Helen's malfunctioning weather machine. It turns out that none of the stuff he fixes ever worked in the first place, and it is just subconcious Mad Scientist traits of his own doing the work.
  • Sweden from Scandinavia and the World has this ability.

    Web Original 

    Real Life 
  • Some systems administrators and related operations personnel take it to a level of zen, where merely knowing how to fix the problem fixes the problem; those who are unenlightened can take the (apparent) same steps and never succeed. Tom Knight and the Lisp Machine illustrates this nicely.
  • It's the same with cars. Any problem you notice while driving your car tends to immediately disappear as soon as the mechanic sits down for a test drive.
  • There's also the common problem of calling a software developer over to show them a bug in their software, only for it to work perfectly in their presence.
  • On the /r/talesfromtechsupport subreddit, this is often referred to as some variation on the "IT Wizard Aura" and tends to lead to customers refusing to pay for a callout or being otherwise ungrateful.