Space X

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Space Bees looking for Space Flowers to make Space Honey.

Raditz: No, my space pod! *oof* Argh, my space armor!

Piccolo: We get it! You're from space!

Taking regular words and giving them appropriate futuristic flair with a simple addition since the 1930's.

A Sub-Trope of Call a Smeerp a Rabbit, rarely played straight these days but still used often when parodying or hanging a lampshade on a certain setting's Recycled in Space trappings. Constructions like "Batharian hound" or "Ar'ha'sds'gdian bat" also qualify.

Of course, this kind of construction rests on an inherent geocentric bias. Contrary to how the word is often used, "space" does not refer to everything in the universe except for Earth; it refers to everything in the universe, Earth included. So a creature from another planet is no more "spacey" than a creature on Earth is - unless, of course, the creature can somehow exist in the vacuum of space without breathing gear. (Another possible meaning for "space" is everything rather far away from a celestial body, such as outside its atmosphere. This use, however, means that nothing alive can be "spacey" — except, perhaps, Space Whales and such.)

There is, believe it or not, a Real Life precedent for this. Consider all the Sea Lions and Sea Anemones and Sea Horses and Sea Stars and Sea Robins and so on and so forth, not to mention all the Catfish, Dogfish, Parrotfish, Lizardfish, ad infinitum. (The reason for this, if you were wondering, is that in the early days of biology, it was thought that every land animal had an undersea equivalent. Obviously this theory didn't quite work out, hence a pretty epic level of Calling Smeerps Rabbits.)

Compare the various Thememobiles and Hold Your Hippogriffs. See also Recycled in Space, Space Jews, and Sci Fi Name Buzzwords. Not to be confused with the material from which brand-name Latex Space Suits are made, nor the rocket company.

For Space-named Tropes, see Tropes in Space.

Space Examples IN SPACE!

Anime and Manga

"Captain, you've got a package by Galaxy Delivery. It's from our home planet."
"A package by Galaxy Delivery?"
"It looks like a package from Galaxy Mail Order."
"Oh, it must be what I ordered from Galaxy TV Shopping! Put my Galaxy Personal Seal on the Galaxy Payment Slip and get the package for me."
"But it's Galaxy COD."
"Just go ahead and do a Galaxy Advance for me, will you?"
"But it's before Galaxy Payday. I don't have any money on me..."
"Didn't you just get a Galaxy Advance?"
"I'm sorry... I Galaxy-lost all my money on Galaxy Pachinko, so I'm totally Galaxy-Broke right now."
"You're Galaxy-hopeless, moron!"

Comic Books

  • In the Jodoverse (which includes such series as The Incal, The Caste of the Metabarons and The Technopriests), a far-future science-fantasy dystopia, characters sometimes refers to persons and use exclamations familiar to contemporary readers, but qualify them with the prefix paleo-. One has to wonder why they feel the need to refer to Paleo-Marx and Paleo-Christ instead of simply using their names, call someone Paleobitch and so on, unless there are several versions of these persons and concepts, which are in turn associated with different eras. There is nothing to indicate that the latter is the case.

Fan Works

  • Raditz does this in Dragon Ball Z Abridged, also providing the current page quote. It comes back with a vengeance during the Namek Saga:
    • Krillin enacts a survival strategy of hiding and quacking. Dodoria admires the majestic sound of the "space duck."
    • Freeza uses Space Twitter to brag about blowing up planets, contacts the Ginyu Force via Space Skype, and even mentions a "space Mexico", going completely beyond all other examples (Space Mexicans also show up in Sailor Moon Abridged).
    • Vegeta compares Gohan's bowlcut to Moe Howard. How does he even know who that is? Space Hulu.
    • Jeice comes from Space Australia - or, more specifically, Space Brisbane. Go Space Broncos!

Krillin:'s like...Australia...
Jeice: In space. Gotta be careful, though, Burter. Space-dingo will eat your space-baby.

    • The episode following includes advertisements for a Space restaurant chain called "Spacey's" ("It's good food, in space") and a Space Australian lager called "Space XXXX" ("Space XXXX - because Space VB is piss").
    • When Freeza learns that Gohan and Krillin are from Earth, he comments on how he'll stop there to pick up some space eggs, space milk, and blow it the f*ck up!
    • Piccolo tells Nail he switched to Spacebook in episode 25 (from... myspace.)
    • Freeza: "It's kind of like putting down Old Space Yeller." Krillin: "How is that even a thing?"



  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, every Earth animal seems to have an "Arcturian Mega-" counterpart, with the same role in similes ("Talk all six legs off an Arcturian Megadonkey"; "Knee-high to an Arcturian Mega-Grasshopper"). There's even a spacecraft called an Arcturian Megafreighter, though this actually is an extremely large cargo transport from Arcturus. The game of Brockian Ultra-Cricket, played by extradimensional beings, is eventually justified.
    • Additionally, every single species in the galaxy has a drink called "gin and tonic" (or rather, pronounced "gin and tonic" but spelled very differently). The Guide itself calls this an incredible coincidence.
  • Lucky Starr and the Oceans of Venus features the V-frogs: they're from Venus, and they look sort of like frogs.
  • The Potter Verse has many examples of "Wizard X" and "Wizarding X": wizard chess, wizard crackers (as in firecrackers), Ordinary Wizarding Levels, etc. The collective term for magical society is the "Wizarding World".
  • In his 1976 how-to-write-SF article "Living the future: You are what you eat!", Gardner Dozois gave a good tirade that culminated with this (cue the author's Sarcasm Mode):

"Well, after all, science fiction is pretty easy to write, isn't it? It's just a matter of using fancy names -- just change the names, apply a thin layer of technologese and jargon, right? Say 'helicar' instead of car, 'helipad' instead of driveway, 'tri-vid' instead of television, 'feelies' (or 'smellies,' or 'grabbies') instead of movies. Better still, use the word 'space' as a prefix for everything: spacesuit, spacegun, spacehelmet, spacehouse, spacedog, spacecow. ... Right? Just change the names and you can write a confession-magazine love story, a cowboy story, a gothic, or a nurse novel, and sell it as science fiction. Right?"

Live-Action TV

  • Old shows have such things as "space binoculars" and "space-o-phone" in them.
  • Star Trek TOS did this with "star" a lot. The Captain's Log entries were made by Stardate, for example.
    • Across the franchise, alien plants, animals and foodstuffs tend to have names following the pattern <adjectival form of alien planet> <common earth word>, such as "Romulan ale", "Aldebaran whiskey", "Altarian chowder", "Delovian souffle", etc. Diseases get the same treatment; for instance, "Rigelian fever".
      • As opposed to New England Clam Chowder, Bordeaux Wines, or Philly Cheesesteak in the real world - these are more of a " a duck" situation. As for diseases, I for one would rather not be treated for "Rigelian Fever" when I tell the doctor that I have "a fever"; racial names are as good a differentiator as any.
      • Justified: A progenitor species seeded thousands of Minshara Class (M-Class) Planets with a common genetic source code, leading to parallel developments on many worlds. So many alien plants and animals are genetically very similar to Earth species. A Rigellian bat is simply a bat native to Rigel.
      • Except that evolution doesn't work that way. Constant monitoring and selective breeding would be required to produce multiple humanoid species on hundreds of separate planets at roughly the same time, billions of years after the original seeding. Otherwise, the evolutionary paths would just go in any which direction the environment dictates, no matter what kind of genetic material was dumped into the planets' oceans.
        • This is Star Trek. Living species aren't subject to real evolution, they experience Hollywood Evolution instead.
  • Original series Doctor Who does this a lot. Venusian Karate, etc.
  • In the DVD commentary for one of the episodes of Firefly, Nathan Fillon and Alan Tyduk reveal that this was a recurring joke on the set: The setting isn't a farm, it's a SPACE farm! Inara isn't a hooker, she's a SPACE hooker! That postal guy from "The Message" is a SPACE Jew! And so on.
  • The Doctor Who new series episode "The Big Bang" has a throwaway reference to a trip the Doctor and Amy took to "Space Florida". But then, a previous episode had established that at some point in the future, all the nations of Earth took off on starships.
    • Amy occasionally throws in "space" on her own. In "The Time of Angels", after the Doctor bit her hand hard to break an illusion: "Blimey, your teeth, have you got space teeth?" By "The Doctor's Wife", she used the term "spacey wacey" for one of the Doctor's technobabble explanations, although it isn't clear whether the phrase was originally hers or the Doctor's.
  • The News Radio episode set in space used this to good comic effect. When Dave and Lisa were arguing over whose "space pod" to stay at, Lisa complains that Dave's is cold and drafty. Dave says, "Fine, I'll get a space heater!"
  • Terry Nation had a habit of using "space" attributively in his science fiction stories. Noticeable in his work on Doctor Who (especially the stories he wrote for the Doctor Who and Dalek annuals).
    • TN's Blakes Seven suffered from this in places as well. Travis has the rank of "Space Major".
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Manhunt In Space" had numerous space-tools, space-phones, space-clothing, et cetera. It even gets brought up in a host segment.

Joel: Movies like this are always trying to show how futuristic they are by putting the word 'space' in front of everything.
Tom Servo: Well, that's a classic overuse of what's known as a modifier. And in this movie, our grammatical friend the modifier puts in triple-overtime.
(later, during the movie)
Joel(impersonating Vena): Let's work on your space-math. Space-two plus space-two equals space-four.

Ricky: [playing 'Spacemen'] Breaker breaker, come in Earth, this is Rocket Ship 27, aliens fucked over the carbonator on engine four, I'm gonna try to refuckulate it on Juniper. Uhh, and hopefully they've got some, space weed there, over. How... how was that buddy? I don't fuckin' know.
Bubbles: Ricky... that's not very good. Use space words, real ones, not talking about space weed.


Tabletop Games

  • The much Better Than It Sounds Spelljammer setting has giant space hamsters. At least one miniature breed of the species went on to become a famous animal companion.
    • Oh no, it's better than that. Thanks to the encyclopedic syntax of the early books, it was listed as "Hamster, comma, giant space," as though "giant" and "space" are just traits a hamster can have, and this happens to have both.
      • At least one source said that that was exactly what they were: hamsters modified to be giant and more suited for Spelljammer-voyages. The Tinker Gnomes were to blame, naturally.
        • That's "Gnomes, Tinker" to you!

Video Games

  • Knights of the Old Republic played this straight a couple of times: for instance, "space-tramp."
  • Mass Effect 2, another Bioware game set In Space, gives the player the option of buying a Space Hamster for their quarters.
    • Plucky Comic Relief / terrifying Berserker Minsc, true protagonist of earlier Bioware title Baldur's Gate, had a pet hamster named Boo. He is deluded that Boo is a genuine "miniature Giant Space Hamster." Not only is ME2's Space Hamster a shout out to this, Boo was himself a shout out to the Dungeons and Dragons setting Spelljammer, in which players really can have hostile encounters with a genuine "Hamster, Giant Space."
      • The ESRB rating described one of the reasons for its M rating for one character having their space blouse being removed.
    • The Mass Effect universe has also got a species of monkey-like pests called Pyjacks, referred to on occasion as—you guessed it—space monkeys.
    • Space Cows are found on a few worlds in the first game and found on Aite in the second.
  • Metroid: Ridley is a space dragon, and the leader of the Space Pirates.
  • Possibly justified with the Rikti monkeys in City of Heroes; Rikti are mutated humans, so they may very well be (Riktified) monkeys.
  • A variant form of this structure appears in Left 4 Dead 2. One level takes place inside a 'Tunnel of Love' ride, which quickly becomes an in-joke among the characters, and Ellis begins to suffix all of his item declarations with "...of love" so that for example "Grabbin' pills!" becomes "Grabbin' pills of love!" and so on.
  • In Space Channel 5, Space President was visiting Space Park when he was kidnapped for 6.6 trillion Space Dollars ransom.
    • Not to mention the Space Police, space elementary school class, space DJ, space chefs, space barista...
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run features space-ratings and space-viewers, since the whole plot is kicked off by Kang and Kodos turning Springfield into an intergalactic reality show.
  • The Simpsons Game features a space-rake, unfortunately for Sideshow Bob.
    • The Simpsons Game also features a discussion between Kang and Kodos which eventually ends with one of them saying "Sounds good to space-me."
  • Portal 2 has the Space Core (whose name derives from its obsession with space, not its presence in it). It constantly babbles about space. And things in space. And space.

"Play it cool. Play it cool. Here come the space cops. Here come the space cops. Help me, space cops. Space cops help."
"Space. Trial. Putting the system on trial. In space. Space system. On trial. Guilty. Of being in space. Go to space jail."
"Orbit. Space orbit. In my spacesuit."

Web Animation

Weebl: Word.
Bob: You are so out of date! Nobody says "word" anymore. This is the future!
Weebl: Oh. What we say now?
Bob: Space word!
Weebl: That... is so space hot.

  • Space Tree. (full title: Space Tree the space tree In Space) In addition to the name of the show, loads of things in the show are examples of Space X, including the names of the first 10 episodes.

Web Comics

Qui-Gon: Let's see. Electro-axe. Energy mace. "Plasma bow"?? You just took a D&D equipment list and stuck techy words in front, right?
GM: Don't be stupid.
Qui-Gon: Ten foot laser pole...

Web Original

  • The guys in Unskippable mentioned that a spaceship full of slaves should have them all rowing... with "Space oars. Duh."
  • Dave and Joel's Fast Karate for the Gentlemen once had a podcast entited "Not in my SPACE Jurisdiction", about Cyber City Oedo.
  • Two Best Friends Play note the important role of SPACE CONFESSIONALS in the plot of Assassin's Creed while playing Cathrine.

Western Animation

  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Lisa is babysitting Rodd & Todd Flanders, and telling them a bedtime story about robots named Rod & Todd (per Todd's prayer).

Lisa: Once there was a robot named Todd.
Todd: Did he have a brother?
Lisa: Yes, he had a brother named Rod, who was two space years older than him.
Todd: frightened, pulling up his blanket I don't like this story!

  • The Family Guy episode "Peterotica": One of Peter's erotica writings mentions an alien's 'space-horniness'.
  • The Jetsons' Nimbus the great had it as a Catch Phrase. "It's Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace MAGIC!"
  • Transformers, especially the early series, regularly used this trope, giving us "turbo-foxes," "petro-rabbits," and the particularly brilliant "roboto-possum." In The Movie, Sharkticons crop up and look less like sharks and more like giant mechanical tadpoles with big legs, stubby arms, and rows of sharp teeth, and can transform into tubby-looking robot modes.
    • And let us not forget the titanium moose-bot.
  • Transformers Animated has now brought us space barnacles. Mutant space barnacles, at that.
    • The 'Allspark Almanac' even calls Lockdown's 'Fistful of Dollars' getup a 'space poncho'. Not kidding.
  • This is a long-running Futurama in joke. Examples:

Farnsworth: Need I remind you that robosexual marriage is illegal?
Leela: Not in Space Massachusetts.
Bender: You mean Space Taxachusetts? No thanks!

    • Fry is initially confused by the concept of Space Pirates, until Leela helpfully explains that they're like pirates, but in space. There are also the dreaded Space Banditos ("Did you hear maracas?").
      • "Electronically transfer over all yer Space Dubloons!"
    • Not to mention that Futurama has actual space bees with a space honeycomb where the crew collects space honey. Oh, did I mention that these space bees were flapping their wings to fly in space?
    • "You missed a great delivery to Space Earth!"
    • Don't forget the Space Pope.
    • Fry: Kareem's got the sky hook, but Philip J. Fry's got the space hook!

Yancy: Yancy drives; he goes up with his patented space hook!"
Fry: Hey, that's my patented space hook! You stole it!
Yancy: You're not the president of it!

  • Lampshaded in the South Park episode "Pinewood Derby."
  • Invader Zim has, amongst other things that probably also adheres to this trope, Spaaaaace Meaaaaat. It's meat... In space.
  • In one episode of "Viva Pinata" Professor Pester uses an overly complicated scheme to catch a pinata by tricking Pinata Central into launching Hudson Horstachio into what they think is the first party in space. When Hudson questions the logic and difficulty of this plan as opposed to just catching him on earth, Pester justifies it by explaining that everything is cooler when you add space to it. He then goes on to demonstrate that a Chair is not as cool as a SPACE-CHAIR! Ice cream is bested by SPACE-ICE CREAM! And his evil plot becomes an evil SPACE PLOT! Hudson concedes the point after he realizes that he is now SPACE HUDSON!

Real Life

  • When things are made to function in space, they have good reason to have this kind of naming.
    • Spacesuit
    • Space Shuttle
    • Space Station
  • Space Blankets. They were developed by NASA for use in, you guessed it, space, but now have a number of uses on Earth as well.
  • Space Food Sticks were allegedly developed for the space program, then marketed under that name to the general public. (Later, they were renamed simply "Food Sticks", which sounds eerily vague and generic, like opening a can of People Food.)
  • SpaceX is an example of this trope, and should not be confused with the trope.