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Despite how badass motorcycles are, sometimes they're just not quite right for the situation. For one, they're large, they're noisy, you need to stay fully on them, it's hard to fight hand-to-hand and they can't maneuver well in tight spaces. So for some, roller skates are better.
A person using this is very often a kid or has a childish personality, and are also often a Fragile Speedster. Also very often shows that the person is a Badass. If they're in an especially big hurry they can even add rockets for a little extra boost.
This trope frequently occurs in Humongous Mecha. Logically, they are there to make it easier and faster for the mecha to move around, but also to appease lazy animators. The wheels will either be on the feet, or the feet will transform to reveal wheels. Caterpillar tracks are common substitutes for wheels. Spider tanks under 4 meters (roughly 12.5 feet) tall will normally feature wheels on the bottom of their feet.
Anime and Manga
- Subaru, Ginga and Quint in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha all use skates with magical rocket boosters on them to get around. They also serve as Empathic Weapons. However, they are more Lightning Bruiser than Fragile Speedster.
- Nove has a bulkier pair that are even her primary weapons.
- The Knightmare Frames in Code Geass use roller wheels called landspinners as their primary method of locomotion (until flight packs get mass-produced). Played the most straight with the Shen-Hu, whose landspinners are actually designated "rollerblade-type" and are formed by a pair of blade-like projections on the feet which form down, as opposed to the wheel being on a separate limb as with all other models.
- The Tachikomas in Ghost in the Shell:Stand Alone Complex had wheels for feet to allow for high speed movement.
- Although it's worth noting that they also fold into three-toed feet for climbing up sheer faced walls, or occasionally, hanging from the ceiling.
- Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura skates to school every day and uses them in battle on occasion, with one particularly impressive example when fighting The Fly.
- But of course, the first skating Humongous Mecha is the MS-09 Dom from Mobile Suit Gundam, which uses jets built into its legs to skate along the ground instead of running.
- This is taken to an extreme in Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars, in which just about every mecha not capable of atmospheric flight can instead hover-skate over not only the ground, but the water as well.
- Jango, the Humongous Mecha from Bakuretsu Tenshi, has rollerskates and a jet engine. Actually has a function, as they're meant for speeding through Tokyo's highways.
- In the first episode of Kaleido Star, Sora Naegino catches a pair of loaner rollerblades to chase after a luggage thief, going awning-hopping to finally track him down. Her rollerblade skating abilities come handy later, when she has to train for a role in Dracula that includes ice-skating. Too bad she loses to May, a top-notch ice skater.
- Air Gear uses this liberally with the ATs, which actually fly.
- Technically, they don't let you fly, just use crazy amounts of momentum to launch you in the air really far. (Most of the cast DOES end up flying later, but it's not because of the ATs.)
- Lil Slugger of Paranoia Agent wear rollerblades, though he isn't as good as he is utterly terrifying.
- The Alien Party in Alien Nine chases extra-terrestrials around their elementary school on in-line skates. Armed with butterfly nets. And symbiotic aliens as helmets.
- Suzuna from Eyeshield 21 loves to wear these, even when cheerleading. Her ice-skating skills are also top-notch, too.
- Genki in the anime version of Monster Rancher uses them very often in battle.
- The titular machines from Rideback are normally bikes that can transform into small-sized mecha with the bike wheels instead of feet, allowing their pilots to cover both Badass Biker and Rollerblade Good depending on situation.
- Minamo from Real Drive has shoes that sprout rollerblades at opportune moments.
- After her season 2 power up, Amulet Heart has a pair of rollerblades. Which can fly.
- Trigun brings us Rei-Kei The Blade, a samurai who uses DangerousForbiddenTechniques with his katana against gunslingers. To compensate for his reduced effective range, he wears rocket-powered roller blades. Somehow, Vash manages to keep a straight face while fighting him.
- Konoka Konoe from Mahou Sensei Negima skates her way to school.
- The Humongous Mecha from Twentieth Century Boys must be bipedal according to The Book of Prophecy. The scientist kidnapped to design it emphatically points out that this is completely impractical. His solution is to treads under the hollow feet support the weight of the machine, while the feet only lift up and down.
- Kirby in Kirby of the Stars achieves rollerblades when he copies the Paint ability from Paint Roller.
- Giriko of Soul Eater has skates made of chain saws. Seeing as he can change into a chainsaw, it's not a huge stretch to change only his legs.
- Macross Frontier, where EX-Gears come equipped with these. Also many Destroids. Non-Serial Movie even gives us rocket-powered skates courtesy of the EX-Gear's Jet Pack.
- In Shugo Chara Doki, Amulet Heart gets a pair of roller skates, the Heart Speeders, as power-ups, allowing her to fly.
- In her early appearances, Jubilee was a mall rat who got around on rollerblades.
- Professor X was taught to rollerblade by Jubilee (his legs happened to be working that evening). Then she led him into the lake.
- Whenever Iron Man needs to get around fast and flying is not an option, some of his armor suit boots have roller skate wheels that pop out for some speedy ground transportation.
- In the Sin City graphic novel Family Values, Miho rollerblades her way through the Basin City mafia, leaving a trail of bodies in her wake.
- Several Marvel characters, such as Speedfreek and Blue Streak, use jet-propelled skates. Rocket Racer and Night Thrasher use skateboards.
- In her early Disco days, Dazzler used roller-skates.
- There was a short-lived comic called Skateman, about a skating hero, but it predates rollerblades.
- The Dark Action Girl Rollergrrl in The Incredibles comic series
- Ramona from Scott Pilgrim has a pair of rollerblades that can melt the snow beneath her feet.
- Carrie Kelly (Catgirl) in The Dark Knight Strikes Again usually appears on skates.
- Aachi and Ssipak has Geko: a cyborg cop with roller blades built in.
- The Triplets from Dogma, being roller-hockey themed mooks.
- Subverted in Jackass: The Movie, which has them trying rocket-skates which sent the guy flat on his ass after a couple feet, showing that the rocket powered skates aren't quite Truth in Television yet.
- There is a scene in the live-action Transformers film where Bonecrusher transforms into his robot form and proceeds to rollerblade down the highway after the heroes, only to be blocked by Optimus Prime when he turns around to do the same.
- Rollerball, with James Caan.
- The titular kids in Hackers got around on blades, and The Plague used a skateboard.
- Prayer of the Rollerboys! In the wake of the rollerblade fad, this Corey Haim vehicle features a dystopic, near-future LA where the toughest gang on the streets is a bunch of teenage white supremacists who ride rollerblades into their rumbles.
- In Monsters vs. Aliens, Ginormica uses cars as roller skates to escape from the alien robot. Later she uses the same trick with hoverboards.
- And in the video game her car-skating becomes the whole shtick of her levels.
- Rollerblade is about a group of roller-skating nuns who battle monsters and mad scientists with their magical healing switchblades. And hang around naked a lot.
- In Robots, Cappy (voiced by Halle Berry) kicks down wheels embedded in her feet and "rollerderbies" a few bad guys to help Rodney and Bigweld escape, then later in the underground battle with Madame Gasket (voiced by Jim Broadbent) she uses them again.
- Whip It is about a misfit who discovers that she has a hidden talent when she joins a roller derby league.
- Ron gives a bogart-turned-giant spider these in Prizoner of Azkaban.
- Subverted in World War Z where a mercenary tells how he saw a kid on roller blades wielding a hockey stick with a cleaver at the end of it. He was grabbed at the ankle (making him fall), and then dragged into a gutter. And then called a "dumbass". By Paris Hilton.
Live Action TV
- The Quantum Ranger's power-up armor in Power Rangers Time Force had rollerblades.
- In Tomica Hero Rescue Force, the late-series Humongous Mecha Rescue Max is made from the parts of two large rescue vehicles, and thus even with "legs", it's inevitable that it's going to have to skate around on wheels. The rockets only come out when it's time for the Finishing Move.
- Father Dougal Mcguire from Father Ted had to give up rollerblading as a vice for Lent in one episode.
- One episode of Myth Busters had Jamie, in the course of building a hovercraft, zooming across the shop in skates wearing a homemade jetpack made from several leaf-blowers grafted together.
- In one Countdown Worst Person In The World segment, the "worser" person commented on China's Olympic Torch woes and suggested getting faster runners, and Keith suggested giving them Rocket-Powered Roller Skates because that would be even better.
- Rollergames was a 1989 television series that tried to turn the sports of roller derby into a theatrical show. It only lasted one season, but it had several tie-in products, including an arcade game and an NES game, both developed by Konami.
- The mecha of Heavy Gear run with retractable roller skates for high speed movement over flatter ground. No rockets, and usually doesn't say much about the pilot's personality — they're just around to make transportation easier. Carried over to the video games.
- One of the cyberbits you could've put on in Shadowrun (at least its third edition) was, basically, in-line Gadget skates.
- Mage: The Ascension had rocket-powered rollerblades that could run up walls. And along ceilings. And reach 200 MPH in 20 feet. Failing the rather difficult athletics rolls with them spelled painful disaster.
- Onua Nuva could use his Quake Breakers as all-terrain treads.Umbra also wore rollerblades that let him move at the speed of light.
- Fatman from Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty is an overweight demolitions expert. Including his blast suit, he weights half a ton...so, obviously, he needs to wear roller blades for increased maneuverability. Predictably, he falls down a lot, and has trouble getting up.
- Jet Set/Grind Radio has all the playable characters in skates. Including the unlockable characters of the last boss, the last boss' human form, and the heroes' dog.
- Lilica Felchenerow from Arcana Heart.
- Sammy "Skate" Hunter, Adam's kid brother from Streets of Rage 2.
- Shadow the Hedgehog doesn't need a Wheel-O-Feet to prove that he's fast . . . he's got hover skates.
- Clara from Power Instinct has the ability to turn into an age-progressed version of herself decked out in an odd, Stripperiffic costume and rollerblades. One of the games makes this special form of hers a dedicated, selectable character.
- Two characters in the Street Fighter franchise wear rollerskates.
- Front Mission 4 has this in its intro video in a most certainly badass way.
- This is also something that can be upgraded onto humanoid leg parts, allowing equipped wanzers to move in straight lines (such as down streets) much farther than they could walk. They can't actually turn while using these though, unlike in the cutscenes.
- Top Man from Mega Man 3 has roller blades on his feet. He uses them to move fast across the room while spinning and shooting spinning tops at Mega Man. Unfortunately, this means that when you get his weapon, you don't get the tops - you get his ability to do a 360. And since Mega Man doesn't have roller blades, he can only use said ability in the air. At least it's useful for getting rid of those annoying enemies that bump you into pits while you are jumping merrily around. It also kills the final boss in one hit.
- Lan Hikari can switch between walking or skating.
- Mega Man himself gets some in Mega Man Legends. Except that they do away with wheels entirely and use jets.
- Averted in Tony Hawks Pro Skater, where bladers are whiny brats who are to be thoroughly embarrassed by the skateboarders.
Elzam V. BransteinRatsel Feinschmecker's Aussenseiter of Super Robot Wars is a Super Robot with large wheels attached to it's feet that allow it to skate along the ground to make fast attacks.
- Steel Battalion: Line of Contact changed 5th gear into a wheel mode. Fast and smooth on level terrain, but worse for climbing and much harder on the balancer during turns, increasing the likelihood of the VT tipping over if the pilot isn't careful.
- Grace from the Sega Saturn game Fighting Vipers was equipped with a pair of roller blades.
- Clothesline, from the MSF High Forum, always, always, always wears rollar stakes. Why? Because she isn't allowed to use her motorcycle indoors anymore. When outside, she uses her motorcycle. Tragically, her steering sucks. She cannot park without hitting someone.
- Thog from Order of the Stick had his beloved rocket skates...
- Inspector Gadget is equipped with a pair of Gadget Skates. A pair of Gadget Blades were designed for the Live Action Adaptation, but were not used.
- Kim Possible travels on rocket skates often enough.
- Wile E. Coyote used rocket skates in his very first appearance. Needless to say, it did not end well.
- In Beast Wars, Megatron's Transmetal form's beast mode is a roller-skating VTOL T-rex.
- Transformers Armada Hot Shot can lower the wheels around his ankles and roller skate on them.
- In Transformers Animated, Bumblebee and Optimus Prime both have one of their wheels on each of their robot-mode that they have been occasionally been shown to move around on. On the other hand, Prowl has his vehicles mode wheels in his knees and can use them to ride up walls.
- Static Shock: Gear invents rocket skates that can fly.
- We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story has a scene in which Rex uses a pickup truck as a skateboard to escape the police. He also grinds down the wire of the Brooklyn Bridge.
- Streex of Street Sharks is a hammerhead shark with roller blades.
- Maxwell from Stone Protectors got these as a superpower, along with being able to climb. Out of the Five-Man Band he really got heart-level powers.
- Spyke on X-Men: Evolution was never far from his skateboard until he was Rescued From the Scrappy Heap.
- One of the toys that Boris bought out with his enormous supply of counterfeit box tops in the Box Top Badman arc of Rocky and Bullwinkle was atomic roller skates.
- Rhodey makes fun of Tony for the idea of putting roller blades on the Iron Man suit in Iron Man: Armored Adventures. Later in the season, he does just that.
- Starlee Hambrath, from the "Fast Forward" season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) is never without her two-wheeled inline skates, which appear to be built into her jumpsuit.
- Loogie from Get Ed has a pair of jet-propelled skates. While he may or may not qualify completely for Fragile Speedster status, he's certainly the most...eccentric...team member, talking to his sock puppet catfish Dr. Pinch.