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Lister: Fasten your belt!

Cat: Hey I do not need fashion tips from you!

Lister: Safety belt!

There are No Seat Belts on the Cool Ship (when there are even seats), particularly not on The Bridge. Whenever the ship is hit by Energy Weapons, even if the Deflector Shields hold, everyone on board will be flung about by the Star Trek Shake. Either the designers assumed that Space Is an Ocean, or everyone has a standing battle station.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture did a Lampshade Hanging on this, giving The Captain a chair whose arms folded down to function as a seat belt. Kirk wound up being tossed around anyway despite this. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock also had an impressive sequence of the bridge crew aboard the Excelsior buckling up in similar fashion before activating the transwarp drive -- which instantly broke down.

The lack of seat belts is part of No OSHA Compliance (as well as no common sense).

Exceptions:

Anime and Manga

  • Inconsistently done in the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, which can't seem to make up its mind if Mobile Suits have seat belts or not. Most notably averted in Victory Gundam, where all mobile suits have a fairly sizable, inflatable lap restraint that expands to cover the torso in an emergancy.

Film

Literature

  • Averted, then subverted in the Star Trek Deep Space Nine novel War of the Prophets. The future starship Phoenix has effective seat restraints, even though the Federation is falling apart and the universe is about to end. They're so effective, Captain Nog uses them to restrain the bridge crew so he can sell them and the ship out to the Romulans. (He has a very good reason.)
  • Averted in the Star Trek: Titan series, then Double Subverted when only Riker (The belts work perfectly for Vale and Troi) gets thrown to the floor anyway as he wasn't sitting down when they were hit, leading him to note "Obviously the lesson here is to stay in my chair".
  • Subverted in Larry Niven's later Known Space stories: No one uses or even needs seatbelts since every vehicle in the universe is comprehensively equipped with outrageously effective automatic safety, restraint and crash protection systems. Who need a seatbelt when your driver's seat has a built-in force field?
    • Actually makes sense given the high speeds of the vehicles in question. Even as an emergency backup, a seat belt is not going to save you if your supersonic flying car crashes and all the other mechanisms fail.
  • Very definitely averted in Honor Harrington, where warships' duty station seats have full-up shock frames to hold the crew in place -- which come in handy when you take a graser hit near the bridge. Not so much when you take one to the inertial compensator; everyone on the ship is instantly turned to "strawberry jam".

Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who "The Satan Pit" features seat belts in the rocket (they're even plot relevant...). Mind you, they're not the kind of seatbelts you'd usually find in a spaceship (this was a production oversight).
    • The TARDIS did have "seatbelts" in one Colin Baker episode, but it's best not to mention them. (Trying to plausibly fit seatbelts in a control room with no seats was never going to work, really.)
    • In "The Waters of Mars" there were seatbelts on the realistic rocket which they plan to escape on.
  • Lampshaded in Stargate SG-1 when the team gets severely knocked around while on board a Goa'uld shuttle:

  Daniel Jackson: You'd think a race smart enough to fly across the galaxy would be smart enough to have seatbelts.

  • Referenced by name in Andromeda episode 'Belly of the Beast', made by Beka after she is tossed around the bridge in yet another explosion.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • In Eight Bit Theater, Black Mage made a similar comment and carried out the same actions as Bender did in the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well". However, this was his plan (that he would be thrown clear of the burning wreckage). Of course, the fact that the universe hates Black Mage meant that he was immediately crushed by a giant, and the others escaped thanks to quick thinking on the part of Red Mage (for further irony, this was at the cost of the very items that could have saved Black Mage from his predicament).
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger mentioned this problem during the Star Trek -mocking arc. It's not that they don't have any seat belts, it's that only Dweebley actually uses one.

Western Animation

  • Spoofed in Sev Trek: Puss in Boots, an Australian 3D animated send-up of Star Trek the Next Generation. After sitting down in his Captain's Chair, Captain Jetlag Pinchhard pulls across a seatbelt. Later when the Enterforaprize runs into another ship, airbags inflate from the consoles, but one of those ensigns who are always standing around at the back of the bridge goes flying through the air.
  • Spoofed in Futurama: When the professor takes control of the Planet Express ship, Fry and Leela fasten themselves to their seats with about 30 seat belts. And, of course, the professor ends up "driving" at about two miles an hour.
    • In "Roswell That Ends Well", everyone sits down and buckles their seatbelts in preparation for a crash landing except Bender, who smugly insists, "Those things kill more lives than they save." In accordance with the laws of Tempting Fate, Bender is the only one sent flying when the ship touches ground.
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