"An escape pod is a very silly space ship that lets you escape from a much larger and usually better shuttle. People generally use these in plots to let the protagonist get away, and otherwise have no real use.

-The Gibberish Dictionary on escape pods.

An escape pod is a space ship (or "pod") that lets you escape from a larger starship usually due to dangerous conditions, a jailbreak (the prisoners use the pod in this case), horrid elevator music, as a plot device, a lack of Swiss Cheese, or a ship's imminent destruction. They have never been used much due to Space Fighting Etiquette's rule of "go down with the (star)ship." Escape pods that have been used by protagonists to escape usually accumulate massive amounts of Plotdevicium.