Good Vehicle Evil Vehicle
The heroes and villains rides both reflect their roles.


(permanent link) added: 2012-01-12 04:29:18 sponsor: ginsengaddict2 edited by: ginsengaddict (last reply: 2012-06-01 09:49:55)

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Like Good Scars, Evil Scars, but with Cool Cars, Cool Planes, Cool Boats, Cool Starships, Cool Bikes, etc.

See also Thememobile, Good Colors, Evil Colors.

Examples:

Comic Books:
  • Batman, which is the Trope Codifier for Thememobile, is also an example of this. Heroic characters tend toward sleek, dark vehicles with a simple paint scheme, while villains' vehicles tend to be either more garish or harmless - looking to allow them to hide in plain sight.

Film:
  • Invoked in the movie, Twister. How can you tell the good guys from the bad ones? Well, besides being a Smug Snake and a Jerk Ass, Jonas and his team drive shiny black vans, whereas our Ragtag Bunch of Misfits used beat up pickup trucks and campers.
  • In the Transformers films, the vehicle forms of the main characters: more heroic characters tend towards bright, primary colors while the Decepticons are less colorful. More neutral characters tend toward sheek, shiny black or silver - grey.
  • In G.I. Joe, the Joes' vehicles were usually sleak and oten had some patriotic colors. Cobra vehicles, on the otherhand, were often dark and had reptilian motiffs to them.
  • Star Trek did this very often, especially in the films.
    • Probably the 2011 movie being the best example. The Nerada looks like it came straight from hell.
  • Duel: David Mann is driving around in a classic Plymouth Valiant. The truck just looks frightening.
  • Death Proof: Both cars are classic American muscle cars, but Stuntman Mike's car is black with a Jolly Roger, while the girls' car is white.
  • The cars of the Wacky Races cast are pretty much reflections of their personalities.
  • Cruella De Vil's car in 101 Dalmatians is red and black, and the headlights and grill echoes her skull-like face.
  • In Star Wars, only the vehicles belonging to the designated good guys - the Rebels, the Jedi, or the Republic - get any sort of colorful paint job.

Live-Action Television:
  • In Star Trek, The Federation uses sleek, pearly - white or blue - grey vessels that resemble a flying saucer bolted to a Retro Rocket. Antagonist vessels' shapes tend to be either angular (Tholians, Borg, Kingons, etc.), or have more organic forms (Species 8472, etc.), and are often orange, green, or dark in color.
  • Babylon 5: Subverted when it's Earth Alliance ships vs Earth Alliance ships. But played extremely straight when it's White Stars vs Shadow vessels.
    • In an less-alignment-focused variation of the trope, the design of ships of each race, including humans, seems to reflect their culture; case in point, the Centauri are a race of hedonists and conniving schemers. Their ships are very garish and opulent-looking. While they don't look "evil" like the Shadow vessels, they still say a lot about the owner.

Tabletop Games
  • Warhammer 40K: The Imperium uses big, boxy tanks with either standard camo coloring for the Imperial Guard, silver iconography for the Sisters of Battle, and Chapter colors for the Space Marines. Chaos tanks are Obviously Evil versions of the Imperial counterparts, what with Spikes of Villainy, banners made from human skin and Nothing but Skulls. Tau and Eldar vehicles are far more sleek and graceful. Ork vehicles are either looted Imperial tanks (also featuring spikes and skulls) or cobbled-together pieces of junk that literally only work because the driver thinks it should.

Video Games
  • The Command & Conquer games use this trope a lot, with each faction having a distinctive theme for its units.
    • The Scrin units in C&C 3 all had an organic appearance.
    • In Generals, American units always had a high tech appearance, GLA units looked like they'd been cobbled together from spare parts, while Chinese units tended towards Gatling Good.

Web Originals

Western Animation
  • Kevin Levin of Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien drives a black and green muscle car. It looks like a bad guy car, but Kevin is mostly firmly on the good guy side these days. Ben's car is completely non-memorable.
  • On one of the Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf Looney Tunes cartoons, Sam drives a sputtering jalopie, while Ralph speeds by in a hot rod.
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