Running Over The Plot
Car driver runs over someone who just appeared out of nowhere, which initiates/resumes the plot.
Needs a Better Title — The Protagonist or the Victim of the Week is driving their car. Maybe they're talking to the Love Interest about how awesome they are, or maybe they're just doing nothing. The thing is, the driver takes their eyes out of the road for a second. It doesn't matter why. What matters is that hey, suddenly someone appeared right in front of the car. Maybe it's The Hero and he wants a ride. Maybe it's the Monster of the Week and you're screwed. Most likely there is fog, or it is night. What matters is that the driver will probably run him over. Note that, if they DON'T run over it, it becomes a Plot Point and the story would not begin if they did run over it. It usually happens on horror stories, or when the makers need to introduce new characters on the story.
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- At the beginning of The A-Team, Barakus almost runs over Hannibal, which appears to have come out of nowhere from Barakus's view.
- In Big Trouble in Little China, the main character is introduced to the Big Bad when he runs through him with a semi truck. The villain in question was a walking dream (a ghost, essentially).
- Ghost Story. As one of the protagonists is driving in a snowstorm, the ghost of a woman he murdered appears before him, causing him to swerve to the side of the road. He is then attacked (and presumably killed) by one of the ghost's accomplices.
- Ghost in the Shell has a truck driver run over a naked woman on a rainy freeway. It turns out to be Project 2501 escaping in a cyborg body.
- In Dark Angel: The Ascent, we see this from the victim's point of view. Veronica, a rebellious teenage demon, sneaks out of Hell to take a peek on Earth. Unfortunately, she arrives in the sewer, and when she emerges from a manhole in the middle of a busy street, she's immediately hit.
- Many horror stories begin or end like this. One of them is about an old man telling a story about a serial killer that used to kill whoever they saw traveling the 666 Highway. The killer would throw 3 crucifixes at the car and then make the driver get out of the vehicle. Guess what happens at the end.
Live Action TV
- In Supernatural, it happens quite often. It can be at any given moment of the episode if cars or highways are involved, but one particular example comes to mind. A girl just escaped her death and goes to the highway, where's she's almost ran over by the Winchesters.
- M*A*S*H. Whiplash Wang, who makes a meager living by purposely getting run over by GIs in jeeps, then making them pay him off to keep him from reporting it.
- Happens in Midsomer Murders to Barnaby's wife. In the end it turns out it was a real woman who disappeared in the secret entrance of a roadside building. However, the show puts in a Real After All moment when Barnaby also barely avoids running over a woman in the same spot... but this time, there is clearly no one there.
- There's the old song from the 1950s about the hitcher girl and the jacket she borrows from the nice boy who stops to give her a ride home.
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