Created By: ryanasaurus0077 on July 3, 2013 Last Edited By: ryanasaurus0077 on April 6, 2014
Troped

The Jaywalking Dead

When a zombie jaywalks, it leaves itself open to become roadkill.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Zombies aren't the brightest creatures on the planet. And yet, sometimes they're dumb even by undead standards. One of the dumbest things a zombie can do is jaywalking when there are still live humans on the planet that know how to drive. Inevitably, one of these creatures is going to be roadkill, particularly if their head sustains severe damage.

Of course, it's not their fault they end up being easy targets for cars, both on and off the road. After all, they're dead; many of them don't understand the concept of traffic regulations, to say nothing about them probably being visually impaired. If they were half as smart as the zombies from Return of the Living Dead, though, they'd probably look both ways before crossing the road, let alone shambling out in the open at all. If even then they go walking on the roads, well, they probably deserve a special Darwin Award if they get hit.

Subtrope of Car Fu. For other ways to kill zombies, see Burn the Undead, Shock and Awe, and the traditional method of Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Film
  • The protagonists of Zombi 2 run over a zombie while fleeing Menard's house after finding Paola dead and being devoured by zombies, and they end up crashing the car just as quickly.
  • In Zombi 3D, some zombie birds die by ramming blindly into an incoming bus.
  • A fuel truck in South Korea makes zeke roadkill in World War Z.
  • In Romero's Dawn of the Dead several zombies are easily cast aside when Roger and Peter start using trucks to block the doors of the mall. Later, when locking the doors from the inside, more zombies are taken out as they drive the silver coupe through the mall.
    • In the remake, their heavily outfitted busses are surprisingly less effective.
  • In Romero's Land of the Dead the massive truck Dead Reckoning graphically dispenses with plenty of zombies.
  • In Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror a small caravan of vehicles rips through several zombies, and one unfortunate dog. Also, as a possible subversion of the trope, earlier in the film, El Rey swerves to avoid a man he doesn't know is a zombie, ultimately crashing his car.
  • Not strictly a zombie, but it probably belongs here anyway- towards the end of Robocop an unlucky goon gets doused in toxic waste, leaving him as a shambling, rotting, but still technically alive mess of a man. Blinded by pain and the toxic waste that caused it, he stumbles into the road only to be promptly split in two by a car.
  • Tallahassee's Establishing Character Moment in Zombieland has him speeding down the highway, giving the Toyota Tripwire to any zombies that get in his way. This sets him as the kind of Crazy Awesome Badass zombie hunter that a Crazy Awesome zombie story needs.

Literature
  • The Zombie Survival Guide includes one account of a driver accidentally running over a slow- moving pedestrian. As soon as he gets out of his car, he notices the victim slowly crawling towards him...

Video Games
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two offers an achievement, "Hit and Run," for running over twenty enemies with the car. Headcrab zombies are the most frequently available targets by far.
  • One of the titles in the "Simple 2000 Series" of Japanese budget games is The Zombie vs Ambulance. Running over zombies with your ambulance is literally one of the two main goals; the other is to locate and pick up survivors a la Crazy Taxi. If you're not moving fast enough, though, the zombies can climb on and start wrecking your vehicle instead.
  • In Dead Rising, you can kill zombies by running them over with a car. They're so stupid that they make no real effort to get out of the way.
  • Inverted in Plants vs. Zombies, where Dr. Zomboss (in his Zombot, naturally) throws a winnebago down your 6 plants and instantly flattening them.
  • The Flash game Road of the Dead is about a guy escaping a Zombie Apocalypse in his car, running over any that get in his way.

Web Original
  • Inverted with Zombie Roadkill, the premise of which involves animals that get struck by vehicles coming back to life for revenge.
Community Feedback Replies: 46
  • July 3, 2013
    StarSword
    I like Jaywalk Of The Living Dead.

    Video Games:
    • Half Life 2: Episode Two offers an achievement, "Hit and Run," for running over twenty enemies with the car. Headcrab zombies are the most frequently available targets by far.
  • July 3, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    OK, that's one for Jaywalk Of The Living Dead. Also, the description probably needs some work.
  • July 3, 2013
    Ryusui
    Undead Man Jaywalking? Okay, that's a little too obtuse. I'm leaning towards Zombie Roadkill myself, but that's a little ambiguous - it could just as easily imply "animals hit by cars come back as zombies" (which I'm pretty sure was the premise of a B-horror film).
  • July 3, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    OK, Zombie Roadkill is out as a title. It's also been linked to so people coming here can see for themselves why the title has been DQ'd.
  • July 3, 2013
    StarSword
    To whomever made a motion to discard, come back here and explain it; otherwise I'm asking the moderators to pull the tag. You have two hours to comply.
  • July 3, 2013
    Madrugada
    Sorry, you don't get to set that kind of deadline.

    I didn't set the tag, but I fail to see how this is a trope as it's currently described. Jaywalking is a good way to die for any character that has an enemy after them or, in some works, any character. Why is "Zombies get hit when they jaywalk" any more of a trope?
  • July 3, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Yeah, ok, sorry. I just think that should be a rule, is all.
  • July 3, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    ^^Yeah, I'll admit I wasn't thinking hard enough when penning the description.
  • July 3, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    One of the titles in the "Simple 2000 Series" of Japanese budget games is The Zombie vs Ambulance. Running over zombies with your ambulance is literally one of the two main goals; the other is to locate and pick up survivors ala Crazy Taxi. If you're not moving fast enough, though, the zombies can climb on and start wrecking your vehicle instead.

    EDIT: I like the simplicity of Undead Jaywalking. Or possibly just Zombie Jaywalking, since I don't think this is usually an issue with other types of undead.
  • July 4, 2013
    robinjohnson
  • July 4, 2013
    ShutUpWesley
    Jaywalk of the Living Dead for sure.
  • July 4, 2013
    lexicon
    This does need a better description. Is it that they get hit a lot because they're slow?
  • July 4, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    That's part of the reason. Another part is because they tend to only look in front of them, and some varieties can only see what's coming just inches ahead of them.
  • July 4, 2013
    Skylite
    I'd go for Jaywalk of the living dead except:

    • Zombies are usually dead. They don't know they're walking against traffic. They just walk where the living flesh is, or in a random direction if there's no living flesh close to hand (tooth).
    • Drivers can and will run down zombies even offroad regardless of traffic signals.

  • July 4, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    If they walked into a car's path in Return Of The Living Dead, they'd have less of an excuse, if any; zombies in that film series are smarter than your average everyday Romero-type zombie.
  • July 8, 2013
    Melkior
    Zombie Roadkill could still be used if there was a disambiguation page, but Undead Jaywalking gets my vote otherwise.
  • July 9, 2013
    TyeDyeWildebeest
    Literature
    • The Zombie Survival Guide includes one account of a driver accidentally running over a slow- moving pedestrian. As soon as he gets out of his car, he notices the victim slowly crawling towards him...
  • July 9, 2013
    StarSword
    Please replace Kill It With Fire with Burn The Undead.
  • July 16, 2013
    Arivne
    Video Games
    • In Dead Rising you can kill zombies by running them over with a car. They're so stupid that they make no real effort to get out of the way.
  • July 16, 2013
    arbiter099
    ^ examples like that are what makes me feel this is a chair. I can sort of see the iconography of badass bikers and other road warriors mowing down the undead, often with similar camera angles, but at the same time do we want a list of "stuff gets run over and also happens to be undead?"
  • July 17, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    I believe what makes this a trope is that they're undead, as opposed to just living.
  • November 20, 2013
    DAN004
    Maybe the imagery of cars crashing through hordes of zombies are cool.
  • November 20, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Yeah, Rule Of Cool would be a good index in which to place this.
  • November 20, 2013
    DAN004
    ...Though, wouldn't that be covered under Car Fu?
  • November 20, 2013
    ryanasaurus0077
    Actually, it'd be a subtrope.
  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Any more name votes?
  • January 11, 2014
    DAN004
    What about Car Meets Zombie? (From Car Meets House)
  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Now there's another good name!
  • January 11, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Why is Zombie Roadkill disqualified? it's not even in the main namespace. it's the best non-awkward name too.

    we have Drunken Master and Drunken Master, Fatal Attraction and Fatal Attraction. there are obviously others.
  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    It's not in the mainspace because the mainspace redirects to the web video space.
  • January 11, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ that's beyond the point. the point is, disqualifying it based on that alone wastes a perfectly good name.
  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    I guess that's why the namespace system was created in the first place, huh? So that perfectly good trope names wouldn't be wasted on works pages. Because sometimes, inevitably, tropes and works will end up with the same names as each other.
  • January 11, 2014
    tibby_throwaway
    Jaywalk of the Living Dead is awkward and too long. It seems obvious to me, I guess, that with a show as popular as TheWalkingDead that the obvious choice is Jaywalking Dead. Thoughts?

    • In Romero's Dawn Of The Dead several zombies are easily cast aside when Roger and Peter start using trucks to block the doors of the mall. Later, when locking the doors from the inside, more zombies are taken out as they drive the silver coupe through the mall.
      • In the remake, their heavily outfitted busses are surprisingly less effective.
    • In Romero's Land Of The Dead the massive truck Dead Reckoning graphically dispenses with plenty of zombies.
    • In Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror a small caravan of vehicles rips through several zombies, and one unfortunate dog. Also, as a possible subversion of the trope, earlier in the film, El Rey swerves to avoid a man he doesn't know is a zombie, ultimately crashing his car.
    • Not strictly a zombie, but it probably belongs here anyway- towards the end of Robocop an unlucky goon gets doused in toxic waste, leaving him as a shambling, rotting, but still technically alive mess of a man. Blinded by pain and the toxic waste that caused it, he stumbles into the road only to be promptly split in two by a car.
  • January 11, 2014
    DAN004
    Why not putting those titles in a crowner?
  • January 11, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ryanasaurus0077
    Not sure if sarcasm...

    eitherway, tibby_throwaway one-upped it with Jaywalking Dead.
    • Clear — dead people cross street = CRASH
    • Concise — two short words
    • Witty — amusingly clever

    Clear Concise Witty — Brought to you by Tv Tropes
  • January 11, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ I'd love that.
  • January 11, 2014
    DAN004
    BTW does this count?
    • Inverted in Plants Vs Zombies, where Dr. Zomboss (in his Zombot, naturally) throws a winnebago down your 6 plants and instantly flattening them.
  • January 11, 2014
    Lakija
    I vote for Zombie Roadkill as well in the Main namespace.

    Okay. When I read this trope, I thought it was about the situation in which people hit zombies by accident. So are the zombies getting hit by accident, or is it on purpose? Is the car just a way to kill the zombie as a weapon, or is this trope about the situation in which characters hit zombies and they don't know what to do?

    It's really a big difference.

  • January 11, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Both, if that's tropeable. Note that I said "if".
  • January 11, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Tallahassee's Establishing Character Moment in Film/Zombieland has him speeding down the highway, giving the Toyota Tripwire to any zombies that get in his way. This sets him as the kind of Crazy Awesome Badass zombie hunter that a Crazy Awesome zombie story needs.
  • January 11, 2014
    Chabal2
    The Flash game Road Of The Dead is about a guy escaping a Zombie Apocalypse inn his car, running over any that get in his way.
  • January 11, 2014
    Koveras
    The new working title made my day. :D
  • April 5, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    Only one more hat to go... what will it take to put that last hat on?
  • April 5, 2014
    m8e
    Hatted!
  • April 5, 2014
    ryanasaurus0077
    I guess this launches on Monday, then.
  • April 6, 2014
    StarSword
    The Jaywalking Dead is made of win.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=jxar24pip4nul8ywkik9ak7r