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Artistic License - Cars
Cars do not work that way!
Tropeworthy? Description Needs Help Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2013-01-27 22:03:48 sponsor: maxwellsilver edited by: StarSword (last reply: 2013-04-02 18:48:51)

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This is a listing of liberties taken with how cars a presented in fiction.

Often Acceptable Breaks from Reality, since portraying how real cars work is incredibly boring. Many of these are either impossible or incredibly difficult to do in Real Life.


[[index]]
  • Driving a Desk: Often while still in Park. It is, however, becoming more common for cars to be filmed on a special-built trailer.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Obviously cars don't actually explode in collisions. The infamous defect was the rear axle bolts, which would rupture the gas tank, coupled with a lack of a proper bumper, and the friction from the two cars could cause a fire. Interestingly, only the Pinto coupe was affected. The Pinto wagon, Mercury Bobcat and Mustang II did not have the defect because they had the fuel tanks situated differently and used a different rear axle. The Mustang II was also equipped with a proper rear bumper, unlike the Pinto and Bobcat.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: Every vehicle made for the North American market has a steering column lock to prevent this very trope. And even then, crossing two wires may start the engine, but if only two are crossed, it won't stay running unless a third wire is connected. There are better ways that defeat the column lock, but it's probably best not to list them here.
  • Hollywood Driving
  • Hollywood Police Driving Academy
  • V8 Engine Noises
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Usually just cutting a brake line, which, because every vehicle made since the 1967 Model Year has been required to have a dual split master cylinder, which splits the braking power between the front and rear wheels (and, in newer front wheel drive cars, the left front and right rear, and the right front and left rear), for the express reason to keep half the brake power in the event one of the lines is ruptured. A light turns on when a loss of pressure is detected. Interestingly, the mechanical parking/emergency brake is never mentioned, nor is gearing down (though Truth in Television, as the general public can be misinformed as how to handle such situations).
[[/index]]

Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
  • In the first half of That Yellow Bastard, Hartigan, after dispatching Clump and Schlubb (Fat Man and Little Boy), tells himself to think like a cop and disable Junior's Jaguar. He then leans over the engine, and the next panel has him holding two spark plugs... somehow, mentioning that Junior wouldn't be getting away, even though it's a six cylinder engine. A simple solution would to show Hartigan holding ignition wires instead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • The "bat country" scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the Shark is clearly in Park for all of the closeup shots of the interior.
  • The Fast and the Furious has the wrong wheels powered quite a bit, accomplished by either disabling the front wheels (by removing the CV shafts) on an all wheel drive Nissan Skyline, to filming a front wheel drive car doing a powerslide in reverse, then played backwards.
  • In The Blues Brothers has several:
    • The Bluesmobile 'throws a rod' halfway through the chase through Chicago and sprays oil on the windshield, which then disappears moments later. The rear window that is shot out early on also reappears throughout the film, finally disappearing in final chase.
    • While being chased through Chicago, Elwood takes a wrong turn on the highway and ends up on an unfinished portion, slams on the brakes, and shifts to reverse. The rear end dips down, causing the Bluesmobile to flip end over end, and somehow face the opposite direction. No one's figured out how. The Nazis chasing them drive right off the end, and crash into a street, causing a hole to break open in the road, which the second car then drives into.
    • A deleted scene had Elwood fill the tires of the police cars at the concert with an overcharged glue that would cause the tires to explode when heated up.
  • Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) uses hotwiring almost exclusively to steal the cars.
  • The Last Stand. Ahnold jumps a Corvette onto the guard rail of a highway, slides sideways like a skateboard, hops off and drives away.
  • Near the end of Speed, the bus flies off an unfinished highway, without a ramp, and manages to land on the other side. MythBusters proved this completely impossible: it would have fallen no matter what.
  • Wanted has a Conspicuous CG Viper and Lada1200/VAZ 2101 leap into the air without ramps, do barrel rolls, and otherwise handle in impossible ways. This is the film that gave physics the finger, but still.
  • Little Cars In the Big Race has a scene where Wrangler, one of the racecars, spits out a wad of gum on the racetrack. Somehow, one car manages to get stuck on the gum and can't move, despite the gum having very little to hold onto the tire with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
  • In "The Bris" episode of Seinfeld, George's car is in Park during the drive to the hospital.
  • One episode of Person of Interest had a Marine vet who lost his right arm defusing an IED steal a motorcycle from a dealership and drive off with it at speed. Now granted, he had one of the fancy electronic prosthetics, but even so it's highly unlikely he would even have been able to get it moving, seeing as how 99% of stock bikes have the throttle on the right handlebar.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • The Driver series has several:
    • In the opening cut scene of Driver 2, Jericho is driving a Pontiac Catalina (for some reason with a 1977 Chevy grille), but the interior scenes show it's in Park and has no key in the ignition (or signs of hotwiring).
    • In the cutscene before the final level, the front wheels of the 1964 Thunderbird Tanner pursues Pink Lenny's helicopter in spin when he peels out, despite the Thunderbird being rear wheel drive for almost its entire lifetime [[note]]moved to a FWD platform in 1999[[/note]].
    • Driv3r has a number of front wheel drive French and Italian compact cars perform as though they were rear wheel drive.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • The Simpsons has Homer accidentally cut the rear brake line on Marge's station wagon while doing... something underneath (and supporting the car with a wicker basket), which causes the "Brakes Cut" light to illuminate while Marge was in the hill district of Springfield [[note]]This isn't too far off from reality. There is an actual light the alerts the driver of a loss in hydraulic pressure, but it lights up as soon as the pressure drop is detected.[[/note]] and somehow prevents the front brakes or emergency brake from being engaged.
[[/folder]]
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