Created By: ledge on June 1, 2011 Last Edited By: prettycoolguy on March 14, 2014

Delayed Safety Feature

When a safety feature goes off a bit later than normal.

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Trope
There is a car. The car is involved in a close accident, but somehow manages to avoid any kind of major damage. Or perhaps the vehicle is involved in some ridiculously destructive accident - bouncing off other cars, flying off a bridge, etc. Car safely (or eventually as the case may be) comes to a halt. Driver and passenger may share a relieved glance and a sigh that it's over.

Then the airbags go "FOOM!"

This also happens a lot with parachutes, for a similar comedic effect.

Totally not Truth in Television, since airbags don't work that way. And neither do parachutes. Always supposed to be funny.

Definitely not to be confused with Funbag Airbag.

Examples:

Film - Animated
  • In the Monsters, Inc. short film "Mike's New Car", after Mike finally Offscreen Crashes the thing, Sully comments "Hmm, that's funny...the airbag didn't go off." Airbags immediately go off, apparently with enough force to send Mike flying.
  • This happened to Gromit in Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
  • In Jonah: A Veggietales Movie, the bus filled with produce heading to a concert, after a scene of downhill driving, finally stops when the airbags go off, much to Bob's dismay. The commentary "starring" Larry and Mr. Lunt even points out this trope and mentions how the children didn't have the then-new side airbags.

Western Animation
  • Happened to Hans Moleman on The Simpsons.
  • In the Disney short "Goofy's Glider", Goofy is told to count to ten before deploying his chute, but he takes so long to count that he's already hit the ground by then.
  • A delayed parachute gag example from Batman: The Animated Series: After crashing a plane, the Joker stumbles out of the flaming wreck (without a scratch naturally) only for his parachute to go off.

Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • June 1, 2011
    CaveCat
  • June 1, 2011
    jaytee
    Decidedly not Truth In Television, as any car manufacturer would be sued immediately if airbags worked like this (and likely not just from crash injuries, but injuries from the airbags themselves).
  • June 1, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Happened to Hans Moleman on The Simpsons.
  • June 1, 2011
    GymQuirk
    There are similar gags from decades earlier about parachutes that deploy after the wearer has already hit the ground. Worth combining as Delayed Safety Feature?
  • June 1, 2011
    ledge
    Yeah, it's basically the Delayed Parachute gag except updated to the airbag era. Is there one for the parachute thing already?

    The hard part on this is I KNOW I've seen it a zillion times, but because it's so common I'm wracking my brains trying to think of an actual example...
  • June 2, 2011
    dalek955
    • In the Monsters Inc short film "Mike's New Car", after Mike finally Offscreen Crashes the thing, Sully comments "Hmm, that's funny...the airbag didn't go off." Airbags immediately go off, apparently with enough force to send Mike flying.
  • June 2, 2011
    TonyG
    • In the Classic Disney Short "Goofy's Glider", Goofy is told to count to ten before deploying his chute, but he takes so long to count that he's already hit the ground by then.
  • June 2, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^^ I remember a Delayed Parachute trope coming through YKTTW some time ago, but if it was launched I can't find it.
  • June 5, 2013
    StarSword
    Film:
    • Played for many laughs in the Inspector Gadget movie when Gadget and Brenda fall off a skyscraper. He frantically tries to find the keyphrase for his parachute and eventually ends up with a Parasol Parachute. They land safely, and then the actual parachute opens.
  • June 5, 2013
    arbiter099
    A delayed parachute gag example from Batman The Animated Series: After crashing a plane, the Joker stumbles out of the flaming wreck (without a scratch naturally) only for his parachute to go off. Clip: [1]
  • June 5, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • One bumper for Johnny Bravo on Cartoon Network has Johnny driving alongside a pretty lady in another car. Johnny is so focused on laying out the schmooze that he fails to avoid a lane divider, and crashes into it. After a moment to assess the damage, Johnny remarks to the Fourth Wall: "Man, I hate women drivers." The airbag deploys at that moment to shut him up.
  • June 6, 2013
    crazysamaritan
    The "only" safety feature? Why not "a" safety feature?
  • June 6, 2013
    Larkmarn
    ^ Yeah, that.

    • In the first Iron Man movie, after Tony tests his first flying armor, he crashes spectacularly, but unharmed (and most certainly not on fire). Then his robot sprays him with a fire extinguisher.
  • March 2, 2014
    GuyIncog
    How about Airbag Gag as an alternative title? No, it doesn't encompass parachutes or other safety devices, but with current safety technology this is going to be primarily dealing with late deploying airbags.

    • In Iron Man 2, during the fight with Whiplash in Monaco, Happy Hogan rams him into a crash barricade with Stark's limousine, then backs up to hit him again. On the third impactnote  the airbag goes off in Hogan's face.
  • March 2, 2014
    DAN004
  • March 5, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    ^ Too Narrow a name.
  • March 14, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    In Wreck It Ralph, the spacecraft ejector seat only works once Ralph has already crash-landed.
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