Created By: Prophet on January 23, 2011 Last Edited By: Prophet on February 5, 2011
Troped

Sexist Used Car Salesman

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Trope
Needs a Better Title.

Everyone knows women don't know anything about cars. Or at least, that's what these guys seem to think. Because if a woman shows up at their dealership trying to buy a car, then they become much more likely to try to mark up the price or sell her that old Alleged Car. Something of an Undead Horse Trope, since nearly all examples are either parodies or subversions. In media, it's common for the woman to actually do enough research to know more about the car she wants than the salesman himself. Of course, he probably just thinks that it's adorable that the "Little Lady" thinks she knows anything. Until she sets him straight anyway.

This can just as easily happen (and may be more common) when women take their cars to the mechanic, who begins to make up imaginary problems and generally overcharge her just because she's a woman. It's often Truth in Television; many car salesman and mechanics will try to scam women (and just as often men) who even hint at not knowing enough about cars. A subtrope of Honest John's Dealership. See also Women Drivers, which is part of the cause of this trope.

Examples

  • On an episode of Family Matters, when Laura tries to buy a used car, the salesman insists on trying to sell her another one because it's "a pretty color." When she goes back later dressed as a man, she's able to convince him to sell her the car she wants at a discount.
  • Popped up in 21st Century Fox, when Jenny goes shopping for a new Flying Car. Being a rocket scientist and astronaut, she's looking for something sleek and fast, but the car salesman keeps trying to sell her on family-cars (and cars with wide backseats, If You Know What I Mean) for various sexist reasons. Also qualifies as Too Dumb to Live, since he's a rabbit and she's a fox. Only the timely intervention of the rabbit's more level-headed wife prevents Jenny from making lunch of him...
  • There's an example in Les Bidochons, though it concerns houses rather than cars. When the salesman is through explaining the merits of the house, Raymonde wants to ask something, to which the salesman gives a condescending smile and goes "Certainly, ma'am. Would you like to know about the furinture colors, or the drapes, or the...". Then Raymonde floors him with a technical question about things like what materials are used for the walls.
  • In Futurama this happens when Amy goes to buy a car (she's Spoiled Sweet and her parents are paying, so it's all played for laughs). It's also inverted, when a salesman tries to sell Fry a car by questioning his masculinity. A deleted scene also contains Double Subversion where the salesman points out the "special mirrors", Leela tells him to stop patronising them...and then proceeds to ask "what makes these mirrors so special?".
  • This is likely a part of the reason Ash and Emily go to the used car place together in Misfile. Emily deliberately plays the sweet, naive girl who listens to everything the salesman says, and then Ash chimes in and shows him up with her savviness. The trope is Double Subverted here because Ash actually used to be a boy.
  • Pat Buttrum plays one of these in Angels Revenge.
Community Feedback Replies: 17
  • January 23, 2011
    Scooter007
    It may also be because women are, clasically, timid and afraid to stand up for themselves if the dealer starts marking up.

    To some extent, this is still Truth In Television; Dr Phil did a little piece not too long ago, showing how a female consumer was treated not-so-good by the car salesman (through a combination of lack of knowledge and timidity).
  • January 24, 2011
    troacctid
    Is This Tropable? I am skeptical.
  • January 24, 2011
    Prophet
    If there are examples, it's tropable. So maybe.
  • January 24, 2011
    BlackDragon
    Popped up in 21st Century Fox, when Jenny goes shopping for a new Flying Car. Being a rocket scientist and astronaut, she's looking for something sleek and fast, but the car salesman keeps trying to sell her on family-cars (and cars with wide backseats, If You Know What I Mean) for various sexist reasons. Also qualifies as Too Dumb To Live, since he's a rabbit and she's a fox. Only the timely intervention of the rabbit's more level-headed wife prevents Jenny from making lunch of him...
  • January 24, 2011
    Chabal2
    There's an example in Les Bidochons, though it concerns houses rather than cars. When the salesman is through explaining the merits of the house, Raymonde wants to ask something, to which the salesman gives a condescending smile and goes "Certainly, ma'am. Would you like to know about the furinture colors, or the drapes, or the...". Then Raymonde floors him with a technical question about what materials are used for the walls.

    Needs a link to Women Drivers somewhere.
  • January 24, 2011
    Bisected8
    In Futurama this happens when Amy goes to buy a car (she's Spoiled Sweet and her parents are paying, so it's all played for laughs). It's also inverted, when a salesman tries to sell Fry a car by questioning his masculinity. A deleted (most likely because it's out of character for Leela) scene also contains Double Subversion where the salesman points out the "special mirrors", Leela tells him to stop patronising them...and then proceeds to ask "what makes these mirrors so special?".
  • January 24, 2011
    halfmillennium
    Perhaps this could be a trope about two forms of car salesman gender beliefs: it's fairly common for a fictional car salesman to believe that, while women know nothing of cars, the average man knows everything about cars.
  • January 24, 2011
    PapercutChainsaw
    This is likely a part of the reason Ash and Emily go to the used car place together in Misfile. Emily deliberately plays the sweet, naive girl who listens to everything the salesman says, and then Ash chimes in and shows him up with her savviness. The trope is Double Subverted here because Ash actually used to be a boy.
  • January 25, 2011
    Chabal2
    ^^ I'd see it more as "women know nothing about cars, men know nothing but pretend they do". So the salesman uses the sales-talk on the women, and talks technical about the car with the men so they're too afraid of being proven ignorant to refuse.
  • January 25, 2011
    ZombieAladdin
    Salesmen and repairmen will try to con men too. I remember seeing this news investigation from a while ago, perhaps approaching 20 years ago, where one of the reporters took apart his air conditioner and dented a propeller with his hammer. He then called 7 air conditioning repairmen from businesses big and small on different days. 6 of them told him the air conditioner needed freons and charged him an outrageous amount. The Sears guy even peed on the air conditioner. The only guy who said that a propeller is dented (and correctly guessed that the man who hired him did it on purpose) was from a small local repair shop.

    This may be more belonging to Test Of Character though. But it was such an awesome one that I remembered it so well after all these years. I even remember the name of the honest repair shop.
  • January 25, 2011
    robybang
    Bonus points if the salesmen uses condescending phrases like "Little Lady".
  • January 26, 2011
    TBeholder
    It looks like beating a dead unicorn. With a lightsaber.
  • January 27, 2011
    Chabal2
    ^^^ He seriously pissed on the thing?
  • January 27, 2011
    Prophet
    Heh...lightsaber...But yeah, it probably is an Undead Horse Trope now that I think about it.
  • January 27, 2011
    foxley
    Pat Buttrum plays one of these in Angels Revenge.
  • January 31, 2011
    Prophet
  • February 5, 2011
    Prophet
    Last bump before launching. Up For Grabs
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