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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TheCabinInTheWoods http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cabin_woods16.jpg]]]]

->''"...the only gas station in the world is located on a desolate road in a godforsaken backwater. It is staffed by a degenerate who shuffles out in his coveralls and runs through a disgusting repertory of scratchings, spittings, chewings, twitchings and leerings, while thoughtfully shifting mucus up and down his throat."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert''', [[http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060309/REVIEWS/603090301 on]] ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes2006''

A type of character often found in horror of the [[HillbillyHorrors backwoods]] variety, the '''Creepy Gas Station Attendant''' is a grizzled and almost AlwaysMale [[CorruptHick hick]] who appears to be the sole proprietor of a dilapidated and desolate service station (although he may be accompanied by an ensemble of similarly creepy locals whose only apparent purpose is to stare silently and menacingly at "outsiders"). You know the ones, [[DisgustingPublicToilet unsanitary]] and filled with an assortment of vermin, outdated products, non-functioning fixtures, and rusting heaps that may have once been vehicles.

This character in horror films often act as the HarbingerOfImpendingDoom that should warn the film's character(s) into turning back.

See also GasStationOfDoom, when the gas station itself is a horror setting, though the tropes can obviously overlap.

Not to be confused with NightmareFuelStationAttendant, though there can be overlap.

!! Examples:


* ''Comicbook/ThePunisherMAX'' story arc "Welcome to the Bayou" has Frank battle a CannibalClan, starting with the rat-faced guy running the gas station.
* ''ComicBook/ScareTactics'': After escaping the town of Beaumont, where they had been trapped in waking nightmares, the band stops at rural gas station. They ask about the town, only for the creepy attendant to tell them there is no town called Beaumont in the area. In fact, [[VanishingVillage there is no town at all in the direction they came from]].

* Probable TropeMaker Drayton Sawyer from the original ''Film/TheTexasChainSawMassacre1974''. Encountered early on by the protagonists, he appears normal enough, but when Sally goes to him seeking aid after her friends are killed, he is revealed to be Leatherface's older brother, and captures the girl to take home for dinner. Other examples from the series include Alfredo from ''Film/LeatherfaceTheTexasChainsawMassacreIII'' and W.E. from ''Film/TexasChainsawMassacreTheNextGeneration''.
* The gas station attendant (named Jeb, Jr. in a [[Comicbook/TheHillsHaveEyesTheBeginning spin-off comic]]) from ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes2006'' sends travelers in the direction of the mutants, and in exchange is given any valuables the victims had on them. By the events of the film, years of guilt have caught up with him, and he commits suicide by [[AteHisGun blowing his brains out]] in an outhouse.
** Ironically, this is subverted in the [[Film/TheHillsHaveEyes1977 original]] Creator/WesCraven film, wherein the gas station attendant, Old Fred, is affiliated with Papa Jupiter's brood solely by virtue of [[spoiler:blood relation, being Jupiter's father]], but he attempts to steer the Carter family away from their doom in the midst of his own attempts to escape from Papa Jupiter, and ends up paying for both actions with his life.
* The unnamed old man and father of the hillbillies from the first two ''Film/WrongTurn'' films.
* Michael [=McDonnell=] (played by Brad Dourif of ''Film/ChildsPlay'' fame) from ''Film/UrbanLegend'', though true to the story the film is referencing, he is harmless and merely trying to warn Michelle that...
--> "There's someone [[DangerTakesABackseat in the backseat!]]"
* An escaped mental patient from the first segment of the anthology film ''Film/BodyBags'' kills a gas station owner, assumes his identity, and begins murdering customers.
* In ''Film/{{Deliverance}}'' the guys stop at a creepy gas station with a creepy gas station attendant... and a kid who plays the banjo. The gas station attendant dances along, creepily.
* The cannibalistic and necrophilic Charles Reese in ''Rampage'' (the 1987 one).
* One shows up in ''Devil's Ground'', and is named Tobe, probably in reference to ''The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'' creator.
* The two rapists from ''Rape! 13th Hour''.
* One of the murderous siblings in ''Film/HouseOfWax2005''.
* The main character in TheSeventies serial killer/hardcore porn hybrid ''Forced Entry'', as well as it's R-rated remake. The other "sort of" remake from 2002 referenced this by having one of the main villain's accomplices be a gas station worker.
* Subverted like every other [[HillbillyHorrors Evil Hillbilly]] trope in ''Film/TuckerAndDaleVsEvil'': the creepy and vaguely menacing hillbillies at the gas station who spook the group of college kids are actually harmless {{Good Ol Boy}}s suffering from a case of PoorCommunicationKills.
* ''Exit 33'' is about serial killer gas station owner (played by Creator/KaneHodder) who decides which customers to murder by the gas pump they use. And it's implied the jerky he sells is made of people.
* A black marketeer in ''Film/{{Existenz}}'' is a gas station owner named... Gas. He tries to kill the main character for the bounty on her head, after installing a faulty bio-port in her companion. He's also Willem Dafoe, in a cameo. [[spoiler:When the whole movie turns out to be All Just a Videogame, the guy who played Gas bemoans his part in the game as clichéd.]]
* The gas station from ''Madness'' is implied to be owned by the inexplicably Swedish killer hillbillies.
* {{Invoked|Trope}}, like [[DeconstructorFleet practically everything else]] in ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' with [[HarbingerOfImpendingDoom Mordecai]], who warns the teens away from the eponymous cabin. [[spoiler: He's the ButtMonkey for everyone else in the secret organization, as he's one of the few that [[TookTheBadFilmSeriously treats their job seriously]]. Surprisingly, he also has elements of the OnlySaneMan, because he appreciates how serious the AncientConspiracy is and recognizes that Marty is much smarter than he looks and could become a SpannerInTheWorks. Ironically, his co-workers fails to take his warnings seriously, leading to their own doom when Mordecai's assessment of Marty [[CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass turns out to be entirely correct]].]]

* The gas station owner in ''[[Literature/TalesFromCampCrystalLake Friday the 13th: Mother's Day]]'' turns out to be a CaptainErsatz of [[Film/{{Psycho}} Norman Bates]].
* "The Grinning God" is a pair of short stories by May and Jacques Futrelle (her's is "Wraiths of the Storm" and his reply is "The House That Was", both 1907) that feature a crusty New Englander variant of the unhelpful and alarming gas station attendant. He lives above the store in the middle of nowhere and is reluctant to sell fuel at night, despite the driver's car being clearly out of gas, miles from the nearest big city. He won't put the driver up for the night despite the signs of an approaching storm. He tells the driver that the road to the next town is "straight 'cept where it bends." Only an offer to pay double prompts the man to finally sell the fuel at all. The driver goes his way, and has a series of strange experiences. He comes to doubt his own sanity and act accordingly. It is up to Jacques Futrelle's Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen ("Literature/TheThinkingMachine") to work out the answer, bringing the distraught man along on a re-enactment of the trip to show that it was all real. [[spoiler:The driver had turned and backtracked instead of going on toward his destination; the attendant tried to call after him but had his voice drowned out by the thunder and the roar of the engine]].
* Played with in ''Literature/AmericanGods''. Laura's a zombie, so she takes the night shift at a gas station, thinking people won't realize that she's a rotting corpse so easily. Creepy or not, she's actually one of the good guys.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The series premiere of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' ends with Gideon stopping at a gas station operated by a twitchy and stuttery man who he realizes is a SerialKiller the FBI has been after for a while. The next episode shows how he deals with being taken hostage by the guy. Another episode had two service station owners who hunted people for sport.
* Parodied in a series of sketches on ''Series/TheFastShow'', where people stop to ask directions from a batty old man at a rundown petrol station. His advice starts out innocently enough, but quickly descends into insane ranting.
-->'''Old Man:''' You wanna watch where you're steppin' around 'ere, boy. You might fall down a 'ole. Where would you be if you fell down a 'ole? '''[[SuddenlyShouting WHAT ABOUT THE FOG!?]]''' Stuck in a hole in the fog? Stuck in a hole in the fog in the middle of the night! '''WITH AN OWL! Up a tree! Stuck in a 'ole in the middle of a night! Stuck down an 'ole, with an owl! On your own, behind the wall! Lovely old wall! Stuck down a hole with an owl in the middle of the night! It could happen! Stuck down a hole on your own in the middle of the night! WITH AN OWL!'''
* The first episode of ''Series/TrueBlood'' had a {{Goth}} gas station attendant pretend to be a vampire to unnerve some travelers. After they leave, a peeved real (and redneck) vampire threatens the poser with death if he ever does that again.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'': Zig-zagged initially with the normal-looking attendant of the well-off Moel gas station. When the main character first arrives in Inaba, the gas attendant is the one of the first people to welcome him, with the two engaging in some friendly conversation and a seemingly innocent handshake. However, the attendant will subsequently only appear around the gas station on rainy days, and the True Ending reveals that [[spoiler:she's actually Izanami, the BigBad responsible for starting the entire plot, with her going OneWingedAngel in the final battle]].
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', [[PyroManiac the Pyro]] is a mouth breathing serial killer and has a gas jockey themed item set.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''MTV's Downtown'' featured such a character, which the main characters thought was part of the titular Cropsey Clan of that episode due to his unibrow (the inbred Cropseys supposedly all had unibrows).
* A character who sometimes shows up in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' is an old gas station owner prone to offering ominous, overwrought and unsolicted warnings about things like cursed paths, haunted mountains and cemeteries [[Literature/PetSematary that can bring back the dead]]. Butters also assumes the role in "The Wacky Molestation Adventure".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode "Night of the Living Spud", Darkwing and his family meet a guy like this named Dwayne who warns them that a vampire potato is loose, giving them advice on what to do when they see it. While they at first think he's crazy, [[NoMereWindmill Dwayne's warning is very accurate]], and his advice [[DarkIsNotEvil is actually sound.]]