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[[quoteright:252:[[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jon_skate_crash_526.png]]]]

->''Wheels on fire, rolling down the road''
--> --SurrealThemeTune to ''Series/AbsolutelyFabulous''

When a car is wrecked (or explodes), often a lone wheel will be seen rolling (or flying) away from the vehicle. Since EveryCarIsAPinto, it may well be [[IncendiaryExponent on fire]]. This is pretty much a DeadHorseTrope (if not a DeadUnicornTrope), so expect to almost only see it in parodies.

Also often seen after an OffscreenCrash, rolling into view from BehindTheBlack and gradually wobbling to a halt.

The vehicular equivalent of SmolderingShoes.

In a more minor version, expect to see a stray hubcap or two during {{chase scene}}s.

Not to be confused with ''Freewheelers'', which was a 70s British kids' drama series.


* Parodied in an Australian insurance advertisement from around the late 1970s or early 1980s, where a wheel comes loose from a moving car and leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. It's still rolling at the end of the advert.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Played absolutely, unashamedly straight in just about every episode of ''Anime/SpeedRacer'' ever.
* In the ColdOpen of ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'', the casino staff's cars fall apart as a result of VehicularSabotage. A wheel from one rolls away and hits the bumper of the one car that had remained intact thus far, causing it to collapse. Additionally, when the car carrying the thugs chasing Clarice crashes, one of its wheels goes flying.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* "The Wheel", a story in the DCComics AnthologyComic ''The Witching Hour'', has this happen with a wrecked carriage. In this case, the wheel survived because it was "haunted" and indeed had caused the crash in the first place.

* ''Terminator2JudgmentDay'' [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/T2_tire_roll_4853.jpg after the truck is blown up]], shortly followed by the iconic OutOfTheInferno shot.
* In ''TheTitfieldThunderbolt'' when the railway's locomotive is derailed. Which really shouldn't be physically possible to achieve with a steam locomotive, but hey, RuleOfFunny.
* In ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' we see a hubcap rolling across the tarmac after an ambulance crashes.
* In the fourth ''FinalDestination'' film, the first victim of Death's damage-control dies when a burning tire from the (unseen) mass pileup is flung clear out of the stadium and plummets down onto her in the parking lot.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' short film "Mike's New Car", when he finally zooms offscreen and crashes, five of the six wheels come bouncing back, followed by the sixth one which is just rolling.
* In the New Zealand-made action film ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095721/ Never Say Die]]'', a fleet of police cars drives into a one-way bus tunnel to pursue the protagonists - not realising that there actually is a bus heading towards them. Predictably, a wheel can be seen rolling out of the tunnel not long after.
* ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'' - Terry-Thomas's Jeep, its front end damaged by an off-road swerve, rides more and more erratically until it goes into a tunnel with a large smash - a single wheel rolls out the other end, followed by the rest of the Jeep that finally rolls over and dies.
* One of the more visible continuity goofs in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'' is the loose wheel from the moon buggy that bounces through the chase while the buggy continues on with all its wheels.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'', when Indy blows the front end off a jungle-clearing heavy vehicle, one of its giant circular saws breaks off and, like a FreeWheel, bounces along the road cutting other vehicles in half. In ''The Last Crusade'', when Sallah's car gets blown up by a shot from a tank, one of its burning wheels rolls past where the heroes are taking cover.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} the Third'', after the villains have taken over, one of the things shown in the scenes of destruction is a single wagon wheel rolling down the street. The accident that caused it to fall off isn't shown.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In [[http://www.gocomics.com/garfield/1988/03/27 this]] {{Garfield}} strip, Jon wound up crashing while roller skating. One of the stray wheels from his skates bounces past Garfield.

* Terry Pratchett's ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' hangs a lampshade on it when describing the carriage crash that kills the heroine's parents. In fact, due to ''Discworld'''s [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality Law Of Narrative Causality]], this happens in every single crash. Not just the ones featured in the books - ''every'' one.
-->''Then the oil from the coach lamps ignites and there is a second explosion, out of which rolls -- because there are certain conventions, even in tragedy -- a burning wheel.''
** Analogously, whenever a waiter drops plates or some similar accident occurs, there is always one undamaged plate that rolls out of the wreckage (as mentioned in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'').
* Happens in ''Literature/TheZombieKnight'' when Hector [[SuperStrength tosses aside a boulder]] and it bounces off a tree and hits [[RunningGag his motorcycle]].
-->'''Garovel:''' Maybe it still runs. ''[Tree falls on motorcycle. Wheel rolls out.]'' As a unicycle.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Reliant Robin in ''Series/MrBean'' repeatedly does this as a RunningGag.
* Several times on ''TopGear'' - for example, when Clarkson tries to use his SpikedWheels in the "alternative police car" challenge.
* One ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' episode uses it for misdirection: it'd be natural to think that the camera's focusing on the wheel rolling out of the wreckage just because that's a standard convention for filming car explosions, but it's actually because that wheel is where all the money got hidden...
* This happened on an early ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode. We see Gibbs diving to avoid a car bomb blast, then a flaming tire lands next to him.
* Often done as a gag on ''Series/CanadasWorstDriver''. One time, it was the steering wheel.
* Once on AmericasFunniestHomeVideos this happened to an '''airplane''' that was landing (single-engined light airplane) On landing, the nose-wheel started wildly wobbling like a dodgy caster on a shopping cart. Eventually the nose wheel strut collapsed, and as the camera man panned to follow the plane, just as the plane stopped, the nosewheel came to a stop ''just'' in front of the camera, with '''perfect''' comedic timing. Nobody was injured, fortunately. Any landing you can walk away from is a good one!
* Used for a spoof on Australian comedy series ''Full Frontal'' about ArnoldSchwarzenegger doing a road safety video. He appears as ''TheTerminator'' and blows up the vehicle with a rocket launcher. Cue flaming tire. "Now it is safe to cross."

%%[[folder:Manga and Anime]]


[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Happens in the Music/{{Gorillaz}} MusicVideo "19-2000"

%%[[folder:New Media]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun]]'' had this; upon the destruction/death of a vehicle, it would spawn a random assortment of debris items that would go flying off, such as explosive gas tanks, chunks of armour plating, and so on. Wheeled vehicles could spawn rogue wheels, of course.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'', at the end of one of the chariot-driving sequences.
* The intro for the old DrivingGame ''{{Ignition}}'' has a car race across the screen, [[OffscreenCrash crash off-screen]], and a wheel from the car rolls back into the camera's view, forming part of the game's logo.
* An exploding Runner or Racer in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' will usually throw off at least one of these (of the "on fire" variant).
* The intro sequence of ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' has the car wreck offscreen with a bouncing wheel.
* In ''B.C.'s Quest for Tires'', if the unicycle crashes, its wheel comes loose and bounces across the screen.


[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''RedVsBlue'': ''Revelation'' Episode 4, after the Meta blasts the Red's Warthog into wreckage, a stray burning tire from it rolls over Grif as he gets up.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. After Abe crashes Homer's car and consequently has to walk along the neighborhood, a hub cap manages to roll alongside him, ''even though the crash happened the previous day''. Abe just tells it to "go home", and it seems to oblige.
* Also parodied in ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' where a tire can be seen flying away from an exploding ''spaceship''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This is fairly common in car crashes in general.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-5pPEq7O4k&t=0m58s Here's]] a peculiar case : during a high speed police chase with a lumber truck, the rear of the trailer caught fire, causing one of the flaming tires to blow loose and roll free alongside the ''still moving'' truck.
* Even dislocated wheels can have a mind of their own, as shown in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcGu1_jaD8g this V8 Supercars clip]]. [[CrowningMomentOfFunny And a sense of humor]].
* Used to be fairly common with open-wheel racecars (like the FormulaOne series) until new safety measures (redundant wheel tethers) were taken specifically to prevent it. It still tends to happen on particularly violent crashes.