%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1309858446040860100
%% Image kept per IP thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1348220354032200100
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:252:[[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Jon_skate_crash_526.png]]]]

->''"Wheels on fire, rolling down the road..."''
-->-- "This Wheel's on Fire", Music/TheBand

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 & 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.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon''. During the Greenback Jane arc, after the gangsters chasing the title character make the mistake of firing on the Rip-Off Church, only to get a hail of bullets in response (including from an M60 machine gun), they beat a hasty retreat in their shot-up cars. A wheel comes off in the process, but they (wisely) don't stop.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* "The Wheel", a story in the Creator/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.
* A text-only piece from ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' involves Swerve returning to his ruined eponymous establishment after the events of "Remain in Light," trying to vault over and behind the bar. He fails miserably and crashes out of view, with one of his wheels bouncing into view from behind the bar and doing three perfect loops around the legs of local psychologist [[{{Adorkable}} Rung]] before said wheel comes to a rest. Since wheels are typically integrated into Cybertronian anatomy, this is usually treated as something akin to losing a finger, but given everything else that's happened so far in the arc, Swerve cheerfully brushes it off.
-->'''Swerve:''' ''ImOkay''

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

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' short film ''WesternAnimation/MikesNewCar'', 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 ''WesternAnimation/ShrekTheThird'', 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:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/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 ''Film/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 ''Film/FinalDestination4'', 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 New Zealand-made action-comedy film ''Film/NeverSayDie'', 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.
* ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006''. When Bond rolls his Aston Martin a wheel goes flying off in the direction of the camera -- presumably this was unintentional, though it certainly adds to the drama of the crash.
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'':
** In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', 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 ''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.
* Occasionally {{lampshaded}} during B-Fest screenings of ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'', when someone will roll a single tire in front of the screen after the SoundOnlyDeath of the "grieving old man".
* In ''Film/{{Deadpool}}'', Deadpool emerges from a vehicle that rolled over and crashed on a bridge, after a rogue rim spins out to the side.
* An unusual variation occurs in ''Film/TheLoveBug'', where the racers driving Herbie see a lone wheel roll away after getting sideswiped by Thorndyke's car, only to discover moments later that it is ''their'' wheel that has just fallen off (thanks to some earlier VehicularSabotage). Naturally, this ''causes'' a crash.
* ''Film/BlackPanther2018''. Ulysses Klaue fires his ArmCannon at [[ActionGirl Nakia and Okoye]], causing their vehicle to literally get blown to pieces around them, including the requisite FreeWheel [[FunnyBackgroundEvent in the background.]]


* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** 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 [[DishDash 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.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': The Visser's latest plan is to unleash a living tornado that's attracted to morphing energy, pursuing Marco morphing to gorilla as he drives a truck. The monster eats a minivan, with Marco seeing the wheel following him.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Reliant Robin in ''Series/MrBean'' repeatedly does this as a RunningGag.
* Several times on ''Series/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 ''Series/AmericasFunniestHomeVideos'' this happened to an '''airplane''' that was landing (single-engined light airplane, with non-retractable tricycle landing-gear). 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. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Hey, any landing you can walk away from is a good one!
* Used for a spoof on Australian comedy series ''Full Frontal'' about Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger doing a road safety video. He appears as Film/TheTerminator and blows up the vehicle with a rocket launcher. Cue flaming tire. "Now it is safe to cross."
* A non-vehicular version occurs in ''Series/BandOfBrothers''. When the counterattack at Carentan is routed, a German soldier's death is indicated by his helmet rolling downhill.
* ''Series/{{Lucifer}}''. The burning tire version happens after Maze activates the remote-controlled bomb in Chloe's car (Chloe isn't in there, she just did it to [[WomanScorned indicate how pissed off she was]]).

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Happens in the Music/{{Gorillaz}} MusicVideo "19-2000" after the "Geep" is blown up by its own missiles.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'' 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.
* In ''VideoGame/PolePosition II'', when your car crashes, all four wheels go flying.
* This happen's when you crash in Taito's ''Continental Circus'', the game was also made with a stereoscopic 3D Edition, making it even scarier as it flies towards your face.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'' when the first boss is defeated.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''Machinima/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''.
* In WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy, Johnny takes Kevin's bike out for a ride, crashes it off screen and one of the wheels rolls to Kevin's feet. This is the point where he's desperate enough to pay Eddy to keep Johnny away from himself.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' This occurs in the episode ''Something Smells" when [=SpongeBob=] tries asking a boat driver if he is ugly. When his breath distracts the driver, he crashes the car and it explodes to leave one tire to land on [=SpongeBob=]'s face.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode "Octi-Evil" Buttercup throws a water tower into a monster that then lands on a senior citizen riding a power scooter. A loose tire rolls to Buttercup's feet and then the senior citizen pokes his head out of it, showing that he's just fine.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', a flaming tire rolls by after Steven and Connie defeat the training robot in "Lion 2: The Movie".

[[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 UsefulNotes/FormulaOne series) until new safety measures (redundant wheel tethers) were taken specifically to prevent it. It still tends to happen on particularly violent crashes.
* At yearly film festival B-Fest, whenever a car crashes in one of the films shown, there's a roughly fifty-fifty chance that [[InvokedTrope someone will roll a wheel across the stage.]]
* In ''Series/Battlebots,'' ''Series/RobotWars,'' and other [[UsefulNotes/RobotCombat robot combat events]], it's fairly common for robots with exposed wheels to have them torn off by opponents' weapons, which often results in a wheel or tire rolling away across the arena.
** On one occasion (Razer vs. Rick in Series 5 of Robot Wars), Dead Metal's sawblade fell off and rolled across the arena in a very similar fashion.
* Dane Cook mentions an incident where a woman was killed by a freewheel from a race car crash. The tyre struck her in the face, and her LastWords were "[[BigWordShout OOOOOOOOH!!!]]" which he found hilarious.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by billionaire Elon Musk prior to the launch of {{UsefulNotes/SpaceX}}'s Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018. The test payload for the rocket's first launch was Elon Musk's ''personal electric car'' (normally sand or concrete would be used as a dummy payload, but Musk intentionally wanted to do something "silly"). Citing the experimental nature of the brand-new rocket and the high risk of failure, Musk commented that he "had this image of just a giant explosion on the pad, a wheel bouncing down the road..."