When something big, loud, shaky, or forceful happens, we may hear car alarms going off outside or offscreen to indicate the magnitude of this event. If it's really big, it'll set off all the car alarms in the area.

Similar to DisturbedDoves, ThatPoorCat.

Loud sounds can indeed shake a car enough to set off the alarm, making this TruthInTelevision.

Not to be confused with [[WatchThePaintJob extreme damage to a car]], although sometimes they overlap where the extreme damage also causes the car alarm to go off.

Not to be confused with TheAllegedCar, which is a car with unreliable building qualities or bad safety features.


* In the 2008 ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' movie this happens during the fight between the Hulk and the Abomination.
* ''Film/{{Cloverfield}}'': the first sign of [[spoiler:the monster]] is a tremor causing car alarms to go off.
* In ''Film/IronMan2'' a couple of car alarms go off as Iron Man and War Machine fly noisily through a parking lot; half a second later [[spoiler:Ivan Vanko's air capable Hammer Drones]] pass through making even more noise, setting almost all the cars off.
* In ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', the Gummers' SUV is destroyed by a Graboid after its burrowing disturbs the ground underneath the vehicle and sets off its car alarm.
* Those poor bikes in ''Film/MysteryTeam''.
* In ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' the first quickening sets off several car alarms.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'' has the rare case of the horn going off due to direct contact with the vehicle. Basically, the Iron Giant, when he and Hogarth discover the junkyard that Dean works at, starts eating everything in there. It then eats a car... which hadn't had its horn removed yet, causing it to go off.
* ''Film/PacificRim'' makes a running gag out of this, as at least one car alarm gets set off more or less every single time a kaiju or jaeger steps on a road.

* In a rare literature example, in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' Jake sent Marco to [[WeNeedADistraction cause a disturbance]] and every car had a car alarm. Really, really much funnier in text.
* Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''The Case of the Toxic Spelldump'' creates a {{Magitek}} version, the sylphs that power magic carpets are supposed to scream if the carpet is stolen. Instead, they scream incessantly at the slightest provocation.
** So, just like real car alarms...

* In the ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' episode "Exit Wounds", [[spoiler:the city wide bombing of Cardiff by Capt. John Hart sets off these]]. Later in ''Children of Earth'': "Day One" when [[spoiler:the government blows up the Hub]] this happens.
* In the third season finale of ''Series/CriminalMinds'', the episode ends with [[spoiler:nearby car alarms blaring after an SUV explodes. The catch? One of the main characters (the audience is not told who until the season 4 premiere) is about to get into the SUV when it explodes]].
* In the second ''Series/TopGear'' US special, Clarkson and Hammond set off a whole line of parked cars in Vegas by revving the engines of their muscle cars as loudly as possible. Unfortunately for them, this quickly drew the attention of the local authorities.
* One episode of ''Series/PimpMyRide'' featured one car whose alarm could not stop going off.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. In "Mommy Dearest" Castiel does this while wiping out a diner full of demons with a blast of light.
* ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai: Clash of the Red Rangers'': When the [[Series/PowerRangersRPM Grinders]] attack a highway bridge, the carnage causes this. The first glimpse of Scott is his gloved hand reaching in and turning the alarm off.
* Exploited on ''Series/{{Monk}}''. A woman supposedly jumps to her death and lands on her lover's car, setting off the alarm. He's a teacher who's busy proctoring an exam at that moment. [[spoiler: He actually murdered her and left her body in a position that she would fall onto his car during the exam. He knew the alarm would establish an alibi for her death.]]

* At one point in the Video Game Awards 2011 exclusive trailer for ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', Raiden kicks an enemy soldier into a parked black car hard enough to set off the car alarm and nearly flips it over. Raiden then remarks shortly afterwards "too easy!" before [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath cutting him up.]]
* If a stationary vehicle gets clipped by a stray bullet in ''VideoGame/FreedomFighters'', the alarm will go off. [[EveryCarIsAPinto Two or three more, and it explodes.]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' includes cars on some maps with active alarms that will go off if shot (with convenient flashing lights to let you tell them apart from the safe alarmless cars). Since the game takes place in the middle of a ZombieApocalypse, setting one off is [[OhCrap very bad news]]. And heaven help you if you have a {{Griefer}} on your team, because if you do, they're all gonna go off.
* In the prologue of ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', Bayonetta lands on her informant Enzo's car with enough force behind the landing to do massive amount of damage to it. In the cutscene following when they're driving down the highway, Enzo fiddled with it and not only do the side mirror pop off, the ''steering wheel comes loose'' and he has to shove it back in while he panics. Bayonetta can also pick up parked cars with her wicked weave and [[CarFu throw them at enemies]], to say nothing of [[UnexpectedGameplayChange Route 666]] and all the vehicular chaos you can cause during it.

* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E18AStarIsBurns "A Star is Burns"]], Jay outdoes Homer with a foghorn burp that sets off car alarms.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Pelswick}}'', Gram Gram was said to snore so loud that it set off all the car alarms on the street.

* Anyone with an aftermarket car stereo knows how easy it is to set off entire blocks just by driving down the street with the bass turned up.
* Some cars have exhausts loud enough to set off car alarms when they rev. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXvLRqhgjuw Here's an example.]]
* Ditto loud claps of thunder.
** And fireworks.
* Whenever there's an earthquake, it doesn't have to be a huge one, just one that slightly shakes the house enough to make dishes fall.
* Older car alarms were notorious for being extremely sensitive to motion/touch.
* Go to a Civil War Reenactment, and wait for the cannons to start firing. You will suddenly hear a dozen honking, beeping anachronisms.
* Military bases tend to have large ceremonies involving cannon fire for various occasions. It didn't take long for most bases to start issuing notices of said ceremonies and asking everyone to disable their alarms before the ceremony was scheduled to begin.
* Less triumphant than the previous examples, but marching band competitions tend to do this, especially if the competitors are heavy on the percussion.
* Airshows involving military aircraft with afterburners will almost certainly result in a few cars wailing nearby.
* Any time a car tries to park in the marching band's lot, we will make this happen, except it will be on purpose.
* Several car alarms were set off by the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk_meteor#Injuries_and_damage Chelyabinsk meteor]] explosion in 2013 [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq02C_3FvFo as can be seen here]].