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.
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!!Examples

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[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* 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 ''MysteryTeam''.
* In ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' the first quickening sets off several car alarms.
* ''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.
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[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* 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.
* 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...
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[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* 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 ''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 ''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 ''PimpMyRide'' featured one car whose alarm could not stop going off.
* ''{{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.
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[[folder:VideoGames]]
* 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 ''FreedomFighters'', the alarm will go off. [[EveryCarIsAPinto Two or three more, and it explodes.]]
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[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' [2F31] "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.
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[[folder:RealLife]]
* 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.
* Ditto loud claps of thunder.
* 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.
[[/folder]]
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