[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/AzumangaDaioh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hadthedarnthinginreverse_2895.jpg]]]]

->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RepTEN4J3sU Ooops! Heh...had the silly thing in reverse!]]"''
-->-- '''Duck Dodgers''' (the TropeNamer), ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgersInTheTwentyFourthAndAHalfCentury''

A device or technique is used ... in reverse. Commonly, it is setting a car to reverse.

In comedies, or a comedic moment anyway, a new driver will pull forward, only it's in reverse. Conversely, they may put the car in gear as if it's in reverse, look behind themselves, and then drive forward.

Often a SubTrope of DrivingStick. Compare BackwardsFiringGun. See also WiperStart, for more comedic driver incompetence, ReversePolarity, and ReverseTelescopicVision.
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!!Examples:
[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'': one of Yukari's trips starts out with the car [[DrivesLikeCrazy careening all over the yard before returning to its initial position]], at which point she notices she was in reverse. Poor Kaorin suffers a complete ColorFailure upon this revelation.
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'': In the penultimate scene of the climactic battle in episode 13, [[spoiler: Panty and Stocking fire their Heaven-Ordered {{BFG}} from heaven THE WRONG WAY ROUND INTO HEAVEN. Corset can't believe how stupid they are... until a second later when it turns out that the ''right'' way because the thing [[GiantFootOfStomping summons a giant foot to stomp him to death]].]]
* First time panzer driver Hana in ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'' almost crashes her tank in the hangar's back door. Well, she didn't even know how to start the thing a moment before, so not noticing it was in reverse was a given.
* In the movie version of ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'', this happens when a tank is commandeered by unskilled villagers during the castle battle scene.

[[AC:{{Film}} - Animation]]
* The "forward when going in reverse" variation appears in the PixarShort ''Mike's New Car''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn'', Captain Haddock takes aim at the villain with a bazooka... and promptly takes out the dam behind them.
-->'''Tintin:''' [[TemptingFate did you hit anything?]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/YellowSubmarine'', the Sub is traveling perilously close to the Vacuum monster, so Old Fred instructs the Beatles to put it reverse only to come perilously close to another monster.

[[AC:{{Film}} - Live Action]]
* ''AirBud'': Snively, the villain of the piece, gets into his truck and, fully intending to back out of his driveway, hits the gas. He proceeds to wreck the trash cans sitting in front of him.
* ''Film/IndependenceDay'': WillSmith's character at first, accidentally, when piloting the captured UFO. He then turns the control instructions upside down and retapes them to the dashboard.
* ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'': Jack Burton and the other protagonists are in his truck ready to escape from Lo Pan's warehouse. Burton throws the truck into gear, they all lean forward...and the truck zips backward, bursting out through a wall.
-->'''Jack Burton''': ''Sorry.''
-->'''Gracie Law''': ''Don't you know how to drive this thing?''
* ''Film/{{Commando}}'': Rae Dawn Chong's character tries to fire a missile launcher, but it's facing backwards and it blows up a structure behind her.
* In ''Film/FourLions'', one of the Jihads fires a missile launcher the wrong way, missing the American aircraft and demolishing the terror training camp he was staying at, killing many people. The video gets on the news as a comedy clip, much to the man's embarrassment.
* Happens again in ''Film/TrueLies'' during the limo chase.
* In ''Film/SomeLikeItHot'', Josephine (Tony Curtis) is trying to impress Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) by showing her 'his' yacht (it actually belongs to someone else). They get in the motorboat used as the tender for the yacht, but he can only get it to work in reverse.
* ''Film/ThoroughlyModernMillie'' had this when Millie is attempting to drive Grayson's car for an escape.
--> '''Miss Dorothy''': No, ''forward,'' dear, ''forward.''
* Justified in ''Film/TheGodsMustBeCrazy'', since the driver was a Bushman utterly new to any technology more advanced than a bow, and it was a [[TheAllegedCar shit car]] at that.
* In ''Film/NickAndNorahsInfinitePlaylist'', Nick lets Norah drive his [[TheAllegedCar Yugo]], and after showing off [[DrivingStick her "awesome" driving skills]], she parks by the curb. When Nick comments on how far away from the curb she is, she goes to reverse closer to the curb and ends up driving forward ... [[EpicFail into a fire hydrant]].
* A running gag in ''Film/AustinPowers''; in the first movie, he gets a vehicle stuck in an impossible position while trying to back up. In the sequel, he knocks over every possible object around him just trying to go forward.
* Justified in ''Film/{{Critters}}'', in which the alien bounty-hunters have no clue how a car works and only succeed in making it go in reverse. The driver naturally looks over his shoulder when he starts it a second time, only to have it move forward.
* In ''Film/MovingViolations'', the bad cop's squad car suffers a mechanical fault after a collision, forcing him to drive backward during the concluding car chase. As he's losing his temper, he proceeds to ''deliberately'' back up into someone's garden and through a brick wall.
* ''Film/TalladegaNightsTheBalladOfRickyBobby'': we see how far Ricky Bobby has fallen when he resorts to delivering pizzas, and accidentally takes off in reverse, smashing a woman's shopping cart.
* Invoked in ''Film/DCCab'', when one of the cabbies covertly adjusts the hack inspector's shift lever and causes him to unintentionally back his car into a restaurant window.

[[AC:Literature]]
* JohnVarley’s ''Rolling Thunder'': [[ShoutOut Podykane]] tries to drive a golf cart: “Clue number one: R probably means ‘Reverse’, not ‘Ride’(...) I looked for a gear named G, for ‘Go,’ but there wasn’t one. I tried D, for ‘Dear me, this is harder than I thought,’ and away I went.” The [[HilarityEnsues hilarity]] only starts there.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''TopGear'' did this in a season 15 episode with on of their Cheap Car segments. One of the cars, a Mercedes-Benz [=190E=] Cosworth, had a slightly different gearbox setup than usual, and on the show, was always shown reversing at first in whatever tasks were set for it.
** Even explained and lampshaded by the vehicle's driver, James May, that it had a dog-leg first gear (as opposed to left and forward, it was left and back).
* In the ''{{Psych}}'' episode "You Can't Handle This Episode", Shawn picks up something and asks what it is. He's told that it's a rocket launcher, and he's pointing it ''at himself''.
* Similarly, in ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' episode "Condemned", the inmates have plundered the team's grounded ship and are testing out the weapons. They fire the gun correctly, but when the rocket launcher is attempted, they have the thing backwards and end up destroying the building behind them instead of shooting the explosive into the pool in front of them.
* Mayweather in ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' when trying to fly a Xindi-Insectoid shuttle.
* ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'': inverted and thankfully averted, as Jamie reminds Adam that since his excavator is facing backwards on the dump truck, he doesn't have to set it to reverse.
* ''LastOfTheSummerWine'': When Edie is learning to drive, she engages reverse instead of first and nearly backs into the protagonists. Her husband Wesley, who's used to her driving, merely comments "Sometimes she does that."

[[AC:Music]]
* Inverted in The Firm's novelty song "Star Trekkin", in which the crew asserts that they're only "boldly going forward" because they ''can't find'' reverse.

[[AC:NewspaperComics]]
* ''{{Zits}}'': "N for neutral, R for reverse... and D for disaster."
* One episode of the "Mayhem Garage" strip in ''Practical Classics'' magazine showed a customer collecting his car after repair and driving off enthusiastically... straight backwards into a wall. One of the mechanics then comments "I had a feeling that crown wheel and pinion were the wrong way up." [[note]]For those less familiar with car mechanics than the readership of ''Practical Classics'': this refers to a mistake in reassembling the differential which is possible to make on many rear-wheel-drive cars, which has the effect of converting ''all'' the forward gears into reverse gears.[[/note]]

[[AC:{{Radio}}]]
* [[NoSenseOfDirection Navigation Officer]] Sub-Lieutenant [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Phillips]] can do this with Naval Frigates in ''TheNavyLark'', frequently.

[[AC:RolePlayingGames]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', as a ShoutOut to aforementioned example from ''Film/IndependenceDay'', Rex's first attempt to drive an [[TankGoodness Iron Predator]] after several months of inactivity resulted in driving in reverse because the control instructions were accidentally placed upside-down.
** This also happened to Elizabeth the first time she tried to drive an Iron Predator, demolishing a T-1 Typhoon in the process.

[[AC:StandUpComedy]]
* Creator/JeffFoxworthy:
** In one skit, he pointed out that rental cars are good for those moments that you've always wondered "what would happen if", but were afraid to try in your own car. Such as one of your buddies suggesting what would happen if you suddenly kicked it into reverse on the freeway. His answer? "[[BringMyBrownPants a cure for constipation]]."
** "If you've ever broken a speed limit in reverse… you might be a redneck."

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has a scene with a Dwarf test driving a new tank a Gnome just built. Due to being built on the spot with random parts, the gearbox was in backwards, and the tank takes off in reverse.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GoblinHollow'', Ben actually counted on his teen sister-in-law Penny to make this mistake in order to explain the destruction of her gargoyles.
* A direct ShoutOut in [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0556.html this]] ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' panel.

[[AC:WebOriginal]]
* ''SuperMarioBrosZ'' had a scene where Professor E. Gadd drove his Poltergust 3000 backwards, in a direct homage to the Duck Dodgers scene.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgersInTheTwentyFourthAndAHalfCentury'': Duck Dodgers initially launches his rocket ship into the ground, citing he [[TropeNamer Had The Silly Thing In Reverse]].
** Witch Hazel had the same problem with her broom in ''A Witch's Tangled Hare''. (She tends to have mistakes with brooms a lot. In another cartoon, she grabs a broom, and it starts sweeping the floor - with her on it. "Silly me," she says, redfaced, "that was my sweeping broom!")
** In ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Qv2or3kIuq0#t=363s Mad as a Mars Hare]]'', Marvin accidentally set his space-time gun in reverse, resulting in Bugs becoming a neanderthal rabbit.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' episode "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E45Superdoo Superdoo!]]", two inept alien criminals are scheming to recover their stolen power crystal. One of their plots involves destroying the summer camp with an alien bazooka; unfortunately, the one holding the bazooka is holding it backwards, and it ends up blasting the forest behind them instead.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack: TheAnimatedSeries episode'', J finds an alien [[FireBreathingWeapon flamethrower]] and threatens the monster of the week with it. Then it turns out the weapon was really pointed at his own head, the thing he thought to be the scope really being where the flames came from. Leads you to wonder...why would a flamethrower have a ''scope''?
** The monster even tells him that it's in reverse, and after J doesn't listen, shrugs "Just trying to be helpful."
** This gag is re-used in a ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathMatch'' episode where Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones compete as their MIB characters against the stars of ''Series/TheXFiles''
* Speaking of ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathMatch'', in one episode where a HumongousMecha (piloted by the band 98 Degrees) goes out of control and starts wrecking the city, SteveAustin brings out an enlarging ray and tells Nick to use it on him so he can bring down the Mecha himself. Unfortunately, Nick points it backwards, and hits Jessica Simpson instead. (Fortunately, she manages to do the job just as well.)
* ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'': in the flashback episode, Ilana and Hobbes, her bodyguard, are able to tank-jack, but since the bodyguard was too wounded, Ilana had to drive the tank. The first thing she does at the controls is drive the tank in reverse.
* In the Pixar short ''Lifted'', the alien novice who just failed his abduction test gets pity from his tester, who lets him fly the ship back. He crashes it downward first.
* ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'': Happens at the end of "Bird-Brained Beast" when the Platypus Brothers back their truck over Taz as they are leaving.
* The opening of ''WackyRaces'' has Dick Dastardly putting the Mean Machine in reverse accidentally, causing him to smash into and crack the steel beam on which the other racers have been chained.
* [[TheHairBearBunch Square Bear's]] [[ItMakesSenseInContext invisible motorcycle]] goes in reverse after he says "Geronimo!" backwards.
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