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Look Both Ways
"Don't cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block Don't cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block Use your eyes to look out, use your ears to hear Walk up to the corner when the coast is clear And wait, and wait, until you see the light turn green...
A specific variant of Dropped a Bridge on Him
. A character runs across the street without checking for oncoming vehicles, usually because of someone chasing him or something. Often, he attempts to provide the last word in the argument by turning his back to the opposite side of the road. Without warning, a bus or car wheels in from the side of the frame and slams into him, crushing his bones into the dust of death. Often it seems the vehicle was moving pretty fast for the road it's on. The guy who left his common sense behind in the heat of the moment is Killed Off for Real
to provide Anyone Can Die
shock value. Or comedy, especially out of context
Plus, it's a kind of Karmic Death
. Remember, folks,
you were taught in elementary school to Look Both Ways before crossing the street!
Interestingly, the driver almost never slows down (if they try, they will brake so hard that their wheels lock up and they end up not slowing down anyway) and never swerves, even if the person was in the street long enough for them to react. If the victim is "lucky" they might just honk (might).
Can invoke Diabolus Ex Machina
and/or a Shocking Swerve
if done particularly suddenly. Nearly always invokes Mood Whiplash
. Can sometimes be averted by a Heroic Sacrificial Diving Save
The incredibly dangerous roads in Fictionland might explain why Jaywalking is considered as serious as Murder and Arson...
Not to be confused with the film of the same name.
open/close all folders
- In the very first episode of Excel Saga, Excel gets hit by a bus while prancing home from her high school graduation, and the Great Will of the Macrocosm has to resurrect her.
- Akiko in Kanon is hit by an SUV running a red light and traveling too fast for snowy conditions near the end, but survives thanks to Ayu's miracle.
- Magical Princess Minky Momo being run over by a truck (and her show not immediately ending) has become infamous among anime fans. It's quite over-the-top with the truck being full of children's toys, first swerving to avoid a toddler and then hitting Momo, and the ambulance sound coming from one of the toys. In fact, it was the inspiration for the Excel Saga incident mentioned above.
- An episode of Nurse Witch Komugi parodies this by having the title character hit by a car in the first scene and spending most of the episode as a ghost, then come Back from the Dead and get roadkilled again, revived and flatttened about half a dozen times back to back.
- In Monster an incarceree's brother practices a Flopsy routine on a road while awaiting the prison van transporting Tenma and the aforementioned. While talking to his girlfriend he steps out backwards into the road only to be hit by said prison van in a manner far more real than he could have intended. Though Tenma does manage to save his life.
- It later happens to Tenma, who was running from the police at the time. He escapes with little more than a twisted ankle and a head injury because the truck wasn't driving that fast and was able to brake.
- The first episode of Weiß Kreuz opens with a girl named Michiru waving goodbye to her boyfriend, who gets on his bike and is suddenly run over by a van. And by "run over" I mean it fell on him from an overpass, on fire, covered in ninjas.
- Averted in the case of Ran's Ill Girl little sister Aya-chan, since it turns out it was intentional.
- Inexplicably, unfathomably, illogically and HILARIOUSLY, M.Bison tries to do this to Ryu at the very end of the Street Fighter II animated movie. Why an international crimelord with near-unlimited Psycho Power, an otherwise brilliant tactical mind, and martial arts expertise would try to run down someone with a truck will forever be a mystery.
- YuYu Hakusho starts off with the protagonist dying from being hit by a car to save a boy who had chased his ball into the street.
- This doesn't really count, though, since Yusuke saw the car coming and dove in front of it deliberately to save the kid. Then again, the kid wasn't looking both ways...
- In Death Note, a gangster was splattered by the truck. Then again, he was sentenced to death via Light's Death Note...
- Hitomi from ICE gets run over by a car, which promptly transports her mind into the body of a woman living in the near future, where all males have gone extinct.
- In Ef: A Tale Of Melodies, Yuuko gets hits by a car when she suddenly rushes onto the street without looking out for traffic. This is especially egregious, since she managed to survive some pretty bad stuff before that. Not to mention you could count the number of moving cars in both series in all of Otowa on one hand.
- In the game however, she's hit NOT because of this, but because she was trying to save Miki, who was unaware of the approaching vehicle, from being run over
- In Kaze to Ki no Uta Gilbert is run over and killed by a horse carriage after running into the street while hallucinating.
- The trope occurs hilariously - twice - in Baccano!. In the first instance, resident Cloudcuckoolanders Isaac and Miria are dancing about and enthusing about their plan to become rich when they are abruptly hit by a car driven by Ennis. Since it wasn't going very fast, they're not seriously hurt. Later on, Szilard leaps out of a window in pursuit of Maiza - and directly into the path of his own car, now driven by Isaac.
- Played with in The Twelve Kingdoms, where Seishuu dies this way when hit by a carriage. The twist comes because he had gone blind a short while ago, thus whether he looked both ways or not... it wouldn't have mattered.
- Subverted in Fruits Basket, where Tohru's mom Kyouko was fatally hit by a car because the driver actually had a lethal heart attack while driving. Oh, and because Kyou panicked from trying a Diving Save in fear of triggering his curse - needless to say, Kyou couldn't forgive himself for it.
- In an odd subversion, Rei Asaka from Oniisama e... pulls this with a train, since she fell on its path while trying to recover a bouquet of roses that she was carrying as a gift to her date, Nanako. This only happens in the anime; in the original manga, she kills herself with a durg overdose.
- Hanako-chan from Haunted Junction died like this, having been hit by a speeding car when she was running away from her rockstar boyfriend's Loony Fans, who were harrassing her.
- Happened to Levin's girlfriend Karen in Captain Tsubasa. She was in a hurry to go to Levin's latest match, carelessly tried to cross the road... and got hit by a truck for her trouble.
- Subverted with Misaki's sister Yoshiko, who almost got hit by a bus and Misaki saved her at the cost of being seriously injured — it happened because she fell over in while riding her bike.
- And it was subverted in the first chronological scene of the canon. A tiny Tsubasa reached for the streets when his parents were distracted, was juuuust about to be run over by a car... and his soocer ball softened the impact enough for him to be completely unharmed.
- Happens to Hayate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd A's. In this case, she did look both ways and waited for the stop light to turn green for her. Unfortunately, the driver of the truck had fallen asleep on the wheel, only waking up when braking and swerving wouldn't have been enough to avoid her. Fortunately, this was the event that triggered her powers in the movie, leaving a confused truck driver to wonder where the crippled little girl he almost hit went.
- Averted in Episode 1 of Kotoura-san. Haruka was able to save both Manabe's life and her own simply because her Telepathy allowed her to see an oncoming, careless delivery van driver that's running the red light at full speed.
- The death of Leon's sister and partner Sophie in Kaleido Star was like this. In an attempt to get her and Leon disqualified from a very important circus contest, Yuri wrote a fake letter in which he asked Sophie for a meet-up that never took place. When she realized that she had been tricked and had few minutes to spare, Sophie tried to reach the stadium in time and crossed the streets without looking — and without seeing a truck that was coming her way.
- Kagerou Project: During Heat Haze Days, Hiyori chases a cat she had been petting out onto the road. As the pedestrian crossing sign had just turned red. And that's not even the worst way she gets to die. After realising her fate of dying over and over, Hibiya decides to Screw Destiny and get hit by the truck instead. It doesn't work.
- In the final issue of a recent story arc in The DCU's Justice Society of America, Wildcat and his new-found meta-human son are fighting a losing battle against Bad Ass Diabolical Mastermind Vandal Savage, until Savage charges out into the street after the son, right into the path of a speeding fire truck responding to a blaze started earlier in the brawl. It's not near enough to kill him, but it does end the fight.
- Underground Comics artist Gilbert Shelton penned a series of one-page comics on motoring tips - in a spotlight on Britain, he reminded us that they drive on the left, illustrated with him stepping off a curb looking to his left as a London cab barrels up behind him.
- In 28th Kill la Kill AU comic, we find out that Ragyo was hit by a car when she was a child (on her sixth birthday no less) and, being mortally injured, its implied the only way her life could have been saved was for her to be infused with life fibers
- In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Humbert's wife Charlotte finds his diary, detailing his disdain for her and lust for her titular daughter, while said daughter is away at camp. Humiliated, she confronts him with the evidence and tells him she intends to take Lolita from the camp to a strict year-round boarding school and away from his grasp forever. However, crossing the street to post letters setting this plan in motion, she is killed by a passing motorist, leaving Humbert as Lolita's sole guardian. At least, that's his version
- This starts off the plot of Rewind (William Sleator), one of William Sleator's less famous novels—because the main character would have grown up to greatly influence the world, he's sent back in time instead of dying, but he'll get run over again and again no matter what he does differently unless he makes some very specific changes to the course of events that got him killed.
- In Carnosaur, an adolescent megalosaur misses its chance to act out the T. rex's role from The Lost World: Jurassic Park when it steps out onto a highway and is flattened by an 18-wheeler.
- In The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan's mistress Myrtle darts out into the street after an argument with her husband, to be struck and horrifically killed by Tom's wife.
- How Cilla dies in "I Miss You I Miss You".
- Happens a few times in Warrior Cats:
- In Bluestar's Prophecy, Bluestar's sister Snowfur tries to chase some ShadowClan warriors across the road, but a car comes by and hits her.
- In Warrior's Return, Graystripe gets hit by a car when he isn't paying attention to where he's going. Fortunately he survives, but his shoulder is injured pretty badly.
- This was the cause of Vicky's death in Vicky Angel (spoiler unmarked because the blurb and title make it obvious that she dies; also, she gets hit by the car in the first chapter and dies in the second, so she's almost Dead to Begin With).
Live Action TV
- In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Terminators show utterly no ability to Look Both Ways.
- In the Pilot episode, Cromartie gets creamed in a parking lot by a truck driven by Cameron.
- The next episode, Vick trips over a motorcycle doing a lay-down by Sarah, despite easily being able to see it coming from about fifty feet away.
- No more than a minute later, Cameron, chasing Vick, gets stuck in the windshield of a car while chasing Vick across a street.
- The first episode of second season, Catharine Weaver lampshades this a bit with a scary monologue about humans "crossing against the light" and getting run over, and that she's looking for a computer that can "cross against the light".
- Monty Python's Flying Circus
- Life On Mars, more than once.
- Heroes On Claire's multiple suicide tape, one of the "deaths" she suffers is getting hit with a car.
- Hiro also stops time and save a little girl who would've otherwise been run over.
- Stargate SG-1 - happens to a bounty hunter who was holding Daniel at gunpoint. To be fair, most other planets don't have cars or buses, or elementary school, so she likely never learned to Look Both Ways.
- Strangely, the bus apparently doesn't honk, swerve, or even slow down, despite said bounty hunter clearly standing in the middle of the road for several seconds before being hit. Hell, it even keeps going at full speed afterward.
- Earlier, a reporter threatening to expose the Stargate program is hit by a car and killed. The audience and O'Neill are "assured" that it was a "legitimate accident".
- LOST. Juliet tells Richard, facetiously, that she could accept his job offer if her ex-husband were hit by a bus. Guess what happens later in the episode...
- Earlier in the series, Michael ended up in the hospital after a similar incident.
- And John Locke crossing a parking lot.
- This also happens to Nadia in the fifth-season finale.
- Various Law & Order plots involve a would-be suspect running (they always run) from police. They run out into the street and splat.
- This has also happened to crime victims fleeing their assailants.
- One episode opened with a woman trying to escape a paparazzo who was following her, and getting hit by a car when running out into the middle of the street. Half the episode was spent figuring out whether or not the paparazzo was at fault.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nearly unstoppable Big Bad Glory gets slowed down (though not killed - she is The Unstoppable Woman, after all) when she's hit by a truck... after standing in the road talking to Buffy for almost a full minute. That must be one hell of a bad driver.
- In the season finale, she gets blindslided again... by a wrecking ball, though in this case it was intentional, compliments of Xander.
- Dead Like Me has a couple of deaths this way, one from a yuppie guy in the convertible.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "City on the Edge of Forever", Edith Keeler is hit by a car as she crosses the street, while Kirk prevents McCoy from saving her in order to restore the original timeline.
- EastEnders seems to like this trope, especially concerning the Mitchells: Tiffany, Jamie and Danielle were all killed in this manner. Jamie's death was also due in part to Martin Fowler texting on his phone and not watching the road, adding a double dose of Anvilicious Anviliciousness.
- The Soup has been known to edit speeding bus attacks into clips that they feel need it.
- In Supernatural Dean sallies forth straight into the path of an oncoming car. He flies through the air, makes several crunchy noises, and dies. But don't worry. He gets better. Heeeat of the moment...
- Fate is killing off people in accidents. Sam and Dean do a Diving Save on an asshole lawyer as he's about to be hit by a car. He's not impressed as the only reason he was standing in the middle of the street is because they distracted him by calling out. He steps onto the street again, turns to threaten to sue them, then gets hit by a bus.
- Alan Bradley from Coronation Street was killed by a Blackpool tram this way, quite an achievement with it being hard to miss and not exactly fast.
- Pete Tyler in the Doctor Who episode "Father's Day", although this was a deliberate act to put time back on track.
- It wasn't deliberate the first time.
- Donna also gets hit by a truck. Whether she gets better is open to interpretation.
- In The End of Time Russell T Davies deliberately put in the scene with Luke because of this. He hated how in most TV shows people never look before crossing the road and there are no ill effects, teaching a bad lesson to kids.
- Well, Luke didn't suffer any ill effects either, since the Doctor appeared out of nowhere to snatch him out of harm's way. Arguably a worse lesson, given that the likelihood of a time-traveling alien saving you from being hit by a car is rather slim.
- To be fair, Luke did look both ways, but that was only after the Doctor had saved him.
- Danny Pink gets hit by a car in "Dark Water".
- Skins has this in the case of Tony, and it takes him half a season to recover from the accident. Given RTD's love of the show, this may be a precursor to the End of Time example that happened nearly three years later.
- Desperate Housewives - Mike Delphino falls victim to this trope at the end of one of the earlier seasons, falling into a coma. The culprit? Orson Hodge.
- Although in this case the driver was trying to hit him.
- Reno 911!, multiple times. Once, twice in the same scene.
- Happens in one of the early Got Milk commercials to a yuppie on a cell phone.
- Used with odd hilarity in Crossing Jordan when the bastard of the week survives fugu poisoning and an almost-autopsy, and leaves the building threatening legal action....and promptly gets smooshed by a car.
- The third season finale of How I Met Your Mother has Barney run to the hospital, look the correct way on a one way street, but neglects to look the other way and promptly gets hit by a bus, that was going the wrong way on the one way street. Luckily they were in front of the hospital.
- In the first episode of My Name Is Earl, the title character realises he has a winning lottery ticket and, wildly celebrating, runs into the road and gets hit by a car, causing him to lose the ticket, though he gets it back after he leaves hospital and decides to be The Atoner. Becomes a running joke, usually when Laser-Guided Karma shows up.
- Happens very satisfactorily in an episode of Criminal Minds. Laser-Guided Karma at work once again.
- Happens in a Cold Opening to the title character of Monk. It's actually a lookalike, who happens to be an assassin.
- A variation occurs in the series finale. Kazarinski is hit by a train while running from Stottlemeyer at the train station. Unfortunately, they needed him alive to tell them what he poisoned Monk with.
- Dan For Mayor sure seems to like this trope. The first episode ended with [[Mayor Bud]] getting hit by a bus. In the third episode, Dan borrows Charlie's cat; it jumps out of his arms, then runs into traffic and gets hit by a bus.
- In the beginning of episode 111 of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, Lily is nearly hit by a bus. The bus driver says that the school cannot replace the brakes because of budget cuts. At the end of the episode she walks into the street without looking and is hit by the same bus.
- In an X-Files episode with a genie, a man gets his wish of invisibility. He gleefully runs off, right into the path of a speeding semi truck.
- Subverted at the end of Due South. Turnbull gets hit by a bus in just that fashion, but it's revealed he only had some badly broken bones.
- It gets better. He was trying to break into politics, and the vehicle that hit him was his own campaign bus.
- After threatening to tell Sean Mc Namara's wife about their affair on "Nip/Tuck", the crazy nanny stops running out of the practice to turn and throw a final verbal jab... and is promptly run over by a bus.
- An episode of Eureka has a bunch of scientists use a serum that grants them Superspeed in order to allow them to complete a project before a rival team. One of them ends up running through the woods and doesn't bother to look before crossing the street, likely figuring that he's too fast for anything to hit him. He's wrong. They later find his broken body in the woods, where he bounced off after a glancing blow (at superspeed) from a grill of an SUV. Typical of the show, the guy's death is Played for Laughs.
- The first episode of Mr. Show features a Bob Odenkirk character lamenting how everything has "really changed", from his friend, to the leaves, to a caterpillar (into a butterfly), to the . . . . traffic light. As he's crossing the street.
- Happens twice to a Croatian gangster on Blue Bloods, who's fleeing from a park after the police interrupt his attempt to trade a kidnapped girl for some fellow gang members. Not watching for traffic, he gets bounced off a taxi's fender as he steps off the curb, losing his gun. His pursuer, Danny, draws and demands his surrender, but he steps onto the road without looking again, sneering that Danny won't shoot him in the back ... and gets hit head-on by a delivery truck.
- In the Dating Sim Hourglass of Summer the heroine Kaho is set to die in a car accident, caused by a number of different factors beyond her control. The main character spends the whole game making sure these events don't occur, only for the universe to get snotty and hand the girl an Idiot Ball as she crosses the road.
- Laura Bow II: The Dagger of Amon Ra. Look both ways before crossing the road or get run over. (Of course, if you look, there's never any car coming; there's a car coming only if you don't look.)
- Sierra liked this trope. The first Leisure Suit Larry game would kill you if you walked out into the street, which meant the game could end mere seconds after you started.
- And the largely-forgotter 1988 Sierra adventure Gold Rush had stagecoaches that can kill you if you don't keep out of their way. Fortunately these are actually avoidable, although heaven help you if you happen to be in one's path when changing screens.
- Also in Police Quest II, when your character, Sonny Bonds, crosses the airport street without pressing the crossing button results getting hit by a speeding taxicab and also like LSL, walking out into the street will kill you off screen.
- Grand Theft Auto IV: in a random encounter, a man who Niko previously helped dispose of the body of his wife gets remarried, and irrationally suspecting her of cheating on him, asks Niko to kill her. When Niko refuses, he resolves to do it himself, crosses the road without looking and is run over.
- Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2's "sad song" features an ice skater who is killed because she was focusing too much on her older sister, who yelled at her earlier for getting too much attention. The older sister decides to skate at a competition in her place to make up for it.
- In the game Saints Row 2, two junkies steal boxes of Loa Dust and make a blind run for it, across a street. The first junkie isn't so lucky.
- In the beginning of Heavy Rain, the protagonist's son runs into the street and is hit by a car and instantly killed.
- Anyone else remember the original Frogger? Averting this trope was the whole point!
- The subway trains and rollercoaster in Silent Hill 3 will run you over without fail if you set foot onto the tracks. The latter can be temporarily turned off, though.
- In Yarudora series vol.2: Kisetsu O Dakishimete, this is how the Sexy Lady's fiancé died. He was so impatient to meet her, propose to her and give her a wedding ring, he got hit by a car as he carelessly tried to cross the road separating them, and died in her arms.
- In UmJammer Lammy, this is narrowly averted in the Japan and Europe versions of Stage 6 when Lammy avoids getting hit by a car. She does, however, end up getting killed by other means, though...
- Kestrel from Queen of Wands, on first arriving in Something Positive, called out to Davan and Peejee...and, true to form, was run down without the two of them even noticing. She did return with some scars some time later; Davan, as it turned out, had been the one to turn down her insurance claim. The driver was revealed to be Avagadro, who also hit a minor character standing in the street crying (and this one he did kill; he and Avagadro are neighbors in Hell).
- Kevin gets struck by a car in Carpe Diem. Over the next few strips, we see his funeral, watch his friends and loved ones grieve, and notice as a few minor background events start getting creepier... Anyone who paid attention to the dates could probably see the Zombie Apocalypse story coming. After Halloween comes and goes, we snap back to moments before the accident, where Kevin just barely avoids getting hit.