"Uh, whose car is that out front?"
"Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird - the car I've always wanted, and now I have it. I rule!
This car is probably red, usually a convertible, always expensive and zippy, and necessarily driven by a middle-aged man. If he's been around for a while, this will be the first time he's shown any tendency to care about what he drives. It is almost always Compensating for Something
Sometimes a motorcycle can fill the same function.
Very often becomes The Precious, Precious Car
. Compare Cool Car
(which generally comes with more weapons and gadgets and things
). Contrast The Alleged Car
. Often referred to as a "Midlife Chrysler."
Truth in Television
when you're not lucky enough to have been born wealthy: it takes time
to amass enough money for a Cool Car
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- The film American Beauty has one of these. In addition, he's not compensating for something, but rather pissing off his wife (who would later interrupt their first intimate encounter in years because she was afraid he would spill beer on her sofa).
- Albeit it wasn't orginally bought with this trope in mind, the titular SUV Sharon from Venezuelan movie Mi Vida Por Sharon has become this for its owner.
- One of the more unpleasant characters in Cujo by Stephen King dubs this "sports car menopause".
Live Action TV
- Referenced in the song "Mid Life Chrysler" by Collin Raye.
- Played straight in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, when aging crime boss Salvatore Leone shows off a "fully loaded, top of the line" sports cars to Toni Cipriani. Maria, riding shotgun, humorously responds by claiming to "smell" Salvatore's mid-life crisis. The car is later found wrecked not far from where Salvatore showed it off.
- In Shutokou Battle 01, there is Sanjyushi, an entire gang of middleaged men with souped up MLC cars in the Wangan area.
- As of The Sims 3's "Generations" Expansion Pack, Sims can have a Mid-Life Crisis once they reach adulthood. One of the wishes that can be triggered during their MLC is to purchase a new car worth at least 10,000 Simoleons, and doing so will earn your sim a lot of Lifetime Happiness points.
- In The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's dad buys a cool car that he doesn't allow Timmy to ride in. Hilarity Ensues when Timmy wishes to be said car.
- The reason his father doesn't let him ride in the car is because it's VERY lacking in safety features, and while he realizes how dumb he's being by driving it around, he wouldn't endanger his son by letting him ride in it. So it's kind of cute, in a weird way.
- In the episode "Wishy Washy", Timmy's dad falls in love with it. His mom then tries to destroy it.
- Family Guy: Peter's car after he finds out that Chris is much larger than him in a certain... area.
- This whole sequence is a gigantic Lampshade Hanging on the concept, with Peter's car being extremely phallic, him driving in and out of a tunnel repeatedly before the car gets crushed by oncoming traffic, and a group of cheerleaders giggling at him as he looks sad and mutters "Ow, my pride..."
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy lampshades this by calling it "The Hot Rod Stage" of Harold's midlife crisis. "Next stage is the Trophy Wife!"
- Stan's dad gets one in South Park when he and his wife divorce for the episode.
- The Finnish comedy cartoon Pasila featured a chronic speeder who drove a SUV big enough to fit another SUV in the trunk. He claims the car is not a penis extension, but constantly slips off the Freudian slope when he talks to anyone about it for any extended period of time.
- The Venture Bros. - after Rusty is called "old" he gets a 1970 Corvette, frightful "mod" clothes, and a ratty-looking wig in the episode "Mid-Life Chrysalis".
- Futurama During Lrrr's midlife crisis we briefly see him trying out a small red hovercar.