[[quoteright:310:[[Webcomic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a5f059bef0ccd2e3b98c62d4f1029ec7.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:310:Because [[http://nonadventures.com/2014/06/14/girl-fly-day/ even mayflies]] will have to feel better about their mid-lives.]]

->'''Caroline''': Uh, whose car is that out front?
->'''Lester''': Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird - the car I've always wanted, and now I have it. I '''''rule!'''''
-->--''Film/AmericanBeauty''

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 CompensatingForSomething.

Sometimes a motorcycle can fill the same function.

Very often becomes ThePreciousPreciousCar. Compare CoolCar (which generally comes with more [[TheMiddleman weapons and gadgets and things]]), HummerDinger. Contrast TheAllegedCar. Often referred to as a "Midlife Chrysler."

TruthInTelevision when you're not lucky enough to have been [[BlueBlood born wealthy]]: it takes ''time'' to amass enough money for a CoolCar.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/AmericanBeauty'', Lester buys a 1970 Pontiac Firebird. He's not compensating for something, but rather pissing off [[StepfordSmiler 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* One of the more unpleasant characters in ''Literature/{{Cujo}}'' by Creator/StephenKing dubs this "sports car menopause".
* In the latter books of the ''Literature/AmberBrown'' series, Amber's father drives around a very fancy sports car that Amber's mother refers to as "your father's middle-aged-man-starting-over car." In ''Amber Brown Horses Around'', it's revealed that it's a red sports car that he calls his Hot Tamale, though Amber's mother is now calling it the "Midlife Folly" as a snarky rhyme.
-->'''Amber''': Sometimes I think it is no surprise my parents got divorced.
* In ''Literature/RobotsAndEmpire'', it is mentioned that older Spacers have a tendency to buy bigger and more powerful robotic servants.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Giles replaces TheAllegedCar with one (a red, BMW M3 convertible) at the beginning of season 5 of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. He claims it "seduced" him.
-->'''Spike:''' He's bound to have some kind of midlife crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.
* Steve [=McDonald=]'s midlife crisis SUV Jeep in ''Series/CoronationStreet''. His wife Michelle is not impressed. Not at all.
* In ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', the team asks Nate if he's buying a MidlifeCrisisCar with his cut of their money, and mock him when he says [[BeingGoodSucks he's getting an electric car]]. Then, he jumps into his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster Tesla Roadster]], and they watch in awe as he drives away, agreeing that he's definitely having a midlife crisis.
* A female example: Joanna Clore in ''Series/GreenWing'' asks a salesman which of two cars will make her look younger: the salesman deadpans, "Neither. They are just cars."
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Ross and Monica's father mentioned buying a Porsche when he turned fifty. A few seasons later he later gave it to Monica (as an apology for using the boxes with all her childhood relics to block flooding water in order [[SkewedPriorities to protect the car]]).
** Ross buys one of these. Too bad it's so small it gets stuck in the parking space and he spends most of the time trying to drive out. He also quickly abandons the car when an old, bald gentleman shows up driving the exact same car.
---> '''Old Guy:''' [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame How cool are we!]]
* ''Series/CSILasVegas'' has an episode with Gil Grissom acting as though he's starting to go into mid-life crisis. Brass advises him, "Buy a convertible. It's cheaper."
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Martha's father is driving such a car when he first appears, complete with a (much younger) girlfriend the script compares to a Big Brother evictee.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Dr. Kelso comments that during his midlife crisis he bought an overpowered cigarette boat.
* In an episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'', Alan Matthews wants to get a midlife crisis ''motorcycle'', but he eventually decides against it.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheCosbyShow'', one of Cliff's friends enters a mid-life crisis after his wife divorced him for being too boring. The first thing he does is go to the car dealership and try out the fastest, most expensive car they have. By the end of the episode he decides not to buy it though.
* Red from ''Series/That70sShow'' buys a Corvette in the 4th season, which has been waiting 25 years to get because he had kids.
* In ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'':
** An old acquaintance of Agent Coulson tells him he's having a midlife crisis, what with the airborne mancave, renewed idealism, surrounding himself with attractive agents, and yes, the flying Corvette named Lola. Having just recovered from a [[spoiler:[[BackFromTheDead Not-So-]]]]NearDeathExperience, he quips that it's "More of an ''afterlife'' crisis."
** A later episode has Coulson on the run, and when he attempts to buy a car, the seller immediately assumes he's looking for one of these.
* In ''Series/PleaseLikeMe'', John's father buys himself a Porsche - despite his son and girlfriend mocking him for it.
* In ''Series/{{Californication}}'', Hank Moody buys a Porsche after he earned some money from a writing gig. His agent Charlie Runkle is a bit worried though he should be used to Hank's irresponsibility by that time.
* Walt replacing his aging POS light green Pontiac Aztek with a new black Chrysler 300 in ''Series/BreakingBad'' is a (relatively) sensible example. In a straighter (though vicarious) example, he also gets his son a bright red Dodge Challenger at the same time (he had earlier gotten Walt Jr. a different bright red Dodge Challenger, though that was specifically at Walt. Jr.'s instigation).
--> '''Walt Jr.''' (gesturing at a billboard): If you're going to buy me off, ''buy me off''.
* In the TV Movie ''A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story'', the titular character taunts her soon-to-be ex about he should pose for the cover of "Midlife Crisis Magazine", citing his much younger (21 years old) new girlfriend, and of course, his flashy red sports car.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Referenced in the song "Mid Life Chrysler" by Collin Raye.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Naturally comes up in ''Radio/CarTalk''. One suggested midlife crisis car, the Mazda Miata, is personified in TheMusical by a LadyInRed who seduces the middle-aged protagonist desperate for a replacement for TheAllegedCar.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoLibertyCityStories'', 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 ''VideoGame/TokyoXtremeRacer: Shutokou Battle 01'', there is Sanjyushi, an entire gang of middleaged men with souped up MLC cars in the Wangan area.
* As of ''VideoGame/TheSims 3'''s "Generations" ExpansionPack, 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.
** Not to mention that the icons for both that wish and the Mid-life Crisis LTR are ''red'' cars.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'': Merlin buys a new car and explains it's because of his midlife crisis ... only it's [[http://www.arthurkingoftimeandspace.com/0387.htm not a sports car]], and he only got it because [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpD7f8gWgDg the commercial]] had a Music/LedZeppelin song.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* He'll never admit it, but the protagonist of [[http://drunkardswalkforums.yuku.com/topic/10786/HARD-FEN-Making-HARD-DECISIONS-HARD-Story-Fenspace-Prefer this]] {{Fenspace}} story is flying around in a Mid-Life Crisis ''Spaceship''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'':
** Timmy's dad buys a cool car that he doesn't allow Timmy to ride in. HilarityEnsues when Timmy wishes to be said car. The reason his father doesn't let him ride in the car is because [[spoiler: 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", [[CargoShip Timmy's dad falls in love with it]]. His mom then tries to destroy it.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Peter's car after he finds out that Chris is much larger than him in a certain... area. This whole sequence is a gigantic LampshadeHanging on the [[CompensatingforSomething 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..."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this by calling it "The Hot Rod Stage" of Harold's midlife crisis. "[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Next stage is the Trophy Wife!]]"
* Stan's dad gets one in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' when he and his wife divorce for the episode.
* The Finnish comedy cartoon ''WesternAnimation/{{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 [[FreudianSlipperySlope slips off the Freudian slope]] when he talks to anyone about it for any extended period of time.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' - after Rusty is called "old" he gets a 1970 Corvette, frightful "mod" clothes, and a ratty-looking wig in the episode "Mid-Life Chrysalis".
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': During Lrrr's midlife crisis we briefly see him trying out a small red hovercar.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''' episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS25E4Yolo YOLO]], Kirk van Houten gets a red convertible and tells Homer he signed up in a hip music course. Homer laughs at him, but later he suffers from a midlife crisis too and gets depressed.
[[/folder]]

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