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Crap, my car insurance doesn't cover THIS!
In real life
, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, they suffer physical trauma; as a result, automobiles cause more deaths
than any other machine on the planet. While that statistic still applies to drivers, you can expect a number of pedestrians in fiction to hold their own.
A martial artist
may punch through a door without breaking their hand and if a super hero
can stop a locomotive
by standing in front of it, don't expect a lighter vehicle to survive. Motorcycles? Not a chance. Automobiles? Straight to the junkyard. Aircraft? Not if there's a flying brick
. Metal siding crumples like tinfoil, engines get tossed aside, frames crumple, and passengers will be stunned.
Often requires Nigh-Invulnerability
for straight examples or The Alleged Car
for comedy. The vehicle in question may have a recognizable Impact Silhouette
Overlaps with Trainstopping
, which is more about stopping a train
than damaging it. Contrast with Car Fu
Anime & Manga
Live Action - Films
- In The War Against the Chtorr, don't expect you or your car to survive ramming a Chtorran gastropede.
- In Jack Blank, Allegra falls off the outside of a car during a high-speed chase and lands on top of another car. Because she's Made of Iron, she's perfectly fine, but the car she lands on isn't.
- In Secret City, a Nav operative stops a car by teleporting in front of it and punching it with a gauntlet enchanted to multiply the force of blow tenfold - and Navs are already insanely strong. The driver managed to hit the brakes when he saw the portal open ahead, so the impact was weakened, denting the car's radiator in and bringing it to dead stop while leaving the passengers disoriented but relatively intact. Not for a long, though.
Live Action - TV
- Superman II. When Clark Kent walks across a street he's hit by an oncoming car. He strolls on unconcerned, but the car has extensive front end damage.
- The first Fantastic Four film has The Thing clobber a semi-truck to save someone.
- Hellboy punches a oncoming car with his stone fist to save a man lying on the road, causing it to flip over them both.
- Constantine: At the beginning, when the Mexican man finds the Spear of Destiny he walks onto a road and a car runs into him. The car is totaled, the man is unscathed.
- Iron Man 2 has the revenge-seeking Ivan Vanko ripping apart Formula One cars during a race to get at Tony Stark.
- In Race to Witch Mountain, Human Alien Seth increases his density just before a car hits him, causing it to smash against his body with no harm to him.
- Hancock provides an example of Pedestrian Crushes Train. Hancock then spends a couple minutes extricating himself from its crumpled front end.
- The Carrie remake has Carrie pull it off by telekinesis: instead of Billy Nolan's car crashing into the pedestrian, it crashes onto an unseen wall of telekinetic force in front of her. For the record, the novel and the original adaptation just have the car forced to drive off-road and crash into something else.
- A variation in movie version of Night Watch. When The Hero is in trouble and the backup team rushes to the rescue in a truck, they almost run Zabulon over. (It was an accident, they were ignoring traffic lights and he just happened to cross the road.) Zabulon protects himself with a magical barrier, but instead of crushing the truck he flips it over his head, making it spin in midair, land on wheels undamaged and continue at full speed.
- Kamen Rider The First subverts this with Hongo Takeshi (the titular first Rider) merely leaving a handprint on a truck while saving a girl. In the sequel Kamen Rider The Next this is also invoked - he stops a car from moving without any overt damage, but then one of the buggers tries to hit him with a motorcycle, and he tears the front wheel off in response.
- The X-Files has the episode "Salvage", which starts out with a car being almost cleaved in half after running into someone.
- A recurring bit on Smallville when young Clark Kent saves a pedestrian from being hit by a car or bus, which crumples around Clark.
- In the first episode of Lois and Clark a pre-Superman Clark stops a city bus from hitting a pedestrian. After the event, the bus driver gets out to check on the bus and sees Clark's handprint in the metal of the bus.
- In one episode of The 10th Kingdom, a troll wandering around New York city is hit by a car; he suffers no injury, but the car is badly damaged.
- One Tosh0 episode had a Web Redemption for a man who got hit by an ice cream truck while dancing in the middle of a street. It ended with the man starring in a music video where an ice cream truck hits him again only to get demolished instead.
- The music video for "Rabbit In Your Headlights" by UNKLE featuring Thom Yorke. In it, a homeless and seemingly crazy man in a thick jacket is walking in the middle of a road through a busy tunnel. He gets hit a few times by passing cars but always gets right back up and continues walking and ranting to himself. Eventually he begins shedding his clothes. At the climax of the song he suddenly stops, shirtless, and holds out his arms as a car barrels towards him. It crashes into him as if he's immovable◊.
- Recreated almost shot for shot by Korean Hip Hop artist MC Mong in the video for his song (appropriately) titled Invincible(Cheon Ha Mu Jeok).
Western Animation - Films
- The first Final Fight game has a minigame where characters can beat up a car with their bare fists and there's a time limit. Later used for Street Fighter II, where it's probably more well-known — though it doesn't have the hapless owner showing up and breaking down in despair.
- The car minigame makes a return in Super Street Fighter IV, and as an Easter Egg, the car's owner will show up if Guy or Cody (or Rolento, Hugo, or Poison in Ultra SFIV) is the one who breaks it.
- The opening cinematic of Crysis shows off the rapid improvisation the series' nanosuits are intended to make possible. At one point a mook tries to run Nomad down with a Humvee, but Nomad switches suit modes to Super Strength and destroys the vehicle by punching it.
- Prototype and its sequel treat cars as little more than rolling ammo and even tanks can be literally tossed aside. And forget about them running over the player character, he's a lot heavier than he looks.
Western Animation - TV
- In The Triplets of Belleville, one of the gangster cars flips after hitting a Baby Carriage; the baby was just that big.
- Then Souza flips the last gangster car off a bridge... by tripping it with her foot.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Dough Ray Me-ow", a parrot tries to kill a cat by having him play in the railroad track as the train is coming. The train is totaled in the collision, but the cat steps out with nary a scratch.
- In one Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner cartoon, Wile E. is hit so hard by a truck that he leaves a hole through it.