"Red means STOP!"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. This is generally not Truth in Television unless the pedestrian in question is quite large, like, say... an elephant (Other animals, such as the moose, have a history of achieving a Mutual Kill when encountering cars). Often requires Nigh-Invulnerability for straight examples or The Alleged Car for comedy. The vehicle in question may have a recognizable Impact Silhouette left behind. Overlaps with Trainstopping, which is more about stopping a train than damaging it. Contrast with Car Fu and Toyota Tripwire. See also Chronically Crashed Car.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Fist of the North Star, This is Kenshiro's method of Trainstopping in order to save the villagers from Gyoko.
- Riding Bean has a scene where the Big Bad attempts to run down Bean Bandit, only for him to not only stop her car cold by shoulder-checking it, but lift it right off its front wheels!
- Played for Laughs, in Midori Days, when Seiji's best friend, Miyahara, tells him about the rumor going around the school that says he injured his right hand by punching out a Yakuza's car!
- Majin Buu in Dragon Ball Z had some fun playing with cars during an early appearance. They weren't matchbox vehicles, but may have been Pintos.
- A Certain Magical Index has Accelerator do this to Amai Ao's car when it charges into him by using his telekinesis, known in-universe as "Vector Control".
- In Eyeshield 21 this was part of Gaou's backstory: He was hit by a car when he was a little boy. Naturally, the car took more damage than he did.
- Yuma's introduction in World Trigger features him walking away from a car crash. The car, of course, hit him.
- In the first episode of the Parasyte anime, Shinichi crouches over a kid to protect them from a speeding car. The parasite that's become his right hand armors itself and grabs the front of the car, crushing it in its grip and stopping the vehicle cold.
- Planetary #3 has a guy attempt Car Fu on Jakita Wagner, she kicks the engine out of his vehicle (pictured).
- In one Richie Rich comic book story, Irona the robot maid (female design) is on a date with Steelo, a male-design robot when a car tries to run the red light while they are crossing and in the way. No effect on the robots. The car is comprehensively totalled. This being a kid's comic book, the driver is merely stunned.
- The first volume of Preacher has Cassidy attempt Car Fu on The Saint of Killers. The truck Cassidy was driving practically folds itself in half and the Saint doesn't even budge.
Sheriff Root: Ugly fella there just drove a truck into you. Ain't you pissed at him at all?
Saint of Killers: [nonchalantly] I'll get to him.
- In several Bamse episodes, Vargen has tried to run over Bamse with his car. One example is in the movie Vargen äter dunderhonung, after Vargen had robbed Katta Lo's candy shop. It usually ends badly for the car. Picture◊
- Superman has more variations on this than can be counted.
- Superman's cousin Supergirl has also done this time and again, either intentionally or unintentionally.
- In the cover of Supergirl Vol. 2 #17, a car crashes into Supergirl. She said them "Stop", but they didn't listen.
- This is even part of the introduction story of the post-Crisis Supergirl in The Supergirl from Krypton. Some guy crashes onto Kara as she roams the streets of Gotham aimlessly just after her crash-landing.
- In the cover of Supergirl Vol. 5 #10, another car crashes into Kara while she's standing in the middle of the road.
- Variant in Supergirl (Rebirth) #1, in which Kara breaks several cars while she's trying to learn how to drive.
- Demon Spawn: As soon as Supergirl's villain Nightflame steps into the physical world, a car moves in on her, and the woman crushes the vehicle.
- Incredible Hulk is a giant green behemoth, yet people seem to think he can be taken out by cars that are smaller than him! The opposite tends to happen.
- Likewise for video games that feature the Hulk.
- Suske en Wiske Jerom frequently does this, either intentionally or unintentionally, to stop other characters from getting away. He doesn't even have to actively run or slam into the car; just standing his ground and let the car hit him is enough.
- The Coreline one-shot story CLINE Oh Crap gives us the "Supergirl Roadstop". It's never really said whether this is an example of In-Universe lingo or an Attack Pattern Alpha-nevertheless, it's the invocation of this trope for intimidation factor (and trying to force whoever is on the car to stop). Emphasis here on trying-the poor bastard of a runaway con that the super heroine is trying to stop stole a car of which the brakes die right when he tries to stop, forcing the super heroine to try other methods.
- In this fanart, Supergirl meets a truck. Said truck didn't survive that meeting.
- DC Nation: This is how Green Shield discovered that her Professor Guinea Pig gambit left her with side effects of super durability. Trying to evade mercenaries hired by her crooked boss, she ran out in the street, got hit by a truck, and the truck came out on the worse end.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- In Edge of Tomorrow, when Cage and Rita steal a car from General Bingham's headquarters, they run into a military policeman in Powered Armor who stops their vehicle with one smash of his exoskeleton's fists.
- At the beginning of Constantine, 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.
- In Fantastic Four, The Thing clobbers 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.
- The revenge-seeking Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2 rips apart Formula One cars with high-tech energy whips during a race, just to reach Tony Stark.
- In Race to Witch Mountain, the Human Alien Seth increases his density just before a car hits him, causing it to smash against his body without harming him.
- In Superman II, when Clark Kent walks across a street and is hit by an oncoming car, he strolls on unconcerned, but the car has extensive front end damage.
- In Swamp Thing, Ferret and the other mooks attempt to run Swamp Thing down with their Jeep, but are stopped dead on their tracks by his newfound Super Strength. He then proceeds to rips the car's roof off and throw the men about.
- 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.
- Nuit Blanche: in a romantic example, a car cannot keep lovers apart in this exquisite short film. See it here.
- Superhero Movie has the protagonist smash into a truck unharmed while shoving an elderly woman out of the way...and accidentally into a nearby wood chipper.
- In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Superman gets hit by the Batmobile going at full speed. Clark doesn't budge, but the Batmobile is badly damaged and crashes.
- 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 President's Vampire, Cade stops a car chasing his friend by standing in front of it and then pushing it aside, sending it into the wall and practically crushing it beyond saving. It's a small miracle the passengers managed to survive.
- 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.
- The usual superpowered version is subverted in Wild Cards — Golden Boy tries to stop a car by blocking its path, and simply gets knocked clear without much effect on him or the vehicle.
- 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).
Television — Live Action
- 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 & 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 Netflix series Luke Cage starring the eponymous hero has him do this to an SUV by standing in its way.
- In The Flash, the metahuman villains Gorilla Grodd and Griffi Grey do this
- Jessica Jones has a heavily downplayed version. The heroine does stop a car, but only a part of the front hood is damaged. Another variation occurs where a truck runs her over. Jessica's ribs are broken, the truck's engine is wrecked, aka a non-lethal Mutual Kill.
- Bayonetta 2 takes this up to 11 when Bayonetta does this to a fighter jet in the introduction. Kicking it from a dive right at her into a straight vertical climb, and then complaining when her dress got ripped in the ensuing fight.
- 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 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.
- Sonic Adventure 2 begins with Sonic "snowboarding" down the streets of a San Francisco-esque city. The incoming traffic cannot harm him at all. In fact, the cars are coded to flip over and start a disastrous chain reaction with any nearby ones at the slightest touch with the blue blur.
- In Friday the 13th: The Game, if the campers get a car going, one of the few ways Jason can stop them from escaping is by teleporting in front of the vehichle, which causes it to crash (and forces the driver to get out, giving Jason an opportunity to kill them).
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has this scene of Dr. McLuchador punching a speeding hatchback into a lamppost, doing what a whole gang of bad dudes couldn't: intercept a delivery of a lot of super-expensive pizza.
- We see a subversion a few pages into Strong Female Protagonist when Alison walks into the path of a bus with her headphones on. The bus receives some cosmetic damage (including a cracked windshield) but remains quite drivable and only stops because the driver thought the young woman he knocked into a sign was badly injured.
- 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.
- A car runs into a bad-tempered turtle on The Amazing World of Gumball... and bounces off. With a dent in the fender. While the turtle keeps on walking. This marks the point where the turtle goes from "horrible pet" to "unstoppable menace."
- In one episode of Justice League, Wonder Woman intercepts a couple of bank robbers this way. She was trying to take a day off, and thus in civilian attire. The driver of the robbers' car, seeing her standing there, accelerates to try to run her over. She punches the hood of the car so hard both driver and passenger are ejected through the windshield and sent slamming into a nearby bus.
- Gravity Falls has a Ryu Expy escaping from his arcade cabinet and going on a rampage across town. In a Shout-Out to Street Fighter and Final Fight, he comes across a car and he proceeds to wreck it to get extra points. The owner even falls to the floor and mutters "Oh! My car!" His father then says nonchalantly that he can just buy him a new one. "Oh, I love being rich!"
- The Powerpuff Girls: When the Smith family chase after the girls and the Professor with their Weaponized Car, the girls eventually realize they have no reason to run and simply crush the car with their bare hands.