The Jaywalking Dead
Zombies aren't the brightest creatures on the planet. And yet, sometimes they're dumb even by undead standards. One of the dumbest things a zombie can do is jaywalking when there are still live humans on the planet that know how to drive. Inevitably, one of these creatures is going to be roadkill, particularly if their head sustains severe damage. Of course, it's not their fault they end up being easy targets for cars, both on and off the road. After all, they're dead; many of them don't understand the concept of traffic regulations, to say nothing about them probably being visually impaired. If they were half as smart as the zombies from Return of the Living Dead, though, they'd probably look both ways before crossing the road, let alone shambling out in the open at all. If even then they go walking on the roads, well, they probably deserve a special Darwin Award if they get hit. Subtrope of Car Fu. For other ways to kill zombies, see Burn The Undead, Shock and Awe, and the traditional method of Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- Shizuka has killed the most zombies out of any Highschool of the Dead character, if only because she Drives Like Crazy. In chapter 2/episode 3, Takashi even suggests doing this.
- The protagonists of Zombi 2 run over a zombie while fleeing Menard's house after finding Paola dead and being devoured by zombies, and they end up crashing the car just as quickly.
- In Zombi 3D, some zombie birds die by ramming blindly into an incoming bus.
- A fuel truck in South Korea makes zeke roadkill in World War Z.
- In Romero's Dawn of the Dead several zombies are easily cast aside when Roger and Peter start using trucks to block the doors of the mall. Later, when locking the doors from the inside, more zombies are taken out as they drive the silver coupe through the mall.
- In the remake, their heavily outfitted buses are surprisingly less effective.
- In Romero's Land of the Dead the massive truck Dead Reckoning graphically dispenses with plenty of zombies.
- In Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror a small caravan of vehicles rips through several zombies, and one unfortunate dog. Also, as a possible subversion of the trope, earlier in the film, El Rey swerves to avoid a man he doesn't know is a zombie, ultimately crashing his car.
- Not strictly a zombie, but it probably belongs here anyway–towards the end of RoboCop (1987) an unlucky goon gets doused in toxic waste, leaving him as a shambling, rotting, but still technically alive mess of a man. Blinded by pain and the toxic waste that caused it, he stumbles into the road only to be promptly split in two by a car.
- Tallahassee's Establishing Character Moment in Zombieland has him speeding down the highway, giving the Toyota Tripwire to any zombies that get in his way. This establishes him as the kind of Crazy Awesome Badass zombie hunter that a Crazy Awesome zombie story needs.
- Subverted in Diary of the Dead. The first encounter with the undead involves their Winnebago driving over several zombies walking on the road. Thinking she's committed vehicular manslaughter, the driver shoots herself in remorse.
- Shaun and Ed ends up running over a zombie in Shaun of the Dead, much to their relief (since they weren't sure if the person was dead). "Oh thank God for that."
- The Zombie Survival Guide includes one account of a driver accidentally running over a slow-moving pedestrian. As soon as he gets out of his car, he notices the victim slowly crawling towards him...
- In the Jonathan Maberry novel Fall of Night, the patrons and staff of a Starbucks become zombies. They wander onto a highway in the middle of the worst storm of the century. The resulting pileup becomes a significant focus of the outbreak.
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two offers an achievement, "Hit and Run," for running over twenty enemies with the car. Headcrab zombies are the most frequently available targets by far.
- One of the titles in the "Simple 2000 Series" of Japanese budget games is The Zombie vs Ambulance. Running over zombies with your ambulance is literally one of the two main goals; the other is to locate and pick up survivors a la Crazy Taxi. If you're not moving fast enough, though, the zombies can climb on and start wrecking your vehicle instead.
- In Dead Rising, you can kill zombies by running them over with a car. They're so stupid that they make no real effort to get out of the way. In fact, in the first game in the series, vehicular manslaughter is an effective way to rack up the 56,000 kills needed to unlock the Real Mega Buster BFG.
- Inverted in Plants vs. Zombies, where Dr. Zomboss (in his Zombot, naturally) throws a winnebago onto 6 of your plants, instantly flattening them.
- The Flash game Road Of The Dead is about a guy escaping a Zombie Apocalypse in his car, running over any that get in his way.
- This happens several times in The Walking Dead, but it's always unintentional and it always severely damages the vehicle.
- Inverted with Zombie Roadkill, the premise of which involves animals that get struck by vehicles coming back to life for revenge.