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Toyota Tripwire

A character is coming down the sidewalk. Maybe they're really moving because they're being chased by the cops. Maybe they're just strolling, but they aren't watching where they're going. Suddenly, the door to a car parked on the street swings open, and *THUD* — they slam right into it. Also known as "getting doored" or a "door prize" by cyclists.

A common variant is to have the tripper on a bike and be sent head over heels. Bonus points if the door opener leans out and delivers a Quip to Black. A cousin to the Offhand Backhand. Compare with Low Clearance.

Not to be confused with a tripwire for use on cars. And no, Toyota doesn't have a car called the Tripwire. See also The Door Slams You.


    open/close all folders 

  • An Australian car insurance ad has a guy trying to pick the lock on the car door. Suddenly, the door opens and knocks him out, before closing again. The hook was, "Unless your car can take care of itself, you should talk to us."

  • Empire Records uses this trope during the scene where Lucas is chasing Warren after the latter was caught shoplifting. After finding different escape routes blocked by Lucas more than once, Warren his name isn't frikkin' Warren! finally finds himself apparently in the clear. He runs away down the sidewalk... right into the suddenly-opened door of the car in which Lucas was hiding.
  • Hot Fuzz uses the bicycle version on a lady rolling down the street, Guns Akimbo.
  • Hammond (Eddie Murphy) did this to a criminal in 48 Hours. Then he hits him with this: "What's happening, Luther? I'm sorry about the door man. Did that hurt? It looked real painful when you slammed into it."
  • The 2007 Transformers movie uses this with Barricade attacking Sam.
  • Played the motorbike variation straight in 2003's The Italian Job.
  • The Gumball Rally pulls this one on the accident prone Lapchik. On a motorcycle.
  • Happens to Gregor when he's running away in Arles in Ronin.
  • Happens twice in Children of Men, to the same guy. Once using the motorcycle gag (albeit, the car is reversing to accomplish this), and once chasing a car downhill. On foot.
    • Although the engine isn't on, a situation which Theo is frantically trying to rectify at the time.
      • Probably the only car chase where the car is in neutral.
  • Tallahassee of Zombieland loves doing this to any zombie he's driving by.
  • Happens in the movie Click. It's then repeated multiple times by the protagonist's reality altering remote control.
  • In Waynes World a variant of the bike version happens to Wayne's ex girlfriend except she strikes the front wing of a car parked in a driveway.
  • A deleted scene from The Incredibles puts a twist on this, when super-strong Mr. Incredible uses his arm to knock a motorcyclist fleeing the cops off his bike.
  • In Wild Target, Tony gets this as he, Victor, and Rose escape by car in his first scene.
  • In Inception, Saito floors the Cobol Mercenaries with his car door to rescue Cobb.
  • Smith uses a car door to take out an assault rifle-toting mook hanging out of the side of a car in Shoot 'em Up. He then reverses, scoops up the rifle, and uses it to shoot the driver.
  • The Ewoks pull this on a speedbike-riding stormtrooper in Return of the Jedi.
  • The Car does this to one of its victims.
  • Happens accidentally to a cyclist in Broken Wings.
  • In Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice does it to a zombie.
  • Since Doc Brown's DeLorean in Back to the Future has hatch-style doors that swing open vertically, he's able to pull off the extremely rare move of clocking a stationary onlooker — namely Biff — upside the head with his.
  • In Getaway, The Kid does this to a mook on a motorcycle.
  • In the TV movie Open Doors, Robert does this unintentionally to Bruce: swinging open the door of the cleaning van just as Bruce is coming round the side, and knocking him out before he has a chance to discover the robbery.
  • In the South Korean movie Quick, this happens to a motorcycle cop during the chase through the marketplace: a patrol car opens its door as he is approaching, knocking him off the bike and catapulting him over the door.
  • Played for Laughs in George of the Jungle. Fish out of Water George sticks his head out of a limousine window in downtown San Francisco, and promptly brains himself on the door of a van.
  • In Lone Star State of Mind, during a shootout in a warehouse, Jimbo jumps into a parked car, then opens the door to slam it against two mooks.

    Live Action TV 
  • An FBI agent drops a sex offender with this in the season 4 pilot of Veronica Mars.
  • Knight Rider, featuring a car that can take care of itself quite handily, frequently featured variations on this trope.
  • An episode of The Bill had this happen to a criminal fleeing the police. His lawyer was all set to make an official complaint against the officers involved, but the revelation that it was actually a member of the public who knocked down his client took the wind out of his sails.
  • Sledgehammer caught a snatch thief in the pilot by opening the door of his car to clock the perp.
  • A variation shows up in a first-season episode of Law & Order, when Det. Logan hides around a corner and swings a trash can lid into a fleeing suspect's face.
  • LOST: This happens to Sawyer in the background of one of the many, many flashbacks of the series.
  • This happened to Deputy Junior a few times in Reno 911!.
  • Brian 'Memory' Lane does this in the New Tricks episode "Good Morning Lemmings": opening the door of the surveillance van to flatten a fleeing suspect.
  • Magda Szubanski stirred up a hornet's nest by suggesting on an episode of Good News Week that drivers should deliberately do this to cyclists.
  • One of AJ's 'junior mafia' buddies does this accidentally on The Sopranos. When the biker gets up to complain, the guy beats him up further.
  • Rizzoli's brother does this to a fleeing suspect in an episode of Rizzoli & Isles, so he can keep to the Exact Words of his promise to Rizzoli that he would not leave the car.
  • Burn Notice: Michael does this is in "Question and Answer", driving alongside someone who is attempting to run away from him and then opening the door to knock him down when he refuses to stop.
  • Used in a skit in the Belgium comedy show Wat als... ("What if..."): "What if the traffic jam was for everyone?". As a couple of women are stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway, they tripwire a motorcyclist believing he should be stuck with the rest of them.

  • The song "Blow em Away" by Chuck Brodsky has a line where the protagonist intentionally does this to a motorcyclist for "cutting in line" by driving between the lanes during a traffic jam.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic did this, too, in "Traffic Jam": "There's a motorcycle zooming by me / Watch what happens when I open my door."

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • Denis Leary talks about this when ranting about cyclists in New York.
  • Jeff Dunham's Walter puppet talks about running down a man who parks in handicap spots to "make an honest man out of him." When his actually handicapped mother gets out of the car to scream at him, Walter takes her out with the door.
  • Louis C.K. talked about an incident in which he witnessed a cyclist about to run into a car door. He had several seconds to warn him, but wasn't able to come up with an adequate warning for the cyclist in time, so he just shouted "Bad thing!" to him.

    Web Comics 

    Video Games 
  • Can be pulled off in Grand Theft Auto IV by backing up while the car door is ajar, and used to knock over hapless pedestrians or annoying foes trying to kill you. Doubles as Car Fu.
  • In Carmageddon TDR 2000, as long as the doors are still on the vehicle they can be opened to sweep zombie crowds. Depending on the active buff/debuff, it can be useful against other cars, but that's likely to remove the doors.
  • You can open car doors in State of Decay to smack zombies. It's far superior to trying to run them over, as it results in less damage to the vehicle. Fittingly, the achievement for doing so is Tallahassee's advice in Zombieland: "Gotta enjoy the little things."
  • Sleeping Dogs lets you open your door while driving in order to perform drive-by shootings or prepare to leap onto an adjacent vehicle and hijack it from the roof. (It's every bit as awesome as it sounds.) Or you can take advantage of its functional collision physics and simply use it to knock people off their motorcycles.

    Web Original 
  • Stick Death has a series of ads for SD Security Systems, which makes car theft prevention devices that kill the potential thief. One of these automatically opens the door hard enough to fling the would-be carjacker 50 feet.

    Western Animation 
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has used a locker door for this gag.
  • This happened once with Eugene in Hey Arnold!!, with the bike variant, except the door is open to start with and he spots it. However, the bike's brake cables are broken, and, not surprisingly (it is Eugene, after all), he ends up in the hospital in a full-body cast.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch has a guy stuck in traffic do this to a motorcyclist cruising between lanes.

    Real Life 
  • This is more dangerous than it sounds - a car door is a little bit sharp, and a bike has a lot of momentum. Further, a car door, when swinging, actually has lots of angular velocity (and thus momentum). Coincidental timing can cut halfway through the metal frame of a bike. What it can do to human bodies is frightening to consider. Even if the door doesn't make contact, swerving into traffic is dangerous in its own right.
  • The Irish minister for the environment once caused a number of letters to the editor when he opened the door of his limo and clocked a cyclist in this manner.
  • A commonplace fear of many cyclists. Even if it doesn't happen that often, there are the accidents caused by swerving to avoid it.
    • Depending on where you ride, it is actually frighteningly common, especially in cities like Boston where streets are narrow with on-street parking. Also, while pedestrians aren't usually seriously hurt by getting doored, bicycles have a lot more momentum. So drivers, look before you unlatch, and cyclists, assume every car is loaded.
      • You can try to look in the driver or passenger side mirror. If you're cycling next to the cars, chances are you can see the inside of the car in the side mirrors. If you see a person, you can maybe also see whether they intend to open the door or not and where they're looking. At any rate, lower your speed near parked cars just in case. You can't see the backseat of the car in the side mirrors.
      • This is an unfortunate consequence of terrible infrastructure design, where the bike lane is immediately to the left of on-street parking. It's frightening how common this flaw is even in smaller cities and towns. More modern variants have buffer zones to prevent this, but many simply paint the bike lane as an extension of the on-street parking area.
      • In many states its literally illegal to ride a bike on a side walk, and cyclist are forced to use the roadside bike lane, regardless of how close it is to parking and traffic, and the above instances of door hitting are enforced by law. And if it's not this trope, then it's a more conventional accident as many if those bike lanes go through turn lanes.
    • And if you think riding a bicycle in such a condition is bad, try a motorcycle. Granted motorcycles are free to move about three lanes within one lane, but if you're the kind of person that likes lane splitting... and worse yet, many drivers who live in an area where lane sharing is entirely legal will not know this, and many have answered a survey saying they "discourage" the practice. As a writer of Cracked noted, the only way one can really "discourage" lane sharing is by weaving one's car towards the motorcycle, though hopefully they would not resort to this trope.
  • Bob Roll, a Tour de France commentator for Versus and former cyclist, was at the medic car when he was in the tour. The doctor then accidentally opened the car door, sending Bob flying. The whole event was caught on video. Keep in mind that a member of the official medical staff did this to a cyclist in the Tour de France.
  • There's an old Australian Black Comedy joke in which a travelling swagman is picked up by a guy in a snazzy new Mercedes with the traditional hood ornament. The driver spends a while bragging to the swagman about the various bells and whistles of his car, before jokingly saying the hood ornament is a sight for running over cyclists, before rather irresponsibly trying to get close to a cyclist and swerve off at the last moment. He hears a thump and sees the cyclist on the road in some pain...
    Swagman: Get your sights checked - if I hadn't opened the door, you'd have missed him!
    • There also exists a version of the joke replacing the bicyclist with a hitchhiking lawyer and the swagman with a Catholic Priest.

ThememobileMotor Vehicle TropesTrapped In A Sinking Car
Thundering HerdChase SceneTrain Escape
There Was a DoorDoor TropesWe Have The Keys

alternative title(s): Car Door Stop
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