->"I... am ''speed''."

The first film for the ''Franchise/{{Cars}}'' film series (2006) centers around Lightning [=McQueen=], an arrogant up-and-coming hotshot stock car racer whose only [[StealthPun driving]] concern is winning. The film opens with [=McQueen=] vying for the Piston Cup, a coveted prize which assures the winner of a lucrative sponsorship. Despite a [[StealthPun valiant]] effort, [=McQueen=] ends up in a three-way tie with retiring racing veteran [[InkSuitActor Strip "The King" Weathers]] and perennial runner-up Chick Hicks. A tie-breaking race is scheduled a week later in California, and [=McQueen=] urges his driver Mack to get them there immediately.

Along the way, [=McQueen=] gets lost, ending up in Radiator Springs, a quiet rural town in a forgotten segment of Route 66. After accidentally tearing up the town's main road, [=McQueen=] is sentenced to repairing it as community service. As he toils to finish his service and get to California, [=McQueen=] makes friends with the locals, including Tow Mater and former big-city hotshot Sally Carrera, and learns that there's a lot more to life than just racing to the finish line.

Holds the distinction of being the last Disney film - and indeed, the last major Hollywood production - released on [[UsefulNotes/{{VCR}} VHS]], as part of [[http://i.ytimg.com/vi/XKnW6Dxy15o/maxresdefault.jpg an extremely rare release]] from the Disney Movie Club. Said tape is perhaps [[CrackIsCheaper one of the most highly sought-after in existence]].

!!''Cars'' Shorts
Creator/{{Pixar}} has also produced a number of ''Cars''-related shorts, such as "Mater and the Ghostlight" (included with the ''Cars'' DVD release) and "Mater's Tall Tales" and "Tales from Radiator Springs" for the ''Carstoons'' series. More information about these can be found on the WesternAnimation/PixarShorts page.

[=DisneyToon=] Studios also released a SpinOff of the franchise, called ''Planes''. [[WesternAnimation/{{Planes}} Visit the page for more information]].

[[Characters/{{Cars}} The Character Sheet can be found here]].

!!''Cars'' features the following tropes

* AccidentalMisnaming:
-->'''Lightning:''' Adios, Chuck!\\
'''Lightning's crew:''' ''AND MY NAME IS NOT CHUCK!''\\
'''Lightning:''' Oh, whatever.
** Thanks to the gratuitous amount of merchandising generated by the film, we even get a toy of the forklift...who is named "My Name is not Chuck" on the packaging!
** The character was also listed in the cast credits as "Not Chuck".
* ActingUnnatural: Lightning [=McQueen=] wants to surprise Sally with his new look.
-->'''Mater:''' Here she comes!\\
'''[=McQueen=]:''' Okay, places, everybody! Hurry! Act natural.\\
''[[=McQueen=] hides and everybody else gets in a perfectly straight line as Sally approaches]''\\
'''Mater, Ramone, Flo, Luigi, Sarge, Fillmore:''' Hi, Sally!\\
'''Sally Carrera:''' All right, what's going on?
* AffectionateNickname: Sally calls Lightning "Stickers"
* AMillionIsAStatistic: In the teaser trailer, Mater mourns over the death of a bumble bee after it was squashed on his windshield. Lightning then tells him to get over it. At which point, an entire swarm of bumble bees splatters all over the former's face. Mater laughs it off as Lightning tries to cough out the insects.
* AnalogyBackfire: "Oh, like ''you''? You've been here for how long, and your friends don't even know who you are? Who's caring about only himself?!"
** MeaningfulEcho:
-->'''Sally:''' You called them?\\
'''Doc:''' It's best for everyone, Sally.\\
'''Sally:''' Best for everyone... or best for ''you''?
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: Doc Hudson to [=McQueen=]:
-->'''Doc Hudson''': When was the last time you cared about something except yourself, hot rod? You name me one time, and I will take it all back.
* ArtisticLicenseSports: The racing here is obviously based on NASCAR, and full of artistic license.
** The plot is kicked off by a three-way tie which results in a tiebreaker race scheduled for a week later. In NASCAR, prior to 2014, if two drivers tied for the points lead at the final race, such a tiebreaker would be broken by number of total race wins then total number of top-5 and top-10 finishes.[[labelnote:Example]]In 2011, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart tied for the Sprint points lead at the Homestead-Miami season finale. While they had the same number of points, the championship went to Stewart because he had won five races, while Edwards only had one.[[/labelnote]]
** Most notable is the fact that rather severe wrecks happen and the races just keep going, when a real organization would immediately throw a caution flag.
** The field is shown being filled with stock cars from various different eras (for example, Lightning is modeled on a 2006 Ford Scorpio, The King is Richard Petty's 1970 Plymouth Superbird, Chick Hicks is a 1980s stock GM model, etc.). Such a thing would never happen in real life since all cars are required to be equal.
** The fact that in this universe the cars are the athletes is a fairly decent [[HandWave Tire Wave]] for why the rules wouldn't be exactly the same, but whether the rules make more or less sense because of such a setting is best not thought about too hard.
** Lightning [=McQueen=] is being identified as the first rookie to ever win the Piston Cup, however, when Doc Hudson's trophies were discovered they are engraved "1951, 1952, 1953". Doc's license plate identifies him as a 1951. That would have made him a rookie when he won his 1951 Piston Cup. [[labelnote:Note]]But since most cars are released the year ''before'' their model year, it is plausible that Hudson could have been a rookie in 1950 with enough starts to not be classified as one in 1951. In NASCAR, rookies must attempt seven or fewer events in the season of their first attempt for them to retain rookie classification the next season.[[/labelnote]]
* AssumedWin: After the race in the beginning, [=McQueen=] assumes he won the Piston Cup, and proceeds to make a big entrance... only to find out it was a tie.
* BetaCouple: Ramone and Flo, who are HappilyMarried.
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The Cozy Cone motel, which is based on a real motel modeled after Indian Teepees.
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler:The Hudson Hornet, a.k.a. Doc]] for [=McQueen=].
* CallingTheOldManOut: Sally does a very short one after she finds out that Doc called the press about where Lightning was to get him out of Radiator Springs. Turns out to be an IronicEcho when she asks if it was the benefit of everyone else in the town, or just for him, as Lightning did.
* TheCameo: No prizes for guessing who [[UsefulNotes/FormulaOne Michael Schumacher Ferrari]] and [[JayLeno Jay Limo]] are voiced by...
** [[Radio/CarTalk Tom and Ray]] have a cameo as well.
** And some [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger obscure politician guy from California]].
** As does frequent NBC Sports host Bob Costas. And fellow announcer Darrell Waltrip.
** Dale Earnhardt, Jr. makes a brief appearance voicing the #8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he drove for his father's race team from 1999 to 2007 in the Winston / Nextel / Sprint Cup Series (prior to his 2008 departure to Hendrick Motorsports), sans Budweiser stickers (to avoid advertising alcohol). Appropriately, Earnhardt, Jr.'s car name is... "Junior", which real NASCAR commentators are known to refer to him as.
* CameraAbuse: At the end of TheStinger with Minny and Van, one of the VW "bugs" flies into the camera lens, leaving a smudge from its hood.
* CassandraTruth: No one believes [=McQueen=] at first about [[spoiler:Doc being a former race car star]].
* ChampionsOnTheInside: [[spoiler:Even though [=McQueen=] loses to help the King finish his race, he is still considered a winner in the audience's eyes. Doesn't help that the King was injured by the winner himself, costing him the Dinoco sponsorship]].
* ChekhovsGag: While chasing Lightning near the beginning, Sheriff muses that he might bust a gasket at the speed he's going. When Lightning busts into Doc's office later in the film, Sheriff is in there, probably for said busted gasket.
* ChekhovsSkill: Driving backwards, and turning one way to go another. Both are shown to Lightning when he is in Radiator Springs by Mater and Doc respectively. Both are put into play by Lightning in the final race.
* ChromaticArrangement: Subverted. When the three main racecars are introduced at the start, it starts with The King (blue), then Chick (green), and finally Lightning (red).
* ClassicVillain: Chick Hicks is the Envy and Pride version of this combined with ArrogantKungFuGuy. In the beginning of ''Cars'', he's simply a slightly darker copy of [=McQueen=]'s own flaws. By the end of the movie, however, [=McQueen=]'s CharacterDevelopment makes them complete opposites, highlighting how much [=McQueen=] has matured. Hicks demonstrates what [=McQueen=] could have been if he hadn't ended up in Radiator Springs.
* CommunityThreateningConstruction: This is the backstory. Before the story starts, the once-vibrant town of Radiator Springs was bypassed by a new interstate, leading to its decline and the events of the film. The building of the Interstate Highway caused travelers to no longer take Route 66 and so turned the once bustling village into a ghost town. Unlike most examples, though, the residents did nothing to stop it because they mistakenly thought more interstate travelers would mean more visitors.
* CoolOldGuy: Doc Hudson, a former Piston Cup champion who becomes a mentor of sorts for Lightning.
* CreditsMontage
* DifferentWorldDifferentMovies: The automotive versions of earlier Pixar movies appear in the end credits, including ''[[WesternAnimation/MonstersInc Monster Trucks, Inc.]]'', ''[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Toy Car Story]]'', and ''[[WesternAnimation/ABugsLife A Bug's]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Life]]''.
* DirectionlessDriver: Minny and Van, the lost tourists who wander through Radiator Springs. Van, the husband, sternly refuses to ask for directions; after the credits, they're ''still'' lost in the desert, exhausted and delirious. The sequel shows that they found their way out.
* DirtyOldWoman: Lizzie, who slaps bumper stickers on strangers and ogles [=McQueen=].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: After the race in the film's beginning, Mia and Tia, two fans of Lightning come up and "flash" their "headlights" at him, much the way groupies lift up their shirts to flash people.
** The scene where Mack struggles to stay awake on the highway may seem familiar to any trucker or driver who has driven long distances in the dark on unlit country roads.
** The King's crash is supposed to be a recreation of the violent wreck Richard Petty took at the 1988 Daytona 500 (apart from the fact that Petty had a different car model, and that wreck involved an additional five cars). Chick being booed off the stage at victory lane was supposed to echo the backlash Rusty Wallace received when he spun out Darrell Waltrip to win the 1989 All-Star race at Charlotte.
* DontExplainTheJoke: Lightning's description of the Cozy Cone.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sarge does this during the end credits montage when running a boot camp for pampered [=SUVs=].
-->"A-TEN-SHUN! Kiss the pavement ''goodbye'', gentlemen! When I'm finished with you, you'll have mud in places you didn't know you '''had'''!"
-->"Yo, I never been off road!"
** Funnier considering that [[HummerDinger the complaining SUV is a Hummer - an off-road gas-guzzler known for being more commonly used for suburban driving.]]
* DrivingIntoATruck: At the beginning of the film, this is where Lightning ''lives''. Unsurprisingly, this is the way real NASCAR teams transport their cars.
* DyingTown: Radiator Springs, until the ending.
* EmbarrassingTattoo: Sally has one.
* FeetFirstIntroduction: As Doc Hudson drives into the courtroom and takes the podium, the camera is focused on his tires.
* FishOutOfWater: [=McQueen=], as he has to get accustomed to the very small town of Radiator Springs.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: When [=McQueen=] gets shoved up on stage, someone in the back yells "Freebird!" at him.
* FurryConfusion: Bessie.
* GentleGiant: Red, the huge fire truck who is very quiet and is seen taking care of his flowers most of the time.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
-->'''Lightning [=McQueen=]:''' He's got ''three'' Piston Cups!\\
'''Mater:''' ''[SpitTake]'' He did '''what''' in his cup?!
** Let's not forget Sally's Tramp Stamp.
** Or Mia and Tia's "flashing headlights".
** This little exchange:
-->'''Lightning:''' Well, you see, race cars don't ''need'' headlights, because the race track is always ''lit''.\\
'''Rust-Eze Spokesman:''' So's [[TheStoner my brother]], but he still needs headlights!
** One of the cars at the sponsor's tent describes the race in the beginning of the movie as "a real pisser."
** Mater would give his two left lugnuts to work with Bessie.
** Mater joking that "she just wants me for my body" is even ''in the trailer''.
** One of the race fans is holding a sign that says "Honk If Your Horn Works".
** Guido's version of flipping the birdie to the forklifts of Hicks' pit crew is to lift up one of his fork lifts.
** "Is it true he's going to pose for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Playgirl Cargirl]]?"
** When Sarge and Fillmore are watching the traffic light blinking outside Flo's, Sarge says to Fillmore, "The Sixties weren't very good to you, eh son?"
** "Oh, for the love of Chrysler..."
** When [=McQueen=] bursts into Doc's office, he finds the sheriff in a compromising position on the hydraulic lift, as Doc examines his underbelly.
-->'''Sheriff:''' Gettin' a good peek, city boy?
** [=McQueen=] at one point calls Radiator Springs "Hillbilly [[PrecisionSwearStrike Hell]]"
*** Which, for good measure, is repeated by Sally not long after.
* GilliganCut: While they're heading for California, Lightning [=McQueen=] promises to Mack that he'll keep him awake all night long by talking to him so he can keep driving. Cuts to [=McQueen=] sleeping soundly in the trailer and Mack starting to doze off.
* GoshdangItToHeck: Mater's "Holy shoot!"
* HangingJudge: Doc Hudson if his opening speech is anything to go by.
* HeroAntagonist: Averted with The King. Though he was one of Lightning's opponents, The King treats him fairly and respectfully.
* IAmTheTrope: Lightning's {{Catchphrase}} - "I am speed."
* ImpactSilhouette: Lightning leaves a himself-shaped hole in the smoke when he leaps over the wreckage during the first race.
* INeverToldYouMyName: Fred is victim to this. Everyone knows who he is because his license plate holder and license plate say "Hello, my name is" and "FRED", respectively. He gets a RunningGag: when [=McQueen=] says his name, he shouts, "He knows my name! He knows my name" and gets so excited that his front bumper (which happens to be his lower jaw) falls off.
* InJoke: When Lightning mistakes a trailer he's been following as Mack, said trailer declare's he's a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterbilt Peterbilt]].
* InkSuitActor: Ink Suit Car, in this case.
** Strip "The King" Weathers is basically Richard Petty voicing the #43 Plymouth Superbird he drove in 1970.
** The #8 Junior car would be better described as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. voicing his own #8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo that he drove for DEI from 1999 to 2007[[note]]Although DEI logos replace the Budweiser logos due to the fact that this is a G-rated movie[[/note]].
** MarioAndretti appears as himself, voicing his 1967 Daytona 500-winning Ford Fairlane.
* InspirationalInsult: Doc tells Lightning after Lightning falls into the cactuses that his driving is as lousy as his ability to fix roads, giving Lightning more motivation to do a proper job in fixing the road he damaged. Lightning even says "I'll show him."
** Also [=McQueen=] calls Chick "Thunder" since thunder always comes after Lightning, much to Chick's annoyance. However, Chick later[[spoiler: shows off with this new nickname after Lightning disappears in Radiator Springs, wooing his fans and stealing Lightning's.]]
-->'''Chick''': You want thunder? You're thunder! Ka-Chicka!
* IntimateMarks: {{Parodied}}. Although vehicles obviously don't have naughty bits, Sally has a "pinstriping tattoo" over her bumper, and she's very embarrassed when Lightning notices. Clearly a case of GettingCrapPastTheRadar.
* ItsAllAboutMe: [=McQueen=] starts off with this attitude but has dropped it by the end of the film.
** [[spoiler:Doc too, when he contacts the press to tell them of [=McQueen=]'s location and get him out of the town. Sally [[CallingTheOldManOut calls him out on it]].]]
** Chick Hicks is evidently ''10 times worse'' than Ligthning is, even ''before'' the rookie ended up in Radiator Springs.
* ItsRainingSalesmen: Because Radiator Springs is virtually a ghost town due to I-40 bypassing it, the locals refer to anyone they notice about to pass through town as "a customer" to whom everyone tries to sell their products and services.
* {{Jerkass}}: Lightning [=McQueen=] starts out as one, but becomes likable by the end of the movie.
** Chick Hicks embodies this trope.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Lightning.
* KarmicDeath: Done figuratively in the first movie. [[spoiler:In the end, Chick Hicks wins the Piston Cup, but in doing so his [[ClassicVillain Pride, Wrath, and Ambition]] have revealed him to be a poor sport to the rest of the world. His career dies a metaphoric -- yet ''very'' karmic -- death as a result]].
* LenoDevice: [[JayLeno Jay Limo]] does a ''Tonight Show'' monologue about [=McQueen=].
-->'''Jay Limo''': I don't know what's harder to find: Lightning [=McQueen=], or a pit crew who'll work with him!
* LonelyAtTheTop: Lightning is headed this way, it's shown early on when he's talking to his agent and can't name a single friend to send race tickets to. He has also fired three crew chiefs in a row because he wants to work alone although it's shown he refuses to listen to their advice so they may have quit.
* MeaningfulEcho: [[spoiler:"It's just an empty cup."]]
* TheMockbuster: "Little Cars", by the infamous VideoBrinquedo.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Doc, after [[spoiler: calling the press to take Lightning away from Radiator Springs; and everyone turns their backs on him as he is left at the broken traffic light.]]
* NeverGotToSayGoodbye: Mater never gets a chance to say goodbye to Lightning - [[spoiler:until later at the race, anyway]].
-->'''Doc Hudson:''' Well, I didn't have a choice. Mater didn't get to say goodbye.\\
'''Mater:''' GOODBYE!!! Okay, I'm good.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** "The King" Strip Weathers is voiced by none other than Richard Petty himself.
** Weathers' wife is voiced by Petty's late wife Linda, and her vehicle is modeled off of the actual stationwagon the Petty family used to drive from race to race.
** '''Michael Schumacher''' Ferrari. Three guesses on who is the voice actor, but the last two won't count.
** NASCAR on FOX analyst Darrell Waltrip and NBC sports commentator Bob Costas lend their voices to Piston Cup announcers Darrell Cartrip and Bob Cutlass. Waltrip even gets to say "Boogity-boogity-boogity!", the phrase he says at the drop of the green flag of every NASCAR on Fox race.
** Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Mario Andretti voice cars that they previously have driven: Earnhardt, Jr. as his #8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from DEI, and Andretti as his 1967 Daytona 500 winning Ford Fairlane.
** [[Series/TopGear Jeremy Clarkson]] as Harv, although only in the UK version. Jeremy Piven voices Harv in the US version.
* NotNowWereTooBusyCryingOverYou: Lightning [=McQueen=] has finished the road and there is no sign of him, the others assuming that he just left without saying goodbye. Red starts crying, at which point [=McQueen=] appears and asks what's the matter with Red. Mater then explains to [=McQueen=] about [=McQueen=] leaving, and stands staring at him a long while before realizing whom he was addressing.
* NotSoDifferent: [=McQueen=] and Doc.
* OneWordTitle
* OurFounder: Stanley Steamer, founder of Radiator Springs.
** Which is itself a reference: The "Stanley Steamer" was the first steam-powered car in the world. Cars made by the Stanley Motor Carriage Company tended to be known as "Stanley Steamers."
* OverDrive: A rare subversion of the "more speed always works" aspect of this trope appears in the beginning of ''Cars''. [=McQueen=] gains a whole lap on Chick Hicks and The King by staying out on several pit stops -- only to have both of his rear tires blow out in the final laps.
* PaintingTheMedium: You can see Mater mouthing along to JohnMayer's "Route 66" over the end credits.
%%* PunnyName: For lots of the cameos
* PornStache: Chick Hicks' grill. The forklifts of his pit crew are just the same.
* PrecisionSwearStrike: "I'm in hillbilly hell" arguably counts; granted, the point a comparison to the ''place'', but it's still unusually heavy language for a G-rated animated movie.
* PyrrhicVillainy: [[spoiler:Chick Hicks' wins the last race through a combination of cheating and Lightning's heartwarming last minute HonorBeforeReason decision to help crippled The King finish the race. He is rewarded by being abandoned by his sponsor and jeered off the winner's podium complete with tomato-flinging]].
* RacingTheTrain: Lightning [=McQueen=] does it while trying to catch up to what he thinks is Mack.
* RecycledInSpace: ''Cars'' is ''Doc Hollywood'' [[AC:WITH CARS!]] InUniverse during a credits scene, WesternAnimation/ToyStory, WesternAnimation/MonstersInc, and WesternAnimation/ABugsLife are also recycled [[AC:AS CARS!]]
* RepeatedCueTardyResponse: Lightning [=McQueen=] says, "Is it getting dark out?" at which point Lizzie was ''supposed'' to activate the neon lights, but she didn't hear him. Lightning tries again, she actually ''forgot'' what she was supposed to do and Red decides to do her job for her.
* {{Reveille}}: This is how Sarge wakes up every morning. This is usually followed by Fillmore playing a Music/JimiHendrix rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner", leading to this exchange:
-->'''Sarge:''' Will you turn that disrespectful junk off?
-->'''Fillmore:''' Respect the classics, man! It's Hendrix!
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: Even though Lightning didn't win the race, he is lauded for his heroic rescue of "The King" and Chick Hicks is booed off the stage for being a jerkass.
* SelfDeprecation: In the credits sketches we see Mack (played by John Ratzenberger) criticizing the fact that John Ratzenberger is always in Pixar movies.
-->"What kind of cut-rate production is this?!"
* ShipperOnDeck: Mater for [=McQueen=] and Sally.
-->"[=McQueen=] and Sally, parked beneath a tree, K-I-S-somethin'-somethin'-somethin'-T"
* SmokingBarrelBlowout: Guido does this after he changes all of Lightning's tires in seconds.
* SpellMyNameWithAThe: Strip Weathers, AKA The King.
-->'''The King:''' (to [=McQueen=] after the first race) Hey, buddy. You're one gutsy racer.\\
'''[=McQueen=]:''' Oh, hey, Mr. The King.
* SpitShine: Mater offers to clean off a spot of tar on Lighting [=McQueen's=] hood, and he starts hocking before [=McQueen=] hastily declines.
* StealthPun: That little blue flying insect shaped like a car is a Volkswagen Beetle.
** Sally, a lawyer, is a Porsche. "Portia" used to be a slang term for a female lawyer(after Portia, who disguised herself as a lawyer to defend Antonio in ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'').
* StockScream : During Lightning's first dream sequence, the car that gets dissolved gets a Wilhelm scream out.
* SubvertedRhymeEveryOccasion[=/=]CurseCutShort: The Rust-Eze rhyme.
-->''Winter is a grand old time''\\
''Of this, there are no ifs or buts'',\\
''But remember, all that salt and grime''\\
''Can rust your bolts and freeze your--''
* SympathyBankruptBanker: Alluded to. Chick Hicks is sponsored by [=htB=], Hostile Takeover Bank, which fits perfectly with his character.
* ToiletHumour: From the first movie:
-->'''Sally:''' Flo! What do you have at your store?\\
'''Flo:''' I have gas! Lots of gas!\\
''[Mater and Ramone snicker]''
** And the tractor-tipping sequences.
* TripodTerror: Lightning's action dream sequence in the beginning. Gets a frightening reprise when he imagines trying to outrun Frank on the track.
* UnnecessaryRoughness: Done repeatedly in ''Cars'' by Chick Hicks, who won't hesitate to slam other racers and cause a Big One to happen just to stop [=McQueen=]. He even does the PIT maneuver to turn drivers backwards - a move that NASCAR and other organizations deem illegal. We are left to wonder why the NASCAR-expy organization has never parked Hicks for his tactics, even after [[spoiler:causing a near-fatal crash for the retiring champion and winning the coveted Piston Cup championship]] (note: for comparison, Kyle Busch was parked by NASCAR when he wrecked Ron Hornaday Jr. at Texas ''under caution'' in a Truck Series race in November 2011).
* UnsportsmanlikeGloating: Chick again.
* YankTheDogsChain: Radiator Springs is rejuvenated by Lightning and everyone is happy, and it looks like the icing on the cake is the customers that seem to be approaching. Except they aren't customers. [[spoiler:They're the press, who've been alerted to Lightning's presence by Doc]], and Lightning is promptly whisked away for the final race.