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Character(s) living out of their motor vehicle

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
MaxWest on Jul 13th 2014 at 7:25:10 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Feb 13th 2018 at 5:32:58 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Maybe you're so poor that you can't afford to rent or purchase a dwelling. Maybe you're Walking the Earth or get Trapped in Another World and having a base of operations isn't feasible. So what do you do? You live out of your vehicle.

Almost any vehicle can do - a simple car, a truck, a van, or even a motorhome!


Examples

Film

  • The 1931 Laurel and Hardy short "One Good Turn" has the duo so poor from the Great Depression that they are are living out of their 1911 Ford car at the beginning.

Western Animation

  • The Wild Thornberrys live in their huge motorhome, the Comvee. Justified as they travel the world to film a television show.
  • Kidd Video has the titular band living in a huge hovercraft, the Kiddmobile, as they wander the Flipside dimension.

Real Life

  • Herve Vilechaize was actually living out of his car in Los Angeles prior to landing the role of Nick Nack in The Man with the Golden Gun.


Feedback: 33 replies

Jul 13th 2014 at 9:49:02 PM

Jul 13th 2014 at 10:34:18 PM

Webcomics

Jul 13th 2014 at 11:19:20 PM

Comic Books

  • In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Runaways were temporarily reduced to living out of the Leapfrog after SHIELD raided the Hostel.

Live Action Television

  • In one episode of That '80s Show, Corey finds out that co-worker/nemesis/future love interest Tuesday has been living out of her car.

Jul 13th 2014 at 11:23:26 PM

Newspaper Comics

  • The Sunday 29 June 2014 Doonesbury has Mike interview storied musician Jimmy Thudpucker, who admits that changes in the music industry have left him living in his car.

Jul 14th 2014 at 12:14:24 AM

Western Animation:

  • Hayley Smith's slacker boyfriend Jeff lives in the back of his transit van, in American Dad

Jul 14th 2014 at 2:55:12 AM

Motor Home Sweet Home?

  • One of the Sniper's insults in Team Fortress 2 is that the Sniper lives in his van.

Jul 14th 2014 at 6:07:49 AM

Film

  • In The Battery, the protagonists live out of a car and travel with it. Ben opposes sleeping indoors because the two tried to hide in an apartment building with family members during the onset of the Zombie Apocalypse for three months, resulting in the deahts of their kinship.

Jul 14th 2014 at 6:30:07 AM

  • The Flanders family from The Simpsons were planning to do this in one episode after Ned's business went bust.

Jul 14th 2014 at 6:51:58 AM

To elaborate on the Team Fortress 2 example;

  • Team Fortress 2's "Meet the Sniper" promotional video reveals that he works as an assassin and drives from target to target in a camper van. A few of the Scout and Spy classes' "domination" quotes point this out if you dominate a sniper while playing as one. For example;
    "Perhaps they can bury you in that van you call a 'home.'" (Spy)
    "It was a mercy killin', ya live in a... camper van!" (Scout)

Jul 14th 2014 at 7:24:20 AM

  • Chico And The Man: Chico lives in a broken VW Bus permanently parked in The Man's garage.

Jul 14th 2014 at 11:20:38 AM

Jul 14th 2014 at 11:28:31 AM

Do space-faring palaces count?

Jul 14th 2014 at 11:54:30 AM

^ I would assume that as long as the person lives in a vehicle not intended to be a residence, it would fall under Tropes Are Flexible.

  • In one episode of Fear Factor, a contestant, who worked as a ski instructor, lived out of a van. Interestingly, they had no intent to use the prize money to buy a house.

Jul 14th 2014 at 12:00:52 PM

  • In the Doctor Who episode "Gridlock", the eponymous eternal traffic jam comprises row after row of Flying Car camper vans. Since the traffic has been frozen for years, the people trapped have been left with no choice but to live in the vehicles.

Aug 2nd 2014 at 6:22:34 AM

Bobby from Cougar Town lives in a boat on a parking lot. The one time the boat is docked on the water it sinks, leaving him temporarily homeless.

Aug 2nd 2014 at 3:50:06 PM

Film

  • The mariner lives on his catamaran in Waterworld. Another drifter likewise lives alone on a boat. Justified, in that the Earth in-universe has had its sea level rise until every land mass is submerged.

Aug 3rd 2014 at 11:14:10 PM

Just Motor Home maybe? Home Sweet Honda has a nice ring but they are known for making other things (have you tried living in/on your lawnmower?)

Aug 4th 2014 at 2:22:14 AM

^^^ As stated on that page, YKTTW proposals don't become Up For Grabs until the OP specifically puts it Up For Grabs or two months pass since their last post.

Since this was created on July 13th 2014, less than two months ago, it isn't automatically Up For Grabs, and the OP Max West hasn't said it's Up For Grabs, so it isn't.

Feb 12th 2018 at 7:48:16 PM

  • Steven Universe's father Greg lives in his van, despite his kid living in a house and being a multimillionaire.

Feb 12th 2018 at 9:49:25 PM

In the first Film/{X Men} movie, Wolverine is living out of his pickup truck.

  • The Loud House plays with the trope, Luna mistakenly believes Chunk lives out of his van, but when she brings it up, he assures her he has his own flat, but sleeps in the van the night before a gig.

Feb 13th 2018 at 1:22:07 AM

Agents Of SHIELD: In the pilot, prior to being picked up by SHIELD, Skye lived in a van. She insisted it was by choice.

Feb 13th 2018 at 1:22:55 AM

Don't we already have this one as Lives In A Van?

Feb 13th 2018 at 5:32:58 AM

^^ Shoot, you're right. Bombing.

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