Pichu-kun on Dec 13th 2018 at 5:20:01 AM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Jan 14th 2019 at 8:17:26 AM
Page Type: trope
In fiction, unmarked, usually all-white vans are the go-to tool for kidnappers and sexual predators. They're large enough to store a body and generic enough that they can be easily dumped. When asked why they have such a large van, they can have various alibis, such as it being work-related. Vans are also cheap and easy to customize, soundproof, and otherwise secure. While they've become commonly associated with the stranger in the park luring kids with candy, they're also pretty popular among Serial Killers and run-of-the-mill stalkers. Even if the driver never kidnaps anyone, watching someone from a van is always creepy, except on those occasions when the Spies in a Van happen to be the good guys.
Not all of these vans are necessarily unmarked, however. Ice-cream vans are often used for this purpose. You may see a creepy-looking older man trying to rent an ice-cream truck "for some private reasons". Sometimes they even actually are an official ice-cream man who uses their job as a way to get close to kids.
As a result of this trope, characters who have generic-looking vans and caravans often have jokes where they're Mistaken for Pedophile.
- A commercial for Volkswagen had a man walking to his new Passat when a van pulls up behind him, some men jump out, and they kidnap him. A few seconds later, they return and drop him off. The announcer then says "The new Passat. It only looks expensive."
- Parodied in Crossing the Line Twice style in the Hack/Slash short "Rape Van". (It's a demonic literal van that rapes cars and crushes the occupants to death.)
- In the second season premiere of NCIS, Team Gibbs must rescue a blind child. When they find her, she remarks that she was in a vehicle with no windows, since she couldn't feel the sun on her face. After looking at security tapes, DiNozzo says they found a white van with no windows and that the plates came back as stolen.
- Alluded to on The Big Bang Theory when the guys decide to start their own comic book shop. One of the guys says that when he was growing up, he couldn't get to the local comic book shop and suggests they get a van to pick up local kids and bring them there. Only Leonard realizes the implications.
Leonard: Are we going to lure them in with candy?
- In How To Break A Family, 4-year old D.W. was lured into an unmarked van by a strangers using sweets. She was kidnapped and remained missing for over a decade.
- In the Jem fic Our Time Is Now, Jerrica is kidnapped and placed in an unmarked black van.
Film — Live Action
- The two villains from Nick of Time kidnap Gene Watson's young daughter, and issue him an ultimatum: assassinate Governor Grant, or little Lynn dies. The villains keep poor Lynn in an unmarked van near the site of the Governor's campaign speech.
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