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DelayedSafetyFeature

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When a safety feature goes off a bit later than normal. (Adopted by Miss Desperado, prepping for launch)

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
ledge on Jun 1st 2011 at 9:24:14 AM
Last Edited By:
Miss_Desperado on Feb 13th 2019 at 3:39:01 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

There is a car. The car is involved in a close accident, but somehow manages to avoid any kind of major damage. Or perhaps the vehicle is involved in some ridiculously destructive accident - bouncing off other cars, flying off a bridge, etc. Car safely (or eventually as the case may be) comes to a halt. Driver and passenger may share a relieved glance and a sigh that it's over.

Then the airbags go "FOOM!"

This also happens a lot with parachutes and ejector seats, for a similar comedic effect.

Totally not Truth in Television, since airbags don't work that way. And neither do parachutes. Always supposed to be funny.

Definitely not to be confused with Funbag Airbag.


Examples:

Film - Animated

  • In the Monsters, Inc. short film "Mike's New Car", after Mike finally Offscreen Crashes the thing, Sully comments "Hmm, that's funny... the airbag didn't go off." Airbags immediately go off, apparently with enough force to send Mike flying.
  • In Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Gromit deploys the car's lasso and successfully lassoes the Were-Rabbit. After a bumpy, high-speed tow-along where the car slips, skids and bumps into things, eventually the rope snaps and the Were-Rabbit escapes. Gromit pounds the steering wheel with his fist in disappointment, and that is when the airbag deploys in his face.
  • In Jonah: A Veggietales Movie, the bus filled with produce heading to a concert, after a scene of downhill driving, finally stops when the airbags go off, much to Bob's dismay. The commentary "starring" Larry and Mr. Lunt even points out this trope and mentions how the children didn't have the then-new side airbags.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, the spacecraft ejector seat only works once Ralph has already crash-landed.
  • Heavy Metal segment "Soft Landing". An astronaut pilots a car as it enters a planet's atmosphere. After it hits the ground, the astronaut pulls a lever and a parachute deploys.

Film - Live Action

  • Played for Laughs in the Inspector Gadget movie when Gadget and Brenda fall off a skyscraper. He frantically tries to find the keyphrase for his parachute and eventually ends up with a Parasol Parachute. They land safely, and then the actual parachute opens.
  • In the first Iron Man movie, after Tony tests his first flying armor, he crashes spectacularly, but unharmed (and most certainly not on fire). Then his robot sprays him with a fire extinguisher.
  • In Iron Man 2, during the fight with Whiplash in Monaco, Happy Hogan rams him into a crash barricade with Stark's limousine, then backs up to hit him again. On the third impactnote  the airbag goes off in Hogan's face.
  • In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, during the montage in which the Grinch assembles his rocket sled for the titular scheme, he crash-tests the sled's safety features at one point. After an incredibly gruesome crash that the Grinch survives because he's Made of Iron, he stumbles out of the wreck and groans out that the sled's airbag is "a little slow", and it is right then that the airbag goes off.

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons episode "The Debarted", well after Marge rear-ends Hans Moleman's car, the airbag deploys and smothers him.
  • A delayed parachute gag example from Batman: The Animated Series: After crashing a plane, the Joker stumbles out of the flaming wreck (without a scratch naturally) only for his parachute to go off.
  • One bumper for Johnny Bravo on Cartoon Network has Johnny driving alongside a pretty lady in another car. Johnny is so focused on laying out the schmooze that he fails to avoid a lane divider and crashes into it. After a moment to assess the damage, Johnny remarks to the Fourth Wall: "Man, I hate women drivers." The airbag deploys at that moment to shut him up.
  • A recurring joke in Code Name Kids Next Door. Everytime Hippy-Hoppy gets demolished, it would eject Numbuh 3 out of the cockpit and crash hard on the ground, then her parachutes pop.

Indexes:

Feedback: 36 replies

Jun 1st 2011 at 11:48:30 AM

Decidedly not Truth In Television, as any car manufacturer would be sued immediately if airbags worked like this (and likely not just from crash injuries, but injuries from the airbags themselves).

Jun 1st 2011 at 5:34:02 PM

There are similar gags from decades earlier about parachutes that deploy after the wearer has already hit the ground. Worth combining as Delayed Safety Feature?

Jun 1st 2011 at 8:56:50 PM

Yeah, it's basically the Delayed Parachute gag except updated to the airbag era. Is there one for the parachute thing already?

The hard part on this is I KNOW I've seen it a zillion times, but because it's so common I'm wracking my brains trying to think of an actual example...

Jun 2nd 2011 at 8:43:52 AM

  • In the Monsters Inc short film "Mike's New Car", after Mike finally Offscreen Crashes the thing, Sully comments "Hmm, that's funny...the airbag didn't go off." Airbags immediately go off, apparently with enough force to send Mike flying.

Jun 2nd 2011 at 2:58:28 PM

  • In the Classic Disney Short "Goofy's Glider", Goofy is told to count to ten before deploying his chute, but he takes so long to count that he's already hit the ground by then.

Jun 2nd 2011 at 5:54:27 PM

^^^ I remember a Delayed Parachute trope coming through YKTTW some time ago, but if it was launched I can't find it.

Jun 5th 2013 at 9:59:37 AM

Film:

  • Played for many laughs in the Inspector Gadget movie when Gadget and Brenda fall off a skyscraper. He frantically tries to find the keyphrase for his parachute and eventually ends up with a Parasol Parachute. They land safely, and then the actual parachute opens.

Jun 5th 2013 at 2:17:59 PM

A delayed parachute gag example from Batman The Animated Series: After crashing a plane, the Joker stumbles out of the flaming wreck (without a scratch naturally) only for his parachute to go off. Clip: [1]

Jun 5th 2013 at 4:50:50 PM

Western Animation

  • One bumper for Johnny Bravo on Cartoon Network has Johnny driving alongside a pretty lady in another car. Johnny is so focused on laying out the schmooze that he fails to avoid a lane divider, and crashes into it. After a moment to assess the damage, Johnny remarks to the Fourth Wall: "Man, I hate women drivers." The airbag deploys at that moment to shut him up.

Jun 6th 2013 at 8:52:19 AM

The "only" safety feature? Why not "a" safety feature?

Jun 6th 2013 at 8:55:55 AM

^ Yeah, that.

  • In the first Iron Man movie, after Tony tests his first flying armor, he crashes spectacularly, but unharmed (and most certainly not on fire). Then his robot sprays him with a fire extinguisher.

Mar 2nd 2014 at 5:29:15 PM

How about Airbag Gag as an alternative title? No, it doesn't encompass parachutes or other safety devices, but with current safety technology this is going to be primarily dealing with late deploying airbags.

  • In Iron Man 2, during the fight with Whiplash in Monaco, Happy Hogan rams him into a crash barricade with Stark's limousine, then backs up to hit him again. On the third impactnote  the airbag goes off in Hogan's face.

Mar 14th 2014 at 6:16:15 PM

In Wreck It Ralph, the spacecraft ejector seat only works once Ralph has already crash-landed.

Dec 16th 2018 at 7:06:49 PM

Adding context to the Wallace And Gromit example: Gromit deploys the car's lasso and successfully lassoes the Were-Rabbit. After a bumpy, high-speed tow-along where the car slips, skids and bumps into things, eventually the rope snaps and the Were-Rabbit escapes. Gromit pounds the steering wheel with his fist in disappointment, and that is when the airbag deploys in his face.

Dec 17th 2018 at 10:51:44 AM

I checked the history. Since the last edit was in 2013, I'm marking this Up For Grabs.

Dec 24th 2018 at 1:16:24 AM

Added character and Creator namespaces to change Red Links into Blue Links.

Dec 29th 2018 at 4:42:55 PM

^ Thanks for your help :)

Jan 11th 2019 at 11:00:42 AM

In How The Grinch Stole Christmas, during the montage in which the Grinch assembles his rocket sled for the titular scheme, he crash-tests the sled's safety features at one point. After an incredibly gruesome crash that the Grinch survives because he's Made Of Iron, he stumbles out of the wreck and groans out that the sled's airbag is "a little slow", and it is right then that the airbag goes off.

Jan 12th 2019 at 1:04:49 AM

Film - Animated

  • Heavy Metal segment "Soft Landing". An astronaut pilots a car as it enters a planet's atmosphere. After it hits the ground, the astronaut pulls a lever and a parachute deploys.

Jan 23rd 2019 at 5:32:48 PM

Thinking it ^ over, I think probably. Definitely Comedy Tropes. Anybody else agree? Any other index suggestions?

Jan 25th 2019 at 7:48:32 PM

Is there anyone who can add context to the Hans Moleman example?

Jan 27th 2019 at 12:38:11 AM

^ I think it's from "The Debarted", where well after Marge rear-ends Hans Moleman's car, the airbag deploys and smothers him.

Jan 27th 2019 at 2:03:56 PM

^ Thank you! Now that the sole Zero Context Example is fixed, this Needs An Index besides what I brainstormed, otherwise I would Just Launch It Already

Feb 1st 2019 at 8:34:30 PM

Is the Disney short one really an example? Goofy has to have tried to deploy the chute on time only for it to deploy after the landing, right?

Feb 1st 2019 at 10:46:35 PM

A recurring joke in Code Name Kids Next Door. Everytime Hippy-Hoppy gets demolished, it would eject Numbuh 3 out of the cockpit and crash hard on the ground, then her parachutes pop.

Feb 13th 2019 at 3:28:40 PM

^^^ Thank you!

^^ Good point, now that you've made me think, I don't think it counts either. I'll remove it.

^ Good example, I'll add that before launch.

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