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Radiator Springs

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    As a whole 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cf7cba59_7ca6_43de_a95d_a1f10b500c40.jpeg
The gang’s all here.note 

  • Community-Threatening Construction: Before Lightning's arrival, Interstate 40 was constructed, resulting in the town to get bypassed to save driving time. As a result, the town literally vanished from the map, but the folk never gave up on trying to attract customers again.
  • Dying Town: Their home was initially this with thanks to the nearby interstate being constructed. Finally averted by the end of the film when Lightning permanently moves there.
  • Out of Focus: Their roles have gotten slightly smaller in later movies, with only Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Sarge accompanying Lightning throughout most of the second movie. The first two accompany him throughout most of the third movie.
  • Pals with Jesus:
    • All of them to Lightning after he permanently moves in with them. Also with Cruz, after becoming Lightning's student.
    • Also with Doc, who is revealed to be a former racer himself. At least until his death.
  • Sixth Ranger: Cruz Ramirez joins the gang at the end of Cars 3.
  • Town Girls: Showgirl Flo is femme, boisterous Lizzie is butch (Later joined by feisty Cruz), and sweet Sally is neither.
  • Token Minority: Luigi, Guido (Italian) and Ramone (Mexican), are the only members of the gang who are foreign. Later joined by Cruz (Hispanic).
  • True Companions: Initially averted at first upon Lightning's destruction of the town, but played straight in the climax of the first film onward. Most of them are part of his pit crew, and are there for him. They all act like this toward each other as well.
  • Vague Age: All of them act like young adults, with Doc as the oldest. They are also old enough to live on their own. However, they seem to keep the same appearances as years pass (as seen in the "Our Town" montage where they look the same as they do now and in Doc's newspaper where he still looks as old as he does today), and don't even show any signs of aging at all.

    Monty “Lightning” McQueen 

    Sir Towbert "Tow" Mater 

    Doc Hudson/Fabulous Hudson Hornet 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Doc_Hudson_3_5742.png
"You've got a lot of stuff, kid."
Voiced by: Paul Newman (Film), Corey Burton (Video Games)
Basis: 1951 Hudson Hornet

A 1951 Hudson Hornet, Doc Hudson is Radiator Springs' medical doctor and judge. He sentences Lightning to fix the town's road after destroying it. He hides his past from his friends, which Lightning accidentally discovers, which Doc does not like one bit.


  • The Atoner: After having ratted McQueen out to the press and alienating all of his neighbors who were enjoying his rejuvenation of the city, Doc decides to repair the damage he caused by becoming his pit crew chief at the tiebreaker race.
  • Big Good: The closest thing the series has to one, even after his death.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He is navy blue with chrome accents.
  • Bus Crash: He's mentioned in the second film to have died sometime after the first due to Paul Newman's death.
  • Cool Old Guy: Despite being cold towards Lightning, he's actually a cool judge, doctor and former racing champion and helps Lightning during the climax in the first film.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Back in 1954, he crashed in the middle of a race and everyone worried about his future. After being repaired, he was replaced by a rookie and lost his career for good.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has some touches of this. For example, after Lightning crashes into the cacti:
    Doc: Was that floatin' like a Cadillac or stingin' like a Beamer? I'm confused.
  • Deuteragonist: While Lightning gets the bulk of the Character Development, the first film also focuses on Doc coming to terms with his past and regaining his love for racing.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: He rejected Louise Nash, who was in mad love with him, because he ironically didn't have a thing for fast women.
  • Fake Shemp: Paul Newman died in 2008. His unused voice recordings from the first film were pieced together to provide the character's lines in the third one.
  • For Your Own Good: How he justifies selling out Lightning to the Piston Cup officials. Sally, Mater, and the rest of the town don't take it well.
  • Grail in the Garbage: He uses his Piston Cup trophies to hold his tools in his garage/clinic.
  • Hanging Judge: Judging from his introductory speech.
  • Hypocrite: He asks Lightning, after he finds out that Doc Hudson used to race, if he ever thought about anyone except himself. Lightning responds by accusing Hudson of doing the same thing, since he told no one in Radiator Springs about his racing past.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Sort of. Doc did have a very successful career, holding the record for most wins in a single season and winning three consecutive Piston Cup championships. But after his wreck in '54, instead of returning to a hero's welcome he was labeled finished and replaced with the next rookie in line.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Representing his tough, former racing nature, and the fact he starts off cold at first. This contrasts with Lightning who has the "innocent" variant (though he has the "icy" variant prior to his Character Development).
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Believe it or not, his features were inspired by his voice actor's face, and his racing career was inspired by Newman’s love for motorsports. It's hard to explain it, but dammit, Doc somehow looks exactly like Paul Newman despite being a car.
  • I Hate Past Me: The main reason he's so hostile toward Lightning at first is because he sees much of himself in the younger racer, much to his chagrin.
  • It's All About Me: Sally accuses him of this when he alerts the Piston Cup officials to pick up Lightning.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Comes off as quite bitter towards McQueen at first, but helps support him during his race.
  • Like a Son to Me: The third film shows that he comes to view Lightning like the son he never had the chance to have in their time training and bonding.
  • Living Legend: Even after disappearing from the race scene after his nasty accident and the following mistreatment from his sponsors, everyone in racing remembers his achievements and considers him a legend. When he makes his public reappearance at the final race, everyone goes into a frenzy when they realize who he is.
  • Not So Different: From Lightning. He so antagonistic to him because his presence and attitude remind him of his old self, which he's been trying to distance from for over half a century. Despite rightfully calling Lightning out for his selfishness, it's clear that much of his own egotism from his race car days is still lingering, as he refuses to even talk about his career to the town, resulting in him having no friends just like McQueen. On a more positive note, when they overcome their issues, they become close to where practically it's like father and son.
  • Parental Substitute: Doc aced as a paternal figure to Lightning.
  • Posthumous Character: Becomes this in the third movie. He's been long-established as having passed away, but his memory is largely what drives and inspires Lightning at that point. His past and the effect Lightning had on him in his later years also becomes even more of a focal point in the course of the movie.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: According to his old racing friends, he was calling himself the Fabulous Hudson Hornet even when he was just starting off. He then proceeded back in the day, to earn every right to that ego.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Even though Doc Hudson prefers not to discuss his racing past, he alerts the media to Lightning's whereabouts after he leaves town, not wanting to be hounded by the paparazzi, and he even shows up at the Piston Cup race in his old racing colors as the head of Lightning McQueen's pit crew to lend his support.
  • Retired Badass: He was forced to retire from racing for good following his crash in '54, but still has the skills within to help Lightning.
  • Riches to Rags: Originally a Piston Cup racing star, he was forced to retire after being repaired and replaced with a rookie, and now works as the town doctor of Radiator Springs.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Its clearly shown at the end credits of Cars 1 that he becomes increasingly joyful in teaching Lightning. In Cars 3, its all but stated that he treasures every bit of moments in coaching Lightning, including how he treated the young racer as his biggest achievement.
  • Trickster Mentor: A version of this for Lightning towards his racing career.

    Sally Carrera 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sally_Carrera_3_5.png
"Don't fear failure. Be afraid of not having the chance, you have the chance!"
Voiced by: Bonnie Hunt
Basis: 2002 996-series Porsche 911 Carrera

A Porsche 911 Carrera, Sally is an Los Angeles attorney who grew tired of her life in the big city and ended up in Radiator Springs. She becomes the town attorney and runs the Cozy Cone Motel. She longs to see the town restored to its former glory, and becomes Lightning's girlfriend.


  • Absentee Actor: Despite being a prominent character in all three movies, Sally is usually absent from the tie-in games for unexplained reasons. The only games she has appeared in are the tie-in games for the first and third movies and the now-defunct World of Cars MMO.
  • Almost Kiss: She and Lightning in the first film before Mater interrupts.
  • All There in the Script: Her last name "Carrera" is not stated in the animation so far.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: A tramp stamp!
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Has light teal eyes which represent her adoration towards the town, and for being the first one who deeply cared about Lightning.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Lightning is immediately smitten when he sees her.
  • Nice Girl: Sally is nice, friendly, pleasant, and kind to others.
  • The Nicknamer: She calls Lightning "Stickers", referring to the various decals on his body. A few times throughout Cars 3, she accidentally calls him "Stinky" due to his grey undercoat, only to correct herself.
  • Official Couple: With Lightning.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She is this to the town, believing that after Lightning's arrival, fixing the road will bring customers back. This is played even further in the climax of Cars 3 — Lightning discovers that since he started the Florida 500 and Cruz finished under his number, they both share the victory and Lightning wins the bet against Sterling. Sally proves this word-per-word following this reveal.
  • True Blue Femininity: She is light blue, representing her feminine nature.
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    Fillmore 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Fillmore_3_9470.png
"I'm telling you, man. Every third blink is slower."

Voiced by: George Carlin (Cars), Lloyd Sherr (Cars 2 onward)
Basis: 1960 VW Bus

A Volkswagen Microbus, a New-Age Retro Hippie who sells organic fuel. Has a fiery friendship with Sarge.


  • Actual Pacifist: Goes with his hippie nature. More specifically, he, along with Sally, were the only ones not to participate in the Radiator Springs vs. Lemon Gangs in London.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: Shaped like the hippies' signature vehicle, sells organic food and speaks with a calm duuude voice.

    Sarge 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sarge_3_1927.png
Voiced by: Paul Dooley
Basis: 1941 Willys model jeep
"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!"

A 1941 Willys MB Jeep, Sarge is Fillmore's best friend and neighbour. He runs a surplus store.


    Luigi and Guido 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Luigi__Guido_5595.png
"Luigi know what you want."
"Peet stop!"
Voiced by: Tony Shalhoub (Luigi) & Guido Quaroni (Guido)
Basis: 1959 Fiat 500 (Luigi) & Custom Isetta forklift (Guido)

An Italian Fiat 500 and Isetta-based forklift. Guido and Luigi run Luigi's Casa Dell Tires, which has a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa made from tires. Luigi is a big fan of race cars, particularly Ferraris. Guido only speaks in Italian, and can change tires in seconds, wanting to perform a pit stop on Lightning during his time in town.


  • Ascended Extra: Secondary characters throughout the movies, but in Cars 3, they get a more prominent role as the only Radiator Springs citizens who accompany McQueen on his journey.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Pretty much everything Guido says, seeing as how he can only speak Italian.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Guido is pretty silly, but his tire changing skills are something to behold.
  • Chaste Toons: Luigi's aunt and uncle (see below).
  • Cultural Translation: For the Italian dub, Guido doesn't speak standard Italian, but rather the distinctive local dialect of Ferrari's home city of Modena. His Italian voice is Alex Zanardi, auto racer, future Paralympic handcyclist, and native of Bologna, a city not far from Modena that has a similar dialect.
  • Fan Boy: Luigi's a hard core Tifosi and Michael Schumacher supporter. He gets to meet Schumacher and gush all over him at the end of the film.
  • Keet: Guido especially, but both of them count.
  • Gratuitous Italian: Both of them, but Guido exclusively speaks in Italian.
  • Meaningful Name: While also a legitimate name (it's even a case of The Danza), "Guido" is Italian for "I drive".
  • Mr Fix It: Guido. A very fast one too, much to the Chick's forklifts' amusement.
  • Third-Person Person: "Luigi know what you want."
  • Those Two Guys: Luigi and Guido are the Italian mechanic version.

    Flo 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Flo_2_5823.png
"How 'bout somethin' to drink? Stop at Flo's V8 Cafe: finest fuel on Route 66!"
Voiced by: Jenifer Lewis
Basis: 1957 Motorama show car

Flo is the wife of Ramone, and is manager of Flo's V-8 Cafe gas diner. Her design is a stock 1950s show car.


  • All There in the Manual: A deleted scene revealed Flo was a Motorama showcar, and came to Radiator Springs during a tour, falling in love with Ramone after he refused to alter her chassis out of admiration.
  • Sassy Black Woman: Shows a lot of sassy behavior? Check. Voice-acted by a black woman? Check. Has similar mannerisms to characters that embody the trope? Check.

    Ramone 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ramone_3_8398.png
"But you do need a paint job, man! Ramone will paint you up right."
Voiced by: Cheech Marin
Basis: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Lowrider

Radiator Springs' body artist and husband to Flo, Ramone is a 1959 Chevrolet Impala. He is very proud of his art deco, usually altering his paint job in every new scene.


  • Hot Paint Job: He's fond of giving these, as well as usually sporting one himself.
  • Origins Episode: The deleted scene "Motorama Girls" explains how he first met Flo and fell in love with her.
  • Passing the Torch: After Doc’s death, he appears to have taken over repairing broken cars and healing them.
  • Pimped-Out Car: Aside from his numerous paint jobs, he possesses impressive hydraulics as well.
  • The Fashionista: A male example. He owns a paint shop, and the paint that is applied to him has in every other appearance in the movies, he has a Running Gag of having a fresh coat, especially for special purposes, such as the London race in Cars 2, when he has the Union Jack colors applied to him. He’s even given Lightning a fresh coat of paint in all 3 films!
  • Third-Person Person: Often speaks like this.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Ramone's got a different paint job in almost every other scene.
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    Red 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Red_3_1130.png
"Oh, he's still a little bit shy, and he hates you for killin' his flowers."
Voiced by: Joe Ranft (Cars)
Basis: 1960s style fire truck

A gentle fire truck. He is not one for words, is quite shy, and very fond of the plants in Radiator Springs.


  • Cry Cute: He cries twice in the first film. Once after Lightning insults him and the other when he thinks that Lightning has left Radiator Springs.
  • Gentle Giant: He's the largest vehicle, but he also has the biggest heart.
  • Mundane Utility: While his fire hose is useful for putting out fires, most of the time he's seen using it to water his flowers. He's also notably used it to wash cactus pieces off of Lightning and to clean the Leaning Tower of Tires in front of Luigi and Guido's shop.
  • The Quiet One: He almost never speaks onscreen due to his shyness, but after the death of his actor he becomes The Voiceless in the sequel.
  • Shrinking Violet: He's very shy when it comes to meeting new cars. In fact, he hid from Lightning during an attempt at a conversation.

    Sheriff 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sheriff_3_2175.png
"Boy, you're in a heap of trouble."
Voiced by: Michael Wallis
Basis: 1949 Mercury Club Coupe

Sheriff of Radiator Springs, a 1949 Mercury Eight police car.


  • Badass Mustache: Though not real, the filters just above his front bumper resemble a mustache.
  • Berserk Button: Speeding in Radiator Springs, as Lightning McQueen and the Delinquent Road Hazards learned the hard way.
    Sheriff: Not in my town you don't!
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He's generally black and white, but he's not really mean, just rather strict.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Much like Doc, Sheriff isn't too fond of Lightning after he unceremoniously tears up the town road. However, after Lightning's change of heart and fixing the road, Sheriff offers to escort Lightning back to the stadium.
  • Generation Xerox: According to a guidebook on the blu-ray version, his entire family were cops.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": His name is his literal occupation.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He looks like a car-ified version of his voice actor dead-on, especially the mustache-esque grille.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Gruff and strict attitude aside, Sheriff does in fact care about Radiator Springs and warms up to Lightning in the end.
  • No Indoor Voice: Hence being the police officer, he has his moments.
  • The Sheriff: Sheriff of Radiator Springs.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Speaks with a faint Dixieland accent, suggesting he came from the south.

    Lizzie 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lizzie_2_7853.png
"You keep talkin' to yourself, people'll think you crazy."
Voiced by: Katherine Helmond
Basis: 1923 Ford Model T

An elderly 1923 Ford Model T coupe, Lizzie is the widow of the town's founder Stanley. She runs Radiator Springs Curio, which sells car souveneirs and accessories.


  • Cloudcuckoolander: A bit of one, presumably due to age. Refers to the television as the radio and after mentioning Big Al in the courtroom, Ramone points out he left years ago, to which Lizzie asks Ramone why he brought him up.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: She's black, but really friendly and humorous.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Lizzie is an old Model T who delights in very bad comedy and slapping stickers onto the rears of male cars.

    Stanley Steamer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Stanley_2_820.png

The late founder of Radiator Springs and husband to Lizzie. A statue of him stands outside the town's firehouse.


  • Ascended Extra: Takes on a notable role in the short Time Travel Mater, which shows how he ultimately came to found Radiator Springs.
  • Happily Married: To Lizzie. Before he died, at least.
  • Jump Scare: One of the many things when Lightning wrecks havoc in Radiator Springs, is that Stanley's statue rockets up and lands in front of the scene from Lightning's first person perspective complete with a Scare Chord.
  • Species Surname: And species first name. Stanley Steamer was a car company, and he likely was one.
  • Our Founder: For Radiator Springs.

Piston Cup racers and authority

    Mack 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mack_2_3340.png
"They did give you your big break. Besides, it's in your contract."
Basis: 1985 Mack Super-Liner

A Mack Superliner truck who is Lightning's transport and the closest thing he has to a friend.


    Harv 
Voiced by: Jeremy Piven (US) and Jeremy Clarkson (UK)

Lightning's agent who is only heard over the phone. America assumes that Harv is a 1996 Oldsmobile, while Clarkson believes that he is a 1979 Ford Granada Ghia.


  • Informed Attribute: Billed as the World's Greatest Agent, yet he hasn't the time to care for Lightning McQueen. Could be justified due to being Married to the Job.
  • Large Ham: Jeremy Clarkson in the UK version plays up Harv as one.
  • Married to the Job: Despite being Lightning's agent, he has virtually no time for his client.
  • Mean Boss: Harv threatened to fire Mack if he didn't get Lightning back in his trailer, and when Lightning is finally found, Harv is more overjoyed with the publicity than actually getting his racer back.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's only in two scenes, but both are important to Lightning's story: the first shows how lonely Lightning truly is, while the second is when Lightning's forced to return for the race.
  • The Voice: He is only heard over Lightning's phone.

    Strip "The King" Weathers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Strip_Weathers_3_1724.png
"This ain't a one-man deal, kid. You need to wise-up and get yourself a good crew chief and a good team. And you ain't gonna win unless you got good folks behind you, and you let them do their job, like they should."
Voiced by: Richard Petty
Basis: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

A 1969 Plymouth Superbird, Strip Weathers, better known as "The King", is the golden boy of Dinoco. He is participating in his last championship before retiring.


  • Back for the Finale: He shows up again at the very end of Cars 3.
  • Blue Is Heroic: He is painted Petty blue, and the nicest of the three leaders.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Sky blue with hints of white and orange.
  • Cool Old Guy: Not as old as Doc Hudson, but he has been in the race scene for some time and is about to retire, and gives some advice to the aspiring champion Lightning not to be so greedy and listen to his team.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: Although he doesn't die, he becomes severely injured by a crash caused by Chick Hicks during the final lap of the tie-breaker race.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine.
  • Friendly Rivalry: He's on much better terms with Lightning compared to Hicks.
  • History Repeats: His crash at the end mirrors Doc's crash. However, unlike Doc, he had someone — Lightning — to help him finish his last race.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: He is Richard Petty's 1970 Plymouth Superbird anthromorphized.
  • Nice Guy: The King always plays fair and is very respectful towards his fellow competitors. He calls Lightning stupid at one point, but only to make him understand how important his crew is.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In the first movie, he plays the calm, experienced blue oni to Lightning's energetic, hot-tempered red oni. This is reflected in their color schemes.
  • Retired Badass: He retired after the first film, but still has a lot left in him, such as when he acted as crew chief for his nephew Cal.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Lightning addresses him as "Mr. The King" upon their encounter before the race results are revealed.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Speaks with Petty's North Carolina drawl, something shared among his family members.

    Chick Hicks 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Chick_Hicks_3_3216.png
"Hey, McQueen, that must be really embarrassing. But I wouldn't be worry about it. Because I didn't do it! Hahaha!"
Voiced by: Michael Keaton (first film); Bob Peterson (third film)
Basis: 1986 Buick Regal Stock Car

Lightning's obnoxious rival who is Always Second Best to the King. He is a green 1986 Buick Regal racing car.


  • Always Second Best: Was this to The King. And when Lightning breaks onto the scene, he slips into Always Third Best.
  • Appropriated Appellation: His nickname of "Thunder" comes from him always placing after Lightning McQueen. After his surge in popularity after McQueen's disappearance however, he takes the nickname and runs with it.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Played with. While he technically does win the race and Piston Cup by ramming into the King and knocking him off the track, damaging him badly (in a very similar fashion to what happened with Doc years ago) he receives absolutely no praise or cheering after his victory, but rather a series of boos, his own merchandise being pelted at him and likely a permanently ruined reputation as a racecar.
  • Big Bad: The closest thing to a main villain the series has:
    • The main antagonist of the first film. He competes with The King and Lightning to be Dinoco's new face and in the last race he pushes The King off the tracks causing a devastating accident similar to Doc Hudson's.
    • He returns as the main villain of the tie-in game, where he's once again trying to get in the way of Lightning's attempt to win the piston cup. He spends most of the early story as a stadium-exclusive opponent, but jumps up to become the main villain once more upon the revelation that he paid off the delinquent road hazards to harass Mack and steal Lightning's gear.
    • He's also the main villain of Cars Race-O-Rama, where he's trying to prove the Chick Hicks Racing Academy is better than Doc's own and is willing to cheat in any way possible to do so, hiring Candice, Stinger and El Machismo to beat Lightning.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: "Ka-chicka! Ka-chicka!" (Lightning: Hey, that's ''MY bit!!'')
  • Broken Pedestal: During Lightning McQueen's absence, Chick Hicks becomes more popular, taking away the former's fanbase. But after he deliberately crashes The King during the final race just to win, his entire fanbase as well as the press turn on him.
  • The Bus Came Back: He was completely absent after being robbed of his victory in the tie-breaker race until Cars 3, where it's revealed that he hosts a racing talk show.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Shocking green with hints of white and neon yellow.
  • Classic Villain: He's practically envy and pride incarnate.
  • Depending on the Artist: Whether Chick has his thunderbolt sticker varies depending on the media: he wears it in the PSP version of the first game, the game based on Cars 2, Cars 3 and Cars 3: Driven to Win, but he doesn't wear it in the console or DS versions of the first game, Cars Race-O-Rama or Cars: Fast as Lightning.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Subverted: Even though he wins the Piston Cup, it isn't accompanied by a cheering crowd; justified when the audience decides to boo him instead for shoving Strip Weathers off the track and displaying poor sportsmanship.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first appearance in the movie has him casually sideswipe another racer off the track, causing them to spin out and setting up how he's willing to cheat and hurt others if it means winning.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Lightning McQueen. Both are portrayed as mean and arrogant racecars who cared about nothing but themselves and made fun of other cars. What makes them different is that at the end of the film, McQueen ends up losing the final race but is now respected by the other cars since he actually now learned to accept defeat by helping another racecar, Strip "The King" Weathers, cross the finish line after he was crashed by Chick, while Chick ended up winning the same race but is ultimately betrayed by everyone else since they found out about what he did to The King, and that doing such is actually against the racing code.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: In Cars 3, no one, be it his film crew or any guest being hosted, seems at all fond of Chick himself and merely tolerate him for the sake of his show. Everyone still remembers what he did to earn that Piston Cup; Chick constantly trying to show it off as if it still held relevance doesn't help matters.
  • Glory Days: Slightly touched upon in the third movie, he always has his Piston Cup trophy by his side during his show just to let the audience know he won it...despite the fact that he was known to have done it through dirty means.
  • Green and Mean: Green paint and the dirtiest racer of the Piston Cup.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Chick is deeply envious of The King's status as Dinoco's golden boy. Plus he's green to boot.
  • Hate Sink: He's an utterly egotistical jackass who's willing to cheat and harm anyone who gets in his way, he causes a multi-car pileup solely to get ahead in the first race and later causes The King to crash so badly he would have been unable to finish his final race had Lightning not sacrificed his victory to help him. To top it all off, even gaining his own talk show in Cars 3 has done nothing to humble him. This is to make his eventual failure to get the Dinoco sponsorship all the more satisfying.
  • Jacob Marley Warning: Basically he represents what Lightning would've become if he hadn't gone to Radiator Springs humbled himself.
  • Jerkass: Even more than Lightning was at first due to him being the Big Bad of the first film. He caused The King's wreck. By the third movie, he's somehow was able to gain his own sports talk show where he does nothing but rip into Lightning for his continued loses against Storm.
  • Karma Houdini: The fact that by Cars 3, instead of being punished for what is essentially attempted murder of The King for his ill-gotten Piston Cup, Chick instead became host of a popular television show that's watched by millions really leaves a sour taste in one's mouth.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: That said, it's clear that his career was still never the same again, having to give up racing before he likely got the show, the Piston Cup being the only other thing to his name, with his constant bragging about it being sure to remind his audience how he got it, and others like his cameraman just barely putting up with his behavior.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: While he does unfortunately win the Piston Cup, it's still easily quite satisfying when his former fans turn on him and throw his merchandise at him, expelling him from racing permanently.
  • Laughably Evil:
    • A few of the scenes with him can be quite funny.
    Chick: "You know that was some pretty darn good moves out there… BY ME!"
    Chick: "I know that must have been really embarrassing, but I wouldn't worry about it… BECAUSE I DIDN'T DO IT!"
    • His "Ka-Chigga" catchphrase never gets old.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: He wins the Piston Cup only because Lightning forfeited his own chance, stopping just short of the finish line to go back and help The King after Chick rammed him off the track. This, combined with his gloating, results in him being denied the opportunity to represent Dinoco and booed off the stage at the cup presentation, rendering his victory hollow and meaningless.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: In-universe. Chick retired from racing following Cars, but Cars 3 shows that he channeled his newfound (or rather increased) notoriety as a TV show host and is surprisingly popular despite constantly reminding the audience of his ill-acquired Piston Cup.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: He wins the Piston Cup, but only because he caused The King to crash horribly and Lightning went back to help him. Chick doesn't get his Dinoco sponsor like he dreamed and is booed off the stage at the cup presentation.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: He fled the stage when the audience jeered him at the cup presentation.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: A green racecar who happens to be Lightning's first major rival.
  • Shadow Archetype: While McQueen also starts out as a mean, selfish and arrogant racecar, he eventually moves out of this thanks to Character Development. Chick represents what McQueen could have been had he continued down the path of arrogance.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Becomes this after Lightning vanishes, not only ripping off his trademark Lightning Bolt sticker with a Thunderbolt sticker but also knocking off McQueen's "Ka-chow!" Catchphrase with a much more forced "Ka-chicka!"

    Tex Dinoco 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/texdinococars3artwork.jpg
"Oo-ee! That was one close finish. You sure made Dinoco proud."
Voiced by: Humpy Wheeler
Basis: 1975 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

The founder and owner of Dinoco. With The King's retirement, Tex intends to make whoever wins the Piston Cup into Dinoco's new spokes-car.


  • Badass Mustache: A longhorn horns hood-ornament.
  • Benevolent Boss: Seems to be a good guy to work for. In Cars 3, he buys Rust-eze to get Lightning and Cruz to work for him.
  • Cool Old Guy: Old, rich, powerful, but still pretty nice.
  • Determinator: He's still trying to get Lightning to come work for him years later in Cars 3. He finally buys out Rust-eze in order to get it.
  • Fiction 500: Runs the largest oil empire in the world.
  • Graceful Loser: Lightning turns down his offer to become Dinoco's "new face", choosing to remain with the Rust-eze team instead. Tex is disappointed, but respects his decision and still offers him a favor.
  • Rags to Riches: Maybe not "rags" exactly, but it is stated he started out with one tiny oil well and built that into the world's largest oil company.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Although Chick wins the Piston Cup, Tex refuses to make him Dinoco's "new face" on account of how he won it. He offers the position to Lightning instead.
    Lightning: But, I didn't win.
    Tex: Son, there's more to racin' than winnin'.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: Or Texas, rather. "Oo-ee!"

Others

    The Delinquent Road Hazards (Boost, Wingo, DJ, and Snot Rod) 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DRH_2_5905.png
Voiced by: Jonas Rivera (Boost), EJ Holowicki (DJ), Adrian Ochoa (Wingo) & Lou Romano (Snot Rod)

A quartet of troublemaking cars who distract Mack, causing Lightning to roll out of the back of his trailer and get lost.


  • Absentee Actor: There have been several occasions where some of the tuners appear without the others:
    • For some reason, Snot Rod appears without DJ, Boost or Wingo in Cars: Mater-National Championship.
    • Conversely, Snot Rod is the only one of the tuners who doesn't appear in the Tokyo Mater short.
    • DJ appears as an unlockable racer in Cars Lightning League without Boost, Wingo or Snot Rod.
    • In the Disney Parks, DJ is the only one of the four to appear. He even has his own show in Disney California Adventure's Cars Land where he encourages visitors to Radiator Springs to dance to some of his music.
  • All There in the Manual: Of the four, only Boost's name is never mentioned on-screen and is only visible on his license plate.
  • Character Tic: Whenever Snot Rod sneezes, his exhaust pipes gush up and he rockets forward uncontrollably.
  • Embarrassing First Name: DJ's full name is Devon Montegomery Johnston the Third.
  • For Want of a Nail: If they didn’t mess with Mack on the highway when they did, Lightning wouldn't have gotten lost in the first place.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the short "Spinning", DJ is in the crowd watching Guido and Ramone seems to get along with him, as he asks him to play some tunes while Guido spins his sign.
  • Jerkass: All four of them are jerks who enjoy messing with random cars on the highway. Their one scene has them putting a tired Mack to sleep and bumping him around on the highway, not caring if he gets hurt.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: During the end credits, they make the mistake of speeding in Radiator Springs, and they are forced to use Bessie as a result.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Boost runs on boost tanks, and his licence plate says he's from "Nitropolis".
    • DJ likes to play music on his built-in system.
    • Wingo has an upturned spoiler that looks like a wing.
    • Snot Rod has a habit of sneezing from time to time.
  • Rice Burner: Three of them have utterly ridiculous-looking spoilers, and Snot Rod has large exhaust pipes. They also have garish paint schemes.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Them playing around with Mack is what really caused the disappearance of Lightning McQueen.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: When they messed with Mack on the highway, they set off a sequence of events that caused McQueen to get lost in Radiator Springs: DJ puts Mack to sleep, the tuners bump Mack into a bumpy part of the road, one of McQueen's bobble-heads falls on the trailer-opening button, Lightning falls out, Snot Rod accidentally wakes Mack up, Mack closes the trailer and drives off without McQueen.

    Tractors, Frank and Vroomaroundus Bugus 
The animals of the Cars world. Tractors stand in for cows, being rather docile creatures who Mater likes to scare via tractor tipping. Frank is a combine harvester who resembles a bull. The Vroomaroundus Bugus are small insects resembling Volkswagen Beetles.

  • Brutish Bulls: Frank is the vehicle stand-in for a bull, guarding the tractors (cattle) at night and angrily chasing Lightning and Mator when he catches them on the field.
  • Furry Confusion: They are normal vehicles like everyone else, but are animalistic.
  • Stealth Pun: Cow Tipping, Mater's favorite prank to play.

    Mia and Tia 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mia_And_Tia_2_8915.png
Voiced by: Lindsey Collins (Mia) & Elissa Knight (Tia)
Basis: Mazda Miata Convertibles

A pair of twin Mazda Miatas who are huge fans of Lightning.


  • The Cameo: They have a brief appearance at the end of Cars 2, where they're shown cheering for Lightning as he races by in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: They are completely absent from Cars 3 with no explanation as to what happened to them.
  • Fan Girls: To Lightning McQueen (and at one point Chick Hicks) in Cars, and Mater in Mater's Tall Tales.
  • Firehouse Dalmatian: They sport this look in the Mater's Tall Tales episode Rescue Squad Mater.
  • Genki Girls: They basically fill the role of cheerleaders for McQueen.
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: To McQueen. They briefly followed Chick when McQueen disappeared, but switch back by the end. They're also this to Mater in the Tall Tales, for some reason.
  • Theme Twin Naming: They're named after their model, the Mazda Miata.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: They have a different look in each of their appearances:
    • Cars: Red with Lightning McQueen stickers while they're fans of Lightning (this look is reused for the tie-in game and Mater-National), then green but still with their McQueen stickers (except for a Chick Hicks one on their hood) along with a foam "C" on their roofs while they're fans of Chick, Dinoco blue and plain gold in McQueen's fantasies, then finally at the end red with waitress hats and trays while they're working for Flo at her cafe.
    • Mater's Tall Tales:
      • Rescue Squad Mater: White with black spots, like dalmatians, firefighter helmets that read "Rescue Squad Mater Groupie", and bigger-than-normal mirrors. (resembling dalmatian ears) Later surgical green with masks, whitewall tires, and hairnets when they're nurses assisting Mater.
      • Mater The Greater: Red, white, and blue with souvenir tow hooks, blue rims with white stars, and souvenir buck teeth.
      • El Materdor: Plain red with black lace headdresses.
      • Tokyo Mater: First red with white tires and wings and their names written on their doors in Japanese, then red with tomato decals and green tires and wings.
      • Unidentified Flying Mater: Pink with camo patterns and green side caps, along with "UFO" decals on their doors. (in this episode they work for the military instead of being Mater's fans, but they are nonetheless still humored by one of his comments)
      • Monster Truck Mater: Pink with their names bedazzled on their doors and pink cowboy hats.
      • Heavy Metal Mater: First pink and white with waitress hats and trays when they're working at the Top Down Truck Stop, and then white and black with "Heavy Metal Mater" decals and black wings resembling bows. In addition this short marks the start of Mia and Tia wearing lipstick. (with the exception of "Air Mater" below)
      • Moon Mater: White with "Boarding Specialist" decals on their doors.
      • Mater: Private Eye: Unknown color with whitewall tires.
      • Air Mater: Red and blue with "Mater Hawk" decals and flags.
    • Cars: Race-O-Rama: A darker red than in the first movie and lacking their stickers. (as well as their "Mater The Greater" outfits in the "Mater The Greater" Cars Toon minigame)
    • Cars 2: Same as the first movie, but with lipstick.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: In the epilogue of the first film, it's shown that they've moved to Radiator Springs and are working as waitresses at Flo's.

    Minny and Van 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Minny_and_Van_4163.png
Voiced by: Edie McClurg (Minny) & Richard Kind (Van)

A married couple who wander into Radiator Springs whilst looking for the freeway, but are terrified by the clingy and pushy townsfolk. Van is a Ford Winstar and Minny is a Dodge Caravan.


  • The Cameo: They appear at the end of the second film in Radiator Springs, listening to Mater's spy adventure in Europe.
  • Directionless Driver: Van refuses to ask for directions while the two of them are looking for an on-ramp, claiming that he can use the GPS. Unsurprisingly, they end up getting lost in the desert.

    RustEze Pit Crew Members, Sponsors, and Associates 
Voiced by: Tom & Ray Magliozzi (Clink & Clunk), Andrew Stanton (Fred), Mike Nelson (Not Chuck)

Lightning's sponsors who got him his big break.



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