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Chronically Crashed Car

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"What is it with everybody wrecking my car?!"
Kevin Levin, Ben 10: Alien Force, "Singlehanded"

This is a car that keeps getting destroyed, mostly in comedic situations. Because Status Quo Is God, and so the joke can continue, it always gets replaced or repaired, often by an exact duplicate to make filming easier.

Alternately (as in the case of many films), the car suffers from repeated accidents (often of increasing severity), until it is finally totaled or rendered inoperable in the end.

Compare The Chew Toy and They Killed Kenny Again, similar concepts that apply to characters rather than their cars. Compare Captain Crash, who is prone to causing this by crashing everything they drive. If the owner opts for the "repair" version of this trope, it may lead to the car becoming The Alleged Car. For added hilarity, try combining it with The Precious, Precious Car or Watch the Paint Job. Contrast Invincible Classic Car.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • As pictured above, the Vice-Principal's beloved Toyota Cresta in Great Teacher Onizuka. Onizuka keeps on destroying it by accident.
  • Gunsmith Cats: Rally's Shelby GT-500KR Mustang gets repeatedly wrecked by chase-related crashes, gunfire damage, and Rally deliberately ramming it (once, very memorably, right through a wall), to the point that by the late part of the series Rally mentions that no insurance agency in the state of Illinois wants anything to do with her (they even call her "Rally the Wrecker") and she just can't get original parts for the car anymore. The Shelby finally meets its maker in the second arc of Gunsmith Cats Burst via bomb and Rally gets a Mustang II as a replacement that gets only slightly better luck.
  • The Mercedes-Benz SSK owned by Lupin III seems to be a favored target for fire, bombs, bullets, missiles, and demonic curses. It always reappears in tip-top shape by the next episode; presumably, Lupin is repairing his original car, as the SSK is one of the rarest cars in the world. Interestingly, his much less expensive Fiat 500 seems far less prone to being damaged in this fashion. However, in the film The Castle of Cagliostro, it does get attacked by counterfeiters, a blown tire upon entering a foreign country; banged up and shot at by gangsters and the army of the movie's main villain; finally being repaired once the conflict is resolved.
  • In Symphogear, Tsubasa jumping off of motorcycles into battle is enough of a running joke that she "leaves the image of buying an endless supply of bikes to jump off of", in the OVA.
  • The various cars of Kelly in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
  • Daitetsu's taxicab in the gag manga, Urayasu Tekkin Kazoku, gets crashed or at least torn apart numerous times because he Drives Like Crazy.
  • Wangan Midnight has Devil Z, a souped-up Datsun 2x0z (first-generation Nissan Fairlady Z) whom have been often crashed in illegal highway racing and took many of its drivers' lives, prompting Jun Kitami to fix it up. This trope was mostly put to the backburner, though.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher: The Battle Van, which causes Micro no end of grief when he has to get another one kitted out.
  • Robin (1993): Robin's Redbird gets crashed the first time he takes it out and the poor car's luck never gets any better as it's used to ram into buildings and cars constantly.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Just about every one of Spaceman Spiff's adventures begins with him getting shot down and crash-landing his flying saucer.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beavis and Butt-Head Do America features Tom Anderson's Camper, which suffers — in order — a broken fridge, a TV ruined by spilled cola, total destruction by flood from the Hoover Dam release, being torn apart by ATF agents, destruction in a 300 car pile-up, and being defiled by Beavis jerking off (as Cornholio).
  • Hoodwinked!: the porcupine whose car seems to be ruined by trees. He shows up when Kirk is on a tree-cutting spree where his car gets crushed. It gets ruined again by another tree falling on him later (the result of Kirk and Wolf driving Kirk's tank-tread converted truck into a tree that is uprooted). A different driver appears earlier driving a similar blue sports car, who is startled enough when Red throws a book out of her tree-house that lands on his windshield that he swerves violently and crashes into a tree.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Biff's car goes through this in the Back to the Future series. In the first movie, Marty causes 1955 Biff to crash his car into a manure truck, causing $300 in damage. In the second movie, Marty goes back to the past and encounters a Biff still very angry about that damage. Biff tries to run Marty down, but ends up crashing his car again... into a manure truck. Somewhat downplayed, as by the third movie it's clear that the joke is about the manure and not necessarily Biff's car. It is worth noting, though, that the new 1985 Biff's job (after Marty alters the timeline) is auto detailing.
  • The Dude's poor car in The Big Lebowski. It gets shot, crashed into a telephone pole, stolen by teenagers, peed in by vagrants, crashed again, smashed with a crowbar and finally set on fire.
    Dude: Well, they finally did it. They killed my fucking car.
  • The Blues Brothers' car doesn't quite crash, but it gets into progressively more ludicrous (and strenuous) chases over the course of the movie, and at the end of the final one simply falls to pieces after finally getting Jake and Elwood to their goal.
  • The Lincoln in Cannonball. One entrant in the Trans-America Grand Prix accepts a job to drive it to New York without telling the owners he's entered in the race. During the race, almost every scene has the driver hitting something or driving off the road (sometimes as the result of another team's malfeasance). By the time he gets to New York, the car is smashed up and barely running.
  • The black Dodge Charger in The Fast and the Furious (2001). Previously owned and built by Dom's father, it ends up crashing into a semi and rolling over after Dom's race against Brian. Letty takes it back home and repairs it. In Fast & Furious, Dom crashes and burns it in a smugglers' tunnel. This time it's Mia who puts it back together. It finally meets its end in Fast Five when Hobbs T-bones it with his Gurkha. (Nevermind that it survived being T-boned by a prison bus in the same incarnation. And that it had had a full rollcage inside all the time.)
  • The Volkswagen Beetle in Follow That Bird doesn't take much damage per se, but over the course of the film is slowly devoured piece by piece by Cookie Monster, and returns to Sesame Street as little more than an engine, frame, and seats.
  • It's not the same car every time, but James Bond has a habit of destroying whatever Cool Car Q has provided him.
    • It gets lampshaded the NightFire video game, when after taking damage on a vehicle mission, Q will quip:
      Q: Really, 007? Just once I'd like to get a vehicle back in one piece.
    • In two films, Bond managed to not destroy his car, only damage it... only to destroy presumably the same car in the following film.
  • Trish's car from Jeepers Creepers may be considered this.
  • Carl Bentley's police car in Jumanji suffers endless abuse from the game's creatures until it gets eaten by the giant carnivorous vines.
    "FINE! TAKE IT!"
  • The poor, poor pursuit special from Mad Max. Wrecked in The Road Warrior, wrecked in the game though apparently it's such a Cool Car that Scrotus left it in one piece, wrecked in Fury Road, fixed, and then wrecked again...
  • In the first big chase scene in The Marine, the police cruiser commandeered by Triton to chase his wife's kidnappers gets shot to hell, crashed into and slammed repeatedly, had close encounters with some explosives, and doesn't slow down one bit.
    Mook: Jesus, this guy's the frickin' Terminator.
  • In Smokey and the Bandit, Sheriff Buford T. Justice's patrol car was the Timex watch of patrol cars. It took a licking and kept on ticking. In fact, it was one of the Running Gags throughout the trilogy that Buford's cruiser was on its last legs:
    • In the first movie, the top had been sheared off, and the wheels were starting to fall off.
    • In the second movie, it was sandwiched between two 18-wheelers, improbably folding it in half, and it was still driveable.
    • In the third movie, the entire body came off, leaving the car little more than an oversized bare-framed go-kart, with Junior having to hold up the light bar over his head so it could still be identified as a police cruiser.
  • Star Wars:
    • Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin has terrible luck with commanding anything. Every warship we have seen him personally command gets destroyed. The Carrion Spike gets stolen and eventually scuttled by Teller's group, the Sovereign gets blown up over Mustafar, and we all know what happens to the Death Star (which finally takes him with it). In fact, one reviewer commented that Tarkin just keeps getting bigger and bigger ships and they keep getting destroyed in more spectacular ways.
    • The Millennium Falcon frequently gets the crap beaten out of her, and this includes crash-landings from Savareen to Starkiller Base.
  • The Fenwick Express in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). No matter the incarnation, whenever one appears it will always be destroyed before the film is over. Even if he just got it brand new.
  • Allen's Toyota Prius in The Other Guys goes through all sorts of ordeals from being crashed into a crime scene and being the involuntary host of a homeless orgy.
  • You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah: DJ Schmuley's Kia Soul has seen better days after a couple of accidents, both unintentionally caused by the Friedman sisters, render it barely drivable.

  • In The Dresden Files, the running joke is that Harry's old VW bug, the "Blue Beetle", keeps getting wrecked, but Harry has an awesome mechanic who keeps reviving it. By the later books, it has five or six different colors due to replacement doors/hoods/etc. from other VW bugs. It finally gets wrecked for good in Changes. Its replacement, a Cadillac hearse with a hot rod paint job that Harry dubs the “Munstermobile”, survived an explosion in its debut novel.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant's Bentley. In the later books, it has been crashed and magically as well as physically repaired so many times that it is stated that if it gets so much as scratched again, it will implode, killing its occupants.
  • In Daniel Pinkwater's ''The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death'', Winston and Walter's biology teacher, Miss Sweet, periodically excuses one of her students from class to go and drive her car from the garage to the parking lot behind the school. A substantial fraction of the student body will then arrive in the parking lot as soon as class gets out, because they can count on her to immediately drive the car into the nearest tree.
  • Stephanie Plum is notorious for having whatever she happens to be driving trashed Once A Volume, usually through no fault of her own.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Our Miss Brooks: In early radio episodes, Miss Brooks' is frequently getting into car accidents. By the time the show began broadcasting on television, this becomes far more rare. However, in "Trial by Jury" and "Miss Brooks' New Car", Hilarity Ensues after collisions with a fruit stand.
  • The Brittas Empire: Gordon drives an Austin Maestro. Over the course of the series, it gets filled with concrete, has potatoes shoved up the exhaust, has its tyres slashed, has its brake lines cut, has its roof crushed and smashed by Carole in a JCB digger and is finally crashed into a lake by Helen. None of this ever stops Gordon from driving the damn thing.
  • Virtually all of the cars that last more than one episode of Canada's Worst Driver. Starting in Season 6, one modern sports car has been used per season as a recurring vehicle — predictably, it becomes The Chew Toy for the contestants. It got so bad for the Dodge Challenger in Season 7, that they gave it a funeral in the season finale!
  • Dark Angel: Logan's Pontiac Aztek gets shot up and ploughed into stuff throughout the series, and continues to display the duct tape, missing glass and primered bulletholes throughout. Good work, continuity people.
  • In Due South, Ray Vecchio drives a mint-green 1971 Buick Riviera. Unfortunately, Fraser keeps making plans that lead to it exploding, so it's not always the same mint-green 1971 Buick Riviera.
  • On The Dukes of Hazzard:
    • The General Lee is an odd borderline example. It's not that the car gets wrecked all that often in-universe; the stunts they pulled with it, however, meant they had to go through 300 different cars over the course of the series for filming purposes. They eventually had to start using stock footage because that model of car was getting rarer by the stunt.
    • Played straight by the Sheriff's Office cars, which are constantly wrecked while trying to catch the Dukes.
  • In Eureka, there's at least a 50% chance that any given experiment-of-the-week is going to entertainingly destroy Carter's Jeep. Henry attempts to defy this in "Up in the Air" by painting it with a protective osmium coating, but it only leads to the Jeep being literally lost in space. The Jeep was brought to life in the 2011 Christmas special due to some hologram wackiness, and had choice words for Jack for its constant abuse.
  • The Fall Guy's Colt Seavers wrecks his GMC Sierra every few episodes. Made worse by the fact that Colt doesn't even really own the car; makes the viewer wonder how many cars Colt has to pay for by the end of the show, seeing as how explosion-prone vehicles are in this series, especially Colt's truck. Not to mention that Colt keeps destroying everyone else's cars including every single vehicle Howie has ever been able to afford.
  • In The Greatest American Hero, it was a running gag in the early episodes that the cars the FBI issued to Bill kept getting destroyed. His boss was not amused.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, almost all of Dee's cars have been crashed/totaled at some point, due to the rest of the gang's shenanigans. Due to her status within the group, it usually gets glossed over or played for laughs. In one episode, Dee's recently bought car was stolen by a young hitchhiker, but this one was partially on her because she picked him up and let him drive the car at ease so she could play a drinking game with Mac and Frank.
  • Knight Rider was similarly rough on its Pontiac Trans-Ams.
  • In Leverage, Hardison has gone through three different iterations of "Lucille", his spy van.
  • The Razor Crest from The Mandalorian goes through the worst crap in season 2. She crash-lands on an ice planet and nearly falls apart, she splashes down on a watery world, and finally she's vaporized by Moff Gideon.
  • One episode of Monk ("Mr. Monk And The Three Julies") has Stottlemeyer's new car fall victim to this trope.
  • Mr. Bean has the Reliant Regal driven by Bean's nemesis, which gets tipped over or crashed every time it shows up.
  • Not a car, but Starbug in Red Dwarf is crashed pretty much every other episode, if not more often. Even lampshaded in an episode:
    Kryten: Starbug was built to last, sir. This baby's crashed more times than a ZX-81.
  • The much-beloved, much-abused Impala in Supernatural - like her boys, she goes to hell and back throughout the series, with many episodes (see a full tally here) featuring windows shot or smashed out; she was totaled at least twice on screen, and whacked repeatedly by Dean in fit of anger. But she always bounced back.
  • Top Gear (UK):
    • The vehicle used for the "Star In A Reasonably Priced Car" segment has rarely been crashed as such, but quite a few of the celebrities who've taken it out for a spin have been rather hard on its internals; many have been hopeless at Driving Stick, others didn't even have a driver's license when they volunteered and a large number have just been plain bad at it.
    • A segment on the Reliant Robin had Clarkson attempting to drive it without flipping over. He fails miserably.
    • The Morris Marina, thanks to a complaint about them burning one in a segment. If it appears, it is guaranteed a piano is not far behind.
    • One segment was dedicated to testing the durability of a Toyota Hilux pickup by subjecting it to this trope. Somehow, it survived multiple attempts to render it inoperable.
  • Vyvyan's Ford Angelia from The Young Ones. The last time it crashed ended in a tearjerker for Vyvyan since it also killed his pet hamster.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. The Delta Flyer, a more advanced and better armed shuttle custom built to replace the standard Class 2 shuttles which were always getting crashed or blown up. The Delta Flyer would also get damaged on regular occasions, but would always be repaired in time for next week's episode — until it was finally blown up. A second Delta Flyer was built, and then had its own misadventures.

  • The Navy Lark has a chronically crashed frigate in the form of HMS Troutbridge thanks to Navigation Officer Sub-Lieutenant Phillips. It's the only ship in the navy with a corrugated hull, and once had her entire superstructure blown clean off leaving her looking like a miniature aircraft carrier, yet she still manages to not sink and keep going.

    Video Games 
  • Enzo's Cool Cars in Bayonetta and its sequel invariably get themselves trashed by angels (or Bayonetta herself) during intro sequences.
  • Driver: San Francisco: Most of the story missions where you drive Tanner's Challenger usually winds up with the car in bad shape at the end of the mission. Given that most of the game is All Just a Dream, it's justified why it's in working condition the next time. Averted in the real life sections of the game, it's trashed in the major accident in the beginning and it's still trashed at the end of the game until the credits roll.
  • Starcraft II:
  • The BMW M3 GTR in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005) and its sequel Carbon. The player is shown to be winning races easily with the GTR at first, but said car eventually sustains mechanical damage in Most Wanted, and totalled in Carbon. Though perhaps due to licensing restrictions, not even a single dent was shown on the car; the most physical damage EA could show is in the form of cosmetic scratches and cracked windscreens, but the body remains intact.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: The Chupathingy gets destroyed every time in makes an appearance.

  • Narbonic: Dave Davenport goes through many cars, some of which even get wrecked off-panel. This even applies to the AMC Gremlin which was, briefly, a robot body for him while he was zombified.
    Mell: The Bug... cripes, that was like a dozen wrecks ago.

    Western Animation 
  • Carl's Precious Rice Burner car, "2 Wycked" in Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Befitting of Carl's status in the show as the resident Butt-Monkey Cosmic Plaything, if 2 Wycked shows up in an episode, it's almost always going to be ruined if not completely totaled by the end of the episode, if not soon or even immediately after it's shown. And the show's Negative Continuity guarantees that it'll be right back to perfect shape next time it shows up
  • Kevin's car in Ben 10: Alien Force repeatedly gets destroyed in various ways. This carries on through the two following shows in increasingly inventive fashions.
    • The episode "Charm School" from Ben 10: Omniverse gives him and Rook a subplot dedicated to reinforcing the car in order to avert this trope. They seemingly succeed...and then a stray magic blast from Gwen and Charmcaster's fight causes it to disappear.
  • In Dan Vs., something happening to Dan's car is usually the reason he wants revenge on the episode's subject.
  • Donald Duck's famous 313 has to suffer from time to time.
  • In DuckTales (1987) the team pilot Launchpad McQuack would crash whatever he was provided with Once per Episode — including a living condor and a gadget plane that accidentally folded into a suitcase mid-flight.
  • While not a car, the Planet Express Ship in Futurama has been crushed, swallowed by a Venus Fly Trap, sold off, eaten by nanobots and blown up as part of a decoy.
  • Cars owned by Goofy usually fall into this trope.
  • In Men in Black: The Series, the LTD suffers from an unfortunate number of catastrophic accidents per session.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar, every time something is thrown off screen with an explosion, you can hear the same guy scream "My car!!!"
  • The Simpsons: Whenever they buy a car in place of their Pink Sedan and Station Wagon, it will be totaled by the end of the episode (such as the Canyonero) to keep the status quo (the only exception is the snowplow Homer bought when he started his Mr. Plow business, which was repossessed because Homer never made payments on it). Homer's sedan does get severely damaged multiple times; it becomes good as new the next week, but it still shows the damage on the front fender.
  • In Teen Titans (2003), Cyborg's car gets destroyed pretty much in every episode it makes an appearance in.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Kevin's bike frequently gets wrecked by the titular characters (especially by Ed). He then makes obsessive yet futile attempts to protect his bike from danger throughout the movie "Big Picture Show".
  • In Regular Show, the golf cart used by park staff (Often Mordecai and/or Rigby) crashes, explodes or is totalled almost every time it appears in an episode.
    • Benson's car is also often wrecked plenty of times.
  • Transformers: Animated: Captain Fanzone's car.
    Fanzone: How come your interior's so much cleaner than mine?
    Sari: Maybe because it's not on fire?
  • Expect some or all of the vehicles on Wacky Races to get wrecked in each episode. Sometimes through accidents, most often through deliberate machinations. Also expect them to be back in action in the next scene, even if the damage looked beyond repair (unless you're near the end of the episode and the Mean Machine gets totaled, since by rule, Dastardly always has to lose).
  • In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, when something very bad happens, like Graviton escaping or the Skrulls invading Earth, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier is usually among the first victims.
    Maria Hill: I've had the same car since I was 19 years old, never had a problem. Yet this thing falls out of the sky every other Thursday.
  • Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja: More often than not, Principal Slimovitz's car will become a casualty in Randy's battles with McFist and/or the Sorcerer.
  • A Running Gag in Total DramaRama has Chef getting his car destroyed, usually thanks to the kids. It becomes a plot point in "Carmageddon" where he buys an indestructible car that eventually attacks them.