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Drives Like Crazy

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"Where'd you learn how to steer?
You do eighty in second gear
When you drive, I can't relax
Got your license from Cracker Jacks
You just hit another tree
These fender benders are killin' me."

You know the type. The ones who see yield signs as merely friendly suggestions. They think yellow means "proceed while gesturing" and red lights mean "stop... if you want to". Orange construction signs are to them what red is to a bull. They curse out the oncoming traffic for not diving off the shoulder fast enough. They refuse to use turn signals, so as not to give away their plans to "enemy" drivers. They absolutely do not give one lonely mountain-dwelling fuck about the rules of the road — especially not speed limits. They will probably have a lot of near misses and cause other drivers to have accidents (while avoiding any major crashes themselves), their car will be covered in dents, any passengers are in for a traumatic experience... and woe betide any driver who dares to pass them. Expect them to pop up on a Sadist Show as a Lethal Klutz sooner or later.


To the extent that it is still a living trope, this is often a stereotype of women, Asians, Asian women, Southern Europeans, New Englanders, elderly drivers, and the Hollywood Police Driving Academy. In Russia, this is associated with Caucasian driversnote . (God help you if you're stuck behind... in front of... beside... or on the sidewalk near an old Asian woman.)

The Trope Namer is the "Weird Al" Yankovic car song "She Drives Like Crazy". Compare Driver Faces Passenger. See also Captain Crash, Dinky Drivers, The Trouble with Tickets, Car Meets House, Drunk Driver, and Kids Driving Cars. Often a cause of Watch the Paint Job or The Precious, Precious Car, or may be a reason someone Does Not Drive. If the driver is deliberately trying to kill someone with their driving skills, that's Car Fu. Someone in a Chase Scene or Wacky Racing can be excused for this sort of behavior, unless they're having far too much fun.


Antonym of the Badass Driver... most of the time.

Absolutely Don't Try This at Home or outside. Consequences include but not limited to: suspension or revocation of your driver's license, increased insurance costs, injury, and death.

Examples subpages:

Other examples:

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  • Any of the old 1980s commercials featuring Vince and Larry the Crash Test Dummies (at least ones where they actually drive), and they don't wear seatbelts either (seeing as they're supposed to encourage you to wear them by acting like morons).
  • A Visa commercial has a Thai taxi driver pick up Pierce Brosnan and (assuming he's carrying the actual James Bond on a mission) fulfill this trope. As a tie-in to No Time to Die, Heineken would do something similar with Daniel Craig in Spain.

    Comic Strips 
  • A common occurrence in the comic strip Zits when Jeremy drives, resulting in the "invisible brake pedal" from his mother. Though it's at least partially that she's just paranoid, Jeremy has managed to do things like get the car on top of the garage on at least one occasion.
  • Jump Start:
    • Joe's mother Dot. Dot even runs her own driving school despite her apparently horrible skills behind the wheel.
    • Dot's daughter-in-law Marcy once rode in a taxi with an abysmally bad driver. Then she noticed he had a picture of Dot mounted on his dashboard. When Marcy commented on this, he exclaimed, "You're related to Dot Cobb? Can I have your autograph?"
  • Peter Fox from Foxtrot. He's such a bad driver, he can make a station wagon go much faster than usual. Once he even somehow manages to exceed the speed limit while parallel parking.
    • "Hang on, that light three blocks away just turned yellow..."
    • "I've tried to explain to her the effect near-relativistic speeds have on your eyes."
    • "You're talking about nine-digit speeds. I've only flirted with four."
    • "Look, zero G!"
    • One strip in '98 had Jason playing Carmageddon on his computer as Paige watched over his shoulder. She noticed the game seemed awfully familiar. Last panel:
    Paige: It's weird. I swear I've been in this car.
    Jason: You know, now that you mention it...
    Peter: Paige, I'm going to the mall. Need a ride?
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Calvin on his sled (or wagon):
      Calvin: We avoided the tree, didn't we?
      Hobbes: By going down the gulley and into the pond, yes.
    • Also:
      Calvin: You know, Dad, it disturbs me that this wagon has no safety belts and wouldn't survive a 30 mph collision with a stationary object.
      Calvin's Dad: Why do you bring this up?
      Calvin: No reason.
    • One strip with no dialogue starts with Suzy making a snowman; Calvin and Hobbes are out of control on their sled, there's a crash, then the snowman is sliding on the sled, and in the last panel, Calvin is on Suzy's shoulders and Hobbes is on Calvin's.
    • Once Calvin's sled actually caught fire during a ride. Fortunately, he and Hobbes were able to extinguish it because the pond hadn't frozen yet.
  • In one strip from Bloom County, Opus somehow gets a car to use on a date. Milo's reaction upon learning this? "Alert Civil Defense!!"
  • Loretta Lockhorn is not seen in a car as often as she's seen with steering wheel in hand.
  • Ed Crankshaft drives like crazy — and he drives a schoolbus. The strip has running gags about him destroying George Keesterman's mailbox on a regular basis, and him making kids (and their mothers) chase the bus for blocks if they weren't at the bus stop on time.

    Films — Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians
    • Cruella de Vil. Both the animation and the live-action.
    • Horace and Jasper also do this near the end when chasing after the puppies.
  • Madame Medusa in The Rescuers, whether she's using her jet ski or Cruella de Vil's car, even. She was originally meant to be Cruella, but she was eventually made into a new character animated using footage from 101 Dalmatians, especially the driving.
  • In The Little Mermaid, Ariel is given the reins to a carriage, and ends up driving Eric's carriage over a ravine. However, after jumping the ravine, she seems to ease up a bit.
  • Gogo drives like crazy in Big Hero 6, but that's pretty standard, since they are being pursued by a supervillain at the time. The real mention is Wasabi, who creates an inversion when he still drives legally even when pursued by Yokai. Gogo takes over by sitting on Wasabi's lap.
    Go-Go: [incredulous] Did you just put your blinker on?!
    Wasabi: You have to indicate your turn! It's the LAW!
    Go-Go: THAT'S. IT.
  • Kiina from BIONICLE: The Legend Reborn intentionally when evading an attacking Skopio. She combines this with Badass Driver.
  • Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea: Lisa. Note, though, that for all her near-misses and frightening speed, she has superhuman control of her subcompact. It's almost like watching Parkour. She even has the nerve to bite a bit off her son's ice cream, while racing over a narrow cliff road. And she is able to outrun supernatural waves without injuring herself or her son.
  • If the chariot racing sequence early in The Prince of Egypt is to be believed, crazy teenage drivers have been a problem a lot longer than we currently think.
  • North in Rise of the Guardians, much to Bunnymund's terror and Jack and Sandman's amusement.
    North: Everyone, to the sleigh! Buckle up!
    Bunnymund: Where are the bloody seat belts?
    North: (laughs) That was just expression!
  • Judging from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, all Toons are lousy drivers. (After all, the Rule of Funny is fundamental to Toons.) The weasels can't slow the Toon Patrol wagon to a stop, crashing through walls instead, and Roger himself totals Eddie's car while going on a joyride. The worst offender is perhaps Bennie the Cab, who is first seen locked inside the Toon Patrol wagon for driving on the sidewalk. ("It was just a couple of miles!")
  • Just like in the novel, Toad from The Wind in the Willows (1995) has this trope as one of his defining characteristics.
  • The Gate to the Mind's Eye features someone in a Flying Car doing this. Their antics include veering wildly from side to side (likely caused by the vehicle's large rear end), bouncing off walls and other structures, breaking hard and forcing the camera view to rear-end it, and ending in what is likely a fatal collision with a massive wall inside a sectioned-off tunnel inside a building.
  • Towards the end of The Secret Life of Pets 2, Gidget goes to help Max and Snowball with rescuing the tiger by having the cats of their Crazy Cat Lady hide all of their food. They then gather together for feeding time, forcing a trip to the store to get more food. The cat lady proves to ultimately be this, wearing what seems to be a Sleep Mask during the trip and actually sleeping during part of it. Most of the time, it seems like the cats are actually doing the driving.

  • There's a joke about the New York cabdriver who went speeding through every red light. "My five brothers and I have always driven like this." Come to a green light? Slam on the brakes, because one of his brothers might be coming through....
  • Another joke involves The Pope, a popular televangelist, and a cabbie headed to the Gates of Heaven, only to find a long line. St. Peter asks the Pope and preacher to wait while the cabbie is allowed to jump the queue. When the two clergymen protest, St. Peter points out that folks slept through their sermons, but passengers in his cab were praying through the entire trip. This joke was often retold in Israel in The '80s with the crazy cabbie replaced by the driver of a Jerusalem-Tel Aviv bus, for rather different reasons.
  • Another joke with the Pope involves His Holiness asking the Popemobile's driver to let him try the car. The Pope proceeds to break as many traffic laws as he can. A cop pulls them over... and then calls the HQ: "We have an important lawbreaker here. I don't know who he is, but his driver is the Pope!" Ronald Reagan was apparently fond of a similar joke that switched the Pope with Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev liked it.
  • It's said that in America, they drive on the right side of the road; in England, they drive on the left; and in Naples, they drive on the shady side of the road.
  • Also been said of many countries' drivers that the traffic code is as follows: "As long as you don't crash into anything, and as long as the Law doesn't see it, it's A-OK".
  • So one nun says to the other nun, "You drive, I'll pray." The other nun replies, "What's the matter, you don't trust my praying?"
  • In Philadelphia, when you see a yellow light, you can slow down and stop if you want to, but the guy behind you isn't expecting you to.
  • Then there's the one about the guy who gets a call from his wife on his way home from work, warning him that she heard in the traffic report about some crazy guy who's driving on the wrong side of the road. His reply: "It's not just one guy. Everyone on this highway is driving on the wrong side!"
  • New legislation is passed in the United Kingdom in order to bring it up to speed with the rest of the world, including driving on the right. In order to facilitate the transition, it is decided that the new rules of the road will at first apply only to trucks and buses.
  • There's a standing joke in Japan about American military personnel driving cars (often told by American military personnel). Due to various difference in road laws, but most importantly, the right-left side of the road thing. Also expect American drivers to accidentally try to signal a turn by turning on their windshield wipers.
  • Two young Scots are visiting America and speeding along the road when they are stopped by a police officer. The officer says to the driver, "You were going 70 miles per hour. The speed limit is 45 miles per hour. I have to give you a ticket." "But the sign says I can go that fast," says the driver, pointing to a nearby road sign. "That says Route 70," says the officer, exasperated, "That's not the speed limit, it's the road number." Then he notices that the guy in the passenger seat looks like he is going to throw up. He asks the driver, "What's wrong with your friend there?" The driver responds, "Oh, we just got off Route 130!"note 
  • There's a joke that there are no "high speed chases" in Houston. Everyone drives like that. A popular joke is that Houston comes with two built in racing tracks, Interstate 610 and Beltway 8, with a third (Highway 99) under construction.
  • There's a joke in the the Philippines that goes: Westerners say Filipino drivers don't know how to drive on the road. Filipinos say those Western drivers don't know how to survive on the Philippines' road.
  • Two people are driving at high speed on a twisty mountain road.
    Passenger: Can't you slow down? I damn near get a heart attack every time you take a curve!
    Driver: Just close your eyes when we go around the bend. (beat) It's how I manage.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Bible, King Joram's watchmen recognize Jehu as he approaches the palace in his chariot, because "the driving is like that of Jehu, son of Nimshi, for he drives like a madman" — an old term for someone who fits this trope is actually that "they drive like a Jehu."
  • One story from Classical Mythology involves Helios's son, Phaeton, wanting to drive his chariot (which served as the actual sun in these myths) to prove he was really his son. Sources vary on whether or not Helios agreed (the versions where he doesn't tend to say Phaeton just took the chariot anyway), but they all agree on the aftermath: Phaeton lost control and the earth would have burnt to a crisp if Zeus hadn't struck him down.

  • The "Wrong Turn" mode in Williams Electronics' Indianapolis 500 is about an Indy Car racer who races off the track, gets directions from a farmer, and ends up stuck in traffic for his troubles.
  • The backglass for Vacation America shows the family wagon flying offroad and crashing through a "Road Closed" barricade.

  • Chell from Sequinox is a nightmare behind the wheel. Though she at least insists on everyone wearing a seatbelt, at the same time she believes traffic signs are more of a suggestion. Yuki will do whatever she can to avoid driving in the same car as her. On the upside, the Chell Danielson Guarantee is that you'll always arrive somewhere on time, no matter how late you leave.

    Print Media 
  • Dave Barry on Florida driving:
    • He has joked that in Miami, if you use your turn signal, "the other drivers will be alarmed and start shooting".
    • He claims that everyone there obeys the traffic laws... of his or her own country of origin.
    • In one song he wrote, he compared driving on the Miami section of I-95 to skydiving and deep-sea diving in terms of thrill/danger level.
    • He joked that a lot of people in Florida "have a big problem grasping the concept of arrows." Like going in the lane with an arrow curving to the left and using it to turn right.
  • Dave Barry on New York taxis:
    • "The taxi has some kind of problem with the steering, probably dead pedestrians lodged in the mechanism."
    • Dave Barry joked that they go 175 miles per hour, but slow down to 125 MPH to "take better aim at wheelchair occupants."
  • Dave Barry, talking about Italian drivers, claimed that speed limit signs were useless there, on the grounds that none of the drivers could see them, since "light cannot go as fast as Italian drivers do".

    Puppet Shows 
  • Thunderbirds:
    • Lady Penelope. Amazingly she managed to drive FAB1 to the Bank of England without a scratch to the car, although the same can't be said about various hedges and another car she encountered on the road. Her driving improves in a later episode though. She normally leaves the driving to her many-talented butler Aloysius "Nosy" Parker, to the relief of all.
      • Although one should not forget that Parker is canonically not only a former safe-cracker, but also a former getaway car driver. Still, the trope is averted in that Parker is generally a safe driver, even when he appears to be reckless.
    • Another female driver is responsible for the disaster in "City Of Fire" when she crashes a car in the garage of the world's tallest building. Amazingly, this is treated as a joke in the tag scene.
  • Beauregard in The Great Muppet Caper might qualify. He gets his directions mixed up, such as making an abrupt U-turn when told to go straight. The fact he does this in open traffic, causing all others cars to take evasive action. After arriving at the intended destination (by driving through the front door, no less) he is told to make a U-turn to leave. What does he do? Drives straight through!

  • Car Talk: Click and Clack always sign off with "Don't drive like my brother".
  • Worra the minicab driver (Catchphrase: "As the Pink Floyd say: Set the controls for the heart of the suuun!") in Linda Smith's A Brief History Of Timewasting:
    Linda: Worra, I never thought I'd say this, but drive as fast as you can!
    Worra: Hahahah! Linda, do you want me to lose my licence? Hypothetically speaking...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Hollow Earth Expedition. Any character with the Reckless Driver skill in the Secrets of the Surface World supplement.
  • Warhammer 40,000
    • In the Apocalypse expansion, an Ork Trukk Konvoy is a squadron of light transports racing each other to the front line. Their "Oops, Da Wheels Slipped" rule gives a Trukk a speed boost if it sideswipes one of its squadmates, potentially destroying it. Speed Freaks are orks considered insane by other orks, having no regard for safety as they only seek to go fasta.
    • Then there are the Orks who crew Looted Wagons, because the only thing worse than an Ork driving an Ork-made vehicle is an Ork driving a vehicle not made by Orks, leading to a certain measure of awkwardness when it comes to things like knowing which controls do what. The net result is that Looted Wagons are prone to even more erratic driving than most Orks can manage, since usually if one of them rams you, they at least meant to do it.
    • Then there is Wazdakka Gutsmek, who is attempting to construct a portal network so he can drive his bike from one end of the galaxy to the other without having to use the brakes. And who at one point ramped his bike through the void shields on an Imperator-class Titan to get at the crew. While he was on fire.
    • The Kult of Speed are orks considered dangerously fixated on achieving high speeds... by other orks.
    • The White Scars chapter of Space Marines: Space Mongols who've replaced horses with giant motorbikes. While not nearly as insane as orks, vehicular manslaughter are to be expected whenever they get into battle, especially since their obsession with higher speed started setting in.
  • Magic: The Gathering has Goblin Test Pilot. When it becomes tapped, it's going to slam into something - it's just that nobody knows what. It could run over that inconvenient 1/1 on the enemy side that's screwing with your plans, it could ding your opponent in the head, it could mildly annoy their giant monster, it could ding you in the head, or it could commit explosive suicide. There's no way to know.


  • Monster 500 is a toy line with an AP from Toys R Us where the objective is to race die cast monsters in race cars around horror themed tracks, like "Toxic Terror" and "Graveyard Gauntlet". It's very much like a non-video game Vehicular Combat scenario.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Grisaia no Kajitsu Yumiko and Michiru are terrified of having to ride with Amane to the beach. Michiru as the buttmonkey of the group is forced into the role and arrives a twitching, incoherent mess after Amane decides she needs to have a street race with some punk. By Grisaia no Rakuen she's generally forced into the car with Amane at every opportunity and for flimsy reasons, leaving her basically on the verge of tears while stuck with the "green demon." She's actually fallen out of the car twice thanks to Amane's recklessness.
  • In Malus Code The professor of the polar resarch lab, Suzukake was driving her students to the onsen after reciving a large sum of money, despite certain circumstances. Before the trip, upon announcing that Suzukake will be driving, Yuri becomes very silent, and bails on the trip at the last minute, to Will and Yae's surprise and terror, Suzukake was speeding and drifting , all the way there.

    Web Animation 
  • The Evil Guitarist from the Pimp Lando series runs over/crashes through old ladies, children, cats, skeletons, giant coffee mugs, Darboe, and, of course, Mr. Smiles. Three times. In the same episode.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • A running gag is that due to the general level of (in)competence on both sides, basically no-one can drive. Especially the Warthog ("I say it looks more like a Puma") which on several occasions runs people over and even more dangerously, the tank, and Caboose's attempts to drive it in the first season actually result in Church's death (he gets better).
    • Jensen, a member of the Chorus New Republic in Seasons 12 & 13, is a skilled mechanic, but a terrifying driver. Lopez has described her driving as "a cross between a young teen and an old lady. Who is also blind." In Season 13, she manages to somehow cause a fiery multi-car pileup despite going down a straight, simple road at five miles per hour.


Video Example(s):


SpongeBob's Bad Driving

SpongeBob never passes his boating test for his license because once he gets in the driver's seat, he freaks out and crashes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / DrivesLikeCrazy

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Main / DrivesLikeCrazy