Being The Hero is never easy. There are certain things heroes just cannot do without the universe conspiring to stall and/or ruin it in every way possible. One example is getting married. Another is taking a driving test.
"Driving Test" is code in Fictionland for "Scheduled Disaster." When a main character plans to take a driving test, it will be interrupted by a flash flood, a bank robbery (possibly with the escaping criminals hijacking the test vehicle), the appearance of a new door in the Portal Network, an attack by the Monster of the Week, an impending apocalypse, or some variation/combination of the above. No exceptions. Driving tests exist only to be Weirdness Magnets.
Note that this does not in any way affect the likelihood of the testee passing.
- This commercial for the 1969 AMC Rebel has a driving instructor stuck with a series of less-than-competent drivers driving the Rebel; capped by the scene with a VERY ditzy blonde behind the wheel.
Driving Instructor: "Look out for that truck!"Blonde (in very high-pitched voice): "What truck?"Driving Instructor: "Behind the bus!"Blonde: "What bus?"
Anime and Manga
- In a filler episode of Dragonball Z, Goku and Piccolo are
browbeaten by Chi Chi intotalked into taking driving lessons. Naturally, while taking their road tests, they stumble on to a bank robbery/hostage situation.
- In the Tenchi Muyo manga, Mihoshi learns to drive Earth cars; her normal results are more akin to Drives Like Crazy. Then a bank robbery, a Flashed Badge Hijacking, and a minor bit of breaking the Masquerade ...
- My Best Friend is a Vampire had the characters chased by vampire hunters during a driving test.
- While the Testee was not a main character, during The Naked Gun, Frank Drebin commandeers a driving school test vehicle and tells the teenage driver and her instructor to chase after the bad guy.
- In Live and Let Die, Bond commandeers a light plane, passing himself off as an instructor to the little old lady student, and causes mayhem taxiing around the runway evading Mr. Big's mooks.
- In one of the Olsen-banden films Yuvonne is studying for a driver's license. A car chase ensues with her at the wheel, with the driving instructor eventually becoming frustrated at how law abidingly she drives.
- In Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Anthony insists on taking his driving rest on the day when every is going wrong, because he wants to drive Celia to the prom that night. During the test, his driving examiner intentionally distracts him by convincing him to pick up his cell phone, causing him to destroy several parking meters and damage the family minivan, and ultimately fail.
Live Action TV
- The Brady Bunch: Averted, somewhat in the episode "The Driver's Seat," where Marcia gets her driver's license after enduring constant teasing by her brother Greg. A debate had ensued over which gender was the better drivers — male or female — and eventually, the two settle matters with an obstacle course-style test in a vacant parking lot. The final test: Attempting to stop a car — a brand-spanking new and astonishingly ginormous 1974 Chevrolet Caprice convertible — closest to a cone without bumping into it (and thus, knocking an egg off). Marcia passes, but Greg ... well, he made an impromptu scrambled egg! Incidentally, the egg was the only thing harmed in the making of this episode.
- Monk: A serial killer suspect shows up when Julie takes her driving test and freaks her out.
- Red Dwarf: Kryten's Starbug driving test results in the ship falling into a time hole.
- Power Rangers Time Force: During his test, Lucas happens upon the Monster of the Week (a car thief, appropriately).
- Power Rangers RPM: Ziggy's ineptitude is demonstrated by briefly flashing back to him screwing up his driver's test.
- Home Improvement: Averted, despite that show's potential for disaster. Brad's driving test happened without a hitch offscreen; the only hiccup was that Tim's license expired and he had to retake his, too.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy's test didn't go well, either — partly because she had to fight a monster that day, partly because she just wasn't very good.
- Kim Possible: An AI car takes over her test vehicle to help her pass and makes her feel guilty for unintentionally cheating.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Gwen uses Ben's car for her test and the Villain of the Week attacks it, thinking Ben is driving.
- The Jetsons: Jane's car is hijacked by a bank robber while taking her test. The examiner is horrified and professes concern for "that poor creature" — not Jane, but the robber she's driving.
- Also, in "Rosie, Come Home", Rosie ran away due a misunderstanding. Judy was in the middle of a driving test when she found her. Judy ended up scaring the tester so much* he passed her just so he wouldn't have to evaluate her again.
- The Batman: A speedster villain cuts in front of Barbara Gordon while she is taking her driver's test, prompting her to give chase. It doesn't end well.
- The second episode of Family Guy concerned Peter teaching Meg how to drive for her driving test by racing an Amish man on a horse and buggy. When Meg tried to race during her actual driving test, she failed.
- Megas XLR: Inverted: Megas got impounded since Coop had him illegally parked. Coop needed to get Megas back to fight the Monster of the Week, but his license was expired so he had to take a driving test. He failed (miserably) thanks to his unique driving method, but the instructor was so terrified of the thought of giving him the test again that he renewed Coop's license anyway.
- In an episode of Sym-Bionic Titan, Lance has to get his driver's license. A drag racer he raced against the other day AND a giant monster show up, with lots of black-woman driving-instructor yelling.
- Extreme Ghostbusters: One of them had a driving test. Unfortunately, the car had haunted fuel.
- I Am Weasel was once a driver tester testing Baboon, who was more concerned about reading poetry than driving. It turns out that, rather than wanting a driver's license, Baboon wanted a poetic one.
- Hilariously perverted in the Phineas and Ferb episode "The Donnkleberry Imperative" where Dr. Doofenshmirtz has to re-take his Drusselsteinian driving test: It's the test itself that is the catastrophe
- Teen Titans Go!: In "Driver's Ed", Robin takes up driver's ed after his license is suspended, but fails to realize that his instructor Ed is using him as a getaway driver.