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"Don't cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block
Don't cross the street in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of the block
Use your eyes to look out, use your ears to hear
Walk up to the corner when the coast is clear
And wait, and wait, until you see the light turn green..."
They Might Be Giants, "In the Middle, in the Middle, In the Middle"

A specific variant of Dropped a Bridge on Him. A character runs across the street without checking for oncoming vehicles, usually because of someone chasing him or something. Often, he attempts to provide the last word in the argument by turning his back to the opposite side of the road. Without warning, a bus or car wheels in from the side of the frame and slams into him, crushing his bones into the dust of death. Often it seems the vehicle was moving pretty fast for the road it's on. The guy who left his common sense behind in the heat of the moment is Killed Off for Real to provide Anyone Can Die shock value. Or it can make for comedy with its abruptness.

Plus, it's a kind of Karmic Death. Remember, folks, you were taught in elementary school to Look Both Ways before crossing the street!

Interestingly, the driver almost never slows down (if they try, they will brake so hard that their wheels lock up and they end up not slowing down anyway) and never swerves, even if the person was in the street long enough for them to react. If the victim is "lucky" they might just honk (might). This, however, can be often a case of Truth in Television. Drivers are humans, not automated machines, and a quick and unexpected obstacle that shows up in the car's way, such as someone running, may not give the driver time enough to react and cause a traffic accident.


Is so commonly used in the setup for Isekai Manga that calling the vehicle in question "Truck-kun" has become a meme.

Can invoke Diabolus ex Machina and/or a Shocking Swerve if done particularly suddenly. Nearly always invokes Mood Whiplash. Can sometimes be averted by a Heroic Sacrificial Diving Save.

The incredibly dangerous roads in Fictionland might explain why Jaywalking is considered as serious as Murder and Arson...

Not to be confused with the film of the same name.



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  • Happens in one of the early Got Milk commercials to a yuppie on a cell phone.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Baby and Me: Minoru nearly dies at the very end because of this.
  • In the very first episode of Excel Saga, Excel gets hit by a bus while prancing home from her high school graduation, and the Great Will of the Macrocosm has to resurrect her.
  • Nayuki's mother Akiko in Kanon is hit by an SUV running a red light and traveling too fast for snowy conditions near the end, but survives thanks to Ayu's miracle.
  • Magical Princess Minky Momo being run over by a truck (and her show not immediately ending) has become infamous among anime fans. It's quite over-the-top with the truck being full of children's toys, first swerving to avoid a toddler and then hitting Momo, and the ambulance sound coming from one of the toys. In fact, it was the inspiration for the Excel Saga incident mentioned above.
  • An episode of Nurse Witch Komugi parodies this by having the title character hit by a car in the first scene and spending most of the episode as a ghost, then come Back from the Dead and get roadkilled again, revived and flatttened about half a dozen times back to back.
  • In Monster an incarceree's brother practices a Flopsy routine on a road while awaiting the prison van transporting Tenma and the aforementioned. While talking to his girlfriend he steps out backwards into the road only to be hit by said prison van in a manner far more real than he could have intended. Though Tenma does manage to save his life.
    • It later happens to Tenma, who was running from the police at the time. He escapes with little more than a twisted ankle and a head injury because the truck wasn't driving that fast and was able to brake.
  • The first episode of Weiß Kreuz opens with a girl named Michiru waving goodbye to her boyfriend, who gets on his bike and is suddenly run over by a van. And by "run over" I mean it fell on him from an overpass, on fire, covered in ninjas.
    • Averted in the case of Ran's Ill Girl little sister Aya-chan, since it turns out it was intentional.
  • Inexplicably, unfathomably, illogically and HILARIOUSLY, M.Bison tries to do this to Ryu at the very end of the Street Fighter II animated movie. Why an international crimelord with near-unlimited Psycho Power, an otherwise brilliant tactical mind, and martial arts expertise would try to run down someone with a truck will forever be a mystery.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho starts off with the protagonist dying from being hit by a car to save a boy who had chased his ball into the street.
    • This doesn't really count, though, since Yusuke saw the car coming and dove in front of it deliberately to save the kid. Then again, the kid wasn't looking both ways...
  • In Death Note, a gangster was splattered by the truck. Then again, he was sentenced to death via Light's Death Note...
  • Hitomi from ICE gets run over by a car, which promptly transports her mind into the body of a woman living in the near future, where all males have gone extinct.
  • In ef: A Tale of Memories, Yuuko gets hits by a car when she suddenly rushes onto the street without looking out for traffic. This is especially egregious, since she managed to survive some pretty bad stuff before that. Not to mention you could count the number of moving cars in both series in all of Otowa on one hand.
    • In the game however, she's hit NOT because of this, but because she was trying to save Miki, who was unaware of the approaching vehicle, from being run over
  • In Kaze to Ki no Uta Gilbert is run over and killed by a horse carriage after running into the street while hallucinating.
  • The trope occurs hilariously - twice - in Baccano!. In the first instance, resident Cloudcuckoolanders Isaac and Miria are dancing about and enthusing about their plan to become rich when they are abruptly hit by a car driven by Ennis. Since it wasn't going very fast, they're not seriously hurt. Later on, Szilard leaps out of a window in pursuit of Maiza - and directly into the path of his own car, now driven by Isaac.
  • Played with in The Twelve Kingdoms, where Seishuu dies this way when hit by a carriage. The twist comes because he had gone blind a short while ago and the rich bastard riding in the carriage had the kid intentionally hit, thus whether he looked both ways or not... it wouldn't have mattered.
  • Subverted in Fruits Basket, where Tohru's mom Kyouko was fatally hit by a car because the driver actually had a lethal heart attack while driving. Oh, and because Kyou panicked from trying a Diving Save in fear of triggering his curse - needless to say, Kyou couldn't forgive himself for it.
  • In an odd subversion, Rei Asaka from Oniisama e... pulls this with a train, since she fell on its path while trying to recover a bouquet of roses that she was carrying as a gift to her date, Nanako. This only happens in the anime; in the original manga, she kills herself with a durg overdose.
  • Fuuka The titular character got hit by a truck and died.
  • Hanako-chan from Haunted Junction died like this, having been hit by a speeding car when she was running away from her rockstar boyfriend's Loony Fans, who were harrassing her.
  • Captain Tsubasa:
    • Happened to Levin's girlfriend Karen. She was in a hurry to go to Levin's latest match, carelessly tried to cross the road... and got hit by a truck for her trouble.
    • Subverted with Misaki's sister Yoshiko, who almost got hit by a bus and Misaki saved her at the cost of being seriously injured — it happened because she fell over in while riding her bike.
    • And it was subverted in the first chronological scene of the anime canon. A tiny Tsubasa reached for the streets when his parents were distracted, was juuuust about to be run over by a car... and his soocer ball softened the impact enough for him to be completely unharmed.
  • Happens to Hayate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie2nd As. In this case, she did look both ways and waited for the stop light to turn green for her. Unfortunately, the driver of the truck had fallen asleep on the wheel, only waking up when braking and swerving wouldn't have been enough to avoid her. Fortunately, this was the event that triggered her powers in the movie, leaving a confused truck driver to wonder where the crippled little girl he almost hit went.
  • Averted in Episode 1 of Kotoura-san. Haruka was able to save both Manabe's life and her own simply because her Telepathy allowed her to see an oncoming, careless delivery van driver that's running the red light at full speed.
  • The death of Leon's sister and partner Sophie in Kaleido Star was like this. In an attempt to get her and Leon disqualified from a very important circus contest, Yuri wrote a fake letter in which he asked Sophie for a meet-up that never took place. When she realized that she had been tricked and had few minutes to spare, Sophie tried to reach the stadium in time and crossed the streets without looking — and without seeing a truck that was coming her way.
  • Kagerou Project: During Heat Haze Days, Hiyori chases a cat she had been petting out onto the road. As the pedestrian crossing sign had just turned red. And that's not even the worst way she gets to die. After realising her fate of dying over and over, Hibiya decides to Screw Destiny and get hit by the truck instead. It doesn't work.
  • A common cause of death for soon-to-be cynicism catalysts and/or general dead loved ones in Detective Conan. In example, there is Takagi's Big Brother Mentor Date; he accidentally dropped his police notepad and a ring he kept for his girlfriend, tried to retrieve them... and got a face full of a car whose driver fell asleep at the wheel for his trouble.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Arise: Another Mission (basically an advertisement for Microsoft's Surface Tablet in the form of a three minute short) has the Major throwing a tablet carrying crucial information to Togusa. An android leaps through the air to intercept it, only to get hit by a truck.
  • Her death is left out in the animated adaptation, however the original The Birth Of Mewtwo radio drama shows that Posthumous Character Amber from Pokémon: The First Movie was hit by a vehicle (as a reference to Astro Boy). Immediately after her father told her he couldn't stand losing her and that he was lonely because his wife left, too.
  • Happens in Black God to a young pedestrian to throw more angst at the protagonist. It happens again near the end of the anime, only this time the hero saves the civilian's life.
  • In Mushoku Tensei the protagonist is an otaku and hikkikomori who wasted pretty much his whole life inside. He sees a couple arguing in the street, unaware they are about to be hit by a truck, and shoves/pulls them out of the way at the cost of his own life. Fortunately his act of heroism is repaid when he is reborn in another world full of magic and adventure where he resolves not to waste his life a second time! (And for some reason kept his memories and adult mentality from his previous life despite being in a child's body.)
  • This is how Jibanyan from Yo-Kai Watch died. His teenage owner Amy was crossing the street, however it was supernaturally decided that she was supposed to die that day so a truck driver was inspirited to run a light. Jibanyan saved Amy at the sacrifice of his own life.
  • A variant appears in Astro Boy. In the Downer Beginning, Tobio takes his dad's car for a drive and ends up driving into a car himself.
  • Zombie Land Saga has this happen in its very first minute. Sakura literally runs out her door and is hit by a speeding truck; the whole thing is given a montage set to death metal. Of course, she ends up as one of the titular zombies later on. Then it happens again in Episode 10. Being a zombie this time, it doesn't kill her, only she regains her memories when she was alive, but forgets everything she experienced after she became a zombie.
  • In Sarazanmai, this happened to Kazuki's brother Haruka because he recklessly crossed the street after his brother when the crosswalk light was off, and his legs are paralyzed in the present day. Kazuki blames himself so much for it he nearly trades away his existence for Haruka's life at the apex of his Heroic BSoD.
  • Invoked in Goodbye! Isekai Tensei, where a princess from another world appeared before the main character, asking him for help in her world against the evil forces and that he needs to be reincarnated there. He agrees, then the next day, a truck came down to him and would have killed the main character if a goblin didn't appear out of nowhere and saved him...and the princess herself is revealed as the driver of the truck, while the evil forces is trying to save his life.

    Comic Books 
  • In the final issue of a recent story arc in The DCU's Justice Society of America, Wildcat and his new-found meta-human son are fighting a losing battle against Diabolical Mastermind Vandal Savage, until Savage charges out into the street after the son, right into the path of a speeding fire truck responding to a blaze started earlier in the brawl. It's not near enough to kill him, but it does end the fight.
  • Underground Comics artist Gilbert Shelton penned a series of one-page comics on motoring tips - in a spotlight on Britain, he reminded us that they drive on the left, illustrated with him stepping off a curb looking to his left as a London cab barrels up behind him.
  • All-New Ultimates: Terry wakes up in the morgue, walks out, still dizzy and confused, and gets run over by a truck.

    Comic Strips 
  • The exact theme in a road safety poster contest that Calvin enters in Calvin and Hobbes, to which his slogan is "Be careful or be roadkill!" While his father's suggested slogan is just a full-sentence rant about something else entirely but still related to road safety, his mother's is something much more coherent and tamer:
    Before you cross, look each way, and you'll get home safe each day.
  • Garfield once tried to teach Odie how to do this back in 1987.

  • In 28th Kill la Kill AU comic, we find out that Ragyo was hit by a car when she was a child (on her sixth birthday no less) and, being mortally injured, its implied the only way her life could have been saved was for her to be infused with life fibers
  • In the K-On/Hyouka crossover fanvid Our Tapes, Mio gets hit by a bus while going to see her boyfriend Oreki on a date. She survives but is wheelchair bound. The crash left her unable to play in her band.
  • In Before We Had Wings, Hikari died after getting hit by a car in a hit-and-run.
  • In Secret Sunshine, Ryuuko is hit by a car after she storms out of the house, which leaves her back injured. She doesn't quite remember the event but does remember that she managed to throw Kiko out of the way.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Lives of Others: Christa-Maria is hit by a truck after she betrays Dreymann. Not played entirely straight - it's ambiguous whether the incident was a suicide or an accident.
  • The Air I Breathe: Trista has a memory of her father trying to entertain her by absentmindedly skipping in the rain on the street before being hit by a bus.
  • Final Destination:
    • Final Destination: All of the characters in the movie have cheated death, and he (it?) is currently mowing them down one by one, in very elaborate ways telegraphed for the audience. Arguing about their situation while walking down a sidewalk, one of the girls exclaims that all of the others can "Drop fucking dead!" and she steps off the sidewalk. BUS!
    • Happens again in The Final Destination in a scene that was probably a Shout-Out to the first. Two characters leave a hospital, having just witnessed the elaborate and spectacularly unlikely death of the latest victim, and are in quiet conversation when one of them gets hit by an ambulance.
  • Parodied in Night of the Comet: After the elimination of the human race, one girl decides she no longer needs to look before crossing "against the light" — and is almost run over by another survivor.
  • Parodied in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, where the two main characters want to cross a street. The light is red, and Harold insists on waiting. They eventually decide to cross, but as soon as they so much as gesture that they're crossing, a police car appears out of nowhere and they get ticketed for jaywalking.
  • In Kick-Ass the title character finishes off his first attempt at heroism by getting flipped by a car. To be fair, though, he had just been stabbed in the gut and probably wasn't thinking too clearly.
  • Mean Girls: Near the end of the movie, Regina gets hit by a bus while arguing with Cady. She sustains moderate damage; the main effect is that she spends the rest of the movie encased in some kind of spine-straightening braces. Cady's narrating voice fakes the viewer out for a second by claiming that Regina died, but immediately afterwards she says, "Just kidding."
    • And at the very end the 'treatment' for the new junior Plastics is being hit by a bus as well. This is also just a joke, the girls aren't really hit.
  • In the film Mimic, this happens to the main villain, a giant, man-eating cockroach, when he makes an ill-fated decision to step in front of a moving subway car.
  • In Hocus Pocus, when the heroes manage to escape from a sewer and seem to be in the clear, their talking cat Thachary is flattened by a passing vehicle out of the blue. After they mourn over his clearly very dead body and start to turn away, he suddenly reforms to his normal shape and comes back to life, running over to them and saying "Hate it when that happens".
  • At the start of Paul Blart 2 his mom steps forward just a bit to pick up her morning paper from the road rather than the driveway. Cue delivery truck.
  • Parodied in the Scary Movie series, where someone is unexpectedly hit by a car or bus at the end of every movie.
    • At the beginning of the second one, a couple of people are flattened by a bus. On the back it says "How's my driving? Call 1-800-KISS MY ASS. And yes, we know, that is too many digits for a phone number.
    • Double subverted in the third one. The main character's car barely stops in time to avoid hitting the kid. As he sighs in relief, another car comes out of nowhere at a 90 degree angle and runs him over. And no, there was no intersection, it was a perfectly straight road.
  • Happens to that one guy from The Devil's Advocate, although it's strongly implied that it was a hit.
  • El Orfanato made horror out of this trope.
  • Subverted in Constantine. A Mexican man finds a spear point and walks out into the street, where he's hit by a car. Not only is he not killed, he runs away completely unharmed. We later find out that he survived because the spear point he's carrying is from The Spear of Destiny.
  • Happens to Diana in Knowing. She doesn't get better.
  • In Superman II, Clark Kent carelessly walks out into a crowded Metropolis street and is hit by a cab. Of course, Clark is unhurt because he's really Superman.
  • The leader of the Martian ship in the comedy Spaced Invaders charges from his spaceship onto the highway as soon as they land on Earth, howling his contempt for Earthlings. He is instantly smashed into the grill of a passing truck. Further spoofed when the less combative Martians interact with a human little girl:
    "Don't forget to look both ways before crossing the street!"
    "So that's the secret. If only Captain Bipto had known."
  • Happens to Brad Pitt's character (his original one, before Death borrows his body) in Meet Joe Black. Although the moral lesson of the incident is not so much "look both ways before you cross the street; more like "Don't stand in the street for two minutes blankly staring back at the girl you just met."
    • It actually happens twice in sequence, with his body being flung back and forth between the vehicles in a gruesome sort of pinball.
  • Lampshaded in the 2008 movie Ghost Town. After Dr. Pincus is hit by a bus, just as Frank was, Frank comments to the effect that the Transit Authority buses are a menace. Neither bus so much as slows down, honks or screeches before striking.
  • Used with considerable effect in The Exorcism of Emily Rose with the Doctor who gets hit right after admitting that he believes in demons and is afraid.
  • Iron Man gets hit by a truck in Iron Man 3 seconds after saving a bunch of people falling from the sky and breaks into pieces. Subverted when it turns out Tony Stark was piloting the suit remotely and was never hurt.
  • Emily's fate in The Devil Wears Prada (film version only) allowing Andy to feel a little bit less guilty about going to Paris instead of her.
  • Used as a running gag in Local Hero: Every time Mac steps out into the street he is nearly hit by a guy on a dirt bike (Who, by the way, is played by John Gordon Sinclair of 'Gregory's Girl' fame). Every time. And this in a town so small that it only has one street and no other traffic. At one point, he becomes savvy to this, and stops himself and Danny well before the dirt bike passes.
  • In Rob Zombie's film The Devil's Rejects, after being the only survivor of the Firefly family's escapades at a motel, a young woman, wearing the face of her husband, stops running from the motel room in the middle of a desert highway and is promptly hit by an 18 wheeler.
  • In Prey for Rock & Roll, Lori Petty's character runs after some kids who steel her guitar, and gets hit by a car. She doesn't survive the incident.
  • In what is possibly the Trope Maker, and one of the few humorous examples of this trope, the Buster Keaton short One Week has this happen to a house, via train. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Practical Magic has a tragic Double Subversion.
  • Happens rather tragically in One Day (both novel and film) to one of the main characters, as she is riding her bicycle to a romantic dinner with her husband. The film actually starts with the bicycle ride but then cuts back to the beginning of the story. When the bicycle ride resumes, she exits onto a street without looking and gets hit by a truck. The rest of the film is her husband dealing with the loss and remembering how they met.
  • A Rule of Threes version in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, the first two times Played for Laughs. Ripcord gets hit by a car right after he promises not to harm his multi-million dollar Powered Armor, then Duke gets run over by the bad guy's Hummer right after asking where they are, and the third involves the Hummer being hit by an intercity light-rail train right after they think their pursuers have given up.
  • A Real Life example nearly happened in Midnight Cowboy, leading to the immortal line "I'm Walking Here".
  • In an Our Gang Very Special Episode Mickey is hit by a car while running out into the street to catch a fly ball. The other Rascals spearhead a grassroots campaign called "1-2-3-Go" where you always look left, then right, then left again, before crossing a street, while chanting that phrase.
  • In The Wolverine, one of the Yakuza gets hit by a car as they chase Logan and Mariko across the street.
  • Used in a Death Montage in Edge of Tomorrow. The protagonist is stuck in a nightmarish "Groundhog Day" Loop in which he dies in the same battle over and over again, each time learning from his mistakes and lasting a bit longer. In one scene he's making an Unflinching Walk across the chaotic landing zone only to get blindsided by a truck. Gilligan Cut to him doing it again, only this time he runs. There's also a Running Gag involving a soldier cheering the fact that he survived the drop only for an aircraft to crash on top of him. The first time the protagonist tries to save him, only to get squashed himself. The second time he gets them both out of the way in time, and the third time he doesn't even bother.
  • Red 2. In a Car Chase through the streets of Paris, Sarah and Marvin are competing with Frank and Katya to catch a Knowledge Broker called The Frog, who's driving a stolen motorcycle. The Frog races down a narrow alley and when Sarah tries to follow her car gets stuck. The Frog stops and turns to flip them the "V" only to promptly get hit by Frank and Katya in their car.
  • Fatal Instinct: While Ned is getting lost in one of his private monologues, he gets run over by a bus. He shrugs it off in the next scene.
  • In I Miss You, I Miss You, the twins Tina and Cilla oversleep and hurry towards the bust stop to catch their school bus. When they run over the road, they don't watch out for cars and Cilla gets hit by a car and dies, while Tina is unharmed. Martin, the driver and a neighbor of the twins, is traumatized and is afraid to even run across Tina and her family. One year after the accident, Tina tells Martin that it wasn't his fault but Cilla and her's, because they jaywalked.
  • Despite the tendency of Terminators to get run over, a human version occurs in Terminator Salvation when the humans are fleeing a derelict gas station being torn up by a giant robot. One man gets hit by a stationwagon tearing out of a garage, bounces off the hood and keeps running, with neither party stopping for a moment. The unfortunate man then hitches a lift on another vehicle which is disintegrated shortly afterwards.
  • One of the first sufferers of the disease in Contagion becomes so delirious from it, he ends up wandering into the street and is hit by a truck.
  • Get Smart has a brief montage of compromised CONTROL agents getting assassinated. The first two are quietly shot with poison darts in the middle of their meals, faceplanting into their food. The third, sitting at a cafe on a street corner, gets shot in the neck with a dart and stands up in pain and starts wincing and hopping...right into the road, and WHAM.
  • At the beginning of Dawn of the Dead (2004), as the Zombie Apocalypse tears through Ana's neighborhood, her threatening gun-toting neighbor gets mowed down by a speeding ambulance.
  • Street Racer (a film by The Asylum) has a rather Too Dumb to Live example near the end. After the hero wins the climactic race, his parole officer (who bet against him) runs across the race course to attack him. He's instead mowed down by the next pair of racers.
  • In The Tournament, Tupalov stops his scooter in the middle of the motorway to take a shot at Lai Lai and Father MacAvoy. He is immediately hit by a bus.
  • Wish Upon: Claire uses her last wish to travel back in time and prevent her father from finding the wish box. She gives the backpack containing the box to Ryan and tells him bury it without opening it. Relieved of her burden, she turns and crosses the road to go to school without checking. And is immediately struck by Darcie's car and dies.
  • Fear, Inc.: During the traffic stop, the sheriff tells Joe and Lindsey to get out of the van, and takes a step back on to the road, where he is promptly struck by another van.

  • Searching For David's Heart: The titular character dies this way while chasing Darcy after the two have a huge fight.
    Driver: Oh, my God, he darted right out in front of me!
  • In Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Humbert's wife Charlotte finds his diary, detailing his disdain for her and lust for her titular daughter, while said daughter is away at camp. Humiliated, she confronts him with the evidence and tells him she intends to take Lolita from the camp to a strict year-round boarding school and away from his grasp forever. However, crossing the street to post letters setting this plan in motion, she is killed by a passing motorist, leaving Humbert as Lolita's sole guardian. At least, that's his version
  • This starts off the plot of Rewind (William Sleator), one of William Sleator's less famous novels—because the main character would have grown up to greatly influence the world, he's sent back in time instead of dying, but he'll get run over again and again no matter what he does differently unless he makes some very specific changes to the course of events that got him killed.
  • In Carnosaur, an adolescent megalosaur misses its chance to act out the T. rex's role from The Lost World: Jurassic Park when it steps out onto a highway and is flattened by an 18-wheeler.
  • Narrowly averted at the start of The Fall of Doc Future. Stella was visiting London, was tired, and thus looked the wrong way before stepping onto the street. Just as well she was talking to the fastest girl in the world at the time.
  • In The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan's mistress Myrtle darts out into the street after an argument with her husband, to be struck and horrifically killed by Tom's wife.
  • How Cilla dies in "I Miss You, I Miss You".
  • Happens a few times in Warrior Cats:
    • In Bluestar's Prophecy, Bluestar's sister Snowfur tries to chase some ShadowClan warriors across the road, but a car comes by and hits her.
    • In Warrior's Return, Graystripe gets hit by a car when he isn't paying attention to where he's going. Fortunately he survives, but his shoulder is injured pretty badly.
  • This was the cause of Vicky's death in Vicky Angel (spoiler unmarked because the blurb and title make it obvious that she dies; also, she gets hit by the car in the first chapter and dies in the second, so she's almost Dead to Begin With).
  • In the first Tim Dorsey novel, Florida Roadkill, a Satanic assassin tries to kill Serge and Coleman. Unfortunately, he kneels to pray in the middle of a poorly lit highway in the middle of the night while wearing black and ends up getting run over by a bus full of devout Christians.
  • Ujurak was hit by a car in Seeker Bears however it was a Disney Death. After eating some medicine and sleeping throughout the night, he ended up perfectly fine.
  • Moon from A Dog's Life dies instantly when she's hit by a van while trying to hunt a squirrel.

    Live-Action TV 


  • Happens twice to a Croatian gangster on Blue Bloods, who's fleeing from a park after the police interrupt his attempt to trade a kidnapped girl for some fellow gang members. Not watching for traffic, he gets bounced off a taxi's fender as he steps off the curb, losing his gun. His pursuer, Danny, draws and demands his surrender, but he steps onto the road without looking again, sneering that Danny won't shoot him in the back ... and gets hit head-on by a delivery truck.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nearly unstoppable Big Bad Glory gets slowed down (though not killed - she is The Unstoppable Woman, after all) when she's hit by a truck... after standing in the road talking to Buffy for almost a full minute. That must be one hell of a bad driver.
    • In the season finale, she gets blindslided again... by a wrecking ball, though in this case it was intentional, compliments of Xander.
  • Alan Bradley from Coronation Street was killed by a Blackpool tram this way, quite an achievement with it being hard to miss and not exactly fast.
  • Used with odd hilarity in Crossing Jordan when the bastard of the week survives fugu poisoning and an almost-autopsy, and leaves the building threatening legal action... and promptly gets smooshed by a car.
  • CSI:
    • In "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Dead", a college kid coming down from a bad trip runs away from the cops and straight into the street where he gets run over by a car.
    • Thought to have happened in another episode where the body of a young boy is found under the front of a taxi, but it's later discovered that the boy died before the taxi hit him. Unfortunately, this isn't determined until after an angry mob beats the taxi driver to death.
  • Dan for Mayor sure seems to like this trope. The first episode ended with Mayor Bud getting hit by a bus. In the third episode, Dan borrows Charlie's cat; it jumps out of his arms, then runs into traffic and gets hit by a bus.
  • Dead Like Me has a couple of deaths this way, one from a yuppie guy in the convertible.
  • Desperate Housewives - Mike Delphino falls victim to this trope at the end of one of the earlier seasons, falling into a coma. The culprit? Orson Hodge.
    • Although in this case the driver was trying to hit him.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: In "Against the Odds", a jockey fleeing the police runs onto the track and gets run over by horses.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Pete Tyler in "Father's Day", although this was a deliberate act to put time back on track (well, it was the last time).
    • "Turn Left": Donna also gets hit by a truck on purpose to prevent a Bad Future. Interestingly, Rose is present to comfort the dying person in both cases.
    • In "The End of Time", Russell T. Davies deliberately put in the scene with Luke Smith because of this. He hated how, in most TV shows, people never look before crossing the road and there are no ill effects, teaching a bad lesson to kids. note 
    • Danny Pink gets hit by a car in "Dark Water". Clara is almost insulted that her boyfriend got such an "ordinary" death, and demands the Doctor fix it or get him back somehow. This... doesn't end well.
  • Subverted at the end of Due South. Turnbull gets hit by a bus in just that fashion, but it's revealed he only had some badly broken bones. It gets better-he was trying to break into politics, and the vehicle that hit him was his own campaign bus.
  • EastEnders seems to like this trope, especially concerning the Mitchells: Tiffany, Jamie and Danielle were all killed in this manner. Jamie's death was also due in part to Martin Fowler texting on his phone and not watching the road, adding a double dose of Anviliciousness.
  • An episode of Eureka has a bunch of scientists use a serum that grants them Superspeed in order to allow them to complete a project before a rival team. One of them ends up running through the woods and doesn't bother to look before crossing the street, likely figuring that he's too fast for anything to hit him. He's wrong. They later find his broken body in the woods, where he bounced off after a glancing blow (at superspeed) from a grill of an SUV. Typical of the show, the guy's death is Played for Laughs.
  • In the beginning of episode 111 of The Hard Times of RJ Berger, Lily is nearly hit by a bus. The bus driver says that the school cannot replace the brakes because of budget cuts. At the end of the episode she walks into the street without looking and is hit by the same bus.
  • Heroes:
    • On Claire's multiple suicide tape, one of the "deaths" she suffers is getting hit with a car.
    • Hiro also stops time and saves a little girl who would've otherwise been run over.
  • High&Low has this happen not only once, but TWICE. First, when Noburu reconciles with his friends, but thankfully, he survives. However, Tatsuya getting killed this way by saving a friend from being run over by a car was the main reason that the Mugen gang disappeared.
  • The third season finale of How I Met Your Mother has Barney run to the hospital, look the correct way on a one way street, but neglects to look the other way and promptly gets hit by a bus, that was going the wrong way on the one way street. Luckily they were in front of the hospital.
  • Various Law & Order plots involve a would-be suspect running (they always run) from police. They run out into the street and splat.
    • This has also happened to crime victims fleeing their assailants.
    • One episode opened with a woman trying to escape a paparazzo who was following her, and getting hit by a car when running out into the middle of the street. Half the episode was spent figuring out whether or not the paparazzo was at fault.
  • Life on Mars:
    • The series kicks off with the protagonist being hit by a car and waking up in the 70s, unsure if he's a time traveller, in a coma or delusional.
    • Parodied by Dead Ringers, in which Professor Robert Winston walks into the road while pointing out that TV presenters never look before crossing, and ends up re-enacting the opening sequence of Life on Mars (while still explaining to the camera how it's a hallucination caused by a brain injury).
  • Lip Service: Cat is texting Frankie when she steps into the street without looking. She's immediately struck by a car.
  • Lost. Juliet tells Richard, facetiously, that she could accept his job offer if her ex-husband were hit by a bus. Guess what happens later in the episode...
    • Earlier in the series, Michael ended up in the hospital after a similar incident.
    • And John Locke crossing a parking lot.
    • This also happens to Nadia in the fifth-season finale.
  • Lucifer: Lucifer's mother wakes up in the body of a human who has just died on the sidewalk, stumbles out into the street and gets hit by a bus. It takes two more tries before she gets it right.
  • In the Midnight Caller episode "Play Blotto... And Die", a hitman fleeing the scene of a failed hit runs right into the path of a bus.
  • Happens in a Cold Opening to the title character of Monk. It's actually a lookalike, who happens to be an assassin.
    • A variation occurs in the series finale. Kazarinski is hit by a train while running from Stottlemeyer at the train station. Unfortunately, they needed him alive to tell them what he poisoned Monk with.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: One Vox Pops sequence, after a few fake-outs, introduces a literal "man in the street", who is run over before he can say anything.
  • The first episode of Mr. Show features a Bob Odenkirk character lamenting how everything has "really changed", from his friend, to the leaves, to a caterpillar (into a butterfly), to the … traffic light. As he's crossing the street.
  • In the first episode of My Name Is Earl, the title character realises he has a winning lottery ticket and, wildly celebrating, runs into the road and gets hit by a car, causing him to lose the ticket, though he gets it back after he leaves hospital and decides to be The Atoner. Becomes a running joke, usually when Laser-Guided Karma shows up.
  • After threatening to tell Sean McNamara's wife about their affair on Nip/Tuck, the crazy nanny stops running out of the practice to turn and throw a final verbal jab... and is promptly run over by a bus.
  • Orphan Black: Kira is taken from her house by Helena, and when she sees her mom coming after her she runs right into traffic to get to her. Justified as Kira is only 8 years old and not savvy about pedestrian safety yet.
  • In Oshin, Oshin's daughter-in-law Yuri dies like this.
  • Preacher has a variation. The Saint of Killers fires a bullet at Jesse only for a van to drive into its path, killing the driver and sending the van careening out of control into the Saint of Killers. It doesn't stop him.
  • Skins has this in the case of Tony, and it takes him half a season to recover from the accident. Given RTD's love of the show, this may be a precursor to the "End of Time" example that happened nearly three years later.
  • The Soup has been known to edit speeding bus attacks into clips that they feel need it.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Happens to a bounty hunter who was holding Daniel at gunpoint. To be fair, most other planets don't have cars, buses, or elementary schools, so she likely never learned to Look Both Ways.
      • Strangely, the bus apparently doesn't honk, swerve, or even slow down, despite said bounty hunter clearly standing in the middle of the road for several seconds before being hit. Hell, it even keeps going at full speed afterward.
    • Earlier, a reporter threatening to expose the Stargate program is hit by a car and killed. The audience and O'Neill are "assured" that it was a "legitimate accident".
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "City on the Edge of Forever", Edith Keeler is hit by a car as she crosses the street, while Kirk prevents McCoy from saving her in order to restore the original timeline.
  • Supernatural:
    • In "Mystery Spot", Dean sallies forth straight into the path of an oncoming car. He flies through the air, makes several crunchy noises, and dies. But don't worry. He gets better. Heeeat of the moment...
    • Fate is killing off people in accidents. Sam and Dean do a Diving Save on an asshole lawyer as he's about to be hit by a car. He's not impressed as the only reason he was standing in the middle of the street is because they distracted him by calling out. He steps onto the street again, turns to threaten to sue them, then gets hit by a bus.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Terminators show utterly no ability to Look Both Ways.
    • In the Pilot episode, Cromartie gets creamed in a parking lot by a truck driven by Cameron.
    • The next episode, Vick trips over a motorcycle doing a lay-down by Sarah, despite easily being able to see it coming from about fifty feet away.
    • No more than a minute later, Cameron, chasing Vick, gets stuck in the windshield of a car while chasing Vick across a street.
    • The first episode of second season, Catharine Weaver lampshades this a bit with a scary monologue about humans "crossing against the light" and getting run over, and that she's looking for a computer that can "cross against the light".
  • In an X-Files episode with a genie, a man gets his wish of invisibility. He gleefully runs off, right into the path of a speeding semi truck.

TV Movies:

  • The TV Movie W.E.I.R.D. World has a rather interesting example of this. One of the scientists working for the titular organization discovers time travel and reveals she knows she will die in a couple of days. On the day in question, her brother comes to her to steal her research and takes them both back in time half an hour to leave the facility. She tries to escape and throws what she pretends is her research file into the road. He goes to pick it up, discovers it's actually her ID badge, and gets run over by his past self.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • In the Dating Sim Hourglass of Summer the heroine Kaho is set to die in a car accident, caused by a number of different factors beyond her control. The main character spends the whole game making sure these events don't occur, only for the universe to get snotty and hand the girl an Idiot Ball as she crosses the road.
  • Sierra likes this trope:
    • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards would kill you if you walked out into the street, which meant the game could end mere seconds after you started.
    • Laura Bow II: The Dagger of Amon Ra. Look both ways before crossing the road or get run over. (Of course, if you look, there's never any car coming; there's a car coming only if you don't look.)
    • And the largely-forgotter 1988 Sierra adventure Gold Rush! had stagecoaches that can kill you if you don't keep out of their way. Fortunately these are actually avoidable, although heaven help you if you happen to be in one's path when changing screens.
    • Also in Police Quest II, when your character, Sonny Bonds, crosses the airport street without pressing the crossing button results getting hit by a speeding taxicab and also like LSL, walking out into the street will kill you off screen.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: in a random encounter, a man who Niko previously helped dispose of the body of his wife gets remarried, and irrationally suspecting her of cheating on him, asks Niko to kill her. When Niko refuses, he resolves to do it himself, crosses the road without looking and is run over.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2's "sad song" features an ice skater who is killed because she was focusing too much on her younger sister, who yelled at her earlier for getting too much attention. The aforementioned sister decides to skate at a competition in her place to make up for it.
  • In the game Saints Row 2, two junkies steal boxes of Loa Dust and make a blind run for it, across a street. The first junkie isn't so lucky.
  • In the beginning of Heavy Rain, the protagonist's son runs into the street and is hit by a car and instantly killed.
  • The subway trains and rollercoaster in Silent Hill 3 will run you over without fail if you set foot onto the tracks. The latter can be temporarily turned off, though.
  • In Yarudora series vol.2: Kisetsu o Dakishimete, this is how the Sexy Lady's fiancé died. He was so impatient to meet her, propose to her and give her a wedding ring, he got hit by a car as he carelessly tried to cross the road separating them, and died in her arms.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, this is narrowly averted in the Japan and Europe versions of Stage 6 when Lammy avoids getting hit by a car. She does, however, end up getting killed by other means, though...
  • The ending of the game Deemo shows that this trope was the cause for the whole game. Alice, the amnesiac girl the story follows, gets pushed out of the way of an oncoming truck by Hans, her older brother. Hans is killed, while Alice is injured and sent into a coma; the game turns out to have been about about Alice trying remember and accept the accident in order to wake up.

  • Kestrel from Queen of Wands, on first arriving in Something*Positive, called out to Davan and Peejee...and, true to form, was run down without the two of them even noticing. She did return with some scars some time later; Davan, as it turned out, had been the one to turn down her insurance claim. The driver was revealed to be Avagadro, who also hit a minor character standing in the street crying (and this one he did kill; he and Avagadro are neighbors in Hell).
  • Kevin gets struck by a car in Carpe Diem. Over the next few strips, we see his funeral, watch his friends and loved ones grieve, and notice as a few minor background events start getting creepier... Anyone who paid attention to the dates could probably see the Zombie Apocalypse story coming. After Halloween comes and goes, we snap back to moments before the accident, where Kevin just barely avoids getting hit.
  • ''Guardian Ghost Max getting hit by a car and then promptly revived kicks off the whole plot
  • Isekai Transporter is a Thai webcomic about Bunrueng Songsawad, a truck driver, and Anna, his assistant from another dimension. They work for a company that provides people from Earth to act as heroes in other dimensions. As per the clichés of the Isekai genre, they do this by hitting them with a truck. Or bashing them over the head with the bumper of their truck, if they manage to dodgenote . Bunrueng drives the trucks, while Anna finds suitable candidates, makes sure the target is in position, and keeps an eye out for the cops when he has to escape.
  • In Adventurers!, this is invoked by Khrima when he uses a Scroll of Summon City Bus to win a Wizard Duel.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The same thing happened to Kenny the South Park episode "Do the Handicapped Go To Hell?". In the next episode, "Probably", we find that Kenny somehow survived and wound up in Mexico.
    • In a similar situation in the parody film The Naked Gun OJ Simpson's character through a series of unfortunate events ends up stuck under a bus that winds up in... Detroit!
  • Futurama
    • Fry is down in the abandoned ruins of Old New York and decides that he can cross the street without looking both ways. So he does... and is trampled by a giant lizard.
    • In a post-cancellation episode, Fry reassures himself that even though he's not book smart, he's at least street smart... and as he's saying this, he steps in front of a bus.
  • Tex Avery liked to have characters Look Both Ways and, seeing no cars coming for miles, take one step into the pavement, only to be ran over immediately. Fortunately, since it's just a cartoon, they just get neatly flattened, and recover by the next scene.
  • Robot Chicken has a sketch involving someone who didn't believe in the afterlife step into a street, just to get run over, and sent to said afterlife:
    Friend 1: Oh, wow what a uh...
    Friend 2: Convenient plot device?
    Friend 1: Yeah, plot device.
  • Phil Ken Sebben in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law was offed in this way. Or so we think until he comes back for the final episode. He actually just got lodged in the bus' grille. Then, he kills Birdman this way.
  • This has happened a few times on Aqua Teen Hunger Force (Master Shake, Major Shake and Meatwad).
  • Toot of the animated show Drawn Together falls victim to this, skipping happily and praising her newly purchased muumuu.
  • An episode of Mighty Max has an alien follow Max through the portals to Earth, where it continues chasing him up until the point where it chases him across the street and gets run over.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Road to the Multiverse", Stewie and Brian visit an alternate universe where humans are subservient to dogs. When they go back home, Brian's alternate counterpart (a human kept as a pet) goes along with them. Excited about his new prospects in life, human Brian begins his optimistic adventure in a brand new universe but is promptly hit by a car.
    • In "Life of Brian," Brian himself is hit by a car and Killed Off for Real.
      • Only to return two episodes later due to Stewie stealing his past self's time machine.
  • Wile E. Coyote fails to do this on occasion, and gets hit with both semis and trains.
  • An episode of Mike, Lu & Og has Mike going to island's school for the first time. When Og points to a "school crossing", she says there are no cars on the island and steps onto the crosswalk, only for a herd of elephants to stampede by and rip open her shoe.

  • This joke uses the trope. It's a "Shaggy Dog" Story.
  • Public information films aimed at kids in Britain in the 1970's used this trope. One popular in The '70s repeated the mantra "Look left. Look right. look left again!" to kids, to try to drum it into them to look before they crossed the street. With visual reinforcement concerning what might happen to heedless kids who didn't.


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