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"About this time, someone is telling you to get on the plane. 'Get on the plane, get on the plane!' I say 'Fuck you, I'm getting in the plane! Let Evel Knievel get on the plane! I'll be in here with you folks in uniform. There seems to be less wind in here!'"

Just because the car's locked doesn't mean you can't go along for the ride. Just hop on top or side of the car, and hold on.

This is popular in many cop shows; our hero can be counted on to leap to the roof of a speeding getaway car at least once per season. Alternatively, he can jump onto the hood and glare at the driver while said driver tries to shake him off. Larger vehicles can also be used (particularly popular version is jumping onto a tall vehicle from an overhead bridge) — if it's a truck, for example, our Hero will often need to climb forward to the cab somehow. (You can also climb about on trains, but they're a bit different since they don't swerve about.)

Busted by the MythBusters, who found it much less safe in reality than on the screen.

For example, in Real Life it is incredibly difficult to hold on to a car even at low speeds, and at high speeds it is impossible to do so. It may be slightly easier to hold on to a train, but all of your effort has to be spent in just holding on and you have to be on top of a car that isn't rounded or containing hot liquids — plus, tunnels can cut too close to the roof for a standing person to survive passing through one. Aircraft — at least when we're talking jets, spacecraft, or anything that is flying at a sufficiently high speed and altitude — are literally impossible to stand on the outside of, and doing so is certain death.

Two variant forms have become outdated with modern car designs, but may be seen in older media. For a stealth Outside Ride, jump onto the back bumper and hold on tight (the technical term is Skitching). This is often a convenient way for the hero to get to the villain's hideout. A more obvious method would be to stand on the running board, though if the driver's not paying attention you might be able to crouch underneath the window before he sees you.

See also: Hood Hopping, Traintop Battle, Underside Ride. Punk in the Trunk (the second option) is a more modern version of riding on the back bumper, which isn't to say characters in older works can't do it. May precede a High Speed Hijacking.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first episode of Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta stands on top of Bulma's plane because he refuses to approach leisure or inactivity in any way. Bulma tries to punish him by flying through heavy foliage, but he is both literally and figuratively unmoved.
  • Highschool of the Dead: Saeko is particularly fond of this, at least once using the extra momentum to increase the force of her strike.
  • Ino-Head Gargoyle:
    • At one point, Saejima rides on the hood of a police car after some robbers, and then asks the driver to brake when they're close so he can jump onto the crooks' motorcycle.
    • Another time, he accidentally stands on the hood of Nakajo's car; Nakajo then goes on the expressway with Saejima clinging on for dear life.
  • It's not uncommon in Lupin III to have Goemon standing on the roofs of cars, trains, planes, etc. so he can cut an enemy vehicle in half with his sword.
  • In My Hero Academia: Vigilantes, Koichi accidentally manages to cling to the side of a moving bullet train with his Quirk when he arrived just as the doors closed. As a pro hero, he repeats this feat but with a falling plane. The wind in his face blows him right off when he stops to try and reassure a child inside with a smile.
  • In the pilot episode of Princess Principal, Ange jumps onto the hood of an enemy chase vehicle so she can use her anti-gravity device to levitate it. She somehow holds on as it bounces off her team's car and starts spinning, and she jumps right back into her car at the last second before the floating car smashes into a bridge.
  • In the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman episode "Web of Danger", Ken and Joe hang on the back of a car to secretly follow Dr. Nambu to a meeting with a... friend.
  • In Sunday Without God, Cute Ghost Girl Dee is shown riding on top of the group's van in the bonus episode. She may miss having a physical body, but being a ghost does have its advantages.

    Comic Books 
  • In the second main arc of Astonishing X-Men, the newly alive-after-all Colossus is shown riding on top of the team's jet on their way to a monster fight. After spending however long locked up in a lab, he wanted to feel the wind.
  • In The Batman Adventures #9, Batman vaults over the top of a gangster's car as it attempts to run him down, then lands on the back and perches on the rear bumper to tagalong with the gangsters to where they are going.
  • Robin (Tim) once rode on the outside of a car "borrowed" by Batman in order to leap from it onto the Batmobile and steal it back. He has to spend some time on the outside of the Batmobile too and is concerned the thief will discover the features Bruce installed in the car knock off, zap or trap anyone clinging to the vehicle.
  • Captain America punctuates his escape from S.H.I.E.L.D. at the start of Civil War (2006) by leaping on top of a fighter jet and eventually buying the pilot a burger later on.
  • Robin (1993): During a Arkham breakout Tim wrangles one of the escapees back into custody by clinging to the outside of the truck he'd stolen and fighting with him with his staff while the criminal shot at him.
  • After Scott Pilgrim gets his He's Back! moment, he rides the bus this way back to Toronto.
  • Sin City has a couple of examples:
    • Marv hopped onto the back of a getaway car in Just Another Saturday Night and found himself on the hood of a cop car a few seconds later.
    • In Family Values Miho rollerbladed after a car, hitched onto the bumper, then climbed into the trunk without the mobsters knowing it.
    • Dwight attempted this in A Dame To Kill For, but failed.
    • In the first Sin City tale, Marv subverted this by actually hurling himself through the windshield of a cop car as opposed to just hanging on.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Man often does this, using his enhanced reflexes and athletic prowess to catch a ride and his clinging ability to hang on:
    • Way back in The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko) #1, Spidey hopped onto the Chameleon's helicopter and ripped the door off in order to get to him.
    • He pulled a similar move at the climax of the first Hobgoblin story arc when he jumped onto the side of an armored van in order to get to the villain.
    • In Venom's first miniseries, Spidey hopped onto the hood of a gang's car while it was moving and webbed up the windshield.
    • This has also been used as a gag multiple times when he is running late or is out of web-fluid, so he decides to hop onto any moving vehicle he sees.
    • In one case, as he's riding on the hood of a car he sees an NYPD patrol car next to him. He cracks a joke about what he's doing probably not being covered in the traffic laws. The officer smirks and we Gilligan Cut to Spidey holding a traffic ticket.
    • When Spidey first joined The Avengers (as a reserve) back in the eighties, it involved him sticking to the bottom of their quinjet and following them to a mission.
  • In Dark Horse's Star Wars: Chewbacca, Wedge Antilles recalls the time Chewbacca accidentally hitched a ride on his X-wing during a battle, then leaped onto a TIE fighter and took it out single-handed.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: Wonder Woman climbs to the outside of a commercial flight to leap over to her invisible plane at one point. At another, as Diana Prince, she ends up riding on the outside of a sabotaged plane while regaining partial control of it to crash land it in a way where it won't raise suspicion that the human Diana Prince survived the crash. (This was in the Golden Age before she'd been upgraded with the power of flight by later writers.)
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Golden Age Diana and Steve Trevor spend an awful lot of time hanging out on the Amazonian stealth plane's wings or dangling from its ladder while it's in flight, usually to try to catch, give a hand to or lasso someone.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Diana climbs to the outside of the experimental aircraft she and the Holliday Girls are flying to draw the Duke of Deception's undead forces.
  • Chassis: After Matt Geer's aero-car is damaged by sabotage and crashes. Chassis saves him from the subsequent explosion by having him leap on to the hood of her car and flying off while he clings on for dear life.
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: In #10, Indy jumps on to the wing of Ilsa Toht's flying boat and hangs on as it takes off.
  • In The Untold Origin of Femforce, She-Cat escapes from a crashing airliner by leaping from the plummeting plane on to the top of the Nazi zeppelin that had just shot it down, and clinging to the envelope until it lands.
  • Astro City has a variation; the Astro-Naut would ride jet engines — and nothing else, just the engine — for fun, like a rodeo cowboy.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dick Tracy, Tracy's dog Mugg (a boxer) would often along with Tracy by clinging to the roof of the patrol car.
  • In one early Dilbert strip, Dilbert is bumped from a fight. When he complains, the airline "accommodates" him by duct-taping him to the wing of the plane.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): The opening chase scene shows many police officers riding on the sides or roofs of their own cars while chasing the gang. Chief Luggins even uses her police baton to hold down the gas pedal so she can climb out her window and grab the gang's car, only to be forced back in to avoid an oncoming bus.
  • During his first outing as a vigilante in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Bruce jumps and clings on to the back doors of a fleeing truck.
  • In The Man Called Flintstone, as a result of having "last-class tickets" for the plane that the Flintstones also take, the Rubbles have seats on the wing of the plane.
  • Atop The Polar Express is a hobo who Hero Boy meets when crossing the roof of the cars. The Hobo turns out to be a spirit who can de-materialize at will, while Hero Boy has to quickly duck inside the train when it approaches a tunnel only an inch taller than its own roof.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alita: Battle Angel: While escaping from Zapan, Hugo clings to front of one of the buggies driving the streets of Iron City.
  • In the first Back to the Future, Marty gets to school quickly by holding onto the rear bumpers of cars while standing on his skateboard. This turns out to be something of a Chekhov's Skill when he uses the same technique to keep from being run down by Biff in 1955.
  • In Batman, reporter Alexander Knox does this on the hood of Vicki Vale's car.
  • In Bet Your Life, Joseph jumps out of the back of his Humvee on to the bonnet of chuck's limo, where he smashes his way through the windscreen and starts strangling Sonny, while still laying on the bonnet.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Vampire Amilyn (Paul Reubens) hangs onto the top of Pike's van as he's fleeing and even punches a hole in the roof to grab him. Too bad about that low tree limb...
  • Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers: During Miki's kidnap, Crown of Thorns leaps on top of the kidnappers' van and stays there for most of the chase.
  • After the final shootout in Cold Pursuit, White Bull hangs on to the side of Coxman's snowplow and then climbs inside, pointing a gun at Coxman.
  • In the 1913 silent film Cousins Of Sherlocko, two detectives tail a suspect by clinging to the back of the car he's travelling in. At one point, the car halts at an intersection and the detectives get down, thinking it's reached its destination, then have to run after it when it starts off again.
  • The Deathproof half of Grindhouse shows clearly that even trained stunt professionals have a hard time hanging on to the hood of a car when there's a maniac slamming his car into yours at high speed.
  • The action film Deadly Target have this happening in the Action Prologue as supercop Eddie's Establishing Character Moment; interrupting a weapons deal, clinging to the back of a container truck full of illegal weapons, and firing a few shots before getting thrown off. Moments later, the truck overturns and explodes, with the credits superimposed over the blast.
  • In Deewaar, Ravi jumps on top of Vijay's car while chasing him near the end.
  • In Dick Tracy (1990), Tracy's Sidekick "The Kid" hitches a ride on the back of police cars.
  • Dick Tracy, Detective: When Tess is kidnapped, Junior jumps on to the rear bumper of Splitface's car and clings on to the spare tyre.
  • Clint Eastwood as cop Harry Callahan does this a few times. In the first movie Dirty Harry, Harry jumps from an overpass onto the roof of a schoolbus taken hostage by the Scorpio Killer. In the sequel Magnum Force a mobster trying to escape a police raid speeds out in a getaway car and Harry clings to the hood of it.
  • The running board version is seen in Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze, with Doc pointing dramatically as he stands on the running board (in the rain no less) as the Fabulous Five drive off to take on the villains who've killed Doc's father. Never mind that they weren't actually chasing someone at the time...
  • Drive, He Said: When Gabriel is being carted off to a mental hospital, Hector runs after the ambulance and clings onto the back. He's quickly pulled off.
  • The Fremen climb on the backs of sand worms (which they call Shai Hulud) to move across long distances on Arrakis/Dune in Dune (1984), Dune: Part One and Dune: Part Two, steering them using hooks and ropes on their gill-like external organs. Also, in Dune: Part Two, Jessica, now a Reverend Mother, has a special palanquin to protect her from the sand storm when she's brought to the South of Arrakis on the back of a Shai Hulud.
  • The Fearless Vampire Killers: When Professor Abronsius orders Alfred to follow Koukol, Alfred does so by clinging to the back of the sleigh. This works fine till the hunchback stops to deal with a wolf.
  • The Flash (2023). When Batman tries strafing Nam-Ek he leaps onto the Batplane in mid-flight. As the Batplane has a rotating cockpit to keep it level during hard roles, Batman tries rotating the cockpit constantly to throw him off, but in the end Batman just jumps out and lets the Batplane crash.
  • In Flying Down to Rio a bunch of Chorus Girls do an aerial dance/display while strapped to the wings of flying biplanes.
  • When Mickey Cohen flees from the shootout at the climax of Gangster Squad, Sarge follows by jumping onto the back of the car and holding on. He is helped by the fact the rear window had been shot out earlier.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Snake Eyes does this on the approach to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Constantly in The Gods Must Be Crazy. In an early scene, you can just about see one of the actors playing a rebel soldier go flying off the hood of the car because of it, he continues with the scene as it nothing happened. Not too surprising as it's set in Africa where riding on top of a car is not uncommon.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, Miss Piggy grabs onto the back of a vehicle when escaping from prison.
  • In both Green Hornet movie serials, the Hornet catches a ride on the back bumper of a villain's car.
  • Help!George Harrison jumps on the mad scientist's car as it's getting away with Ringo in the trunk.
  • Indiana Jones:
    • Raiders of the Lost Ark:
      • Indy finds himself clambering all over a truck which he's trying to hijack, a process made difficult by the Nazi soldiers who are riding in the back. The Nazis then do it too.
      • There's also the submarine incident of questionable plausibility, in which Indy somehow rides a submarine across the Mediterranean.
    • Indy also clings to the front of a speeding mine cart in Temple of Doom, braking it with the sole of his boot.
    • Then there's the extended action sequence in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade that takes place in, on and around a tank.
  • The Invisible Man (1933) has the eponymous character follow his target this way. Made easier by the fact that, well, he's invisible. Ignore the fact that he's also naked in the middle of winter hanging onto the side of a speeding car...
  • James Bond runs into this a bit, as one might expect:
    • In From Russia with Love, after leaving the stopped Orient Express with Tatiana Romanov, Bond grabs onto the rail of a car and rides it for a hundred yards or so, to a point on the other side of the tracks from where Grant's contact is waiting for him.
    • At the end of Live and Let Die, Baron Samedhi is seen riding on the front end of a train locomotive after he was killed by poisonous snakes earlier in the movie. Badass indeed.
    • In Octopussy, Bond leaps from a horse onto the twin-engine aircraft Kamal is using to escape. Once he's gained some height Kamal loops the plane to throw Bond off the roof (fortunately there are some handy rails for Bond to hold onto) and thinks he's succeeded until he sees Bond yanking out the wires on one of the engines.
      Kamal: Got out there and get him!
      Gobinda: Out there?! (Death Glare from Kamal) Yes, Excellency!
    • In Licence to Kill, Bond takes a ride on a moving tanker truck.
    • In For Your Eyes Only, Bond finds himself trapped in a helicopter that's remotely-controlled by Blofeld, so has to climb around the outside of it in midair to get into the pilot seat and regain control.
  • Buster Keaton often grabbed onto moving cars in his films; see "Cops", The Goat, Sherlock, Jr..
  • In The Lost World (1998), Myar is the last one of the party to reach the balloon as it takes off, and leaps on to the outside of the cage; clinging to it as the balloon ascends the plateau.
  • Mad Max:
    • Mad Max. Toecutter's gang steal fuel from a tanker-truck while it's on the move by waiting till it's slowed to drive up a steep road, pole-vaulting onto the tanker, then running a hose off the back.
    • Coupled with Traintop Battle in Mad Max: Fury Road. Many fight scenes involve characters hopping onto the War Rig to hijack the truck—in fact the Polecats are specifically equipped for this. And of course, this is just one of the things that makes the Doof Warrior even more awesome. Playing a flamethrower/guitar hybrid is cool enough, but it's even more awesome when it's on top of a speeding truck.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The First Avenger—When doesn't Cap take advantage of this trope? Taxicab, personal submarine, speeding train, drone aircraft...
    • Shows up a couple of times in The Avengers. Thor makes his entrance by landing on the team Quinjet so he can grab Loki from them and take him back to Asgard.
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Soldier hitches a ride on Sam's car.
    • Black Panther does this in both Civil War and his solo movie.
    • In the Action Prologue of Black Widow (2021), Red Guardian gives covering fire against SHIELD agents while lying on the wing of the light aircraft his sleeper cell "family" are using to escape to Cuba. And then continues clinging onto the wing for the entire flight, which started in Ohio. Much as his character is played for laughs later in the film, the scene shows what he was capable of in his prime.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: An upgraded Agent jumps onto the hood of a car from another car, and just stands there while the car swerves back and forth. There is also a full-scale kung fu battle on the top of a semi truck, brought to an abrupt end when it slams into another truck head-on.
  • In Mercenaries, Clay jumps on to the back of the truck carrying the missiles before jumping off to ambush the drivers when they stop.
  • Mission: Impossible Film Series:
  • The Mummy: How do four people ride on a two-seater biplane? Answer: Two in the seats and one on each lower wing. Of course, it probably wasn't moving when they got on it. And if you look closely they are tied to the wings.
  • Mysterious Doctor Satan (1940 Film Serial). In the final chapter, masked superhero The Copperhead does a variation of a bumper ride when he lies on a platform at the back of a truck used for climbing onto the flatbed.
  • In The Phantom, the Phantom does this on the villains' truck near the beginning, and later hitches a ride to the showdown on the landing pontoon of Sala's seaplane.
  • In Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge, mall guard Christopher Volker attacks Melody and Peter at gunpoint as they talk, in a car, about the fire; he boasts that he is the arsonist. As they escape and Volker chases them with his car, Eric leaps onto the roof, distracting him and causing a crash.
  • In Platoon, the soldiers arriving to the carnage scene at the end of the film ride atop their M113 personnel carrier, not inside. Justified, since this was the usual practise in the Vietnam War.
  • The first Police Academy introduces Fackler as he's having a spat with his wife. She's begging him not to join the police force due to how accident prone he is. She eventually jumps onto the hood of his car to keep him from leaving. The next time we see him, he's driving down the highway with his wife still clinging to the hood.
  • The Predator: While chasing the Predator at the dam, Casey jumps from a catwalk on to the passing bus, and balances on the roof, attempting to get a bead on him. Later, McKenna, Nebraska and Nettles jump on to the outside of the Predator ship as it is taking off.
  • When Slick attempts to drive away in Prom Night (1980), the killer clings to the outside of his van.
  • Subverted in Red (2010). CIA agent William Cooper is trying to warn the Secret Service they've fallen for a Not My Driver trick while they're hell-bent on driving their charge away as quickly as possible. He leaps onto the roof in a suitably badass manner, slides down the back window with a silly expression on his face (as he's pressed against the glass), makes a futile attempt to get the Service agents to stop, then gets thrown off when the limo abruptly turns a corner.
  • Reform School Girls: After she steals the bus, Charlie kicks out the windscreen and climbs out on to the roof, while the bus is still driving.
  • In Revolver (1973), one of the police officers who stumbles across Carlotta's truck at the service station grabs the bar at the front when Vito drives off. He manages to hold on for a distance along the road before eventually falling off. Later on, Vito is concerned by the lack of concern he felt for the officer's life.
  • In the climax of Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird, Gordon goes through the hole in the roof and onto the hood of the car that Cookie Monster had eaten to instruct Big Bird to jump off the moving truck.
  • Shanghai Grand have Ding-lik grabbing to the back of a cab speeding through the streets of Shanghai during a chase scene.
  • Sheitan: After Joseph is out the broken window of Ladj's car, he somehow turns up on the roof: trying to stab down through it.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-Man pulls it off in the first movie. Justified, since he "does whatever a spider can", being sticking to surfaces, like a car roof. A hold-over from the comic book; Spidey frequently hitched unwitting vehicles when traveling through places with low overhead or few to no skyscrapers.
  • Star Wars: In Attack of the Clones, Anakin hangs on to the outside of Bounty Hunter Zam Wessell's enclosed speeder during part of the Coruscant chase sequence, after jumping out of his and Obi-Wan's speeder.
  • In The Sting, Hooker runs out of a diner, across the street and out of camera view, while escaping from two of Lonnegan's thugs. A moment later, a streetsweeper chugs back up the street with Hooker hanging on its off side. The two thugs run across the street behind the sweeper and look left and right for Hooker, but never think to look at the side of the sweeper behind them.
  • In Swashbuckler, Ned and Lynch catch up to Major Folly's carriage on foot, jump on to the back of it and then climb across the roof in order to perform their High-Speed Hijack.
  • Teen Wolf's favorite game was to surf the top of a bus.
  • The Toxic Avenger jumps on the roof of the bully's car. They attempt to swerve to shake him off.
  • Transit: When Arielle steps out of the SUV, Robyn immediately attempts to drive off. Arielle leaps on to the back of the car and attempts to smash her way in through the rear window.
  • TRON: Legacy: Sam lands on the roof of a taxi cab. The driver swerves to try and get him down, citing "no free taxi".
  • Towards the end of Unstoppable, Will jumps in the back of a speeding pickup in order to get to the front of a Runaway Train that is carrying extremely toxic chemicals. He does it with a broken foot no less.
  • The War Wagon: After knocking the driver and shotgun guard off, Taw and Lomax drop on to the roof of the War wagon. When the wagon jinks to the side, Lomax gets thrown off the roof and ends up hanging on to the side.
  • Where Eagles Dare: Major Smith and Lieutenant Schaffer infiltrate the castle (a German HQ) by sneaking onto the roof of the castle's cable car, which is the only way to access it.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Eddie Valiant is seen hitching a ride on the back of the electric streetcar, along with some other poor, Oliver Twist-esque boys.
  • In Sky Riders, terrorists swoop down on Jim in a helicopter, trying to knock him off a cliff. Instead, he grabs onto a skid and flies away with it. He shoots the copter, forcing it to land.
  • In Hold On! (1966), Herman falls out of a roller coaster and hangs onto the outside of the front car until the ride ends.
  • Yakuza Apocalypse: When Kageyama's son Masaru is attacking a bunch of gangsters post Vampirisation, he manages to get on top of their van, and stay standing on it when they try to drive away.
  • In My Demon Lover, Charles kidnaps Denny and pulls her into his car. Kaz jumps from Denny's balcony onto the roof of the car. Sonia, who thinks Kaz is a criminal who's been attacking women, climbs onto the hood of the car. While the car drives away, the two continue fighting as they cling to the outside of the car.

  • Alex Rider: In Eagle Strike, Alex sneaks into the Dutch facility by using magnetic clamps to attach himself to side of a truck that is entering posing as the ninja that is painted on the side of the truck. Later, he escapes by climbing on top of a truck that is on its way out.
  • Done by Rachel and Tobias in Animorphs in one story while both are in bird morph on a car and then a helicopter, while Jake once landed on a roller coaster (in seagull morph) as it went in a dive.
  • Done a few times in Biggles with someone riding lying down on the wing of a plane, generally as a method of rescuing someone from enemy territory in a situation where a two-seater plane can't be used (due to lack of room to land or an Obstructive Bureaucrat).
  • Spoofed in The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril (a Two-Fisted Tales-homage by Paul Malmont) when Lester Dent (creator of Doc Savage) leaps onto a car's running board and demands to be driven to Chinatown. The car roars off causing Lester to be thrown off onto the street.
  • Doc Savage's favorite way to get around NYC is to let one of his buddies drive while he stands on the running board.
  • Mike, at the beginning of Ghost, does this on the van that's being used to kidnap coeds.
  • In The Girl Who Owned a City, several of the child protagonists have fun riding on the tops of cars. Since the drivers are themselves children who haven't learned to drive, they tend to drive slowly anyway and are even more cautious when someone's on the top of the car.
  • The hero does this at one point in Slan and even gets a chance to read the villains' minds.
  • YT in Snow Crash - she has a device that lets her attach to cars and catch a ride, and this is how she gets around.
  • In A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes follows a person of interest by clinging to the back of the cab she got into, and then dropping off shortly before it arrives at its destination so he can pretend to be just walking past as she gets out. "That's an art which every detective should be an expert at," he tells Watson.
  • Young Sherlock Holmes: When Sherlock is kidnapped from the fair in Death Cloud, Matty follows by clinging to the back of the carriage that is taking him away.
  • Lost Voices has the 3,000-year-old mermaid Nausicaa, who has traveled the world by hitching a life vest she's wearing to the outside of a ship.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Arrested Development the Bluths always get "hop-ons" when they drive their van because it was made to load airplanes and has a set of stairs on it.
  • In Band of Brothers the men of Easy Company rode on top of some British tanks in the Netherlands in the fourth episode instead of marching.
  • Bewitched: One episode has Samantha and Endorra taking a trip to Paris on top of an airliner, and having a casual conversation while doing so. At the end of the episode Endorra breaks the fourth wall, and, while leaning against the tail of a jet in a parody of a sixties era advert for jet travel, raises a glass to toast the audience whilst cackling "It's the only way to fly.".
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Holt sees the man who kidnapped his dog Cheddar driving away, and jumps on the vehicle to engage him. He manages to stay on through a few swerves until the guy slams on the brakes and sends him over the hood, but Holt just rolls to his feet and starts a fist fight after both of them are disarmed. Jake, who is watching from the backseat, is very impressed.
    Holt: He's not getting away! He took my dog!
  • Cannon: In "Stone, Cold Dead", the killer attempts to escape in a speedboat. Cannon jumps on to the front of the boat, and winds up fighting the killer over the windscreen.
  • Once per Episode in Der Clown: Hero jumps on the enemy's getaway car/truck on the highway from a helicopter. Even in the self-parodic time travel episode.
  • Harrison ends up clinging to the windscreen of a car during a chase in one episode of Crazy Like a Fox. The scene is used in the Title Sequence.
  • In Curfew, Jenny Donahue leaves her family behind after she's attacked by a monster and she thinks she's infected with The Virus that creates those monsters. She's picked up by Team Awesome, but they stick her on the roof when they discover her injuries. Some time later, Joker Jones realizes that she hasn't actually been infected and they bring her back inside.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Utopia": Jack Harkness does this with the freaking TARDIS. While it's travelling through time. This temporarily kills him.
    • "The Time of the Doctor": Clara accidentally does this when trying to prevent the TARDIS from returning to Trenzalore without her, after the Doctor tricked her into being sent home so she'd be out of danger. The TARDIS ends up being 300 years late because she had to protect Clara with a force field on their way back.
  • The F.B.I.: In "Special Delivery", Erskine is inside a semitrailer that is transporting a wanted fugitive. He stops the truck by climbing out the back, across the roof of the trailer, and dropping down between the cab and the trailer to yank out the air brake lines.
  • During the Future Cop episode "The Mad Mad Bomber", Haven chases after a pickup truck containing stolen TV sets, grabs onto the back, climbs over the cab, and raps on the windshield.
  • One episode of How I Met Your Mother ends with Lily clinging to the roof of a moving car while under the effects of a highly caffeinated energy drink.
  • All the time on Knight Rider. Just try and count how often Michael tells KITT to take control and open the sunroof so he can climb out and jump onto the bad guy's car, truck, helicopter, airplane, what have you.
  • Leverage:
    • Parker drops on to the roof of a moving armoured car as she prepares to pull a High-Speed Hijack in "The First David Job".
    • In "The Rundown Job", Parker clings to the top of a subway train so as not to lose the terrorist who is carrying a briefcase full of killer flu virus.
  • The Magician: In "The Magician - Pilot", Blake and Mary Rose have to jump from a speedboat onto a seaplane being piloted by Jerry. They cling to the outside as the plane takes off.
  • Major Crimes: In "Four of a Kind", Flynn is attempting to pull a suspect out of her vehicle when she slams it into gear and accelerates. Flynn manages to cling to the door for some distance before she slams on the brakes and throws him off.
  • Mayday: The captain of British Airways Flight 5390 goes through this when a blown-out windshield leads to him getting sucked out of the cockpit and pinned to the fuselage.
  • MythBusters: In addition to the test referred to in the trope description, Jamie once took an Outside Ride on a speedboat. During their preliminary testing for the motorcycle water ski myth, the rig they'd mounted to the stern of the boat was too heavy, so Jamie climbed onto the bow to play counterweight.
    • The build team also confirmed the "tennis on a plane's wing" video linked in the Advertising section. note 
  • The New Avengers: In "Dead Men are Dangerous", Gambit leaps on the back of a fleeing car. He gets thrown off but manages to pull off the number plate as he goes.
  • In a season 3 episode of Primeval, Danny does this in an attempt to escape some hungry terror birds.
  • The Rescue 911 episode "Bumper Baby" reenacts an improbable Real Life story of a two-year-old clinging for dear life to the back of her dad's box truck as he drives it down the highway not knowing she's there. Amazingly, she is able to hold on for several miles before he pulls over.
  • In an earlier episode of Shake it Up, Cece gets herself and Rocky stuck dancing on the wing of an airborne plane. In a later episode, Rocky expresses to Cece that she is not happy about it.
  • During the climax of the Starsky & Hutch episode "A Long Walk Down a Short Dirt Road," both guys cling to the outside of the Torino, which the villain is trying to use as a getaway vehicle.
  • Star Wars
  • T.J. Hooker is notorious for the aggressive stunts Hooker pulls on duty like leaping onto vehicles.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman does this several times. For example:
    • In "Anschluss 77", Lynda Carter personally did this with a helicopter without safety gear. The producers were not happy about their star risking herself like that.
    • In "Mind Stealers from Outer Space - Part 1", Wonder Woman leaps onto the hood of a car being driven by possessed teenagers leading to capturing one of them.
  • In the episode "Real Time" of Workaholics, the guys are trying to get to work in a hurry, but are too drunk to drive. Adam dons rollerblades and when the gang goes to get on a bus, he tries to hang on the back to be skitching. The guys talk him out of it, and later he tries it anyway with Alice's car. She promptly backs up into him.
  • Featured once on World's Dumbest... with people in India holding on to a train as part of their morning commute.

    Music Videos 

  • The protagonist of Airborne Avenger does this while Sky Surfing on his one-man jet-sled.
  • A scene in Lights... Camera... Action! shows two of the film's characters hanging from the railing of an airborne helicopter.
  • Time Machine (Data East) has a fifties-era football jock clinging to the outside of the time car as it drives through history.
  • The sides of the cabinet for Vacation America show one of the kids hanging onto a rope as the family wagon drives off.
  • In Aerosmith, the visuals for the mode "Last Child" depict the band performing on top of their tour van as it's moving.

  • Led to one of the most memorable sequences in Dino Attack RPG. The heist on Dacta Corp.'s just gone horribly wrong, and the two survivors have to get away with the plans they were trying to steal... while the assassin who responsible for killing the others is right on top of their car. Cue intense chase as Montoya has to navigate a freeway while simultaneously trying to help his partner shake her off- They only got away because she believed them dead when the car veered off the road and caught fire, when in actuality they managed to escape when she left just before the blaze.

    Video Games 
  • Battlefield 1942 lets you do this ON AN AIRPLANE.
  • Bayonetta absolutely loves this trope. Cars, planes, missiles, trains, Bayonetta rides 'em all. The second game even begins with Bayonetta fighting angels atop a jet fighter.
  • Bandit runner patrols in Borderlands have a driver, a gunner, and two Psychos hanging on the outside.
  • In Bully, while riding a skateboard you can latch onto the bumpers of cars to get around town more easily.
  • In the intro cinematic for Dead Island 2, Jacob is seen sneaking onto the evacuation flight by hitching a ride on the landing gear until he can climb up into the baggage area.
  • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Dante surfs on a missile.
  • In the first Drakengard you can unlock a jet plane for Caim to use and he decides to be a man and ride on the outside of it.
  • After the first boss battle in Final Fantasy VII, and the homage sequence in Crisis Core.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Doable in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas though not for long in the case of airplanes. One mission has motor officers jump from their motorbikkes and land on the hood to engage you with Good Old Fisticuffs. At the end of the mission, one officer managed to survive by jumping on top of the car's hood but has to recover from the impact, and, before he can jump out, is quickly dispatched by a Helicopter Blender.
    • In GTA IV and V, if you carjack someone, there's a chance that they will try to fight back. Speed away, and they will grab onto the car's door handle, getting dragged down the road until they finally lose grip.
  • In inFAMOUS, you can do this by hopping on a moving car, even though the creators didn't intend on you doing so.
  • Just Cause lets you do this; in its improved sequel, you can even hop around on top of a moving car, leaning around to avoid being shot at. You can also deploy your parachute to take to the air.
  • In Mass Effect 3, during the Cerberus coup, Kai Leng leaps onto and runs around on top of Shepard's skycar in order to get to a position where he can sabotage it.
  • Another train example would be the intro and ending of Mega Man 4.
  • Just like Dante above, Solid Snake goes missile-surfing in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
  • Every zombie in Road of the Dead is capabile of this: hitting a zombie too slowly will knock it onto your windshield rather than run it over, the sequel's 'grub' zombies will crawl up the front of your humvee if you run them over, and mutants will always cling to the hood/bonnet no matter how hard you hit them, and in the sequel can grapple the Player Characters from the sides.
  • It's easier to do by accident than on purpose in Saints Row 2, as most impacts, even minor bumps, send the target flying. But climbing on the roof of a stopped vehicle activates a car surfing minigame.
  • The Simpsons Hit & Run has a "surfing" animation when you're on the roof of a moving car.
  • Skitchin' was a Genesis game where you would hitch rides on the bumpers of cars while on your inline skates.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic and Tails have a regularly used biplane called "The Tornado". Tails flies the thing from a regular seat. Sonic prefers to ride it by standing on the wings.
  • Fox does this several times in Star Fox: Assault, riding on the wing of another ship while shooting things with a powerful energy bazooka. Subverted in that the ship has to fly very slowly and carefully when he's riding it: if they were to perform the maneuvers they usually do, he'd fall off immediately. This carries over into the Super Smash Bros. arenas based on the Star Fox games, where everyone runs and jumps on the wings as easily as on stationary surfaces.
  • Other examples from Super Smash Bros.:
  • In Syndicate (2012), Agent Kilo jumps onto an enemy dropship from a Manhattan skyscraper and rides it all the way back to its origin point, a floating city in the middle of the Caribbean Sea.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 introduces skitching, which allows the player to hold on to the rear bumper of a car (just like in Back to the Future) for a speed boost and some extra points.
  • In Ubersoldier 2, one mission sees you infiltrating a Nazi armored train by clinging on the engine of an Allied aircraft and jumping before landing on the train's back. The same stage sees you climbing on the sides of the train to avoid wnemy fire. You are a Super-Soldier, after all.
  • The Manta in Unreal Tournament 2004 can be used in this manner - let a pair of teammates hop onto the fans, and (at least until the physics wonk out enough to force them off) they can hitch a ride on the fastest vehicle in the game. Unreal Tournament III removed this ability, but also added hoverboards and grappling hooks to let vehicles drag you around partially because this was too useful an exploit to just get rid of outright.
  • Some more train examples happen in Wario Land II and Wario Land: Shake It!.

    Web Comics 
  • Happened to Black Mage from 8-Bit Theater.
  • Girl Genius: André is shown sitting casually atop one of the circus carts reading when the circus pulls up to the bridge that leads to Passholdt.
  • MegaTokyo: Junpei's sports car only seats two, so Largo comes with a solution to drive him and Erika.
  • In one Sluggy Freelance strip, some elves working for Bun-bun climb to the top of the vehicle that the rest of the cast is fleeing from Bun-bun in. Once, there, the elves find that they are barely capable of holding on and thus can't do anything to the people driving away.
  • Trope Overdosed The Webcomic: Bob did it for fun.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series has quite a few examples—some particularly notable ones are:
    • In "See No Evil", Batman grabs onto the roof of a car rendered invisible by Applied Phlebotinum to prevent the (also invisible) driver from kidnapping his (the driver's) estranged daughter. The whole thing comes crashing past through an alley, leading a witness (who only sees Batman zooming along about four feet off the ground) to remark, "I didn't know he could fly..."
    • In "Beware the Creeper", the madcap final chase has Batman clinging to the Joker's car (which is being driven by the Creeper) as Robin follows on a wheeled platform attached to the car with a grapple line. This becomes particularly hair-raising when the Creeper starts trying controls at random and fires the car's rear missiles.
  • In the Batman Beyond episode "Black Out", Inque sneaks into the Batcave by covering and blending with the outer surface of the Batmobile.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: In the few times Julie fights without using Ship as Powered Armor, she stands on top of him in spaceship form while he mows down entire squadrons. Ship presumably has some kind of artificial gravity to prevent her from falling off or suffering motion sickness.
  • In the Dilbert animated series, riding Business Class on Elbonia Airlines apparently entails sitting on the wing of the plane.
  • Fillmore!: In "Codename: Electric Haircut", Fillmore clings to the back of the stolen lockers as they are being driven away, before climbing over the top to perform a High-Speed Hijack.
  • Once on The Flintstones, Fred and Barney had to take the cheapest seats available on a plane, which meant sitting on the wing.
  • In the Mr. Magoo cartoon "When Magoo Flew", Magoo mistakes a plane for a movie theater. At one point he steps outside and walks along the wing, complaining that the air conditioner is on too high.
  • In one episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Rocky flies a jet plane to catch a falling Bullwinkle, who grabs onto the plane's tail. He holds on so tightly that he leaves hand imprints in the tail.
  • Star Wars Rebels: In "The Protector of Concord Dawn", Kanan ends up hanging onto the outside of Fenn Rau's starfighter all the way into the upper atmosphere while attempting to prevent Rau from escaping. So Kanan disables the fighter by slashing at the engine, before making his way to the cockpit and capturing Rau in time for the Phantom to catch up so he can jump aboard.
  • Star Wars Resistance:
    • "The Triple Dark": During a pirate attack, Kaz is blasted into the air and, along with diminutive Aleena conman Grevel, who's hanging onto his ankle, winds up briefly clinging to the ship of pirate leader Kragan, before they eventually fall back to the Colossus.
    • "The Core Problem": Kaz and Poe escape the Colossus with the latter riding on the outside of the Fireball.
  • In The Transformers episode "A Plague of Insecticons" where the episode-namer Insecticons used lightning to down the Autobots, they found the lightning-based attacks are nulled with the rubber on the tires of their vehicle mode. Optimus Prime and Wheeljack (team's tech-head) both rode a pair of teammates in vehicle form whilst firing their weapons. It's probably simpler to coordinate this stunt when everyone involved is a robot.
  • Wacky Races: When Dick Dastardly decides to impersonate a wild west outlaw who looks like him, he has some scenes where he rides his car while Muttley drives it.
  • In one episode of Yogi's Space Race, the prize for winning the race was a trip on a space plane. As usual for this show, there was a twist to the prize that made it not worth winning: In this case, the trip was on the space plane, rather than in the space plane.
  • What If...?: In "What If… Captain Carter Were The First Avenger?", Captain Carter hitches rides on the back of the HYDRA Stomper to move to where her missions take her and Steve, as well as to attack German planes in mid-air.

    Real Life 
  • At least one 1920's bank robber favored involuntary Outside Rides — he would put a solid row of hostages on his getaway car's running boards until he got out of town.
  • Lieutenant Paavo Kahla, Finnish Air Force, in WWII. He was an observer-gunner on Fokker C.X reconnaissance plane. During a mission, his pilot, 2/Lt Mannermaa, got killed by flak. Kahla noticed, and instead of parachuting (and becoming a POW) he climbed outside the observer's seat along the fuselage of the Fokker onto the lap of the dead pilot, assuming the controls. He then flew the plane safely to base, saving himself, the aircraft and the photos. For his insane bravery, he was rewarded the highest Finnish decoration, the Mannerheim Cross.
  • Unfortunately, teenagers + booze + cars can equal Truth in Television for this trope. It normally ends with a trip to the hospital (or morgue), since they never add in safety harnesses.
  • Real Life: The remora, a fish that uses a suction cup on its head to hitch rides with sharks.
  • Roman Riding, or riding simultaneously two horses by standing on their backs.
  • Trick riding in general.
  • In some towns and cities around the globe, some people (especially pre-teen boys) routinely used (or use) this kind of transport on tram buffers to avoid paying the fare. This is particularly common in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and South Africa, where the trains are the best way to get around both within cities and between them, but are often overcrowded.
  • Firefighters used to do this, but stopped because it was too dangerous. The Secret Service still does in an emergency. Note that those vehicles are probably designed to be ridden (especially old fire trucks).
  • The extremely dangerous activity called "Subway Surfing" (or a variation thereof), where a person rides on the roof of a subway car, high-speed train etc. "just for fun". In Germany alone, 40 teenagers have so far been killed while train surfing.
    • If vertical people-movers qualify as "vehicles" for this trope's purpose, "elevator surfing" is a similar (and similarly-dangerous) activity.
  • Until the invention of air brakes in the 1860s (and as late as the 1920s), this was the job description of the "brake man" on trains, particularly on freight trains, having to hop from car to car to manually activate the hand brakes, between this and other safety measures that had yet to be invented, brakemen were essentially Red Shirts with a fatality rate between 1889-1891 of as high as 19.3 per thousand.
  • See the 'Making of' video of the example filed under Advertising.
  • A British Airways pilot was sucked out of his plane and pinned to the fuselage after one of the windshield panels popped out. Remarkably, he survived with only minor injuries and continued flying for eleven more years.
  • In 2012 a Romanian gang tried to rob a moving truck at night by tailgating behind it, climbing onto the roof of their car, and opening the truck's rear doors. Video can be seen here.
  • In 1895, a group of children were playing somewhere outside of Michigan City, Mississippi and had dashed across the tracks in front of an oncoming train some fifty-sixty yards down the railroad. All but one, a little girl who had suddenly froze up in fear of the train, made it across the tracks, but the little girl was very fortunate. An engine crewman by the name of John Luther "Casey" Jones was maintaining the engine aboard the train, and had spotted the girl. He risked serious injury, possibly even almost certain death, by shimmying out to the cowcatcher of the moving train to foist her up off of the rails to safety. The girl was shaken but unharmed, and the crewman, who was later promoted to engineer, would go on to lay down his own life around five years later by staying aboard to slow down his train to spare the passengers.
  • The practice of tank desant, the tactic of soldiers riding on the hull of a friendly tank so they can disembark and provide it infantry support when it meets the enemy. This was most commonly used by Russian forces in World War II, but is uncommon these days due to increases in tank speed and most modern forces that can afford tanks can afford separate transports for their infantry to let them keep up. Many tanks were even built with this in mind, and some tanks had a telephone attached to the outside hull to allow soldiers outside to communicate with the tank commander without having to shout over the engine or risk exposing the crew by opening a hatch.
    • It is customary in modern era for the troopers to ride ''atop'' on their armored personnel carriers instead of inside, especially at combat zone. The inside is reserved for the gear or carrying wounded troopers. The rationale is that if the personnel carrier is hit by an RPG, IED or mine, it becomes a death trap for everyone inside. It is also far easier to jump straight into combat off the top of the vehicle than from inside. Moreover, every man atop the vehicle is another pair of eyes for observation and another rifle for counterstrike. This practice became standard in The Vietnam War. Bulletproof vests and kevlar helmets have made this practice safer to the riders than what it used to be in WWII.
    • Played straight in the Finnish Army when crossing water features on amphibious transports. The Russian-made BTR-60, an amphibious armoured personnel carrier, proved a sinking prone death trap in any winds more than a few knots. (It gained an ironical nickname Sukellusvene ("Submarine") after a lake crossing accident which claimed the lives of seven conscripts). Since then, the soldiers must ride on the top of the vehicles while crossing deep water.
  • Played straight by skydiving instructors. In AFF (Accelerated Free Fall) skydiving instruction, the student jumps together with two instructors. One of the instructors climbs outside the plane, grabs the student with one hand and the plane fuselage with other hand and rides there before they all jump together. (The other instructor jumps from inside the plane.)
    • Likewise, in formation skydiving, usually two skydivers ride outside the plane before jumping off. Those who ride outside are called floaters and those who jump from inside are called jumpers.
    • In early World War II, Soviet paratroopers used to cling to the fuselage of an aircraft; when it was time to jump they'd slide down the wing and just fall off!
  • While at skydiving, played straight by jumping off a small plane, such as Cessna 172, where the jumper first climbs out the plane, grabs the wing strut and sets himself off on the slipstream, letting go. Such brief antics of skydivers exiting may not count, given that they're generally only there for a few seconds, it is possible to climb on top of some jump planes and ride them (note that airspeed on jumprun is significantly reduced to allow people to climb out). This is considered to be ridiculously dangerous for everyone involved, given the highly increased chances of a tailstrike killing the jumper and taking down the entire plane.
    • There is also this stunt, involving two gliders.
  • This is one of the typical jeepney rides in Philippines. Jeepney conductors pull this off to maximize the number of passengers. In some towns where the jeepney is not common, it is typical for the passengers to go for top load.
  • This trope was popularized in the San Francisco Bay Area under the name "ghost riding the whip", or simply "ghost riding". It happens when the driver exits his moving vehicle, climbs atop, and surfs. As you can imagine, ghostriding or car-surfing is incredibly dangerous and has led to deaths.
  • This happened to bombardier-navigator Lt. Keith Gallagher in an A-6 Intruder tanker in July 1991. The BN in question survived and went back to flight status shortly afterwards. The cause of the mishap was due to an improperly-armed ejection seat causing a partial ejection. The BN's parachute had wrapped itself around the tail of the aircraft, and the tension from his parachute risers kept him from getting impaled on the remnants of the canopy when the plane trapped.
  • On slower planes with low stall speeds, riding on the plane is possible. "Wing walking" and was a popular stunt in early 20th century air shows, when the top speed of most planes was usually around the mile-a-minute range.
  • Presumably, one might be able to do this on a VTOL aircraft, provided that the pilot flew very slowly and didn't make any sudden maneuvers, and that the "passenger" kept clear of those air intakes.
  • Dragging someone behind a car is a well-known form of lynching. One of the more infamous instances of this was the murder of James Byrd, Jr. in 1998.
  • There are various online videos where someone rides an escalator from the outside by grabbing the handrail and holding on, lifting them up to the next level. However, some people who attempted to do this ended up falling, resulting in serious injuries or even death.
  • A 19-year-old American tourist did this after he failed to reboard an Australian passenger train in time and it started to leave without him. The train sped along some 120 miles before somebody noticed him.


Video Example(s):


Julie riding on top of Ship

If she's not using Ship's mechsuit form, Julie fights by riding on top of him and not falling off, no matter how much he swerves.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / OutsideRide

Media sources: