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Parallel Parking

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Parallel Parking is one of the most difficult things to do when you're driving. This is something that will get almost anybody nervous, especially during a Driving Test, and would try avoiding. That, or somehow a character can pull off something daring and spectacular doing it.

Less skilled drivers will usually bump into the cars in front of and/or behind the spot they're either entering or leaving.


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  • There's a Mentos commercial where some jerk pulls into an open parking spot right when our heroine wants to leave, sandwiching her in. Cue a Mentos and a bright idea; she recruits the help of some beefy construction workers to pick up her car and ease it out. This was also parodied in the Foo Fighters music video for "Big Me".
  • A 21st Century Insurance ad has the recurring guy in the ads use one car to deliberately ram two others while parallel parking as the narrator talks about the comparisons in the cost to repair them.
  • Some car ads nowadays will show a car parallel parking itself as a selling point.

    Film - Animation 

    Film - Live Action 
  • The Blues Brothers: Elwood J. Blues has to be one of the best in history. Able to do an e-brake slide into any spot.
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: Li~ike a glove!
  • After Annie parks in Annie Hall:
    Alvy: Don't worry. We can walk to the curb from here.
  • Using chi powers to parallel park is one of the things Sing wants to promote in Shaolin Soccer.
  • The bodyguard Tyrone in Snatch., who'd earlier been talked up as a great driver, smashes hard into a van (ironically containing the guy his bosses are looking for) while backing into a space "big enough for a jumbo jet."
    "It was at a funny angle."
    "It's behind you, Tyrone! When you back up, things come from behind you!"
  • Bonnie and Clyde—while the title characters rob a bank, their driver C.W. Moss parallel parks down the street and has trouble getting out as they make their getaway. This gives one of the bank tellers enough time to jump on the car's running board, and when Clyde shoots him he becomes the first murder victim of their crime spree.

    Live Action TV 
  • One time on The Late Show With David Letterman they had a remote camera watching some 16-year-olds take their driving test. The parallel parking was particularly bad. For that matter, a semi-recurring segment is having interns parallel park outside the Ed Sullivan Theater.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: During the traffic safety film "X" Marks the Spot, an early scene has a Match Cut of a car fading into a narrow gap between two cars parked curbside. Tom Servo remarks, "Ah, parallel universe parking." The car's driver has to leave the space the old-fashioned way — as Crow puts it, "He uses the Braille system".
  • A Tosh.0 bit had various stereotypical poor drivers (Asian woman, 15-year-old girl with her learner's permit, etc) try to parallel park a massive Hummer. The only one who succeeded was the girl.
  • Reese's driving test in Malcolm in the Middle frustrates him to the point that it turns into a low-speed police chase, which continues for hours until he's nearly out of gas, at which point he leads the Lemming Cops round the entire test run, acing every obstacle and finishing with an inch-perfect parallel park. What do you mean it's not awesome?
  • In 7th Heaven, Mary couldn't parallel park during the driving test. She resorted to a crying routing on the evaluator to get the license.
  • On Seinfeld, George actually claims to be really good at parallel parking, he just didn't count on another guy trying to drive into the space front first while he was backing up. A massive, all-night argument begins between the two drivers over whether front-first parallel parking is acceptable in the civilized world.
    • Also this gem with Kramer's Impala in a tight space.
  • Top Gear:
    • One episode involved James May and Jeremy Clarkson driving huge classic cars around London to showcase how fantastic (read: impractical) these cars are in the modern day. One of the producer's challenges involved parallel parking in downtown London, which, as it turns out, was impossible for the cars to do as they are, in fact, longer than the parking spaces themselves.
    • Another episode had them trying to determine how practical Italian Supercars are in London (see above), the parking test being made even more difficult by the cars' poor rearward visibility and the hosts secretly pushing the other cars closer together to make the task impossible.
    • Yet another segment involved demonstrating the automatic parking system fitted to a car only for it to miss the other cars and hit the wall behind them. After two failed attempts Richard Hammond, who was in the car operating the system, realised he'd accidentally set up the system incorrectly and placed the target area on the wall instead of in the gap between cars. One quick adjustment later the car parked istelf perfectly.
  • Every season of Canada's Worst Driver has a parallel parking challenge, but the most extreme may well have been in Season 2. It required the nominees to reverse a Winnebago over a hundred metres uphill, then park between a Mercedes and a BMW. At least two nominees parked perfectly. Others... well, see the show's title.
  • MythBusters tried to determine whether men or women were better drivers, and one of the tests was parallel parking (It was a statistical draw, although women tended to either easily place the car precisely or panic and mess up, while men tended to place the car at a "good enough" point and thus showed less deviation from the mean.


    Video Games 
  • This video, from Halo 3. Really, it's possible in any video game that lets you control the vehicles to a similar degree.


    Western Animation 
  • In one Disney short Two-Gun Goofy, Pete rides into a Western town and parallel parks his horse, bumping into those in front and behind him.
  • In the House of Mouse episode "Dining Goofy", Goofy took parallel parking literally and stacked various cars on top of each other (including Cinderella's coach, Herbie, and a lightcycle.
  • A Looney Tunes short titled "Wild Wife" had the housewife protagonist speedily hit the parked cars in front and back of her twice apiece. This is probably a "woman driver" joke.
  • Doug's sister Judy once failed to get her driver's license after failing to correctly parallel park. She finally got it right at the end when most of her concentration was on chewing Doug out for having promised she would drive him and Patti somewhere, which was why he needed her to pass in the first place.
  • Futurama:
    • The first episode has Leela saying that she can fly the ship, as long as she isn't asked to parallel park.
    • In one episode, Amy complains that she is useless at parallel parking, and then easily drives in since hovercars can just move sideways. She then suddenly moves forwards and back to hit the two cars anyway. Hey, she said she was bad at it.
  • Phineas and Ferb: one episode focuses on Candace practicing this... with monster trucks.
    • Also comes up in a later episode when Candace is practicing driving with her mom. Candace's neuroses over her brothers, and later some unintended interference from Doofenshmirtz, ends up resulting in her becoming a textbook example of Drives Like Crazy. However, even Candace's mom had to admit that Candace really had parallel parking down.
  • Pixar Popcorn: The Western Animation/Cars short "Unparalleled Parking" features the residents of Radiator Springs trying to parallel park.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Road Trip", it's revealed one of the few things Ice Bear isn't good at is parallel parking.


Video Example(s):


Elora's parking

The parallel parking portion of Elora's driving test proves impossible, so she improvises.

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Example of:

Main / DrivingTest

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