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"Okay, here's something that you may not know: shooting out the tires on a runaway RV is a lot harder than it looks."
Fox Mulder, The X-Files
The classic action movie Anti-Vehicle tactic of shooting tires, or deflating them in any number of other ways, to hinder the maneuverability of a vehicle. The outcome of the tire damage depends to some extent on the special effects budget: the car might crawl to a stop, or become impossible to steer, or spectacularly crash.

Expect this to show up regularly during Car Chase Shoot Outs.

The tactic is Truth in Television: police have "spike strips" available for when a high-speed chase isn't the best option. This is a subtrope of Vehicular Sabotage. Spiked Wheels commonly have this effect. Compare to Anti-Cavalry, which takes out a different form of ground transport. Caltrops are a good way to achieve this effect.note 


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Castle of Cagliostro: In the opening chase scene, Jigen attempts to shoot out the tires of the henchmens' vehicle. The first time, it's subverted; he hits the tires, but they are a special kind that are impervious to regular bullets. Jigen upgrades his ammo and tries again, this time hitting them and causing the car to immediately spin out and crash into the side of the mountain.
  • Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. In the Action Prologue of the pilot episode, a Tachikoma blasts off the entire front wheel of a technical.
  • Golgo 13: In the anime episode "The Masterpiece Assault Rifle" Duke is hired to burst the tire of the Japanese contestant in a car rally, to make it crash so that model of vehicle will be discredited and not compete with European manufacturers. Turns out it's a ruse by a Mad Scientist who wants to test his new assault rifle against the world's top assassin — he suffers a Karmic Death when (after inevitably defeating the two mercenaries armed with the new rifle) Duke shoots out his tire as he flees, sending his van off a cliff.
  • Psycho-Pass: Akane shoots the tires of a big truck that the culprit Makashima is trying to make his get away in, while clinging to its' side. This works really well, especially since trucks are hard to turn, and he couldn't shake her off.

    Card Games 
  • In Mille Bornes you can give an opponent a "Flat Tire", which stops them until they can play a "Spare Tire" or "Puncture Proof" card.

    Comic Books 
  • In Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #2, Jay Little Bear shoots the tyre of a German armored car with an arrow.
  • In The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #28, Jessie Hale uses her two-shot derringer to shoot out the tyre of a speeding car full of Tong members that is chasing Indy and her.
  • Robin (1993): In #31, Tim Drake manages to grab the hand of a carjacker who is trying to shoot him and turn it so he shoots out his own front tire as Tim drags him out the window, which causes the car they stole to be totaled but that's what Tim was aiming for since it was a Wayne Tech Prototype.
  • In Suicide Squad Annual #1, Shado demonstrates her Improbable Aiming Skills by using arrows to firstly pop the tyre on Deadshot's motorcycle and then the two front tyres on a car, which causes it to flip spectacularly.
  • In Wendigo Wood, while Hank is driving down a road into the forest, someone deploys a spike strip, which pops Hank's tires, causing his vehicle to skid out of control, crashing into a tree.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Averted in a scene in The Accountant (2016), where the title character uses a .50 Barrett anti-material rifle to disable the bad guys' car, not by popping a tire, but by shooting the engine (anti-material rifles, like the Barrett, are designed for destroying enemy equipment, like vehicles). As the bad guys try to escape with their hostages, he shoots out their car's engine, then when a mook tries to flee in the pickup owned by his hostages, he disables that one as well.
  • The Assignment. During the Car Chase in Libya, the stolen taxi driven by the protagonist has a tire burst, which then shreds and falls off the rim which distorts under the strain.
  • At the start of Black Scorpion II: Aftershock, the Black Scorpion shoots out the tyre of Dick and Jane's car, causing them to crash.
  • The Inciting Incident in Brian De Palma's Blow Out that makes the two main leads meet and gets the plot going is a car accident caused by a tire that was popped with a rifle by a Psycho for Hire.
  • During the opening chase in Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers, Rose eventually stops her car, gets out, and stands in the middle of the road, waiting for the other driver to attempt to run her down. As he drives straight at her, she shoots out his front tyre, causing his car to flip.
  • In the 90s Charlie Sheen movie The Chase (1994), Sheen's character (an escaped inmate) manages to shoot the tires out on a police car chasing his stolen car by sheer accident as it pulls up alongside him. As this happens at high speed (the tires are popped at 90mph), it sends the police car flying, and it crashes into a series of other cars.
  • The Corruptor: In the middle of an intense car chase against the triads, Danny managed to take down the triads' getaway vehicle by shooting its tires out with a shotgun.
  • Dick Tracy: While Big Boy's thugs are trying to escape the police cordon around his nightclub, Dick Tracy fires his Tommy gun at the tires of one of their cars, causing it to crash.
  • In Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, Pat shoots out the tyre of Gruesome's car, causing it to crash into the taxidermist's shop.
  • Disturbing the Peace: While chasing after Diablo on horseback, Dillon fires several shots at the rear wheel of Diablo's dirt bike. He doesn't hit the tyre, but he does hit the chain, which disables the bike.
  • Dredd: The main character ends the pursuit of a gang of traffickers by making their van crash after shooting down a tire with his machine gun-equipped Cool Bike.
  • The Enforcer. During the Mayor's kidnapping his chauffeur tries to drive out of the ambush only to have a tire shot out with an M16 rifle. The leader of the kidnappers gets angry because the Mayor could have been hit, and uses a LAW rocket to blow up a truck to block the limo's path.
  • The Equalizer 2. In the climatic battle, the villains have a friend of Robert McCall Bound and Gagged in the trunk as a hostage. A sniper proceeds to shoot rounds into the car, threatening to put a bullet into the trunk if McCall doesn't surrender. Instead McCall fires a shot to burst a tire causing the height of the car to drop, making the bullet miss.
  • During a car chase in Far Cry, Jack turns his car around to go in reverse and shoots a tire from the pursuing car closest to him, causing it to flip over.
  • While fleeing from the Braga Cartel's henchmen in Fast & Furious, Dominic Toretto grabs a shotgun and uses it to blow out the tires of the cars around him. Given the over-the-top nature of the film, every car immediately catapults into the air the moment one of their tires is shot.
  • Gun Crazy: Laurie shoots out the tyre of their stolen getaway car when they abandon it. She later encourages Bart to shoot at a pursuing police car, but he's reluctant to kill so does this trope instead.
  • Heat:
    • In the armored car robbery, Neil and his crew have timed the police response to three minutes. They are driving away from the scene just as the first police cruisers hit a spike strip laid down in the middle of the street by Trejo and screech to a halt, with two of them fishtailing.
    • In the bank robbery shootout, Sgt. Drucker shoots the left rear tire of the getaway car. Donald Breedan struggles to control the car, until he is shot in the head by a police round and killed, and the car crashes into the back of an abandoned vehicle.
  • In Heist (2015), one of the SWAT cops on a motorbike shoots out the tyre on the bus to force it to stop.
  • James Bond
    • Goldfinger. While driving alongside Tilly Masterson's car, Bond uses one of the Q gadgets in his car to rip open and flatten the tires of Tilly's car, forcing her to stop. Bond feigns amazement at the "double blow-out" she just experienced.
    • While driving another Q Car across a frozen lake in The Living Daylights, an exploding rifle grenade bursts his tire. Bond uses the rim as an improvised cutter to cut a large hole in the ice, sinking the vehicle chasing him, then presses a button to deploy some skis and Spiked Wheels.
    • Played straight and subverted in Tomorrow Never Dies. Bond drives over his own Caltrops (to be fair, he didn't have much choice) after flattening the tires of his pursuers, and then promptly activates a mechanism that seals up the holes and reinflates the tires in seconds flat!
    • In Licence to Kill Bond is driving a stolen fuel tanker, but is sent off the road when the mooks shoot out the rear tires, causing him to lose control of the vehicle.
    • Casino Royale (2006) features a fuel-tanker being used as a car-bomb in a terrorist plot; while Bond and the bomber fight for control, the cops shoot the tires to (unsuccessfully) stop the truck.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. In the final chase scene, Wez shoots his wrist-mounted crossbow at the tires of the Mack truck that's hauling the precious fuel. Since it's such a huge and powerful vehicle, and has multiple wheels, it doesn't accomplish much—the truck keeps on going despite the flattened tires. A pursuing Marauder then tries to pop one on the tires with a wrist-mounted blade. He gets sucked into the wheels for his trouble.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road. The dual wheels and spiked hubcaps of the War Rig mean this tactic is ineffective. However it's a plot point when Furiosa manages to do this to the front left wheel of Nux's car's, hoping it would slow him down or make him crash. Nux responds by telling Slit to move Max (who's chained to the front of the vehicle) to the back as a counterweight, so he only has to rely on the right wheel for turning and balance. This gives Max an opportunity to escape.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015). Illya Kuryakin shows his Improbable Aiming Skills when he shoots out Napoleon Solo's tire with a single shot from his pistol. This slows down the car enough that Kuryakin can (almost) run it down on foot.
  • The Matrix Reloaded. While the Agents are pursuing Trinity and Morpheus on the freeway, an Agent shoots out the left rear tire on Trinity's car, which eventually forces her to stop.
  • In Mercenaries, Kat shoots out the tyre on the truck carrying the missiles to cause it to swerve into the ambush.
  • Mystery Road: When Pete attempts to flee the shootout, Jay uses his rifle to shoot out Pete's tyres.
  • In Ocean's Eleven the fake getaway van is brought down by shooting the tires.
  • Revolver (1973): During the ambush, Vito fires multiple shots at the car driving towards them. One of his last shots punctures the front tyre of the car, causing it to swerve and crash.
  • In Road House (1989) Dalton keeps multiple spare tires in the trunk of his car. He is used to having disgruntled bar patrons put holes in his tires and prepares accordingly.
  • Roadracers begins and ends with Sarge chasing Dude. In the second chase scene, Dude blasts Sarge's tire with his shotgun.
  • In the Russian comedy Shirli Myrli, the main character steals a vehicle to escape cops. The cops decide to shoot his wheels. Unfortunately for them, the vehicle was a tram, and had no tires.
  • Starkweather: When chasing Charlie's car, Sheriff Merle Karnopp tells his deputy Dale to lean out the window and shoot the tyres on Charlie's car. Dale misses, even with a shotgun, but it does force Charlie to stop.
  • Ko's first onscreen hit in A Taste of Killing and Romance. His target is in a speeding car, and Ko is on a motorcycle, where he quickly overtakes his target, stops a mile ahead, and fires a single shot into the tire on the driver's side just as the vehicle approaches a bend. The car quickly flips over, killing the driver and the target's bodyguard, and as the target crawls out of the wreckage Ko puts a second bullet into his forehead.
  • In the American remake of Taxi, the cop shoots out the tires of the thieves' car and it doesn't affect the car at all. Queen Latifah's character, however, realizes not only how this is possible (the wheels use a special gel to temporarily plug the hole and give the wheels some mileage before this trope is played straight) but manages to track the thieves to the only part in New York where you could get these tires.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: During the scene where the T-1000 (driving a truck) is trying to run over John Connor (on his motorcycle), the T-800 shoots out the left front tire of the truck. The T-1000 loses control and rams the truck into an overpass, causing the truck to explode.
  • The Tournament: When Lina Sophia attempts to rundown Lai Lai and Father MacAvoy while they are in a phone booth, Lai lai shoots out her front tyre, causing the vehicle to flip.
  • In The Town, Frawley uses a shotgun to blast out the rear tyre of the ambulance fleeing the ballpark; causing it to flip and crash.
  • In Transporter 2, Frank is in a Car Chase with a Ukrainian hit team who try to stop him by shooting out the tires (they want the Living MacGuffin who's also in the car alive). Frank slams on the brakes and breaks the arm of the mook leaning out the car window with an assault rifle.
  • During the botched Bank Robbery in Two Hands, one of the cops shoots out both rear tyres on the getaway car. This causes the tyres to shred when they try to take off, rendering the car useless and forcing them to abandon it.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Doom dumps a load of Dip on the road to stop Benny the Cab (driven by Eddie Valiant) from pursuing him. The Dip doesn't pop the tires, but it does partially dissolve them and cause Benny enough pain to put him out of action.
  • The Wizard: The bounty hunter after the kids takes out the dad's tires to disable his truck.
  • In Young Frankenstein, following the game of darts between Frederick and Inspector Kemp, it's revealed that (thanks to being rattled by the inspector's pointed, deliberately ill-timed questions) Frederick had inadvertently taken out the inspector's tires.

  • Arm of the Law by Harry Harrison. A Three Laws-Compliant robot policeman uses a head-mounted recoilless cannon mounted right between the eyes for greater accuracy, coupled with a computer-controlled aiming system, to neatly pop both rear tires. The criminals are so rattled they surrender quietly.
  • In Battle Royale the Grand Finale has the heroes facing off against Kiriyama in a car chase. They use guns to pop his tires and cause his car to get destroyed.
  • Discussed in the car chase scene in Bride of the Rat God. They conclude that the tires are too hard targets considering none of them have any firearm experience, and they should go for the radiator instead. Then it turns out to be moot, since there isn't a gun in their car anyway.
  • Ciaphas Cain: In one novel, a frag grenade goes off near one of Cain's tank's treads, jamming it completely.
  • In The Pushcart War pushcarters get revenge on trucks by using pea-shooters to shoot pins at their tires. Although they aim at parked/stuck-in-traffic trucks to keep them stopped; they avoid shooting at people or deliberately causing an accident.
  • Happens in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, during the epic clusterfuck that was the IRA ambush at Hereford. As a group of terrorists try to get away in a Volvo, Clark and Chavez catch up in a Jaguar sports car and disable the truck by pulling alongside and blasting the tires to shreds with their sidearms. Since the truck was moving at highway speeds at the time, the results are appropriately messy.
  • In the spy thriller Running Blind by Desmond Bagley, the protagonist is driving a land rover across Iceland when a tire blows out. This is nothing unusual...until he sees the neat bullethole in the tire. He's able to slip away from his vehicle unobserved and takes a CIA sniper by surprise, whose orders were merely to slow him down and then leave when someone turned up. As the next person would likely have been the KGB team pursuing him, he wonders what the hell's going on that the CIA would be aiding the KGB.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow
    • In "Dodger", Oliver Queen shoots the tyre in Dodger's car with an arrow and causes it to crash.
    • In the Batman Cold Open of "The Calm", Roy Harper does one of his fancy flips into the path of a truck which he then tire-punctures with an arrow.
    • In "Taken", While riding on the back of a motorbike driven by the Black Canary, Thea Queen is able to bend over backwards and pop the tire of a pursuing motorbike with an arrow.
    • In "The Thanatos Guild", Roy and Thea are leaving Star City to live Happily Ever After, but worry it might be Tempting Fate. Then an arrow shoots out a tire causing them to run off the road.
    • In "Promises Kept", the Jackals use a spike strip to stop a truck they're planning to rob.
  • Given that The A-Team doesn't usually kill their adversaries, they commonly use bullets to pop the tires of the antagonist of the week or the military to keep them from either getting away or following them.
  • Batwoman (2019). In "Tell Me The Truth", Kate Kane shows her Improbable Aiming Skills by shooting out the front tire of a moving CROW truck with a pistol at fifty metres, left-handed, while in pursuit on a motorcycle.. Her ex-girlfriend Sophie Moore makes a point of returning to Kate her old sharpshooting medal after this feat.
  • Michael from Burn Notice does this on a multitude of occasions, albeit usually on cars that are not currently in use, in order to stop someone from being able to chase him in that car after he pulls whatever mayhem he's up to.
    • One time, Michael built a homemade spike strip to stop a car so he could talk to the driver.
    • Defied on one occasion. He tried shooting out the tires of a pursuing vehicle and couldn't, so he began using another tactic: shooting down at the road, causing the bullets to ricochet upwards through the unarmored bottom of the pursuing car. Understandably, this freaked the driver in the other car out.
  • Cannon: A hitman shoots the tyre on Cannon's car to stop from escaping in "Girl in the Electric Coffin".
  • In the short-lived series Drive (2007), Wendy is tasked with killing Ivy. She decides to keep Ivy's team from going anywhere by shooting out one of their tires. After they discover the tire was shot out, Wendy tries to make her move. However, Ivy manages to disarm her. After learning the reason Wendy's in the race, Ivy decides to team up with her. As a parting gift, she shoots out the other tires on her former team's vehicle.
  • Funky Squad: In "Little Girl Lost", Ponch stops the villain from escaping by shooting out the tyres on his erratically moving vehicle.
  • Harrow: In "Peccata Patris" ("Sins of the Father"), Nichols discovers that someone slashed Quinn's tyres two weeks before he was murdered. At the end of the episode, CCTV footage reveals that the person responsible was Fern Harrow.
  • Longmire: In "Wanted Man", Walt and Lucien shoot out the tyres of a fleeing suspect. Lucien calls Walt weak for choosing to go for the tyres rather than the windscreen.
  • The Magician:
    • In "Lightning on a Dry Day", the local toughs in a Town with a Dark Secret slash the tyres on Tony's Corvette in an attempt to intimidate him into leaving town. As The Sheriff points out to them, this just makes him more determined to stay.
    • The bad guys shoot out the tyres of Tony's Corvette to prevent from escaping in "The Man Who Lost Himself".
  • Midsomer Murders: While visiting the Hamlet of Lower Warden in "A Tale of Two Hamlets", Barnaby and Troy discover that one of the locals has let down all four tyres on their car. At the end of the episode, after Barnaby has figured out who the killer is, Troy returns the favour by letting down the tyres on the killer's motorbike. When the killer attempts to escape Barnaby, he runs to his bike only to discover it immobilised and Troy waiting to arrest him.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Joy's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis and half-sister Liberty takes a knife to the tires on Joy's BRAT. Earl and Joy retaliate by stealing her credit card and making all sorts of wacky purchases with it.
  • Tested twice on MythBusters.
    • When they tested the scene from Burn Notice, they found that there's too much stuff on the underside of a car to count on a bullet finding its way through ... and that shooting the tires gave them a flat within half a mile.
    • When they looked at various spy-movie gadgets, tires that drove over caltrops deflated very slowly. (Granted, they were using solid caltrops; if the police deploy these instead of a spike strip they use hollow ones to let the air out. A later revisit with hollow caltrops didn't cause an immediate wipeout, but Adam's car came to a quick stop.) Jamie's tire-slashing rig worked better, but Adam was still able to maintain control of the target car.
  • In the NCIS: Los Angeles episode "Deliverance", Russian agents abduct Kensi and shoots the tires of Deeks' vehicle to keep him from pursuing.
  • The New Avengers: One of the people chasing the MacGuffin in "The Tale of the Big Why" shoots out the tyres on Steed's Range-Rover to stop Steed and Gambit chasing her.
  • Probe's "Quit-It": During the climax, Rodger and his friends try to attack Austin and Mickey, stabbing one of the car tires to keep them from escaping.
  • The Professionals
    • During the filming of a car chase in "Everest Was Also Conquered", a tire blew out on the stunt car. The producers decided to Throw It In! and filmed an additional scene of the Villain of the Week shooting out the tire to put an end to the pursuit.
    • In "Kickback", CI5 have to fake the assassination of a British government official. Bodie shoots out a tire on his limo so it has to stop. Then when the official is being transferred to his escort car, another sniper shoots him twice in the chest (he's wearing a Bulletproof Vest).
  • In the Starsky & Hutch episode "The Hostages", Starsky rescues a man who's being forced to collect money for robbers by shooting the tires of the armored car he's driving.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In the Time Travel Episode "Future's End", Tom Paris uses his phaser on the tires of a semi-trailer carrying the Timeline Altering Macguffin. As per the Mad Max example this has little effect, with the driver turning the semi around and trying to ram him. Fortunately a shuttle arrives just in time to blow it up with its phasers.
  • Subverted on an episode of Thunderbirds: Lady Penelope attempts to shoot out the tyres of a car, only for it to fail because they've been reinforced to protect against such things.
  • At the end of the pilot of Vegas (2012), Sheriff Lamb uses his rifle to shoot out the front tires of the Killer of the Week's getaway car. Helps that it was coming right at him.
  • In the opening of the first episode of The Walking Dead, they stop the high speed pursuit with a spike strip taking out the wheels of the escaping car.
  • The X-Files:
    • In the episode "Bad Blood", Mulder originally says that he does this to an RV which was stuck going around in circles. However, after Scully notices how dirty his coat is (and how late he was), Mulder sheepishly admits that shooting out the tires was more difficult than he thought it would be. After he ran out of bullets in the attempt, and after trying to grab onto the RV (subsequently getting dragged around, explaining the dirt) he finally just had to wait for it to run out of gas.
    • "Darkness Falls": Ecoterrorists set up tire spikes on a road in the woods. Mulder, Scully and two guys from Federal Forest Service are screwed up because they have only one spare tire and must hike to the place they were heading. At the end of the episode they're trying to drive out before nightfall with a captured ecoterrorist to escape the Monster of the Week, only to be stopped by another caltrop. "Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!"
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Resident Advisor and the Word 'Sketchy'", when Dennis is shaking down Connie and Dale, Connie excuses herself to the bathroom, but instead slashes the tires on Dennis' car.

  • In Dino Attack RPG, during her Outside Ride scene, Silencia Venomosa was climbing all over Montoya's car to slash the tires with her knife, and neither Montoya nor Schiess caught on until it was too late. By the time they managed to shake her off, the tires were all slashed and subsequently popped, sending the car crashing into a ditch.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Defied in the d20 Modern setting Urban Arcana with two vehicular magic items, the Reinflating Tires, reinflating once and only once when they get punctured, and the Impervious Tires, which are tires possessing a hardness of 20 (In Layman's Terms, they can resist .44 Magnum bullets.)
  • Car Wars. Some dueling arenas have rules against shooting at other cars' tires because it's too easy to disable them that way.

  • During a particular live performance of Henry IV, one member of the audience collapsed, confusion followed as they were aided by on-scene medics, and, as some rose to leave, the actor playing Falstaff started demanding the rest of the audience stay while remaining in-character, issuing bombastic threats that included finding "this sword and many a dagger placed neatly in the tyres of your carriage". ("No intermission brew for you! Leave us to(?) play? Scurvy wags! Come sit here, and I will give thee a haircut!")

    Video Games 
  • In Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, there's a car vandal that's been going around the city deflating the tires of some of your customers, including Jorji and Riona. Jorji heads the investigation to find the culprit, and Riona reports that her car's tires got deflated near a metered parking spot in front of an abandoned library, on a seemingly deserted street near a busy area that had a dead hawthorn tree surrounded by remembrance trinkets. It's revealed that the fairy-folk were behind the crime, as they vandalized the cars over a broken promise to keep the tree because that was the "body" of their friend, the fairy vendor who was killed by a drunk driver in 1959.
  • Popping the tires on vehicles in Crysis won't immobilize them. It'll slow them down, though.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series since Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Crazy-Prepared players might just preemptively take out the tires of stationary vehicles near the mission to prevent their opponents to escape by driving them. Another common tactic is getting a 3-star wanted level, wherein the cops will start laying spike strips on the street, then the rest is obvious: as long as you can get your opponent to run over them, and avoid them yourself, you'll be fine. Another benefit to popping the tires is that tires are always vulnerable to gunfire, while cars during missions can at times be unrealistically tough to keep the player from an easy win.
    • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Richard Burns on the news is riding with cops trying to stop illegal street racing, and Richard then tries to shoot out a car's tires. In the same game, it's impossible to pop a bicycle's tires.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, you can avert this by purchasing bulletproof tyres for your favourite cars.
  • In James Bond games, shooting out the tires counts as a non-lethal disable.
  • Just Cause allows most vehicles' tires to be shot out. For the player it's a mild annoyance at best, while anyone the player does this to typically spins out of control.
  • The first stage of the arcade game, Lethal Enforcers has an intense chase scene where you take on enemy mooks on a Car Chase Shoot-Out. In which you can slow them down by shooting their tires.
  • Lord of Gun, a game which is pretty much a Spiritual Successor to Lethal Enforcers, has a similar car chase level where you can shoot tires of enemy mooks.
  • Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven: In one of the early missions at Clark's Motel, the player can pop the tires of the car in front of the house so when the last enemy gangster will escape in the car with the money, he'll be much slower and easier to catch up with.
  • In Mega Man 10, a direct Chill Spike shot freezes Nitro Man (a robot who transforms into a motorbike) but deals little damage. However, if you shoot it at the ground to form an icy spike strip and let Nitro Man run over it, he suffers a lot of damage.
  • In many Need for Speed games that have police, if your heat level gets high enough, cops will start deploying spike strips with their roadblocks or dropping them behind their cars. Even losing one tire to one will cause your vehicle to be very difficult to control, and is usually followed by every cop ramming you until you're busted.
  • Featured in the official Payday2 XMAS Carol 2014, when the gateway driver says "On the third day of Christmas, Payday gave to me: Aah, three tires shot!". He crashes at the end of the song.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies, you can pop the tires of the vehicle based Zomboni and the Catapult Zombie by planting a Spikeweed/Spikerock in its track. For some reason, this not only pops the tires, but also makes the entire vehicle blow up.
  • Kurt Dierker from The Saboteur cheats Sean Devlin out of winning the Saarbrücken race near the beginning by shooting a tire on the latter's racecar with a pistol he carried in his own. Sean and Jules respond to that later by tailing Kurt so Sean can drive his racecar out of a cliff... It does not end well for either of them, especially not Jules.
  • In Saints Row: The Third you have to shoot out the wheels on a semi-trailer truck to stop it during one mission... with a tank. You're supposed to use the co-axial machine gun, but where's the fun in that?. Also, it's possible to shoot out the wheels of any car in the game, which greatly lowers its handling but still leaves it able to be driven.
  • Shooting an enemy vehicle's tires in Sleeping Dogs (2012) will cause it to spin out —occasionally flipping up in the air— and then explode.
  • In Spy Hunter, one of the antagonists you meet on the road has Spiked Wheels that can send your car spinning out of control if they get too close.
  • TerraTech's modular building system allows wheels to be blown up or knocked off techs, leaving them much easier to deal with.
  • At the end of Time Crisis 4's stage 1 area 2, you have to stop a truck by sniping two of its tires out.
  • Shooting the tires of vehicles in Watch_Dogs causes them to slow down or crash, there is even an achievement for taking out the tires of 15 cars.

    Web Comics 
  • Done accidentally in Halo: A Fistful of Arrows. Jun shoots out the tire of a car carrying a terrorist leader he's trying to capture. The car spins out of control and goes off a bridge.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The CIA is said to have distributed caltrops to saboteurs. These caltrops could easily be disassembled/reassembled, and were designed to slash, not puncture, a target's tires.
  • In addition to the police use of spike strips mentioned above, some parking garages and lots use spike beds designed to only puncture tires from one direction. They're used both to enforce one-way lanes and to interfere with people trying to leave without paying, and are often accompanied by the iconic "SEVERE TIRE DAMAGE" warning.
  • The prevalence of "run-flat tires", however, is forcing police and military engineers to treat this trope as a Dead Horse Trope. One of the most promising innovations is to use some sort of device that is meant to entangle the axle and stop the tires' rotation. This method is less about popping tires and more about using a strong net or a lattice of heavy straps to force the wheels to lock up.
  • Shooting the tires of a moving vehicle is nigh-impossible in real life, incidentally. The radiator, the engine block (if you have the firepower) or if all else fails the driver all make much easier targets. And even if you did hit the tire, the bullet would not make the tire dramatically fail (it'll puncture, but is likely to leave all or most of the rubber behind, so it partially self-seals), and it would take a long time for the tire to deflate enough to make a difference. More Dakka is of course the solution — tires can self-seal after one hit, but many hits will defeat it and cause a failure.

Alternative Title(s): Pop The Tyres