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Punk in the Trunk

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It ain't that great in here guys!

"Don't be dyin' in my trunk!"
Robert Freeman, The Boondocks

The trunks of cars are mainly used for stashing items that take up too much space in the cab of the vehicle. In fiction, generally, the trunks will be used for storing people, alive or dead. This can be for several reasons:

  • The person in the trunk is alive, trapped in the trunk, and being taken somewhere against his or her will by some villain.
  • The person in the trunk is alive and is hiding in the trunk to follow the driver, who may or may not be aware of this.
  • The person in the trunk is alive and is being taken somewhere willingly, riding in the trunk to hide from authorities who might stop the car.
  • The person in the trunk is alive and is being taken somewhere willingly, because the car is so completely crammed with other people that it's the only place they'll fit.
  • The person in the trunk is dead, and the driver may or may not have put the body in there.

The last one overlaps with Dead Man's Chest, and may be part of a scheme for Disposing of a Body.

Note that it's only a "trunk" in countries which use American English. The rest of the English speaking world calls it a "boot" (The term boot originally comes from stagecoaches, originally referring to side seats but later a storage area in the coach).

Compare Vehicular Kidnapping, and Creepy Stalker Van. See also Trunk Shot.


    open/close all folders 

  • In a 2002 Cartoon Network promo, two guys meet on the road to trade cartoon characters; the Eds are stuffed into one car's trunk and escape when their backs are turned.
  • Played for Laughs in a commercial for ESPN. We see a man driving to the office in a roadster with the Stanley Cup in the passenger seat. When he reaches his destination, another man climbs out of the trunk.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In The Breaker, Sosul is first discovered in the trunk of a car. Shi Woon and Alex knew they were supposed to be transporting some "cargo", but they didn't expect it to be a girl.
  • In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Mushroom Samba", Edward stows away in the trunk of a bounty hunter's car so she can get into town and obtain some food. As it turns out, the police don't take well to finding an unconscious child in the trunk of a car during a routine check. Even when she's just asleep and crawls away during the ensuing ruckus.
  • In Speed Racer, Spritle and Chim-Chim often hide in the trunk of the Mach 5, including during races. Since they can get out when they want to, unless the "latch was jammed" for drama, Pops apparently put a lever in there to open the trunk from the inside.

  • The Cheech & Chong routine "Pedro and the Man at the Drive-In" (on the Los Cochinos album) is about smuggling someone into the drive-in in the trunk, and then being unable to get the trunk open.
  • One of the things John Mulaney gets into during the famous "STREET SMARTS" section of Kid Gorgeous at Radio City is Detective JJ Bittenbinder's advice when stuffed into a trunk in this manner, which was to punch out the rear lights and wave through the hole. Mulaney was...skeptical about how useful this would be.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Birds of Prey series, Lady Shiva is presumed dead after being attacked by the assassin Cheshire. In reality Shiva was simply knocked out and kidnapped, and Catwoman ends up finding her bound and gagged in the trunk of Cheshire's car.
  • Grimly double-subverted in Nightwing: Year One, where an Ax-Crazy guy puts his dead girlfriend in the passenger's seat... because he already stuck her mother's corpse in the trunk.
  • The Sandman (1989): In "Collectors", three serial killers transport their next victim out to a quiet spot where they won't be disturbed... in the passenger seat, because the one whose car it is already has his next next victim stashed in the trunk.
  • Miho from Sin City snuck into a mob enforcer's trunk while the car was still moving. Dwight was in the backseat along with some of the mob thugs as a Batman Gambit to get them to confess to a hit before killing them. Apparently, Miho could hear the conversation going on and killed one on command by shoving her Absurdly Sharp Blade through the trunk and into the guy's skull.
  • In Superman #13, "Superman vs. The Archer", the ten-year-old Jimmy Olsen hides in Lois' trunk to follow her when she checks up on a scoop. He ends up saving her when the Archer kills her informant and tries to shoot her as well.
  • In a 1998 Superman storyline, The Dominus Effect, where Superman is trapped in four different realities at the same time, Lois Lane in the 1970s Bronze Age reality smuggles herself in the trunk of a car used by the Prankster's henchmen in order to get herself as close to the criminal as possible to take him down, while Superman is on board the Prankster's ship trying to keep Lana Lang from dying of poison from needles placed in her corsage and also trying to prevent her from being married to the Prankster.
  • Tintin. Averted in The Calculus Affair. After a long (and oft-times comic) car chase, Tintin and Haddock catch up with the car which they believe their kidnapped colleague was bundled into. The men in the vehicle indignantly deny everything and invite them to search the (empty) trunk. It's only after they drive off that Tintin realises the back seat seemed a bit large; turns out there's a compartment underneath it, in which Calculus had been hidden.
  • X-23 is smuggled to Martin Sutter's house by Zander Rice in the trunk of his car when he decides to eliminate Sutter and his entire family after gaining full control of the X-23 project. It should be noted that Rice was dropping Sutter off at home at the same time.
  • Subverted twice in the X-Men graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills. Tracking some villains surveying the mansion, Kitty Pryde uses her phasing powers to sneak into their car's trunk. Unfortunately, the trunk has sensors that detect her presence, and they activate Knockout Gas. Later, they try to execute her while the trunk is still closed, only to find the trunk empty, as she only inhaled a portion of the gas and retained enough consciousness to escape.

    Comic Strips 
  • A Hsu and Chan strip featured in Electronic Gaming Monthly had the duo do some research into the criminal underworld for an upcoming game. The gangster they end up working with kills the one they initially met with and sticks him in the trunk of their car. They then go to meet someone who he says will help with the corpse in the trunk. He ends up killing that guy as well.
    Chan: I thought you said he'd be helping with the guy in the trunk?
    Gangster: Well, he will, kind of. He'll be keeping him company.

    Fan Works 
  • Castlevania: Nocturne of Ruin: Mariabella Fox follows Jonathan, Charlotte, and the Lecardes to Castlevania by hiding in the trunk of their car. Charlotte even takes the time to chew her out for doing something so stupid, not just because of how dangerous Castlevania is, but because she could have suffocated in the trunk.
  • In Code Prime, Cornelia ends up bound and gagged when captured by the Autobots and locked up in Bumblebee's trunk. Starscream is simply bound and locked inside Optimus' trailer instead.
  • Zipper kidnaps Kimber in Epitaph by putting her in his car's trunk. She, however, is dead when he checks on her later, either due to a concussion or a concussion combined with being in the trunk.
  • Guys Being Dudes: Spark gets transported to Go Fest in the trunk of Team GO Rocket's Creepy Stalker Van, both to hide him from view and because they don't have seats in the back.
  • It's Roy, Gage's partner, who gets it in R is for Retribution.
  • John Gage is shoved into one in a junkyard after the kidnappers finish with him in the Emergency! fic "Run". By the time he's found, the hot California weather has left him near death.
  • With Pearl and Ruby Glowing:
    • The Gnome Gang kidnapped Mabel and threw her in the trunk of their after raping her. Mabel escaped by pulling the trunk release, which she knew how to do because Stan went through the same thing and told her and Dipper about it.
    • Milo was thrown into a van by God's Will First but, unlike Mabel, he couldn't escape because he was Bound and Gagged and vans don't have trunk releases.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beavis And Butthead Do America, the eponymous duo spend a good chunk of their trip across America in the trunk of Muddy's car, which proves useful in getting them closer to Washington DC while being hunted down as international terrorists.
  • Meet the Robinsons: After the Bowler Hat Guy loses his Mind Control over one of the anthropomorphic frogs, he later finds the hat they he used to brainwash him. With the help of his friends, the frogs catch the hat and throw it into a trunk, with The Bowler Hat Guy still controlling it. He loses control once the trunk is shut.
  • In Shark Tale, after racing seahorse Lucky Day loses to Fish Fingers, Sykes orders his two jellyfish henchmen Ernie and Bernie to tie up Oscar and send him to the mouth of a whale (in this film, whales mostly are the undersea equivalent of cars), taking Oscar to a location where the two jellyfish interrogate him before Frankie and Lenny show up to attempt to eat Oscar.
    Sykes: Sorry, kid, it's nothing personal; it's just business.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Jessica puts Roger in the trunk of her car after knocking him out with a frying pan... so he wouldn't get hurt, you see.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 68 Kill: When Liza and Chip abduct Violet from Ken's house, they stuff her in the trunk of Liza's car, where she winds up staying for some time.
  • The ABCs of Death: In the "S" segment, Roxanne stuffs Lulu into the trunk of her car before speeding off. Lulu keeps shouting insults at Roxanne as they drive.
  • Analyze This:
    • Near the beginning, the scene where the psychiatrist crashes into the mafia car, popping the trunk open.
    • In the sequel, Robert De Niro's character gets a job as a used-car salesman and uses the number of bodies a given car's trunk could hold as a selling point.
  • The Archer: Bob places Rebecca in the trunk of his car after he captures her.
  • In The Art of the Steal, Crunch and Nicky hide in the trunk of the car with the stolen Gospel and Francie drives them back across the border. Due to to Francie Acting Unnatural, this does not go as smoothly as they had hoped.
  • In Asian School Girls, the girls find a murdered stripper in the trunk of their car as a warning to stop their vigilante antics.
  • In Back to the Future, Marty gets thrown and locked into a trunk by Biff's goons.
  • In Bad Boys II, Lowrey and Burnett forget they drive a suspect KKK member in their trunk. He starts to thrash about when the protagonists are being admonished by their captain for their last mess-up.
    Captain: Running people over is not enough for you? Now you're into kidnapping?
  • In Bang Boom Bang, Ratte hides Schlucke's corpse in the trunk of Keek's old Taunus. Andy and Keek find that out when Andy, professional-level amateur soccer player, kicks the back of the car in anger and destroys the trunk lock.
  • The Batman (2022). Selina Kyle spends half the movie looking for her missing friend Annika. While Robbing the Mob Bank she unzips a large bag stashed in the trunk of a mobster's car and finds a pile of money. She unzips a second bag...and finds the corpse of her friend.
  • Puggy from Big Trouble is forced into the trunk of a stolen police car when the two escaped criminals don't need him. At the start of the film, he says this is why he missed some of the action.
  • In Blues Brothers 2000, Elwood gets two Russian gangsters drunk and then stuffs them in the trunk of the Bluesmobile. Later on in the film, the Bluesmobile's trunk becomes Buster's room; we see him sleep in there.
  • Bon Cop, Bad Cop had the Québec Cowboy Cop roughly shove a suspect in the trunk of his car, accompanied by the protests of his Ontarian By-the-Book Cop colleague. It happens later in the movie too with a different suspect, where we get this gem.
    Suspect: You can't put me in the trunk of a car!
    Cowboy Cop: Oh yes we can, it's a Québec tradition! note 
  • Used in The Reveal of The 'Burbs, in which the trunk of the Klopeks' car is opened to reveal human remains.
  • In The Call, a girl is kidnapped and spends the majority of the film in her abductor's trunk.
  • At the start of The Car: Road to Revenge, Rainer finds a kidnapped woman Bound and Gagged in the trunk of Tinkerman's car.
  • The Villain Protagonist Donnelly in the short film China Lake has a thing for putting his victims inside the trunks of their own cars.
  • In Corvette Summer, Kenny escapes from kidnappers by hiding in a barrel of oil. Afterwards, the people who drive him back to Vanessa make him ride in the trunk so he doesn't get oil all over the interior.
  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid recontextualizes the footage from White Heat for comedy. When Cody Jarrett fires into the trunk, Rigby thanks him.
  • In Deadpool (2016), Dopinder ends up kidnapping his romantic rival and stuffing him in the trunk of his cab. The plan was to murder him and drop the body off at his girlfriend's house, but getting rear-ended probably spoiled that plan.
  • Destroyer (2018): After catching Petra in the ice cream parlour following the bank robbery, Erin tosses her into the boot of her car and drives her off to interrogate her.
  • Diamonds on Wheels: Jock knocks out Charlie and dumps him in the boot of Mercer's car.
  • A really, really messed up example from the Hong Kong Cat-III film, Dr. Lamb; the titular villain, a Necrophiliac Serial Killer masquerading as a taxi driver working the night shift, would have drunk prostitutes who got aboard his vehicle murdered by strangulation, and then pack their corpse in his trunk so he can sneak them back into his apartment... to have the time of his life with their carcasses the following morning.
  • Dr. Minx: After killing Gus, Carol and Brian place his body in the trunk of Carol's car and take it to Carol's house to bury it. After David finds the body, they dig it up again and dump it back in the trunk to haul it up to the mountain to dump it in the abandoned cabin.
  • 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.
  • This backfires in The Evil That Men Do. Holland kidnaps Dr. Molloch's sister and puts her in the trunk of his car. Then they get pursued by Molloch's men who open fire during the Car Chase, perforating the trunk with bullets. When Holland opens the trunk afterwards, she's dead.
  • Excess Baggage (1997). Emily Hope fakes her own kidnapping to get her father's attention. She handcuffs herself and puts herself in the trunk of her car, but a criminal steals the car while she's in it and the fake kidnapping turns into a real one.
  • Fog Over Frisco: Arlene's corpse is eventually discovered in the trunk of her car. But the Intrepid Reporter who discovers it doesn't tell anyone right away, which leads to Arlene's stepsister Val hurriedly driving away in the car, with Arlene's body still in the trunk. And that in turn leads to a pretty amazingly ghastly scene for 1934, in which the "rumble seat" trunk is opened, causing Arlene's body to flip up and her rigor-stiffened arms to point at the sky.
  • In Fresh Meat, Johnny finds Glenn's cricket coach Mr. Updike Bound and Gagged in the boot of Glenn's car. After he is disposed of, Gigi ties Johnny up and stores him in the boot.
  • In From Dusk Till Dawn, the bank teller that the Gecko brothers took hostage can be seen in a cutaway of their stolen car's trunk, bound and gagged.
  • In The Gentlemen, Coach delivers Phuc to Raymond Bound and Gagged in the boot of his car.
  • In Get Carter, the woman who seduced Carter's niece and persuaded her to star in porn movies is locked in the boot of his car by Carter, while he contemplates her fate. The car is then stolen by small-time hoods he has beaten up, who get even by pushing it into the River Tyne to spite him...
  • GoodFellas opens with the protagonists hearing a noise from their car, then pulling over and staring at the trunk which someone is trying to force open. They open it themselves to reveal a wounded man whom they finish off with their pistols, leading to a How We Got Here.
  • The Green Hornet Strikes Again!: Kato uses this at one point when he needs to get to the villain's lair du jour, and the Hornet already drove off with the Black Beauty.
  • Guns, Girls and Gambling: When ordered to get rid of John Smith, Redfoot and Dark Eyes drag him out of The Casino and throw him into the boot of his car. When he eventually wakes up and cuts his way free, he finds Redfoot and Dark Eyes dead in the front seat.
  • In The Hand, the police find the bodies of Brian and Stella stuffed into the trunk of Jon's car.
  • The Hangover: A pissed-off naked Asian guy pops out of the trunk when the dudes search it.
  • Heat. When McCauley decides to kill a dangerously psychopathic member of their group, he has the trunk of his car already lined with plastic for the body disposal. Unfortunately the execution is interrupted by a passing police car—it soon speeds off in response to some emergency call, but the intended victim is able to slip away during this distraction.
  • In Help!, Ringo is kidnapped and put into the trunk by Mad Scientists Foot and Algernon.
  • Hitman features both dead bodies and a living but unwilling person being hidden in the trunk of a car.
  • Hot Bot: When Koontz and Frazier capture Limus and Leonard, they lock them in the trunk of Leonard's car, preparatory to driving them to Senator Biter so he can kill them.
  • Used in Hot Fuzz when Danny smuggles a Faking the Dead Nicholas out of Sandford in the boot of his car, under the guise of smuggling his dead body out of the village.
  • In the first scene of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Indiana Jones and his companion are locked in the trunk of a car by their Russian kidnappers.
  • In Infamous (2020), Arielle and Elle smuggle Dean through a police roadblock hidden in the trunk of Elle's car: inside a large duffel bag under several other items.
  • In Jackie Brown, a gun smuggler (played by Samuel L. Jackson) has one of his underlings (played by Chris Tucker) hide in his trunk, under the auspices of being ready for an ambush. He drives around the corner, pops the trunk, and shoots him twice.
  • Also common in James Bond films:
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: While Mary Goodnight is trying to hide a homing device in the trunk of Scaramanga's car, she's shoved into the trunk and the car is driven away. She eventually gets the trunk open, only to find she's hundreds of feet in the air.
    • Diamonds Are Forever: After being gassed unconscious, Bond is put into the trunk of a car by Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd and taken to a construction site to be Buried Alive. However when Wint bends down to place Bond in the trunk, his bottle of cologne falls out of his pocket and gets smashed. Bond wakes up covered in the stuff and recognizes the smell later when Kidd and Wint try to kill him at the end of the movie.
    • Suggested by Saunders in The Living Daylights as a means of smuggling out a defector, until Bond overrules the plan: "That's the first place they'd look." After they successfully get the defector out Bond's way, Bond and Saunders reach the border and the border guards... are checking out the boot of the car. Saunders looks a bit put-out.
    • Quantum of Solace: The Cold Open features Bond in a frantic car chase, after which it's revealed that he was transporting Mr. White in the trunk.
    • Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace both feature dead bodies placed in trunks to frame the drivers of the respective cars. In a particular irony, the man who arranged the frame-up in Casino Royale becomes the victim in the trunk in Quantum of Solace.
  • Jawbreaker: Courtney and her Girl Posse play a prank on Liz that involves tying her up and carrying her in the trunk of the car. This turns out to be a very bad idea.
  • Julia X: After capturing The Stranger at the abandoned school, Julia and Jessica dump him in the trunk of their car and drive him back to their home.
  • In Kill Bill Volume 1, after killing O-Ren, The Bride stuffs Sofie into the trunk of her car. The Bride stops on a hill above a hospital, telling Sofie that she's only letting her live so she can tell Bill what she's done. She pulls Sofie out of the trunk and rolls her down the hill.
  • Lemon Tree Passage: Oscar vanishes while standing in the centre of the road looking for the source of the light. Jordan later finds him in the boot of his car. Asphyxiated.
  • Lone Hero: After capturing Bart at Gus's trailer, John and Gus lock him in the trunk of John's car to deliver him back to the police station.
  • In M.F.A., Noelle abducts Calvin by asking him to help change a tyre. As he is bent over the trunk, Noelle stuns him by jamming a taser into his neck, then shoves him into the trunk and slams the lid.
  • In Moving Violation, Warren has Eddie hide in his trunk while he smuggles him and Cam to his house.
  • In Mystery Date (1991), the car in question has a leaky exhaust. This turns out to be relevant.
  • New Town Killers: After finding the Maserati with Jamie's body in it, Sean dumps the body in the boot and drives off in the car.
  • In Out of Sight US Marshal Karen Sisco ends up locked in a trunk with escaping prisoner Jack Foley. Romance ensues.
  • In Pulp Fiction, after Vincent shoots Marvin in the face in Jules's car, they eventually put his body in the trunk, clean up the blood and gore, then drive it to Monster Joe's Truck and Tow to be disappeared.
  • Red 2. Marvin Boggs turns up to rescue Frank from a CIA interrogation centre. As they're driving along the road exchanging exposition, they hear someone banging and screaming in the trunk. Marvin casually reveals he kidnapped and drugged a US military intelligence officer.
  • Red Hill: After Jimmy shoots Slim, he dumps him in the boot of Slim's car (to be used later in a Disguised Hostage Gambit). Later, Shane is knocked out in the freezer of the hotel, and wakes to find himself Bound and Gagged in the boot of a car and being driven out of town.
  • In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde brings a kidnapped police officer to their hideout in the trunk of his car.
  • Sin City:
    • After Miho kills Jackie and his friends, the girls of Old Town have to dispose of the bodies and fast because Jackie was a hero cop. Dwight offers to dispose of the bodies in the nearby tar pits. The car Gail gets doesn't have a big enough trunk, so most of the bodies are chopped up to fit, and Jackie gets to ride shotgun with his head barely still attached.
    • Lampshaded when Klump and Schlubb turn up to dispose of a body, and one points out that the sports car his partner has stolen not only attracts unnecessary attention, but also has no trunk!
  • In Snatched (2017), Morgado has Emily and Linda transported from Ecuador to Colombia tied up in the trunk of a car. While the car is parked, Emily manages to get free, untie Linda, and open the trunk, and the two of them make a break for it.
  • Sneakers. Martin Bryce is thrown into a trunk and taken to the Big Bad's headquarters, then put into the trunk again before being let go in a random spot of the city. Afterwards a blind member of his team is able to work out where he went by asking him questions about what he heard and deducing from there.
  • The Soldier. The Heroes "R" Us team infiltrate an ICBM launch site by dressing as US airmen who are driving an air force car, with the rest of the team hidden in the trunk.
  • Stolen (2012 Nic Cage movie): Will's daughter, Allison, ends up being shoved into the trunk of the getaway car belonging to her kidnapper, Will's ex-partner Vincent, and the film's final confrontation is a lengthy car chase between Will and Vincent, with Allison still stuck in Vincent's trunk.
  • Taxi (the Luc Besson original from 1998):
    • An interesting case: it seems like the Korean taxi drivers in Marseilles work 24 hours a day. It's always one car, one taxi driver's license — and two drivers, one of whom drives while the other one sleeps in the trunk. They switch places around dawn and sunset. That only works because all Koreans look the same to the French.
    • After having seen this, Émilien, the lead cop in the film, tries this trick to stake out a gang of German bank robbers who come to a garage to pick up new tires for their car: He climbs into the trunk of one of the Mercedes. Now guess where the Germans are going to stash their new tires.
  • Theatre of Blood. A policeman tries to follow Lionheart by hiding in the trunk of his car. Lionheart just parks the car on a train track and walks off. Death by Transceiver ensues.
  • In Thelma & Louise, the two girls lock the cop in his trunk with air holes provided.
  • In Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, two of the robbers hide in the huge trunk of a 1950s automobile in order to sneak them into a Drive-In Theater. Unfortunately the trunk is shut on the Badass Longcoat worn by one of the robbers; the man selling tickets notices it sticking out of the trunk and calls the police after hearing a sneeze from inside.
  • To Fool A Thief: This happens to the two main leads when they scam a mobster out of expensive wine.
  • Done for Rule of Threes in The Transporter. The plot is set in motion when Frank (the eponymous Transporter) looks in the 'package' he's been paid to deliver (a large bag in his trunk) and finds a Bound and Gagged Shu Qi. When two policeman find this out, Frank knocks them out and locks them in the trunk, and they're later killed when a bomb blows up his car. Finally Frank's Friend on the Force ends up in the trunk of another car driven by Frank.
  • In Triangle, the heroine kills another version of herself and stashes the corpse in the trunk of her car. Before she can dispose of the body, the car gets into an accident. Unintentionally, the corpse has become a casualty.
  • Tragic Hero: The explosive-laden climax is kicked off with the hero (played by Chow Yun-fat) being sneaked into the main villain's mansion via the trunk. A mook who tries opening it to investigate gets a bullet to the face, followed by Chow climbing out and shooting everyone.
  • Triple 9: In Irina's Establishing Character Moment, one of her mooks summons her outside where he opens the boot of a car. Inside are a bloodied and battered man and woman, Bound and Gagged. The mook then hands Irina a plastic bag containing their teeth. It is never revealed what this pair did to displease Irina.
  • In Vampires vs. Zombies, Travis and Jenna are keeping the staked and paralyzed body of Mary in the trunk of their car. The General finds her when he searches the car looking for stakes.
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones. A drug dealer's wife has been kidnapped, and he's told to pay the monetary equivalent of her weight in heroin. After making the exchange, he's told she's in the trunk of an abandoned derelict car, but only finds what appears to be packets of heroin. When he cuts open one of the packets, blood spurts out as his wife has been hacked up by the killers.
  • White Heat may be the Trope Codifier. One guy that Cody is transporting in this way complains that he can't breathe, so Cody gives him a little air by emptying his gun into the trunk.
  • In White Sands, Lennox ties up two Internal Affairs agents and brings them to Ray in the trunk of his car.
  • Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?: Katy and Christopher aren't invited to Aunt Roo's Christmas party, so they hide in the trunk of the carriage taking the guests.
  • This backfires in Year of the Gun (1991), where a kidnap victim (apparently a willing participant due to his left wing views) is put in the trunk only to die of carbon monoxide poisoning from an exhaust leak. The Red Brigades then pretend he'd been executed as an act of terrorism.

  • In American Gods, the bodies of the children that disappear in Lakeside are hidden in the trunk of the klunker, a ruined car put on the ice of the frozen lake each year. When the ice breaks, the dead child becomes a sacrifice to help the town stay prosperous.
  • Angie's First Case: One of the Wolfpack members tries to avoid a police search (the cops are looking for two teenaged boys travelling together) by hiding in the trunk of their car.
  • In Artemis Fowl the Fowl family limo has a specially air conditioned trunk for this purpose.
  • In Charles McCarry's novel The Better Angels (the inspiration for Wrong is Right), one character is paid for services rendered with an expensive Mercedes. While he's taking a leak, an assassin climbs out of the trunk and strangles him.
  • An Older Than Feudalism subversion exists in a legend concerning Abraham, the patriarch whose account is told in The Bible: Abraham has his wife Sarah locked in a box (a literal trunk) because he fears that she will be taken by the Egyptians on account of her beauty. This ploy does not work, as he didn't stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the box would have to pass through Customs.
  • ByAnyOtherName: Katie's kidnappers hide her in the boot of their car.
  • Burke often hides one of his friends (karate expert Max the Silent, or the Prof armed with a Sawn-Off Shotgun) in his Plymouth's large trunk when going to a meeting with potentially dangerous dudes. They wear a padded refrigerator suit for the bumps and have a latch which opens the trunk from the inside.
  • In the second book in Bryan Davis's Dragons in Our Midst series, Billy is Bound and Gagged and locked in the trunk.
  • In Five Get into Trouble from The Famous Five, Richard hides in the trunk ("boot" to British readers) of a car to escape from a villains' hideout.
  • The Laundry Files (by Charles Stross): In The Fuller Memorandum, Bob gets abducted by cultists and stuffed into the trunk of a car, prompting him to give a slightly incoherent rant about how all how cars should be required to have transparent trunks.
  • The plot in The Law of Innocence starts when a cop finds a dead body in Mickey Haller's own trunk, putting Mickey in a whole lot of trouble.
  • Pilgrennon's Children: In Pilgrennon's Beacon, Dana hides in the trunk of a man's car while he takes a ferry to an island where Pilgrennon is believed to be hiding.
  • In the spy thriller Running Blind, by Desmond Bagley, Alan Stewart captures Double Agent Slade, hiding him in the boot of his car and intending to exchange him for his girlfriend, captured by the KGB. Pretending to the KGB that Slade is hidden elsewhere, Stewart tells his girlfriend to drive the car to the nearest American base and hand him over a CIA agent there (advising her to use the word "trunk" or he won't know where to look). Unfortunately, a KGB agent searches the car for the MacGuffin and finds a pissed-off Slade instead.
  • In The Secret Life of Kitty Granger, enemy spies catch Kitty with the film canister and lock her in the trunk of a car to be transported to the warehouse where they interrogate her.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events has the Baudelaire orphans hide in Count Olaf's car as he escapes from the burning Heimlich Hospital. At the start of the ninth book, they escape and disguise themselves as carnival freaks.
  • Early in Something More Than Night, a car is fished out of the bay with a dead body in the driver's seat. While police investigators are examining the scene, they hear a banging from the trunk and open it to find a woman, mysteriously undrowned.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries: In Club Dead, Sookie throws a weakened Bill in the trunk of a borrowed car to keep him out of the sun.
  • Strawberry Spring, a short horror story by Stephen King. The protagonist begins to suspect that he's a serial killer after experiencing Missing Time, and has an irrational fear of opening the trunk of his car.
  • In Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. MacAvoy, Liz Macnamara and Mayland Long are abducted by one of the villains and driven somewhere in the trunk of his car.
  • The plot of Trunk Music kicks off when Detective Harry Bosch is called to a murder scene. A dead guy in a fancy suit has been found stuffed in the trunk of a limo.
  • In Zeroes, Scam and Mob are stuffed in the trunk of a car by Russian mobsters.
  • Michael Connelly has done this in two different mystery novels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 24's second season, when Kim Bauer and her boyfriend Miguel are taking Megan to Kim's aunt's house, using Megan's father's stolen car, she is pulled over for speeding. The cop opens the trunk, which contains the corpse of Megan's mother.
  • Adam-12:
    • In "Log 66: Vandals," two Hostile Hitchhikers kill the driver because she wouldn't give them her money, then hide the body in the trunk. When the two get arrested for unrelated reasons, the driver shows the cops the body to get revenge on the passenger for getting them arrested.
    • In "Trouble in the Bank," two bank robbers take Reed hostage, force him into their car, and drive off, not knowing that Malloy is hiding in their trunk with a radio, reporting their position.
  • Agent Carter: After Hunt's attempt to kill Peggy and Jarvis, they tranquilize him and throw him in the trunk of a car. When they run into Agent Sousa, she explains the banging coming from the trunk as a possum they caught, only to tell the truth after Hunt starts demanding to be let out.
  • Altered Carbon: Takeshi Kovacs is smuggled into high-class brothel Head in the Clouds in a Flying Car piloted by another team member posing as a client. Problems ensue when Kovacs accidentally bumps the trunk lid, setting off the car alarm and attracting two patrolling guards.
  • For most of the pilot episode of The Americans the Jennings' Oldsmobile has a Soviet defector in the trunk.
  • Buster from Arrested Development attempts to sneak into Mexico this way in the episode "Amigos". He passes out just as the journey begins and escapes from the trunk just after he wakes up. It turns out they're only six miles away from his home and is now at Lupe's (his mother's maid) house.
  • Used twice in the Dutch children's series Bassie & Adriaan. Played seriously in "de Diamant", when Bassie and Adriaan hide in the trunk of the crook's car in order to find out where they are going. Played for Laughs in "De Reis Vol Verrassingen" when the crook B100 has to ride in the trunk because the car that he and his fellows use to get to the Airport doesn't have a backseat.
  • Batwoman (2019). In "An Un-Birthday Present", Mouse puts a captive in the trunk of a derelict car, breaking off the key in the lock so it can't be opened, then covers the car in petrol which he sets alight. Batwoman tears out the backseat and (with some difficulty) pries open the metal support struts to free the captive Just in Time.
  • Team Westen of Burn Notice often transports captured enemies this way.
  • By Any Means: In 1x02, a young girl, Kimberley Brooks, is found dead in the boot of a car belonging to a well-respected judge, Peter Hopkins, in what seems like an open-and-shut case. Helen is suspicious and calls in the team to investigate, convinced the judge has been framed by an ex-policeman.
  • In the Charlie's Angels episode "Pretty Angels All in a Row," Sabrina hides in the trunk of two goons who kidnapped a woman. When they reach the Abandoned Warehouse, one of the goons says that he knows his car and can tell when it's too heavy, so they open the trunk, find Sabrina, and tie her up alongside their previous victim.
  • On Cheers, the gang learns the local drive-in theater is closing, so they decide to pay it one last visit. Frasier, who's never been to a drive-in theater, is given the role of trunk boy, which involves being smuggled into the theater in the trunk of the car. This proves problematic when they're unable to get the trunk open and he has to force his way out.
  • This happens in Chuck when the two leads in "Chuck vs the Hard Imported Salami" get on Stravos' bad side after finding about an imported-deli-meat smuggling gig. (In other words, expensive deli meats that haven't had the proper Custom dues or taxes paid, or been properly inspected for environmental hazards.)
  • Bodies in trunks of cars occasionally surface as the Victim of the Week in the various CSI episodes.
  • DCI Banks: "Ghosts" opens with the camera following a car as it drives through the streets of the city, passing the revelers coming out of the pubs and clubs. The car drives out into the country where it stops. The driver gets out and opens the boot, revealing a dead body. The driver then drops the body down a ravine and drives off.
  • In season 3 of Dexter, someone ambushes Dexter in the parking-garage as he's leaving work, ties him up and throws him in a trunk before driving off with him. Dexter — and the viewer — naturally assumes that it's the resident antagonist, The Skinner, taking him off to torture and murder, and Dex tensely frees himself of his constrains and readies himself to pounce the moment the trunk is opened — and so he does, squarely hitting... one of his colleagues, who'd chosen this rather melodramatic way to cart him off to a secret Bachelor-party. The rest of his colleagues are both impressed and amused by the reaction, and Dex rapidly recovers his cool.
  • Dispatches From Elsewhere: In order to spy on Octavio Coleman, Fredwynn conceals himself in the trunk of Coleman's limousine as it pulls away.
  • In the Due South episode "Pizzas and Promises", Ray hides in the trunk of a car to figure out where the car thieves take it to get repainted (the plot revolves around a scheme to repeatedly sell and steal the same used cars, repainting them and replacing the Vehicle ID Numbers each time). The bad guys figure out he's in there and dump the car in the river, necessitating a rescue from Fraser.
  • In Eureka, Fargo tries to fob his AI car Tabitha off on Larry, who refuses to accept her. Tabitha is self-aware and insulted enough to pursue both of them, lock them in her trunk, and drive around for a while until they're convinced she's going to kill them. She eventually lets Fargo go so he can save the town, though.
  • Forever Knight
    • Invoked Trope by Nick Knight, who drives a 1962 Cadillac because it has the largest trunk of any car built in North America in the last 30 years, so he can use it as a place to sleep if caught away from his home at dawn. In the Pilot Movie this causes problems when his partner borrows the car without permission, driving around in daylight with Nick trapped in the trunk, and the brakelines turn out to be sabotaged.
    • In "Dying to Know You", the daughter of a Corrupt Corporate Executive is snatched, but it's actually her father paying for her to be murdered in a Faked Kidnapping for ransom. However when they're being paid off, the criminals inform the father as a cruel taunt that she's still alive in the trunk of their car and has been told all about her father's involvement, and leave him the job of killing her.
  • When Will works as a car salesman in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he has trouble selling a car to a group of Wiseguys until he shows them how well he fits in the trunk.
  • In the Get Smart episode "Maxwell Smart, Private Eye," Max and 99 are transporting a Defector from Commie Land to a secret hideout. She hides in the trunk while they drive around for three hours to make sure they're not being followed. Despite their efforts, KAOS agents already know the location and are waiting for them when they arrive.
  • Shane kidnaps JD in this way in Harper's Island, wrongly assuming that JD murdered Kelly.
  • Inspector Morse. In "The Day of the Devil", a criminal escapes from prison by hiding in the trunk of his psychiatrist's car — she left the key in the lock while loading some files in the back seat. Morse later realises the psychiatrist was in on the escape, and had left the car unlocked deliberately.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Charlie kidnaps a restaurant critic and his neighbor and puts them in a trunk in "Paddy's Pub: Worst Bar in Philadelphia", and is later put in the trunk himself on a trip to Atlantic City because the gang think he'll be less nervous about leaving Philadelphia if he can't see the outside world.
  • Leverage: In "The Juror #6 Job", Eliot knocks out two mooks and locks them in the trunk of their own car.
  • In the first season finale of Life, Charlie Crews abducts the man who committed the murders for which he was wrongfully convicted and spends several hours driving around L.A. with the man in the trunk of his car. Amazingly, the abductee manages to survive with only a few cuts and scrapes when the car is T-boned so hard that it flips over and lands upside down.
  • In the finale of Season 2 Luther has to get rid of a psychotic gangster killed in self-defense by the woman he's hiding in his flat. At the same time an ex-cop working as an enforcer is trying to find out what happened to his boss. At first Luther hides the body on the roof of his apartment complex, but has to get rid of it when the enforcer comes around, dragging it into the lift in a huge sports bag. The enforcer catches Luther locking the trunk of his car and forces him to open it at gunpoint, revealing the full of sports equipment. Later the police answer an anonymous tip-off and find the body hidden in the enforcer's car. When he realises he's been set up the enforcer flees, expressing admiration for Luther's cunning.
  • The Magician: In "The Illusion of the Cat's Eye", Tony trails the bad guys to their meet by hiding in the trunk of their limo.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, when Malcolm and Reese realized that Francis decided to give a concert ticket to a girl he just met instead of either of them, the two decided to sabotage his date. The final act of sabotage managed to work out after Francis's car got pulled over by a cop and the cop finding the two stuffed themselves in the trunk of the car.
  • Motive: In "Remains to be Seen", the killer wraps the headless corpse of the Victim of the Week in a tarp and dumps it in the boot of his car.
  • Murder, She Wrote: The solution to "The Final Flight of the Dixie Damsel" involves someone having been hidden in the trunk of a Cadillac being shipped back to the States in the Dixie Damsel.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Joy used this tactic while attempting to cross the border to Mexico because she was afraid of going to prison for the rest of her life.
  • Narcos. Pablo Escobar is an entirely willing version, so he can travel about covertly.
    "I mean, who in the hell would think that the seventh richest man in the world would be riding around in the trunk of a piece of poop taxi?"
  • NCIS:
    • Played With in the pilot episode, "Yankee White". FBI Agent Fornell thinks he's got a dead body in his car's trunk. In reality, inside the body bag is the very-much-alive NCIS Agent Di Nozzo, who is serving as a diversion while Gibbs smuggles the real dead body to NCIS HQ so his Medical Examiner can examine it without FBI interference.
    • In one episode, the Creep of the Week is holding a navy officer for ransom, keeping her in the trunk of a car. This leads to a race against time to find her, as said Creep didn't know she had asthma (and therefore was in danger of suffocation before his deadline would come).
    • Another episode has Gibbs hide himself in the trunk as part of a rescue mission for Director Shepard. He's still in the trunk when he shoots the kidnapper.
  • On NYPD Blue a random car got in an accident with the car Andy & Bobby were in; they heard thumping & screaming from the trunk, which they popped to discover he had a woman in the trunk of his car.
  • Done so often in Person of Interest it's basically a Running Gag. Notable examples include:
    • In the pilot episode, Reese puts the dead body of Detective Fusco's corrupt superior in his trunk, leaving Fusco the job of disposing of it.
    • In "Judgement", Reese uses this trope as an interrogation method. He'll stop driving recklessly and let the mook out of the trunk when he agrees to talk. The mook doesn't have much information, but he reveals the location of a second member of the gang who also ends up in the trunk. When this man refuses to talk, Reese cuts the bonds of the first man and says he can get out of the trunk the moment he gets the information Reese needs. Cue first mook beating up the second until he talks.
    • In "Blue Code" Reese himself ends up in the trunk of a car which is then set on fire. Fortunately one of the criminals is an undercover police officer who slips a torch into Reese's pocket, enabling him to escape in time.
    • In "Til Death", a married couple are planning to murder each other, so Reese abducts them one at a time (in the middle of a busy Manhattan street) and throws them both in his trunk, much to the embarrassment of Detective Fusco and Carter who are standing right there. Fusco ends up slapping the trunk loudly when the woman starts banging and shouting to be let out.
    • In "Razgovor", a Russian mafia mook learns the importance of clearing out your trunk before doing this trope when Shaw smacks him in the face with a tyre iron.
    • In "Proteus", Reese goes to dump a body in his trunk, only to find another body already there. Turns out the (fake) FBI agent he's working with is actually the Villain of the Week.
    • In "Liberty", criminals throw the Victim of the Week in their trunk, only to have the car drive off without them as Reese has already knocked out and replaced the driver.
    • In "RAM", a character talks of how he was injected with a knockout drug, then woke up in the trunk of a car with a suicide note in his pocket. Only a fortuitous car crash saved him.
    • In "Beta", Reese and Shaw bribe a cab driver to smuggle them in his trunk to avoid being caught on the numerous CCTV's being monitored by Samaritan.
      Shaw: Next time we need to hide from an all-seeing supercomputer, we're getting separate trunks.
    • In "Nautilus", Root is meeting with Harold Finch in her car when there are sudden noises from the trunk.
      Root: Larry! I told you stay calm and Ill grant you back seat privileges!
      Finch: Are you abducting someone?!
  • The Professionals.
    • In "Slush Fund", Doyle is knocked unconscious by the episode's antagonist while in a carpark, who hides his body in a nearby Jaguar that's been left unlocked. The Jag is then stolen by joyriding hoodlums, who eventually crash sending Doyle flying out the back and themselves over a cliff. No-one was harmed though as there were only a couple of crash test dummies in the front seat.
    • In "Servant Of Two Masters", Bodie has a thug Bound and Gagged and throws him in the back of his minivan for safekeeping. When Doyle comes along and finds the vehicle rocking as the thug struggles to free himself, he assumes his partner has been getting some on-the-job nookie until two more thugs attack him. He knocks them out and they end up in the back of the minivan as well, until a fourth minion turns up to free them.
    • In "The Acorn Syndrome", Bodie hides in the boot of a car to follow the man driving it to a ransom drop. Unfortunately the kidnappers have him change cars, and Bodie barely gets out of the boot in time to attach a Tracking Device to the second car before it drives off.
  • Psych had an episode where Shawn was shot and forced into the trunk of a car by the man he was tracking. Notably, he uses a tactic his father taught him about removing the taillight to see where he is.
  • In The Sentinel episode "Girl Next Door", Blair rescues a woman who's been trapped in her trunk by her ex. Unfortunately she turns out to be a criminal who winds up dragging Blair—at gunpoint—into an armed robbery and a drug-smuggling operation. At the end of the episode, he takes satisfaction in stashing her back in the trunk.
  • An anachronistic version happens in Shadow and Bone when the Crows plan to kidnap Alina from the Little Palace. Jesper is given the task of getting the escape vehicle, and secures a couple of fast horses and a carriage with a strongbox on the back for their prize. After the plan fails completely, Jesper watches in disbelief as Alina sneaks out of the Little Palace and hides in the very strongbox he'd prepared for her.
  • Supernatural. In the final episode of Season 4, Sam captures a demon who lets the woman she's possessing resurface, so Sam has to listen to her pounding on the trunk lid, begging to be let out.
    • In the ninth season opener, Dean reveals that he has Crowley locked in his trunk.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
    • Sarah is tied up in the backseat of a car being driven by Cromartie. When she frees her feet and jumps out, he simply stops, picks her up and throws her in the trunk.
    • Morris asks Cameron whether the car she's standing next to is hers. She responds by telling him it belongs to the man she just killed and was loading into the trunk when he found her.
  • Titans (2018). Starfire keeps doing dangerous things while sleepwalking. In "Blackfire" she wakes up to find herself in a car parked in the middle of nowhere. Then Beast Boy starts shouting from the trunk to be let out, having been knocked out and thrown in there by Starfire. He's not happy, needless to say.

  • Top Gear:
    • How do we know the Rolls Royce Corniche that Jeremy Clarkson is driving actually belongs to James May? Easy...because May is trapped in the boot.
    • One of the tests used for finding the ideal car for members of the Albanian Mafia is seeing if a body will fit into the trunk. Unfortunately, said body is decidedly large.
    • Invoked when Richard Hammond is reviewing the fifth generation Mustang, noting that bad guys in movies tend to stuff people into the trunks of muscle cars. He then points out a convenient trunk release lever mounted on the inside of the trunk lid which shows a man leaping from the trunk.
    • When testing out the Renault Twingo, Jeremy has Ross Kemp get into the trunk to show how much space it has. Kemp stays there for the rest of the test, even when Jeremy tries to jump it onto a ferry.
  • Touched by an Angel: The Celebrity of the Week (Jack Ritter, if memory serves correctly) gets carjacked and stuffed in the trunk; after the car gets abandoned on the side of the road, the rest of the episode is a race against time to find him before he bakes to death.
  • Veronica Mars had a rather clever use of this. After his daughter is born, Duncan Kane gets into a custody battle with the parents of the recently deceased mother. Deciding he can't win against them, he kidnaps his daughter and flees the country. Veronica tells Sheriff Lamb that he fled to Mexico and Lamb goes after him. After it turns out to be a false lead, Lamb goes home. Along the way, he discovers he inadvertently helped Duncan sneak out of the country in his own patrol car's trunk.
  • In the season 2 episode of The Walking Dead, "18 Miles Out", Rick and Shane transport Randall away from the farm in the trunk of their car so as to try and hide the location of the farm from him and anyone he may tell.
  • Wiseguy
    • An Invoked Trope when a Mafia boss is angry because a hitman failed to kill his target. The hitman protests that he emptied an entire clip from an Uzi into the man. The Mafia boss retorts that when you want someone dead, you shoot them in the back of the head and stuff their body in a trunk. He then does exactly that to the hitman.
    • In the pilot episode undercover federal agent Vinnie Terranova is given the job of Disposing of a Body in his trunk. Unfortunately he's being harassed by two traffic cops who break his taillight so they can have a pretext to search his car. The hitman with Vinnie is fully prepared to kill them, so Vinnie just drives off suddenly and evades the police in the subsequent car chase.

  • Taken very literally in an early AFI video, with a literal punk in the trunk who is taken someplace and stabbed to death. Yep, nice.
  • In the music video for And We Danced, a group of people going to the drive-in movie theater shove a friend in the trunk of the car, to sneak him in.
  • Cherry 2000's "Marlboro" includes the lyric "We've got somebody tied up in the trunk right now". It's something of a Wham Line, because up to that point the song just seems to be about taking an impulsive road trip. Since a later line is "Forgot your shovel", it's implied that they're planning on Disposing of a Body.
  • "Goodbye Earl" by the Dixie Chicks is about a woman who (with help from her friend from high school) kills her abusive ex-husband by poisoning his food. She then disposes of his body down by the lake, and puts the body in the trunk to facilitate this.
  • In Eminem's song "Stan" (except in the radio edit), Stan says that his girlfriend is in the trunk of his car. Worse, she's still alive, at least until Stan crashes it, and can be heard screaming, which causes Stan to yell at her to shut up.
  • In the music video for Song Ji Eun's song "Going Crazy," the main character is seen driving along an abandoned road while periodically checking the trunk of her car. A Trunk Shot at the climax of the song reveals a kidnapped guy she has tied up in there, along with a gas can, which she douses him with before walking away and throwing a lighter behind her as the video cuts to black.
  • Public Image Ltd.'s "Poptones" is based on an incident where a girl was kidnapped, stipped naked, stuffed in a car trunk and left for dead in the woods. She was apparently ably to get back to civilization and was able to describe the tape the kidnappers were playing in the car, and they happened to be playing it when they were arrested.
  • In "Living Doll", Cliff Richard sings that he's going to lock said girl in a trunk so a better-looking man can't steal her away from him. Though it could be the other kind of trunk. As The Young Ones said while doing a cover, locking girls in trunks is politically unsound, and think of what it does to the elephants.
  • The end of Konichiwa Bitches by Robyn mentions this:
    Tape you up good
    Put you in the trunk
    See you next Tuesday
    You is a punk
  • This trope makes up the chorus of "Trunk" by Spinout: "Get in the trunk, bitch, I'm gonna drive"
  • This is the fate of the narrator in "The Shadow Government" by They Might Be Giants:
    Crawling out of the flophouse
    I saw the mayor stealing my junk
    I doth protest,
    Citizen's arrest
    Now my body's in his trunk
  • The Tragically Hip song Locked In The Trunk Of A Car, which is pretty self-explanatory. It's actually a dramatization of an incident in which a group of Quebec separatist terrorists took a government official hostage and stuffed him in the trunk of a car after knocking him out. He was later killed.
  • The Unknown Hinson parody song "In The Trunk Of My Cadillac Car".
  • The music video for Kanye West's song "Flashing Lights" has himself locked up in the trunk of a model's car where she brutally murders him with a shovel.
  • Another music video (can't remember the title, sorry) had two hitmen taking a victim out into the woods to be executed, only to find they're stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop in which the victim keeps reappearing in their trunk, no matter how many times they kill him.

  • Played for laughs in Creature from the Black Lagoon, which features a moviegoer is trapped inside the trunk of his friend's car after a botched attempt to sneak into the drive-thru.
    "I'm suffocating!"

    Print Media 
  • A story in Reader's Digest told of a man who had been kidnapped and stuffed in the trunk of his own car which was then stolen by the assailants. He eventually survived, but was severely beaten in the meantime.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • On WWE Raw, Kane and Triple H were in a feud (the ever popular Katie Vick angle), and at the end of the episode Kane tossed Trip into a car's trunk and drove off - but then we saw the car trunk pop open just as they were going to black! Oops. Dealt with at the top of the next episode:
    Triple H: I've got a special guest gonna come out here later - but before we come to that, I'd like to give a little personal message to Kane. Kane, this is just advice, but next time you try to accost somebody by sticking them into the trunk of a car, you should try to make sure that the trunk does not have one of those child safety latches on the roof - I mean, you can just pull it and jump OUT of the trunk before the person even drives off. Just a bit of advice.
  • One time, the diva Joy Giovanni was discovered bound and gagged inside the trunk of JBL's limo, prompting an enraged The Big Show to attack him and his group. Later, Kurt Angle revealed he was the one who abducted her, as he had been feuding with both JBL and Big Show at the time.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Valerie Hawthorne in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations, was stuffed in the trunk of the car after being killed.
    • In the first game, after killing Bruce Goodman, Damon Gant stuffed the body in the trunk of Edgeworth's car.
    • In Investigations 2, a pair of kidnappers stash their live victim in a large box thrown into the trunk of a taxi.
    • In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Pal Meraktis wanted to do this with what he thought was Alita Tiala's dead body, so he could dispose of it. He couldn't get his car started (unbeknownst to him, someone had shoved a pair of panties in the exhaust pipe), so he settled for shoving her in the back of the next-door mobile noodle stand. This all bit him bad when it turned out Alita wasn't actually dead, and shot him not long after coming to.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, when Desmond and Lucy are escaping from Abstergo, they make it to the parking garage. Lucy has Desmond hide in her car's trunk on the way to the safehouse.
  • In the first mission of the Russian campaign of Empire Earth, Grigor starts out hiding from the authorities in the trunk of his friend's Pyotr car and planning to escape Voronezh. However, he is aware that the trunk is "the first place the guards check" and thus they look for a better vehicle to smuggle him out. If they try to use the original car, they are caught and laugh at how Grigor tried to escape hiding in a trunk "like in a bad spy movie".
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands has the main characters catch a drug lord, stuff him in the trunk and when he resists simply slam the trunk against his hands forcing him to retract them and which allows it to be closed.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series has it's fair share of this trope:
    • First, there is the aptly named "Dead Skunk In The Trunk" mission in Grand Theft Auto III has you drive a car with a dead mobster in the trunk while his "family" chases you.
    • There is also the mission "Have a Heart" in Grand Theft Auto IV, in which Elizabeta kills Manny Escuela and his cameraman and you have to deliver the bodies to a back-alley surgeon with enough care that the trunk won't fly open from an unwanted crash and the police won't chase you down.
    • In the same game, at the start of the "Roman's Sorrow" mission, Niko finds Roman stuck in the trunk of his own taxi. He hid there to escape the Russians, who are after him due to the events of the previous mission, "Russian Revolution".
    • And again in IV, in the mission "She's a Keeper", Niko has to move Gracie Ancelotti from one safehouse to another, and insists she is transported in the trunk of his car considering the fight she put up the last time he had to transport her. If the player drives too recklessly, Gracie will break her neck, failing the mission.
    • Continued in Grand Theft Auto V, where Devin Weston is stuffed in a trunk by the protagonists, and then the car is pushed off of a cliff, with predictable results.
  • Haunting Starring Polterguy: One of poltergeist Polterguy's jump scares. In the garage he can make a tied up person make appear in the trunk in Vito's car.
  • Subverted in L.A. Noire, in an early case you find the bloody remains of a missing man in the trunk of an abandoned car. During the investigation, you learn that he butchered a pig in there to fake his own death and run away with his mistress. Played straight later, when thugs try to jam Jack Kelso in one, only for him to escape.
  • In Mafia II, one of the first things the newly-released-from-prison Vito Scaletta must do is help bury a body, which had been mistakenly left in the trunk for "a couple of days".
  • During the Golden Ending of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Junpei and his companions escape the facility to find that Zero has left them a fully fueled jeep with the Eviler than Thou Greater-Scope Villain Gentarou "Ace" Hongou tied up and left in the trunk.
  • Reservoir Dogs has a driving mission where Mr Blonde is driving the cop he kidnapped back to the meeting point. If the player slows down for a certain amount of time the cop jumps out and flees.
  • Rides With Strangers: Muffled screaming and banging can be heard coming from the trunk of Father Donald's car. You can't do anything to help the poor bastard, so it can be assumed that Donald kills him offscreen after the events of the ride.
  • Given its nature as a gangland simulator, no matter how wacky, Saints Row 2 features this in one of its missions. In the Brotherhood mission "Bank Error In Your Favor," The Boss, starting his Roaring Rampage of Revenge over the death of Carlos, finds out that Jessica, the one who ordered Carlos dragged to death, is by herself at a bank. They kidnap Jessica, stuff her in the trunk of her own car, and drive to a demolition derby where the car is parked in a line of cars that Jessica's boyfriend Maero, the Brotherhood's leader, has set up to destroy with his monster truck. She ends up crushed to death and Maero founds out too late how and why when the Boss throws him the keys to Jessica's car.
  • Sleeping Dogs: In addition to the numerous story missions and side-missions that use this, it's also a freeroam mechanic. Just grab the pedestrian of your choice, take them to the trunk of your choice, press the action button and you've got your very own unwilling passenger.
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3: The player character can hide in the trunks of some stationary cars.

    Web Animation 
  • Manga Room: Yuhei finds a woman named Satomi sleeping in his car trunk. The reason she went into his trunk because she was heavily drunk that she mistook his car for hers.

  • Referenced in Questionable Content. Jimbo apparently left Canada this way, for reasons that started with him getting black-out drunk at a literary convention and ended with him being declared persona non grata in Canada and not being allowed to do public events anymore.
  • Finding the heiress Lilja Trevaine in the trunk of a mis-parked car is what kicks off the plot of Semi-Auto Semla.
  • This trunk ninja in Supernormal Step appears to be hiding in the trunk of the main characters without their knowledge.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures in Odyssey story "A Stranger Among Us", Dylan and Eugene believe that one of the guests at Whit's End has "got [Connie] in the trunk", but she accidentally got locked in the closet.
  • Done several times on Beavis and Butt-Head:
    • The two get thrown in the trunk themselves on at least two occasions: By Todd in "Canned", and by Muddy in the film.
    • In "A Great Day", the two stumble upon a man who is stuffing a dead body in his trunk, who promptly pays them to go away and not say anything about it.
  • DuckTales (1987): "The Good Muddahs" features the variant where someone is stuffed in the trunk in order to effect a getaway from the authorities. Specifically, the Nephews, Bubba and Webby stuff the Beagle Babes into their own trunk, and drive away pursued by two stupid rookie cops.
    • Interestingly enough, after suffering the bumpy ride, Boom-Boom Beagle refers to the variant where a dead body is stuffed in the trunk:
    Boom-Boom Beagle: Remind me never to stuff a stiff in the trunk again! It's too cruel!
  • Family Guy does this a few times:
    • In the episode "Don't Make Me Over", in a cutaway gag, Neil Armstrong runs into someone after filming the moon landing. The man wonders why he is on Earth, because he just saw the moon landing on TV. Neil Armstrong kills the man with his astronaut's helmet and stuffs him into the trunk of his car.
    • In the episode "8 Simple Rules for Buying My Teenage Daughter", Stewie knocks out his babysitter's boyfriend, because he is jealous of him. He throws him in the trunk of Brian's car. Weeks later, he completely forgets about him, and the man dies.
  • The Jungle Show: Lil and Lily's second episode has a scene where the chickens knock a police officer (portrayed by Fred Flamingo) unconscious and stuff him in their car's trunk.
  • A running gag in KaBlam! was that, whenever Henry and June needed to get rid of someone that was annoying them, they would get Mr. Foot to grab them and shove them in the trunk of his car.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, Hank, Dale, and Kahn are in Mexico, trying to cross the border to the US, in order to escape a fine that they were sentenced to pay. Dale says that if the Border Patrol sees Hank and himself, they will be fine, but Kahn will get them arrested if he is seen. Kahn hides in the car's trunk, but gets out of it after Dale freaks out at the border crossing.
  • Megas XLR: In "Universal Remote", Coop and Jamie smuggle Goat into a drive-in theater in the trunk of Megas' car. Then Skalgar attacks during the movie. By the end of the episode, Goat is still inside the trunk, unaware of what has happened and wondering when the movie will finally begin. During the credits, he can be heard banging the lid to signal he wants to be let out.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart suddenly gets a phone call while driving,
    Homer: Bart, I don't want to alarm you, but I'm inside the trunk.
    [thumps come from the back of the car]
    Homer: That was me. Some very uncool people put me here.
  • Subverted in Spongebob Squarepants where one episode has Spongebob and Mr. Krabs show up at Squidward's mother's house in balaclavas and a burlap sack, much to her horror. The next scene has them shove the full sack into Mr. Krabs' trunk, but keep hitting it to make the trunk's lid close. Then Squidward's mother tells them to step aside and just slams the trunk shut. Turns out the sack was actually Mr. Krabs' laundry so there would be room for her to sit at the front.
  • This happens in Transformers: Prime of all shows in the Season 3 episode "Plus One", in which Mrs. Darby and Agent Fowler both end up in the trunk of the Decepticon Knock Out.

    Real Life 
  • In any country with mandatory seat-belt laws, it's actually illegal for anyone to travel in this way simply because the trunk doesn't have seat belts. It doesn't help if the passenger is already dead, because then you have worse things to worry about...
  • This happened so often in East Germany that GDR border guards were taught a good method to immediately find out if there was someone hiding in a car's trunk: As a person is usually heavier than normal luggage, the car will be pushed down by the springs on its rear, and this pushes the front up. So, if the car's headlights shine up at any higher angle than they are supposed to, there is someone hiding in the back.
  • This was a popular method of getting people into drive-in movies without paying. Used in Thunderbolt And Light Foot and Grease.
  • Parodied by those Halloween decorations that consist of a disembodied plastic hand with a hook that attaches to the inside of the trunk so it looks like someone's hand is hanging out.
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard # 401 requires glow-in-the-dark release catches inside the trunk of 2003 and newer vehicles built for the US market.
  • Serial killer Joel Rifkin was stopped for driving without a license plate. Police found a dead prostitute in the trunk of his car.
  • It's possible for a Punk in the Trunk to invoke a similar Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot. If the car is an older model or the interior trunk release is disabled, it may be possible to pry off the lining to get at the cords leading to one of the tail lights. Disabling one increases the chance that the car will be noticed by the police.
  • During the October Crisis of 1970 in the province of Québec, the Marxist, independantist "Front de Libération du Québec" kidnapped British diplomat James Cross and Québec Minister of Labor Pierre Laporte. While Cross was eventually freed unharmed, Pierre Laporte was murdered and his body was left to be found in the trunk of a car.
  • Every car sold new in the United States after September 1st 2001 must include an emergency release lever inside the trunk if it is large enough to hold a small child (and some trunks had them much earlier). This was introduced primarily to prevent children from getting stuck in trunks, but in theory it could foil attempted kidnappings too.
  • If you are abducted and put into a trunk (and the trunk can't be opened from the inside), the common advice is to peel back the carpet to access the tail lights, then break one and wave for help through the hole. (Of course, this assumes that you're not also Bound and Gagged.)
  • Serial Killer Dennis Nilsen had this happen to him during his time in the armynote . An Arab cab driver abducted him by knocking him out and shoving him in the trunk. Later Nilsen turned the tables on him, knocking him out with a jack-handle and locked him in his own trunk.
  • Prince Harry revealed in his memoir Spare that he frequently invoked this on himself during his hard-partying days to avoid being photographed by the paparazzi either entering or leaving a nightclub, making his bodyguard/driver pull up to the rear entrance so that he could jump in or out.


Video Example(s):


Who's Beaumont?

Ordell shows Louis Beaumont's dead body in the trunk of his car, calling him an employee of his gun running venture he had to "let go", since Beaumont was going to tell the authorities everything about his dealings.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouHaveFailedMe

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