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Ram by Braking

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And this is why you always wear a helmet, folks.

"If I am escaping in a large truck and the hero is pursuing me in a small Italian sports car, I will not wait for the hero to pull up along side of me and try to force him off the road as he attempts to climb aboard. Instead I will slam on the brakes when he's directly behind me."

During a Chase Scene, this happens when the pursued suddenly brakes in order to make the pursuer run into them. Most of the time, it works if the vehicle being pursued is larger than the one following it, as the pursuer may not react fast enough and would end up being injured in the process.

A variation on this is Dodge by Braking where the pursued driver doesn't let the other car slam in; he just brakes and lets the other vehicle speed by, meanwhile turning around and going back the way he came.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Case Closed, a variant is used to disable a car full of bad guys holding a man hostage: they box him in, and then the car in the front slams on the breaks, causing the bad guys inside to lose their grip on the hostage and allowing the police to move in and arrest them all without causing too much harm on said hostage.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: The guys who kidnapped Hidemi do this to try and stop Onizuka from following them on a scooter. It destroys the scooter, but he manages to cling to the roof of the car.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin:
    • In Tintin: King Ottokar's Sceptre, Tintin is on a motorcycle and chasing a carful of baddies. The baddies slam on the brakes, Tintin gets knocked off his bike, baddies zoom off.
    • Tintin and some others are riding in a car. Unknown to them, the car in front of them is full of bad guys. As they're passing by a lake, the car in front brakes, and Tintin's car gets knocked into the lake.
  • One of the many, many ways Tim's Redbird gets damaged in Robin is by him pulling in front of an escaping villain in a van and hitting the brakes.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used as a feint in The Eiger Sanction. The protagonist is being pursued by another vehicle on a dirt road, kicking up a huge cloud of dust. He turns on the brake lights to make them think he's attempting this trope, putting some distance between them when they slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.
  • In The Italian Job, the thieves make one of the motorcycles pursuing them crash by opening their car doors at the last minute before the bike can slow down.
  • The Longest Yard has this in the remake, where Paul Crewe is driving his soon-to-be-ex girlfriend's stolen car and leading the police in a high-speed chase. When he gets a call from his ex who threatens him and tells him she's watching, he suddenly slams on the brakes, causing every single pursuing cop car to smash into it, utterly destroying it. He caps it with this line.
    Paul Crewe: Hey Lena! I think we should start seeing other people!
  • Speed uses a variation: in order to jump from the car he's driving (which he's in via Flashed-Badge Hijack) into the bus, Keanu Reeves opens the door, slams on the brakes, and lets the bus take the door off.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: While driving the SWAT van, the T-800 slams on the brakes to make the pursuing helicopter (piloted by the T-1000) crash into the van.
  • In Moving Violation, Cam and Eddie's car is being pursued by a deputy on a motorcycle. Eddie slams on the brakes, causing the deputy to crash into their car and fly over the roof.

  • The Executioner. In "Death Squad", the eponymous vigilante squad are tailing a Mafia vehicle convoy, and soon become aware that both plainclothes police and a carload of Mafia gunmen are tailing the convoy, waiting to ambush Mack Bolan if he attacks. Using radio Bolan coordinates their vehicles to maneuver the Mafia car directly in front of the police car, then has the vehicle in front of them pull this trope so the police and Mafia cars smash into each other.
  • In the early Star Wars Legends novel Han Solo at Star's End, Han pulls this off in a spaceship. The Millennium Falcon is temporarily attached to a gigantic freight barge (normally a strictly robot-controlled vessel) but a pursuing dreadnought has managed to lock on with a Tractor Beam. Han dumps the barge's cargo of grain into the warship's Tractor Beam (temporarily blinding the warship's sensors), activates the barge's retrothrusters, and then blasts the Falcon loose. The battlewagon collides with the barge (slicing the barge in half while the dreadnought also takes considerable damage) while the Falcon successfully speeds away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 2008 remake of Knight Rider uses this in a car chase with villains who are trying to hack into KITT's OS. When Michael swings around and forces a crash, KITT's Nanomachines absorb the impact for the heroes — but the villains are rendered unconscious or worse. Metal Gear would be proud.

  • In Big L's "Casualties of A Dice Game", when being chased by some guys he won money from in the titular dice game, L pulls this to end the chase - it works and he manages to kill his pursuers, but he's also severely injured in the process and dies when he doesn't get to the hospital in time.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • George Carlin had a way of dealing with someone who drives behind you with the high-beams headlights on:
    George: Ever been in front of someone whose BRIGHTS ARE ON? Don't you just love that? Someone whose BRIGHTS ARE ON! Someone who just had their headlights aimed and wanted to show you what a good job the mechanic did. Know how to deal with them? Slam your brakes on real hard and let them plow right into you! That'll put those lights out in a big, big hurry!

    Web Original 
  • There's an entry in the Evil Overlord List about this.
    If I am driving a large truck and The Hero is chasing me in a small Italian sports car, I will not let him pull alongside and try to force him off the road. Instead I will slam on the brakes when he's directly behind me.

    Western Animation 
  • Storm Hawks:
    • In episode 2, the Condor, The Storm Hawks' carrier ship, is tailed by the Raptors. Stork brakes and lets them collide with the back of the ship.
      Stork: I hate tailgaters.
    • In episode 31, Aerrow is chased by Hoerk at one point. He brakes, clipping Hoerk's skimmer with his own and sending him spinning out of control.
    • In episode 49, when Finn is on Marge's ship and they're being attacked by Talons, Marge pulls on the brake once the Talons are behind them, causing their skimmers to collide with the much larger airship.

    Real Life 
  • A variant of this tactic is used to end high-speed pursuits. Several police cars will box in the fleeing vehicle and reduce speed simultaneously, forcing the driver to either slow down or slam into the car in front.
  • The "Brake Check" is a dangerous maneuver that basically amounts to deliberately slamming on one's brakes in order to trick the car behind you into either rear-ending you or trying to evade. Needless to say, it's highly illegal.


Video Example(s):


"I hate tailgaters."

The Condor is being pursued by the Raptors. Stork pulls the brakes on the Condor, causing the Raptors' rides to collide with the much larger airship.

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