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The police are just waiting for our fleeing heroes to arrive at their Road Block. Too bad they don't know the heroes are going to escape with Slo-Mo Big Air, or that they know another way; the roadblock will only be rammed by other police cruisers. Alternatively, the heroes will cleverly bluff past the guards, who are often incompetent.
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Also used by security departments of evil corporations and road construction crews. And the policemen are not always police — if you are relieved to see them, or don't care, it's very likely they aren't.

In video games, road blocks serve other purposes and are used excessively to avoid player wandering off the map or from reaching an area they aren't supposed to be at yet. Contrast Absurdly Ineffective Barricade and Checkpoint Charlie.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • In The Chase (Pepsi), Michael Jackson manages to snag a car to get away from a giant mob of fans, and initially succeeds. Unfortunately, he nearly drives through a construction road block almost immediately after, and is forced to ditch the car due to the road being closed off, allowing the mob to catch up to him.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens in Futakoi Alternative when there's a Chase Scene.
  • Happens in Megazone23 when there's a Chase Scene.
  • The police set one up in the first episode of Sonic X, in part due to confusion as to what the heck Sonic even is. Sonic, being Sonic, just jumped over it and kept going.

    Comic Books 
  • A minor occurrence in the first Sin City story (also depicted in the movie). The cops are chasing Marv on foot through the hotel. He drops out of the window and tries to go down the alley, only to see a cop car heading him off, blocking his way. He ends up jumping through the windshield to beat up the drivers and subsequently, take the car.
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The 1986 movie Band of the Hand ends with the heroes pulling up to a police barricade in a camouflaged jeep filled with guns. The heroes proceed to bluff their way past the roadblock.
  • Featured in both of the Blues Brothers films.
    • In The Blues Brothers, the Blues brothers escape the cops by driving into a mall.
    • In Blues Brothers 2000, a Road Block has been set up; Elwood gets around it by driving under a river.
  • Der Clown - Payday has two Road Block scenes. One is flown over by the good guys, one is removed when a tractor-trailer driven by the Big Bad and with the heroine tied to its front speeds towards it.
  • D.A.R.Y.L.: While making their escape, Daryl and Dr. Stewart spot a roadblock up ahead; it's just one car and one cop, but as Stewart points out, that's enough. Daryl sneaks out of the truck; while Stewart bluffs his way past the cop, Daryl removes all the fuses from his car, ensuring that he can't follow them if he realizes anything's up. Unfortunately there's a second block just up the road, and the first cop, having spotted Daryl fleeing from the scene, had warned the second one that they were coming. The truck smashes its way through, but Stewart is fatally shot in the process.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has the heroes using bicycles to evade the police. When faced with a police roadblock, ET literally causes the bikes to fly over the police and evade capture.
  • The Four Days of Naples: The Italian civilians battling in the streets of Naples against the Germans build a road block, only to be unpleasantly surprised when the Germans turn a corner and come from the opposite direction, behind the roadblock that the Italians have built to stop them.
  • In Vanishing Point, the cops block the road with two bulldozers. The protagonist, Kowalski, accelerates at the end of the run, hitting so hard that his car nearly folds in half and bursting into a fireball.
  • Out of the Past ends with a dramatic roadblock scene, where the hero and Femme Fatale get killed.
  • Another bluff past a roadblock occurs in A Perfect World, in which a convict and his young hostage/companion ride with a friendly family past a roadblock. Once out of sight, the family is left on the roadside, and the convict and boy take the car.
  • The film version of Wanted has a scene that pretty much exemplifies this trope.
  • Death Race 2000. Two members of La Résistance construct a roadblock to sabotage the Transcontinental Road Race, only to have the car race up from the opposite direction and run them over. Later attempts using fire and Stuff Blowing Up don't work any better.
  • Drive Angry: Some local cops try this with The Accountant. Accountant is a divine bounty hunter trying to bring the protagonist back to Hell, not all that concerned with collateral damage, and batshit insane. Queue him driving a fuel truck right through it, Stuff Blowing Up, and he's jamming out to KC and the Sunshine Band behind the wheel.
  • The Cannonball Run and its sequels have a few examples, which isn't surprising given that they're about an illegal cross-country road race:
    • While J.J. and Victor are testing out a Porsche for the race, they encounter one of these, making them crash. When the officer goes to check on them, Victor emerges from the car as Captain Chaos marking the first time we see...him.
    • Mr. Foyt helps set one up to catch the Cannonballers. He's confirmed to have caught two teams while Seymour and J.J. find ways to slip through.
    • The second film has an attempt during the opening chase with the Lamborghini:
      Officer: I think we got 'em right between us. Just pull out and block the damn road!
      The Lamborghini races past the second officer before the first can finish his sentence.
      Officer 2: Got any more bright ideas?
    • Chief Edsel in Speed Zone organizes the biggest one yet. First, he sets up smaller ones to herd the racers onto a specific highway. Then, he sets up another bigger roadblock with dozens of police officers to capture them. Too bad it's all undone by a grounded jet plane.

    Literature 
  • A military roadblock shows up in the Ciaphas Cain novel For The Emperor, manned by PDF troopers in the middle of a tense, riot-filled city on Gravalax. They force a Guard truck under Cain's command to stop since Cain is ferrying a group of not-quite-enemy Tau diplomats. The PDF troops manning the roadblock refuse to bow to Cain's authority due to their mistrust of the Tau ( and possible genestealer infestation) and he is forced to gun them down before they open fire. Even the veteran commissar is dismayed at having to go to such lengths, but it was the only way to return the diplomats in time to avoid a full-scale war.
  • In Wen Spencer's Tinker, Tinker and Oilcan are stopped by a roadblock and asked for papers. When the men see Windwolf inside, they are ordered to kill them all.
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: The bomber has to hurry to avoid getting caught in one of these. He does get stopped a few times but the police do not recognize him as the bomber.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens in Alarm für Cobra 11 when there's a Chase Scene.
  • Seen frequently in Knight Rider, usually to give KITT a chance to Turbo Boost over them. Sometimes the police/bad guys who set up the roadblock would shoot at KITT first, which doesn't work since KITT is bulletproof.
  • During the Limo Challenge on Top Gear, one of the challenges involves two of the presenters setting up a roadblock that the third drives up to in their limo, then attempts to escape by performing a J-turn and speeding away. The two blockers are armed with paintball guns, with points deducted based on how many shots they can land. Since the three limousines are, respectively, really frickin' big, two-sided (with the presenter getting out and getting into the other end of the limo instead of turning), and open-topped... well, everybody lost.

    Music 
  • Picture this: Several songs with this title exist (but the majority use it as a relationship metaphor, Bob Marley has one of the rare literal ones). You might remember the Stock-Aitken-Waterman version for being sampled in "Pump Up The Volume".
  • The song "Convoy" by C W McCall involves a group of truckers, annoyed with issues ranging from wage theft to petty harassment over the speed limit, banding together in a massive titular convoy and blasting through several of these on a cross-country run.

    Roleplay 
  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Sebastian and gang have to escort the newly-transformed Benjy from a warehouse full of dead bodies to Sebastian's house. Unfortunately, a police barricade awaits them in-between the two locations. They make a plan to sneak by it which involves creating a dust cloud and having Benjy distract the cops, which quickly goes off the rails when Benjy is shot in the chaos.

    Video Games 
  • Beyond: Two Souls: The cops pursuing Jodie set up a roadblock on the other side of a bridge. She decides to just go straight through it on her stolen motorbike, having Aiden conjure a force field that stops all bullets and knocks friggin' SWAT trucks out of her way.
  • This can be found in some Grand Theft Auto games, mainly Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (where the roads are blocked due to a hurricane threat) and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (where the roads are blocked due to an earthquake some time prior to the game events that has destroyed most bridges). In the former, it serves as an effective Broken Bridge, but in the latter, since your character can swim, there's also a Border Patrol in the shape of a wanted level whenever you left the unlocked area.
  • In 2010's Hot Pursuit and subsequent games, roadblocks are available as a weapon for police players and are considerably more effective. The vehicles are much harder to move (attempting to blow through them almost always results in a crash), and while there's a gap in the cars you can slip through, it's only a little bit wider than your car and it's very hard to find that gap when you're speeding down the road at 200 mph.
  • The Mother series loves to play with this. EarthBound uses roadblocks in the prologue to keep Ness from going downtown, and later from going into Twoson, under pretense that the police are going for the world record for how many roads they can close at once. Played with even more in Mother 3, where Road Blocks appear as immobile enemies who, in true Mother fashion, possess red eyes, hands, telekinetic powers and the ability to call clunky robots into the fight. Averted, however, in that they don't actually block anything, since you can just run over them while in a vehicle, and at later levels, by charging into them.
  • It's possible to subvert this trope in Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Carbon. During a police chase, the police occasionally set up a roadblock in front of you in increasing frequency, depending on how much they want to take you down. While it's certainly possible (and fun and profitable) to simply smash through the roadblocks, if you want, you can simply take another street. That's right: the police are so adept at setting up roadblocks that they block off one street, giving you the option of as many as four other different escape routes. Brilliant.
    • Well smashing a roadblock gives more bonuses, so its recommend to get them... Just avoid the spike strips... they are bad.
    • The "Hot Pursuit" games that came before them had roadblock as well that were very easy to smash through without totaling your own car since no amount of damage would stop it from moving. The exception were the spike strips, which were hard to see and therefore harder to avoid, and would stop you in your tracks if just one tire touched them and blew out.
    • In Most Wanted, you can actually get the cops to take care of the roadblock for you if you're lucky, by pulling a 180 very quickly and letting the knuckleheads smash into their own roadblock. On higher levels this can backfire on you, though, as the heavy SUVs the police begin using in their roadblocks are hard to move on their own, let alone with a cruiser in front of them. You can also hop them by jumping them if you hit a police car in front of the block going fast enough to take off at the right angle (although this is hard to do deliberately). Unfortunately, the same SUVs that can stop you cold with their sheer weight can also be just high enough to catch your wheels, leading to the incredibly embarrassing situation of being arrested because you couldn't get off from on top of the SUV quickly enough.
  • In the Saints Row titles, getting your notoriety meter high enough with the police (or other gangs, in the third game) would cause them to start placing roadblocks consisting of SWAT vans or other heavy vehicles in an attempt to force you to stop.
  • In Friday the 13th: The Game, counselors who manage to call the cops with the phone will have a police barricade set up at the road exit after five minutes. This will be a big help for the survivors since Jason cannot approach without getting shot (the police can't kill him, but they will stun him) and survivors can simply run out on foot to escape (they otherwise would need to fix a car and drive out to get through that way).
  • City-Building Series: The roadblock is one of the most essential buildings in the game because it restricts random walkers (like firemen, police officers, doctors...) to the areas you want them to stay in and avoids them wandering the countryside when there are buildings crying out for their presence.

    Web Videos 
  • The Hire:
    • "Ambush": At the entrance to the road construction site.
    • "Powder Keg": The soldiers at the roadblock are not impressed with the Driver's American Embassy credentials. When one of them tries to shoot him, he manages to deflect the gun, resulting in the other soldier being shot and giving him a chance to go off the road and cross the border that way.

    Western Animation 
  • Danger Mouse: In "Danger Mouse on the Orient Express", the Venice canal DM and Penfold are enjoying is blocked — by a road construct.
  • Parodied in South Park, in the episode "Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000", to escape the cops, Cartman enlists Kenny to take him over the border in his Go-Go Action Bronco, a battery-powered car. The police set up a barricade to stop the "high-speed chase" but Kenny doesn't stop and the cops panic and jump away. The thing is, the Go-Go Action Bronco travels at a leisurely walking speed, though apparently has some impressive torque, as it just gently pushes past the patrol cars.

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