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Rock Star Parking

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Noctis: Look at all these people.
Ignis: And all these cars.
(Ignis immediately parks the car in the most convenient parking spot in the lot)

Any time the hero is really in a hurry, there is always an empty parking space directly in front of their destination. Even if in, say, downtown New York. This is generally seen as an Acceptable Break from Reality as really, no one wants to watch an hour of the heroes searching around to find parking... unless, of course, it's the point of the episode.

One does not need to be a Rock Star to acquire Rock Star Parking. This has also been referred to as "Charlie's Angels Parking" or "Kojak parking" because of the trope's frequency in those shows. Also seems to be a built-in ability of any Cool Car.

Not to be confused with Improbable Parking Skills, which come into play after the space is found, or parking in Rockstar Games, which is also quite easier than in real life.


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    Comic Books 
  • Justified with the Fantastic Four, who have official passes from the state of New York that let them park anywhere they want. The idea is that they're allowed to park in front of fire hydrants because they'll be on hand to assist with a disaster. Magneto, however, is apparently dogged by the horrible specter of "No Parking" signs.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Often seen in urban-themed movies from the '60s, especially if Doris Day is involved (it's also been called "Doris Day Parking").
  • The Beverly Hills Cop series has several, including instances where more than one car is able to find a spot right in front of the destination.
  • In the TV movie Get Smart Again, Max actually ignores several decent parking spaces to park in a no-parking area. He then takes a fake parking meter out of his trunk (which is rigged to always claim that he has time left) and sets it up next to his car so he doesn't have to pay for the space.
  • Ghostbusters (1984): ECTO-1 is able to find a parking spot right in front of the Sedgewick Hotel. A deleted scene would have subverted this—a beat cop would have issued a parking ticket only to watch in bewilderment as the citation burned right on the windshield.
  • The Horror of Party Beach: In the Mystery Science Theater 3000-screened movie, the hero drives into midtown Manhattan to buy a big jar of sodium from a store there. Not only is the street in front of the store deserted, so are all the streets in the entire city of New York. Naturally, the Mystery crew mocked the situation.
  • Subverted in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle when Harold finds a perfect parking space in front of his apartment, only to have it occupied by the 'extreme surfers' before he could reverse into it. This results in him having to find parking a few blocks away.
  • Zigzagged Trope in The Killer Elite. While on an assignment in Chinatown, their wheelman has to drop them outside the door and circle the block until a parking space becomes free. However, when he does find a space it's right outside the door, which is convenient when they have to flee the scene during the subsequent shoot-out.
  • Spice World: The Spice Girls have no problem parking their massive tour bus just outside the front entrance of the Albert Hall, when they arrive in a massive hurry.

  • How To Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier gives every character one mundane superpower, attributed in-universe to an invisible Fairy Companion. The protagonist will always get a perfect parking spot, even if she's only a passenger in the car.
  • The Mandarin Cypher. Averted when British spy Quiller is in Hong Kong. At one point he loses his temper at his backup officer because he left his apartment to move his parked car (Quiller had told him to stay by the phone and only leave at certain times). While following his target, Quiller picks up a parking ticket and gets remonstrated for parking in an ambulance-only zone.
    "If you park here we do not have room to back up ambulance—"
    "Oh use a bloody shoehorn!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Don't forget The Equalizer! Robert McCall always found a parking space wherever he needed to be in New York.
  • Family Matters: A Season 1 episode, "False Arrest", sees egomanical TV star Buddy Goodrich use a handicap parking spot as one of these. As he explains, it's so he can run (as fast as he can) to his car and leave the studio, so he doesn't have to associate with his child co-stars, whom he considers something worse than brats, after his scenes are taped.
  • Fawlty Towers: In "Gourmet Night", Basil can easily park just in front of André's restaurant, twice.
  • Kojak: Who loves ya, baby? The God of Parking Spaces Adjacent to Destinations, that's who.
  • Averted in Law & Order. The detectives' unmarked cars frequently got ticketed by zealous meter-maids while they were on a case, much to their annoyance. Parking tickets were also frequently used to track the movement of suspects or break/confirm their alibis. (Except in one episode where it was an important part of the plot that a suspect had Diplomatic Impunity so wasn't receiving any tickets.)
  • In MacGyver (1985), Mac is also always able to find a parking spot directly in front of whatever building he needs to visit, which are always on suspiciously empty streets.
  • A regular occurrence in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is Napoleon and/or Ilya parking on the street just outside the secret entrance to UNCLE's New York base, which is a tailor/dry cleaners, followed by them going through the ritual of entering HQ through the hidden door in the changing room, getting badged by the receptionist, etc. Nobody ever points out the incongruity of a man parking right outside a dry cleaners, entering without anything that needs to be cleaned or mended, staying there for several hours, and then leaving without any freshly mended or cleaned clothing, on a regular basis.
  • Averted in the orginal The Odd Couple (1970) series episode "The New Car". With Felix's help, Oscar wins a new car in a radio contest. It turns out to be more trouble than it's worth as they are constantly driving around looking for a parking spot.
  • Mocked on The Office (US), Michael (who is Wrong Genre Savvy) needs to find a parking space quickly because Pam is going into labor. And sure enough, there's a space: The Ambulance Zone. Even after Pam is loaded into a wheelchair and taken in, Michael tries to leave the car there and throws the keys over the fence when the Paramedics challenge him. Naturally, when Jim and Pam go to leave, the car's been towed.
  • Averted in The Piglet Files. Our hero is told to pick up a safecracker who's being recruited by MI5 for a break-in. There's no parking outside the prison, so the man driving the car decides to drive around the block. However, their boss has neglected to tell them that the man wasn't being released, but was actually escaping! Both end up fleeing on foot to the sound of a police siren.
  • Seinfeld did an episode where George gets great parking spaces throughout and is extremely excited about it ("The Bris"). Then, of course, there is the eponymously titled "The Parking Spot", where George spends the entire episode fighting with a guy over a great parking spot, each with only half their car in the spot, holding up traffic and distracting pedestrians.
    • Averted in the groundbreaking "Parking Garage" episode where they spend the entire episode wandering around the garage trying to find where they parked. To make it even sillier, Kramer was carrying a boxed air conditioner which fitness nut Michael Richards insisted contain an actual (CRT) television.
  • Starsky & Hutch: There always seems to be a spot for the Torino directly in front of the police station.
  • Top Gear: The presenters pull this off more often than not. Having a camera crew on hand to keep a space clear probably helps. It was averted when James May and Jeremy Clarkson were challenged to take their classic luxury limousines into the center of London and find a place to park them. They fail.
    • They eventually find a space but can't work out how to pay the parking fee with their mobile phones and give up.
  • Torchwood: Taken to extremes; there is usually not only a free parking space but a virtually empty car park. Presumably nobody else in Cardiff owns a car.

    Video Games 
  • In Final Fantasy XV, specific parking lots always have a convenient spot for Noctis or Ignis to park automatically if triggered. Most egregious in Lestallum during the Assassin's Creed Origins crossover; the Assassin's Festival has Ignis specifically note "all these cars", yet the same spot in the parking lot - closest to the descent ramp that connects the main through road to the parking area - is open for them to sit the Regalia in.
  • Grand Theft Auto V sometimes averts your car staying where it is. If you leave any of your non-default cars anywhere too long that's not a designated garage/parking area owned by your character, they will disappear. Sometimes they show up in the game's impound lot, other times they are just gone forever (which can be frustrating if you poured a lot of money into them in the custom shop, but does make logical sense given the setting).
  • Actually mandatory in some games, such as Police Quest 3: The Kindred, where you can only park in front of the place you're going to. Anywhere else is verboten.
  • The Sims. In one expansion you can even land a helicopter directly outside the building you're visiting.


    Western Animation 
  • In American Dad!, this gets subverted in the one place everyone can relate: mall parking! Stan has to rush inside the mall to stop an evil plan, but he doesn't want to pay the valet $3 to park it for him. He then spends the next half hour trying to find a space. He spends even longer when the valet can't break his five, forcing Stan to try again.
  • Kim Possible: Averted in "The Big Job" — while pulling a heist/stopping a heist, Shego, Senor Senior Jr., Kim, and Ron all experience extreme difficulty finding a parking space in San Francisco. Shego eventually writes the heist off as more trouble than it's worth due to a mix of Kim's intervention and their parking woes. Truth in Television to be sure. Public parking will cost you $35 a day in the city by the Bay and any cheaper street parking only works IF you are lucky enough to find an available spot. It's so frustrating for both the heroes and villains that Kim and Shego momentarily stop fighting to commiserate:
    Shego: You, too?
    Kim: Yeah, what is up with this city?