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Ever since their invention, people have always been enamored with vehicles. So just like animals, they've been anthropomorphized. There are sentient and sapient cars, buses, trucks, RVs (motorhomes), trams, ATVs, trains (steam-powered, diesel-powered, monorail, or light rail), train wagons, airplanes, helicopters, boats, ships, spaceships, etc. Name any vehicle, someone has probably made a character that's one of it. Some of them maintain a Masquerade, some do not, and some live in a world of their own without humans.

This trope does not cover vehicles that happen to have AIs when those AIs are treated as separate entities that are not integrated into the vehicle itself. Also, with the exception of Living Ships, they have to be inorganic (in other words, not a "living" being). May be justified if the vehicle has a true robot form and/or has its own AI.

Things under the heading "Other" include farm vehicles, construction vehicles, bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, ATVs, and golf carts.

Subtrope of Animate Inanimate Object. Often overlaps with Automated Automobiles and Magic Bus. Supertrope of Living Ship, Sapient Ship, and Sapient Tank. For the villainous version, see Sinister Car.

See also Sapient Steed and Uplifted Animal.


Automobiles (Cars, Buses, RVs, and Trucks, etc.):

    open/close all folders 

  • The Chevron Cars are Chevron Corporation's clay-animated stop-motion talking cars that feature in television commercials crafted by Aardman Animations. Modern commercials retain the art style set by Aardman, but do it in CGI.
  • One of the species in Cryptoland are sentient cars. These cars tend to say “To the moon!”, which annoys Connie.
  • The Red Car and the Blue Car in this Milky Way ad.
  • A short for Shell during Nazi-era Germany features talking cars, and treating the fuel as drinks, and even had sentient fuel pumps. Some of them even sing and dance.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the series Bumpety Boo, a sentient car that hatched from an egg accompanies Ken in Bumpety's search for his mother.
  • Doki Doki! PreCure: Purple Buggy from the movie.
  • In the fourth Doraemon movie Doraemon: Nobita and the Castle of the Undersea Devil, one serves as the The Team's underwater exploration vehicle. It acts as somewhat of a Deadpan Snarker and Jerkass to most of the boys, although it acts nice to Shizuka, partly because she is nice to it. In the climax, despite being stuffed into Doraemon's 4-D Pocket, it hears Shizuka crying and bursts out, performing a Heroic Sacrifice and taking down the Big Bad.
  • The Asurada series of cars in Future GPX Cyber Formula are race cars that can talk and it can help the driver as well as grow with them. Justified since it has an AI supercomputer built into it as a highly-advanced navigation system.
  • The Devil Z in Wangan Midnight is a subversion of the trope. It may look like a regular classic sports car, but it can drive so fast it claimed the life of the original Akio Asakura and seriously wounded the current Akio. The current Akio treats the car as if it were alive and sentient, due to the numerous accidents it caused.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Motu Patlu episode "Magical Book", Motu, Patlu, and their friends are sucked into a magic book which details how their hometown of Furfuri Nagar was once populated by sentient cars and trucks rather than humans. They end up helping a female car named Baby to save her sister from being bullied by several cars and trucks.
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Happy Formula, the characters drive their own cars. The cars are at least a little sentient since they know what's going on around them and they often look ahead or look at who's driving them.
  • Robocar Poli: The team is a bunch of sentient vehicles, with the main team being a policecar, an ambulance, a fire engine, and a helicopter, led by a human.
  • Super Wings takes place in a world where sapient vehicles, humans, and animals co-exist, and some, such as the eponymous Super Wings, are Transforming Mecha.
  • Tayo the Little Bus, a popular South Korean kids' show available in English on Hulu, is based entirely on talking vehicles and aircraft and their interactions with humans.

    Comic Books 
  • The RapeVan from Hack/Slash: Trailers 2.
  • In Spider-Verse, amongst the weirder AU Spiders is a sentient Spider-Mobile from a universe of living cars.
  • Suske en Wiske: Vitamitje, their car, has a face and a personality of its own, but it can't talk.
  • Wacky Raceland, DC's post-apocalyptic reboot of the Wacky Races, has the racers' cars issued with A.I.s that are as surly and sour as their crews: all hard, grizzled veterans of the wasteland. In one issue they are parked outside a bush pub where their crews are drinking, and... indulging in less healthy chemical stimulations (willingly or not), while talking smack and dealing with wasteland critters. An eight-legged mutant lizard jumps up and urinates on the Mean Machine, which fries it alive.
    Mean Machine: I've got to put up with a driver who gets me trashed in every single race and a biomechanical dog who wipes his wormy tailpipe on my seats on a daily basis. I sure as hell don't have to take crap from an eight-legged lizard.
    Convert-O-Car: Technically, that was urine.
    A drunk vomits on the Mean Machine
    Mean Machine: Hey!
    The other cars point and laugh
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Late into the series, a sentient car named Bugg shows up for one issue before disappearing forever.

    Fan Works 
  • "Nor Hell a Fury" is a crossover between Christine and Supernatural which establishes that Christine is the latest manifestation of a supernatural entity identified as a "hell-stead"; the first recorded manifestation of such a being was a horse that returned as a ghost after the death of its original owner. Dean, Sam, and Dennis's subsequent research confirms that there have been other examples of possessed vehicles, including a helicopter, a train and a boat, all of which essentially stopped once they could no longer be of use. To defeat Christine, the three perform a ritual that essentially turns the Winchesters' Impala into a "good" counterpart to Christine, allowing the car to drive and repair itself until it has destroyed its enemy.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A man was lost in the wilderness at night and trying to get back to civilization. As he was walking along the road, he saw a car rolling along and tried flagging it down. After it stopped, he climbed inside and tried to thank the driver...only to see there was no driver. Then the car started to roll along the road again with the man in the passenger seat. The car later came to a turn and the man was afraid they would go right off. Then a hand reached through the window and turned the steering wheel to make the turn. After some time of the car rolling along and the mysterious hand turning the wheel to make the turns, they came upon a town. As they passed a diner, the man jumped out and ran inside. He told his story to the other patrons who either dismissed him as crazy or thought there was some truth to his tale. Then two tired looking men walked into the diner and sat at a table. One of them looked at the man and said "Hey, that's the guy who got into the car while we were pushing it!"

  • In the first book in Diane Duane's young adult Young Wizards series, So You Want To Be A Wizard, the two protagonists enter an alternate Manhattan that is populated by sentient cars that spend most of their time trying to kill each other.
  • Christine and Trucks.
  • Dr. Tomato & The Beetle: Dr. Tomato's new VW Beetle is able to speak, and has Black Dot Pupils in place of his headlights.
  • The train Sei follows in Palimpsest.
  • Mr. Weasley's Ford Anglia becomes this in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. After crashing into the Whomping Willow, the car ejects Harry and Ron and takes off into the Forbidden Forest, where it goes native and putters around the woods all year. It later saves Harry and Ron from being eaten by Aragog's clan of acromantulas.
  • Demon Road has the protagonist being driven across the USA by a man named Milo, aboard a 1970 Charger which is always spotless in the morning, though he is never seen to wash it, has incredible fuel economy for classic American muscle, is always spoken about like it's alive, regenerates damage from a Car Fu incident again being absolutely pristine by morning, and begins to devour and slowly digest an undead serial killer who is placed into the boot, which actually deforms to engulf him. Milo is eventually revealed to be an urban legend known as the Highway Ghost, and the Charger is his daemonic symbiote car.
  • In Void City, when Eric invests some of his vampiric essence into his classic Ford Mustang, turning it into a Soul Jar called a momento mori, it gains a measure of life and intelligence of its own. It is able to drive itself independently, and fuel itself by consuming the flesh and blood of creatures it drives over.
  • Red Dwarf: In the second book, Better Than Life, when explaining how the creation of Genetically Engineered Life Forms transitioned from super-athletes to consumer products, the first example given is living cars, with bony exteriors and flesh interiors, that drove themselves and ran on "carfood" made from pig offal. Like all the other GELFs, they were essentially modified humans who were treated as slaves; when the GELF rebellion started, a VW Beetle is stated to have been involved in the first uprising.
  • Ghost Roads: Gary Daniels has his soul bound to a custom-built car, then has the car destroyed when he dies, so he can be with Rose again as the car's ghost.

    Live-Action TV 


  • All the vehicles in the Tamagotchi franchise - not just the cars and trucks and buses, but the planes and boats too - have faces and are at least sentient enough to perform actions on their own (the car in Eiga Tamagotchi: Himitsu no Otodoke Dai Sakusen! clearly tries, of its own volition, to outrun the vehicle after the Tama-Friends' special delivery to the Gotchi King).
  • Matchbox has had a few toylines about anthro vehicles, namely Hero City in 2004 and Big Rig Buddies in 2010, both of which also had tie-in cartoons.
  • Tomoncar (Toy-Monster-Car, as they clearly state in the theme song) from South Korea mixes this with Living Toys.
  • Transformers in general. This is with the exception of those that don’t have a vehicle-mode as their Alt-modes.

    Video Games 
  • Bendy in Nightmare Run has a boss that’s a taxi named Gaskette.
  • Some Shin Megami Tensei games have Oboroguruma, which are ghost/demon cars that talk.
  • When Choro Q series steps into the RPG Wide-Open Sandbox genre, every car in it is this.
  • Seek and Destroy features sentient tanks! What makes it funny is the fact that, despite being, well, tanks, the still manage to use a number of human mannerisms, for example, one tank, upon discovering his mooks failed to stop the main character, literally jumps up and down in anger. There's also the appearance of tank priests. It brings to question what sort of religion they follow. Oh, and then there's the final boss, the Tank Emperor, with his Three forms ranging from a massive land cruiser, a bulbous Spider Tank, and finally, a blob of gears, wires, and pure energy.
  • In the Putt-Putt series, the title character and all his vehicle friends are alive, with eyes plastered on the front of their hoods.
  • All the playable vehicles in Stunt Race FX are alive, complete with eyes that look around.
  • One type of Heartless in Kingdom Hearts II, found in Timeless River, takes the form of a convertible car that attempts to run down Sora and his companions.
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduces Varoom and Revavroom, who are essentially sentient car engines. Team Star have managed to convert Revavrooms into "Starmobiles" that are massive trucks capable of combat.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • One dream in Nightmare Beings had a milk truck with an old man's face on the front that shouted "YOU'RE REPEATING THE PUZZLE! YOU'VE BEEN REPEATING THE PUZZLE! YOU'RE REPEATING THE PUZZLE!"
  • Ravensblight is full of, and surrounded by, haunted things of every stripe. Buildings, vehicles, and even an abandoned fairground carousel have all popped up. Of particular note are the Phantom Semi, which may not have a being controlling it, we don't know; the same goes for Maxine, a black Plymouth Fury, though the town drunk swears old dead Selmer came back to get it; and the Haunted Car, a '37 Chevy that was bought new by a woman everyone perceived as being a witch and shunning technology, who was run off the road during the war years. The guy who ran her off was mysteriously "dealt with", with a plate from the Chevy being found nearby even though the car was last seen burning at the bottom of a cliff, though when towed away it kept regenerating itself in time to be sold to new owners, one of whom was robbed and left to die and whose attackers were run down by what appeared to be the car in question; he wanted it out of his life when he found it in his garage upon his release from hospital. The next owner raced it at night, and it is claimed it killed him; it was found ruined later, even though it hadn't a mark the previous night except for the broken windscreen from the incident, so it was towed out to a field and left there. Some say that if you pass that field at night you can still hear the first owners favourite song coming from the car. Is it doing these things itself, or is she still in there, somehow?
  • The SCP Foundation has some in custody or appearing in secured areas; one item is part of some dead-end streets where various vehicles appear, scream around in impossible directions, and disappear. Some cars are damaged in accidents and end up in Foundation custody; they can talk through their sound systems, and give every impression that they know they're cars, and hints of coming from a world where cars live without people.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Roary the Racing Car
  • Ricardo the racecar in Doc McStuffins.
  • C.A.R. from The Replacements.
  • C.A.R.R. from Stroker and Hoop. Obvious parody of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, even though K.I.T.T. is an AI installed into a car.note 
  • Some of the vehicle characters in Bob the Builder
  • Some of the road vehicles from Thomas & Friends, such as Bertie the bus.
  • Walt Disney's Susie the Little Blue Coupe.
  • Chugaboom from The Perils of Penelope Pitstop
  • Speed Buggy
  • Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch — pretty much the entire cast.
  • Ditto with Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks.
  • Mickey Mouse has a sentient car in the short "Mickey's Rival" (as does his eponymous rival Mortimer). And a sentient taxicab in another, much earlier short "Traffic Troubles".
  • In Season 2, episode 5 ("Car Trouble") of Kim Possible, an inventor named Dr. Freeman created a self-driving car with a female personality named SADI (Systemized Automotive Driving Intelligence), or Sadie.
  • Noddy's car, Car, from Noddy.
  • "Kitty", in Code Monkeys, is K.I.T.T. After K.I.T.T. made the decision to become a rapist after being jilted by Michael.
  • The characters of Jim Henson's Construction Site.
  • Turbo Teen is seen as this, but his closest friends know he's really a human merged with a car.
  • Friz Freleng's 1936 cartoon ''Streamlined Greta Green''.
  • Tex Avery's MGM cartoon "One Cab's Family".
  • The Ghostbuggy from Filmation's Ghostbusters.
  • The Magic School Bus
  • Auto B Good
  • The cartoon version of Beetlejuice had the Dragster Of Doom (or "Doomie") for short. A sentient car created through mad science. Oh, and he's also a werecar, transforming into a monstrous version of himself whenever he's in pain or to chase dogs.
  • Nelvana's The Adventures of Chuck & Friends stars sentient trucks.
  • Another Nelvana series, Trucktown (itself the Animated Adaptation of a series of kids' books), features a cast of sentient trucks.
  • The Hairy Bus (and his twin) from the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode of the same name.
  • Eartha K.I.T.T. in Black Dynamite.
  • The UmiCar from Team Umizoomi
  • The toon cars and trains in Bonkers, most notably Ma Parker, the toon tow truck from "Calling All Cars" The episode does answer the question of what is behind the eyes in the windshield of windshield eye cars; it's a cabin complete with a steering wheel, seats, and seatbelts.
  • Two regular characters from Budgie the Little Helicopter are Dell, a baggage cart, and Smokey, a fire truck.
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines
  • The remote control toy car in "Drive My Car" from Beat Bugs, Deestructor (or "Dee" for short because he feels "Deestructor" sounds mean) is sentient and shouts to the Beat Bugs for help when he's driven nearly out of control by his kid. This often happens, and he's disturbed because he doesn't know who's controlling him.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "Rolling Romance" features Abigail, a car that Jon buys for cheap at a used car lot and falls madly in love with him, as a parody of Christine. Garfield rids Abigail from Jon's life by finding a sentient airport PA system Abigail loves more.
  • The Futurama episode "The Honking" features "Project Satan", a were-car built from the parts of other evil cars. Its steering wheel came from Adolf Hitler's staff car, its left blinker from Charles Manson's Volkswagen and its windshield wipers from K.I.T.T..
  • In "Cutie Pie's Pizza Pies!" from Butterbean's Cafe, Cricket forms a bond with a pizza truck named Cutie Pie who clearly wants to be with her and actively resists Miss Marmalady.''
  • There were two episodes in Regular Show that contained sentient vehicles characters.
    • The first time was in the episode "Ello Gov'nor" where Rigby tries to face his fears from a possessed British Taxi after seeing a British horror film called "Ello Gov'nor" (Which appears to be similar to the film The Car.)
    • The second time was in the episode "Out of Commission" when Mordecai and Rigby poured energy drinks on to an old golf cart's engine, resulting in it coming to life.
    Cart: Woah, is this what it's like to be conscious?
  • The race cars in Pole Position are controlled by AIs similar to K.I.T.T. Unlike K.I.T.T., the computers running the AIs can be removed from the cars and carried around seperately.
  • In the Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon, the Garbage Pailers occasionally ride in a sentient car named Rustin' Justin.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald establishes Ronald to have a sentient car named the McSplorer, who is shown to be quite a grouch.

Spacecraft (Rockets, Spaceships, etc.):


    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • The main characters of 17776 are three space probes (namely Pioneer 9, Pioneer 10, and the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer [JUICE]) who gained sentience from exposure to human broadcasts.

    Western Animation 

Trains, Monorails, Trolleys, Streetcars, and Train Cars:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon:
    • Digimon Frontier had the digital world populated by machine digimon called Trailmon, who were basically sentient trains who carried their passengers to certain locations. Many of the trailmon had different looks, voices, and personalities, some even resembling mechanized animals, a kettle, and even Frankenstein.
    • The second Digimon Tamers movie features Locomon, an intelligent locomotive whose desire to run was amplified by Parasimon until it became all-consuming. Parasimon compelled Locomon to run faster and faster until he tore a portal between worlds for Parasimon's buddies to invade through. Locomon evolves to GrandLocomon, a larger train with a much faster engine and a spiked wheel in front, in the process.
    • Digimon Next features Trailmon C-89, a unique Trailmon variant based on a bullet train. It can fight using its Super Mode, Trailmon Battle Form, though it is ultimately killed off by the tank-like Trailmon Battle Armament.
    • The Dust Zone of Digimon Fusion is home to several Trailmon and ruled over by a tyrannical GrandLocomon who bribes and threatens the local Digimon into stealing a Fusion Loader so that it can leave the Zone.
    • Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time features another Locomon partnered to Kiichi Funabashi. Like his predecessor from the Tamers movie, he wants to run faster and his wish is granted by a Parasimon, this time supplied by Ren as a bribe to convince Locomon to join him. Unlike his predecessor, this Locomon can also fly, which he and Kiichi use to provide world tours to other kids.
    • Digimon Universe: App Monsters features Resshamon, a cycloptic train that runs completely out of control after being corrupted by a Viramon, taking an actual train full of passengers along with it. It keeps running after Gatchmon and Musimon manage to knock it out, with disaster only being narrowly averted when Musimon gets it to hit the brakes by calling the next stop.
  • Anpanman has both SL-Man and Poppo-chan. SL-man is a regular steam locomotive, while Poppo-chan is a baby train, about the size of ones that you'd find on a child's ride.

    Films — Animation 
  • Stephenson the high-speed spytrain in Cars 2
  • Casey Jr. in Dumbo, as seen here.
    All aboard! Let's go!
  • Little E and the other trains from The Little Engine That Could, the film of the book. Also in the 1991 direct-to-video adaption.
  • The nature-loving steam train from the Soyuzmultfilm work Train from Romashkova.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Old No. 22, a retired cable car from Herbie Rides Again.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood had a model trolley that seemed to be able to converse with Mr. Rogers, as well as with the inhabitants of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.


    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Over The Hills: Half of the protagonists are the locomotives of The Penwyth Valley Railway. The most prominent one is Dai, but there's also Iain and Leslie.

  • The Beast from Girl Genius is a particularly malevolent Heterodyne built train and Brother Ulm ends with his consciousness transferred into a new experimental train in order to save his life after part of the Beast blows up in his face.

    Web Videos 
  • The British Railway Stories: The cast of the stories are the steam locomotives of Copley Hill sheds Allen, Stephen, Sir Ralph, Scott, Herbert, Nigel, Tavish, and later Gronk.
  • Crossed Lines: The cast are the locomotives of the Waterdown Railway, Steam and Diesel alike. The steam engines are Atlas, Zebedee, Ince Castle, Dawn, and Ramona. The Diesels are Cojack, Wurzel, Benjamin, and Boomer.
  • Locomotives of British Railways: The show is likely to have a rotating cast, but they are indeed of sentient locomotives working on British Rail. The cast of Series 1, "Brighton", are the steam engines at Brighton Station, consisting primarily of Johnny, Nicholas, Rafferty, and Sir Kay.

    Western Animation 
  • The train belonging to Mickey Mouse in the early Mickey cartoon, "Mickey's Choo-Choo".
  • The opening of the Van Beuren Studios Tom & Jerry short "Swiss Trick" features a sentient cartoon train. At one point, it gives out and a rescue dog arrives to give it some brandy to drink.
  • Thomas & Friends
  • Big Tim: The cartoon is about a new locomotive named Tim, and how his roller bearing axles allow him to not fall victim to Kid Friction, who likes grabbing train axles and bringing them to a grinding halt.
  • Chuggington
  • PLAY SAFE! PLAY SAFE! featured a rather demonic-looking steam locomotive that actually scared the lives out of children that have watched this short.
  • The engines of Underground Ernie.
  • At least two of UPA's earliest endeavors featured trains of this kind:
    • The first, Hell Bent For Election, which promoted Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1944 reelection, involves a race between two trains. One is the Win the War Special, a modern streamlined train with a caricature of Roosevelt's face on the engine, and the other is the Defeatist Limited, a rickety old train whose engine has the face of Roosevelt's Republican rival Thomas Dewey, and pulls a bunch of cars representing all that's wrong with America: hot air, high prices, taxes, business as usual (a sleeper car), poor housing for war workers, a hearse wagon for labor legislation, a small two-wheel cart with just a few apples inside for unemployment insurance, and finally a caboose named "Jim Crow." Naturally, the Win the War Special wins the race.
    • The second is the title character in Big Tim, which was produced for the Timkins Ball Bearings Company to advertise their roller bearings for freight cars.
  • Rhyme Time Town has Jaime, who chats with the other characters and is guided by a sentient star at night to get home.
  • The Magic Roundabout has Train, a living and talking red locomotive with a 4-2-2 wheel arrangement and a two-wheel tender who serves as transportation for Dougal and his friends in the Magic Garden.

Airplanes, Helicopters, and Other Aircraft:

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • Pedro the airplane from Saludos Amigos
  • Cars:
    • Rotor Turbosky, Kathy Copter, and Ron Hover the helicopters
    • Al Oft, the blimp
    • Barney Stormin, the biplane and the four fighter jets.
    • Siddeley, the fighter jet from the sequel.
    • Props McGee, Captain Munier, the Falcon Hawks, and Judge Davis from the ''Cars Toons''.
    • The entire Spin-Off film Planes.

    Video Games 
  • Windy Plane, the first boss of Ninja Baseball Bat Man. It's an anthropomorphic prop plane that stands on its tail and punches the player with its front wheels, no less.
  • Undertale has a monster called the Tsunderplane, which is, you guessed it- a Tsundere airplane, which attacks by summoning aircraft and needs to be "Approached" in order to spare it.

    Western Animation 
  • Jay Jay the Jet Plane
  • Harold the helicopter and Jeremy the jet from Thomas & Friends
  • The planes in the 1980s UK animated series Jimbo and the Jet Set.
  • "Little Johnny Jet", a 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon directed by Tex Avery. A sentient B-29 bomber is despondent because he can't get work in the new age of jet aircraft. He is happy to learn that he has become a father — until he discovers that his new son is a jet, too.
  • Budgie the Little Helicopter: Many of the main cast:
    • Budgie is a little blue helicopter. Lionel, the "aircraft in charge", is a slightly larger brown helicopter with a four-blade rotor.
    • Pippa is a green "single-engined monoplane"note , although it's not evident where her engine is.
    • Chuck is a large twin-engined helicopter (a Boeing CH-47 Chinook, to be precise).
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon had a sentient plane named Bombed Bill serve as the Garbage Pailers' usual means of aerial transport, with "The Land of Odd" having Split Kit, Patty Putty and Clogged Duane find themselves in the Land of Odd while taking anthropomorphic hot air balloon Cheryl Peril for a ride.

Boats, Ships, Submarines and other Seacraft:

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Arpeggio of Blue Steel humanity has been driven out of the seas entirely by a massive fleet of sapient super ships. More than half of the regular characters are ships.

    Films — Animation 

  • Classical Mythology makes this Older Than Feudalism, maybe even Older Than Dirt, with Homer writing in The Odyssey of Phaeacian ships that "have no pilots, nor steering oars such as other ships have, but the ships themselves understand the thoughts and minds of men, and they know the cities and rich fields of all peoples, and the gulf of the sea..."
    • Sailors of the ancient Mediterranean had a tradition, which lasted into the days of Rome, of painting eyes on the bows of their ships. Modern historians still debate over the significance of this, but it seems that ships were commonly thought of as having a living spirit of their own, and eyes were painted on their prows to allow them to "see."

    Video Games 
  • Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan: Friend-Ship is a talking tugboat with eyes who ferries Billy and his friends across the sea. He runs on colour fuel, which drains as he moves, and can be refueled by chugging through colour refueling water.
  • Ratatan: Fortrun, the flying ship, has an expressive face and as seen in the trailer joins in battles.

    Western Animation 
  • Dive Olly Dive! stars a pair of sentient submarines.
  • Captain and Bulstrode from Thomas & Friends.
  • Several anthropomorphic boats can be seen in the Cars Toons "Tokyo Mater", "Moon Mater" and "Mater, Private Eye", and Cars 2 has Crabby the fishing boat and Tony Trihull the combat ship.
  • TUGS.
  • Theodore Tugboat.
  • Tugger, Russel Crow's boat from an episode of South Park.
  • Bucky on Jake and the Never Land Pirates seems to have limited sentience, in that he will obey commands and sometimes act independently. He can't talk, though, and is mostly just used as a way to get from place to place.


    Anime & Manga 
  • Elea in Blassreiter. Joseph's jet bike with chatty and all-around shapely little holographic avatar.
  • Digimon Adventure: (2020) features Machmon, a cybernetic motorcycle who loves to race, but used the power boost from a Parasimon to unfairly beat his competition. As a result, Parasimon periodically sends him out of control and he lives all alone on his track until he meets Yamato and Gabumon, the latter of whom is also a something of a racing enthusiast.
  • Kino rides a talking motorcycle named Hermes in Kino's Journey.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher 2099 made his police vehicle sentient by giving it the personality chip from his old robot partner, who turned out to be in the same vigilantistic line of work.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cars, there are tractors that act like cows and a combine that acts like a bull.
  • In one of the Maters Tall Tales shorts, there were bulldozers that acted like bulls.
  • A tie-in storybook based on this series called Mater Saves Christmas showed Santa Car (a vehicle resembling a Dusenberg) being pulled by snowmobiles that acted like reindeer. Bessie, on the other hand, despite also being a bulldozer herself, is for some reason, not anthropomorphosized. The sequel featured a giant dump truck near the beginning that presumably acted like a bison. Another one of Mater's stories features "The Banshee", a monstrous earth-mover.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Warrior of the Lost World has Einstein, a talking motorbike, although mostly it just repeated "90s street lingo" phrases in triplicate in a high-pitched whine. Joel and the Bots were unimpressed.

  • The jumping (and talking) stagecoach in Bellacrín y la Sombra.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • LocoCycle, brought to you by the same people that made 'Splosion Man, has you playing a sentient female motorcycle assassin.
  • In Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls, Neptune from the first timeline is stuck in IF's motorbike and possesses it. She can talk without problem, but is unable to move by herself.
  • One of the races in Progress Quest is "Enchanted Motorcycle."
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet introduce the Pokémon Varoom and its evolution Revaroom, which are sentient engines. They’re noticeably used by Team Star to power the Starmobiles, which are treated as Revaroom with Secret A.I. Moves in gameplay.

    Web Animation 
  • Reconstructed in The Stories of Sodor. Ever since the mid-19th century, vehicles have had a chance to gain faces the first time they're activated, and no-one can figure out why. Non-faceless vehicles can move on their own if they have fuel, but usually have humans with them just in case. They also have rights; for example, they can't be bought or sold without their permission, they can't be scrapped while they're still alive, and they can be euthanised. Most non-faceless vehicles are happy with their purposes in life.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sapient Vehicle


Double Freighter

The 1944 presidential candidates, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas Dewey, are characterized as trains in a pro-FDR campaign film.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / SentientVehicle

Media sources: