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Spiked Wheels

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Real sharp rims you've got there.
You're catching up the other guy's vehicle with your Cool Car, but he won't let that happen since he's a Mook or doesn't want to lose the Wacky Race. So, he's going to smash his car against yours. Not content with simply trying to run you off the road or shove you off the cliff face, he's going for maximum damage. He's placed spikes on his wheels that now act as a cross between a drill and a chainsaw, and will tear your unprotected tires to shreds on contact. A must have for Roman chariots.

Commonly called Boudica spikes (at least in the UK) after the chariots of the "Queen" that fought against the occupying Romans in England around 60AD, although there's no evidence that her chariots were ever used in battle.

The Other Wiki's article on this here.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bommer (Greiger in the dub) of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has the trap card Chariot Pile with art work featuring a child's tricycle with a four-prong spike on the front wheel. When activated during a Riding Duel, actual spiked wheels appeared on his own D-Wheel. As it turned out, his D-Wheel had this accessory for real, and in his attempt to assassinate Rex Godwin, Rex was forced to catch the spiked blade to save himself, revealing his metal prosthetic arm, providing the first clue to his past.
  • Crops up in Speed Racer.
  • Chariot from the Black★Rock Shooter TV anime has these. Note: the wheels are her feet.

    Comic Books 
  • In Asterix and the Black Gold, Roman secret agent Dubbleosix's tricked out chariot has retractable scythe blades, in a direct parody of Goldfinger.
  • Red Sonja acquires a Boudicca-style chariot, complete with spiked wheels, for leading troops into battle in Queen Sonja #4.

  • Hero example: This is one of Arcee's gadgets in Transformers: The Movie. She uses it on the Junkion carrying (in motorcycle mode) another Junkion who is trying to hit her with an axe.
  • The Invisible Car from Megamind has these.

    Film—Live Action 
  • One of the best examples would be the Chariot Race in 1959's Ben-Hur. This is also the Trope Codifier; the original novel doesn't mention any spikes, and it's Ben-Hur who cheats to get Messala to crash.
  • James Bond
    • In Goldfinger, 007's Aston Martin DB5 has retractable barbed spikes from the center of its wheels that can destroy the tires of nearby cars. He uses it to immobilize Tilly Masterson's car.
    • In The Living Daylights, Bond uses a Laser Cutter in the same spot, which has the effect of cutting the passenger compartment of a pursuing Czechoslovakian police Lada 1500 off from its chassis.
  • Used on Gladiator to cut a fighter's legs, and a poor gladiatrix becomes half the woman she used to be when she can't get out of their way fast enough.
  • Taken to an extreme in the Speed Racer movie, where, well 1:57.
  • It happens in the 1993 The Little Rascals movie during the go cart race scene. The resident Spoiled Brat uses his money-fueled machine to take out Alfalfa's new MacGyvered car.
  • The movie Death Race had this in abundance, with one vehicle having large enough spikes to go through the car door and kill the people inside.
  • In the film Alexander by Oliver Stone, scythed chariots are shown charging into Macedonian phalanx during the beginning of Battle of Gaugamela scene.
  • The Buzzards in Mad Max: Fury Road have these on their hedgehog-like vehicles, designed for disabling vehicles that enter their territory. To counter this, vehicles such as the War Rig have spikes on their own wheels which point outwards to parry them.
  • A particularly evil-looking device with many flanges and spikes figured into the climactic drag race in Grease. "The rules are: There are no rules!" The heroes' car had a major chunk taken out of the chassis, but their tires survived and the bad guy spun out and lost anyway.

  • Discworld
    • In Interesting Times, Mad Hamish (of the Silver Horde) has blades mounted on his wheelchair.
    • In Lords and Ladies, the chariot that supposedly belonged to Queen Ynci the Short-Tempered of Lancre has spikes and knives all over it, including "wheels you could shave with", since she's the Discworld's counterpart to Boudicca. Of course, Queen Ynci never existed and the chariot was made out of a tin bath by Nanny Ogg's grandad, but still.

    Live Action TV 
  • CSI: NY ran into such a car (using Frickin' Laser Beams to evade the police), and James Bond is explicitly referenced.
  • Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson attempts to make a better police car by adding some Boudicea spikes on the back wheels. It doesn't work exactly as planned, mainly because he didn't center them properly thus causing epic wheel wobble.
  • In the Discovery Channel show Doing Da Vinci, the team built Leonardo's design for a scythed chariot and proved the functionality of the weapon.
  • MythBusters proved that spiked wheels are always effective in a race as long as the design looks reasonable enough to work. Size doesn't matter that much when it comes to damage, but design does matter for reuseablity, with simple pipes with triangles cut into them being effective and reusable far moreso than complicated props.
  • Deadliest Warrior had a chariot scythe for the Persian Immortals. Although it didn't look lethal according to the doctor, the simulation claimed that it was an effective weapon (13.5% of all kills) and the fight showed it disable the Celt's chariot.
  • Before playing a Supermarket Sweep-style game show, Al Bundy retrofits his shopping cart with a number of tricks ... this among them.
  • The most recent TV adaptation of the Boudicca legend had British chariots fitted with scythed hubcaps, hackling a spectacular swathe in tightly-packed Roman ranks, despite this having been demonstrated to be a historical fabrication.

    Mythology and Folklore 
  • The earliest Irish legends assert that the great hero CuChullain went into battle in a chariot liberally fitted out with hooks, blades and spikes on every applicable surface (including hubcaps) so as to better rend his foes. Romantically-minded Victorian historians read this as recorded fact, and leapt to the conclusion that all Celtic heroes - and heroines - had scythes on their hubcaps. As Boudicca was a Celt, therefore... Boudicca therefore got her spiked wheels by default from the Irish legend, and all later historians took their cue from this flight of imagination. This really isn't helped by the 1850 statue of the great queen - in her spiked chariot - which stands prominently on Victoria Embankment in London.

  • All of the cars in Gottlieb's Victory have wickedly long spikes protruding from the rims.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Games Workshop games:
    • In Warhammer, and its sequal Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, the chariots of some races can be equipped with scythes or spike on their wheels, increasing the damage they do when they charge into combat.
    • The Mad Meks articlenote  for the Warhammer 40,000 Gaiden Game Gorkamorka introduces rules for Wheel Slashas, scythe like blades fitted to a buggy or trukk that do extra damage to enemy vehicles during a rake or sideswipe attack.

    Video Games 
  • Some enemies, called Switchblades, in Spy Hunter can use these to help force your car off the road. The best way to deal with these nuisances is to use oil slicks.
  • In Saints Row 2 and 3 you can buy them for your cars at the auto body shop, Rim Jobs. The spikes pop out when you pick up a bit of speed. In Saints Row 4, they can be acquired by buying a power-up that causes every four-wheeled vehicle you enter to automatically have them while you're driving. They're even called Kneecappers.
  • Vigor, the champion of the Nobilian arena in Secret of Evermore, fights from his spiked chariot. The wheels can cause considerable damage. The catch is, you're on foot . . .
  • The Scythe Chariot is an upgrade of the regular chariot in Age of Empires: Rise of Rome.
  • Wheel Gator's weapon in Mega Man X2 is just the wheel, with spikes strong enough to dig through earth. The chronologically earlier Nitro Man had one that could climb walls (carrying you with it if you held the button).
  • In the Mario Kart series games, all of Bowser's cars since Double Dash are decorated with spikes on their wheels. Unlike most versions of this trope, however, they're purely decorative and have no effect on the other vehicles.
  • PlanetSide 2 has the spiked wheel cosmetic for the Harasser buggy, though they have no actual function besides looking cool.
  • In Dark Souls II the Executioner's Chariot has giant bladed spikes protruding from its wheels, which take up the remaning space between it and the wall as it rides around its ring-shaped boss arena, mowing down everything in its path (including the skeletons occupying the arena, although they constantly respawn until you kill the necromancers reanimating them). You can roll under the blades if you're careful, although it's generally safer to just take refuge in the niches set in the walls. After you destroy it, you can trade its boss soul in for one of the spikes, which you can wield as a large and quite powerful lance.

    Western Animation 
  • This was used in the chariot race episode of Phineas and Ferb in a Shout-Out to Ben-Hur.
  • Used by Nelson in the episode of The Simpsons where he races against Bart, in a direct parody of the Ben-Hur chariot race.
  • Turbine, one of the villainous Road Crew in the Ben 10 episode "Ben 4 Good Buddy", has retractable wheel spikes as one of the armaments on her car.
  • Lockdown from Transformers: Animated has spikes on the wheels of his car mode.
  • The Mask had these on a chariot in "Baby's Wild Ride," which he used to take out some charging bikers. "My chariot's equipped with enough features to make Ben Hur *drool!*"
  • The Mystery Machine acquires spiked wheels when it is rebuilt in weaponized form in the final few episodes of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
  • The Batmobile in Batman: The Animated Series had these, perhaps to justify their inclusion on Kenner's toy version.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "If You Build It, They Will Race", which involved Wacky Racing, Amy uses these on Sticks' car. However, the spikes get stuck on Sticks' tires, leading to them both crashing.