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Toll Booth Antics

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Toll roads allow drivers to arrive at their destinations quicker, at the cost of making a monetary payment to use the route. In the old days, this is done by stopping at a checkpoint on the road and handing cash to the attendant. In some cases, scofflaw drivers will try to avoid making the payment by speeding by the booth, or ramming through the barrier arm gate if there is one.

The long queues and traffic congestion resulting from the need to stop at the booth are a potential source of frustration. Attempts to skip the line or bypass the traffic are another potential source of antics.

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The penalties for this behavior can vary, and it can turn into a Felony Misdemeanor. Becoming a Discredited Trope due to toll roads adopting electronic payment systems that don't require the car to stop. Compare with Drive-Thru Antics.


Examples:

Comic Strips

  • Inverted in one Dilbert comic; toll booth attendants make Dilbert nervous, and he doesn't know why, so he goes to extra lengths not to annoy them: he turns his radio down, makes sure he has exact change for the toll, and always wishes them a good morning.

Film

  • Hudson Hawk: the titular character is in an out of control ambulance gurney. He manages to get one arm loose so he can toss change into the toll booth so he can keep careening out of control because the bad guys are after him.
  • In The Gumball Rally, two cars attempt to get through a toll lane ahead of one another. This results in both cars getting wedged between the toll booths.
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  • Blazing Saddles: An army of anachronistic villains out to destroy the town of Rock Ridge is stopped dead in their tracks by a toll booth erected in the desert. Absolutely nothing prevents them from going around, but they send runners back for change and then pay and go through one at a time.

Literature

  • In Bored of the Rings, the Riv'n'Dell Elves stop the Black Riders chasing Frito by means of a toll booth that charges an exorbitant toll from anyone who fits the "black rider" description.

Live-Action TV

  • In one episode of The Golden Girls, Dorothy boasts about running a tollbooth with her date.

Music

  • The song "Convoy" ends with a 1000+ truck convoy (and "Eleven long haired Friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus ) crashing through a New Jersey toll bridge, the "chicken coops" (weigh stations) along the route, and several police roadblocks.
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Oral Tradition

  • One urban legend has a couple of guys, angry about the cost of tolls, decide to send a message about their frustrations. So they put a pair of handcuffs around a toll booth attendant's wrist and drive away with a rope tied to the other cuff. The attendant is terrified that he's going to either lose his arm or be dragged along behind the car... but then the other end of the rope falls harmlessly out of the car.

Video Games

  • Bandits in Fable I threaten to kill anybody crossing the Greatwood Gorge bridge unless they pay a toll, but the Hero drives them away.

Western Animation

  • Superman: The Animated Series: in the episode "Speed Demons", Superman and The Flash speed past a toll house while paying the toll. The toll house operator and the driver next to him look at the superheroes in awe as the latter's coins are spinning on the collection plate.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Peterotica", where Lois' father goes broke, Peter shows Carter and his friends the lifestyles of average people. At a toll booth, Peter asks them if they have a spare quarter, to which they say no, so Peter and the gang resort to mooning at the booth.
    • Another episode has Peter wearing a Middle Eastern costume at the toll booth, with the guard checking his skin tone whether he's "Okay".
  • The Fox and the Crow cartoon "Toll Bridge Troubles" has Crawford Crow trying to sneak past tollbooth attendant Faunterloy Fox in order to not pay the toll.
  • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Rabbit Transit", Bugs, in the middle of a cross-country race, approaches a toll bridge, but jumps into the river and swims across instead.
  • In Dilbert, Dilbert is stuck in traffic. The cause? Despite the freeway being 5 lanes wide, only 1 toll booth is open. Even worse, the guy currently at the toll booth is insistent on flicking his quarter into the coin slot, and misses several times in a row.
  • The Simpsons:
    • At the end of "All's Fair in Oven War", Cletus gets revenge on James Caan by having the Spuckler clan ambush him at a toll booth, which Caan hates for obvious reasons.
    • The opening to "Homer's Paternity Coot" starts has Marge protesting the installation of a toll booth on a road she drives down every day.
    Coin Basket: Do it , Marge! Today, 75 cents. In five years, 80! MUAHAHAHAHA! Assuming voter approval.

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