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Toyota Tripwire

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There's a motorcycle zoomin' by me
Watch what happens when I open my door!

A character is coming down the sidewalk. Maybe they're really moving because they're being chased by the cops. Maybe they're just strolling, but they aren't watching where they're going. Suddenly, the door to a car parked on the street swings open, and *THUD* — they slam right into it. Also known as "getting doored" or a "door prize" by cyclists.

A common variant is to have the tripper on a bike and be sent head over heels. Bonus points if the door opener leans out and delivers a Quip to Black. A cousin to the Offhand Backhand. Compare with Low Clearance.

Not to Be Confused with a tripwire for use on cars. And no, Toyota doesn't have a car called the Tripwire. Sub-Trope to Tae Kwon Door. Compare with Car Fu. Contrast with Pedestrian Crushes Car. See also The Door Slams You.


    open/close all folders 

  • An Australian car insurance ad has a guy trying to pick the lock on the car door. Suddenly, the door opens and knocks him out, before closing again. The hook was, "Unless your car can take care of itself, you should talk to us."

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Gunslinger Girl fanfic "Death in Scampia", Jean Crose does this as a Kick the Dog to a female teenage gang soldier on a moped, who's driven alongside them and is catcalling through the window.

    Films — Animated 
  • A deleted scene from The Incredibles puts a twist on this, when super-strong Mr. Incredible uses his arm to knock a motorcyclist fleeing the cops off his bike.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hammond (Eddie Murphy) did this to a criminal in 48 Hrs.. Then he hits him with this: "What's happening, Luther? I'm sorry about the door man. Did that hurt? It looked real painful when you slammed into it."
  • Since Doc Brown's DeLorean in Back to the Future has hatch-style doors that swing open vertically, he's able to pull off the extremely rare move of clocking a stationary onlooker — namely Biff — upside the head with his.
  • A variation in Black Widow (2021). Natasha and Yelena are in a car being chased by a Widow on a motorcycle. They spin the car so they're driving backwards and Yelena kicks open the door, which is torn off by a lamppost and skids along the ground, tripping up the motorcycle.
  • Happens accidentally to a cyclist in Broken Wings 2002.
  • The Car does this to one of its victims.
  • Happens twice in Children of Men, to the same guy. Once using the motorcycle gag (albeit, the car is reversing to accomplish this), and once chasing a car downhill. On foot.
  • Happens in the movie Click. It's then repeated multiple times by the protagonist's reality altering remote control.
  • Deadpool does a variation where he uses his Super-Strength to kick a SUV's door off its hinges into a motorcycle-mook who's riding up alongside the SUV to shoot him.
  • Empire Records uses this trope during the scene where Lucas is chasing Warren after the latter was caught shoplifting. After finding different escape routes blocked by Lucas more than once, Warren his name isn't frikkin' Warren! finally finds himself apparently in the clear. He runs away down the sidewalk... right into the suddenly-opened door of the car in which Lucas was hiding.
  • The Gentlemen: The kid running away from Bunny on the estate is on a bike and keeps looking over his shoulder and shouting mocking comments. Until Ray open the door of the Range Rover and slams him off the bike, that is.
  • Played for Laughs in George of the Jungle. Fish out of Water George sticks his head out of a limousine window in downtown San Francisco, and promptly brains himself on the door of a van.
  • In Getaway, The Kid does this to a mook on a motorcycle.
  • The Gumball Rally pulls this one on the accident prone Lapchik. On a motorcycle.
  • Halloween Kills has a scene where Michael Myers is approached by a woman shooting at him, so he kicks an open car door in her face, causing her to accidentally shoot herself.
  • Hot Fuzz uses the bicycle version on a lady rolling down the street, Guns Akimbo.
  • In Inception, Saito floors the Cobol Mercenaries with his car door to rescue Cobb.
  • Played the motorbike variation straight in 2003's The Italian Job.
  • How does John Wick deal with a motorcycle pursuer in John Wick: Chapter 2? By opening the door and slamming the brakes of course! This is a rare moving-vehicle version of this trope.
  • In Krampus, Max slams one of the elves with the door of the snowplough as he and Stevie escape.
  • In Lone Star State of Mind, during a shootout in a warehouse, Jimbo jumps into a parked car, then opens the door to slam it against two mooks.
  • In the TV movie Open Doors 2012, Robert does this unintentionally to Bruce: swinging open the door of the cleaning van just as Bruce is coming round the side, and knocking him out before he has a chance to discover the robbery.
  • In the South Korean movie Quick, this happens to a motorcycle cop during the chase through the marketplace: a patrol car opens its door as he is approaching, knocking him off the bike and catapulting him over the door.
  • In Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice does it to a zombie.
  • Happens to Gregor when he's running away in Arles in Ronin (1998).
  • Smith uses a car door to take out an assault rifle-toting mook hanging out of the side of a car in Shoot 'Em Up. He then reverses, scoops up the rifle, and uses it to shoot the driver.
  • Transformers uses this with Barricade attacking Sam.
  • Ultraman Zearth have this happening to Asahi, the human form of the titular Ultra, when Ogami deliberately flips his car doors open into Asahi's face.
  • In Wayne's World a variant of the bike version happens to Wayne's ex girlfriend except she strikes the front wing of a car parked in a driveway.
  • In Wild Target, Tony gets this as he, Victor, and Rose escape by car in his first scene.
  • Tallahassee of Zombieland loves doing this to any zombie he's driving by.

  • An Evil Lawyer Joke has this as the punchline: A man picks up a hitchhiking priest on the highway. Several minutes later, he sees a hitchhiking lawyer, and immediately speeds up to run him over. At the last second, he remembers he has a priest in the back seat and swerves, narrowly missing the lawyer.
    Man: [trying to play it off as an accident] Wow, that was close! I almost ran over that lawyer!
    Priest: Do not worry, my son. I got him with my door.
  • In an old Australian joke, a wealthy city-dweller in a shiny new Mercedes picks up a swagman who obviously hasn't been in a car since the Model T Ford. The swaggie asks what all of the bells and whistles do, and when he gets to the hood ornament, the city-dweller decides to have some fun with him and says it's a sight to make it easier to run over cyclists. Now, some cyclists are just up ahead, so the city-dweller moves as if to hit one, then swerves at the last second, only to hear a thump. He looks back to see the cyclist lying in the road, obviously in considerable pain. Then the swagman says, "Next time you get a service, you should get your sights checked - if I hadn't opened the door, you would have missed him!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Banacek: In "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", a gunman forces Banacek to get into his car and then goes to climb in the passenger side. As he does so, Banacek reserves and knocks him down with the open door.
  • An episode of The Bill had this happen to a criminal fleeing the police. His lawyer was all set to make an official complaint against the officers involved, but the revelation that it was actually a member of the public who knocked down his client took the wind out of his sails.
  • Burn Notice: Michael does this is in "Question and Answer", driving alongside someone who is attempting to run away from him and then opening the door to knock him down when he refuses to stop.
  • CSI: Cyber: "Fire Code" opens with Elijah chasing an informant. They run into an alley and Avery drives into the other end of the alley to block it off. The informant attempts to dodge round the SUV only for Avery to open the door and flatten him.
  • CSI: Miami: In "F-T-F", Horatio and Delko are undertaking a stakeout in a parking garage. Delko confronts the suspect; he flees, only to be flattened when Horatio opens the door of his Hummer.
  • Magda Szubanski stirred up a hornet's nest by suggesting on an episode of Good News Week that drivers should deliberately do this to cyclists.
  • Knight Rider, featuring a car that can take care of itself quite handily, frequently featured variations on this trope.
  • A variation shows up in a first-season episode of Law & Order, when Det. Logan hides around a corner and swings a trash can lid into a fleeing suspect's face.
  • Lost: This happens to Sawyer in the background of one of the many, many flashbacks of the series.
  • The New Avengers: In "The Tale of the Big Why", Gambit and Purdey drive after two villains who chasing a man across a field. Gambit opens the door of the Range-Rover as they drive past to knock down one of the villains as he stops to aim his shotgun at the fleeing man.
  • Brian 'Memory' Lane does this in the New Tricks episode "Good Morning Lemmings": opening the door of the surveillance van to flatten a fleeing suspect.
  • This happened to Deputy Junior a few times in Reno 911!.
  • Rizzoli's brother does this to a fleeing suspect in an episode of Rizzoli & Isles, so he can keep to the Exact Words of his promise to Rizzoli that he would not leave the car.
  • Sledge Hammer! caught a snatch thief in the pilot by opening the door of his car to clock the perp.
  • One of AJ's 'junior mafia' buddies does this accidentally on The Sopranos. When the biker gets up to complain, the guy beats him up further.
  • A rather gruesome episode from the pseudo-documentary Untold Stories of the E.R.. A teenager that was biking comes in with a severely slit throat. It turns out that she was riding down the side of the road when another woman in a car opened her door. The girl on the bike makes it.
  • An FBI agent drops a sex offender with this in the season 4 pilot of Veronica Mars.
  • Used in a skit in the Belgium comedy show Wat als... ("What if..."): "What if the traffic jam was for everyone?". As a couple of women are stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway, they tripwire a motorcyclist believing he should be stuck with the rest of them.

  • The song "Blow em Away" by Chuck Brodsky has a line where the protagonist intentionally does this to a motorcyclist for "cutting in line" by driving between the lanes during a traffic jam before shooting him as an afterthought.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic did this, too, in "Traffic Jam": "There's a motorcycle zooming by me / Watch what happens when I open my door."

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Louis C.K. talked about an incident in which he witnessed a cyclist about to run into a car door. He had several seconds to warn him, but wasn't able to come up with an adequate warning for the cyclist in time, so he just shouted "Bad thing!" to him.
  • Jeff Dunham's Walter puppet talks about running down a man who parks in handicap spots to "make an honest man out of him." When his actually handicapped mother gets out of the car to scream at him, Walter takes her out with the door.
  • Denis Leary talks about this when ranting about cyclists in New York.


    Video Games 
  • In Carmageddon TDR 2000, as long as the doors are still on the vehicle they can be opened to sweep zombie crowds. Depending on the active buff/debuff, it can be useful against other cars, but that's likely to remove the doors.
  • Can be pulled off in Grand Theft Auto IV by backing up while the car door is ajar, and used to knock over hapless pedestrians or annoying foes trying to kill you. Doubles as Car Fu.
  • Sleeping Dogs (2012) lets you open your door while driving in order to perform drive-by shootings or prepare to leap onto an adjacent vehicle and hijack it from the roof. (It's every bit as awesome as it sounds.) Or you can take advantage of its functional collision physics and simply use it to knock people off their motorcycles.
  • You can open car doors in State of Decay to smack zombies. It's far superior to trying to run them over, as it results in less damage to the vehicle. Fittingly, the achievement for doing so is Tallahassee's advice in Zombieland: "Gotta enjoy the little things."

    Web Original 
  • Not Just Bikes points out on several occasions the danger of painting a bike lane between traffic and parallel parked cars without giving the riders any room to avoid collisions with abruptly opened doors. Bike lanes with more space separating them from parked cars are an improvement.
  • Stick Death has a series of ads for SD Security Systems, which makes car theft prevention devices that kill the potential thief. One of these automatically opens the door hard enough to fling the would-be carjacker 50 feet.

    Western Animation 
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has used a locker door for this gag.
  • Family Guy: Invoked accidentally by Peter in "Yug Ylimaf"; He opens the door to his car just before Ernie the Giant Chicken goes by on a bicycle, triggering another one of their epic battles.
  • This happened once with Eugene in Hey Arnold!, with the bike variant, except the door is open to start with and he spots it. However, the bike's brake cables are broken, and, not surprisingly (it is Eugene, after all), he ends up in the hospital in a full-body cast.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch has a guy stuck in traffic do this to a motorcyclist cruising between lanes.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: In "The Uncertainty Principle," after the Green Goblin overturns Hammerhead's car, Hammerhead opens the door at just the right time to knock the Goblin off his glider. Later, in "Accomplices", Hammerhead's chauffeur hits Silver Sable in the face with the same car door in order to stop her from getting away with the drive containing the Rhino armor specs.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television and one of many reasons why cyclists are cautioned against riding city streets with curbside parking. Sometimes even lane filtering is safer.
    • An inverse for this trope also exists, in which an aggressive cyclist punches off the wing mirrors of a motorist who didn't spot them in time - a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome is the helmet cam incriminating the cyclist for damaging property over a comparatively minor slight!
    • The Irish minister for the environment once caused a number of letters to the editor when he opened the door of his limo and clocked a cyclist in this manner.
    • Bob Roll, a Tour de France commentator for Versus and former cyclist, was at the medic car when he was in the tour. The doctor then accidentally opened the car door, sending Bob flying. The whole event was caught on video. Keep in mind that a member of the official medical staff did this to a cyclist in the Tour de France.
    • A way for motorists to avoid this is (for left hand drives) to open the door with the right hand (and for right hand drives with the left hand), which makes one automatically turn in such a way that one sees any approaching cyclist. In some places, this is called the "Dutch Reach", as it is the standard method of opening a car door taught in the Netherlands (not using this method during a driving exam can be grounds for failing the exam). This can save lives, please do it!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Car Door Stop


Guns Akimb-Oh-No

Seeing Amanda Paver shooting at Nick with Guns Akimbo on a bicycle makes Danny angry enough to clothesline her with his car door.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

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Main / ToyotaTripwire

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