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Trailer Park Tornado Magnet

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"We were in a mobile home, and I think God must really hate mobile homes, Andy, cuz tornadoes always attack them first. They get very mobile."
Johnny Fever, WKRP in Cincinnati

Tornadoes always seem to hit trailer parks. In Real Life, they're no more vulnerable to tornadoes than major cities, as the odds of a twister hitting any one particular area are relatively low. However, mobile homes are lightweight for buildings and not anchored to the ground, making them more vulnerable to a tornado's fury. (Some studies say that tornadoes tend to touch down just outside of cities because of the landscape change, and that's not an uncommon location for a trailer park, but they still don't specifically go after mobile homes.)

Thus, tornadoes that kill several people and make the news tend to hit trailer parks in the outer ring of exurbs. Twisters that wander harmlessly over empty fields or merely suck a farmhouse up into the sky are too common to be big news anywhere outside the immediate area. Also, in a major case of If It Bleeds, It Leads, news crews want scenes of utter devastation to report on, which the light, easy to pick-up-and-throw trailers provide, as opposed to normal houses which are anchored to the ground and can usually survive a much closer pass and thus do not provide a good image for TV.

However mundane the above explanation, the fact that newsworthy tornadoes often seem to hit trailer parks have spawned the Running Gag that "trailer parks have buried tornado magnets under them". Thus, movies and other media that feature tornadoes or trailer parks will usually have both, not just one.

Trashy Trailer Home is a Sister Trope, but generally, tornadoes will be only one of many reasons the trailer park is portrayed as an exaggeratedly horrible place to live.


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  • This commercial for Taz in Escape from Mars has a family in a trailer park that was ravaged by a tornado being interviewed. The parents say that they never saw the tornado coming, as it seemed to have come out of nowhere. The announcer then tells the viewers that the alleged tornado was really Taz, and the destruction of the trailer park was the result of the family's son playing Escape From Mars.

  • Jeff Foxworthy has a memorable routine about how TV news crews interviewing survivors after a tornado hits a trailer park always seem to find the least coherent person around to interview.
    "It was pan-delirium! I thought we'd be killed, or even worse!"

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cars, Mater remarks that he's "as happy as a tor-nado in a trailer park!"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Notably averted in Twister, of all movies. Although tornadoes devastate several farmhouses, two towns, a Drive-In Theater and a whole bunch of empty fields, they never once whack a trailer park.
  • In the movie Night of the Twisters, there is a short scene of a tornado wrecking a trailer park.

  • The Annals of Improbable Research took on this issue quantitatively in "The Correlation Between Tornadoes and Trailer Homes" (reprinted in The Best of Annals of Improbable Research). The article presented a statistical analysis, ultimately concluding that "real statistics can be used to verify virtually any harebrained fable about tornadoes".
  • Dorothy Must Die: The main character lives in a trailer park and, like Dorothy before her, is transported to Oz after a tornado hits.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Tornadoes seem to hit Camden pretty regularly on My Name Is Earl. In fact, there was a whole episode where several came through, one right after another, causing all sorts of mayhem.
  • As quoted above, this is referenced in an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati.

  • Referenced in "Trailerhood" by Toby Keith: "When the storm starts gettin' bad and you hear those sirens hummin' / Grab a six-pack and a lawn chair, there's a tornado comin'." This is much Harsher in Hindsight considering his hometown of Moore, Oklahoma was struck by devastating F5 tornadoes in 1999 and 2013. At least half of the town was leveled during both tornado outbreaks and dozens of people were killed (including several schoolchildren).
  • Smash Mouth's "Pet Names" includes the metaphor "you're my little tornado and I am your trailer park."

    Video Games 
  • The Drive-In level of Redneck Rampage has a trailer park with two tornadoes swirling around. They're needed to get a secret in the level, but it's not easy.
  • No One Lives Forever 2 has a trailer park hit by a tornado; you have to fight off ninjas inside one of the trailers as its picked up by the twister and beginning to disintegrate.
  • Double Wide Damage, the third level of Tornado Outbreak's main premise revolves around Zephyr and his army of Wind Warriors wreaking havoc with tornadoes in the center of a trailer park.
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction: Invoked with the description of the Tornado Launcher weapon, which talks about the weapon's intense destructive power and notes that the trailer park is sold separately.

    Web Animation 
  • A deleted scene on the season 3 DVD of Red vs. Blue has Tex mocking O'Malley for using a weather machine in space, referencing this trope in the process.
    Tex: Hey, everybody, watch out for the space tornado! It's heading right for the intergalactic trailer park!
    Doc: Hey, that's not very PC.
    O'Malley: No, she's right. I was planning to destroy that place next Tuesday. I really can't stand the sight of all those cars on cinder blocks. It's unsightly.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs had a short called "The Brave Little Trailer", in which the title character battles a tornado that always attacks the trailer park he inhabits.
  • Brickleberry: In "Trailer Park", Bobby Possumcods finds out he's the legal owner of Brickleberry National Park (thanks to a Confederate ancestor), and promptly evicts the rangers before turning it into a trailer park. However, as the park fills up with more and more white trash assholes, Bobby promptly gets sick of them himself, and gives the park back. When asked how to get rid of the other hillbillies, Bobby says they just have to wait, since trailer parks attracts tornadoes like magnets. The rangers first try to fake a tornado, which fails but turns out to have been unecessary, as a real tornado shows up right behind it and wipes out the trailer park.
  • The Critic: In one episode, Jay gets annoyed at some tourists being given a tour behind the scenes at his show.
    Jay: Don't you people have a trailer park to go home to?!
    Redneck: Twister blew it away...
  • The very first episode of Drawn Together has Xandir summoning a tornado that promptly plows its way through a trailer park.
  • The Fairly OddParents!:
    • In the episode "Hassle in the Castle", Timmy meets some of Cosmo and Wanda's previous and most infamous godchildren through a magical portrait gallery. One of them, Sammy, proudly takes credit for wishing that tornadoes always hit trailer parks because he hates trailer parks.
    • Referenced in another episode when, while Timmy is moonlighting as a superhero called the Masked Magician, a tornado does end up heading for the trailer park that Timmy's friend Chester lives in. He even screams "They tried to warn me, but I didn't listen!"
  • The King of the Hill episode "Texas City Twister" plot involves Luanne moving back into the trailer park just as a tornado is coming. Lampshaded by weathergirl Nancy Gribble, who notes, on-air, that tornadoes always make a bee-line directly towards trailer parks.
  • Parodied in Eek! The Cat. A bunch of government officials have a discussion about what to do about a tornado that is heading towards a trailer park. But suddenly one of them panics and reveals there isn't a trailer park in the path of the tornado. This results in the government actually dumping trailers near the tornado so this trope plays straight.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head once got stuck in a trailer park during a tornado. They managed to survive the experience, and the trailer containing the chicks they had been trying to score with ends up in Oz.
  • The Simpsons episode "Colonel Homer" has two scenes in a trailer park. In the first, there's a sign reading "14 days without a tornado." In the second, the sign's been updated to "2 days" and the park is littered with debris. The tornado goes unmentioned, as if it's business as usual in a trailer park.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Short Tall Tales", Grim's version of the Tall Tale of Pecos Bill lassoing a tornado takes place in a trailer park.