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Series / Pimp My Ride

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Pimp My Ride is a show that revolves around taking beat-up old cars and making them "cooler" by restoring and customizing them. The original version of the show aired on MTV from 2004 to 2007, and was hosted by West Coast rapper Xzibit, with the pimp jobs being done by West Coast Customs (later Galpin Auto Sports, or GAS). Since then, newer versions of the show (Pimp My Ride UK and Pimp My Ride International) have aired on MTV 2, with an added focus on cars from parts of Western Europe.

This show provides examples of:

  • All Women Love Shoes: Popped up in one of the very first episodes of season 1, in which a lady named Nile got her car pimped, and they installed an automated shoe rack in the trunk, with several pairs of brand new shoes for her as a gift. Upon showing the new car to her friends, they reacted with great enthusiasm, as expected, but seemed even more enthusiastic about the new shoes than the pimped out car.
  • Aside Glance: Xzibit once gave this to the camera when the car he was trying to tune-up refused to start. (Which is apparently not something he sees a lot, even with the cars he brings in.)
  • The Alleged Car: Every vehicle that arrives in the shop. On more than one occasion, they decided that the car that they had been given to pimp out was literally unsafe to drive, so they simply sent it to a junkyard and bought a new one to tune up; one episode featured a Ford Escort made from two Escorts welded together, and as such wasn't even street legal. Unfortunately, the person who owned said "car" had it because it was all he could afford.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Some criticisms of the end result. Many features in the pimped cars were useless at best and illegal at worst, such as putting a mobile bar in one car's truck, and were removed as soon as the cameras stopped filming.
  • Better Than New:
    • Xzibit and the crew take in viewers' Alleged Cars and turn them into Better Than New Cool Cars, even though they often end up being Awesome, but Impractical.
    • Zig-zagged somewhat in that, while they made the car look better, they almost never worked on the engine or any other parts. That means the car didn't necessarily run any better. One car had to have its engine replaced a month after it was pimped.
  • Big "OMG!": A majority of contestants pretty much say this when their pimped out vehicle is revealed before their eyes.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "You've officially been pimped!"
    • "Yo dawg, I heard you like _____ so I put a ____ in your car so you can ____ while you drive!" It's come to the point where any given depiction of recursion can be made funnier with just a picture of Xzibit's face pasted on it.
  • Cool Car: Every vehicle that leaves the shop.
  • Double Entendre: Many of Xzibit's references to vehicle dimensions are often shameless plugs for these.
  • Franken-vehicle: One episode features a 1989 Ford Escort that was actually two separate Escorts that were welded and "gummed" together. It was because of this that the car was deemed too dangerous for the owner to continue driving, so West Coast Customs and Xzibit decided to compensate him with a pimped 2004 Scion xB.
  • Gearhead Show: Rapper Xzibit and the crew at GAS (earlier, West Coast Customs) take the most trashy, beat-down cars their viewers can show them, and convert them into luxury custom machines. Gets more outrageous with each episode, usually including video and audio equipment that quintuples (at least) the value of the car.
  • Police, Camera, Action!
  • Manipulative Editing:
    • The show presents the "pimping" process as only taking a few days or weeks when, in fact, it took 6-8 months for contestants' cars to be returned to them.
    • Many contestants have revealed that the show gave them fake backgrounds and quirks to make them look more interesting and rented houses that they thought would look better on television. They also revealed that they were often coached into having excited reactions to their remodeled cars, with the show sometimes making them film reaction shots before they've even seen their pimped ride.
    • Many of the pimped cars had their more eccentric features removed immediately after the cameras stopped rolling as many of them were not street legal. Some of these features weren't even part of the car and were controlled by offscreen technicians during filming.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: On a "revisit" show, Xzibit goes back to an owner who had wrecked his pimped ride since the original episode aired. When the owner asks for another car, Xzibit jokes "Sorry, we pimp out rides, not replace cars."
  • Pimped-Out Car: Basically the entire point of the show. Many of which are personalized for their owners.
  • Product Placement: It sure feels like this a lot, given the number of parts and items they use to pimp out cars.
    • Toyota does this twice in big ways: They give a Scion xB to an owner whose car was unfit to drive according to WCC. And they give a Toyota 4Runner out due to the owner being a mechanics student, and the WCC crew decided to give back the original car to allow the student to work and gain experience on the car.
    • Also seen at the end of some episodes when the crew cleans and polishes the car, someone will call out something along the lines of "Make sure you use X brand motor oil for top performance." As you see them fill the car with a close shot of the packaging.
    • Making things even worse, European airings often censor out brand names, so a typical broadcast includes dialog along the lines of "SO WE PUT A BRAND NEW [silence] AND A [silence]".
      • Reruns on the Speed Network in the U.S. blank out any mention of MTV altogether. They also pixelate the Xzibit videos playing on the monitors because they didn't obtain the right to use the images.
    • Could also be seen with some of the video game consoles they put into people's cars (more so in the show's early years, when The Sixth Generation of Console Video Games was still going strong). For example, when Nintendo had a sponsorship deal with MTV in 2004note , the Nintendo GameCube was the game system that most often got put into cars of people who said they enjoy playing video games. Similarly, if Sony happened to be sponsoring at some point in time, expect the game system to be a PlayStation 2.
    • The 2022 UK revival is sponsored by eBay, so the uniforms for Wrench Studios have the eBay logo embroidered on them and there's scenes of them finding car accessories on the site.
  • Rice Burner: Some of the cars...scratch that. All of the cars get turned into these.
  • Running Gag: Very often, when any of the pimped cars would have had a video game system installed in it, Xzibit (who is quite an avid gamer) would challenge the car's owner to play a game, and he'd proceed to completely school them.
  • Urban Legend: Rumors persist that at least one of the winners was subsequently car-jacked and murdered.