Burning Rubber

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
That's gotta be hard on the tires.

I never ever had a love
Put the pedal to the metal and
Burn Rubber on me
On me

ZZ Top, "Burn Rubber"

In comics and cartoons, someone running or driving very quickly will leave a trail of fire in his or her wake.

Can be justified, albeit thinly, in the case of a wheeled vehicle (friction causes heat and tires are flammable—though in that case only the tires should be burning).[1] Other times the trail of fire isn't caused by tires or indeed wheels, which may make you wonder what exactly is causing those flames. But honestly, when this trope is employed well, you won't worry about such niggling little details. It's cool.

Examples of Burning Rubber include:

Comic Books



Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who: The robot Gadget does this after the Doctor soups it up in the episode "The Waters of Mars".

Video Games

  • In Spider-Man for the Gamecube, when using the Green Goblin as the player character, one of the available attacks was to run into enemies, leaving a trail of fire in your wake.
  • In Diablo II, the sorceress has a spell called "Blaze" which literally leaves a trail of fire wherever she walks.
  • God of War 3; Kratos can do this in with the Boots of Hermes.
  • In Fable I the Battle Charge spell leaves twin trails of fire behind the hero.
  • In Burnout Paradise, get the Jansen P12 88 Special and hit the boost.
  • Mega Man 7: This was probably the inspiration for Turbo Man, a Robot Master that transforms into a racecar, and his weapon, the Scorch Wheel.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Road Runner from Looney Tunes. And Wile E. Coyote, in the cartoon where he takes leg muscle vitamins.
  • In one SpongeBob SquarePants episode, Sandy was going so fast on a "sandboard" (the underwater equivalent of a snowboard) she catches fire and leaves a trail of glass behind. I think there were a few more that had the usual trail of fire.
  • In the Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog this was how Sonic's speed was frequently shown.
  • Back to The Future: The Animated Adaptation extended the "two flaming tire trails" to anything that traveled through time, including a barrel sliding down a waterfall.
  • Hunter from Road Rovers leaves one behind him when he uses his super speed. Lampshaded as early as the second episode.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rainbow Dash pulls this off (with rainbow flames, no less) in "May The Best Pet Win!"
  1. And even then, the turbulence from the tires spinning would put it out immediately.