Oil Slick

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

One of the standard tools to try to lose someone when driving.

When in a vehicle, simply push a button and the car somehow spills out oil behind, designed to make the person behind slip out of control.

See also Slippery Skid. Not to be confused with a certain Decepticon.

Examples of Oil Slick include:


  • James Bond in Goldfinger, the Trope Codifier.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure - one of many features of Pee-Wee's bike - "James Bond kinda stuff!"
  • The live-action Speed Racer film uses it once or twice.
  • The Inspector Gadget movie had the Gadget Oil Slick, which spread toothpaste on the floor.
  • Used in The Love Bug.
  • The Goonies. Data's "Slick Shoes" invention is essentially the vehicular version in a shoe-sized package. He successfully applies it to a log that crosses a river while being chased by the villains.
  • The Cannonball Run. Seymour's car (which was actually the Aston-Martin DB V from the James Bond movies) uses an oil slick to ditch a pursuing police car.
  • Hopscotch features a pickup truck carrying a barrel of oil in its bed and a release mechanism in its cab, for this very purpose.
  • At the very beginning of Cars 2, Finn McMissile does this to the Lemons while escaping from their oil rig, causing one of them to fall off the railing and into the ocean below.
  • A deleted scene in Johnny English Reborn had our hero noticing a button marked OIL and assuming it's an oil guage—he presses it and sends a carload of mooks who are about to blow him up with a grenade launcher off the road.

Live Action TV

  • Tested on MythBusters where the guys found that an oil slick made it very difficult but not impossible for the pursuer to maintain control of his car. Still, if used in a real-world situation with the element of surprise it would be more likely to work.
  • In an episode of CHiPs, the officers fought 'the Stunt Car Bandits', who drove a movie stunt car equipped with gadgets like a smokescreen and an oil slick dispenser.


  • The ultimate cause for everything that happens in the song "Viagra in the Water" by Four Bitchin' Babes. And, as we find out in the very last lines of the song, it was deliberately set by the women of the town, who are planning to do it again.


  • The Green Hornet's car the Black Beauty included an oil slick amongst its gadgets.

Tabletop Games

  • One of the standard vehicular devices in Steve Jackson Games' Car Wars.

Video Games

  • Oil Slicks are the first-level Green item in Diddy Kong Racing. They'll send someone spinning, slowing them down, and, in the DS Video Game Remake, they also screw up their car's steering for a few seconds afterward.
  • This is one of the standard "weapons" in the Spy Hunter video game series. When in converted boat mode, the oil slick even ignites.
  • The "Trick Arrow" powerset in City of Heroes includes an Oil Slick Arrow. The oil slick it creates can catch on fire.
  • Can be used in GTA2 by the player to cause any vehicle make a sharp left or right turn, often crashing into a wall.
  • Your starting "dropper" weapon in Interstate '76.
  • One of the bonuses in Re-Volt.
  • Also featured in Auto Destruct. As a weapon, of course. Reduces top speed, acceleration and steering response for some time.
  • One of the rear-mountable weapons in Streets of Simcity.

Western Animation

  • Doubtless in Wacky Races at some point.
  • In Transformers Animated, one of Optimus' less-used tricks lets him spray "negative friction lubricant".
  • Darkwing Duck uses one to shake his pursuers in 'Darkly Dawns the Duck'. One touch: he uses it shortly before making a right turn.

Real Life

  • Apparently this really is an option for VIP transports (the same sorts of vehicles that have armor added post-manufacturing). It takes a LOT of oil to do it properly.