Parking Payback

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In Real Life, seeing someone park where they shouldn't (like a disabled parking spot) or stealing the parking spot you've been patiently waiting for is incredibly frustrating. In fiction, a character might choose to take immediate revenge on the parking infringer; often in a humorous fashion (giving the audience vicarious satisfaction). A type of Asshole Victim.

Note that these actions are often things that could get you arrested in Real Life.

Examples of Parking Payback include:


Film[edit | hide | hide all]

  • At the end of Kenny, Kenny gets parked in by a yuppie who doubleparks his convertible next to Kenny's truck. Kenny fills the car with raw sewage from the truck's tank.
  • In Fried Green Tomatoes, Evelyn rear-ends six times a car that stole her parking spot. She uses the "older and more insurance" line from the Urban Legend.
  • In Backdraft, a car is parked in front of a fire hydrant. The firefighters take a certain glee in smashing the car's windows so they can thread the hose through to the hydrant.
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, protagonist Kat's least-favourite person parks his shiny new sports car behind her, in the middle of the road. This is, itself, illegal and done specifically to annoy her, but Kat takes it a bit too far when she backs right into him, destroying the side.

Mr. Stratford (Kat's dad): My insurance does not cover PMS!

  • The "Interfilm" Mr. Payback included a jerk who parked in a handicap zone and offered the viewer several options as to how to punish him, including destroying the car, deflating his tires, and paralyzing him with a dart in order to "make it legal".
  • Casino Royale sees Bond being mistaken for a member of the resort staff and ordered by a guest (with extreme condescension) to park his car. He does so - first flawlessly, and then, after a pause, pulling out and back in again hard enough to smash the front of the car behind him, divest the dickish guest's car of its rear bumper, knock over the parking barrier, and set off half a dozen car alarms. Then he tosses the keys somewhere into the chaos without looking and strides off. Nobody revenge-parks like James Bond.
    • Also providing the necessary diversion to sneak into the Security office
    • Xander Cage in XXX did the same thing, except 1) The victim in this case was a U.S. congressman who advocated some policies Xander disagreed with, 2) he was trying to be mistaken for an employee of the country club from which he stole it, and 3) he parked it in a canyon a few miles away from the country club. By jumping it off a bridge over said canyon.
  • In Me Myself and Irene, when Charlie sees a young football player drive a convertible up and park in the handicapped space (flaunting his unhandicapped status by leaping out over the door) it triggers Charlies rage-fueled alter-ego Hank, who goes to town on the car with a trash bin. The football player then emerges from the store, helping the owner of the car who is a man in a neck brace. The owner is none to happy to see what Hank did to his car.
  • Office Space: When Lumbergh is forced to park in the disabled parking space, the tow truck that tows his car away rips the rear bumper off.
    • Let's be clear: he wasn't "forced" to park there. Peter took his normal spot, but Lumbergh could have parked in a regular spot further away. He used the disabled spot because it was almost as close to the building as his usual one.


Folklore[edit | hide]

  • There is an urban legend about an who older woman takes revenge on the sassy young thing who brazenly zips into the parking space she'd been waiting for. When she protests, the parking spot thief says "That's how it is when you're young and quick." The woman puts her car into gear, floors the accelator and rams the offending vehicle. When the sassy young thing screams in protest, the woman replies "That's how it is when you're old and rich" (or "and have more insurance"). You can check out the legend and its variations at Snopes here.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • An accidental example in Monster Hunter International, when Owen Pitt throws his boss Mr. Huffman out the office building window in the opening Huffman lands on a double parked car.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the first episode of Crownies, Ben's grandfather parks in an able bodied surfer who parked in a disabled spot. This one does not end well, as Ben's grandfather ultimately recieves a beating that results in his death.
  • In an episode of Seinfeld, George parks in front of the hospital and ends up having his car flattened by a suicidal "jumper."
    • In another Seinfeld, Kramer covinces George to park in a handicapped space when they're in a hurry ("They don't want to be treated special!"). When they come back, it turns out that a wheelchair bound woman had injured herself as a result of not being able to park in the space, and an angry mob is waiting for the owners of the car—and eventually demolish it.
  • In one episode of Highway to Heaven, Jonathan reproves a driver for parking in a handicapped space. When the driver demands, "What're you gonna do about it?", Jonathan (after apparently consulting Heaven) is forced to admit, "Nothing", and continues on about his business. However, when he later passes by the spot, the driver's car is upside-down.

New Media[edit | hide]

  • Website That Will Buff Out has the heading "Douchebag Parkers" which delights in suggesting this sort of revenge and taking pictures of it. (Please do not try any of these at home, it is one of the quickest ways to get either a criminal record, or a punch in the face.)


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Steve Dallas illegally parks his corvette in a handicapped spot in Bloom County. Milo wasn't able to move it, but he tried.
    • In Opus (in the same continuity), Pickles was once interrupted while attempting to trim down a Hummer with a chainsaw to make it fit in the compact space it had been parked in.


Stand Up Comedy[edit | hide]

  • 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.


Video Games[edit | hide]


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In an episode of Yoohoo and Friends, Santa Claus parks his sleigh in front of Father Time's house. Father Time uses his magical powers to move the sleigh so it is front of a fire hydrant, causing Santa claus to get a ticket.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • In Real Life in 2011 the mayor of a town in Lithuania posed for photographers after crushing what he claimed was an illegally parked car with a tank. (Well, actually more of an armoured car since it had wheels rather than tracks.)
  • Someone filmed himself crashing his bike into everything parked in a bike lane to point out how often they're blocked off. See here.
  • In early 2017, several different photo sets and videos circulated on the net about the same incident where two pickup truck owners carefully parked within centimeters of a Mercedes-Benz whose owner had deliberately straddled two spaces in order to keep anyone from dinging it. Unlike many of these incidents, the entire event was documented, and after a brief fit of anger, the Mercedes owner earned himself a small moment of awesome by actually figuring out how to get into his car and drive away without damage to any of the vehicles involved.