Under the Truck

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When a chase scene involves motorcycles, there seems to be only one way the chase can end. The motorcycle will invariably come across an intersection with a large semi towing a large trailer at the exact moment the trailer is blocking the entire intersection.

If it's the hero on the motorcycle, who will often be chased by cops in police cars, then the hero drops to his side and slides safely underneath the semi, while the cops blindly slam into the trailer without stopping. This is possible but extremely dangerous; misjudging the slide can easily result in decapitation by truck or in the rider's low-side leg being ground into paste.

If the hero is being chased by motorcycles instead, he will just barely zip around the truck, while his pursuers take the slide and are taken out of the race.

See also Instant Convertible for when a car tries to do the same.

Examples of Under the Truck include:

Film

  • Movie example and subversion: in the film Two Fast Two Furious, the hero manages to zip into a narrow gap between two trailer trucks. One of the bad guys then tries to do the same, but ends up losing control, then gets stuck under the truck, and is finally splatted by the rear wheels.
    • Contrast with the opening scene in the original, where one of the cars slips underneath a hijacked semi-truck. And manages to stay clear of the wheels.
  • The motorcycle goes under a few library desks in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The Dark Knight. Not a chase scene, since the Joker is coming at Batman head on in a truck, while Batman races towards him on the Batpod. However Batman fires two tow cables that hit the truck and then proceeds to weave in and out between the wheels of the trailer to tie it up. Because the Batpod is built low to the ground and the truck is quite high off the ground, he doesn't need to slide, just drive normally.
  • In Gleaming The Cube, the Big Bad has kidnapped Brian's love interest just after killing her father for plot-related reasons. Instead of chasing the villain's car with another car, Brian sticks to the the movie's theme by holding onto another car while riding his skateboard. During the chase, they end up on a six-lane highway, and Brian in the left lane lets go of the car he was holding to zip under the trailer of an 18-wheeler, grabbing onto a pickup truck driven and ridden in by his skater friends in the right lane.
  • In Spider-Man 2, Spidey is chasing two crooks in a car and naturally, a truck pulls out in the way. Rather than slide under, Spidey swings through the gap between the cab and trailer.
  • Another quasi-example, this time from Transformers. Captain Lennox grabs an abandoned motorcycle, drives it straight at the Decepticon walking away, and puts it in a slide right through his legs, while firing his Grenade Launcher straight into said Decepticon's codpiece.
  • Johnny does it in a motorised wheelchair in Johnny English Reborn
  • The 1995 Indian (Telugu) film Alluda Majaka (1995) features the hero pulling this trick off with a horse! The effect is not very convincing, to say the least.
  • Mike Jittlov does this with a motorized suitcase in the feature-length version of The Wizard of Speed and Time.

Live Action TV

  • Michael Westen has done this at least once.
  • Hardcastle and McCormick's most famous stunt when McCormick maneuvers his Cool Car, the Coyote X, under the undercarriage of a moving semi-trailer truck. Fortunately, the car has an unusually low profile to enable that and a driver reckless and skilled enough to attempt it.

Video Games

  • Quasi-example, Computer game: in a cutscene to Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour, a pair of GLA pick-ups and a limo are escaping from a pair of US Humvees. After one of each is eliminated by a falling tower, an oil tanker pulls across an intersection just as the terrorist vehicles cross. The Humvee crashes, and the tanker explodes. Lampshaded by the words "Really Explosive" on the side of the truck.
  • In the video game Stuntman: Ignition where you play as a stuntman you have to do this particular stunt frequently.
  • You will do this in chapter 8 of Bayonetta to avoid oil-tanker trucks.
  • Done in the motorcycle chase sequence in James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In Ben 10, there is an episode that begins with Ben (as Upgrade) chasing a criminal, not on a motorcycle, but as it. He pulls this trick to slide under a truck and continue the chase. The thing about this one is that it's easier since there's no actual driver.
  • In DC Showcase: Catwoman, Catwoman slides her stolen motorcycle under a truck while chasing Rough Cut. For bonus style points, the truck is tipping over at the time.
  • Much to his own amazement, Wile E. Coyote pulls this trick off in the short "Vicious Cycles" on The Looney Tunes Show. Of course, he is flattened immediately afterwards by a truck going in the opposite direction.