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Mater is a closeted homosexual.

Jossed in the sequel. Why do people keep guessing this for at least one character in EVERY show?

  • Because slash is fun. And it's obviously Sarge.

Satan made the cars

There, problem solved. You might be wondering why it was Satan and not God; its because mankind supposedly was made in Yahweh's image or some bullshit like that, so God cannot possibly be behind the creation of sapient, non-anthropomorphic cars.

By contrast, Satan/Lucifer is described as a draconic light/air angel in the Bible that vomits water. It may not seem very car-like, but that's just because he has more imagination.

The movie is a post-apocalyptic follow-up to Toy Story.

Why would a world be populated by vehicles with space for drivers? Because there was once someone to drive them. Everything humans made had the potential to become sapient, but only if humans (or other living things) imprinted personalities on them. This happens strongly enough with toys, by their nature, that they "wake up" almost immediately; with other things, this was not the case. Then the humans all died out, and over time, the cars slowly awakened with the degree of personalities they had received from the humans. (Americans love cars.)

  • This could explain why older cars are recognizable makes and models while newer ones (from after the cars started "reproducing"), generally aren't. (They try to be, but they forget...) That would put the date of the apocalypse sometime in the early 1970s (1973-4 gas crisis?).
    • Sally is a 2002 Porsche 911 Carerra, Bob Cutlass is a 2004 Mustang, Mia and Tia are Mazda Miatas, the two lost minivans are a 2006 Saturn Relay and a 2000 Dodge Caravan, one of the Rice Burners is a Scion xB, etc. This isn't obvious because, as Marv said, all modern cars look like electric razors.
    • Sally, Mia, and Tia are exceptions. Bob Cutlass only has a Mustangish grille shape. The tuner's more like an xB than anything else, but it's a two-door, and xBs are all 4-doors. The vans are completely generic, no matter what Pixar says.
  • Come to think of it, this also ties in with Dinoco existing in both worlds. (Wonder how much evidence there is for a unified Pixar universe?)
    • A lot. Pizza Planet vans are seen in numarous films and Bomb Voyage from The Incredibles appears in Ratatouille as a mime. Also, sentient toys could be malfunctioning robots which were invented by Syndrome in his world domination schemes, and Sentient animals and super-heroes could be a result of the radiation which eventually causes the world to close down in Wall-E, while the humans are away, Syndrome's robot cars form a new society, but are eventually destroyed and recycled by the Wall-E robots.
      • On that subject, did you notice the power line with the birds from the Pixar short "For The Birds" passing by in the film?
      • They went by too fast that we don't know if those were the same (organic) birds, or a Cars-verse automotive equivalent.
  • Alternatively, the cars rose up and slaughtered their human masters.
    • I, for one, welcome our new automotive overlords.
    • Shades of Roger Zelazny's short story, "Devil Car," in which rogue cars "mono" their passengers (poison them with carbon monoxide) and run free. Something like this happened in the Cars universe. Now the cars act out a bizarre parody of human civilization...
  • The cars could already be "awake". They hide it from humans, just as the toys do, and thus the toys never notice them moving on their own. (There were a few Audis that got careless in the '80s, and some Toyotas forgetting themselves more recently.)
  • The Dinosaurs they were talking about in Cars 2 were the Humans, guess whats in their fossil fuels now.
  • The revolution was started by Lotso. He does hate humans, especially after the Fate Worse Than Death given to him. He's not mentioned because the cars didn't want a Complete Monster as their founder.

Alternatively, Cars takes place after Maximum Overdrive.

Sentient cars, machines with dangerous and even homicidal tendencies? This is what happened after the humans were forced into hiding!

Cars and the Burnout games take place in the same universe

Both include a world fully designed to accommodate humans while distinctly lacking them, and feature self-piloting cars. Burnout would occur somewhere in the brutal past of Cars or in the bleak future, when society has dissolved and all the cars have turned feral, possibly due to The Virus.

The Cars world is not Earth, but a long-lost colony of Velocitron in the distant future of Transformers Cybertron.

The ancestors of the characters were Velocitronians who visited Earth, which is why their descendants have Earth car forms; they were cut off from other alternatives. Rather than return to Velocitron, they decided to forge a new world of roads to challenge their racing skills. To honor the humans' part in stopping the Unicron Singularity, they named one of the first major roads after an Earth locale, Route 66. Soon after, a remaining group of aggressive Decepticons attacked and hit the planet with a version of the transformation lock virus from Beast Wars. The Decepticons were defeated, but the Cars Worlders were trapped in vehicular form; even the data used in reproduction was corrupted. Eventually, the Cars Worlders descendants lost the capacity for transforming and evolved into the body styles of the film. The only remnant of the faded memories of Velocitron is a love for racing; those skilled at it are treated like we treat pro athletes.

  • ...This makes sense, actually.
    • Perhaps they're Cybertronian fauna, perhaps relatives to the techno-organic garden of Beast Machines, that scanned Earthly vehicles to protect their organs. Ever wonder why Cybertronian vehicles became a thing?

The Cars universe is our world after everything was automated, cars were intentionally given artificial personalities and put on a grid, and everyone died of something stupid (poison or radiation) that doesn't cause property damage.

The reason the cars have opaque windshields is because nobody ever drove once the cars were put on the computer-control grid. People could watch movies on the inside during long trips and give the outside more "personality". The cars are more squishy because they are made of super tear-resistant fabric over warping frames (unlikely, looking at Mater), or are Nerf cars, both of which are real concept designs (the former of which was available on the market a couple of years ago from BMW).

Something happened to humans at least 50 years ago that didn't wipe out electronics. The reason that cars correspond roughly to our current cars is that the classic-style cars were only made for collectors, and the more modern-looking cars were mass-produced. The cars can still fuel up and everything because the pumps are fully automated and/or they use some sort of hydrogen fuel cell that we have yet to invent, and the tractors were built as non-methane producing replacements for cows after artificial meat became popular.

  • The cars could have been given the ability to converse because they had been linked to the passenger's perceptions, so they could talk to other drivers without getting out of the car.

The Cars are actually a race of car-shaped aliens.

First of all: cars don't have eyes. They speak English because they picked up our language and stuff from the Internet. Eventually, the aliens forgot they were not from Earth and actually believed they were real cars. Where are the humans? Read the above WMG.

The passengers are still in the cars.

They just never leave.

There are passengers, and they have the cars hooked up to their brains.

This is why the cars have personalities and voices and can move about freely (jumping included).

  • This makes so much sense!

Lightning McQueen is Steve McQueen.

Continuing the WMG above, Lightning may be Steve McQueen with his brain hooked up to a car. "Lightning" is simply a nickname that he eventually gained after this happened.

  • Jossed by the creators; McQueen is named after Pixar senior animator Glenn McQueen, who died in 2002.

Lightning got shocked one too many times by Dr. Mater and lost large patches of his memory.

That's why he never remembers Mater's Tall tales even though he was there when they happened.

Lightning is a famous racer in a coma.

He was put that way by a terrible racing accident, and the whole movie is a giant dream sequence. When he first comes into this "dream world", it's more of a nightmare for him.

Sally knew that Doc was a racer.

During her time staying at Radiator Springs, Sally looked into Doc's garage and discovered his past. She was going to ask Doc about it, but she learned how much he doesn't want to talk about the life that nearly killed him. So she decided to keep it a secret from everyone, especially Doc.

This explains why she's upset at Doc for calling the news and the press to send McQueen away. When she said "Best for everyone, or best for you?", Doc realized that she knows.

The Cars universe diverges from the same Alternate Continuity as Nine.

In 9, it is revealed that the Industrial Revolution never ended, and machines were given artificial intelligence. They turned against the humans and wiped them out.

The Cars universe is a more positive result of this. However, something happened that caused humans to disappear, leaving only the cars.

  • Dolls build new machines, now with better personalities instead of just intelect like Fab Mac. Earth has slowly started to recover, with grass and otehr vegetables returning to world. No animal life tough. Yet. Dolls eventualy "died" and machines eventualy made themselves cars that were common in old world.

The Cars universe is set in the story of earth after a "Grey Goo" Nano Machine disaster.

A grey goo disaster happens when nanomachines go out of control, copy themselves as they record everything, and reduce the surface of the earth to grey goo.

In the Cars universe, the goo eventually tries to recreate the world it remembers -- but its memories are flawed. It remembers vehicles and roads the most, so it creates the world in that image - which explains why even the mountains look like cars.

Most of the above WMGs make no sense because Cars obviously takes place near the end of the 20th century/beginning of the 21st.

Seriously? Cars is from a post-apocalyptic wasteland? The passengers are using the cars like the chairs in Wall-E? This makes no sense. Look at the structures, the older cars like Doc Hudson and that really old granny car. There's no way those cars could have survived that far (at least a century) into the future for any of this to happen. The one with passengers in the cars makes a little sense, but remember that a lot of the cars in Radiator Springs remember a time before the interstate. That's in the 1930s, or too far back for your theories to be plausible. I know this isn't technically a WMG but it doesn't fit in any of the above because it applies to tons of them.

  • There are machines that have lasted over a century; a case in point, the John Bull locomotive in the Smithsonian Institution was built in 1831, and on it's 150th "birthday", in 1981, the curator of the museum, at least the transportation part, fired up the engine and it worked.
  • Or the factories/whatever makes new cars could be basing their designs on older models.

People Are reincarnated Into Cars That represent Their death.

Lightning Was A Famous Racer Who Died In An Accident, Mater Was A Redneck Who Got Killed By His Own Tow Truck, Sally Was A Hotel Manager Who Died From A Heart Attack, Sheriff Was A Police Officer Who Got Gunned Down By A Criminal, Red Was A Firefighter Who Died While Trapped In A Burning Building, Flo Was A Fashion Star Who Died Onstage, Sarge Was A WWII Veteran Who Died While Fighting In The War, Ramone Was A Painter Who Fell Off His Ladder, And Fillmore Was A Groovy Man Who Died In His Volkswagen Bus.

HARV is a human being.

This movie takes place in an Alternate Universe

There are car versions of real people like Jay Leno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, there are real places and locations made to fit with it's automotive citizens, and the car versions of other Pixar movies imply that there are car versions of the Pixar crew working on animated car films. So that means that there must be a car version of everyone on Earth throughout history.

  • So, there's a car version of Cars? Humans?
    • If it were true, there would be plenty of weird stuff on TV Tropes; some hilarious and/or awesome (Back to the Future? Speed Racer?) and some, mostly from darker fiction, horrifying (SCP Foundation? Homestuck, to some degree? Fallout? HP Lovecraft? Don't even get started on anything above 18+.)... And what about some of the terrible Real Life historical or present-day events? It's probably for the better to assume that the Cars universe is different enough that anything which doesn't fit the theme never happened. The sequel might change the tone a bit edgier from the original, judging by the trailer, though.
    • Maybe "Humans" in the Cars-verse is their equivalent of "Furries"...
    • So what would the Cars-vers version of those dragon/car tailpipe pics be, UFOs and train tracks? And what about those airplane-girls?
  • Garagestuck: Jeep Edsel, Dodge Studebaker, Royce Lasalle, Jordan Harley and their weird alien counterparts Carcat Vantage, Vespa Circuit, Nissan Lion-Peugeot, Gumpert McLaren, Elva Aston, and Ferrari "Portia" (to name a few) and mysterious exiles like Wandering Volvo and Piston Merchant play a game authored by the brilliant and eccentric Austin Heeley.
  • Backfire to the Future: Doc, a Delorian, falls for a train from the old west. Marty is (inexplicably) the hoverbike from Star Trek.
  • HP Driveshaft's In The Underground Parking Lots Of Lunacy: It'd be like Top Gear's Arctic road trip minus the sled and plus nightmares. The cosmic horrors would be those massive mining machines that look like giant buzz saws.
  • History: President Lincoln Convertible has been shot by John Wilkes Tollbooth!
  • Mechanic Who: A time traveling alien time machine called The Mechanic travels through time with his car-panions.
    • Doc Hudson is a timelord who regenerated into McMissile! The Daleks are the Anthropomorphic Personification of everything that can ruin a car from rust to giant boulders combined with a hatred of anything more mobile than they.
  • Transformers is Beast Wars in reverse with strange fleshy creatures disguising themselves as vehicles.
  • Car Wars: The plucky Dodge Skyliner vs. the corrupted Darth Vespa (could also work for Spaceballbearings - Barf is the Winnebago!).
  • The Trailer-hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy: A Ford goes on an amazing adventure with a Dented pal.
  • The Matrix: The title character is trying to protect a Scion.
  • Repo!: The Saw of the Cars-verse.
  • Tunnel: A mute Chevelle battles BluCaDOS (Blueprint Carform and Disk-brake Operating System) with the Aperture Science Chassis-Mounted Tunnel Device.
  • Super Cario Brothers: Featuring Alfaromeo and his brother Lamborghini.

The cars are able to move because they are Merchandise-Driven.

Rule of Symbolism.

Mater's Tall Tales are all true

Except for the bits at the end where he says Lightning was a part of them. Mater just says that to mess with him.

The Cars world co-exists with the Thomas the Tank Engine world and vice versa.

Think about it. Both universes have Animate Inanimate Vehicles have little to no explanation how they came about, and both have very very little humans present (and in Thomas's case they're rarely shown).

  • But there are humans in Thomas's world, even if there's only a few of them, which makes that world a bit less frigidly horrific. As far as I know there aren't any humans (at least in Cars 1) and the only "living" creatures were dinosaurs and they died millions of years ago.

Cars, like monsters, can slip into a parallel universe.

Maybe when they go in a garage, they can drive out through the back wall into their world? It certainly makes car wrecks in our world much more horrifying, though.

Cars takes place in the normal Pixar universe, but it goes like this...

At some point during the Pixar universe timeline, sentient cars built by the humans rose up and took over. The humans who weren't killed went into hiding in the places that the cars couldn't get to. At some point, though, the Cars universe falls apart. Why? Lack of fuel. They need it to run. They haven't developed many alternative energy sources. Only the richest cars of all could afford to be converted to solar power. Lightning McQueen couldn't, because after his racing career died (when the fuel was running out, racing was one of the first things to go) he spent all his money on car hookers, and car drugs like car-caine. He dies of an overdose, and the rest of the cast who haven't died are forced to live in this apoc-car-lyptic world. Eventually, nearly every car dies off. The few that are left get destroyed by the uprising humans, who saw the rapidly falling car population as their chance to take back over. They do so and rebuild the world, eventually into the futuristic one we see in WALL-E...

    • I kinda thought that it may be backwards: after the end of WALL-E, the humans slowly evolve into cars, who went through the same stages and time periods and styles like we did, which is why there are so many parallels to our world and the Cars world.

Acer's Start of Darkness came after a horrific injury.

...when Alice's dad tried to park his Skylark in Acer's trunk...

McMissile is...

...actually Doc Hudson, but altered for his role as a spy car!


...actually Michael Caine as a spy car.

Lightning McQueen and Sally are like parental figures to Mater.

  • Their conversation at the beginning of Cars 2 sounds like a mom and a dad talking about the dad taking the child on a business trip.

Our own world is the Cars world after a Zombie Apocalypse.

  • We are The Virus that spread to infect innocent cars all over the Earth, robbing them of life and sentience and rendering each hapless victim into a shambling, will-bereft chassis that moves only at the behest of the contagion. Having reduced all mechanical life to inert automatons, the organic infection then took on forms suited to control their lifeless carcasses, and assimilated their individual histories and personalities into ourselves, until we came to believe we were the planet's rightful inhabitants, and always had been.

Zundapp is an ex-Nazi.

  • Uh, he's a late '50s model and WW 2 ended in 1945.
    • There appears to be some discrepancy between some characters' ages and their model, so it's not impossible. Well, either that or he's a Neo-Nazi.

Francesco is Agent Simmons.

  • After Agent Simmons' dies, Primus decides that for capturing and torturing Bumblebee in the first movie and being a general jerk in the series, as punishment, he will be reincarnated as a vehicle in an alternate universe as penance. This is his Purgatory.

Cars in this world can adapt, same way as humans in our world can.

It would help explain some things, like how they are still around after all these years.

New cars come from...

  • A male and a female car who want to have a kid go to some sort of "factory" and help "design" a baby car, which is built to specifications and based heavily on the parent car types. "Defects" are when the system malfunctions, Lemons propigate because they get together and make more of themselves.
  • Cars are techno-organic constructs, and thus can have babies like humans can.
    • Or they lay car "eggs".
  • The Allspark.

Cars and other vehicles "evolve", at a much faster rate than organic life does.

Or scientists and engineers figure out ways to improve the species, and then incorporate these designs into the next generation. This is why older cars are different models than younger ones.

  • "Fashion" could also play into this, as new cars are created with popular features of the time, or they could modify themselves.

The Cars universe is actually a level of "car heaven".

Cars from our world that were well-loved by their owners are reborn into this world when they "die".

Rust is a disease

It seems like in the two movies, rust can act like leprosy or be an indicator of one's rapid aging. Maybe for Mater's case it relates to the former, his mind can't catch up with the aging and reverts him to a child like demeanor.

The mixed critical reception was mostly because Bruce Campbell's character got killed

Come on, nobody wants to see the Man with the Chin dying.

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