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A Directionless Driver is a character who actively refuses navigation aid when traveling. He will ignore anyone who tries to help them, and adamantly rebuff companions who suggest asking for directions. Things will get worse if the Directionless Driver has maps or a GPS, as he'll use them as evidence that he already has all the information he needs.
The Directionless Driver is almost Always Male, pertaining to the stereotype that men never ask for directions. This trope is also typically used to portray him as taking deep personal pride in doing things his own way.
In reality, it could stem from the fact that men used to do the vast majority of driving (and in some places, still do). A woman might be just as reluctant to stop and ask a stranger for help -- especially at night -- but if she's not driving in the first place...
Anime And Manga
- Ryoga Hibiki of Ranma ½ normally has No Sense of Direction and knows it, but in the abridged chronicles, he's upgraded to become a stubborn Directionless Driver.
- In Naruto, Pain does technically ask for directions for where Naruto is, but does so in a sufficiently manly manner, IE attempting to solo an entire city full of super-powered ninja, which is rather... inefficient, especially given that this is wears-bright-orange-and-never-shuts-up Naruto we're talking about.
- In Spirited Away, this trope helped to kick-start the movie. Within minutes of starting, the film has:
Chihiro's father: I must have missed the turn off. This road should get us there.
Chihiro's mother: Honey, don't take a short cut; you always get us lost.
Chihiro's father: Trust me, it's gonna work.
- Followed seconds later by:
Chihiro: Dad, I think we're lost.
Chihiro's father: We're fine; I've got four wheel drive!
- Pixar's Cars has Minny and Van, the lost tourists passing through Radiator Springs. Van, the husband, sternly refuses to ask for directions; The Stinger after the credits shows them still lost in the desert, exhausted and delirious.
- Played for laughs in the movie adaptation of Postal, with Mohammed as the Directionless Driver and Osama bin Laden as the exasperated passenger.
- Somewhat justified in Finding Nemo; Marlin refuses to let Dory ask a whale for directions to Sydney out of fear that it will eat them.
Dory: What is it with men and asking for directions?
Marlin: I don't want to play the gender card right now. You wanna play a card? Let's play the "not die" card.
- Fozzie in The Muppet Movie, whose route from Florida to California goes through Rhode Island and Saskatchewan.
Live Action TV
- Played so straight it's almost a parody in one episode of Home Improvement, when Tim and Jill have to drive to their friend's wedding in Michigan. Even though Jill already has directions, Tim refuses to use them, and they end up in Ohio instead.
- Referenced in "The Science Fair" episode of The Red Green Show:
Red Green: "We're out there in our own vehicles, burning gas, got the sunglasses on, looking good. People seeing us going by would have no idea where we are. And we're not really excited about sharing that information. A man does not embrace the concept of going up to total strangers and saying, 'You may not know this, but I'm a moron,' whereas the woman he's with is only too happy to share that information."
- Conversed in Rules of Engagement. Audrey makes a joke about men not asking for directions, and the couple she's talking to has never heard of this trope and the husband asks for directions.
- According to his co-hosts, without a sat-nav (and sometimes even with), this is a very accurate description of James May
- The Far Side - an elderly couple is driving on the surface of the moon - the wife exclaims "Oh, for heaven's sake - NOW look where the Earth is! Move over and let me drive!"
- Referenced in El Goonish Shive after Ellen's "birth", as she deluded herself into thinking she was Elliot's Evil Twin.
Tedd: Careful, she might use tactics that wouldn't even cross our mind.
(cut to Ellen asking a gas pump attendant for directions)
- Lampshaded in the Family Guy episode "The Son Also Draws":
Lois: "Peter, we're lost. Would you please ask for directions?"
Peter: "We are not lost. And even if we were I can't ask a human being for directions."
Lois: "Why not?"
Peter: "Because I'm a man. Haven't you ever seen a stand-up comedian, Lois?"
- Gender-flipped Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. When Frankie gets lost, Mac complains about how she won't ask for directions.
- Gender-filled in The Wild Thornberrys - Maryann always drives, and she never asks for directions even when her sense of direction isn't exactly best. The gender-flipped nature of the gag is lampshaded by Nigel.
Nigel: "I wonder if any other husbands have this problem..."
- In Vicki Lawrence's "Two-Woman Show" (based on Mama's Family), Vicki appears as Mama, giving her opinions on modern-day topics. On the subject of gay marriage, she says that she opposes it, because "then you'd have two idiots in the car who'll drive around for three hours before they stop for directions!"
- Old joke:
Q: "Why does it take millions of sperm to fertilize one egg?"
A: "Because they won't ask for directions."
- Another joke offers this trope as the explanation for the trip from Egypt to Canaan following the Exodus taking 40 years.