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A character is in a hurry, most likely during a Chase Scene, when he or she sees a bike or some other mode of transportation propped on the side of the road. He or she promptly gets on it and keeps going full-speed. If the owner is present, the character will hastily say something like "I'm just borrowing it!" or "I need your bike! I'll bring it back later!"

Note that you usually never see the bike actually get returned, and if it is returned, don't expect the warranty to cover the damage.

A Sister Trope to Flashed Badge Hijack.

Contrast Casual Car Giveaway, in which the hero gives a random soul their vehicle.

Examples of Hero Stole My Bike include:

Anime & Manga

  • The Prince of Tennis: Takeshi Momoshiro stole a bike to catch a purse-napper on roller skates. Problem is: the owner of the bike, his quick-as-lightning rival Akira Kamio, sees Momoshiro doing this and starts chasing him because he believes he has stolen his bike. The two then race to see who's the fastest, forgetting the purse-napper in the process. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Yukari-sensei does this in the first episode of Azumanga Daioh. Its owner, Tod, had stopped to fix HER bike, ironically enough.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke has to steal a bike. The bike actually was locked up but he had Charles Atlas superpowers, so it didn't matter. Later the bike's chain breaks and it falls apart, so he could never return it. (He had more pressing issues to deal with anyway.)
  • Ash steals Misty's bike in the first episode of Pokémon and Pikachu totals it. She initially tags along with him while he gathers enough money to pay her back. Misty did get her bike back and working again eventually.
    • He does this to May and Dawn later on, making this a subtle Running Gag.
  • In the first episode of Patlabor, policewoman Noa commandeers a motorcycle from a confused civilian. It does get wrecked eventually, too.
  • Done in episode 51 of Hayate the Combat Butler by the title character. The bike owner, Nishizawa Ayumu, has a rather pronounced crush on him and immediately agreed to his request. Surprisingly, despite Hayate's Chew Toy tendencies, the bike is returned to Nishizawa intact.
    • He also "borrowed" Maria's bike in the first chapter. Although she managed to get to the scene, she probably didn't get it back, it was run over by a car after all.
    • In the Shimoda arc, both Hayate and Nagi 'steal' Nishizawa's bike. Though it's not really stealing since she's driving for Nagi, and riding while Hayate pedals.
  • In Gakuen Alice, Mikan and Permy manage to find a two-person bicycle and borrow it to chase after the limo where Natsume is being kidnapped.
  • Conan does this in the first movie of Detective Conan, stealing a kid's bike to make haste in disposing of a timed bomb. The bike is totally trashed, though it's implied that Conan would have returned it if he could, and actually asked Kogoro to replace it.
  • In ef: A Tale Of Memories Miyako grabs Hirono's bike to chase a purse thief.
  • In Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu Kaname and Sōusuke steal a bike in order to get back to school in time for their test. Hilarity Ensues when a crazy policewoman tries to pull them over, leading to a Chase Scene that results in her crashing her squad car. Which then explodes.
  • In Weiss Kreuz Side B, Ken 'borrows' a skateboard and, being really bad at English, leaves Aya to explain.
  • In Spiral: Suiri no Kizuna, Ayumu steals Kousuke's bike. This is awesome because a) he's racing Kousuke to gain control of a MacGuffin, and b) Kousuke is left yelling "Stop! Thief!" after threatening to murder Ayumu's sidekick and breaking into his mailbox.
  • In Iketeru Futari, Saji steals a scooter from his friend Urawa to chase his would-be girlfriend Koizumi, who's taken a taxi. Especially troublesome for Urawa, since he was working at the time.

 Saji: Urawa! I'll never forget what a great friend you are!

Urawa: Aaaahhh! Don't leave me with just the pizza!

  • In FAKE, Dee steals a random guy's motorcycle when he realizes that Ryo is in danger. Not only does he reach Ryo just in time, but he gets to make a bad ass entrance.
  • Kei steals an old lady's scooter in Akira.
  • The first meeting between Miroku and Kagome in Inuyasha was something like this. In fact shortly after returning the bike to Kagome, he takes it from her yet again to chase after a demonic ink painter.
  • Early on in Highschool of the Dead, shortly after the two main characters get separated from the other survivors, they get attacked by one of them. After they kill him off, they notice that he was wearing a bike helmet and leather jacket. They look around to find his motorbike fallen over on the nearby hill. Despite the Zombie Apocalypse, they jokingly worry about getting a ticket by the police for not having a driver's license.
  • Done at least once in Bubblegum Crisis. A heroine dumps two motorcycles in one episode.
  • In Skip Beat, Kyouko does this using her grudge spirits in order to get Ren (who she was acting as an assistant towards at the time) to his next acting gig without being late.
  • In Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Misaki borrowed Yukimura's bicycle once. She kept her word about returning it.
  • In the Venus Wars movie, the protagonist named Hiro, steals a parked motorbike while running from police.
  • Kiki steals a mop at the end of Kiki's Delivery Service, since she needs to save her friend, and doesn't have a Flying Broomstick handy.


  • Batman: Year One features this trope at the end.
  • Evidently a favoured trope of Hergé, as it occurs both in Tintin and his other series, Jo Zette And Jocko. At least Hergé's heroes were conscientious about returning the vehicles (or, more usually, making reparation, since the chases usually led to the vehicles' destruction!)
  • Played with in a Spirou and Fantasio story, in which a Villain tries to escape Spirou by stealing a moped. He was in too much of a hurry to see that it was missing its rear wheel.
  • Sin City has the stolen-car version of this trope. In one notable case, a hero actually stole a cop car.
  • Also used by the X-Men. On one occasion, Cyke collared a bike to go after Batroc and the Circus of Crime, left a note, and at the end Professor X complained about how often its owner was ringing and demanding it back.

 Cyclops: The Art of War says you must seize opportunities as they arise...The Book of Cyclops says you don't have to be a punk about it, though.


  • In the Good Omens fic Manchester Lost, the Four Archangels "borrow" some motorcycles. A note at the end of the scene reads "It’s not stealing if you’re On a Holy Mission."
  • In the Third Movement of With Strings Attached, George steals a donkey as part of an awkward plan to get three of them through Goblin Valley without attracting (too much) attention. After they make it, he doesn't return the donkey, but he does make sure it's safe.

Films -- Animation

  • Kiki's Delivery Service: Amounts to the same thing when Kiki borrows a push-broom against its owner's will; she being a witch and all.
  • A character in the "Rhapsody in Blue" segement of Fantasia/2000 takes a little kid's scooter (one of those home-made Depression era deals, basically a box with roller skates and a couple of planks), but at least has the decency to pay for it first.
  • When Mr. Freeze kidnaps Barbara in Batman and Mister Freeze Sub Zero, Dick grabs a bystander's motorcycle to make chase. Unlike most examples, he gives the guy something else in exchange: his corvette.
  • Shrek rather unceremoniously steals the clothes of some travelers in the second movie after he takes his potion...
    • Though he does leave them with their actual vehicle, since Donkey is now a horse.

  Shrek: Thank you, gentlemen. Someday I will repay you, unless of course I can't find you, or if I forget.

Films -- Live Action

  • While eloping, the romantic pairing in Buster Keaton's The Scarecrow make off with first a horse, and then a motorcycle with a sidecar.
    • In Buster Keaton's The General, at one point Keaton steals a penny-farthing bicycle to chase after his stolen train, but isn't able to ride it very far before falling over.
  • In the Back to The Future series Marty keeps borrowing skateboards (and proto-skateboards), but always gives them back (except when told to keep it).
  • Nicolas Cage's character does this in pursuit of Sean Connery's character with a Ferrari in The Rock.
    • And also a motorbike, after admitting to the owner that the Ferrari he just totaled wasn't his and neither was the guy's bike.
    • Nicolas Cage steals a bike from a woman after threatening her with a gun in The Wicker Man. "Step away from the bike!"
  • Indiana Jones does this in The Last Crusade: An old male peasant is replacing a hubcap on his old car when it pulls away from him without warning. Indy, of course, is at the wheel.
  • Apocalypse Now Redux has a restored scene in which Willard and his crew steal Kilgore's surfboard, and Kilgore sends helicopters in pursuit for several days.
  • Played for humor in Lethal Weapon 4, where, while in pursuit of two suspects, Murtagh sees a young man standing by a bike in the street. He tries to commandeer it, but then instead reaches into a pocket and brings out a handful of $20 bills and thrusts it at the guy. The guy pockets the money, then calls out to a friend "Hey Johnny, someone stole your bike!"
  • Older Than Radio. An episode of The Hazards Of Helen, in "More Treasures from American Film Archives", depicts this.
  • The older brother in The Goonies had to do this after the kids flattened his bike tires.
    • It apparently ends up getting trashed. Though he did say he owes her one. And the little girl is probably Data's sister.
  • Hollywood Homicide: Det. Gavilan steals a little girl's bike, pink and with a basket and tassels on the handlebars, in the climactic chase scene. All because he tried to commandeer a car but its owner handily rebuked him.
  • In Bangkok Dangerous, Joe shoves a guy off his motorbike and takes it to chase his target -- and blows it up less than a minute later. He also takes a hat and an expensive-looking camera for the purpose of looking inconspicuous.
  • Transporter 3 saw one of these without the promise to return it. In all fairness, Frank would've exploded had he not done so, and by the blast radius of the other bracelet explosions, we can tell that other people would have been hurt as well.
  • Done in Die Hard With a Vengeance, coupled with an Ironic Echo when McClane steals the bike of a shoplifting kid.
    • Done again (And Lampshaded and Played With) when McClane trades up from his Gremlin by stealing a Mercedes on the expressway. Zeus points out how pissed the other driver must be, until McClane reminds him that Zeus forgot his bar of gold in the Gremlin's back seat.
  • The James Bond films:
    • In Octopussy, Bond steals the car of a woman in a phone booth in order to get to an American airbase in Germany in time to stop a warhead from detonating. He was hoping to call the base, but the woman beat him to the booth. This actually backfires on him rather badly, as by the time he actually reaches the airbase there's an APB out for him. The MP guarding the gate was already less than impressed with 007's frantic demands to see the commander, and the arrival of several German police cars didn't help his credibility.
    • In Quantum of Solace, a guy on a motorbike starts yelling at Bond after nearly hitting him, only for Bond to knock him away and steal the bike.
  • The Mummy Returns has Jonathan steal a double-decker bus when he breaks the keys to Rick's car, whilst in the ignition. Luckily, a double-decker bus was the nearest available vehicle. How convenient!
  • Near the end of The Terminator, Kyle and Sarah have been tracked to a hotel by the Terminator, and, in need of transportation, Kyle bashes the head of a bystander and steals his car.
    • One of, if not the first, lines of the T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is 'I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle'. All of which the Terminator proceeds to take.
  • 'Bedtime Stories does this too.
  • Julius jacks a convertible with buffalo horns on the hood in Twins, but later mentions that he returned it. "He was a cowboy!"
  • Used in What's Up, Doc? when the heroes escape a San Fransisco town house on a hijacked delivery bike. In the ensuing court case, the delivery guy actually shows up, insisting "I want my bike back!"
  • Sedgwick steals a bicycle in The Great Escape. (And related, two others steal a rowboat.) The liner notes commentary in the DVD points out that stealing is not recommended for POWs because committing a crime gives the foreign government an excuse to prosecute the POW as a criminal. Luckily, all three escapees who steal manage to flee Nazi Germany.
  • In Time Chasers, hero Nick is a terrible driver and crashes the car he just stole for the chase scene. He then steals a bicycle and does quite well with it because he's an avid bicyclist. The bad guys follow suit by stealing more bicycles. It is a very healthy chase scene.

  Tom Servo: So it's bicycles, then, eh? We accept your choice of vehicle. En garde!

  • In the 1990 Captain America film, Captain America feigns sickness to lure the unsuspecting driver out from the car before he steals it, twice. He also does steal a bike from a civilian during his and Sharon's escape from the Red Skull's thugs.
  • In the Hungarian phrasebook sketch in And Now For Something Completely Different, the police officer steals someone's bicycle to get to the tobacconist's shop more quickly than in the television series.
  • In The Pacifier, Vin Diesel takes the (far-too-small for him) bike belonging to Seth, in order to follow the boy and find out why he'd dyed his hair blond, skipped wrestling practices, and had a Nazi armband in his locker.
  • In L: Change the World, after being caught on the train, L, Maki and Near have no choice but to avoid public transport. In the next scene they are cycling away on bikes that are clearly not theirs.
  • The Mystery Team doesn't have to; they provide their own!
  • Rusty does this towards the end of National Lampoon's European Vacation.
  • In The Cat from Outer Space, Frank steals a courier's motorcycle when he is rescuing Jake (the eponymous cat) from the Army base.
  • Interesting variation in The Matrix: While running away from Smith, Neo steals a person's cellphone so he can contact the real world.


  • In one Lone Wolf book, Lone Wolf needs to follow someone fast. There's a horse in the street; he can either buy it legitimately off the owner, or just steal it. The latter's riskier but a heck of a lot cheaper.
    • This happens repeatedly to Lone Wolf throughout the books. At the end of the series, he can probably have a dozen count of mount thief on his tab, including some flying creatures.


  • The Star Wars anthology collection Tales From The Mos Eisley Cantina tells the story of BoShek, a rough-and-tumble pilot who loves getting into friendly competitions with Han Solo. (In the original film, he's the one who introduces Obi-Wan Kenobi to Han and Chewbacca when Kenobi arrives at the cantina with Luke Skywalker.) He steals a landspeeder (newly purchased, no less!) from an unsuspecting citizen while fleeing from policemen who suspect him of a theft, but then the trope is lampshaded when BoShek (who regularly receives spiritual guidance at a local monastery) reflects that stealing wasn't really the ethical thing to do. After he manages to elude the police, BoShek vows to make things right by taking the stolen speeder back to the robbed person and apologizing.
  • In the Time Scout book, Wagers of Sin, Skeeter steals a champion racing horse to get away from some angry Romans, making this a case of Hero Stole My Horse.
  • In Ethshar novel With a single spell the hero steals a ship to escape his home village. This is one of the few examples where he does give it back... in the epilogue a couple of years later.

Live Action TV

  • Chuck had one of the few examples where the bike owner is seen afterward... because, as it turns out, it was Morgan's bike. At least Chuck was nice enough to steal a bike he knew he could return.
  • Ben Mercer in Covert Affairs at least had the decency to throw the owner a stack of bills as he drove off with his motorcycle.
  • The Third Doctor "borrows" a vintage car in one episode of Doctor Who and takes a liking to it. UNIT does return the car to its rightful owner, but they get the Doctor another one a lot like it.
    • Not to mention the TARDIS, which he reportedly stole from a repair shop under "pressing circumstances."
      • In the novel The Gallifrey Chronicles the Time Lord villain is revealed as the guy the TARDIS really belongs to.
    • In the TV Movie, the Doctor steals a policeman's motorbike by holding himself at gunpoint.
  • In Red Dwarf, when Lister and Cat, trying to recover Kryten and, what the hey, Rimmer, too, find themselves on a world in a reality where time runs backwards (though they don't yet realize it), they steal a tandem from a pair of picnickers and start riding... only to find that it goes backwards! Understandably, they don't get far...

 Cat: No more! I'm not moving another yard on this thing! I'm gettin' a part in the back of my head!

  • Done in an episode of NCIS where Tony goes undercover as a fugitive prisoner to get the location of stolen Iraqi treasure from a suspect and steals a guy's motorcycle after the suspect causes Tony to crash his truck.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles did a high-speed double subversion of this trope, as a guy being chased at the shore grabs a bike from someone, then notices someone else arriving on a motorcycle, so tosses the bicycle into the path of his pursuers and steals that instead.
  • Willow, Xander and Anya steal some bikes to get back to Giles' apartment in a hurry in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Pangs", which leads to a shot of them pedalling along to Big Damn Heroes-type music.
  • A heavily pregnant Murphy Brown steals a kid's bike (kicking him off it!) to keep up with the press corps accompanying President Bush (the elder) on his daily jog. Unfortunately, she loses control and accidentally runs over him. The entire scene is played out to the Wicked Witch theme from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Occurs in episode 2 of The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • Burn Notice does this so often that Michael has several "rules" about it; in particular, he emphasizes that he always returns the vehicle (usually off screen, unless it's a plot point) "reasonably intact" (which admittedly can mean "after a head-on collision"), and if he steals it from a business parking lot during business hours, it will be returned by 5:00 PM if at all possible.
    • His mom has reported the reappearance of "stolen" cars to the police so many times that she gets honored at a special ceremony.
  • A rare consensual example happens in VR Troopers with two lines: "Can I borrow this?" "Go for it, dude!"
  • In Kamen Rider Kabuto, this happens in the first episode, by the hero and to the guy who'll be spending a while in Butt Monkey territory.
  • Alluded to when the Myth Busters/ took on the movie Jaws. During test setup at an old Naval base, Jamie is getting around on a scooter (instead of his usual bike). Grant jokes "What little girl did you have to mug to get that?"
  • Subverted on Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Mac is in a hurry to get to a movie, sees a motorbike parked at the side of the road, quickly pulls on a helmet, gets on and revs it... only to realise that he has no clue how to drive a motorcycle and abandoning it in the middle of the road.

New Media

Video Games

  • In Wild Arms 4, Jude steals a bike so he can chase a train containing his mother. He has Super Speed, if you're wondering.
  • In the Shadow the Hedgehog level Lethal Highway If you take one of the motorcycles a generic G.U.N soldier will say "Where's my bike? Does anyone know where it is?".
  • Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two. has this in one if its first scenes. Miyako chases a thief who's on a motorcycle. Upon finding the arc's hero, she promptly takes his bike and attempts to give chase to the thief.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Done twice early on in the game. Done either to escape being shot at or escape being run over and riddled with bullets. Returning either risks same.
  • Red Faction Guerrilla has plenty of situations where you'll be needing to 'borrow' a vehicle, be it parked or already inhabited. At low sector morale, the civilians make snide or even angry comments.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • In the second RP of the ~Darwin's Soldiers~ universe, Nixon steals a Lamborghini Gallardo and Alfred steals an expensive convertible to continue chasing Lab 101 after the truck rams Alfred's pickup truck through a cafe.
    • Later, Dr. Zanasiu steals a Chevy Corvette from Pelvanida's parking lot.

Western Animation

 Civilian: Hey! That's my bike!

Chuck: Sorry, guys, this is an emergency. I'm Chuck Norris!

  • In an episode of Phineas and Ferb, a kiddie vehicle chase highlights the difference between hero and villain:

 "That evil scientist stole my bike!"

"That nice duck gave me twenty dollars for my skateboard!"

  • Max of A Goofy Movie steals a skateboard on his way home from school, then gives it to a random character he passes.
  • In Storm Hawks, the gang was once attacked from the air while outside a diner. They split up, Junko taking a kid's bike for his getaway. He barely fits on it, but it serves its purpose for a while.
  • Spider-Man the Animated Series - Spidey and Black Cat grab a random guy's bike (complete with two helmets) to get away from some SHIELD agents. After escaping the agents, Spider-Man insists they return the bike before making their next move.

 Guy: You miserable thieves!

Spidey: We're not thieves! Well. Well, I'm not, but - her, I'm not so sure about.

  • Inverted in The Amazing World of Gumball, where Gumball ask permission to use a little girl's bike and she takes the opportunity to gouge as much money from him as possible. Of course he ended up destroying it anyway.
  • DC Showcase: Catwoman: After Rough Cut manages to escape from the club in a getaway car, Catwoman notices a lone biker outside the entrance. She seductively walks up to him, grabs his collar, and leans in as if to kiss him... then pushes him over, takes his bike and drives off.
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