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"Gee, Drew, I'm so sorry for you. At daytime you're a loving boyfriend, but at night you race in a great metal penis"

"No, Mimi, THAT'S. A. CORVETTE... The penis's made of fiberglass".

"Uh, whose car is that out front?"

"Mine. 1970 Pontiac Firebird - the car I've always wanted, and now I have it. I rule!"

This car is probably red, usually a convertible, always expensive and zippy, and necessarily driven by a middle-aged man. If he's been around for a while, this will be the first time he's shown any tendency to care about what he drives. It is almost always Compensating for Something.

Sometimes a motorcycle can fill the same function.

Very often becomes The Precious Precious Car. Compare Cool Car (which generally comes with more weapons and gadgets and things). Contrast The Alleged Car. Often referred to as a "Midlife Chrysler."

Truth in Television when you're not lucky enough to have been born wealthy: it takes time to amass enough money for a Cool Car.

Examples of Midlife Crisis Car include:


  • The film American Beauty has one of these, but it's a classic muscle-car. In addition, he's not compensating for something, but rather pissing off his wife (who would later interrupt their first intimate encounter in years because she was afraid he would spill beer on her sofa).
  • Albeit it wasn't orginally bought with this trope in mind, the titular SUV Sharon from Venezuelan movie Mi Vida Por Sharon has become this for its owner.


  • One of the more unpleasant characters in Cujo by Stephen King dubs this "sports car menopause".

Live Action TV

 Spike: He's bound to have some kind of midlife crisis transport. Something red, shiny, shaped like a penis.

  • In Leverage, the team asks Nate if he's buying a Midlife Crisis Car with his cut of their money, and mock him when he says he's getting an electric car. Then, he jumps into his Tesla Roadster, and they watch in awe as he drives away, agreeing that he's definitely having a midlife crisis.
  • A female example: Joanna Clore in Green Wing asks a salesman which of two cars will make her look younger: the salesman deadpans, "Neither. They are just cars."
  • Friends:
    • Ross buys one of these. Too bad it's so small it gets stuck in the parking space. Why they couldn't have grabbed some of their Twenty-Four-Hour Party People friends and just carried the thing out is difficult to understand. He also quickly abandons the car when an old, bald gentleman shows up driving the exact same car.

  Old Guy: "How cool are we!"

    • In an earlier episode, Ross and Monica's father mentioned buying a Porsche when he turned fifty. A few seasons later he later gave it to Monica (as an apology for using the boxes with all her childhood relics to block flooding water in order to protect the car).
  • CSI: Las Vegas has an episode with Gil Grissom acting as though he's starting to go into mid-life crisis. Brass advises him, "Buy a convertible. It's cheaper."
  • In Doctor Who, Martha's father is driving such a car when he first appears, complete with a (much younger) girlfriend the script compares to a Big Brother evictee.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, Dr. Kelso comments that during his midlife crisis he bought an overpowered cigarette boat.
  • In an episode of Boy Meets World, Alan Matthews wants to get a midlife crisis motorcycle, but he eventually decides against it.
  • In an episode of The Cosby Show, one of Cliff's friends enters a mid-life crisis after his wife divorced him for being too boring. The first thing he does is go to the car dealership and try out the fastest, most expensive car they have. By the end of the episode he decides not to buy it though.


  • Referenced in the song "Mid Life Chrysler" by Collin Raye.

Western Animation

  • In Fairly Oddparents, Timmy's dad buys a cool car that he doesn't allow Timmy to ride in. Hilarity Ensues when Timmy wishes to be said car.
    • The reason his father doesn't let him ride in the car is because it's VERY lacking in safety features, and while he realizes how dumb he's being by driving it around, he wouldn't endanger his son by letting him ride in it. So it's kind of cute, in a weird way.
    • In the episode "Wishy Washy", Timmy's dad falls in love with it. His mom then tries to destroy it.
  • Family Guy: Peter's car after he finds out that Chris is much larger than him in a certain... area.
    • This whole sequence is a gigantic Lampshade Hanging on the concept, with Peter's car being extremely phallic, him driving in and out of a tunnel repeatedly before the car gets crushed by oncoming traffic, and a group of cheerleaders giggling at him as he looks sad and mutters "Ow, my pride..."
  • Billy and Mandy lampshades this by calling it "The Hot Rod Stage" of Harold's midlife crisis. "Next stage is the Trophy Wife!"
  • Stan's dad gets one in South Park when he and his wife divorce for the episode.
  • The Finnish comedy cartoon Pasila featured a chronic speeder who drove a SUV big enough to fit another SUV in the trunk. He claims the car is not a penis extension, but constantly slips off the Freudian slope when he talks to anyone about it for any extended period of time.
  • The Venture Brothers - after Rusty is called "old" he gets a 1970 Corvette, frightful "mod" clothes, and a ratty-looking wig in the episode "Mid-Life Chrysalis".
  • Futurama During Lrrr's midlife crisis we briefly see him trying out a small red hovercar.

Video Games

  • Played straight in Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories, when aging crime boss Salvatore Leone shows off a "fully loaded, top of the line" sports cars to Toni Cipriani. Maria, riding shotgun, humorously responds by claiming to "smell" Salvatore's mid-life crisis. The car is later found wrecked not far from where Salvatore showed it off.
  • In Shutokou Battle 01, there is Sanjyushi, an entire gang of middleaged men with souped up MLC cars in the Wangan area.
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