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Basic Trope: The Character manages to start a car engine without the key.

  • Played Straight: The character accesses the wiring, locates and connects the correct wires, and starts the engine in a matter of seconds
  • Exagerated: The character brushes two wires together and the car starts.
  • Justified: The character is a professional car thief, and knows the ins and outs of his trade.
  • Inverted: Attempting the hotwire the car sets off a fail-safe that prevents the car from starting all together.
  • Subverted: The character tears open the steering column and breaks into the ignition switch, ignoring the wires all together.
  • Double Subverted: ...But character still needs to touch wires together to make the engine start.
  • Parodied: The character snaps his fingers and all the cars in the surrounding area start immediately.
  • Deconstructed: The character opens the dash and a mess of wires fall out. He then electrocutes himself while messing with the wiring.
  • Reconstructed: The character uses special tools which make the job safe, quick, and easy.
  • Zig Zagged: The character attempts to hotwire the car, but becomes too frustrated, so instead jams a screwdriver into the ignition and starts the car that way.
  • Averted: The character locates a key, or already has one.
  • Lampshaded: After successfully hotwiring the car, the character proclaims that he expected it to be much more difficult.
  • Invoked: The character chooses to steal an older model car because it lacks the security that would make it difficult to hotwire.
  • Defied: The target car uses different technology and can not be hotwired.
  • Discussed: "Of course I can hotwire this! I'm a mechanic!"