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I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me.

In Real Life, a common means of transportation in urban environments is to take a taxi. As a result the Taxi makes a cameo in many stories, is a plot point in several of them, and in some may be the whole point of the story. Especially likely to be seen in New York City or its fictional equivalents. A Taxi in New York is likey to be old-fashioned '50s-style Checker models [1].

Related to Not My Driver, Follow That Car!, Failing a Taxi, and in the UK Driver of a Black Cab. Not to be confused with Thurn und Taxis.

Examples of The Taxi include:


Examples of taxis as the whole point of the story:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film

  • Taxi Driver, obviously.
  • Night on Earth by Jim Jarmusch: Five people take five taxis in five different cities in the world, and the film is about how every one of them will interact with the driver.
  • DC Cab
  • Ten is a film by Abbas Kiarostami depicting ten journeys by a woman taxi driver in contemporary Tehran, and how she relates to her various passengers.
  • Another contemporary Iranian film, There Are Things You Don't Know, follows a taxi driver picking up various passengers in Tehran. Unsurprisingly, the driver likes to say "there are things you don't know".
  • Taxi, a 1998 French action-comedy film (written by Luc Besson and followed by three sequels) about a cabdriver who teams up with a police inspector to solve a series of robberies. Loosely adapted as a 2004 American film by the same title, starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon.
  • A large chunk of the movie Quick Change has the bank-robber protagonists trying unsuccessfully to flag down a taxi and then communicate with the driver who does finally pick them up.
  • Collateral

Literature

  • Taxi is a collection of short stories by Egyptian writer Khaled al-Khamissi, which all depict life in Cairo from the perspective of taxi drivers.
  • Taxi! is a novel by Helen Potrebenko about a woman taxi driver in 1970s Vancouver.

Live Action TV

  • Cash Cab
  • Classic Work Com Taxi
  • An episode of Quantum Leap had Sam jump into the body of a New York cabbie.
  • Polish TV series from the 1980s "Zmiennicy" is basically about driving a taxi

Music

  • "Taxi" by Harry Chapin
  • "Taxi Story" by Eros Ramazzotti
  • "Joe le Taxi" by Vanessa Paradis

Video Games

  • Sega's arcade, and later console, game Crazy Taxi.
  • Not quite video, but a pinball game also called 'Taxi' had this theme. Fares included Santa Claus, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Pin Bot.
  • Quarantine
  • Teleporting lower-level players for pay is a common practice in MMOs, but City of Heroes stands out for its players having formed pro-bono "Paragon Taxi" supergroups on several servers, specifically for the purpose of making life easier for lower-level players without access to travel powers.

Western Animation

  • The 3-minute shorts of Yam Roll rely heavily on Yam Roll's job as a cab driver and his relationships with his coworkers. The 11-minute episodes downplay this slightly to make room for superpowered antics and giant monsters.


Examples of taxis as a plot point:

Comic Books

  • Top Ten has a blind taxi driver whose superpower is that he takes you where you should be, not where you want to go.

Film

  • Collateral
  • The Fifth Element: Dallas works as a taxi driver.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past drives one of these in Scrooged, using it so he can pick up Frank Cross from a cab stand.

Literature

  • The later books of A Series of Unfortunate Events see the orphans meet Kit Snicket in a cab, and there is another cab which might have whisked them off to a different life.

Live Action TV

  • Heroes: Mohinder's day job is as a cab driver.
  • The first episode of Sherlock. It's revealed that the murderer is a cabbie who uses his cab as a cover to pick up his victims.
  • Detective Logan from Law and Order used to be a cab driver in his younger days. More than once uses his knowledge to break a suspect's alibi since he knows what the realistic drive times between locations really are and all the tricks drivers use to "fudge" records and cover up mistakes.
  • The Amazing Race uses taxis as the second most common form of transportation (after airplanes), and entire seasons have turned on teams getting good or bad cab drivers.

Tabletop Games

  • Total Taxi in Over the Edge is essentially a live-action version of Crazy Taxi, and includes special garages set up all over the city to let you switch cabs to lose a tail and the ability to hire additional cabs to run interference and get you somewhere faster.

Video Games

  • Grand Theft Auto has had taxi sidequests since the third game, as well as occasional missions involving carjacking a taxi and using it for some nefarious purpose. In Vice City, you can buy a cab company, and get into a violent turf-war with the other cab companies in the city.
  • The Cab in Vampire Bloodlines, which drives you to all your missions (unless you're Nosferatu). For some odd reason, it's always the same taxi and the same driver that takes you everywhere. This becomes a genuine plot point later on when it turns out it's genuinely the same driver and cab, who has been looking out for you for the entire game. You get to have a conversation with him that determines your ending. It's implied that the driver is actually Caine, the father of all vampires.
  • At least two Twisted Metal games feature Yellow Jacket, a classic Checker cab armed to the teeth.

Western Animation

Web Comics

  • Sam and Fuzzy spent its first years with Sam employed as a taxi driver. Carlyle makes infrequent appearances even after Sam has quit, as a mysterious taxi driver to dispense characters koans about their current situation.


Examples of taxis as cameos:

Anime and Manga

  • Only referred to as "The Taxi Driver", an Ensemble Darkhorse character from Canaan fits in just fine in a world with explosions, superpowers, and terrorists. The perfect combination of Badass and Large Ham.

Film

Literature

  • In the novel Mike Dime, one character explains that an off-duty cab is the perfect vehicle in which to tail someone. Taxis are ubiquitous in an urban environment and no one looks for a tail in an empty cab.
  • In The Pushcart War(about a feud between the truckers and the pushcart-vendors in New York) it claims that the taxidrivers were among the few in the streets not intimidated by the truckers.

Live Action TV

Music

  • It gets used in Harry Chapin's song "Sequel", which is the sequel to "Taxi".

 I thought about takin' a limousine, or at least a fancy car ...

But I ended up takin' a taxi, 'cause that's how I got this far.

Western Animation

  • Gargoyles: Brooklyn tries hailing a taxi upon first awakening in New York after seeing humans do it. Naturally, the cab driver speeds off at the sight of him, making the other gargoyles wonder what they did wrong.

Notes

  1. The last of which was retired from NYC taxi service in 1999
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