Movie Talk

Most painful road trip movie moments

Movie Talk

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Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in 'Identity Thief'

Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in 'Identity Thief' (Photo: Universal Pictures)

This weekend ushers in a big-screen comedy that tests the limits of the road trip movie formula with head-and-neck punches, snake bites, car crashes and some excruciatingly uncomfortable roadside run-ins. It's only fitting we take a look back at torturous scenes in road trip movies through the years.

But first: In "Identity Thief," Diana (Melissa McCarthy) is so busted when the man whose identity she has stolen (Jason Bateman) comes a-knocking. Sandy Patterson's effort to hunt down his outrageous lady criminal spirals into a series of awkward, cringe-worthy and downright painful circumstances. Beyond all the physical beat-downs both characters endure, the most excruciating moment in the film is perhaps when Sandy -- who must stay in close proximity to Diana at all times -- is forced to listen to her spend a weird, loud, passionate night with a gentleman she just met at a roadside bar -- quite memorably played by Eric Stonestreet (see the clip below).

See some of the most painful road trip movie moments of all time:


'Those aren't pillows!'

It takes seeing "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" just one time before the famed Steve Martin line is forever seared into viewers' minds. In the 1987 John Hughes film, Martin plays Neal, the very reluctant travel mate of Del, played by the late John Candy. Like the awkward "Identity Thief" scene mentioned above, the two find themselves sharing a hotel room. Unlike the aforementioned Bateman-McCarthy scene, Neal and Del must share a bed. When they awaken, they are snuggled up like a married couple and Del's hand is exactly where it's not supposed to be, sending shock and horror through Neal.

The end of the road

From a roadside murder to some highway robbery, there are many extreme moments in "Thelma & Louise" (1991) -- but none seem quite as agonizing as when the ladies drive off a cliff to their imminent deaths in order to escape the law.

Reanimated deer

Chris Farley and David Spade play two guys who hit the road to save their local Ohio auto parts plant. While driving they hit a deer and drag its lifeless body into the backseat of their car. The deer comes back to life, thrashes around, and runs away -- but not before completely destroying their ride.

Existential downer

Aside from Owen Wilson's facial injuries and the brothers' familial angst, the most painful moment in Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007) is when the three male siblings find themselves stranded as their train is strangely said to be "lost." They ultimately find themselves transporting -- by foot -- the lifeless body of an Indian boy who Adrien Brody's character failed to save in the water.

Worst possible scenario

One of the most seminal road trip movies of all time -- heck, one of the most influential movies of all time -- "Easy Rider" (1969) ends with a bang... in a really bad way. Both motorcycle-riding, free-spirited lead characters, played by Peter Fonda and the late Dennis Hopper, get cruelly shot down right before the credits role.

Wedding crisis

Jack (Thomas Haden Church) gets a beat down from his new lover Stephanie (Sandra Oh) when she finds out he is about to tie the knot with someone else in "Sideways" (2004). And that's when it devolves into the road trip from hell for both Jack and his buddy Miles (Paul Giamatti).

There are literally hundreds of road trip films out there. List your favorite painful movie moment in the comments below!

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