Parking in Pop Culture

Parking has the potential to make or break your day…so it’s no surprise it makes a great plot device! We scoured through some of our favorite TV shows to find the best storylines about parking—and weighed in on how SpotHero could have helped.


The One Where They All Turn Thirty

We’ll say it, the Friends had a habit of overreacting. Not that we mind, it makes for great television! This episode follows each of the main characters on their 30th birthdays, and the Big 3-0 hits the Central Perk crew pretty hard. While all of the Friends spiral a bit about getting older, Ross’ spiral is our favorite… because it involves parking! Ross purchases a zippy sportscar on a whim, but then spends the rest of the episode trying to get it out of his tight parking spot. Shockingly, his plan to carry the car out of the spot doesn’t work.

If Ross had SpotHero, he could have easily reserved an off-street spot, then he wouldn’t have had to spend his birthday boxed into a tiny space. Remember everyone, “lift and slide!”


“The Parking Space

Seinfeld mastered the art of making mountains out of molehills, such as with this episode from season 3. While George tries to parallel park Jerry’s car in the perfect spot outside the building, someone else tries to pull into the same space nose-first. Of course, since this is Seinfeld, it sparks a Great Debate: who has claim to the parking spot? The neighborhood weighs in—George pulled up too far and didn’t signal! However, it’s an unwritten rule you don’t pull in nose-first! Lines are drawn, sides are taken, and an answer… is never found. The argument goes on so long that the perfect spot is rendered pretty much moot.

George says he can’t park in a garage in this episode, but we feel that since he’s actually parking Jerry’s car here, the decision is up to him. If George can’t park in a garage, perhaps Jerry could have reserved an open lot nearby with SpotHero, then the crew wouldn’t have missed their plans. Better still, George wouldn’t actually be paying for parking! 

New Girl

Parking Spot

In a show that relies heavily on hijinx, it’s no surprise that parking comes into play at some point for these four LA roommates. After living in their loft for many years, Jess, Nick, Schmidt, and Winston suddenly discover that their apartment comes with a parking spot. Tired of fighting for a spot on the street, the four of them duke it out to see who gets it; literally, there’s a fight at one point. There is also a race, a sit-in, and just a pinch of flirting.

If the New Girl Gang really can’t stand street parking anymore, then maybe they should look at monthly parking with SpotHero. A few monthly reservations would probably have saved them a lot of hurt and heartache. And it most certainly would have prevented the all-out brawl that occurred in this episode.

Malcolm in the Middle

Hal’s Christmas Gift

This wonderfully ridiculous show relied on the premise “what if your family took things way too far?” In this episode, mom Lois has an encounter in a mall parking lot after a fellow parker dings her car door. The exchange escalates quickly, leading to a hilariously cringey demolition-derby-style altercation. We’re sure it was satisfying at the time, but unfortunately, it also means that the family has to devote their Christmas money to car repairs, resulting in a declaration that all gifts must be homemade.

We think the moral of the story here is to keep your cool, especially in a parking lot, but if you’re worried you’ll be like Lois, SpotHero also offers personal spots. You can reserve a spot far away from a busy parking lot so you don’t have to worry about someone dinging your door.

The Simpsons

The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson

You’re probably shocked to learn that things get pretty crazy when the Simpsons family visits The Big Apple. Homer is wary of visiting New York after a bad experience decades before, but nevertheless, the whole family goes to retrieve their missing car, taken by his best friend Barney one night and illegally parked in downtown Manhattan. While most of the Simpsons family has the perfect New York visit, Homer has to wait by his car for parking services to arrive and remove the boot that Barney has saddled him with. In true Homer Simpson fashion, he makes several excellent choices that lead to him missing the attendant. Don’t worry, he eventually gets his car back…minus one wheel and the windshield of course.

While Barney’s joy ride didn’t seem to involve a lot of forethought, the nice thing about SpotHero is you can book a reservation right before you enter your spot. We also send you a reminder if your time is about to expire, so you can extend your reservation before it ends!

What’s your favorite pop culture parking mishap?