I - General Rules
1) The first person to yell "SHOTGUN" gets to ride in the front
2) The remaining back seats may be divvied up in the same manner by being
the first to call "back right seat", etc..
3) The word "shotgun" must be loud enough to be heard by at
least one witness. If no witness is to be found, or in case of a tie,
the driver has the final word. After all, it is most likely his car. (note:
if it isn't his car, and the owner is present, the owner's decision is
final. Owner must be sober, however, or he will defer his judgment to
4) Early calls are strictly prohibited. All occupants of the vehicle (including
the driver) must be outside of the building and directly on the way to
the vehicle before shotgun may be called. Under no circumstances may a
person call shotgun inside a building. For sake of simplicity, a garage
is considered to be outside. Parking structures and detached garages are
always considered as being outdoors, even if they are underground.
5) A person may only call shotgun for one way of a trip. Shotgun can never
be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the
first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call
Shotgun for the return journey.
Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women
to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don't own the front seat.
7) One is allowed to ride shotgun as many times as he can call it, but
for himself only. No one can call shotgun for their slower friend, unless
the friend has a speech or mental handicap that prevents them from calling
it for themselves.
8) The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the
right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.
II - Special Cases
These special exceptions to the rules above should be considered in
the order presented; the case listed first will take precedence over
any of the cases beneath it, when applicable.
1) In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is drunk or otherwise
unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically
2) If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is
not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they
3) In the instance the driver's spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute
for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically
given Shotgun, unless they decline.
4) In the instance that one of the passengers may become so ill during
the course of the journey that the other occupants feel he/she will
toss their cookies, then the ill person should be given Shotgun to make
appropriate use of the window.
5) In the instance that only one person knows how to get to a given
location and this person is not the driver, then as the designated navigator
for the group they automatically get Shotgun, unless they decline.
6) In the instance that one of the occupants is too wide or tall to
fit comfortably in the back seat, then the driver may show mercy and
award Shotgun to the genetic misfit. Alternatively, the driver and other
passengers may continually taunt the poor fellow as they make a three
hour trip with him crammed in the back.
Section III - The Survival Of The Fittest Rules (a.k.a The Bastard
1) If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival Of The
Fittest Rules on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules,
excepting 1.8, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever
can take it by force.
2) The driver must announce the institution of the Survival Of The Fittest
Rules with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces
the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.
3) Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there
are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer
to rule 1.8.
IV - Revisions
1) These rules shall be subject to either revision or amendment at any
time. But, changes and new rules you create during a car ride do not
take effect until the next car ride.
2) Since there is an established body currently in place to distribute
world-wide information, it is proposed that the United Nations oversee
the adoption, updates (as required) and enforcement of these rules once
adopted by at least two-thirds of the current membership of the UN.
3) It shall be the responsibility of all drivers to have a current copy
of these rules in the vehicle's glove compartment, so that disputes
may be resolved.
Section V - Amendments
Amendment I: The Laser / Shotgun Double Barrel
A person may call "laser" or "Shotgun Double Barrel"
after shotgun has been called, to override the shotgun call. This is
only valid if the driver verifies the call as we see in Section 1.3.
Additionally, any passenger who says "No Blitz" after claiming
shotgun, may not have it taken away by either the "Laser"
or "Double Barrel" rules.
These rules hold no precedence over Standard shotgun procedure, and
the driver has final say in all calls.
The Specific Amendment
Any person who wishes to claim shotgun must actually pronounce either
the word "Shotgun" or "Gun." One may not say the
name of a type of shotgun, such as "12 Gauge." If a passenger
does, then he or she can lay no claim on shotgun, and may be called
by another person.
The "House" Rule
The Owner of the vehicle decides which Shotgun Amendments to institute
on his own car. All passengers must abide by the rules of these Amendments,
which are stated in this document. This Amendment clarifies that not
all Amendments need be active at any given time.
If the vehicle is forced to stop for a serious infraction of the Shotgunner,
the Shotgunner must relinquish his/her seat, if the driver so wishes.
Serious infractions have been known to include spilling alcoholic beverages,
spilling any beverage, being annoying, breaking parts of the car, and
in extreme cases, just being ugly.
The Shotgun Clause
This rule native to the south, but practical in many northern cities,
states that the potential occupant with the largest caliber weapon on
their person defaults to shotgun, unless one occupant is actually armed
with a shotgun, in which case he gets shotgun. If two or more occupants
actually have shotguns, then the over/under barrel configuration rules.
The Reserve Shotgun Amendment (Bitch, Spanky, Comm and SAM)
After Shotgun has been called, other patrons may call "Bitch,"
"Spanky," or "Comm," referring to the seat behind
shotgun, the seat behind the driver, and the center back seat, respectively.
SAM applies to the hatchback or trunk.
The passenger who has shotgun MUST serve as Navigator. By this, he must
watch out for signs and intersections that the driver may miss during
the course of a road trip. The Navigator must also ask for directions
out the window.
It is also the responsibility of the passenger who has shotgun to take
control of the radio and air conditioning, however the driver has final
say over the settings. The other occupants of the car can also have
an opinion. If the passenger with shotgun is caught forgetting their
duties and makes the car listen to commercials and/or bad music, then
his privilege can be lost. Of course, this is all in good judgement
of the driver. As Navigator, the driver may also ask him to operate
other devices such as the windshield wipers, and rear window defroster.
It is also the job of the Navigator throw all trash and empty beer bottles
out of the window. The beer bottles must be crushed under the tires
to destroy all evidence, in case of an emergency situation.
In addition, the Navigator must possess the ability and the will to
insult other drivers and be heard, only if they deserve it (ie: being
cut off). This is to allow the driver to continue to operate the vehicle
The Navigator must possess the ability (and the will) to roll down their
window and invite any chicks in adjacent cars to the driver's destination.
This rule from the mid-west states that whoever draws blood (supposedly
when the Survival of the Fittest rules are in effect) gets shoved in
the back of the hatchback (or trunk) with the spare tire.
Amendment IX: Australian
Originally from Australia, if two people tie for shotgun, then the first
person to put their thumb on their head is awarded shotgun. If they
both do this at the same time, then an immediate pissbolt (race) to
the car is required.
Five Minute Rule
This rule, which originated in Massachusetts, states that in the event
that the passenger riding shotgun leaves the car (ie: to get something
from his house or a convenient store) is allowed 5 minutes in which
to return and still retain his shotgun privilege. If he does not return
within the time frame allotted, another passenger may take his place.
There are other variations to this rule such as the "Two Hour Rule,"
but these usually result in the shotgunner geting beaten up by the other
Once all passengers have exited through the final doorway on the way
to the car, (provided the car is in view), they are considered outside
and may call shotgun no matter what covering is overhead. This rule
applies to all awnings, covered decks and all outdoor shelters. Garages
are considered outside so long as the door is open.
This rule alters Amendment VI, where the caller of "Bitch"
gains the center back seat. Comm is replaced with "Spanky 2,"
referring to the seat behind Shotgun.
In addition to Amendment VII, if the car needs refueling at any time,
it is the duty of the Shotgunner to gas up the car and pay (though usually
with money given by the driver).
If there is a tie when calling shotgun, the first person who touches
the car wins.
If the driver gets confused or annoyed with chaotic rules arguments,
he may shout "Ozzie Pissbolt," suggesting that the first person
to touch the car is awarded shotgun.
If the car is not within sight of the driver, and significantly far
away, so that the proposed walk to the vehicle is neither linear nor
within five minutes, the initiating party may call "Jedi Run"
after a successful shotgun call (vehicle visibility is not required
for this success). She must then beat all other opponents to the vehicle.
In order to secure shotgun, the initiating party must not be out of
breath or tired by the time the rest of the troupe arrives. This overrides
any other countermeasures for shotgun if executed before they come into
This amendment adds additional aliases.
Shotgun may also be called under the following aliases: Gun, Shogun,
Catgut, and Shotty. Bitch (as in, behind shotgun) may also be called
under the following aliases: Rightsies and On-The-Rightsies SAM may
also be called under the following aliases: Turrets
In addition to Amendment XVII, anyone who wants to be duct-taped to
the roof calls "Mir!" If a trunk is present in the vehicle,
then this "seat" will hereby be recognized as "Ex-Wife."
The Recall Rule
Once a passenger has called shotgun, another passenger may call "Recall
Shotgun," thereby overriding the shotgun call and claiming shotgun
for themselves. In order for this not to happen the first passenger
must call "Shotgun, No Recall." This rule is similar to the
"No Blitz" call.
If the original caller of shotgun lost their seat to some countermeasure,
the initial caller may shout "Same Seatsies" to regain their
right to shotgun. In addition, "Double Barrel" and "Laser"
may be followed by "No Blitz," so that the original caller
cannot regain their shotgun right. "No Blitz" and "Same
Seatsies" are synonymous with "No Recall" and "Recall
In such a case where any present shotgun rules still causes confusion
between two individuals, they may duel for the honor of Shotgun. This
duel takes the form of one (and only one) round of traditional "paper,
rock, scissor." Alternatively, this may be replaced by one (and
only one) round of "odds or evens."
Chinese Sneak Attack
In the event that someone manages to touch the car's handle, and/or
is in the car before anyone called shotgun, then they immediately receive
the shotgun priviledge. However, this amendment does not apply to someone
who ran to the vehicle in question in order to do so.
In the event that the front passenger seat in the car is extremely uncomfortable
(i.e. has a big hole in it), the passenger who called Shotgun must sit
in that seat. The other passengers may ridicule him as they wish.
Amendment XXIV: Smoking
In the event that smoking is allowed in said vehicle, smoking passengers
are given consideration over non-smokers in order that they may utilize
either the window or ashtray.
In the event that there is more than one smoking passenger, the passenger
that has already lit-up has Shotgun privilege over those who are not
already engaged in the act of smoking.
In the event that more than one smoker is already smoking while on the
way to the vehicle, the driver may enforce The Survival of the Fittest
Rules or First Blood Rule. This however, is not recommended do to the
high risk factor to the vehicle in question. As stated in Section I
Article 8 of the Constitution, the driver has all final say in disputes
If a passenger is "just along for the ride," then they must
sit in the back seat (or worst seat, if the car is otherwise full),
because the ride is not for them.
This rule from Delaware states that if a given passenger calls a valid
"shotgun", then he or she may not say "shotgun"
again. By calling "shotgun" a second time, he or she would
automatically forfeit their seat and shotgun is reopened to the other
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally
says "shotgun" into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun
In the event that the car is about to pass an abandoned case of beer,
pornography, or any other form of contraband that the passengers might
find useful in some way or another, it is the responsibility of the
passenger riding shotgun to open his door and scoop up the said beer,
pornography or contraband, while the car is still in motion.
Additionally, if the car is moving at a speed above 15 M.P.H. (24 km/h)
the passenger riding shotgun may decline to do so.
This rule states that once Shotgun has been called by one of the passengers,
the remaining passengers may call, "No Bitch." The passenger
who calls "No Bitch" last, or fails to call it at all, is
forced to ride bitch.
No Chauffeur / Compulsory Shotgun
In the event that there are fewer passengers than capacity would allow,
there must always be a passenger riding shotgun. This would include
a couple. This is to prevent the driver from feeling ditched, or like
In the instance that one of the passengers is much older than the rest
of the passengers, he/she is automatically given Shotgun unless they
This rule native to Myrtle Beach and Charleston, SC, states that once
a passenger has called Shotgun, another passenger may call "10
Foot Rule." In this case, there would be an immediate race for
the car. The first passenger to come within 10 feet of the car is awarded
This rule from Central NC states that if a passenger has shotgun on
a trip, and then calls shotgun for the return trip, any passenger may
call, "Double Shotgun Backfire," to prevent a single passenger
from dominating the front seat.
When crossing the border into another country. All shotgun claims are
void, and passengers may once again call shotgun. If another passenger
gets it, the driver must pull over at his earliest and safest convenience.
A passenger may only receive shotgun if he says shotgun within the context
of calling shotgun. For instance, a passenger may not be awarded shotgun
if he says, "Did anybody call shotgun?," or if he/she was
talking about a shotgun.
If you reside in a non-English-speaking locale, Shotgun must be called
by its native word. For instance, in Sweden, the word "Hagelbossa"
must be pronounced, while in Germany, "Schrotflinte."
Shotgun may be called in any language the driver is fluent in. "Fluent"
is described here as being proficient enough in a language to understand
Order of preference rewards the language closest to the native language
of the locale in which Shotgun is called. For instance, if the call
is made is Sweden, and the only calls were "Schrotflinte"
and "Escopeta" (Spanish), respectively, the seat will be given
to the second caller, as German is closer-related to Swedish than Spanish
The Eviction Notice
Particularly crafty individuals may override a yet-to-be-made Shotgun
call by leaving a note, clearly visible on the passenger-side door,
with the word "Shotgun" written legibly on it, following the
author's name. So long as no Shotgun call was made before the message
was seen, the writer of the message is awarded Shotgun.
Other calls relating to Shotgun may also be made in similar manner,
including such calls as "No Blitz", "Laser", etc.
The execution of the written "call" goes into effect as soon
as someone has seen the writing. Calls made prior to this override the
Local to Toronto, ON (Canada), this rule is relevant if there are five
passengers in a car that has only four seats. After a successful Shotgun
call is made, the remaining passengers may call "No Hump"
to avoid sitting on the hump between the two back seats. The individual
failing to make the call, or the last person to make the call, must
sit on the uncomfortable, ball-breaking hump. This is a much-feared
"seat" to Camaro and Firebird passengers.
An addition to Amendment XXX, it is the duty of the Shotgunner to spot
all speed cameras and police cars that could pose a threat to the driver
and car. If the vehicle is stopped because the Shotgunner failed in
his duties, he may be banned from riding Shotgun for a period of time
dictated by the driver.
If the Shotgun caller attempts to open the car door as it is being unlocked
(thus causing it to stay locked), he immediately loses Shotgun priviliges
for the upcoming ride, and a new round of calling Shotgun must be executed.
In the case that there is more than one eligible car to make a trip,
the owners of their respective vehicles may not want to drive. In these
cases, they may force their colleagues to waste gas by proclaiming,
"Shot Not". A successful call will not only save them gas,
but will award them shotgun in another vehicle.
If there are more than two vehicles that can be driven, "Shot Not"
can be followed by the name of the car's owner who the caller wants
to have Shotgun in.
If "Shot Not" was called, but the car in which preference
was called for has already had a successful Shotgun call, the individual
still need not drive, so long as there are other potential vehicles
whose drivers did not make successful "Shot Not" calls.
Once non-drivers have been eliminated with successful "Shot Not"
calls, all non-Shotgun riding passengers may choose seats in the typical
manner (ie "Bitch", "Comm", etc.) followed by the
driver's name of the car they wish to travel in. A passenger is not
guaranteed a particular seat in a vehicle unless the seat specified
and the car specified is legal (ie, it has not yet been called).
"Shot Not" may be called under the aliases of "Shot No
Drive", "Shotgun Not Drive", and "Shotgun No Drive".
For efficiency-sake, "Shot Not" cannot be overriden with rules
such as "Laser".
This happens when multiple groups of people are meeting at one car,
and both groups had someone claim Shotgun. If it can not be determined
who made the call first, the dispute is settled with Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Section II, Article 3 of the Constitution states that , "In the
instance the driver's spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute for
the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically
given Shotgun, unless they decline." In addition, serious Boy/Girl
friends should also receive preferential treatment in regards to shotgun.
The Couples Rule
In the event that a couple is traveling together, they must both sit
together in either the front or back seat. This is so that people without
boy/girlfriends, spouses, lovers, or prostitutes, can talk amongst themselves
in the hope of acquiring boy/girlfriends, spouses, lovers, or prostitutes.
This rule however is null and void if the The No Chauffeur / Compulsory
Shotgun Rule is in effect.
If you have called Shotgun and are waiting for the doors to be unlocked,
you are not allowed to lift the handle during the unlocking, causing
the other doors to remain locked. This voids your right to Shotgun.
If the Shotgun occupant leaves the vehicle (even if they plan to come
back), the Shotgun seat is up for grabs. One exception is if the Shotgun
rider leaves to do a deed for the driver, like buying cigarettes or
pumping gas. In those cases, that person retains their Shotgun rights.
Section II, Article 6 states that preferential shotgun treatment may
be offered to anyone "too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the
back seat". Preferential treatment should be awarded to the handicapped
as well as to these genetic misfits, especially if the injury prevents
them from achieving maximum leg room, maneuverability, etc. (as might
be the case with a broken leg, foot, etc.) Unlike with Section II, Article
6, however, the handicapped are not to be taunted as with the genetic
misfits if not awarded shotgun. Otherwise, taunting is okay.
The Bribery Amendment
In the event that the shotgun call ends up in a tie between two passengers,
the passengers in the tie may attempt to bribe the driver so that the
driver makes the call in their favor. This rule is null and void, however
if the driver institutes the Survival of the Fittest Rules. Examples
of bribes are money, food and soda.
The Full View Amendment
The automobile must be in full view of all passengers before "Shotgun"
may be called.
The Second Call Amendment
If a given passenger calls a valid "shotgun", then he or she
may not say "shotgun" again. By calling "shotgun"
a second time, he or she would automatically forfeit their seat and
shotgun is reopened to the other passengers.
Other passengers are allowed to try to trick the person who originally
says "shotgun" into saying it again, in order to claim shotgun
Whenever you break a Shotgun rule, you may be voided from receiving
Shotgun privileges for that ride.
The rules listed in our guide were created for short trips (1 hour or
less). On longer trips, Shotgun can be divided equally among those who
The Rock Amendment
This rule states that once a passenger calls "Shotgun," he
must also say, "No Rock." If the gunner does not say this,
another passenger may call, "Rock." In this case Shotgun is
awarded to the winner of a best of three, Rock, Paper, Scissors contest.
The Rotating Shotgun Rule
This rule is native to a suburb of Philadelphia, PA to ensure
that everybody gets shotgun at least once per long road trip.
Before the first ride a passenger will call shotgun under the
normal procedures, as stated in Section I of the Official Rules.
Once a passenger has had shotgun, he or she may not have shotgun
again until everyone else has had shotgun.
Before the second ride, everyone (besides the person who has
already had shotgun) competes for shotgun under the normal conditions.
This continues until the trip has either ended or if everyone
has already had shotgun once.
Once everyone has had shotgun, the "shotgun order" has been
established. You must now rotate in that order.
The shotgun order recycles over and over until the trip is finished.
Person(s) joining the trip after the first ride are entered into
the order by the following process:
----Clause A: On their first ride, the calling of gun is between
that person and the person whose turn it is in the shotgun order.
----Clause B: if the order has not yet been established, the new rider
is entered into the pool of riders calling for shotgun.
Driver still has final say in all ties and disputes. All rules
from the Official rules, including special cases, and the Survival of
the Fittest, are still in effect.
The Barefoot Rule
Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will just grab
their shoes, run outside, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes
on. This is not valid. You must have your shoes on (if you plan to wear
any) before you may call Shotgun.
Amendment II: Re-entry
If you call Shotgun and then go back inside the building, you lose your
Shotgun rights. While you are gone, someone else can call shotgun. If
nobody does, you can call it when you go back.
Hand On The Shotgun Door
Shotgun can no longer be called once someone's hand is holding the shotgun
door handle. This is significant when nobody else is around to hear
you call shotgun.
LVI: Sitting Down
By sitting in the Shotgun seat before anyone has called it, you get
to stay there even if somebody calls it afterwards. Nobody needs to
hear you actually call shotgun.