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15 Rules for Calling Shotgun

15 Rules for Calling Shotgun

How to settle who gets the passenger’s seat in a car.

Are you tired of having fights with your friends every time you go to the movies or out for dinner on who gets to sit next to the driver? Believe it or not there are over fifty semi strict and/or goofy rules that determine who gets to sit in the shotgun seat. All these rules are considered to be in effect, however the driver has the final say and can void all shotgun calls under his discretion.

  1. The first person to yell “SHOTGUN” gets to ride in the front seat.
  2. The shotgun caller must be in within clear sight of the car, and the driver must be able to hear the shotgun call.
  3. Shotgun cannot be called until both you and the driver are outside any building you may be leaving.
  4. You cannot call shotgun once somebody has previously called it for the ride. First person to call it gets it.
  5. If you are picked up first to be picked up you automatically keep it for the rest of the ride.
  6. When there is a tie amongst the shotgun callers, there is a foot race to the passenger side door of the vehicle but it is only for the people who are involved in the tie.
  7. Shotgun cannot be called in advance, for example while you’re in the car or at your destination you cannot call the return trip until the other rules permit.
  8. Once shotgun has been called the driver has the option to reload. A driver can use this to void all previous shotgun calls. It is especially useful in the event the driver doesn’t like the person that won the call. Keep in mind, a shotgun only hold two shots.
  9. If there are multiple passengers then after shotgun has been called you can effectively call back left, back right ect. Essentially this leaves the slowest person with the middle seat.
  10. If the owner of the car is drunk or for some other reason chooses not to drive, then he/she is automatically given shotgun.
  11. Shotgun overrules “baggsies”, “dibbs”, “calling” it and any other slang version of the official calling of shotgun.
  12. If the rightful caller of shotgun pulls the door too soon and jams the lock requiring the driver to unlock it again they forfeit all rights to shotgun.
  13. However a driver’s girlfriend/boyfriend is not required to call shotgun.
  14. Women do not automatically get shotgun, as men and women are created equal.
  15. When riding in a two or three door car, it is the responsibility of the shotgun caller to allow them to crawl in on their side, and open any door that is not able to be opened by the passengers in the back.

Like I said there are tons of different rules for calling shotgun, but these were the ones I found to be the most commonly known, and most basic needed to understand the calling of shotgun. There are also a few I don’t agree with such as the person sitting shotgun receives a speeding ticket if they fail to spot a police car. I omitted the ones I thought to be unfair or just plain stupid. Any funny stories out there about a shotgun call?

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22 Responses and Counting...

  1. Lucy Lockett

    January 16, 2008

    There are far more important issues in this world!

  2. Alexa Gates

    January 16, 2008

    i will keep these in mind :0

  3. Joe Poniatowski

    January 16, 2008

    Great – I’m giving this list to my kids, who are forever arguing about this.

  4. Judy Sheldon-Walker

    January 16, 2008

    I agree with Joe, my kids and my grandkids argued over this one, so I would arbitrarily assign the seat to take turns evenly. I agree with Jared, how could a passenger be blamed for a driver not obeying the law?

  5. koyin

    January 16, 2008

    Great list, I already new most of them, but some of them are new,
    Shotgun usually ends up in more of a fight so hopefully this helps.


  6. liza5

    January 16, 2008

    I think women should get shotgun automatically just like men automatically assumes that they are the drivers? LOL x We might have been created equally but it seems we have made our own rules during the centuries…

  7. R.B. Parsley

    January 16, 2008

    Great rules! I wish I’d had this list of rules for riding shotgun when I was in my teens!!!I don’t know about where you live, but in my teens the drivers girlfriend automatically got the shotgun seat,
    which was a good idea for the simple fact that if the girlfriend rode shotgun that meant everyone in the car got where they were going safely. In other words the driver didn’t have to worry about kissing his girlfriend in the back seat while going down the highway at sixty miles an hour. Fantastic article Jared. You write about the oddities I like to read about. Keep up the great work bud! Randy

  8. IcyCucky

    January 16, 2008

    I am with Lucy on this issue!

  9. mindleak

    January 16, 2008

    For those of you that say there are “far more important issues in this world” … shouldn’t you be doing something other than surfing the internet then? Shouldn’t you be out adopting troubled children or feeding the homeless? I mean, come on, do we really need you to tell us that?

    Anyhow, related to the story… I’m always the driver whenever I go places with people… so I’ll be printing out pamphlets to hand out to my passengers from now on since there’s always an argument for shotgun. Thanks for the article! :)

  10. Liane Schmidt

    January 16, 2008

    This is hilarious Jared – GREAT work! And a StumbleUpon thumbs up for sure!

    Best wishes.


    -Liane Schmidt.

  11. Siddhou

    January 16, 2008

    I agree that the girl/boyfriend of the driver automatically gets shotgun. Also, if one of the passengers is significantly taller than the others, s/he should get precedence because cramming him/her into the backseat would be uncomfortable for others.

  12. Nelson Doyle

    January 16, 2008

    Cool article. I usually make both shotgun callers sit in the backseat if they call shotgun at the same time. It’s my car, so I can change the rules, so to keep those shotgun callers on their game.

    Nelson Doyle

  13. MU

    January 16, 2008

    I figured all these rules were common knowledge.

    I remember one time my friend called shotgun, no blitz, no Mary Witherspoons, trying to think of Rosa Parks’ name.

  14. Anne Lyken-Garner

    January 16, 2008

    Jared, I missed this first time round, but it is really funny and very well written. Quite original thinking too. Great article!

  15. Chris

    January 16, 2008

    hey, i made a word document of this to put in my car, haha – if you want me to send it to you email me wecoruscate[at]gmail[dot]com

  16. Chloe C

    January 16, 2008

    —yeah im only 15 but i try to ride up front and i cant because of my little brother who’s always calling it so yeah i am for def. going to point this out and give it to him and then yo usee where he’ll be sitting from now on out!

    —oh and there was a rule called the blitz rule like in football…you call blitz and the calling is redone but only if the person calling shotgun did’nt sat shotgun no blitz…

  17. sue

    January 16, 2008

    a shotgun having two shots is irrelevant and some shotguns have only one shot the term riding shotgun comes from the days before cars particularly the old west when the person riding up front with the driver carried the shotgun for protection

  18. Rod Tront

    January 16, 2008

    Amazing, found your page on digg.Glad I finally tried it out. Unsure if its my Safari browser,but sometimes when I visit your site, the fonts are really tiny? However, love your page and will be back.See Ya

  19. Chantal Knall

    January 16, 2008

    Hi nice job on the website really eye catching

  20. neli griffin

    January 16, 2008

    i like number 8.”It is especially useful in the event the driver doesn’t like the person that won the call. Keep in mind, a shotgun only hold two shots.”

  21. Pirate Gets Auto Shotgun

    January 16, 2008

    if you are dressed as a pirate you get automatic shotgun that is a real rule it came in effect when I went to a fancy dress party as a pirate and got auto shotgun BOTH RIDES! Btw driver can’t void a shotgun or shotgun has no effect u fool

  22. mandie

    January 16, 2008

    pete your still not gettin the front seat
    you can call shotgun as many times as you like mr :)

    the front seat is miiiiiiiiiiiiiine al miiiiiine

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