Back in 2001, a medium-sized action blockbuster called The Fast and the Furious was released.

20 years later, we have now been gifted with the tenth film in the franchise which has become one of the most lucrative and ludicrous film series ever.

The original film starring Paul Walker and Vin Diesel was inspired by an article in Vibe magazine about the illegal underground street racing circuit in New York City.

Nowadays, if were to tell someone who had only seen the most recent handful of these films that its humble origins were about people racing fast cars through city streets then they might not believe you.

The franchise as a whole has morphed into the biggest action series on the planet featuring undercover secret agents, assassins, elaborate heists, cyberterrorists, cybernetic super villains and even Helen Mirren.

However, despite the preposterous storylines things only manage to get more ridiculous with the many stunts and set-pieces that have been crammed into these films which often beggar belief.

So in honour of the ninth film in the franchise (not including spin-offs) – F9: The Fast Saga (which apparently features supercharged magnets) – we’ve decided to look back at the most absurd stunts from the Fast and the Furious films so far and tried to determine what would actually happen if someone tried them in real life.

Launching a car off a ramp onto a yacht (2 Fast 2 Furious, 2003)

As we’ve already mentioned the first film is a fairly believable thriller and the stunts are nothing out of the ordinary. However, it didn’t take long for the franchise to enter the realms of physics-defying jumps and murky FBI deals, as seen in the second film's finale where Paul Walker’s Brian races against a yacht and manages to land on it, thanks to a conveniently placed ramp, causing not as much damage as you would expect.

What would probably happen IRL:

We doubt a car that size unless significantly lightened and perhaps only carrying one person, would actually make this jump. In addition, much more the yacht would probably be ruined and everyone on board either dead or injured. The yacht might also sink.

Gas tanker heist (Fast & Furious, 2009)

After a brief return to strict street racing in the third film Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the fourth film was a clear indication of where the series would be going. The opening scene of the confusingly titled Fast & Furious features the gang steals a moving gas tanker using heavily modified vehicles, a lot of which are driving in reverse. The climax features Michelle Rodriguez having to jump from the out of control tanker and Vin Diesel catching her all while he is driving backwards at an incredible speed.

What would probably happen IRL:

Someone would definitely die. Rodriguez would definitely have dislocated her arm even if she had made the jump. There is no way that someone who is not a stunt driver can drive that fast and in a straight line backwards and the amount of gas spilt might cause a minor ecological disaster.

The bank vault heist (Fast Five, 2011)

By this stage, heists are F&F’s bread and butter and you know things are only going to increase in ridiculousness with The Rock joining the cast. The big set-piece in this film involves Paul Walker and Vin Diesel literally stealing an entire bank vault that they tow behind them in separate cars.

What would probably happen IRL:

First off we doubt two cars would be able to even move a vault of that size, let alone tow it behind them without completely tearing the vehicles in two. Secondly, it is an absolute miracle that no pedestrians or innocent bystanders aren’t killed which looks to be more of an inevitability rather than a risk.

Jumping off a tank and being caught mid-air (Fast & Furious 6, 2013)

By the sixth film, the gang are now fighting tanks, a far cry from the drag races they were taking part in just five films previous. The climax to the tank chase involves Vin Diesel jumping from a car that has just collided into a barricade to catch Michelle Rodriguez who has just been flung from the tank. We would try and describe how all this happened but quite honestly we don’t know how to put it into words that would make sense.

What would probably happen IRL:

Easily the stunt in the entire fans that literally defies science. There is probably a one in a million chance that this would work and result in zero injuries. Both Diesel and Rodriguez might break several major bones in their body and could also do significant internal damage too.

Driving cars out the back of a plane (Furious 7, 2015)

It was inevitable that F&F would find a way to make cars fly, except this isn’t something elegant like Blade Runner. Here, we have cars falling through the sky after driving out of the back of a cargo plane. It literally makes no sense at all but does suggest that parachutes would work on vehicles.

What would probably happen IRL:

We honestly don’t know. The cars would probably survive the initial drop (after all Elon Musk did send his car into space) but we aren’t sure about the landing or if there are any parachutes that strong. Also, we aren’t sure if GPS actually works like that.

Jumping from one skyscraper to another...twice (Furious 7, 2015)

In another spectacular scene from the seventh film, Vin Diesel manages to launch a supercar from one skyscraper to another in Abu Dhabi with relative ease despite being hit by a grenade on the way down. Realising his breaks aren’t working upon landing, he then has to do the jump again to a third skyscraper.

What would probably happen IRL:

We actually quite like this one, as it seems somewhat plausible. Of course, the car would need to be significantly lighter and there would probably have to be a ramp or two but we could see a stunt driver pulling this off with ease as long as someone isn’t firing at them with a machine gun.

Submarine chase (The Fate of the Furious, 2017)

The eighth film sees a major plot twist as for...reasons Vin Diesel is now a bad guy. Anyway, synopsis aside the final scene involves a massive battle on a frozen lake where the gang have to take on a gigantic submarine complete with missiles which they manage to dispose of relatively easy.

What would probably happen IRL:

It might just be us or at this point is F&F’s losing its touch as this seems fairly possible. A car versus an enormous submarine sounds likes a mismatch but the way the scene plays out it would possibly work. That being said the huge amount of explosions beforehand would have probably caused the ice to break anyway so avoid all that and you are probably golden.

Holding on to a helicopter with bare hands (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, 2019)

Finally, we come to the first official spin-off of the franchise with Hobbs and Shaw, which focuses on The Rock and Jason Statham’s characters love-hate relationship. This film is much more in the suspend your imagination mould as it features Idris Elba as a Terminator-like bad guy. Anyway, the final scene literally involves Rocky literally grasping onto a chopper with his bare hands.

What would probably happen IRL:

We’ve seen this kind of thing before in Marvel films but those are superheroes with fictional powers. Here we have The Rock, who is a slightly above average guy but still human nonetheless. We can only imagine what would happen to his arms in this situation. Needless to say it wouldn’t be pretty.

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