Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Question: This question is about the scene where John Candy is the driver, and Steve Martin is the passenger in the rented car. Steve is unaware at one point, that they are going the wrong way on the highway. He becomes aware, after looking out the window and down onto the shoulder of the road with the wet snow splashing up. As soon as he looks at that, he knows they are going the wrong way. What was it about the road that made him realize it?

Answer: The reason was that the snowbank was on his side (the passenger side) when it should have been on the driver's side if they were driving in the right direction. Also and I'm not sure if you could see this in the film but the deflecters on the road which separate the lanes if you are going in the right direction shine yellow and if you are going the wrong way shine red.

Tobin OReilly

Question: Del was able to get a rental due to having Neil's card. Then, how was Neil able to get a rental card that eventually got him left in the parking lot if he didn't have a card?

Answer: He had multiple cards. He shows the burnt remains when he tries to rent a room.

Brian Katcher

Question: Why is Del even homeless? I know he's a widower but that alone couldn't explain why he's homeless unless it's supposed to be some sort of cryptic answer like he couldn't live in his house without his wife.


Answer: He's not homeless, he has a house or an apartment somewhere, or lives out of hotels. He just no longer has a 'home', ie, a place where he's happy and someone loves him.

Brian Katcher

Question: How does Neal pay for the train tickets after they have just been robbed at the motel? Remember that Gus switched credit cards when they checked in. (00:35:50)

Answer: Gus only switched only one credit card. Neal has other credit cards. After the car fire, Neal tries to use several cards to pay for a hotel room. By then, the cards were all burned, but getting the train tickets was before the fire.


Answer: Neal didn't pay for them. Del mentioned a friend of his who works for the railroad owed him a favor so it's assumed the ride was complementary from Del's friend.

Del asks Neil for his address, so he can pay for the train ticket, Neil replies, "It's a gift" There was no mention of what favour Del was owed by his railroad friend.

Del asks Neal for his address specifically to pay for the train tickets.

Answer: Of course it's also possible that Del's friend guaranteed he'd make sure seats would be available but maybe still said they would still have to be purchased and NOT complimentary. It's a movie so any storyline here is a possibility.

Question: What is the "discount credit card" that Del uses when checking-in at the motel? While Neal is paying, it looks like the staff switches his card for Neal's (Diner's Club), that Del later uses to pay for his car rental. However in the morning, once they realize they got robbed of their cash, Del says that he does not have any credit card (other than a Seven outlet one).


Chosen answer: In the film it was called "Oversighters Discount Club". It did have a similar logo as the Diner's Club logo (with an "O" instead of the "CD" design). However, this isn't a real life credit card or company. Although there are "discount" cards, usually through an employer, where various companies agree to give discounts if one uses that discount card.


Question: How did they pay for the booze and the snacks at the second hotel? Del doesn't have a lot of money and Neil spends most of his on the room.


Answer: It all came from the minibar in the room, which in those days (and, often, even today) didn't require payment in advance; it would be added to your bill when you check out. Since the hotel didn't have Neil's credit card or anything else to take payment, they could have just skipped out the next morning without paying for the snacks and drinks. (Another possibility, though remote, is that the snacks and drinks were complimentary...I have stayed in one or two hotels like that in the past, rare as they may have been).

Answer: Another possibility is that off-screen while travelling on the road (before the fire), drinks were bought at a store somewhere for the purpose of an overnight stay somewhere.

Question: What exactly did Del mean when he said he doesn't have a home? He doesn't look homeless.


Chosen answer: He means that, as a salesman, he's always traveling, rather than being based out of one particular city. There's a darker implication however: he's a widower and doesn't feel like he really has a home since he lost his wife.

Brian Katcher

Question: After getting on to the subway to go home, how did Neil Page have the wherewithal to return to the subway station to look for Dell?

Answer: The answer is shown in the film itself. Neil was having flashbacks about his moments with Del and his last thought shown was Del saying "I haven't been home in years." Neil suspected at that moment something was wrong with Del's situation so Neil went back to check on Del and he was right as Del admitted to him that he was homeless.

Question: How does Neil get into the shower without noticing the mess Dell left?

Answer: Del may have quickly put his mess in there while Neil was showering. After a long flight, and the travel to the hotel, Neil most likely showered an extra long time.

Continuity mistake: When John Candy is singing "The Mess Around" in the car, the car swerves, and a hubcap from the passenger side rolls off. The hubcap is back on in the next scene. (00:57:20 - 00:58:50)

More mistakes in Planes, Trains & Automobiles

State Trooper: What the hell are you driving here?
Del: We had a small fire last night, but we caught it in the nick of time.
State Trooper: Do you have any idea how fast you were going?
Del: Funny enough, I was just talking to my friend about that. Our speedometer has melted and as a result it's very hard to see with any degree of accuracy exactly how fast we were going.

More quotes from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Trivia: Just after Dell sells his shower curtain rings as earrings, he and Neal are eating lunch. Look between the two men and slightly out of focus, is a woman wearing Dell's curtain rings as earrings.

William Bergquist

More trivia for Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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