It bothers me, all of it. Why isn't Edward Norton's character driving during the car crash scene in Fight Club? How is he then pulled out by Tyler? How does that work?

  • 18
    Aren't we were seeing it as Norton remembered it, not as it actually happened? He's a perfect example of an unreliable narrator.
    – Geobits
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 17:24
  • What does that mean? There wasn't a car crash? o.O
    – evil
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 17:34
  • 2
    @Geobits you should submit that as an answer.
    – Ben Plont
    Commented Mar 15, 2015 at 18:48

3 Answers 3


Most of the time, Jack (the Narrator played by Edward Norton) is in control of his body—sometimes without Tyler and other times with Tyler at his side. In these instances, any action that Tyler performs is actually taken by Jack. For example, the Narrator actually pours the lye onto his own hand.

But in the car crash scene, even though Jack's body was driving the car, Tyler was in control of it while Jack imagined himself sitting in the passenger seat. This is explained when Jack finally learns the truth in the motel room.

Tyler: Sometimes you're still you. Other times you imagine yourself watching me. (movie)

Normally, Tyler takes control of Jack's body when Jack falls asleep.

Tyler: But, when you fall asleep, I do things without you. I go places without you. Get things done. (script)

But Tyler also takes control at times when Jack is awake. The movie shows two brief flashbacks where Jack is acting as Tyler: when he threatens Commissioner Jacobs in the banquet bathroom and when he lays out the rules to Fight Club in the basement of Lou's bar. In these instances, Jack is still conscious and imagines that he's watching Tyler from afar.

Finally, for proof you need look no further than the crash itself. After the car comes to a rest upside down, Tyler climbs out of the passenger side window and pulls Jack from the driver side window.

  • Regarding the last paragraph: But then who pulled out Cornelius/Travis/Rupert/Jack/Narrator from the car? Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 8:40
  • @AryanSonwatikar Jack pulled himself out of the car since Tyler isn't real. You can see him move and push with his legs. He only imagines that Tyler pulls him free. I suspect their positions are reversed after the crash because Jack is starting to see what's really happening. Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 17:23

All of these scenes are in Jack's mind. The only real scenes are jack at work the rest are created by Jack to facilitate interaction between his multuple personalities. Please return your seats to their full upright and locked position. ALL of the characters in the fight club, project Mayhem etc. are he various personalities of Jack and the movie is about the struglle for power amongst them. Tyler is seeking to subdue and control all whilst Jack is looking for 'inner peace'. CCTV is hiw Jack, the narrator imagines it would look when he discovers Tyler is not a physical person. It is atill within the world he created in his mind. Which brings us to the car scene, a scene in Jack's mind not reality. It is therefore not subject to normal physical constraints. It is simply a physical representation of the struggle between the various personalities described by one of those personalities in physical terms.


It cannot be explained - a better example is the scene where Tyler Durden drags Edward Norton towards a staircase and hurls him down the steps.

The CCTV camera displays clear footage of Norton conducting impossible manoeuvres at numerous points.

It would be physically impossible for a man to hold his own collar and drag his own torso along a floor. Tyler also stamps the Narrator's ankle whilst the narrator is in a prone position which is another impossibility.

You can see it in this clip at 1.25 to 1.29.

  • 3
    All the CCTV images show only the Narrator. In that particular case it shows Edward Norton pushing himself along with his feet while holding his own collar. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 14:26

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