Rules of Shotgun2018-06-19T11:29:21+00:00

The Official Rules for Calling Shotgun

The following are the official rules for calling shotgun, riding in the front seat of a vehicle, that has been created over many years. The ritual of calling Shotgun is designed with the ideals of fairness in mind, allowing all potential occupants of a vehicle to call dibs on the front seat, fairly. With our community’s help, these rules are the most complete and comprehensive Shotgun rules available today.

Sitting Shotgun does come with responsibilities and should not be taken lightly.

Most rules and responsibilities have intricate details that will help you better serve in your role as shotgunner. Be sure to read each rule thoroughly on each rule’s individual page.

Can’t find a rule? Maybe it is Utterly BS and your friends are liars. Maybe you need one of our shotgun sheriffs to help moderate your call. We are here to help! Enjoy your ride in the front seat and never get stuck riding bitch again.

1. Standard Rules

Must say the word Shotgun

1.1 You Must Say The Word “Shotgun”

You must say the word “Shotgun” to stake your claim on Shotgun. This must be done clearly and loud enough so that at least one other to-be occupant of the vehicle can hear you. MORE…

The Deed Must Be Done

1.2 The Deed Must Be Done Before Shotgun May Be Called

For these rules to work properly, it is essential that you understand and accept the concept of the “Deed.” Shotgun may only be called after the “Deed is Done.” MORE…

You Must Be Outside To Call Shotgun

1.3 You Must Be Outside to Call Shotgun

If the Deed takes place indoors, the Deed is considered done after you have left the building in which the Deed took place. MORE…

The Shotgun Gaper

1.4 The Shotgun Gaper

Gapers (gey-pers) are people who prioritize Shotgun much more than a normal human being. These people will alter their usual behavior and even undermine their own ethics in order to gain the rights to Shotgun. They do this through legal means, however – such as sprinting for an exit – and therefore they cannot be Voided. MORE…

No Voiding

1.5 Voiding

Whenever you break a Shotgun rule as stated in this guide, you may be “voided” from receiving Shotgun privileges for that ride. Although somewhat discretionary, voiding automatically applies if you call Shotgun while indoors, if you do not have your shoes on, or if you display any other blatant disregard for Shotgun protocol. MORE…


1.6 Duration

Shotgun may be called for one ride, one final destination where a deed is to be done. When your final destination is reached, Shotgun no longer belongs to the original caller and may be claimed again. MORE…

2. Ancillary Rules

Must have Footwear on

2.1 Footwear

Your footwear for the ride in Shotgun must be on your feet, before you can call Shotgun. Since you must be outside to call Shotgun, some people will simply grab their shoes/sandals, jump outside the building, and call Shotgun before putting their shoes on. This has been deemed Gaping, and is not a legal procedure. You must have your shoes on (if you choose to wear any) before you may call Shotgun. MORE…


2.2 Re-entry

If you call Shotgun verbally and then go back inside, or back to where the deed took play for some reason, you must re-call Shotgun after leaving the building. MORE…


2.3 When The Deed Is Outdoors

If the Deed takes place outdoors, which it often does, the completion of the Deed must be agreed upon when Shotgun is called. MORE…

Line Of Site

2.4 Line-Of-Sight

In the situation of the Deed being a hike or other outdoor activity, you may not call Shotgun until the automobile is within your sight. MORE…

Hand On Door

2.5 Hand On Door

Shotgun can no longer be called once someone’s hand is holding the shotgun door handle. This officially stakes their claim to Shotgun and calling it at this time is simply redundant. MORE…

Sit Down

2.6 Sit Down

If you manage to sit in Shotgun before anyone has called it, you keep the position even if someone else calls Shotgun after you are seated. MORE…


2.7 The Balk

If you lift the vehicle handle while the doors are being unlocked and therefore cause the Shotgun door to remain locked, then you are Voided for that ride. MORE…


2.8 Garages

If you enter a garage that is connected to a house or building without having to go outside, then you may call Shotgun as soon as you enter the garage, if the vehicle is in the garage. MORE…

Alternate Seats

2.9 Alternate Seats

Once the Shotgun seat has been called by someone, the other less prestigious seats in the car may be claimed using the same rules as calling Shotgun. Example: you can say “back-right” or “window”. MORE…


2.10 Convoys

In the situation where a group of people are traveling in multiple cars, you must specify which car you are calling Shotgun for. MORE…


2.11 Shotgun Abandonment

If the Shotgun rider exits the vehicle then Shotgun becomes available to the remaining passengers as soon as the existing Shotgun rider has opened the door to exit. Once Shotgun is available, you must call Shotgun before the other occupants. MORE…

No Seatbacks

2.12 No Seatback

A popular residential variation of the Shotgun ritual is to call “Seatback” when getting up from a prized seat on a couch to go grab an ice-cold beer or to drain a now-warm beer into the toilet. MORE…

No Reload

2.13 No Reload

No one can call “Reload”, “Blitz” or “Laser” to reset Shotgun at any time.

History: Some people include an undemocratic rule in their Shotgun practice whereby “Reload”, “Blitz” or “Laser” can be called, at which point a free-for-all to obtain Shotgun is initiated. MORE…

Shotgun Dictatorship

2.14 Shotgun Dictatorship

The driver of the vehicle governed by Shotgun Rules may not negate a valid Shotgun call for any reason. MORE…

The Mule

2.15 The Mule

If the current Shotgunner chooses to remain in the automobile while the other passengers accomplish their deed, they may retain full rights to Shotgun. Often times not everyone needs to go inside when completing menial Deeds. MORE…


2.16 Discrepancies

If a discrepancy occurs (and they commonly do) over who rightfully gets Shotgun, it shall be settled with a single game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. A common application of this procedure takes place after two people call Shotgun at the exact same time. MORE…

No Digital Shotgun Calls

2.17 No Digital Shotgun Calls

Shotgun may not be secured through any digital form, such as text message, email, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, IRC, AOL, or any other digital medium. You may not use any app to call shotgun. A shotgun caller must be present with the driver to call Shotgun. Exceptions include … MORE…

3. Exceptions

Although the Shotgun rules have been created with ultimate fairness in mind, there are situations where exceptions to the standard rules need to be implemented.

Love Mommy

3.1 I Love My Mommy

Moms automatically get shotgun, period. If you make your mom sit in the back seat, you are a evil person. MORE…


3.2 Hitchhikers

Hitchhikers cannot call Shotgun. They should be happy just to have a ride, and calling Shotgun in this situation is disrespectful. MORE…

The Giraffe

3.3 The Giraffe

If one of the riders of an automobile is extremely tall, your group of friends should consider granting that rider special Shotgun privileges. God has given this person a genetic gift/curse and forcing him in the back of a Subaru Justy or Mini Cooper could upset our world’s karmic balance. MORE…

Significant Others

3.4 Significant Others

If a significant other (SO) is included in the group of automobile passengers they automatically get Shotgun privileges, unless Mom is a passenger in the same car. SO’s relationship must be public to all other passengers in the vehicle to automatically receive this privilege. MORE…

Multiple Calls

3.5 Multiple Calls

Multiple calls or Duplicate Calls must be settled by playing a quick game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. MORE…

Owner Driver Switch