Paul Walker played many roles during his brief yet stellar Hollywood acting career, but the most notable and longest-running was that of Brian O’Conner. O'Conner debuted opposite Vin Diesel's Dominic Toretto in 2001's The Fast and the Furious, as a Los Angeles police officer-turned-undercover operative. An undeniable hero throughout the franchise, his struggle between friendship and duty was a constant source of tension that drove the plot.
Aside from Tokyo Drift, and the final film, which was produced following Walker’s passing in 2013, Brian is the only character to appear in every Fast and Furious film. Over the course of the franchise, fans watched Brian evolve from a rule-breaking undercover cop to an FBI agent and from an outlaw to a father. Eventually, Brian ended up settling down with long-time love interest, and the mother to his two children, Mia Toretto.
While Brian did finally retire, his years in the Fast and Furious crew led to some outlandish adventures. In fact, many were so outrageous that they bordered on surreal. This caused the characters to take on uncanny traits of their own. From a preternatural sense of his vehicle to having more lives than a cat, Brian was no exception to this rule.
Here are 20 of the strangest things in the Fast and Furious movies that left us scratching our heads about Paul Walker's best role, Brian O’Conner.
20 His Car Magically Heals Itself
In The Fast and the Furious, Brian’s debut into racing lost him a car but earned him respect. Driving harder than his Mitsubishi Eclipse could handle, he loses the passenger side floor panel onto the race track. Although there was plenty of sparking and scraping to prove the damage, Brian’s car seemed miraculously to heal itself. Either that or Dom didn’t mind his feet dangling through the footwell when Brian picked him up during the police chase. We knew Brian had some mad car-related skills, but we didn’t know mechanical wizardry was one of them. Maybe he’ll make the shortlist for the Hogwarts mechanics program.
19 His Food Choices Resemble That Of A Toddler
Brian’s goals in the first Fast and Furious movie are three-fold. First, resemble a real street-worthy racer. Next, infiltrate the ranks of an underground crime circuit stealing cars in LA. Lastly, impress a girl affiliated with the street gang he’s currently trying to invade.
One would assume all three of these objectives require authority, confidence, and a tough disposition. Despite this, he chooses to have the crusts cut off his sandwiches by Toretto’s sister. We get it, nobody likes crusts—or stereotypes. However, it’s probably best to just try to fit in and not draw attention to oneself while infiltrating a car-boosting operation.
18 He Jumps In And Out Of His Undercover Identity
Most undercover operations see police suspend their law enforcement identity for the duration of their assignment. In The Fast and the Furious, Brian breaks character several times to rejoin the force, the most notable of these being the arrest of Johnny Tran, during which he dons full SWAT gear for a raid. Breaking character increases the risk that an agent might get caught. This could force the shut-down of an entire operation and endanger the life of the agent. Fortunately, those who suspected Brian of being a narc were ignored by Toretto. Otherwise, it could have been a very short film.
17 The Collateral Damage He Causes Goes Undisciplined
Brian pledged to serve and protect with the LAPD, yet there were times he didn’t care about anyone but himself. For a trained police officer, the amount of collateral damage he and the crew caused was outrageous. In a real-life scenario, someone would have to answer for the destruction. Therefore, one head-scratcher throughout the franchise has been, "Who winds up paying for this and why do they keep hiring him to get the bad guy?" There must be a cleaner way of getting the job done without disassembling the city in the process. After all, Bond never seemed to make such a mess undercover.
16 He Trusts Mia With His Life
His implicit trust for Mia doesn’t go unnoticed throughout the first film. Not only is this a woman whose family is tied to crime but he’s lied to her throughout their entire relationship. Still, he trusts her enough to hand over the wheel of a car while racing down a highway. With Mia at the wheel, Brian leaps from the moving vehicle onto a big rig truck to which Vince is dangling. Mia manages to keep the car perfectly steady while Brian makes his mark, saving Vince. Some couples don’t trust each other enough to share social media passwords but Brian was willing to trust Mia with his life.
15 He Got Off Scot-Free After the Toretto Debacle
At the end of the first movie, Brian is still a cop—albeit not a very good one, considering he had one mission and failed. After inexplicably letting Dom go, it's assumed he’ll get in trouble, maybe even do time. However, in the beginning of the second movie, he’s suddenly a street racer with a reputation for winning. What, no prison time for hustling the police force or aiding and abetting a criminal? And everyone just accepts him into the racing fold, knowing he was an undercover cop? Something smells fishy here and it’s not just tuna with the crusts cut off.
14 He’s Considered Trustworthy Despite Going Rogue
In 2 Fast 2 Furious, Brian is invited to work with the FBI, which is questionable given his past “loyalty” to the badge. They send him undercover in Miami to bust a crime ring and give him permission to choose his own partner. Of course, the most sensible teammate for the mission isn’t an agent with previous undercover training. Oh, no, it’s Brian’s childhood friend turned enemy, Roman Pearce. His choice of companion also lacks pragmatism, considering Roman’s grudge against Brian for his previous incarceration. Fortunately, the two men manage to complete their mission—and save another undercover cop in the process.
13 His Nautical Parking Defies Gravity
In 2 Fast 2 Furious, a contention among fans has always been the boat scene. There are a few inaccuracies surrounding the boat. For one, this model is thought to reach max speed of around 40 mph. Despite this, Brian struggles to keep up while driving 120 mph in a car. When he finally does gain on the vessel, Brian bridges the distance by jumping the car onto the deck of the boat. It’s not the first or last time a car inexplicably acquires liftoff during the series. We must commend him on his parking job, though; not everybody can parallel park on a watercraft.
12 He's Got Superhuman Skills
In Fast and Furious, the fourth installment in the franchise, Brian displays superhuman skills. There must be something about sequels because the same thing seemed to happen to John McClane throughout the Die Hard films. Brian starts out an everyday beat cop, working his rounds in Los Angeles. By the fourth film, he’s jumping out second-floor windows and crashing through glass to tackle criminals. The scene in question sees Brian ascertain the crook in midair, landing roughly on a car parked below. Brian comes up completely unscathed and not even panting for breath despite the chase he’s just been on.
11 He Ditches The FBI To Free Dom…Again
You'd think Brian would learn from past actions but in Fast Five, history repeats itself and he goes rogue once more. Forgiven for his misdeeds, Brian earns a badge with the FBI in the fourth film but gets mixed up with the Toretto again. At the film’s conclusion, Dom has been sentenced to life in prison and is being transported to a correctional facility by bus. Fast Five opens with Brian, Mia, and the crew racing the prisoner transport bus to free Dom. Apparently Brian can’t seem to choose a career and stick with it. Oh well, riding the razor's edge sounds fun, right?
10 He Appears To Have Selective Psychic Abilities
Fast Five has some amazing stunts and engaging chase scenes. Among them is one that defies logic and leaves fans confused. While trying to escape Hernan Reyes and his men following the theft of a large vault, Brian’s car is hit with a microchip. This electric gadget sticks to the car near the front headlight where Brian couldn’t possibly see. Regardless, he manages to skid with his e-brake at the exact right angle to disengage the device without scratching the car. Too bad Brian didn’t use psychic power to know Letty was alive—that could have saved the crew some time.
9 Brian Has Way Too Much Good Luck
One of the most consistent traits Brian possesses is his sheer good luck. While rescuing Dom from the correctional bus in Fast Five, Brian has the bright idea of stopping in front of the driver, causing him to swerve and roll. The bus is going so fast, it rockets into a spin, bouncing and rolling down the highway at breakneck speed. Brian’s car sits mere inches from the vehicle as it catapults toward him and then, of course, bounces just over his car. Not surprisingly, nobody on the bus was injured but it's a good thing Brian has more lives than a cat.
8 He Never Takes The Easy Route
In the seventh film, Brian finds himself trapped in a bus careening toward the edge of a cliff. Teetering on the brink of danger, Brian decides the best plan of action is to climb out the door beneath him. The bus is on its side, putting this door directly above a thousand-foot drop. Of course, a wiser man might have climbed up the seats and pushed open the door above him, instead of dangling above certain doom. Fortunately, Brian’s inexplicable good luck rule applied to this bus scene, as well, and he managed to climb out and over the bus in the nick of time.
7 His Timing Is Too Perfect
There are certain scenes where Brian O’Conner seems to control time, like the bus dash in Furious 7. As the vehicle begins sliding over the cliff, Brian takes off at a run, having just maneuvered his way on top of it. He times it perfectly to jump just as he dashes off the bus. As the automobile plummets to the ground, Brian reaches out seemingly for nothing. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Letty speeds around the corner, drifting into view as he’s about to land. Brian grabs the spoiler on her car, pulling himself out of danger and saving his life. Nobody's timing is that perfect.
6 He Bends The Laws of Physics
It’s not just gravity-defying leaps that seem to come naturally to Brian; he also bends physics to his will. At least, this is how it appears in Fast Five when he leaps from a moving train onto a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Sting Ray. Hanging from the side of the locomotive, he jumps onto Dom’s car and instead of flying backward, as physics would suggest, he lands perfectly. The car then plummets over the edge of a cliff but this doesn’t faze the duo. Both men jump into the air, splashing into the water below and resurfacing unscathed after a fall of hundreds of feet.
5 He Just Won’t Settle Down
Fast and Furious 6 sees Brian and Mia safe at last with their baby boy, Jack. During a visit with Dom, Brian comments that he has it all, “right down to the beer and the barbecue.” Despite this, he seems unsettled and can’t let go of his previous action-packed life. When Dom receives news Letty might still be alive, Brian jumps at the chance to join him on yet another dangerous mission. Clearly, this isn’t a run-of-the-mill midlife crisis. More surprising than Brian’s inability to stay and protect his family is Mia’s insistence that he help her brother uncover the truth.
4 Brian Leaves His Family In Potential Danger To Chase Bad Guys
When a suspicious package arrives on Dom’s doorstep, Brian is once again drawn into the world of danger and intrigue. Thankfully, his family escapes without harm but rather than stay close and protect them, he takes off with Dom to investigate. Yes, Mia and Jack are sent somewhere safe but Brian chooses to leave without them. He doesn’t know who the bad guy is yet or what he wants. Loyalty is important, sure, but with a team as big as theirs, Dom was sure to find someone else to back him up in this instance. Once again, Brian unnecessarily chooses adventure over family life.
3 He Has Expert Level Parachuting Skills As A Novice
In Furious 7, the team takes stunt driving to a whole new level, dropping from a high-flying aircraft with parachutes strapped to their vehicles. A major point of contention for fans was the inaccuracy of such a stunt. Of course, Brian has no trouble navigating a falling car through the air, avoiding trees, and landing perfectly on the road below. With no lengthy training to perfect this feat, it’s unlikely he would have avoided all the foliage surrounding them. Unfortunately, Roman wasn’t so lucky and the crew left him circling above some trees while they went on with their mission.
2 He's Either A Secret Ninja Or Trained By Morpheus
In Furious 7, while trying to find the God’s Eye, Brian takes on a seriously skilled martial artist, played by Tony Jaa. Although Brian has been living life in the slow lane, working on his dad bod and relaxing with Mia, he somehow keeps up. Eventually, Brian is bested by his foe and the bad guy takes off, leaving him locked in a bus hurtling toward a cliff. Unless he somehow accessed the Matrix and speed-learned karate, it’s not likely Brian would have stood a chance in this fight. Then again, maybe he’s been taking some MMA classes at the Y with Dom.
1 The Retirement Storyline
Fans understand why Brian O’Conner couldn’t continue in the franchise without Paul Walker. However, the way he was written out was completely out of character for Brian. After all, he didn’t dodge danger after the birth of his first child. He couldn’t play the doting family man after receiving a full pardon and returning to the United States with Mia. Despite pleas from friends and family, he welcomed adventure at every turn, always ready for more. Considering the number of times Brian rejected retirement, his retirement just made no sense as a final plot point, no matter how desperate the film's writers were to nip his story in the bud.
Sources: Telegraph UK, IMDb, and E Online.