Punch buggy

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A 1972 Volkswagen Beetle
A 2012 Volkswagen Beetle

Punch buggy (also called punch bug, punch car, punch dub, piggy punch, slug bug, or beetle bug[1]) is a car game generally played by children in which participants punch each other on the arm upon first sight of the Volkswagen Beetle while calling out "Punch buggy!" or "Slug bug!" in reference to the Beetle's nickname, the Bug. The color of the Beetle is also sometimes stated[2] along with the comment, "No punch backs!"[3] “No punch backs” is used when playing with multiple players so that the person punched cannot take revenge on the person that punched them. This is only valid until the next player claims, “No punch backs.” Once a player makes a claim of, “No punch backs” all previous claims of, “No punch backs” are dissolved. Once a car has been spotted and called out it cannot be used by another player until it leaves line of sight or for five minutes, whichever is greater.


Most references about the game originate from unofficial sources and personal accounts from players. It apparently has existed since the Volkswagen's peak popularity in the 1960s.[4]

As part of the "Logan made Punch Dub" marketing campaign, Volkswagen made a game out of seeing VWs and punching friends.[5] This campaign, launched in 2009, claims that the game was started "over 50 years ago", though this is a humorous historical fiction created by the ad agency Deutsch Inc.[6]


A New Beetle "slug bug"

Some variations consider the 1998-2010 Beetle and 2011-2019 Beetle invalid for game purposes, but as older models become rarer, variations may choose to include the new Beetles. Others allow "classic" Beetles to count for two punches.[1]

In Brazil, a popular version of the game is played when a blue Volkswagen Beetle is seen. The first individual to notice it has to scream 'Fusca Azul', which stands for 'Blue Beetle', while others close their arms around their breasts and say 'Fechei' (I closed it), and the person who forgets or refuses to say 'Fechei' may have their arm punched as a punishment.[7]

One author suggests similar games with station wagons, convertibles, trucks and buses.[8]

See also[edit]

  • Car numberplate game – Game or solo challenge based on license plate observation
  • Padiddle – Car with a non-working light, or the game played thereof


  1. ^ a b Polk, Janet (2006). Rules for Playing Slug Bug and Punch Buggy. AuthorHouse. p. 17. ISBN 1-4259-0229-4.
  2. ^ Case, Steven L. (2003). Road Rules. Zondervan. pp. 114. ISBN 0-310-25100-1.
  3. ^ "Punch Buggy! (No Punch Backs!)". 2018.
  4. ^ "Bug: The Strange Mutations of the World's Most Famous Automobile". WNYC: New York Public Radio. 2007-03-28. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.
  5. ^ "Volkswagen - Punch Dub". Adage.com. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  6. ^ Punch Dub Campaign Press Release. "Volkswagen to Spotlight 'Punch Dub' Game in Super Bowl Ad, Online Campaign Touting Product Family". Volkswagen of America (press release).
  7. ^ "Fusca azul - A brincadeira que já deu o que falar, ou melhor, socar". r7.com. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  8. ^ Dazzo, Susan (2005). Mom's Guide to Being a Superhero. Fair Winds. p. 133. ISBN 1-59233-116-5.