Mike Stevens | May 4, 2009

‘Shotgun’. Once upon a time, back in the horse and cart days, it was the responsibility of the person 'riding shotgun' to fend off would-be robbers and other unfriendly sorts.

Over time, with the introduction of automobiles, the ‘shotgun’ role moved to the passenger seat of both police and criminal vehicles, as the crooks fought it out with Johnny Law.

Nowadays, ‘shotgun’ has evolved into its most vicious incarnation yet: the battle for the rights to the front passenger seat.

Of course, everybody has their own rules on just how ‘shotgun’ is called, and it usually falls to the driver to decide.

Initially, the rule was simple: when it was decided the group would be taking a trip, the first to call ‘shotgun’ would sit up front.

Over the years, thousands of permutations and ‘bylaws’ have appeared. Some standout rules include: "shotgun!" can only be called on direct route to the car with the car in plain sight, the driver gets veto (in case of significant other), and my personal favourite: physical challenge, where the contenders must literally fight it out.

The guys at FunnyOrDie.com have put together a 15 minute video, running through the legend and history of ‘shotgun’ and the way different groups view the process. Check it out below.

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