Chick Hicks (also known as Thunder, or simply Chick) is the main antagonist of the 2006 Disney/Pixar animated film Cars and a minor neutral character/antagonist in its 2017 threequel. He is a racer who likes cheating. After winning the Piston Cup, Chick apparently lost his career.
Even to his own minions, Chick is extremely rude, arrogant, and self-centered, and winning like Lightning McQueen was at the start of the film; however, these traits are more exaggerated in Chick and often make him more ridiculous or obnoxious. Chick always brags about winning, and he's also sarcastic and intimidating. Having lived all his career in the shadow of the King has made him bitter and devoid of any sense of fair-play which resort to cheating his way into knocking other racers out of the race. He even purposely caused the King to crash, despite the fact that he was going to retire anyway.
Chick largely serves as a parallel to McQueen. They are both racers who dream of getting at Dinoco, which represents the peak of success. McQueen, however, learned to accept that helping others is more important than fame and fortune after choosing to help the King finish his last race. Chick, on the other hand (despite having won his first Piston Cup by cheating), failed to let his selfishness go and let his arrogance be his downfall. Chick serves as an example of what McQueen would have become if the latter had gone too caught up in his arrogance and desperation.
During the events of the third film, Chick Hicks still remains an unpleasant selfish bully. He mocks McQueen for being no match to Jackson Storm and once again shows that he let the anger and arrogance control his actions. He even brags to the audience about the Piston Cup he won and presents his trophy next to him, which also shows that he is still rude, even proclaiming himself as a Piston Cup winner and "Champion for all ages".
Hicks is in a three-way tie with the King and Lightning McQueen and is attempting to win the Piston Cup. His nickname is "The Runner-Up", as he seems to always lose to the King. He also has the reputation of not racing fairly:
"Chick Hicks is a racing veteran with a chip on his shoulder, a ruthless competitor who has cheated his way into more second-place finishes than any other car. He's been counting down the seasons to the King's retirement so that he can take over the coveted Dinoco sponsorship, but he never expected such fierce competition from hotshot rookie Lightning McQueen."
"In Lightning McQueen's worst nightmares not only does Chick Hicks win the Piston Cup, but he wins over Dinoco as well."
Chick's primary sponsor is the Hostile Takeover Bank (htB) and his car number is 86.
Chick ties with the King and Lightning in the Piston Cup championship, forcing the three racers to compete in a tiebreaker race. Chick later mocks McQueen on winning the Piston Cup and sponsorship of Dinoco. Lightning retaliates by nicknaming Chick "Thunder" due to that thunder always comes after lightning, much to Chick's intense annoyance. However, he later shows off with this new nickname after Lightning disappears in Radiator Springs, wooing his fans and stealing Lightning's catchphrase.
Chick makes numerous attempts to force Lightning out of the final race, such as mocking him, only to be outrun by him in spite of it. He intentionally sideswipes the King with the PIT Maneuver during the final lap, making him spin out of control and crash, even though it was the King's final race anyway. When Lightning sees what has happened to the King, he stops before crossing the finish line and goes back to help the King across the line. Although this allows Chick to win first place along with his 1st Piston Cup title (though for what he did to the King with his illegal move, he didn't deserve it), nobody cheers him on once he does because they're sick of his dirty tricks, and instead cheer on Lightning for helping the King.
As Chick gets on stage to collect his trophy and celebrate his victory, the fans then turn on Chick, branding him a cheater. They fire confetti at him rather than using it as a celebration, boo him off the stage, and throw things at him, forcing him to make a quick getaway with his trophy and making him realize the "Chick era" just ended as soon as it started.
It is unknown what happens to Chick afterward, but it appears that he has been denied the sponsorship by Dinoco as Tex instead tries to offer it to Lightning for his good sportsmanship.
Chick Hicks returned in the third film with a minor role, being voiced by Bob Peterson since Keaton was unable to reprise the role (possibly due to him being busy with Spider-Man: Homecoming). In the film, Chick has retired from racing and is the host for the show Chick's Picks with Chick Hicks. He gives boisterous commentary for recent Piston Cup results and often shares the stage with statistical analyst Natalie Certain. He also brings up his one Piston Cup win when he gets the chance and proudly features his trophy next to him. He also cracks jokes at McQueen's losses when next-gen racers including Jackson Storm take over the racing sport. When Storm wins the Gears and Glory 450 at the Heartland Motor Speedway, Chick accompanies him on the winners' podium so he can interview him. Additionally, McQueen (after having an argument with Cruz Ramirez) is watching Chick on Mack's television, where Chick is giving a report on McQueen's experience at the Thunder Hollow Speedway and the possibility of McQueen's retirement, resulting the former to turn off the TV out of shame before contacting Mater for help. Unlike the first film, he isn't seen again throughout the rest of the movie.
In Cars: The Video Game, Chick hired a gang of punk cars to steal Lightning's racing gear out of Mack's trailer during the 2006 season. Lightning confronted Chick at the fourth race, but Chick claimed to know nothing about it. He was later beaten out by McQueen and lost the season. Chick returned to Radiator Springs to train for the next season, and once again made some new friends who he used to taunt McQueen. Lightning beat Chick at the final race, and he fled back to his hometown.
In Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures, Chick is one of the speeders in Speed Trap. After you win the event, you unlock the Legends Race secret for Chick.
In Cars Race-O-Rama, Chick Hicks returns as the main antagonist. He plans to beat Lightning in the Race-O-Rama series to shut down the Doc Hudson Racing Academy and bring in more cars to come to his racing academy where they will probably learn to cheat. He also plans to take over Radiator Springs and send Lightning packing. Along the way, Chick introduces Lightning to his proteges: Candice, El Machismo, and Stinger. However, McQueen, having some modifications, is able to beat all of them. Before the final race, Chick decides to get himself modified and reveals to Lightning that he was only using Candice, El Machismo, and Stinger to learn how to beat Lightning. However, Lightning still wins the race and Chick drives away, vowing his revenge.
In Disney Infinity, Chick is the main antagonist of the Cars Play Set. After the "Calibrate GPS" mission is completed, Chick comes into Radiator Springs and stops at Flo's V8 Cafe. He then asks if this is Radiator Springs before Flo asks if she can get anything for him. Chick asks to start with some jumper cables, and that the town is putting him to sleep. He later leaves after Flo suggests to keep rolling if he won't order anything. He then challenges the player to race against him. After the player wins, he says that he wants a rematch.
He later competes as a random opponent in the races. Before the start of the Radiator Springs International Race Invitation held by Luigi, Chick says to the other racers that he is plotting to win the race and that it will be the "last time you'll be seeing my grill." Francesco Bernoulli, however, states to the King that he almost likes Chick and that he would have said it better. Finn McMissile then states that something suspicious has happened since Chick arrived, saying that Fillmore's fuel has gone missing right before the big race. Chick then replies saying, "Yeah, yeah. Whatever. We gonna get this race started or what?" After the player wins the race, Chick appears with smoke coming out of him. When he asks if he had won, Finn says to him that he's through and will be sent to the impound lot. Ramone, however, explains that he has been looking for a perfect wreck to fix up for "Detail My Dents", and that Chick is "the worst looking car I've ever seen." Flo then agrees with Ramone to paint Chick red with lightning bolts, before they both drag him away. Shocked at being painted like McQueen, Chick asks them to take him to the impound instead.
When the Cars vault is opened by having all four characters interact with it, a toy of Chick can be unlocked for use in the toy box worlds.
In Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Chick hacks into Lightning McQueen's racing simulator presentation to humiliate him and challenge him to a virtual race to settle their score (presumably renewing their rivalry). He is once again voiced by Bob Peterson and serves as the main antagonist for the attraction.
- Chick makes his team wear "mustache" grilles to represent him.
- According to the 2009 Die-cast Collectors Guide, Chick Hicks has 334 decals on him.
- Chick Hicks wants to end up in first place and hates ending up in second place, which is similar to Randall Boggs from Monsters Inc.
- Chick actually was a warning to Lightning about what he would've become if he was still a jerk. This is noted that if McQueen would've won rather than helped The King, this truly showed that McQueen never learned anything from his past behavior and that he only cared about winning.
- Chick is a 1979 Shyster Cremlin, a car that does not exist. It is designed after a 1987 Buick Grand National.
- 86, Chick's number, is based on the year Pixar was founded. It also symbolizes his racing style, as "86" is a slang term for getting rid of something.
- Chick Hicks is one of the first few Pixar villains to actually win, though his win is regarded as a pyrrhic victory due to his actions on the track.
- Despite winning his first Piston Cup title, it is unknown if it really was his first win, as it was mentioned that he has always been in second-place to The King. In fact, despite being called "The Runner Up", it is also unknown if he won races prior to the events of Cars.
- Though he is the main antagonist, Chick only has a little screen time as the film focuses on McQueen getting lost at Radiator Springs along with his character development, learning that there are more things in life than winning. As a result. Chick only appears in the beginning, in two bad dreams Lightning has, on television in Mack's trailer, and at the end of the film. His voice is still heard on a radio broadcast when McQueen fixes the road.
- Even though Chick didn't appear in Cars 2, players can download him for Cars 2: The Video Game. It was also unknown why he didn't appear in the second film, as it never revealed what really happened with him following his pyrrhic victory in the first film.
- On his right door, there is a picture of the Marshy-Marshmallows logo. This is mostly the same company that was seen in A Bug's Life under the name of "Joel's Marshy Marshmallows."
- In the Polish version, his name is Marek Marucha. Ma rucha means "He has speed."
- A 1:55 scale die-cast of Chick Hicks, along with Lightning McQueen and Brush Curber, appears in one of the exhibit elements at The Science Behind Pixar.
- Michael Keaton voiced Chick in Cars and later returned to Pixar to voice Ken in Toy Story 3. However, by unknown reasons, he was replaced by Pixar animator Bob Peterson in Cars 3. The exact reason is still unknown, but it could be possible that Keaton was not available to record any lines for Chick due to the filming of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- In the Latin Spanish version of Cars 3, Chick jokes after supposing that McQueen will retire that instead of "Ku-chau!" (the Latin Spanish translation to "Ka-chow!"), this time will be "Chau-Chau!" (as Chau is a Latin Spanish term to say goodbye to people), making the joke most funny to Latin Spanish spectators.
- His Crew Chief’s name is Ian Roadhazard.
- In the Rioplatenese version of Cars 3, he is voiced by Marcos Di Palma, an Argentinian race car driver known for his brash attitude.