The Tacoma Wave: Is It Real or Just a Myth?

Should you wave to fellow Tacoma owners as you pass them? We uncover the truth.

Enthusiasts love to connect with other drivers that appreciate the same brand. Among some of the top brands, there are unique waves and signals given to one another when passing on the road.

Is there a Tacoma wave, or is that just a myth?

The Tacoma wave doesn’t really exist like the motorcycle and Jeep wave, but it’s likely that you’ll exchange a wave with another Tacoma owner if both of your trucks are modified.

In this article, I dive deeper into the Tacoma wave. I discuss my personal feelings about the wave and share with you the experiences of others.

What Is the “Tacoma Wave”?

The “Tacoma Wave” is defined as two Tacoma owners acknowledging one another when passing each other in their trucks.

This hand gesture or wave is a way of saying, “I see you and your Tacoma.”

Origins of the Tacoma Wave

These special waves have become more popular with other brands on the street, such as Jeeps. You may have even seen motorcycle riders waving to one another when passing by. These waves are intended to give kudos to the other driver for picking a great vehicle.

These friendly waves don’t occur for every vehicle on the road. For example, have you ever seen a soccer mom driving her Honda Odyssey waving at another mom with the same vehicle? You won’t see it occur between Toyota Corolla owners, either.

These cars have a specific purpose in mind, and owners focus on that. They aren’t picking the vehicle to show off their favorite brand. 

Tacoma owners are passionate about their trucks, and for good reason. Because they are so proud, they are willing to acknowledge other drivers with the same good taste. By waving at one another, Tacoma owners create a sense of community and togetherness that you can’t find with many other brands.

Is the Tacoma Wave a Thing?

You can find a lot of opinions when looking this up on the internet. Therefore, I’ve broken this into two sections. Let me first tell you what I think personally, and then we can look at other Tacoma owners’ responses together. 

My Two Cents

Personally, I don’t think you should expect every Tacoma to wave to you as you pass (like if you owned a Jeep Wrangler). The Tacoma wave not very well known, and most Tacomas you pass will not wave back, no matter how enthusiastic you are.

Although the Tacoma is great, not everyone is super passionate about them. Some people buy a Tacoma just because it’s an affordable truck that gets the job done.

However, you will get waves under certain circumstances, and I have received casual waves from other Tacomas on several occasions.

If you have a modified Tacoma that is quite impressive from the outside, it’s likely that you’ll score a wave when passing another heavily modified Tacoma.

I recently got a wave while driving this lifted 2018 TRD Sport through the Tonto National Forest.

As I was driving through these desert roads, I noticed a clean, modified 1st-generation Tacoma headed in my direction. I actually didn’t anticipate a wave, but as we passed he did give me the Tacoma wave (yes, I waved back).

These types of Tacoma owners are typically very passionate about their vehicles and appreciate other owners who feel the same. When it’s clear that someone has put a lot of attention and work into their truck, other Tacoma owners will recognize this and would be happy to acknowledge you with a wave.

If you want to encourage the Tacoma wave, be willing to give it every time you see another driver on the road. 

What Other People Are Saying

For the most part, the comments on seem to back up what I’ve already said. 

Vehicle waves are lame unless it’s a rare vehicle, and even then, iffy. With a Tacoma wave, you will be waving at soccer moms, soccer dads, gardeners, metal scrappers, bros, pool boys, and countless others, so your arms would fall off in no time.

Moving onto Reddit, there are similar comments.

I’ve had a couple of guys wave at me, but there’s no ‘official’ wave. It’s more of a mutual ‘nice taco’ wave.
[The Tacoma wave] is not a thing in SoCal. The amount of trucks would make you wave all the time.
Depends on your local community really. Here, there are too many. You’d be waving all the time and get weird looks probably. Sometimes though, when me and another pass by on an empty street, I get the nod.
It’s not as common as the Jeep wave, but it has happened to me three or four times and caught me off guard the first couple times. Taco respect is contagious, though; nowadays, I will point at a passing Taco if it’s tricked out as an acknowledgment to the driver.

Start Some New Tacoma Trends

Why don’t you be the first to wave at every Tacoma you see in your neighborhood? Yes, you may do a lot of waving, but it will give you something to do while traveling. Plus, it shows that you genuinely care about the Tacoma nameplate.

Maybe you will see it become a trend in your area. You might start receiving the wave in no time, giving you a sense of pride in your truck choices. 

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