Created By: non1337 on February 10, 2011 Last Edited By: non1337 on December 6, 2012

Falling Onto A Vehicle

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Alternate Title: Fall On The Top Of A Truck

An extremely common trope, especially in action movie. It can be done by a character or an item, usually a MacGuffin.

A character is desperate for an escape, or desperate to get rid of a MacGuffin. He jumps off or throws the object out from a bridge, inside a building, rooftop or a cliff. This will nearly always land on a moving vehicle, which conveniently leave the scene. They may escape successfully, or a Chase Scene may follow. This action may or may not be intentional.

Often, the vehicle they land on is either a truck, a train, a boat, or an airship or other hovering aircraft if the fall may otherwise kill them. Sometimes, the hero may fall into a cockpit instead.

In case of a MacGuffin, characters may deliberately throw to send it away, to avoid the MacGuffin from being captured or used. They may also drop it by accident, often in a middle of a struggle, that it lands on a vehicle being only a Contrived Coincidence. At any case, at least one character will do everything in their power to retrieve it.

This trope is invoked whenever an object drop on a moving object that leaves the scene, causing frustration to the characters who were pursuing it. Said moving object does not have to be a vehicle.

Sometimes, this trope is subverted. The attempt could fail and instead the character or item is crushed by the vehicle instead of landing safely. The character or item may end up killed or destroyed, severely injured or damaged, walk it off with only comic relief injuries, or prove itself to be Made of Diamond destroying the vehicle instead.

Sub-Trope of No Escape but Down. Sister Trope to Jump Off A Bridge which may overlap. Trash Landing is a related trope. If instead somebody catchs a falling character it is Falling into His Arms. Not related to Fell Off the Back of a Truck. If both are destroyed in the process it is a Car Cushion.


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Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • February 11, 2011
    • The Clock King does it from time to time in Batman The Animated Series IIRC, though only with trains. Justified by his superhuman ability to track the arrival times of every train in Gotham.
      • Also subverted (?) in the episode "Over the Edge", where Batgirl falls of a high building and hits the car her father is driving. She survives... for a minute or so.
  • February 11, 2011
    We have this as Jump Off A Bridge.

    @non1337/OP: I think that trope could be improved by adding some of your description above.
  • February 11, 2011
    I think this may be a Super Trope to Jump Off A Bridge, in which case a character do it deliberately for an escape. This trope deal with anything that fall on a moving object that cause frustuation to everyone who want it. I suppose a necklace fall and stuck on a floating log in a river can also invoke this trope.
  • February 13, 2011
    do horses count?
  • February 13, 2011
    An accidental version happens in Better Off Dead when the protagonist, planning to commit suicide, if standing on the edge of a highway overpass. Hid friend slaps him on the back, knocking him off. He lands in the back of a passing garbage truck.
  • February 13, 2011

    Yes I suppose. If a child was dropped on a stationary horse and the horse panicked, ran with the child stuck on its back, that would be this trope.

    I think it should be very easy to find a lot of examples, nearly every series had this one at one point or another. Should we fill something on the example section before launching it?
  • February 14, 2011
    In the first Men In Black movie, Will Smith's character is chasing a suspect who jumps off a bridge into the street. He follows, but lands in a double decker bus.
  • February 17, 2011
    • In Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy needs Faith's blood to heal Angel. When Buffy stabs Faith, she falls off the roof into the back of a moving truck and is carried away.
  • April 9, 2011
    Done in Kamen Rider Double when the two non-combative ones of the Two Guys And A Girl protagonists have to flee one of the villains - turns out one of them essentially has internet access in his head, and they run up a bridge at just the right time to jump into a garbage truck and flee the scene.
  • April 10, 2011
    Faith does it in Mirrors Edge in the end of a chapter to escape the Pursuit Cops. Bonus points if you find an alternate route to drop onto a moving train after a rope-slide.
  • April 10, 2011
    Invoked seriously in this PSA.
  • December 6, 2012