Created By: PokelovagirlSeptember 12, 2012 Last Edited By: shimaspawnOctober 17, 2012
Troped

Failures On Ice

A character tries skating. Failure, flailing and Hilarity Ensues.

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Silly pun, but so true.

We're slipping on the ice!
Just slipping on the ice!
For a fabulous pratfall
Just follow this advice!
Let your feet take a flip!
I've broken my hip!
We're slipping, and sliding, on the ice!
-The Warner Siblings, "Slipping on the Ice" - Animaniacs

Many works of fiction are set in the right place and right time for it to be cold enough to experience snow, and for lakes, ponds and the like to freeze over. There are also those stories set in and/or near ice-skating rinks. Naturally, either way, one character or another will want to try ice-skate on such a frozen body, or not, but is peer-pressured into doing so.

Fairly straightforward, until the character takes their first step onto the ice.

Expect a lot of imbalance, flailing, failing, struggling, shaking, frustration, hilarity and inevitable crashing. It very often ends up with an Epic Fail.

Note that, despite the name, the character does not have to be ice skating. It happens just as often with roller-skates.

Compare Epic Fail, and Frictionless Ice for the video game version of this trope. Contrast On Ice.

No Real Life Examples Please! The list would go on forever if we listed all Real Life examples.

Examples

Anime & Manga

  • Usagi in Sailor Moon had a lot of trouble skating in one episode.
  • Ranma One Half Ranma proves to be less than usually competent on skates, which naturally leads him into a bout of Martial Arts Couples Ice Skating.
    • Ranma and Ryouga, in the first three episodes of the second season, and the manga they are adapted from, prove to be almost completely incompetent as ice-skaters. So bad is Ranma that he turns himself into a girl so that he's less embarassed... only to end up skidding into Pretty Boy Jerkass Mikado, who gives Ranma-chan her First Kiss.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has an episode where she and her class go to a skating rink. While Sakura is good at rollerskating (she does this to school everyday) she is not good at skating on ice. The episode involves her learning how to do it, which comes in very handy given there's a Clow Card at the loose on the rink...

Comics

  • Sis in Katy Keene has done this, twice on covers. Katy Keene #27, and Pin-Up Parade #13.
    • In Katy Keene #45, Sis bring a hula hoop on the ice, and while Katy does it fine, poor Sis falls on her butt again.
  • There was an Archie Comics story where Jughead was trying to get his dog Hot Dog to skate with him because he refuses to skate with a girl. The instant Hot Dog gets on the ice, he starts slipping and wobbling around on the ice because he had weak ankles. It's subverted afterwards when Jughead fixes the problem by adding an extra ice skate to Hot Dog's tail, causing Hot Dog to become a skating ace, much to Jughead's chagrin.
  • In one strip of FoxTrot, Jason tries to rollerskate, but rolls down a hill and into a yard with a sign that says "Beware of Dog." Paige, naturally, enjoys this.
    Paige: I really need to write Gramma thanks for those roller-skates...
    • Jason is seen flailing and thrashing around on his ice skates before grabbing the wall for support. He then says that if he's that bad on the rubber mats, going on the actual ice should be interesting.
    • Jason gets hit with the short end of the stick again when Eileen invites him to go ice skating. He falls down twice.

Film

  • Bambi, even though he wasn't wearing skates, had a hard time on the ice, despite the fact that other animals were skating around just fine.
  • Manny and Diego, as with the above example, weren't wearing skates in Ice Age, but struggled to stay standing whilst on a frozen lake. Meanwhile, Sid glided effortlessly around them in figure-eight shapes, all whilst carrying the baby.
  • In Cool Runnings the Jamaican bobsledders have a hard time learning to walk on ice.

Live Action TV

  • On Happy Days the gang goes to a rollerskating rink, and Fonzie is very unsteady on his skates. He still tries to act cool though.
  • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird's Birthday, or Let Me Eat Cake BB's birthday party takes place at a roller rink. Snuffy is scared of falling down, but Big Bird coaxes him onto the rink. Oscar the Grouch is there as well - he likes watching people fall down.
  • Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Mac wins a chance to take a shot from center ice at a Flyers game, but he doesn't know how to skate. Despite that, he skates out perfectly and makes the shot. Actually, he fell as soon as he stepped onto the ice and imagined everything while unconscious.

Western Animation

  • In the opening of A Charlie Brown Christmas all the kids are ice skating and doing fine, until Snoopy gets on the ice and grabs Linus' Security Blanket, tossing him into a billboard.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Twilight tries to help score the ice so it will melt, but is so terrible at it, that she quickly loses control, and crashes into Pinkie Pie and Spike, who all then end up as a pony snowman.
  • An episode of Dragon Tales dealt with Zak and Wheezie learning how to ice skate, so that the gang could attend the birthday party of a seal who lives in said icy area.
  • In The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, Tigger sees Rabbit ice skating and decides to try it himself. He starts of pretty well, but soon gets into an uncontrollable spin which leads to him crashing into, of course, Rabbit. After this he decides Tiggers don't like ice skating.
  • On the Classic Disney Short "On Ice", this happens to Minnie Mouse (when Mickey is teaching her to skate) and to Pluto (when Donald ties skates on his paws while he's asleep and pushes him into the ice).
  • In the opening of The Critic, Jay steps onto the skating rink at Rockefeller Center and the ice cracks, sending everyone else tumbling.
Community Feedback Replies: 40
  • September 12, 2012
    DragonQuestZ

    Either one of those could make a good page picture.

    • Usagi in Sailor Moon had a lot of trouble skating in one episode.
  • September 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    • In the opening of A Charlie Brown Christmas all the kids are ice skating and doing fine, until Snoopy gets on the ice and grabs Linus' Security Blanket, tossing him into a billboard.
    • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird's Birthday, or Let Me Eat Cake BB's birthday party takes place at a roller rink. Snuffy is scared of falling down, but Big Bird coaxes him onto the rink. Oscar the Grouch is there as well - he likes watching people fall down.
      • I also recall a scene from a different episode where Bob (or possibly one of the other adult human characters) is very wobbly on roller skates and ends up skating around a lot, always in danger of (but not quite) crashing. Can't find any info about it in the few minutes I tried searching just now though.
    • On Happy Days the gang goes to a rollerskating rink, and Fonzie is very unsteady on his skates. He still tries to act cool though.
  • September 12, 2012
    jbrecken
    Would Bambi trying to walk on the ice count? He falls almost immediately even though his friends are all skating around. However, none of the animals in the scene are actually wearing skates.
  • September 13, 2012
    ross
    Twilight Sparkle in Winter Wrap Up (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
  • September 13, 2012
    CaveCat
    • An episode of Dragon Tales dealt with Zak and Wheezie learning how to ice skate, so that the gang could attend the birthday party of a seal who lives in said icy area.
    • There was an Archie Comics story where Jughead was trying to get his dog Hot Dog to skate with him because he refuses to skate with a girl. The instant Hot Dog gets on the ice, he starts slipping and wobbling around on the ice because he had weak ankles. It's subverted afterwards when Jughead fixes the problem by adding an extra ice skate to Hot Dog's tail, causing Hot Dog to become a skating ace, much to Jughead's chagrin.
  • September 13, 2012
    Acebrock
    More specifically on the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic example. Twilight tries to help score the ice so it will melt, but is so terrible at it, that she quickly loses control, and crashes into Pinkie Pie and Spike, who all then end up as a pony snowman.
  • September 14, 2012
    Terabiel
    Ranma and Ryouga, in the first three episodes of the second season, and the manga they are adapted from, prove to be almost completely incompetent as ice-skaters. So bad is Ranma that he turns himself into a girl so that he's less embarassed... only to end up skidding into Pretty Boy Jerkass Mikado, who gives Ranma-chan her First Kiss.
  • September 14, 2012
    SKJAM
  • September 14, 2012
    abk0100
    Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Mac wins a chance to take a shot from center ice at a Flyers game, but he doesn't know how to skate. Despite that, he skates out perfectly and makes the shot. Actually, he fell as soon as he stepped onto the ice and imagined everything while unconscious.
  • September 14, 2012
    thepmdfangirl
    These are all nice examples. I hope to add more. ^^
  • September 14, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Picture suggestion:

    Silly pun, but so true.

  • September 14, 2012
    Tallens
    • In The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, Tigger sees Rabbit ice skating and decides to try it himself. He starts of pretty well, but soon gets into an uncontrollable spin which leads to him crashing into, of course, Rabbit. After this he decides Tiggers don't like ice skating.
  • September 16, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the Schoolhouse Rock episode "Figure 8" a skater makes a figure 8 on the ice, making an 8-shaped hole and falls in.
  • September 16, 2012
    triassicranger
    ^ You know, I remember seeing something like that in another cartoon. Except the character just skated a circle and another person fell in thanks to the hole created by cutting the circle in the ice.

    Anime

    Cardcaptor Sakura has an episode where she and her class go to a skating rink. While Sakura is good at rollerskating (she does this to school everyday) she is not good at skating on ice. The episode involves her learning how to do it, which comes in very handy given there's a Clow Card at the loose on the rink...
  • September 17, 2012
    TonyG
    • On the Classic Disney Short "On Ice", this happens to Minnie Mouse (when Mickey is teaching her to skate) and to Pluto (when Donald ties skates on his paws while he's asleep and pushes him into the ice).
    • In the opening of The Critic, Jay steps onto the skating rink at Rockefeller Center and the ice cracks, sending everyone else tumbling.
  • September 20, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    If it's not limited to ice skating, the name shouldn't make it look as though it is.

    Also, what about skateboarding?
  • September 20, 2012
    Tallens
    Who said it's not limited to ice skating?
  • September 20, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Fourth paragraph of the OP, and a couple of examples.
  • September 21, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    I don't think that the trope should include failures that aren't ice-related. I think it should just be ice-skating
  • September 21, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    Hey, just wondering if any of you guys think this might be too similar to Frictionless Ice
  • September 21, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    Also, love the pic, Dragon Quest Z. Absolutely perfect!
  • September 21, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    I'm so sorry OP!! I edited the description before I learnt what "up for grabs" meant, and that this YKTTW didn't have it! Feel free to delete what I've written if you wish. Sorry

    -Fun Sunny Dayz
  • September 21, 2012
    abk0100
    Frictionless Ice is a a video game mechanic, whereas this is a comedy trope. Also, in video-games with Frictionless Ice, it actually tends to be impossible to fall down.

    I think it makes sense to at least include roller-skating, but skateboarding might be pushing it.
  • September 21, 2012
    Dacilriel
    Film:

    In Cool Runnings the Jamaican bobsledders have a hard time learning to walk on ice.
  • September 21, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    How about Skating Pratfall?

    Also, if skateboarding doesn't count, how about I make a ykttw sister trope?
  • September 21, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    Go ahead. I think a sister trope is needed in this case. Also, we need more help with the description, I think, and maybe a better title.
  • September 23, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • September 28, 2012
    SAMAS
    We're slipping on the ice!
    Just slipping on the ice!
    For a fabulous pratfall
    Just follow this advice!
    Let your feet take a flip!
    I've broken my hip!
    We're slipping, and sliding, on the ice!
    The Warner Siblings, "Slipping on the Ice" - Animaniacs
  • September 28, 2012
    Psi001
  • September 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    • In Katy Keene #45, Sis bring a hula hoop on the ice, and while Katy does it fine, poor Sis falls on her butt again.
  • October 2, 2012
    thepmdfangirl
    I'm quite ashamed that I haven't been updating this recently, despite being the OP(Me and Pokelovagirl are the same troper, just on different computers.). I'm remedying that right now.
  • October 12, 2012
    Pokelovagirl
    Does anyone have anymore examples?
  • October 14, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Vote up for the picture ^x22.
  • October 14, 2012
    Chabal2
    Another Foxtrot one, where Jason is seen flailing and thrashing around on his ice skates before grabbing the wall for support. He then says that if he's that bad on the rubber mats, going on the actual ice should be interesting.
  • October 16, 2012
    FunSunnyDayz
    Can someone insert the picture?
  • October 16, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    ^OP needs to, right.
  • October 16, 2012
    Pokelovagirl
    To be honest, I've never put a picture anywhere in a page here on TV Tropes..
  • October 17, 2012
    Pokelovagirl
    Ok. I think its ready to launch.
  • October 17, 2012
    DracMonster
    You know, this could be expanded to roller skating. Skating Slapstick? (I'm late to the party on this I know.)
  • October 17, 2012
    thepmdfangirl
    No, it applies to skating in general. I'm launching this thing.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable