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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BladeRunner http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blade_runner_007.png]]]]

A character is holding onto a ledge or rope by his/her fingers. One by one, each finger loses its grip or someone or something peels them off manually.

The trope is often paired with a villain at the ledge [[HandStomp stomping on their hands]] or peeling the finger off. When there isn't a villain around, another hero will try to grasp their hands. If PlayedForComedy, the rescuer may themselves fall and have to be grabbed by an even stronger person.

Subtrope of LiteralCliffhanger. See also TakeMyHand, ChainOfPeople, HandStomp.

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* ''Anime/DeltoraQuest'' anime has Dain first stomp on Leif's fingers while he's hanging over the edge, then help him back up, only so he can taunt him and fight him some more.
* ''Manga/IchiTheKiller'' has the fight between Ichi and [[spoiler:Kakihara]] come to a close when [[spoiler:Kakihara]] runs away and tries to jump from one apartment building to another, only to invoke this trope. Although no one comes to stomp on his hand, something even worse happens: a bird comes by and shits on his fingers, causing him to slip and fall to his death.

[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'': Mufasa, and later Simba are in this position.
* Sully and Randall's battle in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'' climaxes with Sully hanging off the edge of a door over a chasm, while Randall prepares to stomp him off.
* In ''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'', when Judy is chased by Manchas she slides from a wet bridge and ends up hanging on the edge with one paw.

[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]
* The losing grip variety happens in the movie version of ''Literature/ALittlePrincess''.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'': Tweety does the "A Hare Grows in Manhattan" routine (see below) to Eddie Valiant.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYZsJYZVt5g In]] ''Film/KingKong2005'', Kong hangs briefly by his fingers off a cliff before being dragged down by the V-rex that grabbed his leg.
* ''Film/StarTrek'': Kirk gets thrown off the edge of the drill during the fight but manages to grab the edge and hang on. A mook tries to stomp him off, but Sulu stabs him just in time.
* Creator/MelBrooks's ''Film/HighAnxiety'' parodies this. In a climactic scene the protagonist (played by Brooks) has a slipping hold on a ledge until he is improbably hanging on by a single fingertip. Once he gets a morale boost from another character he manages to regain his hold and climb up.
* In ''Film/BladeRunner'', Deckard is hanging from a rain-slick girder thingy, hundreds of feet above street level, with only his fingers (two of which were broken earlier by Roy).
* In ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'', Cary Grant is hanging off Mt. Rushmore by his fingers (while holding up Eva Marie Saint with his other hand). Bad guy Martin Landau presses down on his fingers with his shoe only [[spoiler: to be shot right off the cliff]]. How the heroes get back up is kind of glossed over

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In ''Series/TheAdventuresOfSuperman'' episode "[[Recap/TheAdventuresOfSupermanS1E21TheHumanBomb The Human Bomb]]", Jimmy ends up hanging from the ''Planet'' building's ledge by his fingers. The VillainOfTheWeek steps on his hand to speed up the process. Then a cop tries to grab him, but he falls and has to be caught by Superman.
* In ''Series/TheATeam'' episode "[[Recap/TheATeamS3E4Fire Fire]]", one of Kelsey's men knocks Murdock off their fire truck during the climactic fight. The guy is trying to pry Murdock's fingers off the truck when [[PapaWolf Hannibal]] turns up and cold-cocks him.
* Parker in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' does this on occasion on the show. In one instance, when she surprises a foe with a NeckLift, she explains that regular use of this trope in her role as a ClassyCatBurglar has made her ''a lot'' stronger than she looks.
* Tested on ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'', and was deemed plausible that you could support your weight by your fingertips for a short time, though if you wanted to be pulled up, help would need to come VERY quickly. It's notably one of the only times [[IronButtMonkey Tory]] had been hurt: he smashed his knee on a window ledge during the experiment and required stitches.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'': Beckett was hanging by a thread, only to get saved in the last minute by the other cops. She's ''very happy'' to be alive, as she later shows Castle [[spoiler: with a rather passionate kiss scene]].
* ''Series/FrontierCircus'': At the climax of "Calamity Circus", the saboteur is left dangling by one hand from the trapeze, before slowly losing their grip and falling to their death.
* ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'': "Love Taps" opens with the VictimOfTheWeek dangling by his fingertips off a cliff face. The killer slowly grinds their foot on each of his hands till he loses his grip and plunges to his doom.

[[folder: Literature ]]
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' - ''Queste'': Septimus is thrown over the edge into the Abyss surrounding the House of Foryx, but manages to grab a bridge stanchion. He is eventually pulled back up by Jenna.
* ''Literature/WetDesertTrackingDownATerroristOnTheColoradoRiver'': The bomber for a short time holds himself to a helicopter's landing gear by hand, before letting go.

[[folder: Radio]]
* ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' sees the Heart of Gold materialise in what Ford and Zaphod initially take to be a massive chilly marble cave. When the floor of the cave tips under them and sends them skidding towards the entrance, they realise they are in fact several miles above the surface of the bleak planet of Brontitall. [[note]]they are in fact in the plastic cup part of a hyper-massive memorial statue celebrating Arthur Dent Throwing The Cup Back At The Nutrimatic Drinks Dispenser, the symbolic act that caused humanity to rebel against dependence on robots and machines[[/note]]. Zaphod ends up danging by his fingertips on the rim of the Cup, [[UsefulNotes/{{Belgium}} swearing terribly at Ford]], who is not disposed to assist on the grounds that there's no point.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', in the battle against Krauser. He prefers stomping on the fingers.
** Happens again in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'', [[spoiler: Simmons]] enjoys stomping on fingers too.
* ''Fiendish Freddy's Big Top 'O Fun'', in the tight Rope Act. If you lose your balance, the acrobat grabs hold, and Freddy picks the fingers one by one. Although Freddy sometimes speeds up the trope by smashing the hand with a hammer.
* ''VideoGame/{{Emergency}}'' series: It's a relatively frequent occurrence, and just the occasion to deploy a turntable ladder truck or a [[FiremansSafetyNet jump pad]].
* Nathan Drake does this in the ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' series to no obvious issue. He can even grab ledges while falling, which would surely not work in RealLife.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/HitmenForDestiny'' has one character grabbing hold of a ledge inside the invisible castle, and calling for help. The drop isn't lethal.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'', there's an episode where DM, hanging from a branch, has his fingers attacked by a nest of hungry baby birds who mistake them for worms.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': at the end of the episode about a traffic cam, Phineas and the disc both hover on the edge of a split bridge. Candace has to make a choice to grab either Phineas or the disc.
* In one of the climatic final episodes of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Toph is barely holding on to Sokka's hand when [[spoiler: Suki saves them by flying down with a stolen airship]].
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': The Evil Monkey who lives in Chris's closet is thrown from the top of a skyscraper by an insane robot girl. He grabs onto a lege but his fingers lip off one by one. After the last one he falls, but is caught by Peter & Quagmire in a biplane [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou just before hitting the ground]].
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** The short "China Jones" has Daffy hanging over a [[SharkPool crocodile pool]] after a trapdoor opened under him. The villain unhooks his fingers one by one.
** "A Hare Grows in Manhattan" has Bugs do this to a bulldog named Spike.
--->'''Bugs:''' ''(as Spike is hanging by his fingers on the clothesline)'' Mhm... this wittle piddy went to market... ''(unhooks a finger with a "ping" sound)'' this wittle piddy stayed home... ''(unhooks another finger)'' this wittle piggy had roast beef... ''(unhooks one more finger; Spike falls)'' Well, what do you know, ran out of piddies! ''([[BreakingTheFourthWall Addressing the audience]])'' Gee, ain't I a stinker?
* The AnimatedAdaptation of ''{{Tintin}} in America'' has him lose his footing when moving from a window to another (to attack a bandit guarding his door). He manages to pull himself up. Note that in the comic, he just crossed the gap without incident.