[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/{{Mulan}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/improvised_zipline.jpg]]]]

When a character is stuck in a high place of some sort and has nowhere to go but down, he uses anything wire-like to fly down. Gripping onto a wire hanger is a common variation to the trope; however, this is a decidedly [[DontTryThisAtHome horrible idea]], as the Series/MythBusters have busted this one's plausibility.

Real ziplines require specific, strong materials for both the line and the thing being held, so that neither one breaks, and so that the friction doesn't stop the slider halfway down the rope.

Not to be confused with FastRoping. A supertrope of BedsheetLadder.



* In the commercials for Push Pop, the cartoon character uses the Push Pop itself to slide across a rope between buildings.
* In a [=MasterCard=] commercial, Series/MacGyver escapes from a room with a bomb in it using a tube sock. Tube sock: $4. RefugeInAudacity: Priceless
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPLwSaUpZC4 This Levi's jeans ad]] has the hero use his jeans to rescue a babe from a high-rise fire.

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'':
** Ruby uses his Pokeblock case as a zipline on the thread his Marshtomp is holding up to escape the flames Courtney is trying to kill him with.
** Earlier, Janine uses her Ariados as a zipline, with it retracting silk from one end and shooting it out from another.
* In an ''{{Franchise/Anpanman}}'' theatrical short, Uncle Negi, having left his basket full of green onions (which also contains his Naganegiman costume and sword) at the bottom of Princess Doremi's castle grounds, uses his scarf as a zipline...and promptly crashes face first into a tree at the bottom.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' did it with coat hangers.
* Disney likes this one a lot in their [[Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon Animated Fare]] or otherwise:
** In ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', the heroine uses a string of lanterns to zip down from the roof.
** In ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'', Kuzco and Pacha, who are trying to beat Yzma and Kronk to the palace, cross a ravine by firing an arrow with a rope attached into a tree on the other side, tying the rope to the tree on their side, and then zipping down on it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'', Prince Charming shoots an arrow with a rope tied to it and then uses his bow to zip across the fiery moat of lava.
** And later in the film, Shrek does this with a bridge chain while StormingTheCastle.
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'': Po uses the same lantern string variation as the page image.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooPiratesAhoy'' has Shaggy and Scooby sliding down a mast rope with a mop handle.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' Buzz slides on the yarn holding up kid's pictures in the nursery to escape out the window.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'', Carl does a short zip-line with a garden hose and his own cane.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the opening bank robbery has Happy and Dopey land on the roof of the bank by firing a cable launcher from an office building across the street, then ziplining over the street on the new cable.
* ''Film/TangoAndCash''. While escaping prison, Stallone and Russell's characters use their belts and the prison's electric lines in this manner to get over the brick wall surrounding the prison.
* ''Film/HomeAlone'' has Kevin using a sawn-off bike handlebar to slide from his window to his treehouse.
** This same variation happens in ''Film/{{Sleepover}}'', but with a wire hanger.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', the MadScientist Doc Brown uses the wire to slide down from a clock tower, rushing to connect a loose cable in time for the lightning strike.
* ''Film/RushHour2'' to escape an explosion.
* Captain Jack Sparrow in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' did this with the chain on his handcuffs. It is worth noting that it is topologically impossible to hook handcuffs secured between your hands over a wire attached at both ends and then jump off again at the bottom. Close observation reveals that Jack actually forms a short noose from the chain and throws ''that'' over the wire, which makes the feat possible - and even cooler.
* In ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', Pip the Chipmunk did it on a wire with a clothes hanger.
* Chris pulls one off in ''Film/EightLeggedFreaks''. The GiantSpider that tries to follow falls off.
* Film/JamesBond
** ''Film/NeverSayNeverAgain''. While infiltrating a terrorist hideout at the beginning of the movie, Bond climbs up a pole and slides down a telephone (?) wire onto the roof.
** ''Film/{{Moonraker}}''. Bond and Holly Goodhead use a chain to slide down a cable car cable in order to escape from Jaws.
** A deleted scene in ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'' had Bond improvise a 'flying carpet' by throwing a carpet over some telephone wires and sliding down them to escape the police in Tangier. Stills of this scene were seen in a lot of publicity material for the film, but it was ultinately decided that this silly scene did not sit well with Timothy Dalton's DarkerAndGrittier Bond.
* ''Film/TheSocialNetwork''. Mark and friends make a zipline from the roof (tied to the chimney) to the pool. After just two jumps the chimney breaks and the zipline falls.
* Santa uses a candy cane to zip down a string of Christmas lights in the animated opening of ''Film/NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation''.
* ''Film/TheReturnOfThePinkPanther''. The thief escapes from the museum with the diamond by firing a zip line from a crossbow to an adjacent building, then sliding down the line into an apartment in the other building.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''. Judge Doom uses his cane to slide down a wire and attack Eddie Valiant on top of the Dip wagon.
* ''[[Film/BatmanTheMovie Batman]]'' (1966). During the battle on the submarine, the Penguin uses his umbrella to slide down a wire and knock down Batman with a kick.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfTintin'', The eponymous character is seen using the handle of a motorbike to slide down a cable during his pursuit of a falcon in Bagghar.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. While robbing the Vatican, Eddie throws a rope (with a grappling hook on the end) from the top of a building across a street. He then slides down the rope to escape.
* Spoofed in ''Film/{{Water 1985}}''. A communist rebel played by Creator/BillyConnolly is attacking the local radio station by sliding down a telephone cable (even though he could have walked up to the door, as it's totally undefended). He misjudges his distance and [[FailedAttemptAtDrama goes crashing through the roof instead]].
* One film adaptation of ''Film/JasonAndTheArgonauts'' has the Argonauts pursued by an army and come across a ravine. One produces a rope with which to climb down, but Jason has a better idea, tying the rope to a shield and asking Hercules if he's any good at the discus. Once the shield is thrown, the Argonauts cross on the ImprovisedZipline, only waiting for the enemy to start crossing to cut the rope.
* Chazz Michael Michaels performs one of these with his jock strap in ''Film/BladesOfGlory''.
* ''Film/InLikeFlint''. While on a mission in Moscow, Flint is pursued by Soviet agents. He jumps onto the top of a tower and fires a line to the top of another building using his multi-function lighter. He then slides down the line to the top of the building and safety.

* This happens in the ScottWesterfeld novel ''Literature/{{Leviathan}}'': Deryn is up in a scouting balloon and sees Alek's "family" coming to the shipwreck looking for him in their Stormwalker. The message lizard won't get down the cable in time, so she slings a leather strap over the tether and zips down to camp.
* In ''[[Literature/LabyrinthOfReflections False Mirrors]]'', the heroes use their uniform belts to slide down ''vertical'' kilometer-long high-tension cables. They, however, are in ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}''-based VirtualReality game, so it's justified. And still, Gengis's belt snaps at the last second, and he barely survives a 20-story drop with a measly couple of HP.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' season 3 when he was training to be a "real" spy, Chuck had to do a zipline using a power line and his belt as the pulley, but failed. Then at the end of the ep he was forced to [[ChekhovsGun use a power line as a zip line with his belt as the pulley]]. This time he succeeded.
* Busted by the ''Series/MythBusters'' in the case of using your pants to zip down a ski lift: There's too much friction, the angle of the lift isn't steep enough, and either the pants or your grip will fail first.
* Speaking of Busters, on episode of ''ArrestedDevelopment'' has Buster attempt this and fail miserably.
* Both JD and Turk do this in an episode of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''.
* 1960's ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series
** Episode "The Penguin's A Jinx". The Penguin and his henchmen fire a rope line from the top of one building to another and slide across using umbrellas with special devices attached to the end.
** Episode "Batman Sets The Pace". Batman and Robin crawl up the inside of a chimney to escape the Joker's poison gas trap. After they exit the top of the building, they use their gloved hands to slide down a wire to the ground.
* In an early episode of ''Series/TheCityHunter'', Yun Sung uses his backpack to slide down a line.
* On ''Series/AgentsOfShield'', when Agents Coulson and May need to escape after stealing an entire filing cabinet of physical (paper) files, May uses a handle of a equipment cart while Coulson uses his belt to follow the cabinet out the window they tossed it through.
* In the ''Series/WhiteCollar'' episode "Borrowed Time", the pulley Neal intends to use to zipline onto the Kessmann Building breaks, so he improvises using his belt.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In "The Five Doctors", the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane use a cable stolen from the Raston Warrior Robot to zipline on to the roof of the Tower of Rassilon.
** In "Remembrance Of The Daleks", the [[TheNthDoctor Seventh Doctor]] uses his umbrella and a rope to reach the top of a landed Dalek spacecraft from an upper-floor window.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', the ship fires massive anchor cables into the building the characters need to get to, but since it's under fire, it can't stay long, so the party ''surfs down the cables'' onto the building.
* ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'': Drake uses several wires and his pistol to zipline down quickly.
* ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' did it with a rubber chicken. With a pulley in the middle.
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'' features this a lot.
* ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'' features Faith doing this WITH HER HANDS. Careful observation will note that her gloved hand always is in direct contact with the wire, thereby Handwaving the damage one would normally receive from such a stunt, but it far from excuses it.
* Jack from ''VideoGame/MadWorld'' can do this with certain steel wires, but only because [[ArtificialLimbs it's a steel hand]] [[ChainsawGood with a Chainsaw in it]].
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'' gives its characters a "hookblade," which will allow them to use wires as ziplines.
* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 3'', Cole's squad uses what look to be meat hooks to slide down a cable car line. One-handed.
* In ''VideoGame/SyphonFilterDarkMirror'', Logan uses a modified GrapplingHookPistol called the RTL to latch onto and zip along wires.
* In certain levels of ''VideoGame/PerfectDark Zero'', Joanna can use conveniently placed wires for this.
* While it is not improvised on the spot, the PlayerCharacter of ''VideoGame/SunsetOverdrive'' uses a crowbar to "undergrind" around the city on telephone wires and the like.
* In ''VideoGame/TinyToonAdventuresBustersHiddenTreasure'', Buster can use his rabbit ears to slide down ziplines.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/BrawlInTheFamily'': In "[[http://brawlinthefamily.keenspot.com/comic/260-thecaptiveprincess/ The Captive Princess]], Princess Peach escapes Bowser's castle on her own, and uses her own crown to zipline down a rope.
* The heroes of ''Webcomic/TheZombieHunters'' try to escape off a roof using this method. It doesn't end well.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Herman, the one-armed weapon seller, takes a pair of bootleg designer jeans and tries to get away using them to zipline out of Bart's treehouse. However, the jeans rip partway down as Herman laments [[HoistByHisOwnPetard "Foiled by my own shoddy merchandise!"]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' episode "The Shamon U", Franchise/{{Batman}} and ComicBook/{{Robin}} use their Batarangs to slide down cable car cables to escape a giant rabbit.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaWorldTour'' this is used by every member of [[OverlyLongName Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot]] in order to cross a river filled with piranhas.
** Alejandro uses his belt.
** [[TheDitz Owen]] uses his hands, and gets rope burn.
** [[ButtMonkey Tyler]] uses his pants, but they end up [[StealthPun catching fire]].
** [[GenkiGirl Izzy]] places [[OnlySaneMan Noah]] in a backpack, wears it, and then slides across using the straps.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'': In "Curse of the Stolen Tiger", the entire family (plus Wadi) use their belts to slide down a hoist rope from the warlord's mountain fortress.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', "For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils": The Cutie Mark Crusaders use a clothesline as a zipline to get into Sapphire Shores' studio so Sweetie Belle can confess to sabotaging her big sister Rarity's latest project before it's too late.