Things are looking bad for our hero. The villain has him cornered against a ledge, with a fatal drop below. As the villain draws closer, the hero does the [[DrivenToSuicide unthinkable]], [[NoEscapeButDown and jumps]]! The villain smirks, assuming victory, and either draws closer to confirm the kill, or turns around to go on about his business.

Either way, he quickly realizes his error, as the hero slowly rises from the ledge... standing atop his flying machine or [[GiantRobotHandsSaveLives a giant robot hand]] (or having been [[CatchAFallingStar caught by one of the hero's flight-capable buddies]], or simply having caught hold of a tree branch, or had a bout of DieOrFly and discovered his own powers of flight), which the villain didn't see before (but which the hero obviously could).

Never mind the fact that the rescuing mechanism is quite often ''[[SurpriseVehicle large and noisy]]''.

Extra points if the villain somehow gets clobbered in the process by said flying machine/flying buddy.

One of the most effective attempts at TryAndFollow. A SubTrope of NoEscapeButDown.
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!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/MaiHiME'': After main characters have started dying, Mai performs this trope to punctuate her attempt to tell Yuuichi to stay away from her. [[spoiler:Shortly afterward, she summons Kagutsuchi and flies away.]]
** Aoi does this in ''Anime/MaiOtome'' when confronted by an angry mob of displaced Windbloom refugees, [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled deciding to sacrifice herself rather than reveal the whereabouts of Princess Mashiro]] ([[spoiler:who is hiding among them]]). [[spoiler:She just barely survives.]]
* Setsuna does this in ''Manga/AngelSanctuary''. [[spoiler: Sevoth-Tart is threatening him while he's holding onto the edge of a roof, then he suddenly jumps, Sevy thinks he's committed suicide, and he has actually landed on a flying whale]]. I kid you not.
* In an episode of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Kaiba jumps out a window in his castle situated on a cliff to the rocky ocean below to escape from Pegasus' goons. The goons look out the window and, not seeing him at all, assume he's dead. How he survives is something of a mystery, but later he's seen climbing back up. (While holding a briefcase). There's a shot of him holding on to a ledge below.
* In the second season of ''Anime/MagicKnightRayearth'', Ferio has just saved Fuu from Princess Aska's forces (or, rather, she was playing along with his heroic rescue, as she was quite capable of escaping on her own) and they reach the open maw of the dragon-shaped Fahren ship. Ferio takes her in his arms, jumps! ...and lands on the back of a gigantic winged beast, which takes them away from the dragon.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': A variant occurs; the villain doesn't see [[spoiler: Matsuda]] survive the fall and [[OutOfSightOutOfMind assumes he's dead]]. Surviving in that [[spoiler: his allies were one room below and had created a makeshift ramp]]. Helps that really messed-up deaths are 'natural' and expected in the Death Note world.
** To be fair, he does see a body lying on the street. And it was dark.
** Also played with, in that this is pretty much planned out.
** And they don't so much assume he's dead, as assume either he's dead now or he will be when Kira writes his name in the Death Note. It was a fake name. Also, all of them but Kira probably assumed that Kira already did write his name down, and that's just how he died.
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', when Ling is carrying the seriously wounded Lan Fan away from the homunculi, she says that she's just being a burden on him and that he'll be able to escape if he leaves her behind. When he tells her to stop talking like that, she takes out her knife and points it at herself...and then we change scenes. When it cuts back later in the episode, we discover that [[spoiler:she actually cut her own arm off and tied it to a dog as bait to draw the homunculus away]]. Still rather disturbing, but better than the alternative.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'': Seiya and Saori Kido use one to escape from Shaina and Silver Saint Jamian, jumping off a cliff together rather than either fighting when in ''huge'' disadvantage or giving Saori to them. [[spoiler: While Seiya gets badly injured, they both live, and a while later their TrueCompanions come to help them.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' [=OVA=], ''The Inspector'', Gilliam decides to dive off a balcony rather than let Archibald Grims' forces capture him -- falling straight into the hand of the Gespenst that Grims had no idea was ever there.
-->Archibald: We're sneaking around trying to hide bombs, and he hides a [[RealRobot Personal Trooper!?]]
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', Silver is dangling off a broken rope bridge while simultaneously holding onto Eusine. Petrel [[EvilGloating pretty much spills the beans on what Team Rocket is planning]] since he figures Silver's about to die anyway. Silver then willingly lets go...only to rise up again on his Gyarados.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Has happened too many times to count in scenes involving Franchise/{{Superman}}. Villains are getting increasingly exasperated by the Man of Steel's tendency to show up just after Clark Kent is tossed off a roof.
** [[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries The Animated Series]] played with this a couple times but once subverted it by having Clark Kent fall off a ledge in plain view of Lois Lane so he couldn't pull this trick. To Clark's great surprise (and Lois's casual indifference, because it happens to her all the time), Clark Kent is rescued by Superman, which later turns out to be an imperfect clone that degenerates into Bizarro.
** Franchise/SpiderMan has done this several times as well. One AntiVillain, the Prowler, was sufficiently shaken up by the apparent demise that he panicked until Spidey let him know that Parker was "saved".
* In the ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' book ''Recap/TintinTheRedSeaSharks'', recurring BigBad Rastapopulous has been caught as the master of the EvilPlan which involved [[MoralEventHorizon literal slave-trading]], and the navy is closing on his superyacht. He goes out in a launch, supposedly to give himself up, but it suddenly sinks. The heroes and the world media think that he is dead, but he has in fact escaped in [[EscapePod a mini-submarine hidden in the launch]].
* Comedic example in ''Comicbook/{{Preacher}}''. Jesse and his vampire friend Cassidy are on the top of the Empire State Building, chatting. Spontaneously, Cassidy starts yelling that he's going to end it all, and jumps over the side. Rushing over, Jesse sees that Cassidy has dug his fingers into the side of the building, and then says a sing-song "Fooled you!". Jesse is not amused.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'': After Jasmine rejects Aladdin and tells him to "Go jump off a balcony!", he does. At her shriek of "No!", he pops his head back up, [[IsThatWhatTheyreCallingItNow and shows her his flying carpet]].
* The climax of ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective''. [[spoiler: Basil and Ratigan fall from Big Ben. There is much woe and weeping amongst Basil's friends, and then... a faint squeaking sound rises from the mist, and Basil appears, madly pedaling for his life. The smile he gives the others is a CrowningMomentofHeartwarming.]]
* In a variant of the trope, the audience is the one fooled in ''WesternAnimation/TheTaleOfDespereaux'' [[spoiler: where the titular mouse apparently falls off a tower window ledge to his death while the Narrator notes he didn't live HappilyEverAfter. However, while out of sight for a split-second, he stretches his enormous ears to go into Dumbo mode, and he reappears for the final image of the film, confidentially gliding away to his next adventure; the narrator meant that the mouse is too busy to have a pat ending like that.]]
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}} 2'' when jumping on a platform hidden in the mist.
* A villainous example with Henna in ''WesternAnimation/BarbieMariposa''. She leaps off the castle balcony only to rise up on the back of a Skeezite, commanding an army of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' has Jynx diving backwards off a cliff into the ocean, where she is promptly picked up by a boat, which for some reason her pursuers are reluctant to shoot
* In ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part II]]'', Biff has Marty cornered on the roof of the hotel and is stunned when Marty calmly steps off the roof. A few seconds later, he floats back into view, standing on top of the flying [=DeLorean=].
* The Monk in ''Film/BulletproofMonk'' initially evades the BigBad that way… but then, as the title suggests, he ''is'' bulletproof, so a fall off a cliff wouldn't necessarily kill him.
* Gandalf does this in the first ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movie, landing on Gwaihir, Lord of Eagles.
* In the ''Series/EvenStevens'' [[MadeForTVMovie Movie]], [[spoiler: this stunt was pulled by Louis in order to fool the television producer of the reality show they were on. Louis ended up rising up on a helicopter, that was hosted by a rival television reality show. Funny enough, the name of the rival show was named "Gotcha!"]] What makes this example simply bizarre is that he wound up [[spoiler:on a net hung from the ''bottom'' of a helicopter. There'd be no way he could've landed there without getting chopped by the rotary blades.]]
* The famous jump in ''Film/TheFugitive''. Arguably a subversion, in that there was no trick involved; Kimble was simply that desperate to try (and [[SoftWater that fortunate to survive]]).
** It is also played with in ''Film/TheRageInPlacidLake''. Placid is cornered on a rooftop by a group of thugs. The scene then cuts to him recovering in a hospital bed, leaving the audience to assume they assaulted him. The end of the movie reveals that he jumped.
* In the Leslie Nielsen film ''Film/SpyHard'', the main character escapes by jumping off a roof, only to appear again in a Harrier jump-jet, scaring off the pursuers. It is then revealed to be a prop being lifted by a helicopter for a billboard.
* Edmund pulls this with a griffin in the ''Literature/PrinceCaspian'' [[TheMovie movie]] and is very James Bond about it.
* It's rather subtle, but in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', after it becomes clear [[spoiler: they have failed to avert Judgment Day]] and having rigged the Crystal Peak mountain to explode, Kate Brewster suggests "we could just let it blow" which Connor seems to acquiesce to, only for them to change their minds (making this a Gotcha) [[spoiler: when the radio starts receiving calls from defense forces, turning Connor into the effective leader of the resistance]].
* ''Franchise/StarWars''
** In ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. Luke is made to WalkThePlank into the Sarlacc pit, but reverses himself a moment after stepping off and pops back up, and thanks to coordination with R2-D2 now has a lightsaber in his hand.
** Luke vs. Vader in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''. Just after the [[LukeIAmYourFather well-known plot point]] is revealed, he throws himself down the shaft. Luckily, Leia's Jedi powers kicked in and she managed to get Lando and Chewie to turn the Falcon around to catch him as he was hanging onto a weather vane.
* The title character in ''Film/TonganNinja'' does this to escape from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Gun Man]]. He jumps over the edge of a rooftop and grabs hold of the ledge. To sell the ruse he even lets out a rapidly-decreasing-in-volume scream, followed by a squishing noise, which Gun Man falls for.
* Used in ''Film/{{Dracula 1931}}''. Cornered on a cliff edge, [[{{Dracula}} the vampire]] escapes by jumping backwards and turning into a bat halfway down.
* In ''Film/TheGoodSon'', Susan has discovered evidence that Henry had killed his little brother Richard, after telling him that he needs to get professional help he runs away, it appears that he has jumped off a cliff when he jumps out from some bushes and pushes her off saying "I guess you don't know me very well, do you?".
* In ''Film/TronLegacy'', the hero is cornered by a security guard on a rooftop. He has NoEscapeButDown. Sure enough, he jumps off, but is saved by his HammerspaceParachute.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the short story ''Literature/TheMostDangerousGame'', the main character jumps of a cliff into rocky ocean when cornered. The villain assumes that NoOneCouldSurviveThat, and heads back to his castle only to find the hero waiting to jump him.
* In the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', Granny Weatherwax confronts her sister Lily atop a high tower. When Lily threatens Granny's fellow witches, Granny grabs her old broom and jumps off the tower. Said broom will only fly properly if given a running start, but as it happens, Granny correctly judges that terminal velocity is more than fast enough to get the broom flying.
* Used by the Literature/{{Animorphs}} to get the Yeerks to stop searching for the escaped Hork Bajir. The Yeerks see the Hork Bajir jump into a crevice, then see their bodies lying at the bottom of the pit. What the Yeerks don't know is that morphed Animorphs jumped into the hole and were caught by Marco in gorilla morph while the real Hork Bajir lay at the bottom of the pit pretending to be eaten by wolves (also Animorphs.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Subverted in the season three finale of ''Series/BabylonFive'' in which a cornered [[spoiler:Captain Sheridan]] takes a plunge off a cliff and ''dies''. [[spoiler:[[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better]], thanks to the help of a [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien very old alien]], but even then [[YourDaysAreNumbered he has a limit of twenty years before he simply stops living]].]]
* Played almost exactly as in the description in the first non-pilot episode of ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', with the ''Serenity'' coming up behind our cornered heroes at the edge of a cliff as they come out of a bad-looking barfight. Semi-subverted as the pilot Wash couldn't really save them from the raging mob because his ship didn't have any weapons - he just scared them into thinking he could.
* Done a ton of times on ''Series/MissionImpossible'', including a jump off a high cliff using an already-built retractable net and a dummy at the bottom of the cliff.
* River Song has done this at least twice in ''Series/DoctorWho.'' More elaborate then most examples. She leaves a message at some point in time, telling the Doctor her exact coordinates and that she needs help. When she jumps, the TARDIS is right there waiting for her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'', with the heroes escaping on an airship.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', with an airship again serving as the means of escape.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': Yuna jumps off a tall tower head-first, and comes back up on the back of Valefor, a bird-like Aeon.
** Notable in that she summons Valefor in mid-air, AFTER she's actually jumped.
*** In addition to the insane height of the tower, [[PimpedOutDress all those feathers sewn into her wedding dress]] slowed her descent considerably--[[FridgeBrilliance she was falling incredibly slowly, even for artistic license]].
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'', Rock pulls one of these at the end of the prologue stage, duplicating ''Back to the Future'' so closely it's hard to think it's not an {{homage}}.
* ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'': [[spoiler:Jak pushes Cyber-Errol off a ledge. Errol, being a robot, is capable of enough flight (despite not being aerodynamic in the least) to get back up and escape. Jak's Light Flight ability takes considerably longer to gain altitude, leaving the audience and Daxter to believe he died. Luckily, Errol is gone when he returns, several seconds later.]]
* Variation: the first boss battle in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime 3: Corruption'' involves Samus and the boss falling down a shaft. If the boss is defeated before they hit the ground, Samus gets saved by a fellow Hunter who can use his ice powers to surf on ice he manifests below himself out of thin air.
* ''Franchise/MetalGear''
** Played straight for the villain in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' - Snake knocks Solidus off one of the Big Shell's bridges with a grenade, only to have Solidus rise back up on top of a Harrier jet. Shortly afterwards, Raiden shoots down the Harrier with a Stinger missile (because it's badass, I guess), which then spirals towards the water far below...only to be saved by being ''eaten'' by Metal Gear Ray. Worst injury suffered? Solidus loses an eye.
** Played straight but also subverted in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' - Naked Snake, aka Big Boss does in fact splash down in a pool below after after the usual scene expected for the trope, but then [[spoiler: Snake has a near death experience featuring a Boss "fight" with The Sorrow. Near Death being included is not typical for this trope, let alone what happens in it.]] And it also appears that young Revolver Ocelot, who corners Snake and witnesses him jump, knows Snake would survive and had escaped his grasp, also subverting the latter end of the trope.
* An {{inver|tedTrope}}sion occurs within the story mode of ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl''. In a confrontation, Mario chases Bowser to a ledge, down which Bowser falls. After a tense pause of about a second, Bowser taunts Mario from the safety of his flying clown copter, which was apparently waiting below the whole time. In a later scene, most of the heroes are aboard Meta Knight's battleship, the Halberd, on their way to stop the giant Subspace Cannon which has just appeared out of a warp portal. The ship flies at max speed straight for the cannon, even as it takes heavy laser fire and starts to break apart. Then the main cannon fires, and the Halberd is spit-roasted from stem to bow, breaks in half and explodes. Cut to a closeup on Ganondorf and Bowser, smirking triumphantly while standing on the bridge of the Subspace ship... only to have several heroes' smaller ships [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome fly out of the explosion, dodge all the incoming laser fire and set up a distraction for Kirby to finish the cannon off]]. Ganondorf and Bowser, apparently quite humbled, silently retreat into the portal as their ship collapses.
* SelfDemonstrating/{{Bowser}} tends to do this often.
** The second half of the final boss battle of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2''.
** In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'', he pulls this off [[spoiler: by putting himself in a near-death situation, thereby causing his Rump Command to activate and [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever grow large enough to jump back up the cliff]].]]
* Lampshaded in ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick: VideoGame/AssaultOnDarkAthena''. At the end of the game the BigBad and Riddick have an AlasPoorVillain moment, then she lets go of his hand and plummets out of sight down an elevator shaft. Riddick's little girl MoralityPet asks "will she be coming back?" to which Riddick replies "when I say goodbye, it's forever". Since it's very much a KilledOffForReal series, the most obvious conclusion is that she really is dead.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts: Covenant'' sees Rasputin doing this with the Sapientes Gladio airship. Yuri responds by becoming Amon and blowing the ship to pieces.
* After you kill the final boss of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', Ada pulls one of these off: she jumps off a cliff only for a helicopter to rise up over the edge with her standing in it. [[FridgeLogic Um…]] [[ArtisticLicensePhysics …maybe it was one of those …convertible helicopters?]] She ''does'' have a grappling gun, you know.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/AgeOfMythology'', in which Kamos escapes Arkantos once by leaping off a cliff only to land on one of his sea monsters and swim away. Subverted in a later scenario when Kamos jumps off a cliff again under the same circumstances and we're treated to a shot of his brains dashed out on the rocks below.
* In ''[[VideoGame/TraumaCenter Trauma Team]]'', Gabriel Cunningham pulls this when confronted by Ian Holden late in the game, by stepping back off the roof of the hospital and grabbing onto a helicopter's ladder. How he wasn't sliced to ribbons by the propeller is anyone's guess.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Xykon in ''The [[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]'' pulls this off with customary style. He doesn't ever make it look suicidal, but the point is that just because he's on a flying dragon doesn't mean he needs a dragon to fly. But Roy ''does''.
-->'''Xykon:''' Point three: [[OhCrap Meteor Swarm.]]
* Gertrude in ''[[Webcomic/TheKAMics The KAMics]]'' pulls it off in [[http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/The_KAMics/5366280/ this comic]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** In the pre-series {{Pilot}}, Aang jumps off a ledge to use the DieOrFly method to trigger the Avatar State, a move that would be ''a very bad idea'' during the actual series.
** A variation of this can be found in the third season. Zuko and Azula are fighting on a blimp when they both fall off. Zuko is then caught mid-air by Katara and the rest of the group on Appa, and he watches as his sister continues to fall without anyone to catch her. [[spoiler:She then uses her exceptional firebending skills to rocket to the safety of a nearby cliff, much to Zuko's disappointment.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' uses this a couple of times.
** The best one is probably ClockKing's. Doing one of these onto a train, he prefaces it with the following comment:
---> "I don't know what to tell you, Batman, except perhaps that the 9:15 is always 6 minutes early."
** SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker also [[spoiler: almost]] escaped from the Batman this way in the MadLove episode.
* In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', Ben Tennyson pulled this on his own grandfather ''twice'' -- and only one gotcha involved turning into a flyer with the Omnitrix.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Elisa Maza found herself in a perilous situation, stuck on a building's gargoyle outcrop with a gangster who is sure to kill her when he learns the treasure she was sent out to retrieve is worthless. In response, she jumps off to her apparent death to the gangsters, unaware that the gargoyle Broadway is just below and poised to catch her as she fell.
* In a ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode, Robin and Starfire do this over a pit of acid so that an alien creature could follow them into it. Starfire then flies them back to safety. They repeat the maneuver again with [[MadeOfIron the same creature]] later on in the episode, this time over a deep chasm.
[[/folder]]

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