->''A pratfall is better than anything.''
-->-- '''Creator/PrestonSturges''', ''Eleven Rules for Box Office Appeal''

The buttocks. The fundament. The behind. The posterior. The sitter-downer. Whatever you call it, it's inherently funny. Falling down and landing on it? Comedy gold!

The Pratfall (named for an archaic word for buttocks) is a staple of {{Slapstick}} humor and one of the most [[{{Pun}} fundamental]] forms of {{Schadenfreude}}. Many comedians have built entire careers around variations on this theme. A stock gag for the circus clown, the pratfall is OlderThanRadio and dates back at least to the days of vaudeville and music hall theater, and it was very popular in early silent films. It may well be as old as comedy itself. One suspects our primitive ape-like ancestors may have enjoyed watching the goofy ape hop around and then deliberately fall down on his sitter.

The humor often comes from the exaggerated nature of the fall, and many physical comedians practice their pratfalls carefully to make sure they are funny enough. (Online lessons are available.) The humor may also be associated with what the character lands in or on.

A favorite technique for TheKlutz. May involve a BananaPeel, [[ToiletHumor dog droppings]], or just a [[SlipperySkid slippery surface]].

Subtrope of AmusingInjury. Compare FacePlant, which is a similar way of going from upright to sprawled very quickly for humor, and the closely related FaceFault.

!! Examples:

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Expect this to happen to the resident {{Dojikko}} quite often.
* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' (1993 ver.) - Keichi has a pretty good one in the second episode.
* Excel performs an excellent one during the intro to ''Anime/ExcelSaga''.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': When discovering about the true nature of Kira, L is so surprised he [[PeopleFallOffChairs falls out of his chair]]. WordOfGod confesses that this scene was drawn just for the visual image of L flat on his ass.
* In the Act 1 ColdOpen of ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal,'' Usagi's status as TheKlutz is cemented when she manages to take a StaircaseTumble by losing her footing and falling on her rear down the last eight steps to her house's first floor, finishing with an OffScreenCrash.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Gretchen in the "circle of trust" did this in ''Film/MeanGirls''.
* Creator/CharlieChaplin used this in many of his early movies when playing the character '''The Little Tramp'''.
* Creator/BusterKeaton perfected the pratfall and even made a variation of it called the backward roll, where he would fall on his ass and continue the momentum, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V86ODBSXtZs flipping backward over his head and back up to his feet]]
* Silent film stars Creator/LaurelAndHardy were also fond of this trope, so much that it's one of their trademarks.
** There's even a Laurel and Hardy fan magazine called ''Pratfall''.
* In ''Film/BringingUpBaby'', David slips on an olive Susan dropped and falls really hard on his butt.
* In ''Clockwise'', Creator/JohnCleese (playing an uptight overstressed headmaster) gets a car stuck in the mud, and when he gets out, furious, he kicks it, slips, and ends up sitting in the mud himself.
* Lou Costello of Creator/AbbottAndCostello was a master of the technique.
* Curly Howard of Film/TheThreeStooges also made regular use of it.
* Kevin James in ''Film/{{Zookeeper}}'' performs an excellent flying one after running into a large metal crossbar with his head.
* Creator/YukiMeguro's work as Lupin in ''Film/StrangePsychokineticStrategy'' is as professional as American Vaudeville acts. With a completely stiff, still body, he falls straight back like a cartoon cat recently hit by an anvil.
* Plenty from the toons in ''WhoFramedRogerRabbit'' [[spoiler:and when Judge Doom has one, it's a clue that he's a toon]]. The previously humorless Eddie Valliant does a bunch during his dance to make the weasels DieLaughing.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Emma and Lori go for a walk in ''[[AuntDimity Aunt Dimity Digs In]]'' and wade in a nearby stream to cool off—until Emma's dog Ham bounds in to join them, causing them to flail for balance and land in the water. At least they got cooled off.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The intro to ''TheDickVanDykeShow'' features Dick performing a very tricky full somersault version after tripping over an ottoman.
* In the first season of ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' Chevy Chase did this a lot when doing his "impression" of UsefulNotes/GeraldFord.
* Chevy Chase's character Pierce does this almost once an episode in ''Series/{{Community}}''. Occasionally other characters will also do pratfalls. Notably Annie in an alternate timeline that results in the death of [[spoiler: Pierce]].
* Manuel on ''Series/FawltyTowers'' would sometimes perform these when Mr. Fawlty got mad and started pushing him around.
* The classic ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch, ''Upperclass Twit of the Year Awards'', features some unusual, highly stylized, and deliberately awkward pratfalls.
* Amateur versions are regularly featured on ''AmericasFunniestHomeVideos''.
* In ''FTroop'', Captain Parmenter frequently showed us how it's done by tripping over nearly everything, including rugs, floorboards, hitching posts, and, in one unfortunate instance, the fort well. Ken Berry's dancing talents allowed him to pull them off beautifully, including one instance where Parmenter encounters several obstacles on a stroll through town and not only manages to still land on his feet in the end, but does all of them while distracted by a letter he's reading.
* An episode of ''{{Bones}}'' features a disturbing but still funny version. Agent Booth is anxious to find a corpse's missing head, because he has another appointment. In his hurry, he slips on a muddy riverbank, and slides into the water, then triumphantly holds up the head.
* On ''Series/FatherTed'', Mrs. Doyle wins a date for tea with her idol, TV heartthrob Eoin [=McLove=]. When she meets him, she begins shaking uncontrollably, then goes rigid as a board and falls right over on her arse.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''{{Peanuts}}'', the famous sequence where Lucy would pull away the football at the last second always resulted in Charlie Brown landing on his backside.
* In ''BloomCounty'' and its sequel ''Outland'', Opus would often perform pratfalls out of sheer surprise, as when he got a letter from his long-missing mother.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used as a game mechanic in ''SuperSmashBrosBrawl'' -- there's a random chance of pratfalling whenever the control stick is hit, discouraging excessive dashing and pivoting.
** In ''SuperSmashBrosMelee'' there's a score bonus called "Pratfaller" for always landing on your back after being knocked down during a match. Alternatively, always landing face down gives you the "Face Planter" bonus.
* The "Pratfall CheatCode" for ''SaintsRow2'' allows players to perform pratfalls and faceplants for their own amusement.
* The Bouncywild enemies in the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' game throw out {{Banana Peel}}s that cause Sora to fall on his ass.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIX'', the Minstrel class can unlock the Pratfall Ability, staging a slapstick fall for the amusement of the local Slimes, hopefully depriving the enemy team of a turn as a result of side-splitting hilarity.
* The classic (and classically hard) track and field Flash game ''VideoGame/{{QWOP}}'' is so difficult that pratfalls are virtually inevitable.
* One of the few times Bastila shows a sense of humor in ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' involves using the Force to knock Mission over, after insisting (to Mission's questioning) that she's above such things.
-->'''Mission:''' Hey! That wasn't funny!\\
'''Bastila:''' I have ''no'' idea what you're talking about, Mission. Let us move on and, please, do try to be less clumsy in the future.
* There's a specific type of stagger in ''VideoGame/PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' called a "butt drop" that leaves victims unable to do anything for less than a second while they get back up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'', [[LukeMochrieAndTheInners Luke]] pulls off one when he trips [[spoiler:over [[WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown Film Brain's wand]] while running from the Cloaks]].
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''{{Futurama}}'', resident klutz Amy Wong is prone to this.
* ''TheSimpsons'': Bart awakens after falling, to find himself staring into the eyes of an attractive young girl.
-->'''Bart's brain''': She's beautiful! Say something clever.
-->'''Bart''': I fell on my bottom.
-->'''Bart's brain''': D'oh...
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Zecora suffers a fall on her backside when Twilight Sparkle disturbs her meditation in ''Swarm of the Century''.
* In the first episode of ''Ben10Omniverse'', we see young Ben defeating an alien named Malware, after which he proceeds to do a celebratory jump with the alien's enhanced jumping abilities, but the Omnitrix's timer runs out and Ben returns to normal form, landing on his butt. He still takes a moment to taunt the fleeing enemy before he starts rubbing his backside.
[[/folder]]
-->''[[TheStinger SAKURA]][[BrawlInTheFamily IIIIII]]!''
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