[[quoteright:258:[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/durkon_vs__tree_5329.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:258:Tree: 1, Dwarf: 0.]]

In animation, seeing a tall, skinny tree anywhere is a sure sign that someone is about to go flying.

In the world of cartoons, any sufficiently tall, flexible tree can be transformed into a TreeBuchet. The formula is generally as follows:

# Have the villain chase the hero through a forest, tree farm, or any other sufficiently wooded area.
# In an attempt to escape the villain, have the hero run up the tallest, skinniest tree available.
# Have the villain chase the hero up the tree. The fairly fragile tree will begin to bend beneath the weight of both people trapped within it, frequently doubling over.
# The hero must now jump out of the tree.
# We have a [[GravityIsAHarshMistress few seconds]] to register the [[OhCrap look of terror]] on the villain's face before the tree, freed of the excess weight, snaps back up. ''Thwwwwpp!'' The villain goes flying.

A frequent variation is for a character to use a tree snare--a tree purposefully bent low, with a trap tied to one end. Usually done in an attempt to CatchThatPigeon. Usually, the hunter will find himself either riding the tree out of town, or thrown back and forth after they get [[HoistByHisOwnPetard caught in his own trap]].

Another variation is the villain ''choosing'' to catapult himself with a tree, either to reach something higher or to jump over a wall. The effect varies from catapulting directly into the ground to missing the target by one inch.

Yet ''another'' variation is the hero using it to launch himself. This works, [[SpoiledByTheFormat unless it's too early in the story for success]].

Tree Buchets are named after ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet trebuchets]]'' (pronounced 'treh-byu-shay'). Note that the classic TreeBuchet is ''not'' an [[SiegeEngines actual trebuchet]]: trebuchets work using a lever with heavy counterweights. Tree Buchets work because [[YouFailBiologyForever trees are apparently perfectly elastic]]. Most likely to appear in worlds where BambooTechnology is prevalent though appears in other works.

Compare CatapultToGlory, where this is done with an actual catapult. Note that to some extent this has been deemed [[JustForFun/TropesExaminedByTheMythBusters "Busted"]] by Series/MythBusters.

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!!Examples

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[[folder:Advertising]]
* There's a commercial for [=McDonald=]'s that results in Ronald flying over the city with apples that drop randomly into the hands of children so they have healthy snacks.
* Happens in a Pop Tarts commercial, too.
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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Done with a giant cactus and a cruise liner in ''DigimonAdventure'' episode 17.
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[[folder:Comics]]
* Subverted in Carl Barks' 1953 [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Uncle Scrooge]] story "Back to the Klondike". A hungry bear chases DonaldDuck up a tree; the tree bends down... but rather than Donald jumping off the tree, the bear falls off... and ''[[ButtMonkey Donald]]'' is sent flying.
** Dick Kinney's 1965 DonaldDuck story ''The Pioneer''. An hungry bear chases Donald's cousin Fethry up a tree; the tree bends down and Fethry jumps off, sending the bear flying. Later, though, the bear gets even, chasing Fethry up another tree and ''beating'' him to jumping off.
* One issue of the old ''ComicBook/SgtRock'' comic has a soldier obsessed with ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}'' comics use a tree to launch himself over a gunner's nest so he can grenade it.
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[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In the first ''{{Shrek}}'' movie, Shrek bends a tree to use as a bridge for Fiona. After she crosses, he lets the tree go... unwittingly (or maybe not) sending poor Donkey flying.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', Po tries to launch himself with a bamboo catapult, but he's just too heavy. When he gets off, the bamboo hits him in the face as it snaps back, then hits him again in the head on the rebound. He uses this trick to his advantage during his fight with Tai Lung at the climax of the film.
* Horton gets rid of Vlad the vulture this way in TheMovie of ''Horton Hears a Who''. The elephant manages a PreAssKickingOneLiner before he does, then mentions that he usually doesn't come up with those until later.
* The first two ''Film/IceAge'' movies do something with this. In one it uses a tilting rock to launch Sid the Sloth. In the other the classic tree. The tree in question is not only a full grown pine, but also being held down by Manny the Mammoth.
* Happens to one of the two dogs that were constantly pursuing Edgar during their first chase scene from ''Disney/TheAristocats''.
* One of the ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' movies uses it as a way to close up a hole in the Great Valley wall. Littlefoot was in awe of his grandfather earlier in the film for being able to bend a large tree, and it turns into a sort of ChekhovsSkill by the end, when Littlefoot uses it on a smaller tree to knock stones down over the hole.
* Happens to Agent Pleakley in ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' when he sits in a tree with Jumba, spying on Stitch.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTheMovie'', Megan does this with a giant sunflower to escape the Smooze.
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[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* The troll in the beginning of ''{{Enchanted}}'' has this happen to him.
* Shows up in ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'', during the bamboo forest fight.
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'', an amphibian vehicle lands on a huge tree that was growing on the ravine's side. The car is gently lowered in to the river below, then the tree recoils and hits the cliff wall, knocking down several Soviet soldiers.
* In ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean: On Stranger Tides'', Jack launches himself from palm tree to palm tree to get across the Spaniards' encampment and escape.
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[[folder:Folklore]]
* An UrbanLegend version of this story turned up in the Website/DarwinAwards. According to this tale, a heavy storm caused a tree to get bent over and wedged under the eaves of a house. The homeowner climbed up the tree to saw the top of the tree off to free it from the eaves. Once he cut through, the tree sprung back, catapulting the owner to his death (four miles away according to some versions).
* There's an UrbanLegend that goes something like this- An elderly woman is in a panic because her cat is stuck in a tree. Her neighbor notices this and wants to help, but is unsure of what to do since the branch the cat is on is too small to support his weight (and the cat is too terrified to climb down on its own). Thinking quickly, he goes and grabs some rope and lassos the end of the branch pulling it down hoping the cat will simply climb down. However, the cat swats at him causing him to let of the rope in surprise and send the kitty flying. A few weeks later, the elderly woman was in the grocery store when she notices a younger lady buying some cat food. When she asked the younger lady if she had a cat, the lady replies, "Yes, we named him Angel, since he fell from the sky and into my lap like a miracle."
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Used by Special Forces soldiers in John Scalzi's ''The Ghost Brigades'' to escape an enclosure guarded by automatic turrets that lacked the ability to aim up.
* In ''[[LittleWomen Little Men]]'', the boys are playing by climbing up young trees until they bend all the way down and drop the boys back onto the ground. Jack picks too big a tree, leaving him dangling several feet in the air. Dan climbs up after him, and their combined weight lowers Jack safely on the ground, but as soon as he lets go, Dan goes flying.
** This game is also referenced in Robert Frost's poem "Birches".
* In one of the ''Literature/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'' Rose sequels, Swiney shows Rose how to grab the top of a young sapling and jump up and down until their momentum and the springiness of the tree carries them all the way over the top. Rose accidentally lets go at the apex of her flight. Wheeee!
* Definitely not played for laughs in the SvenHassel novels, when this technique is mentioned as having been used to dismember prisoners of war, by tying their feet to the ground before letting go the tree (to which their arms are tied).
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* A slightly more realistic version is used in the ''Series/MacGyver'' episode "The Road Not Taken". When he needs to throw off some pursuers in the jungle, MacGyver builds a tree-based catapult to throw stones, and puts a light-based fuse on it. First he pulls four flimsy trees together and bends them down to the ground. He routes them under a solid tree branch and ties them together with a thin vine. Then he sets down his friend's rosary to refract sunlight onto the thin vine, creating a fuse. He stakes the thin vine into the ground with a good knot on a pointed stick, and attaches the pockets from his jacket (filled with rocks) to the tree trunks.
* ''Series/MythBusters'' tested this trope in one episode, and found that the right sort of evergreen tree, stripped of its limbs and bent over to the breaking point, could toss [[ButtMonkey Buster the]] [[ChewToy test dummy]] about a hundred yards. However, it still failed to clear a "castle wall" and this trope was deemed "busted".
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[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* This is OlderThanFeudalism: In {{Greek myth|ology}}, there was a bandit who killed travelers with this trick. Theseus [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoisted him by his own petard]] by letting go early.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'', you can make Guybrush fall off a cliff to his presumed doom, and a parody of Sierra's HaveANiceDeath screens pops up, only to disappear when Guybrush flies up out of the jungle and back onto the cliff. His only explanation: "Rubber tree."
* In ''SonicUnleashed'', the Werehog uses this method to get around various stages by bending the trees or lampposts himself, then relaxing his grip.
* In ''VideoGame/TakAndThePowerOfJuju'', orangutans are forever flinging sheep and Tak with banana trees while they try to get the fruit. At the very end of the game, [[spoiler: the [[NinjaButterfly Juju Flora]], who has been transformed into an orangutan by [[BigBad Tlaloc]], uses this trick to [[HoistByHisOwnPetard fling Tlaloc into his own pool of Bad Juju, breaking his curse and turning him into a sheep]].]]
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Belkar does this to Durkon after the dwarf had already climbed onto a palm tree ([[WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes to fight it]], [[ItMakesSenseInContext of course]]). As a variant, the tree doesn't send him flying, but instead unbends even further and smacks the dwarf into the ground on the other side. And then his own hammer falls on him.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Very common in {{Hanna-Barbera}} cartoons, especially ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces''.
* Happens a lot in the ''WesternAnimation/PinkPanther'' cartoons and other DFE series (''The Inspector'', ''TheAntAndTheAardvark'', ''Crazy Legs Crane''), which are set in such environments more often than in ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** A season one episode had Homer attempt to make a tree snare and end up launching a bunny rabbit over a mile into the horizon.
** And in the Halloween episode "Survival of the Fattest", he did it with a full-size tree and essentially the entire supporting cast.
--->'''Moe:''' Oy, ya fatass!
* Done in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' a few times.
* This has happened to [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Wile E. Coyote]] a time or two with trees or cacti. In one case, rather than launching Wile E himself, a cactus launched a misaimed explosive back at the unfortunate coyote.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' episode "Madame Blueberry", the main character's treehouse is eventually flung off its tree in this manner.
* The ''Elefun And Friends'' short "A Tangled Tale" features a panda trying to do this with bamboo to get over a river.
* The 1960s {{Filmation}} ''TheAtom'' episode "The House of Doom". The Atom uses one of these to fling himself after an escaping henchman's car.
* A Foghorn Leghorn cartoon [[PlayingWithATrope played with this one]], with Henery the Chicken Hawk setting up the "snare" trap, and putting corn in it. Foghorn mocks him roundly, about how a smart chicken would just pick up the corn, and then ends it with "A smart chicken would jump over it, like so!" and demonstrates. Too bad he hadn't thought of Henery [[BatmanGambit building a pitfall trap right next to the snare]].
* George and Junior try this in the [[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry MGM]] short ''The Henpecked Hobos''. Junior cuts the rope too early, while George is trying to explain the plan...
* Near the beginning of ''Goliath II'', the titular elephant accidentally gets knocked into a puddle while attempting to knock over ''a flower''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids'' episode "The Raiders". In a light-hearted moment, Igoo uses his great strength to turn a tree into a catapult to throw Dorno into a really high dive into the water.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Applejack uses a handy tree branch to catch up with Rainbow Dash in a race in the episode "Fall Weather Friends".
** In "Family Appreciation Day", the Cutie Mark Crusaders get launched by a tree while trying to pick Zap Apples.
* Happens in the ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'' episode "Lucius Lost". Trapped on a FarSideIsland, Jimmy's plan is to use this trope to catapult him and Lucius to safety. When Lucius cuts the rope prematurely (he'd rather leave Jimmy on the island), the tree doesn't move. Once he gets off and complains, ''then'' the tree whips, slamming him into the sand.
* Francis X. Bushlad uses one in one of his plans to catch Taz in ''WesternAnimation/TazMania''. It fails as spectacularly as all of his other plans to catch Taz.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' episode "Professor Goodfellow's G.E.E.C.". When Wonder Woman and the Dynamic Duo need to get past a force field, Batman uses a grappling hook to pull down the top of a tree. Wonder Woman climbs onto the tree and when it's released she is hurled over the top of the force field.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/monkeys-catapult-themselves-out-of-primate-research-institute.html Monkeys using trees to clear the walls of a research facility in Japan]], via a ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18702_5-greatest-escape-artists-ever-were-animals.html article]].
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