"I'm a little airplane; nyow.A strange position where a character in a generally good mood runs with their arms fully outstretched to the sides like the wings of an airplane. (Try it, it's fun!) A cooler, more aerodynamic variant, with the runner's body leaning foward and the arms swept farther back, like the wings on an F-14 Tomcat, is also often used to indicate a very fast and agile runner. Ninja are frequently portrayed running this way, though they now tend to prefer the Ninja Run. Samurai also run in a similar manner, usually while keeping one hand grasped onto their katana. In a more (apparently) realistic series this may have something to do with the runner having a reduced profile and thus being harder to hit with ranged weaponry, but it's generally just the Rule of Cool. In modern Japan, this pose is known as "buun."
I'm a little airplane; nyow, nyow,
I'm a little airplane now."
I'm a little airplane; nyow, nyow,
I'm a little airplane now."
— Jonathan Richman, "I'm a Little Airplane"
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Anime and Manga
- Episode 8 of Bubblegum Crisis shows Lisa Vanette running off in this manner after an exchange with Nene.
- Ed from Cowboy Bebop does this quite frequently.
- Complete with sound effects!
- This is often done by younger characters, or characters who act much younger than they really are, and shows up in many an anime, including Goldfish Warning! and Strawberry Marshmallow
- Shinigami in Bleach use a variant of this running style, especially in combat or hurrying to the next scene/encounter.
- Rin from Please Save My Earth
- Souga in Cheeky Angel chases after Megumi in a Bird Run, and Fujiki imagines himself doing so across a field of flowers.
- The ending credits to Mai-Otome follow Arika as she does a Bird Run across an endless field of stars.
- Koshi Rikdo of Excel Saga does this in the opening credits. Excel herself does it quite often too.
- For some reason, when Kanzaki Akari from Battle Athletes does this, she goes super fast.
- Azumanga Daioh
- This is parodied in a track episode. Chiyo, inspired to catch up, goes into this pose and promptly ends up running even slower.
- Osaka tries a variant to keep people from passing her. It fails, mostly because her arms aren't twelve feet long.
- Son Gohan and others in Dragon Ball.
- As you'd expect from the mention of Ninja above, pretty much everyone in Naruto does this, either by running on the ground or by jumping and gliding from one rooftop/branch to another.
- Taken a step up in Spirited Away, where Haku is able to swiftly hover inches above the ground by running this way.
- Kitsune does this in Love Hina while looking for her drill in Episode 13.
- Lucario does this in the Pokťmon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew movie.
- Kuu in Haibane Renmei does this a lot. The bird-impression is enhanced since she actually has wings on her back.
- Arale from Dr. Slump is perhaps not only the first manga/anime character to ever do this, but she's also probably responsible for the name, since she does it to pretend she's flying and makes a sound like a jet engine.
- Misuzu often runs around like this in Air, which is likely a hint about her background. That she falls down a lot may also be very symbolic in the show's context.
- InuYasha, whenever he's in a hurry.
- Sayoko (a Ninja Maid) does this in Code Geass.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Puru was really fond of doing this while saying "Puru puru puru puru!". It's a recurrent gag in Super Robot Wars and other Gundam related videogames.
- Kana from Minami-ke does this sometimes. In a desperate situation in episode 5 of Okawari, she Bird Runs all over town. (Unsurprisingly, she skins both knees in the process.)
- The Big O villain Schwarzwald plays this straight. After he initially discovers his flying giant robot he's so excited he can't help but run through the hangar with his arms outstretched.
- Everyone runs with their arms trailing behind them aerodynamically in Saint Seiya, at least past the Sanctuary arc. This new style coincides with the updated, wispy character designs. Averted in The Lost Canvas.
- Mugen does this in an episode of Samurai Champloo. That this is done during the Edo period is due to Anachronism Stew.
- Mihoshi does this a lot in Sora No Manimani.
- In the sixth Hellsing OVA, the Nazi vampires run this way.
- I'm Gonna Be an Angel!: Noelle loves this pose, especially when she is about to glomp Yuusuke.
- Basically any major character who play soccer in Inazuma Eleven. Yes, even Endou the goal keeper.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: While piloting Unit 01, Shinji skips past airplane arms and goes straight to jet arms. 'Jet' specifically because he's breaking the sound barrier.
- Daphne in the Brilliant Blue: Child!Maia in a flashback, used to highlight how carefree she was back then.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Cheerful Child Sealand does this quite a bit.
- The entire Italian army does this while running away from lookout duty.
- Satsuki and Mei in My Neighbor Totoro
- In Attack on Titan, at least all members of the Survey Corps. run this way.
- Vivio does this in episode 15 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS as she runs to Nanoha and Fate... before promptly falling flat on her face.
- Luke Pearson's Hilda often times does this, normally when springing into action.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- In the dramatic Japanese story The Hidden Blade, a minor subplot is made about Japan's industrialization and revision of its military forces. An instructor comes to oversee the various samurai learn of the new ways to fight and quickly grows frustrated in their refusal to take his advice seriously. It hits its peak when they feel they can run fast enough in a way similar to a bird run (lean forward a bit, hands on the sheathed sword to quickly draw it) and laugh at the instructor's Western style. So he races and beats them. Badly.
- In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Nathan does this for a moment during the song "Thankless Job".
- In Enchanted, Giselle and a little girl (and eventually others) do this.
- In Local Hero Danny does this at one point when he runs off down the street.
- In V for Vendetta a young girl does this after receiving the costume.
- Titanic (1997): "I'm the king of the world!"
Live Action TV
- Seijuu Sentai Gingaman and Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger, and their adaptations Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and Power Rangers Wild Force use a variation where they run partially bent over with their arms out in what is apparently intended to be a ready-to-strike-savagely position. It's not as practical as it sounds.
- Barney on How I Met Your Mother does a lovely airplane-armed run to see the mysterious girl in Ted's bed in the Pineapple Incident.
- Colbert whips his shirt off and does this in Generation Kill for no readily apparent reason, much to the bemusement of everyone watching.
- The song in the page quote was used on Sesame Street. Watch it, in all its Ear Worm goodness.
- Sailor Venus does this often as part of her fighting style in early episodes of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. She also does it in the opening sequence.
- In the closing credits of Little House on the Prairie Laura runs down a hill with airplane arms extended. And airplanes weren't even invented yet!
- Near the middle to end of "Airplanes"
- Weezer's video for "The Good Life" has Matt Sharp and Patrick Wilson briefly doing a slo-mo airplane run across the studio together during the instrumental bridge of the song - appropriately enough, this is cut to when the pizza delivery driver from the Concept Video segments is watching an actual plane skywrite the word "DELIVER".
- Most of the fan-made MMD videos for the Hatsune Miku song "Popipo" have Miku do this.
- King Trode in Dragon Quest VIII always runs like this. It may have something to do with how he's cursed to look like a little green troll for most of the game...
- Sonic the Hedgehog has run this way ever since Sonic CD, his Super Mode also flies like this.
- Parodied by one the many Uncanny Valley NPCs of Sonic 2006. A man with Sonic hair and a familiar dress style will challenge Sonic to a race, claiming to be the real Sonic, and he reenacts this style of running. He's really, really slow, though, and it's almost impossible to lose against him.
- Tails (whether he's flying or not), Knuckles, Amy, Cream, and Eggman all do this when running full speed.
- Aigis (the robot) in Persona 3. This looks especially funny when she has her sundress on. In FES's "The Answer" mode, she moves less like a jumbo jet and more like a quail — less stiff, but even more birdlike.
- Sakura from Street Fighter runs into her matches this way and almost overbalances before assuming a fighting stance.
- Mario has been doing this in the 2D platformers since Super Mario Bros. 3.
- And if he has the right item (such as the Cape in Super Mario World), he can take flight, making this almost a literal case of a Bird Run.
- Also, when he first appears in Super Mario Galaxy, Mario is seen running towards the Star Festival with his arms out, just because he's such a happy-go-lucky guy. Also, he can run like this in-game in Rainbow form.
- In Mario Strikers Charged, Luigi runs around and does this as one of his animations when his team scores a goal.
- Interestingly, while Peach does this while running in Super Mario 3D World, Mario and Luigi don't, instead tucking their arms in while running.
- Vincent Valentine of Final Fantasy VII does this during running animations. Since his character concept and design was basically the Rule of Cool personified, it's justified.
- The Majestic 12 Commando in Deus Ex does something similar to this while aiming and firing its Arm Cannon-like machine-guns. It looks silly but they can and will mess you up six ways 'til Sunday.
- Rumia and Suika from the Touhou series do this, with two different justifications: Rumia does it for Faux Symbolism reasons (it helps that she keeps the pose while standing still), and Suika is always drunk.
- Falco Lombardi runs in variations of this manner depending on the game. In the credits of Star Fox 64, he is seen running exactly this way. Probably appropriate, since he is essentially an anthropomorphic bird...
- Also in Super Smash Bros., Ness, Mega Man, Kirby, and the aforementioned Sonic all run like this with their arms swept behind them. Meanwhile, Lucario uses the ninja variant, and Marth and Lucina use the samurai variant, with Mewtwo evoking the former as he floats.
- Ghirahim does this in his running animation from Hyrule Warriors.
- Harle in Chrono Cross.
- Klonoa in the opening for Namco ◊ Capcom.
- One of 'Splosion Man's running animations
- Altair and Ezio from the Assassin's Creed series do this whenever they're running on something narrow like a wire, wall or a fence.
- Justified in that the outstretched arms help with balance.
- Taokaka from BlazBlue does this in her forward dash.
- Kainé from NieR runs this way, holding her huge serrated knives out to the side.
- Recette and Charme of Recettear do this when running through dungeons. Charme uses a dangerous variant, dual wielding knives that she holds out as if to cut things just by running by them. (Unfortunately, that doesn't actually work in the game.)
- The Remake of Romancing SaGa has Jamil and most of the thieves/rogues/amazons running like this.
- In League of Legends, Udyr being in his Phoenix Stance changes his run animation to running with airplane arms, tilting slightly to either side with each step like he's actually pretending to fly. Also Zed, a ninja champion, changes his run animation to airplane arms at high movement speeds.
- The Acrobatics travel power in Champions Online also has the character running in this position. Therefore, the power is often mocked and (incorrectly) nicknamed Ninja Run.
- Kunoichi in Samurai Warriors runs this way. Justified as she carries two large, very sharp knives in each hand, and running as fast as she does while keeping then close to her body may not be the best idea in the world. Ironically, Nene in the sequel keeps her arms much closer to her body, despite carrying an even larger pair of blades.
- Dual Wielding and sprinting in Skyrim will result in this. With the right perks, you can go from this to a power attack that nobody will walk away pretty from.
- Ceph Grunts, Captains and Stalkers will do this in Crysis 2 when they charge to engage in melee combat. Stop them dead or go into armor mode, or you will be in for a world of hurt.
- Zer0 in Borderlands 2 does this if he's sprinting without any guns equipped.
- When she's not teleporting, Nix in inFAMOUS 2 gets around with a fast, low-to-the-ground Airplane Run. The Harpies in the DLC Festival of Blood do the same, suggesting that they use some of Nix's code.
- Blacklight Retribution: The 'Airplane' taunt, complete with sound effects.
- Bubsy the Bobcat does this when he glides.
- Occasionally Miis do this in their apartments in Tomodachi Life, either by themselves or with someone else. No repercussions occur if they collide, however.
- Ninjas in "Final Fantasy XIV" have this as a unique running animation.
- This is shown most in the Lalafellin race due to their short arms.
- An early Guild Wars 2 bug resulted in Airplane Arms, which some players found hilarious (as shown in this video). Years later for their April 1. joke they brought it back with airplane arms for every player, a pilot's cap, a vintage filter and the PC constantly making airplane noises (even appropriate ones during falling).
- Maria in Xenogears actually does this, though it's more of a blink and you'll miss it in the ending (since Maria is only visible in one shot for a few seconds).
- The track art for "Lifdoff" in Homestuck Vol. 7 features John doing this.
- In Kiwi Blitz, robots run with their arms swept back. In The Rant, Mary Cagle explains that this is because their locomotion is quite different from a human's.
Since they donít have a humanís muscular system, itís actually efficient for these gals to run NINJA STYLE. Unlike actual humans and/or narutos.
- This was brought up in an episode of Game Grumps when the grumps were playing Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations (Jon as Sasuke, Arin as Shikamaru).
Egoraptor: Everybody knows the runs-faster by wiggling your arms around behind you.JonTron: Look at him, he's like "I'm a worm, I'm flying through the air!" [high-pitched] Superman with broken arms!
- The teenage shuriken specialist Mai on Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Toph does her own version sometimes, as well◊.
- Ty Lee does this when she runs on wires.
- In The Legend of Korra, the Ninja-like Equalist chi-blockers occasionally display this trope. In Book Two, Korra appears to have adopted it herself.
- Doug: In the beginning of "Doug Flies a Kite", after Doug mentions flying a kite, his father, Phil, runs around the room imitating an airplane, which leads Doug to convince himself that his father has gone insane.
- Freakazoid! extends his arms above his head ala Superman and makes wooshing noises to pretend he's flying. He can run super fast. He chooses to keep himself amused.
- Goo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends does this, along with stumbling around off-balance.
- Teen Titans: Happy!Raven does this when Beast Boy and Cyborg enter Raven's mirror in "Nevermore". It's their first hint that she isn't the Raven they're used to.
- Cody does this in The Rescuers Down Under after being taken on an epic ride by a giant eagle.
- In the Looney Tunes Brother Brat, an aircaft worker leaves her son for Porky to babysit, enthusiastically telling him "We hafta build those planes!" and heading out with arms outstretched - and then seen flying off in the distance!
- Numbah 2 from Codename: Kids Next Door runs like this sometimes. fitting because he's the teams pilot.
- This a fairly common celebratory dance for various sports, most notably scoring a goal in soccer
- Former Italian striker Vincenzo Montella (pictured above) was nicknamed "L'Aeroplanino" ("The Little Aeroplane") for his tendency to celebrate in this manner.
- Former Israeli soccer player Alon Mizrahi was nicknamed "Ha'Aviron" ("The Airplane") for the same reason as Vincezo Montella (though he was also known for saying stupid stuff).
- Jason Eugene Terry, nicknamed JET from his initials, of the NBA's Boston Celtics (and previously Dallas Mavericks), often does this after making a big shot.
- One of the common house rules for Ultimate Frisbee mandates this trope. It's much harder than you'd think! Try throwing without using your elbow or shoulder, for example.
- Some penguins can be seen doing this. And yes, it is just as adorable as it sounds.
- Not just penguins either. Other ground-dwelling and/or flightless birds will do this to balance themselves as they run. Ostriches and secretary birds are good examples.
- Common in small children as an attempt to balance.
- Or when they're pretending they're an airplane. Duh.