It is the fate of all banisters worth sliding down that there is something nasty waiting at the far end.
Any comedy whose set includes an elaborate staircase with a long, swooping banister will inevitably require someone to slide down that banister. Such slides are always rear-end first.
Half of the time, the slider will not realize until it's too late
that there's a finial at the very bottom just waiting to hit them in the crotch
. The other half of the time, either there is no finial (as is the case in the opening to Wait Till Your Father Gets Home
) or it will break off harmlessly when the slider hits it. In either of these cases, the slider then ends up sprawled uninjured on the floor.
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Anime and Manga
- Yotsuba&!: Yotsuba does this while racing her dad down the stairs to a shrine.
- MAD's spoof of the 1991 The Addams Family movie had, in one panel, a disembodied bum sliding down a banister.
- In Volume 5 of Scott Pilgrim, the hero does this, ending with a flying kick to the face of his own brother, whom he had mistaken for Gideon. The panel even features the word "BUTT-SLIDE" in large text.
- In Ella Enchanted, Ella's father and new step mother walk in on her and the prince enjoying themselves sliding down the giant banister in the castle in which the wedding has just taken place. Her new family members are not amused.
- A much milder version shows up in the first novel of the Malloreon. Eriond and Prince Kheva set up piles of pillows at the end of their banisters ... but Polgara walks in on their game just as one pillow burst and sent feathers all over. Having had some two thousand years of experience raising little boys, all she does is laugh and tell them they need to clean up the feathers.
- Vorkosigan Saga: Mile Vorkosigan does one near the beginning of Lois Mc Master Bujold's The Warrior's Apprentice because he's got two broken legs, and is supposed to stay off his feet. Fortunately his father was at the bottom of the stairs, and managed to catch him. In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Ivan mentions that some earlier point in his life, Miles ended up breaking a leg doing something similar.
- In Starfighters of Adumar, the banister slide is weaponized in a fight, when one character uses it to gain momentum before launching himself at their foes.
- The Queen's Museum and Other Fanciful Tales, short story "The Christmas Truants". The boy Tomtit does one of these while the title characters are trying to escape the castle of a band of robbers.
- In Helen Wells' Cherry Ames: Private Duty Nurse, the heroine does this, causing her mother to jokingly remark, "Shocking behavior for a graduate nurse!" Cherry says her brother Charlie used to do it without using his hands.
- A throwaway detail in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is that when the tour group reaches a flight of stairs that leads to the Nut Room, Willy Wonka chooses to slide down the banister and the three remaining kids in the tour group follow suit.
Live Action TV
- Otto Soglow's The Little King once showed the title character doing this, taking care to have his servants place a cushion in front of the sharp-pointed finial sculpture.
- Nemo and Flip slide down a very long and winding banister in Little Nemo in Slumberland, which ends up going in zig-zags, wavy bumps, and cork screws. It was later also done in the movie.
- The sharp object variant occurred in the Quick Draw McGraw short "El Kabong": The villain Don Chilada waited at the bottom to jab the banister-sliding Quick Draw with the tip of his sword.
- The opening sequence to each episode of popular Czech bedtime story Mach a Sebestova shows the boy sliding and blinking with his ear to signal turns.
- The opening sequence to the Dennis the Menace cartoon showed Dennis doing this. He may have done it a time or two in the live-action TV series as well.
- Also the case for the other Dennis the Menace, in this case before Dennis reached the bottom of the bannister Gnasher pulled a lever which made the knob at the end of the banister slide down into it allowing Dennis to fly off the end!.
- He did this in a 1980s The Beano strip, too, but Mum had sewn sandpaper into his shorts (Dennis hadn't noticed) thus sanding the banister down. This was one of several unwittingly helpful things he did in that issue, with a bemused Dennis getting rewarded instead of being punished at the end.
- Arabian Knights episode "Sky Raiders of the Desert". Both Turjan and Bez slide down a stair banister to attack some guards.
- Jonny Quest TOS
- "Monster in the Monastery". Performed by Jonny, Hadji and some yeti.
- "House of the Seven Gargoyles". Dietrich (Norway's greatest acrobatic dwarf, who's dressed as a gargoyle) does this while following the others to Professor Ericson's demonstration.
- Looney Tunes:
- In "The Wise-Quacking Duck", Daffy Duck comes down the banister just fine, but then turns a statue holding a spear so that the tip gets his pursuer.
- In "Napoleon Bunny-parte", Bugs Bunny is being chased by Napoleon (yes that Napoleon) down a banister, while a guard is waiting at the bottom with a bayonet. Bugs gets off early, so it's "Nappy" who gets the point in the end.
- In the Tex Avery MGM cartoon "One Ham's Family", a Bratty Half-Pint slides down a banister with a pricey-looking vase on the finial. He comes to a Screeching Stop just millimeters from the vase, then tells the audience, "I've got me good brakes, haven't I, folks?"
- In "Dumb-Hounded", the Wolf is sliding down a banister to get away from Droopy. However, Droopy suddenly appears behind him and comments "Fun, isn't it?", causing the Wolf to do a Wild Take and slide up the banister.
- The Simpsons:
- Bart occasionally slides down the banister.
- Homer and Marge comment that Shary Bobbins butt-waxed the banister, too.
- The Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "A Night of Fright Is No Delight". As the two green ghosts are fleeing Shaggy and Scooby, they jump on to a stair's banister and slide down in an attempt to escape.
- In Curious George, the monkey does this while standing up. He jumps off before the end.
- In Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, Cinderella and two of her mouse friends do this at the palace.
- Doug does this in "Doug's on His Own".
- Used many times in Madeline.
- In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Adoptcalypse Now", Coco grinds down the banister, then jumps off. Later, in "Cuckoo for Coco Cards", Edwardo attempts to go down the banister backwards, going so slowly that the finial isn't an issue.
- In The Little Rascals episode "Rascals' Revenge", all of the Rascals except Alfalfa exit the old house in a panic by sliding down the banister, leaving an Impact Silhouette in the closed door.
- The Vancouver, British Columbia, public transit system is full of plastic speed bumps on escalator dividers and other banisters specifically to avert this trope, or at least make any attempts painful and not worth it. (With good reason, considering how steep some of the ones downtown are.)
- The same things are also found on The London Underground, where they are usually seen as opportunities to put alternating advertising and safety/security messages.
- During a 2013 Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game, a man slid down a stair railing repeatedly before falling off the upper deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium onto a fan below. He was later found guilty of assault.