One commercial had a little kid doing this while playing hide-and-seek with his dad.
Anime & Manga
Rider of Fate/stay night majors in adhesive acrobatics, with a minor in flight. She prefers to attack from impossible angles, since her actual combat ability leaves much to be desired. Her ceiling cling allows her to stab down into the base of Shirou's neck, from above and behind.
Ranma frequently tries to escape distressing situations this way, to spy on people, and while sneak attacking — and he can cling to even a smooth, painted wooden surface◊. Once he even did a blanket cling when trying to hide from his mother as she pulled off the covers from his futon.
At least one antagonist, Kodachi, uses this to get the drop on Akane once.
Sōsuke in Full Metal Panic almost gets away with this. It would have worked if the robots did not have the smarts to: TURN AROUND! Dun dun dun. It wasn't his fault: he hoisted himself up between some ceiling pipes and engaged his ECS, waited until his pursuers passed underneath then dropped down, disengaged ECS and started going in the opposite direction but not before reporting it to his superiors via radio. Unknown to him, the enemy was tapping their communications which means he just gave away his position.
All Shinobi in Naruto who have the mastered the necessary chakra control can do this. As the necessary level of chakra control is considered a rather basic ninja skill, such displays are at least as likely to be played for comedy as they are for ambush or evasion. After all, when everybody can do it, nobody will be surprised by it.
Silver managed to do this at the start of the G/S/C arc of Pokémon Special, using a pair of flourescent lights as supports.
One of the missing Kecleon in the Pokémon anime episode "The Kecleon Caper".
In Akazukin Chacha, it's revealed that the pink ninja Orin was there all along in class even though never shown in the first season — having been clinging to the ceiling the whole time.
Bleach: Shinji is capable of this. He's shown in one chapter's cover art as pulling a straight example of this against Ichigo. However, in the actual manga, he can pull this stunt on people using only thin air. It's a hint of his special power (being able to reverse things).
Spider-Man doesn't even need to grab onto anything but the ceiling itself to hold himself up. This was parodied where the person did look up (thankfully he was a civilian, not a villain) and Spidey was forced to sign an autograph to keep him quiet.
Spider-Man: You know you're not supposed to look up until a second after I'm gone, right?
Dragon magazine #4, Finieous Fingers comic strip. While Finieous and his friends are exploring a dungeon a monster attacks them and swallows both of Finieous' friends. Finieous escapes by quickly climbing a wall and holding onto the ceiling. He does this so quickly that the monster loses sight of him and can't find him. Unfortunately the part of the ceiling he's holding onto breaks off, dropping him to the floor right in front of the monster.
Serenity. As shown in the above picture, River Tam was an expert at doing this when necessary. Also doubles as The Cast Showoff moment, as Summer Glau really was capable of doing this. The only reason the beam on her right foot exists is because she was slightly too short for the width of the corridor, so the beams were used to narrow the distance.
In the 2007 Transformersmovie, one of the giant robots escapes pursuit this way, clinging to the underside of a bridge.
Parodied in Rush Hour 2, where Lee tries to sneak into a casino's back rooms. He climbs on top of a large safe being wheeled in, and clings to the ceiling once he's inside, letting it move past... then sees he's staring right into a security camera.
Used by the burglars in the third Home Alone film.
Lampshaded in Superhero Movie, where The Dragonfly is almost discovered while he's going to the bathroom. Hourglass' search for him launches into a minute-long search where Dragonfly hides everywhere from in a closet, to a drawer, to behind Hourglass, all at improbable speeds. He finally clings to the ceiling, but, unable to hold his pee, he begins dripping, then streaming, then gushing, then spurting like a sprinkler.
Goldfinger does this quite well, with James Bond tricking the guard into thinking he's escaped, clinging on to the ceiling, and then dropping down behind him once the guard opens the door.
Tom Cruise hides from Wilford Brimley this way in the movie of The Firm.
Cthulhu: "There were 'things', and they were everywhere! They were on the ground, they were on the ceiling, they were everywhere!"
The Ceiling Cling scene in the Spider-Man movie. Peter Parker is in his own apartment with his mask off but otherwise in costume when friends and family come in and he has to hide to keep his Secret Identity. He clings to the ceiling as they are right under him, including Norman Osborn, his (unbeknownst to him at the time) Big Bad Friend. Just after they leave the room, a single drop of blood falls off a cut on his arm from the battle earlier. Norman hears the drop land. In the time it takes him to turn around, look down and look up, Peter has made it out the window. Norman looks out the window, but Peter is now clinging to the ledge under the window.
Done in Men In Black II when Jay, Kay, and the worms clinging to the ceiling of an Empty Elevator attempting to break into their headquarters that's under control by the Big Bad and to dodge from a gunner droid.
The villain in Peter F. Hamilton's sci-fi novel The Nanoflower is able to cling to the roof of a cave (in order to ambush a pursuer) thanks to his Power Armor.
In Roger McBride Allen's Caliban, the eponymous robot gets past his pursuers in an underground tunnel by doing this.
In The Wizard Of Lovecraft's Cafe, an alcoholic wizard devised a spell to allow him to catch a nap on the ceiling of his favorite pub. When he and a companion are threatened by thugs, they elude them using this spell; peoples' habit not to look up is Lampshaded.
In the "Flight of the War Witch" two part episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Buck, Princess Ardala and a Pendaran captive use this to get out of their cell. Well Buck and the third prisoner do, Princess Ardala simply hides under the bed.
Monica pull this once. If only she'd held on to her comic books...
Also, when Peter shows up at Mohinder's apartment for the first time, there's a sort of twist on this trope, as Mohinder is telekinetically pinned to the ceiling by Sylar, though Mohinder winds up dripping some blood on Peter, cluing him in.
Naomi hides from Kate in the LOST episode "The Beginning of the End" by climbing a tree and hanging from a limb. Kate notices blood dripping on her from above.
Angel: Spoofed when a vampire tries to ambush Angel this way — he just steps to one side and the vampire crashes into the floor.
Kwai Chang Caine does it in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues.
Sidney Bristow in an early episode of Alias. Unfortunately, she's holding herself up by the hot water pipes just as the Mook walks under her, so she has to very quietly move over to the other, cooler pipe. Being her, she pulls it off.
Subverted in an episode of Sliders, where the title group slides into a world still stuck in the Old West mode. Quinn and Rembrandt are framed for murder and jailed by the local crime boss and a corrupt sheriff, to be hanged the next day. They realize they could use their knowledge of westerns to trick the guards and escape. Quinn does a ceiling cling while Rembrandt calls for help. Unfortunately for them, the person who walks in is the above-mentioned crime boss, who is also a dimentional traveler (and a Kromagg). He simply walks up to the cell doors without opening them and immediately looks up at Quinn, mentioning that Kromaggs have their own westerns.
Stargate Atlantis: Major Sheppard uses a ceiling cling (helped by a smoke grenade) to get the drop on three Genii Mooks in season 1 episode "The Eye". The life-signs detector monitored by one of their officers is of no help, since it cannot tell the exact height of a blip — just that Sheppard is right in the midst of them.
Oliver Queen/The Hood(Green Arrow) does this once in Arrow to hide from police when he broke into a police station.
One of the best ways to avoid (or lose) guards in Splinter Cell games is holding onto a pipe overhead with all four limbs. Your superspy can also do a "split jump" in narrow halls, stretching your legs to opposite walls and balancing yourself thus. By extension, you can also hang upside-down from a pipe to strangle opponents, shoot them with your pistol, or with your assault rifle in a split-jump.
Super Mario World has the Spinies and Buzzy Beetles who are able to walk across the ceiling - they attempt to attack by dropping from above. One or two of the Bosses can do it too. It's not as common in 3D Mario games, presumably due to the already-stated fact that most people don't look up.
In the commentary of Portal, the developers talk about how hard it is to get players to look up. While this is effective when hiding baddies in the ceiling, it's not quite as effective when trying to solves puzzles in twisted three dimensions. Of course Half-Life Veterans learned to always look up.
Demons do this very occasionally in Doom 3. Generally they just jump out of cupboards and from behind false walls.
If you thought Pokémon couldn't get away with this, say hello to the deliciously-trained peons of Pokemon Colosseum and XD's Cipher syndicate. Many times a path looks clear, but a Peon will drop from the ceiling and engage you with no warning otherwise.
Happens again in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 2, both during the story and in gameplay. In the story, Chatot and the player are attacked by a group of particularly nasty bandits that drop from the ceiling. Chatot recognizes this just in time and shields the player from attack, taking the brunt of the blow. In gameplay, there are the MonsterHouses, which can be deadly.
Spider Splicers from BioShock do this with a distinct clinking sound.
The "Going Rogue" Expansion Pack for City of Heroes added the Ghouls as a villain group. They like to cling to the ceilings of the subway tunnels and drop down on you as you pass under them.
Narrator: Gripponan smart soles definitely qualify as force multipliers. With the right skills, they allow for amazing feats. And with the right intel, amazing feats become legendary ambushes.
Poked fun at by The Simpsons. Mr. Burns and Smithers attempt a Ceiling Cling in Homer's kitchen while trying to steal Maggie's teddy bear. Unfortunately Homer comes in at that very moment, and starts a marathon cheese-eating session that lasts until dawn. (That's when Smithers and Mr. Burns just give up and fall to the floor.)
Burns:(dusting himself off) Good day to you.
In Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Blue Spirit clings to the ceiling with two swords and a huge length of chain without making a sound or a move.
This list won't be completed without mentioning Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003. In the very first episode, Leo does this and does this good. And thru many episodes Turtles cling to the ceiling a lot. Well justified that all of them are Ninja...
Subverted in Stroker And Hoop. Stroker and Hoop were infiltrating the Big Bad's office, when they suddenly hear him coming. They hide up between the rafters on the ceiling. The Big Bad comes in, calmly sits down, picks up his telephone, and says, "Hello, Security? There's two guys up in my ceiling. I don't know why they think I can't see them."
Done in the Transformers episode "The Golden Lagoon". The Autobots cling to a prison cell ceiling, dropping down on the Decepticons who enter the cell.
Admit it; you looked up while reading this didn't you?