[[caption-width-right:350:Just another day at the office.]]

->''"Everybody looks down when you tell them not to look down, do you know that?!"''
-->-- '''Bill Rago''' (Danny [=DeVito=]), ''Renaissance Man''

A StockPhrase you have certainly heard a million times. Insert in nearly any situation where the characters have to traverse some area where the penalty for a misstep or equipment failure is a one way trip courtesy of gravity. Or, they're hanging over such an area by their fingernails or a very unsteady rope, branch or other dubious support. "Just stay calm, and don't look down" or some variant is uttered.

Why? Because you really don't want to know what's down there.

However, [[ThoughtAversionFailure sometimes the person won't listen and they will look down anyway]]. Cue FreakOut. A massive source of SchmuckBait.

When invoked in a comedy or an animated work, may lead to the realization that GravityIsAHarshMistress... two seconds before you start falling.

PlummetPerspective describes one of the things that might happen if the character ''does'' look down.


[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* Inverted in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'': Lupin tells Clarisse to look down in order to ''calm'' her so she realizes they're hanging several hundred feet in the air from a thin line and screaming and flailing at the strange man holding her is a really bad idea.
* Inverted in a different manner in an episode of ''{{LightNovel/Slayers}}''. The gang is clinging to a rope across a chasm, and Filia tells Gourry to not look ''up''. This is because he's holding on to her legs and she's wearing a dress.
* One example in ''Anime/DigimonFusion'' when the fighters get to the forest zone they're teleported there, several hundred feet up in the air. At first they wonder where the zone is (since when they're teleported there there's nothing there at all. Then Mikey decides to look down. He then tells the one person in their party with a height phobia how his fear of heights is doing then tells him this trope's name. Cue GravityIsAHarshMistress.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* ''Disney/{{Dumbo}}'': Timothy Mouse to the title character.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' says this to Donkey as they're crossing the rope bridge to Dragon's castle. When Donkey looks down and freaks out, Shrek teases him and has a good laugh about it.
--> '''Donkey:''' Shrek, I'm looking down! Aaaaah!!!!!
* Used hilariously in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'': Helen and Jack-Jack are falling, with the huge explosion above them, and Helen reassures Jack-Jack in this way.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'': Doc to Clara.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings: The Two Towers'' - Frodo to Sam.
** Also done humorously in the third film when Aragorn tells Gimli not to look down because they were walking on skulls.
* ''Film/ThePoseidonAdventure'' (1972) - Reverend Scott to Linda Rogo.
* ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' (2005): Ray Ferrier
* The quote from ''Renaissance Man'' above, when Bill Rago is about to rappel down the large victory tower.
* Averted in ''Film/NeedForSpeed''. Early on, Julia is shown to have a severe fear of heights. Later in the movie, when she and Tobey are [[ItMakesSenseInContext in a car dangling from a helicopter a mile in the air]], Tobey calms her down by telling her to look into his eyes and getting her riled up about them. ("They're a lot bluer than yours." "...No, they're not!") He never once says the phrase.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''[[Literature/YoungWizards So You Want To Be A Wizard]]'', precognitive macaw Macchu Picchu offers Nita and Kit three pieces of advice: don't be afraid to make corrections, don't be afraid to lend a hand, and don't look down.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'': The Marquis de Carabas says this to Richard, who, predictably, doesn't listen. It doesn't help that they're underground, and Richard doesn't expect to [[AlienGeometries suddenly find himself high up.]]


[[folder: Music ]]

* The 80s music group Go West has the trope as the [[TitleDrop title]] as well as the lyrics:
-->''Don't look down, girl! (Don't look down!)''
--->''You know you're holding aces''
-->''Don't look down, girl! (Don't look down!)''
--->''Don't give the game away!''


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* During the sequence on the outside of the Shadow Broker's ship in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Liara mistakenly looks down and then tells herself not to.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'': It seems that the older parts of the Aperture Science facility are full of fathomless drops, and when Wheatley is carried over one of them by Chell, he says this to her. She [[HeroicMime doesn't react]], naturally, but he immediately takes his own SchmuckBait and regrets it - ''twice''.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'': Eggman says it to Shadow when he passes through [[spoiler:a Chao room]].
* In the ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' "Jaws of Hakkon" [=DLC=], Dorian will advise everyone not to look down while climbing tall trees. The Inquisitor can admit they may have already done so, or ask if he's saying that because ''he's'' looked.
-->'''Dorian:''' Let's not start a whole game of, "who looked down and suddenly felt the weight of their own mortality", shall we? Some of us have to ''concentrate'' on walking.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/MenageA3'': Invoked in highly unusual circumstances [[http://www.ma3comic.com/strips-ma3/open_your_heart here.]] Kiley has a massive case of ACupAngst, [=DiDi=] has truly epic breasts, and for reasons that defy summary, they're naked, they're face to face at close quarters, and Kiley is romancing [=DiDi=]. Actually, symbolically, Kiley has it right; she's walking one heck of a tightrope there.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' #[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0647.html 647]]:
--> '''Elan''': Woooooo! Wind Walk is the best cleric spell ever!!!
--> '''Durkon''': Dinnae look down, dinnae look down, dinnae look down...


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* {{Lampshaded}} in WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries episode "The Lost Ones", after Al & co. go through a magic portal into a place that seems to be in midair.
* Done in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' episode "The Big Candy Store":
-->'''Dot''': Don't look down! You might fall and hit your head and die and your brains would leak out all over!
** Also used in ''WesternAnimation/WakkosWish'':
-->'''Yakko''': Whoa! Just don't look down.
-->'''Wakko''': Do you get vertigo?
-->'''Yakko''': No.
-->'''Wakko''': Me neither.
-->'''Yakko''': Yeah, I've seen [[Film/{{Vertigo}} that movie]] three times and I ''still'' don't get it.
* WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes and Creator/HannaBarbera cartoons, which combine ToonPhysics with GravityIsAHarshMistress. The classic case: a cartoon character can run over or stand on thin air untill he realizes something is wrong and looks down. Only then does gravity take over.
** Zig-zag: In the ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics'' episode taking place at the Grand Canyon, Huckleberry Hound uses this reasoning as to why the tightrope walk across the canyon doesn't make him nervous.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in "The Neptune Adventure"
-->'''Lenny:''' ''(on the ladder; panicking)'' Whatever you do, don't look down! I mean up! I can't do this anymore! It's too confusing! ''(falls to his death)''
-->'''Carl:''' It's not that confusing.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMagicSchoolBus'': in "Under Construction" (about engineering), Wanda says this to Arnold as he's [[ItMakesSenseInContext slowly crawling across a suspension bridge made of Q-tips, dental floss, and bandages over a bathtub with a baby alligator in it.]] He looks down, alligator snaps jaws shut, and Arnold books it to the other side.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', after [[GenkiGirl Pinkie Pie's]] antics allowed [[CowardlyLion Fluttershy]] to temporarily get over her fear of heights in "Dragonshy", she finally attempts to jump over a mountain chasm only for Twilight Sparkle to say this phrase as words of encouragement. Sure enough, Fluttershy does just that and immediately loses her momentum in fright, causing her to drop like a rock... on top of a narrow gap that she could have just walked over.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Ron says this to ''himself'' as he's being chased through a towering collection of machinery in Drakken's lair, and promptly steps on and breaks through a flimsy grillwork, falling into the tube it is covering.
* Anais uses this in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''
-->'''Anais''' ''(while telling Gumball and Darwin to cross a log)'': It's OK, just don't look down.
-->''(Gumball and Darwin look down)''
-->'''Gumball''': AAAHHH! Why did you do that?!
-->'''Anais''': What? I said, ''don't'' look down.
-->''(Gumball and Darwin look down again)''
-->'''Gumball''': AAAHHH! You did it again!!
* In WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime Bulkhead gets a little nervous when going out to fight in space. "Don't look down. Or up. Or left."
* Simon says this to Theodore in ''WesternAnimation/TheChipmunkAdventure'' when the two are crossing a bridge. The second he finishes speaking, Theodore looks down.