Maintenance worker, to diver: Are you going to dive into the pool?
Maintenance worker: (putting up "Pool Closed for Repairs" sign while diver dives)
Good. At least that's not empty.
—MAD: Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions
You know the gag. A person makes a masterful dive into a swimming pool, discovering too late that the pool doesn't have water in it. Amusing Injury
ensues. It's fairly popular in comedy, and typically Played for Laughs
, although more dramatic examples do exist.
A common subtrope of High Dive Hijinks
- A more serious example in the Franco Belgian Comic Les 4 As: In one book, a mafia gang used that as a method of execution. By the end of the book, they're using "empty the pool" as a Deadly Euphemism.
- Hefty in The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Threat" makes a masterful dive into an empty river bed. A few Smurfs also make empty swimming pool dives in "The Smurf Garden" when Gargamel designs it to drain all the water from the pool and trap the Smurfs in it.
- In the backstory of the Hulk Hogan film Mr Nanny, this happened to the Big Bad. While fighting Hulk's character, the villain accidentally ran off the roof of a building and landed head-first in the empty pool of the nextdoor hotel. It would have killed him, but his Funny Afro cushioned the fall. Nonetheless, he needed to have a metal plate put on afterwards.
- In Scanners III: The Takeover, this is faciliated by the villainess through Psychic-Assisted Suicide, as she eliminates one of her rivals by forcing him to dive headfirst into an empty pool at his mansion.
- Featured in a hilariously done safety message skit in one episode of The Electric Company. Jim Boyd (who portrays a swimmer) is about to head in to a swimming pool watched over by Luis Avalos (playing a lifeguard) who tries to run through the pool's safety rules on Jim, who brushes off the former as he already "complied" with most of the rules. Before Luis talks about the last one, Jim dives in, and the typical "crash" sound is heard (the camera stays focused on Luis' location so what happens to Jim is off camera). Then Jim clamors back up, feeling dazed, before Luis points out the final rule meant to prevent the trope from happening.
- There's a story of a boy who practiced diving into a public pool at nighttime. One time as he was about to dive, he noticed he was casting a shadow in the shape of a cross. Feeling a pang of religious conviction, he stopped and began to pray. Moments later, the lights came on... revealing that he'd just barely avoided this trope. Read about it here.
- In the animated version of The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, one of the lines from the Cat's song speculating about why the Grinch is so grinchy is "Did you dive in an empty swimming pool?"
- Whenever a Looney Tunes or Tex Avery short features a pool with a diving board, you can bet this trope will appear in one form or another.
- The 3rd episode of The Flintstones (actually the first one produced) was titled "The Swimming Pool", where Fred and Barney build a pool in their adjoining backyards. This gag appears at least once.
- Turns up in many a Tom and Jerry cartoon, e.g. "Salt Water Tabby".
- Happens in the Classic Disney Short "How To Swim", when Goofy is demonstrating the high dive. He leaves a Goofy-shaped hole in the floor.
- In another cartoon, "African Diary", Goofy goes swimming in a watering hole, just as a hippo is getting out, displacing all the water. Goofy dives into a now dry waterbed, but fails to notice and ends up bathing in dirt.
- There was a Pink Panther cartoon short that consisted of a series of unrelated gag clips. In one, the Pink Panther climbs a diving board ladder and dives into a pool (with irrelevant results). Then he ascends the ladder again but continues on past the first board to a (much) higher dive platform. Between the time he jumps off the board and reaches ground level, the filled pool suddenly and inexplicably drains completely. Elapsed time: about 2 seconds.
- In the Looney Tunes short "High Diving Hare" Bugs Bunny tricks Yosemite Sam into jumping off a high dive into a barrel of water, except there's no water in the barrel. Bugs dumps a bucket of water after Sam, and Sam tries to get the water to fall faster than he so it'll be there for him to land in. The water lands on the barrel in time... Sam misses the barrel entirely.
- At the very end of 'Terrier Stricken', Claude cat is thrown into an empty swimming pool after being dragged through various obsticles in a house.
- A Tiny Toon Adventures short involving Montana Max stealing water for his own pool had a few instances of this.
- Brainy makes a dive into an empty river bed in The Smurfs episode "The Patchwork Bear".
- In Garfield and Friends Jon shows the World Records representative his vacation slides to make more time, in which he mentions he took a dive in the empty pool of the resort. Then he was drowning in the empty pool. And then a lifeguard went to save him from the empty pool. And then the lifeguard realized the pool was empty.