Failures on Ice

We're slipping on the ice!
Just slipping on the ice!
For a fabulous pratfall
Just follow this advice!
Let your feet take a flip!
I've broken my hip!
We're slipping, and sliding, on the ice!
—"Slipping on the Ice", Animaniacs

Many works of fiction are set in the right place and right time for it to be cold enough to experience snow, and for lakes, ponds and the like to freeze over. There are also those stories set in and/or near ice-skating rinks. Naturally, either way, one character or another will want to try ice-skate on such a frozen body, or not, but is peer-pressured into doing so.

Fairly straightforward, until the character takes their first step onto the ice.

Expect a lot of imbalance, flailing, failing, struggling, shaking, frustration, hilarity and inevitable crashing. It very often ends up with an Epic Fail.

Note that, despite the name, the character does not have to be ice skating. It happens just as often with roller-skates.

Compare Epic Fail and Frictionless Ice. Contrast On Ice.

No Real Life Examples, Please! The list would go on forever if we listed all Real Life examples.

Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Usagi in Sailor Moon had a lot of trouble skating in one episode, but she actually gets the knack in the course of a fight in the rink.
  • Ranma
    • Ranma proves to be less than usually competent on skates, which naturally leads him into a bout of Martial Arts Couples Ice Skating.
    • Ranma and Ryouga, in the first three episodes of the second season, and the manga they are adapted from, prove to be almost completely incompetent as ice-skaters. So bad is Ranma that he turns himself into a girl so that he's less embarassed... only to end up skidding into Pretty Boy Jerkass Mikado, who gives Ranma-chan her First Kiss.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has an episode where she and her class go to a skating rink. While Sakura is good at rollerskating (she does this to school everyday) she is not good at skating on ice. The episode involves her learning how to do it, which comes in very handy given there's a Clow Card (the Freeze) on the loose in the rink...
  • A serious version of this forms a plot point for a major character in Death Parade. Onna/Chiyuki was a professional figure skater who suffered a career-ending injury when her knee shattered in a fall. The depression that ensued afterwards caused her to reevaluate her relationships and goals in life: thinking that she didn't have any other direction, she committed suicide and ended up in the purgatory-esque bar where the story takes place.

Comics
  • Katy Keene
  • There was an Archie Comics story where Jughead was trying to get his dog Hot Dog to skate with him because he refuses to skate with a girl. The instant Hot Dog gets on the ice, he starts slipping and wobbling around on the ice because he had weak ankles. It's subverted afterwards when Jughead fixes the problem by adding an extra ice skate to Hot Dog's tail, causing Hot Dog to become a skating ace, much to Jughead's chagrin.
    • In another story, Jughead is the one having trouble, and has a pillow tied to his backside for whenever he falls. Ironically, he's skating at the sight of a freestyle ice skating competition, and wins first prize when all of the other, better skaters crash into each other because they weren't paying attention.
    • One issue just showed Betty fallen on the ice as a pinup.
  • In one strip of FoxTrot, Jason tries to rollerskate, but rolls down a hill and into a yard with a sign that says "Beware of Dog." Paige, naturally, enjoys this.
    Paige: I really need to write Gramma thanks for those roller-skates...
    • Jason is seen flailing and thrashing around on his ice skates before grabbing the wall for support. He then says that if he's that bad on the rubber mats, going on the actual ice should be interesting.
    • Jason gets hit with the short end of the stick again when Eileen invites him to go ice skating. He falls down twice.
  • Invoked in an issue of Spider-Man. Peter and Mary Jane are out ice skating with (whom he thought were) Peter's returned parents. Thanks to his powers, he can skate perfectly, but MJ warns him that he could accidentally tip people off to who he is, so he purposely falls over to throw them off.

Film-Animated
  • Bambi, even though he wasn't wearing skates, had a hard time on the ice, despite the fact that other animals were skating around just fine.
  • Manny and Diego, as with the above example, weren't wearing skates in Ice Age, but struggled to stay standing whilst on a frozen lake. Meanwhile, Sid glided effortlessly around them in figure-eight shapes, all whilst carrying the baby.
  • In the teaser trailer for Frozen, it seems that Sven has about as much luck on ice as Bambi. He even gets his tongue stuck to the ice at one point! Olaf the Snowlem isn't much better.
    • In the film itself, Olaf actually pretty decent on the ice; it's Anna who proves to be the klutz, slipping constantly and having to hold on to her sister in the film's final scene.
      Anna: I don't got it! I don't got it!

Film-Live Action
  • In Cool Runnings the Jamaican bobsledders have a hard time learning to walk on ice.

Live-Action TV
  • On Happy Days the gang goes to a rollerskating rink, and Fonzie is very unsteady on his skates. He still tries to act cool though.
  • In the Sesame Street special Big Bird's Birthday, or Let Me Eat Cake BB's birthday party takes place at a roller rink. Snuffy is scared of falling down, but Big Bird coaxes him onto the rink. Oscar the Grouch is there as well - he likes watching people fall down.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Mac wins a chance to take a shot from center ice at a Flyers game, but he doesn't know how to skate. Despite that, he skates out perfectly and makes the shot. Actually, he fell as soon as he stepped onto the ice and imagined everything while unconscious.
  • A slight variation on How I Met Your Mother in which Ted stated he had taken skating lessons when Barney changes his and Robin's rehearsal dinner to a Canadian themed ice skating rink. He falls within his first loop around the rink.

Video Games
  • While most video game characters can hold their own on their games' Slippy Slidey Ice Worlds, Ristar has trouble keeping on his feet.
  • In Legendof Zelda:Wind Waker , expect to hear a lot of yelps and shouts of distress as Link tries to keep his balance while moving across ice, especially when he's turning. And if you try going the exact opposite direction you're moving too quickly, he can fall on his face.

Western Animation
  • In the opening of A Charlie Brown Christmas all the kids are ice skating and doing fine, until Snoopy gets on the ice and grabs Linus' Security Blanket, tossing him into a billboard.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight tries to help score the ice so it will melt, but is so terrible at it, that she quickly loses control, and crashes into Pinkie Pie and Spike, who all then end up as a pony snowman.
  • An episode of Dragon Tales dealt with Zak and Wheezie learning how to ice skate, so that the gang could attend the birthday party of a seal who lives in said icy area.
  • In The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger sees Rabbit ice skating and decides to try it himself. He starts of pretty well, but soon gets into an uncontrollable spin which leads to him crashing into Rabbit. After this he decides Tiggers don't like ice skating.
  • On the Classic Disney Short "On Ice", this happens to Minnie Mouse (when Mickey is teaching her to skate) and to Pluto (when Donald ties skates on his paws while he's asleep and pushes him into the ice).
  • In the opening of The Critic, Jay steps onto the skating rink at Rockefeller Center and the ice cracks, sending everyone else tumbling.
  • One episode of W.I.T.C.H.'s second season has Caleb attempt to ice skate in order to win back Cornelia's heart after events from the season's first two episodes, competing with Taranee's older brother. However, events in the episode conspire to get the two back together and the episode ends with Cornelia aiding Caleb in ice skating.
  • This was slightly inverted in the second act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Waterboy Bogus", as while Bogus does do good in skating on the frozen pond, he suddenly loses his balance after a while and falls directly through the ice.
  • Hefty and Handy are both ice-skating failures in The Smurfs cartoon special "The Smurfic Games".