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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/ChittyChittyBangBang http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Baroness_Parachute_HD_4575.jpg]]]]

Falling is a very unladylike activity on the whole. There's lots of tumbling and screaming, your hair and clothes get ruined, and there's the danger people below may see your underwear. This trope offers an alternative for the more ladylike and feminine of tumblers, especially Princess characters with a PimpedOutDress. Basically, a character's dress or skirt flares out in mid-air, forming a parachute shape and somehow slowing their descent.

The thicker and more layered the material the better. Don't worry about terminal velocities and drag coefficients (see PunyParachute); [[RuleOfFunny the laws of physics tend to give way to the opportunity to see a slightly comical petticoat exposure.]]

[[RealityIsUnrealistic Incredibly]], this trope is somewhat a TruthInTelevision. Hoop skirts (crinolines) ''did'' have a tendency to catch airstream and act like a drogue chute. There are cases of women on piers that were swept up by a gust of wind and carried out to sea. It was also a bad idea to hang around cliffs or tall buildings in this sort of contraption.

Often a form of ImprovisedParachute, but just as often it's accidental. Compare ParasolParachute (often found on similar sorts of characters).

!! Examples:


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cosmo_the_seedrian_down_down_664.png Cosmo]] in ''Anime/SonicX'' is a no brainer. Because she is a plant, this makes it a unique one.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/JetDream'': In one story, Marlene's dress billows out into a "Tunic Chute" to save her from falling off a cliff to her death. Technically not "improvised," but a piece of [[ShoePhone spy gear]] ''designed'' for the purpose. It's a pretty goofy design, though, and one of the less "ladylike" examples, as just about ''any'' angle other than that chosen by the artist would give Marlene [[PantyShot "full exposure."]] [[http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/5218/jd194.jpg See Marlene's Tunic Chute in all its glory]].
* A ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' comic from ''Magazine/DisneyAdventures''' Comic Zone has the characters playing with "jump jelly," goop that acts as a super-trampoline if charged with electricity. When [[WholesomeCrossdresser Pleakley]] tries it, he wears one of Nani's dresses as a safety precaution. Stitch turns the electricity up and Pleakley bounces extra-high, using the dress as a parachute to float back down with.
* ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'': In the story "De Kaartendans", this happens to Wiske when she dresses up in a 18th century dress, but accidently trips over it and tumbles out the window. She makes a safe landing outside, and even remarks that this must be how the parachute was originally invented.

[[folder: Film -- Animated]]
* The falling scene as Alice falls down the rabbit hole in Disney's version of ''Disney/AliceInWonderland'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHte24GGHD4 (seen here)]]. This trope is used to explain why she falls slowly enough to look around her and ruminate on the whole situation, which in the book goes [[RealDreamsAreWeirder unexplained.]]
** It was also used for Brooke Shields's guest appearance on ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' where she sang as Alice falling [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFD3TkuPR8c down the rabbit hole]].
** It also happened in the 1988 Burbank Films Australia version.

[[folder: Film -- Live-Action]]
* Happens in ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'', when the Baroness is launched into the air from Chitty's EjectionSeat.
* During the boxing match at the end of ''The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin'', one of the fighters is slammed into the crowd with such force that one of the saloon girls is catapulted skyward, only to drift back down. (Then again, since she was dancing the cancan earlier, we'd already seen her petti's...)

[[folder: Literature]]
* Happens in the novel ''Literature/{{Superfolks}}'' by Robert Mayer, with the added revelation that the lady in question [[GoingCommando wasn't wearing underwear]].
* One of the reasons Franchise/{{Mistborn}} avoid dresses is the tendency to do this when they're RoofHopping.
* In ''Literature/AngelsAndDemons'', Robert Langdon has to bail out of a helicopter overy Rome, and uses his sport coat to slow himself enough to not die by landing in the nearby river.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the first episode of ''Series/JackOfAllTrades'', Jack rescues President Jefferson's niece from a French fort in Canada. To escape the fort, Jack and the girl jump off a high cliff. They are saved because Jack grabs on to her feet and her dress billows out to form a parachute showing her bloomers(Jack also gets an excellent view of her petticoats.)

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Princess Zelda in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' can use this to slow and control descents after being hit up.
* [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/93/46/dc/9346dcc1c70884c5bd5e1f923ef62b55.png Princess Peach]] in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' uses this to hover in the air and make long jumps. It ended up being more implicitly magical in the ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' games, however (note the [[BuffySpeak sparklies]] around her dress when she does it). She also has this in ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld'', though she can still do it with powerups that completely remove the dress. Other times, she just uses her {{parasol|Parachute}}.
* Rachel Alucard in ''VideoGame/BlazBlue''. Ironically, although she [[ParasolOfPain wields an umbrella]] ([[EquippableAlly a cat which turns into one, no less]]), she doesn't often use a ParasolParachute, except in her intro poses and a special animation if you hold the strong attack button in the air (there's basically no advantage to using it, though, so you'll rarely ever see it.)
* Alice of ''[[VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice American McGee's Alice]]'' uses her dress as a parachute to ride steam.
** And in the [[VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns sequel]], three of her four possible jumps involve this trope as a way to cross long distances.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* In the WesternAnimation/{{Classic Disney Short|s}} "WesternAnimation/PlaneCrazy", WesternAnimation/MinnieMouse's bloomers deploy like a parachute.
** A tribute to this appears in ''WesternAnimation/GetAHorse''.
* It happened to Ortensia in the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short "Oh What a Knight".
* Baby Piggy in ''WesternAnimation/MuppetBabies'', as she told her version of the Lewis Carroll story, had this happen to her own Alice character, her dress taking a parachute-like means as she fell down a rabbit-, er, I mean tadpole-hole.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'', one of the Misfits videos "Lovesick" had Pizzazz do a parachute petticoat.
* At the end of the ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' half-episode "Rufus in Show" Kim presses a button so her spy suit becomes a dress to serve this function, and is motorized compared to all the others.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' had Chuckie and Phil try this while wearing dresses for the first time. It actually worked for a second.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBackyardigans'', in the episode Breakout!, Uniqua and Tasha as the princesses trying to escape from the castle, in one part, the two fly out of a ceiling window and they deploy their dresses as parachutes the float down safely.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' did this is one Mindy & Buttons cartoon which spoofed Alice in Wonderland.
* A male variation: the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Injun Trouble" has the bearded man's suspenders serving as a parachute.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* The crinoline. RealityIsUnrealistic.
* Widely believed to have saved [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Ann_Henley Sarah Ann Henley]]'s life.