"Woo! Superhero landing! You know that's really hard on your knees. Totally impractical, they all do it."A popular visual trope often associated with martial arts. After performing a particularly cool move, or dropping from a great height, the character lands on the ground in a crouching position, feet wide apart and supporting their weight with one hand on the floor while the other hand is outstretched away from their body, usually pointed diagonally upwards. Extra coolness points are added if the hand on the floor is a fist that actually causes damage to the ground you land on. A common variation of this features a head snap, where the character will land looking downward and after a brief pause, suddenly look up just in time for something to blow up behind them, and/or sending a Badass Death Glare to the enemy up front, or a Kubrick Stare for the camera. Can also be a result not of landing, but being knocked back by an enemy (likely one possessing Super Strength). In this case, you can expect some grooves in the ground from braking. Very common in manga, anime, and video games, but can also be seen in movies — especially those with visual styles inspired by them. A pun on "three-point landing", an aircraft landing in which both the main gear (the wheels further back on tricycle gear aircraft like airliners) and the nosewheel/tailwheel touch down on the runway at the same time, which is seen as a mark of skill among pilots. Also not to be confused with the skydiving three-point landing, where you land on your feet and then fall on your ass.note Watch the SuperCut version!
— Deadpool, Deadpool
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Anime & Manga
- In Kurogane Pukapuka Tai, Commander Kuki lands like this after sliding down a rope to repel boarders, just before kicking ass overboard.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! uses this twice on one page in volume 3; when Asuna face-kicks Evangeline on the bridge, both of them execute a three-point landing. Asuna with rotation pivioting around her right foot, while Evangeline has to bleed off momentum. And this was a few pages before Asuna enters the probationary pacto with Negi.
- Juliet from Romeo X Juliet, after bursting through a prison skylight to free one of her friends.
- Subverted in Asuka's debut episode in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Unit 02 destroys an Angel while underwater (an environment the EVA is not designed to handle), launches itself into the air via the resulting explosion, does a perfect three-point landing onto an nearby aircraft carrier... and then collapses into a useless heap as its power supply runs out.
- Subverted in Slayers: Amelia tries to perform acrobatics, but accidentally lands head down, and it hurts.
- In Change 123, when Hibiki (merged with Zero) chases Sora, at one point she does a spectacular three-point landing (presented on a double page spread, no less) after jumping off from a moving truck.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! You're on a soon-to-explode artificial island, running for your life towards the blimp that is your only means of escape, but your Morality Pet kid sibling can't keep up. What do you do? If you're Seto Kaiba, the answer is: pick him up and throw him onto the blimp's ramp with one hand, then jump clean over him and land like so.
- In Eyeshield 21, Sena unintentionally pulled this off as he was thrown into the air and thus making his Big Entrance against the first game of the tournament against the Cyborgs.
- Kirito pulls this off in his Big Damn Heroes ascent to the entrance of the World Tree in Sword Art Online. Dressed in a black Badass Longcoat, it almost seemed more of an homage to The Matrix. His sudden ground-shaking landing caused other players nearby to wonder if a special game event was in progress.
- Spider-Man does this frequently.
- X-Men: Nightcrawler too.
- As do almost all of the "animalistic" characters like Wolverine, Beast, Creeper, Sabretooth, X-23 and so on...
- Popularized, in the case of Iron Man, after the cover to Iron Man Vol. 3 #76 by Adi Granov, to the point it has become his signature pose.
Films — Animation
- The Animatrix uses this, in particular Final Flight of the Osiris.
- Major Kusanagi does it when she's pursuing a guy in the first Ghost in the Shell movie.
- Tifa does it against a wall in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
- Jim from Treasure Planet does this when the ship sets sail into space. There's a few seconds where he and the rest of the crew start to float in the air, before Captain Amelia has the gravity turned on and everyone gets a quick drop to the ground. Jim's the only one who does it, while most everyone else just lands on their feet, unfazed (and Dr. Doppler lands on his head with a loud crash, because of the clunky space suit he was wearing)
- 7 of 9 finishes her proper introductory scene with one of these, showcased on her character poster◊. It is incredibly badass.
- Baymax does this in Big Hero 6 after rescuing Hiro during the final battle. Presumably, this is one of the things Hiro programmed into him as part of his fighting package.
Films — Live-Action
- The Matrix
- Trinity does this a few times, most notably when she spectacularly makes this landing in front of a small building, having just backflipped off a motorcycle moving at an extreme speed through the air. As she lands, the motorcycle smashes into the building and explodes.
- Agent Brown, at the very beginning of the first Matrix movie, jumps over a city street while chasing Trinity over rooftops. He lands perfectly in the pose, complete with Desert Eagle in his free hand.
- Neo, himself, does this at least once, from flight, landing atop a building in search of the Oracle.
- The Bride does this at one point in Kill Bill.
- Chun-Li does this in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Iron Man
- While the first movie didn't feature Iron Man performing a three point landing, prominent concept art◊ and promotional artwork◊ did. Both images were based on the cover to Iron Man Vol. 3 #76 by Adi Granov (with the concept art being drawn by Granov himself).
- In Iron Man 2, Iron Man performs a three-point landing in two different instances of landing on the Stark Expo main stage, here and here◊. Black Widow also performs one, as seen in the page image, but it's not a landing; she's actually getting up from a slide along the ground.
- Featured in one of Iron Man 3's posters, a promo art◊ and a scene◊. The the Creative Closing Credits feature a montage of shots of three-point landings from throughout the series.
- The Avengers has Tony performing a three-point landing when he makes an appearance in Germany to capture Loki.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
- The title Soldier does it after flying off a braking car. Sparks are flying when he brakes with his metal arm.
- Cap himself does a version of it after taking down and jumping off a Quinjet except he uses his shield instead of his hand when landing.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron: Iron Man performs a three-point landing during the assault on Hydra's Sokovia base.
- We get to see one in the trailer. When he shrinks down, Ant-Man ends up falling to the ground and doing a three-pointer.
- Scott, as Ant-Man, jumps and lands on the miniature Thomas the Tank Engine during the climactic fight scene with Yellowjacket.
- Captain America: Civil War:
- Spider-Man does this when Iron Man brings him out, flipping up and over the fighting teams, stealing Cap's shield, binding his wrists together and landing with the shield secured on his arm.
- Iron Man
- Jet Li does it a lot, but hell he and Vicent Zhao (who also does it) have a whole fight scene almost entirely crouching in Fong Sai Yuk.
- Donnie Yen and almost everyone in Dragon Tiger Gate.
- Whenever the girls from Sucker Punch land from leaping out of their transport during the dream sequences. Also, after Baby Doll kills off a samurai.
- The Man from Nowhere features a three-point landing onto the hood of a fleeing car.
- Over the run of TRON: Legacy, this is seen being performed by Quorra, Sam, and Rinzler. This seems to be carried over to TRON: Uprising.
- Spider-Man 2: Peter spider-senses a getaway car coming up behind him while he's on his bike. He leaps straight off the bike and over the car, three-point landing in the middle of the road — all in plain view of two stunned boys.
Kid: How'd you do that?
Peter: Uh... work out, plenty of rest, y'know, eat your green vegetables.
Other Kid: That's what my mom is always saying! I just never actually believed her!
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, both Scott and Matthew Patel do it during their fight.
- Pacific Rim; Gipsy Danger pulls this off after killing Otachi. Notable as this is done by a Humongous Mecha and from fifty thousand feet in the air.
- Deadpool: Deadpool enthusiastically calls this a "Superhero landing," and gets all excited to see one of his opponents about to do it, though he does note that it's hard on the knees and totally impractical.
- I, Robot, when Sonny escapes from the lab by jumping a dozen stories to the lobby, he performs a text book 3 point landing, breaking the stone floor. Helps that he's a robot.
- Conan the Barbarian does this from time to time since he'd rather hit the ground a bit harder than be disarmed.
- Lara and her sisters from The Dresden Files does this on one occasion in Turn Coat. From a helicopter. Without descent lines. It was flying above treetops before it reach the drop zone.
- In Scott Meyer's Spell or High Water, Martin has been practicing his "Iron Man landing" to have an effect on his opponents. His version also has him keeping the hand with the Magic Staff stretched out behind him with the staff parallel to the ground. Unfortunately for him, very few people get to witness the landing. When chasing down an attempted assassin, he lands thus on a tower from where the assassin supposedly fired the arrow, only for the tower to be already empty.
- In Warhammer 40,000 novel Seventh Retribution, scout Orfos lands this way in front of a group of Imperial Assassins after jumping out of Thunderhawk. Assassins being who they are, no-one particularly cares and Orfos doesn't dwell on it before jumping into the fray.
- Stephen Colbert does this (with an American Flag!) in the opening sequence of The Colbert Report.
- Two does one in the pilot episode of Dark Matter, after evasive maneuvers strain the artificial gravity systems.
- In Overwatch, Genji, being the Cyber Ninja, averts this - barely. He lands on two points, with his fingers merely centimeters from the floor.
- Devil May Cry:
- Dante does this at the beginning of Devil May Cry 2.
- In Devil May Cry 4, both Dante and Nero land this way every time an enemy knocks them off their feet.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, while fighting the Storm Rider in Mulan's world, one can perform an reaction command which will stun the Storm Rider. Afterwards, Sora lands in the described way. It can be seen in this video.
- That game also features Sora's Anti Form, which relegates itself to a feral stance. As a result, any landing ends up like this, since it's his default pose.
- Mace Windu's jump attack in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 looks like this, except that the hand in question is holding a lightsaber. And it does area damage.
- Samus Aran from Metroid does this several times, usually after a spinning jump in the air. Kind of the only way for her to land, given that one of her suit's hands is an Arm Cannon and therefore lacks a hand.
- The Elite Beat Agents do this often.
- Blood Elves in World of Warcraft do this after jumping.
- Iron Man does this when landing at high speed in the 2008 Game of the Movie.
- Snake, Raiden, Drebin, and just about everyone from the Metal Gear games do this all the time.
- Vincent does this a few times in the cutscenes from Dirge of Cerberus.
- Crisis Core
- Zack does this twice in the intro train cutscene — once when he jumps out of a helicopter onto the roof of a speeding train, and once when he dismounts from the train after it stops.
- Sephiroth also finishes his Octaslash attack with this.
- In fact, Sephiroth starts this habit back in Final Fantasy VII, although blocky polygons make it hard to see. He floats down and lands this way behind Tseng or in front of Cloud several times during the Temple of the Ancients sequence.
- The Prince from Prince of Persia (2008) lands like this after finishing a mid-air combo.
- Captain Falcon in Super Smash Bros Brawl. Heck, most athletic characters in the game do this, but Falcon tends to be a more obvious example.
- Kasumi from Mass Effect 2 lands with one of these after disabling Donovan Hock's Mantis gunship's shields. Funnily enough, this is less impressive than the moves she pulled to get onto the gunship just before.
- Satele Shan from Star Wars: The Old Republic performs one, complete with area of effect damage, during her big damn heroes moment in the Return cinematic.
- Link does this from long falls in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, like going to the ground from the sky, or entering Skyloft.
- Ryu, the player character of Ninja Gaiden, can be seen in this position frequently.
- The characters of Section 8 will do this if, while dropping in from low orbit in nothing but your Power Armor, you think "You know what? I don't need airbrakes." As awesome as it looks, it does leave you immobile for a second while your character and his armour recovers from the landing, which isn't always a good thing in a multiplayer shooter.
- In Persona4 Golden, after an ill-fated attempt at a crowd surf, Yosuke and Kanji land flat on their faces while the Protagonist performs one of these.
- Dead Space 2: Isaac Clarke manges this after being fired from a rocket ejector seat, flying though space, crashing though a vent and firing his rocket boots to slow his descent. Watch it here or here for context.
- In Crysis 2, whenever someone falls for a long but not quite fatal distance they do this, especially while in Armor Mode.
- This is expanded on with the Air Stomp ability in Crysis 2 and 3. After falling from a set height, you can bring your fist down to create an ground-shattering shockwave, dealing lethal damage to all enemies unfortunate enough to be nearby your landing point.
- Oni's Konoko lands like this after jumping from an airplane to infiltrate the Big Bad's base. Without a parachute. Bonus points for ground shatter.
- Assassin's Creed has multiple examples.
- The animated trailer of Assassin's Creed II has the protagonist Ezio Auditore land in the middle of a street in Venice in front of a target, before shooting them with his hidden gun.
- The second opening cutscene of Assassin's Creed: Revelations has Ezio freefall from several stories up only to land like this with no negative physical effects.
- Starting from Assassin's Creed III you can manually execute these by jumping of a high place and holding the high-profile button, making your character stay in that position until you release the button.
- Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution falls into this stance every time he uses the Icarus Landing System.
- Player Characters in DC Universe Online do this after drops from great heights, including a proper spray of dust and debris.
- Spidey does the punch variant in Spider-Man 3, complete with a cracked floor and sound effect.
- Sonic lands this way whenever he power stomps in Unleashed, Colors, or Generations.
- Vivio's Full Drive Burst in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny begins with one, before she dashes in for a melee combo that ends with a point-blank Sacred Blazer.
- The Pokémon Frogadier and its evolution Greninja have this as their standard pose. Diggersby also makes use of this in its entrance animation, with one of its ears substituting for the hand.
- In Mario Strikers Charged, several characters make their home entrances in this manner.
- Mario and Luigi almost do this in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel when falling from a great height. While the pose certainly gives this vibe, their hands don't quite touch the ground.
- Asura's Wrath had a slight variation in Episode 22, when Asura performs a special move on a downed Chakravartin. Asura jumps up high, summons his mantra halo, starts barraging him with Mantra, lands facing away from him with a four-point landing, and looks up as Chakravartin explodes behind him.
- In the Team Fortress 2 supplimental comic "Blood In The Water", the Acrofatic Heavy Weapons Guy pulls this off, after jumping down a level inside Ayers Rock.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X: Jump from great enough a height, and your character will stick the landing like that.
- Stephen Fry jumps down the loft.
- Red vs. Blue Freelancers often like this landing. Tex gets an album cover for the Revelation season's soundtrack from one, complete with explosions in the background.
- Done by Ruby in episode 5 of RWBY, complete with head snapping up showing her determined face. Pyrhha later does it in an almost picture-perfect copy maneuver shared with Red vs. Blue's Carolina; another red-haired, green-eyed action girl voiced by Jen Brown.
- Kareem of Project 0. Ciro opts out.
- Elliot of El Goonish Shive performs one of these while sneaking into PTTAPUTASF.
- Dan's Crowning Moment of Awesome here in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , although the wings probably helped.
- Tiren, of Dubious Company, jumps off the airship, does several flips and lands this way between a cornered Sal and advancing Izor. Too bad the acrobatics gives her motion sickness and ruins the moment.
- In Moon Crest 24, Derek does this when he's first seen by the girls up close.
- Minmax landing on top of the tower in the Maze of Many's final room.
- Tempts Fate lands like this after blowing up several demons in Tempts Fate 11.
- In this Schlock Mercenary strip, after being knocked through a wall by LCDR Foxworthy and falling several floor's worth of distance, Captain Tagon manages a perfect three point landing, the soldier boosts letting him walk away from it without any problems.
- In Godslave, Edith lands this way after freeing herself from Turner's hand-blade, marking her Let's Get Dangerous moment.
- In the Happy Tree Friends episode "Flippin' Burgers", Flippy does this after his burger joint massacre.
- The Powerpuff Girls often do this.
- In the Metalocalypse episode "The Revengencers", when the band manager Charles is thrown out of a third story window, he lands in a perfect three-point landing.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- True to the comic, film, and video game examples, Iron Man pulls this off fairly often in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, too.
- Spitfire does a three-point landing early in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Newbie Dash". Of course, she has four legs to begin with, so she actually has to raise one of her forelegs.
- Phineas and Ferb: Perry the Platypus is quite fond of this pose.
Doofenshmirtz: Nice landing, by the way, that would really kill my knees.
- Code Lyoko:
- Yumi can end up in this pose after some acrobatics, or when just virtualized (which always leave her a few meters above ground).
- The others sometimes do it but it's rarer for them; Ulrich usually does it if he attacks a monster in mid-air.
- Ultimate Spider-Man is utterly in love with these. Every opportunity for any character to land this way is gleefully taken.
- Robin pulls this off in the opening theme for Teen Titans.
- Ladybug almost always land like this in Miraculous Ladybug.
- Toad does this during the theme song of X-Men: Evolution.
- This guy does it a lot in his presentations and competitions.
- It exists in real Wushu and could be a variation of the "ZUO PAN BU" stance.
- Quest Crew did this at the end of this performance.
- If you have forward momentum, jump down as little as six or seven feet, you'll put at least one hand out to help slow your landing. Try it by running and then jumping down about a dozen stairs — though for safety's sake, try it with smaller numbers of stairs first so when you land badly and fall, you won't break yourself.
- If you have a lot of forward momentum, then you might be forced into a roll on landing, in which case having one hand out on landing would be more or less necessary to stop you from just splaying out instead. You probably don't want to try this at home.
- Some toy review sites, like Collection DX, use the "Iron Man pose test" to judge a toy's articulation.
- Averted on skydiving, as countering your landing with your hand may easily break your wrist. You are advised either to land on your feet, or make the parachute landing roll.