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"Brave the Ride" Plot

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Amusement parks are fun (except when a story doesn't want them to be). You've got lots of games, food, and of course, rides. But naturally there's going to be that one super-duper extreme ride that everyone's raring to go on... save our protagonist(s).

Maybe they don't like heights or just how the ride looks in general, but they have reservations about getting on it. On some occasions, our hero(es) will let this fear be known and likely to be mocked for it, but on others they'll put up a brave front and claim they're not scared, but uh, there are other attractions to see first, so there's no rush to get on said ride anytime soon. Our hero(es) might also be afraid of losing their lunch. At worst, the character(s) will think they might die. However, as hard as they try to delay the inevitable, sooner or later they'll find themselves on the ride and they'll experience what it has to offer. But who knows, maybe they'll actually enjoy it! At least the protagonist(s) can say they managed to conquer the ride, even if they're not in any rush to go on it again.

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Sub-Trope of Face Your Fears and usually Truth in Television for first time park goers. Any competent park will make sure their attractions puts safety first for the passengers. Still, the thought of going on a ride that climbs dizzying heights, loop-de-loops, spins like crazy or shoots out like a cannonball won't really sound appealing if one doesn't slowly work up to it. Also, accidents can still happen, but that's neither here nor there. See also You Must Be This Tall to Ride, in which someone attempts to get on but are stopped due to not being tall enough, which could potentially be an out for those not really looking forward to it.


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Examples:

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Big, 13-year-old Josh tries to ride a scary ride at the local fair in order to impress a girl he likes (who's standing in line for that ride) despite the fact that he's clearly nervous to do so. When he gets to the front of the line, he finds he's too short to ride much to his chagrin. This leads him to find the fortune telling machine and kicking off the plot of the movie.
  • While he's not the protagonist, the security guard in National Lampoon's Vacation has to be forced at gunpointnote  to get on the roller coaster that Clark and the kids want to ride. He ends up loving the ride.
  • Stephen King's Riding The Bullet is a metaphorical example: faced by a life-or-death choice from an undead messenger, Alan compares the situation to when his mom took him to a roller coaster called the Bullet as a kid, and he chickened out. At the end, an older Alan happily rides the Bullet, showing he's come to terms with his fear of death.

    Literature 
  • Cuphead in Carnival Chaos: Cuphead is revealed to fear roller coasters and does his best to keep away from it during the adventure at the carnival. He's only forced to ride it when some of Beppi's henchman grab the present meant for Elder Kettle and fly to it.
  • Zigzagged for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book "Dog Days". Greg wants to ride a ride called the Cranium Shaker, and he does but he gets nauseated. Rowley, on the other hand, is too scared to ride it but gets a shirt saying he survived the Cranium Shaker anyway.
  • Time To: Or rather 'brave the ride' scene. One scene involves a little boy asking his reluctant father for a go on the roller-coaster, but then asking to stop when he's actually on the ride.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Boy Meets World: In "Danger Boy", Cory and Feeny are tired of being considered predictable and decide to show everyone otherwise by riding a dangerous coaster at a local theme park (to the point they have to sign waivers to do so). Mr. Turner and Eric rush to them to convince them they don't have to prove anything, much to their relief... except the ride starts before they can get out. They get through it (despite the two somehow swapping seats during the ride) and even trick Eric and Turner into riding it.
  • In the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Water Park", Malcolm tries to go on "The Liquidator" but is afraid and turns back. Eventually, he does end up going on it; he and Reese are confronted by Lois at the entrance of the ride. Malcolm ends up pushing Lois into the water slide, and Lois drags Malcolm and Reese with her.
  • One first-season episode of Modern Family features Manny Playing Sick in an early scene. It turns out that one of his friends is having a birthday party at an amusement park soon, and he doesn't want to go because he's scared of roller coasters. Gloria takes him and Jay on a seemingly-innocuous walk, but actually leads them to a carnival on a pier for a practice ride. Manny is reluctant, and so is Jay; Gloria shames them by handing them her purse and "big, floppy hat" to hold while she experiences the coaster herself. The two eventually get on, lending to the episode's message about the necessity of facing one's fears.
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    Video Games 
  • This is pretty much the plot of Illbleed. The protagonist, Eriko, is forced to go to a horror themed amusement park to find her friends when they go missing in attempting to do a challenge to get through all the park's attractions. Though unlike most examples, the attractions are dangerous.

    Western Animation 
  • In Arthur, "D.W. & Bud's Higher Purpose" is about D.W. and Bud wanting to ride an intense roller coaster called The Buzzard, hearing from their older siblings Arthur and Ladonna, respectively, about how scary it is. The two agree to go on the ride no matter what, and after numerous attempts, they are finally let in despite not being old enough. As the ride is about to start, they realize that it's too intense for them and get off at the last minute. They do a much tamer ride instead.
    • "D.W.'s Imaginary Friend," a first-season episode, plays with this trope. Arthur and Buster are excited about an upcoming trip to Wonder World, and especially a particularly intense ride, the Hurl-A-Whirl. But Arthur fears that, since his parents are making him take D.W. and her new imaginary friend Nadine, she'll fall into this trope and ruin his day for him. The boys "train" D.W. for the Hurl-A-Whirl, but can't do anything about Nadine, which further worries them. In the end, though, D.W. chooses not to ride the Hurl-A-Whirl and gives her tickets to Arthur, winning him over and leading them to share a fun time on the bumper cars instead.
  • In an episode of The Berenstain Bears, Brother Bear is scared to go on a roller coaster, so he takes advantage of the long queue and deliberately eats his pizza slowly.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rollercoaster of Friendship, a subplot has Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash attempting to ride a coaster despite the former being apprehensive about it. They start with smaller kiddie rides before the two eventually go on a bigger coaster, Dash rides with her out of support but starts to have second thoughts when the ride commences. Ironically at the end, Fluttershy ends up enjoying herself, Dash not so much.
  • Life with Louie: In "A Fair to Remember", the Andersons go to a fair. Louie's little brother, Tommy, keeps wanting to ride the exciting rides, one of which is a tilt-a-whirl with a dragon theme. Louie, who's been tasked with watching him, keeps trying to go on kiddie rides, but is ultimately forced to ride it when Tommy sneaks away from him.
  • In an episode of Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, the characters go to the amusement park and Hamilton the pig keeps stalling because he doesn't want to ride the "Super-Duper Roller Coaster".
  • One of Nickelodeon's favorite plots to use in their Nicktoons:
    • The CatDog episode "Remain Seated" centers on Dog wanting to go on a roller coaster called The Butt Buster, but Cat is too afraid to board it and would rather go on kiddie rides. The Greaser Dogs would make fun of them for it. Eventually, Dog gets fed up and drags his brother to The Butt Buster along with the Greasers. Once the ride ends, Cat actually ends up enjoying it while Dog is the one who is scared.
    • Doug: In the Halloween Episode, Doug and Skeeter are scared to go into a haunted house ride with Roger taunting them all the while. Eventually they work up the courage to do so but it shuts down halfway due to the park closing. They later find out that Roger is behind the shut-down, and is hiding in the attraction to scare them. But they get even by teaming with a mysterious figure who shows them the inner workings of the ride and use it to scare Roger.
    • The subplot in the My Life as a Teenage Robot episode "Raggedy Android" has Tucker going to the carnival and try to conquer his fear of riding the Ferris Wheel. This fear has nothing to do with heights, but instead an Absurd Phobia of giant wheels.
    • The Rocko's Modern Life episode "Carnival Knowledge" has Rocko and Heffer board a ridiculously high roller coaster that reaches the heavens. Even the rude frog screaming "Loser!" from earlier in the episode floats by in space. Unfortunately, the ride appears to be unfinished...
    • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Roller Cowards", Spongebob and Patrick head to Glove World to ride the coaster dubbed "The Fiery Fist O' Pain". While initially excited, the two get scared when they actually see it in action and keep making excuses to each other to keep from riding it. They finally do get on when the park is closing but the ride seemingly breaks down before they get the chance and both reveal their apprehension in trying to ride it. However before they can get off, the operator reveals he fixed it and the two end up riding it for real and actually like it.
    • The Loud House: The episode "Jeers For Fears'' centers around Lincoln and Clyde agreeing with Chandler to visit the infamous haunted house attraction Royal Woods House of Terror, and trying to toughen up for it. They pass eventually, though mostly through sheer luck since they tried to find the secret exit, but ended up stumbling through the entire house to the main exit instead.
  • One episode of Ozzy & Drix centers around the characters trying to convince Hector to ride an intense drop tower at the amusement park, because he had unwittingly eaten contaminated food and needs to throw it up urgently.
  • Downplayed Trope in Peppa Pig where it's just one scene, not an entire plot. The Pig family is about to go on a roller coaster and the girls are excited but the boys are scared. George eventually wusses out and sits on the bench instead, but Daddy Pig reluctantly rides it.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Candace deals with this fear in the episode "Bowl-R-Ama Drama" and had Jeremy help her get through it.
  • The Milo Murphy's Law episode, "Murphy's Lard" has Melissa try to conquer her fear of riding a roller coaster. It turns out this fear comes from a traumatic event that occurred during the first episode of Phineas and Ferb.
  • Michellee in Green Eggs and Ham is a sort of displaced version; she doesn't want to ride the rides herself, but what really worries her is the idea of EB riding them. And then when she wants to prove she can be fun, she drags EB onto the wildest ride in the park and immediately regrets it. This isn't helped that Guy is the one manning the controls and had no idea what he's doing.
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: In "Hugfest", Poppy takes Branch to the annual Hugfest carnival. When they go in, she suggests going on a ride called "The Big Squeeze", a tower drop ride. Branch instantly gets cold feet upon seeing it and keeps putting it off by suggesting other events. Poppy eventually catches on and convinces him to face his fear and likewise she'll be with him through the experience as they take the ride. After going on it, he finds he likes it.

 
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Fluttershy & the Coasters

Equestia Girls - Rollercoaster of Friendship.<br>While visiting Equestria Land, Dash tries to convince Fluttershy to ride a rollercoaster with. Naturally Flutters is a bit skittish but manages to brave it. Dash however has a different experience.

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