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Casual High Drop

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A straightforward way to demonstrate that a character is both nigh-indestructible, and supremely confident of that fact, is to have them exit a rooftop or high window by simply stepping off the edge. Blithely taking a fall that would kill a normal person, then striding away unharmed, conveys an impression of invincibility without the complexities or expense of a full-on fight scene. The more casual the character's demeanor in taking the plunge, the more badass an image they project.

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Dropping off cliffs, from aircraft, or into deep holes are common variants. A popular move for someone with Super Toughness. Often combined with Three-Point Landing and/or Ground-Shattering Landing.

Sister trope to Suicidal "Gotcha!", in which a non-invulnerable character takes a deliberate long drop, but their fall is safely arrested mid-way. Aversion of Not the Fall That Kills You, as the character doesn't need to avoid hitting the ground to survive.

Contrast No Escape but Down, which this trope may subvert.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • In a car commercial, a series of mannequins light up in sequence as if to trace the Roof Hopping path of a single figure doing Le Parkour. At the end of the chain of figures, they drop off a high rooftop and land on top of the car being promoted.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Paprika is the alternate identity of psychologist Chiba Atsuko, who is seen entering a patient's world by falling from the sky from about a mile up. Being a Manic Pixie Dream Girl and existing only in someone's mind means Paprika can drop from such a height and come to ground with no more drama than stepping off a curb. It is nonetheless an impressive entrance.
  • "Final Flight of the Osiris", part of The Animatrix: Making use of the time the rest of the doomed Osiris crew buys, the female crew member is shown to hurry through the Matrix to drop off the alarming message to Zion. In her run, likely as one of ways to shortcut, she takes a dive into the asphalted ground and causes ripples by the impact of the landing. It's in the virtual world, yet as Neo's training episodes from The Matrix prove, no-selling physical damage is a feat.
  • The martial artist cast of Ranma ½ ignore high falls on a regular basis (with the possible exception of Akane, forcing Ranma into some acrobatics to save her). In the last arc of the manga, they fall down a mountain and are seen to leave deep imprints in the earth on impact... but then they just walk it off, looking no worst for wear.

    Comic Books 
  • During John Byrne's tenure with Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, he had She-Hulk substitute for Ben Grimm. While fighting against the mask of Doctor Doom (who'd presumably died), she fell from a top-story window of the Baxter Building, and plummeted many stories to the street below. Of course, this won't hurt She-Hulk much; she instead aimed to miss the people and cars to minimize the collateral damage. How thoughtful.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • A vampire casually drops off a roof as part of an ambush in the sequel to 30 Days of Night.
  • At the beginning of Underworld (2003) the vampire Selene is kneeling on the edge of a balcony. She jumps off and falls a long way to the ground, lands on her feet and just walks away.
  • In Men in Black, the cephalopoid J chases down in New York City drops off a high overpass and keeps right on running.
  • Attack of the Clones:
    • During a chase scene padawan Anakin Skywalker politely says "Excuse me, master" to Jedi Kenobi, then leaps out of their vehicle to plummet several stories through Coruscant's flying traffic to land on the assassin's vehicle. Kenobi grumbles, "I hate when he does that."
    • At the arena Mace Windu confronts the separatist leaders in their balcony overlook, then leaps down to the arena floor, deflecting blaster bolts the whole way down.
  • Blade: Trinity: When being broken out of the FBI building by Abigail and Hannibal King, Blade briefly breaks off from the group and jumps up a ventilation shaft. Immediately after Hannibal and Abigail escape on the ground floor, Blade jumps out of a higher window and lands unharmed, saying he only took the detour because he "forgot his sword".
  • Lampshaded and played for laughs in Deadpool (2016) as Angel Dust leaps off the aircraft carrier before the end battle:
    Deadpool: [applauding] Wooooo! Superhero landing! [to audience] You know, that's really hard on your knees. Totally impractical; they all do it.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier: when pursuing Black Widow, the eponymous Winter Soldier casually drops from an overpass to a car on the ground far below, then strolls down off the mostly crushed vehicle. By contrast, both Widow and the Winter Soldier's mooks had to rappel down.
  • Sin City, segment "The Big Fat Kill". Dwight McCarthy jumps from the window of his girlfriend's apartment and falls several floors to the ground, landing on his feet.
  • Fright Night 2: New Blood: Gerri the vampiress casually jumps several stories down from a balcony with a garbage bag wrapped corpse draped over her shoulder.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return: SETH jumps several stories out of a hospital window with a hostage.
  • At the climax of Dèmoni, when George is racing through the theater on the motorcycle and slicing up demons with the katana, one demon drops down from the balcony seats to try to knock him off the bike. It misses, but being a demon, it presumably gets up and returns to the fight.

    Literature 
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The mysterious Grey Cloak from White Night tries to elude Harry Dresden by running into a parking garage, then dropping off the roof on the opposite side, in the hope that Harry will be left behind watching its exit.
    • In Turn Coat, Lara Raith and her White Court companions disembark from a helicopter onto the island, without bothering to rappel down ropes.
    • Gard charges straight off a thirty-foot ledge in her berserk eagerness to attack the grendelkin in the short story "Heorot", landing unharmed with An Axe to Grind.
  • In Children of Dune, Leto II demonstrates his new post-transformation abilities by leaping off a cliff and into a canal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This is lampshaded on Burn Notice when Michael's narration explains that only someone very badass or very desperate will jump off a building to avoid pursuit. If you do jump off and don't get seriously killed, you are usually in the clear since an average pursuer is not going to be badass or desperate enough to follow you. It is then subverted right after when we see that while Michael indeed escapes by jumping off the roof of a building, Reality Ensues and he hurts his leg in the process.
  • In Stan Lee's Lucky Man, Harry is trying to escape from the bad guys but to do so he must jump off a roof of a building. The jump is guaranteed to break some bones unless you are very lucky and land just right. Fortunately for Harry, he has an ancient bracelet that makes its wearer extremely lucky. He lands on the ground with no injuries.
  • All the characters with more than human powers in Angel do this a lot. Angel and Connor are common practitioners, as well as several one-off guest characters.
  • Witchblade: During a chase scene both Moebius and Nottingham jump off a high building and land right on their feet with no injuries.

    Music 
  • In Poets of the Fall's "Drama for Life," this imagery is how the lyrics characterize the Leap of Faith necessary to harness the creative impulse, including an in-context Singer Name Drop. The band is so good at managing this descent, they're Poets of the Fall.
    Perfect near-fatal headlong dive
    A blueprint for life

    Video Games 
  • In the intro to Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Ezio is about to be hanged off the Masyaf tower when he breaks free, slips out of the noose, jumps down, and lands safely—even without the usual assassin-haystack trick.
  • The first mission of Duke Nukem 3D has Duke on a rooftop, loading his pistol, and grousing "Damn! Those alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting up my ride!" Duke's fun begins when he kicks out the fan on a roof vent and climbs into the shaft, falling three of four stories to the alien-infested street below. This barely gets a grunt out of him, and has no effect on his health because he lands on a pair of medkits which instantly heal the damage from the fall.
  • Dante from the Devil May Cry series has a cameo in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. One of his first appearances has him leaping from the top floor of the Mantra HQ skyscraper just before engaging the demifiend in battle.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica: Wesker does this in one scene. He even looks back at Claire first, as if to make sure she's watching.
  • In Mega Man Zx Advent, in Ashe's storyline, she in the intro jumps off the Hunters airship down several hundred meters to the Raiders ship below her and manages to land safely. This pretty much establishes her as a badass even before she gets her hands on the Model A.
  • Final Fantasy IX: During Amarant's first scene, after he's finished talking to Queen Brahne, he leaves by jumping off the balcony (as opposed to Lani, who just uses the door).
  • Ordinarily, this is quite averted in Fallout 4 — jump off a ruined skyscraper or a broken highway and it'll end about as well as you'd expect — unless you happen to be wearing a suit of power armour. Take the leap while you're wearing even a bare power armour frame and not only will you take no damage, but anyone too close to your point of impact will be injured insteadespecially if your aim is good.
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Any gene-modded soldiers in Enemy Within will drop off ledges like this, even if their mods don't include Muscle Fiber Density. Normal soldiers and civilians do a regular hang-and-drop.

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