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Chandelier Swing

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"I'm gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I'm gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier..."
Sia, "Chandelier"

That prominent chandelier isn't always just waiting to fall on somebody. Sometimes it's there for the swashbuckling hero to swing from during the fight scene.

A staple of films where Rule of Cool allows the fight choreography to use bits of set as gymnastic apparatus. Anything hanging from the ceiling will bear a man's weight swinging from it. Bannisters and mantelpieces are for beam routines or sliding down. Curtains may be climbed. Refectory tables will become fencing pistes.

These days, mostly a Dead Horse Trope, as it breaks suspension of disbelief both that the furniture will stand the treatment, and that the enemy won't just stab the hero while his guard is wide open. Usually part of Flynning.

Compare Building Swing and Vine Swing, as well as Combat Parkour, which involves similar martial acrobatics.


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    Films — Animation 
  • Beowulf (2007). The title character uses the multiple chandeliers in the mead hall to good effect when fighting Grendel.
  • In Lucky Luke: Daisy Town, Lucky Luke swings on the saloon's chandelier to kick the saloon customers who attack him during the Bar Brawl and reach the saloon's first floor.
  • In The Prince and the Pauper, the Prince swings on a chandelier in the throne room to save Mickey during the coronation ceremony.
  • In the climactic battle in Wind in the Willows, Toad swings on a chandelier to save his friends from getting killed by Winky and the weasels.
  • Parodied in Cosgrove Hall's 1983 adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. Toad swings uselessly on the chandeliers during the battle at Toad Hall while Mole, Rat and Badger fight the weasels. Eventually he falls off and lands on top of their leader who's the last weasel standing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • During the climactic battle in Don't Lose Your Head, each of the three heroes takes a shot at swinging across the room on the chandelier. One of them misjudges the swing and ends up flying out a window.
  • Jack Sparrow, during his escape from the palace in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • Sir Launcelot does this in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, except he gets stuck.
    Excuse me, could, uh, could somebody give me a push, please?
  • Marty McFly does it in Back to the Future Part III, while trying to escape from Buford Tannen in the saloon.
  • In the 1948 film adaptation of The Three Musketeers, Gene Kelly as D'Artagnan does a chandelier swing during a fight scene.
  • Singin' in the Rain has a Film Within a Film example, with Don Lockwood doing one during his climactic fight scene in The Royal Rascal (which is actually re-purposed footage from the 1948 Three Musketeers).
  • Parodied in the French movie Vous n'aurez pas l'Alsace et la Lorraine. The White Horseman would love nothing more than to use this trope, but both time he tries a (quite gratuitous) swing, the chandelier just gives up under his weight. "Flûte, flûte, flûte!"
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past. Beast does this when Wolverine barges into the Xavier mansion without invitation. Cue a Hulking Out Beast charging after him via a chandelier or two. Xavier interrupts events to tell Hank off about it. Despite neglecting everything in his life, Xavier does not want anyone damaging his expensive light fixtures, thank you very much.
  • In The World's End, Gary in The Beehive does this to take down Blank!Oliver. Complete with slo-mo.
  • Punisher: War Zone. The Punisher hangs upside down from a chandelier while firing machine pistols Guns Akimbo.
  • The War Wagon: When Lomax sees one of Pierce's mooks drawing a bead on Taw during the Bar Brawl, he swings across the room on the chandelier to kick him in the chest.
  • In Up the Chastity Belt, Lurkalot attempts to escape from Sir Braggart by leaping on to the chandelier and swinging away. However, he immediately loses control of the swing and winds up falling off.
  • The Bold Cabalerro After losing his sword during the fight in Isabella's residence, Don Diego manages to avoid the guards by climbing on to the fireplace, then leaping on to one small chandelier and swinging to the next.
  • In Film/Jumanji when the titular board game summons a monsoon inside of stately Parrish Mansion, Alan, Sarah, Judy, and Peter take refuge on a chandelier to escape the rising waters and a pair of hungry crocodiles. Alans dive off from the large, crystal light fixture to wrestle one of the beasts when it gets too close.

  • Discworld:
    • A Discussed Trope in Guards! Guards!, where the tales the old guardsman tells young Carrot involve a lot of chandelier swinging, and later a group of guards ordered to arrest Sam Vimes worry that he'll turn out to be a swashbuckling hero and fight them all off while shouting "Ha!" and swinging from the chandelier. Then somebody has to go on and ruin it for everybody by pointing out that there is no chandelier in the room. This just makes them worry more.
    • Done in Maskerade, when Greebo is chasing the Opera Ghost around.
    • In Going Postal, chandelier swinging is one of the elements mentioned during a discussion of bar-brawling tactics.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In-universe example: In The Lucy Show, Lucy poses as "Iron Man Carmichael", a stunt man. She's supposed to do a relatively simple stunt, but at the last minute it gets changed to a swing from a chandelier.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike does this in order to kick Buffy in the face during their Destructo-Nookie in "Smashed".
  • The Wild Wild West: James West does this during a Bar Brawl. (The stunt went wrong and Robert Conrad about broke his neck. They had to shut down production for a year. After he recovered they took up filming again right where they left off, and the fall, but not the injury, is a part of the episode.)
  • Highlander, 'Song of the Executioner'.
  • Doctor Who, "The Time Warrior": The Doctor does one during a scuffle in Irongron's castle.
  • The Goodies: Graeme attempts one in "Snow White 2" and ends up crashing into the wall.
  • The Muppets Go to the Movies plays this for laughs in its send-up of The Three Musketeers. Athos (Gonzo) and Porthos (Scooter) encourage Gummo (Link Hogthrob) to do it in pursuit of a criminal. Gummo objects that he's not the strong one; Porthos replies, "No, you're the stupid one!" So he swings, crashes through a window, and makes a mess backstage.
  • Frasier: Niles swings on a chandelier in his living room while fencing, though it can't support his weight and a surprisingly realistic outcome occurs.
  • The Addams Family: Gomez is fond of doing this.

  • Parodied in The Feast by Enter Shikari: What's swinging from the chandelier?
  • And of course, the Sia hit quoted at the top.

  • Jed pulls one off in the second episode of the Cool Kids Table game All I Want for Christmas.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Iron Crown Enterprises' At Rapier's Point. As a game based on the swashbuckling genre, it allowed (and even encouraged) PCs to swing on chandeliers for tactical advantage, such as to escape from enemies or drop on top of them.
  • The 3rd Edition GURPS supplement Swashbucklers had extensive rules on swinging from chandeliers.
  • In Yaquinto Games' Swashbuckler, players could give their characters movement orders, including swinging on a chandelier.
  • Task Force Games' Musketeers game allowed characters to perform one of these swashbuckling activities as a combat action.
  • Honor + Intrigue from Basic Action Games. Chandelier swinging is covered in the section on Stunts.
  • One of the "Shticks" in Tales from the Floating Vagabond is the Flynn Effect, which allows the player to find something to dramatically swing from just about anywhere, be it a chandelier, a conveniently-placed rope, or a vine.

    Video Games 
  • In Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, Espella jumps to and grabs an enormous chandelier to save herself from being caught by soldiers, as she was wrongfully accused of witchcraft.
  • In Dragon Age II, Sandal will swing on the big chandelier at the Hawke Estate. And, if you romance Merrill and invite her to move in with you, she will participate, as well.
  • The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3 allows Fancy Pants Man to jump from one swinging chandelier in the pirate ship level to another as jump-initiated moving platforms.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has a subversion in Hyrule Castle; the chandeliers don't swing, but Link can use his Clawshots to grapple from one to another.
  • Leon uses several chandeliers to swing across indoor balconies in Resident Evil 4. In a variation, he doesn't hang from them, he jumps on top of and stands on them like platforms.
  • Epic Mickey has entire levels devoted to swinging from chandelier to chandelier.
  • One character does this during the Club 41 spar in Tales of Monkey Island, knocking down a bag of sugar that was sitting on the chandelier. Of course, Guybrush gets to use the sugar later.
  • Level 6-2 in Super Castlevania IV has the player jumping from a massive swinging chandelier to another.
  • Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception features this early in the ruined french Chateau level. Understandably enough, his partner Sully is greatly concerned that Nate even considers attempting it.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: During the Dark Thorn fight in Beast's Castle, both the Heartless and Sora will seize the ballroom's Falling Chandelier of Doom and give it a swing for a few extra hits.

    Web Comic 
  • Schlock Mercenary: "Sturdy Chandeliers". "Irresponsible barbots..."
    Karl Tagon: Sergeant, I understand that you were high, and swinging from the hotel chandelier while supposedly on duty.
    Schlock: I wasn't all that high.
    Schlock: Okay, I was four meters up, but that's only high for people with bones.
    Karl: Let's start over.

    Web Original 
  • It's become a Running Gag in Acquisitions Incorporated that swashbuckling rogue Viari will attempt to swing off of any chandelier he gets a chance to, and that DM Chris Perkins will gleefully enable this behaviour by placing chandeliers — or some vaguely setting-appropriate equivalent, from ice stalactites to giant paper lanterns strung across a street festival — wherever Viari might want there to be one. And dishing out combat bonuses accordingly, to the other players' vocal jealousy.

    Western Animation 
  • The Real Ghostbusters; in "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Ghost?", Venkman offers to swing from a chandelier to capture a ghost. Spengler accuses him of volunteering because he always wanted to swing from a chandelier. Which, it turns out, is something Spengler always wanted to do. Venkman cedes the chandelier to Spengler.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Beach", Ty Lee swings from not one, but two chandeliers in a row while helping Azula, Zuko, and Mai destroy a house.
  • Sam does this in Danny Phantom to deliberately upset a ghost prince and says beforehand, "I've always wanted to do this".


Video Example(s):


The Wind in the Willows

During the battle at Toad Hall, Toad swings on a chandelier to save his friends from Winky and the weasels.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChandelierSwing

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