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Crash in Through the Ceiling

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"Your entrance was good... his was better. The difference? Showmanship."

"Nice entrance. Either you've never heard of a door or you just like pulling glass out of your shorts."

There are many ways to enter rooms. There's the classic door, sneaking in through windows, and then there's the dramatic ones, going through barriers like walls, the floor, and for even more surprise, there's this trope, for making a Big Entrance through the roof or ceiling.

And usually, it's not a controlled entrance like Fast-Roping through a skylight or a "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop, but instead, it's by accident, and characters are just dropped into an unexpected situation, occasionally thrown in by enemy action.

If this happens to a criminal, they might be Falling into Jail. And if it's the roof, and it has a chimney, this could also be a way to do an inadvertent Chimney Entry.

When they land, it might be with a Three-Point Landing. Sister trope to Floorboard Failure, which is a comparable way to leave a room. See also There Was a Door, for occasions when the character ignores a perfectly good entryway and bashes a hole in the wall instead. Compare Super Window Jump.

Expect Soft Glass to come into play, as whoever is crashing through windows will rarely if ever be injured.

Through the Ceiling, Stealthily is the sneaky version of this.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A Certain Magical Index: Misaka Mikoto is thrown through the roof of the the Anti-Art Attachment storage room by her enemies, and uncovering the weapon that she uses to save Touma from Kihara Yuiitsu.
  • In Saint Seiya, The Bronze Saints enter Hades' Castle through its ceiling.
  • Usagi-chan de Cue!!: The Public Welfare Board uses a helicopter to drop a huge crate through the skylight of a shopping mall. Inside is Dekao, rebuilt yet again into a Giant Mecha on tank treads. This is his fourth try to eradicate Inaba Mikami and his first at slaying Nekoi Koshka.
  • Fruits Basket: Kyo first appears by crashing through the ceiling of the Sohma house, eager to fight Yuki.

    Comic Books 
  • You'll find many covers of Batman crashing his way through skylights.
  • In one X-Men continuity, Kitty Pryde, who had just manifested her Intangibility powers, had a habit of accidentally phasing through the floors and ceilings of all the apartments below her, sometimes leading to Interrupted Intimacy for people whose bedrooms she fell through.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: At the end of "The Upper City" and therefore the beginning of "Making an Entrance", Ami uses her staff to smash a hole into the floor of a tunnel to get into the chamber below, with the noise drawing defenders right underneath her.
  • Star Wars vs Warhammer 40K:
    • Aquila Squad's Big Damn Heroes moment in Episode 16 sees them come to Aayla Secura's rescue by using breaching charges to blast open the ceiling right above where Inquisitor Tahr Whyler had Aayla restrained and was about to Mind Rape her into being his slave. The squad's clone commandos then descend into the room below and open fire on Tahr, forcing him back and allowing Aayla to break free.
    • The Tempestus Scions make their dramatic entrance into the Republic's command center on Axum in Episode 37 by using explosive charges to cave in holes through the roof of the room where the Jedi and Axum rebel leaders were having their meeting. The Scions then drop flashbangs and smoke bombs into the room before rappelling down and opening fire on everyone present.

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in The Incredibles: Syndrome tries to escape with Jack-Jack by flying out through the ceiling he just blew a hole into.
  • Deconstructed in Killer Bean Forever: The titular bean crashes through a warehouse skylight onto a table some mooks are loitering around. After landing, he lets out a yell of pain and finds shards of glass stuck in his boots.
  • Oliver & Company has the homeless kitten pursue the crafty Dodger to Fagin's derelict boat. Oliver spies on Dodger and his cohorts through a hole in the roof. Suddenly, Oliver's patch of roof buckles, dropping this kitten and some canvas into the middle of the cabin, startling the five dogs.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The original Batman Film Series:
    • Batman: Batman famously rescues Vicki Vale from the Joker by dramatically entering through the skylight.
    • Batman Forever: Batman crashes the party being thrown by Edward Nygma this way after it's already been crashed by Two-Face.
      Riddler, to Two-Face: Your entrance was good... his was better.
  • Beethoven: George breaks through the crystal ceiling of the warehouse, right when Dr. Varnick and his goons are about to kill Beethoven.
  • The Blacksheep Affair, Dong, The Lancer, arrives to reinforce the good guys at the embassy by making a hole in the roof and Fast-Roping through, firing away at terrorists left and right via machine gun.
  • The Boondock Saints: The protagonists try a "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop, but get lost in the vents and get into a fight, leading to the vents giving way and sending them crashing right through the ceiling — fortunately enough, right into the room with the Russian mob dudes they were there to kill. As they fall, they get tangled in their rope...and still manage to kill every Russian mob guy in the room as they spin about upside down. This is how Agent Smecker deduces that the brothers are amateurs who most likely got the idea through bad television.
    Agent Smecker: Television...television is the explanation for this. You see this in bad television. Little assault guys crawling through the vents, coming in through the ceiling — that James Bond shit never happens in real life! Professionals don't do that!
  • Deep in the Valley: Diamond Jim sends Carl and the video booth back to the real world with a click of his fingers. They appear in real world above Carl's house and smash in through the ceiling of the living room. Later, Carl is laying in bed when he sees Lester on TV. Lester snaps his fingers and Bambi disappears from the screen. A few seconds later, Carl realises the significance of this and rolls off the bed just before Bambi smashes through the ceiling and lands on the bed where he had been lying.
  • Doctor in the House (1954): After helping Nurse Gibson get into the nurses' home after hours via the roof, Simon attempts to get back down to the ground, only to fall through a skylight and land in Sister Virtue's room.
  • The Game (1997): Nicholas's really weird day culminates with crashing a party by dropping through a glass ceiling into a crowded ballroom. Luckily for him, there's a big airbag below to catch him and the party turns out to be in his honour.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man: One of Tony's armor test flights ends with him crashing through the roof, wrecking a sports car and a piano before ending up in his basement workshop.
    • Iron Man 2: Tony and Rhodey's fight during the former's birthday party leads to them to crashing through the ceiling of the kitchen.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: Wanda and Vision flee from the Black Order by crashing through the glass roof of Waverley Station, and their pursuers follow the same way. Then the Black Order leave that way, too.
  • The Naked Gun 2½: Frank is chased across a rooftop by a guard dog, and accidentally crashes into the villains' hideout via the skylight.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand has a shot where the Juggernaut throws Wolverine up through the ceiling to the second floor, then he drops back down in the living room again crashing through the ceiling.
  • In Zoltan, Hound of Dracula, Zoltan chews through the shingles on the roof of the fishing cabin, and then crashes through the ceiling to land on top of Michael and Inspector Branco.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: To make it simpler to collect the Bucket family, and their double bed which won't go through the door, Mr Wonka crashes the Great Glass Elevator through the roof of the Buckets' house.
  • Kadingir: In The Shapla Case, the leaders of every race in Ki meet in an unprecedented symposium to discuss how to tackle a planetary crisis. Mistrust and a very recent war makes it a tense situation, and it doesn't help that King Vizvi comes in crashing through the great ceiling dome for no particular reason other than the fact that being an Attention Whore goes with his job description.
  • The Running Gag of the children's book No Jumping On The Bed. Young Walter lives near the top floor of a high-rise apartment block, and when he jumps on his bed, it crashes through the floor, and through the next floor, taking the occupants of each floor with him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow:
    • Oliver Queen first meets the Black Canary when he's surrounded by a SWAT Team, only for the Canary to smash through an overhead skylight, then break every other sheet of glass in the room using her sonic device so she and Oliver can jump out the window while everyone else is clutching their ears in pain.
    • In "Three Ghosts", Oliver saves Roy Harper by blasting a hole in the ceiling and Fast-Roping through the hole.
    • In Season 6, Oliver is on trial for being the Arrow, so an Identity Impersonator does a Big Entrance by crashing through the courtroom's skylight to further sell the idea that he's the real Green Arrow.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: An accidental version in the fourth season premiere, when Buffy spies on the vampire antagonists through the glass ceiling of their lair. The glass, however, can't support her weight and she falls in their midst.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The End of Time". It was the quickest way for the Doctor to jump from a low-flying spacecraft into the room he had to be in as quickly as possible. It really hurt.
    • Also near the start of "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" when the Doctor crashes through the roof of a train having being thrown out of the TARDIS. Her ongoing regeneration stops her getting hurt.

    Video Games 
  • One potential first appearance of the Scissorman in Clock Tower (1995) is for him to crash through a glass ceiling, with Anne directly underneath his blade.
  • Devil May Cry 4: Seconds after Nero's Devil Bringer starts glowing, Dante crashes through the roof of the Opera House to shoot Sanctus in the face. Unfortunately, it's not enough to keep Sanctus down.
  • Early in the Seattle section of the game The Last of Us Part II, Ellie is captured by enemies. Her companion Dina attempts a rescue by shooting down on the captors from a skylight, but in so doing she stands on the glass, allowing the bad guy to shatter it and drop her into the room.
  • Shantae: Risky's Revenge: Risky crashes the Relic Hunters' Expo by going though the roof by hanging on an anchor that went in with her.
  • In the Prologue of Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Murray makes his entrance by smashing through a glass skylight with his Thunder Flop.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, Shadow needs to talk with Dr. Eggman, tracking down his base and eventually busting into his little lair through the metal ceiling. The game immediately lampshades how this appears to be normal business:
    Eggman: [without turning in his seat] ...Wouldn't the door have been easier? So, what do you want now?
  • Splatoon 2: At the start of "Octo Expansion"'s finale, Agent 3 bursts in through the glass ceiling to dive-kick Commander Tartar. Too bad she ends up unconscious and mind-controlled, despite buying agent 8 enough time to escape.
  • Toward the end of the Moleville section of Super Mario RPG, Mario and company end up on a runaway mine cart with the missing Mole children Dyna and Mite in tow. Their ride ends when the track does, and the cart is sent flying over Moleville, where Ma and Pa Mole comment that they have a feeling that someone will be "dropping in" soon. Sure enough, the cart comes crashing through the ceiling of their house.
  • Subverted in an early stage of Zombie Infection, when Sharpe tries to infiltrate an adjacent house by jumping towards the opened skylight. He missed and made a hole through the roof instead.
    Sharpe: [getting back up] Ehh, close enough.

  • The titular Doc of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja enters a building this way due to being a massive Batman fan.
  • League of Super Redundant Heroes: The effects of crashing through skylights are played with. The Batman Expy Flying-Fox Man ends up showering the suspects with shards of glass, causing severe lacerations, although he then denies knowing how it happened to the Commissioner.
  • Star Power: In "Moments of Clarity", Danica is flung by her enemies' explosive weaponry to drop through the roof of the previously unknown hideout of the heretics and abominations, the Evebenians.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series has Batman and Robin smash through a glass ceiling. Joker’s response to them provides this page’s quote.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Darkly Dawns the Duck", Darkwing falls through a hangar ceiling during the opening chase with Bulba. He gets accosted by the owner, Launchpad McQuack, who believes he's a thief after his planes before recognizing him.
  • There's one in Superman: The Animated Series where Batman makes his entrance by crashing through the ceiling of a strip club in Metropolis.


Video Example(s):


Cyane Defeats Xena

Xena tries to invoke this by attacking the Amazon Queen Cyane while she's naked during a ritual, however Cyane turns the tables on her and humiliates Xena by ripping the clothes Xena herself was wearing and then dressing herself in them, forcing the furious Xena to flee in shame.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (32 votes)

Example of:

Main / DefeatByModesty

Media sources: