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Crowd Surfing

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"The crowd is doing the wave, and Phineas is surfing it!"
Announcer, Phineas and Ferb

It's the big concert that everyone's been waiting for! The music swells and the crowd rises with it, and suddenly you're up off your feet, being passed along like so many beach balls. You've done it. You've achieved the number one goal of any concert goer: the crowd surf.

Crowd surfing has four major variants:

  • The Sport Hero, where all the members of the team lift you up and carry you out on their shoulders.
  • The Rockstar, the musical equivalent, where you are passed along either toward or away from the stage.
  • The Trust Fall, in which it's expected that Alice will jump from a height and everyone will catch her.
  • The Mosh Pit Surf: at a hardcore punk or thrash metal show, crowd surfers may ride on top of a roiling sea of moshing concertgoers.

The trope has subversions built into it as well:

  • Alice attempts to crowd surf, but she somehow misses the crowd and bellyflops on the ground.
  • Bob attempts to surf but the crowd cannot support him (cue grunting and straining).
  • Carol gives it a shot and the crowd intentionally moves away causing her to crash (bonus points if it's onto someone small who couldn't get out of the way).
  • Dan gives it a go, but winds up leaping into an Angry Mob who begin to beat the ever loving hell out of him.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the 12/18/2011 strip of "Retail," employee Val crowd surfs through the line of customers to get to the register.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame has two examples:
    • Esmeralda escapes the guards by jumping into the crowd, who carry her off to safety.
    • At the end, Quasimodo is hoisted up over the crowd's shoulders in triumph.
  • Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus: After Zim hijacks Membrane's science expo, he convinces the audience to purchase his arm bracelet, and they carry him off celebrating while he laughs maniacally.
  • At the end of Shrek 2, Shrek jumps into a crowd to get surfed; knowing his extreme size, the crowd moves out of the way, and Shrek ends up crushing a cute little poodle.
  • The concert at the beginning of The Simpsons Movie features some audience members struggling to surf the morbidly obese Comic Book Guy.
    Comic Book Guy: Excuse me. My heinie is dipping.(the crowd drops him)
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: When Spongebob uses The Power of Rock to thwart his evil scheme, Plankton begs his "computer wife" Karen to help. Then he sees Karen is too busy crowd-surfing.
  • In Turning Red, Mei briefly climbs on top of the members of the crowd surrounding her to try to reach Robaire's outstretched hand.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Played for Drama in The Bodyguard when Rachel Marron trips and falls into the crowd during a concert. She starts to panic as her fans tear off parts of her costume as souvenirs, and Frank Farmer has to charge in and rescue her.
  • Rudy ends with the Sport Hero variation as Rudy is carried off the field. Interestingly, Rudy didn't really do anything all that impressive, by the crowd's standards - he just got a sack on the last play after Notre Dame clearly had the game won without him. The players still carried him off the field for everything he had sacrificed in training camp to make it there.
  • Rat Race ends with the contestants in the titular Race all doing this at a Smash Mouth concert.
  • Mean Girls has this near it's climax as a trust exercise, with subversions thrown in.
  • In the opening scene to School of Rock, rock star wannabe Dewey Finn attempts to jump off the stage into the not densely packed crowd, but they move out of the way and he falls to the ground. At the end of the movie, he does it again at the Battle of the Bands, and the crowd finally catches him.
  • In Son in Law, at the square dance, Crawl stage dives successfully, but when the band member tries, the crowd moves out of the way.
  • In New York Minute, Jane and Roxy pull a stage dive and are carried off by the crowd. The truant officer Max Lomax tries to copy them, but the crowd moves out of the way, and he thuds to the ground.
  • During a Fantasy Sequence Roxie Walks on a crowd of men's hands in Chicago.
  • The film version of The Day of the Locust has a nasty subversion where Homer gets unwillingly lifted by an angry mob and torn to shreds.
  • "Crocodile" Dundee. How Mick and Sue reach each other thru a subway crowd at the end of the Race for Your Love. Though Mick doesn't get the idea from this trope—it's pointed out they're all penned in like sheep, so he clambers over the top of everyone like a sheepdog.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The students are shown doing this to Professor Flitwick during the Weird Sisters concert, in a Mood Whiplash from the formal dance ball they were having in the previous scene.

  • In Zeroes, Mob can use her ability to control the emotions of a crowd to induce them to carry her Rockstar-style.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Band Candy", the Evil Plan of the Week has caused all the adults to act like irresponsible teenagers. On seeing the wackiness at the Bronze, Buffy suggests calling for a doctor, only for Willow to see her family doctor do a shirtless dive off the stage into the crowd. Given that he's heavier than the average teenager, he lands on the floor instead.
  • Daenerys does this with the slaves she has just freed in Game of Thrones Season 3 finale "Mhysa".
  • This happens to Rob and James on Glue at a rave in the woods, much to the former's discomfort and the latter's glee.
  • In an episode of Hannah Montana Miley tried to convince a guy she liked (who had no idea she was really a pop star he hated) by crowd surfing at one of her concerts. This causes the guy to leave the concert.
  • Studio C: Unintentionally done by Scott Sterling after his team wins due to his defensive ability- he's unconscious and on a stretcher a his teammates carry him in triumph.
  • World's Dumbest... features several instances of rockstar-wannabes trying the crowd-surf and failing, often because they jump into a crowd that isn't actually enough of a crowd for anybody to surf on.


    Newspaper Comics 
  • In this Retail comic Val does this to get to her register rather than try to make her way through the Christmas shopping crowds. Stuart does not approve.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In late-1990's ECW, Spike Dudley got thrown from the ring into the crowd. The audience caught him and crowd-surfed him back towards the ring.
  • When Jessicka Havok pushed Su Yung over a balcony at SHINE 26 she was saved in this manner.

  • Happens to many head coaches when they win their sport's respective championship. Notably, Bill Belichick was carried off at the end of Super Bowl XXV, but he was not the head coach. Rather, he was the defensive coordinator.
  • The Cincinnati Bearcats take "carry in triumph" in a different direction.

    Video Games 
  • In Persona 4 Golden, the Investigation Team forms a band. At their concert, Teddie pulls this off, leading Yu, Yosuke, and Kanji to try and follow, only for the crowd to move out of the way. Yu manages to land in a cool pose while the other two fall flat on their faces.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, a Spin-Off of Parappa The Rapper, when hitting Cool Mode in the final stage Lammy will crowd surf while rocking out.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • In Mob Psycho 100, The (LOL) Cult members gets Mob on stage at their meeting by carrying him over.

    Western Animation 
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Totem Pole", Carl attempts this at the concert despite having a minimal crowd and actually trusting Shake to catch him before falling flat on the ground.
  • During the Gravity Falls episode "The Love God", Dipper and Mabel do this to avoid the eponymous Love God after Mabel steals his anti-love potion. Mabel enjoys it, Dipper freaks out that "Everybody's touching everything!", and the Love God is more focused on trying to catch up to the kids.
  • Megas XLR: In "Terminate Her", Coop recalls when tried to crowd surf by jumping off the stage, until the crowd had an Oh, Crap! thinking he might crush them and rushed out of the way.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons Homer takes Bart & Lisa to Hullabalooza and goes crowd surfing. The crowd passes him back until he's deposited at the rear of the audience.
    • In another episode, Homer usurps the power plant from Mr. Burns, tossing him to the workers watching below his balcony; they catch Burns and crowd-surf him into a waiting taxi (which then drives off), all while singing "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". Homer decides that it looks like fun and jumps down to the crowd; subverting expectations, they catch him and actually carry him for a bit.
  • One episode of Phineas and Ferb has Phineas literally surf the crowd when the crowd begins doing the wave.
  • Samurai Jack had an evil DJ playing Mind-Control Music to teenagers in "Jack and the Rave". He has them do this to him at one point.
  • In the climax of The Loud House episode "For Bros About to Rock", Luna teaches Lincoln and Clyde how to crowd surf to move them from the back of the arena to the front row. In the same episode, while Lincoln's sisters tell him how Luna ruined their first concerts, Lola tells of the time she crushed some kids at a Blarney the Dinosaur concert when she tried to surf on them.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Made In Manehattan", after a stage theater performance, the actors thank Coco Pommel for her part in bringing them here. The crowd carries Coco to the stage so they can properly thank her.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Patty Hype", a crowd carries SpongeBob over to the Krusty Krab after Mr. Krabs gives it to him in exchange for his Pretty Patty stand.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Party with a Pony", Star and Pony Head indulge in being carried by the crowd in 'The Scum Bucket' underwater nightclub.
  • Total Drama:
    • Gwen wins the challenge in "Basic Straining" for the Screaming Gophers, for which they form a crowd around her and Owen lifts her up to shoulder level.
    • In Cameron's version of "Brains Vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown", Zoey, Mike, Sam, and an unclear fourth person raise Cameron up above them when he's defeated Lightning.
    • In the exclusive clip for "Zeek and Ye Shall Find", Ezekiel digs his way into the Fun Zone and befriends the mutants with a luxurious cake. The mutants lift him and the cake up in a celebratory welcome.

    Real Life 


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Did I Mention

After getting affected by a love spell by Mal, Ben performs an upbeat song that shows his love for her is ridiculous.

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