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Disney Villain Death

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"You know what I love about heroes that don't kill? Bad guys always conveniently trip to their deaths around them."

Villains in the Disney Animated Canon have an especially curious tendency to exit the film by falling off or out of things. Unfortunately for them, even though they are animated characters, they cannot defy gravity.

The varied list of things to fall from includes cliffs, over waterfalls, out of trees, and off the tops of buildings. There is one case of a Disney villain meeting his end by falling up (off a spaceship and into space), and once sideways (off the Chinese Imperial Palace by the aid of a rocket). A surprising number of Disney villains have also been dragged to their doom by demons (up to three depending on how you're counting).

Sealing the villain's fate with a fall into nowhere serves three main purposes:

  1. The villain gets Ringed Out and meets his end off-screen, allowing the work to depict a death without actually showing it. Please ignore the uncomfortable realization that the villain is still a ghastly mess on the floor, even if we don't have to see it.
  2. When the fall is the direct result of something the villain did (and it usually is), it makes his death his own fault and not the hero's. Heck, they may even cry "Take My Hand!" as they (futilely) attempt to Save the Villain. Their hands left bloodless and the land saved, the hero and heroine can get married and live happily ever after and whatnot.
  3. It serves the seemingly contradictory needs of both allowing the audience to reasonably believe "Yup, he's definitely dead" and also leaving the door open for a villain's return, if they are particularly popular. (Obviously, this one applies primarily to long-running series more so than single installments.) Note that the work doesn't necessarily need to end for this to happen; in some examples - particularly in animated films - we might get to see the antagonist one more time, just in time for the ending, either with their plans foiled, or hanging out near or with the rest of the cast.

Note that none of these cases have to involve a Climbing Climax or a Rooftop Confrontation, though it may involve a One-Winged Angel transformation beforehand (which is by far the second-favorite trope of Disney villains).

Sometimes, a fatal wound will be inflicted upon the villain just before taking the plunge (whether caused by the hero or by the villain's own actions) just to ensure that he or she is definitely dead. Or, they could have a boulder or similar heavy object falling down with them, which will surely crush them when they land, or fall into a deadly environment like lava or molten metal, a pit of savage beasts, fire, Hell itself, or even flesh-eating green acid, as water alone won't always do it.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be a Disney villain to meet your end this way — many villains and other characters in action movies, cartoons, books, and other works have also met with this fate, although it's fair to say that most heroes have ways to survive taking the long fall.

Jabootu's glossary has two rules about such "High Altitude Mortality" in fiction -

  1. "Anyone who plunges off a tall structure (a building, a cliff, etc.,) will let loose with a loud death shriek, no matter how much damage he takes before the fall."
  2. "No one in any sort of raised position will ever die without falling to the ground. This, mysteriously, using involves falling forward after being shot, despite the fact that the human body naturally falls backwards and that the impact of being shot would seem to add to this tendency."

Extremely apparent in Disney's "Bronze Age" (the string of late-80s-90s hits). Not to be confused with Disney Death. It seems only good guys get to have those (there is a villainous variant, but Disney doesn't use it often), though it can overlap in subversions of the trope.

There is also the non-villainous, non-conflict related variation of the trope, where a character decides to jump off a high ledge due to some stupid idea they have (e.g., thinking they'd fly), or through being Driven to Suicide.

May involve a Ring Out, Noose Catch, or Death Flight. Smokestack Drop is a Sub-Trope. See also High-Altitude Interrogation and Unhand Them, Villain!, as well as Death by Falling Over. When Recycled In Space, it's Thrown Out the Airlock. Video game examples can relate to Ring-Out Boss.

As this is a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead in the examples below. Beware!


Example subpages:

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Villain examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the bug-themed Arachnid manga, Kabutomushi uses her horn-shaped spear to swat several villains out of the school building the story takes place in, including the real boss of the assassin organization in a dramatic fashion, which was even foreshadowed beforehand.
  • Two Mooks go out this way in Black Butler early on in the series when the titular butler, the demon Sebastian, causes the car they're in to topple off a cliff after interrogating them.
  • In Castle in the Sky, Muska disposes of the general and his men by dropping them from Laputa into the ocean, which is how Muska himself dies after the city is destroyed.
  • In Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto, the Florentine traitor Draghignazzo falls off a roof to his death while trying to escape after his guilt is discovered. In the musical adaptation, however, he dies by his own Poison Ring. In either case, he lives long enough to have a quick debate with Cesare's right-hand man Miguel about whether or not commoners like them can ever trust the rich or nobles, showing that Miguel's bond with Cesare is deeper than Draghignazzo's was with Giovanni de'Medici, whom he betrayed.
  • Sandra from Dirty Pair, a former rival to Kei and Yuri; she has taken a steroid like drug called Hustle that makes her extremely muscular, violent, and impervious to pain, so they hit her with a rocket that destroys her base and Hustle supply, she emerges from the rubble alive and charges them, they move out of the way, and she crashes through a window, causing her to fall to her death down a cliff below.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • During a filler scene in the first episode of Dragon Ball, a sebrtooth tiger ends up falling off a cliff while trying to eat Goku.
    • General White gets this by being flung from Muscle Tower by Android 8. It is not likely he would survive.
    • Captain Yellow also falls to his death when Goku punches out his plane.
    • Pilaf and his gang also subvert this, as they are thrown by King Piccolo when they are no longer useful to him, but survive.
    • The Dragon from the second DBZ movie subverts this trope, as he falls from a great height but explodes on the way down.
    • Several subversions appear through Dragon Ball Super's "Universe Survival" saga, as the warriors participating in the Tournament of Power are eliminated only by getting thrown off the stage (which is a floating arena in a void), to which they are teleported to spectator stands.
  • In Fist of the North Star, some villains get this fate. The most famous was Amiba who was dropped from his tower after Kenshiro strikes his power points then blows up in midair. Shin also qualifies, as he throws himself from his palace to prevent his body from blowing up following his fight with Kenshiro.
  • Averted in Fullmetal Alchemist when Wrath is defeated in Episode 58 of Brotherhood. He manages to swim to safety, although he remains weak enough for Scar to quickly kill him a little while afterwards.
  • Sniper the Doberman Pinscher from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin falls to his death in the anime when Ben takes him down the cliff with him. He dies in the anime, but he survives in the Sequel Series Ginga Densetsu Weed.
    • Speaking of Ginga Densetsu Weed, Kaibutsu falls off a cliff after Weed headbutts him down. But it wasn't the fall that killed him; it was a tree branch.
  • In the movie Golgo 13: The Professional, the Big Bad, Leonard Dawson, commits suicide by falling out of his office window to his death. Duke, not one to let a suicide spoil his perfect record of assassination, shoots him in the head before he hits the ground.
  • Shion suffers this fate in the arcs of Higurashi: When They Cry where she succumbs to the Hate Plague.
  • Happens to the Big Bad in Interstella 5555 when he falls into a lake of lava under his castle.
  • Tulip the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk (1974); being an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk and all, if you're familiar with the story, you expect this to happen.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Subverted by Dio Brando. It looks like he's fallen to his death after Jonathan defeats him by destroying the his vampire body with Hamon, but Dio survives by cutting off his head before being destroyed completely.
    • Interesting variant with Part 2's Big Bad, Kars. Instead of falling to his demise, he's blasted upward into space after Joseph accidentally sets off a volcano. And now that Kars is immortal, and his body completely petrified in response to the cool vaccum of space, he's forever trapped in a Fate Worse than Death.
    • Play straight with Part 5's penultimate villain, Cioccolata. Giorno gives Cioccolata a lengthy beatdown with Gold Experience and sends the Mad Doctor plummeting into a garbage truck. Quite fitting, since he was, as Giorno put it, a "piece of shit".
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya!:
    • In the second episode, Yokozuna Demon Beast Blocky carelessly breaks off a piece of the cliff that Stone Kirby is standing on to trick him and use his weight against him, causing them both to plunge into the sea. Kirby, of course, swims back up to the surface and everybody other than Dedede and Escargoon cheers for him. Blocky, on the other hand, is too heavy to swim and thus is stuck sinking to the bottom of the sea.
    • Subverted with fellow Demon Beast Masher. In later episode "Monster Management", Masher walked off the ramparts and fell into the ground below. He survived the fall, of course, and got out of the pothole he made when he landed. He was still destroyed later by Fighter Kirby and Knuckle Joe, of course.
    • Also subverted with Demon Bonkers in much later episode "Goin' Bonkers". After Hammer Kirby lands one last whack from his hammer onto Bonkers' head, he falls off the tower of Dedede's castle that he was holding on to, and upon hitting the ground and making another pothole, he reverts back to his normal self, still alive and well.
    • Wheelie, the transformed form of Beat / Fang, suffers this near the end of the two-parter "Born to Be Mild", falling as the Dedede Speedway racing stadium crumbles and getting buried in the rubble.
    • Heavy Anaconda in the sixth-to-last episode, "Frog Wild", gets this by getting burned by Fire Kirby's Burning Attack and Fireball Spin moves and then falling.
  • The Legend of Zelda (Akira Himekawa): In the adaptation of Majora's Mask, Goron Link wrangles Goht and throws the monster off the mountainside.
  • Averted in Life (2002). One of the antagonists appears to die from falling from several stories; however, it's a Disney Death, and he's just severely wounded and taken to a hospital.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Presea Testarossa falls off a crumbling floor into the extradimensional void. It's left ambiguous whether she survived and managed to teleport somewhere else with the Jewel Seeds that fell with her.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam franchise:
  • Naga in Monster Rancher is defeated by Mocchi, hanging onto the edge of his castle. Despite the Searchers' attempt to save him, he lets go and falls to his death.
  • Aoi Rokushō in Naruto is blown off a cliff by Naruto's Rasengan after the latter blasts through the Sword of the Thunder God. He does not survive the fall.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Grings Kodai, the Big Bad of Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions, falls from a great height in both the anime and manga, but it's subverted in the anime, where he survives to endure a Humiliation Conga. In the manga, however, Zoroark chases him off the top of the stadium wall (a much greater height) with illusionary vines, sending him falling to his death.
    • Subverted with The Iron Masked Marauder from Pokémon 4Ever, who falls from thousands of feet in the air when Pikachu shocks him while he tries to fly away with Celebi on his jet pack, but he lands in a tree and survives.
    • Psycho for Hire Hunter J is presumed dead after her airship falls into Lake Valor, with a Dead Hat Shot to boot shortly before it explodes.
    • Always averted with Team Rocket, whose Joker Immunity enables them to survive virtually anything. Some of their "blasting off" scenes involve them falling into a gorge, and at least two falls were ones that they themselves thought would kill them (once in Haunter Versus Kadabra, and again in the second movie). But the one that takes the cake for inverting this trope in the name of Joker Immunity is in the episode Shell Shock, in which a boulder (which would have killed Ash and the gang) is thrown off a cliff by the Machoke, sending James falling into the gorge WITH THE BOULDER STILL ON TOP OF HIM (the same kind of fall that killed the Big Bad of Disney's first animated film), yet he turns up unharmed in his next scene.
  • In Release the Spyce, after being dealt a critical blow by Momo and her plan is completely stopped, Tendo slips over the edge of the platform they were fighting on, seemingly falling to her death.
  • Eudial from the third season of Sailor Moon gets this when her jealous co-worker Mimete sabotages her car, causing it to go off a cliff.
  • Saint Seiya: Corvus Jamian, after Saori uses her cosmos to turn his crows against him, stumbles backwards and falls off a cliff to his death. There's a bit of hilarity in his death as the manga inserts describing the Cloths reveal his Cloth has wings, and Seiya later managed to bring out the wings of his own Cloth and fly with them.
  • SiN: The Movie has SinTek owner Elexis Sinclaire falling to her death in a way ambiguous enough to set up a return for a sequel.
  • Sword Art Online: In the Alicization anime, when Yanai has Higa at gunpoint, Rinko Kojiro drops a wrench near them, spooking Yanai and making step back and fall backwards to his death (in the light novel, the wrench fell on top of his head killing him directly).
  • Though a more minor villain, Cytomander of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gets rammed by the Dai-Gurren and ends up having not only his ship fall, but a large amount of his minions with him.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Arc Villain Kanae von Rosewald sacrifices herself to save her master Tsukiyama by jumping off a tall building and throwing him back up, letting herself die in the process.
    • There is also the ghoul Shikorae who ends up being blown out the top window of the CCG building by Urie.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, during the Doma arc, when Rex Raptor is defeated by Joey's Gearfried the Swordmaster, he falls screaming into a black void that symbolises his own despair before the Orichalcos takes his soul.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:

    Comic Books 
  • Ace Powers: The Panther jumps off a burning building and is seemingly killed by the fall at the end of Silver Streak Comics #4, but he survives and returns in the next issue. In said next issue, the Panther and his gang are all knocked into a deep hole by debris that buries them alive. The Panther survives this, only to be killed by his boss the Spook, but his goons are killed.
  • Amulet: Luger dies this way. Averted, however, as it's later revealed that he survived, and has become a good person. And averted again even later with Gabilan, whom Emily tosses off a cliff, but he's caught by his flying bird-creature.
  • Asterix: In Asterix and the Cauldron, Whosemoralsareelastix is defeated this way — he disarms Asterix in a sword fight, is about to go in for the killing blow, and the cliff edge collapses under him along with all of his money. Asterix decides to help him up, though, saying the loss of his money was enough of a punishment.
  • Batman:
  • Black Knight: The original modern day Black Knight was named Nathan Garrett, and was a villain who worked for Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil. His end came when, during an air battle with Iron Man, he was knocked from his winged horse and fell a good distance to the ground. Interestingly, Garrett survived for quite some time and summoned his nephew, Dane Whitman, encouraging him to take up the mantle of the Black Knight and restore its name before passing away from his injuries.
  • The Blue Streak: Johnny King, an acrobat who turned to robbery, is knocked off a high platform while fighting the Blue Streak.
  • Captain America: Baron Zemo has gone this way about five times in his various incarnations. He is also known as "Gravity's Bitch".
  • Captain Flash:
    • The Iron Mask is thrown out a multi-story window at the end of his titular story.
    • In "The Black Knight," Dr. Konrad Krueger, the titular medieval-themed robber, is thrown off his helicopter down a dam. However, he survives and returns in the final issue.
  • Dinocorps: At the end, Icks or Blix (it was never specified) is kicked off a skyscraper to his death, shortly after Jarek's defeat.
  • Doctor Strange: Nicodemus West in Doctor Strange: The Oath slips and falls from the roof of a New York skyscraper. If he hadn't suspended Strange's ability to use magic three minutes earlier, he would have lived.
  • The Eye Sees: Carter and Koba, two assassins sent to kill a businessman, are flung out of their plane by the Eye.
  • Hellboy: Herman von Klempt falls off a cliff, his jar exploding.
  • Judge Dredd:
    • "The Day The Law Died" ends with Fergee charging Judge Cal and his lackeys atop the Statue of Judgment. Cal's lackeys manage to mortally wound Fergee, but his momentum is enough that he's able to grab Cal and minions and leap off the statue. Even as he plummets to his death, Cal is so deranged that he believes he can order gravity not to affect him. He's wrong.
    • At the end of "The Pit" arc, disgraced ex-Judge Hal Jordan is killed off after he kidnaps Judge DeMarco during a massive riot so he can extort money from her (she is the heiress to a big fortune), but is kicked out off the hovercar by DeMarco. He falls to his death while clutching a bag of money, crushing two rioters in the process.
  • Justice Society of America: In America vs. the Justice Society, Brainwave uses a fall that nearly killed him to let the heroes think he really had died. In reality his robe got caught on a pole which prevented him from falling to his death despite it looking like he had.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The first volume ends with this happening to the Big Bad Moriarty, who it had already happened to before. Hmmm. Like the Treasure Planet example, he fell up. In addition, after the book proper is over, there's a small splash page featuring the silhouette of his corpse continually floating, presumably in space.
    • In the Minions of the Moon text story in Century: 1910, during a trip through space, Mina comes across his corpse, still clutching the cavorite.
  • The Mad Hatter: Frank "The Gargoyle" Faro, Big Bad of the second story of The Mad Hatter #2, is thrown off a roller coaster by the Mad Hatter who's stopping him from killing a woman and her child.
  • The Mall (2018): At the end of Issue #1, a balding mobster who attacked Leonard Cardini is killed by being knocked off the second floor of the mall and falling to his death. The last image of the comic is him lying on the floor below, dead, with two pools of blood coming from him (one from the bullet wound in his leg, and the other from his head).
  • The Mighty Thor: In the 95th issue of Journey into Mystery, the villain is Professor Zaxton, who uses an invention of his to create an Evil Knockoff of Thor. Zaxton ultimately causes his own demise when he tries to reach for his machine, only to fall to his death while the contraption is destroyed, leaving behind a benign clone of Zaxton.
  • Mother Hubbard: The Woodcarver, a gnome who binds souls to children to enslave them from, is sent plummeting into a river after the bridge he's on is destroyed.
  • Nnewts: Subverted. In Book 3, after being Brought Down to Normal, Denthigar falls from the sky. However, he survives with only Amusing Injuries.
  • Paranoia: King throws Lance-R-LOT off a cliff after he kills King's wife Ala. He gets better.
  • Preacher:
    • Allfather D'Aronique. Realizing that Starr had rigged the entire base of Masada with explosives, the human wrecking ball tried to escape via his personal chopper. Sadly for him, Starr managed to intercept and hijack the helicopter in midair. During the struggle, Starr pushed the massive leader of the Grail to his death.
    • Eisenstein. The bureaucratic soul of the Grail knew that Starr had a hand — or rather a whole arm — in the demise of the Allfather. And Starr knew that as long as there was any kind of lead, Eisenstein would be able to track him to the ends of the Earth. After trying everything to dispose of him, from car bombs to snipers and ninjas, Starr was able to corner Eisenstein in a building in San Francisco and successfully threw the little man off the rooftop.
  • Spider-Man: In Spider-Man: Reign, during Spider-Man's fight with Scorpion, the latter boasts that with his new tail, he can do anything. Spidey responds by asking if he can fly, and then kicks him out the window.
  • Superman: In the story The K-Metal from Krypton, when Superman finally confronts Daryl Bronson, the man who made a pact with a gangster to take over a gold mine and then tried to murder them all, the villain fearfully steps back, forgetting he is standing on the edge of a cliff, and falls off, landing on a pile of rocks and dying.
  • Swamp Thing: The first appearance of Swamp Thing's archenemy Anton Arcane ended with Arcane falling to his seeming death.
  • Tintin: In Tintin and Alph-Art (Yves Rodier), the main villain, Endaddine Akass (really the returning Rastapopoulos) is thrown to his death over the edge of a cliff, following a botched attempt to hang Tintin and Captain Haddock. The actual moment of impact occurs off-page, but part of his body is subsequently seen when Thomson and Thompson confirm his death.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers (Marvel): Issue #8 had Ratchet and the Dinobots defeat Megatron in this style. Ratchet manages to knock Megatron over a cliffside they're fighting on, sending Megatron tumbling down the cliff to his apparent demise. Subverted, however, as it later turns out he survived.
    • The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye had Pharma meet this fate in issue 5. It's played with, though, as one of the heroes purposefully causes it to happen, something this trope was implicitly designed to avoid.
  • Violine: Muller falls to his apparent death in a trapdoor leading to a moat full of crocodiles, but he survives and comes back with a vengeance.
  • Watchmen: Used in the beginning of the series, when The Comedian falls to his death, and we see the body wrecked and the blood spilled. The movie in particular treats it with much spectacle.
  • Wonder Woman: In Wonder Woman (1942), at one point before her Heel–Face Turn, Paula gets shot off a wall and falls headfirst into a rocky bit of coastline. She of course appears again later.
  • Yoko Tsuno: Most of the villains are killed in a fall, either by accident, after being pushed or trying to push someone. Even an android is destroyed after being thrown from a great height by a rebelling underling.

    Fan Works 
  • This is how most Mooks meet their ends in the Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles series, if not offed by Neck Snap or other methods. After being knocked out of the sky by the heroes, their injuries render them unable to recover flight, and they fall to their dooms.
  • Occurs quite a few times in The Lion King Adventures:
    • Hago falls into searing flames in Friends to the End.
    • In Mtumwa Strikes Back, Mtumwa attempts to knock Nala from a cliff, but ends up sailing past her and falling himself.
    • In The Royal Challenge, Simba battles Hila and kicks him from a cliff.
    • In Clone Wars, the clones of the cubs are killed when Clone Nala finally accepts that she's not real, crosses the Despair Event Horizon, and tackles the other clones off of a cliff.
    • The Interceptor throws Shocker into boiling lava in The Master Plan. Being immortal, he comes back.
    • Virusi falls into the lava pit surrounding Pride Rock in The Final Task.
    • At the climax of The End, Simba ends the Final Battle with The Writer by grabbing him and jumping off of Pride Rock, mortally wounding them both. The Writer dies first, allowing the universe to reboot, healing Simba in the process.
  • In A Pikachu in Love, this is how Pichi defeats the Ursaring that attacked her and Pikachu. Her attacks being too weak to do any real damage, she instead uses her thunder attack to cause a landslide on the hill it's on, sending it plummeting to the ground below. It's ambiguous as to whether the Ursaring survived or not.
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn has the Disc One Final Bosses, Boss Kaze and Empress Tyrania, go out this way. Boss Kaze falls off the side of a mountain after his fight with Pyrus and Delilah, and Tyrania falls out of the sky after her heart is destroyed by the heroes (so it technically wasn't what killed her). Delilah promptly lampshades all the ways Kaze's death could've killed him, grossing Pyrus out.
  • Night of the Shy: During the Battle of Canterlot, many of Nightmare's Diamond Dog Mooks end up getting thrown off the side of the mountain.
  • Rise of the Galeforces: Simultaneously played straight and subverted in the fic itself, as Velociripper meets his end, complete with a Big "NO!", by being dropped by Adam and Violet off the edge of the harbor pier... directly into a mosasaur's waiting maw. This death is undone, however, in the events in the setting of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum following the sporking of the fic by its own author, who apparently felt sorry for Velociripper after the fact. Thus, the mosasaur vomits his skeleton back out after it gets nauseated by being transported across dimensions by Falchion, the (newest) self-insert of his creator, and after his Healing Factor previously demonstrated in the fic itself brings him Back from the Dead, Falchion talks him into pulling a Heel–Face Turn and the two of them make amends.
  • The God Empress of Ponykind: Celestia cuts off Queen Metamorpha's wings, then drops her off the citadel in Fillydelphia.
  • The Pony POV Series side collection 7 Dreams/Nightmare has this happen to the de facto Big Bad of Clover's story: the Diamond Dog Fluffy the Terrible (yes, really) is about to kill her in a shack atop the Canterhorn, when the dragon Bahamut happens to land directly atop of them, sending the whole shack, and Fluffy, tumbling off the side of the mountain. Clover later finds what's implied to be his remains at the bottom of the mountain.
    • According to Loose Canon, the G1 villain Somnambula ultimately met her end this way when G1 Shady accidentally knocked her off of a opera theater balcony, sending her falling to her death.
    • As shown in the flashback episode about the G1 era's Final Battle, this was the end of Ashley, one of Hydia's family members, when Katrina and Rep knocked her off her mount with a Fastball Special while she was in mid-flight.
  • Welcome To The World Of Pokemon uses this with two of the main villains: Archer and Cyrus.
  • One of the predominant running gags in Cave Story Versus I M Meen is that I. M. Meen, the main Dragon-in-Chief villain of the story, becomes Hoist by His Own Petard and falls off a building to his death, Once per Episode. And there are not one, but two episodes.
  • Kill or Be Killed: Hyoveon, whose seat gives way on the rollercoaster. Ryeowook stops her from falling immediately, but ultimately decides to let her go.
  • In How Trixie (Somehow) Saved Hearth's Warming, the Rat King ends up falling into a ravine when defeated, with Trixie and Vixen commenting on how deep it is when they hear him screaming several minutes later. If the fall didn't kill him, then Opal eating him afterwards certainly did.
  • Saetwo's Story: During the Final Battle, Romelau ends up having a Villainous Breakdown and becomes obsessed with killing Saetwo, leading to him tackling her just as she is herself tackling Echae out of the way of a boulder a couple of Romelau's minions just threw at him. As a result, the two of them are hit by that boulder and sent falling into the Abyss. Since Saetwo survived, and they Never Found the Body, it's speculated in-universe that he may have survived as well; either way, however, he's never seen again.
  • In Tales of a Reset Mind, the evil Emotions can only be defeated by tossing them into the Memory Dump.
  • In The Chaotic Three, this is basically the final fate of Palpatine, as Luke intercepts his attempt to escape the Senate building by forcing him rapidly down to the ground; Luke escapes the same fate by using the Force to slow his own descent, and then takes time to confirm that Palpatine died in the fall rather than just assume he did.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: During the climax of the Ultima Interlude, the Serial Killer known as the "Bloodliner Hunter" falls off a cliff into the sea. However, when Looker meets with Ultima to ask her about this, he reveals that the search parties haven't found his corpse to confirm his death.
  • Old West:
    • A subverted example occurs with Henry when Dufayel turns against him. With some assistance from Ramirez Arvenga, the fox shoots the kingsnake out of his office window. Dufayel and Arvenga assume Henry to have died, but he survives and discreetly flees to have his revenge another day.
    • Two downplayed examples occur with Kepper and Dufayel himself during the Final Battle. Kepper's shot in the heart by Delilah Rangler, and he falls off a balcony. Dufayel's filled with bullets by Rattlesnake Jake, after which he falls into a dark engine pit of his car hideout.
  • The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan: Envy. She survives.
  • Like in the original film, Gaston met his end in this manner in the Kingdom Hearts fangame. Unlike the original film, however, the fangame also makes it especially clear that he's dead by Sora, in a manner very similar to Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, cutting him in half before he fell.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Subverted in chapter 7 of the sequel Diplomat at Large when the Storm King gets knocked out a window and lands on the battlefield. It's not the fall that kills him — it's the Offhand Backhand with a sword, from the pony he landed right by, that does it.
  • In the Turning Red fic Turning Red: Secrets of the Panda, Jason Vaugn dies by smashing through a broken window in the observation deck of the CN Tower, falling several hundred feet to the ground below while trying to charge at Xia and Mei.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the ending of Antz, General Mandible tackles Z, and they both have a huge fall. Z falls into water, and after being rescued, survives. Mandible falls onto a branch and isn't so lucky.
  • In The Nutcracker Prince, the villainous Mouse King falls from a Christmas tree after losing a duel with the titular character, but survives (with a serious wound), only to tumble off a balcony and drown while attacking the heroine, Clara, later on. After a splash, his crown is seen floating before it sinks back into the waters.
  • In Balto, Steele falls off the side of a cliff while trying to kill Balto, hitting cliffs on the way down. However, he manages to survive and continue to cause Balto trouble. However, it's ultimately averted at the end of the movie where Steele not only survives the movie's events, but is ultimately branded as a hated outcast by the entire village once all of his crimes are finally exposed.
  • Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio: Count Volpe suffers this fate when he's wrestling with his much-abused monkey Spazzatura, sending them both plunging off a cliff. Spazzatura lands in the water; Volpe lands on the rocks. In a particularly gruesome subversion of this trope's usual offscreen nature, though, there's no Gory Discretion Shot applied. We see Volpe hit the rocks and die, brutally.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Hey Arnold! The Movie: Doesn't involve Scheck himself, as he's already been cuffed and thrown into a police truck, but Grandpa's back up plan to blow a hole in the street to protect the neighborhood (in case Arnold failed) winds up backfiring anyway when the explosives go off under the FTI information building, causing the whole thing (along with the big TV with footage of Scheck being played) to collapse and fall down.
    • Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie: Lasombra is shot with a poison dart and appears to suffer this fate with the cliff. However, he climbs back up (now a sickly green color) and tries to kill Arnold when the Corazon falls off the cliff, but then succumbs to the poison and falls for real this time.
  • In the Direct to Video An American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island, two of the villain's underlings die by falling down an underground chasm and being drowned by a flood of water, being the only bad guys in any of the An American Tail movies that die. The three main villains of the movie, however, are the only villains in An American Tail who turn out to be Karma Houdinis.
  • Don Bluth is fond of these. This isn't surprising, actually, given that he worked for Disney for a while and that classic Disney films had a huge influence on him:
    • Jenner has a surprisingly violent one in The Secret of NIMH.
      • We do see him land, though, so it counts as on-screen.
    • The Giant Mouse of Minsk chases Warren T. Rat's gang off a pier in An American Tail. They don't die, but they're stranded clinging to the anchor of a boat bound all the way from New York City to Hong Kong.
      • For anyone who hasn't gotten the problems with this, unless they could find a way to climb up the anchor onto the deck of the ship, they would have to resort to cannibalism to avoid starvation, and would very easily die of exposure. And that's assuming they don't have to drop anchor out at sea.
    • Sharptooth's demise in The Land Before Time is actually quite an alarming variation (especially if the viewer is only familiar with the Lighter and Softer sequels): Littlefoot and his herd purposefully toss him off a cliff into a lake and drop a rock on him, causing him to drown. And then, just to make the audience really weirded out, Petrie gets a Disney Death.
      • In the sequels, tossing the film's resident sharpteeth (sharptooths?) down cliffs or pushing something to fall on their head (sometimes both) is a common way to dispatch them. It's almost a once-a-movie thing.
    • Subverted in The Pebble and the Penguin, where psychotic penguin Drake managed to escape his fall, but is then crushed by his own giant boulder and the entire tower. So he both fell and dropped a rock on himself.
    • Subverted in All Dogs Go to Heaven. Carface survives his considerably high fall into water below him. Unfortunately for him, this puts him right in King Gator's sights. All things considered, he would've been better off dying from the fall...
      • In the sequel, Carface is dragged into a hole by ghostly hands, screaming as he falls towards Hell.
    • Happens to Ludmilla at the end of Bartok the Magnificent, where, as a result of her being tricked by the titular bat into becoming a dragon, actually goes on a rampage and is lured to the top of a water tower, which then collapses because of her weight, causing her to fall to her doom.
  • Glisten and the Merry Mission: When Marzipan, Grizz, and Luula start an avalanche, the wolves are sent falling off the cliff.
  • Rock and Rule: Magnificent Bastard Mok, an aging rock star with dark magical power, summons a demon with an evil song sung by the captive Cat Girl Angel (this is another very weird kind of movie). Angel's repentant boyfriend shows up just in the nick of time and they banish both the demon and Mok down an interdimensional pit with a good song.
  • The Rugrats Movie: Scar Snout the Wolf is dragged off the bridge by Spike, and while Scar Snout plummets into the water below, Spike is thought to be dead too until it's revealed he's in the rafters.
  • In the Wallace & Gromit short movie A Matter of Loaf and Death, the psychotic, baker-hating serial killer Piella Bakewell meets her end by trying to escape in a hot-air balloon only to find out too late she's too heavy, and ends up eaten alive by crocodiles offscreen.
  • Used with an unusual variant for the villain of The Adventures of the American Rabbit who's a bird. They show him gradually getting very tired and his wings becoming covered with snow and eventually he ends up falling/gliding very slowly about twenty feet, landing in snow, with the sound effect when he hits a gentle "puff", clearly demonstrating that it wasn't the fall that killed him but rather the exhaustion along with hypothermia.
  • Subverted in Megamind. The film starts with the titular Villain Protagonist seemingly falling to his death, before flashing back to his Start of Darkness and explaining how he got there. By the time it catches up, not only is he no longer a villain anymore, he also figures out a way to survive the fall and save the day.
  • Subverted in Chicken Run, where Mrs. Tweedy is defeated by falling off an airplane. She survives the fall itself, but is (possibly) killed by the effects of it; the fall triggers a massive explosion, which destroys a barn, which causes the door of said barn to fall on top of her- and it looks as if her husband may have pushed the door on top of her. Then totally subverted when the sequel reveals that the door didn’t kill her either and she’s back in action with chicken farming.
  • The Last Unicorn: King Haggard falls to his death from the balcony when the unicorns destroy his castle.
  • In the 2000 animated film The Scarecrow, Grisham meets his end this way when he tries to kill Polly by destroying the bridge leading out of town.
  • In The Snow Queen (1995)'s sequel, The Snow Queen's Revenge, the Snow Queen falls into lava. Her body is still intact afterwards, but is turned to stone and presumably doomed, but apparently not quite dead yet, as her eyes glow before the credits roll.
  • The Prince of Egypt: And not a Karmic one either; while trying to stop an Egyptian guard cruelly whipping a Hebrew slave, Moses accidentally pushes the guard off the scaffolding of the temple, and the guard falls to his death. This causes him to exile himself out of guilt and shame.
  • In Tarzan (2013), Clayton and Smith are last seen plunging to their deaths in an out-of-control helicopter.
  • In the Calvert cut of The Thief and the Cobbler, Mighty One-Eye dies falling to his death from atop the cliff overlooking his warmachine. The canon is a lot more gruesome on-screen.
  • Being a Cliché Storm, this is how the villainess in Delgo meets her end.
  • The fate of The Nome King in Tom and Jerry: Back to Oz after the Jitterbug makes him dance uncontrollably he falls down The Pit of No Return, Tom and Jerry try to save him but he slips from their grasp and they accidentally pull off his boots and socks.
  • In Ivanhoe (Burbank Animation), Front-de-Bouef gets this by falling into the flaming inferno that was Torquilstone.
  • Mr. Magoo: The Wicked Wazir from the film "1001 Arabian Nights", after getting fed up with Magoo evading his death traps he attacks him with a flail, but Magoo ducks causing him to miss and fall from his castle into the waiting jaws of the sharks he had the genie summon earlier.
  • Storks: Hunter fell to his apparent death after being unable to escape from the robot armor he's piloting.
  • Escape from Planet Earth: General Shanker.
  • Superman: Doomsday: The Evil Superman drops Toyman to his death. In front of the whole city.
  • The second and third How to Train Your Dragon both have this.
  • Happens in The Stinger of Trolls, when Chef and Creek plummet into the maw of a hill-shaped monster (the same one that nearly ate Poppy earlier in the film). However, it is later revealed in [[Trolls: The Beat Goes On!]] that Creek somehow survived, and has changed for the Better.
  • Abominable: During the climax, Dr. Zara and the Captain's attempt to ram Everest instead triggers an avalanche that sends their car over the side of a cliff.
  • In Wolfwalkers, the Lord Protector is being dangled over a cliff near a waterfall with spiky rocks at the bottom by Robyn's father, and rather than getting forcibly dropped, he loosens his breastplate armor and falls on his own, convinced that he's dying a martyr's death.
  • Frollo being thrown off the cathedral's roof in Dingo Pictures' adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a curious case, because it shows both Quasimodo directly causing the death and the body hitting the pavement, when children's movies typically use this trope to avoid having to show both of these things.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: The Joker exits the film by falling off the side of a skyscraper inside a crippled helicopter, which explodes when it hits the street.. but actually die? HAH!
  • The LEGO Movie applies this to minor villain Sheriff Not-A-Robot, who falls into a canyon with his posse and blows up when he hits the bottom.
  • Downplayed in Puss in Boots (2011), where Humpty Dumpty willingly lets himself fall to his death and finds redemption in doing so. Bonus points for this being accurate to his fairy tale- of course the only way things could end for an evil version of him would be a great fall.

  • The Princess and the Goblin: Happens to Frog Lip at the end of the story.
  • In The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Captain Jaggery falls to his death off of the bowsprit after cornering Charlotte up there in an attempt to kill her.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Gollum falls to his death in The Lord of the Rings. This is the essential part of the eucatastrophe ending, as the accident also takes the One Ring into the Cracks of Doom, destroying it.
    • Eöl gets executed this way in The Silmarillion, and for no particularly valid reason curses his son Maeglin to die the same way.
    • Glorfindel and the Balrog fought and fell off a cliff together in The Silmarillion/The Fall of Gondolin years before J. R. R. Tolkien decided to have Gandalf and another Balrog do the same (some 7,000 years before, in-universe).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, this is the fate of anyone thrown out of the Moon Door at The Eyrie (which is a castle situated on a high mountain cliff: the moon door is an opening in the throne room leading to a drop of at least a thousand feet). In the third book A Storm of Swords Littlefinger kills Lysa Arryn using the moon door, shoving her out and showing his true villainous nature openly for the first time.
  • In the picture book King Crow, the evil king, Bregant, slips and falls from his tower as he tries to run.
  • The most famous literary example is probably the Sherlock Holmes story The Final Problem*, in which Professor Moriarty falls off a cliff — but he takes Sherlock Holmes down with him! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle intended for this to be the final Sherlock Holmes story until the fans pressured him to bring the detective back, inadvertently creating an early example of a Disney Death in the process.
  • Magua dies this way at the end of The Last of the Mohicans. Interestingly, in the movie version, Chingachgook will not dignify Magua's body with a Disney Villain Death, since the heroes are the ones who fall heroically off the cliff.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones' fantasy parody/Deconstruction Dark Lord of Derkholm, the main character is hired to play a dark lord for groups of people from another world (possibly our world) who get to act out the typical High Fantasy story. However, he runs out of time to come up with a interesting "death", so he simply creates a pit made to look bottomless and pretends to have a Disney Villain Death. Multiple times a day.
  • In Groosham Grange, a school inspector is tortured by Miss Windergast's black voodoo magic (namely a Voodoo Doll) in an attempt to prevent him from discovering the truth about the school and he ultimately falls off a cliff to his death. This example of the trope is a subversion as the school inspector was not a villain.
  • Discworld examples:
  • Redwall has a variation. So far, in 21 books, The Sword of Martin the Warrior has only been used twice to directly kill the Big Bad, and once in the most recent book, The Sable Quean. They still can get crushed under giant bells (Cluny from Redwall), drown (Tsarmina from Mossflower, Agarnu from Triss), fall down a hole (Slagar from Mattimeo), etc.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Mat Cauthon kills off the gholam using a Skimming gateway and this tactic. Bonus points for the fact that the emptiness inside a Skimming gateway is believed to be infinite. The victim should starve to death, assuming it can starve to death.
    • Since it has to feed on the blood of its victim, we could assume it can starve to death
  • From Les Misérables, we have Inspector Javert, who jumps off a bridge. The 2012 film adaptation upped it by including a sickening CRACK as he hits a ledge in the river.
    • Claude Frollo falls to his death in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When Quasimodo sees him laughing at Esmeralda's hanging, he pushes him off the cathedral. A gargoyle stops his fall, and he struggles to save himself, but ultimately gives up the fight and lets go. He falls onto a roof, rolls off and hits the pavement below, meeting his end.
  • An inversion in the Green-Sky Trilogy where Raamo accidentally falls over a cliff into the Bottomless Lake trying to destroy a weapon. Subverted in the Canon video game sequel.
  • One villain from Tim Powers' The Anubis Gates, a sorcerer whose personal gravity is abnormal, dies by falling from the Earth's surface to the Moon.
  • Star Wars Legends:
  • In Call for the Dead, the first George Smiley novel, Smiley's physical struggle with his former agent Dieter Frey ends with Frey falling from London's Battersea Bridge into the river Thames. Smiley had been aiming to capture, not kill, and a combination of My God, What Have I Done? and Heroic BSoD ensues.
  • Subverted in Septimus Heap, since DomDaniel actually survives his jump from the Wizard Tower.
  • In Warrior Cats, minor character Smokepaw falls to his death when a ledge crumbles beneath him (that didn't stop him from accidentally showing up in future books). Ancient cat Dark Whiskers also got blown off a cliff by the wind in the same mountains. Two ShadowClan cats get killed falling into the quarry where ThunderClan lives, and nearly knock Leafpool off with them, until Crowfeather pulls her to safety.
  • Abarat: Mendelson Shape falls from a great height to his apparent death when he kidnaps Candy Quackenbush with a magically created giant moth and hostile hunters in air balloons fire at them. In the second book, it is revealed that he survived his fall, and his true death happens when he is forced to enter the territory of the Sacbrood.
  • In The Stoneheart Trilogy, Edie's stepfather falls to his doom when he tries to kill Edie and she retaliates by hitting him hard with a pebble, knocking him into a chasm.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, Brand falls into the Abyss. In the second series, several members of Chaos royalty also "fall" off the edge.
  • In The Power of Five: Raven's Gate, Mrs. Deverill falls to her doom when she is pushed by Richard off a railing into a tank of acid.
    • Noah falls through a hole in the floor that Matt made by loosening nails and covered with a rug, where he lands on his sickle and dies.
  • Jane Eyre: Bertha commits suicide by throwing herself off the roof of Thornfield Hall—falling to her death—after setting the place on fire.
  • In Ciaphas Cain: Cain's Last Stand, Cain manages to get Chaos Warmaster Varan to fight him mano a mano near a cliff. Cain outmaneuvers Varan and kicks him over it.
  • At end of Rising Sun, Ishiguro throws himself off a 46-story balcony rather than be shunned for the rest of his life back in Japan.
    • In another Crichton novel, Timeline, one of the Co-Dragons, Sir Guy, falls to his death after a fight with Kate on some ceiling support beams.
  • In And Then There Were None, Doctor Armstrong is pushed off a cliff into a still-choppy sea.
  • Sally Bones from Varjak Paw when she falls off of a building and onto the street below.
  • In the William Gibson short story "Johnny Mnemonic", the one that the movie was based on, the villainous Yakuza assassin who is pursuing Johnny and Molly meets his end like this, but instead of reaching for his hand, Molly tricks him into chopping it off with his own molecular wire, which also opens a hole in the platform he was standing on with a very long plummet to the city below.
  • Subverted in the zombie noir Undead on Arrival, as it's how the main character dies.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Jack Frost falls from his candy tower into a milkshake moat, and has to be saved by Rachel and Kirsty.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Nobel falls prey to this in The Baron of Maleperduys.
  • James Bond:
    • In Goldfinger, Oddjob is sucked out of the plane, head first, via Bond putting all his strength into stabbing through a plane window.
    • A bad guy in High Time to Kill tries to make Bond and Dr. Kendall jump off from a cliff of a mountain since it's "much more fun" than just shooting them, but after a brief struggle, ends up going over it himself.
    • Margareta Piel in DoubleShot is shot in the novel's climactic six seconds, and falls screaming through a window to the street below.
  • The Schut, eponymous villain of the final volume of Karl May's Orient Cycle, falls to his death with his horse while trying to escape by jumping across a canyon.
  • In Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools, the evil King Septimus falls to his death from one of his castle towers.
  • Sikes and his dog fall to their deaths in Oliver Twist. Haunted by Nancy's ghost after murdering her, Sikes attempts to flee, but ultimately comes back to London. Whilst trying to escape from an angry mob, he tries to lower himself down from his hiding place via a rope, loses his balance, falls, and the rope catches his neck and hangs him. His dog jumps at his master, misses, and strikes his head against a stone, dashing out his brains. Ouch! The dog's death was more gruesome than his master's.
  • The Bad Unicorn Trilogy:
    • Max uses the Density spell to make Rezormoor Dreadbringer's armor extremely heavy, causing him to fall through the floor of the Tower. He is not seen again after this, so we can assume he's dead.
    • Many of the Maelshadow's minions die this way in Good Ogre.
    • As does the Maelshadow itself.
  • In The Dragon Heir a villain offs himself by attacking someone with magic who is immune and sucks magic from wizards]], thus exerting himself to the point that he loses all strength and simply falls off a cliff.
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: The bomber meets his end upon letting himself fall from a helicopter. His body is never found, resulting in rumours of him surviving.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness:
    • In Wolf Brother, an avalanche drags the demon bear and Hord to their doom.
    • In Oath Breaker, Thiazzi is ignited while he's on the top branch of a massive oak and loses his balance.
    • In Ghost Hunter, Eostra falls into a chasm created by the Hidden People summoned by the Walker.
  • Words of Radiance (book two of The Stormlight Archive): In the final battle, Adolin headbutts Eshonai into a chasm as a Highstorm and an Everstorm crash together overhead. The next book reveals that she survived the fall thanks to her Shardplate but drowned in the flash flood.
  • Nina Tanleven:
    • Subverted and inverted in The Ghost in the Third Row. The villain, Lydia Crane (real name: Lydia Heron) survives falling off a balcony, albeit with several broken bones. It's the heroic Pop (AKA Edward Parker, the man whom she believed had framed her father for the crime he committed), who tried to pull her back when she was about to fall and went over the edge with her, who dies from the fall.
    • Also subverted in The Ghost Wore Gray. While Porter Markson falls into what was believed to be Captain Gray's grave, he survives the fall itself, turning over and trying to climb forward to get out. He's finished off when the tombstone falls forward onto him.
  • Subverted in The City Without Memory: Veri-Meri, the closest the book has to a Big Bad, falls into a deep well with a splash, doesn't get out, and another antagonist (who didn't like him at all) says "oh, whatever, Death Equals Redemption". Then, the epilogue reveals Veri-Meri is alive and well (though claims to have reformed), with no hints on how he actually survived.
  • In Renegades, this is how Ace Anarchy died in the Battle of Gatlon, throwing himself off the roof and into the flames once he realized he couldn't win. Of course, the end of the book reveals he didn't quite kick the bucket.
  • Subverted in Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria. While fighting Marco, Bait slips off the library roof during a thunderstorm and falls sixty feet to his death. A crack of thunder made him lose his balance. A few moments later it turns out that he survived (or at least, that he was brought back to life).
  • In The Lie Tree, Agatha Lambent dies chasing the tree's last fruit over a cliff.
  • The Mummy Monster Game: In book 1, the crocodile-headed mummy monster that serves as the game's first antagonist and the real-life segment's main antagonist is chasing Josh, Amy, Harry and Spy, swinging over a bottomless pit, when the rope breaks and it falls to its death with a scream.
  • The Cat Who... Series: The last chapters of book #22 (The Cat Who Robbed a Bank) reveal that the book's killer had been hiding out in the shafthouse of a long defunct mine. When his friend and Qwill go to try and find him, they accidentally startle him so he falls to his death in the shaft.
  • Bazil Broketail: In the first novel's finale, Bazil cuts off the metal ropes holding a net in which the Doom is laid, causing it to fall a long way down the vertical shaft to its death.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: A handful of Asshole Victims died via falling, including...
    • Garth Janken from "The Dangers of Candy Canes", dies when he slips off his roof thanks to loosened shingles.
    • Dr. Preston McCay dies this way in "The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies" when the killer sabotages the cable used to make him fly in the play he was performing in.
    • Hope from Death of a Bachelorette is killed when the killer cuts the cords on the parachute she was using in a skydiving scene.
  • Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster: When Wilkie Crudd has Nan cornered on top of The Matchstick, he tries to pull her down to him. In the tussle, there's a slip, and they both end up falling 200 feet from the top of the Matchstick to the hard pavement below. Nan's fall is somewhat cushioned by a banner, though she is still mortally wounded, but Wilkie Crudd dies upon hitting the ground.
  • Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Freya slaps Ishtar across the face to knock her off the edge of a building. Ishtar is a goddess, but as a God in Human Form, the fall kills her mortal body and sends her back to Heaven.
  • Goblins in the Castle: In the climax, the evil sorcerer Ishmaelnote  falls out a window to his death.
  • Sword of the Rightful King: Morgause's henchman Hwyll is tackled by Gawen, causing him to topple over a rampart to his death.
  • He Who Drowned The World: Right before the final confrontation with the antagonist, Zhu reveals herself to Lady Zhang, urging her to join Zhu and set aside her empty, destructive pursuit of power. Zhang furiously attacks Zhu instead, slips, and falls from the balcony to her death.
  • In the climax of Where Are the Children?, Carl Harmon falls through the railing around The Lookout's widow's walk and into the sea below. The police manage to fish him out alive, but he soon dies from his injuries sustained in the fall.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • At WCW's 1995 Halloween Havoc event, the end of the Monster Truck Sumo match saw Hulk Hogan and the Giant, now known as Big Show, get out of the trucks and fight at the ledge of Cobalt Hall. The Giant fell off the edge after trying to grab Hogan, but this was averted as he came back for the main event just fine.
  • Narrowly averted in the infamous "Hell in a Cell" match at the 1998 "King of the Ring" pay-per-view, where Mick Foley — when he had his Mankind gimmick — not once but twice took severe falls. The first was the now-legendary one, where his opponent, The Undertaker, threw him off the top of the cage, with Foley crashing through the Spanish Announcers' Table and onto the arena floor. Foley, it was said, was knocked unconscious after taking the fall, and even Jim Ross exclaimed, "Good God almighty! Good God almighty! That killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!" Miraculously, Foley recovered, rallied to beat down Undertaker before Undertaker came back to give Mankind his second bump of the night — being chokeslammed through the top of the Hell in a Cell structure and onto a pile of thumbtacks on the mat below; this fall also knocked Foley unconscious, leading the Undertaker to believe at first that Foley had been fatally injured.
  • Muhammad Hassan fell victim to this trope after his match with The Undertaker at The Great American Bash. After the match, Undertaker tore off several of the panels covering the stage and giving him a Last Ride through the hole, complete with a rather disturbing sounding crash a few seconds later. While other wrestlers have taken falls from high heights as part of their match, sometimes being put out of action, this was meant in storyline to kill off the character, as UPN forced the WWE to remove him from the air.
  • This is the whole concept behind the scaffold match, as the appeal of the match is to see the Heel/heels get thrown 17 feet (or however tall it is) to the mat.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons module I10 Ravenloft II: The House on Gryphon Hill. At the climax of the adventure the evil Creature and the Alchemist Strahd topple over the edge of a cliff and fall to their deaths below.


"Dream hard enough, my friend
Ja'far will meet a violent end
Or he'll plummet to his death from a castle
  • In Urinetown, Cladwell is killed by being thrown off the roof of the UGC headquarters building, as revenge for Bobby being killed in the exact same way.

    Theme Parks 

    Web Animation 
  • In Homestar Runner's action movie parody Dangeresque, the title character entertains this idea but fails to follow through on it. What happens to Perducci is actually kind of unclear, but he survives to menace Dangeresque again in Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective.
    Dangeresque: Once we get to the top of this high-scraper, we'll hopefully be able to throw some people off. Maybe even Perducci.
  • Piece Of Cake: Near the end, Brad attempts to shatter Val only to fall off the counter to his own demise.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • This is how The Meta finally bites it at the very end of Revelations. Sarge attaches him to a wrecked Warthog via a tow cable, and Grif and Sarge push the Warthog off a cliff, taking the Meta with it. Due to damage his suit sustained during the previous battle, he drowned. For extra irony points, this is what he did to his first victim, Agent Carolina, down to being thrown off the very same cliff. Season 9 also shows that, back when he was Agent Maine, he was acrophobic.
    • In the climax of The Chorus Trilogy, Felix dies by a grenade explosion tossing him out of the tall building he was in. His death is confirmed by Locus being able to use his sword afterwards.
  • RWBY:
  • Waclaw, from Water-Human, falls from a cliff while running from his former partner.


    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Happens in an irregular fashion in Spoony's Campaign. The heroes knock the villain Lord Talbot out a window on purpose. They did find the body, but the very next day, they learn that the villain's body was stolen while they slept.
  • The fate of Jeremy in Season Two of Where the Bears Are.
  • The fate of Hoody in Entry #83 of Marble Hornets, taking a story-long fall onto a concrete floor below.

Hero/non-villain examples:

  • A commercial for Skittles features two boys sitting atop a rainbow eating Skittles. As soon as one of them questions how they can be sitting on top of a rainbow which is only a material object in their imagination, a trap door opens below him sending him plummeting to the earth below.

  • The Blood Guard: Legion and several of the Bend Sinister agents fall victim to this when Greta's Pure soul being expulsed blasts them off the rooftop. Head Truelove willingly falls to his death shortly afterwards.
  • The Cat Who... Series: Inverted in book #1 (The Cat Who Could Read Backwards), where it's an innocent, the artist Nino, who's murdered when he's pushed off a stepladder and falls twenty-six feet onto a concrete floor.
  • Chocoholic Mysteries: Not exactly a villain, but in Bear Burglary, it's explained that fifteen years before, Congressman Vic VanHorn had been out walking down to the lakeshore during a storm when the embankment gave way under him. As a result, he fell, hit his head on something, and died. Then subverted when it turns out this was a lie. He'd died when a china cabinet fell on his head after his son Hart, acting in defense of Hart's mother, punched Vic into said china cabinet. To cover it up and make Vic's death look like an accident, Hart and his mother threw the body over the embankment and then destroyed as much of the cabinet in the fireplace as they could.
  • The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness:
    • In Soul Eater, Nef performs a Heroic Sacrifice by jumping into a crevasse with one of the Fire Opal fragments in order to destroy it and repay her debt to Torak's father.
    • In Oath Breaker, Bale ends up hanging from the edge of the Crag and falls to his death when Thiazzi steps on his fingers.
    • Subverted in Ghost Hunter when Torak falls into a chasm with the Big Bad, only to have his spirit guided back to his body by the Non-Human Sidekick.
  • In Every Breath You Take, Virginia Wakeling wasn’t a bad person yet met her end by falling from the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The investigation concluded she was almost certainly thrown off by another person, as she didn’t appear to be suicidal and the roof’s architecture would make an accidental fall highly unlikely.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: Possibly inverted in Death of a Gigolo, which tells how Daisy Kincaid's companion died from falling off a cliff during a nature walk years ago. It's actually Daisy, who was described as a kindly old woman (though the person who says this may have been lying) who died, and the companion, Emma Shimmel, killed her to take her place and money.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A tragic non-villain example happened to Owen Hart, who during his entrance at Over the Edge 1999 when he rappelled in from the rafters, fell 78 feet to his death. It was only by luck that this didn't happen on national television, who saw only a backstage promo instead.

  • Tosca's climactic suicide at the end of the opera.

  • True Believers subverts this for Mary Jane. First, Joe Quesadilla brainwashes her into jumping off a building, but Spider-Man catches her before she can hit the ground. The second time Quesadilla sends MJ falling occurs after Spidey refuses to give in to The Final Temptation, and Quesadilla appears to actually succeed in offing her. However, since Death Is Cheap for Marvel characters, MJ doesn't stay dead for long.
  • Othar Tryggvassen (Gentleman Adventurer) from Girl Genius has a Running Gag of subverting it. He repeatedly falls off airships and the like, each time shouting "Foul!". Each time, he comes out unscathed, even if delayed, for unexplained reasons.


Alternative Title(s): Falling To Their Death, Death By Falling


Klim "Surrenders"

Sam decides to confront the Big Bad of the DLC, Klim, inside the control room. Klim "surrenders" in front of Sam, before he suddenly attacks him from behind, leading to a violent confrontation between the two. Sam, however, emerges victorious as he stabs Klim to the neck with a glass shard, causing the traitor to fall down to his watery death.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ISurrenderSuckers

Media sources: