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Face Plant

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A staple of slapstick and other forms of physical comedy, a Face Plant refers to any instance where someone ends up having their face be the first part of their body to impact the ground after falling. The results to the victim can vary from simple embarrassment to serious injury or even death (though Rule of Funny usually precludes it from going this far), depending on how hard the person hits the ground, what the surface they're falling on is, and how high they're falling from.

Not to be confused with the Anime & Manga trope of Face Fault, where someone winds up face-first on the ground after witnessing or being told something absurd.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Kurumada Fall is the non-comedic variant that happens in super-charged fights. Often involving the target looking deader than dead only to force themself back up. The parodies of it, on the other hand, go right back to laughs.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Mihaya trips Shirayuki after kidnapping her and tying her hands behind her back when she kicks a box at him and tries to run past him out the only door to the room she is in. Since she doesn't have any way to break her fall she lands on her face, though she tries to take most of the fall with the rest of her body. Definitely not played for laughs.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, both America and Romano (South Italy) landed face-down after slipping on a Banana Peel.
  • In one episode of Naruto Shippuden, a young Choji trips and faceplants while trying to sneak past a group of shinobi. Thankfully they seem to be rather oblivious to the noise and don't notice him.
  • In one episode of Kekkaishi, Yoshimori Sumimura ends up face planting after Tokine Yukimura uses a small kekkai to trip him.
  • Vivio falls flat on her face in episode 15 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS while running to her mothers. Right after Fate told her to be careful no less. Nanoha and Fate's reactions help to illustrate the differences in their parenting styles and the entire scene would receive a Meaningful Echo during the penultimate episode.
  • Smile PreCure!: Yayoi (Cure Peace) does these from time to time even in her version of the ending she even gets a red nose in her next appearance.
  • The anime adaptation of Sword Art Online has this happening several times to Kirito over the course of the first episode of the ALFheim Online arc. One pretty spectacular one has him slamming into the ground head-first from several hundred feet in the air and seemingly being stuck for almost a minute after impact.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: A non-comedic variant. In Blue Angel and Spectre's duel, the latter's attack sends her high up in the air then she falls and lands hard on her face, knocking her unconscious before she dissipates into data.
  • In Monster Musume, Papi the harpy attempts to rescue a child stuck in a tree and takes a running leap to get airborne, only to promptly fall to the ground and end up skidding on her face for several feet; seems her wings were too wet to allow her to fly.
  • I Want Your Mother To Be With Me!: Asahi shows Haruka the proper way to experience snow: jumping face-first into it. His mom falls on her own face when he throws a snowball at her and she trips.
  • In Inuyasha, the titular half-demon is outfitted with a special set of Beads of Subjugation that are enchanted to throw him to the ground at the command of "sit" as a means to control him when he goes out of control. Kagome, being Kagome, uses it constantly out of annoyance over him. This video showcases 149 uses over the original series and its movies.
  • Wendy Marvell from Fairy Tail ends up introducing herself this way to the main cast and their allies in the Oracion Seis Arc. The anime hilariously repeats her fall and subsequent scream three times over!
    • The same moment is Played for Drama later, when after taking down the Nirvana, she falls down trying to escape the Collapsing Lair. She still makes it out, thankfully.
  • The end result of Bocchi's attempt at Crowd Surfing in Bocchi the Rock!, after she panics when asked to give a speech at a high school performance with her band.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Blue Lotus, Thompson and Thomson chase Tintin through a train station and fall on their faces in the process, one falls off a train whilst disembarking when they spot Tintin and the other falls from the platform trying to chase a train Tintin is leaving on. They are next seen in a hospital with their noses in casts.

    Fan Works 
  • Happens to Princess Cadance in A Hell of a Time when she falls 60 feet to the ground after Tirek banishes her and the other Princesses to Tartarus. She ends up stuck face-first in the ground for quite a while before freeing herself.
  • In New Kid On The Block, Wally West takes a tumble when he tries to remove Pied Piper from a fight. It isn't a prime example of a slapstick moment, but Captain Cold is pretty amused when the Kid hits the concrete.

    Films — Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games:
    • Pinkie Pie ends up face-first on the floor upon opening a school exit after one of her overexcited rants.
    • Twilight after she trips trying to jump over a hay bale. That must have hurt considering she's wearing her glasses, and she's lucky to not have broken them.
  • Pocahontas: When Percy chases Meeko after their first encounter, he trips and lands face first in mud, ruining the bath he just took.
  • In Turning Red, Mei faceplants onto concrete three times, the first during the Title Sequence and the other couple times during the climax from about a metre up.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Big Bird in Japan: In trying to show extra Japanese Politeness to the Shimizu grandparents, Big Bird bows so low to the ground that he falls flat on his face. Everyone is delighted that he has learned to bow so well.
  • Near the climax of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch tries a Diving Save to catch the slipping sled only to fall short and land face-first in the snow behind it.
  • Happens in Twister when Jo Harding slams on the brakes on Bill's truck while he's in the back readying the Dorothy probe, causing him to smack the back window face-first.
  • Wallace pulls one off in Tusk (2014) after he is given drugged tea, sliding from his chair into a face-first fall on the floor.
  • Iron Man: The first time Tony tests the rocket boots for his Iron Man suit, he ends up doing this... on the ceiling.


    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: When Myranda falls into her death, she lands face first, leaving a huge bloodstain. Not so pretty now...
  • The opening credits of the CBBC comedy Gruey show the protagonist trying to jump over a wall, tripping, and landing face-first in a patch of mud.
  • In the Saved by the Bell episode "Breaking Up is Easy to Do" after Kelly breaks up with Zack due to his jealousy, he begins to hallucinate seeing her everywhere. When he finally sees her in a closet and asking for a hug, he does and completely eats it inside.
  • A Played for Drama example happened on Unsolved Mysteries: a teenage girl is running for her life at night after being sexually assaulted. She sees a light to a home in the distance, but since it was dark, she didn't see the large wooden post in her way when running towards the light and crashes into it, knocking the poor girl out cold. Her assailants soon discovered and murdered her.
  • It's practically impossible for contestants on Wipeout (2008) to get through even the first round without having this happen to them.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This particular method of selling a move is so iconic for Ric Flair that it's dubbed the "Flair Flop" by fans.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, after discovering that her friend is being attacked by a monster, Zia hurries out the house she's in and down the street. Along the way she barges past Jessica, who's flung forward and ends up getting a face full of dirt that she curses Zia out for.

  • Tamagotchi: On the Version 1, failing at the "Jump" game will make the Tamagotchi trip over a hurdle. Many of the adult characters on other Connection releases also face plant as they walk across the screen in their idle animations.

    Video Games 
  • The majority of games that employ Ragdoll Physics will sometimes show characters faceplanting after being killed.
  • The Kid from Bastion enters any area by falling from the sky and landing face-down. Becomes significantly less funny at the end of the game when, after taking a vicious beating from the Ura, the Kid returns to the Bastion, lands in his usual manner... and stays down.
  • Some of the games in the Battlefield series will automatically put the player into a head-down skydiving pose if they fall from a certain height. If the player doesn't have a parachute handy or doesn't deploy it in time, this can result in an invariably fatal faceplant.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Lance does this on the chopping block table in a dead faint after his hand gets chopped off by Vivi.
  • Bridget's Shoot The Moon Instant Kill in Guilty Gear XX launches the character to the moon, where they smash upside-down into the ground so hard most of their upper body's imbedded in it.
  • Happens almost constantly to Derpy whenever she's present in My Little Pony.
  • In the early Microsoft computer game Olympic Decathlon, it was possible to face fault in the long jump and high jump events.
  • As one of the game's most reliable Butt Monkeys, this happens to King Knight as one of his stage intros in Shovel Knight, specifically his King of Cards expansion.
  • Notably employed in Sonic The Hedgehog as a Running Gag. Even his movie version wasn't safe.
  • In Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon, the Have a Nice Death screen for falling deaths ("Deceleration Trauma") shows Roger Wilco upside down with his head mashed into the ground. The VGA remake of Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter has a similar death screen.
  • In Undertale, Monster Kid falls on their face every time they try to make a running exit.
  • It's not a Hildebrand Manderville adventure in Final Fantasy XIV unless you find the man embedded in the ground head first at some point.

    Web Comics 
  • Blade Bunny: Mixed with a Literal Metaphor for bonus point: Bunny proudly states to her latest employer that she isn't tripped up easily. Then a bystander points out that her bootlaces are untied (again). Bunny trips and faceplants.
    Bunny: That doesn't count. I was being metaphorical.
    Lady Kyoto: I am beginning to believe this plan was an horrible mistake.
  • Girl Genius: Tarvek meets the floor face first when he gets up to try and yell at Gil and passes out due to how ill he currently is.

    Web Original 
  • ASDF Movie has the "Do the Flop Guy", which is this trope as a Dance Sensation.
    • "Hello, and welcome to standing up school." (whump) "... Aaaand you fail."
  • Ask Fluffle Puff takes this beyond Running Gag territory with the titular character. She can even move around while flat on her face.
  • YouTube is jam-packed with home videos showing people meeting Terra firma face-first.
  • The Helluva Boss episode "Spring Broken" has this twice; first when Blitzo falls when climbing out the driver's window of the company van while arguing with Verosika Mayday, and later when a drunk Moxxie falls face-first on a beach in the human world, leaving a faceprint in the sand.

    Western Animation 
  • In Barbie and the Secret Door, Nori has trouble walking since she's used to having a mermaid tail, and falls flat on her face when trying to take a step.
  • Mabel Pines pulls one off in the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", when she attempts to do a flip while singing karaoke.
  • Happens to most of the mane characters at one time or another on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • Apple Bloom has this as a running joke in "Hearts and Hooves Day".
    • Happens to Spike in "Inspiration Manifestation", when he tries walking in the bulky crystal armor Rarity puts him in.
    • In "Equestria Games", when Spike is brought before Cadance upon arriving in the Crystal Empire, he falls face-first on the ground when the guards transporting him come to a halt.
  • On Ready Jet Go!, Sean falls face first onto the ground in "Sean's Robotic Arm".


New York Weenie

In his pursuit of Minnie's hot dog, Mickey trips on a fork and literally falls flat on his face.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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