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Face Plant

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"Everybody do the Flop!"
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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 

    Comic Books 
  • In The Blue Lotus, Thompson and Thomson try to catch a train that has Tintin on it and fall on their faces. 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.

    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.
  • Justin Long pulls one off in Tusk after his character was given drugged tea, sliding from his chair into a face-first fall on the floor.


    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.
  • It's practically impossible for contestants on Wipeout 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.
  • 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.

    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".


Video Example(s):


"Complete and Utter Waste"

After Yusake ends up dying after jumping in the way of a speeding car to save a kid, he learns from Botan that not only was the move unnecessary, but he ended up doing more harm than good. Naturally, he doesn't take it well.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / SenselessSacrifice

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