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Falling and Landing Index

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For whatever reason, people sure seem to fall a lot in media, whether it's a pratfall or falling in love. Sometimes they stick the landing and other times they crash and burn. How fast you fall and how you keep from going splat! tends to be heavily affected by Artistic License – Physics. This is an index of tropes related to falling and/or landing (or not landing, a.k.a. crashing).

Compare the Dangerous Heights and Gravity Tropes Indexes. Contrast Flying Tropes.

Tropes related to Tripping, Dropping or Falling

  • Anvil on Head
    A gag involving heavy objects falling on people from out of nowhere.
  • Banana Peel
    If a banana peel appears, it will be slipped on.
  • Bombardier Mook
    An enemy that drops things on you.
  • Bomb Whistle
    Objects falling from the sky make a distinctive whistling sound.
  • Bottomless Pits
    In this case, it is the fall that kills you, no splat necessary!
  • Bottomless Pit Rescue Service
    Fall into a pit? Not a problem! This helpful NPC will rescue you!
  • Carrying a Cake
    If someone is carrying an elaborate cake, they will trip while holding it, they'll drop it, or something else horrible will happen to it before it reaches its destination.
  • Chute Sabotage
    Killing someone by tampering with their parachute.
  • Circling Saw
    Sawing a hole through the floor in a deliberate attempt to make someone fall—or accidentally making yourself fall.
  • Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb
    To show the inherent peril of mountain climbing, or scaling tall structures, the hero suddenly loses their grip/footing/etc., but narrowly avoids a fatal plunge by grabbing a ledge at the last second.
  • Colony Drop
    Best way to destroy the earth? Drop an astronomically large space object on the major city of your choice.
  • Crash in Through the Ceiling
    A falling character enters a building the hard way.
  • Cue the Falling Object
    You know the place is a mess when the scenery is falling apart.
  • Death by Looking Up
    As soon as you see that shadow from overhead, don't look up, because you'll just die.
  • Death Flight
    Flying somebody high into the air and then dropping them to their death.
  • Death from Above
    Beware of fatal falling objects.
  • Disney Villain Death
    If a villain takes a long fall, but no one sees their corpse, did they really die?
  • Dramatic Drop
    The shock of receiving dramatic news causes temporary grip loss and results in dropping objects.
  • Edge Gravity
    When falling to your death is designed to be something not easily done by accident.
  • Emergency Cargo Dump
    Need to be lighter or go faster? Dump the cargo.
  • Face Fault
    On the ground, doing a full body drop.
  • Fall-in Angel
    A hero's world is turned upside down when someone comes falling/floating down before them.
  • Falling Blocks
    A puzzle game where you arrange falling blocks in a narrow space.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom
    Standing under elaborate chandeliers is just a bad idea. They will fall on you.
  • Falling into His Arms
    How do you make falling romantic? Have the Love Interest catch them.
  • Falling into the Plot
    The protagonist falls from the sky at the start of the work.
  • Floorboard Failure
    And you thought it looked safe to cross those rickety boards...
  • Free-Fall Fight
    Free-falling with a bunch of mooks? Don't wait to land, just fight it out in midair!
  • Free-Fall Romance
    Falling through the air with your Love Interest is dramatic and romantic. Just be sure you have a safe way to land.
  • Frictionless Reentry
    Falling towards the earth from space? Don't worry—despite what the laws of physics say, you definitely won't burn up on re-entry.
  • Graceful Landing, Clumsy Landing
    A contrast between a graceful landing and a clumsy, flopped landing.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
    You might get a few feet from the edge of the cliff before she kicks in, but either way, you're falling down.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Seamstress
    Falling through clotheslines gets you dressed in mismatched clothes.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche
    Any sound, no matter how quiet, will trigger an avalanche.
  • Hanging by the Fingers
    I hope you have strong fingers, because they're the only thing stopping you from plummeting to your death!
  • High-Dive Escape
    Need to make a speedy exit? Just jump off the nearest balcony.
  • Hobbling the Giant
    Targeting the legs of an oversized opponent to send them crashing to the ground.
  • I Fell for Hours
    Time does not fly when you fall, as it turns out.
  • It's Raining Men
    When people start falling from the skies.
  • Kneel, Push, Trip
    Pushing someone so they trip over your kneeling partner-in-crime.
  • Leap of Faith
    When you have to jump without being able to see your destination.
  • Literal Cliffhanger
    Nothing so dramatic as hanging from a cliff. Or a tree. Or a rope.
  • Literally Falling in Love
    Need to get the ball rolling on a romance? Just push them into their Love Interest.
  • Mic Drop
    Need a dramatic exit? Say your piece, drop your mic and take your leave.
  • Non-Lethal Bottomless Pits
    Oh, no! I fell down this pit and... now I'm back at the beginning of the level?
  • No Escape but Down
    When falling is the only option.
  • Piano Drop
    If there is a piano in the air, it will fall on you.
  • Pulling the Rug Out
    Tripping someone by yanking the rug out from under them.
  • Railing Kill
    Oh, mooks, always taking tumbles over low railings.
  • Reentry Scare
    Oh, no! This ship can't survive reentry into the atmosphere! (It probably can, though.)
  • Rocketless Reentry
    Don't have a spaceship? Just strap on your spacesuit and drop out of orbit. It's perfectly safe.
  • Rule of Pool
    If there's a swimming pool around, somebody will fall into it.
  • Save Sat
    A satellite crashing down has a beneficial/defensive effect.
  • Shadow of Impending Doom
    Do you see a shadow coming from overhead? That's not a good sign.
  • Slow-Motion Drop
    How do you make a dramatically falling object even more dramatic? Just add slow-mo.
  • Slow-Motion Fall
    Slow Mo makes everything cool, even free-falling people. No, especially free-falling people.
  • Smokestack Drop
    A character falls down a smokestack to their apparent doom.
  • Stepping Stones in the Sky
    To prevent falling to your death, just use falling debris as a staircase back up to safety.
  • Surprise Slide Staircase
    A staircase transforms into a slide beneath your feet.
  • Take My Hand!
    One way to prevent falling from that cliff you're hanging from is to grab the hand of someone trying to save you.
  • Teetering on the Edge
    A vehicle of sorts ends up on the edge of a drop with any big movements threatening to send it and any occupants still in it over the edge.
  • Tied-Together-Shoelace Trip:
    Tying the laces of one shoe to the other to make the shoe-wearer trip and fall.
  • Trip Trap
    Stretching a rope across a path to trip someone up.
  • Variable Terminal Velocity
    That natural law that says objects all fall at the same speed is a lie. How fast you fall depends on plot-relevance.
  • Wrong Parachute Gag
    Desperately need to open your parachute? Surprise! It's not a parachute, it's a kid's backpack!

Tropes related to Landing, Catching and Crashing

  • Barely Missed Cushion
    When a character looks like they are in for a soft landing, but misses.
  • Came from the Sky
    An object from the sky causes a stir when it makes a crater on Earth.
  • Captain Crash
    This pilot's successful landing rate is one hundred percent if you count crashes as landings.
  • Car Cushion
    Landing on cars always breaks your fall. Even if the hood is cratered, your spine will be fine.
  • Casual High Drop
    Character drops off a roof to the ground unharmed to show how badass they are.
  • Catch a Falling Star
    Dramatic midair catches save lives!
  • Coming in Hot
    Emergency crash landings are still landings, right?
  • Crash Course Landing
    Just follow the people on the comm to land the plane.
  • Crashing Through the Harem
    Have a harem? You'll probably end up slamming into the whole group of them at some point.
  • Crash-Into Hello
    The best way to meet people is by tripping into them.
  • Death by Falling Over
    People can die from seemingly light impacts. Even tripping or getting hit by a pillow can kill you.
  • Desperate Object Catch
    If it's the last thing you do, don't let it hit the ground, break, or get caught by the other guy first.
  • Diving Save
    Diving to save someone or catch someone makes for great drama.
  • Falling into Jail
    A bad guy who is sent skywards comes back to earth inside prison.
  • Fireman's Safety Net
    A character lands on a safety net or trampoline.
  • Funbag Airbag
    Need something to break your fall? Breasts are an excellent source of padding.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives
    Catching human beings with your giant mecha can save their life, never mind the deadly impact.
  • Glass Smack and Slide
    Smacking against glass often results in staying comically stuck for a while, before sliding down with a grating sound of flesh against glass.
  • Goomba Springboard
    Enemies double as trampolines! If you land on one, you bounce!
  • Ground Pound
    Jump in the air and come down hard on your enemies.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing
    The best way to make an impact! Land so powerfully that it makes a cool crater.
  • Hit the Ground Harder
    Avoid damage by speeding up before you hit the ground (somehow).
  • Improbable Falling Save
    Catching a falling person without their weight and momentum injuring you or pulling you down with them.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub
    Need a place to land? Try a bathtub!
  • Ladder Tipping
    Ladders are dangerous! When you climb them, people will just knock them over!
  • Living Crashpad
    People make excellent padding to break your fall on.
  • Mind Your Step
    If you are warned about a particular step, do not step on it, or you will crash through the floorboards or take a fall down the stairs.
  • Noose Catch
    A character's fall is cut fatally short by something wrapped around their neck.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…
    As long as you don't hit the ground, any fall from any height is survivable!
  • Parachute in a Tree
    Parachutes are apparently attracted to trees, because they always end up tangling in them upon landing.
  • Pratfall
    Butts are funny. Falling on your butt is even funnier.
  • Precision Crash
    Falling objects are attracted to things like monuments and expensive cars.
  • Saved by the Platform Below
    A fatal fall is interrupted by falling onto a platform or hanging onto a ledge.
  • Slipping into Stink
    Something disgusting breaks your fall.
  • Soft Water
    Contrary to physics, landing in water, even from great heights, will always guarantee survival.
  • Staircase Tumble
    Think it's funny when people trip? It's even funnier when they trip and hit every step on the way down the stairs.
  • Suggestive Collision
    Did you crash into someone? The possibility you are now in a suggestive pose with them is high.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!"
    Oh, no! He's leaping to his death! Oh, wait, there was someone there to catch him all along.
  • Sword Plant
    Descend with a sword pointing down.
  • Three-Point Landing
    A badass landing pose, with both feet on the ground and one hand to steady you.
  • Trash Landing
    Need to break your fall? Well, there's always a dumpster.