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Falling into Jail

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They got him right where they want him.

The Monarch: He threw me in jail. Literally. Threw me right into the yard at the state prison. Then he shouts up to the warden, "Looks like this one won't be causing any more trouble!" And he flies off with a gallant salute.
Dr. Mrs. The Monarch: Oh my God.
The Monarch: Apparently nobody ever told him what due process was.

In cartoons, the hero finishes off the villain with a powerful blow that sends the latter flying in the air and crashing through the ceiling of a prison and conveniently in a jail cell. How precise or lucky the hero was in doing this, how the villain doesn't suffer any injuries in the process, or whether the hole in the roof is going to be repaired are usually not addressed.

Other variations include:

  • A hero with flight will carry and drop the villain into the jail.
  • The villain is knocked into a group of objects that conveniently turn into an improvised jail.
  • A police officer, a group of police officers, or a police car are substituted for the jail to apprehend the villain.
  • The villain ends up in jail in an attempt to escape the hero.
  • The vehicle the villain is escaping in is manipulated to travel to jail.

Compare Disney Villain Death. A Sub-Trope of Artistic License – Prison.


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    Comic Books 
  • At the end of Don Rosa's "The Three Caballeros Ride Again", the villain's defeat is capped off by him falling into a prison cell, with the sheriff dryly noting how "Gold Hat" usually breaks out of jail, not into it.
  • In World's Finest #80, Batman and Superman trick a criminal known as the Mole into tunnelling into the Gotham City Jail instead of the bank he was aiming for.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hoodwinked!, Boingo and his henchmen slide inside a police truck taking them to jail for their crimes.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Video Games 
  • Henry Stickmin Series:
    • In "Fleeing the Complex", one of the choices when Henry is cornered by the Warden and his guards in a falling truck is the Warp Star and it takes him back to the jail in "Escaping the Prison".
    "This place seems familiar."
    • Speaking of "Escaping the Prison", one of the choices has you use a jetpack to get away from the prison roof. If you choose it, Henry will fly all over the place before landing back into his cell.
    • The ending of the Government Supported Private Investigator/Convict Allies path in Completing the Mission has Henry and Ellie hijack the Toppat Orbital Station in the middle of launching, redirecting its course before jumping out and getting back inside Charles' helicopter. When Charles asked where they sent the rocket, the scene cuts to the space station landing inside a hole in the Wall from Fleeing the Complex.
  • In the true ending of SPY Fox in: Dry Cereal, Spy Fox reprograms William the Kid's robot pilot to send his blimp to Spy Corps. Jail and sets off William's pilot ejector seat. Spy Fox escapes safely on the blimp's only parachute, while William falls and lands in a cell at Spy Corps Jail.
  • Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures:
    • At the end of Episode 3, after a foiled aerial getaway too complicated to explain here, Monty Muzzle plummets from the air and crashes through the roof of the police station's jail cell.
    • The end of Episode 2 has a less gravitational variant, in which Poogie-Woo and Tinkie-Wee, the culprits who assaulted Duncan earlier in the episode, are washed down the drain in Wallace's basement... and pop out of the toilet of the same jail cell.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avenger Penguins episode "High Doom" shows Wild West outlaw Humongously Big Mad Joe and Caractacus P. Doom's ancestor Beauregard Doom falling into a jail cell.
  • In a futuristic episode of Back to the Future, the Tannen descendant is outed for his Vehicular Sabotage, fails his escape due to grabbing a jetpack upside-down, and lands in the jail cell of his grandfather Griff.
  • The ChalkZone episode "Rudy's Date" had Butch Biceps flung into a prison after Penny, Snap, and Rudy recovered the parts of Penny's formula for perpetual motion that Butch used to decorate his jacket.

  • Christmas In Tattertown: The Big Bad of this Christmas special is Muffet the Merciless, a doll who, on landing in Tattertown, comes to life and escapes from Debbie, her former owner. Muffet disguises herself as Santa Claus and forms an air raid to conquer Tattertown. She's assisted by Sidney, a spider big enough for her to ride, who's disguised as a reindeer. But during the attack, when Debbie plays Bing Crosby's rendition of "White Christmas" on an old phonograph, Sidney stops flying in mid-air to listen, sending Muffet, who's riding on his back, crashing into the town jail.
  • In the Dynomutt, Dog Wonder episode "How Now, Lowbrow", Blue Falcon drops Lowbrow from the Falconcar into prison.
  • In Fairly OddParents, the episode "The Masked Magician" has the Crimson Chin throwing the Bronze Kneecap out of a diner and into jail.
  • The Heckle and Jeckle shorts "The Super Salesmen" and "Out Again In Again" end with Heckle and Jeckle falling into a jail cell.
  • The episode of Josie and the Pussycats titled "Never Mind a Mastermind" concludes with the Pussycats hoisting the villain and his henchman aloft using an anti-gravity ray. They then stop the ray, dropping the evil duo through the roof of Amsterdam's police constabulary.
  • Looney Tunes: In Hare Lift, Yosemite Sam bails out of the crashing airplane carrying his bag of stolen loot and laughing maniacally. He stops laughing as he lands in an open-topped car full of unamused police officers.
  • The 1930 Mickey Mouse cartoon The Chain Gang involves Mickey making an escape from prison. After attempting to make a getaway with a pair of cart horses, Mickey is thrown off a cliff and falls straight down into a prison cell.
  • The New 3 Stooges: In "Get That Snack Shack Off The Track", the trio are robbed by infamous highwayman "Get Out of Town By Sundown Brown" and chase after him until he accidentally drives off a cliff and falls into a convenient local jail.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "Return of Warlock", Superman first makes Warlock think his car is about to crash into the wall of the penitentiary, before lifting the car over wall and dumping him out in the prison yard.
  • The trope happened on Oh Yeah! Cartoons in the Super Santa short "Jingle Bell Justice", where Bedlam Bunny fell into a prison cell after his escape vehicle blew up.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: Parodied in "We Messed Up"; Mr Gar grabs Crinkly Wrinkly, who was spending too long reading magazines in the store without paying for them, and places him in a "cheapskate cannon", which launches him into the air. The next shot pans to a prison, but Crinkly instead flies over that and crashes into a library nearby.
  • In the 1935 Popeye short Choose Yer Weppins, a crook slips out of officer Wimpy's handcuffs while he's distracted and heads into Olive's pawn shop across the street. After Popeye deals with him with help from his spinach, he punches the crook out of the store and right back into the cuffs, with the bewildered Wimpy oblivious to everything that had just transpired.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In one episode, after Mojo Jojo gets sent flying into the air, Bubbles scoots the entire prison over by about 50 feet so that he'd land directly into his prison cell from the ceiling.
  • The Quack Pack episode "Huey Duck, P.I." had a TV police detective named Tre Winds Troy drop a criminal and let him fall into a prison.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, the Tattletale Strangler falls into jail, relieved that he's away from that "yellow idiot." Then it later shows that Patrick is in the cell with him.
  • Toward the end of the first Superman theatrical cartoon, Superman does this to the mad scientist after rescuing Lois.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, a Running Gag is Raven using her magic to teleport villains to jail cell by creating portals underneath their feet. She has done so for Dr. Light and Mumbo Jumbo.
  • One of the bridging sequences from Total Television's Underdog shows, the villain Riff Raff Literally shaking down a citizen for money. The Hero, Underdog, arrives on scene to deliver a flying jab to Riff's midsection to make Riff drop his victim, followed by a fearsome left hook that sends Riff through a brick wall and into the city jail.
  • In The Venture Bros. episode "Handsome Ransom", Captain Sunshine throws the Monarch directly into jail. The Monarch is allowed to simply walk out due to violation of due process.


Video Example(s):


The Tattletale Strangler

By the end of the episode, the Strangler has been driven so crazy by SpongeBob's antics that he's actually relieved to be in jail and away from him. Unfortunately, he finds that Patrick is his cellmate

How well does it match the trope?

4.55 (47 votes)

Example of:

Main / PreferJailToTheProtagonist

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