When the floor suddenly gives way underneath someone, usually due to the boards having been weakened by rot or something heavy falling on them.
- In Seitokai Yakuindomo, the main characters visit Shichijou Aria's house and are taken to an old storeroom. The floor breaks under Shino and Hata asks if there's a way to get under the floor to take photos.
- Happens twice in the second episode of Code Geass: the rebels destroy a group of enemy mechas by shooting the floor out from under them, and Lelouch's own mech falls through several floors of a concrete building (it survives undamaged).
- In Non Non Biyori, the school's leaky roof and general decay have resulted in patches of floor rotting away. Natsumi points this out in one episode but claims no one's stupid enough to fall through. The next shot/panel is her brother Suguru in a hole in the floor.
- Kindaichi Case Files: The Vampire Special Case takes place in an old hotel. One of its hallway floors is so rickety than one must not exceed 50 kg to pass. A careless Kindaichi fell through but thankfully landed on a pile of mattresses.
- In Little Nemo in Slumberland, Nemo and Flip are served a new kind of breakfast food that gives them a Balloon Belly. The chairs start to collapse underneath their weight, and then the floors, leading to the entire house being demolished.
- When Popeye's boxing opponent Tinearo steps into the ring, the floor gives away instantly under his massive frame. A bystander notes, "He went through it as if was made of paper".
- Gaston Lagaffe:
- In one episode a chainsaw that Gaston had meddled with goes haywire, cutting a hole in the floor around his desk and dropping it and Gaston into the office below, where the process repeats itself. After going through three floors, it is still going, several characters have gathered on top of Gaston's desk (Lebrac appreciating the Security Cling courtesy of a female coworker), and one asks how many more floors there are.note
- In another, Lebrac drops termites overnight into Gaston's Gaffophone as a desperate measure to get rid of the damn thing. The next morning, everything made of cellulose is collapsing or disintegrating at the lightest touch. Gaston hurriedly runs to the attic... to find his instrument still there (the termites apparently left it alone due to the varnish on it). An incensed Prunelle asks Lebrac to follow him to his office... just as the two of them are going through the floor.
- And yet another example, Gaston is painting the floor of his office while holding an internal monologue about how he won't be falling for the old 'painted into a corner' gag. Unfortunately for him, his home-made paint eats through the floor and completely disintegrates it, leaving him stranded on the tiny corner he left unpainted.
- Zigzagged in Mortadelo y Filemón: The main characters are exploring a crumbling old mansion when the wooden floor suddenly gives way below Filemon. Mortadelo immediately starts to lament his partner, only to find that there is a stone floor just a few centimeters below the wooden one and Filemon is fine. Relieved, Mortadelo jumps onto the stone floor - which promptly collapses, sending the two falling into a hole so ridiculously deep it takes all night before they crash into the bottom.
- Happens somewhat frequently to the Blob, given how heavy he is and his status as something of a Butt-Monkey. Since he weighs several tons he has trouble even with reinforced floors.
- During The Dark Phoenix Saga, this happened to Wolverine as a result of a Gravity Master hitting him with his powers. As Wolverine was busy leaping on him at the time, this resulted in Wolverine and his opponent both plunging through the floor, with a suddenly-much-heavier Wolverine on top. The villain was crushed by his own power.
- Wonder Woman (1942): After getting body swapped and waking up to find herself prisoner Black Canary takes advantage of the old floors in the room she is locked in to bash a hole to jump through.
- In the Kung Fu Panda fanfic The Vow, Lord Shen avoids being crushed beneath a cannon because the deck of his destroyed ship under him collapses, resulting in him falling into the waters below.
- Justified in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, since the stone floor of the Cradle of Sulevin has slowly collapsed over several ages and it's dangerous to walk, never mind battle revenants. As a result, the Lady Inquisitor takes a nasty fall.
- Near the end of The Aristocats "Ev'rybody Wants to be a Cat" number, Scat Cat's gang are jamming on a piano in the attic of an abandoned house. The paw-stomping energy they play with eventually sends the piano and gang through every floor in the house until they reach the street level.
- In Up, young Carl has to cross the one remaining floorboard of the attic of an abandoned house (later his and Ellie's home) to get his balloon. He takes one step and falls through.
- Happens to Po on Kung Fu Panda as he tries to sneak down a hallway late at night.
- Another Tom Hanks movie, The 'Burbs, also uses this — although it is the creepy neighbor's porch in this case.
- Deadly Detention: When Lexie and Barrett are hiding from the killer in the ceiling, they end up on a soft part of it and fall through.
- A central part of the plot in Duplex, a Drew Barrymore black comedy.
- Iron Man: Tony's first flight test ends with him crashing through his ceiling and the floor during an attempted landing. Further casualties are a piano and a car. Followed shortly thereafter by what little remains of Tony's dignity when his Robot Buddy Dum-E blasts him in the face with a fire extinguisher. Again.
- The Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit has this. In this case, the hole was already there with a large rug thrown over it, and poor Walter gets stuck in it for several hours.
- A justified variant in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, when Clark is trapped in the attic. He deliberately steps between the rafters rather than on them, so his weight is supported only by sheetrock, which, unsurprisingly, eventually gives in.
- The climax of The Ninth Gate (1999) where the floorboards in a ruined castle partially collapse, trapping Dean Corso (Johnny Depp). He is forced to watch Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) triumph.
- Why is he stepping between the rafters? Because when he tried to walk on them, the improper placement caused them to hit him in the face.
- Not Another Teen Movie: After her big makeover, Janey starts boldly walking down the stairs... when suddenly she falls through the staircase, followed by the stair carpet, a table, stair rods, and sundry stairs and other bits of the house falling on top of her.
Janey: I'm Okay!
- Our Miss Brooks: When campaigning for the position of Coordinator of Education, Mr. Conklin falls through the floor of the temporary stage Walter Denton constructed. Walter didn't use enough nails.
- Damaged, rather than totally collapsed, floorboards play a key role in the climax of Pacific Heights (1990)
- The Rebel: Hancock has a huge, concrete statue in his art studio, which falls through the floor. This is lampshaded by his bad-tempered landlady yelling that her bedroom is just beneath. When it does fall through, Hancock mutters "missed her".
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) has this occur in the middle of a fight between the Turtles and the Foot clan on the second floor of April's apartment. Given that the floor had been hacked at with ninja axes and the number of people in the room at the time, this was inevitable. Donatello even tries to warn the Foot.
Donatello: Uh, guys, I'm not so sure if this is, structurally speaking... such a good time for your buddies to drop in.
(Foot soldiers drop in through the skylight; seconds later epic floorboard failure occurs)
- In the Animorphs book The Reaction, Rachel involuntarily morphs into an elephant on the second floor of her house, causing the floor to collapse. Later books feature the house being repaired and discussions of a lawsuit levelled against the builders. Rachel feels guilty since the house was never meant to support an elephant, but she cannot explain what happened without revealing the truth.
- In The Mighty Queens of Freeville, Amy Dickinson tells the amusing story of the time her daughter's entire high-school madrigal choir crashed through the boards of the stage in the middle of rehearsal.
- In one of the Ramona Quimby books, Ramona falls halfway through the unfinished floor of a friend's attic. She's very annoyed when she tries to tell the story at the dinner table with what she feels is an appropriate amount of drama, and her older sister interrupts, saying how easy it is to step onto the plaster and that she knows someone who fell all the way through.
- In Septimus Heap, when the Port Witch Coven is hunting after the protagonists, they are thwarted when the floor of the Coven collapses due to a long-standing giant woodworm attack.
- During a Galaxy of Fear book the protagonists, taking cover in a shack, notice that the ceiling is starting to creak and bow as the weight on the roof gets heavier and heavier...
- In the Discworld novel The Last Continent, the wizards and Mrs Whitlow are on a ship-fruit which is breaking up once within sight of land in order to shed its seeds. The Senior Wrangler heroically attempts to save Mrs Whitlow by lifting her up, thereby transferring her weight to his feet, with predictable results.
- "The Termite" by Ogden Nash:
Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good
And that is why your cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today
- In Relativity, Vera Barracuda is a thief who uses improvised weapons and stuff she orders from the internet. In her first appearance, she's confronted on a rooftop by Dark Flame and Zephyra. She uses a powerful flashlight to temporarily blind the two heroes and lead them to a part of the roof which is under construction. They fall through.
- Happens a few times throughout the Harry Potter series - Hogwarts, for reasons unknown, has one or more disappearing steps. Although this is usually Played for Laughs, with a mention of new students - or Neville - forgetting or not knowing to watch out for them, it is Played for Drama exactly once in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Harry, sneaking around after-hours underneath his invisibility cloak, accidentally falls prey to one of the disappearing steps and drops a large metal egg, which attracts the attention of the caretaker and two professors, and is forced to stay there in silent agony until the adults leave the area.
- Bar Rescue: Just prior to the soft open (stress test), this became a very real possibility for the staff at J.A. Murphy's. Jon Taffer ordered an evacuation of the premises on grounds of dry rot directly beneath the bar floors, necessitating several days of structural repair and off-site training.
- In Desperate Housewives, Susan managed to suspend herself between two floors when it happened to her in her house.
- In The Equalizer, Edward Woodward's character was being menaced by the villain on a building site. Woodward warned the villain not to come any closer because there were broken boards between them. Of course the bad guy didn't think the warning was for his benefit, so he stepped onto the broken boards and fell to his death.
- In How I Met Your Mother this happens to the building inspector checking out Ted's house.
- An episode of Growing Pains has Carol fall through the floor while doing aerobics. They have termites.
- In the final episode of the series, Dr. House goes through the floor of a burning building.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Falling through the floorboards in a house they've collapsed with their Destructo-Nookie doesn't stop Buffy and Spike from having sex.
- Sunnydale has more than a few buried secrets and underground lairs, so a couple of times the Monster of the Week gets found by a Scoobie falling through the ground because they're actually walking across a boarded-over cavern.
- Farscape. Aeryn and John Crichton discuss their UST. Aeryn suggests they resolve it, but John is hesitant (they're picking their way through a badly damaged space station trying to get to a group of survivors, so getting into Aeryn's uniform isn't his first priority at the moment). Aeryn, annoyed, turns to face him and unzips her top, demanding to know what he's afraid of. Cue the floor giving out beneath her and dropping Aeryn into another part of the station.
- Breaking Bad: Happens when Walt and Jesse try Disposing of a Body by dissolving it in hydrofluoric acid in the upstairs bathroom. Jesse buys the wrong container to hold the acid bath, which they realize when the whole indescribable gore-slurry comes gushing down through the ground-floor ceiling.
- A blackout scene in one of Ernie Kovacs' 1961-62 specials for ABC featured him as a car salesman showing off a Nash Metropolitan. He slaps on the hood, sending the car down a hole in the ground. Reportedly, this five-second gag used the entire budget for the half-hour show.
- On The Muppet Show, the Porcelino Bros form a human pyramid. But because they're pigs, their pyramid causes the stage to collapse beneath them.
- In Muppets Tonight, both Martin Short and Clifford, after eating too much of Mama Fiama's pasta sauce, cause this.
Martin Short: Uh oh... creaking floor... not good...
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has this happen to a tank. As it turns out, driving a 57-ton Abrahms tank into a parking garage only rated for 30 tons has predictable consequences.
- In Fallout 3, a couple of buildings have this as a scripted event. The Calvert Mansion in the Point lookout expansion has you falling through several floors and into the basement.
- Splinter Cell has this when the player character moves too fast in a burning building.
- Happens quite often in the Half-Life games. Also happens in ducts as well (once into a room full of laser tripwire explosives).
- In BioShock 2, Subject Delta is shot at, nearly set on fire, and falls through several floors into water.
- In Barrow Hill, entering the barn's loft for the first time causes the floor to collapse, trapping you in the lower part of the building until you find the means to escape.
- In Mortal Kombat 3, the stage fatality of Shao Kahn Tower has the winner uppercutting the loser, after which the defeated opponent falls through the floor (which stayed intact for the entire duration of the fight), and keeps falling through several stories of floorboards, before landing on a bed of spikes.
- Portal 2 when reaching for the pedestal the portal gun was supposed to be on.
- In the The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings trailer for the Xbox-release, the assassin throws an ice grenade at a kings ship, freezing the ship and almost everyone on it. When one of the survivors makes a few steps forward to see where the blast of cold came from, a breaking deck plank sets off the Tranquil Fury sequence while the entire ship starts to shatter around them.
- A popular trope in Survival Horror games, to advance the player, and usually provide a Point of No Return.
- Ghost Hunter has this happen when playing as the giant mech. When no other way forward can be found, it falls through the floor to advance.
- Resident Evil 2 game has the player fall through the floor to advance, upstairs by the shelves in the library.
- This happens in Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Claire and Steve cause a walkway to collapse, leaving Claire's ankle trapped just long enough for Steve to have to kill his undead father.
- In Silent Hill game the player must fall through the floor to advance at the Alternate Shopping Mall upstairs court. It's also a Point of No Return and drops the player into a boss fight with the giant digging centipede.
- The original Alone in the Dark (1992) contains an immediately fatal example in the upstairs hallway, requiring you to cut through the bedrooms to avoid it.
- Subverted in Alan Wake. On the way to meet the kidnapper, the roof of an abandoned building caves in, dropping Alan into a roomful of enemies. However, after defeating the enemies, Alan can climb back up to the roof and take another route across.
- Collapsing floor tiles are a staple in the Tomb Raider series.
- Due to its Obvious Beta status, this accidentally happens sometimes in Superman64, usually at complete random. Still, it can give some truly spectacular graphical glitches, as seen here
- In Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti, after you beat the haunted kitchen, the house quakes and five floors collapse underneath you, leading you to "be garbage of cesspool."
- In the Home Alone Licensed Game for the Sega Genesis, the floors in the Old House break if Kevin, Harry, or Marv walk across them too much. Kevin can use this to his advantage, as he can hit Harry or Marv with one of his weapons as they try to jump across one of the holes, causing them to fall through it and increasing the pain in their Pain meter.
- In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Kokichi is found on the ground bloodied and Faking the Dead. Turns out he went thru the floorboard, showing evidence that the killer of that chapter's class trial rigged each of the possible rooms of the seance to murder.
- The second floor of the library in Resident Evil 2 has a floorboard that collapses when you walk over it, sending you into a hidden alcove behind a wall. You have to fall down there to access a puzzle. The weak floorboard remains in Resident Evil 2 (Remake), but it serves more of a "gotcha" moment when the player tries to reach the nearby door.
- Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines: Among many other feats of Malevolent Architecture engineered by the Ocean House Hotel's resident ghosts, the main staircase collapses underneath the player character as they walk in, forcing them to find a way out of the Creepy Basement.
- Gunnerkrigg Court averts it by bypassing the rickety floorboards altogether
- In Girl Genius, it happens to Zeetha's whole group in the sewers of Sturmhalten, immediately after escaping a rampaging monster. They land in an oubliette turned de facto ossuary - but only discover this when they try to burn some "moss" growing on a "rock" for light;
Dimo: Hokay. De goot news iz dot de bones vasn't scattered.
Lars: That's good?
Dimo: Yah. Dere ain't monsters attacking pipple from de dark.
Lars: ... That is good.
Dimo: De bad news is dot anyone who vind up here—dey stay here.
- Matchu has this as a Running Gag.
- In a Moment of Awesome, Muneca of the Pacificators fame used her gravity powers to throw the Shadow Sleuth through a pier.
- In the first episode of None Piece, this happens to the pirate captain.
"Alright boys, my fat ass fell through the floorboards again."
- The Simpsons
- When Homer Simpson is joining the Stonecutters, he has to take part in an Initiation Ceremony while blindfolded.
Number One: All Stonecutters must take the Leap of Faith. If you survive this five-story plunge, your character will be proven.
Moe: Happy landings! (pushes him)
(Homer falls two feet onto the floor; everyone laughs)
(the floor collapses and Homer falls through with a yell and a crash — five times consecutively)
Homer: (from the bottom) I think I have to do it again. My blindfold came off.
- Another episode has Homer & Marge talking about the terrible shape their house is in, and just then Bart falls halfway into the kitchen from the 2nd floor. "Little help?" Marge pushes him back up the newly created hole with a broom handle.
- And in the episode "Lisa's Wedding", Lisa's fiance Hugh falls through the floor of the addition Homer built onto the house. Thankfully, the compost heap cushioned his fall.
- When Homer Simpson is joining the Stonecutters, he has to take part in an Initiation Ceremony while blindfolded.
- The Family Guy episode "To Live and Die in Dixie" has several. In "Fifteen Minutes of Shame", Peter makes Meg's slumber party worse by having the stairs give out beneath him and needing everyone to grease him up to free him.
- Happens in an episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, where Piglet's floor collapsed, leading Tigger to joke about how he has a basement now.
- King of the Hill: Hank falls through his kitchen floor to find a Secret Underground Passage built by Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Last Roundup", the disaster-prone Derpy manages to break a hole in the town hall's floor simply by sitting down.
- The floors in Architect Smurf's smurfominium are prone to weakness in The Smurfs episode "Skyscraper Smurfs".
- In the American Dad! James Bond spoof "Tearjerker", Stan and Francine's characters fall through the floorboards of the titular villain (Roger)'s lair when they try to escape. This was another blunder of the contractor who built the place as Roger comments "Never hire a contractor just because he's gorgeous."
- Later in the episode, when Roger sends his minions from his blimp to the lair, the floorboards break just as they land. All Roger can say is a deadpan "Really?"
- The Bugs Bunny short "(blooper) Bunny!" has Bugs discovering a loose floorboard during shooting. He leads the camera away from it but sure enough, a few scenes later Daffy has the board slam into his face and through his bill. Another blooper immediately follows where Daffy somehow forgets to remove the board from his face.
- The episode "Agita Una Gamba!" makes a Running Gag out of it. As Dez and Puffin try to sneak into an abandoned factory to help Akiko fight a ghost hunter, they fall through the unstable floorboards and into the basement every time they get out of the vents. Each time, Puffin then wishes from Dez to get out, only for him and Dez to end up right back outside the factory.
- In "You've Been Funky Warlocked", a wish from Dez teleports G the Gargoyle from his rooftop lookout and into Dez's apartment room (which is on the top floor). Due to his massive stone pedestal, G then crashes through every floor of the apartment, leaving Dez and his friends to have to haul him from ground level all the way back to the roof.
- In The Critic episode "From Chunk to Hunk", Jay tries to hop into his chair, misses, and ends up crashing through several floors before ending up stuck in a hole with his rear sticking up. When Duke comes to berate Jay for his weight, Jay brings up that maybe Duke's floors are just shoddy, but Duke points out that Rush Limbaugh hasn't had any problems- up until Rush comes crashing down on top of Jay.
- Old mine workings. What looks like a solid rock floor may be only a layer of stone debris covering a structure of ancient timbers that have spent the last two hundred years or so gradually rotting away to the point where the only reason they are still up is that they haven't fallen down yet. Add the weight of an incautious mine explorer for an instant revelation of just how large the great big hole underneath them is. This is why one should never enter such workings without the knowledge to identify such hazards in a non-destructive manner.
- This happened to Spike Milligan during his wartime service in North Africa. His artillery section moved into a partially destroyed colonial house formerly occupied by an Italian farmer. They discovered an abandoned but playable piano in an upstairs room. Despite shell and bomb damage to the house, Milligan and his mates (the battery's musicians and dance band) used it for an impromptu band practice session. They then bedded down for the night in the safer and dryer downstairs rooms. During the night there was an almighty crash that led them to believe they were under attack. They discovered the upstairs floor supporting the piano had given way and the instrument had fallen through the ceiling, narrowly missing the guy who'd been playing it earlier.
- Throughout a list of Twitter compilation books, one question in particular was to ask a user's most embarrassing moment.
"I fell through the floor seconds before foreman said "Careful, there are loose boards."
- "Hey, Ron." "Hey, Billy."