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Instant Flight: Just Add Spinning!

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The staff wielding Kung-Fu monk follows his Ninja enemy, but suddenly they stand in front of a cliff. The Ninja pulls out some type of parachute and jumps down and our monk is not Made of Iron or at least not enough to shrug off the fall. What is he to do? Add spinning of course! By spinning his staff above his head he'll generate the uplift needed to gently glide down the cliff or, if he is strong enough even to levitate or fly!

Basically this is whenever a character spins something above his or her head to slow a fall or even hover or fly. This trope excludes anything made to be used like that, since that would just be a flying machine with an odd look or functionality. The same goes for MacGyvering something, since that just constitutes a weird, but still made for that purpose flying machine.

Sub-Trope of Spectacular Spinning; Super-Trope to Heli-Critter and Helicopter Hair. See also Spin to Deflect Stuff for a variant usage of the spinning staff.

Contrast Helicopter Blender, where there is improvisation with an actual helicopter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball a young Son Goku uses his tail to fly and avoid touching the ground outside the ring in the first Tournament Arc. He also used his Staff as a rotor repeatedly.
  • One Piece:
    • Miss Valentine's Kilo Kilo Fruit power allows her to make her body lighter. While being light, she can spin her umbrella to fly.
    • Buffalo of Donquixote Pirates uses Spin Spin Fruit power to spin things on his body, allowing him to fly. He notably spins his oddly-shaped dreadlock hair and the juttings on his shoes to make himself a biplane.
    • Luffy pulls this off with the Gum-Gum UFO, accomplished by twisting the lower half of his body and then releasing it. This legs spin around so fast as they untangle they let him fly for a short time.
    • In the anime, Sanji kicks Queen in the face so hard that his Long Neck starts spinning until it becomes a propeller, culminating with Queen crashing on Onigashima's ceiling before falling to the ground.
    • Sasaki is a somewhat straighter example in that he is able to fly by spinning his frill while transformed into a triceratops.
  • In Gintama, Gintoki and others are forced to sit in a circle around the Shogun while he's completely naked for the sake of his protection. Nobody wants his unmentionables pointed at them, so they keep turning him away, which eventually results in him spinning so quickly that he rockets straight through the roof of the house and into the sky.
  • In the Ranma ½ anime, Kin'ni of the Jusenkyō Preservation Society is a powerful martial artist, practitioner of the "Cult of the Muscle Sword". He notably uses his large Chinese sword to fly by spinning it above head. He can even lift passengers with him, including one time a giant panda!

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 3 of Inspector Chingum, the eponymous character spins his staff around and uses it as a propeller to fly around and catch up with that episode's supervillain, who is using a jetpack.

    Comic Books 
  • In older comics, The Mighty Thor flew by throwing his hammer and holding on. To hover he'd spin his hammer around over his head. In the movies, he spins the hammer before takeoff — presumably to build momentum.
  • A few Cow And Boy strips involved Billy inventing a flying technique called "Man-Copter", which involves him attaching some slabs of wood to his arms and wrapping a piece of string around himself, which Cow then pulls, which allows Billy to take off like a helicopter.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has the Thunder Ultrazord, which spin its lance above its head to fly. An arguable example, since it is a machine and might have been constructed with that function. Visually it fits the trope, though.

    Video Games 
  • Shibata Katsuie form Sengoku Basara can glide by spinning his weapon in mid-air.
  • Kirby:
    • The title character's Whip ability has an attack that makes him spin the whip around, elevating him, but unlike the Spear variation he doesn't have much control over his movement.
    • In Kirbys Return To Dreamland, Waddle Dee can use his spear for this effect by spinning it rapidly above him, using it to hover for a little time. Kirby can do the same if he has the Spear copy ability.
    • In many Kirby games, the ability Tornado can be used to fly by rapidly pressing the attack button.
    • Kirby Star Allies lets you play as several characters, including Susie, and while her usual hover method more aptly qualifies as a handheld Helicopter Blender, when in her mech, one of her attacks is a spin attack that gives a very limited glide... unless of course she's powered up with Wind, in which case it's hardly limited at all.
    • Nearly every Knight character has at least one way to do this, most notably Meta Knight's Mach Tornado and Drill Rush. In fact, pretty much every spin-to-win move in Kirby at the least provides a little extra air, if not outright flight.
  • A platform game, Musya, have you playing as a spear-wielding soldier. While jumping, you can twirl your spear in circles and float in mid-air for a few seconds, a very handy move to help you leap over pitfalls.
  • In Chrono Trigger the staff-wielding mooks in the Kingdom of Zeal could use their staves as rotors to hover.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • All the different Links use their spin slash attack as a recovery move, making them go upwards when performed in the air.
    • Almost every character with a spinning move uses it either as their official B-Up third jump or can at least use it to hover, Mario Tornado, Spinning Kong, Spin Attack, Whirling Fortress etc.
  • Some two-handed swords in Starbound have the secondary moves "Rising Spin Slash" or "Super Spin Slash", both of which lift the user into the air (slowly) when performed.
  • Yoshimitsu from Tekken and Soulcalibur can do this to set up a Sword Plant.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Radical Rescue, as well as games based of off the 2003 series and the 2007 movie, Michelangelo can hover by spinning his nunchakus.
  • Deku Link from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask can fly using propeller-like flowers.
  • The titular Earthworm Jim can spin his worm head to slow his fall or extend his jumps.
  • The Skyflyer from the Ape Escape, allows the player to do this.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped : Crash can get an upgrade of his Spin Attack that lets him glide in midair by spinning multiple times after jumping. With it and the Double Jump (and the slide jump trick), he can cover incredible distances, although this is technically Not Quite Flight.
  • Similar to the above, in Jazz Jackrabbit 2 Jazz and Lori can spin their ears for a few seconds, allowing them to glide. A power-up allows all characters to temporarily use an upgraded form of this that is actual flight.
  • Jak and Daxter Jak can spin in the air to hover for a bit, spin in mid-jump to go a bit farther and even spin just before hitting the ground to avoid fall damage.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Koden can create a helicopter propellor on his finger to fly.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


“Flag twirlers, let’s move!”

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How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / InstantFlightJustAddSpinning

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