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Jump Rope Blunders

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"They played jump rope, but the rope, it broke, so they just sat around telling knock knock jokes."
Sesame Street, "The Ladybugs' Picnic"

Jumping rope is fun, but it's not always easy — especially not if you live in a comedic work of fiction, extra especially if it's a cartoon. You might:

  • Trip over. For extra humiliation, you may land on your rear.
  • Get the rope tangled in your feet.
  • Break the rope.
  • Break a window, vase, or similar object when the rope flies out of your hands.
  • End up with the rope wrapped around you.
  • Accidentally hit yourself with the rope.
  • Or make a number of other crazy mistakes.

Can be invoked by a children's rhyme that requires a mistake to be made before ending. Sometimes happens if a person gets distracted while jumping the rope, due to a diversion, trying to multitask, or simple short attention span.

Commonly seen with The Klutz, The Fool, or the Butt-Monkey, or with many people trying to jump rope at once. Compare Failures on Ice for another trope about characters failing miserably at an outdoor activity. Subtrope of Slapstick. Can overlap with Amusing Injuries if they get hurt.


    open/close all folders 
  • PBS Kids: In one bumper, Dot and Dee are holding onto both sides of a jump rope while Del is jumping in the middle. Del gets tangled up and the rope gets tied into different improbable shapes.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bunny Drop: Rin participates in a jump rope contest at her school, not long after learning how from Daikichi. Later, Daikichi asks her how the contest went. A sad Rin admits that she only got to fifteen forward skips. However, she took first place in the backward-skip category at 203, with a certificate for proof.
  • Nichijou has a running gag with two extras holding a jumprope and various main characters attempting to jump:
    • In one episode, Mio runs up to to the holders and jumps up, but gets the timing wrong and bumps her head on the rope.
    • In another, Yukko tries to do a flip, only to fall right on her face. Then they accidentally hit her with the rope.
    • Mai jumps perfectly, while reading a book.
    • One more episode has the teacher Izumi Sakurai attempt to jumprope. However, she touches the rope the instant she runs in, and she just starts frantically jumping with her eyes closed while the rope isn't even going.
    • Nakanojou jumps competently, but the rope keeps hitting his all-natural mohawk.
  • One Old Master Q strip had the comic's resident Fat Comic Relief, Big Potato, intending to exercise by jumping rope a hundred times, with his friend Chin do the counting for him. But due to Potato's short stature and clumsiness, he repeatedly gets the rope hitting his face instead.
    Chin: "One!" [cue Potato's jump-rope hitting his face]
    Potato: "That one doesn't count. Do it again."
    Chin: "One! [Potato's jump-rope hits his face again]... again?"
    Potato: "Yes, again!"
    Chin: "One! [fifteen minutes later]... one?"

    Asian Animation 
  • Kuku & Yaya Life Habit Story: In "Do What You Enjoy", Yaya sees how good at jump-roping Kuku is, so she attempts to do the same thing, only to trip over her own rope.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: One strip has Calvin jumping rope, going faster and faster, until Hobbes sticks a branch in the middle, sending Calvin flying in circles.
  • Peanuts:
    • A few strips had Snoopy getting caught in Lucy's jump rope.
    • Charlie Brown's younger sister, Sally, tries a jump rope. She flips the cord over her head, watches it land at her feet, then ponders, "Now what?" Sally is mostly speech and minimal action.

    Fan Works 
  • Touhou Galaxy: In Chapter 15 of Odyssey, Scout, Tracer and Soldier come across a pair of women playing jump rope and do it one by one to beat the high score of 100. However, the two women keep speeding up the jump rope and calling out "Hey!" causing Scout and Tracer to fall on their butts while Soldier gets completely tangled up in it with his helmet getting knocked off.

    Films — Animation 
  • Monsters, Inc.: At one point, some monsters are jumping rope, when one of them gets distracted saying goodbye to Sulley and Mike and thus gets tangled in the rope and thrown into someone's eye.

  • Ant And Bee: In "Ant and Bee and the Secret", Ant gets all twisted up with his skipping, and Bee tells him he must be stupid. Ant then runs away to his secret place, and comes back able to skip perfectly.
  • In Delilah Darling is in the Classroom, Delilah is skipping rope and counting in her made-up language: "One-ga, two-dle, three-ba, four-bo". However, on the fourth jump, she falls over. To save face, she claims that where she comes from, people are supposed to fall over when they get to four-bo.
  • In the sequel to Doctor Dog, titled A Dose of Doctor Dog, Gerty Gumboyle tries to skip rope (using tendrils from a Man-Eating Plant, no less) only to get motion sickness.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Barney & Friends: In "You Can Do It!", Baby Bop attempts skipping rope for the first time, but she keeps hitting her legs with the rope and not jumping over it in time. She wonders if she's too young for this until Barney and the kids convince her that she'll improve with practice.
  • Boohbah: In "Skipping Rope", three people are using a jump rope. Mrs. Lady comes along and tries to jump with the man in the middle, but since the rope isn't long enough for both of them, Mrs. Lady gets hit in the legs with the rope. A bit later, when the rope has become extra-long, Grandmama bumps into the man behind her, causing everyone else (including the ones holding the rope) to collapse.
  • On an episode of M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy was jumping rope as part of training for a race against a runner from another camp. The camera then zooms out to show Hawkeye and BJ are the ones twirling the rope for him, as Mulcahy says this is the only way he knows how do it.
  • In the Sesame Street song "The Ladybugs' Picnic", the twelve ladybugs try to play jumprope, but the rope breaks.

    Video Games 
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party: Hot Rope Jump from this game, 2, and Superstars has players jump over a flaming jump rope. Players who get hit bounce away in reaction to the burn.
    • Mario Party 5: In the minigame Handy Hoppers, one character in a pair will spin a lever to move a bar that has to be jumped over by the other character. Each succesful jump yields one point, while being hit by the bar will stun the jumping character, wasting precious time. The team that scores highest will win.
    • Mario Party 6: The minigame Burnstile has two teams of characters standing respectively on two solid platforms (one red and one blue) while a spiky turnstile spins. The objective is to jump to avoid bring hit by the turnstile, and the players must also avoid falling onto the surrounding lava. The turnstile will gradually increase its speed as it turns, making it increasingly difficult to time the jumps. The first team to lose both players will lose, rendering the other the winner.
    • Mario Party 7: The minigame Grin and Bar It has 8 players play rope-jumping with a strangely-bent metal bar, thus requiring each player to time the exact time to jump and avoid being hit, since the curvy shape of the bar makes it so no two players can jump at the same time without either or both potentially losing; the bar will also spin faster as time passes. When only one or both players from a pair remains, that pair wins; but if all remaining players are hit at the same time, then the minigame ends in a tie.
    • Mario Party 8: The minigame Chump Rope has a lone player try to trip up the other three in a jump rope. Any players hit by the rope are launched off to the side, regardless of the rope's speed.
    • Mario Party: Island Tour: The minigame Great Bars of Fire has the players stand onto specific spots that surround a pair of misaligned Fire Bars. When the minigame starts, the two Fire Bars begin spinning, so the characters have to duck to avoid the upper Fire Bar, and jump to avoid the lower one. To increase the difficulty, the Fire Bars gradually change their speed, and they don't do it simultaneously, which makes the timing for the ducks and jumps much trickier. A character is eliminated when hit three times, and the last one standing wins (however, more than one can win if they resist during 60 seconds).
  • Pucca: An online game called "Jumping Rope" has Santa and Ssoso holding two sides of a jump rope as Pucca (and as levels go on, more characters) jump in the middle. If you fail to make a character jump in time, they'll trip and land on their side, causing you to lose the level.
  • Sesame Street licensed games:
    • Discussed in "Dress Up Time", when the player dresses Cookie Monster for a snow day and equips him with a jump rope. He will say, "Me no think a jump rope will work in the snow" and imagine himself attempting to jump rope in the snow but sinking downwards.
    • Downplayed in "Elmo's Potty Time", in which Zoe briefly stumbles and says, "Oops!" while jumping rope.
  • One mini-game in Sonic Shuffle is entitled "Jump the Snake", where the four characters all jump over a snake in a temple like a jump rope, trying not to get knocked off the platform by it. The last player standing wins.
  • Street Fighter V: Birdie's Super Move involves tying the opponent up in chains and playing jump with it, slamming the opponent to the ground over and over.
  • WarioWare:
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$: The special minigame Jump Forever has Wario jump over a rope swung by Kat and Ana. As the minigame progresses, the speed of the rope's swing will increase, then go deceptively slower, then change unpredictably every time Wario jumps, and then at one point Kat and Ana will move left and right while Wario can only jump the rope successfully when he's aligns at the center (and eventually the speed of the rope will also change while the sisters move). The blunder will happen eventually, because it's an Endless Game.
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$!: Two of the multiplayer games are variations of Jump Forever. Similar to the minigame from the GBA version, each player has to press the A button to jump over the rope as it goes under their character's feet, or the rope will hit them and they will lose. There are three versions, 4-Player Jump Rope, where up to four players jump simultaneously until someone misses, 1-Controller Jump Forever, where up to 16 players pass around one controller to take turns jumping over the rope, and a minigame that randomly appears during Wobbly Bobbly, where the players take turns jumping over the rope, with players who miss being eliminated until only one player is left.
  • Wii Party: One of the minigames is called Jump Rope Jam. If you fail to swing the rope with your partner in time, the person who's preparing to jump will pratfall.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In "Crystal Clear", Steve goes for a Sunday stroll and stops to jump rope with some girls, which he performs flawlessly. He then gets his legs broken by loan sharks thanks to Stan overusing a credit card made in his name. After weeks of physical therapy, Steve goes for another stroll, barely able to walk on his atrophied legs with the aid of crutches. He stops to jump rope with the girls again, only to immediately get tangled in the ropes.
  • In The Berenstain Bears:
    • In "The In Crowd", Sister Bear and several of her friends try to all jump rope at once, but they fall over.
    • At the start of the episode "The Jump Rope Contest", Queenie attempts to use a jump rope, only to get the rope all twisted when she tries to jump over it. Babs tries to show her how to use it, only to do the same thing.
  • Caillou: In one episode of New Adventures, Caillou practices for the school talent show. He attempts to skip with his jump rope, only to trip and fall over with a thud.
  • Chalkzone: When in the human world in “Snap Out of Water”, Snap agrees to play jump rope with some girls. When we cut back to him, he is tangled in the rope proclaiming that it was harder than it looked.
  • In the Classic Disney Shorts sketch "The Art of Self Defense", Goofy is skipping rope and gets tangled up into a ball.
  • The Cramp Twins: In "Girl Gang", there is a scene where Lucien notices that boys and girls are playing different games on the playground, which he considers sexist. He tries to join a girls' game of skipping rope, but he ruins it because the rope gets tangled in his feet.
  • Dragon Tales: In "Rope Trick", Emmy is trying to teach Zak and Wheezie to jump rope, but they keep making mistakes such as forgetting to jump when they twirl the rope, almost tripping over it, and pratfalling. They end up improving by the end of the episode, but they end up tripping again when they grab hold of a sentient jump rope.
  • In the Jellystone! episode "Face of the Town!", Doggie Daddy attempts to jump rope with Augie, but he falls flat on his face.
  • The Koala Brothers:
    • In the extended intro, Josie attempts to skip rope, only to get tied up.
    • Josie's dilemma in "Josie's Big Jump" is that she has agreed to skip rope with Mitzi later, but every time she tries to use a jump rope, her feet always get tied up in it. As it turns out, the rope she's been using is too short, and when she uses a longer rope, she can jump perfectly.
  • Little Bear: In "Mitzi Arrives", Little Bear, Mitzi, Duck, and Emily skip rope together. However, Mitzi sings the "I See London" rhyme, which causes Emily to get distracted and step on the line. Then, Mitzi sings a rhyme that insults Duck's face, which causes her to jump in surprise and trip over the rope, falling over backwards. Finally, Emily sings a rhyme that calls Mitzi rude for her previous rhymes, causing her to stop jumping and the rope to hit her in the face.
  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: In "Minnie's Birthday", Donald Duck comes out with a jump rope to distract Minnie so that she won't discover her Surprise Party too early. He tries to jump with it, but then he trips over the rope and knocks over Minnie's basket of strawberries. Then he says they can jump together and ties her up in the rope to keep her from going too far.
  • PAW Patrol:
    • In one episode, titled "Pups and the Kitty-tastrophe", the pups are playing jump rope. Marshall jumps in the middle while Zuma and Rocky are holding the rope, only to stumble and get his legs all tied up.
    • In "Pups Save a Surprise", Marshall unintentionally runs into Skye while Rocky and Zuma are holding a jump rope for her, resulting in Marshall and Skye getting tied to each other.
    • At the end of "Pup Pup Goose", the PAW Patrol members are jump-roping. Chickaletta joins in, which distracts Marshall. He then trips and gets tangled in the jump rope.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "When Worlds Collide," Perry gets caught in Dr. Doofenshmirtz's Double Dutch jump rope machine and, after jumping for a few seconds, trips and gets tangled up in the ropes. Doofenshmirtz is surprised at this because he didn't even intend it as a trap for Perry. Later, while Doofenshmirtz and Perry are fighting, they activate it again and try to fight and jump simultaneously. When Doofenshmirtz almost gets knocked off the side of the building, Perry throws him a jump rope to hold onto, but this starts the machine one more time, banging Doofenshmirtz across the side of the building as the rope turns.
  • Pocoyo: In "Keep Going Pocoyo!", Pocoyo insists that he knows how to use a jump rope, only to accidentally tie himself up in it, and later, he accidentally tosses it into the air. As such, Pato and Elly have to teach him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Big Pink Loser", SpongeBob is sick of Patrick copying him and tries to do things that he can't, including a jumprope trick called the "slice-and-dice" that splits him into little cubes. Patrick then takes the rope and dices himself as well.