Follow TV Tropes


Kneel, Push, Trip

Go To

A classic physical comedy bit, sometimes known as a 'table top'. Alice is having an argument with Bob. Charlie comes up behind Bob and gets down on his hands and knees. Alice then pushes Bob who takes a step backwards and trips over Charlie.

If done in an actual fight rather than as a prank, this often indicates that the pranksters are out to humiliate their opponent rather than seriously hurt them. In a serious context, it's actually a common street-fighting technique... when you outnumber your opponent, obviously.

Do Not Try This at Home: The victim could land on the back of their head, potentially leading to serious head injury.


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel UK series Battletide, Death’s Head II and Killpower pull this on the demon warlord Termagaira in the final battle. It pushes him over the edge of the tower they’re fighting on, and he’s then Impaled with Extreme Prejudice at the end of his fall.
  • Happens to the central character in the Chick Tract The Loser. Apparently this is what happens on the mean streets in Chick's world where no one has heard of Jesus.
  • A potential variation in an old Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic — a Daily Planet employee called Jimbo Jones pretends to fall in front of a crook to trip him, whereupon Jimmy hits him, finishing the job.
  • In The Lone Ranger/The Green Hornet #5, the Lone Ranger and Elliot Ness do this to defeat Black Bart (Ness does the kneeling, the Ranger does the pushing).
  • The flashback in the first few pages of the 2004 Richard Dragon shows Richard getting shoved backwards over a kneeling bully back when he was a kid.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): In issue 42 a fixer tries to bribe the Holliday Girls so that Rita will intentionally lose a race. In response Rita kneels behind him while Bobby and Etta sock him in the jaw, sending him tripping over Rita as he tries to regain his footing and hit the girls.

    Comic Strips 
  • According to this cartoon, the prank was invented by Albert Einstein.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Clownhouse: When Casey and Geoffrey are confronted by a Monster Clown in the attic, Geoffrey hits him repeatedly in the head with a piece of timber, forcing him to back up. As he does so, Casey kneels down at the top of the stairs. The retreating clown trips over him and takes a Staircase Tumble.
  • Coup de Torchon: This demonstrates what a Butt-Monkey Lucien is, when two pimps do this to humiliate him. This despite the fact that Lucien is a policeman. Soon Lucien goes on a murderous Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Frankenstein Island: When the balloonists first arrive on the island, Curtis starts haranguing Mark about being a sinner. Dino signals to Mark and then kneels behind Curtis. Mark gives Curtis a shove and he falls backwards over Dino on to the sand.
  • Two kids do this to another kid in one of the establishing shots of Lone Peak High School in Only Once.
  • In Safety Last!, Harold Lloyd's character meets a policeman who happens to come from his hometown. While this cop is making a phone call, Harold boasts to his friend Bill about the "pull" he has with the police and sets up this trick. Unbeknownst to Harold, his buddy finished his call while Harold was talking to Bill and a second cop is now on the phone and takes the fall. He winds up pursuing our heroes for the rest of the film.
  • The girls pull this trick on the boys during their game of touch football on the beach in Satan's Cheerleaders.
  • Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend: While creating a distraction to allow Maitland and Clegg to escape from the gallows, Brother Abraham tells his flock to keel in prayer. One of them kneels directly behind Sanders. Abraham them gives Sanders a shove that sends him toppling over the kneeling man.

  • This prank is described in James Edward Alexander's Transatlantic Sketches published in 1833, making it Older Than Radio.
  • In Dr. Seuss' book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, a pair of fish do this to another fish while all three of them are underwater. The two doing the pushing are described as "very, very bad".
  • Joe Pickett: During the alien scare in Trophy Hunt, the sixth-graders in Lucy's school start doing this to the younger kids; saying "Don't look up" and then, when the kid does, pushing them over an accomplice kneeling behind them.
  • A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles children's novel has the Turtles and Splinter take a camping trip. Raphael and Michelangelo do this to Donatello (with Mikey kneeling and Raph pushing) when they get into a discussion on whether or not Bigfoot exists.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Frontier Circus: Done by Ben and Tony when they get in argument with a mine owner in "Winter Quarters".
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The film Pod People opens with a scene of some unpleasant poachers. When one of them crouches down behind the leader, Joel gets excited and stands up so he can pretend to push the leader over.
  • In one The Whitest Kids U' Know sketch, this prank is parodied by one coworker getting down on his hands and knees behind his boss while the boss is talking to another coworker, and silently mouthing to the coworker to push the boss. The coworker just doesn't get it, though. This goes on for several minutes.
  • A sketch from The Carol Burnett Show had Carol playing Queen Elizabeth II trying to reward a very picky soldier. He didn't want a medal, he wanted a pony. When he specified he wanted a blue pony, Elizabeth (after having a royal fit) whispered something to Prince Philip, who then casually walked behind the soldier while whistling "Rule Brittania". Philip then knelt so Elizabeth could push the annoying soldier.
  • Voyagers!: In "Created Equal", Bogg knocks a large gladiator backwards over Jeff.

    Music Videos 
  • The music video "Right Now" by Van Halen features an animation of three figures pulling this stunt with the subtitle "Right now, our government is doing things we think only other countries do."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Roddy Piper would regularly have his bodyguard, "Ace" Bob Orton Jr., kneel down behind a guest on Piper's Pit, so he could shove the guy and knock him down
  • The Midnight Express's "Double Goozle", in which Bobby Eaton charge at an opponent and clothesline him while Stan Lane clips his legs out from under him.
  • The Hardy Boyz (and London and Kendrick) would perform a variation where, their opponent being trapped in a corner, Matt would get on his hands and knees in the ring while Jeff would take a running start, jump off of Matt's back for extra lift, and then splash or kick the cornered guy.
    • Their Team Xtreme tag team partner, Lita, did a variation on this once in a tag team match in 2003, using one opponent (Molly Holly) as a launchpad to hit the other opponent (Gail Kim).
  • In 1989 in WCW, Lex Luger and Michael Hayes faced Kendall and Barry Windham. The match ended with Kendall charging at Luger for a clothesline while Hayes knelt down behind him, and the Windhams winning the match. This led to Luger and Hayes feuding with each other over the US title.
  • NWA jobbers the Mulkey Brothers managed to win a bout qualifying them for the Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tournament one year by doing this accidentally to their opponents, the masked Gladiators. Randy was on his hands and knees after being beaten by one of the Gladiators and then the Gladiator tripped backwards over him while setting up Bill for a slam. Randy landed on top, 1-2-3!

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Homestuck, after Vriska is retconned back to life, her montage shows her do it behind Gamzee so Terezi can push him.
  • In Girl Genius, Agatha and Krosp do a variation on this with Othar, pushing him out of their small airship.

    Western Animation 
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Grandma's Kisses", SpongeBob is practicing what he's going to tell his grandmother about being a grownup. Patrick then adds, "Then you get behind her and I'll push," to which SpongeBob responds that they didn't agree on that.
  • On The Simpsons episode "Bart Sells His Soul", Bart dreams that the other kids are playing with their souls and he's all alone. Nelson at first appears to sympathize with Bart, but he's really playing this prank with his own soul.
  • Family Guy: In "Stewie B. Goode", Peter gets Meg to crouch behind Brian so he [Peter] can push him into the pool. However, Brian walks out of the way before Peter runs over to him, and Peter ends up hurting himself and Meg.
  • Young Justice: The boys do this to Blockbuster in "Fireworks". Kid Flash runs at Blockbuster and dives between his legs (at superspeed), then kneels behind him. The confused Blockbuster turns to look at Kid Flash and then turns back just in time to see Aqualad and Superboy flying at him. They punch him in the jaw and he falls backwards over Kid Flash. Kid Flash then remarks that he "learned that one in kindergarten".
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: The Penguins do this to the exterminator in "Stop Bugging Me", in a technique called 'The Harder They Fall'.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: In "Portrait of Hiccup as a Buff Young Man", Ruffnut and Tuffnut do this to Snoutlout when he tells them to kiss his pointy shoes.
  • DuckTales (2017): In "The Beagle Birthday Massacre!", Webby and Lena pull this on one of the Beagle Boys: Webby jumping on his head and yanking his hat down over his eyes and throwing him off balance while Lena crouches down so the Beagle Boy trips over her.
  • In Futurama when Bender lets it slip that he can't get up if he's knocked on his back, his friends immediately approach him to try and test the theory. As he's backing away from them, Amy crouches behind him.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987): One episode had the Turtles confronting Shredder at a museum. After disarming Leonardo, he asks if they honestly thought they could take on a Ninja Master. What he doesn't see is Michelangelo getting into position behind him, allowing Leo to enact this and turn the tide of battle.