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Obstacle Ski Course

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"Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn."

You'd think characters would be more careful about where they practice dangerous sports, but that wouldn't be funny or, for Video Games, fun, so when a character goes skiing he'll inevitably have to dodge all sort of obstacles such as snow mounds, snowmen, boulders, trees, and likely other skiers.

For added Rule of Funny, the ski-tracks go on both sides of the trees, leading to people staring at that and wondering how it could be possible (a gag first used by Charles Addams in a 1940 New Yorker magazine cartoon). Martin Gardner published a riddle once, about how such a thing can be possible in real life. He himself had 6 answers ready.note  Someone sent him 23.


A common way to set this up is to have a character accidentally (or not, if daring, boastful, ignorant or just not smart enough) starts descending while oblivious to anything you need to know about skiing to not die horribly, and end up as a Human Snowball.


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  • As quoted above, Better Off Dead climaxes with a chaotic downhill ski-race between the hero and villain.

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Skis In The Classroom", Miss Brooks ends up skiing downhill without knowing how to ski. Miss Brooks ends her ski with a very ill advised maneuver; skiing toward a tree, grabbing onto the branches and forcing a stop!

    Video Game 
  • Several mini-games in the various Mario Party games take place on such slopes (including one where you have to try to outrun a Human Snowball).
  • As seen in the page image above, the entire point of the classic Windows game SkiFree. Trees, chairlifts and their poles, jumps and even the Yeti are in your way.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this frequently, except usually using a snowboard instead. Still loads of stuff to dodge though. White Acropolis in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is notable for HORRIBLE controls and jumping being almost impossible to pull off.
  • This is the entire point of SSX 2012; Team SSX is on a race against a rival team to conquer the deadliest mountains. While they all have elements of this kind of course, the first Deadly Decent takes the cake: TREES.
  • One of the mini-games in Tiny Toon Adventures: Wild and Wacky Sports involves Buster and his friends skiing down a mountain.
  • Mario Kart:
    • DK Summit (DK's Snowboard Cross in Europe) in Mario Kart Wii has racers travel over jumps, a mogul field, and a half-pipe populated with Shy-Guys
    • The final segment of Mount Wario in Mario Kart 8 takes place on a slalom course and a ski jumping hill.
  • The fifth level in Mission: Impossible (Konami) (1990) takes place on the Swiss Alps, as you ski down the mountains and avoid obstacles and enemies. You even use skis as a weapon!
  • The NES game Slalom is built entirely on this trope. The game involves skiing quickly down various mountains while having to dodge; snowmen, kids on sleds, other skiers, and bumps. The fact that one of the courses is named "Mt. Nasty" should give you an idea of what kind of experience you're in for.
  • In South Park: Chef's Luv Shack, the "Avalanche" mini-game involves Stan, Eric, Kyle, and/or Kenny skiing down a slope while collecting snacks and avoiding obstacles, including the snowy wall of doom.

    Western Animation 
  • SpongeBob SquarePants does something related with snowboarding, on a sand mound, using his tongue as board.
  • On Futurama, Prof. Farnsworth is seen skiing while fast asleep. By the time he arrives at the ski lodge and wakes up, he apparently entered a skiing competition and won third place. (According to Word of God (via DVD commentary) having him come in first would have been too implausible.)
  • ReBoot has a Santa Claus User play one of these. Enzo gets to kill him with a large icicle.
  • There's an episode of Adventures from the Book of Virtues in which Annie was challenged by a trio of bigger kids called the Wolf Pack to ski with them in a race. Upon hearing this, Zach tries to talk her out, telling her that it's too dangerous to ski with the trio. However, Annie doesn't listen to him; she sprains her ankle by accident while skiing with the Wolf Pack.
  • In Shaun the Sheep, the Farmer uses his house as an outdoor-indoor obstacle course, complete with tripping over the gutter and crashing into his furniture and cat!


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