Follow TV Tropes



Go To
"I can jump roof-to-roof and get my friends free cable! It's badass."
The Sifl and Olly Show, "Ninja of the Night"

Rapid transit through an urban or suburban area by means of extraordinary leaps from housetop to housetop. Can be found in martial arts and Sentai series. Sometimes it's in live action movies.

Helps someone get across town quickly without running into obstacles on the ground and keep their destination in sight. Also a lot easier to draw than a busy street. For a reality check, the world record for running long jump is just under 30' (9m), while a typical two-lane street in America is 22' (6.5m). And that's not including sidewalks or setbacks between the street and the building's footprint, which may be required in some places. So while this trope would be easier in some countries and neighborhoods than in others, doing it in New York City would require a Charles Atlas Superpower at the very least. Or the aid of technologies such as Grappling Hook Pistols.

A related trope common from American Super Hero stories is the Building Swing. Real-life roofhopping is an element of Le Parkour. When performed on moving vehicles, it's Hood Hopping.


    open/close all folders 

  • Subverted in a DirectTV ad, in which a guy trying to be a Real Life Superhero attempts this feat and falls through a skylight into a dinner party.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Roofhopping is the favorite mode of travel for many martial artists in Ranma ½.
  • Nuku-Nuku and Eimi both do a lot of roofhopping in All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Joseph and Kakyoin take to the roofs of Egypt as they use their Stands to quickly evade DIO as they attempt to solve the true ability of his Stand, The World.
  • The ninjas in Naruto also make use of roofhopping whenever they're in a city, and treehopping whenever they're not.
  • The first season of Sailor Moon had several instances of implied roofhopping, in that the girls leapt off into the sky and vanished into the distance. As well, Zoisite also engaged in roofhopping in one anime episode, while he was disguised as Sailor Moon.
    • Also, Minako pulled it off on screen, once. Not Sailor Venus, Minako. Just because walking from the road to Usagi's room the normal way was too slow. And Usagi's reaction implies she does it fairly often.
  • Meimi, as Kaitou Saint Tail, does quite a bit of roofhopping to get around.
  • Kurumi does a fair amount of roofhopping in Steel Angel Kurumi 2.
  • Lupin III and Jigen, escaping the bad guys who attack their room at the inn in The Castle of Cagliostro. And Lupin continues this trick as he breaks into the castle to speak with the Princess again.
  • The few creatures who can't fly in Blood+ — like the Cif — move around this way.
  • Shinigami who have mastered flash steps roof hop in place of flight in Bleach
  • Most everyone with any power in Kekkaishi can do this. The Kekkaishi themselves, however, go Kekkai-hopping (leaping on magic airborne boxes).
  • In Ghost in the Shell, Major Motoko Kusanagi is fond of roof-hopping, even roof-diving off skyscrapers without a parachute. The Tachikomas, who resemble mechanical spiders, can climb up and down walls or shoot sticky ropes, Spiderman-style, to lasso opponents and swing themselves around buildings, too.
  • All the Seven Angels and the Seven Seals in X/1999. The series loves this one, not to mention hopping off and standing on lampposts and such.
  • Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 has the Knight Sabers using their Powered Armor to do this.
  • Lime, Cherry, and all of the marionettes in Saber Marionette J. Lime is also shown roofhopping while on her job as a delivery person in Saber Marionette J To X.
  • Digimon Tamers:
    • Renamon does this a fair bit in the first part of the series, before they go to the Digital World.
    • Impmon's shown to travel this way a few times as well. Usually with Calumon following him.
  • Kei Kurono enjoys a bit of Sky Scraper hopping in Gantz.
  • Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy — yes, Belldandy — did it once in the manga.
  • Given the size of Mahora Academy, this is standard for the magically-informed in Negima! Magister Negi Magi. Since a mages are obligated to keep the Masquerade, an explanation about a spell in place to prevent the Muggles from seeing was once given - we later find out that environmental damage is still in effect, so dented lampposts and torn shingles aren't uncommon.
  • Panther does this recreationally and for exercise in Eyeshield 21 since the racist coach wouldn't let him train with the rest of the team and Panther isn't too well off, hopping off the roof of apartment buildings was just convenient.
  • Phantom Thief Jeanne and her rival Sinbad Roof Hop frequently. They are art thieves, after all, divine mission or no, and what better way to escape from the apparently almost completely incapable police and Maron's mildly obsessed best friend?
  • Train from Black Cat. Most notably when he was trying to rescue kidnapped Sven.
  • Occurs in Noir, in the midst of a battle, no less. Portrayed somewhat more realistically, in that the characters actually look before they leap and don't seem to be magically capable at it.
  • Occurs in a flashback in Kiddy Grade, wherein Lumière piggybacks on Éclair while Éclair hops from rooftop to rooftop gracefully.
  • Fushigi Yuugi features Tamahome and Tasuki chasing Amiboshi, who posed as Chiriko from roof to roof.
  • One Piece:
    • Somewhat lampshaded in the Water 7 arc, everyone (including the Straw Hat crew) is impressed by shipwright Kaku's ability to jump great distances to the point of nearly flying, partialy a byproduct of having undergone special martial arts training like the rest of CP9. Later, Chopper and Nami must awkwardly run across rooftops to free Luffy, who is stuck between two buildings, and Zoro, stuck in a chimney.
    • In the Dressrosa arc, Robin, Rebecca and Bartolomeo use the "Tontatta airlines jumping service" to jump from roof to roof and get to the King's Plateau in time to meet up with Luffy's group there.
  • Louis from the beginning of Darker than Black.
  • Arf does this in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha after Bardiche and Raising Heart are damaged while clashing over a Jewel Seed.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has the two mask duelists who constantly jump across buildings.
  • Yui Kamio Lets Loose: When Kiito chases Ayako, he jumps to the roof of the next building. Despite regular exercises, he's still a Muggle and strains his ankle.
  • Bulga in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo once hops between telephone poles. Otherwise, the girls usually fly.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair, the knight Mitsuhide was introduced to his charge, the second prince of the kingdom, by being brought to the castle by the first prince, walking near a building and being told to look up as Zen leapt from the roof to a nearby tree in an attempt to escape his duties. It's a habit Zen never grew out of and early on he acquires an aide who also prefers to get around this way, to the point that he rarely ever uses doors or hallways without being ordered to.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man and Daredevil generally use a mix of this and building-swinging to get around New York.
  • Ditto for Batman and his extended family getting around Gotham (when they're not using the Cool Car).
  • In the last issue of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season eight, Buffy is seen leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
  • Inverted in an issue of Catwoman. During an adventure in Miami, she notes that the trick doesn't work so well in other cities when she runs out of rooftops.
  • The Tick. Oh ho ho ho, The Tick. Due to being Nigh-Invulnerable, Super Strong and being built like a linebacker on steroids, he tends to leave footprints on the roofs during jumps.
  • In 1963, the Fury is a Badass Normal lacking any superpowers but possessing incredible agility. His standard form of transportation? Rapidly running and jumping across the roofs of buildings, leading to the nickname "Roofrunner".
  • In Astro City, this is occasionally shown as transportation for the more acrobatic street-level heroes. At one point, Jack-in-the-Box is followed across the roofs by a hooting gang called The Rowdy Boys who chase him across roofs to build up their Le Parkour skills.
  • Sin City does this with Marv in the first comic (also in the movie version). Miho is often shown doing this from time to time. In one story, she did it while wearing rollerblades.
  • Done by Glenn and Rick in The Walking Dead. Rick almost misses the first time, due to being weighed down by a bag of guns.
  • In Kick-Ass, Dave decides against doing this, because the roofs are too far apart. Hit Girl and Big Daddy, on the other hand, do it with ease.
  • In Persepolis, after the police bust the illegal party Marjane was attending, many of the men try to escape by doing this. One of them missed and falls to his death.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): In the days before she could glide on air Wonder Woman would get through the city by leaping between rooftops and swinging from buildings using her magic lasso.
  • In Wynonna Earp: Home on the Strange, U.S. Marshal Holly Day does this when she needs to get from one end of Tombstone to the other without touching the ground.
  • The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: In #9, Indy and Sallah retrieve a golden idol from a pair of robed thieves, and then have flee across the rooftops of Marrakesh, jumping from roof to roof and across streets, with the thieves chasing them.
  • The Oracle Code: The night Babs gets shot she and Ben hop rooftops to get to the site mentioned on the police scanner after she wins their hacking contest, which they were doing from the roof.

    Fan Works 
  • In Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon had fun when he gained the ability to do this. It helped with a Dynamic Entry later on.
  • Wonderful (Mazinja): In chapter 5, Taylor and her friend Emma make use of roofhopping to test Taylor's new Sentinel Suits. Justified, since the Sentinel Suits enhance the wearer's physical capabilities.
    Roof hopping WAS pretty fun. Sophia could grant her that much. She would never know.
  • RWBY: Epic of Remnant: Hassan of the Cursed Arm jumps the rooftops to get around Vale. Blake Belladonna does this when she chases Hassan while thinking he's a criminal.
  • Lampshaded by Calvin in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    Calvin: "Come! Let us dramatically jump from building to building!"
  • Echoes of Yesterday: When accompanying Assault and Battery in their night patrol, Kara remembers how she and Barbara Gordon used to go roof-hopping across Gotham City.
    Ah, roof-hopping, one of the most common methods of transport I'd seen back home for heroes on a budget. Given that normally I could fly, I usually didn't do a lot of parkour myself, but I did have fond memories of rooftop races with Barbara Gordon in Gotham. Those nights often started serious, and ended in a sleepover with lots of sugar and popcorn and the resulting sugar hangover the next day.
  • In The Dresden Fillies, Rainbow gets around town by means of roof-hopping.
  • In History's Strongest Shinobi, Naruto alternates between this, and complicated, ever-changing back routes to keep anyone from following him home.
  • Not the intended use (Zantetsuken Reverse): In Chapter 20, when talking about how to avoid traffic by Roof Hopping, Julius offers some advice:
    "So can I jump from rooftop to rooftop?" asked Soma.
    "That works," said Julius. "Parkour exists. Just don't double jump. I once had this guy follow me everywhere shouting 'TEACH ME YOUR SECRETS, MASTER!' at the top of his voice after he saw me climb a fire escape that way."
  • In Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse, Nabiki Tendo's Training from Hell eventually pushes her to the level that she becomes capable of leaping from ground-level to rooftop and then bounding between roofs. She realizes this when she gets her purse snatched by a pickpocket, and her desperate need to get around the crush of bodies keeping her from just running them down leads to her leaping from stall-roof to stall-roof to catch them.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's Aladdin has roof-pole-vaulting.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens has Ginormica roofhopping to escape the alien robot. (Don't ask how the roofs don't crumble under her feet.) She jumps to one tilted roof that's too far for her, scrambles to hold on as she slips down, loses her grip... and safely lands on the ground, since she's almost as tall as the building.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2. As he's about to be blasted by Lord Shen's cannons, Po avoids this by the simple method of jumping from one rooftop to another, as the cannons are too heavy and cumbersome to move quickly. It helps that he's on a Chinese multi-inclined roof, so all Po has to do is go down.
  • The street kids' primary method of transportation in Tekkonkinkreet. They are often seen covering impossible distances and jumping up entire buildings.
  • In Princess Mononoke, Ashitaka and San are doing this above the roofs of Irontown.
  • Turning Red:
    • When Mei's transformation triggers at school, she is humiliated and clumsily dashes home on the streets and the roofs of Toronto as a giant red panda, causing plenty of damage along the way.
    • By the night of the concert, Mei has a better handle on her powers, and when she sneaks out to attend it she gracefully makes leaps and bounds across the roofs, switching between both human and red panda form with ease.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Aquaman: The scene in Sicily features a very intense and exciting rooftop chase where Aquaman and Mera have to evade Black Manta and a number of Atlantean commandoes. Naturally Aquaman and Manta go mano-on-mano with each other while Mera deals with the mooks. One of the commandoes misjudges his leap and goes crashing through the tiled roof in his heavy Powered Armor, so he continues the chase by smashing through the walls below her instead.
  • In Assassin's Creed, after escaping an execution by fire in Seville, the Assassins Aguilar de Nerha and Maria make their escape through the city's roofs. It ends with a Leap of Faith.
  • In the musical comedy Le Million, petty thief Grandpa Tulip is introduced doing this as he flees from police.
  • A very silly Fatty Arbuckle film called The Knockout has this as part of a long Chase Scene, after Fatty's character, an amateur boxer, pulls a gun on his opponent and chases him out of the ring.
  • Films set in Brazil will likely have at least one of these scenes, since the homes are tightly packed. Examples include The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Fast Five.
  • In the film of Hellboy, this is Hellboy's preferred method of tracking what Liz Sherman and John Myers are doing on their 'going out for coffee' walk. Here Del Toro shows the risky chance of encountering civilians on rooftops - milk-and-cookie-distributing-civilians, but still. Hellboy, even with his superhuman abilities, still nearly misses one of the jumps.
  • A live-action version can be seen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • The Matrix
    • The opening Chase Scene involved Agents roof hopping after Trinity. Part way through, the whole thing is lampshaded when a cop, seeing an agent jump an unbelievable distance following Trinity, says, "That's impossible!" This is the first hint we get that the action is not, in fact, taking place in the real world.
    • There's also the infamous "Whoa" scene, where Morpheus shows Neo how to do it. As Cypher points out, nobody makes it their first try... but Neo is believed to be The One, perhaps he's an exception? Nope, he fails his first jump just like everyone else did.
  • The movie version of Spider-Man goes roofhopping before he learns how to use his web-shooters. The sequel also contains a memorable scene in which he attempts (and fails) roofhopping in order to revive his lost powers.
  • Eric Draven of The Crow uses this to get around Detroit and get the drop on Tin Tin, and to escape from the cops after the big shootout with Top Dollar's men.
  • Dirty Harry in The Enforcer is chasing a suspect all over the roofs of half of San Francisco, while his partner, Inspector Moore, is trying to figure out where he is going by following along from the street, until she finds the church that they burst into and she does the same.
  • Clint Eastwood chases John Malkovich over rooftops in In the Line of Fire, though not as successfully.
  • The Bourne Ultimatum: One of the most impressive sequences, where the near superhuman Jason Bourne was leaping from rooftops to catch up to his ally Nicky and protect her from an assassin. Made believable in that it took place in Tangier, where the buildings are very crowded, and the fact that Nicky tries the same thing and barely makes it herself. (The only question is how Bourne and the assassin were able to follow her in the near labyrinth-like buildings.)
  • A similar chase occurs in The Bourne Legacy.
  • Vertigo: Subverted in the opening scene. The main character tries going rooftop hopping to catch a criminal... but his policeman colleague falls to his death, causing the protagonist to develop the titular vertigo.
  • In Shoeshine the boys from the juvenile prison do this after breaking out of an upper window.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie introduces Hyde in this way, in Paris.
  • Batman does this in his Cool Car in Batman Begins. It's quite amusing listening to a pursuing cop trying to explain that the mystery car they are chasing is on the roofs. He also tries it on foot, before developing his Batman persona. He learns it's not easy at all. Ouch!
  • 30 Days of Night's vampires are also big fans, though they mainly do it in the background of shots.
  • Casino Royale uses this in the opening scenes, with James Bond performing jumps that would have resulted in agony and likely broken legs for anyone else.
  • The Living Daylights has Bond in a rooftop escape from the police in Tangier.
  • Rumble in the Bronx:
    • Jackie Chan jumped from a parking garage to a fire escape, breaking his ankle.
    • The ankle breaking actually happened in a much "easier" jump. Onto a moving hovercraft!
  • Watchmen: Rorschach does this early on, while breaking into Dr. Manhattan's facility. He leaps from one roof to another, a distance that looks about 17 feet long going by the 5'5" Jackie Earle Haley.
  • Subverted in Kickass; the titular character initially tries to train himself to roof hop as a means of getting around the city, but quickly realises how unfeasible it is. He eventually settles for walking around at street level. Hit-Girl and Big Daddy are able to do this casually.
  • Blade Runner: Rick Deckard tries to do this and just barely manages to catch onto a beam sticking out of the building on the other side, Roy Batty on the other hand (owing to his genetically engineered strength), does manage, and proceeds to rescue Deckard from his predicament.
  • The chimney sweep scene in Mary Poppins is a song and dance number on rooftops.
  • Dark City has a few roof hopping scenes. In fact, one of the sets used in The Matrix's roof hopping scenes was a left over from Dark City.
  • Subverted in Die Hard with a Vengeance. A police officer and a couple of schoolkids climb up onto the roof of the locked building with the intent of jumping to an adjacent building to escape from the bomb, but when they get there, they realize the distance is too far.
  • Optimus Prime in the first live-action Transformers film.
  • Safety Last! leads up to Harold Lloyd selling a publicity stunt where he'll climb up the side of the multistory department store he works at, arranging with a professional climber friend to surreptitiously switch places at the second floor. His friend gets pursued by a policeman he's in bad with, though, and keeps having to head further up in the building, forcing Harold to keep climbing. The film ends with Harold successfully getting to the top, while his friend is several rooftops away, still being chased.
  • Done werewolf style in The Wolfman (2010)!
  • A pretty staggering scene in 1978's Killer of Sheep. The kids of Watts go roof hopping to amuse themselves. From the tops of three-story buildings. Between roofs that are at least eight feet apart.
  • Mission: Impossible Film Series:
    • In Fallout, Ethan Hunt is running across London after the villain who is wearing a Tracking Device with Benji guiding him. Unfortunately Ethan has to run up onto the roof of St Paul's Cathedral to escape some people chasing him, so this trope ensues, but Benji doesn't realise this because his map isn't set on 3D. Hilarity Ensues as Benji gives directions that don't match with reality.
    • In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Grace (Hayley Atwell) make their escape from the Abu Dhabi airport through its roof, running on it.
  • Major Grom: Plague Doctor. As Grom is a Cowboy Cop and not a superhero (yet), his efforts are less than successful when he's forced to use this trope; he tries to leap to the next rooftop and crashes through a window and down a staircase instead. However Grom liked the view so much he takes his Fire-Forged Friends up there at the end of the movie to have something to eat.

  • Toward the end of the first Lone Wolf book, you can use the "Roofways" to reach the king's citadel while avoiding the crowded streets. It is mentioned the citizens of Holmgrad were familiar with this way of travel before a royal decree forbade it because of too many accidents. Indeed, an unlucky roll can result in yet another untimely death for Lone Wolf.

  • The Alienist: The killer demonstrates remarkable abilities traveling roofs and other urban structures. Not surprising, as he feels best when he's away from society, and up on the rooftops he feels alone and powerful.
  • Discworld:
    • Assassins are expected to be able to do this. Pyramids in particular features the main character doing quite a bit of roof hopping.
    • Sam Vimes engages in quite a few rooftop chases, most of them off-page. One of Death's near Vimes experiences happened when one of these stopped being a rooftop chase. (Another chase, in Night Watch Discworld, ended when both participants fell through the glass ceiling of Unseen University.)
  • Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny: The main character is a roof hopping building climber among other things.
  • In God Stalk, book one of P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, the Cloudies of Tai-tastigon live their entire lives on the roofs of the city, which is their Cloud Kingdom, and refuse to allow ground-dwellers to climb up there. Many of them have never set foot on the ground. Jame, the books' protagonist, saves a prince of the Cloud Kingdom and is given the freedom of the skies; after that, she prefers the rooftops to the streets.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: The climax of Changes is a roof-hopping race between Mags and two assassins.
  • InCryptid: This is Verity's preferred mode of transportation, especially when she's living in New York.
  • Mistborn: This is a very common way of getting around for the titular extraordinarily empowered individuals, since they can telekinetically push and pull on metals.
  • The whole setting for Christopher Fowler's Roofworld. There's a whole subculture way above the streets of London, hopping over the roofs and ziplining on the telephone cables.
  • In The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft, the protagonist is trapped on the uppermost floor of the local Hell Hotel. He escapes by climbing down the drapes to the roof of the building next door, then jumps through a skylight to the ground below.
  • In Felix Gilman's Thunderer, Jack and his gang often use this to get around within Ararat.
  • Used by the Lambs in Twig partially for ease of transport, partially for a height advantage.
  • Un Lun Dun by China Miéville: A roof-hopping subculture features, which makes it a point of pride never to leave the roofs. But all is not as it seems.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The live action version of Sailor Moon, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, made one attempt at showing roofhopping. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't anything to show to the Emmy committee, either.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy does some roof hopping chasing after the last bus out of Sunnydale in "Chosen"
  • Seinfeld: Kramer does roof hopping while being chased by his cable guy.
  • Criminal Minds: An unsub tries (and fails) to do this in an attempt to escape arrest in the episode "Tabula Rasa". Morgan follows, with considerably greater success.
  • Jim on No Ordinary Family uses this method to get around when he's patrolling the city. However he leaves small craters on the rooftops.
  • In the Southland season 3 finale, a suspect tries to do this with Officer Sherman pursuing. The suspect succeeds the first time, but he's not so lucky on the second.
  • The one generally admired part of BBC One's much-derided 2002 presentation revamp was Rush Hour, a 90-second short film of roofhopping that would be used either as a straight promo or sometimes as an extended ident into programmes.
  • Historical Korean Series are good for this, among them Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Il Ji-Mae.
  • In the pilot of the short-lived sci-fi series Something Is Out There, the first clue the cop protagonist has that the woman he's chasing is not of this Earth is when she leaps an incredible distance across to the next building.
  • Done in several cop shows, with the kicker being that the person attempting this (usually the criminal being pursued), is unable to make it across.
  • Randall, from The Walking Dead attempts this, and fails spectacularly.
  • This is one of the skills Young Master Bruce learns from Selina on Gotham. Because he's still in the learning process, she has to catch him at one point from falling to his death.
  • In the episode "Hash" on Barney Miller, this happens offscreen with Detective Fish, who is almost at mandatory retirement age—according to the suspect he jumped a twelve foot gap, thanks to the hash brownies he'd unwittingly consumed.
  • A turning point in John's life the Sherlock' episode "A Study in Pink": Sherlock takes to the rooftops as a shortcut, and his route requires jumping a narrow alley. John has a psychosomatic limp, but this is a chase. He makes the jump and the rest is history.
  • Used in The Get Down in the meeting scene between Ezekiel and Shaolin Fantastic.
  • One bad guy on NCIS: Los Angeles tries this to get away from Callen and Sam. He fails.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "All in the Family," Mac, Don & Sheldon travel from one crime scene to another two buildings away via the rooftops. Downplayed in that the first gap is covered by a large board and the second is easily jumped by all three of them.
    • A suspect attempts this, unsuccessfully, in "Blood Out."
    Mac Taylor: Young woman made a bad decision. Paid for it with her life.
  • Treadstone. In the pilot episode, guards chase an escaping American agent across the steep East Berlin rooftops, and end up falling to their deaths because their boots can't maintain their grip on the tiles (the American is barefooted).
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Church on Ruby Road", while Ruby Sunday is clinging to a rope ladder dangling from an airship, the Doctor's on her heels, bounding across rooftops to leap onto the ladder after her.

  • Dice Funk: Marshmallow spends several episodes jumping from roof to roof in order to find Anne's friends.

  • In The Dao of the Awakened, when given an errand in a busy city, Hua Yin uses his skills to hop onto a roof to take a shortcut, and notices a number of fellow Cultivators who had the same idea.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Prodigious Leap fu schtick from Feng Shui lends itself quite nicely to this and other uses.

    Video Games 
  • In ANNO: Mutationem, the first major area occurs on the various rooftops of Noctic City as Ann chases down a Factio Pugni thug to retrieve a stolen ROM.
  • In Thief II: The Metal Age, you use the "Thieves Highway" to get to Angelwatch.
  • The Matrix Online enables characters to accomplish similar feats by means of the Hyper-Jump ability.
  • City of Heroes allows players who take the "Super Jump" ability to duplicate this feat with ease, and those who take "Acrobatics" to a slightly lesser extent.
  • Assassin's Creed: All player characters can do that on the city roofs of their respective settings (and so can thieves, guards — except those in heavy armor —, mercenaries, and witnesses). In fact, running on roofs is the standard and quickest means of getting anywhere in the whole franchise.
  • The second Prince of Persia trilogy (Sands of Time, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones), inspired by Parkour just like Assassin's Creed (and from the same development team), have some instances of this.
  • The first level of Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow And The Flame has the Prince running over the palace roof.
  • One of the most impressive abilities of high-level Agents in Crackdown. Build your Agility Skill high enough, and you can make some truly vertigo-inducing leaps. This is arguably the better way to get around, as opposed to running or driving the streets.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, this is possible at higher levels of the Acrobatics skill, or by using a Jump spell. It is a perfectly reasonable way to get around towns, and is even recommended if you're trying to avoid the City Guards.
  • Genshin Impact: Shenhe does this when delivering food from the restaurant to their customers, scaring one customer so badly she had to leave quickly before the Mililith arrived.
  • Hidden Dragon: Legend, a wuxia-themed game, naturally have plenty of levels where you need to scale rooftops, either to infiltrate enemy hideouts or pursue targets.
  • Most of the outdoor levels in The Legend of Tian-ding has your titular character hopping over the rooftops of 1900s Taiwan, including the escape from Jiangyue-lou Restaurant where you pursue an assassin, both you and him jumping from one roof to another.
  • Mirror's Edge is often all about this trope done with Le Parkour on top of skyscrapers.
  • The preferred method of travel for living humans in Urban Dead is roof-hopping. Preferred because the alternative involves running through the zombie-infested streets till you are lucky enough to find a building that ISN'T barricaded.
  • One level in The Warriors had you jumping across rooftops to flee from enemies chasing you.
  • An effective way to avoid, or just sneak up on the general mook population in some of the Tenchu villages.
  • Exercised extensively in the Sly Cooper series to avoid mook patrols.
  • Songs Of Wuxia, unsurprisjgly for a wuxia-themed game, have you travelling all over the place by leaping across rooftops in several levels. The opening FMV notably sees you infiltrating the Imperial City by leaping through the mountains and landing on various city buildings, with the opening titles plastered over the skyline.
  • Cole does this all the time in Infamous to get around the cities he finds himself in. The second game reveals that he enjoyed doing it even before he got superpowers.
  • Suzu, in the opening of Tales of Phantasia.
  • Alex Mercer from [PROTOTYPE] can both run up walls and jump a good hundred feet straight up. This is the natural extension.
  • Back Stab has the port town stage with Henry infiltrating the town by hopping over rooftops to avoid sentries, in order to enter the town square. Miss a jump and he risks getting spotted by guards, leading to an inevitable battle.
  • The green boy teaches this to you in But That Was Yesterday.
  • Beyond Good & Evil: The chase sequence.
  • Recurring in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto IV, when the player pursues targets on foot.
  • One level of Dark Messiah requires you to chase a ghoul across the rooftops of Stonehelm.
  • BIT.TRIP Runner has this in the last few levels. There was intended to be much more of this, but this game was still in development when Canabalt came out, so the roof emphasis was removed.
  • Hudson, Clarke, and Weaver found themselves doing this in Kowloon in Call of Duty: Black Ops, leading to Hudson's reaction of "You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!!" The difficulty of this is Lampshaded as the only reason the characters survive is because Clarke has pre-rigged their landing with a pile of mattresses.
  • In Team Fortress 2, this can be done as strategy for most of the classes, but the Scout is especially adept in hopping around high places as shortcuts other classes can't reach and can only rake with withering sniper fire, rockets, nades, etc.
  • The Saboteur lets you do this in the unique rooftops of Paris.
  • The ninja Oboromaru could do this during his introductory chapter in Live A Live.
  • As the name suggests, a large part of the level "Rooftop Run" from Sonic Unleashed involves this.
  • The main theme of the Graffiti City racetrack from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed utilizes this trope.
  • The protagonist of Need for Speed: The Run is forced to roofhop to escape from his pursuers. Rather predictably, it goes poorly when he misses a jump and falls painfully to the street below. He then beats up a cop and steals his police car.
  • The city of Klaipeda in Tree of Savior has many an accessible rooftop for jumping.
  • The first level of Gamer 2 is set on a series of city rooftops, and provides most of the jumping puzzles.
  • In Ravensword: Shadowlands, this is required in one sidequest where you chase a thief across rooftops.
  • One of the events in Crash 'n' the Boys: Street Challenge is an obstacle course where you have to run, jump, pole vault, and unicycle-ride your way across a series of rooftops.
  • Mission 11 in Fashion Police Squad takes place on rooftops. Sergeant Des navigates the rooftops using his belt of justice a grappling hook and Wet'Ones drip gun to accelerate himself. It also helps that clothed roofs act as springboards.
  • The Adventures of Batman and Robin (SNES): In the stage "A Tale of a Cat", the player/Batman chases after Catwoman across some Gotham rooftops to an alleyway. In a section, the player has to jump over roofs and grab onto a ledge to advance.

  • Subverted in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella:
    Gentleman Wednesday: Um, my dramatic exit seems to have been foiled by the lack of another rooftop on this side of the building.
    Wonderella: Nope! Just my side!
    Gentleman Wednesday: Ah. Well. Thank God for that.
  • Junpei from MegaTokyo is adept of this.
  • Sluggy Freelance: In "That Which Redeems", the so far relatively harmless-seeming Demon Lord Horribus is shown to be capable of leaping across a city from rooftop to rooftop (and not just adjacent rooftops) in pursuit of his nemesis, probably by virtue of his Super-Strength. He does break the roof of the last building he lands on with his great weight, and humorously falls through all its stories after that.
  • Mr. Hyde in The Glass Scientists likes to leap across the buildings of Victorian London to get around.
  • The Secret Knots: #6 in "11 signs you are not getting enough sleep": "Cinematic chases on rooftops", with the art showing the protagonist jumping between rooftops while pursued by a villager armed with a crossbow.

    Web Originals 
  • The web fiction serial Dimension Heroes is rife with instances of this, usually committed by Rob and Wyn.
  • Hilariously averted in the IMP/IMP XS/VVV crossover Christmas special "An IMP Crossmas"; when Talking Cactus and the former LSU girls engage in a "rooftop chase", it really consists of them driving buildings around like cars from the rooftop.
  • In Chapter 9.2 of Worm, Flechette mentions that Brockton Bay isn't as well suited to this as her native New York because of the varying building heights. That doesn't stop both Shadow Stalker and the Undersiders from traveling this way on occasion, however, as both of them have the ability to perform superhuman jumps — Shadow Stalker in her shadow form, and the Undersiders when riding Bitch's dogs.
  • Parodied in The Onion: "Pope Francis Pursues Sinner Across Vatican City Rooftops"
  • Arachne and Eva travel this way on occasion in Void Domain.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • In crowded parts of the world like parts of Europe and India, roof hopping is made much easier because the roofs may only be a meter apart. However, roof construction in some of these older buildings is mainly just light timber structure, roof tiles and... well, nothing else. Ergo, even if you can easily make the jump, the force of your landing means you can also very easily go through the roof. Don't try this at a series of someone else's homes.
  • Tony Hawk once cleared the gap between two buildings on a skateboard.
  • One of the first cities ever built by humans was called Çatalhöyük, (roughly) pronounced "Cha-tal-her-yik". All the houses were clumped so closely together that the entrance was generally on the roof, and the rooftops acted as streets. Since then, humans invented the front door.
  • Of course, stuff like this can be accomplished by practicing in the art of Le Parkour. But one should always be careful when doing so.


100 demons...

...coming up

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / OnPatrolMontage

Media sources: