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Slippery Skid

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"Slide on the soap! (runs up soapy slope, slides back down)
Slide on the soap! (runs up soapy slope, slides back down)
Slide on the soap! (runs up soapy slope, slides back down)
Slide on the soap! (runs up soapy slope, slides back down)"

Something slick like oil, or slippery like a jar of marbles, is poured out on to a floor, and a targeted character or vehicle slips, skids and falls/crashes, typically backwards.

Seen often in broad physical comedy, as well as vehicular action sequences. In chase scenes, it is guaranteed that when small spherical objects are scattered, the enemy in chase will step on them and immediately fall down, giving the hero ample time to escape.

A standard cause of The Pratfall. In more cartoonish variations it's accompanied by a common Stock Sound Effect.

Banana Peel is a subtrope of this. When done from a car against another car, it's usually an Oil Slick. Compare Frictionless Ice. Contrast Sticky Situation.


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  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In the beginning of episode 495, Wolffy walks down a red carpet to head to a show. Another character drops their watermelon on the carpet and Wolffy trips on it and falls.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita in the Wan-Nyan Spacetime Odyssey: (Manga only) During the diner chase between Doraemon and friends as well as Hachi's gang, one of Hachi's accomplices who stole Syami's necklace tries losing his captors by grabbing a customer's bowl of stew and spilling it on the floor behind him, causing a pursuing Doraemon to skid and fall.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion: Josuke's Stand "Soft And Wet" has the ability to "take" things and properties from anything that it can hit with a bubble. When fighting an enemy on the next floor up, Josuke "takes" the friction from the floor above him, sending the enemy sliding around the apartment.
  • Lupin III: Crisis in Tokyo: Lupin uses ball bearings on Zenigata to prevent pursuit, and later uses them again on the trucks in the security convoy, causing a massive accident.
  • Meat Or Die: In the episode "Naomi", Yans and Gans attempt to make the title character (a giant rabbit) slip on an oil slick so they can eat her while she's down. It works... but the pair get squashed under her because they got caught in the trap when she fell.
  • Oh, Suddenly Egyptian God has Set attempting to use a Banana Peel to slip up Horus. The trope ends up subverted when Otter arrives to the rescue wearing ice skates, turning Horus' mishap into an impromptu pair figure skating scene.
  • Ranma ˝: In the manga, Ranma, after becoming annoyed by Ryōga trying to date Akari and Akane at the same time, pretends to be Ryōga's maid. She intentionally waxes the floor so Ryōga will slip and Akane will discover what he's been up to.
  • Ushio and Tora: weaponized by Ayakashi, whose hide and interiors are coated in oil so slippery it can deflect pretty much any single attack directed at it. Ushio has to remove the Power Limiter from the Spear to kill it.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side had a "Ball Bearings, Bananas, Roller Skates & Floor Wax" factory, where numerous people were suffering pratfalls and slippage.

    Fan Works 
  • In brilliant lights will cease to burn, Izuku has Rain and Flower cover the ground with wet petals after being outmatched by Fight. When Fight tries to step forward, she slips, allowing Izuku to slam the pommel of his sword into her head to knock her out and let him seal her.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Here:
    "Marbles? CAREFUL!"
    A moment after the warning, arms flailed and armour rattled as the tiny orbs got underfoot, causing soldiers to trip and fall, who in turn tripped up more of the pursuers. From one instant to another, the group of hunters was a mess of angry bodies sprawled over each other.
  • The eponymous hero of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality uses transfigurated bearing balls during battles.
  • Vow of Nudity: In a flashback to Haara's slave years, a Genasi teenager plays a prank on her by using shape water to create an invisible ice slick on the ground, causing her to wipe out and shatter most of the expensive dishware she was transporting.
  • During the climax of With Strings Attached, John instantly coats the rooftop of the warehouse with wet ice, causing everyone except him to lose their footing and go crashing down, thus rendering them incapable of casting spells at him while he races to the trap door in the roof.

    Films — Animation 
  • Asterix in Britain has a Running Gag of messengers sent to General Motus always arriving at his headquarters after the floors have been waxed, resulting in slips, slides and crashes into various marble statues (explaining why so many Greco-Roman era statues in museums nowadays are broken).
  • Discussed in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Holidays Unwrapped. Rainbow Dash notes that she doesn't use her Super-Speed in the winter because she would slip on the icy roads and crash. From the tone of her voice, it sounds as if Rainbow found this out the hard way.
  • In the film Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, the Pokémon Ranger of the title causes several Evil Minions to slip and fall by overturning a basket of potatoes (yes, potatoes!) under their feet.
  • In Robots, Rodney fights Fender in a tug of war to get his foot back, with the pair of them fighting while trying to keep their balance on a large number of ball bearings. Fender eventually loses his balance and falls over, losing his head quite literally in the process.
  • Two kids crack open a barrel of oil during a chase scene in Tintin and the Lake of Sharks.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
    • In the opening cartoon, Roger slips on both a rolling pin and a bar of soap.
    • Judge Doom pours "the dip" on the road, causing Benny the Cab to skid. Although given that Benny screams and crashes and his tires look shredded, the dip is probably actually burning Benny's wheels off.
    • Later, Judge Doom himself slips on some Toon "Eye Balls" and falls, making the Weasels laugh.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 3 Ninjas does this with an oiled wooden floor and jelly beans.
  • In Animal House, they used marbles during the end parade.
  • Billion Dollar Brain. La Résistance in Latvia cause a Soviet military vehicle to crash by pouring hot water on a snow-covered road.
  • In the film Casper, Carrigan tries to kill Dibs, who covers the floor with what appears to be oil. Sure enough, Carrigan slips on the oil and goes skidding across the floor before crashing out the window.
  • In Diamonds on Wheels, Ashley goes charging into the fight only to trip on a broom and go sliding face first only the trail of slippery foam Bobby has sprayed on the floor.
  • Doctor... Series:
    • In Doctor at Sea, Captain Hogg slips on some French chalk on the deck prior to the ship's dance.
    • In Doctor in Clover, Dr. Grimsdyke steps on a patient's meal that has fallen onto the floor and slips backwards into the wall where he sets off a fire extinguisher as he tries to steady himself.
    • Doctor in Trouble: When inspecting the floor Dr. Burke had just polished, Captain Spratt slips on it and goes flying onto his back.
  • The 2008 Get Smart movie does this with a fallen hanging bead curtain.
    Maxwell Smart: I set that up.
  • Used with gumballs and basketballs in the 1998 Godzilla.
  • The Goonies. Data's "Slick Shoes" lead to some nut-crunching acrobatics by the Fratelli brothers.
  • Home Alone:
    • In the first film, Kevin sprays water on the outside steps that froze into ice, in addition to placing Micro Machines in front of the inside stairway.
    • In the sequel, he buys some cheap necklaces from a street vendor and spills their beads onto the sidewalk, which the bandits promptly slip on. Later, Marv steps onto a slippery floor (courtesy of Kevin), struggles to keep his balance, manages to stop himself for just a moment, and then finally loses his balance... propelling him forward into a shelf loaded with paint cans in spite of the laws of physics. Finally, Kevin himself slips on ice, getting himself caught.
  • Hook features an elaborate marble/bead-shooting apparatus.
  • The villains in Inspector Gadget (1999) use this to make the protagonist's car slip, eventually making it flip over and tumble.
  • James Bond: In Goldfinger, James Bond uses an oil slick device in his Cool Car to send a pursuing Mook car to its doom.
  • Johnny English Strikes Again:
    • On the boat, Johnny and Bough delays a pair of sailors by throwing minutes marbles under their feet.
    • In the castle, Johnny inside a suit of armour which he had overflowed with oil earlier in an attempt to remove it, slips on top of the stairs and then skids on his back all the way to the bottom, and then through the whole conference room, up to the doors that he accidentally closes behind him.
  • In Jumanji, it turns out the spilt detergent that almost sends Van Pelt into a skid is actually intended to allow a rocket-mounted canoe to slide across the floor.
  • In The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob, Victor Pivert is chased by bad guys inside a bubblegum factory. When cornered, he opens up a huge holder of bubblegum beads, sending them rolling under his pursuers' feet. After doomed efforts at staying upright, they finally fall and skid down some stairs, and then down a chute to end up into a vat of green liquid gum.
  • The Return of Captain Invincible. A newsreel of Captain Invincible's exploits shows bootleggers firing on him with tommy guns, only for the bullets to hit a keg of beer which sprays all over the floor. The bootleggers then slip while trying to flee, leaving them easy prey for our hero.
  • In Spider-Man, Mary Jane Watson is walking through the school cafeteria but slips on some spilled juice — sending her and her tray of food flying. Luckily, Peter is there to not only catch her with his enhanced reflexes, but also catches her tray and all her food.
  • The first step of defeating the witch in the wraparound story of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie is having her slip on marbles.
  • In The Transporter, Frank pours motor oil onto the garage floor (and all over himself) to fight a gang of Mooks, using cleats improvised from bicycle pedals to keep his footing.

  • The Stormlight Archive: Dustbringers and Edgedancers can both manipulate the Surge of Abrasion, which controls all forms of friction. We have seen it used to let a heavily-armored knight run through waist-deep water as easily as dry land, let a girl slide around a palace on her butt as if she was greased, and to run very very fast by ignoring air resistance.
  • Summer Knight: Subverted. Harry spreads marbles out in front of his supernatural enemy. It steps on them and crushes them underfoot rather than going slipsliding away. His ally badly hurts her ankle, and is not amused.
    Murphy: That's not a plan, Harry, that's a Looney Tune.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mr Mash and Mr Lucas staged one of these in Are You Being Served? in an attempt to get Mr Lucas off work for the day. Mash makes a big show of spilling cleaning fluid on the stairs, then loudly moans in Mr Lucas' direction that he hopes no one slips on it.
  • A blooper in the Blake's 7 episode "Animals" has Avon running into a room waving a gun, only to slip on some papers scattered on the floor before quickly regaining his poise. Given the No Budget of the series, there wasn't a second take.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Graduation": When Angel tries to sneak into where Buffy is searching for clues, he slips and stumbles through the door. Buffy lampshades both his smooth moves and Angel's clumsiness as he feebly makes excuses.
    • Happens to Wesley on Angel after the title character attempts — and fails — to use his Super-Strength to crush coffee beans still in the bag. Results in a classic pratfall, something Wesley's actor is apparently quite fond of.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who serial "Robot". The Doctor tosses ball bearings into the path of the title robot, only for it to squash them flat.
  • In The Flash episode "Killer Frost", Killer Frost takes out The Flash by freezing a wet road, causing him to slip.
  • KITT from Knight Rider does this regularly. One spectacular use of it involved causing a pursuing Armoured Assault Vehicle to slide out of control and unable to stop, and at the last minute turbo boosting over a storage depot while the pursuer plowed into it, blowing the depot and itself up in the process.
  • The Magician: In "Nightmare in Steel", Tony is being chased through a ship when he causes his pursuers to skid and crash by spraying machine oil on the floor. Later in the same episode, he causes the leader of the pirates to trip and fall by tossing a handful of bullets under his foot.
  • Variant in the first season of Sweet Valley High: Jessica removes a warning sign from a freshly waxed diner floor. Lila slips, twists her ankle inward, and plops on the ground. All for the sake of an appearance in what later turns out to be a local commercial.

    Music Videos 
  • In the video of P!nk's "Please Don't Leave Me", it's those darn marbles again. Upstairs. Twice.
  • In "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Like a Surgeon", one of the surgery attendants slips on the still-beating heart that escapes from the clumsy surgeon's hands.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Thunderbirds: Lady Penelope's Rolls-Royce limousine, the FAB 1, is equipped with an oil slick. It also has some heavy weaponry if bad guys pursuing it proves too persistent to be deterred by this.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Because of the nature of Tabletop RPGs, smart players can use anything from grease to marbles to set traps.
  • The vehicles in Steve Jackson Games' Car Wars have this as an optional extra. For a little extra, it can be ON FIRE.
  • The Champions supplement C.L.O.W.N. has this twice. Merry Andrew's Banana Gun squirts out banana oil that causes opponents to go slip sliding away, and Marbles can throw her marbles into a character's path and send them skidding away down the street.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The first-level grease spell exists for this purpose since AD&D1 expansions and on.
    • Psions in 3rd edition have their own version of grease, also called ectoplasmic sheen.
    • Also a dedicated magical item — the Oil of Slipperiness.
    • Ball bearings are sold in sets of 1,000, and the description lists this trope as their intended use.
    • Forgotten Realms of AD&D2 era added grease slick that has greater area and duration, is cast silently, and instead of one surface sprays everything. Which sometimes is worth a spell of the same level as fireball.
    • Some cold or ice spells can be used to this effect too by icing the floor. Notably sleet storm, which covers a larger area than grease and obstruct vision to boot.
  • Paranoia does this twice.
    • Adventure Vapors Don't Shoot Back. During Mission 1, while the PCs are fighting in the warehouse boxes will break open and spill ball bearings all over the floor, which will make slipping and falling very likely.
    • Adventure Send in the Clones. During the Sewerworld segment, the PCs enter an old TV studio with boxes of ping pong balls. The boxes break open, spilling the ping pong balls all over the floor and tremendously increasing the PCs' chance of slipping and falling.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • A powerup in Backyard Hockey causes the other team to do this.
  • This is a method of escaping pursuers in Bully.
  • In Carrie's Order Up!, leaky pipes start leaving puddles on the diner floor. You can walk right through them with ease, but trying to spin through them, which normally lets you avoid colliding with customers, will leave you flat on your butt.
  • In Dead Rising you can do this to zombies. Yes, it is as funny as it sounds.
  • In Death Stranding, grenade launchers can be loaded with "slip rounds" which release an oil-like substance on impact.
  • Subverted by the Glider series, in which spilled jars of grease make it safe to land on surfaces, and while sliding in grease you can stop on a dime.
  • You could install one in the second Grand Theft Auto game. Lay some slick down and watch the fun.
  • In Machinarium, one of the early puzzles involves throwing some duck shots on the floor so one of the bad guys could slip.
  • Sub Zero could ice a patch of the ground in some of the Mortal Kombat games. Typically the victim would slide forward.
  • In the backstory of Orcs Must Die!, the old master War Mage meets his end by slipping on monster blood and suffering a fatal head injury as a result, leaving the defense of the realms to his apprentice.
  • In Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, there are areas which are covered in oil or are just generally slippery, which hinder Scooby's progress until he manages to find the professor's Plunger invention - after which walking on slippery surfaces becomes a cinch. Ruins going down the slide in the playground, mind you.
  • That One Level for some of the Soulcalibur campaign modes would have the floor act like this. Even worse when it's just you skidding all over, whereas the opponent is as solid as a rock.
  • The vintage arcade game Spy Hunter has a car that can deploy oil slicks (see below).
  • Street Fighter IV character Hakan uses a fighting style based entirely on covering himself with oil and being slippery.
  • One of the options in the first World Heroes "Death Match" matches is two spots of oil or grease.


    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Hanna-Barbera's The Adventures of Gulliver. In the episode where he takes on pirate captain Cutler, Gulliver uses a bar of soap on the ground to send a pirate careening on a long slide into a lifeboat.
  • Central Park: In Season 3 "Golden Owen: Manager Damager", when Bitsy wants her hallway floor polished, she asks Helen to rehire her floor cleaner who was previously fired for using her bathroom without permission. As revenge for being fired previously, the floor cleaner puts too much wax on the hallway, causing Helen, Bitsy and even Shampagne to slip and fall on their backs, unable to get back up.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: In Operation: P.I.R.A.T.E., Numbuh 3 tries to trip up some Candy Pirates by throwing gumballs on the floor. Rather than trip on them, the pirates simply start eating the gumballs.
  • In the Classic Disney Short "Mickey's Service Station", a hydraulic hoist pops out of its shaft with a car on it — Goofy grabs it, and while struggling to hold it up, gets caught on a puddle of spilled oil and goes into a slipping maladroit dance.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Batman: The Animated Series: Lampshaded by the Joker while making his escape from Arkham in "Joker's Wild":
      Joker: Step right up and play everybody's favorite game: "What's the Joker got in the pail?" Maybe a deadly poison... or maybe just something to make the floor nice and slippery!
    • Subverted in the first Superman: The Animated Series crossover with Batman: The Animated Series. The Joker throws a bunch of marbles on the floor to make good on his escape from the pair. Superman thinks he must be kidding, but it's quickly revealed that these are exploding marbles, and the good guys are forced to make a hasty escape.
    • Joker does it again in Justice League, this time to the Flash. First he slips on the beads, and then they blow up, sending him flying.
    • Used in The Movie of Batman Beyond to knock down the Didis.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Monster in the Monastery". Jonny shoots arrows to break oil bags hanging from the ceiling, and the chief yeti slips in the oil, rolls down some stairs and falls to his death.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Done hilariously in a cartoon where Sylvester greases up Elmer Fudd's stairs and thumb-tacks his walkway in an attempt to deter him from interrupting his caterwauling. The hilarious part is that after having going through all that, Elmer then runs through it again to go inside and get his shotgun, and then runs through it a third time. (Funny how he doesn't bother to put on shoes.)
    • Bugs uses grease in his coup de grace in "Bully for Bugs".
    • Wile E. Coyote uses grease either to immobilize the Road Runner or to generate speed for himself — it never works out well.
    • And, of course, the many shorts that have Banana Peels.
  • In the episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic "The Return of Harmony", Discord turns all of the dirt roads in Ponyville into soap, leading to a lot of slipping and sliding.
    Corrupted Pinkie Pie: [skates by] This may look like fun, but it's not!
  • Rugrats: The episode "Crime and Punishment" has Chas meet a traffic cop named Naomi and invite her to the Pickles' house. Upon seeing the babies outside, he tries to bring them back in, only to slip in some mud.
  • A subversion in The Simpsons: Homer attempt to injure himself in order to skip work, by slipping on some oil. Instead, he only manages to skid through the entire plant unharmed.
  • Another subversion as The Spectacular Spider-Man unleashes bowling balls onto the floor of a sporting goods store in an attempt to stop The Rhino. "This always works in the cartoons!" It doesn't work.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: In the episode "Mind Trap" Snaptrap predicts Dudley and Kitty coming into the base with the mind reading helmet so he throws a bunch of marbles right where they're coming from and they trip.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: When Birdie is in danger of being baked into a pie by the royal chef during Ronald and friends' trip to the middle ages in "Have Time, Will Travel", one of her efforts to escape is tripping the chef up using a bowl of nuts.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Marbles Of Doom


Birdie Isn't Tasty

Out of desperation to keep the royal chef from cooking her in "Have Time, Will Travel", Birdie tries to trip the chef up with some nuts and subsequently resorts to making several claims of being unappetizing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouWontLikeHowITaste

Media sources: