Follow TV Tropes


Slow-Motion Drop

Go To

A character receives some shocking news while holding a (usually breakable and valuable) object. The news causes them to drop the object, and we follow it in close up with the camera overcranked (slow-motion shot) all the way to the floor.

For extra credit, finish the shot with a slow-motion shot of the object shattering, with synchronized slow motion sound effects. For extra extra credit, throw in a Slow "NO!" and/or an attempted Desperate Object Catch while all of this is happening.

Subtrope of Dramatic Drop.

Compare with Slow-Motion Fall, Dramatic Shattering.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach does it with Renji's sweat before his fight with Byakuya
  • Death Note: L's spoon.
  • Parodied in Duel Masters. When Shobu's mother dropped a cup in slow motion she noted the effect and its implications.
  • Fushigi Yuugi has a tear-jerking example, when Tamahome visits his house, only to see that his entire family had been brutally murdered. He drops the ball he had bought for his little sister Yuiren, who is shown to be barely alive when the ball bounces to her fingers.
  • Nana, with a lighter.
  • Played with in the ninth episode of Naruto: Shippuuden by an old lady with a fishing rod. She was just playing dead for fun, and no doubt that the slow mo "made it seem so real."
  • Kasumi in Ranma ½ asks Akane "Did you accept his proposal?". Akane drops the plate she was washing and it shatters dramatically.
  • Gintama: Tsukyo's pipe in the Yoshiwara is Burning Arc
  • The anime adaptation of Rurouni Kenshin does a variant slo-mo drop for a bead of sweat during the Kenshin vs. Soujirou battle: the camera follows a drop of cold sweat roll off Yumi's face, and by the time it splashes on the floor, the two combatants have already traded an insane amount of blows.
  • At the end of the final battle between D and Meier Link in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Leila takes Charlotte's ring and tosses it at the floor. The camera follows it as it slowly, slooowly comes down, leaving a trail of after-images, interspersed with flashes of D and Meier Link fighting. When the ring bounces off the floor, the camera follows it up and down again. And it continues to follow as it rolls on its side and D picks it up on the edge of his sword.

    Asian Animation 
  • Lamput: In "Boss'stache", the Boss accidentally shaves off his mustache, leading to a slow-motion scene where he and Lamput react in shock and the Boss drops his razor, which falls slowly to the floor.
  • Simple Samosa: In "Misal Power", Samosa finds a key in the mayor's toilet tank but then lets go of it... right above the open toilet seat. The key slowly falls towards the toilet as the gang all look on with worried expressions, but then the mayor inhales the key through his straw, averting the crisis.

    Comic Books 
  • Played tear jerkingly straight in an issue of the Teen Titans comic series, where one page was devoted to Tim Drake/Robin answering a phone message, then dropping the phone to the ground and following suit. The page is textless and the reader doesn't actually hear why he's dropping the phone, but anybody reading comics at that time knew exactly the reason without needing an explanation: The Rogues had just killed his second best friend (the first, Superboy, having died in Infinite Crisis) Bart Allen/Flash.

  • Used in one scene of Alien³ to almost exaggerated level.
  • Austin Powers: In The Spy Who Shagged Me, two Austins bang into each other while each is trying to catch his mojo. Cue the Slow-Motion Mojo Drop.
  • Run Lola Run:
    • It appeared to be initially subverted when Manni flings a red bag of stolen money into the air just before a twitchy poltzei shoots Lola in the chest. The bag isn't seen again throughout the dying scene. After a flashback and Lola's epiphany, then the bag is shown falling in slow motion, match cut with the falling of Lola's red telephone at the beginning.
    • This is played a little straighter later, when Lola drops a green bag of robbery money on witnessing Manni's shocking death, but again, the bag isn't actually seen hitting the ground. After another flashback and Manni's epiphany, the bag is seen falling from beneath before cutting to the telephone again.
    • The initial shot of the red phone spinning through the air in slow motion is the straight example. The camera cuts between its flight and Lola's face before dropping neatly into its cradle at the point that Lola comes to a decision.
  • Parodied in the French Canadian show Le Coeur A Ses Raisons. After receving "shocking" news from Becky ("Your sister is mean"), Brett drops a "precious" silver object of art on the floor. However, the object is really made out of plastic. Brett tries to break it twice before just throwing it offscreen.
  • Frequency had this, with both a glass at a bar mirroring his father sliding out to the ocean with the kid he was rescuing.
    • The two people falling into the Hudson River are actually Slow-Motion Fall. However, the fire helmet bouncing on the pavement is an example of this trope.
  • The 2008 Speed Racer live action film has an occasion. Mom drops her glass to shatter on the floor upon hearing oldest son Rex was killed in a crash.
  • Agent Kujan from The Usual Suspects drops his coffee mug when understanding of The Reveal begins trickling in, complete with multiple shots of the cup breaking and spraying coffee in slow motion.
  • The first Scary Movie parodied the coffee cup from The Usual Suspects; after it hit the ground, a goldfish was seen flopping about in the remnants.
  • Also parodied in Wrongfully Accused, where multiple objects were dropped along with the coffee cup.
  • In Ratatouille, after the Caustic Critic Anton Ego tastes the eponymous dish, he drops his pen and it falls in slow motion, making a loud "thud" as it falls.
  • In Selena, the ring dropping from her fingers as she dies.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Aragorn has a dream about Arwen dying and him dropping the Evenstar (which seems to represent Arwen's immortality), which breaks. In a much later scene in the Extended Edition, Aragorn looks into the Palantír to face Sauron, and he shows him the same scene of Arwen dying, to which he freaks out and steps back, dropping the Evenstar just as he had seen in the dream.
  • In George of the Jungle, Ursula's mother drops her wineglass in this fashion after Ursula's announcement that she no longer wants to marry Lyle.
  • In Turning Red, Ming drops a 4*Town sign which falls like this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Awaken: Jamie drops her cup and knocks her chair over when she regains some of her memories. Both fall in slow motion.
  • Babylon 5, with a snow globe being held by Delenn, on seeing that Sheridan's wife, previously thought dead, has stepped into his quarters.
    • We actually see it happen three times in as many episodes. Once as a Flash Forward, with the camera focusing on Delenn and a woman's voice off-screen saying "Hello." Then we see it again when it actually happens, again without knowing why Delenn was so shocked. Then in the next episode, they show that clip again as a Previously on…, but then this time finally provide the full context. Viewers had to wait half a season to find out why that damn snow globe was dropped. note 
  • Heroes:
    • Averted at the end of Season 2. The vial with strain 138 A is telekinetically caught by Peter right before it falls to the ground. This happens only because the writers' strike caused the devs to end the season prematurely; in the original version, the vial crashes to the floor in a spectacular display of this trope.
    • Played straight to the point of parody in season 1, when Sylar attempts to telekinetically carve open Peter Petrelli's skull, and his bangs fall to the ground with a disproportionately loud boom.
  • The pilot of Leverage has Eliot beat the everloving crap out of four armed goons in less time than it takes Hardison to drop a duffel bag, in slo-mo, to the floor.
  • When Kevin Spacey hosted Saturday Night Live a second time, he did a skit parodying his movie The Usual Suspects. In it Andy Samburg tells Kevin an elaborate story about why he couldn't make it to a rehearsal. Kevin believes but after Andy leaves, Kevin drops his mug in slo-mo just like Chazz Palmenteri did in the movie and he notices that everything in his dressing room was a part of Samburg's story.
  • Sherlock, In Season 3 Episode 2 of Sherlock, "The Sign of Three", Sherlock is the best man at John Watson's wedding. He talks about an unsolved murder of a Royal Guard that was killed in a locked shower stall with no weapon found. At the end of his speech Sherlock remembers something he heard while investigating the case and drops a wine glass in slow-mo when he realizes that the killer is at the wedding and must be in the room.
  • The last shot of the pilot episode of Sliders showed Quinn's wine glass falling and shattering in slow motion.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "Stardust City Rag", the scene slows down when Maddox drops the glass which contains the drugged tranya and it smashes on to the table.
  • Played With in Season 4 of Stranger Things. As Joyce experiences blurred vision and everything around her begins to move in slow-motion as a result of Yuri drugging her coffee, she drops coffee cup in slow motion when the sedative overwhelms her.
  • In the season two opener of Supernatural, Sam drops his paper coffee cup upon seeing his father's dead body.
  • The West Wing has this when Zoey is kidnapped. For added pathos (or Narm), the news is delivered while the Bartlets have family friends visiting and just after Zoey graduated from college; the President of the United States is looking through a collection of baby photos of Zoey as he's told about it, and they're what he drops.
    • Immediately followed by a Dramatic Shattering as the drink he was holding in his other hand smashes, in fast motion, on top of the stack of pictures, as he looks around at Abbey with a stricken look on his face. It may also be worth noting that the drop and shatter are how we know that he's learned the news, since there's no sound in this part of the scene.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has an early Flash Back where Princess Zelda, having just heard Zant's "surrender or die" ultimatum, drops her sword in slow motion, signifying her capitulation.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Unity, Arno Dorian drops his watch when, as a child, he sees his father's dead body.
  • If the King/Queen's crown gets knocked off their head in Kingdom, everything slows down as it flies through the air. If you can't retrieve it before the Greed get their claws on it, well...

     Web Original 
  • Homestar Runner does this in "Dangeresque: Puppet Squad" with a bowl of curly fries. Except they aren't actually falling in slow motion, they're being descended slowly on fishing lines.
  • The Daily Drop was a web series that was nothing but a new Slow Motion Drop every week. They vary from satisfyingly destructive (a toy robot dog gets the everloving crap beaten out of it), through otherworldly (Kooshes turn into alien life forms), to verging on comedic sociopathy (they drop a live cat, which lands safely. Then comes "Crowbar Is Ready"... at which point they throw up their hands and say "Nah.")

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, Marge buys a $400 bag to show off with and plans to return it as soon as possible. When Homer takes her to a expensive restaurant, he bites into a sauce-covered shrimp and a tiny speck of the sauce splashes onto Marge's bag, much to her horror.
  • An episode of Futurama where Fry's head was attached to Amy's shoulder following a car crash. Amy (with Fry's head attached) and a man she's on a date with have the following exchange;
    Date: "Do you want to go back to my house for coffee?"
    Amy: "I don't really like coffee."
    Date: "Neither do I..."
    Amy: "I feel a little tipsy."
    Date: "Let me...pick up the cheque."
    This trope is then played as the date's credit card falls.
  • This is one of many tropes frequently played up for melodrama on Clone High. In one example, Abe falls asleep during a standardized test, dropping his #2 pencil slowly to the floor, where it shatters (?) into four pieces.
  • Played for Laughs in The Emperor's New School. In one episode, Kuzco has an argument with Chaca and Tipo on who gets to live in the attic. Pacha and Chicha decide to settle this with a coin flip. When Pacha tosses it in the air, we see it very slowly fall and Chicha says "Next time, don't use the slow-motion coin."