Follow TV Tropes


Slow-Motion Fall

Go To
"Ground floor comin' up."

Hikaru: He's created a new technique!
Kaoru: One-Man Slow Motion!

Similar to a Slow-Motion Drop but instead of an inanimate object dropping, we see a person falling backwards (or, rarely, forwards) in slow-motion, usually, after being shot. Bonus points if their True Companions are watching: it's the cue for an appropriately slowed down Big "NO!". There's a bit of Truth in Television to this, as stressful situations can cause people's perception of time to slow down due to the adrenaline pumping.

See also Disney Villain Death. Sub-Trope of Death Is Dramatic. If it goes on long enough for it to start being funny, it's I Fell for Hours.

Be warned that this is frequently a Death Trope!


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the first episode of Bakemonogatari, Senjogahara falls from a staircase.
  • A fixture in Bleach combat scenes, if almost never fatal.
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • Julia. This one comes with Disturbed Doves in the background...
    • When Spike falls from the stained glass window in the first chapter featuring Vicious, we get one of the slowest drops of all time. Spike falls through the air for fully 1 minute 50 seconds as both he and Vicious have flashbacks, some of which are themselves in slow motion.
  • Despite the extreme Anyone Can Die atmosphere, only happens once in Death Note.
  • In Fairy Tail, after Acnologia rips Igneel's left side of his body, he falls down in slow motion all the while Natsu looks on in shock.
  • Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist, when he's shot in a phone booth.
  • Various Gundams like to do this, especially since Anyone Can Die.
  • Haibane Renmei begins with Rakka falling out of the sky.
  • Parodied in Lucky Star: "The drawing hand is an artist's everything..."
  • Madlax "killed" by Margaret for the first time right after Vanessa's death.
  • Poor Umi in Magic Knight Rayearth after Alcyone uses her for icicle target practice. Complete with wide-eyed stare from Hikaru and Fuu.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam uses this during a holographic re-creation of the Kasshu family's downfall, when Domon's mother intercepts a bullet meant for her other son, Kyoji. Domon does a slow-motion dive for her as she falls dead.
  • The Last Guidance in Noir. Probably a homage to the above is the scene in El Cazador de la Bruja when Nadie falls down after being apparently shot but it turns out she just slipped on the ice.
  • Happens to Haruhi in the last episode of Ouran High School Host Club, though she was just thrown over the side of a bridge instead of being shot. The thing is, she falls so slowly that Tamaki has time to say thanks to Eclaire, get out of a carriage, jump over a car and off a bridge, grab and hug Haruhi, and execute a swan dive before she actually starts falling. Lampshaded in episode 4 when Tamaki collapses after being repeatedly insulted by Renge.
  • Reborn! (2004): Whenever Reborn shoots Tsuna with the "Dying Will Bullets" he is shown falling backwards in a show of dying to the ground before getting a fierce expression on his face and going into "Dying Will Mode", complete with massive Clothing Damage.

    Film — Animated 
  • In Big Hero 6, when Baymax and Hiro fall from the window at the secret microbot factory, the scene goes into slow motion.
  • In the climax of Finding Dory, when Hank sends the truck to Cleveland careening off a cliff and into the ocean, opening the doors and sending all the creatures in the back released, including Dory, from captivity and back into the their homes in the ocean, all set to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World".
  • Megamind begins his story by falling to his death.
  • In Toy Story 3, when Bonnie tosses her dolls in the air, for a short moment we see Woody falling in slow motion.
  • In Turning Red, when Mei jumps off Mr. Gao's roof toward her family's temple, the shot of her falling is played in slow motion to act as a Hope Spot that she'll land within the temple walls.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: During the climax, when Ralph plunges into the stack of Mentos, there is a swift moment of him falling in slow motion, almost like floating in mid-air.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 300 had a scene in which a character's head gets chopped off and falls in slow motion.
    • Parodied in Meet The Spartans, in which the character had time to do that pump chest peace out thing.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when the title characters shot down the Bolivian bandits.
  • Hans Gruber in Die Hard, though he actually falls at normal speed after the first twenty feet or so.
  • Mirena, the wife of Vlad, falling to her death in Dracula Untold.
  • Dredd (2012) has two of these, both P.O.V. Cam shots where the victim had their perception slowed down thanks to the drug Slo-Mo. They almost edge into I Fell for Hours. This also happens at the end when Dredd subjects Ma-Ma to her own drug before throwing her out the window.
  • In Frequency, Dennis Quaid did a slo-mo fall out of a burning building into the Hudson River, followed by his helmet bouncing on the pavement.
  • Dumbledore's death leads to this in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
  • Mr. Yoon falling to his death in The Host (2006).
  • Several in Inception, but everyone who does fall is alright since they're used as a method of waking a dreaming team member up or as a way for a dreaming person to quickly wake themselves up.
    • The part where the van falls into the river, which takes half the movie to finish falling.
    • Cars going off a bridge in slow motion seems to have become a standard ever since Inception, see similar scenes in Cloud Atlas and Unknown (2011).
  • Justice League: Diana/Wonder Woman's fall during the fight against Steppenwolf in the tunnels. She tries to grab her sword during the fall, and when Flash enters his Super-Speed mode, the slow motion almost gets to a standstill (from his perspective) as he runs on the wall to hit the tip of his finger to send the sword back in Diana's hand.
  • Happens to Isabeau in Ladyhawke. Before she hits the ground, sun rises and her curse turns her back into a hawk.
  • Jack Slater's fall from the elevator in Last Action Hero.
  • The Lethal Weapon films feature Riggs in non-lethal examples:
    • Jumping along with the suicidal guy (they're supposedly cuffed together; you can see the stunt doubles jumping uncuffed) in I.
    • Falling, along with Leo Getz and an unknown goon, into a swimming pool, in II.
    • Falling, then hanging on for dear life after driving a motorcycle off an unfinished freeway ramp, then falling again on to some scaffold, in III (both falls can be seen in the preview).
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Done with Boromir at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring. When the first arrow hits him, he staggers and falls slowly to his knees... but, since this is his Dying Moment of Awesome, he stands back up and keeps fighting while the scene remains in slow motion. It's repeated when he's hit by a second arrow, falls, and stands again, but the third arrow finishes it. The scene returns to normal speed when Aragorn crashes into the Uruk-Hai archer.
    • Haldir's death in The Two Towers movie is an interesting take on this as we see it through his eyes. Followed promptly by a Foe-Tossing Charge by Aragorn.
  • The Matrix Reloaded: At the start of the film, Neo has been having recurring dreams where his lover Trinity falls out of an office window when she's cornered by an agent, while turning around and shooting at him until he kills her. Then it seems to happen for real, but Neo ultimately saves her before she hits the ground and removes the bullet with his matrix-warping powers.
  • In Maze Runner: The Death Cure, this is how Teresa's death is portrayed, falling from a crumbling helipad.
  • The Professional has a first-person POV example after Leon is shot in the back by the Big Bad.
  • The Room (2003): Johnny falls backwards in slow motion after eating his gun.
  • The ending of Hitchcock's Saboteur, where the villain falls from the Statue of Liberty leaving the hero holding onto an empty jacket sleeve.
  • In Seven Samurai, Kyuzo's first scene establishes him as a stoic Master Swordsman by showing him defeat a man in a duel with a single stroke. An early example of this trope is played to great effect as we see Kyuzo's opponent fall.
  • Done for hilarity and/or cruelty in Shaolin Soccer when a woman slipping on a banana peel is stretched out to more than a minute with multiple camera angles for good measure. In the epilogue, she slips on another peel, but has now learned Kung Fu, so she rights herself in mid-air and then performs a Slow-Motion Pass-By on the man who popularized Kung Fu for a new generation.
  • Star Wars:
  • Aman's wife for good in Survive Style 5+.
  • The Comedian being thrown through the glass in The Movie of Watchmen, as seen in the trailer.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 4th season of Big Love featured lots of Slow Motion Falling in its teaser and new opening credits sequence, presumably reflecting the fears of the characters about being exiled from their church.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Age of Steel": The parallel universe Cyber-Controller falls to his doom after Pete Tyler cuts the ladder the Controller is climbing with the sonic screwdriver.
    • "Voyage of the Damned": Four characters fall into the Titanic's nuclear storm drive this way. One of which was by forklift.
  • Engine Sentai Go-onger had Sosuke collapses and turns into rust due to a device given to him by one of the villains. He gets better though.
  • Colin in the first season of Everwood. While he doesn't die, it's the beginning of the end for him.
  • Kamen Rider Drive features one played so literally, the victim managed to land on his feet, rather than falling to his death. This is caused by the enemy's "Slowdown" phenomena.
  • Parodied in the finale of Newhart when Dick is hit in the head by a golf ball and slumps to the ground in slow motion as the soundtrack becomes heavily reverberant. Cut to the reveal that the entire series was All Just a Dream.


  • The Light in the Piazza has an indirect one- there's a song in which Margaret describes her daughter's slow motion fall, but we don't actually see it, which wouldn't work on stage anyway and is much more effective.
  • Spies Are Forever uses this trope for comedy for Owen's fall during the failed mission. He makes an exaggerated face and falls in slow motion as Curt reaches out slowly with a similarly goofy face.

    Video Games 
  • Near the end of Resident Evil 5, Chris and Sheva open up the plane's cargo door to make Wesker fall out. Wesker grabs Sheva's ankle in attempt to me drag her out with him. Sheva loses her grip and the scene of her and Wesker falling plays in slow motion. If you fail to grab her in time, Sheva is sucked out of the plane with Wesker, ending in a game over.
  • Each of the colossi in Shadow of the Colossus get one when they die. They fall slowly because of their size. Amusingly, the small ones get the same length music and cutscene, even though they take only a half-second or so to drop.
  • Tsumuji's mother in Shounen Kininden Tsumuji pushes Tsumuji into a hole to save him and he falls in slowly before she is turned to stone.
  • Shield Knight from Shovel Knight is shown falling in slow-motion on several occasions, giving Shovel Knight an opportunity to catch her.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force has a villain falling sideways, towards the gravitation pull of the Milky Way Galaxy's sun which he's trying to harvest for its resources, and setting up Kevin for a Save the Villain moment. Which winds up subverted, Kevin lets him continue being pulled into the sun and his death because he was the one that killed Kevin's father.
  • Happens to Vakama in BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows, with Nokama, who is one of his True Companions, watching in horror.
  • Family Guy
    • "Stewie Kills Lois", with Lois falling in slo-mo off the ship's railing.
    • Nazi puppeteer Franz at the end of his battle with Herbert.
  • The death of Diane Simmons, after she becomes a serial killer; after Stewie shoots her she plummets over a cliff into the sea.
  • Steven Universe: "The Return" has Garnet falling slowly backwards after being hit by a Gem destabilizer. For bonus gut-wrenching, it happens right in front of Steven, and she's physically splitting apart at the time.
  • Used in X-Men: Evolution when Rogue Pushes Mystique off a cliff. Nightcrawler tries to BAMF down to save her, but he can't get there in time. When she finally comes to a halt in pieces at the bottom of the cliff, he teleports down there and starts crying over her remains.


Video Example(s):


Blood bag blast

Gus, who's severely hemophobic, goes catatonic after Shawn accidentally squirts him with a blood bag.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThousandYardStare

Media sources: