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Tremor Trampoline

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When an earthquake usually hits, it tends to shake things up a bit. Sometimes, however, the ground can shake violently up and down. And when that happens, characters are bounced about, usually about a foot into the air.

And then there are cases when massive objects or large characters falling, and when they land, any nearby characters are flung into the air, usually much higher than the aforementioned earthquake. What's going on?

It's simple. The characters are on a Tremor Trampoline.

If the ground moves up so fast, physics kicks in, and the upward movement is transferred into the characters. When the ground suddenly reverses and falls, the upward movement remains in the characters, making them bounce.

And when there are heavy things making an impact, the energy spreads through the ground and propels everyone else nearby. It's a long story.

Compare Bad Vibrations, Shockwave Stomp and the Ground Punch.


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    Comic Strips 
  • One comic strip of Garfield shows Garfield bouncing up and down on some unknown surface, this surface waving and bending like it was gelatin. Garfield then identifies it as a hardwood floor when Jon shows up.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Song of the South, Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear get in a Big Ball of Violence, out of which Br'er Rabbit escapes while Bear pounds on Fox, thinking it's Rabbit. Every time Bear pounds Fox the ground shakes, which slows Rabbit's escape briefly.
  • Mowgli and Bagheera during the Elephant Patrol's introductory scene in The Jungle Book.
  • At one point in The Great Mouse Detective, Fidget kidnaps Olivia and imprisons her inside a glass bottle. Later, when Basil and Dawson escape Ratigan's Death Trap, a giant anvil that was part of said Death Trap comes crashing down, the impact of which bounces Olivia's bottle into the air and actually freeing her from inside.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man 8-Bit Deathmatch has Chaos Generator Upgraded, which applies three crazy effects during a match. One effect, called Jelly World, moves the level terrain so much that it literally makes players and items bounce up and down. While Jelly World is present in the original Chaos Generator release, the movement is less severe and did not feature the bouncing effect.
  • In Super Mario RPG, one of the residents in Monstro Town is a Thwomp, who, when talked to, will rise up and slam back down again, making everyone in the room bounce.
  • This is one of Gold Lightan's attacks in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, where he stomps the ground and sends the opponent flying. This stomp is also used in one of his hypers.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Bongo Bongo, who bounces the player about by drumming on the floor. The arena he is fought on is a giant drum, though, so it makes sense.
  • Mega Man V on the Game Boy had Uranus, who shook the ground violently with every jump. While it did not outright knock Mega Man over, like Guts Man's quakes did, it did make him bounce up and down slightly, which interrupts him out of sliding, or the usage of Break Dash, which Uranus is weak to.
    • Neptune, an earlier boss, could also shake the ground whenever he wanted to.
  • Mega Man Legends: In the first game's cutscene where Tron decides to confront Mega Man in her robot, the tremor from its landing proves strong enough to knock him off his feet. Averted during actual gameplay, however, as Mega will need to jump or side-roll through the incoming shockwaves.
  • After defeating Bowser in Super Mario Bros. 3, his resulting impact bounces Mario quite high into the air.
    • Large impacts in general (as from e.g. Sledge Bros. and Roy Koopa) stun Mario/Luigi by causing him to bounce slightly for a second or two, unless you're in the air at the moment of impact.
  • Mario Kart Wii has Maple Treeway, which features a massive bouncing net bridge near the end of the lap, which players can do tricks on for speed boosts. While the game has other wobbly areas, like in Bowser's Castle and Rainbow Road, the net bridge wobbles so much that it is the only place that can bounce stationary karts.
    • Maple Treeway also appeared in Mario Kart 7, but the bridge was removed in favour for a hangglider section.
    • Speaking of Mario Kart 7, near the end of Melody Motorway (or Music Park depending on game version), are large music-note creatures that jump up and down at intervals; all nearby karts get bounced into the air when they land.
    • The first undulating section in Mario Kart 7's version of Rainbow Road isn't strong enough to lift a kart by itself but it's second wavy ribbon segment later on is.
    • And in SNES Rainbow Road, the Thwomps cause ripples on the floor when they slam down. These ripples can then launch racers into the air.
  • The POW Block in Super Mario Bros. is this as well:
    • In the original Mario Bros., the POW Block works by bouncing the entire stage each time it's hit, which potentially flips enemies over so you can knock them away. As a result, it does not work on enemies currently in the air, especially Fighterflies. In two player mode, it also makes the other player bounce up slightly.
    • In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, a POW Block can be thrown to knock coins down to the ground from in the air. If any players (including whoever throws the POW Block) are standing on the ground, it also bounces them up slightly.
    • Interestingly averted with its appearance in Doki Doki Panic and its western counterpart, Super Mario Bros. 2. The POW Block can be thrown to defeat groundbound enemies, but does not bounce the player up.
    • In the first Super Smash Bros.. game, the only unlockable stage, Mushroom Kingdom, has a POW Block that when hit, violently shakes the stage, sending anyone standing on the ground flying high into the air, sometimes KO'ing at high percentages.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl featured the Mario Bros. stage, where the POW Block returns, but this time it simply harmlessly bounces groundbound characters a few feet into the air.
    • It appears again in Super Smash Bros. 4, this time as a fully fledged item. Once thrown by a character, it damages all ground bound opponents and throws them into the air, like in the first game, but the user themselves (as well as any potential team-mates) is also harmlessly affected, being bounced gently into the air as well.
  • In Wario Land 2 and 3, Wario's ground pounds are capable of bouncing enemies slightly into the air.
    • In Wario Land Shake It, bosses cause this when they slam into the ground. In fact, to beat some of the missions you have to avoid being on the ground when it shakes since otherwise Wario will fly up and get knocked out for a second.
  • Painkiller has the Guardian. If the player fails to jump when the boss slams the ground with his hammer, he will take damage and be catapulted into the air, and then take more damage from the resulting fall damage.
  • In Sonic Superstars, the first act of Press Factory Zone has an enormous piston in the background that regularly slams down. Every time it does so, all grounded player characters, enemies, and loose objects are launched into the air. Dr. Eggman's mech at the end of this zone is also equipped with a large piston that similarly causes the same bounce effect.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! had Gulp, who stomped the ground everytime he took damage. The impact bounces all the current items into the air (and Spyro as well, even if he was already in midair), destroying them. This was probably done to prevent Spyro from using the items against Gulp too quickly.
    • Stomping the ground won't save him from the permanent superflame powerup from 100% completion, however.
    • And probably due to the bouncing from Gulp's stomps, Ripto's throne falls out of the castle in the cutscene following the fight.
    • However, in the final battle, Mecha Gulp averts this and doesn't bounce anything up at all.
  • The second Mini-Boss in Adventure Island IV is giant snake whose jumps fling Master Higgins upwards unless he jumps first, but otherwise the earthquake causes no physical damage.
  • The second boss in Castlevania: Bloodlines can jump and cause an earthquake which bounces the player character quite high, likely increasing the chance of being hit by a falling boulder caused by said earthquake.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest has the boss of the marsh map, a giant antropomorphic crocodile that moves through the arena by jumping. If your current kong is on the ground when the boss lands, he or she will be stunned for a few seconds, rapidly shaking up and down in place. At first, the stun isn't enough for you to take damage (as the boss just isn't quick enough to hit you during its duration), so it serves as a warning about what's to come when he speeds up.
  • Can be invoked in LittleBigPlanet by attaching the structure of an entire level to a piston that moves up and down fast enough to make everything bounce.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, the Quake spell causes numerous glowing cracks to appear on the ground, splitting the battlefield into many small sections. These sections immediately start to rise and fall rapidly, causing the spell's target(s) to bounce up and down for the spell's duration.
  • In The King of Fighters, Goro Daimon's special move "Jiraishin" has him palm-striking the ground with both hands, causing a small quake. It just knocks grounded foes off their feet normally, but in later games, the EX version of it actually launches the foe up, open for being juggled. And then there's one of his strongest Limit Breaks, Kyouten Douchi, which is similar but more powerful that it outright makes craters.

    Western Animation 
  • This often happens in SpongeBob SquarePants whenever Pearl comes running in. In "Culture Shock", Pearl's cheerleading routine sends the whole crowd flying every time she jumps.
  • In the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Solid Serenade", the vibrations of Tom's bass shake Jerry out of bed.
  • Bugs Bunny and his hutch are shaken by a circus setting up overhead in the Looney Tunes short "Acrobatty Bunny".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Applebuck Season" — A stampede bounces Pinkie Pie up and down, and she cheerfully comments how it makes her voice sound silly.
  • Avalanche would often cause this in X-Men: Evolution.
  • In the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Nursery Crimes" has Chuck the evil tree wizard who's also a 906 pound giant. When he falls from the thin branch of his tree home he hits the ground with immense force. This happens to the group of happy villagers (who also bounce around if they were a single entity).

    Real Life 
  • A paticulary strong earthquake can bounce vehicles up and down on their tires for the duration of the quake.