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A character is falling from a great height and has no conventional parachute. What to do? Improvise with something else! Usually it's an article of clothing, though a Rubber Man can make himself/herself the parachute.
Please Don't Try This At Home unless you are, yourself, falling from a great height and have no parachute.
- Spider-Man on at least one occasion created a parachute using his web shooters.
- In some Silver Age Batman stories, Batman's cape doubles as a parachute.
- Indiana Jones used a blanket once.
- In the comic-only sequel to The Great Mouse Detective, it is revealed that Rattigan survived his fall from Big Ben by using his cape as an improvised parachute.
- Indiana Jones used an inflatable liferaft when the plane he was on was about to crash into a mountain in Temple of Doom.
- The Baroness' long skirt in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang also acts as a parachute when she is shot into the air by Grandpa.
- In The Da Vinci Code, Robert Langdon saves himself with a piece of plastic this way. Probably the least expected object to become a Chekhov's Gun.
- In Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Pee-Wee and Mickey drive off a cliff, and the convertible top of their car serves as a parachute.
- Disney's Aladdin: Aladdin and Abu use a rug as one when they jump out a window during the song "One Jump Ahead".
- In Angels and Demons, Langdon used a tarp to slow down the fall from an exploding helicopter.
- In Super Folks, the Lois Lane expy's skirt acts as a parachute when she is thrown off a skyscraper. It turns out she is not wearing underwear which gives quite a show to the rescue workers below.
- Using various items as parachutes was part of an experiment on Brainiac Science Abuse.
- The Myth Busters tested an inflatable raft as a parachute. It technically worked, but was not reliable.
- They also tried the plywood parachute. It didn't work... at all.
- An odd example: In one episode of the 2010 Human Target TV adaptation, Christopher Chance and his client use one to stop from great speed, rather than fall safely.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: While The Skydivers doesn't use this trope at any point, Tom Servo quips that one character's enormous, sculpted hairdo could be used in this way.
Tom Servo: I predict that in the final scene, she jumps without a parachute and then her hair opens up.
- In Chinese mythology, Shun is often considered to be the first parachutist. According to legend, Shun was repairing the roof of a granary when his father and step-brother set it on fire. Shun escaped by using two big straw hats as an improvised parachute.
- American McGee's Alice: Alice's dress slows down her fall (and also helps her float over air vents).
- Princess Peach uses her dress as a parachute in Super Mario Bros 2 and several other Mario games.
- Psychonauts: Raz can use his psychic powers to create an improvised parachute - he creates a literal Thought Bubble and grabs onto the dotted bit.
- Mario's Cape in Super Mario World can be used like this to glide.
- Kurt Hectic's coil suit in MDK has long streaks that, when held like a hood, lets Kurt either glide or float downwards softly, or get carried to great heights if he's in an updraft.
- Subverted in Schlock Mercenary, when the amorphous Schlock plans to jump off the top of a skyscraper with a big canister of valuables, using himself as a parachute... but it doesn't work, and he winds up having to improvise on the way down, turning the parachuting into a bungee-jump...
- In Casey and Andy, Quantum Crook saved himself from falling into lava by making a parachute out of his trenchcoat and boot laces.
- The Herculoids
- In "Defeat of Ogron", Gloop takes the shape of a parachute to lower Zandor to safety.
- In "Mekkor" Gleep provides this for Dorno.
- Samurai Jack: Jack uses his own clothes as a parachute in order to reach greater heights using blasts of air from the ground.
- In one Tom and Jerry cartoon, Jerry uses a bra as a parachute.
- In The Incredibles, Elastigirl uses herself as an improvised parachute after Syndrome blows her plane out of the sky.
- Using her kids as ballast.
- She does this again during the climax when she has to save Jack-Jack after he falls out of the arms of Syndrome.
- Jackie Chan Adventures: After a fight against the Dark Hand off a snowy cliff, Jackie grabs the shirt off Tohru and uses it as a parachute.
- Happens again in a later episode when he jumps out the window of a castle to escape the Shadowkahn and uses the curtain as a parachute to get down the side of the cliff safely.
- The Magician often used his cape this way.
- On the Dungeons & Dragons episode "Day of the Dungeon Master", Presto's magic hat acts as a parachute when the gang fall off the back of a roc — for all of them but Eric, who misses his grip and has to be saved by Hank.
- Alice's dress in Disney's animated version of Alice in Wonderland.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Pizza Delivery", the pizza SpongeBob is delivering becomes a parachute, held to the box by strings of cheese.
- Early in the "Jungle Jeopardy" episode of The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Penelope uses her scarf as a parachute after her airplane falls apart in flight.
- One episode of the 1960s Inspector Clouseau cartoon had him and Sgt. Deux-Deux falling from the cliff. Deux-Deux grabbed the tent he was carrying, saving both him and Inspector. Unfortunately they landed next to a hungry tiger.
- Hammerman's parachute pants.