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One or more characters fall, usually into a dark hole. One of them calls out that they're OK, because something soft broke their fall. Cue another character answering that they were the "something soft" in question.
- In Shugo Chara!, Amu meets Ikuto when she falls down a hole and lands on him.
- Both in the manga and in the Anime adaptation of D.N.Angel, Riku falls of a cliff with Daisuke Niwa, and Daisuke on the bottom when they hit the ground, cushioning the fall. In the English translation at least, the dialogue follows the model outlined in the trope description.
- Happens in Cattivik twice in the same story. The first time he lands on something "bouncy" revealed to be the breasts of a prostitute. Later he's sent flying again and this time lands on something soft and hairy, revealed to be the back of a polar bear in the zoo.
- In Johnny English, the title character falls on his flunky when investigating the hole in the floor of the crown jewel room.
- The Discworld series has multiple examples:
- In Wyrd Sisters, Magrat falls on "something soft" from a great height, which turns out to be the Fool.
- Vimes believes it doesn't really count as killing someone when you fall off a roof and it's even odds who ends up on bottom when you land.
- In The Wheel of Time, with Born Lucky Mat Cauthon, it is far better than even odds that he will end up on top in such a fall. He once killed an attacker by intentionally throwing himself off the roof while grabbing with them. He landed on top and the other person died in the impact.
Carter: A hypothetical guy falls maybe fifty feet, lands flat on the ground, and then another guy weighing 180 falls, and lands on top of him. Okay, what is the chance of the hypothetical guy getting up and walking away? [...]
Henry: Look, this hypothetical guy: is that you?
Carter: No. I landed on the hypothetical guy, though.
Agent Mulder: "It's ok - my ass broke the fall."
- Intentionally invoked by Parker from Leverage when she jumped out of a window and used Eliot to break her fall.
- In an episode of QI, discussing the persistent myth that if you're in an elevator that's crashing, you can negate the effects by jumping into the air right before it hits the ground, Stephen revealed the actual best survival method: "Basically, lie on a fat person." (As well as the information that elevators pretty much never break like that.)
- From The Basil Brush Show
Mr Steven: "Why is it I land on my head and YOU land on my dead too?
Basil Brush: "Do the words SOFT LANDING mean anything?
- In Fire Emblem Hector finds himself in the "something soft" position to both Florina AND her Pegasus! Which is ironic in that he wears so much armor, you'd hardly expect a soft landing.
- In Super Paper Mario, Bowser and O'Chunks were last seen holding up a Descending Ceiling. The camera cuts to Mario and his friends in another room, and we hear the ceiling come down, suggesting Bowser and O'Chunks were crushed. Later, we see Princess Peach and Mimi fall down a hole in the floor, into their apparent doom. Eventually, Bowser and Peach return unscathed during the battle with Count Bleck.
Tippi: You're all here... But how?
Bowser: I fell through the floor before I got flattened by the ceiling.
Peach: I fell through, too, and landed right on Bowser! It was a surprisingly soft landing...
- In Dwarf Fortress, a fall of any length can be broken if the faller lands on another creature, without damage to either party, even if falling through a hole that leads from as high in the sky as you can build down into a specially-prepared room in the magma sea.
- Devil Survivor 2's protagonist ended up cushioning the fall of two of his female teammates due to a teleportation accident involving the three of them. He can respond with delight or frustration.
- In Girl Genius, Jagers are polite about this.
- In Sequential Art, Art "landed on something soft"
- In Order of the Stick, this becomes a Running Gag, but is then Subverted - and Lampshaded - when it fails to happen at a truly critical moment.
- Spinnerette features a variation - the superpowered title character gets defenestrated by an angry friend, but the friend's car breaks the fall.
- From Eight Bit Theater: "You're standing on my kidneys..."
- In The Oz Kids, this happens to Scarecrow Jr. twice in the same episode.
- In My Gym Partner's a Monkey, after Jake Spidermonkey gains a huge amount of weight, he falls through the floor, but later calls up to Adam that "Principal Pixiefrog broke my fall!"
- In Futurama, Bender has done this to Fry several times.
- Fat Albert serves as one of these in the Halloween episode, he was trying to catch the target regularly but it didn't go smoothly.