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File:Sbahjstairs 9005.png
Hella Jeff, Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff {{[[[Stylistic Suck]] sic}}]

Stairs can be dangerous if you misstep and fall down, even worse depending on how long it is. Still, it can be funny, especially in cartoons.

This is one of the common ways a Fright Deathtrap is used to kill someone. It can be caused by a case of Mind Your Step, but there are plenty of ways to misstep and fall without the stairs containing a trap or problem.

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Anime and Manga

  • Nobita from Doraemon has fallen down the stairs many times with comedic results.
  • Played with horribly with Yukari in Another. She falls down the school stairs which is bad enough, and then she gets an Impromptu Tracheotomy from her umbrella
    • Stairs also have a "part" in Junta's demise. He falls down those of his home and hits his head, which creates and aneurysm that bursts and kills him few hours later
  • Several people have either accidentally died or have been murdered like this in Detective Conan.

Comic Books

  • In what could be the most evil and mean-spirited example of this trope, in Ultimate X-Men, Mr. Sinister introduces Professor Xavier, who is in a wheelchair, to "his one enemy... stairs". The image of this quickly became meme-worthy.


  • In the movie Surf Ninjas, during the final epic battle, an enemy Mooks gets knocked down a flight of stairs that runs up the entire mountainside. He manages to climb back up before the battle ends but gets knocked down a second time. By the time he gets back up again the battle's ended and when told "It's over. Your side lost." He shrugs and willingly throws himself down the stairs again.
  • I'm Gonna Git You Sucka: as a Running Gag, each time Mr. Big's two Mooks Leonard and Willie get captured by the good guys or screw up a mission they're given the option of going out the window or down the stairs. They almost always choose the stairs, after which the camera cuts to a scene of them tumbling painfully down the stairs.
  • Used as a recurring joke in Kung Fu Panda, in reference to actual stairs on ancient shrines, and how out of shape Po is.
  • A non-malicious example: in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Sam pushes Flint down the bouncy stairs in the Jell-O Castle.
  • Pinocchio did this on stage at the start of his number "I've Got No Strings." Not really injurious, but humiliating.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indy and his dad escape through Castle Brunwald only to find themselves at a dead end. Indy tries looking for a secret exit; his dad ends up finding it when he sits down and leans back in a chair, revealing a hidden staircase. Unfortunately, Indy was standing right on top of it at the time...


  • The Book Of Margery Kempe has the husband of the titular character fall down the stairs and getting heavily wounded by it, and potentially mentally challenged. He dies.
  • Used in several Agatha Christie books. Discussed by Hercule Poirot as a typical way of murdering rich, elderly relatives.
  • In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett miscarries her fourth pregnancy (ironically, the only one she was actually pleased by) after falling down the stairs.
  • In Dragondrums, Piemur takes a nasty spill while running up stone stairs, "courtesy" of some of his fellow apprentices "thinking" it would be funny to grease some of the steps (this bunch had earlier shown a taste for nasty pranks against him, such as "anointing" his belongings with bodily wastes while he was away).

Live Action TV


  • Played for Laughs in Key of Awesome's parody of Kesha's "Tic-Toc" music video. The actress who played Kesha commented several times that the staircase scene was the hardest one she has ever done for the KOA.
  • Happens to the narrator in Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" as a consequence of his drinking.

Nursery Rhymes

Real Life

Video Games

  • In some Roguelikes attempting to use the stairs while confused or carrying to much weight can cause you to trip and fall down the stairs, causing you damage (and hence possibly killing you).
  • This was a common way to die in old adventure games, especially Sierra games, which mocked the player for the various ways in which you could get yourself killed by performing ordinary tasks. The King's Quest series is a particularly bad offender.
  • In Deardrops, Shinichi pushed his fellow violinist Johan down a flight of stairs on impulse, injuring him, due to stress.
  • In the otome Visual Novel, (P)lanets, the main character gains her telepathic powers after tripping down a flight of stairs at her school.
  • Mamoru Akasaka's pregnant wife Yukie dies like this in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's arc Himatsubushi-hen.

Web Animation

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In The Simpsons episode "My Sister, My Sitter," a major plot point is that Lisa accidentally causes Bart to tumble down the stairs in his house. The rest of the episode is about her trying to find medical help for Bart while everyone gets the wrong impression that she had beaten Bart.
    • In an early episode, Homer fell down the stairs tripping on Bart's skateboard angering at his son's hallway mess. He spent the first act laying on the couch due to his back pain.
    • A Running Gag in "Bart the Mother" is Homer falling down the basement stairs due to Bart's actions.
  • A major subplot in Family Guy episode "Brian Griffin's House of Payne" when Chris and Meg's misbehavior pushed Stewie down the stairs causing a severe head wound.
    • One cutaway gag shows Bobby McFerrin falling down the stairs.
  • In the Dexter's Laboratory episode "SDRAWKCAB", Dexter gets manipulated into running up and down a flight of stairs, causing his father standing next to him to get dizzy and come tumbling down.
  • The episode "Girlfriendklok" in Metalocalypse has Nathan's girlfriend falling down several flights of stairs, placing her in a coma.
  • Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy: in episode "Dear Ed"

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