Visual Tropes Gallery of the Week: Men falling off of things

Men.  Now, I don’t want to come across as sexist or anything, but it’s time someone came out and said it: the problem with men is, that they are always – and I mean,  CONSTANTLY – falling off of things.

funny leaves for the younger branches
This is what I’m talking about.

You literally can’t take them anywhere.  Especially not anywhere that involves a moderately elevanted surface, am I right?

a railway mystery
Sometimes they fall out of trains.
loose rein by wanderer
Sometimes, it’s stairs that are the problem.
serpent on the hearth - falling down stairs
Honestly, stairs are probably just best avoided altogether.
curly an actor's story
Men should also, ideally, stay away from horses.
doctor comicus - the upset of the night coach
And coaches.
the adventures of tom hanson
Travelling by boat is not really a better option, though.
the novels of captain marryat - raft
As for rafts, forget it.
lord edward fitzgerald - falling off balcony
Balconies are not your friend, gentlemen.
lord edward fitzgerald 2
Neither are precipices.
skeleton horseman  - fall from battlements
As for battlements, surely it should go without saying?
michael's crag
Listen, we all know that at the smallest provocation, you’ll just hurl yourselves out into empty space.
the blues and the brigands
And if no excuse presents itself, you’ll just get a mate to do the throwing for you.
the adventures of sherlock holmes
I know it’s difficult for you, but just… try to be careful around windows, okay?
the oxford thackeray
And walls.  Walls are dangerous too.
the stupid boy
And whatever these things are.
with clive in india
Under no circumstances should you consider taking a job as an assassin.
a tramp abroad - keeping warm
And I’m sorry, but this?  This is just an accident waiting to happen.


Slightly baffled by this post?  It’s merely the culmination of a few months trawling the British Library Labs images corpus and noticing that there is a very strong tradition of illustrating men falling off of, or out of things.  I wasn’t aware beforehand that this was a stereotype, but now I’m completely convinced. There are almost more pictures of men going flying (by accident, not on purpose) than there are of cats, or fairies, or ladies fainting, or images of the subjugated peoples of the British Empire that make me slightly uncomfortable.

And no, since you ask, there are very few of women taking spills: so far the only one I’ve been able to locate is this one.  Of course, Maria’s Image of the Week from yesterday does depict a lady plunging through space… but I’d suggest that she’s in fact made a conscious decision to do so!




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