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File:Montella1 9280.jpg


I'm a little airplane; nyow.

I'm a little airplane; nyow, nyow,

And wangeddy-wang,


I'm a little airplane now.
Jonathan Richman, "I'm a Little Airplane"

A strange position where a character in a generally good mood runs with their arms fully outstretched to the sides like the wings of an airplane. (Try it, it's fun!)

Ninja are also frequently portrayed running this way (with the arms swept farther back, like the wings on an F-14 Tomcat), though they now tend to prefer the Ninja Run. Samurai also run in a similar manner, usually while keeping one hand grasped onto their katana. In a more (apparently) realistic series this may have something to do with the runner having a reduced profile and thus being harder to hit with ranged weaponry, but it's generally just the Rule of Cool.

In modern Japan, this pose is known as "buun".

Examples of Airplane Arms include:

Anime and Manga

  • Episode 8 of Bubblegum Crisis shows Lisa Vanette running off in this manner after an exchange with Nene.
  • Ed from Cowboy Bebop does this quite frequently.
    • Complete with sound effects!
  • This is often done by younger characters, or characters who act much younger than they really are, and shows up in many an anime, including Goldfish Warning and Strawberry Marshmallow
  • Shinigami in Bleach use a variant of this running style, especially in combat or hurrying to the next scene/encounter.
  • Rin from Please Save My Earth
  • Souga in Tenshi na Konamaiki chases after Megumi in a Bird Run, and Fujiki imagines himself doing so across a field of flowers.
  • The ending credits to Mai-Otome follow Arika as she does a Bird Run across an endless field of stars.
  • Koshi Rikdo of Excel Saga does this in the opening credits. Excel herself does it quite often too.
  • For some reason, when Kanzaki Akari from Battle Athletes does this, she goes super fast.
    • This is parodied in the track episode of Azumanga Daioh. Chiyo, inspired to catch up, goes into this pose and promptly ends up running even slower.
    • Osaka tries a variant to keep people from passing her. It fails, mostly because her arms aren't twelve feet long.
  • Son Gohan and others in Dragon Ball.
  • As you'd expect from the mention of Ninja above, pretty much everyone in Naruto does this, either by running on the ground or by jumping and gliding from one rooftop/branch to another.
  • Taken a step up in Spirited Away, where Haku is able to swiftly hover inches above the ground by running this way.
  • Kitsune does this in Love Hina while looking for her drill in Episode 13.
  • Lucario does this in the Pokémon: Lucario and The Mystery of Mew movie.
  • Kuu in Haibane Renmei does this a lot. The bird-impression is enhanced since she actually has wings on her back.
  • Arale from Dr. Slump perhaps is not only the first manga/anime character to ever do this, but she's also probably responsible for the name, since she does it to pretend she's flying and makes a sound like a jet engine.


  • Misuzu often runs around like this in AIR, which is likely a hint about her background. That she falls down a lot may also be very symbolic in the show's context.
  • Inuyasha, whenever he's in a hurry.
  • Sayoko (a Ninja Maid) does this in Code Geass.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Puru was really fond of doing this while saying "Puru puru puru puru!". It's a recurrent gag in Super Robot Wars and other Gundam related videogames.
  • Kana from Minami-ke does this sometimes. In a desperate situation in episode 5 of Okawari, she Bird Runs all over town. (Unsurprisingly, she skins both knees in the process.)
  • Big O villain Schwarzwald plays this straight. After he initially discovers his flying giant robot he's so excited he can't help but run through the hangar with his arms outstretched.
  • Everyone runs with their arms trailing behind them aerodynamically in Saint Seiya, at least past the Sanctuary arc. This new style coincides with the updated, wispy character designs.
  • Mugen does this in an episode of Samurai Champloo. That this is done during the Edo period is due to Anachronism Stew.
  • Mihoshi does this a lot in Sora no Manimani.
  • In the sixth Hellsing OVA, the Nazi vampires run this way.
  • Noelle loves this pose, especially when she is about to glomp Yuusuke.
  • The entire Italian army does this while running away from lookout duty in "Axis Powers Hetalia".
  • Basically any major character who play soccer in Inazuma Eleven. Yes, even Endou the goal keeeper.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion : While piloting Unit 01, Shinji skips past airplane arms and goes straight to jet arms. 'Jet' specifically because he's breaking the sound barrier.
  • Daphne in the Brilliant Blue: Child!Maia in a flashback, used to hightlight how carefree she was back then.


  • In the dramatic Japanese story The Hidden Blade, a minor subplot is made about Japan's industrialization and revision of its military forces. An instructor comes to oversee the various samurai learn of the new ways to fight and quickly grows frustrated in their refusal to take his advice seriously. It hits its peak when they feel they can run fast enough in a way similar to a bird run (lean forward a bit, hands on the sheathed sword to quickly draw it) and laugh at the instructor's Western style. So he races and beats them. Badly.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Nathan does this for a moment during the song "Thankless Job".
  • In Enchanted, Giselle and a little girl (and eventually others) do this.
  • In Local Hero Danny does this at one point when he runs off down the street.
  • In V for Vendetta a young girl does this after recieving the costume
  • The Mayor in The Nightmare Before Christmas runs like this, due to his body's size and shape compared to his small feet.
  • Titanic: "I'm the king of the world!"

Live Action TV


  • Near the middle to end of Airplanes
  • Weezer's video for "The Good Life" has Matt Sharp and Patrick Wilson briefly doing a slo-mo airplane run together during the bridge of the song.

Video Games

  • King Trode in Dragon Quest VIII always runs like this. It may have something to do with how he's cursed to look like a little green troll for most of the game...
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has run this way ever since Sonic CD, his Super Mode also flies like this.
    • Parodied by one the many Uncanny Valley NPCs of Sonic 2006. A man with Sonic hair and a familiar dress style will challenge Sonic to a race, claiming to be the real Sonic, and he reenacts this style of running. He's really, really slow, though, and it's almost impossible to lose against him.
    • Tails (whether he's flying or not), Knuckles, Amy, Cream, and Eggman all do this when running full speed.
  • Aigis (the robot) in Persona 3. This looks especially funny when she has her sundress on. In FES's "The Answer" mode, she moves less like a jumbo jet and more like a quail—less stiff, but even more birdlike.
  • Sakura from Street Fighter runs into her matches this way and almost overbalances before assuming a fighting stance.
  • Mario has been doing this in the 2D platformers since Super Mario Bros 3.
    • And if he has the right item (such as the Cape in Super Mario World), he can take flight, making this almost a literal case of a Bird Run.
    • Also, when he first appears in Galaxy, Mario is seen running towards the Star Festival with his arms out, just because he's such a happy-go-lucky guy. Also, he can run like this in-game in Rainbow form.
  • Vincent Valentine of Final Fantasy VII does this during running animations. Since his character concept and design was basically the Rule of Cool personified, it's justified.
  • The Majestic 12 Commando in Deus Ex does something similar to this while aiming and firing its Arm Cannon-like machine-guns. It looks silly but they can and will mess you up six ways 'til Sunday.
  • Rumia and Suika from the Touhou series do this, with two different justifications: Rumia does it for What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic reasons (it helps that she keeps the pose while standing still), and Suika is always drunk.
    • Tamiflu Reimu.
  • Falco Lombardi runs in variations of this manner depending on the game. In the credits of Star Fox 64, he is seen running exactly this way. Probably appropriate, since he is essentially an anthropomorphic bird...
    • ... And in Brawl, it's actually Fox that sprints at a full-on Bird Run. Huh. Falco goes for more a Ninja Run for this game.
  • Marle in Chrono Cross.
  • Klonoa in the opening for Namco X Capcom.
  • One of 'Splosion Man's running animations
  • Altair and Ezio from the Assassin's Creed series do this whenever they're running on something narrow like a wire, wall or a fence.
    • Justified in that the outstretched arms help with balance.
  • Taokaka from Blaz Blue does this in her forward dash.
  • Kainé from Nie R runs this way.
  • Recette and Charme of Recettear do this when running through dungeons. Charme uses a dangerous variant, dual wielding knives that she holds out as if to cut things just by running by them. (Unfortunately, that doesn't actually work in the game.)
  • The Remake of Romancing SaGa has Jamil and most of the thieves/rogues/amazons running like this.
  • In League of Legends, Udyr being in his Pheonix Stance changes his run animation to running with airplane arms, tilting slightly to either side with each step like he's actually pretending to be an airplane.
  • The Acrobatics travel power in Champions Online also has the character running in this position. Therefore, the power is often mocked and (incorrectly) nicknamed Ninja Run.
  • Kunoichi in Samurai Warriors runs this way. Justified as she carries two large, very sharp knives in each hand, and running as fast as she does while keeping then close to her body may not be the best idea in the world. Ironically, Nene in the sequel keeps her arms much closer to her body, despite carrying an even larger pair of blades.


  • The track art for "Lifdoff" in Homestuck Vol. 7 features John doing this.
  • In Kiwi Blitz, robots run with their arms swept back. In The Rant, Mary Cagle explains that this is because their locomotion is quite different from a human's.

 Since they don’t have a human’s muscular system, it’s actually efficient for these gals to run NINJA STYLE. Unlike actual humans and/or narutos.


Western Animation

  • The teenage shuriken specialist Mai on Avatar: The Last Airbender.[1]
    • Toph does her own version sometimes, as well: [2].
    • Ty Lee does this when she runs on wires.
  • Freakazoid! extends his arms above his head ala Superman and makes wooshing noises to pretend he's flying. He can run super fast. He chooses to keep himself amused.
  • Goo from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends does this, along with stumbling around off-balance.
  • Happy!Raven does this when Beast Boy and Cyborg enter Raven's mirror in "Nevermore". It's their first hint that she isn't the Raven they're used to.
  • In the Looney Tunes Brother Brat, an aircaft worker leaves her son for Porky to babysit, enthusiastically telling him "We hafta build those planes!" and heading out with arms outstretched - and then seen flying off in the distance!

Real Life

  • This a fairly common celebratory dance for various sports, most notably scoring a goal in football (European football, mind you; the one Americans call "soccer")
    • Former Italian striker Vincenzo Montella (pictured above) was nicknamed "L'Aeroplanino" ("The Little Aeroplane") for his tendency to celebrate in this manner.
    • Jason Terry of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, nicknamed "The Jet", often does this after making a big shot.
  • One of the common house rules for Ultimate Frisbee mandates this trope. It's much harder than you'd think! Try throwing without using your elbow or shoulder, for example.