• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

The bartender slides the cup, mug or shot glass across the bar to a patron. Sometimes, the patron may fail to catch it and it falls off the bar, revealing that he has never visited a bar before.

Variations include:

  • sliding other items and/or objects directly into somebody's hand across a bar or other flat surface.
  • a person being slid across the bar in a Bar Brawl scene.

A common trope in Westerns.

For more complex bar-related theatrics, see Flair Bartending.

Examples of Bar Slide include:


  • In Penelope, the heroine has left her house for the first time in her life and has gone into a bar to get the "real" experience. The bartender cheerfully slides her over a beer, but she is so insulated that she does not even know she is supposed to catch it and stares at the glass in surprise at it slides off the bar and shatters on the ground. The bartender explains that she is supposed to catch it and slides her another on the house.
  • The Back to The Future trilogy:
    • George goes into Lou's Cafe and orders chocolate milk; Lou slides the drink to him on the bar counter.
      • An outtake of this has him put his hand down in the wrong place. Hilarity Ensues, and a change of clothes, ensue.
    • The saloon tender slides Marty McFly a gun right before the big showdown in Back to The Future 3.
  • In Hudson Hawk, when Eddie orders a cappucino, the bartender slides it down the bar to him.
  • In Spy Kids, Gregorio Cortez slides a ringbox across the railing of the Eiffel Tower to Ingrid to propose to her.
  • Bethany in Dogma slides herself down the length of the bar in order to reach the sink, which she's been ordered to bless.
  • Does sliding a Girl Scout down the bar count? If so, then add Airplane!! to the list.
  • In Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill and Ted are slid down the bar and into a wall where some dancer girls are. Unsurprisingly, they try to go back for another peek after being pulled out.
  • Secondhand Lions uses the fight scene variant when Badass Grandpa Hubb is fighting a group of thugs in a diner (?).

Walter: But there's four of 'em! * thug thrown over the bar* Three of 'em!

  • In I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, Momma slides a thug down the counter of a coffee shop.
  • Blazing Saddles. A cowboy is slid down the buffet counter of the Warner Bros. commissary. When he gets to the end, the register clerk charges him based on the splashes of food on his clothing.
  • Happens in Xanadu during the "country" portion of the closing musical number.
  • In Hot Tub Time Machine, Lou tries this to a girl. She's staring at him but ignores the shotglass, which shatters on the wall next to her. As does the second one.
  • In Superman II at the end Clark goes back to the diner they he got into a fight with a trucker jerk after having his powers taken away and getting himself beat up. After letting the guy hit him and hurt himself doing it he puts him on his food try and slides him down into the bar into a pinball machine before paying them for the damage and leaving.
  • The title character does this to a sleazy stalker in the opening scene of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
  • The Three Stooges used this in a number of shorts, often with one of the Stooges bending over at the edge of the counter and the drink (or perhaps bowl of soup) spilling on his back.

Live Action TV

  • An episode of Cheers revolved around Sam's incredible curving bar slide, which had never been seen before nor was ever seen again.
  • Happens in that one Friends episode where Joey is hired to be a perfume sample guy in a department store...wearing a cowboy outfit. Made even better by the fact that Chandler has squeezed a juice box into a tumbler for full effect.
  • In Heroes, Future!Peter uses his telekinesis to visually invoke this. Sylar does the same thing, only with some coffee in a Greasy Spoon instead of at a bar (Television Without Pity: "So he can grab his coffee without moving his forearms? DAMN YOU, EVOLUTION!")
  • One of Earl's deeds in My Name Is Earl was to fix the bar; otherwise, whenever someone tried to do this, someone had to grab the beer half-way through and move it over the dent in the bar.
  • How I Met Your Mother had an extended homage to Cocktail which involved this. Predictably, Barney and Ted broke a lot of glasses.
  • One episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway had Colin playing Sound Effects as an Old West sheriff. When the bartender starts slinging beers too fast, he blows up a glove cartoon-style and catches it, earning a round of applause from the audience.
  • In the Torchwood episode "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", Captain John slides Captain Jack across the bar as they fight, smashing the glasses he's been drinking out of as he does so.
  • The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble With Tribbles".
  • Happens in The Goodies, specifically the Western parody "Bunfight at the O.K. Tearooms". The surly barmaid slides two dainty teacups down the bar to Tim and Bill, who fail to catch them.
  • Sam from Supernatural is a fan of the first variant, often sliding whatever is in his hand over to Dean. Dean does the reverse, but not as often.
  • Gwaine from Merlin was slid across the bar during a brawl in 3x08.
  • A task in Season 6 of The Amazing Race had the teams do this while aiming for a target on a bar made entirely of ice.
  • The basis for one of the physical challenges on Double Dare - though with a "root beer-like substance", of course (and later green slime).


  • Genesis' music video for their 1983 song "Illegal Alien"—which is about exactly what you think it's about—features one of these, with all three (British) band members dressed as Mexicans seated at a bar...and all three miss the glass.
  • I Love This Bar by Toby Keith. The opening scene is a pretentious yuppie chewing somebody out over his cell phone as he strides into a blue-collar bar. He barks an order at the bartender, who slides it down. The yuppie misses. The glass continues down the bar, knocking the beers from the hands of two heavily tattooed, mustached, sunglasses-wearing blue-collar bad boys. There is a collective gasp from the bar at this faux pas. The regulars refuse to take it well, and the song begins as the yuppie starts receiving an ass-beating. It gets stranger from there. the two regulars also use the second version of the trope by sliding the yuppie down the bar-much to the barkeep's dismay.

Video Games

  • A weird example in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, where a skeleton bartender does this as an attack. Not to mention his death animation.
  • Godot from Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations has this down to an art with mugs of Coffee across his prosecutor bench.
  • Subverted in Freddy fish, an inexperienced bartender slides an ice cream float to Freddy and it smashes on the floor.
  • The 1983 Midway arcade game Root Beer Tapper featured this as a game mechanic.
    • Earlier editions of this game are just called Tapper and feature Budweiser logos on the taps and in the in-game bar. The root beer version is presumably to placate Moral Guardians.
  • The Super NES game Bugs Bunny Rabbit Rampage had bartenders sliding beers in level 2.1, which took place in a saloon.
  • One of the microgames in the first Wario Ware game is to catch a drink being slid down the bar.
    • Its sequel, Wario Ware: Twisted!, has you passing a drink to the patron by physically tilting the bar itself.
  • The Wild West chapter of Live a Live features one of the bad guys ordering a glass of milk and sliding it to the chapter's protagonist, the Sundown Kid. You can choose to slide it back.
  • A primitive Game & Watch-style clamshell portable, Western Bar, required the player to move back and forth to avoid getting hit by thrown ashtrays and plates while shooting plates and bottles being barslid by the 'tender. It also had bossfights with some mean-looking cowboys.
  • In Fable II, the bartender job consists entirely of filling frothy mugs and sliding them down the bar.
  • In The Town With No Name, one can order bartender a drink which must be caught before it slides off.
  • In The Simpsons NES game Bart vs. the World, a minigame includes jumping over drinks that Moe slides down his bar, while catching the power-ups.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In the Tex Avery cartoon "The Shooting of Dan McGoo," a beer thus slid navigates a sharp curve, then stops at a miniature intersection to let other beers cross. Starts at 2:12.
  • In one of the Lucky Luke cartoons, a bartender sends Luke his beer at the other end of the bar. Along the way, it swerves several times and even splits itself in half to go around a mug before being snatched up by one of the saloon girls.