Tumbling down a staircase is a TV trope commonly used in sitcoms and soap operas. A clumsy character is carrying a lot of things and then whoops, the stuff goes flying and they’ll rolling down the stairs. A villainous character may push someone down. Maybe someone is caught in a terrible stair falling time-loop.
I bring up this trope because I am still recovering from my own slip and tumble down some stairs. One morning I woke up, grabbed an ice pack, and decided I would try to find some positive things about stairs to focus on. I went to the LWTV’s Slack to brainstorm some memorable queer TV scenes on or involving stairs where nobody falls.
What Counts as Stairs?
Stairwells, front steps/stoops, ladders, multi-level bleachers, fire escapes, escalators, ramps, and stair/chair lifts are all acceptable. Elevators and other vertical transportation devices are excluded from this list (but may be included on a future list of things we love).
Memorable Stair Moments
(in no particular order)
- Black Lighting – Thundergrace Wedding
Anyssa and Grace are looking SO GOOD in their wedding attire. Unfortunately, weddings in the Arrowverse almost always get interrupted.
- The Owl House – Luz and Amity
- Legacies – Mythic Falls Pageant
Penelope proudly walks Josie down the stairs. She’s looking at Josie so adoringly. CUTE
- Warehouse 13 – The Escher Vault
H.G. Wells’ debut episode featured The Escher Vault. This vault is named after and contains some of the personal possession of the famous artist, M.C. Escher as well as items integral to H.G. Wells’ multi-episode storyline. We see The Escher Vault a few other times throughout the series.
Stairs can be tricky on their own, never mind an elaborate ever-changing puzzle. Respect the steps!
- Vida – Series Finale
Tracy wrote about the Vida series finale and it includes a grand romantic gesture set on a fire escape with amazing shot composition.
Here’s another awesome shot from a fire escape
- Skins – Love Ball
Another wonderful, well-dressed walk down some stairs. It’s a powerful episode for Emily and Naomi and a fitting setting for their first I love you’s.
- Euphoria – Rue on a Stair Lift
One particular scene from Euphoria episode 2×02 kept coming up in my searches for memorable stair scenes. It is one of the few times I’ve seen a stair lift used in a dramatic way instead of being the butt of a joke.
- Steven Universe – Ruby and Sapphire’s Wedding
Normally I would not encourage running down the stairs but sometimes you love somebody so much that you get carried away.
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
- The L Word: Generation Q – Musical Episode
Musicals and 80’s power ballads love to use a set of stairs.
- Wynonna Earp – Full Series
“Stairs” take on a whole new meaning to Earpers. That scene aside, stairs are actually prevalent throughout the series. Almost every common building has at least two levels (Homestead, Police Station, BBD, Shorty’s) and conversations will often happen mid-stair. There are many Earp sister moments that happen whilst sitting upon some steps.
Wynonna Earp said stairs can be sweet, but also fierce.
Stairs can be powerful, but also devastating.
Stairs can be cute and, of course, stairs can be sexy
I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t find as many memorable scenes on lifts or ramps. Not everyone uses stairs and it would be nice to see that represented. When I was in high school there were a few sets of steps that people would eat lunch on, but around the ramps were THE place to hang out.
Did I miss one of your favorite stair scenes? I bet there are several musical numbers or animated sequences on stairs that were not brought up on this list. Tell me about them in the comments below, on Twitter, or join the LWTV’s Slack channel to share your thoughts.