A stall-then-fall is a type of aerial maneuver in all installments of the Super Smash Bros. series. Types of stall-then-falls vary from kicks to hip drops. No matter the type, all stall-then-falls are similar in function. Stall-then-fall special moves exist in all games of the series, and stall-then-fall aerial attacks have existed since Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
The attack is as simple as the name: the character pauses briefly in the air, then rockets downward, usually with a kick. The downward falling speed is much greater than the character's usual falling speed, even while fast falling. Most of these attacks launch the character diagonally forward and downwards, but a few of them (Toon Link's, Mr. Game & Watch's, Bowser's, Kirby's, and Yoshi's) do not, instead launching straight downwards or allowing the direction to be controlled (Mr. Game & Watch and Bowser's down aerial in Super Smash Bros. 4).
If the character performing the move hits the stage while the attack is still being executed, there is a fairly large landing lag with most of them. However, some of these moves have an additional hitbox upon hitting the ground, creating a shockwave effect that extends a short distance to either side of the character.
Stall-then-fall attacks have their downwards movement disabled if the character attempts to use such a move to cancel hitstun from vertical knockback they have recently received. This behaviour originates from Brawl, where aerial attacks can be used to cancel hitstun, in order to prevent this from being exploited to avoid being KOed vertically. Since special moves cannot cancel hitstun, this does not occur with moves such as the Falcon Kick. In certain situations this can result in hovering motionless in the air, known as the down air stall. However as of the 4.0.0 update for Ultimate this behaviour has been patched out altogether.
If one of the down aerial stall-then-fall attacks is used immediately after beginning to fall through a platform, the stall will cause the character to move slightly above the platform, so that they fall immediately directly on to it. This is somewhat useful with Toon Link and Mr. Game and Watch, who have the shortest landing lags on their stall-then-fall aerials, and can use this technique to land several quick hits.
Certain stall-then-fall aerials will cause the user to skid down slopes a bit, mainly Toon Link's and Mr. Game & Watch's. Depending on the steepness of the slope, this can be a tiny distance or a huge one, and at steep slopes, the character slides a large distance at a speed that is often faster than their dash. This could be used to keep an opponent from taking advantage of the long landing lag, and also for mindgames.
Stall-then-falls are useful for sweet-spotting the edge. The player can use the attack in midair, fall to below the level of the edge, and use their midair jump or up special move. They must be very high above the bottom blast line to avoid a self-destruct.
Extra jump (Melee only)
Some characters are vulnerable to juggling due to floatiness, such as Kirby and Toon Link. Having a stall-then-fall move allows the character to be less vulnerable to juggling due to the increased falling speed, which will make it difficult for the juggler to respond quickly.
Stall-then-falls have a long duration. If used while off of the stage, they can result in a self-destruct. Therefore, it is advisable to not use the attack off the edge at all (except for sweet-spotting - see above).
Characters with stall-then-fall attacks