Lying down is a move leaders have in Pikmin and Pikmin 2, wherein they lie on the floor as if they were sleeping, until told to stand up by the player. It has a few uses, the most important one being the ability to be carried by Pikmin the landing point. To lie down, the player must press / in Pikmin, and hold / in Pikmin 2. Some requisites must first be met before being able to lie down, however. In Pikmin, the first day must be completed before the ability is enabled. In Pikmin 2, the player must first retrieve the Five-man Napsack. It is possible to lie down in either game's Challenge Mode, as well as 2-Player Battle.
When a leader is lying down, some buttons can be pressed in order to make him stand up. In Pikmin, after the leader wakes up, the carrier Pikmin will sigh, and in Pikmin 2, they will cheer as if they had successfully delivered the leader to an Onion. The following table lists which action controls will make the leader stand up:
In Pikmin, Captain Olimar will stand back up if a suitable button is pressed, and will do so even if the button was initially held before / . As such, if the player holds a button on the table above and repeatedly presses the lie down button, Olimar will appear to jump repeatedly.
Although seemingly useless, especially in Pikmin, the ability to lie down actually has a number of uses.
When lying down, all nearby idle Pikmin or Pikmin in the party will attempt to grab the leader. This might not be possible if the leader lies down in a tight place. After enough Pikmin grab on, they will begin carrying him to the Research Pod or an Onion, decided the same way as any other carried object would be. After being beamed up, the leader will hit the Onion or Pod and wake up. On top of that, in Pikmin, fireworks will come out when he hits the bottom of an Onion.
In Pikmin, being carried is mostly a fun activity with no advantage, but in Pikmin 2, this can be coupled with the ability to switch leaders in order to maximize the multitasking potential. If the player wishes to have one leader return to the landing site, they can order some Pikmin to carry him, and then switch to the other leader, where they can continue working on something else. Care should be taken about any Pikmin left behind by the leader that chooses to get carried, as only 4 at most may come with him (the carrier Pikmin).
In Pikmin, 4 Pikmin are required to carry the leader, and up to 5 may carry him at once. In Pikmin 2, only one Pikmin is needed to begin moving a leader, and a maximum of 4 may carry him at once. Pikmin carrying a leader in Pikmin 2 will move at the fastest carrying speed possible, regardless of the amount, maturity, type and spicy status.
It is also worth noting that Dweevils can carry lying leaders. Because of their fear of leaders, they will endlessly scurry around when holding one on their backs. Waking up while on top of a Dweevil will make the latter play the same animation and sound as if it had a treasure knocked off of it by normal means.
In Pikmin, while lying down, Captain Olimar is completely impervious to all sorts of attacks. This can be used to distract an enemy while Pikmin nearby are busy doing something.
In Pikmin 2, this advantage has been made less abusable, and the leader is only invulnerable for 6 frames. In addition, boulders and the rocks shot by Lithopods will always be destroyed if they come into contact with a lying leader, without inflicting any damage. A Wollywog or Yellow Wollywog's landing will also not harm a lying leader at all. It is not possible to lie down and avoid the following attacks:
Lying down is the key to a few exploits and glitches.
Because of the way the carrying system works, it is possible to have Pikmin carry a leader in a specific location which makes them follow an incorrect carrying path, often resulting in humorous or exploitable situations. A list of such oversights can be found here.
In Pikmin, Captain Olimar lying down counts as a considerably solid object. If the player has Olimar lie down next to an object like a pellet, it is possible to push it in the direction opposite of the leader. With enough patience and skill, one can push objects to different places, like removing a ship part out of a body of water. This glitch is elaborated here. Similarly, Olimar can lie down between an object and a wall, and when he gets up, the object might push him through and on top of the wall.
Just before lying down, the leader performs a small hop, in Pikmin 2. This hop contains some odd properties, and when used in combination with some attacks, can be used to hop in the air. This can allow the leader to hop over short boundaries, or make him jump quite high in the air.