[[quoteright:350:[[Film/MissionImpossible http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mission-impossiblecabledrop.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Extreme data entry!]]

The [[StockParodies commonly spoofed]] scene for which everyone remembers TheFilmOfTheSeries of ''Film/MissionImpossible''. TomCruise hacks a CIA computer while dangling horizontally from two cables in a heavily protected room. To get into the room, he has to bypass a [[LaserHallway laser grid in a ceiling ventilation duct.]].

It was an homage to a similar scene in the 1964 film ''Film/{{Topkapi}}''. Now a must whenever there's a spy episode in a show.

See also FastRoping.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Advertising]]
* The scene has been parodied countless times, and even [[DeadHorseTrope continues to be]], by advertisers, particularly for dandruff shampoo, deodorant or muscle relaxant.
* In a PBS Ad, it shows Cookie Monster dropping from a cable in that style, while solving a word puzzle under a time limit while Arty Smartypants from "Between the Lions" briefs him.
* A 2014 Progressive auto insurance commercial shows the two bumbling agents from A. Nother Insurance Company trying to steal the Name Your Price scanner from a protected room. It goes about as well as you would expect, with Flo and an assistant watching the ineptitude on the security feed [[PassThePopcorn with popcorn]].
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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', in order to test the museum's security, Janine uses her Weezing's smoke to reveal the lasers then lowers herself with her Ariados's thread to steal the museum display.
* ''SchoolRumble''.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''WrongfullyAccused'' spoofed this.
* A variation in the first ''Film/CharliesAngels'' [[TheFilmOfTheSeries movie]], where she had to do cartwheels across a pressure-sensitive floor and then handstand on a computer box.
** And later parodied in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack''.
* The ''InspectorGadget'' [[TheFilmOfTheSeries movie]] did it, too, with a sound-sensitive alarm.
* This trope predates ''Film/MissionImpossible'', the original ''PinkPanther'' movie uses a variant.
* ''Film/{{Topkapi}}'', as stated above.
* Inverted in ''[[NineToFive 9 To 5]]'', where rather than anyone hanging from wires to ''avoid'' triggering a trap, the rebellious secretaries rig up a remote-control cable harness for their kidnapped boss, which will reel him up to the ceiling ''as'' a trap if he tries to escape.
* There's a variation of this in the ''BoondockSaints'', with the protagonists falling though the ceiling accidentally, getting tangled in their rope... and killing everyone in the room as they spin about upside down.
* In ''Film/SpiceWorld'', Mel C is introduced doing a drop to a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subbuteo Subbuteo]] table and making a half-field shot.
* Done by super-agent Finn [=McMissile=] in ''{{Cars 2}}''.
* Done ''without the cables'' in ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', when Harry and company infiltrate the Ministry of Magic's prophecy holding room towards the climax of the movie. Rather than being lowered, they're ''falling'' down a chasm and using their magic to stop themselves harmlessly above the floor in this fashion.
* ''Film/MissionImpossibleGhostProtocol'' re-enacts the scene, but with magnets taking the place of the cable, and with a spinning fan blade in place of the lasers.
** For that matter, it's been paid homage in every Mission Impossible sequel to date. It even gets lampshaded in the second movie, with the BigBad predicting that Hunt will break into the building holding the MacGuffin they both want by some sort of 'acrobatic insanity'.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Darktan in ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' hangs suspended in a harness to inspect and disarm a deadly trap. As Darktan is an intelligent ''rat'' and weighs very little, this is done with bits of string rather than fancy high-tech cables.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Half-parody in the first promos for the TV show ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', in which Sarah would drop down successfully while Chuck would start spinning in place and get told to "Tense your abs!"
** Also played (relatively) straight in "Chuck vs. The Mask"
* It goes catastrophically wrong for one of ''TheLoneGunmen'' in the first episode.
** However it's possible that they could actually have pulled it off, if left to their own. The only reason they didn't manage it was because Yves was after the same thing they were, and she had the technological know-how to royally mess it up for them.
* ''NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' had Ned attempt one of these out of the ceiling. Notable in that it was a principal's office and there were still lasers aplenty; also in that instead of dropping stealthily, Ned plummeted like a rock and then swung back and forth helplessly for the rest of the episode.
* Used in ''TheLatestBuzz'', of all places, with one of the teen reporters trying to retrieve a column from the editor's desk.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' did it in the Easter special, "Planet Of The Dead" - with the bionic woman. It also did the ''Series/CharliesAngels'' version in "The Doctor's Daughter".
* Parodied on the TV show ''TheSoup'' in the segment [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soup#Clip_of_the_Week "Clip of the Week"]].
* Parodied in ''TheBasilBrushShow'', when the group finds a pool of [[LethalChef Anil's]] [[LavaPit chilli sauce]] between them and a safe containing the answers for the Quiz Night.
* Used in episode six of the third season of ''{{Primeval}}'' when Danny Quinn is testing the security systems at the Anomaly Research Center.
* Parodied in season six of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' when Andrew drops down to steal a diamond, only to have Warren and Jonathan stroll into the museum without issue. Played straight when the Scoobies break into the Mayor's office in season three. Buffy is the one lowered down on the harness to steal the MacGuffin. When the alarms go off however, the pulley jams and Angel has to jump in and save her; though Buffy [[ImprovisedWeapon uses the harness to do a flip so she can kick a henchvamp in the face]].
* In an episode of ''Series/ICarly'', Freddy drops into a room on cables and is mistaken for a spider.
* Parker's trademark maneuver on ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' is to jump off the side of buildings and lower down on a cable, instead of doing this on the inside. She then goes in through the window. No one but Parker is crazy enough to do it willingly, though they are often forced to anyway.
* In the ''FatherTed'' Christmas Special, Father Todd Unctious uses one of these to attempt to steal Father Ted's Golden Cleric Award. It breaks partway through, leaving him hanging helplessly in full view of [[TheDitz Father Dougal]], who fails to notice him anyway...
** And afterwards Mrs. Doyle uses it to clean the windows.
* Parodied in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIujtsgIyRw opening credits]] of ''TheChasersWarOnEverything''.
* Done by Zoe in the ''MIHigh'' episode "Mission: Incredible".
* In the ''Series/{{Bones}}'' episode "El Carnicero en el Coche" Hodgins lowers himself like this into the burnt out husk of a car, to avoid the car falling apart at the slightest touch whilst hunting for evidence.
* Actually done in the ''Series/MissionImpossible'' TV series. In "The Lions", Grant gets lowered into the temple and is suspended above the altar so he can tamper with the eponymous lions.
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[[folder:Music]]
* The video for the theme from ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p0BqUcQ7i0 Mission Impossible]]'', performed by The Piano Guys with Music/LindseyStirling, features Lindsey doing a cable drop over a pianist, replacing his sheet music, whilst playing her violin. The video is an AffectionateParody of the ''Film/MissionImpossible'' franchise.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Parodied in, of all places, ''VideoGame/DukeNukem 3D: Atomic Edition''. Duke is breaking into the CIA and has to drop into a room modeled on this scene. Since Duke is very unsubtle, you just drop right in and shoot the [[strike:guards]] mutant aliens who respond.
** Or use the jetpack to slowly lower yourself down. The room is worth taking a safe look at too, using this method, as they went to an impressive amount of detail for the reference - not only is there a knife stuck in the table, but there's a garbage can full of puke on the floor!
* The second ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' had a medieval-tech version, with ropes that could be attached to the ceiling beams and shimmied down. In the penultimate mission, it's the easiest[[note]]if you don't count turning off the security, but that's no fun[[/note]] way to retrieve the masks, which are guarded by a pressure-sensitive floor with DeadlyGas.
* This exact trope--a spy dangling from a body rope to hack into computers--is used in the ''TotallySpies'' GameBoyAdvance game.
* Occurs in the final mission of ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 4''.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/CinemaBums'' features a [[http://www.cinemabums.com/?p=174 strip]] where Mindy does this to break into David Yates's bedroom to discuss a potential ''Series/DoctorWho'' movie.
* In ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell'', Roger does this (through the floor of one of the upstairs apartments) to get to a videotape in the girls' apartment. When Margaret catches him, she points out that loudly humming the ''Mission Impossible'' theme [[WithCatlikeTread isn't especially stealthy.]]
* Torg tests this out as one of their plans to infiltrate Ayleeorgnet in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Owing to miscalculating the length of the cables, he knocks himself out. Note that it was to be called "Operation Look I'm Tom Cruise!"
** Given that the competition included "Operation Run Around Willy-Nilly"....
* In [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120227 one flashback scene]] of ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Gil uses this to secretly modify the blueprints of Castle Wulfenbach.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the WhateleyUniverse, it's done in "Ayla and the Networks", as the good guys of the the Intelligence Cadet Corps lower themselves down a cable into an air shaft, diasbling alarms as they go, in order to break into the secret lair being rented by The Masterminds and figure out ''their'' caper. Lampshaded by one of the team, who won't stop humming the theme song to ''MissionImpossible''.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in ''{{Shrek}} 2'', when Pinocchio does this with his puppet strings, complete with ''Mission: Impossible'' music. [[spoiler: However, with all his turning and tumbling, Pinocchio gets wrapped up in his own strings and just hangs there]].
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' gives a ShoutOut to this early in the film.
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', this is how Flynn steals the crown at the start of the film.
* This also happened in an episode of ''JimmyNeutron'', where the kids were breaking into a museum and trying to steal an artifact.
* Happened in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' where Gizmo is hacking into a museum's security system.
* Naturally, ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' gets to pull off this trope with the accompanying [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]].
* Played for laughs in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' when the boys use the [[MyLittlePanzer Mission Impossible: Breaking and Entering Spy Kit]] to steal baby cows from a cattle ranch before they're turned into veal.
* Entrče does it in an episode of ''{{Spliced}}'' to steal Joe's hat, apparently attaching himself to the ceiling with bubblegum.
* The WallaceAndGromit short ''The Wrong Trousers'' has a variant that predates the movie involving a robotic pair of trousers fitted with suction cups walking across a ceiling of a museum to steal a heavily protected diamond.
* ''TheLooneyTunesShow'': Lola does it to break into Bugs' house in the song "We Are In Love".
* Julie does this in the "Off the Rack" episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}'' before hacking into the [=KaneCo=] computer. There's even a SuspiciouslySimilarSong of the ''Mission Impossible'' theme.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision; a recent [[http://www.switched.com/2010/03/05/mission-impossible-style-best-buy-thieves-swipe-laptops-baffl/ theft]] from a Best Buy store seems to have involved this trope.
* In a non-criminal variant, makers of high-quality multi-ply sails for boats use harnesses to suspend themselves over the fabric and check it for flaws. Stepping on the sails while their layers are being laid out and fused could damage the material, so hanging over them is the safest option.
* [[http://redteams.net/blog/2013/rappelling-off-a-roof A penetration tester did the outside version once]]. It did however require that the windows be left open and access to the building roof. This flaw was then addressed.
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