[[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''. Creator/TomCruise hacks a CIA computer while dangling horizontally from two cables in a heavily protected room. [[UpToEleven Even the floor is pressure and weight sensitive, as even a single drop of condensation dripping off of a forgotten soft drink and onto the floor is enough to set off the alarm]]. To get into the room, he has to bypass a [[LaserHallway laser grid]] in [[AirVentPassageway 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.

Sometimes a DesperateObjectCatch is thrown in for added drama. See also FastRoping.



* 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]].

[[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.
* The [[NoNameGiven Belladonna Lily Woman]] in ''{{Anime/Noir}}'' attempts this to kill Mireille with a knife and is very close to pulling it off when a nearby bit of light from a gunshot hits her knife and attracts Mireille's attention, allowing her to shoot the woman first.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Done by super-agent Finn [=McMissile=] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}''.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{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]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'', Woody drops from the tree he is temporarily suspended inches from the ground.
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', this is how Flynn steals the crown at the start of the film.
* The Franchise/WallaceAndGromit short ''WesternAnimation/TheWrongTrousers'' 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.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%%* ''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 ''Film/InspectorGadget'' [[TheFilmOfTheSeries movie]] did it, too, with a sound-sensitive alarm.
* This trope predates ''Film/MissionImpossible'', the original ''[[Film/ThePinkPanther1963 Pink Panther]]'' movie uses a variant.
* ''Film/{{Topkapi}}'', as stated above.
* Inverted in ''Film/NineToFive'', 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 ''Film/TheBoondockSaints'', 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.
* ''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 ''Film/MissionImpossible'' 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".
* In ''Film/ShootEmUp'', both Smith and one of the {{Mooks}} try this down the middle of a spiral staircase during a shootout. However, [[GoneHorriblyWrong Smith shoots the mook's rope]].
* ''Film/FatSlags'' does a surprisingly in-depth parody of this scene when the heroines [[spoiler:decide to ruin the villain by stealing his laptop, which is full of incriminating information]].
* Parodied in ''SpyHard''.

* 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.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Actually done in the ''Series/MissionImpossible'' television series (both the original and the 1980s remake).
** In "Doomsday," Barney used a cable drop to steal the plutonium from a nuclear warhead that was surrounded by photoelectric sensors and so could only be approached from above.
** In "The Lions", Grant gets lowered into the temple and is suspended above the altar so he can tamper with the eponymous lions.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'':
** Half-parody in the first promos for the TV show , 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 Series/TheLoneGunmen in the first episode of their series. 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.
* ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'' had Ned attempt one of these out of the ceiling. Notable in that it was a science class and a student notices Ned and greets him before leaving; also in that instead of dropping stealthily, Ned plummeted like a rock and then swung back and forth helplessly, wrecking the classroom.
* Used in ''Series/TheLatestBuzz'', of all places, with one of the teen reporters trying to retrieve a column from the editor's desk.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Done it in the Easter special, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E15PlanetOfTheDead "Planet of the Dead"]]. Lady Christina steals the chalice in the prologue, and then she uses the same skill to retrieve the antigravity clamps in the Tritovore ship.
** The show also did the ''Series/CharliesAngels'' version in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E6TheDoctorsDaughter "The Doctor's Daughter"]].
* Parodied on the TV show ''Series/TheSoup'' in the segment [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soup#Clip_of_the_Week "Clip of the Week"]].
* Parodied in ''Series/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 ''Series/{{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 ''Series/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 ''Series/TheChasersWarOnEverything''.
* Done by Zoe in the ''Series/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.
* In her first appearance on ''Series/{{Highlander}}'', Amanda used one as part of a heist, to avoid a pressure-sensitive floor alarm. When she had the item she wanted to steal but before her accomplice could pull her up, Duncan appeared in a balcony. He tossed a coin to determine whether or not he should call the cops on them, then "missed" catching the coin, which hit the floor and set off the alarms.
* A version of this was done in the ''Series/WonderWoman'' episode "The Queen and the Thief"

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* 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.
* Referenced at around 1:50 in [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LRCynXVxSU this]] weird CG music video featuring Rashni, a forgotten [[VirtualCelebrity cartoon character]] who sang Italo Disco songs.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* A similar stunt led to the tragic death of Wrestling/OwenHart. As the masked, buffoonish superhero "Blue Blazer," he was to be lowered on a cable to ground level, only to become tangled in the line just above the ring, a stunt he had performed a few times before. He would then have used a quick release to fall a few feet, comically, on his face. However, a malfunction or unintentional release caused him to fall from over 70 feet, leading to his death.
* Supposedly, the WWF were trying to replicate WCW's stunt of Wrestling/{{Sting}} regularly dropping to the ring on a cable to attack opponents (usually the Wrestling/NewWorldOrder). After Owen's death, Sting would repel from the ceiling instead of being lowered on a cable.

[[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 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.
* There's is a segment in ''VideoGame/SpyFiction'' where you must access a computer in a high security room and the entire sequence plays out almost exactly as it occurs in ''Mission Impossible.''
* This exact trope -- a spy dangling from a body rope to hack into computers -- is used in the ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance game.
* Occurs in the final mission of ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 4''.
* Done in the first heist of ''VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime'' when Sly has to steal the dagger.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''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 method to secretly modify the blueprints of Castle Wulfenbach.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''Literature/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 ''Film/MissionImpossible''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This also happened in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius'', 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.
* Entrèe does it in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Spliced}}'' to steal Joe's hat, apparently attaching himself to the ceiling with bubblegum.
* ''WesternAnimation/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.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LittlestPetShop2012'' episode "Gailbreak!", Penny Ling attempts to sneak into Largest Ever Pet Shop this way, but the rope breaks and she falls to the floor.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "A Streetcar Named Marge," Maggie uses the ripcord of a talking Krusty doll to descend from an air vent to steal some keys on top of a desk.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Applejack's Day Off", Twilight is forced to do this as part of a crazy ritual that Applejack has in order to feed the pigs.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'': Grojband's groupies Kate and Allie do this when they break into Trina's room to steal her beloved Mr Moosehead toy for Corey. There are complications.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision; a [[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.