->''"These statues were singularly inanimate. I knew better than to assume that they would remain as such."''
-->-- '''Kain''', ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain''

Obviously, guarding the {{Macguffin}} is a hard job, especially if you are a 4000 year old civilization. Booby traps can be dodged, guards require resources, and [[CursedWithAwesome curses can be awesome]]. So why not just use the obligatory scary statues as guards?

This trope refers to times when an important room has statues around it which seem like normal statues, if perhaps heavily armed. However, upon something important happening, the statues will come to life and start attacking. If the work in question is a video game, the statues will most likely respond to an attack. One way to gain these for your room is to [[TakenForGranite take people for granite]].

See also RockMonster, TakenForGranite, {{Golem}}, OurGargoylesRock, NobodyHereButUsStatues, and MacGuffinGuardian.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'': A pair of such statues guard the doorway to the underworld. When approached they proclaim that no one living can pass, and then ask if the intruder wishes to pass. If you do, obviously they have to kill you. The one person allowed to pass without a fight is [[spoiler: Sesshoumaru, because he wields Tenseiga.]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Miracleman}}'': The doors to the room housing the kingqueen of the Qys is guarded by two guards whom Miracleman/Marvelman mistakes for statues, due to their immobility and size.

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum'' has the giant statues of Anubis that guard the pharaoh.
* ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie'' have the statues that guard the Great Power.
* In one ''SuperSentai'' movie, we see a giant statue when the heroes and villains are taken to the movie villain's pretty sweet-looking compound. In the end it turns into the bad guy's HumongousMecha, surprising ''absolutely none'' of the viewing audience.
* ''Disney/AliceInWonderland'' has Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum sing a song about Alice treating them like inanimate statues, "We're Not Waxworks", and scold her for not speaking with them like a civilized person.
* All of the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' films have the same examples as the literature entry below, but ''HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallowsPartTwo'' reveals that the statues [[ChekovsGun seen throughout the entire series]] in the entrance to Hogwarts could be bewitched to defend Hogwarts in time of need - and they do, coming to life to guard the main bridge into Hogwarts.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''[[Literature/ConanTheBarbarian Conan the Buccaneer]]'' the shrine of [[EldritchAbomination Tsathoggua the Toad God]] contains a stone statue of the god, watching over the treasure. If someone step around the temple, the statue comes back to life (still remaining stone) and chase them.
** On a similar note we have the Bloody God (which in this case is a living statue made of gold and rubies).
* Subverted in ''{{Literature/Shadowkeep}}'': at one point the heroes walks in a corridor full of mean-looking, demonic statues. This being [[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou Shadowkeep]], [[TheLancer Sranul]] thinks that the statues will come to life and attack them, but they're eventually revealed to be just harmless statues. [[spoiler: Played straight in the finale with the [[BigBad Demon King Dal'Brad]].]]
* The D'denir statues in ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', which are really the Lifeless ultra-warriors known as Kalad's Phantoms.
* ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory'' has a pair of sphinx statues -actually real sphinxes, huge and powerful beings that almost never move- that will fire upon you if you get too close to them. Maybe. Or maybe not. It's completely random, which is part of what makes them terrifying. And what their eye beams actually do is bombard your mind with all the riddles in the world, paralysing you until you answer them all, which you'll never do before you crumble to dust.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': There is a guardian statue at the entrance to Dumbledore's study. Most of the time though, it only comes alive to ask for a password.
** Hogwarts itself has hundreds of decorative statues and suits of armor which a spell may bring to life in the event of dire danger.
* In the ''Simon Canderous'' books, the doorway to the {{arcology}} is guarded by a pair of living stone statues. But you can be given clearance so they let you pass.


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* The Weeping Angels from ''Series/DoctorWho'' are "statues" that come to life when no one is looking. So whatever you do, '''don't blink.'''

[[folder: TabletopGames]]
* A pretty stock scenario in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' (the iconic dungeon environments no doubt have something to do with it). The actual statues can range from "mere" fairly regular ones temporarily animated by a spell over "proper" {{golem}}s to more exotic cases like clockwork automata or one-of-a-kind constructs dreamt up by a particular scenario designer; at least one edition of the game (the "basic" one later compiled into the ''Rules Cyclopedia'') even featured several types of ''literal'' "living statue" monsters as essentially lower-powered golem expies to throw at less experienced groups of player characters.

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'' has gargoyle statues that sometimes turn into live gargoyles. Much ParanoiaFuel ensues.
** Subverted in the expansion of the second game where every level and cutscene has at least one gargoyle statue hidden somewhere, but they're obvious props with low poly-count. It doesn't stop them from looking intimidating though, especially because most of the time they appear in places where they absolutely don't belong.
* Gargoyles in [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim TES 5: Dawnguard]] behave more or less the same as ones from ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}''.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'': Whenever you see a deactivated but otherwise intact golem, rest assured that it will start attacking as soon as you do something important.
** In addition, the Sentinels in the Mage starting quest could qualify as this.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' has stone gargoyles guarding the four tablets.
* ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' series: Lampshaded at one point by Kain, who notes, "These statues were singularly inanimate. I knew better than to assume that they would remain as such."
* Once the player reaches the castle portion of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', they should be on the lookout for seemingly inanimate suits of armor.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': Throughout the series, we have Armos and Iron Knuckles.
* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'': The villain of the third game starts animating stone statues in the late levels.
* ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'': At one point in the third game there's a hallway with statues of armored men on either side. Further down the hallway are robotic golems which activate when you reach them (complete with "The statues are coming to life!" in case you missed the point). Not a very well-done one though, as the golems and the statues look nothing like each other.
* ''VideoGame/StarcraftII'': One of the early Terran missions has you grab a Protoss-defended artifact before the Zerg can. The artifact is surrounded by doodad statues, who then activate when you grab it.
* The second Guardian ([[CallAHitpointASmeerp boss]]) and the Spriggan statue in ''VideoGame/LaMulana''. Also, wall reliefs will start shooting at you if you stand next to them for too long or strike them.
* The room of the ''VideoGame/HeroCore'' boss 'Guardian' contains some statues of standard enemy machines you fought many times. Appearing to be decoration, they actually are idle machines and aid the boss once he loses a certain amount of HitPoints.
* The first Chozo Statue in ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' seems inanimate until you take the powerup it holds and try to leave, at which point the exit seals and it attacks you. Also happens with another Chozo Statue in Lower Norfair. In the ''VideoGame/{{Metroid Prime|Trilogy}}'' sub-series, it is recommended to never assume that Chozo Statues are merely decorative: they may be helpful or harmful, but rarely do they do nothing.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' has one possible configuration of the Lair of Beasts that features a Hell temple with dire elephant statues standing around outside it. Said statues come to life after you enter the temple.
* In ''Zork III'', the player must find a way past the Guardians of Zork, which are symmetrical statues lined up on either side of a long corridor that will attack and destroy anything that passes between them. Getting past is one of the most complicated puzzles in the game, involving mastery of a room-sized moving box with mirrors on the outside, taking advantage of the fact that the Guardians are completely symmetrical and cannot tell the difference between the Guardian opposite them and their own reflection. [[CuttingTheKnot Or you can just drink the invisibility potion]] [[AntiClimax and walk past them.]]
* In ''VideoGame/PathOfExile'' the third act is set in the city of Sarn, capital of an empire that was destroyed at least in part through unwise use of magic. Naturally a number of enemies and a few bosses are decorative statues that hop off their plinths when you walk by and try to kill you.
* There is a particularly interesting example in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', where in the castle of the {{Big Bad}}, there are statues of your party. As you're escaping, they attack you using skills relevant to their real life duplicate. Oddly enough, the statues never actually move, instead just hopping around.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' has statues of the angel enemies scattered around some levels, which come to life and attack you. Some are part of the natural progression of the level, coming to life when you walk past them; others are optional battles and only come to life when the statue is attacked.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/DaveTheBarbarian''. The particular model shown doesn't activate unless you touch it.