[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rope_bridge.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Potentially more dangerous than what's chasing you.]]
Any foot-based ChaseScene in the outdoors inevitably comes to a broad and incredibly deep chasm spanned only by a rickety rope-and-plank bridge. Naturally, the ropes on one end ''must'' be cut (or break due to their age) when the hero(es) are half-way across, so that they must hold on for dear life as the bridge swings down and slams into the side of a cliff. Never mind the [[NotTheFallThatKillsYou predictable results]] of slamming into the cliff that fast.

Then, they have to climb back up...

A related trope is when the heroes make it across safely, but have to cut the ropes themselves to prevent their pursuers following them.

In other cases the rope bridge is an obstacle in itself. Many a band of brave adventurers find themselves walking one by one across the rickety bridge. Often a single plank will fall out from under the hero (or a RedShirt) leaving them either hanging from the ropes or plummeting to their doom.

It's interesting in the field of BambooTechnology that they can build [[DurableDeathtrap elaborate death traps that work for a thousand years]], but can't build a rope bridge that will last for ten. Who knows, maybe it's the water or the sea air.

In ice-bound regions, [[ACrackInTheIce a snow bridge works on the same principle]].
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime ]]

* ''FutariWaPrettyCure'', episode 6, offers a subversion: The bad guy chases the girls onto the bridge, but he is too heavy for it; his first step snaps the ropes and breaks the planks, plunging him into the river below just as the girls reach the other end.
* Subverted in ''Anime/SailorMoon'', episode 171. Sailor Venus and Pluto are being chased by {{Mooks}} across a RopeBridge, which (predictably) fails before they reach the other end, causing the mooks to plummet down. Sailor Venus conjures a magical chain to support the two of them, and it seems that all they have to do is to climb up... but a RevealShot follows, showing that the other end of the chain is being held by the BigBad, who happily releases it, causing the heroes to fall to certain doom. (They survive, of course — ironically, because of the BigBad's unwillingness to [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim just let them die like that]].)
* {{Lampshaded}} in episode 33 of ''DetectiveConan'': The kids get to the other side a rope bridge without a problem and Conan [[TemptingFate comments that this kind of bridge would always fall if it was in a movie]]... at which point, the old ropes suddenly come apart and the bridge completely collapses, leaving them with no way back.
** In the seventh movie, Hattori Heiji ''rides a motorbike'' over a collapsing rope bridge.
* This occurred in ''DragonBallGT: A Hero's Legacy'' when Goku Jr. and Puck attempt to cross it.
* The first ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' example occurred in the episode, "Bulbasaur and the Hidden Village", the protagonists attempt to cross a rope bridge, but the wind rips the bridge apart. Brock loses his grip and falls into the river while Ash manage to keep his grip and pulls himself to safety with Misty and Pikachu clinging on him.
** Later episodes feature rope bridges and none or very few of them end without the bridge being destroyed.
** ''Manga/MagicalPokemonJourney'' has a non-breaking rope bridge...that some Hoppips manage to fall off ''anyway'' (being so light that wind blows them around, they all wind up back on the bridge at the next breeze).
* Variant in RurouniKenshin: Kenshin purposely destroys the ''wooden'' bridge he and Misao are trapped on in order to avoid a fight and make the quickest getaway.
* ''{{InuYasha}}'': Jaken and Rin are confronted by a villain in the middle of a rope bridge. In a subversion, the bridge breaks because Jaken's attempt to defend himself and Rin relies on fire which burns the ropes and breaks the bridge causing all three of them to plunge into the gorge below.
* Subverted in ''Anime/FairyTail''. Confronted with a rope bridge, the group lets [[ButtMonkey a clueless Natsu]] go across first. To their surprise, the bridge is perfectly safe. Only when they comment on this does Natsu realize what they did.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* How do the Mane 5, Spike, and Luna make their way to the moon in the second story-arc of ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW''? By lassoing it and '''pulling it closer to the Earth''' and using the rope as a bridge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* Subverted in ''{{Shrek}}''. It does collapse, but only after being set ''on fire'' by a dragon (never mind that it was [[ConvectionSchmonvection suspended over a lava pit]]). Previously it held up just fine despite a several-hundred pound ogre rocking back and forth on it to prove a point.
* ''Film/{{Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom}}'', where Indiana Jones himself cuts the bridge when trapped in the middle by bad guys on both sides.
* ''Film/{{Romancing The Stone}}''
** Though that was really a trestle bridge. It was a hazard anyway.
* The Amazing Panda Adventure
* Averted in ''PiratesOfTheCaribbean: Dead Man's Chest,'' where the rope bridge does not sway dangerously, snap, or get cut. It's just a bridge.
* In the 1943 ''Film/{{The Phantom|1943}}'' film serial, there's a rope bridge over a deep gorge that a gang of gun-runners need to transport their cargo across. The Phantom attempts to stop them by cutting the support ropes, but is caught in the act; a fight ensues that spills out onto the bridge, with bad guys tackling the Phantom left and right while the support ropes creak ominously and begin to part...
* The 1993 ''Film/ThePhantom'' movie had a rope bridge the bad guys have to drive a truck over. Unsure if it will support the truck's weight, they force a native child to drive it over for them. It collapses while the bad guys are fleeing, allowing them to escape as the Phantom is forced to save the boy.
* In the film version of ''Literature/HortonHearsAWho'', Horton has to cross a bridge to Mt. Nool with the entire Who planet dangling on a speck of dust on his trunk!
-->"Well, no need to worry. Obviously, when they build a bridge like this, they take into account that elephants will be crossing here."
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'': A truly [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome epic]] fight takes place on a rope bridge. The bridge ''was'' perfectly safe before the combatants started damaging it....
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''TheLibrarian''. [[spoiler: While crossing a large wooden bridge, he expresses surprise that it would hold the weight, and bounces on the board. He falls through, and is rescued. Cue the bridge collapsing.]]
* In the climax of ''WesternAnimation/TheKingAndI'' animated movie.
* Bully cuts down one while being chased by the natives in ''Film/NateAndHayes''.
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'': The Bridge of Death. Although old and rickety it's perfectly functional.
* ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'' has a sci-fi take on this trope, with the old and damaged platform leading to the reactor. But instead of a ''StarWars''-type abyss the platform passes low over a horde of sleeping carnivorous mutants.
* A rope bridge over a river of lava serves as the entrance to Atlantis in Disney's ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire''.
* In the film ''Bushwacked'', Daniel Stern and a group of kids have to cross a long rope bridge. Aside from one plank falling, the group make it across pretty quick - although one has to have a bit more encouragement from Daniel when he stops in the middle of the bridge. After the kids are across, Stern cuts the bridge to stop Jon Polito and Brad Sullivan from pursuing him.
* In the 1992 film ''Godzilla vs. Mothra'', three characters exploring an island have to cross a rope bridge, which begins to break while they're on it. Instead of holding onto it, the characters jump off (or rather one character pushes the other two off before jumping) into the river below - which is much closer to the bridge than usual.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* In the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, ''Bridge of San Luis Rey'' (1927) tells the story of a group of people who die when an Incan rope bridge in Peru collapses. The novel follows a priest, who had witnessed the accident, who goes around learning about the people who died and why the were on the bridge.
* Subverted but [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''[[{{Narnia}} The Silver Chair]]''. Eustace, Jill, and Puddleglum come to a giant stone bridge spanning a canyon. Puddleglum, who [[TheEeyore sees a down side to everything]], is reluctant to take it, theorizing it's just too convenient and will probably vanish into thin air or something when they're halfway across.
* Subverted in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', when the rickety old rope bridge over a bottomless chasm is on a piece of magical ground, and to Perdita (who lacks any self-doubt) is simply a large stone across a ditch. There's also a description of the bridge as having a "negative quality", in that it looks ''less'' safe than jumping off the edge and hoping a gust of wind will carry you.
* ''[[HisDarkMaterials Northern Lights]]''
* In ''[[Literature/KushielsLegacy Kushiel's Chosen]]'', island prison [[TheAlcatraz La Dolorosa]] is connected to the mainland only by a rope bridge, which has two guards on the island side armed with axes, who can cut the bridge long before anybody gets across. Joscelin's solution? [[BadAss Climb along the underside of the bridge]].
* One of the first signs that something's up in ''[[MatthewReilly Temple]]'' is the existing, already cut rope bridge. Several characters note that it's new, but Incan rope bridges rarely lasted more than three years. Not only is there a native tribe in the area, but they want to keep ''something'' on the tower of rock the temple is on.
* In TamoraPierce's last ''Literature/TheImmortals'' book, Daine and Numair are attacked while crossing a rickety rope bridge (says Daine: "It could be worse. It could be raining!"), although it doesn't actually collapse.
* ''The Commissar'' by SvenHassel. TheSquad have to winch their tanks across a platform-suspension bridge. A couple of ropes snap and the platform is left hanging on an angle, but no-one gets killed.
* There ''used'' to a rope bridge spanning the great gorge in the ''{{Redwall}}'' series, but [[BigBad Slagar the Cruel]] burns it once he's finished crossing. The heroes then cross the gorge with a makeshift zipline, and later in the series a gigantic tree trunk is used as the bridge.
* ''Literature/{{Ketrin}}'': The entire (non-erotic) second half of [[http://www.p-synd.com/ketrin/ketrin7.htm Part Seven]] involves Ketrin's friend Sherinel having to cross a bridge with four lupinoid companions to get to the side of the river where he thinks Ketrin is. Subverted to the extent that it's not a rope bridge but a huge decaying wooden structure, but that just means that a) it takes a lot longer to get across, and b) it's slowly falling to bits while they're crossing it. And yes, it's hundreds of feet above a raging river.
* In the ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' parody ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'', Goodgulf the wizard performs his YouShallNotPass scene on a rope bridge [[spoiler: which the Fellowship chop down with him on it]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' featured a rope bridge that didn't collapse when (very large) Hurley crossed it, but did when the much smaller Charlie followed him.
** It is possible that Hurley strained the bridge enough to weaken it so that it could break when Charlie tried to cross it.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', a RopeBridge showed up in the serial "The Keys of Marinus" in the ''very first season'' and was used to trap the protagonists on the wrong side of a chasm inside a spacious ice-cave. They put it back together with the help of stalactites (or were they stalagmites?) even though they [[SpecialEffectsFailure clearly could have just jumped over the chasm]].
** In ''Voyage of the Damned'' they have to cross a sort of rickety-bridge. It's not made of rope, but [[spoiler:one of the people shocks us by falling off before he gets on the bridge, and one jumps off voluntarily, taking the host with her]], so it seems to fit the trope, or at least subverting it.
* The ''Series/HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' episode "Hero's Heart" starts with Iolaus having a crisis of confidence after failing to save a woman from falling from one of these.
* The Series/MythBusters demonstrated that you can build a 100 ft rope bridge, using nothing but ''duct tape.'' (It only took 196 rolls.)
** In a 2012 episode, they took on the ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}'' rope bridge cut (well, severed with explosives) by the bad guys. Sorry, Stallone, but it's busted -- you can't jump off a falling rope bridge. They also tested the common movie "solution" of hanging on to the bridge as it's falling, then trying to climb; they found that while it's surprisingly difficult (perhaps too difficult for most people, as Jamie failed to climb a relatively short distance), in many situations it's still a person's best chance of survival.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''[[Pinball/IndianaJonesThePinballAdventure Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure]]'' has "Survive the Rope Bridge", recreating the scene from ''Temple of Doom''. The playfield itself has a silhouette of Indy crossing the bridge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Videogames ]]
* Dusky Bridge in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: Trials And Tribulations''. Which, unlike most examples of the trope, actually stood up despite having large gaps... [[spoiler: until it was struck by lightning and caught on fire. Phoenix actually tried to cross it at this point, but it (of course) failed.]]
* ''Original Adventure'' (''[[ColossalCave Colossal Caves Adventure]]'') from the 1970s has you crossing a bridge where there is an angry bear on the other side which is guarding a valuable chain. You calm the bear down [[spoiler:by feeding it]], and then you have to make sure the bear isn't following you, because if you and the bear cross the bridge, it will collapse and you're killed.
* The cast of ''{{Eternal Sonata}}'' make quite a scene about going across a fairly sturdy bridge that comes to nothing until a boss a little later in the game destroys it in a final blow.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2: The Shadow and The Flame'' had a fight with an invincible skeleton on a rope bridge. The ropes hold, but the planks don't.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestII: Romancing The Throne'' has a notorious rope bridge you can only cross seven times before it breaks. Just traveling it once when you don't need to and then saving results in an {{Unwinnable}} situation. The fan remake has a stronger bridge -- only the plot can break it.
* There's a rope bridge near the start of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3''. Surprisingly, it remains intact. [[spoiler: but a traitor does throw Snake off it.]]
** It's also possible to cut the rope bridge yourself. Here's a hint: don't cut the rope bridge yourself, or wait until you're off the bridge and shoot the ropes. Makes a good ambush tactic because when the bridge falls or wobbles it'll send the enemies on it flying to their deaths.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has a rope bridge incident [[spoiler:in Cloud's past]]; however, it isn't part of a chase scene; some adventurous kids just fall afoul of a rickety old bridge.
* Used for dramatic effect in ''Film/XMenOriginsWolverine'', in the very-first level. The bridge is pretty rickety in the first place, missing a long line of boards in the middle, and after you jump across there (killing half a dozen mooks in the process), other enemies cut the ropes behind you... of course, Wolverine is far too awesome to just fall down, so instead, he sticks his claws into the planks, and crawls up the bridge as it hangs vertical along the cliffside... killing half a dozen mooks along the way.
* VideoGame/{{Blockland}}: This is true of virtually every rope bridge. Ever. It actually got to the point where a rope bridge was built and advertised simply because it ''didn't'' collapse.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros'' features two giant rope bridges infested with jumping Cheep Cheeps.
** It's debatable whether they're meant to be rope bridges, since they're always parallel to the bottom of the screen and they never sag or sway, although this may be due to gameplay limitations. The graphics leave a lot of ambiguity as to what material they're made of. At any rate, definite rope bridges appear in ''[[VideoGame/YoshisIsland Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island]]''.
** And Hightail Falls from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'' composes entirely of planets held together by a planet-sized rope bridge.
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' and its successors get lots of mileage out of this trope (although the bridges are usually sturdy).
* Unsurprisingly, the last levels of ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'' and the "Temple of Doom" segment of ''VideoGame/IndianaJonesGreatestAdventures'' have Indy walking along a rope bridge.
* ''VideoGame/HeartOfDarkness'': During the attack on the Amigos' village by the Master's winged minions, Andy has to cross one of these, and, unsurprisingly, it comes crashing down thanks to a stray fireball.
* Certain mountain passes in ''TheMagicCandle'' have gaps that can't be crossed without a rope. Mercifully, the rope will stay there as a permanent bridge and never break. (And if that's not good enough, you can use the [[NitroBoost Flee command ]]to [[GoodBadBug skip right over]] the map square in question!)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' version three has a rope bridge over a ravine, but subverts the collapsing part by having it be about as durable as you'd expect from a bridge on a military base. Gabe [=McCallum=] {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this while crossing it and wondering if it'll fall, reminding himself that the military wouldn't risk men and equipment by making a bridge that wasn't sturdy.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Mercilessly parodied -- and ultimately subverted -- in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', in which Chef is killed by falling off a collapsing rope bridge, into a chasm, where he is impaled on jagged rocks. He is then attacked and pulled apart by pumas and grizzly bears. After all that, he is revived (and turned into Darth Vader) by the "Super Adventurers Club."
* Parodied and subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Mr. Plow," where Homer has to ''drive'' over one of these in a truck - at least, so it seems until he gets halfway across, whereupon he looks over only to see a perfectly sturdy-looking iron suspension bridge just a few hundred metres down the road that he could have used instead.
** In the episode "The Boy Who Knew Too Much," Bart crosses then tears down a rope bridge while playing hookie, in a futile attempt to evade Principal Skinner.
** Played around in "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" when the Simpsons went on a Japanese game show to win plane tickets back to Springfield. After humiliating and painful tasks, they family must grab the tickets off a rope bridge suspended over a volcano. The bridge snapped and the family fell into the lava, which turns out to be orange juice loaded with wasabi.
* For no apparent reason, one episode of ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'' starts with the kids crossing one of these in a ''thunderstorm''; naturally it fulfills the trope by collapsing halfway through. (Heaven only knows how they got Eric onto the thing in the first place.)
* In ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'', Kuzco only truly begins to become a better person after he and Pacha have to work together to survive the collapse of a rope bridge. (Something of a subversion in that they actually do fall off the bridge into the chasm, and are just lucky enough to get stuck in a choke-point before hitting the crocodile-infested river.)
* On ''BeavisAndButthead'', an angel comes to Butthead on a stormy night and tries to kill him by goading him into walking over one of these. In an inversion of the StockParody of "It's a Wonderful Life." he shows Butthead how much better the world would be without him, which bores Butthead so much he ignores the bridge and goes home.
* ''JonnyQuest'' TOS episode "The Devil's Tower". While making their escape from the title place, our heroes have to cross a rope bridge while an insane World War I German war criminal is throwing grenades at them from a biplane. One of the grenades hits the bridge and breaks it while Dr. Quest is crossing it, requiring him to be pulled to safety.
* [[TheFlintstones Fred Flintstone]] RUNS across one of these - carrying his car - scaring his costars half to death in the process. (They were in the car.)
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men}}'', a depowered Magneto and Professor X stumble across one of these in the Savage Land while fleeing a vertigo-inducing supervillainess; eventually they just grab on tightly and cut the thing, which gets them out of her area of influence.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', where a rickety rope bridge turns out to be a perfectly safe conveyor belt.
* An episode of ''GummiBears'' centered around replacing an old rope bridge. The replacement is ''too'' durable, and leaves the Gummis open to an invasion.
* These popped up all the time on ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales''.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CaptainNTheGameMaster'' had a scene with a deteriorating rope bridge. Fortunately there was a stalactite handing just above the unstable post on the far end, which, when blasted loose by Kevin, impaled the rope and pinned it safely to the cliff.
* The ''{{Duckman}}'' episode "Short Plush and Deadly" manages to feature one of these ''and'' an InevitableWaterfall
* In the WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries episode ''Tyger, Tyger'', Batman fights [[TheDragon Tygrus]], a giant [[HalfHumanHybrid half-human]] [[CatGirl cat man]], on a decaying rope bridge. The bridge snaps with Tygrus deflects one of Batman's batarangs, cutting the rope.
* ''MyLittlePony'': Shows up in the pilot. Part of the first route the focal ponies and their human ally Megan attempt to take to Midnight Castle involves a rope bridge that collapses with Megan and Applejack on it, dropping them into the river mouth below. They are rescued (and treated to a BusbyBerkeleyNumber) by the Sea Ponies.
* In homage to the above, in the second part of the pilot to ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', the Mane 6 must cross a rope bridge to reach the castle where the Elements of Harmony lay. Twilight Sparkle goes first but the ropes are severed as she starts to cross. The others pull her up and Rainbow Dash retrieves the bridge, allowing them to retie the ropes and continue on their way.
* ''WesternAnimation/GeorgeOfTheJungle'': George has to cross one of these but Ape doesn't think it's sturdy enough to hold Shep, George's pet elephant who he thinks is a dog - so George carries Shep over instead.
* In the episode ''Zuko Alone'' of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Zuko encounters one of these, a plank falling out from under his [[MixAndMatchCritters ostrich-horse]]. He and his animal make it.
* Rope bridges appear at least twice in ''WesternAnimation/{{Care Bears|1980s}}''.
** In "Caring for Spring", Beastly uses a PaperThinDisguise to lure Hugs and Tugs to the wrong side of a bridge. They cross, and Beastly starts cutting the rope. They cross just before the bridge collapses, but now they are stuck on the wrong side.
** In "The Fountain of Youth", the characters want to cross a bridge. Chief Brave Heart wants to proceed with caution, but Champ Bear rushes forward and falls through a loose plank. Brave Heart rescues Champ. Also, Beastly and Shreeky want to cut the rope but don't do so in time.
* In ''TinTin: Prisoners of the Sun'' no sooner does the narrator tell us that an expedition 'faced every possible danger imaginable' that they are shown crossing this rickety trope.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Truth In Television ]]

* Obviously, these historically existed; else, where would the trope come from?
** The part where the bridge breaks is at least plausible; the only surviving Inca rope bridge has to have its grass-rope cables replaced every year.
** There is a reason why people who build these bridges prefer to use metal chains.
* Smaller versions of these exist over chasms in the mountains of Morocco (for those unaware, Morocco has tons of rivers, albeit not very big ones, running through high mountains). They are usually quite safe; that doesn't make them substantially less scary for those unused to it.
* Regularly used in expedition-style climbs like the 1953 Everest climb.

[[/folder]]
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