[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/enterprise_bridge.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Set a course, ensign.]]

As TheCouch is to sitcoms, so is The Bridge to WagonTrainToTheStars type shows: a gathering place for main characters. TheCaptain can usually be found here, and this is the native environment of BridgeBunnies; together they spend their time making the CoolShip go, noting that the ReadingsAreOffTheScale, evading {{Negative Space Wedgie}}s, manipulating the AppliedPhlebotinum, and so forth.

The standard bridge cliché involves TheCaptain sitting in the very center on a [[CoolChair Command Chair]], with two crewmembers (sometimes Bridgebunnies) in front of him steering the ship, looking at an AppliedPhlebotinum viewscreen showing a whizzing star field or a map of nearby space. Other characters sit at workstations arranged in a circle around the perimeter. There's an elevator or other extremely convenient access, and any character who wants to come to The Bridge [[SwissCheeseSecurity can do so easily]]. The Bridge will be spacious and have a large ''stage'', usually in front of TheCaptain's chair, so the officers, their invited guests, and the random uninvited enemy of the week can walk around and meaningfully emote.

Essentially The Bridge is part of the SpaceIsAnOcean model of space flight, in which the traditions of naval architecture are RecycledINSPACE by lazy writers. It will typically either be perched on [[TwoDSpace the obvious "top"]] of the ship, often in some sort of conning-tower, or in the nose like the flight deck of an aircraft.

The Bridge will typically cram navigation, weapons control and even strategic-level command functions into a single room, all controlled by the same handful of people, despite the fact that putting them next to a giant window seems to be a disaster waiting to happen.

There are NoSeatBelts on the bridge, so that the dramatic effect of StarTrekShake will be maximised.

See also TheWarRoom. Not to be confused with TakeItToTheBridge, or with DroppedABridgeOnHim.

Of course, the reason this trope is so prevalent is because it works so well for storytelling purposes. The producers of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' tried playing around with the setup, but they realized that it's pretty much the optimal design for the kinds of stories that Star Trek tells.

This has nothing to do with the game of TabletopGame/{{Bridge}}, the cop show known in English as ''[[Series/BronBroen The Bridge]]'', the Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel known as The Bridge, the PuzzlePlatformer game ''VideoGame/TheBridge'', the German movie ''Film/{{The Bridge|1959}}'' (Die Brücke) (or novel of the same name), or the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''[=/=]''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' {{Crossover}} {{Fanfic}} of [[Fanfic/TheBridge the same name]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' bridge on ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' and its counterparts in ''Anime/{{Macross 7}}'' and ''Anime/MacrossFrontier''.
* In the ''Mazinger'' shows:
** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': [[HomeBase The Photon Atomic Power Research Institute]] has one: a large room with a chair for [[TheProfessor Prof. Yumi]] sitting, and BridgeBunnies working in front of him and performing MissionControl. The [[AirborneAirCraftCarrier flying]] [[CoolShip and submarine]] fortress of [[CoDragons Baron Ashura and Count Brocken]] also had bridges.
** The [[AirborneAircraftCarrier aircrafts]] and [[StarShip spaceships]] of [[BeneathTheEarth the Mykene Empire]] -- from ''Anime/GreatMazinger''- and [[AlienInvasion the Vegan Empire]] -from ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' -- also had bridges fitted with those elements.
* All bridges on all the large ships in the ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' series.
* Like ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', the main characters' vessel in ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' contains a relatively small cockpit, and a larger living-room structure that better serves the functions of The Bridge.
* Humorously referred to in the anime series ''Anime/DennouCoil'': in episode four, the kids of the Daikoku City Hackers Club engage in a cyber-battle while seated on a bunch of overturned desks that recall the classical Bridge disposition (with the club president at the center and elevated above the others, of course) and surround themselves with virtual-reality screens and terminals on which they bash with RapidFireTyping: but hey, they '''are''' kids playing after all....
* ''Anime/StarshipOperators'' has 3 bridges for Amaterasu, one for command, one for fire control, and one for conning. All the bridges are quite cramped, though, and there are seat belts.
* The Arthra from ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', and heck, pretty much every ship of the [[TheFederation Time-Space Administration Bureau]] has the standard roomy bridge. The Saint's Cradle however, is controlled from a cramp platform hidden in the heart of the ship.
* Let it not be said that ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' doesn't know its tropes, as the ships of all five SOS Brigade members in the episode "[[DeepImmersionGaming The Day of Sagittarius III]]" come equipped with the standard bridge set-ups, complete with themed BridgeBunnies.
* Obviously Anime/UchuuSenkanYamato has a bridge, explained by being literally a battleship RecycledInSpace. Then again, other starships depicted are like this too, including ones not from earth.
** They actually have ''three'' bridges, but the main one gets almost all of the camera time. The third bridge, as Wiki/TheOtherWiki puts it, "seems to exist largely to be blown off the ship dramatically".
** Like the original ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'', this series predates the establishment of female BridgeBunnies as a trope. They have [[TheSmurfettePrinciple one girl]] on the bridge, but the Bunny-like locations are occupied by young male OddCouple Kodai and Shima.
* Mamoru Nagano and Creator/KunihikoIkuhara's light novel ''Literature/SchellBullet'' gives us the ''Rogne Balt'''s bridge. Not absurdly spacious ''per se'', but generally as [[StarshipLuxurious stylish and ostentatious]] as it gets (and as just about everything on the ship) -- [[AuthorAppeal exactly in the line]] with aestetical views of both authors.
* ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'' ''partially'' goes for the standard aversion, making the bridges of its ships cramped and flight deck like,.. but only for the lighter units. Capital ships feature standard elevated platforms for the captain (with enough room to swing the ceremonial sword), loads of BridgeBunnies etc. Although both the capital ships and the lighter elements have their bridges in the heart of the ship and not exposed -- this comes as a major plot point in one series when Lamhirh friend and mentor [[spoiler:dies in the doomed destroyer's bridge, when battle damage blocks the way to the shuttle]].
* ''Manga/OutlawStar'' has a small bridge for the eponymous ship, though most functions can be handled by the pilot.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': it isn't in a space ship, but the local bridge fits every caracteristics, complete with BridgeBunnies and conveniant elevators.
* ''Anime/IrresponsibleCaptainTylor'' uses the bridge of the ''Soyokaze'' quite heavily. The Raalgon ships, although based on OrganicTechnology, also have familiar bridge layouts.
* The bridge of ''Nadesico'' in ''Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico'' is quite spacious and populated by very od people.
* ''Anime/SuperAtragon'': The only part of the battleship ''Ra'''s interior that is actually shown.
* ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'': The ''Arcadia'''s bridge seems to be equipped with blowers that generate DramaticWind.
* In ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', the warships of the [[TheEmpire Empire]] and the [[TheFederation Alliance]] have different bridge formats. Imperial warships feature the commander sitting in a central command chair with his bridge crew surrounding him, whereas Alliance warships have bridges that resemble RealLife naval warships with multi-tiered decks and the commander (usually standing) occupying the top deck. [[{{Deuteragonist}} Yang Wen-li's]] flagship ''Hyperion'' is worthy of mention: retrofitted from a frontier security squadron battleship, it differs from conventional Alliance flagships by a reduction of tiers in the bridge and an expanded top deck to accommodate a meeting table.
* Hagan's bridge in ''Anime/AgentAika'' featured a captain's chair that was recessed into the floor, rather than raised. This might have been related to the fact that he crewed his ship with highly attractive females wearing a uniform that he designed, which just happened to have skirts that would have made ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' female uniforms look modest.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': It is not a spaceship, but the [[HomeBase Distler Air Force Base]] has a bridge that fits all characteristics: elevated seats for the commander, BridgeBunnies sitting at workstations in front of him, and a large, ample stage between the commander and the workers at the workstations.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': HERZís HQ has one with all typical characteristics. It was rebuilt after the destruction of the old NERV's underground base.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': The Geofront has a bridge. It is described as this in chapter 4: ''The vast expanse of the "bridge" yawned before her. The command center was constructed not unlike the conning tower of a submarine above the sea of machinery and support networks that composed the MAGI system, centered on the three spherical computer nodes beneath her. The three technicians in front of her set to work, and a variety of views appeared above her on an enormous holographic screen overlaid with topographic maps, technical readouts, and other data.''
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, it's made clear [[RealityEnsues what can happen]] due to the typical ''StarWars'' bridge design--an enemy attack breaks through the command ship's shields, ''shreds the bridge, and [[CharacterDeath kills the ship's admiral]]''. It's then {{Lampshaded}} that the Trans-Galactic Republic is fully aware of such dangers and has a "Force Coordination Center" in the heart of the ship--but [[TemptingFate nobody ever managed to defeat the shielding]] on that class of Star Dreadnaught before, so the RuleOfCool reigned supreme.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Most vehicles in ''Franchise/StarWars'' that are large enough to have one. [[TheEmpire Imperial]] ships don't follow the usual layout, though -- BridgeBunnies are confined to two sunken pits full of consoles, bisected by a long walkway for Darth Vader to pace up and down menacingly. It's basically galley slaves InSPACE! The Walkway serves the same purpose as the raised command chair in TOS that allows kirk to turn around and see what everyone else is doing, only instead of requiring a full rotation, you just turn your head from side to side. It also has room in the back for a Holographic 3D display, rather than a 2D viewscreen at the front, instead it has a window for similar reasons as the ''Star Trek ''(2009) Bridge does.
* The new ''Film/StarTrek'' film goes further than the series it's based on and has a window instead of a view screen, and the interior looks like an Apple store.
* In ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', there are ''multiple'' Bridges, and are used to great effect, except [[InsistentTerminology being submarines]] they're called the 'control room' or just 'conn'.
* ''Film/SpaceMutiny'' has two bridges, one for the good guys, one for the bad guys, both on the ''same ship''.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Alien}}'': the ''Nostromo'' has a fairly cramped control room for piloting the ship (and, in a deleted scene, listening to a beacon), and at least one area with windows/monitors that allows Ash to monitor the away team, but most of the gathering and decision making is made around a general living area table.
* The Helicarrier in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' has a particularly large one. It's got a gigantic window at the front, and the ship's briefing room is basically part of it as well. Bonus points because the space has room for ''tons'' of BridgeBunnies (and more points because they come in all genders!)
* The command center aboard the ''[=ZARYa=]'' in the Soviet sci-fi classic ''Film/MoscowCassiopeia'' is located at the front of the craft and features a control panel (full of [[BillionsOfButtons lots of unlabeled buttons]]) with several TV-sized screens and two windows on the sides. There are three identical chairs in front of the control panel, with TheCaptain sitting in the middle. The rear wall of the bridge is padded.

* The Pool ship's bridge and the Blade ship's bridge in K.A. Applegate's ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' are the locations of some very important events.
* Bridges in Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series are usually quite spacious, but you'd hardly notice it, them being cluttered by the crew's workstations (up to several dozens on a large capital ship), their associated shock frames (happily averting NoSeatbelts), buried deep into the most protected part of the ship, and having not exactly the classical layout. Basically they are modeled not on a ship's steering bridge, but on a [[TheWarRoom War Room]] or a submarine's Command Center. Larger ships have two, the second headed by the executive officer in battle situations in case the main bridge is damaged or destroyed. Ships intended for flagship purposes also include a flag bridge for the admiral and their staff.
* The Task Force Resolution ships in ''Literature/{{Lacuna}}'' have an Operations room that functions as their bridge.
* Sergey Pavlov's HardSF novel ''Moon Rainbow'' just loves to subvert various tropes, starting with both the titular CoolShip and its counterpart later in the novel being not a naval vessels, but an exploration boat and ''freighter'' respectively, so it's not surprising that it does it for this trope as well. Just as in Honorverse example above, bridges there are more of a control rooms, large, but cluttered, with seatbelted crew being generally just representatives of their departments collected there for the Captain's convenience, and rarely, if ever, being BridgeBunnies -- they're just too busy for it. There are also a number of ''other'' control rooms throughout the sip, each controlling is own department, and a couple of sub-bridges for steering, astrogation and managing ships various systems.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* UrExample: the bridge of the ''Enterprise'' on ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' set the pattern for The Bridge on many other SpeculativeFictionSeries. (Note though, that at in least one ''Star Trek'' movie there are in fact seat belts on the bridge, in the form of arm rests that fold down and lock a person in his seat. Also, Kirk had ''male'' BridgeBunnies.)
*** On the seat belts note, it's almost as if the entire concept of seat belts is being played with. Think about it, played with in dramatic flair in TMP as described above (Literally. The wormhole scene) since the choreography on the show was comical, discarded as a stupid idea by being shown on the losing ship(s) after being sabotaged (and blown up) in 3, and never appeared again. Then came the reboot. And guess what they brought back?!
** In a case of TruthInTelevision, the US Navy began to design their bridges after that of the ''Enterprise'' due to its more efficient layout.
*** This is also a case of influence going both ways, since the design of the original Enterprise's bridge was done by Matt Jeffries based on military aviation designs, some input from Naval sources... and the appearance of an electric stove's heating coil.
*** In ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', the Bridge of the ''Defiant'' started to sound like a Navy bridge, with orders being repeated and relayed (the computers were busted).
** Budget and time constraints, along with the need to make different ship interiors visually distinct from one another in ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]]'' and later series, however, lead to a number of other Federation starships with bridges that were decidedly less efficient and practical. The starship ''Jenolan'' from the episode ''Relics'' was of particular note, as it featured several stations--including the command chair--isolated from the others by bulkheads, without any line-of-sight to the other bridge stations.
** In almost every instance, the bridge of ships that weren't the ''Enterprise'' (even other ships with the Galaxy class saucer, which logically should have the same bridge design) used various redresses of the battle bridge set (which was itself a redress of the movie-era bridge set), creating an emergent standard of Federation starship bridges. The design became so prevalent that the bridge of the [[Film/StarTrekBeyond USS]] ''[[Film/StarTrekBeyond Franklin,]]'' built two centuries earlier, used almost the very same layout. One of the very few exceptions was the [[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS4E26S5E1Redemption USS]] ''[[Recap/StarTrekTheNextGenerationS4E26S5E1Redemption Sutherland]]''. Since both the main and battle bridge sets were in use for that episode, the ''Sutherland'''s bridge was constructed in the enlisted galley set from ''Film/StarTrekVITheUndiscoveredCountry''.
** In a few episodes of the original series, and in several episodes of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the ships featured, in addition to the bridge located on top of the ship, a secondary "Battle Bridge" located deep inside some heavily armored portion of the ship. It also doubled as the bridge for the main section of the ship whenever the plot demanded they [[EscapePod jettison the saucer section]].
** This only applies to TheFederation ships. [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Klingon]] captains always sit at the front of the bridge, leading the warriors into battle.
*** Except on the Birds of Prey in the movies, which had very Federation-like bridge layouts except for the periscope the captain uses to aim and operate the weapons. The bridges of Klingon ships in ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' had the same layout minus the consoles in between the captain and the viewscreen.
** The first Romulan ship we ever see actually had most of the systems operated by standing crewmen arranged around a central pillar with the captain wandering around the perimeter giving orders. Later Romulan ships had bridges that looked more like later Klingon ships, possibly a result of the Klingon-Romulan treaty.
* ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' is another example of this pattern.
** The bridge was later re-designed by Harper a little. The pilot now has to stand, for some reason.
* The ''Excalibur'' on ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' intentionally departed from this pattern, with a long rectangular bridge more akin to the control rooms on modern-day attack submarines.
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has a variety of bridge designs for the different races.
** Narn ships are cramped with everyone strapped in because they lack artificial gravity. The White Star's bridge is fairly spacious with the expected central command chair and separate work stations. Earth ships have the central command chair and a more cramped layout (and seatbelts). The eponymous station's Command and Control isn't really a bridge at all, but combines air traffic control, tactical control, and other functions.
** The ''Excalibur'' class destroyers featured in ''A Call To Arms'' and ''Crusade'' feature the central command chair surrounded by workstations ''a la'' Star Trek, with the addition of the commander's conference room opening up directly behind it as an extension of the room.
** The ''Liandra'' from ''Legend of the Rangers'' is an interesting case, being an old (and failed) Minbari design. It features a small (but mostly standard sci-fi) bridge, except for the weapons. The weapons room is a zero-g spherical chamber that shows the holo-image of the surrounding space, allowing the gunner to target and fire the ship's weapons with ''gestures''. Basically, the weapons fire as fast as the gunner can ''punch air'' (anyone who has ever played a boxing game using Kinect will know how tiresome that gets). No wonder the design failed. Minbari aren't very good when they try new things on their own.
* The original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' had a standard TV bridge; the Combat Information Center on the new ''[[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 Galactica]]'' is more like TheWarRoom in nature, being located deep within the armoured superstructure of the ship. [[Series/BattlestarGalactica2003 Reimagined Series]] creator Creator/RonaldDMoore, a veteran writer of three Franchise/StarTrek series[[labelnote:*]]''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', and ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''[[/labelnote]] designed the [=CIC=] specifically to avoid a number of Trek bridge tropes and cliches that he had grown tired of.
* Averted in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and the film ''Serenity'', where the spacecraft is flown from a flight-deck clearly modeled on transport aircraft rather than ships. It is much smaller, with just two workstations, actual windows in place of a viewscreen, and nowhere for the captain to sit. The dining room or cargo hold is a much more common gathering place than the flight deck.
* The bridge of the ''{{Series/Lexx}}'' has nothing but a viewscreen, a pedestal for the Captain, and a ''[[NoOSHACompliance thousand-foot drop to one side.]]''
* The bridge of ''Series/SeaQuestDSV'' was not very sub-like, but it was supposed to be a radical design. Because of the ship's long configuration, a maglev train was the convenient access.
* The titular ship on ''Series/RedDwarf'' doesn't seem to have an actual bridge; the Navigation Room is seen a few times, but most of the action happens in and around the main characters' quarters. During the two seasons without the ''Red Dwarf'', the bridge of Starbug is a small room only seen during emergencies, and the "character" action happens in the dining room.
** The viewer does see Red Dwarf's bridge, briefly, in the very first episode, when Lister is called before the Captain and chewed out for bringing a cat on board. Another episode hints later on that the area is still radioactive from the accident which set the show's plot in motion.
** Series 10 has several scenes set in a control room which has about the same dimensions and layout of a Starbug bridge.
* ''Series/VoyageToTheBottomOfTheSea'' had a submarine-style control room that was just large enough to fit all the major characters along with extras to run sonar, control, and communication. For dramatic visual purposes, the ''Seaview'' also had big viewing windows, right up in the bow, where they could be shattered by any trivial collision. They would even direct the ship from there. Eventually the producers realized that the captain of a submarine had no business trying to navigate his vessel by looking out the window into a murky ocean, though the windows remained and the bridge was never shifted to the depths of the vessel where it should have been. In fact, the bridge was moved ''to'' the front of the ship, just behind the windows in the second season.
** The windows did have moving shutters that closed over them, they just weren't used very often.
* Despite fact that the TARDIS on ''Series/DoctorWho'' is ''huge'', literally as big as the plot requires, and contains libraries, a swimming pool, crew quarters, a sickbay, storage rooms, cloisters, endless corridors to run up and down, and much more, you pretty much only ever see the console room. The new series had glimpse of the wardrobe and a few corridors before, after several years, "Journey to the Center of the TARDIS" gives us the full tour.
* The Franchise/StargateVerse play this trope straight across multiple species.
** Tau'ri bridges have the captain [[http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/File:304Bridge11.jpg sitting in the middle with another crewman sitting on either side]] of him, [[http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/File:304BridgeForward.jpg facing a large viewport]]; all other crewmembers are standing behind these three.
** Ancient ships have spherical bridges with the captain [[http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/File:AuroraCommandChair.jpg sitting in a raised chair]] and the others working along the walls. Even larger window. The ''Destiny'' in ''Series/StargateUniverse'' has a [[http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/File:Destiny_brige.jpg similar design]].
** Traveler ships have a bridge that's [[http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/File:Travler_bridge.jpg more like]] a large two-seater cockpit.
** [[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080821183922/stargate/images/6/67/BilisknerBridge.jpg Asgard ships]] have a very different bridge design, consisting of a central "pillar of light" and multiple platforms, although it only appears once: most of the time the bridge appears to be whatever room Thor has parked his [[CoolChair teleporting throne]] in at that particular moment.
** Hive ships have a bridge, but it's not as important, since the ships controls are very distributed.
** Ori ships have a similar bridge as Ancient ships, to be controlled by a prior.
** Goa'uld motherships have a [[http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/stargate/images/4/47/HatakBridge.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080724170623 standard design]] with the throne of the captain (typically, a Goa'uld lord) in the middle and consoles in the front. Smaller ships lack the bridge.
* ''Moya'' in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' has several standing consoles in front of a screen. Then again, most of the functions are controlled by the Pilot deep within the bowels of the ship. Peacekeeper command carriers have an elongated design with consoles positioned at angles towards the front. The consoles have large, sweeping supports for the crew to trip over. Being a gunship (and young), ''Talyn'' has a small, cramped command center deep within the ship with consoles lining the walls. However, all control functions can be performed by the captain, who has a device implanted in the back of his head for giving out mental commands. Being a genetically-engineered hybrid of [[LivingShip Leviathan]] and Peacekeeper technology, ''Talyn'' doesn't require a Pilot.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} Starships'':
** There are several types of bridges depending on the ship. Some ships, notably naval flagships have more then one bridge(one for the ship and one for the fleet). Different crew members are assigned workstations with computers arranged to taste.
** Hivers, quite sensibly, but contrary to sci-fi tradition put their bridges in the middle of the ship. They also fire the guns from the bridge, again quite sensibly but contrary to sci-fi tradition.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has of course bridges tending towards the monumental -- while the Lord-Captain resides on the obligatory Command Throne, the rest of the bridge is generally big enough to qualify as TheWarRoom. The ''TabletopGame/RogueTrader'' RPG has bridges as a starship component type. Depending on the specific component chosen, the bridge layout and its equipment can benefit anything from spaceship combat to commerce, exploration or planetary invasions.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series has shown the bridges of several different ships, most of which fit the cliche.
** The ''Pillar of Autumn'' from ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' in particular has a rather... precarious seat for the pilot and another officer, to put it mildly; in fact, the bridge of the ''Autumn'' is a complete contradiction - supposedly one of the most ridiculously over-engineered ships in the whole human fleet, yet it has just about the most exposed bridge it is possible to imagine?
** Meanwhile, the bridge on the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Covenant]] ship ''Truth and Reconciliation'' (also from ''CE'') is particularly enormous and laid out in a circular design. However, like all Covenant ships, it's also located in the center of the vessel and has no obvious 'viewscreens'. Being a video game, it's also not easy to get to.
** Partially subverted with the bridge of the UNSC frigate ''In Amber Clad'' from ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'': while it does have a central Commader's chair, two forward bridge-bunny stations and several other stations around the perimeter, it's also badly cramped.
** In the novels, the Covenant occasionally {{Lampshade}} a particularly common cliche of this trope, calling the human's bridge location in the fore of the ship "bold but foolish." That said, although human bridges are towards the front or the top of the ship they are not always exposed. Whilst it is never out-and-out stated it's made very clear in the novels most ships have internal bridges a decent distance from the hull.
** Not to be outdone by anyone, the UNSC ''Valiant''-class supercruisers had huge bridges with ''two dozen'' bridge stations for fleet coordination.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' - while NPC ships are presumed to have bridges, one of the advantages of player-controlled ships is that they don't ''have'' bridges - instead, the ship's command functions are wired directly into the pilot's nervous system. This allows the ship to react quicker, and cuts down on the need for life support.
** Nevertheless, some ship models ([[http://www.eveonlineships.com/eve-online-ship.php?navicrip=bWlubWF0YXItdGVtcGVzdC0zLmpwZw== especially Minmatar designs]]) have elongated or raised parts that look like bridges. The fan vid [[http://www.eveonline.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=783871 Clear Skies]] shows [[spoiler: how dangerous that can be.]]
** Fluff-wise, the capsuleer ships are simply retrofitted conventional vessels.
* Also averted in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. The bridge of the Normandy is a small compartment in the nose of the spaceship with just enough room for two pilots. All important navigational decisions seem to be made from the control deck further aft, and all important character gatherings take place in the strangely spacious communications room. This is apparently a Turian design which the Alliance used on the Normandy so they could compare its efficiency to their own (never seen) bridge layouts.
** Though it seems to be implied that Alliance ships play this trope more straight.
--> '''Joker:''' Y'know what pisses me off? Calling this the cockpit. Alliance ships have bridges. Asari ships have cockpits. Oh, wait. [[OneGenderRace No they don't.]]"
** Technically, the pilot's compartment is the helm, not the bridge. Control deck has all the bridge facilities and is also constantly manned by officers. The game simply doesn't show how the ship is actually commanded. Normandy design also resembles one of the submarine (what makes sense, given it is small, stealth special-purpose vessel).
** Even further averted with the addition of the WarRoom in the third game, where most of the characters congregate to discuss any upcoming military strategy, engage in diplomacy or to update their leadership on their progress. Once a plan is finalised, any relevant information is then relayed to the officers in the CIC, before being passed to the helm so Joker can plot a course.
*** For bonus points, they are all located on the same deck, so if internal communications ever went down, critical information can still be relayed as easy as just walking from one room to another.
** The bridge of the ''Destiny Ascension'' is shown several times. It also appears to play this trope straight, although it's an asari flagship and a dreadnought to boot (since dreadnoughts are too large to land on planets, their rooms a located perpendicular to the thrust).
** Shepherd can discuss the bridge layout with a senior Alliance officer, who points out the various concerns with the layout, such as the Captain being located so far from many of the other positions, particularly the pilots. Shepherd points out the ubiquitous CommLinks, and states that in an emergency, he can always just bellow orders like a DrillSergeantNasty. That said, it's pretty common in the games for Shepherd to just stand behind Joker's chair when the ship does anything exciting.
* In both ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' video games this trope is also averted -- the [[CoolShip Ebon Hawk]] has a small cockpit and some sort of a briefing room for important discussions. It is played straight with the Sith warships and their massive rooms with sunken areas for control operators and a long walkway for Malak to pace up and down menacingly, and the Republic ''Hammerhead''-class vessels and their console-lined rooms at the prow with big windows.
** Well, the Ebon Hawk wasn't exactly a warship, now was it?
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' gives the player access to the bridges of several ships.
* Appears to be averted in ''VideoGame/StarControl'', although, to be fair, the heavily-pixelized crew animations don't show enough to be certain. Human crews, for example, are shown to be sitting in a cramped control room with chairs back-to-back. Then again, given that their shape is based on ''Franchise/StarTrek'', they may have a "standard" sci-fi bridge. Other examples include the [[ArtificialHuman Androsynth]], who operate their ships from a standing position, and the [[BugWar Ur-Quan]], who hang from the ceiling in a massive chamber.
* Appears to be the case with human ships in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'', with The Bridge located in the Command (i.e. forward) section with a large window into space. Partially subverted with the (presumed) existence of a secondary bridge in the Mission section, meaning that destroying the Command section does not result in the ship becoming useless.
** Battle bridge confirmed [[http://www.kerberos-productions.com/wp-content/gallery/sots2/sword_of_the_stars_2_screen1.jpg here]]. The same diagram also shows that both bridges are protected by blast shields.
* In the "Mothership Zeta" {{DLC}} for ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', the titular [[TheGreys alien]] mothership has a large bridge with the captain's chair in the front and various consoles to the sides.
* Many cutscenes in ''[[VideoGame/NavalOps Warship Gunner 2]]'' consist of the characters talking on the bridge. While every ship you build in the series requires a bridge, this is the only title where you get to see what's going on in it.
* Equipping different bridge modules in ''VideoGame/InfiniteSpace'' can improve your ship's performance, as well as the background for traveling or fighting. Many cutscenes are set on the bridge of some ship or other.
* The ''Lexington'''s [[http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/images/galleries/335/335_3.jpg bridge]] in ''VideoGame/MissionCritical'' is reminiscent of ''Franchise/StarTrek'', which is fitting, given that the captain is played by [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Michael Dorn]]. The captain's chair is in the middle. The officer stations are along the sides of the large circular room. No front-facing consoles, though. There is also a large viewscreen at the front. However, unlike Trek ships, the bridge and every other deck on the ''Lexington'' is facing perpendicular to the acceleration in order to provide artificial gravity.
* The player's party in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games is often based on a battleship of some kind and cutscenes sometimes take place on the bridge.
* The ''VideoGame/WingCommander'' games occasionally feature scenes on the bridge, though given the focus of the series they're not common. In a subversion, the BWS ''Intrepid'''s bridge was destroyed in combat with Confederation forces before Blair joins them, so the ship is run from the Combat Information Center with a jury-rigged setup to replace the functionality lost with the damaged bridge.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'' has a couple of ships with this style. When Roger Wilco becomes a Star Confedration captain in Space Quest V, he is assigned to the SCS ''Eureka'' which plays the trope straight on a small scale, since the ''Eureka'' is, literally, a garbage scow. Roger's chair is in the center, as usual, with Officer Flo and Subcorporal Droole towards the front. Captain Quirk's ship, the SCS ''Goliath'', plays it straighter, in addition to the SCS ''[=DeepShip=] 86'' in the next game which is based on ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]''. However, since the ''[=DS86=]'''s captain is a member of a CatFolk species, his chair is a large, plush couch with scratched-up sides.
* Pre-mission briefings in ''VideoGame/TheWonderful101'' take place on the bridge of the ''Virgin Victory'', the flying base of operations for the titular army of heroes. It's dominated by a gigantic hologram of Earth and features an impressive array of flashing control panels.
* As expected based on the name, ''VideoGame/StarTrekBridgeCommander'' takes place exclusively on the bridge of your ship. The only time you're shown ''not'' on the bridge is at the very beginning, when your HeroicMime PlayerCharacter is walking there. While the game does have an "outside" view, which even allows you to take direct control of your ship in battle, it's generally best to limit yourself to giving orders to your tactical officer and have him do all the fighting and maneuvering. In fact, for a game that asks you to sit back and let your subordinates do their jobs, the game is surprisingly engaging. Bonus points for switching bridge designs on you partway through, after you're transferred from USS ''Dauntless'' (''Galaxy''-class) to USS ''Sovereign'' (''Sovereign''-class).
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' lets you choose from dozens of bridge designs, some varying on the standard Trek theme and some completely different. The bridges are also ''huge'' compared to their versions on TV.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': in "Tennyo's Easter" the first we see of the empire known as the Royan Marches is a scene on The Bridge of a prototype battleship.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''The Chronicles of Riddick: WesternAnimation/DarkFury'' has a ship with a ''stupendously'' large bridge.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision to varying degrees for many types of ships, although RealLife bridges might often seem rather cramped compared to their television counterparts, and the terminology varies based on the type of watercraft.
** On old sailing ships, the officers often commanded the ship from the "Poop Deck"[[note]][[InherentlyFunnyWords "Poop Deck"]] comes from the French word for "Stern", ''la poupe''.[[/note]]. This deck was typically elevated and allowed the officers to see much of the ship and the men at work.
** On paddle-wheel steamships, the large paddlewheels tended to obstruct one's view, so many ships featured a literal bridge (hence the name) built across the middle of the ship, high enough to let the officers see over the entire ship. Once paddlewheels were replaced by screws, the elevated observation post remained for its obvious utility. Many warships will also feature command and control centers deep within the ship to act as a backup in emergencies, compare to the "Battle Bridge" on ''Franchise/StarTrek''.