[[quoteright:330:[[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bridgekeeper.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:"Stop! Who approaches the Bridge of Death must answer me TheseQuestionsThree, ere the other side he see."]]

->''I'm the grumpy old troll who lives under the briiiiiidge\\
I'm the grumpy old troll who lives under the briiiiiidge\\
Who's there?\\
If you wanna come over\\
All you have to do is this\\
All you have to do is thiiiiiiis\\
Solve my riddle!''
--> -- '''The Grumpy Old Troll''' (who lives under the bridge), ''DoraTheExplorer''

TheHero and his companions are on a [[TheHerosJourney quest]] to find a MacGuffin, stop TheBigBad and SaveTheWorld. In order to get to the MacGuffinLocation, they have to cross a bridge. But wait, there's [[ThresholdGuardians someone guarding]] the bridge, and they won't let TheHero past until they pass a test.

Usually a [[AllTrollsAreDifferent troll of one kind]] or [[{{Troll}} another]], these bridgekeepers more often than not demand that anyone who wants to cross has to answer a riddle.

Related to RiddleOfTheSphinx. Compare OnlySmartPeopleMayPass and OnlyTheWorthyMayPass.
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!!Examples
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The four encounter a variant of this during the quest for the third part of the Vasyn in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached''. In this case, they're in a narrow canyon and they have to pay a toll to a troll in order to pass. The troll wants flesh to eat, specifically George [[VoluntaryShapeshifting (who's a horse at the moment)]]. When they turn it down, it jokes that it'll wrestle one of the rather feeble-looking four for the chance to continue on. Things do not end well for the troll, or at least its self-esteem.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The old man from scene #24 who guards The Bridge of Death in ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' asks anyone who wants to cross [[strike:five]] three questions, although the questions' difficulty varies wildly. Anyone who can't answer is flung into The Gorge of Eternal Peril. The catch: [[spoiler:If you ask ''him'' a question and he can't answer it, ''he'' gets thrown]].
** The Black Knight may also count as a troll.
* ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'': In order to pass Sir Didymus's Bridge, you must first best the little creature in a fight ... or ask his permission.
* Played for laughs in Mel Brooks' ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights''. Little John refuses to let Robin and his group pass over the bridge unless they can beat him in a duel. The other characters then point out that the waterway that the bridge crosses "Ain't exactly the Mississippi" and can just as easily be jumped over without trouble. Robin fights Little John anyways. HilarityEnsues.
** This of course being [[WeirdAlEffect a parody of the scene in every other version of the myth.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[TropeNamer The troll in the story]] of "Literature/TheThreeBillyGoatsGruff" threatens to eat the goats that cross the bridge he lives under.
* This actually appears in the ''Literature/MorteDarthur''. It appears in Creator/ChretienDeTroyes's version too.
* It appears in the ''Literature/TheBible''. The Angel of Death appears at a ford to prevent some guy from crossing it.
** Also in ''The Bible'', Balaam gets held up by an angel that only his donkey can see.
* In Literature/{{Discworld}} this is a traditional Troll occupation. It is extremely impolite to mention the Three Billy Goats Gruff.
** The Literature/{{Discworld}} short story 'Troll Bridge'' naturally features one of these. While Cohen originally was going to fight him, the two end up reminiscing together over how the world isn't as accommodating to heroes and monsters as it once was.
** A Troll also has a legitimate job as a toll taker of a bridge into Lancre. It's mentioned that people crossing the bridge pay a certain amount to cross, and 10,000 gold pieces to bring a billy goat across. A footnote mentions, "Trolls may have been slow, but they didn't forget in a hurry either."
* One of Creator/JimButcher's short stories in the [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Dresdenverse]], called "Restoration of Faith", has an interesting take on a Bridge Troll... in Chicago, even.
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', both the bridge to the House of Foryx as well as the House itself are guarded by a Toll-Man and a [=DoorKeeper=] respectively.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' (and its [[Series/GameOfThrones TV adaptation]]), the main bridge across the Green Fork is fortified and guarded by two castles known as The Twins that are the seat of the feudal house Frey. The Freys extort variable payments from whoever wants to cross their bridge, which can get absurdly high if the traveler is desperate enough.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* [[SesameStreet "STOP!"]] [[DramaticThunder *thunder*]] [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/The_Bridgekeeper "I am The Bridgekeeper!"]] He requires crossers to answer questions about shapes (and sometimes to play a tune) before they can pass him and cross.
* Appeared in ''Series/NorthernExposure'' in the episode when Fleischman leaves the show.
* Parodied, minus the bridge, in "The Nightman Cometh" episode of ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia''.
* ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' had a sketch about a "Gap Troll" that asked riddles of customers to The Gap.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime:'' The Enchanted Forest has a troll bridge, which is matched by a decrepit toll bridge in Storybrooke.
* On ''Series/LostGirl'', a between-seasons webisode has Kenzi searching for a druid and being stopped on a bridge by a short, scrawny guy who demands that she pay a toll. Turns out the guy was an internet troll but got demoted to bridge duty as punishment. However, when Kenzi and her companion try to ignore the troll and cross the bridge without payment, the troll attacks and beats them up. Despite his puny appearance, he is still a troll and has incredible strength. In the end Kenzi's companion agrees to take over the troll's bridge duty for a month so Kenzi can pass unmolested.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology]]
* Oedipus encountered the Sphinx, who required all travelers to [[RiddleOfTheSphinx answer her riddle]] before letting them continue on their journey. If they failed, she ate them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheLedgendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' Link must joust a King Bublin on The Eldin Bridge on horseback.
* That one puzzle in ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland''. [[spoiler:The Troll is George Lucas in a Mask, you need to feed him a red herring to pass.]]
* ''ColossalCave'' has a troll bridge, as do umpteen other InteractiveFiction games probably influenced by it.
* In ''VideoGame/MySims Kingdom'', Spookane resident Yuki stops you from crossing unless you bring her "shinies", found in the nearby ruins. If you don't, she'll bite your face! Okay, not really, but she really wants to!
* A special event ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' parodies the Monty Python scene above, in which TheChosenOne's path is blocked by a bridgekeeper, who will only let him pass if he answers three questions. If he is unable to answer the questions correctly, he will [[CriticalExistenceFailure spotaneously die.]] If he answers all three correctly, he is allowed to pass. However, if he answers the final question with a question, the bridgekeeper himself will be unable to answer, and thus will die.
* ''{{Shadowgate}}'' has a bridge, guarded by a troll. Like [[EverythingTryingToKillYou most things in Shadowgate]], messing with him is usually fatal, as he likes pulling the bridge out from under you [[spoiler:and is too smart to be fooled by copper coins. Only gold will do.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}: Subterranean Animism'' has a bridge guarded by a [[GreenEyedMonster jealousy-ridden]], AxCrazy [[{{Youkai}} Bridge Princess]]. [[BulletHell Three guesses how you get past her]].
* In one of the campaigns in TheBattleForWesnoth you will encounter a Toll Bridge, where you must pay Troll.
* In some old ''{{Ultima}}'' games, any time you step on a bridge, there's a chance that you'll get a RandomEncounter made up entirely of trolls.
* The InteractiveFiction "game" ''[[http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=1z2lxiqua980sedk +=3]]'' confronts the player with a bridge guarded by a Three Troll, who will not let the player pass (and thus win) until he's been given three things. [[spoiler: An intentional GuideDangIt written to illustrate that a puzzle can be "logical" [[MoonLogicPuzzle and still utterly confounding]]: the player is holding only one item, but he ''can'' give the troll ''the clothes he's wearing'' to make up the difference.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'', Surka the "honorary" bridge troll does this, though she's a [[http://www.diggercomic.com/?p=271 bit more open to negotiation]] than most.
* There was a troll on the [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom Bridge Of Doom]] in ''Webcomic/TheHeroesOfMiddlecenter''. The first three heroes managed to weasel their way out of being eaten by promising that someone meatier was coming after... who happened to be the party paladin. The troll didn't expect the meat to fight back...
** When they cross the same bridge back, it's now a crime scene and a cop asks [[TheseQuestionsThree three questions]] to said paladin.
* At one point in ''YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'', a traveler gripes about having to cross a "troll bridge". His companion berates him for insulting toll collectors... only to discover the bridge actually ''is'' operated by a (very polite) troll.
* One shows up in [[http://www.theprincessplanet.com/?p=1094 this]] ''ThePrincessPlanet'' strip.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Campus Labyrinth of [[Literature/TalesOfMU Magisterius University]] has a TrollBridge. The troll doesn't let anyone pass unless they can exact change. ''"Most folks who isn't shapeshifters just change clothes with each other."''
* To acquire the secret knowledge of a forum, ye must first endure the wondering trolls and resist the urge to feed them with fire and attention.
* TheLeagueOfSTEAM encounter one in their webisode, "Big Trouble."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the ''StarFairies'' special, the titular fairies are blocked from flying and needed to cross a bridge, only to find it guarded by a large hairy creature who agrees to let them cross only if they can grant his wish, and makes them guess what the wish is. Whisper rightly guesses [[spoiler:he wishes he didn't have to guard the bridge any more, and she conjures up an automatic toll.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieAndTheDiamondCastle'' features a troll that guards a rainbow bridge that reveals itself only if travelers correctly answer his riddle. Otherwise, he eats them.
* ''[[Franchise/DisneyFairies Tinker Bell And The Lost Treasure]]'' features a pair of trolls who block Tink's way, shouting, "[[YouShallNotPass None shall pass!]]" She manages to sneak past them when they get into an argument.
* [[DoraTheExplorer "I'm the grumpy old troll who lives under the briiiiiidge! I'm the grumpy old troll who lives under the briiiiiidge!"]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': In the episode "Rainy Day Daydream," [[YourMindMakesItReal everything Jake imagines becomes real]], so when they need to cross a bridge, he imagines a "riddle master" who won't let them cross without answering a riddle. Too bad Jake can't think of a riddle...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The Battle of Stamford Bridge (1066), where one Viking supposedly resisted the Saxon troops trying to cross the bridge, holding them off until the rest of the Vikings could prepare for battle. The Viking was defeated by one cunning Saxon going under the bridge and pushing his spear UPWARDS... There's a rather graphic illustration of this outside a nearby pub.
** Obligatory BadassOfTheWeek [[http://www.badassoftheweek.com/stamfordbridge.html link.]]
[[/folder]]
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