->''"Please leave all traps as you found them, so others can enjoy the lair too."''
-->-- ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}''

[[InvertedTrope The opposite of]] AlreadyDoneForYou.

So you're racing against the BigBad trying to be the first to reach the ArtifactOfDoom. You overcome the poison dart DeathTrap, defeat the ThresholdGuardians, work your way through a [[DungeonCrawling complicated dungeon]] to find [[LockAndKeyPuzzle the missing key]], and unlock the door to the room to find... that he's already there. He got through the DeathCourse just before you did.

...so who went through the area after he was done, putting the poison dart back into the wall, resurrecting the guardians, locking the final door behind him and putting its key back at the bottom of the dungeon?

A special kind of FridgeLogic that asks how the scenario returned to its initial conditions if the situation should logically have called for AlreadyDoneForYou. A ResetButton that hit the terrain just before you got there. Can involve RespawningEnemies and/or an off-screen PuzzleReset.

This is, of course, understandable from a design perspective, since [[RuleOfFun who would want to play a game where everything already been figured out for you?]] As a result, many situations of this type can be explained away with a HandWave, and the temptation to do so on this page will likely be great. Common {{justifi|edTrope}}cations include giving the BigBad a special pass that prevents the traps from triggering, or saying that the BigBad himself set the traps to discourage pursuit. Recognize, however, that most of these justifications have already been presented several times and erased because this isn't the place for them. Take all discussions to the discussion page.

The complementary half of this trope is TookAShortcut. Whereas that trope asks how a person got somewhere faster than you, this trope is more concerned with why his passage didn't disturb the environment.

May be related to ChaosArchitecture. Compare DurableDeathtrap. Contrast AlreadyDoneForYou, obviously. Related to [[ConsoleRPGCliches73To96 Edison's Lament]], particularly in cases where there's no fathomable reason anybody would put the switch in the wrong position in the first place. Also related to OffscreenTeleportation and MobileMenace. When it's not only the "how" but also the "what" that doesn't make sense, this is a SolveTheSoupCans puzzle.


* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndThePhilosophersStone'', Harry, Ron, and Hermione go through the trials set up to protect the titular stone, even though [[spoiler:Quirrell]] already got past them some time ago. The trials are all [[AWizardDidIt magic]], and there are a few signs that [[spoiler:Quirrell]] already went through (the flying key was battered from being shoved into the keyhole, the cave troll was knocked out, etc). The potion that Harry had to drink to pass through a wall of fire might be a straight example. Apparently, one had to down the entire bottle for it to work, so unless the bottle was enchanted to refill itself, it should have been empty from [[spoiler:Quirrell]] drinking it before.
** [[FridgeLogic So why couldn't Hermione just wait for it to refill after Harry used it?]]
** Mayby it was nearly empty because Quirrel had already been drinking from it?
** Similarly, in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince'', R.A.B who stole the horcrux locket by drinking the poison surrounding it. Years later, the poison is back for Dumbledore.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The legendary ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' module "TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors" specifically states who resets the {{Death Trap}}s and how, partially because the caretakers also perform a second function in the dungeon - punishing those who try to bypass traps [[NoFairCheating through the ethereal plane]], where they stay when not resetting traps.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'''s Bestiary 4 sourcebook features the gearghost, a tiny undead ghost that lives its unlife by resetting deadly traps and watching as hapless adventurers fall victim to them. It's said that the gearghost itself is the vengeful spirit of a thief that was killed by the very trap that it maintains.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Justified in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'': the Temple of the Ocean King is controlled by an EldritchAbomination and his Phantom guards, and a skeleton outside of the Temple even tells you that the traps activate again after you leave.
*** There's also a chest that Linebeck plundered on the first floor of the Temple, but he was kind enough to close the lid so it seemed like there was still loot.
** Apparently in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' Zelda has been moving through each dungeon ahead of Link, despite all the enemies, traps, and locked doors. She has Impa helping her for part of this, but that still doesn't explain how the traps were reset, why the doors are still locked, and how they got past the boss. Humorously, Impa berates Link for being too slow to catch up to them.
*** In the game, it's hinted that the Goddesses (Din, Farore, and Nayru) are resetting the traps, so as to test if Link is worthy [[spoiler:of wielding the Triforce]].
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds'', you see Osfala enter the Eastern Palace ''immediately'' before you enter it, yet you'll find all the traps and puzzles seemingly untouched as you follow him all the way to the final room. He apparently went through with just the Sand Rod, which sorta explains why none of the traps have been altered (none involve using the Sand Rod) but leaves the bigger question of how he was able to traverse the dungeon at all.
** Played with in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. When Link enters one of the first chambers of the Fire Temple, he sees Darunia standing in front of the boss's door. Darunia clearly hasn't gone through the rest of the temple, as he was unable to find the Megaton Hammer and is worried about his odds of survival without it, which explains why all of those traps are undisturbed. What isn't explained, though, is how he's able to go through the boss door, which is sealed with a special lock that only a certain key (which is still in its chest, for Link to find) can open. Nor is it explained how the door re-locks itself after Darunia passes by. The player can hear the clinks as he goes in, but the camera is angled so that we don't see it happening.
* As you progress through ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'', you leave behind boxes resting on top of buttons, destroyed glass barriers, a lot of dead or disabled turrets, and various other markers of your presence. Some of these obviously can be reset by [=GLaDOS=]; others, less so. So who went through the testing chambers [[spoiler:(and even the behind-the-scenes areas of the game)]] cleaning up after [[spoiler:the person who went through before you]]? Extra points for asking how directional arrows and stuff, drawn on walls that are pretty impossible to reach, got there.
** And then ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tax4e4hBBZc explains it all]] by stating that [[spoiler:yes, literally everything can be reset]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'', you follow the refugees' route out of the city. This route is filled with headcrabs, zombies, elaborate physics puzzles, and various and sundry obstacles to overcome. How did anybody not named Gordon Freeman get through there alive? And why weren't the physics problems already solved by the time you got there?
** This is mentioned in the webcomic ''Concerned''. [[http://www.screencuisine.net/hlcomic/?date=2005-09-14]]
** It's heavily implied that the zombies and headcrabs are new, as a result of the Combine strike against the railway as you make your way down. More than once you see headcrab shells land, as well.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}} II'', the player comes across many messages left behind by a previous adventurer named Tyranith, who, like the PlayerCharacter, is trying to kill [[BigBad Eidolon]] and [[HorsemenOfTheApocalypse his generals]]. But then, when you start killing those generals yourself, the notes keep coming, implying that Tyranith had already killed them. Turns out, [[BadAss he did indeed kill all four generals singlehandedly]] and was on his way to deal with Eidolon, but then [[spoiler:you find his last note]]. It explains that Eidolon's [[spoiler:power source, the Chaos Sphere,]] has revived the generals (which is why you had to kill them all again), and [[spoiler:that he expects another battle or two will result in his death. A few rooms later, you find his corpse.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' series of games do a good job of providing a setting in which you are following in the footsteps of people who had been there before you. But most of the levers and buttons have been left in positions that leave the machinery in the least useful configuration. This is justified in the sequels, where in most cases there's been a villain running through the Ages before you and deliberately setting up obstacles; this is played up for ParanoiaFuel in ''Riven'', where there are sometimes hints that someone was in the room ''just'' before you got there. Meanwhile, in the fifth game, the puzzles were explicitly set up as a kind of test of worth, but in the original, did Sirrus and Achenar go around resetting everything on the various worlds just for the fun of it before getting trapped in the prison books? In ''Uru'', why are all the Ages that had already been explored and plundered by the DRC fully unlocked and unpowered?
* ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'''s SpiritualSuccessor, ''VideoGame/{{Obduction}}'', similarly takes care to explain firstly that there are reasons for all the obstacles in your path, and secondly that they were purposely put in the most inconvenient possible configuration in order to slow down anyone trying to get through. C.W. sums it up in somewhat incomprehensible terms when you first meet him:
-->'''C.W.''': First off, you should know that this whole place has been battened down for that whole karfin' Mofang battle... We gotta get everything un-battened.
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', Grodus enters the [[spoiler:Palace of Shadow]] before Mario does and isn't encountered until the penultimate chamber. However, that doesn't explain how he got there - especially since it is impossible to [[spoiler:return the stairs to the West of the tower to their original state (a corridor leading to Gloomtail) - and Grodus couldn't have dropped the stairs in the first place, since he obviously never solved the eight puzzles in the tower]].
** [[spoiler:He actually has Doopliss as Frankly trick Mario into opening the door by lying about Grodus having gone in already. He possibly goes past you and leaves the Shadow Sirens to stand guard after the tower puzzles]].
* Happens more than once in the original ''VideoGame/TombRaider''. Somehow Natla's pesky human hirelings keep getting to the end chambers ahead of Lara, leaving the traps unsprung and the creatures alive.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' is {{egregious}} because in the second game, Alex discusses how poorly first-game antagonists Saturos and Menardi were at solving the puzzles, and they were so terrible, that they accidently [[spoiler:caused the incident that happened at the very beginning from the first game]].
** Averted in ''The Lost Age''; there are two paths through the Kibombo Mountains. One requires Earth, Fire, and Wind Adepts to pass, and the other is suitable for a lone Water Adept. Your party is Felix (Earth), Jenna (Fire), and Sheba (Wind)... and a fellow named [[PunnyName Piers]] was traveling on his own ahead of you.
** The same aversion shows up in the [[VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn third game]] with the Konpa Ruins. A path is clearly shown for Noelle, a competent water adept, and Kraden to quickly travel to the center of the ruins (much faster than your path, anyway) where you meet with them. [[spoiler: [[PointOfNoReturn You'll never get to use it yourself, though, because you don't have a water adept and you can't go back to that area without the use of a glitch]].]]
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWarSeries'' features this in spades. When Kratos traverses the dungeons to get to [[MacGuffin Pandora's Box/The Sisters of Fate]], he finds that hundreds of adventurers have died trying to get the treasure as well. (Their bodies are lying all over the place, and you even fight a few others en route in the second game.) This is all very well and good, except that not only do many of the doors require all manner of oddly shaped keys to open (from a ram's horn to ''specific human skulls'') but also in order to progress it is often necessary for Kratos to smash through walls and on occasion destroy entire buildings. Apparently the temples rebuild themselves every time someone eats it on the way there.
** {{Justified|Trope}} somewhat: the dead bodies of past adventurers are reanimated as Undead Legionnaire and are actually sent back into the temple to reset all the traps.
** Sometimes, the puzzles aren't reset to their ''very'' beginning, leaving Kratos to finish a puzzle that a now dead guy started. For instance, in VideoGame/GodOfWarII, Kratos finds the Hail of Boreas [[spoiler:in the hands of a Spartan who got killed when trying to navigate a spiked floor puzzle. So some Spartan found the Hail of Boreas, possibly killing whatever was likely guarding it, and took it with him all the way down to a lower level of the island.]]
* Played with in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. As Leon explores around the village, he will encounter locked doors with missing keys scattered about in highly inconvenient locations, typically not too far from the other side of the door, forcing him to take the long way around. [[spoiler:When playing ''Separate Ways'', Ada Wong found the keys in more obvious places, unlocked the doors, re-locked them behind her, and dropped the key somewhere out of the way. This sabotage was absolutely intentional, as Wesker ordered Ada to [[ButThenIdHaveToKillYou kill Leon on sight]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', [[spoiler:Lemeza's father, Shorn,]] is implied to have gone through the ruins first, but there are no traps sprung, items taken or bosses defeated. This was [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] on the official blog, then summarily forgotten.
* ''VideoGame/UnchartedDrakesFortune'' is also full of this: whenever you open a secret entrance via instructions apparently only found in Francis Drake's journal, many of which require moving heavy objects or activating switches, chances are there are a bunch of heavily armed mercenaries down there waiting for you for no explained reason.
* ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' has two levels toward the end where the characters have to destroy battleships or parts of a giant battleship to progress. All four teams take the same route and none of them do it alongside another team.
** Possibly justified with the Egg Fleet, which, as a massive air fleet, [[FridgeBrilliance in which hundreds of airships are probably arranged in many instances of the same pattern]], you could conceivably see multiple characters travelling what LOOKS to be a similar path. Admittedly, a stretch, but still, [[RuleOfFun it's Sonic]].
* Played with in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'', where the Pirate Cove adventure features [[spoiler:Red]] always just ahead of you-- but you frequently catch up with her because she's unable to solve a puzzle, which you then solve, only to have her jump ahead of you again. She also steals most of the treasure from the dungeon before you can get to it. [[spoiler:She then gets knocked out by the dungeon boss right in front of you, leaving it to you to save her ass from getting killed.]]
* Similar to the above, in ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' Patty is stopped at several points, and at one point she outright gives up and leaves while you're there, somehow getting ahead of you. There's a frustrating (in part due to a mistranslation), if somewhat amusing quest near the end of the game where you have to catch up to her by following a trail of clues, which ultimately lead you back to the Township you created, which may be ridiculous, considering that it may be [[FloatingContinent how you've been traveling]]. That's right, she somehow snuck aboard your giant floating town and got upstairs without anybody noticing.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', when the powerful White Mage Of Various Names That Start With 'Min' disappears while searching for the ultimate magic Ultima, you have to track him down. You do this by basically do everything he presumably already had to do - collect the White Mask and the Black Mask, get past the doppleganger, travel throughout powerful dungeons, and use the Crystal Key to open the Mysidian Tower. Yet when you reach the final door before Ultima, you find that he made it there too. How, exactly, the White Mage managed to reach this point without doing any of the prerequisites is a bit of a mystery.
** It's noted that there's more than one Crystal Rod - everyone stuck in [[spoiler:Leviathan]] had to have one in the first place. Presumably there's more than one way to get a Rod, but the heroes are stuck with the mask puzzles.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', there is an optional dungeon called Phoenix Cave, in which the player must split his party into two teams, and coordinate them so that each team pushes buttons on the floor that will clear the path for each other. At the end of the dungeon, the player finds the playable character Locke Cole, who had already crossed the entire dungeon. It is never explained how he solved all by himself puzzles that require at least two character in separate locations, or how the puzzles returned to its initial state after it has passed through them.
** It does, however, explain why all the treasure chests are empty when you find them, and he gives you all the items he found in them after he rejoins you.
* In ''[[JakAndDaxter Jak 3]]'', just how the bloody hell did [[KnightTemplar Veger]] get through the [[TempleOfDoom Precursor Temple]] and the [[DeathCourse destroyed palace]] crawling with [[EldritchAbomination Dark Makers]] before Jak? [[BadassLongcoat His coat]], that's how!
* The NES game ''TombsAndTreasure'' actually lampshades this in the beginning of the game, where the guide José tells the player that the monsters inside the ruins have rearranged everything to how it was before Professor Imes and his team stepped in and investigated.
* A particularly bizarre example occurs in ''VideoGame/MegaManX''. Upon reaching [[BigBad Sigma]]'s fortress, [[TheLancer Zero]] explicitly ''tells'' you that he'll go ahead and deal with the enemies so X can slip inside unnoticed, then dashes off. One screen later, you're met with several enemies and no explanation...
** Maybe while he was dealing with the enemies, the next wave was spawned by the time X got there, just like with most enemies you encounter throughout the game.
** Actually an Aversion. Zero tells X he's going to deal with the enemies from the front so that X can slip inside through a back entrance (though since it's a 2D sidecrolling game you can't really go anywhere else), explaining not only why there were still enemies, but also why Zero had to teleport in when Vile appeared.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure'', at one point you get into a mining cart and, after a distance ride, go flying off the rails. You find yourself next to a dwarf named Watts, who you've been looking for. But if there's only one mining cart, who returned it to the beginning of the track for you to take?
* Drinno, the dungeon under the druid school on Gratogel in ''VideoGame/{{Albion}}''. Okay, so it's somehow full of deathtraps from a war between the druids and the Kenget Kamulos (a civil war so internal they fought it within one building, I guess), but how can there be a million puzzles and traps blocking your way when you're looking for someone who went through the whole thing not long ago?
* In ''VideoGame/LufiaIIRiseOfTheSinistrals'', Dekar manages to follow the prince through a dungeon full of puzzles. Naturally, when you follow Dekar, not one puzzle is solved for you. Then, just to make things more bewildering, Dekar actually ''forgets'' how to do the easiest puzzle in the dungeon and asks Maxim for assistance. Apparently due to PuzzleReset.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} 3: The Frozen Throne'', after Illidan proceeds through the Tomb of Sargeras to get the Eye of Sargeras, there are still a lot of monsters left for your pursuing group to fight. Probably justified since he's a half-demon and could hypnotize them or something.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', you meet seemingly untouched ancient traps on your way to {{Plot Coupon}}s in locations where you, story-wise, found the exact same things three years ago.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'''s dungeon under the Granorg royal palace is the pathway to a ritual chamber all the royals go to once a generation to SaveTheWorld. When you go in there to stop the BigBad from killing the MacGuffinSuperPerson, who both went in there not five minutes before you did, it's filled with block puzzles and PreExistingEncounters. Putting aside [[MalevolentArchitecture why such a vital place of power even has these things]], why are they still active? While the BigBad has an excuse for being able to pass them unmolested -- he's literally superhuman -- the lone MacGuffinSuperPerson has no such excuse.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' you have to travel to specific temples and go through courses known as "The Cloister of Trials" in order to recruit additional beings to use for SummonMagic. In the first two Cloisters TheHero enters after the rest of the party already has, but finds the traps and puzzles reset for him. In other cases a different summoner has already gone through the trials or has just finished going through, but regardless everything is set up all over again for you.
** Of course, the Cloisters are completely irrelevant to the actual plot, as the summons are brought about by the Summoner communing with their spirits. So not only does one have to wonder who's resetting them, one also needs to figure out why they're there in the first place.
*** This one makes more sense. The Cloisters house the [[spoiler: entombed bodies of those who were chosen to become the Summons]], and they'd want a trial to be sure the potential summoner was worthy of using their power. Considering how often Sin showed up, you'd also want those trials to be easily reset, in case there were no people around, like Ixion or the three sister's temple.
** Played with at Macalania Temple. Yuna and Seymour have already gone ahead, and to get to the waiting area outside the Chamber of the Fayth, you simply need to walk down an ice hallway. On your way out, the hallway vanishes, and you have to solve the Cloister of Trials in order to leave.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', a resident of Northside says one of the more unpleasant duties they have is to regularly go into the H&H Tools Factory and clear out the corpses of unwary scavengers that have fallen victims to its traps and defenses. If you go there yourself, the place is full of robots, laser turrets, mines and traps, all functioning. Either the Northsiders are so good they can avoid all dangers (and yet haven't cleaned out the factory themselves) or they routinely reset the traps, fix the robots and lay new mines. Which leads to some rather nasty implications...
* Very annoying in ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'' where restoring your surroundings and making everything bright and colorful with ink or destroying them with thinner to make them drab and depressing determines the type of ending you get at the end of the game. All the effort spent thinning or inking specific locations disappear if you move into another area and come back again. This was the result of casual gamers in testing not understanding and grasping the idea of choice and consequence games and is set to be averted in the sequel.
* This is the central theme of ''Janitor'', an interactive fiction game entered in IFComp 2002.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', Cress and his company must solve several puzzles in [[AncientTomb mausoleum]] in order to reach [[SealedEvilInACan Dhaos' seal]]. True to this trope, the party arrives at the end just in time to witness Mars and his minions unsealing Dhaos. Mars ''does'', however, possess pendants neccessary to open the seal, so it's very likely he could use them as a pass.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] it - after you get swatted by that swinging log, or pivoting spiked door, you can then watch it ratchet back in place. Doesn't explain the fire traps with oil on the ground, or the infinite ammo in the dart shooting traps, though.
** The Thieves Guild questline has the player dungeon crawl a tomb with Mercer to chase down Karliah. Karliah, [[JustifiedTrope being a master thief]], has not only avoided most of the traps (as well as the draugr), but improvised a few of her own.
** Another aversion occurs in the "Horn of Jurgen Windcaller" quest. When you reach the final room, you'll find the horn missing and a few crypts opened, with the dragur inside them already killed. The implied reason for the rest of the dungeon being untouched is that [[spoiler:Delphine]] used the back entrance to enter the room and closed it up on the way out.
** A little FridgeBrilliance justifies this preemptively: almost every dungeon has some kind of back door that lets you get out much quicker than you went in. It's usually annoying ("why couldn't I have used this door and skipped the Draugr?") and tacitly justified by your character not knowing about it, but someone who knew more about the dungeon than you could conceivably use the back door to skip most of the traps and enemies.
*** The only problem with this is the fact that the only way to open it is to open it from the other side, so there's no way she could have opened it. However, it's implied that every Dragonborn gets sent there, and the Graybeards just put the horn back, since they don't really seem to have much of a use for it. So, the last one out could have forgotten to close the door.
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in the ''DiabloII'' expansion Lord of Destruction, where the titular character is trying to corrupt the World Stone. Said stone is guarded by three incredibly powerful Barbarian warriors. How does Baal get past them? By bribing a Barbarian elder to give him an artifact that lets him stroll right by the guardians. [[ThatOneBoss The player character isn't so lucky.]]
* Even though it has no traps, the ''VideoGame/CatacombFantasyTrilogy'' is full of this because getting around the levels relies so largely on blowing up old walls. So how did anyone get anywhere before?
* The Arbiter in ''VideoGame/Halo2'' has to fight and destroy an Enforcer and activate a gondola to breach the shield surrounding the Library, which happens to be right in the middle of a [[ForbiddenZone quarantine zone]] containing the [[ParasiteZombie Flood]]. Once the Arbiter has deactivated the shield, he is immediately attacked by Flood-infected humans, implying that human forces were ahead of him and had breached the shield wall despite it remaining active once the Arbiter arrives.
* In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow'', Julius has just been [[ChunkySalsaRule beating monsters into a fine paste]] and leaving before they could respawn, [[AchievementsInIgnorance possibly unaware that they DO respawn if not sealed]]. Soma, who has been battling and sealing monsters the whole way, is understandably a bit miffed.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Played with in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/MaxSteel'' which requires going through an Egyptian pyramid laden with booby traps. Max's method is to storm past all of them, and when they get to the main chamber they find the missing archeologist. The following conversation occurs:
-->'''Max:''' How did you avoid all the booby traps?
-->'''Dr. Meyorkis''': I assume the same way you did, by reading the hieroglyphs.
-->'''Max:''' Yeah...well, uh...
** It's unknown if the main booby traps were original to the pyramid, but [[spoiler:Dr. Meyorkis is Dragonelle, an enemy of both Max and Rachel, so it is possible that the traps were set up after Dragonelle entered the main chamber.]]