Bear Trap

A trap that's huge, about two or three feet across, with big zigzag teeth, and constantly trembles with tension, and snaps if you breathe on it funny—unless you're the intended target, who can jump up and down on it safely. The standard mode of exit is always to chew your own leg off, no matter who or what you are.

Depending on the genre, this can be either funny (especially as Amusing Injuries) or horrifying when someone gets snared by it.

For horror movies, you can expect these in wooded areas, no doubt set and placed by some deranged killer.

See also Bear Trap Bed. Compare Mouse Trap.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In issue #10 of Batgirl, Batgirl breaks up a group of car thieves working the parking garage of a high-class charity event, only to stop in horror when one of the fleeing thugs triggers a bear trap that nearly slices off his leg at the knee. People claiming to be security for the event explain that it has become a new part of gang warfare for one gang to follow another as they commit crimes and leave traps to capture them afterwards.
  • In Judge Dredd, Judge Fear slings around chains with bear traps on the ends.
  • The EC Comics Horror SuspenStory "Stumped!" has a trapper setting a bear-trap for a rival trapper and then leaving him there to die. The rival trapper takes his revenge after chewing his leg off.
  • In the Tintin comic The Black Island, Dr Muller has a lot of these set up in the garden around his house.

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: when one of the weasels reaches into Jessica's bosom to search for Marvin Acme's will, a Bear Trap hidden in it snaps shut on his hand.
    Eddie Valiant: Nice booby trap.
  • Tom and Karen nearly step into a pair of them in Hard Rain.
  • Swan gets is right leg caught in one in Cannibal The Musical. He's told to look on the bright side, as at least he didn't get his head caught in it.
  • The "hero" from Ravenous used one of these in the movie's climax. It could also be considered a Chekhov's Gun as it can be seen being played around with various times earlier in the film.
  • The "reverse bear trap" in Saw 1 and 6 is thematically similar, except that when it goes off it snaps violently open, and as it is hooked into the victim's upper and lower jaws... In Saw 3-D the audience finally sees the intended result, and it's brutal.
  • Bear traps are frequent props in The Three Stooges shorts, notably in "The Brideless Groom," where Moe and Larry try to use one to break up an all-female brawl. Naturally they're caught in their own trap.
  • In Friday the 13th (2009) reboot, Jason placed a bear trap or two around the forest. Definitely not played for cartoony laughs.
  • Severance: Andy gets caught in one of these and loses his foot when his co-workers try to free him.
  • In the climax of Disney's The Fox and the Hound, when Amos Slade tries to flee a bear he's pissed off, he gets his foot caught in one of his own bear traps.
  • A character gets thrown head first into a bear trap in Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud.
  • Used in Ladyhawke by the wolf trapper. He ends up Hoist by His Own Petard in the end.
  • In Aussie horror Dying Breed a character winds up caught in more than one of these devices (including one around his head).
  • Straw Dogs has one of the home invaders trying to break into Dustin Hoffman's house fall victim to a Chekhov's Gun trap which, whilst not intended for bears, operates very similarly in mechanics and effect.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, Pa Buckner uses a Bear Trap on a chain as a thrown capture-weapon.
  • In the 1930 Our Gang episode "Bear Shooters", the kids try to trap a man in a gorilla suit note  with one. It doesn't go well for him.
  • Ilya Muromets: "I had set a trap for a marten, and I've caught a boyar's pants".
  • Early in the Spanish horror film The Blood Spattered Bride, a hunter uses a bear trap to capture and kill a fox. later, during the climactic chase, Lesbian Vampire Carmilla steps barefoot into a similar trap set by the same hunter as an Ironic Echo.
  • Brenda of the 1984 vigilante film Savage Streets uses a set of these as one of her weapons against the street gang who brutalized her sister and murdered her friend.
  • In The Naked Gun, Nordberg steps in one of these, which for some reason has been set up on the deck of a yacht.
  • The protagonist of A Pure Formality gets his foot trapped in a bear trap. He manages to escape by stripping off his gumboot.
  • Riddick finds some very large traps in a Bounty Hunter station, which he puts to good use when the owners show up. One snaps shut on a mercenary's legs, then as he crawls along the ground in agony another crushes his head.
  • In Hot Fuzz, Nicholas Angel shoots a bear trap hanging from a wall to make it fall on a bad guy's head.
  • In The General, Buster Keaton's character Johnnie and his girlfriend walk into one of these immediately after escaping from an actual bear. It takes several minutes to get themselves free.

  • Discworld: Samuel Vimes has several bear traps hidden in the shrubberies around his house to keep assassins from sneaking through them. This is one of the many painful and/or humiliating reasons why nowadays the only assassins to sneak into his home are students sent there by their teachers to learn humility.
  • In Seeker Bears: River Of Lost Bears, Yakone gets caught in one. He escapes from it thanks to Kallik, Lusa, and Toklo, but since he was caught by the foot, he loses a few toes. Looks like he ain't getting them back anytime soon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Often used as a Zonk on the current version of Let's Make a Deal.
  • Parodied in a Kids in the Hall sketch where the trappers targets are office workers. (One of the workers actually manages to escape, and is seen hopping away on his one good leg, so the trappers don't give chase.)
    Francois: Shall we go after him, Jacques?
    Jacques: No, Francois, let that one go. He has spirit! Someday, he may be vice president.
  • The Drew Carey Show: a "Groundhog Day" Loop Cold Open had Mimi setting a pizza-bear-trap for Drew.
  • Much of the Farscape episode "Revenging Angel" was a tribute to the classic Warner Brothers cartoons. Naturally, character picking on John Crichton winds up with his leg in one of these.
  • The John Goodman episode of Muppets Tonight had John accidentally dropped out a window by Andy and Randy Pig into a truck containing a large number of mousetraps... and one bear trap.
  • In the miniseries The 10th Kingdom the Huntsman falls into one of these, and is crippled for the rest if the series
  • MacGyver had an episode where Mac stepped in a bear trap while hiking and was freed by two elderly sisters named Faith and Hope.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: in a Hunting the Most Dangerous Game episode, Buffy (thanks to a warning from Cordelia) narrowly avoids getting her foot caught in a bear trap laid by one of the hunters. He moves to shoot them instead, but Buffy throws the trap at him, causing him to lose his balance and step into another trap.
  • In the Murdoch Mysteries episode "Loch Ness Murdoch", a crotchety ex-naval man who lives by Lake Ontario has these all round his property. They're used to fake attacks by a Stock Ness Monster.
  • MythBusters: Grant obtains a real bear trap in his research for the Flying Guillotine myth. He concludes that the trap is strong enough for the job, but too heavy to effectively wield as a ranged weapon.
  • Doc Martin goes out into the woods with the local ranger, trying to find PC Milo, brought low by a snake bite. The two stumble into a clearing loaded with animal traps set by poachers. Simultaneously played realistically and for comedy, as the two struggle to get one another out of what are in fact incredibly painful, but not lethal to humans, traps.

  • BIONICLE: the promo animation for Hahli Inika had her running through a field of bear traps.

    Video Games 
  • Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas have these as trap hazards, just to make creeping through dark, Ghoul-infested subway tunnels all the more memorable. They're great at crippling your legs, reducing your speed to a painful hobble, which is especially brutal on New Vegas' Hardcore Mode since limbs are much harder to heal. And in the New Vegas expansion Dead Money you get to see what happens when the mooks decide to wear a bear trap on their knuckles: the Bear Trap Fist.
  • Resident Evil 4: Leon encounters a wolf snared by a bear trap. The player can choose whether to free or ignore it. Doing the former will result in the wolf helping you against El Gigante.
    • There are also a number of bear-traps set in various areas waiting for you to step in them. Doing so causes you damage and also freezes you in place as Leon has to stop and pry it open. Naturally, they don't hurt enemies running towards you, and they can be avoided by either shooting them or getting close enough to hit them with your knife, which causes them to spring early.
  • A lot of these in Dragon Age: Origins. However, all the characters are apparently tough enough to be merely pinned to the spot for a few seconds by them.
    • Justified for warriors and mages; metal or magical armour probably helps a lot. though how they manage with leather...
    • You can also build your own if you have the appropriate skill and parts. Sadly, they're usually Awesome but Impractical as you can't set them (or any other traps) if there's an enemy who can see you, but against some opponents who'll only turn hostile after you've triggered something specific, a few well-placed bear-traps will turn what would have been a tough encounter into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Most Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, etc.) had the mouse cursor turn into a bear trap icon when the player moused over a trap with the "Remove Traps" ability was on.
  • Alan Wake has lots of bear-traps scattered across the woods, apparently due to poachers. Walking into one will cost you a bit of health, and pin you to the ground for a while. Worse, EVERY TIME you walk into one, it will cause a Taken to spawn nearby and run up to attack you while you're helpless. Oh, and in one part with bear traps, you don't have any guns to fight the Taken that spawns if you step on a trap.
  • In Naughty Bear, bear-traps are - appropriately enough - one of your main weapons against the other bears. You plant 'em on paths, and then walk up to kill or scare whatever bears get caught in them. And unlike the similarly-useful Mines, they can be reused!
  • Limbo
  • Quest for Glory I has you find a talking Fox in one of these.
  • Hunter traps in World of Warcraft look like bear traps. Strangely, none of them actually does what you'd expect from a bear trap (root the target in place) unless the hunter spends talent points for it.
    • They did intend a bear trap skill for cataclysm that would snare targets, but because snaring was all it does, they ultimately decided it wasn't worth it and swapped it out for other skills.
  • NetHack has bear traps which merely pins down you (or a monster) until it gets pried open. You can also jump out, but this is not recommended. If you manage to disarm it you can set it up again at a different location.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Mikiko Hayami carries one on her parka. It snaps shut during her breakdown.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has these as a minor trap hazard in dungeons. You can move them about to set up your own traps as well.
  • Questron II places these traps in the dungeon. They destroy armor, and you can't attempt to detect them if they are behind a door (causing them to hit without warning).
  • In No One Lives Forever 2, you can place beartraps. They have the effect of holding enemies still whilst they struggle to free themselves, and whilst you line up the sights of your crossbow.
  • Lead And Gold has this with the sniper class. She can lay them down to incapacitate enemies whilst she takes aim.
  • The Walking Dead: present in Episode 2.
  • A Valley Without Wind has bear traps as a deployable item, which both damage and immobilizes enemies and is one of the most effective means of defeating certain foes. It also has explosive beartraps, which somehow manage to still immobilize for the same length of time despite instantly exploding on activation. Both types will only snap shut on enemies, ignoring yourself or any allies.
  • In MOTHER 3, Kumatora gets her leg caught in one of these (which kind of Makes Sense In Context considering that kuma means bear in Japanese.)
  • In The Simpsons Wrestling, Groundskeeper Willie can drop these as a special move. If you drop one on an opponent who's already knocked down, it will go off whenever they try to stand up — this doesn't really help you win, as it doesn't reduce their health, but it will really annoy your opponent.
  • In Skullgirls, Peacock's suspiciously metallic, razor-toothed smile is due to her having a bear trap for a set of dentures. She puts them to good use in some of her attacks, where she spits them at her opponent.
  • A few minor Mega Man (Classic) enemies are robotic bear traps. Burner Man has a special attack that throws down three hidden bear traps to limit your mobility. They do no damage, but you have to wiggle the D-pad to escape if one catches you, and in the meantime Burner Man is probably pummeling you with powerful, hard-to-dodge attacks.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Wile E. Coyote has tried these to catch the Roadrunner. Naturally, they end up biting him in the ass - literally.
  • Johnny is caught by one in the head in Ed, Edd n Eddy Big Picture Show.
  • In The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode where Bart and Lisa are Trapped in TV Land in the middle of an Itchy And Scratchy cartoon. Bart and Lisa are launched into the air and Bart takes it cool, until Lisa points out to him the ground, where Itchy and Scratchy are laying out hundreds of bear traps for them to land in.
  • Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! combines both elements of bear traps when a deranged cryptozoologist uses them in his attempt to capture the Yeti. When he is caught in his own traps, it is vaguely scary to small children and vaguely humorous to everyone else.
  • Tom Goes To The Mayor has an example where the city council sets up bear traps around children parks to keep pedophiles out. Naturally, they only manage to trap children.
  • Robot Chicken has a sketch where a gummy bear steps on one, and after screaming in pain, escapes by eating off her own leg. Finding it delicious, she gets through in no time. Then hops away, onto another beartrap
  • In Veggie Tales, "Silly Songs with Larry" once featured an opening where Larry is caught in a bear trap wearing a coonskin cap. His segment is then promptly canceled and replaced with "Love Songs with Mr. Lunt." We never find out what his intended song was about.
    • Also seen in the Silly Song "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps," when a bear with a trap on his hand is brought to the doc.