->''"Your car needs a service at least every 3 years, but a temple built from ''stone'' with primitive tools over one thousand years ago can have a mechanism that runs smoother than a hot curry through a digestive system. Because of ''magic''."''
-->-- [[http://www.cracked.com/funny-138-archaeology/ Cracked.com]] on Archaeology

Picture the following: Our adventure/fantasy heroes enter some ancient ruins in search of [[MacGuffin something important]] or valuable. Although the site may have lain undisturbed for centuries or even millennia, [[TempleOfDoom the place is filled with a variety of lethal, fully functional traps]] left behind by the previous occupants. Said traps are often BambooTechnology considerably more complex than anything else the creators were capable of making. Even more remarkable is the fact that they have not decayed at all, even if the environment is one that should require extra maintenance, and are just as lethal as they ever were, let alone the fact that any poisons should have decayed centuries ago. Projectile traps might even be capable of [[BottomlessMagazines reloading themselves an indefinite number of times]].

If we consider how this would work in the real world, it is obvious that if a facility is in actual use, it is [[MalevolentArchitecture grossly impractical]] to install traps that must be disabled or circumvented every time. It is much easier and more efficient to post [[{{Mooks}} guards]] as needed. If it had to be abandoned for some reason, traps might be left behind, but it would probably be easier to remove the important stuff and/or [[CollapsingLair collapse the roof]]. In any case, traps would decay and cease to function if no one maintained them. But in these kinds of stories, the most complex things are the ones that are least susceptible to decay. This will only ever be pointed out if the ancient civilization is, in fact, still around and doing regular maintenance.

Note that in SpeculativeFiction this can be {{hand wave}}d as being caused by self-repairing technology, and in fantastic settings [[AWizardDidIt magic traps may be exempt]] from decaying or running out of ammo. Still, in most cases it is a [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality grossly unrealistic way to introduce danger into the environment]].

This trope is a staple in fiction featuring {{Adventurer Archaeologist}}s.

See also RagnarokProofing. A subtrope of TheyDontMakeThemLikeTheyUsedTo and OlderIsBetter. When the deathtrap is one-time-use-only, this can often be an example of AlreadyUndoneForYou.

Contrast ForgotToFeedTheMonster, for ''living'' hazards which suffer for not getting regular upkeep.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'', Donald and his uncle Scrooge [=McDuck=] along with their nephews Huey, Luey and Dewey, often run into these in Creator/CarlBarks' and Creator/DonRosa's comics.
* Both lampshaded and subverted in an issue of ''Comicbook/{{Catwoman}}''. She notes that the deadly traps still functional after centuries would be normal in a movie, but in real life would need maintenance. She soon discovers the owner of the deathtraps is still alive.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''FanFic/AnEntryWithABang!'', the GDI team sent to New Dallas encounter a laser turret dating back to the Star League still guarding one of the places they try to explore. [[spoiler: Then it stops with a shareware-esque notification.]]
* In ''Fanfic/WhipAndWing'', both Daring Do (of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'') and the titular character of ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' venture through ancient ruins filled with these. They manage to avoid dying, but their pursuers often don't. When Daring finally meets the worker assigned to maintain and reset the traps, [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown she beats him half to death]].
* In ''Fanfic/TheTwoSidesOfDaringDo'', AK Yearling once asked Princess Celestia why the ancient civilizations would bother designing elaborate traps to guard ancient artifacts instead of just burying them. Celestia suggested the ancients believed the artifacts could be of use to ponykind in the future, but the traps are a test to make sure only the most worthy could get to them.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The traps in ''Anime/TheFumaConspiracy'' are ancient in terms of centuries, and their wood and rope-pulley systems are still in perfectly fine condition. Also in pristine condition is the [[CataclysmClimax timed self-destruct trap, which destroys everything that was inside the dungeon.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Several of the ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' films. ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' had the famous "trap dodging" sequence at the beginning.
** ''Series/MythBusters'' tested that sequence (finding it plausible), and wondered why the traps had a one-second delay (as shown by Indy's initial test). Jamie speculated that "[[HandWave the machinery was rusty]]".
** In the ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'', when Indy and his party enter the pyramid, they stumble across the remains of the dead conquistadors who entered before. Considering the fact that, in order to enter the pyramid (and arm the trap), you have to ''open the top of the entire pyramid'', you really wonder who "closed" the pyramid after the conquistadors. Although it is possible that the natives somehow closed the pyramid, it really stretches the imagination as to ''how'' they go about it when the whole thing is dependent on a few bricks slotted in the right places.
* All the centuries-old booby traps in ''Film/TheGoonies''.
** Though many of these were shown to be falling apart; pieces falling off as the trap activated, and several parts of the caves collapsed completely.
** FridgeBrilliance says that they were built for instant death, but the time that passed have left the traps barely able to do the killing, giving the Goonies time to get out alive. Plus Prof. Copperpot was killed by just ONE boulder from a trap of Rock Falls Everyone Dies and before reaching the trigger mechanism, so maybe the decaying ropes just snapped and killed the Prof. Now for that wooden ship sitting in salt water for the last 300 years....
* In ''Film/NationalTreasure'', when they [[spoiler: discover the lost city of gold,]] it is opened through a complex series of counter weights and then the door immediately shuts behind them using equally complex mechanics. Also [[spoiler:the traps and actual city of gold are complicated to the point that even setting them up would be nearly impossible without killing yourself in the process. This also happens in the first one]]. Partially subverted though in that they slowly fall apart after the first use indicating that they weren't durable enough for daily operation but durable enough to be in the single state and then perform a single transition for centuries. Only partially due to the complexity involved in the set up.
** The first film inverted this. The [[spoiler: long stairway containing the titled treasure]] wasn't dangerous because of death traps, it is dangerous because it was made out of wood that has been rotting for over 200 years.
* Particularly egregious in ''Film/TheRundown'', where the collapsing ceiling trap is entirely dependent on the fact that the wooden logs are weak and rotten. So it's a trap that would gradually grow more dangerous with time, until it just completely collapses and becomes useless. The heroes just happened to arrive in time for it to reach maximum potential lethality?

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Subverted in the novel ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'', where the characters discover all the traps in the DeathCourse protecting King Creosote's treasure are broken down and worn out. Turns out to be a DoubleSubversion, when the only one that was actually dangerous (the rest are just practical jokes) works just fine. (In this case, the trap is 'only' about fifty years old; the lethal trap in question is one that might plausibly last that long.)
** Played for laughs in the novel ''Discworld/ReaperMan'' where a pair of priests are guarding a huge diamond inside a temple filled with death traps. Although the death traps work fine, they can't stop, well, Death himself from stealing the diamond.
** A deleted scene from ''Discworld/RaisingSteam'' (included in the exclusive Discworld Convention 2014 Folio) has Moist meet a dwarf whose job is maintaining and resetting the traps in a dungeon. To keep it sporting, he also leaves [[InexplicablyPreservedDungeonMeat food]] and [[BlatantItemPlacement first aid kits]] in various places. The author's note at the start assures us that this scene was a gift from the goddess Narrativia and has nothing to do with [[Franchise/TombRaider any video game series]] he and [[Creator/RhiannaPratchett his family members]] might enjoy.
* In ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'', the main characters arrive at Magrathea--a planet thought to be uninhabited for millions of years--to find that an automated atomic missile system has been directed to fire straight at any incoming ships. Zaphod arrogantly believes that, since the message informing of this is so old, it "[[GenreBlindness doesn't apply to us]]". That is--until the missiles actually come at them.
-->'''[[DeadpanSnarker Ford]]:''' [[ThisIsGonnaSuck I think they're going to have]] [[{{Understatement}} a very good try at applying to us]].
* Used in both ''Literature/ThievesLikeUs'' and the sequel ''Thieves Until We Die'', both times involving the group breaking into ancient tombs. The first was pretty mild [[spoiler:ignoring a poison-tipped arrow fired while they were opening a door and a bizarre hypnosis/drug trip they were all put on later]]. The second was much more elaborate with [[spoiler:the temple rigged to ''completely collapse'' should fake treasure be stolen or a human sacrifice be made. The thing was built on a clever paper foundation that broke apart after the blood of the sacrifice spilled onto it, but then the real treasure chamber is only revealed as it collapses.]]
* MatthewReilly's 'Jack West Junior' series frequently utilizes this trope. The most egregious example is a trap in 'Seven Ancient Wonders' that when you trip the sensor will shoot a live alligator out of a wall at you. This is a trap that is at least a couple thousand years old.
* Lampshaded in Andy [=McDermott's=] ''Hunt for Atlantis,'' where a lead character notes that the deathtraps in an Amazon-concealed temple ''couldn't'' still be working -- until someone else notes that the local Indian tribe has had plenty of time, motivation and ability to reset the devices. Averted in the sequel, ''The Tomb of Hercules,'' where at least half the deathtraps representing the Labors of Hercules have already been set off by earlier explorers and are now harmless.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', many relics of the Ancients are still functional and dangerous despite the Ancients living ''millions'' of years ago. Semi-justified though as a lot of the stuff the Ancients and other civilizations built are very durable, functional magic, and made out of Unobtainium.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Booby Trap", the ''Enterprise'' discovers an ancient ship of archaeological significance, however during the investigation they're caught in a thousand-year-old trap that drains the ship's power and converts it into lethal radiation.
-->'''Picard''': Is it possible... that we've fallen into the same snare that killed them? A 1,000 year old booby-trap?
** This is a double example, since the ''Enterprise'' is lured into the trap by its previous victim - a thousand year old ship which still has life support and gravity.
* ''Series/RelicHunter'' was basically ''Franchise/TombRaider'' except with the protagonist split into a sexy heroine and a British sidekick that together recovered artifacts from various [[RuinsForRuinsSake ruins]]. Said ruins were of course chock-full of these.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Considering the number of dungeons that take place in ancient ruins, ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has quite a few of these. Though most dungeons are inhabited, kobolds in particular are good at setting traps, but if the only monsters are non-sentient or dormant then the deathtraps must be very durable indeed.
** For instance, the ruins of the Ancient Giant civilization of Xen'drik in the ''{{Eberron}}'' campaign setting usually have deathtraps that have stood for thousands of years.

* Also features prominently in the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games.
** ''VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend'' featured a few subversions -- one level had bamboo spike traps that had long broken down and could be used for climbing; in another level, Lara had to reactivate a stopped swinging-blade trap just so she could get past it, and at one point, Lara dispensed with the usual timed jumping and plowed through a spike trap with a forklift.
** In ''Tomb Raider: Anniversary'', there's one level in which a few of the {{locked door}}s don't open all the way, but you can still get through them via a passageway ''above'' them.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'', where both a past and present version of the fortress are visited: the past has many working traps, while in the present most traps have decayed or collapsed. At various times, the only way to get past some traps is to use a time portal to go the present, walk through the nonoperative traps, and then go back to the past in a new portal (note that all other games in the series used this trope to a T).
** Justified since the locales of the other games were still inhabited until at least shortly before the games' events. In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'', the Prince even activates the traps himself before noticing that pits, spikes and whirling blades might not be that effective against regenerating, teleporting sand monstrosities...
** The ruined castle levels in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia2: The Shadow and the Flame'' have fully functional scythe traps.
* Both the Rakatan ruins on Dantooine and the Temple of the [[{{Precursors}} Ancients]] fit this trope in ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. A particularly egregious example, as the {{backstory}} says that both places were visited by adventurers just a few years ago, who presumably had to pass through the ancient traps and 30,000-year-old sentry droids as well, yet they're all intact.
** Can be {{hand wave}}d using the SpeculativeFiction option above: the building could plausibly contain automation designed to repair its own death traps. Harder to explain the survival of the Star Maps, but those were ''definitely'' designed to last a very long time.
*** The game does explain that the Star Maps (and thus possibly other Rakatan tech) are designed to repair themselves. This is why the Star Maps are incomplete; they haven't finished repairing themselves yet.
*** They haven't finished repairing themselves... [[spoiler:after being deliberately damaged by their creators on the way out. They didn't want anyone unfriendly stumbling upon them while they were dying, after all.]] That IS actually the explicitly given explanation. It might be added that much of it shows obvious signs of deterioration anyway(Only three Functional droids on Dantooine, and about that many or more broken down, for starters?)
* The Angkor Thom temple from the video game ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' fits this trope perfectly, featuring hallways equipped with slamming wall sections, ''humongous'' blades capable of slicing a man in a single blow, and holes that fire poisonous darts. Of course, since all the characters are MadeOfIron, Ellia will only die after being hit 3 or 4 times by these traps... ''even though she's the weakest character in the game.''
** Can be chalked up to a great big [[AWizardDidIt the giant rotting bulk of slowly-dying Mantorok in the heart of the temple did it]]. Given that we KNOW [[EldritchAbomination just how powerful]] Anchients are and Mantorok has been repeatedly shown to be capable of manipulating events thousands of miles [[spoiler:and in separate timelines]] even as he slowly kicks the bucket, it's safe to say keeping the traps running would be entirely within his power. Alternatively, Pious and his patron could have done so with equal ease for the exact same reason in order to prevent anybody from getting into the temple.
* The Temple of Pandora in ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' is a major offender, although it circumvents the issue of why to put traps in a place that was in regular use, as it was built ''expressly'' to keep the "unworthy" out, and served no other purpose except gruesomely killing people. Despite supposedly being a thousand years old, almost all of the traps and machinery are in perfect working order. Worse, at various points, you see people who attempted to infiltrate the temple as well, living and dead, yet all the traps are reset behind them. [[spoiler: The manual briefly appears to offer an explanation by sharing legends that the architect is actually still alive in the temple somewhere... but in the game, it's eventually revealed that he's been dead for a long time, going back to the problem of no-one to maintain or reset the traps.]] Possibly it's serviced [[AWizardDidIt by the gods]].
** Ah, but what if the dead {{mooks}} are the ''repairmen''?
*** It's likely, considering that the game says those who perish in the temple are brought back as enemies.
** Bear in mind this is a setting where the gods exist and such. It's not all that much of a stretch that a god maintains it in some fashion. There -were- all sorts of Greek gods.
*** Such as Hephaestus, the god of technology. He no doubt plays some part in the upkeep.
*** Also, the Temple as a whole was a weight bound to the back of a Titan. There was no way the Olympians were going to let the setup fall to pieces. Heck, one of the teasers at the end of the game had the ruins of the Temple (still containing dire secrets, it's hinted) and the remains of the Titan discovered in modern times as whatever avoidance effects the Gods put onto his carcass finally faded.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** While the series has several switches in ancient temples rusted so they can't be pressed easily, the rest of it still follows the trope.
** {{Justified|Trope}} in that some of the temples are meant as tests for TheHero, and various Hyrulian deities likely maintain the traps to ensure that only TheHero enters.
** ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker Wind Waker]]'' further justifies this, revealing that there must be a Sage in each Temple in order for that Temple's power to exist in the world. Most likely, they maintain the traps within.
* Lampshaded in the [[TempleOfDoom Dry Dry Ruins]] in the first VideoGame/PaperMario:
--> '''Goombario''': It's amazing that these ruins still have moving parts. Haven't they been buried here for ages and ages? And yet, when we push switches, stuff moves... Amazing craftsmanship. You've gotta applaud the designers.
* The Ayleid ruins of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' are full of durable deathtraps. One of the books on Ayleid history lampshades this fact.
** One might wonder why a ruin lying around full of treasure in the middle of a country that practically breeds [[strike:grave robbers]] [[strike:looters]] [[AnAdventurerIsYou adventurers]] that the traps would have been either disabled or at least clogged up with bodies hundreds and hundreds of years ago.
*** Not that unbelievable when you realize the Ayleids were slavemasters who ran a very tight ship for centuries at the least and who thus built to last and that decay and the miscellaneous ways mother nature can get rid of organic debris would take care of the "full of corpses" problem.
** The strangely impractical designs of these traps makes their continued functioning seem even that much more amazing. Though it's probably for gameplay rather than logical reasons, the fact that the spike traps don't fall on players, or players fall into the spike traps, [[spoiler:'''BUT THE FLOOR RISES TO THE SPIKED CEILING''']] just screams out that it should not still be functional.
*** Hey, RuleOfCool. Granted, the AdvancingWallOfDoom on a bridge [[CorridorCubbyholeRun with ledges you have to duck into]] probably takes the cake for the zaniest trap award.
*** It helps to explain a lot about the designs when you realize that the Ayleids: A. built to last, and B. were probably sadists.
** This is very true in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' as well. Both the ubiquitous Nord ruins and the slightly less ubiquitous Dwemer ruins are packed with fully functional ancient traps. Spikes come out of the floor, inexplicable darts shoot out of the walls, spiked doors swing around at you if you step on the wrong button... and in the case of Dwemer ruins, perfectly functional steampunk automata get up and start attacking you. This last one at least gets some justification; [[LostTechnology Dwemer metal]] is famed for being [[FantasyMetals corrosion-proof]], the Dwemer themselves were masters of {{Magitek}} (the robots seem to be powered by some combination of steam power and soul gems), and there are plenty of little spider robots running around with oil-cans and maintaining the rest of them. [[GoddamnBats And attacking interlopers.]]
* Ancient ruins in ''VideoGame/{{Drakan}}'' feature fully functional traps. It seems that whirling blades are much more durable than stationary stone walls.
* The VideoGame/WildArms games are full of these, though they are usually of the "blocks the way" rather than the "kills you" variety. VideoGame/WildArms2 was particularly bad in the way the devices seemed to have been tailored ''exactly'' so that [[PlotTailoredToTheParty the specific combination of abilities]] of the heroes who explored them thousands of years later are needed to bypass them.
** As one example, there is a switch in ''VideoGame/WildArms2'' that's at just the right height that the only way to hit it is by knocking down a series of crumbling pillars like dominoes. The trap ''relied on the dungeon being an ancient ruin'' to be bypassed. InvertedTrope?
* In ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'', the medieval-style shields used by the Templar enemies can block all of Daniel's weapons - even the rockets that should have taken both shield and user simultaneously.
** Justified in that they were (strangely themed) ''demons'' in Purgatory and that they and their equipment were most likely made from Hellish materials and souls.
* Both subverted and played straight in the ''VideoGame/WarioLand'' series. Played straight with the Golden Pyramid in the fourth game (complete with portals, music room/karaoke and shop), and Rollanratl in ''Shake Dimension'' (despite being a few thousand year old robot guardian of an ancient civilization, it can still hold up the roof, fire missiles and shoot laser beams at intruders an infinite amount of times.
* Subverted with a certain treasure in ''VideoGame/WarioMasterOfDisguise'' (named the Vengeful Robot Controller):
** ''This remote allows you to summon a giant robot hidden deep within the bowels of the earth and unleash him on your unsuspecting enemies. '''But it's out of batteries.'''''
* A modern equivalent is the excess of unexploded cars in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. Because EveryCarIsAPinto, shooting a car anywhere, with any kind of gun, will cause it to violently explode. But even those parts of the Capital Wasteland that have seen decades of urban warfare still feature cars that have not yet been shot. The town of Minefield is inhabited by a sniper who will shoot at the cars around you ''[[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard before he can even see you]]'', yet inexplicably has never done this to anyone else before.
* ''VideoGame/FreedomFighters'' also has explodey (and otherwise useless) cars seasoning its levels. It's a good safety tip to pop a car before using it for cover. The computer controlled opponents conveniently never think of this. Possibly justified by the fact that the enemy troops have no reason to leave burned-our wrecks lying around in areas they're operating in; some of the materials used in building a modern car create some really nasty chemical byproducts when they're burned.
* The penultimate dungeon in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' is a giant dilapidated lighthouse that crumbles with your every step, but all of its poison trap, slow-gas machines, and DeadlySpikes work as if they were just installed.
** Justified, because the traps are definitely magical in nature.
* ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' plays it straight with the Assassin Tombs and Templar Lairs in [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII the second game]] and ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Brotherhood]]''. The Auditore Family Crypt from ''AC2'', which is around two hundred years old and yet still has an elaborate network of lever-activated, timed gateways; some of the Assassin Tombs are even older and have even more elaborate technology. ''Brotherhood'' subverts the trope a bit with the introductory segment where the modern protagonists go through the Auditore Crypt, and in the intervening 500 years the mechanisms have all decayed (though functional pulley-operated bridges still exist).
** The Assassin Tombs may at least be somewhat justified, depending on [[spoiler:whether or not the Assassins used reverse-engineered [[{{Precursors}} Those Who Came Before]] technology.]]
** Averted with the Mayan temple in [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII III]], where the primary hazard comes from the fact that the whole place is falling apart.
* ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}'' doesn't have many traps of the classic variety, but a common baffling feature of dungeons is skeletons inside barrels. Who put the skeleton in there? Why hasn't the skeleton broken out? If the skeleton put himself in there so he could ambush you, why does he always wait to show himself until you've broken open the barrel and the skeleton is directly in the path of your weapon?
** ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' continues this, plus coffins that pop up out of the ground in a field for no apparent reason and open to release a skeleton.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}'' series plays with this - while the adventuring segments rarely actively try to kill the player, any slippery handhold or misjudged jump can spell a quick, flat death. The puzzles often involve navigating rooms with huge clockwork systems and complex hydraulics which are always visibly decayed but, as a rule, will never be quite so decayed that Drake can't get past them. There are countless occasions where the loss of one more tiny architectural detail would render the game unwinnable, and just as many occasions where that same brick or pole will fall off the wall as soon as Drake is done with it - meaning if anyone had tried before him, or if it had rained particularly hard the day before, Drake would have had to turn around and go home. While not exactly "Death traps", this trope is also invoked with the old guns that Drake and crew pick up in the first and second games that have been laying around for a half century at least in conditions that would utterly destroy the functionality of any firearm within a few months, and having them operate perfectly without jamming, specifically the MP-40s and P08 Lugers he picked up left over from {{Those Wacky Nazis}}, as well as the AK-47s he finds left over from an old expedition into Shambhala.
** Subverted in the jungle sections of the first game: There are several traps made of wood that should had been either already activated by the local wildlife or just rot to the point where they weren't functional anymore. [[spoiler:Turns out the ones that created them are still alive]].
** And then it gets played straight in ''[[VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves Among Thieves]]'', where Nate and Chloe fall into a room with a [[DescendingCeiling descending spiked ceiling]].
* The Enrichment Center in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' both subverts and plays this straight, depending on which part of the game you're in. While you're in the upper levels of the Enrichment Center that you got familiar with in the original, the place is dilapidated, overgrown, and bits of it aren't functioning right. When you go down into the bowels of the Enrichment Center to the original iteration deep underground, everything is in perfect working order, right down to the pre-recorded, automated messages from Cave Johnson, who was long-dead by the time the original game rolled around.
** The electronics and equipment you need to use are in working order, but the environment itself is definitely not. Collapsed walkways everywhere, many of the spheres once containing test chambers are in ruins and flooded. And all of the elevators leading to the surface are out of order.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars: VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'', Starkiller visits the ruins of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and the security system is still operational, forcing Starkiller to contend with droids and HardLight simulations.
* In ''[[VideoGame/SeriousSam Serious Sam III: BFE]]'': You go inside a pyramid where everything is crumbling and yet there are still levers that activate falling ceilings. Could be justified in that there might be some Sirian technology behind the scenes holding everything together.
* Sometimes averted, sometimes played straight in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress''. In Fortress Mode, traps ''can'' get jammed if triggered enough times in quick succession and projectile weapon-based ones require reloading, but they don't require any maintenance and can stay functional indefinitely. Averted with the tombs that show up during worldgen, as they're littered with degraded traps that vastly reduce their ability to harm an adventurer.
* Pi'illodium in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam''. Keep in mind the entire Pi'illo Kingdom which it was supposed to guard the temple of had literally collapsed about two thousand years before the game starts. That still didn't stop this thing firing an infinite barrage of heat seeking missiles at Mario and Luigi, flying, making comments in RoboSpeak about how their deaths were imminent and setting off a thirty second self destruct timer when its health got low. Probable same deal with Earthwake in Dreamy Wakeport, assuming it was given the nightmare chunk to hold back when the BigBad was defeated the first time round. Two thousand years of no kingdom or civilisation didn't stop that HumongousMecha either.
* ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject 2: Buried in Time'' graciously averts this. You visit Cichen Itza at 1050 AD, when the traps for the three underground trials have been recently built and are fully functional.
* ''VideoGame/DeadfallAdventures'', taking place in several [[TempleOfDoom temples of doom]], naturally features a lot of these - crushing walls, descending ceilings, spear traps, fire traps, collapsing floors and swinging blades (possibly not an exhaustive list), all in tip-top condition. The upside is that many of them can be used to dispatch enemies.
* An early sidequest in ''VideoGame/RakenzarnTales'' involves exploring the hidden ruins belonging to the kingdom of Averiarus. Just the one area contains electrical floor plates, three doors each requiring a written passcode, an bridge with teleportation orbs and a controlling switch, all topped off by a giant golem who serves as the boss. Keep in mind this place was abandoned since the kingdom fell at least 1000 years prior.

* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and {{hand wave}}d in ''Webcomic/DungeonDamage''. Most traps were built by hired Dwarves (who had much more advanced tech and durable materials than most in the MedievalEuropeanFantasy setting) and the traps are reset by a waterwheel connected to an underground river, which turns gears to ratchet the doors etc., back to their starting position after each trap goes off. Ironically, many of the treasures protected are much more perishable than the traps themselves; papyrus scrolls or valuable spices, for example.
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and played straight in ''Webcomic/ModernDayTreasureSeekers''. The kids speculate on how traps should decay over time, but several are still triggered.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Inverted very nicely in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' episode "The Ultimate Weapon", with a Mayan temple that's dangerous mainly because it ''wasn't'' built to last. Well, that and the Mayan God Of Death hangs out there; but aside from that, there's a grand total of ''one'' trap. In fact the "ultimate weapon" is just a brittle old sword that crumbles into dust the moment someone lifts it.
* Subverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', in which Aang and [[spoiler:Zuko]] explore the ruins of a long extinct culture. When they run into a series of booby traps, [[spoiler:Zuko]] [[LampshadeHanging wonders how the traps are still operational after all this time.]] [[spoiler:It is soon revealed that the race wasn't so extinct after all.]]
* Played straight in the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' animated series episode "The Tower of Traps". The several traps [[MalevolentArchitecture through the whole tower]] were still active [[spoiler:much after the one who created them died.]]
* In the first scene of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', Jackie is leading people through the castle of "Mad King Ludwig", said to hold dozens of deadly traps. He spots a hidden wire on the floor and cautions his group to stay back.
-->'''Tourist:''' Aw, c'mon, what are the odds of these traps still -
-->''(Jackie takes the tourist's cap and drops it on the wire. Stone slabs slide out of the walls, slamming together inches in front of the guy's face. When they slide back, Jackie puts the cap back on his head - and [[JawDrop closes his mouth]])''
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Despite being the site of a violent battle prior to a thousand years of neglect, all the traps and secret passages of Celestia and Luna's old castle still work in [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E3CastleManeia "Castle Mane-ia"]]. Subverted with the deathtrap part though; they're not meant to hurt anyone. They're there in the first place because of Luna's and Celestia's proclivity for pranks (Twilight even found an old journal, talking about how one of the traps were always Luna's "favorite"). Fluttershy actually is more worried about the dangers of actual old ruins, such as floors giving out and falling debris.
* ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero''; during the five-part series where Dr. Mindbender created Serpentor, Zarana (that would be Zartan's sister, in case you didn't know) breaks into a tomb to steal the DNA from a mummy. Although a recorded guide by Mindbender warns her of the still-functioning traps he clearly didn't know about a few, including one that grabs her foot with a stone vise, then triggers a DescendingCeiling that threatens to crush her. She eventually [[GivingThemTheStrip slips her foot]] out of her boot to free herself and escape.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There are a few traps built into the great pyramids to deter robbers, that, thanks to low-tech design, continued to catch stupider people, mostly by trapping them in tight spaces or building huge pits in the middle of the passage. Needless to say, the robbers got around them. But the skeletons of past robbers were still present when modern archeologists found them (this is a problem with durable deathtraps, the dusty skeletons with punji sticks through the eyes tend to be a tip-off).
** [[MundaneUtility The primary purpose of those pits was to catch rainwater to prevent it from ruining the tombs,]] by the way. Catching graverobbers was just a side benefit.
* TruthInTelevision: Land mines can last for a very long time. Live ones are a serious problem in Third World countries with decades-old fields lost in the records.
** The situation in Laos deserves a particular mention; it was a real-life AcceptableTarget during the Vietnam war, where bombers would offload any excess munitions. There are still numerous non-profits dedicated exclusively to combing farms and safely detonating the explosives.
** European countries including Germany and Britain still discover unexploded bombs from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. There are also artefacts from the first world war being unearthed in France and Belgium to this day, called an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_harvest Iron Harvest]].
*** They still cause deaths to this day, often from being turned up by ploughing, or set off by fires burned over them. They're also a LOT less stable after nearly 100 years, and tend to be easier to set off than when they were made. It makes it very tough to make them safe - there is work for the Belgian and French bomb disposal squads for many years yet...
*** Six of the 25 giant mines (tens of tons of explosives each) set under the Messines ridge were not detonated in the battle. One of them was dug up after the war. Five were not. Four remain - one of them went off of its own accord in 1955.
*** One particularly impressive example of how true this trope can be was the case of the unexploded Luftwaffe 2,200-pound bomb that was uncovered in 2008 under the then-under-construction British Olympic Stadium. Apparently at some point during defusing efforts the bomb began ticking, with the internal clockwork fuse being apparently jarred into action. A clockwork mechanism, buried underground and under the water table for 60 years after slamming into the ground after being dropped by a plane, began ticking. Wrap your mind around that for a moment.
*** German Engineering
*** This perpetual danger of unexploded ordnance remains the drive for contemporary landmine bans. The US response has been to create landmines that deactivate after a set time, or when batteries fail.
*** It's not just explosives: after the war, the allies simply dumped much of Germany's chemical weapons stockpile into the sea. Fishermen in the Baltic Sea still occasionally dredge up corroded, leaking shells full of still potent gas.
* Ironically, in RealLife you don't need to put traps in most caves or ''any'' decayed ruins--they're plenty dangerous to explore on their own.
* According to some accounts, the Anasazi cliff dwellers had one in which you needed to climb down a set of hand- and footholds to get to their living areas. But if you started with the wrong foot (either left instead of right, or vice versa), you'd come to a point where you couldn't reach the next foothold down -- and, so the accounts say, this was usually after you'd climbed far enough down that you were too tired to climb back up, or something along those lines. Meaning you'd just hang on there for a while, arms hurting more and more, until you fell to your death.
** Of course, you could [[DungeonBypass just tie a rope to an anchor point at the top and climb down that way...]]
* High-order maritime salvage operations behave very much like these even through the the traps are not intentionally engineered, whether a wreck is five days old or five centuries. The combination of deep water, foul weather, rusty engineering, hungry fauna and old explosives makes for a lot of hazards. Some wrecks (typically felled ammunition freighters) have been deemed too dangerous to approach, despite their accessibility.
** One such, the SS ''Richard Montgomery'', is in the Thames estuary. It contains enough explosives and is close enough to built-up areas that if it went off it could cause flooding and property damage to the local area. Despite being in shallow enough water that the tops of its masts are still visible, it is considered safer to enforce an exclusion zone of several miles around it than to try to clear it up. This may however turn out to be a self-defeating strategy -- decades of decay have made it ever more likely to go off by itself, while decades of property development have increased the potential for harm if it does.
* It was thought it was just a myth that Qui Shi Huang's tomb was filled with mercury rivers so small ships could sail for eternity, by killing anyone who tries to disturb it. When his tomb was finally found, it was discovered that the tomb is filled with extremely deadly levels of mercury, meaning the legends may be true, and that Huang may get his wish. Even though the tomb hasn't been opened yet, ancient accounts of its construction mention it having bronze crossbows rigged to fire when disturbed. In the past several bronze crossbows from this time period have been found needing little to no maintenance to fire. Fear of these death traps is cited as the number two reason the Chinese government won't allow any expeditions to open the tomb.