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[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/SerialExperimentsLain http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lain_cave_1666.jpg]]]]

->'''Trestkon:''' You're still the resident hacker, eh?\\
'''Evil Invasion:''' I'm a programmer, I just hack when I need to.\\
'''Trestkon:''' I think this is the first office of a programmer I've ever visited without expensive hardware lying around on the floor among pizza boxes and empty cans of pop.\\
'''Evil Invasion:''' Sorry, but I just moved in. Give me a few days then this place will live up to ''all'' your prejudices.
-->-- ''VideoGame/TheNamelessMod''

The BigBad is a [[TheCracker Computer-Destroying Techwhiz]]. The [[PlayfulHacker Good Guy's]] on the other side. Now, how do you show the audience that they are awesome, other than having them grab a keyboard, [[RapidFireTyping punch a few buttons]], and [[EverythingIsOnline blow up a satellite]] [[HollywoodHacking in 15 minutes]]?

Throw in the 21st-century equivalent of the MadScientistLaboratory, and have them live in a room packed to the brim full of technological things, that's what. A HackerCave, known in chanspeak as a 'battlestation'.

Note that said definition of "awesome" must include one of the following words in its description (amongst others): Geeky, Technology, [[BeepingComputers Things that go BEEP,]] Metallic, futuristic, pipes, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blinkenlights blinkenlights]], BillionsOfButtons. Anime figurines and other otaku paraphernalia does apply. Must include more than one obvious computer tower (because the hacker knows computers ''don't'' [[ComputerEqualsMonitor equal monitors]]), and the primary computer comes with at least 3 monitors (never mind some of those monitors display only a looping picture that does nothing). May also include a [[PersonalArcade retro coin-op arcade game]] (''VideoGame/PacMan'' and ''VideoGame/SpaceInvaders'' are obvious favorites) in a corner, [[RuleOfCool just because]].

When done well, the result will be unabashed TechnologyPorn.

"Real" hackers spend most of their hacking time peering at a text editor and thinking very hard, so one might think this unrealistic, but it still manages to be TruthInTelevision for many. A common cause is the need to keep any number of test machines on hand to verify programs' behavior on dissimilar platforms, or in complex networked setups. {{Demo|scene}}parties and other hackish social occasions often resemble this trope too--as do the bedrooms (or {{basement|Dweller}}s) of hackers who deliberately seek this trope as an ideal!

Quite often, this trope will intersect with VoiceWithAnInternetConnection.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Noah & Seto Kaiba from ''Anime/YuGiOh'' both have one in the anime.
* Lain's set-up in ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain''. Now, how did Lain, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, got all those $2000+ Cisco Catalyst switches running the latest IOS?
** They grew there out of nothing. Her computer has grown so much in later episodes that it's started to sprout from the outside walls like a plant.
** Given that Lain's parents [[spoiler:are fake parents meant to "incubate" her]], they can probably afford to spend money on that kind of stuff because [[spoiler:it's their purpose]].
* Satsuki in ''Manga/{{X1999}}'' has only one giant computer, but it's still in a cooled room under the Tokyo City Hall.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'':
** The control room of L's high-rise, though the large monitors are generally used for observing the security cameras of the building. There are only three actual computers with one monitor each, which makes perfect sense when you consider there are usually several people working at once.
** Near gets a more organized variation, with a full wall of screens that can project anything from security footage to news archives to incoming transmissions... [[OminousMultipleScreens which, for some reason, blot out everything else the dozens of screens were doing at the time.]]
** The [[TrashOfTheTitans dingy]] little apartment shared by Matt and Mello qualifies as well.
* Amy the PlayfulHacker from ''Anime/BurstAngel'' somehow stuffed a Hacker Cave inside a BaseOnWheels.
* Chisame of ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'''s {{Magitek}} pactio item can create a perfect hacking space for her inside a [[ExtremeGraphicalRepresentation Tron-like]] area complete with surrounding screens, numerous floating keybords and seven electronic helpers. Her own room surrounded by monitors probably also counts.
* Kururu's room in ''Manga/SgtFrog''.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'':
** The Major gets one of these in ''[[TheMovie Solid State Society]]'', although hers is rather stylishly located in a light, airy penthouse apartment.
** In the series she visits a hacker, who lives in the more typical dark, cramped room. This particular Hacker Cave is filled with (deliberately) anachronistic computer equipment, a good proportion of which is obsolete. There were also at least two robotic sex-dolls lying around.
* The Digimon Kaiser's headquarters in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' is a rather strange instance of this trope - it's basically this, but the screens are kind of just floating there in featureless blackness and all the controls are on the arms of the Kaiser's chair. The room is apparently pretty small but otherwise has no distinguishing features. Its strangeness may be justified by it being in the Digital World instead of the real world.
* Yamaki of ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' is a black ops agent and computer programmer. His Hacker Cave is the HYPNOS headquarters, whose operation's center filled to the brim with computers, wires, monitors, and even a massive overhead screen. In the beginning of the series, Yamaki is so obsessed with Digimon, he seems to never leave the place. When we finally see him at his apartment [[spoiler: being fired but overcoming his obsession]], he sets up a computer and accessories in his living room.
* [[spoiler:''[[NGOSuperpower Celestial Being's]]'' founder [[BigGood Aeolia Schenberg]]]] has one of this in the epilogue of ''Anime/Gundam00AWakeningOfTheTrailblazer.''

* More or less every incarnation of the [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batcave]], especially after the Bat-Computer met the PC revolution.
* Oracle, from Creator/DCComics, builds one of these for herself wherever she goes. The most famous of which was the Clocktower in Gotham City, original headquarters of the ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey.
* The [[ComicBook/BlueBeetle Beetlecave]]! Jaime's hacker buddies, Hector and Nadia, basically turned their entire house into this. The actual 'Beetlecave', however, is the {{cyberspace}} face of it. All because Jaime's parents probably wouldn't like their son constructing a real cave in the crawlspace...
* Part of ComicBook/RedRobin's underground CoolGarage is a dedicated computer area that was designed using Tim's knowledge from working on the Batcomputer and helping upgrade Oracle's systems.

* Freddie "Warlock" Kaludis's (Creator/KevinSmith) basement lair in 2007's ''Film/LiveFreeOrDieHard''.
* ''Die Hard 4.0'' had a couple of these, all the hackers that blow up at the start (at least the ones we see) imply they have a mass of pimped-out computers, then there is the truck the bad guys go around in. And again in the Woodlawn building, it has a massive super server to hold all the financial transactions of the USA (yet is able to be downloaded to a single laptop).
* Stephen lives in one in ''Film/TheScore''.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'' in a more cyberpunk style.
* A rather nifty one in ''Film/TheArrival''.
* On that note, Griffin's setup in ''Film/{{Jumper}}''. Griffin even refers to it as "the lair".
* A proto-example: David Lightman (Matthew Broderick)'s bedroom in ''Film/WarGames''.
* The basement of Kevin Flynn's arcade plays this pretty straight in ''Film/TronLegacy'', even when it was deserted for 20 years -- the touchscreen computer was even counting the time up to that point, until Sam brushes off the dust.
* Unsurprisingly, hacker caves show up in the movie ''Film/{{Hackers}}'', including the huge multi-towered glowy Gibson supercomputer.
* [[Film/{{Serenity}} Mr. Universe's]] home in the BigDamnMovie of ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.
* Number theorist Max Cohen in the 1998 movie ''Film/{{Pi}}'' has a homemade supercomputer (named Euclid) that takes up his whole apartment.
* The ending of ''Film/ZeroEffect''.
* Hiro Hamada in ''Disney/BigHero6'' has two: a small one set up in the corner of his bedroom, and a larger more elaborate setup in his aunt's garage.
* In ''Film/WhoAmI'', when the hero's grandmother gets permanently transfered to hospital, he turns her house into a headquarter for his hacker group.
* In ''Film/{{Nerve}}'', the backroom of The Cloud is set up as one. This is where Tommy and the hacker collective launch their botnet attack.
* '''Ed''', the consultant from I.T., goes to one every evening.

* The geek house in the early novels of Creator/CharlesStross' ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' features this, only extended to include a [[PostModernMagik laser pentagram for demon summoning]]
* ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'' arguably sees Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse creating the world's first hacker cave when in the later stages of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII his superiors discover his lab to be taken over by a massive and revolutionary self-built computer through which he has been running literal truckloads of punch cards to aid in his codebreaking work.
* The ''Literature/EvilGeniusTrilogy'' has a couple, With Hardware Heaven in the first book, and The War Room in the second.
* From '''The Ant King''' by Benjamin Rosenbaum, Vampire has a blacklit cavern, brimming with these, which increase by the day.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The IT department in ''Series/TheITCrowd'' is full of obsolete (but notorious) computer equipment, cabling, geeky posters and the various bits of debris that a computer room accumulates.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds''
** [[PlayfulHacker Garcia's]] office.
** An evil and substantially more complicated version turns up in "The Big Game"/"Revelations".
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': The lair of The Lone Gunmen.
* Sleazy, unscrupulous, eleven-year-old blogger Nevel from ''Series/ICarly'' has one in the closet off his living room. Upon discovering it, Sam referred to it as his "nerd cave."
* In ''Series/{{Continuum}}'', Alec Sadler has one in the attic of his family's barn. The size of the set-up is somewhat justified by the fact that Alec is inventing, building and testing [[AppliedPhlebotinum next-generation processing and communication technology]].
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}''
** The Watchtower in the last few seasons was this for Chloe. Back in the high school days of the early seasons, the Smallville High Torch office was this for her as well, though in that case it was open to all students and faculty rather than being private property (it really was more a matter of Chloe being the only one who consistently ''wanted'' to be at the Torch!)
** Lana also got one in Season 7, as she used it to spy on Lex's every move.
* ''Series/SiliconValley'':
** Erlich Bachman has converted his suburban Palo Alto home into an "incubator" for freelance programmers, supplying them free rooms on the condition that he owns 10% of anything they create there. The living room is nothing but computer workspaces, and the garage is filled with servers.
** In season 4, Gavin Belson gives the Pied Piper programmers a tour of the suburban garage where he and Peter Gregory built Hooli as youths. When they walk out, we discover that he's transported the garage into a larger garage where he also stores his various aircraft and supercars.

* In ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'' the godmodder's room has been stated quite frequently to be one of these.
** Attacks targeting his systems don't work because he supposedly has an infinite number of back-up computers.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Baofu's "lair" in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}: Eternal Punishment'' becomes the PlayerHeadquarters for a while [[spoiler: before it sinks into the ocean like everything else in the Narumi Ward after a certain event]].
* Lanette, Hoenn's resident computer geek in ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' has a house that definitely fits this trope. She admits the place is a bit of a mess.
** Similarly, Cassius, the [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Kalos]] storage expert, has a messy house full of rack servers and other equipment.
* Otacon operates out of a cargo plane converted into a hacker cave in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', [[ProductPlacement courtesy of Apple]].
* The Villain of ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 2'' had this but instead the cave was a condo of 30 floors. All packed with Servers, said servers were also emitting high amounts of Electromagnetic radiation to the point it was distorting the movements of the residents of the town it was in.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 3'', [[spoiler: the physical location of the Undernet Server is in a cave at the Ura Inn.]]
* Lucca's house from ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' is littered with cables and books.
* The very last stage in ''VideoGame/Condemned2Bloodshot'' evokes this trope to prove that BigBrotherIsWatching.
* [=DiZ=] of ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' owns one in the [[spoiler: Basement of the Twilight Town Mansion]]. In frustration, Roxas happened to smash one of them.
* ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters'' and ''VideoGame/TimeSplitters2'' have cyberpunk levels with underground hacker hideouts.
* Mocked in ''VideoGame/TheNamelessMod'', giving the page quote.
* The Shadow Broker has a pretty impressive one in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2: Lair of the Shadow Broker''. [[spoiler:Liara manages to keep her hands on most of the hardware, setting it up in Miranda's old office]] by the time of ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''.
* Kinzie in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' sets one up after joining the Saints, with nary a bed in sight...
--> '''Kinzie:''' Sleep is forbidden.
* Some Nosferatu in ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' live in literal Hacker Caves.
* In ''Website/AssassinsCreedInitiates'', Assassin Emmett has a hacker cave set up onboard the ''[[CoolBoat Altair II]]''.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'', Dutch hacker Arie van Bruggen has two. His first setup is in his penthouse apartment hidden behind a false wall. His second, after he's forced to abandon the first one and go into hiding, is in the Alice Garden Pods capsule hotel, which is impressive in that one "room" in that place is nothing more than a bed, a cupboard, a shelf, and a curtain for privacy. Van Bruggen got around this by renting every single pod adjacent to his, then packing them completely full with server towers.
** Pritchard's office is filled with electronics. He even has an arch built out of old CRT monitors.
* Samantha Ford has one in ''The11thHour'', with 3 computers side-by-side that can apparently show live feeds of the Stauf Mansion. The room itself is pretty sparse, with a TV at the back and some doors, but granted, she's confined to a wheelchair.
* The flash game "Hacker's Escape'' is a RoomEscapeGame based on this trope.
* A two-room example shows up in ''VideoGame/{{Ripper}}'' in the residence of Joey Falconetti, who is claimed to be the world's greatest hacker. It's packed with tons of monitors and a few loudly humming servers with blinking lights, plus a hologram projector for good measure. When protagonist Jake Quinlan meets Falconetti face-to-face, he discoveres that the man was apparently was hooked into a hammock packed with tubes and cables, whilst logged into cyberspace for ''80 hours straight''. In a CyberPunk game such as this, though, other non-hacker locations like the Manhattan police station and the Woffard cottage show flavors of this as well.
* Lester's house from ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV''; due to him being a GeniusCripple, he normally doesn't leave all that much. On occasion, he will be out in the field, including the "Obvious" version of The Big Score, where he helps take down [[PrivateMilitaryContractors Merryweather]] choppers with [=RPGs=].
* Appears all over the place in ''VideoGame/WatchDogs'' and its sequel. They act as safe houses in the first game (where you save your game by sleeping as well as changing your outfit).
** Aiden's apartment has a few screens and a projector set up, although it's specifically to help in the search for his niece's murderers. [[spoiler: It gets destroyed by the Black Viceroys.]]
** The Black Viceroys' server room, the upper part of the Rossi-Fremont fortress which acts as the headquarters for [[GeniusBruiser Iraq]] [[spoiler: and where he keeps all his blackmail material.]]
** The Bunker, [[spoiler: the testing site for the first ctOS system]] and the player's primary HQ when it's unlocked. It's awesome.
* In ''VideoGame/WatchDogs2'', there are Hackerspaces, locations where [=DedSec=] is set up and acts as their headquarters.
** A villainous example comes from the hackerspace beloning to [[TheCracker Prime]]_[[OnlyInItForTheMoney Eight]] as well as their leader [[{{Troll}} Lenni]]. [[spoiler: It's taken from them by [=DedSec=] as retaliation for attacking their servers with ramsomware in a failed blackmail bid.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Wade's room in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', which is usually only seen from the POV of his webcam.
* Mr. Crocker of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' has "the Crocker Cave", which started out as just a phonebooth inside the janitor's closet, but eventually was retconned into a HackerCave / MadScientistLaboratory combination.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'': One of the few Hacker Caves that is actually underground, apparently.
** ''And'' hollowed out from an abandoned auto assembly plant.
* Lampshaded slightly in ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' in the episode "Zim eats waffles". Dib is shown in his own hacker cave trying to record Zim's evil plans. Only to have his various hard drives miss the crucial moments of video.
* Gimpy's dorm room from ''WesternAnimation/{{Undergrads}}''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A rather extreme real-life example is which ''eleven'' computers are used to play ''36'' ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' accounts at the same time, by a single person ([[https://web.archive.org/web/20081101004321/http://www.dual-boxing.com/forums/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=14611 source]]).
* [[http://www.facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=822993 This]] Facepunch thread. That said, unlike fictional Hacker Caves most of that seems to be clutter rather than serving any functional role.
* WikiLeaks' data centre.
* Server rooms can get to look like this in real life; they tend to be located in the basement or some other room without much natural light, and usually double as storage for spare workstations and replacement parts and [[CowTools assorted mysterious bits and pieces whose purpose nobody quite recalls]] but nobody ever quite gets around to getting rid of. Sysadmins exiled down there because they're considered unworthy of a proper office in more congenial surroundings sometimes brighten the place up a bit with posters and memorabilia, further enhancing the resemblance to this trope.
* Some graphic designers/artists utilize this kind of setup too, as [[http://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1187521 this photo]] shows us.
* The Los Altos garage where Apple was founded has been named a historic site.