"Keep absolutely still. Its vision's based on movement."A Living Motion Detector is a person, monster, or robot that can only detect you if you're moving. Depending on its level of intelligence, it may forget about you when you stand still, or it may go looking for you. A common tactic in combating one is to somehow make objects around you move while you yourself stay still, causing it to attack the moving object instead of you.
— Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park
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Anime & Manga
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
- Notorious B.I.G., a Stand in Vento Aureo, has this trait. Trish manages to confuse it by using her Stand to shake the chairs on the train she was riding, leading it to attack them instead.
- Diego's raptor form (achieved via Scary Monsters) from Steel Ball Run works like this, similar to the T. rex in Jurassic Park.
- In explaining why their zombies are different, Highschool of the Dead posits that, since the brain and the optical nerves are dead, zombies detect through vibrations instead of visual signifiers. This can be useful for distracting zombies, as a wet cloth thrown against a locker will cause a horde to turn away from the human standing right in front of them.
Films — Animation
- On How to Train Your Dragon, Gobber tells his students that Deadly Nadders have a blind spot due to the horn on their snout. Unfortunately, the don't have a "deaf spot", as Ruffnut and Tuffnut find out after their arguing over the blind spot clues the Nanner to their location.
- When the T. rex appears on Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Manny tells everyone to stand perfectly still. Unfortunately, one hedgehog doesn't take the hint, and his screaming and running away alerts the T. rex.
Films — Live-Action
- A variant in Pitch Black, in that the monster can't see you if you stand between its eyes, because of a blind spot caused by their armored heads.
- The underground Graboids in Tremors can only detect you by the vibrations caused by your movements.
- In a variant, the Blind Dead from the Spanish film series Tombs Of The Blind Dead can only track you down if you make a sound. Staying still helps. It can't save you forever, however — they can hear your heart beating.
- The Deadly Spawn has very toothy grinning aliens who are blind but hunt by sound. Be very quiet and it won't notice you.
- Invoked in The Ugly Dachsund, where Mr. Toyama plays dead after he mistakes Brutus for a lion.
- The Tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Park has "vision based on movement."
- The Tyrannosaurs in Jurassic Park are thought to do this, as a side effect of their frog DNA (frogs really can't see prey if it doesn't move). In the second novel, it's explained that T. rexes can see things that were standing still perfectly well, as one man fatally finds out. The T. rex in the first book had just been ignoring the humans because it wasn't hungry.
- Hunter-seeker drones in Dune fly towards anything that moves, killing on contact.
- In Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, Zane faces off against a demon that looks like a 5-meter-tall preying mantis. He realizes that it can only perceive him as prey if he moves. (And he can even do that as long as he doesn't move in a way that resembles the motion of prey.)
- The dragons in the Steerswoman books, which are actually robots.
- In Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, moving too fast will draw the attention of the shades. If their eyes are closed, you can move slowly and they won't notice you. If their eyes are green, then holding perfectly still may cause them to lose interest and close their eyes again. If their eyes are red, you'd better run, because only getting behind silver will save you.
- The assassin in "Blind Date" is blind but has learned to detect "other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum." The net result is that she's a human example of this trope, at least when she's fighting someone like Angel who doesn't generate body heat.
- Doctor Who:
- The Raston warrior robot from the episode "The Five Doctors".
- Possibly the hand-mines from "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar", assuming they're living bioweapons and not machines.
- The monster Silvagon of Ultraman Tiga could only see movement, leading to a hilarious scene where Ultraman strikes at it, then freezes up as soon as it turns to face him. This gets especially silly when he's forced to hold a precarious crane stance. Eventually Silvagon gets fed up and starts blindly running around, lashing at the air.
- In the Arrowverse, the Black Flash is completely blind except for things moving at Super Speed.
- Dungeons & Dragons has a shrieker, a giant underground mushroom that reacts to light or movement. Its sole purpose is to alert and attract monsters.
- In Warhammer 40,000, according to the 5th edition Tyranid Codex, it was, until recently, believed that Raveners couldn't see anything that wasn't in motion. It was later proved that they can see stationary objects (and people) just fine; they are compelled to chase opponents, when a biologist studying them ordered his men to remain still when attacked by them.
- One of the boss creatures in Half-Life is a massive but completely blind tentacle that detected you by your footsteps. You can either crawl past silently, or set off an explosion and run past while it strokes at the louder noise.
- Similarly, Los Garradors in Resident Evil 4 are blind and hear your movement if you're running, as well as your commands to Ashley. Sadly for them, you fight them in the vicinity of bells — one strategy for defeating them involves shooting the bell and then shooting its weak point while it's distracted. Another is simply walking, which they can't hear.
- One of the enemies in Yoshi's Island is Boo Man Bluff, a blindfolded Boo that homes in on Yoshi whenever the cute little dinosaur makes a sound. That includes jumping, throwing eggs, or even touching coins; the ghosts have good enough hearing to hear the obligatory video game blips and beeps. To add to the fun, the ghost can only home in on the place where you last made the sound, and looks quite clueless and confused when you aren't there.
- The Berserker from the first Gears of War was blind, but could detect where you were through your footsteps, as well as your smell.
- The Witch from Left 4 Dead doesn't seem to care about you until you a) get really close, b) make a ton of noise in her direction or c) blind her with your flashlight. Then she gets pissed, and it's Losing Your Head time!
- The Lickers in Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 5.
- Fallout: New Vegas has Blind Deathclaws, which have high perception despite their blindness, and which will alert other Deathclaws when they detect you.
- Deep Sleep Trilogy has the bottom feeders, who will devour you if you move the mouse too far too fast.
- Penumbra includes the enormous Grey Rock Worms. They fit this trope to a T, judging by the research papers left behind, are very hard to escape from, and they charge like bulldozers towards their prey. It's implied that the Tuurngait virus is what made them grow so large, as nobody factored in how big they could grow when the mine was still active.
- Doggo from Undertale can only see moving things. This is largely so he can serve as a Justified Tutorial for "blue" attacks that can't hurt you if you stand still.
- The Wendigo in Until Dawn have motion-based vision due to deteriorated senses, at one point even attacking each other due to being the only beings moving in the area, and deeming one another a threat by default.
- Funtime Foxy in Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location attacks the player based on their movement, leaving them alone if they stay still. Night 3 requires the player to cross a pitch-black hallway and avoid moving when Funtime Foxy is nearby. The return trip isn't as fool-proof, however, but Foxy doesn't kill you after the jumpscare.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gives us the four Moldugas of Gerudo Desert. If you move at all in the sand with one of these beasts nearby, you can bet it'll sense your vibrations and attempt to zero in on your location. Fairly quickly if it confirms your location.
- Mr. Tatters from Emily Wants To Play will play a game of "Red Light, Green Light" with you. He will turn his back against you every time he appears. You will be killed if he ever finds you moving when he says "uh, uh, uh" like he is trying to find you. Moving the camera also counts.
- In order to avoid detection from the Lantern Specters in Detention, you need to turn your back against them, stand completely still, and hold your breath at the same time. Failing to do any these will cause the Specters to pick you up and strangle you to death.
- The "Fun-sized mobile agony and death dispenser" clank in this Girl Genius comic reacts to movement, including that of one's lips and chin.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: The in-universe Rule #1 after which the comic is titled says it all:
If you come across a Beast, a Troll or a Giant, do not run or call for help but stand still and stay silent. It might go away.
- The Kua-Toa of Tales from My D&D Campaign can see invisible things only if those invisible things are moving.
- Poked fun at in Family Guy where Peter and Lois encounter a prostitute who sees by movement.
- Phineas and Ferb and Candace travel back in time and encounter a T. rex in "It's About Time"; Phineas advises this technique and admits his surprise when it actually works.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Toph Bei Fong is blind from birth, but this, by forcing her to rely on her other senses, has resulted in her earthbending abilities being so developed that she can sense every movement and position of every person and object around her, so long as it's standing on earth, metal or stone. By sensing a person's heartbeat and physical reactions she can also tell whether or not they're lying.
- Parodied on The Amazing World of Gumball, when Gumball and Darwin try it on Tina. Tina responds with "That only works in movies."
- Subverted in an episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron where Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen accidentally travel back to prehistoric times. When Carl is attacked by a T. rex, Sheen tells him not to move, only for Jimmy to tell Sheen that the theory has been discredited, so Sheen tells Carl to run.
- Frogs are extremely nearsighted, but capable of detecting movement at a distance.
- Many insects. The compound eyes present in many species are awful at making out detail, but excellent at detecting even minute movement.
- As well as many fish.
- Dogs are visually more attuned to motion than color.
- Some strains of the Siamese cat have poor eyesight due to genetic problems. These cats react better to motion than stationary scenes or objects as a result. Some will move their heads to produce the necessary movement in their field of view so that they can determine where everything is.
- While many people think that bulls hate red, they're actually enraged by the motion of the cloth, not the color.
- Deer, although they can certainly see you standing there, aren't particularly alert to stationary humans. As they're also not good at judging distances visually, the best way to get close to one is to wait until it lowers its head to browse and then quietly walk straight towards it, freezing when it looks up. So long as it doesn't see lateral movement, it won't catch on that you're coming nearer. This is (part of) the source of the phrase "deer in the headlights": a deer that wanders onto a highway will take note of oncoming cars, but won't register that they're coming closer until it's too late.