"Mirrors and magic are like oil and water; they repel each other and can't mix. If Winnie isn't careful, a spell could ricochet off a mirror and land where it wasn't supposed to."So you've got a villain shooting at you with his Ray Gun. You really don't want to get hit by it, and you know his A-Team Firing won't last forever... so what do you do? You take out your mirror and use it as a shield, and surprise, it reflects the ray right back at him. Why does it work? Because in fiction, Mirrors Reflect Everything (except perhaps a vampire's image, but that's another trope). This trope is when something that even remotely resembles a beam of light can be deflected using a mirror (and not a Magic Mirror, either, just an ordinary mirror), even though it realistically shouldn't have even stopped it. Or if you don't have a mirror handy, you can substitute anything reflective. Whatever was fired at you will always be deflected, perfectly, without any distortion or loss of potency. Note: only non-justified examples belong here. If it's something that would make perfect sense for a mirror to reflect, like simple laser-light, or if the mirror is explicitly enchanted in a way that allows it to reflect such attacks, it doesn't count. This restriction is necessary to keep the trope out of chair territory. Often overlaps with Attack Reflector, and less commonly Light and Mirrors Puzzle. Cousin trope to Reflecting Laser.
— Free Spirit Introductory Page
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- An early episode of Sailor Moon pits her against a photography-themed Monster of the Week who traps people in the pictures it takes. She defeats it by standing in front of a mirror, then dodging the photo beam, causing it to reflect right back at the youma.
- In YuYu Hakusho, Yusuke defeats Hiei by bouncing his Spirit Gun off a mirror, since Hiei was fast enough to dodge a direct attack. The mirror in question was actually the Forlorn Hope, which is magic but was never stated to have any attack deflecting power, and was broken in the process. In fact, the villain who had the mirror in his possession asked how Yusuke knew the attack would reflect and it turns out he just guessed.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the Akatsuki Gundam is covered in a golden mirror coating called Yata-no-Kagami that reflects ALL beam attacks. And in a time where virtually every mobile suit is using a beam weapon, this makes it extremely powerful.
- In Pokémon, mirrors have been used to reflect hypnosis waves. The reason this happens is...never explained. It just does.
- In Dirty Pair: Dangerous Acquaintances, the bad guys have programmed a spaceship's security system to seal off areas of the interior by lowering raisable walls and to use laser turrets to shoot anything that moves within those areas. The main characters retreat into a bathroom where there are no turrets, then break the mirror and use pieces of it to redirect the turrets' laser beams, first to cut through the nearest raisable wall, and then to destroy the turrets. In issue 3 of the next miniseries (A Plague of Angels), the letter column ran one letter from someone who pointed out that a high-powered laser actually would have quickly made a hole in the mirror.
- In the first arc of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics, the Scoobies open a portal to the military base Willow's being held captive. The villains have some kind of laser BFG waiting for them, and open fire the second the portal opens - except the Scoobies saw that coming and have a giant mirror ready.
Xander: Magic. It's all done with mirrors.
- Spaceballs: Lone Starr uses a shaving mirror to deflect the Agony Beam which Dark Helmet shoots at him.
- In Watchmen, Ozymandias uses a pot lid to reflect a shot from an energy weapon fired by Nite Owl II.
- In Superman II, General Zod has heat vision powerful enough to melt steel and scorch concrete. Nevertheless, Superman is able to use a semi-truck's side mirror to reflect the heat vision back at the villain. Subverted in Superman III, where a drunken Superman who can't stand to see his own face melts the mirrors in a bar.
- Superman exploits this effect in the comic books as well. In one series, he uses it to shave. After all, steel razor blades aren't gonna do the trick, are they? Then his powers get swapped for electrically based ones that he has poor control over. The next morning, he tries it again. Lois has just enough time to catch on to what's about to happen before Clark lets it rip. THIS is also reflected, blasting Clark through the whole apartment, trailing lightning bolts all the way.
- Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, when Satan fires lighting at Kage, Jables dives in front of him in an attempt to take the bullet. By pure dumb luck, the lightning hits the shiny foil "JB" logo that Jables had stuck onto his guitar, which reflects it back at Satan and breaks a piece off one of his horns, allowing Tenacious D to perform the spell that sealed him away the first time.
- In the first story of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Mrs. Gorf is trying to turn all the kids into apples. One of them holds up a mirror at the right moment, and Mrs. Gorf turns herself into an apple.
- Done in an early episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Buffy uses a lab mirror to reflect a witch's magic attack. This traps the witch in her own cheerleading trophy.
- In The Green Hornet episode "Invasion from Outer Space'' part 2, the title character reflects a blast of electricity with a mirror.
- One episode of Star Trek: Voyager had a Viidian ship hide in an asteroid full of natural mirrors which reflected phaser fire (which are not lasers, but some kind of particle weapon). The crew got around this by setting the phasers to a low setting and firing a continuous burst, hitting but not damaging the other ship to reveal its location.
- Power Rangers Wild Force - After Jindrax goes Defector from Decadence and rails against how his superiors will betray their own kind to get what they want, Onikage proves him right by using his "evil-shadow-maker" attack on him. Jindrax deflects it with his mirror, which ends up saving the Rangers.
- Doctor Who:
- In the episode "The Big Bang", the Doctor deflects a Dalek's energy beams with a satelite dish. The dish is singed where the beams hit, but considering most objects simply explode...
- In "Robot of Sherwood", the Doctor and the peasant slaves uses gold plates to reflect the lasers of the robot knights back upon the knights.
- Depeding on which version you read, either the hideous visage of Medusa had no effect on Perseus because he only looked at her reflection in a mirror, or the mirror turned Medusa herself into stone by reflecting her image back at her. This may make sense because originally what made her so lethal to be around wasn't some kind of Deadly Gaze but her sheer hideousness, which is of course something a mirror can reflect.
- Whether or not this trope applied to gaze weapons, and to which particular gaze weapons, was the subject of a lot of frustrating debates in the early days of Dungeons & Dragons, when monsters' descriptions didn't offer many technical details about how their attacks worked.
- This trope is an instrumental player in the finale of the adventure game Flight Of The Amazon Queen: Joe has to set up a chain of deflections for Ironstein's dino ray gun involving Faye's hand mirror, a reflective ceremonial death mask and the guardian robot's crystalline body.
- In the first The Legend of Kyrandia game, you defeat the Big Bad by having a mirror reflect magic back at him.
- Used in Day of the Tentacle when the protagonists convince Purple Tentacle to use his shrink ray on Dr. Fred. The ray reflects off Dr. Fred's surgeon's head mirror, shrinking Purple Tentacle to the size of a worm.
- The Legend of Zelda has a recurring item in the Mirror Shield, pictured above. In addition to the typical applications (at least in the 3D installments; the 2D games usually just treat it as an upgraded shield), Ocarina of Time has you use it to defeat one Dual Boss by reflecting one sister's magical attack at the other, then absorbing three like beams in a row and spewing the whole charge at the combined sisters in the second phase. And in The Wind Waker, it can reflect freakin' Light Arrows in the final boss fight. You can also reflect Wizzrobe's fire and ice attacks back at him in Majora's Mask, just because in Ocarina of Time (its immediate predecessor) it was used to reflect heat and cold attacks, so it's also an example of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.
- In the climactic scene of Space Ace, Borf fires his Infanto Ray at Ace, who moves a mirror into place and reflects it back at him. The Infanto Ray isn't a laser, it's a beam that turns its target into a baby.
- In a Aladdin Edutainment computer game, one of the last activities is to set up a specific arrangement of treasures in the Cave of Wonders. This turns out to allow the ruby given to your party earlier to reflect Jafar's spell, trapping him again in the same vault he was released from in the beginning of the game.
- The ClueFinders: Mystery of the Missing Amulet uses this as a Chekhov's Gun. During the opening cutscene, Owen is using LapTrap's shell as a mirror to comb his hair, which LapTrap resents. At the end of the game, Owen once again uses LapTrap's shiny shell as a mirror to reflect the eponymous amulet's powers back at the evil sorceress Malicia, trapping her inside the amulet.
- In the French webfiction Les Aventures de Morgoth, the protagonist with an Unfortunate Name uses a mirror with an invisibility spell on it to reflect an unsuspecting monster's petrifying gaze. It is lampshaded beforehand with a line the likes of "I know it shouldn't work, but it has been proven it works anyway." It does, but the target shrugs if off quickly.
- Jonny Quest episode "Mystery of the Lizard Men". The Big Bad has a laser powerful enough to instantly blow up entire ships. Dr. Quest uses an ordinary mirror to reflect the beam and blow up the Big Bad's ship.
- Kim Possible has done this many times with her compact mirror.
- In the Sushi Pack episode "Pants On Fire," The Pack use a mirror to reflect a bolt of lightning shot by Unagi.
- In Justice League episode 14 ("The Fury") Batman uses a conveniently placed mirror to reflect the force beams from Star Sapphire's crystal right back at her.
- In Batman Beyond episode 13 ("Ascension") Blight fires a small blast of flame-like radiation and Batman reflects it back at him with a metal serving tray. The impact does blow Batman across the room and destroy the tray, but the blast indeed bounces back at Blight.