Typically the Shooting Gallery is a training run for "shoot/don't shoot" scenarios where dummies will pop out and shoot at anyone running through it. Often a trainee will be expected to shoot all the "bad guys" while not shooting obvious civilians
like paraplegics, old men, or women with babies. In an action adventure plot expect it to be taken over by the bad guys (or perhaps specially constructed by them) and the dummies to be firing live ammunition.
Often a new trainee will be shown using these, perhaps learning a lesson about being more cautious. If it is used for training, it's entirely possible that a near identical scene will happen later.
If the characters are using one, but the audience isn't told beforehand, it can be a case of Danger Room Cold Open
In the United States the FBI calls their shooting gallery Hogan's Alley. The generic term for a military or law enforcement shooting gallery is kill house.
Sometimes part of a training Montage
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Anime and Manga
- Subaru and Teana goes through one of these on the first episode of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS for their B-Rank qualifying mage exam.
- In Hellsing when Integra is reviewing another Red Shirt Army for recruitment, they're running through one of these.
- Gunslinger Girl. A 'Killing House' is shown on several occasions as the girls are trained for their roles as assassins.
- In the Jon Sable, Freelance comic, Jon had one of these in his basement and ended up having a real running gun battle through it.
- In Hex #8, Jonah Hex runs through a shooting gallery where the dummies are firing back with live ammunition in a story entitled, appropriately enough, "The Shooting Gallery".
- Scaramanga's funhouse in The Man with the Golden Gun.
- The Men In Black movie has a trick example: the MIBs put potential recruits through a shooting gallery full of scary-looking monsters, but the only thing Will Smith's character shoots is a little girl. When questioned by Rip Torn, he points out his logic (the "snarling" monster just has a cold, the one on the streetlight is just exercising, but the little white girl in the projects at the dead of night with quantum physics textbooks must be up to something). Turns out that was the right answer.
- Used in the Dirty Harry movie Magnum Force. Harry loses the police shooting contest because he "accidentally" shoots a "good guy" target...a police officer.
- Which is an important plot point, because he has figured out by then that the serial killers murdering criminals around town are actually cops. Cops he knows. Also, after the contest he used one of the suspected cops' weapons, missing one shot that he sneaks back for later to gather as evidence.
- And before that he goes to the training range, where he meets the group of vigilante officers while they are training.
- Police Academy has a subversion of this. The cadets are all taken to the academy shooting range, and walk though the course one by one... until Tacklebury, who is gun-crazy, goes off on his own and starts shooting every target.
- If memory serves, at least one target is subjected to a buttstroke from the shotgun.
- Similarly, the scene where the cadets are issued their revolvers. Tackleberry picks up his with a look of disappointment. Cut to the next scene on the firing range, where the cadets are shooting at targets, only for Tackleberry to obliterate his with a Hand Cannon.
- Used in Starship Troopers - where the aftermath of a mistake while using live rounds on the hazard course leaves one soldier dead and his commanding officer stripped of rank and given ten strikes with a whip.
- In the first Lethal Weapon movie recently-teamed partners Riggs and Murtaugh are trying to one-up each other on the range. Murtaugh, annoyed at Rigg's tight bullethole group, sends a target further down the range and puts a single bullet through its 'head'. Riggs then sends his target all the way downrange, and shoots a smiley face in the head zone.
- Dear Wendy features a secret underground shooting gallery.
- RoboCop (1987) had a scene where about half the precinct were practicing on the range and all stopping to witness Robocop's Improbable Aiming Skills as he shredded the targets with his Auto 9.
- The Good The Bad And The Ugly. Tuco crawls out of the desert, staggers into a store and after angrily rejecting the revolvers he's offered, assembles a custom model from the stripped parts of other guns. The store owner suggests he test it out the back where he has three targets painted like Native Americans. Shooting from the hip, Tuco hits all three targets so they spin sideways, then shoots them again even through they're edge on to him. The store owner is impressed until Tuco makes a Ballistic Discount.
- In Rivers of London the Folly has one for trainee wizards to practice their fireball skills in. As a mark of just how long it has been since it was put use, all the target silhouettes are still shaped like WW2 Nazis.
- In the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - verse book Lead Sunset, a flashback of Major Kupriyanov is him and his military academy mates being taken for an exam that involved this. He got the lowest points, because he shot every target he saw with unerring accuracy. Including the kids. When the instructor asked him why, he said something on the lines of "The order was to shoot every target, not every enemy target. I see no difference between a cardboard hostile and a cardboard civilian". Then he was asked if he would still shoot if those were real people. He replied with a hearty "yes", because the command probably had a reason for him to kill these people. He was accepted.
- Features prominently in The Sixteen-Dollar Shooter by J.T. Edson, when Deputy Brad Counter leaves a combat pistol shooting competition and walks straight into an armed showdown with four Mexican terrorists.
Live Action TV
- Video Games can have these for practice, like Jak and Daxter 2.
- The entire gameplay of some arcade-style games:
- An unexpected Genre Shift in Shadow Hearts: Covenant sees you controlling the Mutant Ape Ouka as she runs through one of these. In this case the "civilians" are cutouts of Sergeant Kato, and he's less than thrilled if you shoot one.
- Win Back uses real people for the hero to train upon. Odd. I guess the Death Penalty is much harsher.
- Perfect Dark has one in the Carrington Institute. You can also use the railgun, which fires through walls, allowing you to shoot out lights and stuff in the building's offices upstairs. You can also use a floating block to wedge the door open and take the weapons out to play around the rest of the base.
- Halo 3's multiplayer map "The Pit" takes place on one of these.
- Somewhat jarringly used in Dead Space.
- Used as the opening levels in some Call of Duty games:
- Call Of Duty 2 - takes place from the perspective of a newly drafted Russian infantryman who's never fired a rifle before. He and others in his unit shoot bottles and plates for target practice, then throw potatoes into windows for grenade training. "Grenades are more valuable than you'll ever be!" Immediately after that, a German armored car enters the area and the player must take it out.
- Call Of Duty 4 - starts with a new S.A.S. members first day in Captain Price's unit. He starts off by shooting some targets at a shooting range, then manuevers through a killhouse based on the opening of the first level. The game recommends a difficulty level based on how well you do in the killhouse.
- Fittingly, there's two of these at the carnival in Bully. One is a Wild West setting: targets include bottles (shoot), bandits (shoot), women with their hands up (don't shoot), and a star (shoot for bonus). The other is a baseball throw, with catchers (hit), batters (don't hit), umpires (instant game over), and a big glove (bonus).
- There's one in Parasite Eve 2.
- Some Zelda games have one, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
- Half-Life: Blue Shift had one at the beginning of the game when you are issued your weapon.
- Police Quest 2 has one where you need hearing protection and use it to adjust your gun's sights.
- A Humongous Mecha-scale version of this trope appears in a mission in MechWarrior 3. An enemy training course is left on in one of the mission areas, and it's very possible to walk your lance into it without realizing it, then start shooting when you realize you're surrounded by 'enemy contacts.'
- In Si N, there are four shooting galleries. However, the skeet range uses an inaccurate shotgun, and the Hogan's Alley style shooting range used a slow-firing weapon when you needed to hit three targets quickly.
- In Left 4 Dead 2's Dark Carnival campaign, you can stop to participate in a shooting gallery whose prize is a lawn gnome; carrying the gnome through the end of the campaign nets you an achievement.
- The Blade Runner video game had one as a Mini-Game in the police station. For some bizarre reason the time it takes for the targets to appear is directly proportional to your CPU speed, which made the Mini-Game nearly unplayable after Technology Marched On.
- Rainbow Six had one of these as a tutorial.
- Vietcong features one as a tutorial level.
- The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Connection" has Marge doing one of these perfectly (she hits all the villains and none of the civilians). Wiggum's disappointed response: "You missed the baby, you missed the blind man...".
- Parodied later in the episode when Marge has become a cop and is in pursuit of a criminal outside the Simpsons' house one night. Abe Simpson (walking Maggie in a stroller) and Milhouse pop out of the bushes completely inexplicably, and Marge holds her fire.
- An episode of Justice League had Green Lantern pitting the League against one of these as a team-building exercise, using both cardboard cut-outs of supervillains and training robots that fought back, with mixed results.
- One episode of Danny Phantom has Danny practicing with his ectoblasts. The gallery has cut-outs of ghosts and one cut-out of his sister, Jazz. He only hits the ghosts... but hits his sister afterward. Don't worry, it's played for laughs.
- Brock from The Venture Bros. had to complete one of these as part of a test to renew his license to kill. However, since he doesn't use guns, he destroyed them in more creative ways.
- In the Looney Tunes short "Satan's Waitin'" in which Sylvester can't stop dying and using up the remainder of his lives trying to kill Tweety at point he wanders onto one of these while trying to catch him, he ends up getting shot multiple times and losing four of his lives.
- In the King of the Hill episode "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo", Peggy puts a Flat Stanley cutout into one of these for a series of photos to "teach kids lessons", it then gets shot to pieces.
- Dragons: Riders of Berk: In "Thawday", one of the contests in the Thawday Contest is an event where the dragons have to shoot enemy targets while avoiding friendly ones.