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[[quoteright:256:[[VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SuperMarioWorld_hallway_9202.gif]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:256:All that running through scenes like this in all his games and he hasn't lost a pound...]]-]

->'''Gwen:''' What ''is'' this thing? I mean, there's no useful purpose for there to be a bunch of chompy, crushy things in the middle of a hallway!\\
'''Jason:''' Gwen--\\
'''Gwen:''' No! I think we shouldn't have to do this! It makes no logical sense! ''Why is it here?!'' \\
'''Jason:''' 'Cause it's on the television show!\\
'''Gwen:''' Well, forget it! I'm not doing it! This episode was ''badly written!''
-->-- ''Film/GalaxyQuest''

This is a BoobyTrap in which big stone blocks, spiked walls or sharp blades [[DurableDeathtrap repeatedly]] ram into each other in a narrow hallway. The way past them is to either immediately run through when they separate or find a way to jam them. Multiple traps lined up may require some pattern memorization.

Extremely common in video games as a [[MalevolentArchitecture standard obstacle]], especially in medieval settings.

Having large items appear on a conveyor belt that crush down are also common... which makes one wonder what these factories are supposed to be making that require so much repeated crushing to make. It also sometimes appears in [[WombLevel settings that are within giant monsters]], which could be justified because you're within the monster's digestive tract and that the smashing/pounding things are part of its pre-digestion chewing process. May be (part of) a LivingStructureMonster.

When devices commonly found in this trope are implemented as {{Death Trap}}s and won't retract, they're usually either a DescendingCeiling or TheWallsAreClosingIn.

A one-stop DeathCourse.



* Part of the DeathCourse parody in ''Film/GalaxyQuest''.
* In ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' the stamping presses on the conveyor belt of the droid factory qualifies. It also has the bladed kind later on. Also, one wonders how a machine designed to stamp metal plates into flat shapes actually molds said metal ''around'' his squishy squishy non-robotic arm.
** ContrivedCoincidence. The plate was being stamped with a raised section that fortunately fit around the arm area.[[AWizardDidIt ...He's a Jedi and he used the Force?]]
* Also (vertically!) in ''Film/RogueOne'' in the Tower on Scarif.
* A non-lethal one appears in ''Film/FirstKnight'' as an obstacle course for a prize.

[[folder:Folklore and Mythology]]
* The Argonauts from Myth/GreekMythology had to avoid a similar obstacle on their way to Colchis the Symplegades, a pair of rocks clashing together to destroy ships attempting to cross the Hellespont. This, of course, makes this OlderThanFeudalism.
* The Filipino strong man Bernardo Carpio was trapped for eternity between two mountains who had nothing else to do but bounce their bodies together.

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' novel ''Literature/SkinGame'' uses a magical version of this, with a giant field about 200 yards long filled with Smashing Ice Blocks of Doom. Making it even more insidious is the fact that the place is so cold it starts freezing up anyone who attempts to navigate it, or at least slows them down enough so the blocks can smash them. [[spoiler:Said trap is one of three guarding [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Hades]]' treasure vault, and Harry Dresden was brought into the heist specifically to navigate this trap, since his Winter Knight powers let him resist the freezing better than anyone else. He manages to navigate the blocks by studying their movement pattern for about a half-hour; afterwards, Hades himself praises Harry for his foresight, saying very few would-be thieves even think of trying to find a pattern.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' episode "Buried" had a DeathCourse with swinging blades and blasts of fire. Instead of jumping through it, [[CuttingTheKnot the team gets by it by zip-lining over the top.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Many of the traps in ''TabletopGame/RoboRally'' go off during certain phases of the turn, making it possible to pass through safely if you can time your movement just right (and don't get pushed off track by one of the other robots).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' has a gauntlet of blade pendulums in the castle, and a hallway of crushers in the mines.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar''. Oddly, they didn't do much damage if they slammed on the player. This, of course, could be {{Hand Wave}}d [[spoiler: by saying that Kratos is half-god]].
** In ''Ghost of Sparta'', there is an underwater section of Atlantis that features these. They cause instant death, thus [[DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist setting you back a few seconds]] to right in front of the trapped area.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness: Sanity's Requiem''. Same as above, but less justification.
** Given that the game centres around Lovecraftian eldritch abominations and their minions working over centuries to destroy humanity they probably just did this for the evulz.
* Most memorably, in the Shadow Temple of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', where you had to block the falling trap with a block hidden behind a fake wall, which a sign referred to as "the stone umbrella".
* ''Franchise/TombRaider'' games make a ''science'' of this. In the first level of ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend Legend]]'', you have to push a block through to stop the smashing walls, like the ''Zelda'' example above.
* ''VideoGame/{{Hexen}}''. Oh so very much.
** Not to mention the revolving doors that can crush you, the bottomless pits, the earthquakes, the cave-ins, the collapsing bridges, the impaling [[SpikesOfDoom spikes]]... In fact, the game specifically improved the Doom engine to enabling sliding and rotating solid surfaces (Doom/Heretic could only raise or lower ceilings or floors due to the way the engine maintains and renders maps), so it's not surprising the designers found uses for their new toy.
* The Thwomps in the ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' games. Oddly enough, though, the Thwomps were cognizant villains, with eyes and a mouth. Usually, rather then constantly moving up and down, Thwomps would see Mario approaching, and slam themselves down when he was near. It would take them a while to raise themselves again, during which time Mario would be able to pass through. Also, depending on which Mario game you happen to be playing, the Thwomps may deviate from their up-down-up-down pattern of moving; the most recent example being ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'', in which certain levels had Thwomp-shaped cubes called Tox Boxes actually rolling around the landscape like gigantic dice. These cubes also appeared in the ShiftingSandLand level of ''VideoGame/SuperMario64''.
** The castle levels of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' also had big crushers and spiked pillars which repeatedly crashed into the floor.
** Taken to extremes in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'', where every other castle has a spiked pillar or falling spiked object trap of some sort, culminating with World 7 Castle's hallway of pillars that only give you a one-square-high gap in a certain spot to dodge them.
** And probably impossible to pass in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' in one scene, they move up and down faster than you can pass through! Though flipping into 3D reveals you can just walk behind them.
** ''VideoGame/NewSuperLuigiU'' has the level "P Switch Peril", which has Luigi running from a series of metal cubes that fall from the sky. Getting crushed by one is instant death.
*** Naturally romhacks and fangames make extensive use of thwomps [[https://youtu.be/ylm3TNzYDOs?t=22sand other creative hallways of death.]]
* The guillotine-like blade traps in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'', and the crushers and pendulums in the SNES version.
** ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' also occasionally features long strings of these. Interestingly, the smashing bits are low enough to climb onto, but due to irregular timing in the traps, it's very difficult trying to ''stay'' on them.
* Various inexplicable crushing traps in ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D''. In some places, you can be reduced to LudicrousGibs by getting caught in a ''[[EverythingTryingToKillYou door]]''.
* Grunty Industries in ''VideoGame/BanjoTooie'' has several, including a pair of crushers that span the entire hallway.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' where an impossible-to-pass series of pistons can simply be portalled around.
** Of course, in the ''Portal: The Flash Version'' map pack, the trope is played straight.
*** Only because the trailer for ''Portal'' featured rectangular DescendingCeiling traps and they weren't in the final game.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcf99_DZZew The Propulsion Gel video]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A88YiZdXugA the co-op trailer]] for ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' show off what appear to be hydraulically-powered spike-encrusted hallways which spring forward from their panels in the wall to crush the player. Needless to say, not being turned into instant hamburger is another fine motivator to quickly learn how to mess with physics as we know it.
*** "Ooh! Did that kill you? It would be so awesome if it did!'" This appears all over [[spoiler: the second half of the game, when Wheatley is trying to kill you]].
-->'''[[spoiler: Wheatley]]:''' ''(comparing Chell's attempts to escape with great nemeses)'' "[[Literature/SherlockHolmes Holmes versus Moriarty]], UsefulNotes/{{Aristotle}} versus -- ''[[BuffySpeak mashy spike plate]]''!
* In ''VideoGame/DarkMessiah'', you use a rope bow to climb above the walls.
* One appears in ''[[VideoGame/{{Doom}} Doom 3]]: The Resurrection of Evil'' expansion right after you gain the ability to slow down time in respect to yourself. It more or less serves as a tutorial for using that power.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' has this in at least one level, as did the original ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'', both vertically and horizontally, although this dates all the way back to ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''. Come to think of it most FPS by id and Raven are fond of this trope.
* Any ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' game. Because of Dante's near-instant healing reducing this trope to a mere annoyance, this is usually complimented with a healthy serving of demons.
* The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' series has a few of these. It's worth noting that with the exception of the ''Hunters'' installment, these traps would merely do approximately ten damage and screw with your morph ball's momentum for a few seconds.
** This being said, in ''Hunters'' these are absolutely '''horrible'''. These alone make the second run through the planet that they are on ''[[ThatOneLevel unbearable]]''. Going through not 1, not 2, not even 3, no, '''4''' sets of these. With no checkpoints. And you die instantly if they even GRAZE you.
* Occur every so often in the classic ''SonicTheHedgehog'' games, and one of the few ways in which he can die instantly [[ChunkySalsaRule regardless]] of rings, shield, invincibility or even Super form... less common in the modern Sonic games, but that's just as well given the rise and rise of the BottomlessPit.
** Which isn't to say they're entirely absent, of course. The Evil Foundry level in ''[[VideoGame/SonicAndTheSecretRings Secret Rings]]'' has vertical crushers bordered on either side by {{Bottomless Pit}}s, establishing that it is, in fact, an ''evil'' foundry.
** ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' has some blocks in Wacky Workbench that ''look'' like these, but will actually just drop you into the area below if you [[ViolationOfCommonSense let them "crush" you]]. This is actually necessary to [[GuideDangIt reach a Robotizer]].
*** There are some real crushers that look almost identical to the fake ones in the later level [[EternalEngine Metallic Madness]].
** The ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' reprise of [[VideoGame/SonicUnleashed Rooftop Run]] has a long corridor with a spike-laced DescendingCeiling. Modern Sonic must boost through this corridor in order to avoid getting flattened.
* Konquest mode in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatArmageddon'' has quite a few of these.
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'':
** The Waste Disposal section of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' has the crushing piston variety.
** The moving walls in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' just as you go from the old Nova Prospekt building to the new one also count, although they're slow-moving enough to get out of the way in plenty of time if you don't panic.
** In ''Machinima/FreemansMind'', Gordon thought some of the walls at Black Mesa look like they're designed to do this. They don't, of course.
* ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' also features the "series of stone blocks smashing down" variety. The trap can be subverted with a physics bug, though -- they can be stopped and pushed away using the Painkiller like they were chunks of styrofoam gliding on ice.
* Not so smashy in the ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' games. Like most of everything else in the game, [[StuffBlowingUp more explody]].
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 2'', inside the giant worm. Possibly justified because you're inside its digestive track, so it would naturally have to grind stuff up in there.
* Inside the giant worm-body of the Many in ''VideoGame/SystemShock2'', you also see smashing grinding pillars, which are explicitly supposed to be part of its way of digesting organic material.
* Similarly, the interior of the Zone Eater in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' leads to a cave with smashing ceilings, which have [[CorridorCubbyholeRun convenient gaps for the party to use as safe spots]].
* Appears here and there in ''VideoGame/MegaMan'''s world, from the trash compactors in Dust Man's stage to the death-traps set up specifically to stop him.
* ''VideoGame/OrcsMustDie'' has both of these, both the 'coming down from the ceiling' kind and the 'coming out from the walls' kind are avaiable for purchase, [[DeathCourse in unlimited numbers..]] - VideoGameCrueltyPotential anyone?
* The Spellhold asylum in ''VideoGame/BaldursGate 2'' has one corridor that smashes shut on anyone who wanders in there. It is the only trap of this sort in the game, and there is nothing to indicate it will happen. There's also a group of enemies nearby that casts Confusion, causing you to wander around randomly.
* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series prefers the spiked-block-on-a-chain variety. Earlier entries featured instant-kill versions, but in interests of accessibility, they were toned down to dealing heavy damage by ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight''.
* ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' had the Presses, which are Thwomps [[{{Expy}} in all but name]]. The most notable uses of them are found right before and right at the end of the Last Cave, the latter of which had a [[spoiler: string of Presses one had to make carefully controlled Boosts past]]. Heavy Press [[spoiler: the penultimate boss in Hell/the Sacred Grounds]] is a minor deviation, in that it doesn't fall on you until you kill it, which happens to be the world's most blatantly-telegraphed KaizoTrap.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'' has lots of these. In the Mages Guild mission "Liberation or Apprehension?", Fithragaer, the NPC you're (meant to be) escorting [[LeeroyJenkins charges straight into one, dying instantly]]. If he doesn't he'll just stand there. When the quest is done, he'll walk slowly to the exit and will most likely die for real this time.
* You can build these in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress''. In addition to old standbys like the "stone-fall trap" and weapon traps loaded with ten +iron warhammers+, a bit of creativity leads to things like the Dwarven Atomsmasher (a drawbridge that slams down on an enemy, obliterating them from existence due to a GoodBadBug) or artificially-engineered cave-ins.
* The Earth Shrine in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' is booby-trapped this way, forcing Zidane and Quina to jump past the traps in order to get to the inner sanctum:
-->'''Quina:''' Aiya! We almost flat like pancake!
* ''VideoGame/SeriousSam - The Second Encounter'' has smashing ceilings in quite a few places. Most notably, in the first level.
* ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' games have them making rather frequent appearances. For example, in Area 7 of the first game on the NES.
* ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'' allows you to fill your hallways with deadly devices that can comically grind anyone who falls into them. These are explicitly traps, however, rather than something that has a flimsier justification.
* ''VideoGame/AnUntitledStory'' has [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Thwomp]]-like enemies which come crashing down when approached. They even come in [[UndergroundMonkey three flavours]].
* The first screen of ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' features four spiked walls that quickly zip across about 90 percent of the screen, resulting in the usual [[LudicrousGibs messy demise]] of The Kid if he's not already in the safe 10 percent when that happens.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bug}}!'' has them. Interestingly enough, there were two kinds- stomper-looking things (non-fatal, does 1 hp damage) and moving terrain (fatal). Later levels would remove the former and use the latter, upping the difficulty. Both would make Bug get SquashedFlat, of course.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Miner 2049er}}'', one station has a whole row of these traps to walk through.
* ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' occasionally uses these, such as the final gauntlet in Defend THIS!. In a few levels, such as By Committee in ''Infinity'', the doors can crush you.
* One level of the unlicensed Famicom/NES game ''Thunder Warrior'' has Thwomp [[{{Expy}} expies]].
* The crush pillars in the ''VideoGame/MontyMole'' series.
* Crushing pistons in ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}}''.
* One of the Golden Bananas in the Frantic Factory area of ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' is found at the end of an area filled with fireballs, explosions, conveyor belts and giant smashing things. The banana can only be reached by Donkey Kong, using his invincibility-inducing Strong Kong ability.
* While getting hit by them is ill advised, in ''Videogame/DonkeyKongJungleBeat'', you can survive ''anything'' so long as you have enough beats, up to and including being smashed between two icebergs. However, even as you push the hallway traps apart, they will come back to smash you again, which will eventually wear out your beats if you don't learn how to avoid them and in the New Play Control version, you have a traditional life meter, which means hallway traps kill you instantly.
* The ''VideoGame/LaMulana'' VideoGameRemake adds a lot of industrial crushers to the Tower of Ruin.
* Subverted in the ''VideoGame/{{Bonk}}'' series, where the crushers [[SquashedFlat flatten]] Bonk into a crab-like form that can fit into small spaces.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has crushing pistons in the waste disposal area of Mothership Zeta.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Dizzy}} Fantasy World Dizzy]]'' has a portcullis that works this way.
* ''Rastan'' has these in the castle areas in the form of spiked platforms lowered from the ceiling.
* ''VideoGame/{{Something}} series''
** Chateau de la Terre in Something is filled with big smashers. The level has no auto-scrolling sections, but the platforming is extremely difficult.
** [[spoiler: Space Hideout]] in Spmething Else has an {{Auto Scrolling|Level}} section where Luigi must dodge electric pulses and big smashers.
* ''Viewpoint'' has sliding block walls that push their spiky ends up against each other.
* ''VideoGame/OriAndTheBlindForest'' has smashing stone blocks, first seen in the Moon Grotto.
* ''VideoGame/HollowKnight'' has smashers with tricky timing in Crystal Peak.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': Castle Heterodyne has traps in this fashion, though mostly they snap shut on their victim without giving the forewarning that most examples are wont to unless the castle is trying to intimidate someone without killing them which is really not its style.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', to stop [=Longarm/Shockwave's=] identity from being discovered, he [[spoiler:kills Blurr in one of these.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "Beautopia", Susan Strong has to guide the party's boat through two sets of "clashing gates".
* The ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode "The Looney Beginning" have these in the climactic chase through Montana Max's mansion, including a giant boxing glove and a line of cannons.