[[quoteright:350: [[Film/DrStrangelove http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/350px-Dr__Strangelove_-_The_War_Room_8694.png]]]]

->''"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"''
-->-- '''President Merkin Muffley''', ''Film/DrStrangelove''

Take TheBridge off the CoolShip, and put it in TheWhiteHouse or an ElaborateUndergroundBase, and what you get is The War Room. It's the nerve center for an entire country, criminal organization, secret society, hidden military base, or whatnot. It generally comes in one or a combo of the following three flavors:

#A dark, cavernous room filled with rows and rows of consoles with monitors, radar scopes, [[TheBigBoard Big Boards]] and other sorts of technology, staffed by an entire warren of BridgeBunnies.
#A dark and not-quite-so-cavernous boardroom, with a long central table with chairs around it, lit by a spotlight. If located in a SupervillainLair, the seats around the table (except for the [[BigBad head one]]) may have {{trap door}}s under them.
#A, once again, dark room with a large, circular table in the middle, a la ''Film/DrStrangelove''.

Every version will prominently feature an enormous monitor that fills one entire wall. If The War Room is on Earth, the monitor will generally display a map of the world, marked up with real-time data about the organization's activities or serving as a SpreadingDisasterMapGraphic. A large number of clocks above the big map, displaying time in different cities around the globe, is optional. All of this serves to keep the leadership ([[ViewerFriendlyInterface and the viewer behind the fourth wall]]) well-informed of the big picture.

Cue the ominous marching music as the leader sits down and listens while the underlings brief him on the situation. You can usually expect all the attendees in The War Room to be remarkably well informed of any relevant details and be able to instantly provide up-to-the-second intelligence when the senior person starts asking questions. Expect the meeting deciding fate of the 178 people in the HostageSituation or how to take out the BigBad's DoomsdayDevice to be concluded in less than five minutes.

The InvisiblePresident, the SupportingLeader, TheBrigadier and the BigBad (all may or may not be part of TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness) tend to spend a lot of time in rooms like these. MissionControl is invariably based here. If it's for the good guys, expect a lot of cheering coupled with a circular camera pan when The Hero reports his success.

Many naval vessels have a "ward room", the officer's mess, which is often misheard as The War Room. (The "war room" you're looking for is the Combat Information Center or [=CIC=])

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Both the personal of [[HomeBase the Photon Atomic Power Research Institute]] and the [[MadScientist Dr.]] [[BigBad Hell's]] troops had war rooms. The Institute's one was relatively small and it had large maps on a central table. Dr. Hell's was located in his throne room.
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'': It showed up as soon as the first episode. It was a large circular room with a big round central table surrounded by chairs, and huge world maps on the table and on monitors attached to the walls.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Central Dogma, the NERV command center.
* The [[AbsurdlyPowerfulStudentCouncil student council]] room in ''Anime/BestStudentCouncil''.
* The NASA control center at Cape Canaveral in ''KashimashiGirlMeetsGirl''
* Dornkirk's throne room in ''Anime/VisionOfEscaflowne''.
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[[folder:FanWorks]]
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': The Senate committee overseeing the Black Project Evangelion has a [[http://eva303.smackjeeves.com/comics/1740750/012/ war room]] of the "dark, large, with a central table and a row of seats surrounding it" kind.
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[[folder:Film]]
* The movie ''Film/FailSafe''.
* ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}''.
* Ur-example: ''Film/DrStrangelove'', from which the above quote comes. A huge, elaborate set designed by Ken Adam.
* Pier 24 in San Francisco from ''Film/TheRock'' was the location of a mobile FBI War Room. The equipment and staffers were brought in on trucks.
* ATAC in ''UnderSiege2DarkTerritory'' was the War Room for the orbital particle-beam cannon.
* In the movie ''Film/WarGames'' a set is built to represent NORAD's War Room. Much larger and more impressive than the real thing. In a possible ShoutOut to the ''DrStrangelove'' quote at the top, General Beringer tells someone not to run in the room, as they could get hurt.
** But for some reason, the NORAD war room you see in the movies never has any Canadians present, even though it's the North American Air Defence alliance.
* Undoubtedly what the new President Ronald Reagan was thinking of when, on his first tour of his new home, he asked to be shown the White House's War Room.
** The RealLife version is rather impressive too, and probably inspired most of the 'rows of consoles' examples here.
** Though not impressive enough for ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'' which designed a new one.
* In ''StarWars'', the Rebel Alliance keeps multiple War Rooms -- one on Yavin IV, one on Hoth, and one aboard ''Home One'', as well as others we don't get to see. The Jedi council chamber might also qualify, even though matters of war are not the only thing discussed there.
* ''MonstersVsAliens'' has type 1 of the CrazyAwesome variety, where you need your tongue, both elbows, feet and your [[spoiler: rear-end]] scanned just to get in.
* Nixon's War Room in the ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' movie is based on Dr. Strangelove's.
* Averted in the 2008 spy film ''BodyOfLies''.
-->"No it's just me and you...what, did you think there would be some kind of war room and people running about with clipboards?"
* ''Film/{{Octopussy}}'' included a rare example of a [[http://www.bondmovies.com/stills/octopussy/11.jpg Soviet War Room]].
* The National Military Command Center (NMCC) inside UsefulNotes/ThePentagon, as featured in ''Film/TheSumOfAllFears'' is a direct subversion to this trope. The movies's director, Phil Alden Robinson, says in the commentary that when he visited the real thing during pre-production he was so underwhelmed by what he saw, a sterile and boring office landscape, and liked it in a good way because it was so contrary to the typical Hollywood portrayal. Creator/TomClancy also liked it due to the authenticity it brought.
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[[folder:General]]
* Any SupervillainLair worth its salt (except when the BigBad doesn't care to hear what his EvilMinions say).
* Any film or TV show about the RAF in the Second World War will almost certainly feature this trope at some point - WAAF members with headsets, moving pieces around TheBigBoard, while various moustachioed Air Vice Marshalls look down from on high.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* When Jake first meets General Doubleday in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''. Jake notes that it seems an awful like what you'd see in a movie; old guys chomping cigars, guys in suits and a big map (that has his hometown crossed out, presumably because ''it isn't there any more'').
* The navies in the ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series have entire ships devoted to being TheWarRoom.
** TruthInTelevision. The US Navy does in fact have a pair of ships specifically designed and built to act as command and control vessels for major amphibious assaults - the Blue Ridge-class.
* Both the good guys and bad guys have meeting rooms in ''Literature/InvasionOfKzarch'', and a considerable part of the story is focused on what both groups are doing in them.
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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Ur-example, type 1: the real-life Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center (CMOC) command and control complex in Colorado, and its counterparts in ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/{{Jeremiah}}''.
** Home of NORAD. However, RealityIsUnrealistic and the real Command Center is much smaller than in the movies. When most shows and films were made it was even less impressive than it is today. [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/NORADCommandCenter.jpg Here is what it looks like]] today.
** NORAD itself was based off of the earlier [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi_Automatic_Ground_Environment SAGE]] air defense system which in the 1950's was pure science fiction. Each SAGE center had a two story Sector Control Room with real time vector graphic interactive computer display terminals and a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SAGE_control_room.png large display scree]] where the brass could watch the fight against the Soviet bombers in near real time.
** SAGE was in turn based off of the British sector stations and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Battle_of_Britain_operations_room.JPG Group Operations Control Rooms]] used as part of the air defense network in the Battle of Britain.
* TheWhiteHouse Situation Room in ''TheWestWing'' and [[GovernmentProcedural other series set there]], which is usually considerably bigger and more dramatically lit than the real life version.
* The Army of Light's War Room on ''Series/BabylonFive'', which was a different set from TheBridge.
* CTU Los Angeles in ''Series/TwentyFour'', as well as various enclaves, retreats, and bunkers employed by the various presidents depicted on the show.
* The main area of the Series/{{Torchwood}} Hub.
* Astrometrics serves this function in the later seasons of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''.
* ''{{UFO}}''. SHADO's art deco war room is located [[FrontOrganisation underneath a film studio]].
* The ''Series/{{JAG}}'' episode "In Country" is an aversion to this trope as it features a fairly mundane looking National Military Command Center in UsefulNotes/ThePentagon.
* The Daleks have one in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Mission to the Unknown" and the serial "The Daleks' Master Plan". Amusingly, there's [[SpecialEffectFailure rubber scuffs around the bottom of the circular table where the Daleks kept running their bumpers into it]].
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[[folder:Music]]
* Music/{{Muse}}'s music video for "Time Is Running Out" takes place in a war room as a ShoutOut to ''DrStrangelove''.
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[[folder:Theatre]]
* In ''Theatre/{{Pippin}}'', Charlemagne uses a map and a PatterSong to show his soldiers the tactics they will use the next day's battle against the Visigoth army.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''CallOfDuty 4'' features a level called "No Fighting in the War Room." However, ''lots'' of fighting ''does'' happen in the titular war room later on. The title of the level itself is a nod to the quote from Dr. Stranglove.
* In ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', some maps, such as 2fort, feature many War Rooms seen through windows to the side, which assist in giving the game its SpyFiction feel.
* In the ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxSaveTheWorld'' episode ''Abe Lincoln Must Die'', the War Room in the White House serves three purposes: drink coffee, eat cookies, and launch missiles.
* ''EvilGenius'' has a control room, which looks like war room and acts like one. Except you dispatch mooks instead of conquering territories. It also has Inner Sanctum with Type 2 conference table.
* [[MagnificentBastard Maleficent]] and [[Franchise/KingdomHearts her Disney villain allies]] had a war room in their HQ in Hollow Bastion. There they kept a close eye on Sora through a hologram, while thinking out strategies on how to find the Princessess of Hearts or how to conquer the worlds around the universe. [[Film/DrStrangelove The fighting in the war room]] happens when Sora, Donald, Goofy and their new ally Beast took down Maleficent.
** The Organization XIII has their own war room in Castle That Never Was, which is completely white with extremely tall chairs standing in a circle. There they discuss their plans, figuring out their next move or commenting on the several setbacks Sora inflicts on them.
** Merlin's house is basically the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee's war room. There they also discuss strategies on how to combat the MCP, the Heartless and the Nobodies and on how to rebuild Hollow Bastion to its former glory. They share information with Sora, Donald and Goofy from there. It's also from there Cid that control Hollow Bastion's defence system called Claymores.
** Hades has his own personal war room in his chamber, with a CosmicChessGame board lifted directly from his movie.
* Both ''Normandys'' of ''Franchise/MassEffect'' have these instead of the [[TheBridge normal design]]. The [=SR1=]'s is more of a Communication room that your crew uses as a meeting place. The [=SR2=] has a more classic design, with a large table in the center, though the view-screen in replaced with a nifty holographic display.
** The revamped ''Normandy'' SR-2 in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' has a full-fledged War Room with the actual name as it's where the war against the Reapers is being planned out and directed. It has another nifty holographic display that displays [[spoiler: the progress of the Crucible superweapon]] and a console that shows your War Assets and how ready you are for the final battle. The table from ''Mass Effect 2'' is still present, but now it's shifted to a side room and used only for negotiations.
* In the ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' series, the central compartment of the ''Ebon Hawk'' serves as this.
* Crossroad Keep in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' has one in the west wing of the castle.
* Featured in ''VideoGame/{{Xenonauts}}'' on the splash screen. It is also represented by the Command Center during base defense missions, being the only room that absolutely needs to be defended no matter what, or the base is lost.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Lancers in ''Webcomic/{{Project0}}'' meet here after one of their naval ships goes down. Complete with [[http://www.centralcitytower.com/#!22-situation/c1gcy wall sized monitor, and a hologram projector in the middle of the table]].
* Parson's HQ in ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}''. His staff consists of himself, telepath Maggie, and his BattleButler Bogroll. DarkActionGirl Wanda and SquishyWizard Sizemore appear there from time to time but operate primarily in the field.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', Hell's control room is shown in [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3953 this]] Sunday page.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Hall of Justice from ''{{Superfriends}}''.
* The Watchtower space station has one on ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''.
* WOOHP Headquarters in ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies''.
* The [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Fire Nation]] war room of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' is only shown in flashbacks in two episodes, but they provide information vital to the plot: the reason why Zuko got his scar, and [[BigBad Firelord Ozai]]'s plans for the GrandFinale.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Cabinet War Rooms underneath Whitehall in London, serving as the nerve centre of Britain's war effort.
* TruthInTelevision: Militaries and other Armed (and sometimes even unarmed, see political campaigns) factions tend to have these for a reason, as they generally serve as a large, central meeting area for conferences with underlings and field leaders to talk things through, plan out future moves and contingencies, and anticipate future developments.
** This is one of the reasons generals in World War One stayed in large chateaux - not because they desired the luxury but because these were convenient places to house the large planning staff a corps or division needed, and they were frequently (though not always) already wired up to the telephone and telegraph network and serviced by decent roads. They were also generally (but again not always) beyond the range of enemy artillery.
*** Ironically, it was this exact circumstance that contributed to France losing the Battle of France in WW2 - the general staff was also residing in a single chateau, but the only communication services that were available to them were hourly motorcycle messengers.
* The White House Situation Room, as seen in the [[http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5226/5680724572_d4696d593d_b.jpg historic photo]] of President Obama's National Security team watching the raid on Usama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.
** [[RealityIsUnrealistic Doesn't look very dark and cavernous though...]]
** Also, the TransatlanticEquivalent [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinet_Office_Briefing_Room#mediaviewer/File:Cabinet_Office_Briefing_Room.jpg Cabinet Office Briefing Room]], or [[FunWithAcronyms COBRA]].
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