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Cobweb Jungle

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"I bid you welcome... And ask if you know a good cleaning service."

"You know, even the huge cracks in the walls don't bother me that much. But spiderwebs? C'mon, a little housecleaning, people!"
Goombario, Paper Mario 64

In horror and adventures movies, any subterranean area must be filled with quantities of web curtains, overflowing with colonies of mad spiders on speed who quickly fill every nook with webs, like an arachnid Mardi Gras. Catacombs, caves, basements, tombs, castles, underground ruins (but not, oddly enough, Underground Levels), etc. show this, even though these are rather hostile environments for web-building spiders. Although collective or very large webs are known, they occur outside. Not to mention that such large webs in such quantities are useless: Webs are delicate in order not to be too visible. The type of spiders usually shown are unlikely to build webs of that type anyway.

May be used in any kind of story to indicate that no one has been in a place for a long time. If the character is retrieving something, the object will be covered with cobwebs to show that no one has touched it in a long time.

Note the subtrope that people never get too covered with them: They seem to be easy as pie to clean off in the absence of water, except for the stylish bit that gets stuck to the hair or hat.

Can overlap with You Have to Burn the Web, Extremely Dusty Home.


    open/close all folders 

  • One ad from BT features a woman talking on the phone for so long a spider starts to spin its web around her. The ad is split in two with the second halt showing nothing but cobwebs until the woman brushes them away- while still on the phone.

    Comic Books 
  • Conan the Barbarian: In one of the 1970s comics, Conan and the Girl of the Week are up against the girl's father, who made a Deal with the Devil of sorts and ended up with powers to control spiders of all sizes. His entire palace is a Cobweb Jungle, and Conan burns it down in the climax.
  • ElfQuest: The Forbidden Grove is covered in sticky webbing. Turns out it's not made by spiders, though.
  • Spider-Man: Spider-man often covers narrow passages with webbing in order to snare enemies. He invokes this trope in The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko), in which he wants to interrogate a common criminal. He leads him down into a webbing-covered sewer, claiming that it's his home. This is even complete with a giant fake-spider in the shadows used to scare the mook into giving him information. It works.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Diana is very unsettled by the cobwebs and dust coating the inside of Thomas Randolph's home, mostly because they make the place look like it's been abandoned for years when Randolph cleared himself and his victims out less than twenty-four hours prior and the rapid state of decay is the side effect of powerful and dangerous magic use.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Man with Nine Lives: When Tim and Judy enter Dr. Kravaal's abandoned laboratory, they find it covered in cobwebs.
  • Mortal Kombat: The Movie: One hero insists that they person they're following went down a cobweb-criss-crossed corridor, despite none of the webs being broken.
  • National Treasure: Under Trinity Church, spider webs can be seen all around.
  • The Neverending Story: Bastian goes into the school storage area (not the basement), which is rife with spider webs, with no spider in sight. He doesn't seem particularly yucked out when he has to brush gobs of it off in order to open the window.
  • The Raven (1963): When going into a very web-shrouded part of Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price)'s house, Dr. Bedlo (Peter Lorre) quips "Tough place to keep clean." (Lorre improvised much of his dialogue for the film).
  • Tales of Terror: In "Morella", Lenore arrives back at her family home only to find the house deserted and covered in cobwebs, no one having cleaned it in 25 years.
  • Young Frankenstein: Massive cobwebs appear in the passage leading to Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory and the laboratory itself.

  • Ash (2012): In a cave beneath Comraich Castle, a tunnel holds a solid black wall of dust-heavy cobwebs.
  • Discworld: The indispensable servants to vampires and mad scientists, the Igors, are bound to tradition in these matters. Marthter Mutht Have Cobwebth. This is such an unwritten law that Igors go out of their way to provide them, uthing, sorry, using, specially trained spiders who are driven on with very small whips. A traditional Igor is driven to betray an unsympathetic modern Vampire with different ideas about cobwebs (he doesn't like them and orders Igor to get rid of them) in Carpe Jugulum.
  • Forest Kingdom: Taken to extremes in the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 6 (The Bones of Haven), where the titular couple must hunt monsters in tunnels overgrown by "Crawling Jenny" — an amorphous carnivorous lifeform made up of cobwebs, fungus, and moss.
  • Invoked in Lockwood & Co., where spiders are attracted to psychic energy given off by a ghost's Source, and a large presence of cobwebs is a pretty good way to identify a haunting.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: Shelob's lair is covered in strands and sheets of webbing. Notably, the narration mentions that she had woven them too thick and didn't get sustenance because of it. The web is hard enough to almost twist Sam's sword out of his hand after hitting it.
    • The Silmarillion: Ungoliant's lair is filled with webs, where are apparently made from "woven darkness" and are designed to capture (and keep out) light, which she feeds on (and fears and hates). Similarly to her daughter Shelob, it's said that she'd eventually woven her webs too thick for any sustenance to actually reach her.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Invoked by Allah himself in one of the very few miracles stated to have happened around Muhammad is, when he was escaping the city of Mecca and the Qraysh who were out to kill him, that he and his friend Abu Bakr hid in a tiny cave. Their pursuers followed their track to the entrance of the cave, but in the meantime a spider had woven her web all over the entrance and a dove had set her nest there. They decided that clearly no-one had gotten in there, and resumed their search elsewhere.

    Video Games 
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery: Heavily present. Even a handful of the (exclusively giant-sized) spiders present in the game fill up a cavern with obstructively sticky webs quicker than you can type "You hear a slurping sound." However, since the narrow, narrow corridors in the Caverns of Chaos are absolutely swarming with adventurers, robbers, demons, spirits and all manner of predators of all sizes, you can hardly blame the things.
  • Dark Fall: Lost Souls: In a non-spider example, one of the hotel rooms is completely overgrown with cocoons dangling from the ceiling on strands of insect webbing. Cocoons, which house hissing, writhing larvae.
  • Metro: Last Light: Anywhere that spider-bugs roam — some of them can be burned with your lighter, but most are stuck right to the walls. Special mention goes to the abandoned missile silo in the DLC mission Spider-Lair, which looks like an industrial version of Shelob's cave.
  • Minecraft: In the Abandoned Mineshafts, cobwebs are omnipresent and are rather tough to break without a sword or shears. If they suddenly thicken, such that entire tunnels are filled with the stuff, you just found a lair of venomous cave spiders.
  • Pokémon X and Y: The Bug-type gym has giant spiderwebs you walk on to reach the gym leader.
  • RuneScape: The Varrock Sewers dungeon requires the player to slash through a spiderweb blocking the passageway to get into the deepest parts of it. one of the rooms beyond is populated by (surprise!) giant deadly red spiders.
  • Sonic Riders: The first game has Green Cave and White Cave, which are more jungle than cave and have giant cobwebs you can bounce on.
  • Super Cyborg have an underground cavern covered in cobwebs literally in every corner, and at the cavern's exit you fight a giant insectoid monster trapped in the largest cobweb of all. But after you kill it, you realize that insect to be a Bait-and-Switch Boss and the stage's real boss, a Giant Spider, shows up. Turns out the insect monster trapped in the web is the boss' dinner.
  • Terraria: Caves often feature large amounts of cobwebs, though they're fragile and only slow down the player for few seconds. Interestingly enough, Terraria didn't have any spiders in it until update 1.2 introduced Giant Spiders.
  • Tomb Raider has these in II, IV and Legend (the original, perhaps oddly, does not, despite its Indiana Jones inspiration), although II is the only one with actual spiders, including a certain sequence entirely based around this. Spiders are back in Underworld, played straight in the level under the manor but somewhat averted later in the game; Giant Spiders are present in ruins, but webs are relatively rare and most are near the surface.
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors features many levels strewn with webs and annoying spiders of varying degrees. The spiders are all enemies, but the webs vary as far as interaction: Some are decorative, some narrow your path, some block your path, and some make your feet stick to the floor, as seen here.


    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television, as arachnologists found out at Lake Tawakoni.
  • In Pakistan, spiders trying to escape floodwaters were driven into trees, creating this.
  • This is a real thing here in Florida, USA thanks to various orb-weaver spiders, and some are known to build communal webs. In wild areas not frequented by people it is very easy to come across this trope. They still occur outside though.
  • The caterpillars of several Ermine moth species of the Yponomeuta genus weave thick webs around whole trees to be able to devour all the leaves, protected from competing species and predators (hence the nickname "tent worms"). The result looks like a gigantic cobweb encompassing an entire (often dying) tree.


Video Example(s):


"The Penitent Man Will Pass"

The first trial in the Grail Temple is to kneel before god. Those that don't kneel are in over their head...

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Example of:

Main / BoobyTrap

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