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"Your intruder detection system is tripped by laser beams that can be seen by the naked eye and evaded by a sensual contortionist in a skintight leotard."

Whenever there's a security system in place, there's always a highly visible laser sensor grid with man-sized holes in it. The infiltrator must then use cunning acrobatics or clever trickery to navigate around the lasers to reach the target on the other side. Or, if he's MacGyver, he can rig up a cunning system of mirrors to deflect the lasers around himself.

Often, the grid can be disabled briefly without triggering the alarm, usually just long enough for the intrepid heroes to sprint the length of the hall/gallery/vault in question. Unless the plot calls for them to be caught, in which case the grid will re-activate an instant too soon. Sometimes the beams are invisible to the naked eye, requiring some Applied Phlebotinum to make them visible; this may take the form of an aerosol spray or high-tech goggles. Or just cigar smoke. Many times, to spice things up, additional devices like temperature sensors, seismic detectors, or metal detectors are added to the mix.

Most times the lasers in question will be purely sensory in nature, but occasionally they are actually dangerous in and of themselves, whether through being actually harmful or deadly to touch, or through being a tripwire that sets off a bomb or something else nasty.

Invariably, the grid will not cover the target itself, leaving a comfortable alcove for the protagonist to work in, once the system has been traversed.

In reality, low-power lasers can't be seen from the side, even with Cool Shades; they don't energize the air enough with photons to cause it to glow, and any laser that would give off a glow would be harmful or even deadly to touch. The aerosol trick does work on visible-frequency lasers, but if it scatters too much energy the alarm will still go off. Diverting a laser sensor with mirrors works in principle. In practice, however, it would be impossible to position the mirrors with enough precision to pull it off, or to find mirrors sufficiently flawless that they could be moved into place without their edges breaking the beam. And if you're going to use lasers, there's no reason to position them in a way that leaves giant holes for acrobats to leap through; it would be much smarter to make a tight row of lasers with barely an inch between them.

Furthermore, real security systems don't even use lasers. A much more reliable and accurate method for detecting intruders is a standard thermal motion detector or sonar-driven door sensor. Also, non-coherent infrared beam detectors can be used, like the kind of system in your TV remote or under your garage door, for much less money.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on hazardous hallways. For more, see Death Course.


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  • It appears an Intel ad for their I5 processor, featuring the Madagascar penguins trying to steal said processor.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Double Subversion in 009-1. The lead character does the usual tricky laser dodging maneuvers (somewhat justified in that she's a cyborg) and gets all the way through to the end. She pulls out a device to plug into the machine at the end of the hallway, uses it, then unplugs it — and the cable falls into the laser beam, setting off the alarm. This triggers another laser grid, this one deadly, as demonstrated by cutting the wire which had tripped the alarm. The heroine tells her partner to leave her, but naturally, they escape.
  • One features in the second episode of Angel Beats!, likely as a Homage to Resident Evil (2002). The group is trapped in a locked corridor and have to dodge the increasingly complicated laser patterns. Matsushita ends up sliced into pieces, but of course, Death Is Cheap here and he revives soon after, although his clothes are shredded.
  • In Fate/Zero, Kayneth claims an entire hotel floor as his base and laces it with an absurd number of traps and wards. So Kiritsugu levels the entire building instead.
  • Averted in Getter Robo: In the second episode of New Getter Robo some people pass through laser sensors that weren't visible to them (only to the audience from an angle where they were practically pointed at the camera) and were aimed in five different angles, making it so it'd be all but impossible to get past them even if you could see them.
  • The second-season episode "Cash Eye" of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex features a laser hallway which is quickly defeated by the Major. Her actual navigation of the hallway is portrayed in such a perfunctory way that the trope is somewhat subverted: nobody looks impressed afterward and her animated movements aren't particularly dramatic. (Her breasts are given far more artistic attention in that scene than her ability to defeat this particular laser hallway.)
  • In Good Luck! Ninomiya-kun, this trope is combined with a Boob-Based Gag to comical effect. After much careful sidestepping, eventually Tsukimura Mayu's breast obscures one of the (sensory-only) beams and sets off the security response.
  • Chapter 30 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War opens with Hayasaka dodging lasers to break into the student council room in the middle of the night and swap out Shirogane's personal supply of coffee beans for decaf. Why a high school of all places would have laser security isn't really specified (even if it is a school for rich kids), so it can probably be chalked up to Rule of Funny.
  • Occurred in a Kochikame TV special when one of the circus villains acrobat through the laser room which holds the gold head statue.
  • Lupin has to navigate one in Lupin III: The First.
  • Natsuki and Mai prepare to infiltrate a laser hallway in My-HiME, only to discover that Mikoto has already walked into the lasers and triggered the alarms.
  • Mnemosyne:
    • In episode one, Rin uses cigarette smoke to reveal the lasers in an air vent. She then tries to sneak through, but unfortunately her butt trips the alarm. Hilarity Ensues immediately followed by Squick.
    • In episode five, Mimi now hides out in a Buddhist temple that comes with a "laser cage" consisting of vertical laser beams to trap intruders and leave them open to fire by her army of nuns with guns. Since it's designed to contain rather than detect, the beams are spaced at a small distance from each other.
  • Ninja Slayer: In Episode 9. Slayer and Nancy Lee both infiltrate a Yoroshisan facility in order to gather intel on the Soukaiya, but are stopped on their tracks by a deadly laser-filled hallway that's steadily closing in on them. Utilizing her advanced hacking skills, Nancy manages to diffuse them on time before things get messy.
  • Pokťmon: The Series features these from time to time. Team Rocket usually has some kind of special eyewear so they can see and evade them.

    Comic Books 
  • Parodied in Adventure Time: The Flip Side when Finn, Jake, Ice King and Gunther are stealing the Lecherous Heart - after the four have done acrobatics through the lasers it's revealed that the "lasers" were normal torches held by security guards, who completely fail to react.
  • One features in Cavewoman: Markham's Mansion, and Meriem has to spend several pages squirming her way through it: contorting her body into all kinds of... interesting positions in the process.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Discworld, the Royal Art Museum in Ankh-Morpork has the Magitek version. To separate the public from the paintings and sculptures, the building employs cherubs - decorative indoor gargoyles - to act as a security system. If anyone steps between two gargoyles who are in line of sight of each other, they are trained to make a high-pitched shriek of alarm. More with A.A. Pessimal.
  • Maybe the Last Archie Story: Archie's gang sneak into Sabrina's house to free their friend, and they discover her kidnapper has planted laser sensors around the house, forcing them to navigate even more carefully.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Magic Roundabout (2005), a laser hallway stands between Dougal and his allies and the second diamond. While Ermintrude tries to get past the lasers, Dougal accidentally trips one of them with his chewed gobstopper, forcing the gang to fight the skeletons guarding the diamond instead.
  • In the Wallace & Gromit short The Wrong Trousers, Feather McGraw's plan for bypassing the lasers protecting a diamond is by having a sleeping Wallace, strapped to remote-controlled Techno-Trousers, walk on the ceiling, then using a retractable arm on Wallace's helmet to snatch the gem. It almost works, until the arm swings over and the diamond hits one of the lasers, activating the alarm.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The priceless diamond in Air Bud: Spikes Back is protected by lasers.
  • The... er, heroes... of Ali G Indahouse have to cross a room criss-crossed with lasers. Naturally they can't see the beams, so "Dave, we has to use your special powers." Dave lights up his bong, takes a good strong hit, and blows the smoke out into the room. Once the lasers are visible, they can be avoided — and the best way to do that of course is to dance the Robot the whole way.
  • Played for laughs in Ant-Man and the Wasp in a scene where Scott Lang is playing a ridiculously intricate game of "Thief" with his young daughter Cassie. At one point, the two find themselves in a "tech facility" which has one of these — or rather, a mock-up of one of these courtesy of a light with a red filter and some carefully hung twine.
  • In Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, the inside of the transformation machine contains a fairly long passage of lasers that Chip and Dale must try to avoid or it will transform parts of their bodies. Chip ends up getting one ear transformed into a Snoopy ear.
  • In Cube, the movie that inspired the famous Resident Evil scene, featured similar devices which sliced the characters to pieces whenever they entered a room. They worked with Razor Floss instead.
  • The entire plot of Entrapment (1999) appears to have been constructed to provide an excuse for Catherine Zeta-Jones to twist and bend her way through laser beams in a Spy Catsuit. According to Word of God, that is exactly why it was made.
  • In Executive Decision, the concept of the laser hallway is shrunk and applied to a bomb. There are two metal contacts that, if they touch, close the circuit and detonate the bomb. All around the contacts there are (unmoving) laser beams which, if interrupted, would detonate the bomb as well. One of the good guys dons what look like ordinary night vision goggles that give him the ability to see the beams, so he can hold a plastic straw in between the contacts without interrupting any of them.
  • Anne Hathaway's Agent 99 navigated a laser web in the 2008 Get Smart movie. The lack of a Spy Catsuit in this case was more than made up for by the presence of a slinky silver dress with a nice high split up the side. Then Agent Smart navigates it as well, though with a bit less dignity because the lasers also burn.
  • In Grand Slam, Gregg and Agostino have to circumvent the network photocells which crisscross the entry corridor to the vault.
  • Appears in Heroes Wanted, complete with visible lasers. There is not enough room to get through, so the team gets it disabled by their tech person, only to have it switch back on halfway down the hallway due to them tripping a thermal sensor.
  • In It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, Fozzie Bear, while trying to deliver a bag of money to the bank, is nearly prevented by doing so by the evil owner of the bank by one of these. Instead of actually triggering an alarm, these lasers are military-esque grade weaponry, which burn anything they come into contact with. Fozzie Bear runs through the burning lasers, just to realize he forgot the bag. Painful Hilarity Ensues, as he manages to run through them again and back.
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back the jewel thieves make their way through a laser hallway using various different acrobatics (each trying to upstage the last). They're foiled however when the last girl through (Ali Larter by the way) lets one rip through her Spy Catsuit as a result of eating fast food. This sets off the audio detection alarm.
  • In Lupin III 2014, Pierre demonstrates his Le Parkour skills by dodging through a hallway full of lasers on his way to the MacGuffin of the opening heist.
  • In Muppets Most Wanted, Dominic Badguy reacts to the Tower of London defence system with "Oh, come on, not a laser web! Right, get the suspendy rope thing and my really cool skintight outfit." After doing some acrobatics through the revolving lasers, he is able to shut them off with Thomas Blood's medallion, implying either that the laser web is 400 years old, or that the people who installed it thought it was a good idea to tie it directly to the last person who came close to stealing the Crown Jewels.
  • In a tech-free variant, the bungalow shootout in Near Dark turns the vampires' hideout into a Sunlight Hallway, as bullet holes in the walls allow beams of skin-searing light to penetrate and crisscross the room.
  • The most improbable laser hallway ever, as well as the most improbable method of moving through a laser hallway ever, appeared in Ocean's Twelve, in the lobby of a museum. Not only were there about two dozen beams, they were moving, and moreover, their movement was randomized, which means there's no way to predict how and where to move through them. Nonetheless, the French jewel thief extraordinaire (the Night Fox) makes it through. By dancing.
  • The Pacifier has a laser-and-pressure-plate hallway that can only be navigated by doing the goofy dance the Disappeared Dad taught his smallest child.
  • A lethal version shows up in the Resident Evil Film Series.
  • An early version of this trope occurs during the robbery that opens The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), with the beams (columns of bright light rather than visible lasers) revealed by an aerosol spray can.
  • Screamers. A lethal version protects the launch pit for the escape rocket. The protagonist has the security clearance to pass through the laser grid, but it leads to an Interesting Situation Duel when there's a last minute attempt to stop the heroes from escaping.
  • A strange example in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. "Laser Gates" that turn on and off at intervals, but achieving the same purpose; breaking up the party so the bad guy can kill the mentor in single combat. Of course, as they were in the middle of a duel and not at all concerned about setting off alarms, there was absolutely no reason they couldn't use their lightsabers on the emitters.
  • Appears in the 2007 St Trinians movie, which gives us just about every heist movie trope in the space of thirty minutes.
  • Jack Black's character navigates his way through a laser hallway in order to reach the Pick of Destiny in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The lasers themselves are fairly standard; however, this is probably the only example on this page that involves deactivating them with the genitals.
  • In the opening caper of the 2012 Korean heist movie The Thieves, a member of the gang (posing as a Twerp Sweating mother) gains access to the laser-guarded vault beforehand (under the pretext of ensuring her future son-in-law has sufficient money) and leaves some chewing gum on the laser projector as she walks out. The chewing gum falls off before they've completed the theft, but fortunately the 'mother' and her 'daughter' don't have the stolen artifact on them when they're searched, having already passed it on to another member of the gang.
  • Paul W.S. Anderson is clearly fond of this trope, as The Three Musketeers (2011) sees Milla Jovovich leaping through one - only without actual lasers. Not having electricity, it uses invisible razor wire instead.
  • The 1960 Under Ten Flags is possibly the Trope Maker, since the first real-life laser was built the same year. A British spy steals the German naval codes from a safe guarded by invisible beams which he can see using infra-red goggles. Rather ironic when you realise the codes were actually obtained by the less glamorous but methodical method of Ultra cryptography (still classified at the time the movie was made).
  • What's the Worst That Could Happen?: Kevin and Berger get trapped in a laser hallway when Max turns on the security system, not realising anyone is in his home.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one of the funniest moments in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., May and Coulson encounter one. Just as Coulson stretches and limbers up to dodge his way around them to the control panel on the other side, May rolls her eyes and just walks right through, setting off the alarm.
    May: They already know we're here.
    Coulson: Oh. Right.
  • In a particularly egregious abuse of this trope, an episode of America's Next Top Model Cycle 8 had the girls "posing" through a series of (non-harmful) lasers to compete for the chance to win a diamond necklace. Which has so much to do with modelling...
  • Angel:
    • In "Ground State", electrical-powered thief Gwen Raiden somehow bends the lasers and goes around them.
    • In "You're Welcome", Lindsey just walks through them using a magical glamor to prevent detection.
  • Variant in the Babylon 5 episode "A Voice In the Wilderness, Part 1," perhaps counting as an inversion; the lasers don't set off an alarm or a trap; rather, an unseen sensor of some kind sets off a series of death lasers (or some other form of visible Death Rays) in a hallway.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, the characters build such a system just for fun: they play a game where the players have to avoid the lasers to make a move in a chess match. Or eat a slice of pizza.
  • The Bionic Woman remake had them visible despite the fact that Jaime's bionic eye could have given her a plausible way of seeing infra-red beams. Subverted when instead of trying to slip through the beams, her partner deliberately steps into them so they can get captured as a Trojan Prisoner.
  • Charmed (1998): Phoebe and Piper had to steal a chalice from a museum. The chalice was in a room with moving lasers. So, Piper froze the lasers and Phoebe maneuvered through the openings.
  • Chuck:
    • In the second episode of the third season, as part of Chuck's training. He gets all the way there and back, then accidentally sets it off as soon as he thinks he's clear.
    • They encounter another one later in the season, when Team Bartowski is sent to test a CIA security system. After Chuck demonstrates how ineffective it is, the technician replaces it with an invisible wall.
  • In The Crystal Maze, there was one game in the Future Zone (inspired from the original in Fort Boyard) which operated on a similar principle — using strings. Ringing a bell attached to one of the strings set off a warning. Three and it was an automatic lock-in.
    • After the reboot, the same game was reprised with actual (and moving!) lasers. This was a good demonstration of how unlikely a security system using lasers that could be seen from the side would be in real life: the lasers needed to be very bright to give the contestant something to dodge and the viewers something to see, forcing the contestant to wear heavy eye protection.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In the third season episode "Snow Day," the lab is infiltrated by drug dealers. After capturing one of them, Mac rigs up a makeshift claymore mine to keep him in place, using a web of laser beams to bar the hallway. At the end of the episode, the leader of the drug leaders dives for the gun that slid under the web. Mac takes cover, but the criminals (and a sizable portion of the lab) go up in a massive fireball.
    • In season 4, Mac's stalker creates one around him after taking him hostage and attempting to kill the first one of the team who comes thru the door to rescue him. Naturally, he fails as the first person in is his own brother wearing a bullet-proof vest, followed by Don and Co. In the commotion, Mac gets free and shoots the perp himself.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "City of Death" features a variation; as Count Scarlioni demonstrates how he plans to steal the Mona Lisa, he shows a holographic recreation of the famed painting in the Louvre. He shows a laser grid in front of the painting which will trigger "every alarm in Paris" if tripped. Using a device that will "alter the refractive index of the air itself", he bends the laser beams so the Mona Lisa can be removed safely.
    • "The Doctor's Daughter" has one of these, pictured above, used as a security measure. The Doctor gets through it by sonic screwdriver hacking; his force-grown cloned daughter, arriving late, has to resort to She-Fu gymnastics.
  • Fight Science employed a non-moving visible laser hallway to demonstrate a female ninja's flexibility and kinesthetic sense. She clears the room in 56 seconds and does a back walkover out of the room just to show off.
  • In a second season episode of The Flash (2014), Captain Cold has to pass one of these to pull off a diamond heist. Not only are the lasers 100% visible, but he is able to use his cold gun to freeze them solid and shatter them.
  • Fort Boyard reintroduced a laser hallway challenge in 2012... again, using strings that set off an alarm when touched. Touching about five strings appears to be enough to lock in the contestant.
  • In Kickin' It, there's one outside the mall security office(!). Then the door itself is unlocked and the safe has an easily guessed 3-digit code.
  • Leverage:
    • There was an episode where Parker was trapped by a laser grid akin to the one in Ocean's Twelve. She navigated it by doing cartwheels. It is unknown if she tripped any of them, as they meant to trigger the alarm anyway.
    • In a flashback in one episode, a teenage Parker is shown doing something similar to get to an ice cream sundae as part of her training. Her mentor then holds up a spoon, and she presumably does the entire thing backwards without spilling the ice cream, although it cuts back to the present before we can see her try. The same spoon shows up earlier in the episode, in a shot of her apartment / supply cache, so she did.
    • Parker has also overcome a roomful of lasers before using tinfoil, ice and chewing gum.
  • MacGyver: Mac had to negotiate his was past the deadly version in "Pilot" and the detector version in "The Heist."
  • One episode of MacGyver (2016) has Desi navigate one in a scenario that is rather obviously a Shout-Out to Entrapment.
  • An episode of the short-lived 80s TV show The Master had John and Max have to navigate one of these.
  • The MythBusters thoroughly debunked this trope, first by discovering that visible laser security systems such as these simply don't exist (invisible infrared laser systems are sold instead), and secondly by demonstrating that even with a crude homemade mockup of the typical laser hallway most of the usual "circumvention methods" used on TV and the movies won't work, and can in fact trigger it. Specifically, they found that blowing smoke/powder at red lasers (jury-rigged from laser pointers) does make them visible, but not long or well enough to be very helpful without setting them off. Night-vision goggles plus powder make even IR beams visible, but with the same problem. Deflecting a beam with a mirror or hitting the detector with another beam worked, but was impractical. And most of their attempts assume beams placed so you could squeeze past them if only you knew where they were. Ironically, the ultrasonic motion sensors can be beaten with the ludicrous methods (tried almost on a whim by the producers) of holding up a bedsheet or simply walking at a snail's pace.
  • In the NCIS: Los Angeles episode "Deliverance," Kensi is kidnapped and held in a room full of lasers; breaking one of the beams will set off a bomb. Fortunately, Deeks has a laser of his own which he uses to fool the laser sensors so Kensi can escape.
  • NTSF:SD:SUV::: Parodied when the team has to break into the NTSF database mainframe, which is protected by a single laser beam at about knee height. Piper changes into a Spy Catsuit and does a full minute of gyrations and stripper poses around the laser before she gets past it (clearly parodying Entrapment in particular). Her two colleagues just casually hop over it with one step.
  • Odd Squad:
    • The Top-Secret Security Facility in "Odd in 60 Seconds" has one of these in its second hallway, as a trap in order to ward off burglars. When the Utensiler's younger sister demonstrates to the Mobile Unit (and Ono, the Facility's guard) how she broke into the Facility, she gets by the lasers by generating two mirrors from her hands and deflecting them. What's even more impressive, she does it in under ten seconds.
    • In "Oswald in the Machine", the Float-inator gadget is revealed to be stolen and is kept in a warehouse populated by robots, in a room guarded by a hallway filled with lasers that only robots can access. After taking control of one robot fails, Orla ends up taking control of another robot, and guides it through the hallway in order to break into the room where Oswald — having been disguised as a robot in an attempt to take back the gadget — is being interrogated about his Odd Squad knowledge.
    • In Odd Squad: The Movie, Otto and Otis' portion of the plan to infiltrate Precinct 13579 is to shut off the security cameras so Olive and Olympia can distract the Weird Team members that have taken the precinct over. However, the switch to shut them off is located at the end of a hallway with lasers. Otto and Otis simultaneously come to the conclusion that the only way to bypass the lasers is to dance through them, and what follows is a scene of them doing just that, to the tune of a ragtime piano piece.
  • Psych: Shawn and Gus encountered one of these. The more limber Gus wove his way through the laser hallway and Shawn just walked through, because he had already turned off the alarms.
  • Done in the third series of Robin Hood. Protecting a fake crown. With strings tripping arrows.
  • Done rather well and "realistic" in a two-part episode of The Saint, "The Fiction Makers," which first aired in December 1968 and was later released as a theatrical film. Instead of a hallway, it was a corridor between two fences.
  • Lex's secret lab in the Smallville episode "Mortal" is guarded by the deadly version. Since Clark has been Brought Down to Normal, this is more of a problem than usual. A laser-guarded room full of priceless artifacts also makes an appearance in the season 6 episode "Arrow" - Green Arrow circumvents the (green) lasers with a crystal-tipped arrow.
  • An episode of Space Precinct had a laser trap inside a bomb. The laser was shown by firing a fire extinguisher not-directly-at the bomb in question.
  • The Traitors: Episode 10's challenge revolved around a laser trap security system guarding valuable objects in a stately home, with contestants tasked with stealing as many valuable objects as they can in 20 minutes - with a minute from the clock being deducted each time they trip the laser.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): Perhaps due to airing during the era of the first Star Wars movie, Wonder Woman started facing various laser weapons, including a hallway in "I.R.A.C. Is Missing."

    Music Videos 

  • Heist!: Kat's recruitment mode involves her stealing gear from an office protected by a laser security net.
  • Lexy Lightspeed - Escape from Earth: The "Lab" mode requires Lexy to disable a room full of laser sensors in order to retrieve her weapons.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun. The Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life gives information on this defense system and how to defeat one, including setting up a network of mirrors to create a safe passageway through it.
  • Heritage Games' Star Trek: Adventure Gaming in the Final Frontier, adventure "The Slaver Ruins." One corridor is protected by Frickin' Laser Beams that will damage anyone they hit as if shot with a laser rifle.
  • One of the upgrades available to Brute squads in 4th Edition Warhammer 40,000 version of Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team is the Las-Trap, sophisticated alarms, represented by red string markers in the game itself, that made it more likely for the Kill-team to be discovered if they tough them.

    Theme Parks 

  • The game Chrono Bomb makes a sport of this trope: touch-sensitive plastic strands are strung across a hallway as "lasers", so kids can try to duck and weave their way to a plastic "bomb" without making contact before the timer runs down.

    Video Games 
  • As a potential shoutout to Quick Man's stage, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures has timed instant-death rays in the "Future Fuckballs 2010" and "Laughin' Jokin' Numbnuts" stages.
  • In ANNO: Mutationem, at The Consortium's underground lab, Ann enters a room that's blocked with large moving lasers that have to avoided by Wall Crawling around the platforms until most of the lasers have shifted enough to open a path to move on.
  • Antichamber has lasers that trigger various things, usually doors. Normally they are beneficial, but a few puzzles involve blocking them by putting blocks in the way. At least one makes a grid that covers the entire corridor.
  • The Art of Theft makes a gameplay mechanic of these lasers.
  • Assassin's Creed Rogue: In the final act at a Precursors site somewhere in the Arctic North of Canada, Templar protagonist Shay Patrick Cormac has to go through a Death Course made of laser walls and rays to reach the room of the Precursor artifact that causes earthquakes. The player is warned of how dangerous they are when Haytham Kenway pushes an unsuspecting Assassin mook into one of them — the poor fellow gets disintegrated in flames.
  • Beyond Good & Evil loves these. In fact, when you're not avoiding being seen by guards, you're dodging laser beams. Or both, at the same time.
  • The City of Heroes "Casino Heist" Summer Event mission, being based on the tropes of The Caper, has one of these.
  • Codename: Tenka have these in the Trojan lab's interior corridors, though you can locate the laser's source. Shooting them deactivates the laser allowing you to cross safely.
  • The inexplicably explosive lasers in Conker's Bad Fur Day.
  • In The Council of Hanwell, the science facility has several. They are used to kill escaped anomalies as much as to kill intruders.
  • In the Crusader games, invisible lasers appear every once in a while that trigger all sorts of nasty business if the player walks through them. The emitters, however, are visible, albeit very tiny, and can be blown up.
  • Appears in Deus Ex and the sequel Invisible War. Often appears without holes, but it does tell the player to find a solution.
    • In the original, red beams trigger alarms (which in turn activate any turrets in the area) while blue beams trigger something else...sometimes trivial sometimes instantly lethal. EMP devices are temporarily effective.
    • In the sequel, blue is replaced with white (and only shows up once) while green shows up to trigger gas traps and gold beams are weapons themselves.
      The NPC that tells you these useful tips also mentions that the light is holographic to scare away intruders, while the beams are invisible. While some uses of this warning are justified, more than a few times the bad guys would have done better to turn off the holographs. Still, the writers did their homework enough to handwave.
      A better use of holographic beams springs easily to mind - put them somewhere other than (though perhaps near) where the invisible operational beams are.
    • A "Resident Evil room" (The developers call it that and a poster for it appears a room or so back) appears in The Nameless Mod as part of the labyrinth created by the insane Shadowcode. Interestingly enough, the lasers are triggered only by your body. You don't even need a mirror - just take a box and block the beam, creating a safe passageway. Huh.
    • A large room full of lasers is in Human Revolution.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has the Laser Trip Mine.
  • Fallout:
    • Amusingly subverted in Fallout 3. The Enclave fortress doesn't have the traditional laser beam corridors, but it does have anti-vermin laser traps under the various passageways. If the player crosses them, a weak flamethrower is ignited. They are utterly ineffective against the player at that point, and not only can they be avoided by simply going fast — the player needn't even bother with them to exit the level.
    • Played straight in Fallout 4. If you don`t have the right lockpicking perks to bypass it, you have to go through a laser beam corridor to obtain the "Treasure of Jamaica Plain." If you trip a laser beam, several machine gun turrets immediately open fire on you. Assuming you painstakingly disable every single laser beam without getting filled with bullets, you can finally get your hands on the treasure...a time capsule filled with mundane pre-War items. The Automatron DLC has a laser hallway in the Mechanist's stronghold, which you can either short out with the decontamination sprinklers, or bypass by picking an Expert-locked door.
  • The remake of Flashback has laser gates that instantly vaporize Conrad if touched while active. One hallway on Earth requires you to pass through a series of blinking lasers while a moving laser is advancing behind you.
  • Gears of War 2 has a laser hallway with instant-kill flamethrowers. One person must turn them off in sequence (only one can be off at a time) to allow the other to run the gauntlet.
  • Shows up in Half-Life in two forms (both visible): blue for laser tripmines, and red for turrets. On a notable instance in Half-Life, a missile warehouse is crisscrossed with lasers from tripmines planted everywhere, to the point where tripping one single mine will toss the whole building up in smoke.
    • Naturally enough, several show up in Half-Life 2, including a number of turret-activating tripwires in the Overwatch Nexus that culminate in a room full of dozens of the things. (If you trip one, the doors slam shut and the indestructible turrets ventilate you.)
    • There's also an example in Episode 1 where your Air Vent Escape collapses beneath you, trapping you in a room full of tripmines, hopper mines, and exploding barrels. The developer commentary lampshades the fact that the room makes no sense whatsoever, but it's fun.
  • In Telltale Games' Hector: Badge of Carnage you break into the backroom of a sex shop only to find one of those in your path. You get through it by flipping the switch located right by the entrance to turn off the lasers. Hector is way too fat to squeeze through the gaps in the laser grid.
  • In Hollow Knight, Crystal Peak has several laser gauntlets, projected by either static crystal growths or the invincible platform-circling Crystal Crawlers.
  • Iron Meat have a corridor filled with lasers that damages your character upon contact. And it seems to be modeled directly based on the laser-corridor from those Resident Evil movies, to the point where it'll send a laser grid as a last-ditch effort to slice you up.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy has a room that pays homage to the Mega Man level.
  • In Just More Doors, there's a secret room that is almost only this. "Almost" meaning you also have to climb a bit in-between avoiding lasers.
  • In the adventure game Koala Lumpur: Journey to the Edge, one puzzle involves navigating three laser-beamed hallways. Each one has a distinct pattern (a clue at the entrance of each reveals it). The Fridge Logic nature of this setup is somewhat mitigated by the fact that it's on board a space station in an alternate universe, and that the station is owned by a child genius who might have just been going with the Rule of Cool rather than the best possible security system.
  • The final floor of Luigi's Mansion 3 features several rooms with laser security that will damage and knock Luigi back if he comes in contact with them, while instantly destroying Gooigi if it comes in contact with them, and the hallways also have lasers skimming across the floors during a ghost brawl. Bizarrely, one of the most heavily guarded rooms in the building is Hellen Gravely's bathroom, which has multiple moving lasers down its paths.
  • Made fun of in Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus:
    Fashions in fortress defense must change with the times. Once red got boring, for a while no lair was complete without a maze of green laser beams, and then for a brief space purple was all the rage. This tipped things over the edge, leading to, in quick succession, hot pink, silver, and taupe, until trends converged to infrared. That in turn lasted about six months before evil overlords everywhere got tired of accidentally walking into the invisible laser beams and getting dropped into the shark pit, and now itís back to red. There have been some brief flirtations with mixing red and blue lasers, but you have to issue intruders special glasses and itís not really worth it.
  • Mega Man 2 has Quick Man's stage filled with these for the entire level. Here, though, the laser beams are huge and kill you if you so much as touch them. You will also see them in Mega Man X5 as a Call-Back.
  • Metal Gear:
  • The Metroid Prime Trilogy features some Morph Ball tunnels with lasers, hallways with eye-like structures that shoot lasers in the first game, and in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, a regular laser hallway (though with not many lasers). Metroid Prime 3: Corruption has a single corridor wired with invisible lasers, designed to teach the player to use their shiny new X-ray visor to look for traps like this.
  • Mission: Impossible (Konami) has you descend through a laser grid to reach a computer terminal, just like in the first movie.
  • No One Lives Forever includes a serious of laser hallways, leading up to a completely impassable one...where Cate simply yanks open a floorboard and goes under it.
  • Oni is chock full of moving laser bars. Two end bosses are massive cybernetic brains who use a rotating pattern of laser beams against the player. The bosses are inert until the beams are crossed, then they unleash some impressive firepower at the player (who they don't seem to otherwise even see). At several places, there are large obstacles behind which the player can hide to avoid being intercepted by the lasers... and which also hold the terminals to disable the boss. They are situated inside the boss chamber.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, Quick Man-style insta-death lasers are a common trap. Some flash on and off, creating a Corridor Cubbyhole Run situation, others are constantly on and need to be blocked with an object, and others oscillate or rotate.
  • A few instances in Penumbra appear in some varied forms.
    • Black Plague features explosive packs wired to lasers that trip if the player walks through. They can be disabled by a small puzzle or switches.
    • Requiem is more of a hallucinatory type. Malfunctioning blue lasers in one area, while harmless to Philip, cause the ball required in a puzzle to teleport back to the start. And later is a ring of red lasers that disintegrate anything on contact - it's even resistant to any object held towards it.
  • Perfect Dark had a laser hallway in an early level that could only be circumvented by waiting for a maintenance robot to pass though and temporarily deactivate it. A later level has a huge laser grid surrounding Air Force One that required you to find a way around it.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 2: If you mention the Laser Trap in Xibalba first, that's what you'll encounter. You will encounter it later anyway even if you didn't choose it.
    • Persona 5: Madarame's Palace has security lasers throughout each floor, tripping one will increase the security level and alert nearby shadows.
  • P.N.03 has a number of standard laser hallways, as well as Wave-Motion Gun-caliber death beams.
  • Psychonauts has a laser tunnel in the Lungfishopolis level.
  • Quake:
    • Quake II has many such traps, and in one instance as the Marine attempts the jumping puzzle, guards hidden in alcoves in the walls appear to take shots at him. One in the start of the third hub can be circumvented via an alternate route.
    • In Quake IV, there is a mid-game level in which Kane comes across a few space marines near a laser hallway. The marines point out that the lasers are deadly, as discovered by one of them who foolishly thought he could dance his way through. Subverted for the player in that the tech among them points out that the lasers seem to be scanning for Strogg DNA, and Kane, having been stroggified and having the adequate physiology, can pass through unharmed. Later on, he disables the lasers and rejoins with the squad.
  • Permutations of this pop up in the Ratchet & Clank series.
  • Hallways with laser fences are a recurring obstacle in the space base levels from Pac-Man World. As Pac-Man, players must find which buttons to bounce on in order to disable laser fences and in some cases, redirect the laser's power source into activating bridges and platforms instead.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil 4, Leon has to dodge through a laser hallway about halfway through the game — which is actually a nod to the movie.
    • Resident Evil 5: Chapter 4 has a section with multi-story laser-filled rooms. The trick to navigating them is in a Light and Mirrors Puzzle.
    • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles: When Chris and Jill infiltrate an Umbrella base at the end of the game, green lasers activate in a hallway to block their path. They easily work their way past the lasers, in Slow Motion.
    • In Resident Evil 4 (Remake), the laser hallway segment was transferred over to Ada's Separate Ways campaign. This time there's two laser-filled hallways. The first can be completed at your leisure, while the second must be done while a giant B.O.W. chases Ada.
  • A miniaturised, more plausible version of this appears in the Museum track of Re-Volt, triggering an alarm in the background as cars pass through it.
  • Robotrek has lasers in an enemy base which activate/deactivate in a pattern. They're invisible unless you're wearing a pair of special goggles. Tripping a beam activates an alarm that brings enemy troops running into the room.
  • Defied in Saints Row 4 during the mission "The Mysterious Case of Mr. X," a parody of various stealth games.
    The Boss: And this is the part where we have to turn back, right?
    Asha: I hope you're limber, even the slightest disruption of a single beam will send a 2000-volt shock through your body. What we'll have to do is move through the gaps in a serpentine pattern.
    The Boss: You have fun with that, I'm taking the air vent.
  • Ring Man's level in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has 2 sections filled with laser beams. Fortunately, they are not one hit kills.
  • Some hallways in Second Sight are blocked by a laser grid. In order to get past it, you have to use the astral projection power, as your "ghost" can move through these barriers but not through physical objects.
  • Lampshaded in The Sims 2, if the Sim works in the criminal career and steals a diamond protected by a laser field with convenient gaps. The Sim in question is even said to wonder aloud why no one simply uses a solid laser wall.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus had tons of these scattered throughout. Initially sensory, they would switch over to weapons-grade lasers if they detected intrusion. They were, in all cases, visible from any angle without any need to apply phlebotinum. A Making Of video in the third game showed beta footage of Sly using a spray can of some sort to use in order to see invisible lasers within a maze.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 had a bunch of these, mostly in vertical passages of shooting levels, but also notably in Security Hall.
    • Shadow the Hedgehog had some also, though these were usually just beams and could be defeated by pulling a block out of the wall with the vacuum gun to block the laser. In one case, you have to pull two blocks out, one on each side of the passage you're trying to get through.
    • Also appears in a number of levels in Sonic Heroes. The most notable level is Mystic Mansion, where Team Chaotix have to destroy a ring-stealing robot and then hit a switch (which has several lasers touching it, and it's very small) in order to reach the rest of the level. Oddly, the other teams don't have to deal with this room and the one before it, and one of the characters on that team (Espio the Chameleon) can turn invisible...and when he does, most lasers don't hurt him. The only ones that do are in Final Fortress, and they're huge and very different from the small red ones you usually see (they're even different colors, and they fire at you instead of being the classic grid!).
  • Space Quest:
  • Splatoon 2: One portion of the Octo Expansion DLC has a series of hallways crossed by inkrails of enemy ink that will splat you if you touch them, forcing you to maneuver through the gaps. The overall effect is clearly inspired by this trope.
  • The Stretchers features a rescue mission called "Maximum Vaultage" located in a bank. Naturally, it contains a laser security system the medics must dodge around in order to rescue the Dizzies trapped inside.
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror has laser trip mines whose beams are invisible except with the infrared or EDSU goggles.
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness has one in the Louvre. Mind you, the game was released before Ocean's Twelve.
  • Unreal features a laser hallway in one of its last levels.
  • Unreal II: The Awakening has a hallway with blue killer laser complete with audio cues.
  • The alarm type appears in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines at the end of one level. The visibility can be justified by the player being a vampire with super senses, the fact that they are arranged so that they can be crouched under or jumped over can't. The deadly type appears later on. Justified in their impracticality as being specifically designed to test the survival skills of vampires.
  • In Viewtiful Joe while fighting your way through the upper floors you have to navigate your way through one of these. It's a bit of a pain due to the fact that the lasers start in the background and move their way to the foreground doing damage if they make contact.
  • Orokin towers in Warframe have the weaponized variety in spades, ranging from stationary to rotating to vertically/horizontally sliding. These energy beams will murder anything that stands in them for more than half a second or so. Fortunately, the emitters can generally be destroyed from a distance. The towers often contain challenge rooms that combine lasers with timed doors and motion-slowing patches on the floor; Parkour skills are required to reach the end in time and collect the rare equipment contained within.
  • Wild ARMs 4: Garra de Leon features two hallways filled with several increasingly more complex rotating lasers grids. Touching one makes Jude recoil in pain, and also activates the alarm, somehow sending you back to the entrance of the room. Forunately, you can abuse Jude's Super-Speed (that slows down time gameplay-wise) to get past them.
  • WinBack for the N64 has all sorts of horrible death lasers set up everywhere... including among the a.c. vents on the top of the main building. Not really explained how or why they were put there...but funny when the enemy freaks out and runs straight into one. Thankfully they move slowly enough Jean-Luc (yes, really) can somersault past. The blue variants don't kill immediately, but alert enemies or activate other traps.
  • There is actually a laser hallway in Zork III, yet another of the series' numerous anachronisms.

    Web Animation 
  • The Strong Bad Email "bike thief" features a laser hallway that's more of a Laser Couch, with "laser tech security" provided by a pair of Lazer Tag guns.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Lampshaded in Freeman's Mind while trying to navigate a room with tripmines placed on possibly every available surface, right near a couple of missiles already stored in the room. He also is confused as to why all lasers are visible in Black Mesa.
  • Appeared in a lonelygirl15 video, of all places; in "Mission Possible", Danielbeast has to navigate one of these.

    Western Animation 
  • Trevor Goodchild uses one on ∆on Flux in the first episode of the TV series. It's suggested he knows the problems with this setup, he just likes to watch the gymnastics she does to get out of it.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • In her first appearance, Catwoman uses a clever way of getting past such a hallway (actually, a room) to steal a diamond necklace; she uses her housecat Isis — who can see the infrared beams and, thus, can steer around them with her sleek body — to get the jewelry for her.
    • Harley Quinn simply jumps around the beams when she goes to steal a diamond. Works fine, but then Ivy activates the alarm during her own robbery from another wing of the facility.
  • In Code Lyoko, Yumi encounters once a laser hallway of the deadly variety in Sector 5. Good thing she's the most acrobatic of the team.
  • The closing credits of C.O.P.S. (1988) have Nightshade navigating one wearing special goggles in order to see the lasers.
  • Parodied in a Dexter's Laboratory episode where Dexter just walks under the lasers (in a library, close to the devolution box!) since he's really short.
  • DuckTales:
    • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Dime Enough for Luck", Magica De Spell tricks Gladstone Gander into stealing Scrooge's Number One Dime. The dime is guarded by an impressive set of moving lasers that he bypasses because he has unusually good luck.
    • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp featured Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby having to go through one of these in Scrooge's office building. One difference from other example: those lasers are lethal.
    • The first episode of the reboot has Scrooge and Dewey encounter a bridge containing one of these, with Donald Duck below them on a lower level. Interestingly, Scrooge — who is more interested in the smart approach than the thrilling one — recommends they just find another way around, but Dewey, in this continuity an action junkie, insists on unnecessarily crossing through the lasers. And for further face-palming value, he seems to think that the point of such a bridge is to activate every single laser, meaning he would have been fried to a crisp had Donald not been underneath preventing this with a metal shield (alternatively, he could be trying to do the "Dance to avoid lasers" trick, which obviously doesn't work).
  • In Viper's introductory episode in Jackie Chan Adventures, both her and Jackie are sneaking into a museum to steal certain artifacts, and both come across their own hall of lasers. Jackie awkwardly navigates his limbs through the lasers slowly, while Viper effortlessly jumps and flips acrobatically through them.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • The episode "Double Date" sees Huntress use an aerosol spray to reveal lasers in Mandragora's home. She simply vaults and flips through them.
    • This doesn't bother Shade in "Secret Society", who simply uses his power to reach between the lasers and grab what he wants to steal.
  • These show up all the time in Kim Possible.
    • Drakken even has a laser snow field around one of his lairs.
    • The best one is from "A Sitch In Time", where the entire room is filled with deadly laser beams installed for an overly paranoid collector of plush toys. This is Kim's first assignment (she was looking for jobs like babysitting and got called by mistake) so she uses her cheerleading and gymnastics moves to dive through all the beams and turn it off.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the episode "Mmmystery On The Friendship Express", while trying to figure out who vandalized the cake, Pinkie Pie imagines that Con Mane infiltrated the place, revealed the laser beams with a spray, then used a mirror to bounce them onto the cake. Annoyed, Twilight Sparkle points out, "Pinkie! There is no laser beam security system!"
    • Another Imagine Spot in "Sparkle's Seven". Planning for The Caper, Spike imagine himself and Fluttershy doing an Air-Vent Passageway intrusion to Canterlot's throne room, finding it protected by a laser grid. Fluttershy waltz her way between the beams, throwing the Sibling Supreme crown to Spike, who use its reflective surface to reflect the lasers one by one and disable all the emitters.
  • When The Oblongs infiltrate Globocide to rescue Scottie, they find a laser hallway. Beth walks under the first few lasers but finds the last one is slightly lower. She spots an area of the laser shaped just right to accommodate the wart on her head and disables the system.
  • Parodied in an episode of Ozzy & Drix. Drix and Maria encounter a laser hallway blocking the entrance to "The Fear Center". Drix gets through it by squeezing between every laser as carefully yet clumsily he can. After he's done, Maria, who is a cop, simply pulls out her ID card and deactivates the lasers.
  • Doctor Doofenschmirtz installs an "anti-platypus security" system in one episode of Phineas and Ferb that includes a laser hallway, among other traps. Naturally, Perry manages to avoid every trap easily.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Cat Man Do" a cat hypnotizes the Professor and the two go to the museum to steal the Cat's Eye Jewel. The Professor puts a container of grease on the floor and slides the cat under the lowest beam, leaving a trail of grease behind. The Professor then does the same and they steal the jewel.
  • The early Kids' WB toon Road Rovers did a variant on this in an ep titled Hunter's Heroes, replete with mirror deflection. (The website linked from this entry also acknowledges the difficulty on this page [see "Deflector"].)
  • In Samurai Jack, episode "Jack and the Labyrinth", both Jack and The Thief slide by a laser hallway upon entering the secured temple at the same time.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man one of these appears, somewhat peculiarly, in the genetics labs at Empire State University, to deter theft of the "ooze." This doesn't stop the Black Cat from trying, however.
  • In the SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron episode "The Dark Side of the SWAT Kats", our heroes (and their Evil Counterparts) have to jump through one of these to break into Pumadyne Weapons Lab.
  • Robin and Red X both overcome a tangle of lasers that are protecting a Xenothium vault when Robin goes after whoever was in the Red X suit in Teen Titans (2003). Earlier, Red X dealt with a laser at ankle height by simply placing a mirror in its path, reflecting the beam upward.
  • Used in the second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toon, where April, Casey and Splinter are forced to traverse one of these in order to rescue the turtles in an early season 3 episode. While it proves easy enough for Splinter and April (who in this episode reveals that she has taken a level in badass) it proves quite difficult to the graceless Casey.
  • Total Drama: Every so often a laser hallway is part of a challenge.
    • For the first challenge in "Dial M for Merger", the contestants have to get to a bag protected by a bell jar and a field of red laser beams. Chris says they can split someone in half and given that Harold burns his butt on one beam, that's probably true. Justin has a minor edge because he's got a mirror on him, but it's Courtney who successfully dodges all beams and takes the prize.
    • In "Can't Help Falling in Louvre", the last piece Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot needs to put the Venus de Milo back together is behind a wall of red lasers. Tyler knocks himself out by accidentally running into the regular wall next to it, leaving only Noah as a reliable bet to get through the laser wall. Though he burns his shoe, he gets the job done.
    • In "Scarlett Fever", Shawn and Jasmine have to traverse a hallway of moving laser motion sensors that will set off security when the beams are broken. As they're both athletic, they have no trouble avoiding the beams until they get distracted by each other's competence. One ill-timed kiss later and security is on their heels.
  • In Transformers: Animated, it isn't so much a hallway, but the Autobot's base is filled with motion sensors. In "Home Is Where The Spark Is", they sense movements and grab the Autobots.
  • On Uncle Grandpa, Uncle Grandpa and company end up accidentally breaking into a bank vault scattered with lasers while looking for a treasure. They end thinking it's a dance rave.
  • Used and mocked in The Venture Bros. when Doctor Girlfriend and Henchmen 21 try to go to the Monarch after Dr. Killenger becomes his new right hand man. A hallway has laser tripwires, and Doctor Girlfriend nimbly flips and weaves through them all. Henchmen 21 tries, and just trips into a lot of them from the start setting off an alarm (nothing deadly, just sirens). Doctor Girlfriend then just opens a secret hallway to where the Monarch is and leaves 21 behind.
  • In the first episode of X-Men: The Animated Series, the beams are detected by smelling ozone, revealed by super-summoned fog, and shut down by scaling overhanging pipes to reach the control panel.
  • In X-Men: Evolution, Iceman uses an ice bridge to pass the beams along the floor, and when bragging to Shadowcat, he's spinning the keys (to disable the security system) on his finger. They fly off, fall through a beam, and trigger the alarm. The look on Iceman's face is priceless.

    Real Life 
  • There's a "laser maze" game at the Excaliber casino's arcade in Las Vegas.
  • The British Museum uses a "beam system" to protect some of its exhibits. However, given that they're not protected in any other way, nobody bats an eyelid when someone sets off the alarm (since it can be easily done innocently by someone who's leaning in to get a closer look), and the "beam system" gets a sign to itself... it's probably not there because it's effective.
  • Spyscape in New York City has one of these, where you have to press as many buttons as possible in a minute, while avoiding the lasers (touching a laser results in a time penalty). This is used to assess how skilled you are at special operations, and is used to determine what sort of spy you would be at the end of your visit.


Video Example(s):


An obstacle ballet

The first heist requires Catherine Zeta-Jones to do two elaborate ballets in order to reach the target. The camera lingers on her assets as she performs each one.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaserHallway

Media sources: