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Lured into a Trap

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"It's a trap!"
Admiral Ackbar, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

A character is given a seemingly innocent reason to go to a location, but it turns out to be a trick; rather than the meeting or item they were expecting, they find their enemies lying in wait to capture or kill them. There are many ways this could be played out: they could be a detective looking for a vital clue or meeting an informant; someone trying to heroically rescue one of their comrades (expect the Bound and Gagged party to have their mouth uncovered only to immediately yell "it's a trap!"); or even just someone delivering a message or package. But whatever they expected to find there, it was just a ruse; in fact, they've been lured into a trap.

This is usually a technique used by villains, though there are exceptions to this. Frequently, the one who sent the character is The Mole, in which case this will be played for Dramatic Irony (in that the audience can guess it's a trap but the characters won't know any better) or as a clue to The Mole's identity. This can also be the result of a Batman Gambit by the character's enemy.

If the trap is blatantly obvious, like hungry travelers finding a table freshly laden with food, this becomes Schmuck Bait. If it's so obvious the character recognizes it for what it is, but then elects to walk into it anyway, it's Trap Is the Only Option. If the person springing the trap isn't even trying to hide his intentions, he may tell the target to Come Alone.

See also Defensive Feint Trap. Nasty Party and the Malicious Trap variant of Prank Date are subtropes.

Spoilers may follow.


    open/close all folders 

  • "Victory by Computer": As she is flying around Metropolis, Supergirl spots a strange solar-powered house whose transmission antenna is beaming dangerous microwaves which could potentially damage the navigation instruments of any plane passing through. Supergirl approaches the house to neutralize the antenna when the solar panels begin emitting red solar radiation. Supergirl falls down and into a trap door, becoming imprisoned in a Kryptonian-proof trap built by Lex Luthor.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Code Geass: It happens in the second season, when Kallen is sent by the Black Knights to take Lelouch to a warehouse as part of their betrayal.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • The first time is in episode 5 when Miho lures some of Saunder's tanks into a trap by using fake radio commands.
    • The second time is in episode 8, when Pravda uses this against Oorai by having them chase down a lone tank into a town, where the other Pravda tanks then surround them.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders: Within DIO's mansion, Avdol, Polnareff, and Iggy take down one of DIO's subordinates, until Avdol notices a foreboding message written on the wall and realizes another opponent was about to attack them.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Upon noticing someone residing at a telephone tower, Josuke, Okuyasu, and Mikitaka investigate. The tower's owner, Toyohiro, proceeds to lure Josuke inside into the tower that's actually his Stand to trap him inside.
    • Golden Wind: While Abbacchio is using his Stand to unveil Diavolo's identity, he's temporary distracted by a group of kids having their ball stuck on a tree and goes to get it loose. It was deliberately caused by Diavolo to catch Abbacchio off-guard and quickly kill him.
    • Stone Ocean: The incident that got Jolyne sent to Green Dolphin Prison was masterminded to lure Jotaro close enough for Enrico Pucci to use his Stand to attack Jotaro at his most vulnerable and steal his memories containing the details of DIO's Evil Plan.
  • Made in Abyss: One species of monster bird in the Second Layer are able to mimic the cries of their most recent prey to attract other members of said prey to be killed by the rest of the flock.
  • Ojamajo Doremi: Oyajide uses his magic to lure the Ojamajos into his grasp so he may kidnap Hana. The girls return the favor later on, but aren't as successful.
  • One Piece: Shortly after eating Chopper's mushroom, Hiriluk hears that the twenty Doctors are ill and rushes to help. It's a lie made by Wapol to lure out the two rogue doctors, and Hiriluk ends up facing off against a squad of soldiers ready to execute him. However, Hiriluk laughs it off and claims that he's happy to find out that the doctors are actually fine.
  • Ranma ˝: Attempted several times, such as when Gosunkugi has tried to trick Ranma.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Ken wants to find his father, who's been presumed dead for years, so Galactor sends an old friend saying he's seen him.
  • Tropical-Rouge! Pretty Cure: In episode 16, the Monster of the Week is sent to catch Laura after distracting her and bring her to The Witch of Procrastination.

    Comic Books 
  • In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared creates this using a hoax massive asteroid and a shrink ray on the moon that runs on Living Batteries.
  • The Avengers: During Operation: Galactic Storm, the Supreme Intelligence does this to his own crew. He sends the Starforce to intercept a team of Avengers, then traps them both in a bubble so they're unable to stop Deathbird killing the two generals ruling the Kree... just as the Intelligence planned. He then uses this assassination to send the Starforce after Lilandra, Deathbird's sister and ruler of the Shi'ar.
  • In The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Tokuga allows the police to get a lead on his hideout, which he has already evacuated and filled with dummies and bombs to take out the task force tracking him.
  • In the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (Boom! Studios) short story "Psychotic", Trek gives his team's leader a false vision of the team entering a building and saving the day in order to blow them up inside that building.
  • Rivers of London: In Water Weed the Hoodette uses a stolen phone to send a message to Nightingale and Grant, pretending to be their informant, and then proceeds to do the same to Joe the Mo.
  • Robin (1993): Tim is able to trick Dodge's group into walking straight into an ambush by the Teen Titans by making the criminals believe a fellow walking through the park at night is himself out of costume, when it's really Zachary Zatara.
  • Shakara: The Hierarchy use one of the dead Shakara race's lost artifacts to lay a trap for Shakara when he comes to inspect it, sending in a strike force of Teknosaurs, Thornax, and Buggerians.
  • Superman:
    • In Supergirl (1984), Selena abducts Ethan and then summons a massive rocky spire to lure Supergirl into her trap. When Kara heads into the witch's lair to look for Ethan, she is too shocked when she finds him chained to a wall to notice Selena banishing her into another dimension.
    • In The Dominator War, the Dominators, who are taking over Earth, are told the remains of the Resistance are gathering for a last stand; so they capture Cosmic Boy, Triplicate Girl and other members of the Legion of Super-Heroes and torture them into revealing the rendezvous point. The Dominators send Shock Troopers into the meeting point, and immediately Supergirl, Mon-El and Ultra Boy barrel through them, fly into the portal and take over the Dominators' teleport network, allowing the Legion to invade Dominion...which was Cosmic Boy's plan all along.
    • "Those Emerald Eyes Are Shining": After being attacked by a security patrol—allegedly—gone awry, the Legion of Super-Heroes are invited by newly-appointed Science Police commander Ontiir to return to Weber's World with him so he can reassure them that it was all a mistake. The team accepts his invite and heads towards the artificial planetoid, unaware that it has been taken over by their old enemy, the Emerald Empress, who Ontiir is working for.
  • The Ultimates: The Chitauri infiltrate the Triskelion and, with false information from the Psi division, they send all the Ultimates to Micronesia, where they would be blown up with an atomic bomb. Had it not been for Thor, it would've worked.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Etta tries to form a plan with Steve Trevor and a group of USAAF men outside a cave they know some Nazis are in for about a minute, before telling him and the rest of the men that she's bringing the Nazis to them so they ought to hide. She then runs into the cave, screams, and runs out, with the Nazis following her right into an ambush.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, Nitro takes his revenge on Bob by sending him a fake invitation to a Hackmaster LARP at Hawg Wallers. In this case, there's no specific trap or enemy waiting there; Nitro (correctly) assumes that Bob will shoot off his mouth and get his ass kicked by the bar's rough-and-tumble clientele.

    Fan Works 
  • Couturiere lures Lila into a trap by having Alya call and invite her to a 'study date', which is supposedly a cover story for a party the class is holding in her honor. Lila falls for it hook, line and sinker.
  • In Age Of Dragons, Hawke is lured into a clearly obvious trap by someone pointing out that the trap is probably more interesting than what he's doing at the moment.
  • In Equestria: A History Revealed, the main characters talk about how re-taking Canterlot might have been a little too easy. It turns out they were all lured into a Defensive Feint Trap to tire them out, with the enemy returning with forces three times in number.
  • In one story of the Facing the Future Series, the Fentons are called in to clear out a haunting, only to find out too late it was all set up by Vlad.
  • Big time, in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World. The four are sent by the Circle to meet with a hermit in the wilderness because he has some significant information. The timing of the discovery of this hermit is very suspicious, and everyone suspects that the Guardians have set a trap for the four. However, the Circle reassure the four that their best scryers could find nothing to indicate that this was a Guardians' trap. So the four agree to go, figuring they can overpower anyone who tries to ambush them. As it turns out, it is a trap, one carefully calculated to take out the four as fast as possible, and only luck and some secret help from unknown friends lets the four escape. Anyway, the Circle was right; it wasn't a Guardians trap (though the Guardians got wind of it and ambushed the ambushers); it was a Circle trap, since they had decided that the Actual Pacifism of the four made them a threat and attempted to separate and neutralize them.
  • In The Night Unfurls, this happens in Chapter 6 of the original, where Beasley, nervous and annoyed that Kyril is arriving to investigate Feoh, lays a plan to let him enter the fortress, trap him inside, and kill him. He really thinks that a squad of soldiers can easily take down the Hunter, not to mention that he is also accompanied by his two apprentices as well.
  • Doubly subverted in The Rigel Black Chronicles. Canonically, the Triwizard Cup was turned into a Portkey that kidnapped Harry away to Voldemort. Here, it's mentioned that the Cup is meant to be a Portkey to the winners' podium, which looks like a setup for a similar plotline. But then the Portkey works exactly as it's supposed to. And then Harry is ambushed and trapped on the podium, with powerful wards keeping everyone out while letting them watch.
  • In the Star Wars Rebels fanfic Patron of the Art of War, the opening mission is Sabine running a solo run to set up charges under an Imperial building to collapse it into the ground, however the info was a trap set up by Thrawn to capture Sabine in order to “protect” her.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Jafar threatens the reformed Iago to lure Aladdin and the Sultan by leading them into Jafar's trap. Iago is not happy about it and feels remorse and he later saves all of their lives...
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, upon realizing that Basil was on the case and may find his way to his hideout, Rattigan realizes that it was the perfect opportunity to capture his adversary, first by putting Basil on his guard by having the nearby pub spike his and Dawson's drinks, then for Fidget to show up and "inadvertently" lead them to Ratigan's lair...where Ratigan and his men "welcome" his arrival. Allowing himself to be Out-Gambitted by Ratigan temporarily sends Basil into a Heroic BSoD.
  • In Hercules, Meg lures Hercules to save two boys trapped in a canyon. But Hercules unintendedly releases the Hydra, a monster set up as a fixed contest to kill the hero by Hades.
  • Basically the plot of the first Ice Age movie. Diego pretends to help Manny and Sid to bring the human baby back to its father, but actually he's leading them straight into an ambush to his pack. In the nick of time he has a change of heart, though.
  • Robin Hood (1973): A disguised Robin Hood easily wins the archery tournament, and seemingly about to be praised by Prince John, but..
    Prince John: And so I dub thee, the winner. Or more appropriately... (chuckles and slices Robin's disguise with the sword, revealing his true self)...the loser! Seize him!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Ball Clown: At the beginning of the movie, a pregnant woman comes to 8-Ball's house to answer his ad for free baby stuff. He tells her they're in the basement, and leads her down there. As they head down, 8-Ball injects tranquilizers into her that renders her unconscious.
  • The One Nation Earth agents in the Apocalypse film series movie Tribulation are misdirected to what they think is the Haters' hideout, and start shooting up the place, only to find out that it was rigged with explosives. Cue the Oh, Crap!.
  • Batman (1989): Boss Grissom sends Jack Napier to retrieve incriminating information from the Axis Chemical plant (which in reality he has already made sure they were removed) so Lieutenant Eckhardt and the team of corrupt cops on Grissom's payroll can kill him. The other cops led by Commissioner Gordon come to take the dirty cops to task and make sure Jack is taken alive, and Batman shows up to take down the cops and the goons both, but Jack takes a fall into a vat of chemicals and becomes The Joker.
  • Doctor Sleep: The protagonists set up several traps for the True Knot.
    • When Rose seeks out Abra's sleeping mind through Astral Projection to extract information from it, Abra was already waiting for her, trapping her hand in a file cabinet so she can peruse Rose's mind for information instead.
    • Dan and Abra set up a trap for most of the True Knot by planting a psychic image of Abra onto an ordinary stuffed rabbit to lure them to a remote campsite were Dan and Billy take them out with hunting rifles.
    • In the climax, Dan and Abra go to the Overlook Hotel, knowing that Rose will follow them. They attempt to trap her spirit in Dan's mind first, but when that fails, they are forced to awaken the far more dangerous Hotel to devour her.
  • In The Hairy Bird, high school student Tweety is being wooed by her date Todd at the school dance. When he asks her to go somewhere more private, Tweety happily agrees. She does not know Todd is only taking her to a deserted area so he can humiliate her for a bet he made with his friends.
  • In Hounddog, Wooden's Boy has Lewellen's best friend Buddy trick her into going into the shed where she gets raped with the promise of Elvis tickets, though it seems that Buddy didn't know what was going to happen to her when he helped.
  • Marvel in The Hunger Games traps Rue in an Inescapable Net in order to attract and shoot Katniss. It doesn't work out for him.
  • Mandalay: Tanya goes to the "Jardin d'Orient" nightclub with Tony because she thought she was going to have a night of fun. It turns out it's a brothel, so Tanya's hesitant but accepts to sing for the patrons when he asks her. Then Tony ditches her by leaving a note. Ouch.
  • Playing With Dolls: The premise is that Cindy has received a job offer to look after a rich guy's summer home while he's in Denmark. It's out in the middle of nowhere, and there's no way to get a cell signal. This is because the "offer" was to get her to come to a house where she'll be killed by some masked killer, while all it's filmed by someone else.
  • In the first The Return of the Living Dead, a few zombies attack some emergency medical technicians. They then use the radio in the ambulance to call for more, who likewise also fall prey to the trap. Later, several police squad cars arrive at the scene, and are also ambushed by the zombies.
  • Sea of Love: The Hard Boiled Detective hero and most of his coworkers are introduced tricking several wanted crooks into thinking they won a contest to meet the New York Yankees at a luncheon. The Yankees don’t make an appearance at the venue, but lots of guns and handcuffs do.
  • Star Wars:
    • Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back: Darth Vader lures Luke to Cloud City by taking his friends captive, intending to have Luke frozen in carbonite so he can transport him to the Emperor without a fuss. Luke knows it's a set-up but falls for it anyway, and it's only his Jedi powers that save him.
    • Episode VI: Return of the Jedi: Not only is the shield still up, and not only is the Imperial Fleet on the scene to pin the Rebel Fleet down, but it turns out that the half-completed Death Star is quite operational when they arrive. Thanks to the efforts of the heroes, the Rebels win anyway.
  • 20 Years After: Sara's group gets ambushed when going into another city by some survivors that want her baby.

  • A Brother's Price has a scene where a great number of soldiers of the Queens' Justice, led by Princess Ren, go after a mill where they know some of the enemy are hiding. Aware that it could be a trap, Eldest and Corelle Whistler go out ahead of them. The enemy turned out to have cannons, and with the soldiers filling the street.
  • In Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, Opal Koboi conducts a scheme to lure Holly and Commander Root and pulls off machinations to have Root eliminated and frame Holly for the crime.
  • In Deryni Checkmate, Morgan and Duncan have to pay their respects at Saint Torin's shrine to obtain pilgrim badges and enter the city of Dhassa. Some of Morgan's foes put a drug on a needle on the gate latch, just where anybody would put his hand to open the gate. Morgan is drugged and abducted this way.
  • In the Doctor Who novel "Engines of War", the Doctor does this to Dalek ships, enabling battle TARDISes to destroy them. Then it turns out to be a Dalek trap and the battle TARDISes are destroyed by Dalek Stealth Ships. The concept of traps and ambushes comes back into the narrative often.
  • In the Dragonlance series Kitiara does this to Laurana by convincing the elfmaid that their mutual Love Interest, Tanis Half-Elven, has been mortally wounded and wants to see her before he dies which coincidentally enough will require Laurana to leave the safety of the fortified city where her army is stationed and come in person without guards to a meeting site of Kitiara's choosing.
  • The main character in Eden Green is infected with an alien needle symbiote after the villain exploits her curiosity in order to lure her into a secluded trap.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry and his friends are lured to the Department of Mysteries under the pretense that Voldemort has Harry's godfather, Sirius. It turns out (surprise, surprise) to be a Death Eater ambush, and Sirius ironically dies at the end when he tries to save them.
  • In the Jorge Luis Borges short story Death and the Compass, the series of connected deaths were done for the purpose of luring the detective to a specific location, where his enemy can kill him.
  • In "The Surgeon" (the first Rizzoli & Isles book), Detective Jane Rizzoli rushes into a basement after hearing Dr. Catherine Cordell screaming. However, even as she starts to untie her, she has the nagging feeling that something's wrong. She suddenly realizes that Cordell is gagged, meaning that the Serial Rapist /Serial Killer that she's been looking for must have removed the gag and forced Cordell to scream in order to invoke this trope on her. A few chapters earlier, he invoked this on Cordell herself by staging an emergency call from the hospital to get her to leave the safety of her apartment.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the King in the North loses the War of Five Kings despite winning every battle when he is lured into a trap orchestrated by the Lannisters, the Freys, and the Boltons. The resultant massacre has since been known as the "Red Wedding".
  • Not to be outdone by their film counterparts, Star Wars Legends is rife with traps, usually declared with Ackbar's immortal line (sometimes lampshaded). Take, for instance, the Yuuzhan Vong attack on Borleias, which (for complex reasons) included the following line:

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Burn Notice, a character is offered a meeting in an alleyway. Michael tells him that it's an ambush and that he'll go instead. He then makes a van bulletproof via phonebooks, before taking a man he wants to keep on his side with him into the alleyway and getting shot up. They get out of the alleyway unhurt.
  • The pilot episode of Daredevil (2015) ends with our hero Matt Murdock leaping into action to save a kidnapped boy. The following episode opens with Matt being found in a dumpster with multiple injuries—turns out the kidnapping was a setup by the Russian mafia who were out to get Daredevil.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor has faced this many times over the years, though it never really works out well for the one(s) laying the trap.
    The Doctor: Oh, big, big mistake, really huge. Didn't anyone ever tell you there's one thing you never put in a trap, if you're smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there's one thing you never, ever put in a trap.
    Angel Bob: And what would that be, sir?
    The Doctor: Me.
  • Downton Abbey: Thomas falls for former friend O'Brien's manipulations, and believing his feelings for the new footman to be mutual, goes to the latter's bedroom for a kiss. Suffice to say, it's all a set up which nearly gets Thomas fired with no reference.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In the third season, Robb and most of his supporters are wiped out when Walder Frey turns their renewed marriage alliance into a massacre that has since been known as the "Red Wedding".
    • In the seventh season, Tyrion has Daenerys' Unsullied army take the Lannister seat Casterly Rock, in an effort to embarrass Cersei. The Unsullied infiltrate and easily take the castle, but find it guarded by a minimal garrison and stripped of supplies. During the siege the Iron Fleet arrives and destroy Daenerys' ships, stranding her army there.
  • House of the Dragon: The Crabfeeder and his men very much expect a trap when Daemon appears with the White Flag. Their bowmen are set ready to fire and most other men stay in the safety of the caves at first. Expecting a dragon attack from above, they get lured into leaving the caves when no dragon appears. The attack then comes from the ground, not the sky... then Vaemond comes in on his dragon as they can't retreat to their caves. Needless to say, this secures victory for Daemon and the Velaryon forces.
  • In the Heat of the Night: Several episodes, the most infamous of which was the Season 2 finale "Missing." In that episode, Officer Tom Dugan, who is sent to Sparta undercover to investigate the recent murders of civil rights activists, is summoned to a wooded area on a tip where he might be able to find the suspect. Instead, he is confronted by two men in pig masks, who a split second later begin to brutally gun him down, shooting him dozens of times and blowing him to bits.
  • Legion: In "Chapter 26", David Haller explains to his father Charles Xavier that he has been caught in Amahl Farouk's web (the latter likes to compare himself to a spider).
    David: He wanted you to come. You thought you were looking for him, but he was looking for you. [...] Listen to me. Tomorrow he attacks, and you fight Farouk in the astral plane, your power against his, and you think you win. But all that happens is you kick him out of his body and into mine.
    Charles: S-So we leave. Now, we go home. Your mother, she's waiting—
    David: No, he won't let you. It's a trap. You're in a trap.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Adar leads most of his army into the Ostirith watchtower only find it abandoned save for Arondir, who bars the door to trap them inside and causes the tower to collapse, seemingly crushing them in the rubble.
    • Adar pays the villagers back with interest by sending in the villagers he'd conscripted — clad in orc armor so they won't be recognized — with a handful of orcs in order to spring the trap the villagers set at Tirharad, leaving them defenseless against the main assault of his army.
  • The Shadow Line has an example of this being pulled on a villain. Gatehouse is sent to kill Jonah Gabriel for his assumed knowledge of Counterpoint, yet Gabriel's just bait and Glickman intends to kill Gatehouse when he goes to find him.
  • Happens frequently in the Stargate-verse. The protagonists always acknowledge that it's a trap and then go anyway.
  • In the third season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Romulan Tal Shiar and the Cardassian Obsidian Order team up to destroy the Dominion in one fell swoop, by consolidating their fleets and staging a surprise attack on the Founders' homeworld. They arrive but find the planet deserted, and are ambushed and annihilated by a hidden Dominion fleet. It turned out the Dominion knew about the plot and helped push it forward so they could bring the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order into the Gamma Quadrant and obliterate them in one fell swoop.
  • In The Wire drug dealers Fruit and Lex from rival gangs are both after the same girl, until Lex eventually ambushes and kills Fruit. Marlo debates what to do to avenge Fruit, and decides that the simple solution is to kill Lex as a basic form of retaliation. He has Randy and L'il Kevin pass on word to Lex that the girl wants to meet him. He goes to an out of the way spot expecting to meet her... and comes face to face with Chris Partlow and Snoop, Marlo's two lethal enforcers, who kill him and throw his body into a boarded up row house.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Kane would repeatedly kidnap The Great Khali's brother Rajin Singh in order to lure Khali into traps. The latter never caught on.
  • The 6-29-2019 WWC show opened with Universal Champion Gilbert singing the praises of a young talent, who turned out to be Bellito Calderon, and invited him to the arena and then ring for a title match. An overjoyed Calderon accepted but was assaulted by a folding chair wielding Pedro Portillo III before he got close to Gilbert. And just to make it clear it was his idea, Gilbert joined in on the assault as soon as Bellito could no longer fight back. Exactly why Gilbert, who until this point had been feuding with Orlando Colon, hated Bellito enough to do this was never made clear but it did earn Gilbert the ire of not just Orlando but every baby face in WWC.
  • On the last TNA Impact before Genesis 2011, Eric Bischoff called a truce between Immortal, Douglas Williams, The Motor City Machine Guns and Jay Lethal: all the (non knockout) champions not in Immortal. Naturally they fell for it and as a result all ended up losing to members of Fortune.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Call of Cthulhu campaign Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, adventure "The Worm That Walks". Mr. Edwin sends the player characters out to investigate a haunted house, and they end up getting ambushed by a family of cannibals who knew they were coming (because Mr. Edwin told them).
  • Shadowrun supplement Super Tuesday, adventure "Ghost Story". Fletcher Quinn lures the player characters to an abandoned sporting goods store with a faked message so he can blow them up with the bombs he's planted inside it.
  • Classic Traveller supplement The Traveller Adventure, adventure "Kidnapped on Aramanx". The villains who kidnapped Lisa Fireaux demand that Gvoudzon deliver the ransom so they can kidnap him as well.

  • The "Poor Thing" sequence in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has a variation of this, with Beadle Bamford luring Lucy Barker to Judge Turpin's mansion, telling her that the Judge is remorseful about sending away her husband, Benjamin Barker, for life on a false charge. When Lucy arrives, there's a wild masked ball well underway at the mansion, with no one she knows there; and when Lucy finally does find the Judge, it turns out that he is anything but remorseful, and has used this ball as a means to get her alone and defenseless, resulting in Lucy getting raped.

    Theme Parks 
  • At Universal Studios:
    • The title character of Doctor Doom's Fearfall lures guests to his "Tower of Doom" under the pretense that they're going to be riding a fun carnival ride, when in actuality Doom intends to use the fear generated from them while riding to power his ultimate superweapon.
    • Ooblar in Jimmy Neutron's Nicktoon Blast purposely leads Jimmy, Carl, and the riders into Planet Yolkus just so he and King Goobot can trap them and have Poultra kill them.
    • In Men in Black: Alien Attack, one alien pretends to be an innocent alien, only to reveal to the riders that they just walked right into an ambush.
    • Lord Darkenon in Poseidon's Fury tricks the guests, along with the attraction's guide, into walking into a secret chamber that he soon shuts all possible exits to.

    Video Games 
  • One of the earlier missions of Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising has Sami follow intel that Flak, the resident Dumb Muscle of the villains side, is at a location "resting his troops". Instead she encounters the Mad Scientist Lash, who planted said intel, with a hardened force, access to a factory, and with reinforcements en-route in a mere 7 days. It's the first mission in the game that's very easy to lose, as nothing less than pitch perfect play will let you win (and even then you're likely to finish on day 6 or 7), and effectively is the point where the enemy COs stop messing around and get serious.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann's brother, Ryan, goes missing after he received a message telling him how he could find N540 which was perpetrated by C to capture him and then use Ryan to lure Ann towards The Consortium.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt: During the briefing for the Abyss mission, Moniqa says that she gets an intel about a Sumeragi subaquatic base, to which many supplies and tools are moved into; Gunvolt is told to investigate whether they're making an armed submarine or not. As it turns out, the whole thing was a ploy to trap Gunvolt by baiting him to the part of their base and then flooding it to kill Gunvolt by drowning.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Batman receives a message from Alfred telling him a cure for his infection has been delivered. Until it was actually a false lead sent by The Mad Hatter to drug him and bring him to a tea party.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • In the first game, Trish leads Dante to Mallet Island under the orders of Mundus so that the Demon Emperor can have his revenge for Sparda's betrayal ages ago.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Arkham personally visits Dante in his shop to inform him of an "invitation" sent by his brother Vergil. Dante ventures through the tower for the main reason of fighting the latter, but without realizing that both Arkham and Vergil needed his Amulet to undo Sparda's spell on Temen-ni-gru.
    • In Devil May Cry 4, Agnus and Sanctus kidnap Kyrie as a bait so that they could find a way to lure Nero and steal the Yamato from him. They eventually succeed in their goal, trapped the two lovers inside the giant Savior, and opened the central Hell Gate using the katana.
  • The original Diablo had Archbishop Lazarus leading a group of people from Tristram into the Cathedral to rescue Prince Albrecht, the little boy who he himself made a vessel for the title archdemon. He lured them into the second level, where he left them to die at the hands of the demonic Butcher. Griswold and Farnham were the only survivors of the attack, which left Griswold with a crippled leg and Farnham with a shattered mind and a broken spirit.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, as the Warden and party are travelling, a woman will run up to them and ask for help. Going along with her will lead to a trap sprung by Zevran and his fellow assassins.
  • Dragon Quest II: The trap would be rather obvious to onlookers. You see an enemy on-screen move into a room, and said room contains a wizard - he then says he will guide you to the place where you shall find the Crest. The treasure chest he leads you to is empty, instead you are ambushed by four Gremlins and need to defeat them before getting the Stars Crest.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, upon reaching the New Vegas Strip you are granted a personal audience with the titular leader of Caesar's Legion, with the ambassador giving you a token that grants you a free pass to their fortress. Upon reaching Caesar, if you've been causing trouble for the Legion he will list out all the ways you've been a pain in the ass for him and states that you're going to die here and now... Only for him to state that he's joking and that he really is trying to get you to work for him.
  • In the Green Sabre mission from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Sweet and the Grove Street crew are preparing to take the fight to their enemies, the Ballas. But when C.J. is called away by Cesar, he learns that Smoke and Ryder have sold them out and have joined Tenpenny and the Ballas, that they may have been behind the drive-by that killed C.J.'s mom, and that Sweet and the others are being led into a trap. It ends badly, for C.J., Sweet and Grove Street in general.
  • At the end of Episode 4 of Life Is Strange, Max and Chloe are lured to the junkyard by Jefferson, who then shoots Chloe and kidnaps Max.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect:
      • A side mission has Shepard sent to retrieve an old probe which has turned up over twenty years after it was sent out, far from where it should be. Just before going into the conveniently abandoned mine where the signal's coming from, the party members will note how it's obviously a trap.
      • The Eletania mission has Shepard going to retrieve another probe from a mine. Once they get it, several geth pop up and try to kill them.
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • Picking up Subject Zero from Purgatory turns into a trap laid by Warden Kuril to imprison Shepard and sell him/her to the highest bidder.
      • Investigating the derelict Collector Cruiser or the dead Reaper. Or activating the Reaper IFF. Or the franchise's grand-daddy of all such traps, establishing the center of galactic civilization on the Citadel.
      • When the three mercenary organizations of Omega team up to bring down the Archangel team, they open their attack by luring team leader Garrus into a trap with their mole, Sidonis. However, its purpose is unconventional — there are Eclipse troopers at the trap site, but the real purpose was to split up the Archangel team; without their leader and master sniper, the other vigilantes are overrun by the main thrust of the mercenary assault. Garrus realizes it's a trap when he reaches the rendezvous and Sidonis isn't there (having quite sensibly taken his blood money and run for it), but he isn't fast enough to return before the team is killed.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
      • The mission "High Noon" has Kadara overlord Sloane Kelly called out to a remote cave in the wastelands to meet the Charlatan. Once she gets there, he challenges her to a fight, which he has no intention of playing fairly, having a sniper waiting to shoot her.
      • An earlier mission on Kadara has Ryder travel with Reyes Vidal to a meeting spot out in the wastelands. It's actually an attempt by a rival (and ex-lover) of Reyes's to kill him.
      • A side-location on Voeld has Ryder follow a Remnant signal. Once they get to it, it turns out there's nothing there, and an angaran sniper calls in to say they've actually walked into her field of landmines.
  • In MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, one of the early mission chains is a raid on a regular supply convoy. The first time, the convoy fields only a few tanks in its defense; the second, they up the ante to include enemy mechs but are still no match for Spectre's forces. The third time, Spectre's mechs enter the area, pick up tanks and mechs ahead of them, mechs behind them, and their Mission Control is jammed. Spectre thinks to scan for unarmed vehicles, finds none of them, and decides to bug out (although you can stick around if you like; if you manage to take out the enemy's heavy, you can keep it). Or, as your HUD helpfully puts it:
    Mission Failed: It's a trap! There is no Lyran convoy.
  • Pâquerette Down the Bunburrows: Pâquerette can place trapboxes at strategic places. A bunny won't be able to move if it runs into one, but it will choose another path when possible. This can be used to alter the level layout and the pathfinding.
  • Red Dead Redemption II:
    • Happens during a Chapter 3 mission where the O'Driscolls invite Dutch to discuss peace. While Colm and Dutch speak, Arthur covers them from a hill with a sniper rifle. However, several O'Driscolls sneak up on Arthur and capture him. Knowing that Dutch will go crazy trying to get Arthur back, they plan to draw him to their hideout while at the same time informing the Pinkertons of Dutch's location. Arthur is able to escape before the plan plays out.
    • Later in Chapter 3, several members of the gang are drawn into Rhodes to discuss a hot robbery lead. However, they are ambushed by the Grays and must fight their way out.
  • A mission in the West Side Rollerz mission chain in Saints Row features you being lured to a pool hall only to be attacked by Rollerz.
  • In The Simpsons Hit & Run, at Kamp Krusty in the Level 3 and 6 Map, there is a well that sparkles Blue, much like the Gags required for 100% completion do. However, upon interacting with it, the player will discover that it is not a Gag, but rather a trap that teleports the player far away.
  • Yandere Simulator: If Ayano's seduction stat is high enough or she has befriended that student, she can convince them to follow her because she wants to show them something cool. This way, the player can lure the unsuspecting victim into a secluded room to finish them off. Alternatively, Ayano can distract a student by giggling, turning on the radio, or throwing bang snaps, all for the purpose of killing them.

    Web Comics 
  • In Champions of Far'aus, Faunza lures the group to the go-to area for offing people who are looking into the dragon egg smuggling operation in the area she is a part of.
  • Attempted by Peter in Joe vs. Elan School, who calls Joe after Joe graduates from Elan, and says that he drove 500 miles specifically to see Joe for a friendly chit-chat. Ultimately averted, as Joe immediately sees through this since the two had a very bad history while at Elan School, he knows that there's absolutely no good reason for Peter to know Joe's address and phone number, and hears other voices whispering in the background.
  • Tower of God: Bam and company fell into Rachel's trap getting stuck at the fake tournament while Rachel's group went for the Hell Train.
  • Trevor (2020): Dr. Maddison declares Trevor dead, and excuses himself from the upcoming autopsy on the grounds that he has already done his part in declaring Trevor dead, and that it will be too crowded with the rest of the medical team in the room. In reality, he faked Trevor’s death, so that the medical team will come to the facility, and be killed by Trevor when the sedatives wear off.
  • unOrdinary: Arlo tricks John into believing they have the start of a friendship then coaxes him to the turf war field to have him ambushed to force him into using his ability, all so Arlo could force him to take his place in the power based hierarchy their school, and society, is run on. John just wanted to be left alone and Arlo quickly finds that John is much stronger than him, and that John has a very brutal vindictive side that emerges when using his powers.
  • Unsounded: Lemuel and Duane trick Shaensigin into chasing Lem through a valve that Duane then slams shut on Shaensigin using magic.

    Web Original 
  • In the Obama Adventure series, George Bush lures Barack Obama into a trap using his two henchmen so that he can steal his identity.
  • In CD-I Super Guns Fight, the Evil Team kills the Good Team during a major battle by luring them into a canyon filled with mines.
  • The Call of Warr: Vid attempts to lure Durkin into a trap by making him help him at the church. While Durkin was actually willing to go, he attempted to go and inform the other soldiers first... so Vid just got impatient and KO'd him, instead.
  • Dream SMP:
    • During the L'Manburg War for Independence, after an encounter gone wrong, the L'Manburgians hide in a bunker prepared by Eret... except Eret reveals himself to be a traitor and activates a piston door in the wall, allowing Dream and his allies to storm the bunker and kill the L'Manburgians in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • Later on, the Crimson starts brainwashing people into spreading its influence across the server. A very common tactic for the Eggpire's members is to lure their victims into the Egg's chamber to either be brainwashed themselves, or be fed to the Crimson. This ultimately culminates into the Red Banquet, where the Eggpire invited various members of the server, several of whom are in opposition of the Egg, to a banquet supposedly to make peace and turn over a new leaf. However, halfway through the Banquet, the Eggpire trapped the attendees in the Egg Chamber with lava curtains, with the intention to execute them one by one and feed their life energies to the Egg.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Alliance often ends up lured into traps such as when Shyralis and Izael lure Ax's team to a library where they betray the team, locking them inside the room and leaving them to face the Shadow.
  • Resident Evil Abridged: The members of S.T.A.R.S. Alpha are lured to the Spencer Mansion on what they were lead to believe was a search and rescue mission for Bravo Team. Except it's a ruse by their captain, Wesker, so he can kill them off to cover up his involvement with Umbrella.

    Western Animation 
  • In Arcane: League of Legends, Silco lures Vi and the others into the building with Vander as the bait.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
  • There is a Code Lyoko episode where Odd receives an anonymous text message from a girl asking him to meet her in the woods alone; he complies only it's XANA who proceeds to knock him out, replace him with a clone and leave him in a well that is rapidly filling with water to drown. The rest of the heroes barely figure it out in time, with Yumi arriving to rescue Odd with only seconds to spare.
  • In the sixth episode of season 6 of the show Dragons: The Nine Realms, the local lunatic with a hatchet Buzzsaw lures Tom into a trap by offering him the antidote to the poison he had inflicted Thunder with at the beginning of the episode in exchange for the Book of Dragons. After Tom keeps his end of the bargain and hands over the book, Buzzsaw reveals that There Is No Cure and has his henchmen proceed to capture and tie up Tom.
  • Kim Possible: In "Stop Team Go", Electronique sends each of the Go siblings a phony invitation to lure them into position to blast them with her "Reverse Polarizer".
  • The Owl House: In "Adventures in the Elements", Luz gets the slitherbeast to chase her, leading it onto an ice glyph she set up in advance so she can launch it into the air with an ice pillar.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • "Rise of the Old Masters": The Ghost crew hears a broadcast by Senator-in-exile Gall Trayvis with information that Jedi Master Luminara Unduli is still alive and being held at the Spire, an Imperial prison on Stygeon Prime. It turns out she was Dead All Along, and it was a trap used multiple times by the Inquisitor to capture surviving Jedi. The crew manages to escape, planning to spread the truth so the Empire can't use it again.
    • "Vision of Hope": The Ghost crew learns that Senator Trayvis is coming to Lothal to meet them. It turns out that he's an Imperial spy, who's been pretending to be a Voice of the Resistance to lure rebel cells into traps, and as such the events of "Rise of the Old Masters" were not a coincidence. Just like last time, they escape, blowing Trayvis' cover in the process.
    • "The Honorable Ones": The Ghost crew is dispatched by Rebel intelligence to investigate some suspicious Imperial activity at the planet Geonosis. Upon arriving, they land on an abandoned Imperial construction module in orbit, one of several — and it turns out to be a trap sprung by recurring adversary Agent Kallus, who winds up stranded with Zeb on the icy moon Bahryn with a broken leg for his trouble.
    • "The Antilles Extraction": Sabine has gone undercover at Skystrike Academy, an Imperial pilot school, to locate and extract defecting cadets. After finding the cadets and identifying herself to them, they need a way to get out. However, the academy's locked down on Governor Pryce's orders because the Imperial Security Bureau has also discovered that there are would-be defectors at the academy. So when a spaceflight exercise is announced, Sabine and the cadets take the opportunity to escape. Of course, it's a trap — the wings of the cadets' TIE fighters are rigged to detach, which happens when Sabine and the defectors try to make a break for it during the exercise. One of them is shot down as an example. However, Sabine and the remaining two defectors, Wedge and Hobbie, do manage to escape later thanks to some unexpected help.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, The Paladins are lead into one when the leader of a planet that they recently freed sends them a distress signal. It was actually Narti controlling the leader, and when the lions approached, a whole battle cruiser was waiting for them.


Video Example(s):


Jellien Larry

Larry's Gym ends with Jellien Larry being lured out to mayonnaise, Jelliens' kryptonite, and being doused in the stuff.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LuredIntoATrap

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