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Shooting Gallery

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Tokyo's finest in the Emergency Response Team show off their shooting skills.note 

Typically the Shooting Gallery is a training run for "shoot/don't shoot" scenarios where dummies will pop out and shoot at anyone running through it. Often a trainee will be expected to shoot all the "bad guys" while not shooting obvious civilians like paraplegics, old men, or women with babies. In an action adventure plot expect it to be taken over by the bad guys (or perhaps specially constructed by them) and the dummies to be firing live ammunition.

Often a new trainee will be shown using these, perhaps learning a lesson about being more cautious. If it is used for training, it's entirely possible that a near identical scene will happen later.

If the characters are using one, but the audience isn't told beforehand, it can be a case of Danger Room Cold Open.

In the United States the FBI calls their shooting gallery Hogan's Alley. The generic term for a military or law enforcement shooting gallery is kill house.


Sometimes part of a Training Montage.

For the Shooting Gallery's big sister, see Simulated Urban Combat Area.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Jon Sable, Freelance comic, Jon had one of these in his basement and ended up having a real running gun battle through it.
  • In Hex #8, Jonah Hex runs through a shooting gallery where the dummies are firing back with live ammunition in a story entitled, appropriately enough, "The Shooting Gallery".

    Film — Animated 
  • In The Peanuts Movie, Charlie Brown races through the last-day-of-school carnival on his way to talk to the Little Red-Haired Girl before she leaves for summer camp. As he races through the carnival, he gets caught in several of these, dodging footballs thrown at the targets and getting water intended for the clowns squirted into his mouth.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Scaramanga's funhouse in The Man with the Golden Gun.
  • In From Russia with Love, SPECTRE uses live targets.
  • The Men in Black movie has a trick example: the MIBs put potential recruits through a shooting gallery full of scary-looking monsters, but the only thing Jay shoots is a little girl. When questioned by Z, he points out his logic - the "snarling" monster is carrying a tissue so just has a cold, the one on the streetlight is just exercising, but the little white girl in the projects at the dead of night with quantum physics textbooks must be up to something. It turns out that was the right answer.
  • Magnum Force. Inspector Harry Callahan meets three rookie police officers on a firing range and is impressed with their shooting. Later he takes part in a police shooting contest which he normally wins, but "accidentally" shoots a "good guy" target...a police officer. He had figured out by then that the serial killers murdering criminals around town are actually cops, specifically the three rookies. He borrows one of their revolvers on the pretext of trying it out and "misses" a shot again, but later sneaks out to the range in the night and digs the bullet out of the wall for evidence.
  • Police Academy:
    • There's a subversion of this. The cadets are all taken to the academy shooting range, and walk though the course one by one... until Tacklebury, who is gun-crazy, goes off on his own and starts shooting every target. Beforehand when Leslie goes through the course he accidentally shoots a civilian before waving the gun around at the cadets, Tacklebury is the only one who doesn't hit the deck: being a gun nut he realizes that the shotgun was not recocked. Silly, but makes sense he wouldn't think they were in much danger.
    • Similarly, the scene where the cadets are issued their revolvers. Tackleberry picks up his with a look of disappointment. Cut to the next scene on the firing range, where the cadets are shooting at targets, only for Tackleberry to obliterate his with a Hand Cannon.
  • Used in Starship Troopers - where the aftermath of a mistake while using live rounds on the hazard course leaves one soldier dead and his commanding officer stripped of rank and given ten strikes with a whip.
  • In the first Lethal Weapon movie recently-teamed partners Riggs and Murtaugh are trying to one-up each other on the range. Murtaugh, annoyed at Rigg's tight bullethole group, sends a target further down the range and puts a single bullet through its 'head'. Riggs then sends his target all the way downrange, and shoots a smiley face in the head zone.
    • In the third movie, the "cop-killer" bullets that have just become available on the streets are demonstrated by Riggs and Murtaugh on the range. They strap a Bulletproof Vest that can stop a .357 Magnum round onto a target; a 9mm cop-killer bullet goes right through it.
  • Dear Wendy features a secret underground shooting gallery.
  • RoboCop (1987) had a scene where about half the precinct were practicing on the range and all stopping to witness Robocop's Improbable Aiming Skills as he shredded the targets with his Auto 9.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Tuco crawls out of the desert, staggers into a store and after angrily rejecting the revolvers he's offered, assembles a custom model from the stripped parts of other guns. The store owner suggests he test it out the back where he has three targets painted like Native Americans. Shooting from the hip, Tuco hits all three targets so they spin sideways, then shoots them again even through they're edge on to him. The store owner is impressed until Tuco makes a Ballistic Discount.
  • Used in the Cutey Honey live-action movie to showcase Nat-chan's Improbable Aiming Skills (she unloads a magazine but leaves barely more than one hole).
  • Likewise in Suicide Squad (2016) when Deadshot is asked to show off his skills. He puts every shot through the same hole in each target despite firing a weapon on full-auto.
  • The Assignment (1997). As part of his spy training, the protagonist takes part in an exercise that tests both his memory and shooting skills. He walks through a graveyard and when his trainer calls out a name, has to turn and fire at the tombstone engraved with that name.
  • Our introduction to Megaforce involves several members of the unit shooting down coloured balls with machine guns and missiles while doing wheelies on their Cool Bikes. Not sure what practical use this has, but Megaforce is clearly an organization that runs on Rule of Cool.
  • The Black Hole. V.I.N.CENT. shows off its superior shooting skills in a competition with Captain S.T.A.R on a laser shooting range. The latter is such a Sore Loser it blows a fuse, though V.I.N.CENT. 'accidentally' ricocheting a beam into S.T.A.R's chest in payback for cheating can't have helped either. Incidentally difficulty level of the shooting range doesn't match the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy of the Mecha-Mooks later on. Maybe S.T.A.R was their only good shot?
  • The 1995 Venezuelan film Sicario has a group of Columbian street kids being trained for an assassination by a cartel boss. After a training scene on a makeshift target range, the boss picks the best shooter and takes him away in his limousine. As the other kids clean up the firing range, they're gunned down by cartel soldiers.
  • The Soldier. A Scary Black Man rushes through a crowd waving a gun, then turns to aim at the audience—only for the scene to freeze as a red dot appears on his chest. Turns out the title character is testing his skills at a video-based shooting gallery. He then dials up the Difficulty Levels for a Shoot the Hostage Taker scenario.
  • In Robin Hood (2018), John sets up a medieval version of a 'Shoot, Don't Shoot' gallery when training Robin in archery.
  • In Breaking Point (1976), Michael already knows how to fire a gun from his time in the Marines, but he goes to a shooting gallery for a refresher course.
  • The 1959 film The FBI Story includes a scene of Jimmy Stewart as FBI agent Chip Hardesty training in Hogan's Alley.

  • Rivers of London: The Folly has one for trainee wizards to practice their fireball skills in. As a mark of just how long it has been since it was put to use, all the target silhouettes are still shaped like WW2 Nazis.
  • Features prominently in The Sixteen-Dollar Shooter by J.T. Edson, when Deputy Brad Counter leaves a combat pistol shooting competition and walks straight into an armed showdown with four Mexican terrorists.
  • In the STALKER-verse book Lead Sunset, a flashback of Major Kupriyanov is him and his military academy mates being taken for an exam that involved this. He got the lowest points, because he shot every target he saw with unerring accuracy. Including the kids. When the instructor asked him why, he said something on the lines of "The order was to shoot every target, not every enemy target. I see no difference between a cardboard hostile and a cardboard civilian". Then he was asked if he would still shoot if those were real people. He replied with a hearty "yes", because the command probably had a reason for him to kill these people. He was accepted.
  • Shoot Don't Shoot by J.A. Jance takes its title from the 'Shoot Don't Shoot' training newly elected sheriff Joanna Brady receives in the police academy's Hogan's Alley while attending a law enforcement seminar in Tucson.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Ghost Monument", the Doctor and her companions attempt to escape from the SniperBots by ducking inside the ruins, only to discover that the area they come out into is the SniperBots' practice range, and that everything inside the zone is considered a target. And the actual targets, as Graham points out, are human-shaped.
  • The Equalizer. In "Reign of Terror", McCall is shown on a shotgun range in which silhouettes of shoot/no shoot situations are projected on the walls, while he discusses with a former member of the Cuban secret police the decisions he's made in life. He ends up accidentally shooting two silhouettes of men with their hands raised in surrender.
  • Hunter. An episode where Hunter and Dee Dee were investigating a serial killer sniping women had them going to an army range, where they naturally encounter both the standard Red Herring suspect, who shoots all targets innocent or guilty with great enthusiasm, and his older sergeant who's the real killer. At the end Hunter chases the killer onto the range and activates the targets. The killer reacts to the first couple of targets, so when Hunter appears his reactions are lax enough that he gets shot.
  • The Kenny Everett Video Cassette. In a spoof of the TV series SWAT, Kenny Everett shoots a pop-up target on a Hogan's Alley range and is congratulated by his fellow officers on his great shooting. After they leave we see a man holding a target stagger out from behind the wall and fall down dead.
  • The MacGyver (1985) episode "Halloween Knights" featured a shooting gallery called "Death Row" used by Murder, Inc. organisation H.I.T. to test new recruits.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles:
    • One episode has Deeks go through one of these to fill a yearly training requirement that Hetty spent the early part of the episode bugging him to take care of. He shoots two targets holding guns, skips a target of a little girl, then shoots a target of Hetty between the eyes. As the episode fades to black:
      Hetty: (stares, speechless)
      Deeks: Um, oops. Heh.
      Hetty: Cheeky bastard.
    • Another episode showed the team going through a more advanced simulation where the bad guys are played by Private Military Contractors and the purpose of the exercise is to prepare normal law enforcement officers for hostile situations that would normally be handled by SWAT-type units. The team fails the exercise but they are actually there to find out if one of the trainers leaked information to a drug cartel about a police operation. When the scenario is later replayed with opponents actually trying to kill the NCIS agents, the team performs flawlessly.
  • The New Avengers episode "Target!" features the agency's shooting gallery being used to assassinate agents.
  • Parodied in a Saturday Night Live sketch, where in between the typical criminals and civilians, a man in an 80s business suit named Kevin Roberts (played by Larry David), who inexplicably has a storyline, pops up, which confuses the rookie FBI agents going through the gallery.
  • When Sledge Hammer! goes through one of these, he just shoots everyone, with no negative effects other than annoying Da Chief. This is in the same scene that introduces the "loudener" on his gun.
  • One of the Top Gear American specials has the guys at one. Amusingly all the targets are shaped like the Stig, and the hosts seem very eager to blow him awaynote .
  • In the Star Trek: Discovery episode "Lethe", Captain Lorca and Lieutenant Tyler go through a holographic shoot-em-up while keeping a Body-Count Competition on who shoots more holo-Klingons. Lorca's rifle records 24 kills; Tyler modestly claims 22, but Lorca sees that his rifle has 36.
  • Used for dramatic effect in the "Kill Straker!" episode of UFO. Colonel Foster has been given a subliminal command to kill Commander Straker. Straker needs to be absolutely sure the command has been erased, so he orders the guards to lock them in the target range, then proceeds to take pot shots at Foster in order to provoke him. Afterwards when Foster protests that Straker was trying to kill him, Straker shoots out a row of tiny targets from the hip and says "I could have killed you at any time."
  • The X-Files ("Pusher"). Mulder, annoyed that a killer has been released merely because a judge doesn't believe his latest loony theory, is shown on the range blasting away at a target. Mulder shoots the killer at the end of the episode, making this a classic Chekhov's Gun.
  • Space: Above and Beyond. In "Who Monitors the Birds?", Hawkes is Playing Possum after the officer he was working with is killed, and has a flashback to the officer (played by Dale Dye) recruiting him from a firing range after witnessing his marksmanship. We then flash back to the present where three Chig soldiers have finished hacking up the officer's body and are now advancing on Hawke, who promptly puts his shooting skills to the test.
  • Treadstone. CIA agent John Bentley is shown doing one involving both pop-up targets and hand-to-hand combat against live opponents, ending with him pointing his gun at the KGB woman who's brainwashing him, standing between two targets. He shoots the targets instead.

    Video Games 
  • Video Games can have these for practice, like Jak II: Renegade.
  • The entire gameplay of some arcade-style games:
  • An unexpected Genre Shift in Shadow Hearts: Covenant sees you controlling the Mutant Ape Ouka as she runs through one of these. In this case the "civilians" are cutouts of Sergeant Kato, and he's less than thrilled if you shoot one.
  • WinBack uses real people for the hero to train upon. Odd. I guess the Death Penalty is much harsher.
  • Perfect Dark has one in the Carrington Institute. You can also use the railgun, which fires through walls, allowing you to shoot out lights and stuff in the building's offices upstairs. You can also use a floating block to wedge the door open and take the weapons out to play around the rest of the base.
  • Halo 3's multiplayer map "The Pit" takes place on one of these.
  • Somewhat jarringly used in Dead Space.
  • Used as the opening levels in some Call of Duty games:
    • Call of Duty 2 - the tutorial mission takes place from the perspective of a newly drafted Russian infantryman who's never fired a rifle before. He and others in his unit shoot bottles and plates for target practice, then throw potatoes into windows for grenade training ("Because real grenades are valuable! In fact, they are worth a lot more than you are!") Immediately after that, a German armored car enters the area and the player must take it out.
    • Call of Duty 4 starts with a new S.A.S. member's first day in Captain Price's unit. He starts off by shooting some targets at a shooting range, then maneuvers through a killhouse based on the opening of the first level. The game recommends a difficulty level based on how well you do in the killhouse. The DLC later added an extremely close-quarters map similar in design for multiplayer, aptly named "Killhouse".
      • "The Pit" in the first level of Modern Warfare 2 performs the same function as the killhouse in 4, though it's not based on the level following it, and it adds civilian targets that the player has to avoid shooting. It's also playable on its own as the first mission in Spec Ops mode, playable with two players, and an extremely similar range is also in Spec Ops for Modern Warfare 3.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops doesn't include this in singleplayer, but does include a multiplayer map titled "Firing Range", with the majority of the map taken up by buildings with moving targets.
  • Fittingly, there's two of these at the carnival in Bully. One is a Wild West setting: targets include bottles (shoot), bandits (shoot), women with their hands up (don't shoot), and a star (shoot for bonus). The other is a baseball throw, with catchers (hit), batters (don't hit), umpires (instant game over), and a big glove (bonus).
  • There's one in Parasite Eve 2.
  • Some Zelda games have one, like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
  • Half-Life: Blue Shift had a shooting range at the beginning of the game where you are issued your weapon.
  • Police Quest 2 has one where you need hearing protection and use it to adjust your gun's sights.
  • A Humongous Mecha-scale version of this trope appears in a mission in MechWarrior 3. An enemy training course is left on in one of the mission areas, and it's very possible to walk your lance into it without realizing it, then start shooting when you realize you're surrounded by 'enemy contacts.'
  • The first campaign mission in Battletech starts in one of therse, with the protagonist testing their newly-overhauled mech's targeting systems by shooting up a couple of written off Urbanmech hulls as a framing device for teaching the player the basics of combat.
  • In Si N, there are four shooting galleries. However, the skeet range uses an inaccurate shotgun, and the Hogan's Alley style shooting range used a slow-firing weapon when you needed to hit three targets quickly.
  • In Left 4 Dead 2's Dark Carnival campaign, you can stop to participate in a shooting gallery whose prize is a lawn gnomenote  named "Gnome Chompsky"; carrying the gnome through the end of the campaign nets you the "Guardin' Gnome" achievement (which only needs one person to bring it to the helicopter... but a whole team to get there especially at the end of the third section).
  • The Blade Runner video game had one as a Mini-Game in the police station. For some bizarre reason the time it takes for the targets to appear is directly proportional to your CPU speed, which made the Mini-Game nearly unplayable after Technology Marched On.
  • Rainbow Six had one of these as a tutorial.
  • Vietcong features one as a tutorial level.
  • Both PlanetSide games feature shooting galleries in their Virtual Reality training rooms. In both, players are given access to almost every weapon and vehicle in the game and allowed to run wild in a small map full of vehicles and infantry, both friendly and enemy. The tutorial for Planetside 2 features a simple shooting range for teaching the basics of weapon control.
  • In Sonic Adventure, E-102 Gamma's section of Final Egg (which is ironically his first action stage) has Gamma partake in a target practice, with the goal of the level being to destroy a stuffed doll of Sonic. Destroying stuffed dolls of Tails and Knuckles adds extra time to Gamma's time limit.
  • The tutorial level in Deus Ex features a shooting range where you're instructed on using handguns and sniper rifles.
  • In PAYDAY 2, if you upgrade John Wick's area in the safehouse to level 2, you unlock a shooting range with a pair of targets. Upgrade it to level 3, and you unlock the Killhouse, a multi-room time-trial shooting course with a mix of police and civilian targets. Shooting cops decreases your time, with an extra bonus for headshots, while shooting civilians increases your time.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "The Springfield Connection" has Marge doing a target practice perfectly (she hits all the villains and none of the civilians). Wiggum's disappointed response: "You missed the baby, you missed the blind man...".
    • Parodied later in the episode when Marge has become a cop and is in pursuit of a criminal outside the Simpsons' house one night. Abe Simpson (walking Maggie in a stroller) and Milhouse pop out of the bushes completely inexplicably, and Marge holds her fire.
  • Justice League. The episode "Secret Society" had Green Lantern pitting the League against one of these as a team-building exercise, using both cardboard cut-outs of supervillains and training robots that fought back, with mixed results. Later the Secret Society ambush the League in the same training area and booby-trap an 'innocent' target to take out Hawkgirl, knowing she'll instinctively refrain from destroying it.
  • One episode of Danny Phantom has Danny practicing with his ectoblasts. The gallery has cut-outs of ghosts and one cut-out of his sister, Jazz. He only hits the ghosts... but hits his sister afterward. Don't worry, it's played for laughs.
  • Brock from The Venture Bros. had to complete one of these as part of a test to renew his license to kill. However, since he doesn't use guns, he destroyed them in more creative ways.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Satan's Waitin'" in which Sylvester can't stop dying and using up the remainder of his lives trying to kill Tweety at point he wanders onto one of these while trying to catch him, he ends up getting shot multiple times and losing four of his lives.
  • In the King of the Hill episode "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo", Peggy puts a Flat Stanley cutout into one of these for a series of photos to "teach kids lessons", it then gets shot to pieces.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: In "Thawday", one of the contests in the Thawday Contest is an event where the dragons have to shoot enemy targets while avoiding friendly ones.
  • The Family Guy episode "And the Wiener Is..." has Peter joining the National Gun Association and going to practice at a shooting range. Among the people there are, a blind man hitting the broad side of a barn, an Imperial Stormtrooper firing his laser at a cutout of Luke Skywalker (and missing), and a referee who fires a gun in the air to start a swim race.
  • In Muppet Babies (1984) the Muppets are fantasizing that they're at a carnival and Fozzie decides to try his luck at a shooting gallery, but he misses every shot. Rowlf steps up and suggests that maybe his problem was he forgot to say "bang" when he fired. He then demonstrates and hits every target. Fozzie says he wants to try again, but instead of saying "bang", he says "Boom!" The shooting gallery then explodes.
  • In the Roger Rabbit short, "Roller Coaster Rabbit", Baby Herman wanders into one of these, with Roger chasing after him. Roger tells the customers to hold their fire, and when Herman is out of the line of fire, Roger tells them to fire away, but makes the mistake of just standing there as he says this, allowing the customers to shoot him.


Video Example(s):


Shogun Studios shuriken game

Mario has to launch shurikens at moving targets in this theme park game.

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Example of:

Main / ShootingGallery

Media sources:

Main / ShootingGallery