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The rules for Squeezing on page 192 of the PHB state:

Squeezing into Smaller Spaces

A creature can squeeze through a space that is large enough for a creature one size smaller than it. Thus, a Large creature can squeeze through a passage that's only 5 feet wide.

Using these rules, can an Ogre squeeze through a corridor that is 5 feet wide and has one or both walls created by the Wall of Fire spell without entering the spells' area and taking damage?

For context, in the actual situation there was a straight brick wall, and a PC cast a straight-line Wall of Fire parallel to that wall, with the damaging heat emanating outside the formed corridor, leaving a 5ft wide safe gap for the PCs to fit through. The intent was to force the Large enemies to take fire damage, should they choose to approach the PCs through the corridor.

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The rules for squeezing that you quoted don't actually indicate that a creature needs solid walls to squeeze; it merely says "through a space that's large enough", and the space between two walls, even immaterial walls, is a space. So as-written, yes, the ogre would be able to squeeze down the middle. However, this really lands on the DM to decide in terms of what's best for your particular game.

But it doesn't need to be a simple yes or no answer. It's easy to imagine somebody sliding sideways between two walls while trying not to touch anything -- suck in your gut, and so on -- but bumping against a surface is certainly a possibility, so a DM could have the creature make a Dexterity check or save against a fixed DC to see if they can make it through safely or if they bumble into the dangerous wall and take damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In particular, the Wall of Fire spell itself has an original Dex save DC built into it, so that would seem appropriate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Sep 8, 2021 at 14:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, see, I disagree there; the save is for the side the waves of heat are coming off of, and "how well can you avoid touching a wall" doesn't seem like the nature of the wall actually matters any; a stronger caster shouldn't make a surface harder to avoid touching. This feels more like a DC 10 Dex check to me. But that's up to the DM at the table, so I left it intentionally vague. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8, 2021 at 14:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ That the save should be Dex-based at least we agree. A higher-level caster (or one with a better spellcasting ability, etc.) makes their wall with a higher DC which affects your chance of being damaged by it the first round it appears - what does this represent, if not a surface that is harder to avoid touching? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Sep 8, 2021 at 18:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ A higher spell DC on a Dex save usually represents a spell effect coming into being faster or with less warning, filling the space more completely, or otherwise being tougher to dodge using your reflexes and agility. The test here is to be graceful and coordinated, in total control of your movements, not to evade something that's abruptly coming at you. I really think this is a dex check rather than a save, more akin to crossing a balance-beam than diving for cover, I just didn't want to be too specific in what was meant to be a hand-wavy suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 8, 2021 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanC.Thompson You're correct, I misremembered that, but I don't think it makes any difference to my reasoning. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2021 at 11:48
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It really is a moot point, despite the answer being yes.

Your player has done a thing based on a misunderstanding of the rules but because the PC can do the same thing as the enemy, what they were trying to do is achievable; simply make the space one size category smaller. If you knew what the player was trying to achieve and why they chose 5 feet then your intention to use this rule to get around it kinda punishes the player for having what is actually a really good idea - as the DM you're meant to set the boundaries of how the world works and that includes the rules. Why wouldn't you mention it to them when discussing it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's a fair point -- if the players could make the space 3 feet wide instead of 5, and still move down it while squeezing, that would exclude the ogre entirely and achieve the stated goal. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 9, 2021 at 18:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ This might be more of a hindrance to the players than the monster. Squeezing comes with its own drawbacks, which might still deter or hamper the ogre, but not the PCs with a 5 foot safety corridor. If the PCs are squeezing into a 3 foot safety corridor, the ogre might like to risk taking some fire damage to get some hits in with advantage, while his enemies are spending double movement and have disadvantage to hit back. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2021 at 1:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @InternetHobo that's up to the players to decide, the point that the DM should remind them of the squeezing rules when they're trying to achieve something like this still stands. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2021 at 9:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TheHitchenator It is a moot point only if the assumptions in your answer are correct, which they are not. The move by the PC was made based on a misunderstanding like you said, to which I responded with the rules for Squeezing, and also saying I'm not sure how and if they applied there. In our game these kinds of situations get resolved usually in favor of the players and between sessions I try to reach an understanding on how to handle them in the future. In that sense, the answer being 'yes' helps a lot and is far from being a moot point :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Cypher
    Sep 10, 2021 at 18:30

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