Created By: SonicLover on October 31, 2010 Last Edited By: SonicLover on January 27, 2011
Troped

Push Me Pull You

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
He's gifted, just not in the right areas.
Should I go ahead and launch this, or is more discussion called for?

Do We Have This? I didn't search for it, although we might have it. Seen It a Million Times. Rolling Updates. Definitely Needs a Better Name, or so the consensus is.

Another trope for the Door Tropes index.

Simply put, a character is unable to open a door because they're pushing when they're supposed to pull (or vice-versa, although the former is significantly more common). Sometimes the door is clearly marked "PULL", although sometimes it's not. Practically always Played for Laughs.

The [Trope Name] was the name of a fictional creature from the original Doctor Dolittle.

Examples

Advertising
  • A commercial for the upcoming-at-the-time Pokémon Crystal had a team of explorers encountering a huge door with some writings on it, and try to push it open. Near the end, the camera cuts to a wide shot of the door, which clearly says "PULL" in unknown letters. We also see two natives discussing it:
    Native 1 (in foreign language): Should we tell them it says "PULL"?
    Native 2: No way, bro!
    (They high-five each other)

Literature
  • The translated lyrics of one of the opera songs in the Discworld novel Maskerade relate to this.

Live-Action TV
  • There was an episode of Married... with Children in which this was a running gag. Kelly was trying to open the door in the wrong direction, and in order for her to succeed she was told to do it otherwise. And then she explains it to an FBI agent who was just as stupid.
  • A variation in The Parent Trap (Lindsay Lohan version): Annie, in Hallie's house, has trouble opening the back door, because she is trying to turn the knob instead of pushing them.
  • One episode of The John Laroquette Show had Bobcat Golthwait as a neurotic safety inspector that always tried to open the door wrong, whether it was push or pull.

Newspaper Comics
  • A character in one strip of The Far Side got stuck at a door like this. See the page image.

Uncategorized
  • Truth in Television. Many, many people in Real Life have done this, including George W. Bush himself.
    • Donald Norman's seminal book on design, The Psychology of Everyday Things, devotes nearly an entire chapter to describing how the design of door handles leads people to make this mistake.
  • There's a joke in which a guy tells of a recurring dream in which he's in front of a massive door with a sign on it, which he pushes with all his might, but it won't budge. When he wakes, he's drenched in sweat and bone-tired. When asked what the sign says, he replies "pull".
Community Feedback Replies: 69
  • October 31, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Truth In Television, many times. George W Bush got caught in one of these once.
  • October 31, 2010
    thegrenekni3t
    I've uploaded the Far Side cartoon here.
  • October 31, 2010
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    a Push-me-pull-you is from Doctor Doolittle, the original version with Rex Harrison, if you needed the source for the Trope Namer.
  • October 31, 2010
    thegrenekni3t
    ^ Surely you mean the original version by Hugh Lofting.
  • October 31, 2010
    Xtifr
    Of course, the Doctor Doolittle version doesn't even begin to match the trope. It's not an aversion; it's not even related. (It's the name of an animal.)
  • October 31, 2010
    foxley
    The translated lyrics of one of the opera songs in the Discworld novel Maskerade relate to this.
  • October 31, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Possible page images from The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotations: [1] [2] [3] [4] Given that they had to make these signs obviously they have had this problem in the past.
  • October 31, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Similar to the other trope? (if we have it), where someone is trying to break in through a door, only to have someone else walk up and get in by trying the handle.
  • October 31, 2010
    Kipod
    I can't remember the exact deatils, but there was an episode of Married with Children, in which it was a running gag. Kelly was trying to open the door in the wrong direction, and in order for her to succeed she was told to do it otherwise. And then she explains it to an FBI agent who was just as stupid.
  • November 1, 2010
    Chabal2
    There's a joke in which a guy tells of a recurring dream in which he's in front of a massive door which he pushes with all his might, but it won't budge. When he wakes, he's drenched in sweat and bone-tired. When asked what the door says, he replies "Pull".
  • November 1, 2010
    SalFishFin
    A variation in The Parent Trap (Lindsay Lohan version): Annie, in Hallie's house, has trouble opening the back door, because she is trying to turn the doorknobs instead of pushing them.
  • November 1, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    More Real Life: Donald Norman's seminal book on design, The Psychology of Everyday Things, devotes nearly an entire chapter to describing how the design of door handles leads people to make this mistake.
  • November 2, 2010
    Medinoc
    • There's that famous GIF animation with the Super Move Portrait Attack, that turns out to be this trope.
    • Also an example from Franco Belgian Comics: In an album of the kids' comic Sylvain et Sylvette, the stupid bear fails at this twice with the same door: Once on each side.
  • November 2, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The Pokemon commercial I believe was a call out to preorder Pokemon Crystal.
  • November 5, 2010
    Erock
    My dad has that shirt. We both went to the gifted program.
  • November 7, 2010
    SonicLover
    Bumping.
  • November 7, 2010
    Fanra
    Real Life: A Burger King restaurant door has the following sign on it (paraphrased):

    "PUSH - You can have it your way and pull if you want to but this door is really stubborn"

    Note that "Have it your way" is the Catch Phrase (and registered trademark ) of Burger King
  • November 7, 2010
    RocketDude
    About the image I see: Maybe a little offensive? I mean, it's perfectly indicative, but would it be Not Safe For Google?
  • November 7, 2010
    rodneyAnonymous
    A "push-me-pull-you" is an animal with heads at both ends, this is allegedly about doing the wrong thing to a door. Bad name.
  • November 7, 2010
    shimaspawn
  • November 9, 2010
    neoYTPism
  • November 9, 2010
    brogaglas
    You may want to also include "turning the doorknob the wrong way." This variant has turned up in Rugrats (Angelica) and The Venture Bros (21, trying to enter Monstroso's office).
  • November 9, 2010
    SonicLover
    Okay, who's the joker who BABA'd the entry?
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb
    ME :) I Also did the (NO)MASTER
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb
    Sorry Mr Lover of sonic
  • November 9, 2010
    Marioguy128
    Stop vandalising the YKTTW. I fixed some of the damage,
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb
    Do not trust Marioguy128 he is actually the ghost of hilter and he will turn you into NAZIS!!
  • November 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    i suck your dick great baba
  • November 9, 2010
    neoYTPism
    ... what exactly does BABA mean in this context?
  • November 9, 2010
    SeanMurrayI
    Hey, does anyone know of a way to report annoying trolls trying to stir up trouble in YKTTW?

    I was just wondering.
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb
    No I don't know a way to report If you do please tell me :):):):):) Oh and BABA means old man or chicken
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb

  • November 9, 2010
    Bisected8
    @ Sean Murray I: PMing a moderator?
  • November 9, 2010
    babaGAReeb
    who?
  • November 9, 2010
    SonicLover
    The article's all fixed. Let's keep it that way; I don't want to have to keep a copy of the source saved to my desktop.
  • November 9, 2010
    FastEddie
    needs to be fixed again. The asshole has been banned and IP blocked.
  • November 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    what asshole
  • November 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    What happened to the BABA?
  • November 9, 2010
    SonicLover
    Just forget about it.
  • November 9, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    One episode of The John Laroquette Show had Bobcat Golthwait as a neurotic saftey inspector, that always tried to open the door wrong, whether it was push or pull.
  • November 11, 2010
    SonicLover
    Bumping, again.
  • November 11, 2010
    rodneyAnonymous
    This name is bad, it refers to a kind of (fictional) animal, not an action. Up The Down Staircase? Leaning Against The Door Marked Pull? Entering The Exit? Something shorter?
  • November 12, 2010
    SonicLover
    ^ None of those quite make sense for the trope.
  • November 12, 2010
    AFP
    Similar to the Farside example, this Private Murphy comic. It's funnier if you know where that sign is from... or if you have worked with very many military intel types.
  • November 12, 2010
    rodneyAnonymous
    ^^ Yet they are all better than Push Me Pull You, because that is a noun that is completely unrelated to the relevant verb. Please at least add Needs A Better Title and maybe help brainstorm one. Push Me Pull You is a terrible title, which is a solid reason to delay launch.
  • November 12, 2010
    queenbri
    In the webcomic Boy Meets Boy Skids spends hours trying to push open a door with a "pull" sign after Harly was kidnapped by anime fans.
  • November 12, 2010
    rodneyAnonymous
    The "jury" is not "out" on whether it needs a better name. I see three bad-name posters and zero good-names. And it's not a popularity contest, anyway. Explain why you think it's a good name or help come up with a better one. Ignoring an argument is not a valid way to rebut it.
  • November 12, 2010
    CompletelyNormalGuy
    How about just a nice basic Pushing The Pull Door
  • November 12, 2010
    rodneyAnonymous
    ^ Solid gold.

    Although, it kind of reveals the flimsiness of this "trope", but, leaving that alone.
  • November 13, 2010
    neoYTPism
    What about pulling the push door, like in my earlier example?
  • November 13, 2010
    randomsurfer
    Book Smart Door Dumb? (albeit not all examples would be of Book Smart characters)
  • December 27, 2010
    SchrodingersDuck
    Bumping, with a title suggestion I Fought The Door And The Door Won.
  • December 27, 2010
    TonyG
    In Prep And Landing, Lanny is introduced trying to pull open a push door, right after he's described as graduating at the top of his class. ("It was a small class.")
  • December 27, 2010
    NelC
    In Guy Ritchie's Snatch, Sol and Vinnie make an unsuccessful attempt to rob a bookies. In retreat after the bullet-proof shutters have fallen over the counter, they are stymied by the shop's door. Needless to say, after they have given up hope of getting out and collapsed to the floor (revealing their unmasked faces to the CCTV), their getaway driver, Tyrone, opens the door the other way to see what's taking them so long.
  • December 27, 2010
    SonicLover
    I can't decide on anything regarding the title until we get a three-person consensus.
  • December 27, 2010
    Evalana
    • From this Magic of Macy's ad:
      Jessica Simpson: Kenneth, I can't get in the building again.
      Kenneth Cole: You have to pull it, Jess.
  • December 27, 2010
    AFP
    Maybe Wrong Way Door as a trope title?
  • December 28, 2010
    wordweaver
    Wrong Way Door seems like the best title to me.
  • December 28, 2010
    SonicLover
    Wrong Way Door sounds all right. Anything else we need to do to it after changing the title before launching it?
  • December 28, 2010
    apassingthought
  • December 28, 2010
    Siranae
    In one episode of Hey Arnold, Harold tries to push a door open, and Helga has to point out to him the "Pull" sign. But when he finally figures it out, he pulls the door too hard and hits himself with it.
  • December 29, 2010
    PaulA
    Mentioned in Johnny And The Dead by Terry Pratchett, where Johnny speculates that even on alien planets where everyone breathes ammonia and has tentacles, there are still people who ZXCV the MVBN door. At a dramatically-appropriate moment somebody is slowed down just long enough because of trying to push the pull door.
  • December 29, 2010
    neoYTPism
    Also, for the George W Bush example, were you referring to this?
  • December 29, 2010
    randomsurfer
    ^Exactly.

    re the American Idol doors - ALL those doors are double doors both of which are "push" doors but one of them is locked closed. That's illegal. People do it all the time but it's still illegal. If there's a fire people won't be able to/have time to/be allowed by the rest of the crowd to go to the other door; they'll get crushed up against that door by the fleeing mob and die.
  • December 29, 2010
    JeddtheJedi
    In 30Rock, when Jack Donaghy is replaced by Don Geiss' Too Dumb To Live, Cloudcuckoolander daughter, the scene that sets up her character shows her pulling in desperation at a bathroom door with the words "push" printed on it very clearly.
  • December 29, 2010
    SKJAM
    In a volume of Amelia Rules, one character spends the entire story pushing the "pull" door; Amelia finally breaks down and points this out only to discover he's doing it deliberately as a science fair project.
  • December 29, 2010
    AFP
    Actually, I think "Door Dumb" is a better title than "Wrong Way Door".
  • January 26, 2011
    wordweaver
    I'll also change my vote to Door Dumb. Title aside, though, is someone ever going to launch this?
  • January 27, 2011
    SonicLover
    Sorry for the delay. I'll launch this today... under Door Dumb?
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=t842h69z27ni3d9ggc4357as