Nigh-inescapable Portal Room YKTTW Discussion

Nigh-inescapable Portal Room
A room with, seemingly, a lot of exits, except that each exit brings the character back to the same room.
(permanent link) added: 2011-08-01 16:55:55 sponsor: benstarwolf (last reply: 2011-08-25 21:50:06)

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Needs a Better Title. Options: The Comeback Inn, Warpdoor Room, Wrap Around Room, All Roads Lead To Room, All Doors Lead To The Same Room

Needs a Better Description

A character finds themselves in a room, or some other area, with obvious exits. The character goes through one of the exits only to find themselves in the exact same room again. They try another exit, because usually there are more than two, and find themselves in the exact same room once again. They may return through the same door they left through, or the one opposite of it (if it is a circular room), or any other door at random. The character is stuck there and cannot escape unless:
  • They are saved by someone else.
  • They keep going through the doors until they break some sort of code.
  • They solve some other puzzle in the room or pass some sort of test.

Subtrope of Closed Circle

Compare to One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other, Magical Mystery Doors, and Scooby-Dooby Doors.


Anime and Manga
  • Bleach: The first filler arc of Bleach had Ichigo, et. al. put through one (the resemblance to a video game was justified since the while thing was a False Crucible training exercise).
Comics Film
  • The Avengers (1998): While drugged, hallucinating and under hypnotic influence, Mrs. Peel finds herself in a pair of rooms inspired by the works of M.C. Escher, with all exit doors leading back to the same rooms. She escapes by jumping through (and breaking) a mirror.
  • The Matrix: In Revolutions, Neo gets stuck in the train station and cannot leave until Trinity and Morpheus force the Merovingian force the Train Man to let Neo leave. Running through the subway tunnel brings him back from the opposite tunnel.
  • In Top Secret!, the protagonist is locked in a cell, climbs out through a vent grille, only to tumble back through another; he then does the same with yet another vent, a cabinet, a floor drain, the toilet, etc.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: In A Dance with Dragons, the crew of the Shy Maid go underneath the Bridge of Dream twice despite that they are sailing down a river and did not turn around.
  • Wheel of Time: In the early books, Rand would frequently find himself in the Dream World, in a room full of High Octane Nightmare Fuel. If he tried walking through the one door, he would invariably find himself back in the same room.
  • Andre Norton's The X Factor. While wandering in a deserted city, Diskan Fentress finds himself returning to the same place no matter which direction he goes.
Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons & Dragons: DA1 Adventures in Blackmoor. An entire inn has been specially enchanted so no one can leave without permission of the owner. Any attempt to leave, whether through a door, window or other exit, will result in the person re-entering through that exit. Its name? The Comeback Inn.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • In the episode "Where Silence Has Lease," when Riker and Worf are on the fake U.S.S. Yamato's bridge, they find that all doors lead back to the bridge.
    • In the episode "The Royale," Riker, Warf et al. are in a mockup of the eponymous hotel from a trashy novel, and the revolving door leads right back into the hotel; they can't leave until they make the novel end.
  • Warehouse 13: One of the Warehouse's artifacts is a complete bed & breakfast, inside which the occupants can't leave (by normal means, anyway) -- each attempt results in them being returned to its main room from a different entry.
  • The X-Files: A Christmas episode. (Episode Title?} In a haunted mansion, Mulder and Scully find themselves in a room where the only door leads into the same room.
Video Games
  • Colossal Cave has a room called Witt's End where all the exits act like this -- you have a very small chance of getting out if you keep trying every direction except west, the one you came from.
  • Grim Fandango: In the game there is a forest clearing with multiple exits around its edge, all of which (except for the one you came in by) lead straight back into the same clearing.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4: The final level
  • The Longest Journey: The staircase hall in Roper Klacks' castle
  • Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete: (and possibly Lunar The Silver Star) Myght's tower, which is constructed to keep out visitors because Myght is a "cranky stinky rude genius."
Western Animation
  • South Park: In the episode "Asspen," the characters couldn't leave the ski lodge until they bought stocks in a timeshare company.

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