->''"Why is there never a surprise party behind these ominously open doors?"''
-->-- '''David Sinclair''', ''{{Series/Numb3rs}}'', "Guilt Trip"

The good guys are having a hard time finding a lead for the current investigation. They find a possible culprit or a vital link in the investigation. The team gets an address and find the door slightly open.

Too bad whoever they find [[StuffedIntoTheFridge behind that door]], be it a suspect, relative or complete stranger, [[PosthumousCharacter can't help them close the case]].

See also YourDoorWasOpen, TrespassingToTalk, OpenSaysMe; contrast LockedDoor.

This is a DeathTrope so don't be surprised by spoilers behind the ominously open folders.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In ''Comicbook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth'', the parts that focus on the backstory of the founder, Dr. Arkham, has a scene where he walks into his house after finding the door wide open, calling for his wife and daughter. Guess what he finds.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/TheNinthGate'', when Johnny Depp goes to the rare book store to retrieve the titular book he hits the doorbell only to find the door ajar. The store owner, his friend Bennie is found [[spoiler:hanging by his heel, recreating the Hanged Man tarot card]].
* In ''Film/TheWholeNineYards'', when the detective knocks the door to find it open, he naturally takes out his gun [[spoiler:to find several bodies that the tulip shot]].
* Joked with in ''Film/{{UHF}}''. George Newman thinks open doors mean it's a friendly place. He isn't wrong, as he meets Philo, who will become a friend and essential ally against Channel 8.
* Towards the end of ''Film/BladeRunner'', Deckard returns to his apartment only to find the front door slightly ajar. He proceeds with caution only to find that it was Rachael who trespassed and is now sleeping in his bed.
* Film/{{Logan}} is aroused when seeing the door to Gabriela's apartment ajar. [[spoiler:Inside he finds her [[SacrificialLamb killed by the Reavers]]]].


[[folder: Literature ]]

* A DoorOfDoom is found in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear: Spore''. When our heroes first see it it's locked, but when they come back...
* In Creator/AndreNorton's ''Literature/{{Catseye|1961}}'', Troy's return to Kyger's to find the door open puts him on high alert, though he has only minimal clues to what is going on. Turns out that [[spoiler:Kyger was murdered]], and Troy has to scramble.
* The YA novel ''Literature/ADeadlyGameOfMagic'' by Joan Lowery Nixon is somewhat unique in that the entire plot is centered around such a door--specifically, the four teen protagonists trying to avoid the killer magician trapped in the house with them as well as whatever DarkSecret [[NothingIsScarier he has left behind the door]]. And true to the trope, the answer turns out to be a murder: [[spoiler:the old woman who owns the house (the magician's poor abused estranged wife), dead [[OffWithHisHead via guillotine]]]].


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''{{Series/Numb3rs}}'' is the trope namer, as seen in the first quote.
* ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' and all of its [[SpinOff offspring]] live and breathe this trope.
** Subverted in the episode [[spoiler:Profiteer]]. The cops find an ominously open motel door, one slowly opens it, dramatic music plays... and then the oblivious resident ambles up behind them with the bucket of ice he'd been getting.
* Pretty much any cop show has the cops in question reacting to the sight of an open door by drawing their weapons.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'' has a few variants.
** In "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink," Monk, Dr. Kroger and Harold Krenshaw end up finding the dead body of Dr. Kroger's cleaning lady in the shrink's office when they notice that the door to the office is slightly open.
** In "Mr. Monk Buys a House," Monk, Natalie, Stottlemeyer and Disher visit private nurse Cassie Drake's house, intending to get information from her on her killing of Joseph Moody. Unfortunately, "Honest" Jake Phillips has already stabbed and killed her to keep her from talking. Stottlemeyer and Disher try knocking on the door for about a minute, then Randy pulls on the knob and finds that the door is unlocked. They pull the door open and find the body.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* This is how Sebastian's Act 2 personal quest starts in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. When he goes to confront the people that had his family assassinated, he finds the door wide open with no guards in sight. "This is not the Lady Harimann I remember." Further inside, the Harimanns are all wildly hallucinating thanks to [[spoiler: the Desire Demon their mother's been dealing with.]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' - when Shadow Thief kidnaps John Stewart / Green Lantern, Vixen decides Carter Hall / "Hawkman", who's fought him before, might have a lead. She and Hawkgirl head to the museum where Carter works...only to find the door hanging open despite the "closed" sign.