->''"I've spent this whole night looking for a door I can open by sliding a newspaper underneath and poking the key out of the other side of the keyhole so that it falls on the newspaper. Every computer game character gets to do that except ME. It isn't fair."''
-->-- '''Larry Laffer''', after finding an unlocked door in ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards Reloaded''

A standard trick of the LockedRoomMystery, in which a key must be retrieved [[TheKeyIsBehindTheLock from the other side of a locked door]]. Fortunately, someone left the key in the old-fashioned lock, from which the key can be dislodged with a handy slender tool (icepick, wire, knitting needle), to be caught on a piece of paper slid under the ill-fitting door.

Modern locks are constructed to prevent this, and modern doors' thresholds seldom have sufficient space to do it. Many doors - even in really old houses, depending on architecture - also have door''frames'', which make this an outright impossibility. It's also possible for the key to bounce off the paper. Therefore, it's normally used only in period pieces, or stories set in older houses that haven't been renovated in ages.

Probably the best-known subtrope of the LockAndKeyPuzzle, and a classic StockPuzzle.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* ComicBook/BouleEtBill once did this, using Bill's ear as the paper.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/HeroicTrio'', two of the protagonists are locked in a storage closet in a hospital as an AxCrazy killer sneaks off the maternity ward to kill babies. They managed to hit the door hard enough to dislodge the key on the other side and slip a hand under the door to get it. This scene is an odd TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture example.
* Used by the faerie creatures in ''Film/DontBeAfraidOfTheDark''. Unusually, this example shows the key landing on some drawing paper from the ''locked'' side of the door, so the creatures themselves can stay hidden from the audience until a later JumpScare.
* In ''Film/TheWindow'', Tommy manages to unlock the door to his room by pushing the key out the other side and then snatching it with a hanger underneath the door.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''The Unadulterated Cat'' by Creator/TerryPratchett, Sir Terry describes doing this to rescue next-door's gerbils from his cat, based on a vague memory of a "beat the burglar" piece in ''The Eagle'', and being amazed when it actually worked.
** Moist tries this in ''Discworld/MakingMoney'' (he would, being a mostly reformed criminal) but it doesn't work.
* Most Creator/EnidBlyton series include this at least once, especially ''The Secret Seven'' and ''Literature/TheFamousFive''.
* Bod escapes from the back room of the antique shop this way in ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook''.
** Also by Creator/NeilGaiman, the protagonist of ''Literature/TheOceanAtTheEndOfTheLane'' does this to get out of his bedroom after the BabysitterFromHell locks him in.
* ''Literature/MaryRussell'': Holmes does this to gain access to Mary's locked bedroom in ''A Monstrous Regiment of Women''.
* In the childrens series ''The Baker Street Irregulars'' by Creator/TerranceDicks (involving modern-day Sherlock Holmes fans who solved crimes), a SnoopingLittleKid is locked in a room by a suspect, and uses this method only to find someone standing guard outside the door watching the entire process. Fortunately the guard finds it ActuallyPrettyFunny and lets him escape.


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* An expanded version is used in an episode of ''Series/TheMentalist'': Not only does Jane retrieve the key this way, but he pulls it back into the keyhole from outside the door using fishing line.
* ''Series/HappyDays'': Richie, Potsie and Ralph are locked in the hall closet by a burglar robbing the Cunningham house, and use this to get out.
* The title character of ''Series/{{MacGyver}}'' has done this on several occasions.
* ''Series/GetSmart'': Maxwell attempts this in "The Return of the Ancient Mariner", but because he's in a comedy series (and also incompetent) the key falls off and ends up on the floor outside.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Used perfectly straight in the classic episode "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E6TheTalonsOfWengChiang The Talons of Weng-Chiang]]". Bizarrely, the [[MediaWatchdog British Board of Film Classification]] objected to this scene when they vetted the VHS release, because it was teaching children criminal skills. The director pointed out that the concept was used by Creator/EnidBlyton, and his own experience was it didn't even work, so the BBFC relented.
** Used again in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E6TheWomanWhoLived The Woman Who Lived]]", set in the [=1600s=]. The Doctor was going to sonic the lock open, but Ashildr beat him to the punch. Using one of her own {{Wanted Poster}}s, no less.
* ''Series/{{Colditz}}'' After finding the door locked and the window barred, Dick Player easily manages to bring the key to his side of the door using method. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eadZESeOW3c#t=242]]
* ''Series/TheCoroner'': Done by the family of the VictimOfTheWeek to enter the room where the murder has occurred at the start of "Napoleon's Violin". In this case, it is an old, unrenovated stately home.
* ''Series/FatherBrown''. Father Brown faces a locked door and asks for a hatpin: as an antique model, the key was left in the keyhole on the far side of the door, and he's able to poke it out and pull it under the door on a sheet of paper. Mrs. [=McCarthy=] looks slightly disappointed, apparently assuming he was going to use a HairpinLockpick.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* ''Theatre/TheOddCouple'': Oscar does this when he's locked in the closet for some reason.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Used with no modification in ''VideoGame/{{Zork}} II''.
* Played straight in '' VideoGame/DarkFall The Journal''.
* Subverted in ''Videogame/{{Scratches}}'', in which the key lands on the paper but is too large to fit under the door. Micheal even lampshades the trope as that happens.
* One of the early puzzles in ''VideoGame/MysteryOfTimeAndSpace''.
* Used as the solution to a puzzle in ''Videogame/SimonTheSorcerer'', when Simon finds himself locked inside a pantry.
* This is one of the first puzzles in the ''Crimson Room'' series of YouWakeUpInARoom Flash games. Although unlocking that door only lets you into another locked room, this one more secure.
* Used in ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2'' by Carnby to get into the underground wine cellar.
* This is one of two ways to get into the murder room in ''VideoGame/PostMortem''. The other involves regular lock-picking.
* This shows up in prison with ''Videogame/ZorkGrandInquisitor''. Though the genre savvy jailors didn't include a lock on your cell door, so you need first to cast a spell to ''create'' the lock and the key in the first place...
* Very common in inventory-based casual adventure games.
* You do this while playing as Nico on the second visit to the murdered hacker's apartment in ''VideoGame/BrokenSwordTheSleepingDragon'' using her pencil and a handy nearby newspaper (the first time you [[SkeletonKeyCard climbed onto the balcony and opened the latch on a window with her press ID card]]).
* One of the least-original challenges in ''Escape the Museum'' is this.
* This is used to get into one room fairly late in ''[[VideoGame/{{Penumbra}} Penumbra: Overture]]'', though bizarrely the room it's done in seems relatively modern.
* Discussed in ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry Reloaded'', as seen in the page quote. Note that the door Larry was talking about was a sliding door, so it wouldn't have worked anyway.
* One escape from the ''Botanica'' casual game series uses this method. Paper isn't necessary, as the key falls on a floor mat already protruding under the (''very'' ill-fitting) door.
* Subverted in the second ''Nightmare Realm'' hidden object game, as the key falls through a crack in the floor while it's being drawn under the door.
* Used in ''[[VideoGame/HugosHouseOfHorrors Hugo II: Whodunit?]]'' to have Hugo escape a locked laundry. The [[http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/05/04/saturday-crapshoot-hugos-house-of-horrors-whodunnit/ review of the game in PC Gamer's "Saturday Crapshoot"]] has the reviewer breaking into a raging rant about how cliche and unrealistic this puzzle is.
* Optional in ''VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria}}'' to get into the attic. If you forget to put the paper down, you can just use the fireplace poker to retrieve the key, instead.
* The trope was discussed in a magazine article promoting ''VideoGame/FullThrottle'', by comparing how that game's protagonist, [[BadassBiker Ben]], would open a locked door using a sandwich compared to [[{{Nerd}} Bernard Bernoulli]] from the ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' games. Bernard would disassemble the sandwich to use the lettuce and toothpick, according to the trope. Ben would simply eat the sandwich [[OpenSaysMe and kick the door in]].
* Escape from the very first room in the [[HiddenObjectGame IHOG]] ''Sacra Terra: Angelic Night'' is achieved via this method.
* Another [[HiddenObjectGame IHOG]] example appears in ''[[VideoGame/{{Shiver}} Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker]]'' as the means of escape from the hospital's morgue.
* Played straight with a newspaper and screwdriver in the bonus game for ''Redemption Cemetery: Embodiment of Evil''.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[DiscussedTrope Explicitly mentioned]] to be Yahtzee's measure of a good adventure game in his [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRMPJfberWc Zack & Wiki]] review.
* The featured puzzle in day 2 of ''VideoGame/OedipusInMyInventory''.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Used in a parody of ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' on ''WesternAnimation/TheCritic'', when a velociraptor uses this technique to open a door, demonstrating its intelligence. It then dons an evening jacket and [[DistinguishedGentlemansPipe pipe]] as it [[JustBetweenYouAndMe explains its plans]].