Locks usually function just fine, but sometimes they burst open without any obvious immediate cause. In media of course this happens because the plot demands it, though it is occasionally deliberately used by a ConMan. This is typically at an inconvenient or embarrassing time (they grabbed a suitcase identical to theirs but filled with sex toys, which bursts open as they run 15 minutes late to a flight). Sometimes handwaved by having the container stuffed with something (say, money) that presses from inside, but that doesn't account for the timing.

Subtrope of PlotSensitiveItems and sister trope of PlotDrivenBreakdown; this can be reclosed immediately, though the contents may take some work. Not related to PlotLock, which is about being forced to progress through the plot in a desired order.


[[folder: Anime ]]

* At the beginning of the first ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'' movie, Saki's suitcase bursts open as the cabbie manhandles it, spilling guns and ammo and ''grenades'' onto the ground- not hers, but a setup by another character. How they got the suitcase to open at exactly the right time, though...


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/LockStockAndTwoSmokingBarrels'', during the opening ChaseScene, Bacon's suitcase flies open in slow motion and all the money and valuable inside are scattered about.
* In ''Film/MeetTheParents'', Creator/BenStiller's suitcase gets lost in-flight. A suitcase is found matching the description and delivered to him (at the parents of his girlfriend). He attempts to open it but can't and leaves for the day, leaving his prospective father-in-law alone at the house. Being former CIA he opens it easily and finds it full of fetish and bondage gear and sex toys.
* At the end of ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'' the suit case carrying the money pops open, dumping the cash into a crowd of people.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Near the beginning of ''Literature/TheSilverChair'', Eustace and Jill are escaping from some bullies towards a door that is always locked, and of course it turns to be unlocked. Justified in that Aslan has magically caused this to happen, but they don't know it at the time.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Sawyer of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' uses it repeatedly as a con man, to the point of lampshading when we encounter an alternate universe where he's a cop.
** Hurley falls victim when his suitcase springs open, causing him to miss his flight out of Australia. So he rebooks on the next flight, flight 815.
* The Classic ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "Image of the Fendahl" has a part where the Doctor gets locked in a storeroom by sceptical victims of TheSiege (in order to prevent him solving the plot too early). He tries the Sonic Screwdriver on it and it doesn't work. The scene cuts to the other characters (some of them die), then to a scene with Leela assuring another character of the Doctor's "great gentleness" and [[DescriptionCut back to him tantruming at his screwdriver and kicking things in rage]]. Then, there's a sudden click at the door and the Doctor emerges to rejoin the plot, no explanation for who opened the door given. WordOfGod says that it was a delayed reaction to the Doctor's screwdriver, but the only onscreen implication of this is a short scene of the Doctor [[CargoShip kissing the screwdriver]], although this could have been a simple apology from him for mistreating it earlier. WordOfDante from Terrance Dicks says that it was a delayed reaction to the Doctor kicking the lock (something that doesn't seem to happen on television).


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Krabs Vs. Plankton". Mr. Krabs is sued by Plankton for slipping in the Krusty Krab, and his lawyer is indisposed, giving [=SpongeBob=] his briefcase, which he claims contains everything necessary to win the case. Unfortunately, the lawyer neglects to tell [=SpongeBob=] the combination to the lock, so he spends most of the trial struggling to open it. At the last possible moment, the briefcase opens, revealing [[spoiler:a Krabby Patty, which is used to lure Plankton out of his ruse and lose the trial.]]