A classic childhood pastime for many is building a "blanket fort" or "pillow fort" out of pillows, couch cushions, blankets, and other bedding materials to make a sort of "clubhouse" or "secret hangout".
Fort building can be enjoyed by teens and adults, as well. Many parenting books even suggest that parents build one with their children as a bonding tool.
When an adult builds a fort in fiction, it's usually used to establish how young at heart or childish he is.
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- A recent Cheetos commercial has Chester Cheetah and an employee build a fort of mattresses.
- The book Corduroy's Sleepover has the titular bear build a fort.
- If You Give a Pig a Party also features one.
- In the Redwall book Mossflower, a blanket fort is one of the clues: Look up and find the secret is yours, Your castle, your fort, Or so you thought. The series of clues is a note from father to son about how to get to Salamandastron; this part is trying to tell him that the clue is on the underside of a table - when Boar was young, he played under the table, and with the tablecloth there, he always pretended it was a fort or castle. They realize what it means when Boar's daughter, Bella, reminisces about the table and how when she was young she used to pretend she was in a tent.
- In Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, Will and Rob build "a complicated complex of sea caves for their seal pups, using blankets, tables, model cars, knights in armor, plastic dinosaurs, and a variety of other items seldom observed in the wild by the Seal Conservation Trust but which my sons deemed essential to a baby seal's happiness."
- There was an epic pillow fort on Community, which took up an entire hallway. An attempt to top that one ended so disastrously it got the Ken Burns treatment.
- Troy and Abed also made a "second bedroom" out of blankets.
- The episode "Restless" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer features "General Surgeon" Riley and Adam as a human building a blanket fort during a security breach in Buffy's dream sequence.
- In Friends Joey builds a fort out of boxes from furniture. "Now are you going to just stand there, or be a man and get in the fort?"
- In The Far Side, a man is seen in his fort, but his wife tells him to rebuild it later because she's having guests over.