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Door Judo
In zany comedies, when a villain attempts to break down a door by charging at it, sometimes the best tactic is to simply open it.

The trick is to do it at the exact moment when they would have rammed it. When it works, the villains do not attempt to stop or even slow down, but just keep going at full speed. Then they usually run into any number of traps prepared to bring them down — or out another door on the far side of the room.

This move becomes even harder to dodge when the door is made of two fully independent parts.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Urusei Yatsura: After finding out that Lum and Ataru will be spending the night together, Lum's Stormtroopers and Mendo decide to break down the door. So on the count of three they charge, only to have Ataru open the door and Lum open the window on the opposite side of the room.
  • One Piece: Sanji, Franky, and Usopp are on the sea train Puffing Tom, which is loaded with government agents. After they've sent most of the agents oacking by disconnecting cars, one of the few remaining agents charges at the door- only for Sanji to open it and cause him to fall into the ocean. "Oh, you wanted out, sir?"

    Comic Books 
  • In Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin opens a door for a bad guy trying to charge it at full speed. The bad guy hits his head on the far wall, and Tintin closes the door in the face of the others following him.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live Action 
  • Peter Sellers in A Shot in the Dark. He charges at a door just as it opens, and his momentum carries him across the room, out the opposite window, and into a river.
  • Jungle 2 Jungle. Tim Allen's business partner is trying to talk his daughter into coming out of her room. Tim shows up, with his son on the other side of the door. Tim suggests that they both try to knock down the door. In the bedroom, the son tells the daughter "Baboon here. He make peace," and opens the door. Tim and the partner run through, crash through the window and the balcony, only to end up in a crumpled heap on the ground below.
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach uses this against the SWAT team at Moloch's apartment, throwing the door breacher completely off balance as he swings his sledgehammer into the floor. The level of shock and disarray this causes in the rest of the SWAT team seems exaggerated, though.
  • Done for humor in Cannonball Run 2, a case of when the door isn't opened from the other side. When JJ (Burt Reynolds) and company infiltrate the Pinto Ranch to rescue the Arab Oil Sheikh and discover the room he's in, they decide to break the door down, which he, Victor (Dom De Luise) and Vendebaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) begin charging at. Problem is, Blake (Dean Martin) accidentally pushes the door open just as the former trio run right through it, and thus end up running through the room into the far end with a bonk.
  • Done ridiculously in The Pirate Movie. On their first run at the door, the pirates use their ram to ring the doorbell. On their second run, the butler opens the door for them, leaving them to charge into the mansion. The pirates then carry the ram up a spiral staircase for no reason before dumping it on the second floor.

    Literature 
  • David Drake did a variant on this in his book Patriots. The heroes tricked a Benedict Arnold Expy into being filmed dramatically charging through a door marked "command center." He found out too late he was running into a very large open-pit latrine, and just managed to scream "Holy sh--" before falling into it. It was deep enough that he was completely submerged in liquid crap. That gave them blackmail evidence.
  • A confined Dexter uses this tactic in Dexter in the Dark to get free and find Astor and Cody before they become sacrifices.
  • Dirk Gently does this in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul when he is barricaded in his kitchen against a marauding eagle.
  • In one of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books, Georgia suspects her mother of having an affair with the builder, and skips school to spy on them from the other side of the door. She is caught when they open the door and she falls through it abruptly, forcing her to pretend that she had just been sent home sick from school.

    Live Action TV 
  • Used in the comedy TV series Get Smart when Maxwell Smart and 99 are trapped in a corridor with two villains trying to break down the doors on either side. Our heroes open each door in turn so they knock themselves out.
  • Jeeves and Wooster has one moment where Roderick Spode charges a door just as Jeeves opens it. Jeeves (as usual,) is completely unsurprised by the large man charging past him and making a loud crash, and simply greets the other man standing outside with his trademark "Good evening, sir."
  • In an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Frank buys a foreclosed house from the bank but the family refuses to leave. So the gang shows up with a SWAT battering ram to break down the front door. This trope ensues (of course), leaving Dennis to fall flat on his face in the front hall. Subverted moments later though when the gang, feeling cheated and unsatisfied with this turn of events, decides to just smash and kick the door down anyways from the inside.

    Video Games 
  • In the Kingdom Hearts II world Beast's Castle, Donald falls flat when Belle opens the door Donald was about to break down.
  • To get past the first little area in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Battle of Hogwarts, you must raise a gate a Giant is attempting to break down. Not only will he crash through the next, much flimsier door on the other side of the small courtyard, but he will trip over the low wall just beyond the door and fall, presumably to his death.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes, repeatedly.
    • Bugs Bunny is particularly fond of this trick. The ultimate example is probably Bully for Bugs, which sets up Bugs' Final Strike against the bull.
    • In "Red Riding Hoodwinked," Sylvester and another (unnamed) cat do this at the same time, one at the front door and one at the back. Sylvester stays in front to build a boulder slingshot; the unnamed cat goes in back to grab a log for use as a Battering Ram. You can guess what the end result is.
  • A rare example where the door isn't opened by someone on the other side: in an episode of Danger Mouse DM attempts to knock down a door with a runup while Penfold leans on a lever on the wall which opens the door.
  • In Hanna-Barbera's Top Cat, Benny once goes on a cruise, prompting the rest of the gang to tag along. At several points, Officer Dribble, the ship's captain, and a counterfeit artist try to barge into the cabin... only to end up running right off the ship, having to cling (unsuccessfully) to the side of the hull.
  • In the Tex Avery short Little Rural Riding Hood, Red Riding Hood does this to the wolf, who runs all the way to the second story of the house and falls out the window.
  • Mega Man pulls this off in "Terror of the Seven Seas" with a pursuing Guts Man. While running down a hallway, he sets it up by closing several doors in Guts Man's face before opening the final door that leads to a maintenance shaft.


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