->''"No, don't open that door, [=McGee=]!"''
-->-- '''Molly''', ''Radio/FibberMcGeeAndMolly''

A character opens a surreptitiously bulging door to a storage area, and is buried in an avalanche of junk, followed by a skier or something if the authors are feeling particularly silly.

The set-up may often involve another character trying to clean up in a hurry (and by "clean up", we mean "just hide all the mess somewhere").

If the closet is continuously left in complete and utter chaos as a RunningGag, no-one will bother to organize this closet, and instead opt to quickly open it, retrieve what they need, and hastily shut it in one smooth movement.

Later, a character who is oblivious of the closet's nature innocently opens it, only to be buried under a heap of cleaning tools, souvenirs, novelties and whatnot.

Apparently, all household junk is rubbery and spongy enough that you can squeeze a roomful of the stuff into a single foot-deep closet, as long as you're strong enough to force the door shut afterward. Given the fact that many of these knickknacks can be comfortably squeezed into (and pulled out of) [[HammerSpace thin air]], this may not be that inexplicable.

Alternatively, the closet could just be [[BiggerOnTheInside really large on the inside]].

Sometimes TruthInTelevision. Has nothing to do with [[QueerAsTropes LGBT characters]] in [[StuffBlowingUp spectacular]] [[ComingOutStory coming-out scenes]].



* A commercial for Rubbermaid food containers emphasized how one could keep their containers nicely organized versus other brands, demonstrated with an exploding kitchen cupboard full of Ziploc-esque containers.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/StellviaOfTheUniverse'', Shima cleans up before a study session by cramming all of her [[GirlsLoveStuffedAnimals stuffed toys]] into the closet. Jojo notices one sticking out and opens the door.
* In ''Anime/RODTheTV'', this happens with the three sisters' entire ''apartment'', which is stuffed to bursting with books.
* Happens in the very first episode of ''Manga/{{Mahoromatic}}'', where Mahoro opens a bulging closet in Suguru's house only to promptly have an avalanche of matching shorts spill out all over her.
* The ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' anime episode featuring the return of Principal Kunō to Fūrinkan High School has an office filled to the brink with coconuts, which crash upon the students as soon as they open the door.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A minor RunningGag in Belgian comic ''ComicBook/GastonLagaffe''. We are once shown Gaston's technique for filling the dreaded cabinet so that things don't fall out: he lays it down and quite literally shovels everything in.
* In the comic ''ComicBook/SuskeEnWiske'', the girl Wiske is GenreSavvy (or perhaps just knows the habits of the people she lives with): before opening a medicine cabinet, she places a basin before it and stands back, as the contents falls out of it.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* In ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', Calvin uses this trope to make it look like he cleaned his room -- until his mom opens the closet.
-->'''Calvin's Mom:''' Back to work, kiddo.\\
'''Calvin:''' YOU made THIS mess! YOU clean it up!
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' did the same gag.
* A RunningGag in the newspaper strip ''Big Nate'', with Nate's school locker exploding with an impossible volume of crap whenever he opens it (with Nate able to swiftly find whatever he wants to in the debris).
* Snoopy's doghouse, in [[http://gocomics.com/peanuts/1963/02/16/ a 1963]] ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' strip.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* One ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' {{Fanvid}} features this on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KQs_TKYzsU "Ocatavia's Birthday"]], after Vinyl Scratch precipitously cleans the house and stuff a closet.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Happen with the Wardrobe in ''Film/EpicMovie''. Or so it shows in the commercial.
* The "broom closet" Hoggle opens accidentally in the oubliette in ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' is packed full of stuff. However, since opening the door from the other side revealed a passage, that closet obviously wasn't following the laws of physics.
-->'''Hoggle:''' Well, can't be right all the time.
* TheStateroomSketch in ''Film/ANightAtTheOpera'' ends with a variant of this. Margaret Dumont opens the door, and out tumbles an avalanche of ''people'' rather than stuff.

* ''Literature/ThePlantThatAteDirtySocks'': This trope happens [[RuleOfThree three]] [[RunningGag times]] in the very first book, all to the same person. First, when Michael (the very messy owner of the title plant) is bribed to clean up his room, he really just shoved everything in the closet; his younger brother Norman finds out the hard way when he opens the door to find one of his hats and gets buried in an avalanche of junk. The second time, when he opens the door to search for missing socks, Norman is fully expecting this trope, but is only buried in junk up to his knees. The third time, he's trying to find his Super Splasher Water Blaster to water his plant and gets completely buried again (much to his annoyance, as Michael had told him he'd tossed most of the junk in their room out the window).

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Happened once in, of all places, ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", resulting in Kirk being buried in [[ExplosiveBreeder an avalanche of tribbles]]. Certainly embodies the spirit of the trope, but also justified in that the "closet" in question was a (formerly) grain-filled cargo bay.\\\
The fact that tribbles are still falling on Kirk's head after the trap is open is [[RetCon explained somewhat]] in the ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' episode "Trial and Tribble-ations", when it is revealed that the tribbles are being thrown out onto him by people trying to identify which one is a bomb.
* ''Series/{{Zoboomafoo}}'': Whenever the Kratt Brothers want to go on an adventure, they open the closet and just shield themselves from the falling safari gear. Then they pick up what they need from whatever fell on the ground and leave. Also subverted, as a female guest-host who occasionally visited was able to open the closet, take out what she wanted, and close it again, without any problem. Of course, the next time the guys opened the closet, they again had all their stuff raining down on them.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Ross and Monica are cleaning out their dead grandmother's apartment. Earlier on they had had a discussion about how their grandmother was always collecting packets of sugar. Ross pulls down a box from a high shelf, and out spill piles of sugar packets.
* Happens to Series/{{House}} in "Clueless".
* ''Series/ICarly'':
** In an episode, Spencer is going on a camping trip and needs to get his sleeping bag out of the Shays' storage locker in the basement. Guess what happens next.
** In another, Sam rigs Lewbert's cupboards to bury him with golf balls.
* Used twice in one episode of ''Series/ThreesCompany'' when the gang goes on a trip to a cabin. Trying to find the bedroom, Jack opens a door which actually leads outside and is bombarded by a pile of firewood. Janet opens the closet and... you know the rest.
* A ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' skit involving a couple of water delivery men who have been hoarding their product ends with one of them opening a closet door and a cascade of empty water jugs spilling out.
* An episode of ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'' has Rob imagining the world has been taken over by aliens through the use of walnuts (it's a long story). The episode climaxes with Rob opening open a hall closet and a ton of walnuts cascading out... followed by his wife Laura.
* In the ''Series/FreeSpirit'' pilot, one of the first magic tricks that Winnie performs for Gene involves cleaning his room in the blink of an eye. Before she leaves to talk to Gene's father about possibly becoming the new housekeeper, Gene comments that before, he'd just clean his room by stuffing everything in his closet. He gets cut short when all the clutter that Winnie put away spills out of said closet.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''Series/SesameStreet'':
** This was the basis for a three-part Harvey Kneeslapper sketch, involving a closet full of toys with the word OPEN on the door.
** The "Elmo's World" segments had Elmo determine today's topic by opening one of these.

* A RunningGag in ''Radio/FibberMcGeeAndMolly'', a {{radio}} show where [=McGee=] owns such a closet. Originally the TropeNamer. Virtually all ExplodingCloset references in media before 1980 or so are homages to Fibber [=McGee=]'s closet, making this a possibly unique case of [[TropeMaker trope maker]], [[TropeCodifier codifier]], [[TropeNamers namer]] and [[UrExample ur-example]] all in one.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'': Sam and Max take a little souvenir from every case they do, and keep it in the closet. Once they get to the future and try to open the closet, Sam has to slam it shut before he's crushed under all that stuff.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** Used early, when Agatha cleans up a lab by stuffing a nearby closet with all the junk, and then the overlord's son Gilgamesh [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021220 decides to open it to get something]]. ("That's the ''worst'' filing system I've ''ever seen''.") The bump on the head actually ''helps'' him clear up his thoughts.
** It's also used in a wallpaper that shows Agatha, Gilgamesh, ''[[{{OT3}} and]]'' Tarvek housecleaning; Krosp has just opened a door and a huge pile of ''skulls'' have fallen out. The featherduster Agatha's holding seems rather inadequate to the task ahead....
* In ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'', the Exploding Closet is simply called "[[http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=142 junk room]]".
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002495 Dave's house...]] [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002508 and a few pages later...]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A RunningGag in ''WesternAnimation/TennesseeTuxedoAndHisTales'', where everytime Mr. Whoopee gets the 3DBB he has to open the storage, which leads to the character getting avalanched with all the junk he keeps in there. He always comes out unharmed with the blackboard he was looking for.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** In the short "Fool Coverage", insurance salesman DaffyDuck rigs up one of these to convince WesternAnimation/PorkyPig he needs to buy a policy. Naturally, it backfires and Daffy's the one who ends up buried in junk.
** In "Thumb Fun", Daffy overstuffs the trunk of Porky's car to similar effect... and it, too, backfires on Daffy.
** ''Literal'' exploding closets are utilized in some shorts, as when a character finds himself in a dark closet and lights a match only to find it is filled with explosives, with [[MadeOfExplodium predictable results]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Supercalifragilisticexpeali(Annoyed Grunt)cious", after Sharry and Bart and Lisa clean up the room by shoving everything in the closet, under the bed and under the rug, as soon as they close the door, everything spills back out, making the room messier than it started out.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' has the entire plot of an episode revolving around this. It takes the BiggerOnTheInside variant to extremes with the avalanche being from a literal Himalayan-themed mountain of junk inside the closet.
* This happens in the ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' episode "Sabotage", where Jérémie has to tidy up his room in a hurry for an inspection. Jim needn't even touch the closet: it bursts open each time he gets close to it.
* WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants has a closet full of trophies. Patrick ended up opening it in one episode, and was flooded by the trophies inside.
* Happens in the openings to the shows ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'' and ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends''.