A very standardized visual comedy sequence. A static shot down a hallway lined with doors, like a hotel or mansion corridor, comes up in the middle of the chase scene. The chaser and one or more groups of chasees enter a door. Then they emerge from a different door. Or opposite doors
There are a few different gags used for the climax:
- The characters being chased start doing the chasing.
- The characters appear more than once in the same frame.
- Another character appears: they will either be questioned and then disappear from the plot for good, have this as their debut scene, or get more involved in the plot if they have appeared before.
A Running Gag
, literally and figuratively, this one is unique for one reason; every instance of the trope subverts itself by the time the scene is over
. Thus, this trope was discredited as soon as it was created
, yet still good for a laugh.
Usually animated, but can be done in live-action by locking off
the camera at the end of the hallway to hide edits and allow room switches. In animation, allows tremendous savings on budget, since the same cross-frame run-cycle cels can be used over and over and over for the entire sequence.
Related to One of These Doors Is Not Like the Other
, a trope in video games that often has characters repeating a single screen just like this.
This trope is Older than Television
, from the old days of French Farce. It arrived on television in 1930s. In live theater, certain kinds of screwball comedies are known as "door slammers" for a climactic scene or scenes where the whole cast is chasing one another, in one door and out another, everyone just missing everyone else by an instant; notable examples include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
and Lend Me A Tenor
Also called a "Freleng Door Gag", after Warner Bros. director Friz Freleng
, who may not have created it but took it to a whole other level
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- In a rare use, a series of Cartoon Network gag commercials poking fun at The Blair Witch Project (known as The Scooby Doo Project) have Velma of the Scooby-Doo gang holding a camcorder during a chase scene and running into a few rooms shouting that she hates these door sequences before placing the camera down on an end table so it can resume the familiar angle as they go through the switch.
- A commercial for Eggos did this once. The Guy in the Eggo suit saw 3 doors for brown sugar on one side and 3 doors for cinnamon on the other. He then experimented with one of the doors, and found it to be so amusing, he ran back and fourth between the doors, changing flavor based on which side he came out of. Eventually, he acquired both flavors split down the middle, and all 6 doors fell over because they were used that much. They crushed him while trying to escape. The commercial then moved on to the details.
"Leggo my eggo."
- A TV commercial for Wario Land 3 had Wario running through such doors that were shaped liked the purple Game Boy Color and getting affected by the various hazards and status changes from the game.
Anime & Manga
Films — Animation
- Done with slight variation in Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland. Flip and Nemo run between two rows of large pillars while being chased by guards.
- The big chase in Monsters, Inc. is a particularly spectacular example. The trope is justified in this case, seeing as the doors are portals to kids' closets.
- Used toward the end of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, when she gets stuck in the hedge maze and tries to run away from the Queen of Hearts and her guards.
- Happens in Atlantis The Lost Empire when the professors at the Smithsonian try to get away from Milo.
- Disney's Robin Hood has a sequence using the fair tents between Robin and Little John, the guards, and Lady Cluck; it ended up with the large guards propelling one tent like a train with the apropos sound effect and a mock American football run!
- The Beatles' Yellow Submarine
- A sequence early in the film features a variant on this, where creatures and things ran back and forth between doors in a long hallway only when the main characters were not present. One has to wonder whether The Beatles were aware of it or not; since they never saw the creatures, they may not know their house is inhabited by so many zany creatures. Since they they later open one door and see King Kong about to abscond with Fay Wray, and another door has a locomotive chugging towards them until the door is closed, it's possible they had some idea.
- There's also a more traditional sequence in Pepperland where the Fab Four are chased by Meanies in an area bordered by two lines of bushes.
- Looney Tunes: Back in Action has a scene in the Louvre where Elmer Fudd is going after Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck and the three jump into various paintings. It eventually becomes this when the three are jumping back and forth between the paintings in the hallway, dressed up as characters and/or scenery of said paintings.
- Snoopy Come Home has this kind of a scene when the annoying girl Clara who kidnaps Snoopy and Woodstock chases them through her house.
Films — Live-Action
- Subverted (with identical twin sisters entering and exiting adjacent rooms) and played straight in Buster Keaton's The Playhouse.
- Done in live-action outdoors using a long series of paired signboards in the film version of Godspell.
- In the Jackie Chan movie Mr. Nice Guy, there is a brief door scene where two goons pursuing Jackie Chan's character pop out of two different doors, see each other, scream in surprise, and slam the doors. The first thug then hesitantly opens his door. The other door pops open and out comes Jackie Chan with the second thug in a headlock.
- The Leslie Nielsen movie Wrongfully Accused features such a chase in a sewer.
- No Deposit No Return does this in a parking garage with a police car and the protagonists' car.
- This happens with some frequency in the movie version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, when R and G try to find their way around Elsinore. While chasing after the Player King, they end up in a different hallway than him. This is meant as a sign of how the Player knows his way around the castle(and the play) while R and G keep getting lost in their roles.
- There's a brief moment of this in Some Like It Hot when the gangsters are chasing the heroes around the hotel.
- Borderline example in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. The Power Trio end up in the pound. Sassy escapes before they lock her in, hides until the handlers pass her by, and springs Chance and Shadow. One of the handlers walks in and finds them, so she leads him on a merry chase back and forth in a T-intersection, taunting him the whole time. After coming back from the same hallway she went down for four or five times, she struts back on-screen from the opposite hallway, congratulating herself.
- The deleted scenes for The Master of Disguise contains a variant on this, where the henchmen discover different personalities of Pistachio. Hilarity Ensues.
- A number of The Three Stooges shorts make use of this gag, often with visible camera cuts during instances of Off Screen Teleportation.
- A rare dramatic example: in The Adjustment Bureau, the Adjusters are able to travel from their secret base to anywhere in New York by passing through any doorway. When Matt Damon gets his hands on an Adjuster's Cool Hat, he and Elise are able to evade them, going from downtown Manhattan to Yankee Stadium to Ellis Island in rapid succession.
- Even though The Little Rascals comedy short films were made LONG BEFORE Scooby-Doo, one scene in the 1923 short film The Dogs of War! features these as a guard chases after the eponymous gang of kids when they trespass inside of a movie studio. The results are still hilarious.
- In Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill, the curse placed on the ghost town somehow did this with the entire surrounding geography, no matter which way you leave town, you'll always end up right back at the center. Try doing one of these in the middle of the desert while being chased by zombies.
- Who's Minding the Mint? has a gag involving these.
- Strange Psychokinetic Strategy has Lupin and Jigen relaxing in an abandoned construction area for the night, with man-sized concrete pipes all over the place. Zenigata and his subordinates come looking for Lupin. Jigen expects a fight, but is told to leave by Lupin. Lupin leads the cops on a merry chase with the pipes substituting for doors, even sitting down to a picnic in the middle of the chase while the police officers are running around the construction site trying to capture him.
- The "world's funniest puppet show" in Barry Hughart's Eight Skilled Gentlemen is a very slight variation (and a massive elaboration) on this.
- The Benny Hill Show. Examples based off Benny Hill rather than Scooby-Doo can usually be identified by the music. "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph.
- Homaged in live-action with Doctor Who episodes:
- "Love and Monsters". Some considered this overly cartoonish and silly, while others thought it was all part of an enjoyably offbeat Something Completely Different episode. Some however, have cited it as evidence that Elton, the episode's focus and narrator is an unreliable one.
- Also referenced in the TARDIS chase scene in the fourth Doctor series, "The Invasion of Time".
- Also an abbreviated version is briefly used in early Ninth Doctor episode "World War Three", inside 10 Downing Street.
- A live-action variant appears in an episode of It Ain't Half Hot Mum. Through various misunderstandings, several of the main cast arrange secret trysts with two different women in the same house. Hilarity Ensues as they burst in and out of the various doors to the same room, all miraculously managing to just miss each other.
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide uses a chase scene like this in one of the episodes, involving Ned and his friend Cookie being chased by Loomer (the leather jacket-sporting bully). It involves going up and down staircases, whirling in and out of a classroom, and even the three stopping at an intersection with Loomer patting Ned on the back.
- The live-action series The Ghost Busters uses this frequently.
- Used at the end of a video for PBS's Square One TV, "Ghost of a Chance".
- The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash has a number called "Cheese and Onions" accompanying an animated film called "Yellow Submarine Sandwich", which naturally spoofs the Beatles' Yellow Submarine and includes a parody of that film's doors sequence.
- This Just For Laughs prank.
- Used in an episode of Big Bad Beetleborgs.
- The 2012 Halloween Episode of Jessie.
- Get Smart ("The Impossible Mission"). Max and 99 are undercover at a studio, and while dressed as Charlie Chaplin end up being chased in and out of the doors of a film set by two KAOS agents, accompanied by the appropriate zany music.
- In Grim Fandango, all of the tunnels in the Petrified Forest clearing lead to one another. Glottis notices the first time and says, "Hey, wait a minute."
- In King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride one of the rooms in the Archduke Fifi Le Yip-Yap's parlor is like this.
- Most of the doors in town in The Secret Of Monkey Island work this way, to keep you from being arbitrarily locked out of buildings you can't actually access. There are a few in The Curse of Monkey Island too, which are actually handy shortcuts from one end of the town set to the other.
- Silent Hill
- One of the Scooby-Doo video games actually uses this gimmick as a puzzle; you go through three doors, then have to choose a fourth door that leads to a secret room. The secret? The key door is whichever door the second door was.
- A different Scooby-Doo video game used the trope in a different way: as you approach the infamous hallway, a large group of ghosts go in through the doors on one side and leave through the doors on the other. Your job is to go through the one door that the ghosts didn't go through, lest you lose some of your health from a fright.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance has a more sinister version where an Odin-empowered Dr. Doom uses his powers to create a hall of doors like this, with the simple task of finding a way out. The trick is to go back the way you came in.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge uses a gimmick similar to this late in the game in the form of the Hinterlands. Entering one path transports you to another area of the forest. Also serves as That One Level for some.
- The Magic Window attack from Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has a similar effect, with Mario and Luigi jumping through a magic portal and one or both brothers popping out at random to jump on the enemy. This can go on potentially forever if your reflexes are utterly inhuman, and it doesn't take long for multiple copies of each bro to appear onscreen at once.
- In Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia this happens in one of the extra missions due to Palkia's powers, causing the player character, Sven and a guy from the Haruba desert to be randomly sent through several locations in Almia before finding Palkia and restoring everything to normal.
- Occurs near the end of the second Simon the Sorcerer.
- There's a minor puzzle in Final Fantasy VII that is basically this. Suffice it to say that it wasn't the greatest puzzle around.
- The World 8 mini-fortress from Super Mario Bros. 3.
- A minigame in Mario Party 4 involves a room full of warp pipes. Jumping into one results in popping out of a different one. The objective is to find the one that leads to the next area.
- In Professor Layton and the Last Specter, the Black Raven pulls this off while Layton, Luke, and Emmy give chase. It's later revealed that there were multiple "Black Ravens" running around at the moment in order to achieve this effect.
- The Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon Puzzle Panel in Street Pass Mii Plaza uses this as its scene.
- A mausoleum in Fez has these as a feature.
- In Final Fantasy XIV, Diabolos' fight utilizes these as a pseudo memory game, you have to find the right door and open it while he's casting shadow orb in order to avoid it.
- In Dead Rising 2, during his boss battle, Brandon Whittaker repeatedly enters a bathroom stall and ambushes the hero from another one.
- One of Legendary Frog's "One Ring to Rule Them All" animations features one of these as Wayne the goblin is chasing Sam and Frodo. Yep, the gags include a Scooby-Doo cameo.
- Subverted in the Evil Josh And Billy episode Speak No Evil. Evil Josh and his archrival, Super Someone, run through a door, and... cut to Josh jumping outside a window.
- One 8-Bit Theater Parody had Garland and Red Mage being chased by imps, complete with cameos by other Final Fantasy I characters like Fighter and Black Mage.
- In Ducktalez 2, with The Monkees' "Last Train to Clarksville" playing over it. A bunch of funny background events occur during said chase.
- Parodied in the animation to the Mystery Skulls song "Ghost." At first it's just the main trio and Lewis by themselves, then a whole army of each character goes between the doors.
- In Captain SNES, Schrodinger the cat winds up playing this with a bunch of robots. To his frustration, his attempt to end the gag goes ignored, and Schrodinger sulks off away from the doors while the robots still try to "chase" him through them.
- Weregeek shows it on this page.
- 21st Century Fox gets around to parodying it to.
- Eastwood of Exterminatus Now pulls this off by himself while attempting to flee the daemoness that took over the church they're in, who didn't immediately follow. Virus attempts to lampshade it by asking her if she's warping the building's spacial dimensions or if Eastwood's just stupid. She says she doesn't know what he means by the former, so he guesses the latter. Then starts to realize she was probably lying when the door he tries opens up to an MC Escher room...
- In the "Smosh" episode That Damn Prison Escape Billy-Jean and Cletus are chased by the Neighbor on a segway and a Police Officer in the same styl;, at one point Robin runs out of one of the doors and the Officer is riding on an office chair.
- Turned on its head in the Hitherby Dragons story "Daphne and her dog": two of the characters enact this scene, but it is described as a warped effect of Alien Geometries, and not as funny at all.
- Episode 3 of Super Mario Bros. Z has Scooby Dooby Pipes. Justified, since warp pipes in the Mario games never really worked like regular doors to begin with.
- Tessaract, one of the villains in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, had the power to bend space and time, and as such could potentially turn any hallway full of doors into this sort of scene. And she did it repeatedly when confronted with superheroes, who suddenly found themselves unable to escape the hallways until the effects wore off.
- A chilling variant occurs in Entry #23 of Marble Hornets, wherein Jay is exploring the upstairs of a house, but no matter which door he goes in, he always winds up back in the hallway near the Slenderdoll. Especially freaky as it is shown from the first-person POV.
- Used in the "Mini Minotaur" Tobuscus song.
- A humorous variant can be found as one of the notable features of SCP-K9-J-EX on the SCP Foundation. The article itself is a Whole Plot Reference to Scooby-Doo, considering the actions of the Mobile Task Force sent to deal with it.