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Ten Minutes in the Closet
Two characters have been Locked in a Room together by their friends because they think they have a crush on each other. They spend the episode talking, sitting close to each other, coming clean with each other, and usually kissing at the end when their friends charge in cheering for them. A complete Re Tool of their character relationship accomplished in the span of one episode.

Used in sitcoms - usually of the teen-oriented variety - when they want to do a somewhat suspenseful episode based on romance, or when the writer wants a relationship to form between the characters but can't do it normally.

Can result in Slap-Slap-Kiss or An Aesop about meddling in other people's lives.

Named after the party game (also known as "seven minutes in heaven") where two people are forced to spend time alone in the dark to... "talk".

Can easily turn into a Clip Show.

Subtrope of Romance Ensues. Related to Caught in the Rain. Compare Locked in a Room which is not necessarily romantic.

This has nothing to do with Trapped In The Closet, which is eighty-something minutes, not ten. Or with that other kind of closet.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Jura does this to Hibiki and Dita in the second season of Vandread. And broadcasts the security camera feed to the entire ship. A red alert interrupts things before anything really comes of it.
  • Mei (Naru's Stepsister) in Love Hina attempts to do this with Keitaro and Mutsumi in an attempt to make them bond and drive Naru back home. It fails when Naru breaks them out with the "help" of Keitaro i.e. she punches him through a wall.
  • Happens in Lovely Complex with the two main characters. And despite her stating she likes the guy with her right now, he still doesn't get it.
  • It happens in Ranma (even though Ranma set it up as a ploy to get a suit that happens to hate him off Akane), resulting in a bit of a heart-to-heart and much blushing. Probably would have ended up as more had Akane's family and Ranma's dad not made it evident that they were eavesdropping by bursting in on them.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Eriol once locks Sakura and Shaoran in an elevator. By the end of the episode, they're on a First Name Basis which is a big deal in Japan.
  • Subverted in Gokusen. Yankumi's students lock her and Shin in a storeroom in an attempt to get them together. Not only does it not work, but the principal was there the whole time behind a box.
  • Obaka-chan Koigatariki features an example, the school president locks two people in a room together, nothing happens. "If they were hamsters they'd have started mating already!"
  • Zig-zagged in Toradora!, as Ryuuji and Minorin are locked in a storage room, and while they do talk out, they also spend just as much time trying to get out. No relationship upgrade, either.

     Comic Books 
  • In a side-story to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the title character kidnaps Glittering Goldie and forces her to work his claim to teach her a lesson. At the end, they fall in love... and never see each other again, except in a burning dance hall for a fleeting moment. (That ending part comes about because in Carl Barks' stories, they never do meet again, and Don Rosa wanted to stay true to that.)
  • In the final issue of Young Justice, Dick's birthday party has them playing a sort of Spin the Bottle/Ten Minutes in the Closet mash-up. Barbara Gordon, his best friend, spins him and while he assures her that they don't have to do anything, she grabs him and kisses him like there's no tomorrow, because she's actually got a huge crush on him.

    Fan Fiction 
  • In Tomorrow's Doom, Amaya and Tadao have a fight during Tanabata, the aftermath of which drags on for so long that Aiko and Hisao conspire to lock them up in a shed until they make up.

     Film 
  • Put to good use in Teen Wolf (in a little party game commonly known as "Seven Minutes' Heaven") by the couple's friends, who put them in the closet just to encourage some amorousness. Though the two initially would prefer to remain just friends, the guy's werewolf side does have him getting a bit frisky with her...
  • Subverted in the introduction of Good Luck Chuck, where the titular character is practically assaulted by a goth girl during the party game (while both are still pre-teens) and flees the closet in terror after she claws his chest.
  • This triggers the Time Skip in Jennifer Garner's 13 Going on 30.
  • In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the trope is invoked by Grey's companions. As one might expect, it ends with an Almost Kiss.

     Literature 
  • A very strange version appeared in Belgarath the Sorcerer: After the nation of Arendia fought off the bad guys, they were left leaderless because the Dukes of the two halves of the country had a duel and killed each other. Since one had a son and the other a daughter, a marriage was proposed between them. Unfortunately, they hated each other completely. Polgara received orders to "keep them locked in there until the shouting stops and the giggling starts". Since both of them were teens, it's entirely plausible. This is also a case of Because Destiny Says So. Poledra essentially told Polgara, "They're going to get married, and they're going to like it. Get started on that."

     Live Action TV 
  • Used twice in Saved by the Bell.
  • 7th Heaven: Eric and Annie lock Reverend Hampton and his wife in their attic, incorrectly thinking they're breaking up. Since the victims don't have anything to make up over, nothing else to do, and no way out, they have sex.
  • In one episode of Stargate Atlantis, Ronon and Dr. Kaylee Keller are trapped in her medlab for almost the entire episode, and are headed down this path, although they only kiss once just before the doors open.
  • TV series My Name Is Earl. When the warden of the prison where Earl is an inmate attempts to stop two gangs from fighting, he locks the leaders in solitary together for a month. Predictably, they fight for a while ... then they calm down ... then they start talking ... and then fall in love. They still have to remain enemies when they get out of solitary, or their gangs will turn on them. So they find whatever excuse to get in trouble and get locked up together.
  • Xander and Cordelia of Buffy.
  • Used in Full House between Jessie and Kimmie in the Smash Club, except being locked in was an accident. With slightly less Squick than you might think.
  • Used to resolve a split between Odo and Kira in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (during Dax's bachelor party, so it's more like ten hours in the closet). We never hear what's said, someone just opens the door to the walk-in closet and finds them talking quietly. The actors concerned were very annoyed with this cop-out and insisted that later differences between the two be resolved on-screen.
    • And they weren't the only annoyed ones. A later book - specifically Worlds of Deep Space Nine: Vol. III - goes back and recounts the whole conversation.
    • Bashir and Dax had an earlier one, trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, which led to Bashir giving up his futile pursuit of Dax and them cementing their "Just Friends" relationship.
  • Used in an early episode of Boy Meets World, when Cory and Shawn go to a make out party. Shawn has a great time (even to the point of having a different shirt on when he leaves than when he entered), while Cory and Topanga go in and simply talk. When they are both ready to kiss, the door is opened.
  • Used in the Korean drama Delightful Girl Chun-hyang. The main characters' friends determine that as Chun-hyang and Mong-ryong are getting married, they might as well learn to tolerate each other. (This being the second or third episode, it of course doesn't work).
  • The Freaks and Geeks episode "Smooching and Mooching" has Bill sent to the laundry room for "seven minutes in heaven" with head cheerleader Vicki Appleby after she "loses" at Spin the Bottle. Vicki, previously depicted as the Alpha Bitch, actually ends up bonding with Bill and even gives him his First Kiss before all is said and done.
  • They did this in Farscape, though it wasn't so much "ten minutes in a closet" as "several hours in a wrecked transport pod".
  • In the iCarly episode "iOMG", Carly locked Sam and Brad in a room together because she thought Sam was in love with Brad. It doesn't work out very well...
  • In Northern Exposure Maurice Minnifield and Ruth-Anne Miller are no longer speaking to each other because of some feud involving a business loan. Ed, the local Native American wannabe film director, uses his own Genre Savvyness to lock them both in a cabin till they both work out their issues, 'cause that always works in the movies.

    Video Games 

     Western Animation 
  • Meg Griffin on Family Guy had this at a Halloween costume party, where she made out (and possibly more) with someone dressed as Optimus Prime. At the end, she finds out he was Chris. Squick
    • An earlier episode had Connie send Meg in with a pig. Lois gets revenge for Meg by sending Quagmire around to "scar them for life."
  • One episode of King of the Hill has Bobby go to a girls AND boys sleepover at the house of a girl he likes. Her friend, a troublemaking girl, has them play 7 minutes in Heaven. They talk things out and decide they like each other, but they still have a few more minutes. They give in to the cheering of the kids outside the closet and Bobby takes off his shirt. Hank barges in and interrupts before they go any further.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Slumber Party Panic", Finn is trying to help keep the horde of zombies approaching the party at the Candy Kingdom a secret. When Jake gets suspicious, Finn distracts him by getting Jake and Lady Rainicorn to play "seven minutes in heaven".


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