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- In Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo destroys the Hyperbolic Time Chamber's door to trap Buu in there with him and Gotenks. However, Buu punches a hole between dimensions and escapes.
- In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, one of the students mistakes a container of a biological weapon Sousuke had brought to school (he had gotten it by mistake — he had ordered a sniper rifle scope) for a drinks container and accidentally opens it. Hilarity Ensues as Sousuke tries to keep it from spreading outside the classroom and traps the entire class in containment.
- The origin story for Doctor Manhattan involves this. He forgot his watch inside an Intrinsic Field Remover, and cheerfully asks his colleagues outside if they can open the door. They can only stammer back that once the door is closed, it stays closed until the experiment is over.
It's... it's a safety feature.
Film — Animated
Film — Live-Action
- This also plays into many submarine movies, with a compartment flooding, and characters having to make one of two choices: Do we close the watertight doors, saving the ship but killing the men in that compartment? or do we stay and try to stop the flooding, knowing that they're going to close the watertight doors and if we don't succeed we'll drown or do we get out without trying to stop the water?
- The Andromeda Strain example below also occurs in the 1971 movie version.
- In the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), a government agent does this to a scientist who is contaminated while investigating a caged alien artifact. Naturally he is less pleased when the contamination starts eating through the windows and his room is the next to be sealed and sacrificed.
- The dissection scene from Independence Day almost counts: The onlookers arrive after the damage is already done, and the threat from the contained entity is psychic, not biological.
- James Bond accidentally (or not) causes this to happen to a couple of scientists working for the Big Bad in Moonraker. Whether or not he cares is a different issue.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. When the Nautilus is sinking, Nemo orders that the engine room be sealed off so the water doesn't flood the rest of the ship, condemning the crew trapped in it to death by drowning.
- Happens in the beginning of Resident Evil. A villain deliberately breaks a container and releases the T-Virus. Later, when the Red Queen seals the room several researchers are trapped inside as the room fills with water from the fire control sprinklers.
- In Resident Evil: Extinction movie the bad guy locks two assistant scientists in with a zombie when it breaks free of its restraints.
- The opening scene from The Rock involves a Mook being trapped as some VX nerve gas does some funky stuff to him that definitely doesn't happen in real life. (At least, not with VX. Mustard gas, on the other hand...)
- In Species, they're tooling around with the alien DNA when a camera breaks down in the sealed experiment chamber. Dr. Laura Baker and Preston volunteer to go in and try to replace the camera. Of course an accident happens and they are on their own to fight off the fast growing alien while the other team members are forced to watch from behind safety glass.
- This trope is the reason Spock makes a Heroic Sacrifice in the second Star Trek movie.
- In xXx, the Vin Diesel movie, the Big Bad seals the scientists who created the stuff in the room, then watches on as it kills them all.
- Much of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain is centered on this type of set-up. Near the end, one of the scientists is stuck within the contaminated area due to a failure of the lab's airtight seal. This in itself would be bad enough, but the entire lab is built on a thermonuclear device that starts counting down when the lab becomes contaminated, and will go off if the "Lone Man" doesn't deactivate it by turning a key in a special station. Due to construction delays, the section of the lab the guy with the key is in doesn't yet have one of those stations, and while the seals between sections aren't doing such a good job of containing the virus, they're very effective at containing people.
- Season three of 24 has this happen on a larger scale involving a biological weapon and a hotel full of people.
- Done in the pilot miniseries of Battlestar Galactica. Colonel Tigh orders the hatches to the flight deck sealed to contain a fire, as the Galactica is under heavy Cylon attack. Unfortunately, there are 85 crewmen trapped inside. Chief Tyrol nearly has a Heroic B.S.O.D. trying to convince Tigh to let him make a rescue attempt, and then watching Tigh activate each hatch lock in turn.
- Not only did he have to seal them inside to prevent the fire from spreading. He also had to dump the air from that part of the ship into space to extinguish the fires.
- Belgian sci-fi series Cordon, and its American remake Containment, sees an entire city district, infected with a virulent disease brought in ostensibly by an immigrant, Trapped In confinement.
- In an episode of Criminal Minds, Reid becomes locked in a home biological laboratory when he notices a broken vial of weapons grade anthrax on the ground. However, he locks the doors himself as a way to save Morgan from the same fate. Luckily, they discover the antidote to the strain in time to save him.
- Doctor Who:
- "Planet of the Daleks": A Spiridon slave opens up a deadly toxin the Daleks have been developing, leaving them trapped. Unusual in that the trapped Daleks are actually immune to the virus — but they still can't open the door because they are the only ones who are.
- "The Pyramid at the End of the World": The Doctor is trapped inside a lab filled with a deadly bacteria capable of wiping out all life on Earth, less than two minutes before it's going to be blown up in order to kill said bacteria. The only way out is through an airlock door that can only be opened by a combination lock — but the Doctor was blinded two episodes before and can't open it. And Nardole, who could pick him up with the TARDIS, is lying unresponsive on the console room floor because he was infected with the deadly bacteria. Ultimately, this is what spurs Bill to accept the Monks' offer — they have the power to restore the Doctor's eyesight so he can escape.
- In Look Around You, the danger of the Helvetica Scenario is illustrated by a scene of a
maskedliterally faceless scientist pounding futilely on a glass window while another stands outside taking notes.
- In an episode of MacGyver, a scientist creates a chemical for maturing plants. When her dog knocks over the vial, she is trapped with it and ages to death.
- In the season 2 episode of The Mentalist called "Code Red", a bioweapons researcher finds out that one of the vials with a super-virus has spilled. She immediately locks down the containment room with her inside and calls CBI to get them started on looking for her murderer, knowing she only has hours to live.
- In The Outer Limits (1995) episode "Blood Brothers", a scientist accidentally creates what appears to be a cure-all for anything ailing a person (while working on a safe knockout gas). This trope occurs twice. First, his research assistant punches the door in the lab after injecting himself with some of the compound, causing the containment system to activate in the presense of chemicals in the air. He is incinerated, as his boss refuses to open the door. The second time is caused intentionally by the scientist's brother, who activates the containment system, but the scientist and his girlfriend manage to escape just before they are incinerated.
- In a season 4 episode of Primeval, Philip Burton has Connor run a scan on the entire ARC for any foreign organisms. He then walks into the creature pen and sees Rex out of his cage. Before he can do anything, the scan detects Rex and locks down the entire facility. Burton is trapped in the pen with the air being sucked out. Luckily, Connor realizes that Burton built his security system on Connor's own software, for which Connor has a backdoor.
- Star Trek: Voyager: In the "Year of Hell" two-parter, the EMH is forced to shut the hatch on two crewmen because the corridor is about to vent open to space.
- The Lone Gunmen got themselves deliberately Trapped in Containment when they made their Heroic Sacrifice at the end of The X-Files.
- Another episode had WW2 submariners locked in with their captain who was infected with the black oil.
- On Zoo, Chloe dies when a canister of toxic gas is ruptured in a gunfight at Reiden Global. In a nasty twist, Dariela has to hit the button to lower the containment door before Chloe can reach safety, trapping her associate on the other side.
- In Fallout 3, a radiation containment room containing the master controls at Project Purity provides an opportunity for all kinds of hijinx. First, your pop dies in there after he deliberately floods the room with radiation, trying to get the Enclave unit lead by Colonel Autumn to leave. After that, you return to the room and have to choose whether to Heroically Sacrifice yourself to reset the purifier to a safe level, or let Sentinel Lyons do it instead. You can Take a Third Option and have neither of you do it, resulting in a very big bang.
- The Broken Steel DLC lets you send in a radiation-immune party member, if you have one with you. You can still go in yourself, but since the entirety of Broken Steel takes place after the main quest of the base game, if you do so with the DLC installed you won't actually die, just collapse and wake up two weeks later in a Brotherhood of Steel infirmary.
- In the backstory of Fallout: New Vegas: Dead Money, the guests at the Sierra Madre's Gala Event were trapped in the casino when it went into lockdown during the Great War. In the casino basement at the end of the DLC, either the Courier or Elijah can trigger Sinclair's trap and permanently seal themselves in the vault, leading to a Non Standard Game Over in the former case.
- In Fallout 4, the Cambridge Polymer Labs sidequest locks you in the lab until either you find the correct components and synthesize the Piezonucleic Power Armor, or hack a Master-locked terminal. The lab's pre-war scientists suffered a similar fate when Director Jon Elwood-Wollum ordered a lockdown of the lab while the bombs were falling, and due to Willfred Bergman blocking access to the isotope components, were unable to complete the project and either starved to death or became feral ghouls.
- In Mission Critical, you find a diary of a traitor onboard the ship, who recounts a memory from his childhood of his parents, scientists specializing in nanotechnology. The parents were working with a prototype nanite colony designed to break down waste. However, the nanites break free, and the parents are stuck in containment as they are eaten alive in front of their children. This is described as the reason for the character's Face–Heel Turn, as he came to realize the evils of technology.
- Two mooks do this to themselves in 'Perfect Dark when they trigger the nerve gas defense system in Area 51 - and lock themselves in the lab by doing so.
- A delightfully cruel level in Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy. In it there were three gas chambers that seal once you enter the room. Bullets do no damage, and only by using telekinesis can you break the glass and not die of poisoning. The fun part came in with the fact that you would either get stuck with a scientist inside, in which case you could smash him against the glass to break it, or there would be a taunting faceless goon outside you could use to crack it. And if you're fast enough, you can trigger the doors and skip out while remaining outside, leaving the poor science mooks inside to slowly die.
- Medic Anderson in Quake IV is killed by a Strogg Scientist after being locked behind a containment shield.
- In Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, you're going in to rescue hostages from a building, then the terrorists lock all the doors and put gas into the ventilation system. You are too late, and stand outside the door hearing screams and dying as a bit of the gas floats out through the cracks in the door. Luckily, you have gas masks on.
- Subverted in several of the Resident Evil games, where you're the one locked in with the vicious monster. Occasionally it's because the Big Bad is doing it on purpose, and sometimes it's an automatic lockdown procedure that goes off when something big wakes up in the room. In either case, the doors generally open back up once you kill whatever it is. Also zigzagged in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, where a scientist is locked in a laboratory with a monster, and triggers another lockdown in the room outside where you are.
- Dead Space has the same happen occasionally. Whenever there's any kind of quarantine measure going on, you can be certain a monster will break in and fight you, with the quarantine ending as soon as you dismember the creature.
- Spy Fiction justified this: The villain trapped the scientist in there to get rid of him while demonstrating what the virus, Lahder, could do.
- Star Trek: Elite Force requires you to raise a force field when a crewman says that there's going to be a big explosion. If you do it too early, you trap him behind the force field with the explosions killing him. Note that this is followed by two crewmen telling you to stop an electrical surge, which you must do as soon as possible.
- The township of Mountain Glenn in RWBY. The surface city was overrun by monsters due to a dearth of natural defenses against them. In an attempt to stave off death, the survivors entered the maze of deep caves and subway tunnels they had cleared out. But then an explosion freed a caves worth of monsters, and the government sealed the tunnels out of the city, creating the world's largest underground tomb.
- In The Spectacular Spider-Man, this is featured as a part of Doctor Octopus' origin story.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Mystery of a Thousand Moons", Padmé, Ahsoka, Jar Jar, Rex and several clone troopers are trapped inside a secret underground lab on Naboo being used by the Separatists when an airborne strain of the deadly Blue Shadow Virus is set loose in the facility. Not only are they (excepting Jar Jar, who has the only functioning Hazmat Suit, as Padmé's gets damaged during a firefight) going to all be dead in 48 hours if the cure isn't located in time, they have to stop the remaining battle droids from breaking out and letting the virus loose on Naboo.