"I don't know why I keep bothering to steal the keys since you always insist on kicking the door down."
Along the lines of There Was a Door
, an Action Hero proves his manliness by busting down or through a locked door
, or hotwiring a car so he can steal it. After he's proven his manliness in this fashion, one of his companions holds up the keys to the door
or car in question, which prompts a remark from the Hero.
This includes examples when the hero fails
with his tactic, and the companion uses the simpler way, which works. Another possibility is that the companion unlocks the door (or tries it and finds that it wasn't locked in the first place) just before the hero breaks it down.
Contrast Cutting the Knot
, where violence is
the simple option. Also contrast Interchangeable Antimatter Keys
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Anime & Manga
- In an episode of The Big O, Roger whips out a technologically advanced morphing key to unlock a door—just before Dorothy kicks it down.
- In One Piece, Franky goes to the trouble of finding the keys to Caimie's Explosive Leash, only to discover Rayleigh has already removed it by detonating it and pulling it off before the explosion reaches Caimie
- During John Byrne's run on Fantastic Four there was a notable Avengers crossover involving the return of Jean Grey. At one point, Hercules and members of the FF accompanied Jean to her parents' home to uncover the reason for her resurrection, but their front door was locked. After Hercules smashed the door down, Jean took him to task, pointing out that her folks kept a spare key in a secret compartment inside a fake rock by the front step.
Films — Live-Action
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
- The T-800 punches through a car window then hot wires the car. John Connor flips down the windshield visor to reveal the keys. The Terminator actually learns from this experience — the second time he's required to steal a car, he gets in and flips down the visor. Boom! Keys.
- Subverted and invoked when the SWAT teams enter the Cyberdyne building. The first team uses a keycard to enter the building normally. The team immediately following them breaks the door's glass out.
- In The Matrix Reloaded, Trinity is on a motorcycle with the Keymaker and asks for a download on how to hotwire vehicles, only to have her passenger hand her a key. Both convenient and justified, as the Keymaker is Exactly What It Says on the Tin in addition to his more figurative role.
- From Two Fast Two Furious: One of the protagonists smashes a car window with his shirt covered fist. His partner stops him and simply opens the already unlocked door.
- In The Bourne Identity: Bourne plans out a complex plot to get information from a hotel information desk. When he doesn't get the phone call from Marie, he assumes that she's bailed on the plan. She then appears right behind him. "I just asked them for it."
- In Black Mask, at one point the Bad Ass Normal police detective manages to handcuff a Super Soldier who feels no pain to a bar. The super soldier immediately and without hesitation cuts off his own hand. The detective stares at him for a second and then (in the English dub at least) says "Damn. I had the key."
- In Bachelor Party the hotel manager instructs the security guys to break down the door, then tells them wait, and unlocks it with his pass key.
- In The Pink Panther, Clouseau is about to shoot the lock off of a door, when Tucker says "Don't do that, old man" and casually opens the unlocked door.
- In Jumanji, Peter is tasked with retrieving an ax from a woodshed. When he finds that the shed is locked, he picks up a nearby ax and starts hacking the door away for a few seconds before realizing what he's holding.
- Defied in Ricochet, when a pair of bad guys are preparing to rob a place, one of them starts to unlock the door with a key, before John Lithgow's character smashes a window in and asks if they want to just leave a note saying "Inside Job".
- In Mirror, Mirror, this ends up happening twice to the dwarves:
- In James Patterson's Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, Max and company steal a van to get to the School. After hotwiring it, taking it for a joyride on the interstate, and proceeding to scare the living crap out of everyone except Iggy, Max slams on the brakes and a compartment pops open. Something falls into her lap. She's afraid it's a bomb... nope, just the keys.
- Played with in the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Starfighters of Adumar. Wedge Antilles and his fellow pilots are on the run from the citizens of Adumar, and encounter a door. Wedge orders the lock shot out, but fellow pilot Hobbie simply opens the door instead — it was unlocked.
- Animorphs: While in a mansion in battle morphs, Jake tells Marco to open the door. Marco (in gorilla morph) gets ready to smash the door in, when Jake tells him to use the handle. It turns out to be unlocked.
- Around the time that Star Wars: Episode 1 debuted in theaters, MAD Magazine featured a strip which parodied an early scene where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-gon Jin use their lightsabers to cut open a locked door. In the strip, Qui-gon is the only one doing anything, and is clearly struggling... until he's about half-way through, at which point Obi-wan produces the keys.
- In Dragon Quest IV, shortly before joining the hero's party, Alena can be seen kicking down the door to a dungeon. This confuses her current companions greatly, as she was the one carrying a key to that door. After mulling it over for a bit they conclude that she must just like kicking doors.
- It's nodded at in Knights of the Old Republic, when you take a quiz to determine which class of Jedi your character will be sorted into. One question involves knowing that what you seek is on the other side of a closed door - the Guardian breaks the door down, the Sentinel picks the lock, and the Consular knocks.
- In Stacking the various challenges all have multiple possible solutions. Often one of them involves you taking control of a doll that has the keys to the locked door.
- In Master of the Wind, when Morias gets broken out of prison, Shadehorn the minotaur attempts to smash the bars straight down, before Tyranda points out that they took the keys from the guard earlier.
- In the Goblin starting zone in World of Warcraft, you rescue Goblins locked in cages by strapping rockets to the cages and launching them into orbit. While doing this, some of them will tell you the guards have the keys; sure enough the guards will occasionally drop a key, but this way is far more fun.
- Tales of Symphonia has the Toize Valley Mine. Regal tries to tell the party he can simply turn the defense mechanism off because he's the president of the company that owns the mine, but the party doesn't listen and instead takes the thing down with brute force.
- The Citadel DLC for Mass Effect 3 has Shepard getting ready to bust down a door, only for his/her companion to knock on a window and ask the civilian hiding inside to unlock it.
- Nanny from Count Duckula, although this is more a lethal combination of absent-mindedness and not knowing her own strength.
- Invoked in an episode of Generator Rex with an elevator door. The Non-Human Sidekick managed to press the elevator button before any breakage transpired.
- The Fairly Oddparents do this when Timmy and Cosmo want to enter Cosmo's mom's house. After Timmy broke the door using Cosmo as a Battering Ram, Cosmo states that he still has the house's keys.
Timmy: Yes, I knew.
- In one Kim Possible episode, Ron befriends Professor Dementor's giant dachshunds and gets them to break down the door of his Supervillain Lair. Dementor protests:
- Argost does this to his own door in The Secret Saturdays episode "Once More the Nightmare Factory" even as Munya is approaching with the keys and a long-suffering look on his face. Of course, this might just have been showmanship.
- The Christmas Special of All Grown Up! had the Rats attempt to break into Chuckie's house to steal back the Christmas tree that Chuckie had accidentally stolen and found that his father Chas was too enthusiastic about the tree to simply ask about giving it up. The Rats break into Chuckie's house through the window. Chuckie tells them all after they do this that he had the keys and could have easily just let them in through the front door.
- A Running Gag on Phineas and Ferb is Perry the Platypus smashing into Dr. Doofenshmirtz's lair, only for the doctor to bemoan the damage done to his home. At one point he specifically states he gave Perry a set of keys for exactly that reason.