"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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- 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.
- 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.
Live Action Television
- Animorphs - Jake and Marco discuss climbing a fence with barbed wire, then see Cassie standing on the other side of the fence, smugly waving the keys.
- In Scrubs, Laverne punches and breaks the window of Turk's car to help Carla steal Steven. Carla screams and points out that she has the keys.
- In the first season of 24, Jack Bauer and George Mason come upon a fence. Jack immediately hops over it, while George rolls his eyes and strolls through the gate.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "A New Man", after Buffy has broken down the door to the magic shop:
Riley: You shouldn't have done that to the door.
Buffy: I do not have time to play by the rules tonight.
Riley: I have a master key. It opens every shop on main street.
- In Wallander, Martinsson and Wallander are trying to enter a colleague's locked apartment, and Martinsson enthusiastically offers to kick down the door. Cut to the apartment building's superintendent coming up the stairs with a master key.
- Happens when the Red Dwarf crew was locked in a dungeon by a lot of clones of Rimmer. While they don't have keys per se, Lister describes laying out a complicated system of traps to escape, while Kryten simply replies, "Or, we could use the teleporter", which they had acquired earlier from a derelict spaceship.
- On Wings. To defend the Hackett house from a prowler lurking outside, roommate Lowell grabs a shotgun and breaks one of the living room windows with it. An exasperated Joe informs him, "Lowell, the window opens!"
- Doctor Who's "Day of the Doctor" special sees three incarnations of our hero shut away in the Tower of London together, trying to work out how to get through a wooden door (it's too primitive to hack with a Sonic Screwdriver). After some discussion, they work out a way to do it, but it would require hundreds of years to do the calculations. But, since they're all from different timestreams, if the earliest Doctor inputs the calculations into the Screwdriver, the newest one will have the result stored away in his! We see a few clips from old episodes confirming that, yes, the Screwdriver has indeed been quietly working out this problem in the background for 400 years of the Doctor's life... and then Clara walks in. The door wasn't actually locked.
- Jonathan Creek helpfully whips out a set of lockpicks to take care of the fact that his Watson Maddy has had her car clamped. Maddy is both grateful and impressed, but it turns out that she has the key for it herself and uses it as camouflage.
- The Worst Year Of My Life Again: In the Halloween episode, Alex and Simon scale the fence of Nicola's house in order to sneak into her party and end up falling off. Maddy then tries the gate and finds it is open.
- 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.