Music: Trapped In The Closet
Trapped in the Closet
is a "hip-hopera
" from R. Kelly
, the first songs/videos of which were released in 2005. Dozens of further installments ("chapters") have been released since. The songs tell the story of Sylvester (played in the music videos by R. Kelly himself) and the crazy characters he encounters as a result of a one-night stand.
It's become a cult classic, generally regarded as So Bad, It's Good
. It's very clear from interviews that R. Kelly takes it perfectly seriously.
In October of 2012, R. Kelly started the continuation of Trapped In the Closet
He walks up the to trope list! He just looks at the trope list! Stares real hard at the trope list! Maybe edits the trope list!:
- AcCENT Upon The Wrong SylLABle
- Acting for Two: R. Kelly plays Sylvester as well as the Lemony Narrator, Randolph (husband of Rosie the Nosy Neighbor), Rev. Evans, Pimp Luscious, and Beano.
- Technically, he's everyone through voice work.
- All Just a Dream: Chapter 21.
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: Viewers of the South Park episode of the same name might be surprised to discover that, yes, this does exist; and no, the depiction of it on the episode wasn't exaggerated.
- The same applies to "Weird Al" Yankovic's parody version, "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" — some were surprised that something so rambling and esoteric could actually be based on a real song.
- Artistic License – Gun Safety: At one point, R. Kelly scratches his head with the barrel of his gun, in a manner very similar to characters in Plan 9 from Outer Space.
- Axe Crazy: Twan. He's supposedly trying to turn his life around but "kill everyone" seems to be his default solution to most problems.
- Bedroom Adultery Scene
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Big Man, hence the name.
- Blast Out: With The Mafia... but fortunately, All Just a Dream.
- Bring My Brown Pants
- Chandler's Law
- Chekhov's Gunman: There are no minor characters. Even the characters who at first seem only to exist for a single scene turn out to be sleeping with or have a history with the main characters.
- Closet Shuffle: In the first episode, hence the title. It happens several more times: once with a closet again (Randolph), once with a kitchen cabinet (Big Man), and once with the Narrator narrating from a closet for no apparent reason. These reoccurrences are presumably to avoid an Artifact Title situation.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: People in blue or purple are bad news.
- Cool Old Lady: Rosie the nosy neighbor.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "And then he continues to rough up the midget as if the midget was under attack."
- "He walks up to the closet, He comes up to the closet"
- "You looked like you'd seen a ghost come from the dead"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lets just say the title can be pretty misleading.
- Lampshaded early on when a pastor says "Well, since we're all comin' out the closet, I'm not about to be the only one who's broken-hearted." He then comes out of the closet.
- Double Aesop: Cheating is bad. Especially when everybody does it. Even the guy with AIDS.
- Foreshadowing: When Sylvester comes out of the closet, he says Rufus looks like he's looking in a mirror, foreshadowing not just that Rufus is cheating on his wife too, but that Sylvester's going to be in this same situation soon.
- Frying Pan of Doom: Roxanne's weapon of choice.
- Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: "Y'all lucky I like that kinda shit, or I'd be done shot both y'all ass."
- Gunpoint Banter: It's not so much "banter" as it is melodrama, but...
- Gun Struggle: Between James and Sylvester. Twan gets shot, but it's Only a Flesh Wound.
- Heel Realization: Experienced by Sylvester, Rufus, and Cathy all at different points in the story.
- I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Happens at one point as a consequence of Reckless Gun Usage, although the victim is none the worse for wear afterwards, and doesn't bear any ill will for having been shot.
- Ironic Nickname: Big Man, the midget.
- Kudzu Plot
- Lemony Narrator: But in a humorously poorly done way. So much that eventually, after narrating in first person for several chapters, Sylvester abruptly starts referring to himself in the third person from then on.
- He doesn't even start at any particular point. Take Chapter 11, where he switches between "Sylvester" and "I" almost every other line.
- What's more, in the first chapter, he refers to Gwen in the second person, which is forgotten when she appears in the third.
- Little People Are Surreal
- Love Dodecahedron: Everybody's cheating on everybody with everyone.
- Made of Iron: Twan
- Mexican Standoff: REPEATEDLY.
- Morality Ballad
- Mundane Made Awesome: Thrives on it.
- N-Word Privileges: Sylvester and Twan call each other "nigga" so often that the song is NSFW at certain chapters.
- Nosy Neighbor: Rosie, of course.
- Oh, Crap: Chapter 22, when everyone finds out Chuck has AIDS. Considering pretty much all of them are within three partners of him...
- One Degree of Separation
- Only a Flesh Wound: "We'd better get you to the hospital to check out that wound. / It's okay, it's just my shoulder, all I need is a bathroom."
- The bandage then promptly disappears a couple chapters later, his shoulder looking unscathed.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Big Man again.
- The Parody: "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Trapped in the Drive-Thru", which is eleven minutes long, divided into three chapters with the same musical and dramatic structure as the original... except that it's about a couple getting dinner at the drive-thru. The mundane subject matter itself can be seen as parody, given how ridiculously over-the-top the scenarios in the original are.
- Pimp Duds: Downplayed. While Pimp Lucius does dress well, in a pastel suit and Homburg hat and some bling, his attire is no where near gaudy or outrageous, and his cane is a nondescript derby cane.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Twan. As soon as situations get tense, his solution is to kill everyone present.
- Random Events Plot
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Hilariously averted.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Sylvester pulls out his gun at any given opportunity, e.g. when annoyed or confused. He uses his gun to gesticulate, even to scratch his head.
- The Reveal: One at the end of just about every chapter.
- Revised Ending The alternate Chapter 12, performed at the VMAs, wraps up Cathy, Chuck, and Rufus's story. The final version, meanwhile, has Gwen interrupting the Epiphany Therapy with stories of midgets and policemen, allowing Rufus to make his choice much, much later in the story.
- Right Through His Pants: The sex scene in chapter four.
- Rock Opera: Or rather, "hip-hopera".
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Attempted numerous times by Sylvester, and it usually gets worse once he leaves.
- Serial Escalation: How many more characters are cheating on each other?
- Strictly Formula: Every chapter has the exact same tune, just with different lyrics.
- Too Dumb to Live: Twan.
- Unusual Euphemism: "The Package," for HIV.
- Wham Line: Damn near every chapter ends on one, but the best example would probably be "I can't believe it's a man!" in Chapter 2.
- What Happened to the Mouse?
- Your Cheating Heart: Occasionally.