"There is something ahead, and the road is closed now."
— Pokémon Black and White explaining why a player cannot advance.
"A player is never late, Dave. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when the plot dictates he should."
— Shamus Young
"When the players really, seriously, just won't get on with the adventure as planned it can be sorely tempting to very gently prod them tentatively in the vague direction of one possible path towards getting on the right track to accomplishing some of the things that might help them in their eventual quest to achieve the adventure goals. Only the most perversely twisted players appreciate this behaviour from the GM."
Aragorn: I hate this campaign so much.
Gimli: Oh shut up, you're not the only one who hates this campaign you know.
DM: [narrating] The dark door gapes before you like the mouth of —
Aragorn: No you don't understand, I'm wearing boots of +3 to hating this campaign.
Legolas: Yeah? Well, I have ten ranks in the "Hating This Campaign" skill.
DM: Are you guys about done?
Gimli: I rolled a one on my saving throw vs. hating this campaign.
DM: DO YOU MIND? CAN WE GET ON WITH THIS?
DM: All done now? Good. [starts narrating again] The dark door gapes before you like the —
Gimli: At last level up I took the feat "Improved Hating This Campaign."
DM: After many hard days of travel you reach Weathertop.
Aragorn: You know what guys? I'm thinking... screw that.
Frodo: Forget it. No way I'm climbing that thing.
DM: You are too weary to go on tonight. You must rest, and there's nowhere else around to make camp.
Frodo: We'll just sleep at the bottom of the hill then.
DM: You're so tired that the ground around here is not restful enough. You need to rest in the more comfortable area on top of the hill.
Frodo: Then we probably don't have the energy to climb the hill anyway.
DM: No, you have just enough energy to climb this hill, but not enough energy to go on or look for somewhere else to camp.
Frodo: That is a very specific level of tired.
DM: Maybe. Anyway, it's also dark now.
Aragorn: Hey guys, I have an idea. Let's camp on this huge hill tonight.
DM: Good idea.
Sam: Stupid DM.
— DM of the Rings, "Uphill Battle"
Legolas: Oh no. It's like we've entered a non-interactive cutscene.
Aragorn: Entered? We've been in one since Rivendell.
— DM of the Rings, "Words Get in the Way"
"And so begins The Hallway. The endless, 40 hour Hallway. You have not known pain until you have seen the Hallway, for there is no escape. No free will; the only way is the way forward. The dread of inevitability; the shackles of fate. Our choices preordained by programmers. Our existence meaningless without choices of our own. The only way is forward, the path laid out for us, the choice is already made! The monsters you encounter are invariant. They are planned to the last detail. There is no randomness or chance, you fight them because you are meant to. You fight them so you are at the level the game requires you to fight the bosses. No more, no less. Oh, you may find that the hallway branches off at times and you think you escaped! But these paths lead about only fifty yards to a dead-end and some minor treasure. With no way to continue, you must turn back and return to the hallway. Sometimes you may enter into a larger room, some wider area, but there is still only one way in, one way out and the hallway continues."
"Why do I feel like I've just been railroaded?"
Player Character: Star Trek Online, Mission "Boldly They Rode"
DM: You find a small set of tracks.
Aragorn: Railroad tracks, I'm sure.
— DM of the Rings, "I Specialize in Ranger-ing"