You're being chased. Quickly, you run inside a building and close the door. But how do you keep the door closed with such a wimpy lock? Haphazardly nail random boards across the doorway!
This is a common trope in animation. Because of Hammerspace, the character can get the needed hammer in an instant, plus a pile of boards and nails. The boards will always crisscross and overlap, as if the character doesn't have time to be precise with their work due to the dire nature of the threat on the other side. Often the boards are placed in ways that would make them bulge out and very hard to nail down. In Real Life, this is a semi-realistic trope - boarding up a door is a fairly good way to barricade it, and if you have some people to hold the door closed as you do it, then it can make a reasonably speedy improvised weapon. Variations have been used in several medieval and early modern sieges.
- In anticipation of a typhoon, the Moroboshi family in Urusei Yatsura board up all of the doors and windows this way. In Japan, storm shutters generally come standard on houses, making this Rule of Funny.
- Ranma ½:
- The anime of has a similar episode with a typhoon coming. There's one sequence where Ranma accidentally ends up barricading himself into a hallway and several other characters in awkward positions (Akane and Nabiki in their rooms, Soun Tendō outside, Genma out of the toilet when he really needs to go).
- This also happens in one arc of the manga where Ranma and most of the Tendos are trying to prevent Hinako from proposing to Soun. After Hinako goes outside to gain energy from two fighting dogs, Ranma and Akane hurriedly nail wood to the door and leave a note telling her to stop trying to become Soun's wife. They finish, just before Hinako blasts right through it with a chi attack.
- In another chapter, Akane gets fed up with Happosai and Ranma, so she kicks them both out of her room and boards up the door. However, it turns out that Happosai managed to not get kicked out and is looking at her lecherously. She screams Ranma's name and Ranma easily breaks through the door in his haste to get to her.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei inverts this trope when Kafuka and Itoshiki-sensei, at Kafuka's suggestion, build a berserk board barricade...to keep a harmless "zashiki warashi" locked insider her home. It Makes Sense in Context.
- In The Mask, the eponymous hero races out of the park, closes the doors, boards them shut, chains them shut, and for good measure, locks the door. The rest of the police force is right behind him the entire time.
- Non-comedic example: In Night of the Living Dead (1968), Ben uses these to board up the doors and windows of the farmhouse.
- In Tom Savini's Night of the Living Dead (1990), they try to use interior doors to board up the windows only to learn that they're all cheap hollow-core luan doors that couldn't stop a kitten.
- Subverted in Scary Movie 3: A character boards up the front door to his house, but another character is able to open said door normally regardless. Mainly because he put the boards across the door, and never actually nailed them to the doorframe.
- German soldiers are seen doing this in The Bunker.
- In The Goodies, in the episode Bunfight in the O.K. Tearooms a random resident is seen boarding up his house from the outside. Hilarity Ensues as he jumps into a nearby barrel instead.
- Invoked in the Blackadder Goes Forth episode "General Hospital".
General Melchett: Great Scott! Even you know [the secret British plan]! Ah! Ah! Bolt all the doors! Hammer large pieces of crooked wood against the windows! This security leak is far worse than we imagined!
- Mythbusters showed in the zombie special that nailing boards over a door actually is an effective way to keep the zombie horde out; Adam and the volunteers easily broke through a normal barn door, but were unable to break through despite repeated attempts after Jamie reinforced it.
- In Urban Dead, characters can build barricades out of literally anything. In about one sixth of the amount of time it takes to stand up.
- In Minecraft, while not always using boards, one can build a wall very quickly to keep a monster away.
- For that matter the same goes for it's 2d counterpart Terraria. Especially useful during the much-dreaded Blood Moons.
- This is how they try and keep the zombies out in Call of Duty's perennial Zombies mode. Indeed, it's such a fundamental part of the game mechanics you get points (to buy weapons) from nailing boards down and a power-up called "Carpenter" auto-repairs all windows in the level in this style at once.
- This is seen everywhere in both Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. They didn't work very well, if the hordes of zombies everywhere are any indication.
- Barricading your house is essential in Darkwood. However, the things can smash their way through eventually if they know for sure you're inside the room.
- Rainbow Six Siege uses a variant, where defenders are able to put up full barricades near-instantly because the boards come in pre-made rolls, which are unrolled over the doorway or window in question and nailed in place in three or four spots with a nailgun. They can also be removed about as quickly, as any three melee hits to the barricade will destroy it, and defenders can also pull the whole thing down with a crowbar.
- In Contagion, the nailgun is an item "loaded" with wood planks and used to put up barricades on doors and windows. It takes a few seconds to put one up and they're more resilient than they seem unless it's only one against the full brunt of a horde. For players, breaking a barricade takes a good few whacks with a melee weapon.
- Common gag in Looney Tunes cartoons, desperate characters may even resort to producing bricks and mortar from Hammerspace and adding a brick wall to the fortifications.
- Camp Lazlo, where the Bean Scouts barricade the door of their cabin to keep the Squirrel Scouts out. In order to get the wood for the barricade, they completely dismantle the back wall of their cabin, allowing the squirrel scouts to get in that way
- In a segment from The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror III" episode spoofing the aforementioned Night of the Living Dead, the family board up the windows in this manner, but when Marge asks Homer if he's boarded up the front door, he absent-mindedly mentions that he hasn't.
- Wakko Warner takes this trope a step further in the Animaniacs episode "Temporary Insanity". In a bid to beat his siblings to the phone, he first shuts the door, pulls a steel gate in front of it, then a steel door, and then an elevator door! As a finishing touch, he adds a wall of bricks.
- Happens several times in Tom and Jerry.
- In the South Park episode "Butt Out" Cartman wants to star in Rob Reiner's anti-smoking commercial yet the other boys don't want anything to do with him at this point. When Kyle tells him this, Cartman thinks Kyle is trying to trick him because he wants the part himself. That night Cartman boards up Kyle's door so he can't get out. Kyle, who is already outside, reiterates what he said before and it seems for a second that Cartman is considering not to show up. He then continues with his hammering.
- When a priest on Robot Chicken sees a family playing "Humping Robot" he boards up the door and pours gasoline on the ground. Before he throws a match inside, he changes his mind and decides to join them.
- In a He-Man sketch, Evil-lyn and Beast Man board up the doors in Skeletor's castle after the three kill He-Man and fear the consequences.
- In the Catscratch episode "Bringing' Down the Mouse", when Waffle mentions he's friends with the infamous mouse Squeakus, Gordon and Mr. Blik lock up the door. But when Waffle mention's he's actually inside the house, they unlock the door, go outside, and board up the house with a couple of boards and a log.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In the episode "I Was a Teenage Gary", Squidward barricades his front door and window to keep a transformed SpongeBob from getting in. The SpongeSnail manages to get inside by slipping through a knothole in the wood.
- In "Squid's Day Off", Squidward boards up his door with wood, chains and police tape to keep himself inside and enjoy his "day off" without running back to the Krusty Krab to check up on SpongeBob.
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Spider Mandy" Billy does this in the span of few seconds then comments, "Wow, how did I do that?"
- In the Creepypasta The Horror from the Vault, the residents of Sunnybrook barricade themselves in the school gym during the creature's rampage. It was seconds away from beating down the barricades when the sun drove it away.