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Berserk Board Barricade

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"Bolt all the doors! Hammer large pieces of crooked wood against the windows!"
General Melchett, Blackadder Goes Forth

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 barricade. Variations have been used in several medieval and early modern sieges.

The character has to watch out for who is assisting him with the barricade, though. Sometimes it's his pursuer, which would in these cases overlap with Absurdly Ineffective Barricade. See also Furniture Blockade.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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 keep a harmless "zashiki warashi" locked insider her home. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Urusei Yatsura: In anticipation of a typhoon, the Moroboshi family boards up all of the doors and windows this way. In Japan, storm shutters generally come standard on houses, making this Rule of Funny.

    Films — Animation 
  • Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh: Piglet boards up his house very fast when he is afraid of Halloween monsters coming for him. At one point while he is hammering in the boards he moves so fast that he appears to be in three places at once. But immediately after he opens up his door to let his friends in without taking the boards off so he must not have done it very well.
  • The Simpsons Movie: Homer boards the door to his bedroom when the citizens of Springfield come for him, attempting to scare them off with a chainsaw... which he doesn't even have.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • 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!
  • In The Goodies, in the episode "Bunfight in the O.K. Tearooms" a random resident is seen boarding up his house from the outside. Realising he's locked himself out, he jumps into a nearby barrel instead.
  • 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.

  • The song Zandzakken voor de Deur note  by the Dutch comedian Andre van Duin is about a character barricading his front door with sand bags to keep unwanted visitors out.

    Video Games 
  • Both The 7th Guest and its sequel The 11th Hour do this, though in both instances, it's to trap the protagonist inside with the devious Henry Stauf, rather than to keep anybody out.
  • Black the Fall: One early obstacle in the game is a bunch of boards nailed against a door. To get rid of them, you need to hit them with the remains of the destroyed security camera to break them off progressively.
  • Blood Breed: While exploring the Killamoor Meat Works, you come across a door you can't go through because planks are covering it. Lucky you there's an open air vent next to it.
  • Call of Duty: This is how they try and keep the zombies out in the 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.
  • 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 if they don't have a nailgun, which can remove it instantly.
  • Darkwood: Barricading your house is essential. However, the things outside can smash their way through eventually, and will do it for sure if they know for a fact you're inside the room, usually by noise or by light beams escaping through cracks in the walls and said barricades. Better watch where you put those lamps.
  • Dead Space: Extraction: Used a couple of times. However, you use metal scrap instead of wood, and your characters Ranged Emergency Weapon (a supertech rivet gun) to drive the nails. It goes up when being persued by a horde of lunatics, and comes down one level later when trying to escape necromorphs.
  • Don't Escape: You have to close off a window in this way to prevent your inner werewolf from escaping during the night. In the sequel, filling in a window with bricks and mortar is one of the things required to keep the zombie horde out of your makeshift shelter.
  • Free Icecream: All the windows of the killer's home are boarded up, meaning the girl can't climb out of the killer's home through them.
  • Harthorn: At the start of the game, April tells you to check out the basement. When you do, she directs you to a boarded up door, which is part of a series of rumours about Harthorn High School. When you go back there late in the game, the boards have been removed When you open the door, the villain rushes you and knocks you out.
  • Jim's Computer: As Jim grows more and more wary, he purchases some boards and a hammer, boarding up all the windows he has.
  • Luigi's Mansion 3: Inverted, as the wooden boards blocking the hotel entrance are keeping him inside with the crazy ghosts that are out to get him.
  • Minecraft: while not always using boards, one can build a wall very quickly to keep a monster away.
  • 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.
  • Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis: This is seen everywhere in both games. They didn't work very well, if the hordes of zombies everywhere are any indication. You can take a stab at assembling one, yourself, in Resident Evil: Outbreak by using a nail gun on some boards in the first scenario; it doesn't last long at all once the zombie horde catches up with you. Played more straight in Resident Evil 2 (Remake) where barricading a window prevents more zombies from flooding into the Raccoon City Police Department and keeps you from having to waste ammo on them. Despite looking relatively flimsy, these barricades are permanent and enemies will never break through them.
  • State of Decay allows players to board up most residential windows at the cost of making noise that could attract zombies. The boards used, however, are rarely in evidence and appear from nowhere. Even a reasonably-tidy home that's clearly not abandoned has invisible lumber lying within arms' reach of all windows.
  • Terraria: Similarly to Minecraft, it's easy to build a wall very quickly. Especially useful during the much-dreaded Blood Moons.
  • Urban Dead: Characters can build barricades out of literally anything in about one-sixth of the amount of time it takes to stand up.

  • Newman: When the eponymous professional monster-slayer is forced to face his greatest fear (a creepy clown), he chucks his family into a room, boards the entrances, and declares "This is where we live now."
  • Sluggy Freelance: When the crew are attempting to barricade the door against zombies, they're foiled by that they're pulling the boards off the windows to nail to the door...

    Web Original 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs: Wakko Warner takes this trope a step further in the 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.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force at the end of "The Shaving", the Aqua Teens see Willie Nelson's room in the attic, filled to the brim with dissemble corpses and blood. They immediately rush out and barricade the attic's exit with a bewildered Willy asking if they want "juice" straight from Carl's arms.
  • Camp Lazlo: In one episode, the Bean Scouts barricade the door of their cabin to keep the Squirrel Scouts out. However, 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.
  • Catscratch: In the 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.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Or, more accurately, in one of the Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts that led to the series, when Timmy finds out his parents are going to leave him with Vicky, he runs into his room and boards up the door.
  • Family Guy: In "Stewie, Chris and Brian's Excellent Adventure", Peter boards up the door to Chris' room so he won't try to get out of studying for his history exam the next day. Unfortunately, he left his phone in there... just as Lois started sending him photos of her privates!
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In the episode "Spider Mandy", Billy does this in the span of few seconds. He then comments, "Wow, how did I do that?"
  • The Flintstones: In "Dr. Sinister", Fred and Barney are recruited by a mysterious woman named Madam Yes to partake in a spy mission. At the end of their harrowing adventure, they return home to find Madam Yes at their door asking them to fix her flat tire. Fred promptly slams the door and starts madly boarding it shut.
    Wilma: Fred, where are your manners? That poor woman is in trouble.
    Barney: Leave him alone, Wilma! He knows what he's doing! (joins Fred in hammering)
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Day of the Snowmen", the Possibles do this to their house, from the doors to the windows due to the army of toxically-mutated snowmen converging. This is due to said snowmen chasing after television host Summer Gale, who, wanting more air time, used a weather machine, which Dr. Drakken previously used in "Job Unfair" to create an artificial snowstorm, and her use of the Grimy Water from Camp Wannaweep's lake to create said storm caused the snowmen to come to life.
  • Looney Tunes: A frequent gag throughout the cartoons. Desperate characters may even resort to producing bricks and mortar from Hammerspace and adding a brick wall to the fortifications.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • When a priest 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 Twist", M. Night Shyamalan boards up his door after he finds his house on the moon and aliens trying to get in, and when one tries to reach under the door, cuts off its fingers with a kitchen knife. Turns out they just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The titular wallaby does this twice:
    • In "Day of the Flecko", when Rocko continues to sleep for the whole day (after his boss at the comic store had him stay up all night by making him fix a minor flaw of over a thousand comic book covers) following a couple of distractions, a sun shines through the window, and Rocko boards the window shut to continue his sleep.
    • In "Sailing the 7 Zzzzz's", when Ed Bighead is on a sleepwalking spree, dreaming that he's a pirate, Rocko returns to his home and boards his door shut, which is slammed open anyway by Heffer and Filburt, who inadvertently slam the door against Rocko to the wall.
  • The Simpsons: In one segment of "Treehouse of Horror III", 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Barricade the Windows

Glass windows are not enough to keep zombies out; however, a limited supply of wooden board can be found to hastily board up windows to prevent more coming in.

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Example of:

Main / BerserkBoardBarricade

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