Follow TV Tropes


Big Door

Go To

"Make the door high, make the gate wide."
— Old Danish hymn about the coming of Jesus

Now that's a big door.

Some people feel a need to make huge doors just to be dramatic. Sometimes there is a real reason behind making a door so large, but more often, there isn't. This trope is Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a giant door.

A big, expensively-decorated door may be built for ceremonial reasons, such as impressing citizens with the King's wealth. A big iron door to a castle may be designed to keep enemies out, even if they have a Battering Ram. Some buildings, such as warehouses are designed for large items, such as trucks, so they need huge, wide doors. A bunker's huge blast doors might weigh many tons, so they close very slowly.

May have a Gate Guardian or a squad of City Guards. Compare Cool Gate. See also Cool Key for some of the keys which may fit the door. Not to be confused with a Big Entrance.


    open/close all folders 

    Film — Animated 
  • The doors of the palace of Agrabah in Aladdin. They're big enough to let an elephant in!
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, a vast door opens on a dark space and two menacing red eyes... and General W. R. Monger flies out. The two glowing eyes were just the lights of his Jet Pack.
  • One of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix is to fight Cylindric the German. Asterix and Obelix are taken to an arena where there's an enormous pair of doors... which open to reveal a very short judo expert.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptations:
  • Futureworld (sequel to Westworld). In a scene with a rocket launch there was a giant circular door, as seen here and here. That door has appeared in other movies as well.
  • Jurassic Park has a big, impressive gate whose sole purpose is to look impressive for park visitors. Malcolm jokes about it looking like the gate from King Kong (which in fact it does, as both an in-universe and out-of-universe homage to that classic film).
  • King Kong: All three versions of King Kong include the giant wall between the native village and Kong's territory, and the Kong-sized gate that allows passage through the wall. While the gate is quite intimidating to humans, it's not strong enough to keep the determined Kong from breaking through.
  • There's a big door in Labyrinth which, when it closes, turns into a humungous robot knight. (At the time the largest puppet ever on screen, soon beaten by the Alien queen.)
  • In L.A. Story Harris takes Sara on a car tour of the good parts of Los Angeles, including through a neighborhood of McMansions. One of them has a front door that goes up about a floor and a half.
    Harris: You know, you're really nobody in this town unless you've got a really big door.
  • While The Lord of the Rings features many Big Doors, the one that takes the cake is the multi-storey door to enter Minas Tirith. Impressively, it was built to scale!
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi has a gigantic door on Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, and it is seen again in The Book of Boba Fett. However, we never see anything big go through it. They only raise it enough for pedestrian access. The floor holes for the huge shear teeth at the base would make quite a hazard.
  • Both TRON and TRON: Legacy have a door so big that the Flynns remark upon it: "Now that's a big door." It's a vault door to protect the important secrets of the company, and it's less like a vault door in appearance and much more like the blast doors of a military-grade fallout shelter. It takes almost an entire minute to open in the first film.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Both the door to enter the Emerald City and the one to the Wizard's palace.

  • In Dinotopia, the second book includes an enormous door as the entrance to the World Beneath.
  • In Dragon Jousters, the Dragon Hall in the Jousters' compound in Tia has a door big enough to admit a dragon. These dragons, it should be mentioned, are big enough to carry two or three people.
  • The doors to the Great Temple in the Citadel of Kom in Small Gods are a hundred feet tall, made of solid bronze and have all Five Hundred and Twelve Commandments set on them in gold letters. They are opened by the breath of Om and a single touch from the high priest. (Actually, they're bronze-plated wood with steel reinforcement and are opened by a complex system of hydraulics, but they're still big.)
  • Tolkien's Legendarium: Each volume of The Lord of the Rings features at least one:
    • The door into the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring.
      Then silently a great doorway was outlined, though not a crack or joint had been visible before. Slowly it divided in the middle and swung outwards inch by inch, until both doors lay back against the wall.
    • The Black Gate of Mordor in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
    • The Main Gate of Minas Tirith in The Return of The King.
    • Another example is the gates of Angband from The Silmarillion, which dwarfs all of the others.

  • In the paintings accompanying Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Pictures at an Exhibition, "The Great Gates of Kiev" is illustrated by a huge pair of doors standing by themselves on an empty plain.

  • In the Norse Mythology Valhal, the hall of Odin, have 540 doors, each so big that 800 men can walk in side by side. Now try to imagine how big that hall is...


    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia supplement Acute Paranoia, adventure "Me and My Shadow Mark IV". The entrance to Hanger 39 is a set of giant clamshell doors. They're at least 35 meters high and 25 meters wide, because that's how big the warbot inside is.

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta 2 has the Gates of Heaven and the Gates of Hell (the real ones, not the bar). The Gates of Heaven are so huge, you spend an entire boss fight flying towards them without seeming to get any closer. The Gates of Hell are much smaller, which means that they're only on the scale of skyscrapers rather than, say, Mount Everest.
  • The Fallout series has the Vault doors: giant circular doors that seal the Vaults from the outside world after a nuclear war between China and America end the world until an "all-clear" signal would be broadcasted for the vault dwellers to start rebuilding. The signature form of the doors was used a lot in the ads, downloads, and merch of Fallout 4.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • The door to Kingdom Hearts is HUGE.
    • Subverted: The door to the throne room of Disney Castle is shown to be mammoth. Court Wizard Donald Duck strolls up to the door and slowly knocks on the door, causing a regularly-sized door to open at the very bottom of the larger double doors.
  • In every game from The Legend of Zelda series starting with A Link To The Past, the doors that lead into boss rooms are often big decorative doors that need equally decorative keys to open them.
  • Portal 2 has a truly enormous Vault-Tec style door separating the condemned old Aperture Science facility from the new, big enough to fit a small building through. Behind it? A wall, with a completely ordinary small door set into it. The developers joked that they were going to put a claim on the box saying, "Features the largest door in video games!"
  • Boss rooms in the Super Mario Bros. series usually wait beyond big doors. The final battle in the original Yoshi's Island has an even bigger door than the standard big boss doors.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: At the very end of the Subspace Emissary's Great Maze lies a massive, colorful door where Tabuu resides. It only opens when the player fights the every other boss in the SSE and the clone of every playable character the player had at that point, meaning this excludes Sonic, Jigglypuff, Toon Link, and Wolf.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Evil Overlord List advises against this.
    #113: I will make the main entrance to my fortress standard-sized. While elaborate 60-foot high double-doors definitely impress the masses, they are hard to close quickly in an emergency.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Earth King's gigantic "fancy door".
  • Danger Mouse and Penfold encounter the Door of Doom. After much fuss about how to get past it, it comes off its hinges and falls on them.
    Penfold: [giggling]
    DM: Penfold, the Door of Doom has just fallen on us.
    Penfold: I know, chief!
    DM: Then why are you giggling?
    Penfold: Because, chief... you've become a doormouse!
    DM: Penfold, shush...

    Real Life 
  • The door in TRON was not a mere film prop, but a real door at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for shielding the Rotating Target Neutron Source II. The heaviest hinged door in the world at 97,000 pounds, the bearings in its hinges still made it possible for one person to move it by hand if necessary.
  • Many prominent downtown bank locations have inexplicably huge doors.
  • The front doors of the National Archives in Washington DC are the largest bronze doors in the world, being a foot thick and 40 feet tall.
  • NASA's Vehicle (formerly Vertical) Assembly Building has the largest doors in the world, 456 feet high. Not done to be impressive, though; NASA roll(ed) entire Space Shuttles and Saturn V rockets, fully assembled and upright, out to the launch pad through those doors.


The vault door

The vault door opens.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (17 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigDoor

Media sources: