Follow TV Tropes


Door Judo

Go To

In zany comedies, when a villain attempts to break down a door by charging at it, sometimes the best tactic is to simply open it.

The trick is to do it at the exact moment when they would have rammed it. When it works, the villains cannot attempt to stop or even slow down, but just keep going at full speed. Then they usually run into any number of traps prepared to bring them down — or out another door on the far side of the room.

This move becomes even harder to dodge when the door is made of two fully independent parts.

Compare Door Fu, which is when a character tears off a door (or picks up a torn-off door) and uses it as a weapon. Contrast Tae Kwon Door, for when you want to use the door to cause damage to your enemies instead of letting them through.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: Sanji, Franky, and Usopp are on the sea train Puffing Tom, which is loaded with government agents. After they've sent most of the agents soaking by disconnecting cars, one of the few remaining agents charges at the door — only for Sanji to open it and cause him to fall into the ocean. "Oh, you wanted out, sir?"
  • In the first episode of Symphogear AXZ, two characters aboard a helicopter play double-Door Judo with an antiaircraft missile.
  • Urusei Yatsura: After finding out that Lum and Ataru will be spending the night together, Lum's Stormtroopers and Mendo decide to break down the door. So on the count of three they charge, only to have Ataru open the door and Lum open the window on the opposite side of the room.

    Asian Animation 
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Great War in the Bizarre World episode 44, the goats are situated on the other side of a door about to be broken down by the rabbit king's soldiers. The knights use one of their own army to knock down the door, but it swings open and the goats escape, the rabbits just reaching the door without actually going through it.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: In Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin opens a door for a bad guy trying to charge it at full speed. The bad guy hits his head on the far wall, and Tintin closes the door in the face of the others following him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes; Calvin will do this occasionally to avoid getting tackled by Hobbes when he comes home from school. Circumstances usually arise that prevent him from capitalizing on this (example: the first time he did this, he walked off happy in his success while ignoring that Hobbes had recovered and was charging right back).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Boys of Paul Street: Two gangs of teenagers, the Paul Street gang and the Red Shirts, are brawling. Some of the Paul Street boys have barricaded the shed. A bunch of Red Shirts grab a log, determined to break down the door. But it's all a trick, as when the Red Shirts come barreling at the door, a Paul Street boy yanks it open. After the Red Shirts come spilling inside, the Paul Street boys dart out the door and lock the Red Shirt boys in.
  • Done for humor in Cannonball Run II, a case of when the door isn't opened from the other side. When JJ (Burt Reynolds) and company infiltrate the Pinto Ranch to rescue the Arab Oil Sheikh and discover the room he's in, they decide to break the door down, which he, Victor (Dom De Luise) and Vendebaum (Sammy Davis Jr.) begin charging at. Problem is, Blake (Dean Martin) accidentally pushes the door open just as the former trio run right through it, and thus end up running through the room into the far end with a bonk.
  • Inadvertently done in The Grand Budapest Hotel. Agatha, fallen out a window and hanging for dear life. Zero, one floor too high, heads down to the correct room in order to pull her in, but the door is unfortunately locked and with a "Do Not Disturb" sign. Zero, yielding to politeness tries knocking desperately, before less-politely trying the doorknob, and finally charging the door. The guest then finally opens the door in answer to Zero's knock, only for Zero to charge right through and out the window, left hanging beside Agatha.
  • Jungle 2 Jungle. Tim Allen's business partner is trying to talk his daughter into coming out of her room. Tim shows up, with his son on the other side of the door. Tim suggests that they both try to knock down the door. In the bedroom, the son tells the daughter "Baboon here. He make peace," and opens the door. Tim and the partner run through, crash through the window and the balcony, only to end up in a crumpled heap on the ground below.
  • Mood Indigo: Colin and Chick go to a pharmacy for Chloe's medicine but it is closed. Chick prepares himself to bust the door open. As he lowers his shoulder and charges, the pharmacist opens the door. Chick goes flying through the door and crashes against some shelving on the far wall.
  • Done ridiculously in The Pirate Movie. On their first run at the door, the pirates use their ram to ring the doorbell. On their second run, the butler opens the door for them, leaving them to charge into the mansion. The pirates then carry the ram up a spiral staircase for no reason before dumping it on the second floor.
  • Peter Sellers in A Shot in the Dark. He charges at a door just as it opens, and his momentum carries him across the room, out the opposite window, and into a river.
  • Up the Chastity Belt: When Sir Sir Braggart de Bombast's men attempt to break down the door of Lurkalot's workshop with a Battering Ram, he opens the door so they crash into the wall opposite. Before doing so Frankie Howerd breaks the fourth wall to say there is no way such an old joke can work.
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach uses this against the SWAT team at Moloch's apartment, throwing the door breacher completely off balance as he swings his sledgehammer into the floor. The level of shock and disarray this causes in the rest of the SWAT team seems exaggerated, though.

  • In one of the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson books, Georgia suspects her mother of having an affair with the builder, and skips school to spy on them from the other side of the door. She is caught when they open the door and she falls through it abruptly, forcing her to pretend that she had just been sent home sick from school.
  • A confined Dexter uses this tactic in Dexter in the Dark to get free and find Astor and Cody before they become sacrifices.
  • Dirk Gently does this in The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul when he is barricaded in his kitchen against a marauding eagle.
  • David Drake did a variant on this in his book Patriots. The heroes tricked a Benedict Arnold Expy into being filmed dramatically charging through a door marked "command center." He found out too late he was running into a very large open-pit latrine, and just managed to scream "Holy sh--" before falling into it. It was deep enough that he was completely submerged in liquid crap. That gave them blackmail evidence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dad's Army: In "Museum Piece", the museum caretaker defeats the platoon's attempt to break down the museum door with a Battering Ram by opening the doors so they charge straight through.
  • Hilariously inverted in Drake & Josh. In one episode, where the titular stepbrothers are hiding inside their English teacher's bathroom to hide from said teacher's vicious dog while house-sitting, Drake realizes he left his cellphone in the living room and has Josh open the door for him to run out very quickly to circumvent the vicious dog in the living room. When Drake tries to run out, Josh forgets to open the door, causing Drake to crash hard into it.
  • Get Smart
    • Once when Maxwell Smart and 99 are trapped in a corridor with two villains trying to break down the doors on either side, our heroes open each door in turn so they knock themselves out. CONTROL agents know this as the "Double Door Deception Trick." Another time, Smart and the Chief are breaking into a cabin from opposite ends, when KAOS agents simultaneously open each door. Smart and the Chief run past each other and out the opposite doors, and the two KAOS agents shoot at them - missing and shooting one another instead.
    • The crippled criminal mastermind Leadside has his minion pushing his wheelchair around while he swordfights Max. He decides to finish him off, so they both charge towards Max who opens the door to his apartment so they go flying down the stairs instead.
  • In an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Frank buys a foreclosed house from the bank but the family refuses to leave. So the gang shows up with a SWAT battering ram to break down the front door. This trope ensues (of course), leaving Dennis to fall flat on his face in the front hall. Subverted moments later though when the gang, feeling cheated and unsatisfied with this turn of events, decides to just smash and kick the door down anyways from the inside.
  • It's Okay to Not Be Okay: A gag in episode 6. Sang-tae shuts the door of Moon-young's mansion on Sang-in. So Sang-in makes to break the door down, only for Sang-tae to open the door as Sang-in is barreling towards it, causing Sang-in to zoom through the doorway and stumble to a heap in the hallway at Moon-young's feet.
  • Jeeves and Wooster has one moment where Roderick Spode charges a door just as Jeeves opens it. Jeeves (as usual) is completely unsurprised by the large man charging past him and making a loud crash, and simply greets the other man standing outside with his trademark "Good evening, sir."

    Video Games 
  • In the Kingdom Hearts II world Beast's Castle, Donald falls flat when Belle opens the door Donald was about to break down.
  • To get past the first little area in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 Battle of Hogwarts, you must raise a gate a Giant is attempting to break down. Not only will he crash through the next, much flimsier door on the other side of the small courtyard, but he will trip over the low wall just beyond the door and fall, presumably to his death.


    Western Animation 
  • Classic Disneyshorts: The Mad Doctor has this get pulled on Mickey Mouse near the end. It sets up strapping him to an operating table for the climax.
  • A rare example where the door isn't opened by someone on the other side: in an episode of Danger Mouse DM attempts to knock down a door with a run-up while Penfold leans on a lever on the wall which opens the door.
  • In the Tex Avery short "Little Rural Riding Hood", Red Riding Hood does this to the wolf, who runs all the way to the second story of the house and falls out the window.
  • Looney Tunes, repeatedly.
    • Bugs Bunny is particularly fond of this trick:
      • The ultimate example is probably Bully for Bugs, which sets up Bugs' Finishing Move against the bull.
      • The 1942 Bugs Bunny cartoon "Hold the Lion, Please" has Bugs do this to Leo the lion— and in an especially ridiculous way, as the door is set in an upright frame in the middle of the jungle. Now Leo isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he clutches the Idiot Ball extra tight, as he's prompted to ram the door after Bugs dangles a key in front of him— around the door frame— and then snatches it away.
      • Happens in the Bugs Bunny short Mississippi Hare, where Bugs and Colonel Shuffle each pull this gag on the other in a row, and then Bugs pulls it for a second time, but this time he's opening the door to the boiler room of the ship.
      • Also happens in Hare Way To The Stars with Bugs Bunny and the huge green aliens created by Marvin the Martian. Similarly to Mississipi Hare, they open doors for one another and the aliens end up falling to space when the last door leads nowhere.
    • In Red Riding Hoodwinked, Sylvester and another (unnamed) cat do this at the same time, one at the front door and one at the back. Sylvester stays in front to build a boulder slingshot; the unnamed cat goes in back to grab a log for use as a Battering Ram. You can guess what the end result is.
    • Sylvester also uses this trick in "Mouse Divided," against a cluster of cats using a larger log as a Battering Ram. They end up running all the way to the top floor, then fall out the window into a well.
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) pulls this off in "Terror of the Seven Seas" with a pursuing Guts Man. While running down a hallway, he sets it up by closing several doors in Guts Man's face before opening the final door that leads to a maintenance shaft.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Suddenly Suzy", during a fight between Perry and Dr. Doofenshmirtz atop the latter's blimp, Perry leaps at Doofenshmirtz to attack him, only for Doofenshmirtz to dodge and open one of the windows that's right behind him, causing Perry to fall. Luckily, he's equipped with a parachute as always.
  • The climax of the Tom and Jerry short "Professor Tom", Tom tries to ram the front door down to get at Jerry. However, Tom's pupil opens up the door (and gets Squashed Flat by Tom), then Jerry sets up an innertube across the backyard patio so that Tom will be sling-shot back through the doors and into the mailbox.
  • In Hanna-Barbera's Top Cat, Benny once goes on a cruise, prompting the rest of the gang to tag along. At several points, Officer Dribble, the ship's captain, and a counterfeit artist try to barge into the cabin... only to end up running right off the ship, having to cling (unsuccessfully) to the side of the hull.


Video Example(s):


Door Judo

Zero takes a run to break down a hotel room door but then the door gets opened by a guest and Zero runs right out the window other end.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoorJudo

Media sources: