Someone—often the Girl Next Door, though not necessarily—enters the hero's house by climbing in their bedroom window. This can be done via ladder, trellis, close-standing tree, or some other, more obscure method. In some cases, there's a good reason for this: they're sneaking in, or the more traditional entrances are somehow blocked. Often, though, it seems like they do it just because it seems cool. Though found in many kinds of fiction, this trope is particularly prevalent in television.
If the window is shut, the traditional way to get the resident's attention is to throw gravel at it, but as that's become something of a cliché, it's usually subverted somehow (they break the window, or hit their friend with a rock, or discover they picked the wrong room...) Often the culmination of a Balcony Wooing Scene.
Just as often as it's used for hijinx, this trope can also be played for horror - see Breaking and Bloodsucking for a common variant. The image of a monster or killer climbing through a sleeping person's window and into their bedroom is fundamentally both an inappropriate entry and a violation of privacy, so there's a lot of potential rape subtext here.
Subtrope of There Was a Door. Contrast Bedsheet Ladder, which is for the person inside getting out. For the glass shattering Dynamic Entry variant, see Super Window Jump, which may also be at the same time as Fast-Roping. See also Broken-Window Warning, for when a rock is intentionally thrown at a window to break it in order to send a message.
- Prince Zen and his self appointed aide Obi in Akagami no Shirayukihime use windows more often than doors to enter or exit rooms. Zen doesn't get to do so as often as he'd like as it's not considered proper decorum but Obi originally tended to surprise other characters more when he used a door instead of a window to enter a building. Even Obi has stopped doing it so much after Zen knighted him and tasked him with Shirayuki's protection.
- Hitsugaya enters Ichigo's house this way in Bleach, and criticizes his subordinates for their entry method. They came in through the skylight.
- Terry from Candy Candy pulls this during the Boarding School arc, entering Candy's dorm room through her balcony.
- The Girl Next Door does this in Hand Maid May, with a ladder from her window to the male lead's room.
- Jiraya from Naruto commonly enters through windows. This has become a popular joke amongst fans of the series. Additionally, quite a lot of ninja enter Tsunade's office via the window.
- Noragami: Yato does this to Hiyori more than once.
- Yayoi of Dual! usually wakes protagonist Kazuki by climbing through his window every morning. She does not use a ladder or a convenient tree, but a bridge between their houses. That she apparently built overnight without anyone noticing.
- Ranma ½: You'd be surprised at how many times Ranma has entered Akane's room through her window. Of course, Ranma as a rule doesn't seem to see any clear distinction between windows and doors. Probably comes of having almost as free a range of motion in the third dimension as in the more normal two. In fact, he's done it so much that you almost expect it after a while.
- Dr. Tofu: (referring to Ranma) So, tell me. Did we have a visitor last night?
Akane: Uh-huh. Through the window.
Dr. Tofu: (laughs) Yep, that's pretty much what I thought.
- This occurs in 3-gatsu no Lion during one of Rei's recollections of his childhood spent in the Kouda household; Kyoko, has at least once, snuck into Rei's room this way to snuggle with him in his futon, presumably while in an emotionally fragile state.
- Aeru climbs into Neveril's quarters this way in Simoun. This was more dangerous than usual as this was on board sky airship in the middle of flight.
- The entire Bat Family seems to prefer windows to doors while in costume.
- Nightwing used his apartment window to enter and leave the building while in costume in addition to the usual uses of sneaking up on criminals and police.
- Tim Drake has used this method to enter (and leave) the Sheriff's department and used Nightwing's usual method of leaving for crimefighting mentioned above while staying with him.
- Done in Captain America with Winter Soldier sneaking into Natalia's room in a flashback to when they were both subjects of a KGB secret program.
- X-23 enters her apartment via a combination of Angel, the fire escape, and the window in All-New Wolverine #2. Considering she's currently in her Wolverine duds at the time, it avoids awkward encounters with her neighbors should she just go in through the door. How she goes unnoticed considering it's broad daylight in the Bronx is another matter. Gabby later slips out via the same window after their confrontation.
- Hector in Zits often comes in through Jeremy's (second-story) bedroom window, sometimes to hilarious effect:
Hector (stuck in window): Jeremy! Help!
Jeremy: Lift your leg!
Hector: I'm trying! Grab my foot! The other one!
[Hector finally gets inside]
Jeremy: Why didn't you just use the door?
Hector: I didn't want to trouble you.
- It's even funnier because a reverse-angle shows Hector dangling outside the second-story window, and there's nothing there he could have climbed up; the wall is absolutely bare.
- "Rapunzel" is a sort of archetypical example.
- In Disney's Aladdin:
- Aladdin flies up onto the balcony of Jasmine's bedroom with his magic carpet. The oddest thing is, Jasmine isn't even wondering how he got up there — she's too pissed off at the moment to care. When Aladdin goes to leave by jumping back off the balcony, she freaks out sufficiently.
- Aladdin jumps in and out of windows fairly often, especially in the "One Jump Ahead" sequence. People are so used to it that they don't break rhythm.
- Ellie in Up would climb into young Carl 's bedroom window.
- In DEBS, Lucy Diamond sneaks into Amy's room in the D.E.B.S. house twice by climbing up the outside wall using suction cups and coming in through the window.
- Subverted in the film version of Kick-Ass, when the hero enters his crush's bedroom window—and she maces him.
- Fanny: Marius climbs into his bedroom window to try and hide the fact that he didn't sleep at home. Unfortunately for him Fanny's mother Honorine already caught them together.
- Sky High (2005) has the Girl Next Door love interest meet the hero on a tree by his window. Significant in that her superpower is control over plants.
- Jenny does this habitually in Forrest Gump.
- In High School Musical Troy climbs onto Gabriella's balcony in both the first and third movies. By the third it's implied that he's done it often; she has a basket on a rope ready to go down when he calls her. It's even written into their show.
- Lorenzo does this in the 2004 movie version of The Merchant of Venice. The original play doesn't call for him to climb up to Jessica's window at all, making it 100% Rule of Cool.
- Both times Peter visits Gwen in The Amazing Spider-Man, he enters through her bedroom window. In the first time, he claims he got there through the fire escape (twenty stories) because he's frightened of the doorman. In the second time, she already knows he's Spider-Man so he doesn't have to come up with any excuse.
- Bullshot. Comedic Hero Bullshot Crummond tries to contact his client Rosemary Fenton this way, and only manages to attract a good deal of attention.
"Just ignore me! I'm a collector of unusual insects!"
- In The Cannonball Run sequel, Sammy Davis Jr does this to Dean Martin in a high rise hotel room. As his character is in the middle of trying to seduce a girl, he's not happy and shoves him out the window, only to be surprised when Sammy stands up unharmed (he's standing on a window washing platform).
"You are the tallest short man I've ever seen."
- In Wild Rose, Xiao Feng is a Tomboy. When her father calls her home, she crawls through the window of their hut instead of using the door, just to mess with him.
- The protagonist of the Australian film Flirting (1991) does this when sneaking into a girl's school, only for the window to slam down on his back, trapping him there.
- In Happy Birthday to Me, Etienne enters Virginia's room through her window, spies on her as she prepares for a bath and steals her panties.
- Played for horror in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari when Cesare, a murderous sleepwalker and henchman to the Mad Scientist Dr. Caligari, sneaks through Jane's bedroom window as she sleeps. He's been instructed to kill her, but is so moved by her beauty he kidnaps her for himself, leading to an iconic shot of him carrying her over the surreal rooftops of Holstenwall. Even when Jane is rescued, she is so traumatised by her ordeal that she spends the rest of the movie in a semi-catatonic state, and the Framing Story pitches the main narrative as a story about why she is the way she is.
- In the 1931 version of Frankenstein, the monster climbs into a second-storey window to find Elizabeth, Dr. Frankenstein's (ahem) bride, preparing for their wedding, in a scene clearly influenced by the above Caligari. Like Jane, Elizabeth is profoundly shaken by her encounter with the monster, although she seems to be doing better at the end.
- Played even more horrifically in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, with the demon Bob slowly climbing through Laura's bedroom window. This is followed by a truly disturbing rape scene.
- In Dear Zoe, Tess and her boyfriend live next door to each other, and have bedrooms with windows that face each other; they climb in each other's windows from each other's windows.
- Gaia Moore of Fearless did this a lot. At first it was to avoid running into her Wicked Stepmother Ella, but later on she just did it out of habit.
- In Galaxy of Fear, Kairn throws rocks at Zak's window to get his attention. Realizing he can't sneak out through the hallway, Zak clambers out through the window and climbs down.
- Happens twice in Maurice. In the first part of the book Maurice climbs into Clive's room, then in the second part Scudder climbs into Maurice's room.
- In The Season, Alex enters Gavin's house this way, but to warn him of an evil plot.
- In Twilight, Edward climbs a tree to get into Bella's bedroom. Though she doesn't know at first, this later becomes an almost daily routine for their relationship.
- In Midnight Sun, we learn that Edward has turned this stalking up to 11 by bringing oil along so the window won't squeak.
- Jacob does it in New Moon, but at least he asks first.
- The protagonist of The Yiddish Policemans Union does this to get into his ex-wife's bedroom, recalling how he used to sneak in that way when they were dating. It's not as romantic as the ideal, though, as he says that he's not as young as he used to be and after he's scaled the wall to her house, foreplay begins with her cleaning his bloody shins.
- Occasionally Lampshaded on Boy Meets World, when Shawn would sometimes climb up a tree into his Heterosexual Life-Partner Cory's bedroom.
- Corey would also climb into Topanga's room through the window.
- The gag continues in the Sequel Series Girl Meets World: The window to Riley's bedroom might as well be a second door.
Zay: So what? You guys just come through the window and that's okay? I don't like it. It's impolite. Oh, and I took some cereal. You're out of milk, now.
- Angel on Buffy for a while. He is a vampire after all.
- Buffy typically departed from and returned to her house this way, before her mother knew she was The Slayer. At one point, Buffy climbs in through her window, informs Angel that her mother isn't home, and is then at a loss when asked why she didn't just use the door.
- Angel also entered Willow's room this way.
- In Chuck, it's kind of a Running Gag. Chuck's friend Morgan always climbs through Chuck's window whenever he comes to visit Chuck, for absolutely no reason. He even calls it "The Morgan Door". A Funny Moment in the opening scene of the pilot has Morgan dangling from the window and struggling to keep his grip...only for it to be revealed that Chuck's room is on the ground floor when he finishes screwing around and stands up.
- Sarah and Casey have both also used the window, and Awesome one time even says in exasperation they need a lock for the window.
- As seen in the page picture, Sam of Clarissa Explains It All always enters Clarissa's house via a ladder at her window. *clunk* "Hi, Sam." *guitar riff*
Clarissa's Dad: Why doesn't that kid ever use the door?
- A freerunner on one of the CSI shows used this technique to get into his girlfriend's room, despite her father's furious attempts to keep him away from her. It worked until her kid brother rigged the flagpole outside the window to shock anyone who touched it, and electrocuted him.
- In early seasons of Dawson's Creek, every last character climbed a ladder into Dawson's bedroom. Most often Joey, but Jen and even Pacey did so on multiple occasions.
- Doctor Who: In "Rosa", the Doctor and company, while in 1955 Alabama, are forced to get a motel room because the antagonist knows where the TARDIS is parked. As the motel is "whites only", Ryan and Yaz have to be smuggled in through the bathroom window.
- On Doogie Howser, M.D., Doogie's best friend, Vinnie, entered Doogie's bedroom this way in nearly every episode (before Doogie moved into his own loft space in season 4).
- On Drake & Josh, Josh visits Mindy this way.
- Daniel of Every Witch Way has to use Emma's bedroom window when he wants to visit her because her dad is not really his biggest fan. Andi also inverts it in the episode "Invisible Me" by exiting through a window to avoid getting caught snooping around in Mia's bedroom. It leads to a bit of a Hilarity Ensues moment, as Andi is too short to reach the window and has to enlist the help of Katie (who has a legitimate reason to be there).
- On Glee, Rachel enters Puck's room this way in a dream (it is, in fact, how he knows that he's dreaming).
- Occasionally happens on Henry Danger with Henry, Charlotte, and even Captain Man entering his room through his second story window by climbing up a tree.
- In House, Wilson seems to have a bit of an obsession with climbing through windows. In the premiere of season 6, he gets into Dr. House's apartment through his window after he refuses to answer the door. Then, Wilson brings Chinese food to Cuddy's while Dr. House is babysitting her daughter Rachel. After Rachel eats a coin while the two are supposed to be watching her, they try to solve the situation before Cuddy finds out. When Cuddy comes home during their planning, Wilson escapes by climbing out a window.
- House: "You're telling me to do the right thing while climbing out a window?!"
- Wilson also tells Cuddy, "Just say the word, and we will climb out that window right now," when she's upset over her breakup with Dr. House.
- Wilson may have an obsession with windows in general. He tends to throw things at them when he becomes angry, either at House during an argument, or at a random guy who wouldn't stop playing the same song over and over.
- iCarly: Samantha Puckett is known for breaking into the home of her best friend Carly Shay, by using the fire escape into Carly's bedroom.
- That one might just be Fanon. However, Mandy barged back in the Shay loft to stay there overnight in one of her episodes. When Carly asked her how she entered with the door locked, Mandy replied, "But not all your windows are."
- In the Love, American Style episode "Love and the Happy Day", Potsie visits Richie in this manner.
- One Tree Hill averts this trope by giving Lucas's bedroom a door to the outside, making it much easier for people to come and go as they please.
- This is how Zack and Jessie generally visit each other on Saved by the Bell. All other visits bypass the front door and go directly to room.
- CeCe and Rocky of Shake It Up! live in the same apartment building. As such, Rocky usually enters via the fire escape.
- In the Australian kids show Shirl's Neighbourhood, every single character entering the treehouse came in through the window. Because the treehouse didn't have a door.
- At least one episode of Small Wonder had Reggie enter Jamie's (presumably second-story) bedroom through the window.
- Teen Wolf: This is Stiles's most frequent way to enter the McCall residence, in fact the first time the viewers meet him he's climbing into Scott's window in the middle of the night, and on several occasions gives both Scott and Scott's mother Melissa quite the scare. By Season 2 he's just had a key made to simplify things, and Melissa's resigned herself to him making their house a second home.
- Donna does this with Eric in at least one early episode of That '70s Show.
- Rose regularly climbs over the side of the deck outside Charlie's house in Two and a Half Men, and one gets the distinct impression that she does it more when he's not there.
- Something of a staple on The Vampire Diaries: Vampires are constantly entering through Elena's bedroom window, and Matt inexplicably enters Caroline's house through her window in one episode.
- In Victorious episode "The Bird Scene", Sikowitz suggested that Tori enter through the window.
- He's entered and exited through that window a couple of times (including the extended version of the pilot).
- An enraged Jade comes in through the window to ambush Cat in "Crazy Ponnie".
- Non-romantic variant in Welcome Back, Kotter, with the Sweathogs dropping in on their favorite teacher via his living room window. He wasn't bothered by it, but his wife was.
- Alexa & Katie often use each other's windows to visit each other. As their bedrooms are directly across from each other and connected by a tree, this is actually the fastest way between their two houses.
- The Beatles: "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window". Humorously, Paul McCartney was inspired to write the song based on an experience where a Loony Fan had broken into his house through a bathroom window.
- Belly: "Super-Connected" has lyrics like "On your third broken window/With your hair full of glass", and "Better climb in the window/'Cause I'm closin' the door".
- "I came in through the window last night/ now you're gone, gone." My Own Worst Enemy, Lit.
- "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson has "He came in through the window".
- Romeo and Juliet: The balcony scene leads to both an entrance and exit through the window.
- And of course, the corresponding scene in West Side Story with a fire escape rather than a vine or tree.
- Parodied in West Bank Story.
- In On the Twentieth Century, Oscar Jafee boards the titular train through the window.
- Also parodied in the coarse-acting short Il Fornicazione by Michael Green. A lover tries to sneak in via a stage window but he's too fat.
- Ensemble Stars!: in the performance of Cinderella the Theatre Club put on with Akatsuki for the school festival, Anzu's script has the second prince (played by Kuro) meet Cinderella for the first time by coming through her window. Kuro actually smashes the window in a massive leap, thoroughly terrifying poor Tomoya who wasn't aware of these script changes at all, and leaving him yelling for help as Kuro proceeds to pick him up and try to physically carry him to the ball.
- Frosty Nights: The Player Character's bedroom has two windows through which child-eating Snowlems can enter.
- Jack tries this in Crankrats. Unfortunately, the window in question is not exactly Jack-sized.
- In Ears for Elves, the Temple of Herunor's doors have been sealed by the druids. In Tanna's words, though, they always seem to forget the window. It's strongly implied that Tanna and Rolan will enter through the window.
- In Clockwork, Gaz does this in order to sneak up on Jean after having his two subordinates misdirect him by coming in through the door.
- In As Told by Ginger, Darren occasionally entered Ginger's room through the window, even when they were Just Friends.
- On My Life as a Teenage Robot, Brad tends to come in Jenny's window this way. He, in fact, advises Sheldon to use a rope ladder he installed on a nearby tree rather than climbing it.
- In the Pac-Man episode "Invasion of the Pac-Pups", Morris enters Pac-Man's house this way.
Pac-Man: Next time, try using the door.
Morris: I prefer windows. You don't have to wipe your feet, just your face.
- In an episode of Doug, when Roger develops a crush on Doug's sister, Judy, he attempts to do this, obviously referencing Romeo and Juliet. However, he gets the wrong house and is instead greeted by Doug's neighbor, Mrs. Dink, wearing curlers and a facial mask. She just smirks and says to him, "Nice try, Romeo, but you're about thirty years too late."