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You asked me for a place to sleep
Locked me out
And threw a feast
Taylor Swift, "Look What You Made Me Do"

Having a place to live is something a lot of people take for granted. Not everybody has a home, and living on the streets can be extremely difficult. There's a lot of drama inherent to a character being homeless, and one way to kick off this sort of plot is for the character to literally be kicked out of their house.

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Often the culprit will be their Abusive Parents, maybe a Wicked Stepmother, or an abusive partner. Maybe a guest takes over and kicks them to the curb in a shocking display of Ungrateful Bastardry. It may even be someone who doesn't live there, such as a Morally Bankrupt Banker or a mean landlord. Whoever's behind it, the intent behind the act is clear- the victim no longer has a place to live, and they aren't leaving by choice. Sometimes they'll have the chance to pack their bags and make preparations, but a lot of the time it's a spur-of-the-moment decision that leaves them with nothing except the clothes on their backs.

What happens afterward can vary. They might live on the streets, crash at a friend's place (which may result in them being Adopted to the House), or even find a way to get back to their house. The emotional impact comes from the moment itself and less from the aftermath, as the audience and characters both had time to process what happened and, hopefully, figure out a solution. Sometimes the removal is temporary and may even be done as a cruel punishment, but other times it's permanent and they can never go back even if they wanted to.

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That being said, however, it's not always out of a place of cruelty. The character might've been legitimately causing trouble or doing nothing with their life, and in those cases, kicking them out is done to resolve the issue or force them to grow up. It's still a decision that carries some weight, though, and it's rarely treated as something unambiguously good.

Compare The Runaway, who may leave for similar reasons but by choice rather than by force. Not to be confused with Doomed Hometown or The Call Knows Where You Live, where their home is destroyed, or with The Exile, where the character has to leave their entire civilization behind. This can overlap with I Have No Son!, where the kid is disowned before being kicked out. Contrast Taking the Kids. See also House Amnesia where one throws someone out because they forgot that it wasn't their house.

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Some of these examples involve plot twists, so beware of unmarked spoilers!


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Goes House-Hunting's plot begins when Letty is kicked out of his home for allowing a dragon egg to get stolen on his watch. The rest of the series is about his adventures to find a new home to live in.
  • In Uzumaki, Kirie and her family, along with Shuichi, have to move into one of the terraced houses after her original house is destroyed in a storm. When more and more houses start getting destroyed, other families also move in, culminating in there being no room to even stand. Kirie and the others are then kicked out by the people who sought shelter there, forced to brave the destroyed town with no shelter or aid. It turned out to be for the best. By the time she comes back, the people inside the houses have succumb to serious Body Horror and are trapped forever.

    Comic Books 
  • A more comical example shows up in the third issue of Marvel's Infinity Watch. Having lost his purpose in life after the death of Thanos at the end of Infinity Gauntlet, Drax the Destroyer has been living on Titan with Mentor and Starfox. Despite Starfox's attempts to get Drax to go do something with his life, Drax is more than content to simply sit on the proverbial couch and binge-watch Earth television broadcasts. When Adam Warlock appears seeking to recruit Drax as the new guardian of the Reality Stone, the Destroyer is hesitant to accept not because he feels unworthy but because he might miss ALF. This hilariously causes the normally calm and charismatic Starfox to snap and angrily kick the overgrown couch potato through the portal provided by Warlock, much to Drax's surprise. From then on, Drax begins living at the Infinity Watch's base.

    Fan Works 
  • Rising Star: This is part of Tails's backstory. After his parents died, the bank foreclosed on their house, and the young cub was PHYSICALLY thrown out onto the street. That this happened during a lightning storm also explains why Tails gets skittish during such events, even tying himself to Sonic so the hedgehog couldn't abandon the cub secretly. That this wasn't even the worst thing Emerald Hill did to Tails is part of the reason Sonic considers just grabbing the fox and leaving when Eggman invades.

    Films — Animated 
  • Flushed Away: The film's plot starts when the protagonist Roddy, a pet rat living a luxurious life, tries to trick a street rat named Sid, who crashed into his house unannounced, into jumping inside a toilet to flush him away. Sid catches on and turns the tables on Roddy, pushing him inside the toilet and flushing him out of the house and into the sewers.
  • Shrek: The ogre protagonist's Call to Adventure comes in the form of a large number of fairy tale creatures squatting in his swamp because Lord Farquaad has forced them from their homes in his territory.
  • Trolls: Similarly to the example above, Branch isn't willing to go along with Poppy when she seeks his help at first but is ultimately forced out of his bunker when Poppy gets all the other Trolls in it. It takes some time for him to tag along with Poppy, though, due to her starting the journey to Bergen Town earlier than him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Addams Family: Upon realizing Fester is actually the older brother, and thus has legal control over the Addams family assets, the slimeball lawyer and his crooked partner use this to kick the rest of the Addams out of the house so they can hunt for the family fortune in peace, leading to the last half of the film being about the creepy, kooky, mysterious, spooky, altogether ooky Addams family trying to function out in the "normal" world.
  • The Haunting (1999): Elinor joined the sleep study because she was forced to leave the apartment where she had lived with her late mother for years, after her selfish sister and brother-in-law decided to sell it.

    Literature 
  • In East, Rose's family learns they are being evicted from their farm by their new landlord. Their kind neighbour offers to take them in, but they don't want to impose as he is extremely poor himself and there are seven of them. This crisis is one of the reasons Rose agrees to leave with the white bear. As it turns out, it was the landlord's agent who planned to evict the family while the landlord himself is a wonderful man who offers Rose's father a business partnership. The family ends up moving to a house in Trondheim as the business prospers, and one of Rose's brothers decides to stay on the farm.
  • Flawed: In one of their first conversations, Mona casually admits to Celestine that she got kicked out of her house for being Flawed. Though she acts like it's fine, it's obvious to Celestine that she's still upset about it, and it makes Celestine reflect on how lucky she was to have Good Parents who supported her.
  • In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family (and many other families) ends up homeless after the bank foreclosed on their house.
  • Played for Drama in The Hobbit where the Dwarves of Erebor lose their kingdom when Smaug the dragon, drawn by the immense amounts of gold their king Thrór had stockpiled, invaded Erebor, and turned the gold into his Dragon Hoard, forcing the Dwarves to flee.
  • In Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters have to seek a new place to live after Mr. Dashwood dies and his son from his first marriage John, under the influence of his Rich Bitch wife, forces them out of their home.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Breaking Bad: In the episode "Down", Jesse gets kicked out of his (now deceased) aunt's house when his parents buy the building and forcibly evict him. When he later learns that they're trying to flip it, he has Saul scam them out of it by blackmailing them over the undeclared meth lab in the basement, buying it back while ensuring that they barely break even.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Empty Places", Dawn makes Buffy leave the Summers home after Buffy has lost the trust of her, the Scoobies and the potential Slayers due to her recent actions.
  • Desperate Housewives: Bree abandoned Andrew by the side of the road at the end of Season 2 due to his increasingly out of control behavior. He did return in Season 3, though, after six months living on the street, much more humbled.
  • Killing Eve: Villanelle's mother did this to her twice. First, she sent her away to live in Moscow because she feared Villanelle would hurt her or her siblings due to her psychopathic urges. (Or so she said, but she was a huge Unreliable Narrator.) Then, when Villanelle returned, she sent her away because of "her darkness". But Villanelle killed her and burned the house down instead.
  • Mike & Molly: Happens to Carl after he and his grandmother have a rather intense fight over personal boundaries and such and she, after Carl goes to commiserate with Mike, throws him out. When confronted about this, Nana explains she believes she's been enabling some of Carl's more childish traits by letting him go live on his own. She makes sure he knows he can come back for visits and she is not kicking him out of her life, but Carl has to find another place to live. Eventually Carl winds up taking over Mike's old bachelor pad and getting Sammy for a roommate.
  • The Odd Couple (1970): Part of the backstory is that Felix's wife Gloria, growing tired of his irritating characteristics, "asked [him] to remove himself from his place of residence." "The Murray Who Came to Dinner" has Murray suffering a similar eviction after his wife becomes convinced he's cheating on her with the roller derby queen he's bodyguarding.
  • In the second season of On My Block, Cesar is kicked out of his home by his older brother Oscar because in the previous season, Cesar started a gang war between Oscar's gang, the Santos, and a rival gang called the Prophets. Cesar spends most of the season either couch surfing or sleeping in the streets until he and Oscar come up with a plan to get rid of the Prophets.
  • In the first episode of Pose, Damon is kicked out after his homophobic parents find that he's gay and he ends up homeless on the streets of New York. Fortunately, he's soon taken in by the Evangelistas and Blanca becomes his Parental Substitute.

    Music 
  • Referenced by Taylor Swift in "Look What You Made Me Do", where she claims she was locked out of her house after giving someone a place to sleep.

    Video Games 
  • City-Building Series: A common sight when housing devolves (containing less people, paying less taxes and becoming less attractive) or is destroyed are homeless people complaining about their plight. Sometimes they'll head into newly-built housing but most of the time they simply leave the map.

    Web Video 
  • Alantutorial: The first few episodes of the show all take place inside of Alan's house, where he does his tutorials in a relatively safe environment but is living with a neglectful brother. Eventually, he's forced to begin making tutorials for money rather than for his own love of them, and lashes out by destroying his brother's construction projects. Then comes "Locked Out Of Room Tutorial", where it's revealed that he's not only been locked out on the roof but that "someone packed up all of (his) stuff". The rest of the series takes place outside of the house, as Alan was forced to live alone in the wilderness...until eventually being kidnapped, where he spent the rest of the series in a single room.
  • The Human Pet: The Codemaster's victim before Eric was a prostitute who got into the business thanks to an abusive boyfriend. When she tried to stop, her boyfriend kicked her out of their house.
  • In Seventybroad, George gets kicked out of his college dorm thanks to the viral video he made and being in trouble with the police. He's not even given enough time to collect all of his things, and must sneak back into the school to get them. He winds up sleeping in his car from then on.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: In "Evicted!", Finn and Jake meet Marceline the Vampire Queen, who lays a claim on their tree house and forces them out. After a Travel Montage of them wandering Ooo trying to find a new home, Finn and Jake build a new home in an old cave. But when Marceline tries to force them out again, Finn fights back. Marceline is impressed by Finn's guts (especially when he manages to land a hit on her) and decides to give them their old house back.
  • The closing animation of The Flintstones has Fred Flintstone put the cat out. It's a large saber-tooth cat, plunked unceremoniously on the front stoop. Disliking this outcome, the cat leaps back into the Flintstone home through a window (glass hasn't been invented yet), and returns the favor by plunking Fred on the stoop before slamming the door shut. This leaves Fred to pound on the door, demanding entry while calling for his wife, Wilma.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Gideon's plan in the first season was to take over the Mystery Shack so that he may obtain the Author's other journal. After several failed attempts to trick Stan into giving him ownership, he eventually succeeds in the season finale by stealing the Mystery Shack's deed, kicking out the Pines and forcing them to move in with Soos and his grandma.
    • This is part of Grunkle Stan aka Stanley Pines backstory as, when he was a teenager, he accidentally broke the project of his twin brother, Stanford, that he was set to show for a prestigious college scholarship. When Stanley was found out, their father kicked him out of the household right then and there with nothing but the clothes on his back and his car. Though not so much for ruining Stanford's chances but more for the fact that, according to their high school principal, the scholarship would've allowed Stanford to get a good-paying job and make the family rich. Regardless, Stanley never saw his parents again following that, vowing to become rich on his own, pulling a lot of get-rich-quick schemes and illegal shady dealings while bouncing from one town to another when they went bad (at one point shown in a seedy motel and armed with a bat when he thought people he owe money to had found him).
  • Transformers: Animated: Season 2 opens with Sari Sumdac attempting to run her father's company after he disappeared during the season 1 finale, much to the ire of corporate raider Porter C. Powell. When Powell discovers there's actually no government record proving Sari exists because she's actually a Cybertronian protoform Isaac found eight years prior, he wastes no time not only ousting her from the company but from her own room, giving it to the villain Headmaster. He even goes so far as to withhold her robot dog and tutor as being Sumdac Systems property, leaving the girl with no recourse but to spend the season crashing with the Autobots. When Isaac Sumdac returns in season 3, he is absolutely livid with Powell and very nearly throws him out via the penthouse window.

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