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Furniture Blockade

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Not to mention, once you hassle the horde,
It doesn't matter how much furniture you stack at the door!
Aesop Rock, "Jumping Coffin"

There's a bad guy coming after you. You just locked the door between them and you. Sometimes, you just don't have wooden boards, nails, and a hammer handy, so what's a victim to do? Well, use the furniture, of course.

A lot of the stuff in a living room is heavy, so it stands that they can effectively keep the door from moving when pinned against the door.

This may be effective if the protagonists heave a huge, solid bookcase or filing cabinet in front of the door and wedge it in place with a thick oak desk. It may be Played for Laughs in a comedy if the bumbling protagonists move a lightweight coffee table in front of the door and expect it to stop the Big Bad's 350 pound, fridge-sized henchman from getting in.

One of the most common variants of this trope is to jam a chair underneath a door handle to keep it from turning. This is also useful when you're trying to prevent someone from leaving a room.

Read Absurdly Ineffective Barricade. Alternative to Berserk Board Barricade. Compare Improvised Imprisonment.


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    Comic Books 
  • Firefly: The Sting: When breaking into Logar's mansion, the crew runs into a housekeeper. They lock her in a closet to keep her from raising the alarm, wedging a chair under the handle.

  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: In Surprise Guest, a mysterious person approaching a bar is causing fear, and the Absurdly Ineffective Barricade is bypassed, by going through a wall:
    "Help me barricade the door, you worthless fools!" the troll who had burst in earlier shouted, struggling to drag a wall cupboard towards the door.
    Stirred into action by fear, the Underworld denizens started piling up furniture in front of the entrance, cursing and shouting as they got into each other's way.''
  • Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians. Queen Sapphia says that men are only good for moving heavy pieces of furniture. This becomes a Brick Joke when Captain Proton escapes and blocks the door to the guard quarters with heavy furniture.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lady and the Tramp: When Lady was a puppy, Jim Dear sets her up in the basement, but she keeps sneaking out. Jim Dear puts a chair in front of the door, but Lady manages to push the door open enough to squeeze through.
  • Monsters, Inc.: When Sulley is trying to save Boo from Mr. Waternoose, he runs onto the factory's training room and bends a metal pipe to lock the doors, keeping him at bay long enough to fetch Boo's door and return her to the human world.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 28 Days Later: Shopping trolleys have been dumped in the stairwells of the apartment block where Frank lives, not only to slow down the Infected but also because the noise of anyone trying to climb over them serves as an alarm.
  • In Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Bud and Lou try to push a dresser against a door to keep out several pursuers. The door opens the other way, and when the villains open it, Bud and Lou push the dresser right out of the room and into the midst of their enemies.
  • Abominable: In a deleted scene, CJ is shown sliding a table against the door to the room she's hiding in. Whether it would have been enough to stop the sasquatch is unknown, as she ends up leaving the room while the monster is looking around elsewhere.
  • Played for Laughs in Alias Jesse James when the main character blockades a door to try and hold off the approaching outlaw gang only to be told that he's just barricaded the closet, while the actual door is unguarded.
  • In Anthropoid, three of the Czech assassins of Reinhard Heydrich hiding out in a Prague cathedral barricade the stairway up to the prayer loft they're holed up in with chairs, lecterns, benches and any other bits of furniture on hand to stop the Nazis reaching them. It holds the Nazis off for a time, but eventually the barricade is overwhelmed.
  • Happens twice in The Blues Brothers after the title characters are chased into a building by the police.
    • When the Blues Brothers first enter the building, they push some vending machines, two trash cans and benches in front of the door.
    • After they reach the Cook County Assessor's office on the 11th floor, they put chairs, ashtray cans and a bench against the door from the stairwell.
  • Carry On Screaming!: Sidney Bung piles furniture against a door, to keep the monsters out. However, one of them walks through a hole he made earlier, and casually hands Sidney Bung another chair.
  • Exit 0: When Lisa wakes up in the hotel room one morning, she discovers that Billy jammed a chair against the door to their hotel room. She removes it and then exits the room.
  • Ice Spiders: The guests who make it inside the ski lodge stack up all of the furniture they can to block the spiders from getting in. This actually manages to keep the spiders out without being too much stuff to move whenever other survivors show up needing to be let in. That being said, they did forget to block the chimney.
  • In Relative Fear, Linda barricades herself in the attic with Adam, pushing furniture over the trap door and propping a chair under the doorknob of the main door. It only lasts a few seconds before Gary kicks the door down.
  • Shows up in Signs but only in a deleted scene. The Graham family barricades their house by boarding up the windows and doors, and only realize they forgot the attic as the aliens are breaking in. In the finished movie, the family immediate lock themselves in the basement at this point; in the deleted scene, Merrill blocks the attic door with a large bookcase to buy everyone else more time to get downstairs.
  • The Slumber Party Massacre: Trish and Kim barricade the bedroom door with dressers. The killer instead breaks into the room through the window, and the two girls are unable to move all of the furniture to escape out the door in time to keep Kim from being the next victim.
  • In The Strawberry Statement, student protesters occupy a university building and barricade themselves inside by piling tables and chairs in front of the doors. The police easily push through the blockade.
  • Totally Killer: Blake and Pam move several dressers in front of the doors to their room in the cabin when they realize the killer is present, although they end up leaving the room anyway after a few seconds to try and help Heather.
  • Went the Day Well?: Used effectively by the heroes against the German invaders, blocking the doors and making it difficult for the Nazi soldiers to make it in quickly, and to maneuver around afterwards.
  • You Might Be the Killer opens with Sam hiding from the killer in a cabin. He secures it by moving furniture in front of the door.
  • In Against a Crooked Sky, Sam and Charlotte push the table up to their door and pile chairs around it to stop the Indians from breaking into their cabin. It doesn't work - one of them breaks the window with his spear, climbs through, and pushes the furniture aside so the others can get in.

  • "Angel (Derin Edala)": At the end of the story, the protagonist moves all their furniture to block their windows and doors and trap themselves in their home, though they acknowledge it's a futile effort.
  • Stim: Robert is hiding in his room during a noisy house party when he learns to his horror that the guests are starting to come upstairs. Robert and Chloe block the doorknob of Robert's room with a chair and hide under the bed. Two people manage to get the door open anyway, enter the room, replace the chair under the doorknob, and then have sex on Robert's bed.
  • In The Secret Life of Kitty Granger, Kitty enters the room where the villains are holding Verity and blocks the doorknob with a chair to give herself time to untie Verity and escape with her through a window.
  • Mouse (2017): When Helene and Argo break into Mouse's building, he pushes his chair, boxes of books and DVDs, a trash can, and a mattress in front of his bedroom door to buy time. The blockade only lasts a few minutes, but that's enough for Anna to arrive.
  • In Bud, Not Buddy, Bud spends the night in the bedroom of Angela Calloway, who he mistakenly thinks died as a child. He blocks the doorknob with a chair to keep her ghost out.
  • The Brotherhood of the Conch: In The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, Mahabet pushes a divan in front of his door so he can have a private conversation with Anand and Nisha. His parents and their servants refuse to install a lock on his door for fear that kidnappers or assassins will lock him in, so this is the only way he can get any privacy.
  • In When My Heart Joins the Thousand, Alvie sneaks into the zoo after hours to destroy a sign that says animals don't have feelings. Some maintenance workers catch her and, thinking she's a mentally ill criminal, lock her in a closet in an office building and block the doorknob with a chair. When the workers are out of the room, she kicks the door until the chair falls down, then escapes through a window. After she gets home, she worries the police will come after her, but they never do.
  • And Then I Turned Into a Mermaid: At the beginning of the second book, a malfunctioning dishwasher sprays water all over the kitchen, causing Mum and the four oldest sisters to transform into mermaids. Then the youngest daughter Minnie, who's too young to transform or to be trusted with the mermaids' secret, starts trying to get into the room. Margot shoves a dining chair against the door and sits in it.
  • Goblins in the Castle: After the goblins are released, William and Karl decide — for their own safety — to barricade themselves in a room (settling on William's, since it's closest), so they won't get harmed by whatever's roaming the halls. They bar the door and brace it with a chair for good measure.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The opening scene of Scared to Death has the victim sliding her sofa against her door (after already locking the deadbolts) to try and ward off whoever's threatened to kill her that night.
  • Doctor Who: In "World War Three", Mickey barricades a door by jamming the handle with a chair to buy him and Jackie time to grab some vinegar-rich foods to kill the Slitheen chasing them.
  • Plausible by Mythbusters Jr.. A wooden floor doesn't provide much friction, carpet is actually detrimental, but with the right stuff, and the right room size, one can conceivably pull this off.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", Xander and Willow lock themselves in a meeting room by shoving a couple of chairs in front of the door. Though the chair cushions and a lampshade they piled on them were less effective.
    • In "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", after a spell gone awry has caused every girl in the school aside from Cordelia to fall madly in love with Xander, he attempts to take refuge in the school library by moving a library card catalog in front of the double doors that serve as the entrance. Since he apparently didn't realize that the doors open outward, Buffy in a coat (and not much else) calmly opens the doors and walks around the catalog while Xander's back is turned.
    • In "Hush", Willow and Tara are being chased by the Gentlemen who want to cut out their hearts. The two witches hold hands and use their combined magical power to shove a vending machine in front of the door.

    Video Games 
  • In INSIDE (2016), the player barely escapes from a pack of rabid dogs by slipping through a hole in a building wall and knocking over a large filing cabinet to block them from getting in.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Near the end of the game, the Player Character's family is shown cooped up in the Royal chambers, with a chest of drawers against the door, which enemy soldiers are clearly trying to force open. Some player choices can result in there being no adults in the room (the Player Character can choose to stay on the main battlefield, his wife may have died in childbirth), resulting in its population consisting of a very young girl and/or a baby, which makes one wonder how the chest was put there in the first place.

    Web Animation 
  • Love of the S*n: The first thing Charger Block does after going inside an unmarked room with Crown is barricade it so the Operators can't get in.

  • Kiwi Blitz: Tigris and Cho have infiltrated Alter's base and caused a ruckus, and are in a computer room, and block the door with furniture, after 42 suggests making a barricade, in Page 589.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: One step of Emil and Lalli's escape from the dusklings at the end of Adventure I involves taking refuge in solid-looking abandoned house and pushing all the furniture of the room in which they're hiding against the door.
  • Joe vs. Elan School: After Joe is released from Elan, he sleeps with a desk pushed in front of the door and makeshift weapons within reach in case anyone ever tries to take him away again.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: At Vi's alert, Mylo hastily slaps a chair under the doorknob so the gang can make their escape from their robbery.
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Home Cooked Eds", the Eds use furniture to prevent the Kankers (who are on holiday) from entering Eddy's house. Unfortunately the Kankers already somehow got in and watch them barricade the door.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Helga Sleepwalks", Helga begins to sleepwalk as a result of eating her father's pork rinds. In her sleepwalking state, she makes her way to Arnold's house in an attempt to confess her love for him. To keep herself from doing this, she places all of the furniture in her bedroom over her door so she can't get out. Unfortunately, this plan doesn't work since she ends up pushing the furniture aside while in her sleepwalking state.
  • In The Loud House episode "One Flu Over the Loud House", several of Lincoln's sistersWhich ones?  his parents, and their cat, dog, hamster, and canary all have the flu. Lincoln barricades the kitchen door with a table to keep them coming in and spreading germs, but Leni thinks he's making them a meal.
  • Rugrats (1991): In "Party Animals", the babies are being chased by what appears to be a giant baby (actually their Cousin Bucky dressed as a baby for a costume party). After they manage to trap him in the bathroom, they run into their room and barricade the door with some toys.
  • Used several times by Scooby and Shaggy in attempts to escape the Monster of the Week, often to no effect. Frequently, they find they've trapped themselves with the monster, often having failed to notice it was helping construct the barricade, and desperately tear all the furniture away again.
  • The Simpsons: In "Treehouse of Horror XI", during the segment Scary Tales Can Come True, Bart and Lisa wander into the Three Bears' house. After making it out without getting seen, Bart puts a chair in front of the door... which, unfortunately, traps Goldilocks in and gets her mauled by the bears.
  • TaleSpin: In "The Balooest of the Bluebloods", Baloo inherits a mansion when it is revealed that he is the long-lost 13th Baron of Von Bruinwald. When Hans and Helga, his butler and maid, try to kill him so that they can inherit the mansion, he hides in his bedroom and places various furniture over the door. Hans and Helga manage to make their way in with a crowbar.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In the short, "Let's Do Lunch" from the episode, "How Sweetie It Is", Furrball is trying to escape from Sweetie, who wants him to eat her so that he will get kicked out of Elmyra's house, as all Furrball wants to do is relax by the fire and eat tuna. At one point, Furrball hides in a room and places all the furniture over the door so Sweetie can't get in. When Sweetie is revealed to have been hiding in a drawer, Furrball puts all the furniture back where it was so he can leave the room.
    • In the third act of "The Horror of Slumber Party Mountain", Babs, Shirley and Fifi return to a cabin they rented after evading a monster named One-Eyed Jack and push various furniture in front of the door to block it. Unbeknownst to them, the last thing they block the door with is One-Eyed Jack, who has been waiting for them.
  • Winx Club: When the bad guys barge in at the back door at Bloom's house in the first episode, Kiko tries this trope to keep them away, but they effortlessly break through it (off-screen).