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"Dad, why does our house have blast shields?"note 

"No one gets in, no one gets out."

A location is isolated by means of locking every Big Door/window/refrigerator/air vent/other entrance in the area so that no one can get in or out of the building. For the medical cases surrounding this, it is a quarantine. Armed guards may also be posted, depending on whether or not the military is involved.

When this begins, the odds are 99% someone will attempt a Indy Hat Roll. When they press the Big Red Button, the blast doors start to shut.

Also see: Trapped in Containment and Quarantine with Extreme Prejudice. Quite likely to result in Failsafe Failure or Didn't See That Coming if the plot demands whatever is in lockdown escapes. Has nothing to do with a certain Cybertronian bounty hunter. Often the preface for a Bottle Episode.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • NERV goes into lockdown in End of Evangelion. It...doesn't work.
    • Even in Rebuild of Evangelion , where the UN and NERV bases get extra funding, Angels still blast through blast doors like a torch to wax paper. Anything built by the hand of man slows Angels down at best.
  • In Irresponsible Captain Tylor, after Tylor is kidnapped, the command takes the opportunity to put the whole crew in quarantine because (they claim) of the alien virus the crew were infected with to force him to surrender.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has a set of Lockdown doors in Library Island, which Yue triggers upon having a Heroic BSoD when she discovers herself in a Love Triangle involving her best friend and her teacher.
  • An early episode of Sgt. Frog features the Hinata house going into Lockdown...because Keroro has a cavity. A cavity caused by tiny aliens, but still...

    Audio Plays 

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Castle Bravo gets effectively locked down when its power and communications are shut down with the staff trapped inside, thanks to the Many's actions.
  • Codex Equus: What kicks off the "Cherub Cove Tech Terror Incident'' — the Neo-NRF terrorists override the Cherub Cove Technology Musuem's security systems to trigger a lockdown after Jade Shell unwittingly ruins their initial plans to destroy the museum via rigging the Draconic Generators to explode. This not only separated the Researcher Trio and their allies from each other, but also prevented law enforcement teams from various cities and towns across Angel Vale from entering the museum. Thus, the goal of Jade Shell's group (consisting of herself, Verehrt, Mistmane, Meadowbrook, Aerri, Schurke, and Mel├ęti) is to deactivate the lockdown before the Neo-NRF terrorists can turn Cherub Cove (and, by extension, all of Angel Vale) into a primitivist kratocracy where Dragons and Dracosaurs live like animals ruled by the strong.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts: In "Specimen", the female protagonist is wearing headphones so doesn't hear the Red Alert until it's too late, leading to her being Trapped in Containment. She tells her colleague to unlock the door, but the quickest way to do this is to reboot the system by cutting the power, which also kills the lights. Turns out she's not dealing with some alien molecule, but a Xenomorph facehugger.
  • Done without human input in The Andromeda Strain, leading to the climactic crisis as the next stage is to set off a nuclear Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • The Big Clock: In the Janoth Publications building, Stroud tries to avoid the witnesses, but one of them sees and recognizes him as the mystery man. Stroud slips away before the witness identifies him to the investigators, who now know that the mystery man is in the building but do not know his identity. All exits from the building are sealed, and the building's occupants must leave by the main door, with the witnesses watching for the mystery man. Building security men sweep the building to find the wanted man.
  • Averted in The Bourne Supremacy. Bourne has just escaped from CIA custody at the airport.
    Landry: Have you locked down the area?
    CIA Mook: This is Italy; they don't do lockdown.
  • Shown in the opening sequence of Colossus: The Forbin Project when the Master Computer goes on-line, the idea being that no saboteur or commando unit can get inside. Of course, this causes a problem when the computer decides to Take Over the World.
  • Den of Thieves: The Fed goes into lockdown in the event of a brownout, with all power being diverted to keep the security systems functioning. Merriman and his crew use this to their advantage in planning The Heist; deliberately triggering a brownout to initiate a lockdown.
  • The megastructures in Dredd can be sealed off entirely by blast doors in case of nuclear war. This sets off the plot, in which Judges Dredd and Anderson are cut off inside Peachtrees and hunted down by the Big Bad's drug gang, to prevent them leaving with an important prisoner.
    Paramedic TJ: Peach Trees has been sealed by blast doors designed to withstand attack. No one's getting out. No one's coming in. And you have every Clan affiliate in the block after your blood. There are no sides. You're already dead.
  • Ex Machina: The isolated underground lavatory/house automatically locks all the doors whenever the power gets shut off to prevent someone getting past the security by knocking out the generator. This becomes plot-relevant.
  • Finder's Fee: The apartment building is put on lockdown due to the police looking for someone in the area.
  • Forbidden Planet: To demonstrate that he has nothing to fear, Dr. Morbius activates the protective shutters around his residence. When it turns out he actually needs them, the Id Monster easily forces its way through them, and then an even thicker door Made of Indestructium.
  • During the film Men in Black II, the MIB HQ goes into Code 101 Lockdown.
  • Monster Party: When the security system is triggered, steel shutters close over all the doors and widows in the mansion: locking Casper, Iris and Dodge inside the mansion with the murderers.
  • A New Hope. The Imperials on the Death Star try to stop our fleeing heroes by closing the blast doors, only to get caught on the wrong side, unable to pursue.
    "Close the blast doors! (beat) Open the blast doors, open the blast doors!"
  • No Time to Die: When SPECTRE commandos raid a secret MI6 biolab, the entire place goes into lockdown. The commandos force the elevator doors open and throw a sophisticated bomb down the shaft that blows a hole in the floor to the service tunnels beneath, while also deploying hundreds of tiny magnets to generate a magnetic field that will slow down the commandoes to a safe speed when they jump into the shaft. Who said that James Bond had to have all the fancy gadgets?
  • The Purge: Ethan Hawke's character works for a company that sells advanced security systems that will essentially put homes on lockdown during the 12 hours of crime. However, it becomes apparent through the course of the film that while the system is strong enough to cause opportunistic criminals to seek easier prey, it won't stop a determined group from breaking in.
  • Thir13en Ghosts: The mansion machine in which the movie is set (made of shatter-proof glass) goes into a lockdown once the machine is triggered, trapping the main cast inside the halls as the captive ghosts are released one by one.
  • Total Recall (1990). Happens twice. Once when Quaid arrives on Mars and later when Cohaagen locks down a sector which has disobeyed him:
    Technician: Sir, the oxygen level is bottoming out in Sector G. What do you want me to do about it?
    Vilos Cohaagen: [as if obvious] Don't do anything.
    Technician: But they won't last an hour, sir.
    Vilos Cohaagen: Fuck 'em. It'll be a good lesson to the others.
  • Triassic World: The building the film is set in is designed to completely lock itself down in the event that a dinosaur escapes its holding cell.
  • In United 93, the Real Life September 11 lockdown of all planes in American airspace is shown in great detail. Once American Airlines Flight 77 hits the Pentagon, FAA National Operations Manager Ben Sliney orders that every plane has to land as quickly as possible, no exceptions. Since it was unknown where the terrorists would strike next, over 4,200 planes were grounded for two days.
    Sliney: Listen, I'm not taking any more chances. We've got stuff flying that we've got no control over. And I don't want a board full of these planes hitting everything on the east coast. This is a national emergency, everyone lands regardless of destination.
  • Warning Sign (1985) has a full quarantine lockdown in the Biotek facility. And apparently their employees are idiots, because they stare at the closing shutters and alarms in confusion, and then complain to the security guard that they are frightened of being locked in.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine when Wolverine is escaping the Weapon X facility.

  • Blind Lake begins with the entirety of the titular town being put under lockdown for an unknown reason.
  • The Hunger Games: During the bombing of District 13 in Mockingjay.
  • The Murderbot Diaries
  • Happens for months to the city of Oran in The Plague, due to bubonic plague. The novel explores the psychological effects on the people within, who become pretty much depressed and gloomy.
  • Done in the Agent Pendergast novel The Relic, with disastrous results.
  • In Super Minion, Fortress City occasionally sees a threat nasty enough to trigger a sector lockdown, with gigantic walls rising from the ground (even cutting off underground tunnels) around the affected sector and not retracting until the threat is dealt with. Tofu finds a sector lockdown very concerning, given that neither the stitch-rat invasion nor Hellion barbecuing an entire city block were enough to trigger one. Averted with civilian structures; fire code mandates that they automatically unlock doors if the power goes out.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24. CTU is locked down during the first season.
    • CTU is locked down constantly, but it never seems to do any good actually stopping people from breaking in or out!
  • The 4400: In "Lockdown", Tom places the Seattle NTAC offices under lockdown after all of the men in the building (including him) are infected with a Hate Plague generated by T.J. Kim.
  • Angel. The Wolfram & Hart skyscraper does this as a Godzilla Threshold response to the Beast killing everyone in the building. Steel shutters close over all windows, doors and air vents in the skyscraper, and every corpse reincarnates as a bloodthirsty zombie. Of course, as the Beast has Nigh-Invulnerability the only people bothered by this are our heroes.
  • Barney Miller episode "Quarantine" is both this trope and Unintentional Period Piece. The detectives and criminal suspects in the 12th precinct are confined there after one suspect is believed to have contracted smallpox.
  • The Barrier: Discussed when there is worrying news about the noravirus and Julia mentions Madrid may go into lockdown in response. If that were to happen, there would be supply problems.
  • Blake's 7:
    • In "Killer", a derelict spacecraft is put into lockdown, but the corpse of the pilot revives and attacks the doctor doing the autopsy, causing the others to break quarantine in their attempt to rescue him. They later realise this was planned as the corpse has cybernetic components and a Synthetic Plague sent by an alien race to infect humanity.
    • In "Headhunter", Orac refuses to let Scorpio land or teleport to prevent the Monster of the Week from escaping. It responds by shutting down life support, so Avon overrides Orac's objects to rescue the crew, with inevitable consequences.
  • In Bones, the boys were sawing a bone that had some fungus in it, resulting in the team being locked down for Christmas in the Jeffersonian lab. It's first time we see Angela's father.
  • Subverted in Chernobyl. The local emergency committee has the city put into lockdown to prevent the spread of 'misinformation', not to protect the people from radiation which is already being carried beyond the city limits. As a result Pripyat is not evacuated until 36 hours after the disaster, and the upper echelons of the Soviet government (not to mention anyone downwind of the Chernobyl plant) are unaware of the true scale of the disaster and the need to take immediate anti-radiation precautions.
  • Community's "Cooperative Calligraphy" Jeff calls one for the study room when Annie's pen goes missing.
  • In Cordon, a deadly new disease comes to Belgium and a whole city district is closed and locked down in an attempt to isolate the contagion. Remade for the USA with the action transferred to Atlanta, Georgia, as Containment.
  • Doctor Who. In "Planet of Evil", numerous doors seal off various parts of the spaceship from the anti-matter monsters, who just walk right through them.
  • Happens a few times on Eureka with Global Dynamics.
  • In The Good Doctor, the emergency room, containing several important characters, is put under quarantine due to the outbreak of an airborne disease in the episode of the same name.
  • Hardball: In "The Odd Couple", a failed trial of digital locks on the doors at school results in the longest 29 minutes ever. Everyone is locked in their rooms, Ms Crapper included. Mikey and Tiffany realise they are not so different after all.
  • Harrow: In "Ab Initio" ("From the Beginning"), the lab goes into lockdown when Lyle and Grace perform an autopsy on the body of a smuggler discovered inside a shipping container and discover the smuggler's body is infected with Ebola-like virus.
  • Heroes had a lockdown in Level 5 to keep the bad dudes from getting out.
  • Happened in the House season 6 episode "Lockdown" when a baby went missing.
  • Leverage episodes "The Inside Job" and "The Hot Potato Job", the gang trigger a lockdown deliberately inside a high-security company to distract the security surveillance from themselves.
  • The lockdown in the hatch in Lost seems to shield the residents with blast shield. The previous Dharma Initiative resident used these shields as maps before the arrival of the protagonists.
  • Happens in a few episodes My Name Is Earl when Earl is in prison for a crime that Joy committed.
  • Happens a few times on NCIS and its spinoffs whenever Classified Information is about to be discussed. Each building has at least one area that can be turned into a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility). Such areas include Director Vance's office in Washington and the Operations Center in Los Angeles. And, of course, MTAC (Multiple Threat Alert Center).
    • Also happens in "SWAK" when Tony opens an envelope that releases white powder in the office, which turns out to be Yersinia pestis bacteria (pneumonic plague).
  • Purdey gets trapped inside a high-tech building that goes into lockdown in The New Avengers episode "Complex".
  • Parodied in a Very Special Episode of One Tree Hill in which Jimmy Edwards shoots up the school. He doesn't understand how Keith is able to enter the school because...
    Jimmy: The school's on lockdown!
  • The Outer Limits (1995): "Blood Brothers" has a secure medical experiment lab that can be sealed and sterilized with microwaves.
  • Happens in Oz (and every other prison drama) when someone gets murdered or the prisoners riot.
  • Person of Interest: In "If-Then-Else", Team Machine must infiltrate a server room on Wall Street to stop a financial crash. They realize they've been Lured into a Trap when Samaritan agents are seen entering the floor, whereupon a security lockdown protocol (designed to protect against a terrorist attack) is activated to trap them inside.
  • Power Rangers S.P.D.: The Delta Base goes into lockdown when the Delta Command Megazord activates. Which is probably justified since the megazord is literally the entire building!
  • Scorpion: In "Plutonium is Forever", a lockdown traps Cabe inside a nuclear power plant when the reactor goes into meltdown.
  • Scrubs had a quarantine. And an Indy Hat Roll.
  • Spooks has done this twice. First with the VX episode "I Spy Apocalypse", and then with the episode with the crazy former spy, and the Princess Di conspiracy theory story.
  • The Stand (2020). When the bioweapons facility producing Captain Trips goes into lockdown, the door to the guard station jams temporarily. The soldier manning that station takes the opportunity to duck out before it closes, grab his family and flee. Unfortunately he's already been infected and spreads the virus to the rest of the world.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a lockdown protocol, including Stock Footage of the NORAD blast doors closing (see Real Life).
  • In the Back Story of the 1970's The Starlost, the Generation Ship was put into lockdown after an accident cut off communication with The Bridge. This meant that every biosphere was isolated from each other and the inhabitants eventually forgot they were living on a spacecraft.
  • Star Trek does this a few times. Notable because they also fail to do it a few times - when locking down the ship would have caused the episode to be very short.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Devil May Care", Kevin is locked in the bunker unable to contact anyone or open the door after the sensors detected the falling angels.
  • Torchwood has one that activates by reading poetry and can be removed by reading the ISBN number of said poetry anthology (It Makes Sense in Context). Later, in Torchwood: Children of Earth, the Hub has a lockdown protocol if it detects a bomb inside or near the hub (it very nearly kills Ianto this way).
  • The X-Files: The Lone Gunmen use automatic fire doors in the improvised lockdown of a pathogen-contaminated corridor when they make their Heroic Sacrifice at the end of "Jump the Shark".
  • The Zoey 101 episode "Quarantine", Quinn develops a germ which accidentally gets released into her dorm room causing her, Zoey and Lola to become quarantined. So do the guys after they sneak in. On top of that, Zoey has a date she can't get to and Quinn is worried another girl is plotting to steal her boyfriend. In the end the germ is benign but they all decide to play a prank on Chase by making him believe the germ killed them all.


    Tabletop Games 
  • City Of The Gods, a part of Dungeons & Dragons Blackmoor series, locks down the corridors if the PCs set off the alarm and appear to either be escaping or have remained in full alert for too long.

    Video Games 
  • Periodically in Dead Space, the room Isaac is in goes into "quarantine" lockdown. The lockdown ends when he successfully defeats the Necromorphs that find their way in.
  • A few times in the original Deus Ex, usually at UNATCO HQ. As early as the very first mission, where "base is under lockdown until the danger's gone, Agent Denton", and later when JC is captured by MJ12 and has to escape out of UNATCO. Getting the key for the front door from Alex Jacobsen is the only way out.
  • Devil Survivor takes place in the "Tokyo Lockdown", things get complicated and bad very quickly.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, each of the Thieves' Guild Open Secret "Guild Halls" is putting a plan in place to defend against attack by the rival Camonna Tong. The Balmora Guild Hall tasks you with finding a "Master of Security" to rig the South Wall Cornerclub to be able to "lock down" in this fashion should the Tong attack.
  • Elite Dangerous: Implied during the "Securing" phase of a fleet carrier's jump sequence, which involves, in order; retracting the landing pads and sealing their blast doors, closing bulkheads, and sealing hatches and airlocks. While we only see the first stage, and hear the other two, the end result treated as this trope.
  • The vaults in Fallout were all sealed when the Great Offscreen War broke out.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has two more examples in the backstory:
    • After their defeat at Helios One and Elder Elijah's desertion, the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel put themselves under lockdown, also preventing any members left outside from returning.
    • In Dead Money's backstory, the nuclear war triggered the Sierra Madre Casino's lockdown systems, trapping the Gala Event guests inside. At the end of the DLC, reading Sinclair's message on the vault's terminal causes the vault to permanently seal, resulting in a Non-Standard Game Over. The Courier can also lure Elijah into this trap.
  • Mitadake High begins with you in a locked-down school with the killer.
  • Prison Architect allows the player to do this with a button that sets all doors in the prison to the "Locked in closed" position, so as to limit the potential damage an ensuing Prison Riot is causing.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, the titular prison of Prison Island is locked down when Tails gets there. Also, the facility that Dr. Eggman breaks into to retrieve the secret weapon goes into lockdown. This time, you see a number of doors closing and hear a voice telling people to close them. (In both cases, the doors that don't succumb to you blowing off the locks open anyway just because you destroyed some G.U.N. robots.)
  • Volcanoids:
    • One device that takes the form of a large red wheel (and smaller wheels built into some other devices), when activated, causes all of your drillship's exterior modules to close, allowing them to withstand greater damage in exchange for not functioning.
    • While it's practically required due to the drillship's design, setting the 'ship to go underground causes the massive "wings" going alongside the hull to raise to a vertical position, rendering the modules along the sides impervious to external attacks. The drill itself and the roof modules can still be attacked, but since the 'ship starts going underground as soon as the wings close, the chance of actually destroying something is slim.
  • Your enemies in Warframe may initiate a lockdown across the whole facility, indicated by door lights turning orange, to keep you locked in a single tile; a lockdown that you can easily bypass through control panels present in every tile. The Stalker can also cause a similar lockdown which is automatically lifted when he disappears.


    Web Original 
  • "Mix Up at the Snack Factory".
    "Mr. Cheezo, the workers aren't gonna make it out alive."
    "Well, I guess we'll have to hire new workers, won't we?"
  • Happens in episode 5 of Sex House when the contestants attempt to rise up against the host, although how much it was actually needed is debatable, considering the house is locked down all the time anyway.

    Western Animation 
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: The premise of "Operation: L.O.C.K.D.O.W.N.". Treehouse lockdowns are known as a "Code L-62", and Numbuh One ordered it after he was lured out of bed into Count Spankulot's jail cell and transformed by the latter into a Spank-Happy Vampire, then during the lockdown, he went on to spread his vampirism to the others.
  • Done when a particularly dangerous EVO escapes containment in the Generator Rex episode "Lockdown".
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Total Rickall" the Smith household gets put into lockdown by Rick to prevent alien parasites from escaping. He deploys these barriers a few more times throughout the series.
  • Thunderbirds Are Go: In "Chain Reaction", a young GDF officer gets trapped inside a lift shaft in Shackleton, a haunted nuclear power station that was abandoned after a meltdown. Scott takes Thunderbird 1 in to assist, along with help from GDF Lieutenant and nuclear expert Marion Van-Arkel. They soon discover that Fuse is trying to steal uranium but when he puts himself in mortal danger, Scott has no choice but to rescue him. Fuse escapes just in time but the power plant goes into lock down, trapping Scott and the GDF officers inside along with the Shackleton Beast!
  • The second Toonami Alternate Reality Game, titled Lockdown, centers around the Absolution being trapped in a Derelict Graveyard, unable to move until TOM repairs the engines and the DOKs shut down the Tractor Beam that's holding them there.
  • Young Justice: In "Terrors", Amanda Waller locks down Belle Reve in an attempt to stop the mass breakout.

    Real Life 
  • In the U.S., due to the rash of school shootings most schools have a lockdown procedure that goes into effect if there's any report of a violent criminal or crime in (or even near) the school. All teachers are told to lock their doors until they get the all clear.
  • On September 11, 2001, there were 4,200 planes in the air. Who knew which ones had terrorists waiting to strike? Obviously, cue Operation Yellow Ribbon and shut down airspace for two days.
  • US government buildings usually have Lockdown procedures as well, in case of workplace violence or terrorism.
  • NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain has a lockdown procedure to isolate itself from the world, including sealing a huge blast door.
  • Zoos have Lockdown protocols to isolate dangerous and volatile animals from contact with humans or one another, either during routine transfers between exhibits or in the event of an escape.
  • Following the murder of 2 guards in 1983, the U.S Federal Penitentiary in Marion Illinois went into full lockdown mode. Prisoners were held in their cells for up to 23 hours a day and only allowed out for solitary exercise and for a shower (which they only got 2 showers a week). The lockdown became the inspiration for the notorious ADX Florence facility. The lockdown ended in 2006.
  • Some countries put their population in lockdown in their homes and shut down all non-essential businesses to battle the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020.