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Locked In

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Similar to Locked in a Room (but not requiring any previous animosity or conflicts to be resolved by characters), this is a Framing Device where a group of protagonists will be locked into a room with a door that does not open from the inside. While there, having nothing else to do, the characters will often engage in a Story Within a Story, whether it be retelling Bible stories or putting on a musical - until inevitably somebody opens the door and finds them all inside. When the newcomer tries to join in, the others already inside will shout "DON'T CLOSE THE DOOR!" but it will already be too late. This continues until every major character is inside and becomes a part of the tale. By the end of the plot, they will either be freed or give up on being freed entirely, instead opting to stay together and enjoy each other's company.

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Examples

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     Comic Book 
  • One comic in Dance Class had one of the teachers passing by the dance studio with the occupants trying to wave him down. He thinks it's a dance routine they came up with and enters the room until they inform him that the knob on the door is stuck and they were trying to get him to open the door for them. Cue him and the others trying to wave down another passerby.

     Live Action TV 
  • In season three episode two, "Guide to: Reading and Principals" of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, all the applicants for the new principal job become trapped and continue their own plot similarly.
  • Spin City: In season two ep, "Gentlman's Agreement", the Mayor comes under fire for going to a club that exclusive to males. He ends up stuck in a spa when a reporter waits outside to catch him in the act. Mike tries to get his staff to cause a distraction so they can slip the mayor out undetected, but miscommunication ends up with all the staff coming into the spa room. Mike ultimately solves the problem by calling the press and having the Mayor state the club is abolishing the male only rule and going co-ed, helped by the staff coming out of the spa in towels to cement the statement.

    Web Video 
  • In season two episode five, "I'm With Stupid" of Con Man, all the characters get locked in together and put on a musical adaptation of Of Mice and Men, thereby also turning into a Musical Episode. As more people get locked inside, they end up joining the cast and become parts of the musical.
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    Western Animation 
  • In the Rugrats Passover special, Grandpa Boris gets locked in the attic because the attic door locks from the inside. A Running Gag in the episode is that whenever another adult finds Boris in the attic, Boris tries to tell them not to close the door, but they do so anyway before he can finish his sentence.
  • Sealab 2021's episode In the Closet involves most of the cast getting stuck in a closet with a malfuctioning door that won't open. Quinn eventually manages to fix it... except Murphy had came into the closet to get food for dogs he hadn't fed in three days forcing Quinn to close the door again when the dogs appear outside ready to pounce on them and leaving the cast trapped. Well save for poor Stormy who was stuck outside with the dogs.
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