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Locked in a Freezer

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"Let's make sure, whatever we do, this never happens again."Note 

Pearl: I wanted to prove to you that everything could go back to normal.
Garnet: Catching Peridot won't make things go back to normal. This isn't about Peridot.
Amethyst: [looking at them through a camera] Hey, they're actually talking!
Steven: Now they can finally work things out!
[walls start closing in on Garnet and Pearl on the screen]
Amethyst: Not if they get crushed!

Two or more characters are locked in a walk-in freezer, meat locker, bank vault, or some other small, contained space where they're subjected to extreme cold, lack of oxygen, or both. Death is usually imminent. The characters talk a lot, often coming to a greater understanding of each other. Rescue comes in the nick of time. Sometimes.

Of course, in most places in real life such freezers have to be openable from the inside precisely to prevent this kind of thing from happening. The best treatments of this trope provide some explanation for why this isn't so. (e.g. The lock has been deliberately sabotaged in such way, the characters don't know how to open the door for some reason or there's something blocking the door on the outside, the characters are Bound and Gagged, etc.)

When not in normal use, many restaurant and hotel walk-in freezers are security-locked on the outside with a padlock and hasp to prevent against theft — not unreasonable as the contents can be worth tens of thousands of pounds. This may over-ride the safety release on the inside door. note  While whoever locks up at night is legally expected to check first, there is potential scope here for dramatic potential. Workers dealing with walk-in freezers in Great Britain are legally entitled to a break every fifteen minutes at normal room temperature to guard against hypothermia...

When done deliberately, this is a kind of Death Trap.

Sometimes used as a Framing Device for a Clip Show, as parodied in the second (yes, second) episode of Clerks: The Animated Series. Also a good setup for a Bottle Episode, where the entire show takes place within that one room.

If the characters are locked in, but not in peril, they are simply Locked in a Room.

Sometimes used in conjunction with Snowed-In. One common variation is having all the characters go to a cabin, then having an avalanche trap them there. Since the peril takes place over a longer period of time, this usually allows for more Locked in a Room-style interpersonal interaction and Character Development. Another variation has the trapped characters being hostages in some sort of Sadistic Choice situation. Another, much more fun variation adds a pregnant woman and the inevitable Screaming Birth. This version usually takes place in an elevator, rather than a freezer. Sub-zero temperatures are not conducive to childbirth. Claustrophobia makes things interesting too. Another variation has trapped characters of the opposite sex warm each other with their bodies' heat, which leads to even greater understanding of each other.

Unrelated to Stuffed into the Fridge. In terms of temperatures, this is the opposite to Sauna of Death and Cooked to Death.


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  • A Jack in the Box commercial featuring Jack finding himself locked in a freezer with a male, middle aged, overweight employee. A young, female employee comes in to look for something just as the two are trying the body-heat huddle.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The ultimate fate of Maria and majority of the Ryugu Shelter inhabitants in 7 Seeds. Realizing the source of the highly infectious, incureable and fatal parasitoids, they willingly get themselves locked into a freezer, to freeze themselves and the parasitoids, making sure that the contagion goes into hibernation due to the cold and will have no place to go to if the power of the freezer ends up failing.
  • Used in Akikan!, Melon trying to cooldown as her carbon dioxide was going away. The handle eventually gets pulled off by Kakeru, completely trapping them.
  • Happens in an episode of Black Jack, where Black Jack is locked inside a giant nuclear shelter with a bunch of whiny businessmen. As time passes, their oxygen supplies diminish as well. Seeing Black Jack as their only hope, the businessmen offer him huge amounts of money to get them out of there. He makes sure they honor their word.
  • In the anime version of D.N.Angel, Daisuke and Satoshi get locked in the school freezer. In an interesting reversal, they go in as friends and start chugging through some of the requisite Character Development - including trying to warm each other with their bodies — but one of their topics is a bit sensitive, and it leads to their alter-egos taking over and trying to kill each other.
  • Subverted in Glass Mask. Tsukikage locks Maya and Ayumi in a meat locker not to get them to understand each other better, but in order for them to better understand the characters they'll be performing in an upcoming play.
  • Toyed with in Hana no Ko Lunlun. A little girl from Sicily is trapped in an unused freezer while playing hide-and-seek with her friends and the man who opens said freezer and saves her is actually a Punch-Clock Villain who's on the run and has great lockpicking skills. Later, Lunlun tries to stop a robbery and gets locked in a tightair vault; the Punch-Clock Villain hesitates at first since he might get caught right before the Statute of Limitations kicks in, but ultimately goes saves her... and when he's done, the state has already passed by five minutes, so the policeman in charge lets him go as a free man and even congratulates him on a work well done.
  • Matsuzaka, from High School Debut, decided to lock Haruna and Yoh inside the school basement's freezer as revenge for Haruna beating her in softball during middle school. Subverted, however, in that Matsuzaka only planned to lock them in there long enough for them to start fighting over supplies (one blanket, one piece of chocolate, etc.) and eventually break up, leaving Haruna heartbroken. Completely backfired, obviously.
  • Used with some regularity in the Macross series. In the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross (aka season 1 of Robotech), Hikaru/Rick and Minmey are trapped in actually a very LARGE area of the SDF-1, but as the ship is massive and not fully understood even by the crew, they have no way out and run the risk of starvation before being rescued. In Macross Frontier, Alto, Sheryl and Ranka are trapped in a small, hardened combat shelter (to shield them from the local area being reduced to vacuum) and the air recycling gives out.
  • The Pokémon episode "Snow Way Out" had Ash and his Pokémon trapped in a snow cave during a blizzard, trying to warm themselves off of Charmander's tail. Ash shields a windy cave opening with his body, and the Pokémon refuse to return to their Poké Balls, opting to stay cold with their trainer instead.
  • In Redrum 327 Hyeri is left Bound and Gagged in a freezer room to die.
  • In an episode of the third generation of Robotech, the heroes are trapped in a collapsed subway. Drama ensues.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • In a graphic Alien novel by William Gibson (his unused script for the third Alien movie), a character realises that he's been infected by the xenomorph pathogen and is able to get to a freezer and lock himself inside. They find his frozen corpse later, morphed halfway into an alien form.
  • Played straight in the limited series/graphic novel Arkham Asylum: Living Hell. Main character Warren White, "the Great White Shark", sent to the eponymous madhouse to escape jail time, finds himself spending several months severely abused by the inmates and asylum employees, culminating to one night where truly psychotic inmate, Jane Doe, kidnaps White during a asylum-wide communications blackout and takes him to the freezer usually used for storing Mr. Freeze. White is then tortured by Doe, discovers that she is going to replace him using a mansuit, made with real skin, and locked in said freezer with the temperature lowered down to an extreme subzero state. The result is White losing several of his fingers, hair, ears and nose and upper lip to frostbite, making for some horrific imagery. He is eventually saved by, of all people, the ghost of the man who White had pushed to suicide, who wished to haunt White, but ultimately ended up being unable to do so. This all leads up to White's descent into madness that turns him into a "super" villain.
  • In Bob The Dog, Leonard gets locked in a storeroom in a parody of The Shining.
  • Comic Cavalcade: Locksley Smith, who can open any lock he's within a couple of feet of, once rescued an infant who'd been locked in a safe by their toddler sibling. No one knew the combination and the children's mother had thought her baby was going to suffocate to death.
  • The Flash villain known as Heatwave was trapped in one as a child, leading to his crippling fear of coldness and his fire gimmick.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dick Tracy, "Little Face" Finny suffers this fate. Locked in a cold room at a refrigerated warehouse, he is forced to wrap himself in cow hides for warmth to survive, and ends up losing his ears to frostbite.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • In the animated film Flushed Away, the hero's first encounter with the villain culminates in their being trapped in a freezer (?), about to be frozen with liquid nitrogen. Naturally, they escape within half a minute; the two henchmen we see the most of during the film get frozen instead (they went to check on the prisoners), but later get free (and aren't dead).
  • In the Gumby movie, the Blockheads lure Gumby and the Clayboys into a disguised freezer truck and bring them to a robotics lab to be cloned, locking the originals in a freezer cell afterward. Being made of clay, this only renders the characters unconscious until Pokey and several other characters arrive to save them. The uncut VHS copy also inverts the trope when Prickle leaves the cell's heat on too long, leaving the Clayboys as melted blobs. Luckily, Professor Kapp revives them with an acoustic device.
  • Disney's Tangled has this with Rapunzel and Flynn in a blocked tunnel filling with water. They have their deep and meaningful and share their deepest secrets; Rapunzel's, incidentally, gets them out.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 1950s cult classic The Blob (1958) does unusual things with this one. The eponymous blob is running around a small town one night, eating people. We are now aware of the dangers. The main character his girlfriend run into a grocery store meat locker to hide. They learn two things: 1) Amorphous blobs have no difficulty fitting through cracks beneath meat locker doors and 2) the Blob doesn't like cold.
  • Inverted in Deep Rising, in which a thief who's been caught picking pockets on a cruise ship and locked in the cold pantry only survives an attack by deadly sea predators because she's protected by the chamber's insulating walls.
  • The Ghoul: After stealing the jewel, Dragore locks Betty, Ralph and Hartley inside Morlant's tomb, where they will suffocate if they are not found. The situation gets worse when a fire breaks out.
  • In the Danish film The Green Butchers, a number of characters die or nearly die by being trapped in a meat locker overnight. The first one was an accident.
  • Heart of Dragon have the autistic Manchild, Dodo, realizing he's been dumped by his "friends" after eating in an expensive restaurant, trying to flee from the pissed-off manager and the restaurant's staff, only to end up locking himself in the restaurant's freezer as he tried looking for a hiding spot. Being autistic, Dodo doesn't know how to get himself out after locking the door, and when Dodo's brother Tat arrives later to bail him out, Tat has to use the Air-Vent Passageway instead.
  • In the Kevin Bacon vehicle Hollow Man, Elisabeth Shue's character (the former girlfriend of Sebastian, the man who is now invisible) and her boyfriend are trapped in a freezer. The boyfriend is unconscious and bleeding severely, so she seals his wounds with duct tape, then rigs a magnetic device out of a defibrillator and assorted objects to open the door (which had been sealed from the outside).
  • Jason and Jessica spend almost the entirety of How to Rob a Bank locked in a bank vault. Although the danger of suffocation is not mentioned (although presumably it would become an issue if the siege went on long enough), attempting to leave is liable to get them shot by either the armed criminals inside the bank or the armed police outside it.
  • The protagonist of Belgian film L Iceberg is trapped in the freezer of the fast-food restaurant where she's a shift manager. Rather than bonding with someone else, she has an epiphany of some sort (since it's nearly a silent film, it's never made clear exactly what was on her mind). Although she's discovered and freed the next morning and returns to her family, shortly afterwards she develops a compulsion first to imitate an iceberg in her sleep and then to actually desert her family to visit one.
  • In Innerspace, the Unlikely Hero is trapped in a meat truck at freezing temperature.
  • Tim and Lex neutralize one of the Velociraptors during the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park by shoving her into the walk in freezer and shutting the door.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight sees Charlie Baltimore and her daughter locked in a freezer. Charlie uses a meathook to scrape a hole in the ground under the door, fills the hole with gasoline, and blows the door off its hinges. She's nothing if not resourceful.
  • In The Man with Nine Lives, Dr. Kravaal attempts to dispose of the officials interfering with his work by locking them in the freezing chamber. However, he accidentally gets locked in himself, resulting in all of them becoming Human Popsicles.
  • In Saw III, a side character is not only locked in a freezer but chained by the wrists to the ceiling, naked, and periodically sprayed with cold water while the protagonist tries to find a way to free her. He fails to save her, but manages to escape himself.
  • The scene from Scary Movie 2 is a direct parody of the scene is Hollow Man (see above). Cindy manages to build a whole bulldozer to knock the door down.
  • Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins The gang goes to the school to clear their names to show the ghosts from the pep rally were real and not a prank. It ends with Shaggy and Scooby being scared by a ghost in the cafeteria who then run and hide in the freezer and from there the ghost locks it. Shaggy and Scooby stay in the freezer all night and are finally found in the morning.
  • Jack Nicholson is locked in a storeroom in The Shining.
  • Short Circuit 2 had Ben Jarvhi and his con man associate Fred locked in a Chinese restaurant freezer by the bad guys, and manage to type out a series of musical clues to Ben's girlfriend Sandy for her to follow and rescue them, but not before the requisite talk and coming to terms with one another.
  • In the comedy The Tiger Makes Out, the frustrated protagonist attempts to abduct a woman as a social statement - he stalks one potential target, a restaurant worker, into a walk-in freezer, and gets trapped inside as she leaves, unaware of him.
  • Under the Rainbow has a scene where Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher's characters get trapped in this manner. For Fisher, it's made worse by the fact that she's clad only in bra and panties (leading to a You Must Be Cold moment).

  • The plot of the Italian novel Blackout by Gianluca Morozzi. Unusually for the trope, it's understood that the Evil Elevator is behaving strangely and that there should be an automatic alarm going off, their cell phones should still be working, and the doors shouldn't be wedged shut. It turns out that the elevator was rigged. Two young TV executives looking to break into the reality show industry came up with the idea to select an apartment at random, fix the lifts, wait until two or three people were in the elevator together, and then put it on lockdown and film the results. Driven by greed, they don't stop the cameras even after some seriously messed-up stuff has gone down, but to protect themselves from liability they decide to market the resulting fiasco as recordings taken by the elevator's security camera, which the station purchased and edited into a TV program after the survivors were rescued, instead of as an event orchestrated by the producers. The book lampshades the fact that "there were so many holes in this version of events, you could have driven a truck through them", explaining that the Italian populace is such that they're willing to swallow this for the sake of entertainment, and that the people who comment on the doors working strangely, et cetera, are dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorists. The American straight-to-video adaptation of the novel just has the elevator crash for no reason.
  • In the novel (and subsequent film) Coma, the heroine manages to lure the hitman trying to kill her into her medical school anatomy lab and locks him in, barely escaping herself. When he's finally found, he's suffering significant frostbite and hypothermia and facing amputation of his legs.
  • Discworld:
    • Men at Arms has Odd Couple Cuddy and Detritus locked in a freezer as part of becoming Buddy Cops. Due to the setting, Magitek has to be invoked to justify the existence of the freezer in the first place. Cuddy got out when Detritus threw him out of a window…
      • One quirk of troll biology is that their intelligence increases as the temperature decreases. This incident causes Detritus, normally Dumb Muscle, to become a mathematical genius and begin scrawling a Unified Theory of Everything in the frost across the walls. Unfortunately, trolls are still capable of freezing to death, and Detritus collapses just after writing the ‘=‘. He’s rescued just in time, but all his work melts before anyone can record it and he loses any comprehension of it as soon as he’s brought outside.
    • In the later novel Thud!, it is discovered that at the legendary battle of Koom Valley, the Kings of Dwarfs and Trolls, trapped in a cave, had played the titular board game while waiting for death. This leads to a détente between the two races.
  • A key plot point in The George Elliot Murders by Edith Skom.
  • In the Goosebumps novel Egg Monsters From Mars, the twelve-year-old hero is locked in a deep freezer with the eponymous Egg Monsters. They form a blanket over him so he will not freeze, and eventually he escapes. Now consider the implications of this given that the book ends with him laying an egg on the front lawn. Yeah.
  • Subverted in Saki's The Interlopers. Two men arguing over a strip of land end up trapped under a fallen tree. They form a friendship, but only as a form of insurance, as they assume that one of their friends will come and save them, and both would rather live than take the gamble of possibly being shot by the other man's allies. However, they do not get saved in the nick of time as they expect, but are instead eaten by wolves.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: When Jaine discovers that Linda and Camille are the killers in Murder Has Nine Lives, they lock her in the freezer Camille has installed in her bedroom.note 
  • In Coupland's jPod, Evil Mark managed to get himself locked in a U-Store-It for four days with only a bottle of Gatorade autographed by John Madden and a pack of gum and collectable football cards. He now surrounds himself with as many edible objects as possible, including a stapler made of marzipan...
  • In Polar Star, Arkady Renko is locked in the freezer of a Soviet factory ship by some people trying to kill him. He tries to get out by lighting some oily rags near the heat sensors, but it doesn't work. Ironically he then gets freed by someone walking past who hears him singing (as he's now high from the fumes).
  • In O. Henry's A Retrieved Reformation, Jimmy Valentine, a retired safe cracker, has to come out of retirement to save his fiancé's niece from a bank vault. Unfortunately, he's still at large, and the detective looking for him happens to be in the bank watching him. He lets him go at the end.
  • In The Stand (at least the uncut version) there is a series of vignettes about how people who were immune to the superflu died of other causes. A particularly nasty woman who was overjoyed at the death of her husband and child manages to lock herself in a walk-in freezer. The power was off, so she didn't freeze to death but she could die of starvation and thirst. No big loss.
  • In a scene in the Star Trek novel The Final Reflection by John M. Ford, the protagonist (a Klingon captain) and two loyal subordinates are locked in his ship's walk-in freezer by a traitor. The situation is even more serious for the hero than usual because Klingon biology is keyed to very warm temperatures; while trying to escape, he remembers stories about exposure to subzero temperatures causing the blood to freeze in other Klingons' surface capillaries and the skin to turn black and slough off "like bark from a tree".
  • The Warhammer 40,000 novel, Atlas Infernal by Rob Sanders has the protagonists attempting to escape an enemy fleet intent on capturing them by purposely flying into a "cold star" (called a Kryonova, it saps all heat from the area around it, should not be possible, but being deep in the Negative Space Wedgie that is the Eye of Terror, you are lucky if it is only the laws of physics working backwards) to inflict Locked in a Freezer on their pursuers as well as themselves. To keep from freezing all the way to death and their ship becoming brittle and shattering under its own physics like their pursuers, they set their ship's fusion core to critical meltdown in an attempt to counteract the heat-sapping effects of getting near the Kryonova. Naturally this ruins their ship, but a last minute intervention by the Magnificent Bastard Monster Clown Harliquins sees them safely out of the Eye and into the much safer Webway. The purpose of their intervention isn't quite as nice as it seems...

    Live-Action TV 
  • An early episode of 1000 Ways to Die has a butcher from South Philadelphia being left to freeze to death in a meat locker as payback for stealing pricey cuts of meat and getting his boss's granddaughter pregnant.
  • Alice: In "Don't Lock Now", Mel gets worked up because someone has been stealing can goods and making long distance calls. The girls volunteer to come in to take inventory on Sunday while Mel changes all the locks and puts a block on the phone. Trouble ensues when they all get locked in the storeroom with no key. Monday is a holiday so it maybe Tuesday before they are rescued.
  • There were two episodes of All in the Family that did this. The first one was Archie accidentally getting locked in the cellar, and ends up making out his will. The second was "Two is a Crowd" where Archie and Meathead get locked in the storeroom at Archie's Place, and they start to open up to each other.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008):
    • Season 1, episode 4: Gene and Alex are locked in an airtight (and overheated) vault while searching a government facility. As is typical for any encounter involving, well, Gene Hunt, no one's feelings are directly discussed, but shirts are removed and Alex gets to come face-to-face with her fear of death.
    • In a later episode, Alex, on her own, gets locked in a walk-in freezer.
  • Subverted in the Babylon 5 episode "Convictions". Mortal enemies G'kar and Londo Mollari are locked into a sealed elevator with a fire blazing just outside. G'kar spends the entire time happily hoping they die before they're found, since it would mean he can watch Londo die without being found culpable for it. They're rescued in the nick of time, half-dead from heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. When the rescuers open the elevator door, the first thing the two do (following G'kar's Big "NO!" since this means they'll both survive) is to feebly exchange Volleying Insults, indicating they hate each other even more than before.
  • Batman (1966) has at least one or two episodes in which the Dynamic Duo are trapped in this manner by Mr. Freeze, usually at temperatures of -20F or less. In one instance, as the shrinking square of heat becomes only big enough for one person, both Batman and Robin jump out to spare the other. Batman grabs Robin and puts him right back in. How does he get out of it? Thermal Bat-underwear.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): In "Flight of the Phoenix", a Cylon virus is sabotaging various systems on the ship. Lee and Starbuck are on the shooting range when they start giggling and laughing; they realize almost too late that the oxygen is being pumped from the room, and have to shoot a hole in the window to survive.
  • Benson: In "Cold Storage", Benson and Kraus get locked in the basement together.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • One of Sheldon Cooper's more practical and sensible ideas is for the rest of the core crew to acclimatize for a trip to the North Pole by spending time inside the lock-up deep freeze room at the Cheesecake Factory. Irked by a passing Sheldon insult, Penny invites him to reflect on the fact the freezer may only be opened from the outside and she might just go a bit deaf...
    • And Howard, Raj and Leonard spend three months locked in a freezer with Sheldon — on the grand scale — while on a research trip well above the Arctic Circle. Howard dismisses the idea of building a crossbow, figuring that the most elegant engineering solution to the problem of offing Sheldon will be with an icicle.
  • Blue Heelers: The resolution of Maggie and PJ's UST occurs when they are trapped in a mine collapse, and - thinking they might die - decide to act on their true feelings for one another.
  • Bones: Booth is locked in a ship rigged to blow by the Gravedigger, with the ghost of CPL Teddy Parker, Parker Booth's namesake. Booth gets a chance to resolve some issues from his Army days.
    • This, combined with Buried Alive is the Gravedigger's MO, typically the victims are buried in a capsule of some sort (a car or some other large container) with enough air to last 24 hours. They then put them up for ransom. Two little boys died despite the ransom being paid because the Gravedigger had forgotten to make sure there was enough air for both of them, and the same thing almost happened to Bones and Hodgins when she stumbled across the kidnapping-in-progress.
  • The Brady Bunch Greg and Bobby get stuck in Sam's meat locker when Bobby closed the door to measure himself to see if he had grown, since he was upset about being short. He felt better after his diminutive size allowed him to climb through the small window on the door.
  • Played straight in Castle. Beckett and Castle get themselves locked in a freezer in the two-parter "Setup"/"Countdown".
  • Colonel March of Scotland Yard: In "Death in Inner Space", March and a French lawyer are locked in an airtight chamber—designed to simulate the rigours of space travel—while all of the air is slowly extracted.
  • An episode of Cops: L.A.C., has this happen to Nathan and Priscilla in the Cold Open, appropriately enough. While responding to an armed robbery of a pub, Nathan finds a staff member in the cool room, and when Priscilla follows him in she accidentally lets the door close behind them. They're released by the end of the opening credits, but Priscilla gets mocked for it for the rest of the episode.
  • The Coroner: A literal version of this trope occurs in "The Deep Freeze", where the Victim of the Week is murdered by being drugged and shut in a freezer in an ice cream factory.
  • CSI: NY:
    • A variation in "Trapped" has Danny sealed in the victim's time-locked panic room with the corpse. Unlike most examples of this trope, his life isn't seriously in jeopardy; rather, it's the evidence he has to salvage in haste, using improvised materials, before decomposition sets in and ruins the clues.
    • They do, however, find a dead body that had been stored in a freezer in "Zoo York" which, coincidentally, was earlier in the same season.
    • In the season 3 finale, "Snow Day," former M.E. Sheldon Hawkes captures one of the perps, stows him in one of the morgue's cold storage drawers, and shoves a heavy cabinet in front of it so he can't escape.
  • Original CSI has Henry stuck in a freezer and found dead after it accidentally shuts on him in Hodges’ board game Imagine Spot in “Lab Rats”.
  • In Dark Oracle, Dizzy and Rebecca, two supporting characters, are locked in a school cafeteria meat locker by a crazed stalker. When they get out they're dating, to no one's surprise.
  • Desperate Housewives: In "into the Woods", The Scavo Pizzeria is robbed while Lynette is there. Lynette and Rick are stuck in the walk-in freezer, where they grow closer to each other.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Terror of the Zygons": The Zygons lock the Doctor and Sarah in a decompression chamber and start draining out the oxygen. The Doctor saves Sarah by getting her to stare into his Hypnotic Eyes and mesmerising her into a trance so deep that she ceases to breathe.
    • "Amy's Choice": The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are trapped by a man who calls himself "The Dream Lord". In one reality, they're being swarmed by instant-death-gas-spewing aliens. In the other, the TARDIS is slowly drifting toward a "cold star" — that is, a star that emits cold instead of heat. At the end, the real one turns out to be neither. It was all a hallucination caused by psychic pollen. This episode is also important to this trope because it is while trapped in the dream reality (after Rory is killed by one of the aliens, who turns him to dust) that Amy realizes it is really Rory she loves.
  • Due South did this a couple of times. Once in an actual meat locker: Fraser and Ray wrapped themselves in meat in an attempt to keep warm. Then, in another episode, Fraser and Ray have locked themselves in a bank vault (Intentionally; Fraser's idea) to prevent a bank robbery and then... rigged the sprinkler system to slowly fill it with water (also intentionally, also Fraser's idea), not only adding danger and speeding up their buddy talk but saving the day when the bank vault is finally blown open and thousands of gallons of water deluge the crooks, allowing the duo to take them out.
    • There was also the time that Fraser and his superior officer, Meg Thatcher, were locked into a giant egg incubator. This lead to a certain amount of stripping, sexual tension, and a near-death near-confession.
  • An episode of The Dukes of Hazzard in which Uncle Jesse and Boss Hogg trapped together in an airtight bank vault subverts this somewhat. The characters come to the required greater understanding of each other, even becoming friendly as the air grows thin. Them Duke Boys show up in the nick of time, and after the rescue mirthfully point out the air vent in the seemingly airtight vault, turning it into Locked in a Room.
  • Eureka: "House Rules" is the embodiment of this trope. Later on this happens with Café Diem's freezer.
  • Father Brown: In "The Paradise of Thieves", Father Brown and Sid get locked in a bank vault and are in danger of suffocating. In working out how to escape, Father Brown also works out the solution to the Locked Room Mystery.
  • In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Wil, Carlton, and Uncle Phil are trapped in a cave in a mountain.
  • The Canadian show Fries With That?, being set in a fast food restaurant, tends to have such situations happen every so often.
  • A Happy Days episode has Richie and his friends lock themselves inside an airtight vault in the basement of Howard's hardware store.
  • An episode of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV series featured Wayne and his estranged brother Randy accidentally shrunk and then placed inside of a Play-Doh container by a little kid, who forgot to put air holes, leaving them to slowly suffocate. Subverted by the fact that the talk causes them to start fighting and bumping against the walls, giving them the idea to tip over the container and escape.
  • I Love Lucy, "The Freezer". They actually did this twice; there is another episode during the story arc where they go to Europe, and they get caught in a cabin in Switzerland that's buried under tons of snow. But in the freezer episode only Lucy is trapped.
  • It's Garry Shandling's Show poked fun at this device when Garry got locked in a freezer with Jeff Goldblum. Garry said in an aside, "Can you see this coming?"
  • Kenan & Kel:
    • In one episode, Kel mistakes the freezer for a restroom in a restaurant due to a faulty sign, which he himself knocked over just then and accidentally placed in the wrong direction. New people keep coming in and locking the door behind themselves before the others can stop them. Eventually the entirety of the restaurant, from the staff to the customers, except for one guy, end up trapped in the freezer. Eventually, that one guy needed to go to the restroom, which results in everybody but him and the main characters running out free.
    • In another, Kel, trying to explain to the cops how they all ended up in a bank vault, locks himself, Kel, and the cops inside, prompting the show's catchphrase from Kenan: WHHHYYYYYYYY?
  • MacGyver (1985):
    • "Last Stand" has MacGyver and a fellow hostage locked in a freezer by a sadistic armed robber. It's only part of the episode, and Mac gets the two of them out instead of just sitting around awaiting rescue, but the statutory amount of heart-to-heart talking still manages to take place.
    • A clearer example of the trope, notwithstanding that no freezers are involved, is "Phoenix Under Siege", with MacGyver and his estranged grandfather trapped in a room with a time bomb.
    • Yet another example in "Soft Touch", when Penny and a Russian defector are locked in an actual freezer by assassins, leaving Mac to get them out. No heart to heart talk in this one though (since the two first met that very day).
  • In the Magnum, P.I. episode "Paper War", Magnum and Higgins are trapped in an elevator in a building scheduled for demolition, and end up resolving some of their animosity, which had escalated to ridiculous heights by the middle of the episode.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "The Lions of Causton", the first Victim of the Week is shut in a cryo room intended to treat soft tissue injuries. Patients are usually subjected to -60 degrees for 5 minutes. The killer sets the temperature to -150 degrees and leaves the victim in there overnight.
  • In one episode of The Munsters, Herman and Grandpa get locked in a bank vault when they try to return some money that they accidentally stole (Herman having been mistaken for a bank robber earlier in the episode). Fortunately for them, the real robbers show up and blow open the vault, after which they pass out in fright when Herman and Grandpa step out to thank them for the rescue.
  • My Life Is Murder: In "Sleep No More", the Victim of the Week is drugged with sleeping pills and then locked in a walk-in freezer with a broken handle that means it cannot be opened from the inside.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Little Chubby after receiving a testicular implant following an incident where he took a baseball to the groin on behalf of Earl is seen keeping another man in a meat locker, suspended upside-down in his underwear, just For the Evulz.
  • The NCIS episode "Boxed In" sees Tony and Ziva locked into a shipping container by gun-toting smugglers. It doesn't result in any appreciable change in their relationship, but it does capitalize on their Unresolved Sexual Tension.
    • Somewhat irrelevant, but according to the DVD commentary, the container they were filming in was actually really, really hot, to the point that the actors had to be swabbed off between takes.
    • Additionally, the season 10 premier episode "Extreme Prejudice" has Tony and Ziva trapped in an elevator. The danger in this circumstance comes from possible heat exhaustion and the fact that half the building just exploded and could potentially come crashing down upon them at any moment. The writers took this as another opportunity to cash in on their Unresolved Sexual Tension with arguably better results
  • Neighbours:
    • In one episode, the characters Melissa and Josh get trapped together in the freezer in Lassiters Kitchen late at night, when sneaking in there to determine whether or not Paul Robinson is using eco friendly tuna. Josh points out that the door can be opened from the inside but neither of them realise that a kitchen hand who is locking up has placed a padlock on the outside of the door. They end up having to spend the night together in the freezer as there is nobody in the kitchen to hear the emergency alarm and when they are eventually rescued by another kitchen hand the following morning, Paul gets angry with them and demands that they pay for the damage caused.
    • In another episode Paul and Sheila get trapped in the cold storage room at Lassiters due to Paul not realising until its too late that the door handle on the inside is broken.
  • Night Court had a classic "Locked In an Elevator" episode, where Dan was locked in with Roz and two sumo wrestlers.
    • Another episode had Harry locking himself inside a tiny, airtight safe.
  • One Life to Live had some episodes involving Viki and Dorian, two of the show's older characters, where trapped in a cave following an avalanche. They learned to respect each other, as well as dreamed of what it was like to be each other.
    • In fact, their last scene together was when they were locked in a conference room due to the door jamming. They spent much of the episode remembering the fond memories of each other and the friendship they developed.
  • Only Fools and Horses has one very moving scene where Del and Rodney are trapped in an elevator — Rodney's wife has recently miscarried, and Del finally manages to get him to talk about it. It is eventually revealed that Del hit the emergency stop himself, just to trap Rodney into talking.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Home Cooked Meal", Mr. Conklin is locked in the cafeteria freezer.
  • Person of Interest: In "Baby Blue", Elias forces Reese to give up the location of a mob boss he's protecting by locking both Reese and a baby in a freezer truck. As the baby is more vulnerable to the cold than Reese, he knows that Reese will talk before he's too incoherent to speak, in order to protect the baby from dying.
  • An episode of British children's show Press Gang has Spike trapped under the rubble of a collapsed record shop, only able to speak to another trapped girl through a piece of piping. She later dies of her injuries. A later episode has Lynda trapped in a bank vault and running out of air.
  • An episode of The Pretender opened with Jarod and Argyle locked in one, and most of the episode is a flashback leading up to how they wound up there.
  • This happens in the Red Dwarf episode "Marooned" with a slight twist, as Lister is in mortal danger, but hologram Rimmer is not. In the ending, Jerkass Rimmer emerges with a new appreciation of "nice guy" Lister... until he learns that Lister lied to his face and then destroyed Rimmer's property to cover up.
  • Savage River: As a prank, an employee fakes friendliness and then locks Miki in a freezer with animal carcasses after her shift.
  • Shakespeare Andhathaway Private Investigators: In "Too Cold for Hell", Frank, DS Keeler, and Billy the Brick are locked in a refrigerated shipping container and left to freeze to death.
  • In one episode of Sons And Daughters, the characters David and Alison are deliberately locked in a freezer in a warehouse by Jean Hopkins, who deliberately padlocks the door on the outside and sabotages the emergency alarm to prevent David and Alison obtaining help.
  • Spooks episodes "I Spy Apocalypse" and "Diana" both featured the main cast locked down in the Grid, apparently in mortal danger:
    • The former episode saw a scheduled lock-down exercise turn into the real thing (or so it seemed) after reports of a real chemical attack on London reached the Grid.
    • The latter featured the entire cast being held hostage by a deranged ex-co-worker who had a bomb and a bone to pick about Princess Diana's death. Turned out the bomb was a fake, and the hostage situation was part of an elaborate ruse to trick the Royal Family into moving to a "safe location" which had a real bomb planted in the walls.
  • Stargate:
    • During season 1 of Stargate SG-1, Carter and O'Neill are trapped in Antarctica (which they think is an ice planet) when the gate malfunctions (due to it being fired at by enemy Jaffa). Carter digs out the DHD from a block of ice and tries to dial Earth, but fails since they're already on Earth. So they spend a while talking before Daniel Jackson's idea gets them rescued, right when O'Neill is about to die from the cold and a broken leg.
    • Stargate Atlantis:
      • "Grace Under Pressure": Rodney and a Red Shirt are flying back to base when their shuttle malfunctions, crashing into the sea. After the other guy sacrifices himself for him, Rodney finds himself in a race against time to escape, alone on the bottom of the sea as the leaking cargo hold slowly fills with water. He spends the episode arguing first with the Puddle-jumper (an inanimate object) and then with an amorous hallucination of Sam Carter.
      • In another episode, Sheppard and the pregnant Teyla end up in this situation. The former references the pregnant woman subtrope, but all that happens is Teyla has her baby kick a couple of times.
      • The season 4 episode "Trio" has Carter, McKay, and Keller all trapped in a room in an unstable Genii mine, where they try to build their way out through various schemes. Also, a few children show up who could send for help, but only mock the team's plight instead. So they have to get themselves out after all.
  • In the Starsky & Hutch episode "The Omaha Tiger", the protagonists are locked into an airtight chamber. While Hutch pulls out a pencil and paper and works out how much time they have before they suffocate, Starsky loads everything he can find onto a cart to use it as a battering ram. He smashes through the door just as Hutch finishes calculating that they would have had about 185 hours.
  • The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Shuttlepod One" has Malcolm Reed and Trip Tucker stuck on the eponymous shuttlepod, seemingly the last survivors of their crew. It's this episode that starts the two of them on the path to developing a genuine friendship. However, the real problem here is the danger of running out of oxygen. They deliberately shut off the heating only to preserve as much oxygen as they can.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Tom and B'Elanna's Relationship Upgrade in "Day of Honor" comes as a result of an imminent-death-admission-of-attraction while they are stuck in spacesuits running out of oxygen with Voyager out of range of their comms and their shuttle destroyed.
    • Also an interesting variant in the appropriately-titled episode "One", in which Seven of Nine is forced to run the ship by herself for six days after the Doctor's mobile holo-emitter malfunctions with the rest of the crew in cryo-stasis due to the hostile environment and, due to her history as a Borg drone (and thus member of a collective consciousness), she suffers much more severe psychological effects of the isolation than a human would.
  • In the episode "Baby It's Cold Inside" of Three's Company, Jack and Mr. Furley are locked inside Mr. Angelino's freezer after they were robbed. While inside and thinking they were going to die, Jack tells Mr. Furley that he isn't gay.
    • Jack, Janet, Cindy and Mr. Furley fake being trapped in an elevator to try to scare Bart Furley into giving Ralph his job back, only to find that Bart is no longer claustrophobic after buying the building just to own an elevator to overcome his fears. (Upon hearing this, it is Ralph that gets claustrophobic.)
  • In the final episode of Trapped (2015), the hero and another character are locked in the refrigerator room of a fish factory by the villain and left to die of cold. They manage to attract attention by using a cigarette lighter and some rags to set off the room's smoke detector.
  • True Blood's wacky season 2 plot line had Andy and Sam locked in the freezer of Merlotte's while hiding from a deranged mob trying to sacrifice Sam to Satan. They got out eventually, using brute force and some amusing trickery.
  • In an episode of White Collar Peter and Neal end up locked in an air-tight vault.
    • The problem here is that they could get out by pressing a button, but then the episode's Big Bad would shoot them. All the while the air is being sucked out.
  • Whodunnit? (UK): The Victim of the Week in "Too Many Cooks" is murdered when the killer locks him the walk-in freezer and then disables the alarm.

  • "Time For Tea" by Madness is about a boy who hides inside a dumped fridge during a game and is implied to die.

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Male Superiority", Mr. Conklin, Mr. Boynton, Miss Brooks and Walter Denton are locked in a meat locker. Miss Brooks is the only one who doesn't panic.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock, you have to turn over your weapons to enter Fontaine Fisheries, then Peach Wilkins locks you in the freezer to fight him along with Splicers and Security Bots with only your wrench and plasmids.
    • There's also the disturbing frozen tunnel leading to Poseidon Plaza later in the game. Just a few seconds in, A splicer named Martin Finnegan freezes you from behind, eyes you over, and considers making you into an ice statue. Then after thawing, you have to battle him and take a picture of his body for Sander Cohen.
  • Dead Secret reveals near the end that this is how Harris Bullard died. He was locked into the freezer of his basement, which explains the note on his autopsy report saying "Hypothermia in Summer?".
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there is a short story about this. Even thought it's named The Locked Room, a thirsty ancient vampire definitely makes it the dangerous variant.
  • This is what can happen in one mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Your lawyer friend will get scared by the gun fight and runs to a meat locker to hide in. If you follow him in and there's mooks around, a mook can actually lock you and your friend inside the freezer, which will show a wide angle shot of a player and Ken Rosenberg along with the message "Mission Failed: You are trapped in the freezer with Rosenberg". After this, the player will respawn on Las Venturas Hospital as if they was wasted. They will lose all their weapons and ammo (with the exception of money like a normal way of dying) if this situation happens unless dating Katie Zhan.
  • In Escape from Horrorland, after Lizzie suddenly goes missing soon after the two of you land in Werewolf Village, you find her in the butcher shop, locked inside the freezer, covered in frost and too numb with cold and fear to panic.
  • There's an escape game called Escape the Freezer, where not only does this trope come into play, your body heat is being tracked and hypothermia is a threat.
  • At the end of the Fallout: New Vegas quest "The Legend of the Star/A Valuable Lesson", you find the corpse of a thief who was locked in the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters vault and suffocated to death, and he also happens to be carrying your prize, along with a holotape of his last moments. In Dead Money, the Courier can die a special death by being locked in the Sierra Madre Vault, or they can do the same to Elijah.
  • Icescape justifies this trope, since you're in a research base in the arctic, and a UFO crash fried the heating system.
  • Used for the first kill in Lucius. Justified in that Lucius locked the door.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance has this as the explanation for where the staff of a base that was taken over by AIM Troopers has gone: The were forced into a cold storage chamber, and except for some minor cases of frost bite they were perfectly fine.
  • In Mass Effect 3: Citadel, the villain traps Shepard and his/her entire crew in an impregnable vault in the Citadel Archives, steals his/her identity, and then steals his/her catchphrase for good measure. Shepard is mostly concerned about the latter because Glyph, Liara's floating information drone, is still outside and can simply open the vaults.
  • Not as cramped as a walk-in fridge, but in one of the Nancy Drew games, she's locked inside a ski-resort outbuilding by the culprit and must get out before she freezes to death.
  • Happens to Junpei, June and Santa in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. It first seems to be a murder attempt by Lotus, but is cleared up to be a trap of sorts.
  • Pathways into Darkness has you locked in an airtight room at one point. A Guide Dang It! to escape from, you need to equip the item that makes time go faster.
  • Sanitarium started a level where you had a limited amount of time to unlock a morgue freezer door or die. It even showed your breath when door was closed and everything is frozen, and the breath clouds and ice disappear when it is opened. That, plus a person stuck in one of the storage cabinets defrosts.
  • In The Ship: Murder Party, it's possible to lure your target into a freezer and trap them inside, freezing them to death within a few seconds if you turn to cold to maximum.
  • The Silent Hill series did this several times, for example the Flesh Lip/Hanger Boss Battle where Laura locks you in a room in the hospital. Other examples: the Bug Room in the Historical Society, where James is locked in a room with bloodthirsty insects and his flashlight battery goes dead, and the Bloody Mirror Room in Evil Brookhaven Hospital (SH3), where the door locks and Heather's life slowly drains, but the door unlocks just in time, when the reflection stops moving. Not to be confused with the Boss Battle with Eddie that takes place in a literal meat freezer, where you aren't forcibly locked in.
  • In the Nintendo DS version of The Sims 2, there's a huge freezer. Often, a friend will be trapped in the freezer and will need you to rescue them (by simply going up to them and pressing "Rescue.") While being in the freezer decreases your sanity, you can regain it by using the meat punching bag in the same room.
  • In Tomb Raider II and III, you can lock the butler in the refrigerator for fun, or for the convenience of not having him. Not too good the first time in III though because he will Immediately Teleport out to the shooting field.
  • In Episode 2 of The Walking Dead, half of the group gets locked in A meat locker by cannibalistic dairy farmers. At first this is not a death trap, until Larry has a heart attack and has a chance of reanimating as a walker.
  • You Find Yourself In A Room is a philosophical text adventure game with no pictures. The adventure starts kind of creepy but is okay. There a few nonsensical things and the game slowly realizes that it hates you. The game is eternal and you find yourself in a room. To escape, you have to tell it that it has become "corrupted" and become somewhat human. You are unable to tell it that you want to drink the blood, though...
  • A variation occurs in Batman: The Telltale Series if Bruce opts to rat himself out as the traitor to Harley instead of ratting out Selina. You're trapped in one of Mr. Freeze's cryochambers and have to complete a set of quicktime events to escape before you freeze to death. Averted if Bruce rats out Selina, as they try to put her in one but she breaks it and they're forced to put her in a Riddler trap box instead.

  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, when a very hungry Molly and Golly discover a walk-in freezer full of food, Molly makes reference to the relevant The Brady Bunch episode. Golly, unsurprisingly, doesn't get the reference.
  • In Off-White, a snow leopard caused an avalanche or something that trapped a group of sledders.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, a more literal version is used in a Fire Nation prison (the titular The Boiling Rock), where the punishment for firebending is to be locked in a freezer. Zuko has already demonstrated the ability to survive prolonged submersion in arctic waters, so it's nothing to him. Played straight in The Cave of Two Lovers, where the Gaang and a group of traveling hippies are trapped in a cave. The danger is primarily from roving beasts and being lost forever in a maze that's constantly shifting.
  • One episode of The Batman has Batman and The Riddler locked in a sea can that has sank to the bottom of the ocean and is slowly filling with water. The Riddler has basically resigned himself to his fate and tells his origin story, although they do ultimately team up to escape.
  • One episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold plays this straight when three heroes trapped by Mr. Freeze take advantage of the opportunity to chat about their early team-ups whilst they work on getting out.
  • When Princess Carolyn and BoJack have a fight in a resturant in BoJack Horseman, they at one point go into the freezer to talk things over in private, and their heated argument turns into them laughing over good memories and listing each other's good points. Subverted in that they then go straight out with no fanfare.
  • An episode of Chowder featured this where Chowder, Mung, and Snitzel were accidentally trapped in Chowder's bathroom. The worst part about it was that Chowder had to go but needed privacy. Naturally Hilarity Ensued from this.
  • As mentioned in the page intro, Dante and Randal find themselves Locked in a Freezer in only the second episode of Clerks: The Animated Series. And then in Randal's video store, with the thermostat turned way down. And then in an ice skating rink...
    • They use the occasion to flashback on all the wacky adventures they've had (mainly just the first episode and the first five minutes of that one)
    • Two of the flashbacks show that Dante and Randal have been locked in a freezer twice before. They somehow forgot how they got out the first two times. And the "Next time on Clerks" segment shows them locked in a freezer again.
  • Code Lyoko
    • Though it didn't involve being locked in a room, a similar situation occurred in the episode "Cold War". Yumi was pinned under a tree in normal winter clothes while the temperature dropped below arctic levels. Ulrich refused to leave her side despite all his efforts to save her failing. Considered a main Tear Jerker moment by fans.
    • An earlier example was in "Ultimatum" where XANA possesses the school principal and kidnaps Odd and Yumi, taking them to a freezer warehouse. Neither of them hold up well with Yumi getting the shivers so badly Odd gets worried enough about her safety that he yells at XANA for endangering her more than necessary for the apparent plan.
  • The Deep: In "The Field of Giants", Fontaine and Finn are trapped together, and running out of oxygen, after they are swallowed by a giant clam (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • The Fairly Oddparents episode "Snow Bound" featured Timmy and Vicky getting trapped in a cave during an avalanche.
  • In one episode of Family Guy, the Griffins wind up trapped in a secret safe room with the sprinkler system going off, resulting in the room slowly filling with water.
    • And of course there was the infamous "Brian and Stewie", which was an entire episode dedicated to Brian and Stewie being locked in a bank vault.
  • The Hey Arnold! episode "Heat" inverts this: Mr. Green the butcher relaxes in the freezer during the heat wave, not caring that it doesn't open from the inside.
  • Though not a literal freezer, Iron Man in the 90's animated series falls down an ice chasm, and has to review past memories to keep his brain active in order not to die, before he can be rescued.
  • This happened in a James Bond Jr. episode on board a cruise ship when SCUM agents trap James and the female cruise director in a freezer. Naturally, James is able to use one of his devices to get them out before they succumb to hypothermia.
  • The plot of the King of the Hill episode Nancy's Boys is launched when, during a "random service check," Hank winds up rescuing a restaurant owner from this fate, earning him a reward of free dinner for four.
  • Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil had something of a subversion; the title character was locked in a freezer at work... but the actual danger was that she was locked in with a convicted sex offender obsessed with her.
  • Happens in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S2 E13 "Hearth's Warming Eve", to the benefit of all pony races whose leaders are trapped in there.
  • An episode of Disney's Recess had this happen as the end result. When Spinelli was given tickets to a wrestling match by the bratty Ashley group, she and her friends were naturally suspicious, except for Mikey and Gus. After many attempts to learn what the trick was, Spinelli, T.J, Vincent, and Gretchen finally broke into the Ashleys' clubhouse where they discovered that the tickets were genuine. Unfortunately, the clubhouse's security system locked down, resulting in them trapped while Gus and Mikey went to the fight.
  • Rigby from Regular Show tried to prevent this with common sense to prop the door open before leaving the lockable door. It failed still because he tried to prop the door open with a couple of bags of ice.
  • This happened to Sam in an episode of Rocket Power, although it wasn't the focus of the episode — it was to show that everyone was ignoring him the entire episode because of Otto's mischief.
  • Inverted in the Sealab 2021 episode "In The Closet": sure, Murphy, Sparks, Debbie, Marco, and Quinn are trapped in a closet that's got a broken lock, but at least they're not in Sealab itself, which is being overrun by ravenous Guatemalan fighting dogs that Murphy hadn't fed in ten days. Guess what happens to Stormy.
    • The episode "Cavemen" leaves Quinn and Stormy in a Catch-22. They're trapped in an underwater cave with no way to call for help. If they leave, a shark will kill them. If they stay, they'll run out of oxygen and die anyway. They choose to go out via oxygen deprivation.
  • The Simpsons:
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "SB-129", Squidward runs into the Krusty Krab on a Sunday to get away from SpongeBob and Patrick but accidentally locks himself in the freezer, where he is frozen in place for two thousand years and awakens in the distant future.
    • A later episode, "Truth or Square", has SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and Mr. Krabs trapped in the freezer during the Krusty Krab's anniversary celebration. They attempt an Air-Vent Passageway escape but spend most of the episode lost in a maze of vents, which is where most of the other aspects of this trope play out. Spain and Latin America even went so far as to actually call the episode "Stuck in the Freezer".
  • Steven Universe: In "Friend Ship", Pearl and Garnet, who have had a strained relationship for the past several episodes, find themselves trapped in a room that is closing in on them. They finally talk to each other and Pearl apologizes for taking advantage of Garnet in "Cry for Help". They end up forming Sardonyx, who uses her drill to get out of the room.
  • Used as a Framing Device for a Clip Show in the Totally Spies! episode "The Elevator". The spies are locked in a disabled elevator in a high-rise building after the crook has escaped. All their gadgets have been left behind or destroyed as well. As they try to MacGyver their way out, they reminisce about events in past episodes, clips of which are shown. Eventually the elevator gives way and falls to the bottom of the shaft, where they are pulled out by Jerry and company.

    Real Life 
  • In addition to the numerous potential food thieves who have been locked in freezers, armed robbers have been known to lock restaurant employees in freezers during a heist.
    • This is actually recommended by some managers as a pretty smart idea, as modern freezers are impossible to seal from the outside and are easy to open from the inside specifically because of this trope. Simply huddle in the freezer for a few minutes then walk out and call the police.
  • Used to be a common danger to small children when old fridges and freezers were built with a mechanical lock that could only be opened from the outside. After the fridges were dumped children might play in them and get stuck. Due to this problem the Refrigerator Safety Act of 1956 forced manufactures to come up with an alternative, the magnetic closures that we see today.
    • Supposedly, this happened in Brazil in the 70s. People replaced their old-style freezers by modern ones (which can open from the inside). The old ones were thrown in landfills, and homeless people found them to be nice places to sleep...until they realized they couldn't get out. For a while it was thought to be either suicide or murder, until someone linked the pieces.
    • Numerous children simply entered one at home, only to choke to death before their parents realized where they were. There's a reason why fridge doors don't lock up anymore.
  • A soldier stationed in Iraq had trouble keeping cool, so he decided to have a kip in the walk-in freezer. He was woken up a little later suffering hypothermia and mild frostbite. While his superiors agreed that it was a dumb move, they understood why he did it.
  • The majority of walk-in freezers are designed to avert the trope by having the door allowed to be open from the inside or enabling someone on the inside to unlock the door so they won't wind up trapped.
    • Many walk-in freezers also have emergency entrapment alarms, which when activated, cut power to the refrigeration unit and sound an alarm outside the freezer.
  • A notable inversion happened during 2015 January terrorist attacks in Paris. During the attack on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket, shop-assistant Lassana Bathily hid several customers in the cold storage. But he also shut down the refrigeration.note 


Lucy's Freezer

Lucy Ricardo + Walk-In Freezer = This.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / LockedInAFreezer

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