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Murphy's Bed

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Who maimed the detectives? Why, it's an open-and-shut case.

"Featuring Murphy beds: Charming to the unsophisticated."

Whether a simple hammock, couch, futon, or lawnchair, or a king-size bed or Cool Chair in a Big Fancy House, for most of us, where we fall asleep is the one place in the world we feel most secure. For the boot camp valedictorian, it's a source of pride along with his flawless uniform and clean rifle.

But woe to the Chew Toy, the Cosmic Plaything, The Woobie, the well-deserving villain, or the victim of a particularly cruel fate or Kick the Dog moment. For them, no place in the universe is safe, especially where they least expect it. At the worst possible moment, snap! Covers go flying at unlikely velocities, mattresses fold like origami, and furniture morphs like a Transformer as it consumes its victims.

If it's a Comedy, Hilarity Ensues, and the lasting consequences will likely be limited to minor humiliation, a day spent peeling potatoes in Boot Camp, or a day shopping for a new bed. In a setting on the more realistic or dramatic side, serious injury may be the best that the poor victim can hope for.

Not to be confused with a Murphy bed (no possessive), a type of bed designed to fold into a wall when not in use, although they provide a popular version of this trope (slapstick routines involving Murphy Beds started appearing in silent movies less than a year after they came out on the market), slamming the victim into the wall to be discovered later on (quite possibly Squashed Flat).

This often happens in cartoony hospitals, where someone in a full body cast will have the misfortune of having a bed that will painfully sandwich them.

For furnishings that are deliberately designed to entrap their occupants, see Shackle Seat Trap. For waterbeds specifically, see Wacky Waterbed.


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Comedic Examples:

  • This commercial for Energizer batteries features a lady demonstrating a reclining bed, which at one point, starts to close on her. She tries to stop it, but the Supervolt batteries in her remote die. She gets trapped in the bed, but fortunately for her, the Energizer Bunny comes to the rescue with a pair of Energizer batteries.

    Audio Plays 
  • One episode of Ome Henk sees him in a rundown hospital, where he is repeatedly launched against the ceiling by someone meddling with the settings of his hospital bed.

    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, this happens to Calvin when he tries to lie in a hammock and he imagines he is a fly trapped in a spider web.

    Fan Works 
  • One Bag Enders story gets kicked off when the porn stash beneath Pippin's mattress gets so high that Merry rolling over in the bunk above him breaks Pippin's nose.

    Films — Animation 
  • Anastasia: Vladimir, The Big Guy, gets the top bunk on a boat, which sags so low Anya's puppy Pooka can hardly move.
  • Chicken Run: A variation occurs when the chickens dismantle the coop to build an airplane; one chicken removes the nails off her nest, and it falls on top of her lower bunk mate. This is a Shout-Out to a similar scene in The Great Escape, where half the slats in the upper bunk had been removed to shore up the escape tunnel.
  • My Little Pony: Rainbow Roadtrip: At Hope Hollow's only hotel, Petunia Petals shows to the Mane Six that the sole bedroom has a folding bed, although she has to buck the wall a couple time before it goes down. Quite naturally, the moment Applejack jumps on the bed, it folds back and pins her against the wall.
  • Wallace & Gromit: Wallace's bed tilts upward and runs him through a Rube Goldberg device to get him dressed. The malfunction part comes halfway through The Wrong Trousers, when Gromit hides in it to spy on Feathers McGraw, and it ends up activating by itself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Big Store, the furniture department is full of holes in the floor and the wall that opens up to show off their furniture. Then Wacky starts messing with the buttons and suddenly all fo the furniture is coming in and out of the walls, trapping and untrapping the store's overwhelmed clientele. Later, Flywheel gets trapped in a typical example of the trope when he sends Ravelli and Wacky to protect Tommy from a pair of gangsters.
  • Roger Ebert's Movie Glossary claims that the "upper bunk guy sandwiching the lower bunk guy" thing happens in Black Sheep and Step Brothers.
  • City Hunter: The Cupid's Perfume: When Mr. Skippy's mother-in-law gets all amorous toward him because of the perfume, he finally pushes the grabby woman away and she falls on the fold-down bed, which immediately retracts in the wall, her feet still sticking out.
  • Down with Love: Vikki gets flattened by a fold-out bed when Peter activates the one in Catcher's apartment while trying to open the hidden bar.
  • Fantômas Against Scotland Yard: In Lord Rashley's castle, Commissioner Juve's bed is rigged to move on wheels, pursuing Inspector Bertrand throughout the bedroom before dragging both men into a secret passage and all the way down to Fantômas' lair, where the villain makes them an offer they can't refuse.
  • The Fifth Element has the protagonist hiding the priest Cornelius in the bed in his apartment. When it slides back into the wall, it auto-cleans it. So he is covered in plastic when the bed comes back out; Korben Dallas quickly rips open the plastic to stop him from suffocating.
  • In Gramps Is in the Resistance, set in World War II France, the Bourdelle family is hiding a wounded British pilot in their cellar, when a Gestapo squad led by Adolfo Ramirez surprises them. They immediately hide the pilot by closing the folding bed he's in, pressing him upside-down against the wall for the whole raid.
  • In The Great Escape, all the prisoners sleep in wooden bunks with the mattresses supported on planks. As these also supply the only readily available source of wood, a scene halfway through has Hilts removing all but the bare minimum to make pit props for the tunnel. Enter Cavendish, who bounds onto his third-tier bunk and proceeds to crash through all three levels to the floor.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: During the climactic fire-ladder scene, Phil Silvers' character gets thrown though a window and into an actual Murphy bed.
  • Lolita: In the Stanley Kubrick adaptation, Humbert and Lolita arrive at a hotel and find There Is Only One Bed. This doesn't bother Humbert much, but to keep up appearances he asks for a cot to be sent up. This leads to a short comic sequence where Humbert and a hotel porter have to unfold the cot without waking up Lolita. The cot does little to cooperate — squeaking loudly, throwing Humbert onto the mattress and whacking the porter in the face. Finally they get it open without waking Lolita, only for her to wake up when Humbert tries to slip under the sheets with her. So Humbert has to use the cot, which promptly collapses on him.
  • The Matt Helm movies feature a bed that occasionally wakes Helm up by dumping him into a swimming pool.
  • Mother Goose Rockn Rhyme: Gordon and Little Bo Beep go to Little Miss Muffet asking where Mother Goose (his mother in the film) vanished to, and before they leave, Little Miss Muffet screams as she encounters her spider, Itsy Bitsy Spider who appears out of nowhere and appears into her house. As he appears, he blows her a kiss, and she screams as her murphy bed (along with her lying on it) go back into the wall. Little Miss Muffet probably vanishes though after that, because folks in Rhymeland disappear one by one.
  • In Mr. Hulot's Holiday, a Jacques Tati's classic, this is done with a rowboat. Hulot's attempts to extricate himself lead to terrified beachgoers mistaking said craft for a man-eating shark.
  • The Naked Gun: Nordberg tends to have this happen to him with his hospital bed.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again: In the finale, Clouseau's attempt to sleep with a beautiful Femme Fatale is interrupted by Cato attacking them, causing the Murphy Bed to flip up, smashing through the wall and dumping them into the River Seine.
  • Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure: When Peyton gets Sharpay an apartment in his studio, Sharpay is horrified that she has to sleep in a Murphy bed (or as she calls it, a "closet with a toungue"). The first time she tries sleeping in it, this happens. It becomes a Brick Joke in The Stinger when Ryan visits Sharpay and gets stuck in the bed too.
  • Silent Movie: There's a whole comedy routine based on this, as Mel Brooks's alcoholic movie director character tries unsuccessfully to operate one in a fleabag motel. At the end, he gets spun around, grabs the lighting fixture on the opposite wall by accident and tears the motel wall down.
  • In Spy Hard, Dick Steele (Agent WD40) traps a would-be assassin in his fold-out bed. Then he goes to play some golf. Whether he did it deliberately is hard to tell, considering the character is either Obfuscating Stupidity, Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, or a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
  • The Three Stooges: This was a regular occurrence for the titular three. They always put Curly (the heaviest of the stooges) on the top bunk for some reason. He'd also accidentally step on Moe and Larry's heads on his way up.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Eddie Valiant, of course, deliberately uses his Murphy Bed against the Weasels.
  • In The Wrong Guys, Richard Lewis attempts to set up a cot in a tent which keeps doing this to him. Eventually he ties this "cot from hell" in place, and is finally able to lie down on it. However, then another character actually causes the entire tent to collapse, and we can see the shape of the cot folding up again underneath it, while Richard screams in agony.

  • In the Babylon 5 novel "To Dream in the City of Sorrows", one minor plot thread is Ambassador Sinclair's struggle with his Minbari bed, which can be slanted at various angles but can't be made to stay horizontal. He repeatedly tries to jam the tipping mechanism (in one case having it welded into the horizontal position) only to keep finding that his Minbari hosts have restored it to what they would see as normal functioning.
  • Fudge: In Fudge-a-Mania, when Fudge starts bouncing on the rollaway bed, both sides spring up and trap him in the middle. After being pulled out, he's not happy.
    Fudge: (angrily kicking the bed) Stupid...stupid...bed! If you do that to me again, I'm going to chop you up in little pieces!
    Mom: Let's not blame the bed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 'Allo 'Allo!: One is used as a hideaway in one episode. It gets stuck. With Mme Fanny and M. Leclerc inside...
  • In Are You Being Served?:
    • The episode "Friends and Neighbours" has hilarity ensue involving a Murphy-type bed that flips up into the wall and launches the occupant into the next room when they yank a cord, or lowers down when someone presses a specified book note  on the shelf. Various jealous wives discover various combinations of characters concealed in the bed when they unsuspectingly tap said book.
    • And in "Camping In", there was a faulty Murphy bed where the cabinetry flopped down on top of the mattress rather than the mattress rising up into the cabinet. (Granted, this was probably thanks to it not being mounted to a wall, as most Murphy beds are.
  • Babylon 5: In one episode, Sheridan is sleeping on a White Star for the first time and discovers that the beds are Minbari ones, which are slanted at a variable angle (supposedly because Minbari culture equates lying horizontally with being dead). He finally gets his bed balanced horizontally and lies down in it... at which point it slowly tips and leaves him with his head down and feet up.
  • The Beverly Hillbillies: Granny gets folded up into the hide-a-bed. By a monkey.
  • In Cheers, Sam unwittingly insults Carla's mother and is punished by being stuffed into the wall on the Murphy bed. Says Carla, "You cross Mama, you sleep in the wall."
  • Come Back Mrs. Noah. Cunliffe presses the button on his remote to activate the bed which inevitably hits him on the head when it unfolds from the wall. In an earlier episode the same character wakes up to find the artificial gravity has changed and he's actually sleeping on the wall.
  • Even Stevens. The episode "Easy Way" has Louis agreeing to sleep in a high-tech bed for 48 hours to earn money for charity. The bed not only ends up malfunctioning and comically injuring him, but he also misses a free arcade opening night that all of his friends get to enjoy.
  • In the Full House episode "The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang", Jesse's attempt at installing a hide-a-bed in the attic gets him stuck in the wall space at one point after accidentally causing the bed to close in on himself, with his head in the closet next to the bed. It also overlaps with Hoist by His Own Petard, since HE is the one designing the bed, but he hasn't installed the button on the wall for the bed yet, so he needs help getting out of it.
  • Home Improvement: In one episode, Tim remodels Al's apartment to maximize usable space. One of his improvements is a motorized hide-a-bed operated by a remote control. Al gets this remote confused with the one for the TV, and ends up getting sent through the wall into the neighbor's bedroom. "Hey! I don't go in for that sort of thing!"
  • I Love Lucy: In one episode, Cousin Ernie is given a fold-up roll-away bed to sleep on and doesn't realize that he was supposed to un-fold it first. Lucy finds him sleeping through the bed, sideways.
  • Mama's Family has an episode where she has to sleep in a hammock. It doesn't work very well. The erupting chaos takes her mind off the hammock.
  • The Middle: While staying at a motel, Axl is forced to sleep like this because his cot won't open up. It opens up in the morning, right when they have to leave.
  • My Name Is Earl: Josh dies in a Murphy Bed accident. Months before the episode aired, a poster on Television Without Pity commented on fear of Murphy Beds, and during the episode, Josh was seen posting on the website using that screen name.
  • Sam & Cat: In the pilot, the titular best friends get stuck in Cat's grandma's fold-up bed.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: In one episode, London is staying over at Maddie's and is shocked to discover that she sleeps in a Murphy bed. She later ends up trapped between the wall and said bed.
  • Three's Company: A famous scene involves Jack Tripper trying — and repeatedly failing — to get comfortable in a very tippy hammock.
  • 2 Broke Girls: Caroline sleeps in an actual Murphy bed, and has experienced this trope a few times because of it. Getting her hair caught in the springs at the top of season 4 was the occasion for an Important Haircut.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Great Muppet Caper: A Running Gag is that the pullout bed in Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo's room at the Happiness Hotel would spring back into the wall, usually when someone was on it. The final appearance of the gag has it spring up with all the Muppets on it.
  • The Muppet Show has a gag during the episode when Kermit is laid up with an injury. Specifically, it's a Muppet News Flash about the brand of hospital bed he is using being recalled because it was using parts originally made from pop-up toasters. Sure enough, there is a loud BOING! and Kermit goes flying out of the bed.

    Video Games 
  • The Curse of Monkey Island: There's a grim (but funny) example of this where a Murphy bed is pulled down to reveal... a skeleton. There's also a boarded-up hole in the wall behind the bed, implying that somebody had been sent through the wall by being stuck in a Murphy bed. The hotel owner was never entirely certain what happened to the last guy who stayed in that room. For several nights after he checked in, there were bloodcurdling screams all night long. He was glad when they stopped, but he never saw that guest again.
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: There is one of these in the first mansion. When Luigi sits on the rather large bed in one of the rooms, it swings up against the wall that the headboard is adjacent to, tossing the poor guy into the next room. This is needed to progress in a couple of missions.
  • In The Sims 2, the Murphy Bed has a small chance of killing a weak Sim that tries to open it while in a very poor mood.
  • The Sims 4 takes this further, only when a Murphy Bed is broken does it have a chance to snap shut when a Sim's sleeping but if it malfunctions when a Sim pulls it down, it doesn't just crush them, it beats the ever-living woohoo out of them before snapping back up to leave the Sim dazed at best or in an eventual urn at worst.

    Web Comics 
  • In Goblin Hollow, Ben gets a cot for then-girlfriend Lilly, so she doesn't have to share the bed with him. Unfortunately, he sits on it, and it can't support his weight.
  • In Modest Medusa, Medusa seemed to think the toilet was a water bed. Cue being unhappy when Jake pees on her. The solution? A sign that reads 'Don't Pee on the Medusa'.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Classic Disney Shorts:
    • There's a classic Mickey/Donald/Goofy cartoon that involves our heroes traveling in a remarkably automated mobile home. Donald's peacefully sleeping in bed, but Mickey hits a control, and the bed (it's on a sort of shelf) folds into the wall. Donald gets folded too, then pops out another hole fully dressed.
    • There's a Donald Duck cartoon where just putting up a hammock is proving impossible, and another called "Early to Bed" where his bed seems to conspire with the rest of his bedroom furnishings to keep him wide awake.
    • Whenever Goofy is planning a semi-relaxing activity outdoors, he takes a lawnchair and invariably somehow ends up tangled in it.
  • Cow and Chicken spent almost an entire episode trapped in an unnecessarily complex but failure prone chair.
  • In the Dennis the Menace episode, "Cheer Up", Mr. Wilson becomes hospitalized after tripping on Dennis' skateboard. When Dennis comes to visit Mr. Wilson, he tries to cheer him up by turning on the television, but the remote he grabs is for Mr. Wilson's hospital bed, and the buttons he presses cause it to attack him. All the while, Dennis is completely oblivious to this happening as he wonders why the television isn't turning on. This gag is repeated at the end of the episode when Dennis is revealed to have Chicken Pox and has to stay in the hospital as Mr. Wilson's roommate.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Inverted in "For Your Ed Only" where Eddy attempts to hide Sarah's diary (which he stole after wrecking Sarah's bedroom after a scam gone wrong) in a lawn chair. It keeps snapping open.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, this is a feature of Mr. Sandman's magical Sleepmaster 9000 bed. This is only one of the bed's tricks, as it's designed to subdue people and fairies who are too cranky and violent to willingly accept sleep.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Arnold has an electronic futon in his bedroom that he can activate with his remote control. This is inverted in "Helga's Parrot" when Helga uses it to hide from him and Lila when she tries to steal back the parrot her father purchased after it hears her secret. Also inverted during a Nickelodeon Station ID bumper where Arnold comes home from school and switches on the futon to reveal Gerald reading a magazine in it.
    • Played straight in "Rhonda Goes Broke", Oskar is hiding in one that the Lloyds eventually use when they move into Arnold's boarding house after they end up going broke, and the usually-boastful Rhonda tries to keep it a secret. Rhonda also later gets trapped in it after the secret is finally revealed. She eventually becomes rich again by the end of the episode.
      Grandpa Phil: [showing the Lloyds their new residence] And this sentimental charmer is your room. Not only is it bright and airy, but it also includes your very own private... [back-kicks the wall and releases the bed, only to reveal Oskar sleeping in it while holding a salami] Murphy Bed!
      Oskar: [laughs nervously] Good morning!
      Grandpa Phil: Oskar! I thought I told you not to sleep in here! And give me that salami— it's tomorrow's dinner! [chases Oskar out, holding the salami like a club]
  • The Jetsons: An early episode shows George's bed folding up lengthwise to turn into a toaster, which then pops him out with all the vigor you expect of a six-foot-long toaster.
  • Josie and the Pussycats manage to trap a live Bengal tiger in a Murphy bed. Alexandra also gets trapped in that bed, but she gets pulled out through a hole in the mattress.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Subverted. Pleakley appears to weigh almost nothing, whereas Jumba is at least as big as two grown men. Guess who gets the top bunk. Yet all that ever happens is that Jumba's bunk sags a little, not even enough to annoy Pleakley.
  • Peanuts: Snoopy battles an unruly lawnchair, as well as other furniture, in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
  • The Looney Tunes Show: One scene in “The Shell Game” shows Lola trying out a folding mattress at the department store. She ends up folding it to much and looses the remote, getting stuck in the mattress with her big rabbit feet sticking out. Eventually Daffy comes and gets her out.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Flop Starz", Doofenshmirtz falls from the top of a giant robot only to land into the safety of a nearby bed, which then folds up on him. Talk about insult to injury.
  • The Simpsons:
    • A Couch Gag has Grandpa being folded up in the couch bed so that the family could sit down.
    • Also, Homer has had his fair share of mishaps involving the hammock in the backyard. In particular, a Treehouse of Horror vignette involving a hammock that would produce clones of whoever got tangled up in it... which Homer uses to his advantage. (Until said clones cause trouble.)
    • Homer rents the worst apartment in Waverly Hills in order to send Bart and Lisa to a better school. The room is so narrow, the bed won't go down all the way hitting the opposite wall.
  • Rugrats (1991):
    • In the episode, "Stu-Maker's Elves", Butt-Monkey Chuckie gets trapped in one of these when he and Tommy descend into the Pickles' basement in search of a lost toy.
    • At the end of "The Mattress", Phil presses a button on the control panel to Lou's new Sleepmaster 2000 mattress, making it fold up between him, Tommy, Chuckie, and Lil. The latter three all glare angrily at him for doing so.
  • Tom and Jerry: Tom has terrible things like this happen to him whenever he's trying to mind his own business and just relax outside in a hammock, usually courtesy of Jerry or Spike. He's also been victim of the hospital variant, typically at the end of an episode where Jerry and/or Spike's shenanigans have left him in a full-body cast, after which his hospital bed will likely malfunction and slam him against the wall.
  • Total Drama: In "X-Treme Torture", DJ has to skydive from a helicopter while his team maneuvers a fold-out bed/sofa on the ground to cushion his fall. When he lands on it, the entire thing folds up and traps him inside, and his team members just walk away while whistling to themselves.
  • The Venture Bros.: Hank apparently installed a number of Murphy beds throughout the Venture compound during a caffeine binge (some of which have yet to be discovered). When Dean later went to the attic to clean up the place, he opened a door he didn't recognize, and was subsequently clobbered by a falling bed.
  • In The Wuzzles, Croc, seeking shelter from a tropical fruit storm (yes, as in a storm where it rains bizarre hybrids of tropical fruits, like coconut/bananas) by pretending to be injured on a "broken" step (which he himself broke) at Butterbear's, is tossed into bed by a Bumblelion who secretly witnessed his plan. The bed promptly folded up on him (Croc, not Bumblelion).

    Real Life 
  • One spring-loaded canvas-on-a-metal-frame folding thing is generally used as a sun lounger. If you don't set it at the perfect angle, or if you sit down too hard or someone throws a well-aimed pebble, you are instantly trapped in a canvas sandwich that can't be opened from the inside. Thankfully, the frame only runs around the outside edge, leaving the victim only in danger of an uncomfortable squishing rather than a broken back.
  • It's even worse when employed in combination with a hot water bottle.
  • The example depicted in The Great Escape is actually a fictionalized version of something that really happened. In reality, it was Roger Bushell who was at the center of the incident; he had decided to give up all his boards in favor of having the camp manufacturer rig up a rope support, and convinced his bunkmate to do the same. When Bushell climbed into his bed, the ropes gave out and he fell through both his bunk and the bunk below. Making this even crazier than the film incident, the lower bunk was occupied at the time, so Bushell's bunkmate ended up in the pile too.

Serious Examples:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, Jason knifes up a kid in a rollaway bed, then folds it up — with the kid inside being folded backward.
  • James Bond:
    • Q occasionally tests one of these in his lab, often hurting some poor peon.
    • In Bond's introductory scene in You Only Live Twice, he's enjoying himself with a Chinese Honey Trap who traps him in the hotel's fold-out bed, then opens the door for two assassins who riddle the bed with submachine guns. Fortunately, it's a scheme to fake Bond's death, so the bed must have been bulletproof.
    • At the end of Live and Let Die, Solitaire is lying on the fold-down bed of a train compartment prior to the obligatory post-mission sex, when Tee Hee sneaks into the room to kill them. He's reaching out to her when Bond comes out of the toilet, so Tee Hee slams the bed shut so she won't interfere during his fight with Bond. After Bond throws Tee Hee out the window he lowers the bed to find an unamused Solitaire, who thinks Bond played a silly practical joke on her.
  • Puzzle: When a man is murdered in Ted's hotel room, Ted stuffs the corpse in the room's Murphy bed before making his escape.

  • In Ellery Queen's The French Powder Mystery the body is hidden in a Murphy Bed that was part of a department store window display. When the demonstrator got to "see how easy this is to open?", the corpse popped out.
  • The Wilkie Collins short story "A Terribly Strange Bed" plays with this version in a gruesome way: drunken gamblers sleeping off their night's debauchery in a room above the casino, the bed is a four-poster whose top part hides a second mattress which is lowered by a mechanism to suffocate them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: In "Pinned!", this is how one of the wrestlers ahead of Big Pete on the ladder is taken out.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: A malfunctioning Murphy bed in an abandoned house turns out to be a portal to another dimension. The child who used to live there created the other world by make-believe to escape his parents' miserable relationship.
  • Doctor Who: In the story "Terror of the Autons", the Master — having taken over a plastics factory — tests a prototype for an inflatable plastic armchair on a rather troublesome employee. The armchair traps him in its cold, clammy surface and suffocates him.
  • The 1000 Ways to Die episode "Grateful Bed" features a man who was about to be evicted from his apartment for being 3 months behind on his rent getting trapped inside his own Murphy bed after avoiding his landlord.
  • Friday the 13th: The Series: In "A Cup of Time", the brother of the villain is found inside one of these in his old, abandoned apartment. He's been there for quite some time. This is a plot point, as it was accidentally absorbing his age via the cursed tea cup that allowed her to first become young and thereby learn what the artifact did.
  • In St. Elsewhere, Mrs. Hufnagel [a recurring character as a patient] dies as a result of a folding hospital bed folding up on her in "Murder, She Rote". While it's overall treated seriously, there's some degree of comedy shown as well: the first person to discover her doesn't take it seriously until she doesn't respond to him, and when he tells some other doctors about the incident afterwards, two of them can't help but chuckle. It's also played with in that, while it certainly didn't help, that wasn't actually what killed her.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek myth gives us the seemingly hospitable Procustes, who would offer weary travelers bed and board for the night. Only.. if the traveler was too tall for the bed, Procustes would cut his feet or legs off till he fit. if the traveler was too short for the bed, Procustes would stretch him on a rack till he fit... And of course, he kept a different-sized bed just in case there happened to be a traveler just the right size.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Nobilis provides a horrific example character:
    [The Power of Blankets] turns his banal Estate into a ubiquitous source of strangling cords and suffocating gags. He is a driven man — if he can still be called a man at all — and there was a time when he slew a cradled child to bring down the police [...] and force his enemy's hand.

    Video Games 
  • Not done with a bed but still an example. In Bloody Good Time, you can kill someone sleeping in a deck-chair by doing this to them.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


The Great Muppet Caper

Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo's bed is a Murphy Bed. Which is known to collapse only when it's funny.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / MurphysBed

Media sources: