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"Open!" Says Me

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"Knock, knock!"
Lt. Brannigan (after kicking down a door), Brannigan (1975)

There's a door the heroes have to clear. But there's also a lock (often involving a complex computer combination lock) in the way. Our heroes have to get past it, to get the weapon, the suspect or hostage, or the artifact or whatever MacGuffin is important to the plot right now. They may or may not have a brilliant hacker kid like young John Connor or mutant kid like Micah. Somebody tries to pick the lock, or to blow powder on it to see what the most used key combinations may be, or find some other way to get the lock open before time runs out. But it's still not going fast enough.

Then comes The Big Guy, the Boisterous Bruiser, the Pint-Size Powerhouse (etc.) who just punches it in, smashes it with a rock, kicks it, blasts it with a weapon, or runs into it either head first or with a Battering Ram. Master of Unlocking or not, the lock is broken, sputters feebly, and the door obligingly opens, if it doesn't fall down first. Occasionally you have a speedster or a robot picking the lock by blazing through all combinations faster than the human eye can follow.


One of the more common variants is the hero putting his (or her) shoulder to the door, which obligingly opens, if only a little bit. This has led to the common subversion: hero applies shoulder, Newton's third law tells the hero to lie down on the ground and whimper. The "subversion" is what would actually happen. If you really want to open a door, kick it near the door knob. Otherwise you'll have a closed door and an injured shoulder.

This trope is responsible for Evil Overlord List entry #96: "My door mechanisms will be designed so that blasting the control panel on the outside seals the door and blasting the control panel on the inside opens the door, not vice versa." It's also a subtrope of Cutting the Knot. When the magic phrase Open Sesame fails, you still have this as an alternative; sometimes the party using force to open the door will even say "Open, says me!"


See also Dungeon Bypass, Myopic Architecture and Steal the Surroundings. Related to Axe Before Entering, Battering Ram, and Shoot Out the Lock. The Subverted Trope, where they do bust down the door, and an ally notes they didn't need to, is We Have the Keys. And the trope wherein they could've used the door but smash through the wall instead is There Was a Door.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Togusa suggests that he pick a lock, while Batou just kicks the door down.
  • At the beginning of the Bount Arc in Bleach, Ichigo and Co are trying to get into their kidnapped friend's house. They consider knocking the door down but Ichida calmly picks it instead. Later when they need to get in again, they decide that they're in too much of a hurry but the door's opened from the inside before they can open it.
  • In Buso Renkin, during the attack on the school, one of the L.X.E.'s familiars is telling the students to throw things at everything in the courtyard (the homunculi are immune, the heroes aren't). To get through the looked door, Daihama smashed it with a cry of "DIE DOOR!"
  • In one chapter of Sgt. Frog, Momoka's street-fighting mother Oka circumvents the newly-installed set of heavy locks on the entrance to Keroro's Elaborate Underground Base by simply ripping the door open with her bare hands.
  • In one episode of The Big O, Roger is with his snarky Robot Girl companion Dorothy and they come to a locked door. Roger takes out a lock picking device he had stowed away, and gets ready to use it, but Dorothy just calmly pushes the door open...with a one-handed push and gives him a look.
  • Played with in Berserk during the Griffith Rescue mini arc. When the team finally reached Griffith's cell at the bottom of the Tower of Rebirth, the warden/torturer locks them in the room behind a door that was four times the thickness of a normal door. He then proceed to gloat about how he tortured and maimed Griffith for a year... which only served to piss Guts off even more before he eventually decided to ram his BFS through the door, at the same time skewering the warden, cutting off the warden's tongue, and finally allowing him to slide from the sword to his death down into the pit.
  • In Sailor Moon, both Sailor Moon and Sailor Jupiter have taken the simple and direct approach to opening locked doors on occasion, with an exploding moon tiara and a bolt of lightning respectively.
  • In Attack on Titan, when the heroes finally make it to Eren's father's basement, the key Eren had been carrying this whole time won't fit in the lock. Levi loses patience and just kicks the door down.
  • Zigzagged in an episode of You're Under Arrest!, where Miyuki and Natsumi participate in a staged bank robbery exercise as the robbers. When they get to the bank's safe, it's guarded by a high-tech electronic lock. No problem for Miyuki, who easily hacks it. But after they get past it, turns out there's also a door full of normal padlocks and chains, much to Miyuki's exasperation. That's where Natsumi does her stuff, breaking them apart with her strength.

    Comic Books 
  • In Batgirl (Rebirth) 2017 Annual, Batgirl and Supergirl sneak in a clandestine black site to free a prisoner. They need to open a cell door but have no key, so Supergirl rips the door off its hinges.
  • Rorschach from Watchmen does this repeatedly, mostly to his friend, the second Nite Owl's, door. Of course you could argue he was asking for it using a company called Gordian Knot.
  • In Miracleman, Miracleman and a secret agent approach a giant vault door. The secret agent discusses finding some explosives to open it up. Miracleman dismissively embeds his fingers into the vault door, rips it out and throws it over his shoulder.
  • The Flash does this with the "push every button until sparks fly out" method.
  • Mortadelo y Filemón:
    • A humorous version occurs when Mortadelo and Filemon pay a visit to the President of the USA. A security guard goes through a number of scans and checks (iris scan, voice recognition, access code, etc.) to open a door in the White House, prompting Mortadelo to remark that "Security sure is tight." Then along comes the cleaning lady, who just slaps and kicks the door a few times until it opens. Perhaps she is an Almighty Janitor.
    • A Running Gag is that the duo has to open a door, so Mortadelo will bring out his skeleton key — a comically oversized key with which he simply smashes the door to pieces.
  • Several examples in Gotham City Garage:
    • Supergirl, Nightwing and Catwoman are sneaking in a secret facility and attempting to open a door but the retinal scan doesn't work. Kara -who is shielding her partners from a laser barrage- loses her patience and punches the door down.
    • Batgirl needs to make her way in a rebel hideout. At the door, she's asked the password. Barbara doesn't even answer anything. She just kicks the door down.
  • Superman, being the ultimate Flying Brick, does this occasionally. If you're super-strong and invulnerable, any door is only locked if you want it to be...But it's not enough to avoid the Bucket Booby-Trap.
  • In The Authority, Jack remarks how much he hates kicking in doors because he feels bad for the people who clean up afterwards. Fortunately it turns out that Midnighter can pick locks faster than Jack can kick anyway.
  • Done a few times in Asterix, usually by Obelix.
  • In Sin City, when Marv is locked in Kevin's basement, he simply runs head-first into the huge, thick, vault door until it eventually breaks down. The movie contained a slightly different escape where he rips the barred window out of the wall.
  • The infamous Doom comic: on Page 2, Doomguy opens an important-looking door this way.
    Marine: Knock knock. Who's there? ME! Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Me! *KRAAAAK!*
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: Di will frequently break down doors the criminals are hiding behind. On at least one occasion the door was a vault door, which she found punny and easy to twist out of its frame.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Expectations of destroyed doors are subverted in "The Return From the Dead". While Di has previously shown that large fancy metal security doors are no issue, when she and Steve Trevor come across one in a museum which the unconscious Holliday Girls are behind she takes the path of least resistance and steps through the wall next to the door instead.
    • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Wonder World" Techne knocks down Diana's door when she and her partner Epistime go to fetch her after everyone assumes Diana has been sulking in her room all day and Diana doesn't respond to Epistime.
      Epistime: We weren't sent to yell constantly, either. Just because you have no kindness in your soul doesn't mean you're right.
      Techne: You are impossible. And I am kicking down the door.
      Epistime: DON'T YOU DARE!

    Fan Works 
  • Brother on Board: S1lver shows no respect for locked doors in Chapter 34 and uses this trope a total of 4 times.
    • First, Miss Valentine smashes through the locked door of the patient room so Nami can escape.
    • Second, Sabo tears open the locked doors of Wapol's armory in a fit of rage.
    • Third, Zoro and Sanji help an emotionally exhausted Sabo by knocking down the frozen-over doors to Wapol's kitchen.
    • Fourth, Nami gets Luffy to rip the locked doors off of Wapol's massive refrigerator.
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
  • Diaries of a Madman: Nav tries this unsuccessfully. One of the Day Guard later almost breaks his leg by trying to kick down Nav's front door.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: The first time Harry encounters a Riddling Sphinx, Hermione is on hand to solve the riddle and get them past peacefully. The second time, Harry is alone, and has no idea of the answer, so she has to fight her way through.
  • The protagonist tries this in Sophistication and Betrayal, but fails badly and injures his leg in the process.
  • This Bites!:
    • Conis does this a couple of times to get through doors. It helps to be 4 times stronger than a normal human.
    • Soundbite quotes this to get through a safe door.
    • Both Sengoku and Garp lend their strength to breaking down the Gates of Justice. Unfortunately for them, the gates are simply too massive and well-built for them to even come close to succeeding before the Straw Hats escape.
  • In Xendra the Scoobies try to search Warren Mears house but his basement door gives off an electric shock powerful enough to knock out a Slayer (or kill a normal human). Wesley finds a pair of heavy insulation gloves and dips them in latex paint to further insulate them. Faith kicks down the door.
  • Inverted in Wilhuff Tarkin, Hero of the Rebellion: when his niece has seemingly locked herself in her room on his personal ship, Tarkin entertains the idea of barging in with a battering ram before using his password to all doors on the ship to override the lock.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Treasure Planet, Silver's pirates are trying to cut through a door in a fairly uninspiring way. Silver gets frustrated, turns his cyborg arm into a cannon, and simply blows it open.
    Silver: Oh, you're taking all day about it! (Sets up cannon and blows the door open)
  • In Atlantis: The Lost Empire, the mercenary team blows up the door to the throne room with dynamite, after which demolitions expert Vinnie says "Knock, knock."
  • In World's Finest, Superman knocks down a door and then gives Batman a sarcastic "after you" gesture, to which Batman sardonically remarks, "You're learning."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In seemingly every buddy cop movie, there is a scene wherein a character will attempt to open a door with lock picks or some other delicate method, whilst his street smart friend will simply kick the door in.
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (2000): Used when the hotshot Smart Guy tries to pick a lock on a small power box. The Voiceless Big Guy steps in and abruptly snaps the door open with a knife.
  • I, Robot: While Dr. Calvin is trying to hack into V.I.K.I., the control panel suddenly locks her out with a small sliding door. She barely gets a chance to fret over how to bypass this when a very tense Spooner comes right up and punches the door (with his robot arm!). The crumpled door surrenders.
    Spooner: I'm uncomfortable...with heights.
  • Iron Man: Pepper Potts is leading several S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives to Stane's secret lab. Her key card doesn't work on his door, so the operatives place a device on the lock. Pepper starts asking if the device picks the lock mechanically or electronically before they tell her to stand back from the imminent explosion. She covers her ears expecting a loud bang... aaand it turns out to be a thermite charge about as loud as a dropped textbook.
  • In Red the protagonist points out that while a door to a CIA file room is protected by a state-of-the-art biometric lock, the surrounding wall was built by the lowest bidder. He simply kicks the wall and easily breaks through the shoddy drywall.
  • In the Robert Downey Jr./Guy Ritchie version of Sherlock Holmes (2009), Holmes takes out a very professional looking lockpicking kit to open up a locked door. Watson just kicks the thing down. Later Irene Adler pulls open a door to again find a Holmes fiddling with his lockpicks on the other side.
  • Sneakers: Played for Laughs: Bishop has lockpicks ready to open the mechanical lock to the office holding the MacGuffin. He comes up to it, and discovers the mechanical lock has been replaced with an electronic keypad. He radios the guys down in the truck and asks if anyone knows how to defeat a keypad. Crease picks up the mic and says, "Try this..." After a few seconds of listening to Crease's advice (which we don't hear) Bishop says he'll give it a shot. He then kicks down the door, and radios back, "It worked."
  • In Superman: The Movie, Superman breaks into Lex Luthor's lair under Metropolis through the door.
    Luthor: It's open, come on in. My attorney will be in touch with you about damage to the door. [turning] Otis, take the gentleman's cape.
    [death glare]
    Otis: I don't think he wants me to, Mr. Luthor.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, young John Connor tries to electronically hack a keycard lock with his laptop, to no avail. Then the T-800 steps up with a grenade launcher...
    T-800: Here. Let me try mine.
    Sarah Connor: John! Fire in the hole!
  • The In-Laws: A very funny moment comes in the original version when one of the Mooks chasing Sheldon comes across an emergency exit. After trying to open it, and failing, he yells for a couple of seconds, catches his breath, calmly says, "This is an emergency," and busts down the door.
  • The Naked Gun: Subverted and Played for Laughs: Officer Nordberg tries to kick down a door, but instead he kicks a hole in the door and gets his foot stuck, which also tips off the criminals on the other side of the door.
  • The Princess Bride: At the film's climax, Inigo has Rugen on the run, but the Count eludes him briefly by running into a room and locking the door behind him. Inigo, in a full panic that Rugen might get away, starts running and ramming himself against the door, trying to break it down, and screaming for Fezzik to help him out. Fezzik calmly walks up, stops Inigo from hitting the door, and punches it off its hinges with one fist. Then calmly turns and walks away as Inigo resumes the chase.
  • Double Subversion in Stripes: John and Russell try to rescue their captured unit from a cell by blowing up the locked door with a bomb, which fails. Once Captain Stillman starts blaming them for the predicament they were now in, Ox (who's inside the cell among the prisoners) decides he's had enough of Stillman's whining and charges towards him, but smashes open the door when Stillman steps out of his way.
  • Done as an example of how Muggles Do It Better in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Queenie attempts to use conventional magic to open the door to Graves' office, but it is naturally enchanted against such efforts. So Jacob simply kicks it in.
  • Dead Presidents. One of the Vietnam veterans-turned-robbers tries to blow the rear door off an armoured truck with a radio-detonated C4 charge, and ends up blowing up the entire truck and incinerating the money inside.

  • Masked Dog by Raymond Obstfeld. The title character, the result of a government experiment giving him perfect memory and superhuman strength, has escaped and decided to become the perfect assassin. He memorizes a book on lock-picking techniques, but finds that it requires more patience and skill than he has; so he just smashes down the door.
  • There is a children's book about a band of thieves trying to break into a castle. The lead character, has trained for years and years by his master and is able to open any lock. After the first series of heavy doors, the group gets closer to the throne room, but the locks become more and more complicated. At one door, the character realizes he's faced with the lock his mentor had always warned him about: a hexagonal Devil Hole. He spends a good number of pages agonizing about his abilities until he realizes that the whole point of the Devil Hole is pure mindfuck: it's not a lock. It's just a hole. The door was open all along.
  • When Hagrid comes to collect Harry Potter from the shack in the first book, he knocks the door completely off its hinges while knocking. On the other hand, this is less of him deliberately doing it and more of his big guy nature and the door being shoddy.
  • #38: The Arrival from the Animorphs series:
    Jake: <Too bad there's no door. Rachel? Marco? Ax? Make a door.>
    [The three, being in highly powerful and destructive morphs at the time, proceed to bash the wall in.]
    • When Jake got a rhino morph, he became the official door-opener for much of the book. He'd often not even notice the door until he was in the process of smashing through it.
  • David Eddings series The Elenium/The Tamuli:
    • The queen is locked in a room. Mirtai, a warrior giantess, smashes through the heavy wood door easily. She comments that many old doors have wood rot after so long, making them fragile, subverting and discussing the trope.
    • Later on, during Sephrenia's emotional meltdown, Kalten goes to her room to deliver a Cooldown Hug. She's locked the door, and refuses to open it, so Kalten invokes "Elene magic" (breaking it).
  • In the Discworld City Watch books, Detritus, a huge troll whose weapon is a siege bow, is sometimes ordered to open doors. To quote Vimes "When he opens a door it stays open if you get what I mean."
    • When temporarily deposed and consigned to the most secure cell in his own dungeons. Lord Vetinari - who in accordance with Evil Overlord Rule no.96, designed the cell himself - has ensured all the locks and bolts are on the inside where he can control them.
    • The Lancre witches know how to open stubborn doors made out of unrelenting three-inch thick planks of old oak set in thick stone portals. Granny Weatherwax would prod the memory of the surrounding stone, encouraging it to get over the dungeon chill by recalling the old times when it was all hot and runny. Magrat Garlick encouraged the wood to remember a long-ago time when it was green and growing in the forest. Either way, they get in.
    • Rincewind, consigned to a cell in XXXX, suddenly notices that while the lock is strong, the hinges aren't: they simply slot a metal loop on the door to a peg secured to the portal. A bit of patient lifting, and the door suddenly lifts off and out.
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society has a curious variation. While the doorways leading to some of the secret, but not super-secret areas in the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened are not locked, they're actually designed in such a way that they're opened only by ramming or kicking, as the main protagonist Reynie Muldoon discovers when he grows so frustrated in trying to open one of them that he kicks it. The reason for this is that the Big Bad, Mr. Curtain, enjoys ramming through doors in his souped-up wheelchair. The super-secret areas, however, are protected by numeric keypads, and no amount of kicking will get you through them. This is something that Sticky Washington, another of the protagonists, discovers to his chagrin before the keypad is spotted.
  • When Harley Q attempts to lock himself behind heavy doors in his command room in Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner, The Big Guy of the Embryon, Heat, simply kicks the door off it's hinges.
  • The Estuary: When a cowering Peters refuses to open a door for Constable O'Malley, Dr. Theresa Winfield, and a child named Aiden as zombies close in, O'Malley starts kicking the door, weakening it and says he'll keep it up until the door breaks if Peters doesn't let them in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Especially including and up to the 1980s, it would be easier to list a police / detective TV series that didn't use this trope than one that did.

  • On an episode of American Pickers, a man was just starting to get an old storage unit cleaned out.
    "And, ah, I don't know where the key is, so we found this key." (holds up an electric saw and cuts through the lock)
  • Angel: Angel does it once or twice as well, usually with demons since he needs an invitation for human homes, such as when he smashes open the door of Amoral Attorney Lilah Morgan.
    Lilah: That's a very dramatic entrance... except for the part where you can't enter.
  • A variation in The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon wants Penny to retrieve a USB drive from a box with a complex puzzle lock - and is giving her detailed instructions on how to open it. She chooses to just smash it open.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy's habit of breaking down doors is lampshaded on a couple of occasions, such as when she breaks into the Magic Shop only to be told by Riley that he's got a master key, or when Spike gripes at her habit of barging into his crypt whereas he needs an invitation. Spoofed in "Grave" when Xander is seen hammering ineffectually at the type of crypt door Buffy breaks down on a regular basis.
    • Giles gets one too, in "Fear Itself", when he and Anya are trying to rescue the Scoobies from a haunted house that has sealed itself shut:
      Giles: We're gonna to have to create a door.
      Anya: Create a door? You can do that?
      Giles: [pulling a chainsaw out of his bag] I can.
  • Michael Weston of Burn Notice LOOOOVES this. Especially using the wall.
  • On Criminal Minds, this happens practically Once per Episode with Morgan. On a gag reel, they once unscrewed the door so that when Shemar Moore tried to kick it down, it merely fell. In later episodes, Morgan didn't kick down a lot of doors because Moore broke his foot.
  • Doctor Who has done this a few times.
    • In "Battlefield", an extremely literal version of this trope:
      The Doctor: Open up! It's me!
      [door opens]
      The Doctor: Door keyed to my voice pattern; just the sort of thing I'd do.
    • The TV Movie: Eight breaks down a heavy steel door to escape from a morgue shortly after regenerating. This terrifies the poor nightshift guy on the other side so badly he faints, even though the Doctor is almost trembling in his shroud and generally giving every indication of being nearly as scared of him as vice versa.
    • In "School Reunion":
      Mickey: Okay, no time to explain, we need to get inside the school. Do you have, like, I don't know, a lock-picking device?
      K9: We are in a car.
  • Gotham: After discovering the hidden cave entrance, Bruce and Alfred find that it leads to a steel door with an electronic combination lock. After a month of trying and failing to open the door, Bruce decides to blow it open, with Alfred reluctantly assisting him.
  • Happens regularly on Hawaii Five-0 with usually either Steve or Danny kicking in a door to get to a suspect or victim. This pretty much always works except for the one time it doesn't and then Steve just goes and gets a grenade from Danno's trunk. That works.
  • In Kamen Rider: Skyrider, Skyrider's "Rider Break" attack consisted of using his bike to smash through walls. He did it Once per Episode.
  • Subverted in NCIS (which routinely plays it straight) in the episode "Parental Guidance Suggested", when DiNozzo asks Bishop to open a door. She makes two attempts at kicking it down before Dinozzo reminds her that We Have the Keys.
  • Subverted on one episode of The O.C., when Seth Cohen attempts to break open a door in a badass way while talking on his cell phone... and fails miserably. It turns out he could have just opened it.
  • Played straight with Xelayan Cute Bruiser Alara in The Orville. Though in one instance the door frame was stronger than the wall - so she also removed a big chunk of the wall alongside the door. This becomes a Running Gag between her and Captain Mercer; whenever he needs her to smash through a door, he says "You wanna open this jar of pickles for me? "
  • Sapphire and Steel, episode 6:
    Steel: It's locked.
    [Lead thumps the door, which falls off its hinges]
    Lead: It isn't now.
  • In Smallville, Clark breaks through high-security doors by simply ripping them off.. a lot. Humorously subverted in the episode "Mortal", where Clark has been Brought Down to Normal, and therefore has to break into a lab and steal a chemical subtly, and points out he misses just speeding in a smashing open the safe. (Yeah, Clark breaks into high-security labs a lot. Don't worry, they're owned by the Luthors, so it's OK.)
  • Supernatural:
    • The episode "Time after Time": Dean gets zapped back to 1944 and is working with Elliot Ness.
      Dean: [looks into a house through a window] Looks empty. You got a key?
      Ness: Sure. [kicks in the door]
    • In "Monster Movie" the Winchesters find themselves up against a demon who's a fan of old monster movies. Sam goes to kick open the heavy double doors of a Mad Scientist Laboratory, only to have his foot go through what turns out to be a flimsy wooden mockup. A second kick takes it off its hinges.
  • That '70s Show: Eric storms up to Donna's door and attempts to kick it in. He falls backward on his ass. Donna throws open the door and when she incredulously asks if he just kicked her door, he denies it, despite the damning evidence of his shoeprint on the door.
  • Torchwood:
    • In the episode "Something Borrowed", Jack Harkness kicks a door open because he thinks there's a murderous alien shapeshifter behind it (which turns out to just be Rhys's mother, and the shapeshifter is elsewhere).
    • In the Hilarious Outtakes, John Barrowman actually kicks the entire door off its hinges by accident and tromps over it on his way into the scene. He manages to stay in character and continue the scene for about fifteen seconds before he cracks up.
  • In Warehouse 13 Myka has no time to wait for Claudia to hack the lock again if they're going to rescue Pete, so she gives the computer lock a roundhouse kick.
  • In the episode "Business Trip" of Workaholics the guys and Alice high on acid (except for Adam who got a bum tab and Ders who purposefully faked taking his) are looking for a potential client, heading to the wrong room (thanks to Blake). When they get there, Alice knocks on the door and says "housekeeping", and as soon as the door is unlocked, she kicks it open, yelling "Fresh towels!" Of course, its the wrong room, not that that stops Alice from scaring everyone in a drug-fueled rage.

  • Flint spends most of episode 11 of The Fallen Gods wanting to kick a door open. Fortunately, they find one that really needs to be kicked later on and Tuatha gets to present it to him like Vanna White.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • The Bible:
    • There's the episode of Christ in Limbo, the Harrowing of Hell: following the crucifixion, Christ's soul descended into the outskirts of Hell where he freed the souls of those righteous ancestors who remained trapped in the Limbo of the Patriarchs, as a result of being born in the days before baptism. A popular subject of medieval art, the exact moment most commonly depicted is Christ kicking down the gates of Limbo and trampling them underfoot.
    • In Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges, when Samson went to Gaza to spend some time with a prostitute, the Philistines thought they could trap Samson inside the city and then wait to kill him when he gets up in the morning. However, Samson gets up in the middle of the night, and uses his strength to rip open the doors of the city gate along with its gate posts, carrying the whole thing straight up to the top of the hill opposite Hebron.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Nearly everyone who played a tabletop dungeon crawl RPG has had this happen at some point.
    Troper in party without a rogue: How are we going to open this door?
    Rest of party: *points at the barbarian*
    • And the magic users have the "Knock" spell, or its equivalent.
    • The 3.0 and 3.5 versions of the Dungeon Master's Guide have a barbarian opening a chest as an example of how damage to objects works. The 3.0 version even calls it "the barbarian way".
    • As a matter of fact, early editions of Dungeons & Dragons featured specific "Open Doors" and in the case of AD&D also "Bend Bars/Lift Gates" values derived from a character's strength attribute just to make clear what their exact chances of successfully enacting this exact trope were. Later editions simply boiled it down to a strength check.
  • Pathfinder lampshades this approach by including items like crowbars and sledgehammers in several of the standard grab-bag equipment kits.
  • Munchkin lampshades it; "kicking down the door" is the official name for the action which begins each turn.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright has something of a history of killing doors, to the point where even the judge admits it was pretty cool.
  • In Super Mario RPG, Bowser bashes down the (locked) door to Booster's Tower after you join the Koopa Troop (i.e. his face-saving way of joining your party); later, in Marrymore, you have to time your entrance into the barred double-doors of the church in sync with Bowser's door smashing.
  • In Tales of Eternia, there is a certain door that seems to be locked by some sort of puzzle. While the group wonders how they're going to solve it when the Smart Guy of the group is currently doing some other work somewhere else, Max just walks up and body-slams it open.
  • Subverted in Army of Two: The 40th Day. The guys attempt this by ramming a bulldozer into a mall, but it just causes the entrance to collapse into an impassible wall of rubble.
  • Inverted by Harry the Handsome Executive, who only opens doors by kicking them in—but if they're locked, he has to use the key first.
  • In Nethack, this is allowed but carries some risk. Prying open a chest with a bladed weapon could break the weapon (Artifact weapons have a smaller chance of breaking, but do you really want to risk your Excalibur on this?); bashing it with a blunt weapon or kicking it could destroy the contents. Kicking doors is less risky (unless it belongs to a shopkeeper), but you won't be able to close the door again in the event you see a tough monster, and you can wake monsters up this way. Kicking other dungeon features such as sinks, or more rarely trees, risks injuring your foot or summoning hostile monsters as some of several possible effects, (and yes, it is entirely possible to die from kicking a wall). Depending on your success at kicking the object or the injuries sustained, you may exercise or abuse your strength and/or dexterity stats as a side effect.
  • In Arcanum, in addition to the lockpick option, you can also attempt to break it down with your bare hands or a weapon. Doing the former damages your health, and the latter could easily leave you without a weapon - except for Pyrotechnic Axe, which (somehow) can break any door without even getting a scratch.
  • Penumbra contains one locked door and several locked cabinets that are opened merely by smashing them, and another door that is opened by breaking the lock.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dishonored allow for stealth and/or all out combat and both allow you to open doors normally...or use explosives.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor: You can attempt to kick down doors rather than using keys on them (not a good idea to do, since most monsters can't open doors and being able to close, say, the entrance to a Monster Zoo is pretty vital to your survival). Occasionally, this will hurt you rather than the door.
  • Comix Zone would often block your progress with locked doors or large, heavy objects. You could sometimes find a switch to flip, or have Roadkill flip, or throw a knife at. Or you could drop some dynamite down and step back. You could also melee it until it opened, but that drained your health rather significantly, which was not a good thing in a game where health-restoring items were rare.
  • Rainbow Six series gradually proceeds from allowing you to open the doors, to kick them open and blow them up, to ultimately (Siege) eliminating door completely and replacing them with barricaded doorways which you can blow up or, unusually, punch through them. The game goes Up to Eleven by allowing to smash many walls with sledgehammers, incendiaries, explosives and even breaching shotguns to make brand new doorways.
  • Full Throttle: As Badass Biker Ben, one of the first puzzles the player has to solve is unlocking the door to a bar — by simply kicking it down.
    Ben: (deadpan) I, uh, fixed your door. It was sticking.
  • In God Hand, Gene can open doors normally, but it is usually faster to just kick them in.
  • In many of the The Legend of Zelda games, Link can open chests with a single swift kick. If he tries it while bare-footed in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild though, he will wince in pain.
  • Myst: The Book of Atrus has Atrus and his father Gehn exploring the ruins of D'ni, searching for blank books. While scavenging, Atrus happens upon a door locked by a puzzle that could have come straight from the video games, and happily settles down to think his way through it... only to be disappointed when Gehn simply smashes the door apart, nicely foreshadowing the latter's approach to problem-solving.
  • Many doors and security terminals in Knights of the Old Republic can be simply bashed open or blown up, but this yields less experience.
    • The room before the final boss in KotOR 1 has a locked door that will unlock after you deactivate six droid generators, by using the parts from the droids they create. Alternately, you can just bash the door a couple of times and skip the whole problem. In the second game, though, this often leads to some or all of the loot behind the door getting turned to slag.
    • This also applies to open-ended questions posed by the Jedi Council, as one answer to how to get past a locked door is "Knock."
  • In Deus Ex, doors had both a lock strength and physical strength. You can break any door with the right firepower provided its strength was not infinite. The same goes for destroying doors in Human Revolution. Normally, a door that required a key was both unpickable and unbreakable. However, some non-plot-relevant doors would require a key, but would not have infinite strength, meaning you could just destroy them. This may have been a bug, the original game was notoriously buggy.
  • The Elder Scrolls: An actual feature in Daggerfall: rather than spend precious time trying to pick a lock, you could simply kick the door down. This feature was noticeably absent in later games.
  • Iji handily subverts this trope by having two kinds of doors: the kind you puzzle through, and the kind you smash through. Your ability to do either is governed by separate skill levels, as well. (Then there's the bulkhead doors, to which you can do neither.) Played straight near the end if one's going for a Pacifist Run: at one point, Iji runs into a core surrounded by two sets of locked doors. The switches to open them so that the core can be destroyed require quite a lot of backtracking and one final ambush by Assassin Asha. Alternately, the player can reset their skills with a hidden technique, then set their skills to be able to fire the Velocithor, which ignores obstacles. This solution also gets the player the last Supercharge upgrade, though they then need to actually open the blast doors to collect it, rendering it pointless in a true pacifist run.
  • Metroid: While never explicitly stated, Samus Aran is never shown to bother with ID cards or passwords when faced with a force-field, she just shoots them with whichever weapon at her disposal that can get it open.
  • Done on the regular during the more extended beat-em-up segments of the Yakuza series. Basically, wherever a normal beat-em-up would allow further progress by unlocking the screen scrolling or having a door open somewhere, your character will just grab the last Mook who's unlucky enough to be left standing and smash them through the nearest door.
  • Entering the final level of Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void requires the Noid to rip off the fortress's front door with his yo-yo.
  • In Planescape: Torment, you can not only use the Knock spell if you have a wizard in the party, you also find a crowbar early in the game that lets you attempt to open locked doors and chests at a better rate than your strength score alone would. This is necessary if you're not playing The Nameless One as a thief, since the only party member who can pick locks won't join until after you've completed several long quests.

    Web Animation 
  • HTF +: LG Creepybloom knocks on the door of Lumpy's caravan, when he does not answer she angrily kicks it open in HTF+FI/RF 1.

    Web Comics 
  • The Order of the Stick: THOG SMASH PUNY PRISON!
  • In Nimona, while Ballister tries to explain his hacking through a high-security door with Techno Babble, Nimona just rams through it as a rhinoceros. Ballister is less than amused.
  • In Clockwork Game, Maelzel busts down Schlumberger's door, because he thinks Schlumberger is too drunk to perform. He's wrong.
  • Junpei uses "KEYLESS ENTER" in MegaTokyo.
  • Tom Hardigan kicks down a door with apparent ease on Blood & Smoke.
  • In Girl Genius Agatha uses a laser sight to make a "devil dog" robot crash through a jammed door in Castle Heterodyne by having the rouge defense robot follow it like a playful cat.
  • Vesper of Plume has a smaller-scale variation when she opens a chest with heavy lock on it with a solid kick.
  • Bob and George: A handful of Dr. Cossack's Robot Masters, led by Ran, have to figure out how to break into Dr. Wily's fortress. He discusses the various traps and hazards they'll have to navigate; Dive Man blows up the front door and walks in.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • When a stealth mission ends up in a shoot-out, the team discovers this has other side effects. Temporarily.
      Pronto: Sarge, they just shut some kinda blast door into the data center. We can't get through.
      Schlock: Pronto, how about you finish that sentence for me?
      Pronto: Umm... "Just shut blast door... Data center... Can't get through..." Without blasting?
      Schlock: And that's why they call it a blast door.
  • Hero In Training: Our heroes are stuck behind a door with a keycard lock. Until Sebastian reminds them it's a glass door, and breaks it.
  • Rak from Tower of God just gambles which door is the one which opening won't get the team killed while Khun still tries to figure out fake clues. He just kicks it open.
  • Power Puff Girls Doujinshi: Blossom and Dexter are investigating a secret vault for possible breach, when Dexter notices he's lost all access to the vault door's electronic controls. He starts panicking, until Blossom tells him to calm down and kicks the door open.

    Western Animation 
  • On The Secret Saturdays, Fiskerton is the family's designated locked-door opener or blank-wall smasher-downer, but the entire Saturday family except Zak seems capable of pulling off the same feat if required.
  • Popeye uses the exact line "Open, Sez' Me" in a cartoon inspired by the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Specifically, he orders his can of spinach to open, it it just up and opens for him so he can save the day.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • The Question is looking at a locked glass door to a building with a key card lock. After a few seconds of inspecting the lock intently, he simply walks off screen, comes back with a potted tree, smashes it through the glass door, and calmly walks in. All the while humming a pop song stuck in his head. What ups the funny is the fact two other people snuck in by creative ways such as disguises and swiping the key card.
    • The Flash has repeatedly done the "push every combination" method to open doors. Once Batman subverted it by telling Flash the combination after about ten seconds of rapid typing.
  • Toph pulls one in the finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender when she pulls a Shave And A Haircut and blasts the door out of the way on the 'two bits' with metalbending.
  • In an episode of DuckTales (1987), Magica de Spell magically turns the combination lock on her own safe, but it fails to open when she orders, "Open, says me!" She finally groans, "Oh, why do I bother?!" and smashes the safe with a sledgehammer she apparently just happened to have lying around.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Played with on the "Atlantis". Phineas attempts to decode the writing on the door leading to Atlantis, but Buford simply punches the door, causing it to open properly.
    • In another episode, there was a door that'd only open if someone told how many jellybeans there were in a nearby jar. Buford ate them all and answered "zero". The door opened.
      Baljeet: Okay, technically that's correct, but you did not show your work!
      Buford: I will in about twenty minutes.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In "The Penguin Who Loved Me", Kowalski tries to pick the lock with a buckle, but Parker platypus just kicks out the door
  • Judging by the 1990's X-Men animated series, Wolverine really hates doors.
  • The Amazing Mumbo in Teen Titans uses it as an incantation instead of the expected Open Sesame.
  • Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants actually says this exact phrase in one episode.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The cartoon "Ali Baba Bunny" had Bugs and Daffy accidentally burrow under the door to Ali Baba's treasure cave. This enrages Hassan the guard, who can't get in himself because he can't remember the password. (Even though he's drawn as a Big Guy who could probably have just broken the door down had he tried.)
    • "My Little Duckaroo" sees Daffy using this tactic on... a saloon door.
  • In the "Ultimate Doom" three-parter of The Transformers, a small team of Autobots as well as the Witwickys are stuck on Cybertron. All seems lost as they are forced to retreat further into what looks like a dead end in a Decepticon complex. Fortunately, Pintsized Powerhouse Brawn is one of the Autobots present and, upon seeing the locked exit, he promptly declares that "he'll get the door" and barges right through it without so much as a moment of hesitation or any indication that it slowed him down in the slightest.
    • Optimus Prime himself got in on this in "Day of the Machines", along with a rare moment of Deadpan Snarker:
    Human Scientist: It's a safe bet those doors are locked.
    Optimus Prime: Fortunately, I have a delicate lockpicking technique. (Blasts the door open with one shot)
  • Kaeloo: Kaeloo and Mr. Cat reach the door to Olaf's lair in the second season finale, but find out that they need a password. Mr. Cat blasts the door open with a bazooka and makes a one-liner.
  • Magilla Gorilla: Subverted: A group of bank robbers buy Magilla to help them open a bank vault. Magilla tries...
    Magilla: Let's see... [twiddling the lock] Thirty-two to the left, sixteen to the right...
    Head Bank Robber: No! Rip it open, good! Like a gorilla should!note  (Magilla complies)
  • In Metajets, In "Under the Ice," when Vector says it'll take a while to find the right access code to open the door to the abandoned research facility, Burner just blows the door open with a good shot from his snowmobile cannon.
  • In Dragons: Race to the Edge, Hiccup and Toothless explore a derelict dragon-hunting ship and come across the door to the commander's quarters, which features a rather formidable looking lock.
    Hiccup: Okay, here's the plan...(Toothless disintegrates the door with a plasma blast)...I like yours better.

    Real Life 
  • Averted in Real Life, sort of: on Mythbusters, Jamie was about to kick open a door when Adam picked it. In a previous episode, Grant had failed to open a similar door by shooting the lock. In another episode, they demonstrated that it is quite possible to break through a standard door by force, even against deadbolts. The only reason the hotel chain held fast in the show was that the build team had used a stronger set of screws than the standard; had they used the standard screws, Jamie likely would have broken through the door on the first try.
  • Firefighters carry keys to enter the vast majority of locked buildings, rooms, and vehicles in existence: they are called "sledgehammer" and "axe".
    • And speaking of firefighters, the most efficient and safest way to remove a trapped victim after a vehicle accident? Disassemble the vehicle around them. This is essentially what the Jaws of Life does.
    • And if all else fails, it's not unheard of for the fire department to have access to the actual keys to the building, making entry as easy as opening the front door.
    • As noted in the Zombie Survival Guides (of all places), most North American doors are actually quite breachable by trained professionals with a boot; this is so that in the highly unlikely (but still possible) event that a Firefighter does not have access to the actual keys and either lost or cannot access a tool (the hammer or the axe) to help breach the door, he can literally just kick it down by knowing where the weakpoints are. Note that it still takes multiple kicks and considerable effort to breach a door this way, which is why it's only considered a last resort (such as you know there's someone on the other side that requires immediate attention).
    • If you really need to go through an interior door, and aren't too worried about damage, there's an even easier way on most modern buildings with wooden or metal-frame construction (the vast majority of modern homes, and many commercial buildings): punch a hole in the wall next to the door. The door may be solid wood with a solid lock and good hinges that will resist kicking and take time to break down, while the wall next to it is probably just two sheets of thin drywall screwed to the wall studs. Make a hole, reach inside, and unlock the door.
  • The Anarchists Cookbook states that the best lockpick is gelignite closely followed by a sledgehammer, and that actual lockpicking only really matters if you care whether people know you've been in. Or you can bribe, threaten, persuade, or trick someone into unlocking the door for you.
  • This is the entire point of breaching charges — blowing in the door. May cross into There Was a Door when the team using the charges decides to use the wall instead of the door because the people inside will most likely have guns trained on the doors.
  • Other tools of breaching — Thor's Hammer (Properly known as Tactical Sledge), Halligan Tool, Master Key (Properly known as Breaching Shotgun) and good old fashioned Battering Ram.
  • On the inside of at least one automatic supermarket door is this warning: "If door does not open in an emergency, push it open." This is more to inform people that the door does swing, not just slide sideways as it does in normal function. Point in fact, most sliding doors to commercial buildings are very loosely centered in their tracks specifically for emergencies and accidents (such as people running into it with a shopping cart). It's a lot cheaper to replace a busted track or screw than a 8 foot by 6 foot tempered glass door or settle a lawsuit because it didn't open fast enough in an emergency. It also insures that in the event of a stampede, people won't be crushed against the door trying to get out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Door Barging


Hunter x Hunter

Oh, okay. I guess that works too.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / OpenSaysMe

Media sources:

Main / OpenSaysMe