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Open the Door and See All the People

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Roving packs of Zeus' Witnesses will take the starch out of the hardiest of Romans.

The scene where someone at home alone hears a knock and innocently opens the front door (frequently naked, or wearing boxers or something skimpy) and there's a raging / screaming / lusting / photographing mob on the other side. Often the homeowner then slams the door and looks around with shock.

The character doesn't have to be nude — any surprise mob will do — but frequently is, simply because Naked People Are Funny. In those cases, it's related to Naked First Impression and Birthday Suit Surprise Party, and may result in a Naked Freak-Out. Inverted trope of Naked People Trapped Outside. Contrast Pushed in Front of the Audience.

The mob may also be The Freelance Shame Squad. If the character is particularly (in)famous at the moment, it may be a waiting Media Scrum.

The trope name comes from the second line of the Nursery Rhyme "Here's The Church, Here's The Steeple".


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Baccano!, one of the delinquents walks into the buffet cart armed with a knife and demands nobody move. At the same time, representatives from the two groups of mobsters turn up with guns, ordering the diners to put up their hands and get on the ground, respectively.
    Diner: But... who do we listen to?
    Isaac: (on the ground, holding still with his hands in the air) Why not all three?
    Donny: (closing the door as he leaves) Apologies for the confusion.
  • In the Turning Red spinoff 4★Town 4★Real, after being chased by a crowd of fans into a locked room, Aaron T. and his bodyguard wait for a few minutes then peek out to see if the crowd has dispersed to find they are still gathered right outside.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In the Facing the Future Series, after Jack accidentally blacked out half of Amity Park, he was greeted by an angry mob on the front stoop, which according to him, is a common occurrence.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The West Wing crossover The Morning After Xander drunkenly marries the President's Daughter and is awoken with an amnesiac hangover by knocking on the door, only to dumbly stare at the mob of Paparazzi taking his picture starkers.
    "You know, I've had this nightmare before," He muttered before pinching himself and realising he was actually awake.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Sharing the Night, at the beginning of Chapter 6 when word gets out that Twilight is now an alicorn and Spike tells her that a ton of ponies want to petition her:
    “You don’t measure ponies by the ton, Spike,” Twilight chided as she made her way to the front door of the library. “The most common collective noun is ‘herd,’ but there’s als—oh Celestia, that is a ton of ponies.”

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hercules, the titular hero tries to leave his house only to find a Groupie Brigade at the front door, trampling him and causing him to hide behind a curtain indoors until Phil tricks them into leaving.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, once Esmeralda finds herself on the run from Frollo, she takes refuge inside the titular cathedral. When she thinks it's safe to leave, she opens the door to find soldiers waiting for her (with the commander even revealing Frollo has ordered guards to be at every door), and slams it to avoid being detected.
  • Shrek: When Shrek finds various fairy-tale creatures invading his house and tries to throw them out, he opens his door to find a whole swarm of them having set up camp in his swamp after being exiled there by Lord Farquaad.
    Donkey: Hey, don't look at me. I didn't invite them.
    Pinocchio: Well, gosh, none of us were "invited". We were forced to come here.
  • At the end of The Sword in the Stone, after inadvertently being crowned king by virtue of pulling out the title blade, Wart is sitting alone in the throne room of a castle, feeling way out of his depth. So he decides to just run away, however there's no escape because outside each door he opens are huge crowds chanting "Hail King Arthur!" and "Long live the king!", blowing him back like a hurricane.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Beyond the Lights: After spending a weekend off the grid together, pop star Noni opens the door to the cabana she and her former bodyguard/police officer boyfriend Kaz are staying at only to be met with a crowd of paparazzi who want to know just who Kaz is and the nature of their relationship.
  • Big Trouble in Little China: Jack Burton opens a door and sees a mob of angry-looking mooks on the other side. He immediately slams the door shut, then turns to face the rest of the group with him. That said, considering the fact he has a machine gun, he doesn't have much trouble just shooting most of them as they try to hack the door down.
    Jack: We may be trapped.
  • This happens to the General Ripper from Day of the Dead (1985). Except it's Zombies.
  • Happens when Nick rides the elevator through Madison Square Garden during the baby-Zilla outbreak in Godzilla (1998). It opens on a random floor to reveal three of the monsters rifling through popcorn before stopping to stare at Nick hungrily. Nick deadpans "Wrong floor" and quickly shuts the doors again.
  • Inverted in Mambo Italiano, when the family of the main character step out of the confession booths, the parents ready to proudly stand by their gay son in front of the entire congregation — but they find the church empty.
  • Monty Python's Life of Brian does it with Male Frontal Nudity, courtesy of Graham Chapman. The crowd of locals they got to fill in as the crowd is audibly shocked when they first see him.
  • In Notting Hill, after movie star Anna Scott spends the night at Will's, he opens his front door to a Paparazzi mob. Then Anna comes downstairs wearing only a shirt, wanting to know what Will just's seen outside. Before he can stop her, she opens the door to the Paparazzi. Then along comes Spike wearing only a pair of y-fronts, he opens the door as well, but actually finds it all rather exciting, he poses, flexes his muscles and blows a kiss before heading back inside. He then checks his scruffy, pot bellied appearance in a mirror and is perfectly pleased with it.
  • Near the beginning of Spice World, Clifford tells the Spice Girls there aren't any fans outside: he then kicks the door open to reveal a huge screaming mob.
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Han Solo running toward the room-fulla-stormtroopers (but only in the Special Edition).
  • St Trinians, near the end. Reporters are at the school and Colin Firth's character stands nude at the window of the headmistress' room.
  • In Yankee Doodle Dandy, a young George M. Cohan performs in one of his family's plays and his character boasts "I can lick any kid my size". After the show, George opens the stage door and is greeted see a mob of boys who saw his performance and are all too eager to call his bluff.

  • Fighting Fantasy have a habit of doing this to you in several books. Siege of Sardath have you suddenly entering a mess hall full of hostile Dark Elves, Legend of Zagor can have you beset by hordes of orcs while you enter a banquet hall, while Rebel Planet throws you into a city street full of hostile Arcadian aliens after you escaped the Arcadian Supercomputer Building.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy does an entirely deadpan version in "Once More With Feeling". The Scoobies have started to break into song at random intervals and wonder if they're the specific target or the entire town is involved. Buffy opens the door to find an enthusiastic Crowd Song taking place outside.
    Buffy: (Closing door) It's not just us.
  • This happens to Frasier when he retreats to his cabin in the woods to lick his wounds after another failed relationship. Berated by his three ex-wives and his mother he attempts to flee, opening the front door to be confronted by every woman he's ever dated. He's the only person actually there. All the women are manifestations of his subconscious. Or something.
    • It also happens to Frasier when he turns up to work on his birthday, walks into the broadcast studio, and bemoans his most recent romantic humiliation to Roz - in great and excoriating detail - adding snippets like having gone without sex for seven months. Roz tries to calm him down, but when he makes a snarky crack about her sex life, she smiles and gets him to talk more about his woes. Just as he is complaining about the last sex he had being with the rather dumpy unappealing woman from Accounts, Roz shouts "SURPRISE!" and twenty of their workmates - who have heard every word - leap up to wish him a happy birthday.
  • M*A*S*H: Done as a prank in the ninth season episode "Bottoms Up". Hawkeye gets revenge on B.J. pranking him by putting him in the nurses' tent naked, with his blanket taped to his cot. Once he's figured out the situation (and the nurses, being in on the joke, refuse to lend him a bathrobe or anything), B.J. tells the nurses nothing will get him out of bed - which is the PA announcer's cue to tell everyone wounded have come in, at which point B.J. grabs a pillow and backs out of the tent, only to be greeted by the rest of the camp, who have set up a camera just for the occasion.
  • The Worst Year of My Life, Again: In "April Fools Day", Simon tricks Alex into going into a darkened room to change his clothes. When he is down to his underpants, he steps through a door to get away from Mr Norris and finds that he is standing in front of the girls health class. During the loop year, Alex avoids this but instead ends up stepping through a door and finding himself in front of the school band in his underpants.

  • In Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash", the narrator walks out of his bathroom smack into a dance party.

    Video Games 
  • In Heavy Rain, after Ethan's son is kidnapped by the Origami Killer, a mob of reporters shows up outside his door almost immediately.
  • The first elevator that the player character takes in System Shock delivers him to a room with half a dozen mutants standing around. When the doors open, they rush him.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Daughter for Dessert, just when it looks like the grand reopening of the diner is a bust, the group notices that there’s a typo on the marketing flyers: they accidentally wrote that the diner will open at 9:00 instead of 6:00. And when they open the door at 9, a crowd of customers is outside waiting to be served.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In an early episode of the Disney revamp of Doug, Doug discovered that his new middle school (which had been constructed over the summer) wasn't quite finished as he went into a bathroom stall and began to unzip only to find that he was now standing on stage in the school auditorium filled with kids. When he pointed this out to a construction worker, the construction worker merely replied, "We're working on it."
  • Fairly OddParents episode "Fairly Odd Baby" had Timmy finishing a shower to find out all his fairy friends are in the bathroom getting ready for Cosmo and Wanda's baby shower (which the latter is apparently semi-literal).
  • The Family Guy episode "Boys Do Cry" has the Griffins finding a large mob on their lawn after Stewie is mistaken for being possessed.
  • Parodied on Kaeloo: In one episode, Stumpy opens the door and finds a huge mob of people who throw stuff at him... for no particular reason. He then asks why all those people are outside his door.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer Badman", Homer finds a mob of female protesters on his lawn when he's accused of sexual harassment.
    • In "The Springfield Files", immediately after Lisa argues that the townspeople aren't going to take three seconds of blurry video as proof that Homer met an alien, Homer opens the door to find half the town on his lawn.
    • In "Homer's Triple Bypass", Dr. Nick's meeting with the Simpsons (prior to performing heart surgery on Homer) ends with him opening the door to find a crowd of reporters waiting for him, demanding to know "What did you do with the bodies?!"
      Dr. Nick: You know, it's such a nice day that I think I'll leave through the window.
    • In "Bart's Comet", a comet is on a collision course with Springfield, and Ned opens his bomb shelter door to see a mob of armed townspeople looking to commandeer it.
      Ned: Well, howdilly-doodily, neighbors. Shouldn't you be in your shelter-inis by now?
      Moe: We have't got "shelter-inis". We want in yours!
  • One episode of South Park parodies Life of Brian but with Butters and it's set in Mexico.


Video Example(s):


Lois Storms Out of Her Shower

An invisible man sneaks into Lois's bathroom as she's showering to peek on her. She hears him and becomes alert, arming herself with the shower brush and storming out of the bathroom to confront the intruder without bothering to put any clothes on, but as she opens the door all she finds is a shocked Clark. She stands still for a moment before shutting the door on his face.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (32 votes)

Example of:

Main / OpenTheDoorAndSeeAllThePeople

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