Simply put, when a door opens to an unexpected impasse, most characteristically a wall. This wall is often made of brick. Most times this occurs, it indicates something has gone deeply wrong.
Although (as stated above) this is most commonly a wall, a variation occurs if the door is supposed to be a portal of some kind, where nothing is behind the door but whatever is physically behind the door. It can also occur with other things as stand-ins for doors, such as curtains.
- 1408: As soon as Mike fully realizes how dangerous the room really is and tries to make a break for it, it creates a brick wall behind the front door so he can't leave.
- In The Matrix, an alteration to the Matrix results in a brick wall hidden behind a curtain, where a window should be, trapping the protagonists inside that building.
- During the "Make 'Em Laugh" number in Singin' in the Rain Cosmo opens a movie prop door, "discovering" a prop brick wall behind it. He pretends to slam into it, then pretends that his face has been messed up by the collision.
- In Coraline, this occurs one time when Coraline is going to the Other World, with a brick wall appearing behind the door.
- Doctor Who
- A mundane version occurs in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" when Ian opens a door and nearly falls to his death, as the stairs have been destroyed along with most of London.
- In "Father's Day", when the Doctor leaves Rose to stay with her father after she saved him, the TARDIS turns out to be completely empty, with the doors opening to the inside of a box as one would normally expect.
- At the end of "The Pandorica Opens" and through the beginning of "The Big Bang", River Song is stuck in a time loop inside the TARDIS where she plays around with the controls a bit and then runs to the door to try and escape, behind which is a solid concrete wall.
- "The God Complex": The Doctor tries the doors in the hotel lobby only to discover a brick wall behind them. Also, there are no windows behind the curtains.
"Big day for a fan of walls."
- At the beginning of "The Zygon Inversion", when Clara is trapped in the Zygon pod, and thus in a dream state, she notices some weirdness about where she is, and then attempts to leave, noticing that the front door to the apartment she's in opens to a brick wall, and the curtains appear to just be attached to the wall, with nothing but more wall behind it.
- Early on in "Heaven Sent", the Doctor uses a psychic link to open a door and escape from the creature, and it opens to a very short corridor, functionally just another wall.
- The Goodies: In "The End", the Goodies open their front door only to run into a featureless wall of concrete, as their office has just been encased in a solid block of concrete (as a result of Graeme's architectural design to prevent squatters moving in).
- Antichamber has the exit door be this. Except for when it isn't.
- The House of All Worlds in Dreamfall Chapters has a door in the living room that apparently opens into a brick wall. Saga, a Playable Character who grew up there, learns that this was a deliberate design decision by her father, and, in the final chapters of the game, destroys the brick wall to open a Shift into Arcadia at just the right moment to bring Kian (her future adoptive father) from the brink of death and save the day when everything seems lost.
- In the "Communications" level of Doom 3, there is a door covered in blood, with a white light above it that turns red to the sound of a pounding from the other side. Approaching it causes it to burst open to reveal a wall of flesh and teeth, and a gigantic snapping mouth to lunge out at you, before pulling back as the door slams shut.
- Used as one of the many surreal events in Layers of Fear, sometimes with messages scrawled on the brickwork behind the door.
- Played with in Scratches . After Micheal Arthate finds a hidden room in the blueprints of Blackwood Manor, the supposed door is hidden behind wallpaper, and when Micheal cuts it open, he finds that the door's been bricked up. The only other way to get in is by rappelling down the outside of the house and entering through the window.
- In Fallout 3, there's a door that, upon opening, reveals a wall with graffiti saying "FUCK YOU".
- Portal 2: A chase sequence ends with a door labeled "GLaDOS Emergency Shutdown and Cake Dispensary. Keep Unlocked.", which falls over when you approach it. And like most test chambers, the "wall" it was on is a series of movable segments, which then come apart to show empty space behind it. GLaDOS mocks you for falling for her Schmuck Bait, but you actually had no option but to try the door.
- In The Stanley Parable, it can happen that you come across a door behind which you find a brick wall.
- Luigi's Mansion: A hazard found in the corridors. If Luigi tries to open one, it will slam him into the wall. There is even a trail of coins on the floor leading to one to bait players into falling for the trap.
- In Red Hot Riding Hood, as the Wolf tries to escape Grandma's apartment, he opens a door and crashes into a brick wall with a sign reading "Imagine that—no door!"
- In ChalkZone, one of Rudy's attempts to get into the impenetrable forest is to use his magic chalk to draw a door. Doors created this way usually work, but this door opens up straight into a wall of more tree trunks.
- Played with in DuckTales (2017). In one episode, the characters find out they're trapped in a Show Within a Show, at which point the door to the room they're in becomes this.
- Family Guy: In "If I'm Dyin's, I'm Lyin'", when Peter tries to complain to a network executive about a show being cancelled, the secretary tells him he can't go through a particular door, which Peter disregards and walks into a brick wall. The secretary tells him "No, you can't go in there because that door leads nowhere. Use the one next to it."
- The Trope Namer is Rick and Morty, where one episode features an advertisement for 'Real Fake Doors' which may be mounted on and open onto a wall.
- The Winchester Mansion was purposely built with several of these, most likely to confuse the spirits whom Sarah Winchester built the house to appease.
- Sometimes can happen as a result of dividing up a house into multiple units. You don't want one tenant to just be able to waltz right in to another tenant's part of the house now, do you?