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Running into the Window

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This clearly happens to everybody at some point, no matter how old you are.

A character is walking along when he notices a window that is apparently open. He wonders aloud who left the window open as he walks over to close it, only to run directly into the glass, revealing that the window is so clean that it gave the impression that it was open. Or a character looks over at the kitchen area to see an open area so they run over to it, only to run into the glass again, revealing it to be a sliding glass door that also gave it the impression of being an open door.

This is a Comedy trope where a character will mistake a clean window or a sliding glass door for an open door then run into the window or door when they try to go through it.

Truth in Television, although in Real Life this may result in anything from a Tap on the Head to being pelted with shattered glass.

Compare Glass Smack and Slide.


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  • A series of Windex window cleaner commercials featured a pair of birds who were musing about how said cleaner is so bright that birds could get hurt flying into the windows that were cleaned. They often watched with schadenfreude as other birds did just that.
  • Inverted in this Super Bowl Doritos commercial.
  • One advert for Fanta has a girl at a party walking into a glass door leaving her embarrassed. She quickly turns the situation around by performing an impromptu mime act, roping in one of the onlookers to dance with her.
  • Sexual Violence with the Birds and the Bees: At the party, a guy walks into a sliding glass patio door with a thump and a loud grunt.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In The Devil is a Part-Timer!, while Emi is at a convenience store with her back to the entrance, an assassin lunges at her... only to smack into the sliding glass door.
  • In the second episode of Ace Attorney (2016), Phoenix and Maya do this simultaneously at the detention center; they were on opposite sides, and they thought they could get closer to each other...only to bonk their foreheads right against the clear glass.
  • Fairy Tail: Laxxus and his cronies decide to hold a competition for control of the guild by turning Lucy and several other girl to stone and then forcing the other wizards to fight to free them. They then trap guildmaster Makarov and the petrified victims in that building with a barrier spell that specifically prevents old men or stones from leaving. Makarov smacks into the barrier this way — and to everyone's shock, so do dragon slayers Natsu and Gajeel.
  • Laid-Back Camp; when Nadeshiko spots her new best friend Rin working the checkout desk at their school library, she charges over to say hello now that they go to the same school. Problem? Nadeshiko is outside in the courtyard at the time and smacks into the library window, despite her other friends and Rin warning her to pay attention

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 96, Wolffy gets mad at the goats and goes after them when they make fun of his wife... not remembering until it's too late that he's behind the glass wall of Mr. Slowy's flu quarantine.

    Comic Books 
  • Sillage: At the end of the first issue, Navis runs into a glass wall, as she discovers that she is not actually in her native jungle, but in an alien zoo exhibit.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: A non-comedic example occurs in "The Blackbird" when the title creature flies into a window and knocks itself cold.

    Films — Animation 
  • Over the Hedge: Verne and the other animals try to escape from Gladys' house after trying to get food from her, only to run into a sliding glass door.
  • In Antz, Z walks toward a sandwich in a picnic but ends up walking into the plastic wrapping, which he thinks is Some Kind of Force Field.
  • A frightened Nemo keeps running into the aquarium walls in Finding Nemo. Nigel the pelican also flies smack into the dentist's office window, cutting his attempt at a dramatic entrance short.
  • Pictured above is Tommy, Chuckie, and Phil and Lil falling victim to this trope in the prologue of The Rugrats Movie after failing to get an ice cream sundae out of the refrigerator and subsequently being caught in the act by Didi.
  • In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, after being captured by the diver, SpongeBob smacks into the side of fishbowl he and Patrick wake up in. Patrick initially assumes it's a wall of psychic energy.
  • In Recess: School's Out, after seeing the experiments the Big Bad's men are conducting in the school, T.J rushes home to tell his family, only to run into the sliding door. His mother thinks he got a concussion when he tries to explain what he saw to her.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Non-humorous example: The book "What Happens When We Die", from the Children's Bible Basics series, opens with a child seeing a yellow warbler fly into a window and then succumb in a matter of seconds.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Modern Family:
    • Claire is worried that a dog Phil's father brought will walk into the back door. The dog doesn't, but their son Luke does.
    • In another episode, Cameron walks into the back door screen on Jay's home.
  • iCarly: Spencer invokes this in the episode "iPrank." He pranks Sam and Freddie by having a clear, nearly invisible plexiglass wall placed in front of the elevator so whoever exited it would smack into it.
  • The first clip in the Daisy Fuentes-John Fugelsang era of America's Funniest Home Videos to win the $100,000 top prize was security camera footage of this trope.
  • In The Cosby Mysteries, a Femme Fatale tries to shoot Bill Cosby, only to discover he's standing behind a sheet of bulletproof glass he's set up in the room between them.
  • In the Haven episode "Silent Night", the town of Haven gets trapped under a giant glass dome. Several birds and drivers crash into it.
  • An episode of The Office (US) shows the aftermath of Michael running through such a window. In his own house. By his account, his girlfriend cleaned the window, so he thought the glass was gone. He heard an ice cream truck.
  • Scrubs: At the end of the first episode J.D. consoles himself with the thought that at least he got through his first week without embarrassing himself too badly, and walks into a freshly polished glass door which knocks him flat on his ass in front of everyone.
  • In the Starsky & Hutch episode "A Body Worth Guarding," Hutch walks into a sliding glass door while checking out a hotel room.
  • Odd Squad: In "The Voice", Oona leads Oprah through the quarantine room in the lab so she can get the Voice-inator gadget and give her boss a new voice. Oprah tries saying "doors" in order to make the glass door open since it's voice-activated, but since her voice is that of an older man and is not her usual one, it doesn't work and she walks straight into the glass.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In a trailer/minisode of the 2015 The Muppets TV series, Miss Piggy does this. In a fun example of puppeteer attention to detail, she leaves a visible snout mark.

  • In the play What I Meant Was by Craig Lucas, a mother forgives her son for (among other things) pretending he didn't know her when she walked into a plate glass window at his grade school and broke her nose.


    Web Video 
  • An episode (The Super Slow Show Season 1 Episode 1 Part 4) of The Slow Mo Guys comedically features this: a remote detonator is attached to a pane of glass in order to break it fully before Gav dramatically crashes through it. Needless to say, and despite following a lengthy conversation with Dan about how he'd better not refuse to activate the detonator in order to see exactly this happen, the detonator ends up being faulty, and Gav a tad more uncomfortable than before with what happens next.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens to Mr. Bogus in the second act of the episode "Waterboy Bogus".
  • Occurs twice in the Teen Titans Go! episode "Brain Food". Moments after Beast Boy's spell to make the other Titans dumber takes effect, Cyborg and Robin ran towards the window after seeing a flying Seagull. At the end, all the Titans ran for a Butterfly, only for them to do the same thing.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Pete, being a mutated pigeon, has a tendency to do this.
  • DuckTales (2017): In "McMystery at McDuck McManor!", Mark Beaks hacks into the mansion's security camera and finds footage of Scrooge running into a glass door thinking it was open. He finds this hilarious, and he prepares to leave so he can upload it on the internet... only to run into a non-glass, completely opaque locked door.

    Real Life 
  • Birds are prone to flying into windows because they don't know that they're actually glass, so they end up badly hurting themselves. There are a few instances of birds having left clear impressions of their bodies on windows after flying into them (apparently due to residue from their feathers).
  • One fatal real-life example proved crucial to proving the existence of necrophilia among ducks.
  • Several types of insects who follow the light-source (for an example, flies and bees) are known to repeatedly run into glass and they can even starve to death trying to fly through it even if there is an obvious way out of the house.note 
  • Justin Bieber has walked into a glass wall in 2010 and 2013, suffering a concussion from the second incident.


Video Example(s):


Guys look a Birdie

Cyborg and Robin ran for the Seagull, only for them to hit the Window instead.

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Main / RunningIntoTheWindow

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