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Snowed-In

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The Canadian answer to being snowed in. Making the best of the situation.

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful.
And since we've no place to go,
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!"
— "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
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An easy way to isolate a place. A frequent manifestation is the snow day. Sometimes this is any snow at all, sometimes you'll at least require that the roads be blocked with it. Used in a wide variety of situations: Locked Room Mystery, Locked in a Room (especially—duh!—Locked in a Freezer), A House Divided, The Siege, Ten Little Murder Victims, an Eerie Arctic Research Station...

On a lighter note, if a couple (or potential couple) happen to get snowed in together somewhere cozy, remember that Snow Means Love... (especially if There Is Only One Bed). A still lighter note may produce a Snowball Fight. More darkly, it might result in going mad... or worse.

This trope has been used a lot in soap operas for both dramatic and romantic purposes.

Rarer variations include Hostile Weather such as heavy rain, wind, or similarly extreme weather conditions. See also Heat Wave. The unfrozen version of this trope is Rain, Rain, Go Away. See also Caught in the Rain. For another way the snow can cause drama, see Braving the Blizzard.

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No relation to Edward Snowden. Sorry, we had to go there.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga  
  • An episode of Kochikame had the main characters trapped the police box in a Tokyo snowstorm. They're prevented from opening the window and escape as it will cause the small structure to collapse until this becomes their last resort.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, the characters get snowed in when they go skiing, and have to use clues from their hallucinations to solve a math puzzle in order to escape, because of aliens.
  • Chapter 99 of Akagami no Shirayukihime ends with the main characters split into groups that are separated from each other due to a massive snowstorm in Lyrias. Poor Obi had just spent most of the day shoveling snow too.
  • Tamagotchi: In episode 109 (a Christmas Episode), Tomomi wakes up in Lovelitchi's house to find that all the windows and doors are blocked by snow. She and the other Tama-Friends have to exit their homes through the ceiling to go outside, where they discover the whole town is covered in a thick blanket of snow.

     Comics  
  • There's a Disney comic where Mickey and Goofy spend a weekend in a mountain cabin, and get snowed in. Goofy panics at first, while Mickey points out that he brought along plenty of food, books, and even cards. Eventually, Mickey is driven to the edge of panic by boredom and cabin fever, and Goofy calms him down... by starting a Snowball Fight. Eventually, the two dig a hole right through the snow on the other side of the door, and realize that it was only a few inches thick.
  • In some versions of Superman, the Kents use a convenient blizzard to pass Clark off as their own child and to explain away why nobody noticed Martha pregnant.
  • At the end of Bone Phoney is anxious to depart the Valley as soon as possible, but the first snowfall of winter (falling in one solid lump - a Brick Joke from the first issue) delays the Bones for months.

     Fan Fiction  
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     Film  
  • The Thing (1982) Scientists are stranded in an Antarctic research base due to lack of communications and transport and they can't afford to let the alien escape.
  • The Shining: The family are trapped inside the hotel due to severe weather and the Snow-Cat being sabotaged. Everyone is slowly getting uneasy due to the isolation
  • Alive is the Donner party version. Bizarrely cheerful and upbeat in tone. The characters are cut off from civilisation by adverse weather and the general location of the airplane crash, forcing them first to start eating dead passengers and then figure out a way to save themselves before they run out of bodies to eat, as rescue simply won't come for them.
  • The comedy movie Unaccompanied Minors has the airport that five kids are at during Christmas Eve be shut down due to inclement weather. They're stuck in the airport because they ran off while all the other minors were moved to a nearby lodge until the weather cleared up.
  • The film adaptation of My Side of the Mountain had a young runaway camp out in the wilderness, and build a shelter. After staying inside the shelter during a winter storm, he discovers that he is snowed in - and the level of snow is higher than the shelter itself. He had to snuff out the fire and dig his way out before suffocating.
  • The majority of The Hateful Eight has the characters waiting out a blizzard at a stagecoach stop in rural 1870's Wyoming. The blizzard and general isolation are both integral part of the plan to rescue Daisy from reaching her destiny on the gallows and leave no witnesses.

     Literature  
  • A blizzard isolates the Overlook Hotel in The Shining and Jack is slowly, but surely driven mad, not just by the supernatural, but the simple isolation itself. This makes it so much easier to corrupt him further by the Overlook.
  • Heralds of Valdemar:
    • In Arrow's Flight, a huge blizzard strands Kris and Talia in a waystation for weeks. This does lead to sex; more importantly, though, it gives them the time and isolation they need to get a handle on Talia's out-of-control empathic powers.
  • Used in A Song of Ice and Fire. Roose Bolton has invested Winterfell with troops made up of a tenuous alliance of Northern lords and Freys, when winter starts to set in with a vengeance and the castle and surrounding countryside are buried in deep snowdrifts. He learns that King Stannis is descending on them with an army, and all they need to do is hold the castle and wait for the besieging force to freeze and/or starve to death... but that's assuming he can keep his own forces from killing each other as they all fall prey to Cabin Fever and a mysterious killer starts murdering people one by one.
  • In Doctor Zhivago, several times during the Red Army's movements across Siberia in the Russian Civil War, the troops get caught in what were supposed to be brief, temporary camps because of the heavy snow.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, Greg and the rest of his family get snowed in during one particularly rough blizzard and lose electricity allowing their food to spoil and their basement to flood. This problem is resolved when we learn it was Greg's little brother Manny who turned off the power in the whole house except for his room because no one would teach him how to tie his shoes.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Little House on the Prairie:
    • "Survival": The Ingalls are traveling in southern Minnesota when they are caught in a mid-spring snowstorm. They stay in an abandoned cabin until the storm passes and conditions improve, which is more than a week.
    • "Blizzard": On Christmas Eve, the children are all stranded at school, but only after a town effort to get them to return to school before the blizzard strikes.
    • "A Christmas They Never Forgot": With allusions to the real-life Laura Ingalls Wilder's novel "The Long Winter" (itself a reminiscence of the severe winter of 1881), the Ingalls are snowbound inside their cabin (along with their friend, Hester-Sue).
  • Joe's World: A promotional clip from the short-lived NBC situation comedy of 1979-1980 teases an episode where the main protagonist and his family are trapped in their home after a massive blizzard. The clip in question starts at 0:15. note  The main drama centered on Joe's teen-aged daughter Maggie's boyfriend unable to get home before the blizzard hits and, forced to stay, agrees to share the same bed with Maggie (after the furnace goes out and everyone in the house has to sleep in the living room to keep warm).
  • The West Wing episode "Holy Night" uses this; though they aren't literally snowed in, the airports are closed due to the blizzard, preventing people from leaving. Among the people stuck at the White House are the president's therapist, Zoe Bartlett and her French boyfriend who Charlie despises, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, and Toby's estranged Jewish Mafia hitman father. Awkwardness ensues.
  • This occurs in an episode of Stargate SG-1 to Jack and Sam. They're stranded on an ice planet and the dial device is broken, forcing them to figure out a solution before they freeze, as the gate appears to be the only structure in the snowy wasteland. It's Antarctica.
  • In one episode of Bosom Buddies, Kip and Henry find themselves trapped in a mountain cabin during a blizzard, with no food save half a container of non-dairy creamer.
  • The Nanny: In "Schlepped Away", Fran Fine, the Sheffields and C.C. Babcock are driving to the airport to go an impromptu vacation when they decide to stop at Fran's parents' apartment in Queens, where they find out that a snowstorm has shut down the airport and they're stuck there. While the Sheffields begrudgingly adjust to the situation, C.C. finds it unbearable.
  • The Elementary episode "Snow Angels" plays with this trope. New York City is paralyzed by a massive blizzard, and the police are overwhelmed—which is why some murderous thieves choose that moment to rob a Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go after the gang, although they only way they can get around is by bribing a snow plow driver to chauffeur them.
  • One of the later season episodes of The Red Green Show had Red, Mike and Harold trapped in the lodge during a large snowfall. Mike spent the entire time trying to convince Red that they would have to eat Harold in order to survive.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: In "Murder Under the Mistletoe" (whose plot is equal parts The Mousetrap and And Then There Were None), the chalet is snowed in, trapping all of the guests there with a murderer, and making it impossible for help to get in from the outside.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Free Spirit", the staff and patients of Sleepy Order Sanitarium are snowed-in during a severe winter storm. The disembodied spirit of Kevin Lockwood uses the opportunity to have his revenge against Dr. Rachel Harris for killing his body four years earlier.

     Podcasts 
  • The Magnus Archives: The setup of the episode "Schwarzwald" is that the narrator is obliged by heavy snow (hardly surprising in a 19th century winter in the Black Forest) to extend a visit to his nephew, during which his strange experience takes place.

     Theatre 

     Video Games 
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, this occurs in two events: the first happens with Hikari, with her and the protagonist forced to stay at the Ski Resort's train station for the night due to a snow storm, and the second with Miyuki, with her and the protagonist forced to take refuge in a cave, when they're surprised by a snow storm as they're skiing.

     Webcomics 
  • Liam and Milo from Tripping Over You end up in this situation during a weekend trip. They eventually get into an argument about their relationship, but the fact that they're stuck with each other also leads to them discussing their problems more peacefully afterwards.

     Western Animation 
  • The Looney Tunes short "Snow Business" has Sylvester and Tweety trapped in a cabin by a blizzard. The radio reports that the roads will be blocked for six weeks. Panicked, Sylvester looks for food everywhere finding nothing but bird seed. While Sylvester and Tweety are initially friends in the short, Sylvester attempts to eat Tweety, tricking him into thinking various cooking methods are games, to which Tweety is oblivious. The Sylvester-chases-Tweety cycle is continually disrupted by a mouse who is even hungrier and more desperate than Sylvester, the mouse seizing upon the idea of eating Sylvester.
  • The Simpsons did this on several occasions:
    • In "Mountain of Madness", Homer and Mr Burns are trapped inside a cabin for so long that they both start becoming paranoid and begin hallucinating. They get rescued just before they kill each other.
    • In "Skinner's Sense of Snow", the children of Springfield Elementary are snowed in their school because Principal Skinner refused to let them go home early during a blizzard (heck, he was the one who refused to close the school to begin with). Skinner calls upon his skills as a drill sergeant to keep the kids in line, which doesn't work, as Bart and the others lead a revolution. Homer and Ned Flanders attempt to save them with Ned's car with his rooftop attached to it as a homemade snowplow truck, eventually having a run-in with a salt silo from a cracker factory that melts the snow.
  • The Daria episode "Antisocial Climbers". Mr. O'Neill organizes an overnight camping trip in the woods, inspired by their current assignment. Daria and Jane anticipate the worst, which turns out to be a wise move when the group gets stranded by a snowstorm with no provisions.
  • In one episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, the titular character enhanced his friend's sunscreen to create a massive snowstorm in the middle of summer. The next morning, he wakes up, expecting it to have worn off... only to find that the snow level is so high, he can barely see out of his bedroom window on the second floor.
  • Life with Louie has an episode running two plots regarding the same blizzard: while Louie is stuck at home with Tommy and they both end up afraid of their own shadows as a result and have crazy adventures. Meanwhile, Ora with Andy were visiting her mother, who had cold and Andy ends up having to cater to two ill women in no time - he ends up so pissed off by it, he singlehandly clears the road with a shovel just to get home.
  • Zeke's Pad: In "The Artful Dodger", Zeke has a big science test at school coming up and he hasn't studied for it. Monday morning is upon him; Zeke has to dodge this test somehow. Then it hits him: if he can't get to school, he won't have to take the test. So he draws a SNOWSTORM and the whole world is snowed in. No one can get to school – or anywhere else for that matter. It's all good until he realizes that if he can't get out of the house, neither can anyone else. Cabin Fever soon results and Zeke is now surrounded by his shivering, hungry, and very unhappy family.
  • In the Little Bear episode "Snowbound", a blizzard prevents Little Bear and his parents from going after eating dinner with Emily and her Granny at her house. Luckily, Moose makes a path for them the next morning.
  • A Rocko's Modern Life episode had Rocko and Heffer, as well as the Bigheads, being snowed in due to an error of sharing a log cabin for the weekend (and Ed's shouting causing an avalanche). While the others make the best of the situation by entertaining themselves through games of charades and the like, Ed is desperate to get out, even at one point trying in vain to claw himself out of the impacted snow.

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