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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!"

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.

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


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Digimon Ghost Game, the group visits an Eerie Arctic Research Station run by Teen Genius Kiyoshiro that ends up besieged by the Monster of the Week Frozomon, who buries it in snow and almost kills everyone through either hypothermia or its BFS.
  • 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.
  • Chapter 99 of Snow White with the Red Hair 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • In D-Tox, a blizzard cuts the rehab centre off from the outside world. Shortly afterward, the occupants realise that one of them is a murderer.
  • The Day After Tomorrow: The Northern hemisphere. when the superstorms hit, as it becomes so lethally cold out that being caught away from a heat source (like a fire) is certain death.
  • Die Hard 2, aka Die Hard -AT AN AIRPORT-, has a Storm of the Century shutting down Washington Dulles airport. As a result, a terrorist group takes over the place, while a handful of planes have no option but to circle around the shut-down airstrips, hoping for the order to be restored, as they lack fuel to fly to any other airport.
  • In Das Finstere Tal, once snow blocks the mountain passes leading to it, the valley is completely cut off from the outside world during winter. It's part of the reason why the Brenners can maintain their rule and also what Greider counts for when he starts hunting them one by one - there is nowhere to escape.
  • Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush: The first cabin sequence, wherein Jim and Charlie are trapped and starving.
  • 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.
  • Home Alone 3 had the villains taking advantage of a snowstorm to isolate the street and steal the chip they are after. Unfortunately for them, Alex Pruitt, a resourceful local kid, got trapped by the same snowstorm in his home - and since there is no outside help coming, he has to stop them all on his own.
  • The French movie Huit femmes (8 Women) uses this as a setup for a whodunnit. Played with; it certainly complicates the whole situation, but none of the characters are actually locked in until the culprit secretly chains the gates of the estate and ruins the car's engine. The snow is just the added bonus.
  • 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.
  • Ravenous (1999)
    • Colqhoun's party of settlers got stuck in the middle of a complete wilderness, with dwindling supplies. Ives deliberately took them there and used the fact that they had no means to escape to slaughter and eat the whole group.
    • While not completely cut off, the snow in the mountain passes does affect the traffic in Fort Spencer, resulting in only a skeleton crew being kept there for maintenance. This is vital for Ives' takeover, as he has only a few people to deal with and an easier time gaining "allies" throughout the winter, planning to be the master of the whole place by springtime.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: In 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.
  • 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 the Haruhi Suzumiya story "Snowy Mountain Syndrome", 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.
  • 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.
  • Murder on the Orient Express: The train is stuck on the tracks because the mountain passes are blocked with snow.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The premise of the YA novel Trapped by Michael Northrop - a group of high schoolers isn't picked up from school by their parents due to an ever-worsening blizzard. The blizzard lasts for two weeks, while heating and electricity fail inside the school building, and the cafeteria's food runs out soon after, making it a matter of desperate survival, while waiting for the weather to clear out.
  • The Wintersmith causes this in the Tiffany Aching novel of the same name. Having been shunted from a Sentient Cosmic Force of snow, ice, and deep winter into an Anthropomorphic Personification of the same thanks to Tiffany's dancing feet. Consequently, it ends up covering the Chalk, and possibly the whole of lancre in snow late in the novel. The witches show themselves as emergency services housing everyone up to keep from freezing. The Cornucopia Tiffany got dropped on her is essential in keeping the population from starving.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children. Estranged couple Edmund and Maria take refuge in a stable during a blizzard. Edmund seizes the opportunity to force her to hash out their issues. They end up taking
a Roll in the Hay and committing to repairing their marriage.
  • 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 Brittas Empire: The flashback sequences in the first Christmas Episode ("In The Beginning") sees the staff stuck at the leisure centre due to a severe winter storm in the final week of 1989. The major source of drama (and comedy) comes from them having to survive when they run out of food and electricity. They ultimately survive the experience and decide to come together every New Year's Eve onwards.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • This occurs in an early 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.
  • 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.
  • The X-Files Season 1 episode "Ice", in which they're snowed out up in the Arctic. The adverse weather traps Mulder and Scully in a remote research facility in the Alaskan Arctic in the middle of a murder investigation. If all of this wasn't bad enough, there is an alien parasite on the loose, causing infected individuals to go crazy. If it sounds familiar, the episode was written as a homage to Who Goes There? and The Thing (1982).

  • 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.

    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.

  • Liam and Milo from Tripping Over You end up in this situation during a weekend trip, foiling Liam's plan to hide the trip from his father. 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The 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.
    • In Along Came Daffy, Yosemite Sam and his black-haired twin are trapped in a snowbound cabin with nothing to eat, and starving to the point that they start seeing each other as food. It's then that door-to-door cookbook salesman Daffy Duck appears on their doorstep, resulting in the pair trying to make duck dinner out of him.
    • One Speedy Gonzalez/Daffy Duck cartoon had Daffy refusing to share his fire with Speedy during a snowstorm, so Speedy starts stealing firewood from Daffy one log at a time. By the time the cartoon is over, Speedy has all the firewood and Daffy is seeking shelter from the storm at his place.
  • In the Molly of Denali episode "That's Snow Fun," there's a nasty blizzard in Qyah, which means Molly and Trini have to stay indoors. They are bored at first, but they eventually find fun things to do with Layla's old toys.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


Snowed In

When Principal Skinner and the students get snowed in, the kids scream when they realize they're trapped in the school, they'll miss Christmas, and when Skinner announces that his lousy Christmas movie has been fixed.

How well does it match the trope?

4.82 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / ArsonMurderAndJaywalking

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