Sometimes a character will attempt to enter a building by the chimney. Or they might just fall in. Either way, one outcome of this situation is that they get wedged in the chimney and cannot get out.
In comedic works, expect hilarity to ensue as the stuck character attempts to conceal their presence, or explain what they are doing there, and various attempts are made to extract them. In darker works, the character could be seriously injured, or die. In a Black Comedy, the characters might find the remains of someone who died in the chimney years ago.
Can be a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome.
- Played for Laughs in One Piece, where Zoro somehow gets stuck in a chimney after being thrown across Water 7. He manages to free himself by cutting the chimney open with Sandai Kitetsu once Chopper returns it to him, right as the Aqua Laguna threatens to flood the district. When Luffy later asks him what he was even doing in said district, Zoro tries to dodge the question, only to strangle Chopper once he innocently blabs about what happened.
- Seven Mortal Sins: An OVA has Satan dress up like Santa Claus and get stuck in a chimney. She struggles, but rips her clothes and falls to the bottom naked.
- Gahan Wilson depicted the "dead Santa pulled from the chimney" legend (see below) in one of his comics, though it's not clear if it's just some random guy in the suit or actually Santa.
- In Christmas Evil, Harry, a Serial Killer dressed as Santa Claus, gets stuck in a chimney when breaking into the home of Frank, a co-worker he feels betrayed him. However, he manages to free himself and murder Frank.
- In Gremlins (1984), Kate's father tried to surprise his family this way one Christmas. Unfortunately, he broke his neck and died in the process. Kate's family didn't find this out until later when they broke through the chimney to discover why there was a bad smell coming from it.
- In How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, the Grinch tries to enter the first house through the chimney just like as seen in the book and the animated special. He gets stuck with his head upside down in the fireplace but manages to fall out and enter the house. Just as in the cartoon, he gets better at entering through the chimney with every house but is also seen dropping a giant vacuum hose down a chimney at one point.
- In MouseHunt, Ernie chases the mouse into the chimney but ends up getting stuck. While Lars tries to get some light to see what he can do, the mouse unhooks a gas main and then pushes some matches over to Lars. Lars then lights a match, turning the chimney into a cannon that launches Ernie out of the house and into a nearby lake.
- There exists an Urban legend where a man decide to surprise his family by dressing up as Santa Claus and infiltrating his own house through the chimney. Unfortunately, he ends up getting stuck and suffocating.
- In 1000 Ways to Die, one of the Asshole Victim casualties has an insane ex-girlfriend that kept stalking her boyfriend and his wife, and that tried to get into the man's house via the chimney while they were away on vacation in order to live in and (probably) eventually catch them when they returned. Unfortunately, she got stuck on said chimney and died of dehydration... and the corpse was found by the lovebirds when they came back home and turned on the chimney, setting the corpse on fire.
- The Addams Family: In "Christmas with the Addams Family", to reassure Pugsley and Wednesday there is a Santa Claus after their neighbor tells them there isn't, they get Uncle Fester to dress up as him. However, when Fester tries to descend the chimney, he gets stuck.
- Drake & Josh: Discussed in "Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh", where one of the children Drake and Josh have to give the best Christmas ever believes that Santa would get stuck going down a chimney. At the end of the movie, Bludge arrives dressed as Santa to give everyone gifts, but gets stuck (proving the kids' point) and has to break down the wall the chimney is built into to get out.
- In the original series of Horrible Histories, a sketch from the Victorian era featured aristocrats hiring a child chimney sweeper to clean the chimney out, leading to him dislodging three teenagers and Santa Claus.
- iCarly: In "iStill Psycho". Gibby attempts to escape the Dershlit residence by climbing up the chimney, but realizes he can't get his arms free after he has already poked his head out the top and is thus stuck. He's still stuck there by the end of episode, and some boys who threw balls at his head earlier do it again despite it pouring rain by this point.
- A few criminals on World's Dumbest... have had to be rescued by police after getting stuck in chimneys and other passages. One clip plays it like a birthing scene.
- The kids song "When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney" involves Santa Claus getting stuck up the chimney and sneezing due to the soot.
- Ella Fitzgerald's "Santa Claus Got Stuck in My Chimney":
There he was in the middle of the chimney
Roly-poly, fat, and round
There he was in the middle of the chimney
Not quite up and not quite down
- The Bob Rivers "Twisted Christmas" album includes "The Chimney Song" sung by a little girl about how Santa Claus didn't show and there's something stuck in the chimney that smells increasingly foul as the year goes by. Put two and two together, and...
- Smosh pointed out in a holiday parody video that if Santa Claus tried this method of breaking and entering, he'd get stuck halfway down. The clip shows Santa's feet sticking out of the chimney mouth as he screams for help to get out as his feet are burned by the flames from the fireplace.
- This is a recurring problem in What the Fuck Is Wrong with You?, where people will try to get into houses via the chimney and invariably get stuck, often necessitating the help of the local police and fire departments.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Prank", Gumball switches Richard's tape about pranks for beginners with a tape he recorded himself that would cause his father to humiliate himself. The last step is to go down the chimney head first and Richard does just that. He gets stuck for hours.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In the Christmas Episode "A Lost Claus", Bloo sends out all of his friends to try and prove to Mac that Santa exists. He makes Eduardo climb through the chimney, but he gets stuck there for most of the episode, until something pushes him out.
- Hotel Transylvania: The Series: In "Adventures in Vampiresitting", Kitty Cartwright gets stuck trying to climb down her own chimney, then is forcefully ejected from it through one of her house's hi-tech security features.
- In the The Powerpuff Girls episode, "Jewel of the Aisle", a thief loses a stolen diamond in a box of Lucky Captain Rabbit King Nuggets cereal, which ends up in the possession of the Powerpuff Girls. The thief disguises himself as Lucky Captain Rabbit King and tries many unsuccessful shenanigans to get the box from the girls, and one of which is disguising himself as Santa Claus and going down the chimney, despite the fact that it's summer. He gets stuck in it and has to be saved by the Fire Department.
- This happened frequently to chimney sweeps in Victorian London. The job required a sweep, usually a small boy as young as six, to crawl through the chimney dislodging soot as he went. The chimney flues had many twists and turns where a boy could get stuck, sometimes smothering to death. This was alarmingly commonplace until appropriate child labor laws were finally passed in 1875.
- Many, many would-be burglars and home invaders have had this happen to them when breaking in. It never ends well.
- This happens to a handful of amateur Santas every year, apparently ignorant of the aforementioned urban legends. Just one such case.