Mark Kant (really Super Dude): Well, actually I'm doing quite well in school...
Thug 2: Yeah, whaddaya say we do something mean, dangerous, yet visually entertaining to him? [stuffs him in a washing machine]
A Discredited High School trope that is not disappearing any time soon. A nerdy kid is forcibly shoved into a school locker, which is then locked so they can't get out. Every Jerk Jock has done it to the Ordinary High-School Student at least once. Even an Alpha Bitch or two has done it to the Naïve Everygirl.
If this has ever been done in real life, it must have been during a time before schools were as crowded as they are today and lockers were bigger. So writers, who are almost all well into their thirties regardless of the show's target demographic, may have grown up seeing stuff like this. Many still think it's what kids do today. Or perhaps a really old High School show once did it because the director thought it'd be funny and everyone else followed suit. Who knows.
Chances are, it did happen once or twice, but it could also have originated as a joke since larger lockers were commonplace in older school buildings. However, today, schools are built to accommodate a higher volume of students, and stacked lockers are more common. Some of these newer lockers are barely big enough to hold a basketball, let alone a human being.note Older buildings may still have the larger lockers but these are often ditched during remodeling. And if a school does have full-height lockers, they'll likely be too narrow for anyone who isn't a cartoon character to actually fit in.
- In an early episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Kiri somehow managed to stuff herself in Nozomu's locker, which seemed to be quite small.
- Inazuma Eleven: Kabeyama tries to hide in a locker, so he doesn't have to play a soccer match, but he ends up getting stuck in it due to his large body size.
- In the first episode of Nyaruko: Crawling with Love!'s second season, Nyarko pulls Mahiro into a locker to start a make-out session (he's not interested). Unfortunately, it's the girls' locker room, and the girls are coming in to change for gym, so he's afraid of getting caught. Luckily for him, Cuuko pulls him out of the locker using a Kamen Rider Wizard-style magic portal.
- This happens in All-Ghouls School, with the bullies stuffing a freshman into the heroine's locker. This is apparently a regular occurrence, with the bullies keeping track of who has the record for the longest time it takes for a freshman to be released. Later, Becca gets stuffed into a locker by Elle at Darkmoor, indicating that she is now the bottom of the food chain at her new school.
- In Shrek the Third, while Shrek and the gang are walking around the school, we see Donkey falling out of a locker, apparently having been stuffed in there by bullies, with a paper reading "I sucketh" taped to his back.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, one student puts himself in a locker when Twilight Sparkle confronts Sunset Shimmer to stop her from bullying Fluttershy. At the end of the confrontation, he opens the door, only to find Sunset glaring at him as she passes by, prompting him to close the door on himself again.
- In Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie there's a kid who also puts himself inside a locker, to show how depressing things are at Jerome Horowitz Elementary School.
- In the The Sissy Duckling, Elmer gets beat up by three bullies at his school for being a "sissy". After school they hide in a locker, grab him, and beat him inside the locker.
- The character Ian in I'll Be Home for Christmas is first heard stuffed inside a college locker.
- In the film Drillbit Taylor, the Ring's child actor is stuffed into his locker by the most-feared bullies of his school. Despite his small body, he's naturally big enough not to fit in, so while the bullies try to lock the door of the locker, two other nerds draw the attention of the bullies. They confront them and the earlier victim runs away.
- At the beginning of Lean on Me, a pair of bullies stuff Thomas Sams into a locker (which is somewhat remarkable in itself, since Sams is rather fat) and walk away. Then, to drive home the point of how much the conditions at East Side High had deteriorated in the 20 years of Joe Clark's absence, a janitor lazily walks down a hall that intersects the hall with Sams' locker while reading a newspaper. Sams is screaming for help, and despite the screams being very audible in the empty hallway (the school day had just ended), the janitor completely ignores them.
- Happens in Sky High (2005), to Zach, the kid who can glow. In fact, the only reason you know he's in the locker is that it's glowing bright green.
- In the slasher film The Guard From Underground, a character is stuffed in a locker and is then crushed inside it.
- In the film, Man of the House, the protagonist meets one of the other kids when said kid is stuffed into a locker while the protagonist does nothing. Near the end of the movie, having bonded, he takes a stand against the bullies. Cut to a shot of the outside of the lockers with the two of them conversing from within the closed lockets.
- In A Boy Called Po, Taylor calls Po a freak. Po yells, "I'm not a freak!" Taylor and his cronies shove Po into a locker, where he stays until the janitor hears him banging on the door after school.
- In Prince Roger Portena knocks out the executive officer of the Saint commando ship and stuffs her into a supply locker. Justified in that the locker in question has an airtight seal and is rated as an emergency life support shelter so putting her in there and welding the door shut serves as a method of taking her prisoner while also ensuring her safety.
- Public School Superhero: Tiny Simpkins stuff Kenny Wright into his locker in the 14th chapter.
- In Worm, Taylor had her Traumatic Superpower Awakening when she was stuffed into her locker after it had been filled with used pads and tampons and allowed to ripen over winter break.
- When David from What to Say Next was in middle school, a bully gave him a swirlie and then shoved him into a locker with wet, reeking hair. The incident prompted his sister to make a Do Not Trust list of people he is not to engage with under any circumstances.
- In Saved by the Bell, Screech apparently has built a labyrinthine series of secret passages throughout the school lockers.
- Larry Kubiac does this to people who annoy him on Parker Lewis Can't Lose. In later seasons, he's shown doing it to Jerry near the end of the closing credits.
- Averted on Happy Days. Joanie had started dating a guy who was a member of a gang called the Red Devils. Richie confronted them in the school gym before they were about to give her her initiation into the gang she would have had to "neck" with each member of the gang. They easily subdued him and planned to stuff him in a locker. When they opened the locker to shove him in, Fonzie was waiting inside.
- Unsurprisingly, this happens a lot to Steve Urkel on Family Matters.
- Happens to Ricky on his first day of high school on Silver Spoons.
- Shawn from Boy Meets World used this to his advantage and sometimes used the relative privacy of his locker as a Make-Out Point.
- Happens several times to Merton on Big Wolf on Campus. Once, he himself does it to a nerdy demon and notes how refreshing it is to be on the other side of the "being shoved into a locker" thing.
- Lost: A flashback in "Cabin Fever" shows that this was done to Locke in high school.
- Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide "Guide to Vice-Principals": Coconut Head is the third thing Mr. Crubbs removes from Loomer the bully's locker.
- The locker jokes on You Can't Do That on Television aren't really an example, though Lisa once locked Alistair in his locker on purpose, which is closer. He turned it into a TARDIS and threw a party.
- On an episode of Strangers with Candy, one of Jerri's boyfriends did this to her because he didn't want the other kids seeing them together.
- The first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a variant; the guy is stuffed in the locker after he's dead.
- On Degrassi Junior High it was traditional to stuff students into the broom cupboard rather than a locker.
- Played for Drama on Community, in which a Journey to the Center of Abed's Mind ends with Abed's true personality being discovered chained in a locker:
Abed: It's where I spent a lot of time in junior high.
Annie: You think that's where we'd put you? You know that's absurd, right?
Abed: Well, I'm not stupid. You can see I've increased the square footage; it's a metaphorical locker. It's a place where people like me get put when everyone's finally fed up with us.
- Super Human Samurai Syber Squad: It happened twice to Malcolm Frink. The first time was at the end of "Que Sera Servo", where Malcolm was taking advantage of the heroes having their personalities altered and they did this to show they were back. In "Mal-Khan-Tent", it wasn't Malcolm himself but Kilokhan in Malcolm's body and Sam and Tanker locked him away until they could find and rescue Malcolm. However, since Malcolm's body was still in the locker when he returned, he felt what's like.
- In Modern Family, Mitchell sees a gay kid tormenting other students with snarky comments. Mitchell gives him a speech about how he was bullied as a kid to set him straight. When the student sasses him instead, Mitchell stuffs him in a locker, telling the Confession Cam that he wasn't particularly proud of it.
- Home Improvement: The episode "The Karate Kid Returns" has Randy stuff himself into a locker. Twice.
- Wednesday starts with the title character discovering her brother Pugsley in her locker, apple in mouth. Once it turns out the swim team did it, she releases piranha in their pool.
- High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: Big Red does this to himself in order to be a singing telegram for his girlfriend Ashlyn. Unfortunately he gets stuck, so by the time she opens it he falls out and sprays confetti everywhere.
- Played with in the My Chemical Romance video for "I'm Not Okay"; a teen gets shut in the locker, and uses his position to jump out and scare the locker's owner.
- Calvin and Hobbes: In one story arc, Calvin shuts himself into his own locker to change into his Stupendous Man costume, and manages to get stuck until his teacher lets him out (and is clearly surprised at his change of appearance).
- Garfield: Wally Sneedhocker used to stuff Jon in the school locker. He became an undertaker.
- In Bully, this is one of many schoolyard torments Jimmy can deliver upon his fellow students.
- In Kathy Rain, the titular eventually has do this to Lenny with an evidence locker to get him out of the way in order to make her escape from the Sheriff Station's lock-up. When Kathy apologizes to Lenny afterwards, he quips that the experience gave him high school flashbacks.
- Lockers on the cargo ship and big shell in Metal Gear Solid 2 are large enough for Snake and Raiden to hide in.
- In Ghoul School, Spike likes to stuff freshmen into lockers, according to the manual; this is supposed to explain his ability to hide inside them.
- Non-school example in Doom³: Resurrection of Evil. When you start the second level and go inside a ravaged crew quarters, a maintenance worker is using a locker as a hiding spot. He'll pop out when you enter, look around for barely a second, and slam the door shut again, and will only open the door again the first time you talk to him. After that, he'll yell through the door at you to leave. Whether the tactic works long enough for him to survive all the events of the game is unknown.
- One of the paths in Pajama Sam 2 involves getting the Y-Pipe out of Foster Boondoggle's locker. When you do, Y-Pipe asks if that ever happened to Sam, and he responds that his friend Pete once got himself stuck in a locker at school.
- The Nickelodeon Clickamajigs "Bully the Bully" starts with the protagonist being stuffed in a locker. The actual game involves you giving the bully a piece of your mind.
- Also in this strip of Loserz.
- Also reversed in this one, where a bully get a locker stuffed into him. That's gotta hurt.
- Referenced (but not depicted) in The Wotch to justify Robin and Jason's decision not to inform Anne that her personified feminine pride had gender bent Tandy Garden High's worst jerk jocks into four "honest and kind" cheerleaders.
- Penny and Aggie, here.
- Happens to Peter on occasion of Peter and Company.
- Played with in High School Lessons when a disgruntled student shoves his teacher in a locker. In this case, it was to prove there was really a portal inside.
- Happens with extremely severe consequences in The Saga of Tuck.
- Tuck is tiny. And, when he got shoved in the locker, he was unconscious and slowly dying. He got better, eventually.
- Team CRDL is the bully gang of the year group and Jaune Arc is one of their victims. At one point, Cardin Winchester stuffs Jaune into a locker. However, since Beacon is an Extranormal Institute that is run by an acknowledged expy of the Wizard of Oz, the locker is actually rocket-propelled with programmable coordinates. Not only does Jaune have the issue of trying to get out of it, but he has to then make it back to the school from where the locker landed.
- This happens to Jaune once again in the finale of Volume 3, but this time it's much less funny. Pyrrha throws him into a nearby locker and sends him to the city to make sure he won't follow her into Beacon tower. There she tries to take on Cinder and gets killed.
- Unwanted Houseguest: The Houseguest does this to himself in issue 3 of the comic to more easily talk to Melody during the school day.
- The nerds at Springfield Elementary in The Simpsons are shown to have a secret clubhouse/base hidden within the lockers.
- In another episode, Lisa attempts to find common ground with a bully, only to end up...you guessed it.
Lisa: How about jazz? Do you like jazz?
Milhouse: I like jazz.
Lisa: Milhouse? She got you, too?
Milhouse: Yeah, but it's not so bad. I'm standing on Ralph.
Ralph: We're a totem pole. (hops up and down chanting)
- In another episode, Lisa attempts to find common ground with a bully, only to end up...you guessed it.
- In an episode of Clone High, JFK boasts of stuffing the entire freshman class into only ten lockers. And in another episode, Abe, having gone without sleep for almost a week, stuffs himself into a locker (and since Abe was six-foot-four, he was folded like an accordion).
- X-Men: Evolution did this in the second episode, with Kitty Pryde as the target. Naturally, this was a setup for her to discover her phasing power, and not coincidentally, run into Avalanche, who was the episode's main villain.
- One of the many ways Danny Phantom's intangibility power comes in handy. The opening credits even shows him phasing out and stuffing one of the Jerk Jocks in.
- In the Transformers: Animated episode "Autoboot Camp", Bumblebee was stuffed into a locker by Wasp and Ironhide for getting them in trouble to Sentinel Minor. Right after removing his legs.
- In an episode of King of the Hill, one student who's been scaring Bobby by sneaking up to him managed to hide inside Bobby's locker for the next scare.
- In one example that stretches Suspension of Disbelief a little too far, in the episode of ¡Mucha Lucha!, "Attack of the Luchabots", a robot stuffed the entire student body and staff of the school (except the three main characters and the student who built it) in one locker so it could build robot imposters. (And Penny kept trying to break them out of it using her new air-bag equipped mask, which made it worse.)
- The Fairly OddParents!: Denzel Crocker hid inside Timmy's locker in "Mind Over Magic" for a pop quiz. Francis the bully later shut the locker door to interrupt Crocker's rant about Fairy Godparents.
- In "Just Desserts", Timmy wished all meals on the world were desserts. Almost one month later, everyone was overweight except for Mark, who, like all Yugopotamians, only eats healthy food for dessert. The bullies decided to stuff him in the locker because Mark was the only thin one. However, a near-whole month of eating nothing but desserts made the bullies so unhealthy their would-be-victim didn't even need to walk any faster to escape.
- In Trollhunters, Steve Palchuk routinely does this to Eli Pepperjack
- What's the best way to establish Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero Blood Knight Sashi Kobayashi as The Bully? Have her violently shove the school mascot into a locker. A rare female example.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), Flash not only stuffs Peter in his own locker, but flashbacks show he's been doing this regularly for years. When the Frightful Four attack the school, Spider-Man encourages Flash to hide in a locker as payback.
- In the opening credits of Fangbone!, Fangbone and Bill's classmates (and one troll) are inside lockers that open as Fangbone and Bill run past: although the reason why they are there is not clear.
- On Looped, Lester gets stuffed into his locker every Monday-day by Jesse. However, he actually doesn't mind this, as he then spends the rest of the day in his locker playing video games and enjoying the alone time.
- In As Told by Ginger, this happens to Courtney during high school orientation by a couple of high school Alpha Bitches.
- The Amazing World of Gumball:
- In the episode "The Mystery", Gumball opens his locker and suddenly finds the principal trapped in it, so he and the other kids try to discover who did that.
- In "The Meddler", Gumball's mom stuffs herself into his locker when she decides to follow him to the school.
- In "The Ex", Gumball stuffs Alan the balloon into Penny's locker with the words "I'm sorry" drawn in him. Gumball says he didn't find any other balloons.
- There are several examples in the The Loud House episode, "Schooled"; first, Zach gets stuffed into a locker on the first day of school. Later in the episode, Lynn Jr. stuffs Lincoln into a locker for running in the hallway, making him late for class since he was running late for it in the first place, and later does the same to Rusty and Zach.
- Some full-height lockers have a latch on the inside which allows anyone inside to get out easily. Presumably it was a safety measure intended to keep people from being permanently trapped, but a good side bonus is that it turns the locker from a holding cell to a quite decent hiding spot, as the bullied has control over the door.