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Super Multi-Purpose Room

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Close cousin of To the Batpole!, this is a room that has a Transformation Sequence. A mundane living room, bedroom, or small apartment can be converted into a fully-functional Super Hero lair by a pressing a simple hidden control button, or pulling down a horribly out-of-place candle sconce.

Named for the room in small schools that serves as a combined cafeteria, gymnasium, and/or auditorium; which is often referred to with a cutesy portmanteau name like "cafetorinasium" or "cafetorium". (Incidentally, the school in the animated show Fillmore! had a cafetorium. But that school had everything.)

Many will contain a Wall of Weapons.

A Super-Trope to Feng Schwing.


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  • A commercial a few years ago illustrated the speed with which businesses must adapt these days, by showing a corner restaurant that alternately transformed into a corner gym and a corner boutique.
  • An advert for Golden Delicious apples, Le Crunch Bunch, presented an apple-based speakeasy that transformed into a tea shop, in an homage to Bugsy Malone.
  • In one ad for Bush's Baked Beans, the dog Duke is sitting inside Jay's home with a room full of blueprints and a monitor for his latest scheme to sell off the secret family recipe. He receives a "Jay Alert" on the monitor and pushes a button which instantly retracts his setup, transforming the room into Jay's living room with couches and a fireplace. Jay enters, none the wiser, and gives him a head rub and a chin scratch.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Music Room 3, the base of the Ouran High School Host Club. Platforms rising out of the floor, magically appearing side rooms and musical instruments....
  • Zettai Muteki Raijin-Oh has a classroom that transforms into a giant robot control center.
  • Hybrid Heart Magias Academy Ataraxia has the "Love Room" capable of recreating any situation or scenario, ranging from battle simulations to dating spots and hotels and can change what people are wearing. Its main purpose is to ensure things go smoothly between Kizuna and the girls.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin: After Jack's murder Tim moves to Bludhaven to get away from Bruce and be closer to where his stepmother is hospitalized. Tim starts staying in his "nest" attic apartment, which just looks like a sloppy apartment with some odd workout equipment, unless he slides a few bits around and that equipment shifts into a computer control center where he can work on his and Cass' cases and connect with the Teen Titans.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Darla's tearoom gains a stage, floodlights and a giant cake, complete with backup singers from nowhere at the pull of a rope.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Buster Keaton's "The Scarecrow," two farmhands share a one-room house in which all the furnishings have at least two functions — there is a record player/stove/oven, refrigerator/bookcase, rolltop desk/sink, bathtub/sofa, and Murphy bed/piano.
  • The title characters' home in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) was filled with camouflaged and hidden equipment caches, including a gun drawer hidden as part of a wall oven.
  • K from Men in Black II has a cache of weapons hidden in his old apartment, which is now someone else's home. They have to neuralize this family in order to access it.
  • The gymnasium of Bedford Falls High School memorably transforms into a swimming pool in It's a Wonderful Life. Truth in Television as mentioned below.
  • James Bond
    • Goldfinger has the big game room at his stud farm that transforms into a presentation room, then a gas chamber.
    • In Tomorrow Never Dies, Chinese female superspy Wai Lin has a run-down bike repair-shop which transforms into a full-blown spy lair.
  • Pick a room in any of the Spy Kids movies.
  • The Matrix has "The Construct", a virtual reality program which can "load" anything from clothes to mountains, oceans and training dojo.
  • The film Robin and the Seven Hoods, set in the 1920s Prohibition era, features a bar/casino that can transform into a temperance church meeting for when the police show up.
  • Not actually a hideout, but the apartment of Bruce Willis's character in The Fifth Element had a lot of super multi-purpose room features, simply as a space-saving convenience.
    Leeloo: Autowash!
  • In Foul Play Stanley the conductor's apartment turns into a swinging sex pad at the flick of a switch.

  • Hogwarts in Harry Potter has the "Room of Requirement" which can take on literally any function, to suit the immediate specific needs of the user.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sarah Jane's attic in The Sarah Jane Adventures, triggered by the sentence "Mr. Smith, I need you." which makes her Magical Computer Mr. Smith awaken and transform the room (or at least the chimney breast).
  • In Stingray (1964) X20, the weird sea creature who lives all alone in a house on a rock in the middle of the ocean, disguises the secret sea-creaturey equipment in an ordinary-looking house in case he gets visitors, which he did a few times (though he also had to don a quick human disguise on these occasions as well).
  • Thunderbirds:
    • International Rescue's headquarters on Tracy Island is a combination of this trope and To the Batpole!, with both huge hidden hangars for the Thunderbirds and parts of the main house — especially the living room — that conceal communications devices, radar screens, etc.
    • In the episode "The Impostors", the stereotypical hillbilly shack of Jeremiah Tuttle, one of IR's agents, has the same sort of comm gear (and who knows what else) hidden in much the same way as X20's house. The Tuttle family pick-up can also go into overdrive and hit high speeds if needed.
  • The Goodies lived and worked in an office that included fold-down beds that were also doors to other rooms, a window showing a choice of vistas or a TV screen, and in one episode, controls that drove the building in the famous Le Mans 24 hours race. Later episodes set in the office included props doing similar versatile work.
  • The Chief's office in Get Smart had super-computers and weapon racks behind every wall, and phones in every... thing. Max's apartment also boasted plenty of secret equipment and weapons (which usually went off at the wrong time).
  • In the Red Dwarf XI episode "Twentica", set in an alternate history where any technology beyond the 1920s is illegal (which is very much presented as a pastiche of prohibition), there's a science lab designed to transform into a bar if the cops show up.

    Video Games 
  • In Deus Ex, when J.C. gets to his brother's room and puts in the code given to him by his brother, the wall opens up to reveal a futuristic computer and enough munitions to, well, easily take care of those pesky M.I.B.s that invade it later on.
  • In Hogwarts Legacy, the Room of Requirement from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix makes a reappearance where it functions as a sort of player hub, where they can brew potions, grow magical plants and herbs, upgrade gear, and care for the fantastic beasts they find and adopt in a magical vivarium.
  • Starship Titanic has tiny versions of these rooms for guests traveling "Super Galactic Traveler Class" as the furniture folds in and out to create a kitchen, dining area, bedroom, and living area. (Not at the same time, mind.) The problem is that unless you know which furniture plates to unfold in the proper order, the furniture gets in its own way and won't fully unfold. There's also a puzzle where you need to unfold the bed so that you can watch the room's TV and see if you won an upgrade to a less confusing room.


    Western Animation 
  • Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch! had a lot of cool appliances hidden in their phony cave at the Wonderland Zoo.
  • The Tick: The Tick bugs Arthur to reveal where "the hidden switch" is in the pilot episode. Naturally, there isn't one, and Tick nearly destroys the apartment looking for secret Super Hero gear.
  • Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends has one at Aunt May's boarding house, in Queens. Somehow, she didn't notice.
  • In an episode of Pinky and the Brain the bridge of an old harbor-tour boat transforms into a fully-functional anti-sub warfare center.
  • Family Guy:
    • Parodied with Quagmire, where is bland living room turns into a fully-equipped bachelor pad with the press of a few buttons. In a later episode, there is a chase scene in his house in which every piece of scenery folds out into a bed when knocked.
    • Stewiehas a secret room full of guns ammo and other evil genius type décor.
    • Peter has a hidden base underneath the house where he hides his porn.
  • The 1980 Hanna-Barbera cartoon Drak Pack had one of these, a room in an old run-down haunted mansion that turned into a high-tech communications center at the touch of a Big Red Button.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied. When prohibition is re-introduced to Springfield, "Moe's Pet Shop" becomes one of these. Barney is sitting on one of the stools as it rotates into the wall - when the room returns to a bar again, his clothes are ragged and he remarks "Those gears down there hurt!".
    • There was another time when some law-enforcing officer enters Moe's tavern. Upon learning he's facing the law, Moe presses a secret button, which rotates all the tables and walls to reveal roulette wheels, darts targets and other casino appliances, complete with a croupier. He then remarks "oh, wait, the other one was better".
  • In The Super Hero Squad Show, the X-Men's Danger Room is like this, reconfiguring itself to be the gym, the cafeteria, or anything else (while still being just as good at the whole Death Course thing.)
  • The Classic Disney Short Mickey's Trailer has the eponymous trailer, whose interior could transform with the pull of a switch, so that, say, Donald's bedroom could become a bathroom for his morning dip.
  • The Tex Avery cartoon The House of Tomorrow includes a luxurious room that can be made to look like a dilapidated shack in case the IRS man comes to call.
  • In the Looney Tunes short Design for Leaving'', one of the features of Elmer's modern home is a second floor that lowers so you don't have to take the stairs... at the cost of crushing everything downstairs.
  • Steven Universe has Rose's room which can manifest the desires of the owner and create anything from the clouds it contains.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, AJ has one of those. It transforms from his bedroom into an advanced lab, complete with clone-in-tube.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Emergency Party Button.
  • The classic studio apartment effectively combines the bedroom, kitchen, dining room, and living room into a single room, saving on costs significantly over a 1-bedroom accommodation.
  • In some Bavarian homes there is a single wall between the kitchen and the living room. The fireplace built into the wall serves both as a stove and a heater.
  • A common feature of boats and RVs. For space-saving, almost every piece of furnishing serves two or more functions.
  • In big cities where space is at a huge premium, architects are getting creative in figuring out how to fit many different kinds of rooms into one small apartment. Check out, for instance, this 344-square-foot shoebox apartment in Hong Kong that has 24 different rooms.
  • The dance scene in It's a Wonderful Life was filmed at Beverly Hills High School's "Swim Gym". Built in 1939, it has a basketball court, and, underneath it, a 25-yard competition swimming pool, with the floor opening up in the middle.
  • The Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington is notable among domed stadiums for having only a small amount of fixed seating. Other bleachers can be moved to allow the Dome to host basketball, soccer, ice hockey, football and concerts with different configurations.
  • While lots of schools have a combined gymnasium/auditorium, with the stage behind one of the floor's baselines or sidelines, Texas Hall at the University of Texas at Arlington was notorious for going the opposite direction: it was a fully-functioning proscenium theater, but it also hosted college basketball by having the floor on the stage, as seen here. This proved to be Awesome, but Impractical (balls going over the edge of the stage when they bounce out of bounds is the most obvious problem with this arrangement), so after five decades the university decided to build a dedicated basketball arena, and Texas Hall was converted to a full-time theater.
    • As shown here, the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles was once used for college basketball with the same "floor on the stage" arrangement.
  • Besides being a revered concert venue, the Royal Albert Hall in London has, in the words of Wikipedia, also hosted "conferences, banquets, ballroom dancing, poetry recitals, educational talks, motor shows, ballet, opera, film screenings...circus shows...boxing, squash, table tennis, basketball, wrestling including the first sumo wrestling tournament to be held in London as well as UFC, and even a marathon."


Video Example(s):


Secret Lair to Living Room

In an ad for Bush's Baked Beans, the dog Duke is in a lair with blueprints for his schemes to sell off the Bush's Baked Beans secret family recipe when he receives a "Jay Alert" informing him of his owner's arrival. In an instant, the lair is transformed into Jay's living room.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / SuperMultiPurposeRoom

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