Two characters have been Locked in a Room together by their friends because they think they have a crush on each other. They spend the episode talking, sitting close to each other, coming clean with each other, and usually kissing at the end when their friends charge in cheering for them. A complete Retool of their character relationship accomplished in the span of one episode.
Used in sitcoms—usually of the teen-oriented variety—when they want to do a somewhat suspenseful episode based on romance, or when the writer wants a relationship to form between the characters but can't do it normally.
Named after the party game (also known as "seven minutes in heaven") where two people are forced to spend time alone in the dark to "talk".
Can easily turn into a Clip Show.
Subtrope of Romance Ensues. Related to Caught in the Rain. Compare Locked in a Room which is not necessarily romantic. Compare Spin the Bottle, another teen party game designed around romantic tension.
- Obaka-chan Koigatariki features an example, the school president locks two people in a room together, nothing happens. "If they were hamsters they'd have started mating already!"
- Cardcaptor Sakura: Eriol once locks Sakura and Shaoran in an elevator. By the end of the episode, they're on a First-Name Basis which is a big deal in Japan.
- Subverted in Gokusen. Yankumi's students lock her and Shin in a storeroom in an attempt to get them together. Not only does it not work, but the principal was there the whole time behind a box.
- Mei (Naru's Stepsister) in Love Hina attempts to do this with Keitaro and Mutsumi in an attempt to make them bond and drive Naru back home. It fails when Naru breaks them out with the "help" of Keitaro i.e. she punches him through a wall.
- Happens in Lovely Complex with the two main characters. And despite her stating she likes the guy with her right now, he still doesn't get it.
- It happens in Ranma ½ (even though Ranma set it up as a ploy to get a suit that happens to hate him off Akane), resulting in a bit of a heart-to-heart and much blushing. Probably would have ended up as more had Akane's family and Ranma's dad not made it evident that they were eavesdropping by bursting in on them.
- Zig-zagged in Toradora!, as Ryuuji and Minorin are locked in a storage room, and while they do talk out, they also spend just as much time trying to get out. No relationship upgrade, either.
- Jura does this to Hibiki and Dita in the second season of Vandread. And broadcasts the security camera feed to the entire ship. A red alert interrupts things before anything really comes of it.
- In a side-story to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the title character kidnaps Glittering Goldie and forces her to work his claim to teach her a lesson. At the end, they fall in love... and never see each other again, except in a burning dance hall for a fleeting moment. (That ending part comes about because in Carl Barks' stories, they never do meet again, and Don Rosa wanted to stay true to that.)
- In the final issue of the Young Justice show tie in comic, Dick's birthday party has them playing a sort of Spin the Bottle/Ten Minutes in the Closet mash-up. Barbara Gordon, his best friend, spins him and while he assures her that they don't have to do anything, she grabs him and kisses him like there's no tomorrow, because she's actually got a huge crush on him.
- Baljeet and Adyson get put in a closet together in "Fresh Ginger". They don't do anything, but the experience makes Baljeet realize it's time to get serious about a relationship with Ginger.
- Phineas and Isabella get stuck together in the past for 48 hours in "Back in Time for Dinner", because Ferb is trying to force a Relationship Upgrade between them.
- In Tomorrow's Doom, Amaya and Tadao have a fight during Tanabata, the aftermath of which drags on for so long that Aiko and Hisao conspire to lock them up in a shed until they make up.
- In The Potion Problem McGonagall casts a spell on the ingredient cupboard so Harry and Snape can't get out of it until they admit their attraction to each other.
- In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the trope is invoked by Grey's companions. As one might expect, it ends with an Almost Kiss.
- Subverted in the introduction of Good Luck Chuck, where the titular character is practically assaulted by a goth girl during the party game (while both are still pre-teens) and flees the closet in terror after she claws his chest.
- The plot of Seven in Heaven is based around this going horribly wrong. In the 'traveling to nightmarish alternate universes' kind of way.
- Put to good use in Teen Wolf (in a little party game commonly known as "Seven Minutes' Heaven") by the couple's friends, who put them in the closet just to encourage some amorousness. Though the two initially would prefer to remain just friends, the guy's werewolf side does have him getting a bit frisky with her...
- This triggers the Time Skip in Jennifer Garner's 13 Going on 30.
- At a party, Margaret and her peers in Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. play "Two Minutes In The Closet" (though they have to use a bathroom in this case). It's presented more innocently here because the characters are only sixth graders. They just give a quick kiss and exit.
- A very strange version appeared in Belgarath the Sorcerer: After the nation of Arendia fought off the bad guys, they were left leaderless because the Dukes of the two halves of the country had a duel and killed each other. Since one had a son and the other a daughter, a marriage was proposed between them. Unfortunately, they hated each other completely. Polgara received orders to "keep them locked in there until the shouting stops and the giggling starts". Since both of them were teens, it's entirely plausible. This is also a case of Because Destiny Says So. Poledra essentially told Polgara, "They're going to get married, and they're going to like it. Get started on that."
- Used in an early episode of Boy Meets World, when Cory and Shawn go to a make out party. Shawn has a great time (even to the point of having a different shirt on when he leaves than when he entered), while Cory and Topanga go in and simply talk. When they are both ready to kiss, the door is opened.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- The Scoobies get tired of Buffy and Cordelia's pointless rivalry, so arrange for them to end up in the same limousine on the way to the Homecoming Queen crowning, with a note telling them to solve their differences. Instead they spend the entire trip arguing about their corsages, until demons try to hunt them down kill them, so they end up bonding (somewhat) over that.
- Xander and Cordelia get trapped in Buffy's basement by a demon. Their argument over whose fault it is ends with them kissing passionately, to their mutual horror.
- Used in the Korean drama Delightful Girl Choon Hyang. The main characters' friends determine that as Chun-hyang and Mong-ryong are getting married, they might as well learn to tolerate each other. (This being the second or third episode, it of course doesn't work).
- Crichton and Aeryn did this in Farscape, though it wasn't so much "ten minutes in a closet" as "several hours in a wrecked transport pod".
- The Freaks and Geeks episode "Smooching and Mooching" has Bill sent to the laundry room for "seven minutes in heaven" with head cheerleader Vicki Appleby after she "loses" at Spin the Bottle. Vicki, previously depicted as the Alpha Bitch, actually ends up bonding with Bill and even gives him his First Kiss before all is said and done.
- Used in Full House between Jesse and Kimmy in the Smash Club, except being locked in was an accident. With slightly less Squick than you might think.
- On Glee, Sue locks Kurt and Blaine in a fake elevator for two days to try to make them get back together and only lets them out once they kiss. Since they're still friends, they spend the time talking and playing games and they do kiss to be let out, but her plan doesn't succeed in making them get back together. They end up getting back together on their own a few episodes later.
- How I Met Your Mother: Lily gets sick of Robin and Barney's continued refusal to define their relationship beyond "sleeping together", so she locks them in Robin's bedroom and announces they can't come out until they've reached a definition (with emphasis on it being the definition Lily wants).
- In the iCarly episode "iOMG", Carly locked Sam and Brad in a room together because she thought Sam was in love with Brad. It doesn't work out very well...
- TV series My Name Is Earl. When the warden of the prison where Earl is an inmate attempts to stop two gangs from fighting, he locks the leaders in solitary together for a month. Predictably, they fight for a while ... then they calm down ... then they start talking ... and then fall in love. They still have to remain enemies when they get out of solitary, or their gangs will turn on them. So they find whatever excuse to get in trouble and get locked up together.
- In Northern Exposure Maurice Minnifield and Ruth-Anne Miller are no longer speaking to each other because of some feud involving a business loan. Ed, the local Native American wannabe film director, uses his own Genre Savvyness to lock them both in a cabin till they both work out their issues, 'cause that always works in the movies.
- Person of Interest. In "Aletheia" with Detective Fusco and John Reese in the same cell together, thanks to an uncooperative sheriff. Reese is forced to listen to Fusco's What the Hell, Hero? speech, after which Fusco calls for the cell to be opened. Turns out the sheriff was willing to let them out any time on Fusco's say so.
- In the very first episode of Riverdale, Archie and Veronica are forced into a round of Seven Minutes In Heaven in Cheryl's closet. While they at first try to pass the time by taking turns asking each other questions, the two eventually give in to their mutual attraction and start kissing passionately.
- Used twice in Saved by the Bell.
- 7th Heaven: Eric and Annie lock Reverend Hampton and his wife in their attic, incorrectly thinking they're breaking up. Since the victims don't have anything to make up over, nothing else to do, and no way out, they have sex.
- In one episode of Stargate Atlantis, Ronon and Dr.
KayleeKeller are trapped in her medlab for almost the entire episode, and are headed down this path, although they only kiss once just before the doors open.
- Used to resolve a split between Odo and Kira in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (during Dax's bachelor party, so it's more like ten hours in the closet). We never hear what's said, someone just opens the door to the walk-in closet and finds them talking quietly. The actors concerned were very annoyed with this cop-out and insisted that later differences between the two be resolved on-screen.
- And they weren't the only annoyed ones. A later book - specifically Worlds of Deep Space Nine: Vol. III - goes back and recounts the whole conversation.
- Bashir and Dax had an earlier one, trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, which led to Bashir giving up his futile pursuit of Dax and them cementing their "Just Friends" relationship.
- Adventure Time:
- In the episode "Slumber Party Panic", Finn is trying to help keep the horde of zombies approaching the party at the Candy Kingdom a secret. When Jake gets suspicious, Finn distracts him by getting Jake and Lady Rainicorn to play "seven minutes in heaven".
- In "The Pajama War", Finn and Princess Bubblegum have to do after losing at musical chairs. The Candy people think they're kissing in the closet, but they actually escaped to have some fun together.
- Meg Griffin on Family Guy had this at a Halloween costume party, where she made out (and possibly more) with someone dressed as Optimus Prime. At the end, she finds out he was Chris. Squick. It's made worse by how they both seem to enjoy it up until the reveal.
- Played straight but then subverted in Gravity Falls episode "Into the Bunker". Mabel shoves Dipper into a closet with Wendy in an attempt to get him to confess his feelings for the latter. Unfortunately, the "closet" was actually a decontamination chamber, leading to the lair of the Shape-Shifter...Mabel finds out too late and can't get them out. Dipper comes to terms with his issue in the end though.
- One episode of King of the Hill has Bobby go to a girls AND boys sleepover at the house of a girl he likes. Her friend, a troublemaking girl, has them play 7 minutes in Heaven. They talk things out and decide they like each other, but they still have a few more minutes. They give in to the cheering of the kids outside the closet and Bobby takes off his shirt. Hank barges in and interrupts before they go any further.
- The Orthodox Jewish tradition of the Yichud Room involves a man and a woman who have been recently married to stay together in a room during or just after the wedding reception based on the tradition of the families. They stay in this room for a certain amount of time alone (at least 8 minutes) because before they were married, in the Orthodox Jewish faith, a man and a woman are not allowed to be alone together unless they are married. During this time the bride and groom exchange and open gifts, break their fast together, and whatever else takes their fancy as a newly married couple.