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Trespassing to Talk

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Humans are private creatures and we all like to have a safe place like home to retreat to. Thus, when people violate that privacy and show up in our space without invitation, it's unsettling. The Villain Knows Where You Live is an effective intimidation tactic for just this reason. If they're feeling particularly malicious, they'll break in and wait. And wait. As long as it takes for the hero to wake up, get home, walk into the right room, or otherwise realize that someone else is there.

What they talk about could be almost anything. From revealing I Have Your Wife, to An Offer You Can't Refuse, to an offer for a new security system. Affably Evil people who pull this are likely to use a Chair Reveal, but more dangerous people tend to use a Stealth Hi/Bye. It doesn't have to be a home that's broken into, of course. It could be an office, a secure hideout, or anywhere that is considered relatively safe. If it's easily broken into, it may overlap with Swiss-Cheese Security or Unsafe Haven.

It's not just villains that do this. A hero, Anti-Hero, Mysterious Informant, Magnificent Bastard, or anybody else might do this if times get desperate enough. It's especially common in Enemy Mine situations, and If I Wanted You Dead... is a good way for the trespasser to gain some trust. On the more sinister side, I Know You Know I Know and Shame If Something Happened can come into play. A common variant of this is for the trespassee to be The Anticipator, and reveal that he knows someone is there.

Femme Fatales may occasionally combine this with Ready for Lovemaking.

Keep in mind that this trope is not about attacks, ambushes, or abductions. It requires a great deal of stealth to pull off. If a weapon is involved, it must be a scare tactic or backup plan. However, it is definitely possible that this scenario could lead to a fight.

Compare Break-In Threat, Ominously Open Door, Kidnapped by an Ally (where instead of breaking in to talk, they bring you to them.) Villain Over for Dinner. May involve a Lightswitch Surprise.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Lagoon: Chang at the "El Baile de la Muerte" arc when he waits for the arrival of the Lagoon crew and Fabiola alongside Garcia. This led to a tense standoff before Chang grappled with Fabiola to disarm her.
  • One Piece: During the Reverie arc, Shanks manages to slip into Mariejois, the home of the Celestial Dragons, to speak with the heads of the World Government, the Gorosei.

    Comic Books 
  • All-New Wolverine: In a flash-forward scene, Laura Kinney, aka Wolverine (at times), infiltrates the Oval Office of The White House, purely to have a word with the president — Kamala Khan, sometimes aka Ms. Marvel. This mildly irritates Kamala, who points out that Laura is at this point the head of a foreign state, and can perfectly reasonably ask to talk to the president any time she likes. Laura has her reasons, though.
  • Batman:
    • Batman frequently does this, and he usually uses a Stealth Hi/Bye to get away when he's done.
    • Robin III Tim Drake does this about as often as his mentor. He tries to maintain a more amicable working relationship with the police and doesn't use a Stealth Hi/Bye quite as often in order to keep from leaving people talking to air.
  • Captain America:
    • Steve does it to Tony Stark after they have a fight during the events of Armor Wars, so that Steve can lay into Tony for starting a fight, and accidentally causing a prison break, and to return the new shield Tony had given him.
    • During Acts of Vengeance, The Man Behind the Man breaks into the Red Skull's office to invite him to the villain team-up. The Red Skull tries setting his security measures on the mysterious stranger, who just casually shrugs them off.
  • Darkseid does this all the time when he's being Faux Affably Evil. Also, he seems to prefer couches.
  • New Mutants: After a harrowing adventure involving hired goons trying to kill his mother which quickly gets sidetracked into finding an ancient Roman city and nearly being killed a dozen times over (among other things), Roberto DaCosta breaks into the office of the man responsible for hiring those goons; his father.
  • The Punisher: At the end of the "Kriegkopf" arc, Castle shows up unannounced at an unnamed Washington politician's office. Frank tells the guy to knock it off ("it" being the nuking of Europe) and leaves a bullet on the desk.
  • Supergirl:
    • Bizarrogirl: At the ending, Lana Lang walks into her office and finds Cat Grant sitting on her couch in the dark and wanting to talk about Lana's connection with Supergirl.
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Supergirl returns to her Fortress of Solitude and finds Cyborg Superman waiting for her and claiming he can take her back to Krypton.
    • The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor: When soap opera scriptwriter Greg Gilbert brings Linda Danvers to his home, he finds someone is waiting for him inside his apartment: an enforcer who has broken into his home to "kindly" remind Greg that he owes money to a mobster.
    • In Supergirl Special, Kara returns home after a nocturne mission and finds out Lois is sitting in her kitchen, wanting to talk about her current depression. And she has baked a batch of cupcakes while waiting for Kara.
    • The Hunt for Reactron: When Lana Lang goes back home, she finds Nightwing, Supergirl and Flamebird have sneaked into her apartment to ask for her help.
    • Day of the Dollmaker: When Catherine Grant goes back to her home, she finds someone has stolen her keys and trespassed into her apartment, leaving the door ajar deliberately so she knows there is an intruder in her home. Cat pulls a taser out of her purse and tries to confront the trespasser, who introduces himself as Dollmaker and claims he has business with her.
  • Superman:
    • In Krypton No More, Clark Kent walks out of the shower and finds his cousin Supergirl sitting on his couch and waiting for him to discuss a space mission.
    • At the beginning of The Great Phantom Peril, Superman returns to his apartment and finds a stranger has slipped into his home while he was away.
    • In Action Comics #593, Darkseid is awaiting in Mr. Miracle's home for a private conversation, trying out his best Slouch of Villainy on their couch for when Scott Free and Oberon finally arrive.
  • Rorschach in Watchmen frequently does this, both to his friends and enemies (in one case, leaving a Right Behind You message in the victim's fridge). A Running Gag has him breaking the lock on his friend Dan's door to do so.
  • Wonder Woman (2006): Diana wakes up at one point to find Ares sitting in the dark in a chair at the foot of her bed for a conversation in which he threatens her.

    Fan Works 
  • Alone, Together: When Shego decides to turn herself in, she sneaks into Global Justice HQ and waits in Dr. Director's office until she shows up, then negotiates an arrangement where she's taken into custody without a public announcement so that Kim doesn't try to contact her.
  • A Crown of Stars: In the first chapter Daniel shows up in the Shinji and Asuka’s cabin at the night as they are resting in order to make them an offer.
  • One story in The Days of Reckoning Are Upon Us deconstructs Nick Fury doing this in Iron Man; upon returning home to find a stranger hiding in his house in the dark, Tony Stark, who had recently been attacked in his own home, shoots Fury.
  • Didn't Expect That: Echoing Luther Sloan in canon Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Section 31 agent Franklin Drake appears in an easy chair in Kanril Eleya's quarters... whose first reaction upon waking up is to try to shoot him with her phaser (he took the power pack out), then throw it at him and grumpily demand how he managed to get aboard a Galaxy-class starship at warp. He does it again at the end of the story, only this time Eleya is ready for him and has him arrested.
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 7, Kaworu returned to his home late and discovered that his ex-boyfriend had done this. Kaworu's reaction to Saburo saying "You're late" was: "What do you care and what are you doing in my home?"
  • It happens in Kara of Rokyn when Kara enters a dressing room and finds her rival wrestler has slipped in to seduce her.
    Kara entered the dressing room, and found that she was not alone.
    Jasmine was there, clad only in a short robe. She was looking straight at Kara.
  • During a flashback scene in Evangelion/Street Fighter crossover Neon Genesis Evangelion Senshi No Michi, Gouken is heading back into the dojo when he finds Akuma standing on the porch. Gouken gets worried about his students, but Akuma states he has only come to warn Gouken about his disciples' future hardships.
  • No stars in sight: After exploring a Rogue Planet, Ikharos returns to the Shadow Trespass only to find the Exo Stranger casually sprawled across his couch inside, waiting for him to talk about his current mission. This gets played with since the Stranger is actually the jumpship's original owner, having built and designed the Shadow Trespass herself before it came into Ikharos's possession — something that she is quick to point out to him.
  • Rise of the Minisukas: Makoto Hyuga nearly jumps out of his skin when he walks into his apartment and finds Rei Ayanami waiting for him to discuss her ongoing prank war against Prankster. Apparently, it is not an uncommon occurrence.
    "I'm home." He muttered as he entered his apartment, more out of habit. He didn't expect anyone to-
    "Welcome back."
    "Gyah!?" He nearly kept a foot in the air as he reached for his NERV standard issue self-defense sidearm (now with thirty-three percent fewer fatalities) before he recognized the individual who broke into his home. "Ayanami?! How many times have I told you not to break into my apartment?!"
    "Forty-three." Ayanami answered with her usual uninterested tone. "I wish to consult you, my plan failed and I was unexpectedly counterpranked." Makoto sighed. Of course.
  • The Second Try: In chapter 9, school janitor Hisao Yamaki is coming home after work, only to discover Kaji sitting in the darkness of his living room to inquire about some sensitive data. Said data being the reason why Yamaki has been into hiding for the past fifteen years, this visit is quite the unpleasant surprise for him.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: In chapter 8's omake, Asuka walks into her apartment and finds Touji, unwelcome and uninvited, waiting for her in the kitchen to blackmail her.
  • Subverted in S Plus D Equals K. It seems like that's what happened, but in actuality, Gemini had been there for over a day tormenting and mutating Drew.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Bad and the Beautiful, Jonathan awaits Georgia in the dark of her room to talk about her past and future. It helped that she left the door unlocked.
  • Billion Dollar Brain:
  • At the end of The Bourne Supremacy, Jason Bourne does this to a girl to confess to murdering her parents, since she believed it was a murder-suicide.
  • In Cloud Atlas, Luisa Rey returns home only to find someone waiting in the dark of her room. It's not an enemy, though.
  • Daredevil (2003). Kingpin finds Bullseye in his office with his feet up on the desk, and is shown to have killed one of his bodyguards to get that far. Kingpin doesn't take offence as Bullseye has proved himself a capable assassin. And anyway, a deleted scene shows Kingpin is not above killing his bodyguards For the Evulz himself.
  • The Dark Knight. Despite Robbing the Mob Bank in the Action Prologue, the Joker casually strolls into a heavily guarded meeting of mob bosses and makes an offer to kill Batman for them. When one of them tries to throw him out, the Joker sticks a pencil in his eye.
  • In the original The Dead Zone movie, a journalist comes home at night and finds a local politician sitting at his desk, along with one or two "henchmen". The (crooked) politician wanted to have a chat about an unfavorable editorial about him.
  • DC Extended Universe, Justice League:
    • Bruce Wayne is going around recruiting for the Justice League. Barry Allen is shown unlocking the padlock on a steel door and entering his secret lair, only to find Bruce sitting inside when he turns on the lights.
      Bruce: Barry Allen. [Beat] Bruce Wayne.
      Barry: You said that like it explains why there's a total stranger sitting in the dark in my second favorite chair!
    • Later, Wonder Woman casually strolls into the Batcave to have a word with Bruce.
      Bruce: I spent millions on this building's security.
      Diana: Yeah, it looked expensive.
  • Devil in a Blue Dress: "Easy" Rawlins is furious when DeWitt Albright and his thugs do this, as he's very proud of his house.
  • Get Shorty: Chillie breaks into Karen's house to deliver the shylock message to Harry who's sleeping there -then pitches his movie idea. Karen kicks them both out. The next day she comes home to find Chillie waiting in her house to apologize.
    Karen: You broke in to apologize for breaking in before?
  • In The Hangover, the trio come back to their hotel room to find Mike Tyson waiting for them and their explanation as to why they have his tiger.
  • In Jackie Brown, Ordell lurks in Jackie's apartment for one of these conversations.
  • James Bond:
  • Kick-Ass:
  • In the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Lolita, Humbert comes home to find a man waiting inside; he turns on the lights to reveal Claire Quilty (known to the audience but not Humbert) in the guise of the college psychiatrist, Dr. Zempf. "I sat in ze dark to save you ze expense of ze electricity." Given his general behavior, it's likely this is a deliberate attempt to screw with Humbert's head.
  • Major Payne: After his dinner date with Emily, Payne returns to discover Cadet Stone sitting at his desk, beaten and bruised from where the squad had been ambushed by another school's R.O.T.C. squad... to which Payne was actually the one who gave them the tip.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • At the end of the first Iron Man film, Nick Fury breaks into Tony Stark's house to talk to him about the Avengers Initiative.
    • Nick does this again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and makes the implication to Cap that he's skilled at breaking and entering. However, Nick is also badly injured and has broken into Cap's house to warn him that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised.
    • Justified in Ant-Man when Darren Cross surprises Hank Pym at his home. At first it looks like Cross suspects his plans and is trying to scare Hank off or figure out what he's up to, but Cross later admits he was intending to murder Hank but was unwilling to go through with it on realizing his daughter was in the house.
    • Nick does it yet again in Spider-Man: Far From Home, waiting in Peter's hotel room in Venice to recruit him. Well, not Nick, but rather Talos the Skrull pretending to be Nick.
  • Minority Report: John Anderton trespasses into Dr. Iris Hineman's estate to chat with Iris herself, but is poisoned by the fictional intoxicating vines protecting her walls. John has the benefit of being a famous Precrime agent who intends to avoid killing or harming anyone, and resorts to this due to being a fugitive framed for a future murder. Iris keeps his whereabouts secret and gives him an antidote tea as she still trusts him.
  • No Country for Old Men: The protagonist's wife encountering Psycho for Hire Anton Chigurh in her house who was waiting there for her to return. She doesn't survive the encounter.
  • At the end of Queen of the Damned, Jesse and Lestat surprise David Talbot in his office to give him Lestat's diary of centuries and a Long Last Look from the fledgling vampire Jesse.
  • In Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, Holmes sneaks into the bedroom of Roberta Massingham in the middle of the night to ask her to act as bait to catch her sister's murderer.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. When Joe (Sky Captain) returns to his dark office, he's surprised by a voice coming from the shadows. He pulls out his pistol and turns a desk light toward the intruder. He's surprised to discover that it's his old girlfriend Polly Perkins. She got in by talking with Dex, one of Sky Captain's subordinates.
  • Brick Top's tactic in Snatch. (though he's not a monster: he asks Turkish to make some tea at least).
  • Sneakers: When the team returns to their office after recovering the Black Box, they find a team of NSA agents waiting for them.
  • In the film version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Rikki Tarr does this to George Smiley, though it's justified because Tarr knows there's a mole inside the Service, he's afraid for his life, and Smiley is one of the few people he trusts.
  • In TRON: Legacy, Alan does this to Sam early on with the excuse that Sam wasn't answering his phone. Sam at least pretends not to care about Alan barging in.
  • In Vicki, Steve wakes up to find Lt. Cornell sitting in his bedroom waiting to interrogate/threaten him.
  • In The Walking Dead, whatever strange force that enables Ellman to know who was responsible for his Frame-Up also compels him to visit them and ask them why. As a result, both Smith and Merritt are startled to find Ellman in their homes asking them questions. Neither of them feels like talking.

  • In The Big Sleep, Philip Marlowe gets home to find Femme Fatale Carmen Sternwood naked in his bed.
  • A Desolation Called Peace: The insubordinate captain Sixteen Moonrise lets herself into Mahit's quarters to have a conversation away from her commanding officer. Having survived a traumatic assassination attempt under similar circumstances, Mahit walks in, sees her, and immediately tackles her.
  • In the Dora Wilk Series Baal breaks (supernaturally) into the main character's house twice, and it's implied he's doing it more often. Played for Laughs, as he usually comes to chat (and he made her breakfast once). He's just kind of lonely, but the Prince of Hell can't go around just visiting people.
  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg does this a couple of times. Although it is not trespassing, strictly speaking, as he is sort of the Genius Loci of Castle Hurog, so he has a right to be there. It's just that Ward doesn't know about him when they first meet, and he is often unexpectedly present in Ward's room when Ward returns there.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Fool Moon, Harry Dresden returns to his office to find John Marcone sitting at his desk, waiting to make him a job offer.
    • In Grave Peril, Dresden manages to pull this off on Mortimer by sheer timing. Mort opens the door to his house to lug a suitcase outside, and Harry sidles in unnoticed while he's coming out. Then he sits in a chair and waits for Mort to come back in.
  • The Hunger Games, Catching Fire:
    • Katniss finds that President Snow is waiting for her at her own house to confront her. He sits in a chair and doesn't even address her immediately and continues reading a book to show Katniss who's the boss.
    • Katniss is later surprised to find Peacekeepers waiting in her living room, forcing her to feign normalcy. Subverted in that they had set a trap for her elsewhere and did not expect her to waltz in alive.
  • In The Kerguelen Cat, Frederik pays Yann Vatel a visit in the middle of the night, but he just wants to offer him a deal, not kill him.
  • In The Millennium Trilogy Mikael Blomkvist does this to Lisbeth Salander after he discovers that she was spying on him.
  • Phantastes: Anodos's fairy grandmother appears to him when he first enters a room that had been undisturbed since his father's death.
  • In the first novel The Stainless Steel Rat does this to Da Chief of the Special Corps and finds himself looking down the muzzle of a Hand Cannon. As both of them are former criminals turned Special Corp agents, they take it in stride. Later the Rat burglaries the home of a corrupt politician and finds numerous blackmail material, so for Perp Sweating effect he waits till the politician comes home and confronts him with the evidence while dressed as an admiral, pretending he's come to arrest the man.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • In Ahsoka, the title character, with R2-D2's help, sneaks onto the Tantive IV while it's in space, and consequently nearly gives Bail Organa a heart attack when he enters his office and switches on the light to find her sitting at his desk.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Late in X-Wing: Mercy Kill, Face surprises his boss, General Maddeus, by sneaking into his apartment to report on the squadron's latest mission. Initially, it seems that he did this for Plausible Deniability reasons, as the mission was strictly off-the-books, but it soon becomes clear that Face has figured out that Maddeus is actually involved with the criminal conspiracy the Wraiths just exposed, and he's trying to goad the general into a confession.
  • Stephanie Plum has this happen to her at least once per book, on average. It's as likely to be an ally (such as Ranger or Diesel) as an enemy.
  • In The Vampire Chronicles:
    • Lestat sneaks into Talamasca's headquarters in London to talk with the Superior General, David Talbot. He continues visiting David in this manner and soon they develop an Odd Friendship.
    • In Memnoch the Devil, Lestat returns to his hotel room to find Memnoch waiting for him in his nondescript human disguise. Since it's dawn, all Lestat can manage is to pull the mattress over himself and hope for the best as he falls into daysleep. Their next meeting is more conducive to conversation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, Lana breaks into Thredson's home and casually lounges on an armchair with a gun awaiting his entrance. It becomes a Lightswitch Surprise once he crosses the threshold.
  • Arrow
    • Oliver Queen in his guise of a hooded vigilante introduces himself to Laurel Lance by appearing in her darkened apartment at night and even walking right up to the gun she's holding on him. He was taking a hell of a risk—not only of being shot but also of Laurel recognising him. Needless to say, The Arrow does a lot of this trope when confronting criminals as well (who are less reluctant to shoot at him).
    • Malcolm Merlyn likes to make an entrance by casually walking into the Arrowcave or people's homes to demonstrate their Swiss-Cheese Security. It's usually accompanied by a Badass Boast.
      Moira: And I thought it couldn't hurt to add extra security guards.
      Malcolm: It hurt them. (throws a couple of pistols onto the floor) Badly.
  • A major plot point on Breaking Bad, when Walter White confronts Gretchen and Elliot inside their house in "Felina".
  • Better Call Saul: In "Expenses," Daniel Wormald enters his darkened house, in which he has installed a very elaborate security system to prevent break-ins in light of his previous dealings with Nacho Varga... only to find Nacho calmly sitting on his living room couch. Nacho demands that Daniel supply him with some empty pill capsules (which he plans to swap with Hector's meds so as to induce a heart attack in Hector). All the while, Daniel expresses disbelief that someone could bypass his deadbolt locks and security system. But after they conclude their business, the camera focuses on Daniel for a moment, and then pans over to Nacho as he leaves the way of the kitchen's unlocked and unprotected sliding glass door. Later, when Daniel wonders how Nacho could have defeated his security system, Mike mentions that all Nacho would have had to do was disconnect the phone line.
  • Boardwalk Empire: In an early season 3 episode, Mickey Doyle tries to intimidate one of Nucky's underlings by falsely taking credit for the recent assassination of Manny Horvitz. Word of this makes it to Richard Harrow, the actual assassin to do it. Harrow takes offense at Mickey taking credit for his work, and waits in Mickey's house with a gun in hand, waiting for Mickey to return home with a woman he's just picked up. When Mickey finds Harrow there by turning on the lights, Harrow makes him get dressed and marches him at gunpoint to Nucky's office.
  • The Boys:
    • Billy Butcher does this when going to see Susan Raynor, his former-lover-turned-Deputy Director of the CIA, turning up in her house at night or inside her security-locked office during the day. This is either because he's running a rogue operation or because he likes getting a rise out of her (probably both).
    • Justified when Butcher makes contact with his wife Becca who is confined in a Vought facility. Realising the whole place is covered by cameras, Billy sneaks into her car, leaving the door ajar so she will come out to investigate. He then gets her to drive him somewhere the cameras aren't watching.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Angel", Darla waits at Angel's house to threaten/seduce him.
    • Whistler, demon agent of the Powers That Be, makes contact with Buffy this way in "Becoming Part 2".
    • In "This Year's Girl", Giles comes home and finds the light switch doesn't work. A man then turns on a desk lamp, to reveal the Watcher's Council has sent a wet-work team to deal with rogue slayer Faith.
    • "Into the Woods". Riley Finn enters a darkened room and says, "Get Out!". A Reveal Shot shows several military personnel in his house, intent on recruiting him for their covert demon-fighting unit.
    • In "Checkpoint", Buffy returns home to find Glory waiting for her in the living room.
  • Played for Laughs on Corner Gas. Local cop Davis is trying to get two of his friends to purchase a home security system. One day, they wake up to find him standing over their bed with a tray. He cheerfully informs them that he could've been a burglar bringing them breakfast. They buy the system just so he'll leave.
  • Dan for Mayor: A while after Claire breaks up with her fiancé and he moves out, Claire comes home to find him in her kitchen and he gives her keys back.
  • In the Decoy episode "The Lost Ones," a teenage girl accused of shooting her abusive father runs away. After a long and fruitless day spent looking for her, Casey comes home and finds the girl asleep on the sofa, ready to turn herself in.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil:
      • At the end of "The Ones We Leave Behind," having resigned from the Bulletin, Ben Urich returns to his apartment, and finds Wilson Fisk sitting in an armchair in a darkened corner of his home office. The conversation lasts several minutes (not least because of Fisk's stutter), with Fisk getting increasingly emotional due to having discovered that Ben has spoken with his mothernote , which is one of Fisk's many temper triggers, until he suddenly gets out of the chair and chokes Ben to death with his bare hands.
      • In "Kinbaku," picking up from the ending of "Penny and Dime," Matt reenters his apartment, in a love daze after kissing Karen in the rain, to find Elektra in his apartment, having been sent by Stick to recruit Matt in the Chaste's fight against the Hand.
        Elektra Natchios: Would you believe it if I said I missed you?
        Matt Murdock: No.
        Elektra Natchios: I need your help, Matthew. You're the only person I can trust.
        Matt Murdock: Well, sweetheart, you don't break into my house and then talk to me about trust.
    • Jessica Jones: In "AKA 1000 Cuts", Kilgrave breaks into Jessica's apartment to threaten her into giving over his father in exchange for Hope being spared.
    • Luke Cage:
      • Mariah Dillard's brownstone is not really well secured. As a result, criminal associates tend to let themselves in uninvited to the point it's a Running Gag. The first instance is in "Manifest," when Shades visits to chide Mariah for letting her family's reputation fall so far. Then it happens twice in "Soliloquy of Chaos": first, Diamondback does it when he visits to provide her with a satchel of seed money for her projects. Later in the episode, Shades lets himself in through the back door again, having foiled Zip's attempt to kill him on Diamondback's orders.
        Hernan "Shades" Alvarez: You really need a security system.
      • By season 2, Shades regularly uses the back door to let himself in when he needs to talk to Mariah. This results in a hilarious moment where he's lurking in the entryway to interrupt Mariah while she's having breakfast with Tilda, and Tilda is the first to take notice. Mariah chides Shades with, "You need to stop showing up like this!"
      • In "On and On," Mariah and Tilda are preparing to flee in light of Bushmaster killing Piranha and bankrupting them. They're cut off by Bushmaster and his men barging their way in, tying them to chairs, and Bushmaster deciding to give Mariah the same fate that Mama Mabel gave his mother 30 years ago in Jamaica, and burns down the brownstone, leaving Tilda untied with the challenge of rescuing her mother. They are only rescued thanks to Luke being tipped off about the fire by D.W. and rushing into the flames to grab them before Mariah can pass out.
      • The first episode of season 2 sees Nigel Garrison, leader of the Brooklyn-based Yardies, return to his pad to find Bushmaster and his lieutenant waiting for him. Bushmaster has found out from his spy in Harlem's Paradise about Nigel making a gun deal with Mariah Dillard- ("STOKES, Mariah Stokes") and proceeds to kill Nigel and wound his bodyguards.
    • Iron Fist: After Rand Enterprises board member Lawrence Wilkins orchestrates a boardroom coup to oust Danny Rand, plus Joy and Ward Meachum, Harold decides to do something about it. Harold and his bodyguard Kevin Singleton sit in chairs in Lawrence's office, waiting for Lawrence to come back (taking advantage of the building security being offline for maintenance reasons). Lawrence is surprised since Harold has technically been dead for thirteen years. Harold attempts to blackmail Lawrence into reinstating Joy and Ward to the board of directors by showing him compromising photographs that Joy had hired Jessica Jones to take, showing Lawrence being loaded into a police car as well as documentation of Lawrence's prostitution and embezzling. Harold offers for Lawrence to take his own life in exchange for his reputation being left intact. When Lawrence says no, Harold shoots him in the head, plants the gun in his hand, and leaves the damning evidence on his desk.
    • Hawkeye (2021): Yelena Belova breaks into Kate Bishop's apartment to establish that she knows where Kate lives, but doesn't want to kill her as long as she stays out of her employer's business, while cheerfully eating Kate's Mac and Cheese.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • In the episode "Cowboy" Henry - who is in a really bad mood - enters his office to find Hawkeye waiting for him behind his desk, wanting to discuss giving chopper pilot Cowboy a temporary medical discharge. Henry even remarks, "Uh-uh-uh! Don't get up... let me just pretend you're the one in charge of this nuthouse."
    • In "Rally 'Round the Flagg, Boys", Potter walks into his office, with Father Mulcahy in tow, to find Colonel Flagg waiting for them, and neither of them (nor Radar, who was in his outer office the whole time) know or can figure out how Flagg even got in there in the first place.
  • In one episode of The Mentalist, Jane returns to his motel room to find his former boss, Madeline Hightower, waiting for him. Then again, given that she's been framed for murder, there's only so many ways she can reach out to a guy who still works with the police without getting caught.
  • In the Midnight Caller episode "Play Blotto... And Die," an acquaintance of Jack's picks his lock while he's at work. Jack comes home to find him asleep on the couch.
  • MythQuest: Max Asher comes home to find an unknown Chinese businessman sitting in his living room, waiting to talk about their mutual enemy, Gorgos.
  • NCIS: This happens to Gibbs a few times, largely because he never locks his front door.
    • At the beginning of "Jack Knife", Damon Werth, a dishonorably discharged Marine on better-than-average terms with the team (particularly Ziva) sneaks into Gibbs's house and eats the T-bone steak he had in the fridge while he waits for him to get home, and asks for his help with a murdered friend.
    • At the end of "Masquerade", M. Allison Hart waits in Gibbs's living room to scold him for his treatment of her client...and the conversation unfolds into finding that she has an acute interest in Gibbs.
    • In "Royals and Loyals," the suspect of the week waits in Gibbs's house and helps himself to his booze in the meantime, turning himself in to his custody while also providing the evidence needed to prove that he was framed.
  • The Professionals. In "Everest Was Also Conquered", Bodie and Doyle visit the house of a Corrupt Corporate Executive to question him about some murders, but are forced to leave with egg on their face (or rather, a glass full of Scotch). When they return at the end of the episode to arrest him, they make a point of gatecrashing his party just to piss him off.
  • Such an incident, invoking much Fridge Logic, happens in the pilot episode of Robin Hood, wherein Robin sneaks into the Sheriff's castle and wakes him up to deliver a threat. He never makes good on that threat, despite constant and escalating provocation from the Sheriff, and consistent lack of good security in the castle.
  • The Sandman, "Calliope": After Calliope calls to Morpheus for help freeing her from Madoc, Madoc comes home to find Morpheus seated impassively at Madoc's writing desk.
  • Sherlock: In "The Reichenbach Fall". After Moriarty discredits John and Sherlock, they break into a reporter's flat who was going to report the story. Once inside, they just sit on her couch until she comes home, at which point they confront her about her sources.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series
      • During the first season episode "A Taste of Armageddon", Kirk escapes captivity and waits in his captor's office to have a calm (albeit at gunpoint) conversation about the reasons for Kirk's imprisonment.
      • The same thing happens in "Errand of Mercy". Unfortunately due to the Big Brother nature of the Klingon military, the commander's own office is under surveillance.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
      • Section 31 officer Sloan's preferred method of meeting/recruiting Bashir involves waiting in a chair by Bashir's bed, in the dark, until he wakes up. This one predictable trait proves his undoing when Bashir sets up a forcefield trap to capture Sloan.
      • Alleged intelligence operative Garak has a habit of doing this to Bashir as well.
      • Constable Odo, usually involving him disguised as an object in the room. In "A Man Alone", an old enemy frames Odo for a locked room murder, because as a shapeshifter he can turn into a liquid form and enter via the cracks in the door. Odo confronts the culprit by disguising himself as a chair in his locked quarters, and when he demands to know how Odo got inside, responds sarcastically, "Oh, I think you know."
      • In "The Maquis", Gul Dukat turns up in Commander Sisko's quarters to discuss the recent terrorist bombing of a Cardassian vessel. Sisko doesn't respond well, assuming Dukat has kidnapped his son Jake. Dukat is indignant at the idea.
    • Star Trek: Voyager. Someone breaks into Harry Kim's room, a sinister shadow appears over his sleeping body... It's Tom Paris, who wants his best buddy to check out his new holodeck program.
  • Stargate SG-1: In one episode, Jack O'Neill comes home to find former Senator/VP Robert Kinsey sitting on his living room couch. Jack immediately reaches for the phone to call the cops. Kinsey points out that he may be disgraced, but he hasn't done anything criminal. Jack gives him an "are you kidding me?" look and says, "Breaking and entering?", before calling 911. Kinsey pulls the cord out. Jack shrugs and pulls out his cell phone.
  • Supernatural:
    • In a season 4 episode, the Winchesters find Castiel and Uriel waiting in their motel room to recruit them for a demon interrogation.
    • Crowley enjoys doing this to the Winchesters and Bobby during their Enemy Mine arrangements. As a powerful Demon with teleportation magic, he even makes these unannounced visits in their car — while they're driving on the freeway.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: In "Today is The Day Part Two" John is waiting in Jessie's hotel room.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "What You Need". When Mr. Pedott arrives home at his apartment, he enters and turns on the light. When he does, he discovers that Mr. Renard has broken into his room and is waiting in a chair to talk to him.
  • In Twin Peaks, Cooper returns to his hotel room to find Audrey Horne naked in his bed.

  • The setup of the Barenaked Ladies song "The Old Apartment". The narrator (Steven Page) breaks into his former apartment, reminisces about his memories of the place to the current tenants, and demands his old things back.
    Why did they pave the lawn?
    Why did they change the locks?
    Why did I have to break in?
    I only came here to talk

  • In City of Angels, private eye Stone finds Mallory Kingsley naked in his bed, in a direct parody of the Big Sleep scene referenced under "Literature".

    Video Games 
  • In Sid Meier's Pirates!, if a nation offers amnesty, you can't just sail into one of their cities. You have to sneak into the governor's mansion to petition for it.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, where Timmy's dad announces "I'm respecting your privacy by knocking first, but asserting my authority as your dad by coming in anyway!" before barging into Timmy's bedroom. With a battering ram.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • "Pretty Poison" sees Batman infiltrating Pamela's private greenhouse, aiming to get the antidote and answers results in him winding up in the tight embrace of her overgrown flytrap. Isley after, changing for the evening, slinks out to flirtatiously greet her (seemingly) pacified intruder, whereupon they converse about Harvey Dent, why she saw fit to poison him.
    • In "Animal Act" from The New Batman Adventures, Batman pulls this on Nightwing, informing him on what he found out about Haly's Circus. Given that their relationship at this point is rocky, the latter is less than pleased to see the former.
      Nightwing: You... could knock.
  • Batman pulls this on Amanda Waller in the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Doomsday Sanction" — while she's stepping out of the shower, no less. Notably, Waller shows no signs of being intimidated by Batman in the least and is able to defend her viewpoints enough that he leaves without a Stealth Hi/Bye or trying to get the last word in. He later does this again in "Panic in the Sky" within the CADMUS Headquarters, to force her and CADMUS to reexamine their business relationship with Lex Luthor.
  • The Stinger from Iron Man is parodied in a Robot Chicken skit in which Tony questions why Nick broke in only to discover that "Nick" is actually a burglar.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Shadow Weaver sneaks into Adora's room in the end of Season 2. Adora doesn't get to know if the witch wants to attack her or just talk, because Shadow Weaver passes out.
    • Entrapta hasn't any sense of personal space or private property, so in the Fright Zone she visits every room and takes whatever she needs, thanks to the ventilation tubs. She makes a point of sneaking into Hordak’s sanctum to pick up a very necessary tool, but ends up fixing one of his inventions without his permission, infuriating him... initially.
    • During Season 4, Catra enters Hordak's sanctum whenever she pleases and sits on his worktable. Hordak is forced to tolerate her because she can rip off the power source of his armor, leaving him defenseless; however, after a while, he seems to actually enjoy their conversations, since he has no one else to talk after Entrapta's disappearing. With Double Trouble, however, Hordak is not so tolerant.

    Real Life 
  • On 9th July, 1982, in one of the most incredible breaches of royal security, 31-year-old painter Michael Fagan managed to scale the walls of Buckingham Palace, climb a drainpipe and end up in Queen Elizabeth II's bedchamber. Anecdotal accounts say that she kept him distracted in conversation for 10 minutes before the police arrived, but he genuinely did want to talk to the Queen and make a statement rather than cause any harm. You can read about it here.


Video Example(s):


Zod Tries To Intimidate Tess

Zod invades Tess' manor and interrupts her while she's having a relaxing bubble bath in order to talk and intimidate her while she's vulnerable, but she manages to stand her ground and act defiantly despite her state of undress and they have a bizarre flirtatious argument.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrespassingToTalk

Media sources: