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Music / Trapped in the Closet

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Serious Business: The Musical

Trapped in the Closet is a "hip-hopera" from R. Kelly, the first songs/videos of which were released in 2005. Dozens of further installments ("chapters") have been released since. The songs tell the story of Sylvester (played in the music videos by R. Kelly himself) and the crazy characters he encounters as a result of a one-night stand.

It has since become a cult classic, generally regarded as So Bad, It's Good. It's very clear from interviews that R. Kelly takes it perfectly seriously.

In October of 2012, R. Kelly started the continuation of Trapped In the Closet.

He walks up to the trope list! He just looks at the trope list! Stares real hard at the trope list! Maybe edits the trope list!:

  • Affably Evil: The Mafia and Beeno. Ultimately subverted with Beeno as he reveals that he knows Sylvester and Twan saw Joey, then tries to get them killed.
  • All Just a Dream: Chapter 21, where Sylvester and Twan's dealings with The Mafia go horribly wrong.
  • And Then What?: Sylvester talks Twan down by reminding him of this:
    Sylvester: What'chu goin do nigga kill these bitches?
    Twan: Yeah!
    Sylvester: And then what? Then what? Life nigga! They'll lock yo ass up and throw away the key.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Chapter 6, Sylvester tells Gwendolyn about what happened to him in the past 5 chapters. Gwendolyn comments, "Damn, you've been through a lot of shit." To which Sylvester replies "Plus, I got a ticket."
  • Artistic License Gun Safety: At one point, R. Kelly scratches his head with the barrel of his gun, in a manner very similar to characters in Plan 9 from Outer Space. In fact, in Chapters 3-4, Sylvester basically breaks every rule in the gun safety handbook.
  • Author Avatar: Sylvester is this for Kelly himself, being partly named after him (Sylvester is his middle name) and being the only character that he doesn't wear any kind of makeup or costume for.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Twan. He's supposedly trying to turn his life around but "kill everyone" seems to be his default solution to most problems.
    • Bankhead. He nearly blows off Twan's and Sylvester's heads; and that's before Beeno sends him to kill them!
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Big Man, hence the name.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twan and Sylvester when they burst into James's (the policeman's) house to save Bridget. Twan when he saves Sylvester and him from Beeno's goons.
  • Blast Out: With The Mafia... but fortunately, All Just a Dream. Not a dream with Beeno's goons. They nearly die.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Big Man shits himself when James pulls his gun on him.
  • Butt-Monkey: Twan gets no respect throughout the story, being portrayed as a hot-headed idiot. He even gets properly introduced by being shot by Sylvester/James. Though, he gets the last laugh; he is one of the few characters who don't have AIDS by the end of the story.
  • Chandler's Law: The number of time Sylvester just pulls his beretta to escalate a situation is quite high.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: There are no minor characters. Even the characters who at first seem only to exist for a single scene turn out to be sleeping with or have a history with the main characters.
  • Closet Shuffle: In the first episode, hence the title. It happens several more times: once with a closet again (Randolph), once with a kitchen cabinet (Big Man), and once with the Narrator narrating from a closet for no apparent reason. These reoccurrences are presumably to avoid an Artifact Title situation.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: People in blue or purple are bad news.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Inexplicably, when James is about to kill Big Man, Bridgette's first instinct is call her husband's lover for help and Sylvester and Twan decide to go stop the incident personally.
  • Gag Penis: When asked why Big Man the midget is called, he simply says "because I'm blessed" and points at his crotch.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: "Y'all lucky I like that kinda shit, or I'd be done shot both y'all ass."
  • Go Through Me: When Sylvester starts to get frustrated with Rufus, Gwendolyn stands between the two to keep Sylvester from shooting him.
  • Lemony Narrator: But in a humorously poorly done way. So much that eventually, after narrating in first person for several chapters, Sylvester abruptly starts referring to himself in the third person from then on. He doesn't even start at any particular point. Take Chapter 11, where he switches between "Sylvester" and "I" almost every other line. What's more, in the first chapter, he refers to Gwen in the second person, which is forgotten when she appears in the third.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Everybody's cheating on everybody with everyone.
  • Made of Iron: Twan gets shot in the shoulder, losing what can charitably be described as a decent amount of blood, but is perfectly fine after a trip to the bathroom and some self-administered first aid with a simple bandage.
  • Never My Fault: It was Twan's plan to traffic drugs and it was his fault he got caught by smoking weed, driving drunk and erratically, and playing loud music. He refuses to acknowledge his responsibility and blames Roxanne and Tina for "selling him out" to the cops, even though he was prepared to pin the whole affair on them when given the chance.
  • N-Word Privileges: Sylvester and Twan call each other "nigga" so often that the song is NSFW at certain chapters.
  • Noodle Incident: Sylvester apparently did five years in prison for an unexplained crime.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "The Package," for HIV.
  • The Unreveal: We never learn how James knows Chuck and Rufus.
  • Wham Line: Damn near every chapter ends on one, but the best example would probably be "I can't believe it's a man!" in Chapter 2.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The whole "Big Man is Bridget's baby's daddy" plot thread is very abruptly dropped.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Almost every male character threatens a woman at some point, although James hitting Bridgette is the only instance of it happening onscreen.

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