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"This is the Lock Picking Lawyer, and what I have for you today is my TV Tropes page."

Probably one of the more unusual video creators on YouTube, the Lock Picking Lawyer (shortened by many to LPL) is an Edutainment Show about picking the locks in their collection (or ones that have sent in by his fans, and in rare cases, companies themselves), exposing their many design flaws and weaknesses, and how they, and by extension, his audience, can lockpick them and avoid them if they're on sale.

Part of the appeal of the series is the way the Lock Picking Lawyer is able to crack open even the more sophisticated locks within a short amount of time, and for acting as a PSA of sorts to potential customers on what locks are bad and what ones are resistant to picking, all within short, concise, and really informative videos.

You can find the wide selection of videos on their YouTube channel. For any budding lock enthusiast, you can support LPL by buying a lockpicks set or a specific picking instrument (including the famous disk-detainer pick that he and Bosnian Bill made) via Covert Instruments.

"Lets get into Troping, shall we?":

  • The All-Solving Hammer: Multiple videos have LPL use a hammer to get into a lock, such as Video 507, 429, and 392.
  • April Fools' Day: Every year since 2018 so far, all having the same base joke of being innuendo-laden videos about lockpicking, phallic gestures, and fornication:
    • 2018: Video 651 is called "Manipulating my Tiny Coq".
    • 2019: Video 862 is entitled "Getting into My Wife's Beaver".
    • 2020: Video 1071 is supposedly about LPL getting into his ex-girlfriend's back door, and involves rubber gloves, multiple lockpicks and a spray canister.
    • 2021: Video 1266 is called "My 18-Inch Long Johnson". His father's was bigger though.
    • 2022: Video 1435 is a "follow-up" to the 2019 entry entitled "How To Fill My Wife's Beaver", this time involving a Beaver brand candy dispenser machine.
    • 2023: Video 1520, is about "Getting Into a Woman's Kitty"...the kitty in question being a furry cat-themed locking diary cover.
    • 2024: Video 1588 shows how "My 36 Inch King Dick Wrecks Locks!", the "King Dick" in question being a pipe wrench. Mention is also made of an "eight-inch Wang", a "Rigid 10-inch" and a "14-inch Johnson" with "a bend near the head".
  • Asbestos-Free Cereal: Discussed in video 1465; the gun safe's product listing on Amazon lists "no exposed holes" as a "new and advanced security feature". LPL snarks that he wasn't aware this constituted a "new" or "advanced" feature — and notes that this just got him wondering if there were any unexposed holes they were trying to draw attention away from. Sure enough, prying off a trim panel reveals a good half-dozen holes, through which the safe's locks can be bypassed with ease.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • A Running Gag in the community is people jokingly suggest breaking into Fort Knox. In video 1161, he obliges breaking into a safe called Fort Knox (which is also painted yellow).
    • A common meme in the comments of his videos is about how LPL can open locks by not even touching them. Video 1359 obliges by having him open a fingerprint lock with a powerful switch magnet, which has him use the power of the magnet to confuse the electrical wiring inside, and open the lock. The flaw in the fingerprint lock is the fact the electrics responsible for locking the door are not on the other side of the door, instead being accessible to a malicious thief with time on their hands.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Invoked in Video 545 as the reasoning for wanting to send 900 Amps from a jury-rigged electricity probe device down a lock shackle. The electricity goes down the shackle of the lock, which causes it to heat up, and for the shackle to crack open at the top, also making it glow orange-red. The "Impractical" part is due to the probe not exactly being a simple way to open a conventional lock, as the probe device is pretty large, what with it being made from spare parts and an old microwave transformer.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Video 1164 has LPL go into an introduction about how he's not used to being sent unpickable locks and that his methods are always evolving so he can pick them eventually. The lock in question someone had sent him for the video was in fact a metal lock sticker, a dummy lock that looked very convincing to the eye.
    • Video 1317 features exclusive hidden camera footage of an employee at a slash-resistance testing facility, and it shows why so many bags are not slash-resistant. A Slash impersonator attempts to pry open the bags in a bunker, sarcastically suggesting that they are resistant to Slash the musician, not the slashing of knives.
  • Berserk Button: In general LPL gets Tranquil Fury at flaws in locks, but he tends to express a severe dislike on flaws on gun locks and gun safes, because they are meant to store weapons and thus they shouldn't be broken into easily in case a child could get their hand on it or some criminal tries to break into it.
  • Booby Trap: Video 1252 and the appropriately named "Skunk Lock", which sprays out noxious gas at any person trying to angle-grind its shackle. However, while LPL likes the idea of a lock that fights back in this way, it could be considered grounds for being sued, as in certain jurisdictions, booby-trapping your unattended property is illegal, not to mention the PSI the gas is being sprayed at could cause injury.
  • Book Safe: Video 1187 is all about two fake book concealment safes sent to him by a viewer, apparently used to store weed.
  • Bring It: Has actually been challenged by lock manufacturers, locksmiths, and the audience on occasion. On several occasions however, the supplier was Tempting Fate.
  • Catchphrase: Due to the nature of the videos, a lot of the phrases he says have a tendency to show up in multiple videos:
    • "I'm going to use the lockpick Bosnian Bill and I made"
    • Starting and ending the video in the same way (see the top and bottom of the pages for the quotes)
    • "Click out of (X), (Y) is binding", where X and Y are consecutive numbers.
    • "Once again, an inexcusable design flaw."
    • "Let's do this one more time so you can see that it was not a fluke."
    • When it comes to gun safety at homes, LPL almost always asks if these locks would "stop a curious adolescent" from accessing the firearms.
  • Comically Small Demand: The lock featured in Video 1236 is a lock that has some legal spiel inscribed on it that essentially tries to ward off burglars with legal advice.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Video 1187 has Michael, the person who sends LPL two Book Safes that he stores weed in (the recreational drug). LPL gets confused, and he has no idea why someone would secure "a weed" (the plant) in a safe. For demonstration purposes, he locks up a container of Dill Weed and a container filled with Rosemary (the spices).
  • Cutting the Knot: If he can find a way to open a lock without even needing to pick it, he'll show it off. This is usually to demonstrate that whatever it is that the lock is supposed to be securing, it doesn't matter how strong the lock is if there's alternate ways for someone to get around it - though these are usually also never picked normally, because locks made with such glaring outside weaknesses tend to have extremely simple locks that fail in two seconds anyway.
    • Often he'll note when a lock's construction makes it vulnerable to drills or saws, or brute force like using a mallet to whack it with enough force to dislodge the shackle. With container-type items like bags, safes, cabinets, etc, he'll point out when they have exposed screws that let you take them apart with a screwdriver, or are made of such flimsy material that you could cut into them.
    • Video 756 has LPL use a handsaw to cut open a poorly-made safe that uses flimsy sheet metal for the construction in less than two minutes.
    • Courtesy of Mrs. Lock Picking Lawyer, we find out that the best way to defeat a Ben & Jerry's ice cream lock is to cut open the bottom of the container, and cover it in plastic wrap, completely bypassing the lock.
    • Video 1024 shows off a wall-mounted gun lock which wraps a cord through the trigger guard of an AR-15 to lock it in place. He defeats it by simply using a LEGO piece to press in a detent in the weapon's trigger guard, letting it fold open and thus slip out of the lock without ever touching its combination wheel.
    • In video 1115 he spends a bit of time showcasing the "comedy of errors" in the lock's contradictory design that allows it to be legal... and then he flips the safe over to show its other design flaw: its exposed hinge pins that can be pried out.
    • Video 1147 has him discuss this tendency among professional locksmiths, who will so frequently prefer to cut open locks rather than pick them that they often don't have the tools or expertise to even pick locks in the first place. He then averts this by taking less than half a minute to pick open a viewer's now-destroyed Kryptonite bike lock, whereas a professional locksmith who declared that it "couldn't be picked" took over two minutes to cut it open.
    • Video 1161 has LPL open the ironically named "Fort Knox" safe by knocking out the hinge pin, bypassing the lock entirely.
  • Deadpan Snarker: LPL never changes his tone even when making fun of some hilariously or offensively poor lock designs.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • As noted many times by LPL, a lot of electronic-based locks (such as ones with fingerprint scanners or keypads) have either basic Philips screws on them to keep the lock housing together, or well-known security screw types (like Tri-wing, Torx or Quadrex) which defeats the locks' purpose. Even proprietary, one-of-a-kind security screws aren't much of a problem, as screw bits can be made to bypass the lock if one is determined enough (LPL is one such individual, naturally). Video 788 is a good example.
    • The LPL himself falls victim to this in his attempt to get his wife to crack a combination lock for a pint of ice cream. Instead of attempting to do so, she simply cuts the bottom off of the container.
      "Okay, folks, I really should have known better."
    • Video 935 has him open a Simplisafe wireless door alarm, which has a glaring flaw; it's subject to interference from all kinds of devices that use the same bandwidth it does (which is to say, a lot of devices, from baby monitors to car keychains). When LPL weaponizes a device that specifically interferes with it, he gets a mostly-successful rate of unlocking. He does note however, that the alarm system will detect if there's interference some of the time, and will text the owner if this happens.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    • Video 1272 has the Lock Picking Lawyer praise Master Lock for fixing a flaw in a specific line of their locks; a shimming technique to push the shackle open with thin metal inserted from within gaps in the lock wheel. However, he invokes this trope to point out that even if that method of lockpicking is fooled, there's another flaw that hasn't been fixed; gently pressing the shackle and whacking it with a mallet.
    • He also had a series of videos in mid-2021 where he tested several different bags which are advertised as "slash-resistant" but which can be cut open with little effort, to the point that the last one, 1317, jokes that they're advertised as slash-resistant specifically because Slash, the musician, can't get them open with his bare hands or the aid of a butter knife.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The Lockpicking Lawyer often uses various techniques to get through locks and safes that were clearly never intended by the manufacturer, such as varying types of lockpicks, and on one occasion, wrenches to pull the shackle up.
  • Edutainment Show: Asides from the obvious of picking locks and safes of varying kinds, LPL often goes into great detail about the inner workings of a lock if it's interesting enough, or in some cases, talk about the period of history the lock is from. In fact, the series is liked because it's really insightful on those topics, more than many expected at first glance.
  • Epic Fail: Some of the ways the Lock Picking Lawyer opens locks with various Improvised Lockpicks makes for some entertaining fails, some highlights include:
  • Everyone Has Standards: While he's an expert lockpicker, as said in Video 1570, he does not condone using it for criminal activities, and makes it clear when a viewer sent him a red locknote .
  • The Faceless: LPL takes great measures to hide his face whenever possible, and has on more than one occasion worn masks to conceal his identity when reviewing particularly shiny locks. Played for Laughs in Video 1356, when he foils a viewer's attempt to expose his face with a shiny chrome Master Lock by instead featuring a matte version of the same lock. He speaks about this in a Keynote to avoid conspiracy theorists, and even enforced a "No Cameras" rule at the presentation.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode
    • Video 318 is a review of a lockpicking set, and how it works in a lock. It's a thematic video, but not a normal video for LPL to do.
    • The april fools videos, as listed under the April Fools' Day trope.
    • Video 944 is him and Bosnian Bill shooting .50-cal rounds into the strongest padlock in the world.
    • Video 1089 is about LPL's personal lockpicking collection, and what he uses.
    • Video 1169 is the Lock Picking Lawyer solving a scotch bottle puzzle.
    • Video 991 is LPL talks about how clothing inventory tags work, and how to defeat them (something both LPL and the commenters on the video neatly point out what it'll potentially be used for...)
    • Video 1447 doesn't involve any traditional lockpicking. Because the lock is a Rubik's cube that only opens once solved, he gets his son to solve it for him.
  • Hairpin Lockpick: Will often use a broken lockpick or other tiny thin piece of metal to help pick the lock (often as an actuator or lever). Interestingly, they appear to have avoided using an actual hairpin in their videos so far.
  • Improvised Lockpick: While LPL tends to stick with his usual toolset of lockpicks and non-destructive entry methods, they're not against using destructive tools like saws and hammers on occasion, and even guns have been used to force open the lock. During the Coronavirus pandemic, he performed a touch-free bypass with a magnet to disengage the locking mechanism. Toys and equivalents are also get used, such as video 1024 demonstrating the severity of a gun lock's flaw by using a LEGO astronaut figurine to reveal the danger.
  • Literal Genie: In video 1334, for a lock requiring longer tools than the norm, LPL asks his NotSoCivilEngineer to create for him an extra-long rake. The engineer obliges. And, in a pinned comment on the video:
    TheNotSoCivilEngr: This is what happens when you don't give me dimensional requirements 🤷‍♂️
    LockPickingLayer: No, this is what happens when you give someone in their 20's unsupervised access to a powerful laser. In retrospect, I feel like I got off easy. 😂👍
  • Locked Door: Bypasses door locks as well, most often without the door, but a wooden slab to represent it.
  • Logic Bomb: In video 1115 he goes over one TSA rule for a travel gun safe — namely, "only the passenger retains the key or combination". This rule normally would be broken by a safe with a TSA lock, since every TSA personnel holds a master key. How the safe gets around this is in its lock design that would normally be an egregious design flaw — using the key code allows the lock to turn clockwise and let the safe open normally, but the master key lets the lock turn anticlockwise and this doesn't let the safe open, thereby making the safe legal.
  • Master of Unlocking: Pretty much the whole concept of the series; watch him pick locks that are cheap, have design flaws, touted as being "unbreakable", and all of the above. Very few locks have survived his picking charms; a good measure of the lock's quality is how long he takes to pick it.
  • Meaningful Name: The massive Altor SAF ("Strong As F***") lock from Video 1088, which LPL notes is a very appropriate name, given the size of the shackle.
  • Myopic Architecture: A few locks are defeated because what they're actually attached to is far easier to remove than the lock itself.
    • Discussed in video 901, about a trailer coupler lock. After putting together the assembly to demonstrate how it's supposed to work, LPL mentions that trailer couplers, easily damaged, are typically designed to be easily replaced — meaning that, unless one takes countermeasures, a thief could get around the (fairly good, in his opinion) coupler lock by simply removing the coupler.
    • Video 906 talks about an OmniMed cabinet which, in addition to being made out of ABS plastic and having a lock that can easily be defeated by just raking it, has mounting holes that let one simply lift it up and off the wall, as well as hinges on the outside that are held in place with standard Philips screws.
    • Video 801 showed the Ben & Jerry's ice cream lock, which the Lawyer attached to his wife's ice cream to try and get her into lockpicking. The package itself does nothing to resist being opened by other means, as demonstrated when he came back and saw the bottom of the tub cut off to let her get the ice cream from that end.
    • Video 1024 gives a good demonstration of why people who know nothing about firearms should not be in the business of making locks for them. The lock in question comes in two parts, a plastic mounting piece that screws into the wall to hold an AR-15 by its magazine well, and a short wire cable that wraps around the mounting piece and through the trigger guard to hold it in place. Thing is, the trigger guard of an AR-15 can be flipped open for use with heavy mittens by just pressing a tiny button at the front of it, which completely defeats the lock, since the cable isn't long enough to pass through anything that would more securely hold it.
  • Never Needs Sharpening: Video 1287 shows off a "ProKevLock" bag advertised for being made with kevlar, evidently under the assumption that people who need such a bag will see "kevlar", think of the stuff used in body armor, and conclude it's indestructible. Even ignoring that the back of the back of the package admits it's only a "kevlar-style" fabric, kevlar doesn't actually resist sharp objects all that well, as the Lawyer demonstrates by easily cutting through the bag itself with his knife. It's probably not for nothing that the packaging also claims to be "almost impossible to cut with conventional tools" and not specifying the one type of tool people would actually use to cut it.
  • Noodle Implements: His videos are titled this way, often emphasizing the absurdity of what he opened a lock with, such as opening a handgun safe with a notebook, or using a pocket EMP generator to open an electronic timer lock.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The hotel window lock featured in Video 873 is decried by LPL as being a dangerous lock, as it was improperly designed and "probably breaks every fire code in the country". This is because the lock goes on windows, but when installed as intended, the window only opens a small amount, which is useful to get a cool breeze in a room, but not enough to use as an escape from a burning building.
  • No Name Given: The Lock Picking Lawyer has never said their real name in any of his videos. This also extends to his wife, and he affectionately calls her "Ms. Lock Picking Lawyer". However, in a collaboration video with Bosnian Bill, he is referred to as "Harry". Whether this is LPL's real name or not is never confirmed.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: Invoked. People often send him locks so they can be picked by LPL on-camera. While some locks are sent to him to prove a claim made by a manufacturer (such as picking resistance claims), other locks are sent to him as a way to look into much older locks, and why they were discontinued, such as this WWII Padlock by Yale.
  • Papa Wolf: In pretty much any review of a gun lock, he'll either mention the possibility of a child bypassing the lock, or in some extreme cases, actively warn against using a lock because it offers little resistance against curious minds.
  • Product Placement:
    • Ever since the launch of his lockpick store, he often namedrops the site to promote it.
    • Locks explicitly sent to him by the manufacturers (such as 1263's PacLock hitch pin lock) are disclosed as such by him to be for the purpose of review or testing them out for a company, and they are not afraid of promoting the lock if they find it good, or criticising the lock for quality issues for unacceptable flaws.
  • Running Gag: LPL has made a habit of pointing out "inexcusable design flaws" in poorly designed locks, in one case calling out Master Locks for making their locks so easy to pick.
  • Safecracking: LPL has bypassed many a safe, often ones that are cheaply made, or have some other glaring flaw that lets him cut the knot. Video 1001 is a good example of him using an actual mechanical safecracker.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Video 192 demonstrates the difference between a high-quality Italian-made IFAM Huno 80 heavy-duty padlock and a Chinese-made "Golden Lotus". The Huno has fine machined finish, with a machined-brass lock body and core, with a machined-steel spinning coverplate and the pins retained by a strip of sheet-brass clipped onto the body. The Chinese lock has poor machining, burrs on the shackle-holes, and even rust inside one despite being newly purchased. The coverplate is a thin steel stamping, the body is roughly-cast iron, the core is an odd brass casting, and the pins were retained by little bits of wire hammered into the body.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Video 944 which is him and Bosnian Bill shooting loads of .50-cal rounds from a rifle into the Squire SS100CS; the strongest padlock in the world. Which isn't so much "shooting out the lock" as it is "shooting the lock to smithereens".
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • LPL has a seemingly one sided rivalry with Master Lock, calling them out on what he considers their "inexcusable design flaws". Their locks have been picked open more than any other company on the channel (over 100 videos and counting, and several of those are multiple of their locks being opened).
    • Amazon, or rather what Amazon labels as "Amazon's Choice" for locks and safes. Getting bad locks from their selection happens so often, LPL has made dedicated thumbnails for each one, and is a recurring series of videos. Example includes Video 925 (a vending machine lock), Video 842 (a "high security padlock"), and Video 844 (selling a completely defective lock)
  • Skeleton Key: Occasionally creates keys from key-blanks on particularly stubborn locks (as in 1209's Kwikset Smartkey lock.)
  • Skeleton Key Card: In Video 812, they are able to open his hotel door lock with a "privacy please" card. The worst part is, is that it's apparently not an uncommon occurrence to find hotel locks that are susceptible to this attack.
  • Strictly Formula: His videos are all presented in the same way, with very similar scripts and vocal mannerisms. The thumbnail is also of the lock in question (along with some relevant symbols or the occasional Emoji if there's an Epic Fail of a lock incoming), and title always has the video number in it at the front.
  • Tranquil Fury: It's particularly noticeable if LPL is dealing with gun locks or gun safes, but he will express this when talking about these two items because as weapon safety mechanisms, gun locks and gun safes need to be be absolutely secure in case a criminal or a curious child got a hold of their weapons, so any design flaw is seen to him as inexcusable.
  • Unknown Rival: LPL has singled out Master Lock Products for picking more than any other manufacturer, frequently expressing disappointment with their "inexcusable design flaw(s)". Master Lock barely seems to acknowledge LPL's existence.