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So, there's someone who took a trip down Ax Crazy road, and their terrified Love Interest, prey, significant other, what have you, is taking refuge behind a locked door, believing that they are safe. They're proven wrong of course, when the crazy person forcibly tries to open the locked door from the other side to get at them. The standard maneuvers being: chopping the door down with an axe, pulling at the door from the outside, throwing your body against the door, breaking a glass panel and putting your hand through in an attempt to unlock the door yourself, and so on.

Compare to There Was a Door for when somebody's so impatient, they just break through the wall instead of the door.

Examples of Axe Before Entering include:

Anime & Manga

  • Outlaw Star: Melfina shoots down Harry's requests to "go with him" and locks the door of the ship. Harry's pretty unstable and doesn't take it well. He bangs incessantly on the door but Melfina ignore his cries to let him in. Cue Harry shoving his fist through the door, and wrapping it around the throat of a surprised Melfina effectively pinning her in place and chocking her for a few moments. He releases her and opens the locks in a quick fashion, much to Melfina's horror.
  • Hanamaru Kindergarten's 10th episode had a horror-style ending which used this trope, among others.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Belarus has done this to her brother Russia once by literally ripping out the door handle.
  • Mawaru Penguindrum: Tabuki in episode 11. Ringo's Love Potion actually works on him, but then he starts acting like a frog ("ribbit" included) and making really horrible Nightmare Faces... as well as when he also punches through a door to try and get Ringo back inside, presumably to rape her after she decides to not have sex with him.


  • The Trope Maker and likely Ur Example is 1921 Swedish silent film Körkarlen (The Phantom Carriage). The scene in The Shining is a clear reference to this one, even if The Shining is what every following Shout-Out is to.
  • The Shining is the Trope Codifier. Jack Nicholson, having gone Ax Crazy, hacks through a door after his wife Wendy and shouts, "HEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!" In fact, there are likely enough parodies of this one scene out there to form its own Sub-Trope.
  • This happens in Prince of Darkness when the Sealed Evil in a Can infects several members of a research team. It sends them after the uninfected members, having them break through blocked/locked doors to do so.
  • In The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace uses a croquet mallet to smash through a door. Naturally, he shouts "Heeeere's Johnny!" right after.
  • Friday the 13th - This trope is used in every movie, usually against the Final Girl. A machete against a closet door in the first film, a pitchfork against a kitchen door and a pickaxe against a shrine door in Part 2, a regular axe against a closet door inPart 3, an axe that goes through the door and into someone's torso in The Final Chapter, etcetera.
  • Michael Myers from Halloween also likes this trope. A particularly hilarious example happens in Resurrection where Michael simply walks through a reinforced mental-hospital door as if it were made out of cardboard.
    • In the remake, he likes this trope so much he even bursts through solid walls.
  • In Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny, & Girly, the titular family favor this type of dramatic entrance as one of the psychological games they play on their "friends".
  • When the cult members in The Final Sacrifice are trying to break into the teenage protagonist's house at the beginning, they sneak around for a bit and then unsubtly chainsaw through the door. Mystery Science Theater 3000 has him object, "It's open."


Live Action TV

  • Done in the Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps episode "When Janet Killed Johnny!" as a Shout-Out to The Shining".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the episode "School Hard", one of Spike's minions is trying to break down a door. Spike tells him to use his head, grabs him by the scruff of his neck, and uses his head to break the glass on the fire axe case beside the door.
  • In Angel, Wesley goes insane and goes after Fred with an axe. Parodied on the blooper reel, when the blade comes off the axe mid-chopping. Alexis Denisof, without missing a beat, continues... politely tapping on the door with the axe handle.
  • In one episode of The Young Ones, the students' landlord goes crazier, becomes an "axe-wielding homicidal maniac", and starts to hack his way through the door.
  • Parodied in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, when the two Special Squad policemen arrive at a woman's house looking for a suspect. Laurie's character begins smashing the door down with a sledgehammer, and Fry points out that it's unlocked and steps inside. Laurie answers that he didn't carry the hammer all this way just to turn the handle and makes Fry close it behind him so he can keep breaking it down, and even puts a couple of extra holes in it once he's on the other side himself.


  • In the pilot episode of Misfits, the psychotic probation officer uses an axe to bust into the toilet cubicle where his first victim is hiding.


Video Games


Western Animation

 (Homer chops through door)

Homer: Heeeere's Johnny!

(camera pulls back to reveal empty room)

Homer: D'oh!

(Homer chops through another door)

Homer: Daaaaavid Letterman!

Abe Simpson: Hi David, I'm Grampa!

Homer: D'oh!

(Homer chops through another door)

Homer: (holding a ticking stopwatch) I'm Mike Wallace, I'm Morley Safer, and I'm Ed Bradley. All this and Andy Rooney tonight on Sixty Minutes!

Family: Aah!

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