How to break through a locked door is a common problem shared by everyday folks like you, me, fire fighters, people who steal things professionally, parents, and anyone trying to besiege a castle. Whether you're looking to check if your teenage son is having sex in his room or simply trying to meet your weekly quota of raping and pillaging, a door is likely to stand between you and your goals at some point. Knowing this, I have compiled a handy list of the different techniques that can be used to bypass the ubiquitous and insidious entrance way. What follows is not merely a guide to how to open a door but how to defeat and humiliate it.
  • Burn it with fire- While an incendiary solution is neither the most subtle nor the safest of ways to break through a door, I have awarded it the top spot on this list because it is certainly the most satisfying. A few handy rules of thumb when it comes to burning doors:
    • Make sure the door is made of wood.
    • Ensure the door is in a properly ventilated environment. This means opening windows or, if there are none, making some and proceeding to open them.
    • It is ill-advised to burn a door you intend to use again, so make sure the door isn't yours.
    • Make sure nothing that is or will soon be yours (once you break through and slaughter everyone on the other side) is near the door
    • And lastly, make sure that you personally are not near the door.

    With those basic rules in mind you can actually go about setting fire to the door. In accordance with your passion for committing arson you can use a variety of methods to initiate your inferno, from matches to gasoline to gelignite. See: blowing shit up and setting fire to shit for guidance and your local shrink for therapy afterward.

  • Battering your way through- The tried and tested method of brute force has broken down more doors than any other method in history. It's a technique that can be scaled to fit any size door and applied in a variety of methods. Common techniques include the door kick, the shoulder charge, bashing with a rifle butt, and, for those in excellent shape, punching your way through (this last technique is ill-advised if the door is made of glass). Larger doors call for heavier battering and a ram is often applied if more base methods fail.

  • Cutting through the door- To cut through a door you'll either need a very strong cutting device or a very weakly constructed door or both. Common cutting implements include saws, light sabers, and large scissors, the latter being very convenient if you happen to be struggling with a screen door. A benefit to cutting through doors is that it will not only slice apart the door but anything that happens to be on the other side of it as well. Very useful if you think someone might be eavesdropping on you or simply want to give someone a nasty, dismembering surprise.

  • Going over the door- This assumes that whatever is on the other side of the door doesn't have a roof over it and that you have a means of flying and/or hurling yourself through the air. Going over the door is by far one of the riskiest methods of getting past a door and you are encouraged not to actually do it. Instead, find someone else to! Employ a disposable and gullible friend or family member to act as a stand-in for you. Make sure you have more than one volunteer- if the carefully calculated trajectory of your trebuchet is even slightly off, chances are you'll be forced to try again. Alternately, you can try a shotgun technique and launch or drop several volunteers in the hopes that at least one of them will survive to open the door from the other side. If they do, you might want to consider arming yourself- in my experience the survivor will often tend to be a bit bitter about the whole situation. If you can't seem to convince your volunteers to submit to being roped down to a catapult or pushed out of an aircraft a good alternative is simply stacking their bodies in staircase formation. Or using a ladder, you killjoy.

  • Going under the door- Once again, this is a technique best performed by people other than yourself, due to the possibility of being crushed by everything you're digging under. If possible, minimize the amount of required manual labor by lifting the door vertically. To these ends consider employing a crane or an appropriately scaled cartoon car jack à la Wile E. Coyote. With the door lifted well into the air, it becomes a relatively easy matter to walk beneath it.

    IMPORTANT: If employing ANY cartoon item, make sure it is from a manufacturer with strong consumer safety standards and has approval from the BBB. You are NOT advised to buy from any company that calls itself "ACME" or "A Company that Makes Everything".

  • Dressing up- A venerable technique that has history stretching back to the ancient Greeks who famously used it to their advantage during the Trojan War by appealing to the Trojan's well known fetish for giant wooden horses. In the current era however, disguises tend to be a bit more practical. Some tried and tested facades that I've picked up from day-time television:
  • Yelling- Another documented method (in fiction) of getting through a door. Most famously used by Ali Baba and Gandalf, the "magic word" technique can be quite helpful when no other solution seems to work. The main difficulty is knowing which word or words to use. While a keen knowledge of Elvish runes or a talent for guessing helps, I have also included a short selection of suggested magic words.

    • Pretzel
    • Sauerkraut
    • Wienerschnitzel (Magic door makers often have a passion for Bavarian food)
    • Please
    • Thank You
    • Excuse Me(Magic door makers are also sticklers for manners)
    • Don't-Take-It-The-Wrong-Way-But-I've-Really-Got-To-Get-Through-Here-I-have-a-Nine-Thirty-Appointment
    • I'm gay (Juvenile humor is another common theme)
    • And frequently, "Open Sesame" or its colloquial equivalent "Open the **** up already, I've been standing around here yelling at a rock for three hours" will work if nothing else does.
    Alternately, threats, if yelled menacingly enough, will also sometimes work.

  • Other things that sometimes work-

    • Bribes
    • Shooting the door
    • Siccing a beaver on the door (assuming once again that it's a wooden door)
    • Removing everything around the door and giving it a push
    • Reminding the door that according to modern physics it is largely empty space and then walking through it
    • Waiting for the forces of wind and water to erode the door
    • Convincing the door that being a door might not be the best line of work for it
    • Giving up, going home, and waiting to see if they're open tomorrow.

On a side note, see breaking down a door for a more practical guide.

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