Ten Minutes in the Closet

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Locked in a Room + Slap Slap Kiss. Two characters have been Locked in a Room together by their friends because they think they have a crush on each other. They spend the episode talking, sitting close to each other, coming clean with each other and usually kissing at the end when their friends charge in cheering for them. You know - a complete Retool of their character relationship accomplished in the span of one episode.

Used in sitcoms - usually of the teen-oriented variety - when they want to do a somewhat suspenseful episode based on romance, or when the writer wants a relationship to form between the characters but can't do it normally.

Can occasionally be used to resolve non-romantic problems.

Can result in Slap Slap Kiss or An Aesop about meddling in other people's lives.

Named after the party game where two people are forced to spend time alone in the dark to... "talk".

Can easily turn into a Clip Show.

Sub-Trope of Romance Ensues. Related to Caught in the Rain.

This has nothing to do with Trapped in the Closet, which is eighty-something minutes, not ten. Or with that other kind of closet.

Examples of Ten Minutes in the Closet include:

Anime and Manga

  • Jura does this to Hibiki and Dita in the second season of Vandread. And broadcasts the security camera feed to the entire ship. A red alert interrupts things before anything really comes of it.
  • Mei (Naru's Stepsister) in Love Hina attempts to do this with Keitaro and Mutsumi in an attempt to make them bond and drive Naru back home. It fails when Naru breaks them out with the 'help' of Keitaro - she punches him through a wall...
  • Happens in Lovely Complex with the two main characters. And despite her stating she likes the guy with her right now, he still doesn't get it.
  • Also happens in Ranma ½ (even though Ranma set it up as a ploy to get a suit that happens to hate him off Akane), resulting in a bit of a heart-to-heart and much blushing. Probably would have ended up as more had Akane's family and Ranma's dad not made it evident that they were eavesdropping by bursting in on them.
    • This doesn't usually happen, even when their parents have locked them in together. Frankly, when you can easily break through boulders with your bare hands, doors aren't really obstacles anymore.
  • Eriol locks Sakura and Shaoran in an elevator in Cardcaptor Sakura.
  • Subverted in Gokusen. Yankumi's students lock her and Shin in a storeroom in an attempt to get them together. Not only does it not work, but the principal was there the whole time behind a box.
  • Obaka-chan Koigatariki features an example, the school president locks two people in a room together, nothing happens. "If they were hamsters they'd have started mating already!"

Comic Books

  • In a side-story to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the title character kidnaps Glittering Goldie and forces her to work his claim to teach her a lesson. At the end, they fall in love... and never see each other again, except in a burning dance hall for a fleeting moment. (That ending part comes about because in Carl Barks' stories, they never do meet again, and Don Rosa wanted to stay true to that.)


  • Parodied in Teen Wolf (they almost immediately begin making out).
  • Subverted in the introduction of Good Luck Chuck, where the titular character is practically assaulted by a goth girl during the party game (while both are still pre-teens) and flees the closet in terror after she claws his chest.
  • This triggers the Time Skip in Jennifer Garner's 13 Going on 30.
  • In Final Fantasy the Spirits Within, the trope is invoked by Grey's companions. As one might expect, it ends with an Almost Kiss.


  • A very strange version appeared in Belgarath the Sorcerer where, after the nation of Arendia fought off the bad guys, they were left leaderless because the Dukes of the two halves of the country had a duel and killed each other. Since one had a son and the other a daughter, a marriage was proposed between them. Unfortunately, since they hated each other completely, Polgara had them locked in a dungeon meant for nobles for around three weeks. They liked each other very much once they got out.
    • Technically, Polgara's orders were to "keep them locked in there until the shouting stops and the giggling starts". Since both of them were adolescent, it is even plausible.
      • This is pretty much a case of Because Destiny Says So. Quite literally; He essentially told Polgara, "They're going to get married, and they're going to like it. Get started on that."

Live-Action TV

  • Used twice in Saved by the Bell.[context?]
  • Seventh Heaven: Eric and Annie lock Reverend Hampton and his wife in their attic, incorrectly thinking they're breaking up. Since the victims don't have anything to make up over, nothing else to do, and no way out, they have sex.
  • In one episode of Stargate Atlantis, Ronon and Dr. Kaylee Keller are trapped in her medlab for almost the entire episode, and are headed down this path, although they only actually kiss once just before the doors open.
    • Which is then... somethinged in a later, "What If?" episode where she hooks up with... Rodney. It's not really a subversion, or maybe anything at all really, since, stuck on a ship for a week with no one else they know to talk to, fits this trope to a T. They later hook up.
  • A subversion occurs in the TV series My Name Is Earl. When the warden of the prison where Earl is an inmate attempts to stop two gangs from fighting, he locks the leaders in solitary together for a month. Predictably, they fight for a while ... then they calm down ... then they start talking ... and then fall in love. But ironically, they still have to remain enemies when they get out of solitary, or their gangs will turn on them. So they find whatever excuse to get in trouble and get locked up together.
  • Xander and Cordelia of Buffy.
  • Used in Full House between Jessie and Kimmie in the Smash Club, except being locked in was an accident. With slightly less Squick than you might think.
  • Used to resolve a split between Odo and Kira in Deep Space Nine (during Dax's bachelor party, so it's more like ten hours in the closet). We never hear what's said, someone just opens the door to the walk-in closet and finds them talking quietly. The actors concerned were very annoyed with this cop-out and insisted that later differences between the two be resolved on-screen.
    • And they weren't the only annoyed ones. A later book - specifically Worlds of Deep Space Nine: Vol. III - goes back and recounts the whole conversation.
    • Bashir and Dax had an earlier one, trapped in a malfunctioning elevator, which led to Bashir giving up his futile pursuit of Dax and them cementing their "Just Friends" relationship.
  • Used in an early episode of Boy Meets World, when Cory and Shawn go to a make out party. Shawn has a great time (even to the point of having a different shirt on when he leaves than when he entered), while Cory and Topanga go in and simply talk. When they are both ready to kiss, the door is opened.
  • Used in the Korean drama Delightful Girl Chun-hyang. The main characters' friends determine that as Chun-hyang and Mong-ryong are getting married, they might as well learn to tolerate each other. (This being the second or third episode, it of course doesn't work).
  • The Freaks and Geeks episode "Smooching and Mooching" has Bill sent to the laundry room for "seven minutes in heaven" with head cheerleader Vicki Appleby after she "loses" at Spin the Bottle. Vicki, previously depicted as the Alpha Bitch, actually ends up bonding with Bill and even gives him his First Kiss before all is said and done.
  • They did this in Farscape, though it wasn't so much "ten minutes in a closet" as "several hours in a wrecked transport pod".
  • In the iCarly episode iOMG, Carly locked Sam and Brad in a room together because she thought Sam was in love with Brad. It doesn't work out very well...
  • In Northern Exposure Maurice Minnifield and Ruth-Anne Miller are no longer speaking to each other because of some feud involving a business loan. Ed, the local Native American wannabe film director, uses his own Genre Savvyness to lock them both in a cabin till they both work out their issues, 'cause that always works in the movies.


  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic classic "Stuck In A Closet With Vanna White".
    • Not really; that song is just about a weird dream. And bowling on the Enterprise.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Meg Griffin on Family Guy had this at a Halloween costume party, where she made out (and possibly more) with someone dressed as Optimus Prime. At the end, she finds out he was Chris. Squick
  • One episode of King of the Hill has Bobby go to a girls AND boys sleepover at the house of a girl he likes. Her friend, a troublemaking girl, has them play 7 minutes in Heaven. They talk things out and decide they like each other, but they still have a few more minutes. They give in to the cheering of the kids outside the closet and Bobby takes off his shirt. Hank barges in an interrupts before they go any further.