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If the ridiculously Slow Doors in your Elaborate Underground Base close downwards, rest assured that some character will inevitably make their way through a doorway Just in Time by rolling under an almost-closed door.

Sometimes, they make it a little faster, leaving something lying on the floor just inside the door. At which point there will be just enough time for their hand to come reaching back in and pulling it out. This is usually an explicit Shout-Out to the trope naming moment in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Rarely do people make the doors close upwards to prevent this exploit. In that case, the character will throw themselves through the gap.

Another problem for the captors: The doors close in sequence, instead of all at once (or, perhaps better, outside doors first, then the rest, moving inward). If they all closed at once, the hero would make it through one or two doors before being completely locked in.

If there is a Lockdown occurring, the odds are 99% someone will attempt this.

Examples of Indy Hat Roll include:

Anime & Manga

  • In the OVA adaptation of Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd does this to get to Kvar alone. Unfortunately, he then proceeds to get his ass handed to him, until Kratos and Sheena show up to save the day.
  • In Macross Plus, we get the "corridor of doors closing in sequence" version as Myung and Guld race through; the doors are justified as being firewalls (and there IS a fire going on); unfortunately for them, one closes on Guld, who stoically uses his back as a barrier to protect Myung. Which is only possible because Guld, being half-Zentraedi, is more accurately described as a mountain — though it still causes him quite the injury there.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Rico and Henrietta slide under a closing door during the attack on the terrorist-occupied nuclear power plant.

Films — Animation

  • Shrek 2 does this as well... with Puss in Boots. Voiced by Antonio Banderas, which made it even funnier.
  • Massively spoofed in The Incredibles, where Elastigirl manages to get stuck in a whole series of Slow Doors simultaneously.
  • In Chicken Run, Ginger gets to the closing oven door easily, but Rocky is stuck falling into pies. She wedges the door open and runs back for him, then makes it out of the oven with the Indy Hat Roll. Complete with Ginger reaching back for her hat.
  • Tangled does this with Rapunzel and Flynn escaping into the cave from beneath the giant falling rock pillar. Flynn manages to grab the previously discarded frying pan at the last second.

Films — Live-Action

  • The classic example is Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with the addition of reaching back for his hat at the last second (hence the trope name). In Raiders of the Lost Ark he reaches back for his whip.
  • Another Harrison Ford example, predating Indiana Jones, is the original Star Wars. Avoiding a security lockdown and being followed by stormtroopers, Han Solo jumped through the diamond shaped opening that was formed by the blast doors closing. Interestingly enough, later movies depict the blast doors closing far too fast for any sort of maneuver like this — even The Phantom Menace, whose events predate A New Hope chronologically by 32 years.
    • Eberts Little Movie Glossary even calls this trope the Harrison Door.
  • A scene from Spaceballs parodies the Star Wars example. The characters dive through a blast door just in time, but there's a cadre of Spaceballs waiting for them. They get away anyway, though, because, as the lieutenant shockedly points out, "You idiots! You've captured their stunt doubles!" The door also closes notably faster after the characters jumped through.
  • Subversion: in The Fifth Element, the archaeologist's panicked assistant opens fire on the peaceful aliens inside the Egyptian temple, unwittingly activating a self-defense locking mechanism in the Element's chamber. Although most of the aliens and their human contact escape, the last one is too slow to make it through, and shoves its hand between the stone slabs to pass the key on to the human monk. (Presumably, the alien itself was crushed by the door.)
  • Occurs in the the movie of the comic book Hellboy. At one point, Hellboy and another character are running to get through a door in an underground catacomb system. Both make it, but just as the door is about to close on Hellboy's tail, he flicks it out of the way Just in Time.
  • In X2: X-Men United, Mystique slides under a door while flipping off the men shooting at her.
  • In Total Recall, Quaid does this right after arriving on Mars, while the doors are going down to seal off the area from the outside atmosphere (or lack thereof).
  • The Mummy Trilogy uses this sort of thing a few times: a notable example is during the climax of the first movie, where a trap causes the temple to collapse, and in trying to escape the treacherous Beni makes an impressive just-in-time slide under the crushing ceiling... only to end up trapped in a room with thousands of man-eating scarabs.
  • In Witness, Amish boy Samuel Lapp, who is hiding in a toilet cubicle after witnessing a murder, crawls underneath the wall to the neighboring cubicle by the time McFee (who is kicking the cubicle doors open) gets to his cubicle. Samuel reaches and grabs his hat just as McFee opens the door.
  • In Titanic, just after the iceberg hits, the workers in that particular engine room flee before the watertight doors close. Unfortunately, one or two don't make it...
  • J.B. at the climax of Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. He has the Pick but security is trying to lock him in, so he does a Power Slide through the door as it shuts.
  • In the film Saturn 3, starring Kirk Douglas, Kirk and his girlfriend are alone on a space station that is being taken over by a robot. There's one sequence where they have to run through a corridor full of closing doors that close in sequence, as the trope dictates; however, they don't quite make it and the last door closes in front of them.
  • Swarmed has a variation. Washburn takes cover from the wasps inside an empty plastic dumpster... then opens the lid again to snatch his hat, which fell off during his escape.
  • Marty McFly makes use of the maneuver in the second Back to The Future film. At the school dance in 1955 Marty dives under a table to escape Biff's Five-Bad Band, leaving just enough time to grab his own Indy-esque hat before trouble arrives.
  • Cowboys and Aliens has this as one of several obvious shout-outs to Harrison Fords' earlier movies.
  • Star Trek Generations. When there's a coolant leak in the warp core reactor, the Enterprise engineering crew evacuates the area. Geordi La Forge is the last person out, rolling under the descending door just before it closes.


  • The Nancy Kress novel Probability Space includes literary equivalents of this. An act of great stupidity requires our protagonists to fly their ship through a closing jump gate to escape annihilation. They repeat this just in case. Then they realize all the jump gates, everywhere, are closing, and they must fly through a series to get back to Earth before they're stranded. All but one of these is a close enough call to qualify for an Indy Hat Roll.
  • In The Andromeda Strain (book and film), this is attempted but he is too slow to succeed.
  • In The Relic, panicked party guests try to flee the museum as the security doors are activated. Some don't make it and are caught and crushed by the steel doors. Seeing as what the rest were trapped with, they were probably the lucky ones.

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Epic Geordi Maneuver, used by LaForge when the big blast doors close around the warp core on "The Best of Both Worlds".
  • Indiana Jones is nicely parodied in Malcolm in the Middle when Hal ditches his job at a department store to attend a party. While the Indiana Jones theme plays, Hal outruns a beach ball rolling after him, dives under the closing shutters, and reaches back for his car keys in the nick of time.
  • Torchwood
    • Gwen Cooper in the episode "Ghost Machine".
    • Subverted in the episode "Exit Wounds", in which Owen gets trapped in a nuclear power station that's about to go up, and doesn't make it to the door in time. He actually does die. He was technically dead already. But there was that glove...
  • Another subversion in Blakes Seven, when they raid the decoy Star One base — they get out, but only because Gan sacrifices himself to hold the door for them.
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who episode "Dalek". Adam and Rose are fleeing from the Dalek while the Doctor is forced to close the door to the room where he, Van Statten and Diana Goddard are hiding. Adam makes it in time by rolling under the door. Rose doesn't.
  • Spike does this while escaping the Initiative on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Jordan does it in an episode of Scrubs to escape a hospital quarantine lock-down. She even, for the first and last time in the series, wears a fedora to grab.
  • In Babylon 5, Zack Allen dives under the docking bay doors in the third series after he has led most of the station's Night Watch members there in a double-double cross. This clip also appears in the titles.
  • MacGyver has one moment of the hat roll when they are trapped in an Ancient Indian Death Trap and Dalton reaches back to grab his pilot hat, much to Mac's irritation.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined. Boomer (in a stolen Raptor) flies out of Galactica's landing pod as it's retracting into jump drive position (to prevent her taking off). She doesn't make it undamaged though, smashing one wing and having to jump while still dangerously close to Galactica.
  • Averted on Lost; instead of diving under the Swan Station's closing doors (which are quite fast), Locke pushes a toolbox under it to wedge it open. Further averted/subverted when his leg gets crushed while he tries to crawl through the opening and the toolbox collapses.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess, episode "The Xena Scrolls": Alice is Gabrielle's umpteenth granddaughter in 1940ish. She is an archaeologist and so she does the hat-roll.
  • On the White Collar episode "Countdown", Neal slips into an elevator just as the doors close, complete with the Indy homage as he reaches back to grab his Nice Hat.

Video Games

  • In Final Fantasy IX, this is done by an airship through quickly-closing humungous doors. Doubly awesome in that a much faster craft, which is chasing it, fails to make it through the doors and crashes spectacularly.
  • In the second Jak and Daxter game, the Tomb of Mar refuses to allow the young heir to go through the trials and starts to close. Jak then dives underneath the stone door, grabbing Daxter just as it slams down.
  • Used in FZero GX. In one of the story missions, you have to escape from a reactor that's about to explode, all while the twenty something blast doors in a straight line are slowly closing in sequence. If the player stops (and doesn't mind dying), you can see the doors never actually close, they leave barely enough room for the player to drive through.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Jack pulls an Indy Slide during her rampage through Purgatory.
  • Reference to original example: a lot of doors make you do this in Indiana Jones and The Emperors Tomb.
  • The penultimate mission of Ace Combat 5 has sliding doors that close off the tunnel after you destroy your target. They all close in different directions and there are other obstacles, so flying through the tunnel at top speed is a bit tricky. The trope is inverted when entering the tunnel: You can run into doors as they're opening.
  • Resident Evil
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, one of the stages forces you to outrace timed doors as Sonic. While most doors give you plenty of time to slip through, there are some that'll force you into doing this.
  • Chrono Trigger: You slip though the first set of slow doors in time, but Robo has to race ahead and hold the next set open.
  • The Tomb Raider series does this from time to time.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • One of the many trademark Indy moves executed by Numbuh Five of Codename: Kids Next Door. Complete with reaching back for her fallen hat in "Operation: L.I.C.E." -- although this time it's a trap: this is not her hat.
  • Spoofed in an episode of Futurama; a falling door is stopped by Zoidberg, who throws himself forward and wedges his claw between the door and the floor. Hermes then uses his previously-referenced Olympic-level Limbo ability to make it through the gap.
  • The Simpsons
    • Similarly, Homer Simpson once recognized that a couple of suspicious-acting men were in fact chiropractors, because of their skill at getting under a closing garage door.
    • Bart also does this when he lifts Homer's change jar in a specific send up of Indy's adventures, complete with actual Indiana Jones music and Bart grabbing his hat from under the closing door.
    • Marge did one of these with the closing garage when she finds the police career to be exciting in "The Springfield Connection."
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "The Fraudulent Volcano". Jonny and Hadji crawled on their hands and knees under a closing security door — Hadji just made it by throwing himself forward.
  • This happens in Recess: Schools Out, when the kids are being chased inside the school.
  • On the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X", Plastique and Deadshot do this to escape from a nuclear reactor on The Watchtower they sabotaged as blast doors are closing. They pull off with the first door, but don't make it in time for the second (Captain Atom saves them).
  • Sunny Bridges does it in the Class of 3000 episode "Eddie's Money"; grabbing his hat with his feet for a few extra style points.
  • Done in the original My Little Pony cartoon of all things, as part of an Indy Escape scene.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Once Upon A Planet". Captain Kirk leaps through a sliding rock door in the side of a mountain just before it closes.