Escape Room Employees Describe The Weirdest Ways Customers Have Tried To Free Themselves

I don't see the appeal of these rooms.

Why would one enjoy being trapped in a room?

When you watch people trapped in a movie you cheer for their release.

But this activity has gotten super popular.

And people have gotten real creative in their escapes.

Redditor CaptainCatButtwanted to hear confessions from the great escapes. They asked:

"Escape Room employees, what's the weirdest way you've seen customers try and solve an escape room?"

I haven't tried these rooms yet. Not sure I want to. Highly claustrophobic. Convince me...

No touching...

"I used to work at one. I can’t tell you how many people thought that power outlets were a prop and tried to stick keys into them. Guys. There was a lamp plugged into it and a 'do not touch, not a part of the game' sticker on it. It’s not a trick, don’t do that."



"A friend of mine works for an escape room and he told me one about a puzzle where the key to the next door was shackled to a desk by a combination lock. What you are supposed to do is figure out the combination for the lock from the clues around the room to free the key. What one group decided to do instead was get a guy on each corner and pick up the 150 pound desk and carry it across the room, slide the key into the lock, and then rotate the entire desk to unlock the door."



"I am not an escape room employee but I did a lot of em and talked to the employees often. One of them told me there was a simple lock (opened by a key) that had 'Yale' written on it (the name of the lock company) and a lady (not native English speaker) thought it read 'yell' and legit shouted 'OPEN!!' at it, expecting it to open."


searching the fountain...

"Recently went to an escape room with my co-workers. Before we started, we were explicitly warned not to touch or drink the bright blue water coming out of a fountain because it would turn our skin blue - clearly people had tried searching the fountain as part of the escape room previously and now they have to warn everyone."


Voice of God

Whos That Voice Of God GIF by Shark WeekGiphy

"I was in an escape room once where one puzzle involved some objects that needed to be manipulated inside a structure that made it very awkward."

"We were all looking at it trying to figure out how to proceed when I said 'Well, the bottom is held on with screws and I have a screwdriver in my purse, but that would probably be cheating.' Instantly the Voice of God came over the intercom 'THAT WOULD BE CHEATING!' So we didn't do that..."


Well people really do get creative at this game... don't they?


genius GIFGiphy

"Had a group of engineers who were familiar with the style of the lock effectively reverse engineer the lock. They showed us how they did it afterwards."



"When I was in one they told us several times that the fire extinguisher is NOT part of the puzzle. They said it so many times, I'm 98% sure someone once used it lol."


"I always wait to see if they say not to disassemble smoke detectors, if they have that warning, I ask about it, and every time they will always have a story about a dumby who ignored the warning labels and disassembled the smoke detector."


Group of 4

"There was a story on here a while ago about a guy in a group of four who took a broom from the first room because 'it had to be for something.' He said it looked too out of place to not be needed. Well he was half right. It was out of place but that's because it was the broom used by employees to clean the room."

"It was simply forgotten when they cleaned last time. The guys giving hints thought it was hilarious that this guy carried a broom through four rooms expecting it to be the key to their escape at some point. I thought that was funny as hell."



"Take in a screwdriver and dismantling furniture or taking doors off hinges... all the while we specifically tell them not to use force and that furniture is just furniture. Though I don't care cause they gotta pay the damages. Also had some groups press our panic button cause that opens all the doors (for emergency cases)."

"So they can skip puzzles and be faster. Makes zero sense to us cause they are paying for an hour of playtime and to solve puzzles, not like the prize is reduced cause you solved less in fewer minutes. Especially since our prices aren't cheap."



Idiot Facepalm GIFGiphy

"Breaking EVERYTHING. Trying to eat or drink things they should totally not be trying to eat or drink."


Perfect Pitch

"My brother and sister once did an escape room where they fell behind 45 minutes in to their one hour limit. Then my brother sat down at the piano and just played the background music that was on (he has perfect pitch). This happened to be the code to open the final door."


Are you crazy!?

"I did a spy thriller which had a chalk board. Trouble is, 3 of the 4 of us were scientists. A chalkboard full of equations?! Clearly this meant something. Now. In hindsight. It seems unlikely that any puzzle designer would expect you have the working knowledge to solve quadratic equations. Or that you'd need anything but the most basic of mathematical skills."

"So that was our first error. The second error was when our friend (fiancé of one of the three scientists and only non scientist of the bunch) immediately goes to erase the board with its immaculate display of complicated formulae and equations. She was immediately wrestled to the ground."

"Sheer panic. No dignity. Are you crazy!? You don't just erase someones chalkboard!!! Full blown PTSD of Uni is the play here. Lo and behold. Erasing the board revealed some unerasableble text, spelling out the clue. We felt bad for that one. She was right."



"We were supposed to find the numbers to a padlock. My boss had guessed the answer within 5 minutes."


"I had to do this once. In a poorly designed room, one of the padlocks needed to be open by a hint that led to a 5 letter word, but the lock only had 4 digits so the designers of the room just took the last letter off of the word and spelt it wrong. We were trying real 4 letter words and couldn't figure it out so I just started guessing and eventually got it."



code GIFGiphy

"Not an employee... but my group once was so bad that we solved the room by fully misunderstanding the concept and we ended up getting the five digit code to the lockbox via some truly failed logic that shouldn't have worked."


Water Levels

"One of the puzzles is opened at the start of the room to reveal a large jug of water with a floating key, but the water level is too low for you to reach it. As you progress through the room you get smaller canteens to fill up the jug. Bachelor party comes in already tipsy, orders multiple drinks as they progress through the room, and at some point one of them pees into the jug to raise the water level. This is what made me leave for another job. If you ever go to an escape room, just know we're judging you for every move you make."


Your UV

"I was in a room once with a puzzle that required UV light - and you did find a UV torch somewhere. Problem was, the batteries were as good as dead. Luckily I had a UV torch on me because I hadn't yet unpacked my pockets from night geocaching the previous weekend. Came out of the room, telling the employees, 'Your UV badly needs new batteries.' - 'How did you solve it then?' - 'Well, had my own...'


Hey Jeff...

"Went on a team building escape room and ended up in a room with a colleague we'll call 'Jeff.' Jeff is profoundly deaf and a large part of this particular room involved listening to messages on Dictaphones that could be found in different drawers* etc."

"About ten minutes into the timer an employee burst into the room in a panic and we turned to find Jeff taking the Dictaphone apart piece by piece because he had no idea it was making any sound. He was not supposed to do that, still a top bloke."


Letters matter...

lights alphabet GIFGiphy

"I don't know if it's the weirdest but we had a puzzle which involved morse code. Usually you had to use an endoscope to find the alphabet in a chest. One person in this group actually knew the whole alphabet and was able to solve it."


She broke the machine...

"Not an employee, but while doing a casino-themed escape room with some colleagues, the worker told us 'please do not pull the lever on the slot machine as it will break something later in the game.' The timer started and my coworker went 'well we’re obviously supposed to do that first' and pulled the lever. We were not supposed to do that first. She broke the machine."


Even though there are a million ways to escape, I'm still gonna pass. My claustrophobia won't allow it.

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