Escape Rooms have become the rage all over the world, and despite there being clues, some escapees simply aren't quite cut out for the challenge.
CreativeUsername352 asked Escape Room employees of Reddit: What was the weirdest escape tactic you have seen?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, profanity.
I've learned not to make the final stage a lock with a key, because damn if I haven't met some of the best lockpicks in the state.
I had a room solve this by saying it only counted if you used the key to unlock it. Otherwise they wouldn't count you as escaped.
Our second to last clue had a box with a masterlock on it and you needed to discover the combination to get it open.
Ooorrrr you can make a
shim out of a coke can and some toddler scissors they left on a desk, pop the lock, and leave 2 minutes into it so you can get lunch.
Also, my "escape" didn't count.
So much for a challenge.
My family did an Escape Room and there was a room with a phone that connected to three other rooms, the doors only opened when you dialed the right numbers on the phone and so my sister just walked up and pressed redial and the last door opened.
We have the record of 7.5 minutes to complete the room.
And now they dial a random number before letting in a new group.
It's not a panic room.
Someone honestly believed that throwing himself at the door counts as solving the riddle. Since that fateful day I tell every group that it is not necessary to throw yourself at doors.
Drywall is so much easier to get through than most doors.
Locked and barricaded home? Go through the wall, possible to do with no tools if you are determined.
Why? So he could escape the room, duh.
There was a Escape Room themed after a school with a madman's lab in it. There was a part where you had to match numbers with the Morse code's letter number in the alphabet. There was of course a dictionary of the Morse code but a group which finished that part in 15s without using the dictionary. Usually, people need at least 3 minutes for it. And then, after that you had to pump a pump to raise a ball with a key out of a 1.2m tube. But instead of simply pumping the thing, a guy took out an extendable stick and silver duct tape, then pulled the ball out of there. They finished the whole room in 30min. My question is why did he have an extendable stick with silver duct tape in his coat's inner pocket.
Sounds like they had done the room before and went back prepared for a speed run.
No, we write down the names of every participant and those names were new. We check IDs for various reasons. And the room was only a few days old so at best, an employee told them. Plus, the Morse code was 14 letters long so I doubt they remembered that very combination of letters.
"Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine"
This escape room is just a crummy commercial?
Thinning the herd.
I was told by an employee there were paperclips to unlock handcuffs. Someone stuck it into a functioning outlet.
Leaving physical body to be ultimately free.
Why escape this boring room when you can escape life?
My brother and I once got out of a room by taking a magnet from the previous puzzle and using it to lift a key out of a small opening in a locked box. There were six of us and nobody could figure out the last clue so we improvised. Got out with three minutes to spare.
Unlike all the posts about just picking the lock, that actually sounds like it's in the spirit of the room.
Not an employee, but an overly-analytical friend of mine and I were in a group doing an escape room. There was a cup of coffee and a bucket, so my friend poured the coffee into the bucket thinking there might be a clue.
5 minutes in, employee comes in and says "Sorry to interrupt, but has anyone seen my coffee?"
I would love to know that embarrassing the clients was the exact purpose of that coffee sitting there and that they do it to everyone.
If it's not on purpose I'd be mad if someone came in the middle of the game for that reason.
Funny thing is the employee saw him pour it into the bucket...
I mean, why not?
There was a group of people who was doing a space themed Escape Room. In one of the rooms, there was an astronaut suit which was supposed to just serve as a prop. But one of the members thought that it might be needed to solve one of the rooms.
So he ended up traversing through the entire escape room while wearing an astronaut suit. And no it wasn't needed to solve anything.
Sounds like how I play DnD.
It's like they knew.
I was once in an Escape Room with a mate a few years older than me. We went to the same school where tradition stated you must pull the lockers from the wall at least once a day. So, we went in there, saw a locker, and lent it forwards like tradition stated.
Behind it was a laminated sheet of paper which said:
"Please put the locker back"
We lost it, and apparently so did the person watching us though the cameras, because we just didnt hesitate at all.
Arthur: "What happens if I press this button?"
Ford: "I wouldn't—"
Ford: "What happened?"
Arthur: "A sign lit up, saying 'Please do not press this button again.'"
'Please do not press this button again.'
Jesus that would guarantee a second button press
Who turns down free tea?
We had a code hidden on a thermochromatic mug. There was also a teabag, a kettle and a paper clue saying to make a cup of tea. Had a group get stuck because they thought it was joking and never made the tea.
How I imagine it went down:
Rob: "The clue says to make tea, so let's make some." Bob: "But that's too obvious!"
That's actually a really cool puzzle though.
Make some tea. Sit down. Have a chat with friends. Really dive deep. In this room, you're escaping the everyday. Come on down to Rancho Relaxos Escape Palace and Spa.
This is wholesome content.
Also not an employee, but did a room with 2 friends where we got randomly placed with a family with 3 kids under the age of ~12. The youngest was *maybe* 7. We were like, "Oh man, we're not going to get any help at all... kids won't be able to solve anything, and their parents will have to keep track of them." But there was this one part where you had to solve a puzzle that would allow you to move a bookshelf on treads. There was a small gap through which you could see the key, but it was too small to get more than a few fingers through... unless you're a small 7 year old boy. He just popped his arm in there and grabbed the key. We bypassed a good 5 minutes of the room that way. Also, the kids ended up being delightful and pretty good at finding stuff-- I'd love to do another room with them.
The Donald Trump approach.
I run one where you work at a time travel agency. The person walked out of the room mid game (we don't lock them for fire reasons) and exclaimed their victory.
He didn't say it, he DECLARED it.
When your legacy is a warning label.
A friend of mine runs an escape room and told me this story.
A group was in a room that just so happened to have a drop ceiling. You know, the ones with the tiles you can lift up on and I guess go inside if you need to? Well that's what this group decided to do. The employee kept hearing weird thumps and bumps so he went in to check on everything and found two people up inside the ceiling. There was nothing in the ceiling. I've done that room and there is no indication that you should go into the ceiling. Why would they think that was an ok thing to do??
The escape room company has now added "don't go in the ceiling" to their pre-game rules/safety spiel.
Oh ya know, just using the escape room as a toilet. NBD.
At this point, the rules at the place where I work cover most of the things that would be 'room-ruining':
"Our electrical outlets are real, don't put things in them"
"There is nothing in the drop ceiling"
"Don't punch through the walls or any windows or tear up the carpeting"
One of the rooms has fake stained glass windows and when it first opened (before I worked there) someone punched through, so now we have a very specific "see those? don't punch them" rule for people who go into that room.
Apparently, someone pooped on the floor of a room, again, before I worked there. (Though not specifically to get out... and we keep our doors unlocked so you can just go use the restroom...)
Honestly, the weird stuff I see usually has less to do with actually solving the puzzles and more to do with human interaction. My favorite was the guy who I ran through a room super quick, no clues, just him and a woman. The whole time he was saying to the woman, "OMG wow that surprised me!" "Oh, you are SO clever for solving that! I never would have thought of that!" Buttering her up, etc. They finish, they leave, and my manager tells me she ran the guy through the same room the previous weekend with a different lady. What a dating tactic...
When you stand in your own way.
Not an employee, but I was in a horror escape room in China. There were nine of us in total, and we reached a point where we were in a small room together. To advance to the next room, one of the girls (of whom there were three) had to bring an apple to the "ghost" in the previous room, alone. All three girls were scared shitless and refused to leave.
Check with supervisor through the walkie talkie; definitely has to be a girl (to fit with the story).
Finally, with no path forward, one of the guys opens the door and yells into the hallway, "can I go if I'm gay?" Some discussion ensues on the walkie talkie about this point, but they eventually relented.