That Time I Got Locked in the Bathroom

Everyone else is writing about the Olympics opening ceremony this morning. Instead of doing that, though, I’m going to write about that time I locked myself in the bathroom. That time known as “yesterday”. (With apologies to those of you who follow me on Twitter, and for whom this is literally yesterday’s news…)

I’ve no idea why I even turned the lock. I mean, there was only me, Terry (and, OK, Rubin) in the house at the time, and I KNOW that lock sometimes sticks. But I did it. And a few minutes later, when I tried to exit said bathroom, I found myself face to face with my new nemesis:

faces in placesIt totally has a face, doesn’t it? Say you can see its face. Here, maybe this will help you:

A door with a face(I feel I have to point out here that that’s not dirt on it, it’s just all scuffed up because its been in the house forever, and seriously, I hate those doors. We replaced all of the doors downstairs, but didn’t get around to the ones upstairs, and I have to admit, when I realised I was locked in, there was a small part of me which thought, “Excellent: Terry will probably have to break the door down to get me out, and then we’ll HAVE to get new doors! And by “a small part of me” I mean “most of me”.)

Its mouth is the lock. Twist it in one direction: door locked! Twist it in the other direction: absolutely nothing happens! And you are forced to live forever more, the helpless prisoner of your own bathroom, surviving on a diet of toothpaste and shower gel, while the world goes on around you and people slowly but surely forget that you even existed, oh sad bathroom girl!

Despite these pessimistic thoughts of mine, I decided to try not to panic. You see, I’m actually no stranger to bathroom captivity. In fact, one time when Terry and I were on holiday in Spain, I got myself locked in the bathroom in our hotel room. And for reasons which aren’t clear to me to this day, I proceeded to freak the hell out about it. I mean, I don’t know what I thought would happen? Terry was right there, on the other side of the door, and was alerted to my predicament as soon as I was alerted to it myself: it’s not like he was just going to pack up and leave me there, was it? (Or WAS he?) But even so, I freaked out, and then, when I was freed, not five minutes later, I felt really stupid about it. Even more so when Terry said to me, “Seriously, dude, you should feel really stupid about that.”

I would not do the same thing again, I decided. I would prove to Terry that I was a proper grown-up now, and I would deal with this situation in the proper, grown-up manner.

“Terry?” I called from behind the door, ever so politely. “Would you be so kind, sir, as to come and free me from the bathroom, as I appear to be in somewhat of a predicament!”

(I was speaking like a Victorian gentleman, yes.)


“Er, Terry?” I repeated, a bit louder. “I’m stuck in the freaking bathroom here, could you come and help me?”

“Just a second!” called back Terry, from the direction of the office (which is right next to the bathroom. Well, ALL of the rooms upstairs are right next to the bathroom, actually. Because there only ARE three rooms upstairs. I hate my house.). “I’m just putting this on Facebook!”

And he DID put it on Facebook. “Amber is stuck in the bathroom!” he wrote. And you know, some people LIKED that status. Which certainly gave me food for thought, to know that there are people in the world who would secretly like me to be, put away, shall we say? Interesting.

I may have been locked in the bathroom, however, but it takes more than that to shut me up. “Two can play at that game,” I thought, casting my eye around my new prison. “If Terry’s going to Facebook this, I will… I will LIVE TWEET IT!”

So I did.


phone in the bathroom

Well, I mean, OF COURSE I had my phone with me. I live inside the Internet, if I don’t have access to my phone at all times, I would probably stop existing or something. Anyway!

Once Terry was done with Facebook, he came to my aid, and stood on the other side of the door, issuing instructions which I pretended to follow, even though I was actually just taking photos of the door and posting them on Twitter at that point. In between tweets, though, I did my best to open the door, and we spent a frustrating few minutes shouting things like “Are you SURE you’re turning it the right way?” and “Why did you lock it anyway?” and “Was that you taking another photo of the door?” at each other.

“It’ll be fine,” I thought. Terry will go and get some tools and he will free me. I’ll be out of here in a jiffy!

Then THESE slid under the door:

no idea what these things even areSo. It was like that, then. I was going to have to rescue myself, obviously. (Or possibly to kill myself, because is that a BLADE I see before me?) Which would be difficult, because I recognised the two silver things as screwdrivers, but the circular thing was a mystery to me, and an even greater mystery was the fact that Terry apparently thought I would know what to do with it. But still, I am a strong, independent woman! Like Nancy Drew, or George from the Famous Five, say. I could totally get myself out of this bathroom: if these… whatever they were… didn’t work for me, why I would just stick a credit card down the side of the door. I’d seen it done on TV enough times, after all.* I could DO this!

(*Note to self: find out how to open locked doors using just a credit card. Also how to hotwire cars. Well, you never know…)

Except… I really couldn’t. The screws on the handle just wouldn’t turn (And also, I might take my phone with me to the bathroom, but it’s not often I take my credit card…), so Terry went off to root around in his tool box, and also to update his Facebook, and soon another screwdriver had made its way under the door and into my bathroom prison. With the help of it, and some really quite mad skillz from me, Mr Doorhandleman was soon looking a little bit less smug:

OMG(Also pictured: my dressing gown. Which, yes, has polka dots on it, what of it?)

Ha! Take THAT, you varmint! That’ll teach you to think twice before taking people hostage!

“What did you take that bit off for?” said Terry from behind the door. “That wasn’t what I was telling you to do!”


At this point, I must admit I started to worry a bit. No matter what we tried, the door just would not budge. It seemed increasingly likely that I would probably be leaving the bathroom through the window, probably on the back of some burly fireman. This was of concern to me, because:

a) I wasn’t wearing any makeup at the time

b) I WAS wearing heated rollers on my head.

So THAT would be embarrassing. And the only other option seemed to be Terry breaking down the door: an option that suddenly didn’t seem quite so appealing given that there’s just no possible way I could imagine that particular scenario NOT ending up like this:

heeeeeer's Terry!Heeeeeere’s Terry!

With Jack Nicholson to spur me on, I redoubled my efforts with the door, and soon Mr Doorhandle was a shadow of his former, evil self:

shadow manStill looking pretty shocked, obviously. And still resolutely holding onto that lock, which, seriously WOULD NOT BUDGE OMG. By this point, I had been in the bathroom for around 30 minutes. I was growing weak. My phone battery was running low. The air supply was probably running out, like that one time on 24, except now I come to think about it, I’m pretty sure Jack Bauer was locked in an airtight room, not a suburban bathroom. Still, same difference.

“Terry,” I called feebly through the door. “It’s just no use – I can’t go on! Hug Rubin for me, and tell my parents I love them…”

It was then that Terry finally – FINALLY – stepped up, and took action to free me from my bathroom prison:

MY HEROThat white thing is the entire side of the door, which he had to rip off to get me out. Unfortunately, he managed to put it all back the way he found it, so I don’t get to buy a new door. I DID have plenty of time to come up with some ideas to redecorate the bathroom while I was in there, though, and am just waiting for the right time to break it to Terry that, hey, how about we rip up that floor again?

Also: at least I wasn’t alone in there:

the ducks

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books by Amber Eve
  • Tempest


    Hey Amber,
    Don’t feel bad– I got stuck in an airplane bathroom during major turbulence (the door jammed). I massively freaked out even with my sister and a multiple flight attendants on the other side. It didn’t help that I kept locking the door trying to get out…… eventually I kept it unlocked and they forced the door open and returned red-faced to my seat to die for the next 8 hours of the flight.

    July 28, 2012
    • Zoe


      Fairly certain I would have done the exact same thing in that situation. Airplane bathrooms are terrifying.

      July 29, 2012
  • Agh! This sort of thing seems to happen a lot. I know people that have been locked in the bathroom – I may never lock a bathroom door again!

    July 28, 2012
  • This happened to me! When I was living in halls of residence during my first year at university. What made it worse was it was night-time, and the bathroom I’d gone into, the light had failed. I knew that before I went in but I needed to pee, and I thought I could do that in the dark, but then the lock jammed and I was stuck in there until someone came by and she had to take the handle off to get me out! That poor girl, she was Japanese and had limited English so communicating with her what I needed her to do was…. interesting!

    July 29, 2012
  • At least you had your phone. I imagine it would be far more traumatising of you were phone-less! Xo

    July 29, 2012
  • Something like this could only happen to you! I wish I could say I didn’t laugh at your predicament… but I did. 🙂

    July 30, 2012
    • Myra


      I got stuck in a hospital bathroom a couple of days after I gave birth (in the days when they kept you in hospital for at least six days post partum). Some workmen had gone on lunch and left this door with a broken lock. It was just before visiting time, and they wouldn’t be back until after visiting hour. I could imagine the other patients getting antsy as the relatives wouldn’t be allowed into the ward with me stuck in the bathroom.
      I called for help and could hear the nurses saying, “Oh no, she’s breastfeeding,” when I called my name through the door.
      I was hysterical with laughter at the thought of the nurses having to pass my baby through the window for me to breastfeed if they couldnt get me out. But one enterprising nurse managed to effect my escape, hustled me into bed, and opened the ward doors only five minutes late.

      April 27, 2019
  • My friend got stuck in the toilet of a club we were in. There were 7 of us on a night out. She popped off to the loo and of course we kept up the alcohol supply and much laughter. After half an hour it dawned on us that she had not returned! Had she gone home – fed up with our company or what? She had tried everything to get out of the cubicle, like climbing into the next one, crawl under the door! Finally a bouncer heard her shouts and broke down the door. Hurrah! Don’t lock the toilet door.

    August 6, 2012
  • So so funny! Glad you are safe and sound though. Not what you would want written on your tombstone.


    August 9, 2012
  • I love your blog! You have such a gorgeous sense of style.

    This story literally made me laugh out loud. I have unfortunately found myself locked in a bathroom once or twice too..

    August 15, 2012
  • Natasha


    Poor you! But at least you got this very, very, very funny blog post out of it.

    August 20, 2012
  • I remember being locked in the toilet of a massive shopping centre where no-one could hear my panic. Ditto to a changing room of a tiny shop, you would have thought that the staff might have noticed shoes under the door and not locked in, but no

    June 15, 2014