Escape Room Employees Share The Stupidest Things People Have Done To Solve A Puzzle
Escape Rooms are essentially those early 90s point-and-click computer games come to life. You need to possess innovation, creativity, and a lot of ingenuity to find your way out. There are only so many different ways you can figure out how to get that obviously fake phone open so you can retrieve key #3 of 14. Unfortunately, not every idea is a good idea, and many can lead to disaster.
Reddit user, u/RelevantDonkey, wanted to hear:
Redditors who've worked in escape rooms, what's the stupidest thing a person has done trying to solve the puzzle?
Maybe Let's Not Use First Names....
We used to set up rooms for engagements and with each clue we would put in a message. Usually the messages were basic 'would you marry me' type lines.
However, one day a man decided to start the message with his girlfriends first name. She found the clue and freaked out. Starting ripping stuff off the wall, throwing things and shouting down the cameras that we were stalkers and demanding to know why her name was there.
Had to evacuate them both and he never ended up proposing.
It turns out she was super high whilst in the escape room and her paranoia kicked in. But at the time it was mad to watch.
If It's Glued, Just Leave It There
I started as a prop builder/repair guy at one a few months ago so thank you dumbos for the job security but the answer is never under the wallpaper stop tearing the f**king wallpaper down
When It's Your Fault
There was a 4 number lock next to a book case and a person was messing around with it for 15 minutes, trying 0001, 0002 ect., and I wrote "trying brute force?"
They saw the message and then shoulder rammed the book case open. They completely ripped the door frame out and then told my boss that I said to do that.
If It's Stuck, It's Stuck
Honestly, people ripping up parts that are purposefully glued or nailed down, it wrecks the scenery and the story for everyone else, and sometimes if they destroy or steal clues they leave the whole mystery even if it's easy, completely unsolvable.
We Were The Dummies...Giphy
All the clues in mine had to do with a light. So we all started agreeing we needed to dismantle the ceiling light.
A note came under the door saying "don't"
It Was On Hinges...Seriously...
Some moron decided to fbi kick down a door that was the entrance.
He broke the door.
Anything In The Room Is Fair Game, Right?
One of our maintenance contractors left a DeWalt cordless drill on a bookshelf in one of the rooms. No one noticed it for 3 or 4 rounds until one guy found it and came to the conclusion that he was supposed to drill out the locks on the door.
The best part was the drill didn't have an actual drill bit in it, it was one of those bits you use to put screws in so he was basically trying to drill out a steel lock with a screwdriver.
Every Rule Has A Beginning
A local school was hosting one for a few years and my SO volunteered. Families would come in and try to work together to get out of a classroom or lab. As it progressed, new things were added to his opening speech for obvious reasons. These are a few he remembers:
-Dont stick metal objects in wall sockets
-Dont mess with the ceiling lights
-Dont climb on eachother or on desks
-Dont put anything in your mouth
-Dont drink any liquids you find. They are there for decoration
-Dont break anything
These are all obvious, but people had to do it for them to give it special mention.
But In The End, Wasn't He Victorious?
It was a friday evening so you know where this might go. Anyway we had a bunch of drunk college kids and one of them clearly had a few too many. After about 20 minutes of them arguing and yelling at each other the most intoxicated one thought it would be a great idea to drop his pants and sh-t on the floor.
He cheered while he was getting dragged out because the thought he "won".
Too Smart For Our Own Good
I was not the worker but the player. Went with my uncle aunt and younger sister. The theme was like a super smart tech dude had passed and we had to find the password to the computer in the room and also find the floppy disk that held the files needed to escape. We searched and my uncle works in IT, so we had the binary code and the Morse code puzzles down. We found everything and logged into the computer but couldn't find the files.
My uncle rebooted the computer with the floppy disk four times before we ran out of time. Turns out we didn't need to reboot the old pc with the floppy, we just had to look at the floppy disk name and find the corresponding file on the computer. The employees gave us the win any ways because all we had to do was open the file to complete the room.
Not Sure How That Would Help...
A man pissed in a jar with a fake brain in it because he was drunk.
Didn't help in any way.
A Mess To Success
Good God, I volunteer at a local escape room, hoping to get a job there, and I have seen some sh-t. One of our rooms is a fantasy themed escape room, and in one of the areas there is a cauldron filled with brimming water, with a machine that causes steam to be released.
One group thought that the cauldron was a clue, and emptied the whole thing on the floor.
Not The Key. NOT THE KEY.
One time somebody managed to somehow shut down the electricity for the entire building. That was nice.
People always, always think you're double-bluffing, even when you make it very clear you're not. We used to have two keys in a room, one that opened a window and one that opened the door. The window key specifically said "window key - DO NOT USE IN DOOR" because the window key would jam the door lock. This was ignored roughly 80% of the time.
Right Idea, Wrong Execution
Oh perfect one for me! So our escape room was classroom themed and there was a puzzle where you needed to use a barrel of monkeys (which we lay out as a hint) to hook a key out of a box to open a closet. Well this family had the genius idea of throwing the individual monkeys at the key from above instead of connecting them, even after I gave them multiple hints.
They didn't make it into the closet.
Been working at one for two years. You get a lot of standard people-breaking-sh-t and stuff like that, but my personal favourite dumbf-ckery was when a couple were working on a clue that required converting numbers into letters of the alphabet.
To promt them along, i asked them "What is the fifteenth letter of the alphabet?"
This girl turned around with pure, utter disgust on her face and said "There's not even fifteen letters in the f-cking alphabet!"
They didn't make it out.
Naked Door Pounding
Escape room employee here, I've only been at the shop for a few months but here's a few of my co-workers favorite experiences...
The escape room I work at is all horror themed, one guest came in asking if it was a haunted house. We explained to her that no, we are a horror themed escape room and gave her the whole spiel about how escape rooms work. She ended up going into our most advanced room even though being recommended the beginner one. She sat in one of the chairs in the room texting the whole time, didn't touch or look for any puzzles. When her time was up she said that we were the worst haunted house she has been to and left us a 1 star review on google.
Another time a couple got about 70% of the way though the escape room and decided 'f-ck it' and just took off their clothes and started banging on the floor... when my coworker went to kick them out the just said "Sorry, we didn't realize you had cameras in the rooms."
Lastly the amount of lighters I have to confiscate is ridiculous. You are locked in a small space some rooms are full of fabric. Don't use your lighter. I don't want to be responsible from saving you from a fire.
Again With The Lights?
Not a worker, but the first time my Girl Scout troop and I ever did an escape room, we were three steps off finishing when we ran out of time. The first thing the employee did when he came into the room?
Turn the lights on. We didn't know we were allowed to do that.
Plug =/= KeyGiphy
I went to one once where they informed us on the way in "You will find keys. They go in padlocks. The outlets on the wall are REAL and not hidden locks. For the love of god, please do not stick keys in them."
What's the dumbest thing you've ever seen in an escape room? Let us know!
You know it's not a great place to work when employees band together to walk out. Literally.
Unions were basically created for this reason, by having the working people band together to fight against being mistreated by corporations, they create power in numbers. Even without a formal union, there is still power in numbers--no company wants to be tasked with explaining themselves like that.