A Teenager Got Stuck in a Barney Head and I Can Relate

I once got trapped in a dog door.
Publish date:
June 22, 2016
teens, embarassing moments, Stuck, Trapped, Barney

In a practical joke that went awry, Alabama teen Darby Risner found herself trapped in the head of Barney, the purple dinosaur of "I love you, you love me" fame. According to, Risner originally had planned to scare her friends, who were attending a sleepover at their church:

"Darby thought, 'I'm going to scare them when they come downstairs,''' said her mother, Audrey Shannon. "She put the Barney head on and when she sat down on the sofa to wait for them, it dropped. It slipped over her shoulders. When they finally came down, she got up and realized it had dropped so low, she couldn't get it off. It was digging into her."

Neither Darby's friends not parents could free her from her purple prison, as is evidenced by the following, actually kind of disturbing footage:

Eventually the family piled into a minivan and headed down to the fire station where several amused firefighters cut Darby free from her upholstered nightmare. (They didn't want all the hoopla of sirens and whatnot.)

Though I have not experienced this exact sequence of events, I do have a history of getting stuck in embarrassing ways. The time I couldn't walk anywhere because my snake had crawled in the strap of my sandal was pretty funny, but the most embarrassing "help me, I have made an error" story would have to be The Dog Door Incident of 2006.

My parents were out of town, and a friend was staying with me while they were gone. We only ever locked the deadbolt — I didn't even have the key for the bottom lock — and my friend knew this, but her boyfriend did not, so I bet you can guess what happened.

So one afternoon I come home from school to find both locks locked, and I panicked, because my parents' house was very secure. I checked the windows and the sliding glass doors and all were locked. The sliding glass door even had a beam of wood placed in the track, so that was doubly secure. Finally, I remembered the dog door that led into the garage. I was pretty sure the door between the garage and rest of the house was unlocked and, if not, there was a second dog door there too.

I have some hips on me, but felt pretty confident I could shimmy through the canine portal. I was actually mostly concerned about my head fitting through, because my head is very large. My noggin made it through without incident, and the shoulders were kind of a struggle, but my real trouble began when I tried to squeeze my hips through. So there I sat, my torso in the garage, my butt and legs outside, with the dog door encircling my midriff like some sort of weird belt of shame. I don't know how long I just hung out like that, willing my hips to shrink, but it was longer than it should have been. I may have cried a little.

I realized that I had to make a change, and that it was probably going to be a painful change, but my phone was in my back pocket and the only living entities likely to find me were Patrick Swayze or one of his peacocks, as our house was right up against his property. I didn't want Swayze or his living dinosaurs to see me this way, so I hoisted myself into an awkward side plank that was made even more awkward by the fact that my supporting arm was basically asleep.

But eventually I pushed my torso back into the afternoon air, though not without a few scrapes and my shirt being pulled up above my shoulders. I glanced around to make sure no one had been witness to my less than elegant attempt to break into my own house, and called my best friend Stacy, who had both more slender hips and more experience wriggling through dog doors. She made it through in short order, and thus ended my nightmare.

I now have a healthy fear of dog doors.

Have you ever been stuck in a super embarrassing situation? Was it the head of a beloved children's TV character? Was it a damn dog door? Whatever it was, please share and make me feel better.