The 27 Stages Of Being Trapped In Ikea

Ikea is good value and great fun. If you can ever find your way out.

1. Ikea. The world’s not-built-yet furniture store. The home of meatballs and arguing couples.

Olivier Pon / Reuters
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2. You step through the celebratory Swedish balloons. Either that or you’re crashing the world’s worst birthday party.

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3. “OOH that’s cheap,” you say, spotting a small piece of furniture that you don’t really need. You have no idea of the horror that is to come.

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4. Stock up on little pencils to write down all the things you can’t afford to buy.

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5. You have your yellow bag and shopping trolley. The helpful arrows show you the way to go.

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6. The signs tell you where you can go. And where you can’t. Deviance is not tolerated.

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8. You slowly realize the “shortcuts” to the exits don’t exist. After two hours you slowly realize you will spend the rest of your life in Ikea.

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9. The technology is no use.

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10. You find evidence of previous captives.

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11. Step into a sinister semi-houses with Mondrianesque curtains. No one’s actual house looks like this.

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12. Celebrate Drake’s birthday? Ikea isn’t really friends with Drake.

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13. You can hide, but they will find you.

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14. Not even Nic Cage can save you.

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15. Gaze upon the inhabitants of Ikea world. With their perfect mocking faces.

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16. Admire the tables, always set for a spooky dinner that will never happen.

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17. You wonder why Ikea doesn’t make anything just that little bit more exciting.

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18. You may laugh at the moderately funny Swedish names for things.

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19. And wonder what these wicker animals would say if they could talk. Probably, “How do we get out?”

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20. You search, in vain, for the Ikea Monkey, who has yet to make an appearance in Croydon.

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21. Be careful not to contract “casserole crazy,” a condition that sadly affects 1 in 20 Ikea shoppers.

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22. Kill some time in the cavernous downstairs area full of boxes imagining you are in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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23. Then play the exciting game “How the Hell Are We Going to Fit All This in the Car?”

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24. Which is a foretaste of the “Why is There a Piece Missing?” game

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25. When you see the bill, you wonder why you didn’t just get your furniture from readily available sources.

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26. If it’s all too much you can always indulge in some meatballs. Or because the café is so rammed, try a no frills hot dog.

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27. Until, finally, you find freedom.

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And a weekend of shouting at furniture.

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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