We recently had a VHS tape stuck in our VHS/DVD player. It refused to play or eject and the player would automatically shut off after a few seconds, so we couldn't even put in a DVD. (My son was very pleased about this since his math is on DVD!)
I googled for a solution and found this website. Here is the advice I followed and after several attempts, I was finally able to pry the tape out:
"I just had a tape stuck in a VCR/TV combo so went on the Internet for help and all other answers were to take the top off the VCR which of course is not possible with a tv combo.
While stuck, the power would turn on. It would just emit a low moan-whining noise for a few seconds starting strong then running down and then power off. Couldn't watch TV in that state, it would automatically power off.
So I got down comfortable on the floor, eye level with the input slot and pressed the power button. Then quickly inserted my fingers in the tape load slot and using my middle fingers continuously began pushing up on the top edge of the cassette in a stiff but quick flicking motion over and over again (like trying to physically force the tape up with intermittent prodding short and quick strokes so it could clear the lip if the eject mechanism kicked in) while simultaneously pressing and holding the eject button with my other hand and after a few tries and 5 or six upward prods on the front top edge of the cassette, the eject mechanism activated and spit out the tape."
It really works! The tape was ruined, but at least we were able to use the DVD player and my son is back to moaning about math.
That sure Works For Me! (Except for the moaning.) Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more tips.