Created By: LMage on November 23, 2011 Last Edited By: Eustis on August 11, 2014
Troped

Elevator Conference

Instant private meeting just add elevator

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Trope
Needs a Better Title, Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples, Up for Grabs

So, you need to discuss something in private but are in a crowded building full of folks that could work for the Big Bad or something similar. So you and your confidant hop into the nearest elevator, wait for the doors to close and BAM instant perfectly secure and private conference. Or alternatively, it's just to get some sexy times. No one ever faces consequences for this. Ever.

Often this is also done by hitting the emergency button to buy some extra-time.

This is not such a common occurrence in Real Life as media would lead you to believe, most emergency buttons of any nature are linked to alarms.

Examples

Film
  • The movie Class has a scene with a "private" moment... in a glass panoramic elevator in Water Tower Place in Chicago.
  • Lampshaded in Dragonball Z Battle Of Gods when King Kai and Goku need to discuss the re-emergence of the God of Destruction, Lord Beerus. Instead of an elevator, the pair drive around King Kai's comically small planet several times on screen.

Live-Action TV
  • Gibbs from NCIS does this with his old CIA buddy, so that the buddy can pass information regarding a leak in the agency that may have lead to the crime of the week. Gibbs even refers to it as their "usual conference room"!
  • An episode of That's So Raven features Raven trapped with her boss and her boss's friend-turned-rival having out their issues in the middle of the elevator ride. The boss pushed the button when it looked like they where about to get into a fight and Raven panicked and tried to persuade them to wait until they where out of the elevator before going at it. They ignored her.
  • Happens a LOT in the turbolifts in all of the Star Trek franchises. Usually when one character is angry at another, they'll hold the turbolift so they can have it out in private.
    • In this expanded universe deck plans, there are actually places built into the ship for the turbolifts to move aside so a lift on "hold" can allow another lift to pass it.
  • On the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, Del Boy's brother Rodney was going through depression after his wife Cassandra miscarried. When he and Rodney got in a lift, Del Boy pressed the emergency stop button and pretended the lift was broken so they could have some time to talk about it.
  • In Friends, "The One with... Ross's Teeth" Rachel is having trouble getting her boss, Kim, to acknowledge her in the elevator on the way to the office each morning. Until...
    Rachel: So I hear the Ralph Lauren fooled around with someone in the copy room.
    Kim slams on the emergency brake button.
    Kim: Tell me everything.
  • Subverted at least once on Babylon 5. During a Lower-Deck Episode called A View From The Gallery, two main characters have a heated conversation about an ongoing issue that has consequences for multiple star systems, while sharing the elevator with two inconsequential technicians. The technicians shrug it off as a normal occurrence.
  • Angel the series featured an impromptu elevator meeting with Angel pressing the make-it-go-button to try and get things moving and Cordy slapping the make-it-stop-button to try and talk sense into him.

Real Life
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • November 23, 2011
    ParadiscaCorbasi
    Spelling correction: it's "conference" you're after.

    And it's not always a private conference.

    There have been at least a few movies where the elevator emergency stop button is used for two people to get their freak on.

  • November 23, 2011
    aschwartz07901
    its a good premise, but i don't think there are nearly enough examples. sadly I'm pretty sure that you'd have to switch it to an elevator sex trope or something. There's a lot more examples for that
  • November 23, 2011
    JonnyB
    Happens a LOT in the turbolifts in all of the Star Trek franchises. Usually when one character is angry at another, they'll hold the turbolift so they can have it out in private.
  • November 24, 2011
    StevenT
    On the British sitcom Only Fools And Horses, Del Boy's brother Rodney was going through depression after his wife Cassandra miscarried. When he and Rodney got in a lift, Del Boy pressed the emergency stop button and pretended the lift was broken so they could have some time to talk about it.
  • November 25, 2011
    Fanra
    Happens a LOT in the turbolifts in all of the Star Trek franchises. Usually when one character is angry at another, they'll hold the turbolift so they can have it out in private.

    Does anyone ever get called out for doing this? I mean they are blocking the tube preventing other people from getting to their destination. The ship does have private rooms, after all...
  • November 25, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    Used in every hospital drama ever (probably because its the only place in a hospital where you could lever in a private conversation). I'd call this an Omnipresent Trope in that genre. Seen It A Million Times.
  • December 5, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Happens a LOT in the turbolifts in all of the Star Trek franchises. Usually when one character is angry at another, they'll hold the turbolift so they can have it out in private.
    Does anyone ever get called out for doing this? I mean they are blocking the tube preventing other people from getting to their destination. The ship does have private rooms, after all...
    In this expanded universe deck plans, there are actually places built into the ship for the turbolifts to move aside so a lift on "hold" can allow another lift to pass it.
  • December 5, 2011
    Oreochan
    I found another typo.You mean the Big Bad not the Big Bag
  • December 6, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    The movie Class has a scene with a "private" moment... in a glass panoramic elevator. I think this in Water Tower Place in Chicago.
  • December 6, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    Usually subverted in real life; in most elevators, pressing the stop button triggers an alarm.
  • December 8, 2011
    SchrodingersDuck
    In Friends, "The One With Ross's Teeth" Rachel is having trouble getting her boss, Kim, to acknowledge her in the elevator on the way to the office each morning. Until...

    Rachel: So I hear the Ralph Lauren fooled around with someone in the copy room.
    Kim slams on the emergency brake button.
    Kim: Tell me everything.
  • December 8, 2011
    AFP
    The practice of using a halted turbolift as an ad hoc private meeting area gets lampshaded in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, after one such meeting concludes only to reveal a very annoyed Doctor McCoy waiting to board when the doors open.
    McCoy: Who's been holding up the damn elevator?
  • December 9, 2011
    JonnyB
    ^ Nice observation!
  • December 9, 2011
    Rytex
    Spelling correction. "Gibs" has two Bs. It should be "Gibbs."
  • December 9, 2011
    MidnightMan
    • The Secret Of My Success contains a variation of this trope: Brantley Foster stops the lift he's in to use it as an impromptu dressing room and come out as Carlton Whitfield.
  • December 10, 2011
    AFP
    • Subverted at least once on Babylon 5. During a Lower Deck Episode called A View From The Gallery, two main characters have a heated conversation about an ongoing issue that has consequences for multiple star systems, while sharing the elevator with two inconsequential technicians. The technicians shrug it off as a normal occurrence.
  • December 27, 2011
    AFP
    Bump, this has enough examples, it certainly seems tropable. It mainly needs a better name.

    Elevator Conference?
  • December 27, 2011
    LMage
    ^ That might not be specific enough...But I can't think of anything else.
  • December 27, 2011
    Premonition45
    Seconding Elevator Conference. Or how about Elevator Conversation?
  • December 27, 2011
    AFP
    Maybe make the "Emergency Stop" conversation a variation on a trope about using elevators for private conversations? It's fairly typical to get two characters alone to talk in an elevator even without having to stall it midway. So two characters talking in the lift is Type A, and two characters stalling an elevator to ensure they aren't interrupted is Type B.

    If one person doesn't want to have the conversation, this would overlap with Uncomfortable Elevator Moment.
  • December 29, 2011
    surgoshan
    • Angel the series featured an impromptu elevator meeting with Angel pressing the make-it-go-button to try and get things moving and Cordy slapping the make-it-stop-button to try and talk sense into him.
  • December 29, 2011
    JonnyB
  • January 17, 2012
    SchrodingersDuck
    Bump, anyone willing to launch? If not, I will.
  • January 17, 2012
    CharacterInWhite
    There is actually a bit of Truth In Television:

    In the entertainment industry, the phrase "Elevator Pitch" means any attempt to sell your script/idea/show to an executive in the space of an elevator ride (i.e. between 30 seconds and two minutes). While most elevator pitches aren't actually done in an elevator, they can be, and on occasion a creator/producer/writer will find themselves in an elevator alone with an executive who has their undivided attention for the duration of the ride.

    Also one more typo: you want "confidant", not "confident".
  • January 17, 2012
    WittyBubble
    Another example: on iCarly Gibby traps Mrs. Benson in an elevator to tell her about Sam and Freddie's relationship
  • May 18, 2013
    Arivne
    Corrected all the spelling errors I could find, Namespaced and italicized work titles, divided examples by media type, and Pot Holed "get some sexy times" to Elevator Going Down.
  • July 7, 2013
    CrypticMirror
    bmp
  • December 4, 2013
    AFP
    I'd forgotten about this one. Bump. Any thoughts? Tropable? Ready to launch? Areas for improvement?
  • December 4, 2013
    CrypticMirror
  • December 4, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 7, 2014
    AFP
    Only two hats, but plenty of examples. If nobody has a problem with this, I'll clean it up and launch it in a day or two.
  • August 8, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    Little bit of rearrangement with the NCIS example: Members of Gibbs' team using the elevator as an impromptu meeting room is pretty much a Running Gag.
  • August 8, 2014
    Premonition45
    In Ghostbusters, Peter, Ray and Egon discuss their proton packs during their elevator ride.
    Ray: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment.
    Egon: I blame myself.
    Peter: So do I.
    Ray: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.
  • August 8, 2014
    SpiderRider3
    The description has some accuracy issues. People don't hit the emergency button for this in real life not because it sounds an alarm, but because real life elevators don't have emergency stop buttons. The emergency call button contacts the building's management if the elevator malfunctions and stops, not the other way around.
  • August 8, 2014
    DAN004
    May be subverted if there's a security camera in the elevator.
  • August 9, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    The Scrubs episode "His Story" has The Janitor purposefully trap J.D. in the elevator, intending to use it as his private revenge chamber. Thankfully, for J.D., the elevator is fixed before he tie J.D. up like he was intending.
  • August 9, 2014
    dexterian120
    In Dexter, I'm fairly sure half of La Guerta and Batista's relationship moments happened in an elevator
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