[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shirley_maclaine_jack_lemmon_the_apartment_1960.jpeg]]

->'''J.D. Sheldrake''': You know, you see a girl a couple of times a week, just for laughs, and right away they think you're gonna divorce your wife. Now I ask you, is that fair?
->'''C.C. Baxter''': No, sir, it's very ''un''fair... especially to your wife.

The UsefulNotes/AcademyAward winner for Best Picture of 1960, ''The Apartment'' stars Creator/JackLemmon and Creator/ShirleyMacLaine, and was directed, produced, and co-written by Creator/BillyWilder.

C.C. "Buddy Boy" Baxter (Lemmon), a lowly office drone at a big New York City insurance firm, has just found the solution for climbing up the corporate food chain: let the company bigwigs use his apartment as a trysting place for their extramarital affairs. His boss, J.D. Sheldrake (Creator/FredMacMurray), discovers this, and promotes Baxter on the condition that he lets him use the apartment for his own affair. Naturally, Baxter accepts the condition, but things turn very complicated when he finds out that his crush, elevator operator Fran Kubelik ([=MacLaine=]), is Sheldrake's other woman.

The film would later go on to be adapted as the 1968 musical ''Theatre/PromisesPromises''.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* {{Adorkable}}: Baxter, in his lighter moods.
* BetterLivingThroughEvil: What Sheldrake gives Baxter.
* BreakUpMakeUpScenario: When Baxter proves to Fran that he is a "mensch".
* BungledSuicide: Baxter tells Miss Kubelik he attempted suicide once, and ended up accidentally shooting himself in the knee.
* CatchYourDeathOfCold: Baxter is forced to sleep in the park for hours until someone is through with the apartment, and he gets a nasty cold and fever.
* ChekhovsGun: "...And I've already taken a sleeping pill so I'm afraid the answer is no?"
** The key to the executive washroom.
** Then inverted with the only actual gun, establishing Billy Wilder's absolutely mastery of all things trope.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: J.D. Sheldrake.
* CrappyHolidays: Christmas and New Year's are both miserable affairs for Baxter and Miss Kubelik. At least until the very end of the film.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Until ''Film/SchindlersList'', this was the last black and white film to win Best Picture.
* DidIMentionItsChristmas: The film takes place around Christmas and New Year's, but the holidays don't have much to do with the story other than to underscore the emptiness of the characters' lives.
* DigitalDestruction: The Collector's Edition DVD and Blu-Ray[[note]]released in 2008 and 2012, respectively[[/note]] looked overly dark, and vertically compressed. The 2017 restoration corrected these issues.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Baxter.
* DrowningMySorrows: Baxter, when he learns Miss Kubelik is Mr. Sheldrake's other woman.
* EspeciallyZoidberg: This exchange, also serving as IronicEcho to the prior conversation:
-->'''Baxter:''' You're not going to bring anybody to my apartment.
-->'''Sheldrake:''' I'm not just bringing anybody; I'm bringing Miss Kubelik.
-->'''Baxter:''' ''Especially'' not Miss Kubelik.
* GrewASpine: Baxter eventually refuses to loan his apartment to Sheldrake again, and quits instead.
-->'''Sheldrake:''' What's gotten into you, Baxter?
-->'''Baxter:''' Just following doctor's orders. I've decided to become a mensch. You know what that means? A human being.
* IUhYouToo: Baxter confesses his love to Miss Kubelik while they play Gin Rummy. She responds with this classic line:
-->"Shut up and deal."
* InterruptedSuicide: Miss Kubelik tries to kill herself when she realized Mr. Sheldrake didn't really love her back. Baxter and Dr. Dreyfuss prevent her from becoming an example of DrivenToSuicide.
* KarmaHoudini: The four executives who were using Bud's apartment. They take advantage of Baxter, cheat on their wives with ridiculous frequency and in the end only Bud gets punched in the face.
* LastNameBasis: Bud and Fran always refer to each other as "Miss Kubelik" and "Mr. Baxter", in and out of the workplace; even when he tells her that he loves her, he uses her last name. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Dr. Dreyfuss:
-->"Mister, Miss. Such politeness."
* LoveTriangle: Baxter loves Miss Kubelik, Kubelik loves Sheldrake, Sheldrake just wants a bit on the side. In the end Miss Kubelik leaves Sheldrake when she hears that Baxter finally stood up to him, and goes running to Baxter's apartment.
* MaybeEverAfter: Baxter seems to be totally head over heels about Fran; she, on the other part, is severely traumatized by her past love experience and had only realized a few minutes ago that he is a guy who can make her happy. Though she came back to his titular apartment on the New Year Eve for the film's ending, they don't share a kiss or even embrace, and she doesn't reciprocate his love confession. However, her glowing smile and a hint that she's left her abusive romantic interest for good allow enough space for optimism, along with the immortal last line: "Shut up and deal."
* TheMistress: Miss Kubelik.
* MoralMyopia: The other executives -- who are cheating on their wives and depriving Baxter of his home whenever it suits them in order to do so -- get outraged and act as if they're the ones being wronged when Baxter finally pulls the plug for them.
* NewYearHasCome: The film climaxes at midnight.
* NiceHat: Baxter gets a bowler hat after his promotion.
-->"It's what they call the 'junior executive' model."
* OpeningMonologue
* PrettyInMink: Miss Kubelik has a coat with a huge lynx collar.
* RaceForYourLove: [[ZigzaggedTrope Zigzagged]]. In the film's last scenes, Miss Kubelik leaves Sheldrake on New Year's Eve and runs to Baxter's apartment - but she's just hurrying to him, rather than running against any particular thing. Then, as Kubelik's almost there, she hears a noise suspiciously similar to a gunshot - and runs faster... only to see Baxter with an opened bottle of champagne. In the end it turns out he ''was'' going to leave the titular apartment for good.
* RecycledPremise: Billy Wilder decided to write a movie about a man who lends his apartment to adulterers after watching ''Film/BriefEncounter'', and becoming intrigued by how willingly the male lead's friend would let him carry out an affair in his flat.
* CrappyHolidays: SantaClaus calls in at the bar where Baxter is drowning his sorrows, but his cheerful wisecracking is no match for the glum stare that Baxter gives him. At the end of the night we see Santa himself sitting morosely at the bar, all alone.
* ScreenToStageAdaptation: Adapted as the Broadway {{musical}} ''Theatre/PromisesPromises'', with a book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David.
* {{Sexiled}}: An interesting variation, where there are no actual roommates, forms the whole premise of the film: Baxter's work colleagues constantly borrow the key of his apartment, so that they can use it for philandering.
* ShoutOut:
** The shot where the camera swoops in to find Baxter at one in a sea of desks is a {{homage}} to King Vidor's 1928 silent classic, ''Film/TheCrowd''.
** Trying to schedule a tryst with one of the company switchboard operators, one of the bosses suggests they meet at the apartment on Thursday night. "Thursday? But that's ''Series/TheUntouchables'' with Bob Stack!"
** Baxter attempts to watch ''Film/GrandHotel'' on television but gives up when it keeps getting interrupted by commercials.
** Baxter gets tickets to ''Theatre/TheMusicMan'' from Sheldrake and tries to take Miss Kubelik to the show.
** One of Billy Wilder's own earlier films gets a Shout Out when Kirkeby tells Dobisch about Miss Kubelik staying at Baxter's apartment:
--->'''Dobisch:''' No kidding. Buddy-boy and Kubelik having themselves a little toot!
--->'''Kirkeby:''' Toot? More like a [[Film/TheLostWeekend lost weekend]]. Neither of them showed up for work today.
** "Sheldrake" was also the name of the movie producer in Wilder's ''Film/SunsetBoulevard''.
* SleepingWithTheBoss: Miss Kubelik. Who, as she learns from Miss Olsen, is only the latest in a long string of office conquests for Sheldrake.
* StalkerWithACrush: Baxter's rather unnervingly thorough knowledge of Miss Kubelik hints at this.
* SuddenPrincipledStand: When Sheldrake asks Baxter for the key to his apartment for (unbeknownst to him) the final time, Baxter decides to finally cut everyone off from using his home as an adultery pad and to become a mensch.
* TakeThat[=/=]NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: TheDitz that Dobisch takes to the apartment is a thinly veiled lampoon of Creator/MarilynMonroe. Billy Wilder had earlier directed Monroe in ''Film/TheSevenYearItch'' and ''Film/SomeLikeItHot'', and didn't think much of her professionalism. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] when Dobisch even mentions that the girl looks like Marilyn Monroe.
* ThemeTuneCameo: The pianist at the bar where Fran meets Sheldrake plays the title theme for her when she enters.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The original trailer almost immediately reveals the movie's closing scene.
* UnfortunateImplications: Deliberately invoked in-universe when Sheldrake hands Miss Kubelik the money.
* UrbanLegendLoveLife: Baxter's neighbors see all the girls cycling through the apartment and come to the conclusion that he's TheCasanova.
* VerbalTic: The office workers in the film have the habit of adding the suffix ''-wise'' to words. At one point, Baxter even says "otherwise-wise".
** The {{tagline}} on the movie's original poster: "Movie-wise, there has never been anything like ''The Apartment'' love-wise, laugh-wise, or otherwise-wise!"
** Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond's screenplay ends thusly, following Miss Kubelik's "Shut up and deal" line:
--->"Bud begins to deal, never taking his eyes off her. Fran removes her coat, starts picking up her cards and arranging them. Bud, a look of pure joy on his face, deals -- and deals -- and keeps dealing.\\
\\
And that's about it. Story-wise."
* WhamShot: Baxter looks at Fran's cracked mirror and realizes [[ChekhovsGun it's the same one he'd found in the apartment and given back to Sheldrake earlier.]]
* YiddishAsASecondLanguage: Dr. Dreyfuss encourages Baxter to "be a ''mensch''", while Mrs. Lieberman opines that the bad weather "must be from all that ''meshugaas'' at Cape Canaveral".
* YourCheatingHeart: All of the corporate men in the company are cheating on their wives.
* YourMakeupIsRunning: Miss Kubelik lampshades this trope when cleaning up her face after a cry.
-->"When you're in love with a married man, you shouldn't wear mascara."
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