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[[caption-width-right:350:Fantastic geeks and where to find them.]]

Comedic trope, often found in geekish media, wherein a character, driven by the desire to make sure he sees a movie or band, or purchase a product on its release date, camps out at the location selling them. Often subverted by the character doing so ridiculously early, doing it specifically for the publicity, or for something that he would likely have no problem whatsoever purchasing.

Very much TruthInTelevision, though with the advent of online pre-purchasing, it is slowly becoming a DeadHorseTrope, at least in the sense of buying tickets. After all, most entertainment companies prefer to lock in whatever revenue they can as soon as possible (''especially'' before possibly negative reviews come in). Product releases and Black Friday sales are another matter, especially when it comes to game consoles.

Subtrope to RightOnQueue.


* There's an ad which plays with this trope: it turns out the product is already on the shelves, and the store is already open.
* A recent commercial for a prescription acne treatment shows a teenaged boy camping out -- complete with tent -- in a store's skin care aisle, waiting in vain for a product that will work for him. After he uses advertised product, his restored social life is shown by his chatting with a girl in an outdoor ticket line... under the same tent.

* Carl Hurley, stand-up comedian, often tells a story about a time in college when he and his friends camped for several days in line for sports tickets. They finally get up to the front, the ticket operator asks what they want, and Carl blurts out the first thing that comes to mind, "I want a double cheeseburger with fries." Cue dead silence, the ticket operator telling him they don't serve food there and him trudging off in defeat while the people in line whisper about how tragic it is, him waiting all those days in the wrong line.
* Creator/RonWhite commented on the absurdity of an acquaintance camping out for three days to get Music/GarthBrooks tickets:
-->I wouldn't camp out for three days if I was... ''camping''.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'':
** In one week-long story, [[HollywoodNerd Jason]] camps out in costume to buy tickets to ''Film/AttackOfTheClones''. Online. When his sister points out that he's just sitting in a sleeping bag in the house waiting on the computer for the tickets to go on sale, he replies "It's the thought that counts."
** In one strip from shortly before ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' was released, Peter's movie-theater boss is preparing him for ''Star Wars'' fans, saying that they are normal people despite all the things they like to do, one of which is "Camp out in theaters before the big day"
** Taken UpToEleven in another strip where Peter is working at the same movie theater, when Jason and Marcus ask him where the line to ''Film/TheFellowshipOfTheRing'' is, which at the time of the strip, wouldn't come out for six months. After Peter explains this to him:
--->'''Jason:''' Woo-hoo! We're first! I'll go get our sleeping bags.\\
'''Marcus:''' The popcorn has unlimited refills, right?\\
'''Peter:''' Sir, about my hourly pay...
* One ''ComicStrip/{{Luann}}'' strip is a collection of "Things that are very hard to move". One is "The first person in line for ''[[Film/{{Twilight}} New Moon]]'', represented by a man seeing a tent in front of a cinema, with a sign saying "LINE STARTS BEHIND ME!" taped to the tent, and another saying "LINE STARTS HERE V" taped to the wall behind it.

* In ''Literature/DiaryOfAWimpyKidDogDays'', Greg and Rowley camp in front of a video game store so they can be the first for a tournament. Greg also said Rodrick used to do this a lot before concerts, and it's how he met Bill, Lodëd Diper's (his band's) lead singer.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'': Drew Carey and friends camped out to get tickets to the first new Cleveland Browns game; the guy in front of them at the window only wanted one ticket, and Drew convinced him he should get some for his friends as well. So he got four. Turned out those were the ''last four tickets''. Which is probably best, because otherwise Drew and his friends would have had to decide which one of them was going to be left out. Better none of them go than one left out.
* ''Series/MockTheWeek'' has the panel speculating on how nice it would have been to be camping right at the front of the line for ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', dressed as Darth Maul, and then at the point of sale say, "''Film/TheDaVinciCode'', please."
* ''Series/That70sShow'' has Eric camping out to get tickets to Styx. The next day, he is the only person in line.
* An episode of ''Series/TheCosbyShow'' has the kids trying to persuade the parents to let them camp out for Michael Jackson concert tickets.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has Lily and Robin camping outside a wedding boutique so Lily can get a dress when their sale starts in the morning. Unfortunately, just as they're setting up camp, a nearby car alarm goes off. For twelve hours they sit in their folding chairs, unable to sleep, unable to think as the car keeps blaring incessantly. When the car's owner finally shows up in the morning to turn it off, every woman in the line attacks him.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' has the lab guys camping out in line for the movie ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', one of the most unrealistic Ticket Line Campouts ever portrayed. In fact, they already ''had'' the tickets. They were lining up to get the "best seats."
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' episode "The 21 Second Excitation", Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj camp out for tickets to a special extended cut of ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. They don't get in because Wil Wheaton and his friends have cut in line, so Sheldon sneaks in and steals the movie.
* A later Tori-Era episode of ''Series/SavedByTheBell'' had them waiting out for U2 tickets.

* In ''Theatre/DamnYankees'', Sister and Doris camp out with other Joe Hardy fans in the ticket line for the game in which the Senators are to finally defeat the Yankees.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' games are always released on a weekend in Japan, specifically to prevent people people from skipping work or school in order to camp out to get the new game on a weekday. For some time, there was bill in the Japanese Diet to make this a legal requirement (though almost certainly this was a publicity stunt).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/PvP'': Right before the release of ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'', Francis tries to court publicity by being the first to camp out for Episode Two tickets, eventually secretly replacing himself in line with a robot duplicate. Years later, by the time the movie actually comes out, the theater has shut down, and Francis doesn't get to see the movie on opening day, after all.
* ''Webcomic/UserFriendly'': After reprogramming a Franchise/{{Terminator}} {{Expy}}, the cast uses it to wait in line for ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' tickets.
* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'':
** Gabe decides to [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/3/21/ wait out in the mall]] for the PSP release. It quickly devolves into [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2005/3/23/ Cinnabon employees taunting him.]]
** Gabe and Tycho end up waiting in line for the Wii U release, where [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/11/21 Gabe proves to be gullible]] and [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/11/23 Tycho violates queueing etiquette]].
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' makes references to the camping lines for the Playstation 2 release, which degenerate into [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/33 armed combat.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' [[http://xkcd.com/186/ notes some variations in console campout lines.]]
* ''Webcomic/RealLifeComics'':
** The AuthorAvatar of Greg Dean is camping out to see ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' film. Sadly he's the only one, the real line is across from him, the line for one of ''The Lord of the Rings'' movies. An usher comes out to tell him the line is on the other side. Greg says that he's in the right line, the one for [=H2G2=]. The usher gives him a weird look.
** Also played with when the day after ''Star Wars Episode III'' was released, he tried to be the first person in line for ''Episode IV''. Cue his friends laughter after he leaves to line up, and then an incredibly angry Greg storming in with a DVD of ''A New Hope'', several days later.
* Debbie Ridpath Ohi drew a webcomic called ''Waiting for Frodo'' about people waiting in line for ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movies. She seems to have plans for a ''Waiting for Bilbo'' comic for ''The Hobbit'', but it's still on the first strip. Now that the movie is finally out of development hell, maybe the story will continue.
* [[http://www.arthurkingoftimeandspace.com/0353.htm This]] ''Webcomic/ArthurKingOfTimeAndSpace'' strip, and following ones.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' prequel ''On The Origin of [=PCs=]'', Roy's first mission as an adventurer is helping a town deal with a band of orcs. In the battle, he learns that the orcs aren't raiders, but camping out for concert tickets. The town just overreacted. The concert they're waiting for isn't due for a few more weeks, but the orcs are that determined to get good seats. "Mezzanine seats are sign of weakness."

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'': Luanne's boyfriend Lucky convinces Bobby and Luanne to spend a week camping at the front of the ticket line for Lucky's favorite band. When the week is over [[spoiler:they're still the only people in line to buy tickets]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000", Rainbow Dash drags Fluttershy along at the crack of dawn in order to buy some of the Apple family's cider on the first day of cider season. Unfortunately, there's already a ''huge'' line of ponies camping out by the time they get there. ''(Especially'' eternal early-pony Pinkie Pie!) This was probably supposed to be a subtle TakeThat to the exceedingly devoted fanbase of a certain consumer electronics manufacturer.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Homer Simpson camps for some Springfield Isotopes tickets, and is pleased when there's only one person ahead of him in line (despite a random man telling Homer that he could have saved himself the trouble by actually going to work and earning the money to buy the tickets ahead of time). However, that person proceeds to buy every one of the 30,000 tickets, despite only having ten dollars.
** The line for ''Itchy & Scratchy: TheMovie'', which was long enough to extend through a drawbridge (with a man who falls off, yelling, "I regret nothing!") and all the way to the Simpsons' house.
** Kent Brockman picks an interviewee out of the line waiting to mail their taxes on April 15th.
--->'''Otto:''' '''Taxes?''' I thought this was the line for ''Music/{{Metallica}}''!
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' has Timmy and his friends camping out to get tickets to a Crash Nebula movie. However, Remy Buxaplenty (in his debut appearance) buys all the tickets (one for himself and the rest for his bags of money).
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''. Candace is waiting all night for Phineas and Ferb to have their scheme. When she stands up to explain to her friend Stacy, a random minor character comes in and asks about getting concert tickets. She says no, the guy rebuts that usually there is a concert at the house, but Candace tells him and his buds to get out of her yard.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* VERY MUCH Truth in Television for Jrock concerts, especially for a popular/well-known band. If you even want a chance at getting close to the stage for something featuring a well-known and currently popular artist, expect to at least be there the entire day, for some events, maybe two days. Otherwise, you will be fairly far back and forced to resort to bribery or trying to move through the crowd. . . and if the venue is more organized, you're SOL.
* One of Acclaim's more notorious publicity stunts in its dying years was to pay a guy to say he was camping outside a game store for ''VideoGame/{{Turok}}: Evolution''. A week later, the guy was gone from the store, and never returned.
* During the lead-up to ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' a group of fans gained a little notoriety for lining up for weeks outside Graumann's Chinese theater... a theater that announced that it wouldn't be showing the film.
* A certain spoiler about Literature/HarryPotter was repeatedly announced by those trolling a line for ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince The Half Blood Prince]]'', specifically how [[spoiler:one guy]] killed [[spoiler:another guy]].
** ''Webcomic/{{Wondermark}}'' had [[http://wondermark.com/321/ a funny take]] on the lines for ''Harry Potter''.
* Are you going to a rather big anime convention? Did you remember to pre-register? No? Well then, have fun!
** Did you pre-register anyway and the convention turns out to be staffed by completely incompetent nimrods? Sucks to be you!
* At American universities with successful sports teams, this can be the only way for students to get tickets. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krzyzewskiville Krzyzewskiville]] is the most famous example.
** Some college groups have these set up to get tickets for the big game even when it's totally unnecessary, just for the sake of tradition.
* Briefly fashionable in the United Kingdom during TheEighties, centring around the January Sales when retailers get rid of all the unsold extra stock left over from Christmas; it's our nearest equivalent of Black Friday. Internet shopping has largely killed it off; if it happens these days the participants are likely to be doing it just for the hell of it.
* Items that are insanely popular or are going to be based on brand name alone will always have people lining up at retailers or other stores to have a shot of getting the product. If the thing is ''really'' popular, expect people to camp out at the site overnight.
* Black Friday in the U.S. is basically the trope in traditional form. Because Black Friday has insanely low prices on usually expensive items, people will camp out at the stores in hopes of being the first ones in line so they can rush in and grab the thing they want.