Elevator Floor Announcement
"Ground floor: Perfumery, stationery, and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and food. Going up... "A stock phrase associated with department store elevators, which in Real Life often emit a prerecording that lists the "departments" of the current floor. (In the days of live elevator operators, it was typically the operator's job to do this.) Typically the formula is two normal items and a plot relevant item, though this can be mixed up by having another mundane item after the plot-relevant item. The plot-relevant item is often jarringly discordant with the other mundane items: see Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick. If the department store's policy is "We Sell Everything" then the resulting Long List can sometimes become an Overly Long Gag. Often The Elevator from Ipanema. Might appear inside the elevators of a Sapient Ship. Always included as part of an Elevator Gag. Also invoked as a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner for someone "dramatically" entering or ascending to a floor.
— Are You Being Served? theme song
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Used in the third part of the Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged movie. "First floor: homicidal ex-partners".
- In With Strings Attached, there's a scene where the four have been shrunk, but George manages to get himself back to normal height. When he picks up the others to put them on his head (he can't carry them in his pockets because he's naked), he says “Top floor, hair oil, wigs, dandruff.” The others are too agitated to laugh.
- Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space. The Long List of floors in the Supervillain Lair includes Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of Minor Inconvenience, a storage floor for Cardboard Boxes and a Mime School.
Films — Animation
- Appears in Flushed Away during the big finale:
Le Frog: Top floor! Lingerie, housewares, and certain doom!
Films — Live-Action
- The Audience Participation lines for The Rocky Horror Picture Show use this trope during the elevator ride early in the movie:
"First floor, lamps and curtains. Second floor, stupid questions. Third floor, stupid answers. Fourth floor, absolutely nothing. Fifth floor, show me something tall, green, and sexy! It's Bryant Gumby! It's Kermit the Fag! It's Janet Reno in a Star Trek outfit!"
"First floor, pineapple-shaped dildos. Second floor, stupid questions. Third floor, midget's room. Fourth floor, Stevie Wonder's room. Fifth floor, who's that guy all dressed in green? That's no man, it's a gay marine, don't ask, don't tell, HOO-AH!
- Of course, every location has different lines, but another one goes:
"First floor, weird musical numbers. Second floor, stupid questions. Third floor, strange answers. Fourth floor, Stevie Wonder's workshop. (Don't worry, he can't see it either!) Top floor, mad laboratory."
- The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has a song about all the tortures in the good doctor's dungeon:
First floor dungeon
Assorted simple tortures
Molten lead, chopping blocks and hot boiling oil
Second floor dungeon
Leg chains, ankle chains, neck chains, wrist chains, thumbscrews and nooses of the very finest rope
Third floor dungeon
- The third floor dungeon was cut from the film for some reason:
Spike beds, electric chairs, gas chambers, roasting pots, and scalping devices.
- In his typical fashion, Officer Vickers in Psycho Cop Returns says this when gets on a lift:
Vickers: Seventh floor, going up. Linens, luxury, eviscerated women.
- Deconstructing Harry has the voice on the Hellevator read out:
Floor five: Subway muggers, aggressive panhandlers, and book critics.
Floor six: Right-wing extremists, serial killers, lawyers who appear on television.
Floor seven: The media. Sorry, that floor is all filled up.
Floor eight: Escaped war criminals, TV evangelists, and the NRA.
- Marco makes a joke along these lines in Animorphs, book 7, The Stranger.
Marco: (elevator music is playing) Top floor. Ladies shoes. Children's apparel. Everyone out.
- The Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter has an elevator that announces and describes the departments on each floor — the punchline being that the Department of Mysteries is referred to only as the Department of Mysteries.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe: Castin Donn wishes the Empire would label the insides of its turbolift tubes. (Don't even ask why he's inside the elevator shaft. Just don't.)
- This kind of announcement message was used straight in the theme tune of Are You Being Served?, which made sense, since it was set in a department store.
Ground floor: Perfumery,
Stationery and leather goods,
Wigs and haberdashery,
Kitchenware and food...
First floor: Telephones,
Gents' ready-made suits,
Shirts, socks, ties, hats,
Underwear and shoes...
Second floor: Carpets,
Travel goods and bedding,
Material, soft furnishings,
Restaurant and teas...
- Taken to extremes, as usual, by Monty Python's Flying Circus, in episode 41 ("Michael Ellis"):
Basement: Dangerous gases, viruses, contagious diseases, restaurant and toilet fixings.
Ground floor: Menswear, boyswear, effeminate goods hall, ill health foods.
Mezzanine: Tableware, kitchen goods, soft furnishings, hard furnishings, rock-hard furnishings.
First floor: Complaints.
Second floor: Cosmetics, jewellery, electrical, satire.
Third floor: Nasal injuries hall, other things.
Fourth floor: Granite hall — rocks, shales, alluvial deposits, feldspar, Carpathians, Andes, Urals, mining requisites, atom-splitting service.
Fifth floor: Complaints.
Sixth floor: Complaints.
Seventh floor: Leather goods.
Eighth floor: Roof garden.
Ninth floor: Television aerials.
Tenth floor: Fresh air, clouds, occasional periods of sunshine.
Lift Woman: Second floor... stationery, leather goods, tribal head injuries, cricket bats, film stars, dolphinariums.
- Later on in the same store, a "Lift Woman" (elevator attendant) calls out:
Lift Woman: Third floor... cosmetics, books, Irish massage, tribal head-gear, ants... but not complaints about ants!
- One episode of M*A*S*H:
Hawkeye: Here we are. First floor. Lingerie, sportswear, elephant accessories and recuperating patients.
- Kari spoofs this in one episode of MythBusters:
Kari: Aaand on this level, we have lumber, explosives and women's lingerie.
Grant: (wide-eyed Aside Glance)
- "Love in an Elevator" by Aerosmith has an introduction in the video based on this trope. The album version too:
"Second floor, hardware, children's wear, lady's lingerie. Oh, good morning Mr. Tyler...going down?"
- "Paco!" by Ladytron.
Ground floor: ladies' clothes, sportswear, stationery
First floor: kitchenware, furnishings, confectionary
Second floor: children's toys, back to school, many more
Fourth floor: electronics, fake antiques, and lingerie
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Hardware Store" song uses an extensive (and somewhat unusual) list of merchandise as the bridge.
- Industrial band Coil covered the Are You Being Served? theme song on their final album. (Your guess is as good as mine.)
- On the old Abbott and Costello radio show, during World War II, Mel Blanc (acting as Bugs Bunny), was an elevator operator in a department store, quoting "Cigarettes, Nylons, Rubber Tires, Gasoline, Sugar, and other picture postcards!" — each item listed was rationed for the war effort.
- On Adventures in Odyssey episode "The last great adventure of the summer" Agent Cat's Paw announces "Top floor: Lady's shoes, hand bags, international spies."
- "Elevator Song" from the musical Top Banana.
- Used in Tomb Raider: Chronicles:
Zip: Bing! Ground floor. Depart here for gun-toting refrigerator men and long walk back upstairs!
- Daxter in Jak II: Renegade: "Ding ding, third floor! Body chains, roach food, torture devices!"
- Gears of War 2:
Baird: Bottom floor! Sporting goods, lingerie, and one bitch-ass queen!
- Captain America: Super Soldier:
Cap: Top floor! Ladies hosiery and anti-aircraft guns.
- Monkey King from Pirate101 gives a series of these with a Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick while ascending a traitorous Yakooza's tea house.
Monkey King: First Floor! Stationary! Sportswear! Rubber mallets... and pig archers!Monkey King: Second Floor! Children's toys, Kitchenware! Confectionery.. and Yaketeers!Monkey King: Third Floor! Molten Lead! Chopping blocks! Hot boiling oil.. and evil sorcerers!Monkey King: Top Floor! Frying Pans! Razor Blades! Ladies garments... wannabe Yakooza Oyobuns! Everybody out!
- One of the stylized question-number introductions in You Don't Know Jack Volume 3: "15th floor: lingerie, housewares, and useless trivia."
- During the Battle of Azure City in The Order of the Stick, Xykon says "DING! 8th floor: Men's Outerwear, Sporting Goods, and Rifts in the Fabric of the Universe." as he floats up the side of the tower.
- In Adventurers, Khrima's personal rival, helping out Eternion, makes an appearance with Lumi with this line. He even appears in a cosmic elevator of some sort.
Garshak: Ding! Third floor! Cookware, men's socks, battles for the fate of the universe, and giftwrapping!
- This Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures strip.
- This Angel Moxie strip.
Alex: Top floor, big angry demon lords.
- The Batman, "The Everywhere Man". The title villain uses "Penthouse Level! Nefarious plots, brilliant schemes, doomed heroes."
- Appeared in Cyberchase a few times.
- Flash in the Justice League two-parter with Etrigan, "A Knight of Shadows".
Flash: Ding! Fifth floor — hardware, sporting goods, evil sorceresses!
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends:
Iceman: First floor, bees! Second floor, bees! Third floor — biiiig bees!
- The Spectacular Spider-Man:
Mysterio: Second floor. Toys, Housewares, Superhero Defeat!
- From Spider-Man Unlimited:
Spider-Man: Basement level! Household linens, kitchenware, superheroes in need of breathing space!
- On Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo does this while riding the house elevator with Mac. Halfway through he runs out of things to say and pesters Mac for ideas.
- Played straight in an episode of Rocko's Modern Life, with Rocko announcing the departments on each floor. Every floor sold "underpants".
- In the episode Make Tracks of The Transformers, Cosmos rescues an elevator full of people in freefall:
Cosmos: First floor. Movie theaters, shoe stores, and fast food restaurants.
- The Looney Tunes short Hare Conditioned, 1945:
Bugs Bunny: Fifth floor! Rubber tires, sugar, bourbon, butter, and other picture postcards!
"First floor: Acute, asthma, anemia, arthritis, aches and apoplexy.""Second floor: Beriberi, biliousness, bronchitis, bends and blind-staggers.""Third floor: Colds, cramps, convulsions, corns, callouses, concussions and curvature of all kinds."(later)"Palsy, palpitations, pimples, pleurisy and p-neumonia."
- See the Radio example above for the Late to the Punchline moment in this gag.
- Also occurs in Patient Porky, where a Rochester expy operates an elevator in a hospital.
- Aladdin: The Series has the Genie pull this off in one episode after rescuing the rest of the cast; "First floor, amazing rescues, ridiculous fight scenes and happy endings!"
- In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "3 Squares and an Ed", upon reaching the basement via Double-D's specially lubricated laundry chute, Eddy says:
Eddy: Bottom floor: Dryer lint, paint cans, lonely socks, and mildew!
(Edd lands through a different chute)
Edd: ... and arachnids!
- One episode of 101 Dalmatians: The Series has a variation of this: the puppies (and Spot) sneak into Cruella's enormous ride-through closet, which shuttles them along as a prerecorded voice points out the various sections along the way. And the last one listed is "lingerie".
- The Monkey King in Jackie Chan Adventures:
"Third floor: housewares, ladies' undergarments, puppets!"
- Garfield in the Garfield and Friends segment "Ship Shape" occurring on a cruise ship.
Garfield: Going up. Next floor: notions, lotions, oceans, commotions, and lasagna.
- Marlon Brando, of all people, worked as an elevator operator. He quit because saying "lingerie" out loud embarrassed him.
- In order for blind people using an elevator to know what floor they are on, elevators generally give low pings as they cross floors they are not stopping at, and much louder ones when they do stop. Some elevators automatically announce the floor number.