The chase inevitably leads into a multi-story building. The chase-ee ducks into an elevator, and the chaser arrives just in time for the doors to close in on his or her face. As their quarry rides up to the top in relative comfort, the pursuer is forced to wait for the next elevator or, more likely, take the stairs. Regardless of which route they take, it's still somehow possible for the chaser to arrive at the same floor just seconds after their quarry (It isn't that hard to climb stairs faster than the typical elevator ascends, though if the building is tall enough, stamina will become an issue eventually - elevators don't tire). This can also be used in a race against time. Bonus points if the chase-ee frantically presses the "Close Door" button, in the hopes that this will make the door close faster than normal.[[note]]In a bit of TruthInTelevision (the vast majority of "Close Door" buttons will only actually work in tandem with a firefighter's key), it never will.[[/note]]

Occasionally, particularly when the pursuer is a killer robot, a horde of zombies, or other inhuman creature, the doors will close on their arms, forcing the hero to either push away or chop off the intruding limb(s) before their pursuer(s) manage to pry the door open. Never mind that a properly-working elevator should open automatically once it detects something in the way of the door. As ''[[ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} Dogbert's Clues for the Clueless]]'' says (following advice about avoiding {{Uncomfortable Elevator Moment}}s): "Don't try to crush people by pushing the 'Close' button. I've tried it and it doesn't work."

One {{Exploit|edTrope}}ation of this is for a fleeing character to start an elevator, their pursuer to set up an ambush at the assumed exit point... and then the doors to open to an empty carriage. Cut to the escapee making his exit another way, or even [[NoIAmBehindYou ambushing the ambush]].

See also ElevatorEscape.


[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Action variant in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'': the T-1000 forces open the doors of the shaft and drops on top of the car, attacking through the car ceiling. Slightly earlier, it got its hooks between the doors and began to pry them open. Arnie's Terminator stopped it via a point-blank shotgun blast to the face.
* The [[ Second Elevator]] variant is used in ''Film/TrueLies''.
* Justified in Schwarzenegger's film ''Film/{{Commando}}'' when he jumps on top of the elevator car the chase-ee is taking.
* Played straight in ''Film/TheRock''. Sean Connery takes a lift down six or seven storeys, Nicholas Cage takes the stairs. Resulting increase in lead = 0.
* In ''Film/NationalTreasure'', Ben is attempting to steal the Declaration of Independence. As he's getting away, a rival thief spots him, and tries to get to the elevator.
* In the ''Stargate SG-1'' movie, ''Film/TheArkOfTruth'', replicators jam a door open on the ''Odyssey''. Mitchel shoots them off to close it.
* In ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', when Ripley and Hicks are trying to escape, they make it to an elevator. Hicks repeatedly pushes the button, and the door starts to close... too late to stop a xenomorph from nearly getting to the heroes (and dousing Hicks with acid).
* In ''Film/AdventuresInBabysitting'' a girl is being chased by two car thieves because she has information that they needed for their next job, she ducks into the elevator, and the door closes on the thieves, forcing them to wait for the elevator to come back down, later the babysitter and her friends take the elevator and retrieve her...
* Happens twice at the end of ''Film/MidnightMadness'':
** Adam gets into one express elevator and it closes just before Harold can get there, forcing harold to take the other one...
** Again, Adam gets to the elevator to the guest rooms before Harold can get there, and Harold takes the stairs, but not before he shuts off all the elevators.

* In an episode of ''Series/DueSouth'', a man Fraser and Ray Kowalski are chasing ''[[spoiler: who is Ray Vecchio, still undercover]]''dodges into an elevator. Ray tosses Fraser his cell phone, and while Fraser races up the stairs, Ray calls from a payphone to tell him which floor the elevator stops on.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. In "Intervention", Spike forces open the doors to the elevator shaft and drops onto a descending elevator to escape Glory's minions. However they're able to get to the ground floor to cut him off by the time the slow-moving elevator gets there, as they're going down the stairs.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'', this happens when a necromorph chases you near the start. The elevator slams shut, cutting its body in half. Not exactly OHS compliant...
** It's a subversion in the beginning of that part, though. Isaac makes it into an elevator and the door shuts in front of the Necromorph...then the Necromorph ''pulls the doors open'' and manages to get inside before the door slices it in half.
* In ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'', this happens while you're chasing Jacknife, resulting in you having to take the other elevator.
** Happens to your opponents a couple of times, too, with Faith getting the elevator closed just as a hail of bullets strike the doors.
* In ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland2LeChucksRevenge'', you have to use this to your advantage. [=LeChuck=] confronts you by an elevator. If you can get the doors to close on him, you can tear off part of his beard which you need for a voodoo charm.
* After defeating Ryan in ''VideoGame/WinBack'', he blows up himself and the express elevator, [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle redirecting you through the long way]] to the control center.
* The opening of ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' features Ellis getting ensnared by a Smoker just as he enters an elevator. Two common infected try to pull him out, but Coach chainsaws through them all and the four protagonists are safe (for about thirty seconds).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Done in ''Webcomic/SamAndFuzzy'', with the chaser taking the stairs. Of course, he's the determinator, so he arrives first...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* No matter how the Big Bad Wolf tries to escape Droopy, whenever any door he shuts is re-opened, [[TheCatCameBack the doggedly determined Droopy will be standing there]].
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'': The Flash has a TooDumbToLive moment when, after the rest of the League is possessed by an ancient evil, he tries to take the elevator instead of [[ForgotICouldFly running]].
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'', near the end of the second season. Shaak Ti and two other Jedi take Chancellor Palpatine down a hallway as Grievous begins slashing his way through the assembled guards. They call the elevator while listening to Grievous fighting, and when it all goes quiet, the Ithorian Jedi repeatedly mashes the button. They do make it inside though, despite Grievous busting out of the office and running down the hall towards them.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Used as part of the punchline of a chapter in a computer graphics book. The author recounts a story involving him and a couple of his friends streaking through a hotel hallway, knowing that the timing of the elevator worked out just right for the doors to close behind them and cut off pursuit. The author got ahead of his compatriots and got the doors to close early, leaving them stranded. He was so tickled at how clever he was that he didn't realize that the elevator had gotten to the ground floor before it opened up on the lobby. Which, of course, introed the chapter on raw speed and exposed faces.
* In William Shatner's ''Get a Life'', he mentions one time Nimoy got recognized entering a hotel where a con was. He and the organizers barely made it to the elevator in time, but they heard their pursuers running up the stairs in the adjacent shaft. They made it most of the way to the stage before the fans arrived.
* Hitoshi Nikaidoh was decapitated this way by an elevator with malfunctioning door sensors.