Someone gets inside an elevator, expecting to be the only person there. Then suddenly, dozens of people cram themselves into the tiny car, which may or may not exceed the "maximum capacity" sign displayed on the elevator. You know where this is going by now.
It doesn't even have to be suddenly crammed for this trope to apply. It could even involve the elevator slowly filling up with passengers until it reaches its breaking point, or one extra passenger getting in a totally packed car
. Either way, it's no good.
In the worst case scenario, it leads to Elevator Failure
. At best, it's just an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment
of a different sort.
Anime and Manga
- In one episode of Detective Conan, the elevator gets stuck when a group of characters get in. Later, Conan gets an Eureka Moment when he remembers that he is now a kid, and thus too light for the elevator to go over capacity. There is a dead body on the roof of the elevator.
- Used dramatically in Big O as a reminder that Dorothy is a ~300 lb android, not a petite 90 lb girl.
- Near the end of an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will is on an elevator when dozens more people get on. He looks at the maximum capacity sign, and then begins to scream.
- On Gimme a Break!, Nell and several members of her overweight support group do this. The founder of the group was in his top-floor apartment contemplating suicide and the others wanted to stop him. The weight causes the elevator to get stuck, the people inside argue for a while, then try going down in the elevator, which works. Nell gets off at the lobby but the elevator then closes and goes back up, now no longer over capacity, forcing Nell to have to take the stairs.
- An episode of Night Court had the elevator fail with only four people on board: Dan, Roz, ... and two sumo wrestlers.
- In The Far Side, we see a man on an elevator with several elephants, and he watches in horror as one more tries to get in. The max. capacity is shown as several thousand pounds.
- This was deliberately done in one Spy vs. Spy comic, with White tricking Black into carrying several 1000-pound weights on an elevator (he thinks they are White's secret plans).