The Elevator from Ipanema
If a character enters an elevator for any reason, the music playing on its speaker system — regardless of the program's genre — is almost always some version
of "The Girl from Ipanema" by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. (If not, it's probably the "Theme from A Summer Place
", which would probably be referencing a comfortable break from the action
.) Of course, few if any elevators nowadays actually have
music piped in anymore, making this something of a Dead Horse Trope
Some choose to trace this back to directors such as John Landis
, who used it as an in-joke in every scene he shot in an elevator. This is usually an integral part of an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment
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Anime & Manga
- An Australian comedy duo called The Umbilical Brothers have a skit that entails a ride in an elevator. As there's no elevator prop, entering the elevator is signaled with a vocal beatbox of "The Girl from Ipanema".
- The Angel: After the Fall comics, the Senior Partners send the entire city to Hell midway through the TV show's Bolivian Army Ending. It should come as no surprise what music plays when Spike gets in an elevator...
- Subverted and lampshaded in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy. In the sixth episode, there is an elevator moment, in which a bossa nova-ish version of the opening for the first season of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, "Smile Go Go", played instead of the obligatory "Girl from Ipanema". Chiara asks why is it so, and Hakuo responds it was too overused.
- The Life, a Halo fanfiction, has several scenes when the characters have to take an elevator. So far, every single elevator scene has had a muzak arrangement playing in the background. There's usually lots of Lampshade Hanging from the characters involved. In fact, the A.I. running the main character's ship plays elevator music on all ship elevators with the intention of invoking this.
Films — Animation
- Non-elevator example: in Finding Nemo, "Ipanema" plays in the dentist's office when Nemo is first seen in the fishtank.
- Used in the dining room scene of The Emperor's New Groove, to make the awkward silence that much more amusing.
- In Toy Story 2, when Al is riding the elevator down to the lobby, the music playing is an "Ipanema"-style version of the main theme from A Bug's Life. Both films were scored by Randy Newman.
- Non-elevator example: In Shrek, Antonio Carlos Jobim's lesser classic "Meditacion" is heard at the main guest entrance to the castle of Duloc.
Films — Live-Action
- Lampshaded on The Lazlow Show. Anthony Cumia (of Opie And Anthony) joked that the hypothetical Space Elevator would require the world's longest version of "The Girl from Ipanema" while you rode it.
- Bleak Expectations: When the main characters are travelling into Hell via elevator, they hear three things: the screams of the damned, the pleasure of the masochists, and a "weird sitar version of the girl from Ipanema".
- The Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench" video features Dave Grohl riding an elevator with a muzak version of "Big Me" playing in the background.
- The Trophy Mode music in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is an "Ipanema"-style remix of the game's Recurring Riff.
- When the player enters any elevator in System Shock, the background music changes to a suspiciously "Ipanema"-like ditty. Which creates horrible Mood Whiplash when you've just barely managed to blast your way through creepy dark areas full of creepy enemies while listening to creepy audio logs... and then you're in the elevator, and BAAH BAHH! BAH BAAAH BAH BAH BABA! Or when you exit the elevator and find yourself facing a room full of zombie mutants that want to eat your brains.
- In Mother 3, while riding the elevator in the Empire Porky Building, you are treated to an "Ipanema"-style arrangement of the pig-masks' theme.
- There is no actual elevator music in Iji, but Tasen logbooks boast that the lifts are equipped with music players and that they play such unforgettable classics as "exploding eardrums that are also on fire" and "Hel Sarie will kick you in the face".
- The elevators in GoldenEye 64 feature elevator muzak arrangements of the film's Theme Tune. Strangely, these were absent from the game's spiritual successor Perfect Dark.
- Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion has a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Ipanema" titled "The Girl from Galyanna".
- In Rise of the Triad, when you enter an elevator, there is a one in ten chance that this will play. In the remake, one of the levels has a segment which almost entirely takes place in a big elevator and which has a remade version of the tune.
- One lift in Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy plays a Muzak version of "With my mind" by Cold, part of the soundtrack for the game.
- In the Genesis game Zero Tolerance, every elevator on the space station has this music.
- The Glorious Trainwrecks 529 in One Klik and Play Pirate Kart has "Ipanema" as menu music, and you get achievements for listening to it enough times.
- Mass Effect
- The Space Elevators come complete with Space Muzak. Specifically, they're all muzak arrangements of several of the more dramatic pieces from the game. Which makes them a lot less dramatic.
- A shout-out to the first game in Miranda's loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2: The team must take a particularly long elevator ride with elevator music playing in the background. Miranda slams the elevator's console with an omni-tool, and the elevator speeds up and the music stops. She really must mean business.
- And in the Project Overlord DLC for the same game, the elevator music makes a comeback, while Shepard's team is investigating a crashed Geth ship. Hilarious, nightmarish-ly distorted elevator music while exploring a seemingly completley dead ship. It's even funnier the second time when you go back through that part of the ship later, with the same distorted music, while fighting off hordes of hacked Geth.
- Halo: Reach has a mission where you have to take an elevator to shut down a comms jammer. As you go up, and down the elevator, you're treated to gleeful muzak. Keep in mind this is while the city you are currently in is being NUKED FROM SUB-ORBIT.
- The music from Starship Titanic changes from majestic to tinny as you travel though the different class, suggesting the lower classes don't need good music.
- Magicka spoofs this in the challenge map called "Caverns", where the players enter the arena through a wooden mechanical platform that is (somehow) playing muzak. Some of the later enemy waves also enter through the elevator, accompanied by the same chime.
- Blood has this in all its elevators. If you shoot all the speakers, Caleb will say "Thank you."
- As does Max Payne.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the tune play in elevator during the Disco Bandit's Nemesis quest.
- First Encounter Assault Recon plays an Ipanema-style muzak ditty during the Elevator Action Sequence where you have to protect Alice, resulting in Soundtrack Dissonance.
- Police Quest: Open Season has Ipanema-esque bossa nova music in the Parker Center elevators. One of these tunes was reused for the lobby music in Leisure Suit Larry 6. Another sounds similar to "How Insensitive", also composed by Jobim.
- Not necessarily elevator music, but the softer and slower arrangement of "Crimson Wings" in the PC Engine version of Ys IV sounds rather Ipanema-like.
- In American Mc Gees Grimm, pausing the game in any episode from the seventh onward results in a tinny Muzak rendition of the opening theme. The style and tinniness make it clear that this trope is being invoked.
- Written as a musical score, no less in Irregular Webcomic!. Whether this counts as a Lampshade Hanging or not is debatable.
- Features prominently in a strip of The B-Movie Comic.
- Keychain of Creation: First Age elevators still play music after a millennium of disuse. Not exactly "elevator muzak", though — it's the opening theme song from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- On this page of MegaTokyo, the elevator plays "Fly Me to the Moon]]", the ending theme song from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Subverted in Everyday Heroes during an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment, when the music playing is actually "Wind Beneath My Wings". (If you can read music, you'll notice the melody is from the chorus, "Did I ever tell you you're my hero", which seems appropriate.)
- Homestuck's sixth volume album features a track called Elevatorstuck which remixes the Homestuck Theme into the style of this trope, though the flashes in which it was ultimately used had nothing to do with elevators. Its usually used as background music, or to infuriate and annoy people who complain about the background music.
- Referenced in Wondermark, "In which there are choices". Two men, waiting for an elevator that just won't arrive, suggest solutions to their problem that grow ever more ridiculous:
Man 2: We could be priests of the new order, sanctifying the Metal Cube Room as an oracle and allowing only ourselves access, and only then on the solstice, and only then following a blood sacrifice from throngs of peasants who've made desperate pilgrimages to hear the faint, muffled strains of the muzak version of The Girl from Ipanema.
- In Kim Possible, the Muzak in Jack Hench's waiting room is a rather "Ipanema"-like arrangement of the Kim Possible theme song.
- In an episode of The Angry Beavers, Treeflower returns to the forest, only she is no longer the carefree New-Age Retro Hippie she was in her earlier appearance. Instead, she writes "elevator music" and wears a suit, since her retro 1960s band fell out of favor and broke up. She is also dating Truckee the Shrew.
- The "Blue Harvest" episode of Family Guy featured Han Solo (Peter), Luke Skywalker (Chris) and Chewie (Brian) taking an elevator in the Death Star and listening to a very "Ipanema"-like arrangement of the Imperial March.
- In the Futurama episode "Parasites Lost", Fry's duel with Lord Mayor of Colón is set to a thrilling swashbuckling piece, except for the part in the middle when they enter an elevator. During which they fight in silence.
- In an episode of Invader Zim, GIR has been merged with the house's AI. Zim commands the elevator to bring him down to the actual base, and GIR plays Muzak and demands that Zim dance to it before taking him anywhere.
- Enforced in Phineas and Ferb, where having a elevator remix was one of their self-imposed requirements to be One Hit Wonders in "Flop Starz".
- On Doug, the Muzak playing in the dentist's office waiting room in "Doug's Dental Dilemma" was an elevator music rendition of in-universe rock song "Killer Tofu".
- Secret Squirrel, in his race car, is in an elevator rushing to save Morocco Mole on the roof of a building (episode "Hot Rodney"). Some "Ipanema" style music plays as another passenger looks on uncomfortably.