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Born in an Elevator

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A baby is born while the mother is stuck in a stalled elevator (births in the vehicle en route to the hospital also count towards this trope). Probably the most uncomfortable of elevator moments. A classic Sitcom scenario, especially when the baby has to be delivered by a squeamish and totally unqualified male lead.

This trope is particularly notorious for coinciding with Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!, since in real life labor takes hours, sometimes even days, a.k.a. more than enough time to free someone from a stuck elevator.

A type of Maternity Crisis. See also Clean, Pretty Childbirth and Screaming Birth.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Vandread, Kahlua, a.k.a. Pyoro-2, was born in an elevator. The male lead is initially tasked with handling the delivery, but he manages to hand it over to his love interest fairly quickly.
  • Fairly narrowly averted in the very beginning of Kyo Kara Maoh!. The scene (a warm conversation about baby names in the back of a taxi) is given without a shred of context; we work out who the principle players were in subsequent episodes, and see the scene again, de-blurred and with a lot more context, a long while later in a flashback episode.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Jump Start, Joe and Marcy's first child, Sunny, was born in a car on the way to the hospital. When their second child, Jojo, was about to be born, Joe was frequently worried about it happening again. They did, however, make on time to the hospital that time around.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This happens in the movie Blankman, as one of the first heroic deeds that Darryl performs thus starting to earn him publicity and respect in the neighborhood.
  • The going into labor in a taxi version is used in Look Who's Talking. (The taxi driver sticks around and the mother, who has broken things off with the baby's father, eventually falls in love with him.)
  • Men in Black has this with an alien giving birth to a squidlike baby in a car, starring Agent Jay as Delivery Guy.
  • In To Catch a Thief, Francie says she was born in a taxi on the way to the hospital.
  • The mockumentary The Compleat Al claims that "Weird Al" Yankovic was born in an elevator at St. Vitus Hospital.

  • Adrian Mole: In Growing Pains, Adrian mentions this trope when he insists on accompanying his heavily pregnant mother to have her hair done.
    Women are always having babies in lifts, taxis, phone boxes, etc. It's a well-known fact.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happened in the Saved by the Bell episode "Earthquake!" with Mr. Belding's wife, Becky, while trapped in the elevator with Zack and Tori after the quake occurred. This episode provides the page image.
  • Fran went into labor in a broken elevator in The Nanny, but they got her out in time for her to deliver in a hospital.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Lampshaded by Hal at one point. He saves a pigeon caught in plastic packaging at the side of the road, and says, "Well, I wanted to deliver a baby in the back of a taxi, but..."
    • A later flashback reveals that, of the four children, only Reese was born in a hospital; the rest were born (in reverse chronological order) in the back yard, in the front yard, and at the altar.
    • Then, in the Season 5 finale, Jamie is born in an unfinished annex of the house.
  • This happens in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, where the baby is born in The Tipton's elevator to a mother called Mary and a father called Joseph at Christmas. The theme was broken by the baby being a girl.
  • Occurred in The Young and the Restless, with Jack delivering Phyllis's baby girl (the father was Nick).
  • Happened in Early Edition. The paper shows that Chuck will deliver a baby in a cab. After he offends the mother, the paper changes to saying he will deliver a baby in an elevator. Chuck wants no part of it and plans to hide out in his apartment for the rest of the day, but winds up getting in the elevator with the pregnant woman, the power goes off and they wind up trapped. Chuck, unfortunately, has a weak stomach and passes out. Gary goes down the elevator shaft, delivers the baby and leaves, leaving Chuck with the lady and her baby when the elevator doors finally open after everything gets working, making Chuck look like the hero.
  • Night Court. When Public Defender Christine Sullivan is pregnant but insists on working regardless, the others plan "Operation Stork" — a ridiculous Crazy-Prepared scenario should she suddenly go into labor. Unfortunately they forgot to include the elevator in their preparations.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D.: Vinnie has to deliver his French teacher's baby in an elevator.
  • An All in the Family episode has Archie getting stuck in an elevator with several people, including — yes — a pregnant woman who goes into labor.
    • Gloria manages to get stuck in a phone booth after calling the doctor to say she's in labor. They get her out to go to the hospital though.
  • Alluded to in Stargate Atlantis when a misfiring security system put the entire city in lockdown, locking in Sheppard and visibly pregnant Teyla alone in the lab.
    Sheppard: (glances nervously at Teyla)
    Teyla: What?
    Sheppard: Sorry, it's just that when something like this happens in the movies, the pregnant lady goes into labor.
    Teyla: I am still a long way from my due date.
    Sheppard: Yeah, it's the same thing in the movies and then, wham.
  • The 'giving birth in a taxi' variation happens in an episode of Frasier. However, in something of a variation it's the taxi driver's baby, not a passengers. Also, the two highly educated persons who added a doctor in front of their names were useless, while the retired police officer helped her through the crisis.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex Russo was reportedly born in a taxi.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Billie goes into labor on the hospital's broken elevator (during Earl's coma dream). Earl has to help her...and he is proudly holding a healthy baby boy afterwards in the dream.
  • Home Improvement had a variation on this. Heidi goes into labor while she, Tim and Jill are driving through the middle of nowhere to go to an awards dinner and she gives birth in a roadside gas station. Tim becomes the Delivery Guy.
  • Averted on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues when an elevator is stuck between floors with a visibly pregnant woman, a jerk, and Kermit Griffin, a tough guy. The woman gets upset, the jerk is rude to her, and Griffin threatens him for being rude. All are rescued, and the woman does not go into labor.
  • Joan of Arcadia features a quite cruel variation: after the baby is born, the mother refuses to look at it and demands it be taken away.
  • Happens to ALF of all creatures during his Christmas Episode, with him making the delivery and suggesting the name of a newly-deceased little girl he met earlier for the baby.
  • Punky Brewster: in an episode where Punky breaks her leg and Cherie feels guilty about it, at the hospital Cherie is in a stalled elevator with an expectant mother who is going into labor. Cherie helps with the delivery.
  • A M*A*S*H episode has Hawkeye helping a pregnant Korean woman deliver (with no help from a squeamish Radar) while aboard a bus en route from her village to the 4077th.
  • The "birth in a vehicle" variation happens in the season three finale of Saving Hope. Alex sits her surgical boards while in labor, then gives birth in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, assisted by Maggie.
  • Sense8: A flashback reveals that Will Gorski was born in the back of his father's squad car on the side of the road after his parents failed to reach the hospital in time.
  • In the second season of Community, Shirley ends up giving birth to her baby right in the middle of anthropology class. According to Chang, everyone in his family was born in an inconvenient fashion.
  • In Psych, Lassiter and Marlowe's baby is born in the back of a food truck that Shawn and Gus rented while investigating the murder of another local food truck owner.
  • In Family Matters Eddie eventually asked Waldo how his sister got a name like Quesadilla. Waldo explained she was born in a Taco Bell, so it was either Quesadilla or Burrito Grande.

    Video Games 
  • This trope is alluded to in Elite Beat Agents where a taxi driver is asked to take an expecting woman to the hospital. (However, regardless of whether he succeeds or not, she does not give birth in the taxi.)
  • A variation happens in Valkyria Chronicles, where Martha gives birth in a tank at the end of the battle in Chapter 2.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!: In this episode, Yuri's water breaks, and her family wasn't home to take her to the hospital. She eventually decided to drive there herself when the taxi was uselessly far away, but the baby was due too soon and gave birth inside of the car. A driver behind her, Tachibana, got irate and checked the car to complain to her until he sees her giving birth and calls for an ambulance.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The episode "911" is a birth in the vehicle moment when a pregnant woman in a taxicab goes into labor and Dexter has to deliver the baby. This is one of many emergencies preempting the exciting fight scene in an episode of Action Hank that Dexter was waiting for.
  • Family Guy: In "Stewie is Enciente", Stewie gives birth to his and Brian's children while Brian is driving him to the hospital.
    Stewie: Brian, I'm going to need you to deliver the baby.
    Brian: Ah, ah... O-Okay. C-Can you wait a second while I put a towel down? I don't want anything to get on the seats.
  • King of the Hill: Bobby amuses himself by pressing the buttons for every floor inside an elevator, then gets bored and leaves. A few seconds later, a man and a doctor wheel a birthing woman into the elevator. The door closes. Ding... Ding... "WAAAH!"
  • The Simpsons: In "Labor Pains", Homer gets trapped in an elevator with a pregnant woman named Gretchen. When she goes into labor, Homer helps her deliver her baby.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television: Actor Jack Lemmon was born in an elevator.
  • In 2013, a woman gave birth on a packed (until they emptied it at the nearest station, anyway) commuter train at rush hour. The train did sit at the station for an hour, though suggesting that this was only a "sudden" birth relative to the norm.

Alternative Title(s): Elevator Delivery