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"There's no using the stairs tonight
Black box will take you right
Many floors down where the earth is fire and molten."
The Builders and the Butchers, Black Elevator

The Hellevator is an elevator that serves as a bridge between the world of the living and that of the dead. And that's really about it. The main advantage of the Hellevator in fiction, particularly visual fiction, is that's it's an obvious way of letting the audience know that they're going deep beneath the surface of the Earth to the underworld.

A mystical hell-traveling elevator is surprisingly plausible because people, especially children, often don't understand how elevators work. This was certainly more true back when the trope was first introduced with early film (back then only employees of elevator buildings were even allowed to operate them) than it is today, but the trope lives on largely because of its obvious visual appeal. When an elevator goes down for several hundred floors, it's pretty difficult to come to any other conclusion as to where it's going.

Additionally, an enclosed elevator provides a sense of being trapped as it descends — you can always stop going down a tunnel or staircase, or even climb back up an escalator, but if the elevator starts plunging down you can't do anything but wait until it opens... and pray. Even better, it's cheap to make the set. Animated works will sometimes depict the Hellevator as an escalator or a roller coaster. Expect to see floor numbers passing by at an increasingly rapid rate, only pausing to blink on the six a few times.

Not to be confused with the Hellevator, the lunar-based Space Elevator in Schlock Mercenary or the TV series.

See Stairway to Heaven for its sister trope (usually, there are stairs or an escalator leading to Heaven, but an elevator to Hell for some reason), and Evil Elevator for when the elevator itself tries to kill you. May head to wherever somebody Dug Too Deep.

And yes, this trope title and Stairway to Heaven could both be considered Fridge Brilliance since it's easier to be immoral (and stand lazily in an elevator as it descends) than it is to be moral and virtuous (and climb thousands of stairs to heaven).


    open/close all folders 

  • This SportsCenter ad, featuring the mascot for the New Jersey Devils.
  • A 1980s British Kit-Kat advert had elevators to both Hell and Heaven, coming out not on Earth, but on some neutral dimension where angels and demons could have a break.

    Anime & Manga 
  • An elevator ride to a mysterious place miles underground features in The Big O's ending, but oddly the elevator continues going down for several seconds after the floor counter is shown to reach B666.
  • In the third story arc of Sailor Moon/Crystal, Sailor Moon, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto get on an elevator in the Infinity College to find the Big Bad. While the elevator doesn't actually take them to Hell, the trip down is incredibly dark and creepy, and Sailor Moon feels like it's taking them there. The other three senshi, who are used to quiet and isolation, don't seem quite as bothered.
  • In the religious film The Laws of Eternity, Thomas Edison is revealed to have invented a spirit elevator in the Tathagata Realm of Heaven. Moreover, his elevator can also go down to Hell to help angels with their work of saving repentant souls from that place. Such a feature becomes handy when Ryuta, Yuko, and God Eagle ride it after the latter notifies the former two that Patrick and Roberto are trapped in Hell.
  • In the manga version of Elfen Lied, Chief Kakuzawa has an elevator that runs to an area incredibly far below the surface of the Diclonius Research Institute. The air pressure becomes close to unbearable before you even exit the car. Once you get to the destination, you find such charming things as the massive graveyard of the Kakuzawas' supposedly Diclonius ancestors, who fled there after lives of intense persecution in Medieval Japan. The hideously mutated gigantic body of Kakuzawa's own daughter, Anna. The thousand-plus clones of Kurama's daughter Mariko, most of whom have no real faces and live in boxes with bags over their heads, there to have their spines harvested for a military boondoggle that ends up not achieving its goal. It's also where Kakuzawa and Lucy at last have it out, with her dismissing all his plans and telling him he wasn't like her after she kills him.
  • An episode of Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories has a stressed out father taking a mall elevator to get away from his family for a while. Said elevator takes him to B 4 instead of B3 like he asked, a floor that isnt supposed to be in the building. The floor opens up into a dark, unlit section of the mall, and the remaining passengers silently shuffle out into the darkness, leaving him behind. The elevator attendant next takes him to B 13, which opens up into a creepy, red-lit area where a bloodied humanoid figure suddenly rushes towards the elevator, though the door closes before the audience can see clearly exactly what it was. Now terrified, the father demands to be returned to his original floor, only for the attendant to be revealed to be a mannequin, despite moving and talking earlier. He's finally returned to the original floor... only to notice that there is suddenly nobody around, as the mall's PA system announces that opening hours are over, and the lights go out.
  • Otherside Picnic: One of the Otherside entrances that Toriko discovered is via a specific floor combination of a particular elevator. The floors that they visit in between aren't normal floors (later revealed as being in interstitial space), and some contains monstrous beings. In a filler episode, an elevator in a different building takes them to a fiery landscape implied to be Hell.
  • Though it leads to Cessation of Existence rather than Hell, one of the elevators in Death Parade serves this purpose.
  • Ulysses 31: There is a giant elevator in the kingdom of Hades, and it drives dead souls to his inner kingdom.
  • In the Black Rose Arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Victim of the Week takes an elevator endlessly down into the darkest depths of a mysterious building in order to have a "counseling session" with Mikage, a Satanic Archetype who in these sessions corrupts people into an evil form of themselves defined by their greatest insecurities and bent on murder.

    Comic Books 
  • One Chick Tract has two demons goofing off so that one guy ends up being converted to Christianity. As punishment, Satan forces them to go down another level of Hell for every time this guy ends up converting someone else. They end up going down several thousand, using the elevator to get there. And the operator is Josef Stalin in a hazmat suit.
  • The "Springfield in Hell" segments in The Simpsons Comics: Heebie-Jeebie Hullabaloo feature one of these.
  • In Nil: A Land Beyond Belief an express elevator goes from Nil to the Infernal Realm; the entrance is surrounded by protesters denouncing eternal punishment as unfair.
  • In Secret Six, the elevator to Hell is located in Purgatory, which is physically manifested as an abandoned shopping mall.
  • During the Inferno (1988) crossover arc, where the layer between reality and the supernatural is breached, a group of people are trapped in an elevator that turns into one of these. The viewer isn't shown what happens inside, but Emma Frost has a telepathic vision, and is severely traumatized.
  • The X-Statix sequel miniseries X-Statix Presents Dead Girl had an elevator between the different levels of Hell. With Norman Osborn as the operator.

    Fan Works 
  • Parodied in the "first mock-fic" of Transformers: Armada on the TF Lexicon. In it, a guy in real life enters an elevator and presses "ALL THE BUTTONS AT ONCE" (echo, echo)! This transports him to the world of Armada, which becomes Hell enough for him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Angel Heart has Mickey Rourke take the long ride down in an elevator.
  • In Black Orpheus, a Setting Update placing the Orpheus and Eurydice myth in 20th century Brazil, Orfeo is led down a staircase to The Underworld to find the spirit of Eurydice.
  • An Imagine Spot in Deconstructing Harry features one of these albeit a slow-moving one with floor announcements.
    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.
  • Things are normal in Dark Floors until the elevator the characters are in starts acting up, trapping them between floor six and seven — "Not Hell, not Heaven".
  • Inception: Cobb has constructed such an elevator for himself in his dreams. On top levels it is beautiful and peaceful and hellish at the bottom.
  • The Kirstie Alley TV movie Toothless features one. Kirstie ends up riding it back onto the mortal coil.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, there's the elevator of horror, which brings the monsters locked in captivity into the upper world.
  • Spoofed in Undercover Brother. The protagonist is sitting in a barber's chair when it suddenly drops. He starts screaming that he's falling all the way down to Hell, but it turns out he's only dropped a single floor and the apparent "endless levels" are actually a strobe light flashing in his face.
  • Frank Cross takes one of these, operated by the Ghost of Christmas Future, in Scrooged.
  • In Vault of Horror it becomes apparent by the end of the story that the elevator the leads took was a facsimile of their transition to their final un-resting place.
  • Inverted in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: a mysterious elevator in the Empire State Building leads to the realm of the gods, instead of the infernal realm. To get to the Underworld, you have to take the stairs.
  • Big Trouble in Little China: Jack and Wang are riding down an elevator to their final confrontation. It's taking a lot longer than they expected:
    Jack: Feel pretty good. I'm not, uh, I'm not scared at all. I just feel kind of... feel kind of invincible.
    Wang: Me, too. I got a very positive attitude about this.
    Jack: Good, me too.
    Wang: Yeah!
    (long pause)
    Jack: Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?
  • The MST'd horror(?) movie Soultaker features one of these, although in this case the Hellevator actually goes up to get to the afterlife, which is apparently on the top floor of a hospital for easy access to dying people. Apparently Joe Estevez doesn't like to walk around too much.
  • In Heaven Can Wait (1943), the elevator also goes up to heaven if "His Excellency" decides that you don't belong in his domain after all. Don Ameche's character takes the elevator down to convince the devil that he deserves to spend eternity there.
  • Angel on My Shoulder: Eddie complains about how long it takes when "Nick" takes him back to the land of the living. Amusingly, the Hellevator ends up as a freight elevator opening up onto a city sidewalk.
  • Shredder Orpheus has a gate to the Underworld via a parking garage, with Cerberus as the elevator operator.

  • Supposedly, this happened in Taiwan, and in Taipei's city hall no less. According to a local news report, a security guard patrolling the building was making the rounds late at night, using the elevator to get to every floor. When he was going from the third to fifth floor (no fourth floor because Four Is Death) by the elevator, the elevator actually somehow stopped at the non-existent fourth floor, and when the doors opened, he saw hell, as in the nether world, outside.
  • There is a persistent rumor at Gettysburg College about one of the elevators in Pennsylvania Hall: Several people have gone on record claiming they were carried below the basement level, where the doors opened onto the hellish scene of men screaming in pain as Civil War surgeons vainly struggled with the ghastly business of trying to help the soldiers ripped apart in battle, including cutting off limbs and staunching the endless bleeding.

  • A nightmarish variation of this trope's explored in the classic short story "Descending", featuring a mysterious escalator that goes down... and down... and down.
  • Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality novels feature a Hellevator which connects Hell, Earth, and Purgatory, but not Heaven (God wouldn't allow that).
  • Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, has Charlie and Willy Wonka riding the eponymous elevator to Minusland in order to rescue one of Charlie's grandmothers (her soul went there after she took so many age-decreasing pills that her age became a minus number). Charlie regards it as like "hell without heat".
  • In Hell by Yasutaka Tsutsui (author of Paprika) there is a subplot about a writer and an actress sharing the ride in the elevator that goes down to 666th floor below. It makes sense, because novel utilizes Mundane Afterlife trope and some characters arrive in Hell by means of transport they were using at the moment of death, for example a plane that crashed in real life. Also, you may argue, the elevator IS, in fact, the personal Hell of this pair
  • Ogden Nash wrote a poem "A Tale of the Thirteenth Floor" in which a would-be murderer gets into an old-fashioned elevator, with an operator, in a hotel. The operator chooses to stop at the 13th floor which of course most hotels don't have — to show him murderers chained to the corpses of their victims in a ghastly dance of damnation. The point is made, the plan abandoned.
  • One spoof of Journey to the West has the Hellevator overshooting and ending up in outer space.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The main way into the Underworld is an elevator in an LA recording studio, which magically transitions into the ferry across the Styx as it goes further down. The ferryman Charon still requires payment before any soul is allowed to board the elevator.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: The Doors of Death are currently chained open in Tartarus, essentially the prison for the Olympian Gods Most Wanted List. In "House of Hades", it's revealed that the Doors are actually an elevator system.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used in Angel... sorta. In "Reprise", he's invited to finally enter the "Home Office", the source of Wolfram & Hart's power, and gets into an elevator... which goes down. And down. And down. And down... and finally arrives at street-level, the exact same spot. Even Angel has to point out the Anviliciousness of the "Our world is Hell" moral.
  • The underground-dwelling Rubber-Forehead Aliens in the Cousin Skeeter made-for-TV movie use such an elevator to reach the surface. They turn out to be malevolent, and have a viewhole to the magma core, to boot.
  • Maybe more of an Ironic Hell entry, but there was a Saturday Night Live sketch with Paul Simon where he died and got on the Hellevator. It was playing a Muzak version of "Sounds of Silence." After a few minutes he asked the elevator operator how much longer it would take to get to Hell and he said "Get there? You're already here!"
  • Used in Reaper, when the Devil takes Sam to the 75th floor of his corporation. An elevator door (complete with a hellish design and symbols) opens up to a very nicely done CGI wall of flame.
    Sam: What the Hell was that?!
    Satan: That was a portal to the Home office.
    Sam: That was a portal to Hell?
    Satan: No. That was a portal to Secaucus.
  • Used in The Middleman to get to the surprisingly tolerable Hell.
  • Charmed has had at least one Hellevator, probably because several demons pose as businessmen or lawyers and therefore need transportation between hell and office buildings.
  • In the British children's comedy series Rentaghost, ghosts arrive on Earth from the after life in the invisible "astral lift".
  • Doctor Who
    • In the episode "The Beast Below", riding the elevators without permission (such as when you got a zero in class, for example) takes you to the aforementioned beast. It isn't hell exactly and the beast turns out to be not much of a demon, but a voluntary captive of the travelling starship, which came to save their children but it certainly looks like it.
    • There's more than a feeling of this about the elevator in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit" too.
  • Implied in the last episode of Ashes to Ashes (2008), when Jim Keats persuades Ray, Chris and Shaz to be transferred to his department, reachable by elevator. It's implied that Keats is the devil and his "department" is hell. The main characters are in some sort of "purgatory" for dead cops.
  • Mentioned in a roundabout way in an episode of The X-Files during a conversation between Skinner and the Smoking Man.
    Skinner: At least (Mulder) doesn't have to take an elevator up to get to work.
    Smoking Man: Do you think I'm the Devil, Mr. Skinner?
  • Inside No. 9: In "How Do You Plead?", the Devil has literally been Webster's lift attendant for decades and, at the end of the episode, takes him to Hell in it.

  • Dio's video for "The Last in Line" features a hapless delivery kid who gets on an elevator that plummets into a bizarre Underground City where people are tortured by fiendish humanoid creatures.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Feng Shui: Several portals to the Netherworld take the form of elevators. The Netherworld is just a rather weird Portal Network, though — the Underworld is what you would actually refer to as Hell.
  • In Nomine: An unusual variant occurs that is entirely in Hell. The parts of Hell described in the manuals are, strictly speaking, only its upper layers; beneath them there are the unfathomable depths of the Lower Hells, known only dimly. Portals to the Lower Hells dot the caverns of the Upper part, and include numerous unmarked elevators that go down past the lowest floors of the Princes' palaces. Smart demons steer well clear of them, while Princes use them on occasion when they need to have a talk with the boss.

  • Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, a modern stage version of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, features characters descending into the Underworld via an elevator that doubles as a shower stall to wipe the memories of the incoming dead.
  • Hadestown depicts the descent to the underworld via a platform in the middle of the stage lowering and rising, with the touring production having an elevator-like door onstage instead.

    Theme Parks 
  • Disney gave us The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a semi-nightmarish ride which takes the classic freefall ride, turned it into one of these, and randomized it so that each ride has a different drop pattern. The story of the ride (except for the Tokyo version) is that in 1939, five passengers board an elevator in the Hollywood Tower Hotel, which is struck by lightning that transports the elevator and parts of the hotel into the Twilight Zone... and it's going to happen again, this time with the ride's current riders.
  • In Playland, a theme park in Vancouver, BC, there is a "drop tower" type ride actually called the Hellevator. It's still standing and operating as of 2011, despite an accident in which a girl lost her feet.
  • The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland has the Stretching Room, which is in fact a disguised elevator where the stretching keeps you from noticing you're being lowered into the park's basement, then being ushered along the underground Changing Portraits corridor to the warehouse-style show building containing the actual ride, located on the other side of the railroad's tracks. Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris also does this. In the Florida and Tokyo versions of the Haunted Mansion, the show building was built within the railroad's confines so it was not necessary to build an underground Changing Portraits corridor, but the effect is beloved enough that they replicate it by just raising the ceiling of the Stretching Room.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: An early side-quest revolves around finding a suspect who disappeared in a elevator. After going to several floors in a certain order, the elevator shakes and Ann finds herself in an unknown space, later finding the missing man quivering in fear before returning back.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine features a poster for a Bendy episode called "Bendy and Boris Go to Hell in a Handbasket." Bendy treats the ride like a rollercoaster.
  • In the beginning of Cry of Fear, the pedophile rendered the apartments elevator unusable for everyone without an access code. The children had to bear it and take the stairs, where he would wait and pull them into his apartment. When Simon finally finds the code and take the elevator, it goes down. Deep in the earth it stops, forcing Simon to take the stairs even deeper.
  • Dark Souls series:
    • Dark Souls has one of these as a shortcut unlocked after killing the Demon Firesage, which leads from Quelaag's Domain to the entrance of Lost Izalith. Not an entirely straight example, as Lost Izalith isn't actually implied to hell, it just really matches the aesthetic.
    • Dark Souls II has an elevator that goes up into the Iron Keep which is also not, strictly speaking, Hell but is still full of fire and ruled over by the Smelter Demon and demonic-looking Old Iron King.
  • Disney's Magical Quest: In the first game, Mickey takes a trip to Lethal Lava Land by riding down an elevator with various The Walls Are Closing In traps.
  • The premise of the Doom mod Going Down. You begin from the rooftop of a regular corporate building and head down in the elevator. Initially you visit normal-looking, if a bit twisted offices, laboratories etc., but later the elevator takes you to an underground necropolis, a Satanic cathedral, and finally, yup, Hell itself.
  • There is a game called The Elevator in which an attendant accompanies you on your elevator trip. During the trip, she makes banter with you in various ways, and your choices determine which stop you get off at. The floor count is decreasing in the negatives, each of the stops represent the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno, and your punishment for getting off at those floors, and the second to last floor, -666, is actually Hell yet is not a floor you can get off at. The very last floor is 0, which is reincarnating back on Earth and is considered a worse punishment in-universe.
  • Players in a Bad Moon run in Kingdom of Loathing can use one of these in Hey Deze. Doing so grants additional Monster Level, which makes monsters more difficult but has various benefits.
  • The Giant Elevator stage in Mega Man Zero 3 is a nod to this. You take a massive elevator deep into the earth, and the boss at the end of the level is based off Cerberus.
  • One of the PC Gamer CDs came with a Myst-style adventure game, and the elevator passed through hell and ended up in their offices, even lower down.
  • In Persona 3, Igor makes his residence in an elevator that's constantly going up, which he claims will eventually end when the main character reaches his "destination". It's actually a rather charming place, and while not a Hellevator in the sense that it goes directly to hell, it finally ends up stopping right as the Main Character realizes he's going to have to kick the bucket in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Silent Hill had an UP Elevator to Hell. It takes Harry to the fourth floor of a three-floor hospital. Along with the elevator that takes Harry to the final level appropriately named "Nowhere".
    • Also in Silent Hill 2, don't forget that one elevator that suddenly stops, followed by the hero's radio making him participate to a game show (the right answers are the code to a box that contains ammo and health bonuses). As if that wasn't unsettling enough, the host promises a very bad punishment if you get the answers wrong.
    • Silent Hill 3 has several transitions from Regular Silent Hill to Darkside triggered by riding an elevator. The first of such transitions is an example.
    • Literally ALL the elevators in the franchise could be considered Hellevators, though they usually lead from lesser hell to a worse one and Silent Hill 2 even has Stairway to Hell.
  • In Terraria, the term is used to describe any pit, shaft, or tunnel of any kind that leads directly from the surface (or very close to the surface) straight down to the very lowest level of the game world, Hell itself. No map is really complete without one. Digging several of them is also the easiest way to stop the spread of Hallow/Corruption after hardmode is activated.
  • In ULTRAKILL, the elevators installed in the mining facility and Hell itself transport V1 throughout the game's levels, all of which take place in the nine layers of Hell after beating Prelude.
  • The elevator into the Undercity in World of Warcraft is sometimes referred to as this, both due to the Undercity's tomb-like nature and the elevator's tendency to accidentally send players falling to their deaths.

    Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance once featured an entire house as an elevator to hell... with ghosts in the gas-tank! (Please don't say that elevators don't have gas-tanks — it'll only make it worse...)
  • One Schlock Mercenary strip (link) has an escalator to Hell in the background. The same strip actually has a thing called the "Helevator", but it's a Space Elevator between the Moon's Helena Plains and lunar synchronous orbit. In case you science geeks just noticed something odd, understand that 31st century Luna has been spun up for the comfort of its citizens.
  • In Hell(p) people get to Hell in an exceptionally creepy elevator filled with murder paraphernalia and spiced up with Mirror Monsters.

    Web Original 
  • In the Eddsworld video "Hello Hellhole" the gang summon an elevator straight to hell because their T.V. broke. Funnier still they summon it by Googling 'How to get to hell.'
  • The Creepypasta Secret Bar features one of these, that masquerades as a secret, exclusive bar, but actually lures thrillseekers to damnation. You can escape, but its difficult.
  • The title card for The Nostalgia Critic's review of Devil has elevator doors closing on terrified Critic with hell behind him. Scarier than anything in the movie.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-636 is a hotel elevator with a magnetic card reader that unlocks a "non existent" third sub-basement of the building. All personnel who have attempted to access this floor have disappeared, including a two-man exploration team whose helmet cameras later turned up disassembled with their memory cards wiped.
    • SCP-5484 (literally entitled "Hellevator") was originally a mundane elevator but due to a ritual described in its scripts as "Open a gate to Hell itself, consuming your enemies whole" done by a group of interest its pit has been transformed to seemingly endless, theorized to be a portal leading to the Catholic version of Hell. Later a grammatical error was discovered in the major rune, used to complete the ritual and properly activate the portal, where "Hel" was written instead of "Hell", resulting the portal actually leading to the Hel peninsula of Poland.

    Western Animation 
  • Several old MGM cartoons. The elevator there tends to be the most popular way of getting to the surface world.
  • In Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode "Robotnik-Land", while on the Sonic Ride, Robotnik, Scratch and Grounder run into an elevator that takes them to a Fire and Brimstone Hell.
  • The Cuphead Show!: In "Roll the Dice", after King Dice fails at capturing Cuphead, Henchman is sent to retrieve Dice in an elevator going down towards the underworld to receive a You Have Failed Me punishment from The Devil. The elevator makes a few more appearances in Season 2, including an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment between the Devil and Stickler.
  • There's one of these in Robot Hell in Futurama. Also a slide.
  • On the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Carnival Knowledge," the Hellevator (called "Elevator to Hell" with no use of weak euphemisms like "heck" and "Hades" or a scenery censor to cover up the last word) was shown as an amusement park ride that Rocko and Heffer try to get on, but are turned away when the carny tells Heffer he's too heavy for the ride.
    • More points to it when an actual devil winds up on the return trip and the operator shoves him back in, and sends him back to hell.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures also has a TV movie, in which a Disneyworld parody has both the Stairway to Heaven and The Bullet Train to Heck.
  • Darkwing Duck took one of these to the Bad Place in an episode. Then went back into it, blew off Satan, and took said Hellevator back up to Heaven. Satan followed, protesting.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In the short "Satan's Waitin", it was not an elevator that took Sylvester to Hades, but an escalator which seemed to go in an endless downward helix. In a movie adaptation of the episode, Yosemite Sam is already in hell and tries to take an elevator that would bring him back to the land of the living, but instead finds out that it takes him further down into hell.
    • In The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, Sam tries to escape Hell by elevator. But as the Devil points out, the elevator only goes one way; down.
  • Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Wet Blanket Policy": Buzz Buzzard has just been crushed by a large object, and he arrives at a lobby with elevators to both heaven and hell with Woody as the doorman: one opens and the angelic operator says "Going up" and woody forces it closed, the other opens and the demonic operator says "going down" and woody gives Buzz Buzzard a kick in the rear forcing him into the elevator.
  • In the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Heavenly Puss", Tom goes down the Hellevator. Except it was more of a hole in the ground. After he went through that hole, he fell quite a long fall to hell.
  • In Disenchantment episode "Bean Falls Down", there is an express elevator in the main tower of the castle that goes down all the way to Hell itself.
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters, of all things. Except this elevator — the Skelevator — doesn't go down, it goes up... and up... and up, until it reaches an otherworldly, ghost-filled dimension, the centerpiece of which is an enormous Rube Goldberg Machine the heroes use to change into uniform.
  • Appears at the end of The Simpsons episode "Simpson Bible Stories" where the Simpson family find themselves in the Apocalypse, and while everyone else goes to heaven, they go to hell. According to Homer, there's a buffet in hell.
  • A cat-shaped cave (resembling the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin) actually serves as the entrance to Hell in Pluto's Judgement Day, during the scene where Pluto is arrested.
  • In Ugly Americans, Hell is accessed via an escalator. New Yorkers usually go down there to shop ever since Hell got bought out.
  • Grojband: In "Love in a Nethervator", an infernal elevator takes the band to Hell, which is the source of all elevator music.
  • The first Cow and Chicken cartoon shows the Devil taking an elevator up to the surface world, The Elevator from Ipanema music playing.
  • There's something of a metaphorical example in Mission Hill, more specifically Unemployment Part II. While Andy has always been The Slacker of the cast, during his time on unemployment, he degenerates completely, not even bothering to dress himself when going outside, defending his new laziness with the slacker culture of Generation Y. He gets an abrupt wake-up call when he visits Jim at work, and discovers that not only does Jim, a stoner who's almost as much of a slacker as Andy is, have a well-paying, corporate job as the computer expert of an advertisment firm, the entire building is full of successfull 20-somethings just like Jim who have gotten rich during the dot-com era. While Andy is despontently taking the elevator back down, he ends up in the boiler room, where he encounters a middle-aged janitor who looks like an older version of himself. Literally scared straight, Andy hastily abandons his slacker ideals and spends the rest of the episode trying to get an art department job.
    Janitor: Well, it's nice to have some company!! *cackles like a madman*
  • In an episode of Gumby, the titular little green dab of clay is going down into the Earth with Pokey, and exclaims, "We're on an elevator ride straight to HECK!"
  • A scene that subtly invokes this in Courage the Cowardly Dog appears in the episode "Courage In The Big Stinkin' City". In it a sinister low-life cockroach named Shwick convinces Courage's family to come with him to a rehearsal room right before a sitar concert which happens to be several stories underground and is part of a long corridor with unnatural red lighting. Even though it is a physical place it may be closer to the real thing than it looks, since Shwick is connected with another building that has many portals to other dimensions (most of whom are very unfriendly) and is implied to have some sort of alliance with the demonic denizens of this domain.

    Real Life 
  • There is a story about an old lady waiting for an elevator at an A-kon in Dallas and the elevator opens up to reveal only one guy cosplaying as Devilman, who looks at her and asks "Going down?"
  • It seems to be a common note  graffiti prank to scribble a "button" named "Hell" under the lowest button of an elevator. Or "God" over the highest.