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Human Mail

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Packed with peanuts.

"I'm gonna wrap myself with paper
I'm gonna dab myself with glue
Stick some stamps on the top of my head
I'm gonna mail myself to you!"
Woody Guthrie, "Mail Myself To You"

Let's say you wanted to get somewhere really fast, or need to get someone out of your hair. Just send them through the mail! This is what human mail is — someone getting mailed (intentionally or accidentally) somewhere in a package.

Naturally, it would be nearly impossible for someone to actually get sent through the mail service in Real Life. While packages take time to deliver (several days to a week, at best), the package can be sent through in as short as a few hours or even minutes in fiction. This trope only applies if they are sent in a package or delivered as one.

Sister Trope of Cargo Concealment Caper, where the "package" instead opts for a straight delivery without the recipient noticing it. Not to be confused with armor made out of humans. Despite the name, this can include human-like characters, such as Funny Animals.


    open/close all folders 

  • A British TV ad for Tennants lager had a man attempt to stow away in a shipping crate to get deported back to the country he supposedly came from.
  • A Brazilian Mail ad had a mother trying to mail her son to another city so he could attend his school's field trip without having to hang out with his "nutcase" friends (much to the boy's chagrin). The attendant finds it pretty weird, and even more so when she (who, at this point, we can see is pretty loopy) requests him be sent in a SEDEX (express delivery) box ("What, you wanna travel in an envelope?!") - and we're not talking about a container here, but a handheld package.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth has Gian and Suneo infiltrating Mechapolis, a robot-inhabited city, in order to find the human population imprisoned by the machines after a robot uprising. But they end up uncovering a factory manufacturing human food, realize these to be supplies meant for the human prisoners, and decide to hide inside the packaging boxes to find out where the human internment camp is.
  • After America, France, and England got sick of caring for him, Italy in Hetalia: Axis Powers is sent back to Germany in a beat-up cardboard box that one would use for mailing off packages that said "FUCK" on it.
  • In Laid-Back Camp, the Out Club girls try to figure out a cheap way to insulate their sleeping bags for winter camping. After layering several methods including bubble wrap and a cardboard box, Chiaki (the one who's in the bag) remarks "Am I being shipped somewhere?"
  • In Ranma ½, annoying midget pervert Happosai gets stuffed into a box to be mailed somewhere a couple of times in both Manga and Anime. It never sticks.
  • Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee:
    • How Lag Seeing was introduced. Gauche found him near the ruins of his mother's house, with an address label on his jacket asking him to deliver him to his aunt's house. Unlike most examples of this trope, he isn't shipped in a box, but Gauche simply escorts him to the town where his aunt lives.
    • Niche is also introduced this way, with Lag finding her in a niche in the wall(where she gets her name), and seeing her as a package. Realizing that it's likely that no one else will ever deliver her, he takes the task of delivering her to Lovesome Downs, which turns out to be a freak show. When all's said and done, the delivery address on Niche's arm ends up being destroyed, so Lag decides it's an incomplete delivery and lets her tag along with him.

    Comic Books 
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan #4 story "Eye Of The Idol" (February 1974) had the family searching for the titular missing gem. Suspecting that maybe the culprit mailed it, Mimi tosses Scooter in a mail kiosk to look for it.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Scrooge McDuck has done this in a bid to save money while traveling. It's stated that all he saves is "a few cents", but you know what a miser he is.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table: 'Operation: Pig in a Poke' involves shipping Bob inside a crate to Hard 8 Enterprises so he can download command words from Tulley's computer. The plan starts to unravel when Brian cannot afford to send the crate overnight express, so he opts to send it freight instead.
  • One Mickey Mouse comic had gangsters rob museums using a fax machine that could fax people (and their booty). It sounds like teleportation at first, until you consider that people were digitalized and appeared in cyberspace, where anthropomorphic programs in the form of mailmen literally carried them across the data highway. The mailman could even lose their cargo, and (in case someone was faxed against his will) some could be reasoned with to bring you to other destinations, or others wouldn't listen.
  • Fozzie Bear mails himself to the Muppet Theatre in The Muppet Show Comic Book #3. Unfortunately, he addressed the box to himself, so Kermit won't let anyone else open it...
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Diana has Serva moved across town in a trunk by a moving service in order to help hide where Serva is from Hypnota.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes sometimes attempts to run away by sitting in a box by the mailbox with a vague address written on it (for example, "To Australia"— or, since Calvin doesn't pay attention in school, "Os trl ya"). It...doesn't work.
  • Dick Tracy: Spinner ReCord seals himself and the body of the police custodian he just murdered inside a packing crate, and has himself shipped off by train as part of a particularly elaborate plan for Disposing of a Body.
  • One Donald Duck strip had Donald try to get rid of a stray cat that was always annoying him by mailing them to China. It fails because the cat gave birth while in transit, and thus the package was heavier than what Donald paid for:
    Postman: You the guy that spent his last cent sending A cat to China?
    Donald: Yeah! What about it?
    Postman: Well, they didn't get there, chis'ler!
  • Bernie of Doonesbury shipped his then-girlfriend Didi back home from Vietnam by sending her through the mail.
  • Garfield:
    • Garfield occasionally tries to mail Nermal, his kitten rival, to Abu Dhabi.
    • Once he tried to mail himself to a lasagna factory.
      Jon: Not enough postage, Garfield.
      Garfield: ARGH!
  • Mac Manc McManx from Get Fuzzy tries to mail himself back to England, with Rob telling him that they already bought a plane ticket for him.
  • Popeye: This is how Popeye found Swee' Pea. The baby's mother mailed him to Popeye in a package.

    Fan Works 
  • In Family Guy Fanon's version of "The Son Also Draws", Meg says how excited her is to be going to New York, with her family for once. With a cutaway showing her being trapped in a package and getting sent to New York. The man who opens the package and sees her implies this isn't the first time this happened.
    Man: Aw, not you again. Send her back!
  • Jokey in the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The No Hug Zone" tried to slip through Tapper and Empath's defenses in order to give Grouchy a hug by shipping himself through the mail to Tapper's Tavern.
  • In Crazy Trouble With Love Part 8: "Ty Sisters and Aang", a fight between Aang and Ty Lee ends with the both of them falling into a care package that Ty Lee was planning to send to her family. When some Fire Nation soldiers come across the crate, they assume that Ty Lee had already finished packing and promptly shipped the crate off.
  • Discussed in What Do You Want? when Shampoo proposes to get rid of Kodachi by mailing her to Antarctica. Differently from the usual instances, it's quickly pointed out that Kodachi could die... Something Shampoo knows perfectly, she just doesn't care if she survives.
  • Miraculous: The Phoenix Rises introduces Haley, Max's little sister, by having their mother mail her back home in a cardboard box. While initially played for laughs, it also serves to show little their mother cares about her family compared to her job, cheaply mailing her own daughter across the country rather than buy plane/bus tickets.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Ami needed to get rid of some people quickly, so she shrunk them and put them in a box for transport. Well, not exactly people, since the chapter is "Vampire Solution".

    Film — Animation 
  • The Aristocats has the butler, Edgar, attempt to mail the kittens and cats away to Timbuktu at the end of the film. In the end, he himself gets thrown into the chest and is mailed off.
  • Done several times in Penguins of Madagascar:
    • The North Wind sends the penguins to a safe house in Madagascar via cardboard box.
    • The penguins travel from Shanghai, China to Shanghai, China (It Makes Sense in Context) by piling into a box and shipping themselves.
  • Ruben Brandt, Collector: Ruben Brandt dreams about getting kidnapped by a postman, putting him into his car and deliver him into an airplane. Then he gets grabbed by an another postman and jumps with him out of the airplane while flying.
  • In The Rugrats Movie, Stu builds the Reptar Wagon for a toy-building contest being held in Tokyo, in the hopes of winning the money to support his newborn son, Dil. When Phil and Lil see the Reptar Wagon, they try to use it to take Dil back to the hospital against Tommy's wishes, which is how they, along with Chuckie, get lost in a forest. A goat that Boris and Minka gave Didi to feed Dil stows away in the crate that Stu attempts to put the Reptar Wagon in, and when Stu believes he accidentally sent the babies to Tokyo, as they were playing in the crate earlier, he rushes to the airport, only to find out that the goat is in the crate.
    Pilot: I've turned this plane upside down and I assure you, there are no children.
    Co-Pilot: Nope.
    Pilot: We found a kid, but he's not the one you're looking for.
    (Goat bleats.)

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In 13, not all the contestants in the Deadly Game are volunteers, including an inmate from a Mexican prison who's Shipped in Shackles in a crate which is only opened two days later. The first priority of his captors is to give him a shower.
  • The Chipettes in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel mail themselves to Jett Records in a FEDex package. They weren't aware that Ian Hawke is out of a job now since the events of the first movie.
  • At the start of Deadpool the Big Bad is shown as an apparent Arms Dealer, selling aluminum shipping crates long enough to hold missiles. We later discover he's creating mutants to be used as Slave Mooks, and The Dragon is shown injecting these supersoldiers with a drug to knock them out before placing them in those crates.
  • Expelled: Felix's older brother, Ben, reveals that he escaped Boarding School by stowing away in a shipping crate which contains a bike he is supposed to deliver as well as changing the address to the O'Neel house.
  • The Real-Life example (see below) about the East German prisoner (imprisoned for Republikflucht) is depicted in the movie Fuehrer Ex.
  • The George of the Jungle movie has George ship himself and Toucy (and a pair of sneakers) from San Francisco to the jungle via UPS.
    "Next time, George get bigger box."
    • And from the sequel, George (now Chris Showerman) does get a bigger box — big enough to hold him, along with Ape, Ursula, Junior, and Rocky!
    Narrator: After getting a tip from Brendan Fraser, who was cramped during the first pic, this time George managed to get a bigger crate.
  • Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are shipped to England this way in The Great Muppet Caper. And in the end, they and the rest of the Muppets are shipped back to America this way too... and both times they're tossed out of the plane!
  • In Hudson Hawk, Eddie wakes up in a packing material shipping crate in another country after being rendered unconscious.
  • Utilised for Run for the Border in Jack Strong.
  • James Bond
    • Live and Let Die. In a final attempt to kill James Bond and Solitaire, Tee Hee has himself smuggled on board their train inside a mailbag, from which he slices himself out with his Hook Hand.
    • At the end of The Living Daylights, Bond turns the last surviving villain over to General Pushkin, who has him shipped back to Moscow in a diplomatic bag (As mentioned in the Real Life section, a common way for the Soviets to transport prisoners back to Russia).
  • J-Men Forever. Spy Swatter is told he'll be smuggled back into the United States "in a box marked 'Poisonous Reptiles'."
  • In MouseHunt the closest the brothers came to getting rid of that mouse was mailing him to Fidel Castro. It got sent back due to insufficient postage.
  • The Mysterious Doctor Satan wants to break into a guarded warehouse to steal its unobtanium, so he has his Killer Robot mailed to the warehouse in a large crate. Later the hero finds this crate and hides in it, knowing his minions will take it to their lair thinking the robot is inside. However Dr. Satan is suspicious and orders the crate put in a furnace for the requisite end-of-chapter Cliffhanger.
  • The Finnish Indie horror/comedy film Rare Exports ends with brainwashed human-like creatures being sent through the mail. The actual movie is twice as unsettling as that sounds.
  • Short Circuit 2: He's not technically a human, but Johnny 5 mails himself to Benjamin in the city, (with the help of Newton and Stephanie), after being rejected as an airplane passenger.
  • In Zenon: the Zequel, Zenons travel to Earth by hiding herself in a box put among the luggage of passengers of a spacial capsule. Unbeknowst to her, Margie has hidden in another box to follow her.

  • In the Chicken Soup for the Soul book It's Christmas, a story called "The Christmas Spirit Strikes Again" has a woman pay a surprise Christmas visit to her sister by popping out of a large courier package on her front porch. She wasn't actually sent through the mail, though; she got into the box a short distance from the house and the couriers carried her the rest of the way.
  • Discworld:
  • The Enchanted Files: Well, he's not human, but the principle is the same — in Diary of a Mad Brownie / Cursed, Angus suggests that Sarah put him in a box and mail him to America, but she says it wouldn't work. He later tries to shut himself in a package to be mailed, but finds that taping up a box from the inside is harder than it looks, and ultimately gives up on the idea.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: How book 4 opens — Georgia gets a pair of packages from her parents, and one turns out to contain Sid (the titular family skeleton), who'd mailed himself to her new temporary address.
  • Flat Stanley: Stanley Lambchop is transported cheaply this way.
  • The Known World: Augustus helps a slave, Rita, to freedom, by putting her in a box and mailing her to New York. It works.
  • In Mirror Dance, one of the mercenaries hides the cryochamber containing Miles by sending it through the mail. Unfortunately, he was unable to tell anyone where he mailed it.
  • In the Nero Wolfe novel The Doorbell Rang, Wolfe and Archie set up a trap for the FBI by smuggling a pair of actors and three free-lance men into the brownstone, packed up in crates.
  • Nina Tanleven: Referenced in book 2, during a discussion on the Underground Railroad, when one character mentions a runaway slave who had himself nailed into a crate and shipped to Boston.
  • Old Kingdom: In Abhorsen, Sabriel and Touchstone make the last stretch of their undercover journey through Ancelstierre hiding inside mailbags in a mail truck which takes them to Wyverley College.
  • In the first book of the Outlander Leander series Leander sneaks into another country by mailing himself.
  • In John Varley’s Steel Beach, this seems to be the standard way to deal with drunks at the end of the evening.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 'Allo 'Allo!. Maria Recamier was Put on a Bus this way, when she disguised herself as a Red Cross package and posted herself in the mail room of a POW camp. Unfortunately the package was sent back to Switzerland for insufficient postage. She was replaced by Mimi in the next episode.
  • CSI
    • This was the cause of one of the few deaths that wasn't murder. A woman who ran a Russian mail-order bride agency couldn't get a visa for one of the women, so the woman tried to ship herself to the U.S. inside a suitcase. Unfortunately, she died in transit and her death was covered up.
    • In "Helpless", a woman had herself packed into a box and shipped to her lover as a way of generating a sexual thrill. However, because her lover had been murdered, there was no-one to let her out at the other end and she died.
  • In The '90s Australian series Embassy, someone tries to smuggle himself out of the country via the crate method. Unfortunately, he makes the mistake of paying the smugglers in advance and has to be rescued by one of the embassy staff, who points out the holes in the crate. "I don't think they're for letting the air in."
  • Father Brown: In "The Paradise of Thieves", the murderer gained access to the bank vault by having himself shipped in inside a crate supposedly containing pieces of art.
  • In the Firefly episode "The Message", a former independence soldier who served with Mal and Zoe mailed his body to them after he gets over his head with some smugglers (who happen to be corrupt Alliance police officers) with a request that they get him back to his family home. Turns out he was faking his death with a drug that left him Only Mostly Dead.
  • In Game of Thrones, Varys has a holed wooden crate delivered to him which contains the warlock who cut out his genitals long ago. Later he uses a similar crate to smuggle Tyrion out of King's Landing.
  • Get Smart. In "Island of the Darned", a KAOS agent who is into Hunting the Most Dangerous Game has the stuffed body of his last victim delivered to Control headquarters. The delivery man complains that KAOS tips better for their deliveries.
  • The Goodies
    • When Graeme Garden tries to convince the authorities that Earth is about to be invaded by rabbits from the Moon, the men in white coats start to put him in a box marked: TO THE FUNNY FARM - THIS WAY UP.
    • In the parody of apartheid, the South African government is so desperate to get white immigrants that any white person who walks past the tourist office gets a net thrown over them by two policemen, then they're dragged inside to be shipped off in a crate. They call it a package tour.
  • The villains of the Honey West episode "Whatever Lola Wants..." try to force Honey into a box so they can mail her to the syndicate in Caracas.
  • Horrible Histories had a sketch about a pair of suffragettes attempting to have themselves mailed to 10 Downing Street. Rattus tells us that suffragettes really did attempt to have themselves mailed to the Prime Minister, and this was the reason why a law was passed making it illegal to send humans through the Royal Mail.
  • The Magician: In "Man on Fire", a teenager steals one of Tony's trick trunks and conceals himself in it after arranging for it to be delivered the photographic studio that is blackmailing his father.
  • Subverted in Malcolm in the Middle when Reese wants Dewey to mail him somewhere. Dewey packages him up and pretends to mail Reese by simulating movement and sounds. Reese falls for it.
  • In The Muppet Show episode with Paul Williams, Paul plays a travel agent and a monster asks for the cheapest travel package he has. Paul flattens the monster with a weight, sticks a stamp on him and mails him.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Catalina arrived in the US in a crate. Upon starting the journey, she was given a newspaper, but she said it would be too dark in the crate to read. The response? It's not for reading.
  • One episode of NCIS had a particularly awful example of this. Four Navy crewmen got involved with women while they were on deployment, and they cooked up a scheme to mail the girls back to the United States in a shipping container. Unfortunately, none of the men were assigned to the ship which had the container on board, the container was in a part of the ship where no one could hear the women calling for help, and three of them died before they reached their destination. The fourth turned out to be the perp of the episode; she was taking revenge on the sailors for her friends' deaths.
  • Odd Squad: In the Season 1 finale "O is Not For Over", Odd Todd mails himself to Otto as a way to meet up with him at 52 Main Street. According to him, it was the only way to contact the agent, as he tried emailing himself to Otto but failed to do so due to his computer not having enough storage.
  • Oz. Augustus Hill asks Verne Schillinger (whose Aryan Brotherhood run the prison mailroom) if he can escape prison this way, but he's just laughed at. The end of the episode shows Hill ducking into a box, but he's still there the next week, so his attempt was obviously unsuccessful.
  • According to Pop Up Video when they "popped" Madonna's "Express Yourself", "It's illegal to Federal Express yourself."
  • Part of Number Six's escape attempt The Prisoner (1967) episode "The Chimes of Big Ben" includes being shipped in a wooden box from Poland to London.
  • The deputies from Reno 911! mailed a Scotland Yard detective back to England after he was killed in a shootout.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In "A Shot in the Dark", Alice smuggles herself from Canada back into the USA inside a box.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. "Dagger of the Mind" opens with the Enterprise beaming up a crate of research material from a Penal Colony. Turns out there's an escaped inmate inside, wearing a breathing mask.
  • The Trailer Park Boys has an episode where Cory and Trevor are mailed to a Snoop Dogg concert... along with lots of marijuana.
  • In the The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss episode, "The Cat in the Hat Gets a Package", Sarah Hall-Small does this in an Imagine Spot when she wonders what it would be like to mail herself to her grandmother while she waits in line at the Post Office.
  • In the Young & Hungry episode "Young and Couchy", Gabi travels to San Francisco to patch up with Yolanda by mailing Jim's desk and hiding in the delivery box.

  • The Velvet Underground: "The Gift" is a short story, written by Lou Reed and read by John Cale, about young man named Waldo who decides to mail himself to his girlfriend Marcia, whom he met before they went to college in different states, not realizing she has moved on. He arrives at Marcia's apartment, whereupon Marcia and her friend Sheila see the package is from Waldo and decide they might as well open it. The crate is nailed shut; Marcia and Sheila's attempts to open it are futile until Marcia grabs a sheet metal cutter. Sheila slices right through the middle of the crate... and Waldo's head.
  • The Gorillaz guitarist, Noodle, arrived at Kong Studios in a crate once and traveled back to Japan by mail another time.
  • A music video called "If I Only Had a Brain" Has the rapper M.C. 900 Ft. Jesus mail himself to a magazine advertisement.
  • In one video, Len Kagamine sends his master to Hokkaido in a box.
  • "Mail Myself to You" by Woody Guthrie
  • "Mail Myself to Elvis"

  • In Within the Wires, this is how the passenger gets off and then back on the plane in Black Box cassette #1: by hiding in a crate that is delivered to a friend of the pilot, and then again in a crate that is brought onto the next plane.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Mentioned in Transhuman Space: Cities on the Edge, which describes the automated freight reception systems in many arcologies and large buildings, and then notes that these could be used to get someone past the AI security. (In 2100, delivery times in hours, even for large crates, are actually plausible.)

    Video Games 
  • In Disgaea Dimension 2, Angel Scicily mailed herself from Celestia to the Netherworld in a box. She claims to have done this to avoid getting lost, which everyone except Flonne thinks is stupid.
  • In Dishonored, specifically the DLC Knife of Dunwall, a nonlethal option for neutralizing a target is knocking him unconscious, dumping him in a crate, nailing it shut, and shipping him to Tyvia, the most remote corner of the Empire. This is apparently a common enough means of getting people places that there's a special routine and method of preparation to ensure the crate's occupant survives the trip.
  • Not exactly mail, but in Grim Fandango one of the "cheaper" ways of travelling the Department of Death offers basically involves being put into a coffin full of padding foam and transported to the Gate by the company trucks. Manny actually refers to this as "parcel post" at one point. Of course, all of the subjects are Dead to Begin With, so neither suffocation nor starvation is an issue. On the other hand, spending several years as a package isn't much fun — as you'll discover when you arrive at the destination yourself and meet a shipped client who pops out of his box incandescent with rage.
    Bruno: YOU! You were the guy who packed me in there! You could have at least given me a magazine. Four years with nothing to read but this damn mug!
  • Metal Gear
    • In Metal Gear Solid, you can hide in the cardboard box on a truck to rapidly travel between areas.
    • A puzzle in Metal Gear: Ghost Babel has Snake have to use different-coloured cardboard boxes mid-transit on a sorting line that send him in a different direction based on whichever colour the box he's using is.
  • Day 2 of the Hotline Miami heist in PAYDAY 2 begins with the crew jumping out of the crates Bain used to ship them to the Commissar's fortified tenement building.
  • In Prey (2017), Quinten, an engineer on Talos I, attempts to do this by hiding in one of the cargo hold’s shipping crates with food and evidence of the space station’s crimes. Unfortunately, he is killed by unknown means before Morgan finds him.
  • The obscure stealth game Rogue Ops has some missions begin with the protagonist being shipped in a box to infiltrate the enemy base.
  • Done in RuneScape's quest Merlin's Crystal, where you ship yourself to an otherwise inaccessible building. Unlike most examples, this likely takes half an hour or less in-universe time, since you're almost immediately brought onto the cargo ship.
  • Simon The Sorcerer: Simon infiltrates a goblin lair by delivering an inventory list to a merchant then hiding inside the gaint package that the merchant prepares from it.
  • Watch Dogs: Legion: Similar to the Transhuman Space example above, there are numerous automated courier drones flying around that Deadsec members can hijack for their own use. The game doesn't offer the ability to hide inside the cargo compartment, but they're large enough to be used for Sky Surfing.


    Web Original 
  • The Comics Curmudgeon interprets a silly Hi and Lois strip that way.
  • Happens to Zhuge Xu in Farce of the Three Kingdoms. Zhong Hui mails him home as a punishment, mostly to annoy Deng Ai.
  • Ricegum supposedly did this in one video and ended up getting delivered to an exercise guru YouTuber's apartment. The receiver did not take it well, but Ricegum appealed to him by giving him a shoutout in the video, and the receiver later had Ricegum guest star in one of his videos to make up for him being upset.
  • In RWBY, we get an example of "not quite" Human Mail:
    Ruby: Zwei!
    Blake: He sent a dog!?
    Weiss: In the mail!?
    Yang: Oh, he does stuff like this all the time.
    Blake: Your father or your dog?
  • An episode of What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? talks about why you don't try this in real life when a Chinese man suffocated after mailing himself to his girlfriend. The channel points out he forgot step one (cut a hole in a box).

    Western Animation 
  • A Beavis and Butt-Head episode had the pair attempting to mail themselves.
  • One episode of Camp Lazlo revolves around Edward attempting this but lacking the postage to do so. He spends the episode talking the others into giving him stamps with a sob story, but then they want to go with him, requiring more postage. By the end, all the campers are shipped off, but end up at the location next door, as they were as far as the postage would get them.
  • Captain Flamingo: Attempted in "The Even Greater Escape". Milo mails Rutger as a package from his origami kit to get him away from his babysitter who keeps tabs on him in order to play in the hockey championship game. It backfires since the package sends him to a hockey game in Sweden.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: At the end of "No Speak Da Ed", Rolf discovers that some seemingly ominous gifts that Ed had been receiving were sent by a prankster he knows from the The Old Country, and he decides to retaliate by sending the Eds to Norway to shave her legs. The episode ends with him stuffing the Eds in a suitcase (along with a razor and shaving cream) and cramming it into a mailbox.
    Eddy: Rolf, wait! I got some Korean cash! Take it! It's yours!
    Edd: I can't fly to Norway! I have class in the morning!
    Ed: Um, guys? I have to go to the bathroom.
    Edd & Eddy: NOOOOOOO!!!
  • Egghead Rides Again: Egghead mails himself to the Bar-None Ranch in Wahoo, Wyoming. When the ranch worker gets the mail, he receives an envelope (like the kind you send cards and letters in). When he opens up the envelope, Egghead falls out.
  • On Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Bloo tries to send Cheese away through the mail. Cheese gets sent back due to insufficient postage to tolerate smell.
  • In the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well" has President Truman transported in a crate labelled "canned eggs"—which he punches his way out of upon arrival. It's left to our imagination if this was a security measure or just a bizarre preference.
  • Garfield and Friends:
    • Garfield mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi, or threatening to do so, is something of a Running Gag.
    • In one episode, "Monday Misery", Garfield mails himself to Samoa hoping to escape a bad Monday. Because of the time zone difference, he arrives in Samoa just as Monday is starting.
  • Gasp!: Not exactly human, but when Beetlenick seems homesick for Jolly Old England in "Beetles in the Mail", Gasp goes about trying to mail him back there.
  • The Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "Rival Romeos", in which the two compete for the attention of a girl, had a sequence where Heckle ambushes Jeckle, packages him and sends him to Mexico. Seconds later, Jeckle appears at the door in Mexican gear with a bull in tow.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi has Kaz attempt this to get back into the tour bus when their cats, Jeng Kang and Tekirai lock him out. Kaz gets mailed to a bunch of other places courtesy of the cats until the package eventually returns.
  • During one episode of King of the Hill, Dale Gribble briefly considers mailing himself to Nancy as a Christmas present. He decides against the idea, as "it wouldn't be very merry if [he] died in some distribution center".
  • In two Looney Tunes cartoons, Porky Pig tries to get rid of Charlie Dog this way. Charlie always gets sent back.
  • Oscar's Orchestra: Well, Animate Inanimate Object mail, but in the episode “Star Tours”, Louis the Oboe, from France, posts himself through the mail to the orchestra’s hideout so he can join them.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In one episode, Perry mails himself to his headquarters.
    • In "Operation Crumbcake", Adyson of the Fireside Girls gets caught in the mail system while looking for Isabella's letter that's being sent to Phineas.
  • Pinky and the Brain often ship themselves to different locations while trying to Take Over the World.
  • Jerry is accidentally shipped to Bird-Person's wedding at the beginning of the Rick and Morty episode "The Wedding Squanchers."
  • In Rocko's Modern Life episode "S.W.A.K.", Rocko tries to get a love letter back after Heffer dropped it in his mailbag, not wanting it to be intercepted by his crush's Knight Templar Big Brother, and literally goes through the post office to do so. He eventually does get the letter back...and when Heffer reads out loud the letter to "my mail carrier", the brother thinks it's a token of friendship from Rocko to Heffer.
  • Rosie's Rules: Well, Cat Mail, but one episode appropriately titled "Cat Mail" involves Rosie trying to mail Gattita to Mexico.
  • A Rugrats (1991) episode, "Special Delivery" had Tommy Pickles sneak into the mailman's bag and explores the post office to find a "baby" (really a toy his dad ordered to compare with his own handmade doll) that will be delivered to his family. Tommy gets mistaken for a piece of mail and is sent through the system of mail sorting machines and chutes, almost gets stuck in the dead letter office, and finds the package, climbing into it and going home this way.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Bart on the Road" had Bart and his friends travel home in a shipment crate. Bart was the courier, and pranked the others by pretending they had to stay in the cramped box to stay hidden even though the cargo hold was otherwise empty.
    • "In the Name of the Grandfather" had Moe traveling to Ireland in one.
      Grampa: Moe?! You shipped yourself here?
      Moe: No, it's how you fly coach on Delta now.
    • Bart also tries to post Lisa as a baby in the episode "Lisa's First Word"
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Kracked Krabs", Mr. Krabs and SpongeBob travel to an awards ceremony for Cheapest Krab. In order to travel as cheaply as possible, they mail themselves there at the price of a 1 cent stamp.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "No Escape, Part I", Kaz and CB-23 find Flix and Orka, along with their droid GL-N and their pet gorg Bitey, hiding inside a crate in their shop with a stash of food. Their plan to escape the First Order's control of the Colossus was to arrange for the crate to be mailed to Flix's mother on Talivar, but as Kaz points out, the fact that the Colossus is now almost entirely underwater means that isn't happening. Flix and Orka choose to stay in the crate anyways.
  • In the Total Drama World Tour episode "Aftermath Aftermayhem" Blainley is jealous of the attention Bridgette is getting for her talk show, in order to upstage and replace her she captures her in a sack and after a few failed attempts mails her off to Siberia.
  • In the Harvey Girls Forever! episode "Raiders of the Lost Park", Audrey mentions that her older sister Zoe once tried to mail her to Abu Dhabi as a reference to the Garfield and Friends example above.

    Real Life 
  • Cracked's The 5 Most Badass Ways People Escaped from Slavery relates the story of Henry "Box" Brown, an African-American slave in Virginia successfully escaped to Philadelphia inside a crate and later bragged about how he did it. Slavery opponent Frederick Douglass was infuriated because he wanted this escape method to be kept secret so that other slaves could use it.
  • A German prisoner once snuck into the mailroom and climbed into a box that was picked up by the courier.
  • A man named Charles McKinley shipped himself in a box from New York to Dallas to visit his parents, and saved on airfares by charging the shipping fees to his former employer. He took the rest of the journey by riding on a plane normally, though. His stunt backfired, however; he was ordered to pay a $1500 fine for being a stowaway, which was much more than what a regular plane ticket would have cost.
  • Since the US Parcel Post Service began in 1913, rural communities can receive goods at a low price. This occurred to small children as well because they can be sent by mail for less than the cost of a train ticket. Famously, four-year-old May Pierstroff was mailed across Idaho to her grandparents as a baby chicken and was just short of the 50-pound limit. Of course years later, regulations were issued against sending children by mail.
  • Almost as soon as they existed in a form we would recognize today, many postal services realized there was an opportunity to make some extra money on routes that served remote rural communities by adding some extra seats to the vehicle and taking paying passengers. These Postbus services were widespread in Europe up until the 1960s and are still operating in a few countries, although most were spun off into separate mass transit companies from the 1980s onwards.
  • Eastern Bloc countries and especially USSR did have this trope as a habit: sending defectors, diplomats declared as personae non gratae, or otherwise difficult people back home as diplomat mail.
  • An Australian called Reg Spiers successfully had himself shipped in a crate from London to Perth in 1964. Later the same year, inspired by this feat, a homesick Welshman called Brian Robson tried the same thing in the opposite direction, with less success.
  • It must be pointed out that this method of transportation can be extremely dangerous, much more so than in the days before air travel. Cargo holds for planes, although generally pressurized,note  are usually unheated,note  and the extreme cold at altitudes approaching 40,000 feet has caused near-fatalities for people trying this method.note  Also, it may mean going several days without food, water, or access to a toilet.


Video Example(s):


Origami Shipping Box

Attempted. Milo mails Rutger as a package from his origami kit to get him away from his babysitter who keeps tabs on him in order to play in the hockey championship game. It backfires since the package sends him to a hockey game in Sweden.

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Main / HumanMail

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