People standing in line to do various tasks. Usually a comedy trope, the joke being one or more of the following:
- The line is insufferably long or service slow, often to such a degree that people grow beards, raise families etc.;
- May involve cutting or place-saving;
- The task itself is... unorthodox;
- "It's a queue! It must be important! Let's queue!" People see others standing in line and assume that whatever they're waiting for is important, or at the very least worth the wait;
- Queuing for something that should be urgent, quick or will be unpleasant;
- Spending a great deal of time (a significant part of an episode, if not its entirety) queuing for something only for it to be the wrong queue, or for the till at the end to shut just as the character(s) get to the front.
If people plan for a ridiculously long wait in line, it's a Ticket-Line Campout. If the queue uses sequential tickets instead of simple position in line, it's Take a Number. If the line is filled with tryhards desperate to get inside an exclusive place or event, it's Wannabe Line.
- In Hetalia: Axis Powers, there's a fake ad for a Germany sim, to simulate life through a German's eyes. He's standing in a horribly long line with a slow Greek cashier making conversation with a Spaniard. The line's not moving, and then Italy butts in.
- In the Yo-Kai Watch episode, the Yo-Kai Fidgephant's powers to make people desperate to pee causes a long line for the boys' bathroom to form at Nate's school. He tries to combat this by summoning Illoo to create more toilets, but they disappear after a few seconds.
- In episode 42 of Happy Heroes, Big M. has to use the bathroom because he accidentally swallowed an orange he laced with diarrhea powder. There's a long line of children waiting to have their number called out so they can use the bathroom; Big M.'s number is 108 while the child he sees is number 28.
- The Simple Samosa episode "Chhote Rajaji" is about a spiciness epidemic spreading throughout the town of Chatpata Nagar. By the time Samosa has met his friends outside, there's already a long line of townsfolk leading right into the hospital, with some snacks being offered to the waiting patients as well.
- One Calvin and Hobbes strip used several of these at once, with Mom running errands:
Mom: Fifteen people in line and the teller goes on break without a replacement... After I wait ten minutes, they open a new line for all the people behind me who have waited two minutes... I'm waiting to pay, and the cashier puts me on hold instead of the person on the telephone.
Cashier: (eventually) Have a nice day.
Mom: Too late.
- A FoxTrot Sunday strip had the majority of the strip devoted to a ridiculously long airline check-in queue, with the final panel having Andy remark that she thinks she has forgotten the tickets.
- A classic Peanuts strip shows Charlie Brown waiting in line at the theater, hoping to be one of the first 1,500 children to get free candy bars. He lets Lucy go in front of him, and she becomes the 1,500th candy bar winner. According to Charles Schulz, this really happened to him.
- Robotman and Monty: Moondoggie gets a job in a bank (temporarily) - he amuses himself by moving the velvet ropes around to get the customers to line up to a blank wall, creating "The Twilight Zone bank".
- A Sunday strip for Crankshaft has a line for a book signing. Ed clears out the line by spoiling who the killer was in the novel.
- In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, John and Paul have to stand on line to get into the Cloud Horn exhibit at the museum on Tipaan. While standing there, they observe several hapless Svenjaya (the local semi-Slave Race) being ordered to move from the head of the line to the back. Offended, Paul intervenes on their behalf, puts them back where they belong, and scares the crap out of the people being annoying. This act of kindness, one of several, ultimately pays off for the four.
- In The Last in the Bath Line, Lincoln Loud is sick of being the last one in line to take a shower and the shower water being cold, so he tries waking up early. Initially, this works, but then his sisters try waking up early too and so Lincoln wakes up even earlier, resulting in Sleep Deprivation.
- Passengers line up to slap/club/shoot a hysterical woman.
- Airplane II: The Sequel: The same woman in the scene above relives her experience in a courtroom, including getting slapped by the court personnel.
- Men lining up for their chance with a "virgin".
- Flight controllers lining up to demolish a radio because it isn't working.
- When Jimmy is holding auditions in The Commitments, one guy sees everyone else queuing up and thinks Jimmy is selling drugs.
- Arthur and co. in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), queuing to petition for Trillian's release from their jail.
- Monty Python's Life of Brian has condemned prisoners standing in line waiting to be crucified:
Nisus Wettus: Crucifixion?
Nisus Wettus: Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.
Nisus Wettus: Crucifixion?
Mr. Cheeky: Er, no, freedom actually.
Nisus Wettus: What?
Mr. Cheeky: Yeah, they said I hadn't done anything and I could go and live on an island somewhere.
Nisus Wettus: Oh I say, that's very nice. Well, off you go then.
Mr. Cheeky: No, I'm just pulling your leg, it's crucifixion really.
Nisus Wettus: (laughing) Oh yes, very good. Well...
Mr. Cheeky: Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left...
- A joke recounted by Isaac Asimov and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others:
In a Communist country, citizens are in an hours-long queue for food. One man, growing frustrated, turns to the man beside him and declares: "Comrade, the shortage is all caused by the President's corruption! I shall go home, dig up the pistol buried in my garden, go to the palace, fight my way past his guards, and kill him, or die in the attempt!" He storms off.
An hour or so later, by which time the queue has moved forward by about half a block, he returns. "What happened?" his friend asks. The man shakes his head. "You think this is a long queue?"
- One joke involves a teenage boy getting ready to take his girlfriend to the prom and finding a long "tux line", "flower line", and "limo line" when he buys the things, but when he goes to get some punch, there's no punch line.
- A man is walking in the street when he sees a hearse followed by a vast funeral procession heading the other way. Unable to get out of the way, he ends up walking with the procession for a while, asking a sad-looking man next to him:
First Man: I don't know who's being buried today, but they must have been very popular.
Other Man: It's my wife and mother-in-law.
First Man: Oh I'm so sorry, how did they die?
Other Man: Well, my wife always wanted a pet, so I got a pair from the pet store. Two huge Rottweilers, I was barely able to hang on to them on the way home... and no sooner had I let them in the house, they jumped my wife and mother-in-law, went straight for the throat! They were already dead by the time I dialed 911.
First Man: That's awful! ... Those dogs wouldn't be available for rent, by any chance?
- Other Man: No cutting in line!
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy: In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Fenchurch explains that her parents named her for a London railway station because they conceived her in the ticket queue. The fact that she's Arthur's Love Interest and they have lots of sex in that book actually makes the line from the movie Hilarious in Hindsight.
"They refuse to elaborate. They only say you wouldn't believe how bored it is possible to get in the ticket queue at Fenchurch Street Station."
- In Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Inferno (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle) (and the original The Divine Comedy, though Niven plays up the humor and absurdity considerably more) people stand in long lines waiting to be judged in Hell.
- Keith Laumer's short story "In the Queue". Nominated for the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. A story about a man in a society where people stand in queue for generations, with mobile "quebanas" to live in on the line.
- In one of the Nate the Great books, Nate is waiting in line but decides to give up because he thinks that it might take years for it to be his turn.
Nate: "I could get older. Pancakes could disappear!"
- In Oh The Places Youll Go, the Waiting Place is a place where everyone is waiting. In the background, there can be seen a comically-long line for an outhouse.
- In Orson Scott Card's Shadow Puppets: "The Dutch were trying to beat the English for queuing, but that's silly because everyone knows that standing cheerfully in line is the English national sport."
- On Robert A. Heinlein's utopia world of Tertius, killing someone who cuts in line is considered "justifiable homicide", or rather, "homicide in the public interest" (that is, to be encouraged), as seen in his novel The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.
- Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: Greg and the others are stuck for over 45 minutes in a long line of boats waiting to be refueled at Dangling Rope Marina in Lake Powell.
- 30 Rock:
- The first episode opened with a sequence wherein a man ignores a line at a hot dog stand. Liz bought all the hot dogs to keep him, and the people who promptly lined up behind him, from having any because It's the Principle of the Thing. Of course, then she didn't have anything to do with all those hot dogs she had bought. This is Liz's Establishing Character Moment.
- Another good one in "Tracy Does Conan": Kenneth is sent to pick up Tracy's pills from a pharmacy to assuage the apparent psychotic break he's having in time for him to go on TV. During the frantic ramp-up to the moment Tracy has to go on, there's the expected cut to Kenneth anxiously peering over people's heads from the back of a really long line... and then an old lady comes up and he graciously lets her cut in front of him.
- In the Broad City episode "Fattest Asses," Abbi can't wait for the long line outside the women's room at a party, uses the men's room instead, and ends up doing cocaine with a guy in a stall.
- An episode of Dead Like Me showed Rube in a queue at the Post Office when a woman cut in front of him because she had seen her friend there. Rube called her out for it, especially after she tried to excuse her behaviour by claiming her kids were waiting in the car. When he sent her to the end of the queue everybody gave him a round of applause.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Gridlock", people are in their "cars" for years and decades on end, but that is because the entire city above them had died.
- There is an episode of Drake & Josh where most of the episode is about the brothers (and Megan) waiting in line for a rollercoaster. They finally get to ride, but beforehand, they are sent to the back of the line (if memory serves, twice — once for cutting in line, once for fighting), get into a fight with the mascot, and get stuck by a bratty kid with a mom who won't do anything about her child's behavior.
- In How I Met Your Mother, Ted and Marshall go to a concert and get high on... sandwiches, then leave their seats to go buy nachos. They get lost, and keep mistaking the line to the women's restroom for the nacho line.
- Anybody remember the slow-moving queues in The Kids in the Hall who were entertained by The Flying Pig? "Hey, hey, hey! Look at meeee!"
- Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the "New Cooker Sketch", a series of gas men arrive outside Mrs. Pinnet's flat, eventually forming a huge line that stretches down the street.
- One invention exchange in Mystery Science Theater 3000 involves a fold-up mirror you can hang on someone's neck so that you can primp whilst standing in line for a movie etc. "Don't get ready to go until you're already there!"
- In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hilda and Zelda go to the Magical Emergency Department in order to save Harvey from the Wicked Witch only to be met with a line. They inquire an elderly woman as to how long the wait is and are told (in a rather senile tone) that the woman's son is 58 years old. When Hilda points out that doesn't answer her question, the old woman informs her that said son was born in the line. Cue various and sundry waiting and bureaucratic jokes.
- Scrubs used the gag when the hospital opened a Bland-Name Product version of Starbucks. When it's revealed that the line is so long the back end of it is in front of another coffee shop, and half the line turns around, the series Butt-Monkey Ted is distraught to find out he's now at the end of both lines.
- Seinfeld had an episode queueing for a table in a restaurant. And then there was the Soup Nazi episode, but that queue moved reasonably fast and efficiently; there, the joke was the abuse everyone was willing to put up with from the Soup Nazi, because his soup was just that good. In Real Life, the line moved fast because the Soup Nazi yelled at people who took too long to order. Hungry people stuck at the end of a forty-person line populated by cornfed tourists probably felt he had a point.
- Sesame Street:
- In one skit, Kermit tries to interview some people who are waiting in line to watch a game. He talks to the woman in the back, but she assumes that he's also waiting to watch the game so she can't be last. A similar thing happens when Kermit tries to interview the man at the front of the line but this time it's a woman in the middle of the line who believes Kermit is first. To add to the confusion, the man who's second in line believes he ought to be first because initially, he was, but he went off somewhere.
- One song is about some chickens being taught how to wait in line.
- In the Supernatural episode "The Man Who Would Be King", after Crowley becomes the new King of Hell, he dispenses with the traditional Fire and Brimstone Hell and instead turns it into an endless queue where condemned souls wait in line for eternity. According to him, many people who end up in Hell are sadomasochists who are Too Kinky to Torture with the usual methods, but no one likes waiting in line.
Castiel: What happens when they reach the front?
Crowley: Nothing. They go right back to the end again. That's efficiency.
- In the Brazilian humour show TV Pirata, one sketch showed lots of people on a queue fighting fiercely, then pans to the head of the queue where we see a sign saying "Gratuituous Violence".
- One episode of Will & Grace revolves around Will waiting in line for Barry Manilow tickets, and a little later waiting in line at a coffee house to get the key to the men's room. In order to do the second thing, he gets Grace to hold his place in line, and for various reasons she delegates to Karen.
- Young Sheldon: In "A Frat Party, a Sleepover and the Mother of All Blisters", Sheldon wants to use the bathroom at the frat house, but he finds that there's a line. He is forced to pee outside.
- A regular part of player missions in the RPG Paranoia is battling your way through the queue (sometimes literally) to pick up the useless equipment you have been assigned. A typical example: A Troubleshooter arrives at the PLC to pick up a Left-Handed Oxygen Dihydrogenator, only to find the line reaches out the door. Arriving at the desk (eventually) the PLC clerk asks for the Troubleshooter's 386-XM-16 form, properly filled out in triplicate. Troubleshooter does not have said form. The form is obtained, an adventure in itself. Back to the end of the line. She gets to the desk again, whereupon she is informed the form is correct, but PLC don't have the LHOD and to come back the next Daycycle. She camps out overnight in the line, only to hear that the LHOD is now in stock, but is not available at her security clearance level and she can't have it without committing treason. Now, the Troubleshooter may now do three things, arranged in decreasing order of safety and increasing order of Fun and Excitement: 1) Potentially incurring the wrath of Friend Computer by going out unequipped, 2) Going to the Infrared Market or 3) Sparking a riot in the PLC facility to sneak in and steal the Dihydrogenator, and likely anything else that isn't nailed down.
- Warhammer 40,000: Pilgrims flock to Holy Terra from all over the galaxy just to be in the God-Emperor's presence. This being 40K, we're talking millions of people, with many families having been there for generations and are still no closer to seeing Him.
- Afterlife (1996): The "Switchback Mountains" Envy punishment initially seems very simple: Just several queues starting at the very bottom of an enormous mountain, and once you reach the top, you're getting right out of Hell. The trick comes in a bit of applied Helltech making sure all the adjacent lines look like they're moving faster than yours. And since this is a punishment for the Envious, the ensuing utter chaos as they try to skip lines, cut in and even throw hands over their position in the queue ensures this is more of a Self-Inflicted Hell than most. It's explicitly stated you'd be out in about a year if you just stayed put, but most of the Envious take thousands of years if they ever even get there.
- In Illusion of Gaia, a store in Euro has a queue, which you must wait in to gain entry.
- League of Legends PvP matchmaking queue times can get pretty lengthy sometimes, especially once you reach the higher echelons of the ranked tier system and the pool of available competition dwindles to a small bunch of familiar faces. Lengthy log-in queues can form at times as well, especially just after a patch or a technical hickup.
- In Mass Effect, on Feros you encounter an enemy Krogan attempting to access restricted information, whose rant on how stupid the machine is gets interrupted when the computer warns him that there is a queue forming for the use of the console. Said queue, of course, being composed of the most badass person in the galaxy and two compatriots.
- Papers, Please: Every in-game day a huge queue forms of citizens eager to gain access to Arstotzka and it's up to the player to sort through them.
- In Postal 2 there is a queue at the bank when you go to cash your pay check on Day 1. Being Postal, you don't have to wait, then again, you don't have to grenade the line from the roof either. How's that for moral choice in games?
- There was a whole subsection in the original RollerCoaster Tycoon manual to discuss the word "queue" to any American who doesn't know what it means.
- Played for drama in Obsidian, with the Bureau Realm's "Time Face" holding a long, empty queue line, and several benches around the area, all leading up to a booth marked as the department of "Immediate Action", and you have to go here to get a document approved to fix the bridge to the Bureau Chief's office. But when you hand the form over, you have to fix the Bureau's clock, only to find that after you do this, a built-up backlog causes the approval to take a year to go through. And at that point, the Vidbot manning the booth closes it.
- The line for Worlebury-juxta-Mare in Sunless Skies is absurdly long. If you actually choose to wait in line instead of bribing your way past, it takes multiple days before you're admitted. However, those pale in from of the queues seen in the Blue Kingdom, which have been described as extended to multiple streets and the rooftops.
- The World of Warcraft Looking For Dungeon system. Introduced in patch 3.3, the system guarantees anyone a group with a dungeon cross server. At level 80 during Wrath of the Lich King, it rarely took 20 minutes to find a group, even for DPS during off peak, but during 85, the DPS roles had to wait for upwards of an hour. No wonder why the term "Queue Queue" could describe those many players' reactions.
- In addition to your chosen role, the time you have to wait can depend on the time of the day, when in the week you were doing it, and sometimes, when in an expansion (queue times for DPS were twice as long at the beginning of Mists of Pandaria as they are now).
- Zork: Grand Inquisitor has people waiting in a queue to be totemized. A sign says that messing with the Totemizer's settings will result in being moved to the front of the queue.
- From Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, holy man/prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi decided to sample the local cuisine during his first visit to Japanifornia, and went to a burger joint that had been recommended on a local TV show. Of course, because it was recommended on TV, the line was enormous, and he was waiting in it for well over an hour, but he claims it was child's play compared to his monk training.
- Conventional Wisdom is about anime conventions. Long lines are a fact of life.
- Doghouse Diaries: Played with in Going To The Airport. While there's no one actually waiting in line, there's still a long, winding corridor between the stanchions. Instead of going through it, or even just going around the sides, the guy elects to cut directly through the elastic barriers with pruning shears.
- The El Goonish Shive side-story "EGS-Con 2006" starts with one, and includes a second.
- Schlock Mercenary based a whole story arc around this. Luna's bureaucracy was so slow, and the queue so immensely long, only the oldest people in line remembered it ever moving. There were religions dedicated to the idea of reaching the front. The Toughs thought they'd been hired to disperse a crowd of rioters, but found that it was just the line for the bureaucracy.
- In Sluggy Freelance, Zoe gets kidnapped by evil cloners, and Torg and Riff go through a Lock-and-Load Montage and go after her. Zoe survives through a whole nerd-zombie outbreak and finally escapes from the cloning facility. Where were Torg and Riff? They were patiently waiting on line to file a formal complaint about their friend getting kidnapped.
- S.S.D.D.: Norman refers to queuing as [England's] favorite pastime.
Nathan: Right now every fibre of me as an Englishman is writhing in disgust.
- Another time he decides he's not having any of it.
- Waiting for Frodo is all about how a group of friends queue up months in advance to watch The Lord of the Rings movies. A Waiting for Bilbo comic was also started but the queue seems to be moving veeeery slowly.
- The Onion plays with this from time to time:
- Adventure Time:
- In the episode "Return to the Nightosphere", the Nightosphere has a lot of lines. Finn and Jake wait in one line for 13 days.
- Also, it turns out that Princess Bubblegum has a lengthy line of suitors. One of them, Braco, apparently took his father's place in line when the older man died.
- In one episode of Camp Lazlo, there's not only a very long line to the bathroom, there's a long line to get into that line. (And unfortunately for Lazlo, right at the time he really has to go.)
- One of the first episodes of Chowder involved Shnitzel and Chowder spending nearly the entire episode waiting in line at the bank. Not only did poor Shnitzel have to deal with long, slow-moving lines and customers who were depositing huge amounts of change, he also had to put up with Chowder's shenanigans.
- Played with the queue for the Central Bureaucracy, which gets longer every time someone has a baby in it and has an old man still waiting in line for his birth certificate.
- The first episode had people waiting in line for a Suicide Booth.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "The House of Tomorrow", has a seemingly short line for a rollercoaster, but it turns out that's the line you have to wait in to get in line for the rollercoaster. And apparently, somebody died in the line and a baby was born in the line for the saucer ride.
- House of Mouse: In "House of Genius", several guests are waiting impatiently in line at the club's reservation desk, thanks to Daisy overbooking.
- One episode of King of the Hill is about Lucky and Luanne waiting in line for several days to get the first tickets to see Brownsville Station (of "Smokin in the Boy's Room" fame.) When the box office opens, not a single person has gotten in line behind them. Then Lucky starts waiting at the door.
Lucky: I want to be sure they don't run out of my shirt size, Women's Medium.
- In the 1954 Looney Tunes short "Wild Wife", as part of Marsha's busy day, she goes to the bank to deposit some checks, and finds herself at the back of an extremely long queue because there's only one teller open. When a second window opens, she hurries over, but is beaten to it by an old lady depositing $200 in pennies. As the old lady counts them out one by one, the original queue is quickly taken care of. Marsha rushes back over... only for another older woman depositing a large amount of pennies to instantly steal the first spot.
- The Loud House:
- Waiting in line for the bathroom is a Running Gag:
- One lyric in the Ending Theme is "Stand in line to take a pee."
- In "In Tents Debate", Lori, Leni, Lola, Lucy, and Lily try to convince Lincoln that Dairyland (a milk-themed amusement park) is worse than the beach by having him wait in line to go to the bathroom and then putting a sign saying, "This ride is temporarily closed" on the toilet.
- In "The Mad Scientist", Lisa is impressed that the bathroom at the science institute has no lines.
- In "Pipe Dreams", the parents get fed up with the bathroom lines and build a second, secret bathroom.
- In "Schooled!", Lincoln cuts the bathroom line by using a homemade zip-line.
- In "Kick the Bucket List", Lincoln wants to ride a roller coaster called 'Fly Me to the Moo', but the line is ridiculously long.
- In "Mall of Duty", Lincoln and his younger sisters are waiting in line to get one of Lincoln's books signed. The girls are very bored, and Lincoln tries entertaining them with smoothies and games of I Spy, but they don't find those very interesting. He also tries cutting in line by bribing the man in front of him with a banana milkshake, but the guy is allergic to bananas.
- Waiting in line for the bathroom is a Running Gag:
- The Simpsons:
- Moe goes to register as a sex offender and complains "There's always a line."
- Patty and Selma work at the DMV and comment, "Some days, we don't let the line move at all. We call those weekdays."
- Also used in "Selma's Choice"; Bart tells Lisa a mammoth Duff Gardens queue has to be for something fun. It's actually for the complaints department.
- In "Brush with Greatness", there's a long line for the H2Whoa water slide. Bart and Lisa cut to the front by claiming she's a lost child and he's helping her; Homer cuts by claiming to be a "line inspector".
- In "Wedding for Disaster", Marge and Homer are waiting in line for a new marriage certificate, when they both decide to get married properly, they both go to leave, when they're accosted by a security guard, telling them that that's the line to leave (cut to a line as long as the rest).
- Solar Opposites: "Pupa's Big Day" reveals that Terry's favorite hobby is standing in long lines, to the point an entire fandom culture has formed around it. He gets the other Solars to wait in a line with him and coaches him on the etiquette of standing in line, despite Korvo finding the whole ordeal boring, instead wishing he could watch the offscreen antics of the Pupa turning giant. To make matters worse, he meets Terry's "line husband" Linus and becomes competitive and jealous. In a couple of subplots, Jesse falls in love with the back of someone's head while in line, and Yumyulack switches over to wait in a faster-moving line that turns out to be a marathon.
- The South Park episode "Cow Days" has the boys wait in line for an interminable length of time to go on a ride of an unidentified nature. They finally make it to the head of the line to discover no ride waiting for them; it turns out that the line itself was the "ride".
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- "Rock Bottom", has SpongeBob in line at the bus station in Rock Bottom, when one of the locals spits out an egg onto his head, which quickly hatches three little critters that cut ahead of him in line.
- In "Roller Cowards", Spongebob and Patrick use the long line for the roller coaster as a stalling tactic because they're both scared to go on it. They also accidentally get in line for the bathroom at one point.
- In "Bubble Buddy", some fish complain that they were made to wait in line while Spongebob's man-shaped bubble was in the bathroom.
- In "The Abrasive Side", Spongebob is established as a doormat by letting everyone cut in line for the bus despite promising Patrick he'll be first in line.
- In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Goblin Dogs", much of the episode involves Star, Marco, Princess Pony Head, and Pony Head's new friend Kelly waiting in a ridiculously long line for "the best hot dogs in the universe".
- Wakfu episode 4: in the flashback showing the backstory of the Ugly Princesses, there is such a long line of princes waiting to woo them that they use a "Take a Number" device.
- In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Nice Guy", Wander goes into a convenience store to buy Sylvia a drink, but every time he turns to the register to pay, there is a long line waiting for him. This becomes a Running Gag throughout the episode, to the point where Wander is reluctant to turn around and face yet another queue. He does, and finds that the way is clear for once, only for him to trip over the loose mat in front and spill the drink.
- The We Bare Bears short "Panda's Dream". Some guy cuts in front of Panda while he's waiting to buy a new video game. Panda takes increasingly extreme action, which turns out to just be an Imagine Spot each time:
- First, Panda calls him out, and the rest of the line applauds him.
- Panda calls the police, who arrest the line cutter, and the president shows up to give Panda a ton of rewards.
- Panda starts dancing to K-Pop, and a huge shockwave blasts the line cutter into space.
- Truth in Television: These are, of course, endemic at theme parks. The Disney Theme Parks handle them the best; a lot of effort goes into making the lines entertaining (because, of course, Disney knows you're going to be there for an hour or so). Short movies to explain the plot are common. Other examples include Grave Humor at The Haunted Mansion, decodable hieroglyphs at the Indiana Jones stunt show, and The Twilight Zone memorabilia at Tower of Terror. And the queue for Expedition Everest is a startlingly realistic Himalayan base camp.
- The real standout is Star Tours (a Star Wars themed simulator type ride) with animatronic Droids putting on little shows all throughout the building. The line for that ride is so entertaining it actually could be its own walk-through attraction.
- They also handle being moved through the line if you're handicapped the best.
- Fast Pass was a bit of a zig-zagged example. On the one hand, it gave a specific time to get in a much shorter line. On the other hand, you WERE essentially standing in line for the right to stand in line. On a THIRD hand, certain rides were not connected to the rest of the Fast Pass system and did not keep track of the "one pending Fast Pass at a time" rule; with inside knowledge of which ones and enough Loophole Abuse, you could have two or three Fast Passes going on at all times.
- The real standout is Star Tours (a Star Wars themed simulator type ride) with animatronic Droids putting on little shows all throughout the building. The line for that ride is so entertaining it actually could be its own walk-through attraction.
- At the 2010 Nuit Blanche Art Festival in Toronto, there was an exhibit consisting of a sign encouraging people to "line up here!" What people didn't realize unless they read the guidebook was that the line itself was the art piece, and in reality it led nowhere.
- Queueing Theory deals with the mathematics of how queues operate and how they can be optimized.
- Also endemic at major shopping centers around Christmastime.
- Related, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving, Traditionally the first shopping day of the US Christmas season) in the United States will often seen large lines forming outside of a mall or big box store. It has gotten to the point that local news looking for the person who has waited in line the longest (usually days to weeks) is as much a part of the holiday tradition as the Turkey feast. Given that it's cold across most of the country, expect to see a tent or two. Given the event's reputation, the line is the only orderly part of the entire event. Recently many stores have taken measures to avoid queues such as opening early or never closing at all.
- Alton Towers offers fastpasses which let you jump to the front of the line, which unlike the ones previously at the Disney Theme Parks, can be used at any time after paying for them, of course.
- In his 1975 book The Russians, based on his service as New York Times Moscow correspondent, Headrick Smith noted that the "It's a queue! It must be important!" version was very common behavior of Muscovites during his stay in Moscow. Basically, Muscovites had to line up to buy anything worth having, and the very sight of a line of their fellow citizens would cause them to assume that something worth buying would be found at the business end of the queue.
- Pick any sufficiently large Fan Convention, preferably one with an attendance of 10,000 or more. Expect people to do music or dance performances or play games on handhelds or laptops (in the case of the latter, Fighting Games are great for this) to pass the hours of waiting to pick up their badges. Back when the Nintendo DS had an active userbase, you could pop into PictoChat and see all four rooms being used. Not so fun if the convention takes place during the summer and the line is outdoors; Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the United States, is infamous for cases of line-waiters suffering heat stroke.
- Any documentary about The Great Depression will show scenes of unemployed poverty-stricken people standing in bread lines or soup lines.