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.
See also Girl in a Box.
Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]
- 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.
- Niche from the manga/anime Tegami Bachi started off as this, although she's actually Not Quite Human.
- Also how Lag Seeing was introduced: he was being mailed to his aunt's house.
- 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.
- After America, France, and England got sick of caring for him, Italy in Axis Powers Hetalia was sent back to Germany in a beat-up cardboard box that one would use for mailing off packages that said "FUCK" on it.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- 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 digitalised 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.
- The Aristocats had the butler Edgar, attempt to mail the kittens and cats away to Timbuktu at the end of film. In the end, he himself gets thrown into the chest, and is mailed off.
- The Chipettes in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel mailed themselves to Jett Records in a FEDex package. They weren't aware that Ian Hawke was out of a job now since the events of the first movie.
- The George of the Jungle movie has George ship himself from San Francisco to the jungle via UPS.
"Next time, George get bigger box."
- In Hudson Hawk, Eddie wakes up in a packing material shipping crate in another country after being rendered unconscious.
- The Real Life example (see below) about the East German prisoner (imprisoned for Republikflucht) was depicted in the movie Fuehrer Ex.
- He's not techincally a human, but Johnny 5 mailed himself to Benjamin in the city, (with the help of Newton and Stephanie), after being rejected as an airplane passenger.
Literature[edit | hide]
- In The Muppet Show episode with Jim Nabors, Jim played a travel agent and a monster asks for the cheapest travel package he has. Jim flattens the monster with a weight, sticks a stamp on him and mails him.
- Firefly had an episode where a former independence solider who served with Mal and Zoe mail himself to them to protect himself from an Alliance solider chasing him for smuggled goods.
- Part of Number Six's escape attempt an episode of The Prisoner includes being shipped in a wooden box from Poland to London.
- 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.
- The Trailer Park Boys had an episode where Cory and Trevor are mailed to a Snoop Dogg concert...along with lots of marijuana.
- One of the girls in Allo Allo left the show this way, accidentally mailed to Switzerland. She was replaced by Mimi in the next episode.
- "Mail Myself to You" by Woody Guthrie
- "Mail Myself to Elvis"
- There is a very twisted Velvet Underground story/song, "The Gift", that explores this.
- A music video called "If I Only Had a Brain" Has the rapper M.C. 900 Ft. Jesus mail himself to a magazine advertisement.
- The Gorillaz guitarist, Noodle, arrived at Kong Studios in a crate once, and traveled back to Japan by mail another time.
- In one video, Len Kagamine sends his master to Hokkaido in a box.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- In Metal Gear Solid, you can hide in the cardboard box on a truck to rapidly travel between areas.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- In YAFGC, Charlotte after one too many millstone moments is packed into a wooden crate and shipped off as a slave.
- A Rugrats episode 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.
- Attempted in Captain Flamingo, where he and Lizbeth mail Rutger as a package to get him away from a babysitter who keeps tabs on him. It backfires.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi had Kaz attempt this to ge 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.
- A Beavis and Butthead episode had the pair attempting to mail themselves.
- The Simpsons episode "Bart on the Road" had Bart and his friends travel home in a shipment crate.
- In two Looney Tunes cartoons, Porky Pig tries to get rid of Charlie Dog this way. Charlie always gets sent back.
- 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.
- Bugs Bunny once mailed himself to Washington DC.
- Garfield mailing Nermal to Abu Dhabi, or threatening to do so, was something of a Running Gag in Garfield and Friends.
- In one episode, "Monday Misery", Garfield mails himself to Samoa, hoping to escape a bad Monday. It doesn't work.
- 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.
- Henry "Box" Brown was an African-American slave in Virginia. He successfully escaped in a shipping box to Pennsylvania, a free state. Cracked.com's The 5 Most Badass Ways People Escaped from Slavery states that when Brown 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 mail room 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 air fares by charging the shipping fees to his former employer. He took the rest of the journey by riding on a plane normally, though.
- 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.