If a character enters an elevator for any reason, the muzak playing on its speaker system—regardless of the program's genre -- is almost always some version of "The Girl from Ipanema" by the great Antonio Carlos Jobim. (If not, it's probably the "Theme from A Summer Place" [which would probably be referencing a comfortable break from the action].) Of course, few if any elevators nowadays actually have muzak piped in anymore, making this something of a Dead Horse Trope.
Some choose to trace this back to directors such as John Landis, who used it as an in-joke in every scene he shot in an elevator. This is usually an integral part of an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment.
- In Adult Swim adverts for Neon Genesis Evangelion, the anime soundtrack theme "Barefoot in the Park" is played during the long awkward scene in the elevator with Asuka and Rei. The song itself sounds a lot like a big-band version of "Ipanema".
- Subverted and Lampshaded in Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy. In the 6th episode, there is an elevator moment, in which a bossa nova-ish version of the opening for the first season of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, "Smile Go Go", played instead of the obligatory "Girl from Ipanema". Chiara asks why is it so, and Hakuo responds it was too overused.
Films -- Animation
- Non-elevator example: in Finding Nemo, "Ipanema" plays in the dentist's office when Nemo is first seen in the fishtank.
- Used in the dining room scene of The Emperors New Groove, to make the awkward silence that much more amusing.
- In Toy Story 2, when Al is riding the elevator down to the lobby, the music playing is an "Ipanema"-style version of the main theme from A Bugs Life. Both films were scored by Randy Newman.
Films -- Live-Action
- Used in Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005), when the title characters shoot their way into an elevator not once, but twice in quick succession. Both times, the song is clearly playing on the speakers. (The second time is arguably funnier, due to the presence of bullet holes in the elevator walls...)
- Particularly amusing in The Blues Brothers, as a contrast to all the blues, jazz, and swing in the rest of the movie. Also amusing is the fact that it's intercut with the National Guard troops going "Hut! Hut! Hut!" as they storm the building.
- Lampshaded in Deep Rising in a scene where three protagonists are in an elevator that stops with a crash, and the music comes on.
(in reaction to an odd noise that temporarily drowns out the elevator's muzak)
- In The Matrix Reloaded, music that vaguely resembles "The Girl from Ipanema" can be heard after Neo and company get off an elevator, en route to meeting with the Merovingian.
- Done with a Steampunk elevator in Asterix and Obélix: Mission Cleopatra.
- The Dawn of the Dead remake:
- The characters are riding in an elevator while escaping the zombies. Though the song playing in said elevator is a muzak rendition of "All Out of Love".
CJ: Hey, I like this song!
- Subverted earlier when the characters first arrive at the mall, where the song is a muzak version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin.
- On Scrubs, Dr. Cox and the Janitor take over the suite of a man who had been transferred out of the hospital to get some peace and quiet. After a while, the Janitor has the door to the room covered with plaster and wallpaper, and when Dr. Cox puts his ear to where the door should be, the Janitor is dancing to "The Girl from Ipanema".
- In an outtake for Stargate Atlantis Season 4, the actors are huddled in a corner of a Wraith set (a teleportation room in the corresponding episode). This looks so much like an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment that David Hewlett starts humming "The Girl from Ipanema", cracking them up.
- This trope is also averted in an episode of Stargate SG-1. Sam Carter and Jack O'Neill are standing in one of the lifts at the SGC, having a bit of an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment, and Sam starts humming the show's Theme Song. Behind-the-scene commentary reveals that Amanda Tapping originaly wanted this to be the theme song for MacGyver (as an Actor Allusion to Richard Dean Anderson), but nobody could remember it right.
- Used in the Burn Notice episode "Past and Future Tense".
- Lampshaded in the Bones episode "The Mastodon in the Room". Sweets is playing "The Girl from Ipanema" on the piano when Caroline calls him to convince him to give up his Ten-Minute Retirement:
Sweets: I'm on sabbatical.
- The Chuck episode "Chuck vs. The Nemesis". Especially comical because the elevator in question seems to be a coded-access elevator in a super-secret government facility.
- Used hilariously in the episode "Eye of the Beholder" of Castle in a shot of a swat team riding a hotel elevator, with the very uncomfortable hotel manager, altogether very awkwardly with this music playing in the background.
- Lampshaded on The Lazlow Show. Anthony Cumia (of Opie and Anthony) joked that the hypothetical Space Elevator would require the world's longest version of "The Girl from Ipanema" while you rode it.
- An Australian comedy duo called The Umbilical Brothers have a skit that entails a ride in an elevator. As there's no elevator prop, entering the elevator is signaled with a vocal beatbox of "The Girl from Ipanema".
- The Foo Fighters' "Monkey Wrench" video features Dave Grohl riding an elevator with a muzak version of "Big Me" playing in the background.
- The Trophy Mode music in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl is an "Ipanema"-style remix of the game's Recurring Riff.
- When the player enters any elevator in System Shock, the background music changes to a suspiciously "Ipanema"-like ditty. Which creates horrible Mood Whiplash when you've just barely managed to blast your way through creepy dark areas full of creepy enemies while listening to creepy audio logs... and then you're in the elevator, and BAAH BAHH! BAH BAAAH BAH BAH BABA!
- In Mother 3, while riding the elevator in the Empire Porky Building, you are treated to an "Ipanema"-style arrangement of the pig-masks' theme.
- There is no actual elevator music in Iji, but Tasen logbooks boast that the lifts are equipped with music players and that they play songs like "exploding eardrums that are also on fire" and "Hel Sarie will kick you in the face".
- The elevators in GoldenEye 64 feature elevator muzak arrangements of the film's Theme Tune.
- Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion has a Suspiciously Similar Song version of "Ipanema" titled "The Girl from Galyana".
- In Rise of the Triad, when you enter an elevator, there is a one in ten chance that this will play.
- One lift in Psi Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy plays a Muzak version of "With my mind" by Cold, part of the soundtrack for the game.
- In the Genesis game Zero Tolerance, every elevator on the space station has this music.
- The Glorious Trainwrecks 529 in One Klik and Play Pirate Kart has "Ipanema" as menu music, and you get achievements for listening to it enough times.
- Mass Effect
- The Space Elevators come complete with Space Muzak. Specifically, they're all muzak arrangements of several of the more dramatic pieces from the game. Which makes them a lot less dramatic.
- A shout-out to the first game in Miranda's loyalty mission: the team must take a particularly long elevator ride with elevator music playing in the background. Miranda slams the elevator's console with an omni-tool, and the elevator speeds up and the music stops. She really must mean business.
- The music from Starship Titanic changes from majestic to tinny as you travel though the different class, suggesting the lower classes don't need good music.
- Magicka spoofs this in the challenge map called "Caverns", where the players enter the arena through a wooden mechanical platform that is (somehow) playing muzak. Some of the later enemy waves also enter through the elevator, accompanied by the same chime.
- Blood has this in all its elevators. If you shoot all the speakers, Caleb will say "Thank you."
- As does Max Payne.
- Kingdom of Loathing has the tune play in elevator during the Disco Bandit's Nemesis quest.
- F.E.A.R. also uses an Ipanema-style muzak ditty in its elevators, albeit a bit faster and with sparkle synth piano harmony.
- Written as a musical score, no less in Irregular Webcomic. Whether this counts as a Lampshade Hanging or not is debatable.
- This strip of The B Movie Comic.
- Keychain of Creation: First Age elevators still play music after a millennium of disuse. Not exactly "elevator muzak", though—it's the theme song from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Subverted in Everyday Heroes during an Uncomfortable Elevator Moment, when the music playing is actually "Wind Beneath My Wings". (If you can read music, you'll notice the melody is from the chorus, "Did I ever tell you you're my hero", which seems appropriate.)
- On this page of Megatokyo, the elevator plays "Fly Me to the Moon".
- Homestuck's sixth volume album features a track called Elevatorstuck which remixes the Homestuck Theme into the style of this trope, though the flash in which it was ultimately used had nothing to do with elevators.
- That Guy With The Glasses put it to good use in the One Year Anniversary brawl.
- When Stuart Ashen reviewed an iPad ripoff (here) the long loading screens gave him time to hum this.
- The Other Tropes Wiki uses it on the screen asking if you want to pass through the content curtain. The options are "Yes", "No", and "Maybe." If you choose "Maybe" you get a screen that says:
Cool. We'll wait for you to think it over.
- Invoked in Fenspace, where one of the richest men in the setting put the version from The Blues Brothers on permanent loop in the public-access elevator to his private suite.
- The "Blue Harvest" episode of Family Guy featured Han Solo (Peter), Luke Skywalker (Chris) and Chewie (Brian) taking an elevator in the Death Star and listening to a very "Ipanema"-like arrangement of the Imperial March.
- In the Futurama episode "Parasites Lost", Fry's duel with Lord Mayor of Colón is set to a thrilling swashbuckling piece, except for the part in the middle when they enter an elevator. During which, they fight in silence.
- Enforced in Phineas and Ferb, where having a elevator remix was one of their self-imposed requirements to be One-Hit Wonders in "Flop Starz".