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A common Sitcom Trope. The protagonist(s) take a ski lift (most often of the chairlift kind) and, somewhere in mid-trip, the cableway stops -- typically with the passengers too high to safely drop. In Real Life such incidents hardly ever last very long, but in comedy or drama, there's always some complications.

Contrast with Cable Car Action Sequence.

Examples of Stuck on a Ski Lift include:


  • Happens in a recent Sprint Mobile ad.

Anime & Manga

Films -- Live-Action

  • Frozen (2010), about three snowboarders stuck on a lift. Also, there were wolves.
  • Used in the French cult movie Les Bronzés font du ski: The character thinks the lift has just stopped and tries to pass the time by singing -- by the time he decides to jump off, night has fallen. The scene is so well-known in France that when your ski lift stops, there's almost always someone around to hum the song.
  • Happens in Out Cold, wherein Pig Pen, while sleeping on the job, dreams that he's a James Bond-style action hero, charged with rescuing the Solid Gold Dancers, who are trapped in a stalled gondola. Cut to reality, where Rick and Luke are actually stuck in a gondola as they wait for Pig Pen to wake up and let them out.

Live-Action TV

  • Used in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Ski Lift" to force Larry and an orthodox Jewish woman to be "alone" together after sundown; since this isn't allowed under Jewish law if they're not married, she tells Larry he has to jump off if he's truly Orthodox (which he's pretending to be). When he refuses, she does it instead.
  • Happens in How I Met Your Mother to Barney and Robin while they were dating. They'd just started having a fight before the ski lift stopped, making their usual strategies for avoiding a fight (Barney leaves the room and/or Robin gets naked) useless.
  • Invoked in an episode of Leverage, where the gang intentionally stops the lift while Parker is on it in order to distract the mark.
  • In Good Luck Charlie it happens to Teddy and Spencer.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons: Happened to Homer Simpson, of course. He tries to get off but ends up hanging upside down. ("Come on, gravity! You used to be cool!")
  • Happens in a season 2 episode of Winx Club to the Winx and the Specialists.
  • Subverted/invoked in As Told by Ginger; it happens but there are other forces at work. Ginger's brother paid off the operator to stop it in order to break the world record for the longest time stuck on a ski lift.
  • Happens to Scoutmaster Lumpus in the Camp Lazlo episode "Snow Beans".
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