thumb|right|400px Men from Up the Stairs is a Flash animation created by Daniel Firds. It features surreal music by Marcus Fjellström. Its true meaning has been debated on Internet forums since its creation.
The cartoon takes place in and around a strange house with one door, in which one male in a white shirt and tie appears to live. Another person descends the stairs in the house and is about to leave but decides not to, instead hiding behind the setee and resisting the occupant's adamant calls for him to exit the house. Eventually the phone, the buttons of which have only the number 2, rings, and a character referred to only as "Duke" suggests a cigarette to the occupant. The occupant lights a cigarette which makes the man from up the stairs run and jump out of the door, and thus off the edge of a cliff, as we see the building is standing on a piece of land within a large precipice. The occupant then wipes the other man's "essence" from the door. The occupant then returns indoors to see another man descending the stairs, this one appearing to have nuts attached to his suit. He also tries to leave, but the occupant decides to shut the door for good despite a warning that he will die. The last thing we see is the occupant lying (presumably dead) in front of the boarded up door, his stomach bloated heavily.
There has been varied speculation on some Internet message boards as to the true meaning of the cartoon. There is a general acceptance that it is a metaphor for constipation. The occupant of the house represents a person defecating, and the men represent faeces. Their refusal to leave the house represents the obvious difficulty that is faced. Clues to this can be seen in several places:
- At the very beginning of the animation the man sits down and reads the newspaper, as in reading the newspaper on the lavatory.
- The shape of the biggest arrow on the clock has a faeces shape.
- The repeated use of the number two as a euphemism for faeces (on the clock in the house and the telephone).
- The occupant's description of the first man from up the stairs as being "on time as usual" and the shape and colour of his hair.
- The occupant's surprise at the first man's failure to leave given that he has a "consistent diet with regular exercise."
- The occupant gives various cues of agitated efforts to defecate. One can be seen in a visual expression of agony after asking the first man why he's moving towards the door. Another while he is attempting a futile effort to physically push the first man out and is told by the man, "No need for that sir, you'll just pull a muscle."
- The first man breathing out the door is likely a metaphor for flatulence, given the occupant's reply of "That'd better not get noticed." This part is also obviously showing that the occupant hopes the first man will leave, but instead has wind, and faeces was not going to come out.
- The first man exits after the occupant smokes a cigarette. Nicotine, by popular belief, speeds the normal human rate of defecation.
- The occupant gets help (via a telephone with only "2's" for digits) from an older man who suggests the use of the cigarette. The occupant refers to this man as "Duke". Duke could also be spelled Dook, which is a slang term for faeces.
- After the first man from up the stairs jumps out of the house, you hear a splashing noise as he lands, and the occupant wipes the door with a tissue, saying he must "wipe his essence from the door frame." This is a reference to wiping the residues of faeces away after 'going'.
- The second man who has nuts in his coat, is met with the reply, "That hurts, I knew you were a trouble maker right from the start!" Some nuts, e.g. "Almonds to be specific" as said by the second man, can cause pain to the rectum and anus and more often than not look ugly ("One can't help one's physical appearance!"). The nuts may also be a reference to specific fiber-rich foods which are indigestible and are visible in some human feces
- At the end of the cartoon, the occupant lies presumably dead with a bloated stomach and the door can be seen barricaded shut. This suggests he has died from constipation.
Many more references of this nature exist within the cartoon, although it is not immediately obvious what the true meaning is to those who are watching for the first time.