Multiple papillomas of the tracheobronchial tree are rare in children and adults. We describe a 42-year-old woman with multiple papillomatous-like tumors involving the trachea and bronchi. The limited tissue samples obtained during fiberoptic bronchoscopy initially lead to a benign histopathologic diagnosis; concurrent cytology studies strongly suggested oat cell carcinoma. The biopsy specimen obtained by rigid bronchoscopy ultimately demonstrated unequivocal oat cell carcinoma. This case illustrates an unusual and previously unreported manifestation of oat cell carcinoma--an endoscopic presentation in a papillary form suggesting benign tracheobronchial papillomatosis. Cytology studies were of increased diagnostic significance in this clinicopathologic setting.