History Main / SpiesInAVan

26th Apr '16 12:17:52 PM Katsuhagi
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* ''Series/TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begin shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.

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* ''Series/TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begin shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.location, which continues even after [[spoiler:Sobotka is killed]].
12th Apr '16 3:22:30 AM hoodiecrow
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Added DiffLines:

* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': The Trio set up a stake-out van to monitor Buffy's activities and coordinate their attacks. There is a brief dispute over whether the very conspicuous Death Star decal added by Andrew really is appropriate on a vehicle that's supposed to be low-key.
7th Mar '16 9:09:52 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begin shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.

to:

* ''TheWire'' ''Series/TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begin shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.



* Done occasionally in Season 1 of ''WhiteCollar'', and OnceAnEpisode in Season 2.

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* Done occasionally in Season 1 of ''WhiteCollar'', ''Series/WhiteCollar'', and OnceAnEpisode in Season 2.
31st Jan '16 8:29:27 AM nombretomado
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* 1973/74 ''SuperFriends'' episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall and Twisty use one called the "Snoop Wagon" to spy on the title characters. Bonus points for having an exterior radar dish and extendable telescope.

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* 1973/74 ''SuperFriends'' ''{{WesternAnimation/Superfriends}}'' episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall and Twisty use one called the "Snoop Wagon" to spy on the title characters. Bonus points for having an exterior radar dish and extendable telescope.



* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}} 1973''/74 episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall uses his spy van the "Snoop Wagon" to perform surveillance before he attempts to kidnap the Balloonians.
6th Jan '16 10:23:54 AM Katsuhagi
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* ''TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begins shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.

to:

* ''TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begins begin shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.
5th Jan '16 12:30:28 PM Katsuhagi
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* ''TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on.

to:

* ''TheWire'' does this a lot, both by the cops and by Omar (a stick-up artist - he only uses a ''van'' in season one and briefly in season four, though). Featuring such antics as Detective Sydnor complaining that the van is full of Detective Carver's empties, and the fact that Carver is eating such a variety of junk food while on stakeout outside a mini-mart, Omar looking out the van window and watching for hints of where the stash-house is (and Bailey taking notes based on what Omar observed, on a sheet of notebook paper on which they were clearly playing hangman before), Omar and Renaldo watching a convenience store they suspect is a drug front, and getting distracted watching Detective Kima Greggs watching the same convenience store from her own vehicle, and so on. And though no one's actually in it, season 2 features a subplot where the Stevedores Union steals the valuable surveillance van from Commander Valcheck as part of their [[EscalatingWar series of petty revenges on each other]] and begins shipping it around the world, sending Valcheck taunting photos of it from each new location.
5th Jan '16 12:08:13 PM Jake
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* One of these shows up on ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' of all shows, tailing Hill and Renko's cruiser. (Does that count as an inversion?) When Renko finally confronts the occupants they turn out to be a local TV news crew who've been doing a report on police activity, and are less than impressed with [[DonutMessWithACop Andy's doughnut habit.]]
3rd Jan '16 8:44:45 PM eroock
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* {{Mooks}} driving around in a black van sedate Wallace and capture Esther in ''ComicBook/SinCity''.
3rd Jan '16 8:44:06 PM eroock
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[[folder: anime and manga: ]]

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\n\n[[folder: anime [[folder:Anime and manga: ]]
Manga]]
* Such vans can also be used by protagonists, generally in police/covert military shows. Section 9 in ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', for example, regularly uses one for undercover surveillance.






[[folder:Comic Books]]
* {{Mooks}} driving around in a black van sedate Wallace and capture Esther in ''ComicBook/SinCity''.
* The van used by the bank robbers in ''InsideMan''.
* The Zap 'Em Pest Control van in ''Film/MenInBlack'' ironically serves as transportation for a [[BigCreepyCrawlies big bad bug]]. Somewhat {{Lampshaded}} because half of his spaceship stuck out of the back and top.
* Played for laughs in ''Film/OldSchool'', when the protagonists use one of these to kidnap their fraternity pledges, complete with Metallica soundtrack.
* ''Film/BestSeller'' (1987) opens with a long sequence of the robbers driving through the streets of Los Angeles in a black van. However they're not trying to be inconspicuous at all, [[HiddenInPlainSight as the van is fitted with loudspeakers broadcasting political slogans]].
[[/folder]]













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* Crocker in ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' used a fairy tracking van disguised as an ice cream truck at least once. This proved horribly ineffective since he was immediately mobbed by kids. To drive them away, he converted the van into a spinach truck... and was immediately mobbed by [[{{Popeye}} sailors]] instead.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}} 1973''/74 episode "The Balloon People". Dr. Noah Tall uses his spy van the "Snoop Wagon" to perform surveillance before he attempts to kidnap the Balloonians.
3rd Jan '16 8:18:07 PM eroock
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[[folder:Advertising]]
* One credit card commercial stars a woman lamenting how her father and his "associates" would find things that FellOffTheBackOfATruck, and as a result, ''she'' gets stalked when she's out on her own. Thanks to her new card, and that everything comes with a receipt, she likes to hold the invoice up in plain view of the not-so-inconspicuous van and shout at them, "You've got nothing!"
[[/folder]]

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[[folder:Advertising]]
* One credit card commercial stars a woman lamenting how her father and his "associates" would find things that FellOffTheBackOfATruck, and as a result, ''she'' gets stalked when she's out on her own. Thanks to her new card, and that everything comes with a receipt, she likes to hold the invoice up in plain view of the not-so-inconspicuous van and shout at them, "You've got nothing!"
[[/folder]]




* A Van of Undercover Cops appears in several scenes in ''Film/LuckyNumberSlevin''. They even (briefly) abduct the main character.
* In ''Film/{{Matilda}}'', the title character notices a car is always parked on the street outside their house. [[spoiler:The car turns out to belong to cops who are trying to arrest Matilda's father for selling cars with faulty car parts]].



* Combined with PaperThinDisguise & FunWithAcronyms in the British parody ''The Hooligan Factory'', involving a white van marked '''C'''opper '''I'''nstallation '''D'''elivery, with a huge 'satellite' dish pointing directly at the protagonists.






* The short story [[http://www.stanleythewhale.com/StW/index.php/issue-1/issue-1-short-stories/45-the-van-on-atlantic-street "The Van on Atlantic Street"]] by Desmond Warzel is an example of this, though it's unclear throughout exactly who they're spying on, or, for that matter, who they're spying ''for''.

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* The short story [[http://www.stanleythewhale.com/StW/index.php/issue-1/issue-1-short-stories/45-the-van-on-atlantic-street "The Van on Atlantic Street"]] Street" by Desmond Warzel is an example of this, though it's unclear throughout exactly who they're spying on, or, for that matter, who they're spying ''for''.













* In ''VideoGame/HTheSimpsonsHitAndRun'', Homer gets paranoid about these strange black vans around Springfield. While expecting them to be this trope under the control of Mr. Burns, they later turn out to be [[SubvertedTrope pizza delivery vans.]] (Different example from the one mentioned above.)












* The page image is from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode, "The Trouble With Trillions". The 'Two Guys from Quantico Pizza' van comes into play when Homer is press-ganged into helping an investigation of Mr Burns.
** Another episode has the PaperThinDisguise '''[[FunWithAcronyms F]]'''[[FunWithAcronyms lowers]] '''[[FunWithAcronyms B]]'''[[FunWithAcronyms y]] '''[[FunWithAcronyms I]]'''[[FunWithAcronyms rene]]--and this was moments after Marge pondered out loud how long it can take someone to deliver a pizza (the prior van was one for a pizza place), causing the first van to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere flee]].
** The Simpsons love this one. Another episode has an otherwise nondescript van, with [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial "ORDINARY VAN"]] on the side.
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