Created By: Sooku on April 22, 2011 Last Edited By: maxwellsilver on April 12, 2016

Five Dollar Ferrari

Terribly unrealistic pricing.

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Trope

A trope for prices that are just plain old incorrect. Nobody in real life would ever charge what they are charging unless they were a con artist. They can either be unrealistically low or insanely high. The price must be treated by the characters as if it is completely normal, and may often be a product of ignorance on the part of the author.


Examples:

  • In the Axe Cop universe, everything is a dollar. This is partially justified, considering the author is 5 years old.
  • Many Japanese video games appear this way, as their fictional currencies are more often based on yen than USD. After all, how many kids playing Pokémon have wondered why a bottle of lemonade is $300?
  • The Heavy in Team Fortress 2 claims that it costs $400,000 to fire his gun for twelve seconds.
Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • April 22, 2011
    Sooku
    If you see anything wrong here, by all means, please fix it. I'm new to this whole troping business.
  • April 23, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Looks pretty good to me, dunno if pokemon is really an example, though. It uses a kind of yen symbol, not dollar signs.
  • April 23, 2011
    DA
    • There's a famous urban legend about a man who finds a woman selling some sort of super-expensive sports car (like a Ferrari or a Lamborghini) for only five dollars or so. Turns out it was actually her husband's, and she was selling it because she caught him with another woman.
    • A lot of video game Creepypasta starts out with the protagonist finding a hard-to-find used game for only a few bucks.
  • April 23, 2011
    Chabal2
    Do Dr. Evil's absurdly overinflated/underpriced ransoms for the Earth count?

  • April 23, 2011
    Arivne
    ^^ The "$50 Porsche" legend on Snopes.com.
  • April 23, 2011
    Fanra
    The Heavy in Team Fortress 2 claims that it costs $400,000 to fire his gun for twelve seconds.

    This could just be a combination of Ridiculous Future Inflation and the fact that military weapons really do cost an outrageous amount of money. Each Real Life U.S. cruise missile costs about one million dollars and is destroyed when used.
  • April 23, 2011
    Sceptre
    Re: Fanra: that's $400,000 in 1960s terms.
  • April 23, 2011
    BlackMageJ
    Dead Rising 2 did the '1 Yen = 1 Dollar' thing when it was localised into English, leading to snacks from a vending machine costing $100.
  • April 23, 2011
    MaciekOst
    In Sam & Max Episode 104: Abe Lincoln Must Die Bosco demands 100 million dollars for the truth serum.
  • April 23, 2011
    robybang
    This could be a super trope to Adam Smith Hates Your Guts and Karl Marx Hates Your Guts.
  • April 23, 2011
    halfmillennium
    The Japanese games entry only applies if the currency symbol is that of another country.
  • April 23, 2011
    Scooter007
    parodied in The Muppet Movie where the gang sees a car at an Honest Johns Dealership for (I forget the actual price, but it was something like $2595). The lot boy (what's that monster's name?) smooshes a bug on the price tag, making it appear to read $25.95. Doesn't help that Honest John had just told them "the price you see is the price you pay; no more and no less!"
  • April 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    ^Sweetums, $1195.
  • April 27, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    (Found on the Commonplace Rare page:)
    • In Earthbound, the currency is dollars, leading to a $3480 frying pan and a $98 cup of noodles. (Although the prices make more sense if you stick a decimal point in 'em. $34.80 isn't unheard of for a frying pan, and $0.98 is just about right for a cup of noodles.)
  • April 27, 2011
    ginsengaddict
    Played with in Rain Man. Dustin Hoffman's character guesses that a both a candy bar and an expensive object are "about $100."
  • April 23, 2013
    Noah1
  • April 23, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    If you watch "Meet the Heavy" and calculate the figures Heavy gives, the $400,000 per 12 seconds checks out. The core of the formula is that his custom-made bullets cost $200 each. $200 (per round) times 10,000 (rounds per minute) divided by 5 (12 seconds is 1/5 of a minute) is $400,000.

    Now, whether such a pricy projectile makes any sense in either this decade or that of the game's setting, I couldn't say.
  • April 23, 2013
    JonnyB
    There's a commercial for MetLife where an executive comes into a conference room filled with Peanuts characters and tells them their new term life insurance policy has a new low rate. Lucy replies with, "I think it should be five cents."
    Executive: Everything can't be five cents.
  • April 23, 2013
    KZN02
    Megas XLR: Coop purchases the eponymous Humongous Mecha from Goat for $2. Subverted that Goat said everything in his junkyard was worth that much and didn't know Megas was in it.
  • April 23, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Ferrari, after founder Enzo Ferrari, died 14 August 1988. Spelling fix. :)
  • April 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of The Simpsons the town of Springfield, in an attempt to overcome some bad publicity, changes their name to Libertyville, "where everything costs $17.76."
    Real Estate agent Cookie Kwan: I can't sell a house for seventeen dollars and sevety six cents!
  • April 24, 2013
    Chernoskill
    We have to be careful here to avoid examples where the currency is Dollars or something similar but just uses it as a generic name for money while not being related in any way to the real-world U.S. Dllar currency.
  • April 25, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    • Parodied in Yu Gi Oh The Abridged Series Season 0. When Yugi is told Tristan and Joey's asskicking will cost him 20,000 Yen (roughly $200 USD), he yells "That's almost a whole dollar!"
  • April 26, 2013
    helterskelter
    I think this trope should have a different name--the name sounds like it's something a knock-off or crappy version of a nice thing.

    More importantly, it should be limited to only comedic examples, perhaps? Where the number is intentionally supposed to be ridiculously over or under priced, not just some troper thinks this thing costs too little. That's going to a lead to a lot of armchair economists and whatnot.
  • April 26, 2013
    willthiswork
    Re:Earthbound - That is not entirely accurate, at the beginning of the game the prices are excessive, but by a lesser degree. A cookie, for example, costs like $2 (clearly a cookie being .02 dollars would be silly). The prices get into the redic range because of the obligatory inflation on items in video games. (Adam Smith Hates Your Guts, I think?)

  • April 26, 2013
    willthiswork
    Speaking of which, I got this from Adam Smith Hates Your Guts, it might fit?

    • In Chrono Trigger, before you do Ozzie's sub-quest at the end of the game, the Medina market charges insane prices for his low-level gear. Once you complete the quest, though, his prices become more reasonable; because you killed Ozzie in the past, the Mystics, who live in the village, never held a grudge against humans. Interestingly, they also sell some high level gear there at even MORE exorbitant prices, thus keeping it out of your reach. By the time you lower the cost, this is pointless as you are a couple tiers of equipment above what is sold there. However, it is quite possible to have enough just enough money to purchase a weapon you aren't supposed to get for another 10 hours pretty early in the game, even with the massively inflated price. Oops.
  • April 26, 2013
    Ulkomaalainen
    One problem (already highlighted by the Yen and the inflation and the "Generic Dollar" examples above) is that the price alone is just a number without context. The fact that 1 Latvian Lat equals more than 200 Japanese Yen does not mean the Lat is better, nor worse. So the simple fact that a price seems ridiculously high or low in number alone does not make it outlandish. This can also happen with inflation, and sooner or later it will to a certain degree. So I think you need some context to establish prices as wrong - or as "not geing well together". Especially in settings where a commonly named currency is used but it's "not our world". So the Pokémon Yen probably isn't the same as the Japanese Yen.

    But I would definitely not limit this to comedic examples - Did Not Do The Research can easily lead to such a thing is serious examples, which should count.
  • April 26, 2013
    DracMonster
    Arbitrarily Absurd Appraisal (Or "Asking price")

    I agree this should be reserved for intentional cases where its done for comedy. Getting into whether something "should" be a price in Real Life is opening up a can of nattery worms.
  • April 27, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Don't put the tags inthe description unless that's how you want the finished product to look.
  • April 12, 2016
    Noah1
    Homestar Runner: Bubs' Concession Stand, being an exaggerated Honest Johns Dealership, often sells cheap crap for hundreds of dollars.
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