Created By: KeithTyler on January 14, 2014

Still Has Price Tags On

Objects in the scene still have price tags on them. It's a trap!

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A recurring trope in which a staged location is made obvious by the mark discovering that the objects in the location still have price tags attached, indicating recent purchase as well as hasty staging. Usually the con artist or stooge will make up some lame excuse as to why they are still there. Sometimes the mark gets it, and the subterfuge is uncovered, other times the mark is or plays dumb.

  • Grand Theft Auto IV: In Michelle's apartment, Niko notices the pillows on her couch still have their price tags on, which Michelle weakly explains away. Niko seems unfazed, but this is a huge telegraph to the player about Michelle's true nature.
  • The Game: In Christine's apartment, Nicholas notices smoke coming from a table lamp, and discovers a thrift store price tag smoldering against the light bulb. This leads him to examine the photo frames and the bookshelf, uncovering more of the sham.

There's more than these, but it's hard to find the phrase in context. I'd seen the trope well before GTAIV.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • January 14, 2014
    In one episode of NCIS Tony, when posing as a businessman in a sting to catch a hooker, manages to still have the prices from the hotel giftshop on some of his clothes. Fortunately this is pointed out to him before he blows it.
  • January 14, 2014
    Hee Haw: Minnie Pearl always wears a Nice Hat with the pricetag hanging off of it.
  • January 14, 2014
  • January 14, 2014
    ^^That's not really this trope. There is no reason her hat still has the price tag on other than she forgot to tear if off when she bought it. This trope is about the tags being a clue that there is something suspicious.
  • January 14, 2014
  • January 15, 2014
    • In Making Money, the Department of Post-Mortem Communications uses the venerable Dread Mask of Summoning in its rituals. Upon being shown the mask, Adora Belle comments that it still has the price tag from Boffo's Joke Shop attached; it doesn't, but Dr. Hix's frantic reaction proves she's correct about where he got it.