Created By: Kersey475 on March 29, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on January 29, 2015

Zillionaires Pocket Change

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Trope
"Let's see. What's the smallest amount of money I can think of? A thousand dollars!"
Mr.Burns

Do We Have This One?

One way to establish that a character is super rich is to have them refer to or treat a large sounding amount of money like most people would treat their pocket change. May overlap with Money to Burn.

Up for Grabs


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Hayate the Combat Butler. When Hayate is told to spend a few days away from the mansion because Nagi's embarrassed, he's given one million yen (~$11,000 US, 8,000). Which he promptly loses. It gets returned to the mansion and Maria counts it, stating that it's almost exactly what he was given for living expenses. Nagi passes by the table and asks what all the chump change is.

Film
  • In Coming to America, Eddie Murphy gives a bum his "pocket change" which is thousands of dollars.
  • In Two Weeks Notice, Hugh Grant's character has Donald Trump levels of wealth, so he thinks nothing of paying a hundred dollars for a pastry and a paper and then letting the guy keep the change.
  • In Richie Rich, Richie want to play ball with some local kids, but they demand he bet ten dollars first. Richie then takes out ten thousand dollars before being corrected.

Literature
  • Comes up in The Count of Monte Cristo when the title character tries to open an unlimited line of credit with Danglars, and is offered a million francs instead:
    "But could I do with a million?" retorted the count. "My dear sir, if a trifle like that could suffice me, I should never have given myself the trouble of opening an account. A million? Excuse my smiling when you speak of a sum I am in the habit of carrying in my pocket-book or dressing-case." And with these words Monte Cristo took from his pocket a small case containing his visiting-cards, and drew forth two orders on the treasury for 500,000 francs each, payable at sight to the bearer. A man like Danglars was wholly inaccessible to any gentler method of correction. The effect of the present revelation was stunning; he trembled and was on the verge of apoplexy. The pupils of his eyes, as he gazed at Monte Cristo, dilated horribly.

Live-Action TV
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. London Tipton does this constantly. One episode had her going to Italy and was tricked into giving a couple hundred dollars to a con man. The con man feels guilty and tries to return it to her, but she replies that she just threw several times that amount into a nearby fountain. Cue everyone within earshot running toward the fountain.
  • The Howells from Gilligan's Island took a huge amount of money on a three hour boat tour. Thurston Howell would often refer to any amount of money, no matter how big, as "petty cash" to the point were it pretty much became his Catch Phrase.
  • The Drew Carey Show episode "Do the Hustle". Drew & Mimi team up on a Short Con, hustling people at the bowling alley. The first pair they did this to were a couple of doctors, from whom they win $400. Mimi, attempting to rub salt in their wounds, asks, "Just out of curiosity, how many hours will you have to work to earn that back?" The doctors look at each other, look at Mimi, and just say, "Hours? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
  • Monk In "Mr. Monk Goes to Jail", Dale the Whale is a suspect in a murder because the victim owed him 1200 dollars. Dale's defense: "I wouldn't bend down to pick up $1200, even if I could." Monk agrees the defense is valid.
  • A Wayne and Shuster sketch had an interview with the richest man in the world. He was asked how much money he had and he replied, "6 or 7 million dollars". When the interviewers comment that it doesn't sound like much he said "Oh, I thought you meant on me."

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons episode "The Regina Monologues".
    "Let's see. What's the smallest amount of money I can think of? A thousand dollars!"
    Mr.Burns
  • Futurama. In Three Hundred Big Boys:, Zoidberg attempts to buy a silk tapestry with a $300 tax rebate;
    Zoidberg: One artwork please!
    (He waves $300 bill around)
    Mom: Ahahah, that's a great impersonation of a stupid poor person. How much is this wall cover worth?
    Zap Brannigan: One hundred billion dollars.
    Mom: Now that's carrying-around-money.
    (She then proceeds to blow her nose on a three hundred dollar bill)

Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • March 29, 2011
    foxley
    A Wayne And Shuster sketch had an interview with the richest man in the world. He was asked how much money he had and he replied "Six or seven million dollars". When the interviewers said that didn't sound like the richest man in the world, he said "Oh, I thought you meant on me."
  • March 29, 2011
    SonicLover
    The old joke about someone claiming that to him, a million dollars is only a penny and a million years is only a second. "In that case, can you spare me just a penny?" "Sure, just give me a second." Someone else will have to expand on this, I don't really remember the whole context.
  • March 29, 2011
    MaciekOst
    Does not count if it's Ridiculous Future Inflation.
  • March 29, 2011
    Fanra
    In Coming to America, Eddie Murphy gives a bum his "pocket change" which is thousands of dollars.
  • March 29, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    In the film Two Weeks Notice Hugh Grant's character has Donald Trump levels of wealth, so he thinks nothing of paying a hundred dollars for a paper and a pastry and then letting the guy keep the change.
  • March 29, 2011
    JoeG
    The Howells from Gilligans Island took a huge amount of money on a three hour boat tour.
  • March 29, 2011
    SNES
    • Thurston Howell from Gilligans Island would often refer to any amount of money, no matter how big, as "petty cash" to the point were it pretty much became his Catch Phrase.
  • March 29, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Not to be confused with attempting to make change for a million dollars. Might Need A Better Title.
  • March 29, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • The Drew Carey Show: One time Drew & Mimi team up on a Short Con, hustling people at the bowling alley. The first pair they did this to were a couple of doctors, from whom they win $400. Mimi, attempting to rub salt in their wounds, asks, "Just out of curiosity, how many hours will you have to work to earn that back?" The doctors look at each other, look at Mimi, and just say, "Hours? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
  • March 29, 2011
    Kaoy
    ^^Not sure how it could be confused with that. Pocket change is a pretty common expression, referring to the little bit of money nearly everyone carries with them.
  • March 30, 2011
    Bisected8
    In Futurama, Zoidberg attempts to buy a priceless work of art with a $300 tax rebate;
    Zoidberg: One artwork please! *waves $300 bill around*
    Mom: Ahahah, that's a great impersonation of a stupid poor person. How much is this wall cover worth?
    Zap Brannigan: One hundred billion dollars.
    Mom: Now that's carrying-around-money.
  • March 31, 2011
    Ryusui
    Relatively Small Change? Millionaires Pocket Change?

    • In the Live Action adaptation of Richie Rich, Richie tries to join in a baseball game. The kids demand he ante up $10, and Richie, misunderstanding, pulls out $10,000 until they correct him.
  • March 31, 2011
    RainyDayNinja
    Comes up in The Count Of Monte Cristo when the title character tries to open an unlimited line of credit with Danglars, and is offered a million francs instead:
    "But could I do with a million?" retorted the count. "My dear sir, if a trifle like that could suffice me, I should never have given myself the trouble of opening an account. A million? Excuse my smiling when you speak of a sum I am in the habit of carrying in my pocket-book or dressing-case." And with these words Monte Cristo took from his pocket a small case containing his visiting-cards, and drew forth two orders on the treasury for 500,000 francs each, payable at sight to the bearer. A man like Danglars was wholly inaccessible to any gentler method of correction. The effect of the present revelation was stunning; he trembled and was on the verge of apoplexy. The pupils of his eyes, as he gazed at Monte Cristo, dilated horribly.
  • July 7, 2012
    Tdarcos
    Actually the quote about how much money a rich man has is also attributed to Nelson Rockefeller, who President Ford nominated to be Vice President after Ford became President after Nixon resigned. During his confirmation he was asked how much money he has, and he said "about thirty million dollars" and then after the questions, he gives the prototypical, "I thought you were asking how much money I have on me right now."
  • May 22, 2014
    Arivne
  • May 22, 2014
    LobsterMagnusNovus
    A very large sum of money that is easily spend-able by someone is often called "peanuts", thus implying that it's as inexpensive as said food items for said someone.
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
  • May 22, 2014
    Larkmarn
    • Invoked in How I Met Your Mother where Barney is pretending to be incredibly wealthy in order to get laid. He offers to buy a girl coffee, asking her how much that goes for, pretending he thinks it costs about fifty dollars.

    • In Arrested Development, Impoverished Patrician Lucille Bluth has no idea what things cost.
      Lucille: How much could a banana cost? Ten dollars?
      Michael: You've never been to a supermarket, have you?
  • May 22, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In a non-musical satiric recording by Stan Freberg Stan, poking fun at a wannabe man-of-the-people radio host well-known at the time, suggests to his listening audience that they save money by going to a buy-one-yacht-get-one-free event; that way they'll have two yachts while only paying for one!
  • May 22, 2014
    PaulA
    • In the Discworld novel Guards Guards, the chief beggar of the city is in the awkward position of being required by the dignity of his position to ask for this kind of money; at one point he sidles up to the protagonist and asks if he can spare a couple of hundred dollars for a twelve-course civic banquet.
  • May 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this?
  • May 22, 2014
    Statzkeen
    In an episode of The IT Crowd, Douglas (the CEO) "borrows" 20 pounds from Roy and throws it out the window to make a point to the company board. Roy realizes that Douglas honestly doesn't understand that 20 pounds is a meaningful sum of money to average people.
  • May 23, 2014
    StarSword
    Film:
    • In Batman Begins, a waiter at an upscale hotel/restaurant tells Bruce Wayne that the two ditzy blondes he brought with him aren't supposed to be using the water feature as a tub. Bruce responds by handing the waiter a check and telling him he's buying the hotel and making a few changes to the rules.
  • May 23, 2014
    Larkmarn
    ^ That's just Fiction500.
  • May 23, 2014
    StarSword
    ^Even rich people don't normally just randomly buy a hotel with their pocket change.
  • July 8, 2014
    Statzkeen
    This one shouldn't have died, IMO.
  • July 31, 2014
    jormis29
    Bump
  • August 2, 2014
    Synchronicity
  • August 2, 2014
    NateTheGreat
    Re: The "million years/million dollars" example above, the simplest link I can find is here, but I personally heard Garrison Keillor tell this one during his annual Joke Show on A Prairie Home Companion.

  • August 2, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    A cheque isn't pocket change, either.
  • August 2, 2014
    chicagomel
    Tabletop Game: Monopoly Junior has a square called "Uncle Pennybags' Loose Change', which is the equivalent of Payday in the adult game. It's always a few hundred at least. (IDK if that one has a page or not)
  • August 2, 2014
    randomsurfer
    (When did Monopoly get a payday square?)
  • August 2, 2014
    MrL1193
    ^^A few hundred? As in, a few hundred cents? Because $1 in Monopoly Junior is roughly equivalent to $100 in standard Monopoly; a few hundred dollars would be about the total amount you'd expect to see in the bank.

    ^I think he's referring to a random event card that you draw. It's been a long time since I played that version, though, so I could be mistaken.
  • August 4, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Looking at The Other Wiki's version of the Monopoly Junior board it looks like the loose change square is the equivalent of Free Parking in the regular game. Lots of people use a House Rule that lading on free parking gives you money, but it isn't in the official rules.
  • September 8, 2014
    jormis29
    • Tropico 4: Sheikh Salim might offer you his second-best camel but when she dies he gives El Presidente the change his wives found while cleaning out couch, $30,000.

  • January 28, 2015
    jormis29
    Bump
  • January 29, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Real Life: As Kathy Griffin related on The Late Show with David Letterman she made Anderson Cooper note  cry during their annual New Year's Eve show when she asked him if he knew how much a quart of milk costs, and he had to admit he had no idea. According to her, this took place during a commercial break:
    Cooper: silently crying Now America knows I don't know what a quart of milk costs.
    Griffin: Well, how much do you think it is?
    Cooper: $500?
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