Seen It a Million Times
, Needs Examples
Bank + Toaster, You do the math!
Banks love finding ways to get new people to deposit their money with them and open new accounts. Decades ago (in the United States, at least), that involved giving away free toasters, alarm clocks, or other cheesy or unusual home electrical appliances to new customers, which grew to be an expected perk of a new bank account. Indeed, the free toaster became so closely associated with new bank accounts that it has influenced how banks are depicted in media and popular culture.
Whenever a there is a scene in a bank, the Bank Toaster
can commonly be Invoked
in signs or promotional displays advertising new accounts or character dialogue.
In bank robberies, the Bank Toaster
usually comes up as a comedic device, such as an item Stupid Crooks
may try to steal either in a last ditch attempt to take something
from the bank after any effort to take the money has failed or in clueless mix-up and failure to realize there would be something more valuable to take from the bank.
As it has become much more unheard of for Real Life
banks to give out toasters and similar house appliances in our present day, this trope has grown into more of a Dead Horse Trope
- Dave Barry mentions this in one of his books remarking how the only question banks asked was if you wanted the toaster or the electric blanket.
- Newspaper editorial cartoons which focus on the American banks during the continuing global financial crisis of the early 21st Century made use of the bank toaster visual.
- Newsday's Walt Handelsman's "Bank Toasters: Then and Now,"◊ Then: "What banks gave to you" (the toaster), Now: "What banks do to you" (burn you... in other words, "You're toast!")
- New Yorker's Peter Steiner's "Return Your Toasters"◊ suggests that people who were pulling their money and assets out of Citibank were also returning their free toasters.
- The League of Super Evil schemed to steal $5 so they could open a bank account and obtain a free toaster.