Bank Toaster
A cheap, complimentary home appliance (usually a toaster) given to a customer for opening a bank account.
Needs Examples

(permanent link) added: 2012-09-08 16:29:46 sponsor: SeanMurrayI (last reply: 2012-09-09 18:36:37)

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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.


Examples

Film

Literature
  • 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.

Live-Action TV
  • In Eerie Indiana, the ghost of Grungy Bill, "The Worst (as in "incompetant") Bank Robber West of the Mississippi" who has never committed a successful bank robbery, tries to run away during yet another unsuccessful attempt to rob a bank with one of the Eerie Bank's free toasters. Managing to be successful at stealing the toaster, Grungy Bill determines this to be a successful bank robbery and his soul can finally rest in peace.
  • The episode of The Lucy Show "Lucy Takes a Job at the Bank", Lucy takes a job at the bank handing out the complimentary toasters, and screws things up in a hilarious manner.
  • In a Superdude skit on All That involving the superhero having to thwart a bank robbery by an evil Costume Copycat, when Superdude is incapacitated and the the villain has taken all the bank's money, the villain turns around at the last minute to steal one of the bank's free toasters, as well. The villain's balked escape gives Superdude enough time to recover and defeat his foe with his magnetic butt that pulls the toaster (and the villain who won't let go of it) back to him.
    Superdude: You should've let go of the toaster, but you HAD to be greedy, didn't you?

Music
  • The Capitol Steps' Parody of "You'll Never Walk Alone", "You'll Never Get a Loan":
    Dream on, dream on,
    With hope in your heart,
    But you'll never get a loan!
    You just might get... a toaster!

Print Media
  • 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.

Western Animation
  • The League of Super Evil schemed to steal $5 so they could open a bank account and obtain a free toaster.


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