Stuck In the Bank Robbery
The characters are stuck in a bank robbery or other hostage situation, and have to resolve it.


(permanent link) added: 2012-03-20 08:54:49 sponsor: hobbitguy1420 (last reply: 2012-04-23 16:40:10)

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Needs an Index, Rolling Updates This is a Narrative Device

It seems like action protagonists can't do *anything* without getting into trouble. They've hardly gone out for a drive when the explosions and helicopters start flying, if they go on vacation you can be sure there's going to be a drug ring operating there.

So if an action protagonist is swinging by the bank to check on his account balance, well, you can be sure that's when the guns will come out and the masks will go on.

This trope represents occasions in action series when their heroes inadvertently get stuck in banks while they're being robbed, thus forcing them to work against (or, occasionally, with) their captors in order to protect the other captives. This trope is especially common in action and action-comedy television shows. If the protagonist is a superhero in their secret identity, can result in Bruce Wayne Held Hostage.

Often leads to a Die Hard in a bank moment. If the hero needs to communicate with others outside the bank, it's a good thing Everyone Knows Morse.


Anime & Manga
  • Aramaki visits friend in London in one episode of Stand Alone Complex. She is a wine maker, who is held up, and the chief has to not only contend with foiling the robbery but with the corrupt SWAT team under orders to kill them all.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • The Bob's Burgers episode "Bob Day Afternoon". Bob is asked to deliver food to the robber and his hostages, but things go wrong and Bob ends up inside the bank, having to serve as negotiator.
  • Happens twice in Burn Notice.
    • One episode has Michael helping a woman who works in a bank, whose online date was stalking her. Turns out, the "stalker" was a bank robber.
    • A fourth season episode complicated things by making Mike and Sam's clients the robbers.
  • The Castle episode "Cops & Robbers"
  • Happens to Delko in the CSI: Miami episode "Urban Hellraisers".
  • An episode of CSI NY had this, as well. The guy was angry about a case and ended up trying to force the group's hand. Mac wound up getting taken on a car ride and thrown into the river with the car, though he survived.
  • Due South had an episode where the protagonists were trapped in a bank vault bank while robbers were trying to break in. They foiled the robbery by setting off the sprinkler system so that the vault filled with water, which knocked the robbers back when they eventually got in.
  • Happens to McCall in The Equalizer. As an added bonus, the episode had Mickey showing up too late after McCall had already disarmed the situation.
  • Happens to character Mike Cannon in a episode of Las Vegas.
  • "The Bank Shot Job," from Leverage. Complicated in that the team are in the middle of a con at the time. Another example of the robbers being sympathetic.
  • Happens in Monk, but with a twist. The entire staff of the bank are actually its robbers, and everyone in the main cast, including police chief Leland Stottlemeyer, is trapped in the vault. In order to escape, as nobody knows they're locked in there, they have to hack the bank's scrolling marquee and replace "Low Rate Loans" with "Help, We're Trapped Inside the Bank." Even that doesn't work, so Randy tells the silver statue impersonator out front to call the police.
  • The episode "Gus Walks into a Bank" from the third season of Psych
  • Subverted in Supernatural, where the boys get locked in during a hostage situation, then talk the hostage taker into keeping the hostages longer, so they can seek out the nasty of the week.
  • Happens in the X-Files episode "Monday," with the added twist that the bank robbery was tied to a time loop that Mulder was stuck in.

Video Games
  • Max Payne is caught in a middle of bank robbery in the first game, just as his cover is blown, so both The Mafia and the police come after him.
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