Created By: 1tvfan on October 10, 2011

Mistaken For Stolen

Item believed to be stolen really isn't

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Trope
A character believes that an item belonging to them has been stolen and may start accusing their friends of betraying him or her and stealing the item. In the end, it's revealed that the item was actually misplaced, usually by the character who thought it had been stolen in the first place.
Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • October 11, 2011
    Arivne
    There's an entire suite of Urban Legends based on this: Snopes.com has them as The Pocketed Watch, Pinched Cookies, Gun-Toting Grannies and The Jogger's Billfold.

    The basic plot is: Alice sees Bob with what she thinks is an item belonging to her, assumes that he stole it from her, and takes it from him by stealth or force. Later on she finds out that she was wrong, and the item Bob had actually belonged to him.

    Alice may or may not find her item missing before she sees Bob with it.
  • October 11, 2011
    Bisected8
    • Done recursively in an episode of New Tricks; a group of homeless think Brian stole his trademark coat from a friend of theirs, knock him out and steal it. Brian tracks down said friend, demands his coat back, and gets it. At the end of the episode (after finding that his wife had burned the recovered coat because it was extremly smelly) he buys an identical coat he saw in a charity shop before and realises that it smells exactly like his old coat (but fails to realise the implications). In other words, he'd been the one robbed in this scenario and he'd then accidentally robbed an innocent third party in the same way.
  • October 11, 2011
    CaveCat
    An episode of Alvin And The Chipmunks had Alvin searching for his Pink Rose (a type of card), which he believed to be stolen by a criminal called the Shadow Thief. In the end, it turned out that Alvin's Pink Rose was actually under his bed and that the Shadow Thief was already caught.
  • October 11, 2011
    randomsurfer
    "Pinched Cookies" comes up in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish. Arthur tells the story to Fenchurch, saying that it really did happen to him.
  • October 12, 2011
    Antigone3
    I've seen several versions of "customer thinks store clerk kept the credit card, customer threatens lawsuit, credit card was in customer's purse/wallet the whole time" ... unfortunately, most of them are member-locked LJ posts. I'll see if I can find a link or two on a public site such as Not Always Right.
  • October 12, 2011
    gneissisnice
    Hilariously parodied in this Wonderella comic.
  • December 31, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bump.
  • December 31, 2011
    aznemesis
    In an episode of Seinfeld, Jerry believes the man who cleans his apartment has stolen a statue. Kramer goes to the man's house pretending to be a detective and steals the statue in question.
  • January 1, 2012
    Zsuzsa
    In one of the Baby Sitters Club mysteries, one of the club's clients accuses Stacey of having stolen a diamond ring. Stacey and Kristy eventually figure out that the client's cat started playing with the ring and hid it under the carpet.
  • January 1, 2012
    TonyG
    • On SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs accuses Squidward of stealing his Number One Dime, and Squidward quits in disgust. Later, Krabs finds the dime in his back pocket, but still thinks Squidward is the one who put it there.
    • In The Looney Tunes Show, Daffy accuses everyone in town of stealing his newspaper. Turns out he simply forgot to renew his subscription.
  • January 2, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons module U3 The Final Enemy. The sahuagin Baroness angrily accuses her maid of stealing an earring. In fact the Baroness dropped the earring in the throne room.
  • January 2, 2012
    randomsurfer
    On Frasier this was practially Bulldog's Catch Phrase. He couldn't find something, go on a long rant about people stealing his stuff, then at the end of the rant, "...oh here it is."
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