You go to a store, and buy your things. You check out, and you don't have more than the total. [[Note]] No credit cards either [[Note]] Instead, you must pay in exact change, but all you got is a really huge
number of coins.This is either used as a last resort without going in debt, Just for Fun
, protesting the recipient, or as a metaphor of something. The clerk can either try to count all of it
, or trusts the customer
and accepts the coins.
In reality, we've found methods of exchanging large sums of money without actually presenting large sums of money. For instance, you get a mortgage to buy a house. You get a paycheck every week, not $300 in cash per week (as a for instance). You have cashier's cheques to move large sums of money from one bank account to another. However, if you walk into a car dealership and offer to buy a car on the spot without financing, holding fists full of $100 bills, then this trope comes into effect.
On more expensive things, such as a luxury yacht, A Briefcase Full of Money
can be used instead if a Zillion-Dollar Bill
isn't available. May be the result of Ridiculous Future Inflation
. Cheap Gold Coins
is a related trope. Truth in Television
- In the German comic strip Oskar, the family uses pennies to pay for their new car. It's The Alleged Car, but still.
- On The Coneheads, Prymaat zaps a vending machine and they use the quarters to pay for a motel room.
- In The People Vs Larry Flynt, Flynt paid a $10,000 contempt-of-court fine by bringing a garbage bag full of one dollar bills into the courtroom.
- An episode of Seinfeld had Kramer was collecting change to use the apartment's dryer so his clothes would be warm when he got dressed, then, after deciding to use Jerry's oven instead, tries to pay for Goerge's kalzones with loose change, pissing off the store owner. The episode's stinger has him paying a debt by tossing a pillowcase of coins at someone, knocking them over.
- Invoked on iCarly. Carly, Sam and Freddie agree to promote a new sneaker on their show, and got paid $8000 a week. They were to be cut a check, but Sam then insisted on cash. Cue a bunch of ad executives digging in their pockets for $8000 in bills. When they got bought out of the contract for $30,000, Carly then insists on being paid in cash.
- This isn't quite buying something, but it's obviously related: in an old episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ted owes Murray a few dollars, and keeps putting him off by asking if Murray has change for a $500 bill. At the end of the show, Murray indicates he does this time...in nickels. The bags come out from under the desk...
- Ska band The W's, in their song "Stupid", referenced the Urban Legend of the man arrested for stealing from vending machines, who managed to further incriminate himself when he posted bail:
Well he swore that he was innocent
so he paid off his bail and home he went.
But soon back to jail our hero was sent
because he paid off his bail with quarters and dimes.
- In the Shadowrun universe, the Great Dragon Lofwyr buys the majority of heavy industrial corporation Saeder-Krupp stocks with gold from his hoard, although it isn't specified if it's tons of gold coins or in another form.
- In 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons a gold piece was worth 200 copper pieces. Many monster treasures had thousands of almost worthless copper pieces. Since moneychangers often charged a significant fee (e.g. 10%) for changing copper pieces into higher denomination coins, a PC might decide to pay for a purchase with bags full of coppers.
- In The Elder Scrolls series, this seems to crop up when you buy more expensive items (such as houses in Oblivion and Skyrim). Since there is no higher integer to the currency than the septim (gold coin), you would be dumping at least 5000 coins in the lap of the local steward just to get a foot on the property ladder.
- The player can invoke this trope in Odin Sphere. You have to manually select the coins you want to pay with when buying things. The coins vary from the cheap Ragnanival Silver (worth 1G) to the rare and valuable Commemorative Coin (worth 20G). It's possible to buy expensive things and pay them with a truckload of Ragnan Silver.
- A satire site claimed that Samsung paid off its $1.05 billion fine to Apple by sending them dumptrucks full of nickels. http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/samsung.asp
- This YouTube channel has videos of services being paid in pennies.
- A joke about this features in this Cracked TV episode.
- Entry #7 in Cracked's photoplasty contest "20 Tiny Changes That Would Ruin Famous Technologies" features a cash machine from which money is withdrawn as a bucketful of pennies.
- When Strong Bad stumbles upon the Compe in a catalog, he immediately pulls out his bag of 80,000 pennies to pay for it (it crushes his mailbox).
- Done in an episode of Family Guy where Stewie is held up in line in a supermarket due to Bruce, after done quibbling over having one item over the 10 Items Or Less limit, asks to pay for it all in pennies.
- Apparently the catalyst for a deep seated grudge by the Ice Cream Man in Dexter's Laboratory, Dexter pays for an ice cream (the most expensive one on stock, by the way) with a ridiculously large jar of pennies, an accident with which manages to systematically ruin the Ice Cream Man's entire life. After the Ice Cream Man explains this to Dexter and the latter apologizes, Dexter buys a regular ice cream (which costs $1)... and pays with a $100 bill. The Ice Cream Man's anguished shriek says everything.
- There's another Dexter's Laboratory example that closes the episode "Repairanoid". Although the electrician's $40,000 bill shocks Dexter's mom at first, she quickly shifts to an agreeable tone and takes out her purse to pay -- by withdrawing coins one at a time and counting them. The electrician doesn't protest.
- On The Simpsons Homer once tried to pay a $900 gas bill by sending a water-cooler bottle full of pennies in the mail. When he puts it down next to the mailbox it falls into the earth.
? A little help?
- A Christmas Episode of Arthur had the title character paying for his mom's present out of a coin jar. The cashier fell asleep waiting for him to count it all out.
- Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force tried to pay for a hooker's services with a giant jar of pennies, since there was nothing saying he couldn't. He gets knocked out a moment later by the Phlebotinum of the episode. The hooker leaves, dragging the jar of pennies with her.
- Averted in real life. Most countries have laws that allow retailers to reject payments if they involve too large a volume of small denominations. Should someone do this it is illegal.
- For example, in Canada, one can only pay up to 50 cents in pennies.
- Coinstar will accept this. It turns your coins into bills, so you can avoid this trope.
- If a good cashier is being put-upon by an absolutely terrible customer, the cashier can take vengeance by administering what's known in the US as "the penny treatment", which is giving the customer their exact change — entirely in the lowest possible money denomination, typically counted out individually.
- Supposedly there have been people who paid their taxes in pennies.
- King Ludwig II of Bavaria was a big fan of Richard Wagner. His subjects, even the ministers, didn't share his love. When the king ordered that Wagner should receive a great sum of money for support, the responsible man paid him in silver coins. Several sacks of them. Wagner was enraged and demanded that the whole cabinet would step down.
- In Germany, there's the custom that a bride will pay her shoes in pennies. [[Note]] Explanation: To demonstrate that she will be a thrifty housewife.[[Note]] The problem with this: When this custom developed, this would amount to some hundred pennies. Nowadays, with the inflation, ten thousands aren't impossible.
- British regional councils got so fed up with people making points, or paying disputed bills or local tax money under protest, by bringing a wheelbarrow full of small coin to the tax office, that they are now exerting their common-law right to refuse the method of payment. If the individual then retorts that they have offered payment and it's not their fault the council refused to accept it, test cases have been brought to court and established that the individual is still guilty of non-payment or late payment, and fines have been imposed.