Created By: spacemarine50 on August 31, 2012 Last Edited By: marcoasalazarm on April 6, 2013
Troped

Paying in Coins (launch very soon)

Pays for stuff with huge number of coins

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
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.

Examples

[[folder/Comic Books]]
  • In the German comic strip Oskar, the family uses pennies to pay for their new car. It's The Alleged Car, but still.
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Film]]
  • 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.
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Literature]] [[folder/]]

[[folder/Live-Action TV]]
  • 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...
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Music]]
  • 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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder/Tabletop Games]]
  • 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.
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Video Games]]
  • 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.
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Web Original]]
  • 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).
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Western Animation]]
  • 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.
    Hello? China? 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.
[[folder/]]

[[folder/Real Life]]
  • 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.
[[folder/]]
Community Feedback Replies: 72
  • August 31, 2012
    spacemarine50
    This is my first YKTTW by the way.
  • August 31, 2012
    Psi001
  • August 31, 2012
    KTera
    • A satire site claimed that Samsung paid off its $1.05 billion fine to Apple by sending them dumptrucks full of nickels.
  • August 31, 2012
    tryourbreast
    Some places have law that bans people to pay a large price with coins only. Should someone do this it is illegal.

    By the way, I suggest a better title. Like Absurdly Huge Coin Payment.
  • August 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    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.
    Hello? China? A little help?
  • August 31, 2012
    Rognik
    One episode of Seinfeld had Kramer pay for everything with pennies.
  • August 31, 2012
    spacemarine50
    • 1 How do I get a hat for this? Approval?
    • 2 Examples look bad because I don't have any markup help; how do I sort them and do the folder thing?
    • 3 A variant could be paying for a really expensive item with bills, because there isn't a Zillion Dollar Bill available.
  • August 31, 2012
    KZN02
    This You Tube channel has videos of services being paid in pennies.
  • August 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^See YKTTW Guidelines and Wiki Markup Help (note though that not all markup works in ykttw, including folders).

    Additionally, you can click the little pencil icon next to a reply to copy the markup already used by a replying troper, rahter than trying to recreate it. If you do that, click the pencil again to close the reply without saving. That way the replyer's name is still there. And/or, click the "show all markup" button at the top to show the markup of all the replies.

    Hats will come when people think it's ready to launch. Sometimes they can take a long time to earn. This ykttw has been up for less than a day.
  • September 1, 2012
    Rognik
    If you're adding in the variant of bills for really large amounts, I remember seeing that trope invoked on I Carly. 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.
  • September 1, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Got some other Simpson's examples. How do I add them below the current one?
  • September 1, 2012
    Chabal2
    ^ Use the pencil icon above the "add tag" menu.

    • Can't remember the name, but there was a newspaper cartoon where a man is allowed to cut in front of a supermarket line as he only has one item... then pulls out a massive pile of Canadian pennies to pay.
    • Supposedly there have been people who paid their taxes in pennies.
  • September 2, 2012
    captainsandwich
  • September 2, 2012
    KarjamP
    ^ Related, but not the same.
  • September 2, 2012
    Lavalyte
    Averted in real life. Most countries have laws that allow retailers to reject payments if they involve too large a volume of small denominations.
  • September 2, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    In the Spider Robinson novel "The Callahan Touch", the third of three wishes granted by a magical clurichaun is that he legitimately pay for the enormous amount of alcohol he consumed. So he pays in gold coins- LOTS of gold coins, as he had nearly cleaned out every last drop in the bar.
  • September 2, 2012
    TheArbitrageur
    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.
  • September 2, 2012
    spacemarine50
    ^subtrope of this? Using real life as an example, only money available are $1 bills, yet you buy houses and Cool Cars and the Infinity Minus One Sword with huge numbers of $1 bills.
  • September 2, 2012
    TheArbitrageur
    ^ I think it fits because of the game design; IRL you get £10 notes, £5 notes, £50 notes and so on, whereas in TES the only unit of currency is a one gold piece, meaning all transactions in the universe beyond for basic foodstuffs would be an example of this trope.
  • September 2, 2012
    spacemarine50
    ^Question is: Should I add something like all-video-games-use-this-trope (not those Exact Words), list every game that does that, or make a subtrope for that? Fridge Logic: combine this with You Require More Vespene Gas and you paying huge amounts of resources for stuff.
  • September 2, 2012
    Kellor
    On The Coneheads, Prymaat zaps a vending machine and they use the quarters to pay for a motel room.
  • September 3, 2012
    Rognik
    ^^I wouldn't say it's applicable in every video game. As TheArbitrageur stated, there are usually different denominations of coins available, even if the game doesn't explicitly say it has them. However, if a game points out that it has different units of coins - bronze, silver and gold is most common - but then has items that cost 10,000 gold coins with no step beyond, this trope comes into effect. Still, it's best to make some note like this so that it doesn't get bogged down with idiots trying to list every instance of Cheap Gold Coins.

    ^^^^Not really. 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. It's about using the right denomination of currency for what you're buying.
  • September 3, 2012
    spacemarine50
    [[Note]] No credit cards either [[Note]] Trying to do a footnote, and the markup help isn't close. Help. (And below)

    ^What's the relationship between this and Cheap Gold Coins? I'm not sure, as I think the latter should go to TRS [[Note and it will, if a slot opens up Note]]. Also, other units may be mentioned, but you still only use gold to buy anything.
  • September 3, 2012
    Rognik
    ^And in real life, you only use dollars, or yen in Japan, or pesos in Mexico, or euros in Europe. You're still not counting out each individual dollar, cent or what-have-you. But there's nothing saying that Azeroth, to use Wo W as an example, doesn't have gold coins that represent 5, 10 or even 100 gold coins worth of currency. This trope is only for using extremely small units of currency to pay for things.

    Let me try this to make an example: D&D has all kinds of coins in its currency, from copper to gold to electium. However, Order Of The Stick provides us [http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0245.html this image] to suggest they carry around large sacks of gold which are inexplicably absent until the plot demands it.
  • September 3, 2012
    TonyG
    I've seen this more often as a character (usually a little old lady) going to a bank to make a deposit in pennies and having to count each one and holding up the line.
  • September 3, 2012
    Omeganian
  • September 7, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Bump. What does it take to launch?
  • September 7, 2012
    Rognik
  • September 20, 2012
    Frank75
    In the German comic strip Oskar, the family uses pennies to pay for their new car. It's The Alleged Car, but still.
  • September 20, 2012
    JakeTheYak
    Real Life example (or Urban Legend):

    Possibly apocryphal, but there was a story floating around that police in Rhode Island arrested a man as a suspect in a string of coin machine robberies. He paid his bail money entirely in quarters.
  • September 22, 2012
    axordil
    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...
  • September 24, 2012
    Frank75
    Real Life:
    • 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.

  • September 24, 2012
    Perey
    The applicable real-life concept is "legal tender". Laws vary from country to country in how strictly this definition stacks up, but here's the theory. For something (namely money) to be legal tender means that a creditor must accept it, if offered in payment of a debt. To avert this trope in real life, many countries only declare small denominations to be legal tender for debts up to a certain amount.

    Additionally, the obligation to accept legal tender is generally not applicable to making purchases in a shop. When you're in the process of buying something, there isn't actually a debt owed to the store yet, and so they can refuse to accept payment (and also refuse to let you take the goods) if they don't like how you intend to pay.
  • September 24, 2012
    Folamh3
    • A joke about this features in this Cracked TV episode.
  • September 24, 2012
    SKJAM
    Real life (or so I'm told): A relatively new newspaper employee was put in charge of the advertising department for the day, and he accepted an ad from Ferris Alexander who was at that time the Porn Shop king of the Twin Cities. This was against the newspaper's policy, so the week-long ad run was canceled after one day. Mr. Alexander insisted on paying for the one day the ad did run...in sticky quarters.
  • September 28, 2012
    SAMAS
    I invoke an alternate name for Added Alliterative Appeal: Paid In Pennies.
  • September 28, 2012
    BlueGuy
    ^ Not exactly the best name. I'd say Absurdly Huge Coin Payment is the best suggestion so far.

    • 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).
  • December 18, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Bump.
  • December 19, 2012
    Chernoskill
    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.
  • December 19, 2012
    StarSword
    Western Animation:
    • 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.
  • December 19, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    An example of the small-bill variation, in the same spirit:

    Film

    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.
  • December 23, 2012
    dvorak
    In certain countries, this is illegal. For example, in Canada, one can only pay up to 50 cents in pennies.
  • December 23, 2012
    Mokurai
    Literature: In The Keys of the Kingdom, one of the complaints against the poor Catholic priest being investigated by the bishop is that he pays for candles for the church in pennies. He muses, "That's how it comes to me."
  • December 24, 2012
    Diask
    • 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.
  • January 7, 2013
    Frank75
    • In Germany, there's the custom that a bride will pay her shoes in pennies. (Explanation: To demonstrate that she will be a thrifty housewife.) The problem with this: When this custom developed, this would amount to some hundred pennies. Nowadays, with the inflation, ten thousands aren't impossible.
  • January 7, 2013
    AgProv
    Real life: 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.
  • January 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • In 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons And 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.
  • March 24, 2013
    spacemarine50
  • March 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • 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.
  • March 24, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    Compare Ridiculous Future Inflation, which may lead to this with bills. Crazy inflation has also caused this to be done with complete seriousness in RL, with people having to pay for things with wheelbarrow loads of bills.
  • March 24, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    There's another Dexters 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.
  • March 24, 2013
    zizoloziz
    I don't think that every video game that has different denominations of coins should count for this one; in Terraria, you can pay for expensive items in all copper coins, but it would never be necessary or useful. This should be limited to things where it is a meaningful part of the story, or an interesting effect happens from paying with all small coins.
  • March 25, 2013
    spacemarine50
    I'm not sure if I should allow Video Game examples. Maybe make a subtrope, or have Cheap Gold Coins be one.

    Edit: Do the current video/tabletop games examples also fit Cheap Gold Coins?

  • March 25, 2013
    spacemarine50
    What else to do, now that all examples are up?
  • March 25, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    This trope and Cheap Gold Coins are different. Related, but different. Cheap Gold Coins is where the setting uses gold coins as low-value coins, even though in Real Life it's like the equivalent of a $100 bill. Basically it's about the value of the coin itself. This trope is when someone pays with a large amount of coins, regardless of the coin value.
  • March 25, 2013
    Frank75
    ^^ Wait for the fifth hat. Sorry, I already gave one.
  • March 26, 2013
    MetaFour
    Adding a hat and an example.

    EDIT: I guess I already gave a hat before?
  • March 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Since this is starting to look ready to launch, I think you should do something about that "Can't remember the name" example in the Comic Books section.
  • March 30, 2013
    spacemarine50
    P Med the guy that came up with it. He doesn't remember the title.
  • March 30, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • 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.
  • April 2, 2013
    Frank75
    Ready to launch!
  • April 2, 2013
    1810072342
    Quick example!

    Real Life: Apple sued Samsung over the design of their new Galaxy smartphone design, so Samsung paid them the money in several truck's worth of 25 cent pieces.

    (If someone could check the details of that, that'd be great)
  • April 2, 2013
    dubey
    Real Life: As a pizza delivery driver, I can assure you this happens all the time. A lot of people collect change and then order pizza when they have enough shrapnel to pay for it. Seeing someone heading for the very-obviously-bloated coin tray always brings a tear to my eye.
  • April 2, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^^The example already up is that it was paid with a few truckloads of nickels, and is linked.

    ^Not putting up any Troper Tales.
  • April 3, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Last chance for comments before launch. Should I keep the current name or not?
  • April 3, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Change the Seinfeld entry. 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.

    He doesn't try to pay for everything with pennies.
  • April 4, 2013
    Frank75
    Name's fine with me.
  • April 4, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Often an example of Bothering By The Book, whether accidental or intentional.
  • April 5, 2013
    maxwellsilver
  • April 5, 2013
    marcoasalazarm
    ^Expanding on the Dexters Laboratory example with the ice cream man: after Dexter finally catches up to him and he explains why he hates Dexter so much, Dexter apologizes and buys an ice cream... paying with a $100 bill. The very last scene is Dexter eating the ice cream and the man screaming off-screen... implying that the ice cream man will have to provide the change in pennies, and not looking forward to it.
  • April 5, 2013
    MrInitialMan
    As a cashier, I have seen people break out the coins as well. This is occasionally welcome, when I am running low on change.
  • April 6, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    I'm pretty sure I've seen this used by Jackass Genies when someone wished for a large quantity of money, usually depositing it in heavy coins directly over the wisher.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=v4hv82v3wp59byep5xfbyej5&trope=PayingInCoins