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[[quoteright:296:[[Toys/{{LEGO}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lego.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:296:"Any time! Honest!"\\
[-[[http://mymedicatedlife.blogspot.com/2008/06/addiction.html Original cartoon]] used with permission.]]-]

->''"Stop spending all our cash''\\
''On back issues of ComicBook/TheFlash."''
-->-- '''Ookla The Mok''', "Stop Talking About Comic Books or I'll Kill You"

Being a geek is hard. But never mind any social stigma, or trying to explain your hobbies to other people. Oh no. The hardest hits in Geekdom go straight to your bank account.

Perhaps because they feel that they don't reach a wide audience, makers of [[TheMerch so-called "geek" paraphernalia]] charge a pretty penny for their wares. It doesn't help that geeks are as into their interests as any Sports fan is into his favorite team, which is to say a lot. Just because their bobbleheads are more likely to be [[Franchise/{{Gundam}} Mobile Suits]] than football players, doesn't mean they're not like the rest of mankind. Just in different ways.

Can be made worse by the hardcore FanBoy's ''preference'' for overpriced merchandise. This guy wants geek paraphernalia to be overpriced because he wants to be the only one on the block who can afford to own it. If an item costs $9.99, then any old fan, even one who has a mortgage and bills to pay, can afford it; but if it costs $129.99 and comes with the [[strike:fake]] totally legitimate signature of the fandom's creator, then only a true fan would spend so much of his [[strike:mother's]] money to purchase it. This is a dream come true for the manufacturer, who would much rather sell 10,000 items at a $128 profit margin than 50,000 items at an $8 profit margin.

Additionally, because the in-roads and availability of material related to the hobby seems so tenuous, the FanBoy will be willing to pay inflated prices to ensure that material keeps being produced. Of course, the rise of the internet has proven there is a breaking point, as many anime licensees have found out: expecting people to pay $40 for a good seventy-five minutes of entertainment that can easily be distributed online may soon put you out of business.

As these hobbies become more mainstream, the prices will often fall. Many fans then find that the situation doesn't get all that much better, as the lowered prices simply encourage them to get ''more''.

Since these hobbies are so expensive, ads for them count as UpMarketing, just at fans of these instead of the upper class.

Obviously, this trope doesn't just apply to "geek" culture. People can be obsessed with collecting just about ''anything''[[note]]Which is why this page is for in-universe examples only, because it [[TropeDecay turned into]] "The thing I like is expensive!" "Me too!" "And mine!"[[/note]], ranging from guns to sports memorabilia to classic cars and everything in between. The prices for some items can be absurdly high, depending on how rare the item is and how much money collectors are willing to shell out.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Medabots}}'' has a main set of characters, the Medabots themselves, as expensive to buy and maintain. (Justified, in the fact that they are built to shoot missiles, lasers and other things.)
* Anime/BusouShinki, in-universe & in real life. Those cute little Shinki can [[IncrediblyLamePun blast your wallet.]]
** Their SpiritualSuccessor, the ''Anime/FrameArmsGirls'', has this crop up as well, both in-universe and in real life. In episode 4, when the girls start making their own 'rooms' inside a bookshelf, the Materia Twins end up using such luxurious and expensive materials that they end up using up Ao's first paycheck from Frame Advance. She's understandably angry with them for this.
* ''Manga/AirGear'' has the Air Treks that are expensive, comparable to what you'd expect from rollerblades with motors, necessitating the teens to work part-time. Unless it's provided for them.
** Possibly justified by the fact that wearing them apparently allows the user to violate ''physics''.
** Definitely justified by the fact that wearing them lets you jump several stories and move close to 100 MPH. from shoes. If anything, the fact students on a part time job can afford them makes them cheap for what you get
* In ''Manhwa/{{Yureka}}'' the characters have all the money hangups of online gamers, but the technology is ''much'' better (read: More expensive). Add to that the price of Netrooms when a home computer isn't available, it's no wonder most of them can barely afford it.
* Yoshii of ''LightNovel/BakaAndTestSummonTheBeasts'' spends all his food allowance on anime and manga. He gets around this by eating ridiculously small meals, including ''sugar water''.
* In the ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' series, the main protagonists often spend so much money on books that they have no money for food, much to the dismay of the one Paper Sister who ''isn't'' a bibliomaniac.
* In ''Manga/LuckyStar'':
** The girls discuss this trope when they talk about how Japanese people seem to love limited edition items. [[OtakuSurrogate Konata]] herself does this a lot, often buying limited edition items that are hard to get.
*** It might be related to the aesthetic ideal of wabi-zabi, and to the Zen idea of the impermanence of all things--that wouldn't be the oddest place in Japanese culture that wabi-zabi has turned up.
** This trope is also PlayedForLaughs in the BonusMaterial mini-series ''The Empty Stomachs of the Miyakawas''. The titular family in in PerpetualPoverty ''exactly'' because the older sibling was trying to fit her {{otaku}} hobbies into a bookstore staff wage.
* In ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'', Yamazaki, who is already a massive otaku with shelves packed full of manga, [=DVDs=], and figurines, gets Satou into the hobby and trains him to buy things on impulse. But Satou doesn't have much money to spare, so this just accelerates him towards bankruptcy.
* Hinted at in ''Anime/YuGiOh''. While never specifically stated that cards cost vast sums of money, they do mention that the packs do cost something, assumably about the same as they do in real life. Considering that the characters are playing the game for a living, and that the rarer cards are more or less unique or very close to it [[note]] ex. Dark Magician is only seen once outside of Yugi's deck. Not only is it a different color, after winning the duel, he gained possession of the card. The three Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards in Kaiba's deck are explicitly the only ones in existence (there used to be a fourth, but Kaiba destroyed it to maintain his own deck's uniqueness). And it's strongly implied that the 5-card Exodia set Yugi once possessed was the only one ever printed.[[/note]], so presumably they spend even more money building their decks than professionals do in real life.
** The manga chapter introducing the card game (chapter 9) has Sugoroku mention that some people have [[SeriousBusiness sold their houses to buy cards.]]
* In ''LightNovel/{{Oreimo}}'', Kirino (a 14-year-old) has a vast collection of anime and {{Dating Sim}}s; her brother is suspicious about how she could afford it all, since it follows realistic Japanese pricing (equivalent of hundreds of dollars for anime box-sets). It turns out she has a lucrative job as a teen clothing model.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Part of the reason BA and Bob are perpetually broke in ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' is that they use what little money they earn from their minimum wage jobs to support their role-playing hobby.
* Often a topic of discussion in ''Webcomic/FullFrontalNerdity'', whether it's how much one of the characters spent on [=CCGs=], making fun of someone else for buying some overpriced piece of memorabilia (usually followed by pointing out how much they spend), or a meta discussion on why people spend so much on the games.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'': This the origin of Jonathan (the Scarecrow) Crane's AppropriatedAppelation. Crane spent all of his money on buying books, so he was always very shabbily dressed. As a result, his university colleagues nicknamed him 'Scarecrow'. When he turned to crime, he adopted this as his alias.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Right before the submarine is submerged in ''Film/CrimsonTide'', Creator/GeneHackman offers Creator/DenzelWashington a cigar with the admonition not to get too used to them, as they are "more expensive than drugs."


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/DonQuixote'': This attitude is showed InUniverse (and deconstructed) by Alonso Quijano. At chapter I Part I we learn that he has acquired a lot of chivalry books (almost three hundred), and if you remember that the [[OlderThanSteam printing-press had been invented in Europe only some years ago]], it's a considerable feat. Unfortunately, Alonso Quijano is a ImpoverishedPatrician who sells part of his lands to buy more books. Then he takes his obsession the next level: Alonso Quijano will decide that it would be a great idea to become [[MeaningfulRename Don Quixote]]:
--> ''"and to such a pitch did his eagerness and infatuation go that he sold many an acre of tillage land to buy books of chivalry to read"''


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* This is a borderline Meta example since it's based on RealLife, but ''Series/PawnStars'' shows the opposite side of this trope with some people who make a living off it. The Harrisons frequently buy things because they know they'll be able to resell them to collectors who are willing to pay huge sums of money for antique guns, classic cars, historic documents, pop culture memorabilia, etc. Though sometimes one of them will buy such items for their own collections, especially if Rick encounters a rare item connected to his idol Creator/SteveMcQueenActor.
** On both ''{{Series/Pawn Stars}}'' and ''{{Series/Counting Cars}}'' the word "boat" is said to be an acronym for "Bust Out Another Thousand".[[note]]This is one of the three most popular jokes amount boat owners. The others being that a boat is "a hole in the water that you pour money into" and that "the two happiest days of a boat owners life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it."[[/note]]
** ''Series/ComicBookMen'' plays both sides of this trope as it's about a comic book and toy shop that is run by fanboys.
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', the fellas play a card game called ''Mystic Warlords of Ka'a''. One episode sees the release of an absurd ''Wild West and Witches'' expansion pack, which Raj describes as "like a secret tax for guys who cannot get laid". Moments after, the four have shelled out $25 each for the expansion. Raj will later show off his ''Wild West and Witches'' collector's tin...
* An episode of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' had Dick becoming [[GRatedDrug addicted]] to [[Toys/BeanieBabies Fuzzy Buddies]], to the point he begins to lose control of his family's finances.
* In ''Series/SexAndTheCity'': [[AllWomenLoveShoes Carrie Bradshaw spends a ''ridiculous'' amount of money on shoes, and wears said expensive shoes pretty much everywhere]]. It´s deconstructed because instead of Carrie's constant shoe-buying being just part of the background of the series, it suddenly becomes a problem when it turns out she has tens of thousands of dollars worth of shoes ... and not enough money to get a mortgage.
--> I've spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will ''literally'' be [[NurseryRhyme the old woman who lived in her shoes!]]


[[folder: Magazines]]

* One issue of ''Magazine/{{Cracked}}'', when it was still a print publication, had a two-page illustration on its take of a collectible card game tournament. A tag pointing to a competitor pointed out that he "spent $1,000 on a deck to compete in a tournament with $250 of prize money."


[[folder: Music ]]

* In the song "Byens hi-fi asyl"[[note]]The Hi-Fi Asylum of the Town[[/note]] by Norwegian folk singer Music/OysteinSunde, the salesman literally describes the items he sells as "cheaper than opium, but more expensive than marijuana". The song also mentions a customer who's very addicted to hi-fi, and willing to pay a lot for it.


[[folder: Theater ]]

* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': This attitude is shown InUniverse (and deconstructed) by the baker Ragueneau. His wife Lise remembers a time when he was a normal person, a SupremeChef with a successful bakery. But then he became infatuated with the poets and his lifestyle. In the first act he trades pies for theater tickets. In the second act he accepts poems in return for his food, [[ConspicuousConsumption pays too much to an assistant for baking a pie shaped like a lyre]] and cannot renounce even one of his precious poems. He's completely ruined in the beginning of the third act, [[YourCheatingHeart abandoned by his neglected wife Lise]] and attempts an InterruptedSuicide.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''Xtended'' GameMod for ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X3: Terran Conflict]]'' adds the Fuzzico® Fuzzy Dice collection, a series of twelve fuzzy UsefulNotes/{{dice}} which are valued by in-universe collectors. Their price varies from ''negative'' [[WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture credits]] to hundreds of thousands on the black market, depending on the color of the dice. In-game however, [[GameplayAndStorySegregation they are worth only two credits]], simply being a BraggingRightsReward. The only way to acquire them is to loot the wrecks of civilian cargo freighters.
* ''VideoGame/ArTonelicoMelodyOfElemia'' has a merchant in Firefly Alley who deals exclusively in collectible cards, and the first few are pretty cheap... Even the cards' descriptions [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this trope, complaining about how expensive they get and eventually suggesting the makers are just milking the cash cow. However, they can be turned into [[AmplifierArtifact grathnode crystals]] with special effects for ItemCrafting, so they ''can'' be worth getting.
* For some bizarre reason, ''bikes'' in the Pokémon series are sometimes this, dating all the way back to the first game where a bike cost more money than the player could possibly carry. Not that this stopped an NPC from giving away a voucher to anyone who talked to him...
** This is because the bikes are one of only a few things that expensive that are actually reasonably priced. Poké Balls, a technology that lets people convert Pokémon into digital data... [[MagicFromTechnology somehow...]] costs as much as a bottle of water straight out of a vending machine. The game's currency is actually a CulturalTranslation of yen: a bike that could easily be folded up and fit into your backpack really ''would'' cost that much. Unfortunately this is lost on Western audiences. It's not that the bike is incredibly expensive: it's that the player is actually carrying around very little in the way of money and doesn't realize it!
* ''VideoGame/PowerQuest'' has this in the form of the small robot models used to battle with one another. Despite the protagonist saving up money before the game starts, their friend quickly lets them know that it'd only be able to afford a single part! Thankfully, your mother informs you that something arrived for you that day... a voucher you can exchange for your own model!
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline2'' has this in player markets with popular {{Fanservice}}-laden costumes, rare drops, and single-use tickets for accessories, hairstyles, voices, and suchlike. Such items can easily go for ''hundreds of '''millions''''' at their most expensive, requiring players to grind the living hell out of Daily Orders and Klotho's lucrative side quests in order to make enough money to buy them.
* A realistic example occurs in ''Franchise/StarWars KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. The card game pazaak gives players the option to buy more powerful cards for their deck for a sum of credits that would be meaningful to a normal citizen of the galaxy, such as 25-200 credits. For comparison, a normal blaster rifle (the sort many characters in universe would carry around in a dangerous wilderness) costs 300 credits in this game, and high-stakes games of pazaak could be played for a couple of hundred credits. A top tier pazaak deck would run about a thousand credits, or about half of what Luke sold his used speeder (think car, but floating just off the ground) for in ''Film/ANewHope''.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', almost any weapon you failed to pick up during missions can be purchased afterwards at one of the numerous shops on the Citadel. Prices range from 4,000 credits for basic gear to 10,000 credits per top-tier InfinityMinusOneSword. Well, and then there's the Spectre Requisitions Office that sells the Black Widow sniper rifle, the M-11 Wraith shotgun and the M-77 Paladin heavy pistol, each of them the InfinityPlusOneSword of their respective category. They can be yours for 250,000 credits apiece, and that's just the Tier I version without any upgrades. If you start out with the cash bonus from importing an ME 2 save file, you'll have to finish ''a lot'' of missions before you can afford even one of them. If you start a game completely from scratch, you'll have to finish about ''half the game'' to scrape together the funds required, and that's assuming you refrain from buying anything else in the meantime (like those neat weapon mods you could really need all the time, for instance). The three guns are entirely worth their money once you finally get to use them on the enemy, but damn if it isn't a pain in the ass to get to that point.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt'': Gwent is a recently invented trading card game in a fantasy setting [[spoiler:thanks to interdimensional elf shenanigans]], and Geralt can purchase extremely powerful cards by trading in his real hunting trophies. The game is so popular in-and-out of universe that a mob of angry villagers formed to protest official rule changes, and the game itself is now free-to-play on steam (and just as costly to buy actual cards).

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'': The plot is kicked off by [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/11 Piro and Largo blowing all of their cash on video games (and the Cool Thing)]] and thus stranding themselves in Japan. Later, Dom and Ed send them money to get home...[[http://megatokyo.com/strip/41 It doesn't last long.]]
** [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/16 Tsubasa]] also shares their [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/38 weakness]].
* Mentioned by ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'' in [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1599#comic strip 1599]].
* There exists an aptly named TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering webcomic titled Webcomic/CardboardCrack. Many of the jokes resolve around the absurd price of Magic cards, like [[http://cardboard-crack.tumblr.com/post/56747355348 this]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sunstone}}'', collecting BDSM equipment turns out to be Ally's only recreational spending outlet. When her partner Lisa asks Ally how much has been spent on all this stuff, Ally refuses to answer. WordOfGod is that it's been ''forty grand.'' Alan banned her from spending more on this stuff for this very reason.
* ''Webcomic/NerfNOW'' has [[http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/2199 this opinion]] about ''VideoGame/{{Hearthstone}}''.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* WebVideo/{{Phelous}}'s spinoff show ''Bootleg Zones'' has the Galaxy Warriors (a line of action figures based on ''HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse'') due to how many sublines, spinoffs, variants and bootlegs the figures have. He often refers to them as the "Galaxy Black Hole" or "Galaxy-Hole" when discussing them.
** It gets to the point where, while revisiting Turtles Fighters for his [[MilestoneCelebration 50th episode]], Phelous discovers that the figures he's showcasing actually use accessories bootlegged from a Galaxy Warriors bootleg line, making Turtles Fighters part of the Galaxy-Hole by association.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "[[Recap/BatmanTheAnimatedSeriesE18BewareTheGrayGhost Beware the Gray Ghost]]": [[spoiler:the villain is a toy collector who turned his toys into bombs to get the money to buy more toys]]
-->"You see, I need the money to buy more toys. I love toys. They can play songs. They can dance. They can even eat money. Oh, boy, can they eat money. All my money. [[spoiler: And then I remembered an episode of ''The Gray Ghost''. And I knew what else a toy can do. It can carry a bomb. It can hold a city for ransom. Oh, the power of the toy. It can earn millions. Millions for the little old toy collector, me.]]"