Our heroes, Dave and Sarah, are busy minding their own business, when all of sudden Alice ([[AliceAndBob for it is she]]) arrives, looking all distressed and unhappy. She tells the following heart-rending story:
Her nephew Bob was an aid worker in [[LatinLand Central America]], namely a [[BananaRepublic military-ruled state]] (The DeepSouth will do the job just as well).

As he was driving along, the police pulled Bob over and found drugs in his car. He swore they weren't his, but the cops took him into custody. Now, he's in a really nasty prison, and he suffers from a medical condition that will kill him if he doesn't get treatment soon.

Alice asks Dave and Sarah to hop down to the country in their CoolPlane (she has connections) out of the goodness of their hearts. As a further incentive, she offers them a lot of money.
Dave and Sarah agree. They head to the country and employ various techniques to attempt to get Bob out. They try persuasion, [[ShowSomeLeg distraction]] and, if those don't work, [[StuffBlowingUp good old-fashioned firepower]].

See also SpanishPrisoner, which shares minor similarities and is always a confidence trick. The Jailbird of Panama can be, but usually isn't.

A pun on the title of the novel ''[[Creator/JohnLeCarre The Tailor of Panama]]''.


[[folder: Film ]]

* The basic premise of ''Film/BrokedownPalace'', only we the viewers experience from the viewpoint of the two girls who are in jail.
* The plot of the Charles Bronson movie ''Breakout''.
* ''Film/{{Bananas}}'' is basically a parody of this trope.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/{{Airwolf}}'' did this on at least two occasions.
* ''Series/MacGyver1985'' did at least once.
** They also subverted it once: after breaking the aid worker out, he turns out to be a gunrunner, and Alice is a KGB agent who needs him free.
* The IM Force of ''Series/MissionImpossible'' did it to rescue one of their own in "Death Squad".
* ''Series/PrisonBreak'' Season 1 and Season 3 basically run on this trope.
** And the third season just so happens to be set in Panama, where several characters are jailed.
* ''Series/TheATeam'' has done this at least once.