%% Image selected via crowner in the Image Suggestion thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/ImagePickin/ImageSuggestions72
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.

-> ''"I steal from the rich, and give to the needy"''
->- ''"He takes a wee percentage"''
-> ''"But I'm not greedy!"''
-->-- '''Monsieur Hood''', ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''

In essence, a thief or other kind of criminal, usually of the [[GentlemanThief gentleman kind]], who targets people who [[PayEvilUntoEvil probably deserve it]] in order to help the downtrodden. RobinHood, is, of course, the TropeNamer and in his original stories not a strong example, robbing from the government and returning what was unrighteously taxed. [[RealitySubtext Sociologists have noted that these characters tend to enjoy their greatest popularity during times of economic recession or (especially) depression]].

Depending on the writer, this kind of character can be anything from a hero to an AntiHero to an AntiVillain, but they are rarely ever portrayed as outright villains. Academic texts sometimes use the term "Social Bandit" to describe these kinds of characters. Usually ChaoticGood.

Can also be used more generally to describe a mysterious or eccentric character who is unmistakably a foe of tyranny and a (usually superficial) friend to ordinary folk, especially if large doses of ThinkNothingOfIt are present. A common trait of the Depression-era ProtoSuperhero.

Compare and contrast KarmicThief, who similarly targets oppressors but neglects the whole "give to the poor" bit.

See LovableRogue, GentlemanThief, JerkWithAHeartOfGold, HonorAmongThieves, NeighborhoodFriendlyGangsters, ScoundrelCode and AntiHero. See also InvoluntaryCharityDonation. Bonus points if the character is also an ArcherArchetype.

%% If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Isaac and Miria from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' philosophize away their thefts by stealing from the mafia, or from those that they feel money is causing more harm to than good.
* In ''Manga/TheDaughterOfTwentyFaces'', the GentlemanThief Twenty Faces is portrayed to some degree like this, although the primary motive for his actions is to set right the wrongs caused by war, such as recovering national treasures that were looted.
* There was a cat burglar in an early episode of [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]] of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' that claimed she did this. [[spoiler: Her real motivation was more complicated. Her goal wasn't so much to save the poor, but to give her dying city publicity.]]
* ''Manga/KaitouSaintTail'' did a variation of this, but was ''very'' careful to only steal already stolen items, and return them to the people they were stolen from.
* Kurosaki from ''Manga/{{Kurosagi}}'' swindles money from other swindlers and gives it back to whomever they stole it from. He does, however, make a point to note he is not a social bandit nor does he care to do it for justice.
* ''Franchise/LupinIII'': Social Banditry isn't really Lupin's shtick, but he is willing to make the occasional exception.
** [[Recap/LupinIIIS2E155 The last episode]] in the Anime/LupinIIIRedJacket series features Lupin planning to give the jewels back "less a small service charge", claiming the thefts are actually being done to showcase the robots that the Ministry of Defense ordered created.
* Risty from ''Anime/QueensBlade'' robs nobles and gives the gold to orphanages.
* Thor from ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', before becoming one of the Ansgard Saints.
* In ''Anime/SoltyRei'', Rose Anderson and her brothers steal to provide medicine and other essential supplies to the cities 'unregisted' people, who legally cannot buy anything.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} and ComicBook/BlackCat, the two most famous cat burglars in comics, occasionally do this DependingOnTheWriter. The former in particular comes from a poor background in most continuities, and is often shown looking after her neighbourhood strays.
* In ''[[{{Elseworld}} Batman: Golden Streets of Gotham]]'', Batman is Bruno Vanekow, a railroad worker whose parents die in a fire similar to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. He dons a bat costume and becomes a self-styled Robin Hood, stealing from the city's [[CorruptCorporateExecutive rich and powerful]] and donating to charity.
* Oddly enough, the Penguin had this personality (anti-villainous type) in his very first appearance in ''ComicBook/TheBatmanAdventures'' (based on ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''). He's extremely arrogant, has a HairTriggerTemper and complains about being SurroundedByIdiots - but he's also given the quasi-sympathetic trait of half-scorning, half-envying the richest men in Gotham City, and (with the help of ComicBook/TheJoker) executes a series of clever robberies of the homes and businesses of these plutocrats and then gives most of the money to charities of all kinds, [[VillainWithGoodPublicity making himself a respectable figure in Gotham]] and nearly winning an award for his "altruism." When the award goes to Bruce Wayne instead, the Penguin tries to avenge himself by robbing Wayne Enterprises [[MuggingTheMonster (unaware that Wayne is actually Batman)]], and when his gang is defeated and Batman [[EngineeredPublicConfession tricks him into publicly confessing to his crimes]], the Penguin explains that his motivation for the robberies was partly to win himself some respect and partly to take out his resentment on the "fat cats", whose behavior always "made me sick." We also see the Penguin looking over [[TrueArtIsIncomprehensible a pretentious, nearly abstract piece of modern art]] in the lobby of the Wayne building and expressing his contempt for it ("Now, what's this supposed to be? It doesn't even look like anything!"). He tells his {{Mooks}} that, if anything, he's doing society a favor by making sure all that money isn't spent on anything wasteful.
* Parodied in ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' with UsefulNotes/JesseJames, who fancies himself the new Robin Hood, but is a bit reluctant about the "giving to the poor" part. His brother Frank has a brilliant idea: Jesse will give everything he steals to him, Frank, who currently is poor; by doing this, Jesse will become poor too, so Frank will give everything back to him, and so on. Robin-Hooding stays in the family.
* Depending on the writer, this is ''ComicBook/GreenArrow''. Of course, Green Arrow also helps the poor through things like governmental power (he's been mayor of his [[AdventureTowns Adventure Town]]) or business (anti-Big Business multi-millionaire fighter. Irony) and of course [[TheyFightCrime Fighting Crime]].
* The Mock Turtle in ''Comicbook/AstroCity'' gives all the money he steals, apart from that which he spends on his own maintenance, to help with the "charitable works" of his true love Lucia. Se, in turn, was a ManipulativeBitch who was just duping him into helping build her own criminal empire.
* GoldenAge Two-Face would always rob someone, but if the "good" side of the coin came up he would give the entire thing to a random charity.
* ''ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'':
** The motivation for Fantomius, a GentlemanThief who Paperinik is a sort-of LegacyCharacter to (his equipment is based on Fantomius' designs, updated from the roaring 20s and he has access to Fantomius' old {{Elaborate Underground Base}}s). This trait is more marked in Danish stories: Italian Paperinik stories, including the one where Paperinik debuted and first mentioned Fantomius, make clear that Fantomius stole from the riches only out of a personal vendetta (as they called him a good for nothing just because of his British nationality, much like Donald Duck became Paperinik due having enough of being called called a lazy good for nothing in spite of all his efforts), and as much as he'd give to charity any cash he stole he usually grabbed jewels and other rare and valuable things.
** Also, in some newer Danish ''Paperinik'' stories, the motivation of immortal ClassyCatBurglar Ireyon (who used to just steal for herself until [[LoveRedeems she fell in love with Fantomius]]).
* Railroad Bill from ''ComicBook/JonahHex'', who would rob trains and then redistribute the money he stole to those who had been forced off their land by the railroad companies.
* This is Kris' justification for using mind control powers to rob banks in ''ComicBook/{{Harbinger}}''. They have the "rob from the rich" part down, but as with the Lucky Luke example above, never quite get around to the part where you give the money away.
* Taking her cue from Franchise/{{Zorro}}, ComicBook/LadyRawhide does this. She is even specifically compared to Robin Hood in the first issue of the Dynamite mini-series.
* In ''ComicBook/RobynHood'', Robyn briefly indulges in this -- throwing the money she stole from a Wall Street bank to the crowd -- before ultimately deciding that her campaign of revenge is empty and that she needs to find something more worthwhile to do with her life.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In Disney ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', Al gives a pair of kids the bread at the beginning of the original movie.
** In [[Disney/AladdinTheReturnOfJafar the second movie]], Al is shown robbing Abis Mal in order to spread the gold and jewels he stole among the people.
** And in [[WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries the series]] this is a what takes up a good portion of his spare time.
* From the quote above, Robin Hood and his Merry Men appear in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''. After a big (and quite humorous) musical number explaining his motives, it's clear he sees Shrek as a monster, and intends to cut the ogre's heart out in an attempt to impress Princess Fiona. She is not impressed and promptly kicks all their asses with Matrix-esque ease. This trope is subverted in that Robin is something of a jerk who is implied to keep at least a percentage of the money he steals.
* Parodied/Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway'', where Roddy (a rich rat) steals Rita's boat (Rita being a poor rat) after a misunderstanding, causing her younger brother to quip that it's "like Robin Hood in reverse."

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The remake of ''Film/FunWithDickAndJane'' focuses largely on a plot by the eponyma to steal a corrupt CEO's savings (which he had in turn swindled from his own employees), and eventually set up a pension plan with the money.
* Happens in ''Film/{{Ghost}}'', when Sam donates the stolen money to charity.
* The movie ''Film/InTime'' has an interesting example: instead of the main characters stealing ''money'' from the rich, they steal ''time,'' which is basically currency in their world. [[spoiler: They steal a million years, to be exact, and proceed to disseminate it through the slums, thus causing epidemic inflation and collapsing the economic infrastructure of their entire society.]] Which was their goal in the first place.
* The titular ''Film/IronMonkey'' robs from the very corrupt city governor and gives it directly to the poor in need, or he buys medicine to give to the poor. He's a bit more specific in his giving than many Robin Hood types.
* In ''Bollywood/{{Lajja}}'' Bhulwa is a thief who lives out in the woods with a band of followers, just like Robin Hood.
* The hackers in ''Film/{{Sneakers}}'' did this back in the 60s. The ending implies that Robert Redford's character has returned to his old ways.
* North Korean action film ''Film/HongKilDong'' features the title character going around and kicking the crap out of the evil landlords and governor, forcing them to distribute rice and goods to the people rather than hoarding money and supplies for themselves. The character of Hong Gil Dong has been called the Korean Robin Hood.
* When the ''Film/TimeBandits'' ran into [[JustLikeRobinHood Robin Hood]] they are dismayed that he volunteered them to become this. "He's obviously a dangerous man, unbalanced if you ask me. Giving away what isn't even his!"
* In ''Film/MirrorMirror'', Snow White learns that the seven dwarfs are robbing the evil queen's wagons as revenge for her tyranny. Snow convinces them to distribute the food and riches to the impoverished citizens. The dwarfs at first think she's crazy, but they accept when the citizens celebrate them as heroes.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', Bruce Wayne uses the trope name almost word-for-word to describe [[ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} Selina Kyle]].
* The heist film ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'' centers on a team of stage magicians who pull off elaborate bank robberies as part of their stage show, and shower their audiences with the money.
* ''Film/RobinAndTheSevenHoods'' loosely readapts the legend into a gangster comedy starring the Creator/RatPack.
* In Australian Westerns, historical bushrangers like Film/TheOutlawMichaelHowe, Film/NedKelly, Film/MadDogMorgan, and Film/CaptainThunderbolt are often portrayed as heroic defenders of the weak.
* This is discussed in the Hitchcock film ''Film/ToCatchAThief,'' in which the retired cat burglar John Robie is being questioned on his motives for stealing. When asked if he performed like Robin Hood, he freely admits to keeping everything for himself and makes no excuses toward being a criminal. The only thing he offers in his defense is he only stole from "people who wouldn't go hungry."

* RobinHood, [[TropeNamer obviously]], though notably, this wasn't originally a trait of his. Rather, [[{{Flanderization}} it became more and more a part of his personality as time went on]].
** In the original myths Robin Hood actually stole from the political class (including the politically empowered church), and ''usually'' left alone the common people and those among "the rich" who came by their wealth honestly.
** Robin Hood goes from this to resistance fighter against the Normans depending on the teller.
** In the Howard Pyle story "Robin Hood Aids a Sorrowful Knight," Robin has the Bishop of Hereford as his "guest," along with the caravan of goods the Bishop and his men are with. Robin doesn't touch some of the goods, depending on his evaluation of the person or place they're destined for. The rest he divides into thirds; one third for himself and the Merry Men, one third for charity, and one third for the owners, even if that owner is a SinisterMinister like the Bishop himself.
** Aiding the knight is one of his oldest tales, occurring centuries before any tale where he gave anything to the poor, and in the oldest variant, he carefully checks what sort of knight he is; only when the man assures him that [[BlueBlood his family have been knights for centuries]] does Robin agree to aid him.
* This is the reputation of Japanese folk hero Ishikawa Goemon. A more cynical interpretation -- used in the original ''VideoGame/SamuraiWarriors'', among others -- is that he was really just a self-serving thug and his reputation is wholly undeserved.
* This was also the folklore surrounding Nezumi Kozou. The real person almost certainly didn't actually live up to it in this case, though.
* Stepan Razin of the UsefulNotes/{{Cossacks}}, too. After a long war between Russia against Poland and Sweden, massive increases in conscription and taxation disaffected many. Many disaffected joined Razi's cossacks, including members of the unrepresented lower classes. His ''first'' great robbery was to destroy the great naval convoy consisting of the barges holding the treasury, the wealth of the Patriarch, and the gold and goods of the rich merchants of Moscow.

* The ''Literature/{{Illuminatus}}'' trilogy romanticized John Dillinger to be like this. It is partially TruthInTelevision, to the extent that people at the time felt the same way about him in many cases. It was during the Depression, after all, so robbing a bank basically ''did'' mean "stealing from the rich."
* The legendary Thorn of Camorr in ''Literature/TheLiesOfLockeLamora'' is also rumoured to rob the rich and give to the poor. The ''actual'' Locke Lamora, on the other hand... well, he does rob the rich... The rumor is made all the more appropriate by the fact that his gang's resident heavyset bruiser's name is "Jean", the modern French version of "John" (pronounced "Zhaun").
* Leslie Charteris' ''Literature/TheSaint'' stories. The Saint regularly stole from criminals and, after deducting a small percentage for his expenses, gave the money either to the criminal's victims or to charity.
** In "The Man Who Was Clever," the closest thing Simon Templar has to an origin story, Simon specifies that he takes a 10% commission and donates the rest to charity (in the first case, the London Hospital). Later, in "The Man From St. Louis," Simon robs Tex Goldman, one of the new RuthlessForeignGangsters in London; this haul is to be divided up among the InnocentBystanders and RedShirt cops who got shot, except what Simon keeps for himself: "I take a rather larger share, because I was getting shot at all the time."
** Deconstructed in the late short story "The Spanish Cow", in which Simon comes close to seducing and stealing from an unattractive, lower-class wealthy woman purely because he doesn't like her, and only realises at the last minute that he was about to do something completely cruel and evil to an innocent person out of social and intellectual snobbery, because he thought she wasn't cool and sexy enough to deserve her lifestyle.
* Travis [=McGee=], in ''Pale Gray For Guilt'', runs his salvage operations on a 50-50 split with the victim: "When a man knows his expectation of recovery is zero, recovering half is very attractive." And averted in the same novel, in which it is only his friend Meyer's intervention that saves [=McGee=] from ruining his "professional standing" with an "unadulterated, unselfish, unrewarded effort in behalf of [[spoiler: even the grieving widow of an old and true friend]]."
* Erle Stanley Gardner (the creator of ''Franchise/PerryMason'') has a few short stories protagonized by Lester Leigh, a RichIdiotWithNoDayJob who solves crimes, steals the profits from the criminals, and uses them to fund charities.
* As might be expected from her philosophical outlook, Creator/AynRand considered RobinHood -- at least, as he is portrayed in ''this'' trope -- deeply evil, and created an "inverse Robin" in the pirate [[Literature/AtlasShrugged Ragnar Danneskjold]], who stole relief shipments to various failing socialist states and gave the money back to those who had earned it. Ragnar explicitly states that his motivation is to erase the false idea of Robin Hood -- and he actually uses the phrase "steal from the poor and give to the rich" (more specifically, he stole from those poor who ''thieve'' from the ''productive'' rich).\\
In the book, Ragnar himself notes that the myth of Robin Hood was ''originally'' about fighting unfair taxation -- which is a goal he certainly would have approved of. It is, in essence, ''this'' specific trope that he is fighting, rather than the original version of the myth -- but he says that the name of Robin Hood has become so closely associated with this idea, that it must be destroyed entirely.
* The outlaws in ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'' aspire to this, but later one of them admits that they actually rob the poor (who can't fight back) to pay off the rich (who therefore tolerate their presence).
* In one of the ''Literature/MythAdventures''. books, there's a group of men with the same names as Robin Hood's crew (Robin, John, Alan, Tuck, etc.) who have been robbing royal tax collectors. The heroes go into town to investigate and actually end up unknowingly talking to some of the men in the group, who are naturally very nervous and refuse to tell them anything about the robbers. The heroes can't figure out why no one will talk to them and theorize that the gang must be splitting the take with the locals.
* The title character in ''The Tale of Hong Gildong''.
* Mentioned in ''Literature/RonjaTheRobbersDaughter'' by Creator/AstridLindgren: when Mattis (the robber chief and Ronja's father) defends himself by claiming that he only robs the rich and gives to the poor, the oldest bandit - much to Mattis' annoyance - confirms that indeed they give to the poor ... once every ten years or so.
* Parodied by Cohen the Barbarian in Literature/{{Discworld}}, who robs from the rich "because the poor haven't got any money." (Although since his men nearly always spend their money, it does typically end up in the hands of the poor, provided one considers taverns and brothels "the poor.")
* Literature/DonQuixote: Deconstructed by Roque Guinart, a deconstruction of the GentlemanThief that leads a band of TheHighwayman at Barcelonaís CivilWar. He is an ''armed beggar'', that takes only a part of the money of his victims... ''by asking them.'' His 60 men assaults two soldiers (300 crowns), a Noblewoman (600 crowns) and some pilgrims (60 reals). That would have been 15 crowns and a real for each TheHighwayman. Roque asks for 60 crowns for the soldiers (20%) and 80 crowns from the Noblewoman (13.6%). Thatís 140 crowns. He gives 2 crowns to each highwayman and the 20 crown left he gives 10 to the pilgrims (thatís almost 100 reals) and 10 crowns to Sancho Panza in a clear attempt to BuyThemOff. The people who attacked are happy to keep most of their own money, and Roque Guinart is considered a hero. Everyone is happy! [[RealityEnsues Except TheHighwayman were cheated of 13 crowns and a real]], but Roque manages to MakeAnExampleOfThem by murdering the one who dares to be a DeadpanSnarker. Notice that the most rich person (the Noblewoman) ''gave'' proportionally less that the ''middle class'' victims (the soldiers)
* In Creator/LSpragueDeCamp's ''Literature/TheFallibleFiend'', the leader of a bandit gang announces that they rob from the rich and give to the poor -- and since they themselves are the poorest people they can find...
* Subverted in ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'' in that, while Reynard tends to rob from the rich, he rarely gives to the poor. When he does so, his motivation for doing so is usually to win [[VillainWithGoodPublicity the hearts and minds of the common people]]. His success in maintaining this image is why he is loved by the poor and generally despised by the nobility.
* In Creator/VernorVinge's novella "Literature/TrueNames", some of the members of the Cabal like to view themselves this way. One even uses Robin Hood as his [[OnlineAlias Nym]]. How accurate this self-assessment is may be subject to question, but there's no question that some of them play with the trope, redistributing wealth to a lot of people.
* Averted in Literature/TheExecutioner novel ''Cleveland Pipeline'' when a journalist asks [[VigilanteMan Mack Bolan]] why he doesn't do this with the money he got RobbingTheMobBank. Bolan goes into a MotiveRant on exactly where this money came from (e.g. drugs, prostitution and gambling) and if he gave it back to the people, they couldn't wait to spend it on exactly the same thing.
* Creator/RoaldDahl's short story "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" has the titular character pulling this on the casinos he gambles at. He has, over the course of several years, developed the ability to see through the backs of playing cards, and while he was originally going to use the power for self-gain, [[NoChallengeEqualsNoSatisfaction the lack of challenge left him empty]]. After a policeman suggests maybe putting the money into an orphanage, he decides to use this power to fund not one, but eventually twenty-one first-class orphanages. He specifically compares himself to Robin Hood, "robbing" the casinos (which are often run by shady figures anyway, which later necessitates him visiting the casinos in disguise once the mobs start to recognize him) and giving to those who really need the help.
* In the ''Literature/DominoLady'' stories, Ellen Patrick (a.k.a. Domino Lady) steals ill-gotten loot from her criminal targets, deducts enough to cover her lifestyle, and donates the rest to charity.
* In the book ''Literature/{{Paranoia}}'', Adam Cassidy's boredom working as a CubicleDrone and seeing the injustice of Wyatt Industries instituting cost cutting measures across the board while its executives go on lavish vacations and have lavish parties, is to impersonate one of the board members and have the company pay for the exact same lavish party for a retiring security guard. The CEO, [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Wyatt]], does not approve, and threatens jail for him if he doesn't become his personal spy on another company. Cassidy notes that if he had instead stolen the money and used it to booze up with his friends or pay for an expensive car, Wyatt would probably have approved.
* In the ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'', Corran Horn is dismissive of the concept, saying that during his law enforcement career he encountered plenty of criminals who ''claimed'' to rob from the rich in order to give to the poor, but none who actually ''did it''. Ironically, in the fourth book he and the rest of Rogue Squadron become pirates who steal [[{{Panacea}} bacta]] shipments from the BigBad and give it away to colonies who can't afford it.
* The bandit Guiliano, hero of ''The Sicilian'', a novel by Mario Puzo. Unfortunately one man isn't enough to make a difference in the [[CrapsackWorld entrenched corruption of a Mafia-dominated Sicily]], no matter how much of a folk hero he is.
* The bandits of ''Literature/WaterMargin'', led by the chivalrous Song Jiang, are very much the Merry Men of Song-dynasty China. Not only do the tales of these rebels with a cause compare to Robin's, but there are parallels in the history of the stories as well. Song Jiang was a real person in the 12th century, transformed into a semi-legendary folk hero, and eventually immortalized in ''Water Margin'' and other works a few centuries after the fact. Indeed, there's a good case to be made that the Chinese Robin Hood stories are [[OlderThanTheyThink older than Robin Hood himself]], possibly even the UrExample, developed on the opposite side of the world from Sherwood Forest.
* Koba in the 1882 Georgian novel ''The Patricide'' by Alexander Kazbegi. UsefulNotes/JosefStalin was a big fan and used it as his revolutionary pseudonym when he was robbing banks for the Bolsheviks... as well as in later life, when he was doing less virtuous things.
* ''Literature/TheWitcher'': The Rats give a fair portion of their take to the local poor, albeit for purely selfish reasons. After all, carrying large amounts of money when on the lam is impractical, and you can't really buy ''that'' much that's more useful and less cumbersome, so, all in all, spending their take on buying sympathy and aid from the local peasants really is the best use of the money they steal.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}'':
** In the first season, the [[CarnivalOfKillers band of the six most evil men in England]] that Prince Edmund assembles seem like [[EvilCounterpart evil counterparts]] of Robin and co. One of them, Three-fingered Pete, is an archer who dresses like Robin (and is introduced killing a competitor in an archery contest who might actually be Robin). The lecherous Friar Bellows is an obvious counterpart to Tuck, and the murderous dwarf Jack Large is used to allude to Little John. It's also worth noting that one of the members is a Guy de Glastonbury (shades of Guy of Guisbourne) and Prince Edmond himself smacks of the traditional portrayal of King John.
** In the third series, notorious highwayman "the Shadow" is described as being ''half-way'' to being the new Robin Hood - he steals from the rich, but hasn't gotten around to giving to the poor yet.
** In "[[TimeTravel Back and Forth]]", the 20th-century Blackadder met the ''actual'' Robin Hood, and promptly got him shot by his own merry men for being an insufferable git that doesn't pay them anything for their work. He ends up reversing this later due to the damage to history.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': The Brotherhood Without Banners is a band of outlaws who fight the nobility on behalf of the smallfolk and features pretty clear expies of the Merry Men such as a revered leader ShroudedInMyth, an alcoholic BadassPreacher, and an ArcherArchetype. They're far from clear-cut heroes though.
* An episode of ''Series/WhiteCollar'' deals with a young thief who does just this. He steals valuable items from really rich people and then makes donations to charities. Neal jokingly calls him Robin Hoodie (the thief's trademark clothing item is a hoodie). The rest of the team picks up on the name and continues to use it, much to Peter's amusement and Neal's chagrin.
--> "We're not seriously gonna keep calling him that, are we?"
* The ''Series/{{Hustle}}'' crew occasionally do this - they usually rob from the rich (and corrupt) and keep it for themselves, but they'll occasionally give some or all of a particular take to charity and they usually try to make sure that the decent or honest they encounter come out better off for helping them. There's at least two or three examples of this in the later series. (They steal from the rich and corrupt... [[ChewToy and Eddie]].)
* Hilariously lampooned by the ''Dennis Moore'' sketch in ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''. He starts out stealing ''Lupins'' from the rich to give to the poor, moves to stealing so much from the rich that the rich and poor change places, and ends up trying some complicated redistribution of wealth ''among'' those he holds up...
* This is the entire premise of ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', with the addition that they generally give their take to the specific people that their rich targets got their money from in the first place. Often, their clients aren't even looking for money, but revenge, or some other compensation. In these cases, they use the payout to bankroll their operation.
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'' had a whole episode devoted to the investigation of a rash of thefts of this nature. Of the two leads, Chuck is sympathetic to the perpetrator, Ned is not. [[spoiler: The events of the episode eventually show Ned as the correct one]].
* At the start of ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'', Jack and Z are stealing food and clothing for the homeless. The SpacePolice soon catch up with them, but offer them the chance to serve as Rangers instead of rotting in jail (Z jumps at the chance, Jack takes more convincing).
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Jayne Cobb is portrayed as one of these by the people of the mud-farming slave town of Canton. Emphasis on [[AccidentalHero "portrayed."]]
* ''Series/TheWire'':
** Omar Little generally just steals from drug dealers, but he's been seen on more than one occasion giving money to poor kids. Additionally, Stringer tells Avon at one point that his 'Robin Hood' style is why he's so untouchable, despite the sizable bounty on his head; he's known to share his take of the drugs with addicts in the areas he settles in, so they won't pass on his whereabouts to the Barksdales.
** Marlo Stanfield also tries the trick of giving money to neighbourhood kids, possibly inspired by Omar, but that was more trying to buy their allegiance.
* Turned around in an episode of ''Series/RememberWENN'': Betty tells Scott that he is like Robin Hood -- "You're doing a good thing, but somehow you're a criminal anyway."
* April and Andy were not quite like Robin Hood in an episode of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'':
-->'''Andy''': We are like Robin Hood. We steal from the club [[{{Dissimile}} and we give to ourselves]].
* ''Series/FamilyTies''
** In one episode, Andy dresses up as Robin Hood and erroneously describes him as "robbing the poor to give to the rich". His parents say that's not Robin Hood, that's UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan.
** Elyse's brother(played by Creator/TomHanks) once embezzled funds from his company to prevent a business deal that would result in a factory closure and dozens of people out of work from going through.
* In one episode of ''Series/CovingtonCross'', Eleanor runs away with a bandit who describes himself like this. When she finds out how small a percentage he actually gives to the poor, she goes back to her father in disgust.
* Subverted in ''Series/ThePractice'' with this exchange:
-->'''Eugene''': What's this embezzling thing?
-->'''Alan''': Thank you for asking. It was kind of a half-Robin Hood thing, I took from the rich...
-->'''Eugene''': And who'd you give it to?
-->'''Alan''': I kept it. Thus the half-Robin Hood
* This gem from ''Series/CopRock'':
-->''And you foot patrols keep a lookout''
-->''For the supermarket Robin Hood''
-->''He's been stealing from the store and giving to the poor''
-->''He's the hero of the neighbourhood''
* In ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Joy once stole a loading truck from a store after they refused to let her return an expensive TV shelf that she didn't have room for.
-->'''Joy:''' Earl, this is not about the law. It's about right and wrong, and isn't that what your list is about, rights and wrongs? Doing unto others all that [[RobinHood Robin Hood]]/Franchise/{{Batman}}/[[UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} Jesus]] stuff?
-->'''Earl:''' Well you got a good point. The store DID do you wrong. I don't know if Jesus or Batman would sell a truck, but Robin Hood might.
* ''Series/KnightRider'': The episode "K.I.T.T. the Cat" features a burglar who only targets people that got their wealth through questionable or outright criminal activities, both to teach them a lesson and to make sure they can't call the police without risking that their own crimes will be discovered. The money he steals is all donated to charity.
* One episode of ''Series/LieToMe'' involves a game of cat and mouse with a crew robbing a museum. Only it turns out the item they're stealing was itself stolen back in history, and they just want to return it.
* While [[Series/DoctorWho The Doctor]] is not known for robbing the rich to give to the poor, he ''is'' a nobleman (a Lord of Time) who turned renegade to fight for the lives and freedom of others. This similarity is pointed out by ''Robin Hood himself'' in the episode "Robot of Sherwood" when the Doctor admits he still is not convinced Robin Hood is real.
-->"Is it so hard to credit? That a man born into wealth and privilege should find the plight of the oppressed and weak too much to bear... [[NotSoDifferent until one night, he is moved to steal a TARDIS? Fly among the stars, fighting the good fight?"]]
* The title character of ''Series/DoctorSynTheScarecrow''. He's a smuggler rather than a stealer ''directly'' from the rich, but he uses the profits from his activities to help the townsfolk pay their taxes and debts. When a general comes in to try and put a stop to it, his plan is to find whoever's suddenly paid off their back rent and squeeze them for information. (This is partly why Syn cultivates a very GoodIsNotNice persona as the Scarecrow--his reaction to this is to fake-hang the traitor.)
* In the second ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' ChristmasEpisode, "Once Upon A Murdoch Christmas", a figure dressed as Crabtree's comic book character Jumping Jack steals items from rich shoppers, specifically the ridiculously expensive presents bought at the luxuries section of a department store. [[spoiler: Since the items are completely useless to the needy, and the parcels contain the receipts, Jumping Jack then returns them for store credit to spend on more practical items for the poor - a system which works because one of the two people in the Jack suit is actually the returns clerk.]]
* Parodied in ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'' with "Tony of Plymouth", a dashing swashbuckler who fights for the poor...in [[CorruptCorporateExecutive hyper-capitalist]] [[TheEighties deep-1980s]] England, instead of the traditional pre-modern setting.

* The song ''John Wesley Harding'' by Music/BobDylan depicts the 19th century gunslinger as a "friend to the poor". His name was actually spelled Hardin (without the G), by the way, and he wasn't much of a friend to anyone (He once shot a man for snoring.)
** Woody Guthrie applied a similar HistoricalHeroUpgrade in his song "Pretty Boy Floyd", patterning it after the folk song "The Ballad of Jesse James"; the latter actually includes the line "He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor".
* In ''It Ain't a Crime'' by the House of Pain, one of the lines refers to Johnny being an outlaw and thinking its fun because it's sorta like Robin Hood.
* Music/{{Genesis}}, "The Battle Of Epping Forest":
-->To save my steeple, I visited people
-->And for this I'd gone when I met Little John
-->His name came, I understood
-->When the judge said, "You are a ''robbin' hood''."
* Music/{{Aqua}}'s song "My Oh My" is about a [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]] who's looking for a prince on a white horse...and finds him in a bandit outside the castle walls, but he's [[MarriedToTheJob too busy for love]]:
--->Gotta steal from the rich
--->when they don't know I'm comin',
--->Gotta give to the poor,
--->No time for lovin'
* The music video for "Say Say Say", by Music/MichaelJackson and Music/PaulMcCartney has them scamming people with a fake "super strength elixir"... only to donate the profits to an orphanage.
* Music/TheRamones' ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7DykTWuVKE Howling At The Moon (Sha- La- La)]]''
* Music/EazyE is ''[[AvertedTrope not]]'' like RobinHood, 'cause he wants more: steal from the rich, hang with the poor.
* In Celtic Thunder's show ''Storm'', Keith plays a highwayman who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Or, at least, to one village, where they apparently pile the goodies in a chest.
--> No doubt, the gold that's been excised
--> Will be given to the poor.
--> Whoah oh oh, for the poor are being squeezed ev'ry day.
--> My fine friends, give it up, now it's your turn to pay.
--> Who will stand up for the weak?
--> Yes, mine is the voice that will speak.

* An Australian newspaper comic had UsefulNotes/NedKelly handing a bag of gold to a poor farmer, saying he's decided to rob from the rich and give to the poor like Robin Hood. The farmer is overjoyed, shouting, "I'm rich, I'm rich!" So Ned Kelly robs him.

* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Robin Hood'' specifically refers to this trope (thought not by name) in its description of the "Robin Hood Mythos". Basically, as long as a dashing and pure-hearted hero of the oppressed is fighting the oppressors in ways that only make them look foolish and evil, it might as well be Robin Hood. The book itself presents six different such campaign settings, only one of which is the actual medieval Sherwood forest.(the others are 16th century Scotland where a mysterious "Black Rider" is harassing the religiously oppressive English, 19th century America where the leader of a native tribe fights the encroachment of the white man, a modern day superhero setting starring a bitter Batman-like vigilante, a cyberpunk world where master hacker "Robin Hood" steals credit from the megacorps and gives to the poor and a far future one about rebellious space miners)
** The introductory solo adventure "All In A Night's Work" hangs a lampshade on this; the player character is explicitly a thief who steals from the rich because "[t]he poor folk don't have any money!".
* Referenced in [[Tabletop/NetRunner ''Android: Netrunner'']] with Gabriel Santiago: "Of course I steal from the rich. They're the ones with all the money".

* Kyle in ''VideoGame/LunarTheSilverStar'' (and remakes) is a bandit chief who runs a MonsterProtectionRacket...but he's chivalrous about it. [[DoubleStandard He doesn't charge women and children]]. (He charges the men double.)
** In ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'', Nall ends up leading a gang of orphaned children who may or may not rob passing travelers. The game is vague about this.
* In ''VideoGame/ShounenKinindenTsumuji'' features Goemon who takes treasures and gives to those who need it, and by the end of the game it is revealed that Goemon is Tsumuji's father.
* In ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'', all SkyPirates attack ships, but only the Black Pirates attack unarmed ones. Blue Rogues will only fight armed ships (in practice this amounts to TheEvilEmpire and the aforementioned Black Pirates), and they use the loot to both keep themselves afloat and to help folks who need it. [[spoiler:Nothing is mentioned as to what they do when TheEvilEmpire turns over a new leaf after the game's end, but the fans have [[{{Fanon}} plenty of opinions]] on that.]]
* Kay Faraday (self-proclaimed 'Second Yatagarasu' and HighlyVisibleNinja) in ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' refers to the Yatagarasu as a "modern-day Robin Hood". The original Yatagarasu stole documents revealing corrupt dealings and sent them on to the media to be exposed. While Kay is flamboyant and dramatic about her work, the real Yatagarasu is [[spoiler: dead, evil, and mostly concerned with finding Faraday's murderer rather than showing off. [[CollectiveIdentity Yes, at the same time]].]]
* In ''VideoGame/MapleStory'', in the Sand Bandits line of missions, you are tricked into thinking you are doing this by a band of not-so-virtuous desert bandits, and you are recruited by a band of actually virtuous bandits to [[DoubleCaper steal back what you helped them take and spread it among the poor]].
* Yoshimitsu in ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur]]'' and his descendant in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''.
* A borderline example is the "Robbin' Hood" monster from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', in that it steals from the rich (i.e. you) and, er, drops the money on the ground.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** The Dawn Brigade from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn]]''. Interestingly an example that behaves like Robin Hood actually did, stealing from the tyrannical occupying government and giving to the citizens that it was taken from.
** Pahn and the Dandelion Thieves from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem: Thracia 776]]''.
** Nina from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' involves herself in chivalrous thievery, with a Robin Hood mentality. In her paralogue, she along with some thieves raid a mansion belonging to a man that, according to Nina, obtained his wealth in a corrupt manner.
* Mizer of ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion'' plays as close to the Robin Hood archetype as possible, but hates being considered a noble thief--partially because he does have to use some of what he steals to survive. The original members of Gram Blaze--Garlot, Siskier, and Jenon--also operated something like this (to the point of holding a rich slave merchant for ransom early in the game), but never kept anything they stole or won.
* In ''VideoGame/BreathOfFire3'', the current party set about to do this, stealing from a greedy village mayor and giving the money to the village. Except that they seem to be the only people in the village not to realize that the mayor is a front of a huge mafia syndication. [[OhCrap Oops]]. It takes only one day for the hitmen to obliterate the party and split them across the world, and the hero is forced to spend the next quarter or so of the game (failing at) running from the said hitmen.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', [[MeaningfulName Gentleman]] [[GentlemanThief Jim Stacy]], leader of the Thieves Guild, offers a set of quests in this vein known as the "Bal Molagmer" quests, named after an ancient order of thieves who operated in Morrowind with this as their modus operanti. The quests involve practicing [[KarmicThief Karmic Thievery]] on the wealthy/corrupt, and then returning/gifting what you stole to the rightful owners and/or those more deserving. This serves two purposes -- it is a good thing to do, and it is an excellent propaganda move (both for being known to do good things and by invoking ancient Dunmer traditions in a way that contrasts with their native Camonna Tong rivals, thus making the Thieves' Guild seem less foreign).
** ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' has the Gray Fox, the leader of the Thieves Guild. The [[BeneathSuspicion beggars]] are his [[ParanoiaFuel spies]], are under protection by the Guild, and it is implied that much of the Guild's wealth is shared with them.
** Subverted in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', where the Thieves Guild are more like an actual crime syndicate due to having fallen on hard times (well, and just not having that kind of leaders -- the Thieves' Guild weren't particularly Robin Hood-y in ''Daggerfall'', either). They're even close allies of the [[MurderInc Dark]] [[ReligionOfEvil Brotherhood]]. [[spoiler: Completing the Thieves Guild campaign will reveal this is due to the Guild's JerkAss leader, who's both secretly stealing from the entire organization, and also pissed off the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] who backs them. This led to the Guild falling on such hard times that by the time you join them they've been reduced to Flim-flam schemes and loan-sharking, and causing them to act like a crime syndicate. At the end of the storyline you kill the old Guildmaster, patch things up with the Goddess, and restore the Guild to its former glory, moving it much closer to this trope.]]
* Franchise/SlyCooper is occasionally shown donating his purloined wealth to charitable causes such as orphanages. Considering the rich, evil sorts that he steals from, and the fact that he sends said evil rich sorts ''and their underlings'' to jail more often than not, leaving the treasure unguarded, they must donate a fair amount; the Cooper Gang pretty much lives in their van - though they do have [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys some pretty wonderful toys]].
* In ''VideoGame/RedDeadRedemption'', John Marston used to run with a gang that by his own account stole from the rich and gave it to whomever needed it the most. However their leader Dutch eventually came to the revelation that no matter what he did he was unable to make any meaningful change to society, which promptly drove him insane and caused the gang to split apart.
** Nigel West Dickens, meanwhile, frequently questions whether they actually ''gave'' the money to anyone, or whether that was their cover. Marston is never able to give him a straight answer, since he isn't entirely sure himself (he can't ''guarantee'' Dutch put the money where he said), the crux of Dickens's NotSoDifferent statements.
** He even attributes their beliefs as being "A Robin Hood with spurs" and declares that it's just poppycock.
* In ''VideoGame/EternalSonata'', Allegretto and his younger companion Beat are both this, stealing bread from a bakery to take to orphans who are living in a sewer.
* In ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', old ex-Jedi Jolee Bindo did this in his youth. He was a minor space pirate and smuggler in a system ruled by a despot and will fondly reminisce about the ol' Force-trick-the-customs-agent routine when you pull the same thing to get out of landing fees.
* In ''Videogame/DarkParables'''s version of ''Jack and the Beanstalk'', Jack is a treasure hunter who grew up in poverty. He couldn't stand to see the wealthy get wealthier and the poor get poorer, so he started stealing from them to spread the wealth. He went into treasure hunting specifically to find and share the loot with the less fortunate, but that doesn't stop him from locking up the loot from less noble thieves.
* The Assassins of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreed'' seem to do this a lot. Throughout the series, we see them engage in theft, piracy, cybercrime, and, yes, assassination, but all their activities target the Templars, who are evil, oppressive autocrats. We do see that Assassins haven't always changed society for the better, though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'': Lucio, in response to [[MegaCorp Vishkar Corporation]] damaging his turf and forcing his people into cheap labor with promises of "better living" (that they never fulfilled), stole sonic technology from them and shared its benefits with the people, and then rallied the people to an uprising that managed to drive Vishkar away. This action eventually gave him fame as first a DJ, then a worldwide superstar, and a possible hero by the standards of Overwatch (the organization).
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/PAYDAYTheHeist'' and ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2''. Yes, Bain and the crew do declare themselves to be "modern-day Robin Hoods", and yes, at least ''some'' of the heists they pull do target the greedy and undeservedly wealthy, but at the end of the day, they keep every cent they steal. This is lampshaded with the promo song "Steal From The Rich (Give To Myself)".

* Parodied in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', when Haley has a talk with another member of her old Thieves' Guild:
-->'''Hank''': That was your dad's schtick, wasn't it? Rob from the rich, give 40% to the poor?
-->'''Haley''': 40%, '''after''' reasonable expenses.
-->'''Hank''': Well, obviously.
* Also parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}''. Technically, he does distribute the money to the poor...by offering to pay them for sexual services.

* Website/TheOnion parodies this trope [[http://www.theonion.com/video/modernday-robin-hood-living-in-woods-shooting-rich,30797/ here]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Jet leads a group of bandits who look like like traditional "merry men" and rob from Fire Nation citizens. Somewhat uniquely, he is actually presented somewhat negatively, being a WellIntentionedExtremist who initially has no problem with beating up a weak old man simply because he's a Fire Nation citizen.
** He is willing to flood a village to get rid of Fire Nation troops. It doesn't work, because Sokka warns the villagers in time and is backed up by the aforementioned old man, whom Sokka had tried to help.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' involved Robin Food, who stole from the young (school lunches) to feed the old, much to the annoyance of the senior citizens he was supposed to be cooking for, because they couldn't chew it.
* In the episode "Cookie Dough" of ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' Bloo convinces his friends to help him steal Madame Fosters secret cookie recipe because it's apparently for a good cause, just "like Robin Hood".
-->'''Bloo:''' We need to get that cookie recipe from Madame Foster.
-->'''Wilt:''' But, that would be stealing.
-->'''Bloo:''' No no no! [[JustLikeRobinHood We're like Robin Hood]]. Stealing from the rich, giving to the needy.
-->'''Wilt:''' So we'll give away the cookies to the needy?
-->'''Bloo:''' No, ''we're'' the needy. We need that dough! Hehe, get it? [[AccidentalPun Knead dough?]]
* The supervillain Angry Archer in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' jokingly tells Wreck-Gar that he robs the rich to feed the poor--namely, himself. Wreck-Gar, being fifteen minutes old and not all that sane in general, thinks that this is awesome.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', Catwoman commits her robberies to fund animal reserves and conservation efforts. However, her actions are clearly portrayed as wrong, and she doesn't get off easy - she's caught, convicted and sentenced to five years' probation on her second or third appearance. (This aspect of Catwoman's character takes a backseat to other motives, however - with the episode ''Catwalk'', we see that she wanders the streets and robs people not just for funding, but out of a desire for what she thinks of as "freedom".)
* Karl-Bertil Jonsson in the Swedish animated short ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagan_om_Karl-Bertil_Jonssons_julafton Karl-Bertil Jonssons julafton]]'' ( known as ''Christopher's Christmas Mission'' in one english translation). He's 14 and works part-time in a post office, and since he idolizes Robin Hood, sends rich people's Christmas gifts to poor people instead of to the addressees. This outrages his rich father (who, according to the narration, "was [[TakeThat one of those people]] who believe that anyone who willingly gives something away must be a Communist") but eventually earns him the admiration of the community, at least until the end of the film.
* Thoroughly subverted on the ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'' cartoon in an episode-length parody of the RobinHood stories. Beetlejuice starts out this way, robbing the evil Sheriff of Rottingham and giving the riches to the poor...at least until he gets greedy and begins keeping all the wealth for himself. This leads the Sheriff and the poor peasants to patch up their differences and form an EnemyMine alliance against Beetlejuice.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'', Robin Goodfellow was an obvious Robin Hood expy with a surprise twist. The greedy monarch he led a resistance against was an usurper, who was holding the true king - Robin's father - a prisoner. When the tyrant was ousted, Robin is revealed as the heir, with the promise of a far-more benign ruler in the future.
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/ElTigre''. Grandpapi tells Manny and Frida about a legendary ''bandito'' called Ruben Hood, who stole from the rich...and just that. When Manny asks whether or not Ruben gave to the poor, Grandpapi just stares at him in [[EvilCannotComprehendGood confusion]].
* Parodied/Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'', where Robin Hood steals from the poor and gives to the rich.
* WesternAnimation/DangerMouse suffers amnesia (episode "Public Enemy No. 1") and is convinced by Baron Greenback that he's the White Shadow, a daring criminal who robs from the rich to feed the poor.
-->'''DM''': Oh. Just like...um....thingamybob!
* Also parodied and inverted in a ''Hoppity Hooper'' story where Waldo tries to capture the Masked Martin, who stole from the poor and gave to the rich.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Rob Roy is portrayed this way in some adaptations. Dick Turpin too.
* Butch Cassidy was known for being a generous thief.
* We ''should'' be saying that Robin Hood is [[http://badassoftheweek.com/paleokostas.html Just Like Vassilis Paleokostas]], only not Greek, bald, and [[CrazyAwesome mind-blowingly awesome]].
* UsefulNotes/JohnDillinger was one of the few outlaws of his era to cultivate this type of image in any successful way. Compared to the other gangs of the time - the Barker-Karpis gang and the UsefulNotes/BonnieAndClyde gang - his group was much less violent (although the gang did kill a number of police officers - an East Chicago police officer by Dillinger himself, a Chicago detective by John "Red" Hamilton, an Ohio sheriff by Pete Pierpont, and a South Bend traffic cop by Homer Van Meter), and his famous statement to a bank patron, "I don't want your money, I'm here for the bank's money", helped to solidify his reputation as a put-upon farm-boy who was just out to take back from the banks which had [[TheGreatDepression screwed everyone over]]. Whether or not he was actually like this is open for debate, but his scrupulous adherence to this character means that he has managed to survive the revisionist historical examinations which have exposed the true natures of his contemporaries with his reputation still largely intact.
** Clyde Barrow attempted to cultivate this type of image after noticing the popular support which Dillinger was garnering. To such extent that he once quoted the "I'm not here for your money, I'm here for the bank's money" line that Dillinger used in his January bank robbery in East Chicago. Because Barrow was, in reality, an AxCrazy narcissist, he was rather unsuccessful.
** UsefulNotes/AlCapone tried to consciously give himself this image as well, distributing cash to various people and organizations; it didn't work out as well for him since it was fairly transparent and had just as much to do with flaunting his wealth as it did with sharing it.
* Like many other historical outlaws, UsefulNotes/JesseJames has been depicted in this manner by ballads, dime novels and movies. It is doubtful that such a reputation is justified, however. Especially the notion of him (like so many others listed) "stealing from the rich and giving to the poor" has little to no evidence supporting it.
* A common (and possibly [[TruthInTelevision accurate]]) portrayal of the legendary Slovak highwayman Juraj Jánoöík.
* The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst in 1974, and demanded a ransom - in the form of a food distribution program.
** This was in the midst of several activities that didn't fit the trope as well. After two of their leaders were arrested for using cyanide-filled bullets to murder a school superintendent who had proposed an identification card system, the Symbionese Liberation Army demanded their release in exchange for Hearst's. They switched it to a food distribution demand later.
** Hearst herself got StockholmSyndrome and joined them, eventually being convicted of bank robbery, getting a 35 year sentence, and serving just 22 months after some VERY high-profile officials (e.g. UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter) commuted her sentence.
* Communist governments take it a step further, destroy the rich and spread their among the poor, although in practice [[BecameTheirOwnAntithesis they tend to keep a significant amount of wealth and power for themselves]].
* It's been suggested that the Robin Hood archetype is the result of simple good sense: In specie-currency economies, the rich normally carried large amounts of coin on their persons. So robbers would take the coin, and then spend generously in poorer areas to make themselves popular enough not to be turned in.
* Many real world criminal organisations see themselves this way, and often try to promote the illusion to those around them. In particular, the Mafia and the Yakuza have their own variations of this, portraying themselves as downtrodden resistance fighters whose crimes were actually striking back at their oppressors. While it's possible that they may have started out this way, it's clear in both cases that they've long since left the truth of it behind.
* Australian Bushranger UsefulNotes/NedKelly, is often considered this and among the poor he was seen as a hero especially since when the Kelly Gang robbed the Jerilderie bank, Kelly's destruction of mortgage records helped the poor leaseholders of the area. Whether that was his intention can be debated.
* Japan, Edo. In 1831 Nakumura Jirokichi, aka Nezumi (rat/mouse) Kozo (errand boy) worked as a labourer and volunteer fire fighter by day, but by night he robbed over 100 Lord's estates, and stole 30,000 Ryo (oval shaped round gold coins). He was so named Nezumi for his facial features that resembled a rat, and using live rats to mask the sound of his larceny. He was branded with a tattoo prior to his execution, as he was caught committing similar crimes 10 years earlier and exiled from Edo. This evidence condemned him to beheading. He was found to have little gold on him, despite stealing 30,000 Ryo. This led to the legend of his generosity to the poor. However it is also theroized that he squandered most of the money on gambling and lavish luxuries such as prostitutes. He was popular among the commoners of Japan nonetheless as he humiliated the elite samurai Lords and their poor security measures. 30 years later the oppressive Tokugawa military junta shogunate collapsed.
* The most famous Japanese example, of course, is UsefulNotes/IshikawaGoemon. Historically speaking he was a road bandit who attempted (and subsequently failed) to assassinate UsefulNotes/ToyotomiHideyoshi. The fact nobody knew ''why'' he tried to do that (why would a thief try to assassinate the most powerful man of Japan?), Toyotomi Hideyoshi's (not entirely undeserved) reputation as a ruthless tyrant and the fact Goemon wrote a poem before being executed that stated that [[YouCannotKillAnIdea as long as society endured, thieves would still exist]] led to the belief that Goemon was some sort of freedom fighter thieving from Hideyoshi's tyrannical government to spread amongst the common people.
* Heraclio Bernal, leader of a gang of pistoleros in the late 19th Century, was portrayed this way frequently in songs and poems.
* Many seaside communities from the Golden Age of Piracy were quietly welcoming to visiting pirates, because most cargoes that RealLife pirates stole were trade goods, not gold. Having little use for most mundane goods beyond what they needed to keeps their ships floating and crews alive and happy, the pirates unloaded them on the sly for rock-bottom prices. This made imported goods affordable to colonials who otherwise couldn't buy such items. The colonists got bargains, and the pirates got the chance to come into port without being reported to the authorities. This was almost certainly more a case of practicality than goodwill, but the point stands.
* UsefulNotes/TheHashshashin. They could fairly be called a cult, and their military tactics give us the word "assassin". This might make them sound a bit menacing, but actually their use of assassination (or wherever possible, simple intimidation) was intended to prevent widespread bloodshed as much as possible (also, they weren't many, so facing enemies head on wasn't an option). They were also known to be protective of the surrounding community, even winning over local Ismali support by helping them build irrigation systems, and were very accepting of traveling scholars, with their home castle of Alamut boasting a rather impressive library.