[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shockingly_expensive_bill.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:"Remember the trouble we got into at that Speak to Santa Hotline back in Brooklyn?"]]

->''"He had been extremely relieved when their mother, horrified by the huge bill she had suddenly received from the Rat Office, had canceled the job."''
-->-- '''Literature/SeptimusHeap''' ''(describing a Message Rat)''

A character gets the service bill and is shocked by the price on it. This may be caused by the following:

* Negligence (customer's fault)
* PrettyFreeloaders (their fault)
* Hidden Fees ([[CrookedContractor service's fault]])
* Billing Error (service's fault, especially if they [[ObstructiveBureaucrat are uncooperative about correcting it]])

And will result in the following:

* WorkOffTheDebt
* {{Fainting}}
* SpitTake or WildTake
* Getting angry
* Asking if they got the wrong check
** Finding out that your check is even more expensive
** Or finding out that your check is exactly the same
* Someone points out it isn't a service bill
** Or it's a ''different'' bill, and the amount is reasonable for ''that'' bill
* Escaping without paying
* Getting stuck with the bill as PrettyFreeloaders do the previous step
* Actually paying
** Debating how much each person pays
* Asking if you have the bill or the establishment's telephone number

The bill is often related to room service, restaurants, [[CreditCardPlot credit cards]], medical services (e.g., seeing a doctor) and, recently, cell phones. It's almost an ObligatoryJoke in an episode where a hospital is essential to the plot.

A less comical example is a form of extortion racket where the business presenting the bill is crooked and has enough "legitimacy" or connections to get away with it. Anyone who refuses to pay the bill is free to "discuss" it in the back with the large burly men.

This may overlap with UndisclosedFunds if the exact amount of the bill is never shown. This trope also includes reactions to looking at the price tag. There is almost always a random number of cents in the price.

[[folder: Advertising ]]

* Cingular commercials: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nIUcRJX9-o 1]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psj2gQ6KaZk 2]]
* Inverted in that annoying [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUBUxv4VsTw Staples Commercial]].
--> "I KNOW!"
* Vonage commercials as well.
* One Visa commercial featuring [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Simpsons]] characters shows Homer having to pay $75 for quick snip of a tiny tuft of hair on top of his head.
* A commercial for Golden Corral showcasing their low prices has a customer screaming upon seeing her bill at another restaurant.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In only the fifth episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' titled 'Showdown in Pewter City', Ash and Misty discuss the upcoming Gym battle with Brock over a meal. After Ash refuses help from Misty, she angrily leaves the restaurant and Ash is left to stare at the bill and subsequently yell for Misty to come back. The bill originally read ¥1150, which [[http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=1150+yen+in+dollars just barely qualifies]] for this trope, but the Creator/FourKidsEntertainment dub changed it to a dollar sign without bothering with exchange rates (or even just adding a decimal point to make it $11.50 since assuming "1 yen = 1 cent" will almost always get you in the ballpark), which makes it [[ExaggeratedTrope a rather more potent example]].
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': Ed becomes enraged when he gets the bill from Ling about the food he and Lan Fan ate in the hotel.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': after the first Budokai tournament Muten-Roshi treats the gang to dinner, not taking Son Goku's BigEater tendencies into account. The bill ends up taking most of his prize money for winning the tournament.
* ''Manga/BlackJack'': The good doctor tends to charge somewhere in the equivalent of several million US dollars. He rarely ''collects'' that fee, though - it's usually a test to see if the prospective patient is determined enough to go through with it. If you ''can'' afford it, however, he'll make damn sure you pay.
* In the ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' OVA, Mickey is shocked when [=McCoy=] hands him an ''$50,000'' maintenance bill for his F-14. [=McCoy=] reminds him that an F-14 is expensive to maintain.
* In the ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' Land of Sound filler arc Jiraiya visits a bar and is presented a ridiculously large bill. When he notes this the bartender calls in a number of armed thugs since he's being "unruly".
* In the third chapter of ''Manga/TokyoGhoul [=:Re=]'', Urie hands in his receipts for his monthly investigation expenses. Sasaki is comically horrified and confused when his subordinate tosses him the receipts for ¥198,220 ($1,777.98 USD) in taxi fares.
* King Dedede in ''Anime/KirbyOfTheStars'' has ordered so many monsters from the Holy Nightmare Company that this trope was inevitable. In the episode "Waddle While You Work", Customer Service calculates the final bill as ''D$1170411246413708686.00.''
-->'''Salesguy:''' Of course, you understand that this is just an ''estimate.''
-->'''Escargoon:''' [Dedede] spends like he eats!


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* A very, very, very frequent punchline in ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' strips and covers, usually in the form of this joke:
-->'''Veronica:''' What did you order?
-->'''Archie:''' Separate bills!
* In "Zio Paperone e lo slogan invincibile", a [[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Donald Duck]] story, Rockerduck causes widespread panic in the city by accidentally adopting a panic-inducing BrownNote as his advertising slogan. Not only his sales plummet, but he soon gets visited by the furious mayor, who gives him "the biggest fine ever". Cue Rockerduck screaming when he looks at the amount to pay.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/LateForDinner'': one of the main characters tries to order food after spending a few decades in cryogenic stasis. When the girl at the counter tells him how much it is, he exclaims "That's highway robbery!... Ma'am."
* ''Film/{{Fletch}}'': while Fletch is at the country club he orders lots of food and liquor and tells the waiter to put it on another guest's bill. When the other guest gets the bill he's shocked by the amount and tries to find out who did it.
* The final scene of ''Film/HomeAlone2'' has Buzz being delivered his little brother Kevin's room service bill. Their father, Peter, is not happy.
-->'''Buzz:''' Merry Christmas indeed. Oh, Dad...
-->[''the scene cuts to Kevin outside'']
-->'''Peter:''' [''offscreen''] KEVIN! YOU SPENT $967 ON ROOM SERVICE?!?
* In ''D3: Film/TheMightyDucks'', The Eden Hall varsity hockey team invites the freshman hockey team to a fancy dinner and then sticks them with the bill. The freshman team ends up washing dishes, and they swear to get revenge on varsity, leading to a prank war.
* In ''Film/{{Innerspace}}'', after Tuck's pod is injected into Jack, he starts trying to figure out what's going on while Jack is ringing up items at his job. His attempts screw with the scanner, causing the items to ring up at hundreds of dollars each.
* The bill Conrad van Orton gets hit with by [[spoiler:Consumer Recreation Services]] in ''Film/TheGame'' turns out to be a ''lot'' more than he anticipated; fortunately, Nicholas agrees to split it with him.
* In ''Film/WhiteChristmas'', [[Creator/BingCrosby Bob's]] reaction to the estimate on how much the Christmas show is going to cost is "Wow!", which is apparently "Right up there between 'ouch' and 'boing'."
* In ''Film/WhatsUpDoc'', Howard goes to a drugstore to pick up some aspirin and is surprised by the total the cashier reports. Judy had selected a clock radio and told the cashier to put it on her "husband"'s tab.
* In ''Film/{{The Wolf of Wall Street}}'', Jordan's father Max loses his temper over Jordan about the multi-paged American Express bill confirming that Jordan has spent over $430,000 in only one month. Jordan claims the bill was for business expenses, but then it turns out he spent the money for dinners and prostitutes. Jordan isn't too worried though, mainly because of the illegal ways he is earning wealth at Wall Street.
* Occurs in ''[[Film/NationalLampoonsVacation National Lampoon's European Vacation]]'' when Audrey calls her boyfriend... from England. And decides to hold while he goes to have dinner.
* In the '40s film ''Film/IAccuseMyParents'', the start of Jimmy's life as a mob courier is when he gets a $77 check for his birthday dinner - a small fortune for a young man making $25 a week selling shoes. The local mob boss had tricked him into going to a restaurant far more expensive than he could afford so that he could ensnare the kid into working for him - he needed a new guy the police wouldn't be watching to transport stolen goods.

[[folder: Jokes ]]

* There is a joke about a woman undergoing several plastic operations. In the end, she asks the surgeon whether he can make her eyes large and expressive. The doctor says "No problem, here is the bill".
* Why are [[Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial ET's]] eyes so big? Yours would be too if you saw his phone bill.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Creator/RobertSheckley has a story where a man finds what seems to be a wishing machine. Throughout the story, several people attempt to take it, and he barely fights them off. In the end, it turns out he should have let them take it - the machine was nothing but a device for ordering. In the end, he has to pay over 18 trillion [[WeWillSpendCreditsInTheFuture credits]]. [[WorkOffTheDebt Working in marble mines]]. For 2-3 credits a day. The only thing given for free, apparently, is [[ImmortalityHurts immortality]], which he ordered just before being given the bill.
* A minor example is found in ''Literature/PropellerIsland'' by Creator/JulesVerne. A few people find themselves on a mobile island inhabited exclusively by millionaires. Being unaware of that, they are quite surprised at the first restaurant bill they get.
* In Mark Twain's ''Innocents Abroad'', the travelers are stunned when they are hit with what they think is a gigantic bill by the hotel owner on the Azores for a festive meal. Things get better when they realize that this is due to RidiculousExchangeRates and that they owe much less than they thought.
* In ''Return to Literature/PlanetTad'', Tad's mother gives him her old cell phone as a birthday gift. She and his father forbid him from calls other than from or to them, but don't specifically forbid the use of text messaging. He soon starts text messaging like crazy and also uses the phone to update his online blog. It transpires that the phone did not come with a text message plan and when his parents are hit with a $127.40 bill (20 cents times 637 text messages), they forbid him from doing anything with it other than talking to them on it and also require that his ringtone be "I'm a Little Teapot."
* ''Magyk'', the first book in the ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' series, describes a situation in which two feuding sisters abused the Message Rat service by using the message rat Stanley to convey their arguing messages, eventually descending into simply sending him back and forth with [[TellHimImNotSpeakingToHim nothing to say]]. It was their mother that received the shockingly expensive bill, resulting in the cancellation of the service.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' season 2, Abed stages a ''Film/MyDinnerWithAndre'' dinner with Jeff (at the same time as Jeff tried to do a ''Film/PulpFiction'' dinner for Abed). Near the end, he and Troy get the bill from the waiter, and Troy's eyes pop out of his head. They run away (the boys, not the eyes).
* Mike from ''Series/{{Suits}}'' is panicked when SmugSnake Lewis runs up a ridiculously large bill on wine at his dinner. Naturally, Jerkass with a HiddenHeartOfGold Harvey pays it off for him.
* Several instances on ''Series/SquareOneTV''.
** One time on ''Mathnet'' George was working undercover as a diner cook, and had to deal with a patron who didn't expect tax on his bill. "I didn't order tax on my hamburger, just ketchup!" Of course this was just an excuse to deliver some Educational Programming about tax and percentages. The bill wasn't that much bigger than he expected, but it was bigger.)
** In a "Dirk Niblick" animated segment, siblings Fluff and Fold have three dollars to spend on birthday presents for a set of quadruplets, and they estimate that their four toys cost the full three dollars. However, because Fluff has rounded her prices up and Fold has rounded his prices down, they are four cents short.
-->'''Fluff, Fold:''' ''Three dollars and four cents, [[ReadingTheStageDirectionsOutLoud question mark, exclamation point,]] [[WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma question mark, exclamation point?!?!]]''\\
'''Cashier:''' That's right, three dollars and four cents, period.
* In one episode of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'', Michael calls his father on the phone in the hotel room where he's waiting for his fiancee, to prove to him that he's not afraid of intimacy. After his father tells him to put her on, Michael claims she's in the shower, to which George Sr. replies that he'll wait. They end up waiting through to the following morning, and anybody who's ever seen the overpriced phone rates at hotels can anticipate Michael's reaction to his room charge that morning:
-->'''Michael:''' Oh, ''[[BorrowedCatchphrase come on!]]''
* ''Series/HappyDays'': in episode "Goin' to Chicago" the high school choir goes on a field trip to Chicago. Richie, Potsie & Ralph sneak out of the hotel room they're staying in to go to a nightclub, where all checks are $36. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk1mH_dc-hw#t=4m58s Link.]]
* On ''Series/ChappellesShow'', Dave Chappelle is getting a haircut when the TV in the barber shop reports that he just signed a contract for his show paying him millions of dollars. Cut to everyone at the barber shop looking at him and the barber announcing that the bill for the haircut is $11,000.
* ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' had an absurdly large bill come at the end of the Emergency Room version of the restaurant sketch.
* Earl from ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}'' is shocked at the high number on his phone bill, until Francine points out it's their phone number. Earl is not as shocked when he sees the actual bill, although he does admit it's pretty high.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', upon receiving a plumber's bill:
-->'''Dawn:''' That's a weird phone number. Oh, wait... Is that the bill?!
* PlayedForDrama on ''Series/TheSopranos''. Chris is the low man on the totem pole when the crew goes out to dinner, so he's constantly stuck paying the tab. This starts a vicious feud between Chris and Paulie about respect, which culminates when Chris is saddled with a six-figure restaurant bill from Atlantic City. He can barely cover the cost of the check, and when the waiter follows him into the parking lot to demand a tip, Chris murders him.
* The Aliens in ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' thought the bill was the population of Cleveland. When informed of its true nature, they used a [[HollywoodHacking modem]] to redirect the bill to one of the actors visiting the same hotel, namely Creator/GeorgeTakei.
-->'''George Takei:''' (looking at his bill) $3000? That's all right, I can afford it. I'm a famous actor.
-->'''Desk Clerk:''' No, that's $30,000, Mr. Takei.
-->'''George Takei:''' [[CatchPhrase Oh, my!]]
* One episode of ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' features this, prompting both a SpitTake and a successful sneak out from their teacher. Unusual in that they already knew the restaurant was expensive and had ate there before, but [[ButtMonkey Robbie]] had asked for a big bowl of caviar putting the price beyond what they could afford.
* Used as the last joke on the Alice Cooper episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' when Gonzo appears in a flash of fire and brimstone. In his hand is something even worse than a DealWithTheDevil: the bill from Special Effects, which is enough to frighten everyone on stage.
* In ''Series/CSICrimeSceneInvestigation'' the mobster Lou Gedda ran an extortion racket in his strip joint where high rollers would receive absurdly large bills. Anyone who objected would be strapped into a barber chair in the back, beaten, and then threatened with a straight razor. Two corrupt cops on his bankroll kept the police at bay.


[[folder: Machinima ]]

* ''Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers'': In "The Wacky Wario Bros.: Money Mayhem", while Wario and Waluigi mess up and dance in their new mansion, a tax collector sends them a furniture, strippers and housing bill, which reads that they must pay $199,230,203,020,320,302,232,322,323.[[note]]In words, that's ''199 septillion, 230 sextillion, 203 quintillion, 20 quadrillion, 320 trillion, 302 billion, 232 million, 322 thousand, and 323 dollars.''[[/note]] Wario instead ignores the bill and kills the tax collector.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In more recent editions of the RPG ''{{TabletopGame/Paranoia}}'', getting slapped with one of these by a oh-so-helpful service agency is yet another way in which a player-character can end up being hopelessly screwed.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In the second act of ''Theatre/LaBoheme'', the Bohemians find they've run up an enormous bill at Café Momus (and, inexplicably, Schaunard's fortune has already been spent). Musetta steps in and passes the bill off on her MealTicket, Alcindoro, who takes one look at the bill and faints.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The premise of ''VideoGame/{{Recettear}}'' is Recett being left with such a debt after her father disappears, and having to open an item shop to earn enough money to pay it off. When Recett asks Tear (her fairy debt collector-turned-assistant) how much the total figure is, she refuses to say, for fear of provoking the fainting response[[note]]It's 820,000 pix[[/note]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'': Yosuke reacts with shock when he finds out Teddie has eaten 10 bowls of ramen on the receipt.
** And before that, Yosuke says he almost pissed in his pants when he found out the price on receipt on the clothes bought for Teddie.
* In Law's ending in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}} 5'', after using up the prize money to pay his son's hospital bill, Paul comes to him in a rickety bike carrying loads of wreckage with him. As he collapses in front of his friend, he hands him the bill for the wreckage, having pegged it on Law, who does a WildTake. When Paul asks him to pay, Law simply knocks him out and runs away.
* The Zeekeeper's bill to help take down Bowser's Castle in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam''. The mystical guardian figure actually treats the thing like a rockstar/actor's expenses bill, complete with hotel, dining, souvenirs, medical and insurance, ending up with a charge of 80 '''million''' coins. Mario's reaction when Prince Dreambert and Dreamy Luigi say he'll pay said bill is priceless (beforehand he even says Mario will hand over every single coin he's got).
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Link has to threaten a certain character with one of these in order to get him to divulge some plot-important information. The description says that the total amount is 'astronomical'.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'', Ludger is pinned with a massive bill by [[SmugSnake Redau]] for some medical treatment he gave him without consent, and proceeds to give him additional charges for keeping Elle in his custody (Abusing his position in the local MegaCorp to do so). He ends up with a bill of twenty million gald in total, and you're required to pay it off little by little as you progress through the story.
* Near the end of the story mode of ''VideoGame/TonyHawksUnderground'' ''2'', Nigel Beaverhausen tells Tony and the rest of the skaters of the World Destruction Tour that he would promise to pay for the whole tour if they have him film the whole thing in video. Tony and Bam agree right after Phil shows them a bill to pay for the destruction they have cause during the tour, $21,117,55.84 to be exact.
* After ''VideoGame/StarFox64'''s credits, TheStinger is of General Pepper receiving an invoice for the Star Fox team's services rendered amounting to $64 per point of your final score. He'll declare a low amount to be WorthIt, but if you've scored over 1200 points, Pepper will let out a BigWhat
* The Druuge in ''[[VideoGame/StarControl Star Control II]]'' offer to buy a couple of your items for "all the fuel your ship can hold". Your flagship is fully customizable, so your fuel capacity can range anywhere from 10 (hardly any fuel at all) to 1610 (a massive amount of fuel, worth more than 10 of the most expensive escort ship in the game). If you are given very little fuel, the Druuge officer celebrates his amazing deal. If you are given a moderate amount of fuel, the Druuge officer comments that it's a fair trade. But if you are given a very large amount of fuel, the Druuge officer panics at the massive bill he faces.
--> Aieee! I am ruined! You have sucked my full tanks until they are dry! Cruel Monster! Bloated Villain! Slicer of innocent throats! What shall I tell the Manager?! My spouse?! I shall certainly be assigned to tend the furnaces. I shall burn in the atomic fires! Aieee!


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* [[Webcomic/GeneralProtectionFault Fooker]] got his very first mobile phone and started using it for all sorts of things. Unfortunately, he used pay as you go... [[http://www.gpf-comics.com/archive.php?d=20100120 thud]].


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Burnie and Gavin of ''Creator/RoosterTeeth'' related a time they had gone to dinner with [[Creator/TheSlowMoGuys Dan Gruchy]], where Dan got loaded up on every [[UmbrellaDrink fruity cocktail]] on the menu, under the impression that they were complimentary. His $350 bill was quite a shock for him. Watch the ''Animated Adventure'' [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnbWDDPOxJA here]].
* In [[https://what-if.xkcd.com/35/ one]] Blog/WhatIf, You get this if you switch on a [[UpToEleven 11 petawatt]] hairdryer.
* ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** In the WebAnimation/StrongBadEmail "extra plug", Strong Bad plugs his new energy-sucking "'Lectric Boots" into the King of Town's power grid (disguising it as an "auxilliary [[BigEater food-related]] thing"). While [[UndisclosedFunds we don't see the bill]], the King does complain "This electricity bill is ''[[PerfectlyCromulentWord pretendous]]''!
** Played with in "environment". Strong Sad and Marzipan complain that Strong Bad's Lappy drains too much energy, enough that his monthly electric bill "uses eight trees' worth of paper", and Strong Bad is shocked that this is considered out of the ordinary.
--->'''Strong Bad:''' Are you trying to tell me that $70,000 power bills ''aren't'' the norm?


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "The Dad Who Knew Too Little", PI Dexter Colt charges Homer $1000 for expenses, including a $40 steak. Homer flees, refusing to pay, and Colt swears revenge.
** One time, they were checking out of a hospital and:
--> '''Homer''': "Is that the bill or your phone number?"
--> '''Nurse''': "That's the phone number. ''That's'' the bill."
--> '''Homer faints.'''
** In "Two Cars In Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish", Burns asks Smithers how much it would cost to bring the power plant up to code. Smithers calculates that it would be about 56 million dollars.
** In "Brother From Another Planet", Marge finds a $378 phone bill for calls made to the Corey hotline by Lisa.
** In "Bart Vs. Australia", Bart makes a collect call worth $900 to Australia.
** In "Catch 'Em If You Can", the kids chase their parents presumably around the world, using Rod and Ned's credit cards, respectively. At the end of the episode they both freak out at their hefty credit card bills.
** In "Mypods and Boomsticks", Lisa accrues a $1200 bill from [[BlandNameProduct Mapple]] for downloading 1212 songs from [=iTunes=]. Lisa tries to appeal the bill by visiting Steve Mobs, but is promptly ousted.
** In "The Old Man and the Lisa", Homer has a heart attack. After receiving medical care, he says [[ItMakesSenseInContext he wishes Lisa hadn't turned down a check for 12 thousand dollars]]. [[WhatAnIdiot Lisa tells him that the check was really for]] ''[[WhatAnIdiot 12 million dollars]]'', making him suffer another heart attack.
** This later turns UpToEleven in the "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS27E5TreehouseOfHorrorXXVI Treehouse of Horror XXVI]]" segment "Wanted: Dead, then Alive": during Bart's DeathMontage, he asks Sideshow Bob how much power the Reanimator he has created is using; instead, Bob hands him an electric bill that says that Bart's "current billing period" is "$3,205 due", causing Bart to suffer a HollywoodHeartAttack and die.
** In "22 Short Films About Springfield", Moe tells Barney that he once had NASA calculate the drunk's bar tab, [[NotHyperbole and the bill is in]]. he read off 70 billion dollars, but [[SubvertedTrope that turned out to be]] for the Voyager spacecraft. The actual result was only [[DoubleSubversion 14 billion dollars]].
** Subverted in "Husbands and Knives", where Homer goes to a plastic surgeon for an experimental procedure and attempts to anesthetize himself by looking at his bill. However, he finds that the price is fairly reasonable, and ''that's'' what knocks him out.
* One ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode has Bender WorkOffTheDebt at Elzar's restaurant because the crew didn't expect the bill to be so high. (They didn't expect it because Elzar had ''blinded'' Leela earlier and led them to believe the meal would be free.)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'': when Timmy was momentarily a grown-up. Eating at a restaurant and is surprised at the bill, saying "This is more than I get for my allowance- I mean, more than I make in a month!" Cut to him washing dishes in the back.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
** In "Krusty Love", Mr. Krabs is shocked at the cost of the bill ($100) for his fancy dinner with Mrs. Puff. The waiter apologizes and brings him the real bill, which he finds even more shocking (''$100,000'').
** In "Krusty Towers", Mr. Krabs is initially shocked at his hospital bill ($15,000) but decides to send [=SpongeBob=], Patrick, and Squidward to med school to get in on the racket. Earlier in that episode, Mr. Krabs turned his restaurant into a hotel after learning how much the last hotel he was a guest at charged for a hamburger. His earlier reaction was getting his claw inside his mouth to retrieve the hamburger and give it back to avoid paying for it. Surprisingly, aside from being covered in saliva, it had no sign of being a previously eaten hamburger.
** In "Whale of a Birthday", Mr. Krabs gives [=SpongeBob=] his debit card to buy birthday presents for Pearl. At the end of the episode, he's bought a mountain of presents and hired the boy band Boys Who Cry, then gives Mr. Krabs the bill for all of it. We don't get to see the total amount, but Squidward did mention that the bare minimum cost of hiring Boys Who Cry just to show up is $1,000,000, and Mr. Krabs wasn't too happy with how much [=SpongeBob=] had charged him.
** In "Le Big Switch", the French chef that Mr. Krabs got as part of an exchange program gives him a massive bill after Mr. Krabs has been forced into bankruptcy due to the chef's extravagant demands.
** In "Tutor Sauce", Mr. Krabs is handed a bill for all of the damages to the Krusty Krab that [=SpongeBob=] incurred with his driving, which included rebuilding the entire restaurant after it was destroyed in an oil tanker explosion. When [=SpongeBob=] drives into the side of the building, the contractor takes the bill and adds onto the total amount.
** In "What's Eating Patrick?", Patrick is unsure if he can compete in a Krabby Patty eating competition since it requires him to eat the patties whole if he wants to win, meaning he can't taste them. Mr. Krabs threatens to charge him for all of the patties he ate while training, and the bill has an impossible amount of zeroes.
** In "Drive Happy", [=SpongeBob=]'s [[AIIsACrapshoot snobby new self-driving car]] takes them to a fancy mechanic place and sticks [=SpongeBob=] with an enormous bill.
* At the end of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Roger Rabbit Short|s}}'' "Tummy Trouble", Roger does a WildTake and faints at the sight of his hospital bill.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Classic Disney Short|s}}'' "The Trial of WesternAnimation/DonaldDuck" has Donald going into a fancy restaurant to get away from the rain and orders a small cup of coffee. After being served a thimble-sized cup, he gets angry and decides to eat his packed lunch at the table. The maitre'd is outraged, so he decides to charge Donald for his own lunch. Unable to pay the bill with the one nickel he has on his person, he is sentenced to pay it off washing dishes... a decision the maitre'd regrets after he breaks most of the restaurant's flatware in the process.
** In the ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouseWorks'' short "Donald's Dinner Date", Donald takes Daisy on a date with the promise of keeping his temper under control. In the end he does manage to do so, even at the hands of Goofy as his waiter, but Daisy winds up losing her cool over how Goofy handled their service, despite Donald trying to console her. After Goofy hands him the bill however, which simply shows the total as "REALLY Expensive!", he too loses his cool.
** In another "Mouse Works" short, "How To Wash Dishes", Goofy becomes tired of his same old job as a dishwasher, so he decides to go on vacation with the help of a narrator--and a shiny new credit card! The entire short shows him going on vacation including buying plane tickets, clothes, and souvenirs all with his credit card, to which he simply tells the person involved in the co-payment to "Charge it!" As the short ends, he is dining at a fancy restaurant when his credit card is declined due to a racked up bill, leaving him back at square one working off the debt by washing dishes.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperMarioWorld'': In "Rock TV", Luigi reminds Mario of "the trouble we got into with that 'Speak to Santa' hotline", where they managed to rack up a phone bill of $1,295.31. Provides the page image.
* In the second episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Birdz}}'', Eddie runs up a [[EleventyZillion nine gazillion dollar]] charge on his father's credit card buying gifts for his friends.
** In "To Beak or Not to Beak", the bill for [[spoiler:Eddie's beak surgery]] is "$$$ A LOT".
* The ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Porky Pig's Feat" had WesternAnimation/PorkyPig and WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck being stuck with a huge bill after staying in a fancy hotel. (The situation wasn't helped by Daffy gambling away their cash either.) They frantically try to fight off the hotel manager and run out on the bill, but are eventually caught for good and confined to their room until they can pay off the debt. A few weeks later, they get the bright idea to call WesternAnimation/BugsBunny and see if he can give them any advice, only to reveal that Bugs is confined to a nearby room himself!
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'' episode "Labor Day", Jenny has an accident that wrecks half of Tremorton. Skyway Patrol sends Mrs. Wakeman the bill for the damages, which is totaled to;
-->'''Mrs. Wakeman:''' ''Three hundred million dollars?!'' That's a lot of zeroes!
-->'''Skyway Patrol officer:''' We'll mail you the ''rest'' of the zeroes on the separate cover!
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'', Pleakley discovers credit cards but doesn't realize that they have to be paid off later. At the end of the episode, Nani presents him with all the bills that have arrived for him.
-->'''Pleakley:''' Is that a balance due or an intergalactic ZIP code!?
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Brickleberry}}'' episode Crippleberry, lawyer Malloy gives Woody the bill for how much to pay to make Brickleberry handicapped accessible just for Steve.
-->'''Woody:''' Why do I have to call a phone number to find out how much I owe?
-->'''Malloy:''' Uh, that is not a phone number, that is the amount due.
* Taken to a ridiculous extreme in the cartoon "Whining Out" from the ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' episode "Life in the 90's". After tying down the waiter to get some service at a very snooty restaurant, Buster, Babs, Plucky, and Hamton each end up getting a tiny stale piece of cheese in gravy, each item costing tens of thousands of dollars and totally to "Everything you own and your first born". They pay the bill using Montana Max's student I.D.
* On ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Hank received a $900 Army haircut bill when Bill cuts his hair at the base after Hank's barber went insane. He wrote a letter to his congressman in response. The Army gave him a $3,900 check and a crystal as a percentage share of eliminating government waste resulting Bill losing his job.
* This happens to WesternAnimation/MightyMouse in one episode of ''Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures'', when he gets a doctor's bill.
-->'''Mighty Mouse''': [[PunctuatedForEmphasis EIGHT...HUNDRED...DOLLARS?!!]]
* A ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode has this when Stan was repeatedly yelled at by his dad for spending in-app purchases on a Terrance and Phillip {{Freemium}} mobile game and develops an addiction becoming like his grandfather.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' episode "Just the Two of Pus", Sperg goes to the hospital for a [[RiseOfZitboy horrible case of acne]] and Dr. Ted is otherwise completely ineffective at doing anything about it, giving him [[BrownBagMask a paper bag]] to hide his face. After spending the episode trying to get rid of the acne by rubbing his face with Grim's bones after a mystic tells him to, Sperg gets rid of it with Billy's [[LethalChef caustic batch of stew]], which also [[WipeThatSmileOffYourFace causes his mouth and nose to disappear]]. Sperg goes back to Dr. Ted to fix his mouth, but he just assumes the bag worked and charges him $16,000 for it, which Sperg can't object to.
* ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife''
** In "Rocko's Happy Sack", Rocko gets to the checkout lane right before the 90% off sale at the supermarket ends, but Filburt is going so slow that the sale ends and Rocko's total goes from $1.50 to $150, leading to Rocko yelling at Filburt to change it back.
** In "Junk Junkies", a pizza place charges Rocko with $500.95 in unpaid bills. He has to sell things from his garage to pay them off so he's not forced to pay by making pizza deliveries.
** In "Boob Tubed", Rocko is charged for an extravagant television when he wanted to buy something less expensive. According to Heffer, the TV will cost him a dollar a month for the next 632 years, meaning that it's about $7,584.
** In "Floundering Fathers", Rocko's ancestor tells Ed that when his ancestor John Quincy Bighead bought the land that would become O-Town from Native Americans for $2.98 and a pack of breath mints, he shorted them 29 cents. 200 years later figuring for inflation, Ed now owes their descendants $37,000 and two tons of breath mints (which could actually cost close to or more than the 37k).
* In the ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' episode "The Matchmaker", when Sylvia is charged a large amount for her and Wander eating at a diner, it's followed by her reaching into her wallet and pulling out a sizable stack of money. The OnceAnEpisode titles become a RunningGag in this episode, and when Sylvia pays there's one that reads "The Overpriced Lunch".
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''
** In "The DVD", Gumball and Darwin go out of their way just to get the $25 restocking fee for a DVD they dropped in the garbage disposal. After Nicole pays for it herself, she gets charged $700 for the time Gumball and Darwin had it. [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere They decide to cut and run]].
** In "The Finale", the Wattersons are charged $800,000 in damages done to Elmore.
** In "The Points", Tobias spends $15,000 in microtransactions on a {{Freemium}} game. He initially exaggerates how much he spent and says that it's numbers they haven't been taught in school yet.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Mr. Greg", Greg decides to spend some of [[RagsToRiches the ten million dollars he got in royalties at the end of "Drop Beat Dad"]] on a trip to [[BigApplesauce Empire City]] with Steven and Pearl. After throwing money around at a fancy hotel, the rather lengthy bill Greg gets [[UndisclosedFunds apparently put enough of a dent in his money]] to put him off any spending sprees for a while.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode "Operation L.I.Z.Z.I.E.", after an IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight fails, it takes a brainwashed Numbuh 1 to receive an extremely expensive restaurant bill to make Lizzie's [[MindControlDevice Boyfriend Helmet]] on his head go haywire and explode, returning him to normal.
* In ''[[Series/MrBean Mr. Bean: The Animated Series]]'' episode "The Visitor", Bean has to get rid of [[TheThingThatWouldNotLeave Harry]] and decides to "treat" Harry to a free dinner. Harry having eaten lobster, chicken, fries, chocolate cake, wine and more at a restaurant ends up screaming in shock at the bill's final amount but relaxes cause Bean promised to pay when really Bean snuck out. In the end, Harry has to wash dishes and cries while doing so. Roll the credits!
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Rupert}}'' episode "Rupert and the Temple Ruins" begins with Mr. Trunk giving Rupert's father Mr. Bear a bill for his plumbing repairs. [[UndisclosedFunds We do not see what the price is]], but Mr. Bear's alarmed reaction makes it clear that it must be pretty steep.
* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/ChuckChicken'', Chuck takes a job to stop a volcano from erupting for a $10,000 reward. Not only does the mayor not pay him for unwittingly filling the volcano with holes using Don and Dex's drilling vehicle, when Chuck accidentally makes the whole volcano collapse, he's charged $10,000,000 for it.

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The FCC has [[http://fcc.gov/stage/Bill-Shock-White-Paper.pdf noted]] that, due to the complexity of mobile phone plans, 17% of customers have experienced a "Bill Shock" at some point. The highest value complaint to the FCC in the first half of 2010 was in the amount of $68,505.
** A woman in Florida got a cell phone bill for over $200,000 after spending two weeks in Canada. It was later reduced to $2,500.
** A woman in France received a rather substantial phone bill of [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/oct/11/french-phone-bill 11,721,000,000,000,000 euros;]] (5,000 times the GDP of ''France itself''). The phone company was kind enough to allow payment in multiple installments. It was ''then'' revealed to be in error--she actually owed only 117.21 euros;, 0.000 000 000 001% of the original bill.
** As a general rule of thumb, be careful using cellular data, calls, and SMS if you're bringing your phone outside of the country, and if you don't plan to use any of those, slip your phone into airplane mode and only use wifi hotspots. Roaming charges are nothing to sneeze at. Or get one of the "pay as you go" setups where you're charged only for what you buy beforehand and the phone company simply isn't able to charge you for roaming because once you run out of data, that's it until you personally add more.
** Another way you can get slammed due to your unawareness is to use your phone's data tethering / personal hotspot mode, if your carrier allows you to use it. Say for example you brought your laptop with you somewhere where there's no wifi for you to use, and you use tethering so you can transfer files to your work, teacher, whoever/whatever. Whoops, one of your UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} games started a 2 GB update in the background, or you forgot to put your torrents on pause. Whoops, you have overage charges on your next bill.
* In Finland, traffic tickets can sometimes be tied to the offender's income, in order to ensure that the ultra-rich don't ignore traffic laws because they know they can afford it. One Nokia executive was hit with a $100,000 ticket for driving 15kph over the limit. Given the above example, this is kind of hilarious.
** In Finland most fines are in fact tied to the income of the offender to ensure both that they can be expected to afford it, ''and'' that it will hurt appropriately.
** Not just in Finland. Multiple countries employ a similar system. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine Here]] is the article on Wiki/TheOtherWiki.
* More than a few people traveling to other countries might experience sticker shock if they [[RidiculousExchangeRates forget to take their exchange rates into account]]. For instance, 5 (HK) bucks for a soda isn't so unreasonable a price when you remember that that is about 63 cents US.
** Becomes a great deal more extreme when a country has recently experienced a currency crisis. In the early years of this century, people used to joke that the quickest way to become a millionaire was to change one British pound into Turkish lira. [[note]]This wouldn't work in practice, due to commissions on foreign exchange - but the official exchange rate was indeed on the order of one British pound to one ''million'' Turkish lira.[[/note]] To continue the lira theme, Italians before the introduction of the euro would routinely expect to be paid multi-million-lira salaries, since the lira was worth so little - one or two ''thousand'' were equivalent to one dollar/ pound/ deutschmark.
* This has become a common occurrence when children are given access to {{Freemium}} and [[AllegedlyFreeGame Allegedly Free]] games. The kids might not realize that the in-game purchases were in real money and the parents might not know that the game would let her make the purchases for 15 minutes after they last used their account password without prompting for the password again. To give an example, when the parents of an 8-year old girl let her play the game Smurfs' Village on their iPhone, she bought $1,400 worth of Smurfberries in the game. The publisher Capcom Games and Apple received many similar complaints about this issue from parents seeing $100+ bills on their accounts.
* In a related example, [[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2171930/X-Box-Live-Boy-playing-Call-Duty-Fifa-ran-1-150-bill.html this]] wildly irresponsible child spent over 1000 pounds sterling on his Xbox then blamed Microsoft.
* A pretty common scam in a lot of countries. Cute girls find a foreigner (as all foreigners are rich!), invite him to a tea ceremony, and the final bill ends up being relatively expensive. The scammers pay as well (although they get their money refunded after the sucker leaves).
** In a similar vein, bottle bars, also known as clip joints. Upon entering a bar, the guest will be joined by several pretty girls who coax him into ordering as many bottles of wine, champagne and whatnot. When it comes time to pay, the bottles turn out to cost well into the triple digits and [[DumbMuscle some large men]] arrive to "protect you" while you get the money from a nearby ATM.
* Comes up a story every once a while for local news stations on slow news days - an expose featuring a utility customer who received a huge bill by mistake, be it for water, electricity, etc. Heck, with 90+ minutes to fill on some of these stations, it may come up at some point even on a day when there's plenty of real news to cover.
* The once-ubiquitous advertisements for mobile content provider Jamster are criticized for being misleading in that its content is provided as a monthly subscription despite the ads making it seem that customers are buying one-off ringtones or wallpapers. A British girl ran up 70 pounds (around US$100) just from ordering said content.
* ''Website/NotAlwaysRight'' has a few instances of this as well. One entry in the LaserGuidedKarma section of the page has a customer who for all intents and purposes should have ''expected'' that to happen, because she'd only bought a few free minutes because [[WhatAnIdiot she'd trusted her teenage girls with phones and they were "responsible adults."]] Cue her coming back in a few weeks later to get the charges (which were about 500 dollars each) taken off her bill, throwing a fit when they wouldn't (including smashing the phone ''when she threw it at the worker'') then very nearly tearing the front of her brand-new, expensive car off by hitting a streetlight as she had attempted to angrily drive away.
* It can be very easy to buy things on smartphones and other mobile devices it by using in-app purchases, especially when dealing with {{Freemium}} models, games that employ BribingYourWayToVictory, and of course the everpresent AllegedlyFreeGame. Moreover, you can buy this "stuff" with in-app purchases ''without getting a prompt''--which means that a lot of parents have been burned when they let their kids play games on their phones, who proceeded to buy insane amounts of game stuff without realizing they were spending real money. Their ''parents[='=]'' real money. Naturally, [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25748292 Apple gave them refunds]]...eventually, after the threat of an expensive Federal Trade Commission enforcement action.
* A patron at a Bobby Flay restaurant asked the waitress to recommend a bottle of wine since he had no experience with wine. She pointed out a bottle and said it cost thirty-seven fifty. When the patron got his bill he found out that it was $3,750 not $37.50 he expected.
* Some patrons not accustomed to restaurants where a gratuity is automatically added to the check may be shocked when they see the additional 20% on their check. This is especially true for large groups where the gratuity can easily exceed the value of any single dish served. One incident of this involved the customers [[http://kitchenette.jezebel.com/stories-of-unexpectedly-great-restaurant-customers-1700385036/+emmacar arguing to have the gratuity removed only to leave a tip that was larger than the original gratuity]].
* In possibly the largest in terms of amount case of this ''ever'', [[http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/24/pennsylvania-woman-stunned-by-284-billion-electric-bill.html this story]] about a woman who received an electric bill for nearly 300 billion dollars, specifically $284,460,000,000. It was billed in December 2017 with an initial stated required payment of $28,156 and due in full by November 2018. After a call to the utility company from the son, it was discovered that somehow a decimal point had been put in the wrong spot and the real bill was $284.46.