%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1377454520042695900
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread
%%
[[quoteright:187:[[VideoGame/{{Avernum}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bladesofavernumc_7090.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:187:Yoink!]]

->''"The soulful tunes of this accordion inspire you to new heights of thievery you never thought possible. Forget the Mona Lisa, you've got your eye on the Sistine Chapel ceiling."''
-->-- ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', description of [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Squeezebox_of_the_Ages Squeezebox of the Ages]]

The ultimate climax of any thief story is to steal something that cannot be stolen. Some thefts are more impossible than others, of course, and thieves that commit impossible thefts incidentally are usually more impressive than thieves who need to build up to a less impossible theft, but any sort of thief vs. thief conflict will usually prove the need to escalate the [[BeyondTheImpossible difficulty to impossible levels.]]

Leave the objective in a timelocked diamond-hard safe underground in a room [[LavaPit filled with lava]] past a pit of crocodiles and it will be gone in the morning. Should they choose to, they could [[PantyThief steal your underwear]] (while you're wearing them!) without you noticing anything, or they could steal a jewel from in front of a dozen attentive guards without any of them seeing it go.

If the theft was a climax of the story, then there's often an UnfoldingPlanMontage to describe how it was done and what happens next. Otherwise, the explanation is more of a NoodleIncident, and the character is ''just that good.''

[[SubTrope Narrower examples of the same]] are MonumentalTheft, where the prize is too big to steal, and IntangibleTheft, where there's no physical thing to steal.

While this is can be done by any [[{{Criminal}} Thief,]] a PhantomThief is most common, with ClassyCatBurglar and GentlemanThief not far behind. TheCaper may also have an impossible target, but a large enough crew can reduce how "impossible" the theft seems to be. If video game mechanics allow the player's character to steal ridiculous things or under ridiculous circumstances, see VideoGameStealing.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Carmen Sandiego]]
* As the TropeCodifier and a character appearing in VideoGames, LiveActionTV and WesternAnimation, ''Franchise/CarmenSandiego'' examples go here.
** The Mona Lisa's smile.
** ALL the goulash.
** ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'' worked hard to make Carmen Sandiego's seemingly outrageous crimes semi-plausible in their execution. A later plot to steal an uncracked Liberty Bell is accomplished by hijacking a Russian military time-travel project and then using it to travel back to the 18th century.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlBxHhL2lQc&feature=player_embedded Ernie the Klepto strikes again.]]
* A Farmer's Insurance spot (original video now unavailable) involves a burglar, tied down, who nonetheless manages to steal [[spoiler:what looks like the contents of a two-story house after the trainee agents turn their back on him for a few seconds. Plus an agent's watch. And he managed to put on a wedding dress. He's still tied down.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''LightNovel/AestheticaOfARogueHero'', Akatsuki Ousawa has a talent for stealing [[PantyThief girl's clothes]] while they are wearing them.
* ''Manga/MagicKaito'': Kaitou KID's exploits are performed in amazing ways, such that Shinichi (from ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', but they share TheVerse) has long since given up on figuring out his identity, focusing more on how he performs his impossible tasks. The biggest thing he has ever stolen is a pair of clock hands from a clock tower. He's literally walked in midair ([[spoiler: via WireFu]]). One time an alibi was established by going on a date and performing his heist, effectively putting him in literally two places at once.
* Jack Rakan from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' stole [[PantyThief panties]] off one of two girls without them noticing. The only reason he didn't get both of them is that the other girl was GoingCommando. And he is supposed to be a fighter, not a thief. He later one-ups himself by stealing the panties off of several of Fate's minions simultaneously.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': Nami the Navigator (and thief!)
** Her greatest exploit was when she leaves her home village. She's running past the villagers to pick up the speed she needed to leap from the harbor onto the ship that was ''already starting to head out''. So she was stealing from everyone while ''at a dead run''. Once on the ship, she turns around and lifts her shirt to reveal that she just stole all of the villagers' purses and tucked them under there. Then smiles back at the village as she waves goodbye as if to say, "That was for old time's sake."
** There was also the time she stole a key from a highly trained killer Kumadori while he had her limbs bound [[PrehensileHair with his hair]], preparing to stab her with his staff.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' :
** Genma and Ranma using the Umisenken can steal the floor out from under trained martial artists or the clothes they are wearing without them noticing until after it was done.
** Happosai and Ranma have been shown to be able to [[PantyThief steal underclothes]] (or objects hidden within them) while the people were still wearing them.
* from ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'':
** ''Beautiful Dreamer'' movie: [[UnluckyEverydude Ataru Moroboshi]] steals the top to [[MagicalGirlfriend Lum]]'s [[{{Stripperific}} bikini]] outfit from 20 feet or so away, pulling it from his pants of all places, to distract her long enough for him to [[AccidentalMarriage tag her horns]].
** In the anime series, Ataru steals Lum's bikini by using a sticky dart gun to latch onto and pull off her FurBikini top. When the [[DefeatByModesty ashamed]] [[CuteMonsterGirl oni]] dives at him to retrieve it, he outmaneuvers her and grabs her horns from behind, as she's too distracted to think about flying away from him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the Franco-Belgian comic ''ComicBook/AchilleTalon'', kleptomaniac Toussaint Glinglin is able to steal absolutely everything, including people's clothes while talking to them, or the whole display of a shop he passed by. He even mentions having inadvertently stolen ''bells'' while visiting churches.
* ''ComicBook/TheBlackKnight'': Arpin Lusene, the Black Knight, from Creator/DonRosa's Disney comics, is an AffectionateParody of ''Literature/ArseneLupin'' as well as [[GentlemanThief Gentleman Thieves]] in general. He casually steals [[SerialEscalation a man's socks while he's wearing them, the bullets from a museum guard's gun and a viking ship.]] While naked. He also stole the filament from a camera's flash bulb. While the camera was in the cameraman's ''hands''. At exactly the same time, he stole another reporter's ''underwear''. For context, the reporters were inquiring about Lusene's Black Knight persona, when a cameraman tries to take a picture of Lusene. [[RuleOfFunny The very next panel, Lusene is holding the filament and the other guy's underpants]] while denying being [[ButHeSoundsHandsome the Magnificent Black Knight, the world-famous master thief.]]
* In the promotional one-shot for ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' the eponymous mischief god stole a key from the Red Skull's pocket... in his supervillain lair, and he didn't even notice until Loki was long gone ''despite'' his telepathy. And in the "[[Comicbook/SecretWars2015 Last Days]]" arc [[MonumentalTheft stole and pocketed the Ragnarök]].
* [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Fingers]] from a ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' comic is a GentlemanThief who often pulls off insane thefts such as stealing guns from people's hands without them noticing... ''and without noticing doing it himself.''
* Mortadelo from ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'' makes it a habit to steal things that are required for their missions, often replacing them with other useless things. Normally right in front of the owner.
* ''ComicBook/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDW'': "Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicIDWIssue21To22": Rough Diamond manages to get the fake diamond under Applejack's hat and the ''real'' diamond under Trixie's hat without either noticing (though she did leave a clue behind in the process).
* In ''ComicBook/SupermanAndBatmanGenerations'', president Hal Jordan has a contingency plan for in case Superman goes evil -- a Kryptonite ring stored in an ultra top secret bunker behind the most sophisticated alarm systems on the planet, protected by a river of molten synthetic Kryptonite. When he goes to retrieve the ring he finds Batman has already nipped in and taken it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/{{Drifting}}'': Early on when Naruto faced a trio of [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain incompetent female Chunin]] who had infiltrated the village, he managed to steal [[PantyThief all their underwear]] without taking off or damaging their clothes, or even them noticing until [[FunnyMoment he showed them his "loot"]].
* In ''Fanfic/{{Ghost}}'', the ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10879674/1/Ghost here]]'', the titular character repeatedly steals weapons from mafia and army bases, no matter how many guards or locks there are. [[spoiler:Of course, when you can stop time at will, such feats become significantly less impressive.]]
* In ''Fanfic/KonohasPetShop'', a [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9854265/27/Konoha-s-Pet-Shop Naruto]] [[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9854265/28/Konoha-s-Pet-Shop two-shot,]] the main character uses a variant of an escape technique to switch items with leaves, even at a distance. This drives his Sensei to [[INeedAFreakingDrink drink]].
* ''LetsPlay/AScotsmanInEgypt'': Eoin Makartane manages to escape from a sealed, windowless room after the guards watched him walk in there and locked it behind him, and then snatches Aodh Canmore's personal orders to him from his locked office without the guards ever seeing him or even unlocking the door. Of course, [[spoiler:given that the whole thing [[SubvertedTrope may have been a setup...]]]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales and Mythology]]
* OlderThanRadio: ''The Master Thief'' appears in both a [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/asbjornsenmoe/masterthief.html Norwegian]] and a [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/192masterthief.html German]] version. ''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/jackbeanstalk/stories/dragontricked.html How the Dragon Was Tricked]]'' is a Greek form. (And if you want more, it's indexed as Aarne-Thompson 1525.)
* [[Myth/GreekMythology Hermes]] vs. [[Myth/NorseMythology Loki]] would make an interesting duel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueWar'', Batman steals Green Lantern's ring while he was wearing it. He doesn't notice until Batman holds it up and Hal's costume is suddenly replaced by his street clothes.
* Invoked in Disney’s ''Disney/RobinHood'' during the “[[TheVillainSucksSong Phoney King of England]]” song:
--> A minute before he knows we’re there / Ol’ Rob will snatch [[PantyThief his underwear!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Played with in ''Film/BladeOfFury'', when a noblewoman wants some pesky guards out of the way she places her own jewels into their hands, without them noticing, and screams. Help arrives, believes the scene she has set that the guards were robbing her or worse and the guards are lynched.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles'': Bart, the new black sheriff, strikes a friendship with Jim, a drunken gunslinger, whom he does not believe is the infamous "Waco Kid". To prove himself, Jim encourages Bart to clap his hands onto a chess piece starting with his hands about about a foot apart, and Jim halfway across the room. Bart claps his hands around the piece, and Jim apparently doesn't even move. When Bart opens his hands, he finds them empty, and Jim reveals that the chess piece is now in his previously empty holster.
* Harpo Marx' talent at pickpocketing is no better depicted than in ''Film/{{Coconuts}}'' where he steals handkerchiefs effortlessly, a pushy cop's wallet and badge, the same cop's SHIRT while its being worn, and for a grand finale, Groucho's dental plate!
* In ''Film/TheGamers'', the thief idly picks a bar patron's pocket for some money. Then he sees how far he can go, culminating in stealing the literal pants off the patron without them noticing:
-->'''Thief:''' Does he have any, uh... weapons, or anything?\\
'''DM:''' Yeah, he's got a knife.\\
'''Thief:''' I take that too.\\
'''DM:''' Okay, roll it. (''[[UnsoundEffect die roll!]]'')\\
'''Thief:''' (''holding the dagger'') Haha, cool! I'm kickin' ass! Hmm... [[UpToEleven I wanna steal his pants.]]\\
'''DM:''' You're... not serious.\\
'''Thief:''' I am serious.\\
'''DM:''' (''wearily'') Why do you want his pants?\\
'''Thief:''' I don't ''want'' 'em, [[KleptomaniacHero I just wanna see if I can steal 'em.]]\\
'''DM:''' Fine, go ahead, but you suffer a -8 penalty for difficulty.\\
'''Thief''' (''[[UnsoundEffect die roll!]]'')\\
'''DM:''' I don't believe it... (''the thief shows off the newly acquired pants to his companions'')
* ''Film/HighSchoolHigh'': When Mr. Clark first goes to the InnerCitySchool, his car is stolen seconds after he parked it--from an enclosed parking space. Then his briefcase is stolen by breaking off the handles while he was holding it.
* The Four Horsemen in ''Film/NowYouSeeMe'' pull some stunning heists that keep the police dumbfounded (like robbing a bank in France remotely from Las Vegas). Fortunately, the police had an insider explain them [[UnfoldingPlanMontage how it's done]].
* Near the end of ''Film/TheThomasCrownAffair1999'', Crown goes to the museum to "return" the painting he originally stole. He walks past the sealed (with steel gates) Impressionist gallery, tosses in smoke bombs, sets off the fire alarm (which puts a metal cover over all the paintings), and walks out. Somehow, he managed to steal a painting from the wall while this happened. Even the [[WordOfGod director says he doesn't know how it would work.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Jokes]]
*
-->I pilot was flying alone in his plane around the world, and his supervisors kept asking him where he was, and to know that, he had a technique, put his arm through a hole below the plane, and touch things with his hand.\\


-->Where are you now?
-->In USA.
-->Why?
-->I touched the [[EiffelTowerEffect Statue of Liberty]].

-->And now, where you are?
-->In England
-->Why?
-->I touched the Big Ben.

-->And now?
-->In France
-->Why?
-->I touched the Eiffel Tower

-->And now?
-->In Italy
-->Why?
-->I touched the Leaning Tower of Pisa

-->Now?
-->In China
-->Why?
-->I touched the Great Wall

-->Now?
-->In Japan
-->Why?
-->I touched the Tokyo Tower

-->Now?
-->In Brazil
-->Oh, you don't need to say, you touched the Christ the Redeemer statue.
-->No, that wasn't it.
-->Then what was it?
-->Somebody stole my watch.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/{{Abarat}}'': John Mischief and his brothers managed to steal the ''tattoos'' of a criminal named Monkai-Monkai while he was in prison.
* ''Literature/ArseneLupin'' features an impossible thief, the first GentlemanThief. The stories, written by Maurice Leblanc, are contemporaneous with Conan Doyle's ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' stories. Lupin sometimes adds insult to injury by giving the owners of his targets details such as the time, date, or even method of the theft in advance.
* Played surprisingly straight in the ''Franchise/BerniceSummerfield'' novel ''Literature/ShipOfFools'' where the brilliant thief called "the Cat's Paw" defeats the most advanced technological security systems.
* Jesper, of ''Literature/{{Brotherband}}'' can steal the bracelet of the man he is in the middle of talking to without his noticing.
* P.C. Hodgell's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'' has Jame and her master Penari, who both have accomplished thefts considered impossible, [[GentlemanThief for the entertainment value.]] Jame frequently steals only the least valuable thing she can on her missions, and Penari uses the giant uncut diamond he stole in impossible circumstances as a paperweight.
* Macore, the master thief of the ''Literature/DancingGods'' series, like all high-level thieves in his world, uses magic (the really ''good'' stuff is all spell-protected, so it's an occupational necessity) in his thefts.
* ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'''s Polypans are described as being able to 'steal the shirt off your back without you noticing.'
* The main character of the ''Dickie Dick Dickens'' series starts out as a humble pickpocket who earns the ire of the gangster leaders of Chicago by not playing by the rules; when they sic the police on him in a massive betrayal, he turns out to have stolen ''every gun of every cop in Chicago'' the day before. The embarrassed cops call it a day; Dickens dumps the weapons in Lake Michigan.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** The daughter of Cohen the Barbarian once managed to steal some jewelry by pickpocketing the boss of Ankh-Morpork thieves' guild. The jewels weren't in his pocket, he'd swallowed them. [[IntangibleTheft "This was the type of thief who could steal the initiative, the moment and the words right out of your mouth."]]
** In ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', two priests in Offler's lost temple hear someone approaching, presumably to steal the huge diamond therein. As the would-be thief trips one murderous booby-trap after another and ''still keeps coming'', the priests grow increasingly alarmed, and are on the brink of panic when the intruder bypasses the temple's final line of defense. [[spoiler:Luckily for them, it's only Death, ''not'' Mrs. Cake.]]
** The titular ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'' steals items by stopping time so others don't notice. There is a limit, but so long as he's nearby, he can steal anything without apparently his hands getting near you.
* While obviously hyperbolic, the thief Talen from David Eddings' ''Literature/TheElenium'' series is, at one point, said to be able to "Steal the eyes right outta your head, and you wouldn't notice 'till you need to look at something closely." He's not QUITE that good in reality, but he really is very, very good.
* The children's book ''Finn [=MacCool=] and the Small Men of Deeds'' featured Taking Easy, who could steal anything. He claimed to be able to steal the harp from a player whilst he's playing it (and he wouldn't know it was gone). Easy helped out with the big rescue at the end of the book by stealing the locks off the doors.
* Skif of the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series claims to be able to make impossible thefts. At one point, he is challenged to steal a classmate's lucky coin. The classmate spends the rest of the day with his hand on his pocket to make sure it's still there, and gleefully tells Skif at the end of the time limit that he has failed. Skif then produces the coin. He pulled it off by stealing the coin and replacing it with a lead slug ''before'' the other kid challenged him.
* The title character of Creator/RoaldDahl's short story "The Hitchhiker", which was made into an episode of ''Series/TalesOfTheUnexpected''. He refuses the title of 'pickpocket' as beneath him; he calls himself a Fingersmith -- and demonstrates by holding up a belt and fountain pen, which the narrator recognizes as his own. [[spoiler:When a policeman pulls them up and issues a reckless-driving ticket that the narrator cannot afford to pay, he somehow steals the policeman's citation book ''without leaving his seat on the other side of the car'', then casually suggests they find a secluded place up the road to burn both copies of the ticket.]]
* In the series ''Literature/MisfitsInc'', the first book starts with an extremely valuable microchip vanishing while in plain sight, under glass, in the middle of a room. [[spoiler:The lead figures out that the chip was never there in the first place; it was a ''hologram'' of the chip that had been installed in the base, and the battery had simply died. The chip had been stolen some time ago.]]
* ''Literature/{{Raffles}}'': A.J. Raffles, in the stories by E.W. Hornung, repeatedly pulls off "impossible" thefts, including that of a gold cup from the British Museum, and once, stealing the collection of "souvenirs" of his previous crimes from the Black Museum of Scotland Yard itself.
* Creator/AndreiBelyanin's ''Literature/TheThiefOfBaghdad'' trilogy often gives no explanation for how [[FishOutOfTemporalWater Lev]] manages to steal certain things in a matter of seconds without the owner noticing. This, occasionally, includes things that people ''should'' be able to notice, including the clothes they're wearing. He ''was'' taught in the art of thievery by a genie's spell, but he has no magical powers of his own, so it's unclear how some of the acts of theft take place. In the third novel, he feels a bit rusty and "practices" by running through a Kokand bazaar, stealing things and giving them to other people without so much as stopping for a second, causing a great commotion. Someone even claims that his camel has been taken. Another person is happy that the thief has taken his mother-in-law.
* In the ''Literature/ThursdayNext'' book ''The Eyre Affair'' the villain Acheron Hades has various inexplicable abilities such as not appearing on film or video, being impossibly persuasive, practically unkillable, able to "lie in thought, word and deed" and can push his hand through a bulletproof glass case to steal the item inside leaving only a faint ripple in the glass. In one scene he muses on how there's no need to hide from the guards, since they would be easily taken care of, but that wouldn't be as much fun.
* The Creator/ScottLynch short story "A Year and a Day in Old Theradane" has a group of highly talented thieves tasked by a sorceress with stealing a city street. The street is a PlaceOfPower for a rival wizard, and the thieves have to remove it from the city. The thieves are at a loss as to how to remove a location. They make a few abstract attempts first, like changing all the street signs to another name, then erasing it from the city's official maps, but none of these work. Finally, they figure out a way to gradually replace all of the street's cobblestones with new ones, thereby turning it into a [[TheseusShipParadox different street]] and destroying the wizard's link to it.
* Sandra Paris (a.k.a. the White Queen) in the ''Literature/NickVelvet'' stories. While Nick specialises in stealing the valueless, Sandra specialises in seemingly 'impossible' crimes, such as stealing the entire contents of a room, a roulette wheel off a busy casino floor, or a painting off the wall in plain view in a gallery. Her slogan is "Impossible things before breakfast".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Veronica, on ''Series/BetterOffTed'', was dating a magician named Mordor. One scene has the two of them fencing. Overcome by lust, they pull off their helmets and begin snogging. He pulls back and, with a magician's flourish, demonstrates that he's managed to remove her bra, though she's still in her fencing gear. He does it again with her panties.
* In an episode of ''Series/GetSmart'', Smart is working with a thief for an important operation. They are hiding behind a clump of bushes from a guard, and Max says that the thief needs to steal the guard's keys without being noticed. Not only does the thief get the keys, he steals the guard's German Shepherd guard dog without him noticing.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' has a CatchPhrase "Let's go steal an X", though they usually do this through BavarianFireDrill or similar means. This has led to lines like "Let's go steal us a wedding", "Let's go steal a hospital", or "Let's go steal us a general". The team's thief, Parker, once stole the Hope Diamond, ''then put it back'', just because she didn't have anything better to do. When it's pointed out that "Let's go steal the Department of Defense" would be treason, Nate shrugs and says they'll give it back.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' had a thief who managed to do things like steal an object out of a sealed metal box within seconds of the opportunity arising and this without disturbing the casing. [[spoiler:It turned out he wasn't a thief at all. Everything was given to him by the "victims" who then collected insurance.]]
* Bill on ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'' stole, in order, Red's wallet, house keys, pocket knife, car keys, pocket change, boxer shorts, socks, and then shoes. Red noticed none of this and all the viewer sees is Bill give Red a pat on the shoulder. (Episode 108)
* ''Series/StrangeHillHigh'': Peter Dustpan from "The Lost and Found Boy" who, amongst other things, steals Abercrombie's desk while he is sitting at it and his trousers while he is wearing them.
* In ''Series/TheTwoRonnies'' sketch show, there was an extended series of sketches where they played stage magicians caught up around a diamond heist and having to investigate it for themselves. To reveal the plot at the end they invited the {{villains}} on stage during their act and proceeded with a pickpocket act which went from the mundane "Is this your wallet, sir?" to the absurd "Is this your [[PantyThief knicker elastic]], madam?" (the DarkChick's underwear fall down from under her dress at this point) and finally getting to the point of "Is this your ''stolen diamond'', sir?" They also stole the man's belt, setting things up so neither villain could run effectively.
* Neal Caffrey of ''Series/WhiteCollar'' fame charmingly cultivates a reputation for impossible thefts in-universe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''
** A power named "Flawless Pickpocket" whereby if you can touch someone you can steal anything from them.
** The more powerful version is "Steal in Plain Sight". No one even notices the item (possibly protected by museum security, guards, and security cameras) is gone until 5 minutes AFTER you leave and you don't even need to touch them if you spend a point of willpower.
** There's also one that lets you pilfer things on the other side of a door...literally any kind of door, even if it's a portcullis or has been nailed shut.
** The Adorjan theft charms; stealing in plain sight, no one realizing it for a while. But the Scourge steal individuals "owned" by others. This is more then just slaves, they can steal children, proteges, henpecked husbands, etc. This makes the object of the theft lose any emotional connection to their previous owners as well as making the original owners forget the thing stolen or be alright with it being gone.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' :
** Third (and 3.5) Edition:
*** A target might notice an attempt to pick his pocket, but can't stop the thing from being taken. Regardless of how big the item is, how it's secured or whether the target is watching, the check is always a flat DC 20. A level 3 character can literally steal the shirt off someone's back with 100% success.[[note]] Have 18 Dexterity, put 6 ranks in the relevant skill, and take 10. There's only a chance of failure if you try it during combat. Or if the DM levies circumstantial penalties to the check because Common Sense has to apply sometimes.[[/note]]
*** It has been worked out on the Character Optimization boards of the ''Wizards of the Coast'' website that a sufficiently skilled thief is able to steal his own pants without himself noticing.
*** An epic-level character with high ranks in Escape Artist is explicitly allowed to crawl through spaces that are smaller than his own head. [[PowerPerversionPotential Don't think too hard about that.]]
** In 4th edition, the Thief of Legend epic destiny allows the player characters to approach levels unseen since the double-dealing diva herself. Such a thief can swipe unattended objects or vehicles, [[IntangibleTheft intangible concepts]] such as memory or eyecolor, or even the thief's own soul, ensuring that death will never hold her back.
* In the backstory for ''TabletopGame/InNomine'', the Demon Prince of Theft, Valefor, stole a Book from the Library of Yves, the Archangel of Destiny, which is located in Heaven. As a demon, he wouldn't be able to enter Heaven without being destroyed instantly. However, this may just raise questions as to whether he's as demonic as he claims to be...
* High-Aspect heroes in ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' can do anything that can be described as an application of a mundane skill. Aspect 7-8 miracles allow you to do fairytale or comic book shenanigans, so an ultimate thief character with a Gift based off Aspect 8 Skill "Thief" could quite possibly steal [[IntangibleTheft your soul,]] your family, or even [[MonumentalTheft the Eiffel Tower.]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'': One Goblin warboss, Great Grif Snazgit Nosepicker, defeated a chariot-heavy tribe by stealing or sabotaging every wheel in their army before the fight.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'' has a few:
** Blood Ravens chapter, nicknamed ''Bloody Magpies'' has a nasty habit of acquiring heaps of gear by underhanded means. Arsenal of one company [[note]]Chapter consists of 10 companies.[[/note]] includes, but not limited to: mace of [[EldritchAbomination Scarband]], thunder hammer of [[DemonOfHumanOrigin Fulgrim]], armor and weapon of Adeptus Custodes[[note]]Emperor's bodyguards, almost as strong as Primarchs, who would rather die than part with their equipment, all of which is locked on their genecode.[[/note]], Aegis armor of a Grey Knight and weapons once wielded by current Chapter Master of Ultramarines and first Grand Marshal of Black Templars. To boot, original game mentioned that each Terminator armor of the chapter has a piece of Emperor's armor, that he wore on Vengeful Spirit, enclosed in it. [[note]]It is a thing, but those fragments are incredibly rare. They are issued to chapter's champions, not the entire first company.[[/note]] Fanon takes it UpToEleven, suggesting that the infamous ''Steal Rain''[[note]]Steel Rain was a defensive maneuver employed by Blood Ravens in Kaurava campaign that resulted in total destruction of their strike force.[[/note]] was in fact the very reason Imperial Guard lost a hundred of superheavy tanks in transit, Firaeveus Carron lost the favor of the Dark Gods and Necrons lost their power supply.
** Trazyn the Infinite makes the Impossible Theft routine easier by employing reality warping Necron technology.
** Orks economy relies heavily on looting everything that wasn't bolted down and bolts themselves. Orks of Octarius sector upped the game, by looting Avatar of Khaine, earthly reincarnation of the God of Murder, a 20 feet tall animated statue made of molten metal.
*** Another Ork warboss stole a gun from himself. He did it by traveling back in time and killing his past self. Orks aren't big on subtlety and don't care about your time paradoxes.
** It is widely believed that Abaddon, Warmaster of Chaos, the most powerful mortal being in the galaxy is no longer in possession of his arms.[[note]]A fanon belief, based on his GeneralFailure tendencies and structural faults of his tabletop miniature[[/note]] [[MemeticMutation Surely, only some kind of tactical genius could pull this off...]] CREEEEED!!!
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse''
** The spirit gift "Taking The Forgotten" lets you steal something and makes the previous owner forget they possessed it in the first place.
** At higher levels, there's Thieving Talons of the Magpie, which allows you to steal another being's supernatural powers.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
If the game mechanics let the player's character steal ridiculous things or under ridiculous circumstances, see VideoGameStealing. Examples here should be limited to impossible stealing that happens as part of the storyline.

* ''VideoGame/ApolloJusticeAceAttorneyCase5TurnaboutSubstitution'': During an optional phone call, Trucy somehow manages to steal Apollo's wallet when he had it that morning, and she had been on the other side of the planet for the past week!
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'': According to the database entry on La Volpe, he once managed to rob the Pope's carriage -- while the Pope was still inside it.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'', after Jeanne passes Bayonetta by on a motorcycle, the two banter for a bit, then Jeanne suddenly holds up Bayonetta's necklace, shocking her. Jeanne mocks her for getting so rusty that she wouldn't notice that.
* In ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', kobolds will periodically steal items from various places during world generation. Early on in the [=DF2014=] update, they could even successfully steal from [[spoiler:angelic vaults]] that are meant to stay sealed unless [[AnAdventurerIsYou an adventurer]] cracks them open. Even without this occurring, worldgen frequently has them succeed in heists of dragon lairs, well-defended citadels, and other places where you wouldn't expect them to make it out alive, let alone undetected.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrolls'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion'':
*** Gray Fox has many in-game UrbanLegends surrounding him, which regard him as an impossible thief who can turn invisible and slip underneath locked doors. The Grey Fox stole the iconic Grey Cowl from a Daedric Prince, (basically demons so powerful they're worshiped as gods) making these legends well deserved.
*** The player gets to [[LegacyHero inherit the title of Grey Fox]] by stealing an Elder Scroll, the series' namesake and an item that can literally rewrite the laws of time and space, a feat [[BeyondTheImpossible considered impossible in and of itself.]]
*** Rajhin, a legendary Khajiit hero who became their God of Thievery, stole the Ring of Khajiit from [[DidYouJustScamCthulhu Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Darkness]] herself, and was said to be able to do things like hide in his own shadow, move invisibly, silently and as fast as the wind and ''steal a tattoo off the neck of a sleeping queen''.
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'': The Nightingales are a secret order within the Thieves Guild that have made a pact with Nocturnal to give them preternatural abilities. The BigBad of the questline, [[spoiler: Mercer Frey]], is revealed to have be a former Nightingale who stole Nocturnal's Skeleton Key, which unlocks ''everything'', upto and including the limits of [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower human potential]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'': Edge can steal something that has an existence that's ''only theorized''. [[spoiler: In fact, to make the final boss fight easier to handle, it's highly recommended to do so.]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' overlaps with VideoGameStealing when Locke Cole, behind enemy lines in occupied South Figaro, steals first a merchant's clothes and then an Imperial officer's uniform, while the merchant and the officer are wearing them. While it's done within the standard battle system (this section of the game being the only time Locke's in-battle theft works this way), stealing the officer's uniform is required to advance the plot (the merchant's clothes, while useful, can be skipped), meaning that it's not ''just'' gameplay mechanics.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' gives its Thieves a plethora of varied Steal skills, ranging from stripping your enemy of their Armor, Shields, Weapons[[note]]Meaning that if you have the right ability equipped (Chemist's Reequip or Ninja's Throw), your Thief can steal an enemy's weapon out of his hand, then kill him with it. Not actually a practical way to fight, but killing an foe with his own weapon is kind of fun.[[/note]]... all the way to '''Steal:Ability'''. This means that your thieves can completely ignore grinding experience/ap to level their skills and simply steal the knowledge of any technique of any class available to their race from your enemies. Want your Thief to become a powerful mage? Just find one and steal their magic. Or find a knight and steal their martial prowess. Or ''both''. Abused to hilarious extents in [[http://lparchive.org/Final-Fantasy-Tactics-Advance/ this particular Let's Play]]. Oh, and they have '''Steal:XP''' too.
** Most of these (but not Steal:Ability) are also available to Thieves in the original ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''. They can also have a [[CharmPerson charm effect]] on enemies of the opposite sex, by [[IncrediblyLamePun stealing their heart]].
* Becoming a full member of the ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' equivalent of the ThievesGuild requires you to sneak into the Sleazy Back Alley and steal your own pants, without yourself noticing.
* ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' has [[spoiler: Doopliss]] steal Mario's name and appearance in the middle of their first fight, as well ''[[InterfaceScrew the letter "p" on the keyboard input]]''. It takes finding the letter in a chest and [[spoiler: finding out Doopliss' name]] before anything can go back to normal.
* In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'', Phineas Filch manages to steal Detective Bobby Fulbright's shoes twice without the latter noticing. [[spoiler:It becomes this trope when Fulbright is revealed to be an international master spy (the phantom) in the last case.]]
* The move Snatch from ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' allows the user to steal an opponent's {{status buff}}s and healing if the opponent was about to buff/heal that turn.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfMonkeyIsland'' features Kevin the Thief who can repeatedly steal anything Guybrush tries to take from his place. Kevin has NO HANDS!
* Among its many DiabolusExMachina devices, ''VideoGame/TheOregonTrail'' also has thieves so talented that they can --depending on how much the RandomNumberGod hates you at the moment-- sneak in under cover of night, swipe ''all of your oxen'' or every set of clothes your party has (including the ones on their backs!), and somehow escape notice completely.
* Garrett from the ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' series - trained by people who make near invisibility and stealth an art form. He steals an evil artifact from an elder god in the middle of a ritual in which it is being used to make the world a horrifying place. Taken to extremes in that many players consider exploiting bugs to pass through walls or steal items from inside locked boxes as [[GoodBadBugs not being bug exploits at all.]] Garrett is really that good.
** In the 2014 game, he can steal a person's earrings without them noticing.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'': In the Spirit Kings encounter, Subetai the Swift, an ancient Mogu emperor who was also a cunning thief, can use Pillage on your raid. He jumps to a spot, spins around for a few seconds, and when he's done, all the gear of the people in it is temporarily stolen, making them do less damage and healing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Twice in the ''WebAnimation/ASDFMovie'' series:
** A hat-wearing man steals a {{jerkass}}'s face... in mid-sentence... and the sentence was "well, I stole your face".
** Another man steals his friend's lungs. While the victim does catch the thief red-handed, it's not until after his entire ribcage has been forced open.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Video]]
* ''WebVideo/AgentsOfCracked'': A girl Dan had a crush on becomes steals the clothes off Dan and Swaim backs and swaps them around. And then when leaving steals a bunch of office supplies and the ice cream off a ice cream cone Swaim was eating.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'':
** Karashi [[http://adventurers.keenspot.com/d/0341.html manages to steal]] Drecker's [[GoofyPrintUnderwear dagger-print underwear]] without him noticing. Bonus points since Drecker is the party's thief, not Karashi.
** Decker manages to steal a huge sword from a foe who didn't even know he was carrying it, and was upset that he'd been stuck with a wooden shortsword all this time. This is of course poking fun at VideoGameStealing.
* ''Webcomic/AvatarBattleRoyale'': Beren has he stolen a table (and since TSS takes place on a ship, the tables are nailed to the floor), and Mr. X's wallet. (Mr. X does not have a wallet.) Beren also steals Alana's rapier and uses the art change as a distraction; stealing the fourth wall in order to reveal it to the reader.
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' has Sam Starfall stealing in incredible ways:
** He has been known to steal the locks off of prison doors while escaping--and sometimes the doors themselves. It's apparently a natural trait of [[{{Cthulhumanoid}} his species]].
** Also worth noting that he can effortlessly steal watches and lift wallets, which is impressive since he wears a bulky environment suit everywhere he goes, one that's ''probably not even shaped like he is.''
** Heck, in one strip, he briefly thought about going straight, while LIFTING A WALLET WITHOUT EVEN THINKING ABOUT IT!
** In at least one occasion, he's stolen a robot's fingers while shaking its hand. Poor bot took quite a while to notice he didn't have a full count.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'': The Protagonists are named by ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'' classes, and Thief is, naturally, a known thief.
** When asked about how he was able to get so much loot from an already-plundered town, Thief responded: "They (The pirates) left everything that was nailed down. I did not."
** [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2004/10/28/episode-476-red-mage-in-the-cradle/ "I've stuffed more riches in there than actually exists."]]
** [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2001/07/18/episode-057-well-what-did-you-think-hed-do/ He steals gold from the walls while simply walking past.]]
** He achieves his class upgrade by stealing it from himself in the future. Naturally, this comes back to bite him when he has his class upgrade stolen by his past self.
** Red Mage suggests that Thief should minmax by putting all his skillpoints into pick-pocketing, since it could cover all other thief skills - opening locks by pickpocketing them out of the doors and chests they're attached to, disarm traps by pickpocketing the mechanisms, and successfully lying to people by "picking the truth pocket of their minds".
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** Violetta has ''twice'' swapped a weapon [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20101101 while someone was in the middle of using it,]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20110725 including once from across the room.]] She even [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100226 swapped a hostage for a straw dummy pulled out of nowhere]] ...also from across the room, while in full sight of her target.
** And since Tarvek outsneaks her and learned more than he used to let on, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20120615 he can do this too.]]
* In ''Webcomic/LinT'', one of the main characters is a thief so skilled that he can steal your socks. While you're standing in them. And you won't noticed until you suddenly realize that your feet feel different.
* ''Webcomic/{{Megatokyo}}'':
** Noticing the things Yuki steals has become a sort of sport on the Megatokyo forums. Kleptomania actually seems to be [[spoiler:her inherited MagicalGirl power]], if her mother is any indication. (The first time we meet Yuki's mother, she excitedly shows Erika the new kitchen knife she bought, after a moment realizing she "forgot to pay". Erika just says "You're still doing that?")
** Any time Yuki gets in a fight as a MagicalGirl (usually in the Omake chapters), she "fights" by stealing peoples' weapons before they can use them. When Dom [[http://megatokyo.com/strip/1311 points a gun at her,]] she steals ''all'' of his numerous guns and ammo clips in the blink of an eye, and then she disappears...[[UpToEleven with his van, before he even notices his guns are missing]]. [[FunnyBackgroundEvent She also steals]] his [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking tie.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Nodwick}}'': The party thief Keebler, returning from a bout of therapy after Yeagar 'accidentally' put a cursed helm on his head that gave him brain damage, gets a contract that prevents him from being fired as long as no-one in the party can ''prove'' he's stealing from them. The party knows he's going to try to steal the artifact they've looted this time around, but aren't sure how to stop him. Nodwick solves the problem because he has his own impossible skills: he stacks the loot so that the item can't be removed by anyone but a trained henchman without the entire pile of loot collapsing onto them, which not even the thief's impossible theft skills can fox and he's caught red-handed. DoubleSubverted in that Keebler still makes off with Nodwick's shirt and pants as he walks off into the sunset, and Nodwick didn't even notice it.
* ''Webcomic/{{Thunderstruck}}'': Saxony Canterbury uses magic by pretending to perform conjuring tricks. Stealing with only a fleeting contact is simple for him, more impressive is [[spoiler:[[http://talesfromthevault.com/thunderstruck/comic120.html stealing a bullet from mid-air]] and producing it from behind the gunman's ear with all the brain spatter that implies.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Oglaf}}'', a comic highlighted Vanka's ability by stealing the keys to her prison cell from a guard ''across the hall'' and ''giving him a handjob'' without him noticing.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** In comic [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0649.html #649]], Haley steals her own diamond from [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/ootscast.html the cast page,]] leaving an "I.O. Me" note in its place.
** In [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0673.html #673,]] a pair of young pickpockets steal Durkon's purse. ''In the same instant'' Haley steals it back and swaps it with a fake containing only a note warning that her party is off-limits, ''and'' also steals ''their'' purse.
* The Detective, protagonist of ''VideoGame/TheWayOfTheMetagamer 2: InNameOnly'' is confirmed to have stolen a left hand and kidney without their owner noticing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "City of Thieves" ends with someone managing to steal Finn's clothes ''while he's wearing them'', leaving Finn in his underwear.
-->'''Jake:''' Dude, why are you naked?\\
'''Finn:''' Huh?! '''''[[SayMyName PENNY!!]]'''''
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'', Batman defeats Sinestro by stealing his ring off his finger.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', [[DepravedDentist Dr. Bender]] once stole Chip Skylark's teeth. They are not dentures, they just ''came out'' as if they were.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'': Once a character stole an elderly man's dentures ''while he was wearing them''.
* Kitty Softpaws, in ''WesternAnimation/PussInBoots'', starts off with stealing Puss's boots while he's wearing them, and then his bag of money, which he had hidden inside his boot, and he had to take off his boot to check that his bag was actually gone.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'':
** In episode [[Recap/SpongebobSquarepantsS1E10CultureShockFUN "F.U.N."]], Mr. Krabs tempts Plankton (who claims to have reformed) with a Krabby Patty. Although the patty is untouched and always on camera, at the end it's somehow been replaced with a cutout, [[BehindTheBlack which Krabs should have been able to notice from his angle even if it was standing up]].
** In episode "Shanghaied", Spongebob and Patrick manage to go into a closed room and steal the sock [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext that the Flying Dutchman needs in order to be able to eat]], and instantly appear on the deck of the ship afterwards. Even more perplexing once you consider that he should've been able to notice them coming into the room, especially since he was facing the general direction of the door.
* On ''WesternAnimation/SecretSquirrel'', a villain makes voodoo dolls of several people, including Secret, and torments them. Secret asks what personal possession of his that his doll has. The villain says his hair, and Secret checks his tail and is annoyed and surprised to find a bald spot. Secret then makes a voodoo doll of the villain, leading to this hilarious exchange:
-->'''Villain:''' It won't work, you'd need a personal possession!\\
'''Secret''': That's precisely why I've taken the liberty of relieving you of ''these''! (''pulls out a pair of briefs'')\\
'''Villain:''' (''looks down his pants'') GASP! I ''thought'' it felt a bit drafty in the hut today...
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Grandpa Simpson pulls this ''on himself'' in "The Front", taking his own underwear without removing his pants so he can read his name.
-->'''Lisa:''' How'd you get your underwear without taking off your pants?\\
'''Grandpa:''' I...don't...know...
* Wadi in ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays'' can not only steal people's clothes while they're wearing them, she can do so ''without even getting within arm's reach of the target''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' Bloom's Dragon's Flame is a power that is impossible to take away. It can be given away, sealed, or even ''snuffed out'', but cannot be taken away, as shown by the Three Ancestral Witches having failed in the backstory and the Legendarium trying and failing in the same scene it steals five other fairies' powers. The Trix stole it near the end of the first season. They apparently missed a part (it's not clear), enough that Bloom could eventually defeat them and take the rest back, but they still stole it... And when they returned in the second season they were planning to repeat the feat (and then to kill Bloom to avoid the chance of being defeated again) before they were directed to a larger and more easily stolen power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* As discussed in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19458_the-5-most-badass-teams-famous-people-to-ever-join-forces.html this]] Cracked article, Leonardo [=DaVinci=] and Machiavelli once hatched an elaborate plan to steal a ''river.'' Their plan failed, but the river is the same one that appears in the background of The Mona Lisa.
* The Mona Lisa was once stolen as well, [[AvertedTrope though it was nowhere near impossible at the time]]. The security that was protecting it was so lax that the guy just [[BeneathNotice pretended to be a janitor]], hid in a bathroom, ripped it off the wall, [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy and walked off with it]]. Because of that, '''now''' you have to be an impossible thief to even touch the thing.
* [[http://www.cracked.com/article_17090_wheres-bridge-7-biggest-things-ever-stolen.html This]] Website/{{Cracked}} article details the largest things ever stolen. This includes things like a bridge, half a mile of beach, and ''the Empire State Building.''
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1_BpNAeeX0 This]] guy. No watch is safe.
* [[http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/01/07/130107fa_fact_green?currentPage=all Apollo Robbins,]] who's entertained audiences by ripping off [[Creator/PennAndTeller Penn Jillette]], despite Penn's best efforts to spot him doing it.
** [[http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/01/07/130107fa_fact_green?currentPage=all This]] article tells about some of his more memorable tricks: replacing a man's cellphone with a piece of fried chicken, a woman's engagement ring disappearing from her finger and reappearing attached to the keyring in her husband's pants, and a man's driver's license ending up in a bag of M&Ms inside his wife's purse. Some say the only way he could do these is if he could [[TimeMaster stop and restart time at will]].
* One common Boy Scouts skit (mini-play of sorts) involves two scouts confessing to one another that they have stolen from each other. One shows some money, the other a wallet. The first one shows of something harder to steal (like a watch) and the second finishes with showing a pair of underwear. The first looks shocked, looks into their pants, and ends with swiping the underwear and running off the stage.
[[/folder]]
----