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My Card
Some are more creative than others.
Grytpype: My Card.
Neddie: But it's blank.
Grytpype: Business is bad.

The scene plays out as follows:
Character #1 meets character #2 for the first time. Character #2 gives their name... their occupation... their credentials... and then "let me give you..." You guessed it, "My Card." Now it's official. Everything they said about themselves must be true. There's the proof in black and white. If they're a villain, then it's the thing that makes them a Card-Carrying Villain.

This is a compound trope at best; sometimes there's a card, sometimes not. Sometimes it's just a membership card or other form of identification that's presented, but not given. Sometimes they say something else when it's presented... but you get the idea. If the card itself is important it occasionally becomes Chekhov's Gun if the recipient discovers later they need its information.

Some variations to consider:
  • "Let me give you my card", the abbreviated version "My card", or the incredibly formal "Allow me to introduce myself" accompanies some physical device, usually a business card in the trope's purest form, to remember them by.
  • "Call Me" is often the dating version of the above business-like version. There is often a card, but just as often a phone number on any piece of paper.
  • "If you should happen to remember anything else", and its many variants, are distinctly reserved for detectives or other government agents finishing primary questioning of a witness that seems incomplete.
  • "I'm with" or "I'm from" followed by some company name usually precedes the displaying of identification, which may or may not be genuine.

See also Calling Card and Membership Token.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Belldandy gives her business card to Keichii when they first meet in Ah! My Goddess.
  • In Paprika, the title character kisses her business card and then hands it to a man, which starts the Opening Theme.
  • The middle brother Shinonome of The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer fame has two different sorts of cards he hands out. One of them describes his occupation as "HERO OF JUSTICE".
  • The protagonist of Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman is observed to hand out his business card like he's performing a finishing move.
  • In Bakuman。, Akira Hattori gives the main characters his business card and e-mail address after his first meeting with the protagonists, asking them to submit any future work to Jump. He notes that they impressed him enough to get his e-mail address, but the truly impressive ones get his cell phone number.

    Comics 
  • The Joker likes to use a literal Joker card, with or without useful information. Watch it though, it could be booby trapped with acid or poison, or it could simply explode.
  • An issue of the Mortal Kombat official prequel comic features an out-of-uniform Sub-Zero presenting his Lin Kuei membership card. We don't make this stuff up.
  • The Question used to have the shtick that when he was asked to identify himself, he gave the questioner an apparently blank card, which then would smoke and a "?" would appear.

    Fan Works 
  • Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814 gives all other Magical Girls she finds her contact information so they can reach her when they need help. She does this because, as the Sector's Green Lantern, she is responsible for 1/3600th of the known universe instead of just a city or planet like most of them and so her jursidiction encompasses all of their's.
  • Queen Of All Oni: Blankman gives Jade his business card when she hires him as her foreman. As you might expect from his name, it's blank.
  • In Turnabout Substitution, Rhea gives Apollo her card for her funeral home, which has a skeleton on it. This ends up foreshadowing the true identity of the Mysterious Bust Killer.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Mean Girls: Kevin Gnapoor: Math Enthusiast/ Badass MC
  • Men In Black: The MIB card is as vague and mysterious as the agents who carry it, to the point where K has to hand-write the address on one.
  • In U.S. Marshals, after letting his subordinates badger their fugitive's girlfriend for a few minutes, Girard calls them off... then hands her a business card, asking her to call him if she had any information.
  • Most of the characters in American Psycho have very nice business cards, and are quite devoted to them. More so in the film than the book.
    • It's worth noting that they each only carry the one business card in their card holders, which makes their use of the card holders at all even more conspicuous.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has the United Brotherhood of Dealers union member cards prominently displayed, followed by a discussion of a lack of dental insurance benefits and a possible strike in New Jersey.
  • Abused within an inch of its life in Hello, Dolly!!: Dolly Levi is able to produce a business card proclaiming her expertise in just about anything at a moment's notice, usually one comically specific to the situation at hand.
  • Fight Club: Tyler Durden gives the narrator his card when they first meet on the plane; the narrator uses it to call him after his apartment blows up.
  • In the film Oh, God!, God gives the main character His card. The card says, simply: God
  • Apparently, deities from the Lowest Cosmic Denominator like this one, because the Devil in the remake of Bedazzled (2000) gives Elliot the card as an attempt to convince him that she is, in fact, the Princess of Darkness. Similarly to the Oh God example, the card simply says "The Devil."
    • You'd think she'd put something on the card, like the fact that she has offices in Hell, Purgatory, and Los Angeles.
  • In Harvey, Elwood P. Dowd goes through the same routine with everyone he meets, including giving them his card. This applies even to the doctors at the mental asylum.
  • Felicity Huffman's character in The Spanish Prisoner leaves behind a business card that turns out to be an important part of a larger plan.
  • In Cast a Deadly Spell Lovecraft gives a butler his card but it turns out to be the wrong one (the one his witch landlady gave him earlier). He then pulls out and gives his real card.
  • Happens twice in Dr. No.
    • The messenger M sends to get James Bond in the club asks the attendant to give Bond his card.
    • While in the club Bond gives Sylvia Trench his card (which has his phone number on it) and asks her to call him if she'd like to go out with him.
  • "So, why don't you give me a call when you wanna start taking this a little more seriously? Here's...my...card."
    • It's a Joker from a deck of playing cards.
  • The Laurel and Hardy short Another Fine Mess has Lord Leopold Plumtree, who insists on giving Hardy his card each time he gets his name wrong. At one point, Hardy actually takes out the cards he already has, and sorts in the one he just got.
  • Water 1985. After blowing up a well and nearly throttling Michael Caine to death, the mercenary commander leaves him his card. "If you are in need of an army, just call."
  • Aliens. Company troubleshooter Burke leaves a transparent plastic card with his contact details marked on it with Ripley, in case she changes her mind about going on the mission to find out what happened to the colony on LV426. After her next Catapult Nightmare, Ripley sticks the card in her videophone where it automatically connects her to a sleepy Burke.
  • Clear and Present Danger. Jack Ryan has some cards done up showing that he's the acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence, which comes in handy on a couple of occasions.
    Jack: Do you take a Company cheque?
  • In Rising Sun, Wesley Snipes's character (a police detective) arrives to a Japanese company to investigate the murder of a woman. He knows enough about Japanese customs to immediately offer his card to the underling assigned to talk to him. The Japanese man spends several seconds studying the card and even asks if this is the detective's personal number. Sean Connery's character is an expert on Japanese culture and does this naturally.
  • When Max comes face to face with the eponymous Funny Man, he asks who he is. Funny Man presents a joker card and says; "My card."
  • In Ocean's Eleven, Danny Ocean slips his card to Linus after watching him pickpocket a stockbroker. The card has his name embossed into it, but nothing else is printed on it - no address, no telephone number, no clever motto. (The directions for Linus to follow are hand-written.) So presumably either Danny spends a lot of time jotting his details on his own cards, or he only gives them to people who already know how to get hold of him...

    Literature 
  • Claire in the Keepers Chronicles series by Tanya Huff has a magical version of this, which changes slogan every time you look at it.
  • Common in Sherlock Holmes stories (as it was common in Real Life in that period). For example, Charles Augustus Milverton leaves his calling card.
    • Played with in The Hound Of The Baskervilles with a visitor who visits Baker Street when Holmes and Watson are out and instead of leaving a card forgets his stick. Holmes then challenges Watson to figure out who the visitor is based on that. By combined efforts they manage to figure out that the person both walks a lot in the country, has a dog, is a doctor and his name and career before he comes back.
    • In "The Illustrious Client", Watson assumes the alias of Dr Hill Barton in order to get information from the villain. Holmes already has a card printed with the name and an address.
  • Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently has a collection of cards with various aliases and professions. In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, he ends up giving Kate his real card, after debating for a while which alias he should use.
  • Cassanunda's card in Lords and Ladies:
    Giamo Casanunda
    World's Second Greatest Lover
    "We Never Sleep"
    Outrageous Liar - World's Finest Swordsman
    Soldier of Fortune - Stepladders Repaired
    • In Wyrd Sisters, when Hwel and Tomjon find the Fool being robbed by some members of the Thieves' Guild, the thieves show them their card.
  • The title character in Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's The Godmother presents her business card by way of introduction: "Dame Felicity Fortune, Godmother. Fair Fortunes Facilitated, Questers Accommodated, Virtue Vindicated."

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Doctor Who episode "The Happiness Patrol", people who are unhappy (which is punishable by death) are befriended by a man, who says he understands them. He gives them his card: Silas P. He says, "Other side." Undercover Agent, Happiness Patrol.
    • The Doctor's card (as seen in "Remembrance of the Daleks") just has a stylized question mark on it and is just used to make the Daleks angry.
    • The new series Doctor often does this, albeit with psychic paper that shows the recipient what he wants and they expect to see. However it has limits; when he tries to use it to claim he's a mature and responsible adult, it shorts out and shows a mass of squiggly lines instead - this is one lie that's too big for it to handle.
    • In the Sherlock Holmes crossover Doctor Who New Adventures novel All-Consuming Fire, the Doctor leaves a card with Mrs Hudson that simply reads "The Doctor - Travelling". Holmes deduces firstly that the card was printed especially for the purpose (because it hasn't the imprint of another card on the back, and was clearly printed recently), and secondly that he was meant to make the first deduction (because the card is deliberately uninformative, left just for the sake of leaving a card).
    • Played with in The Vampires of Venice. When the Doctor attempts to flash his psychic paper (forgetting he left it with Rory), he ends up flashing his slightly out of date library card instead.
  • In Law & Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, etc., the investigators will often give a witness their card and say "call me if you remember anything."
    • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had Stabler give a child (who they suspected was being abused by his mother) his card. He calls for help in the night and ends up being murdered by his mother and over-compliant brother. Olivia does it for practically every victim.
    • In an episode of CSI: New York, one of the CSIs gives a relative of the Victim of the Week his card; a detective criticises him and says "You can't afford to have the lab's phone ringing off the hook".
  • In Heroes, Pinehearst and Primatech give out cards like any good shadowy mysterious organization. URLs on the cards lead to a website for the ARG.
  • The Two Ronnies serial "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town":
    Phantom: ... please to give him my card.
    Butler: Why has it no name upon it, sir?
    Phantom: Modesty forbids it.
    Butler: But it has no address either, sir.
    Phantom: I'm never at home.
    Butler: [Aside Glance]
  • Played with on an episode of Cheers. Carla's ex-husband Nick drops by and shows Sam the card for his latest business. As Sam starts to put it into his shirt, Nick asks for it back saying "Only got one."
  • An episode of Sanford and Son had someone introducing himself with a variation on this. Fred Sanford responds in obvious fashion.
    Timmy: "I'm Timmy, the sign man! My sign!" holds up a sign which looks like a gigantic business card
    Fred: "I'm Freddy, the junk man! My fist!" waves his fist threateningly
  • Used hilariously in In Living Color! with Funky Finger Productions, two shady entrepreneurs who would burst into meetings, trying to sell whatever they had at the time. David Alan Grier's character would offer his card and start rummaging around in his coat, then all of a sudden Tommy Davidson would whip out a card inches from the target's face and shout "BAM!!"
  • In at least one episode of The Rockford Files the Private Detective had a small printing press on the back seat of his car, producing cards as the situation required (with occupations such as funeral director and psychiatrist).
  • Gus from Psych has a tendency to give his business card to hot girls involved in their cases, writing his home phone number on the back "in case they need anything" to show off his neat handwriting. Shawn finds this incredibly strange.
  • In one episode of The Avengers, Steed "goes undercover" by strolling into the villain's office, producing a large collection of business cards, sorting through them and finally handing one over.
  • Classic western Have Gun — Will Travel was named for the advertisement on the main character's business card.
  • In one episode of Scrubs the Janitor offers to paint Eliot's new office, handing her a card that says "PAINTER - Call Janitor".
    Eliot: Thank you! Now I just have to find someone who can replace this rug.
    Janitor: {riffling through a stack of cards) Aircraft controller ... Gemologist ... Captain of Industry ... Middle Reliever ... Ruggist! {off her look} I invented a machine that prints business cards.
    Eliot: That's already been invented.
    Janitor: Oh, yeah, I know. But mine also fires paint pellets.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Something Blue" D'Hoffryn offers Willow the chance to become a vengeance demon. When she refuses he leaves her his talisman. "You change your mind, give us a chant."
  • Angel. Cordelia has some cards done up for Angel Investigations, leading to a Running Gag where people keep trying to work out what the stylised angel is supposed to be. ("It looks like a lobster.")
  • In 'Allo 'Allo! The undertaker Monsieur Alphonse's "Swiftly and With Style. My Card"
  • Stargate SG-1 has Daniel create a box of relevant information to give to any peaceful aliens they found on their trips through the Star Gate. It's one of the reasons why he's The Face of The Team.
  • In New Girl, Winston, pretending to be Nick's law partner, hands some lawyers his card in case they ever want to "play with the big boys." When he leaves, the lawyers notice that it's a baseball card.

    Pinball 
  • Stern Pinball's Batman requires the player to collect three of the Joker's playing cards to start "Joker Multiball".

    Radio 
  • The Goon Show parodies this a few more times, eg:
    Moriarty: My Card.
    Neddie: My Card.
    Butler (Sellers): My Card.
    Moriarty: SNAP!
    Grytpype: My Card.
    Neddie: Oh, a Scotchman!
    Neddie: But it's blank!
    Grytpype: Look on the other side.
    Neddie: That's a strange place to print it - on the back!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Parodied in the Clue VCR game. Mr. Green hands Professor Plum a card that says "Lyman Green, business."

    Theater 
  • In the musical Lucky Stiff, Annabelle (the eventual Love Interest) introduces herself to Harry (the protagonist) this way.
  • In Thespis by Gilbert and Sullivan, Jupiter introduces himself to the title character this way.
  • This is a running gag in Hello, Dolly!. Originally, the cards say something about Dolly's matchmaking service, but gradually expand to things such as financial consultation and dancing lessons.

    Video Games 
  • Suikoden V: Oboro does this to promote his detective agency, but it doesn't catch on.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, demons may give Raidou their card upon being recruited or fused; this makes it less expensive to summon them from the Demonic Compendium. Demons met in random encounters may also comment on the cards Raidou has. (The idea of enemies pausing mid-battle to flip through Raidou's demonic Rolodex doesn't make that much sense if you think about it, but it's pretty amusing.)
  • Done humorously in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All. In the first case, Phoenix Wright eventually presents his own business card to the court; the judge thanks him and gives him his business card before remembering there's a trial going on.
    • Also done (less humorously) in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, where Edgeworth and Shi-Long Lang exchange cards with each other in case 3.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, on Shizune's route, her father gives Hisao his card when they meet, prompting Hisao to note how prepared he is.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the very first scene of The Batman, Joker sneaks into Arkham Asylum and offers a surprised orderly "My card," while advancing on him. Next time we see the guy, he's been given the classic Joker smile treatment.
  • Wile E. Coyote's "Super Genius" card.
    • "Operation: Rabbit", the short in which Wile E. Coyote tries to catch and eat Bugs Bunny. Wile E. gives Bugs his card, which says "Wile E. Coyote, Genius".
    • In Porky Pig's Feat, a hotel manager presents Daffy Duck with his card after glove-slapping him and challenging him to a duel. Daffy takes the card and punches it full of holes, telling him, "You've had your coffee ration for this week, Robespierre!" Daffy then hands him his own card - a piece of flypaper, which he sticks right in the manager's face.
  • Bart Simpson once gave his sister a card. She then points out that he lives in the same house and he makes a note to order fewer cards in future.
    • In another episode where Bart becomes an emancipated minor, he meets Tony Hawk, who offers his card by tossing it forward and having it weave impossibly through the air until it reaches Bart's hand. Then Hawk realizes it was an outdated card and recalls it in a reverse playback of the event.
    • In yet another episode, Homer and some of his buddies become celebrated firemen. Because of this, Moe prints himself new business cards, stating "Moe Szyslak, Hero" - onto the backside of his old cards, which say "Moe Szyslak, Villain", complete with a picture of Moe as Dastardly Whiplash.
    • In "Bart Gets Hit By a Car", Lionel Hutz gave homer a business card that "turns into a sponge" when wet.
    • When Goose Gladwell gave his business card to Bart, Goose realized the card was outdated so he tried to write the new number on it only to learn the pen was out of ink. Since the pen had the number written on it, Goose would have given Bart the pen but then he realized it was the old number.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: After Buster cleared his name and Montana Max was arrested, Max asked for a lawyer. Plucky showed up and gave him his card.
    • The episode "Washingtoon" has the villainous Moral Guardian displaying her card to Buster, which proudly displays her rear end.
  • In Shrek 2, the Fairy Godmother's business card is also a means of communicating with her, although when they try to use it they are connected to her answering service.
  • To show what a refined Brazilian gentleman he is, José Carioca introduces himself to Donald with a card. Donald mispronounces the entire thing, requiring José to read it out loud for him.
  • The card of an complaining executive on an episode of U.S. Acres:
    ALOYSIUS PIG
    DA DUM!
    ...THE NETWORK
  • Crosses into Fourth Wall territory in an old Raggedy Ann Christmas special, where antagonist Alexander Graham Wolf introduces himself directly to the viewer, with a closeup of his business card.
  • When first meeting Mikey Simon in Kappa Mikey, Ozu presents him with a card that says, "I HATE CARDS!!"
  • Futurama: Zoidberg's business card is just a chunk of cardboard with ZOIDBERG written on it.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Denzel Crocker had a card reading "Denzel Crocker - Fifth Grade Teacher". In order to trick Timmy's Dad, he altered the card by crossing out "Crocker" and adding "Di Caprio", the name of his fake occupation and, instead of crossing out "Fifth Grade Teacher", he added "and not a" before it.
  • From the Halloween episode of Pinky and the Brain, "Mister Itch: Proprietor of Wayward Souls."
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In "The Main Man", when Superman demands to know the name of the interstellar bounty hunter shooting up a Metropolis police station, Lobo answers, "Oh, I'm sorry; My Card", and promptly delivers a right hook that sends the Man of Steel flying.

    Real Life 
  • In Japan, people often exchange business cards when they first meet. This is because of how the Japanese language is structured—a name could be written using several different characters. Without seeing it written, it's difficult to know how to write someone's name.
    • Which lead to this...
      • When not shunning the person you are receiving the card from; take with both hands, read, put in card carrier or wallet.
    • Also featured in the "Taiyo ga Moete Iru" stage of Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan, where the giant mouse monster offers his card to try and distract heroic Salaryman Ichirou. If you fail that part of the stage, Ichirou falls for it and gets sucker-punched; if you succeed, he doesn't buy it and punches out the mouse.
  • As noted above for Sherlock Holmes, it was very fashionable during the Victorian era to have printed cards with your name and title. Setting up a social visit required a rather elaborate two-step-shuffle where you would go to the other person's door and leave your card; then, if the other person wanted to see you, he would come to your house and leave his card, and only then can you write to set up the actual meeting. Laura Ingalls Wilder described in her books how upon being introduced to her future husband Almanzo Wilder, they exchanged cards.
  • Philip Jose Farmer had a business card that described him as an "Unreal Estate Agent and Stock Baroquer", claimed to have choice lots available in "Ruritania, Poictesme, Illium, R'lyeh, Barsoom, Middle Earth, Hallamshire, and Oz", offered shares in the "Hidaglo Trading Company", and said he could be reached care of "Lord Greystoke, Nairobi, Kenya".
  • Voldi Way of WayForward Technologies likes to play with this trope. His actual title, as printed on his business cards, is "Tyrannical Overlord" instead of "Founder and CEO".
  • Upon discovering that his son is the gay lover of Oscar Wilde, the Marquess of Queensbury stormed into Wilde's club to confront him. However, Wilde was not there and Queensbury settled for leaving his card with a message accusing Wilde of being a "posing somdomite" [sic]. This led to the infamous libel case, which ended with Wilde being sent to Reading Gaol for homosexuality, which probably contributed to his early death.
  • For a while, Mark Zukerberg's official business card read "I'm the CEO, Bitch."


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