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- A variation of this scam is the main modus operandi of Michael Caine's character in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Michael Caine generally plays the Prince himself, and is in exile already (though in desperate needs of funds to finance La Résistance back home) when he meets the mark (usually an unsophisticated, rich, FEMALE, American tourist). When Steve Martin comes on as Caine's apprentice of sorts, Martin takes on the role of the Prince's "special" brother to drive the mark away of her own volition once the money has been obtained. Thus, any unseemly violence (fake though it would be) is avoided entirely. (Caine is almost caught in one scene in the movie where he is recognized by a former mark while working on another one, using another identity, and has to use some fast thinking to prevent both from getting suspicious.)
- David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner includes a detailed explanation of this con, the purpose of which exposition is to disguise the fact that it is not the con being performed.
- Road to Zanzibar has a simplified version of this con. Julia Quimby (Una Merkel) convinces the Vagabond Buddies to buy the lovely Donna Latour (Dorothy Lamour) from a local slave trader. The two girls split the proceeds afterwards.
- A particularly stellar Renaissance-esque example appears in The Lies Of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, with a large shipment of soon-to-be rare brandy standing in for the prisoner. The big, wonderful twist? Halfway through the con the con men dress up as secret agents for the government, explain that the brandy merchant is a notorious con man and advise the mark to continue to give them money while the authorities move in to catch them. Naturally they advise the mark to tell no one about this, lest the "con men" suspect something and run. That twist is a variation on a common scam. Once you have figured out that you can take the mark once, send in accomplices who let the mark think they are getting the con men arrested.
- In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Mr. Wednesday names this con as an old favorite of his, though he never describes it in detail. Shadow remarks that his former cellmate claimed to have performed it himself. This is not a coincidence.
- An Inspector Morse mystery centered around the Russian Bride version of this scam.
Live Action TV
- Leverage, "The Stork Job" - the mark of the week is in with the Russian Mafia, and runs a version using Serbian war orphans where the prospective parents have to keep paying "overhead" costs. Sophie explicitly compares the scheme to the Spanish Prisoner.
- A That Mitchell and Webb Look episode featured three millionaires (all suffering from a speech impediment that made them sound exactly like automated call generators) who actually were handing out massive yachts for just a small fee to people whose phone number had been selected at random. They just did not understand why everyone kept hanging up on them.
- Hustle - a few times over the course of the series, but most notably in season 7, they pulled this off comfortably against a new mark they'd not been expecting AND against the other three marks they'd had on the hook at the beginning of the episode, but who had not since been mentioned, earning them a triumphant record of pulling off the Spanish Prisoner against more marks in one day than any other crew.
- Burn Notice has one guy taken in by an interesting version of this particular con: he's convinced to invest in a new club in Cuba (highly illegal for US residents), necessitating a cash-only transaction. He's convinced by profits shown from an earlier investment (actually a Ponzi Scheme) and just when he's called to meet with the investor to discuss profits, the FBI conducts a sting operation, hustling him out the back door while they arrest the investor. Of course, the "FBI" was in on the plot, so he asks Michael to step in and get his money back (lest he incur the wrath of the loan sharks he got the money from in the first place), so Michael pulls a more complicated version of the same scheme on the con man.
- Community has Abed's internet friend Toby, a banker in Nigeria experiencing financial difficulties and requiring Abed to send him $700 to enable him to fly out of the country to meet him. After Abed explains this, Britta is just about to explain that Abed has fallen for one of these... when Toby shows up, thanks Abed, pays him back the $700 and complains how Abed was the only one to actually help him out.
- Message No. 419 by MC Frontalot is about the rapper receiving such an email scam, and then turning it around on the scammer.