->'''Phil''': How much is "wow"?\\
'''Bob''': Right up there between, "uh", "ouch" and "boing".\\
'''Phil''': Wow!
-->--''WhiteChristmas''

Large sums of money tend not to be specified on TV. They are written down on pieces of paper, whispered in people's ears, etc. Commonly involves characters blatantly stating "That's a lot of money!" or making a statement about a large number of zeros, though other variations exist.

There are a few reasons to do this:
* To avoid the show becoming dated by inflation.
* Because people's definition of "a lot of money" varies.
* In the case of FictionalCurrency, to avoid fans from finding contradictions regarding its value.
* To [[AllOfThem let our imagination]] [[NothingIsScarier do the work]].

{{Silent Offer}}s are frequently measured in Undisclosed Funds.

Compare ZillionDollarBill, {{Fiction 500}}. Contrast OnTheMoney.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* An episode of ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' where, upon finding Jiraiya's checkbook, Naruto opens it and exclaims "Woah! That's a lot of zeros!" Apparently, writing erotic novels can pay pretty well...
** WordOfGod says that Tsunade's gambling debts are around that high.
** Averted after the timeskip, when it is stated that Chiriku has a bounty of 30 million ryo on his head, and it is stated that one ryo is ten yen, and ten ryo is approximately one dollar, and databooks specify the rewards for missions.
* At one point in ''DGrayMan'', characters are discussing the amount of damage caused by "Phantom Thief G." When someone holds up a piece of paper with the number on it, ''it's pixellated out''. Of course, what with Komui's reaction, this is probably more to do with the RuleOfFunny than anything else.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' has Ed give [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Sheska]] his pocket watch and a figure to take from his research budget for recreating a book for him. Cue stunned "That's a lot of money!", with a stunned Maria Ross standing by for emphasis. "Who is this kid?!" indeed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In the 1954 film ''Film/WhiteChristmas'', Bob Wallace (BingCrosby), gets the estimate on how much the Christmas show is going to cost over the phone. His reaction: "Wow!", which leads to an exchange with Phil Davis (DannyKaye):
-->'''Phil''': How much is "wow"?
-->'''Bob''': Right up there between, uh, "ouch" and "boing".
-->'''Phil''': Wow!
* The stake at the beginning of the 1997 film ''Film/TheSpanishPrisoner'' is not shown to the audience, but is presumably an impressive sum.
* In ''Film/TheGame'', the bill for the eponymous game is left unrevealed, yet it is apparently enough to leave two millionaire brothers quite surprised.
* Subverted in the ''AustinPowers'' movies: 1960s BigBad Dr. Evil is initially laughed down when he asks the leaders of the governments of the (modern) world for a paltry one ''meeellion'' dollars as ransom for the world. He later asks the government leaders [[TimeTravel in the past]] for one hundred billion dollars; they respond that such an amount doesn't even ''exist''.
* Used at the end of the movie ''Film/SmallSoldiers''. The father of the family nearly killed by dangerous action figures yells at the CEO of the company that made them, saying something like "Not even you have enough money to make up for this." His secretary then, silently, prints out a check. The father reads it, and then says something like "OK... I guess you do..." The audience never sees just how much the check was for.
* In ''Clean Slate'', the Dana Carvey character is given a check as a bribe not to testify against a local crime boss. We don't see the amount, just Carvey's reaction and his question "is that a comma?"
* ''Film/{{Flubber}}'' uses the "I've never seen that many zeros!" variety when RobinWilliams sells the flying car to a car company.
* Played straight in ''Film/{{Moneyball}}'', when Billy Beane is given an unspecified offer to become GM of the Red Sox... until the epilogue ten minutes later, which tells us the exact amount: 12.5 million. Probably done for dramatic effect more than anything else.
* In ''Film/{{Scarface 1983}}'', crooked cop Mel Bernstein corners Tony at a club and tries to force him to set up a regular bribe payment. He writes the amount on a napkin and shows it to Tony who just comments "Big number." The novelization specifies it as being $25,000.
* ''Film/AFairlyOddSummer'': Mr. Turner's boss tasks him with hiring dancers for the company's luau and gives him a check to pay the dancers. The check has "a lotta money" written on the space reserved for the check's value.
* In ''Film/TheDeparted'', when Billy is hired for the undercover job, DaChief Queenan writes a sum on a piece of paper and hands it to him. We never get to see how much he was offered, but we can assume these are the $30,000 "insurance money" Billy later claims to have received for his mother's death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'' Ford Prefect "names a figure" as a tip for the bar singer (strongly implied to be [[ElvisHasLeftThePlanet Elvis Presley]]). The figure causes the barman to faint, but Arthur Dent doesn't react because he doesn't know how much it's worth. Ford says it would buy you "roughly... Switzerland."
* OlderThanRadio: At the end of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'', Scrooge whispers to the two gentlemen from the story's beginning (the ones asking for charitable donations) how much he will give, causing them to react in amazement.\\
\\
Those film and theater adaptations that do name a figure give a value that in those days was roughly equal to the salary of a semi-skilled laborer... for three or four years.
* Early in the ''AnitaBlake'' series, Anita needs to question a prostitute in order to get some information on her case, and she has to buy the time. All we know is that Anita's shocked at the amount (well, and that the prostitute was fully convinced Anita was just using an UnusualEuphemism).
* In the ''QuantumGravity'' series, money is never mentioned with an explicit number. Whether it is merely called a lot of money or about to be told and then cut off [[CurseCutShort as a curse might be]] varies. Given that this is a universe where our universe essentially exploded and mixed very thoroughly with five others, and the currency is likely something no reader would recognize anyway, the amounts would be...complex.
* Literature/HarryPotter comes into quite a bit of gold as the heir to the Potter and [[spoiler:Black]] family fortunes, but just how rich he is isn't specified.
** Also, the wizarding world uses different currency anyway, and the exchange rate with Pounds Sterling or any other real-life currency is never specified, so being able to attach a number to it wouldn't really mean that much.
** Similarly, the price of the top-of-the-line Firebolt is only stated to be "price on request," something that Harry understands to mean "more than I'd be willing to pay for it."
* When the eponymous character of ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' asks what it would cost to hire ProfessionalKiller Kincaid as backup for a raid, the answer is "a sum that made the amount in my savings account look very small indeed".
* This is an issue for Robert B. Parker's ''{{Spenser}}'' novels because of their use of ComicBookTime. When Spenser first appeared in the early 70s, his daily rate was specified as $100 a day. Later that became $200 a day. Eventually Spenser would seem say, as narrator, things like, "I told the client how much I charged, we argued about it, they complained it was too much, I told them to bite me, and finally they paid me what I had asked for in the first place."
* In Literature/AtlasShrugged, when Dagny and Quentin discuss compensation for researching Dagny's LostTechnology find, Quentin's cut of potential profits is handled this way, from the mention to Dagny's reaction:
--> "That ''is'' skinning me alive and it ''will'' be worth my while."
** Given the fact that the discovery will revolutionize transportation and power generation even 1% of the profits would be a fortune.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''NewsRadio'', Mr James shows Dave the amount he was offered for the radio station, written on a piece of paper, and we don't see it. Dave thinks it's not excessively generous until Mr James points out he has to unfold the paper.
** Played with in another episode, when Mr James is trying to convince Dave and Lisa to get together and he writes down something on a piece of paper in order to sweeten the deal.
---> '''Lisa''': This paper says 'please'.
---> '''Mr James''': I'm willing to say that out loud if that's what it takes.
* In ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Chandler cuts short of telling Monica how much money he has in his bank account, writing it down and showing her instead; in context, this is because he doesn't want to say it in front of Rachel and Phoebe, but Monica shows them the figure anyway. It's described as "the budget of Wedding Scenario A", to give the audience a general idea of how much it must be. Ofcourse Chandler is skeptical about spending all of his bank savings on the wedding.
** In another episode, Chandler tries to quit his job over the phone. Judging by Chandler's end of the phone call, his boss [[EveryManHasHisPrice offered Chandler bigger and bigger raises until Chandler changed his mind.]]
* In ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'', Jerry buys a suede jacket with an unnamed but astronomical price which he refuses to tell to George. It's at least implied that the jacket costs something north of a thousand dollars.
** Another example would be in ''The Cadillac'' episode, where Jerry earns enough money to buy a Cadillac, from a single gig.
* On ''[[NipTuck Nip/Tuck]]'', Sean sells his share of the practice for "a lot of money."
* In ''MadAboutYou'', Jamie makes a huge bet on a horse race; we only see Paul's reaction when she shows him the betting slips. The horse wins at very long odds, which presumably means the Buchmans won a small fortune, but this fact [[SnapBack isn't even brought up]].
* Subversion: On ''TheDrewCareyShow'', Millionaire Mrs. Lauder offers Drew 00 for his house in a land-grab. He is reeled, then responds that his house is clearly worth more. Mrs. Lauder says that she knew, but her accountants had scientifically calculated that exact amount as the minimum sum that poor people think is "a lot".
* The whole inflation deal is parodied in a ''Series/MuppetsTonight'' sketch, in which a character inherits a "fortune" of "eighty-five dollars." (Miss Piggy: "What!? I've got more than that on me!")
* A similar device is used in one episode of ''TheSarahSilvermanProgram'', in which the eponymous character is asked by a nurse how many times she has had unprotected sex. Rather than say it out loud, Sarah writes it down on a piece of paper. The nurse seems more confused by the fact that there are two numbers on the piece of paper ("One's for the front") and that they are both identical ("I'm kind of OCD about that") than surprised at the size of the figure, but given the content of the rest of the scene, it can be assumed that the number is very high.
* In ''Series/FridayNightLights''' first season, the Street family's lawsuit's settlement is for a number written down on a piece of paper, after a whole scene of debating between two opposing, ''also'' never-spoken-aloud amounts.
* A sketch on ''Series/TheSketchShow'' played with this, which a woman discusses with a repairman his prices using onomatopoeia (whistles for high prices, "eh" for low prices, etc.) At the end of the sketch, the woman asks how much it would be if she helps install it, and he replies, "50".
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', after a long series of episodes where Buffy is shown needing money, the problem is abruptly solved with some money from Giles. The money is implied to be a large amount, but its value (true to this trope) is never shown.
* Subverted on ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' in "The Juror #6 Job" when Sophie writes $100,000,000 in the guy's Zen sand garden.
** Also subverted on the pilot where the payout is printed on the check as $32,761,349.05.
* A running joke on ''Series/{{Bones}}'' is the amount of money that Brennan makes from her novels.
* No sum is ever given for the cost of hiring (renting?) a doll from the ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'', but it costs at least six figures if not seven. In "Epitaph One", we learn that Rossum is now charging "a nine-figure sum" for a full body transplant.
** A hundred mil every sixty or so years for true immortality? That's a steal!
* ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': The amount that Rumpole received from the ''Bugle'' (a lawyer-friendly version of the ''[[BritishNewspapers Sun]]'') in "Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation" was sufficiently large that Henry revealed the amount to Rumpole by showing him the file (at which point Rumpole's eyes widened). Averted in part, as we do learn that the refresher for the brief was 500/day.
* Subverted in ''TheHoneymooners'': a rich old widow who Ralph had befriended dies, and leaves Ralph "my fortune" in her will. Ralph gets excited about the riches coming his way, but it turns out she meant Fortune, her pet parrot.
* ''GilmoreGirls'' sets up its fundamental conflict (independent-minded Lorelai is forced to accept the help of her parents in order to provide for her daughter's elite education):
--> '''Lorelai''' (on phone): Yes, I read your letter, and gee, that is an awful lot of zeros after that five...
** This trope was later toyed with when Lorelai and Sookie are opening their own inn. They have cash flow issues during construction, and Lorelai borrows $30,000 from Luke. While the amount is state aloud, the terms of the loan (interest, schedule, etc) are working out on a napkin so that diner patrons won't overhear.
* A ''Series/{{Wings}}'' episode has Joe and Helen meeting with the insurance adjuster after the loss of their house and all its contents in a fire. The meeting goes poorly, to say the least, and ends with the adjuster saying "I'm sorry, but we can't do any better than this", at which point he writes down a figure on a piece of paper and leaves. Joe and Helen look at the paper with trepidation, shrug for a moment, then begin dancing with joy. "We're rich! We're rich!"
* On ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', when Sheldon mentions that Raj's parents are rich, the most detail he goes into is that they're "ComicBook/RichieRich"-rich, which is apparently "halfway between [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bruce Wayne]] and [[WesternAnimation/DuckTales Scrooge McDuck]]."
* On ''Series/{{Life}}'', the amount of money included in Charlie Crews's settlement for his wrongful imprisonment is undisclosed by court order.[[note]]People speculating generally mention the figure of $50 million.[[/note]]
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Lily asks for the price of a wedding dress [[OnAScaleFromOneToTen on a scale of "never" to "never ever"]]. She receives a response of "[[BrokeTheRatingScale never ever ever ever ever times infinity]]". This is then subverted later in the episode when she tells her fiance she accidentally destroyed it. It was worth $8000.
** When telling his kids about Barney finally revealing how much money he spends on suits each month, narrator Ted only refers to it as a "crapload". Later in the episode we find out that when Barney became a corporate executive his starting salary was "16 craploads". When it is revealed that Robin's family is very rich the amount is "6,000 craploads".
** Played straight when a corporate lawyer was trying to get Marshall away from the environmental group he dreamed of working.
* On ''NightCourt'', after being informed of a citizenship applicant's net worth, Dan Fielding's stunned comment is: "My Social Security Number isn't that big!" (to non-US tropers, an American SSN is 9 digits long, though it is possible for it to start with one or more zeroes)
* In ''PersonOfInterest'', it is never stated exactly what Finch is paying Reese to save the Irrelevant Numbers, but according to the second season finale, Reese is able to live quite comfortably in a very expensive apartment on that salary -- after giving 90% of it to charity.
* On ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'', Ron Swanson's hidden cache of precious metals and gems is valuable enough that it shocks an estate attorney, and even 5% of it is still an absurd number.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* At the end of the ''Radio/AbsolutePower'' episode "Big Brother", when Martin gets the firm their Downing Street retainer back:
-->'''Charles''': "This is to confirm that Prentice [=McCabe=] are retained by the Prime Minister's office to give political and public relations advice as required at a fee of..." Good lord!
-->[...]
-->Well, we can afford dinner at the Ritz.
-->'''Martin''': My dear Charles, we can afford to ''buy'' the Ritz.
* In the original radio series of ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', the following exchange takes place in the fourth episode, regarding [[spoiler: the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything]]:
-->'''[[spoiler: Frankie Mouse]]''': (addressing Arthur Dent) Your agent has suggested that both you and the Earth girl[[spoiler:, as last generation products of the computer matrix]]are probably in an ideal position to find the question for us and find it quickly. Go out and find it for us and we'll make you a reasonably rich man.
-->'''Zaphod''': We're holding out for extremely rich.
-->''[[spoiler: Frankie Mouse]]'': All right, ''extremely'' rich. You drive a hard bargain, Beeblebrox.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The ''WorldOfDarkness'' has the Resource stat, indicating in vague terms how much wealth (be it in cash, properties, stocks, holdings, etc.) a character has at their disposal, and what kind of lifestyle they can maintain. One dot means they can subsist at working class level, and five dots indicate an obscene amount of dosh. Zero dots, to the dismay of any player who didn't bother with the stat for whatever reason, means the character is flat broke and likely lives as a hobo.
* TabletopGame/RogueTrader has Profit Factor which is an abstraction of the total purchasing power of the Rogue Trader. Acquiring items is done by rolling against the stat (with modifiers based on the item's rarity), success means that the item is purchased while failure means that the Rogue Trader cannot afford the item at this time (or that the item is unavailable in this location).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* In ''[[FortySecondStreet 42nd Street]]'', Dorothy Brock's list of ridiculous additions to her contract is capped off with "no problem with the salary... I just added another zero."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Played with in ''VideoGame/TheCurseOfMonkeyIsland'': During an attempt to purchase a PlotCoupon, the character who owns it states that "it would cost you an awful lot of money," and then asks if Guybrush has that much money. If the player has already completed an insurance fraud quest (which yields "a lot of money" as the reward), Guybrush will offer "a '''lot''' of money," only to be turned down: The diamond cannot be sold for "anything less than an '''awful''' lot of money."
** Fortunately, you do have the option to play the men at poker for the PlotCoupon, and the buy-in is "not very much", which, given that he very distinctly has "a lot of money," Guybrush can amply afford.
* Played straight in ''Mother 2'', but averted in ''VideoGame/EarthBound''. During localization, for some reason a couple of vague references meaning roughly "[[EleventyZillion a bajillion]] dollars" were changed to real numbers (Ness' family's debt to Porky's family is "a hundred thousand dollars or more" and the Diamond "could pay off a million dollar debt easily").
* When Tony and Bam are shown the total bill for the actual storyline events in ''TonyHawksUnderground 2'', the amount's obscure but they're quite glad to have someone else foot the bill.
* In ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople'', Strong Bad has to pay for his Fun Machine repairs with "one big sack of cash". After kicking off his moneymaking scheme, a battle of the bands (wherein he asks each band playing to enter a "few handfuls of cash"), he's dismayed to learn that his profits only amount to "''half'' a big sack of cash".
* In the ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' novel ''TheShatteringPreludeToCataclysm'', it's never specified how much Gazlowe charges to rebuild Orgrimmar aftre the fire, or how much Baine and Stormsong pay him for the supplies to retake Thunder Bluff, but it's suggested that it's a considerable amount of money. This may be to avoid having to scale it with how expensive things are in the game.
* In the ''{{VideoGame/X-COM}}'' remake, the shadowy council provides your funding in "credits". Considering you get an achievement for earning 1000 credits in a month of operations and how comparatively little it costs for the Engineering department to, say, build a spacefaring fighter craft from the ground up (with some scrap metal taken from various alien objects), then outfit it with a [[{{BFG}} fusion cannon]] capable of blowing an alien BATTLESHIP out of the sky with two shots, it can be assumed that "credits" are worth a hellalotta money[[note]]The developers likely switched to the more abstract funding to both simplify gameplay, and to avoid the uncomfortable question of how much alien defense is actually worth: in the original game, it was only worth about seven million dollars a month. New York City spends more than that on police in a ''week''![[/note]].
** There is however a way to translate "credits" to real world money: There are RealLife satellite launches. You as the ''{{VideoGame/X-COM}}'' commander is required to build and place satellites for about 30 or so credits. Given that this pays for the "much better than a communications/GPS" hardware and the cost of sending said hardware into orbit, the ballpark amount of funds for those Heavy Plasmas can probably pay the annual running costs of a small nation...
* In ''VideoGame/TheOldRepublic'', quest rewards are never specified in dialogue; this is because [[GameplayAndStorySegregation you get paid the same number of credits as every other quest at that level]]. Instead, expect to hear phrases like "rest assured, the Republic/Empire will compensate you well for this". Especially egregious in the case of the [[HiredGuns Bounty Hunter]], who has the [[{{Catchphrase}} repeated line]] "let's get more specific about my pay". Somehow, the meaning of "specific" manages to elude every quest-giver in the galaxy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Both played straight and averted, on separate occasions, in the webcomic ''ScandalSheet!''. Played straight when Max shows Foster his first paycheque for working at The Comet -- Foster's eyes grow large and he says "That's a lot of zeros." However, it's averted later when Foster receives a large amount of money [[spoiler: from his former co-worker at the porn studio, who found his script for ''Thigh-tanic'' and produced it, with enormous success]]. The amount is specified to be ten thousand dollars.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' plays it straight with Lunesby, [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20090713.html here]]. Usually averts it, but gets the same effect by using real numbers but in something other than units of currency, like saying something cost a character a years pay.
* ''TheDragonDoctors'' never discuss funds in direct amounts, partially because of the fantasy setting. It's hinted that the protagonists are about as rich as you would expect a team of world-class doctors to be.
** Plus they have the backing from an as-yet-unrevealed donor, who funds them directly for all their interesting cases.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Cartoon shorts in WorldWarII and TheFifties often threw around figures in the low millions when the subject of obscene wealth was mentioned. (Often in a OnOneCondition story.) This led to the very datedness effect that many of these other examples strive to avoid.
* In the Disney cartoon series ''Disney/{{Hercules}}: [[RecycledTheSeries The Animated Series]]'', Croesus, the King of Atlantis, writes out checks to buy off several people to stop the "rumor" that Atlantis is doomed to sink beneath the waves -- including the Fates and Hades, god of the underworld. This at first offends Hades, till he sees the amount on the check... "You think you can buy off HADES, GOD OF THE UNDERWORLD, with a wuh-wuh-whoa that is a LOT of brimstone...." (The joke being that Croesus was IRL the wealthiest king in Greek history up to his time....hence the phrase "rich as Croesus")
** And this is Hades he's buying off, the guy who was known in Roman Mythology as Pluto, which means "The Rich One". As God of the Underworld, he's given domain over not just the afterlife but also the all the gold and other minerals that are still in the ground.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', Xanatos tells his father the exact amount that the rare coin that started his fortune was worth... but then goes on to say that his current fortune is "well, considerably more."
* In an early episode of TheSimpsons, Homer sues Burns for hitting Bart while in a car. After Burns destroys Homer's credibility in the eyes of the jury, he offers to settle with Homer. He writes down a number on a piece of paper, and slides it across the table, grinning and saying "I think you'll find this number much more feasible." [[SubvertedTrope There's a big zero on the paper.]]
-->'''Homer's Lawyer''': I think you should take his offer.
** In another episode, Homer needs a operation to stop him snoring. Dr. Hibbert gives them a price we never see. We ''do'' see Homer's response: "Do it for free."
* In one of the 1970s or 1980s SpiderMan cartoons, an extremely high price was whispered in somebody's ear, twice. Each time, the flabbergasted listener blurted, "... AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS?!?"
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheChristmasTree'', the mayor pays the orphanage with bags of money. He doesn't state how much the contents of the bags are worth, just that he's giving them two bags.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Real Life example: In soccer, clubs sometimes list the transfer fee paid for a player as 'undisclosed'; this usually means '[[UsefulNotes/{{Economics}} more than he's really worth]]'.
* Several deals, settlements and contracts do not disclose terms.
* A form of bidding used in Japanese fish markets, for top class/dollar fish prized by chefs, has bidders slipping their bid in a small piece of folded paper to a seller. They don't wave number in the open or yell or take the time to outbid because time is so critical a mere minute of haggling could affect the quality of the fish.
** A lot of other auctions require that the bidders submit sealed bids. This is because being able to see what other people are bidding both reveals potentially information to other bidders and, at the same time, allows those make the bids to game the system.
[[/folder]]

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