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Playing With: Cardboard Prison
Basic Trope: Villains escape from prison with absurd ease despite being repeatedly stuck in there.
  • Straight: Black Jack escapes from prison again.
  • Exaggerated: Black Jack has escaped from prison nine times in the last day.
  • Downplayed: Black Jack broke out of prison once, got rearrested, and took four years to get out again.
  • Justified:
    • Black Jack is held in a crummy third world country, where the prisons are cheaply built and the guards are corrupt.
    • Black Jack was literally thrown in a cardboard prison, which is why he escaped.
    • Black Jack and the others are just kids playing at Cops & Robbers, and the 'prison' is an actual cardboard box.
    • Black Jack has powers that enabled him to escape easily, such as phasing through walls like a ghost.
  • Inverted:
    • The prison that Black Jack "favors" is very easy to break into.
    • Unsafe Haven
  • Subverted: Black Jack escapes from prison by hopping over a wall. And gets shot in the leg by a guard.
  • Double Subverted: He later escapes Disguised in Drag from a prison hospital.
  • Parodied:
    • The prison is made out of actual cardboard.
    • Guards are being shown taking lessons on how to fall asleep just within reach of the bars with their keys dangling on their belts.
  • Zig Zagged: He escapes, only for it to be a virtual reality, only to escape from the virtual reality, only for it to be another layer of virtual reality, only to escape from the virtual reality, only for it to be another layer of virtual reality. He escapes it again, finally ending up in reality, only to discover that he's actually in an inescapable prison. Until he finds a flaw in that prison's security and escapes it, only to discover that it's actually a virtual world after all.
  • Averted: Either Black Jack avoids getting sent to prison or this is how Black Jack gets Put on a Bus.
  • Enforced: "We can't have our major villain leave the show forever! I know! Let's have him break out of prison!" "I dunno, didn't we do that already? Like nine times?"
  • Lampshaded: "Black Jack's escaped again. The Guards Must Be Crazy."
  • Invoked: Black Jack bribes the judge to sentence him to one particular prison, knowing its reputation for being easy to escape from.
  • Exploited: The authorities are using a Batman Gambit: by placing Black Jack in the cardboard prison, they expect him to escape by himself and lead them to his boss.
  • Defied: Normally, every episode ends with some member of the Rogues Gallery going to prison. But Black Jack is considered such a threat that the heroes break with their normal adherence to Thou Shalt Not Kill, knowing that if they turned him over to the police he'd just escape.
  • Discussed: "You'd think the government would strengthen prison security by now..."
  • Conversed: "Oh, look, Black Jack escaped from yet another maximum security prison. Sometimes I wish they'd just let him get away for a change of pace."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The death penalty skyrockets because the prisons are just not able to contain these people and confidence in them plummets.
    • Alternatively: No one is afraid to end up in jail because they know they can just waltz out any time, and so the crime rates becomes extremely high.
  • Reconstructed:

Back to Cardboard Prison! I don't know how you keep getting out of there!

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