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Playing With: Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
Basic Trope: Rich people can buy their way out of trouble by paying people off.
  • Straight: Alice is pulled over by a cop. She gets out of a ticket by dropping a few hundreds his way.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: Alice, after getting caught stealing something, gives it to the officer who catches her, claiming it's an early birthday gift for him.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is in a third-world country with a corrupt police force.
    • The world is a materialistic Dystopia where you need money in order to be able to eat.
    • Alice can afford an Army of Lawyers who can help her bend laws as she wish.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The cop doesn't take Alice's bribe, and she goes on trial.
  • Double Subverted: ... where she pays off the judge.
  • Parodied:
    • Alice can pay people off with Comically Small Bribes.
    • Alternatively, Alice pays more in bribe money than it would have cost for her to just pay the ticket.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice tries to pay off the cop, who refuses her money. She goes to trial, bribes the judge, and it looks like she's going to get off. However, she and the judge are both caught in the bribe, and so she's tried again, fails to bribe the new judge, and goes to jail. She then bribes the jailer into "accidentally" leaving the keys in the lock of her cell.
  • Averted: Alice doesn't have enough money, or else, she wouldn't try it anyway.
  • Enforced: "We can't let the Rich Bitch get in trouble! She's the primary antagonist for this season; we need her for at least fifteen more episodes. Let's have her pay the guy off."
  • Lampshaded: Cop: "Let me guess, you want to give me a little something to make this go away?"
  • Invoked: Cop: "Give me a little something, and I could make this go away."
  • Exploited: Bob takes note of Alice's ability to bribe authority figures so that she can go about her business unimpeded, begins to act suspiciously to arouse police interest, and when they take the bait, he points out that if Alice should be allowed to do whatever she damn well pleases, so should he, because the two are equal before the law.
  • Defied:
  • Discussed: "C'mon Alice, just pay the guy off, you have the money."
  • Conversed: "I hate watching those rich bozos just bribe their way out of anything that goes wrong!"
  • Deconstructed: Alice's constant bribery to get out of trouble is whittling down her bank account.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice's constant bribery to get out of trouble is whittling down her bank account but she runs a massive megacorporation which provides her more than she needs, and in some cases (especially in dystopias) paying your fines is actually cheaper than trying to follow the law in the long run.
    • Alice decides to take a different approach. She doesn't bribe the cop trying to arrest her. Instead, she spends money on the people who can make the cop's life a living hell. After a while, the threat of her whittling down her account is fixed: She doesn't even need to make bribes because she's built up a reputation and the threat of what'll happen if people piss her off is enough. Fixes the problem of people who can't be bought, too: There's always someone who CAN.

Back to Screw the Rules, I Have Money!

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