: Story begins with several characters in captivity.
- Straight: The characters meet in prison and form a party.
- The entire population of a prison comes together to form a party.
- A Diabolical Mastermind buys out a local prison to use as his own personal recruiting pool.
- Downplayed: Only two people get captured and then form a Battle Couple.
- Justified: Our hero is planning The Caper, and he is able to find an expert in every criminal field he needs within the walls of his prison.
- Inverted: The story is a How We Got Here that ends with all the characters separately ending up in a prison and telling each other what they're in for.
- Subverted: While the characters are assembling, a Genre Savvy prison guard interrupts and disbands them.
- Double Subverted: The guard is in on the plan, one of his jobs being to break up any overly-conspicuous meetings before they raise suspicion.
- Parodied: A poster on the canteen wall says "Strictly No Planning Future Criminal Enterprises With Fellow Inmates".
- Zig Zagged: A couple of guys meet in prison, another Refused The Call but reluctantly tags along when they manage to bust him out later, and the last few need to be tracked down once they're out. Some of the crew are really good at their jobs and got caught out of bad luck; some of them are Stupid Crooks who provide the Spanner in the Works; some of them are No Honor Among Thieves backstabbers.
- Averted: The leader doesn't make any useful contacts in prison, and has to wait til he's released to find a crew.
- Enforced: "We don't want these Loveable Rogue characters to be linked to organised crime, so how do we explain them knowing all these crooks from different backgrounds?"
- Lampshaded: "I've thought I'd find some companions here in jail."
- Invoked: Character deliberately ends up in prison in order to find some companions.
- Exploited: The prisoner walks around the prison searching for assembling parties.
- Defied: "You know, I'm not likely to work with or trust anyone I've just met in jail."
- Discussed: "Do you think these fellow inmates would work together with me?"
- Conversed: "This book is opening in a prison, but it's supposed to be an epic fantasy, so I bet the main characters will be meeting here and then break out together."
- Reconstructed: The leader persuades them that they got caught last time because they tried to go it alone, and the only way they'll pull off his plan for The Perfect Crime is if they all stick together.
- Played For Laughs: The people he meets in jail are all Stupid Crooks - that's why they're in jail - and A Simple Plan goes predictably awry.
- Played For Drama: The party members are locked in a political prison for dissidents in a dystopian government where prisoners die from lack of care and forced labor, and must escape, run away or die...
Back to You All Meet in a Cell