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Film / Olsen-banden

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The original Danish incarnation of the gang. Left to right: Egon (Ove Sprogøe), Kjeld (Poul Bundgaard), and Benny (Morten Grunwald).
"How dare you!? Shut up!! I won't stand for it!! It is the same every time!! It is the same every single time!! I have a plan — a BRILLIANT plan — and then I am surrounded by dog-brains and dumbasses, lousy amateurs, pathetic nincompoops, ridiculous fart-flappers, talentless blockheads, impotent porridge-peasants, nursery teachers and Social Democrats!!"
Egon Olsen

Olsen-banden (English: The Olsen Gang) is a series of Danish crime comedy movies revolving around Egon Olsen and his gang and their (mostly unsuccessful) crimes. The series consists of 14 movies released between 1968 and 1998 (with a considerable gap between the last and second last films). Around the time of the fourth movie, Egon started to commit his burglaries using highly unusual plans, involving creative use of everyday items, as well as social engineering by playing on broad stereotypes. These plans would become the most defining and popular trait of the series. At the same time, a significant amount of social and political commentary was introduced. In a clear criticism of the capitalistic society, the number of Corrupt Corporate Executives, as well as impoverished and alcoholic characters, rose dramastically.


Norway and Sweden both made their own version of the series, with different approaches:

  • The Norwegian version sticks very closely to the Danish one, using the same plots, mostly the same characters and largely the same names. However, the gang name is written as one word, "Olsenbanden," as opposed to the Danish hyphenated "Olsen-banden". The Norwegian series also has an arguably more well-known version called Olsenbanden Junior, which is about the trio during their childhood days.
  • The Swedish version — whose Protagonist Title changed to Jönssonligan because almost all of the characters were renamed — diverged from the others quite a bit. For one, they did not remake all of the Danish movies; rather, eight films were made in its first run, of which the first three were straight remakes and the last five used mostly original plots that only borrowed certain plot points from the Danish series. Further, some of the characters were either Demoted to Extra or became Ascended Extras. Like the Norwegian version, it received a Spin-Off Babies version called Lilla Jönssonligan ("The little Jönssongang"). It was also rebooted twice (to date) in 2015 and 2020. This version also spawned a few comics drawn and written by Per Demervall, as well as two Licensed Games: Jönssonligan: Jakten på Mjölner and Jönssonligan går på djupetTranslated ) released in 1999 and 2000.

The series has a character page which goes into more detail on the central trio as well as other recurring characters.

Not to be related to the Olsen Twins. Or the Olsen Brothers.

This series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Both Gösta Ekman (Sickan) and Peter Haber (Dr. Busé) would later play Martin Beck in the two TV series made after the books. In the last movie, a prison guard is shown watching an episode of Beck, with only some spoken lines heard ("This is Martin Beck. We know you are in there. You are surrounded.")
  • Absolute Cleavage: In Jönssonligan Dyker Upp Igen, Doris wears a very low cut dress specifically for this trope (see Distracted by the Sexy below), which is unusual since the series didn't really use sex appeal otherwise. The camera isn't shy about focusing on her cleavage during these scenes, either.
  • Acid Pool: In movie 12, Bøffen tries to kill Egon by putting him into a boiling green vat of Hollywood Acid.
  • Action Prologue: Most of the Danish and Norwegian movies have a pre-title sequence consisting of a small heist which fails and lands Egon in prison. While early entries used these to provide an Establishing Character Moment for Egon with his friends escaping and him pretending to be part of scenery while police arrives, later ones started to make these heists funny. Interestingly, in movie 7, Bøffen pulls a heist on Egon.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the six Norwegian Olsenbanden Jr movies, the junior version of the gang appear to be straight-up heroic. They might occasionally cheat on a few tests or pull off some harmless pranks, which tend to earn them the ire of authority figures, and the younger Egon is still a schemer primarily motivated by self-interest... but the elaborate heists and schemes are generally employed to catch and expose criminals, not to commit crimes. This could also be why the Jr stories tend to have happier endings for the protagonists.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted. Egon makes it sound as though they were going to use this trope to gain access to a vault in the Brussels HQ of the EG, but because the vent is too tiny for that, they just feed their distraction through it and enter by the door.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: Egon gets roughly the same less-than-a-year-sentence whether he's being convicted of attempted armed robbery, forgery or throwing a stone into a shop's window.
  • Almighty Janitor: Despite being a lowly police officer, Jensen always knows everything about the shady dealings of the Danish upper class.
  • The Alcoholic: Harry, in all three versions.
  • Artistic License – Law: It's hard to imagine that, even in a country with lenient criminal laws, someone like Egon would only get imprisoned for 8-10 months a time after having committed well over 20 crimes.
  • Ascended Extra: Harry in the Norwegian and Swedish series, possibly thanks to the fact that both their versions had the role played by a popular and beloved comedian (Harald Heide-Steen Jr in Norway and Björn Gustafson in Sweden). As such, in the Norwegian series the movies featuring him usually upgrade him to titular character, and in the Swedish series he's a permanent member of the gang from the third movie on.
  • Asshole Victim: Most of the people the gang steal from in the later movies have committed much worse (albeit occasionally legal) crimes.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Rocky and his wife Eivor in the first Swedish movie. She's a bit of a ballbuster and he's very meek, but any time Sickan insults one in front of the other, he ends up on the receiving end of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. It's especially scary when Rocky does this.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: Movie 13 features Egon replacing the beers of some security guards with raspberry lemonade. The guards find it so awful that they quit their job over it.
  • Bank Robbery: Egon attempts one in the opening of the second movie. Too bad the bank is already being robbed.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Jokes that require uncommon language skills are often included, for example:
    • A corrupt oil sheik's crest carries the motto "Pecunia non olet" (Money has no smell).
    • A not too bright nobleman's family motto is "Honi soit qui pense" (Shame on those who think).
    • An Stasi-esque government surveillance and registration building has "Per fas et nefas" (With or without rights) written over the door.
    • The World Bank's motto is "Sine Pecunia Dolet" (It hurts to be without money).
    • German/English is rarely subtitled in either the Danish or Swedish original, despite often using misunderstandings over lingual false friends for comedy. Instances of this include such as „Köstliche Instrumente“ („delicious instruments“ instead of kostbar/valuable) or a misunderstanding about "möglich/mögligt" (the former German for "possible", the latter Swedish for "moldy").
    • Two French CorruptCorporateExecutives are named „Vilain“ and „Canaille“ („villain“ and „crook“ respectively).
    • Surprisingly enough, averted in the last Swedish movie: A Sicilian mafia boss and his son speak a horribly mangled Italian with half the words being italianised versions of Swedish words that somehow ends up being harder to understand with any knowledge of Italian.
  • Bookends: Bar the pre-credit sequence, most movies begin with a shot of Vridløse prison over which the credits roll, followed by Egon's release. One of the last scenes is then usually Egon's re-arrest and the last shot is one of the prison before the Smash to Black.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Never happens in the original series, surprisingly enough - Egon can break his way into pretty much everywhere but never even once tries to break out of Vridsløse prison. The Swedish movies do this twice, however:
    • Jönssonligan på Mallorca downplays this when Vanheden and Harry conspire to free Sickan while he is being transferred from one prison to the other.
    • Jönssonligans största kupp starts with one of these as Vanheden and Harry attempt to break Busé (who replaced Sickan in the sixth movie and was arrested at the end of it) out. As he had written his new plan on his cellmate Herman Melvin's back, he brings him too and lets him go over the prison wall first, but Busé is caught before he can escape as well... Thus leaving the gang with a new leader once again.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • At the end of the last movie in the Norwegian series, Egon has finally got the money and proclaims he has a plan, whereupon the camera zooms out to reveal the movie crew and the director yelling: "No Egon, not another plan!"
    • The Danish version ends both the sixth and thirteenth movies with Benny, Kjeld and Yvonne waving goodbye to the audience. Egon salutes the audience at the end of several other movies as well.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: And in many Danish movies, they use identical red briefcases. Nobody comments on it, obviously. In a few cases they played around the concept, introducing multiple briefcases with most of them filled with ordinary stuff.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Holm, especially in the earlier movies.
  • Cameo: Many small roles were played by well known Danish actors, sometimes even after having played other major roles earlier in the series:
    • In one of the movies Benny and Kjeld break in to a kiosk when they are noticed by three drunk Norwegian tourists, played by the actors who played the gang in the Norwegian series.
    • In Olsen-bandens sidste stik Egon accidentally opens a door to a room where two old men are writing on typewriters: Erik Balling and Henning Bahs, the creators of the series (director and special effects creator, respectively).
  • Casting Gag:
    • The lovesick Danish tourist who pursues a reluctant Benny in the prologue to Olsen Bandens Sidste Bedrifter is played by Lily Weiding, Morten Grunwald's longtime girlfriend (and later wife).
    • In the Danish Olsenbanden Jr. movie, Egon's father is played by Henning Sprogøe, the son of Ove Sprogøe, who of course played Egon in all 14 original movies.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • The Spinoff Babies, courtesy of the age of the original actors, and the time of release for the first movies. In Norway, the first movie was aired in 1969, showing Kjell as a father of four. The last of the "jr" movies is set in 1960, giving Kjeld nine years to grow up, marry and have four children, one of whom is more than nine years old.
    • The Norwegian 1982 installation gave the year Kjell and Valborg´s wedding: 1957! The two should then have been married at the time of "the black gold", being set in 1960.
    • Arve Opsahl, who played the grown up Egon in Norway, was born in 1925. The continuity of the spinoff franchise would have made more sense if the "junior" gang had made their shenanigans in the thirties, rather than in the fifties. But then again, they never would have a chance to play rock`n roll.
    • In the Danish version, Egon is said to be born in either 1925 or 1927 (the actor was born in 1919), so the movies should again have taken place in the thirties.
    • The first three Swedish Lilla Jönssonligan movies have the same issue with taking place during the wrong decade, but at least still take place in the past. The fourth, final one doesn't even try, instead taking place in the modern day ( as in, the 2000's). On another note, the Lilla Jönssonligan series stars Harry even though one of Rocky's lines in the first Swedish film implies he should have been there instead.
  • Casting Gag: In the 8th Swedish Movie from 2000, actor Johan Ulveson plays Sickan's younger brother Sven-Ingvar "Sivan" Jönsson. What makes this a gag is that in the Swedish movie Ogifta Par, which came out three years before the 8th Jönssonligan movie, Ulveson played a character who encountered Sickan's actor Gösta Ekman (playing himself) and Ulveson's character suggested to Ekman that he could play Sickan's younger brother, should another movie be made. The character of Sivan himself had been introduced a year earlier in the first Swedish Spinoff Babies movie, though.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The regular characters all have a few, although these vary somewhat between the different versions:
      • Egon: "I have a plan," "No, no, no!" and "It's all timed and organized."In Danish  Meanwhile, Sickan replaces the last one with "Timed and prepared down to the last detail" and tends to respond to specific statements, especially Vanheden praising his smarts, with "Of course!"In Swedish 
      • Benny: "Bloody good, Egon!"Danish  The Norwegian Benny, who swears less, says "Brilliant, Egon!"Norwegian  instead, and generally uses the word "helmaks"/"brilliant" whenever he's satisfied about something. Likewise, his Swedish counterpart Vanheden uses "Brilliant/Splendid, Sickan!" depending on the translator.Swedish 
      • Kjeld: "I knew it, I knew it!", "What am I going to tell Yvonne?", and "Is it dangerous?"Danish  His counterpart Rocky in the Swedish version, despite only lasting two movies, also had a tendency to say "Voi, voi!" (Finnish for "oh dear").
      • Yvonne: "You've put me through a lot during all these years..."Danish 
      • Dynamit-Harry in the Swedish version: "What a friggin' blast!"Swedish 
    • The Norwegian Olsenbanden Jr movies has the gang use their adult catchphrases a lot, but there are a few catchphrases unique to the series:
      • Benny: "I've got to agree with Kjell/Egon there."Norwegian  Usually said when Kjell and Egon are in a conflict and Benny tries to be reasonable about taking one of their sides.
      • Hermansen Sr: "You can make a note of that, Holm." and "Holm, Holm, Holm! What am I going to do about you?!"Norwegian 
      • Ingrid: "That's what my aunt says, and she knows what she's talking about!", generally following some negative opinion on men in general. She'll also without fail say "The same goes for you too, Benny!" whenever Valborg either tells Kjell off or invites him along somewhere.Norwegian 
  • Celebrity Paradox: The Norwegian gang tried to break in at the biggest cinema in Oslo, during a screening of a popular theatre production which had been adapted for cinema at the same time. The movie contained a number of skits, among them a monologue presented by actor Arve Opsahl (who also played Egon Olsen). Benny got distracted by the movie, and Egon had to haul him out, while Benny explained that it was so funny to watch "that angry man" (Opsahl). Egon angrily retorted that he should mind his job, and not get distracted by such drivel. Opsahl was present both on screen in the cinema, as well as backstage in his role as Egon Olsen, in a subtle and brief Show Within a Show, because he also was on screen in the Olsen Gang movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The coffee machine in Jönssonligan spelar högt.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Unlike his Danish counterpart, Wall-Enberg is always shown as being the same character from movie to movie, and hires or agrees to buy something from Sickan and the gang on several occasions. Despite stabbing them in the back every single time, Sickan keeps taking him up on his offers or offering something himself, often hoping to do the same to Wall-Enberg for all the times he's betrayed Sickan or his team.
  • Clear My Name: In the second movie, after the gang just happened to be present at a bank robbery. Egon's ten prior convictions don't help.
  • Clock Tower: One of the most memorable scenes in the series happens in Olsen-banden går i krig. Bøffen places Egon in front of the clock on the Copenhagen Town Hall Tower, waiting for the big clock hand to come down and send Egon more than 70 meters down to his death. Kjeld and Benny discover him in the nick of time, but when they try to free him, all three end up hanging on the clock hands, which in turn creates chaos in the mechanism knocking out Bøffen and fellow criminal The Black Baron. This scene is also famously recreated in the Swedish version, Jönssonligan får guldfeber.
  • Clueless Detective: Mortensen from the early movies. Occasionally he's on the right track, but too incompetent to prove anything.
  • Coat Full of Contraband: A coat stolen as a side-effect of a plan in movie 12 turns out to contain the five million they were originally after at the end of movie 13.
  • Comic Trio: The Gang is one of the most popular and beloved examples of this trope in Scandinavia. Egon is of course the leader, with Benny (while less The Fool and more the Yes-Man) acting as the follower and Kjeld as the helpless dragalong who always knows that things are going to go wrong.
  • Con Men Hate Guns: Discounting the Early Installment Weirdness that's the pre-credit scene of movie 2 (and that's a water pistol), the gang never uses a weapon. The Swedish version lampshades this when M.A.Busé joins them in the sixth movie and asks why they don't use any weaponry, prompting Vanheden to demonstrate why they don't need it.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The fifth and sixth movies in the Danish series end with the gang actually going to Mallorca. Therefore the sixth and the seventh movies open on Mallorca.
    • At the end of the third movie the gang discovers that the money they retrieved from an old Nazi bunker is forged. In the fourth movie, as Egon is counting the money from their heist, Yvonne suddenly exclaims: "Oh, my God! They are not forged, are they?? Because I'll never forget that other time, when ..."
  • Conveniently Cellmates: From movie 5 on, Egon gets his next plan from his cellmate, usually an attorney who knew too much.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Bøffen places an unconscious Egon on one in Olsen-bandens flugt over plankeværket.
  • Cool Car: Jönssonligan får guldfeber has a heavily armed truck used to transport a goverment data chip between military bases. Part of the plan to steal the chip involves damaging the car's side with a sledge hammer so they can tinker with it while it is in the repair shop.
  • Cool Train: First, there was a small train that was used in the 3rd movie. Then, the production team went crazy and made movie 7's plot revolve around trains. Oh, and when Kjeld dreams about what he's going to get with his share of the millions, it's a model railway.
  • Couch Gag: The movies always open with a scene where Egon is released from prison and is met by Benny and Kjeld, but with slight variations in each movie (Benny and Kjeld are late or do not show up, Egon does not want to leave prison because his plan is not finished, etc.)
  • Crapsaccharine World: The happy, harmonic and always sunny Denmark seen in the films is frequently revealed to be a facade over a country at the mercy of ruthless businessmen and utterly corrupt officials whose nefarious schemes are only stopped by our bumbling heroes - usually by accident.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Swedish remake from 2015. Mainly because it's a thriller, not a comedy. See In Name Only
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: In the fifth movie, Benny and Kjeld get to the backside of the police-infested bank by posing as drivers of a beer delivery truck.
  • Disco Dan: While the series clearly takes place in the seventies, certain sections of society all seem to be decades behind in clothes and mentality, from an era of all men wearing hats and suits. The police seems to be wearing very similar sets of plaid suits as casual wear, with petit-fours for the upper echelon. Much comedy is derived from the contrast between the liberal ways of the seventies and the characters who are perpetually about two steps behind it.
  • Disguised in Drag:
    • Kjeld does this in movie 2, even introducing himself as „the young girl who cleans the room“.
    • Movie 13 provides us with Egon assuming the identity of Egonne in order to pass as a maid in a hotel. He also does this in one of the Olsenbanden Jr movies at the age of twelve, spending a short while disguised as a girl... and pulling it off quite well, after a couple of false starts.
    • In the Swedish movies, Sickan does it a total of three times - in Jönssonligan får guldfeber, in Jönssonligan på Mallorca, and the the first game - with fairly convincing results apart from the Larynx Dissonance. Harry joins in on it in Mallorca as well (using the nickname "Harriet"), with slightly less convincing results.
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • While in Paris, Egon decides to hire a prostitute as an additional helping hand. However, interlanguage communication problems leads Benny to stop helping Egon with a heist, thus forcing the team to make another one.
    • A lesser example happens in the fourth movie, where a competing trio of thieves utilizes their human resources to steal just stolen money that Egon for whatever reason decided to hide in plain sight.
    • In Jönssonligan Dyker Upp Igen, the gang utilizes an unknowing Doris for this purpose (the only time in the Swedish movies they do) to distract Wall-Enberg while they infiltrate his illegal casino.
  • Downer Ending: At the end of the 13th movie, Egon is put into the psychiatric division of the prison as an incurable criminal. While it's common for Egon to end up in prison at the end of a movie, not only is it implied to not be temporary this time, but it was also supposed to be the last movie (and was for 17 years). If a 14th movie hadn't eventually been made, Egon would canonically have spent the rest of his life in prison.
  • Drunk Driver: Played for Laughs in the Danish and Norwegian versions of Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry. Harry tries to drive while heavily intoxicated. He insists that he's fine, but...note 
    [Harry and Benny are in the car, with Harry in the driver's seat]
    Benny: Wouldn't it be better if I took the wheel now?
    Harry: Nonsense! Nonsense! Get thee behind me! Listen! No one drives as well as old Harry... with a tiny supporting BAC, right? No one!
    Where's the car? [looks around and realizes he's sitting in it] Here's the car.
    [incomprehensible slurred speech] Pay attention now!
    [accidentally puts the car in reverse and backs up into a building, creating a small explosion]
    [manages to drive forward, but drives through two fences before crashing]
    I think you should take the wheel for a while. [detaches the steering wheel and hands it over to Benny]
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first movie, Kjeld and Yvonne have three children, of which Børge is the middle-child. The oldest and the youngest, a boy and a girl, are gone by the next movie and never as much as alluded to again. Benny has a pregnant girlfriend and, by the end of the movie, at least one child. This is also never mentioned again. A group of prostitutes, who the gang happily frequents, figures into the plot, something which would not have happened later. The series would not really resemble what it became until the third movie, with the formula complete by movie 5, with the introduction of Inspector Jensen, Sergeant Holm, Bøffen and the capitalist villain that would figure into most of the sequels.
    • Some of the early elements got a proper closure, though:
      • In the first movie, the gang discusses Egon's plans in a certain pub. In the second movie, Egon's presence happens to be linked to the interior being destroyed, twice, making the keeper unfriendly to Egon, and thus the gang switches to bringing some beer to Kjeld's home.
      • The early movies don't feature Jensen, bringing us The Klutz Mortensen instead (or him and his clones, given the series' loads of similar characters). He gets suspended in the fourth movie due to the chief getting the mistaken impression that he has gone insane, so Jensen's appearance is not that sudden.
    • In the Swedish movies, Rocky and his family is this. Since Harry is considered a mainstay of the group in popular culture, most people tend to forget that he wasn't even in the first movie and only had a supporting role in the second.
  • The Empire: The villain is frequently working together with large and powerful forces from the outside, such as the European Union.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The Jr films, especially the Swedish ones, downplay this. While they don't necessarily go to the same school (and mostly meet up during summer vacation), nearly all the eventual characters are there, even future villains Wall-Enberg and Biffen.
  • The Faceless: King Olav V in the fourth Norwegian Olsenbanden Jr movie.
  • Fake Shemp: Poul Bundgaard, who played Kjeld, died in the middle of filming of Olsen-bandens sidste stik. His replacement was always filmed from behind. The replacement actor, Tommy Kenter, is 17 years younger and by the time of production was a middle-aged man.
  • Faking and Entering: The gang are hired to do just that by Baron Løvenvold in the 8th movie.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Melvin from the 7th Swedish movie is an improbably skilled and possibly cleptomaniac pickpocket, leading to a number of funny moments. At the end, he pickpockets the chief of police's wallet and the key to the handcuffs he's currently wearing, without even knowing what it is.
  • Foreign Queasine: Danish brown gravy in movie 13, which Egon replaces another sauce with in an establishment in France to cause mass fainting and thus provide a distraction.
  • Foreign Remake: The Norwegian series in its entirety and the Swedish series to a lesser extent. The Norwegian movies were sometimes even made in parallel with their Danish counterparts so they could reuse some of the sets.
  • Freudian Trio: An uncommon example of the superego being the leader. Kjeld is the id and Benny the ego that keeps them together.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Movie 13 features security company KBG, whose full name can be translated to Kopenhagen Body Guards. The company features a red star in their logo, in case of somebody missing the reference.
  • Gambit Roulette: Egon's plans often heavily rely on second-accurate timing and exactly predicting the actions of certain characters. For example, in movie 9, managing to put exactly the amount of fuel into a car to make it stop right in the middle of a busy intersection and then precisely timing it with the arrival of the police.
  • Game Changer: By the beginning of the movie 12, Egon is actually scared of returning to the jail; a change in prison management means that he won't be sent to his old room to conceive the next plan, the next time he gets caught doing something, he'll probably end up in insane asylum. And by the end of movie 13, this actually happens.
  • Gaslighting: Egon's plans sometimes utilize a very short-term form of this. For example, in movie 6, he replaces a huge dog of a security guard with a tiny one to incapacitate him for a moment.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Wimpy Kjeld gets slapped repeatedly into his face to help him regain his composure.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet: Not quite a textbook example in the 7th Swedish movie. Herman Melvin is an incredibly skilled and possibly compulsive pickpocket. During a heist, Harry cannot find a tool. Vanheden turns to Melvin, asking for it. When he gets it, he follows it up with "And the wallet", which Melvin hands him immediately.
  • The Good Kingdom: Denmark is depicted as a small, cosy country full of happy people.
    • During one of their break-ins the gang blocks a security camera with a picture of the queen and her two sons, and the old watchman just smile happily when he sees it, and nods off again.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Sometime between the 4th and 5th Swedish movie, Vanheden, Harry and Doris move to Spain. Sickan can't join them because there is a warrant for his arrest, so he can't travel and stays behind in Stockholm... Where we see him, explaining his next plan to his absent companions. He even returns Vanheden's catchphrase to himself and corrects him about the use of his nickname.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It only rains once in all 14 (Danish) movies, when, at the end of movie 13, Egon has been arrested and faces life imprisonment, Yvonne has left Kjeld and the gang didn't get the money. However, it's due to the rain that Benny discovers something important...
    • Downplayed at the beginning of the 5th Swedish movie, see Go Mad from the Isolation, just above; it's still raining in the next scene taking place in Stockholm, which is far more mundane (the police are just informed of Sickan being out of the country).
  • He Knows Too Much: The reason that people want to get rid of Egon Once an Episode, even if they had originally hired him. It doesn't help that Egon can never resist showing off what he knows...
    • Also usually the reason for the imprisonment of Egon's cellmates who provide him with info.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Done by Bøffen to Egon in the tenth movie.
  • Hilarity Sues: Egon gets arrested in the second movie for a variety of small infractions, such as breaking traffic regulations, that happened while he was trying to find the people who had stolen the crown jewels.
  • Hollywood Density:
    • Played straight in movie 6. Egon should have realized much earlier, that a bag containing diamonds should be much heavier…
    • Benny and Kjeld have obviously fallen for this one in movie 7, although it is ultimately averted. Had they known how much 90 million crowns in gold ingots weighed, they would certainly not have volunteered to do the loading. Also, Benny might have gotten a sturdier truck.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    • In the first Swedish movie, the gang robs Wall-Enberg while disguised as police with uniforms and a cop car they stole from the police station. When they run out, Sickan yells at Vanheden for leaving their car unlocked, and Vanheden replies "Nobody would steal a cop car, right?" Cue the trio looking up into the air in realisation for a moment.
    • The fifth Swedish movie does this fairly subtly early on; Sickan is seen telling his compatriots (who he is pretty cross with at the time) that he prefers working "on his own without any help"... Minutes after the beginning of the movie showed that he will still plan imaginary heists and act like his compatriots are there when they aren't (see Go Mad From the Isolation above).
  • Impersonating an Officer: Benny and Kjeld in movie 6 with Egon as their prisoner.
  • Impersonation Gambit: A reoccuring plot device is the gang pretending to be someone else to either enter places they shouldn't be or distracting their mark while the others do their thing.
  • Impossible Insurance: In one movie, the gang are working for a Corrupt Corporate Executive who owns an insurance company, tasked to steal a MacGuffin containing sensitive information for him. Once they retrieve it, however, he decides that it would be cheaper to just kill them and take the MacGuffin, rather than pay them the two million he promised. Narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Olsen - knowing that nobody else would be willing to pay for the information - comes up with a plan: He takes out a life-insurance with the company, with a 5.000.000 payout. Thus, it would no longer be economical for the Corrupt CEO to kill him, since it would cost as much as negotiating, while involving more dangers. But when he shows it off to the CEO, the latter quickly gets over the surprise and points him to the 'small print', which shows the exceptions to the policy, many of which could be easily used for arranging an 'accident'. Cue Egon tied up on a conveyor-belt over a vat of acid.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • In movie 3, Bøffen and Harry's actors play very different characters than they usually do.
    • In the Norwegian movies, Harry's actor showed up in several movies in different cameo roles.
    • Anders Hatlo, the fourth and final actor to play Holm in the Norwegian movies, showed up in the Olsenbanden Jr series as Hermansen (the Norwegian Jensen)'s father. Funnily enough, Hermansen Senior also has a partner named Holm, though it's never made clear if this Holm is related to the Holm of the original movies or not.
      • The Holm of the Olsenbanden Jr series is also an example, since his actor, Johannes Joner, also played Holm's partner Gran in the fourteenth movie. The Hermansen and Holm duo of the Jr movies play off each other in a very similar way to Holm and Gran, though they're notably sillier and less competent. Hermansen Senior in particular is a pompous Know-Nothing Know-It-All, while Holm is his inexperienced and often bumbling assistant who nevertheless is far more likely to grab the Smart Ball.
  • Infraction Distraction: A common element of Egon's plans.
  • In Name Only: The 2015 movie „Jönssonligan – den perfekta stöten“ is about car-thief Charles-Ingvar Jönsson wanting to avenge his uncle Ralf's murder with the help of the alcoholic former miner Dynamit-Harry, con man Ragnar Vanheden, and safecracker Rocky (who happens to be Charles-Ingvar's former girlfriend). The target is Corrupt Corporate Executive Wallentin, who had her Dirty Cop accomplice kill Ralf when trying to recover her laptop (which was in a car that Ralf stole).
    • The second Swedish reboot from 2020 is, being a comedy, closer in tone to the original movies. But apart from Sickan, the members of the gang share almost no traits with their original counterparts, making them seem a lot more generic. Most notably, the Harry in the movie doesn't do anything that involves explosives, and only drinks alcohol in one scene as part of a meal. He has hints of the original Harry's personality, but ends up being more similar to the original Rocky than Dynamit-Harry.
  • Inspired by…: Part of the inspiration to the Olsen Gang came from "Det borende X" ("The drilling X"), a Danish burglar, who in the years 1909-31 carried out a string of meticulously planned and technically complicated safe-burglaries. When he was finally caught it turned out that he had used the money to keep up appearances as a respectable greengrocer and family man.
  • Institutional Apparel: The prison band at the end of movie 10 wears black and white stripes, while Egon wears a grey and blue striped variant at the beginning of movie 14.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover:
    • A particularly strange and roundabout one in Norway with Dickie Dick Dickens. Since the Norwegian translations of the Dickie Dick Dickens audio drama was such a hit, the Norwegian director of the audio drama got the original authors' permission to write a few new adventures for Norwegian radio where the infamous Chicago gangster Dickie Dick Dickens visited Norway. The last and most obscure of these had Dickens team up with the Norwegian Egon Olsen for a minor coup.
    • Perhaps even weirder: In 2010, the Gang appeared in a Danish-written Donald Duck comic, in which Donald heard about Egon Olsen on the radio, and after accidentally locking himself out of Scrooge's office when he was supposed to be watching it, got the idea of hiring the Olsen Gang to help him break back in.
  • In the Hood: Tried twice in the first two movies, but it doesn't help a bit.
  • Ironic Echo: In the fifth movie, when he shows up for the first time, Jensen echoes one of Egon's rants to his technicians nearly verbatim.
  • It's Personal: In the 8th Swedish movie, it's Sickan's grandmother who's the driving force behind getting the gang (joined by Sickan's younger brother Sivan) to do one more heist against Wall-Enberg, since she blames him for having been the cause of Sickan's nervous breakdown.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: In movie 12, Egon and Yvonne infiltrate a hotel by posing as cleaning ladies.
  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: One of Egon's arrests happens for a variety of traffic violations. Whether that can be said to ruin the life of someone who already has ten prison sentences behind him is a matter of debate, but one should note that it ends Egon's first and only attempt at becoming honest.
  • Just Got Out of Jail: Egon, Once an Episode.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Wall-Enberg from the Swedish movies only gets arrested twice: at the end of the first movie, and in one of the comic strips (in the latter case for a crime he didn't commit).
    • Mafioso Motzarella from the 2nd Danish movie and Sonia from the 4th.
  • Karmic Death: It is heavily implied that the villainous Baron von Loevenvold suffers the fate he had in mind for Egon, i.e. being walled up alive at the end of Olsen Banden ser Rødt.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • In movie 5, Yvonne tells Egon to go and turn himself in to get Kjeld and Benny out of prison, because he's always the only one to get arrested.
    • And in the next movie, Yvonne justifies having hidden the loot because this is the part of the plan where everything always goes wrong. Unsurprisingly it does, and partially because of her actions.
    • A few times Egon leaves prison and Benny and Kjeld are not there (yet). As Egon wonders what's going on, we get a brief shot of what the scene should look like, before snapping back to reality. Occasionally made even funnier by soundeffects, such as in Olsen-banden deruda'.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Subverted with Bøffen, Bang-Johansen and Holm; they were all introduced in the sixth movie Olsen Bandens sidste bedrifter, which was intended to be the last onenote , but all became regular characters after the series was confirmed to be uncancelled.
  • Last-Name Basis/First-Name Basis: Ragnar Vanheden and Charles-Ingvar Jönsson from the Swedish series have an odd case of using both tropes at once. Vanheden almost always calls Charles-Ingvar either Sickan or (more rarely) Charlie. Meanwhile, Charles-Ingvar nearly always calls Vanheden that in the films, apart from one single instance of calling him Ragnarnote ... Then he suddenly switches to only calling him Ragnar in the games, with no other changes in their dynamic.
  • Laughing Mad: In the third Swedish movie Biffen tries to suffocate Sickan by gassing him. Sickan survives, but appears to get high off of the gas and can be heard laughing and singing hysterically for almost 3 minutes straight.
  • Lighter and Softer: As the series became more popular with children, the violence and sex was toned down heavily.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The gang nearly always wears the same clothes, even on summer hot Mallorca.
  • Locked in a Freezer: In the fifth film, Egon gets locked in a freezer by an unaware worker and has to be rescued by his friends, who hire a guy who bombs out the back wall of the freezer.
  • Lucky Charms Title: Varning för Jönssonligan, the first movie of the Swedish series, has the first word stylised as "Varn!ng" in promotional material and on IMDB (although this often gets ignored by third-party sources for simplicity).
  • Makes Sense In Context: Rare sentences are uttered often, but the stand-out example would be: "We've got to get there unnoticed. Therefore, we're going to get a tank."
  • Mickey Mousing:
    • Invoked in one of the most famous scenes of the series is in "Olsen Banden Ser Rødt", in which the gang breaks into the royal theater of Copenhagen while the orchestra is playing (a rearranged version of) the Overture to the Danish national play "Elverhøj". As the break-in requires many noisy tools and explosives, Egon has brought a note sheet so that he can time the crime perfectly to the music so they won't be heard. It's quite brilliantly done.note 
    • The 8th Swedish movie borrows from this plot; Harry uses a jackhammer to drill into a vault, camouflaged by Das Rheingold going on above them. Sivan literally conducts the drilling by reading the notes at the same time.
    • In the 2020 Swedish reboot Se upp för Jönssonligan, this has become an integral part ot Sickan's main heist gimmick—every heist in the movie is timed and planned around a specific piece of music.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The Norwegian Spinoff Babies movies (ie. the Olsenbanden Jr. series) features this due to taking its parent series' Status Quo Is God tendency and running with it to create more of a Negative Continuity effect:
    • The junior version of the gang, though still often involved in coups, schemes and small ways of cheating, are both more heroic and vastly more successful than their adult selves — but no matter how many times the junior version of the gang are hailed as heroes at the end of a movie, at the beginning of the next one they're back to being viewed as junior hooligans, distrusted by the police.
    • The orphanage Egon lives at has a different corrupt and greedy head every movie, even the ones where the previous movie didn't end with the old head being arrested for corruption.
    • The straightest example of the trope, to the point of becoming a Running Gag, is that each movie has a different version of the story of how Egon first got his trademark bowler hat: In one movie he swipes it of a random adult as part of a disguise, in another he inherits it from his long-lost grandfather... and in one movie, it's a gift from the King of Norway.
  • Musical Episode: A full-length movie version. The third Olsenbanden Junior movie, Olsenbanden Junior på Cirkus, is a musical with several song and dance numbers, which is largely because the story is an adaptation of a stage musical.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Benny's original actor, Morten Grundwald, once commented that the only vehicle he didn't get to drive despite his character's Universal Driver's License was a plane, and mused that that may have been due to budget constraints. This may have inspired a scene in the second Norwegian Olsenbanden Junior, in which a twelve-year-old Benny does get to fly a small plane, claiming to have learned how from reading the Biggles books. (He gets it in the air but doesn't know how to get it down again, needing instructions over the radio on how to land.)
    • In the 2015 Swedish movie, Charles-Ingvar's uncle and original partner in crime Ralf is clearly designed to resemble the Charles-Ingvar of the original movies, although older.
    • Another possible example from the Swedish series happens in the fifth movie, in which Harry suddenly throws out a line in surprisingly good Finnish; perhaps not coincidentally, his role in the gang was originally taken by a native Finnish speaker.
  • Naked in Mink: Ulla shows herself like this to Benny in the first movie.
  • Never Going Back to Prison: After 20-30 stints in Vridsløse, Egon decides this at the beginning of movie 12, even though he is usually not unhappy there. Benny's and Kjeld's reaction: „What, never again?“ It's justified as Egon risks being put into the prison's psychiatric ward.
  • Noodle Incident: The Swedish films have two specific instances of this:
    • In Varning för Jönssonligan, Vanheden immediately tenses up when a police woman says "cars" and claims that "That's all behind me now, not my area anymore, my bro Leopold did it!", possibly relating to a past as a used car salesman which never gets elaborated on.
    • Early on in Jönssonligan och Dynamit-Harry, Sickan remarks that Harry "hasn't been sober since he blew up that parking meter on Valhallavägen!" Once again, this incident never gets elaborated on.
    • More generally, while the Danish and Norwegian series usually show what event landed Egon in jail at the beginning of the movie, Jönssonligan får guldfeber and Jönssonligan: Jakten på Mjölner does not follow this pattern, leaving whatever heists landed Sickan there those times up to imagination.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The recurring villain in the Swedish films, Corrupt Corporate Executive Wall-Enberg, is a very un-subtle jab at the Wallenberg family, one of Sweden's most influential "old money"-families. He may also possibly be a jab at Anders Wall, a very famous corporate raider at the time.
  • Non-Action Guy: None of the Jönssonligan members are much in the way of fighters. Sickan is short and scrawny and relies on his brains, Vanheden is a petty thief, lockpick and charmer, and Harry, despite his predeliction for explosives, is a bit of a Cowardly Lion. Their former member, Rocky, was The Big Guy in the first two movies, but was also sweet and childlike in nature.
  • Noodle Implements: Averted - most of Egon's plans involve all sorts of baroque requisites, but they are always shown used in surprisingly coherent and intelligent (if somewhat Looney Tunes) ways. A typical example: "We need one boat. The boat has to have an extremely high mast. In order to arrange this, we need a wrench, rope, a soup-bone and a very small dog." What the gang does is distract a marina watchman's Alsatian with the bone, and replace the Alsatian with a small dog. While the guard tries to figure out what happened, they board a boat and sail off. The wrench and rope are used to steal a flagpole from a nearby garden and tie it to the mast, leaving them with a one-man vessel high enough to raise a movable bridge, which, in turn, will stop the armored transport they intend to rob where they want it.
  • The Old Convict: Although the movies are never set in prison, Egon shows traits of this. The entire staff knows him, he knows them, they know his tics, and the only people to know more about prisoner transport than Egon are the police. Egon's address in police files is Kjeld's house and movie 2 heavily implies that Egon, apart from Vridsløse prison, has no other place to sleep but with the Jensens. Finally, while it is left to other people to point this out, Egon occasionally does lose track of the outside world while in prison.
  • One Last Job: The gang plans to retire to Mallorca after pretty much every caper.
  • Out-Gambitted: Usually, Egon gets outgambitted by the Big Bad and then outgambits him back.
  • Pet the Dog: Varning för Jönssonligan's plan requires a city bus, meaning that the gang needs to steal one, which they do when the driver needs to stop for a bathroom break. However, Sickan and Vanheden are nice enough to leave the driver a lunch by the side of the road. After the initial shock wears off, the driver shrugs and sits down to eat. (One of the Danish movies has a similar scene.)
  • Platonic Prostitution: For a heist in Paris, the gang needs an extra pair of hands and Egon hires the prostitute Susanne to help them, which confuses her a bit Hilariously subverted: The heist fails, because Susanne misunderstands Benny's directions and takes off all her clothes. Benny gets Distracted by the Sexy, and abandons his post, leaving Egon hanging on a clothesline 30 feet above ground.
  • Precision F-Strike: Interestingly enough, the movies are quite full of swearing, especially from Benny and Egon. Might not qualify as a full example as the swearwords mainly used („før fanden“ - „for the devil('s sake)“ and „pokker“ - „damn“) are considered fairly harmless in Danish.
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Subverted with a literal vase in eighth movie. The first time, it slides out of palms of Børge's fiancee (her shaky hands were already hinted at). The Gang decides to play with it as with a jigsaw puzzle, and then they notice it's a Made In China knockoff. Then, the knockoff vase gets broken by the vase merchant. He does it to show it's a knockoff though. And then played straight when Egon gives the genuine vase to Børge's fiancee to hold for a moment...
  • Prison: Vridsløse Stadsfængsel, probably the most recognisable location from the movies as the principal residence of Egon Olsen. The street leading up to it has even been renamed for him.
  • Product Placement: Danish movies are especially fond of using Tuborg beer as the gang's favourite drink, sometimes even utilized by Egon's plans, and Carlsberg gets used occasionally too. Note that both brands come from the same company. This is all done relatively tastefully.
  • Punny Title: The fourth Swedish film, Jönssonligan dyker upp igen, has one. To elaborate, while "dyka upp" idiomatically means "to show up", "dyka" on its own means "dive"; fitting for a film with the cover showing the protagonists underwater and the climax featuring several divers.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Several instances:
    • Egon smokes his perpetual cigars less and less (instead chewing on the cold stumps) because actor Ove Sprogøe didn't smoke in real life.
    • Børge after movie 8, as mentioned under Put on a Bus on the main page. Sources differ about the reasons (alternatively drug problems or Jes Holtsø feeling that he hadn't gotten his fair share of the success).
    • In the Cold Opening of the 6th Danish movie, which takes place on Mallorca, Kjeld has caught a stomach bug and constantly has to run offscreen to find a bathroom. This was written into the script because Poul Bundgaard was playing in a revue in Denmark and could only come to Spain on his day off.
    • Sickan is only the leader of the first five (of eight) Jönssonligan movies because the actor Gösta Ekman d.y. got involved with the first series of Martin Beck movies.
  • Read the Fine Print: What Egon fails to do when taking out a life insurance as a bargaining chip in the 12th movie. In his defense, it's VERY fine print and hidden in the ornamentation...
  • Red Herring: When Egon lays out the plan in the 12th movie, he goes into detail about the shady dealings of the insurance company and its CEO, only to then say "But that doesn't interest us at all" and start expositing about a different character instead.
  • Removable Steering Wheel:
    • In the Norwegian version of Olsenbanden og Dynamitt-Harry, Harry tries to drive while heavily intoxicated. After realizing that he's failing miserably, he removes the steering wheel and tells Benny to Take the Wheel.
    • Taken further in the Swedish Jönssonligan på Mallorca, where the gang tries to escape by car in the narrow city streets. When they get cornered, they quickly remove the steering wheel and pass it to Harry in the back, who attaches it there and drives away in the other direction. The mechanical intricacies of said car has not been brought up until then, so it all comes as a big surprise.
  • Right Behind Me: Happens twice in the Swedish series. In Jönssonligan dyker upp igen, just as the other characters discuss his flaws and declare that "Sickan is over", the camera pans out to reveal he has entered the building. Despite the other characters obviously acting guilty once they realise this, Sickan ultimately doesn't seem to care... Although when this repeats in Jönssonligan på Mallorca, he isn't nearly as forgiving:
    Sickan: The second I turn away, you start throwing shit at me... Who do you think you are?!
  • Running Gag:
    • Any vehicle Benny drives will invariably run out of gas. He will then, without fail, exclaim that he's just filled the tank. This gets Parodied in a couple of the Olsenbanden Jr movies, where Benny generally rides a bike, which doesn't need gas... but it can get a flat tire, or lose a wheel, which is what happens.
    • The Swedish movies replace this gag with a few others featuring the gang's Chevrolet Impala. The trunk won't close properly and the front falls apart at the slightest provocation, yet Vanheden tends to get pretty defensive if anyone points out what a state it's in. In the first movie it's also a running gag for Rocky to simply mutter "Skitbil" ("shitcar") whenever it acts up.
    • Egon occasionally gets Bound and Gagged by the villains. In each case, he's gagged with his cigar stub still in his mouth, and when the gag is removed the cigar swups out of his mouth.
    • While we're at villains, the Tap on the Head also counts. In one movie Egon already anticipates it and hands over his Nice Hat to prevent damage to it.
    • See any stack of barrels or barrel-like objects? Expect it to collapse.
    • The Bookends of Egon being released from prison at the beginning of the movie and going back there at the end.
    • Speaking of Egon's releases, these also follow a standard pattern. Becomes Lampshaded when, each time there's something not looking quite as it should, we get a brief shot of what the scene should look like instead.
    • Safes by Fran(t)z Jäger, Berlin. Lampshaded again with Francis Hunter, Chicago, Francis Hunter, Birmingham or François Chasseur et Cie (all direct translations of the name).
    • Egon gets into contact with the Corrupt Corporate Executive of the Week through his cellmate in prison.
    • Yvonne's casual announcement of the arrival of the police.
    • Benny's little piece of metal that he uses to open doors or crack any machine with a coin slot.
    • The outlandish resources that are the core of Egon's plans.
    • In the Olsenbanden Jr movies, on a few occasions Hermansen and Holm find themselves needing a vehicle like a bus or a boat, and Holm borrows one from his uncle. Said vehicle is always stuck in reverse and can only go backwards, whereupon Holm will quote his uncle and say "even if it goes backwards, it still goes forwards!"
    • And, probably the most famous one, the image of the gang walking one behind the other in cadence (with Benny having to occasionally do a little skip to get back into it).
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • Egon says to have been born on March 12, 1925 in movie 2, but his entry in Mortensen's rogues' gallery in movie 4 claims May 3rd, 1927. The actor is even older, having been born on December 21st, 1919. To make it weirder, Egon starts displaying signs of old age by movie 9 (forgetfulness), when the character would only have been around 50.
    • A propos of Egon's forgetfulness: Both this and his decreasing vision in movie 8 are used for gags in one movie and then dropped. Even the very old Egon from the last movie reads without glasses and seems to have an excellent memory. Instead, he has become hard of hearing.
    • In movie 2, Egon celebrates having been released from prison for the tenth time. But then, in movie 10, he is welcomed in Vridsløse prison for the tenth time, when even on-screen he's been there nearly twice as often.
    • Børge's girlfriend Fie is already pregnant when they get married in the 8th movie. Not only is their son not born until three movies later, but Egon is explicitely said to have served nine months at the beginning of the movie and this is given as the reason why he didn't know about the impending birth.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Star Wars, of all things. In Olsen Banden - deruda'(1977) the Gang breaks into a bank disguised as three boxes on wheels. When Kjeld is separated from the others at one point, his box starts bopping up and down and squeaking like an agitated R2-D2.
    • In the first Swedish film, Vanheden gives Sickan a thumbs up and tells him "Gröna sidan upp, va?" ("Green side up, alright?") which references a (then popular) radio comedy act by Hans "Hasse" Alfredson. In a similar note, the nickname Sickan was apparently given to Charles-Ingvar as a tribute to the contemporary actress Sickan Karlsson.
  • Spinoff Babies: All three versions have had spinoffs with the gang as children, set in The '50snote .
  • Spiritual Successor: To the 1965 Danish movie Slå Først Frede (distributed abroad as Operation Lovebirds), also written/directed by Balling and Bahs, and with Sprogøe, Grunwald and Bundgaard in the leading roles. Slå Først Frede spoofs James Bond-style agent movies in the same way the Olsen-banden movies spoof crime/caper movies and Grunwald's character, Frede Hansen, a happy-go-lucky novelty salesman who is mistaken for a secret agent, is very similar to Benny.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Things do develop in small ways, such as Børge getting older and eventually going off to get married, but on the whole, status quo usually ends up reasserting itself. Even on the very few occasions when the gang do succeed with their coup, they will either at the very end of the movie or the beginning of the next one wind up losing everything, and Egon will wind up in jail for crimes that may or may not have been connected to the coup.
    • Subverted in Jönssonligan på Mallorca, the fifth Swedish movie. Considering that the previous movies usually ended with them earning a lot of money yet being out of money in the next,note  the movie does give an explanation for where their loot from the last film went: they ended up investing their funds from the 4th in stocks that tanked, and may also have used some of it to finance Doris' new business in Mallorca.
  • Story Arc: Movies 12 and 13 have one. Danish movie 12 follows with preview of movie 13; meanwhile movie 13 begins with some kind of summary of events in movie 12, and its ending makes sense only if you remember plot details of the 12th one. Specifically: when Egon gets caught, he gets sent to an insane asylum instead of jail, which is foreshadowed at the beginning of the previous movie; meanwhile, Benny and Kjeld take care of a coat which was swapped with the coat of the subject of a minor plan at the end of the previous movie, and turns out the money which they wanted to steal in first place.
  • Strictly Formula: The vast majority of sequels run on a simple plot: Egon gets hired to make a small heist, then his employer decides to dispose of him by somehow calling the cops' attention to him or attacking him instead of paying, then Egon decides to take revenge by stealing the MacGuffin back. Apparently this was used because it allowed the screenplayers to put multiple heists in one movie.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: Played with in the Norwegian 1977 installment. Bøffen grabs Egon´s money and runs away with it, whereupon Valborg calls the police, describing him as "somewhat fat and ordinary". The police actually runs with it, and when Bøffen gets arrested at the end of the movie, the policeman who arrests him gives the same description. The officer in charge concludes with delight: "That´s him!"
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Egon's Swedish counterpart, "Sickan" Jönsson, only appears in the first five movies. In the final three, he's had a nervous breakdown and been placed in the psychiatric ward, and the gang has a different leader for each subsequent movie. In chronological order, they are: Dr. Max Adrian Busé (Sickan's psychiatrist), Herman Melvin (Buse's cellmate) and Sven-Ingvar "Sivan" Jönsson, Sickan's brother (with the aid of their grandmother). The writers did go to the effort of having Melvin and Sivan have twists related to their similarities and differences to their predecessors (Melvin isn't the criminal genius Sickan and Busé was — he mostly relies on a plan Busé told him while they were cellmates. Sivan is by nature a similar character to his brother, but has spent much of his life trying to be different to distance himself from his criminal brother, and doesn't give in to his tendencies until a while into his starring movie).
  • Tap on the Head: In many of the films, the only actual violence is a tap on the head that Bøffen use to knock out Egon.
  • Take That!: The Swedish series brings up contemporary politicians twice in a clearly derisive manner:
    • Jönssonligan får guldfeber features a scene where Vanheden directly mentions following in politican Ove Rainer's footsteps while discussing what tax plans to make for the millions they are trying to earn. This is a direct reference to Rainer having been accused of making investments with the purpose of lowering his own taxes as much as possible.
    • Jönssonligan på Mallorca has a line where Vanheden is comparing despotic figures with a Napoleon Complex, with his full list being "Napoleon, Hitler, Lenin and Feldt." The last one presumably refers to Kjell-Olof Feldt, the Minister of Finance and Trade at the time the movie was recorded.
  • Take That, Us:
    • In a teaser trailer for the 2010 animated movie, they take great care to separate the 13 original movies from the 14th, calling it the "senior citizen movie".
    • Most of the third Danish movie towards Copenhageners. To elaborate: The crew go to Jylland, expecting to have an easy time cheating the local „peasants“ and ending up being cheated themselves repeatedly.
  • Television Geography: The Clock Tower scene is guilty of this both in the Danish and Swedish versions. The Danish one claims there are offices in an area which is free to the public, and the actual clock tower is smaller in real life. Meanwhile, the corresponding building in the Swedish version doesn't have a clock tower at all!
  • That's What She Said: In Jönssonligan dyker upp igen, Biffen uses the trope name verbatim about something he just said himself and burst out in laughter at his own joke... As the other present characters just look at each other in unamused silence.Explanation 
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: While Egon is a career criminal through and through, his compatriots has made the occasional attempt at reforming but always finds themselves drawn back into Egon's latest plan.
  • The Caper: Is a central plot element of every movie bar the first two.
  • Those Two Bad Guys:
    • Two-man gangs shows up in two of the Danish movies: Kongen og Knægten in Olsen Bandens Store Kup (where they steal the money from the gang) and Archibald Hansen and Bøffen i Olsen Banden Deruda' (where they work for Holm-Hansen and try to eliminate Egon).
    • In Jönssonligan på Mallorca, Wall-Enberg uses a team of criminals, siblings called "Ödlan"(Lizard) and "Brorsan"(Bro/Big Brother) - a dwarfish, pale man and a tall, brawny guy respectively - in his plan to steal the King's Cross from the Palma cathedral. They show up throughout the movie doing his bidding prior to that.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Two parallel scenes from the first and 13th Danish movies, with Ulla and Parisian prostitute Suzanne respectively. Both women appear like this in the front of Benny and in the both cases it's heavily implied it ended very nicely for him.
  • Villainous BSoD: Wall-Enberg in the first Jönssonligan movie when he realizes that the Jönsson gang left the Bedford Diamonds in his safe after stealing the money he got for them, and the police he called about it just discovered them.
  • Wardens Are Evil: The new warden of Vridsløse in the 12th movie, at least from Egon's perspective. The old one is a subversion.
  • World of Ham: Part of the movies' charm is that the characters are larger than life, and that Egon tends to take this the longest. This is lampshaded at one point, where Egon hides from some policemen by pretending to be a mannequin holding a sign saying "Gamle krukker" ("Old jars"); "krukke" (jar) is Danish slang for a Large Ham.


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