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Cash Lure

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"I got you a dollar!"
A type of prank involving a tied dollar bill, or some valuable object or even food, left on the ground and then pulled away when someone attempts to pick it up. May be used as a lure.

Compare Coin-on-a-String Trick, where the victim (usually a vending machine) believes they've ended up with the money. Often a form of Motivation on a Stick.



  • In an ad for State Farm, a woman who doesn't have State Farm is taunted by a fisherman who says that he got her a dollar.
    Fisherman: (pulling away the rod) Oooh, ya almost had it. Gotta be quicker than that.

Anime and Manga

  • Appears in the censored version of the Dragon Ball anime, to replace Bulma using a lure of panties to catch Oolong transformed as a fish. It also sets up Goku catching him and saying "Would you look at that, a fishful of dollars!"
  • Great Teacher Onizuka has a variant; Urumi puts a 10,000-yen bill on a small string-and-stick attached to Onizuka's headband, and tells him he can have the money if he catches it in his mouth while bicycling at 60 kph (with her riding on the back of the bike, of course).

Comic Books

  • Done by the Prankster in an old Superman comic. Seeing the obvious string, no one picks up the dollar assuming it is a prank. However, the string actually triggers an explosive to blow a hole in the wall of a bank.
  • Mickey Mouse's nephews Mortie and Ferdie once placed a purse on the floor to pull a prank on Donald Duck, who tried to prank them back by picking a quarter from his pockets and pretended to take it from the purse. The boys cried for the money and Donald told them the money wasn't theirs. Unfortunately for him, a random passerby overheard the conversation and believed Donald robbed the kids. The passerby socked him and gave them the quarter.
    • On April Fool's day, Huey, Dewey and Louie placed a dollar bill coming off a wallet (found at the city dump) and dropped it with a string to pull a prank on Donald. The string didn't work, allowing Donald to keep the wallet and the dollar. Later on, they tried something similar with an empty wallet and no strings (they reasoned Donald wouldn't need to see any money this time). Unlike them, Donald knew those old wallets had secret pockets and decided to search them for money. He found a ten-dollar bill.

Comic Strips

  • One Spy vs. Spy intro panel comic has Black Spy pulling this on White Spy, with a dollar tied to a string leading to a guillotine. The version of this gag MADtv has Black successful in defeating White this way, only for White's headless body to make a final successful grasp at the dollar and slump over after.


  • In Go West, Harpo uses this on Groucho. Groucho is trying to fleece Harpo & Chico out of all their money but H&C reverse it by giving Groucho a 10 and getting 9 change, over and over again.
  • The old "duck on a dollar" trick from The Little Rascals.
  • In Used Cars, Rudy uses a $10 bill on a fishing line to attract a customer from across the street at a competing car dealer. When the customer is chasing the money and not looking at traffic, Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Wrong Guys, the bullying Grunsky brothers used this trick as children, to lure Richard into a snare trap that suspended him by his ankles. Years later, as adults, Richard and his friends find themselves and the Grunskys working together to escape a dangerous criminal, and Richard remembers the trick. They successfully bait the criminal, and he winds up helpless. Temporarily.
  • Yellowbeard: Commander Clement wants to get some information out of Harvey "Blind" Pew but doesn't want to pay for it. Each time he drops a coin into Pew's cup, Clement yanks it back out again with a string.

Live-Action TV


  • The cover of Nirvana's Nevermind features a baby swimming in the water, a lure in front of him with a dollar bill hooked on its end.

Newspaper Comics

Puppet Shows

  • In "You Can Lead Eeyore to Books" from The Book of Pooh, Winnie the Pooh and his friends use a tied carrot to lure Eeyore to Owl's library so that he can pick out a book of his own after he doesn't like the ones they suggest to him.

Video Games

  • In Breath of Fire II and Breath of Fire III, you can catch the fish-man merchant Maniro by baiting your hook with a gold bar.
  • The Fishin' Lakitu from Super Mario World tries to lure you with a 1-Up Mushroom on a fishing rod. If you pick it up, he'll start throwing spinies.
  • Wario Land 2 has an enemy that lures Wario in with a coin on a fishing rod- when he attempts to collect it, he's instead pulled up to a higher area.

Western Animation

  • The "Couch Fishing" episode of Beavis And Butthead.
  • On Family Guy, when it's revealed that Lois' mother is Jewish, Carter, her husband, attempts to bait her with money. She doesn't fall for it.
  • One episode of The Kids from Room 402 started with Mr. Besser falling victim to the classic dollar bill with a string prank. The prankster later placed a coin with sellotape for another prank. At the end, someone dropped a ten-dollar bill and Mr. Besser, wrongfully assuming it was another prank, didn't try to pick it up.
  • Used to distract Grunkle Stan in the Gravity Falls episode "Double Dipper", when one of the Dipper clones dangles a dollar bill on a fishing pole in front of him.
    Grunkle Stan: Yeah, right, like I'm gonna fall for that... (beat, dives for the bill) Gimme that floating money!
  • In the Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "PJ", Lilo and Stitch first meet the titular Experiment 133 (PJ) as they almost arrive at home when said experiment tricks Stitch into chasing a twenty dollar bill on a fish line, causing Stitch to jump in a mud puddle. Moments later in the kitchen, Pleakley tries to pull the same prank on himself, holding the line with the bill in one hand and pulling it away when he tries to reach it with his other hand. Although he easily amuses himself, no one else laughs, though PJ then sucks up the line and the bill through his Gag Nose almost immediately thereafter, causing Pleakley to wonder where it went and Lilo and Stitch to laugh.
  • Mr. Burns does it in an episode of The Simpsons to bait children: dangling a large denomination bill on a string out of the window of his limousine and then driving away as Bart tries to pick it up.
  • In the Sonic Boom episode "Next Top Villain," the Lightning Bolt Society pull a variant of this prank by gluing a quarter to the ground for people to try (and fail) to pick up. They end up falling for it themselves, however. Later, Tails falls for it too.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Frankendoodle", SpongeBob does this to Squidward.
  • In The Tick, the wallet anglers that inhabit the sewers of The City use a "living wallet" as bait.

Real Life

  • When Alex Rodriguez left the Mariners to play for the Rangers (and eventually the Yankees), he got a cold reception when he came back to play against his former team. One of the disgruntled Seattle fans put a dollar bill on a fishing line and cast it out onto the field when A-Rod showed up to bat. The fan was ejected from Safeco, but not before the rest of the Seattle crowd cheered his protest.


Video Example(s):


Spy vs. Spy - Dollar

Black Spy gets the upper hand in an animated version of a teaser panel.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / CashLure

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