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Cold Cash

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Well, that's one way you can freeze your bank account.

"Members of the jury, an Englishman's freezer is his castle..."
Horace Rumpole, Rumpole of the Bailey

Cold Cash refers to people using the refrigerator or freezer as a place to store valuables, usually cash.

The reasons for this vary, either someone is forgetful enough to leave a valuable in the fridge and is searching frantically for it only to find it in the fridge itself, or the fridge is usually the least expected place to find a (non-edible) valuable. Expect a Pun about "frozen assets".

Compare and contrast Empty Fridge, Empty Life. Compare Body in a Breadbox, which refers to something (or rather, someone) else being in the fridge instead of money.


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    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993): In the "Violent Tendencies" story line, Robin, Spoiler and Violet are led by the Penguin to a fish processing place with the money hidden under the ice. It's fake, but Violet tries to steal it anyway until they're ambushed by the Korean Mafia.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Parodied in a Carl Barks Scrooge McDuck comic where Uncle Scrooge fills his vault with refrigerators filled with his cash because fridges are the last place robbers look. He apparently didn't realize that many burglars also like to take some late-night snack when they're at it.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Rex Morgan, M.D. the eccentric and possibly senile millionaire Milton Avery kept stashes of banknotes in the freezer, wrapped up to look like joints of meat.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Whoopi Goldberg movie Burglar has her robbing someone's apartment, as a thief-for-hire, looking for jewelry belonging to the woman who hired her. The loot is discovered inside boxes of frozen foods hidden in the freezer.
  • Apparently done in the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie... the trailer shows the main character pulling her credit card out of the freezer, where she's stored it in a block of ice to try and prevent herself from actually using it, although this is also seriously recommended by financial recovery sites as a method for reducing credit card use.
  • Chopper: The cash Chopper extorts from Neville Bartos is kept this way, much to the former's displeasure:
    —"Bloody frozen. How long's it gonna take to defrost that, you idiot?"
  • Coyote Ugly. Violet's best friend tosses a roll of cash into her freezer in case of emergency (making the "freezing your assets" joke to boot)... and even that is cleaned out after robbers ransack the apartment.
  • A variation in The Dogs of War where Shannon keeps a pistol in his fridge.
  • In Hummingbird, Joey stores the cash he earns working the Chinese mob in the fridge in Damon's apartment.
  • The 1971 film Shaft shows the title character storing cash in the freezer.
  • The 2006 film The Sentinel (2006) has Michael Douglas as a framed Secret Service agent who finds a foreign operative who is part of the conspiracy, and when doing a search of his apartment, rips the magnetic seal around the refrigerator door and finds fake passports and bricks of cash inside the door.
  • In the Wim Wenders movie Until the End of the World (1991), the main character, Claire Tourneur, uses a futuristic-looking fridge to stash the bills bank robbers gave her for transporting their loot into Paris.
  • In Uptown Girls, one of the first scenes features Molly Gunn taking money from her freezer before going to a party. In her case, is to show both how rich and how much of a airhead and disconnected from reality she used to be.

  • Variation: In one of the Anastasia Krupnik books, it's revealed that Anastasia's father keeps his manuscripts-in-progress in the crisper, in case the house burns down.
  • Dividend on Death: Phyllis gives private detective Michael Shayne a pearl necklace as a retainer for his services. Shayne hides it in the refrigerator, under the lettuce.
  • In the Southern Sisters Mysteries, Patricia Anne keeps her silver flatware in the freezer, and to foil thieves who know about the valuables-in-the-freezer trick, she keeps it in the pull-out drawer under the peaches and blueberries, in a heavy freezer-paper wrapping with "shrimp" written on it. Fred still thinks this is a bad place to keep it.
  • In Swindle, Palomino gets asked by a reporter why his Babe Ruth card is so cold. He responds "that's for the cold hard cash it represents." This is what tips Griffin off that the card is being kept in the freezer, and not his safe. Specifically, inside a frozen turkey.
  • One Tales Of The Unexpected short story had a couple hide a diamond in the ice tray, but a burglar found it anyway. Turns out he'd helped himself to a drink and swallowed it.
  • A story in the 1930s anthology "The Great Women Detectives" with the title "Green Ice" puns on the term "ice" used for gemstones; a missing emerald is found frozen in an ice cube.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the online segment "Ask a Spy" from Burn Notice, Michael reveals that hiding valuables in the freezer isn't a good idea because professional thieves will find the loot easily.
  • CSI: Miami: When investigating a murder in a hotel room, the team learns that the minibar has weight sensors so that they can accurately charge for what the customer took, and all the sensors activated within a minute of each other. Horatio quickly realizes that the victim cleared out the minibar in order to use it as storage to hide his valuables.
  • DCI Banks: In "The Buried", Banks and his team are searching a suspect's flat and find a bag of cash hidden in the freezer. Banks makes a joke about 'frozen assets'.
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries: In "My Brother's Keeper'', Lucien is musing that one of the confusing things about the case is that no one can work out where the money from the sale of the farm went. Jean remarks offhandedly that she knows where she would hide a large sum of money. The next scene has Lucien sneaking into a suspect's house and finding the cash in a biscuit tin at the bottom of the deep freeze.
  • Ellery Queen: In "The Adventure of Colonel Nivin's Memoirs", a search of the Queens' apartment fails to find the files the searchers were looking for because Ellery had absentmindedly placed them in the refrigerator.
  • The "freezing room" in Estate of Panic, including a deep freeze with ice cream bars that had money hidden in them.
  • Lampshaded in The Golden Girls when the house is robbed. When Blanche discovers her jewels missing from their hiding place in the flour, Dorothy tells her everyone hides their valuables in the flour and the freezer.
    Blanche: The freezer's my other hiding place.
    Dorothy: It's everybody's. The robbers know that. They don't even open drawers anymore.
At the end of the episode, it's discovered that the jewels were actually hidden in the freezer which was the one place the robbers did NOT look.
  • Hustle: 'Liability' Finch keeps his entire stash hidden in his freezer.
  • An episode of Law & Order had a hitman hiding his payoff money inside his fridge. Detectives easily find it because he put it in a box of corn flakes, and remark he was only "half-right" about the hiding-valuables-in-the-fridge trick.
  • In Modern Family, Luke keeps his money in the freezer after hearing about frozen assets.
  • From Monty Python's "The Money Song":
    I've got ninety-thousand Pounds in my pajamas,
    I've got forty-thousand French Francs in my fridge...
  • Murder, She Wrote: In "Always a Thief", a thief hides a Briefcase Full of Money in the deep freeze of the restaurant where the murder occurred. When Dennis Stanton catches him retrieving it, he makes the obligatory 'frozen assets' joke.
  • A fourteenth-season episode of NCIS, "Nonstop", features a plot point in the form of a married couple keeping an emergency stash of cash in a coffee can in the freezer. While it is initially suspected that the wife's killer was a burglar, they turn out to only be half-right: the husband hired someone to provide an alibi for him, killed his own wife, and took the cash to pay his helper.
  • An episode of Rumpole of the Bailey opens with the police finding Georgian silver tableware in a fence's freezer, hidden in bags of frozen peas. Cut to Rumpole beginning his closing argument:
    Rumpole: Members of the jury, an Englishman's freezer is his castle...
  • The first episode of Secret Diary of a Call Girl shows Belle going through her routine when she meets with a client. She first takes his payment, checks it for counterfeit money while on the phone with her agent, and then stashes it in her freezer before she progresses with the encounter.
  • Almost subverted in an episode of Stargate SG-1. Colonel Mayborne is strong-armed by Jack O'Neill into revealing some top secret information that is stored on Mayborne's computer. The only way that Mayborne can start up his computer without it setting off a booby-trap and frying itself is to insert a special floppy disk into the drive. Where does he keep the disk? In the tiny gap between the fridge and freezer sections of his fridge-freezer, rather than in the deep freeze altogether.
  • Vera: In "Cuckoo", Vera is interviewing a drug dealer who protests his innocence until Vera tells him that they found ten grand in cash hidden under the fish fingers in his freezer.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of DuckTales (1987), robbers looking for the resident Gadgeteer Genius's latest invention crack into his safe, and find his lunch. Reasoning that the inventor's a little absent-minded, they look in the fridge and sure enough, the invention is in there.
  • Fillmore!: One Crook Of The Week hid the ledger of his crimes in the freezer. In the fishsticks box.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: In the Picayune Pot story arc, Boris Badenov (as gangster Baby Face Braunschweiger) hides out with stolen money in what he thinks is a regular building but is actually an ice factory. Rocky makes two blocks of ice come out—one with Baby Face, the other with the bank money.
    Bullwinkle: Well, whaddayaknow. Frozen assets!
  • Scooby-Doo episode "Scared A Lot In Camelot": Shaggy has an Uncle who once hid a jewel inside a refrigerator. Shaggy's Uncle indeed.
    • In a Scooby-Doo series, another uncle hid a full cache of jewels. And that's not the only evidence he's Shaggy's Uncle. He's also "allergical" to ghosts.
    • In Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby, Shaggy, and Scrappy find a diamond and the first clue to the Beauregard plantation treasure in the freezer. The clue explicitly states that Shaggy's uncle put it there for him to find, taking his nephew's Big Eater habits into account.

    Real Life 
  • Rep. William Jefferson had $90,000 stored in a freezer in his home. Found in August 2005, during a bribery investigation.
  • Once there was a burglar who found some rolls of quarters in someone's freezer and stole them. He then spent the quarters, while they were still cold, at a nearby convenience store. When the police found out about this incident, they naturally considered it suspicious, and that is why this burglar was caught.
  • Jade Goody (best known from UK Big Brother in 2002) wrote in her autobiography that when she was a child, her mother was involved in spending money using stolen cheque books. When she was caught doing this, young Jade managed to rush into the house before the police got in, and she hid all the cheque books in the freezer, where the police did not find them.