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Five-Finger Discount

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"In this life, one thing counts
In the bank, large amounts
I'm afraid these don't grow on trees
You've got to pick a pocket or two!"
Fagin, Oliver!

The preferred method a Street Urchin uses to acquire stuff — since they're too poor to afford it legitimately — is to sneak it out of their mark's pocket and/or into their own. A Rebellious Princess sometimes does this for the sheer thrill of it, or because they honestly believe they don't have to pay for anything; expect some kind of Freudian Excuse to come into play. The Kleptomaniac Hero also does this to anything that isn't nailed down and/or can be sold for money. Someone with Sticky Fingers does it merely because they want or are compelled to.

When this is done to a retail establishment, this is known as shoplifting. The distinction between shoplifting, burglary and robbery is that a shoplifter enters the store when it's open and sneakily conceals an item on their person; a burglar breaks into a closed store to steal items; and a robber goes into the store and steals with violence (or threats). In Real Life, shoplifters range from impoverished people who steal food to eat, to middle-class Suburbia teens doing it as a prank, to career criminals who do it methodically using accomplices to distract staff and aids like baggy clothes.

Ballistic Discount is a subtrope that adds murder to the ensemble and will likely get you killed if you should ever try it in a real gun shop. Percussive Pickpocket is a method of invoking this trope where the theft is disguised as a harmless bump on the street.

See also Video Game Stealing for the game mechanic.


    open/close all folders 

  • Some commercials for Burger King claims that the chain practices "reverse pickpocketing" by sneaking money back into their customers' pockets.
  • In one PSA about piracy, a kid is seen stealing a chocolate bar from a store. When his father finds out, he asks his son where he learned to steal. The son then claims that he thought that it was okay since his dad steals satellite signals.
  • Another PSA featured a subversion: A stereotypical punk kid snatches a purse after a woman leaves it behind at a bus stop. As he runs away, he's pursued by a police car. The end of the ad reveals that the kid actually grabbed the purse so he could return it.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In Runaways, when the protagonists go out to buy food, Nico warns them all "Remember, you're invisible to most adults until you start shoplifting, so go easy on the five finger discounts".
  • In The Simpsons, Ned Flanders is set up on a blind date with a woman who can only be described as his polar opposite. When they sit down for dinner at a fancy restaurant, her clothes are stuffed with silverware.

    Comic Strips 
  • For Better or for Worse had a storyline where Michael stole a scarf for his mother and got away with it. He ends up feeling guilty and returning it, whereupon he is caught, but not punished due to his honesty.
  • FoxTrot did a similar storyline to the above, with Paige and her friend Nicole wrestling with stealing a music CD. Paige takes it but decides to put it back before she leaves the store. She is incredibly lucky, as they are stopped by a security guard who says he saw them take it out of her purse and put it back and is very glad they did that - because he also saw when they put the CD into the purse.
    Guard: Understand, we'd be having a very different conversation right about now.
    Nicole: [clutching her chest] I think my glad beats your glad.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf Remix Comic "Smurfed Behind: The Departure", Greedy catches his brother Nabby trying to steal one of the chocolate-covered creampuffs and says "no four-finger discounts for you."
  • Subverted and inverted in Hybrid Hive: Eat Shard, since Taylor routinely has Hive keep all her things in dimensional storage. A pair of pickpockets on the Boardwalk sees her pulling out suspiciously large sums of cash to pay for things, and they repeatedly brush past her in hopes of a rich mark, but they find her pockets empty every time. Then Taylor, who was aware of them, gets tired of it and has Hive steal their wallets from them — along with their whole takings for the day — separate out the cash, and put the empty wallets in her pockets for them to steal back, to their immense confusion. (She donates the reverse-stolen money to charities afterward.)
  • The Fairy Tail fanfic The Spirit Doll starts out with a little girl alone in a hotel room when her mother doesn't return from getting supper the previous day. As she looks for her mother she steals food, money (no explanation on how), and clothes. Until she has a run-in with Erza, Natsu, and Gray who decide to take her in and help find her mother. They brush offer her thievery as necessary acts of survival. However, Erza, for a short while, does worry over some special-looking keys that the girl claims, at first, are just replicas that her mother gave her. She did steal a doll as well but for a very specific reason. Which ends up playing a role in the plot. By the way, her mother is Lucy and the girl's name is Nashi; no points on guessing who the father is.
  • Belladonna and her girlfriends in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines often get what they need by breaking into stores, though she's willing to relent for Aurora's sake and get things legally whenever they have the chance, even if she finds it annoying.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's Aladdin. Street Urchin Aladdin and his monkey friend Abu steal a melon for breakfast in the city's marketplace. After they meet Princess Jasmine, Abu snags some apples and gold pieces this way.
  • Kung Fu Panda 4: How Zhen the grey fox used to survive on the streets as a street urchin, and she's still a dedicated thief to this day. Although she calls it a "Four-Finger Discount" when suggesting to Po that they'd steal a boat, since as a Funny Animal her paws are Four-Fingered Hands.
  • The Thief in The Thief and the Cobbler is such an inveterate kleptomaniac that he even picks his own pocket.
  • Zootopia:
    • Nick casually lifts a snack from a fruit stall as he and Judy walk past.
    • In the end credits, Weaselton is shown picking cash out of a bystander's hip pocket.
  • In April and the Extraordinary World, the teenaged April is first seen shoplifting candy and books from street stalls for Darwin.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Used a lot in the The Three Stooges. In the short Loco Boy Makes Good, Curly is apparently a slick enough pickpocket to steal $50 and a pocket watch from someone. Yet in other shorts, he's caught stealing silverware and anything not nailed down. The other Stooges are guilty of this from time to time
  • In Animal House, one of the characters steals food for a party by hiding it in his jacket. The check-out girl notices but doesn't turn him in. Two of the items hidden in the guy's jacket are a couple of small roasts, and they're hidden so that they look like boobs.
  • In the Charlie Chaplin film The Floorwalker, a group of shoppers strip a display in a department store bare while the salesman is trying run The Tramp out of the store.
  • In Cas and Dylan, shoplifting is one of Dylan Morgan's steady habits, much to the consternation of her traveling partner Cas. Her last pilfering in the film is a CD of bluegrass music - a peace offering for an earlier scene where she made fun of Cas' insistence on listening to a bluegrass radio station during their cross-country trip.
  • In Tower Heist, Slide asks Josh, Charlie, Enrique, and Fitzhugh to prove that they are willing to steal by shoplifting $50 dollars worth of goods from the mall.
  • In Shoplifters, Shota is a kid who does that in order to support his family.
  • In Laughter in Paradise, Captain Russell very obviously shoplifts several items in an attempt to get arrested. He succeeds but then discovers he Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin'.
  • The thief played by Ben Howard in From Beyond the Grave has a habit of filching anything that isn't nailed down. While casing the shop, he unscrews the bell on a bicycle parked outside and pockets it.
  • Street urchins filch Antonio's loaves from his basket at the market in The Pit and the Pendulum (1991).
  • In Sheitan, Bart and his friends shoplift a bunch of snack foods from the service station. (They also drive off without paying for the fuel.)
  • Lippy: Two teenage girls decide to steal some bottles of lipstick at the pharmacy they're in. They attempt to discreetly pocket them, only to get caught.
  • In Aaron Loves Angela, Aaron and his friends shoplift porn magazines from an adult bookstore.
  • The protagonists of Mackintosh and T.J. meet when T.J. tries to shoplift an apple. Mackintosh pretends T.J. is with him and pays for the groceries.
  • About Scout: At a rest stop, Scout tells Sam to ask the cashier about condoms to create a distraction while she steals food. They're interrupted by a news report on their car theft.
  • Freebie from Freebie and the Bean regularly steals from businesses, although he says it's not really stealing because he doesn't hide merchandise under his clothes or threaten people with a gun - he just takes whatever he wants and threatens the owner with an inspection if he complains.
  • In Adam & Paul, the titular homeless drug addicts feed themselves mostly by shoplifting. In one scene Paul attempts to steal from a convenience store but is kicked out for touching a loaf of bread with his filthy hands. Karl, a fellow homeless guy, manages to steal the bread and gives it to Paul, rationalizing that it would have been thrown out anyway.
  • Shredder Orpheus has Scratch and Razoreus, a pair of expert shoplifters and all-purpose vandals. Since they lack money to buy food, they often steal it or go dumpster-diving, with a scene revolving around taking boxes of Shredded Wheat from a delivery truck.
  • Scoundrels (2010): All of the West family is good at stealing petty stuff from stores and people, with Cheryl having to constantly hound them not to do it after they go "straight".
  • Ocean's Eleven: Linus Caldwell's specialty is pickpocketing and he's really good at it. His main job during the Bellagio heist is to steal security codes from Terry Benedict's pocket. Danny Ocean is no slouch either, he first approaches Linus by lifting a wallet that Linus had just stolen from a guy on a train.

  • All The Skills - A Deckbuilding LitRPG: Arthur's "Card Shuffling" skill lets him swipe a single card from someone else's card anchor (not their heart deck), although he doesn't know in advance what he'll get. It's effective enough that Prince Marion assumes it's an actual card power.
  • Can You See Me?: In All the Pieces of Me, Tally's "friends" pressure her into stealing a top from a store by smuggling it out under her T-shirt. She goes along with it because she's terrified of being friendless at school. She shoves the top into a bin at the first opportunity, but she still hates herself for stealing it.
  • In the third book of Codex Alera, High Lady Antillus is bullying Rufus Scipio, a.k.a. Tavi. He responds by acting meek, and the moment she's out of earshot, pulls her purse out of his pocket. How else is the only Muggle in the setting going to get revenge on a Person of Mass Destruction? This turns out to be a major plot point.
  • Demon World Boba Shop: Inverted by Corbin, who is faced with the dilemma of seeing a lady drop her purse and wanting to return it, but being close to a class reward if he can remain undetected for just ten more minutes. He decides to see if he can hook it back onto her belt without being spotted. Just at the point where he's brushed against her enough that a very perceptive individual might notice him, and he can feel the clash of stealth skills vs Perception beginning, she's then distracted by her children getting into a scuffle, and Corbin gets away clean.
  • Watch Corporal Nobby Nobbs of Discworld is an expert at this, having been an Artful Dodger when he was a child. Everyone knows this, and nobody finds it more than mildly annoying at this point (the official Watch procedure for getting money out of Petty Cash is "Go find Nobby and make him give it back"). The climax to Thud! even relies on the assumption that he will have a certain MacGuffin on him, simply because it looked valuable and was in his vicinity for a while.
  • Lauren from Every Shiny Thing shoplifts shampoo, sparkly hair clips, and a ring so she can sell them to raise money to help autistic kids afford occupational therapy.
  • The Finding: Poll tricks Alex into doing this by hiding food in his backpack and then carrying it out of the store before he can get it out. She rationalises this by stating she has 'some big boys to feed.'
  • In Georgette Heyer's Friday's Child, Viscount Sheringham's Tiger is a former street urchin and pickpocket. Sherry eventually teaches him not to steal from his master's friends, but the skill comes into play in unraveling the plot.
  • Subverted in The Great Train Robbery when Pierce hires a pickpocket to bump his mark (who has a safe key Pierce needs) but not actually take anything, and watches the mark's reaction from a nearby rooftop.note 
  • In Harmonic Feedback, Naomi ropes Drea into helping her steal expensive lingerie, which she feels justified in doing because of the snotty clerks.
  • Meparik from Heralds Of Rhimn. He frequently steals wallets in order to pay the rent his Courtfather imposed on him for moving out. In the narration, he also admits to having "a hoarding problem".
  • The Heralds of Valdemar novel Take A Thief by Mercedes Lackey features a pickpocketing training school that main character Skif attends for a while. Again, there's a lot of similarities to Oliver Twist.
  • In the short story "The Hitch-Hiker" by Roald Dahl, the narrator gives a hitchhiker a lift and has a rather interesting discussion with the guy, who is a professional pickpocket fingersmith. The hitchhiker is very proud of his work and is even able to remove the belt from the narrator without attracting attention. Apparently he makes a living by going to horse races and stealing from people who win several games (though he prides himself in never stealing from poor people or anyone who loses). At the end of the story, when a police officer writes down the narrator's information for speeding, the fingersmith steals said notes so they won't get caught.
  • I'm Ok (2018): Ok steals a customer's sample bottle of skin cream from a store to give to his mother. He doesn't feel good about doing it.
  • Kate Ross's Regency sleuth Julian Kestrel has a valet who used to be a pickpocket (which is why he's called "Dipper"). Every so often this ability comes in handy in solving a murder.
  • Cody from The Missing Piece of Charlie O'Reilly once tried to shoplift a bottle of expensive perfume because he couldn't afford a nice present for his grandma's birthday. When the security guard caught him, he dropped the bottle. Instead of a present, his grandma got a $440 fine. The guilt leads Cody to ask Brona to Ret-Gone him so his grandma won't be hurt by his existence.
  • My Dark Vanessa: After Vanessa is transferred to a public school, she falls in with two girls who take her to shoplift nail polish during lunch break.
  • In Oliver Twist, Oliver joins a street gang who are trained in the arts of pickpocketing.
  • In RWBY: Roman Holiday, Trivia sneaks out of the house and goes on a "shopping spree". When she returns her father already knows what she did and bought it all off. This upsets her as it means that she no longer owns any of it.
  • Saintess Summons Skeletons: When Sofia finds a vending machine that wants gold and won't accept fake bone coins, she just shatters it with a punch and loots the contents.
  • Arlo from The Savant is targeted by a pickpocket while he's traveling across the Mediterranean in a cargo boat. He manages to kick the man overboard. Arlo isn't worried about him, since there are fishing boats nearby that could rescue him.
  • In Small as an Elephant, Jack shoplifts a toy elephant and runs away as a store employee chases him. For the rest of the book, the elephant serves as a Security Blanket for him.
  • In the first Trueman Bradley novel, Trueman is robbed by a man pretending to help him find the bank.
  • Trish from Wicked Good regularly shoplifts candy.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Walter's sister-in-law Marie in Breaking Bad is a chronic shoplifter.
  • Dawn in Buffy the Vampire Slayer turns out to have a bit of kleptomania, but after that little side plot is solved it's quickly forgotten.
  • In El Chavo del ocho, the title character would sometimes resort to this whenever he's left guarding or asked to deliver some food to someone else. There's also one time he pretended to sleepwalk in Quico's house to take a bag of bread, and when Quico chides him for it, he says "But I didn't steal the bread. I just ate it."
  • In Cougar Town, Jules is upset that she didn't get in trouble when she was younger like the others, so she tries shoplifting to prove herself. She gets help from Laurie, who is apparently a pro, able to sneak out a hair drier in Jules purse. They get caught and put in "grocery store jail". Jules eventually does prove she can be a criminal by stealing the manager's pen when she hugs him.
  • In Degrassi: The Next Generation, Control Freak Liberty tries to make nice with the school bad boys. When she tries to impress them by saying she'll provide a "five-finger discount," they're hysterical that this dork thinks this phrase is cool. A few episodes later, as the bad boys are shoplifting, the ringleader flexes his fingers and says, as if he thinks it's cool, "I can get us a five-finger discount."
  • In Doctor Who TVM (The TV Movie), the Eighth Doctor demonstrates a talent for pickpocketing people while directly speaking with them. He uses this talent to steal an ID card and a gun... which he uses to hold himself hostage.
    • The Doctor does tend to just make off with things. Maybe it's kleptomania, maybe it's just that they don't have any money. Probably a bit of both.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In the Season 2 Sneak Peek Clip, Claudia steals a man's wallet from his coat pocket without him noticing.
  • This is part of Parker's repertoire in Leverage. They have an actual pickpocketing expert, Apollo Robbins, on staff to make sure it's done right. He appeared in one episode as Parker's Evil Counterpart in another crew and they end up in a pickpocketing duel.
  • In My Name Is Earl, the title character was doing this regularly along with all of his other thievery before he discovered karma, and decided to make up for all the bad things he had done.
  • Hanna and Mona from Pretty Little Liars were both shoplifters (in fact, the scene in which Mona steals a scarf is pretty much her Establishing Character Moment). However, Hanna was later caught by the police, which resulted on her mom having an affair with Detective Wilden to prevent charges (plus getting blackmailed by A because of it), so she quickly drops this.
  • Cory Baxter on That's So Raven does this in "Five-Finger Discount" after giving in to peer pressure, but then becomes racked with guilt after having nightmares and tells Raven what he did, then goes back to the store to return the item he stole, which was a stress-toy monkey. Raven then has a vision of him being caught shoplifting again and disguises herself as a security guard to stop him. Raven herself was the security guard in her vision, making it come true. Then, a real security guard shows up, and Raven saves Cory from facing the same fate the bullies are facing after they were caught.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", the young Gus Rosenthal often stole comic books and toy soldiers, leading his father Lou to hit him with his belt to teach him a lesson. Even so, he was going to steal another toy soldier the next day but stopped when he noticed his older self looking at him.
    • In "Song of the Younger World", Tanner Smith was forced to pick people's pockets as he had no money for food. As a result, he was sent to the House of Refuge Reformatory for Wayward Boys.
  • Jimmy from Two Up, Two Down has no problem with shoplifting, seeing it as "self-sufficiency".

    Music Videos 
  • The video for Gob's "B Flat" kicks off with a purse-snatcher, and goes downhill from there.

  • In one episode of The Now Show Mitch Benn sang about the closure of Woolworths.
    Where will all the chavs go now,
    To do their shoplifting?
    They got everything they wanted at Woolies,
    And they never paid for a damn thing.
    Where will all the schemies go,
    To nick stuff now?
    They're gonna have to figure out how to get past the scanners
    At TK-Maxx somehow.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "The Bicycle Thief", Stevie, a poor but otherwise honest honor student just can't help himself; he borrows Mr. Conklin's bicycle for his birthday. Miss Brooks tries to prevent Mr. Conklin from discovering the identity of the borrower.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arkham Horror 3rd edition: One street encounter has an unattended display of apples for sale. If you eat some without leaving money, you need to pass a Will test or literally be Cursed by your own guilty conscience.

    Video Games 
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • In Assassin's Creed II and its two sequels Ezio Auditore can do this to passers-by to gain a few coins. Certain missions involve using the skill to surreptitiously acquire important items. Particularly satisfying, after bribing a herald to stop bad-mouthing the Assassins, you can turn around and lift your bribe right back out of his pocket.
    • A Minigame in Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles has Altair trying to remove a key from an enemy's bag. He must do so without touching the sides of the bag, or anything else in the bag.
  • Deltarune: In the SnowGrave Route, Kris (along with The Player) forcibly gaslights Noelle into stealing a ring from a shop.
  • Lampshaded in the Discworld PC game: Rincewind remarks that lovable street urchins are well-known for that sort of thing.
  • In Fable, the player can steal just about everything not environment geometry as long as their dexterity is high enough and nobody's looking.
  • Fallout:
    • It's possible to "reverse pickpocket" them, i.e. sneaking items into their possession, such as grenades which are activated as soon as you exit the menu. The game keeps track of how many times you've done this under "Pants Exploded", and Fallout 3 awards the Psychotic Prankster achievement for pulling it off the first time.
    • Planting items on NPCs is also useful for getting unique equipment from them (by giving them stronger but more common armor or stealing their ammo and planting a different weapon with some of its ammo, which the NPC will usually equip if you leave the building or town and come back). In some cases, you can also give skill-boosting equipment to characters who provide services based on those skills (most useful with Repair) or remove Haggle-boosting equipment from merchants.
    • In Fallout 4, upon visiting the Hubris Comics store, Cait will mention that she once stole a comic book off a pack Brahmin as a child, practically memorizing it until it was trashed by her Abusive Parents.
    • In Fallout 76, a raider-owned Protectron vendor mentions that five-finger discounts will be paid for with said five fingers.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake: Mireille picks Damon's pocket and gives his money to Cloud after the Shinra reporter stiffs him, quipping that it's not theft if someone's stealing what they're owed.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Pretty much standard practice for the series, especially for beginner characters who have not yet gotten into all of the series' Money for Nothing. Steal some stuff, take it to a different merchant (or a dedicated "fence" starting with Oblivion), sell it, rinse, repeat.
    • In Morrowind, the very first Thieves' Guild quest for Sugar-Lips Habasi involves stealing a diamond from an Alchemist shop in such a fashion. This is far from the only quest in the Thieves Guild quest line to feature this, in Morrowind or in the rest of the series.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Link can steal any item from the shop when the shopkeeper's back is turned. Not only does this causes Link to be called a thief by everybody, but should he ever return to the shop, the shopkeeper makes him pay... with his life.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: If Guybrush tries to walk out of a shop with items he hasn't paid for in the shopkeeper's absence, the shopkeeper will suddenly return and call him out.
    Shopkeeper: Looking for the sword master of Melee Island? Looking for a five-finger discount, more like!
  • In Thief, Garrett usually aims for more lucrative jobs, but he's not above stealing from passersby when money's tight and the rent is due. In addition, he was recruited into the Keepers as a child because he was caught trying to make a grab from one.
  • Luke of Tales of the Abyss is a Royal Brat who has been sequestered in his mansion for years ever since the attempted kidnapping. He doesn't really get the concept of paying for things until he gets a rude awakening from an apple merchant.
  • Kingdom of Loathing once had as an Item of the Month, a pair of pants that explicitly grants a "5-Finger Discount" when worn. (It also grants various other thiefly bonuses; why the 5-finger discount translates into only 5% off at stores, isn't clear.)
  • Referred to by name by the Allied Thief unit in Command & Conquer: Red Alert, their purpose being to infiltrate Soviet ore refineries and steal their money.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra chan saw it!: Azami stole a pack of cat food from Karin, claiming it was for her daughter Tsutsuji. However, when Karin and her mother Yuri find Tsutsuji, the little girl tells them that she and her mom actually aren't poor. Furthermore, Tsutsuji reveals that her mother Azami has stolen many things before, using her to get free food.
  • Happy Tree Friends: Lifty and Shifty are pretty skilled at swiping stuff from the other Tree Friends.

    Web Comics 
  • Referred to as a "two-bicep discount" in The Bloody Nipple Saga.
  • Due to the art style, Haley Starshine of The Order of the Stick once refers tothis as the three-finger discount.
  • Batman and Sons does this with "Don't Mess with Bats." After a bad day which gets Batman snarky, he gets on the nerves of Jesse Quick, Hourman, and Dr. Mid-Nite by showing his hands "are quicker than" their eyes: he snatches Jesse's top while she runs at him, he gets Hourman's hourglass while he's making his threat (and he suddenly sees it's gone and on Batman, who goes "Tick Tock"), and he gets Dr. Mid-Nite's goggles, rendering him unable to see—and running into a tree.
  • In this strip of Life of Maid, Marisa, being... well, Marisa, decides to indulge in a spot of shoplifting, making off with a basket full of goods from Rinnosuke's store. Unfortunately for Marisa, Sakuya has just applied for a part-time job there in order to make up for the Scarlet Devil Mansion's expenses and finds it quite easy to get Rinnosuke's goods back.
  • Early on in Newheimburg, Jack wanders around Newheimburg's World Fair and snatches 20 bucks off of a complete stranger.
  • In Housepets! one of the wolves is an implied kleptomaniac known as "Four Finger Discount Jack". Though it might refer to his missing arm instead.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in 6teen when the main characters recount how they occasionally make themselves drinks or food at their mall jobs without paying, calling it the "five-finger discount". Their laid-back attitude about it leads to Jen stealing a jacket she admires from her workplace. She is later overcome with guilt and sneaks into the mall that night to put it back.
  • Amphibia: Prior to being transported to the titular world, Anne steals the Calamity Box from a thrift shop after getting peer-pressured into it by Sasha and Marcy. However, Marcy had an entirely different motive for wanting Anne to steal the music box.
  • Big City Greens: In "Big Trouble", after Tilly decides to go bad after getting punished for the first time, she tries to commit shoplifting. However, she is quickly racked by guilt and gives the item back.
  • Big Mouth: When her parents' marriage starts to circle the drain, Jessi is encouraged by the Hormone Monstress to act out and start shoplifting, saying she doesn't need to pay if she's got five fingers. Jessi corrects her by saying that she has four fingers, but it's just "standard animation."
  • Dijon from DuckTales (1987) is notorious for pilfering anything that isn't nailed down, and he'll pull the nails out if it has value.
  • Family Guy: In "Breaking Out is Hard to Do", Lois sneaks a ham into her purse because she can't afford it, but soon grows addicted to the sheer thrill of stealing. At first, the judge considered going easy on Lois after she is caught, considering it is her first offense, but she earns three years in prison after stealing his gavel.
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls (1998), of all people, pulls this in "A Very Special Blossom." She steals a set of very fancy golf clubs to give the Professor for Father's Day. When the jig seems to be up, she tries to frame Mojo Jojo for the theft. Nobody — especially Bubbles and Buttercup — buys it.
  • In Samurai Jack episode "The Aku Infection", Jack is rescued by two travelers in the mountains and after spending the night with them and leaving, Jack realizes he unknowingly stole their rare gem due to a piece of Aku slowly taking over his body.
  • On The Simpsons they have occasionally called it the four-fingered discount.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Envoys", Ensign Mariner tricks the Taxor who was hurting Ensign Boimler by pretending to throw his coin purse somewhere in the market, but she actually stole the alien's money.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Dooku Captured": While Hondo is obviously lying about defeating Dooku in a fight, the fact that he managed to swipe two lightsabers off a highly trained force user without being caught is quite impressive.
  • Even though the H.I.V.E. kids in Teen Titans are doing a little more than shoplifting, they still claim to have purchased their stuff with a "five-finger discount". Later memorably subverted in "Lightspeed", where Mammoth complains that he paid for a candy bar when he gets waylaid by Kid Flash.
  • Yogi's Space Race: The richest man in the galaxy tells his son he's the richest one for never buying anything he wants.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Shoplifting, Pickpocketing


Thrift Shoplifting

At the behest of Sasha and Marcy, Anne steals a seemingly normal music box from a thrift shop.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / FiveFingerDiscount

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