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Heist Episode

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"Well, we are magicians. Why don't we just rob a bank?"
Kady, The Magicians (2016): "Plan B"

A work that is not normally about theft or heists parodies or pays homage to The Caper genre for an installment. Usually, the characters have to steal something — the goal can be anything from a high-stakes Bank Robbery to their hated rival's secret apple pie recipe. In order to accomplish this they organize themselves into a Caper Crew and concoct A Simple Plan to sneak into a location and steal the target. Hijinks eventually ensue when the plan falls apart. References to well-known heist works like Ocean's Eleven will usually abound. Insofar as it might seem out-of-character (or just not usual for the show's genre) for the characters to pull off a caper, expect as much Caper Rationalization as it takes to justify the situation.

Subtrope of The Caper and Episodes. Compare Noir Episode, which is another Out-of-Genre Experience that involves crime, but is usually darker. Compare and contrast Mystery Episode. Also contrast Caught Up in a Robbery.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece Film: Gold has most of this as a central plot with the Straw Hats plus a movie only friend, infiltrating the villains stronghold to reach his vault and steal his gold after he scammed the crew into owning him debt as well as kidnapping and threatening to execute Zoro.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Unlike other films in the seriesnote , Ant-Man is a straight-up caper, with the Pyms hiring ex-crook Scott Lang to steal research from Darren Cross.
    • Avengers: Endgame is centered around the "time-heist", in which the Avengers (once again with Scott Lang) travel to different years to gather the six Infinity Stones, specifically to undo Thanos' snap at the end of Infinity War.

  • Skin Game is The Dresden Files' heist episode, with Harry strong-armed into teaming up with Nicodemus to rob the vault of Hades, god of the underworld.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione attempt to sneak into Gringott's to steal the Hufflepuff cup, which had been turned into an Horcrux.
  • In the third and final instalment of The Magicians trilogy, a down-on-his-luck Quentin Coldwater is recruited alongside other Blue-Collar Warlock types to take part in the heist of a magically-defended home, with the intended goal of making off with a suitcase containing a rare magical item.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in the 9-1-1 episode "Ocean's 9-1-1", where the first responder protagonists are accused of robbing a bank during the very emergency they were sent to control. Multiple homages to the Ocean's franchise are present as the cast tries to unravel what exactly transpired.
  • 'Allo 'Allo!: In the season 5 episode "Ribbing the Bonk", René, his wife and the café staff must rob a bank to get the ransom to pay the Communist Resistance to free Mimi, Gruber, the Colonel, and Captain Bertorelli.
  • In the Angel episode "The Shroud of Rahmon", the central characters go undercover in a supernatural gang trying to steal the titular artifact from a museum, intending to foil the heist. Things go horribly wrong when the artifact turns out to be a full-scale Artifact of Doom that causes a Hate Plague in everybody around it.
  • The Blake's 7 episode "Gold" has an old "friend" of Avon's recruit the protagonists to steal a shipment of gold. The whole thing turns out to be a scam by Servalan, with the protagonists coming out empty-handed.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine's annual Halloween Heists (and in season 6, a Cinco de Mayo Heist) involve the cast of the Cop Show challenging each other to steal something within the precinct, with increasing stakes every year. The plans are usually elaborate for the sake of hilarity and involve much sneakiness and betrayal.
  • The study group of sitcom Community plot an elaborate heist Ocean's Eleven-style to rescue the Dean after Chang replaced him with a doppelganger and takes over the school in "The First Chang Dynasty".
  • On The Cool Kids, the episode "TV Heist" is about the main characters losing out on a coveted flat-screen TV in a contest — so they attempt to steal the TV.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Time Heist" is this, with the Twelfth Doctor, Clara, and other subjects are forced by the Architect to rob the Bank of Karabraxos, a whole banking planet for the sort of people who can buy their own star systems in An Offer You Can't Refuse (along the lines of "rob the bank or you're dead").
  • Farscape had the "Liars, Guns and Money" three-part story towards the end of the second season, in which the characters rob a Shadow Depository (basically a mafia bank IN SPACE).
  • Firefly has "Trash", where con artist Saffron gets Mal and company to help steal a prototype laser weapon from a rich guy’s house.
  • MacGyver (1985): In "The Heist", MacGyver helps a politician's daughter steal back $60 million in diamonds that were stolen.
  • In the The Magicians (2016) episode "Plan B", the cast plans a magical Bank Robbery since they're all in need of money for various reasons.
    Julia: [sarcastically] Might as well rob a bank.
    Kady: Well, we are magicians. Why don't we just rob a bank?
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus has a sketch where a group of criminals plan a heist to enter the British Jewelry Centre and buy a watch. One of the criminals complains to the leader that they're not doing anything illegal.
    Criminal: I mean, we're paying for the watch.
    Leader: Of course we're paying for the watch! They wouldn't give it to us if we didn't pay for it!
  • The Partridge Family has "The Partridge Papers," in which Laurie's Secret Diary falls into the hands of a boy at school, who threatens to publish it in the school newspaper. She, Danny, and Keith hatch a Mission: Impossible-style plan to break into the school during the night and steal it back.
  • Police, Camera, Action!, despite being a Documentary, has done this.
    • "Smash And Grab" focused on a gang who broke into a cash-and-carry warehouse and committed a heist in 10 minutes (turned into an Extremely Short Timespan on the show) using two cars. This episode overlaps with Road Trip Episode as the criminals went through Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire and West Midlands in a three-hour pursuit before they were caught.
    • A more downplayed example occurred in the episode "Crime Cars", which showed a group of thieves in Kansas attempting a heist on an ATM at a gas station — but at Stupid Crooks levels, unlike the above example.
  • The "Badda-Bing, Badda-Bang" episode of the sci-fi exploration series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is an Ocean's Eleven homage, where the crew stages a caper to help Vic Fontaine run his rivals out of business and restore an errant program. The episode is set in a Vegas-style holosuite lounge.
  • In "The Scorpion and The Frog", season 13, episode 8 of Supernatural, Sam and Dean are roped into stealing a trunk for a Crossroad Demon in exchange for a locating spell they desperately need. However, the trunk is hidden inside the supernaturally warded, physically booby-trapped compound of an extremely paranoid occult collector. Paired with Smash, a master safecracker who has been promised the return of her soul in return for her participation, and Grab, a demon who gets them the detailed blue plans and shows them how to counteract the warding, the Winchesters clear the Indian Jones-style maze and obtain their MacGuffin.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a Slice of Life comedy, and the episode "Kimmy Pulls off a Heist" involves Titus wanting to use the customer-only corner store bathroom. He and Kimmy concoct a plan to make a copy of the bathroom key. The episode descends into parody when the store owner (who takes his bathroom very seriously) catches on and tries to pressure the "innocent" Kimmy into turning on Titus, while Titus grandiosely declares that they're now in too deep.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance: the "Live in Nashville" special has the main characters infiltrating a casino to track down and retrieve an enchanted bill. Given that stealth is not generally any of their fortes, it doesn't go very well.
  • Mission to Zyxx has season 2's "Pro of Cons" episode about infiltrating a fancy party to steal one of the gifts.

    Video Games 
  • Crashday has the Amateurs League's "Car Theft" mission, a Race Point-to-Point match about freeing the narrator's car from the Pound which must be completed under 2:10 minutes in the original version, and under 2:00 minutes in the Updated Re-release Redline Edition. The backstory of the mission involves the narrator being a Henpecked Husband and having his car towed away with a package that should have never been found. It's up to the driver to get away from the location with the narrator's car.
  • The Dead Money DLC for Fallout: New Vegas is this with a hitch. The Courier and a motley crew of companions must break into the vault of the high-tech but never opened Sierra Madre Resort and Casino to find the treasures within. The catch is none of them are doing it of their own free will; explosive bomb collars have been fastened to their necks by the mastermind, and if any of them die or betray the others, their heads will all explode.
  • Mass Effect 2: the Stolen Memory DLC sees Commander Shepard teaming up with master thief Kasumi Goto to infiltrate a black-tie party hosted by an arms dealer and steal back the neural implant that contains the memories of her love, Keiji.
    • A decent chunk of the Citadel DLC storyline for Mass Effect 3 is patterned after one, with Shepard infiltrating a similarly fancy party at a casino, except that they're after information, rather than money. Because the Citadel DLC was also intended as a big sendoff to the trilogy, if you had the Stolen Memory DLC for 2, you can go back to the casino later to find a device planted by Kasumi for her own job and can choose to either warn her crew off it or wish them on their way.
  • Persona 5 could arguably be considered one for Persona as a whole, and perhaps even for ShinMegamiTensei as well, depending on your point of view. It’s a game that stands out by being heavily influenced by picaresque fiction, to the point of having the main cast and their personas being partially modeled after folkloric thieves, outlaws and rebels. It also features them stealing people’s treasures by infiltrating their palaces (It Makes Sense in Context) in a way that’s reminiscent of planning a heist. To make it even more apparent, they also end up infiltrating and stealing from locations that are heavily associated with heist stories, such as a bank, a casino and even a cruise ship during the story.

    Web Original 
  • Tropers: The Series: S1:E5, "The Tropers Rob a Bank" is about the tropers getting together to rob a bank to get money to go on a skiing trip. Due to many of them conflicting with each other, such as Tropes and Puma who are not so eager to commit a crime, and Random who leaves the group to get coffee, the heist doesn't go well, and they come out with barely any money.

    Web Video 
  • Headless: A Sleepy Hollow Story: In "The Heist in the Hotel", resurrected Gentleman Thief Paulie Tahoe orchestrates a heist as a One Last Job to help the main characters break into the Storms Inn basement without the owner knowing, since she banned them from the premises during the wedding she's hosting at the inn. The owner turns out to be a former protege of Paulie's, now in Witness Protection, and they engage in a Dance Battle, which he wins. While the main characters succeed and discover a treasure trove of information related to the overarching mystery, however, they get busted as the Cliffhanger.
  • Job Hunters, while normally a Black Comedy Parody of Dystopian works like The Hunger Games, featured a heist episode in Season 2.
  • Object Terror: "Games and Gems" involves Trowel trying to steal a diamond from a museum. Its second reboot counterpart, "A Diamond Heist", is kind of the same plot except Beer and Cactus join Trowel in stealing the diamond while Wallet decides to steal diamond figurines. They all got arrested at the end of the latter episode.
  • Sorry (2023): The third video of the channel is "We Robbed A Bank", where the group tries to... well, rob a bank to help their financial troubles. After many failed attempts, they finally make to the vault... but the only thing in there is a QR code that leads to the Flappy Bird app.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has the aptly-named episode "The Heist", in which, after evil wizard Eli Pandarus steals leprechaun gold, Jake, Fu Dog, Trixie, and Spud all go undercover to steal it back.
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode, "The Great Egg Heist", Princess Quin Su Shi sends Jimmy and his friends to the Retroville Museum to steal the Jade Egg and swap it with a replica, then bring the real Jade Egg back to her to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The Princess is later revealed to be a disguised Professor Calamitous. Fortunately, his plans fail because Carl accidentally brought back the replica instead of the real Jade Egg.
  • The Angry Birds Toons episode "Royal Heist" has King Pig and his minion pigs stealing a toy egg from a rich pig. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that there was a claw machine full of duplicates of the toy egg, making the heist All for Nothing.
  • Bob's Burgers has done a few episodes in which the Belcher kids plan a heist.
    • "The Kids Rob a Train": Stuck in a train hosting a wine tasting, the kids and Regular-Sized Rudy plan to steal chocolate from the kitchen.
    • "The Taking of Funtime One Two Three": After discovering that the games at Family Funtime are fixed, Louise plans to hustle them out of enough tickets to win a dune buggy with help from Mr. Fischoeder and her friends. Turns out Fischoeder was double-crossing them (he's got a share in the arcade), but Louise had caught on and did a double cross of her own, hustling Wonder Wharf behind Fischoeder's back and winning the biggest prize at the ball toss.
    • "Yes Without My Zeke": Zeke used toilet paper to write obscenities on the ceiling of the detention room, and if anyone finds out, he'll be taken to another school for children with behavioral problems. The Belchers have to sneak into school on Saturday to erase it before anyone finds out on Monday.
  • Parodied in the Bojack Horseman episode "The Shot", in which Bojack recruits his friends to break into the Nixon Library in order to use their replica of the Oval Office to film a scene for Secretariat that the producer had cut. The episode uses many of the tropes from caper movies, including recruiting an ex-con, planning the caper, and the typical chaotic escape, but Surprisingly Realistic Outcome at the end when they present the completed scene to the producer and he angrily fires the director for going behind his back, replacing her with someone more pliable.
  • In the Chowder episode appropriately titled "The Heist", Mung puts together a Caper Crew that he calls "Mung's Five" to steal sugar sapphires from Endive's house.
  • Disenchantment: The season 2 episode The Dreamland Job is about Bean teaming up with a circus troupe in order to steal her father's money and return to the Elves.
  • DuckTales (2017) has "Louie's Eleven," where Louie schemes to get into an exclusive high society party and get the Three Cabaleros on Emma Glamour's "IT List". As is typical for these kinds of episodes, things go wrong almost from the beginning, but interestingly, not only is Glamour unsurprised to see them, apparently someone tries this every year.
  • The Family Guy episode "Ocean's Three and a Half" has Peter, Quagmire, and Cleveland attempt to rob Carter and give the money to Joe so he can afford paying for his baby.
  • Futurama, which is more or less a sci-fi Work Com, has done this a couple of times:
    • In the episode "Viva Mars Vegas", the gang execute a heist to get the Wong's casino back from the Robot Mafia.
    • In "Prisoner of Benda", Bender plans to steal the royal jewels of the Robo-Hungarian Empire, and tries to recruit the others as his Caper Crew. When they refuse, he has to go at it alone, with less than stellar results.
  • While the episodes of anthology series Love, Death & Robots are standalone, "Blind Spot" is the only one about a heist, and features a gang of cyborg thieves robbing a highly-defended truck in a high-speed car chase.
  • In the Muppet Babies (2018) episode, "Sparkly Star Switcheroo", when Piggy believes the Sparkly Star painting that Summer made for Rowlf to be for her, Summer makes another Non-sparkly Star painting to put in its place while Piggy isn't looking. The episode's Imagine Spot plays out like a museum heist, with the babies (sans Piggy and Rowlf) as a team of thieves, and the chickens as guards.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Sparkle's Seven" references Ocean's Eleven in the title, and focuses on Celestia challenging Twilight to steal a crown in order to test out the castle's new security. Twilight gets her friends together in order to do this. The episode also feature's other Eleven hallmarks, such as plans-within-plans.
  • Rick and Morty has a heist episode Played for Laughs: The plot spirals into ever more convoluted heists in a Gambit Pileup. All of which turn out to have been part of the real heist: Rick stealing Morty's enthusiasm for the heist story he was writing, so he wouldn't make a deal Netflix and be less available to be dragged into adventures by Rick.
  • Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Labyrinth" has Jack competing with a professional thief (who looks suspiciously like Daisuke Jigen) to swipe a magic jewel from a heavily guarded and booby-trapped pyramid.
  • Spoofed on The Simpsons episode "The Book Job", where the caper consists of writing a young adult fantasy novel. When the publisher changes their manuscript, they execute an actual heist to break into the printer and switch manuscripts.
  • Steven Universe, a comedy-drama science fantasy, has the episode "Gem Heist". Steven and the Gems try to infiltrate the human zoo to rescue Greg.
  • Reality TV parody Total Drama Action has "Ocean's Eight...or Nine", where the contestants have to participate in bank heist-themed challenges.
  • Wander over Yonder's "The Big Job" has Sylvia and Wander teaming up with an A-Team-style Caper Crew called the Insurgent Generals to destroy a newly-developed piece of Hater Empire technology called the HT-125-F, otherwise known as Lord Hater's hot tub.
  • Parodied in the surreal Urban Fantasy series Wishfart with the episode "We're a Ragtag Team". When Dez grants a wish for him and his friends to pull off the greatest heist ever, they discover that in the resulting Time Skip, they stole the entire fortune of Dez's parents, and so the group has to perform a reverse heist to put all the stolen money back where they found it before Dez's parents find out.


Video Example(s):


Fall Frenzy Dessert Heist

Moon and his friends plan on heisting the entire dessert buffet at the Fall Frenzy Dance. But little did they know, they're not the only one planning a heist.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / HeistEpisode

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