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Holding It for a Friend

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A stock phrase a character may use about having something embarrassing or that they shouldn't have, when they're questioned about it. It is a Sub-Trope of Suspiciously Specific Denial.


  • Follow That Bird (Sesame Street)
    Sam Sleaze: What seems to be the problem, officer? What's the charge?
    State Trooper: What about counterfeiting, extortion, fraud, impersonating a dentist, stealing an apple from a kid?
    Sam Sleaze: Oh, about that apple, officer, I can explain that. We was just holding it for a friend.
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  • The Even Stevens Movie
    Beans, you brought your own bacon.
    No, I'm holding it for a friend. Want some?
  • In Shrek 2, Puss In Boots says this of some catnip that's found on him.
  • Parodied on The Animal, where the main character catches someone at the airport by using his newly heightened sense of smell. After he pulls a pack of cocaine out of the man's buttcrack, the man looks around nervously, and says "I don't know where that came from, but it's not mine."


  • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Argus Filch pretends that the Kwikspell course Harry found on his desk is actually for a friend, since it would mean that people would find out he didn't have magic.
  • Serpico. Serpico doesn't want to go on the take, so his partner claims he's holding his share just in case he changes his mind. Serpico plays along with because it means his colleagues won't be suspicious while he (futilely) tries to get the NYPD hierarchy to take action. When the police eventually find out he's not taking bribes, they get rather annoyed that one of them is getting a double share.

Live-Action TV

  • Dollhouse episode "Briar Rose"
    Stephen Kepler: [Trying to hide his marijuana] Carrots! Medicinal carrots! Personal-use medicinal carrots that were here when I moved in and I'm holding it for a friend!
  • In an episode of iCarly, Carly says this to Spencer when he finds a sketchpad in her bag. (She was taking art lessons behind Spencer's back because of his insane methods of teaching art.)
  • In an episode of Victorious, Cat claims that the bibble Sikowitz took away from her is for a friend.
  • In the Friends episode "The One With The Routine". We never get told what it is, but when Chandler learns that Rachel and Phoebe search the apartment from top to bottom to find Monica's Christmas presents every year, he becomes very defensive about his closet containing "some stuff Joey gave me to store that I've never seen before in my life!"
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  • Bait Car: One of the most common excuses the would-be carjackers give when the police show up is "This is my friend's car, he asked him to move it for him".

Western Animation

  • South Park episode "Major Boobage". A cat is found in Kyle's drawer.
    Then why did your mother find this in your dressing drawer?
    All right. Look,that isn't mine. I'm just holding it for a friend.
    Don't lie to us, Kyle! How long have you been on the cheese (huffing cat urine)?
  • In one episode of Family Guy, exotic toads become a trendy drug (so to speak) among high schoolers. Popular girl Connie D'Amico nearly gets caught with one at school, but hides it in Meg's backpack and tells her to hold onto it for a while. When Meg's parents find the toad, she tries to explain that she was just holding it for a friend - which, in this case, is mostly true (Connie isn't exactly Meg's friend).
  • In an episode of Futurama, Hermes' son Dwight has stolen what he thinks is a cigar from him when he's caught;
    Hermes: That's not a cigar. [beat and he realises] And it's not mine!
  • In an episode of Batman Beyond, Terry is caught with "slappers" (a performance-enhancing drug using Bane's old Super Serum). He truthfully tried to explain to his mom they weren't his.
    "They're not mine! I found them!"
  • Transformers Animated: Starscream's compulsive liar clone has Sentinel Prime cornered, only for Optimus and co. to arrive.
    Optimus: Step away from the Autobot!
    Clone: What? This isn't my Autobot! I was just holding him for a friend.
  • Played for Laughs in King of the Hill, when Peggy and Bobby decide to grill with charcoal while Hank is away; when he finds a loose briquette on the kitchen floor Peggy claims she was just holding it for Luanne, before declaring "I thought it was drugs!"

Real Life

  • After being caught with a packet of cocaine in her purse, Paris Hilton said that the purse was not hers and she had borrowed it from a friend.
  • For obvious reasons, airports have prominent signs asking people to not accept things from strangers with the premise of "please hold this for me, I'll be right back".
  • Without naming names, it's quite common for gangstas and gangsta rappers to have their girlfriend keep their gun hidden in her purse.


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