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Jailed One After Another

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So Bob has the misfortune of being arrested for something. Maybe the arrest was legitimate, maybe he was framed. Maybe the reason he gets in trouble is frivolous and shouldn't be considered an offense in any way. In any case, he'll end up being charged as guilty and locked behind bars.

Bob won't be alone in this, as Alice soon joins him in jail. More often than not, she too has done something that really wasn't a big deal. But sometimes, she really was committing a crime in helping Bob escape.

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If taken to an extreme, several other characters could also get put in the slammer in rapid succession, often in the very same cell. All in all, the authorities are working fast.

As a Rule of Funny, there may be a stereotypically thuggish inmate locked in with the cast.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: At the climax of the first season, Section 9's investigation of the Laughing Man case unintentionally reveals their existence to the public's eye, and they are blamed as the culprits of the Laughing Man incident. This forces Section 9 to disband and go into hiding, but they are eventually tracked down one by one and taken into custody.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Pearls Before Swine: One arc sees most of the characters except Goat being arrested for various reasons. Luckily, before he could ruin the strip with his lack of humor, the rest of the cast end up getting bailed out by Steve Dallas.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • The Andy Griffith Show: An offscreen occurrence happens in "Andy Saves Barney's Morale". Andy has to leave Mayberry to testify in a court case, so he leaves Barney in charge of keeping the town peaceful and quiet. Upon getting back, he realizes Barney has followed through with his task by arresting the entire population of Mayberry. Andy releases them all and discharges them after reviewing their "offenses".
  • Dan Schneider series:
  • Gilligan's Island: In "Gilligan Goes Gung Ho", the Castaways set up a system of law enforcement with Gilligan and the Skipper as "policemen". Gilligan goes overboard and proceeds to arrest Mr. Howell (unauthorized borrowing of binoculars, which could count as theft), Mrs. Howell (for trying to slip him a Jail Bake), Ginger and Mary Ann (for building a fire too close to a hut), the Professor (for carrying concealed weapons — something he had made for their latest escape attempt) and the Skipper (for shaking him to get the keys).
  • The Good Luck Charlie episode "Charlie is 2" combines this trope with In-Universe How We Got Here, as the episode actually begins with the entire family getting sent to the same cell on Charlie's second birthday for different reasons. Teddy, Gabe, and Charlie tried breaking into a Gurgles concert for which they failed to get tickets; Bob and Amy rented a stolen mini-horse, and P.J. wouldn't stop harassing one of the Gurgles. They are fortunately bailed out by, of all people, the Gurgle whom T.J. was stalking.
  • Mr. Robot: One episode sees Elliot seeking to move up in his company so that he can get the security clearance he needs to carry out his latest plan. Since earning promotions fairly would take too long, he instead chooses to boost himself up by having his superiors arrested. Cue a montage of the FBI repeatedly coming to arrest his co-workers.
  • Prison Break uses a non-comedic example of this. After his brother is imprisoned and sentenced to death, Michael Scofield deliberately commits a crime in order to be put in the same jail as him, which occurs in the first episode.
  • Raising Hope: A variation occurs in one episode where it's discovered that Burt Chance is a registered sex offender, having been caught having sex with his future wife when she was still underage. Burt then tries to get taken off the sex offender registry. However, over the course of the episode, the rest of the Chance family get on sex offender registry for a variety of reasons (e.g. Maw Maw strips down in a court house, Virginia urinates in a public place).
  • The Suite Life on Deck: In "Parrot Island", London gets thrown in the titular island's jail because of the peoples' grudge against her father's company for cutting down all their trees (and driving away their parrots). The rest of the cast joins her there when they let slip that they're her friends.
  • True Jackson, VP's episode "Ditch Day" has True and Lulu end up in mall jail for "stealing" coins from the fountain. Other members of the cast wind up in there as well as the episode progresses, such as Jimmy being tossed into jail for making music the mall-cop dislikes.
  • Veronica Mars: A variant occurs when Logan gets himself arrested for car vandalism in order to be in prison with the Hearst rapist, who attempted to attack Veronica.

    Radio 
  • The Goon Show: Over the course of "The Spanish Suitcase", all the characters end up together in the same jail cell.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • The SMG4's Mario Bloopers video "Mario Preschool" has the channel become child friendly due to strict YouTube guidelines. The main characters each host a segment of the video where they act as teachers to a group of toddlers, only for something to happen that gets each of them arrested. The very end of the episode has them all in the same cell, swearing to go back to crude humor and immature jokes since doing otherwise clearly didn't work out for them.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius has "Who Framed Jimmy Neutron" where Jimmy is wrongly accused of committing a bank robbery and sent to jail. Carl and Sheen attempt to break him out but, like the Kenan and Kel example above, don't do a good job at it and join Jimmy as convicts. The trio escape to Cindy's room to figure out who the real culprit is, but the Warden catches up with them and places the three and Cindy under arrest. Fortunately, Jimmy was able to figure out the identity of real criminal by this point, the Warden himself, which frees himself and his friends.
  • In the Angry Birds Toons episode "A Fistful of Cabbage", King Pig dresses up as a sheriff from a magazine that he was reading, and goes around town lassoing his minions and throwing them in a small jail cell for minor offences, such as littering, playing with a water gun, and spitting on the ground. Soon after, when the cell has gotten so full that it looks like it's about to burst, one minion pig manages to escape through the bar windows. Near the end, when King Pig gets intimidated by a gang of pig robbers, he runs to the cell to free the imprisoned pigs and then puts himself behind bars.
  • The Emperor's New School: Kronk becomes the hall monitor one day, so Yzma attempts to use him to get Kuzco sent to detention in order to get him alone, so she can bump him off. Instead, Kuzco catches Kronk accidentally breaking the rules himself and has him turn the tables and get Yzma locked up. In the end, Kuzco abuses his new power over Kronk so much, he attempts getting everyone locked up including the running gag of the chimp and the bug as well as the show's background colorists.
  • Fish Hooks: In one episode, "Milo Gets a Ninja" to put Jocktopus in line, placing him in a time out bowl. The power goes to his head however and he goes on to the same to everyone for extremely minor reasons, to the point where every single being in Freshwater High, and some who didn't even attend the school, end up in bowls. Oscar and Bea talk some sense into Milo, but Milo still decides to ramble about getting a Robot Army to do his bidding, which gets him put into a bowl.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "Legal Eagle" involved Orson finding an old law book and giving it to Roy to keep the piece while the former went on vacation. Roy quickly goes mad with power and locks up the rest of the cast by following the outdated and nonsensical rules. Orson later returns and, after getting locked up as well, has Roy Hoist by His Own Petard by pointing out Roy's own equally nonsense rule breaking. This just results in Roy locking himself up with the rest of them.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Duck!", this happens to Grim, Irwin, and several others when a ghostly duck (whom only its chosen victims can see) gets them in trouble by blowing raspberries and making it look like they're farting at the worst possible moment.
    Grim: At the rate this duck is getting people into trouble, I predict this cell will be full in about... four hours.
    (two hours later)
    Grim: Man, he's workin' fast!
    Hector Con Carne: I'm not even on this stupid show anymore!
  • In The Loud House episode "For Bros About To Rock" Lincoln and Clyde are arrested for buying counterfeit tickets from an undercover cop for a rock concert after the real tickets have been sold out. Luna disguises herself as Lincoln's mom to get him and Clyde out of there, but Bobby doesn't quite understand what's going on and innocently blows her cover, getting her thrown in the same cell.
  • Muppet Babies (2018): In "Blanket Fort" Piggy as the Queen of the Blanket Kingdom has the other babies sent to the dungeon one by one for breaking one of her many rules. Soon, Piggy is left all alone, while the others are having fun in their cell. So Piggy has herself arrested and joins her friends.
  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: In the episode "Up, Up and Awry", Pooh wants to learn how to fly, and when Owl explains to the others that to do so, he would have to "break the law of gravity", Rabbit and Tigger go full Knight Templar to stop him. When Pooh ends up flying (kind of - a catapult was involved), they arrest Pooh, convert his house into a jail cell, and tell him he'll be out in 300 years (!). Piglet says he's not going to leave his best friend all alone for that long, and Tigger eagerly locks him up, too. Eeyore, who helped Pooh with his various flying schemes, agrees to be incarcerated as well. Owl says that he feels responsible for this whole mess and they lock him up. As Rabbit and Tigger prepare to leave, Rabbit laments that if only he had done something earlier, none of this would have happened... and of course Tigger locks him up too. Tigger is ready to leave alone until he notices that the jailbirds are making the most of it and having a tea party. Wanting to join the fun, he voluntarily jails himself. If it weren't for Christopher Robin, they'd probably all still be in there.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Shuffleboarding", Spongebob and Patrick accidentally injure Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, who were appointed to participate in the titular event. Spongebob and Patrick are tasked with becoming substitutes for the elderly duo, and are told to return after they're done Shuffle-boarding. Not only do the two friends disobey the order so they can fill in for the heroes full-time, but they do a bad job at it too as they arrest pretty much every single citizen in Bikini Bottom, young and old, for doing anything under the sun (such as getting on a kiddie ride, having shoelaces untied, or being to old). Even Man Ray is wrongly jailed, as he was just going to the laundromat. By the time the duo are done, the entire correctional facility explodes from the amount of citizens in there, who then set out to get revenge. Unfortunately, Spongebob and Patrick have returned their costumes, so the angry mob goes after the actual and innocent Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.
  • The Teen Titans Go! two-parter "Operation Dude Rescue" has the male Titans trying to act "chivalrous" towards the female Titans, but are really just acting more obnoxious than anything. This extends to deciding to take it upon themselves to take on The Brain, but they are easily imprisoned. This starts a vicious cycle where Robin comes up with an idea for other counterparts of them to break them out using a time machine, only for them to fail and get locked up too. Meanwhile the female titans gather some of the reoccurring female villains to help them rescue the males, only to get trapped in their own personal prison bubble. However, they are able to work together to get out and save the boys and their counterparts, only to still find them in their annoying "chivalry" stage. The girls decide not to help them anymore and go off to get ice cream.
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