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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.

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


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    Anime & 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: In the only successful escape from Reformation Island—though only half the conspirators actually made it out before being recaptured—the four who made it off the island to the US were recaptured and sent back one after another within a day of their escape.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba fic Impromptu Pillar Meeting, Shinobu finds Tomioka being arrested, and when she offers to help he states he can explain the truth to the officers... which leads to the increase of his charges but also Shinobu arrest as an accomplice. They then find out that the other Pillars have been arrested: Rengoku for eating outside food on a train, Kanroji for eating all the food at a buffet, Uzui for polygamy, Shinazugawa for destroying said buffet that Kanroji drained, Iguro for the massive list of crimes he recited so he can be arrested and be with Kanroji, Himejima for a Frame-Up of murdering children when he was a monk, and Tokito for loitering.
  • In this Jojos Bizarre Adventure fan comic, Jolyne is arrested for pickpocketing and asks Giorno to bail her out. He ends up arrested and they decide to ask Jotaro next. As it turns out, Jotaro was arrested before Giorno but after Jolyne, and allowed himself to get arrested because he thought it would be a good way to bond with his daughter. They then try to rely on Josuke to bail them out, but the police officer insults Josuke's hair and cause him to rampage, leading to his arrest. In the end, Jotaro decides for all of them to break out and get money from the bank to pay for their bail.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Ocean's Twelve, the sequel to Ocean's Eleven, the main characters are gradually arrested and thrown into the same cell as the heist goes more and more wrong.

    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".
  • 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.
  • Henry Danger: The Christmas Episode, of all places, has this for a plot. First, Captain Man is arrested for not wearing a hairnet at a soup kitchen. Jasper goes to protest Captain Man's arrest by breaking more of Swellview's Loony Laws, getting sentenced to the same cell as Captain Man as a result. Feeling bad for Captain Man having to share a cell with Jasper, Henry repeats Jaspers offenses so Captain Man won't have to be alone with Jasper, while Charlotte gets arrested for watching. Henry's parents are notified by a police officer about his arrest, so upon Piper's suggestion, Kris and Jake retaliate by throwing the officers walkie talkie in the fireplace and pantsing him respectively. Kris is sent in the same cell as everyone else, while Jake is sent to a cell full of the tougher convicts. The episode ends with all of them stuck in prison for Christmas, but they all manage to put a positive spin on things by realizing that they're mostly all together and singing a Christmas song.
  • Judge John Deed: The titular judge never hesitates to jail anybody who commits contempt of court. In Above the law, he sends down a whole succession of family and friends of the defendants who refuse to apologise for their behaviour in court; and in another episode, he jails a group of journalists who refuse to disclose who photographed a witness in court.
    Judge John Deed: Well, it can't be too much hardship spending a night in the cells, as you've been sent there by (quoting them) a fanatical judge who's out of control.
  • Kenan & Kel: The series April Fools' Plot has Kenan getting prank happy, only to find himself confronted by a police officer who gives him a ticket for his bike being chained to a fire hydrant, which Kel did to prank Kenan back. Kenan thinks the police officer is in on the act and starts taunting and humiliating him, trying to prank him too. Unfortunately, it's the real deal, and Kenan gets put in jail. Kel also gets locked up by trying to break Kenan out without being discrete about it at all, while the rest of the cast get put in with the two because of Kenan's pranks.
  • 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.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Happens in "Bobbsey Twins In Stir". Mrs. Davis is tricked into selling counterfeit tickets to the Policeman's Ball and jailed overnight. When released she goes to stay with her sister Angela, too embarrassed to tell how she had been tricked. Mrs. Davis really should have said something; Miss Brooks decides to sell the tickets to help the charity drive. Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Mr. Stone end up jailed in quick succession.
  • 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. Turns out at the end, the whole thing was set up by Mr. Madigan to help boost the confidence of a young boy who saved them.
  • 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.
  • Victorious: The hour-long episode "Locked-Up" has Tori getting, well...guess, after accidentally flinging her heel at the chancellor in his last good eye. The rest of the cast try to convince the chancellor to forgive her and let her out and almost succeed in doing so, when Robbie fumbles with a lamp and knocks it into the chancellor's pet octopus's aquarium, electrocuting it. As a result of that, not only is Tori still stuck in prison, but the rest of the cast joins her (except Sikowitz, who sneaked out over the chancellor's mourning).

    Newspaper Comics 

  • The Goon Show: Over the course of "The Spanish Suitcase", all the characters end up together in the same jail cell.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In the radio episode "Student Government Day". The Madison High School students were supposed to be elected to city positions for the day, but the police didn't get the memo. "Police Chief Walter Denton" and "Mayor Harriet Conklin" try to order a raid on the "Jackpot Amusement Company", but are foiled by a patrolman. Walter Denton threatens to have the cop "pounding a beat in a swamp". Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, the "mayor" and "chief of police" and a number of other student government officials are jailed.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • The Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 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 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.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: After the twins are found to have ancestral claim over Dragon's Edge, they quickly become The Caligula and enforce silly laws, like bowing to them all the time, taxes for waking up, and banning the letter S. Astrid is jailed for refusing to pay the tax, Fishlegs is jailed for not being a good Court Jester, Hiccup is jailed for flying Toothless as fast as Barf & Belch, and then Snotlout gets jailed for an unknown reason, though he claims he was framed.
  • 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.
  • In the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "Duck!", this happens to Grim, Irwin, and many 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. This episode provides the page image.
    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 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.
  • In the Sealab 2021 episode "Lost in Time," Quinn and Stormy keep getting sent back in time by the titular seabase exploding, and when they try to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, they end up thrown in the brig as "doppelgangers." This means that by the end of the episode, the cell is packed with temporal duplicates of Quinn and Stormy, including some weirdly warped copies. Eventually the situation is resolved by one time-displaced Quinn sending the "present" Quinn a message via Stormy's wristwatch radio, while all the time duplicates are taken care of by Captain Murphy throwing some Gladiator Games.
  • 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.