There's an important, plot-relevant event coming up that just might help our heroes out with the problem of the week. Instead of reading the poster while it's on the wall like anyone who doesn't like to get scolded, they just yank it down and (often implicitly) take it with them. After all, it's not like anyone else is going to need it.
A common justification is a twist on the last line of the previous paragraph - they don't want anyone else to read the poster. This is common with bounty hunters in Westerns, who tear down "Wanted!" posters so they're the only ones who know about the bounty.
Ripping down any ol' poster doesn't cut it for this trope. It has to be because they want the information on it (or, more rarely, they want to keep that information from someone else). Otherwise, it's probably closer to "Wanted!" Poster.
Related to Ripped from the Phone Book.
- The Killing Joke has Batman doing this while subjecting Gotham's criminals to Interrogation Montage. Interestingly, the poster is not a traditional wanted poster; for the guy Batman's looking for, nothing but a DANGER: DO NOT APPROACH will do.
- In the Lucky Luke book "The Bounty Hunter", when the sheriff puts up posters for a wanted Indian, the titular bounty hunter follows him and takes every poster so he'll be the only one after the reward.
- Boldores and Boomsticks: Ruby steals a flyer for the Golden Valley Tournament off a store window and shows it to her team. Yang enters the tournament to earn them some money.
- In The Blues Brothers, one of the Nazis brings a poster promoting the band's gig at the Palace Hotel Ballroom, which he had obviously torn off a wall somewhere, to the leader of the Illinois Nazi Party.
- During Colonel Mortimer's Establishing Character Moment in For a Few Dollars More, he takes a wanted poster for the bounty he's after and slides it under the door of his target's hotel room, so the man will flee enabling Mortimer to snipe him down from a distance.
- Tobias does this in Arrested Development when an ad for an acting job is pointed out to him. When he shows up for the audition, he's the only one there.
- Criminal Minds: When the BAU is canvasing the area trying to find out how the victims encountered the killer, Prentiss excitedly pulls a flier off a laundromat's bulletin board. Of course, they suspect this particular flier is what's luring the victims, so she has every reason to want to get it off the street, but without that context, it looks like this trope.
Prentiss: "Ooh! Look at this!" *yoink*
- In Derry Girls, the girls are looking for a job and see a bulletin board in a restaurant with job postings. Michelle takes the whole entire bulletin board, so they can have all the job applications to themselves. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs when the owner of the restaurant finds out, bans them from the store, and gets them in trouble with their parents.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Bulk and Skull found an ad offering a reward to whoever returns a lost dog. They ripped it from the wall so nobody else would know about it.
- In On the Town, Gabey takes down the poster of Miss Turnstiles on the subway train, determined to find her. A little old lady immediately gets up to protest his vandalism, and hollers for a policeman, which starts an Escalating Chase.
- Assassin's Creed:
- Ezio has the ability to rip down Wanted Posters of himself to decrease his notoriety in Assassin's Creed II, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood and in Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
- Connor from Assassin's Creed III can also do this to decrease his notoriety in any of the cities he visits.
- In The Curse of Monkey Island, you can take a flyer for the Voodoo Lady's new Plunder Island location. It's completely useless, but if you try dispose of it, Guybrush will say he wants to see whether there's a discount.
- In The Lost Crown, Nigel takes a poster for Cat Watch with him after reading it.
- When you accept a bounty in Red Dead Redemption, John Marston rips the poster off of the wall, folds it up, and places it inside his coat. Justified in that he wouldn't want others to know about the bounty.
- Daughter of the Lilies: Orrig asks Thistle to take down the posters she sees with his name on then. Justified in that he was looking for help, and now that he's hired Thistle, would rather not go through another Terrible Interviewees Montage.
- In The Rock Cocks, Steg takes down a poster for a battle of the bands. Justified in that Suria, his girlfriend and bandmate, is busy busking elsewhere, and he wants to tell her about it.
- Sleepless Domain: One of the first things Tessa sees after transferring to her new school is a Magical Girl recruitment poster, featuring a prominent celebrity endorsement from her former teammate Alchemical Air. This is understandably upsetting to her in particular — Tessa's magical girl teammates, including Alchemical Air, were recently killed in the same monster attack that cost Tessa her powers, and Tessa blames herself for not being there to save them. She leaves the poster up at first and walks away, but she later doubles back to tear it down.
- In the All Grown Up! episode "Super Hero Worship", Tommy does this with a superhero convention poster.
- Implied in American Dad!. Steve, in an attempt to get his father's attention, takes an application for junior football from a sign. Roger, in a twisted attempt in helping, starts a fire. Just before the scene ends, the fire is seen quickly spreading to the sign, suggesting that it and the rest of the applications are destroyed.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Ember Island Players", Sokka and Suki take down the play's poster instead of bringing the Gaang to the wall it's on.
- Discussed in the first episode of Phineas and Ferb:
"You think we get a discount if we bring the poster?"
"Maybe we better take it!" *rip*
- In the musical version of the episode, they said they didn't get a discount.
- Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars shows Boba Fett finding a wanted poster of Han and Chewie and adding it to his shopping basket.
- Some posters have a fringe on the bottom with contact details printed on each tag, to allow a limited version of this without taking the whole poster.