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Mistaken for Thief

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Stealing is illegal, but that doesn't stop some people from doing it. However, sometimes a person thinks another person stole something and they're wrong.

The item could be a piece of food, a valuable item, money, something the accuser really likes, or anything else, but the result is the same: it goes missing and somebody believes that one person in particular stole it.

That person could be suspected for a variety of reasons: maybe they have been known for doing questionable acts in the past, maybe they really do steal sometimes, or someone said that they did it (but lied), if it's food, maybe they're a Big Eater or they like the food in question (maybe it's even their Trademark Favorite Food, but a character can like a food without it being trademark). Maybe they don't get along with the item's owner or they really wanted the item, or maybe they were seen with evidence (for example, they had crumbs near them if it was food, were holding an item similar to the missing one, or were seen holding the missing item but were actually trying to put it back), or the accuser thinks the actual perpetrator is too cute to steal. Or the accused could be the victim of some form of prejudice, like racism. Sometimes, even, the person who suspects the other person thinks the real perp doesn't even exist!

Usually, the item will turn out to either have been stolen by someone else or not stolen at all. If it wasn't stolen at all, it might have been accidentally knocked over by a person, animal or the wind or someone might have accidentally thrown it out or forgotten where they put it. Alternatively, the person suspected of theft was in possession of it, but they'd only meant to borrow it (and borrowing something without asking, while inadvisable, is still not stealing if you return it). Sometimes, someone took it but for a relatively good reason and were planning to return it (for example, a teacher confiscated a student's toy but that was only because toys weren't allowed in class, or someone took a piece of clothing but only because they wanted to wash it.)

If it was stolen, it could have been an animal like a dog or a bird (sometimes a Thieving Magpie), or in some cases, a monkey who stole it. If the thief was a human, they might have been trying to frame the wrongly suspected person, especially if they're the wrongly suspected person's rival, but sometimes they just wanted the item and feel bad when they get caught.

If the wrongly-suspected person tries to say that they didn't steal, the accuser likely won't believe them, although there will often be one, two, or several people who are usually close friends of the false suspect and/or know that the person wouldn't do it and they usually try to help the person prove they didn't steal it, commonly by exposing the real culprit.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In volume seven of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard, Seigi is accused of stealing a very valuable ruby and is arrested on a cruise ship. Richard is basically held hostage while he goes off with Vincent to sort out the crime.
  • Grimoire of Zero: Albus finds a ring in the river and puts it on. The party then accepts a gift of tomatoes from someone. Later, when the party stops in a village, the villagers recognize the ring as belonging to a granny and accuse Albus of stealing it, and when they see the tomatoes, accuses them of stealing those too. The villagers refuse to believe their explanations and force them to fight their way out.
  • Played for Laughs in My Hero Academia after a tense scene following a major incident where Shota Aizawa points out to Class 1-A that hadn't the whole country been focusing on All Might's retirement, about 90% of the class would've been expelled for participating in an unlicensed rescue of Bakugo or just being privy to it. To lighten the mood, Bakugo grabs Kaminari and drags him behind a bush, causing an electrical discharge to appear and the latter emerging with his brain fried, much to the humour of the class. Bakugo then hands Kirishima a large wad of money, who freaks out thinking that he just mugged Kaminari for that. Bakugo angrily asserts that this is his own money, to pay him back for that night-vision scope he bought and lost in the previous incident.
  • In Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream episode 4, Ikaritchi notices his wood-carving tool has disappeared and snaps at Mametchi for it, thinking he's the culprit. Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi use their Yume Kira bags to transform into fisherwomen and catch the true perpetrator of the crime. As it turns out, the tool was never actually stolen and Ikaritchi had just misplaced it.

    Asian Animation 
  • At the beginning of the Lamput episode "Origins", Lamput shapeshifts into a crown and hides behind the window of a jewelry shop to get away from the docs, who promptly notice and make a run into the store to grab him. Then the window's glass breaks, and the resulting scene makes it look like the docs just robbed the shop. Cue police car.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In Flying Island: The Sky Adventure episode 20, the green pencil used by the Rainbow Beans to produce rainbows goes missing, and the goats remember Wolffy had tried to infiltrate the rainbow production room earlier. In reality, Wolffy never stole the pencil; it ended up in Paddi's backpack by mistake.
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Chutney Dam", Samosa and his friends are blamed for the mysterious disappearance of Chatpata Nagar's chutney supply. The townsfolk are technically not that far off, since Dhokla absorbed it all - but even then it was still an accident.

    Comic Books 
  • The Hair Bear Bunch #9 (Gold Key): The issue's second story, "The Zoo Food Phantom," had Square Bear accusing Bubi of raiding the bears' refrigerator overnight when a masked figure, whom Bubi tried to stop, did.
  • Tintin: In "The Castafiore Emerald", the opera singer's precious emerald and a pair of gold scissors go missing and Thompson and Thomson mainly think a group of nomads who are camping nearby took them but they also suspect the singer's maid and Captain Haddock's butler. It turns out to have been a magpie who took them.
  • Watchmen: Zigzagged. When Ozymandius, and The Comedian first met, the Comedian beats up Ozymandius and claims it's because he mistook him for a burglar, but it's implied that he actually knew who Ozymandius was, he just lied because he wanted an excuse to beat him up, because Comedian didn't like Ozymandius.

    Fan Works 
  • Lucys Secret: Discussed when Lucy, trying to buy bedwetting pants, thinks that if anyone saw her acting so secretive in the store, they'll think she's getting ready to shoplift.
  • In Princess Celestia Is In Your Bed, Steve thinks his roommate Wayne took his strawberry fanta but really it was Princess Celestia.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Flushed Away, Rita lies that Roddy stole the ruby from her and was an international jewel thief. The villains believe her and spread the lie to other people, including Rita's brother.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alice in Wonderland (1949), Alice is framed for the theft of the Queen's tarts and most all of the inhabitants of Wonderland are led to believe she is guilty.
  • Hang 'Em High: The whole reason for the plot is the main character (a guy named Jed Cooper who used to be a lawman but became a cattle wrangler) was the last man known to have been with another cattle wrangler (who was murdered and had his cattle stolen after Jed bought some cows) and so was accused of the theft by a group of vigilantes. He gave the posse evidence but they weren't satisfied so they hanged him from a tree. Luckily, he survived the hanging and eventually got even with both them and the real thief.
  • A Haunting At Silver Hill: Anne and Kevin notice things, like Anne's expensive scarf, going missing. Due to finding them in Jordan's dresser, they assume she's stealing them to act up, helped by her 12 year old police record of petty theft and drug abuse. Though she insists she's innocent, she still gets locked in the bathroom all night while they go out on a date.
  • In A Little Princess (1995), Miss Minchin finds the things hidden in Sara's room and assumes she stole them.
  • In Sands of the Kalahari, Sturdevant survives his trek through the Thirsty Desert and collapses into the water lapping the beach he arrives at. However, he has unknowingly crossed on to the lands of a diamond mine and is immediately arrested by mine security, who mistake him for a diamond thief they are searching for.
  • Tommy Boy: Tommy and Richard follow Ray Zalinsky into a business building, and they split up looking for him. Tommy goes into a bank and yells "Listen up, this'll only take a second!", and everybody immediately assumes he's trying to hold up the bank, with the security guards sliding their pistols over. Tommy realizes he's screwed up and promptly flees (fortunately, they find Zalinsky and try to talk to him before being dismissed). However, Tommy soon takes advantage of the situation when he sees a news crew that was sent to report on the alleged hold-up and he gets them to follow him back to Zalinsky's office by pretending he has a bomb strapped to himself (which are actually road flares).
  • Trading Places: Billy Ray Valentine was running away from some cops when he bumps into Louis Winthorpe leaving the gentlemen's club and ends up holding Louis's briefcase. Louis' panic attracts the police's attention, which, in turn, attracts the Dukes' attention and makes them start thinking about a bet involving the two different men.
  • In On the Buses, Blakey confiscates a bag of laundry from Stan, who isn't supposed to be doing errands while driving his bus. However, Stan picked up the wrong bag of washing by accident, and the housewife who owns said bag catches Blakey with it and he is assumed to be a knicker-snatcher.

  • One saying that's particularly common in the military: "There is only one thief in the army; the others are just trying to get their stuff back". In case you don't know, it's implying that the one thief steals from several people. A few of those people see other people with stuff they think is theirs and, believing those people to be the thieves, inadvertently steal from them, possibly leading to a repeat of the situation.

  • Angela Nicely: In “Neighbourhood Watch!”, Angela thinks that Mr. Monk is a burglar because he has some candlesticks, was wearing a black outfit including a balaclava, and had been digging. He’s not, though.
  • Baby Sitters Club: One mystery involves a client accusing Stacey of stealing a diamond ring. It turns out that a cat had accidentally knocked it under the carpet.
  • Clarice Bean: In "Utterly Me", the trophy for a competition goes missing and Mrs Wilberton thinks Karl Wrenbury stole it, but Clarice Bean and Betty Moody know he didn't do it because he said so and Karl always boasts about naughty things he's done, so they play detective to figure out what really happened to the cup. Clarice, during her investigation, suspects Mrs Wilberton, Toby Hawkling (another prankster, but he usually only pranks with Karl) and Grace Grappelo, who didn't steal it either. It turned out to only have been taken to be cleaned.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • In "Rodrick Rules", Mrs Craig (the English teacher)'s dictionary goes missing and some bullies think that Corey Lamb and Peter Lynn (two verbose boys) stole it. It turns out that it wasn't stolen, Alex Aruda had simply been using it to study.
    • In "The Long Haul", the Heffleys cannot find their luggage while at the pool and believe that another family (which Greg nicknames "the Beardos" because the father has a beard) took it. It turns out that they just opened the wrong locker.
    • In "The Getaway", the Heffleys lose a suitcase full of their clothing and accidentally take a stranger's suitcase full of clothing at the airport instead. Because they want to go have a decent meal at a restaurant, which has a dress code, they decide to use the clothing in the suitcase to be allowed in there and were planning on sending them back when they were done using them. However, the family whom actually owned the suitcase happened to be there, and reported them to security. But when confronted for information, the Heffleys decide to take the security guard's golf cart and make a dash out of there to avoid trouble. This makes the security guard convinced that the Heffleys intentionally stole the suitcase for themselves, so he makes them hand back the clothes, and also escorts them out of the resort because the business does not tolerate "theft."
  • Dunk: In chapter 5, Chad gets accused of stealing sunglasses, which kicks off the drama for the story.
  • Gangsta Granny: Invoked. Granny deliberately lies to Ben that she's an international jewel thief so that he'd think she was cool. She did not, however, intend for her Nosy Neighbor to overhear and start believing it too.
  • Holes: Stanley Yelnats is sent to a juvenile correction camp because he caught a falling pair of sneakers and everyone else thought he stole them.
  • In one of the Magic Kitten books, the girl Eve thinks she sees her friend Allison stealing the sacks of cat kibble, but really she is trying to frame her little brother Darren because she's mad at them, and she's not stealing them, she wants them to get wet in the rain. Of course, she didn't consider the cats.
  • Precious And The Monkeys: When two of Precious's classmates have their lunches taken by monkeys, they believe Poloco (another classmate) did it because he's kind of fat and they believe the "fat people eat a lot" stereotype. Precious sets out to clear Poloco's name and prove the monkeys did it.
  • In "The Singing Bell" by Isaac Asimov, Inspector Davenport is talking about the risks of using a Mind Probe without enough solid evidence and mentions that recently, a bank cashier had to be paid a compensation because of being probed for suspicions of theft, when the evidence was actually because he'd had a fling with a married woman.
  • In So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, Arthur tells Fenchurch a story about how he thought a man in a station waiting room was taking his biscuits, but really the man was eating from an identical packet of biscuits and Arthur had in fact accidentally stolen the man's biscuits. The author, Douglas Adams, claims that it was based off something that happened to him in real life, but variations on it have been an Urban Legend since before the book was written.
  • In the Warrior Cats book A Dangerous Path, ThunderClan finds evidence of prey being killed on their territory. Bluestar assumes it's being stolen by WindClan (to the point of accusing them publicly at a Gathering), due to her paranoia/dementia and the fact that one particular example of the prey was the remains a rabbit found on that end of the territory. Fireheart knows that it's likely a dog catching the prey due to other evidence and arranges for Bluestar to meet with WindClan's leader to discuss it before she can lead an attack on them.
  • In A Yellow Raft in Blue Water, Rayona mistakes her mother Christine for a thief trying to break into their car since she sees her mother wearing a candy-striper uniform that was stolen from the Indian Health Service hospital since she had no intention of staying in the hospital and was going to drive off to kill herself. Rayona attacks her by whacking her in the ass, and they both get knocked over when the car door opens and her mother turns to confront her attacker when she sees that it is Rayona.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Latinamerica, the sitcom El Chavo del ocho comes to mind. In some sketches, El Chavo is accused of robbery and forced to leave the vecinidad because some of his neighbors' items, like irons and dishes, appear inside his barrel (put there by the real thief). In the end, everything ends well, but considering the sitcom is a comedy, it drives the show in a dark and sad territory to touch the audience about poverty and injustice.
  • Frasier: Bulldog has a habit of ranting about people stealing his things but then finding them.
  • House of Anubis: In "Touchstone of Ra", the students go to an Ancient Egyptian themed museum, where an artifact gets stolen, put in Eddie's bag, and confiscated by the teachers. In reality, a girl named Sophia was the culprit, but she and Eddie were friends so Eddie blames Dexter because the latter liked the object. Only Patricia, who doesn't like Sophia, takes Dexter's side.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan:
    • In episode 3, Alan decides to take a bath after falling onto a pile of manure. Long story short, he decides to take clothes from the clotheshorse outside while wearing a sarong to cover his head. Unfortunately, it makes him look like a stereotypical thief and Pipin screams for help, resulting in a beaten up Alan.
    • In the beginning of episode 12, an old man steals candies from kids then run away. When Bambang tries to comfort them, some women thinks he is robbing them, forcing Bambang to flee.
  • New Tricks: In one episode, a group of homeless people think Brian stole his coat from a friend of theirs. They knock him out and steal the coat but Brian manages to get it back from the friend. However, the coat had gotten smelly so Brian's wife had burned it and he buys an identical coat from a charity shop, but it smells like his old one.
  • Sanford and Son: In "Have Gun, Will Sell", after Fred and Lamont scare away a burglar, they try to pawn the burglar's pistol at the local pawn shop, but the owner thinks they're trying to rob him.
  • That '70s Show: In the episode "Eric's Stash", Eric's (not-so) secret pile of money was taken from its hiding spot, resulting in him accusing several of his friends of stealing it, including Hyde, which everyone else points out as absurd. As it turns out, Red took the money in order to pay for a water heater, which he fully intended to pay back before Eric noticed.
  • In the That's So Raven episode "Country Cousins", Raven and her friend Chelsea visit some of Raven's relatives in the country to mend a feud that started with everyone thinking her father stole a precious gravy boat. It turns out that what really happened was that Raven and her cousin Betty Jane buried it as little kids.
  • In the Worzel Gummidge episode "Very Good Worzel", Aunt Sally eats a plate of cocktail sausages and lies that Worzel did.
  • Young Sheldon: In "Potato Salad, a Broomstick, and Dad's Whiskey", Sheldon and Missy mistake Connie for a burglar after she comes over to check on them.
  • Zoey 101: In "Fake Roommate", the girls find items missing and each one thinks the other took them but it turns out that their kleptomaniac dorm adviser took them.

  • Songdrops: In the song "My Pet Monster", said pet monster eats the last piece of pie and everyone else thinks the narrator did it because the monster is invisible except on Halloween and everyone else thinks he doesn't exist.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • Zigzagged in one "Ernie and Bert" skit. Bert finds cake crumbs on Ernie's plate, a piece of cake missing, and Ernie holding a fork so he presumes Ernie took it. Ernie makes up a story about a monster shaking the crumbs off the piece of cake and eating it, then giving Ernie the fork but then admits that he ate the cake. However, a monster shows up and does exactly what Ernie said with the second piece of cake.
    • In one "Ernie and Bert" skit, Cookie Monster takes some cookies, but he was dressed as Ernie, so Bert thinks Ernie did it.

    Video Games 
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, Catie picks up a strange crystal at the start of Chapter 4, and then gets arrested when a guard sees her with it. It turns out the crystals are the city’s power supply, and they’ve been mysteriously going missing for a while. The chapter then involves breaking out of prison and clearing Catie’s name by finding out who the real thief is.
  • In Epic Battle Fantasy 4, Anna thinks that Matt and his party stole the Greenwood Jewel, but they didn't. In actuality, some cats stole it so that they could summon Catgod.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Big Smoke mistakes CJ for a burglar at his home during his introductory cutscene, which leads to the memorable "YOU PICKED THE WRONG HOUSE FOO'!" exchange.
  • A Little Lily Princess:
    • This is a recurring cause for the Darkest Hour before Sara wakes up to the "magic", as it gives Miss Minchin a reason to punish Sara by telling her she won't be getting any food the following day:
      • Jessie's route: Jessie gives Sara a piece of jewelry, but Lavinia reports it stolen and has Miss Minchin search Sara's room for it.
      • Mariette's route: Mariette gives Sara a shawl when they run into each other, but Miss Minchin assumes Sara stole the shawl from one of the students when she comes back to the seminar wearing it.
    • In Becky's route, Becky puts her savings in Sara's care for safekeeping, but Lavinia makes Miss Minchin search Sara's room for falsely reported stolen items much earlier than she does in Jessie's route. Becky's savings become the would-be stolen item and the cause of an early unfortunate incident rather than the last one before the "magic". On top of this, the last incident before the "magic" consists of her being accused of stealing food by the Cook, who gave the food to the policeman she's seeing and needed to cover up the real reason it was gone.
  • Kingdom Hearts χ: At one point, during the Agrabah segments, four coins are stolen and Aladdin is the suspected thief. The player character believes Aladdin to be innocent and tries to prove it. As it turns out, he is indeed innocent, but because he actually does sometimes steal, he asks you to turn the coins in and clear his name.
  • In King's Quest VI, Alexander travels to the Green Isles, during which the population of each island believes the population of another stole something precious from them, which caused so much animosity that the ferry lines went out of business and the islands were isolated from one another. Alexander discovers that the real perpetrator was a villain named Abdul Alhazred, and he stole them to intentionally create discord so that he could become king of the nation.
  • In Kirby: Squeak Squad, Kirby's strawberry shortcake gets stolen. He thinks Dedede (who has stolen all the food in Dream Land before) did it, but then gets distracted by a bunch of thieving mice called the Squeak Squad. It's unknown if they did it or not, but Dedede is innocent.
  • One of the sidequests in Mass Effect 2 involves Shepard helping a quarian girl who'd been accused of stealing a volus's credit chip when said volus had actually just left it in a shop. The volus concocts an increasingly elaborate (and wildly impossible) tale about how she pick pocketed him before you clear her, then refuses to apologize afterword, potentially leading to Shepard delivering an ear-blistering dressing down for his behavior.
  • Subverted in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and tribulations: Phoenix Wrigth has to cooperate with Luke Atmey, a detective wannabe, in a case of robbery against his archnemesis Mask☆De Masque (which identity is the claim of Phoenix client, Ron De Lite). But happens to be Luke Atmey himself the real culprit of the robbery, to have an alibi to his real crime, murdering his own blackmailer. This cleared Ron De Lite of his crime of robbery, but he is in fact the real Mask☆De Masque, now free to go due to a Double Jeopardy law.
  • One of the objectives in Untitled Goose Game is to get someone to buy back their own stuff. If you steal the toy plane from the young boy and put it on a shelf in the shopkeeper's store, the boy will run in after you, pick it up and walk away with it, only for the shopkeeper to stop him, berate him, and force him to pay for it.
  • This Starry Midnight We Make: When first going to the Mansion, the protagonists are mistaken for thieves because the owner thinks they were looking at the Mansion too long.

  • In El Goonish Shive, during the "Tedd Video Game Opinions" storyline, Sarah gets framed for stealing elemental stones because Tedd transformed into her before shoplifting.

    Web Original 
  • In Lincoln Loud's Treehouse Mystery, an episode of an official "podcast" based on The Loud House, Lincoln Loud and Clyde McBride's hammock goes missing. Lincoln is suspicious of all his sisters, but especially Lynn because she once stole the batteries from the TV remote, Lana because she once stole his macaroni and cheese, and Lola because she's a bit of a brat and admitted to hiding her vegetables. It turned out that the real thief was Mr. Grouse, the cranky neighbor.
  • In one of the true stories in Planet Dolan, a boy (played by Ghost Toast) steals the teacher's $100. The janitor is caught with exactly that much money, which unfortunately gets him fired because it's thought to be the teacher's money.
  • On Snopes, there are several articles where someone sees another person with an item they mistake for theirs.
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, this is how "Danny Phantom vs. American Dragon: Jake Long" starts. Danny is in a museum late at night using his ghost intangibility to put back a stolen artifact where it belongs, and Jake ends up mistaking him for the one who stole it.
  • StacheBros: In "Wario's Robbed", after Wario and Waluigi amass a billion dollars, Waluigi takes all of it with him after Wario tells him about the possibilities of having so much money. Wario is sad thinking Waluigi robbed him, but it turns out Waluigi was just depositing the money into a bank account.

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alvin thinks a card called the Pink Rose was stolen by a criminal called the Shadow Thief, but it turned out that the Shadow Thief had already been caught and the card was under his bed.
  • Arthur:
    • In "Arthur, World's Greatest Gleeper", one of the bullies says that "I bet [Arthur] hasn't even gleeped anything!". Buster, in order to make Arthur seem cool, says, "That's not true! He's gleeped lots of stuff!" without knowing that "gleep" is slang for "steal", which makes everybody think that Arthur is a thief.
    • In "Cereal", D.W.'s box of cereal goes missing and because Arthur happens to be eating cereal that morning, she thinks he took it. It turns out that Pal the dog took it.
  • In the Bojack Horseman episode "Int. Sub", Todd becomes falsely convinced that Princess Carolyn stole his string cheese and as a result, he nearly forces her into arbitration.
  • In the pilot for Darkwing Duck, Darkwing is accused of being responsible for a train robbery that was actually caused by a villain named Taurus Bulba.
  • The Fairly OddParents! episode "Inspection Detection" has Timmy getting accused of shoplifting at a local department store while prepping for Fairy Inspection Day since he can't explain where he got everything he wished for at the risk of losing Cosmo and Wanda, since, by sheer coincidence, some of the items he wished for were shoplifted from the store. The real perpetrator is The Bully, Francis, since Timmy found a shoplifted walkie-talkie in his pants, and with his parents and the police being too stupid to believe him, Timmy was forced to go on the run in order to clear his name and was eventually able to prove it when Cosmo shapeshifts into a security camera and catches Francis on video stealing a tub of lard.
  • Futurama:
    • In "The Luck of the Fryrish," a trip to Old New York leads to Fry finding out that his hidden seven-leaf clover was missing and that a statue wearing it that looks like his brother Yancy leads Fry to believe that after he went missing, Yancy stole the clover and Fry's name. During a grave robbery to reclaim the clover however, it's revealed that the famous late Philip J. Fry was actually Yancy's son, who was named after him out of endearment and was gifted the clover which Yancy found by complete accident. After Fry discovers this, he leaves the clover behind.
    • In "Murder on the Planet Express," Hermes accuses Zoidberg of stealing his manwich. The truth, which was caught on tape, was more complicated: Bender arranged to have Fry's kidney removed, so he puts it in a cooler in the fridge to keep it cool, throwing the manwich (which was in the cooler) onto the counter in the process. Leela takes the kidney back out and eats it, assuming it was one of Hermes' exotic lunches. The end result is that the manwich ends up where the kidney was supposed to go: Professor Farnsworth's body.
      Professor Farnsworth: No wonder my urine smells like a meal!
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Bag of Money", Arnold, Gerald, and Sid find a paper bag full of money and consider sharing it among themselves. However, Arnold gets the bag mixed up with three identical bags belonging to an old lady on the bus and when he comes back with a bag of birdseed, Sid thinks that Arnold stole the money so he could keep it all.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: In "The J-Team", Jade puts together the eponymous team comprised of characters Jackie previous encountered, one of whom is Mexican lucha wrestler El Toro Fuerte. Uncle thinks El Toro is a thief because he is wearing his trademark mask. When Jackie tried to correct him, he smacks him, thinking he's saying the wrong thing about him.
    Jackie: Uncle, he is no thief. He's...
    (Uncle smacks him)
    Uncle: Of course he is a thief! He's wearing a mask!
    • And then, it's inverted when Viper enters the shop and Jackie, recognizing her profession (before she said she isn't a thief anymore), attempts to kick her out, only for Uncle to smack him again as if he thinks he's doing the wrong thing with her.
    Jackie: Viper? ([attempting to kick her out] No thieves allowed at Uncle's...
    (Uncle smacks him)
    Uncle: How can she be the thief? She's not wearing a mask and wrecking my store!
  • Little Princess:
    • In "I Want My Crayons", the Princess's crayons get knocked under an armchair but Princess thinks someone took them. She suspects everyone except the King and the pets, which greatly offends them, especially the General.
    • In "But They're Mine!", the King and Queen take some of the Princess's clothes and the Princess thinks that they stole them, but actually they were intending to give them away to her little cousins and the Princess hadn't realized she had outgrown them. Later, Scruff takes some and Puss tries to give them back but Princess calls him bad because she thinks he stole them.
    • In "I Want to Be a Detective", Scruff eats some biscuits the Princess made and she thinks Puss did it.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • In the episode "Newspaper Thief," Daffy thinks someone in town stole his newspaper but really he'd just forgotten to renew his subscription.
    • In "It's a Handbag!" Daffy assumes that his handbag had been stolen while he was at the food court in the mall. In reality, Mall Security simply took it to the lost-and-found.
  • Martha Speaks:
    • In "Martha Takes the Cake", part of Alice Boxwood's birthday cake gets eaten and Martha is thought to have done it because there are crumbs next to her. Actually, Nelson did it, although we never find out how the crumbs got there.
    • "Martha and the Thief of Hearts", the kids' Valentines go missing and each kid thinks one of the other kids did it. It turned out Skits did it for attention.
    • In "The Dog Who Came to Dinner", Francois takes some cupcakes and the Lorraines think Martha took them.
  • Milly, Molly: In "B. B. Brown", Humphrey thinks B. B. Brown stole his toy. It was understandable, since up until recently, B. B. Brown had been a kleptomaniac, but it wasn't him.
  • Happens to Marinette a few times in Miraculous Ladybug
    • In "Rogercop", Chloé accuses Marinette of stealing her bracelet.
    • In "Ladybug", Lila accuses Marinette of stealing her fox pendant which leads to her getting expelled from school as a result.
    • In "Adoration", Marinette was accused of stealing items into her bag by Sabrina's first akumatized form with the help from Chloé.
  • The Patrick Star Show: Parodied in "Now Museum, Now You Don't". Cecil left his underwear at home and Patrick has to bring it to him during his new job as an art museum night watchman. Before he leaves, Bunny gives him his sweater, face mask, and a bag to store the underwear, which makes him look like a stereotypical robber. She also asks him to have something nice to say to everyone he meets that night: Patrick goes with "Reach for the sky!" and a finger gun gesture. He arrives to the museum on a bus, happily thanking the terrified passengers, who have sacrificed their watches and wallets to him. Similarly, once he enters the museum, Cecil mistakes him for an actual robber.
  • Peg + Cat: In "The Cleopatra Problem", Peg's marble gets taken and Epidermis the camel disappears. Peg, Cat, and Cleopatra think that the Pig stole the marble and camel because he was nearby at the time, but it turned out that Epidermis took the marble and ran away.
  • Postman Pat: In "The Stolen Strawberries", strawberries have been disappearing off the plants. When some strawberry leaves are seen next to Jess the cat, P.C. Selby thinks Jess did it and wants to arrest him, even though Jess is a cat. It turns out that the real thieves were some birds.
  • Rugrats:
    • In "Tricycle Thief", the Rugrats think Angelica stole Susie's trike, but she didn't.
    • In "Angelica Nose Best", Angelica eats some chocolate and claims Fluffy did it, which her mother Charlotte buys and locks Fluffy in her cat cage as punishment.
  • Spongebob Squarepants:
  • Stōked: A thieving seagull causes Reef to be suspected of being a thief in "To Catch a Reef".
  • In the Wacky Races reboot, Dick Dastardly sets out to prove he can win a race without cheating. When unwarranted obstacles suddenly confront the racers, everyone assumes Dastardly is responsible. He vehemently pleads his innocence and is proven right—the obstacles were the work of some ornery penguins.


Sam & Mickey

Barbie mistakes Santa Claus to be a burglar.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / MistakenForThief

Media sources: