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My Card

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Grytpype: My Card.
Neddie: But it's blank.
Grytpype: Business is bad.

The scene usually plays out as follows:
Character #1 meets character #2 for the first time. Character #2 gives their name... their occupation... their credentials... and then "let me give you..." You guessed it, "My Card." Now it's official. Everything they said about themselves must be true. There's the proof in black and white.

This is a compound trope at best; sometimes there's a card, sometimes not. Sometimes it's just a membership card or other form of identification that's presented, but not given. Sometimes they say something else when it's presented... but you get the idea. If the card itself is important it occasionally becomes Chekhov's Gun if the recipient discovers later they need its information.

Some variations to consider:

  • "Let me give you my card", the abbreviated version "My card", or the incredibly formal "Allow me to introduce myself" accompanies some physical device, usually a business card in the trope's purest form, to remember them by.
  • "Call Me" is often the dating version of the above business-like version. There is often a card, but just as often a phone number on any piece of paper.
  • "If you should happen to remember anything else", and its many variants, are distinctly reserved for detectives or other government agents finishing primary questioning of a witness that seems incomplete.
  • "I'm with" or "I'm from" followed by some company name usually precedes the displaying of identification, which may or may not be genuine. Perhaps a Weird Trade Union.

Sometimes, one can be used by a Death Dealer who is not into card games otherwise. Compare Calling Card and Membership Token. See also Verbal Business Card.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Belldandy gives her business card to Keichii when they first meet in Ah! My Goddess.
  • In Paprika, the title character kisses her business card and then hands it to a man, which starts the Opening Theme.
  • The middle brother Shinonome of The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer fame has two different sorts of cards he hands out. One of them describes his occupation as "HERO OF JUSTICE".
  • The protagonist of Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman is observed to hand out his business card like he's performing a finishing move.
  • In Bakuman。, Akira Hattori gives the main characters his business card and e-mail address after his first meeting with the protagonists, asking them to submit any future work to Jump. He notes that they impressed him enough to get his e-mail address, but the truly impressive ones get his cell phone number.
  • Early in Black Butler, William T. Spears of the Grim Reaper Staffing Association gives Sebastian his card after coming to collect an unruly coworker (the infamous Grell, a.k.a. Jack the Ripper).
  • Yotsuba in Yotsuba&! has her own "business cards" - (poorly) hand-written and somewhat crumpled.
  • In episode 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, Akira Zaizen hands his business card to Go Onizuka's manager when he comes to Go's warehouse/training facility to recruit Go for a duel against Playmaker.

    Comic Books 
  • Mr. A has a business card that's half-black and half-white, representing his worldview, that he usually displays before beating up some criminals.
  • The Joker likes to use a literal Joker card, with or without useful information. Watch it though, it could be booby trapped with acid or poison, or it could simply explode.
  • An issue of the Mortal Kombat official prequel comic features an out-of-uniform Sub-Zero presenting his Lin Kuei membership card. We don't make this stuff up.
  • The Question used to have the shtick that when he was asked to identify himself, he gave the questioner an apparently blank card, which then would smoke and a "?" would appear.
  • Stunt Dawgs: In the comic book, the Stunt Scabs' lawyer introduces himself to them by showing his card when Half-a-Mind says he's got half a mind to sue. He introduces himself as "Slyme (with a "y") Whiplash, attorney-at-law with the firm of Dewey, Cheatam and Howe."
  • In Grandville, LeBrock has his own card printing machine, which is useful when you use as many undercover identities as him. He inherited it from his Sherlock Homage mentor.

    Fan Works 

     Film — Animation 
  • In Shrek 2, the Fairy Godmother's business card is also a means of communicating with her, although when they try to use it they are connected to her answering service.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Mean Girls: "Kevin Gnapoor: Math Enthusiast/ Badass MC"
  • Men in Black: The MIB card is as vague and mysterious as the agents who carry it, to the point where K has to hand-write the address on one.
  • In The Santa Clause, Scott's ex-wife Laura and her psychiatrist husband, Neal, think that Scott is only pretending to be Santa, and see it as a threat to not only Scott's mental health, but that of Scott and Laura's seven-year-old son, Charlie, as well. Scott and Neal dislike each other to begin with, so rather than touch off a pleasant relationship, this could have only helped to build animosity between them.
    Neal: (pretentiously) Scott, I think it's safe to say you've taken this Santa thing to an unhealthy level. Here's my card. Call me.
  • In U.S. Marshals, after letting his subordinates badger their fugitive's girlfriend for a few minutes, Girard calls them off... then hands her a business card, asking her to call him if she had any information.
  • American Psycho: Patrick Bateman and his fellow yuppies treat their business cards with ludicrous gravity. In one scene, they take turns one-upping each other's business cards. In spite of the fact that their cards all look almost identical, the yuppies pore over the minute differences in font and cardstock with reverence. When Bateman's card gets bested by another yuppie, he nearly has a breakdown and resolves to kill the man.
    • Naturally, while obsessing over various tiny details of the cards, nobody notices the typos and uneven margins on all of the cards (a touch put in just for the movie).
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back has the United Brotherhood of Dealers union member cards prominently displayed, followed by a discussion of a lack of dental insurance benefits and a possible strike in New Jersey.
  • Abused within an inch of its life in Hello, Dolly!: Dolly Levi is able to produce a business card proclaiming her expertise in just about anything at a moment's notice, usually one comically specific to the situation at hand.
  • Fight Club: Tyler Durden gives the narrator his card when they first meet on the plane; the narrator uses it to call him after his apartment blows up.
  • In the film Oh, God!, God gives the main character His card. The card simply says: God
  • Similarly, in Bruce Almighty, God's business card just says "God."
  • Apparently, deities like this one, because the Devil in the remake of Bedazzled (2000) gives Elliot hers in an attempt to convince him that she is, in fact, the Princess of Darkness. The card simply says "The Devil."
  • Also in the original Bedazzled (1967) - George Spiggot introduces himself to Stanley Moon as the Devil. Stanley is naturally skeptical, so George presents his card (which apparently reads "The Devil"). Stanley is still skeptical ("You're a nut case!") so George offers him a free trial wish. Stanley wishes for a popsicle, and George grants it - taking him on a bus to a popsicle stand and borrowing money from Stanley to pay for it. Somehow Stanley is still skeptical.
  • In Harvey, Elwood P. Dowd goes through the same routine with everyone he meets, including giving them his card (always accompanied by the same speech about one of the phone numbers no longer being valid, as he hasn't had new cards printed since then). This applies even to the doctors at the mental asylum.
  • Felicity Huffman's character in The Spanish Prisoner leaves behind a business card that turns out to be an important part of a larger plan.
  • In Cast a Deadly Spell, Lovecraft introduces himself by handing people his card, but he keeps mistakenly handing over the business cards of his landlady's dance class.
  • Happens twice in Dr. No.
    • The messenger M sends to get James Bond in the club asks the attendant to give Bond his card rather than leave his name.
    • While in the club Bond gives Sylvia Trench his card (which has his phone number on it) and asks her to call him if she'd like to go out with him.
  • The Dark Knight: After the Joker faces down a room full of gangsters, he finishes with "So, why don't you give me a call when you wanna start taking this a little more seriously? Here'" It's a Joker from a deck of playing cards, similar to one he left at a crime scene at the end of Batman Begins.
  • The Laurel and Hardy short Another Fine Mess has Lord Leopold Plumtree, who insists on giving Hardy his card each time he gets his name wrong. At one point, Hardy actually takes out the cards he already has, and sorts in the one he just got.
  • Water (1985). After blowing up a well and nearly throttling Michael Caine to death, the mercenary commander leaves him his card. "If you are in need of an army, just call."
  • Aliens. Company troubleshooter Burke leaves a transparent plastic card with his contact details marked on it with Ripley, in case she changes her mind about going on the mission to find out what happened to the colony on LV426. After her next Catapult Nightmare, Ripley sticks the card in her videophone where it automatically connects her to a sleepy Burke.
  • Clear and Present Danger. Jack Ryan has some cards done up showing that he's the acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence, which comes in handy on a couple of occasions.
    Jack: Do you take a Company cheque?
  • In Rising Sun, Wesley Snipes's character (a police detective) arrives to a Japanese company to investigate the murder of a woman. He knows enough about Japanese customs to immediately offer his card to the underling assigned to talk to him. The Japanese man spends several seconds studying the card and even asks if this is the detective's personal number. Sean Connery's character is an expert on Japanese culture and does this naturally.
  • When Max comes face to face with the eponymous Funny Man, he asks who he is. Funny Man presents a joker card and says; "My card."
  • In Ocean's Eleven, Danny Ocean slips his card to Linus after watching him pickpocket a stockbroker. The card has his name embossed into it, but nothing else is printed on it - no address, no telephone number, no clever motto. (The directions for Linus to follow are hand-written.) So presumably either Danny spends a lot of time jotting his details on his own cards, or he only gives them to people who already know how to get hold of him...
  • Night of the Demon - psychologist John Holden is in a library doing research on debunking cult leader Julian Karswell, who shows up and cordially invites him to his estate house, handing Holden his card and leaving. Holden is startled to see the card shows the name of his late associate with the cryptic line 'allowed two weeks' in glittery script...when he shows the card to a librarian the script is gone, with no sign of it showing up on a chemical analysis.
  • The President's Analyst - psychiatrist Dr. Schaefer is taken aback when a patient, a good-humored quiet-natured guy, tells him that he'd killed a man with a knife just before his appointment...then he produces an ID card and admits he's a government agent. Shaefer is surprised by his own accepting reaction as anything:
    Fascinating, Don...I suppose it's the conditioning of motion pictures or television, or maybe it's just the times we live in, but...killing is a serious matter, and yet this little card somehow makes it less - shocking...acceptable in a way!
  • Mr. Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is hired by Mr Kelmot to follow his wife, and poses as an amateur fortune teller to get close to her. But she's not fooled, having already discovered Holmes' card while doing her husband's laundry.
  • In The Hot Rock, lawyer Abe Greenburg introduces himself by saying "My card", and then showing the card to everyone present and putting it back in his pocket: implying that he only has the one.
  • Hoffa (1992). While recruiting for the Teamsters Union, Jimmy Hoffa leaves his business card with a truck driver, his future Number Two Bobby Ciaro. Written on the card are the words, "Give this man whatever he needs."
  • The Untouchables (1987). Frank Nitti has the card of the Mayor of Chicago as a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card.
  • Subverted in Terminal Velocity (1994). A sympathetic assistant district attorney leaves his card with Ditch Brodie, when he looks like he's facing manslaughter charges after a woman died during a skydiving accident. When Brodie discovers the woman faked her death, he contacts the ADA only to find he's actually one of the villains who are trying to track down the woman and kill her. Anyone can get a card printed up, after all.
  • Tom & Jerry (2021): When Kayla first tries to ask Jerry to leave the hotel, he hands her a business card that's normal-sized for him, but to a human, is so small that one has to squint to read the text: "Jerry Mouse, a mouse".
    Kayla: Oh, wow. This is so detailed.
  • Wrong is Right. Arms Dealer Helmet Unger hands out business cards saying "Europa Trading Center" and a phone number. This leads to Blatant Lies when reporter Sally Blake (actually a CIA agent) claims she knows Unger's name from his card, even though his name isn't on the card.
  • Zack Snyder's Justice League
    • Bruce Wayne gives his card with Wayne Enterprises logo to the leader of a remote Icelandic community, who is not impressed as he has no idea who this "Bvuce Vayne" is.
    • In the Knightmare, The Joker hands Batman his own Joker playing card as a sign of their truce, stating that all he has to do is tear it in half when he wants to go back to being enemies. Naturally, Batman takes it with a promise of retribution on his part to Joker. The card can be seen strapped on Batman's assault rifle in the Knightmare scene of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which chronologically happens after that meeting with the Joker.
  • Hot Shots! Part Deux. After Topper Harley has Refused the Call, CIA agent Michelle Huddleston gives him her card to call her in case he reconsiders. As the entire scene lampshades what a Ms. Fanservice hottie she is, her number is a phone sex line.
  • In Séance on a Wet Afternoon, Phony Psychic Myra Savage gives Mr and Mrs Clayton her business card when she offers her services as a medium to locate their kidnapped daughter (conveniently neglecting to mention that she and her husband are the ones who kidnapped her). As she leaves the house, a policeman asks for one of her cards, as they are keeping records of everyone who shows up at the Clayton house in the days following the kidnapping, and this later leads to the police stopping by the Savages' house.
  • At the end of Lou, federal investigators are questioning Hannah (apparently not for the first time) as to whether the title character left any documents behind (Lou was an ex-CIA agent who was blackmailing the Agency). One of them leaves Hannah her card to call if she remembers anything, despite Hannah pointing out the agent left a card the other times they visited as well. Hannah throws away the card once they've left.
  • In The Cheetah Girls, Chanel's younger brother has business cards on hand for when he feels like pretending to be the group's manager. Record producer Jackal Johnson later gives the girls his much more legitimate card.
  • Subverted in Our Man Flint. When Derek Flint presents "my card" to a secretary, it's actually a wad of cash to bribe her into letting him see the manager without an appointment.

  • Fablehaven: One of the minor villains gives Seth and Kendra some fake business cards to trick them into stealing a demon.
  • Claire in the Keepers Chronicles series by Tanya Huff has a magical version of this, which changes slogan every time you look at it.
  • Common in Sherlock Holmes stories, appropriately enough for the Victorian setting.
    • Charles Augustus Milverton leaves his calling card.
    • Played with in The Hound of the Baskervilles with a visitor who visits Baker Street when Holmes and Watson are out and instead of leaving a card forgets his stick. Holmes then challenges Watson to figure out who the visitor is based on that. By combined efforts, they manage to figure out that the person both walks a lot in the country, has a dog, is a doctor and his name and career before he comes back.
    • In "The Illustrious Client", Watson assumes the alias of Dr Hill Barton in order to get information from the villain. Holmes already has a card printed with the name and an address.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes/Doctor Who New Adventures crossover novel All-Consuming Fire, the Doctor leaves a card with Mrs. Hudson that simply reads "The Doctor - Travelling". Holmes deduces firstly that the card was printed especially for the purpose (because it hasn't the imprint of another card on the back, and was clearly printed recently), and secondly that he was meant to make the first deduction (because the card is deliberately uninformative, left just for the sake of leaving a card).
  • Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently has a collection of cards with various aliases and professions. In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, he ends up giving Kate his real card, after debating for a while which alias he should use.
  • Discworld:
    • Casanunda's card in Lords and Ladies:
      Giamo Casanunda
      World's Second Greatest Lover
      "We Never Sleep"
      Outrageous Liar - World's Finest Swordsman
      Soldier of Fortune - Stepladders Repaired
    • In Wyrd Sisters, when Hwel and Tomjon find the Fool being robbed by some members of the Thieves' Guild, the thieves show them their card.
  • The title character in Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's The Godmother presents her business card by way of introduction: "Dame Felicity Fortune, Godmother. Fair Fortunes Facilitated, Questers Accommodated, Virtue Vindicated."
  • Eveless Eden by Marianne Wiggins. The protagonist comes home to his London apartment to find his One True Love has run off with some Romanian diplomat. He's desperate to find out who this mysterious lover is, only to find he's left his card propped up on his toilet where he can find it "with his dick hanging out."
  • In the Nick Velvet stories, Nick carries a collection of legitimate business cards he has collected over the years in his wallet. He uses these to create cover stories on the fly to help him with his thefts. For example, in one story he uses the business card of a vet to help him by the tranquilizers he needs to sedate a guard dog.
  • Altered Carbon. When Takeshi Kovacs is resleeved into a new body on Earth, the doctor handling the procedure leaves her card with him in case there are any problems. Later he calls her number out of the blue and bluntly asks why she'd do such a thing in the first place — turns out she's involved in the case he'd been resleeved to solve.
  • The protagonist of Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein hands his card to a spaceman and gets annoyed when the man puts it in his pocket like you're supposed to. He's an impoverished out-of-work actor and doesn't have the money for more cards.
  • Michael Cheung, the new magical protector of Chinatown in Rivers of London has a card that says "MICHAEL CHEUNG — LEGENDARY SWORDSMAN". According to Nightingale, someone has been serving in Cheung's role since at least the sixties, but the card is a new piece of whimsy.
  • Greg Mandel Trilogy: The card presented by the protagonist is actually given to him by the MegaCorp that's hired him—you scan it with a cybofax and get a reading on what authorisation the holder has. Event Horizon staff usually have an Oh, Crap! reaction on seeing that Greg is working directly for their CEO.
  • In Stephen Manes' Chicken Trek when Oscar first meets his cousin, he's presented with a card which says "Dr. Peter P. Prechtwinkle: Inventor—Genius—Brain". Madame Gulbenkian has a fancier card which lists her psychic "talents" on the front, with her address and a generic greeting on the back.
  • Private detective Philip Marlowe carries two sets of business cards: one with his business details and contact information, and one with just his name for situations when he doesn't wish to advertise his reason for calling. For instance, in The Lady in the Lake he calls on his client at work, and gives the plain card to the secretary when he asks to be announced because the client has asked that his problem be kept confidential, but gives his business card to the client.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agent Carter: Jarvis leaves his card with Peggy Carter, who tears it up in a fit of anger after she realises how Jarvis and Howard Stark have lied to and manipulated her.
  • 'Allo 'Allo!:
    • The undertaker Monsieur Alphonse's "Swiftly and With Style. My Card".
    • Gestapo agent Flick gives his card to Private Bigstern. It's blank. He explains that you breathe on it and the address will appear.
  • Angel:
    • Cordelia has some cards done up for Angel Investigations, leading to a Running Gag where people keep trying to work out what the stylized angel is supposed to be. ("It looks like a lobster.")
    • In one episode a demon turns up at Angel Investigations looking to collect a debt from Gunn. He's not there so the demon leaves behind some business cards, which comes in handy when Team Angel realise Gunn is in danger—the cards tell them where to look for him.
  • In one episode of The Avengers (1960s), Steed "goes undercover" by strolling into the villain's office, producing a large collection of business cards, sorting through them and finally handing one over.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Something Blue" D'Hoffryn offers Willow the chance to become a vengeance demon. When she refuses he leaves her his talisman. "You change your mind, give us a chant."
  • Charmed (1998): In "The Day The Magic Died" all magical beings, both good and bad, lose their powers. An evil sorcerer approaches the Halliwell sisters and offers a truce to discuss how to fix the situation. As there's no magical way to contact each other, he leaves his business card with a cellphone number on the back.
    Phoebe: Since when do sorcerers have cell phones?
    Cronyn: You think that's bad? I've got a taxi waiting out front.
  • Played with on an episode of Cheers: Carla's ex-husband Nick drops by and shows Sam the card for his latest business. As Sam starts to put it into his shirt, Nick asks for it back saying "Only got one."
  • Constantine: John has cards that list his many titles and hands them out at every opportunity, even though he's not particularly fond of some of those titles any more.
    Liv: "Master of the dark arts?"
    John: [sighs] I'm getting new ones made...
  • In an episode of CSI: NY, a brand new CSI gives a relative of the Victim of the Week his card; a detective criticizes him and says, "You can't afford to have the lab's phone ringing off the hook."
  • Doctor Who:
    • At the end of "Timelash", the one-off companion Herbert is revealed to be H. G. Wells by means of a card he'd supposedly dropped and which the Doctor had recovered. It simply reads "HERBERT GEORGE WELLS". (Since this character is unlike the real H.G. Wells in every way, however, most fans assume that the Doctor picked up some other random bloke with the same name.)
    • In "The Happiness Patrol", people who are unhappy (which is punishable by death) are befriended by a man, who says he understands them. He gives them his card: Silas P. He says, "Other side." Undercover Agent, Happiness Patrol. (There's a minor blooper: The actor actually hands the card over "Undercover Agent" side up, so his victim has to turn it over before reading it).
    • The Doctor's card (as seen in "Remembrance of the Daleks") only has a stylized question mark on it and is just used to make the Daleks angry.
    • The new series Doctor often does this, albeit with psychic paper that shows the recipient what he wants and they expect to see. However it has limits; when he tries to use it to claim he's a mature and responsible adult, it shorts out and shows a mass of squiggly lines instead - this is one lie that's too big for it to handle.
    • Played with in The Vampires of Venice. When the Doctor attempts to flash his psychic paper (forgetting he left it with Rory), he ends up flashing his slightly out of date library card instead.
  • Get Smart: In "Survival of the Fattest", Maxwell Smart is going undercover at a hotel, and presents the business card of Bill Banford, president of the Ramid American Oil Company. Unfortunately the manager says that Max looks nothing like the real Banford, who has stayed at the hotel previously. So Max goes through a number of business cards until he gets to someone the hotel manager hasn't met before.
  • Classic western Have Gun – Will Travel was named for the advertisement on the main character's business card.
  • In Heroes, Pinehearst and Primatech give out cards like any good shadowy mysterious organization. URLs on the cards lead to a website for the Alternate Reality Game.
  • Impractical Jokers:
    • At a speed dating event, Murr had to hand out business cards which made him out to be a child pageant coach, a state executioner, and other bizarre jobs.
    • Murr was punished once by attending a kids' career day as a pet cremator/grandparent divorce attorney. After his traumatic presentation, he ends by handing out business cards to the children.
    • As a punishment, Sal attended a networking event with a single business card that he had to give to "the most important person in the room." Every time he gave it to someone, the other guys told him that it was the wrong person, so he had to talk them into giving it back.
  • Used hilariously in In Living Color! with Funky Finger Productions, two shady entrepreneurs who would burst into meetings, trying to sell whatever they had at the time. David Alan Grier's character would offer his card and start rummaging around in his coat, then all of a sudden Tommy Davidson would whip out a card inches from the target's face and shout "BAM!!"
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • "In Throes of Increasing Wonder...": When Louis de Pointe du Lac demands to know Lestat de Lioncourt's name during their first meeting, instead of responding directly, Lestat pulls out a card with his full name printed in fancy gold letters and hands it to Louis.
    • "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self": The gullible tractor salesman offers his International Harvester Farmall business card to Lestat, unaware that the two potential customers are actually vampires who have selected him as food for the newly fledged Louis.
  • In Law & Order, the investigators will often give a witness their card and say "call me if you remember anything."
    • An episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had Stabler give a child (who they suspected was being abused by his mother) his card. He calls for help in the night and ends up being murdered by his mother and over-compliant brother. Olivia does it for practically every victim.
  • In the 1990's STV series Mc Callum, the title character leaves his card after questioning a witness in case she remembers anything else. After he leaves she tears it up in contempt, foreshadowing the reveal that she's the killer, who has a particular grudge against McCallum.
  • In My Family, Ben gets a large number of new business cards printed for an upcoming dentist convention, hoping to impress one of the higher ups by giving him a card at every opportunity. By the end of the convention, the doctor he was trying to impress has several dozen of Ben's cards, which he throws into a bin as he leaves.
  • In New Girl, Winston, pretending to be Nick's law partner, hands some lawyers his card in case they ever want to "play with the big boys." When he leaves, the lawyers notice that it's a baseball card.
  • Our Miss Brooks: The shyster lawyer in "Hospital Capers" gives his card to Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton.
  • Gus from Psych has a tendency to give his business card to hot girls involved in their cases, writing his home phone number on the back "in case they need anything" to show off his neat handwriting. Shawn finds this incredibly strange.
  • Richie Rich: When Murray believes Richie will ditch him and Darcy for rich friends, he asks Richie to hand them his card in case they need a money manager.
  • In a number of episodes of The Rockford Files the Private Detective had a small printing press on the back seat of his car, which he used during that episode to produce cards as the situation required (with occupations such as funeral director and psychiatrist).
  • An episode of Sanford and Son had someone introducing himself with a variation on this. Fred Sanford responds in obvious fashion.
    Timmy: "I'm Timmy, the sign man! My sign!" holds up a sign which looks like a gigantic business card
    Fred: "I'm Freddy, the junk man! My fist!" waves his fist threateningly
  • In one episode of Scrubs the Janitor offers to paint Eliot's new office, handing her a card that says "PAINTER - Call Janitor".
    Eliot: Thank you! Now I just have to find someone who can replace this rug.
    Janitor: {riffling through a stack of cards) Aircraft controller ... Gemologist ... Captain of Industry ... Middle Reliever ... Ruggist! {off her look} I invented a machine that prints business cards.
    Eliot: That's already been invented.
    Janitor: Oh, yeah, I know. But mine also fires paint pellets.
    • An earlier episode has J.D. print 10,000 "John Dorian, Chief Resident" business cards in anticipation of a potential promotion, all of which he promptly throws into the air when he thinks Elliot got the promotion instead. Upon learning that they are both getting the promotion, J.D. immediately grabs one off the ground and hands it to the nearest person.
  • Stargate SG-1 has Daniel create a box of relevant information to give to any peaceful aliens they found on their trips through the Star Gate. It's one of the reasons why he's The Face of The Team.
  • In the second episode of Stargirl: Summer School, the Shade, claiming to be an antique dealer interested in the Wizard's collection of vintage magic props, gives Barbara a card. Barbara points out that it has no contact details, which is strange for a business card, and the Shade replies that he'll get back in touch with her.
  • Supernatural: At the start of the series, Dean Winchester establishes his sleazy credentials by handing out a card identifying him as a Hollywood talent scout to a girl he's hoping to seduce. Of course he has Multiple Identity IDs anyway.
  • The Two Ronnies serial "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town":
    Phantom: ... please to give him my card.
    Butler: Why has it no name upon it, sir?
    Phantom: Modesty forbids it.
    Butler: But it has no address either, sir.
    Phantom: I'm never at home.
    Butler: [Aside Glance]

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In one strip, Calvin calls himself a "card-carrying genius". He then proceeds to show Hobbes his literal card, which proclaims Calvin as a "certified genius"; he admits he doesn't actually have a certificate, however.
    Hobbes: How did you emboss this card? With a screwdriver?

  • Stern Pinball's Batman requires the player to collect three of the Joker's playing cards to start "Joker Multiball".

  • The Goon Show parodies this a few more times, eg:
    Moriarty: My Card.
    Neddie: My Card.
    Butler (Sellers): My Card.
    Moriarty: SNAP!

    Grytpype: My Card.
    Neddie: McCard? Oh, a Scotchman!

    Neddie: But it's blank!
    Grytpype: Look on the other side.
    Neddie: That's a strange place to print it - on the back!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Parodied in the Clue VCR Mystery Game. Mr. Green hands Sgt. Grey a card that says "Lyman Green: Business."

  • In the musical Lucky Stiff, Annabelle (the eventual Love Interest) introduces herself to Harry (the protagonist) this way.
  • In Thespis by Gilbert and Sullivan, Jupiter introduces himself to the title character this way.
  • This is a running gag in Hello, Dolly!. Originally, the cards say something about Dolly's matchmaking service, but gradually expand to things such as financial consultation and dancing lessons, and even legal representation. The dancing lesson cards have their own running gag, as she apparently has specific cards for every excuse she gets offered for why the person can't dance.
  • In The Matchmaker, Mrs. Levi has been living in genteel poverty since her husband died and running various sidelines to keep afloat. When she meets Ambrose Kemper, she offers him her card, then apologizes and switches that card — "Varicose veins reduced. Consultations free." — for a more respectable one advertising her services as a music teacher.

    Video Games 
  • Suikoden V: Oboro does this to promote his detective agency, but it doesn't catch on.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, demons may give Raidou their card upon being recruited or fused; this makes it less expensive to summon them from the Demonic Compendium. Demons met in random encounters may also comment on the cards Raidou has. (The idea of enemies pausing mid-battle to flip through Raidou's demonic Rolodex doesn't make that much sense if you think about it, but it's pretty amusing.)
    • In the previous game, it is revealed Tae often gives Narumi her card. He's tired of them.
  • Done humorously in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All. In the first case, Phoenix Wright eventually presents his own business card to the court; the judge thanks him and gives him his business card before remembering there's a trial going on.
    • Also done in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth after one of Shi-Long Lang's subordinates mouths off to Edgeworth. Lang snaps that civilized people don't talk that way to each other, and demonstrates proper behavior by courteously exchanging cards with Edgeworth. (The two of them even get special sprites to present their cards with both hands.)
  • In Katawa Shoujo, on Shizune's route, her father gives Hisao his card when they meet, prompting Hisao to note how prepared he is.
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale: Adventurers of their eponymous guild give cards to those who they want to work for.
  • Yakuza 0: When Kiryu joins a real estate firm he is drilled on japanese business etiquette by his senior, and the player is expected to answer the questions correctly. When the client finally arrives the player is presented with a quick time event to present his business card. However no matter how well you do, his business card will always end up being upside down.

    Web Comics 
  • In Darths & Droids, Maul says he'd give Obi-Wan his card, but Obi-Wan's too busy holding on for dear life.
  • In Girl Genius, Carson produces his card...for a position that hasn't had any meaning in years, the Doom Bell Ringer.
    Oh I'm not saying business hasn't been slow ... but the pay isn't bad ... and there're signs (sidelong glance at Agatha) that things could be picking up.
  • Unwinder: Career Criminal (and indie musician). MEET ME AT THE DOCK!!!
  • In this xkcd strip, the man in the beret has a business card which just says, "This is my business card."
  • In this Questionable Content Raven has business cards with her contact info on for giving to guys that she is interested in.
  • In Full Frontal Nerdity the Slender Man apparently has business cards
  • When Shine from NEXT!!! Sound of the Future meets Back-Alley Doctor Hakase, they give her their business card after offering to fix Shine's malfunctioning voicebox. Shine actually does end up using the contact information on the card to get Hakase's help.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the Linear Guild has business cards declaring their inclination to take disproportionate revenge over quasi-imagined slights.
  • PS238:
    • The Revenant (local Batman expy) equips his sidekick, Moon Shadow, with business cards in addition to the standard Badass Normal gear of magnetic grappling hooks, smoke bombs, etc. These help cement Moon Shadow's Memetic Badass status among his classmates.
    • The Revenant seems to like business cards in general. Once he officially recruits Cecil Holmes, the first thing he does is note that Cecil needs business cards.
  • The vigilante duo Guinea and Pig from Trying Human hand one of these to Hue after rescuing him and his friend from a crazed agent.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: Devils have business cards, which are entirely red and they offer to anyone who summons them. Instead of giving the devils' credentials, it allows the possessor to re-summon the devil at will by holding it out. It also allows the devil to know where the card holder is at all times.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • In the first episode of The Batman, Joker sneaks into Arkham Asylum and offers a surprised orderly "My card," while advancing on him. Next time we see the guy, he's been given the classic Joker smile treatment.
  • Wile E. Coyote's "Super Genius" card.
    • "Operation: Rabbit", the short in which Wile E. Coyote tries to catch and eat Bugs Bunny. Wile E. gives Bugs his card, which says "Wile E. Coyote, Genius".
    • In Porky Pig's Feat, a hotel manager presents Daffy Duck with his card after glove-slapping him and challenging him to a duel. Daffy takes the card and punches it full of holes, telling him, "You've had your coffee ration for this week, Robespierre!" Daffy then hands him his own card - a piece of flypaper, which he sticks right in the manager's face. To add further injury, Daffy later takes it back.
  • Bart Simpson once gave his sister a card. She then points out that he lives in the same house and he makes a note to order fewer cards in future.
    • In another episode where Bart becomes an emancipated minor, he meets Tony Hawk, who offers his card by tossing it forward and having it weave impossibly through the air until it reaches Bart's hand. Then Hawk realizes it was an outdated card and recalls it in a reverse playback of the event.
    • In yet another episode, Homer and some of his buddies become celebrated firemen. Because of this, Moe prints himself new business cards, stating "Moe Szyslak, Hero" - onto the backside of his old cards, which say "Moe Szyslak, Villain", complete with a picture of Moe as Dastardly Whiplash.
    • In "Bart Gets Hit By a Car", Lionel Hutz gave homer a business card that "turns into a sponge" when wet.
    • When Goose Gladwell gave his business card to Bart, Goose realized the card was outdated so he tried to write the new number on it only to learn the pen was out of ink. Since the pen had the number written on it, Goose would have given Bart the pen but then he realized it was the old number.
  • On Family Guy, Lois runs into an old boyfriend, Ross Fishman, who suggests they go out to eat and catch up. Lois thinks of her marriage to Peter and hesitates, but Ross gives her his card.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In "The Looney Beginning", Plucky presents his card to Buster and Babs when he auditions to be a part of their show.
    • In "Gang Busters", after Buster cleared his name and Montana Max was arrested, Max asked for a lawyer. Plucky showed up and gave him his card, much to Monty's chagrin.
    • The episode, "Sepulveda Boulevard" has two of these scenes. The first is when Plucky takes over as the voiceover, much to Monty's chagrin. Plucky presents his "Voice-over Union" Membership card to Monty. Later, Monty presents his "Cartoon Writer" card (with Mike Maltese's name crossed out and his name in its place) to Elmyra when she needs help rewriting her script.
    • The episode, "Washingtoon" has the villainous Moral Guardian displaying her card to Buster, which proudly displays her rear end.
  • To show what a refined Brazilian gentleman he is, José Carioca introduces himself to Donald with a card. Donald mispronounces the entire thing, requiring José to read it out loud for him.
  • The card of an complaining executive on an episode of U.S. Acres:
    DA DUM!
  • Crosses into Fourth Wall territory in an old Raggedy Ann Christmas special, where antagonist Alexander Graham Wolf introduces himself directly to the viewer, with a closeup of his business card.
  • When first meeting Mikey Simon in Kappa Mikey, Ozu presents him with a card that says, "I HATE CARDS!!"
  • Futurama: Zoidberg's business card is just a chunk of cardboard with ZOIDBERG written on it.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Denzel Crocker had a card reading "Denzel Crocker - Fifth Grade Teacher". In order to trick Timmy's Dad, he altered the card by crossing out "Crocker" and adding "Di Caprio", the name of his fake occupation and, instead of crossing out "Fifth Grade Teacher", he added "and not a" before it.
  • From the Halloween episode of Pinky and the Brain, "Mister Itch: Proprietor of Wayward Souls."
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In "The Main Man", when Superman demands to know the name of the interstellar bounty hunter shooting up a Metropolis police station, Lobo answers, "Oh, I'm sorry; My Card", and promptly delivers a right hook that sends the Man of Steel flying.
  • Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon" includes Isabella giving Ohio Flynn cards describing herself as "femme fatale, ingenue, amateur archeologist, and licensed tile and grout installer" along with Damsel in Distress and, much later, dirty double-crosser.
  • In OK Ko Lets Be Heroes, Shadowy Figure introduces himself to K.O. Like this. It's a POW card, and it's used as proof he can be trusted - his level is positive, which means he's a hero. After his true colors are revealed, his level is revealed to actually be negative, hidden presumably due to hacking.
  • Justice League: In "Flash and Substance", Linda Park tries to give the Flash her phone number. He's signing autographs and not really paying attention, so he just autographs it and hands it back.
  • Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures: In "Snow White and the Motor City Dwarves," Mighty Mouse tries to sell a pilot idea to a TV executive and presents his card. It's a card from a standard playing deck, and he quips "Keep it. I have fifty-one more!"

    Real Life 
  • In Japan, exchanging business cards is Serious Business. There's a fairly specific etiquette for receiving a business card. One must take with both hands, make a show of reading it in front of the person, and then put it in card carrier or wallet. People often exchange business cards when they first meet. This custom exists because the way the Japanese language is structured, a name could be written using several different characters. Without seeing it written, it's difficult to know how to write someone's name.
  • It was very fashionable during the Victorian Era for the upper-class and the parvenu middle-classes to have printed cards with your name and title. Setting up a social visit required a rather elaborate two-step-shuffle where you would go to the other person's door and leave your card; then, if the other person wanted to see you, he would come to your house and leave his card, and only then can you write to set up the actual meeting. And for women of a certain status, paying social calls was considered a nigh full-time job as a form of networking on behalf of their husband and children's careers, and so calling card essentially served as a form of social "receipt" to show that you called and were called upon as etiquette dictated. Laura Ingalls Wilder described in her books how upon being introduced to her future husband Almanzo Wilder, they exchanged cards.
    • Various social cues can be communicated by the decoration of the cards or the manner in which it was delivered. For example, a black border indicates the person bearing it is in mourning. Newlywed couples mail out updated cards that would carry both of their names, if you received a version of the card that did not include their new joint address, it is considered a hint that they (especially the wife) are repudiating your acquaintance and do not wish to see you again. A card returned in an envelope meant that the person delivering it do not want to see you. There is also a fairly complex system regarding bending the cards and folding up of corners, for example a turned down upper-right corner meant that the bearer of the card delivered it personally, instead of having it sent by a servant or mail.
  • Philip José Farmer had a business card that described him as an "Unreal Estate Agent and Stock Baroquer", claimed to have choice lots available in "Ruritania, Poictesme, Illium, R'lyeh, Barsoom, Middle-Earth, Hallamshire, and Oz", offered shares in the "Hidalgo Trading Company", and said he could be reached care of "Lord Greystoke, Nairobi, Kenya".
  • Voldi Way of WayForward Technologies likes to play with this trope. His actual title, as printed on his business cards, is "Tyrannical Overlord" instead of "Founder and CEO".
  • Upon discovering that his son was the gay lover of Oscar Wilde, the Marquess of Queensbury stormed into Wilde's club to confront him. However, Wilde was not there and Queensbury settled for leaving his card with a message accusing Wilde of being a "posing somdomite" [sic]. This led to the infamous libel case, which ended with Wilde being sent to Reading Gaol for homosexuality, which probably contributed to his early death.
  • For a while, Mark Zuckerberg's official business card read "I'm the CEO, Bitch."
  • Infamous hacker-turned-security-consultant Kevin Mitnick's business card doubles as a lockpicking kit.
  • Ham radio operators have something called QSL Cards. These cards contain, at a minimum, the operator's callsign and some basic information about their radio station, such as the location they operate from. When two hams contact each other, it is traditional for them to trade cards (usually by mail, although in the information age, electronic versions are common) with details of their contact. At a minimum, this information is expected to include the date and time they made contact, the frequency they contacted each other on, and their signal report (how loud and how clear they heard the other person). These cards can be used as proof for various achievements (such as contacting a radio operator on every continent), or just to collect. It's also pretty common for each ham to make their card as unique as possible, containing photos of their operating location, funny cartoons, or other assorted things.
    • Naturally, some hams also have regular business cards with the same information for face-to-face meetings. These are called "Eyeball QSL Cards." If you're curious, "QSL" is a ham radio shorthand meaning a verified two-way contact.


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A POI is needed elsewhere in a hospital, so Detective Sergeant Henry Graff handed him his Toronto Police business card.

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