Money in fiction, be it coins or paper is often stored inside sacks. These often have a dollar sign on them, despite the location the events take place (the origin of a dollar sign predates the US dollar though). The money bag is a very easy way to indicate wealth to a place or a person compared to, say, jewelry or fancy noble clothing. The small money bag is common enough before the time of paper money to be carried by commoners and nobles alike.
Of course, after the invention and popularity of paper money and consequently the invention of the wallet, the money bag became somewhat of a Dead Horse Trope in real life, although armored car services still use carbon fiber sacks for holding smaller denomination bills and rolled coins for delivery to businesses that need change for their cash registers. Supermarkets and megastores with multiple cashier lanes routinely stock and empty their tills in these pliant, lockable sacks that more closely resemble square pockets than teardrop bindles.
Stock Money Bags add to the cartoony feel of the fiction and hence show up a lot in Western Animation. They are also seen in many Bank Robbery plots. Video games, especially platform games, have them as well although, in a lot of those games, they only serve as a means to gain extra points.
Compare Thief Bag, a piece of standard equipment for burglars to stash their loot in.
- In the opening action sequence of Toy Story 3, Mr. Potato Head is swiping several such bags from a train car.
- Pinocchio: While meeting with the Coachman, Honest John and Gideon show off a small sack containing the meager sum Stromboli paid them in exchange for Pinocchio. As the Coachman begins to make his proposition, he asks them, "How would you blokes like to make some real money?" and produces a much larger sack full of gold coins.
- The Christmas Tree: The mayor gives Ms. Mavilda two money bags after coming to check the orphanage. And he outright says that "two bags" is the usual amount of money he gives her.
- DEBS: When Lucy Diamond and Scud return stolen money, it's stored in large bags, each with a dollar sign on it.
- In the Film Within a Film showing the titular ¡Three Amigos!, the poor Mexican peasants offer the Amigos a reward of a large bag with a "$" on it.
- In the early Harold Lloyd short The Big Idea, a bag marked "$10,000" is found hidden in a vase.
- On Break the Bank (1976), five money bag icons are hidden on the game board. A player wins by claiming three of them.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: In Cry Wilderness, Kinga and Max "invent" new ice cream cake designs for the Carvel franchise by rotating the Fudgie the Whale mold. One of these designs is "Bag of Money".
- In some of the Castlevania games, the enemies drop money bags with a dollar sign on them. Surprisingly, a lot of the games take place outside the United States and even before the dollar was issued for the first time.
- Landers in Gun Nac leave behind floating dollar bags when shot.
- Dollar-signed bags are commonly found in Wizards and Warriors. These also increase the score.
- Aigina no Yogen has bags that hold gold for some reason.
- A lot of money in the NES version of A Boy and His Blob is stored in bags.
- The Ghosts 'n Goblins series takes place in a medieval English setting. Despite that, dollar bags are found.
- In Syberia, Kate Walker has to get her clockwork train towed by a canal boat to reach its winding station. Problem is, the boat crew demand 100 dollars in payment. When Kate manages to do a number of tasks for the nearby university's rectors, they give her a pouch of coins with a dollar sign on it. Especially strange, given that the game takes place in largely european cities.
- In Circus Charlie, in one of the stages, there are dollar bags inside rings of fire.
- One of the things that yield points in Serious Sam II is a stock money bag.
- Wallets (which resemble drawstring pouches) in The Legend of Zelda series always have a rupee on them. The denomination of rupee (determined by its color) indicates the relative capacity of the wallet. As with most examples, this serves as a necessary visual cue, as otherwise they could easily be confused with bomb bags or other items in Link's Hyperspace Arsenal.
- Moneybags in Spyro the Dragon games, appropriately, carries a bag of money (or rather gems) around.
- One of the twelve tokens available in Hasbro's Monopoly is a sack filled to overflowing with bundles of currency. The in-game announcer actually calls the token "sack o' money."
- In Toontown Online, the Cashbot Mints have bags with dollar signs on shelves.
- Parodies in this strip from Loading Artist where the hero's business plan consists of two steps: (1) buying stock money bags and (2) actually filling them up with money.
- Comes up in Dinosaur Comics when T-Rex comes up with the idea of making laundry bags with dollar signs on them to riff on this trope. They were later Defictionalised!
- In Jerma985 Fast Draw: Showdown, Jerma spotted a lady running away with a cartoonishly large money bag, he called it a "Scrooge McDuck Bag".
- The Nostalgia Critic: In his review of "the worst Christmas Special ever", Doug gets irritated at the caretaker in The Christmas Tree who pays the patroness of the orphanage two money bags all the time. The character doesn't even mention the amount of money. He just says: "Here are your two money bags, miss."
- Used in this clip about workplace motivation where the money bag is used to symbolize a big reward.
- In Rick and Morty episode "Mortynight Run", Rick is handed the sum of 3,000 flerbos in a money bag with a huge flerbos symbol on it that resembles a dollar sign.
- The Simpsons:
- Parodied in Ed, Edd n Eddy. In one episode, Eddy wants to impress his older brother by making a video that would show him as being very successful. One of the methods involves pretending on camera that he's a wealthy businessman with lots of money bags lying around. Then Double D, who's holding the camera, pans over to Ed, who takes garbage bags out of trash cans and slaps a dollar sign on them.
- Bugs and Thugs has the diminutive criminal Rocky rob the City Bank, and emerge with about eight full cloth sacks, which he throws into the rear passenger area of his getaway car. None of the sacks have a dollar sign, though, which is why Bugs Bunny mistakes them for sacks of laundry.
- This is how the purse originated: Before the advent of paper bills, when coinage was the main form of currency, it would often be kept on a small drawstring pouch carried on the belt.