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Tempting Cookie Jar

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A cookie jar is just that: a countertop container of coveted confectionery crisps. But in old-fashioned Dom Coms, it plays a role as an appealing but unhealthy Forbidden Fruit. Trying to make an unauthorized raid for the cache of sweets is a stock act of misbehavior for Little Jimmy, especially if he's a Pint-Sized Kid and needs to account for the extra step of reaching the countertop (or worse, the top of the fridge) in a way that won't get noticed. Oftentimes, the offense is treated as a Felony Misdemeanor.

Not to Be Confused with the Impossible Pickle Jar. Usually a subtrope of Sneaking Snacks.


Comic Strips

  • It's naturally a Running Gag on Calvin and Hobbes. One strip in particular depicted a giraffe using its tall frame to reach the tastiest leaves on the treetops... the scenario being an Imagine Spot and the punchline being Calvin using stilts to reach the cookie jar on top of the fridge.
  • The titular character of Dennis the Menace (US) often tries to sneak cookies from the cookie jar. In one strip, his mother, Alice, tried to remedy this by putting carrots in it instead of cookies. Dennis was not amused.
  • Cookie jars have made frequent appearances in Garfield, usually as a source of temptation while he's on a diet. In one 1991 strip, Jon places the cookie jar atop the fridge, and Garfield is seen running with a pole so he could vault and reach it.
  • The titular character of Nancy constantly schemes, then fails, to steal some cookies from the jar atop the fridge. One such scheme had her reach the jar with a ladder, and then toss it to herself in the next panel. Of course, it wasn't exactly foolproof: her aunt Fritzi happened to be reading that very strip in the paper.

Fan Works

  • In My Huntsman Academia, Ruby has a cookie jar she hides in her dorm room when she wants a quick snack. Unbeknownst to her, it's frequently raided by her teammate, Katsuki, who also possesses a pronounced Sweet Tooth.

Films — Animation

Films — Live-Action


  • Frog and Toad: In "Cookies", Frog and Toad try to stop themselves from eating too many cookies by putting them in a box, but they keep opening up the box and eating cookies anyway. After some failed attempts at making the box increasingly inaccessible (tying the box up with string, putting the tied-up box on a high shelf, and so on), Frog throws the cookies to the birds to teach Toad about the importance of willpower.
  • Time To: In "Time to Say, 'Please'!", a little girl is tempted to steal a cookie from the jar, but the mice instruct her to say "please" instead.

Live-Action TV

  • In the Adventures in Wonderland episode "He's Not Heavy, He's My Hatter", the Hatter gains a Balloon Belly after his grandmother sends him a jar of chocolate chip cookies. So, he has Hare hide the cookie jar while he works to lose weight, making him promise not to let him have any. Naturally, he ends up frantically trying to find the cookies, and ironically loses his excess weight through all the climbing, swimming, and running he does while searching for them.

Puppet Shows

  • Sesame Street naturally has had numerous skits involving Cookie Monster trying to resist the urge to chow down on the contents of a cookie jar. He never succeeds; one time, he kept his cravings at bay long enough to build a tall wall of bricks between him and the Letter of the Day cookie... only to then smash through the wall and devour the confection.
    Cookie Monster: UAAAAAAA! COOOOKIIIIE!

Tabletop Games

  • In the classic children's board game Chutes And Ladders, square #87 has a girl on a boy's shoulder trying to get at a cookie jar. This is at the top of the longest chute in the game, where at the bottom the kids have fallen and the cookie jar broken.

Video Games

  • The very first heist pulled by career criminals Sly, Bentley, and Murray in the Sly Cooper franchise was stealing the cookie jar from the orphanage where they three met as children. The incident shows up several times across the series:
    • The opening cinematic of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves shows Sly, Bentley, and Murray as children in the orphanage, working together to plot their "Cooky Steelin' Plan."
    • Similarly, the opening cinematic of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time features Bentley showing up with a jar of cookies to jog Sly's memory of their time spent in the orphanage, transitioning to a quick flashback of their childhood heist.
      Sly: We grew up in the same orphanage, where we bonded over stealing cookies — our very first heist. And we've been best friends and partners ever since.
    • In the same game, the cookie jar is one of the minor collectible treasures that Sly can find. How it ended up in ancient Arabia is another question.

Web Videos

  • The Cream Heroes series Kittisaurus Villains frequently uses this with cat treats or some other food the cats enjoy. One episode reveals Claire has hidden the snacks in a high up cupboard to stop the cats (namely Lulu, Dodo and DD) from sneaking off with them. DD manages to reach the high up cupboard and reach the snacks.

Western Animation

  • Ducktales 2017: One of the promos shows Webby reading a treasure map, entering a dark room with night vision goggles and climbing a shelf with a grappling hook and finds a gold vase with red diamonds. She opens it and pours out the content only to be disappointed by an oatmeal raisin cookie falling out. Dewey turns on the lights and says he got the last chocolate chip cookie. The promo ends Webby then lunges at Dewey.
  • Family Guy: in the subplot of "the Story on Page One", being unable to reach the cookies adds to Stewie's growing Height Angst. Chris retrieving them easily gives Stewie the idea to brainwash him.
  • In the infamous Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode "Everybody Knows It's Bendy", this is the crux of Bloo's master plan to expose Bendy for doing bad things solely to frame him, Wilt, Coco, and Eduardo. When Bendy takes a cookie from the cookie jar, which has a note that says, "DO NOT TOUCH!" on it, Bloo uses a camera he set up to take an incriminating picture of Bendy.
  • One interstitial for Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius sees Jimmy getting caught trying to raid the cookie jar. He does manage to talk his mom into allowing one cookie... and uses a time-rewinding gadget to sneak some more. This works until Goddard mistakes said gadget for a treat, and ends up warping the two of them to the time of dinosaurs.
  • Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil: There is a subversion in which the misbehavior is on the part of a Manchild. "Crumbs!" revealed that every time that Kick's Mom bakes cookies, his Dad would go insane and try to eat them all. Kick was tasked to protect the latest batch of cookies but after several Chase Scenes, his Dad was able to corner him. With no other choice, he ate the cookies himself... but its taste drove him just as insane as his father before and the roles became reversed.
  • Rugrats (1991) naturally features this. Oftentimes, the babies will form a Human Ladder to reach it:

Real Life

  • The Stanford marshmallow experiment on delayed gratification purported to prove a link between waiting 15 minutes to get a bigger award, as opposed to immediately eating a marshmallow, and subsequent better life outcomes.