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Playing With / Cardboard Prison

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Basic Trope: Villains escape from prison with absurd ease despite being repeatedly stuck in there.

  • Straight: Black Jack escapes from prison again.
  • Exaggerated: Black Jack has escaped from prison nine times in the last day.
  • Downplayed: Black Jack broke out of prison once, got rearrested, and took four years to get out again.
  • Justified:
    • Black Jack is held in a crummy third world country, where the prisons are cheaply built and the guards are corrupt.
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    • Black Jack was literally thrown in a cardboard prison, which is why he escaped with such ease.
    • Black Jack and the others are just kids playing at Cops & Robbers, and the 'prison' is an actual cardboard box.
    • Black Jack has powers that enabled him to escape easily, such as phasing through walls like a ghost.
    • Black Jack has connections in high places that allow him to get out early.
  • Inverted:
    • The prison that Black Jack "favors" is very easy to break into.
    • The Alcatraz, a prison that is really difficult to escape.
    • Unsafe Haven, a sanctuary that can easily be infiltrated by whoever wishes to harm the individual(s) residing there.
  • Subverted: Black Jack escapes from prison by hopping over a wall. And gets shot in the leg by a guard.
    • Black Jack hops over a wall...and finds out that that the prison was inside a prison.
  • Double Subverted: He later escapes Disguised in Drag from a prison hospital.
  • Parodied:
    • The prison is made out of actual cardboard.
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    • Guards are being shown taking lessons on how to fall asleep just within reach of the bars with their keys dangling on their belts.
    • Black Jack spends days digging an escape route out, despite the keys being within arm's reach of his cell.
  • Zig Zagged: He escapes, only for it to be a virtual reality, only to escape from the virtual reality, only for it to be another layer of virtual reality, only to escape from the virtual reality, only for it to be another layer of virtual reality. He escapes it again, finally ending up in reality, only to discover that he's actually in an inescapable prison. Until he finds a flaw in that prison's security and escapes it, only to discover that it's actually a virtual world after all.
  • Averted: Either Black Jack avoids getting sent to prison or this is how Black Jack gets Put on a Bus.
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  • Enforced: "We can't have our major villain leave the show forever! I know! Let's have him break out of prison!" "I dunno, didn't we do that already? Like nine times?"
  • Lampshaded: "Black Jack's escaped again. The Guards Must Be Crazy."
  • Invoked:
    • Black Jack bribes the judge to sentence him to one particular prison, knowing its reputation for being easy to escape from.
    • Evulz wants to recruit Black jack but can't afford to reveal himself by directly breaking him out. Instead, he works to sabotage the prison's security so Black can get himself out.
  • Exploited: The authorities are using a Batman Gambit: by placing Black Jack in the cardboard prison, they expect him to escape by himself and lead them to his boss.
  • Defied: Normally, every episode ends with some member of the Rogues Gallery going to prison. But Black Jack is considered such a threat that the heroes break with their normal adherence to Thou Shalt Not Kill, knowing that if they turned him over to the police he'd just escape.
  • Discussed: "You'd think the government would strengthen prison security by now..."
  • Conversed: "Oh, look, Black Jack escaped from yet another maximum security prison. Sometimes I wish they'd just let him get away for a change of pace."
  • Deconstructed:
    • The death penalty skyrockets because the prisons are just not able to contain these people and confidence in them plummets.
    • Alternatively: No one is afraid to end up in jail because they know they can just waltz out any time, and so the crime rates becomes extremely high.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Implied: Black Jack is sent to prison at the end of an episode. He is back out soon with no explanation.
    • Black Jack is The Dreaded to every prison warden who sees him.

Back to Cardboard Prison! I don't know how you keep getting out of there!


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