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The Series 5-8 Cast.

The con is on...
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A British dramedy show (2004-2012) following a group of con artists who specialize in the Long Con and only con those who deserve it. Highly inspired by The Sting—it's mentioned more than once and almost every con that appeared in the film ends up being played in Hustle at some point.

This show got renewed for a second series only four episodes through its six-episode run due to its popularity.

The show itself is unafraid to con the audience, with the characters having back-up plans and only revealing part of the trick until the end; seemingly random and unrelated moments throughout the episode are revealed to be vitally important. The one thing you can count on is that if you think you know how the con works, you don't.

The fourth series saw a change in the cast; Mickey was busy in Australia "selling the Sydney Opera House", leaving Danny as the (far-more chaotic and improvisational) leader. The fifth man was Billy, a younger and naive short con artist who idolised Danny.

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Mickey returns in the fifth series, but with Danny and Stacie in America, Albert in prison, and Billy... unmentioned, Mickey and Ash need to put together a new crew.

The show ended in 2012 with its eighth series.

It has an across the pond counterpart in Leverage, though save for general concept and at least one prominent guest star appearing on both shows, the two shows are unrelated.

Not to be confused with the 1975 neo-noir film starring Burt Reynolds, the ESPN original miniseries about Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose, or the Japanese comedy-oriented wrestling promotion.


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Hustle provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion:
    • In a season eight episode, Jodie Prenger plays a friend of the gang who winds up in hospital after using a dodgy diet product sold by that episode's marks. Before her acting career took off, Prenger won the UK version of The Biggest Loser and subsequently worked as a writer on diet issues.
    • In the final episode it's proposed that the now seven-person team should be called The Magnificent Seven. Albert, played by Robert Vaughn, seems very taken with the idea.
  • Affably Evil: The "Evil" bit is only in that he ends up scamming the crew - but James Whitaker the Third is a charming rogue who it's impossible not to like even when he's making the protagonists look like fools. The jaunty wave he gives a stunned Mickey as he makes his escape, as if him conning them for millions of pounds was just a fun game of cards, says it all.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Sean and Emma break into a gallery via the vents in "Eat Yourself Slender".
  • The Alleged Steed: The fake racehorse in "Signing Up to Wealth".
  • All Women Love Shoes: Emma. After their first big score, Sean comments that she can buy enough Jimmy Choos to outfit an octopus.
  • An Aesop: The ending of the last ever has all the main characters (including the returned Stacie and Danny) delivering an aesop to camera about the art of the con.
  • And Starring: Robert Vaughn gets credited as "And Robert Vaughn as Albert Stroller" in later series.
  • Animated Credits Opening: Full of Stealth Puns for grifting terminology.
  • Arc Villain: The team don't have an Arch-Enemy due to the very nature of their business, but Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding are main villains of the first and last episodes of season 5 - and are the first scammees to go after the team since the end of season 1. DCI Lucy Britford does the same thing in season 6.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Not from the main characters, oddly enough, but you can visibly see DI Fisk realise he's screwed after this bit of dialogue following The Reveal of how the team got him to incriminate himself:
    Fisk: Do you know how many villains I've put away?
  • Artistic Licence Biology: In one episode the gang has to prove Albert is the son of Queen Mother. To do that they switch a sample of her DNA for his. Not only does no one notice that the DNA is identical, they fail to notice it's the wrong sex.
  • Art Shift: Used for exposition scenes. A description of a very old con trick is done via a B&W silent movie, and an explanation of fugu fish preparation is done with anime.
  • Aside Glance: Every main character, on a fairly regular basis, except for Billy (in fact, it happens very rarely in Series 4 at all). One of the marks manages it in a season 3 episode whe he slyly reveals in the middle of a musical sequence that his Laser-Guided Amnesia has lifted and he remembers who the team are.
  • At the Opera Tonight: Partly invoked at the end of episode 4 of the first series when the team taunt the mark by hiring a larger female opera singer to sing outside the mark's place of business after they con him (as a reference to how he'd kept talking about the 'Fat Lady' singing himself).
  • Back for the Finale: Stacie. And Danny.
  • Badass Boast: Ash delivers one to a pair of warring gangsters in "Picasso Finger Painting".
  • Batman Gambit: Constantly. The marks' greed and the overconfidence of the cops trying to catch them are frequently used against them in Mickey's planning.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: A very common tactic used by the crew. Mickey managing to get back to the UK on an aircraft carrier by pretending to be a naval captain is probably the shining example.
  • Beat Bag: In "Law and Corruption", a Dirty Cop attempts to blackmail the crew into doing his dirty work by planting cocaine in Mickey's briefcase and arresting them. They turn the tables on him by managing to swap the cocaine for confectioner's sugar while in jail. As Mickey points out, it is not illegal to be in possession of several kilos of confectioner's sugar.
  • Berserk Button: Eddie will put up with just about any minor scam from the group as they avoid paying for their drinks - but defacing his photo of Ian Rush is the only thing in all 8 series to get them all barred.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mickey and Ash arriving in the nick of time to save Emma and Sean from a gangster they'd fleeced in the season 5 opener.
  • Big "NO!": Oh so satisfyingly with Veronica Powell in season 4 and Don Coleman in season 7 as they realise what's happened.
  • Big Store: Once an episode. Trips Mickey up early on when a mark turns out to have known what was going on for most of the con because she headed back to the (now-empty) fake office, realised what was going on and spun Mickey's con into humiliating her ex-husband instead.
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The marks are sleazebags, but usually on just the right side of the law; the hustlers are criminals whose cons involve making money off the marks, but rarely actually bringing the marks to justice or preventing them from going straight back to whatever they were doing before.
  • Bodybag Trick: In "Lest Ye Be Judged", Mickey uses a bodybag to smuggle Emma into the morgue so she can place a false postmortem report in the files.
  • Bookends:
    • The first and last episodes both feature a an extended Breaking the Fourth Wall sequence that goes far beyond an Aside Glance and a Staged Shooting as part of a con Mickey is claiming will be his last before retirement.
    • The first and last episode titles: The Con is On and The Con is Off.
  • Boxed Crook: Occasionally tried on the team; usually a very, very bad idea, especially if the cop that tries it does anything illegal or unethical in the process.
  • Brain Bleach: Sean tries desperately to apply this in Series 8 Episode 2 after he has had to get...close to a much older lady in order to find a missing painting. Coupled with I Need a Freaking Drink.
  • Break the Haughty: A specialty of the gang, as virtually any mark or bent copper who thinks they've got one up on the Hustlers will soon find to their regret exactly how wrong they are. Notable examples include the long line of corrupt police officers, customs officials or MI6 agents who believes they can catch or manipulate Mickey and the gang, Victor Maher in Series 1 and Carlton Wood in the last episode of Series 5.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Monologues to camera or, sometimes, two of the characters having a conversation while everyone else is frozen.
    • Some Characters wink into the camera (seemingly at the audience) with some ironic smile at certain moments. AKA Aside Glance
    • On one occasion, the mark confided in the audience that he'd seen through the con.
    • In the final episode of Series eight, they didn't just break the wall, they took ruddy great sledgehammers to it and reduced it to rubble!
    • All of the song and dance routines either feature direct remarks to the audience or go totally unnoticed by other characters
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Ash, Man of a Thousand Voices. Mickey and Emma are excellent at it too.
    • Parodied by Albert, who thinks he can do a variety of UK accents but really can't.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Mickey gets scammed when trying to buy a new phone over the Internet, and loses his mojo.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Many of the forgers and fences the team deals with tend to be quite eccentic. Special mention goes to Dolly in "Picasso Fingerpainting" - a Dirty Old Woman with memory problems so pronounced it borders on Alzheimers, she's nonetheless the finest Picasso forger in London.
  • Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie: Invoked in "The Fall of Railton FC". Needing some footage of a fake football game, Emma pretends that her grandfather's last wish was to have his ashes scattered on the turf of his beloved football club, and cons the caretaker into letting her and the rest of the crew on to the pitch to do so. She then has to keep the caretaker distracted while the boys run around the pitch in football strip to get the footage they need.
  • Butt-Monkey: Eddie, especially in Season 6. They occasionally reward him well for putting up with them, but they constantly con him out of drinks and wreck his business. One wonders why he puts up with them. This is justified after the return of Mickey in series 5, as he and Ash are then the owners of Eddie's Bar.
    • Lampshaded by Emma when Ash repays Eddie for his help by paying off their Tab (which is money that they owed him in the first place)
      • Taken to extremes when Alfie (Ash's 11 year old godson) shows up in season 8 and hustles Eddie for £25 in his first scene alone.
  • The Cameo:
    • David Walliams featured as a dodgy shop assistant in season 1, just as Little Britain began to take off.
    • Famed footballer Ian Rush features as himself in the first episode of season 8.
  • The Caper: The season 2 finale, "Eye of the Beholder" has the gang stealing the Crown Jewels - the twist being they're actually not, using the fact that word will spread that they have to sell fake jewels to several buyers.
  • Caper Crew: (original crew) Mickey is the Mastermind, Stacie is the Distraction, Ash is the Hacker, the Gadget Guy, and the Safe Cracker, and the Driver. Danny is the New Kid. Albert and Stacie take turns acting as the Partner in Crime; everyone except Ash takes turns as the Conman.
  • The Casino: "Big Daddy Calling" sees the crew ripping off a big Vegas one. Albert's also constantly seen in various London ones.
  • Casual Car Giveaway: The crew do it in "Big Daddy Calling", swapping their Cadillac for an old beat-up pickup truck as they flee Las Vegas.
  • Celebrity Paradox: One guy mentions the TV show Dr. Kildare. Another episode has Richard Chamberlain as a Special Guest.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: Emma bears a striking resemblance to Kylie Minogue, especially when put in similar outfits used in her music videos. This comes in handy for when a mark wants to meet her.
    • These two reviews actually note Kelly Adams' physical and vocal resemblance to Kylie a full year before that particular episode aired!
  • Chained to a Bed: How Stacie manages to get D.I. DePalma's ID in the first episode.
  • The Chessmaster: Mickey's preferred approach - it's very rare to have a story where he hasn't planned for every variable possible, and even when something unexpected pops up he's able to adapt. Albert as well on occasion - after all, Mickey learned everything he knew from him. Part of the drama of early seasons was contrasting this approach against Danny's more seat-of-the-pants style.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Billy vanishes without explanation between seasons 4 and 5.
  • Clothesline Stealing: In "The Henderson Challenge", Mickey and Danny are dumped naked in the centre of London. While Danny bolts for a taxi, Mickey ducks into a workman's tent and emerges wearing a set of coveralls that—unusually for this trope—are a little bit short on him.
  • Cold Cash: 'Liability' Finch keeps his stash hidden in the freezer.
  • Cold Reading: The show's protagonists can do this on a whim, with Albert at various points giving expert teaching to both Danny and Billy on the subject. Ash later teaches it to Sean the same way.
  • The Con. Once an Episode, the mere basis of the show. With The Con Within a Con In season 2, The Lesson
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Series 3 Episode 4 features a movie-related con. Danny expresses some uncertainty, reminding them that he got shot last time they did one (Series 1 Episode 2).
    • Series 3 Episode 5 has the team trying to fool a newspaper into believing an old urban myth about the Royal family. Danny warns them 'I ain't nicking the crown jewels again!' referring to when they did just that in Series 2 Episode 6. This is also referenced in the following episode but is less of a 'nod' and more an explicit explanation of it in order to impress someone.
    • Season 8 episode 2 is full of them, including Ash's speech about what great grifters they are, which is mostly a list of previous plotlines; also former recurring character Cyclops puts in his first appearance since season five, and at the end Mickey (jokingly) moots a con involving a fake Mondrian painting, which the original crew already did in season one (he even suggests they use the same forger again).
  • Cool Old Guy: Albert. He's not only a master conman in his own right, but a caring mentor to the team.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Another hallmark of the team; they'll always have safeguards against failure, even if it's never obvious at first.
  • Delayed Wire: Final episode of the first series and again in the first episode of the fifth.
  • Dirty Cop: Numerous examples of this trope - plus other related areas such as Customs Agents - appeared in the show, attempting to manipulate and threaten the team for their own benefit. This always ended badly for them. D.I. Fisk in "Curiosity Caught the Kat" is a typical example.
  • Disappeared Dad: Deconstructed when Sean and Emma's dad returns. Initially, Sean is convinced that he's just like all the other scumbag marks and sets out to con him accordingly - except it swiftly proves he isn't, and the whole con nearly goes up in flames because Mr. Kennedy never even dreamed of double-crossing his "partner" for the money. When the siblings confront him, he turns out to be a sad case - a genuinely decent man who made a horrible mistake he could never take back when he walked out on them, even though he did try and find them. The group eventually take what they feel Sean and Emma are owed for his never being there, but pointedly don't ruin him.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: In "A Bollywood Dream", after the current mark realises that he's the target of a scam because the scenario was too perfect moments before he loses his short-term memory in an accident, the group decide to re-do the con making it a bit more imperfect as they acknowledge that a man who seeks perfection would know how hard it is to achieve. With this in mind, they adjust their scam to make the characters involved less prestigious- Mickey's director has a less notable reputation, Stacie's actress studied at a minor college rather than a more prestigious one- while keeping a focus on their original agenda.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: In the episode "Conning the Artists" the honour killing was all an elaborate cover for a con a 10 year old girl came up with so her and her brother could escape their landlord/boss who the team had conned that very week. With the money the team took from him and their new mark's money
  • Double Standard:
    • In S3 E1, Stacie walks into a bathroom while Danny is taking a bath (he didn't lock the door as he's claustrophobic) and asks him to sing into her tape recorder (we later find out why) and Danny, whilst slightly baffled, complies without questioning or protesting. It's not even necessary to explain how this would be different if the genders were reversed!
    • The crew claims to stand for combating the greed and selfishness of other people, and looking out for the 'little people' who are wronged by them in some way for the former's benefit. YET the crew con, mistreat, exploit, manipulate (and let's be honest, generally oppress) Eddie daily, but apparently that's fine because they benefit from it.
      • To be fair to the team, when Eddie is really in trouble, they are willing to go to considerable lengths to help him.
    • Men who ogle at Emma are usually characterized as creepy and are invariably wankers and villains, but when Sean is accosted by some dirty old woman who demands (and it's implied gets) Sex for Services, it's Played for Laughs.
  • End-of-Series Awareness:
    • Seemingly at the end of Series 2, and very much so at the end of the final series.
    • The end of the first series, in which Mickey tells us "We'll be gone for a while" in one of the gang's many fourth-wall breaking moments.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Occasionally, an in-universe version as the team mislead one of their own to get a better reaction; for example in the first episode, a realistic reaction to Mickey being fake-shot in the head can only be guaranteed by Danny not being in the know.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While the gang have no problem pulling various minor scams on Eddie, they are willing to go to considerable lengths to help him when he's in genuine trouble; two of their most complicated cons were pulled purely on Eddie's request, leading to Eddie's father being moved into a better retirement home than his current residence and Eddie's niece receiving a modelling contract to work in the Canary Islands.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: "The Hustler's News Of The Day" features a news reporter who, in contrast to his heartless boss, is disturbed when a woman they accused of embezzlement attempts suicide, showing visible concern when it's suggested she might die. Subverted later in the episode when he actually brags about it.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Several examples. The mark in "Old Sparks Come New" and her thuggish debt collectors are the most typical.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Played for laughs when Albert is hearing the story of a poor old woman who got ripped off by a dodgy company. To lighten the mood he jokes that for all she knows he could be a conman too. Cue a shot of her tiny dog snarling furiously at Albert.
  • Evil Gloating: Carlton Wood flatly admits when he thinks he's outsmarted the team that he's going to stick around to do this. He's not, and his subsequent meltdown when the team turn out to have taken him for £1 million is truly something to see.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Happened a few times, but never more satisfyingly than when corrupt cop DI Samantha Phillips (who the group had tricked into selling a false painting for them) explained every aspect of what happened to her bemused colleagues - and as she did so, realised exactly how Mickey and Danny had set her up.
  • Fanservice: Every young or middle-aged woman on the show is always dressed up and wearing high heels, with very few exceptions.
  • Five-Man Band,
    • Initial line up, in terms of specific con roles:
    • Reworked somewhat in seasons 4, 5 and 6. In 4, Mickey is away in Australia, selling the Sydney Opera House, and Danny takes over his position for the crew's time in the USA, with a young con artist called Billy replacing him. In series 5 through 8, Stacie, Danny and Billy were Put on a Bus, and replaced with the Brother–Sister Team of Sean and Emma. The roles remain basically the same, however, with Sean replacing Danny as the young, talented but inexperienced learner, and Emma as the sex appeal/love interest for Mickey. Actually, when Emma and Sean first join the gang she is actually stated to be the "young, talented but inexperienced learner" ("A natural," Albert describes her as, much as he had previously done for Danny) while her kid brother wasn't sure if he even wanted to be a grifter and was more or less the Tagalong Kid. It was later that they slid into their Chick and Team Protege roles, respectively (although Sean tended to learn from Ash rather than Mickey).
  • Fixing the Game: In "Clearance From A Deal", the gang stage an elaborate con in order to fix the outcome of a roulette game.
  • Flag Bikini: Seen in "And This Little Piggy Had Money" as part of a fantasy the mark has about what his life will be like when he accepts the high-paying job in California that Mickey's crew is offering him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In season 2's final episode; a random little con of Mickey's on Eddie - moving his watch's time back to make him think it's earlier in the evening than it actually is - becomes crucial to forming the team's alibi in the last part of the episode.
    • In the very first scene of season 4; Danny tells a guy in the cinema that, at the end, all five of the film's characters get blown up in a boat. Which is exactly what they make the Mark in the season's finale think happened to them.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Has been both used by and used against the team, most commonly by corrupt cops who attempted to frame the team for other crimes, such as possessing drugs, to force them to help with another scam, but in those cases the team have always managed to turn the tables and have the cops accused of whatever crime they intended to frame the team for.
  • Gag Penis: Ash "Three Socks" Morgan.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One episode has Ash describe the mark (a greedy football agent) thusly;
    Ash: Don Coleman. Agent, businessman and cock...
    Ash: ...roach.
  • Gilligan Cut: In "Picasso Finger Painting", we cut from Sean protesting there is no way he is going back to Mad Dolly's to Sean at Mad Dolly's, still protesting.
  • Glad You Thought of It: In season 6 Ash, suddenly promoted to leading the con after Mickey loses his mojo (and not enjoying it), uses this on Mickey to actually work out what to do. He basically refuses to tell Mickey what his (non-existent) plan is, getting Mickey to specualte what he'd do in such a situation - which Ash then uses as his actual plan. Subverted, in that at the end of the episode it's revealed Mickey knew exactly what was happening.
  • Graceful Loser: This is the main thing that separates our heroes from the marks, especially Mickey. On the rare occasions our heroes completely lose, they tend to take it quite calmly, and in one episode where they were completely and utterly owned by a little girl, though they didn't know that, they actually showed approval, with Albert saying they had witnessed a master at work. By contrast, whenever a mark loses, they tend to scream, yell and throw tantrums. Mickey often says his motivation for taking down a mark is to see if they can dish it out as well as take it, and he apparently holds himself to that.
    Mickey: I played the game, and I lost.
    • Albert, to a tee. When Joseph Whittaker-Wright III utterly wipes the floor with the team and they're too late to stop him escaping, Albert can only laugh and marvel about how impressive JW 3's con was.
  • Greasy Spoon: The crew will often meet their contacts in dingy cafes. In particular, one of their information brokers, Cyclops (played by Bill Bailey), is almost always met in cafes where he keeps eating throughout the meeting, displaying Jabba Table Manners throughout.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: A few of the marks, but Carlton Wood takes it Up to Eleven in season 5 - he routinely flips out on his staff and even his own partner at the drop of a hat.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: Danny Blue loses a game of Strip Poker and attempts to salvage what is left of his dignity with a strategically placed cushion.
  • Hanging Judge: Mr Justice Kent, the mark in "Lest Ye Be Judged".
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: One season 7 episode sees the team going after an illicit loan interest, which offers "strings-free" loans with insanely high interest rates hidden in tiny disclaimers in the fine print. So, naturally, the contract the disguised Mickey and Ash sign with the firm's boss, selling her a castle (which isn't actually theirs), does essentially the same thing, with tiny subtexts hiding the fact the contract was only for £1, not the £500,000 she'd verbally agreed to.
  • Honour Among Thieves: The bent cops will often try to call them out on this claiming there to be no such thing but have to coerce people to betray other crooks. Albert says to Emma that all con men rely on honour among thieves because that's the only way they know they're not going to get screwed over mid con by one of their suppliers of fake goods.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Ash and Sean separately in "Picasso Fingerpainting" - Sean after it's implied he has sex with the elderly forger they needed information from, Ash after he realises the real Picasso they need to secure Mickey's freedom is long gone and they're all probably going to get killed as a result.
  • Ignored Confession: In "The Fall of Railton FC", Ash temporarily Cannot Tell a Lie as the result of a head injury. When The Mark asks him if there is anything else he should know, Ash tells him that the entire deal is a con and they are planning to steal his money. He then bursts out laughing, turning it into a Sarcastic Confession that The Mark cheerily ignores.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The finale of season 4 sees Albert assuming everyone who remembers his previously getting booted out of the casinos for cheating in his youth are gone, being wrong and getting his hand broken by the casino's mob overlord. The rest of the episode sees him facing the potential guilt of getting his friends killed by the Mafia if it all goes wrong. Granted, they get away with it, but two seasons later he's heading back to Vegas to go gambling in the casinos like nothing had ever happened. He even brags part of the fun is getting in without security noticing!
  • Impersonating an Officer: Very common. Apparently, it can get you free passage from Australia to the UK. On an aircraft carrier.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: A spectacularly crazy one in "Conning the Artists" where Danny suddenly enters into a The Matrix style kung-fu battle with their mysterious captor, curb stomps him then graciously accepts Stacie's kisses as The Hero... and then it cuts back to reality, with Danny still clearly still imagining snogging Stacie, puckering up to thin air as their bemused captor looks on.
  • Invincible Hero: The crew. It's practically guaranteed, especially in later seasons, that they will overcome any complications in their plans - and if it appears they haven't, the flashbacks at the end will show that it was all a part of their plan. The amount of danger they have of actually failing or even stumbling in most episodes is zero - there are only three episodes in all 8 series where the gang outright lose, and even in one of those ("A Touch of Class") they still got the money. Tropes Are Not Bad however, as the fun comes from wondering not if they will succeed, but how.
    • Really obvious in "Clearance From a Deal", where the team faces casino owner Marcus Wendell. Built up throughout the episode as a Knight of Cerebus Worthy Opponent who knows who the team are, knows all their tricks and is determined to bring them down. The stakes have supposedly never been higher, as loss means Wendell will out them to the entire world - then at the end of the episode it's revealed the team had an insider edge all along, and were never even remotely in any danger.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: In "Benny's Funeral", it starts raining as the gang step out of the crematorium at the eponymous funeral.
  • It Must Be Mine!: This is often a weakness of the marks, allowing the team their 'in'. Examples include a rare banknote in "The Lesson" (or so it seems), a case of rare wine in "Getting Even", and a Faberge Egg (one of a matched pair) in "Eat Yourself Slender". Played much straighter in "Diamond Seeker", where the team encounter a rare diamond collector after one formerly belonging to Napoleon Boneaparte (which the Hustlers acquired by accident), who's perfectly willing to have them tortured and killed for it.
  • It's a Small Net After All: Ash is able to set up professional looking websites for fake companies in a matter of hours. Possibly justified as this is his job as the team's fixer, and he probably keeps a few dummy sites operating at all times that he can quickly customise. However, in "Gold Mine", he is seemingly able to get a site up and running in the time it takes Danny to spin the tale to the mark. And he always manages to get the sites to show up near the top of any search the mark does.
  • It's Personal: Mickey displays both sides; in early seasons he believes getting emotionally involved with marks to be a big mistake, as it clouds judgment. By season 5 he tells Emma he's come to believe the opposite - if he's totally emotionally detached and all about the money, he's just another crook.
  • It Tastes Like Feet: In "Eat Yourself Slender", a mark (being rude to a waitress as the marks always are) complains that his beer tastes like "warm monkey spit".
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: A negative variant of this is demonstrated with Benny, a con man who tried to con the team because leader Mickey chose Ash Morgan for Mickey's team rather than Benny; Mickey later affirmed that while Benny was a better grafter who could adapt to any potential role in a team, he was not a team player who could be trusted to stick to the plan.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration:
    • In "Eye of the Beholder", Ash gets a job on the cleaning crew at the museum so he can scope the place out as part of the team's plan to steal the Crown Jewels.
    • Emma does it in "Eat Yourself Slender" to plant material in a research laboratory for their latest marks to steal as part of their latest con.
  • Jerkass: In a show littered with examples of this, Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding stand out as possibly the two worst individual marks the team ever met. Mickey finds them downing champagne to celebrate their latest illicit patent acquisition on the day of the funeral of the patent's inventor, after he'd killed himself in despair at losing the rights to his life's work.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Occasionally, usually as a Pet the Dog to balance out the protagonists' criminal activities.
  • Karma Houdini: Though the series thrives on seeing bad people get what's comg to them, in a strange way some marks do actually end up being both conned and simultaneously end up better off. For example, Baxter from "Diamond Seeker" started off with a replica necklace. In the end, he had the same replica necklace but actually believed that it was genuine (and he wasn't conned into paying for it, just letting the gang keep what he thought was the replica). He's as happy as if he did get the real thing.
  • Karmic Thief:
    • The hustlers generally target people who deserve it, partly to justify their crimes to themselves since otherwise they are in it just for the thrill and the money. In addition the victims are invariably very smug, dogkickers and outright jerkasses in their demeanor. Notably the hustlers are reluctant to go after the really evil victims, like gangsters and killers, purely because they know their normal marks won't chop them to pieces if they get caught out, and not because they think their normal targets deserve it more.
    • Played with when Emma and Sean go after their Disappeared Dad, who vanished when they were kids shortly before their mother died and never showed up again. Sean expects him to be an Asshole Victim and had been waiting for years to get back at him; part of his con rests on the idea that his dad (who doesn't recognise them, since they were only kids) will screw him out of a deal. He doesn't, and it never even occurred to him to do so, which leaves Sean shaken. It turned out that he didn't know his wife died and when he found out, he actually did try and find them, to no avail. They are still mad at him, especially since he started another family and didn't tell them what he had done, but they decide not to ruin his new life and only take from him the money they think they are owed in allowance, passing up a chance to rob him of more. He admits to them that he loves and is proud of them before they leave.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Most marks get at least one moment to reinforce the fact that the team are justified in going after them.
    • Subverted (possibly doubly) in one episode: they're conning a woman who had her husband's dog put to sleep. Then she reveals that it had been hit by a car and was in a lot of pain. However, as most things she "reveals" are in fact lies, this could be one as well.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • The two episodes featuring the Mafia stand out in this regard, as the stakes become much higher given that failure won't mean arrest/imprisonment, but a bullet in the head - if they're lucky.
    • Pinky Byrne from "The Diamond Seeker". A tracer hired to find diamonds, he's a ruthless, determined, nasty piece of work. He beats a man and his son into hospital and in his backstory is renowned for cuttting off a grass's wedding tackle and making him eat it. In a light-hearted series, he stands out as the most sinister character - a fence describes him as making the Terminator look like a quitter.
  • Landmark Sale: The London Eye, the Hollywood Sign and the often mentioned Sydney Opera House con.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: A very interesting variant, in that the mark gets this after working out their con, making him forget he knew them. This leads Mickey to try again, leaving out the things that tipped him off before - except now the mark is realising what a terrible person he'd been and is actively trying to change for the better. Near the end of the episode Samar reveals to the audience he actually remembers everything now, but doesn't care about the con, as it's inspired him to donate his wealth to charity and pursue his own dreams of acting.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • At the end of season 2 the team "borrow" the crown jewels, sell the copies they make to unscrupulous collectors, make a fortune and run rings around the police in the process. Then it turns out Danny used one of his grifting credit cards to pay their hotel bill. Cue a very quick and panicked exodus;
    Stacie: We've just pulled off the biggest con of the century, and we're sneaking out of a hotel for paying the bill with a bent credit card?!
    Everyone: WE DO!!!
    • Later, JW3 completely wipes the floor with the team, using many of their own tricks against them so well they're left scrambling to catch up - and failing so miserably even Mickey can only gawp in disbelief as Whitaker makes his escape.
  • Laxative Prank: Often used to temporarily incapacitate someone for the purpose of a con.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The first episode of the fifth series sees Mickey and Ash attempting to con a mark who, unknown to them, is actually a fellow conwoman (and her brother) attempting to con them. This is due to Albert's machinations; he claims that he wanted them to team up, and this way they know what the others are capable of.
  • Little Miss Con Artist: One episode features the crew being Out-Gambitted. By, it turns out, a little girl none of them noticed who calls herself a "criminal mastermind".
  • Loveable Rogue: All of the main characters. Pretty much the whole point of the show. Subverted with Ash's old pal Benny, another hustler who, despite appearing friendly and affable, turns out to be as nasty and vicious as they come.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Throughout season six, Emma keeps referring to Lucy Britford as 'Lucy Bitchface'.
  • The Mark: Of course.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Oftentimes we'll see Ash working on a gizmo or Albert making a phonecall that seemingly bears no relation to the plot. Until the end, when it turns out it was vital to the Hustlers' latest success.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Any time Albert gets incarcerated.
  • Mile-High Club: Danny Blue is a member according to the episode "Gold Mine".
  • Mind Screw: The final minutes of the show's Grand Finale. May border on Gainax Ending.
  • Mock Millionaire: The con often involves one or more members of the crew pretending to be wealthy. Occasionally the mark turns out to be this as well.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Confessions" sees the team ruminating on the ethics of fooling their mark, and how he'd died with Danny lying to him that he was his long-lost son - then start glorying over the money they'd received from the mark's widow to get lost forever in the space of a single scene.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Stacie and her successor, Emma; a woman who very rarely has anything covering her legs from the thigh down.
  • Mugging the Monster: The group, while looking for marks that are often corrupt in their business practices, are generally careful to avert this by avoiding ones that could be truly dangerous to them should they realise they have been conned. Played straight, however, in the season finale where Mickey states rather explicitly that though the mark is dangerous, the idea of £10 million as a last score is "too good to pass up". Stacie, who had joined the mark for her own con earlier on, hangs a lampshade on this by saying more than once that perhaps this is one they should walk away from.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: 'Liability' Finch. Even when the crew are helping him, they basically work around him rather than include him in plans he'd only screw up.
    Mickey (on why they won't entertain his plans): Because we're professionals, because we don't like prison and because we don't work with anyone who has 'Liability' in their name!
  • New Old Flame: Emma encounters new old flame named Joe Ryan, who is everything the grifters are not, in "Old Sparks Come New".
  • Nice to the Waiter: The marks never are. It's one of the ways Albert spots suitable candidates to be scammed, as he 's friends with every concierge in London and in later seasons often finds marks like this. His ex wife uses this to find him in the season 7 finale.
    • The team often pay back innocent bystanders they have to manipulate in their scams by leaving them cash or other gifts.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the first episode of Series 6 the mark is a former banker whose bank was bailed out by the government and he is now retired on a huge pension (part of which the team try to relieve him of) which has outraged the tabloids and public at large. Just like former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: A woman described as "posh fit with a hint of mucky" invites Mickey to dinner. She's a Police officer who's intent on sending Mickey down.
  • Not Named in Opening Credits: Guest actors aren't listed in the opening credits anyway, but there was no advance publicity for Marc Warren's appearance in the final episode.
  • Obfuscating Disability: The forger in "Picture Perfect". It's actually exploited by Mickey when he turns out to try and hold them for ransom, as he reports him to investigators suspicious of his (non-existent disability), who turn up just as he tries to scam the team.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: It's practically guaranteed any explanation of how the latest scam was pulled off will involve a few examples of this.
  • Office Golf: The mark in "Gold Mine".
  • Once a Season: Episodes featuring Corrupt Cops trying to manipulate the team, Broke Episodes where the team somehow had no cash and urgently needed a big score, and stories where the team took Revenge in people hurting their loved ones all tended to recur in later seasons.
  • One Steve Limit: Usually most characters have different names, but in a likely unintentional aversion, there are at least three characters in the series named 'Harry Holmes'
    • Season 2 has a Harry Holmes being a fellow conman who was sent to prison
    • Season 6 has the crew using the office of an investment manager named Harold Holmes for one of their cons
    • Season 8 has Harry Holmes being a homicidal gangster that is one of the two main villians of the episode
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lots of times. Whenever Danny shuts up, when Mickey gets angry...
    • Emma remarks to Mickey how hard it is to imagine that he could have beaten another man up with a baseball bat.
  • Parental Abandonment: Sean and Emma - their father walked out when they were little, then their mother died and they went into care.
  • Parking Payback: In "Price of Fame", Benny Frazier parking in the ambulance zone at a hospital (and being rude to the staff member who asks him to move) is what first identifies him to Albert as a potential mark.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": In a series 7 episode, where the password to the mark's computer is the name of his dog. It then turns out that this was part of the mark's plan.
  • Password Slot Machine: Ash uses a gadget that does to crack the four digit security code to the employee entrance at a bank in "The Hush Heist".
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: Mickey and Emma have a long debate over whether Mickey's term 'stickability' is a real word.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Oddly implied with the group itself; they routinely pull off cons in the mid-to-high six figure range, yet quite a few episodes have them with little to no cash reserves and needing a new mark fast. While the group does have some obvious expenses, aside from some joke references to Emma's love of clothes it's never explained how the hell they manage to fritter away such large amounts offscreen.
    • Seen most obviously between episodes 3 and 4 of season 4; in the former, they scam a crooked property developer out of £600,000. By the start of the next episode they're stuck working short cons to make ends meet.
  • Phoney Call: Done a lot. In "Father of the Jewels", Sean is with the mark when he calls Mickey and starts acting like he is talking to a nursing home. Mickey is initially confused but quickly figures out that Sean is letting him know that they urgently need to set a nursing home for the next stage of the con.
  • The Plan: Many, many episodes, but Mickey's playing of "Liability" Finch and a Customs officer is a very good example.
    DS Terri Hodges: Mickey Stone is unique. He doesn't think like we do. You can't second-guess him. He gives the impression that he's making it all up as he goes along. But everything is planned, precise. He puts together complicated and seemingly unrelated events, impossible to unravel, but all leading to the big con. The higher the stakes, the more he likes it. Just when you think you've got him, you haven't.
  • Positive Discrimination: Straight examples abound in the early seasons, but eventually the series begins to avert it:
    • Almost everyone they con is white. They con an Indian guy, but then realize that he's not that bad and that they've put his entire factory out of work, so they give him money from another con. In another episode, they're conning an African dictator (and obvious Robert Mugabe parallel) but then it turns out that he was Mickey in disguise, and they're actually conning somebody else. Another episode has them conning an Indian sweatshop owner, but he completely reforms himself, so they can't finish the con.
    • They do con a Japanese businessman at the start of one episode, but while he is certainly unlikable (as made clear from the little girl's narration) he's not an outright monster. Shortly after pulling this con though the team themselves get conned by one of his (poorly treated) workers and his little sister.
    • At the beginning of series 6 they con a rich Arab.
    • In series 7 they've conned a woman of mixed race, an Iranian man although it turns out the crew themselves were the marks in this scheme, and a black man.
    • In season 8 they con a black man again.
  • Power Walk: Many episodes end with the grifters walking triumphantly in an aligned fashion, often next to the Thames river.
  • Precision F-Strike: Given Mickey hardly swears (or is actually impolite) in any circumstances, him telling a bounty hunter to "Go screw yourself" in Series 5 Episode 4 is rather jarring.
  • Put on a Bus: Mickey in Season 4, Danny, Stacy and Billy in Season 5.
    • The Bus Came Back: Mickey returns in season 5 Stacie and Danny return for the finale. No sign of Billy though...
  • Rash Equilibrium: The end of "Picture Perfect".
  • Read the Fine Print: How many of the marks are able to rip off customers, hiding clauses in the small print that hide ruinous interest rates or other clauses that kill any profit dead. Often crosses over with Unreadable Disclaimer.
  • Real After All: In one episode, the team takes down a corrupt newspaper publisher by making him believe in an old urban myth: That the Queen Mother was killed in a bombing in World War II and the Royal Family had an actress take on the role to maintain public morale. They're a bit thrown when MI-5 agents question them, figuring it's just because they're doing something with the Royals and later laugh at how the publisher was ready to buy this. But at the end of the episode, we see what is quite clearly Queen Elizabeth II at a small cemetery, placing flowers on the grave of the "actress..."
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: DI Fisk's boss - has the team dead to rights on one of their scams, but cuts them a deal to let them go if they make Fisk incriminate himself. Unlike every other Corrupt Cop and dodgy authority figure in the series, she keeps her word as well, even if she makes it clear that from that point on they'll receive no favours.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Many of the Hustlers' plans rely on this, particularly those heavily involving Danny, where their most insane and wild cons still find a sucker.
    • The first season finale opens with them selling some major piece of property to a man, claiming the owner is trying to unload some money-losing pit. After he hands over the cash, the guy looks out the window at what he thinks he's just bought: The London Eye ferris wheel. The scene after the opening credits is a news broadcast on the guy being arrested when he showed up to claim his "property" and the newscasters chuckling at anyone believing they bought a London landmark from a pair of strangers.
    • The gang manage to steal the Star of Africa Diamond in a big heist. They arrange for it to be found by a cleaning lady who gets a big reward. The team's real goal is to sell four perfect replicas of the Diamond to four different buyers. Each one is told the "recovered" Diamond is a fake to soothe the public and they're purchasing the real thing. Each one of them buys the story, allowing the gang to make a fortune.
    • The shining example is when Ash temporarily Cannot Tell a Lie, and is directly asked by the mark if there's any reason he shouldn't commit his money. Ash tells him the truth - then bursts out laughing, telling the mark the whole scheme in such a way it sounds like he's just kidding. It works too.
  • Retcon: A minor one, but the first episodes of season 5 heavily imply there's 5 years between Emma and Sean, stating that they've been on the streets since Sean was 9 and Emma 14. An episode the following series featuring their father instead states there's only 2 years between the siblings.
  • Revenge: Any time one of the team's loved ones - Albert, Eddie, a friend or family member - gets hurt in any way, expect this trope to be out in full force.
  • Reverse Mole: While not directly done, the same concept is used in that a random character often turns out to be a fellow con man working with Mickey and the team.
  • Ripped from the Headlines:
    • The mark in the first series 6 episode was a banker who had been bailed out and retired on a massive pension.
    • Benny, Ash's old friend in series 7, lost substantial amounts of money betting on England to win the 2010 World Cup.
  • Rousing Speech: Ash Morgan gives one about the beauty of football and what it means to Britain at the start of "The Fall of Railton FC". It noticeably fails to inspire the rest of crew until he adds that it will also involve "Lolly. Lots of lolly".
    Ash: "Because football is my game, football is your game, football is OUR game. AND I WANT IT BACK!"
    (Beat)
    Ash: "Yeah, well, you're supposed to clap and cheer at that bit, y'know?"
    (Beat)
    Ash: "There's lolly in it. Lots of lovely lolly."
    Everyone: "Oh, ok, why didn't you say so?"
  • Running Gag:
    • Eddie, the barman, is always falling for short cons from the crew and has never fully been paid for the drinks he's provided.
    • There's also a bit of one regarding Sean not being allowed alcohol, after he gets very drunk during their first score together, and calls Emma, "Sis" in front of the marks.
    • Sean is -really- good at finding out everything about potential marks, coming up with really long lists of quirks, facts and general knowledge surprising everyone.
    • Ash's nickname "Three socks"
  • Sarcastic Confession: In "The Fall of Railton FC", Ash temporarily Cannot Tell a Lie, so when the mark asks if there's any reason he shouldn't transfer the money, Ash admits to being a con man and tells him that if he transfers the money he'll never see it again. Then he starts laughing and passes it off as a joke, Emma joins in, and the mark laughs with them and transfers the money.
  • Scary Black Man: Mickey, normally more of a Gentleman Thief, resorts to this to frighten a bank manager in the first episode of series six. There is also the time Mickey beat a man to a bloody pulp with a baseball bat for sleeping with his wife. That was probably quite scary for the other guy.
  • Scoundrel Code: Often referred to as the 'Grifter's Code' - though there's a lot of hints Mickey, Albert and Ash are making it up as they go along, especially to shut Danny up.
  • Serial Escalation: In Season 1, £500k is a significant sum of money, worthy of a season-ending 'big con'. By the time Seasons 6-7 come around, half a million is just an average score from a standard episode. And then of course, in the series finale in Season 8 it gets turned Up to Eleven as the team go for a truly monstrous score - £10 million, enough to walk away for good.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: In "As Good as it Gets", the crew is stunned when a girl they have never seen before wanders out of Sean's bedroom into the kitchen were they are having breakfast wearing Sean's shirt.
  • Shaped Like Itself: After a forged wine bottle gets smashed, the grifters simply carry on the con with a second forged bottle, leading to the exchange:
    Danny: Why did you make a back-up?
    - Beat -
    Ash: As a back-up.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Mickey and Albert are nearly always dressed in sharp, expensive business suits. Ash, Danny and Sean can all pull this off as well.
  • Sherlock Scan: Part of the art of the cold read. Albert gives a detailed explanation of the process to Danny in "Gold Mine", and Ash explains it to Sean in "Lest Ye Be Judged".
  • Shout-Out: to a number of movies in the Hollywood episode. The Sting gets the biggest in homage form, to the point it can be considered a Spiritual Predecessor.
  • Show Some Leg: Stacie does this often, as does Emma in later seasons.
  • Smith of the Yard: Hustle plays this one relatively straight in the 3rd season finale, with a detective famous for making big busts as the villain. He's not a nice man...
  • Smug Snake: Many of the marks are this, due to their riches and high social status giving them constant contempt for those beneath them.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Stacie and then her replacement, Emma.
  • Spanish Prisoner: Danny mentions it in one episode, and is done at last in the first episode of season seven with four marks at the same time.
  • Spit Take: Albert washes the coffee table with vodka when it's suggested sex is the way to get to the mark in Series 1 Episode 5 and having already met the woman involved he immediately assumes the team expects him to do the deed. Thankfully for him, they don't.
  • Spoiler Opening: Subverted in the final episode. It looks to be played straight as the gang are all killed by a hitman - but near the episode's end we come back in at this point to reveal the "hitman" was a disguised Danny using Squibs to fake the team's deaths.
  • Squib: Used in the second episode of series 1 for Danny, the opener of season 5 for Emma and Sean, and for the whole team in the final episode.
  • Staged Shooting:
    • Used to scare the mark into taking off and not coming back for his money (it's an old con trick, but something of a Fridge Logic moment now days, as even if the mark left the country they would undoubtedly look up on the internet to find out what the police were saying about the non-existent shooting). Subverted on one occasion when the mark got caught up in the emotions of the moment, drew his own firearm and fired a couple of real bullets into the 'victim' as well! Fortunately, he survives.
    • The final episode.
  • Stealing the Handicapped Spot: In "Price of Fame", Albert identifies Benny Frazier as a potential mark when he sees him parking in the ambulance zone at a hospital, and rudely telling off the staff member who asks him to move.
  • The Stinger: After the credits on the last episode, Eddie switches off the lights and exits the Bar through the back door which the previous scene implies leads out of the Hustle world back into reality.
  • Stolen by Staying Still: In "New Recruits", Mickey and the crew pull a con where they convince a pair of marks that the painting they declared to be 'unstealable' has just been stolen. The crew do this by erecting a fake wall directly in front of the wall where the painting is hanging.
  • Stupid Crooks: 'Liability' Finch, in spectacular fashion. He's so slow he has to get Eddie, of all people, to explain Mickey's plan to him after the fact.
  • Stylistic Suck: The eighties gameshow Ding Dong, That's My Song as hosted by Mark Williams' character in series 8 episode 5.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It's worth mentioning how this show managed to avert this trope even with all the character substitutions that occurred during its eight series.
    • First there's Series 4, in which Danny takes Mickey's place and Billy is introduced to take Danny's place. However, instead of Danny turning into Mickey and Billy being a clone of First-Series-Danny, Danny remained as he was and therefore was a very different leader to Mickey, and Billy was a lot less of a cocky newbie, being the only person who seriously respected Danny as a leader and not even dreaming of trying to challenge his position like Danny did to Mickey so many times.
    • Then in Series 5, The Danny/Billy role is taken by Sean and Stacie is replaced by Emma, but again both were considerably different characters to their predecessors. In contrast to Danny and Billy who were very enthusiastic about grifting and wanted to build their experience as much as possible, Sean was still having doubts as to whether he even wanted to be a grifter, and when he made a big mistake during his first big con with the gang, offered to leave so as not to ruin Emma's chances. Emma's personality was also quite different to Stacie's, being a lot more sensitive and slightly less flirty (when out of character).
  • That Came Out Wrong: This exchange between Emma and Mickey:
    Emma: How would you like it if I drooled over you?
    (significant look from Mickey)
    Emma: Forget I asked that.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: At the end of "Eat Yourself Slender", Eddie gets a girlfriend.
  • Time Stands Still: Frequently used in the earlier seasons, as this will happen in the middle of a scam for a variety of reasons - usually so the team can explain what is happening.
  • Undercover as Lovers:
    • Sean and Emma give this vibe in their first episode. It's even commented on by some of the other characters. Eventually they get revealed as brother and sister.
    • Mickey and Emma have to pretend to be lovers as part of a con. Sean doesn't realise they are just pretending. Of course, they don't tell him that the whole lovers scheme was Mickey's idea in the first place...
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: At least Once an Episode. Generally the only thing about the plan you can guarantee is that it isn't what it looks like.
  • Unsuspectingly Soused: In "New Recruits", Sean gets smashed when the mark spikes his orange juice with vodka.
  • Unwilling Suspension: "Picasso Finger Painting" opens with Ash hanging upside down by his ankles in a deserted warehouse. He proceeds to explain how he ended up in this predicament.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding. £1.5million and counting...
    "Arse!!!"
  • Upper-Class Twit: Alfie Baron in "The Road Less Travelled". Ash even says this word-for-word when Alfred is describing Alfie to the rest of the team.
  • Violin Scam: One episode featured a variation on this known as "dog in a bar", where a supposedly valuable dog stands in for the violin.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Very common among the marks due to their greed and Smug Snake status, but even then Carlton Wood really takes the cake. His reaction to getting scammed the first time is to incoherently scream "ARSE!" at the team so forcefully it looks like he's about to burst a blood vessel.The second time is even more spectacular.
  • Viva Las Vegas!: "Big Daddy Calling". They also worked the Strip offscreen in the gap between series 2 and 3.
  • Waxing Lyrical: After Mickey completely takes in a mark, the gang (who are listening in through his earpiece) quote the theme from The Spy Who Loved Me in appreciation.
    Albert: Nobody does it better.
    Ash: Makes me feel sad for the rest.
  • We Would Have Told You, But...: Used throughout, for a variety of reasons.
  • What an Idiot!: Frequently invoked, as when the Marks think they're conning the crew's identities, we often see someone (usually Danny) acting like such a moron it suckers them right in. On the other side, this can be the intended reaction to some of the marks falling for the schemes they do.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • An early episode established one of Ash's main motivations being to care for his wife, who had brain damage from repeatedly doing Ash's "plate-in-the-head" scam. After this episode, she was only ever mentioned briefly in a season 2 episode, where Ash mentions the money for her hospital bills as something he can put up for their latest con as he's confident the group will win it back.
    • Billy is also never mentioned again after season 4, even when Stacie and Danny return in The Grand Finale.
    • A small-scale case, but given that the security guard who (unwittingly) helped them got several stacks of bills for his work, it stands out that Harry Doyle (who worked for the Mafia antagonist of the season 4 finale, but was far more principled - objecting to Albert being beaten in the first place) is brutally beaten by his employer and left for dead without any indication he survived.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: As the scams often throw up unexpected complications, Mickey has become a master of this, able to plan his way out of massive hitches with barely any notice.
  • You Answered Your Own Question:
    Eddie: Why don't you just pay your hotel bill like normal people? ... I can't believe I asked that.
  • You Make Me Sic: Played for laughs by an undercover Ash and Danny in one episode.
    Danny: ... I'll be using three of my favourite words. "Unsubstantiated", "Libelous" and "Court Case".
    Ash: "Court Case" is two words.
    Danny: Oh yeah? Well I used a bloody hyphen!

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