Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Real Hustle

Go To

How much could they get from you?

British documentary and Companion Show to Hustle, which ran from 2006 to 2012. The show follows a team of good con artists consisting of a pair of magicians and a model as they demonstrate contemporary cons and how to avoid them. While it was Hustle's non-fiction counterpart, it's become a show in its own right and overtook it in episode count, as well as expanding its cast.

"The Real Tropes":

  • Christmas Episode: "The 12 Scams of Christmas", an hour-long special featuring seasonal cons.
  • Companion Show: See Hustle.
  • Con Man: The very premise of the show is to have Paul, Alex and Jess become this to show people how to easy it is to fall victim to such scams, with advice given at the end of each segment on how to avoid them in future.
    • Snake Oil Salesman: The most notable example is the Olea Skin scam, where the trio set up a small shop selling fake cosmetics. The name of the shop is even an anagram of "snake oil."
  • Fun with Acronyms: In the Christmas special the hustlers collect donations for their own "charity", known as Charitable Organisations Nationwide.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: The aforementioned Olea Skin cosmetic shop. This even extends to market stalls. One con has them sell cheap sausages at farmer's market price, and another has them set up a stall to sell cheap kitchen knives as high end cutlery fare.
  • Meaningful Name: "This is Mr Crooke"
  • Once More, with Clarity: Some of the cons are filmed this way, with the scene looking seemingly innocent, only for a subtle slip to be revealed as not so innocuous.
    • One man helps Alex (who is using crutches)down a flight of stairs while Alex tells him how he injured himself and which pair crutch goes in which hand. At the top of the stairs Paul asks him what time it is, making him realise his watch has been stolen. Turns out Alex was play acting and used talk about his injury to work the watch off the mark's wrist and then confusion over the crutches to hide it.
  • Punny Name: The aliases of the team: Ian Steele, Rob Marks and Sue Windle.
  • Reality Subtext: Many of the cons.
  • Smuggling with Dolls: The con artists in one case befriend some tourists on vacation and trick the tourists into becoming drug mules by asking them to deliver a stuffed animal full of drugs to one of their "relatives" when they return to the UK.