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A character has just acquired a vast sum of money. Maybe he won the lottery, inherited a fortune, or knocked over a bank. Instead of safely investing his newfound wealth, buying something nice, or doing anything even remotely useful with it, he instead goes riding down the street in a car, tossing handfuls of cash at anyone lucky enough to be walking by. Implies the character literally has more money than he knows what to do with.

A variation can happen in a Chase Scene, where a character throws out money for the crowd to block his pursuers.

If the story takes place before the automobile, he may instead be riding in a howdah and throwing out gold coins.

Compare Money to Burn.

Examples of Money to Throw Away include:


Anime & Manga Edit

  • Lupin III: The Castleof Cagliostro opens with Lupin and Jigen robbing a Monte Carlo casino, only to throw it out onto the highway after they realize every bill they've stolen is counterfeit. It's implied by Jigen that they are still spendable but this is Lupin and Jigen we are talking about.
  • Used by Near to get away from a mob in Death Note. It's mentioned that this used up most of his funds, but it's not really important.
  • There was a Ghost in the Shell villain that used a gun that fired rolls coins.
    • She was a socialist making a political statement, intending to murder a stock market shark who used most of his profits to surround himself with gold bullion, thus intending to give him an ironic death.
  • Happened in manga and anime of Kochikame. Ryotsu manage to get into a central police computer and change his bonus salary to a ridiculous amount and ripping off fellow officers. Later while he's on persuit by the police and people whom he owes money to, he has to throw some of his cash at the crowd to hold them off.
    • In other chapters, Ryotsu ends up losing his bonus or his get rich quick food vendor profits whenever he gets into an accident which ends up dropping his money from a high place.
  • Mikoto's signature attack has her use her power to propel a coin at several times the speed of sound.


Comic Books Edit

  • The Joker does it in a Golden Age Batman story; throwing coins out of the back of a stolen armoured car and causing a horde of kids to run into the street and block the path of the Batmobile.


Film Edit

  • The first Batman movie.
    • Admittedly, it wasn't REAL money. It was just a ploy to get the residents of Gotham into the fresh air so the Joker could poison them all.
  • Used to distract the crowd at the club in The Mask.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones throws a handful of change at panhandlers mobbing him.
  • In The Three Musketeers 1993, the heroes use this ploy to block pursuers, after discovering a great deal of money in the Cardinal's carriage (which they appropriated).
  • A variant shows up at the end of one short from The Three Stooges, Sing a Song of Six Pants. They go through a wad of $100 bills, then come across a $50. 'Huh, who put that in there?' Shemp crumples it and tosses it aside, with Larry and Moe waving disdainfully. Then they remember what it really is.
  • Octopussy: After a wad of cash saves Bond from a dagger, he hurls the now-useless dough at his attackers. It misses, and bizarrely enough lands in a beggars' bowl.
    • Just because it had a hole in it doesn't mean its useless. It's not unlikely that most people would accept it.
      • Indeed; even bills torn in half can be exchanged for intact ones in bank, assuming that the serial numbers are undamaged.
    • And in the same Chase Scene, he tosses bills to attrack a crowd and hinder his pursuers.
    • This has some basis in real life when a historical highway robber in 17th century got away from militia soldiers chasing him by throwing some of his coinage behind him. It proved a canny business expense as his pursuers stopped to pluck up the money and he got away.
  • The title characters of Fun with Dick and Jane also create a distraction by throwing money. From the looks of it, several thousand dollars worth of money. Even their pursuers stop for a cash grab.
  • There's a bit in the movie of Minority Report where a psychic is guiding the main character as he's being pursued. They pass a homeless man, and the psychic says to scatter a few coins in front of him. Our hero does so, the homeless man bends over to pick them up, and their pursuers trip over him.
  • At the end of Reindeer Games, Ben Affleck's robber character puts most of the money he received from the Indian casino heist in the mailboxes of every house on his way to see his parents.
  • Babylon A.D.. Toorop is offered a million dollar cash bribe to abandon the women he's protecting. He's clearly tempted for a moment, then he knocks the bag in the air and uses the subsequent money scramble to escape with his clients.
  • * In the 2006 French film The Tiger Brigades, Bonnett the anarchist scatters a sackful of government bonds to watching bystanders and tells them to help themselves. Not because his gang needs it to escape from the robbery they've just committed, but because he knows they're actually worthless.


Literature Edit

  • Done very well in the Roald Dahl novella "Henry Sugar", where the title character begins as an Upperclass Twit but then studies for months and gains the ability to see through playing cards. While initially his interest in the skill was greed, after he breaks the bank at a casino, he starts throwing his winnings off his balcony into the street, realizing it has suddenly become meaningless. At this point, a police officer almost arrests him for creating a public nuisance and scolds him for wasting money that way, providing the impetus for Sugar to devote his life to philanthropy.
  • A hilarious scene from the Ross O Carroll Kelly novels has two young, rich snobs drive to a poor area of Dublin, throw ?10 notes out the window and yell "AFFLUENCE!", laughing at the locals scrambling for the cash.
  • In the book The Magic Christian (and the Film of the Book), incredibly rich Guy Grand builds a giant heated vat which he fills with many $100 bills-- and also urine, excrement, and animal blood-- and posts a sign saying "Free Money." Lots of people dive in in the movie, and it's implied they do in the book as well.
  • The book (and movies) Brewster's Millions uses this as an interesting plot point.
  • In Use of Weapons the protagonist does this to help establish his cover story/because he thinks it will be fun. We never quite find out.
  • Marcus Didius Falco and his father are being pressured by All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks to pay money owed by a deceased member of their family. The Falcos turn up at the loan shark's house banging cymbals and announcing loudly that they intend paying off the money in front of witnesses, then empty the coins onto the street, whereupon the loan sharks have to scramble to pick it up before the neighbours. In another book, it's mentioned how Nero would throw packages to the crowd during games, enjoying the greedy scramble as the audience fought for the prizes within. Two gladiator owners ended up becoming bitter rivals because one of them pushed aside his friend and grabbed the prize, which was the deed for an expensive villa.
  • In the Time Scout book, Wagers of Sin, Skeeter and Marcus need a distraction. It works.


Live Action TV Edit

  • Jayne Cobb did this before he joined the crew on Firefly, when robbing a magistrate named Higgins. Thing is, he wanted to keep the cash, but after some antiaircraft fire, he had to lose some weight in his skiff, and he'd already tossed his partner overboard. The people in the city under him hailed him as a hero, of course.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Sisko, acting the part of a the "high roller" in a holographic casino heist, starts throwing money into the air in order to distract the mob goons onto the crew.
  • A variant of the chase scene version, in that it's not his money: The Doctor sonics a cash machine to spit out banknotes in order to create a distraction in "The Runaway Bride".
  • Bionic Woman (2007 remake). In "The List" Jaime is doing a Hostage for McGuffin trade. She ends up hitting the Big Bad with a bag containing $8 million which bursts open, causing enough chaos for them to escape the sniper he's got them under. But they get $4 million back, "which means I got it for half price."
  • Parodied in The IT Crowd. Denham Reynholm wants to impress his associate by displaying a disregard for cash, but lacks any actual money to throw away, so he borrows a £20 note from Roy so he can defenestrate it.


Video Games Edit

  • Sim City 4 lets you live out this trope by driving down the streets in the mayoral limo, throwing money (straight from the public coffers) to boost your mayor rating.
  • Yoshimitsu (the Soul Series one) does this in some of his endings, but only to cover his escape.
  • Assassin's Creed 2 uses the Chase Scene variation. You can do this to distract the various peoples of the city, either to distract guards or to block a pursuer's path.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories has a mission where a woman hires you to destroy some armoured cars and the money within. Toni does question the waste before he goes for it though.
  • A variation in Touhou Project is Komachi, who uses coins as danmaku projectiles - and plenty of them. On one hand, as the immortal Ferrywoman of Gensokyo, she probably has an ample supply. On the other, she hardly ever works to collect them.


Western Animation Edit

  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Millions." Let's just hope most of the money Mistah J was tossing was the counterfeit stuff King Barlowe had tricked him with.
    • This also happens in "The Terrible Trio," with the wealthy trio throwing out the takings from their latest robbery to slow down the pursuing Batmobile.
  • Parodied on The Simpsons: Monty Burns, wanting to become popular, throws silver dollars at passersby, causing a lot of property damage and numerous injuries.
    • This is a parody of John D. Rockefeller who was probably best known in his later life for the practice of giving dimes to children wherever he went... including, canonically, Scrooge McDuck.
      • Scrooge got the coin rather roundabout way, though, and only after some heavy, honest labour.
      • And bringing this full circle, Abe Simpson. "So I ran out of the house with a big washtub and..."
  • In Aladdin, when the titular character becomes a prince, he throws out gold coins to the poor, since he was poor up until this point. He does this again at the beginning of Return of Jafar, though that wasn't his own money, he had just stolen it from a bunch of thieves.
  • An episode of Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers had a greedy archeologist seeking a magical Egyptian ring that would awaken the Sphinx and reveal a massive treasure trove underneath it. He succeeds, and starts gleefuly pawing through the pile of thousands of diamonds... and one ruby. He says "How'd this get in here?" and throws it away.

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