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Kyle Schwartz: You-- you paid your friends to not make fun of me?Kyle Schwartz: Because, I mean, I really think you could have done it for about $12.50.
Kyle: Look, it's not because anything's wrong with you.
Kyle Schwartz: Wow, uh, you think it takes $40 to get people to like me?
Kyle: Kyle, I-- I'm sorry.
Describe All Jews Are Cheapskates Here, as long as there isn't a service charge.
Being smart with money actually is part of Jewish culture, for various reasons, but this trope is about exaggerating that aspect to comic levels. Jews aren't just good with money, but really cheap. They won't spend money if they don't have to, even if it's a necessity. They would haggle with anyone over anything (especially since Jews Love to Argue). This kind of joke comes especially from Jews themselves (so doesn't always carry the Unfortunate Implications of similar tropes).
This is a Lighter and Softer successor to the old Greedy Jew stereotype. Do not confuse the two. Even this trope, though, borders on N-Word Privileges as, like any national stereotype, it can be quite offensive when coming from an outsider.
In Great Britain, this trope is less common, since despite the fact that You Have to Have Jews, Jews are in fact a much smaller minority, and their economical niche is filled by Scotsmen, a never-failing source of British ethnic jokes. Yorkshiremen also have this reputation, especially among other Northerners. In France, the Normands also have this reputation.
- In Maus, Art Spiegelman's dad is... well...a walking racial stereotype, going to comical lengths to avoid spending money (including taking back half eaten boxes of cereal to a supermarket and harassing the manager until he actually gets a refund for the uneaten portions.) This brought some heat that the book was promoting racism, except Art was simply chronicling things his father did while he wrote the comic. The first pages of the second book shows Art's fear of portraying his father's behavior. Vladek defends himself by saying he's obsessive over money because careful manipulation of very scarce resources is what saved his life many times. Vladek's wife, Mala, on the other hand, comments that they both have Holocaust survivors in their families, and Vladek is the only one they know who behaves this way.
- The American Splendor episode "Standing Behind Old Jewish Ladies in Supermarkets" is about the various incidents the narrator observes of old Jewish ladies trying to get discounts. At the end of the story, he's astonished to encounter an old Jewish lady who actually gives back the extra change the cashier gave her by accident.
- In her film Jesus Is Magic, Sarah Silverman performs a song that begins, "I love you like bears love honey / I love you like Jews love money."
- The mother in Taking Woodstock. She turns out to have a huge stash of money in the end, she just was tight with the money to keep her son helping around the motel.
- In the "Jewsploitation" film The Hebrew Hammer, the title character tells his Black Best Friend that a "Stereotype Alarm" in the villain's base will go off if they do something stereotypical, and he then lists a series of classic black racial stereotypes (including playing basketball and eating watermelon). His friend explains that, despite his pride in his heritage and membership in the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, he does not exemplify these stereotypes, but then the Hammer picks up a penny from the floor and sets off the alarm.
- In Life of Brian, failure to haggle in the market is a surefire way to attract a lot of unwanted attention.
- In Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, Seth Goldstein (who has recently converted to Christianity) asking Kumar to pay back the 57 cents that he owes is taken as a sign that he is still a jew at heart.
- Harry Kemelman's Rabbi series often involves this in its plots.
- The Left Behind series uses this trope, falling firmly on the Unfortunate Implications end of the scale.
- Ephraim Kishon called himself a cheapskate, although this was well justified by the high taxes in Israel.
- Jon Stewart makes jokes about this, like with comparing Yom Kippur to Lent: "Forty days, to one day. Even in sin, you're paying retail!"
- Jerry's family in Seinfeld. His father takes particular pride in finding merchandise that is so cheap that it might be stolen.
- Ross Geller from Friends (but not his sister, Monica).
- In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David, despite being a half-billionaire, is portrayed as being even worse than George Costanza, his Seinfeld alter-ego, when it comes to money. Larry is rather often characterized as a "cheap Jew" in his endless quibbling and penny pinching over tips, bills, and other minor sums that he shouldn't really care about in his financial position. In contrast, on the show, the actual Jason Alexander (who is also Jewish) is shown tipping both generously and anonymously, much to Larry's annoyance. He usually "justifies" it by going on tangents about various social conventions, riffs on which Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld run on.
- It was a little subtle, but Buddy Sorrell on The Dick Van Dyke Show was Jewish and always had "a guy" for anything you wanted to get cheaply.
- In one episode of Knowing Me Knowing You, a Jewish comedian is guesting, and Alan asks him to tell a joke about Jews, which he does. Alan responds, to general disgust, with:
Alan: ...Did you hear about the Jewish hotel keeper? He kept a fork in the sugar bowl.
- The Two Ronnies snuck in a joke about Disraeli combining the stereotype with real 19th century politics.
Voter: Don't you think the Turks were wrong to order wholesale slaughter in the Balkans?
Disraeli: It would have been wrong to order it retail.
- The Nanny. Fran lives this trope. ALL. THE. TIME.
- In the episode of The Sopranos where Tony's debts with his Jewish friend and loan shark Hesh grows out of control, he complains about him fitting this trope to his shrink. She responds by saying that it's an ugly stereotype. In a first-season episode Hesh does almost spoil Tony's and Johnny Sack's plan to bail Hesh himself out of some hock with Junior, who has instituted a retroactive tax on Hesh's businesses upon becoming boss. Junior listens and "magnanimously" lowers the rate, and the back taxes owed to "three hundred". Before anyone else can react, Hesh says, "Two-fifty!" There's a moment of brittle silence, and then Junior smiles. "What did I tell you? Hang on to your cock when you negotiate with these desert people!"
- One character on The Young Ones plays with this trope by describing himself as being "Scottish and Jewish - two racial stereotypes for the price of one!"
- Weird Al Yankovic's "The Pretty Fly Rabbi." The eponymous rabbi "won't pay retail price," but "if you want to haggle, oi! He'll make you such a deal!"
- Rap group Clipse's "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" gives us:
17 a brick, yeah, go and tell 'em that
I got the wamp wamp when I move it its still damp
Mildew-ish when I heat it, it turn bluish
It cools to a tight wad, the Pyrex is Jewish
- Jack Benny of The Jack Benny Program. Perhaps it bears mentioning that his birth name was "Benjamin Kubelsky." His stage persona (not his real-life personality) was one of the most titanic cheapskates in all of comedy, and provided him with what is widely regarded as one of the funniest exchanges in the history of radio:
Mugger: Your money or your life.
Mugger: I said, your money or your life!
Jack: I'm thinking it over!!
- Jack Benny is kind of an unusual example of this, as while his persona is a perfect example of this trope, that persona wasn't explicitly Jewish and was more of a WASP if anything. Thus, his being a Jewish stereotype/being played by a Jewish actor is sort of Subtext.
Religion and Mythology
- In The Bible when the Lord announces his intention to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because the people are sinful, Abraham haggles with God over how many righteous men in the city would be enough to spare it--and specifically, his innocent nephew Lot. In the end, there aren't enough righteous residents, but Lot and his daughters get out anyway. The "Lot and his daughters" thing becomes a problem not too long after...
- Hinted at in Everyday Heroes, when Lee Free (the oldest one) convinces the arcade manager to let Summer and Carrie Work Off the Debt for the damages they caused ... then turns around and charges them for his legal services. However, since it only took him two minutes of work, at his regular hourly rate, his fee amounts to five dollars total (or, as he puts it, "lunch at Taco Bell").
- Some bullies mock Ferris with this in Fishbones.
- Angel Schmaltzy of Big O Abridged is this, as seen in Episodes 3 and 4.
- Oh, and Cassius614, who does the voice, is Jewish.
- In another Abridged Series, Ranma Abridged uses this with Ryoga. (The creators are Jewish, and turned Ryoga into a Jew for their series.)
Ranma: Hey, I liked that shirt! I got it on sale.
Ryoga: Big deal! I could have haggled it down to even less!
- Kyle's cousin in South Park plays this for laughs, along with other New England Jew stereotypes.
- Family Guy tends to do this a lot, partially because one of its creators is Jewish.
- "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein," where Peter wants to find a Jew to do his accounts (the person he finds, a Jewish accountant, points out that this is an unfair stereotype).
- In another episode Flashback Twist, Peter tries to pass himself off as a Hasidic Jew to get off work. At synagogue, he strikes up a conversation filled with this stereotype and gets kicked in the groin.
Peter: Hey, how about all those coupons in the Sunday paper, huh? Some good deals there. Hey, y'know, I went into a store last week and they wanted 800 bucks for a TV, but I "ussed" him down to 500.
- They even go Up to Eleven and pull this on Jesus, where he delivers an Aesop on religion.
- In the episode where Meg turns to a life of crime and robs the pharmacy Mort tells her she can take the donation money for children with cancer since he never gives it to them anyway.
- And in the same scene, when Brian is trying to use a magazine article to convince her not to go through with the robbery, Mort complains "This isn't a library!"
- In "Road to Germany" Mort gets sent back into the past and mistakes the presence of his relatives as that he's in heaven, going out of his way to add titles of cheapness to their names, such as frugal, thrifty and "didn't like to spend a lot of money on anything."
- In a Robot Chicken skit where Seth McFarlane has the power to setup Cutaway Gags, he brings up the idea of Scooby Jew. Cut to a stereotypically-dressed Scooby haggling over Scooby snacks in exchange for going into a haunted house.
- Gets some use on Drawn Together. For example, Clara's anti-Jew scarecrow, which looks like a waiter with a sign saying "Tips please" on it.
- Ends up in Static Shock of all places. At Frieda's Chanukah party, the lights go out (due to super villain hyjinks) and one of the guests, who is presumably also Jewish, jibes Frieda's dad that he was probably too cheap to pay the electric bill.