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One good indicator of a Broke Episode is some commodity to be lost due to not having enough money to pay the bill for it.

Examples of Forgot to Pay the Bill include:


  • Played hilariously straight in the Italian movie Amici Miei (My Friends), where a woman tries to commit suicide by letting the gas leak... and fails because her husband didn't pay the bill.

Comic Books

  • One issue of Judge Dredd taking place on the moon has a band of robbers suffocating because they hadn't paid the oxygen bill for their hideout.

Newspaper Comics

  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin explains to his teacher that he couldn't do his homework because his parents didn't pay the gravity bill.

Live Action TV

  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: in one episode the BBC ran out of money, and the gas & heat had been turned off in the flat they used as their studio.
  • Frequently happens in Shameless.
  • It was the basis for a whole episode of Bottom, where the TV rental money got spent elsewhere and Richie and Eddie had to resort to playing chess - with hilarious consequences, as usual.

Video Games

  "Who didn't pay electric bill?"


  • In Mac Hall, Ian neglects to pay the electric bill in lieu of buying some new video games. Oops. (Of course, in a later strip when the power goes out again, Ian is immediately blamed, even though that time it isn't his fault)
  • A pair of aristocrats joke that this is the cause of a skeleton falling out of the sky in one Mountain Time comic.

Western Animation

  • The plot of the Mickey Mouse short "Moving Day" is set in motion by the fact that Mickey and Donald Duck haven't paid the rent in six months.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Subverted. SpongeBob thinks Gary did this when the electricity goes out, but it was actually caused by the Blue Jellyfish cutting the wires.
  • Subverted in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Super Squatter". Master Shake refuses to pay the bills because they're too expensive and flushes them down the toilet. Frylock ends up giving him a talking down to when their electricity, water and heat get shut off.
  • Megas XLR: one episode was devoted to Coop trying to figure out why his TV wasn't working, and after "juicing" and destroying a planet-sized monster to save a satellite, his mother asks him if he paid the bill.
  • In the "Joker's Millions" episode of Batman: The Animated Series, Joker's running out of everything. No money for bullets, gas, gadgets, and so on.
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