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Steal a villain's money for yourself, and it may be easy for him to take it back (particularly if he has no compunctions about killing you.) But what if you steal it and donate it to charity? Even if he can get it back, there'll probably be no way for him to do so without tarnishing his public image. Bonus irony is accrued if the charity in some way makes up for the villain's misdeeds.
This is the ultimate way to punish any Corrupt Corporate Executive who's a Slave to PR. Compare Just Like Robin Hood, a slightly more direct (and frequently more violent) style of wealth redistribution.
This may be an Ending Trope, so expect unmarked spoilers.
- A villain in the Lupin III episode "Charity Begins at Home" decided to donate all his money to charity when he was told he was about to die. When he discovered he'd been misdiagnosed, he hatched a plot to pretend Lupin had stolen his money, so he could keep it all to himself. In retaliation, Lupin tricked him into really donating his money.
- The Black Panther recently did this to ruin Doctor Doom. Given Doom's Joker Immunity, this is probably the closest anyone's gotten to actually beating him.
- After Tommy Elliot, AKA Hush, nearly killed her in an attempt to get to Batman, a recuperating Selina Kyle took every dime the Mad Doctor had and dispersed it amongst charities. "Not bad for a gutter slut", indeed!
- Two-Face did this to himself in his debut appearance, choosing to donate whenever good heads came up and to conduct a robbery when bad heads did.
- At the end of the remake of Fun with Dick and Jane Dick and Jane forge Jack's signature to set up a relief fund for former Globodyne employees using the money Jack stole from the company.
- As payback for an attempted double-cross by Benedict in Ocean's Thirteen, the crew donates his entire share of the profits to charity. The film ends with Danny, Rusty, and Linus watching Benedict talk to Oprah about his sudden burst of generosity.
- The movie Rat Race, with the twist that the winners are giving the money they won; they just also made a huge public statement that the guys who set them up would match the donations made in the whole charity event. This causes a slightly surprising amount of chagrin, considering they had so much money they were desperately looking for something to do with it anyway.
- He was intending to make the money several times over with the multi-dollar bets placed on the race.
- The main character of Sneakers does this to the Republican National Committee.
- The main character of Jackie Chan's Who Am I does this to two villains who are exchanging a sum of money electronically.
- A variation. Whoopi Goldberg's character, the psychic Oda Mae Brown, does to the villain in Ghost: With Sam's help, she's able to steal the money from its special account, turn it into a check and donate it to a nuns' charity.
- This is Moriarty's final humiliation in the 2011 Sherlock Holmes movie--the money he'd raised from War for Fun and Profit goes to a fund for war orphans.
- Happens to Jon Spiro in Artemis Fowl, who gets 90% of his billions donated to Amnesty International. Artemis had intended to keep the lot for himself, but got hit by a sudden attack of conscience and satisfied himself with a 10% "Finder's Fee" (Spiro is already going to jail, so this is just salt in the wound.)
- Veronica Mars: Logan tells a news crew that his father will be donating
the majorityfive percent (or less - we're never told his income exactly) of his next paycheck to a homeless shelter. He is not rewarded for this.
- The protagonist of the TV series Pointman does this in an episode to the person who set him up in the pilot episode, as part of an overall plan to utterly ruin said person.
- Happens in Hannah Montana when Miley and Lilly are trying to stop the Alpha Bitch from winning a prize. However besides the usual twists that they end up having to donate the money to charity, the girl they were trying to get to win is okay with losing, because it means even more money raised for the charity.
- This is the basis of a mission on the Outernet official site; As an agent of the Friends, you must hack into the Tyrant's bank account and transfer his money to an ET Save The Whales group, not only crippling his operations, but adding insult to injury by supporting a good cause in his name!
- In the game Headhunter half way through the Evil Syndicate break into a bank is about to transfer all the money from all accounts of the customers to the Syndicate's account. However Jack hero Wade manages to reverse the process and the Syndicate's account gets drained.
- This is the plot of the "Let Them Eat Pie" quest in Runescape. The peasants of the town are starving while the disgustingly fat rich glutton lives in luxury, so the Player Character poisons him with a disgusting pie made of rotten meat, steals from him while he's puking his guts out, and thus the citizens get their food.
- The rationale of the hackers behind the STRATFOR breach was supposedly this.