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No, it's not Duel Monsters. This is for relaxation. But it can be any other children's card game.
In many shows, we will see several recurring menaces relaxing at a table playing a friendly card game. And what is the card game of choice for these dastardly figures?
This is handily answered for the viewers when the largest and most visually imposing player rumbles, "Got any threes?"
This is a common way to make light of the villains. Games used for this purpose are relatively non-competitive, requiring little player skill, and rarely gambled upon (though it can happen.) With no skill or importance, The Magic Poker Equation is a firm zero -- anything can happen, and no one is worried about what will.
Children's card games get taught early, so any children who want to act out the scene in question can. For slightly older viewers, these games look like poker if you can't see the table.
Sometimes, it will turn out that the game is Poker (or maybe gin rummy), and that the villain who just asked for threes is so clueless that he thought it was.
Western shows often use Go Fish because of the distinctive calls. In Japan, the game of choice is Old Maid. In Russia, it is Durak.
- The Tenth Kingdom: it wasn't villains but the casino plays some rather unusual card games, Anthony starts by playing Happy Families then moves to the high rollers table and proceeds to play Snap against stereotypically dressed aristocrats.
- In UHF, the bad guys guarding Stanley Spadowski spend their time playing jacks and making string figures.
- Averted in Batman: The Animated Series, where the game of choice for the series' villains in the episode "Almost Got Him" was quite clearly poker, with a pot involved.
- In the Scrubs episode "My Lucky Charm", J.D. and Turk play Go Fish in a bar when told to go out and start living life.
- In Order of the Stick #50, Durkon and Hilgya seem to play it.
- In a Western Homage episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the "horse thieves" (who are actual horses) play Go Fish. The player who's told to "Go fish" starts a Bar Brawl over it.
- Go Fish has been declared the official card game of And Shine Heaven Now, in which it is occasionally used to replace combat scenes (which the artist admits she is bad at drawing).
- In the final episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "What You Leave Behind", Quark and Vic Fontaine play Go Fish while waiting to hear news of the outcome of The Second Battle for Cardassia.
- They're good guys, but this should still count: In one Aladdin episode, it looks as if Genie, Iago and Carpet are playing a game of poker, complete with chips and Iago wearing a little visor on his head. Until Genie says "Got any nines?" Especially absurd since neither poker, nor go fish, nor playing cards themselves should have been invented yet.
- This musical number from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- The Great Lakes Avengers are constantly playing poker, mostly because there's nothing to do in Wisconsin. During the GLA miniseries, their enemies, Batroc's Brigade, also take up cards to stave off the boredom of being supervillains in Wisconsin. They prefer Go Fish (possibly a Visual Pun as well, as they were in an underwater lair at the time).
- There's also a long-running floating poker game between the Avengers, X-Men and other Marvel heroes, which was turned into a massive tournament for the Thing's Bar Mitzvah.
- The epilogue to the Play Station game Spider-Man ends with both the good guys (Spider-Man, the Punisher, Daredevil and Captain America) and the villains (Scorpion, Rhino, Mysterio and a member of the Jade Syndicate) playing cards, in Spidey's apartment and in prison respectively. It's nearly averted in the second game; Shocker and Hammerhead are playing poker, but resort to asking the original villains if they know the rules of Go Fish.
- Averted by the villainous Genei Ryodan in Hunter X Hunter; they play a cardgame fittingly known as 'Cheat' while one of their number is fighting first a small army, then four superpowered enemies at once to show how insignificant the threat is to them. Neon also plays this with her bodyguards.
- Fillmore did this.
- Spy Fox used the trope as part of its Affectionate Parody of spy movie tropes. A potentially plot relevant mini-game involves a card game in a seedy bar with a fez wearing man (well, pig) doing a Sydney Greenstreet impersonation. But of course, rather than poker, it's Go Fish.
- In an episode of Garfield and Friends, Garfield is in a stereotypical Old West card game, as he and his opponent keep upping the ante to ridiculous degrees. Finally, Garfield reveals his hand: "You got the Old Maid. I win."
- This has to be related: in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the various demons and vampires are known to play kitten poker. Yes, it's just like poker, but with tiny tabbies instead of chips.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, the Pirates of Ipecac annoy their new boss Fructose Riboflavin by thumb wrestling, when Riboflavin has no thumbs. Odd in that the Pirates themselves have triple claws that can only loosely be said to have thumbs.
- In one Sonic the Hedgehog comic strip, Shadow and the rest of Team Dark are shown playing cards. When asked if he has any threes, E-123 Omega responds, "pursue aquatic life."
- A famous M&M's ad: "These cards are marked." "They're a mess." "Yeah...a chocolate mess." "Yeah, a chocolate mess" was actually a pretty popular catchphrase for a while. The rough and tough card players pull guns on the dealer, but Plain and Peanut calm things down ("The dirty dealer meant no harm...") and at the end, they're revealed to have been playing Go Fish, with one of the baddies downcast when his request for threes is rejected.
- On an episode of Voyagers! , Phineas Bogg tries to play Poker, but continually gets it confused with Bridge and Gin.
- On 30 Rock: Tracy thinks he's playing Go Fish when everyone else is playing poker. But he's just like that.
- In the Non-Canon Spy Spoof storyline of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, the Dan insert-character doesn't quite understand poker.
- An American Tail: Tiger calls "rummy" on a poker game.
- Similarly, in the non-movie connected Spiderman game, Rhino calls "rummy" on a poker game, then takes about a minute to gloat how he "outsmarted" Doc Ock and Mysterio. Then he realizes his mistake and sits down.
- Tangentially related; in Black Books, Bernard tries to cheat at poker with a card up his sleeve. When he takes it out, he notices it's a "Mr. Bun the Baker" Happy Families card.
- Fairly Oddparents, Timmy and Cosmo make a cockroach sentient and the cockroach builds an army and a nuclear missile all in the name of "WORLD DOMINATION!" while Wanda is at a spa. When Wanda gets home, Timmy and Cosmo are in Timmy's room, seemingly untouched by the apocalypse going on (and the only thing that is untouched by the apocalypse), playing Go Fish, with this line:
Timmy: Got any threes?
Cosmo: What's a three?
- Jaden from Yu-Gi-Oh GX the Abridged Series has no idea what he's playing in this scene: