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Storage Wars follows five professional buyers in southern California as they scour repossessed storage units in search of hidden treasure. Part gamblers, part detectives, Barry Weiss, Dave Hester, Darrell Sheets and the husband and wife team of Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante have found everything from coffins to vintage cars to valuable comic book collections, paying as little as $2.50 for items that prove to be valued in the tens of thousands. Of course, other times, they end up with a locker full of worthless garbage.

Now has a spinoff show, Storage Wars Texas. A second spinoff, based in New York, is currently in the works.


This show contains examples of:

  • Auction: More specifically, Storage auctions. The auctioning off of storage lockers whose owners have failed to make due on their rent, leaving the contents up for grabs to the highest bidder. The suspense comes from the fact that only a cursory examination of each locker is allowed before bidding begins.
    • The bidders can't enter the locker until they win it and they're not allowed to touch anything, even if it's within reach. This leads to a lot of speculation on what that partially-hidden item in the back might be.
      • The bidders are allowed to use whatever assistance they wish, just as long as they don't enter the locker or touch anything in it. If they violate the rule (as Barry did during "The Drone Wars"), they can be excluded from the current auction.
  • Ascended Extra: Dan Dotson, the auctioneer, got more camera time, particularly in post-auction interviews, as the first season went on. His wife and assistant, Laura, eventually got added to the opening credits (She was in them all along, but not named in the first several episodes).
    • Mark Balelo, introduced in "Enemy of My Enemy" might become one as well. He filled in for an absent Dave in "San Burrito," so he might be competition for the featured buyers.
    • Another Mark (Jarrod's employee), Dave's associate Steve, Dave Hester Jr., and Brandon Sheets also qualify. The latter is in so many Season 2 episodes, he qualifies as a Fake Guest Star.
    • Nabila Haniss could possibly also apply to this, appearing in 3 episodes straight.
  • Berserk Button: Brandon's hat that defaced Dave's business pushed the normally restrained Dave into an angry outburst.
  • Boring but Practical: Furniture, tools and other assorted household objects that are mundane but can and will bring in decent money and keep the shelves full. In one episode, Dave Hester made a $14,000 profit on a locker filled with books.
  • Bidder With Unlimited Funding: If Dave Hester wants it, he'll usually get it. Then Mark Balelo comes along and makes Dave look cheap. Contrast Jarrod and Brandi, who often have a limited budget.
    • Barry also has very deep pockets and isn't afraid to make really high bids if he thinks there's a cool collectible inside.
      • Barry is actually the best-financed of the group; he just doesn't like spending a lot of money (usually). In one episode, he says that when he went over the books with his accountant, he "vomited all over his desk".
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Barry's admitted on at least one occasion that his antics are partly to get the others to underestimate him. And while he might have some truly bizzare ways of looking at the lockers, he has had some pretty substancial success.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • A loud "YUUUP!" whenever Dave bids. Dave also has "Is that Barry/Darrell/Jarrod bidding?" when he wants to bid one of them up just for fun.
      • And every time, Dan will say 'I can't tell you Dave!'
    • Dan also goes "SHOWTIME!" when he's ready to start the day's auctions, while Laura closes them with "Don't forget to pay the lady!" (to make the deals official).
    • Laura says "folks" enough to warrant a Drinking Game.
    • Darrell has "This is the wow factor!"
    • Also from Darrell: "That's an x dollar bill right there!"
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: They're buyers all wanting the same locker at any price they can afford and any bid they can win with, sometimes spoiling an earlier attempt by another buyer. Doesn't stop them from making deals with each other afterwards, though.
    • When it looks like Jarrod might win a battle against him and Mark in "San Burrito," Darrell tries to reassert himself by joining in against Jarrod. Mark outbids them both when HE reasserts himself.
    • Barry himself has done or is doing business with all the others.
      • He sold a locker to Brandi and Jarrod for $50 more than he paid for it (and they got the bird boxes inside worth $7,000). He also hired Jarrod to help him open a safe (which let Jarrod "make a profit" even though he didn't buy a locker) Barry found in a locker during a recent auction. He's sold tools to their thrift store when nobody else would buy them.
      • After Barry gave furs to Dave (who in turn sold them for $600 even though he didn't go to that auction), Dave Jr. suggested Barry consign the rest of what was in another locker Barry won to Dave's shop (it was in the area).
      • He currently has an open deal with Darrell, where Darrell has an "automated bridge table" Barry likes. If Barry has stuff in his locker Darrell wants, Darrell would trade the table for it.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Barry Weiss "The Collector". His Boston buddy and "good luck charm," Joe Bro, also qualifies.
    • This trait of Barry's works twice for him: bringing psychics drives off Dave in one auction, and Joe Bro helps Barry win TWO lockers.
    • In an effort to get a better view, Barry brought in another friend for one episode: a little person on stilts. This works, helping him win a locker and the small car inside.
    • His lucky socks with "Lucky Socks" embroidered on them did not fare as well.
    • In Operation Hobo where he...dresses as a Hobo he outright says he does this stuff to get the others to underestimate him
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Dave is good for these. He lets loose with them during his Rage Quit in "Midnight in the Gardena Good and Evil", when he drops the porcelain snuff box, and when he sees Brandon's altered hat.
    • Surprisingly enough, he averts this trope when Brandon wears a shirt defacing both his and Jarrod/Brandi's businesses. He keeps his cool and makes Darrell and Brandon pay for it by bidding them up.
  • Collector of the Strange: Barry's entire motivation, he's kept items that would net him a huge profit because he finds them too cool or too unusual to part with.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: What happens with a skeptical Darrell when it's proved that Mark's supposedly-worth $13,000 NES is only worth $10 (it doesn't power up). This validates Darrell's belief Mark is a "phony."
  • Commercial Break Cliffhanger: Every. Single. Commercial. Break. Take 2 shots if it shows someone opening a trunk, chest, or safe. Three if it's Barry.
  • Confession Cam: Sort of; the bidders are all interviewed separately after each auction.
  • Cool Car: Barry has a couple, including a custom '46 Cadillac and red 1940 Ford COE truck.
  • Cool Chair: When Barry won his still, he'd shown tenacity with the others--and they awarded him a nice big folding chair to sit in--and it was BIGGER than he was. He literally had to jump into it to sit in it.

 Barry: "I've never seen one this big before."

Darrell: "That's what she said."

  • Cool Old Guy: Barry has his moments.
    • He gave an electric organ to his appraisers, who performed music in a nightclub (he'd rather it went to those who'd appreciate it instead of making a small profit.
    • He occasionally calls on well-known musicians, including Brad Whitford (rhythm guitar, Aerosmith) and Stewart Copeland (drums, The Police), to have instruments appraised.
    • In "Not Your Average Bear", he arrives at the auction early and sets up a little area to provide free coffee and donuts for everyone.
  • Dave Must Not Win: Why Darrell and Jarrod locker-block Dave, or Jarrod and Brandi try to "dump a locker on" Dave after jacking that locker's price up.
    • Runs the risk of Hoist by His Own Petard if Dave still profits (by either making money off of said locker anyway or causes the locker-blockers to eat a major loss).
  • The Determinator: "Enemy of My Enemy" had Dave sick, but he came to the auction that day anyway. When he comes away with a $21,000 profit, he quips "I may never take another sick day again."
  • Deadpan Snarker: Every one of the buyers has their time to be one.
    • Even the narrator does in his closing summations of the buyers who either didn't get a locker at all or didn't make money. If it's Barry in last, he'll have either:
      • a straight-up zinger such as which leads to the closing-credits segment (one had Barry at the blackjack tables teased by the others, another which hints Barry lost something else "but kept his head." (see Accidental Innuendo in the YMMV section)
      • OR a Hope Spot where his red negative total is turned into a red minus sign and line of "?" with the bit, "Or DID he?" (Barry might have ONE last deal that's in the closing credits segment.)
  • Did Not Do the Research: "As the great Egyptian warrior Sun Tzu said...", as said by Darrell.
    • Mark thinks his found a rare Nintendo worth $13,000 because he believed it was one of the first to be created. He based it off an online auction where an NES-001 (first edition of American NES's) sold for that much...along with 8 games, one of which was the rarest NES game ever produced...and still in its packaging. Needless to say, the actual NES was worth maybe $20 (half that because it didn't actually work anymore).
      • Mark calling the NES "the first Nintendo DS ever made". There are some pretty major differences between a regular console system and a portable console system, not to mention the generation gap between the systems themselves.
  • Dirty Old Man: If the appraiser is female, there is a very high chance Barry will flirt with them.
    • He went on a tour of a Las Vegas neon sign museum with a younger and attractive appraiser, and later tried describing her, but couldn't "without sounding pervy".
    • After taking a wine corker to an appraiser, he (somewhat jokingly) asked her if she wanted to get married in a storage locker.
  • Double Or Nothing: This is Darrell's gimmick as "The Gambler."
    • Darrell offers Jarrod a coin toss in the desert for $100 (Darrell wins), then a second rematch toss for $100 (Jarrod won this one).
    • He puts up a collection of Boy Scout memorabilia for a chance to win $300 from an appraiser (twice the value). Alas, Darrell doesn't win this one--and the goods go to the appraiser at no cost.
    • He makes a bet with Brandon over whether a set of three glass vases were worth more than $5, with the loser buying lunch. The appraiser they bring them to values them at $500 (small), $1200 (medium), and $1500 (large), so Brandon (who had doubted they'd be worth anything) has to pay.
    • "Scoot-A-Toot, Toot" has him make a coin toss with Dennis as to whether he would be paid $300 or $350 for an old exercise machine. Dennis, who had offered $300, calls heads and wins.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Nabila Haniss is a lady buyer who's known Dave Hester for twenty years. Introduced in "Smoke 'Em If You Find 'Em," she's glad she and Dave didn't have to get into it with the last locker. She made her name buying a locker for $2,000 and then selling the contents for 2 million--which made sense to a point; it held goods belonging to Paris Hilton. Both see each other as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Double Entendre: Various ones throughout the series, the most notable being an exchange between Barry and a storage center employee in "Hook, Line and Sucker" when Barry recruits him to help get a jammed locker door open.

 Barry: "I just can't get the thing up."

Employee: "You can't get it up?"

Barry: Beat "We got a comedian here."

  • Drinking Game: In one episode, Jarrod and Brandi reveal that they have a personal one, where they take a shot every time Laura says "folks". For the rest of the episode, every "folks" merits a little clip art beer mug in the corner of the screen.
  • Dueling Shows: With Auction Hunters on Spike TV and Storage Hunters on Tru Tv.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode was more documentary-like than later installments, though that format did help introduce the buyers. That episode, as well as other real early ones, also had the narrator break in when a possible big score is spotted and tell the viewers about it.
  • Enemy Mine: In "Enemy of my Enemy," big spender Mark Balelo (called "Rico Suave" by Brandi) is a big guy with a big load of cash to outbid the "main five" on, which he does often. Barry has to do some acting to raise the interest in and price of a unit so Mark wins--with a $3,500 bid. Part of a Batman Gambit to get Mark to burn through what remaining cash he had faster.
  • Even Jerk Asses Have Standards: In an extra scene on the website, Dave turns in some samurai swords to the police to be destroyed, since the one category of items he will NOT deal in his store is weapons of any kind -- these include guns, knives, and swords.
    • To put that in perspective: Darrell once sold an antique Wells Fargo rifle and Barry sold some "guns" that used flares and ropes. Given that some flares can cause fuel cans to still explode and an aimed flare can still burn a target it hits, that's not far from a weapon.
  • Family Business: Brandi and Jarrod, Darrell and Brandon, Dave and Dave Jr.
    • Brandon and Dave Jr. aren't shy about bidding either.
      • Dave Jr. once even threw his entire life savings at a locker he had a good feeling on, dumping $5,550 on it, getting understandably worried when it looked like he might not make anywhere close to his money back. Fortunately, a couple of antique slot machines in the unit brought him roughly a $1600 profit.
  • Fur and Loathing / Honor Before Reason: One episode has Barry over bidding on a unit, thinking there would be valuables in an antique trunk. The trunk was empty but he found a bag of fur coats that could still net him a profit... except that Barry refuses to profit off of fur and simply donates them to Dave.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lampshaded in one episode where Barry finds a wooden head sculpture[1]. In one particular stinger, he visits Dave's store and they talk about it, with Barry making several "getting head" puns. When Dave laughs, Barry nudges him and says they have to pretend they don't get the joke or else the censors will bleep it out.
    • Lampshaded again when Barry tries the "Sum Yung Gun sauce" line on Jarrod.
  • Gotta Win Them All:
    • Dave in a vault-based auction in "I'm the Mogul Now." Darrell tries to do a Batman Gambit where he bids on (and WINS) the ONE vault he hopes is the essential one Dave needs to complete the set of vaults he's already gotten. His goal? To use it to get lots of money out of Dave, as he hopes by not having all of the parts he needs, Dave will have to buy Darrell's stuff at any price or be faced to eat the costs at a major loss. (Darrell has the motherboard that runs Dave's stuff. Or as Darrell put it, "the smart switch to Dave's dumb locker.")
      • But the deal falls through -- Darrell profits just over $6,000 with his "strategery" (the board is worth $7,500) but Dave profits just over $7,000 (by having the stuff as "scrap aluminum") to "win" the show's auction.
    • "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" had another locker-running attempt by Jarrod and Brandi, with Darrell once again playing spoiler by winning one of the lockers and preventing them from a clean sweep. Showing he's got parts of a bedframe in his locker (which Brandi and Jarrod have the rest of), Darrell intends on making the couple pay dearly for running the price up on him. Brandi cuts the drama and agrees to $1,100 for the parts Darrell has.
      • Darrell laughs about it, "I made them an offer they couldn't refuse."
      • Unfortunately for Darrell, it backfired for him since with the complete set of lockers, Jarrod and Brandi made a huge profit. The hearing test machine Darrell removed from the locker didn't make as much.
  • The Heavy: Thom Beers, the producer, said in one of the hour-long Vegas specials, that Dave was this role mostly. It can be Mark (when he shows up) or even Darrell though. The most obvious example for Darrell was when he extorted the cash from Brandi and Jarrod for half of an expensive bed they had the other half of.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Can happen if a locker's price is bid very high by one buyer, BUT inside said locker is a trove of valuable stuff that made it still a very profitable decision for the winner. Jarrod got this done to him when he bid Dave to $4,000 on a "jeweler's unit" after he'd dumped a $9,000 locker on him the episode before Dave found watercolors and cash inside it as well and he netted a profit between both shows, with the jeweler's unit's proceeds canceling out the previous loss. and Dave had it done to him recently in "The Drone Wars" when he got Darrell to pay over $7,000 for a tool/craftsman's unit besides tools, there was also high-value building materials in quantities large enough to net a $18,000 profit.
    • Happened in "Land of the Loss," when running a second locker-blocking against Dave ended up costing Darrell and Jarrod as they made no profit.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "Auction Sesame", Darrell complained that Jarrod dressed like he was going to prison and Brandi dressed like she was going to eighth grade prom and that they should dress more seriously. Then, Brandon, his son pointed out that they are wearing matching tank tops.

  Brandon: "Look at us. What are we, the tanktop twins or what?"

  • It's Personal!: Mark has been on the receiving end of this twice.
    • Barry uses this in his Batman Gambit against Mark to justify staying in and raising the price. Dave and Darrell, who are in on it, pretend to try to drag him away. He ends up sticking Mark with the locker at $3,500.
    • Darrell indirectly uses this when he vows to bust Mark's rear after getting outbid by him. "I'm gonna figure out what this guy's about."
    • Dave even bids against his own brother, as Dave Jr. points out--Dave admits he taught his siblings everything he knew, and they use it against him.
    • Jarrod has now made it a mission to get Dave to overpay on lockers--the money he overspent thanks to Dave could have been better used for his family, he reasons, and figures it to be about $75,000.
      • Brandi even gets in on the act. In one episode she and Jarrod argued back and forth over how much money he was spending, but the moment Dave started bidding on it, Brandi started telling Jarrod to bid more and more. She even noted that the one thing she hates more than Jarrod spending too much is losing to Dave.
  • Jerkass / Troll: Dave Hester seems to enjoy playing/being one at the auctions.
    • In one episode, he bid $5 on a locker he didn't even want, just to remind everyone else that he was there.
    • Another episode saw him attempt to put his lock on a locker before the auction had even finished. Darrell comments that this is disrespectful to the other bidders, and proceeds to bid him up as repayment.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dave Hester plays this up too in episode 15, giving the contents of a locker he felt was too low-end for his store to Goodwill and extolling how he learned business methods that saved his shop from the people who worked there. Complete with a Noodle Incident as to why he was working with them, implied to be the result of a run-in with the law.
    • On the website, the Noodle Incident was a DUI.
    • When Jarrod asks for a sincere appraisal of a cabinet, Dave gives it--and it's enough for Jarrod to be in the black that episode.
    • In episode 6, "Senior Citizen Showdown," Darrell gets Jarrod to buy a locker--with little of value in it. There's a safe--with nothing in it. Darrell gives Jarrod a quick safe appraisal lesson and it's revealed the safe itself is worth about two-three thousand, and that profit is able to help smooth things over with Brandi.
    • There's also an episode where Dave Jr. bids almost his entire life savings on a locker that looks like it might be a loss. Dave stayed encouraging and didn't rub it in Dave Jr's face, and it turned out okay.
    • In "Young With The Gun", Jarrod squares off with a newbie bidder, named Bill Archer, over a locker. After losing the locker to him, Jarrod is gracious enough to both congratulate Bill on the win and help him go through part of the locker he'd won, giving Bill tips on how he should go about looking through the unit and on determining its value. Though we don't see how much he made, it is implied Bill made a profit and he's thankful Jarrod was there to help. In his own post-auction interview, Jarrod says he was the newbie once too, so he was glad he could pass on his knowledge.
  • The Jimmy Hart Version: A ever-so off version of the Imperial March plays as Dave Hester rolls into an auction with his new large truck and new very large trailer, complete with "YUUUP!" emblazoned on the front.
    • "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" features a not-quite-The Godfather theme.
    • "The Drone Wars" has a knockoff of the Mission Impossible theme.
    • "Third Eye Of The Tiger" shows Barry doing warm-up exercises to something sounding close to the Rocky theme.
  • Karmic Jackpot: In "Not Your Average Bear," Barry kicks the episode off with a generous offering of free donuts and coffee to everyone attending the auction. By episode's end, his generosity is rewarded when the locker he bought winds up being worth eight hundred times the amount he paid for it! (Sure, it was a $2000 locker that hey paid two dollars and fifty cents for, but still, that's a heck of an investment for the money.)
  • Kitchen Sink Included: The things some people store and forget about.
    • In one episode, as they looked over one locker that had several containers in it, Barry remarked that he'd once found an actual human kidney in a locker he'd purchased.
    • Literal example: In "Auction Sesame", Barry bought a locker with an actual kitchen sink in it.
    • In a highlight episode, Darrell revealed that he'd once uncovered a plastic-wrapped human corpse in a storage locker he'd bought. The previous owner had murdered his wife and hid her body in the unit.
      • Recently, he refuted that claim on his Twitter.
    • In a highlight episode, Laura tells a story about a friend of hers who had wanted to start bidding on storage lockers. The friend bought a locker, discovered a human corpse in it, and stopped buying lockers after that.
  • Know When to Fold'Em: Dave missed getting three Santa Ana lockers in "Land of the Lost" after Darrell and Jarrod try to keep Dave from winning one. The irony? Those who bought the lockers lost money, while Dave showed common sense by not buying any of them.
    • "Sometimes when you walk away with money in your pocket, you've made the best buy of the day," Dave closes his segment with, and the episode proved he was no idiot.
      • Though to be fair, Darrell lost a double-or-nothing toss and gave Boy Scout collectibles to his appraiser at no charge, Barry flat-out gave a $1,000 organ to HIS appraisers (who were musical nightclub performers, and he felt they'd appreciate it more than any other buyer could), and Jarrod only missed the "break even" mark by $50, which was the least of the losses (he hinted he was saved from Brandi's anger by that the loss could have been a lot worse--she wasn't pleased he spent so much).
      • Since all the lockers were "money-losers," the narrator lets the first mention go to who lost the most, then go in descending losses until he mentioned Dave was "this week's winner" who led the field by not spending a dime.
  • Losing Horns: Type B, when someone is expecting a big haul on an item and it's worth considerably less.
  • Manipulative Editing: Most obviously in "Stairway to Hemet". The story is that Barry brought Dave a hat with "YUUUP!" on the front, so that he would shut up and point to the hat instead when bidding. However, Dave did not shut up, even coming to stand next to Barry with his arm around him during one auction. Later, Barry grumbled about wanting his money back on the hat. However, at the beginning of the episode, the hat Dave is wearing already has "Yuuup!" on it (albeit on the back), and we see a glimpse of his truck (which at least in later episodes also has "YUUUP!" all over it). His employees then show up to the locker he won on the very same episode with "YUUUP!" in the exact same font and a trademark symbol on their T-shirts. Dave's "YUUUP!" hat also has a trademark symbol on it in subsequent episodes, and the symbol appears to be there but Sharpied out on the hat Barry supposedly gave him.
  • Mock Guffin / Grail in the Garbage: Can be played separately OR together depending on the locker, such as if what drew a buyer to a locker turned out to be trash, but something ELSE previously unseen in the locker turned out to be valuable instead.
    • Played literally with both together in that order when Jarrod bought a locker because of a jewelry box he saw in it--only to find it had junk in the box instead. However, further examination of the locker showed there WAS jewelry in another box in the locker that was worth quite a bit.
    • He's also learned from experience that only 1 in 10 safes have anything of value to a storage buyer.
    • In "Not Your Average Bear," the last locker of the day was a pitiful display, with only some broken junk and a cheap looking chest of drawers. Barry threw out a pity bid of $2.50 and won. When he was looking through the drawers he discovered glass bottles... which turned out to be antique fly traps worth $2000. That's an 80,000% profit.
  • Motor Mouth: Dan and Laura, the husband and wife auctioneers that speak very fast.
    • Barry's mom. She just won't shut up!
  • My Friends and Zoidberg: Jarrod in "Stairway to Hemet": "Damn there's a lot of people here...and Barry."
  • Nice Hat: Darrell's son Brandon wears one with one word in the name of Dave's business altered to read "Con" instead of "Consignment". Dave is not pleased.
  • Oh Crap: Darrell buys a locker mostly because he sighted a box which was supposed to contain a Casio keyboard that he thought would fetch a good price. There was nothing in the box at all.
    • He proceeds to sell the locker to Dave for his deposit, and Dave makes a profit from scuba gear found in it.
    • In another episode, after returning to a locker he was initially thrilled to get, Darrell gets another, more thorough look at it, and realizes he might have a problem:

 Darrell: HEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!!!

    • Dave buys a locker, finds an antique snuffbox inside, then drops it while getting into his truck to take it for appraisal. When he sees how badly it's been damaged, he doesn't even bother to make the trip.
  • Once an Episode: Dan's explanation of the auction rules. On the rare occasion Dan isn't there, Laura provides it.
    • Laura's reminder to the winning bidders at the end of the auction: "Don't forget to pay the lady!"
  • Pet the Dog: Dave may be a Jerkass but he loves his dogs.
  • Pirate Booty: "Make it Rain, Girl" had Jarrod win a locker that had not one, but TWO safes in an auction. They were filled very well with coins, including some half-reals from the Spanish Fleet. The coins are appraised between $3500 and $4000.
  • Product Placement: In real life Jarrod is also a Co-Owner of Outlaw Apparel (the clothing he wears on the show) and the Outlaw Apparel shirts, as well as the skeleton-patterned gloves Barry wears, is on the A&E website.
  • Pungeon Master: Barry, especially when one locker had him toss out line after line after he found various items that kept causing him to pun. He even ended up cracking Jarrod up with the old "Sum Yung Gun sauce" line.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The second Santa Ana auctions in "Land of the Loss." The goal? Keep Dave from getting a locker. The result? Success but getting three lockers at losses. See Know When to Fold'Em.
  • Rage Quit / Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In one episode Barry brings along a couple of psychics to "scan" the lockers; Dave gets extremely mad at them making a mockery of his profession (as he sees it) and storms off without winning a single unit.
  • Rare Guns: One episode had Barry turn up a set of rare flare guns in a unit he bought.
    • Averted in one episode where Nabila thought she had found an antique flintlock pistol in an otherwise worthless locker, but it turned out to be a 1960's reproduction and not worth anything.
  • Record Needle Scratch: When Jarrod gets told that the last one who used the phonograph he wanted appraised put it in backwards, we hear the scratch--and Barry apologizing in the next segment, "Sorry, Jarrod...that was me."
    • Barry gets another of these by saying that Laura's "real proud of her double D's." He immediately clarifies, "You know, her husband. Dan Dotson."
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job: Barry comes across as this at times, since he's doing all this for fun and not to make a living.
    • At least one episode has Jarrod stewing as Barry throws away and destroys "non-collectibles" that could easily be sold in Jarrod and Brandi's second-hand store.

  Jarrod: "He's throwing out $20 bills."

    • In "San Burrito," Barry wins TWO lockers thanks to his friend also bidding. He offers one locker for $300 to Jarrod, who accepts. (Jarrod and Brandi find two "bird boxes" in the locker that are whistling and working--and are worth about $7,000.) And his other locker Barry trades the contents to a Hispanic woman for a complete Mexican dinner with burritos--"one of the best burritos I've ever had," he claimed. Since these lockers were both untouched AND unopened since the auction as an extra scene on the website showed, Barry had to offer based on what everyone saw, and he didn't have time to process the two lockers he won.
    • He didn't do the same for a set of fur coats though and gave them to Dave instead. And Dave didn't even go to that auction in the first place.
    • In "Unclaimed Baggage," Dave Jr. offers Barry the chance to consign the items from his locker at Dave's shop with Barry and the store splitting the proceeds.
  • Rimshot: When Barry ask the couple who sing at the nightclub "How old is it?" the husband says "Watch your language." (Sting!) Barry is quick to point out he wasn't talking about the wife but the organ he needed appraised.
  • The Rival: Darrell Sheets and Dave Hester have a bit of this going on.
    • Mark Balelo and everyone else, but especially Dave, it seems.
  • Rules Spiel: Dan, at the beginning of each episode.
  • Schmuck Bait: When one of the show regulars lets one of the others get under his skin, which can often result in paying much more for a unit than they intended. Usually, Dave is the instigator.
    • After an argument that gets heated and possibly physical with Dave, Jarrod does this to back to him. It becomes Jarrod's mission to get Dave back for costing Jarrod all the money that his family could have used.
  • Serious Business: Big time. The title of the show is Storage Wars for a reason. Buyers refer to certain neighborhoods as their turf and arguments have almost come to blows. Dave takes it the most seriously (he once left an auction because he felt Barry's antics made a mockery of his profession, for example) but all regulars take it seriously to some extent, which makes sense considering its their livelihood. Barry is the exception, as he is already quite wealthy and bids purely for fun.
    • Barry is attempting to take it seriously, as his accountant has tried to curtail his spending.
  • Smug Snake: Dave again, especially when he's giving his recaps of the day's actions. The other bidders are not shy in expressing their dislike of the man.
    • Mark shows signs of this, confident and with a purse loaded with cash. He wants to be taken seriously as a player, and he is--the other buyers treat him no less seriously than Dave (who is a Saint when sarcastically compared to Mark).
  • Spin-Off: Storage Wars Texas
  • Title Drop: "Hook, Line and Sucker" refers to how Dave got Barry to bid $320 on a locker full of mattresses. Barry gets the last laugh, though--he finds inside the locker artwork of Hollywood Park racetrack from June 1938. Black and white pictures, including rendering of frescoes then that were lost in the 1949 Hollywood Park fire. The value of the pictures is $5,000.
  • Trailer Spoof: For this summer's "Lockbuster."
    • Barry comes in a chopper. "Say Hello... to my little friend." A chimp with both piloting and the Tony Montana gunning abilities.
    • Jarrod and Brandi drive into the place in a sports car with a machine gun. He gets slapped by her for overpaying (again).
    • Darrell comes rappelling off the roof like a commando.
    • Dave crashes in through a Humvee and uses a flamethrower.
    • As they all leave, the chimp hits the remote that makes the place go "BOOM".
  • Unpredictable Results: The units could be full of hidden treasures or full of trash. Or the things they thought were treasure turn out as trash when appraised.
    • Happens in the "Make It Rain, Girl" episode where Dave drops a collectible that boosts his profit even further. The collectible was porcelain and shattered, on the inside, on impact, yet Dave still made over $500.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Dave and Barry seem to have this sort of relationship.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Dan outright calls Barry one in "Driving Miss Barry".
  • Whammy Bid: Dave Hester frequently tries to either muscle out the other bidders this way or just does it to drive up the prices on the other bidders if he isn't actually interested in the contents.
    • Mark also does this.
      • One locker he clashes with Dave over, though, is won by a $9,000 bid by Dave--and there are a hundred lighting systems from China in it, which gives Dave a profit of $21,000.
      • The second Mark-versus-Dave clash is over a locker with rehab equipment; this one goes for Dave's one uncontested bid of $1,400, and he makes $3,035 in profit from it.
    • Jarrod has sometimes done this to Dave.
      • If with Darrell, Jarrod's trying to keep Dave from getting a locker.
      • If by himself, Jarrod is trying to force Dave to overpay.
      • In "Almost the Greatest Show on Earth" Jarrod played a dangerous game of "Auction Chicken" as the bids went higher and higher: eventually Dave won with $9,000 (and lost money on the locker), but the big risk might be that Jarrod, who didn't have the deep pockets Dave did, might be stuck with that locker instead (Jarrod gambled that Dave's ego wouldn't let The Mogul get outbid by The Young Gun).
  • Worth It: It seems this can fit when:
    • A profit is made off of a locker.
    • A piece of art or other desirable collectible is in a locker, even if not sold.
      • Barry does this the most often. "Unclaimed Baggage" had him find a wooden sculpture of a head, while an artist turned a 50's TV Barry found into another piece of art in "Fu Dog Day Afternoon." [2]
      • Darrell had the antique automated bridge table Barry wanted, and they arranged for a swap in the future if Barry came across stuff Darrell wanted in return.
    • Another goal is reached.
      • Barry wanted to win the first locker in an auction.
      • Darrell and Jarrod wanted to "locker-block" Dave at all costs. So far it happened twice. The first time, they profited. The second time? They got the goal but didn't make money.
      • Jarrod got Dave to overspend on a locker AND lose money in the process. If Dave spent a lot BUT still made a profit of any size, it didn't go quite like Jarrod hoped.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Both inverted and invoked on numerous occasions. Different bidders always notice different aspects of a given locker, and keeping quiet about a valuable item that no one else recognizes is common, and then there's the times when bidders buy a locker hoping this will happen.
    • Literally averted in "Gambler's Last Resort." Dave wins a rock collection for $275 that's a lot of colors and definitely not worthless: the gemologist he takes them to appraises the lot at $5,000.
  • Zonk: A locker's contents can sometimes be this, especially if a bidder spent a lot of money on it. Can just as easily be averted if there turns out to be something valuable buried underneath all the worthless items.

Notes

  1. that turns out to be worth $6000, but he keeps it
  2. Both pieces were valued at $6,000 each--but Barry kept them both, as they were "too cool" to part with.
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