Cheapskates – we all know one – the guy who has always conveniently left his wallet in the car or needs change for a $100 bill for his $4 coffee, so he’ll get it “next time”. While they’re probably less pleasant to have around in real life, cheapskates make for exceptionally fun characters in the make-believe TV world.
Here’s a run-down of some of our favourite cheapskates:
Alan Harper – Two and a Half Men
As Charlie’s uptight and usually responsible brother, Alan is well known for his cheap and stingy ways. Outside of never paying the rent, Alan’s a cold hard calculator when it comes to figuring out tips, divvying up the bill and knowing the exact value of a dollar – and he’s a bit of a loan shark to boot. When Charlie borrows $38 and doesn’t have the money to repay the next day, Alan takes matters into his own hand and siphoning $10 of gas out of Charlie’s car (hey, he’s creative, if not entirely successful).
Of course, deep down Alan’s money troubles stem from an overly generous and giving heart – not only is he swamped with alimony payments and the burden of being a single father, he offered his girlfriend, Kandi, a new car and paid for her costly dental work.
You can catch up with all of Alan’s tightwad hi-jinx on Channel 9 or look for the Two and a Half Men DVD series.
George Costanza – Seinfeld
Ah Costanza – for nine years we’ve loved the schemes, the outrageous lies and guffaws, and of course, the many cringe worthy moments that are classic George Costanza – who else but George would quit his job because he can’t use his boss’s private bathroom, and who else could devise the “perfect napping desk”, so he can catch some Zs at work undetected? George Costanza was certainly a character that was down on his luck but lovable and he is also well known for some of his stingier decisions – and their dire consequences. Early on in the series, George’s fiancé Susan meets her untimely demise after licking toxic glue from the cheap envelopes George chose for their wedding invitations. In traditional George Costanza fashion, he reacts to news of her death by going for a cup of coffee with the gang.
Relive those George Costanza moments with the entire collection of Seinfeld DVDs from all nine seasons.
Mr Crabs – SpongeBob SquarePants
While tightwad characters certainly have their prominence in the TV sitcom genre, they have also been a dominating presence in children’s entertainment. Scrooge McDuck, the millionaire uncle of Duck Tales, was known for his miserly ways – preferring to swim in his money rather than spend it. Meanwhile, the Nickelodeon hit SpongeBob SquarePants features the cheap and scheming entrepreneur, Mr Crab as the selfish owner of Krusty Krab where SpongeBob and Squidward work. He has no moral qualms about working his employees to death, threatening to starve them in order to rake in every last cent he can get his grubby little claws on. If there’s a dollar to be made – trust Crabs to make it. As a result of his greed, Crabs has had more than a few close calls with fate – but the smell of money will always have him back on his feet, dreaming up his next big scheme.
See how Mr Crabs plans to make his latest buck on Nickelodeon or find your favourite SpongeBob episodes on DVD.