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The Mark is a role in The Con, the target of The Tale. To a great extent the nature of the mark defines whether the Con Man is operating as a Trickster who is initiating an awakening, or is simply a Villain.

See also Short Con.

Examples of The Mark include:

Anime and Manga



  • The Discworld novel Going Postal is essentially a battle between two conmen. To the villain, Reacher Gilt, The Mark is the entire city of Ankh-Morpork, and the other members of the board of the Grand Trunk Semaphore Company. To the hero, (mostly) reformed conman Moist von Lipwig, the mark is Reacher Gilt.
  • There's an interesting short story by Andrew Vachss in which The Mark turns out to be the New York City judiciary system. The Con Man appears to have stolen a bag from someone in an airport, but the person who entered with the bag and the witness both vanish, he produces the receipt, sues the state for false arrest, and gets a substantial amount of money.

Live Action TV

  • For the most part, The Mark in Mission Impossible episodes using The Con was a villain being duped into admitting his guilt. This would put the Con Man of that episode into the Tricksters category.
  • There was one of these on every episode of Hustle, but it wasn't always who you thought it was. However, they always made great play of the fact that The Mark was always thoroughly deserving of being fleeced. Just in case anyone thought that conning people might be bad, m'kay?
  • There was a double subversion in the flashbacks of the Lost episode "The Long Con"; The Mark, a woman named Cassidy, sees through Sawyer's con game and demands that she become his partner. However, in the end, she still ends up being duped out of 600,000 dollars; it just takes significantly longer to do it.