M&Ms — What are Caramel M&M’s worth to you?

In this commercial for the new caramel M&M’s, our grocery store employee is trying to buy back M&Ms from customers as they’re leaving the store. The employee offers $2, $3, and his watch to get the M&Ms back even though the customers could easily go through the line again and get a new bag. People tend to value items they possess at a higher rate than they actually paid for them and this action appears irrational since the transaction costs of buying another pack is already low.

Thanks to James Tierney for actually watching the commercials on Hulu:

Life in Pieces — Garage Sale of Gifts

 

Heather and Jen complain to Greg about all the awful gifts that they have received from Joan over the years. They realize this is the time to sell the items at a garage sale, but they can’t sell the stuff at Joan’s garage sell. They decide to host a simultaneous garage sale that focuses only on the bad gifts that they have received. This is a good example to show that the value Joan paid for the gifts will be much higher than the price Heather and Jen could expect to receive from a garage sale, which can be used to show the loss in economic surplus from this exchange.

Life in Pieces — The Stress of Regifting

 

Joan tries to give Jen and Greg a gift certificate for a couples massage because of how stressed they are. It turns out that Greg and Jen had already given her that gift certificate and caught her in the act of regifting the item. Joan claims they didn’t really need it because they were never really stressed so it was better to just give it back. One of the transactional issues of gift giving is that it’s hard to know exactly what the other person values, which creates losses in surplus.

Life in Pieces — Is it time for a second child?

 

Greg and Jen set an alarm for Valentine’s Day to try and have a second child. The year before, they had just had Lark and decided to try and make sure their children were 2 years apart. Now that the time has come, the two are having second thoughts about whether they are ready since the original reminder was made in a pre-Lark (their child) world. Our decisions from one time period to the next are often not in agreement with one another and causes us to appear to perform irrationally.

Brooklyn 99 — Healthcare Costs

 

Terry is debating with himself on whether to get a vasectomy after the birth of his two little girls. He goes in for the procedure, but while under anesthesia he confesses to Jake that he is conflicted. Terry doesn’t believe Jake, but Jake has tried to make it a point that he’s Terry’s friend and is looking out for him. Terry asks him to focus on his own body and points out that Jake’s poor diet is the reason why healthcare is so expensive for everyone else. At the end of the episode, Terry gifts Jake a box of carrots, but Jake doesn’t really appreciate it.

Curb Your Enthusiasm — Anonymous Donations

Larry David makes a large donation to the National Resources Defense Council, a non-profit environmental advocacy group, but Larry is quickly upstaged by an anonymous donation that he finds out is made by Ted Danson. Larry felt like he was doing a great thing by donating to the fund, but felt it was a truly altruistic donation. He believes the anonymous donation by Ted Danson is a better deal because anonymous donors get more recognition for appearing to not care about the recognition, even though they go around telling people they were the anonymous donor.

Thanks to Nautilus and Moblab for the clip suggestions:

Brooklyn 99 — Wine Drink as a Gift

 

The squad is invited over to the Captain’s house for a birthday party,¬† and they all have the same idea when it comes to wine. While Jake wants to try to impress the captain with the finest bottle of wine, he’s a little out of the price range and settles for an $8 bottle of wine. Come to find out, the entire squad buys the same bottle of “wine drink” and Kevin isn’t too fond of their selection.

While it isn’t clear that there is much of a difference between cheap and expensive wine, “wine drink” probably doesn’t send the best signal of quality.

Brooklyn 99 — Risk Aversion in Air Travel

 

Boyle is going on a singles cruise and isn’t sure when to arrive at the airport. He approaches Gina with the idea of getting to the airport 5 hours early for a domestic flight (which is already too much!), but she tries to convince him he actually needs to be there 8 hours. Some people prefer to arrive at the airport extra early because they are scared they will miss their flight, but most people don’t need to arrive more than 2 hours. Later in the episode, we learn that Boyle missed his flight because of an assignment, but that he actually bought a backup flight just in case he missed it. This is perhaps an extreme version of risk aversion.

John Mulaney — An XXL Shirt

 

 

John receives an XXL shirt as a child, which was pretty useless to him. His mom suggests that he use it as a sleep shirt, but he really wants to make a comment to the person who gave him the gift. His mom explains that it’s rude to make comments about people who give your gifts, but John is quick to notice that the inefficiencies of receiving gifts that aren’t really usable.

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