- Jail Bake: In "The Jailhouse Job", the team sends Nate a kielbasa with an earpiece hidden inside it. Another prisoner sees him tear apart the kielbasa and stick something into his ear and is suitably grossed out.
- Japandering: In "The Three Strikes Job," part of Eliot's baseball player cover is a (fake) Japanese energy drink commercial that Hardison whipped together.
- Jury Duty: Parker (or rather, one of Parker's cover identities) gets called to jury duty in "The Juror #6 Job" and stumbles upon a plot by another group to mess with the proceedings.
- Just Like Robin Hood: The mission statement of Team Leverage.
- Just One Little Mistake: The fake FBI agents chasing the client at the beginning of "The Double Blind Job" make two little mistakes -- they show Hardison their fake badges... and they spill Eliot's coffee.
- Kansas City Shuffle: Naturally a con about misdirecting will happen in a show about cons.
- The Second David Job and the "Nigerian Job."
- In The Boiler Room Job, they pull a massive shuffle on The Mako. The team thoroughly convinces the guy that they are going to try to short the market on cocoa bean shares, going so far as to falsify a chocolate persona so Sophie can steal the show at a chocolate festival, pretend that Nate (going by the name Count Chocula)owns the market on cocoa futures, fly the Mako out to South America to view the deforestation, and get an entire roomful of actors to pretend they are a legit stock brokering firm -- and then when the Mako is gloating about how he saw through the whole thing They rob him blind and take everything out of his bank accounts.
- In the mid-season 3 finale, Nate confronts the Italian telling her he had gotten what she wanted, Damien Moreau's accounts, but was not giving them to her and was going after Moreau himself. After he leaves it turns out that this was what her people had wanted all along, Nate's team to take out Moreau, so they could be rid of him without getting their hands dirty.
- Keep the Reward: The Leverage team work like this, doing jobs where all the profit goes to their clients. Somewhat justified in that their first job (a vengeance gig against the guy who tried to screw them) made them filthy stinking rich.
- Plus, Hardison is a Wall Street-level genius at shuffling money around.
- Averted, however, when Tara filled in for the absent Sophie -- she very specifically demanded her cut of the take each week.
- Well, not ALL the profits...the pilot implies they take a bit from the marks, to cover expenses.
- Kick the Dog: The wealthy guy who stole a heart destined for a teenaged boy. Nate gives him a snow globe instead.
- Knife Nut: Eliot. He's also a chef when he's not killing people.
Eliot: Hold a knife like this (normally), cuts through an onion. Hold a knife like this (switches to a backhand grip), cuts through, like, eight yakuza in four seconds. Screams, blood, carnage. People are like knives. Everything's in context.
- Kinda Busy Here: Used by name on several occasions by both Hardison and Eliot.
- Kiss Kiss Slap: Nate and Sophie at the end of The Maltese Falcon Job.
- Lampshade Hanging:
- In "The Second David Job", Maggie joins the team, and comments on how annoying it must be to have Nate talking to them all the time. Nate disagrees, then Hardison and Eliot basically go "Actually...".
- "The Three Days of the Hunter Job" is full of lampshades hung by Nate while critiquing Sophie's leadership technique.
- And in "The Runway Job" an irritated Tara repeatedly lampshades Nate's catch phrases and general style of speech. After "Let's go steal a ..." she looks at the others and says, "Steal a fashion show... Does he always talk like that?"
Tara: So he just says things... and walks away?
- In "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job" Hardison casually pulls a ultraviolet light out of his backpack when Sophie tells him he needs one. This is commented by Eliot with a "Seriously? You just happen to have one lying around?".
- After Nate criticizes The Mark for his business practices in "The 15 Minutes Job":
Sophie: "Like I've never seen you take any victory lap after you've pushed us to the edge or stick around to gloat while the bad guy's being dragged away."
- Parker in "The Boiler Room Job."
Parker: "So what is it we're stealing? I mean, is it 'let's go steal a mountain, a funeral, a panda, what?"
- Doubles as a Continuity Nod, as earlier in the season the team had indeed stolen both a mountain ("The Long Way Down Job") and a funeral ("The Grave Danger Job").
- Landmark Sale: In "The Three Strikes Job", Nate poses as a real estate developer planning to build a baseball stadium to con a corrupt mayor. This requires him to make it look like an actual team was planning to move to the stadium.
- Large Ham: A lot of the grifter characters. Sophie, when she's acting.
- Laser Hallway: Guarding the vault in "The First David Job". Parker gets around it with acrobatics and aluminum foil.
- In a flashback in "The Inside Job," a teenage Parker is shown doing something similar to get to an ice cream sundae as part of her training. Her mentor then holds up a spoon, and she presumably does the entire thing backwards without spilling the ice cream, although it cuts back to the present before we can see her try. The same spoon shows up earlier in the episode, in a shot of her apartment / supply cache, so she did.
- Last-Name Basis:
- Nobody ever calls Hardison "Alec." When the client from "The Double-Blind Job" says it, Parker reacts. But she's not jealous. (She DOES call him "Alec" during "Grave Danger Job," showing just how serious the situation is.)
- Nor does anyone call Sterling "Jim."
- Jury's out on Parker -- since her name is just Parker.
- Late to the Punchline: Parker in "The Studio Job."
Parker: Ohhhhh! Eliot's the fiddle!
- Law Enforcement, Inc.: IYS, the insurance agency that Nate worked for, seems to be this in part--if he can go after Sophie with a gun instead of having to call the local cops, well...
- Leverage & Associates does not work this way, however--it takes up "where the law leaves off".
- The Law of Conservation of Detail: The team needs to create elaborate schemes in order to manipulate their mark. This means that side comments to the mark often end up being important later, and their importance becomes apparent during the "how it was done" flashback scenes. This is a trait shared with its spiritual predecessor Hustle.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Bering Aerospace in "The Nigerian Job" is one of these for the real-life Boeing.
- Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone: Sophie pulls one of these when Parker gets jealous of Hardison's connection with the client in "The Double Blind Job."
- Let There Be Snow: "The Ho Ho Ho Job"
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: At the end of "the First David Job", the team splits up to lay low for six months (they barely manage three before meeting up with each other again by coincidence).
- Lightning Bruiser: Eliot
- Like a Son to Me: Well, niece, actually. Nate goes back a long ways with John McRory, so his daughter Cora is like a niece to him. That also means that she's off-limits.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: In "The Cross My Heart Job".
- Loan Shark: Doyle, The Mark from "The Bottle Job."
- Locked Room Mystery: "The 10 Li'l Grifters Job."
- London Gangster: Annie Croy, one of Sophie's recurring personae, is a London Gangster.
- So are many of Hardison's disguises.
- Lonely Funeral: Subverted in that Sophie's first funeral is actually pretty crowded -- but no one there knows who she really is.
- Lost in a Crowd: Variation in "The Second David Job:" the team plants fake David statues in everyone's bag at the museum coat check. The real Davids were both in the display case the whole time, covered by a cloud of steam. The whole thing was a decoy while the team stole every other work of art in the gallery.
- Loveable Rogue: Pretty much all of Team Leverage.
- Love at First Gunshot: Sophie and Nate's first chronological meeting involves Nate interrupting Sophie as she tries to steal a painting. Their eyes meet, a quick smile, then they shoot each other.
- John Rogers is proud to have written "The first Meet Cute sequence I can think of that involves the principals shooting each other."
- Luke You Were My Father: a dying industrialist gives his fortune to a charity because its operator is his long-lost daughter. He didn't tell her the truth because he didn't want her to hate him for (accidentally) abandoning her and her mother.
- Luxury Prison Suite: Used in several episodes, most notably in "The Lost Heir Job." They have a witness who is in jail. They offer to break him out if he helps them. He laughs at them, because he is quite happy in the minimum-security prison. So they frame him as the leader of the Aryan Nation and threaten to send him to a maximum-security prison if he doesn't give them the info they need.
- MacGuffin: For one, the Van Gogh painting itself in "The Van Gogh Job." It's very valuable, a lot of people want it, and it's part of an epic Star-Crossed Lovers story. What it is exactly beyond that is completely irrelevant.
- Magic Floppy Disk: Well-averted in general, but Played for Laughs in "The Wedding Job." When Eliot infiltrates the FBI in order to steal the audio surveillance on the target, he finds that the FBI is still using cassette tapes to record their audio. Hardison is dumbfounded, and ends up having to set off the fire alarm so that Eliot can get out of the building with a box full of tapes.
- Mall Santa: The Client in "The Ho Ho Ho Job." The mooks are also playing Santa to get into position.
- The Man Makes the Weapon: Eliot, most notably in "The Wedding Job." He disarms a man holding a huge knife, using a whisk. He then kills the man with an appetizer and a tray.
- Manipulative Bastard. Sophie's job. Nate. Sterling. Chaos, for sure. A number of the marks. It's a pretty common trope on this show.
- Manipulative Editing: Hardison uses this on the jury room footage in "The Juror #6 Job" to convince the mark that she was about to win the trial. He also does so in "The Bank Shot Job" to make it look like the judge had taken the hostages from the beginning.
- This ends up being critical to the con in "The 15 Minutes Job."
- Martial Medic: Played straight in "The Bank Shot Job" -- Eliot is the only member of the group whose job regularly involves violence so it stands to reason that he's the one who's going to know what to do with a gunshot wound.
- Massive Multiplayer Scam: The team's modus operandi.
- Matzo Fever: Eliot seems to get a mild case of it toward Mikel Dayan, his counterpart in the rival crew in "The Two Live Crew Job."
- Meet Cute: Implied in the pilot that Nate and Sophie had one -- that ended with him shooting her.
- Metal Detector Checkpoint: In "The Lost Heir Job," a corrupt lawyer is delayed by Hardison stuffing him full of keys in all of his various pockets before he can enter the court house security check.
- Metaphorgotten: Nate's homily for the wedding during "The Wedding Job". Marriage is a sacred bond, which is a contract, which is a lousy way of relating between two people, I mean, you might as well try to explain baseball to a dog but at least the dog will bring the ball back to you . . .
- Midlife Crisis Car: Nate's Tesla Roadster.
- Mile-High Club: Averted in "The Mile High Job."
- Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: Small-scale versions in a number of episodes.
- "The Homecoming Job". Coverup of a friendly fire investigation -> multi-billion-dollar money-laundering scheme.
- "The Snow Job". Negligent home contracting job -> nationwide foreclosure-related fraud.
- "The Stork Job". Spanish Prisoner scam with orphans -> weapons smuggling.
- "The Gone-Fishin' Job". People being scammed by fake IRS agents -> anti-government militia planning a terrorist attack
- Missing Episode: TNT pulled "The Mile High Job," which was set on a plane and devoted much of its comedy to making fun or water landings after the Miracle on the Hudson. The episode was later aired in its original form after the media frenzy had died down.
- Mission Briefing: Done Once an Episode to describe The Mark and his various evil activities using fancy slideshows, unusual in that it's Hardison who does it instead of Nate, the team's leader. Usually, everyone butts in with their own comments or the character who actually knows what they're talking about takes over the briefing.
- Mission Control: Nate, or sometimes Nate and Hardison, and on one occasion Hardison and Sophie.
- Missing Mission Control: A few times, usually with Hardison being in danger, missing his equipment or just bowing out (The start of "The Mile High Job") and things go spiralling very quickly. Inverted in "The Long Way Down Job" when Eliot, Parker, or Nate are mostly out of reach on the comms.
- "Mission Impossible" Cable Drop: Parker's trademark maneuver is to jump off the side of buildings and lower down on a cable, instead of doing this on the inside. She then goes in through the window. No one but Parker is crazy enough to do it willingly, though they are often forced to anyway.
- Monumental Theft: The team specializes in some amazing tactics to get what they're after and leave their client's enemies holding the proverbial bag. The targets of their clever thefts and elaborate con-jobs are never small-time, either. Their first job netted them millions of dollars and upset the entire industry of the guy who double-crossed them, on top of causing an international incident. It helps when you have four amazing thieves lead by a grandmaster of the Batman Gambit.
- Mood Whiplash: The show can often veer from a breezy Ocean's Eleven-esque tone to a very serious, dramatic one (such as flashbacks to the death of Nate's son, Eliot threatening a child abuser or Parker finding an arms smuggling ring running out of a Serbian orphanage) in a matter of minutes.
- Motive Misidentification: In "The Ho Ho Ho Job," the team believes that the plot at the local mall is to steal everyone's credit card numbers for massive identity fraud. So they shut down the power in the whole area. Then it turns out that Chaos wanted them to do just that. The power outage disabled the security system at the nearby bank (their real target) and he and his goons were free to move in and rob it. Of course, this being Leverage, they were still able to stop him in time. Still one of the only times when the villain was a step ahead of the team.
- Ms. Fanservice: If someone's going to be in a fetish-y position, it'll almost always be Parker. However, as demonstrated by several episodes, such as “The Snow Job,” Sophie is more than capable of filling this role.
- Parker in a French maid outfit in "The Maltese Falcon Job".
- No love for Tara? This troper must cite “The Bottle Job” for her hooker-ish cover.
- Tara: (hikes skirt, sticks out chest, pouts lip) “My name’s Trish and I’m lonely…” I think her hips were bouncing off opposite walls as she approached the mark.
- Mr. Fanservice: Eliot and Hardison both fall under this. The show's writers and directors know it, too, providing many instances of suit-wearing, arms-showing-off, and other (usually subtle) instances of fanservice.
- Multitasked Conversation: Nate in "The Bank Shot Job", Parker in "The Fairy Godparents Job".
- Mundane Utility: Hardison retasks two satellites just so he can torrent the latest episode of Doctor Who. Strangely, the episode aired the week after the 2009 Who Christmas special. And honestly, is there a Who fan here who wouldn't do the same thing?
- Mugging the Monster: A Loan Shark targets Nate's favorite pub after its owner had borrowed money from him. He does this after the funeral of the original owner.
- The Murder After: "The Morning After Job" centres around the team convincing a mark that this has happened.
- Musical Spoiler: During "The Order 23 Job", an out of place bit of Middle-Eastern music cuts in when Hardison gets into a Marshall's car to search it. Except that the Armenian assassin's car is actually the second one he searches. And Armenia is in the Caucasus. Someone on the sound team screwed up.
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Parker's Serbian in "The Stork Job" -- concluding with "Oh, Shiny Tomato!"
- There's a Getting Crap Past the Radar moment there if you're paying attention -- she is clearly using different Serbian words when she tells the kids "I will make your tomato shiny" and when she exclaims "Oh, Shiny Tomato!" on getting caught, making it clear that the subtitles have been sanitized.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits: Nate sees Cora McRory like this, though she's more like a surrogate niece to him.
- Mysterious Employer: The Italian. No other name.
- Myth Arc: There's one introduced in the season 3 premiere, where the team is essentially blackmailed into trying to find a way to take down the world's most feared criminal banker in six months.