In the movie "Don't look up"(2021) when the main protagonists are waiting in the White House to talk to the President, the older uniformed general that is waiting with them sells them snacks.
Later they find out the snacks were actually free.
This incident bugs the main character Kate Dibiasky, and she discusses it with others a few times in the remainder of the movie.
Does this scam reference anything in American movies or popular culture in general? Is it just random? It could be a reference to human greed and abuse of power in general, and thus fit in with the main theme of the movie.