In the open scenes of the Blues Brothers (1980), we see Jake Blues paroled from jail for good behavior. Is it ever explained, in this movie, or the sequel, or in any other media, why he had been incarcerated in the first place?

  • There's a scene in the beginning novel of Jake robbing a convenience store with a novelty "gun" that fires coins (for launching coins into tollbooth baskets, back when that was a thing) but I don't know if that was originally part of the story and cut for the final film, or made-up fresh for the novel.
    – nobody
    Feb 18, 2023 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


Reading through a transcript of the movie we see:

The reason he got locked in the slammer in the first place...

was for sticking up a gas station to cover you guys.

You're kidding.

He pulled that job to pay for the band's room-service tab...

from that Kiwanis gig in Coal City.

You did?

That's right.

So I don't want to hear any more of this small-change sh*t.

(I cleaned it up some)

  • 10
    I always interpreted this scene as Elwood making up an excuse on the spot to make Jake look good.
    – Michael W.
    Feb 17, 2023 at 17:21

Presumably a robbery.

In the script, there is this line:

SISTER MARY: So now, what do you two have planned... another cheap robbery...?

But I don't think it is in the movie.

  • 3
    Another answer shows that it is in the movie. (An alleged reason, at least). And it is a robbery! Feb 17, 2023 at 16:50

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