Bill in lemon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The bill in lemon is an effect in which a magician requests a currency note from a spectator and makes the note vanish, then proceeding to slice a lemon open to show the note inside. Variations include the coin in orange, and more generally "something in fruit".


The magician asks an audience member for a dollar bill, and then has them mark it in some way - signing it, tearing a corner off, memorizing the serial number, or similar. The magician then destroys the bill, ripping it up or causing it to burst into flame. The magician then introduces a lemon and proceeds to cut it in half. The two halves of the lemon are pulled apart and the original bill is found inside.[1] The audience can then verify that it is indeed their bill by comparing it to whatever they recorded earlier.


Most versions of the trick rely on the object in the lemon being different than the one provided by the audience member.[2]

Famous performers[edit]

The coin in orange version of the trick dates to at least the mid-1800s, and appears in Modern Magic in 1876. This was a relatively complex version that uses two oranges and considerable stagecraft to complete.

The bill in lemon version is credited to Emil Jarrow (1875-1959), who made it a feature of his vaudeville act during the first half of the twentieth century. Jarrow would borrow as many as three different bills from members of the audience, causing them to later reappear inside of the lemon. Other famous performers of the effect included T. Nelson Downs, Max Malini, Bob Haskell and Billy McComb among many others.

Several modern magicians have presented their own versions of the effect, including Bill Malone, Doc Eason, and Michael Ammar.


  1. ^ Toy, Mike (June 26, 2017). It's Not Magic: Secrets to Influencing People. BookBaby. ISBN 1941870996.
  2. ^ Tarr, Bill (April 30, 2012). 101 Easy-to-Do Magic Tricks. Courier Corporation. p. 32. ISBN 0486139859.