Pawn Stars: the family friendly show that launched a simple gold and silver shop to superstar status. The mecca of pawn shops, World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop is one of the biggest draws in its area of the Vegas strip. Thousands visit it every day even without having anything to pawn. Photos of the sign, the doorway, and even the guys (who may or may not be there) are popular commodities that any Pawn Stars fan would love to get their hands on. Not to mention all the merchandise that they sell! Despite the store bathing in all this glowing adoration, there are some darker corners that nobody likes to talk about.
We’ve compiled 20 of the darkest secrets that the producers of Pawn Stars definitely doesn’t want us to know; shh! Don’t tell anyone.
20 Olivia Black Wasn’t Actually Fired
Olivia Black was one of the storefront workers who joined after the first few seasons. Her infectious smile and delightful personality were great for the show, so it was a surprise when she ended up getting “fired”. According to Scribol, however, she wasn’t really fired. She was just switched to night shifts at the store and kept off the show!
19 None Of The Items Are Surprises
This is true of many reality TV shows, but it’s interesting to think about it in the pawn shop context. So many experts seem to be conveniently hanging around when an appropriate item comes in for them. This is because (surprise, surprise) most of the items have been seen before. The most interesting trades are chosen to be seen on the show.
18 Subway Is A Huge Show Sponsor, Which Is Why They’re Always Eating It
This is a little fun fact that many people don’t seem to notice. Due to the sponsorship deal they have, whenever the guys want to eat anything, the snack they opt for is usually a subway sandwich. Scribol points out that they also talk about a Subway sandwich “by its proper, branded name,” rather than just calling it a veggie sub.
17 Much Of Their Money Comes From Meet-And-Greets
People are eager to meet celebrities, and the Pawn Stars guys are absolutely celebrities (even if they are more niche than Brad Pitt). The producers of the show are smart, and they discovered that hosting meet and greets with the Pawn Stars stars was a great way to get some money lining everyone’s pockets.
16 Camera Angles Hide The Real Store Set Up
Yes, Pawn Stars takes place in the real pawn shop known as Gold and Silver. However, gold and silver aren’t the only things lining their shelves. According to Scribol, most of the store is actually full of show merchandise now. The cameras are angled in such a way that none of that gets seen on camera though, of course.
15 One Trader Got Them In Big Legal Trouble
According to Scribol, it’s typical that the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop melts down any coins that are traded in. The guys have learned to be more careful about where said coins come from, though. One time they learned the “seller had actually stolen the coins from her uncle, who later claimed they were worth $50,000 and sued the store” for melting them!
14 And That Wasn't The Only Thief To Make A Deal
Be careful who you accept gifts from is what our parents always said, but it seems like Rick missed that piece of advice. Boredom Therapy tells us that one time a trader came in with a pair of diamond earrings worth $40,000. Unfortunately they were stolen, and the thief spent all the trade money before Rick could get a refund.
13 The Guys Don’t Work The Storefront Anymore
If you go down to Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, it’s likely you’re not going to see the guys working the front counter. Why? Huffington Post says it’s because of privacy laws, since people get a little starry-eyed when meeting Rick and the rest of the guys. People will snap photos, which “[compromises] the privacy of whoever's at the pawn counter.”
12 And Rick Has Had To Give Up Garage Sales
Poor Rick! Pawn fame hasn’t been kind to him, at least on the garage sales and bargain hunting front. According to Huffington Post, Rick just can’t stroll through people’s garage sales anymore. Apparently “people are worried about his shrewd negotiating skills,” and refuse to engage in garage sale barter talk with him.
11 The Same Trade Will Be Done Again And Again
In the same way that the guys all know what items will be used in the show, they also tend to do the same trade again and again, in typical reality TV fashion. It might not be much of a surprise, but it is something to think about the next time a trader seems too excited over how much they’re getting.
10 Rick Doesn’t Actually Like TV, Despite Being A Star
Scribol told us this insider secret, which is a bit of a surprise when we think about how Rick makes his living being a TV star. Believe it or not, but he doesn’t necessarily like watching television! He’s “more of a bookworm” and is always eager to crack open a new story.
9 Corey Is More Of A Daredevil Than He Seems
It might feel like the guys are all in this together, but Corey is actually a bit of an outlier. He’s much more of a daredevil than the rest of his Pawn Stars cohort, including riding motorcycles and even regularly going desert racing! As if there wasn’t enough thrills in the pawn shop business already.
8 Once Upon A Time They Were The Quizno’s Stars
Huffington Post mentioned the fact that Pawn Stars wasn’t the first business that the guys were involved in. Apparently Rick was once upon a time the owner of a Quizno’s franchise, “that Corey and Chumlee ran together”. We’re glad they switched to the pawn business; Quizno’s Stars doesn’t have the same ring to it.
7 Chumlee Once Cost The Store $20,000
Chumlee was certainly lovable on the show, but he definitely caused the guys a bit of grief every now and then. Huffington Post tells us that one time Chumlee actually cost the store $20,000 by breaking a very old and expensive bass. Granted, this was a one-time accident that happened to a rare item; not necessarily the norm.
6 And He’s Gotten Into Serious Legal Trouble
With great power comes great responsibility, and Chumlee didn’t quite measure up to that Pawn Stars power. Boredom Therapy tells us that back in 2016 Chumlee had a pretty serious brush with the law. They searched his home and found enough contraband that he ended up pleading guilty to multiple charges!
5 One Of The Sons Was Left Out Of The Old Man’s Will
Just like the Kardashians, the Pawn Stars guys had a bit of family drama too. Boredom Therapy mentions how “the Old Man cut his youngest son Chris out of his will for personal differences,” which no one has ever been able to figure out. This might not be directly related to the shop, but the family drama is awfully juicy, right?
4 The Old Man’s Personality Was A Total Character Choice
Believe it or not, Boredom Therapy explains that the Old Man might not have been as grumpy and negative as he let us all believe. It was actually a character choice meant to help balance out the other personalities on the show. Almost like a foil for a comedic character. In our opinion it totally worked! The Old Man is still an icon.
3 The Show Started Thanks To A PBS Documentary
It’s not like Pawn Stars was just approached out of the blue. According to Huffington Post, PBS came and approached them about doing a documentary on the pawn business. The article writes, “when business spiked after the special aired, Rick started to shop the idea of a TV show around.” And thus, Pawn Stars was born.
2 They’re Helping People Pay Bail, Believe It Or Not
Something we didn’t know is that people will come and buy gold and silver jewelry from the pawn shop in order to have collateral to pay bail. Scribol explains, “they can take it back in later and get half the price as a loan against it… since their cash is confiscated when they’re arrested.” Can’t imagine why we don’t see that on TV.
1 Pawn Plaza Isn’t As Successful As Everyone Thought
It seemed like the best idea ever. Why not expand a hugely popular pawn business and TV empire into a whole shopping and dining experience? It was going to be the Disneyland of pawn shop-related shopping. Unfortunately many of the stores are closing, and customers aren’t eager to experience what Pawn Plaza has to offer.
Sources: scribol.com, boredometherapy.com, huffingtonpost.ca