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How to Perform the Bill in Lemon Magic Illusion

Perform the Bill in Lemon Magic Illusion

Things You'll Need:

  • Knife
  • Lemon
  • Low-denomination bill
  • Marker

An example of a magic illusion that involves patter, sleight of hand and showmanship is the Bill in Lemon trick. This illusion requires audience interaction as the magician reveals a high-denomination bill inside of a lemon. You need to practice the intricacies of the Bill in Lemon magic illusion before adding it to your act.

Summon a volunteer from the audience to help you perform the Bill in Lemon illusion. This volunteer should take out a high-denomination bill, write his name on it in colored ink and hand it over to your assistant.

Fold the volunteer's bill several times to initiate the Bill in Lemon illusion. You should create eight folds in the bill to decrease the surface area for insertion into the lemon later in the trick.

Switch out the high-denomination bill with a low-denomination one as you finish folding. Slip the volunteer's bill into your sleeve using sleight of hand to avoid suspicion about your intentions.

Unfold the small-denomination bill to finish the first portion of the Bill in Lemon magic illusion. You should apologize for decreasing the value of the bill before handing it back to the volunteer.

Bring the volunteer back to the stage in an effort to make up for the loss of the high-denomination bill. Shake the volunteer's hand and ask some simple questions to capture his attention before you perform the second half of the trick.

Develop a compelling reason for grabbing the lemon from its hiding spot while you perform this illusion. There are multiple ways to explain the lemon's presence, including drink making, an accidental gift from another magician or part of an unusual lunch.

Cut into the lemon deliberately to complete your portion of the Bill in Lemon illusion. The first cut should be deep enough to support the high-denomination bill, without having edges stick out from the rind. Continue cutting around the edge of the lemon to complete the illusion.

Hand the lemon to the volunteer to remove the high-denomination bill. After tearing the lemon apart, ask the volunteer to unfold the bill to reveal his name.

Approach magic retailers that sell special knives for the Bill in Lemon trick with caution.


Hide the lemon out of the audience's sight as you perform the Bill in Lemon illusion. This illusion requires that the audience not realize that there are additional elements beyond the initial sleight of hand. Place the lemon under a table and grab it quickly while you reach for your shoe.

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