Should this allow Real Life examples, or be No Real Life Examples, Please!?
"This wasn't a marriage. This was a merger.
A marriage between a Nouveau Riche
family who want respect from the upper class and an Impoverished Patrician
family. The tradeoff is obvious. The rich family climbs a few steps up the social ladder, and the impoverished family climbs out of the financial hole.
This can set up a number of plots. For one, it's likely to be an Arranged Marriage
, and either the bride and/or groom is none too happy about this. Often we get a Runaway Bride
, and all the adventures she subsequent adventures she has. Or the wedding goes through, and we see the drama that can ensue from such a pairing.
This has been Truth in Television
for centuries, but it became especially notorious during The Gilded Age
, when many British noble families were running out of money and then scooping up brides from families of industrialists and businessmen (such as Consuelo Vanderbilt and the Duke of Marlboro).
Compare Gold Digger
, Meal Ticket
, Trophy Wife
Contrast Marry for Love
, Unable To Support A Wife
- The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton is based on this trope, as five girls of rich families seek poor English nobles they can marry.
- An episode of Law & Order dealt with a murder that involved two families preparing to have such a marriage, and they cover up the real murderer to keep the marriage going smoothly.
- In Titanic, this is how Rose gets engaged to Cal. Her father got her family into debt, and their family name is their only real asset now.