Created By: PretzelVictim on August 1, 2011 Last Edited By: PretzelVictim on August 3, 2011

Prostitute Comparison

A person compares an act that is not actual prostitution to prostitution

Name Space:
Page Type:
Roz: "How do you feel?"
Niles: "Like I'm walking away from my lamppost and counting the money in my garter belt."
An eminent psychiatrist voices his opinion on filling in for his brother's talk radio pop-psychology show

Needs a Better Title, Needs a Better Description, Do We Have This One Already

In order to express just how desperate, personally degrading or morally bankrupt an action is, a character will compare it to prostitution. Especially true when it consists of compromising one's principles, dignity, professionalism, or self-respect, and doubly especially true when done in exchange for money or a favor. Perhaps because of the visceral reaction that the idea of whoring oneself out for money inspires in readers or viewers, or perhaps because of how much innuendo and variations on different jokes such a comparison can inspire, it's an expression that has endured for a long time and shows no sign of stopping.

Very, very frequently exaggerated or Played for Laughs.
Community Feedback Replies: 8
  • August 1, 2011
    Iron Man 2: When a US Senator demands that Tony Stark hand over the specs and prototypes of his Iron Man suits, Tony pulls this one.
    Tony Stark: I am Iron Man. The suit and I are one. To turn over the Iron Man suit would be to turn over myself, which is tantamount to indentured servitude or prostitution, depending on what state you're in.
  • August 2, 2011
    Sounds like Abomination Accusation Attack, But More Specific. I'm not sure we need to separate out insults and attacks based on the specific type of insult or attack used. Prostitute, rapist, terrorist, Commie, Nazi, Presbyterian, Kkk-gk-ak-kkk-kk-guk-kk; these are all words thrown around carelessly. If you really want to make a trope, and don't think Abomination quite fits here, why not make a more general and useful trope like, say, Hyperbolic Insult or Hyperbolic Comparison that would cover this and more?
  • August 2, 2011
    ^ One thing that is unique to the prostitution comparison, however, is that often the prostitution is treated as the morally superior part. Eg, the common quip about prostitution and spying, that there is more professionalism and morals within prostitution.
  • August 2, 2011
    In South Park, Kenny starts eating disgusting items (such as part of a dissected manatee, and the vomit that ensues) when he discovers that people will pay him to do so. When he appears on Jesus and Pals to eat dog poo, Jesus tells Kenny that eating these things makes him a prostitute.
  • August 3, 2011
    It's definitely tropeable.

    Real Life: The term "Attention Whore" is surely thrown around a lot.

    House: The titular character accuses an activist of "media whoring" for his cause. When Cameron points out that he genuinely likes being on TV, House retorts that whores enjoy sex, too.
  • August 3, 2011
    Real Life: Gold Diggers get this a lot. Look at the trope pic.

    Meta: The tropes Be A Whore To Get Your Man and Madonna Whore Complex.
  • August 3, 2011
    • Ronald Reagan on politics:
      "It's been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
  • August 3, 2011
    I think this also has implications in re commercialism generally. Among the objections to prostitution is that it commercializes something that's supposed to be noble/loving/sacred/private. Making the comparison with other transactions involving activities that are supposed to be better than crassly commercial is key to this trope. Consider the context of the opening quotation; Niles' objection to doing the psychology call-in show seems to be that using the media tool (radio) to reach many people and/or being highly paid for doing so tarnishes an otherwise laudable profession.