Created By: Lorialet on September 25, 2012 Last Edited By: Lorialet on November 18, 2013
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Betty And Veronica Switch

When two love interests aren't what you believe

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In a Betty and Veronica love triangle, the Betty somehow becomes the Veronica, and vice versa. This can happen in two different ways :

This trope is often used to criticize gender stereotypes such as the Madonna–Whore Complex, by introducing a Good Bad Girl and a Hypocrite as potential Love Interest for a guillible hero and teaching him not to judge a book by its cover. Other examples for the mere sake of suspense also exist.

Rarely leads to a Shocking Swerve. Indeed, most examples are The Untwist, but not in a bad way, and it is always a pleasure for the audience to see the heroine / hero fall in love with the Ensemble Darkhorse they wanted to win. However, if done well, it can create astonishment and chracter development and a sense of shared guilt with the center of the Triangle for misjuding the Love Interest.

Often a Subtrope of the trope Un ReQuited Love Switcheroo.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • In the Princess Tutu anime, Fakir appears at first as a male Tsundere, and Mytho the Prince has a case of Chronic Hero Syndrome. They were respectively the Veronica and Betty to Ahiru's Archie Of course until Mytho's heart shard was tainted with the Crow's blood and he becomes evil and potentially violent, and Fakir is seen as the friend and confident who does everything he can to protect Ahiru.

Comics
  • In the Archie Comics, the Betty becomes a Veronica when she tries to murder Archie out of spite. For Veronica, despite having mistaken herself for a romantic novel heroine after a knock on the head, she never did such a thing, and thus gets the title of Betty in the trope namer for this kind of triangles.

Litterature

Live Action Movies
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, it happens between Selina Kyle and Miranda Tate, Bruce Wayne's other Love Interest. One is apparently a sweet clean energy champion, the other is a burglar. The latter saves him despite having been The Mole, the other is The Man Behind the Man.
  • The twist in Jim Carrey's The Mask. The mousy coworker is actually a spy for the villain, the seemingly exotic dame he met at a club is actually much more centered than she first appeared.

Live Action TV
  • Glee apparently has Rachel as Betty and Quinn as Veronica to Finn's Archie. This is subverted in the episode "Original Songs," when Quinn explains to Rachel that, however things might appear, she, Quinn, is actually the girl-next-door whom Finn will end up settling for, and Rachel is really the unattainable fantasy dream-girl.
  • In the BBC's Robin Hood series Marian had the choice between Robin and Guy, who were quickly revealed to be more than they first appeared. Guy is conservative and law-abiding (Betty) but also dangerous and a torturer (Veronica), whereas Robin was an outlaw and a thief (Veronica) but also Marian's childhood sweetheart, Robin Hood, and much more in love than he first appeared (Betty).
    • It can also be argued to happen between Isabella and Kate for Robin. The first may be the seductive artistocratic and morally ambiguous antagonist and Angry Sheriff's Beautiful Sister and Kate the Farm Girl who joined the outlaws, but Isabella is a Tragic Villain who tries to get rid of her rival by diminuishing Robin's trust in her... while the Farm Girl simply tries to kill the noble-born rival. Unlike Isabella, Kate didn't have the excuse of growing paranoid due to years of abuse by a sadistic husband, so the line is at least blurred.
  • In The Secret Circle, the live-action adaptation of the book series, Cassie initially appears to be a timid and shy Girl Next Door. For Diana, she is a confident and mature witch. As the series progresses, Cassie becomes more extroverted, ambitious, and willing to use her dark magic, but Diana grows more isolated and more cautious about the consequences of their actions. The point is driven home when Diana learns that she has dark magic as well. She makes it very clear that she will not be as reckless with it as Cassie is. This is in contrast to their initial characterizations, Cassie desiring to stay away from the circle, and Diana to embrace their birthright as witches. Adam's interests tend towards which girl is more The Veronica at any given time. He is initially dating Diana, (she is a Victorious Childhood Friend), they break up as the personality shift starts, and he starts dating Cassie a few episodes later.
  • It happened in True Blood, following Erik's amnesia (which ended up turning him into an Adult Child, and then into something closer from a Nice Guy) and Bill's acquisition of the title of King (which ended up making him a powerful authoritative villain). The first had Hair of Gold all along, and the second has brown hair from the beginning, so they both ended up filling their new function better than before.
  • It happened in the third series of The Vampire Diaries to Damon and Stefan (the former becomes more caring in some scenes, and tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his beloved, the latter gets his emotions switched off and becomes a villain).

Tradition
  • The versions of the myth of the knight Pelleas (from the Arthurian legend) sometimes feature this. Pelleas falls in love with the lady Ettarde. She then pretends to reciprocate in order to have him win something for her in a tornament. She pushes him away when she has it, but he thinks it is all a test and comes to visit her every day. Growing annoyed, she puts him in her gaol and frees him every day. Pelleas then meets Gawain, who decides to help him by visiting Ettarde and later opening the gates, but Gawain falls in love with her, she reciprocates, and he does not follow his vow and Pelleas discovers it. Then, the different versions of the myth diverge :
    • A)Either Pelleas goes in his tent, becomes depressed, and is saved by a sweet, ethereal-looking Lady Of The Lake, Elaine, who reveals that she has very powerful magical powers (and a lot of Hidden Depths when she curses who she believes to be her rival, while Pelleas has fallen in love with herself and forgotten Ettarde), Ettarde finds out Gawain's original plan and, furious with him, regrets Pelleas.
    • B)... either Pelleas grows mad with rage, and becomes the Red Knight, devoted to prove the hypocrisy of Arthur's court.

Video Games

Web Originals
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • September 27, 2012
    surgoshan
    I object to the characterization of the Twilight books as "tomes". The wikipedia defines a tome as "a large book, especially one volume of a multi-volume scholarly work." I suppose I have to accept that the maunderings of Ms Meyer are technically "books" but I refuse to accept any word near them that carries connotations of scholarly work.
  • September 29, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    But if tome refers to the volume of the book then surely the label is accurate? I mean, a lot of crappy books are large and admitting to that doesn't imply that they're Anna Karenina or anything.

    I really like this idea but I can't think of any examples, which is frustrating me because I'm sure I've seen it. Related to Unrequited Love Switcheroo?
  • September 29, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    • The twist in Jim Carrey's The Mask. The mousy coworker is actually a spy for the villain, the seemingly exotic dame he met at a club is actually much more centered than she first appeared.
  • September 30, 2012
    Ctrooper2011
    Dragon Age 2 has Merrill and Isabela, one is the Cloudcuckoolander with No Social Skills with innocent looking puppy eyes while the other is a promiscuous pirate more open about her preference than the other companions, however, [[Spoiler: one turns out to be a Blood Mage trying to save her people via consequentialistic methods while the other is a Broken Bird trying to cope with the memory of Parental Abandonment and can be persuaded to fully commit to love.]]
  • October 1, 2012
    Prfnoff
    This doesn't seem distinctive enough to be a trope of its own. By the name and description, it's just Betty And Veronica but being played with. I think this idea could be good if rewritten.

    Perhaps it would be better to make two tropes out of this; I personally don't like tropes being divided into subtypes, and "subjective" and "objective" are very strange category names.
  • October 1, 2012
    Waterlily
    The Summer trilogy by Jenny Han revolves around the heroine Belly's romances with the sons of her mother's best friend. In the beginning, Conrad was the aloof bad boy while Jeremiah was the nice guy. In the last book, Jeremiah has become a somewhat obnoxious frat boy who cheats on Belly. Meanwhile, Conrad is mature and studious (and also gets the girl at the end.) Belly only saw them on family vacations in the summer so she's unsure if they (especially Jeremiah) were always like that and she never saw it or if they actually changed.
  • October 2, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    A surprising number of the examples on the Betty And Veronica page are actually closer to this. Here are some examples that I'm copying and pasting but I haven't seen either of these shows so could do with verification:

    • In the BBC's Robin Hood series Marian had the choice between Robin and Guy, who could fit into either category. Guy was conservative and law-abiding (Betty) but also dangerous and tortured (Veronica), whereas Robin was an outlaw and a thief (Veronica) but also Marian's childhood sweetheart (Betty).
    • Glee has Rachel as Betty and Quinn as Veronica to Finn's Archie. This is subverted in the episode "Original Songs," when Quinn explains to Rachel that, however things might appear, she, Quinn, is actually the girl-next-door whom Finn will end up settling for, and Rachel is really the unattainable fantasy dream-girl.

    I think I already know the answer to this but would this trope include situations where the same character is Betty in one love triangle, but then switches and becomes the Veronica, or vice-versa? E.g. the Friends example where Rachel is the Veronica when Ross is with Julie (Betty), but the Betty when Ross is with Bonnie (Veronica)

  • October 8, 2012
    mythbuster
    Fix the laconic. Paramour implies sex.
  • October 13, 2012
    Lorialet
    Any example involving fantasy series is welcome. Young adult novels also use this trick.
  • October 14, 2012
    Lorialet
    TV series are welcome too !
  • October 19, 2012
    Khantalas
    In the live-action adaptation of The Secret Circle, Cassie initially appears to be the timid, shy girl next door, while Diana appears to be the confident, mature witch. As the series progresses, Cassie becomes more extroverted, ambitious, and willing to use her dark magic, while Diana grows more isolated and more cautious about the consequences of their actions. The point is driven home when Diana learns that she has dark magic as well, and makes it very clear that she will not be as reckless with it as Cassie is. This is in contrast to their initial characterizations, where Cassie wanted to stay away from the circle, and Diana wanted them to embrace their birthright as witches. Adam's interests tend towards which girl is more The Veronica at any given time. He is initially dating Diana, who had a crush on him since they were children, they break it off as the personality shift starts, and he starts dating Cassie a few episodes later.
  • October 19, 2012
    RoseBride
    In the Princess Tutu anime, Fakir who appears at first as a male Tsundereand Bad Boy, and Mytho the Prince, were respectively the Veronica and Betty of Ahiru's Archie Of course until Mytho's heart shard is tainted with the Crow's blood and he becomes evil an a potential Domenstic Abuser, and Fakir is seen as the friend and confident who does everything he can to protect Ahiru
  • October 20, 2012
    Astaroth
    In the backstory of Digital Devil Saga, Serph Sheffield appears to care for Sera, but in reality he's a Manipulative Bastard and regards her as little more than a tool for his own gain, while Heat O'Brien genuinely cares for her in spite of his hostile exterior. Serph's murder of Heat causes Sera to realise the truth.
  • October 21, 2012
    atheist723
    Seems good. On another note, I wonder if there is something like this when it is not character development, but rather their appearence and personality is "switched"? (i.e. the exotic-looking one is Betty all along)
  • October 23, 2012
    Lorialet
    I think there are little tropes of this kind, work on them would always be welcome. Perhaps you could list some examples and try to run a YKTW.

  • October 23, 2012
    atheist723
    Actually, I think the situation in which Betty looks exotic and Veronica is relatively plain should be made into another brand (parallel to The Reveal and Character Development) of this trope instead of a completely seperate trope.

    Due to the fact that I rarely watch TV, I could only think of two examples for my addition: Chloe (the Betty who looks like Veronica)/Lana (the Veronica who looks like Betty) in Smallville, and Hawkgirl/Vixen in Justice League Unlimited.

    Or, we could make three tropes out of that, since they are quite different.

  • October 23, 2012
    atheist723
    If this is going to be split into three tropes, maybe it could be something like:

    Betty Is Actually Veronica (The Reveal)

    Betty Becomes Veronica (Character Development)

    The Betty Who Looks Like Veronica (what I described above)

    ...Or maybe some more catchy and less corny names.
  • October 24, 2012
    Lorialet
    Perhaps you could do something about heroes who pursue the more plain-looking of their Love Interests prioritarly. I think this wasn't created yet and there are a lot of examples. I try to keep myself to actual changes either of perception, either of state. The exotic-looking and plain-looking part of the trope would otherwise be absorbed into the first kind of it, if it creates expectations of it, either not be accepted by moderators as a part of the trope. I think you should start a YKTTW entirely about this.
  • October 29, 2012
    MorganWick
    How does atheist723's idea differ from the Reveal variant?
  • October 29, 2012
    Lorialet
    I just thought that his idea was something else that the first because the story does not try to hint at the Betty And Veronica dynamic. I suppose I can mention it in this category, but I don't think it is the same thing. It is a trope of its own.
  • November 18, 2013
    Lorialet

    If your reading this title your parents will die within 5 years To undo this curse copy on 5threads Good luck sorry I CAN'T Risk it!!!

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=czmeuw5hnuvs710nkgjor3n1&trope=BettyAndVeronicaSwitch