Created By: Goldfritha on January 9, 2012 Last Edited By: Goldfritha on February 23, 2012
Troped

Rich Boredom

Riches leave you bored.

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Money makes you lonely, foolish, or even evil, but worst than any of these: since you can buy anything, including having people do everything that needs to be done, you are bored, bored, bored. There are no more challenges in life. You don't have to work. You don't have to keep house. You don't, in fact, have to do anything.

And everyone expects you to like it.

Even the Royal Brat, suffocated with toys, may suffer from this and straighten out when given something worth doing. Many rich characters find themselves abruptly precipitated into adventure and (once they get over the shock) loving it because it lends meaning to their life.

More proactively, the Rich Idiot with No Day Job, Gentleman Adventurer, and Gentleman Thief all often turn to In Harm's Way to escape. Other characters may turn to charity works, travel, writing books, scholarly work, or other ways of becoming Non-Idle Rich to avoid this problem. The Upper-Class Wit may be warding it off with his observations. Expect it to be a feature of any Gilded Cage, though.

Not all the Idle Rich are bored; the intelligent, the well-intentioned, and those with a lot of energy may be alone, and the family may regard their boredom as silly, or at least recommend shopping as an infallible antidote. Those who like idleness will often clash with Non-Idle Rich in their own family.

The courtiers of the Deadly Decadent Court are uncommonly likely to suffer, despite their intrigues and their culture.

Compare Victory Is Boring; overlap is possible. Can justify Cut Lex Luthor a Check.

Examples

Anime/Manga
  • In "Ouran High School Host Club" , the rich boys and girls set up the Ouran Host Club for that very reason: they're bored.
  • In "Code Geass," Princess Euphemia seems to be bored with being a princess, always sneaking off and getting into trouble.

Comic Books
  • Love and Rockets - Young Luba is bored with her life as a rich housewife, and goes looking for excitement. She finds it in drugs, affairs and dancing
  • The British comic Whoopee! featured the Bumpkin Billionaires, a family of yokels who had come into some money but were desperate to get rid of it and go back to their old life. Their attempts to rid themselves of their wealth was always unsuccessful and often ended up increasing their wealth.
  • Benito Medici, the son of one of the richest and most powerful men in the world in 100 Bullets. He's so bored that he gambles just for fun and gets involved with some very dangerous people out of his father's reach, just for fun.

Film
  • The Thomas Crown Affair revolves around this trope.
  • Rat Race: The film is about a group of rich people who shove two million dollars into a locker several hundred miles away, tell a few normal people where it is, and then take bets on who will get their first.
  • Surviving the Game: The rich hunting clients all pay $50,000 in order to go hunting - hunting a human, that is - for the ultimate rush.
  • Mr. Clamp from Gremlins II.

Literature
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Summer Moonshine, Mr. Bulpitt has only once failed to serve processes on anyone: a multi-millionaire who died leaving a note that Mr. Bulpiit had cured him of "onwee" as Mr. Bulpitt says it. Also, he had left him his entire fortune for it. Mr. Bulpitt retired, briefly, and found out what "onwee" was, but even back in business, he can save his Impoverished Patrician niece.
  • In "The Case of the Rich Woman", one of Agatha Christie's Parker Pyne stories, this is the problem that the rich woman wants Mr. Parker Pyne to solve for her.
  • In Samuel Johnson's Rasselas, Rasselas's problem in the valley is exactly this, though he is surrounded by every luxury.

Live-Action TV
  • Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies. He has millions due to selling his land to an oil company, but is many times shown being bored as he would rather work than be idle rich. He enjoys doing work like mending, repairing, or gardening, but of course Mr Drysdale won't let him work a job because it's embarassing to him. There's also no place for him to do much hunting or fishing in Beverly Hills.
  • The Twilight Zone episode A Nice Place To Visit: A small time crook is killed and ends up in the afterlife where he gets whatever he wants. It soon gets incredibly dull and the crook asks why he wasn't sent to "the other place" (i.e. hell). It turns out this is actually "the other place" and getting what he wants all the time is his punishment.

Theater
  • In The Musical of Candide, in the song "Bon Voyage", the Governor sings about this.
    I'm so rich that my life is an utter bore:
    There is just not a thing that I need.
    My desires are as dry as an apple core,
    And my only emotion is greed.
    Which is why, though I've nothing to spend it for,
    I have swindled this gold from Candidi-di-di-di-dide,
    Poor Candide!

Video Games
  • Sir Raleigh in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was a rich aristocrat, but grew bored with his money. Then he tried piracy and found it to his liking.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Flavio, self-proclaimed "Trader extraordinaire, millionaire sailor of the seven seas" sets out on a voyage with Mario just for the thrills, as he's grown bored of hanging out in the tavern staring at his jewel.
  • this is the reason for the Guild of Calamitous Intent on the Venture Bros. To keep the idle rich occupied so they don't hurt other people.

Web Original
  • The indie short drama Kingdom Egg has the "terribly bored" queen.

Western animation
  • Kim Possible: This was the exact reason Senior Senior Sr. gives for becoming a supervillain. He doesn't even do it For the Evulz, he's just ridiculously wealthy and has no idea what to do with his time. Thus, he takes up supervillainy as a hobby. The guy even follows a guidebook!
  • Spongebob Squarepants: mr krabs sells the krusty krab for a lot of loot. its not long before he runs out of things to do in his retirement, goes on a rampage that destroys the krusty krab, buys the destroyed resteraunt back, and it is all fixed up the next time we see it (in the next episode).
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series had crimes perpetrated by young millionaires for no reason other than boredom.

Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • January 9, 2012
    GoopsWorld
    Sir Raleigh in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was a rich aristocrat, but grew bored with his money. Then he tried piracy and found it to his liking.
  • January 9, 2012
    VincentGaribaldi
    The Thomas Crowne Affair revolves around this trope.
  • January 9, 2012
    MiinU

    Western animation

  • January 10, 2012
    PaulA
    ^^ It's spelled "The Thomas Crown Affair".
  • January 10, 2012
    PaulA
    • In "The Case of the Rich Woman", one of Agatha Christie's Parker Pyne stories, this is the problem that the rich woman wants Mr. Parker Pyne to solve for her.
  • January 10, 2012
    nman
    What about where boredom is implied through seeking a new source of entertainment?
    • Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door: Flavio, self-proclaimed "Trader extraordinaire, millionaire sailor of the seven seas" sets out on a voyage with Mario just for the thrills, as he's grown bored of hanging out in the tavern staring at his jewel.
    • Rat Race: The film is about a group of rich people who shove two million dollars into a locker several hundred miles away, tell a few normal people where it is, and then take bets on who will get their first.
    • Surviving The Game: The rich hunting clients all pay $50,000 in order to go hunting - hunting a human, that is - for the ultimate rush.
  • January 10, 2012
    Arivne
  • January 10, 2012
    animeg3282
    Love And Rockets - Young Luba is bored with her life as a rich housewife, and goes looking for excitement. She finds it in drugs, affairs and dancing

    (example from American comics)
  • January 10, 2012
    dyson88
    Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies. He has millions due to selling his land to an oil company, but is many times shown being bored as he would rather work than be idle rich. He enjoys doing work like mending, repairing, or gardening, but of course Mr Drysdale won't let him work a job because it's embarassing to him. There's also no place for him to do much hunting or fishing in Beverly Hills.
  • January 10, 2012
    Duncan
    In The Musical of Candide, in the song "Bon Voyage", the Governor sings about this.
    I'm so rich that my life is an utter bore:
    There is just not a thing that I need.
    My desires are as dry as an apple core,
    And my only emotion is greed.
    Which is why, though I've nothing to spend it for,
    I have swindled this gold from Candidi-di-di-di-dide,
    Poor Candide!
  • January 12, 2012
    Higurashiblood98
    [[Anime/Manga]] In "Ouran High School Host Club" , the rich boys and girls set up the Ouran Host Club for that very reason: they're bored.

    In "Code Geass," Princess Euphemia seems to be bored with being a princess, always sneaking off and getting into trouble.
  • January 22, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    The indie short drama Kingdom Egg has the "terribly bored" queen. Also, someone needs to do a Tv Tropes of Kingdom Egg.
  • January 22, 2012
    animeg3282
    anyone can launch a works page.
  • January 22, 2012
    Goldfritha
    Since this is a trope page -- why do you point that out?

    Edit: Ah, Kingdom Egg.
  • February 11, 2012
    ginsengaddict
    Mr. Clamp from Gremlins II.
  • February 12, 2012
    mdulwich
    Comic Books - The British comic Whoopee! featured the Bumpkin Billionaires, a family of yokels who had come into some money but were desperate to get rid of it and go back to their old life. Their attempts to rid themselves of their wealth was always unsuccessful and often ended up increasing their wealth.

    Live Action Television - The Twilight Zone episode A Nice Place To Visit: A small time crook is killed and ends up in the afterlife where he gets whatever he wants. It soon gets incredibly dull and the crook asks why he wasn't sent to "the other place" (i.e. hell). It turns out this is actually "the other place" and getting what he wants all the time is his punishment.
  • February 12, 2012
    mdulwich
    ^ Incidentally, the Bumpkin Billionaires appears to have been inspired by the above-mentioned Beverly Hillbillies.
  • February 15, 2012
    Martello
    Man, I really hate this format. I've never commented on a YKTTW before, and I certainly know why now.

    Anyway, this is a good trope and I definitely support it. Love And Rockets example is great, I thought of that myself when I saw the name. 'Nother comic book example:

    • Benito Medici, the son of one of the richest and most powerful men in the world in 100 Bullets. He's so bored that he gambles just for fun and gets involved with some very dangerous people out of his father's reach, just for fun.

    One thing I'll recommend is that the name could be better - Rich Boredom sounds too much like just the sum of the two, like "rich and bored." How about "Riches Make You Bored" or "Money Makes You Bored" or even "Riches Cause Boredom?"
  • February 21, 2012
    Madcapunlimited
    this is the reason for the Guild of Calamitous Intent on the Venture Bros. To keep the idle rich occupied so they don't hurt other people.
  • February 23, 2012
    littlemissmuffet
    An episode of Batman The Animated Series had crimes perpetrated by young millionaires for no reason other than boredom.
  • February 23, 2012
    unclerupee
    I'm mobile browsing at the moment, but scroll down to the "Surveillance Station Slob" YKTTW, and copy paste the first example on there.
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