Created By: FiliasCupio on May 12, 2018 Last Edited By: FiliasCupio on May 25, 2018
Troped

Romantic Fake-Real Turn

A fake and deceptive romantic relationship becomes real.

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When a person or couple fake a romantic relationship, and then fall in love.

There are two major variants, depending on who is in on the deception. In the solo deceiver variant, one of the couple is trying to fool the other about their feelings. A classic example is when a Gold Digger falls in love with their mark. This can resolve in various ways - - the deception is undiscovered and we end with a loving couple; the deception is discovered and the deceiver has to reestablish trust to achieve the happy ending; or the deceiver is discovered and rejected and suffers a romantic failure as well as the failure of their initial plan.

In the two deceiver variant, both participants know the relationship to be fake. They might pretend to be dating, or announce an engagement with no intention to actually marry, or marry without intending to live as a married couple. There must be an element of deception - the couple intend at least one person to believe the relationship is real. Common motives are for one of the couple to gain legal status (citizenship, health insurance coverage, freedom from a parent) or because one of the couple has lied about being in a relationship and now needs a stand-in for the fictional partner. This variation usually ends happily for the couple.

This trope is the intersection of The Beard (a fake romantic relationship with intent to deceive) and Becoming the Mask (a deceptive role becomes real.)

The two deceiver variant overlaps with Marriage Before Romance, and Marriage of Convenience. Marriage Before Romance does not require deception (e.g. people understand that in an arranged marriage, the couple do not initially love each other) and this trope allows relationships other than marriage. A Marriage of Convenience usually involves deception, and so becomes this trope if the couple fall in love.

The single deceiver variant is a subset of In Love with the Mark, when the mark was to be targeted romantically rather than, for example, targeted for assassination. The romantic option of The Bet frequently leads to this trope. There is also overlap with Sex–Face Turn, but this trope does not require sex, and that trope does not require deception.

Not to be confused with Fake-Real Turn, where it is some sort of organization which is faked.

As an ending trope, spoilers marked and unmarked are abundant in this page. You Have Been Warned.


Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Marmalade Boy: Ginta and Arimi pretended to be dating to get Miki (Ginta's crush and best friend) and Yuu (Arimi's ex boyfriend) back, respectively.
  • Flay Allster from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED initially seduces Kira to manipulate him into killing the people who murdered her father, but when they are separated by circumstances later on, she realizes that she has fallen in love with him for real.
  • Princess Jellyfish: Shoko Inari pretends an (aggressive) romantic interest in Shu, to use his political influence to advance a real estate project. She realizes (after he's seen through her wiles) that she has fallen for him. By this point Shu distrusts her completely, so no relationship ensues.
  • Summer Wars: Natsuki has lied to her family about having an awesome boyfriend, and recruits Kenji to play the role when attending an extended family gathering.

Fan Works
  • The Tangled Web starts with Mara pretending to be Luke's girlfriend to keep away a Fangirl with a highly influential father. Luke lasts about a day before it becomes real.
  • In Refiner's Fire, Harry asks Ginny to be his pretend girlfriend to keep away a crowd of... interested... schoolgirls. After a couple of weeks, he asks her out for real.

Film - Live-Action
  • Can't Buy Me Love: Ronald, an unpopular nerd, helps a popular girl/cheerleader Cindy. In return, she pretends to be his girlfriend, so he can become more popular.
  • Green Card: Georges and Bronte marry for residency (green card) and an apartment respectively.
  • Shadowlands: Jack (better known as C. S. Lewis) marries Joy to allow her to stay in England (also a Real Life example.)

Literature
  • Vorkosigan Saga novel Captain Vorpatrils Alliance: Ivan hurriedly marries Tej to give her Barrayaran citizenship and immunity to arrest by Komarran police. They intend a quickie divorce, but the judge (a friend of Ivan's) determines that no grounds for divorce in Barrayaran law are met and refuses. (In a society where arranged marriages are common, not being in love is not a ground for divorce.)
  • Cotillion by Georgette Heyer: Kitty needs a fiance due to family and inheritance pressures and to enable her to travel to London. She bullies Freddy into the role.
  • In Parker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie,
    • A young man comes to Pyne for help with his overbearing mother who refuses to accept the man's fiance. Pyne plans a complicated Operation: Jealousy that involves the man being seen with (and acting pathetically devoted to) a stunningly beautiful woman who's sure to irritate the mother even worse than the first girl, causing her to sympathize with the fiance. The plan goes off without a hitch, although the man does end up getting a crush on the woman (Pyne's assistant).
    • A similar plot is used in another story, but it goes completely wrong as the man falls head over heels in love with Pyne's assistant and says so in front of everyone (she herself has no feelings for him, since it's just another job to her).

Live-Action Television
  • As the World Turns: Simon and Katie entered a Citizenship Marriage so that he could stay close to Lily and eventually fell in love.
  • Grey's Anatomy: Teddy marries a patient because he has a chronic illness and cannot afford surgery so that he will be covered under her insurance. She originally has no romantic interest in him, but they fall in love, though he unfortunately dies shortly after.
  • In The Americans, Paul and Elizabeth Jennings were initially paired off by the Centre to pose as a couple so that they could work closely together without arousing suspicion among their American neighbors. After so many years together, they have grown to genuinely love each other. In the fifth season, they even decide to marry each other for real, in the traditional Russian fashion.

Comic Books
  • In Runaways, Karolina and Xavin's relationship initially began as a ruse to try and end the war between their respective species, but over time, they grew to care about each other.
  • Zig-zagged in X-Statix, where Phat and Vivisector initially became a couple as a desperate ploy to raise their popularity and discourage their publicity-hungry bosses from killing one of them for drama, but after the death of Edie Sawyer, they decided to pursue a genuine relationship... only to figure out that while they are both gay men, they're not actually attracted to each other.

Real Life
  • C. S. Lewis and Joy Gresham, as dramatized in the film Shadowlands.
  • Sofia Kovalevkaya (Korvin-Krukovskaya) couldn't follow her passion for mathematics in Russia, so she married Vladimir Kovalevskij to be able to leave Russia and study mathematics in Berlin, becoming the first woman to be awarded a doctorate in mathematics, and a prominent mathematician of her day. Their marriage became real enough that they had a daughter, although they latter separated.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • May 12, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Trope title is of course a play on Face-Heel Turn. Some examples I have harvested from The Beard and Become The Mask, having not actually read/viewed the source material.
  • May 12, 2018
    Koveras
    ^ Note that italics should only go around work titles, not trope titles in the text.

    • Flay Allster from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED initially seduces Kira to manipulate him into killing the people who murdered her father, but when they are separated by circumstances later on, she realizes that she has fallen in love with him for real.
  • May 12, 2018
    StrixObscuro
    Fixed the formatting and added missing wicks to the draft.
  • May 12, 2018
    4tell0life4
    ^ you haven't fixed the italics on the tropes, though...
  • May 13, 2018
    Arivne
    • De-italicized trope names. Only work names are supposed to be in italics.
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • De-Pot Holed work names as per How To Write An Example - State the source and Word Cruft - Technologically-aided obfuscation.
      • Replaced garbage text (caused by non-standard text characters) with standard text characters.
      • De-italicized a Creator name. Only work names are supposed to be in italics.
      • Blue Linked some TV Tropes page names.
  • May 13, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Thanks Strix Obscuro and Arivne for helping with formatting.

    I've edited to make the two variants more explicit, and added Koveras' Gundum example.
  • May 13, 2018
    eroock
    Subtrope of Becoming The Mask. Compare Perfectly Arranged Marriage when this trope plays out after a couple gets engaged against their will and Marriage Before Romance when spouses find out they are attracted to another only after a Marriage Of Convenience took place.
  • May 14, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    eroock: I think I've covered most this. Subtrope of Becoming The Mask is implied by it being the intersection of The Beard and Becoming The Mask. Perfectly Arranged Marriage isn't a match because there is no deception, and any overlap is already covered by the comparison with Marriage Before Romance. Marriage Of Convenience deserves a link somewhere - - I'll see where it fits best.
  • May 15, 2018
    eroock
    Your variant 1 seems to overlap with In Love With The Mark and Sex Face Turn. 3rd paragraph on The Bet alludes to a similar scenario.

  • May 15, 2018
    Miss_Desperado
    Hatted.
  • May 15, 2018
    Chabal2
    • Parker Pyne:
      • A young man comes to Pyne for help with his overbearing mother who refuses to accept the man's fiancĂ©e. Pyne plans a complicated Operation Jealousy that involves the man being seen with (and acting pathetically devoted to) a stunningly beautiful woman who's sure to irritate the mother even worse than the first girl, causing her to sympathize with the fiancĂ©e. The plan goes off without a hitch, although the man does end up getting a crush on the woman (Pyne's assistant).
      • A similar plot is used in another story, but it goes completely wrong as the man falls head over heels in love with Pyne's assistant and says so in front of everyone (she herself has no feelings for him, since it's just another job to her).
  • May 16, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    I've found a couple more relevant tropes: Fake Real Turn - mostly related by name. People fake some event/organization, then public enthusiasm for the fake forces them to make it real. Romantic FRT is not a subtrope. Fake Relationship: self describing. However I can't see any distinction between Fake Relationship and The Beard. As Romantic FRT is a subtrope of The Beard, and The Beard is indistinguishable from Fake Relationship, Romantic FRT is also a subtrope of Fake Relationship.

    eroock: Thanks, I agree all three of those tropes should be linked. I'll edit to do so, but not right now.
  • May 18, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Updated with the Parker Pyne example and erook's related tropes.

    Should the one deceiver and two deceiver cases be separate tropes? If so, what should they be named? Unless there is a strong consensus for a split, I'll leave them together, as they are now.
  • May 21, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Bump.

    I'll bump perhaps a couple more times, and abandon if it can't launch by then.
  • May 21, 2018
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • In Runaways, Karolina and Xavin's relationship initially began as a ruse to try and end the war between their respective species, but over time, they grew to care about each other.
    • Zig-zagged in X Statix, where Phat and Vivisector initially became a couple as a desperate ploy to raise their popularity and discourage their publicity-hungry bosses from killing one of them for drama, but after the death of Edie Sawyer, they decided to pursue a genuine relationship... only to figure out that while they are both gay men, they're not actually attracted to each other.

    Live Action TV
    • In The Americans, Paul and Elizabeth Jennings were initially paired off by the Centre to pose as a couple so that they could work closely together without arousing suspicion among their American neighbors. After so many years together, they have grown to genuinely love each other. In the fifth season, they even decide to marry each other for real, in the traditional Russian fashion.
  • May 22, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Added Strix Obscuro's examples, thank you.

    We need hats for this to happen. Unless five people hat it, it will fade away into the vast hoard of ghost tropes, forever in the shadow between life and death that is old TLP entries. If the hats do not come soon, I will let it go quiet into the night.
  • May 22, 2018
    Omeganian
    Concerning The Beard, the first two examples in the Fanfic section fit. I would know; I put them there myself.
  • May 25, 2018
    FiliasCupio
    Omeganian's two Fan Fic examples cut-and-pasted.
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