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Possessions Provide Popularity
A character is suddenly popular not because of their personality, but because of the thing(s) they have.
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(permanent link) added: 2013-02-05 13:13:32 sponsor: thewriter (last reply: 2013-06-17 20:32:02)

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Bob is a loser with no friends. Bob wins a new car. Now Bob has tons of friends, all of them want a ride in his new car.

Possessions Provide Popularity is when a character acquires a large amount of money, or front row tickets to a popular band, or something of a high value which garners him a lot of attention from others. Suddenly a character is very very popular and everyone starts kissing up to him; his friends compete with each other for his favor and women spontaneously find him outrageously attractive. Often the character realizes the leverage he now has over others and uses it to his advantage, essentially making others treat him as royalty. A variation is to have the character not realize the popularity they have acquired. Lots of Truth in Television.

Examples

Live-Action Television

  • Series/{{30Rock}} has in one episode the writers need to go New Jersey. Lutz claims to have a car, which makes him uber-popular among his buddies. He quickly devolves into a Jerkass abusing his new-found popularity and power. The twist is that Lutz doesn't have a car at all. When the others find out they surprisingly don't respond in anger, but rather with pity.
  • One episode of Victorious had her become Team Captain of a TV game show where the contestants could win 10,000 dollars cash. Suddenly everyone is mobbing her asking if they can be on her team.
  • An early episode of Austin & Ally had Austin gain access to an award show where several stars were going to be present, but he can only bring one guest. The rest of the gang start arguing and debating on who should get to go with him.
  • An inverse variation occurs on an episode of Friends. Phoebe is moving in with her new fiance, but he is making her get rid of a god-awful painting that has a creepy mannequin doll coming out of its frame. Monica and Rachel, trying to be nice, compliment the work. When Phoebe tries to give it to one of them, they both act modest and force reasons why the other person deserves it. However, whenever Phoebe isn't around the girls argue over who should get stuck with it.
  • Very common in advertising, where marketers try to convince people that if they buy the right car, clothes, cologne, or whatever the opposite sex will flock to them.
  • Pierre Bezukhov in War and Peace finds himself suddenly popular when his father dies and leaves him his enormous wealth. He doesn't fall for it, however.
  • Happens in one episode of The Simpsons where Lisa gets popular thanks to the giant pool in her backyard.
  • In the film Crazy People Dudley Moore plays an adman who has a breakdown and decides to make commercials telling people "the truth." This includes a print ad for a certain brand of luxury automobile which has the tagline "Jaguar: For men who'd like hand jobs from beautiful women they hardly know."
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