Created By: thewriter on February 5, 2013 Last Edited By: thewriter on June 17, 2013

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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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."
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • February 5, 2013
    Koveras
    • 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.
  • February 5, 2013
    Chabal2
    Happens in one episode of The Simpsons where Lisa gets popular thanks to the giant pool in her backyard.
  • February 6, 2013
    MokonaZero
  • February 6, 2013
    JoeG
    • 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.
  • February 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    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."
  • February 7, 2013
    arromdee
    "Possession" could be taken to mean being possessed by a spirit. Use "Possessions" instead.
  • February 7, 2013
    CthulhuIncarnate15980
    i agree with arromdee: the title is confusing when put out of context, so it should have a 's' at the end of 'Possession'
  • February 11, 2013
    313Bluestreak
    Religion
    • This is one of the main points behind the 10th and final commandment "Thou Shalt Not Covet". While the other 9 commandments are about outward actions, this commandment focuses on the human heart. For instance, a man has an inner desire for another man's wife, which is by definition committing adultery in his heart. In this case, you don't have to commit adultery outwardly, just by your heart. This is why God wants His people to love each other as human beings, and not because of the things they have.
  • June 16, 2013
    313Bluestreak
  • June 16, 2013
    TheHandle
    Deconstructed in The Great Gatsby, where the only thing the eponymous character achieved with his lavish parties and Shining Castle of a mansion was to have all sorts of nasty rumors be started about him, and garner bitterness and antagonism. When he died, his funeral was attended by only two people.
  • June 16, 2013
    Maxaxle
    I think there was a Rugrats episode about this. Something about Chuckie and a trike.
  • June 17, 2013
    Melkior
    Comic Books:
    • Made into an Anvilicious Aesop in a Harvey Comics story about "Hot Stuff, the Devil Kid". Hot Stuff gets a magic wishing ring and after wishing for a castle and "all the gold in the world", he wishes for a party, friends and fun. But when he talks to the people at the party, he immediately realises that they're only there for the food and fun and want money from him. They're not real friends at all.
  • June 17, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Anime
    • The character No-Face from Spirited Away comes to Yubaba's bath house, and rewards the staff that bring him goods and services with gold nuggets. Most of the bath house servants tend to No-Face, neglecting their other duties, unfazed that No-Face has devoured a few servants and grown many times his original size. An angry Yubaba wises everyone up: No-Face's gold is an illusion. He's been passing out poo all along.
  • June 17, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The episode The Ticket Master had the protagonist get two tickets to the Grand Galloping Gala. The problem? She has 5 friends (6 if you count Spike, who seemingly didn't want to go until the end). Thought it was only between the Mane 6 until Pinkie Pie blurted out that Twilight had the tickets. Also played with in that Twilight doesn't accept the favors (She's Genre Savvy enough to know that they're sucking up to them, but with the result of being less sure of who to give the tickets to). And ultimately subverted when Twilight returns the tickets only to get a letter with enough for her friends.

    Also, from the A Fool And His New Money Are Soon Parted page:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=tv6epac2ihmgdfvdgjd4aexq