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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/{{Titanic1997}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rich_poor_suitor2.jpg]]]]

->''"One of them is dark and poor\\
One fair with lots of money\\
I don't know which one to choose\\
The flower or the honey"''
-->-- '''Music/CelticWoman''', "At the Ceili"

One of the most common complications in the classic LoveTriangle scenario. Two men are vying for a women's affection. Who's the right one? It's hard to tell, but there's a good chance that one of them is considerably wealthier than the other, and he can provide security, glamour and the good life, while the other (who has a good chance of being an impoverished artist) can give none of the same. What are you gonna do?

Most of the time, it's going to be "go with the poor one," and the story will carry an {{Aesop}} that true love is worth more than material wealth. This makes sense if the rich one is a total bore or outright jackass, or the woman is just not in love with him as she is with the broke one. When done poorly, the rich one often ends up as the DesignatedVillain. This trope overlaps considerably with WrongGuyFirst and DisposableFiance, but keep in mind that the rich suitor is not ''necessarily'' wrong, first or particularly disposable.

This trope is most often "two men and one women" because of a sense that woman needs someone to 'provide for her'. This sort of logic ties into UnableToSupportAWife and generates part of this trope's conflict.

If the suitors are also a BettyAndVeronica pair, the dynamic will typically be either "[[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan poor but nice]] suitor vs. [[RichBitch rich but haughty]] suitor" or "[[AllGirlsWantBadBoys poor but exciting]] suitor vs. [[RomanticRunnerUp rich but boring]] suitor", being obviously slanted toward the poor suitor in both cases. In fact, having the rich suitor win or even be a decent, likeable person is a rare variation of this trope.[[note]]Administrivia/NotASubversion[[/note]] Perhaps the trope name should have been "Poor Suitor Wins" instead? The odd exception can happen though, with the rich suitor being a nice, decent person and the poor suitor being a male GoldDigger.

Compare GoldDigger, MealTicket, and UptownGirl. It can involve CompeteForTheMaidensHand.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/DrSlump'': In a episode of the remake, Arale had Obotchaman and the head of the school (Bawz) fight for her affection, in which it is shown that the Bawz comes from a wealthy family while Obotchaman live like any other villager (in the original anime and manga also works delivering milk). This also applies in the sequel manga Dr. Slump Returns, where we are introduced to Karte Karte the eldest son of a wealthy family of doctors.
* ''Manga/MaisonIkkoku'':
** Yusaku Godai is the poor college student, Shun Mitaka is the rich guy who only coaches tennis as a hobby. Kyoko Otonashi spent six years choosing between them, thanks to a rash of StatusQuoIsGod. [[spoiler: She chooses the Poor Suitor. The Rich one finds [[TheOjou a girlfriend of his own]] and they're happy together.]]
** Grandma Godai had a pair of these when she was younger and chose the poor one. However, she tells Kyoko to go for the rich guy since the poor one will only give her a life of misery.
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'':
** Miaka Yuuki is the Suzaku no Miko and main girl of the series. The rich suitor is Hotohori, the ''Emperor'' of Konan. The poor suitor is CountryMouse Tamahome. [[ForegoneConclusion Miaka chooses]] [[FirstGirlWins Tamahome]].
** [[spoiler:Hotohori's character novel and OAV, ''Suzaku Hi Den''. His future wife and empress Houki is in the middle of the LoveTriangle; Hotohori is the rich suitor, while his long-lost brother Tendou Shu is the poor suitor. This time, Hotohori wins and Shu ''dies''... in Houki and Hoto's arms.]]
* With a little bit of ShippingGoggles applied, ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'' can be seen as having this in the form of aristocratic and reliable [[{{Kuudere}} Austria]] and rough-and-tumble [[HotBlooded Prussia]] both being interested in [[ActionGirl Hungary.]] (Though Prussia is not shown to be ''that'' poor either.) Atypically, Rich Suitor Austria is [[OfficialCouple canonly]] the [[VictoriousChildhoodFriend victorious one]], but the fanworks that emphasize this trope the most are the ones that believe Hungary would be better off with the "more fun and passionate" [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Prussia.]] And they often apply DieForOurShip to Austria to "justify" why Hungary would dump him.
** For some fics, you can switch Prussia with Hungary's teenage-hood friend [[WholesomeCrossdresser Poland]] and it's similar. Including the DFOS, sadly.
** The Greece/Japan/Turkey LoveTriangle can also be viewed as this, considering Greece's PerpetualPoverty and Turkey's BlingOfWar and Greece/Japan being heavily favored in both canon and fandom.
* The LoveTriangle among police officers in ''Manga/DetectiveConan'' had local NonIdleRich Ninzaburo Shiratori against "poor suitor" and middle-class NiceGuy Wataru Takagi, both pining for the local ActionGirl Satou. [[spoiler: Satou ultimately chooses Takagi, after quite a while of CantSpitItOut. Shiratori eventually finds his FirstLove, local HotTeacher Sumiko Kobayashi, and they invoke ChildhoodFriendRomance.]]
* Rare female example in ''Manga/KaseiYakyoku'': the noblewoman Akiko Hashou and her maid Sara Uchida are this to Taka Itou, the male lead. [[spoiler: ''Neither'' wins. Though Sara came damn close, love declaration and night of sex included before things got worse.]]
** Played straight with Taka (Poor) and Saionji (Rich) for Akiko. [[spoiler: Neither wins, again. Then the female Poor Suitor [[PairTheSpares gets together]] with the Rich RomanticFalseLead.]]
* In ''Anime/HanaNoKoLunlun'', a beautiful young woman chooses a French sea captain over a rich Italian count. [[spoiler: That woman was Lunlun's MissingMom. And 18 years later, Lunlun meets the man who could've been her father... who turns out to be a rather kind-hearted guy.]]
* ''Anime/FutureGPXCyberFormula'' has Asuka Sugo involved in a love triangle between the middle-class guy and her longtime friend Hayato Kazami (poor suitor) and the [[BlueBlood aristocratic]] rich guy Karl Lichter von Randoll (rich suitor). [[spoiler: She eventually chooses Hayato, although it's almost pretty obvious on who she will choose.]]
* ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'': In one episode of Dokkan, Doremi had Akatsuki, the prince of the kingdom of the wizards (Rich Suitor) and Kotake her classmate of Misora (Poor Suitor) in which they fought in a game of sumo for her affection.
* ''Manga/NogizakaHarukaNoHimitsu'' has [[TheOjou Nogizaka]] [[UptownGirl Haruka]], the [[SchoolIdol wealthy and popular High School student]], who is the love interest of OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Ayase Yuuto, the "Poor Suitor" (middle-class but, if you compare him to Haruka and the "Rich Suitor"), and [[AlphaBitch Shute]] [[{{Jerkass}} Sutherland]], who demeans Ayase in any given opportunity. Ayase Yuuto's self-steem issues are more of an obstacle than Sutherland, who isn't even a regular character.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Manga/DokonjoGaeru''. Local HotTeacher Yoshiko Yamanaka is pursued by her co-worker Yoshio Minami (hinted to be from a rich family) and Sakakubei (Hiroshi's Big Brother Mentor who works as a sushi chef), but she ''completely'' [[ObliviousToLove fails to notice their interest in her.]]
* ''Manga/HonooNoAlpenRose'':
** Jeudi [[spoiler:(or rather, Alicia Brandel)]] is pursued by [[ManipulativeBastard George]] [[SmugSnake de Germont]], who is the local Count and [[NiceGuy Lundi Courtout]], who lives on the countryside. [[spoiler:She obviously chooses Lundi, as the Count (given his personality), never stands a chance.]]
** There's another triangle later, with ElegantClassicalMusician Leonhardt "Leon" Aschenbach as the Rich Suitor to Lundi's poor suitor. [[spoiler: In a variation, this happens ''after'' Lundi and Jeudi have gotten together, but by these days Lundi is MIA and believed to have died in a HeroicSacrifice, and not to mention Leon is portrayed much more sympathetically than the Count. When Lundi turns out to be alive and reunites with Jeudi, after some pep talks Leon accepts that he's the UnluckyChildhoodFriend and wishes them well, asking Lundi to protect her in his stead.]]
* Taichi and Arata, respectively, for Chihaya in ''Manga/ChihayaFuru'', though it only comes to play in the beginning, when Taichi actually [[JerkAss bullies]] Arata for the latter's poverty. Later on they technically remain RichSuitorPoorSuitor, but it doesn't have any impact on the situation, and Chihaya [[PassionateSportSGirl only cares about abilities in playing karuta anyway]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Medabots}}'': Both Ikki (Poor Suitor) and Koji (Rich Suitor) love Karin, who has yet to notice either's feelings for her.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''The Building'' by Creator/WillEisner, Helen had a college sweetheart poet who loved her, but instead chose to marry the more stable, richer dentist -- but ended up having an affair with the Poet because the marriage was ultimately loveless.
* In the early years of ''Comicbook/XMen'', ComicBook/JeanGrey had to choose between Warren Worthington, who was incredibly rich, handsome, charming and athletic, and had [[FreakinessShame wings]], and Scott Summers, who was a penniless orphan, skinny, massively introverted, and always wore giant nerd glasses lest he [[BlessedWithSuck blast someone's head off]].
* One of the stories in ''ComicBook/WhatIf'' v2 #60 (which was devoted to what-ifs about Jean and Scott's relationship) showed what would have happened if she did choose Warren over Scott. Basically, Scott's edges would have been even harder had she not been there to soften them, and he was an even bigger antisocial JerkAss than he is in the normal continuity. So much, that Professor X named Beast as the leader of the X-Men since he had compassion and cared to endear himself to his teammates. This caused Cyclops to storm off and [[FaceHeelTurn join the Brotherhood]].
* ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' had Mayda Munny (Rich Suitor) and Gloria Glad (Poor Suitor). Well, Gloria isn't exactly poor, but compare her to either Richie or Mayda.
* Not played with much, but in the John Romita days of ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'', upper-class socialite Gwen Stacy was the rich suitor and working-class party girl Mary Jane Watson was the poor suitor.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* GenderFlipped in ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog,'' where Prince Naveen, cut off by his parents, chooses to marry the rich [[SpoiledSweet Charlotte [=LeBouffe=]]] for her money... before falling for her poorer friend, [[Franchise/DisneyPrincess Tiana]]. It seems like he might have to marry Charlotte even after choosing Tiana, but [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy Charlotte does away with that issue herself]].
* Given a bit of a twist in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', where Jasmine falls in love with "street rat" Aladdin and doesn't much care for this Prince Ali who comes parading down the streets with an ostentatious display of wealth and possessions. The twist being, of course, that [[TwoPersonLoveTriangle "Ali" is]] [[LovesMyAlterEgo actually Aladdin]] who's been turned into a prince by Genie. Jasmine only begins warming up to him [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan when she figures this out and he begins acting more like himself.]] And it was not like she knew she had a choice between the "two of them", since [[BigBad Jafar]] lied to her by claiming Aladdin had been executed (as part of his plan to use Aladdin to get the lamp from the Cave of Wonders).
* In Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', [[CuteBookworm Belle]] has two suitors over the course of the film, the huntsman [[JerkAss Gaston]] (Poor) and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold The Beast]] (Rich), a prince who lives in a magnificent castle and whose servants make up much of the cast. She never shows any real interest in Gaston despite his obsessive pursuit of her, and eventually chooses the Beast aka the Rich Suitor [[TookALevelInKindness once she helps him realise that he must become a kinder person.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'' twisted this quite a bit with the two men who wished to marry Victoria. Victor, the rich suitor, was kind, but was of a NouveauRiche background while Lord Barkis (the poor suitor) was a {{Jerkass}} ImpoverishedPatrician.
* ''WesternAnimation/MoominsOnTheRiviera'' had Clark as the rich suitor and Moomin as the poor suitor for Snorkmaiden.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Johnny and Neil in ''Film/DirtyDancing.'' Provided, it doesn't hurt that Johnny is incredibly attractive and an extremely good dancer, whereas Neil is more or less a {{Jerkass}} loser.
* ''Film/AKnightsTale'': [[SpoiledSweet Jocelyn]] must choose between Count Ademar, the nobleman, and William, the squire disguised as a knight (and only a country knight of minor nobility at that, although his money situation improves as he keeps winning tournaments). Not a straight example because she thought they were both noble, but she was still willing to love William after she found out his true heritage.
* ''Film/MoulinRouge'': Satine must choose between the rich Duke ([[OnlyOneName that's his only name]]) and the young bohemian playwright Christian -- or, more poetically, between her diamonds-are-a-girl's-best-friend materialism and her desire to be free to love. And of course the a show-within-a-show they're planning has the exact same love triangle.
* ''Film/PrettyInPink'': Impoverished young Andie must choose between rich boy Blane and poor boy Duckie.
* ''Film/RealityBites'': Lelaina must choose between successful businessman Michael and slacker/philosopher/asshole Troy.
** Michael is a particular case of Designated Villain. He treats her well and uses his influence to try to start her career, but because that career may involve making compromises rather than just letting her Dad pay for things the movie tells us that [[ValuesDissonance the guy who treats her badly but never asks her to grow up is the one to go with.]]
* ''Film/{{Shampoo}}'': Jackie must choose between the rich Lester and the blue-collar hairdresser George.
* ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'': Slave girl Varinia (and, in a way, slave boy Antoninus) must choose between high-ranking Roman general Crassus and rebel slave leader Spartacus. She chooses Spartacus. [[spoiler: And then he dies. Crassus makes sure that Varinia is released and then [[{{Seppuku}} commits suicide]] to tell "fuck you" to his enemies.]]
* ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'': Rose must choose between the wealthy businessman Cal and impoverished artist Jack. Leonardo Dicaprio won.
* ''Film/WaynesWorld'': Tia Carrere must choose between lower-class Wayne and TV executive Rob Lowe.
* ''Film/WaynesWorld2'': Tia Carrere must choose between slightly-higher-classs Wayne and record executive Creator/ChristopherWalken.
* ''Film/MissPettigrewLivesForADay'' calls this trope boring, and gives Delissia LeFosse a choice between ''three'' suitors: charming club owner Nick, eager young Phil, or poor but passionate Michael.
* ''Film/SweetHomeAlabama'': Kind of.
* ''Film/{{Shopgirl}}'': Mirabelle must choose between a wealthy older man and a penniless younger man.
* ''Film/TwoMoonJunction'': April must choose between her wealthy fiancee and her newly found fling, who is a carnie. In the end, [[spoiler: she marries the rich guy, but ends up with the carnie, too.]]
* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'': Elizabeth must choose between her true love, penniless blacksmith Will or the older, wealthier Commodore Norrington. Unlike other examples, both guys are portrayed as good men and both genuinely love her. [[spoiler: She chooses Will. Norrington accepts it with grace and tells Will "IfYouEverHurtHer", but dies a while later.]]
* Played with in ''Film/ComingToAmerica,'' where [[KingIncognito Prince Akeem portrays himself as poor]] so that his future queen will love him for who he is, rather than how much money he has. In his fight for Lisa, he is up against Daryl, the money-rich but personality-poor heir to the Soul Glo fortune. Of course, it comes out that Akeem is really a prince, even with his father the King coming to fetch him back home. HilarityEnsues.
* ''Film/TheNotebook'': the rich guy is decent and very lovely.
* Played with in ''Film/JustFriends'' in which Jamie must choose between her former high school best friend who is now a {{Jerkass}}, a successful TheCasanova with a glamorous job in the music intustry and another former friend who has grown up into a nice, down to earth small town paramedic. [[spoiler: Except it turns out the {{Jerkass}} Rich Suitor is really a JerkWithAHeartOfGold while the supposedly nice Poor Suitor is a BitchInSheepsClothing [[RevengeOfTheNerd deliberately looking to break her heart for not noticing his crush on her in high school]].]]
* ''Film/TheFlintstonesInVivaRockVegas'': Casino owner Chip Rockfeller and quarry employee Fred Flintstone are rivals for Wilma's affections. The movie twists the trope by having Chip ''needing'' to marry Wilma, who's from a rather affluent family as well, to be able to pay his debts and stay wealthy.
* A rare male version in Creator/TylerPerry's ''Film/GoodDeeds''. Wesley Deeds has to choose between his fiancee Natalie (rich) or a down-on-her-luck single mother who is a janitor in his office building.
* ''Film/DiaryOfAMadBlackWoman'': when the main character Helen has to choose between her wealthy, disabled, but abusive husband (Charles) and a factory worker she meets, Orlando. [[spoiler: She zigzags between them because she at first chooses Orlando, then when Charles is paralyzed goes back to him, then finally chooses Orlando.]]
* ''Film/MrDeeds'': Deeds as the rich suitor; Babe's coworker and fake mugger as the poor suitor.
* Played with in ''Film/HighSociety'': Poor Suitor vs. SelfMadeMan Rich Suitor vs. Born Rich Suitor - the first is part of the BetaCouple; the second is very proud of his money, and the power it affords him; the third is incidentally rich and doesn't really display it. Not only does (one) Rich Suitor win; but out of the two rich men, the richer is the nice, artistic composer and singer, rather than a boring coal tradesman, and wins.
* Played with in ''Film/HowToMarryAMillionaire'': Schatze Page sets out to marry a rich man and finds herself torn between wealthy older gentleman J.D. Hanley and working-class stiff Tom Brookman. Although J.D. is a kind and caring man and Schatze gets along very well with him, she has much more chemistry with Tom and ultimately chooses him, only discovering afterwards that Tom is in fact a bona fide millionaire in his own right.
* In ''Film/IKnowWhereImGoing'', Joan Webster has to choose between Robert Bellinger, the owner of Consolidated Chemical Industries, or Torquil [=MacNeil=], the poor laird who has to rent his beloved Kiloran to Bellinger.
* Renata, a rich girl from the Mexican film ''Film/AmarTeDuele'' has to choose between Francisco and Ulises; the former is a JerkAss hinted to be the son of an influential politician and the latter who is a poor boy whose family sells clothes on the street. She does choose Ulises, but it [[StarCrossedLovers doesn't end well for them]].
* ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'': offers a rare gender-flipped, modern example. The second film has [[{{SpoiledBrat}} Sharpay]] using her social connections and scholarship opportunities to lure Troy away from his ordinary, middle-class girlfriend Gabriella. (Who is working with him at Sharpay's parents country club.) Troy is only ever interested in Gabriella, but Sharpay's interference does eventually break them up. [[spoiler: Until Troy realizes what's going on, tells Sharpay to go to hell and wins Gabriella back]].
* In ''Film/CafeSetareh'', Salomeh is engaged to Ebi, who is UnableToSupportAWife. When [[spoiler: Ebi goes to prison]], and a rich JerkAss begins courting her, she is genuinely conflicted and in the end [[spoiler: commits suicide.]]
* Brad and his billionaire brother, Farley are this for Janet in ''Film/ShockTreatment''.

* In ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'', Jerin's suitors include the neighbour girls [[ExoticExtendedmarriage (all of them)]], later on a noblewoman asks for his hand, and [[spoiler: the princesses want him, too.]] Jerin hopes his sisters won't make him marry the neighbour girls, who are not only poor but also uncivilised and brutish. He gets his wish because his sisters think they can get a higher brother's price by marrying him to a rich family, and at least his sister Eldest wants him to be happy, too.
* "[[http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-choice/ The Choice]]" by Dorothy Parker is a poem about a woman who has a choice between a man who offers her lands and fine things and a man who charms her with his singing alone. She chooses the latter without a second thought--and then wonders afterward if there's something wrong with her head.
* ''Literature/EnochArden'' plays with this trope. Annie Lee's two suitors fit the profile: Enoch Arden, a poor but ambitious orphan, and Philip Ray, the miller's son. However, she is never directly forced to choose between them, as when each one proposes, the other is not a candidate for her hand at the time. [[spoiler:She eventually marries both in succession.]]
* ''Literature/{{Holes}}'',
** During Stanley Yelnats's great-great-grandfather's story, Elya (the grandpa) is the poor one and he's up against a fat slob rich guy [[OldManMarryingAChild who's significantly older]]. The contest is decided by the size of the bride price, a pig, but they turn out to be the same size. The father lets the bride choose which one but she doesn't care. At that point Elya realizes she doesn't care about him and leaves in disgust.
** Even Elya faces this choice, sort of. In the old country, the girl he pursued was richer than he was but dumb as a brick. The one he ended up marrying in America, was a smart and capable farm girl.
* Deconstructed in Creator/JamesThurber's fairy-tale parody short story "[[http://www.nexuslearning.net/books/Holt_ElementsofLit-3/Collection%203/princess%20and%20the%20tin%20box.htm The Princess and the Tin Box]]", where a princess raised in luxury comes of age and is given a choice between many suitors. All but one are the "rich suitor", who present her with jewels in the hopes that she'll marry them only for them. The other has all the trappings of the "poor suitor", giving her only a tin box full of pebbles out of lack of anything else, which intrigues her because she's never seen anything like it before. The princess, after carefully considering everything...chooses one of the rich suitors. (The reader is admonished in the end that "All those who thought that the Princess was going to select the tin box filled with worthless stones instead of one of the other gifts will kindly stay after class and write one hundred times on the blackboard, ''I would rather have a hunk of aluminum silicate than a diamond necklace''.")
* In ''Literature/ManyWaters'', a sequel to ''Literature/AWrinkleInTime,'' by Creator/MadeleineLEngle, Yalith is pursued both by one of the nephilim, a powerful angelic being who promises her splendor and protection from the oncoming flood, and Sandy and Dennys, the twins from another time, who can't exactly promise a way to save her. However, [[spoiler: she [[TakeAThirdOption Takes a Third Option]] when she trusts in the seraphim, [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence who takes her away to be with God.]]]]
* In ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby'', the backstory had Daisy being torn between common soldier Jay who's away at war and wealthy JerkJock Tom. She chose Tom, but it's implied that she regretted not waiting for Jay and loved him more than she loved Tom. Jay returns even richer than Tom and begins successfully courting Daisy, only for Daisy to be ultimately too weak-willed and shallow to choose him over Tom and [[spoiler:Jay to get shot for trying to cover up a death Daisy accidentally caused]].
* In ''The Premature Burial'' by Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, there is a mention of a wealthy young woman named Victorine [=LaFourcade=], who was involved with a poor journalist named Julien Bossuet. She caved under pressure from her family, though, and married a prominent banker, who [[DomesticAbuse abused her]] until she fell ill and (apparently) died. Julien comes to her grave with the intention of taking a piece of her hair as a memento of her...only to find that she had been BuriedAlive! [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming He took her home and nursed her back to health, and they left France for America together.]] Later, when they return to France and he's challenged by the banker, Julien legally gets to keep her as his wife, because of the unusual circumstances and the decades that had passed.
* In Creator/AgathaChristie's ''Literature/DeathOnTheNile'', Linnet and Jacqueline are this to Simon Doyle. Linnet, the rich one, manages to steal Simon away from her poorer friend Jackie. Except that [[spoiler:it turns out Jackie was the victorious one all along; Simon always loved her and married Linnet, who he saw as just a ClingyJealousGirl, only so that he and Jackie could murder Linnet on a boat voyage over the Nile and inherit her money]].
** ''Death on the Nile'' also has a [[BetaCouple "beta" case of "rich suitor, poor suitor."]] Cornelia Robinson, the poor relation of a rich woman on the boat, is being courted by both the scraggly Communist agitator Mr. Ferguson and the successful, famous Dr. Bessner. She chooses the poor suitor [[spoiler: which turns out to be the doctor, who is comfortably well-off, but not spectacularly wealthy. Ferguson was a wealthy Lord, but Cornelia didn't care. She thought he was just as much of a {{Jerkass}} as an aristocrat as he was as a commoner.]]
* The second and third books in the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series run on this trope, with Bella having to choose between [[VampireWerewolfLoveTriangle Edward and Jacob]]. [[spoiler:Edward]] wins.
* The knight Palamon and the commoner Arcite for Emily in "The Knight's Tale" of ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales''. [[spoiler:Arcite wins the physical duel for Emily's hand but suffers fatal injuries when his horse throws him off during his victory celebration, making Palamon the winner by default. It's also worth noting that Emily prayed to Diana to either remain unmarried or become married to the man who loved her the most which implies that Palamon's love for her was purer than Arcite's, something that is usually not done with the rich suitor.]]
* Interestingly, one of the best-known classic romances is a deliberate and ruthless twist of this trope with the heroine initially despising the rich JerkAss who calls her not pretty enough to dance with and liking the poor but charming suitor who treats her like a lady. The rich guy turns out to be a DefrostingIceQueen who has a [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold heart of gold underneath his aloof demeanor]], and the poor guy [[BitchInSheepsClothing turns out to be a slimeball]] who seduces a naive girl just so that he can mooch off the girl's family. [[PrideAndPrejudice You should know the title of this work already.]]
* In the novel ''Les chiens et les loups'' by French Ukrainian-born writer Irène Némirovsky where the major theme is the contrast between the NouveauRiche Jews ([[GratuitousFrench les chiens]] aka the dogs) and the poorer Jews who still live in the ghetto (les loups aka the wolves), the protagonist Ada is a poor Jewish girl who is in love with her rich distant cousin Harry (who develops feelings for her after meeting her in Paris and starts an affair with her) but ends up marrying [[KissingCousins her first cousin Ben]] who has loved her all his life and shared with her a [[PerpetualPoverty rather unhappy childhood of poverty]].
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn'' DiscussedTrope and one of the many conodrums resolved by the Court of Love: if both are equal in all aspects except wealth then the fulcrum is the lady's own wealth. If she is wealthy she should chose the poor suitor because she could provide for him and 'love's greatest joy is providing for a lover's needs'. On the other hand, if she is poor then she should choose the rich suitor so he can take care of her. [[spoiler: After Arnaud proposes to her, Estela turns him down and tells him to wait for 'the heiress of his dreams'.]]
* A variation appears in the second book of the [[Literature/TheHungerGames Hunger Games trilogy]] where Katniss has to choose between Gale and Peeta. Depending on how you look at it, Gale can be the poor suitor and Peeta the rich suitor or the roles can be reversed. Gale was born in the Seam, like Katniss, and is by that definition the poor suitor. Peeta was born merchant, which doesn't make him rich but still better off than Gale, and after the first book he's got enough money to last for the rest of his life. On the other hand, Gale is a hunter who brings home fresh game and is able to support a family while Peeta is a painter and a baker who would probably be in trouble if he lost his Games' winnings. About halfway through the book it's clear that the one who won Katniss' heart is [[spoiler:Peeta]].
* Explicitly called out in ''1632''. The up-time Americans prefer the plucky young poor-but-earnest suitor, while the down-time Germans think the Americans are crazy and strongly prefer the currently wealthy suitor over one whose prospects are iffy at best.
* Even though few doubted who she'd wind up with, this is basically the plot of ''Literature/TheCourtshipOfPrincessLeia''. Leia gets courted by Prince Isolder, and Han naturally vies for her attention. He eventually tries to take it into his own hands by kidnapping her and taking her to Dathomir, which he won in a sabaac game. She agrees to give Han a week to convince her to marry him, and although there are complications because of things happening on the planet, she eventually agrees to marry him.
* Parodied in the spoof melodrama "Literature/SweetErmengarde". Young and innocent (or so she'd like you to think) Ermengarde has the standard melodrama heroine choice between 'Squire Hardman, a rich and evil DastardlyWhiplash who holds the mortgage to her father's land, and Jack Manly, the poor but honest and handsome young man who's loved her since their school days. Hardman gives up the pursuit halfway through the story when it occurs to him that, since he's threatening to foreclose on the land to force Ermengarde to marry him so he can inherit the land, it would be simpler just to foreclose anyway and leave Ermengarde out of it. He is then replaced by a different rich suitor, a city sophisticate who tempts Ermengarde into eloping with him, only for Ermengarde to push him out of a moving train when she realizes he's only after the land as well. Meanwhile, Jack has gone off to the city hoping to prove his worth by making his fortune and buying out the mortgage, [[spoiler:but comes back penniless and married to someone else. Ermengarde becomes rich through a LongLostRelative, buys out the mortgage, and then forces 'Squire Hardman to marry her so she can get his fortune too]].
* In ''Literature/SongOfSongs'' from Literature/TheBible, an alternate interpretation of the story between the Shulamite and her Beloved is that the Shulamite's Beloved ''isn't'' King Solomon, but a shepherd, and that the whole story is actually a LoveTriangle of the Shulamite dealing with two suitors -- King Solomon as the rich suitor and the shepherd as the poor suitor -- vying for her attention. By the end of the story, the Shulamite chooses the shepherd over Solomon, saying to the effect that all the money in the world wouldn't be enough to buy her love.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/FullHouse'': Donna Jo aka D.J. must choose between the abnormally rich Nelson and the flaky but sensitive guitarist Viper. She eventually chooses [[TakeAThirdOption neither]].
* Happens all the damn time in soap operas, usually with a [[{{Salaryman}} blue collar]] [[HellBentForLeather leather-jacket wearing]] [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys bad boy]] [[HiddenHeartOfGold with a heart of gold]] vs. a [[SmugSnake smug]], [[JerkAss arrogant]], [[MagnificentBastard suit-wearing bastard]]. The Poor Suitor almost exclusively wins.
** Happens so much that TheSeventies comic ''ComicStrip/{{Mafalda}}'' [[OlderThanTheyThink was already parodying it in one of their strips]]. Susanita's mother is replying to a phone survey about telenovelas and she starts blabbing about how she finds so horrible that the lead female ([[TheOjou "a girl from such a high-class family, you see"]]) is cheating on the rich suitor ([[HelloAttorney "a lawyer]], [[RomanticRunnerUp such a serious and nice boy"]]) with the poor suitor ([[MrFixIt "that guy from the mechanic place]], he may be handsome but he's a low-class worker - not that I have anything against workers, but..."). In the background, Susanita and Mafalda are ''very'' embarrassed.
** A notable exception in ''Series/DaysOfOurLives'' was the creation of the quite unconventional SuperCouple Jack and Jennifer. Jennifer (the classic girl-next-door type) had to choose between rich, arrogant, manipulative, snarky, corrupt, ex-rapist Jack Deveraux and sweet, caring, poor, leather jacket-wearing Emilio. Even though Jack was doing the typical Rich Suitor stuff like throwing his money around, demeaning the poor suitor and manipulating the situation to seem superior, he ''still'' got the girl and became one of the show's most popular characters for years to come while Emilio got cheated on and eventually fell off a roof and died.
* One episode of ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' was about a woman who had to choose between a rich man she didn't love and a poor man she did love, and her future self pursued her on a horse to warn her not to choose the wrong man. The woman ultimately chooses to run off with the poor man. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, ''he'' turned out to be the wrong choice her future self had tried to warn her against. The [[DeconstructedTrope poor guy was predictably lousy at handling money and ran the farm they depended on into the ground]].]]
* This is a common situation in the ''Series/GilmoreGirls''. Lorelai has to choose between gruff,working class, best friend Luke, and glamorous, flighty, childhood friend Christopher who belongs to the wealthy lifestyle she abandoned. [[spoiler: She picks Luke.]]
** In Season 6, her daughter Rory has a similar choice between rough, rebellious, [[SelfMadeMan writer]] Jess and overconfident, insanely rich, high-class society Logan. In an odd twist Logan wins (for reasons that are never really explained), he gets better but Rory breaks up with him later, leaving her ultimate partner unknown.
* The poor country vet James Harriot vs. rich Richard Edmundson for the hand of Helen Alderson in ''Series/AllCreaturesGreatAndSmall''.
** Happened in the book as well, and therefore, presumably, [[TruthInTelevision in real life]].
* Early episodes of ''Series/TheOC'' had this in the form of Ryan (poor) vs Luke (rich) competing for Marissa's love.
* The first season of the RealityTV dating show ''Average Joe'' had a plain-looking guy who owned his own company and a good-looking guy who wasn't even out of school yet as the final two choices for the girl, and she ultimately chose the latter. In a twist, her choice of the "poor suitor" was ''blasted'' by most viewers who felt that she chose him solely because he was better-looking than the "average Joe".
* Averted in ''Series/{{Frasier}}'': Niles leaves rich plastic surgeon Mel Karnofski for poor health care worker Daphne Moon, but he's already a wealthy psychiatrist so it was more about social status than wealth. Daphne herself leaves rich lawyer Donny for the equally-rich Niles -- it leads one to wonder if the writers made sure Donny was wealthy so that when Daphne chose Niles over him, no accusations of gold-digging could be slung around.
* In ''Series/DiaryOfAMadBlackWoman'', Helen has to choose between her abusive but wealthy ex-husband Charles, who is disabled by the end of the story, and Orlando, a poor factory worker. [[spoiler:At first she chooses her husband, because he is disabled, but then decides not to and chooses Orlando]].
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'' has the main character Emily Thorne being pursued by the wealthy Daniel Grayson and the comparatively poor Jack Porter. Though in something of a twist for this trope, while Daniel is wealthy by any objective standards, Emily is even more so and could probably equal Daniel's entire net worth with the money she loses in her couch cushions.
* At close to end of ''Series/FamilyMatters'', this happened with Laura between Steve (poor) and his counterpart-split-from-him Stefan (rich) who both proposed to her at the same time. At first, Steve attempted to take the decision out of Laura's hands by moving to Russia and performing a IJustWantMyBelovedToBeHappy, but in the end, Laura ended up choosing him.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' tried to play up this trope when Dan pursued Blair, to the point of actually calling him "the pauper" in promos. Apparently living in a large loft in Brooklyn, having gone to expensive private schools, having an über rich stepmother who gets you prestigious internships, riding around in limos, traveling the world and having published a best-selling novel and making a ton of money off the deal in your early twenties is the same as being poor. Ironically, the rich suitor in this scenario (Chuck) spent the first episodes of season four living on much more limited means than Dan ever did. Most fans found the pauper angle for Dan downright ridiculous.
* ''Series/{{Victorious}}'' has a play in ''Tori the Zombie'' in which the lead character is pursued by an obnoxious rich man and a kind valet.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' has Gwen's love interests, Prince Arthur and Lancelot who in this adaptation, is a peasant. A rare variant where Gwen ends up with the rich suitor due to a BettyAndVeronicaSwitch [[spoiler: and Lancelot's heroic sacrifice]].
* In ''Series/{{Dickensian}}'', Honoria Barbary is engaged to the poor soldier James Hawdon, but her sister Frances would rather she married the rich (and elderly) Sir Leicester Dedlock. (Readers of ''Literature/BleakHouse'' will be aware what choice she made in Dickens canon.)

* One of the stories in the Music/CelticWoman song "At the Ceili", as per the page quote. She picks [[spoiler:the poor suitor]].
* The Spin Doctors' "Two Princes" has the poor Prince (the singer) and the rich Prince (the guy with the diamonds and the rockets).
* [[Music/KanyeWest "Now I ain't saying she's a gold digger..."]]
* The Music/BillyJoel song "Uptown Girl", despite being vague about specific characters, makes numerous allusions to "high class toys" and refers to Billy Joel as a poor working-class Prince Charming, despite his commercial success.
* Music/PatsyCline mulls these over in her song "A Poor Man's Roses (Or a Rich Man's Gold)".
* Barry Manilow's ''Copacabana'' is the story of a dancer named Lola, who worked in the famous bar Copacabana and had the bartender Tony as her Poor Suitor (and the one she favored) and the rich client Rico as the Rich one. [[spoiler: When Rico "went too far", Tony leapt to face him - and was shot dead right there. Thirty years later, the ''Copacabana'' is a famous disco - and Lola, now a WhiteDwarfStarlet, still [[DrowningMySorrows drinks herself into a stupor there]], [[TheMourningAfter remembering her lost love]].]]

* This is the plot of ''Theatre/IlTrovatore''. The Rich Suitor is Count di Luna, the local prince; the Poor Suitor is an officer and troubadour with UsefulNotes/{{Roma|ni}} blood named Manrico, and both are in love with the Spanish Queen's LadyInWaiting, [[TheOjou Leonora]]. [[TearJerker It ends in tragedy]], [[spoiler: not just because Manrico is executed and Leonora is DrivenToSuicide... but because the Count later finds out that ''Manrico was his long-lost little brother'', whose kidnapping by UsefulNotes/{{Roma|ni}} drove him to hate them.]] Holy IronicHell.
* In ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'', Mimi is in a triangle with broke musician Roger and rich entrepreneur Benny (it didn't seem to matter that he was already married).
* In ''Theatre/SongsForANewWorld'' the singer of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vA2wgirBJc "Stars and the Moon"]] has a choice between three suitors, two who were poor, one wealthy.
* Josephine in ''Theatre/HMSPinafore'' has two potential mates, the wealthy Sir Joseph Porter and the lowly Ralph Rackstraw. She even has a dramatic aria comparing the two, though at other times she obviously favors the tar over the lord.
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'': Almost all of Portia's suitors are rich (princes, dukes, barons, etc), and Bassanio, a "poor...gentlemen" is the exception. Needless to say, he's the only one she's really interested in. A lot of the plot revolves around the fact that he's borrowed money from a friend in order to woo her.
* In "Fulgens and Lucres": the noblewoman Lucres must choose between two suitors: the thrifty but honorable Gayus or the filthy rich but depraved Cornelius. She decides to marry whoever is nobler, and has them both make speeches listing why they fit that description. Needless to say, the one who kept his speech short won.
* In ''Celebration'', the Orphan and Edgar Allen Rich struggle against each other to get the girl. Their names speak for themselves.
* Parodied in ''Theatre/TheRivals''. Lydia dreams of a romantic elopement with the impoverished Ensign Beverley, and rejects her aunt's attempt to marry her off to the wealthy Captain Absolute. What she doesn't know is that Beverley ''is'' Jack Absolute, who chose to woo her under an assumed identity because he spotted that she was a romantic and would never have given him a chance if she'd known how well-off he was. She spurns him when she finds out the truth, but realizes in the end that she loves him for himself, regardless of how wealthy he is.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The legend of Flemeth in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. The commonly-known story is that Flemeth was married to a wealthy lord named Conobar, but fell in love with a traveling bard named Osen and ran off with him. Morrigan, however, relays a very different version of the tale, supposedly told to her by Flemeth herself: that Osen was her husband, and Conobar a jealous onlooker. According to this version, Flemeth offered to ''[[PleaseIWilldoanything trade herself]]'' to Conobar, in exchange for his giving Osen wealth and power, which they both accepted; as Morrigan puts it, "love fades in the wake of hunger." Conobar, however, [[MurderTheHypotenuse had Osen murdered]] so he wouldn't have to keep up his end of the bargain. Flemeth eventually found out, and [[StartOfDarkness summoned up spirits to kill Conobar...]]
* ''[[Creator/ChoiceOfGames Choice of Romance]]'' plays this extremely straight with your main two suitors (not including the King/Queen) being wealthy but unattractive nobleman Torres and romantic but impoverished artist Mendosa. Picking Mendosa gives you a considerably happier ending where the two of you live a wild, love-filled life and eventually come into money too than if you pick Torres; while Torres is genuinely sweet and devoted to you, you never truly love him and wonder what could have been if you had followed your heart more.
* In the fighter's path in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'', you become lord of a manor. One of the challenges is to decides who to marry a ward of the estate to, the rich suitor or the poor one.
* Can be genderflipped in ''VisualNovel/TrueLoveJunaiMonogatari'', if the PlayerCharacter has enough love points with both [[spoiler: [[LonelyRichKid Remi]] ]] (Rich) and [[spoiler: [[GirlNextDoor Mikae]] ]] (more Middle-Class than Poor, but yea). It's the closest to a LoveTriangle in the whole game, since [[spoiler: the MC can romance ''all'' the girls at the same time (before deciding on one at the end)... but that '''can't''' be done with these two. It's either one girl or the other.]]
** Additionally, [[spoiler: this ''may'' be played straight in Mikae's path too, only with the MC as the Poor Suitor and TheCasanova Toshio as the Rich Suitor (he's implied to be from an upper-class family, unlike middle-class MC who has a part-time work).]]
* The 93rd Case of ''VideoGame/CriminalCase'' (i.e. the 37th Case in Pacific Bay) is essentially a ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' reference, where the murder victim is a poor artist who had been involved in an affair with an actress named Lizzie Dion, who is engaged to a wealthy but very possessive and controlling movie producer. [[spoiler:In an interesting twist, the rich suitor actually wins (sort of). The poor artist wanted to get Lizzie elope with him to Italy after impregnating her, but Lizzie realized that she loves her luxurious lifestyle that her fiancé could provide her more than having to live with a penniless dude for the rest of her life, so she killed the latter to cut off her ties with him]].
* Gender flipped examples abound in the ''[[Franchise/MassEffect Mass Effect]]'' trilogy. In the first game, we have [[ActionGirl Ashley]] the enlisted soldier whose career is going nowhere fast, competing with [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Liara]] the scion ([[IThoughtItMeant not]] [[VideGame/MassEffect2 that]] [[OurZombiesAreDifferent kind]] [[BodyHorror of]] [[BossInMooksClothing Scion]]) of a wealthy and influential matriarch among. Race of SpaceElves who are already the richest species in the galaxy. In the second game, you have [[FemmeFatale Miranda]] the "[[DesignerBabies daughter]]" of the richest man in the galaxy competing with [[AxCrazy Jack]], a convict who has just been sprung from prison. They all vie for the PlayerCharacter, with the first pair cornering you and asking you to choose, only if if you romance them both initially. The second pair is scripted to get into a fight no matter what, regardless of whether any romance has been initiated.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In the crossover between ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', Lois fell in love with the wealthy Bruce Wayne and Bruce somewhat fell for her in return. Clark felt jealous especially after he found out that Bruce was Batman. But that ended when Lois dumped Bruce when she found out that he was Batman.
** At the end of the two-parter, Bruce notes the irony to Clark that Lois is romantically into Bruce but not Batman and likes Superman but not Clark.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'': One story portrayed Tom as the poor suitor and Butch as the rich one. Seeing the girl eventually married to Butch [[DrivenToSuicide drove Tom to suicide]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Mr. Burns and Grandpa Simpson, for Marge's mother.