Just For Fun: Come for the X, Stay for the Y

"John Cena may put asses in seats, but Charlie Haas will make them sit on the edge."
—The Urban Dictionary

You're browsing around, and you find out about something that looks neat. A new TV show, a new movie, a new book, maybe a video game. You don't know anything about it, but it looks neat. Something about it jumps out at you. Could be the humor, could be the action, could be the eye-candy. So you decide to try it out.

And it turns out the show is pretty good, too, and you like it. But over time, you start to like it for a completely different reason. This show with the cute lead character actually has an interesting side character with an in-depth story that you're really getting into. Or this movie might be very funny, but it also has some great undercurrents of drama that you weren't expecting, and that really jump out at you. Either way, you end up really liking the show/movie/book/game/etc for a reason completely different from why you started to check it out.

This is an example of Come for the X Stay for the Y. You originally start to get into something for reason X, but in the end, it's reason Y that causes you to get hooked and stick around.

See also Sex Sells, which is probably the largest sub-trope of this. Watch It for the Meme may lead to this. Compare I Read It for the Articles and contrast Just Here for Godzilla (where the X is all that matters to them).


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 


    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 


    Pro Wrestling 
  • ECW: Come for the bloodshed and Garbage Wrestling, stay for the incredibly well-done matches, surprisingly deep characterization, brilliant promos, and awesome commentary from Joey Styles. This is as opposed to the WWE-backed ECW Revival, where you come for the name, and stay for Matt Striker's awesome commentary.
  • WCW: Come for the nWo, stay for the cruiserweights.
  • TNA: Come for Kurt Angle and Sting, stay for the X-Division.
  • CHIKARA. Come for the Funny Animals, stay for the brilliant wrestling and intricate storylines.

  • Beach Volleyball: Come for the Fanservice, stay because it's actually an exciting sport.
  • Cycling: Come for the workout. Stay because it's saving you $100/wk in gas and meds.
  • Super Bowl: Come for the football, stay for the commercials (sometimes the main reason people are watching the Superbowl, except maybe hopes for another Wardrobe Malfunction).
  • Swimming: Come for the sexy girls/guys in skimpy clothes. Stay for the exercise, competition, and even more hot people in little clothing.
  • Tactical shooting: Come because it looks badass. Stay because you really are having a great time becoming a badass.
  • Ice Hockey: Come for the fights, stay for the spectacle of the world's fastest team sport.

    Tabletop Games 


    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • College: Come for the additional education, stay for the shenanigans.
    • For some, it's the other way around.
    • And for yet others, it's come because you can't get a job without a degree, stay because... you can't get a job without a degree.
    • Come for your parents, stay because you're getting your $30,000's worth.
    • Surely it's come to avoiding getting a real job and laze around for a few years, stay for the realisation of how much money you have spent on it.
    • Come for the food, stay for the wireless and free movies. (Honestly, a school that shows movies every week on a 232 inch screen between the time when they leave the theatre and the DVD release? Awesome.)
    • Come to get away from your family, stay because your friends there have become your new family.
  • Life itself: Come for the fact that your mom birthed you, stay your friends, the internet, tv, and money.
  • Ohio: Come for the college, stay because you're too lazy to move again.
  • The Gym: Come to lose weight, stay for the endorphin addiction.
    • or stay for the girls.
      • Or guys.
  • Your Career: Come for the chance to work in your specialist field, stay for the paychecks that allow you to have a roof over your head, food in your belly, a place to rest your head, and clothes to cover your body.
    • Come to work for an honest pay, stay as a home away from home.
  • The Internet: Come for the vast stores of news and information, stay for teh joeks! (Or teh pr0n, depending on your libido.) (Or the "innovative" spelling, if you've been online for any given length of time.)
    • Applies for TV Tropes. A huge number of people found TV Tropes searching for lolita and incest. The picture of someone coming to their stuff and then get sidetracked for hours just seems inherently funny.
    • Come (in the '90s or very early '00s) for the technological novelty, stay (forever after) because there's so much stuff to addict you...
  • Caffeine: Come for the quick pick-me-up it gives you, stay for the ability to ward off the waiting crash and burn.
  • Acetaminophen (Paracetamol): Come for its ability to treat a cold's aches and pains, stay for its ability to lower your fever.
  • Life: Come because you've been kind of forced into it, stay because...well there aren't any real alternatives.
  • Our Dumb World on Malawi: "Come for the food shortages, stay because you've died."
  • Sad example: North Korea (if you're Japanese or South Korean): Come because they invited you, stay because they won't let you leave.
  • Whatcom County, WA — come on vacation, stay on probation...
  • Dark chocolate. Come because it's delicious, stay because it's a natural source of antioxidants. And delicious.
  • Movie posters and advertisements run on this trope. See Covers Always Lie for more.
    • On its website, Kentucky Fried Chicken postulates that its customers come for the chicken, and stay for the mashed potatoes.
  • Food: Come for the deliciousness, stay because your newly-gained fat won't let you do otherwise.
    • Fast Food: Come for the convenience, stay because it's delicious.
  • Sarcasm: Come to subtly vent about your life, stay because you've corrupted your innocence.
  • Ballet: Come for the dancing and story, stay for the panty shots.
    • Or vice versa (also applies to figure skating).
  • Getting a pet: Come for the Ridiculously Cute Critter (or Ugly Cute depending on the species), stay for the bonding and unconditional love.
  • Firearms: Come because you think it looks cool. Stay because it's more fun than anyone ought to be allowed to have and it teaches you vital defensive skills.
  • Anime: Come for the Fanservice (or Gorn), stay for the deep stories and tragedy. Or the Moe. Or the Awesome. Or all of the above.
  • The United States of America: Come for the American Dream, stay because you're doing better than you did in the old country.
  • Military: Join because of your deluded childhood fantasies, stay because you don't want anyone else to go through the hell you go through every day.

Alternative Title(s):

Came For The X Stayed For The Y, Come For The X Stay For The Y