"He's faster than a bullet, stronger than a train
He's the one who got lucky, got his cape around Miss Lois Lane
I can't believe my dilemma is real
I'm competing with the Man of Steel."
Envy and jealousy are among the most powerful motivations in both fiction and Real Life
. The Bible
condemns it in many places, most famously in the Ten Commandments, and it's also one of the Seven Deadly Sins
Envy is the desire for some object, item
or abstract notion (such as love
or power), which can lead to hatred of the possessor(s) of said object. If they cannot secure the object for themselves, the envious party may go so far as to harm or ... eliminate
the possessor. If they're egocentric enough
, they may even destroy/kill the object
. The Envious party may not have coveted the object at all until they saw another person having or enjoying it.
Similar to but distinct from envy is jealousy, which applies much more to relationships. Jealousy is the fear by the possessing party of losing the object. For those in a relationship, this means fear of being supplanted in the object's heart by someone (or even something
else). To be precise, envy is the desire for something one does not have whereas jealousy is the fear of losing that something. Both result in similar behaviour.
Envious and jealous characters on the losing side of a Love Triangle will often fall into the trap of assuming things about their competitor - or 'competitor'
. Such characters are seldom portrayed positively - most are villains - and as such they tend to assume some rather bad things about their rivals
. Expect to see some What Does She See in Him?
on their parts. Furthermore, they may slander
their rivals with accusations of unsavoury actions and/or attribute base motives (such as pride
) to their actions. Whether they actually believe there is a fundamental truth to such slander
- or have even been manipulated by a third party - plays a big part in determining audience sympathy for them.
This is the motivation behind the bad kind of Dead Person Impersonation
. A Genre Savvy
character may attempt to exploit this with Operation Jealousy
. See also You're Just Jealous
. Feet of Clay
or Shrouded in Myth
may prove that the envy was unmerited — often to the glee of the envious. On the other hand, a story about the Lonely Rich Kid
or some other Sour Grapes Tropes
may demonstrate that the envy is wrong because the envied person really suffers more than the person doing the envy (and not because it's wrong to hate people for what they have).
Romantically, may stem from being Love Hungry
and lead to a desire to Murder the Hypotenuse
— or be sacrificed because I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
. Occasionally, it can actually overcome Cannot Spit It Out
— Operation Jealousy
may overtly attempt to engineer this — or lead to
a Love Epiphany
. A man driven by it will often unreasonably doubt whether a child really is his.
Because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, frequently two characters envy each other, as when an ordinary child envies the gifted child's abilities and rewards
, and the gifted child envies the ordinary child's freedom from pressure.
When the trope is not connected to love, but rather based on a character's envy of another's talent or success, they are Driven by Envy
. The Lancer
(among heroes) and The Starscream
(among villains) are particularly prone to the Green-Eyed Monster. The Dark Magical Girl
often envies the Magical Girl
. Inspiring envy is a defining trait of The Minnesota Fats
, and feeling it, of Clingy Jealous Girl
, Crazy Jealous Guy
, the Fairest of Them All
, and The Resenter
. The Yandere
is defined by it. The Daddy's Girl
, inspired by it, may regard any
possible stepmother as a Wicked Stepmother
, even if she's truly the sweetest person in the world. Divided We Fall
is often motivated by it.
One of Mary Sue
's more noticeable traits is that many characters do not suffer from the Green-Eyed Monster about her, regardless of how plausible it is that they would not envy her gifts or be jealous of her romantic success. Either that, or the Mary Sue
(specially the of Sympathetic Sue
kind) will suffer horrific, mean-spirited attacks inspired by the Green-Eyed Monster, specially if it's from the character who poses the biggest threat to her and her beau's True Love
Oddly enough, not
correlated with characters who have Green Eyes
. Not related to the 37-foot high left field wall
at Fenway Park in Boston
, unless you're envious of someone else having a ballpark with something cool like that.
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- In Flash Gordon, Dale's attempt to vamp the king of the hawkmen into sparing Flash backfires when his jealous favorite pushes her from the tower.
- In WHO dunnit, Trixie sees Victoria as a threat to her (one-sided) relationship with Tony.
- La Tigresa as reigning WWC Women's champion, was jealous when Amarillis was brought into the company, correctly believing she would soon be challenging for her title. She was also envious of the fact people gushed more about Amarillis being pretty than they did about Tigresa, which lead to Tigresa attacking Amarillis in an attempt to ruin her good looks, which lead to Amarillis challenging for the title.
- Pablo Marquez coveted La Tigresa, who was the girlfriend of Lightning, so he tried to break up their relationship even though that would likely have La Artilleria Pesada coming down on his head.
- While Los Guerreros were a very successful and popular tag team, it was clear the fans vastly preferred Eddie Guerrero to Chavo Guerrero Jr, which caused the latter to turn on the former out of envy and resentment.
- Envy was Matt Hardy's reason for turning on his more popular brother Jeff almost every time.
- In Ring of Honor, envy was what drove Christopher Daniels to feud with Low Ki, ROH's first Champion, and Steve Corino, boyfriend of his crush, Simply Luscious. Elsewhere, this is what sets Daniels against his more successful tag team partner AJ Styles.
- Paul London was jealous towards his friendship with AJ Styles, which he was afraid The Amazing Red and Alexis Laree were going to take away from him.
- Jillian Hall used to have a friendly rivalry with 2005 Diva Search winner Ashley Massaro, until Ashley posed for Playboy and got a lot of attention, including a spot in a Timbaland music video. As an aspiring singer, Jillian was also envious of Lillian Garcia getting to sing the national anthem and having a more notable music career (or so WWE would have you believe. Jillian's album actually made more money than Lillian's)
- Jimmy Jacobs was an especially obvious case, yet "The Lovely" Lacey either did not notice or did not care how much she provoked it out of him by all but throwing herself at Colt Cabana, catering to all his needs while treating Jacobs like crap.
- Tamina Snuka and Aksana wanted the jobs of The Funkadactyls, valets to Brodus Clay. Clay himself got jealous when the Funkdactyls started valeting for Xavier Woods at R-Truth's request.
- In Old Harry's Game, this really seems to be Satan's preeminent sin. At least Once per Episode, to the point of Catchphrase, the Professor alleges that Satan hates and corrupts various aspects of human life because, "You're just jealous." This accusation is born out by the fact that Satan is clearly very self-loathing. Also interesting is that while Satan's Fall was mostly God just being a dick, it's indicated that he wanted to be top Angel and was jealous of any others being put above him. Finally, we're told (since it's a radio show) that Satan has green eyes.
- The page pic and caption about the Green Eyed Monster come from William Shakespeare's Othello, also the Trope Namer. The tragedy of the play comes about because of misplaced jealousy on the part of the title character because of a horrible lie about his wife Desdemona told by Manipulative Bastard Iago, who many say was himself motivated by envy toward Cassio, who Othello promoted instead of him.
- The hashihime, sometimes translated as "bridge princess", is a figure from Noh theater who either committed suicide or openly cursed her cheating husband, and was turned into a bridge-haunting spirit.
- Miou in A Profile is extremely jealous of Masayuki's stepsister Rizu after Masayuki broke up with her to repair his relationship with said sister. How she reacts varies by route, but the story goes out of its way to show that she does have a point due to the circumstances involved.
- School Days: Sekai and Kotonoha. VERY jealous of each other because they both like Makoto. The most infamous endings (as well as the one for the anime adaptation) have things ending very, very badly as a result.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni features Leviathan, the second of the Stakes of Purgatory. She's a whiny crybaby who envied her sisters for seven days. However, not even her envy is a match for Kyrie who envied Asumu for eighteen years. Leviathan develops a bit of a crush on her after that.
- In one of the bad endings for Bionic Heart, the main character's new android love interest murders his ex-girlfriend when she becomes jealous of all of the time that the protagonist spends with his ex.
- In one Mario animated video online called "The Color of Envy", Luigi, jealous of Princess Toadstool favoring Mario, frees Wario from the dungeon, kills all the guards who oppose him, and throws Mario in the dungeon.
- Dr. Horrible's envy of Captain Hammer fuels everything he does. It starts out with perpetual envy and disgust of Hammer's success and the (arguably undeserved) worship the city gives him, but what really drives him over the edge is envy/jealousy over Hammer dating the girl he's had his eye on, and Hammer gloating about it to rub it in his face, to boot. It doesn't end well. At all.
- Part of why The Nostalgia Critic's a Bad Boss. Reviewing is the only thing he has so he's freaked out by people going into his territory and doing it better than him (or so he thinks).
- The Nostalgia Chick and Obscurus Lupa are friendly at first (or as friendly as the Chick can be), but when Chick discovers Lupa has Todd's affections but doesn't want them, she's so jealous that she tries to kill the redhead.