Playing With: Trophy Wife
Basic Trope: A (usually second or third) wife, who is a status symbol for her wealthy husband.
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- Straight: Bob was married to Alice, but then when his career took off, he had an affair with another woman named Betty, and eventually left Alice for her. Betty is younger and prettier than Alice, and probably much younger than Bob.
- Betty isn't that much younger than Bob nor a real beauty model, but Bob still married her as a symbol of status.
- Betty is young and beautiful compared to Bob, but Bob married her because he loves her and not as a symbol of status.
- Bob's marriage to Alice was unhappy; cheating with Betty was only a symptom (not a cause) of their fighting and eventual divorce. His relationship with Betty brings him happiness, but he isn't marrying her solely for her beauty.
- Bob lives in a time and place where polygyny is a way of displaying wealth, as well as ensuring a continuation of Bob's family line; the more wives and concubines he can acquire (and provide for), the better.
- Inverted: Bob was married to a beautiful young woman named Betty, but falls in love with (and leaves Betty for) his friend Alice. Alice is older and perhaps somewhat less physically attractive than Betty.
- Gender Inverted: Alice was married to Bob, but when her career took off, she had an affair with Charles, and eventually left Bob for him. Charles is younger and more handsome than Bob, and probably much younger than Alice.
- Double Subverted:
- But then his success goes to his head, and Bob gets himself a girlfriend while still married to Alice.
- Alice is young and pretty, and can spend at least some of Bob's earnings to keep herself looking that way.
- But she has a much nicer personality than Alice, as well as other charms that endear her to Bob.
- But they eventually do get married.
- Parodied: ???
- Zig Zagged: ???
- Enforced: Rule of Drama.
- Lampshaded: ???
- Invoked: Bob has been fighting a lot with Alice, because she's unhappy that he's at the office all the time. He meets Betty, and one thing leads to another, and he ends up in an ongoing relationship with her.
- Betty is able to convince Bob to leave Alice for her, as she's not content with "second place."
- Betty is a Gold Digger, looking to get a free ride.
- Defied: Bob feels that this is wrong, and he breaks up with Betty, and starts to put in more work on his relationship with Alice.
- Discussed: "Bob left a great woman like Alice for that Brainless Beauty?!"
- Conversed: "And what happens when Betty gets too old?"
- Deconstructed: Bob let his success go to his head, and that's why he ended up being unfaithful to (and eventually divorced by) Alice. He may have been unhappy when he was with her, and that led to fighting...and his negative feelings made him vulnerable to Betty's charms. Also, Betty may be young and beautiful now, but eventually she will become older, pudgier, and wrinklier...what then? And it's possible Betty only married Bob for his money...and what if she's a Black Widow?
- Bob decides that Alice has been there for him through a lot while he was getting his career together, so he focuses on building a stronger relationship with her, and breaking off his illicit relationship with Betty (or turning her down in the first place.)
- Bob divorces Alice, after realizing that his marriage to her is broken beyond all repair, and focuses on building a strong relationship with Betty. He makes sure that Betty loves him for who he is, not what he has.
- Played For Laughs: Betty is an absolute Gonk, who also has a repugnant and utterly caustic personality, yet Bob and everyone else reacts to her as if she was the most desirable woman on the whole world.
- Played For Drama: The Missus and the Ex.
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