Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist is a Miraculous Ladybug fanfiction.
Marinette Dupain-Cheng is done. Done with dealing with lying liars who lie like Lila Rossi, and those to flock towards her lapping up every last lie. Done with Intrepid Reporters who won't verify their sources, but expect her to do the legwork for them. Done with Fair Weather Friends who turn on her at a moment's notice. Done with Collège Françoise Dupont.
Like many other writers, caterinawrites was inspired by the events of "Chameleon" to address their concerns. Thus, Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist follows our heroine as she changes schools and makes for a fresh start. Each chapter is named for a different song that would fit nicely into such a playlist.
As of January 2021, the author has begun releasing a "Remix" version, which will be available exclusively on her tumblr until it has surpassed the original in terms of chapter count. The original can currently be found on Archive of Our Own for now.
This Fanfic contains examples of:
- Adaptational Super Power Change: The Rabbit Miraculous goes from 'time travel' to Thinking Up Portals, as the author thought the former was too powerful an ability (Which may be Dramatically Missing the Point, considering the Zodiac jewels are supposed to be more powerful than the regular 7).
- Affluent Ascetic: Despite all the money she makes later in the story, Marinette doesn't really change her lifestyle that much, aside from getting a car, chauffeur and a PA.
- Armor-Piercing Response: Ladybug hits Alya with two of these in a row during a Media Scrum:Alya: Ladybug. Um, I was hoping to get an answer to a question many of my followers have. What happened to Rena Rouge, and will Malin be a permanent replacement, or just a temporary stand-in?
Ladybug: I only give out Miraculouses to those I trust. No more questions. Bug out.
Alya: Wait! Lila Rossi, a good friend of yours, said that you always consult her before giving out Miraculouses. Is this true?
Ladybug: That girl is no friend of mine.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: How Chloé decides to help defeat Lila, though with a twist: they'll make everything Lila lies about actually happen, only with Marinette appearing at the events. Beating her flimsy deception with real work.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Under Lila's influence, Alya gradually becomes her equivalent to Sabrina: her heavily manipulated Beta Bitch who clings to her toxic friendship, looking up to and supporting her almost unquestioningly.
- Betrayal Fic: While some of those who turned upon her eventually get some Laser-Guided Karma for their actions, the primary focus here is on Marinette coping with their betrayal and moving forward.
- A Birthday, Not a Break: Downplayed; Adrien officially emancipates himself on his eighteenth birthday, and has to remind Emilie of this before leaving the manor for the last time.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Not only is Lila this, she paints both Marinette and Ladybug as such, specifically calling the latter a Control Freak.
- Bittersweet Ending: More sweet than bitter, overall. Adrien has to deal with the knowledge that his father abused the Butterfly Miraculous (and that Emilie did the same with the Peacock). Similarly, Alya must cope with the heavy realization of how she was manipulated, and how much Lila changed her for the worst. Then there's how the Miraculous Team must retire for good, with Master Fu, Tikki and Plagg promising to keep in touch.
- Broken Pedestal:
- Alya's faith in Ladybug takes a shattering blow after she's replaced as the Fox Holder, with Lila convincing her that the heroine is much worse than she presents herself as.
- Adrien copes with this regarding both of his parents after discovering that his father was Hawkmoth, and subsequently realizing that his mother's coma was magically induced and came about due to Emilie misusing the Peacock.
- The Bully: Gabrielle and her boyfriend Thomas, who find that Marinette isn't about to let their bad behavior go unchallenged.
- Bullying a Dragon: Despite her 'victory', Lila isn't quite willing to let Marinette go, gleefully attempting to needle and work her way further under her skin at every opportunity.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Ultimately, she sets in motion her own downfall when she forcibly kisses Adrien at the museum, both to spite Marinette and to further dig her claws into him. This prompts Marinette and Adrien to start working against her in earnest.
- Cassandra Truth: Yes, Lila's a terrible liar, but convincing others of that when they're all wrapped up in her fantastic yarns and won't hear anything against her is easier said than done.
- Cast Full of Rich People: Every heroic character is either rich and connected from the start, or ends up rich by the end. The only people in the story who don't own private jets or huge mansions are Marinette, the main antagonists, and background characters. Everyone else is just rolling in their parents' dough.
- Celebrity Lie: One of Lila's favorite tactics — claiming to personally know various big-name celebrities, or even that she's directly related to them.
- Critical Research Failure: In-Universe, Lila is more than a bit of a Know-Nothing Know-It-All, making claims that could be easily disproven by anyone willing to investigate... or just know the subject matter better than she does, as Martin demonstrates:Lila: Lots of people are nice, but not everyone can claim to be the great-grand daughter of the world-famous piano player Victor Laurent. [Hair Flip]
Martin: Victor Laurent didn't have any children. He died alone at the age of 72 from pneumonia.
- Dartboard of Hate: Mentioned to be used by Adrien, once Hawk Moth's identity is revealed.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Over time, Gabrielle gradually becomes one towards Marinette, to the point that they eventually admit that they're glad to have her as a friend.
- Didn't Think This Through: Before summer break, Lila tells her classmates that she's going to be visiting Achu. Maintaining this lie means she's effectively under self-imposed house arrest for the next two months, seething while others enjoy the holiday. Can't risk being seen, after all. She even rejects akumanization to avoid blowing her own cover!
- Disappointed in You:
- Marinette expects to hear this from Adrien when he drops by the bakery shortly after she transferred out, presuming that he's going to lecture her about it. Instead, he's more disappointed in himself for not realizing sooner how much pressure she was under.
- Later on, she worries about this again when she decides to team up with Chloé, unaware that Adrien has been working with her as well. She's quite surprised when he apologizes to her, stating outright that she's likely disappointed in him.
- Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Gabrielle has one... or at least, feels this way about working at a little café;, given how her family has paraded around their status for generations.
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: In the finale, Alya tells a disinterested Lila that she's forgiving her purely for the sake of her own personal closure, putting what happened behind her so she can move on. Along similar lines, Adrien tells his father that he's forgiving him, but won't allow him to have any part in his life moving forward.
- Heel Realization:
- Adrien realizes that his advice about leaving Lila be was ill-considered after Marinette transfers. This is followed by a stronger reality check when Marinette explains how she threatened her in the bathroom and almost got her akumatized.
- Alya skirts close to one after Rena's replacement, but Lila convinces her that she's a victim of Revenge by Proxy instead. She finally gets one that sticks on the day the Miraculous Team defeats Hawkmoth.
- Hero of Another Story: The fallout of the news that Gabrielle's family is bankrupt is implied to be massive and ends with her becoming a social pariah, however, since it's not pertaining to the main story, the details are skipped over entirely and her character slowly fades into the background.
- Heroic Neutral: After leaving her old school, Marinette effectively becomes this regarding the conflicts there; she was involved before and it didn't work out, so why should she get involved again?
- Hoist by Her Own Petard:
- Lila making up grand-sounding claims about how she's spending her summer vacation effectively force her to stay inside so that she doesn't risk being spotted by anyone. Not to mention how her lies trap her on a larger scale in the long run...
- Alya choosing to trust Lila over Marinette leads not just to her losing her best friend, but Rena Rouge's retirement. Subsequently choosing to accept Lila's version of events over Ladybug's leads her to delete the Ladyblog, effectively scuttling one of her greatest dreams with her own hands.
- Ignored Epiphany: Alya comes achingly close to realizing the truth after Malin's debut and Ladybug's cold reaction to her, but accepts Lila's version of events that lets her see herself as an unfortunate victim of circumstance.
- Impoverished Patrician: As it turns out, Gabrielle's formerly well-to-do family has gone bankrupt, much to her shame and frustration. Adrien, too, takes a hit to the family fortune once his father's "hobby" becomes public, but Marinette's talent makes it less of an issue.
- Improbable Age: Marinette manages to become a world-famous and coveted designer, and founder of a number of charities and get filthy rich being only fourteen years old. By around sixteen she is already meeting up with ambassadors from all Europe to launch a continent-wide ecologic campaign. Keep in mind that, while at this point her social circle consists entirely of rich kids, all of them are rich because of their parents, while Marinette managed it on her own.
- Internal Reveal: Several major revelations are made in the final three chapters, chief among them Alya finding out about Lila's true nature, the Miraculous Team discovering Hawkmoth's true identity, and Adrien figuring out that his mother wasn't entirely innocent.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Chloé is blunt and uncaring about voicing her opinions and views but quite a few times she is right about what she's saying.
- She brings up how much of a pushover Adrien and is absolutely right about him being an Extreme Doormat, something Adrien does realize is true and starts working to correct it.
- When Chloé insults Alya for turning against Ladybug Adrien protests that Alya is being mislead by Lila. Chloé fires back that Alya chose to listen to Lila and refuses to hear anything that doesn't fit her biased views, so it's not their fault she's acting up.
- Chloé's belief that they have to face Lila head on and be just as mean does hold some merit. Marinette and Adrien both chose to avoid dealing with Lila directly and it only made her worse without any one to stand up to her. Not to mention softer methods would be likely to fail against Lila given what she's pulled off so far.
- Manipulative Bitch: Lila, towards everyone — but particularly focusing upon Alya, exploiting her hurt and frustration to wind her ever tighter around her little finger.
- Musical Theme Naming: Each chapter's name references a different song.
- My Beloved Smother: In retrospect, Adrien comes to realize that his mother was this. He calls her out on it during the finale.
- Never My Fault:
- Lila exploits this to keep Alya on her side after Rena Rouge is replaced. While Alya is questioning herself, Lila crafts a narrative in which she's simply been caught in the crossfire and did nothing to actually warrant Ladybug's frostier attitude.
- When directly confronted in "Forget Me Now", Lila bluntly confirms how she lied, then turns it right back around on her accuser:Lila: Say what you want, but I'm not the one who turned my back on [her]! How much did Marinette do for you, only for you to abandon her so quickly?
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Lila's false stories about all her 'charitable works' become actual charitable events helmed by Marinette and her supporters.
- Noodle Incident: Although Adrien eventually comes to the conclusion that Emilie's coma was caused by her abusing her miraculous and confronts her about it, the only explanation she gives is that she and Gabriel only did it to "protect" Adrien but it is never explained how the power was abused or why Adrien resents it so much. The last one at least is superficially adressed as him feeling smothered, but what does that have to do with his parents misusing the miraculous is never explained in the story.
- Pacifism Backfire: Adrien sincerely meant well in trying to keep the peace against Lila's manipulations but he severely underestimated how bad she would make things until Marinette decides to transfer out.
- Poisonous Friend: Lila's relationship with her classmates, particularly Alya, due to her taking advantage of her hurt over Marinette leaving to manipulate her ever further, to the point that she deletes the Ladyblog.
- Revenge by Proxy: Lila convinces Alya that Ladybug choosing another Fox Hero is her way of getting revenge on Lila after their friendship fell apart. In reality, it's more like Lila is using Alya as a way to hurt Marinette further after the other girl got out of her reach.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Alya sees Marinette transferring out without any warning like this, and a personal betrayal by her former friend.
- Shipper on Deck: Painfully seen with Alya and Nino, who support the idea of Lila and Adrien getting together without realizing that she just sees him as a potential trophy.
- Smug Snake: Lila's quite pleased with herself upon learning that Marinette transferred out.
- Take a Third Option:
- Marinette's decision to transfer out is effectively this; rather than remain and either continue trying to convince her friends of Lila's awfulness or try to follow Adrien's advice of staying out of it, she leaves Collège Françoise Dupont behind her.
- Chloé tries to convince Marinette and Adrien that it's a matter of either meeting Lila head-on and getting just as nasty as her in their tactics, or letting her go unchallenged. Marinette eventually suggests disproving her lies by recreating them so that others can realize that she was never involved in the first place, and Chloé spins that into her own idea: making Marinette into a REAL celebrity so that their classmates see what that really looks like.
- Time Skip: "Forget Me Now" has several, with the largest being a two-year hop to the day that Alya finally realizes the Awful Truth about Lila... and Team Miraculous takes down Hawkmoth.
- To Be Lawful or Good: Adrien's personal conflict is effectively this: on one hand, he knows that Lila's a terrible liar who's manipulating everyone. But exposing that means destabilizing the classroom and running the risk of her getting akumatized again — to say nothing of how the others aren't really receptive to hearing the truth. And even when he finds the resolve to act, he balks at methods that seem underhanded and like they're 'sinking to her level'...
- Toxic Friend Influence: Played for Laughs with Chloé, who wants to rope Adrien and Marinette into taking the 'low road' and wreck vengeance upon Lila.
- Tsundere: Chloé really doesn't want to admit that she misses Marinette, or that she's come to regret how she used to treat her.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Lila Rossi, due to dazzling those around her with all the impressive-sounding yarns she spins.
- We Used to Be Friends: Marinette and Alya, sadly. Lila also claims that her (nonexistent) friendship with Ladybug has deteriorated as part of her scheming for sympathy.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Emilie Agreste sincerely believes that Hawkmoth/Gabriel was this, and attempts to convince Adrien to see things their way. Adrien rejects this, calling his mother out for how both of them misused magic to their own selfish ends.
- Wham Episode: Chapters 18 and 19 are chock-full of revelations.
- Wham Line: Right after the Miraculous Team has finally defeated Hawkmoth:Ladybug: What's wro-?
Chat Noir: That's my dad.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Adrien confronts her in the mansion, Emilie is never seen or mentioned again. Not even in the epilogue, despite becoming presumably homeless since Gabriel Brand's stocks plummeted and the mansion was demolished.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The very last scenes take place five years after the rest of the story, showing how far Marinette and Adrien have come and offering more closure.