Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist

Go To
Elliot and Lisette by salty-french-fry, commissioned by the author herself

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 so-called 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.

In January 2021, the author began releasing a "Remix" version, which was available exclusively on her tumblr until it had surpassed the original in terms of chapter count. That finally happened in July 2021 with the 22nd chapter out of 41 posted and : Remix added to the title. Now the original version is exclusive to her tumblr instead (well, and Wayback Machine). As of January 2022, the Remix version is complete.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • All Your Powers Combined: The Ladyblogger akuma has access to every ability used by any hero or akuma who's appeared on her blog, making her a dangerously flexible opponent.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Chloé attempts to convince Marinette to help her take down Lila, Adrien surprises Mari by asking her "Do you think I'm spineless?" She tries reassuring him, but his self-realization still sticks.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Alya confronts Marinette about transferring out and makes clear that she still won't hear her side of the story, she answers one of Alya's angry comments in a way she clearly didn't expect:
    Alya: Then I guess we shouldn't consider ourselves BFFs if there's so much we don't know about each other! Maybe we shouldn't even be friends at all.
    Marinette: Maybe we shouldn't.
    [Alya's Jaw Drops, gaping at her.]
  • Ascended Extra: Gabrielle takes on a larger role in the Remix, to the point of joining the temporary hero roster as Tigress.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game:
    • Once she's ready to tackle the Lila situation again, Marinette decides to try this tactic. Specifically, making all of Lila's claims come true, but in ways that make it impossible for her to keep claiming the credit.
    • Adrien outplays Lila by employing one of her favorite tactics: feigning illness, getting his photographer to cancel the shoot she'd crashed.
  • Betrayal Fic: While some of those who turned on her eventually get some Laser-Guided Karma for their actions, the primary focus here is on Marinette coping with their betrayal and moving forward.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Happens during "Attack of Panic", when Adrien helps Marinette through the titular panic attack and resist another akumatization attempt.
  • 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.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Alya slips increasingly into this as time goes on, divvying others up into 'good people' and 'bad people', with no room for any in-between.
  • Boring, but Practical: This is how the Beat Them at Their Own Game strategy is treated. It's not as grand or as quick as just outing Lila as a liar would be but it will let the class come to the realization on their own that they were deceived and effectively cut Lila off from trying her manipulations again.
  • Brick Joke: In the very first chapter, Tikki complains about Marinette's new school uniform, which Marinette privately acknowledges she finds drab as well. This comes up again in Chapter 36 when Adrien transfers in — he explains that Chloe refused to join him because she refused to be caught dead in such a dreadful uniform.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Alya's faith in Ladybug is severely fractured after Malin replaces her as the Fox, and her trust in Ladybug further degrades after Heiress' assault, when she sees that Chloé got to be Queen Bee again. Lila exploits this to turn her against Marinette and Adrien as well.
    • Adrien finds himself in this position after he helps Chloé interview Ladybug, with several of his classmates questioning whether the 'sunshine boy' is really as sweet as they originally believed.
  • The Bully: Gabrielle and her boyfriend Thomas, who find that Marinette isn't about to let their bad behavior go unchallenged.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: One difference in Remix that eventually comes into play: when Alya deletes the Ladyblog, she does not delete her Instagram account.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Marinette struggles with this. One of her deepest fears is being unable to save somebody who needs her help, and while she's trying to leave all of the drama behind her after transferring, that proves to be easier said than done. Particularly with Chloé trying to drag her back into the fight, and Lila continuing to pursue her.
  • Complexity Addiction: Many of Chloé's plans involve setting up Lila to be completely humiliated in various intricate ways.
  • The Corrupter: Lila, particularly towards Alya.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Kagami gives Adrien such a speech, telling him that if he's truly bothered by how Lila is treating his classmates, he needs to be willing to step up and do something about it.
    Kagami: Adrien, your friends will only continue to suffer if you stay silent. Action is the only way to help them.
  • Death by Adaptation: While the original story ended with Emilie having recovered from her magical coma but Adrien choosing to disown her along with Gabriel because of her selfish misuse of the Peacock Miraculous, in the Remix version she is revealed to be dead by the time Adrien leaves the mental hospital.
  • 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 this treatment from Adrien when he first comes to visit after her transfer, figuring that he's going to lecture her about not 'taking the high road' and enduring Lila's constant cruelties. He surprises her by revealing that he's more disappointed in himself.
    • Chloé uses this to try and guilt-trip Marinette into helping her take down Lila despite her transfer, listing off various ways that she's been exploiting their classmates before making a cutting comment about how she thought she'd care more about her friends.
    • Later on, Adrien worries that Marinette will be disappointed once she learns that he's started working with Chloé to undermine Lila's influence. He's completely unaware that she already knows, much less that she's Ladybug, and is participating in the very interview that he fears will reveal this to her.
    • Once Marinette finally cracks, both she and Adrien are worried that the other will disapprove of their willingness to work with Chloé.
  • Evil Gloating: Lila goes out of her way to taunt Marinette about successfully driving her away and stealing her friends every chance she gets.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • Not only did Lila vow to take all of Marinette's friends away from her, she focuses on Alya partly because she used to be Mari's 'bestie', and is more than happy to rub that in whenever she gets the chance.
    • She also immediately tries to pull the same tricks on her new friends the moment she meets any of them,
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Alya overhears Adrien and Chloé discussing a plan to discredit Lila by interviewing Ladybug.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: When she starts attending her new school, Marinette starts wearing her hair in a pair of buns. (It reverts to her former pigtailed style as Ladybug.)
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Marinette's main issue is her Chronic Hero Syndrome. Despite transferring away and trying to put all the Lila drama behind her, she still feels obligated to try and help everyone, no matter how badly they've treated her. Being Ladybug only amplifies her problems, making her feel as though she has to take responsibility for solving everything on her own. And no matter how many Self-Care Epiphanies she has about the importance of taking care of herself, the pressure to try and fix everything keeps mounting...
    • Adrien's primary problems are his naivete and hesitance. His mother taught him that it was better to ignore issues rather than 'make a fuss', and while he's come to recognize that letting Lila continue lying unchallenged was a mistake, he balks at the prospect of fighting back through methods he deems too sketchy or underhanded. This enables Lila to not only counter his 'cleaner' methods but start escalating in response to his defiance, making matters significantly worse. Not helping is that he worries too much about the potential fallout of exposing her, unable or possibly unwilling to admit that things will go badly no matter how delicately it's handled, simply because of the nature of her deception.
    • Alya's biggest flaws are denial and stubbornness. Once she's decided that something is true, that's it. Any evidence to the contrary gets ignored, dismissed, or otherwise treated as wrong, because that's easier than acknowledging the notion that SHE might have made a mistake somewhere. This With Us or Against Us attitude winds up dividing the class and pushing away more and more of her friends.
    • Chloé is Prideful, stubborn, and hard-headed, and her history of bullying and belittling her peers makes it harder for her to say or do anything against Lila, as she's dismissed simply because she's Chloé. She's also reluctant to admit how much she misses Marinette or regrets her past behavior, which only makes matters worse.
    • Lila is overconfident and petty. Simply driving Marinette away is not good enough for her; she has to keep rubbing it in and taunting her while continuing to ruin her reputation. And since she feels like she's already won, she severely underestimates what her opponents are capable of.
  • Foil:
    • Elliot and Adrien during the Mirror-Mirror incident. Both betray a female friend through their inaction, inadvertently making things worse/adding to their humiliation through a slip of the tongue that Gabrielle/Lila exploits. Elliot faces the problem head-on and admits he failed his friend in front of an audience, while Adrien is barely able to face Chloé alone afterwards.
    • On a meta-level, Remix!Alya versus the original Playlist's Alya. In the first fic, Alya is shown to be more of an Unwitting Pawn in Lila's schemes, with Lila preying upon her sadness to become her submissive Beta Bitch. The Remix delves more into Alya's perspective and has her actually questioning some of Lila's claims, only to back off and latch onto the 'easier' answers her False Friend offers because the alternative means accepting she made some major mistakes and misjudgments.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Marinette's decision to transfer to a different school rather than staying at Dupont sets the plot into motion.
    • One way that the Remix differs from the original fic: when Alya tries to ask Ladybug about Malin replacing Rena Rouge, Ladybug's Earrings are beeping — her transformation timer is running out. As a result, she barely has time to answer Alya's question before having to leave the Media Scrum. This causes the other reporters present to glare at Alya for wasting their time with that query, leaving Alya feeling even more isolated.
  • Gold Digger: In the Remix version, Gabrielle's former boyfriend attempts to hit on Marinette, having seen her connections, and predictably fails. Then he attempts the same with Chloé... of course, the latter's standards do not include gold diggers, and most definitely don't include her arch-frenemy's scraps.
  • Grew a Spine: Adrien sets out to address his spinelessness and stand up for himself and his beliefs more, only to find that it's easier said than done.
  • Hands-On Approach: Chapter 30 has Adrien teach Marinette to play golf that way. Macy notes he gives good advice, but the two should Get a Room!.
  • His Story Repeats Itself:
    • Adrien previously chose to stand by and let Lila go unchallenged, advising Marinette to do the same; this led to her transferring out. As this story progresses, he eventually decides to stand up against Lila, facing similar resistance to what Marinette dealt with.
    • Eventually, Adrien decides to follow Marinette's lead and transfers into the same school as her.
  • Hope Spot: At Adrien's urging, Alya starts evaluating Lila's claims more seriously and becomes suspicious of her... only to throw all that out the window in favor of casting the blame on others.
  • Hypocrite: Despite all her bragging that "a good journalist always does her research", Alya balks when Adrien asks her to look into Lila's claims, partly because she's afraid of potentially learning that he — and Marinette — were right. She does start questioning things but does the absolute bare minimum to actually look into the issue and drops it entirely when Lila offers her a scenario that allows Alya to outright dismiss Adrien's concerns.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Alya is certainly letting her bitterness and refusal to accept the truth of things color her view on the situation she's not entirely without merit in some of her criticism.
    • When a new Fox holder appears and Ladybug makes it clear that Rena Rouge is being replaced, Alya does have a right to be upset, given that as far as she's aware she hasn't done anything to merit Ladybug's decision. Ladybug didn't speak to her at all about anything regarding her status as a hero, and she can't exactly reveal to Alya that her behavior as a civilian is responsible.
    • Chloe being given the Bee Comb again just further convinces Alya that Ladybug is really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Alya is unaware that Chloe has had real Character Development that led to her being trusted by Ladybug again, so from her perspective, a horrible bully got a second chance while she got replaced for no reason. Tigress' less-than-tactful handling after Alya gets akumatized only further fuels her issues in that regard.
    • Played With after Alya is de-akumatized. She gets called out on her I Reject Your Reality mentality about what's going on with her life by Tigress and treats the whole thing as more proof that Ladybug is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. While the untactful behavior, didn't help things Ladybug observes that Alya had already made her mind up and just used that as fuel for the fire.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Lila often makes 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: You don't want to be friends with a loser like her. I'm the great-granddaughter of world-famous piano player Victor Laurent.
    Martin: Victor Laurent didn't have any children. He died alone at the age of 72 from pneumonia...
  • Love Epiphany: After nearly kissing Marinette in the garden during Lisette's party, Adrien realizes both that he loves her and that he was Loving a Shadow with Ladybug.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass:
    • Marinette; even leaving isn't enough to spare her from this treatment, as Lila implies that she didn't tell anyone about her transfer because she simply didn't care about them that much. This eventually extends to her painting her as someone petty enough to continue harassing her even after leaving.
    • Adrien frets about facing the same treatment, and his fears are partly borne out once he finally starts publicly standing up against Lila.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Lila shows just how skilled she is at this by telling Alya just what she wants to hear... or at least, what she needs to hear so that she doesn't have to contemplate the notion that she might be wrong about anything.
  • Moment Killer: Tom accidentally pops his head up into Marinette's room right as she and Adrien are about to kiss. When he apologetically asks if he ruined the moment, she reassures him that it's not the first time.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Adrien realizes just how much he dismissed and downplayed Marinette's perspective after she transfers out of Françoise Dupont. This is swiftly followed by a stronger one when he learns about how Lila threatened her in the bathroom.
    • Adrien gets to have another one after he leaves Chloé hanging and humiliated, giving Lila a chance to spin things around and further slander Marinette's good name.
  • 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.
    • Remix!Alya takes this mentality significantly further than her counterpart in the original version does, to the point that she gets akumatized into the Ladyblogger in her outrage over Ladybug's supposed betrayal in denouncing Lila's claims in an interview.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Adrien backs out of backing up Chloé during her first plan to expose Lila, Lila accuses her of working with Marinette to discredit her, smearing Marinette's reputation further. This naturally makes it much harder for the truth-tellers to gain any traction, thanks to Alya latching onto that as an excuse and drawing up battle lines.
    • Ladybug's decision to entrust Chloé with the Bee Comb again gives Alya 'proof' that her judgment has been impaired, further shattering the pedestal she placed the heroine on.
    • Played With following Ayla's akumatization into Ladyblogger. After the fight, Tigress makes a snarky observation about how she's still denying the reality of the situation; Alya latches onto that as 'proof' that Ladybug is wrong. Though Tigress apologizes to Ladybug after she runs off, Ladybug reassures her that it's not really her fault, and that Alya had already made up her mind.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Gabrielle defends Marinette from his unwanted advances, Thomas responds by loudly announcing that she's broke in order to humiliate her, smirking cruelly at her horrified reaction.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Adrien tries to be a voice of reason and morality throughout the story. But after the museum incident, he's just done with Lila and all too happy to just let Chloe do as she wants so he can be rid of the liar. The only reason he decides to try something a bit more morally upright is that Marinette reminds him of the fallout for their classmates.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Lila leaps on any opportunity to slander her targets, especially Marinette.
  • 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.
  • Playing the Victim Card: One of Lila's favorite tactics: turning on the Crocodile Tears and claiming that she's being unfairly singled out, with her critics 'bullying' her.
    • This is why Marinette wants to avoid being too overly harsh in exposing Lila. If they're too needlessly cruel about revealing the truth about her she'll just play the victim and paint them as petty and vindictive.
  • Plot Parallel: Adrien agrees to help Chloé expose Lila, only to get cold feet and leave her high and dry, open to the mockery of his classmates. Meanwhile, Macy gets akumatized into Mirror-Mirror after Elliot lets Gabrielle mock and belittle her.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Deconstructed through Chloé while she becomes more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch, her abrasive personality and history of bullying make it easy for Lila to discredit her. Worse, Lila uses this to paint Marinette, Adrien, and anyone else who tries to reveal the truth about her as evil by association.
  • Shaming the Mob: When the class confronts him and Chloé over interviewing Ladybug, Adrien asks his classmates if they miss Marinette and all the things she did for them before they drove her away. It doesn't work on everyone, but gets several of them to start thinking about the situation rather than blindly siding with Lila.
  • Take a Third Option: Nino tries to do this with Alya, asking if she can't consider a middle ground instead of her All or Nothing With Us or Against Us stance on things. She's too bitter about everything and too unwilling to concede any fault for it to take though.
  • Taking the Bullet: Chloé shoves Marinette out of the way of Heiress' attack, getting hit instead. This convinces Ladybug to give her another chance with the Bee... and Queen Bee winds up doing it again to protect her.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • After giving another model food poisoning so she can weasel her way into one of Adrien's photoshoots, Lila gloats to him that she's better at manipulating others than he is. Naturally, Adrien proves her wrong by faking his own case of food poisoning, getting the photographer to cancel the shoot.
    • Upon being confronted by a furious Alya, Lila mocks them, asking if they intend to post on the Ladyblog before laughing over how she deleted it. As it turns out, Alya doesn't need the Ladyblog to film and post an expose online.
  • Toxic Friend Influence:
    • Played for Laughs with Chloé, who wants to rope Adrien and Marinette into taking the 'low road' and wreak vengeance upon Lila.
    • Played more seriously with Lila bringing out the worst in Alya.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: In contrast to the original version, where Lila plays the metaphorical devil on her shoulder and convinces her to delete the Ladyblog, Remix!Alya makes the same decision more impulsively after Nino suggests that she should consider stepping away from it for a bit.
  • Trial Balloon Question: Following the disaster at Lisette's party, Marinette tries to test the waters with her friends to see whether anyone else sympathizes with Gabrielle's situation.
  • 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.
  • "What Do They Fear?" Episode: Mirror-Mirror's power lets her bring out what her victims fear most. Ladybug initially misidentifies her power due to the first people she hits all having fears relating to their appearance; she only realizes the truth after she gets hit and faces her fear of being powerless to save others and being abandoned by more of her friends.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Plagg and Chloé call Adrien out after he bails on their initial plan to expose Lila, leaving Chloé hanging and giving Lila ample opportunity to twist things around to her advantage.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When Gabrielle is dealing with some creepy guys following her, Marinette helps her get away despite the potential danger to herself.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Lila pulls the "Marinette pushed me down the stairs" trick at the Louvre. While Adrien is present as a witness, she's discredited him enough by this point that Alya and several other classmates believe her, though not everyone is fooled.

Examples exclusive to the original version include:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. The remix version adds some bitterness when Emilie doesn't recover.
  • Broken Pedestal: 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.
  • 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.
  • Dartboard of Hate: Mentioned to be used by Adrien, once Hawk Moth's identity is revealed.
  • 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 over 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 is 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 misled 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 anyone 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.
  • 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: 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 addressed as him feeling smothered, but what that has to do with his parents misusing the miraculous is never explained in the story.
  • 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'...
  • 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.