New York City lawyer Carly Whitten (Diaz) starts a relationship with the handsome businessman Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), only to discover that he is already married to Kate (Mann). Carly and Kate, initially mutually horrified to find out about each other form an unlikely friendship, later joined by Mark's other mistress Amber (Upton). Even as they learn that he constantly and shamelessly flirts with every attractive woman he meets, they also discover he's committing international fraud in his wife's name, warping the ideas that she gave him, which could result in her going to jail rather than him.
Working together, they plan on getting even by utterly humiliating him.
This film contains the following tropes:
- Babies Ever After: In the end, Carly marries Phil (becoming Kate's sister-in-law in the process) and is expecting her first child.
- Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Amber, Carly and Kate respectively. One trailer even calls them the brains, the brawn and the bod.
- Big Applesauce: Carly lives and works in Manhattan, contrasting her City Mouse singleton ways with the suburban Kate.
- Book Ends: Amber's first scene has her wearing a skimpy white bikini on a beach with an older man (Mark). This is also how she's last seen. Except that the man in the last scene - also the movie's last scene - is her new partner, Carly's father. "Carly still refuses to call her 'Mom'..."
- Buddy Picture: The film is basically about three women getting payback against a man responsible for negatively affecting their lives and having hedonistic fun times along the way.
- Cast Calculus: Carly and Kate are very distinct Blue Oni and Red Oni- one being highly independent and the other emotional and dependent. The introduction of Amber brings the group into a Freudian Trio; Carly being very distinctly the logical one, Kate to emotional, and Amber the neutral.
- Chick Magnet: Mark is married to Kate, and is in a relationship with Carly and later Amber, and the trio later discover him with another woman. Then again, he played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.◊
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mark. It's one thing to cheat on his wife with two other women, plus a possible third in the Bahamas, but Carly's legal expertise uncovers he intended to frame her for embezzling money from all the companies his company had helped develop. Towards the end, the women return all the money to those Mark defrauded, sparing both him and Kate prison time, then he is fired, and Kate, after divorcing him, takes over his position in the company.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: The girls give Mark some pretty nasty punishments before they twig to the full picture. Thanks to him turning out to commit international fraud in his wife's name he deserves it. While it's quite unfair of the audience to laugh before finding this out, the film doesn't treat it this way.
- Ethical Slut: Carly appears to at least consider herself this, as while she has a reputation for dating several guys at once in the past- apparently she once dated a "hot rabbi" and his cousin- she is put out to learn that Mark is married.
- Fanservice: Well, duh. This is Kate Upton, after all. You also get Cameron Diaz in shorts and swimwear, and an(other) invitation to the Male Gaze with a shot of Nicki Minaj in a doorway emphasising her... three guesses. It's even part of the joke that while Mann is not as sexy as Diaz, Diaz gets a little bit of her own medicine when she gets her first sight of Upton in a bikini and is almost enraged.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: The four main characters: Mark is Sanguine (seductive, charming and outgoing), Kate is Eclectic (a blend of Sanguine and Melancholic - although quite an extrovert and cheerful by nature, also fairly depressed for how she was treated by her husband), Carly is Choleric (outgoing but also independent, mature, goal-oriented and somewhat cynical), and Amber is Phlegmatic (quiet and laid-back yet also friendly and cheerful).
- Freudian Trio: Kate is the Id (overemotional, dependent, impulsive and often immature), Carly is the Superego (levelheaded, professional and more on the cynical side compared to the other two women), and Amber is the Ego (cheerful and kind but also fairly well-balanced, especially considering she's the youngest).
- The Generic Girl: Amber gets far less character focus than either Carly or Kate. Apart from her looks and youth there doesn't seem to be much more to her than an upbeat, likable and attractive gal.
- Genius Ditz: Kate is very flaky, almost to Dumb Blonde levels but she is apparently a whiz at coming up with business ideas, although she doesn't realise how good they are. Mark tells her they won't work, then uses them himself.
- Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Lydia is unbothered at first when Carly tells her she found out Mark was married using her own love life as an example of this. Both she and her current husband Stan were married when they met, they entered an affair with each other because they weren’t happy and now they are. However she helps get back at Mark at the end, presumably after discovering their situation isn’t the same since Mark is also seeing multiple other women at the same time and set his wife up to go to jail in place of him.
- Hate Sink: Mark is a serial liar and an adulterer who is cheating on his wife with multiple mistresses, all of which he lies too by claiming to be inlove with them and seeing even more women behind their backs. He also embezzles money from companies he starts up and made his wife the CEO of them all so if it’s discovered she gets arrested instead of him.
- Held Gaze: One happens between Carly and Phil at his house when they're discussing the sunroom, clearly Foreshadowing their interest in each other.
- Interrupted Intimacy: Just as Kate is about to have sex with her husband Mark to celebrate his promotion, Mark gets a phone call from his other mistress Amber. Leaving Kate disappointed and turned off.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Carly is very sarcastic and has a cynical streak, and is pretty aloof at first towards Kate. However she soon turns out to be a genuinely good-hearted woman and a loyal friend.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Mark cheats on his wife (who he was very controlling and manipulative towards) with multiple women, embezzles companies he starts and sets his wife up to take the fall for him if it’s discovered. At the end his wife divorces him (taking the house) thanks to his mistresses help, he looses all his money from it getting returned, he is fired from his job for his crimes, and he gets his car towed (because he parked in a red space) before being punched by the father of one of his mistresses.
- May–December Romance: In the end, Amber begins a relationship with Carly's father, Frank. Carly sarcastically admits she's still not ready to call Amber "Mom".
- Nasal Trauma: In the final confrontation, Mark breaks his nose when he walks into a glass wall and then gets punched in the nose by Frank seconds after his car is towed for parking too close to a red zone.
- Nice Mean And In Between: Downplayed since the three women are all reasonably kind individuals, but Amber would be the Nice as the clueless but bubbly one of the trio, Carly would be the Mean as the most sardonic and most cynical of the group, and Kate would be the In-Between as she's generally nice but also overly dependent, emotionally immature and somewhat pushy.
- Odd Friendship: Carly describes her relationship with Kate as "the weirdest friendship ever.'
- Oh, Crap!: Mark has this all over his face when he goes to see Carly in her office and is confronted by Carly, Kate and Amber.
- Pair the Spares: Carly ends up with Phil, Kate's brother. And Amber ends up dating Frank.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: The entire film is dedicated to ruining the life of Mark for cheating on his wife and lovers, yet other characters such as Frank and Lydia are revealed to have been blatant repetitive cheaters themselves and join the bandwagon for punishing Mark.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kate, Carly and Amber give each of these to Mark in the climax when being confronted with his infidelities and criminal activities.Kate: I want a divorce, Mark.
Mark: Please don't do this. Have I made mistakes? Yes. Big ones. Huge ones.
Kate: Okay, but when you sleep with that many people, it's not a mistake honey. It's pathological.
Carly: Mark, you're a real piece of shit. And no matter how many women you sleep with or cars you buy, nothing will be enough to fill the hole inside you where something real should be. You are an empty man.
Amber: Mark, you're not a very nice person.
- Token Evil Teammate: Carly's assistant Lydia, played strictly for comedy. Not only is she decidedly amoral in her romantic life she laughs with delight as Mark walks through a glass wall, getting badly scratched in the process. Note that Carly, Kate and Amber - who unlike Lydia all have a legitimate grievance with Mark - are visibly shocked and shaken at Mark injuring himself; they've dosed him with things that cause his hair to come out, swell up his nipples female-style and make him... well... shit himself, but they draw the line at physical violence, Amber's suggestion they kick him in the balls notwithstanding.
- Trailers Always Spoil: Many of the trailers give away that Mark commits fraud in his wife's name in addition to having several extramarital affairs, but the former is revealed quite late into the film.
- Would Hit a Girl: Not hit, technically. But Mark shoves one of Carley’s receptionists out of her seat in anger so he can check his back account.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending shows Kate is now a successful businesswoman, having taken over Mark's old job after divorcing him and getting him fired for his fraudulent activities, Carly has married Kate's brother Phil and is expecting a baby, and Amber is dating Frank. Each of the women have gotten their happy ending.