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Just For Fun / Come for the X, Stay for the Y

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"John Cena may put asses in seats, but Charlie Haas will make them sit on the edge."
The Urban Dictionary

You're browsing around, and you find out about something that looks neat. A new TV show, a new movie, a new book, maybe a video game. You don't know anything about it, but it looks neat. Something about it jumps out at you. Could be the humor, could be the action, could be the eye-candy. So you decide to try it out.

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And it turns out the show is pretty good, too, and you like it. But over time, you start to like it for a completely different reason. This show with the cute lead character actually has an interesting side character with an in-depth story that you're really getting into. Or this movie might be very funny, but it also has some great undercurrents of drama that you weren't expecting, and that really jump out at you. Either way, you end up really liking the show/movie/book/game/etc for a reason completely different from why you started to check it out.

This is an example of Come for the X Stay for the Y. You originally start to get into something for reason X, but in the end, it's reason Y that causes you to get hooked and stick around. Or, you may have initially been Just Here for Godzilla (and still want that) but ultimately took a shine to another element. The x reason for coming is something clearly visible in the first episode you see or earlier, and is interesting enough to tune in, but not to regularly follow a show with devotion. The Y reason for staying is something that it takes time to learn about the show, but is sufficient reason to continue to follow it. For example, viewers tuned into Stargate SG-1 because they enjoyed the movie, liked Richard Dean Anderson in McGyver, liked science fiction, or just had a showtime subscription. Those things got them in the door, but would not be reasons to continue watching for years. The show actually gained viewership over the next 7 years because while new people tuned in, long-time viewers continued to be interested due to other factors such as the story arcs, the relationships and interaction, the humor, and other factors worth tuning in for. The action, the amazing sets, the attractive stars, and other good aspects of SG-1 might be nice pluses, are not really a Y. A Y is something unique and special about a show that makes it worthy to continue watching over time.

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A note when adding examples: if you believe the X and Y can be flipped, the example doesn't fit here. If your X for coming to see the show, read the book or whatever is reason to keep reading or watching, then you came for X and stayed for X and this doesn't belong here. So, for example for the Bible one shouldn't write come for the Word of God, stay for the entertaining stories because most people who start reading for religious reasons might find it more enjoyable because of stories and like many non religious things about the Bible, but ultimately would read it purely for religious reasons alone. Likewise, a comedy show doesn't a Y of being funny as viewers tune in already for the reason of humor. In no situation is fan service ever a Y, especially for a show rated MA for nudity. This also is not simply a place to list shows you enjoy and what you like about them, it is for things where interest was originally for one things, but people stayed for another. Stargate SG-1 is a perfect example because it is very different from the Stargate Movie or McGyver, but had many people tune in for those reasons, but who stayed because of unexpected aspects of the show such as the humor (something not present in the original movie). Playboy is another great example as many people originally subscribed for the nudity, but continued to read it even after nudity was removed because they valued the articles. In an era of free porn, Playboy would not have survived as people subscribing and paying money for naked pictures.

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See also Sex Sells, which is probably the largest sub-trope of this. Watch It for the Meme may lead to this. Compare I Read It for the Articles and contrast Just Here for Godzilla (where the X is all that counts).


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comics 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 

    Magazines 
  • In-universe example of a sort - MAD's parody of the United States Army's "Army Strong" ad campaign, called "Army Stuck," included the jab "Come for the dough. Stay for the quagmire."

    Music 

    Mythology and Religion 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • ECW: Come for the bloodshed and Garbage Wrestling, stay for the incredibly well-done matches, surprisingly deep characterization, brilliant promos, and awesome commentary from Joey Styles. This is as opposed to the WWE-backed ECW Revival, where you come for the name, and stay for Matt Striker's awesome commentary.
  • WCW: Come for the nWo, stay for the cruiserweights.
  • TNA: Come for Kurt Angle and Sting, stay for the X-Division.
  • CHIKARA. Come for the Funny Animals, stay for the brilliant wrestling and intricate storylines.
  • WWE: Come for John Cena, stay for the talent in NXT.
    • For NXT: Come for the new talent. Stay because the women there can actually wrestle.
  • Lucha Underground: Come for the Lucha, stay for the amazingly athletic matches, entertaining storylines and colorful characters.
  • Defiant Wrestling (as WCPW): Come for Whatculture, stay for the high-quality booking and matches from both top-level stars and some of the hottest english indie talent.

    Sports 
  • Beach Volleyball: Come for the Fanservice, stay because it's actually an exciting sport.
  • Cycling: Come for the workout. Stay because it's saving you $100/wk in gas and meds.
  • Super Bowl: Come for the football, stay for the commercials (sometimes the main reason people are watching the Superbowl, except maybe hopes for another Wardrobe Malfunction; the halftime show can be either the X or the Y).
  • Swimming: Come for the sexy girls/guys in skimpy clothes. Stay for the exercise, competition, and even more hot people in little clothing.
  • Tactical shooting: Come because it looks badass. Stay because you really are having a great time becoming a badass.
  • Ice Hockey: Come for the players, stay for the spectacle of the world's fastest team sport (including the fights).
  • The Olympics: Come for the sport, stay for the backstage drama and / or the athletes' back stories.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Came For The X Stayed For The Y

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