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Adaptational Wealth

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The character's financial position is different from what it was in the source material. The list of possible reasons for this is practically endless. Maybe the creator wants to do an Adaptational Angst Upgrade by making the character either The Tramp or Lonely Rich Kid. Maybe the creator needs to enhance the Love Triangle by turning it into a Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor situation. Maybe the creator likes Costume Porn, and what better way to insert some than have the character wear fur and gems? Or it can be the result of Flanderization, when a character slightly richer or slightly poorer than the rest becomes unbelievably rich or horrifyingly poor over the course of a franchise.

Whatever the reason, the character gets noticeably richer or poorer than in the original.

When done badly, it can lead to Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole or inconsistencies in characterization (such as: it's stated that the heroes who are altruistic and helpful, according to canon, suddenly have enough money to feed a small country, but for some reason they only use it to buy jewels and cars for themselves).

Note that a character getting or losing a title in the adaptation isn't necessarily this trope (even if it's a lowborn girl becoming a princess). The different financial standing must be obviously shown or stated.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman. As Movie Bob put it...
    In the early Batman comics, Bruce Wayne was only pretty damn rich. Old money, didn't have a day job, you get the idea. But by now, he's so wrapped up in the daily affairs of the DC Universe that he routinely hangs out with aliens and gods, fighting apocalyptic wars, monitoring the globe with satellites, building space stations and paying for most of it himself because he's freakin' Scrooge McDuck levels of rich.
  • Wonder Woman: In the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman Veronica Cale's pharmaceutical company was successful with offices in Texas and Washington D.C., but not massive and not nearly as successful as she wanted it to be putting her on a step below fellow villainous CEO Lex Luthor. In Wonder Woman (Rebirth) Veronica and her company are far more successful, have far more locations, and have robotics and AI divisions instead of being solely a pharmaceutical research company.
  • Unlike the original, Daredevil (2003), and Marvel Cinematic Universe versions, who were the daughter of a wealthy businessman (and in the comics and MCU, said father was also an ambassador for Greece), the Elektra Natchios of the Ultimate Marvel hails from a poor family who operate a struggling laundromat.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • In The Lord of the Winds, the heroine's family is incredibly poor. In the 1984 stop-motion adaptation, they are quite comfortably off. Justified, since in the original story, the heroine and her sisters went to the eponymous lord of the winds to offer themselves as potential brides in exchange for him stopping a deadly snowstorm, but (probably due to the obvious unfortunate implications) the romance was removed in the adaptation, so instead the heroine's sister gets sent to appease the lord of the winds with rich gifts.

    Fan Works 
  • The Ace Savvy Extended Universe: The Louds and McBrides are now incredibly wealthy and live in a mansion.
  • A Fandom-Specific Plot in the Harry Potter fandom involves Harry and/or Hermione (but rarely the Weasleys) turning out to be amazingly rich (yes, in Harry's case, even richer than he actually is in canon). It is so well-known it regularly gets spoofed in fanfics such as The Coolest Evil Dumbledore Ever, where Harry becomes the richest wizard in the world, with more than one hundred million Galleons inherited from his Potter ancestors alone, and the owner of many castles, four houses and a two-room flat.
  • In Heroic Myth, Gilgamesh is one of the first Servants Bell summons. As a result, the Hestia Familia instantly goes from living in a rundown church to getting their own mansion. Gilgamesh's endless wealth leads to Conspicuous Consumption, as he buys things like Undine Cloth swimsuits for the Familia that would easily cost hundreds of thousands of Valis on a whim. While the Hestia Familia was fairly well-off after their War Game with the Apollo Familia, here the only one they're in debt to is Gilgamesh himself due to him bartering his treasure for ludicrous amounts of cash.
  • In The Many Sons of Winter, the entire North is much, much more prosperous than in canon, thanks to its economy being based on a Westerosi version of highland cattle.
  • The Professional Wrestling series The JWL made Khosrow Daivari into a "The Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase Expy with contacts all over the world. His business in Myanmar led to that country's dictator Than Shwe giving Daivari his first charge, a masked Wrestling Monster named The Burmese Python. This is completely different from how he was portrayed in WWE, where he was the Angry Persian-American Man manager of Muhammad Hassan.
  • In Roadside Assistance, Neptune's family, the Vasilias', own half of the nuclear plants on the planet. They're on par with the Schnee's in terms of wealth. As a result, Neptune and Weiss have knew each other their entire lives. The two end up partnering up and married in something just shy of a monopoly, making them billionaires.
  • In now that i can see your face (i can stand up to anything.), Shaggy isn't Secretly Wealthy. His mother runs a small diner.
  • Yakuwari no Gyakuten (lit. Reversal of Roles): Inverted with the Quintuplet's stepfather, Maruo Nakano, who's a doctor working in a hospital as well as its director in canon. Here, he dropped out of high school despite being in his first year to support Rena before they even got marriednote , leading to him having to hold down three different jobs while struggling to raise five girls as a single parent in the present, although he has the aid of his high school friend and a former one who he had a falling out over his choice to be with Rena in the first place.
  • One Piece fan works tend to do this with the Straw Hats:
    • Coby's Choice:
      • The Straw Hats manage to find and keep a lot of treasure from the Dead End Adventure and Rainbow Mist arcs, and leave Skypiea with far more treasure than they did in the original story.
      • Nojiko and Cocoyashi Village as a whole is richer due to Nojiko's tangerines becoming a major export during the Time Skip.
    • This Bites!: Thanks to Cross' foreknowledge, the Straw Hats leave Skypiea with significantly more gold than canon. They also develop a habit of raiding enemy bases of anything valuable, which they lack canonically.
  • A Mother's Touch: Due to Yoko Sakaki pressing lawsuits on Leo Corp. for the emotional trauma and numerous crimes they committed for her son's cards, Reij Akaba is forced to give a hefty sum of money as compensation, meaning that the Sakakis don't have to worry about being in financial trouble and Shuzo can use his share of the money for new repairs on You Show Duel School.

    Films - Animated 
  • Pinocchio: The Geppetto of the books was notoriously poor, to the point of not even having logs for fireplaces or having to forfeit his only jacket to buy Pinocchio a schoolbook. This Geppetto has a much more decent livelihood as the many machines on his house show.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Downplayed in the 1983 Soviet adaptation of Mary Poppins, the second part of which (roughly corresponding to Mary Poppins Comes Back) adds the subplot of the Banks family being in heavy debt after a fire and Miss Andrew, of all people, being prosperous (the fact that she promises fifteen thousand pounds to a child she would like is the chief reason Mr. Banks, desperate as he is, agrees to let her care for Michael and Jane, even with the unrealistic nature of the promise).
  • In the 1981 Soviet adaptation of The Woman in White, Walter Hartright (fairly successful and well-known in the novel) is hard up in the beginning, and the position at Limmeridge comes as practically a salvation.
  • In the book version of All the Bright Places, Finch's family are struggling financially due to his father's alcoholism and mother's depression. Their house in the film version is very nice, and there's no mention of financial trouble.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer - Helen's family in the book doesn't have a lot of money due to all the children they have, Elsa likewise still living at home because they need the money. In the film, there are less children and the family own a massive department store. It's the other way round for Helen herself; in the book, she's got a good job as the local weather girl and able to live on her own. In the film, she has to work at the family store and still lives at home.
  • Pollyanna (1960):
    • The film adds in more wealth for the already well-to-do Aunt Polly, who is now the wealthiest woman in town; the town now even being named after her family (it's Beldingsville in the book and Harrington Falls in the film).
    • Nancy in the book is from a poor family, and it's said she's working for Aunt Polly to support a widowed mother and three sisters. The film doesn't mention her family, with casual mentions that Nancy is planning to marry a man called George soon, and she gets a nice engagement ring at the end.
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005) emphasizes the Bennets' poverty compared to the Bingleys and Darcy far more so than other versions. Word of God is that he wanted to depict the "muddy hem" version, in comparison to the more familiar image of Longbourn as squeaky clean. In the film, Mr Collins assumes one of the daughters cooks the food, when the family are able to have a cook and maid.
  • S Club 7 in their TV show were portrayed as a struggling band trying to get by. In the film Seeing Double, which acts as a Soft Reboot, they're shown to be as famous as they were in real life with the accompanying wealth.
  • In-universe in Saving Mr. Banks. PL Travers complains that the concept art for the Banks house depicts them as far too well-to-do than how she had written them in her book.
  • The book version of Sleeping with the Enemy has Sara pinching every penny and living on oatmeal and beans for months when she flees to Iowa. The film version shows Laura being able to afford a nice house and luxuries like brand name goods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Cloak & Dagger (2018), Tandy comes from an impoverished, single-parent household, while Ty comes from an upper-middle class family. In the original comics, Tandy is the daughter of a successful model from Shaker Heights, while Ty is a homeless runaway from a poor family in Boston.
  • In The Dresden Files TV series, Harry is significantly more financially secure than in the novels - he owns an old but very nice home outright, whereas in many of the books he was often struggling to make rent in a tiny cellar apartment. In the show, Harry's secretly-evil adoptive father, Justin Morningway, was considerably more well-off and Harry ended up the sole inheritor of his estate. Harry wanted nothing to do with it except to help secure a new home far away, though. An old fan joke was that the show was the result of Harry (of the novels) selling his life story to help make rent.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Tywin reveals that the gold mines of Casterly Rock ran dry, putting the Lannisters in serious financial trouble that they have to work around for the rest of the series. No such thing happens in the books.
    • Robb's wife in the books is the daughter of a minor nobleman called Jeyne Westerling, whose family are Impoverished Patricians. In the show, she's a former Volantis lady called Talisa Maegyr who has voluntarily left court behind to work as a field nurse.
  • Good Omens (2019): In the book, Anathema Device is a middle-class witch from England. In the show she's instead a rich American; her mother followed a prophecy about investing in Apple.
  • Riverdale:
    • In the Archie Comics the Jones family is normally portrayed as being in the same reasonably comfortable standing as most of the other characters families. In Riverdale, it's is a major plot point that the Jones are quite poor, living on the Southside of town in a trailer park.
    • Downplayed, with the Lodge family. In the comics the Lodges are often portrayed as insanely wealthy to the point of being one of the richest families in the world. With the series attempts at higher realism, this is grounded into them being only incredibly rich. And in Season 1, they've lost a lot of their money, with Hermione having to work as a waitress at the diner.
    • Downplayed with the Andrews. Whilst mostly fine, also following the series attempts at realism, as a working-class family they occasionally face financial issues. A minor plot point in season one is that Andrews Construction is struggling, and delays with building could sink the company. Overall such issues aren't usually a problem in the comics.
  • In The Cornish Mystery, an Hercule Poirot short story, Mrs. Pengelley has no money of her own. In the corresponding episode of Poirot, she owns twenty thousand pounds in bonds that she bequeathes to her husband (and two more thousand that she leaves to her niece), which gives the police an additional reason to suspect the latter of murdering her.
  • In the live-action drama based on Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Meiko Otsuka is the heiress in a wealthy family of doctors. In the manga, her family background isn't elaborated on, so here, there's nothing to suggest she's particularly well-off.

    Theatre 
  • In The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin, Liza is the Countess's penniless and insignificant distant relation who doesn't even get anything like pocket money. In the opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, she is the Countess's granddaughter and heiress, engaged to marry a prince. It is extremely plot-relevant, since in the opera, Herman really does fall in love with her, and hadn't she been beyond his reach, there would have been no barrier to their relationship.

    Video Games 
  • DmC: Devil May Cry did it with their versions of Dante and Vergil:
    • The original Dante struggles to pay his bills but at least is confirmed to have a job and a nice home- assuming he lives at the Devil May Cry agency. In the 2013 version, Dante lives in a trailer and isn't shown to have any sort of job or income.
    • As for Vergil, his wealth is never specified, though he tends to wear more fashionable and neater outfits than Dante. In the 2013 game he is a multi-millionaire both out of being adopted by a rich family and by having written a security encryption program. He owns a Cool Car and funds his entire organization, The Order, seemingly by himself.
  • In real life, Miyamoto Iori was a fairly wealthy samurai thanks to being a chief retainer for the Ogasawara clan. In Fate/Samurai Remnant, he is a Rōnin who works for the local constable to make ends meet. He does have an open offer for vassalage with the Ogasawara clan, but he refuses to make lasting commitments until he properly masters Niten Ichi-ryū.

    Webcomics 
  • In Friendship Is Magic, the Apples are actually quite wealthy in this incarnation due to their apple business apparently taking off. When Twilight comes to Applejack's house to talk to her, she's shocked that she and her family live in a mansion.

    Web Original 
  • Artificial Ace Attorney: In canon, Marvin Grossberg is a successful attorney who has a lavishly decorated office with a rare painting. In "The Thankful Turnabout," he is a multimillionaire who is worth over $100 million.

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (2017) has Doofus gotten a huge inheritance from his grandmother. It changed him a lot from being a friend of Launchpad in the original show to a very spoiled creep who treats his parents as slaves.
  • Archie Comics launched She's Josie in 1963, in which the canon couple, Josie McCoy / James Depending on the Writer and Alan Mayberry are targeted by Shipping Torpedo Spoiled Brats Alexander and Alexandra Cabot. The Cabots are as stupendously wealthy as the Lodges. However, in the Animated Adaptation Josie and the Pussycats by Hanna-Barbera, the Cabot twins seem to be scraping by along with the Pussycats. Only a throwaway line by Alexandra to the manager of a wrecked department store to "put it on Daddy's account" gives any clue that Cabots have resources. It was felt that having wealthy teens buy their way out of scrapes would be detrimental to plot development, so the Cabot twins were kept on a tight financial leash. Archie Comics would later Retcon this as Mister Cabot getting his "worthless progeny" out of his hair by having them manage an all-girl garage band on a global whirlwind tour.
  • Scooby-Doo: In most adaptations from A Pup Named Scooby-Doo onwards, Daphne is depicted as coming from a rich family, which wasn't even hinted at in the original cartoons.
  • The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: While it isn't brought up in the subsequent videos, the first two installments "Scared Silly" and "The Legend of Grimace Island" give hints that this version of Birdie the Early Bird is rich, when the standard McDonaldland ads never gave any indication that Birdie had a lot of money to her name. Particularly, the former video has her bring up that she has been to luxurious hotels and responds to the Phantom Head's riddle about being finished when your plate is full by remarking that this statement is crazy before rambling about starting with the salad fork, while the latter has Birdie forcing Franklin, Grimace and Hamburglar to carry aboard a lot of her belongings, with one crate containing her collection of expensive French perfumes.


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