The lead character is going into business for him/herself, and hears about a building they can buy. Accompanied by their supportive friend or prospective business partner, they walk in, see the filthy run-down building... and fall in love. They usually say something like, "Isn't it beautiful?", at which point we switch to the friend's POV and/or the stunned look on their face. Often followed by a Fixin' Stuff Up montage. The building usually got this way because fictional cities Never Recycle a Building.
Can apply to other buildings and objects as well. The trope plays on POV dissonance between the characters; one sees things as they are, while the other sees things as they could be. The skeptic generally serves as an Audience Surrogate, but the dreamer gets the final say because he's the one paying for it.
- Alex Hayden of Marvel Comics' Agent X is thrilled to have very his own condemned fun park.
- Discussed in Civil War, when Doctor Strange conceals the New Avengers in his own mansion, bespelled to look decrepit and boarded up (to twist the knife a bit more, it even wears a "Coming Soon — A Starbucks" banner).
- In Superboy (1994) Superboy finds a derelict, abandoned and in need of repairs home on Maui that he quickly uses all his money to buy and then moves in with his very unenthusiastic manager and his manager's daughter who both think the place is a dump.
- Ghostbusters (1984): Ray falls in love with a dilapidated firehouse (primarily because of the sliding pole), leading to the page quote above.
- The First Wives Club: The location for their womens' crisis center (which also serves as headquarters while the ladies plot revenge against their evil exes).
- Accepted: The old mental hospital which would become the South Harmon campus.
- Revenge of the Nerds: The nerds' frat house.
- It's a Wonderful Life - Mary is in love with the old Granville house, which at that point is an old abandoned mansion that people throw rocks at. After George and Mary are married, Mary buys the house for them to fix up and live in.
- The final battle in Spectre takes place in the old MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross, which is now abandoned and scheduled for demolition after the attack in Skyfall.
- In the first two Herbie movies, The Love Bug and Herbie Rides Again, the little Volkswagen and his human companions live in a condemned, but beautiful, Victorian firehouse◊ overlooking San Francisco.
- Mal Reynolds has this immediate reaction to the titular spacecraft in Firefly.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Ted's "dream house."
- One of the story arcs in Season 6 involves Ted being hired to rebuild The Arcadian. The company hiring Ted to redesign the building sees it as it is, Ted and a woman protesting its demolition see it as it was until Ted discovers that the woman is trapped in a loveless marriage and uses these protests as an emotional outlet.
- At the start of the second season of Angel they fight a paranoia demon in the Hyperion Hotel. It had been the site of numerous suicides, a lynching (admittedly, it was of Angel, so he survived), and a massacre when one of the staff made his morning wake up calls with a shotgun. In the middle of Wesley describing this, Angel declares that they're moving in. It's also not close to up to code, which Gavin tries to use against them. They generally took the approach of moving into a room and making it livable, and ignoring the rest of them.
- 2 Broke Girls: The place Max and Caroline rent for their cupcake shop was a soup kitchen that was closed after a mass shooting inside. When they come to check the place out, the walls were still covered in blood.
- Bones: Booth and Bones are in need of a new house. Booth uses his FBI connections to pick up one that was heavily damaged in a raid. After initially seeming to be unimpressed Bones tells him she can see the "bones" of the structure and it's a great house.
- In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, CJ is dismayed to discover that the autoshop he won in a race is actually a condemned gas station. His sister and their friends eventually convince him of the building's worth, and he soon manages to renovate it into a successful business.