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Financial Test of Friendship

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With wealthy parents, there are always offspring who have never known a life other than privilege and extravagance. Then one day, the money is gone due to misfortune and suddenly they find themselves without money and their home is claimed as assets to pay off the debt, likely with most of their personal possessions.

Fortunately, they have a kind friend who is willing to look out for them in this time of hardship, proving that their relationship was never based on the perks of having a rich associate.

Interclass Friendships are the most common examples involved in this situation. The friend's actions can be considered a demonstration of Undying Loyalty.

The money is usually restored by the end of the episode. Expect Broke Episode plots to result from this scenario. Contrast Fair-Weather Friend.


Examples:

Comic Books

  • Batman: Bruce Wayne loses his fortune. Alfred sticks around despite being unemployed at this point and even mows lawns and gives the money to his former employer.
  • Robin (1993): When Jack Drake bankrupts Drake Industries and has to sell his mansion next door to Wayne Manor, he falls into a depression and none of his old friends try to keep in touch, but his new wife stays resolutely by his side and (along with Tim) does most of the paperwork needed even though the extravagant dates that Jack had taken her on are now out of reach. Of course, as she points out, Jack is far from penniless and is still more wealthy than most of the middle class.

Fan Works

  • Played With in The Karma of Lies: After Adrien's father is exposed as Hawkmoth and arrested, he finds himself in an increasingly precarious financial position, especially after losing access to his family's emergency account when Lila cleans it out. As his circumstances worsen, the majority of his classmates stand by his side, save for Marinette and ChloĆ©... mainly because Adrien previously refused to help Marinette back when she was struggling. Furthermore, ChloĆ© realizes that he was a Fair-Weather Friend to her as well, only invoking their status as Childhood Friends whenever it suits his needs, such as when he tries to convince her to help him convince Marinette to do what he wants. In other words, Adrien's plight is used to illustrate what an Entitled Bastard he is, expecting everyone to drop everything and assist him in ways that he refuses to do for anyone else. Ultimately, the friends that stand beside him learn how he betrayed them as well by not warning them about or taking any action against Lila, and dump him as well.

Literature

  • A Little Princess is probably one of the prime examples of this. Sara Crewe is the apple of her rich father's eye, since her mother died quite early. She is pampered and lavished with all sorts of comforts, but still remains a sweet girl and thus manages to endear herself to nearly everyone at her prestigious boarding school in London. She has never known any other life and even wonders if she is only that nice and gracious because she has everything she could possibly want. (Her friend Ermengarde points out that the school's second-richest student, Lavinia, constantly behaves nastily despite having a similarly comfortable life.) Things take a turn for the worse for poor Sara, though, after a business deal with diamond mines in their home country India goes wrong for her father. He dies and the investors still want their money so every last penny is taken, leaving nothing for Sara, who is forced to work at the boarding school as a scullery maid. The friends Sara made in the beginning of the story still do their best to be there for Sara, sneaking her food, trying to improve things for her, and helping her when she is about to lose hope. Unbeknownst to her the mines turned out to be very profitable after all, even if it took a bit and when Mr. Carrisford, the business partner of Sara's father, learns of this, he sets out to look for her, so he can turn over her half of the investment to her properly.
  • In the Monk Tie-In Novel Mr Monk Is Cleaned Out, Monk loses all of his savings in a massive Ponzi scam at the same time as being laid off by the police department, meaning he's unable to afford Natalie's services. While Natalie admits that at some point, she may have to leave Monk to fend for himself due to needing to support herself and her daughter, she tries multiple times to get herself and Monk employed somewhere else and quits more than one job in solidarity after her former boss/friend gets fired.

Live-Action TV

  • In an early episode of Friends, Monica begins working as the head chef of a restaurant and starts making good money, much like Chandler who is now a floor manager, and Ross who is a head paleontologist at the museum. To celebrate Monica's new job, the gang get together for a fancy dinner with the wealthier members of the group ordering decadent entrees, and the poorer half ordering smaller, more frugal dishes. After the check is given and Ross tries to split the hefty bill into five equal parts (excluding Monica, who the celebration is for), an argument erupts due to Phoebe, an independent masseuse, Rachel, a waitress, and Joey, a struggling actor, having to pay an unfair amount that they can't afford. When the latter three refuse to accept free tickets to a "Hootie & the Blowfish" concert from the former three, the arguing gets worse when the former group reveals that they went backstage for free when a promoter for the band recognizes Monica as his old babysitter. The arguing stops when Monica gets fired for taking some ingredients from her restaurant and company policy didn't accept her offer to replace what she took.
  • Gilligan's Island: In "Agonized Labor", an announcement on the radio says that the Howells have lost their money. When Mrs. Howell tries to comfort her grieving husband with the thought of the friends they have, Mr. Howell scoffs that he knows he's an irritating bore and people only like him because of his wealth. The other Castaways, of course, contradict this; they don't treat the Howells any differently and try their best to train them to make a living once they escape the island. It also turns out the announcement was an error.
  • Jessie: When the Ross' assets are frozen due to a tax accounting error, despite the fact she is no longer being paid to look after her charges, Jessie chooses to stay with the children during this crisis. Tony allows them to live in his apartment until the error is resolved.
  • A rare example of this trope being used as backstory rather than as a Status Quo Is God situation is Mortal Kombat: Conquest. When The Baron dies, Siro effectively loses his job as the Baron's bodyguard. Kung Lao lets Siro stay at the Trading Post to run the Trading Post with him and Taja since the three of them became friends during the events of the first episode.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Mr Tipton invests all of his money in a diamond mine that doesn't have any diamonds. When London's presidential suite and her valuable assets are seized by the bank as partial payment of the debt incurred, Maddie invites London to stay with her family, though she was reluctant at first, but started to enjoy it over time. At the end of the episode, the mine yields a massive oil reserve and the Tipton fortune is restored.
  • Three's Company: When Mr. Furley gets fired due to a series of DIY Disasters, the titular trio let him move in with them for a time. However, when he becomes The Thing That Would Not Leave, they conspire to get him reinstated as the building manager so he can move back into his own place again.

Video Games

  • Beware the Shadowcatcher: For all of Samantha's complaints about how much Maude's diner is struggling, she still sticks right by her friend's side and does all she can to help keep it from going under.
  • Kraken Academy!!: Nadia is frantic after the Spirit she imprisoned is freed, worried that she'll lose all her funding and get kicked out of the Drama Club. To her surprise, Bernadette and Pierre make clear that they're more than willing to help her pay to stay in the Club out of friendship.

Western Animation

  • Beverly Hills Teens: In the episode "Down and Out in the Teen Club", Tara becomes penniless after a relative claims her parents' fortune. She is forced to take a job at the Teen Club, thereby ending up serving her friends. All of them are sympathetic to her plight except Bianca, who goes out of her way to add to Tara's humiliation by being a snotty customer. But Tara's friends have her back and set up a plan to make Bianca think she's penniless too. When the plan is revealed, Bianca is pissed off, but she admits she had it coming.
  • DuckTales (1987). Repeated several times, with many episodes occurring where Scrooge temporarily loses all his money. His staff (Duckworth, Mrs Beakley, and Launchpad) all remain loyal to Scrooge despite him being unable to pay for their employment and often help him solve the dilemma needed to regain his fortune.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Old Man and Lisa", bad investments cause Mr Burns to temporarily lose all his money and be thrown out of his mansion. His right-hand man Smithers tells him his best immediate action is to move in with him, even continuing to dote over him and refer to him formally as "Sir" despite Lenny now being his employer and Burns essentially being Smithers' lodger without rent pay.


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