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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.

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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.


Examples:

Comic Books

  • In one old Batman comic, 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 Series: 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.
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Literature

  • 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

  • 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.
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  • 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 and 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. At the end of the episode, the mine yields a massive oil reserve and the Tipton fortune is restored.
  • In an early episode of Friends, Monica is working as the head chef of a restaurant and begins making good money, much like Chandler who is now a floor manager, and Ross who is a head paleontologist at the museum. On Ross' birthday the gang chip in for the cost of the fancy dinner, and after the total amount comes to a hefty sum, an argument erupts due to Phoebe, an independent masseuse, Rachel, a waitress, and Joey, a struggling artist, couldn't afford it. When the latter three refuse to accept free tickets to a "Hootie & the Blowfish" concert from the latter three, the arguing gets worse when the latter group reveals they went backstage for free when a mamnger 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.

Western Animation

  • DuckTales (1987). Repeated several times in the original series of Duck Tales, 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.
  • In the episode "Down and Out in the Teen Club" of Beverly Hills Teens, 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, of course, 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 anything but understanding and threatens to get Tara fired, only for Tara to then get a call that the relative was a fake and her family's money is secure. Her friends are delighted, while Bianca acts like nothing happened now that Tara is a peer again.
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