Yeah, she's a triflin' friend indeed.
Oh, she's a gold digger way over town
That digs on me.
This is a character who hooks up with a rich partner (known as a Meal Ticket or Sugar Daddy), specifically to mooch off of said partner's money and status (usually in exchange for sex).
We use "she" because the digger is usually (but not always) female in modern shows, and often MUCH more attractive than her partner. The idea that all women are gold diggers is the other Distaff Counterpart (next to All Women Are Lustful) to the idea that All Men Are Perverts. This may also overlap with All Women Are Prudes, resulting in the idea that the only reason women ever have sex is to gain access to a man's money and/or get men to buy them things, while the only reason men even bother to make money in the first place is so that they can have sex with lots of hot women.
Often Distracted by the Luxury quite easily. Generally stunningly beautiful, to explain her success. Often a blonde whose hair is dyed. The gold digger who is deluding herself about her looks is a rarity.
Once able to spend his money, she will be conspicuous about it. Expect lots of evening dresses (pimped out if older works, and simple ones in recent works), jewelry by the truckload, and at least a few furs. She may already have the Cool Car and Big Fancy House her husband owns, but may buy her own of the former, and insist on redecorating the latter.
Many a gold digger would be happy to marry a man who is old or in bad health, just so long as he'd be so kind as to leave at least some of his inheritance to his spouse when he dies; most aren't malignant enough to help that process along, but those who are willing to do so enter Black Widow territory.
A common subversion is to have her turn out to be a Hooker with a Heart of Gold after all. Another way that works play with this is to have a rich man pretending to be poor, so as to ensure that any woman he becomes involved with loves him for himself and not his money. Yet another way to play with it is to have her genuinely fall in love with her meal ticket.
When it comes to interacting with people other than their Meal Ticket, gold diggers are often extremely self-centered, vain, manipulative and bitchy Socialites with no other goal in their life than pampering themselves and buying whichever catches their fancy.
Historically, this used to be the rule for both parties; back then the now-rare male "fortune hunters" were much more common (stereotypically, they would woo young heiresses without parental protection or older women with money but no looks). This was particulrly common in Victorian Britain, as economic changes forced many Peers to face that their old way of life had become unsupportable (particularly their country estates). Their primary source of income since the Middle Ages had been agriculture, but the main crop (grain) could be far more cheaply grown in the United States, Canada, Russia, and (later) Australia where land was abundant, and with steamships it could also be imported so cheaply the importers could undersell the aristocrats even though they were bringing the stuff from the far side of the world. The economics were fairly similar regarding livestock (a possible alternative to selling grain), with the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina often being able to undersell domestic British producers of beef, mutton, and pork, especially after the invention of refrigerated ships around the 1880s meant that the meat could be transported "on the hook" (i.e. as already slaughtered fresh meat) rather than "on the hoof" (i.e. as living animals) or as cured meatnote (though this wasn't as consistent; some British producers could keep up with the New World).
The aristocrats initially tried to "fix" their problem with protectionism, but this failed. Since that left only dairy and fruit-and-vegetable production as viable agricultural alternatives, and the British market could only absorb so much butter (which Ireland was better for producing anyway) and jam, many young British nobles married the daughters of self-made industrialists and merchants (who had previously been seen as too low-class for the upper crust to marry), particularly American ones.For instance The Other Wiki even has a list. By the 20th century the male gold diggers almost disappeared (except for more villainous roles), and middle-class women were now getting married to richer men, establishing the current image of this trope. A modern variant known as "FinDom", or Financial Domination, couples this trope with BDSM, where the wealthier partner acts as the submissive, and is decidedly more up-front about it.
Another male variant exists in the Japanese Visual Kei subculture: Visual Kei artists, especially lifestylers or current or ex-Delinquents, are almost unemployable outside of their own industry in a culture dependent on conformity as a requisite of traditional employment. As a result, quite a few indies, beginning, or unsuccessful artists will work in a Host Club and/or seek out a mitsukano or mitsukare ("honey woman" or "honey man") to provide for them on a financial level.
This is Older Than Steam. Subtrope of Sleeping Their Way to the Top. Compare Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor. See also Trophy Wife, although the two don't always overlap. Sometimes overlaps with Coattail-Riding Relative. There's also a degree of overlap with The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction, when an unattractive guy is unable to figure out that the hot woman is only coming on to him for ulterior motives. The cardinal sin of the Gold Digger, to no one's surprise, is Greed, though Lust and Gluttony (of the materialistic variety) also figure in.
Important Note: A gold digger is almost never a Housewife. While both of them stay home, the gold digger has expensive tastes and refuses to dirty her hands. Children and family are almost never part of her priorities, mostly because they would distract her from her life of luxury; though a divorcing gold digger will use the kids as bargaining chips to gain as much money as possible (often seeking to be the custodial parent) without regard for the children's best interests and often without any real affection for the children. Some smarter gold diggers will be, or learn to be, housewives to give extra incentive for their husband/sugar daddy to keep them around. The Housewife on the other hand, even though she may live off her husband's paycheck, will concern herself with running the home and raising the kids, money and luxury usually not being in her repertoire other than as byproducts. A gold digger MIGHT turn into a housewife given proper character development.
- Itazura Na Kiss - Marina Shinagawa. The only reason she went to nursing school was so that she could find a rich doctor to marry.
- Eva Heinemann of Monster before she went completely into her cups. In a subversion she's extremely wealthy and genuinely wants companionship from Tenma. The only reason she goes after rich guys is because poor people are beneath her.
- Subverted in Hana Yori Dango. One of the reasons why Tsukushi Makino attends the very elite Eitoku Academy school is her parents' wish to have her marrying a rich guy who'll pull them out of their Perpetual Poverty. Tsukushi, however, is a Tsundere Plucky Girl who will have none of it, engaging into Slap-Slap-Kiss dynamics with the male lead Tsukasa.
- Berserk - Griffith's courtship of princess Charlotte is solely so that he'll gain a kingdom by marrying her. It ultimately works.
- Pig Bride - Doe Doe Eun from the manhwa. She's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who plays to the male lead's preference for unthreatening women so she can marry up in society. Late in the story, we learn Her birth mother actually got her adopted by an upper-class family so that Doe Doe could then marry very well.
- Fruits Basket - Kimi Toudou. Possibly one of the few good-natured examples of this trope, as she uses her wiles to 'earn' the Student Council needed supplies and perks (in addition to gifts for herself).
- Fujiko Mine from Lupin III is always acting like this around her boy of the week. Often she's trying to wile out of them the same treasure that Lupin is trying to steal. She often pulls this on Lupin himself to boot, and most of the time he lets her get away with it, saying that betrayal is a privilege reserved for women. A couple of times though he's had enough of her and left her in the dust for Inspector Zenigata.
- Pokémon: Iris' Emolga. She uses Attract to make Pokemon fall in love with her, then takes their apples for herself. Ash's Oshawott already has a crush on her without Attract, so she easily manipulates him and pretty much many of the other male Pokemon. Unfortunately for her, she has to deal with Ash's (female) Snivy to get what she wants nowadays since they're usually sent out at the same time.
- One of the Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu mangas has Patty, the local thief in Generation 2, as this, playing it completely for the lulz. She ends up falling in love with the a poor guy, though: her cousin Lester.
- Ranma ˝ exaggerated this to parody levels in a late manga story. Nabiki is going on a date with a boy whose face is pixellated(apparently for his dignity), having him pay for a bunch of expenses in the date including jewelry, a movie ticket and a large meal. When the date is over, Nabiki tells the boy they should break up and then sells him back copies of his Love Letter.
- Skyhigh - A hideous man kills his girlfriend because he thinks she was after only his money.
- Transformers Cybertron Thunderblast is a power-digger. She flirts first with Starscream and then with Megatron, pursuing them for their prestige and strength. Not that they notice or care beyond using her for their dirty work... Interestingly, Thunderblast is powerful enough to carve out her own path, but prefers to be a digger hanging off of someone else because that way she's not the one wearing a bulls-eye.
- Nadeshiko Amamiya's family accused Fujitaka Kinomoto of being this in Cardcaptor Sakura because she was a wealthy Uptown Girl, and he was a poor novice teacher (it also didn't help that this was a May–December Romance). Subverted because he did genuinely love Nadeshiko, and she genuinely loved him; money actually didn't factor in at all. They did marry, although Nadeshiko was disowned (and her cousin Sonomi still vehemently resents Fujitaka); Nadeshiko started working as a succesful model, Fujitaka continued his teacher work, and the two lived their lives happily with their kids in a small but cozy apartment. (The Big Fancy House is much more recent.)
- In Lady, George is being pressured into becoming this via marrying a minor noblewoman from a VERY rich family so he can use her money to pay his debts. He actually refuses.
- The filler character Marron from Dragon Ball Z is implied to be this in the original series, and ultimately leaves her boyfriend Krillin. In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, however, she admits to being one immediately after Krillin gives her evidence that he's committed insurance fraud.
- Subverted with Ursula from Anatolia Story. She poses as a Rich Bitch and a fake Ishtar under Nakia's orders and tries to seduce Kail to live a life of luxury. But when Kail is not fooled, unmasks her and then asks her why did she even bother when she knew she'd be found out... Ursula breaks down crying and not only admits her deeds, but reveals her Dark and Troubled Past as a poor orphan desperate to have a bit of wealth for once in her life. She's then forgiven by Kail, becomes one of his girlfriend Yuri's ladies-in-waiting, falls in love with Kail's bodyguard Kash... and performs an Heroic Sacrifice some time later.
- In Dame Na Watashi Ni Koishite Kudasai, Michiko's first "boyfriend" seems to be more interested in getting gifts and money from her than an actual relationship. She ends up dumping him after he admits to be this trope.
- Usagi's motivation for being Sophie's manager in PriPara. He rides on Sophie's stardom just so he can get some for himself. He even sees Sophie as useless without her pickled plums.
- The main character of Yurika's Campus Life is this. Due to her father's debts, she is left with no money and no place to stay other than the campus of the women's university she's enrolled in. She takes on a Gold Digger life by seducing and having sex with rich students, making them give her money, food and a soft bed to sleep in.
- Star Driver: Kanako openly admits that this is the reason she married her husband, a much older wealthy man. She claims that he is well-aware that she does not love him, and is fine with the relationship as-is: she gets lots of money and a very comfortable lifestyle, he gets a hot young Trophy Wife. In her view, it's a win-win for them.
- In Sword Art Online, there are vibes that Asuna's mother Kyouko (who once was a very poor Country Mouse) married her husband Shouzou because of his money and she certainly wants Asuna to do so. She claims that it would be "stable" and she "wouldn't have to worry". However, she did use that stability to build a successful career of her own as an uni professor and wants Asuna to do the same as well.
- Detective Conan has suspects and victims that either qualify as gold diggers or are referred to as such. Surprisingly, many of them are males:
- In the "Luxury Liner" case, the husbands of Natsue and Akie are accused of being this. On one hand, Akie's husband Tatsuo openly admits it before he becomes the second Asshole Victim in the case — much to the horror of Akie, who actually loved him. On the other, Natsue's husband Takashi turns out to not be one, and while he at first approached her to get at her cruel grandfather Gozo for destroying his family's business, he came to actually love Natsue for her person.
- In the "Distinguished Family's Consecutive Accidental Death Case" case, it's strongly implied that the businessman Mitsuaki Nagato married his best friend Hideomi's little sister Yasue just to get closer to her dad Dousan, a very rich and very ill entrepreneur who isn't expected to live for too long. At the same time, Hideomi and Yasue's big sister Nobuko accuses Hideomi's girlfriend/Dousan's Sexy Secretary Miyuki of being one and taking advantage of Hideomi's feelings for her. Things get increasingly darker from there: Mitsuaki not only fits in here to a T, but he also was planning to murder Dousan to become the CEO of the Nagato enterprise. He recruits Miyuki for his plan... but Miyuki double-crosses and kills him, since years ago Mitsuaki and Hideomi caused the Deadly Prank that killed Miyuki's parents and Hideomi had already commited suicide over it.
- And in yet another case, a woman named Machiko Yabuchi married a very rich and much older man named Yoshichika Yabuchi, and after he died of illness and his old age, she may be planning to kill at least one of the other heirs to get a bigger share of the super large inheritance. It backfires fatally on her: when she tries to stab her brother-in-law Yoshifusa, he turns out to be a stand-in for the already dead Yoshifusa and a talented martial artist, so he kills her in self-defense.
- In Ai No Wakakusa Monogatari , Mrs. Moffat herself is an interesting variant. The only reason she allows her daughter Annie to invite Meg to their ball is so she can have her daughters meet Laurie, even telling her servant, "it's a parent's job to think in the best interests for her children". It doesn't work.
- In Child Ballad 62 Fair Annie, Annie's long-term lover — and the father of her many children — goes to marry another woman for her dowry. When the bride arrives, she hears Annie's lament and reveals that Annie is her kidnapped sister; she makes over her own dowry to her, so she can marry him.
- In Child Ballad 73 Lord Thomas and Annet, Lord Thomas, on his family's advice, marries for money.
The nut-browne bride haes gowd and gear,
Fair Annet she has gat nane;
And the little beauty Fair Annet haes
O it wull soon be gane.
- In Child Ballad The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward, the Duke of France offers a rich dowry with his daughter. The false steward posing as the young Lord of Lorn takes it without comment; it is the true lord who declares that he wants to marry the daughter more than the gold.
- One of Doctor Octopus' old schemes years ago was a variation of this. During his feud with the mobster Hammerhead, he actually proposed to Peter's Aunt May, not because she was wealthy (which she wasn't) but because she had unknowingly inherited an atomic plant that he wanted. Of course, Spider-Man got involved, the scheme culminating in a three-way fight between him, Doc Ock, and Hammerhead, the plant's destruction, and Ock becoming a destitute vagrant for a while.
- Love and Rockets - Penny Century from the Hernandez brothers' comic.
- Fables features two male examples. One of Jack's get rich quick schemes was to become a hero of the Civil War and then marry into a wealthy Southern family. Prince Charming makes his living mooching off his conquests, and attempts to renew his relationship with Briar Rose when he learns she has a blessing that keeps her wealthy.
- Astro City - Charles Williams' wife Darnice from the "Dark Ages" story arc. She flirts with anyone who has money, spends his earnings on personal luxuries, even encourages him to take bribes as a way to supplement their income, then leaves him when he refuses to be a Dirty Cop.
- Several of the female criminals confronting The Spirit classify as such, particularly the primo example, P'Gell...her usual modus is to find a shady rich guy, work her wiles, get married to same and have the guy either disappear or get busted. Two other noteworthies: Sand Sarif, the hero's childhood girlfriend and Silk Satin, who turned more or less legit when she found her missing daughter Hilde.
- Katmandu - The furry comic had a story where a villainous fortune hunter was about to marry the daughter of a rich man with every intent of sponging off him. Fortunately, a woman he cheated before had a friend who was a tailor and also a magician, who places a magic spell in his wedding suit to make him blab at the altar that he's only marrying the girl for her father's money. While the father is about to beat up the villain, the bride runs away in tears, but cheers up immediately when she runs into a very nice boy.
- Maus — Money seems like a probable reason for Vladek leaving the poor Lucia Greenberg for the wealthy Anja Zylberberg — although they do eventually truly fall in love.
- A Krazy Kat comic had Ignatz finding out that Krazy stands to inherit a lot of money. He immediately begins to woo Krazy with poetry, candy and mandolin music. When he finds out that Krazy isn't inheriting the money after all—and simultaneously gets billed for all the candy and poems—he returns to his usual practice of pelting Krazy with bricks, much to the Kat's relief.
- A favorite pun among Scrooge McDuck/Glittering Goldie shippers — Goldie doesn't fit the actual trope by any stretch, but as they met when Scrooge was a prospector during the Klondike Gold Rush and he forced her to work on his claim with him for a month, the Fan Nickname "Scrooge's gold digger" was obligatory.
- Subverted with Scrooge's other love interest Brigitta McBridge: she sometimes look like one, but she's actually a formidable businesswoman in her own right and genuinely loves Scrooge.
- Ruby Elizabeth De Longe from an issue of The Sandman was a particularly ambitious example of this trope (though in fairness, she was also a conflicted person who did want real love, deep down). Not content with merely finding a good Meal Ticket, she was determined to basically marry into Fiction 500. She had resolved to remain a virgin until she did so, and in the past, she dumped a guy that she really liked after doing a routine credit check on him and deciding he wasn't wealthy enough. In the end, her determination was in vain, as she burned to death in a hotel room, still not rich, and still single.
- In Drowntown, Gina Cassel doesn't care that her courier business doesn't bring her riches, and refuses help from her rich boyfriend, Vincent Drakenberg, on the grounds that she wants to keep her independence. This view is not shared by her partner in the business, Izzy, who tries to seduce Vincent herself. It doesn't work (or perhaps we just haven't seen it yet, since Izzy certainly seems to have prospered in the time since Gina's supposed death.)
- Red Sonja meets Laranda-fa, the Empress Dowager, who was a lowly if beautiful commoner before she married the emperor. Soon after the emperor was dead and Laranda-fa was free to spend his money and wield his power.
- ORPHANIMO!!: Ursula is one. She married (and divorced) Vallalkozo at some point prior to the series, and tries to marry Zemeckis only for their money. She even complains to her cat that Zemeckis should be spoiling her.
- Harry Potter:
- Ginny Weasley is often portrayed this way by people who dislike her (particularly the Harry/Hermione shippers); often this extends to the whole Weasley family, with claims that they only "adopted" him to get his money. The problem with this interpretation is that Harry has always been willing to share his money with the Weasleys, but knows they're too proud to accept it.
- Harry's mother Lily has also been accused of being this, simply because she chose James Potter over Severus Snape. This misses how Snape actually lost Lily's respect because he called her racist epithets in public and later joined the Wizarding World's equivalent of The Klan, whereas James may have been a Jerk Jock but he never ever thought of using said word against her and actually died protecting her and baby Harry from Voldemort.
- Earth and Sky: Prince Blueblood marries Diamond Tiara strictly so that he can have access to her wealth (having squandered his own). In a possible subversion, she's well aware of this, as she only married him to gain power and prestige.
- The New Retcons:
- Frank Day and Stan Watson both ended up viewing the woman that would become Elly Patterson as this, with some of The Baby Trap thrown in for good measure in Stan's case.
- Kortney Krelbutz started out as this, dating and getting engaged to John Patterson (although there was a revenge element in it as well, since Elly didn't stand up for her when she was fired). She realized she fell in love with him when he defended her against Connie.
- On a more general note, the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic character Fleur Dis Lee is either this or that to many fans and their fanfics. She is a young, model-like mare with a knack for posing who is seen hanging around (and clinging onto) the obviously much older aristocrat Fancy Pants.
- Some fans also interpreted Rarity as one during the events of The Best Night Ever and actually sympathized with the rather charmless Prince Blueblood. There's even a fan theory that Blueblood is normally a nice guy (or at least not that bad) but acts like an ass around women he thinks are only interested in him for this reason to drive them away.
- In By Royal Command, Twilight Sparkle gets depressed because she fears that anypony who'd show romantic interest in her would only do so because of her new princess status. When Rainbow Dash suggests that she could just take matters into her own hooves and pick a pony who won't care about such things, Twilight sets her sights on the one pony in Equestria guaranteed not to think highly of her for her new status: Her self-appointed rival, Trixie.
- The Weasleys in Knowledge Is Power were only interested in Harry so they could get their hands on his Gringotts vault, despite having been far too proud to take his money in canon.
- This is somewhat Deconstructed in Flam Gush with Lady Monara. She was the sister of a wealthy merchant who badgered him into buying a noble title and then married herself off to a noble looking for a second wife (and step-mother for his daughter). Her marriage ends when another relative pulls a coup, and she has to flee back to her brother with her step-daughter in tow. Then she engineers another marriage for her brother, which is what gives the villains of the story the chance to act.
- Averted in the Winx Club part of The Infinite Loops: Diaspro thinks that Bloom is one due how her romance with Sky started out, and that's what led her to do what she did attempting to save Sky and their homeworld from her. What's worse, from a royal's point of view her reasoning is sound enough that Stella and Aisha flat-out admit they would think the same had they not seen what actually happened...
- Subverted in Unexpected Surprise. Gabriel questions Marinette about who her daughter's father is, pointing out she might be denied a promotion if she doesn't tell. When she still refuses, he drops the matter and promotes her anyway, satisfied there are no Gold Digger intentions. He knows who the father is by then, but she does not.
- Lola the seductive Lionfish from Shark Tale. In her intro scene, she even calls herself superficial and dismisses Oscar calling him "cute, but a nobody." When Oscar becomes the Sharkslayer, Lola is immediately interested in him and begins dating him much to Angie's jealousy and dismay. When Oscar finishes a Sharkslayer stunt, Lola forcefully kisses him in front of the cameras, causing Angie to leave in jealousy, anger, and sadness. When Angie confesses Oscar her love for him, Oscar rethinks his feelings and dumps Lola—which unfortunately, leads to her great fury as she mercilessly slams him against the windows. Lola then arranges Don Lino to kidnap Angie, even gleefully threatening her life if Oscar doesn't comply.''
Lola: You know, Sharkslayer. There's only one thing I like better than money: Revenge!'
- Then in Mid-Credit Stinger, Lola enters the Top of the Reef penthouse (unaware that Oscar isn't there), only to find...
Lola: Hello? Hello? Oscar? Listen, honey, I know I was a bad girl, but c'mon! You'd have to be crazy not to take me back.
Crazy Joe: Did someone say, CRAZY?!
- 'The Ludacris and Bobby V song "Golddigger" even plays over her in her intro scene!'
- Then in Mid-Credit Stinger, Lola enters the Top of the Reef penthouse (unaware that Oscar isn't there), only to find...
- Strange Magic: Roland, who's only marring Marianne because she's the princess and he wants the armies that come with it.
- Victor Quartermaine from Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. He's already a rich nobleman, but he was wooing Lady Tottington solely for her money.
- The Van Dorts and the Everglots from Corpse Bride are rather untraditional examples: both families are pushing their children into an Arranged Marriage to get at something the other family has. The Van Dorts want to marry into the aristocratic Everglot family so they can escape the stigma of being Nouveau Riche. The Everglots wish to use the Van Dorts' newfound wealth to restore their diminished fortune. Lord Barkis Bittern is a more typical—and murderous—example, wooing wealthy women so that he can kill them and steal their money.
- The movie Gold Diggers of 1933 is, oddly enough, a movie-long subversion. When Polly the actress starts dating a millionaire, his friends assume this is going on, but in fact she didn't know he was rich. Polly's friends are a little peeved by the suggestion, however, so they decide to play it straight, and take the men for all they're worth. It is however also played straight when Polly's friend Trixie goes Gold Digging after another millionaire, and lands him.
- The film I Know Where I'm Going! has Joan Webster who's marrying a rich industrialist, Robert Bellinger for his money and the security that it will bring her. But a change of plans soon occurs...
- In Superman Returns, Lex Luthor's Establishing Character Moment is sitting by the deathbed of an elderly, rich woman who apparently got him out of prison sometime during the Time Skip. She agrees that yes, he deserves everything for how good of a husband he's been since then. Meanwhile all her relatives are pounding on the door, screaming for her not to go through with this. She dies signing her will; Lex quickly finishes writing her signature and kicks everyone else out of the house.
- Casino - Ginger McKenna in although she never lies about her intentions. And Ace has no illusions. What are the chances this works out?
- Hands Across the Table: Justified because it makes sense why Regi wants to marry a rich guy for security during the time of the Depression, and watching her parents' marriage dissolve due to being poor.Ted, on the other hand, has been wrecked by the Depression, so having money again is his number one goal as well.
- In In Name Only, Maida is a Gold Digger of the cruel variety: she doesn't care for her husband, Alec, and won't divorce him when he asks her to.
- Deconstructed in Legally Blonde. Elle points out that the new wife of an septuagenarian millionaire who is used to getting divorced on a whim, has to work extremely hard to stay married to the septuagenarian millionaire. It's also pointed out that the wife was already superrich before she married the guy, due to being a health-and-fitness guru who made loads of money off of exercise/workout videos. The man's wife also makes it very clear that her husband had other, much more interesting qualities besides his vast wealth.
- Played with in Magnolia - Julianne Moore's character initially married the elderly television executive played by Jason Robards with gold digger intentions. The twist is that, after marrying him, she found herself genuinely falling in love with him instead, to the extent that when he's on his deathbed with cancer, she actually tries to have his will changed so that she won't inherit his millions out of guilt.
- Elvira in Scarface (1983). Initially she is Frank's Mistress, and she seems purely concerned with the material benefits. With her coke-stoked pokerface it's hard to know for sure exactly why she becomes Tony's wife — there's a suggestion of real romance. But gold digging is a very natural explanation for her.
- Some Like It Hot plays with it: Tony Curtis pretends to be a rich man to woo Marilyn Monroe, while Jack Lemmon pretends to be a woman to woo a rich man.
- How to Marry a Millionaire centers on not 1, not 2, but 3 women trying to be gold diggers. Lauren Bacall's character succeeds—unwittingly at first—and the remaining two fail, but all are happier for it.
- Discussed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Lorelei Lee (played by Marilyn Monroe) is an overt gold digger and defends it from criticism in the film.
- Burke's fianceenote in House of Wax (1953). Justified that during The Gilded Age (the film's time setting) this was perceived as totally normal.
- The Greeks Had a Word for Them, which was in part the inspiration for the above, had a similar plot and resolution.
- Heartbreakers is about a con artist played by Sigourney Weaver who marries men for money then gets her daughter Jennifer Love Hewitt to seduce them (not knowing she's her daughter) so she can divorce them and take their money
- Lynette from An Officer and a Gentleman. She fakes being pregnant to force Sid to marry her, but dumps him when he quits the aviator program to do so.
- Willie Scott in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, completely Played for Laughs. She's interested in getting to know the wealthy Majahrajah of Pankot Palace but is disappointed to find out he is no older than Short Round, Indy's eleven year old sidekick!
- Marilyn Rexroth in Intolerable Cruelty is The Chessmaster of this trope. After champion divorce attorney Miles Massey foils her attempt to gouge her wealthy first husband, she sets out to ruin him at his own game. Her intricate scheme involves faking an entire second marriage to an oil tycoon, leaving her a Mock Millionaire, and then kindling Massey's attraction to her until he proposes himself.
- It backfires when her first husband dies before changing his will, leaving everything to her. Suddenly, Massey is the one who demands half of her new assets. In the end, they decide to try married life again, for real this time.
- Dial M for Murder - A male example is Tony Wendice; he only married his wife, Margot, for her money, and coldly plans to kill her, when he thinks that she wants to leave him. For added bonus, she's young and beautiful (she's played by Grace Kelly).
- Harken's wife in Horrible Bosses is implied to be this.
- Thoroughly Modern Millie (and its stage adaptation) is about a girl from Kansas who moves to New York City with hopes of working for a rich man as a stenographer and then marrying him.
- Although laughable in contrast to the superb characters mentioned above, Olivia Honey (Maria Pitillo) openly admitted to being one in She-Devil (the movie, not the TV series), saying in her interview video that she wanted to find a rich man and marry him. Ruth uses that to her advantage to ruin her ex-husband Bob by sending Olivia to him through her employment agency. When Olivia confesses her love to Bob, he fires her, and with a little more prodding from Ruth, the two of them gather evidence of him embezzling from his clients to get him in jail.
- Groucho Marx in most of the Marx Brothers movies. His usual rich woman was the wonderful Margaret Dumont. "Will you marry me? Did he [your ex-husband] leave you any money? Answer the second question first."
- Starla in Slither is blatantly said to be this in regards to her marriage to Grant. Ironically though, the film portrays her as the victim in the loveless marriage.
- Ricky Bobby's wife in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, she was married to Ricky for over ten years but the day that he's fired from the team, she dumps him and got together with his best friend, Cal. She even makes it clear that she is married to a driver and she does not work.
- In 1914 slapstick comedy Tillie's Punctured Romance, the bad guy, upon hearing that the naive girl he robbed and dumped is about to come into a large fortune, hurriedly finds her, makes up, and marries her.
- 1964 B-Movie Devil Doll features evil ventriloquist/hypnotist The Great Vorelli, who plans to marry a rich young woman, kill her and inherit her fortune.
- The Parent Trap has Nick's (Mitch's in the original) young, opportunistic fiancée Meredith (Vicki), who is only interested in Nick's money. In the remake, it is revealed Meredith is Vicki's daughter.
- Clarice Kensington of It Takes Two is a socialite who is engaged to Alyssa Callaway's father Roger and only wants to marry Roger for his money.
- Secondhand Lions has the 'get written in the will' variety. Word is that the two uncles Hub and Garth have millions stashed away somewhere. Walter was sent there to get in good with them, the other relatives have been trying for quite some time, and near the end Walter's mother and her fiance come back to just plain take the money. In the end...
Walter: [reading the will] The kid gets it all. Just plant us in the damn garden, next to the stupid lion.
- Tommy Boy has Tommy's father marrying a woman who only wants his money. When Tommy's father died at the wedding party, she and her son from a previous marriage actually her husband, making her marriage to Tommy's father illegal commented how it was better than her original plan of living with him for one year and then divorcing him. In the end, she sets her eyes into another target.
- The Man with Two Brains has Kathleen Turner playing a gold-digger who is introduced while trying to give her old rich husband a heart attack, only for him to reveal as he's dying that he altered his will. She changes her attention to Steve Martin's character, a famous brain surgeon, after he hits her with a car.
- Eve Peabody from Midnight (1939) is a self-proclaimed gold digger, and doesn't have any problem with this.
- The villain in the live-action adaption of The Cat in the Hat, Larry Quinn, was all but said to be this.
- Mrs. Quickly in Nanny McPhee is, at first, willing to marry Mr. Brown simply because she is turning into an old maid, and he's available. However, when his children's efforts make her think that all he wants is sex, she leaves in a huff. When the kids beg her to return, they reveal that their late mother's wealthy aunt has promised to support the family if Mr. Brown re-marries. Realizing this, Mrs. Quickly quickly comes back to accept Mr. Brown's proposal and later sucks up to Lady Adelaide Stitch.
- Mousehunt: Lars' wife April has shades of this; She leaves him (read: kicks him out of the house) after learning his late father left him nothing but a string factory in his will (which he wouldn't sell even when given the chance), but returns and seduces him after discovering his brother was left an antique house that the pair are about to auction off. And, when the deal goes south, she leaves him for the richest potential buyer attending the auction.
- The protagonist of Baby Face. After her abusive father (who had been letting men pay to sleep with her since she was 14) dies, she is left without money and uses wealthy men to gain money and power. She makes a Heel–Face Turn at the end when she falls in love.
- Chris from Woody Allen's Match Point essentially marries the aristocratic Chloe for the wealth and influence her family possesses. Even when he falls madly in love with (and impregnates) another woman he is decidedly reluctant to leave his wife or tell her the truth as he has "grown accustomed to a certain standard of living".
- Miss Trixie in Paper Moon, who openly admits to Addie that she's only with Moses for what she can squeeze out of him.
- The Peter Sellers movie The Bobo has Britt Ekland as a young lady who keeps company with a well-to-do man until she gets what she wants from him, then dumps him painfully. She had gotten a posh city apartment and a custom Maserati from two suckers.
- Played with in The Color of Money. Carmen stays with Vincent and clearly benefits from his pool-playing skills, but it's never clear how much genuine affection she has for him.
- Samantha Cole in Liar Liar is a clear example of this coupled with the inability to keep it in her pants. The whole divorce case stems from her husband finding out that she repeatedly cheated on him with... seven other men. Since they have a prenup, the fact that she was unfaithful pretty much leaves her with nothing. However, when she goes to the protagonist's law firm, he convinces her that she is the victim here, not her husband (who appears to be a pretty decent guy and a loving father), "pushed into the arms of another man" ("Seven other men" "Whatever"). She believes him, and demands half of her husband's assets. After the protagonist, an Amoral Attorney, wins the case (by complete accident, though), she demands to fight over the custody of the children, despite the fact that she's not much of a mother and doesn't really care about them. All she wants is more money.
- Sabel, of The Marriage Chronicles, married her husband entirely because he had the money that could support her lifestyle. Their house is in foreclosure over the debts she's racked up and she's got even more money socked away in offshore bank accounts, unbeknownst to her husband.
- Played for laughs in Best in Show with Sherri Ann's husband, an incredibly old man who doesn't speak and is confined to a wheelchair but, according to Sherri Ann, is still a horndog. As it turns out, Sherri Ann actually is in love with her female dog trainer.
- The World Is Not Enough: A rare gender inversion with Sir Robert King and his Azeri wife; Robert married her to gain access to oil-rich lands near the Caspian Sea that her family owned. According to Elektra, her father was nothing before he married her mother. As a British man with a foreign wife, he was able to seize control of the assets which should've rightfully belonged to Elektra's mother, but the sexism and racism which existed at the time meant that she couldn't reclaim what her husband stole.
- The titular Bad Teacher is this to a "T"—she's only with the boyfriend we meet at the beginning of the movie for his money and he dumps her when he finally realizes this. We learn that she spent the subsequent Time Skip trying to seduce various pro atheletes in order to wrangle child support out of them, but they were always wary and savvy enough to make sure that their condoms worked and to take them with them after the deed was completed. She then spends most of the movie trying to snag the new teacher on staff once she hears that he's rich.
- In Greedy, "Uncle Joe's" nurse is an attractive young woman without any actual medical degrees who seems to be kept around to look pretty. She is seen as this by Joe's greedy family members (who are vying for his inheritance), and she seems to be slowly sinking into the role, culminating in her announcing her plan to cement her relationship by sleeping with Joe. This, however, leads her to a My God, What Have I Done? moment, and she leaves rather than allow herself to completely succumb to the trope. She might also have been putting on the entire persona as an act to help Joe effectively test the loyalty of his family; she comes back at the end but whether her actions were all part of the show or whether Joe tracked her down and explained his game after she left is not explained.
- Veronica Lake's character in I Wanted Wings only wants to marry Jeff for his money.
- Out to Sea (a comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau) has broke Charlie seeking a rich woman on a cruise. He meets Liz, who he thinks is one, but it turns out she's trying to bag a rich man herself.
- One villain in Freaks is the trapeze artist Cleopatra, who marries Hans (a sideshow performer with dwarfism) with the intent to kill him for his fortune and then marry the strongman Hercules. When the other members of The Freakshow catch on, boy does she get her comeuppance: they mutilate her body to make her one of them.
- In A Brother's Price, the arranged marriages can be arranged for the purpose of gold-digging by the relatives, and very often are. Keifer Porter is a rare example of a man who was fully onboard with his sisters' decision to marry him to the Princesses - they got the money, and became sisters-in-law with the royals, he got fancy clothes and jewelery, a luxurious life, and was planning on having the husband's quarters redecorated with gilding and all sorts of expensive extras. The Whistlers, being a poor family, are suspected of being gold-diggers, but they aren't; they want Jerin to be happy, and never even dreamt of being able to marry him to a noble family before the opportunity presented itself.
- There's a male fortune hunter going after a plain-looking heiress in Henry James' Washington Square.
- In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod Crane was basically a male example of one, who is more attracted by Katrina's father's wealth than to her. The animated version of the book makes this all the more clear.
- A common occurrence in Jane Austen (interestingly enough, most—though certainly not all—of her Gold Digger antagonists are male):
- Northanger Abbey:
- Isabella Thorpe becomes engaged to James Morland because he is the eldest son of a slightly better-off family, but continues to pursue the far richer Frederick Tilney. The novels ends with her still being single.
- John Thorpe, who is keen to marry Catherine Morland, boasts to old General Tilney that Catherine is an heiress (a lie), which inspires the General to throw his younger son Henry Tilney at Catherine, and then to throw Catherine out of their country house in the middle of the night after the thwarted Mr. Thorpe tells him she is a gold digger (also a lie).
- Sense and Sensibility:
- As a very young man, Edward Ferrars became secretly engaged to Lucy Steele, his tutor's niece, and can't honourably break off the engagement. She maintains the pretense of selfless devotion to him, even after he is disowned because of her, until she has secured a better prospect: his younger brother.
- Mr. Willoughby leaves the penniless Marianne Dashwood, whom he loves, for the wealthy heiress Miss Grey. The devastated Marianne eventually concedes that he never would have been satisfied as a poorer man married to her even though they loved each other—material wealth simply mattered to him more than love.
- In Pride and Prejudice:
- Mrs. Bennet seems like a gold digger by proxy. She pressures Elizabeth and her sisters into chasing rich men. The eldest daughter, the perfect Jane, falls in love with a rich man geniunely; the middle sister Mary, who feels unworthy because she can't do the only thing her mother would approve because she isn't charming enough, shies away from the world and retreats into books; and the youngest two sisters are airheads who end up risking a lot while flirting. Socially and economically, her daughters don't have any other options: they are poor and have no dowry.
- Elizabeth is not a typical gold digger, despite her snarky hints she first began to love Mr Darcy when she saw his beautiful estate in Derbyshire. At first, Elizabeth shied away from Darcy in part because of his wealth; indeed, she despises him at first because he appears to be a snob. She does become open to his friendship (and courtship) after visiting his vast estate, but that has more to do with seeing how much his servants admire him, how nice he is to his sister, and his politeness towards her aunt and uncle despite knowing that they're in trade.
- Elizabeth's suitor Mr. Wickham is a typical Austen gold digger; it's eventually revealed that he tricked wealthy Georgiana Darcy into running away with him (but he's thwarted before he can get at her money). It's implied that he courts Elizabeth only until he realizes she isn't an heiress, and starts paying attention to Miss King immediately after she inherits some money.
- Charlotte Lucas marries embarrassing Mr Collins only because it means she will be provided for. She's 27 years old (meaning she is dangerously close to being called an Old Maid) and figures marrying a clergyman who will eventually inherit a small country estate is her best, not too shabby shot, even tough part of the deal is being stuck with a ridiculous, pompous and stupid man for life.
- Mansfield Park:
- Maria Bertram becomes engaged to the immensely wealthy and immensely dull Mr. Rushworth in order to become independent of her family. She falls in love with Henry Crawford while engaged, but marries Rushworth despite her father's doubts when Crawford disappoints her.
- Mary Crawford, though an heiress herself, initially considers pursuing Sir Thomas' heir Tom, and is shocked to find herself falling in love with Edmund (the younger son), whom she knows will not inherit a fortune and is, therefore, simply out of the question as husband material. She can't reconcile her feelings for him with her determination to marry a man of fortune until his older brother falls ill, and she's thrilled because, if he dies, Edmund will inherit his title and estate... an attitude that does not make Edmund very happy when he hears about it.
- Mr. Elton in Emma first chases Emma Woodhouse, the title character, even though he's so far beneath her socially that she assumes he's actually interested in her friend Harriet. When Elton is rejected by Emma, he almost immediately marries a woman from Bristol whose "charms"—she's loud, braying, crass, and bad-mannered—are such that it's obvious he only married her for her money.
- Northanger Abbey:
- Sherlock Holmes:
- Lord Robert St. Simon in the story The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor is only marrying American heiress Hatty Doran for her money, and she's only marrying him because her first husband was abducted by Indians years ago and is probably long dead. He isn't.
- The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist centered around two men trying to court a young music teacher because they knew that her uncle was rich and had no will - making his niece, as next of kin, the heir to his fortune by default.
- In The Sign of the Four, Watson desperately hopes (and is ashamed of himself for hoping) that Mary's Unexpected Inheritance remains lost, because he cannot abide her thinking him to be this if he woos her. When it is lost, he finally drops his self-flagellation and confesses to Mary that he is delighted. Mary is just as delighted, partly because she doesn't much care for wealth (and the wealth in question led to several deaths, including her own father's), partly because it has allowed Watson to stop mucking around trying to sacrifice his happiness for his honor.
- Daisy from The Great Gatsby, in addition to being feather-brained.
- Subverted in the sequel to the L-shaped Room, The Backwards Shadow. Joanne was a failed actress in her late 30's. She married her husband for his money, promising to make him a good wife and give him a baby if she could. The marriage was very happy and she was genuinely upset at his death, while recognising that everyone thought this was she had been waiting for.
- Noelle Page in The Other Side of Midnight is a poor French girl who is (in essence) sold to a disgusting-but-rich shopkeeper as a mistress by her father. She flees after bilking the shopkeeper out of some money, but then falls in love with and is abandoned by an American pilot. In order to destroy him, and having learned her lesson from the prior experience, she proceeds to woo increasingly powerful men, culminating in becoming a Greek tycoon's mistress. Wooing the right men also helps her become an internationally beloved actress, which is all part of the plan.
- In the novel 1632, when the first marriage between an up-timer (people from the year 2000) and a down-timer (people from the year 1632) is proposed, some people bluntly tell the up-timer this trope is in full effect. Although the down-timer does not understand love, she is willing to work very hard to make the marriage successful. In later novels, we find they are very Happily Married.
- Played with later on, when a young wealthy up-timer is part of the Quartermaster Corp of the United States of Europe's Army. He is really good at his job, and through his purchasing power and investment capabilities, he accidentally transforms a down-time town with an economic boom, just so he can supply his troops with what they need. When the local towns people realize his wealth and influence, (as the book puts it) "the campaign to introduce him to every unmarried daughter, niece, cousin and sister in the area kicked into high gear". It is pretty clear that the driving force for this were the adults doing the introducing, while the motivations of the girls being introduced was left unstated.
- Jane Eyre:
- Beautiful but bitchy Blanche Ingram is without a dowry pursues very wealthy Mr Rochester. He uses her only for Operation: Jealousy and never intended to marry her.
- Mr Rochester's father by proxy. Edward was his younger son and did not inherit anything — the house and money went to his eldest son. He pressured Edward to marry a rich heiress, who turns out to be Bertha Mason who'd become the Madwoman in the Attic.
- Defied by Jane Eyre herself. She says she won't marry a rich man until she is independently wealthy, so she won't be reliant on him. Though with her character traits, she would be a very diligent wife and useful companion.
- In Buddenbrooks, Bendix Grünlich marries Tony (Antonie) Buddenbrook exclusively for the dowry. As expected, this doesn't end well.
- The eponymous heroine in Abbé Prévost's novel Manon Lescaut. She leaves her lover Des Grieux after sucking dry his wallet, then moves on to a rich old man. This eventually leads to her downfall and death. Her story is the subject of many operas and ballets.
- Discussed in Little Women. The Marches are Impoverished Patricians, and their eldest daughter Margaret/Meg is very beautiful as well as somewhat greedy. When she visits her Spoiled Sweet friend Annie Moffat and gets dolled up for a party, she's emotionally crushed when she hears some Gossipy Hens wonder out loud if her presence is a ploy by her parents to make her one of these, specially in regards to their very rich family friend Theodore "Laurie" Lawrence. Meg's mother Marmee and middle sister Josephine/Jo are very pissed off when Meg tells them, with the Hot-Blooded Jo even saying she's willing to hit Annie in Meg's defense.
- The Film of the Book slightly changes this scene, but the feeling is the same. Meg's other sisters, Beth and Amy, are the ones who find out about the gossip as they sneak into a Christmas ball hosted by Mr. Lawrence; Beth has an Heroic B.S.O.D. and Amy breaks into tears, so Marmee has to reassure them about her not seeing the girls in that way.
- Several minor characters in the Elenium and Tamuli could be seen as this: One side of the marriage is a minor noble with a lot of money marrying for rank, the other side is a poor higher ranked noble marrying for money. These marriages didn't work out very well.
- The Angel-Seekers in the Samaria novels by Sharon Shinn are examples of this. Since Angels are forbidden from breeding with each other (unless given special dispensation from Jovah), they have to interbreed with humans. Any woman who bears an Angel child (or man who fathers an Angel child) is taken into the Angel parent's community and lives in luxury for the rest of their days. The result is a subcommunity of young men and women living near the Angels trying to snare an Angel lover. Since the child of a human and an Angel isn't always an Angel, there is also the secondary result of a large number of human children birthed by an Angel-Seeker and then discarded when their parent decides to make another try for an Angel child.
- Heralds of Valdemar series:
- Prince Thanel. Once he finally gets it through his head that under Valdemaran law, marrying the Queen does not automatically make him King, he seeks to murder his wife so that he become de facto king as regent to their infant daughter.
- Baron Melles is despised by most of the Imperial court. But within minutes of being named the Emperor's heir, he is swamped by members of the court cheerfully gold digging on behalf of themselves or their daughters/sisters/nieces/cousins. Since Melles knew exactly what the rest of the court thought of him, he recognized this for what it was immediately.
- Master Bard Tobias Marchand. He married his wife (Lena's mother) for the regular income, and committed borderline-treason to get more money.
- Glinda from Wicked married for the money. It doesn't help that she didn't love her husband and was in love with her female best friend.
- Dubliners: Ignatius Gallaher in "A Little Cloud" means to "marry money", with some rich German or Jews.
- Brother Cadfael series: An interestingly positive example: Avice of Thornbury is completely honest about becoming a rich nobleman's mistress for status and riches. However, in the end their relationship remained that of a married couple. Also, she turned to be the only person to have any affection for him, and was genuinely sad when he got killed.
- Anthony Trollope created many of these and of both genders. Burgo Fitzgerald is among the best known.
- In The Corellian Trilogy, Lando wants to marry into money and recruits Luke to help. Luke shows his usually understated Deadpan Snarker side.
"Well, you can't just walk up to a woman and say 'Hello, I've heard about your large bank account, let's get married.'"
- Two show up in the Mairelon the Magician duology by Patricia C. Wrede.
- The one in the first book is a man who is hoping to marry his sister's wealthy ward in order to pay off his debts. (Unfortunately, the siblings forgot to tell the girl about this plan, and she elopes with someone else.)
- The one in the second book is a beautiful woman from an impoverished family hoping to get a wealthy husband so she can remain a figure in Society. Her primary target (the male lead) is engaged to someone else (the female lead) by the end of the story. No mention is made of whether or not she snared the other man she was aiming for.
- The female lead of the duology, despite having started as a street urchin and ending about to be married to a gentleman of means, is not one (if she had been, she would have married the Marquis rather than the title-less gentleman).
- Becky Sharpe from Vanity Fair.
- Scarlett in Gone with the Wind, with husbands 2 and 3, especially #2, Frank Kennedy, who's a generation senior to her and had been courting her younger sister for some years, before Scarlett flat-out lied to him about Suellen's alleged involvement with someone else, so she could swoop in, get married to him, and get the money to pay taxes on Tara (stated to be her reason to find him of interest). #3, Rhett Butler, was also quite wealthy, but she did have some history of attraction to him on a personal level before their marriage, so money wasn't her only motive in that case.
- Claire from P. G. Wodehouse's Uneasy Money.
- In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, Allie's stepmothers. Perhaps even her mother.
- Ser Jorah Mormont's second wife in A Song of Ice and Fire. Which led to problems, since House Mormont is rather impoverished for a noble family. To satisfy his wife, Jorah had to sell some poachers into slavery even though slavery is illegal in Westeros. When the king found out, Jorah and his wife went into exile so he wouldn't be executed. She then dumped him for a much wealthier man.
- Cassandra Mortmain in I Capture the Castle gradually comes to see her older sister Rose as one of these for getting engaged to wealthy American Simon Cotton when she doesn't love him (but Cassandra does). Eventually Rose breaks it off with Simon and gives into the Belligerent Sexual Tension she has with his brother Neil.
- Sidney Sheldon book "Bloodline" has some cases:
- Walther Gassner married Anna Roffe, a woman considerably older than him and with no attractives other than being the heiress of the German branch of the family of the founder of a big pharmaceutical company. Anna's father tried to bribe him out and he used the money to buy her a wedding ring.
- Before settling for her Henpecked Husband, Helene Roffe, heiress of the French branch, married other rich people to become even wealthier.
- Gerald Wright in the Miss Marple novel A Pocket Full of Rye. He gets engaged to Elaine, the daughter of the wealthy Rex Fortescue, then dumps her when her father threatens to cut her off if she marries Wright. When Rex Fortescue is murdered and Elaine inherits a large sum of money, Wright immediately shows up again and resumes their engagement.
- Lily Tremaine in Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt is a reconstructed case. She got married to an old British lord, who would turn out to be an abusive alcoholic, rather than accepting the proposal from Seth, the story's male protagonist, who wasn't rich yet at the time. And even as she later does get engaged to Seth, she does it only because she needs someone to help her with financial issues. But then, she finds true love at the exact same time as Seth gets reunited with Beatrice, the story's female protagonist, and they amicably agree to not get married after all.
- In Christian Nation, the protagonist Greg's girlfriend Emilie will only marry him as long as he is a successful lawyer. As soon as he quits his job to join Sanjay's Theocracy Watch, however, Emilie dumps him.
- Gender-inverted in Will of the Empress. Sandry is heiress to the Landreg lands, and Empress Berenene wants to ensure that all the wealth and income from the property will stay in Namorn, so she sets several pliable courtiers to wooing Sandry. There are also a few men who try to abduct her to get their hands on it.
- In Through Alien Eyes, First Contact initiator Juna Saari is told that she must be married within four months of giving birth so that her child will be raised with both human and alien caretakers. She's courted by the powerful Xavierra family, which owns much of the Moon. This is a two-way use of this trope, in a way; she's interested in the Xavierras because they're very wealthy, while they are interested in her connections to aliens and fame.
- In Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary, Tuppence is very intent on becoming one of these. Her plans fall by the wayside, however, when her first proposal from a suitably rich person leads her to a Love Epiphany that results in her marrying her best friend Tommy.
- Judge Dee: This is the way most High Class Call Girls hope to end their careers (and many of them do), by marrying a rich old general or court official. Unlike most examples, this is in no way seen as scandalous, in part due to the fact that polygamy is the accepted norm.
- In Joe Pickett novels, Joe's mother-in-law Missy is a gold digger: working her way through a series of husbands. Each time she marries up, marrying someone who is richer than her previous husband, and always ensuring that she comes out on top in the divorce settlement.
- In The Goblin Emperor, all the noble houses want to marry into the emperor's family for the political influence. However, most are more subtle about it than Eshevis Tethimar, who is very determined to marry Maia's sister, the Archduchess Vedero Drazhin, who doesn't even want to get married to anyone. In arranging a marriage for himself, Maia uses his hand in marriage as bribe to placate a noble house that his father had snubbed.
- In Bridge of Birds, Lotus Cloud is known as "the most expensive woman in China" because she causes all of her suitors to go bankrupt in less than a week trying to please her with constant gifts of pearls and jade. Subverted, however, in that she isn't actually forcing or asking her suitors to give her all these riches; they just can't resist seeing her smile every time she receives pearls or jade. Subverted even further in that she actually doesn't want pearls and jade because she's greedy but because they subconsciously remind her of her real name, Jade Pearl, that she had been mind-wiped into forgetting by her current husband.
- The male version is common in ''The Three Musketeers," where down-at-the-heels noblemen are noted to seek not rich wives, but wealthy mistresses. This is not the only reason that D'Artagnan falls for his landlord's wife (Madame Bonacieux), but as he notes, it certainly doesn't hurt things.
- Cordelia, though it is thwarted by Doyle's gallantry, which starts making her dating pool look rather pathetic. It isn't helped by her date (a stock broker), who cannonballs into his Beamer and races off at first sight of a vamp without the slightest hesitation in leaving Cordie behind to be eaten.
Cordelia: All I could think about was: if this wimp ever saw a monster he'd probably throw a shoe at it and run like a weasel! Turns out the shoe part was giving him too much credit.
- Cordelia contemplates marrying incredibly rich and lonely geek David Nabbit, but accepts that even she has limits.
- Cordelia, though it is thwarted by Doyle's gallantry, which starts making her dating pool look rather pathetic. It isn't helped by her date (a stock broker), who cannonballs into his Beamer and races off at first sight of a vamp without the slightest hesitation in leaving Cordie behind to be eaten.
- Doctor Who: A light example in Donna Noble. She chooses to work a temping job at H.C. Clements in the city specifically because it's "nice and posh" over working as a full-time secretary for a photocopy business. Her mother Sylvia claims she's only doing in the hopes that she would "meet a man with lots of money and your whole life would change".
- Game of Thrones:
- Jorah Mormont sold slaves to support his expensive wife, who left him when the money ran out.
- Bronn marries Lollys Stokeworth for her claim, openly admitting to Tyrion Lannister that the elder sister who currently stands to inherit might suffer a riding accident. He doesn't even pretend to care about Lollys, and prefers to stone skip while she talks. That he's all about status, money, and inheritance seems to fly over her clueless head. Jaime Lannister nullifies the arrangement and promises him a new, better girl with a better castle.
- Married... with Children:
- Jefferson D'Arcy is often referred to in-show as a "trophy husband"; never works, preferring to leech off Marcy's banker income. In something of a twist, for all his cockiness when she's not around, in his relationship with Marcy it's made pretty clear that he's nevertheless a spineless doormat almost completely under her thumb as a result.
- Kelly occasionally played this role. Ironically, despite Al typically being an Overprotective Dad in beating up most of Kelly's boyfriends, he actively encourages the relationship whenever she lands a rich guy, mostly so he can exploit it for his own gain. Unfortunately, her attempts tended to blow up in her face.
- Kendall Casablancas in Veronica Mars. Mentioned within the show, even by her stepsons. Her husband also seems to have little illusions about her just being there to look good, but he probably didn't expect her to sleep around with one of his sons' friends behind his back.
- In Hispanic Soap Operas, when the villain / rival isn't the already-rich Clingy Jealous Girl, then she is this trope (or she can be rich already, but wants even more money as well as the male lead). The heroines tend to be accused of this, whether it's true or not. When it is true, then they become more of an Anti Heroine or even Villain Protagonists, who more often than not end up dying in very Anvilicious manners.
- One emblematic example is Maria Fatima of Vale Tudo ("Anything Goes / Everything Counts"), a poor-to-middle-class young woman who makes a mission of her life to marry into a rich clan no matter how, to the horror of her way more honest mother Raquel. While Fatima does find her Meal Ticket, the "anything goes" method she used to get it caused more problems to her than if she has just worked for her money.
- There was the titular anti-heroine of Rubi, who essentially screwed around the lives of her best friend and their respective romantic interests just because she wanted to marry into riches and her true love wasn't rich enough for her. In the original, and almost every remake save the latest, she was anviliciously killed; in the latest Mexican remake, she just leaves her former circle to be Happily Ever After and direct her charms to unsuspecting foreign millionaires...
- If Teresa used her lawyering talent she easily could have become rich and well positioned in high society . But noo, she had to marry herself out of poverty to get back to the people who revealed her humble origins back in high school, so she ends dumping and reconciliating with men depending on how whealty they were, and ignoring or ouright denying she was related with her humble relatives. Eventualy, her sleazy ways catch with her spectacularly when by the end, after an attack of conscience, she decides to dump a guy she was seducing to secure her economical status and get back with the one she loved the most, but by then practically no one in the soap wants anything with her anymore.
- Jessie: Rhoda Chesterfield has married six different husbands solely for their money and then got rid of them (and possibly killed some of them) after she was tired of them.
- Major Frank Burns from M*A*S*H, probably. It's mentioned more than once that he married for money (far from the only thing he does that's motivated by greed) which is the biggest reason he is never willing to leave his wife for Major Houlihan.
- The Brazilian telenovela "Anjo mau" ("Evil Angel/Angel Malo"), in all of its versions (the original Brazilian soap and its remake, an iconic Chilean remake in The '80s, and a modern Mexican version), discusses and presents this trope both in the main plot and in other minor stories:
- Berenice aka Nice, the Anti Heroine, is one. As the wholesome-looking babysitter for a very wealthy Big, Screwed-Up Family and the eldest daughter of their Old Retainer chaffeur, the beautiful and greedy Nice plans from the beginning to marry either Roberto or Ricardo, the two young and handsome uncles of the baby boy she takes care of, so she can get out of poverty. In the original Brazilian version and the classic Chilean remake, she anviliciously falls victim to Death by Childbirth; in the Brazilian remake, she survives.
- The father of the baby boy Nice babysits is accused of being one - specially when it seems he's cheating on his wife, who already is a Clingy Jealous Girl. It turns out to be false: he is actually a Self-Made Man from a poor family, and the "other women" he visits are his aging mother and his younger sister, whom he economically supports behind everyone's backs.
- Both of Nice's love rivals have the trope invoked on them. One of them is Lia, a sweet girl from a formerly rich famimily who's genuinely in love with Roberto and is about to go the Unlucky Childhood Friend route with him, but is pressured by her Rich Bitch mother into marrying him only for the family's benefit. The other is Roberto's original girlfriend Paula, who sees her parents lose a good part of their wealth, and after her Smug Snake father fails to steal the main family's riches he also pressures her into marrying one of the two guys. (The fact that she cheated on Roberto with Ricardo in the beginning, which is what drove her scorned boyfriend to Nice's arms in the first place, doesn't help).
- A significant percentage of the female characters on Mad Men:
- Particularly Jane Siegel, married as Jane Sterling.
- Pete and Trudy Campbell's marriage is a slightly more complicated take on the issue—he's from a socially prominent, very old family (back to New Amsterdam on his mother's side) that hasn't been doing too well financially (his maternal grandfather was an idiot and his father was a spendthrift); her parents are vulgar Nouveau Riche, and loaded in the extreme. Both clans are not-so-subtly backing them to improve the standing of everyone concerned. The marriage starts rocky, then they are happy for a while, but then it goes into the crapper. A large part of Pete's early success in the firm is due to him getting the Vicks account due to his father-in-law being an executive with the company. When the father-in-law finds out that Pete is cheating on Trudy, he pulls the account and costs Pete and the firm a lot of money.
- Early on in the series Ken Cosgrove expressed the sentiment that he would love to marry a rich woman whose executive father would give Ken a big account for the firm. However, when Ken does in fact marry such a woman, he steadfastly refuses to mix his family life with business and is shown to be highly successful even without his wife's money.
- Don's new wife Megan has at least a touch of diggerism, though she is shown to be genuinely talented at advertising and does seem to genuinely love Don. She later uses the financial security afforded by her marriage to start an acting career. The fact that she spends so long away from Don as an actress means his eye starts wandering again...
- Marcus in Seacht is a male gold digger, leeching off Joanne.
- Upstairs Downstairs features one confirmed gold digger, Frederick the cockney footman, who uses his good looks to hook a rich woman and who eventually moves to Hollywood - shortly before the advent of the talkies. On the other hand, Richard Bellamy, one of the major characters, is suspected by his father-in-law of being a gold digger to the point that he ties up Lady Marjorie's money so Richard can't get to it after she dies. It is true that Richard was a poor parson's son, who aspired to the hand of an earl's daughter and used his marital connections to build his career in Parliament. But on the other hand, he actually did love Lady Marjorie and was devastated by her death.
- Terri from Glee. Will (Terri's husband) and the Glee Club even sing Kanye's song while Terri goes house hunting to hammer in the point. She is not, however, married to a rich man but a High school teacher. Part of why the marriage is so unhappy.
- Lie to Me provides a subversion: one of their clients finds out that his fiancee was after his money at first, but then genuinely fell in love with him. The team points out that he's not innocent of this either, only in terms of beauty. Yes, he loves her, but it doesn't hurt that she's a knock-out. They suggest a prenup, though.
- Gloria on Modern Family is accused of this at one point by Claire. I ain't saying it's true, but she ain't messing with no broke gentlemen.
- Charity Tate, Kim Tate and Sadie King in Emmerdale all marry millionaires for their money. The characters Kelly Windsor and Chloe Aitkinson date rich men for their money.
- Tracey Barlow in Coronation Street dates her grandmothers boyfriend believing him to be a millionaire but later finds out he is lying about being rich
- Janine Butcher in Eastenders marries Barry Evans then Archie Mitchell for money
- Friends: Rachel was this in her backstory but when the plot kicks off has left her fiancee at the altar because she's unable to marry someone she doesn't love.
- Julie Cooper in The O.C. married Caleb Nichol for his money.
- Its implied that Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives originally married her husband Carlos for his money, though she does love him
- Tanya Turner in Footballers Wives marries two men for their money.
- Several of these show up in Tales from the Crypt, naturally getting what they deserve.
- An early episode had a man marrying a woman who he planned to kill on their wedding night and inherit her money. Said woman turned out to be a yandere who murdered him after they made love in order to ensure time didn't spoil their love.
- Another episode had a woman marry a man because a psychic predicted he would inherit a vast fortune and die soon after. Of course, there was a Prophecy Twist: She wins the money in a contest, breaks up with him in a cruel manner, and he kills her. He inherits her money, and gets the chair soon after.
- Joe Pesci plays a man who pretends to have a twin brother so he can marry a set of twins and inherit their whole fortune. When the girls find out there's only one, the decide to share him...by cutting him down the middle and each taking half.
- Fan Sheng Mei from Ode to Joy pursues rich men to elevate her status and support her family.
- Nikki. Before the crash, she pretended to love a film director from Sydney long enough for her to poison him, and then get a bunch of diamonds worth millions of dollars. They didn't help her much on the island, though.
- Locke's father Anthony is a male example, as shown in the episode "The Man from Tallahassee".
- Sawyer is another male example. He makes a living by having affairs with women who are married to wealthy men, and then stealing their money. Some of his techniques were picked up from Locke's dad.
- Shannon likewise is into wealthy men, and makes a living by conning her rich stepbrother out of his cash.
- Niles denies that he married Maris for her money, but that "it was merely a delightful bonus". He's certainly deluded himself into thinking he loves her, and we never find out if it was ever really true.
- Bebe became this for an old CEO with heart problems. Unfortunately for her, he died during the wedding so she didn't get any money (despite a rather game attempt to get through the vows with an Of Corpse He's Alive routine, all unfortunately offscreen). She did manage to steal his watch off of his corpse though.
Niles: Well, marrying money can have its perils. Ten or fifteen years down the line, after you've adapted to a lifestyle now totally beyond your means, you can find yourself cast aside a hollow husk, penniless and crushed.
Frasier: Niles, Big Willy's eighty-five, he's on his third pacemaker.
Niles: Ah. (jealous) Mazel tov.
- Frasier briefly becomes this for none other than Patrick Stewart, who gives him expensive watches and introduces him to celebrities. In turn, Frasier lets the guy kiss him and treat him like a boyfriend, constantly "forgetting" to tell Stewart's character he's straight.
- In another episode, he's dating a very busy high-profile lawyer and starts to worry that he's a male version of the "career widow" stereotype, being constantly stood up and then bought off with expensive gifts. When he goes to a party and meets the wives of his girlfriend's male colleagues, they're all shamelessly this trope, which is one of the things that causes him to break off the relationship.
- Cerie of 30 Rock says her goal in life is to "marry rich and then design handbags." She has since gotten married to a guy we never meet, but who is implied to be wealthy.
- The Hannah Montana episode "When You Wish You Were the Star" is a Wonderful Life episode in which Miley/Hannah finds herself in an Alternate Timeline, wherein, among other things, her father is married to her former homeschool teacher, who admits to a friend over the phone that she only married Robbie for his wealth and status.
- This was a scenario on an episode of What Would You Do?.
- It's implied that this is how Martha has lost her money and why she has to live with her son now.
- It's joked that this is how The Charmer Castle will lose all his money.
- Martha herself inverts this trope in her relationship with the wealthy (and unseen) Chet, who dies shortly after proposing to Martha, who was planning to break up with him; upon learning that Chet has left her a million dollars in his will, Martha initially decides to refuse the money, reasoning that he would never have bequeathed it to her had he lived and she broken up with him, and only agrees to accept it after her children insist that he would have wanted her to have it either way.
- Martha has an element of this trope in one sense; she's not exactly shy about charging vast amounts to her son's credit card, much to his exasperation. It is, however, abundantly clear that she loves him for far more than just his purchasing power.
- Discussed in The Sarah Jane Adventures: Clyde cites this as a reason to check up on Sarah Jane's new beau.
- Played with in Fox's reality show Joe Millionaire. The whole premise is that the female contestants are competing with each other for the affections of a handsome millionaire, but he's not really rich. Will true love prevail? No. He and the other winner broke up afterwards.
- A non-romantic variation shows up in an episode of Mama's Family wherein Vinton believes he is adopted. A prospective birth mother appears, but she balks upon learning that Vint is not a banker ("securities") as she had surmised but rather a locksmith ("security systems").
- Logan's mother on Gilmore Girls is said to have met her rich and unfaithful husband in a bar. She's a Socialite and not very affectionate mother.
- Batman rogue Penguin once teamed up with a gold digger who married an elderly wealthy man who, instead of dying and leaving her his estate, divorced her and all she got from him was a race horse and some umbrellas she tried to pass as a valuable collection.
- How to Get Away with Murder subverted this trope with Michaela. Aidan's mother accuses her of being one, but it's clear that her interest in Aidan is not only financial.
- Annaliese was considered one when she just married Sam. It seems both her mother and her sister in law still deems her as one.
- Raj gets into a relationship with one in The Big Bang Theory. He takes advantage of his parents' wealth to shower her with gifts, until they give him an ultimatum, to choose between his parents' money and the girl. When he tells her about this, and that he chose her, she promptly dumps him, leaving him an emotional wreck for the rest of the episode.
- Shake It Up!: In "Match it Up" Deuce's first girlfriend, Savannah, is this, dumping Deuce for someone with more money. When Deuce wins the chance to get 10,000 dollars, she comes back to him. Rocky and Cece trick her into revealing her true nature by having Ty pose as an internet billionaire. Deuce dumps her soon after.
- Downton Abbey:
- Lord Grantham provides an example of the classic "male Impoverished Patrician marries industrialist's daughter" type. He admits that his sole purpose in marrying Cora (an American) was getting her dowry and inheritance from her father, a millionaire dry-goods merchant, in order to support the estate. She loves him from the start, and by the time we see them about 20 years later, he's come to love her as well and deeply regret his initial motivations. According to them, he fell in love with her in the first year of their marriage.
- Some of Mary's suitors disappear when they learn that she will not inherit her parents' money. In the first episode of the series, Lord Grantham takes one (the Duke of Crowborough, who may have been seeking Mary as a beard as well as for her money) to task (in typical understated British fashion) for it. (Discussing this incident with Cora is the trigger for Lord Grantham's admission that he regrets his initial motives for his marriage.)
- El Chapulín Colorado prevented a wealthy man from shooting his daughter's boyfriend. The man suspects all her suitors were the trope. In the boyfriend's case, the man is proven right when he (falsely) claims he's leaving his entire estate to his butler.
- On Revenge, Victoria assumes this about Emily and her interest in Daniel. Emily is actually rich on her own, but lets Victoria find evidence that suggests she's right because Victoria learning her real secret would be even more damaging.
- In Parks and Recreation, Ron's first wife Tammy (not a missing comma; his first wife of two, both named Tammy) briefly tries to get back together with him when it becomes clear that Ron, an extreme libertarian, has amassed a good deal of savings which he has converted into gold and buried in various places around his property in case an economic meltdown should devalue government currency. As Leslie points out, she is literally a gold digger.
- The Victim of the Week in the Father Brown episode "The Curse of Amenhotep" is the much younger second wife of Sir Raleigh Beresford. And by much younger, we mean she is younger that Sir Raleigh's adult son. She admits to her lover that she only married Sir Raleigh to get her hands on his money.
- Soap Operas like to subvert this whenever an Interclass Romance comes up—the wealthy person's parents are convinced that the poor person is this and nothing can convince them otherwise. However this rarely turns out to be true.
- Raven's Home: Chelsea had a lot of money due to an invention of hers. Her ex-husband took her cash, cheated on her, and ended up in jail for tax fraud when it turned out that the woman he cheated with was a federal agent.
- Karen on Will & Grace is generally assumed to be this, as both Grace and Karen herself have said. Some scenes do make it clear that she loves Stan, though.
- Anomalia from a sketch by Kabaret Hrabi isn't even trying to hide it:
Anomalia: A woman needs money, diamonds, furs and romantism! (Walerian smiles) And not just the romantism! (Walerian's face falls).
- Janet Braddock in The Immortal was a young beautiful woman who married a wealthy older and sickly man. Everyone around her (including her husband) recognized her motivations, but at one point she told off one of her husband's friends "We both know why I am with him. But because I recognize that I could be replaced very easily, I have to be *very* good at what I do, which is to make him happy. And I am really that good." Her husband agreed.
- Subverted in the second episode of Lewis. A beautiful young woman is married to a wealthy man who is twice her age, paralyzed from the waist down, and a rude jerk on his best days. The husband is perfectly aware of her motive and admits it’s an experiment: in the event of divorce she gets nothing, after his death she gets the lot, so he’d like to see how long she can last. Then she saves his life, and, astonished that she rejected her chance, he confesses that in fact he loves her. Double subverted in the reveal: she was plotting to indirectly murder him and only kept him alive to get a crucial secret out of him, and the marriage was only for the money after all.
- Played With on Imposters. Maddie seems to do nothing but marry people and then clean out their bank accounts, however, it's revealed that she doesn't get to keep the money and instead gives it to a mysterious Doctor.
- The defendant in the "True North" episode of Law & Order takes this to psychopathic levels—she murdered a rich man's wife so that she could marry him. Then after a year of marriage during which she "spent his money like water", she tries steal $2 million dollars from his account, then had a friend kill him and his daughter. During her trial, another friend mentions that as early as high school, she would peruse magazines and make lists of rich men who she intended to pursue.
- The detectives in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit realize that their Victim of the Week was this when they review her employment history and notice that everywhere she worked was someplace where she could meet wealthy men.
- A man wanted to mow the lawn but it was so hot he entertained the idea of doing it naked. When he asked his wife what the neighbors would think if they saw him naked, they'd think she married him for money.
- "He was rich and old, and she/Was twenty-two or twenty-three./She gave him fifteen years to live/The only thing she meant to GIVE."
- There is a joke about a millionaire who asks his friend whether his chances to marry a young girl will improve if he'll tell her he's sixty instead of seventy five. The friend points out ninety three is a safer bet.
- Kanye West's "Gold Digger". Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Ironically enough, the Ray Charles song it samples is actually about a Sugar Momma (a woman who financially supports her lover in exchange for certain affections, i.e. a female Sugar Daddy).
- Also Proyecto Uno's song "La Interesada". Quite appropriate, since the song was a cover of "Money Talks".
- The female protagonist of the Eagles song "Lyin' Eyes" is a gold digger; she's treated more sympathetically than most examples, however, being depicted as being lonely and trapped in a loveless and unhappy marriage with a cold and distant man. The song nevertheless points out that she did bring it on herself and that she is stringing along at least two guys as a result.
- "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend", famously sung by Carol Channing. Also performed by Marilyn Monroe in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; the famous dance number in which she sings it was also done by Madonna. Subverted in the Madonna example in the video. She plays a performer who is pursued by several rich men, but she'd rather be with the hot but poor handyman and make out with him in his pickup truck.
- Good Charlotte's "Boys and Girls", continually claiming "Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money".
- Eartha Kitt has a couple of songs like this, most famously "Santa Baby", but also "Just an Old Fashioned Girl".
- "Material Girl" by Madonna is a satire on this trope (and on the general materialism of The '80s) with a twist at the end: "Experience has made me rich, and now they're after me."
- "No Endz, No Skinz" by Big L. Every woman is out for a man's cash.
- EPMD's rap song "Gold Digger".
- AC/DC, "What Do You Do for Money Honey." ("Money Talks" is an inverse example, with a man seducing a woman he thinks is a Gold Digger.)
- Jonathan Coulton has two songs on this topic: "Till the Money Comes" and "Millionaire Girlfriend."
- Kirsty MacColl's "I'm Going Out with an Eighty-Year-Old Millionaire" is a over-the-top parody of the phenomenon.
- "Daddy (You Oughta Get The Best For Me)" by Bob Troup; Sammy Kaye recorded the first hit version, but there are lots and lots of cover versions. The song is "'bout a gal named Daisy Mae" who sings she wants such things as "a brand new car, champagne, caviar."
- "Why don't you do right?" by Joe McCoy, performed by many many (including Jessica Rabbit). "Why don't you do right like some other men do? Get out of here and get me some money too!" The later version used by Disney differs considerably from the original ("Weed Smoker's Dream"), which is fully of very thinly veiled suggestions that women should become gold diggers (or possibly prostitutes). "Sitting on a million, sitting on it every day, can't make no money giving your stuff away, why don't you do now like the millionaires do? Put your stuff on the market, and make a million too." Some of the verses are even more blatant than the chorus.
- Cee Lo Green's hit "Fuck You" is about a former girlfriend who left the narrator for a richer guy, and who he laments only wanted money. Despite his choruses warnings, he kept asking for her back but she kept rejecting him for richer boyfriends.
Chorus: Oh shit, she's a gold digger - Just thought you should know, nigga
- But at the end of the music video he gets sweet revenge when returning years later to show off that now he's rich and famous, while she's stuck working at the diner where her rejections took place. So much for her gold digging.
- This is one of the methods of getting rich discussed in the ABBA song Money Money Money.
- Garth Brooks' song "Digging For Gold" from In the Life of Chris Gaines. The subject of the song was only in the marriage until the millionaire lost his money in the stock market and she bailed out in the end, leaving him crying.
- The Pet Shop Boys song Rent seems to be about this and perhaps prostitution. The title sounds like an allusion to the term "rent boy" to mean "male prostitute", and the chorus is the words "I love you, you pay my rent" repeated over and over.
You dress me up; I'm your puppet
You buy me things; I love it
You bring me food; I need it
You give me love; I feel it
- The Carter USM cover of the same song tends to avoid this trope, putting more emphasis on singing about the love angle and emphasising the lyrics "Words mean so little, and money less / When you're lying next to me." It comes off as more about a poor guy in a relationship with a richer girlfriend/boyfriend rather than the relationship between a prostitute and his client or a downright Gold Digger.
- "Marry for Money" by Trace Adkins is a rare male example:
I'm gonna marry for money
I'll be so damn rich it ain't funny
I'm gonna have me a trust fund, yacht club, hot tub piece of the pie
Find me a sweet sugar mama
With a whole lotta zeroes and commas
I don't care if she loves me, she can even be ugly
I'm gonna marry for money
- Steel Panther's "Gold-Digging Whore".
- The Offspring's "Why Don't You Get A Job?" deals with a guy whose girlfriend is a domineering one of these. Near the end of the song, it mentions another (female) friend whose boyfriend is also is a gold-digger.
I guess all his money, well it isn't enough
To keep her bill collectors at bay
I guess all his money, well it isn't enough
Cause that girl's got expensive taste
- Bruno Mars' "Natalie". Although she's sort of this and sort of a con artist, because she had no intention of staying with him after she got access to the money.
- Fleetwood Mac's "Gold Dust Woman."
- Tim McGraw's "It's a Business Doing Pleasure with You" is one from the male's perspective.
- Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" shows how this backfires when the singer discovers her gold-digging boyfriend cheating.
Driving her around IN THE CAR THAT I BOUGHT YOU!
- Ratt's "She Wants Money"
- Charlie Parker's "Romance Without Finance" is another male example.
Romance without finance just don't make sense
Mama, mama, please give up that gold
You so great and you so fine
You ain't got no money you can't be mine
- "Do You Love Me" from KISS, with Paul Stanley asking if the person he's singing about really loves him or just loves the fame and celebrity that comes with being a rock star.
- Nickelback: In "Rockstar", the narrator describes wanting to be pursued by gold diggers. The song in general is about wanting to be a rock star for all the wrong reasons.
- "Everything She Wants" by Wham!, with George Michael singing as a husband who married a woman with an insatiable appetite for all the things she can get out of him.
- "Juliet" by Lawson is about a woman who is one of these.
Dollar signs and crimson hair/She will steal your soul
Sets her sights on billionaires/All she wants is gold
(...) Pulls you with her perfect smile/Pretty soon you're done
One more sucker pays the price/Thinking you're the one
- "My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas is about a woman who receives expensive gifts from men she doesn't know because they like her "assets." At first, she resists, but she gets used to it and starts exploiting her "attributes" more in order to get more gifts and attention.
- Amy Winehouse's "Fuck Me Pumps" is about women who go clubbing and specifically target wealthy men, especially footballers, with the goal of becoming trophy wives.
- "Acapella" by Karmin is a Break-Up Song about a woman who dumps her boyfriend because he isn't rich enough.
Mama always said, "Get a rich boyfriend. You don't need to love 'em, girl, you can pretend."
You bet I totes believe her, yeah, every word she said.
Thought he was gluten-free but all that I got was bread.
Mama always said, "Nice Guys Finish Last. Beat him at his own game, honey, take the cash."
- "High and Dry" from The Rolling Stones' Aftermath features a male example in the narrator, who laments that a woman dumped him after finding out "it was money I was after".
- The 1899 ballad, "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" tells the story of a beautiful woman who married for money instead of love, and lived a sad and empty life as a result.
- "Cold As Ice" by Foreigner:
You're digging for gold, you're throwing away
a fortune in feelings, but someday you'll pay.
- "Loungin'" by LL Cool J features him trying to convince his ex-girlfriend to leave her Sugar Daddy and then mocking him once she leaves.
You gotta try love, can’t buy love
If you play your hand, then it’s bye bye love
- Blondie. Yes, that Blondie. Dagwood Bumstead, though you'd never know it to look at him today, started off as the rich and privileged heir to the Bumstead fortunes. His family cut him out of the will when he married Blondie Boopadoop(!), whom they believed to be a gold digger. To be fair, they might not have been entirely wrong at the time. The strip is called "Blondie," though Dagwood is clearly the more comedic character today, because originally it was about Blondie the flapper girl's crazy antics, with her then-boyfriend Dagwood playing straight man. After they got married and found themselves suddenly middle-class (at best), Blondie underwent a lot of character development.
- Adventures in Odyssey: It turns out that nearly every member of Wooten Basset's extended family (except his benevolent Christian paternal grandparents) is this, as shown in "Basset Hounds". The episode follows Wooten (and Bernard) as they go to said grandparents' mansion in Alaska, as the grandparents are permanently moving to Africa for mission work and have gathered up the entire family to say good-bye, as well as having made a will. Bernard talks with several of the various family members there, and quickly finds out that the only reason most of them are there is to figure out how much Grandpa Basset is leaving them, even though a large number of them are already pretty wealthy. They even claim to be either Christians and/or active in charities, hoping this will result in Grandpa giving them even more money. When they hear Grandpa's final message to them via video-tape, they even fast-forward all the way to the disbursement. Karma hits them all like a load of bricks when it turns out that Grandpa was fully aware of their money-hungry tendencies despite how filthy-rich they already are and has left them nothing as a result. The only ones who get anything are Wooten note and his cousin Wilma note , with the rest of the money and Grandpa's mansion are going to a charity he has started, to everyone else's chagrin.
- Fast-forward to the early 2016 episode "No Cause for Concern"; in which Wooton's fiance Penny sees who she thinks is Wooton doing a search for her public recordsnote ; only for it to be revealed that it was Wooton's twin brother Wellington that was doing the snooping in order to prove Penny was a gold digger due to Penny's previous boyfriend having also been wealthy and Penny being in a sizeable amount of debt only for Wooton to explain Penny had already told him about those issues.
- Not a few petty-scale villains of Victorian Melodrama, as mentioned in the Forgotten Futures supplement "Victorian Villainy" are some variety of "fortune hunter" who is after the Romantic Lead, who is usually the heiress to some vast fortune that the villain wants to get his greedy hands on.
- Older Than Steam: Petruchio of The Taming of the Shrew says outright that he wants to marry Katherine for her money.
- In the musical based on Shrew, Kiss Me Kate, Petruchio not only admits it outright several times, but he has an entire song about it. Just to even things out, though, Lilli Vanessi (not Kate) is planning to marry at least in part for status (in the stage show, her fiancé is a retired General who is intended to be the next Vice-Presidential candidate) or money (in the movie, he's a wealthy Texas cattle baron).
- The Merchant of Venice is full of male versions. Bassanio wants to marry Portia in part because she's wealthy and Portia's father had set up the whole "three caskets" thing to assure that she doesn't get stuck with one. Like everything William Shakespeare, this is up for interpretation. Some productions have Bassanio marrying Portia entirely for her money, some have him marry her because he loves her, with her money an obstacle, and some play around in the space between the two. With Aragon and Morocco, however, the text is... less kind. The text also suggests that this is a big part of Lorenzo's interest in marrying Jessica. Depending on the production, it may be more or less obvious.
- Subverted in the opera La Duenna by Roberto Gerhard: subverted because 1) the gold digger, the Large Ham Don Jerome, is a man and 2) he comes to love his wife and really misses her when she dies.
- Carmen—Mercédès, during the fortune-telling number, sees herself becoming the wife of a wealthy but senile man—and then, as his widow, inheriting magnificently.
- In The Women, Crystal Allen is trying to sleep her way to the top, and replacing Mrs. Haines with herself is not the last step on her social climb.
- In The Unsinkable Molly Brown, when Molly's father says she should settle down with a nice Irish-Catholic man, she objects that she only wants to marry "the richest Irish-Catholic next to the Pope." She rejects Johnny's marriage proposals until he has made enough money to satisfy her demands.
- The 1913 Broadway musical High Jinks had a seductive widow named Adelaide, who sized up her suitors by their bank accounts.
- In Moličre's play The Hypochondriac (also translated as The Imaginary Invalid), Beline, Argan's second wife, is a two-faced woman: she flatters and pampers her husband, but schemes all the time, trying to figure out how to get all his money after his death, and she wants to deprive his two daughters from his first marriage of their share.
- The Judge in Trial by Jury got his big break in law by courting the "elderly, ugly daughter" of a wealthy attorney to get access to her father's money and connections. Once his career had advanced to the point where he got a judgeship, he dumped her.
- Craig's Wife: Harriet admits straight up that she married her husband because she wanted a rich household and Mr. Craig had money. Her motives are explained—her father divorced her mother for a second wife, leaving Harriet and her mother and sister with nothing—but she is still a cold and villainous character.
- In A Little Night Music, Mme. Armfeldt, at the end of her life, fondly recalls the profitable dalliances with wealthy aristocrats that allowed her to die a very wealthy woman.
- The Haunted Mansion - Constance, the ghostly bride that was recently added to the attraction at Disney Theme Parks, married and decapitated about five men for their wealth. If you look at the portraits in the Attic scene, her smile and the amount of necklaces around her neck steadily increases.
- And the last one was one of the Mansion's owners - the Imagineers specifically modeled his appearance after "George" from the Portrait Room.
- Tales Series
- Many of the mistresses in Overlord, particularly Velvet in the first game and Juno in the second. A big part of either game is acquiring enough wealth so that you can afford to decorate your Tower with things that please the mistress. If you buy them all of their particular decorations, you are rewarded with an Optional Sexual Encounter with the mistress.
- There are... certain women in Final Fantasy IV that are quite clearly stereotypical gold diggers. In the... bar where they are found, there is a... club you can gain access to (for an obscene amount of cash) where you can watch a... performance by them. After the show, you can enter the dressing room and, in the DS Version, get the "Gil Farmer" augment. Hmmm....
- The Sims:
- In The Sims 3 "Gold Digger" is a Lifetime Aspiration. To achieve it, sims have to marry someone worth a certain amount of money, and then have their spouse die and see their ghost.
- In The Sims 2, Dina Caliente is implied to be this. She married Michael Bachelor and has the memory of "Married a Rich Sim", and he died before the game started. When the game starts, she's in love with Mortimer Goth, who is also very rich.
- Dragon Age: Origins - A variant occurs within dwarven society. Dwarves have a very strict caste system that determines each dwarf's profession, with casteless dwarves filling the very bottom rung. Female casteless dwarves commonly engage in "noble hunting," where they seduce a male dwarf noble and have his child. Caste is inherited from the same-gender parent, so if that baby is a boy, it will be a Noble, and he and his mother will be adopted into the house of the child's father. This is even encouraged in dwarven society, as their population is dwindling from constant attacks by the darkspawn. However, this can very easily backfire. If the child is a girl, it will be born Casteless, and leave the mother no better off economically or socially, with her dreams dashed, little hope of seducing another noble and another mouth to feed.
- Annie of Atelier Annie dreams of falling into a life of easy luxury by "marrying up" before her family sends her lazy rear end off to work as an alchemist. Once she finds out that the prize for her efforts could include the Prince's hand in marriage she becomes incredibly determined.
- Lola Tigerbelly, the main Love Interest of The Spellcasting Series. In fact, Ernie has to give her a literal pile of gold to get her attention in the second game. For bonus points, if you play the love song for her on the moodhorn, she hugs a nearby cash register.
- Leisure Suit Larry 7:
- Larry's main Love Interest in the previous game (who was a rich Granola Girl) suddenly turns into this trope after sleeping with Larry. She chains him to the bed and leaves with his wallet. His primary pursuit in this game (Captain Thygh) also turns out to be this, not to mention the Black Widow in the game who hires Larry to off her husband. Of course, neither Thygh nor Larry have any intention for a long-term relationship, but when Larry wins the contest, she refuses to honor her end of the deal until he shows her how much money he has.
- Fawn in The Land of the Lounge Lizards who dumps Larry after receiving a lot of gifts from him, including a diamond ring.
- Charlotte's profile in Fire Emblem Fates states directly that her dream is to "marry into wealth" and that she makes herself look sweet and cute in order to "get men to spoil her." She turns out to be a more benevolent version and possible deconstruction, as she wants the money to support her very poor but beloved Good Parents, uses her Gold Digger facade to mask her deep issues, and if she does get a Love Confession from a wealthy enough guy she'll wonder if she actually likes the guy enough rather than his cash or his Blue Blood, sometimes even rejecting the prospect boyfriend's proposal at first.
- In Data Age's Journey Escape for the Atari 2600, groupies that resemble hearts with legs must be avoided at all costs, as running into them causes you to lose cash.
- In Ratchet: Deadlocked Courtney Gears dumps Shellshock, only for her to come back to him after he wins the lottery.
- In Higurashi: When They Cry, Rina Mamiya and her pimp Teppei Hojou plan to scam Rena's father for a large quantity of money, apparently up to at very least one million yen. It never goes well for her, since Rena is so determined to protect herself and her father that she bloodily kills her more than once.
- Ace Attorney:
- Alita Tiala was digging for the gold of her fiance Wocky, the son of a major gangster. In fact, what made it even worse was that she was the nurse who treated Wocky, who had taken a bullet to the chest which would kill him within a year, and was virtually inoperable. She fooled Wocky into thinking the bullet was removed, and then decided to marry him, and wait for him to die to get his inheritance.
- In another game, there was a subversion when it turned out that the partner of Ron DeLite, Desiree, genuinely loved him, despite having definitely looked like a gold digger beforehand.
- In Mystic Messenger, Jumin considers all the women his father (an extremely wealthy business tycoon) has dated to be this. It doesn't help that on Jumin's route, his father's current squeeze tries to manipulate him into marrying his son off to her sister to get them to purchase her failed company. Constantly gushing over Jumin's wealth is also one of the most surefire ways for the player character to lose affection points with him.
- Tompkins' mother from Teen Girl Squad is depicted as a robotic prospector.
- In Ultra Fast Pony, Rarity is this, though inconsistently. She seems to want a legitimate relationship with Prince Blueblood, and she stops pursuing him as soon as she realizes their personalities are incompatible. On the other hand, she's interested in Fancy Pants solely for his money, and she's not the least bit ashamed.
Rarity: I am such a big fan of your money.
- Weiss Schnee, who comes from rich family, apparently had many suitors who only cared about her purse. This leads her to (mistakenly) believe that Jaune is this as well when he asks her out.
- Weiss' father, Jaques Schnee only married her mother to get his hands on Schnee Dust Company. He doesn't care at all about his family and , just to nail it, told his wife about it on Weiss' birthday.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Princess Voluptua, heir to the throne of a vast space empire, has lamented that she's endured 270 years of power-hungry fools vying for her hand. This is one of the main reasons she's attracted to Bob, because he harbors no such ambitions.
- Issa of Least I Could Do freely admitted she was looking to marry rich, which she was so focused on she made no other life goals, to the point where she was 27, still living with her parents, working at a gas station and had no skills to help her get a better paying job. She had to beg and plead for Rayne to get her a job at IDS. Now she has a new boyfriend.
- In Sinfest,
- Cyanide & Happiness takes it rather literally.
- JL8 plays the G-rated version, being that they're all in Elementary School:
- In Winter Moon, Risa is a priest in an MMORPG who prefers to charm males into giving her free stuff rather than earn her gear and experience points. This hits a snag when she encounters an extremely powerful homosexual mage who's more interested in frying her for her impertinence and using her as his "slave healer."
- The Trope Image above is actually a well known fake viral image that appeared on Reddit and an instigator of Poe's Law. The woman in the photo is Swedish actress, singer, and model Natacha Peyre. The guy next to her remains unidentified. (He's probably just a fan that she agreed to pose with for a photo op at one of her shows.) Hoaxes like this appear on Reddit a lot.
- Shego was this close being it in Season 4 of Kim Possible. Granted, considering how proud she is to be an evil Dragon/Evil Overlord that was more of a Out of Character moment.
- A straight example is Bonnie going after Ron Stoppable's 99 million dollars. She promptly leaves after it gets stolen because she told Ron to keep it in his pocket.
- Demona and Thailog scheme to do this to Macbeth, using a human Demona as bait in Gargoyles.
- The Boondocks - Cristal (you know? like the champagne). Kanye West's song was played over a montage of her shopping with Granddad, just to make sure we got it.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Jason Phillip Macendale, better known as The Hobgoblin tried to marry Felicia Hardy to get access to her wealth. When she found out his alter-ego, he threatened to kill her unless she goes through it.
- In Futurama, when Bender undergoes a robot sex-change operation, Calculon becomes smitten with "Coilette" (AKA: female Bender). Bender intends to marry Calculon, then immediately divorce him for half his stuff. Unfortunately, he develops genuine feelings (or at least a desire to not screw him over) for him.
- On The Simpsons, Marge's sister Selma (Bouvier-Terwilliger-Hutz-McClure-Stu-Simpson) at one point tells Marge that she from now on will only be marrying for love... "and maybe once more for money."
- And she got the surname "Terwilliger" from Sideshow Bob, who tried to kill her for money and would have gotten away with that if not for that meddling Bart Simpson.
- Jez on Jimmy Two-Shoes, apparently. She seems largely uninterested in being romantic with Lucius, but has no qualms about using his stuff. Sure enough, the moment the Broke Episode happens, she dumps him.
- Kelly on Stōked, when she begins dating Lo's brother (and Emma's crush) Ty Ridgemount simply because he is the son of hotel owner Mr. Ridgemount.
- At least two cartoon shorts (One of them featuring Daffy Duck) involved a male gold digger marrying a rich widow... and finding himself having to put up with her bratty kid and live his life according to her whims. After much physical and mental abuse, the gold digger decides he's had enough and leaves her.
- The other short featured Yosemite Sam, who entered Wicked Stepfather territory by trying to off the kid (who in this case isn't so much bratty as dangerously large and naive like Baby Huey). As he left, he asked himself if all of that was worth five million dollars. Five million dollars? He ran back to the mansion.
- Sam tried to marry another rich widow (played by Granny) in "Hare Trimmer", but Bugs Bunny saw through the act and posed as a rival suitor (and later Granny herself) to save her.
- Lady Jasmine turns out to be this in The Smurfs episode "The Prince And The Hopper", when Smurfette finds out that Prince Theodore's bride-to-be is only interested in marrying him for the money.
- The Kids From Room 402: Mr. Besser and, as it seems, every other man who ever married his (ex) wife.
- Batman: The Animated Series: Poison Ivy plays around with the trope, using her powers to create beautiful plant-women to marry Gotham's wealthiest citizens and later kill them for their money.
- Cross-reference this Trope with The Grinch and you'll likely get Cousin Mel from Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. Granma even describes her as such.
- Moral Orel: Doughy develops a crush on his teacher, Miss Sculptham and starts buying her presents with the money his parents give him to leave them alone. She takes advantage of this even though she clearly has no interest in her student. When he runs out of money, Doughy becomes this to Creepler in order to keep buying gifts for Miss Sculptham, until he realizes she's just taking advantage of him.
- Scrooge McDuck almost married one of these in the Season 1 finale of DuckTales (1987), "Til Nephews Do Us Part". He realized the truth right before saying "I do"... and right before Goldie showed up, at his nephews' invite. However, it seems she didn't learn, and starts trying to hit on Flintheart Glomgold. (She clearly does not think Second Place Is for Losers.)
- In the classic Looney Tunes cartoon The Dover Boys, this is part of what motivates coward, bully, cad and thief Dan Backslide's pursuit of Dora Standpipe.
"Dear rich Dora Standpipe! HOW I LOVE HER... father's money."
- Total Drama:
- The Action ending where Duncan wins has Courtney rushing over to celebrate winning "together", with Duncan himself lampshading how obvious the ploy is. In Beth's ending, she's disappointed about him losing but still agrees to go out to dinner with him.
- After his elimination in The Ridonculous Race, Noah notes that being married to a lawyer (Emma) means he won't have to bother looking for a job. Owen is amused by this, and jokingly threatens to tell Emma.
- All Hail King Julien has Clover's sister Crimson. When Crimson and King Julien become engaged, Clover accuses her of simply being a Gold Digger citing an extremely long chain of men she's used and abandoned as evidence. As the wedding breaks up for entirely unrelated reasons, it's left vague if Crimson really loved Julien or just his power.
- A beautiful white cat in the Tom and Jerry short "Blue Cat Blues" comes off as this, as she falls head over heels for Butch over Tom due to the fact that the latter's gifts were more expensive than the former's.