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Gold Digger

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What a coincidence!

"She take my money when I'm in need.
Yeah, she's a triflin' friend indeed.
Oh, she's a gold digger way over town
That digs on me."
Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger"


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. 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.

They usually get Distracted by the Luxury quite easily. Generally stunningly beautiful, to explain her success. Often a blonde whose hair is dyed. Once able to spend his money, she will be conspicuous about it. Expect lots of evening dresses and jewelry. 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.


This is Older Than Steam and a 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 is Greed, though Lust and Gluttony (of the materialistic variety) also figure in.

For the opposite type of character, who definitely does not want the rich beau's money, see Not with Them for the Money. Contrast Marry for Love.

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. 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.


For the comic book series, see Gold Digger. For the people who make a living actually digging up gold, see Prospector.

In-Universe Examples Only:

Example subpages:

    open/close all folders 

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • In the four-part Archie special "Veronica in Germany", said heiress travels to said country to visit her distant relatives, including her cousin Elke, who is engaged to a man named Wolf. Even though they are set to be married, Wolf suddenly becomes too interested in Veronica when she reveals her father's massive wealth and empire, arousing her suspicions when he starts taking her on private outings just the two of them while leaving his "beloved" fiancée at home. In the end, Veronica's suspicions are right, as Wolf breaks up with Elke after they fight over his over-friendliness with her cousin, and immediately jumps to romancing a Greek heiress.
  • Mrs. Geriatrix from Asterix is a bit of a subversion. She is much younger than her husband, but he isn't particularly rich. Their marriage is happy, but there is always the status of being married to the oldest man in the village.
  • 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.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • 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 looks like one, but she's actually a formidable businesswoman in her own right and genuinely loves Scrooge.
  • One of Doctor Octopus's old schemes was a variation. 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Katmandu: The furry comic had a story where a villainous fortune hunter is about to marry the daughter of a rich man with every intent of sponging off him. Fortunately, a woman he cheated before has a friend who's 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ruby Elizabeth De Longe from an issue of The Sandman is a particularly ambitious example of this trope (though in fairness, she's also a conflicted person who does want real love, deep down). Not content with merely finding a good Meal Ticket, she's determined to basically marry into Fiction 500. She has resolved to remain a virgin until she does 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 is in vain, as she burns to death in a hotel room, still not rich, and still single.
  • Several of the female criminals confronting The Spirit classify as such.
    • The primo example is P'Gell. Her usual modus is to find a shady rich guy, work her wiles, get married to the same, and have the guy either disappear or get busted.
    • Silk Satin, who turns more or less legit when she finds her missing daughter Hilde.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Christian Weston Chandler in Survivor: Kujira-Jima has Cass, who proudly admits in her first line of dialogue that she mooches large sums of money off of her boyfriend instead of finding gainful employment.
  • 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.
  • This is somewhat deconstructed in Flam Gush with Lady Monara. She's 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 to 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...
  • The Weasleys in Knowledge Is Power are only interested in Harry so they can get their hands on his Gringotts vault, despite being far too proud to take his money in canon.
  • Learning To Bloom: All her life Weiss has dealt with guys who just want her because she's rich. When she falls for Neptune, Weiss thinks he's different, but it's implied that he's also into her for her name. He tries to get her to pay for their first lunch together under the excuse that he left his wallet in his dorm (only for him to "realize" he had it on him the entire time upon Weiss deciding to leave early). Neptune also likes bragging about dating Weiss, which makes her feel like a Trophy Wife. This quickly leads Weiss into falling out of her infatuation with him.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton:
    • Vicky from The Fairly OddParents goes on the 13th date with Danny, only to ditch him when she finds out he isn't rich.
    • Bonnie Rockwaller from Kim Possible becomes this to Danny in the fifth alternate ending, trying to steal him from Kim after his identity as Danny Phantom is revealed and she wants a rich boyfriend. His love for Kim and Bonnie originally dismissing him as a geek makes his disinterest clear.
  • Lila tries to do this with Damian in many Maribat AU fics, only to fail miserably because of this trope and his love for Marinette.
  • In many Miraculous Ladybug Post-Chameleon salt fics, Lila is portrayed as this, as she is only interested in being with Adrien because she wants the wealth, fame, and power that comes with being an Agreste. She also accuses Marinette of being this in order to make her look bad.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom:
    • 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.
  • The New Retcons:
    • Frank Day and Stan Watson both end 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 starts out as this, dating and getting engaged to John Patterson (although there's a revenge element in it as well, since Elly didn't stand up for her when she was fired). She realizes she's fallen in love with him when he defends her against Connie.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In the sequel Picking up the Pieces, Night Blade's brother Deep Blade mentions that he's had to deal with a few who wanted to marry into his family (who are nobles and thus rather wealthy and influential), and tried to manipulate him into making a relationship permanent. This is a big part of why he has a personal lawyer, to deal with ponies like that.
  • In the That's So Raven fic Support, Raven temporarily dated a girl who used her for presents and money. Raven doesn't mind fawning over lovers, but she found her to be annoyingly clingy. After less than a month, Raven separated from her by "forgetting" to tell her that she changed her phone number.
  • Unbreakable Red Silken Thread: Heather's mother is this played straight, and people sometimes mistake Heather for this until they find out she's actually the one with more money.
  • Subverted in Unexpected Surprise. Gabriel questions Marinette about who her daughter's father is, pointing out that she might be denied a promotion if she doesn't tell. When she still refuses, he drops the matter and promotes her anyway, satisfied that there are no Gold Digger intentions. He knows who the father is by then, but she does not.
  • Universe Falls features an example of gold-digging by proxy; when Stan finds out a girl has feelings for Dipper in "Mismatched Making", he laughs it off as a joke. Then he finds out the girl in question is Pacific Northwest, heir to the uber-rich founding family of Gravity Falls, and realizes this is a chance for his family to be connected to wealth.
  • With this Ring... (Green Lantern): When detective Jonny Double is hired to investigate Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris' disappearance, his first theory is Hal wanted Carol's money, and her father disapproved of their relationship.
    The case seemed simple enough. Carol Ferris had run off with her lover, this hotdog test pilot. Her for love, him for money. Carl Ferris didn't want the guy's hands in his wallet. Maybe. But maybe it wasn't that simple.

    Films — Animated 
  • Cinderella:
    • Lady Tremaine is a potential gold digger in that there is a conspiracy theory that she may have murdered Cinderella's father, and may have even done the same to her first husband, and Cinderella's biological mother. This idea is brought forward even further in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, because Lady Tremaine dismisses Anastasia's dicovery of what love is by saying that love isn't necessary when they can have power, which likely means that she just married first Anastasia and Drizella's father, and later Cinderella's widowed father for their wealth and power and disposed of them once they'd outlived their usefulness. You can't help but wonder what Lady Tremaine might have done if she had succeeded in marrying one of her two bioligical daughters, And worse still, what she may have done if she'd managed to dispose of both Cinderella and Anastasia, after her younger daughter had refused to marry the Prince.
  • Corpse Bride:
    • The Van Dorts and the Everglots from 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.
  • Victor Quartermaine from The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. He's already a rich nobleman, but he was wooing Lady Tottington solely for her money.
  • Frozen: Hans only wants to marry Anna so that he can later murder her and her sister, take over Arendelle, and turn it into a dictatorship. All because he's 13th in line for his kingdom's throne, and really hates his family (a later tie-in novel, though, gives him a believable Freudian Excuse).
  • In Gay Purr-ee, the money-obsessed Meowrice advises his henchcats to marry out of love... for money.
  • 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." The Ludacris and Bobby V song "Golddigger" even plays over in the scene. 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!
  • Strange Magic: Roland, who's only marring Marianne because she's the princess and he wants the armies that come with it.

  • 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.
  • A joke where a woman who broke off her engagement tries writing back to her lover:
    Dear John,
    I have been unable to sleep since I broke off our engagement. Won't you forgive and forget? Your absence is breaking my heart. I was a fool, nobody can take your place. I love you.
    All my love,
    Belinda. xxxxoooxxxx
    P.S. Congratulations on winning this week's lottery.
  • Two women are chatting in a bar when one of them sees her ex and waves to him. The man doesn't even respond. She gets huffy and says "Well! I made him a millionaire, and that's the respect he shows me!" "How'd you make him a millionaire?" "He was a billionaire when we started dating."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • 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.

  • S-Town: Tyler accuses "the cousins" from Florida of being opportunistic, manipulative carpetbaggers who only show up to get John's money from his mother. The cousins, meanwhile, accuse Tyler of being a parasite who has tried to leech off of John's money and good graces. Tyler also literally tries to dig up gold out of John's property after John's suicide.

  • 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 going to a charity he has started, to everyone else's chagrin.
    • In the early 2016 episode "No Cause for Concern", Wooton's fiance Penny sees whom 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 that 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 that Penny had already told him about those issues.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Marriage Madness", the butcher's new business partner tries to marry Mrs. Davis for her money. It seems as if he's been often married, starting with the time in school he ran off with his French teacher.
    Miss Brooks: If he had said English teacher, I would have screamed!

    Standup Comedy 
  • Discussed in Whitney Cummings' standup. She says she has very little sympathy for men who complain about gold diggers, since, she points out, the problem can very easily be avoided by dating women who are old and successful enough to have their own gold.
    Maybe stop dating 18-year-olds that need a Kickstarter campaign just to eat dinner. Maybe just date adults, with jobs!

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Large Ham Don Jerome in the opera La Duenna by Roberto Gerhard, though he comes to love his wife and really misses her when she dies.
  • In The Grand Duke by Gilbert and Sullivan:
    • Julia agrees to marry Ernest even though she hates him, because he's going to usurp the Grand Duke's throne and she wants to be Grand Duchess. When Ludwig becomes Grand Duke instead she insists on marrying him.
    • Rudolph and Caroline are an unusual example — they're mutual gold-diggers. Each is a rich miser who wants to marry the other in order to become even richer. They are quite frank with each other about this, and while they actually are affectionate to each other, it's clear that this is only because of the money.
  • The 1913 Broadway musical High Jinks has a seductive widow named Adelaide, who sizes up her suitors by their bank accounts.
  • In Molière's play The Imaginary Invalid (also translated as The Hypochondriac), 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.
  • Kiss Me, Kate:
    • Petruchio not only admits outright several times that he only wants Kate's money, but he has an entire song about it.
    • Just to even things out, 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).
  • 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 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.
    • The text 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.
  • Older Than Steam: Petruchio of The Taming of the Shrew says outright that he wants to marry Katherine for her money.
  • 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.
  • In The Unsinkable Molly Brown, when Molly's father says that 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.
  • 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.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Haunted Mansion: Constance the ghostly bride married and decapitated about five men for their wealth. In the Attic scene, her smile and the amount of necklaces around her neck on her portrait steadily increases. The last husband was one of the Mansion's owners — the Imagineers specifically modeled his appearance after "George" from the Portrait Room.

    Video Games 
  • Annie of Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island 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.
  • 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.
  • Dragon Quest IV: Maya has expressed interest in richer men regardless of age, drooling at the prospect of swimming in gold.
  • 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...
  • Fire Emblem:
    • 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. Furthermore, while being wealthy is a priority, it's not the only criteria she has. If money is the only thing a man has to offer Charlotte (as opposed to being a decent person), she'd rather walk away.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses adds Dorothea as another sympathetic case. A former Street Urchin who only escaped poverty by being recruited by an opera troupe, she knows her looks and voice won't last forever and explicitly joined the Academy to get close to a bunch of nobles and possibly find a wealthy husband before she grows old and ends up poor and alone again. So in a violent contrast to the standard, greed-driven examples, she ends up being one of the nicer and more empathic members of the cast... which results in awkward situations sometimes, like when she snaps at Lorenz for his views on prioritizing social status over everything else, only to apologize when he points out she's doing the exact same thing.
  • 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 the Kindergarten 2 mission "Flowers for Diana", the protagonist has to hook Alpha Bitch Cindy up with Token Rich Student Felix Huxley in order to get a flower required to complete the mission. After he does so, Cindy will gush over what a "walking goldmine" her new boyfriend is. Of course, Felix himself is a Rich Bastard who's just as nasty as Cindy herself, if not more so, and who only agreed to the whole thing because he thinks having a partner will make him more appealing to potential investors, so there's little sympathy to be had for him.
  • Leisure Suit Larry:
    • Fawn in Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards, who dumps Larry after receiving a lot of gifts from him, including a diamond ring.
    • Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail!: 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.
  • 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.
  • In Ratchet: Deadlocked Courtney Gears gets pissy over her boyfriend Reactor being a Nice Guy and nearly leaves him, only for her to come back to him after he becomes a rich Gladiator.
  • The Sims:
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • The Contessa married an aristocrat for his money and estate, then poisoned him a few weeks after the wedding.
    • Penelope fell for Sly, and later Bentley, for the treasures in the Cooper Vault, but when Dr. M put a halt to that, she decided to use Bentley's skills as a money maker instead, which backfires when he finds out and dumps her.
  • 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.
  • Tales Series:

     Visual Novels 
  • 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.
    • Another game has a subversion when it turns out that the partner of Ron DeLite, Desiree, genuinely loved him, despite having definitely looked like a gold digger beforehand.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • 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's father, Jacques, only married her mother to get his hands on the Schnee Dust Company. He doesn't care at all about his family and, just to twist the knife further, flat-out told his wife about it on Weiss's birthday.
  • 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.


    Web Original 
  • Dragonball Z Abridged paints Maron as this. While in the original show, she's a ditzy airhead who genuinely likes Krillin (even if they don't end up together), here, she is portrayed as only being with "Juan Sanchez" to get ahold of his newly-inherited life insurance payoff from his death on Namek. Her Establishing Character Moment is to appear, exclaim that she broke a nail and then ask for a thousand dollars, to which "Juan" eagerly gives here two. It's later revealed she's an investigator who was trying to make sure Krillin's story was genuine, but she still kept all the money Krillin gave to her, forcing him to crash at Kame house for the rest of the Cell Saga.
  • 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.
  • In this video, a girl rejects a guy's proposal to her...and then overhears that his friend died and left him all his money. And said friend was Jeff Bezos. Cut to the wedding.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In "Joker's Millions", a psychiatrist indignantly denies that he was bribed to give the Joker a clean bill of mental health. He is then seen getting into a flashy new car with an attractive woman about half his age.
    • Baby Doll winds up falling for Killer Croc because she sees much of herself in him — but his only interest with her is how much money they can make for crimes she plans and he executes.
  • The Boondocks: Cristal (you know? like the champagne). Kanye West's song is played over a montage of her shopping with Granddad, just to make sure we got it.
  • Daria:
    • Brittany's step-mom, Ashley-Amber, is mostly a Trophy Wife, though a tie-in book mentions that she's "secretly learning the joint-property laws."
    • The Fashion Club doesn't exactly hide the fact that a boy's money ties into their willingness to date him.
      Skylar:note  [reading Quinn's planner] "Long term plans: September, break up with Skylar; October, go out with Taylor?!"
      Quinn: His parents have a ski house!
  • Scrooge McDuck almost marries one of these in the Season 1 finale of DuckTales (1987), "Til Nephews Do Us Part". He realizes the truth right before saying "I do"... and right before his old flame Goldie shows 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.
  • The Valentine's Day special of Edgar & Ellen has Edgar fall in love with a pretty goth girl named Ursula. Ursula pretends to love him, but in reality, she wants to steal his inventions so that she can sell them and become rich.
  • 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.
    • Bender also assumes that this is why Fry starts dating Amy:
      Bender: Congratulations, Fry, you snagged the perfect girlfriend! Amy's rich, she's probably got other characteristics...
  • In Gargoyles, Demona and her new lover, Thailog, take advantage of her new human form to try and do this to Macbeth; since they can't kill him, they would just lock him in his own dungeon forever and take his cash. Of course, in this case the money would have been used to fund much worse offenses.
  • 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.
  • Kim Possible: Bonnie going after Ron Stoppable's 99 million dollars. She promptly leaves after they get stolen because she told Ron to keep it in his pocket.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In one short, Daffy Duck marries a rich widow... and finds 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.
    • Another short features Yosemite Sam, who enters 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 leaves, he asks himself if all of that was worth five million dollars. Five million dollars? He runs back to the mansion.
    • Sam tries to marry another rich widow (played by Granny) in "Hare Trimmer", but Bugs Bunny sees through the act and poses as a rival suitor (and later Granny herself) to save her.
    • In the classic cartoon The Dover Boys, this is part of what motivates coward, bully, cad and thief Dan Backslide's pursuit of Dora Standpipe. He is as subtle about this as he is about everything else.
      Dan: Dear rich Dora Standpipe! HOW I LOVE HER... father's money.
  • 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 that she's just taking advantage of him.
  • 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."
    • Selma 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.
  • 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.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Jason Phillip Macendale, better known as the Hobgoblin, tries to marry Felicia Hardy to get access to her wealth. When she finds out his alter-ego, he threatens to kill her unless she goes through with it.
  • 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.
  • 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 are more expensive than the former's.
  • 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 Total Drama Presents: 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.


Video Example(s):


Marx Brothers: Fortune hunters

Groucho and his boss Gottlieb are both interested in Mrs. Claypool...and the money her husband left her!

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / GoldDigger

Media sources:

Main / GoldDigger