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Not with Them for the Money

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The direct opposite of the Gold Digger: the spouse or lover of a wealthy person who is adamantly uninterested in their wealth. They turn the most luxurious offers down flat without hesitation.

The wealthy partner might love to shower them with money and treasures. However, the one thing they will not compromise on is that they are absolutely uninterested in any of that.

They might be doing this on principle, or they are accustomed to a life where pinching pennies was important, but will say something like "I'm flattered, but I don't want your money. I just want you." In fact, if the wealthy partner persists, they might get offended and threaten to walk out, leaving the wealthy partner alarmed at this bizarre situation.


The wealthy partner can react with frustration, considering they dearly want to display love beyond simple company. This attitude can soften to charm once they realize the ungreedy partner is quite serious.

Put another way, the wealthy partner is reassured that they are leaving the inheritance in good and competent hands and the widow(er) will use it like an Honest Corporate Executive.

Compare Power Is Sexy: often, it is the power and status that often accompany money that someone is attracted to. What attracts them is that their partner has it, not that it's spent on them.

Compare also Screw the Money, I Have Rules!



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Shuurei of Saiunkoku Monogatari is a bit of an odd example. Being somewhat of a Tsundere, she'll never admit to caring for Emperor Shi Ryuuki (who is completely head-over-heels for her) - but if there's one thing she is absolutely clear about, it is that she doesn't want any valuable presents from him. An Impoverished Patrician who watched many people starve to death during a previous civil war, she hates waste and extravagance, and meets his early attempts to shower her with valuable gifts with an outright rant on the subject. She's willing to compromise a little only when the gift serves a practical purpose (such as a block of ice he sent her during the heat of summer, which she promptly shared with the neighborhood), but even then he has to be careful.
    • Shuurei's easygoing father Shouka, meanwhile, allowed his salary as palace archivist to be gradually reduced far below what he can live on, even though he's been a surrogate father figure to Ryuuki since long before Ryuuki took the throne and could easily have his full pay reinstated through Ryuuki's influence as Emperor, if he cared about money in the slightest.
  • Hunter × Hunter has an example. The billionaire Battera had a much younger lover who won't accept expensive presents, but only those he makes himself. They were even intending to leave his fortune behind to start a new life together until fate intervened.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Fujitaka Kinomoto liked an Uptown Girl named Nadeshiko. Her family thought he was a Gold Digger and disowned her when she insisted on marrying him. He turned out to be this trope, soon became rather affluent too, and they stayed Happily Married until she died of illness.
  • Both Goku and Gohan do this in Dragon Ball, to Chi Chi (daughter of the Ox King) and Videl (daughter of Mr. Hercules Satan) respectively. In the second case, Mr. Satan knows Gohan isn't marrying Videl for money because, if Gohan wanted Mr Satan's money, he could have just very easily revealed himself as the one who really defeated Cell and sue Mr Satan for the money that he (Satan) got from falsely taking credit for the deed.
  • Prétear: Kaoru Awayuki used to be poor until he married a rich widow and moved into her mansion. He genuinely loves her, however, and she loves him back just as much.
  • Detective Conan's Yumi Miyamoto might be tempted to marry her love interest Haneda after discovering that he is a very famous and wealthy Shogi player but she makes it very clear that she isn't interested in money by tearing up his signed marriage certificate because she wants him to finish in his goal of collecting all 7 Shogi titles and propose to her himself.

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman was originally a wealthy socialite like Batman who stole because she was bored. However she’s more recently been a poor street kid who stole to provide for herself and her sister, Maggie. They have only become more of an Official Couple since this change (especially since Batman: Hush in the early 2000s) and it’s a genuine relationship of love and respect. She loves him, not his money.
  • In Richie Rich, Richie's girlfriend, Gloria Glad, is notorious at always turning down the luxurious gifts he has offered. In fact, she has blown her temper more than once at Richie's more outrageous stunts with his wealth to attempt to impress and he can't seem to remember how much they annoy her. In one story, when she all of a sudden starts accepting his gifts greedily, it sets off alarm bells with Richie who investigates and learns he is dealing with an impostor who has kidnapped the real Gloria in order to con him out of money.
    • In one story, he did try to be frugal but a series of coincidences forced him to buy expensive stuff.
    • In another story, Gloria's Aunt was visiting and Richie, trying to impress said Aunt, decided to give Gloria expensive gifts as usual despite (this time) understanding Gloria usually turns them down. However, some accidents forced him to restrain himself to cheap stuff. Gloria liked the gifts but her Aunt was given the impression Richie was stingy.
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe has Brigitta McBridge, who is openly in love with Scrooge for his personality and doesn't care that he never gives her any gift-in fact it's usually her giving him something in the vain attempt at getting his attention. She hadn't always been like that, her early stories being ambiguous on her being in love with Scrooge, his money, or both, and the story telling their first encounter shows her trying to outright steal from him (at least until he saved her from her own scheme backfiring), but in time she became this trope.

  • In That Touch of Mink, Miss Timberlake (Doris Day) is this to the very rich and very charming Philip Shane (Cary Grant).
  • One of many conflicts between the Bad Teacher and her rival is that while the former is truly a Gold Digger with no interest in the cute new teacher aside from the fact that he's rich, the other woman genuinely likes him for other reasons.
  • In the film version of Crazy Rich Asians, this was invoked with Nick and Rachel. Nick kept his family's wealth secret while he was in New York so he could form genuine connections with people who are not in it for his money. Even after Rachel finds out, while she is still in love with Nick, she quickly grows disillusioned with the Singaporean upper class's standards and attitudes.
  • The murder case in Legally Blonde features a woman named Brooke Taylor-Windam as the prime suspect—she's been accused of murdering her husband (who was practically old enough to be her father) to get his money. But that doesn't make sense, at least partially because Brooke was actually already fairly wealthy before she and her husband got married (Brooke's a big-time fitness guru who had made a bunch of money off stuff like exercise videos), so it's not like she really needed his money. Brooke claims that, despite the age difference, she genuinely loved her husband and that he had other "qualities" about himself besides his massive wealth. The actual culprit ultimately turns out to be Brooke's stepdaughter, who greatly resented her because of how her dad (Brooke's husband) married someone who's basically the same age as his daughter. The stepdaughter, after being given an aggressive cross-examination from Elle Woods, confesses that she never meant to kill her father—in reality, she was trying to kill her stepmother, but was mistaken as to who was about to come through the door.

  • The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries: The Bellefleur family are well-off and have a famous, beautiful mansion. Andy Bellefleur's wife, Halleigh would rather they just lived in a small house together.
  • In Twilight, Bella refuses to accept any of Edward's expensive gifts. For about two seconds. Then she turns up with them in the next scene.
    • One reason she often gives is that she's unworthy of him as it is, and accepting expensive gifts when she can't return the favor would only increase the divide.
  • The Furry novel, Fangs of K'aath, has Sandhri the bat street storyteller. When she manages to reunite with her love, Prince Raschid, after all that has happened, she is made part of the royal household staff. While after years of living in poverty, she appreciates the tailor-made silken clothing she got in the process of finding Raschid again, then sharing his apartment in the Palace and having all the food she could want, that is as far it goes. Beyond that, she is adamant that Raschid, who would love to literally bury her in treasure to make her happy, should save his money for a possible future emergency when he might need all of it. As she says softly, but firmly, "I already haff my treasure. I didn't come to you because you v'ere rich."
  • In the In Death novels, Eve's relationship with Roarke occurs in spite of his obscene wealth rather than because of it. She is horrified when he presents her with an enormous diamond as a souvenir from a trip to Australia, and after their marriage, she not only refuses to think of his assets as hers, she gets mad at him when she realizes he's been putting funds into an account in her name and demands that he take it back. note 
  • Sam Vimes in the Discworld novels is also less than interested in high finance, although he's made exceptions when it was something very important — like getting an emergency medical care for his wife who is giving birth. Usually he prefers looking like a grubby cop. Because Lady Sybil is old-fashioned, everything became his upon their marriage. He tries not to think about this if at all possible and, if he has to, views it as a technicality.
    • In Men at Arms, he finds out he technically owns the Assassins' Guild's building. He uses this very effectively. By responding to "who are you to come in here like you own the place" with "actually, I do own the place."
    • By the time of Going Postal, he appears to have decided to make the best of it and used his newfound wealth to build the Lady Sybil Free Hospital, administrated by the physician who saved his wife and son.
  • Jane Eyre: When Jane agrees to marry Rochester the first time, he tries to lavish expensive gifts on her, which the independent Jane is decidedly uncomfortable with. (She never really gets over it, either — by the time they actually do marry, she's come into money and he's lost nearly everything, so it's a non-issue.)
  • Lord Peter Wimsey. Lord Peter's courtship of Harriet Vane is, if anything, impeded by his vast wealth clashing with her strong desire to stand on her own feet. Shortly after They Finally Do, Lord Peter expresses the suspicion that if he'd had nothing more than the clothes on his back, she'd probably have married him years earlier, and Harriet admits that this is quite plausible.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes novel The Sign of The Four, Watson falls madly in love with Holmes' latest client, Mary Morstan. She seems to like him, too, but there's a complication—she stands to gain a lot of money if the mystery is successfully solved. Watson is so determined not to be thought of as a Gold Digger that he heroically resolves not to woo her at all. In the end, the box with the treasure is found—but it is empty. Since this means that Watson can finally pour out his feelings to Mary, they both agree that they are happier without the money.
  • P. G. Wodehouse often used this trope, occasionally poking fun at it. Chuffy is particularly averse to being thought of as a fortune hunter when he woos the wealthy Pauline Stoker in Thank You, Jeeves, partly because he has experience of the trope from watching musical comedies. In the aptly-titled Uneasy Money the trope is the main source of romantic conflict for the couple involved and is zigzagged quite a bit before the necessary happy ending takes place—they even form a Love Triangle with a Gold Digger.
  • Gabriel from The Fear Index was perfectly happy marrying odd-ball genius Alex before he became rich. And he didn't care about money either, but since her miscarriage Alex has attempted to fill the gap with buying expensive things nobody needs, which Gabby dislikes. She puts up with it but this all blows up in his face later in the book.
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
  • (impoverished) Amy in Little Women is explicitly worried that (very rich) Laurie will think she’s a gold-digger. He points out that she turned down a much richer man than he. They’ve been close friends for over a decade by the point that things turn romantic, so her fears are very unfounded.
  • While Harry Potter has often expressed that he would gladly share some of his fortune (after all, he has more gold than he needs for himself) with the Weasleys, they always refuse. This sometimes makes him feel guilty since they're always kind to him and treat him as part of their family despite being quite poor.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Law & Order, of course, had a Ripped from the Headlines episode about an elderly millionaire dying suspiciously, and his young bride, who was totally not Anna Nicole Smith, serving as prime suspect. She swears up and down she loved him for reasons other than his money. Her mother, on the other hand...
    • Cruelly played with in one case on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The Asshole Victim blatantly cheated on his wife and constantly abused her by comparing her to her drug-addicted prostitute mother. Even worse, he hired a male model to seduce her so he could leave her with nothing when he divorced her thanks to a fidelity clause in their prenup. She stayed faithful, but still murdered her husband anyway, just days before the prenup would expire on their tenth anniversary. When the detectives ask her why she didn't just wait and then divorce the bastard and take his money, she bitterly reminds them that the money was never what she was after.
    • Another Law & Order episode had the victim's widow being presented as this. Not only did it turn out that she wasn't a gold-digger, she was devastated by having had multiple miscarriages and now had nothing to remember him by.
  • Queer as Folk: A rare male example; Emmett genuinely falls in love with a wealthy older man who dies and leaves his fortune to Emmett, but includes the clause that he is not to be publicly outed as a gay man. Emmett struggles with the idea of being rich or being honest and eventually decides it's more important to tell the world who George was and that they loved each other than to have money.
  • This is indicated to be the case with Angela and Hodgins on Bones. Although nothing's been verbalized, it's made fairly clear once they get past their hang-ups that she loves him for him and not the money. And now it's a moot point since he lost it all. Then when he gets rich again she seems to care a little more about it, so who knows?
  • Martha of Castle refuses the money that her boyfriend left to her when he died because she had been thinking of breaking up with him. Pressured by his children, she eventually accepts the money and uses it to open her own acting school.
    • Following the Relationship Upgrade at the end of Season 4, it is abundantly clear that Beckett loves Castle for who he is and that his considerable net worth is barely even an afterthought.
  • On White Collar a banker dies in a diving accident shortly before being indicted for running a multi-million dollar investment scam. The FBI suspects that his widow killed him for his life insurance money. However, Neil and Peter discover that she is innocent and was actually going to donate all the money to charity. She really loved her husband and did not want his money.
  • Monica towards Pete on Friends. Despite his offers to buy her a restaurant so she can fulfill her dream of being head chef (and escape her horrible job), she turned him down until she developed genuine feelings. This contrasts with former Gold Digger Rachel, who encourages her to date him anyway because he's a billionaire.
    Rachel: The theme of your wedding can be "Look at How Much Money We Have"!
  • The O.C. had Uptown Girl Marissa and her boy of the week, yard guy D.J. Her mother, Julie offers him money in exchange for him ending the relationship. He takes the money, but in a lovely subversion of Every Man Has His Price, gives it to Marissa, so she can have a nice shopping spree with it.
  • Gloria from Modern Family genuinely loves Jay, and vice versa, despite their many differences. Downplayed in that she does enjoy the money and all of the nice things he can buy for her and makes good use of them.
  • Columbo: In "Last Salute to the Commodore" the victim of the week has a mistress who's young enough to be his granddaughter. She eventually reveals she only agreed to marry him on the condition he leave her out of his will.
  • Frasier: Early on, Frasier asks Niles if he married Maris for her money. Niles explains that he did not... but it was a "delightful bonus". As the show goes on, it becomes pretty clear Niles genuinely did love Maris, but she didn't love him.
  • Arrow: Laurel Lance was involved with Oliver Queen (and hoping to get married to him), and later with Tommy Merlyn - both scions of billionaire families. In both cases, she is decidedly not interested in their money. At one point in Season 1, she even tells Tommy that "billionaire isn't one of your charming qualities"', when he frets about how he's been cut off by his dad.

  • "Love Don't Cost a Thing" by Jennifer Lopez. (May or may have not been inspired by her breakup with Sean Combs aka Puffy.)
    "Think you got to keep me iced, you don't. Think I'm gonna spend your cash, I won't. Even if you were broke, my love don't cost a thing..."
  • Paula Abdul's "The Way That You Love Me" is about this, with the speaker being unimpressed by her wealthy lover's "material things," caring more about, well, the way that he loves her.
  • Transvision Vamp's "I Want Your Love", in which the singer apparently isn't interested in the object of her desire's money, possessions, or even friends, just what the title states.

     Video Games 
  • In the Fire Emblem Jugdral games, Lady Ishtar is the girlfriend and Battle Couple partner to Prince Julius. However, Ishtar is not in it for Julius' money and power: they're in a Childhood Friend Romance and she loves him for himself, despite him being The Dragon. (Plus, Julius loves her back as much as him being evil allows.) On the other hand, Ishtar's mother Queen Hilda wants her to be a Gold Digger and openly tells that to her very face.
  • There's an example of this in the platonic partnership between Roadhog and Junkrat in Overwatch. Junkrat hired Roadhog to be his bodyguard for 50% of the spoils from their crime sprees. While Roadhog uses the money, his real motivation is causing pain and havoc to the world after his homeland Australia became a radioactive wasteland.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy revealed in the early episode "Death Lives" that Peter and Lois fell in love with each other completely remote from how Lois came from a wealthy family. Her father, Carter, absolutely despised Peter and went through enormous lengths to ensure that the two would never get together, and his last resort was to offer him a million dollars in exchange for never seeing Lois again. Peter instantly tore up the check and the two married anyway.
  • The Legend of Korra: Mako isn't interested in Asami for her money. He does appreciate the luxury that comes from being her boyfriend, though. However, it didn't help his case that his interest in her started waning around the time she was cut off from said luxury.

    Real Life 
  • Former Playboy Bunny Anna Nicole Smith always maintained that she didn't marry a 90-year-old billionaire for his money, despite what his family thought. Whether she was this trope or the other...
  • The late Alexander Onassis' girlfriend, the fashion model Fiona Thyssen, really disliked the idea of being seen as a Gold Digger. She's said to have hit people in public for calling her as such, only accepted gifts from Alexander if he purchased them with his own money, and when Alexander's father Aristotle once gave his son a Big Fancy House outside Athens, she interpreted it as him trying to "mold" her into a prospect Trophy Wife for Alexander.

Alternative Title(s): Gold Burier


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