Dating someone to get revenge on someone else (or hey, maybe even the person you're dating: why be picky about it?).
Love is a messy tangle. It's prone to jealousy, to disapproving friends and family, heartbreaks, and all sorts of other tribulations. And since people are easily led astray by love, it's easy to manipulate someone with affection and flattery to hurt them, or the people close to them,
One common variation is Operation: Jealousy.
- Happened at least twice in Case Closed:
- One was the case of a young man who, on his wedding-day, poisons his bride - the daughter of the local Chief of Police - in revenge for said Chief causing the death of the young man's mother through carelessness years before. Indeed, he had started a relationship with her and proposed marriage, just to get his revenge on the man who left him an orphan. What he doesn't know is that the daughter is his childhood sweetheart.
- In another case, the (highly unpleasant) patriarch of a wealthy Zaibatsu family is murdered on a cruise-ship, on his way home from his granddaughter's wedding. It soon turns out that the groom is secretly the son of a man who committed suicide after said patriarch ruined his business. The man even admits that he initially started the relationship in order to get closer to the man, so he could find a way to get revenge - but adamantly insists that he eventually came to genuinely love her, and that he has nothing to do with the murder. What's more, they decide to renounce the family estate and lived Happily Ever After.
- This is an important, not to say central, plot element of the Tsukigomori drama and its remake 'Cloudy Moon,' which the main characters spent a lot of Skip Beat! filming. Ren's character, the lead, is engaged to Kyouko's character's older sister (even though he actually likes the abused foster-sister) as part of a long-term plan to avenge himself on the family. Because fiancee-Meiyou's father was responsible for murdering Katsuki's whole family when he was a kid and disguising it as one of those car-over-a-cliff suicides. He has to keep her believing he loves her madly, or his whole scheme will collapse.
- This scenario is modeled closely on a fusion of two real famous classic Japanese dramas. The second Conan example is a subversion homage.
- It also mirrors Ren's situation with Kyoko to an amusing degree—not the fake romance, but the need to maintain the reinvented identity and therefore to stay apart from the girl he likes. Hell, she's even similar, with the Cinderella angle.
- In The Bad Sleep Well, the revenge seeker marries the daughter of a Corrupt Corporate Executive, one of the people who murdered his father, as part of his plan.
- In Spider-Man 2, Mary Jane is clearly still in love with Peter but starts dating Jonah Jameson's son after he rejected her and hastily agrees to marry him just to throw it in Peter's face after he misses her play. Once she learns Peter is Spider-Man she promptly ditches Jameson at the altar.
- In Wayne's World, the titular character's ex tries this with him. It fails horribly.
- The appropriately-named Revenge has Emily, the main character, dating, and then getting engaged to Daniel, the son of her sworn enemies Conrad and Victoria Grayson as a part of her vengeance plan.
- Friends has Chandler's elementary classmate (played by Julia Roberts) seducing him, stealing his clothes and abandoning him in a restaurant bathroom as revenge for pulling up her skirt. This happened when they were about nine and he was going through his parent's divorce at the time so the revenge is definitely an overreaction and Played for Laughs.
- In Bayard Veiller's play Within the Law, Mary Turner was sentenced to three years in prison for a theft from Edward Gilder's Emporium she didn't commit because Gilder was determined to make an example of her. After serving her sentence, Mary marries Gilder's son Dick, and not out of love:
"I served every minute of my time: three full, whole years. Do you wonder I want to get even—that someone has got to pay? Four years ago you took away my name and gave me a number. Now I've given up that number and I've got your name."
- In one episode of Fairly OddParents, Timmy wishes he no longer had emotions, and his resulting stoicism makes him extremely popular, to the point where Trixie appoints him as her boyfriend. When Timmy remarks that this doesn't make him feel anything, a spurned Trixie starts dating Chester instead to spite him. Naturally, this doesn't work, and Chester doesn't like it either because girls make him break out in hives.