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Social Climber

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"When I get to America, I'm gonna rise straight to the top, I will! Just like cream!"
Kate McGowan, Titanic

Most people strive for societal acceptance, but these people take it up to an extreme — they are actively looking to better their position and make themselves known in society, and it doesn't matter who they crush in the process. These characters often start out poor or otherwise disadvantaged, get their big break from some stroke of luck, get it into their heads that they can make it further, and thus begin their ascent through the echelons of society. With each higher position they achieve, they decide to aim even higher.

As such, they are often looked down on by other characters, for both their new money, for the dirty schemes they undertook to further themselves, and often for their comparatively horrible manners.

There are several ways this could work, none of which are mutually exclusive:

  • The Backstabber: Treacherous, deceitful, and manipulative - carefully working their way into the good graces of those in power, while plotting to betray them once it's either convenient, or their unsuspecting patsy has outlived their usefulness to them. They're also likely to take credit for someone else's work, or they'll see to it that they're the one who reaps the benefits from it.
  • The Butt-Kisser: It doesn't matter who's on top, the butt-kisser will do anything and everything to warm themselves to them in order to gain social favor.
  • The Gold Digger: Why bother spreading rumors or kissing ass when you can just mooch off other peoples' cash?
  • The Snob: In Real Life, originally Snob used to refer to members of the lower classesnote  before meaning people who imitated elite mannerisms. Nowadays, it's used to refer to people who are perfectly willing to stick up their noses at people they've left behind.
  • The Idealist: Generally a more benevolent type (at least at first), this kind of social climber wants to make it into the elite to change the world, and at first, they try the more honorable ways of gathering prestige, such as heroism for glory's sake. However, to be a successful social climber, the Idealist has to resort to underhanded tactics and dubious schemes and make compromises with his conscience. Usually, when the Idealist finally makes it to the top, he has already abandoned his morals for one reason or another and becomes one of the other types.

Note, however, that a Social Climber is not always a bad person, there are genuinely good people who just happen to have ambition. That doesn't stop fiction from portraying ambition as a negative trait fairly often. Though it must be noted that this trope generally includes the person wanting to leave his past and feeling ashamed of his roots, whereas a Working-Class Hero traditionally embraces and is defined by his roots.

Compare Nouveau Riche, Rags to Riches, Self-Made Man, and Working-Class Hero. Often overlaps with Ambition Is Evil. A Social Climber may also be a Miles Gloriosus in order to warm themselves to their intended circle. A school-age Social Climber would want to be In with the In Crowd. Also, some may be Vicariously Ambitious and are looking to push someone else into doing some social climbing rather than doing so for themselves.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Banished from the Hero's Party: The son of a minor aristocrat, Ares wants to marry Ruti to gain more political power. In the best case scenario, he could even become a king! This was why he drove Gideon away and why he keeps trying to gain Ruti's favor despite her making it quite clear that she hates him for driving Gideon away. Ares also acts friendly with all the social elite his party meets, be they nobles or generals.
  • Berserk: Griffith's dream is to become the king of Midland even though he was born a commoner. He starts as a leader of the Band of the Hawk, a small band of mercenaries, and earns himself fame as a great military leader in the ongoing One Hundred Years War. Eventually, he gets knighted and after he's led the Band of the Hawk into a war-deciding victory against the Castle of Doldrey his mercenaries are given the title of "White", the highest possible honor an army can be granted. After the war has ended, however, Griffith can't climb any higher by military merits alone. His last plan is to marry princess Charlotte so he would eventually inherit the throne. In the end, the fact how close to succeeding Griffith gets only serves to make his fate that much more tragic. Griffith loses all that he has gained and sacrifices his men in a desperate attempt to salvage what has been lost.
  • Suzaku Kururugi from Code Geass is an Idealist, who seeks to rise up the ranks of Britannian society to change it for the better. Villetta, meanwhile, seeks pure nobility by whatever means.
  • Eva Heinemann's defining characteristic in Monster, dumping Tenma when he got demoted so she could start flirting with the man who took his place. It eventually leads into Break the Haughty, though, as her using men leaves her bitter and alone once her reputation is known.
  • Bluejam in One Piece desperately wanted to give up piracy and become a noble in the Goa Kingdom. The nobles used this desire to get him to do their dirty work before ultimately betraying him when his usefulness was at an end.
  • Todomatsu AKA Totty, the youngest of the Osomatsu-san brothers; his brothers put him down in the social pit. He's also quite vain, The Fake Cutie, and a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Rebuild World: In a Cyberpunk setting where all the authorities work in One Nation Under Copyright, this isn't uncommon.
    • Arms Dealer Katsuragi has the ambition of becoming a leader by striking it rich as a peddler, and repeatedly tries to scam Street Urchin protagonist Akira, which only sometimes fails due to the intervention of Akira's Virtual Sidekick. Katsuragi particularly likes tricking hunters into Indentured Servitude, applying Moving the Goalposts to Revin serving him as such, attempting and failing to put Akira under his influence like this.
    • Sheryl starts the story having lived as the Buttkisser type on the Wrong Side of the Tracks, becoming the favorite of slum lords to get by. She tries this approach with Akira, but falls into I Love You Because I Can't Control You, and lives terrified of Akira abandoning her, becoming a loyal Supporting Leader Guile Hero.
    • Kibayashi, the Eccentric Mentor to Akira who at first appears a simple Thrill Seeker, has the Hidden Depths of being a mixed type who intentionally puts talented hunters (and others) into danger through Morton's Fork situations in order to exploit the leverage he gets from handling their unstable personages for influence and money, doing things like exaggerating Akira's uncooperativeness to cut deals on his behalf, and has done this with many hunters in the past.
    • Both Yanigisawa and Viola are the backstabber type, both gleefully Playing Both Sides and making deals with anyone and everyone to their own advantage. Yanigisawa started as a humble hunter and pulled himself up to the top of corporate authority, ever a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent. While Viola is a Knowledge Broker who makes herself a necessary evil convincing people into Deal with the Devil arrangements. Both do all of this while kissing up to their "boss", and being quite widely hated including by said bosses.
  • Subverted in Snow White with the Red Hair. Several people initially assume that Shirayuki is this because of her association with Prince Zen, but Zen knows better, and every time Shirayuki is tested on the issue she demonstrates that she wants to succeed or fail on her own merits.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City: Maria Alvardo Vega started off running charities and social reform groups for migrant workers in the barrios of Los Angeles, and ends up as the president an investment banking company. It's hinted that her ambition is what led to her divorce from her political activist husband.
  • The Disney Ducks Comic Universe features many of them. Scrooge is one such example, who is a successful one as a side effect of becoming rich.

    Fan Works 
  • Aftermath of the Games: In the sequel Intergration, Twilight Sparkle instructs her personal guards to do their best to keep Starlight away from these sort of people. Such as Spoiled Rich, who yells at Starlight for daring to play tag with her daughter, only to start trying to butter her up after realizing that she's Twilight's apprentice.
  • Black Flames Dance in the Wind: Rise of Naruto interprets Kurenai as one, with a reputation of using various beaus to rise up through the ranks. Notably, her current boyfriend Asuma is fully aware of this, but dismisses the notion that she's using him in the same fashion; sure, his old man's the Sandaime, but Asuma himself isn't exactly popular in Konoha.
  • Daria in Morrowind shows Quinn planning to reach great heights through social climbing. She's more focused on this than is her canon counterpart.
  • The Demented Verse offers a positive example in Astoria, as she works to try and help improve Draco's standing in society following the war, such as by subtly encouraging him to mend fences with Harry and his associates, as well as socializing more with muggles.
  • In The Elements of Friendship, Moondancer is one (before she actually appeared on-screen in canon, mind), making Twilight blowing her off a lot more understandable. Twilight also believes Rarity to be one of the negative variety when they first meet.
  • In Harry Potter and the Ice Princess, Lucius Malfoy is shown trying to subtly encourage a relationship between Draco and the princesses of Arendelle for the social boost it will give his own family, although he is unaware that Elsa is already attending Hogwarts and has become aware of Draco's ulterior agenda in spending time with her.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse):
    • Carter Bowen is strongly implied to be this. His family is Nouveau Riche and had to pull a lot of strings to get him into Balliol, suggesting that his overachieving is to compensate for this perceived failure of his background.
    • The Lances became this by complete accident. Because Laurel befriended Tommy and Oliver on her first day of school, the Lances unavoidably got dragged into the world of Starling City's elite. By the present day, they've been a part of that world for so long that everyone, including even themselves, has forgotten that they aren't nearly as well-off as the rest of their social circle.
    • Isabel Rochev. One of the reasons why she hates the Queens is because she can't get any higher up the ladder without marrying well, something Moira will do everything in her power to make sure doesn't happen.
  • In the Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories, Ember's mother is revealed to have been one of these. As her husband's career continued to advance, she became more focused on her family's social status, to the point of emotionally neglecting Ember.
  • In the Sleeper Hit AU, Izuku believes that the only reason Ochako is seeking him out and trying to apologize for being Innocently Insensitive in the past is because of how high he is on the Hero Rankings. It doesn't really help that it's been years since they saw each other last, and their first contact with each other comes not long after the updated rankings were officially announced.
  • Windows of the Soul, a My-HiME fanfic set after the events of the series, sees a lot of friction between Natsuki and Shizuru's father, Shinri. Shinri believes Natsuki is a useless Social Climber trying to exploit her connections to his daughter. He changes his opinion, however, when Natsuki takes a knife to the thigh saving Shizuru from a vengeful survivor of District One.
    Shinri: In general, hangers-on and other useless people do not throw themselves at armed assailants. Her calibre is higher than that, at least.

    Film — Animated 
  • The entire motivation for Snatcher's schemes in The Boxtrolls is to become so rich and powerful that he will be accepted by the city's upper-class.
  • Cinderella: this seems to be Lady Tremaine's major goal, and the reason she was attempting so hard to get her daughters to marry the prince.
  • Monsters University reveals that Randall is a social climber; he starts off as a dorky roommate of Mike's whose only desire, it turns out, is to hang out with the cool kids, whom he ditches Mike for at the first opportunity. This eventually leads to their rivalry in Monsters, Inc..
  • Mentioned specifically by Wiggins about Governor Ratcliffe in Disney's Pocahontas.
    Ratcliffe: And don't think I don't know what those backstabbers at court say about me.
    Wiggins: All that talk about being a pathetic social climber who's failed at everything he's tried...

    Film — Live Action 
  • Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, an adaptation of the Victorian novel, features a clinical deconstruction of a social climber and his drive to fit in with the "social betters" and the hypocrisy that keeps social barriers in place.
  • In The Dark Knight the Joker becomes a social climber... in the criminal world... he doesn't want the positions for their own sake, but to sow destruction.
  • Kitty Packard in the 1933 film Dinner at Eight. She pesters her husband Dan about attending the movie's titular dinner party, which is expected to include the aristocrats Lord and Lady Ferncliffe among the guests. It could be argued that the hostess of the dinner, Millicent Jordan, is also engaging in this by having the party. The Ferncliffes are members of the English aristocracy, while the Jordans own a shipping company (and the Packards' money is newer yet).
  • In Elia Kazan's 1957 A Face in the Crowd, Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes (played by Andy Griffith) is bailed from a small-town jail in Arkansas after Marcia Jeffries sees his talent and gets him his own show. After he uses Biting-the-Hand Humor which doesn't sit too well with the mattress company sponsors at first, mattress sales go up by 55%, and Rhodes recognizes his newfound influential ability, which he uses to promote energy supplements as male enhancement products. Meanwhile, Marcia notices that Rhodes berates his staff off-camera and is shocked at his change in personality. She ultimately decides to leave the microphone on, allowing audiences to hear Rhodes' contemptuous attitude towards Senator Fuller, the sponsors, and the viewers; afterwards, Rhodes' career takes a tragic nosedive.
  • The Favourite: Abigail comes to Queen Anne's court after becoming destitute. She gets work as a scullery maid but gradually schemes her way into becoming the Royal Favorite and marrying a nobleman to secure a comfortable position for herself.
  • Golden Balls: Protagonist Benito González (Javier Bardem) looks at rich Americans with envy and concocts several Get Rich Quick Schemes to fund his gargantuan real estate project, including marrying the daughter of a billionaire banker.
  • P.T. Barnum, the titular The Greatest Showman. Despite going from Rags to Riches upon the success of his circus, Barnum never quite gets over the discrimination he faced for being poor in his youth and bristles at how they are still seen by the wealthy (particularly his in-laws). He approaches Philip and Jenny to improve his reputation and neglects his troupe once he thinks he's got the upper class's approval.
  • In Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, Petra is accused of being one by Beata.


By Author:

  • Charles Dickens books often feature characters who try to escape their dark upbringing and arrive at a position of comfort and respectability though it almost always features characters who triumph by honest, hard work. David Copperfield is a good example. One reason why Great Expectations is regarded as highly mature is that Dickens finally critiques his use of the trope in showing the social-climbing hero Pip to be a bit of a snob in his yearning for social respectability, only to discover that the Mysterious Backer of his rise up the social ladder was not the rich Mrs. Haversham as he had assumed but the poor convict Magwitch. This starts his Character Development.

By Title:

  • Alice Adams: Alice comes from an ordinary middle-class family. But she's desperate to climb the social ladder, putting on airs, lying through her teeth when telling Arthur about her family, even assuming a different tone of voice when trying to come off as rich and sophisticated. Meanwhile, her mother is just as concerned with Alice about her family's social standing, relentlessly browbeating Virgil about making more money.
  • An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser was an attempt to take this trope from its European setting and transplant it to American society, to show that it wasn't so different. In this instance, the Social Climber uses Nepotism to get into the family business and also hopes to marry into money. (The same plot features in the film adaptation, A Place in the Sun.)
  • Eugène de Rastignac from Honoré de Balzac's La Comedie Humaine is such a climber that his name has become synonymous with the trope in the French language. He's not especially dishonourable compared to others around him, though, and he makes mistakes and has setbacks. By the end of the series, he makes it to Minister.
  • The Great Gatsby:
    • Unsurprisingly, Gatsby himself turns out to be an Idealist version, despite several rumors to the contrary. He was born to dirt-poor farmers in the Midwest who left to seek his fortune, and used the money he inherited from an old man who grew to love him like a son to start living the high life. He falls under the Idealist category because he genuinely seems to believe millionaires are Gentleman Adventurers and the like, and his want to advance up the social ladder is not so much for personal gain as it is for winning Daisy's heart. He also fits the Idealist category because he's already gotten his hands dirty, and actually gains much of his fortune bootlegging.
    • Daisy herself is a Gold Digger, marrying Tom only for his old money.
  • The Harry Potter series has quite a few, most of them of the Butt-kisser variety:
    • Percy Weasley becomes this starting from Book 4, after he graduates from Hogwarts and begins to work in the Ministry of Magic. He begins to kiss up to anyone of importance, and this causes friction with his family when shortly after Voldemort returns he gets a promotion that they suspect was given to him to spy on them, due to their closeness to Dumbledore.
    • The Malfoy family has this as their tradition, as early as the times of William The Conqueror to whom they lent services that earned them their fortune and lands in Wiltshire where they built the Malfoy Manor. They used to fraternize with muggle royalty to gain their favor, and initially opposed the Statute of Secrecy as it would mean to renounce their privileges, though they later moved on to kissing up to the Ministry of Magic, as it was the new center of power for the wizarding society.
    • Dolores Umbridge is probably the most blatant example, as her kissing up to Fudge during Book 5 gives her more and more power within Hogwarts, first as the High Inquisitor and then as Headmistress when Dumbledore is forced to run away. Expanded material reveals this was also how she managed to climb in the ministry until she became Senior Undersecretary, with a bit of Stealing the Credit from other more capable colleagues.
  • That Hideous Strength: Mark Studdock started doing this when he was still in school, abandoning his genuine but tragically unpopular friend to get into the top clique of students. During the story, he's doing everything he can to become part of the secret society taking power in town, unaware that they are basically working for Satan.
  • A Ladder to the Sky lampshades this with the books title. Maurice has a lot of things working in his favor in pursuit of becoming a famous author. He is just not a talented writer. He preys on and kills others in his cold-hearted efforts to rise to the top.
  • The Last Days of Krypton:
    • Vor-On, a younger noble son with no prospects, goes out of his way to strike up a conversation with Zod at the racetrack. Zod considers him an annoying sycophant, although considering Zod's worldview, he may be misjudging the young man.
    • Councilor Mauro-Ji, an Impoverished Patrician, often invites Jor-El to parties (and unsuccessfully tried to set Jor-El up with one of his daughters at various points) "as if proximity to the esteemed scientist might increase his own standing."
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation: The rich WASP narrator considers Reva, who is from a middle-class family, constantly buying knockoff designer bags, bulimic in an attempt to get skinnier, and transparently covetous of the narrator's privilege, as a distasteful social climber.
  • Littlefinger from A Song of Ice and Fire fits this trope perfectly. The son of a minor lord, he has used charm, wits, treachery, and flattery to climb as high up the ladder of Westerosi politics as he can. As of A Dance with Dragons he is one of the most powerful Lords in the realm, being both Lord Paramount of the Trident and Lord Protector of the Vale. He's had to leave a substantial trail of bodies in his wake to get to that point, though.
  • Heather from Speak. She had no problems with dumping Melinda who, by the way, was struggling with her inner demons and trying to rebound from her traumatic experience over the summer, and abandoning her for a group of cool girls. To make it worse, she expected Melinda to help her out when she needed help the most. She does get chewed out by Melinda, which she deserved after her treatment towards her.
  • Tedic from Super Minion, not that he's very good at it. To his coworkers, he constantly brags about how fast he's going to climb the ranks, and to his superiors, he's an annoying butt-kisser. He's also lazy and a pervert.
  • William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair is a portrait of a female social climber. It's moreover highly sympathetic and in the end Becky Sharp succeeds. It's also one of the few books where the focus is directed to the corruption of the society that forces people to be amoral for basic opportunities.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5: This very much describes two of Londo's three wives, the ones he winds up divorcing. The final one doesn't really seem to care that much about it.
  • The Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" takes place in a dystopian future where people rate each other out of five stars on social media. Having a high rating not only means increased social standing but a slew of other benefits like preferential treatment for airline seats, in hospitals, and on housing waiting lists, whereas having a low rating can cost you your job or even your freedom. As a result, there are a lot of people who fit the bill, including the main character Lacie.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Petyr "Baelish" Littlefinger, again.
    • Varys started as a poor emasculated young boy and ended up Master of Whisperers of the Seven Kingdoms.
    • Bronn is quite open that he wants to move as high up in society as he possibly can. He really wants his retirement payday and that is being a Lord with a castle, a wife and kids, and grow old to see his kids squabble about who gets his property. Basically, Bronn may hang out with Jaime and Tyrion, but the Lannister he really wants to be is Tywin.
    • Daenerys Targaryen, in a way, though it fits more with From Nobody to Nightmare.
  • The Gilded Age: While Bertha Russell and her Robber Baron husband are already richer than Croesus, she will stop at nothing to force the New York Old Money to accept her family into their ranks.
  • Main motivation for Gossip Girl's Dan Humphrey, though he spends a large part of the series vehemently denying it and even shaming others who do the same. His sister Jenny is a more "honest about it" example of this trope.
  • The M.O. of protagonist Hyacinth Bucketnote  on Keeping Up Appearances. She's an ordinary middle-class woman from a somewhat lower-class family, but she spends all her time putting on airs and trying to impress important people in order to seem more important and higher class than she is, to the despair of everyone around her.
  • Cora from Once Upon a Time started out as a lowly miller's daughter who used her wiles to get into the court's good graces and marry nobility. She will settle for nothing less than her daughter Regina being queen after her, arranging for her to marry Snow White's father after the death of her rival, Snow White's mother Eva.
  • George Warleggan, the villain in Poldark (set in the mid-to-late 1700s and early 1800s). He is a rich banker whose grandfather was a blacksmith hence his main ambition is to get the respect of the nobility and to that feel he belongs amongst them.
  • Revolution: Tom Neville and Julia Neville seem to be a combination of the backstabber and the butt-kisser. "Ties That Bind" has the two throw their "friends" the Fabers under the bus to save their son Jason's life. "The Love Boat" has Jason say to his father's face that the man just wants to have people kiss his butt. He has a point, considering that Tom Neville becomes power-mad shortly have taken over the Monroe Republic in "Children of Men" and "The Dark Tower".
  • The telenovela Teresa features a Villain Protagonist who was raised in a poor family but is determined to obtain wealth and status no matter the cost. She leaves much misery and even death in her wake, until it finally catches up with her.
  • Stringer Bell in The Wire tries and fails to rise above his station in life and become a legitimate player. He's the ruthless but pragmatic Number Two of the Barksdale drug organization, and the show nevertheless effectively makes the point that someone with his intelligence, ambition, work ethic, and business acumen could have achieved a lot in life had he been born into an environment better than the slums of West Baltimore.

  • Everyone in the musical Titanic dreams of rising high in American society once the ship arrives. Of course, not everyone gets to accomplish this.

    Video Games 
  • In Grand Theft Auto, the Player Character starts poor but eventually becomes super-wealthy; his mission-givers also show the same progression.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: The hero Carl Johnson grows up in a Los Angeles slum with poor weapons and neighbourhood gun-fights, graduates to working with the Triads, moonlights with a corrupt American agent, and then becomes a wealthy entrepreneur in the casino business while tussling with the Italian Mob for turf.
  • In The Last Story, an explicit goal of some of the mercenaries is to become knights.
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time: Penelope's goal is to make a fortune in the billions through weapon designs and Take Over the World. Being an immoral sociopath, she's willing to reach her goal through betrayal and warfare, even going as far as to feign being in love with a Genius Cripple to get at his skills.

    Visual Novels 
  • Deconstructed in Double Homework with Lauren, who acts and dresses like an upper class, popular girl in order to win dignity and respect for herself and her family. But no matter how much she acts the part, it hasn’t translated into real results.


    Western Animation 
  • Jayce from Arcane starts out as a talented, Piltovian inventor with a dream. It was purely scientific at first: to tame the arcane into something usable, into technology. Then he meets the Zaunite Viktor, also an inventor, and comes to know about the inequities and pollution the people of Zaun has to live with. He decides to use his Hextech to improve these people's lives and render their work conditions less harsh. When he and Viktor finally build Hextech artifacts for this purpose, Councilor and scientist Heimerdinger (their supervisor and mentor), claims society isn't ready and that they wait a decade or so before presenting their inventions. He reluctantly agrees, however, as the tensions between Zaun and Piltover rise, Jayce is elevated to Councilor. In trying to ensure the city's safety, he passes several legislations against corruption and crime, infuriating his fellow politicians. To prevent them from degrading him (thus stopping him from bettering the world), Jayce is forced to acquiesce to most of their morally dubious requests. By the point he gains enough standing to be de facto head of the Piltovian Council, he has caused Heimerdinger to resign and has attacked a Zaunite Factory. An Idealist turned sour, indeed.
  • Mai's parents in Avatar: The Last Airbender seem to be a Butt-Kisser version. Their desire to advance in Fire Nation society leads them to force Mai into a submissive and meek persona when around others and represses her emotions so that others will think well of the family. Sadly just as her brother is born they have completed their social climb and give all of their love to him, leaving her to be The Unfavorite.
  • Lila Rossi from Miraculous Ladybug is a mix of Gold Digger, Professional Butt-Kisser, and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing with a Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. She feels entitled to fame, praise, and devotees. To accomplish that, she is hellbent on trying to get in a relationship with famous model Adrien Agreste to leech off his money and social status. Later, she makes a deal with Adrien's father to spy on his son in exchange for a contract as a model in his prominent fashion company, and not a run-of-the-mill model at that.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Rarity, who is a tailor and fashion designer, has this mentality; she aspires to be "a lady" and become popular in the higher spheres of society. Not through any unsavory means, but through her merits as an artist and person of good taste. She doesn't notice it, but the show proves to us that it's really much more of a matter of connections rather than genuine talent. That said, the show also displays her merits getting her such connections, such as being the preferred designer of pop star Sapphire Shores.
    • Spoiled Rich, the mother of Diamond Tiara, talks a lot about moving up in society and encourages the same attitude in her daughter. However, her methods are counterproductive at best - to wit, she objects to Diamond's attempt to befriend the Cutie Mark Crusaders, despite the trio having direct connections to four major heroes of Equestria and receiving direct tutelage from a princess (albeit the youngest and likely least powerful of the four extant ones, but a princess nonetheless).

    Real Life 
  • The Furry Fandom has the stereotype of the Popufur - someone who will do anything to raise their follower count and who they're seen with than they are for meeting people. Despite being largely untrue, this stereotype is so ingrained that many new to the fandom assume that people with expensive fursuits will always be like this when it is only true of a minority.