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Uptown Girl

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Uptown girl
She's been living in her uptown world
I bet she's never had a backstreet guy
I bet her momma never told her why
I'm gonna try for an uptown girl
She's been living in her white bread world
As long as anyone with hot blood can
And now she's looking for a downtown man
That's what I am

You know the story. It's a love story.

Our lovers are from different worlds — one wealthy, one not. The poor girl has fallen in love with the Gentleman Snarker, or the stable boy secretly courts the princess. And she loves him too. Maybe it was Love at First Sight. Maybe she has a habit of slipping out to the seedier side of town for a night of fun. Maybe they've been friends their whole lives and the difference in status never really mattered. Will their love be enough to let them be happy together?

In any case, this is usually played out in one of three ways:

  • The poor guy and rich girl mutually fall in love, and neither one cares about their differences in wealth. People around them, however, do and conspire to interfere with True Love.
  • The poor guy falls for the rich girl, even though he knows that she's out of his league. Undaunted, our hero engages in some Zany Scheme to get her to notice him or be impressed by him. This usually ends with the girl revealing that she doesn't care if he's rich or poor and that she loves him for who he is.
  • The poor guy and the rich girl fall for one another, but he doesn't know she's rich at first. When he finds out, he's either intimidated by her wealth once he finds out, or else doesn't think he's good enough for her. As before, she doesn't care about such things and has to convince him that he's the one she wants.

When the rich girl wants nothing to do with the poor guy, but slowly warms up to him, it's a different trope entirely.

Note that the roles aren't locked by gender. Every other Telenovela in existence is about some dirt-poor Naïve Everygirl falling in love with a wealthy stud, often indirectly invoking the Cinderella Plot along the way. But since men are already stereotypically expected to be the provider in a relationship, "poor girl/rich guy" stories don't carry quite the same dramatic weight. Same-gender examples also exist; bonus points if the "Uptown" partner is closeted and coming out would threaten their status, while "Downtown" lives openly because they have nothing to lose.

When this happens with royalty, these arrangements are commonly called "morganatic" marriages.

A relationship variant of the Odd Couple and quite often overlaps with Nobody Thinks It Will Work. Also often leads to cases of I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me, either with a severe case of insecurity (like the third type above), or simply the poor guy being constantly feeling lucky and appreciative that someone so rich could fall for him. If it's not just the fact that she comes from money, but that he feels like she's above him, she's a Peerless Love Interest. Compare with All Girls Want Bad Boys, which often follows the same socioeconomic groups (or the inverse, if the girl is The Ingenue and the boy is a Gentleman Snarker or Spoiled Brat). Can overlap with Single Woman Seeks Good Man as it is the guy's personality that wins her heart (as is the case mentioned above). Might also overlap with Star-Crossed Lovers if the pair doesn't end up together for whatever reason.

Not to be confused with the Brittany Murphy film Uptown Girls, which doesn't use this trope. Not to be confused with City Mouse either.

This is transitioning into Dead Horse Trope territory since interclass marriage is no longer shocking, and the expectation that men should be the breadwinner in the family is much weaker today than it used to be. On the other hand, it may become an Undead Horse Trope with the emergence of culture wars and new waves of social stratification.

For the non-romantic variant, see Interclass Friendship. When the love in such a relationship is faked, see Gold Digger. For the version endemic to India, see Type Caste, although that trope is not restricted solely to marriage and relationships. Compare with Girl Next Door Turned Superstar.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover:
    • Asta, from the poor village of Hage in the Forsaken Region and is a peasant with no magic before getting his Grimoire, is who Noelle Silva, being royalty, in love with but is a Tsundere toward him for being Oblivious to Love. Her kinder and polite cousin, Mimosa Vermillion who is also royalty, is also smitten with Asta.
    • Charlotte Roselei, noblewoman of the House Roselei who becomes Captain of the Blue Rose squad, had fallen for Yami Sukehiro, a foreigner from another nation who went on to become Captain of Black Bulls, who saved her from her curse by a witch that required her to fall in love to break it much to her dismay.
    • Played With between Finral Roulacase and Finesse Calmreich. Finral was to be heir to the noble house of Vaude and to be engaged with Finesse who is the Clover King's grandniece until his younger brother Langris replaced him by his parents for having stronger magic. Finesse, however, likes Finral better for being kinder regardless if he doesn't become next head of his family.
  • Bleach:
    • Byakuya Kuchiki and Hisana. Hisana was a commoner from one of the worst Rukongai districts while Byakuya was a noble from one of the four most powerful and highly ranked noble houses in Soul Society. The social inequality between them didn't bother Byakuya and Hisana, but the Kuchiki clan was appalled. Byakuya eventually won the fight to have Hisana as his wife, but she fell sick and died five years after they were married.
    • Ryuuken Ishida and Kanae Katagiri. As an Echt, Ryuuken was a Quincy Blue Blood from one of the most powerful families alive and expected to marry another Echt. As a Gemischt, Kanae was Ryuuken's servant and bodyguard. Only when the Arranged Marriage plan falls through are Ryuuken's relatives willing to let him and Kanae Marry for Love. Kanae dies six years before the main story begins, targeted for her commoner status.
  • Boys over Flowers (although it's a bit more complicated than that, obviously).
  • Cardcaptor Sakura:
    • Nadeshiko Amamiya and Fujitaka Kinomoto, a relationship which results in Nadeshiko being disowned by her wealthy family; she doesn't mind that much as Fujitaka was no Gold Digger, and she works as a model while he continues teaching and they live in a tiny but cozy apartment with their children.
    • Also, arguably, Sakura herself. Though Fujikata's finances seemed to have improved somewhat given that he and his family live in a large, spacious house, Sakura's potential love interests are both very much wealthier than her. Syaoran's family is Old Money, from one of China's most prestigious magical families. And Tomoyo (if your shipping preferences run that way) is Sakura's second cousin on her mother's side and lives in a seriously Big Fancy House and her mother Sonomi's company is implied to be just one branch of very large family fortune.
  • Claudine: A gender-inverted variant between Claude and Maura: Claude is the youngest son of the rich de Montesse family, while Maura is a poor maid who enters the de Montesse home in order to earn money for her sick father. Maura becomes Claude's first love and they wind up sharing a kiss.
  • Digimon Data Squad: Tohma's father, Franz was an uptown guy, being a wealthy, Austrian aristocrat while Touma's mother was an ordinary Japanese exchange student when they met. Tohma's snobby grandmother was less than thrilled about the relationship, both because of the class difference and the fact that they never married and made it very clear she considered Tohma to be only partially a Norstein.
  • A Dog of Flanders (1975): Alois Cogez is the daughter of the richest man in their small town in Belgium, but she loves Nello Daas and considers him her best friend. Alois' father Baas believes she is staining their name and tries everything he can to stop Alois from seeing him (even sending her to a boarding school in England), but no matter what, they always find a way past it.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku and Chichi could count as an example because Goku was a practitioner of martial arts who lived in the mountains and he made the promise to marry Chichi, the daughter of the Ox-King, who had a castle full of treasures. However, the difference in social status was not an impediment because Chichi's father and Goku's grandfather were friends before, and Goku had saved the earth several times.
    • Vegeta and Bulma play with this trope after they got together in Dragon Ball Z. While Vegeta is the prince of Saiyans, his home planet was destroyed, and he had spent the majority of his life working under Frieza. Bulma, on the other hand, is the heiress to Capsule Corporation, one of the biggest companies on Earth, and has never been stripped of her wealth like Vegeta was.
    • Videl, Gohan's girlfriend is the daughter of the "savior of the world" Mr. Satan/Hercule who is a celebrity, millionaire, and even had a whole village named in his honor, while Gohan's family is running out of money, so the marriage between Gohan with Videl was something beneficial for his family.
    • Likewise, Valese (Goten's girlfriend) from Dragon Ball GT is implied by the latter to be quite wealthy herself. That being said, she doesn't appear to really mind Goten's low-class status, with her genuinely enjoying the time she spends with him.
  • Dr. Slump: Subverted at the beginning. Obotchaman lives as a common villager, works by handing out milk, and is in love with Arale, but she at first was not a high-class girl until almost the end of the anime and manga where she happened to become the mayor of the Penguin Village, so meets this trope.
  • Emma: A Victorian Romance is an example where the gender is switched. Emma, an orphan maid, is pursued by and falls in mutual love with William Jones, a wealthy member of the upper-class gentry. In this case, it's a matter of the third version of this trope, with Emma thinking that her lack of refinement and rank will only hurt William's station and cause trouble for him if they were to marry. The Parental Marriage Veto doesn't help matters. They get married anyway. It's played straight with William and Eleanor, the daughter of a broke viscount who wants her to marry into the Nouveau Riche Joneses to restore their fortune. William's father wants him to marry Eleanor to improve their social status.
  • Subverted in Flaming Ieraishan by Shinano Oumi, where a reporter falls in love with the heir to a viscount, who ends up running away and becoming a prostitute when his family is ruined. It then turns out the viscount was impotent and Saki's actually the son of a prostitute who he sheltered in order to appear to have an heir.
  • In The Gentlemen's Alliance, Haine is poor and Shizumasa is rich. Slightly inverted in that Haine is not poor in any real sense; she's just significantly less wealthy than Shizumasa. Still, it plays just as the trope is described.
  • Goodbye, My Rose Garden is the story of Alice, a British noblewoman, and Hanako, a working class woman she hires to be her maid. Over the course of the manga their relationship evolves from an Interclass Friendship to something more.
  • In Hanakage No Kioku, Laurent is a butler who has been with Arthur's family since childhood and initially rejects Arthur because of his status. Arthur's friend from school also tries to romance Laurent.
  • Subverted in Hana Wa Junai Ni Junjiru, where Tsubaki (presumably lower class himself) is being trained to be a high-class prostitute serving only the nobility and Daniel is a gardener at the manor. Daniel works to be knighted just so he can be with Tsubaki, but his fixation on class causes even more tension because Tsubaki doesn't want to be associated with the nobility's prostitute system and would rather Daniel had run away with him when they were kids.
  • Haruka Nogizaka's Secret centers around this. The titular Nogizaka Haruka is the daughter of a ludicrously wealthy and powerful family, and the lower-middle-class Ayase Yuuto initially winds up as her confidant when he accidentally discovers her deep, dark secret... that she's an anime & manga otaku! As they spend time together, however, a relationship blooms - initially a type-1, but as Yuuto realizes just HOW wealthy her family is, and what kind of powerful people she usually rubs elbows with (not to mention what kind of men are actively pursuing marriage with her), he slips into a type-3 as he starts to feel 'unworthy' of her. Her father agrees, but who knows? Maybe there's a way for him to gain their respect...
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: A little one-sided, at least at the start, as Nagi (the rich girl) has become infatuated with the extremely-poor Hayate after he saves her from kidnappers. She saves him from his (parents') debt, and he ends up serving her as a Battle Butler to pay her back. For her, it seems to be mostly just an excuse to keep him around.
  • Lina from Heroman comes from a rich-looking family while Joey looks really poor, although this fact isn't brought up at all, although it was hinted at by Lina's dad.
  • Howl's Moving Castle: Sophie (middle-class) and Howl (famous wizard).
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
    • Kaguya was born into one of the richest families in Japan while Shirogane is working class (both he and his little sister have to work part-time jobs due to their father being unemployed). It's because of this class difference that they choose to have a Secret Relationship when they start dating since they don't want Kaguya's family to find out. It's also played with a bit in that Shirogane's family was a lot wealthier when he was younger... until his father's company was stolen by Kaguya's older brother.
    • Kaguya's parents were also this, having been an Elite Man–Courtesan Romance. That said, it's never made clear if Nayotake actually loved Gan'an or if she was just using him for his wealth (complicated by the fact that Gan'an never took a DNA test to see if she was lying about Kaguya being his child).
    • To a lesser extent, there's Erika (whose parents run the country's largest miso producer) and Kazamatsuri (a Scholarship Student like Shirogane whose financial situation is never specified). Due to her being absolutely hopeless in recognizing anything related to love, she has no idea that he has a crush on her, though Chapter 192 of the Spin-Off implies that she eventually figures it out and marries him at some point in the future.
  • Akiko Hashou from Kasei Yakyoku is very attracted to Taka, a young man affiliated to the Yakuza, and thus she's the uptown girl to him.
  • Zigzagged in Maiden Rose. Taki is second-in-line to the throne in his own country. When Taki and Klaus first meet Klaus is of the nobility. Eventually, Klaus' family loses that status because the monarchy is dissolved when the country falls to the Western Alliance, placing him in the wealthy middle class. Later, when Klaus becomes Taki's knight, he has to renounce his country, name, and status, and becomes the lowest of the low in Taki's country. Their romance has been developing through all of this, but really comes into force after Klaus has lost his upper-class status.
  • Maid-Sama!: Misaki (poor girl working at a maid cafe) and Usui (rich boy attending the same school she does). Previously, Usui's parents.
  • Makoto Shinkai:
    • Your Name has Taki Tachibana, a city boy, falling for Mitsuha Miyamizu, the daughter of a politician.
    • In Weathering With You, Hodaka Morishima is, as far as the novelization is concerned, a middle class boy, while Hina is a poor weather girl who lives alone with her brother.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid:
    • Discussed when The bandit mentioned to Tohru that part of her dream of becoming a maid involved falling in love with her master. Whether or not she actually did is never specified.
    • This is implied to be the case regarding Tohru's one-sided crush on Kobayashi. It's suggested that Tohru might be a princess since her father is called the Emperor of Demise, but the series never goes deep enough into the minutiae of dragon politics to make it clear.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has Saji Crossroad, a poor Unlucky Everydude, fall for Louise Halevy, a Spoiled Sweet tsundere, whose family is implied to be extremely wealthy and influential. The series seems to subvert the expectation that Louise's family would be hostile to Saji, as Louise's mother quickly takes to him, especially after hearing that he's an orphan, and basically treats him like a second child (which actually makes Louise jealous, a reaction played for comedy). Unfortunately, the series has a large dose of Break the Cutie for both of them. Starting with the massacre of Louise's entire family, at which point this trope becomes the least of their problems.
  • La vie raffinée de Mr Kayashima by Ellie Mamahara features an emotionally stunted Upper-Class Twit whose only real interest in life is his relationship with his gardener.
  • Naruto:
    • Played With for Hinata and Naruto. She's an heiress of the illustrious and powerful Hyuga clan and the closest Konoha has to a princess after Tsunade left, while he starts off as the village pariah. However, by the time they become an Official Couple during the Canon movie The Last: Naruto the Movie, he had already become the hometown hero who had saved the world, along with being revealed as the son of the Fourth Hokage. It's ultimately Zig-Zagged because, despite Naruto's credentials and achievements, Hinata is still a member of the Hyuga clan's main family and she becomes the Byakugan Princess in The Last, so she's still considered royalty by the time they get together. Of course with all that in mind, she fell in love with him when he was still the village pariah because of who he was and continued to be.
    • Also Played With for Sasuke and Sakura. He's the heir to the famous and powerful Uchiha clan, while she comes from a well-off but non-clan, non-canon family. However, by the time they become an Official Couple in the penultimate chapter, the situation is reversed—Sasuke is a rogue ninja with almost everyone hating him, while Sakura is the Fifth Hokage's apprentice and becomes the best medical ninja in Konoha after Tsunade retires.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Konoka and her bodyguard Setsuna. An obstacle in their relationship is that Setsuna feels unworthy of Konoka because she is a commoner while Konoka is a blue-blood.
  • Ojamajo Doremi: This was played with Hazuki and Masaru. Hazuki is the only daughter of a very wealthy family and her childhood friend Masaru is apparently a middle-class boy.
  • Ojojojo:
    • Haru is the heiress to the Jigokumeguri zaibatsu. Tsurezure is middle class. People comment on how weird it is, but nobody seems to have a problem with it (Haru's father is even a Shipper on Deck).
    • Gender-Inverted with Akane (same social status as Tsurezure) and Chris (British noble).
  • Ouran High School Host Club:
    • Tamaki (rich boy attending a private school) and Haruhi (a commoner Scholarship Student).
    • Also Tamaki's parents with his father Yuzuru as the rich one, and his mother Anne-Sophie being poor due to her family's business failure and debt.
    • Arguably Haruhi's parents, as her mom Kotoko was a lawyer and her dad Ryouji/Ranka was a bartender/host.
  • In Porphy no Nagai Tabi, Porphy and Mina's mother Anek was from a high-class family, while their father Christophore was of humble origins.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets has male lead Futaro Uesugi, whose family is deep in debt, take a job as a tutor to the Nakano quintuplets, who are the stepdaughters of a wealthy doctor. Each of the quintuplets ends up falling in love with Futaro, and one of them ultimately becomes his bride.
  • RaButa has Kurume (who is noted in another series by the same author to come from a rather prominent family) fall in love with and eventually marry Harundo (the son of a butcher).
  • The Secret Agreement contains examples of both wealth and class differences, with Iori being the only male heir to an increasingly poor but noble family and set to marry into a wealthier but less respectable family for their mutual benefit. Meanwhile, his actual lover is a former Street Urchin and fears if Iori marries he'll never see Iori again because the family won't need him to quietly sell off their possessions anymore (the only reason their friendship was tolerated in the first place).
  • The heroine of Snow White with the Red Hair is a pharmacist commoner whose rare hair color and beauty make one prince try to force her to become his concubine, and she later falls in love with and starts dating the prince who rescued her from the first.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-: Sakura (princess) and Syaoran (middle class).
  • In Tsukigasa, Azuma's family is loaded, whereas Kuroe is of a slightly more modest background.
  • Whispered Words: Tomoe's wealthy family objects not only to the fact she's dating a servant's child but also to the fact Tomoe and her loved one are both girls. However, they cannot do anything about it because of the reward Tomoe's grandfather gave as thanks for saving the family's finances.
  • Due to their supernatural connection, after Mikhail forces Kiri to become his servant, they begin a physical relationship which eventually evolves into a romantic one in Wild Rose.
  • Frequent in Yōko Hanabusa's works.
    • Lady!!: George Russell, an English noble, falls in love with an ordinary Japanese woman who works as his interpreter. They have a daughter, Lynn, but when she's five her mother dies and Lynn is forced to live in England, being an outsider to a country she's never known.
    • Engage Kiss centers around a wealthy son who falls for his family chauffeur's daughter.
    • Time Princess: Mirai travels back in time to many pre-modern time periods and falls in love with a Heiian Japanese Emperor. Unfortunately, this doesn't last as she eventually has to return to her old timeline.
  • In You're Under Arrest!, two girls in the cast get marriage proposals from uptown guys: Yoriko gets one from Rebel Prince Saki Abdusha) and Aoi is given another by Idol Singer Gorou. In a subversion, each girl rejects her beau's affections — Yoriko, because Saki is a foreign prince who might die since his Qurac-like nation is torn by civil war; Aoi, because she simply isn't interested in Gorou beyond friendship.

    Comic Books 
  • The Batman and Catwoman romance in the Post-Crisis era. He's Gotham's richest man, she's a poor orphan street kid turned criminal. In the original comics, Catwoman and Selina Kyle were Classy Cat-Burglar who stole for the thrill and Selina in civilian life had the identity of a prominent socialite. In modern comics, she was made poor to give her a Just Like Robin Hood motivation, to add spice in her dynamic with Bats. She's the only major Love Interest for Bruce who comes from a poor background (most of his Girl of the Week being rich heiresses, models, and so on, while Talia Al Ghul is basically a Princess) and their dynamic often invites Batman realizing how privileged he really is from his more street-smart and grounded girlfriend. In The Dark Knight Rises, the class differences become part of their Slap-Slap-Kiss dynamic while in the Batman: Arkham Series, Selina often expresses angst that Batman and Bruce are out of her league (and not just because he's a hero and she's a thief).
  • Archie and Veronica from Archie Comics. (But not Archie and Betty, because Betty is a Girl Next Door).
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Tinya Wazzo (Phantom Girl) is the daughter of a rich, high-society family. Jo Nah (Ultra Boy) is a former gang member who lived on the streets.
  • In Maus, Vladek Speigleman was working class, albeit very resourceful. He ended up marrying Anya, the daughter of a millionaire.
  • Nikolai Dante: Inverted. Galya is a poor peasant girl, while Viktor is a member of the aristocratic Romanov family. Dmitri doesn't take it well.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. He's a poor kid from Queens trying to help his Aunt May pay the bills and make rent. She's a well-to-do high society girl whose father, a retired NYPD captain, hangs around media tycoon J. Jonah Jameson and industrialist Norman Osborn. This is always forgotten with everyone remembering Gwen as the Girl Next Door, simple straight Betty as opposed to Mary-Jane Watson, an upwardly mobile working-class girl from the same neighborhood as Peter. Even after years of continuity, Gwen Stacy still stands out as the only girl from a higher social background that Peter dated.
    • The class aspects of the Peter/Gwen/MJ Love Triangle finally come to the surface in Marvel Fairy Tales series, in Spider-Man Fairy Tales #4 which makes it into a kind of Cinderella-esque Chivalric Romance where Peter is an Impoverished Patrician, MJ is a peasant serving girl and Gwen is a princess. Peter and MJ are friends when he is in rags, and MJ openly loves him but because of the class background, they can't be together. As a knight, Peter fails to save Gwen, and he doesn't get together with MJ either albeit Peter ends up restoring his fortune and MJ stays a servant pining for her knight.
  • This also comes up in Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship in the now-defunct New 52 era. Clark Kent was raised on the farm and despite being a Physical God still sees himself as one of the commons, while Diana of Themyscira is the Princess and heir of her island, and is aristocratic in bearing and culture. As with Spider-Man, Diana is the shining example of Clark dating someone from outside his background, since his main romantic love interest, Lois Lane is middle-class (albeit a Military Brat in modern versions).
  • Robin: Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown. Her father is a criminal in prison and when they first meet her mother addicted to prescription drugs. His parents are the jet-setting owners of Drake Industries an international company. The difference is downplayed in that they start dating in costume, not in their civilian lives. There's even more of a gap after he's adopted by Bruce Wayne, one of the richest men in the world.
  • X-23, of all people: She's a Human Weapon born in a lab, and who was (in)famously introduced in the comics as a homeless and penniless Streetwalker under the control of a brutal and sadistic pimp. Her two main love interests are Hellion and the time-displaced teenaged Angel, both of whom are from privileged and wealthy upbringings (although they didn't meet until after her days as a hooker were over).
  • Implied in Archie Sonic with the pairing of Antoine and Bunnie and made more explicit following the reboot. He has an ancestral castle and nobility for parents (though they passed away while he was young). Bunnie was an orphan looked after by Rosie and Uncle Chuck. He fell for her because of her bravery as she learned to walk again following a serious accident. She admires his kindness and desire to become braver. They grow up together and by the time the rebooted series starts, they're married. (They were also married in the old continuity but it took awhile to get there.)

    Comic Strips 
  • Blondie (1930): The original strip was about the well-to-do Dagwood marrying the distinctly lower-class Blondie against his parent's wishes. He was cut off and had to get a real job, and the strip gradually morphed into the Dom Com it has been for most of its run.
  • Terry and the Pirates: Normandie Drake is an heiress and Pat's true love. They grew close when he worked for her father. Her high society aunt refused to see her marry a "commoner" and forced her into an Arranged Marriage to the weak-willed Tony Sandhurst.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Cinderella" and all its clones. In the Brothers Grimms' tale, Cinderella is a girl from a respectable family but reduced to a position of servant. Prince falls in love with her and they get their happily ever after.
  • "The Valiant Little Tailor", once he gets the Standard Hero Reward.
  • "Aladdin": Aladdin goes to enormous lengths to get the rich princess.
  • In The Brothers Grimm, "The Peasant's Wise Daughter", the titular character gets married to a king.
  • Andrew Lang's "The Elf Maiden": After claiming the poor fisherman as her husband, the titular maiden reveals her family is very rich.
  • "Maid Maleen": The prince gets married to Maleen, a fallen princess who was working as a scullery maid after her kingdom was destroyed.
  • Subverted in Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's "King Goldenlocks". The princess chooses to get married to a nice and kind-hearted gardener, unaware that he is a runaway prince.
  • "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs": Despite her father's disapproval, the princess is rather fond of her husband and does not mind being married to a miller's son.
  • "Nine Bags Of Gold": One of the workers of Hans's mill is fancied by Hans' daughter Marie, who is certainly more affluent that her lover.
  • "Follow Me, Jodel!": After being transformed back to normal, the rich maiden gets married to the kind farmer who broke her curse.

    Fan Works 
  • AaronCottrell97's fanfics involving Luke and Millie technically qualify, as Millie is a privately owned engine belonging to the Earl of Sodor while Luke is a quarry worker engine.
  • Always Visible: This is the main reason why Jerome does not reciprocate Delia's feelings. The broker's son believes that the pharmaceutist's daughter does not deserve anything other than hypocritical treatment.
  • In All My Kittens, pampered pet cat Duchess became pregnant from a fling with a stray named Bob. He wanted her to run away with him, but Duchess loved her owner too much to leave her.
  • In Codex Equus, this is how Midnight Bell was born - her mother, Diamond Bell who came from a rich unicorn family, fell in love with a "common" stallion (who keeps his name private to maintain his privacy) and eloped with him against her family's wishes. Because most of her family are pro-unicorn tribalists, Diamond Bell secretly transferred her young daughter to the Grittish Isles and into the care of great-aunt Scarlet Bell to protect her. As it turns out, Diamond Bell's decisions would have a profound effect, as Midnight Bell would play a role in exposing two criminals masquerading as teachers, and the Ascension of a young unicorn colt.
  • Extremely Naughty is about Agreste heir Adrien Agreste falling in love with middle-class Marinette.
  • In The Grimborn Sister, Fishlegs feels that Hiccup has fallen victim to this as he mentions that Astrid was introduced to him as a lady, but Hiccup argues that it technically doesn’t apply due to his own status as heir of Berk making him the equivalent of a 'prince', even if he doesn’t usually place that much emphasis on his title.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Haruhime is this for Bell, a beautiful girl his age of noble status who falls in love with him after he rescues her from a grim fate as a slave to be sold to the highest bidder. In fact, her desire to one day stand by his side is so great that she renounces her noble title and gets disowned so she can become an adventurer.
  • At one point in Infinity, a princess named Amnestra was mentioned who was in love with a guard. She herself has very little to do with the plot (and had been dead for tens of thousands of years) but Nanoha brought her up as a method of psychological warfare while fighting Tsukuyomi (and proof that Amaterasu hadn't been captured but rather willingly come to her for help).
  • The Judgement of the World (5Ds): It's noted by many that Aki is the daughter of a wealthy senator while Yusei, despite becoming the Turbo Duel King, is a marked criminal and former gang member who grew up in the Satellite. Yusei himself insists that it would never work between him and Aki due to this, though it's heavily implied that he's at least partly using this as an excuse to try to get Martha to stop being a Shipper on Deck for the two of them. This was apparently also the case in their past lives, with Aki being a high priestess who grew up being showered with praise and given anything she wanted without question due to her connection to the gods and Yusei a warrior from a rival tribe who was considered unworthy of her (though it's implied that this was at least partially because Aki's tribe wasn't aware of all of Yusei's accomplishments).
  • In the Katawa Shoujo fanfic Lilly Epilogue Family Matters, Mr. Satou disapproves of Hisao for, among other factors (his disability being most prominent), being a "middle-class bumpkin." Fridge Logic ensues when you realize that he married a journalist, but he later admits that he wanted to believe that Hisao was unworthy of Lilly and that she would be better off in Scotland, so it's possible he was looking for reasons that might reflect badly on Hisao.
  • Ma belle Cher de mon coeur is an Original Character-focused Transformers: Animated fic where one of the Original Characters, a mechservant, is deeply in love with his mistress, a wealthy femme and the other Original Character. It turns out that she returns his feelings.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: In "Danny and Starfire," Starfire being an alien princess is one of the reasons Danny is briefly afraid things won't work between them.
  • This trope is a common element for Miraculous Ladybug fics speculating on the early romance of Adrien Agreste's parents Gabriel and Emilie. Usually, Emilie comes from Old Money, and Gabriel is a Starving Student of either a middle-class or poor background, to act as a foil for Marinette and Adrien.
  • "The Morning After"- a crossover between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The West Wing- has a non-royalty version of this, as Xander Harris (from the public's perspective, a construction worker from a small town that's only distinctive because it was destroyed the day before) and Zoey Bartlett (the youngest daughter of the current President of the United States) get married in Las Vegas the day after the destruction of Sunnydale.
  • Ryuko and Mako in Natural Selection are a same-sex example. Ryuko is scion to the wealthiest, most powerful family in the world, while Mako (prior to becoming a Three-Star) lived her life in the slums.
  • CrazyEight's fanfics involving Rika and Takato usually has this as a background worry of Takato's parents towards the former's relationship with Rika being the daughter of a famous model living in a traditional manor while Takato is the son of middle-class bakers. The Nonaka family for the most part has no problems.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has it between Jeanette Fisher, who is the heiress of the most important clan in Crimson City, and A.J, who comes from a middle-class family. Jeanette's parents Kaoruko and Kazuto also had this, although they had to overcome a Parental Marriage Veto from Kaoruko's father, who didn't approve of Kazuto because he came from Gringy City until he exposed the true nature of the criminal who was about to marry Kaoruko.
  • In Roadside Assistance, Weiss is the multi-billionaire head of her family's dust company. She falls for Yang, who runs an auto-shop with her sister.
  • Son of the Sannin:
    • Downplayed with Shizune and Shisui. She's the surrogate eldest daughter of the Fifth Hokage and he is one of the few remaning members of a clan that launched a failed coup, leaving him and the other two suriviors as pariahs in the village. Very little attention is drawn to this difference in social status while they're dating or after they get married.
    • Matsuri feels that Gaara is out of her league and at one point asks Hinata how to approach the son of a Kage after learning that she's dating Naruto.
  • A Starstruck, Phantasmic Romance: In "Bound Together," Danny tries to make Starfire stop loving him by pointing out she's a Princess and he's basically a peasant with no money to his name other than what he carries in his pockets but she doesn't care about titles, is allowed to marry whomever she wishes regardless of status, and also lacks Earth money and lives off Robin's charity.
  • Transformers fics featuring the Megatron/Starscream slash pairing usually portray Starscream as the high-ranking Prince of Vos to Megatron's humble miner/gladiator.
  • In Wed Locked, Marinette's mother Sabine turns out to be a runaway princess married to humble baker Tom.
  • Gender-inverted in A Divine (Romantic) Comedy. Camila Noceda isn't poor by any means, being a suburban mom with a decently paying job, but Lucifer is the king of another dimension and the wealthiest being there, so much so that he can casually pull gold bars out of nowhere. Naturally, as the premise of the story is their romance, this ensues.

    Film - Animation 
  • Anastasia: Dmitri (a kitchen boy-turned conman) and Anastasia (Grand Duchess and daughter of the Tzar). Played with as for most of the film and when they fall in love, they're both penniless orphans and she's unaware of her identity. Then they find out the truth and Dmitri goes into Heroic BSoD knowing his feelings are no longer acceptable and he's not good enough for her.
  • Barbie movies:
    • Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper: Anneliese is a princess. Julian comes from a family so poor they could only pay the rent for one room. Erika is an indentured servant. Dominick is a king, and so wealthy that the queen decides Anneliese should marry him just for his money. Serafina is a pampered cat who lives in a palace. Wolfie is a street-smart of guy.
    • Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses: Royal Cobbler Derek loves Princess Genevieve, but doesn't believe he has any chances with her. "She's a princess."
  • Disney:
    • Cinderella (a servant girl-turned princess) and Prince Charming (guess).
    • Lady and the Tramp: She's the pedigreed pet of a well-to-do family, he's a streetwise stray mutt.
    • The Aristocats has pampered pet cat Duchess and laid-back alley cat Thomas O'Malley.
    • Robin Hood (1973): "An outlaw for an in-law!"
    • The Rescuers has Miss Bianca, a lady of high social standing, and Bernard, a janitor.
    • Aladdin (a "street rat") and Princess Jasmine (the daughter of the local Sultan).
    • In Disney's Tarzan, Jane is a London girl. Tarzan literally lives with gorillas. She ends up loving life in the jungle far more than life in the city.
    • The Emperor's New School has Kuzco, a cocky young South American emperor, and Malina, a beautiful peasant girl.
    • The Princess and the Frog: Tiana's a relatively poor woman who dreams of carrying on her father's dreams and owning her own restaurant, whilst Naveen is the rich prince of a made-up country with a league of fangirls and media attention. Something of an inversion, as it's the upper-class Naveen who has to "win" the lower-class Tiana, and he's been cut off from the family fortune in any case.
    • Tangled has Rapunzel, the lost princess, and Flynn Rider a.k.a. Eugene Fitzherbert, an orphan turned thief. Neither of them knows she's the princess for quite some time, though. Subverted in Tangled The Series where Flynn realize that his long lost father was a king, making him a prince as well.
    • Frozen has Princess Anna of Arendelle and Kristoff, a simple ice harvester.
  • Dreamworks:
    • Antz has a lowly worker ant pretending to be a soldier to impress a princess. It's also inverted with a female worker ant who forms a relationship with a member of the soldier caste.
    • Shrek and Fiona. He's an ogre, she's a princess. At the end of the film, Fiona too becomes an ogre so that she can remain with Shrek forever.
  • Pixar:
    • In A Bug's Life, Flik the unconventional worker ant and Princess Atta, daughter of the Queen
    • Elemental (2023): Ember comes from a middle class family who runs a convenience store, while Wade's family is upper class, lives in a fancy penthouse, and is well-off enough to prioritize hobbies over jobs.
  • Prince Chen from The Legend of Su-Ling is a male variety. Su-Ling had no idea that he's the son of the infamous emperor until she's almost forced to marry him.
  • Elly and Tom from The Water Babies (1978). She's the niece of a lord and he's a street urchin so they couldn't be further apart socially.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In ATL, poor aspiring artist Rashad meets mysterious girl New-New at a skating rink. He doesn't know much about her background but eventually finds out that New-New is filthy rich and her real name is Erin.
  • Bodies, Bodies, Bodies: Sophie, a rich girl, is dating working-class Bee. Unusually, Sophie is black and Bee white. Although they stay together and Sophie confesses her love for Bee at the very beginning, the relationship has difficulties. Bee finds it hard to fit in with Sophie's rich friends (some treat her very badly).
  • Claire and Bender from The Breakfast Club play it straight.
  • In Brief Moment, working-girl Abby meets Rod, a millionaire with no day job. And it doesn’t work out well for them.
  • Brahmāstra: Part One – Shiva: Shiva is a poor orphan; his love interest Isha is a rich Londoner.
  • Carol: Carol is a wealthy housewife and Therese is a department store employee living in a dingy apartment. They fall in love.
  • In City Heat, Private Detective Mike Murphy has a new romantic interest, a rich socialite named Caroline Howley, but finds himself unable to commit.
  • In Coming to America, Akeem (who is not only extremely wealthy but is also royalty) travels to America disguised as an ordinary student in order to meet an educated woman with a mind of her own who would love him for who he is, not for his wealth or titles. The woman that he does end up with isn't poor, however; in fact, she comes from a quite successful upper-middle-class background.
  • Two couples in Crazy Rich Asians:
    • The main plot focuses Rachel Chu, a New York State University economics professor, meeting her boyfriend Nick's family, the Youngs. They also happen to run a real estate empire worth billions in Singapore.
    • The Beta Couple focuses on the relationship tension between the equally rich Astrid and her husband Michael, who is from a much humber background and is uncomfortable with the flaunting of wealth.
  • Gender-reversed in Drag Me to Hell. Christine is clearly from humbler roots than wealthy Clay and the whole plot is caused in part because she wants a promotion to measure up to his family.
  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain: That a respectable gentleman like Louis would marry his sister's governess is completely scandalous to society.
  • Endless: Riley is the child of wealthy lawyers. Chris comes from a humble background with a single mom. There's friction as she gets accepted into a top college, while he clearly isn't going anywhere. Aside from this however it isn't an issue, and Riley's determined for them to be together.
  • Enola Holmes 2: Enola theorizes that working-class factory girl Sarah Chapman was seeing an upperclass man, who was either responsible for her disappearance or her sweetheart. It turns out to be the latter; she was seeing William Lyon, the son of the man who owned the factory.
  • In Eskimo Day, Neil from a family of modest means meets Pippa from a wealthy family, when they have interviews at the university of Cambridge. This difference does not bother them, but it matters to their parents.
  • Falling for Christmas: The central romance is between hotel heiress Sierra and Jake, who runs a rustic BNB that is losing money.
  • The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas: Upon learning about Wilma's financial status, Fred felt the trope's weight and feared not to be good enough for her. That helped Chip on his plan to get rid of Fred.
  • In For Heaven's Sake, Harold Lloyd plays an Eccentric Millionaire who ends up with a woman from a more humble background. In the opening cast list, his character is actually called "The Uptown Boy" while his love interest is called "The Downtown Girl."
  • Allegra Cole from Hitch, which is part of the reason why Albert hires Hitch to help him break the ice with her. Exacerbated by the fact that he works for her as one of her many accountants.
  • The Howards of Virginia is an example from colonial Virginia, played straight.
  • India Sweets And Spices: Alia comes from a wealthy family, while Varun's own a grocery store (he works there with his sister and parents). Though she doesn't mind, everyone else in her circle is disparaging toward them. He wrongly thinks Alia is the same, and breaks up with her. It's implied the pair may get back together though at the end.
  • The Invitation (2022): Emmaline Alexander, Evie's great-grandmother, ran off with the footman, which had scandalized her aristocratic family. Having a baby with him too, and the fact he was black, made this all the more a scandal.
  • In the Iron Man series, while Pepper Potts is not exactly poor, she is nowhere near the social circles her multi-billionaire playboy boss Tony Stark is in. By the end of the second movie, they're going steady.
  • ''It Happened on 5th Avenue": The rich Trudy meets the poor, handsome veteran Bullock, who happens to be squatting in her father's mansion for the winter. Holiday romance ensues.
  • It Takes Two: Diane believed rich guys like Roger would never marry people like her. They got together at the end.
  • In Jumping the Broom, while Jason is not poor, he came from a poor background and made his money by himself. His fiance Sabrina comes from old money, however, and this is the basis of the plot.
  • The love subplot between Daniel and Ali in The Karate Kid (1984) is this. Daniel's mom doesn't even have enough money to replace the Alleged Car they drive. Ali's parents are rich enough to attend a country club.
  • In The King and the Clown, the King's fixation with a male street clown is a major point of contention in the court and used to help justify their coup. The King's Hot Consort Nok-su is implied to also have caused friction for being lower class, but Nok-su is better at court intrigue than Gong-gil is.
  • In A Knight's Tale, William tries to get his Blue Blooded love interest to face the realities of life with him, a destitute fugitive from the law.
    William: Where will we live? In my hovel, with the pigs inside during the winter so they won't freeze?
    Jocelyn: [crying] Yes, William...with the pigs.
  • The Lover (or L'Amant) is a 1992 French film based on the novel of the same name by Marguerite Duras. Set in French Indo-China in 1929, it depicts the illicit affair between a fifteen-year-old French girl from an impoverished family and her wealthy Chinese lover — as a result, the trope applies to both parties due to the racial/social divide.
  • Love Story is another gender-swapped example.
  • Marry Me (2022): Being an internationally famous pop star, Kat is much wealthier than ordinary teacher Charlie, and her high-flying and heavily-curated lifestyle gives him pause at first.
  • The 1925 version of The Merry Widow features Prince Danilo getting engaged to showgirl Sally O'Hara, but being pressured by the King and Queen into giving up his romance.
  • Mr Malcolm's List:
    • It doesn't really affect their romance, but Jeremy Malcolm as an independently wealthy second son of an earl is way above his intended bride Selina Dalton in station, as she's "merely" the daughter of a country clergyman. During their Dance of Romance the gossipy ladies declare her a non-entity in the running to marry Mr Malcolm because of her low social class.
    • While Julia's exact social class isn't made clear, her deigning to dance with and eventually marry a military man draws chatter, implying she's also higher in station than Henry is.
  • My Summer of Love: Mona, who's working class (living in a bar with her ex-con brother), gets involved with Tamsin, who's family is very rich (having a nice mansion).
  • In Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, we see that the mother was from a wealthy family and ended up being Happily Married to a farmer. When her brother describes her as having made an "unfortunate marriage", her son is not pleased.
  • A standard Nicholas Sparks trope
    • In The Notebook Allie's parents think that Noah isn't good enough for her because he works at the lumber mill.
    • In The Choice, both are rich, but the boy fears (incorrectly) that the girl is rebuffing him because she comes from Old Money whereas he grew up poor.
  • Vanilla from No Kidding wants a common man, dreaming of them at night. Will is just what she's looking for and so she tries to seduce him:
    Vanilla: For months, I've dreamed night after night... of a man. A peasant. Strong. Sunburnt face. Rippling muscles. Curly, springy hair. He's you!
    Will: M-Me?
  • The first three Pirates of the Caribbean films have Elizabeth Swann (the Governor's daughter) and Will Turner (blacksmith's apprentice).
  • Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood is a Chinese silent film about a tenant farmer's daughter falling in love with the son of the wealthy woman who owns the land the tenant farmer works. The wealthy mom categorically refuses to allow the match, and tragedy ensues.
  • Pretty in Pink is another gender-reversed example.
  • Pretty Woman has a rich man and a sex worker fall in love.
  • The Princess Diaries:
    • It is absolutely no secret that Joe, the head of security for the Genovian Royal Family, is in love with Clarisse Renaldi — the Queen of Genovia herself, who returns his affections wholeheartedly. Admittedly, Clarisse is only royal by marriage, but this would still be the case regardless, as her marriage to the late King Rupert was an Arranged Marriage, meaning that her family was already noble and/or well-off. Unusually for this trope, this is also a December–December Romance, though it's implied that they've been in love with each other for years, long before Mia entered the picture.
    • Mia's primary love interest in the first film, Michael, Lilly's brother, is a keyboardist in a garage band. She's the princess of Genovia.
  • Say Anything...: The image of Lloyd Dobbler standing across the street from Diane Court's house, holding a boom-box over his head has pretty much become a romantic icon.
  • In Some Kind of Wonderful, the poor guy pursues the rich girl, but eventually ends up with his best friend.
  • In Sorry, Wrong Number, Leona is obscenely wealthy and sets her eyes on working class Henry. Henry only married Leona for the financial escape she offered.
  • Splendor in the Grass is a gender-swapped example, where true love eventually doesn't overcome the obstacles.
  • Star Wars:
    • You'd think a former street kid and smuggler would consider the Princess of Alderaan and high-ranking Rebel commander well out of his league. But Han can be very persuasive when he wants to be.
    • The prequel trilogy has Anakin Skywalker, a former slave turned Jedi Knight, falling in love and marrying Padme Amidala Naberrie, a former Queen and now Senator of Naboo. Their marriage is secret, and of course, it does not end well.
  • Nick and Nora Charles of The Thin Man movies are a Happily Married example of this trope: Nick was a working-class detective when he married high-society heiress Nora. Their vastly different backgrounds occasionally impact the plots.
  • Titanic (1997): Rose DeWitt Bukater is, in Jack's words, a spoiled brat and an indoor girl, while he sleeps under bridges and goes where he pleases. That said, Rose is an Impoverished Patrician, so she is not as rich as she seems to be.
  • Tromeo and Juliet: Juliet is involved with the family servant Ness here.
  • Wild at Heart has Lula Fortune, with her lover Sailor Ripley being from a much poorer background and recently released from jail as the film begins.

  • 1632:
    • Given an interesting twist in 1632. On the surface, it's obvious which is which regarding "James Nichols, doctor from Chicago" and "Melissa Mailey, rural West Virginia schoolteacher" — but the doctor from Chicago grew up on the streets in that city's roughest gang and only joined the Marines after being offered a choice between service and prison time, and the West Virginia schoolteacher is actually a scion of the Boston Brahmins. This plays an important role in the plot.
    • Eddie Cantrell, high school kid turned navy lieutenant, with the king's daughter Anne Cathrine of Denmark in 1634: The Baltic War. Another one with an interesting twist: the two's Shotgun Wedding was actually engineered by her father — aka the king of Denmark — because he wanted a son-in-law with knowledge of uptime technology.
    • Sarah Wendell von Uptime from the Barbie Consortium and 1635: The Viennese Waltz short story compilation and novel was engaged to Imperial Prince Karl von Liechtenstein, which had to be a morganatic marriage, even though she was extremely wealthy. Good thing loads of money can earn you favours from the emperor of a broke empire.
  • Adrian Mole: The working-class main character and his aristocratic first wife Jo Jo. Adrian's most consistent love interest, Pandora Braithwaite, also counts as this, as do his exes Daisy Flowers and Pamela Pigg. Adrian himself was once an Uptown Guy to Sharon Bott (described by him as "lower-working/underclass").
  • The Afterward: Olsa, a Street Urchin and thief, became lovers with Kalanthe, a noblewoman who's an apprentice knight. They didn't work out in the past since Kalanthe had to marry someone rich so her debt for knighthood could be paid off. By the end though they're back together for good.
  • Robbie Turner and Cecelia Tallis from Atonement definitely fall into the "friends their whole lives" category. He's the son of a servant and she's the daughter of the wealthy family.
  • Bazil Broketail: In the first book, Lagdalen and Captain Hollein Kesepton fall in love, though she's from a noble family while he is a commoner (although his grandfather is a high-ranking general). Hollein's a bit intimidated given this, but they marry nonetheless.
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson's The Beggar Maid: "Cophetua sware a royal oath: 'This beggar maid shall be my queen'" (This was itself based on an old ballad, The King and the Beggar-maiden.)
  • In the Beka Cooper books of the Tortall Universe, Guardsman Mattes Tunstall gets together with Lady Sabine of Macayhill She's much happier in the company of Dogs than her fellow nobles. It eats at him enough that he turns traitor for the sake of a title in Mastiff.
  • In The Belgariad, Polgara is an ageless sorceress who has shaped the course of world history for three thousand years, has lost track of all the noble titles she's been given and is the daughter of, for all intents and purposes, a demigod. Durnik is a simple blacksmith working on a remote country farm where Polgara has been hiding out with The Chosen One for a couple of decades. He falls hopelessly in love with her, but can't believe he might ever have a chance with her. Then Polgara's Belated Love Epiphany and memory of his love for her gives her the strength to hold fast against an evil God trying to take over her mind, and more or less saves the universe in the process... When all is said and done, they get married and he's now also an ageless sorcerer. Still no noble titles, though.
  • Bravelands:
    • Baboons have a system made up of four main ranks ranging from Deeproot to Highleaf. Inter-class romance is strictly forbidden. This is due to Sunrise Crownleaf (The Leader of the troop) and Moonlight Deeproot (a member of the lowest rank that is subservient to the others) falling in love. Their romance led to a war in the troop. Sunrise was killed by the council while her mate Moonlight died of a broken heart. Since then, inter-rank matings have been forbidden.
    • Thorn and Berry have this issue. Thorn starts out as a Deeproot while Berry inherited her father's Highleaf status. Even after Thorn goes through the Feats, he gives up his only chance at being a Highleaf in order to let his best friend become a Lowleaf. As a result, Thorn is stuck a Middleleaf and his relationship with Berry must remain a secret. The only way they can become mates is if the Crownleaf decided to allow inter-rank couples.
  • The Burning Kingdoms:
    • Priya is the maidservant of Princess Malini starting out, and they slowly fall in love.
    • Bhumika, daughter of Ahiranyi nobles and wife of the governor, and Jeevan, a commoner.
  • The Camp Half-Blood Series:
    • Percy Jackson was raised by a Struggling Single Mother in a modest New York condo, while his girlfriend Annabeth Chase is the daughter of a wealthy military professor.
    • Jason Grace and Piper McLean. Jason is an orphan raised in Camp Jupiter, whose mother was formerly rich but fell on hard times after her acting career ended. Piper is the daughter of a still-famous Hollywood actor and lives in a huge mansion in Beverly Hills.
    • Frank Zhang formerly lived with his extremely wealthy grandmother in a mansion, while his girlfriend Hazel Levesque is the daughter of a poor voodoo practitioner.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa: Tasia, princess and heir to the Empire (later reigning Empress) becomes involved with her bodyguard Joslyn, a working class soldier who's from a tribe of desert nomads originally (she had also once been a slave).
  • Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians:
    • Astrid Leong, a rich, fashionable, and beautiful heiress coming from two extremely wealthy and powerful Singaporean Old Money families and her husband Michael Teo, a middle class who owns a start-up. Subverted in the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, when his start-up becomes so successful, (after unknowingly bought by Astrid's ex, a tech billionaire, in order to make her and Michael equal after they almost split up due to their contrasting social status) he ends up being a billionaire.
    • Astrid's cousin Nick is a male version. He's second in line (after his father) to their family's fortune while his girlfriend (and later wife) Rachel is a middle-class Asian American whose mother is from mainland China, which doesn't endear her to Nick's family.
  • Daughter of the Sun: Orsina is a commoner, and had been in a romance with Perlita, the baron's daughter in her home city. She reflects that their very different classes made it impossible for them to marry, as Perlita's family would want her making a match with a noble. Orsina's service as a paladin took them apart, with their relationship dissipating early in the book.
  • Captain Sam Vimes and Lady Sybil Ramkin (subsequently Sir Samuel and Lady Sybil Vimes) in Discworld, although older than the usual examples of the trope. The resultant class dynamics lead to Vimes being seen as "a jumped-up copper to the nobs, and a nob to the rest".
  • Jessica Day George's Dragonskin Slippers has a dressmaker fall for the second-born Prince of her kingdom. After they save the kingdom, the King offers to marry her to his son. His OLDER son. Creel rejects the offer.
  • Earth's Children: Fralie is considered this to Frebec in her society. She's from a higher-ranking family and brought children from a previous relationship into the marriage (which is considered prestigious in Mamutoi society), greatly raising her status and bride price. Fralie's mother frequently reminds Frebec of this fact, which inflames Frebec's insecurities. Fralie for her part chose to mate Frebec out of genuine affection.
  • This is a subplot in the Robert Westall book Fathom Five.
  • Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus chronicles the ill-fated romance between working-class librarian Neil Klugman and upper-middle-class Jewish American Princess Brenda Patimkin.
  • In Daddy-Long-Legs, the orphan Jerusha "Judy" Abbott falls in love with Jervis Pendleton, a relative of her rich snobby college roommate. One of the obstacles to their relationship is that she's self-conscious about her lower social status, which (she thinks) he's not aware of the full extent of.
  • The old Spanish poem "Romance De Gerineldo" ("Gerineldo's Romance") is about the titular Gerineldo, the favorite butler of the King of Spain, who's desired by the Infanta aka the Spanish Princess. They're both aware of the taboo of their potential relationship, but the Infanta refuses to let it deter her. They finally sleep together, and her dad catches them: he's torn between his duty to punish the guy for taking his daughter's virginity and how he Gerineldo is like a son to him, so rather than waking them up he places his sword between them without raising them from their sleep. How things end depend on each version: the major part feature surprisingly happy endings of the "the King forgives Gerineldo since he refuses to throw the Infanta under the bus" or "the Infanta confesses what happened and gets her dad to let her marry Gerineldo aka her first and only lover".
  • The Great Gatsby: Gatsby and Daisy, which is why Gatsby was so determined to become rich, so he would be more worthy of her. Unfortunately, even after he's a wealthy guy he's a new money wealthy guy so the field still isn't even.
  • In The Grimnoir Chronicles, we have Faye, a poorer-than-dirt Okie girl falling for Francis, who is heir to one of the wealthiest companies in the world, and he with her. Neither is exactly sure what the other sees in them.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy: Han learns Bria is from a very wealthy family when they go visit them, to his annoyance (she didn't tell him from unease around her past). Almost at once her mother and brother make their disapproval of him very clear, due to being working class. His criminal past makes this even worse (her father is more understanding, as a Self-Made Man who worked his way up and had a checkered life himself for a while). They run away together after the police get on his tail, but she leaves him due to still struggling over an addiction. When the pair get together again years later, Bria's in the Rebellion, having given up her rich existence, but things still don't work out as she double-crosses Han over money for her cause.
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Harry isn't obscenely upper class, but he's very well-off and, by his sixth year, is pretty popular. He ultimately marries Ginny Weasley, who is from a poor "blood traitor" family.
    • Hermione Granger, whom Word of God says is from a well-to-do Oxford family, and her marriage to Ginny's brother Ron. To the haughty purebloods like the Malfoys, Blacks, and Yaxley it would be the other way around. While Ron might be from a dirt poor and ridiculed family he is still a pureblood and Hermione is a muggleborn, the lowest of the low to them, except for muggles.
    • In the case of the Love Triangle of Snape, Lily and James Potter. Snape is a poor half-blood but a pureblood supremacist, Lily Evans is a Muggleborn from a humble middle-class family, while James Potter is the spoiled rich kid pureblood who's also a blood traitor.
    • Albus Dumbledore was raised by a poor single mother for most his childhood but his ex Gellert Grindelwald is wealthy enough to own a freaking castle and not have a day job.
  • In the Honor Harrington series, the monarch of Manticore is required by law to marry a commoner.
  • The Horse and His Boy plays with this. At first, Shasta is essentially an orphan slave boy and Aravis is a very high-level noblewoman. It's reversed when Shasta is revealed to be Prince Cor of Archenland and Aravis finds herself essentially a refugee. It ends evened out when she's invited to become a Lady-In-Waiting in the Archenland court, their relationship goes into Belligerent Sexual Tension with time, and they married years later.
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss' mother was part of the merchant class while her father was part of the lower class people living in the Seam. She left her more financially secure home in the merchant district to live poorly in the Seam with him. Eventually her daughter would do the opposite. Katniss, born and raised in the Seam, marries Peeta, a member of the merchant class.
  • Jane Eyre: Jane Eyre, a penniless governess with no friends and family, falls in love with Edward Rochester, a rich gentleman and landowner. However, Jane comes from a respectable family (she's a daughter of a rich woman who married a clergyman). She also becomes rich through Unexpected Inheritance and finds her long-lost family of best cousins ever. At the end of the book, they're truly equal in everything.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • Annala's family is pretty high status in Dnnac Ledo (her mom is an R&D company CEO, her dad's an ambassador, and her aunt is the police chief) while Eric is a Blue-Collar Warlock whose only family is his guild. Little attention is brought to this fact because it's overshadowed by other factors. Her family encourages it because of his devotion to her; the only one to object is her twin, who wouldn't accept anyone on principle.
    • Nolien and Tiza; he's the heir to one of Ataidar's Four Pillars and she is an "alley cat" orphan. Any objections to their not-quite-there-yet relationship were cancelled when Tiza demonstrated that she was only one with enough Power of Love to restore Nolien's sanity after he mana mutated.
  • Kindling Ashes: Corran is the son of a noble and Tilda is the daughter of a tutor. He has to disguise himself as a merchant's son just to meet her.
  • This is the major source of dramatic conflict in Lady Chatterley's Lover, where the well-bred lady of the gentry takes up with the gardener. Played with and doubled in that she was a Rags to Riches story herself, having been working-class before marrying her rich husband Lord Chatterley.
  • The tragic quandary of "The Lady, or the Tiger?" arises when the princess falls for a handsome young man in her father's court. (The narrative tells us this was pretty much the Ur-Example, at least in that kingdom, so everyone is shocked when the affair comes to light). He is sent to the king's arena, where the princess must decide which of the titular fates he should meet — death by tiger or marriage to a lady the princess despises.
  • In Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series, Alek is rich and Deryn is poor but it's a lot more complicated than that. Alek is the son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (see his entry in Real Life below) via his morganatic marriage and a potential heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, though he is not currently in the line of succession. Deryn the plucky English middie is a Sweet Polly Oliver, "as common as barking dirt", and technically his enemy since they're in the middle of World War I. Unfortunately, he told Deryn before The Reveal of her true gender and unaware she's in love with him) that if he ever loved a commoner, he'd immediately put as much distance between them as possible because he refuses to put his own children through the virtual, if not actual, Bastard Angst he did. It takes them a while to get past that misunderstanding, though by the end of the third book he wouldn't trade Deryn for any throne
  • Little Women: One of the March sisters is expected to marry their rich neighbor Laurie by the locals since the four girls are good friends to him. (In fact, they openly wonder if Marmee is training Meg and Jo to be gold diggers, which disgusts them greatly since they like Laurie as a person). In the sequel, Laurie marries the youngest of the sisters, Amy. (Who had already refused to marry another rich guy.)
    • Discussed by the end of the first book, too. When Aunt March finds out that Meg's being courted by Laurie's tutor John Brooke, she thinks he's a Gold Digger who wants to marry Meg solely because she's got rich relatives and attempts a marriage veto. This causes Meg's Love Epiphany, and she refuses the Aunt's words.
  • The star-crossed Official Couple of The Mark of the Lion trilogy: Marcus is a wealthy Blue Blood and Hadassah is his sister's slave. A shorter-lived, less cute example is Marcus’ sister Julia and Atretes, a slave (albeit something of a celebrity because of his successful gladiator status).
  • In Maurice, after a failed platonic romance with Clive, Maurice has sex with the under-gamekeeper at Clive's estate. Their class difference even more than their homosexuality is what nearly stops them from pursuing a real relationship.
  • In The Mister, Maxim is a gender-flipped example to Alessia; he's an immensely wealthy earl while Alessia is his housemaid (and an undocumented immigrant). She's actually briefly scared off when she learns about his title, thinking they could never be together.
    • Similarly, in A Room with a View, Lucy has a choice between Cecil, who is of her own class, and George Emerson, who is of a lower class (and particularly prone to behaviour inappropriate for Lucy's class).
  • Mr Warren's Profession is a gay romance novel about a baronet who falls in love with a clerk in Victorian England.
  • The Noughts & Crosses series is based on this, though the books have their own class system where the dark-skinned Crosses dominate the fair-skinned Noughts.
  • Of Fire and Stars:
    • Mare (a princess) was formerly involved with Nils, a commoner, before they turned into best friends.
    • Ellaeni, who's a noblewoman, was seeing the chief cook on the ship which took her to Lyrra.
  • One Day reverses the genders with wealthy upper-class Dexter and the more modestly brought-up Emma in a Will They or Won't They? situation.
  • Partners in Crime: The first client at Blunt's Brilliant Detectives is an Upper-Class Twit called Lawrence St Vincent, who is in love with a girl who works in a hat shop and wants them to investigate her mysterious disappearance. It turns out to all be a Zany Scheme to get him to notice her, hatched by Tuppence without Tommy's knowledge. Later stories establish that they got married.
  • Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry is this, with Brittany Ellis (rich, privileged white girl) and Alejandro "Alex" Fuentes (poverty-class, Latino, in a gang). The town they live in heavily segregates between the north side (upper class) and the south side (lower class).
  • P. G. Wodehouse liked to parody this trope. The in-universe romance novels by "Rosie M. Banks" were entirely centered around romances of this kind and brimming with Stylistic Suck.
  • Although most adaptations gloss over or ignore the fact, the aristocratic Raoul pursuing marriage with opera singer Christine in The Phantom of the Opera is rather unorthodox and a source of major contention between Raoul and his older brother Philippe. The public, unaware that there's a criminally insane Stalker with a Crush in the mix, assume the mystery surrounding the young couple's fate has something to do with the brothers' falling out.
  • In The Premature Burial by Edgar Allan Poe, there is a story about a young French woman named Victorine who came from a wealthy family and had a relationship with a poor journalist named Julienne. They had to break it off because her Blue Blood family was pressuring her to marry a rich banker...which she did. The banker in question abused her, and she (apparently) died. Julienne stopped by her grave to get a lock of her hair as a memento and found that she was still alive. He nursed her back to health, and they eloped to America together. Upon returning to France some 20 years later, a court ruled that she was now legally married to Julienne and not the banker guy, because of the unusual circumstances.
  • Pride and Prejudice. Lady Catherine throws a hissy fit over someone as (relatively) low-class and poor as Elizabeth marrying Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth wins this by exposing Lady Catherine not as a snob, but an idiot: "He is a gentleman. I am a gentleman's daughter. So far, we are equal." Which is absolutely true. Mr. Bennett is a landowner, an esquire, just like Darcy (he just owns less, or less profitable land); they are of exactly the same social class. That some modern readers fail to understand that 'class' in the 1790s was defined by where your money came from, not how much you made, is understandable, but for Lady Catherine to forget it (or at least expect Elizabeth not to realize it) makes her a complete ass as well as a bully. Lady Catherine's other objections are Elizabeth's middle-class relatives (merchants and country lawyers) and the fact that she wants him to marry her daughter (they would be a super-noble, super-wealthy power-couple of kissing cousins).
  • In The Princess Bride, Buttercup gets made princess of a tiny area so that Prince Humperdinck can marry her. This also puts her socially above Westley who used to work as her farmhand before becoming a pirate captain.
  • Jessica Day George's Princess of the Midnight Ball has a romance between soldier-turned-gardener named Galen and the crown princess, Rose. He undertakes the quest to discover what's going on with the princess's shoes, but curiously offers to go without the Standard Reward of a princess's hand in marriage, not wanting to force Rose to marry him.
  • Salli and Alinadar from The Red Vixen Adventures, the former being a noblevixen and the latter a female Commoner with a bad case of Bodyguard Crush
  • Red, White & Royal Blue:
    • Henry's parents, Arthur Fox and Catherine Mountchristen-Windsor. The late Arthur was an extremely famous and wealthy stage and film actor, best known for his role as James Bond in the 80s. He'd be a perfectly acceptable to outright spectacular suitor to just about anyone — anyone but Catherine, who is the Crown Princess of the United Kingdom. As a result, Catherine's mother Queen Mary tried to forbid their marriage, but the two were too in love to relent and got married anyway.
    • Zigzagged with Alex and Henry's relationship. Alex, as a biracial American from a working class family, is technically way beneath Henry in status. However, as the child of an American President and an American Senator, he could still be considered a perfectly respectable partner for a prince. What actually disqualifies him from being a potential suitor, at least in Mary's eyes, is that he's a man.
  • In The Rise of Kyoshi and its sequel we see that Rangi is a member of a not-particularly-exalted Fire Nation noble clannote , whereas her lover is the orphaned child of Earth Kingdom bandits that spent her childhood as a Street Urchin before lucking onto a servant's job... who just happens to be the Avatar.
  • In Ruslan and Ludmila, the warrior prince Khan Ratmir ultimately falls in love with a shepherdess.
  • Stephanie Grace Whitson's Sarah's Patchwork: Sarah Biddle, the orphaned housekeeper and David Braddock, the wealthy Philadelphia businessman, during the late 1800s.
  • Shannon Hale:
    • In The Books Of Bayern, Crown Prince Geric falls in love with a goose girl, Isi. She is actually the princess he is betrothed to, but at the time, neither of them knows that.
    • In Book of a Thousand Days, a commoner/"Mucker" named Dashti falls in love with her mistress's betrothed, Kahn Tegus, while he thinks she is her mistress, the Lady Saren. Lady Saren never loved him, and he never loved her, so Saren exacts her right to the betrothal for her "sister" Dashti.
    • In Princess Academy series, this is enforced, as the Prince must marry a girl from the poor mountain village where Miri grew up, according to a vision from the seers. All the girls train to be proper ladies, and Miri spends some time hoping to be the princess. In the end, the Prince chooses another girl, Britta, who turns out to have been his childhood best friend sent by her lesser-noble parents to the village. In the second book, Miri is elevated to a noblewoman, and becomes engaged to her childhood friend who remains a commoner. Britta, after her parent's treason is discovered, is stripped of her title and so marries the Prince as a commoner.
  • Shatter the Sky: Maren, a commoner, becomes attracted to Sev, who it turns out is a prince. It's mutual, and they later become lovers.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • A Scandal in Bohemia has the "rich guy, common girl" romance with the Prince of Bohemia and Miss Irene Adler. Used to show how superior the resourceful and clever Miss Adler is to her 'superior':
      Holmes: [coldly] From what I have seen of the lady, she seems, indeed, to be on a very different level to Your Majesty.
    • Then there's Watson and Mary Morstan in The Sign of Four. He thinks she's too far above him because they think she has a huge inheritance coming. After they find out she doesn't, he feels free to court and marry her.
  • Ship Breaker seems to be setting this up between light crew ship breaker, Nailer, and Nita, whose father is one of the richest men in the world. Nothing's happened yet, but there's been lots of Ship Tease and one kiss so we'll see...
  • Zigzagged in A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ser Jorah Mormont may be the son and heir-apparent of a lord, but his father's the lord of a remote, barren island in the Grim Up North. Nonetheless, he sets his sights on the daughter of a wealthy house from the cosmopolitan south. He catches her eye after winning a major tournament and successfully negotiates the Standard Hero Reward from her father, and she happily marries this dashing young knight. A fairy tale ending, right? Not quite. Used to the culture of one of the oldest and largest cities in the world, she quickly finds herself bored out of her skull in his remote castle. He bankrupts himself on lavish entertainments to try to keep her happy and winds up on the wrong side of the law. They flee across the sea and he becomes a sellsword and is now even poorer, and she ultimately leaves him and becomes a high-priced prostitute. Things go From Bad to Worse for poor Jorah when he sets his sights even higher: on Daenerys "Stormborn" Targaryen, the Unburnt, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, many other titles to follow.
    • Then there's Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish. Even poorer than Mormont, a lordling only by courtesy, heir to a rundown keep, a flock of sheep, a couple dozen peasants and some rocks, he's sent as a boy to be fostered by Hoster Tully, Lord Paramount of the Riverlands and becomes childhood friends, and eventually falls in love, with his eldest daughter. Unfortunately, she's slated for an Arranged Marriage to a Jerk Jock from one of the Great Houses. Petyr, head full of stories of plucky young heroes winning the hearts of fair maidens against all odds, challenges him to a duel. He barely makes it out with his life, and the girl he feels entitled to winds up in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage with another man. He does later marry her equally Uptown Girl sister, but it's a loveless charade and he ends up pushing her out a window.
    • A Puppy Love variety with little Arya Stark, the Princess of the North and Gendry, a bastard child from the underbelly of Kings Landing, who befriend each other and grow very close during their experiences across wartorn Westeros. Played with, in that they became friends when Arya was on the run disguised as a commoner, Gendry had no idea who she was initially, and even after she trusted him with her identity, still treated her the same as nobody else could know. It's implied several times that he's uncomfortable with her true status and worried about what will happen between them once she returns to her proper position. They later get separated for different reasons, so time will tell if they end any better than the other examples.
    • In the past, there was the controversial marriage between Aegon V Targaryen's heir, Prince Duncan, and Jenny of Oldstones, a commoner from the Riverlands, which inspired a popular Westerosi folk song. Duncan loved her so much that he chose to relinquish his right as heir so he could be with her. Unfortunately, he was already betrothed to a Baratheon lady, and her father, pissed off, started a brief rebellion against the Iron Throne.
  • In the Song of the Lioness quartet, this technically happens with Alanna (a knight who's from one of the oldest noble families in Tortall) and George (a commoner who became the King of Thieves), though by the time they get married, George has been given the title of baron and an estate for his services to the Crown (and to make things easier when he has to function as the Crown Spymaster).
  • Yukio Mishima's The Sound of Waves has a poor boy falling in love with a rich girl, and her father doesn't approve and there's Malicious Gossip and all that. The boy eventually gains the father's approval by going out on one of his fishing boats and saving it from being wrecked in a storm.
  • In Spy High, wealthy Ben is initially drawn to the equally privileged Lori; but his true love turns out to be wrong-side-of-the-tracks Cally.
  • In Starburst, on paper, this appears to apply to Angelique and Jamie, considering that Angelique is a world-famous celebrity violinist from France while Jamie’s parents are Lothian farmers. However, Angelique’s father and brothers were all factory workers in France, and Angelique’s mother was a cleaner; Angelique’s rise to fame began with a lucky break when she accompanied her mother to work and her mother’s employer realised Angelique’s natural potential for the violin.
  • Sweet Valley High had a few examples, such as one book where a visiting European prince falls for blue-collar Dana. There's also the spin-off Elizabeth series where Elizabeth goes to London and falls in love with an aristocrat while working as a servant at his manor house.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Beren and Lúthien: Lúthien, the only daughter of the oldest and most powerful Elven king of Beleriand, falls in love with Beren, a homeless Human warrior with no direct family left who has led a lonely outlaw life for seven years.
    • The Fall of Gondolin: Idril, Princess of Gondolin and daughter of the High King of the Noldor Elves, falls in love with Tuor, a warrior human who has led a live of lonely wandering outlaw during years.
  • Toradora!: Male lead Ryuuji lives in a tiny, run-down apartment with his mother, while his frenemy and eventual love interest Taiga has an appartment that takes up an entire floor of an upscale appartment building.
  • Twilight: Bella's working or middle class. The Cullens are wealthy (it's easy to make money if you're immortal and a smart investor).
  • Whateley Universe: There's a few, but the first one that appears is Vox, a girl from a working-class family, and Phase, a boy from one of the richest families in America.
  • The Witcher: Geralt of Rivia, renowned but ostracized and short of money witcher with the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (sorceresses are a group known for its political influence, wealth and status in society). Outside of that long and romantic relationship, Geralt has multiple affairs with other sorceresses, most notably Lytta Neyd or Cora who keeps him in her villa as a lover for a time. Geralt's best friend, Dandelion, being a bard with Anna Henrietta, the ruling duchess of Toussaint.
    • Ciri also: The sole princess of Cintra with the mystic Elder Blood of the elves having multiple suitors of various social classes, although she is a runaway most of the time. Being only reciprocated with the thief, but she also of noble class, Mistle. Being a rare example of Uptown Girl and Poor Girl.
  • Wicked: Boq has a crush on his classmate Galinda. Galinda doesn't like him back. When turning him down, she also cites their different cultural and social backgrounds. An upper-class Gillikinese woman can't just marry a Munchkinlander farmer. It doesn't help that Boq is too short for Galinda.

    Live-Action TV 
  • This trope has been (and still is) so extremely common in Turkish Drama since 70s, that it is already considered either the most essential element of the whole genre or an overused cliché that refuses to die in Turkey, depending on how you look at it. The Turkish name for this trope is "Rich Girl, Broke Boy" (zengin kız, fakir oğlan), for the curious.
  • 2 Broke Girls: In season 2, Andy, the owner of a candy store across Max and Caroline's cupcake shop, falls for Caroline, until he learns about Caroline's last name and feels intimidated by her former life as a wealthy socialite, even though Caroline is now actually penniless due to her father's Ponzi Scheme scandal.
  • Acapulco: Julia (working-class receptionist) is dating Chad (the rich resort's owner's son). Diane isn't above exploiting her son's relationship with a member of the staff to rich patrons and investors as proof of how they've "embraced the Latin American community".
  • All My Children:
    • Supercouple Angie and Jesse are constantly kept apart by the former's disapproving father who felt that street kid Jesse was going to ruin his daughter's life.
    • Beta couple Greg and Jenny are frequently tripped up by his snobby mother.
  • The princess Arabela is the beautiful young daughter of King Hyacint, ruler of the Fairy Tale Kingdom. Her suitor Petr is a normal human student.
  • Arrow:
    • Laurel Lance came from a middle-class family (she works in a legal office, her father is a detective, and her mother is a professor). She has dated Oliver Queen and Tommy Merlyn, both of whom are sons of billionaires.
    • Ollie's sister Thea falls in love with Roy Harper, a street kid who lives alone in the Glades, the poorest neighborhood of Starling City.
    • Oliver's relationship with Felicity Smoak is this, as she started out being employed at Queen Consolidated as an IT specialist.
  • Episode 2 of the third season of Ashes to Ashes (2008) has rich girl Alex and downtown boy Gene replace Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley in the music video for "Uptown Girl" itself (with Ray, Chris, and Background Cop #3 filling in as backup singers). Despite Alex and Gene's obvious Belligerent Sexual Tension, things never got past a kiss.
  • The Barrier had several couples dating across class lines:
    • Iván, a minister's son and Manuela, one of his family's maids, are established to be in a relationship as early as the first episode.
    • One of the single-episode plotlines happens because a deceased resident of Sector 1 (the enclave for elites) had a mistress in Sector 2 (the rest of the city, basically).
    • Daniela (Iván's sister) and Álex (from the Sector 2 protagonist family) are together by the end of the series, and the epilogue implies this is going to last. Approval seems to be the baseline response to the relationship.
  • Belgravia:
    • Young up-and-coming businessman Charles Pope falls for Maria Grey, daughter of the late Earl of Templemore; however, Maria is engaged to Charles's first cousin once removed John Bellasis, and her mother dislikes Charles for his status as a businessman and presumably illegitimate birth.
    Lady Templemore: Mr. Pope, there is no "Lady Maria and I." It is an absurd concept. My daughter is a jewel, as far above you as the stars. For your sake, as much as for hers, forget her. If you have a shred of honor in you.
    • Charles' mother Sophia Trenchard had a secret marriage with Viscount Edmund Bellasis, the son and heir of the Earl of Brockenhurst. However, the parson who married them was also a soldier and Edmund was unable to rectify his status as both soldier and minister with Sophia before being killed in the Battle of Waterloo.
    • Charles' aunt by marriage Susan Trenchard has an affair with John Bellasis, looking to gain a position as his mistress and looking for a way out of her miserable marriage to her husband Oliver. That one goes down the tubes when John rejects Susan's offer of marriage when he learns she's pregnant and that Charles is legitimate; Susan takes revenge by stealing everything he has on Charles and giving it to her in-laws to ruin John.
  • From the Blackadder episode "Amy and Amiability":
    H: Can it be possibly true? Surely love has never crossed such boundaries of class? (clutches Amy's hand)
    A: But what about you and Mum?
    H: Well, yes I grant thee when I first met her I was the farmer's son and she was just the lass who ate the dung, but that was an exception.
    A: And Aunty Dot and Uncle Ted.
    H: Yes, yes alright, he was a pig poker and she was the Duchess of Argyle, but-
    A: And Aunty Ruth and Uncle Isaiah, she was a milkmaid and he was-
    H: The Pope! Yes, yes, all right.
  • Bridgerton: In the first season, Anthony Bridgerton (the eldest son of a reputable high society family) is in a relationship with Siena Rosso (a working-class opera singer). It's especially painful on her part because it means they can never be seen together in public. However, Siena eventually gets fed up with being treated like a dirty secret, thus she breaks up with Anthony. On the second season, Anthony meets and falls in love with Kate Sharma, who is later revealed to be not a noble born. However, she is proven to be a perfect match for him in every ways that matters, thus he is adamant to marry her.
    • In the second season, Eloise Bridgerton meets working class printer's apprentice Theo Sharpe. A secret budding relationship and drama ensues, with the ultimate outcome TBD.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this happened between Lovable Alpha Bitch Cordelia and working-class nerd Xander. Downplayed in that money wasn't so much of an issue as high school popularity and clique insularity. After their relationship ended, Cordelia's father got busted for cheating on his taxes, and by graduation she has nothing.
  • There's a gender-reversed element of this in the developing relationship between millionaire playboy mystery writer Richard Castle and working-stiff police officer Kate Beckett.
    • Interestingly, they both were on equal footing during their childhoods. Castle went to boarding school, and his family was only moderately wealthy; Beckett attended a prestigious high school and probably would have had even more opportunities had her lawyer mother not been murdered.
  • Cheers:
    • The relationship between Woody the bartender and the millionaire's daughter Kelly Gaines.
    • Sam and Diane were the series's first example, despite the fact that Diane only acts like an uptown girl. Rebecca, both as the corporate Iron Lady, and then later as the simpering Yuppie Butt-Monkey, managed to subvert this trope.
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton: Frannie, a poor black Jamaican servant who was Born into Slavery, became lovers with her aristocratic white mistress Marguerite.
  • Dharma & Greg has a lot of similarity to the poor-guy rich-girl story type, but is actually an aversion in that, though Dharma's parents live the hippy lifestyle, they aren't doing that badly for themselves financially.
  • Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert in A Different World definitely fits here, Dwayne being the college nerd Everyman from a working class family and Whitley the upper crust snobby Southern Belle. Dwayne didn't start pursuing her until Season 3, and from there it was pretty much your average sitcom relationship, starting with Type 2 and progressing to Type 1 and eventually marriage through a course of break-ups and 'desperately in love with you' revelations.
  • There's Double Secret Subversion in Dirty Sexy Money. Ultra-rich Jeremey Darling meets a beautiful woman named Sofia while temporarily working as a valet in one of his family's business. He falls in love with her, then pretends to be a starving artist to prove to himself he can win her over without disclosing his real identity as (essentially) an Upper-Class Twit. The story doubles up on this trope because Jeremy was the poor boy going after the rich girl when it was the girl who was the poor (well, okay, comparatively poorer) one all along.
  • Downton Abbey:
    • Lady Sybil, the earl's youngest daughter, falls in love with Tom Branson, the family's Irish republican socialist chauffeur. They get married after much struggling. After WWI, they move to Ireland, where Sybil starts working as a nurse.
    • After they marry and Sybil dies in childbirth, now wealthy and well-connected Branson becomes an Uptown Guy for a local teacher, Miss Sarah Bunting.
    • Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley. Although he's a third cousin of the earl and is the family's only remaining heir, he has lived his life as a middle-class lawyer and son of a middle-class doctor. It's a source of friction in the first series.
    • When Matthew briefly becomes engaged to Lavinia Swire, Mary has a courtship with the self-made newspaperman Sir Richard Carlisle who, although considered a gentleman and is even richer than the Crawley family, he is distinctly not of her class, and everybody is sure to show it to him.
    • Lady Edith has a relationship with a newspaper editor Michael Gregson. It is not a major issue for Edith, who is frequently snubbed in her own family. What's surprising is that her family in turn welcomes Michael as they are happy anybody at all is courting Edith (or at least anybody who has full use of his limbs and is only about 15 years older than her rather than 25). He further earns their gratitude by disposing of a dirty gambler at a house party.
    • Rosamund Painswick's late husband was a very wealthy banker but had no title and was the grandson of a merchant. The Dowager Countess comments that, although not quite a "rough diamond," he was "cut and polished comparatively recently."
    • In series four, Lady Rose MacClare becomes engaged to Jack Ross, an African American jazz singer. Aside from the scandal surrounding such an interclass and interracial relationship, Mary points out that his being a jazz singer is almost equally as shocking to polite society.
    • Lady Rose marries Atticus Aldridge who, like Rosamund's husband, only recently attained "gentleman" status—after his father, a banker, was given a peerage (as Baron Sinderby). The difference in status is only heightened by the fact that Atticus is Jewish, while Lady Rose is Protestant.note 
  • One of the main themes of Extracurricular is the difference in economic status between Ji-soo and Gyu-ri which repeatedly gets pointed out by Ji-soo. Gyu-ri comes from a wealthy family, wears fancy dresses, frequents fancy cafes where she pays with a credit card, and solves everything with money, whereas Ji-soo wears the same worn-out clothes, is totally unfamiliar with those fancy cafes (he pays with cash), and has to take up odd, illegal jobs to make money.
    Ji-soo: [after Gyu-ri offers money to him] It's so easy for you. You buy everything with money. [...] Do you find it fun? My life looks fucking fun to you, right?
  • One of the most popular sketches of The Fast Show was based around lord of the manor Ralph and his incredibly awkward affections for lower-class handyman Ted.
  • Firefly: Even if it stayed in the realm of UST, it was very obvious that rancher's-son-turned-enlisted soldier-turned-smuggler Mal Reynolds was very much smitten with Inara Serra, a very high-class courtesan that he probably wouldn't have been able to afford a night with if he hocked the ship. There is also an element of this with Simon and Kaylee in that he was a rich surgeon while she was a farm girl mechanical genius. However, in their case, he isn't rich at the time of the series as he gave up everything to save his sister, though his upper-class background is still an element of friction.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Geoffrey fell in love with a woman who moved next to the Banks' mansion. Everything was right until he learned she's rich instead of a servant. What really troubled him wasn't her money but her social class.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Gendry, a bastard armorer's apprentice and Arya Stark. In Season 3's "Kissed By Fire," Gendry decides to remain with the outlaw group The Brotherhood Without Banners, instead of continuing on to Riverrun where Arya's highborn family rule.
      Gendry: These men are brothers, they're family. I've never had a family.
      Arya: I can be your family!
      Gendry: You wouldn't be my family. You'd be m'lady.
    • Tyrion and Shae. Deconstructed when Shae points out the complications of a lord and a prostitute having a long-term relationship. When Tyrion is forced to marry a woman closer to his social status, Shae becomes increasingly jealous. After Tyrion finally decides to send her away, she betrays him at his trial.
      Shae: I'm your whore. And when you are tired of fucking me I will be nothing.
    • Oberyn and Ellaria are one of the happier couples on the show but can't get married because he's a prince and she's a bastard.
    • Queen Daenerys and slave-turned-mercenary Daario.
    • Samwell Tarly (coming from the noble Tarlys, despite being rejected by his father) and Gilly (a wildling).
    • Jon Snow (coming from the noble Starks, from his father's side, despite being a bastard) and Ygritte (a wildling).
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Lorelai and Luke. Even though Lorelai has run away from her wealthy background, her parents are shown to be mistreating working-class people and don't consider them their equal. Blue-collar Luke is not enough for their daughter, and they even manage to break them up for a while. (And they had other problems, too.)
    • Dean struggles with Rory and her falling into the high society lifestyle. Rory comes from old money, goes to prep school, and heads to Harvard while Dean comes from a relatively poor-to-middle-class family. Rory's grandparents Richard and Emily highlight this, try to split them up, and succeed better than with their Luke/Lorelai attempt.
    • Class issues are one of the (many) obstacles Rory and Jess face, as she's headed for a bright Ivy League future, while he doesn't even graduate high school and basically becomes a bum in Seasons 4 and 5. Even when he comes back as a successful Self-Made Man, she's completely entrenched in Logan's upper-class world of the Idle Rich, much to his distaste.
  • Ginny and Georgia: Georgia and Zion. She came from a poor family, before running away and becoming homeless when they met. Zion comes from a well-off family. His mother was very unhappy that he impregnated a homeless girl. Unusually, he's black and she's white. Their relationship didn't last, but they did have Ginny.
  • The central couple of Gran Hotel from Bambú Producciones are a classic example: Alicia is the upper-class daughter of the hotel owner and she's having a love affair with Julio, a poor waiter.
  • The Heirs:
    • Cha Eun-sang is a working-class girl while her boyfriend Kim Tan is heir to the richest conglomerate in South Korea.
    • Eun-sang's relationship with Tan is revealed to be a repeat of what happened to Tan's older brother, Kim Won, who is in a relationship with the similarly working-class Jeon Hyun-joo.
    • Eun-sang's childhood friend, Yoon Chan-young, is not poor, but he is considered a "social care" student because he is not in the position to inherit something from his parents. He is dating Lee Bo-na, who is set to inherit an entertainment company.
  • Ana, a working-class seamstress, and Alberto, heir to a fashion empire, from Velvet (another series from Bambú Producciones) had been in love since they were children, but their class differences kept them apart for years.
    • Beta Couple Clara and Mateo have elements of this—she's from a small rural village, and he's from the same class as Alberto.
  • Many of the main characters' boyfriends in Hot in Cleveland are this trope. While the ladies aren't crazy rich they are used to the much more upscale lifestyle of Hollywood. In the pilot episode, Melanie can't stop gushing about how the first guy she hooked up with is a plumber and all of the women talk about how they always wanted to date guys who would "actually know how to fix stuff."
  • Jeeves and Wooster plays around with the trope. One of Bertie's friends wants to marry a waitress. To convince his uncle that it's a good idea, he makes him read romance novels where chambermaids end up marrying their masters.
  • Lucifer: The titular character's relationship with Chloe Decker. Chloe is an ordinary detective who raises her daughter in a modest apartment. Lucifer is, well, Lucifer, the Fallen Angel par excellence and (ex)-supreme ruler of Hell, who not only owns a luxurious high rise with a beautiful penthouse but has a seemingly limitless number of connections he accumulated throughout centuries of making deals with humans.
  • Madam Secretary's lead couple Elizabeth and Henry McCord. She's strongly implied to come from money (among other things she went to boarding school with the Crown Prince of Bahrain), whereas he's the son of a steelworker who went to college on the US Marine Corps' dime.
  • Pete and Trudy Campbell on Mad Men are an example of this trope. Trudy's parents are actually quite wealthy, but they are new money, in contrast to Pete's being a WASP. However, this is never shown as a conflict, and not even really explored.
    • There are a few other examples: a gender-swapped one with Pete and working-class Peggy Olson in the 1st and 2nd seasons (though this is never pointed out), and Don and Betty were this trope during their marriage since Don was raised on a farm in contrast to Betty who was raised in Pennsylvania Main Line high society.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Hal comes from a very rich family that openly hate Lois.
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: Phryne Fisher looks to be this to Jack Robinson, and indeed by the time the show starts she's a baron's daughter (and very wealthy) whereas he's a working-class (if respectable) detective inspector. But Phryne's family only inherited the barony after most of her relatives were killed in the Great War, and the two actually grew up a stone's throw away from each other in the poor Melbourne suburbs of Collingwood and Richmond, respectively. It's made fairly clear throughout the series that the reason Jack holds Phryne's interest when no one else can is that he understands — and loves — the Collingwood girl she was as much as the glamorous aristocrat she's become.
  • In Murdoch Mysteries (set in late Victorian/early Edwardian times in Canada), constable George Crabtree perceives Dr. Emily Grace like someone grand who wouldn't look twice at him as a romantic prospect, despite the fact that she is friends with him and absolutely not a classist. He starts courting her, and they're a couple for a while. Interestingly, it's revealed that her cad of an ex-fiancé and other Rich Bitch-y women in a prestigious social club consider Emily a lowly working-class girl ( even though she's a respected doctor working in the city morgue and must come from a rich, privileged and open-minded family).
  • Nancy Drew (2019): Ryan Hudson and Lucy Sable were this prior to the series. Unfortunately, his parents disapproved and had the influence to utterly ruin Lucy's life, driving her to the point of suicide.
  • The Nanny:
    • Rich Broadway producer Maxwell and working-class Fran (the titular nanny).
    • In the last season, Rich Bitch C.C. Babcock and Niles the butler get together romantically.
  • Gwen and Arthur in the BBC show Merlin. He is royalty and she is the blacksmith's daughter who works as a castle maid.
  • Ryan and Marissa. This is the primary storyline for the first half of The O.C..
  • Regina and Daniel in Once Upon a Time. This is firmly in the "mutually fall in love, and people around them conspire to interfere with True Love," category. She's the daughter of a wealthy family and he's the stable boy.
  • One of Us is Lying: After they get together in Season 2, Nate worries that he and Bronwyn are too different because of their very different economic backgrounds. He is working class, while her family has lots of money. Addy assures Nate they can work out regardless. Unusually for this trope, he's white and she's a Latina.
  • Working-class Rodney and well-heeled Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses. Before meeting Cassandra, Rodney also dated earl's daughter Lady Victoria.
  • Robin and Kate in season three of Robin Hood.
  • In an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Maddie falls for a rich guy and attempts to look and act rich so he will like her.
    • London Tipton, the wealthy heiress to the Tipton Hotel, dated her hotel's lifeguard, and also once pretended to be poor to impress a guy who dislikes rich people.
  • Super Sentai:
  • Hyde and Jackie from That '70s Show (while they were a couple). Jackie is a rich girl and cheerleader while Hyde is a poor delinquent with a messed-up family who lives with Eric's family because he has nowhere else to go. Initially, Hyde stated their differences in social status as a reason they shouldn't go out since they had nothing in common.
  • Thunderbolt Fantasy: Lady Ling Mo Yan, a former princess of the Xi You imperial court, fell in love with a man far beneath her social standing. She wound up pregnant with their child and was even willing to elope with her lover so they could be together, only for him to reveal himself as the demon lord Azibělpher in disguise, who mocks her for her foolishness before blinding her. She's subsequently forced to flee the palace so that her half-demon child will not be killed and later gives birth to and raises him, Lang Wu Yao, in the mountains.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Moiraine (born into a noble family) and Siuan (born to a fisherman) originally had this dynamic based on their backgrounds. Later however when Siuan became Amerlyn, head of the powerful Aes Sedai, Moiraine was then her inferior inside of the organization, and possibly outside it too. They remained lovers throughout this.
  • Willow:
    • Prince Airk is shown to be involved with Dove, a kitchen maid in the palace. Zigzagged however as it turns out she's The Chosen One Elora Danan, and thus very important herself as the True Empress (though she doesn't yet have any official authority).
    • Princess Kit (Airk's sister) and Jade (a commoner) are in love as well.
  • Zero (2021): Omar falls for Anna. She's a very rich girl, while he comes from a poor neighborhood named the Barrio in Milan.

  • The Trope Namer is Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl", about a low-class street kid who falls for, and pursues the affections of, a rich "uptown girl". Joel claimed that the song was originally written about his relationship with his then-girlfriend Elle MacPherson, but it ended up also becoming about his soon-to-be wife Christie Brinkley (who starred in the song's music video).
  • "A Mansion on the Hill" by Hank Williams.
    Tonight down here in the valley
    I'm lonesome and o, how I feel
    As I sit here alone in my cabin
    I can see your mansion on the hill
  • "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder is about a romance between an uptown girl from the right side of the tracks and a poor man's son who can't afford new clothes to go steppin' out in. It all turns out all right: she sees that his "heart is true."
  • The song "We Both Go Down Together" by The Decemberists is about a wealthy young man who falls in love with a poor girl. It doesn't end well for either of them.
  • Paul Simon's "Diamonds on the soles of her shoes" from Graceland is explicitly about this trope.
  • "Dawn (Go Away)" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The same group also did a gender-swapped version, "Rag Doll", in which the male singer is in love with a poor girl.
  • "West End Girls" by the Pet Shop Boys, which discusses "East-End boys and West-End girls." The East End of London is known for its working-class cockney neighborhoods, while the West End is more affluent and posh.
  • "Only in America" by Jay and the Americans: "Only in America / Would a classy girl like you fall for a poor boy like me!"
  • "Down in the Boondocks" is about a poor boy in love with a rich girl. The song was first popularized in 1965 by pop singer (later turned country artist) Billy Joe Royal, and in 1969 became a big country hit for ex-Raiders guitarist Freddy Weller.
  • Spanish band Amaral made a cruel subversion of this trope in their latest album, where the girl gets into drugs and heavy drinking and essentially wastes her life intoxicated.
  • "Saginaw, Michigan," a No. 1 country hit (and minor crossover hit) for hardcore honky-tonk legend Lefty Frizzell, tells the tale of the poor farm kid who pursues — and eventually wins — the hand of the rich girl. Before the two are married, however, he shakes off his disapproving father (a hardcore asshole who was also very greedy and oppressively protective of her) by claiming that he found a large gold claim in Alaska.
  • "Wolverton Mountain" by Claude King, a No. 1 country smash and top 5 pop hit in 1962, was the tale of a poor farm boy pursing a highly desirable and presumably wealthy girl ("Her tender lips are sweeter than honey/and Clifton Clowers protects her there") on said mountain ... but he's got to get past her "protector" ... her father, the mean Clifton Clowers.
  • Brentalfloss's Gusty Garden Galaxy with Fan Lyrics has Mario ("just a blue-collar guy") questioning his worthiness of Princess Peach. He soon decides that his actions have certainly earned her affections.
  • Ricardo Arjona
    • The song "Quién Diría", about an aspiring musician and a rich girl. The song is full of counter-comparisons.
      You eat caviar, I eat tortilla
    • The narrator in "Historias de taxi" is a taxi driver who gets involved with a rich married woman after she tearfully confides in him that her husband is cheating on her. The "other woman" turns out to be... the driver's own wife. The end of the song states that both couples carried on their affairs, each one pretending the others doesn't know.
  • "Common People", by Pulp (later covered by William Shatner), tells the tale of a young man who meets an Uptown Girl in a dive bar. She tells him that she wants to "be like common people [and] do whatever common people do," but after spending some time with her, he gets fed up with her slumming and tells her off.
    Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job
    Smoke some fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school
    But still you'll never get it right, 'cause when you're laid in bed at night
    Watching roaches climb the wall, if you called your dad, he could stop it all!
  • In Johnny Rivers's "The Poor Side of Town," the singer is gloating that his love's attempt at social climbing didn't work:
    That rich guy you've been seein'
    Must have put you down
    So welcome back baby
    To the poor side of town
  • Spanish singer Bertin Osborne's song Me enamoro de ella ("I fall in love with her") note  has a poor student/worker falling for an upper-class girl.
  • "Mama Can't Buy You Love" by Elton John:
    Baby, so they give you anything
    Darling, all the joy money can bring
    Baby, do they bring you happiness
    Darling, you're no different from the rest
    Can't you see that it's love you really need
    Take my hand and I'll show what a love could be
  • Brian McNeill wrote "Bring the Lassie Hame" about his mother and father, respectively an upper-class Austrian woman who worked as an interpreter for the Allies in World War II, and a Scots baker's son from Falkirk serving in a British Army Highlander regiment. They met in Styria during the post-war occupation in a courtship that included the amusing image of him teaching her to drive in a three-ton army truck.
  • The video for "I'm on Fire" by Bruce Springsteen shows this kind of love story, with ever-blue-collar Springsteen as the mechanic working on the luxury car of a rich married woman from "the hills". The lyrics of the song, however, don't really refer to this kind of relationship.
  • *NSYNC had their 1997 single "For the Girl Who Has Everything", detailing a lonely upper-class girl who has everything but love in her life:
    But the only thing you dream of,
    Money can't buy for you
    And in my dreams,
    I'll make your wish come true
  • "High Above the Ground" by Daughtry says, "I'm a small town kid and you're an uptown girl."
  • Randy Edelman's Uptown Uptempo Woman:
    You're an uptown uptempo woman
    I'm a downtown downbeat guy

  • Our Miss Brooks: In "An American Tragedy", Miss Brooks relates that Love Interest Mr. Boynton had been dating a society girl. On Miss Brooks giving him an ultimatum to choose the society girl or Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton chooses Miss Brooks.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • The Japanese folk tale Hachikatsugi-hime has the son of a noble family fall in love with one of the maids, a girl named Hachikatsugi whose face is always hidden by her huge wooden bowl that doubles as a hat. Since "-hime" means "princess" in Japanese, it means that Hachikatsugi herself is a noblewoman; in her specific case, she's a Fallen Princess. The Box of Holding that contains the proofs of her heritage is hidden under the hat, and soon Hachikatsugi and her beau are allowed to marry.
  • Subverted in Havelok the Dane; The villainous King Alsi marries his niece, Princess Goldburow, off to a servant boy named Curan, as a way to deprive her of her rightful inheritance as his brother's heir. However, it turns out that Curan is really Havelok, the lost prince of Denmark who himself was deprived of his throne. Both of them eventually regain their thrones.
  • In African mythology, King Cophetua had no interest in anyone until the day he spotted a beautiful beggar maid passing by in the street, while the king was watching by the window. It was Love at First Sight, and the king searched for the girl in town. He found her, she was named Pénélophon. She was surprised when the king asked for her hand but she accepted, and became a loved queen.William Shakespeare referenced this story in some of his plays, while Agatha Christie name the gender inverted version of this trope "Cophetua's syndrome" in The Body in the Library.

  • The opera Arabella by Richard Strauss. Impoverished Patrician Arabella falls for landowner Mandryka, solving her family's money worries.
  • John Adams's opera A Flowering Tree: an Indian prince falls for the poor village girl Kumudha. Complications ensue; the least of which is Kumudha's mother thinking that the girl has been prostituting herself.
  • H.M.S. Pinafore:
    • A double version; a middle-class woman loves a low-class man but at the same time, an upper-class man is in love with her.
    • The Beta Couple is a middle-class man who loves a poor woman but chooses not to pursue her for his family's sake.
  • The musical version of Les Misérables has the revolutionary student Marius in love with Cosette (who, although technically an illegitimate child, is known only as the daughter of a rich philanthropist). Not an entirely straight example, though, since Marius comes from a rich background and returns to that wealth after the students' uprising fails. Meanwhile, in a gender-flipped example, Eponine is in love with Marius, but he never realizes it until the end.
  • The musical Little Me has rich Noble Eggleston and poor Belle Schlumpfert, who even have a song about how they love each other "as much as they are able" considering their differing backgrounds. The two are kept apart by Noble's mother, sending Belle off to acquire "wealth, fame, and social position." She manages to do so, but by the time she does, Noble has lost all of his. They get together anyway.
  • Miss Julie has a relationship between servant Jean and the rich Julie, although it's more attraction and lust than love. After they sleep together one night, it does not end well. Some productions change things around and have Julie and Jean be different races in, say, the 1950s or in post-apartheid South Africa, as this trope is less relevant now.
  • The Winter's Tale features Prince Florizel falling in love with Perdita, a lowly sheperd girl, much to the disapproval of his father. This issue is conveniently sidestepped when they learn Perdita is secretly the long-lost princess of another kingdom.
  • The main romance in Hamilton is between the titular founding father and his wife Eliza Schuyler. It's brought up often in the first act how Hamilton is a penniless immigrant who has yet to make a name for himself, while Eliza is one of three daughters of a wealthy New York senator. Eliza constantly reassures Alexander that she doesn't care for his background and that she loves him for the man he is.
    • Played with in regards to Eliza's sister Angelica, who also falls for Hamilton; her insight also reveals some truths about Hamilton's interest in her sister that the much more naively optimistic Eliza may not have initially noticed. As detailed in Angelica's "I Want" Song "Satisfied", it was actually Angelica who Hamilton first approached, realising a woman with a wit and intellect that could match his. Angelica fell for him instantly, but quickly pawned him off to Elisa. The main reason is because she realised Eliza was also smitten and it would break her heart if Angelica didn't cede, but Angelica realised Hamilton was likely interested in her for her wealth and status, rather than just her intellect. Combined with the pressure to marry into a higher station as the eldest of the sisters, Angelica saw it as the right thing to do to in the moment, but as detailed in the song she still has feelings for him, and deeply regrets 'sizing him up so quickly.'

    Video Games 
  • Cyberpunk 2077:
    • Alt was a rich and talented corporate netrunner back when she was alive and was in a relationship with Johnny. We don't know his exact wealth at the time, but it's implied multiple times that Samurai didn't make much money, that the members often lived in squats and, after buying all the necessities like strings and guitars, they didn't have much money left.
    • Uptown Guy variant: Kerry is much richer and more famous than V, but that doesn't seem to be a problem for either of them. He's notably the only love interest in the game who's of such high status, with Gadgeteer Genius Judy, By-the-Book Cop River, and Badass Biker Panam being roughly on V's level. This gets mitigated somewhat in the "Path of Glory" ending, where V becomes about as wealthy as Kerry is.
  • Disgaea loves this trope. In the third game, Almaz is an extremely Unlucky Every Dude Chew Toy guardsman. Sapphire is an Ax-Crazy princess. There's also Rozalin (fake overlord's daughter), Adell (peasant hero). Laharl's dad (overlord) and his mom (unknown social status mage).
  • This becomes an issue for players whose female character romanced Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins. He is a royal bastard who can become King. If you are playing as a human noble, you may marry him and become his Queen Consort, but if you are playing an elf (who are an underclass or nomadic wanderers), a dwarf (either poor or exiled royalty) or a mage (despite the human mage coming from a noble family, mages are forbidden from inheriting) then you may romance Alistair until he becomes King, at which point he either dumps you (if unhardened) or will agree to you being his mistress (if hardened). On the other hand, you have the human noble or dwarf noble romancing Morrigan (apostate who lives in the wilds), Zevran (elven assassin slave), and Leliana (fugitive spy).
    • In the sequel, this is how the player character's parents met - Malcolm Hawke was an apostate mercenary with a mysterious past, Leandra Amell was a Kirkwall aristocrat with an arranged marriage on the horizon. Hawke later regains their family's titles and becomes a wealthy noble, while the potential love interests include Fenris (an elven former slave), Isabela (a shipless pirate), Merrill (a nomadic elf mage) or Anders (an apostate operating out of the slums). At a push, you could reverse it for Sebastian (a prince), due to Hawke's original status as peasant when they first meet (which also happens to be when Hawke takes on work from Sebastian as she's trying to scrape together some money).
  • In Fallen London, this turns out to be the driving plot-behind-the-plot of roughly the entire the game, as the Echo Bazaar itself is in love with the Sun, and as a Judgement, the Sun is very much above the Bazaar's station. The massive tax on exporting love stories, among other things, hints at this, as the Bazaar collects the stories in the hope of proving to the other Judgements that this kind of romance can work out. In matters of the Bazaar, look to love, always.
  • Final Fantasy IX: The relationship between Zidane, a common thief, and Princess Garnet plays out like this.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Kokomo the daughter of a merchant so rich that he can afford to have Redolent Rose, the guildmaster of the Weavers' Guild and lead fashion designer for the famed Sunsilk Tapestries, personally design and sow dresses for her. Meanwhile, Wawarukka is a working-class miner with no sense of fashion and is constantly covered in dirt. He is head-over-heels for her and the feeling is mutual, but Wawarukka is afraid that she'd never notice a guy like him while Kokomo believes that her father would never accept Wawarukka.
  • In Final Fantasy XVI, Dion Lesage is the crown prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque and has a secret relationship with his closest attendant, Terence, who both love each other dearly. However, their relationship is complicated by their difference in status, as an enormous scandal would break out if they were ever discovered embracing one another. Dion himself wishes that Terence were his master instead, while Terence insists that he will always be Dion's loyal servant.
  • Due to each game having tons of characters from a variety of different class backgrounds, this comes up frequently in Fire Emblem.
    • The backstory behind Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is built on this trope, which is also found in the posterior games. Anri, the Hero who defeated Medeus and founder of the Kingdom of Altea, was a commoner. His love interest Artemis was the Princess of Archanea. They couldn't get together. Artemis married Duke Cartas and went the Death by Childbirth way, cursing the Fire Emblem itself as she perished. The heartbroken Anri never married, and his bloodline (where Marth, Elice, Chrom and Lucina, and others come from) was continued by his brother Marcelus instead.
    • In regards to The Binding Blade:
      • Eliwood's son Roy can marry either the travelling dancer Larum (though her stepdad is an Etrurian general), the Ilian mercenary Shanna, the Arcadia villager Sophia (who is actually a half-dragon girl so this goes into Interspecies Romance as well) or the Tomboy Princess Sue who, like Lyn, is a plainswoman from Sacae (and might be Lyn's daughter with Rath). Averted with Black Magician Girl Lilina, who is Hector's daughter, and Badass Teacher Cecilia, who hailed from a wealthy, aristocratic family before becoming the Mage General of Etruria.
      • There's also Clarine, the daughter of Pent and Louise, with either Lance (a knight under Pherae) or Rutger (a Sacaean myrmidon with ancestry to Bern).
    • This showed up in The Blazing Blade:
      • If Eliwood marries Fiora, he will be questioned for it since she's a mercenary from Ilia; and if he marries Lyndis instead, her half-Sacaean blood will be an issue, too (though she downplays this by virtue of her also being heir to Caelin before ceding it to Ostia after the events of the game). There is no comment on the reactions if he marries Ninian, but as she's only an ordinary dancer from Ilia (or rather seemingly ordinary, as she's actually a half-Ice Dragon, thus crossing over into Interspecies Romance as well), the trope still applies. Curiously, Hector can marry Lyn or either of Fiora's sisters, but no one will bat an eyelid... likely because Hector is already a Rebel Prince to start.
      • Also Priscilla and any of her prospect boyfriends: the travelling swordsman Guy, the mercenary Heath, the mage Erk (and for some, the cavalier Sain - they have no shared ending, but their supports are decidedly romantic). Only Erk manages to bypass the trope's Star-Crossed Lovers aspect, since his teacher Pent is a very high-ranked nobleman... who once was an uptown boy since his wife and partner Louise was minor nobility.
    • In The Sacred Stones:
      • Three of Princess Eirika's four love interests (Prince Innes of Frelia is the exception) are men of lower class than her: Seth, a knight who doubles as her retainer in everything but name; Forde, another knight in Renais' employ; and Saleh, a hermit from the secluded Caer Pelyn. Seth even outright declares that she shouldn't get very close to him due to their different stations in their A-support, and the Japanese version of their paired ending notes that while he does have feelings for her, he felt it out of his place to marry royalty; he does come to accept his feelings and marry her, however, with Ephraim's blessing and the approval of the other knights.
      • A surprise gender inversion comes with Joshua, who is revealed in Eirika's route to be the long missing Prince of Jehanna, with Natasha, a common-born cleric who hailed from Grado.
    • In Awakening, most of the male Shepherds (barring Prince Chrom, Virion, and Ricken) are at least implied to be middle to low class, while the female Shepherds (except Nowi) are said to have higher standings note . so this trope tends to come up many times:
      • Donnel is a villager-turned-soldier in Chrom's army, while Lissa is a Tomboy Princess, and Maribelle is the daughter of a duke, and Donnel even shows interest in her before the S-rank.
      • There's Laurent and Lucina aka Chrom's daughter and Lissa's niece — who can potentially be Maribelle's daughter. He actually refers to her heritage as one of the reasons why they shouldn't be together in the first place, even when he can be fathered by either Virion or Ricken.
        Laurent : You're Chrom's daughter, and in your veins runs the blood of exalts and heroes... So how could a common man such as I ever be worthy of you? (...) I am in love with you, Lucina. I can say it no plainer. I know I'm a fool to harbor a love far beyond my station, and yet...
      • Not to mention, there's Vaike and either Lissa or Maribelle. As said above, they're both noblewomen and he's a former Street Urchin.
      • Kellam and either Lissa or Maribelle, too. In his and Maribelle's A support he specifically says he's a Country Mouse, and in the S one he mentions the "beneath one station" deal as he proposes to her.
      • Gaius and either Lissa or Maribelle, since he is a Lovable Rogue and ex Street Urchin. He also has similar dynamics with Sumia, a minor noble who is also a member of the Shepherds, and whom he sometimes calls "that crazy noblewoman".
      • Lampshaded when a Male Avatar proposes to Sumia in their S support:
        "I'm a simple man with little in the way of wealth or land or social opportunity. And I certainly can't make you a princess like the heroines in your stories..."
    • Fire Emblem Fates features two different royal houses, so it has this trope up the wazoo as well:
      • The Player Character is either a Prince or Princess. Almost everyone the Avatar can marry is of lower social standing than he or she is, and more than one of the prospect brides/grooms will mention the deal.
      • The royal siblings of either Hoshido or Nohr also face this trope if they develop romantic ties with other characters. Beruka and Charlotte lampshade it if Xander shows a romantic interest in either of them since the first is is a former Street Urchin now Professional Killer, the latter is a slum-girl-turned-border guard... and he is the heir to the Nohrian throne, who admires either girl because of her physical might rather than her origins.
      • The Avatar's best friend, Princess Azura, is both the stepdaughter of the Nohrian King Garon and the ward/niece of the Hoshidan Queen Mikoto. And later it turns out she's the daughter of the long-dead King of Valla. Naturally, if she marries a guy who isn't royalty, this trope will take place too.
    • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
      • Dimitri (crown prince of Faerghus) can end up marrying Mercedes (a former member of House Bartels with no current noble status to her name) or Hapi (a commoner turned vagrant). In the former case, it does raise some eyebrows, until the people of Faerghus see how genuinely happy they are.
      • Claude (a high-ranking noble of Leicester and prince of Almyra) can end up marrying Leonie (a commoner mercenary). Their paired ending notes how shocked her fellow villagers were to see her in the garb of a queen.
  • Haven (2020): Yu is the daughter (or son) of the president of ExaNova, the Apiary's premier scientific corporation, and has spent most her life on the upper-class planet Top, while Kay grew up without parents on the commoner planet Truth. Class differences are the least of their worries, however, since the Apiary forbids relationships outside of the pairs decided by its Matchmaker system.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • This is the case for Alan, a commoner, and Bridget, a baron's daughter, two NPCs who are also Childhood Friends.
    • This trope gets deconstructed with Machias and serves as his Freudian Excuse for his hatred of the nobility. His cousin, a commoner, fell in love with the heir to a count, but she ended up facing harassment from his family who wanted him to marry for political power, and it got to the point where she was Driven to Suicide.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • In the Mass Effect games, this trope can apply depending on the chosen background of your Commander Shepard and your choice of romance options. If you're playing an Earth-born Shepard, and romance Liara, you've got the former-street-kid-done-good romancing the only daughter of one of Thessia's most influential families.
    • An aversion of sorts can happen in the sequel for a male Shepard romancing Miranda. While Miranda is the genetically enhanced daughter of the richest human in the galaxy, she is actually not that wealthy, having run away from her controlling “creator” years ago. That said, she does have the more refined tastes of a wealthy girl.
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade: Torahime (high family), Kisuke (common ninja).
  • In Mystery Case Files: The Revenant's Hunt, the wealthy heiress Frances Boyle was in a relationship with Avondel's reject Alvin Croaker. Unfortunately, things ended very badly.
  • Persona:
    • Mitsuru Kirijo, an heir to the Kirijo Group which is one of the largest corporations in Japan and the world, is a potential love interest for the Male Protagonist in Persona 3. This does cause trouble as she is betrothed to another in order to solidify the Kirijo Group. Though once the protagonist gets insulted by her unwanted fiance, she flat out dumps said fiance without any negative repercussions.
    • Yu Narukami (middle class) with Yukiko Amagi (Ojou), Rise Kujikawa (famous Idol Singer), or Ai Ebihara (Nouveau Riche) are possible pairings in Persona 4.
    • In Persona 5, Ren Amamiya (middle class) can romance Haru Okumura, daughter of the president of a large food manufacturer. Like Mitsuru, she's also stuck with an Arranged Marriage. Once she gets to talk to a Parental Substitute about her feelings on the matter, he helps her drop the betrothal, leaving the protagonist free to romance her.
  • This is the crux of the conflict between protagonist Arthur and his recently widowed Old Flame Mary in Red Dead Redemption 2. They definitely are both Hypocrites about each other's families (his being the gang, hers being her dad and brother) but the true problem is that she comes from money and he doesn't. In a bit of Deliberate Values Dissonance, she married a more "suitable" man because rich women in the late 19th century didn't have the luxury of marrying for love. He even tells one of the girls in the gang that she gave him more time than she should have given the class circumstance.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Princess Peach is this to Mario. She's royalty, and even if he does rescue her all the time, the players are led to believe he's little more than a plumber. This may be the case with Mario's younger brother Luigi and Princess Daisy too.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, Jade's sister Nephry and best friend, Peony, are in love with each other. The problem, of course, is that Peony is the Emperor's son (and, after his brothers are killed, becomes the heir and eventually Emperor himself), and Nephry is a commoner. Further complicating things, is that the Score says that she'll marry someone else. Regardless of Nephry's marriage, Peony remains in love with her and refuses to marry anyone else.
  • Welkin and Alicia in Valkyria Chronicles. Welkin is the son of a general, grew up in a big house, went to university where he received officer training and is a lieutenant in the militia. Alicia grew up in an orphanage, was an apprentice baker before she was called up, and is a sergeant in the militia. They make it work.
  • In League of Legends, Viego, king of a long-forgotten land, fell in love with a beautiful but lowly seamstress called Isolde. It was a fairy-tale romance, with the two of them being inseperable and Viego lavishing her with all of his attention and anything she could want. Unfortunately the story then becomes a deconstruction of this trope, as Viego (already a weak, lazy and apathetic ruler) neglected his kingly duties until both his disgruntled allies and his enemies plotted to assassinate him. An attempt with a poisoned dagger instead mortally wounded Isolde, driving Viego to maddened desperation. When she died, he sought the Water of Life kept at the Blessed Isles, having his army butcher everyone in their path until he reached it, and used it to revive her... as a maddened wraith, who stabbed him with his own magic sword, unleashing the devastating force of the Ruination which turned the Blessed Isles into the cursed Shadow Isles. Viego would eventually return as a mad ruler of the undead, unable to remember the circumstances of his death, unleashing the ghoulish forces of the Harrowing on Runeterra in a mindless attempt to get Isolde back at any cost. And that's why Viego's Champion title is "the Ruined King".
  • In Merge Mansion Ursula states that her husband Charlie was "a poor carpenter's son from the wrong side of town".

    Visual Novels 
  • The trope is key to the premise of Be My Princess, a Romance Game in which an ordinary young woman falls in love with any one of six princes and inevitably faces opposition from her love interest's royal family and others around them who don't approve of the relationship.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, the heroine is a hunter-gatherer barbarian who lives in a cave and dates pigeons. One of said pigeons is the snobby Upper-Class Twit fantail Shirogane Le Bel Sakuya, and if she pursues him, they can end up a gender-inverted Type A version (Sakuya's family isn't too thrilled with his artistic aspirations, let alone his interest in a shabby human girl).
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Shizune Hakamichi is the deaf-mute Student Council President as well as the eldest daughter of a very rich family from Saitama. If she's the chosen one, then middle-class protagonist Hisao not only will get quite the glimpse of her Big Fancy House but will have to deal with her Large Ham Jerkass CEO of a father Jigoro.
    • To a milder degree, there's Shizune's cousin Lilly Satou, who's also from a quite loaded family. You don't have to deal with her parents since they live in Inverness (Scotland) but with her Cool Big Sis Akira who does take a liking to you. And then the Satous decide that Lilly should go back to Scotland...
  • In A Knight's Devotion, the heroine is a princess, and all of her potential love interests are knights. Not all of them see her royal status as a reason not to pursue a relationship, but Lute in particular is very conscious of the differences in their status.
  • In Seduced in the Sleepless City, the heroine is a reporter and writer for a women's magazine who becomes involved with a group of A-list celebrities and falls for one of them. How much of an obstacle the difference in their social class is varies from route to route, but it usually at least complicates matters.
  • If Remi Himekawa is the chosen lover in True Love Junai Monogatari, the trope is also in play. Both her Unlucky Childhood Friend and her dad will not let the Player Character forget it. Unless Remi's route is finished correctly, which involves saving Remi from a kidnapper among other things; Mr. Himekawa will be so impressed by the MC's courage that he'll lift the Parental Dating Veto and give him and Remi their blessings.
  • From Umineko: When They Cry, George, a member of the obscenely wealthy Ushiromiya family, is in a secret relationship with Shannon, one of the servants at the main house. Similarly, Jessica Ushiromiya is in love with a male servant, Kanon. Subverted since it turns out that Shannon and Kanon are actually the same person, Sayo Yasuda, who is an illegitimate child of Kinzo Ushiromiya and the true head of the family, having been granted the headship by Kinzo before he died.
  • In Long Live the Queen, Elodie is the crown princess of the kingdom of Nova, and one of her love interests is a common baker's son named Evrard. If you want to actually go through with marrying him, you will need a very good relationship with the nobility.
  • Sonia Nevermind of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is the princess of a minor (and fictional) European nation. Her main love interest, Gundam Tanaka, was born out of wedlock and is not very well off. Sonia is also a "datable" (no official romance occurs with anyone) character in Island Mode, where the social difference between her and protagonist Hajime Hinata is quickly highlighted.
    • Perhaps an even more obvious example, Kazuichi Soda is absolutely crazy for Sonia, and he's a mechanic whose family runs a bike shop. Unfortunately for him, Sonia isn't interested at all.
    • On the other hand, if you take Gundham's self-ascribed epithet, "The Supreme Overlord of Ice," seriously, then he and Sonia may in fact be quite evenly matched.
  • Princess Maker:
    • In every game, the Daughter (who tends to be a Happily Adopted orphan raised by a local, who sometimes qualifies as nobility and sometimes not) has at least one Princely Young Man among her prospective suitors.
    • The Daughter can be the Uptown Girl too if her game allows her love interest to be her family's butler.

  • Beatrice and Alan in The Dreamer. Beatrice is a daughter of a wealthy Tory in Boston; Alan is a dirt poor apple farmer in Roxbury.
  • Kaiten Mutenmaru: Gender inverted. Sick was a young aristocratic boy in love with Anne, a kind-hearted commoner his age.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Mary is stated to be from a wealthy family, and she is dating Bill, who is from a middle-class family.
  • The yaoi webcomic Teahouse centres around a brothel commonly frequented by the upper class, with Rhys and Reed implied to be particularly important members of society. The brothel owner himself is also far higher in status than Linnaeus, who was given to Xanthe's father in lieu of payment for a gambling debt.
  • Til Debt Do Us Part: Subin, who is from a working-class background, marries into the very wealthy Ji family as she is indebted to the eldest son, Yejun. The financial disparity between them stops becoming an issue as they develop true feelings for one another.

    Web Video 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Rose Oliver comes from an extremely wealthy family and pampered background (she's the daughter of the chief of surgery at the hospital where Simon-James Rivers works). Simon reasons that he could not date a girl like this, being a young, penniless doctor. She has a crush on him, he's not so eager, and they don't end up together.
  • There's a one-sided version on The Cry of Mann. The wealthy corporation-founder Tank Mann fell in love with the lower-class and struggling Courtney for the ambition and spark she had in spite of her misfortune. Unfortunately, his kids didn't see it the same way and treated Courtney as an outsider, and for Courtney's part, it was more of a Marriage of Convenience.
  • A deconstruction occurs in Helluva Boss. Blitzo, a lowly imp, is in a homosexual relationship of sorts with Stolas, one of the Princes of Hell. The massive societal gap between them creates a divide in their relationship, as Blitzo's Inferiority Superiority Complex causes him to avoid accepting genuine emotional attachment to him. In the Season 1 finale, when they're being publicly humiliated by Asmodeus, Stolas has trouble making eye contact with him and Blitzo is heartbroken by this perceived rejection, as he wanted to believe Stolas thought of him as an equal but instead had all of his doubts validated.
    • Played straight with Beelzebub and Vortex, the former being one of the Seven Deadly Sins and rulers of Hell with the latter being a lowly hellhound bodyguard.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Caitlyn is heir to the very wealthy and politically powerful House Kiramman which has a seat on the ruling Council. Her Implied Love Interest Vi is from the Undercity, and a penniless prisoner Caitlyn recruited out of prison to help her investigation. Caitlyn's mother clearly does not approve.
  • Sokka's courtship of Princess Yue in Avatar: The Last Airbender is played like this. When Sokka claims to technically be a prince of the Southern Water Tribe, his sister Katara laughs in his face, as the southern tribe doesn't have any kind of royalty whatsoever, with Sokka being merely the son of the chieftain. Furthermore, Sokka had been Wandering the Earth for months with a Ragtag Band of Misfits and couldn't even compare to Yue's Ermine Cape Effect. Despite this however, Yue did reciprocate his feelings, although at the time she was slated for an Arranged Marriage for political reasons, in line with this trope.
  • Dana's father is less than happy about her relationship with Terry in Batman Beyond, although it has less to do with their socioeconomic differences than Terry's criminal record.
  • Deconstructed in Bojack Horseman: Beatrice Horseman is a wealthy debutante and the heir to Sugarman Sugar while Butterscotch is a poor Starving Artist writer. The marriage falls apart however due to Unequal Pairing. Beatrice is used to a very wealthy and privileged lifestyle and Butterscotch can't provide that making her bitterly miss her former life. Beatrice can't adapt to a lower-middle class lifestyle and is unused to the work she has to put in making her a poor mother and partner. It's implied that everyone would have been happier had Beatrice married her wealthy suitor Corbin Creamerman.
  • Danny and Sam (though it's less poor/rich than middle class/incredibly rich) in Danny Phantom, though Sam doesn't really care much about her family's comically vast fortune, rarely tells anyone about it, and the series itself only occasionally draws attention to it. Despite that, it's pretty clear that Sam's parents don't exactly like her friends, and the various unexplainable ghost-related hijinks that happen over the course of the series don't help much.
  • Lois and Peter Griffin in Family Guy; she comes from an old money family and he was a groundskeeper for their estate. In one of the show's most truly-touching flashbacks to their courtship, Lois leaves her parents' high-class ball to meet with Peter at the servants' much livelier party. She dances with him and realizes she loves him more than her family's money. Naturally, her father disapproves, and Carter's hatred for his son-in-law is a running joke throughout the series.
  • The Flintstones: When Fred and Barney first met Wilma and Betty, the four of them were holding summer jobs at a hotel but a series of misunderstandings caused Fred and Barney to think the girls were wealthy guests and the girls to think the boys were wealthy guests.
  • Asami Sato in The Legend of Korra is a Spoiled Sweet version who is a fan of Pro-Bending Street Urchin Mako before she runs into him-quite literally, she hits him with her moped and invites him to dinner to make up for it. In a twist, her wealthy industrialist father takes a shine to Mako because he reminds him of his own Rags to Riches background and offers to sponsor their team in the Pro-Bending Championships. Then it turns out Asami's dad outright hates Mako, calling him a "Fire-bending streetrat". It's probably the first part of that description Hiroshi really hates.
    • Mako's other love interest Korra may qualify and isn't so different from Asami: though she's not personally wealthy, the Order of the White Lotus has provided for her every need since she was a child and gave her a lovely Gilded Cage to live in, making her something of an Ojou with the attitude of a Tomboy.
    • Bolin continues the trend with his relationship with Opal, daughter of the incredibly wealthy Suyin Bei Fong, matriarch of the famous utopian city Zaofu. One of their first conversations takes place over dinner in Opal's family's beautiful, sprawling estate, where she comments, "I don't think I've ever had a bad meal in my life," only to be heartbroken when Bolin relates the kind of meals he ate growing up on the streets. While no parents or anyone else object to their romance, Bolin is initially very nervous about pursuing his feelings for her, and it's not hard to see why.
    • Bolin's first love interest, Korra's cousin Eska, was another example since her father was the chieftain of the Northern Water Tribe. Unlike the other examples, their relationship was anything but healthy (Eska treated him like a slave and was incredibly possessive).
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Middle-class Marinette Dupain-Cheng has a crush on Spoiled Sweet fashion model and heir Adrien Agreste. Equally rich Chloe Bourgeois has the hots for Adrien too, but he is clearly not into her.
  • The Owl House: Luz Noceda's single mother works as a veterinarian and she herself is apprenticed to public enemy #1. Her eventual girlfriend Amity Blight is the daughter to two Blue-blooded arms dealers. Amity's mother vocally disapproves of the relationship due to Luz being a wanted criminal by the time she finds out (though considering that she previously tried to have Luz killed, it's unlikely that a lack of a criminal status would have changed her mind much).
  • Sofia the First: Miranda (a shoemaker) and Roland the Second (a King).
  • Steven Universe reveals that Ruby and Sapphire had this kind of relationship when they first met, with Ruby being a lowly soldier assigned to bodyguard the aristocratic Sapphire.
  • Wheel Squad: Bob and Emilie. Bob's Dad gives private music lessons for a living and Emilie's stepfather is a wealthy businessman.
  • Gender flipped in Titanic: The Legend Goes On: Angelica is the poor girl who ends up in a relationship with wealthy William.
  • Winx Club:
    • This trope is both played straight and gender-swapped when Bloom and Stella find out that their respective boyfriends, Brandon and Sky, actually swapped identities when they came to school, so wealthy Solarian princess Stella is really dating lowly squire Brandon, and Prince Sky of Eraklyon is dating Bloom, at a time when Bloom was just a girl from Earth who had to shop for a formal dress in the clearance section. While Brandon is somewhat intimidated by her status and at times worries he can't compete as a commoner, Stella soon doesn't care and doesn't face much opposition from others, while Sky's parents don't approve of Bloom not being a princess although they still don't think much of her after she becomes one.

    Real Life  
  • Despite having been the inspiration for the Trope Namer, the relationship between singer Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley is an aversion of this trope, because despite his lower-class, "kid from the streets" origins, Billy Joel was loaded at the time he married her.
  • Similarly, Sean "Jay-Z" Carter and Beyoncé Knowles. Beyoncé comes from an upper-middle-class family and grew up in a nice home in the Houston, TX suburbs. Both of her parents had very successful careers in their own rights before she was famous.note  Jay-Z was raised by a poor single mother in the public-housing projects of Brooklyn and at one point sold crack cocaine to make ends meet. However, both of them were easily multimillionaires in their own rights when they met and are now worth somewhere around three billion dollars between the two of them. Most estimates clock his net worth at the $2.5 billion ballpark and hers in the mid $500 million range.
  • Japanese Emperor Emeritus Akihito was the first to break tradition by marrying a "commoner", Shōda Michiko. The daughter of a flour magnate ("commoner" here means "not of Imperial or noble blood"; her family was hardly poor), she was a doubly strange bride for an imperial heir because her family was Catholic (though Michiko herself converted to Shinto to marry Akihito). Her troubles didn't exactly stop with her and Akihito's wedding, however, as a good part of the Royal Family (and especially Akihito's mother, Princess Nagako/Dowager Empress Kojun) still didn't like her.
  • Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky in the early 1990s, only to be subverted in the subsequent divorce (then again, it was her seventh divorce).
  • The House of Windsor:
    • The marriage of Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother) was considered this since even though Elizabeth was an earl's daughter, at the time princes were only expected to marry princesses. She even refused his first two proposals because she didn't think she could handle royal life. The marriage was probably only allowed because Albert was a second son who wasn't expected to become King. As a result of their union, Queen Elizabeth II was born much less inbred than other contemporary royals. Since Elizabeth II began to reign, no member of the British Royal Family has married a member of foreign royalty.
    • After less than a year on the throne, Edward VIII (elder brother to the above) provoked public scandal by proposing to Wallis Simpson, who was not only American but twice divorced, which was at the time forbidden by the Church of England. He ultimately chose to abdicate so he could marry her and they took the courtesy titles Duke and Duchess of Windsor, effectively living out the rest of their days in exile from the United Kingdom.
    • In 2005, his great-nephew Prince Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles, who was well-off but divorced and not noble. Notably, she had been his mistress during his disasterous first marriage to the more respectable Lady Diana Spencer, who he later admitted he had married more out of obligation than affection.
    • Princess Margaret, daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and younger sister of Elizabeth II: has a romance with Peter Townsend, a RAF officer. Their relationship was very controversial in the 1940s-50s because he was a divorced man. Margaret abandoned her plans with Townsend and married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, the son of a Welsh barrister and a socialite of German-Jewish ancestry (who proceeded to divorce the barrister and marry an Irish earl). Armstrong-Jones was created Earl of Snowdon to make him acceptable for marriage to a royal princess according to 1960 sensibilities.
    • The marriage of Prince William to middle-class Kate Middleton was of major significance to the media. While the Middletons are multimillionaires, they were not noble.
    • As was that of his brother Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, although she herself was already fairly wealthy due to her acting work.
  • The Crown Prince of Nepal, Dipendra, who wanted to marry Devyani Rana, daughter of Pashupati SJB Rana, a member of the Rana clan, against whom the Shah dynasty have a historic animosity. Though the 'Prime Minister's family' doesn't seem like much of a step down from 'Royal Family' for most people, well...most people aren't royal families. As such on June 1, 2001, this lead to the Royal Family killing spree incident.
  • Older Than Print: Prince Justinian I married Theodora, who was an actress/'actress', thereby combining this trope with a measure of Rags to Royalty. He actually abolished the laws prohibiting their marriage.
    • This example is slightly downplayed by the fact that Justinian's uncle and predecessor, Justin I, was also an example of Rags to Royalty. A rich person marrying a poor person for love is less surprising when the latter is New Money (as therefore they're less likely to be judgmental towards lower classes).
  • The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald in his youth fell in love with the socialite Ginevra King. Her father told him that "poor boys had no business marrying rich girls." Mr. King then introduced his daughter to his business associates and encouraged her to choose among them. She complied and Fitzgerald later based Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby on her.
  • Franz Ferdinand was the Archduke of Austria-Hungary and heir to the Imperial throne. His wife Sophie was old Bohemian noble stocknote  but still lacked the requisite ancestry for equal marriage to a member of the Habsburg imperial family. As such, due to her "lower" status and despite how Happily Married the two were, she was not allowed to appear with her husband at social events. Then he took her a military review to Sarajevo since that was a non-official visit and she would be permitted to sit with him publically... and their assassination sparked World War I.
  • PK Mahanandia, a man who belonged to a Dalit family, the lowest caste of untouchables in Indian society. "I was treated worse than stray dogs", "people threw stones at me". During his youth, Pradyumna drew portraits in the streets of Delhi, where he met a tourist named Charlotte Von Schedvin who came from the Swedish aristocracy. He remembered a prediction at once and began asking her questions while drawing her portrait, "It all fits," he said, "you are meant to be my wife.". The couple became involved romantically, and when she returned to Sweden, PK Mahanandia begin a journey by bicycle from New Delhi to Gothenburg, where they finally got together.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Inter Class Romance, Uptown Guy, Uptown Boy


Like Oil And Water

Vi rebuffing Caitlyn's offer to help in the pouring rain is meant to resemble them "breaking up" even though their relationship hasn't properly started yet, with Vi claiming it was never meant to be due to the social inequality between them.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrayRainOfDepression

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