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Basic Trope: A character (stereotypically a woman, though not always) who is in a relationship with someone primarily because they are rich.

  • Straight: Alice marries Bob in part because he is a doctor, and can bring in enough money so she can live comfortably off his paycheck and do nothing.
  • Exaggerated:
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  • Downplayed: One of Alice's criteria for a husband is that he is financially stable and employed.
  • Justified:
    • Alice is unable to work and support herself due to being physically or mentally challenged.
    • The cost of running a household and raising a family is higher than ever before. Alice wants someone who is able to help share that burden, so that it will be easier to provide for at least the basic needs of a family.
    • Alice is a Spoiled Brat all grown-up (well, for a certain definition of "all grown up") and believes everything should be given to her, no questions asked.
    • In Alice's society, married women don't work, and women who do work (usually at "feminine" careers such as teaching or nursing) are expected to give up their jobs/careers when they get married. Since married women in this setting are expected to rely on their husbands to provide for them (and any children they might have), Alice needs someone who can provide a decent, comfortable lifestyle for her.
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    • Bob used the fact that he has a lot of money to attract Alice, he shouldn't be surprised if that is all she wants from him.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted: Bob marries Alice, in part because she is a wealthy doctor who can bring in enough money for him to live off her paycheck so he can stay at home and do nothing.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice marries Bob, who is a wealthy doctor, but she loves him for who he is, not what he has.
    • Alice didn't marry Bob for love, but it not his cash she's after, either. She's after something very specific that Bob happens to have access to, like some sort or rare animal, or the prototype of a machine that could change the world.
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    • Alice reveals the she and Bob are in an Arranged Marriage. Neither one of them chose this; their parents did.
    • Bob is not actually rich, and Alice knows this. She is using him as a way to explain how she gets her ill gotten money without anyone being suspicious.
    • Alice reveals that her family has a lot of money, and she would not need Bob's.
    • Although Bob is indeed a doctor, he is a primary-care doctor, not a fancy-schmancy specialist. He is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from both his undergraduate studies and medical school. He and Alice live in a one-bedroom apartment they can barely afford, and when the time came for him to buy an engagement ring for Alice, he bought her an inexpensive Swaroovski crystal ring. Alice happily accepted the proposal, and they are having a longer engagement to scrape together the funds to pay for the wedding.
    • Alice doesn't work and depends on Bob for financial support, but not so that she can lounge around all day and order expensive things on his dime. Rather, she is a Housewife; she and Bob decided it made sense for her to stay home with the kids.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Alice likes that Bob has a high social status.
    • Alice really wanted to be with someone wealthy.
    • She is, however, the main beneficiary in his will, and on his life-insurance policy.
    • Except Alice's family cut her off due to her spending to much money, she needs a new source quickly.
    • Alice still brags to her friends and family that her fiancé is a doctor. And she still wishes he were a specialist, or something like Plastic Surgeon to the Stars, so he would be making more money and she wouldn't have to work, and he could buy her a nicer ring and they could get married this year instead of 5 years from now.
    • Alice and Bob get divorced years down the road. Alice uses the kids and her status as Housewife as bargaining chips to get more child support and/or alimony from Bob in their Divorce Assets Conflict.
  • Parodied:
    • As soon as Alice accepts Bob's proposal, she becomes Ms. Red Ink.
    • Alice is dressed like an old-timey prospector.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Alice has been in multiple relationships, some with men who earned more money, some with men who earned less money, and some who earned about as much as her.
    • Alice didn't marry Bob because he's rich, but she does like his high social status, except that's an issue of power rather than money.
  • Averted: Alice and Bob are of equal social status.
  • Enforced: "How do we show that Alice is a cold-hearted bitch?" "I know! We'll make her be only interested in Bob because of his money."
  • Lampshaded: "I want a man with money. LOTS of money. And I want ALL his money for myself. ALL. OF. IT."
  • Invoked: Alice is a bit high-maintenance, and wants a free ride for life without having to work at all.
  • Exploited:
  • Defied:
    • Alice decides she doesn't want to be a Trophy Wife, and that she wants to be self-reliant just in case the worst happens (i.e. Bob leaves her or dies), and also that she wants to be with someone for love and companionship, not to get her hands on his money.
    • Bob forces Alice to get a job or divorce him.
    • Alice goes Back to School at some point during the relationship, and gets a real job.
  • Discussed: "Alice may believe she's caught a big fish but she seriously has to look out for competition now."
  • Conversed: "Why must women be written invariably as rapacious whores in fiction?" "Maybe because there are women like this in Real Life."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice is so utterly money-grubbing that she would leave Bob for any man richer than him. Bob realizes that Alice has no interest in him other than for his money and outright refuses to marry her or have a child with her, eventually leaving her for a woman rich enough to have no interest in gold-digging. Alice is now pushing 30 and has to contend with younger and fresher Gold Diggers. Having no skills other than looking pretty and buying things, Alice ends up having to work a menial job or becoming a prostitute.
    • Alice's relationship with Bob is extremely unpleasant due to Bob being an awful person and them not having a connection, but she has to stay with him because he's her only source of income.
    • After 30 years of marriage, Bob decides he's tired of Alice and cheats on her with some 18-year-old who's prettier (and more naive). He decides to leave Alice for his young mistress (and perhaps got said mistress pregnant and is having a Shotgun Wedding to her). Since Alice has been out of the workforce for 30 years, it's going to be much harder for her to get a job, and since she's "past her prime," it's going to be much harder for her to find a new husband. (Especially since the kind of men who take on trophy wives usually prefer them to be much younger.) And unfortunately for Alice, Bob made her sign a prenup, which heavily favors him.
  • Reconstructed: Alice eventually understands that nothing comes for free in life and becomes more reasonable in her search for money and status, agreeing to work at least part-time to buy herself what she wants instead of relying entirely on some guy's paycheck.


Back to Gold Digger but buy me what I want first.
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