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Playing With / Mail-Order Bride

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Basic Trope: A man "purchases" a wife through an agency.

  • Straight: Bob has had no luck with dating, and is surfing the Internet one lonely night. He decides to click on a banner ad for a Mail-Order Bride, and "purchases" Valentina from Russia.
  • Exaggerated: Besides Valentina, Bob purchases an entire harem worth of brides, either from the same agency (to get bulk discount!) or from different sites.
  • Downplayed: Bob only purchases "dating opportunities" from the agency; both he and Valentina have to decide if they want to get married.
  • Justified:
    • Bob...
      • desperate.
      • gay, but still in the closet. And his parents are coming over...he feels like he needs a wife to show them.
      • looking for a Sex Slave.
    • Valentina...
      • ...wants to emigrate via the easiest way possible, either for economic reasons or to escape a bad life back home. Getting a green-card marriage happens to be the easiest way.
      • ...always had a "thing" for men of Bob's country and fantasized about marrying one, but doesn't know any, and thinks all the guys back home are jerks.
      • the unfortunate victim of a people-traffiking scam.
    • Valentina's country just went through a bloody war in which men were disproportionately killed off. Bob's country is a half-settled frontier where few women have bothered to go yet.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted: Alice purchases Ivan over the Internet.
  • Subverted:
    • Bob brings Valentina to his home, but mentions nothing to her about marriage; in fact, although he met her online, they met through an actual dating site or social-networking site, not a Mail-Order Bride site.
    • Valentina decides she's not happy or any better off with Bob in America, and heads back home.
    • Valentina is held up due to complications with paperwork.
    • May or may not be a scam.
    • Valentina is not a real person; she may be a doll, a dog, a robot, etc., but Bob buys her online (and everyone erroneously assumes he ordered himself a wife.)
  • Double Subverted: But Valentina lives in Bob's home and does all the things a wife is expected to (cleaning, cooking, gardening, sex, etc.). Eventually, she and Bob have a Citizenship Marriage.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Bob doesn't order a bride online or through a catalog.
  • Enforced: "Let's show what a Hollywood Dateless Straw Loser Bob is! I mean, no one in their right mind would order a wife over the Internet unless he were really desperate, right?"
  • Lampshaded: "Check out my new wife. She's from Russia; I met her through Buy A Lovely Bride Dot Com."
  • Invoked: See "Played Straight"
  • Exploited: A scammer sets up a "Russian Brides" website, but there are no actual brides; the idea is to have losers send their money and get nothing in return.
  • Defied:
    • Bob decides he isn't that desperate, and decides to tough it out on the dating scene a bit longer.
    • Valentina refuses to come home with Bob, for whatever reason(s).
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Valentina could be deported, as the agency may not be scrupulous about getting those Fiancee Visas in order in a timely manner if at all. She could also be in danger if Bob turns out to be abusive.
  • Reconstructed: The agency gives Valentina a Fiancee Visa, and makes sure that both parties understand that if things don't work out, divorce is always an option. They also screen both the women and the men, to make sure no one has a criminal record, or a tendency towards Domestic Abuse. Everyone enters into this like an otherwise normal Arranged Marriage.
  • Played For Laughs: Valentina's profile said she was young, slim, and beautiful, but when Bob goes to actually meet her at the airport, she's fat, old, and homely.
  • Played For Drama: Bob is abusing Valentina and using her as a Sex Slave, along with several other women. Until he gets tired of them...

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