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Playing With / Only in It for the Money

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Basic Trope: A "hero" who is entirely motivated by monetary gain.

  • Straight: Bob defeats Emperor Evulz just so the people of Troperville will pay him as promised.
  • Exaggerated: Bob defeats Emperor Evulz to earn the trust of the people of Troperville, because he wants to steal money and possessions from them without anyone suspecting a thing.
  • Downplayed:
    • Heroism is a small part of Bob's motivation, but he's mostly in it for the money.
    • Advertisement:
    • Evulz stole the money in Bob's account, he just wants it back.
  • Justified:
    • Bob had no intention of becoming a hero; he was just passing through Troperville, and the townsfolk promised him a reward for defeating Emperor Evulz.
    • Bob is poor and will do anything for money.
    • Bob has rent that's soon-to-be due, student debt, or some other thing that needs to be paid off. May go hand in hand with the second Justified example.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Bob lied about his motivation; he wants to save the people of Troperville from Emperor Evulz.
    • Bob is only in it for the money, at first, but then he gains a soft side for the people he's saving.
    • Money is important to Bob, but only as a means to some more noble end, like paying for medicine for his terminally ill younger sister. He couldn't care less about enriching himself.
  • Double Subverted: ...because several of them have offered him money.
  • Parodied: Bob destroys the entirety of capitalism, somehow, and demands to be paid for it.
  • Zig Zagged: Bob just wants money, but he suffers from some Forgotten Aesops about greed along the way.
  • Averted:
    • Bob's reasons for heroism are purely heroic.
    • Bob is being bribed with something other than money, perhaps food.
  • Enforced: "We want to show our hero as an average joe who just happens to be helpful. Let's make it so he's only in it for personal reasons, possibly for money."
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "Bob doesn't care about saving us. He just wants our money."
  • Invoked: The townsfolk offer Bob money for defeating Emperor Evulz.
  • Exploited:
    • After Bob defeats Emperor Evulz and claims the cash, people start bribing him for other deeds.
    • Bob aligns with whichever side can reward him best.
    • Bob claims to be in it only for money to prevent retaliation against Troperville - if he is seen as a greedy asshole then they won't think of using it as leverage against him.
  • Defied: The townsfolk do not offer a reward because they don't want a greedy or selfish hero.
  • Discussed: "No, I'm not just in this for the money! I want to save you all from the Emperor's clutches."
  • Conversed: "Bob's no hero. He's in it for selfish reasons. See? They're paying him."
  • Implied: Bob never mentions his motivation, but his expression brightens when the townsfolk give him a huge sack of money.
  • Deconstructed: Because of the selfish motivation behind his actions, Bob goes down in history as a self-centered Anti-Hero.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob doesn't care what people think of him, as he is neither good nor evil.
    • The people of Troperville don't care about their hero's motivation; they're just thankful that someone saved them from Emperor Evulz.
    • Bob is a character in a video game with Faction-Specific Endings. Because you're the one signing his paycheck, he will follow you no matter who you support.
  • Played For Laughs: Bob wants Emperor Evulz dead because he sings the most annoying songs, and his evil deeds seem insignificant in comparison (at least to Bob).
  • Played For Drama: Bob will also do evil deeds for money; he only chose the good side because Troperville bribed him and Emperor Evulz did not.
  • Untwisted: Bob acts like a big-shot hero, as if he has something to hide. When his sidekick Alice asks why he became a hero, he says, "Oh, there's a very heroic reason: they're paying me!"

Why did I become a hero if I'm Not in This for Your Revolution? I'm Only in It for the Money, of course!