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Playing With / Trophy Wife

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Basic Trope: A (usually second or third) wife, who is a status symbol for her wealthy husband.

  • Straight: Bob was married to Alice, but then when his career took off, he had an affair with another woman, Claire, and eventually left Alice for her. Claire is younger and prettier than Alice and probably much younger than Bob.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Claire isn't that much younger than Bob nor a real beauty model, but Bob still married her as a symbol of status.
    • Claire is young and beautiful compared to Bob, but Bob married her because he loves her and not as a symbol of status.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Bob was married to a beautiful young woman named Claire, but falls in love with (and leaves Claire for) his friend Alice. Alice is older and perhaps somewhat less physically attractive than Claire.
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  • Gender Inverted: Alice was married to Bob, but when her career took off, she had an affair with Charles, and eventually left Bob for him. Charles is younger and more handsome than Bob, and probably much younger than Alice.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then his success goes to his head, and Bob gets himself a girlfriend while still married to Alice.
    • Alice is young and pretty, and can spend at least some of Bob's earnings to keep herself looking that way.
    • But she has a much nicer personality than Alice, as well as other charms that endear her to Bob.
    • But they eventually do get married.
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  • Parodied: No sooner are Alice and Bob pronounced husband and wife than he goes looking for younger, sexier women.
  • Zig-Zagged: Bob marries Alice, then they fall out and he meets and falls in love with Claire. Bob marries Claire only to realize Alice was his soul mate all along. But when they rekindle their relationship, Bob finds he doesn't like how Alice has changed ... so he goes back to Claire and finds he doesn't like how she has changed, either...
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: Rule of Drama.
  • Lampshaded: Bob brags about how his social standing has improved since he left Alice for Claire.
  • Invoked: Bob has been fighting a lot with Alice, because she's unhappy that he's at the office all the time. He meets Claire, one thing leads to another, and he ends up in an ongoing relationship with her.
  • Exploited:
    • Claire is able to convince Bob to leave Alice for her, as she's not content with "second place."
    • Claire is a Gold Digger, looking to get a free ride.
  • Defied: Bob, feeling that this is wrong, breaks up with Claire and starts to put in more work on his relationship with Alice.
  • Discussed: "Bob left a great woman like Alice for that Brainless Beauty?!"
  • Conversed: "And what happens when Claire gets too old?"
  • Implied: Bob is middle-aged and wealthy, showing no physical attractiveness comparable to that of the young Claire.
  • Deconstructed: Bob let his success go to his head, which is why he ended up being unfaithful to (and eventually divorced by) Alice. He may have been unhappy when he was with her, and that led to fighting...and his negative feelings made him vulnerable to Claire's charms. Also, Claire may be young and beautiful now, but what will happen when she inevitably becomes older, pudgier, and wrinklier? And it's possible Claire only married Bob for his money...and what if she's a Black Widow?
  • Reconstructed:
    • Bob decides that Alice has been there for him through a lot while he was getting his career together, so he focuses on building a stronger relationship with her, and breaking off his illicit relationship with Claire (or turning her down in the first place).
    • Bob divorces Alice, after realizing that his marriage to her is broken beyond all repair, and focuses on building a strong relationship with Claire. He makes sure that Claire loves him for who he is, not what he has.
  • Played for Laughs: Claire is an absolute Gonk with a repugnant and utterly caustic personality, yet Bob and everyone else reacts to her as if she was the most desirable woman on earth.
  • Played for Drama: The Missus and the Ex.

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