Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Riches

Go To

"What's yours is mine."

The Malloys are a family of Irish Travellers and accomplished con artists. Wayne Malloy (Eddie Izzard), the head of the family, his wife Dahlia (Minnie Driver) - and their kids, Cael (Noel Fisher), Didi (Shannon Woodward), and Sam - gets on the wrong side of a Traveller clan, and the family goes on the run. While fleeing from another Traveller who they bumped into on the road, they accidentally run over a rich couple who are moving to a new neighborhood off the road, killing them. The Malloys take the chance to adopt the couples' identities and house and begin to experience life in the upper class.

This Dramedy (emphasis on Drama, but with Eddie Izzard in the cast, uproarious comedy was more or less inevitable) ran on FX for 2 seasons in 2007-2008.

The Riches provides examples of:

  • Affably Evil: The Malloys, who are shown to be at least more moral than their Irish traveller family relatives despite being con artists, who are all Faux Affably Evil.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: The entire show, and most of the episode plots. A notable one is where Wayne needs to learn law, so he wrangles himself a position as a guest lecturer at a nearby law college and tells the students to pretend he knows nothing about the law, as a way of "testing" their knowledge. When they use too much legal language, he makes them dumb it down. Oh, and if they answer a question correctly, they get a cookie. It works beautifully.
  • A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family: The three Malloy kids form this when they're on their own, with Cael, Didi, and their younger brother Sam as the baby.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Didi frequently, and Cael is often a gender-flipped version.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The one-armed woman who was a recurring character in season one completely vanishes in season two, despite Dale's growing attraction to her.
  • Con Men Hate Guns: The Malloys are unrepentant con artists, but they try not to participate in violence.
  • Contrived Coincidence: For starters, the opening. The Malloys are running from the other travellers when they accidentally run the Riches off the road, killing them. And they're just moving in and don't know anybody, giving them a perfect in.
  • Cool Old Lady: Nina, who is happy to smoke weed, sneak a few pills, and run away with the family in season 2.
  • Crapsack World: Everyone is miserable in Edenfalls, and the travelling community is a violent, sexist, murderous nightmare (for the most part).
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Embedded in the plot as the Riches die in the first episode and the Malloys take over their apparently privileged lives.
  • Drugs Are Bad: With one episode even entitled "This is Your Brain on Drugs"
  • Even Evil Has Standards: It's repeatedly stated that stealing from little old ladies is despicable; Cael gets chewed out for it at one point. Although this might fall more into Everyone Has Standards depending on your perspective of the Malloys' moral compasses.
  • Eviler than Thou: The other Irish travellers.
  • Fish out of Water: The Malloys are a family of down on their luck Irish travellers who move into upper-class suburbia through a series of bizarre events.
  • House Squatting: The Malloy family does this as part of their Dead Person Impersonation of the Riches. The original Mr. and Mrs. Rich die in a car crash while moving to a new house in a community that they'd never visited, so the Malloys steal their identities and and move in in their place, with their new neighbours none the wiser.
  • How's Your British Accent?: Used by Wayne in one of the cons.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: One of the main conflicts of the show is what normal is for the family. Didi and Wayne want to fit in at Edenfalls, and Dahlia and Cael want to go back to their Traveller lifestyle.
  • Indy Ploy: Much of the cons go like this - one character will ask another "What's your plan?" to which the reply is "Uh ... yeah".
  • Irish Travellers: Specifically, Irish-American Travellers.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Just about everybody. Especially Dahlia, who is a (at first...) Functional Addict who is prone to abandoning her family, then falls off the wagon.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Pete
  • Mock Millionaire: The premise of the whole show. The poor Malloys are pretending to be the wealthy Riches.
  • Meaningful Name: The family moves to a gated community named Edenfalls. Also obvious but the Riches
  • Obfuscating Disability: An episode has Dahlia seeing a little kid in a wheelchair with a bald head, holding a sign claiming to be a cancer victim at a fair. He's surrounded by local women who gladly donate money and wish the kid good luck. When they leave, Dahlia (a con artist herself) tells the kid he's doing a good job but he needs to shave his head more often and gives tips on how to look more sickly. The two share a knowing wink and smile before heading their separate ways.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Izzard, almost constantly.
  • Preferable Impersonator: The show stars a family of Irish Travellers who find Doug and Cherien Rich dead in a car crash, then steal their identities and move into their home in Stepford Suburbia. When they meet Cherien's elderly mother, she sees through them immediately despite the new "Mrs. Rich"'s best efforts to play the dutiful daughter, although the nurses write it off as dementia. The mother eventually explains that she knew because "[Cherien] was a bitch" and is happy to smoke pot and have a drink with her new "family".
  • Rags to Riches: The main characters, but not through hard work, and also the backstory of Wayne's boss, Hugh.
  • Rich Bitch: We don't know much about the married couple killed in the first episode. But from what we do learn about them is that they were both pretty much obnoxious assholes. The husband having abandoned his first wife and their kids to live in poverty so he can run off with his young trophy wife. And the wife's mother simply describing her as "a bitch."
  • Roguish Romani: The series stars the Malloys, a family of Irish Travellers on the run from another clan in the American South. In the pilot, they accidentally run a rich couple off the road, killing the couple — at which point the family moves into their brand new house, posing as a wealthy family who just moved in.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Edenfalls.
  • Villain Decay: Dale spends the entire first season being the lead antagonist. But immediately at the start of season two he becomes a harmless drunken baffoon.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Sam, an 8-year-old. While this is a source of some humor, it's still shown as a serious part of Sam's identity, and the family refuses to force him to identify as any one gender.