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Series / Trophy Wife

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Trophy Wife is a sitcom from ABC starring Malin Åkerman as the titular trophy wife Kate, who marries her husband Peter (Bradley Whitford) after a year of dating. What Kate didn't expect was that she would also have to deal with Peter's two ex-wives, Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) and Jackie (Michaela Watkins), and his three children.

It was cancelled after one season.

Not to be confused with the trope Trophy Wife.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Diane is dreaded by her children and is quite frosty compared to Jackie.
  • Amicable Exes: Peter with Diane and Jackie. Kate is reasonably friendly with Diane and Jackie for the sake of the family, but she is still a long way from being actual friends with them.
  • And Starring: Marcia Gay Harden (Diane).
  • Bumbling Dad: Peter.
    Peter: Diane, why is it when you say my name, I feel like I did something wrong?
  • The Chessmaster: Diane. Hillary's kind of a Chessmaster-in-training.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Kate didn't do this, but due to the timing of when married Peter, she has to prove in "The Wedding, Part One" that it's all legit or she'll be deported to Canada. During an interview with an agent at the house, the other characters come in to bother Kate and Pete about various problems and issues. After witnessing this spectacle, the agent concludes that there is no way this could be considered a marriage of convenience.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Bert. Jackie's a bit of one too.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Kate unleashes a hilarious one in "The Punisher". While attempting to be the disciplinarian to Warren and Hillary, she takes away their electronics as punishment for Warren's daredevil dive into the swimming pool (which Hillary was supposed to videotape). The kids find Kate's phone with the intent on using it, and try to hide it when they discover she's coming back into the room. Warren drops it down the garbage disposal, Kate then unknowingly chews up her phone when she turns the disposal on. Upon discovering that her phone is totally destroyed, the dialogue that comes afterwards is littered with censored swears (as well as pixellation of Kate's mouth), with the only intelligible words being the introductory "yoooouuu liiiitle," "this is my [bleep] phone," "you two thankless [bleep]," "smacking", "little", "kicking little" and "and get your..." Literally every other word is a swear, which shocks Hillary and Warren to their core. In essence, the scene illustrates how some parents feel pushed to do when they get very frustrated while trying to discipline their own children. Interestingly, when Diane (who has been trying to teach Kate how to handle disciplining children) is informed of the incident by Hillary, she isn't furious but is proud of Kate, though informs her that what Kate did is something that a parent should think but not say out loud. During a talk in which Diane and Kate pretend to have an argument over Kate's curse-out (Diane knows Warren and Hillary are watching them), she calmly illustrates that Kate needs to "find a balance between being a complete pushover and an out-of-control rage monster".
  • Didn't See That Coming: Kate meets Russ Bradley Morrison in the eponymous episode and thinks he'd be a perfect fit for Diane. Then he finds out they've been in a Secret Relationship for some time now.
  • Dr. Jerk: Downplayed with Diane. She's a surgeon who's tough as nails, but not necessarily rude about it. It's more like she has a low patience with foolishness.
  • The '80s: One episode features an 80s themed charity event.
  • Expy: Bert is clearly inspired by Russell from Up.
  • Gold Digger: Averted. Kate has no idea how much Peter makes and from the looks of it, she doesn't ask him for money either.
  • Granola Girl: Jackie.
  • Fraternal Twins: Hillary and Warren.
  • Happily Adopted: Bert is a little boy from China adopted by Peter and Jackie.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Kate and her best friend Meg. After she meets Peter, she stops partying and puts all her effort into getting along with the family.
  • Has Two Mommies: Diane and Jackie parent their own children equally with Peter and Kate.
  • How We Got Here: The first shot of the pilot shows Kate drunk out of her mind and Kate's narration wondering she wound up like this. Hillary was attempting to sneak vodka into school, Kate found out and in order to keep Peter and Diane from finding out, drank the whole handle.
    • Also happens in the Christmas episode with the adults hungover and wondering how the house became a mess! The tree's on fire in the pool, the presents are gone, confetti everywhere, Pete's wearing a Santa suit, Jackie's eyebrows are much shorter, and there's a wolf!
  • Inspired by…: Word of God says that the concept loosely stems from her own experiences dealing with her husband's exes.
  • Insistent Terminology: "It is not legal porn; it is judicial erotica."
  • Lethal Chef: Kate. The kids joke that her efforts at making breakfast have produced less smoke than the last time.
  • Literal-Minded: In the Halloween episode, Jackie gives Bert an ironing board and a shirt with an iron on it when he wanted to be Iron Man.
  • Meet Cute: Kate and Peter first meet at a karaoke bar when she falls off a ledge while drunkenly singing and dislocates his nose with the microphone. He asks her out on a date after she takes him to the hospital.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kate.
  • New Age: Jackie is a hardcore believer in this trope.
  • No Respect Girl: Kate gets this from both Diane and Jackie, especially Diane who keeps thinking she's a barista.
  • Protagonist Title: Despite it being a Sarcastic Title.
  • Sarcastic Title: Kate is so not as the title suggests.
  • Secret Relationship: Between Diane and Russ Bradley Morrison, which Kate stumbles onto. Diane is irritated by that, but it turns out Russ is irritated that he's never gotten to meet the family or be open about their relationship. She eventually reveals the relationship to the larger family.
  • Trophy Wife: Kate, obviously. Zig-zagged in that she, Diane, and Jackie are all portrayed sympathetically and do try to get along. And while Diane, Jackie, and the twins clearly think Kate is one, she genuinely loves Peter and it's implied that Peter's sense of humor is what attracted her in the first place.
  • Wicked Stepmother- Averted with all three wives.
    • Kate genuinely loves all of Peter's kids and actively tries to get involved in their lives.
    • Jackie is still involved in Warren and Hillary's lives despite not being married to their father anymore.
    • Normally frosty Diane is rather sweet with Bert, even though he is the child of her ex-husband's second marriage, making her a stepmother by the very loosest of definitions. Regardless, the two have Mandarin lessons together.
  • Wild Teen Party: Hillary succeeds into getting into one, but Kate, Diane, and Peter find out and she gets grounded.
    • Note that the party wasn't really wild and pretty wholesome. She still get grounded for lying