Come for the X, Stay for the Y

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

You're browsing around, and you find out about something that looks neat. A new TV show, a new movie, a new book, maybe a video game. You don't know anything about it, but it looks neat. Something about it jumps out at you. Could be the humor, could be the action, could be the eye-candy. So you decide to try it out.

And it turns out the show is pretty good, too, and you like it. But over time, you start to like it for a completely different reason. This show with the cute lead character actually has an interesting side character with an in-depth story that you're really getting into. Or this movie might be very funny, but it also has some great undercurrents of drama that you weren't expecting, and that really jump out at you. Either way, you end up really liking the show/movie/book/game/etc for a reason completely different from why you started to check it out.

This is an example of Come for the X, Stay for the Y. You originally start to get into something for reason X, but in the end, it's reason Y that causes you to get hooked and stick around.

See also Sex Sells, which is the sub-trope of this. Watch It for the Meme may lead to this. Compare I Read It for the Articles and contrast Just Here for Godzilla.

Examples of Come for the X, Stay for the Y include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Fan Works



Live-Action TV

Xander: Sunnydale: Come for the food, stay for the dismemberment.
Nancy: There's food?



Professional Wrestling

  • ECW: Come for the bloodshed and Garbage Wrestling, stay for the incredibly well-done matches, surprisingly deep characterization, brilliant promos, and awesome commentary from Joey Styles. This is as opposed to the current WWE-backed ECW Revival, where you come for the name, and stay for Matt Striker's awesome commentary.
  • WCW: Come for the nWo, stay for the cruiserweights.
  • TNA: Come for Kurt Angle and Sting, stay for the X-Division.

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering: Come to build an army of all different kinds of monsters and spells, stay for the surprisingly in-depth and realistic color/alignment system.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Come to see what the fuss is about, stay for the adventures you will have and the stories you will share.
    • Or, come for the funny-shaped dice, stay for the funny faces your DM will make when he hears your character's latest in-game plan.
      • For the Dungeon Master in you, come for the excuse to build your impassable dungeon to crush your friends, stay for the moments when you let the same friends win anyway, because their solution was just that COOL!
  • Exalted: Come because your D&D friend said it was worth a shot, stay for the ability to punch gods' faces in.


Video Games

Visual Novels

Web Comics

Web Original

What's-Her-Face: Cheerleader! Are you here to see Brainkrieg?
Cheerleader: I come for the wuggas, but stay for the jiggy juggas.
Death metal band on the stage: (offscreen) Jugga jigga wugga!

  • Valenth: Come for the pretty adoptable artwork, stay for the surprisingly complex storyline. (Or rather, you could, before the site shut down.)
  • Personality Cafe: Come for the personality typing, stay for the community.
    • Or come because Typology Central banned you, stay for the community.
  • Come because you like the work, stay for awesome expansion upon Canon.
    • Or you come for more of your favorite works and stay to find truly great fics hidden underneath piles of Sues and Yaoi.
    • Alternatively, come to make crappy fanfics, stay to gradually improve and make something fairly interesting! (It takes some time though!)
  • Dragon Ball Abridged: Come to watch Nappa slowly drive Vegata insane, stay to watch Ghost Nappa slowly drive Vegeta insane.
  • Neopets: Come for the cute creatures, stay for the games.
    • Or alternatively, come for the games, stay for the plots and possibly the community.
  • Marble Hornets: come for Slender Man, stay because you're too afraid to move.
  • The Slacktivist's blog: Come for Left Behind getting ripped a new one, stay for the political and philosophical posts. And Left Behind getting ripped a new one.
  • Come for the gut-busting "top five" lists, stay for the even more gut-busting fan poster contests.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • Super Bowl: Come for the football, stay for the commercials (sometimes the main reason people are watching the Superbowl, except maybe hopes for another Wardrobe Malfunction).
  • College: Come for the additional education, stay for the shenanigans.
    • For some, it's the other way around.
    • And for yet others, it's Come because you can't get a job without a degree, stay because... you can't get a job without a degree.
    • Come for your parents, stay because you're getting your $30,000's worth.
    • Surely it's come to avoiding getting a real job and laze around for a few years, stay for the realisation of how much money you have spent on it.
    • Come for the food, stay for the wireless and free movies. (Honestly, a school that shows movies every week on a 232 inch screen between the time when they leave the theatre and the DVD release? Awesome.)
    • Come to get away from your family, stay because your friends there have become your new family.
  • The Gym: Come to lose weight, stay for the endorphin addiction.
    • or stay for the girls.
      • Or guys.
  • Alcohol: Come for the social acceptance, stay for the drunkenness.
  • Your Career: Come for the chance to work in your specialist field, stay for the paychecks that allow you to have a roof over your head, food in your belly, a place to rest your head, and clothes to cover your body.
  • The Internet: Come for the vast stores of news and information, stay for teh joeks! (Or teh pr0n, depending on your libido.) (Or the "innovative" spelling, if you've been online for any given length of time.)
    • Applies for tvtropes. A huge number of people found tvtropes searching for lolita and incest. The picture of someone coming to their stuff and then get sidetracked for hours just seems inherently funny.
  • Caffeine: Come for the quick pick-me-up it gives you, stay for the ability to ward off the waiting crash and burn.
  • Acetominophen: Come for its ability to treat a cold's aches and pains, stay for its ability to lower your fever.
  • Life: Come because you've been kind of forced into it, stay because...well there aren't any real alternatives.
  • California: Come for the earthquakes, stay for the wildfires.
  • Our Dumb World on Malawi: "Come for the food shortages, stay because you've died."
  • Sad example: North Korea (if you're Japanese or South Korean): Come because they invited you, stay because they won't let you leave.
  • Whatcom County, WA—come on vacation, stay on probation...
  • Dark chocolate. Come because it's delicious, stay because it's a natural source of antioxidants.
  • Movie posters and advertisements run on this trope. See Covers Always Lie for more.
  • Food: Come for the deliciousness, stay because your newly-gained fat won't let you do otherwise.
  • Sarcasm: Come to subtly vent about your life, stay because you've corrupted your innocence.
  • Ballet: Come for the dancing and story, stay for the Panty Shots.
    • Or vice versa (also applies to figure skating).
  • Getting a pet: Come for the Ridiculously Cute Critter (or Ugly Cute depending on the species), stay for the bonding and unconditional love.
  1. Or vice versa...
  2. And the Ho Yay, too...
  3. or to think dirty thoughts about the Pretty Boy/hot girl
  4. "I for one am starting to get bored, and boredom is something up with which I will not put!"