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A staple trope of romantic comedies, chick flicks and sitcoms. A woman (usually a mother or a mother figure) who wants to spend some Quality Time with her protege (usually, her daughter) takes the protege out on a shopping trip -- buying dresses and makeup, getting their nails done together, etc. The shopping trip is usually shown as a montage, featuring scenes such as:

  • Credit cards being swiped
  • Characters posing in a variety of outfits.
  • Shoppers talking to the store attendants
  • The shoppers walking out of a store, carrying heaps of shopping bags and brightly-wrapped packages.
    • If they take a guy along, he'll be the one charged with carrying them, typically in the form of a mountain of boxes. He'll also tend to be rather bored or perturbed by the amount of money being spent.
  • The shoppers sitting side by side, chatting while the staff does their hair or paints their nails.

Often used in Gender Bender stories to exploit the (usually male) transformee's discomfort with the whole process. Also generally follows Retail Therapy, although individuals going through retail therapy generally shop alone.

See also Fashion Shop Fashion Show. Villains Out Shopping doesn't actually have to involve shopping, but when it does, it's likely that it will involve a montage.

Examples of Shopping Montage include:

Anime and Manga

  • One of the many, MANY sources of fan anger in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny was a Shopping Montage centering on Kira and his friends, run parallel to a pitched battles in which Shinn and his friends were participating, which many fans felt made the Archangel crew look selfish and lazy.
  • Rangiku Matsumoto from Bleach defies her captain's orders, as usual, and instead goes shopping and tries on a LOT of different outfits and buys ALL of them.
  • In Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, the gender-bent main character goes through this.


  • Enchanted, in this case however the "protege" is an adult, and the person who takes her shopping is a child.
    • Something like this was also done in Life-Size, I think. But Lindsay Lohan's character's father also came along. This was when Eve first came and they were at the mall.
  • Hilarious subverted in Wasabi: While his daughter is busy wiping out the store, Jean Reno's character is constantly punching mooks off-screen.
  • Rebbecca goes on one in American Dreamer, buying loads of furs and dresses with shoulder pads (this was The Eighties), and accidentally billing someone else for it all.
  • In National Lampoon's European Vacation, the Griswolds do this in Italy.
  • Done in the movie Shooter. It's manlier than it sounds.
  • The Dick Powell film Gold Diggers of 1935 contains one of the earliest examples of this trope.
  • Subverted in Steamboat Bill Jr. when Steamboat Bill, Sr., drags his "sissy" beret-wearing son (played by Buster Keaton) into a haberdasher's -- Buster tries on a dozen hats (including his signature flat porkpie), only for his purchase to blow off as he's walking home.
  • Pretty Woman.
  • Done in Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, where Helen Hyde, fresh from the first transformation, goes shopping for clothes while Jean McClain's "Brand New Me" plays. At one point, she attempts to take out a credit card from her wallet, only to pull out Richard Jacks's ID. She quickly puts it away.

Live Action TV


 Shopping Spree for Satan Spawn? 12000Yen.

Toonami Digital Arsenal

  • Invoked and Subverted on Thirty Rock. Tracy and Jenna attempt to get soup for the sick crew, forget, and go shopping together instead. When they try to explain this to Liz the montage begins, complete with "Sharp Dressed Man" playing. But it gets cut off after only a second or two, with Liz saying "Yeah, I get it, you went shopping. I don't need the montage."
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures has this in "The Mark of the Berzerker, part 2" but given a rare Gender Flip with Clyde and his... up until this point... Disappeared Dad. Also, it would be better to call it a stealing montage because Clyde's father was using a Applied Phlebotinum alien mind control pendant to convince shop assistants to give away stuff for free, and to stop Clyde from being bothered by this.
  • Done in an episode of Stargate Atlantis where the cast think they've gotten back to Earth. Teyla is excited to see Earth, so Sheppard offers to show her (Noble Savage from a preindustrial planet) around… And inevitably ends up subjected to a lengthy shopping spree. Since the “Earthâ€� they're experiencing is largely constructed from Sheppard's memories, this probably says more about his past dating experiences than her.


  • The "One Short Day" number from Wicked could arguably be this.

Web Comics

  • In Questionable Content, Hilarity Ensues when Hanners' mom stops by and has no idea how to relate to her daughter. Faye suggests they do this, and Hanners' mom agrees. This leads to Hanners' mom forcing her -- hyper-neurotic -- daughter to try on some clothes, which very quickly leads to them getting kicked out of the mall. Instead, they fulfill the usual bonding aspect of this trope by going to a bar and getting incredibly drunk.
  • This Girl Genius has Agatha and Zeetha doing a shopping montage for armor.

Western Animation

  • Such a montage is also featured in an episode of The Proud Family, when Penny gets a credit card and promptly burns it out shopping with her friends.
  • Used as the set-up for one of the subplots in the Rhapsody in Blue stage of Fantasia 2000.
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven (of all places) features an interesting variation. Anne-Marie is shown reflected on a swiveling full-length mirror as she tries on new clothes. Every time the mirror spins, Anne-Marie has on a different outfit.
  • Another Don Bluth movie, Anastasia has one too during the song Paris Holds The Key (To Your Heart).
  • The Boondocks when Robert takes his new girlfriend Cristal shopping all while Kanye West's "Gold Digger" plays throughout.
  • Hilariously parodied several times in a Clone High episode, including one sequence in which Joan of Arc and Cleopatra purchase prom dresses and lingerie, then buy some Uzis and rob a bank.
  • Done in Batman: The Animated Series with Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Bruce Wayne carrying the bags. He's under the effects of Ivy's mind control pollen.
  • King of the Hill when Luanne's mother is using Bill to shop what she wants. Sales receipts display on the screen showing how much Bill spent. The montage also show problems with Hank and Luanne.
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