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Well, you're in your little room and you're working on something good.You might have to think of how you got started: sitting in your little room.
But if it's really good, you're gonna need a bigger room.
And when you're in the bigger room you might not know what to do.
—The White Stripes, "Little Room"
A character become successful in something, the character lets success go to his/her head, and then loses the drive that made this character successful in the first place.
Say Bob is a talented singer/songwriter. He got it from years of practice and determination, and eventually gets noticed for it. He gets a cushy contract, and women are all over him. Soon he loses the determination to make good songs, and only cares about the money and the prestige, rejecting the idea of Doing It for the Art even when he can afford to do potentially unprofitable side projects.
What happens then can vary. He might become a Jerkass to his friends, or a jerk to everyone else. He might start losing his skill and have to take drugs just to get on stage. He might lose his contract and his money, and either learn an Aesop or spend the rest of his life moping about his Glory Days. He might even keep all those, and get a job as a music executive where he's totally cynical to anyone new who thinks this is "just about the music".
This can make up entire plots, or just make a backstory for some character who is either the cynic or lost it all.
Name comes from a line in the song "Eye of the Tiger" in Rocky III.
Compare/Contrast I Coulda Been a Contender.
- A theme in Rocky III is that Rocky Balboa got so caught up in the fame and money that he lost his edge.
- Seems to happen to at least one Griffin family member at least once a season on Family Guy.
- A theme in Citizen Kane.
- This is the plot of Merrily We Roll Along (both the Kaufman and Hart play and the musical loosely based on it), only done Back to Front.
- Mokoyama from Yakitate!! Japan got this way when he was hired by St. Pierre, becoming more interested in luxury and makeovers than baking.
- Wayne's World, although Wayne and Garth get past it quickly when they see the price they are paying.
- Ace Hardlight in Ratchet: Deadlocked.
- Daria has a variant in one episode where artsy Jane gets a job doing copies of famous pictures for some easy money. She soon loses motivation to do her own original work and is noticeably stung when a customer notes that her technique is becoming lazy.
- Two For The Money. Matthew Mc Conaughey is a former athlete who becomes a successful sports betting advisor due to his knowledge, meticulous research and expert analysis. Once he reaches the top he becomes so enamored of his own legend that he stops doing the work that made him so good in the first place.