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For fanworks with this or similar titles, see The Bet

Tropes and genres
Synonym(s)Wager, Dare
Related tropes/genresSide Bet, On One Condition, Gambling
See alsoOffice Betting Pool
Related articles on Fanlore.

Bets are a common trope in fanfiction. It's familiar theme in professional works as well; usually within teen-related films, such as She's All That and Cruel Intentions. In these instances, a bet is used to get two characters who wouldn't usually interact together, but the subject of the bet is unaware of it and feels betrayed when the bet is discovered.

In fanworks, bets and wagers are more often made between willing participants, or there may be a good natured betting pool. In shipping fics, the bet may unintentionally lead to two characters getting to know each other better, or beginning a sexual relationship, and it changes the dynamic of their relationship. In other cases, betting on a character's love life can lead to the reveal of an unexpected relationship.

In non-shipping works, a bet taken too far can have humorous consequences.

"Some people will do just about anything for a bet, so wagers are a great excuse to have characters do just about anything. Just have someone bet them they won't. Regardless of how crazy the challenge, and how disproportionate (or nonexistent) the reward, they will go to any lengths to win. Maybe they want to show up their rival or make a point or maybe they just want to win the reward. Either way they're sure to have a whole lot of adventures trying to succeed, especially if their rival is trying to sabotage their efforts. And just maybe they'll end up learning that there are some things that are more important than winning the bet."[1]

Example Fandoms

  • In Life With Derek fandom, many Casey/Derek fics deal with Casey and Derek taking on a bet usually ended up getting them to admit their attraction to each other.
  • In Brooklyn 99, many fanworks include characters making bets, as this is a common trope in the source material.

Examples Fanworks

  • One Direction: Outlast by disarm_d. And then Louis says, “I bet £10,000 I could go longer without wanking than all of you,” which was probably his first mistake. (29 August 2013)
  • Harry Potter: You First, Loser by zeitgeistic. When Harry and Draco’s “not serious” three-year relationship results in a one-in-a-million pregnancy, they decide who will be the unlucky one to tell their families in a very mature and adult fashion that indubitably proves their inherently stellar parenting abilities: with a bet over a (probably rigged, let’s be real; Draco is playing) game of Exploding Snap. (16 June 2014)

Archives & Links



  1. ^ "The Bet". Archived from the original on 2021-10-07.