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Looney Toons: In reference to Blondie, Dagwood is apparently supposed to be rather good looking; in the ancient, pre-Depression backstory to Blondie, Blondie was a golddigger and Dagwood was a wealthy young playboy. With the Depression came a retool of the strip and they lost their money, but stayed together. He's got to have something to have kept that golddigger with him... <grin>

Ununnilium: I'm pulling that example out because of the above.

  • An older example is Blondie, the still-running newspaper comic strip which had two single-season sitcom adaptations, in 1957 and 1968.

  • Animated example: Marge and Homer from The Simpsons fit this description.

Looney Toons: If you're into yellow-skinned humanoids with three-foot blue beehive hair...

Morgan Wick: Well, compared to Homer...

Ununnilium: Nah. Even within the Simpsons universe, she's cute, but not gorgeous. Look at, for example, the episode with the country singer lady. I'd say it doesn't count.

Seth: I disagree, whenever a third party comments on Marge's looks (Moe, the barflies, Mr Burns ect) they always say she is atractive, compared to homer who is considered fat/bald and unclean. The art style in the simpsons makes all the original characters ugly (it was later on that the artists created more realistic characters like Lurleen) think of it as an oposite of Hollywood Homely where people in the simpsons are less atractive then they are written for. She might not be a supermodel but she is far enough from homers leauge to fit this trope.

Ununnilium: Hrm, good point. Eh, whatever. `-`v

Tabby: Considering that Marge has been featured in Maxim, I think she's "supposed" to count.
Ununnilium: I dun think Married... with Children counts, or is supposed to. `.`

Much later: Pulling it out, then.

  • In Married... with Children, Al has predictably slipped in appearance during his hard life. In contrast, the unemployed, bonbon-munching couch potato Peggy Bundy is attractive in a trashy sort of way, although most opinions say that's what makes her unattractive to other men.

typhonblue: Just a comment. This trope is often paired with the "Pathetically Stupid Husband/Wife with Vastly Superior Intelligence" trope. Maybe some mention should be made of that? As well, both tropes are inherently anti-male.

Morgan Wick: Would Closer to Earth count?
Planish: Is it too soon yet for "real life example" Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall II?

Seth: There is no such thing as Too Soon >-D I say put it in.

seth To be safe i added "despite their age differences she claimed to truly love him"

Phartman: I added the line after that because it's funny.

lwc: How is it relevant? Hotties and millionaires (or billionaires) is a thing of its own. The money equals attractiveness. The whole point of this trope is about average guys.

Phartman: That's a strange way to pronounce "ugly" you have there.

Ununnilium: "How he does it is anyone's guess, but it's entirely possible that he writes them in because it's the closest he can get to a woman without adopting her first." C'mon, now. This isn't the place for that kind of personal attack.

Seth: I take it that was a poke at Woody Allen. I didn't write it but in his case... It seems less of a personal attack than you know, the truth.

Ununnilium: Meh. It's guessing at the personal motivations of someone while implying that they're deviant; that's way too subjective to stand even if it wasn't an insult.

The bitch is, it's totally true and doesn't imply anything that wasn't already incredibly obvious. Just who died and made you king, anyhow?

Ununnilium: I wouldn't put Usagi's dad in Sailor Moon as ugly in any way.

Later: And pulling that one out too:

  • Ikuko and Kenji, Usagi's civilian parents in Sailor Moon.

And these, since they doesn't actually fit the trope:

  • Anime example: Sunako from The Wallflower has an incredibly scary-looking, strong and overprotective father and a surprisingly young and beautiful mother.
  • In the Astérix comic books, the 93-year old Geriatrix has a young and beautiful wife.

Seriously, guys; there's too many examples of this in Hollywood already. We don't need to be making them up.

Lale: I'm not familiar with Astérix, but how is a "93-year old Geriatrix" with "a young and beautiful wife" not an example?

Ununnilium: Hmmmmm. Actually, this brings up a question: Is this trope:
  • Just the Dom Com main-character couple version of the situation?
  • Any example of a casting decision for a couple where the man doesn't have to be attractive, but the woman does?
  • Any example of an unattractive man with an attractive woman, anywhere?

Phartman: Well, the first example is the most literal, the second applies because the principal actor (i.e. the ugly guy himself) is usually the show's executive producer and writer, and the third only happens on TV unless the guy is loaded (ex: If it weren't for his money and fame, no woman would let Mick Jagger read her utility meter, and Phil Spector could have never had the opportunity to, um, allegedly shoot Lana Clarkson. Allegedly).

So I guess they can all count. After all, There Is no Such Thing as Notability.

Ununnilium: Aaaaaagh! Stop that! It's not about notability! Notability has nothing to do with that! @@

I'd go with the second one, personally. The third one goes dangerously close to saying it's somehow wrong for an unattractive man to be with an attractive woman. What do you think?

Phartman: It's incredibly hard to track down an example of the third type that doesn't involve the guy having plenty of money or clout. An actual, real-life example where a beautiful woman truly loves an unattractive man because of what's on the inside might, I don't know, tear a gaping hole in the universe or something.

Jabroniville: As the guy who started this topic and it's first few examples, I can say honestly that it was pretty much supposed to be "ugly guys hooking up with hot chicks" in fiction as a general theme; nitpicking over "only if they're married Dom Com style" seems silly, and would just create multiple Trope topics over basically the exact same thing (which is kind of a problem on this site anyways). I say leave in any example possible.


Khym Chanur: I wonder if You Suck has anything to do with the commonness of this trope, like TV executives being more willing to fund such series because they figure the the male loser viewers will identify with the ugly male lead.
Gracie Lizzie: Am I the only one who is a bit... perturbed... by the fact that this trope has attracted ads for mail order brides?


Peteman: Can suggest an Inversion in the Simpsons with Milhouse's mother? After divorcing her plain-looking husband, she is found routinely dating American Gladiators. This is in spite of the fact that she is plain-looking (if not slightly homely), and based off the way Milhouse describes the interaction between his parents, she is something of a bitch, often making Milhouse's father's life miserable because she can.


Why is Debbie Mc Gee's surname hyperlinked? Silly software...


Why is the couplings in Dragonball Z considered this trope? Krillin and Vegeta are heavily muscled, hot women have a tendency to enjoy that sort of thing.


Some Guy: "Vindicated" by the Live Science article? Excuse me? It's an interesting read but hardly a vindication. Moving the entry to the regular examples and using less "hallelujah" language.


Landstander: Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City is an inversion of the trope? The trope really only plays out in earnest with Harry and Charlotte, I'm changing it around.

Ross N: I stick by the inversion. SJP isn't ugly, but she isn't classically beautiful and might even be called a little odd looking. And she ends up with hunks. Honestly if we can have the merely average looking Peter Parker then I thnSJP counts.

Landstander Well for what its worth I disagree with the Peter Parker example too, hell, lots of examples seem to be "only mildly attractive guy/extremely hot wife". With Carrie being "odd looking" it's more YMMV, cause it's never once brought up as an issue on the show (and as another example of YMMV I never thought Big was such a hunk either}. Yeah she looks just a tiny bit different that the average actress, but outright inversion? Nah. This page just needs some trimming of all the "average guy/hot wife" thing too.

Jabronville: Despite SJP being unattractive by many standards (including my own), it might not count, because she's supposed to be super-hot in-universe (other characters comment on her sexiness and "perfect body"), and women don't seem to note her ugliness as much as men do. This is more of a Canon Sue situation. Still, I wrote in the initial topic's paragraphs that the difference in attractiveness isn't always commented on, so I'm torn. Maybe a BIT too much of Your Mileage May Vary.

Landstander: Then that goes in Informed Attractiveness.


Why are Cliff and Clair Huxtable from The Cosby Show on here?
Andrew: I deleted some Natter under the Scrubs example, but I don't know that it really fits. Zach Braff is a reasonably good-looking fella, especially in the early seasons. (In the later years he put on just a little weight around his face and it hurt his looks) The women he dates are probably higher up on the classic 1-10 scale, but it's usually a case of a 6 or 7 (JD) dating a 9 or 10; it's not like Jim Belushi being married to Courtney Thorne-Smith. And the doctor card probably accounts for any attractiveness discrepancy.

Landstander- Yeah this page definitely needs trimming of all the average-to-somewhat-cute guys with girls hotter than them, maybe just delete the Scrubs example or note that the jokes about JD's appearance are more a case of Hollywood Homely?
slb: "Yeah. And after his first wife was crippled in a car accident, he ditched her for his current beer-empire heiress spouse." I've forgone waiting for Troper consensus and, instead of removing this statement, changed it to a much less politically-volatile statement. Writings like these make newcomers believe that it's OK to put personal conjecture in TV Tropes.
Deleted the bit Goat Boy added about Kristin Davis looking hideous naked. I mean, it could be a YMMV thing (though I doubt it could be really argued by any sane human being), but when she gets the most bikini time in a recent Hollywood movie despite being 45, I'd say her body is fine. Also, it's irrelevant to the discussion at-hand.
Kat: Deleting the Mercedes Lackey Kethry example, because it doesn't fit. Jadrek is older than Kethry, but he's consistently described as quite good-looking.
This is going to sound like an incredibly stupid question, but....who exactly are the people in the photo? They're obviously familiar, but I can't seem to place it.... (And I know I haven't seen that particular picture before, either.)
Jack-of-Some-Trades: Modified the following to remove the second part:

  • Mr. and Mrs. Delacour in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This version of the trope seems to indicate that an ugly guy will put up with anything for a hot wife, and a hot woman will want an ugly husband because he will (as mentioned) be a doormat.

We don't get any indication that Fleur's parents are anything but loving, and Mr. Delacour never really strikes me as being much of a doormat (or Fleur's mother of being the kind of person who demands a doormat).