Created By: spiritsunami on June 22, 2009
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Teen Pregnancy

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A stock plot. Usually the result of teenagers fooling around without protection, though in particularly dark works, may be the result of rape. Oddly, the latter is, if anything, more likely to make the pregnant girl a target for Libbies, unless she was one and the rape was karmic justice. Since Status Quo Is God, most earlier works will have the young mother suffer a Convenient Miscarriage or else put it up for adoption (if this is a soap opera, you can count on the child returning to find his or her real parents as soon as he or she reaches adulthood, which usually takes about ten years). This latter plot can even affect shows that don't have long enough runs to see the teenage mother grow up, as an adult character can be revealed to have given up a child for adoption as a teenager.

More recently, abortions are occasionally a solution, although this is still rare because a minor cannot get an abortion without a parent's consent and the typical fictional teenager generally tries to hide her pregnancy from her parents for as long as possible, which never actually equates to "when she starts looking visibly pregnant".

Even more recently, there's been a trend toward keeping the baby, period, although this is hardly exclusive to very recent works.

Truth in Television, obviously.

Examples:
  • Juno is all about a girl who keeps the baby.
  • So is The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
  • Degrassi High Degrassi Junior High: Spike got pregnant with Emma in the second season and had her in between seasons. Yes, that was on Degrassi Junior High.
    • Degrassi: The Next Generation had Manny get pregnant in high school and have an abortion. Unsurprisingly, this two-part episode didn't air in the US on the first run.
      • Later, Liberty gets pregnant and carries the baby to term, though she puts it up for adoption after breaking up with the father (who was perfectly willing to take responsibility, but it ended up leading him to have a breakdown.)
  • Danielle van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives got pregnant, got shipped away to have the baby, and her mother pretended to be pregnant so as to keep the baby within the family.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • June 22, 2009
    marjojo
    Juno doesn't keep the baby, she gives it up for adoption. Unless by "keep" you mean "not abort."
  • June 22, 2009
    blackcat
    • The titles of the novels That Was Then, This Is Now and A Girl Like Me pop into my head.

  • June 22, 2009
    deuxhero
    Guilty is a book that partially blames the media's positive portrayal of this trope is part of the reason it is such an issue in the real world (context: the part of the book is about the issue of single mothers)
  • June 22, 2009
    Landstander
    Lisa in Funky Winkerbean got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption way back when, back before the first time skip.

    Another big part of this trope is becoming pregnant the moment a girl loses her virginity, this keeping her sympathetic and implying that she was a good girl who had to be talked into sex. Juno is a bit of a variation on this though- she did become pregnant her first time, but as was the running joke, it obviously wasn't the guy's idea.
  • June 22, 2009
    random surfer
    • Sam Beckett leaped into a pregnant girl and almost had the baby himself, despite not having the proper plumbing.
    • Madonna's song "Papa Don't Preach"
  • June 22, 2009
    Cao Cao
    That was also the plot of The Snapper, a 1992 movie by Stephen Frears set in working-class Ireland.
  • June 23, 2009
    Pika_power
    • Brutally played straight in Bokurano. A girl who's Hot For Teacher gets led into a trap and raped by his friends, getting her pregnant. She then unknowingly signed her life away when she agreed to pilot a Humongous Mecha, as it drains her life energy entirely once she uses it. Unfortunately that means her baby also dies. She goes on a rampage, killing those who raped her, and almost kills her teacher when she is stopped by her sister, whom he was dating and she protects him. It is later revealed that her baby counted to the number of pilots piloting the mech, meaning the group was one short, and if the baby had been called to pilot, they all would have been doomed.
  • June 24, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    90210, Adriana gets pregnant can't have an abortion when she goes because it's too late, wants to keep it but eventually puts it up for adoption. Harry also didn't know his highschool sweetheart had a kid and put it up for adoption untill he moved back to LA.
  • June 24, 2009
    triassicranger
    • Grange Hill was the first British soap opera to tackle this in 1991.
    • Coronation Street also tackled the subject with Sarah-Louise Platt getting pregnant.
  • June 24, 2009
    Duckay
    Gilmore Girls - Lorelei got pregnant at 16 and had Rory, and the main plot of the show is about their relationship as two girls living alone together without a very big age gap.

    A current running plot on Neighbours (I think, I haven't seen any for a while) is about a teenage girl who gets pregnant and wants to put it up for adoption, but the child's father wants custody.
  • June 24, 2009
    Heatherly
    Pretty much the whole A-plot for The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
  • June 25, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Actually don't we really mean "Tean illegitimate pregnancy"?

    After all a 19 year old married women who was pregnant would most likly get an "Aw shucks, isn't that cute...". While that response would of course often go toward the first there would be no stigma for the second except eccentricity and maybe suspicion of the first.
  • June 25, 2009
    Landstander
    UT 76, that actually describes Lily Potter. Do the math, and she was 19 when she gave birth to Harry. It is unknown if news of his conception came before or after she and James were married however.
  • June 26, 2009
    Gemmifer
    The manga Akkan Baby is about this. The girl and her boyfriend decide to raise the kid themselves.
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