Created By: Elan on August 1, 2010 Last Edited By: Arivne on May 21, 2014
Troped

Knitting Pregnancy Announcement

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Trope
A male character learns that his wife is expecting a baby. Does she actually inform him of this? Not necessary. She just sits there looking smug and knitting something (often a very small sock), and he gets the message. Often used in works made before it was considered okay to discuss the subject of pregnancy, as it has the benefit of also informing the audience that the woman is with child, without having to actually say it.

Examples

Film
  • The second The Thin Man movie. Nick has just solved a very complicated mystery, but has yet to deduce that his wife Nora is expecting. Until he realizes that she is knitting a baby's sock.
  • The Addams Family. Gomez realizes in the last scene that Morticia is knitting a baby's jumper. With three legs.
  • Lady and the Tramp. Lady tells Jock and Trusty that her female owner "Darling" is knitting booties. Jock and Trusty realize that "Darling" is going to have a baby, and try to explain that to Lady.

Live-Action TV
  • Lampshaded and Subverted in I Love Lucy. Lucy and Ethel think their husbands are going to join the army and take up knitting. The husbands notice them doing this, and naturally assume they are both having babies.

Western Animation

Community Feedback Replies: 57
  • September 4, 2010
    Vree
    bump. I like this one.

    Maybe it could be broadened to Pregnant Women Knitting Baby Clothes.
  • September 4, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    • The Tex Avery cartoon "Little Johnny Jet" has an airplane find out his wife is expecting when he catches her knitting a little plane-shaped sweater. At the end she has a long line of them after the government orders ten thousand more.
    • The Chuck Jones cartoon "I Was a Teenaged Thumb", a comical take on Tom Thumb, has the mother knitting microscopic booties. At the end, her husband is aghast when she starts knitting a giant bootie.
  • September 5, 2010
    Fanra
    In Raymond E Feist's and Janny Wurts' Daughter of the Empire, Mara of the Acoma knits while pregnant in order to appease her abusive husband. She is terrible at it and has no expectation of ever knitting anything useful. Her husband just expects that is what she should be doing.
  • January 11, 2011
    TonyG
    bump
  • January 11, 2011
    MasoTey
    In 1937's Shall We Dance, the Ginger Rogers character is assumed to be pregnant because she's seen knitting. She's actually repairing a dog sweater.
  • January 11, 2011
    troacctid
    Huh, maybe it's a Forgotten Trope. The examples are pretty old, and I don't think I've ever seen it in modern works.
  • January 11, 2011
    callsignecho
    Saw it in the Sookie Stackhouse novel Dead and Gone. Sookie knows her fairy-aunt Claudine is preggo when she sees her knitting baby clothes. Though Claudine also tells Sookie straight out that she is expecting.
  • January 11, 2011
    Premonition_45
    I don't know about this trope. Knitting makes me think the character's turning old and/or senile.
  • January 11, 2011
    MasoTey
    ^Different trope. I'm pretty srue this one's still legit, though.
  • January 11, 2011
    Motmot
    I second broadening the trope to use outside of the announcement.

    • Happens in Lady And The Tramp, though it's not announced to Lady as Darling knits; rather, Lady tries to play with the string and is struck after being told to stop. Jock and Trusty tell her what's going on after Lady recounts the story to them.
  • January 12, 2011
    peccantis
    • Exploited in Chicago, where Roxie is made to knit during her public trial to play up the claim of her being pregnant.
  • January 12, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    This is a trope; I've seen it. You just don't see it these days because modern sensibilities dictate that pregnancy is an easy source of comedy and drama. What's the point of having an onscreen pregnant character if you can't throw half the Pregnancy Tropes at them?
  • March 10, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Bump.
  • March 10, 2011
    Speedball
    This occured in the film of Enemy Mine too.
  • May 4, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Bump.
  • May 4, 2011
    NESBoy
    Here's a modern use of the trope:

    • In the Futurama episode "Roswell that Ends Well", after Philip J. Fry has sex with her, Mildred Fry starts knitting, as well as becoming an old lady.
  • May 5, 2011
    bluepenguin
    Pretty sure Polgara does this in the Belgariad, but it's been ages since I read it, so someone else will have to fill in the details.
  • May 23, 2011
    peccantis
    le bumpa
  • August 26, 2011
    NateTheGreat
    Bump.
  • August 27, 2011
    Josech
    I know I'm not the only one who's experienced this in real life. Usually from strangers on the bus or old men at church, though. Stephanie Pearl-Mc Phee recounts such a real-life bus encounter in her first book, Yarn Harlot.
  • August 29, 2011
    Antigone3
    Bluepenguin -- Technically the "Polgara and Ce'Nedra are both pregnant" reveal toward the end of the Malloreon is the two of them puking over the ship's railing, but this gets invoked on the trip home when Polgara teaches Ce'Nedra how to knit. (Though Velvet also gets knitting lessons, and she doesn't become pregnant until the epilogue of Polgara The Sorceress.)
  • August 30, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    Cover of Mad Magazine #192, parody of the 1976 King Kong remake
  • August 30, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    The Flintstones had a sort of "false alarm" in this regard. At the end of one episode, Fred accidentally sits on Wilma's knitting needles, and finds a bootie. Fred jumps to conclusions and runs out of the house with it (He had told his rich uncle that he had a kid named after him; he didn't, but now it looked like things were different) before Wilma can tell him that it was for Betty's niece. Of course, later on that season, Wilma showed him another "bootie" which Fred mistook for a nose cover, but this time...
  • August 30, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    Parodied in a later The Honeymooners episode, may actually have been a reunion show. Ralph thinks Alice is pregnant when he finds her knitting materials. However, rather than a sock, she's apparently knitted a baby's sweater -- complete with one hole for the head and two for the arms. The holes are unrealistically tiny, but then again, a baby is small. Of course what Alice was really knitting was a cover for Ralph's bowling ball
  • October 31, 2011
    Oreochan
    Bump.
  • October 31, 2011
    nitrokitty
    I think this is a Dead Horse Trope these days, but still tropable.
  • October 31, 2011
    Speedball
    It happened in Enemy Mine when the asexual reptile guy revealed he was knitting some small garments.
  • October 31, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    ^^ Well, since we don't have the Hays Code in the movies any more, and broadcast TV's standards and practices people have stopped making married couples sleep in twin beds, perhaps so. I'm more inclined to consider it a Forgotten Trope myself.
  • January 2, 2012
    lolasiannodel
    This is an old trope, but a trope non the less. I have seen old advertisements with the same thing to hint a pregnancy. I think it has something to do with the fact that clothes used to be expensive, and it was considered a part of a woman's duty to make and repair clothes, so if a woman is suddenly making a whole lot of little clothes.....
  • February 17, 2012
    callsignecho
    Forgotten Trope, but real nonetheless.
  • February 18, 2012
    Prfnoff
  • February 18, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    Done in an episode of The Twilight Zone where a man gives a love potion to the gal he is truly-madly for, but within months grows tired of her cloying devotion. He plans to kill her with a "glove cleaner" sold to him by the same mysterious old man who gave him the love potion. However, he drops the poisoned drink in shock when she presents him with a tiny knitted bootie.
  • February 22, 2012
    pawsplay
  • March 4, 2012
    pawsplay
    bump
  • March 5, 2012
    peccantis
    Update with examples from the comments and just launch it already.
  • March 6, 2012
    pawsplay
    It still needs a better name.
  • I know it's conversed in the movie version of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. If this is directly from the stage musical, someone please note this. When Hedy catches J. B. Biggley knitting, she says to him, "What are you, pregnant or something?"
  • April 5, 2012
    HaggisMcCrablice
    It should be mentioned that this has largely been replaced these days by Morning Sickness and Vomit Discretion Shot.

    In "Stork Naked", (Freleng, 1955) Daffy sees his wife knitting a sweater and thinks it's for him. He finds when he tries to put it on that it is baby-sized, and she's expecting a visit from the (literal) stork.
  • December 1, 2012
    johnnye
    The Futurama example mentioned isn't an example. She doesn't know she's pregnant yet (they literally just had sex), it's just a joke about him finding out she's his grandma and her suddenly appearing very grandmotherly.

    See also Hand On Womb, another Pregnancy Reveal trope.
  • December 1, 2012
    StarSword
    Film:
    • Inverted in Chicago. Roxie is shown knitting a baby garment after her (fake) pregnancy announcement.

    Don't know if this happened in the play as well.
  • February 28, 2013
    NateTheGreat
    Bump.
  • February 28, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Worth a hat. It may be a Forgotten Trope these days, but in its time, this was THE indicator that the missus was going to be a mommy.
  • April 21, 2014
    Sackett
    Ready to launch. Anyone more involved want to do the honors?
  • April 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Compare/contrast Obvious Pregnancy.
  • April 21, 2014
    Earnest
    Here's the Addams Family version of the trope and an potential pic for the trope page.
  • April 21, 2014
    DAN004
    Add examples first plz.
  • April 21, 2014
    Elfkaiser
    Don't know which episode it was, but this happened to Daffy Duck once. In the cartoon, Daffy finds his wife knitting a sweater. Assuming it's for him, he takes it and tries putting it on. Suffice to say, the sweater's too small for him and he can hardly breath through the tight garment upon putting it on.
  • April 21, 2014
    gallium
    How do we have five hats and are about to launch when the initial entry has only five examples, which are not sorted by media, and which go to incorrect namespaces?
  • April 22, 2014
    Arivne
    • Formatted the Examples section.
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Added Example section media header(s) and sorted the examples by media.
    • Namespaced and italicized work names.
    • Added the Lady And The Tramp example.

    The Looney Tunes example violates both Zero Context Example and How To Write An Example - Keep it an example.
  • April 22, 2014
    Prfnoff
    @gallium: Also, the current name is too clunky.
  • April 22, 2014
    DAN004
  • April 22, 2014
    gallium
    ^^Eh, the name is OK, I'm just wondering how a proposal that is so far from being ready got five hats (now four hats). It's almost four years old, maybe those hats are similarly old from when it looked better. Still need a bunch more examples.
  • April 22, 2014
    MonaNaito
    So is this just for moments where the pregnancy is revealed to the husband because the wife is knitting? Does it also apply if, say, the husband already knows, but it's a reveal for the audience, with knitting as visual shorthand for pregnancy?
  • April 22, 2014
    Sackett
    ^^ What is this new obsession with keeping everything in YKTTW until it's got tons of examples?

    This is a wiki.

    We expect examples and improvements to be added after launch.

    The requirement to be ready for launch is an accurate description, a good name, and three examples. Did this get changed at some point? (Nope, just checked the YKTTW Guidelines, still the same as before). Why are people actively taking hats away from tropes that are ready for launch?
  • April 22, 2014
    randomsurfer
    Obliquely referenced on The Late Show with David Letterman
    Hilary Clinton is about to become a grandmother. She's busy knitting tiny pants suits.
  • April 22, 2014
    UltramarineAlizarin
    This happens in another Tex Avery cartoon, "The Flea Circus". Francois comes home to find his wife Fifi knitting a flea-sized sweater with human-sized knitting needles (they also have a human-sized home and Fifi delivers in a human hospital). In the final scene, Francois enters Fifi's dressing room and is shocked to see her knitting away again.
  • May 21, 2014
    shamblingdead
    Don't forget Stephen King's "The Boogeyman." The guy's dead set against his wife getting pregnant, but after a few months, he knows she's pregnant because she's "Knitting little things."

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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