Created By: DannyVElAcme on August 31, 2011 Last Edited By: DannyVElAcme on February 12, 2013

Dropped A Baby On Him

A regular joe has had a bad day, and the suck is gonna reproduce.

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Trope
Do We Have This One??, Needs More Examples, feel free to add content or edit, since I know this can be expanded with other tropes it goes along well with.

Bob hasn't had a very good day. He just got fired from his job, someone stole his hubcaps, he just got a call from the bank about his late mortgage payments, he just got a call from the phone company that the phone's getting cut, he has a hell of a bad cold and while walking to his house door he stumbles and sprains his ankle. Things just can't get any worse. He finally walks into his house, kisses his wife Alice hello, sits down on his favorite couch and relates to her the awfulness of his day.

And then Alice tells him she is pregnant.

Dropped A Baby On Him refers to when a bad day becomes exponentially worse with the knowledge that the character now has 9 months or less to try to save his life from irreversible misery. It's a horrifying moment, because even if his current problems are actually short term(he might get a job again soon, for example), they can now have VERY long-time consequences, since, well, there's a new mouth to feed on the way.

This will always be complicated by the fact that Good Girls Avoid Abortion: even with the immense financial burden and problems it will cause them, Alice will ALWAYS insist on keeping the baby, and she(or the author) will make Bob seem an asshole if he even dares suggest it, even though it, at least practically speaking, a way to alleviate upcoming problems. Adoption's not considered either, even though it is usually more accepted socially and understandable given the situation.

For this trope to be in effect, it HAS to be portrayed as distressing to the dad. After all, if the dad sees the coming baby as something to be happy about, well, it isn't very dramatic or funny.

PLEASE, no Real Life examples...

Examples:

Film
  • It's a Wonderful Life. George is feeling like a failure because he rejected Potter's offer.
    George: Why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?
    Mary: To keep from being an old maid.
    George: You could have married Sam Wainwright and anybody else in town.
    Mary: I didn't want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
  • A female employee of NBC with whom Chuck Barris was having sex with pulled this on him in Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind. Subverted in that it turns out she just had a late period.

Live-Action TV
  • Fran pulls this on Earl in Dinosaurs, made funnier by the fact that, since they're dinosaurs, she does the reveal by showing him the egg she laid.

Music
  • George Michael song "Everything She Wants". A man's wife demands that he do nothing but work to make money for her so she can buy stuff.
And now you tell me that you're having my baby,
I'll tell you that I'm happy if you want me to
One step further and my back will break,
If my best isn't good enough
Than how can it be good enough for two?

Video Games
  • A plot point in Catherine. Vincent has a mediocre life up to a point, until his girlfriend Katherine tells him she is pregnant and proposes they get married.

Webcomic
  • In Unshelved, Dewey states that he doesn't care if he is the one downsized as he is young and should have no trouble finding another job. No sooner does he say this then his girlfriend announces that she is pregnant.

Western Animation
  • In The Simpsons, Marge pulled one on Homer when they discovered she was pregnant with Bart. Homer had no stable job and they were not married yet.
    • Marge pulls this again on Homer after they already have two kids. The kicker is that Homer thought everything was perfect beforehand; he was about to give up his well-paying but soul-sucking nuclear plant job for his lower-paying dream job at a bowling alley, but that plan was foiled when he discovered he needed to provide for three kids.
Community Feedback Replies: 54
  • August 31, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    This is a pretty egregious I Thought It Meant title...
  • August 31, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @CommanderPanda: You thought it meant a Falcon Punch abortion, huh? Any suggestions for an alternate title?

    BTW, now that I looked, I noticed Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind doesn't have a page, what gives??
  • August 31, 2011
    tryer
    to expand. I thought it meant someone punches a pregnant women and it kills the baby. Like in that one anime JigokuShoujo.

    Needs a better title.

    How about Pregnancy Bomb or Dropped A Baby On Him?
  • August 31, 2011
    CommanderPanda
  • August 31, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @CommanderPanda: Untimely Pregnancy sounds good, it's very straight-to-the-point, but I also like tryer's Dropped A Baby On Him, it has a very funny ring to it. Maybe use both? DABOH as trope name and UP as a redirect?
  • August 31, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    As long as you change the name before someone links a picture of Captain Falcon for the image; you can name this whatever you want.
  • August 31, 2011
    DannyVElAcme
    @CommanderPanda: lol
  • August 31, 2011
    tryer
    @Danny V El Acme That sounds good to me!

    It probably has a nice ring because its a variant on the popular Dropped A Bridge On Him trope, or the Dropped A Bridget On Him.

    >As Another example, This is part of the plot of the video game Catherine. Vincent has a mediocre life up to a point, until his girlfriend Kaatherine Drops A Baby On Him and proposes they get married.
  • August 31, 2011
    randomsurfer
    re Dinosaurs: it'd be Fran rather than Ethyl wouldn't it? Ethyl is Earl's mother in law.
  • September 1, 2011
    peccantis
  • September 3, 2011
    Sol9000
    We already have the final name... Maybe. We just need more examples
  • September 3, 2011
    Stratadrake
    I call Bad Snowclone on Dropped A Baby On Him. "Dropping a baby" isn't exactly funny of its own accord, either.
  • September 3, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    I want to say there's a punny title out there that takes the stereotypical "Good News," and turns it on its face, but everything I've come up with so far is either non-indicative or really long.

    That said, we still have Pregnancy Bomb, Untimely Pregnancy, Expecting Complications, Drama On Board, Fired With A Kid On The Way, and Suddenly Offspring. And I'll try to come up with more in a bit.
  • September 3, 2011
    Tuckerscreator
    • Its A Wonderful Life. George is feeling like a failure because he rejected Potter's offer.
      George: Why in the world did you ever marry a guy like me?
      Mary: To keep from being an old maid.
      George: You could have married Sam Wainwright and anybody else in town.
      Mary: I didn't want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
  • September 3, 2011
    foxley
    In Unshelved, Dewey states that he doesn't care if he is the one downsized as he is young and should have no trouble finding another job. No sooner does he say this then his girlfriend announces that she is pregnant.
  • September 4, 2011
    KingZeal
    This is not a Bad Snowclone, as this title pretty much sums up what the trope is about perfectly. You could use it in colloquial conversation and someone could get the gist of what it means.
  • October 7, 2011
    TairaMai
    Flim:
    • In the Adam Sandler film Big Daddy, the baby is a toddler that his character finds on his doorstep.
  • October 12, 2011
    Insignificant
    ^^This trope has nothing to do with Dropped A Bridge On Him, and the pun does not make any sense. So yes, it is a Bad Snowclone.
  • October 12, 2011
    KingZeal
    Again, you could use the phrase "She dropped a baby on him" in casual conversation and it would be generally understood.
  • November 11, 2011
    Insignificant
    ^I don't think anyone would use that phrase in Real Life. Regardless, that's not a valid justification for poor snowcloning.
  • November 29, 2011
    AP
    • An episode of Mr Bean involved Bean finding a baby at the fair and taking care of it while trying to find his mother.
  • November 30, 2011
    NESBoy
    How about "Baby Bombshell"?
  • May 1, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    bump.
  • May 1, 2012
    peccantis
    The laconic should be clearer, getting the main gist of the trope really shouldn't depend on getting the pun.
  • May 2, 2012
    Andygal
  • May 2, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ Luke You Were His Father is the title of another proposed trope currently on YKTTW. We don't need two tropes with titles that similar or they'll get confused.
  • May 2, 2012
    DracMonster
  • May 2, 2012
    peccantis
    Suddenly Single Father? Eh but that would include unexpectedly widowed fathers... or are they included?
  • May 2, 2012
    animeg3282
    Some examples of this fall under Doorstop Baby
  • May 2, 2012
    DannyVElAcme
    @anime3282: Indeed. This trope is about the PREGNANCY ANNOUNCEMENT being the stressful part, not the baby itself.

    To summarize for you guys: this is when the male half of a relationship(whether they're married or not, but they have to be semi-committed at least) is going through a rough patch in his life and his partner's announcement that she's pregnant distresses him.
  • May 3, 2012
    Arivne
    Music
    • George Michael song "Everything She Wants". A man's wife demands that he do nothing but work to make money for her so she can buy stuff.
    And now you tell me that you're having my baby,
    I'll tell you that I'm happy if you want me to
    One step further and my back will break,
    If my best isn't good enough
    Than how can it be good enough for two?
  • May 5, 2012
    CrankyStorming
    In Peep Show, Mark has to call Sophie into his office to tell her that he has to fire her, but the she tells him that she's pregnant before he can say anything (Mark setting off an Atomic F Bomb in his mind). Mark still fires her.
  • May 6, 2012
    NESBoy
    Here's a suggestion: keep the title, but add the word "Stork" at the beginning. You know...
  • May 7, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Megaton Pregnancy Announcement. Pregnancy Bombshell. The title needs to reflect that it's about the announcement that she's expecting, not the baby that's going to result from it. And baby dropping in general is a little close to Dude Not Funny territory.

    For that matter, current laconic also rubs me the wrong way; every time I see it I think the word "suck" is a pejorative for the expecting mother, not a reference to what kind of day Bob had. It wouldn't be quite as bad if it was tweaked as "Bob's day sucked, and now it's gonna reproduce", but -- for that matter, the requirement that Bob's even had a bad day isn't really a requirement at all!

    The announcement may be "the coup de grace to an already bad day", but sometimes the announcement itself is what ruins the day.
  • May 7, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • Its A Wonderful Life: George Bailey managed to stand up to Mr. Potter's offer to hire him, knowing that accepting would have turned over the last bit of the town to Potter. But he still comes home rather shaken and regretful about how poor he is and how little he can provide for his wife. She doesn't care, doesn't mind that they're poor, then tells the despondent George that she's pregnant. It's the first of four kids.
  • May 22, 2012
    TMOverbeck
    Would Kenny Chesney's "There Goes My Life" count, even though it's only the first verse that the guy thinks he's entering a world of suck?
  • May 22, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Would this apply to girls finding out they're pregnant when it's inconvenient for them and they're having a bad day anyway? e.g. Ugly Betty
  • June 1, 2012
    aurora369
    For the love of golly, this YKTTW is nearly a year old! Do something about it already!
  • January 22, 2013
    TMOverbeck
    For the snowclone-averse, how about we call it Parenthood As Punishment, but leave Dropped A Baby On Him as an alternate title?
  • January 22, 2013
    StarSword
    Somebody up there suggested Unexpectant Parent, which made me chuckle.

    Also, I think we can consider this officially Up For Grabs due to sponsor absence.
  • January 22, 2013
    Larkmarn
    How about From Bad To Dad?

    • Modern Family's fourth season premiere seems to be setting up for this (with most characters in the know expecting it to occur) when Jay's birthday is going poorly, and Gloria planning on telling him that she's pregnant after a disastrous fishing trip. However, Jay is ecstatic much to everyone's surprise, and feel like this is giving his new purpose in life.
  • January 22, 2013
    Cassis
    Heart Of An Astronaut has a point...Is there a reason this is male-specific? (Is there already a trope for the female POV?) It seems far more common for a chick down on her luck to get the bombshell that she's pregnant. Due to Rule of Drama, about 80% of fictional pregnancies are unexpected and ill-timed.
  • January 22, 2013
    Desertopa
    I'm going to say that the proposed title is not a bad snowclone, in that it doesn't require the reader to be familiar with the original tropes to make sense of the name, but it is unclear. I would have guessed that it referred to a character suddenly and unexpectedly becoming the guardian of an already born baby (which may be common enough to be tropable itself.)
  • January 22, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^I would say that's probably already covered by Law Of Inverse Fertility.
  • January 28, 2013
    TMOverbeck
    After further review, maybe it'd sound better as Parenthood Is Punishment. Better reflects on the protagonist's opinion and less arbitrary-sounding.
  • January 28, 2013
    elwoz
    ^ I'm kinda -0.5 on having this trope at all (to me it seems to be so far into Dead Horse Trope territory that why do we even care?) but I definitely like that title better than the current one.

    While I'm complaining, the current laconic needs to be taken out back and shot. It is far too clever for its own good.
  • January 28, 2013
    Desertopa
    I think Parenthood Is Punishment is even less clear than the current provisional title. Rather than "person has parenthood sprung on them at the least convenient moment," I would have expected it to mean "parenthood is portrayed as frustrating and unrewarding."
  • January 28, 2013
    elwoz
    ^ Well, that's just the thing. "Parenthood portrayed as frustrating and unrewarding" is a current trope with legs. "Person has parenthood sprung on them at the least convenient moment", from where I'm sitting, seems like a one-note joke which wasn't funny when they did it on The Honeymooners. (I do not actually know if they did that joke on The Honeymooners.) (I bet they did do that joke on I Love Lucy and they actually made it be funny, but that's how you know you have a cast of comic geniuses.)

    I dunno. I seem to be Mr. That's Not Worth Troping, Bah Humbug these days.
  • January 28, 2013
    elwoz
    Thinking about this a little more, in principle, a one-note joke plot that isn't funny anymore is still a valid trope. What's really bugging me here is the description, which reads as if we were still in the days when this joke was still funny -- which, as I was trying to imply by namechecking The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy, is quite some time ago now! I want a description that makes it clear this is a Dead Horse Trope at best.

    ... and to do that well, we need more examples so we can see how the portrayal has evolved from the days when you could play it straight.
  • February 9, 2013
    Xtifr
    Hmm, someone just pointed me this way when I was looking for a related trope, and we seem to have a case of Missing Supertrope Syndrome. Discovering that you're about to become a parent can have a huge impact on a character. All of a sudden, risks you take aren't just about you any more. They're suddenly about the child's parent as well.

    People can react poorly or well to the revelation, and it can be played seriously or for laughs. This seems to be trying to restrict itself to reacting poorly and played for laughs, and I'm not sure that's really distinct.

    I don't know if it's worth broadening this, but it would certainly help solve the missing supertrope problem.

    That said, the current description relies far too much on Example As Thesis. Which is a Bad Thing(tm). I recommend throwing out the first two paragraphs, even if no other changes are made.
  • February 11, 2013
    DannyVElAcme
    Bumping. Sorry for not paying much attention to my own YKTT Ws, I'm nearing army deployment, so things have been kinda hectic lately :/
  • February 11, 2013
    elwoz
    ^^ I know I'd feel better about this trope if it were generalized to all the ways pregnancy can serve as a plot driver.
  • February 11, 2013
    Sackett
    Maybe if it was focused on a big pregnancy announcement instead of how somehow having a baby sucks it would be better. By the way, most works treat having a baby as a reason to celebrate. For example the Its A Wonderful Life example is a bad day topped off by a sudden reversal of fortune- a baby is on the way, time to rejoice!

    Babies are traditionally associated with rejoicing, new life, and rebirth. All positive tropes.

  • February 11, 2013
    StarSword
    @elwoz: We've already got an index of Pregnancy Tropes. Just sayin'.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cqzksphh1z9spqwbggbusnb3