Fancy restaurants, dinner parties, and catered Dances and Balls have a Dress Code. If the date is for anything more than fast food and a flick, expect this trope to come into play. The couple in question can be teens, twenty-somethings, or a happily married couple treating themselves to a night on the town. Stereotypically, the girl in a couple takes longer to get ready for the date than the guy, leaving him to cool his heels while she finishes getting ready. There are usually three common reasons that the woman takes so long to get ready: One: it's an expected social more as much as it is a trope, because in the case of teens, it gives the family a chance to get to know the Love Interest of their girl. Two: the man generally has less required of him to be ready for a night out:
- shower, shave, deodorant, (optional splash of after shave or cologne)
- underwear, clean tie (which may match the date's outfit), clean and pressed shirt and suit;
- shined shoes;
- making sure his car (if he's driving his own) isn't a rolling trash can;
- the washing up which will include some or all of the following:
- a Cosmetic Horror Cucumber Facial;
- tweezing or otherwise shaping of the eyebrows;
- the mani-pedi, with the polish shade either neutral, or complementary to the eventual outfit;
- the shaving (or Painful Body Waxing, sugaring, threading) of legs and armpits even if the dress will likely cover both;
- deodorant which must be carefully applied so it doesn't smear on the eventual dress when putting it on;
- making sure that various body washes, lotions, deodorants, and depilatories do not have clashing fragrances that will remain after she gets out of the bath/shower;
- foundation undergarments slips, and stockings or hose;
- hair (either home-set, salon styled or a wig);
- makeup (which includes foundation, concealer, blush, lipstick, eyeliner, mascara or false eyelashes, and eye shadow which must all be matched to the outfit she's chosen and which must also cover any tattoos that would be inappropriate in the venue);
- the clothing — and the clothing must be complementary to her date's. particulary if she knows she will end up serving as arm candy for him in front of people important to him.
- The Prom/High-School Dance
- Women's Mysteries, since men don't usually know or care about all the multiple details of a woman's preparation for her glamorous appearance.
- Know Your Vines - for when a formal occasion's etiquette calls for the guy to bring a corsage to his date.
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- Archie Comics: Archie is sometimes kept waiting by Veronica or other dates.
Girl: "Oh daddy, Archie can afford to wait."Dad: "Well, maybe he can afford it but I can't!" (as Archie raids the refrigerator)
- In one short joke, with an anonymous girl, her Dad announces that her date is here.
- Inverted and subverted in Xenophilia - Rainbow Dash expects that Lero will take a long time to get ready, but he surprises her by only taking a few minutes.
- Homer's The Odyssey details how Penelope, acting regent of Ithaca as the wife of Odysseus, kept a bevy of suitors housed and fed in a reception hall while waiting at least nine years for her husband to return home from the Trojan War. Almost all of these suitors were opportunists, social climbers, wannabes or straight-up mooches, leeching off the Ithaca treasury. Greek custom of the time forbade Penelope from shooing them away, as that would be an affront to Zeus, however she also remained circumspectly distant from them, allowing only servants to content them.
- Referenced in Harry Potter: Hermione Granger shows up at the Yule Ball looking fabulous with her normally frizzy and unkempt hair beautiful, coiffed, and well behaved. Hermione herself explains that she only did it for a special occasion because all the preparation, even with the magical assistance of Sleekeasy's, takes too much time.
- MAD: In Lighter Side of..., this appeared at least twice:
- One had a teenage boy picking up his date; Dad said she'd be ready in a few minutes. Meanwhile, "Would you like to play a nice leisurely game of chess or two?"
- In another, a husband is waiting for his wife to get ready. When she is finally ready, the husband takes off his coat because "I gotta shave again."
- One staged photo in Playboy style guide section implies this, in that the man of the couple has nothing more to do than adjust his gold cufflinks. The woman, however, is still in her slip, facing a closet full of clothes, unable to decide what to wear.
- The Kinks: In "Come Dancing" by, where he describes his sister's social calendar.
Another Saturday, another date
She would be ready but she'd always make him wait
- The first verse of Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" is about this, with the subtext of "Yes, baby, you look wonderful. Now can we PLEASE get going?"
- Prince and Sheena Easton "U Got The Look" plays with the trope and subverts it with this verse:
''You got the lookYou must a tookA whole hour just to make up your face babyClosin' time, ugly lights,Everybody's inspectedBut you are a natural beauty unaffectedDid I say an hour?My face is redI stand corrected''
- Whateley Universe: As mentioned by Aquerna in Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth (Chapter 10):
Jerry wasn't picking her up until five forty for their date, and she didn't need two hours to get ready this time, because she already shaved her legs, and filed her fingernails and toenails, and did three coats of polish on her toenails, and picked out her outfit. So all she needed to do was just showering and washing her hair and styling her hair and getting dressed and putting on just the right amount of makeup and then doing her nails. She figured all Jerry did was take a quick shower and get dressed, because that was pretty much what her dad did when he was taking her mom out. She didn't mind that guys didn't need hours to get ready, she just couldn't figure out why her dad didn't seem to know her mom needed a lot more time, because they had been married like forever.
- Epic Rap Battles of History: Briefly touched upon in Adam's verse in Adam vs. Eve:
You call it complex, but yo, I'd call you a mess, you take two hours to come, three more to get dressed!
- Tom and Jerry: Averted and Played for Laughs in "Solid Serenade". Tom goes with a bass fiddle to pitch woo to a pretty female kitty. This kitty is seen in silhouette in her boudoir tweezing her eyebrows. However, once Tom starts his rendition of "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't," the kitty power-primps herself in less than five seconds, and emerges ever-so-elegantly onto her balcony to be serenaded.
- This is mentioned in the Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter:
Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.