Created By: Rainbow on July 21, 2012 Last Edited By: Prfnoff on April 23, 2016

Women Love to Shop

Shopping is shown as a stereotypically feminine activity.

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Trope
Women have been stereotyped as loving to spend money on shopping trips. This usually involves buying clothing, including nice shoes, but it can also be shopping in general.

In some cases, these shoppers are portrayed as being wasteful with their money and buying expensive items and racking up credit card debt, but on the other hand, women shoppers are also often portrayed as being good at finding bargains.

If the shopping woman has a man with her, he's usually not only extremely bored by the experience, but he also usually has to carry all her purchases. She also makes him act as a fashion consultant and will often ask the dreaded question, "Does this make me look fat/ugly?"

Recent examples may involve money that the woman shopper earned herself, but historically this trope has generally been associated with a sexist assumption that men make money and women spend it.

Examples:

Newspaper Comics

  • Paige from FoxTrot loves to shop, and the family even has to be very secretive if anyone wants to be able to go shopping without her demanding to come along. Her brother Peter is usually the one who comes with her, since he can drive (Roger drove her in some of the earlier strips), and she always makes Peter carry her many bags of purchases.
  • Cathy from her titular comic strip is also obsessed with clothes shopping as well.

Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • July 21, 2012
    Pickly
  • July 21, 2012
    isk2837
    Alice Cullen from Twilight is very fashion-aware and loves shopping for new clothes.
  • July 21, 2012
    captainsandwich
    in futurama the mirage the women stranded on a planet saw were stores.
  • July 21, 2012
    Waterlily
    Parodied in The Nutty Professor where Dave Chapelle plays a bad stand up comedian who starts his act by saying "Women be shoppin'. Can't stop a woman from shoppin'."
  • July 21, 2012
    zarpaulus
    • Freefall offers a possible explanation for why women shop the way they do. Starts here, gets to the point here.
  • July 21, 2012
    Rognik
    This seems to overlap heavily with the "Women Waste Money" YKTTW, and I don't think we need both of them. I think this one presents the trope in a somewhat better light, or at least more balanced.
  • July 22, 2012
    Rainbow
    I know that, I was initially thinking that this would be the supertrope and the other one could be a subtrope. The main reason I started it was because someone on the other YKTTW suggested that this could be a separate trope, but it could merge with the other one too.

    Another aspect of this trope is that while women in general are stereotyped as liking to shop a lot, teenage girls especially get this stereotype, mainly with the idea of "shopping at the mall."
  • July 22, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    In a Tomboy And Girly Girl combo, the Girly Girl will love shopping and the Tomboy will endure it.

    One of the advantages of this trope is that shop sets are relatively cheap and easy to put together so it's easy to use a shop or a mall for

    • Rachel loves shopping on Friends and has helped out Ross, Phoebe and Charley when they needed new stuff but felt overwhelmed.
    • Brooke on One Tree Hill loves shopping.
    • All the women on Sex And The City are into shopping. Unfortunately, because the show gives each of the four heroines a plot of their own every episode, there have been some really dumb shopping stories. These include the time Charlotte found a shoe shop where she could get free shoes by pandering to a foot-fetishist salesman, and the one where Samantha uses her client Lucy Liu's name to get a Birkin bag.
    • On Outnumbered, a trip to the mall makes Karen's mother worry that she might be getting way too into shopping and growing up too fast (she's nine). It turns out that Karen's friend is throwing a birthday party at the mall and invited everyone else.
  • July 22, 2012
    randomsurfer
    On Arthur Rich Kid Muffy loves to shop, and makes the family butler/chauffer carry her purchases. For example, she tried to collect every World Girl doll in existence, then discovered that they were constantly making new ones so she'd never get them all.
  • July 22, 2012
    planswalker
    Is this about all examples of women shopping Of is it only about ones where the shopping trip imparts some meaning to the story? From the description, I wasn't totally sure.

    a note that might be worth adding to the description:

    A male-to-female Gender Bender scenario will often have the now-female protagonist shanghaid and taken on a shopping spree by the women she knows. Whether her newfound femininity means she enjoys the trip or endures it depends on what female stereotype is invoked. No matter the gender-bent character's reaction, though, the female friends will all jump at the chance to "accessorize" her.
  • July 23, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    @planswalker: Idk about everyone else but I felt like some examples needed padding out to make them more than "Jane loves shopping"

    Mimi on Digimon? I feel like she must show signs of this.
  • July 23, 2012
    Chabal2
    Strangely enough, this is a major personality trait of Hot Amazon Rachel in Animorphs, enthusiastically going on carefully planned trips and figuring out how much she saves while Cassie follows more reluctantly. In the book where she undergoes a Literal Split Personality, it's revealed her cowardly airheaded side is the one who loves shopping, which the psychotic Blood Knight side can't stand.
  • August 2, 2012
    emeriin
    Lampshaded by The Nostalgia Chick at the end of A Very N*Sync Christmas:
    Chick: But let's not forget the most important thing about Christmas, and that is making us feel like... shopping! C'mon puppy, let's go stimulate the economy.
  • August 9, 2013
    Synchronicity
    • Barbie Life In The Dreamhouse has all the female characters being shopaholics. Even the dog, who purchases a litter of puppies from the internet.
  • August 9, 2013
    MorganWick
    @planswalker: "Women love to shop" is a very common stereotype so what's really needed is just to show that a work is playing to that stereotype. Maybe this should be a character trope more than anything else.

    I believe we may actually have a Does This Make Me Look Fat trope.

    In The Order Of The Stick book Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales, during the segment making fun of 4th Edition, Roy tells Haley to "take on a special mission for which only you have the proper skills." It turns out to be shopping (for potions, scrolls, and the like). The title of the page is "It's Not a Female Stereotype, It's a Rogue Stereotype".

    v In other words, see Self Explanatory.
  • August 9, 2013
    LordGro
    Exactly What It Says On The Tin should not be in any trope description or laconic definition ever.
  • August 10, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    • In the Henry Reed series of children's books, protagonist/narrator Henry mentions several times a book that women love to shop, including they'll spend hours shopping for something they're not even going to get. Meanwhile, when he's dragged along the shopping center floors make his legs hurt.
  • January 29, 2014
    XFllo
    Bumpity bump.
  • January 30, 2014
    XFllo
    I changed the laconic and added paragraph breaks. Later I might copy the examples from the discussion.
  • January 30, 2014
    Prfnoff
    Edited the laconic and beginning of the description. The reference to Girly Girl (which is a character trope) was unnecessary and a bit misleading. The description's opening clause confused the categories of historical fact and stereotype, and mistakenly implied that men being expected to earn money was contrary to the expectation that women would spend it.
  • January 30, 2014
    Chabal2
    Dave Barry often uses this trope in his works, pointing out that among the many Womens Mysteries men will never understand is the need to purchase more shoes than the entire Riverdance troupe or jewelry whose price is inversely proportional to the size of the box it's in or greeting cards when there is no occasion that warrants sending a card. Of course, this is balanced out by his repeatedly asserting that men have the same level of emotional capacity as large stupid dogs, so it all evens out.
  • January 30, 2014
    Duncan
    • Wilma and Betty in The Flintstones were often portrayed this way, grabbing their husbands' credit cards and shouting *fanfare* "CHARGE it!"
  • January 30, 2014
    DAN004
    In Real Life, some women just shop because it relieves their stress.

    Maybe that's description-worthy?
  • April 23, 2016
    HeroGal2347
    In The A Team episode "The Rabbit Who Ate Las Vegas", Hannibal and Amy pose as a gangster named Tony Vincent and his girlfriend. As Hannibal is checking in, Amy keeps asking for permission to go to a store that is apparently near there "just to look."

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