Created By: Rognik on June 28, 2012 Last Edited By: Freud on July 30, 2014

Baby Gender Question

Is it a boy or a girl?

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With the recent invention of the ultrasound, a lot about the baby can be told prenatally. One of the side effects of this is that the parents can know the gender of the child beforehand. This has caused a split in expecting parents: some want to know and others don't. This is when this trope gets involved.

In modern settings, this trope starts when the doctor is about to offer the baby's gender to the couple. Typically, one parent will insist on knowing the gender while the other adamantly insists on a surprise, "so long as the baby is healthy." This can start an argument, or the parent who wants to know to come up with wacky schemes to learn the baby's gender.

However, even before this, the question of a baby's gender may come up. Perhaps there are certain old wives' tales that will predict the gender (ie. If the pendulum starts spinning clock-wise, it's a boy). If there are young children, they may discuss the benefits between having a baby brother or a baby sister. In these cases, it usually happens not too long before the actual birth.

  • In a Flashback episode of The Simpsons when Marge is preganant with Maggie, Bart is sure that the baby will be a boy because, as he tells Lisa, it always goes "boy, girl, boy, girl."
  • A minor plot point in Charmed while Piper is pregnant with Wyatt for a while. Before then, all the children born in the Halliwell family had been female. In particular, it took Grams her own episode before she accepted her great-grandchild.
  • In the song "Pregnant Women Are Smug", the answer to this question is, "oh, we know but we aren't telling."
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Genesis", Dr. Crusher asked Data if he wanted to know the gender of Spot's kittens. He mentions the surprise element, at which point we learn that Nurse Ogawa was also pregnant.
  • How I Met Your Mother plays this both ways:
    • When trying to conceive their first child, Lily and Marshall try different Old Wives' Tales to affect the gender of the baby.
    • Later, when the gender of the child is known, Lily and Marshall agree to keep it a mystery, but Barney finds out and tortures them until they admit that they really DO want to know. It's a girl.
  • For the fifth child on Good Luck Charlie, Bob wants to know the gender, but Amy wants it kept a mystery. Wacky Hijinks ensue.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • June 29, 2012
    SKJAM
    • In the song "Pregnant Women Are Smug", the answer to this question is, "oh, we know but we aren't telling."
  • June 29, 2012
    planswalker
    • A minor plot point in Charmed while Piper is pregnant with Wyatt for a while. Before then, all the children born in the Halliwell family had been female. In particular, it took Grams her own episode before she accepted her great-grandchild.
  • June 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In a Flashback episode of The Simpsons when Marge is preganant with Maggie, Bart is sure that the baby will be a boy because, as he tells Lisa, it always goes "boy, girl, boy, girl."
  • June 29, 2012
    lexicon
    • In a Gilmore Girls episode Sookie and Jackson were expecting their first child. Sookie knew the gender from the ultrasound but Jackson didn't want to know. He even had buttons made saying, "I do not want to know the sex of my baby." Sookie, on the other hand had a shed full of blue things for when the baby comes.

  • June 29, 2012
    falver
    Friends Plays with this with Emma. While they know she's a girl, they buy an "It's a Boy!" banner.
  • July 2, 2012
    Rognik
    ^Did they intentionally buy the wrong balloon, or were they out of "It's a Girl" banners?
  • July 2, 2012
    surgoshan
    ^ They were all out. Phoebe fixes it with a marker she also got. "It's [NOT] a Boy!"
  • July 2, 2012
    animeg3282
    we should list stuff associated with this such as folks trying to find out the gender, wacky baby shower mixups, etc.
  • July 2, 2012
    Telcontar
    Can't think of any examples offhand, but the title should probably be Baby Sex Question, though Baby Gender Question is fine as a redirect. It's shorter and more accurate.
  • July 2, 2012
    surgoshan
    The HIMYM example got the sex of the baby wrong.
  • July 2, 2012
    Rognik
    ^Feel free to correct it, then. This is Up For Grabs, so I don't care if you edit the body or not.

    ^^It's only shorter by 3 characters. Both work as redirects to each other, but is it that important that one word is used over the other?

    ^^^If you can improve the explanation, feel free to share or directly edit. Should there be different categories for different versions of this trope? Maybe have something branch off as a different trope?
  • July 27, 2012
    Rognik
    Anyone have any thoughts on this? Or should I have just let it die?
  • July 28, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Nah, every tv show with a pregnancy storyline seems to have an episode dealing with this.

    On Friends Ross convinces himself that Rachel has gone behind his back to find out the sex of the baby, for naming advantages. He finds out, then tells Rachel "now we BOTH know it's a girl". That's how she finds out.

    Malcolm In The Middle plays with this in the last episode of a later series: the audience doesn't find out the sex of baby "Jamie" until the next series.
  • July 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Night Court there's a couple who've been told their unborn baby is a boy. Then the baby gets born in the cafeteria and it turns out it's a girl. The father had already bought various boy toys for the baby, including a baby-sized baseball glove.
  • July 28, 2012
    cabr321
    • In The Fairly Odd Parents episode Fairly Odd Baby, the characters go the entire episode wondering about the baby's gender, only getting interrupted by something each time they try to check.
  • July 28, 2012
    Freud
    I just fixed the How I Met Your Mother example.
  • July 28, 2012
    Kossmeister
    In Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life, the mother asks about the baby's gender. One of the doctors responds, "Now I think it's a little early to start imposing roles on it, don't you?"
  • July 28, 2012
    Rognik
    If someone else doesn't want to grab this trope, I'll update it soon. Meannwhile, I notice that there aren't any hats yet. Does the description need work? Do people think this trope isn't strong enough? I think there are enough varied examples for this to hold its own, but it needs some support. If someone can suggest what would improve this trope, I think it could start to make some progress.
  • July 30, 2014
    XFllo
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ezxvbx4x4p7ay55qu5fuaz2e