Created By: HersheleOstropoler on March 23, 2011 Last Edited By: XFllo on July 15, 2015

Pee On A Stick (Pregnancy Test)

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ClearBlue Easy is the most advanced piece of technology you'll ever pee on
TV commercial

A character takes a pregnancy test, and waits — eagerly or anxiously — for the results. Usually something turning blue. The test itself looks for hCG, a hormone present in the urine of pregnant people.

Examples

  • Phoebe in Charmed got a false positive.
  • A Coors ad celebrates the test and the beer turning blue, respectively indicating the wife was to have a baby and the husband a cold beer.
  • In the 1995 Godzilla, the characters use one on the monster.
  • Questionable Content is the Trope Namer. Hannelore's test comes up negative but she spends the day "drinking water and striving for statistical rigor."
  • The opening scene of Juno.
Community Feedback Replies: 55
  • March 23, 2011
    INUH
  • March 23, 2011
    HersheleOstropoler
    If we do it doesn't show up in the first three pages of the Google search results for "pregnancy test".
  • March 23, 2011
    INUH
    Huh. It seems my question should have been How Did We Miss This One. Good catch.
  • March 24, 2011
    foxley
    The opening of Juno is all about this.
  • March 24, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    • In Scrubs, Carla's pregnancy test is negative, but after she leaves the room Turk realizes they didn't wait long enough for the results, and it's actually positive--so he knows she's pregnant before she does.
  • March 24, 2011
    LeeM
    There was actually a commercial for a home pregnancy test with a tag line that ran something like: "The most sophisticated piece of technology you'll ever pee on".
  • March 24, 2011
    Era
    So... it's just a character using a home pregnancy test? Something like this? That's Nana and it was positive, by the way.
  • March 24, 2011
    HersheleOstropoler
    In particular, the hCG stick type test, as in the pic. It sounds like People Sit On Chairs at first, but it has characteristic associated visuals, dialogue -- I think it's reasonable to call that a recognizable pattern.
  • March 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • On The Simpsons
      • Krusty has put out a home pregnancy test.
      • Margue uses a home pregnancy test which uses a pirate theme.
      BARNICLE BILL'S HOME PREGNANCY TEST
      Ahoy, Maties!
      If the water turns blue, a baby for you!
      If purple ye see, no baby thar be!
      Marge's test turns pink
      If ye test should fail, to a doctor set sail!
      • When Apu & Manjula are trying to make a baby it comes up a la a slot machine:
      Apu: Here goes nothing.
      Apu & Manjula: as symbols appear on the tester Baby ... baby ... oh, lemon.
      Manjula: All that sex for nothing.
      later
      Apu & Manjula: Baby ... baby ... pirate?
      Manjula: dejected Oh ...
      Apu: looking at box No, wait a minute. Pirates are wild.
      Manjula: We are pregnant!
  • March 24, 2011
    TonyG
    On Friends, Phoebe and Rachel find a positive pregnancy test in Monica's bathroom and assume she's pregnant. Turns out the test is Rachel's.
  • March 24, 2011
    Katherine
    Kill Bill Vol. 2 features the Bride taking a pregnancy stick-test (complete with reading instructions aloud.) Shortly after, an assassin shoots in the door, but the Bride is able to convince the assassin to leave by showing her the (positive) test.
  • March 24, 2011
    cheeseypoofs
    Liz Lemon does this in an episode of Thirty Rock and the results turn out positive, however, that is because her favorite chips contain "mas semen del toro"
  • April 29, 2012
    HersheleOstropoler
    Bump
  • April 30, 2012
    foxley
    Murphy Brown: When Murphy discovered she was pregnant, Frank asked her what was wrong. Her cryptic response of "The stick turned blue" caused to reply with a bewildered Spy Speak "The dog barks at midnight?"
  • April 30, 2012
    Omeganian
    Very common in fanfics.
  • April 30, 2012
    SharleeD
    Sometimes constitutes Artistic License Biology, if the writer doesn't actually have a clue how pregnancy tests work (e.g. the Thirty Rock example, above).

    The precursor for this trope would probably be called The Rabbit Died, which is itself a biology-fail about how the old method of pregnancy-testing worked.
  • April 30, 2012
    DracMonster
    I think just name it Pregnancy Test. The title sounds like a Fetish Fuel page -- one we definitely do not want.
  • April 30, 2012
    Antigone3
    Seconding Pregnancy Test.
  • April 30, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Thirding. And even if it didn't seem like an FF title, it could still be other things not about this trope.
  • April 30, 2012
    chicagomel
    Used on Bones in an overlap with Mistaken For Pregnant...the test was found in the garbage, and Cam was afraid it was her adopted daughter, but it was Angela's...though Angela's actual pregnancy didn't occur until later.
  • May 6, 2012
    HersheleOstropoler
    I like the name but I can live with blandification. But I do want to keep the page quote.
  • May 7, 2012
    peccantis
    Guys, "character uses home pregnancy test" is textbook People Sit On Chairs.
  • May 7, 2012
    Bisected8
    Nope.

    The outcome of the test (waiting for the result, losing the testing device, finding a discarded one and reading the result) is often a plot point. That is what this trope is about.
  • May 7, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    An episode of Ugly Betty had Betty and Hilda each use a pregnancy test, but when only one came out positive they couldn't tell whose it was... oh, and the woman who sold them the pregnancy tests came round to their house later the same day because she was their father's new girlfriend.

    Stacey from Gavin And Stacey also goes to buy one of these, but finds an old school rival working at the pharmacists. Hilarity Ensues.
  • May 7, 2012
    TrustBen
    Implied in the pilot episode of Girls, where Jessica happens to be sitting on the toilet when she tells Marnie that she's pregnant. ("Personal space" doesn't really seem much of an issue for the characters.)
  • May 7, 2012
    Rognik
    @Bisected8: In that case, I think the description needs to be expanded. So far, all it does is describe how to take a pregnancy test and THAT is People Sit On Chairs. I agree there is a trope pattern to pregnancy tests (with whole episodes revolving around a woman buying them, using them, suspecting they are pregnant or are otherwise ill) but that isn't listed at all in the description. Explain why this is, or has become a trope, and then we can add our hats to this.
  • May 7, 2012
    cygnavamp
    • An episode of Martin had Gina try to take the test. She couldn't work up enough urine, so Martin cave her a liter of Coke to chug.
  • May 7, 2012
    Stratadrake
    Agree with Rognik. PSOC outright says that a trope needs some kind of meaning why it happens. It's not something that "just" happens.
  • May 7, 2012
    Treblain
    It's definitely a trope, though, just needs more to it. Common plot points are waiting the whole episode for a positive or negative while wondering if they want a kid or not, the boyfriend or another character finding the pregnancy test, two or more tests getting mixed up, etc.
  • May 8, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    What Rognik said, especially the thing about it usually the subject of a full episode.

    Um... brainstorming...

    • It's a way of building tension and wringing drama out of a character's potential pregnancy. What is at stake if the pregnancy test doesn't give her the result she wants? Example: On Friends, Phoebe acts as a surrogate for her brother and his wife. Taking a pregnancy test is scary because if she's not pregnant this time, Frank and Alice can't afford to do the same thing again.
    • It allows for a main character to dramatically declare "I'm pregnant!" but if the test is negative then the writers don't have to follow through with a whole pregnancy storyline. Alternatively, even negative tests can lead to an episode where a character reviews her life and her goals and the pros and cons of having children in the near future or ever. Examples: Betty in Ugly Betty and Robin in How I Met Your Mother Actually, I don't know if the latter of those examples used a pregnancy test?
    • Sometimes the heroine has to jump through hoops to find out the results, which are intercepted by someone else. Examples include [[Phoebe lying and telling Rachel her pregnancy test is negative just to test how she felt about it on Friends, Turk finding out before Carla and trying to hide it from her on Scrubs.]]
    • Jokes about inappropriate pregnancy test use. See the Simpsons examples above, and on Friends when Chandler is bored and unemployed so he uses Monica's pregnancy tests.

    Does this help at all? :/
  • May 11, 2012
    DracMonster
    This could be as Super Trope for different ways that a pregnancy test is used for drama/whatever.

    I want a page about being angry with it so we can have Pissed About The Pregnancy Test.
  • May 11, 2012
    randomsurfer
    There was a series of ads for e.p.t. brand pregnancy tests some years ago which showed three different Real Life couples waiting for the results: one wanted a pregnancy and got it, the second wanted a pregnancy and didn't get it, the third (rarely seen) didn't want a preganancy and didn't get it. The fourth option was never filmed. (Here's a short article about the ads.)
  • May 11, 2012
    Stratadrake
  • May 12, 2012
    DracMonster
    Oooooh! Stratadrake wins TV Tropes! P Is For Pregnancy Test!
  • May 12, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I just want to see something other than the incredibly base slang of the current working title, a sentiment a few others have already shared.

    Put The P In Pregnancy Test could also be an option, but it's a bit long. In fact, both of my ideas are a smidge on the long side.
  • May 12, 2012
    DracMonster
    The pun is too beautiful to die! We must have it!
  • May 12, 2012
    lexicon
    What ever you call it, Pee On A Stick or P Is For Pregnancy Test, it's still just "character uses home pregnancy test." The Charmed example sounds like a Pregnancy Scare which is a ligit trope but Pregnancy Discovery doesn't work.
  • February 10, 2014
    XFllo
    Bumping.
  • February 10, 2014
    Larkmarn
    ^^ Agreed, as is it's not really a thing.

    Now, it could be with a little work (for example, the whole fact that people don't really tend to react to a stick that's been peed on being shoved in their faces) or the anxiety related to pee tests, but that's meeting it more than halfway.
  • February 10, 2014
    DAN004
  • February 11, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    One of the first scenes in The Secret Life Of The American Teenager has the main character taking one of these. A later scene has her take about a dozen just to be sure.
  • February 11, 2014
    randomsurfer
    On Seinfeld Jerry has a standup bit about buying pregnancy tests in a dollar store.

    EDIT: Or maybe it wasn't Seinfeld. I just did a site search at seinfeldscripts.com and didn't find it. It was defintely some comedian I saw on TV more than once doing the routine (like a Seinfeld rerun - but to reiterate, not him).
  • February 11, 2014
    Lakija
    I like P Is For Pregnancy Test.

    Also, to make this more a definition of a trope, I recommend saying something more, as other tropers have pointed out. Things that have been or need to be said are that:

    Depending on the genre of the work, a pregnancy test can lead to a joyous revelation or anxiety for the character in question. In a work about a new married couple or family, a child can be good news, especially if the couple had been trying for a long time. However, in more serious settings, an unexpected pregnancy, especially for a teenager, can be dreadful news.

    The actual testing serves primarily as tension in a plot. At the very least, it makes the audience, and character, anxious; after all, the results can change the life of the character, and possibly alter their relationships with others.

    When other characters find pregnancy tests, confusion, suspicion, and bewilderment may ensue, causing all sorts of assumptions to be made.
  • February 17, 2014
    robbulldog
    The Jennifer Lopez movie "The Backup Plan" adds a little more anxious waiting as the dog grabs the EPT prior to a result being displayed. When the dog finally barfs back up the broken pieces, she finds out that she is in fact expecting.
  • February 17, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    • In Scrubs Carla buys generic brand pregnancy tests instead of name brands, leading to hi-jinks when Carla discards the stick too early (the time for Name Brand) and Turk is the one to discover she is pregnant and tries to surprise her with the news.

    • In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Romance Resonance" Penny reveals that one of the items in her keepsake box about Leonard, is the pee-stick from the time she thought she might have accidentally gotten pregnant. Well, just the first pee-stick, she didn't keep all of them.

  • February 17, 2014
    randomsurfer
    In another big Bang Theory where Leonard tells the backstory as to why the elevator is out of order we see a brief flashback to what Penny was doing at that time (six years ago): sitting in her bedroom in Nebraska with her boyfriend waiting to see if she's pregnant.
  • February 17, 2014
    Quag15
    In the third season finale of Coupling ("Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"), Sally is terrified that she might be pregnant (due to having sex with a guy named Peter), so she persuades Susan (who has a medical condition which prevents her from getting pregnant) and Jane (who may have had fun with the pizza man, despite being in a relationship with James, a chaste virgin) to do the same so that she'll know what a negative result looks like. At the end of the episode, it's Susan who's pregnant, much to the surprise of Steve, her boyfriend.
  • February 17, 2014
    DAN004
    Flesh out the description plz.
  • November 19, 2014
    Pichu-kun
  • November 19, 2014
    DAN004
    • A particular meme in the internet is about random characters in fiction (most commonly anime) being photoshopped into a shot of 2 hands, one of them holding a positive pregnancy test.
  • November 19, 2014
    AgProv
    King Of Queens:
    • Carrie Heffernan is forced by circumstances to take a pregnancy test in a hotel in China. She buys it locally. Anxious husband Doug hovers and is forced to exclaim
      Which is it? Dragon or Monkey???
  • November 19, 2014
    lexicon
    Yes, please flesh out the description on how this works in fiction and then flesh out the examples. As is it all looks like People Sit On Chairs. If this was about the anxiety of waiting then it wouldn't.
  • July 11, 2015
    SaraJaye
    An episode of Roseanne is dedicated to this, with the titular character taking a test and the family agonizing for ten minutes about the possible outcome. It comes out negative.
  • July 14, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Rabbit versions:
    • In a flashback on The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura tells Rob she's pregnant by saying "the rabbit died."
    • MASH: Margaret thinks she might be pregnant after a getaway with her husband. The standard test uses a female rabbit but the only one available belongs to Radar. They talk him into using his rabbit but he demands that they not kill her - so they perform surgery to remove her ovaries in order to test them.
  • July 15, 2015
    BOFH
    Comic Books
    • Played for laughs in The Fat Slags in Viz. Sandra takes a pregnancy test and pees on the stick while she's still in the aisle at the chemists'. She makes a huge puddle of urine on the floor and says "Aw, fuck it Tray, it's gone all ower me knickers!" (she does turn out to be pregnant by the way).

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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