Created By: Binarystep on August 11, 2013 Last Edited By: oneuglybunny on August 12, 2017

Men Don't Change Diapers

In Hollywood, men are completety incapable of changing their childrens' diapers.

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Trope
Earl: "I am not changing any more diapers!"
Fran: "Neither am I."
Baby: "This could get ugly."
Earl: "This is female's work, that's why I married a female!"
Dinosaurs, episode, "Nature Calls"

Changing diapers is no fun. Everyone knows that. But in movies, men seem to REALLY hate doing it. It seems to Squick them out to the point that they may even feel ill thinking about the subject. Typically appears in comedies.

Subtrope of Bumbling Dad, Men Can't Keep House.

Related to Men Are Tough, Parenting the Husband.


Examples

Comic Strips
  • Averted in Baby Blues, as Darryl has repeatedly changed the diapers of all three of his and Wanda's children repeatedly. One Story Arc even has him doing this at the diaper table in a shopping mall bathroom, with the other characters being surprised at him for doing so.

Film
  • Inverted in Christmas in Connecticut. Elizabeth, a single career woman, is helpless with babies, which is a problem because plot contrivances have forced her to impersonate a Housewife. Luckily, her house guest Jefferson had nieces and nephews and is a champ at diaper changing.
  • In Daddy Day Care Phil doesn't have any idea how to change his son's (who should be potty-trained at that age) diaper.
  • When the infant from Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age starts crying nonstop, his companions, all male animals, deduce that his "baby-thingie" is full. Sid the sloth is charged with changing it, since returning Bonebag to his father at Glacier Pass was his idea. It turns out the diaper was clean; the kid was actually hungry. The whole scene was Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Michael Keaton's character is like this near the beginning of Mr. Mom after he is fired and his wife finds a good job before he does. He slowly becomes more comfortable with his role as a stay-at-home dad.
  • Aversion: In the original The Parent Trap the father mentions that he used to change the girls' diapers. He expresses no disgust for it, seeing it as a bonding experience and a badge of honor for a father. And this would've been during the early fifties!

Literature
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg's dad despises changing Manny's diapers, but appears to be in charge of the job.
  • Averted in Loser. Zinkoff's father is said to be good about changing diapers, but he has no stomach for vomit. This is quite a problem for dealing with his son, as Zinkoff was born with a faulty stomach pump and thus frequently vomits.

Live-Action TV
  • Averted by patriarch Archie Bunker from All in the Family when he had sole charge of his grandson Joey in one episode. Deducing that Joey needed a change, Archie undertook the task, talking himself through the procedure. Archie's work was competent, though there was the laughable part of dropping the used diaper in a wastecan, then adding ornamental flowers blooms downward as a makeshift deodorizer.
  • Discussed in CSI NY when Danny and Lindsay ask Mac to be Lucy's godfather.
    Danny: Godfather, you know that's the code word for diaper changer.
  • In the very first episode of Full House, Joey and Uncle Jesse have no clue how to change baby Michelle's diaper. They go to such ridiculous lengths as using the sink to clean her off and wrapping her in paper towels before Stephanie shows them where the diapers are (They didn't ask).
  • Averted by Kelso in That '70s Show, in one episode he and the woman carrying his child are at a parenting class and she was rather inept at changing the dummy baby's diaper, but Kelso had experience changing his little brothers.
  • Yes, Dear:
    • At the beginning of the episode, "Weaning Isn't Everything", when Kim asks Greg to change Sammy's diaper, Greg volunteers, but then starts asking Kim lots of questions on how to do it. This gets Kim to change her mind. As soon as she's out of the room, it is revealed that Greg was following Jimmy's advice on how to get Kim to do things for him so he can relax.
    • In the episode, "Who's On First?", we get this conversation between Greg and Kim when they decide to start potty-training Sammy:
    Greg: "Let's do it, let's start potty training him. I don't want him to get a late start. Besides, I hate changing those diapers anyway."
    Kim: "Please. When was the last time you changed a diaper?"
    Greg: "I do more than my fair share around here."
    Kim: "You do the bare minimum to keep from getting yelled at."
    Greg: "I think we're saying the same thing."

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • In the Adventures in Odyssey video series, Eugene freaks out at the prospect of having to change a dirty diaper. Connie winds up doing it instead.
  • The public domain cartoon "All's Well" from 1941 by Fleischer Studios has Gabby encounter a crying baby and attempt to diaper it. The Fool ends up diapering himself.
  • Played with in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Baby Puss" from 1943, which has alley cat Butch change Tom's diaper as part of a Humiliation Conga. Butch seems to know the mechanics of diaper changing, though Doctor Spock might take issue with Butch's use of "sedatives" (a club to the head) and jabbing the safety pin bone deep in Tom's butt.
  • Played with in the Merrie Melodies cartoon "A Mouse Divided", wherein a drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to Sylvester's wife. Sylvester runs the drill like a pro, though he uses black pepper instead of talcum powder, olive oil in place of baby oil, and romaine lettuce instead of a diaper. Placing the baby between two slices of bread, however, almost crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Inverted in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Baby Cakes." Carrot Cake is very adept at changing his foals' diapers, even though he has to use his mouth since he's an Earth pony.
  • The Simpsons: In "Make Room for Lisa" as Marge is talking to Lisa about her tummyache, Homer carries in baby Maggie.
    Homer: [singsong falsetto] Somebody wants Mommy to change baby's diaper.
    Marge: Is that somebody you, Homer?
    Homer: [nodding Maggie's head] Yes it is.
    • In The War of the Simpsons, when Homer and Marge are at a marriage retreat at Catfish Lake, one of the many flaws about Homer that Marge tells the group is that he never changes Maggie.

Real Life
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • August 11, 2013
    Chabal2
    Over on Paedo Hunt it's mentioned that some fathers refuse to change their own babies for this reason, as it involves a man being within thirty feet of a naked baby. Cue Torches And Pitchforks.
  • August 27, 2013
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Here's the quote I have for this article:

    Earl: "I am not changing any more diapers!"
    Fran: "Neither am I."
    Baby: "This could get ugly."
    Earl: "This is female's work, that's why I married a female!"
    --Dinosaurs, episode, "Nature Calls"

    As well as an example from where it orignated:

    • Fran Sinclair from Dinosaurs has changed every diaper in the house for the past 15 years, and in the episode, "Nature Calls", she gets Earl to change Baby's diaper for the first time. Earl finds the experience horrible and says it's female's work and the very reason why he married Fran.
  • August 27, 2013
    Lemadman
    • In Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Greg's dad despises changing Manny's diapers, but appears to be in charge of the job..
  • August 27, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • In Daddy Day Care Phil doesn't have any idea how to change his son's (who should be potty-trained at that age) diaper.
    • Averted by Kelso in That Seventies Show, in one episode he and the woman carrying his child are at a parenting class and she was rather inept at changing the dummy baby's diaper, but Kelso had experience changing his little brothers.
  • August 27, 2013
    chicagomel
    Discussed in CSI NY when Danny and Lindsay ask Mac to be Lucy's godfather.
    Danny: Godfather,you know that's the code word for diaper changer.

    Er, it may count, not sure.
  • December 24, 2014
    BinaryStep
    Wow, I forgot this existed.
  • December 24, 2014
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
  • December 24, 2014
    sgamer82
    • In the very first episode of Full House, Joey and Uncle Jesse have no clue how to change baby Michelle's diaper. They go to such ridiculous lengths as using the sink to clean her off and wrapping her in paper towels before Stephanie shows them where the diapers are (They didn't ask).
  • December 25, 2014
    gallium
    Film

    • Inverted in Christmas In Connecticut. Elizabeth, a single career woman, is helpless with babies, which is a problem because plot contrivances have forced her to impersonate a Housewife. Luckily, her house guest Jefferson had nieces and nephews and is a champ at diaper changing.
  • December 28, 2014
    KingZeal
    Subtrope of Men Are Tough.
  • December 28, 2014
    Antigone3
    I can't count the number of public places I've been in that have a diaper changing table in the womens' restroom but not in the mens'. (Though this is starting to change.)
  • December 28, 2014
    TokoWH
  • December 31, 2014
    randomsurfer
    The Simpsons: In "Make Room for Lisa" as Marge is talking to Lisa about her tummyache, Homer carries in baby Maggie.
    Homer: [singsong falsetto] Somebody wants Mommy to change baby's diaper.
    Marge: Is that somebody you, Homer?
    Homer: [nodding Maggie's head] Yes it is.
  • December 31, 2014
    Tuckerscreator
    • Averted in Loser. Zinkoff's father is said to be good about changing diapers, but he has no stomach for vomit. This is quite a problem for dealing with his son, as Zinkoff was born with a faulty stomach pump and thus frequently vomits.
  • January 4, 2015
    Twentington
    • Averted in Baby Blues, as Darryl has repeatedly changed the diapers of all three of his and Wanda's children repeatedly. One Story Arc even has him doing this at the diaper table in a shopping mall bathroom, with the other characters being surprised at him for doing so.
  • January 23, 2015
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Live Action TV
    • Yes Dear:
      • At the beginning of the episode, "Weaning Isn't Everything", when Kim asks Greg to change Sammy's diaper, Greg volunteers, but then starts asking Kim lots of questions on how to do it. This gets Kim to change her mind. As soon as she's out of the room, it is revealed that Greg was following Jimmy's advice on how to get Kim to do things for him so he can relax.
      • In the episode, "Who's On First?", we get this conversation between Greg and Kim when they decide to start potty-training Sammy:
      Greg: "Let's do it, let's start potty training him. I don't want him to get a late start. Besides, I hate changing those diapers anyway."
      Kim: "Please. When was the last time you changed a diaper?"
      Greg: "I do more than my fair share around here."
      Kim: "You do the bare minimum to keep from getting yelled at."
      Greg: "I think we're saying the same thing."
  • January 31, 2015
    randomsurfer
    • Family Guy: In "Breaking Out is Hard to Do" when Lois is in prison, Stewie's diaper looks like it hasn't been changed in about a month.
      Peter... Peter... there's, there's so much doodie in here... I can't take it anymore. I haven't eaten in four days, 'cause I, 'cause I just can't fit anymore in there. Help me!
    • In another Simpsons "Marge In Chains" while Marge is in prison Homer plans for baby Maggie to go commando note  in the yard and let nature take its course.
  • January 31, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The public domain cartoon "All's Well" from 1941 by Fleischer Studios has Gabby encounter a crying baby and attempt to diaper it. The Fool ends up diapering himself.

    Live Action TV
    • Averted by patriarch Archie Bunker from All In The Family when he had sole charge of his grandson Stanley in one episode. Deducing that Stanley needed a change, Archie undertook the task, talking himself through the procedure. Archie's work was competent, though there was the laughable part of dropping the used diaper in a wastecan, then adding ornamental flowers blooms downward as a makeshift deodorizer.
  • February 1, 2015
    JoeG
    • Michael Keaton's character is like this near the beginning of Mr Mom after he is fired and his wife finds a good job before he does. He slowly becomes more comfortable with his role as a stay-at-home dad.
  • February 1, 2015
    randomsurfer
    ^^Wan't his grandson Joey?
  • February 1, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    ^ I remember a fervent discussion about the grandson-to-be's name between Archie and Mike. Mike wanted Stanilaus, which Archie abhored. Mike argued that other kids would call him Stanley or Stan; Archie, a pure New Yorker, insisted he'd be called Louse.
  • February 1, 2015
    Statzkeen
    "Subtrope of Men Are Tough. Related to Men Can't Keep House,"

    Strongly disagree - subtrope of Men Cant Keep House (to the point where this trope may be unnecessary, simply add these as examples under that one) and related to Men Are Tough.
  • February 2, 2015
    randomsurfer
    ^^Mike was going to name his son after the two grandfathers - Archibald and Stanislaus - with Stanislaus coming first. Archie questioned why his name should be second and Mike said that if it was Archibald Stanislaus Stivic then his initals would be ASS. Joseph was a comprimise.

    Also, see his page on the other wiki.
  • February 6, 2015
    BinaryStep
    Launching tonight if no one objects.
  • February 6, 2015
    DAN004
    ^ Your hats object with you, they say that they need 4 more of their friends.
  • February 6, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Played with in the Tom And Jerry cartoon "Baby Puss" from 1943, which has alley cat Butch change Tom's diaper as part of a Humiliation Conga. Butch seems to know the mechanics of diaper changing, though Doctor Spock might take issue with Butch's use of "sedatives" (a club to the head) and jabbing the safety pin bone deep in Tom's butt.

    • Played with in the Merrie Melodies cartoon "A Mouse Divided", wherein a drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to Sylvester's wife. Sylvester runs the drill like a pro, though he uses black pepper instead of talcum powder, olive oil in place of baby oil, and romaine lettuce instead of a diaper. Placing the baby between two slices of bread, however, almost crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • February 9, 2015
    Rainbow
    • Inverted in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Baby Cakes." Carrot Cake is very adept at changing his foals' diapers, even though he has to use his mouth since he's an Earth pony.
  • February 9, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • When the infant Bonebag from Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age starts crying nonstop, his companions, all male animals, deduce that his "baby-thingie" is full. Sid the sloth is charged with changing it, since returning Bonebag to his father at Glacier Pass was his idea. It turns out the diaper was clean; the kid was actually hungry. The whole scene was Played For Laughs, of course.
  • March 13, 2015
    LikeSnowyNights
    It Should be a subtrope of Bumbling Dad as well.
  • July 19, 2015
    HeroGal2347
    In the Adventures In Odyssey video series, Eugene freaks out at the prospect of having to change a dirty diaper. Connie winds up doing it instead.
  • July 20, 2015
    NateTheGreat
    In the original The Parent Trap the father mentions that he used to change the girls' diapers. He expresses no disgust for it, seeing it as a bonding experience and a badge of honor for a father. And this would've been during the early fifties!
  • December 31, 2015
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
    • Another The Simpsons example:
      • In The War of the Simpsons, when Homer and Marge are at a marriage retreat at Catfish Lake, one of the many flaws about Homer that Marge tells the group is that he never changes Maggie.
  • January 1, 2016
    eroock
    Has serious overlap with The Diaper Change.
  • January 1, 2016
    oneuglybunny
    ^ Agreed, this principle is covered by The Diaper Change. Motion to fold these examples into the Master Trope, and discard this splintered duplicate.
  • February 26, 2016
    BinaryStep
    ^The Diaper Change is way more broad than this, and seems to just be "anyone changing a diaper at all". This is a specific variant.
  • February 12, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Live Action TV
    • Another Yes Dear example involving Greg: In a flashback in the episode, "One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, Blue Fish", Greg refuses to change Sammy's diaper for Kim, claiming he is exhausted from working all day. It doesn't work when Kim tells him that she's tired from taking care of Sammy, cleaning the house, and making dinner, and needs Greg to change Sammy's diaper while she does the laundry. Greg makes the mistake of telling Kim that changing Sammy's diaper is her job.
  • August 12, 2017
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
    • Zig-zagged in the Sonic Boom episode, "Three Men and My Baby!"; Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles accidentally injure Lady Walrus, and volunteer to babysit her infant son, Chumley, until she's healed. When it comes time to change Chumley's diaper, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles try to talk Amy into doing it for them, but she outright refuses, and insists they do it themselves. They all do so themselves, dressed in space suits.
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