In the traditional wedding vows, the bride vows to "love, honor and obey" her lawfully wedded husband. It says something when the word "obey" is deliberately omitted, or the bride objects to its inclusion. If a couple is allowed to write their own wedding vows which don't follow the traditional style, this trope can be averted completely. Film
- In the movie Amelia, George Putnam proposes to Amelia Earhart and she at first tells him that she's not the marrying sort. She changes her mind but when the preacher gets to the obey part she says to skip that and the she's already talked about it with the groom.
- In the Little House on the Prairie series, when Almanzo and Laura are discussing their wedding, she specifically says she won't make the obedience vow. Almanzo's fine with that and anyway the preacher marrying them categorically refuses to administer it for any wedding he performs.
- In Pegasus In Space, when Sascha marries Tirla, Tirla agrees to "honor" her husband, but emphatically refuses to have the words "obey" anywhere in the vows.
- In Dorothy L. Sayers' "Busman's Honeymoon", Lord Peter and Harriet discuss the matter. Peter says that it would be a breach of manners to give his wife orders; Harriet replies that if the house were on fire or something, he'd give orders pretty quick; he responds that she might too under those circumstances, so perhaps he should promise to obey. They decide that this would create too much controversy, so they decide that she will promise to obey, but he would 'endow' her with his worldly goods, not 'share' them with her.
- In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Sacrifices" Teal'c's son Rya'c has fallen in love with one of the Hak'tyl girls, Kar'yn. Jaffa society is typically "men tough, women meek" (it's the fault of their Goa'uld masters), but the Hak'tyl are members of the Jaffa Rebellion and do not believe in this. During the wedding rehearsal Kar'yn and Rya'c get into a shouting match over a section of the ceremony that stipulates that she must kneel before him. They both end up storming off, and Bra'tac, officiating, remarks:
"I can see why one must rehearse these events."
- In the Firefly episode "War Stories" a sideplot is that Wash is angry that his wife Zoe is more inclined to agree with Mal, her captain and former sergeant, than with him. (Bear in mind, the following exchange takes place after Mal and Wash have been kidnapped by Adelai Niska's thugs.)
Wash: I'm the one she swore to love, honor and obey.Mal: Wait, she swore to obey?Wash: Well, no, but... But that's just the thing, she obeys you! There's obeying going on under my nose!
- In "An Old-Fashioned Wedding" from Annie Get Your Gun, Annie sings that she wants to get married her way and agree to "love and honor, yes, but not obey!"
- Abie's Irish Rose, after My Own Private "I Do":
Abie: Oh, that reminds me, why did you refuse to say "I do" to the obey me?Rose Mary (with a slight brogue, smiling): Shure—I'm that Irish!
- In one of the later Dream Sequences in Dream Girl, where Georgina and Clark elope, they simultaneously object when the Justice of the Peace reaches the word "obey." The minister insists on its inclusion: "It's part o' the ceremony. Folks ain't expected to take it seriously."
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