Created By: LukeTheNukeJuly 2, 2011

It's "Miss"

When a man and woman meet, he calls her "Missus" and she corrects him with "Miss."

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Trope
Unlike other tropes having to do with forms of address, this trope is always used to foreshadow romance between the man and the woman. It's a way for the woman to let the man know she's single, or at least unmarried.

It's a simple exchange but is almost the same in all the works it appears in.

The only occurrence I can think of off the top of my head is one in Drillbit Taylor.
Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • July 2, 2011
    Generality
    It also happens with older women who are assumed to be married but aren't. And it happens just the other way, where a woman is assumed to be single and corrects the speaker to prevent any unwanted advances.
  • July 2, 2011
    69BookWorM69
    ^Oh yes. I seem to recall a recent Geraldine Mc Ewan as Miss Marple had one of these. Can't recall which one, though.
  • July 2, 2011
    Leaper
    Could this be an umbrella trope that covers all incidences of correcting to "Miss," "Mrs.," and "Ms."? (Unless we have any of those already, but if we did, I'd have thought they'd be mentioned in the writeup.)
  • July 2, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    All of the examples I cant think of were solely for the purpose of setting up romance when the two characters first meet.
  • July 2, 2011
    PaulA
    Another non-romantic older woman example occurs in Wyrd Sisters: Somebody at a party addresses Granny Weatherwax as "Missus", and she corrects him sharply.
  • July 2, 2011
    PaulA
    ^^ You say "all the examples I can think of", but you haven't given any examples.
  • July 3, 2011
    TonyG
    See also Maam Shock.
  • July 3, 2011
    suedenim
    And the very existence of "Ms." is all about women wanting an honorific that doesn't say anything one way or the other about marital status.

    As for this proposed trope, there's a... subversion, I guess? In Die Hard, Holly (who goes by her maiden name at work) pointedly introduces herself as "Miss Gennarro," but here it's to protect her husband by not revealing any connection to him.
  • July 3, 2011
    Aielyn
    How about Honorific Correction? It can then cover not just the Mrs/Miss/Ms trio, but also Dr/<any of the others> ("Hello, Mr X." - "That's Doctor X!").
  • July 3, 2011
    PaulA
    ^ The general Honorific Correction trope is They Call Me Mister Tibbs.
  • July 3, 2011
    LukeTheNuke
    Eh, you're right Paula. I just meant the vague impression I got from having seen this trope before. I just remember this trope's occurrence being very specific.
  • July 3, 2011
    Aielyn
    They Call Me Mister Tibbs is different. It's about use of the honorific vs the choice not to use it. They're definitely related tropes, but this trope is where the wrong honorific is used, whereas that one is whether an honorific is used at all.

    Let me use the They Call Me Mister Tibbs image as an example. In that trope, it goes "Look here, A, I know nothin'... now get oooo!", to which the other character goes "It's Mr A!". In this trope, it would be like this: "Look here, Mr A, I know nothin'... now get oooo!", and the other character says "that's Dr A".
  • July 3, 2011
    SKJAM
    Old Joke:

    "I have good news, Mrs. Jones."

    "That's Miss Jones, Doctor."

    "Oh. Then I have bad news, Miss Jones."

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