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Housewife is a term used to describe a married woman who stays at home to personally raise her children and take care of their needs. This is the traditional role of women at least through the children's pre-kindergarten years. "Homemaker" is a mainly American gender-neutral synonym for either spouse doing this.

She's often a stock character in [[DomCom Dom Coms]] who can generally be identified by being in the kitchen and lovingly counseling her children because she is TheHeart of the family. There will probably be reference to her doing laundry, grocery shopping, [[FeminineWomenCanCook cooking]], [[LivingInAFurnitureStore household cleaning]], chauffeuring, managing the family finances, [[TextileWorkIsFeminine sewing]], and bugging her husband for {{Jewelry}} and [[PrettyInMink a mink coat]]. Her children and husband usually appreciate what she does.

When a CloseKnitCommunity is the setting for FreeRangeChildren, she is part of why it is safe -- any child who comes to her door stands a good chance of getting support, help, a sympathetic ear, or maybe just a cookie. With a good man at her side she's far from a case of MeeknessIsWeakness.

Sometimes crosses with ExtremeDoormat, which is culturally neutral and describes someone who lets everyone 'walk all over them'.

Naturally, this is ''far'' less common in newer (ie. 1990's onward) works than in older works. However, the archetype is still used often enough that it has not yet become a DiscreditedTrope. It is also, at least, TruthInTelevision if the woman decides to be a stay at home mom.

Compare YamatoNadeshiko (a Japanese cultural ideal where a woman runs the household with a gentle expertise and touch of iron), HouseHusband (when a man takes the role of homemaker, much to the utter surprise of pretty much everyone in popular media).

'''Important Note''': Just staying at home alone does not make a character a {{Housewife}}. If her interest in staying at home doesn't include homemaking and/or children but living off her spouse's paycheck to enjoy a life of luxury, she's NOT a housewife, she's a GoldDigger.
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!!Examples:
%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* [[spoiler: Miyako Inoue]], at the DistantFinale of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', is stated to be one. She's possibly more like Izumi below, of course, given that she has her Digimon help her with the kids.
* Izumi Curtis of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', as she rather emphatically stated. She usually says that in between beating the living shit out of the (''canon'') best elite-foot-soldiers in the story, effortlessly taking down borderline immortal creatures (homunculi) that can regenerate (one of them is the size of a tank, incidentally) and invading a bar filled with multiple chimeras, trained fighters, and a homunculus just so she can chew out her student.
** Chapter 95: "When someone asks 'who' I am, I always say, 'a house-wife.' That's the polite response... But just for today, I feel like showing off a little. [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome I'M AN ALCHEMIST!]]"
* Kasumi Tendo of ''RanmaOneHalf'' after her mother's demise, despite not being married she maintains the Tendo household.
%%* Many female characters in ''Anime/{{Monster}}'', notably Mrs. Fortner.
* Delia Ketchum of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' takes care of the household while her son is off adventuring and her husband is....[[DisappearedDad somewhere unknown.]] She always reminds him to change his underwear.
%%* Jennifer "Miko" Shibuya from ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh''
%%* Mikoto Uchiha from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' is a downplayed example. Like the rest of her clan, she's also a ninja but is never seen in this capacity.
%%* Fujiwara Touko in NatsumeYuujinchou.
* During ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaViVid'', the title character finally decided to [[RetiredBadass temporarily rest her wings]] [[HeroicRROD to recover from her injuries]] and has taken up this role to raise Vivio, with Fate as [[HasTwoMommies the working wife]] [[MarriedToTheJob who is usually away from home]]. Led to a scene where newcomer Einhart mistakes her for an ordinary housewife, causing much snickering from everyone else.
* Anime/WeddingPeach: The love angels have frequent fantasies about being this for Yangiba, and their fights over it is the series' longest RunningGag
%%* Mitsy Nohara and Penny's mom from {{Crayon Shin Chan}}, both show the depressing nature of the job.
* Chi Chi from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' after she became OvershadowedByAwesome. When not cooking for her husband and sons, she's [[HenpeckedHusband scolding Goku for always leaving to save the world]] and [[EducationMama Gohan for not studying]] ([[KidHero because he too is off to save the world]]).
** Bulma's mother is also a housewife.
** Videl becomes one at the end of the series when she and Gohan are married with a 4 year old daughter, Pan.
* Hortense Cazerne in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' is a good example as she manages the household perfectly even as her husband shuttles their family constantly throughout the far reaches of the galaxy due to his work assignments. Yang Wen-li even joked that she is in fact the true master of the Cazerne household.
%%** Her Imperial counterpart, Evangeline Mittermeyer, also qualifies albeit to a lesser extent.

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[[folder: Comic Books]]

* In ''ComicBook/SunnyvilleStories'', the mothers of both protagonists, Rusty and Samantha, are housewives.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Nell [=McLaughlin=], mother of Alison Lohman's character in ''Flicka'' is the Wyoming horse ranch homemaker with all the domesticity and at least as much guts as the sitcom wives.
* The 1995 film ''Safe'' is about a housewife who developers multiple chemical sensitivity disorder.
* In ''LoveAndBasketball'', Monica's mother Camille stays at home and doesn't approve of her daughter's interest in basketball. This is a source of conflict for them, because Monica thinks of her mother as an ExtremeDoormat and Camille doesn't understand Monica.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Molly Weasley from ''Literature/HarryPotter'' is the homemaker of the family but she's also an ApronMatron. One would have to be {{badass}} to run a household with so many children and especially so when two of those children are TricksterTwins.
%%* The heroine of ''Literature/SpecialCircumstances'' is shown as this. Given the action focus of the series it's not prominently on display, but it does show some in subtle ways.
* Celie from ''TheColorPurple'' ends up early on as a housewife of an abusive Mr. [[spoiler: Albert]], taking care of kids who don't even accept her at first. [[TheWoobie Woobie]] ensued.
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Charity Carpenter]] is a stay at home mom for a total of seven kids while [[ThePaladin her husband]] is off fighting evil. However you should [[MamaBear never touch her kids.]] When the villains of one book took her oldest she suited up with a near armory in the back of her minivan and invaded the nevernever to get her daughter back.
* Jill Churchill's Jane Jeffry is a stay-at-home mom who ends up being involved in one mystery after another, much to the chagrin of her cop boyfriend.
* Some Christian groups hold to the idea of the "Proverbs 31 woman" as the ideal wife, based on [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Proverbs 31]] from ''Literature/TheBible''. Far from being a doormat, this woman is strong, wise, industrious, respectable, and fully capable of managing the affairs of the household.
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* June Cleaver on ''LeaveItToBeaver'' is the archetypal television example.
%%* Samantha Stephens from ''Series/{{Bewitched}}''.
* ''Series/BigLove'' centers around a man with ''three'' housewives, and three houses on the same block for them to keep up.
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The main cast]] of ''DesperateHousewives'' (at least originally, later on most of them hold down full time jobs leaving this as something of an ArtifactTitle).
%%* Alice Kramden from ''TheHoneymooners''
%%* Lucy Ricardo from ''ILoveLucy''
* Peggy Bundy from ''MarriedWithChildren'' (though unlike the ideal housewife, she does absolutely no housework and just spends all her time in lazy ways).
%%* Mum from ''OnTheBuses''
%%* Diane Coupland from ''Bless This House''.
* Played with in ''That70sShow'': Eric's mother Kitty acts VERY much like one, but she's actually got a job outside the house as a nurse.
** Later on when Red loses his job and she has to work full time she nearly cracks when she finds out Red and Eric still expect her to do all the cooking and cleaning anyways.
* Carol [[TheBradyBunch Brady]], supposedly. She has no job, but she did very little housework, because they had a full-time live-in housekeeper, Alice.
* Genderflipeed in ''HannahMontana'' of all places where Robbie Ray does a fair share of the home-making duties.
%%* Edith Bunker on ''AllInTheFamily''. Later on, though, she gets hired part-time at the retirement home where she's been volunteering.
* Donna Stone from ''The Donna Reed Show'' There was even an episode talking about how being a house keeper is hard work.
%%* Marion from ''HappyDays''
%%* Inverted on ''Series/DoctorWho'': When they get stuck in 1969, ''Martha'' has to get a job to support ''The Doctor''. Apparently stranded Time Lords don't work in shops.
%%* Occurs in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' with Phoebe and a magic ring, directly referencing [[Series/{{Bewitched}} Samantha]] above.
* In ''{{Smallville}}'' Martha Kent can generally be [[FeminineWomenCanCook found in the kitchen]] especially in seasons one and three and part of two when she's not working for Lionel or running the Talon.
* Amy Matthews of ''BoyMeetsWorld'' acts every bit the domestic one, doing all the cooking and cleaning, from the beginning usually letting us forget about her real-estate career in the first season.
* ''SeventhHeaven'''s Annie Camden studied everything from art to business and economics for the express purpose of running a household.
* {{Roseanne}} threw this image out the window and replaced it with something much closer to reality. They even lampshaded the differences on a clip show hosted by Roseanne and a committee of TV moms who had come to "set her straight."
** Though Roseanne often ''[[InformedAbility described]]'' herself as a housewife, and did do the majority of the actual house''work'', she was never a stay-at-home mom. In fact, she worked more consistently than her nominal "breadwinner" husband.
%%* Jean Weir from ''FreaksAndGeeks''.
%%* Debra Barone from ''EverybodyLovesRaymond''.
* This is actually the exception rather than the rule on ''Series/TheRealHousewives''; most of the Real Housewives are not real housewives. In fact, Atlanta's Porsha got some flak from the rest of the cast about the fact that she didn't work, as did Miami's Lisa.

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Every family-oriented comic strip is covered by this trope, although some housewives eventually found jobs outside of the house.
** ''{{Blondie}}'': She was an archetypical example, doing all the cooking and cleaning, until she got her own catering business.
%%** ''HiAndLois'': Lois eventually became a real estate agent, with many jokes revolving around her profession.
** ''CalvinAndHobbes'': The mother gave up her career to raise Calvin. She sometimes wonders if she made the right choice.
%%** ''FoxTrot'': Andy has a part-time job as a newspaper columnist, but she's mainly a housewife.
** ''ComicStrip/BabyBlues'': Wanda even cried when they asked her to go back to work in one of the early strips. In today's strips, she still has mixed feelings about it, and in the AnimatedAdaptation final episode, she wanted to go back to work, only to [[spoiler: change her mind again and go back to taking care of Zoe, leaving the Nap Nook business to Melinda.]]

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* The [[LivingDollCollector Melissidae bloodline]] from ''VampiretheRequiem'' sometimes invoke this role to hide their undead activities under a facade of being a loving wife living in a small house with a white picket fence caring for her nuclear family. [[spoiler: Said housewives usually being absolutely inhumanly insane. Also due in part of their loving "families" actually being made up of kidnapped strangers who were tortured, brainwashed and subjugated to the Melissidae's screaming hive mind to the point where they lost their sentience and began acting as mindless drones to their new queen, living and dying to her whims]]. Yikes!
* The very dark ''{{KULT}}'' once suggested this as a playable character -- looks straight, but spends her time reading old tomes about how to summon {{eldritch abomination}}s.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Mistel from ''YggdraUnion'' always claims to be one, but although she does all the housework for her grandfather, she's not actually married -- her fiance ran off on her before the start of the game. She's very proud of her domestic skills, and they do not stop her from [[{{Badass}} kicking massive amounts of enemy ass]].
* An odd example: In the "Milkman Conspiracy" level of ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'' there are a number of G-men who "disguise" themselves as normal people by carrying an item specific to their supposed profession. One house contains three G-men brandishing rolling pins and talking disjointedly about pies and their neglectful husbands, apparently pretending to be housewives.
* Barbara Johnson a.k.a. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Housewife]] (pictured above), one of the playable characters from ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 2}}: Multiplayer''. She is described as "a dutiful housewife and an attentive mother" but with "[[StepfordSmiler a familiar and nagging sense that there must be something more]]," since ''Bioshock'' is a an [[ActionGame Action]] and SurvivalHorror Game [[FromBadToWorse things don't get any better for her]]. Once she's chosen to be a [[TestedOnHumans product tester]] by a company called [[MegaCorp Sinclair Solutions]] she grabs her [[ImprobableWeaponUser frying pan]] and starts rampaging on the battlefield. As she get more and more addicted to [[PsychoSerum ADAM]] she loses her grip on reality and start hallucinating that the warzone is her household and that the [[CreepyChild Little Sister]] is her daughter. In the end she acts in ways no typical housewife would.
* Linda Smith is a housewife and mother living in Andale in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. The twist? They are a perfectly normal looking family... living in a nuclear wasteland. Also: [[spoiler: an inbred [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]]]].
* ''VideoGame/FateExtra'': Playable Caster (aka [[spoiler:Tamamo-no-Mae]]) of She has [[DoubleEntendre a dirty mouth]] and can be [[BeneathTheMask scary at times]], but she still carries herself in this manner and her desire to be a good wife is as genuine as it gets.

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

%%* Hala River from ''IrregularElis'' is a good example, but a bit special.
%%* Most likely Nanase's mother, from ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'',
** Fuchsia's [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2009-11-05 transformation]]
** [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-07-01 One option offered Monique.]]

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble from ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'', doingthe cooking, cleaning, taking care of the children and their husbands, but averted in the 1980s series ''The Flintstone Comedy Show'', where Wilma and Betty work as newspaper reporters for the ''Daily Granite''. Also in the 1993 TV-movies where they start their own catering business.
%%* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Marge Simpson. She had done a few things like repair work, selling pretzels, being a cop, and other stuff.
%%* [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons Jane Jetson]] (although, she mostly presses buttons all day long to clean the house).
%%* [[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy Lois Griffin]], though she does teach piano from home.
%%** As well as the handful of [[StatusQuoIsGod one-episode]] careers she has had.
%%* [[WesternAnimation/AmericanDad Francine Smith]].
* Diane "Didi" Kropotkin Kerpackter-Pickles from ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', after she quits her part-time schoolteacher position from the earlier seasons.
%%* Mom from ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' and ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''
* Mrs. Turner (or "Timmy Turner's Mom") from ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', although in the earlier seasons she was portrayed as a real estate agent. And even as a spy.
** Whether she has a job outside the house, or even ''would like to'' work outside the house, is DependingOnTheWriter.
* ''WesternAnimation/MotherUp'': Several characters implicitly have this role, but Sarah is the one who most strongly fits the "traditional homemaker whose life revolves around her husband and child."

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