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: I've already destroyed this telethon [undoes Stan's bowtie] and untied your bowtie! Stan
: No! You've given me a relaxed demeanor!
It's standard protocol for men to wear either a necktie or bow tie when dressed up formally. But in many cases, the guy just can't do it. Often, if there's a female companion, she will end up doing it for him, although he will not always be happy about it. This is also sometimes used as a form of Ship Tease
due to the necessary proximity required, and may or may not result in a Necktie Leash
. Often Truth in Television
, since guys these days have the option of clip-on ties or just don't dress up often enough to get used to it, or both.
There are probably just as many aversions of this as examples, so it might get a bit long if we list all the aversions.
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Anime and Manga
- In Superman: The Wedding Album, Clark is struggling with his bowtie, and Jimmy Olsen says, "Let an expert help with that," before turning out to be Mr Mxyzptlk. (It doubles as a Mythology Gag since Silver Age Jimmy and Mxy both wore bowties all the time.)
- After getting his memory rebooted, Tony Stark discovers he can't remember how to tie a tie. His friend Jim Rhodes has to help him.
- Near the beginning of Peter Pan, Mr and Mrs Darling are dressing to go out for dinner; Mr Darling can't get his tie to work ("Not round my neck! Round the bed-post! Oh yes, twenty times have I made it up round the bed-post, but round my neck, no!") and has to get his wife to tie it for him.
"It is an astounding thing to have to tell, but this man, though he knew about stocks and shares, had no real mastery of his tie. Sometimes the thing yielded to him without a contest, but there were occasions when it would have been better for the house if he had swallowed his pride and used a made-up tie."
- A "Lighter Side of..." strip in MAD magazine had a husband complaining about how hard tying a bowtie was and his wife responding that it was no harder than tying an apron (NOTE: regardless of which is more difficult, tying an apron and tying a tie are very dissimilar techniques). He says if it's so easy then she should do it for him. She does, by turning her back and tying it with him sitting behind her.
- Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road. Oscar can't tie his tie before his dinner with Star, so his valet Rufo does it for him.
Live Action TV
- Heavy Rain: the police chief is shown struggling with a tie, as he usually wears a clip-on to avoid it being used against him by a suspect.
- One Nostalgia Critic behind-the-scenes video shows Doug Walker, being unable to tie his trademark red tie, right before shooting his crossover with James Rolfe, The Angry Video Game Nerd. He asks all the men present in the house for help, including the camera man (his brother Rob), Mike Matei and even James Rolfe himself, who tries and fails multiple times to tie the tie. In the end, James Rolfe's wife is the only one who is able to do it.
- Real Life... even with manuals on how to do it, there are men who have to take a hilarious number of attempts to get the thing right. That is the reason of the hook tie option. It happens with the other option that looks like a wrapping gift lace.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt cannot tie a bowtie. This proved a problem at the 2013 Oscars. Fortunately for him, his date — Sally Field, who played his mother in Lincoln — did know how to tie one. The result was adorable.