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Convenient Miscarriage

In television, pregnancies are likelier to end in a recognized miscarriage than they do in real life. What's a female character to do when she discovers she is pregnant? It would not be too controversial for television writers to suggest an abortion, but it would be if she were actually to have one, since Good Girls Avoid Abortion. In the end, she'll make her mind up to have the baby, if it's not what she decided ought to happen in the first place.

But it won't happen, because the plot of an ongoing series would change too much if her character had to be rewritten to include raising an infant (to say nothing of creating a new character from scratch and finding suitable child actors for it, and remember that this is a completely irrevocable change). So the writers employ the Reset Button by having her miscarry, often by falling down a flight of stairs. This trope is limited to serial works, where reverting to a status quo is more important than advancing a plot. Therefore, miscarriages are less common in non-serial works, and even when they do happen it's not a Reset Button. A common variation is for a character (usually a main character's girlfriend) to say that they've miscarried, only for The Reveal to come later that the baby was born, perfectly fine. Whether or not this gets picked up again depends on how tied the writers are to the status quo. More severe critics cite the trope as a cheap source of drama for female characters, whose most important dilemmas always end up as highlighting their femininity.

Keep in mind that this may be Truth in Television; about 15% of known pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Some studies, which use the most sophisticated and sensitive tests for pregnancy to detect it almost immediately, long before most commercial tests or the woman is likely to realize she's pregnant, indicate that 70 to 80% of successful fertilized eggs will miscarry or fail to implant on the uterine wall in the first place. Sometimes the woman also wanted an abortion — but in most cases, the woman didn't even know she was pregnant; the fertilized egg simply fails to implant (or disintegrates upon implantation) and she either has a perfectly normal period or one that is slightly late and slightly heavier than normal.

However, if a woman wants to have a child, this trope probably doesn't exist to them. If they do have a miscarriage, it's usually a Double Subversion of the Law of Inverse Fertility.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • Berserk offers a non-Reset Button variant. Casca became pregnant at the beginning of the Griffith rescue arc but the knowledge of it only came up after the Eclipse happened, where Casca was brutally raped to insanity, and the trauma of it caused her to miscarry the fetus. However, since it was tainted with evil the fetus - often referred to as the Child - survived the miscarriage and continued to be a presence in the story. This also happens to be mixed with Plot Armor, as several women throughout the story have been brutally raped by demons and monsters and impregnated as a result but none were as lucky as Casca to be given the "luxury" of miscarrying said fetus before it came to term...
  • Sae - the malicious frienemy of the leading female in highschool drama Peach Girl, falls pregnant only after she conveniently gets attacked. It turns out her pregnancy was a phantom one.

     Comic Books  
  • The Batman comic Batman: Son of the Demon uses the variation. Batman joins up with his Well-Intentioned Extremist enemy Ra's al Ghul, marries his daughter, Talia, and gets her pregnant. Talia decides that to defend her and the baby would hold Batman back from his mission, and fakes the miscarriage; the last we see is their son, in an orphanage, holding the necklace Bruce gave to Talia. This story was retroactively declared an Elseworld and then retconned right back to being canon years later, when Talia presented Bruce with his son Damian, now 10 years old.
  • In a recent arc of Captain America, the title character's sometimes-girlfriend Agent Sharon Carter of S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered that she was pregnant. She was then taken captive by Red Skull and, after a fight, was found stabbed in the abdomen. The next issue revealed that she had done it to herself to keep her baby away from the Skull. No one blames her. (It's hinted that Red Skull was going to use her baby as his new body.)
  • Nocturne from Exiles who not only lost her child between issues but did any grieving there as well. One issue the father is put into a coma while punching out Galacticus and has to be left behind when the Exiles move on. The next issue someone asks her about why she's not showing yet and she informs them that she 'lost it 5 worlds ago and She's glad because what sort of crappy situation is this to bring a child into?'. The baby isn't mentioned again until the father comes out of his coma and the second thing Nocturne says to him is 'I lost the baby' (the first is "You're Alive!" In between, it was strongly implied that she had actually either gotten an abortion, or used her powers to perform the abortion herself.
  • One of the oddest occurred in Robotech: Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles. Mainly used to bridge plot points between the end of the TV series and the upcoming movie, several characters had rather sudden changes worked upon them, were killed off, etc. Perhaps the most Anvilicious was Admiral Lisa Hunter from the original Macross segment of Robotech. Due to a space battle in which she is commanding one of the ships involved (while pregnant!), she loses her baby and later steps down from military command. This is rather confusing because Admiral Rick Hunter, her husband, only shows up in one brief shot, and Lisa herself not at all. Even more confusing, there had been no canonical evidence that she was pregnant before that sequence.
    • That said, the PTTSC miniseries did tend to incorporate elements of the now dubiously canon Robotech novels (as a nod to older fans), which had Rick and Lisa have a son later on. Max and Miria's psychic Messianic Archetype daughter Aurora was retconned into their hotshot ace pilot daughter Maia, so the details are not always important...
      • It picks up where the comic book version of Sentinels left off (with Kyle being killed and Minmay kidnapped)) and the main reason for the miscarriage seems to have been to shock Rick into having white hair, to distance his design from that of Hikaru's which due to the current status of the court ruling on the Macross IP, Harmony Gold can not use in derivative animation.
  • Mary Jane in the Spider-Man comics, as part of Marvel's constant effort to keep Spidey young. It was revealed that the baby had actually been born healthy and spirited away, but we never saw any more of this plot, except in the MC2 Alternate Continuity, where said baby eventually became Spider-Girl.
    • One More Day upped the ante when Mephisto revealed to the couple the wonderful daughter they WOULD have had if they hadn't made their deal with him. Boy, it's like Spider-Man and everyone close to him aren't allowed to catch a break.
    • Mary Jane's pregnancy was originally supposed to tie in to The Clone Saga. At the time, Peter was going to be revealed as a clone and not the real Peter. Since Peter wasn't the real Peter anymore, this allowed the writers to get around the problem of a baby making Peter too old, but later Marvel changed their minds about Peter being the clone because the fans complained about it. If there had been no complaints, Pete and MJ would have had their baby and been Put on a Bus, and all storylines afterwards wouldn't have included them at all. And yes, folks, that means it's our fault One More Day happened.
  • In Love And Rockets, Hopey has a Convenient Miscarriage after accidentally getting pregnant through a drunken three-way. The actual description of it is her narration, though, so it's just possible that it wasn't a miscarriage.
  • Subverted in Cerebus the Aardvark. Jaka, Cerebus' love interest, reunites with him after a long separation, only to tell him that she is now married and expecting a child. Cerebus is angry, but eventually relents and gives her some money for the baby. When he next sees her, her pregnancy is seemingly handwaved away with a single line about a miscarriage. It looks like Jaka has fallen victim to this trope...until the end of the story arc, where we learn that Jaka did not miscarry, she had an abortion behind her husband's back. This leads to the end of her marriage, and to her eventually getting back together with Cerebus. In the world Cerebus takes place in, abortion is very, very illegal, and while Jaka's husband did want to have a child, her main motivation for lying to him was to protect him from criminal liability if she was found out.
  • A disturbing example occurs with Erishad, a minor character in Lucifer; an immortal who appears to be a young woman is going to some pretty extreme lengths to end her immortality and thus her life. When one of the other minor characters asks her why immortality is so terrible, she explains: every morning her body is reset to one day of her mortal life, so she has had the same miscarriage every day for four thousand years.
  • Edie in The Invisibles carries the roaring twenties on by herself until 1933, when she's surprised by the consequences of her colorful sex life bouncing down the stairs of Fortnum & Mason.
  • Incredible Hulk: Betty Banner got hit with this one due to Executive Meddling; writer Peter David had the story of the birth already plotted out, but editorial vetoed the Hulk having kids. He refused to write the miscarriage himself, and a fill-in author had to do the job instead.
  • A variant in the Season 9 comics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy discovers she's pregnant. She considers the possibility of raising a child as a slayer, and ultimately decides on having an abortion. But, before she can go through with it, it's revealed that Buffy had her mind transplanted into a robot's body, and she was never actually pregnant in the first place.

     Fanfiction  
  • This happens quite a lot in fanfiction - a character gets pregnant for drama purposes, often with the wrong person from rape. They get to go through all the trauma of being pregnant for a little while. Then the writer, having decided they don't want to have the character have a baby (they don't want to take away the character's freedom, or they don't want to write for a baby), gives them a miscarriage for even more drama.
  • The spiritual predecessor of Nobody Dies, Walking In The Shadow Of Dreams, had Canon!Rei deciding that she wants babies (due to ND!Rei's interference) and targets Kensuke as the father. After putting her superhuman stamina to good use, she finally scores...then one day in the first trimester, she suddenly starts menstruating with very painful contractions. Turns out Ritsuko underestimated the chance of the instability of her genetic structure causing an immune reaction - in other words, she miscarried because the father is a human and she's not. It left her permanently traumatized. This contradicts canon which makes a subtle hint that Canon!Rei's sterile.
    • It is unknown (at least so far) if the rewrite of this fic will take this angle or move in a different direction; the setup has been incorporated.
  • In How I Became Yours 15 year old Katara's baby with Zuko is a stillbirth because of a poisoned fruit delivered by Mai. It's supposed to be a Moral Event Horizon for Mai and a dramatic moment for Katara, but it falls flat because Mai had a pretty good reason to do it (mainly, political fallout from having a bastard heir) even if it wasn't a nice one and the fact that all it does for Katara is provide cheap Wangst.
  • Twice this happened to Deanna Patterson in The New Retcons. The first was a result of But We Used a Condom, the second was very much wanted. Both might have happened because Millborough, the main characters' home town, was built on top of a nuclear dump site, which has left adverse effects on its citizens, including birth defects and miscarriages.
  • Played with in Gensokyo 20 XX, in Ran's case, in that she gives birth in litters and tends to lose some, as well as the fact that technically what she's having are miscarriages, being stillbirths. Of course, if looked at from a certain perspective, these could be caused by outside sources in that their circumstances, at the time, were not necessarily environmentally/ circumstantially permissive to pregnancy or it could be that her body might not be made for carrying a large litter, possibly justifying this trope. Nevertheless, she gets grief over it.
    • On the other hand, in the Gensokyo Diaries tie in, with Sakuya, who pursued a romance and ends up unknowingly pregnant but miscarries, finding out she's pregnant only after going to the doctor over the symptoms there of.

    Film 
  • In Fools Rush In, Salma Hayek's character tells her lover that she's miscarried their child who is later born on the Hoover Dam.
  • Subverted in The Godfather Part II: Kay, the wife of Michael Corleone, apparently suffers this trope, only to be revealed later that she aborted the child, out of hate towards her criminal husband. However, some argue that her "confession" is a lie meant to hurt Michael.
  • Citizen Ruth is about a drug addict who gets pregnant and is fought over by Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups who both want to use her as a pawn to further their respective causes. Thanks to this trope, neither wins.
  • Happens, textbook, in Singles.
  • Subverted in The Last Emperor. The Emperor is told by Japanese officials that the child his wife gave birth to (which she conceived with their driver in an attempt to give the Emperor an heir) was stillborn. The truth (which the Emperor probably suspected) is that the child was born healthy and was quickly murdered in an attempt to cover up the affair.
  • Britney Spears's pregnant friend falls down some stairs and loses her baby in Crossroads. Slightly unusual in that she had (some semblance of) a plan to raise it and was 6 or 7 months pregnant, making it technically a stillbirth (the line is at about five and a half months).
  • In the backstory of Sweet Home Alabama, Melanie and Jake got married right out of high school after Melanie got pregnant. It's implied that she had a miscarriage at some point after that ("I guess Mother Nature had other plans"), which allowed her to leave for New York and pursue her career as a fashion designer.
  • In High Crimes, Tom and Claire have been trying for a baby for a while and Claire finally gets pregnant, but miscarries the baby following an ambush attack on her car. In a Twist Ending, Tom turns out to have been the killer all along after Claire spent the whole movie trying to exonerate him of the massacre of village peasants in El Salvador. Tom is killed by the El Salvadorian witness to the crimes. This means that Claire doesn't have to raise a baby alone and also doesn't have to raise a baby who will remind her of her husband's crimes and betrayal, in a bittersweet way.
  • Played with in August Rush. Lyla wants to keep her baby, but her father has other plans for her and tells her that she lost the baby after being in an accident. He lied.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Radio: Fanny Hill (1748). But then, Fanny is strongly suspected to be an Unreliable Narrator. She's just been dumped by her lover (whose father has sent him on a world tour to detach him from her), she's pregnant, and she owes an astronomical sum to her landlady. Her only possible source of income is prostitution, but that would have been impossible in 1748 while pregnant. Moreover, her landlady is a "wise woman" - that is, an abortionist.
  • Used in the Sword of Truth series. Despite Shota's warnings that a child born of Richard and Kahlan would bring about a cataclysmic disaster, they go ahead and get pregnant. (They had an artifact to prevent conception which failed to work as advertised). Soon afterward, Kahlan is struggling over drinking a miscarriage potion and finally decides against it, pouring it away. However, she is then beaten by a gang of thugs to an inch of her life, losing the baby anyway.
  • Pam has one in one of Phyllis Reynold's Naylor's Alice books.
  • In Robin McKinley's Deerskin, the female protagonist is raped by her FATHER and then subsequently miscarries. In the middle of the wilderness. In a hut half-buried in the snow. This book doesn't just Break the Cutie, it tries to tear her psyche apart.
    • Convenient Miscarriage, however, is averted—while the third or fourth week is akin to a heavy period (and is ridiculously easy to trigger, hence the trope), miscarriage in the later terms of pregnancy is painful.
  • Cat in The War of the Flowers miscarries near the beginning, which leads to her breaking up with Theo and demolishing the remainder of his life to leave him no real ties to hold him in our world when Applecore shows up to take him to Faerie. The miscarriage was anything but accidental, however.
  • Near the end of the Friday the 13th spin-off novel Hate-Kill-Repeat, the teenaged protagonist, who had earlier discovered she was pregnant, miscarries when Jason nonchalantly punches her in the stomach.
  • Happens off-stage to Diana Villiers in Patrick O'Brian's The Surgeon's Mate.
  • In Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara suffers a miscarriage after falling down a flight of stairs.
  • Played in-universe in The Hunger Games. In Catching Fire, Katniss pretends to be pregnant in order to gain sympathy in the Quarter Quell. However, when she has to become the face of the rebellion in Mockingjay, pregnancy would be inconvenient (and it would become obvious after a while that she was not really pregnant), so Katniss and the other rebels Hand Wave this as a Convenient Miscarriage.
  • Molly Murphy, in the turn of the century detective series by Rhys Bowen, discovers she's pregnant in one book and plans to get an abortion. However, she backs out at the last minute and miscarries at the end of the book.
  • Carrie White could have caused one in her self titled Stephen King novel, Carrie.
  • In the Sweet Valley University series, Steven's girlfriend Billie had one of these just when it was looking like she might finally decide to go through with an abortion.

     Live Action TV  
  • Lorna in the series Bomb Girls. Though she is an older woman.
  • Martha Kent in Smallville.
  • Gabrielle in season 2 of Desperate Housewives. Particularly annoying as there had been a great deal of tension built up over whether Carlos or John was the father.
    • Subverted later with Susan, who falls down the stairs while having a fight with Mike. He takes her to the hospital, and it turns out that both of them are alright.
      • Also done with Lynette, although only one of her twins is dead. More realistic in that she suffered from major stress and pain due to A PLANE crashing onto Wisteria Lane. She also worries that the other may be disabled for life.
  • Teresa in The O.C. uses the variation; she doesn't miscarry, but claims she did so that Ryan will go back to the O.C.
  • Subverted in Scrubs. JD goes from California to Tacoma to see Kim's ultrasound, only to leave when she tells him she's miscarried; the episode closes on her gynecologist telling her she has a healthy baby boy. This ends up becoming very important later on in the season's main plot.
  • Carrie in The King of Queens was pregnant for exactly one episode, until the series finale where she got pregnant again and this time had a baby without incident.
  • Grey's Anatomy's Cristina Yang unequivocally wanted an abortion in the first season, but never got to go through with it due to falling ill from her ectopic pregnancy (which, also-of-course, was when the father found out about it, after he dumped her in a previous episode for not letting him into her life enough just as she was about to tell him about the pregnancy). When she gets pregnant later, she doesn't miscarry so she goes through with the abortion.
    • When Callie gets pregnant it complicates things a lot since she just got back together with her girlfriend. Soon there seem to be a problem with the baby and Callie thinks that she miscarried. The baby is fine and Callie is just panicking.
  • Happens to Anthony LaPaglia's character's girlfriend after she's taken hostage in Without a Trace - although there were signs the pregnancy was already in trouble, as was the relationship since she leaves soon after.
  • Maddie, in Moonlighting. Cybill Shepherd was pregnant with twins in real life, and the pregnancy was written into the show — but the babies weren't. In the "Womb With a View" episode, narrated largely by Maddie's unborn baby (as played by Bruce Willis), Maddie miscarries during the baby shower.
  • In the recent short-lived Bionic Woman remake, the same car accident that leads to Jamie becoming bionic also causes her to miscarry. The offhandedness of it has lead to some fairly… interesting WMGs.
  • Julia got pregnant on Party of Five and was going to have an abortion, but miscarried before she got to the clinic.
    • Due to Executive Meddling; they didn't want the character to do anything too controversial.
  • On Webster, Catherine discovered she was pregnant and lost the baby... in the same episode. Doubly-jarring, given how lighthearted Webster usually was.
  • An episode of All in the Family before Gloria and Mike successfully had a baby featured Gloria finding out she was pregnant and then losing the baby almost immediately afterward. Interestingly, in the spinoff Maude, the title character did have an abortion. The episode ended with her simply making the decision with no abortion scene, but the episode was still incredibly controversial.
  • Kitty in Brothers and Sisters, although she never considered an abortion, miscarried her pregnancy very early, resulting in her then-fiancé not having to deal with being a Republican presidential candidate expecting out of wedlock.
  • In Rescue Me, Tommy gets his dead cousin's wife Sheila pregnant. Right around the time Tommy realizes he has to quit drinking to win his real family back, Sheila handily has a miscarriage; now that her baby is out of the way, Tommy can go live a happy life with his real wife and kids. Wait, what?
  • In Upstairs Downstairs, Sarah's baby is stillborn, and Hazel has an early miscarriage. This is justified by the setting: infant mortality was much higher in 1909 and 1914. Neither case was coverup for a pregnant actress.
  • Katey Sagal's Real Life pregnancy was written into a season of Married... with Children, but the baby was stillborn in a third-term miscarriage. To avoid the trauma of an infant on-set so soon after her loss, Peg's pregnancy was made All Just a Dream.
  • Sarah Hendrickson in Big Love.
  • Caprica-Six and Saul Tigh in Battlestar Galactica with their son (Wil)Liam, possibly due to Tigh switching affections from Six back to his real wife Ellen. Apparently, Cylons need love to breed).
  • NYPD BLUE: Diane miscarries her child with Bobby. (He later meets him in the afterlife.) Another time, Danny has a crisis when he gets his girlfriend pregnant, but she has a miscarriage at the end of the episode. (Entertainment Weekly complained at the time that it was a cop-out way to end that storyline.)
  • Subverted on Third Watch with Faith. While she claims that she had a miscarriage to her husband, she really had an abortion because she felt that they couldn't afford another kid.
  • Kirsty did this on Home and Away: first she lied she was pregnant, then to weasel out of it she lied she miscarried, and then she found she was having a baby for real, and then she miscarried for real. (Doubly convenient since she needed a kidney transplant but couldn't bring herself to have an abortion.) Several years later (having had a full term pregnancy in the meantime), it happened to her again: She pretended to try for a baby but kept taking the pill, admitted she didn't want a baby, got pregnant anyway, considered an abortion but realised she wanted the baby, then had a miscarriage.
    • An awkward case with Sam Holden: Having just undergone a Face-Heel Turn and killed a criminal who was blackmailing her, she conveniently discovered she was pregnant just as husband Jack was about to report her to the police, then suffered a convenient miscarriage during an argument. Not long after she committed suicide in a failed attempt to frame Jack and Martha.
  • Happens constantly in soap operas. Makes you think there's something in the water...or they're all set in Love Canal...or something.
    • Is even more common with teenagers. Then what was supposed to be a kind of PSA turns into "it's ok to get pregnant, you will have a miscarriage anyway".
  • Coronation Street actually inverted the subversion. In the 1980s, the soap received a certain amount of controversy by featuring UK soap's first abortion storyline, when Susan Barlow chose to get rid of her baby rather than be trapped in her marriage to Mike Baldwin. Nearly fourteen years later, this was retconned to reveal she had actually lied about having an abortion and had been bringing up a son that neither Mike nor Susan's father Ken knew about.
    • Since then, abortions have become so commonplace in UK drama and especially soaps that they barely cause any controversy at all. One squicky example from the last months of Family Affairs (which probably avoided controversy on the grounds it was Britain's least watched soap opera and no-one noticed): A 14-year-old girl became pregnant by a boyfriend that the viewers never even saw, had an abortion the following week without her parents even knowing she was pregnant (although they found out immediately after) and was promptly Put on a Bus. (Having an abortion whir underage without parental knowledge is legal, because having an abortion is probably a better decision than becoming a mother below school-leaving age, so it protects girls from parents who might otherwise punish their daughters for their decision. Such an abortion can also be no-questions asked, with exceptions, so that girls don't have to worry about being forced to turn in their boyfriends for statutory rape.)
  • The Nanny appeared to have this late in the series, but it turned out Fran was never actually even pregnant.
  • Subverted in Packed to the Rafters. When Rachel finds out she's pregnant to her drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, she has an abortion rather than have his baby, a decision her Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior! grandfather gives her an awkward lecture about.
  • Margaret in Boardwalk Empire gets beaten so severely by her husband (in the first episode) that she loses her baby. Not really to avoid her having children (she already had two); probably more so that she and Nucky could get to a sexual relationship that much quicker.
  • Megan Draper in Mad Men, though this is only revealed after the miscarriage happens. Nonetheless, she does mention that she felt extremely relieved not to have to make a decision about the pregnancy.
  • On As the World Turns, teenager Liberty Ciccone, herself the product of a teen pregnancy, becomes pregnant. After waffling for several months over getting an abortion, raising the child herself, giving the child up for adoption, or letting her mother raise the baby, Liberty has decided to get an abortion, probably. Maybe. Anyway, then she gets tackled by an errant football player and has a miscarriage.
    • CSI: Miami has a subversion of this. A man's second wife gets pregnant and he does not want to go through the process of raising a kid. He sabotages her car and hires some goons to have her carjacked with the intent that this causes a Convenient Miscarriage and his life goes back to 'normal'. The carjackers end up beating the wife almost to death which gets massive attention from the police. The mother and baby live.
      • The things some people will do to shirk responsibility. YEAAAAAHHHHH!!!
  • Dirty Sexy Money had this with Karen since the show had been cancelled and it gave Karen and Nick a happy ending.
  • On General Hospital, Holly was pregnant by Luke, whom she mistakenly thought was dead. His best friend, Robert, married her to keep her from being deported. She miscarried when picking up an antique (and heavy) wooden cradle for the baby. Irony noted.
  • Somewhat subverted on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, since Adrian and Ben wanted their daughter and were devastated when she was a stillborn. But it was still pretty convenient for the writers.
  • In season four of Ugly Betty, Hilda had one of these only a few episodes after discovering her pregnancy. Unlike most examples, however, she does not lose the baby through a traumatic fall down the staircase; instead, she goes in for an ultrasound and learns that the baby died in-utero when the technician can't detect a heart beat.
  • You could see this coming a mile away for Blair in Gossip Girl. Hardly anyone even thought the baby might survive.
  • In season five of Stromberg, Jennifer gets pregnant. Stromberg would have been the father. She pondered the idea of abortion and then after deciding to have the child, she miscarries.
  • On One Life to Live, following a fight with their respective partners, a despondent and drunken Will and Jessica had sex, resulting in pregnancy. After the requisite waffling over having an abortion, marrying her boyfriend (who graciously offered to step up and "do the right thing" even though he wasn't the father) or placing the baby for adoption, Jessica ultimately decided to keep and raise the baby herself. It what had to be one of the most ridiculous examples of this trope, she was hit by a car as she was going into labor (she had gone for a walk to escape the chaos of her baby shower).
    • From the same show, a near-term Blair getting into a car accident, killing hers and Patrick's baby, just after each of their respective partners had accepted the baby's existence and the changes it would bring to their lives.
  • Completely inverted in Downton Abbey, when Lady Cora's stunningly convenient, deus ex machina-style pregnancy ends in an inconvenient miscarriage.
  • In Tales from the Darkside, one episode involved a couple living in an apartment above a tenant who may or may not be a voodoo priest. The wife reveals to her husband that she's pregnant, only for her to have a miscarriage after falling off a ladder. The wife blames the neighbor as part of his supposed campaign of bad luck on the couple after she accused him of thievery. The man commits suicide, and it turns out the wife was lying the whole time just so she could drive the man out of the apartment building. Her husband, disgusted, realizes she was never pregnant and leaves.
  • On Sisters, second-oldest sister Teddy seduced her ex-husband shortly before he was due to marry youngest sister Frankie. Sure enough, she got pregnant. And, once the hoopla of the situation died down, she lost the baby.
  • On Revenge, Charlotte's poorly conceived, entirely unnecessary pregnancy was written out within moments of her first appearance of the next season. Seemed blatant that the writers realized what a terrible idea this was and decided to backpedal.
  • Used in Saving Hope. Maggie gets pregnant by Gavin, the two of them fight a lot and don't seem particularly well suited to having a baby. When they eventually come to accept the pregnancy, Maggie miscarries.
  • The LA Complex: Raquel gets pregnant by either Connor or Gary (it's left ambiguous.) She decides to pursue a relationship with Connor and is just about to tell him about the pregnancy when she miscarries while he is on a date with another woman (Connor's other relationship is a publicity stunt, but still.)

     Newspaper Comics  
  • Curtis's mother in the newspaper comic Curtis.

     Professional Wrestling  
  • Though there have been several pregnancy storylines, almost no children are born in Professional Wrestling, thanks largely to Convenient Miscarriages (or giving birth to rubber hands!). Then again, when the father-to-be insists on bringing the pregnant woman down to ringside, about five feet away from where he and another burly man will be throwing each other around like sacks of potatoes, perhaps this is to be expected.
    • There HAS been at least one instance of a pregnancy being carried to term — Stephanie McMahon got pregnant and carried the baby successfully to full term and delivered a healthy baby girl. This is because she was pregnant in real life. As the father of the baby was her husband, WWE wrestler Triple H, (who is NOT her husband for kayfabe purposes), the impact of the pregnancy on any storylines was limited to some Fourth Wall breaking lampshadings by HHH's tag team, DX. Stephanie got pregnant again a few years later; that time, they just shot her using typical pregnancy-reducing camera tricks (slimming outfits, not a lot of camera time with her torso showing, etc.) before keeping her offscreen.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Kyrie reveals that she had one around the same time Battler was born, which is part of the reason she resents his mother. Had her son lived, Rudolf might have married her instead of Asumu. With the revelation that Asumu isn't Battler's biological mother, fans have theorized that her son might be closer than she thinks, and EP 8 of the games confirms this.

    Web Comics 
  • Lilah in Ctrl+Alt+Del, whose miscarriage was supposedly caused by her immune system detecting the unborn child as a foreign object, which does happen in real life. This would have been particularly dramatic had the comic not been mostly light-hearted and comedic up until then, and had the author not broken up the story with regular game jokes. Plus, at the end of the arc, Lilah acted like her having a Heroic BSOD over losing her child was just crazy bitching.
  • Monette has one in Something Positive, and it was handled particularly clumsily. The storyline is barely flashed to for a few strips, focuses entirely on the relationship problem arising from it and, rather than using the term "miscarriage," refers to the event with the comic's usual brand of sensitivity ("pushing eight to nine pounds of baby matter out of her nether regions"). The miscarriage storyline was so abrupt, brief (parts disappeared into the archives before many saw them on the front page due to the comic's odd schedule), and unreferenced later that some readers were left thinking that Monette's baby had been Brother Chucked.
    • It was a stillbirth, not a miscarriage, which is perhaps a reflection of how poorly it was handled. There's a specific reference to her losing the baby, and later she asks another character to visit his grave for her when she moves to California.
    • To add to the confusion/weirdness, the writer once joked that the baby didn't die, but was "lost" in the hospital somewhere. (Which actually wouldn't be so different than the comic's usual humor.) Apparently it became common for people at cons to jokingly ask him where the baby is, to the point he now just answers that yes, the baby is dead.
  • This happened in one part of Anders Loves Maria to Tina.
  • Day By Day has it happen to Sam Owens, in the May 11, 2011 strip, though it's referred to by its other name, spontaneous abortion.
    • It managed to be more ridiculous than CADs infamous "Loss" strip by going from Sam's tragic miscarriage to her husband's immodest hospital gown in the same two-panel strip.
  • Wayward Sons: Haydez and Sefani find out the hard way that people empowered by the star core can't have children (at least with each other; Hurk unknowingly has a son by a human queen).
    Hara: The best I can tell is that this is a side effect of the star core event. The fetus inherits the energies of both parents and it... just-
    Sefani: -So the tingling I felt..?
    Hara: That was the fetus burning itself out.

     Western Animation 
  • On an episode of the Rugrats Charlotte gets a positive result on a home pregnancy test, and Angelica spends the whole episode Angsting about not being the center of her parents' attention anymore. At the end of the episode, Charlotte tells her she's not having another baby after all. However, it's not clear if it actually was a miscarriage, or if she got a false positive...or if she had (or was about to have) an abortion due to concerns she and Drew had about finances.

Clean Pretty ChildbirthBirth TropesDeath by Childbirth
Cliffhanger CopoutWriter Cop OutDebate and Switch
Conveniently Timed GuardSuspiciously Convenient IndexConvenient Questing
Conceive and KillPregnancy TropesDeliver Us from Evil

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