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Express Delivery
A pregnancy that goes from conception to birth in at an extremely fast rate, often caused by an external (possibly supernatural) factor.

In Science Fiction, this is often because of some other hugely advanced race knocks up a different one, possibly a human, and the hybrid offspring gestates at an enormously fast rate, either normal for the other species, and grows to term in a matter of days. Or, if it's created like a robot, the creation is sudden and wasn't announced in previous episodes, and the whole process takes a very short time.

This is sometimes just when Writers Cannot Do Math or they are using Comic Book Time or Webcomic Time and lose track of what the hell is supposed to be happening.

Tends to go hand in hand with Fetus Terrible. Contrast with Longest Pregnancy Ever. Not to be confused with Instant Birth, Just Add Water, which is where the woman's pregnancy takes the usual forty weeks but her labor and (especially) delivery are implausibly quick. Also, please do not confuse this with Instant Home Delivery, which has nothing to do with birth.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dead Leaves, Retro and Pandy have sex, and she is visibly pregnant roughly ten minutes later; Not long after that, the baby just kind of... comes out of its own volition, but ages super fast and dies in short order.
  • Fetus Terrible Yuca Collabel from Immortal Rain resurrects himself in a pregnancy that lasts little more than two months...and is already in the form of a prepubescent boy when he bursts out of his mother's stomach ala Aliens.

    Comic Books 
  • Happened to Ms. Marvel in a fairly Squick inducing storyline in The Avengers in the Marvel Universe.note 
  • In the DC Comics, one member of the China's Great Ten is Mother of Champions, whose entire super power is her ability to go from conception to birth in three days. She also gives birth to litters of kids with Super Strength and who age ten years for every day they're alive.
    • If she mates with one of her teammates, the offspring have other superpowers, as well - though in the case of the radioactive Socialist Red Guardsman's children, the birth was painful unlike any she'd had before.
  • In the aftermath of Marvel's Civil War, Tigra discovered she was pregnant by the Skrull impersonating Hank Pym. She disappears shortly after Norman Osborn takes power without so much as a baby bump, reappearing in time to take part in the Siege of Asgard. Afterwards she reveals that she'd already given birth to a son, William, in the time between her escape from Osborn and her joining the battle there. Handwaved with a throw away line about her race of cat people having two month gestational periods.
  • When Rahne from X-Factor reappears at the team's hq she looks about seven months pregnant leading poor Rictor to believe it's actually his child while she's actually only been pregnant for several weeks. This is explained in a throwaway line by her child being a wolf-god/wolf-mutant hybrid with wolves having an average gestation period of two months.
  • The Dark Destroyer in the second Atari Force comic book series pulls this on a backwater planet creature that he enters into to become born in the form of Martin Champion, speeding up the process to the point where it ends up killing the mother.
  • Linda Park-West gave birth to Barry West's twins in the span of a couple of minutes after becoming pregnant at the end of the Rogue Wars story arc. It had to do with one part their father's Super Speed and one part their conception being based on using time-travel to avert her originally miscarrying them months earlier.

    Fanfiction 

    Film 
  • Abraxas Guardian Of The Universe has the evil alien Secundus impregnating a woman, who not only gives birth in a matter of seconds, but doesn't even get her pants off.
  • It is natural for alien hybrids in Species to mature inhumanly fast. In the second film, they do it so quickly, they quite literally go out with a bang.
  • In the Robin Williams film Jack, the title character is born rather improbably, and quite unexpectedly, at 10 weeks' gestation; this reflects his 'four times normal speed' growth rate.
  • In The Ice Pirates, Karina is revealed to be pregnant just as the spaceship enters the time-warping zone. She gives birth to and raises her son in just a few minutes of screen time.
  • In Prometheus, Dr. Shaw, abiding the Law of Inverse Fertility, gives birth within hours of getting pregnant. In that case, her partner was under the influence of Applied Phlebotinum, and the result was a giant proto-facehugger.
  • The new Warlock in Warlock: The Armageddon is born when a Satanist preaches to the Devil. To her horror she becomes massively pregnant within minutes and gives birth to a black, slimy thing which quickly morphs into Satan's new minion and kills his "mother".
  • The Lords Of Salem: Due to the whole Mind Screw Gainax Ending nature of the whole film it's unclear if what is seen actually took place. During the gathering and visions in the theatre at the end, Heidi becomes pregnant, comes to full term, and gives birth to the Anti Christ in, from our perspective, a few minutes.
  • Either an extreme version of this trope this happened in Addams Family Values, or Morticia decided not to tell Gomez until the last second and didn't show at all.
    Morticia: Marvelous news: I'm going to have a baby...right now.
    • Well, the end of the first film did shoe her knitting a baby onesie with three legs, so it's implied they were aware. Still, she doesn't look at all pregnant in the five minutes of film before the baby is born.

    Literature 
  • Diana's pregnancy in Gone develops at an accelerated pace, probably because the baby in question is a mutant.
  • Bella's pregnancy in Twilight, due to the baby's father (Edward) being a vampire
  • From Dune Messiah, Chani's twins come to term superfast as a side effect of the Spice. She dies afterwards.
  • In the Women Of The Otherworld universe, Elena's pregnancy only lasts five months, due to her being a werewolf. Somewhat unusual in that neither Elena nor her mate suspect anything unusual about her being as large as a fullterm pregnancy at only five months—Elena complains frequently about the inconvenience. Their cluelessness is justified since she's the first known female werewolf and thus she's having the first werewolf pregnancy. The Express Delivery is explained as splitting the difference between the duration of a typical human pregnancy and a typical wolf pregnancy.
  • Occurs in two Christopher Pike novels - The Grave and The Last Vampire 4: Phantom.
  • Done artificially to heroine Morn Hyland in Forbidden Knowledge from The Gap Sequence. The pirate who was holding her prisoner was irritated that her pregnancy was making it hard for him to rape her. (Why yes, it is a Stephen Donaldson novel. How could you tell?)
  • BJ gives birth to her daughter Laurel in Nick O'Donohoe's The Healing of Crossroads after a three-month gestation. This is because Laurel's father is a faun; they mature quickly.
  • In The California Voodoo Game, a loa-spirit in the tournament adventure impregnates Mary-Martha and its offspring grows to full term over the course of a few dozen hours. Subverted in that the semi-divine fetus changes its mind at the last minute and decides to stay put, inverting this trope into the Longest Pregnancy Ever (possibly permanent).
  • In Anne Rice's Taltos, the Taltos grow faster if the woman in question is aware of her pregnancy and sings to them while being pregnant; this happens within a few minutes at one point. They also age superfast once actually born, becoming adults and able to have their own children within minutes. This leads to a very squicky scene in which a newborn Taltos is forced to impregnate its own mother before it is promptly burnt alive.
  • The Last Dragon Chronicles: It does not take long for the quickened bronze egg to turn into a baby. Too bad Gwilanna turned him from a perfectly normal (well, for a Pennykettle) boy into a dragon.)

    Live Action TV 
  • Deanna Troi has an express-lane pregnancy courtesy of a passing energy being on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • "The Alpha Child" in Space: 1999.
  • Taken to extremes in Garth Marenghis Darkplace, when a man is raped by the mutated eye-ball of a sex offender and then immediately gives birth.
  • On Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle carried and gave birth to her Fetus Terrible in one day.
  • In the second episode of Fringe, Our Intrepid Heroes were called in to investigate the case of a woman who got pregnant, reached full term, and gave birth in around fifteen minutes. The offspring died of old age in a half hour. The father was part of a government experiment and would also age very rapidly and ultimately did without regular doses of pituitary hormone. Oh, and the woman? She died.
    • This case gets called back in season 3, when Alt-Olivia's pregnancy is accelerated to delivery in a few days as part of Walternate's master plan.
  • Aeryn Sun does this in the Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars miniseries. Handwaved by her saying that soldiers of her species are genetically designed to become pregnant and come to term in a matter of a week or so and give birth in minutes (not to mention the part where a pregnancy can be in stasis without growing for up to seven years—my, but that military is efficient). It being a crossbreed between herself and the human John Crichton, labor to birth takes an incredibly long time—about half an hour at most.
  • Combined with Mr. Seahorse in the Round the Twist episode "The Big Burp". Pete becomes pregnant by holding hands with a dryad after peeing on her tree. After an accelerated pregnancy, he gives birth through his mouth while handcuffed to his worst enemy.
  • In The Young Ones episode "Cash", Vyvyan (male) appeared to go from conception to term in less than 24 hours. The "baby" turned out to be just a lot, a lot, A LOT of trapped gas. It's just that kind of show.
  • Happens to Cordelia (and several other women) in the season one Angel episode "Expecting."
    • And again when possessed!Cordelia is pregnant with Jasmine, though this one lasts at least a few weeks or possibly months in-story.
  • Sort of invoked in Torchwood, when Gwen is implanted with an alien's egg the night before her wedding and looks about eight months pregnant by morning. The egg is removed before it hatches, however.
  • Tess in Roswell after sleeping with fellow E.T. Max, which leads her to push the alien quatuor to leave the Earth, whose atmosphere is (supposedly?) suffocating the fetus.
  • "So an Altron pregnancy lasts only six weeks?"
  • In both Being Human and Being Human (Remake) Nina and her American counterpart Nora experience accelerated pregnancies of about twice the human rate of fetal development due to the fetus being a werewolf/half werewolf respectively.
  • In season one of Riget, Dr. Petersen's pregancy develops at a frighteningly fast rate. In the finale, she gives birth, to a fully-grown man.
  • Soap: Corinne has only been married a month but her doctor says she's five months pregnant. She swears she didn't have sex with anyone else during the four month mystery period but her husband doesn't believe her. She gives birth just a few weeks later; turns out the baby is a devil-child.
  • In an episode of Charmed, Phoebe has a nightmare that this happens, but it was All Just a Dream.
  • In the Haven episode "Ball and Chain", Beatrice Mitchell would involuntarily transform into a beautiful woman named Helena. Helena would seduce and sleep with a random man, then change back to Beatrice. Beatrice would then get pregnant and give birth in a day of two, while the father suffers Rapid Aging. Beatrice's grandmother did something similar, but suffered Death by Childbirth bearing Beatrice's mother.

    Machinima 
  • When Tucker in Red vs. Blue gets turned into a Mr. Seahorse by an alien, he gives birth to "Junior" in a very short amount of time.

    Music 

    Truth In Television 
  • Marsupials. They have a placenta, just like eutherians (placental mammals), but it's formed differently, so that its connection is weaker. Birth therefore happens in about 2-4 weeks, and the baby is still very small and embryonic. It makes its way up to the mother's pouch and continues its development there.
  • Aphids (the little white insects you sometimes see eating your rose bushes) are literally born pregnant.

    Webcomics 

    Video Games 
  • The hack of Dig Dug called Baby Maker involves a naked man having sex with naked women underground. The sexual experience makes the woman plump up really quickly. At the end, a baby explodes out of the stomach. Dude sure is fertile.
  • The DS-only sequel to Ōkami, Okamiden, stars Chibiterasu, Ammy's son, and Susano and Kushi's son. Not so remarkable? The second game takes place nine months after the end of the first.
    • Kuni is adopted, this is made explicit after the end of chapter one, and Chibi is a demigod, same rules don't apply.
    • The game hints that Ammy shifting the Balance Between Good and Evil by defeating Yami is the cause of Ammy and all the other brush gods having children.
  • Dragon Quest V sees your hero's wife going through this: depending on how quickly you play through the plot, she can go from marrying you, to confirmed pregnant with your children, to having said children, in a matter of hours... or only a few in-game days.
  • Normally, a pregnancy in The Sims takes 3 Sim Days (3 hours of normal gameplay.) There exists, however, a cheat that allows you to reduce the pregnancy to less than 1 Sim Day.
    • In fact, there are mods that allow a female sim to give birth right after she gets pregnant
    • Justified, considering the length of an actual pregnancy would be impossible
  • Most Harvest Moon games have you wait 60 in-game days (two in-game seasons) from the announcement of the pregnancy until the birth of the child. Not Animal Parade. Exactly seventeen days after your spouse remarks, "If we're going to have kids, we've got our work cut out for us", the child is born. And the second one only takes fourteen days. Even in Harvest Moon time note , that's equivalent to a month and a half. But who wants to wait two months to see their kid, anyway?
  • Rune Factory 2 and 3 have 15-day pregnancies. 1 and Frontier make you wait a reasonable amount of time.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, a romance with Aerie leads to a pregnancy that is rushed through within the storyline of the expansion, which is unlikely to take more than a few weeks of game time. Even slightly more absurd than by real-life terms, because she's an elf, and the pregnancy should take a whole year. There's no in-story reason for this, nor is it acknowledged. (Some have suspected Aerie of lying about not having been with any man before the Player Character, but that would make just as little sense simply for the reason that then she would have been very visibly pregnant already for a long time.) It is possible to play through the whole plot before the baby is born, hiding the timeline absurdity from view.


Explosive BreederBirth TropesFetus Terrible
Deliver Us from EvilPregnancy TropesFantasy Contraception
ExpospeakSpeculative Fiction TropesExtra Parent Conception

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