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Fourth Date Marriage
Hackensacker: You don't marry someone you just met the day before; at least I don't.
Princess: But that's the only way, dear. If you get to know too much about them you'd never marry them.

Once Upon a Time Love at First Sight was all the romantic setup the audience needed, especially in Disney Movies and early romantic movies. But times have changed and we now demand a more realistic build up for our on screen couples... three days or so should do it.

It seems in your general 90 minute movie, audiences are pretty willing to accept that a couple will progress to the point of getting engaged, or at least to a fairly intense point, in a matter of days or weeks, rarely more than a month. This isn't all that realistic: not that relationships with short courtships prior to the engagement haven't worked in real life, but successful ones are fairly rare.

Compare Falling in Love Montage for other ways to get a couple together without spending a lot of screen time on the process. Also compare Engaging Conversation.

In the gay community there is a stereotype of "Lesbian U-Haul Syndrome," in which a lesbian couple will move in together very early in a relationship, leading to many of the same problems.

Sometimes Truth in Television, especially for shows set in a time period where long relationships before marriage were considered "absolutely lunatic and idiotic," such as the 1950s.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Claire Stanfield and Chane Laforet from Baccano! become informally engaged after all but two meetings, and this was after they tried to kill each other when they first crossed paths. Of course, much of this can be attributed to Claire's unorthodox flirting strategy, which consists of proposing to complete strangers that he thinks are cute and hoping one of them eventually says yes. Chane, meanwhile, was raised as an experiment by her emotionally manipulative father, and wasn't accustomed to genuine affection. On the flip side of the spectrum, we have Firo and Ennis — a relationship which involved a fifty year courtship before they got serious.
  • In Nurarihyon No Mago Rikuo's grandparents have this type of relationship, though in their case it was more like "One Date Marriage".
  • Kyou Kara Maou has Shoma proposing to Jennifer on their fifth date. She accepts because it's so "bold" of him, and also because he's a demon and she thought it would be awesome to have kids with wings or little horns.
  • According to Saya Takagi from Highschool of the Dead, her parents Soichiro and Yuriko got married the day after they met. Though they're pretty Happily Married, at least...

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, Hawkeye and Mockingbird got married a couple of days after they met. Admittedly it was a very intense couple of days.
  • Hulk and Caiera hit it off pretty fast in Planet Hulk. The exact amount of time is hard to pin down but it doesn't seem more than a few weeks, though they are engaged in some fairly intense flirting during their second meeting. It didn't last long, though.

    Disney Animated Canon 
Is it really any surprise that this needed its own folder?

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Snow White and her prince sing a duet, but never actually speak to each other in the whole darn movie. She rides off with him about two days after meeting him. (We don't see the wedding, so this is a bit tangential to this trope.)
    • There were some scrapped scenes that suggested Snow White and her Prince had known each other for a while already.
  • The Little Mermaid - Eric only barely sees Ariel (and hears her as well) for a couple of seconds, with the sun shining behind her. That's enough for him to decide that he'll marry her. No matter if he doesn't know she's not human, her name, or if she wasn't an hallucination.
    • It appears they marry immediately after she turns into human permanently and leaves her entire life behind, having known each other for just a few days.
  • Aladdin - He fell head over heels for her after an afternoon. She was ready to smooch him at that point, but it took about three days to decide she wanted to marry him. That being said, their engagement did last the entirety of the Animated Series and two Direct-to-Video movies.
    • She did only have a few days left until her must-be-married-by birthday, so it is a bit justified.
  • Pocahontas - A few days, again, but here it's subverted because they end up not getting together forever at the end. In Pocahontas II: Journey to the New World she gets together with John Rolfe, the man the historical Pocahontas actually married, but her getting to the point where she's willing to sacrifice her life for him counts.
    • Although it's worth noting that stopping his execution would also stop a war for breaking out.
  • Brother Bear II - Okay, they were childhood friends, but she hadn't seen him in years and few days with him was enough to make her give up her humanity and get herself turned into a bear to be with him!
  • Sleeping Beauty - Aurora and Prince Phillip meet in the woods, he chats her up with some cheesy pick-up lines ("You have met me before - in your dreams"), and they immediately go home to tell their parents/guardians that they are in love and are going to get married. Without even knowing the first names of their chosen one!
    • The fact that Aurora and Phillip managed to have a conversation before "happily ever after" (and Phillip actually having a name) was the equivalent of a six-month courtship compared to previous Disney Princesses.
    • And not to mention, they were already engaged by their parents at Aurora's birth.
    • *Also* not to mention the entire point of Aurora inviting him to her house was that so they could get to know each other better!
  • Cinderella is literally a one date marriage. Ditto for Snow White. Originally Prince Charming was going to be in more scenes, but those got cut when the animators were having a difficult time animating him in that primitive era.
    • In the second Cinderella sequel, this is justified by the fact that holding a woman's hand should tell the prince if she's the one. He doesn't feel it when he's made to think Anastasia was the girl he danced with, or when Anastasia is magically made to look like Cindy.
      • To be very fair to A Twist in Time, Cinderella and the Prince had been Happily Married for a year before Lady Tremaine magically turned back the clock and they had to fall in love all over again. The movie seemed to imply that something of their memories of that year remained.
      • We also don't know how much time passed between their date and the actual marriage. Not to mention, we have no idea what they talked about all night that was so interesting- romance? Politics? Music? Who knows.
  • As far as we know, both of the main couples in 101 Dalmatians. But, hey, maybe they had some offscreen dates.
  • Lady and the Tramp: Technically they had only one really long date. And a lot of fights. But things work out in the end! (Then again, they're dogs, so we need to measure the length of their relationship in dog years.)
  • Beauty and the Beast, where Belle and the Beast fall in love during her short stay at his castle that was at best a few days (but the filmmakers made the season change from autumn to winter to make it appear longer).
  • The Princess and the Frog: Prince Naveen and Tiana seem to spend a couple days together before Naveen proposes and they get married some unspecified time after. Unlike the Beauty and the Beast example above, there's no way this could actually take place over a long period because of time framing with Mardi Gras which, accurately in this movie, is not always.
  • Subverted in Tangled. Flynn and Rapunzel are clearly smitten with each other nearly as soon as they meet, with Rapunzel saying "I think he likes me!" less than 24 hours after they start to travel together but the ending of the movie implies that Flynn and Rapunzel actually had a decently long courtship before they got married.
  • Played straight at the end of Atlantis: The Lost Empire where Milo decides to stay in Atlantis with Kida after knowing her for a couple of days.
  • Downplayed in Wreck-It Ralph. Felix and Calhoun spend some time together looking for Ralph and the Cy-Bug he brought with him. They have a brief falling-out, but work out things in the end. They get married some unspecified time after.
  • In Frozen, Princess Anna meets Prince Hans and they get engaged in less than a day. Partially justified in that her castle has been closed off since she was very young (to keep her sister Queen Elsa's uncontrollable magic from hurting anyone), so Hans, in addition to being gorgeous and charming, is the first man she meets who isn't a relative or a servant. But it turns out that Hans doesn't love Anna, and was manipulating her into liking him because he wanted to be the ruler of the kingdom. When it comes to her real love interest, Kristoff, the movie ends with their relationship just beginning. Also notable is that the other major characters think it's a terrible idea - including Queen Elsa herself, who goes all "WTF?!" at how eager Anna is at the idea of marrying the New Hot Guy In Town.
    • That's more because Elsa is in general a paranoid person. Anna rightly pointed out Elsa isn't exactly the love expert herself.

    Fan Fic 
  • Noticeably averted in Nexus when June tells Jack that his father didn't even like her when they met and only seemed to start warming up to her after a month as she states that's how long it took him to stop calling her 'girl.' Seeing as who the father is though, this implies that Jack's parents knew each other way before he was born.
  • Through A Diamond Sky: It's stated that Flynn and Jordan hit City Hall within three months of meeting. Yes, Sam was a factor. The author did the math on the Flynn Lives ARG and realized that there was less than two years between their meeting and her death...

    Film — Animation 
  • Shrek, while subverting so much else, plays this trope straight: he and Fiona have only two days together before their "true love's first kiss" at the end, which is more apparent since the passage of time is a plot point due to Fiona's curse. There's a scene skip before they leave for their honeymoon that could have been a long engagement, but from the context it was probably Why Waste a Wedding? if anything.
  • Averted in Despicable Me 2, in that, although the cut is right to the wedding date after the bad guy is defeated, a title card mentions "147 dates [approximately 6 months]" later. Still pretty quick, though.
  • The Swan Princess looks like it's going to subvert this twice. First the hero and the heroine, Prince Derek and Princess Odette, are introduced to each other as children and hate each other the whole time. After reaching adulthood Derek sees Odette is all grown up and proposes to her, but that turns out to be a shallow love that sees only her beauty and nothing else. But then after being kidnapped Odette suddenly thinks of Derek as her true love and Derek likewise, so the trope ultimately ends up being played straight due to their lack of real interaction.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Romancing the Stone - though somewhat justified in that Joan Wilder is herself a romance novelist and a self-confessed hopeless romantic.
    • Further justified in that she doesn't marry him, she just runs off on a cruise around the world with him. The sequel shows them having the relationship problems that come up when strangers run off with each other.
  • She knows How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days but he can make a woman fall in love with him that same length of time?
  • Failure to Launch
  • Averted in Two Weeks Notice: the central couple, George and Lucy, knew each other for a year before romance developed.
  • The Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement (Disney)
    • Played straight via plot device with Mia and Andrew, but obviously thanks to No Sparks that didn't actually happen. Notably averted with Mia and Nicholas: he confesses his love for her right before her coronation but it's implied that they merely continued dating and got married somewhere down the line as opposed to getting married right away, which fits in with Mia's Character Development as an independent woman. (All appearances to the contrary, that scene in the throne room with him kneeling down wasn't actually a proposal.)
  • The Mummy - Rick and Evie seem to fall in love pretty quickly.
  • Speed - Subversion Because they cited statistics that indicated that how their relationship started meant it wouldn't last. And indeed, it didn't.
    • The only reason it didn't is because Keanu Reeves didn't want to do the sequel. The original script did have them already married.
  • Practical Magic is another subversion.The first time one of the sisters falls, we don't know how long it took. The second time the same woman falls, it's her own doing because she sent for him herself.
  • The Saint The Movie also had this happen. He counted her as a mark, romanced her to get to his target, and found himself falling in love with her. She took longer because she was pissed off at him stealing from her. But by the end of the week, they were in love.
  • Splash - Four or five days is enough for him to completely abandon his life on land to be with her.
  • Enchanted at first makes fun of Love at First Sight, but by the end, the main couple ends up with a textbook Fourth Date Marriage and the Beta Couple run off and get married (one of them leaving her entire life behind) after knowing each other for about an hour.
    • Arguably Robert and Giselle don't get married immediately. The montage that shows them living together also shows that several characters have published books that are bestsellers, and that Giselle has been manufacturing a popular line of dresses for young girls.
    • The Beta Couple was going to get some justification (the one that leaves her entire life behind was intended to have scenes showing her to have a tendency towards hopeless romanticism), but the relevant scenes were cut. On the up side, they leave for a world operating under Disney Animation logic, and there is evidence she could go back to her old world, should she want to.
  • The Heartbreak Kid: Subverted in that the girl Eddie marries after around a month suddenly has a disturbingly quick and negative personality shift. Then, it's played straight when Eddie decides to divorce said wife when he falls in love with a girl after two days.
  • Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese have two days to fall in love and conceive John in The Terminator. Somewhat justified in that he'd been pining over her photo for years, but she'd only just met him. Well, he did make a heck of a first impression.
    • Plus, the entirety of their acquaintance takes place over those same two days, which also involve running for their lives. That sort of thing tends to make for intense emotions and not having time to notice how annoying it is that he never hangs up his towels. It's less than clear that the relationship would have lasted if he'd lived.
  • The Santa Clause II, Scott has all of one month to marry somebody.
  • Goldfish Memory features one couple meeting, getting together and planning a family in less time then it takes one partner to realise she's already pregnant from a one-night stand just before they met. Multiple other couples manage to meet, break up, get engaged, and all manner of other things in the same period.
    • Notably, one character romances two women, the women themselves get together and then break up, and go on to new relationships. Meanwhile, the man has met a third woman, who's subverted his usual methods (including a spiel which is (a) incorrect and (b) the source of the Title Drop) six ways from Sunday. Last Girl Wins.
  • Twenty Seven Dresses - Two subversions done two different ways. The first couple plays it straight at first, but doesn't end up marrying. The second couple falls in love within a matter of weeks, but doesn't marry until a year later.
  • In Made Of Honor (the gender-swapped My Best Friend's Wedding), Hannah hooks up with Colin, a guy she meets in Scotland on a business trip. They get engaged at most five weeks later, to be wed a fortnight onward. She realizes on the eve of the wedding that she has no idea who he is and breaks off the engagement by making out with the titular flirty-best-friend of ten years and Man of Honor in the middle of the ceremony
  • Inverted in the original Stargate movie. Daniel Jackson is given Sha'uri as a gift, but it isn't until a day or so later that he even realizes that they're already married. By the end of the movie, he's fallen in love and decided to stay on Abydos with her.
    • Further justified in that staying on Abydos would have been his dream come true even without a beautiful woman involved, since he's an archaeologist with a ruined career and no family to go back to.
  • Hitch All it takes is three dates to sweep a woman off her feet. Hitch says he can get you past the first three dates, but you're on your own after that. Of the relationships in the movie, only two end up in marriage, and only one of them is a Fourth Date Marriage. Maybe.
  • Played with in While You Were Sleeping, in which Peter dramatically proposes to Lucy despite having properly met her twice, and plans to get married to her what would appear to be a few days later, because he thinks they're already engaged and he merely has Laser-Guided Amnesia about her (they weren't and he hasn't, but thinks he does due to a rather tangled series of events).
  • In One Night With The King, Esther meets the king face to face only once to fall in love with him. It takes a second meeting for the king to propose to her and marry her.
  • In Monster-in-Law, Kevin and Charlie had dated for about a month before he proposed to her. Kevin's mother was not pleased.
  • Kind of the whole point of Designing Woman (not to be confused with Designing Women). Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall meet and marry after a few days, and hijinks ensue once they realize how different they are. It works out OK in the end.
  • When in Rome starts out at the wedding of the protagonist's sister. Whilst she and the best man are dancing, they both admit they don't think it'll last 'cause the couple have known each other for two weeks.
  • In Love Actually, Jamie proposes to Aurelia despite knowing her for roughly a month and not even speaking the same language.
  • Hell Fighters, the John Wayne homage to Oil Well firefigther Red Adair, has him as Chance Buckman, the best oil well fire fighter in the world, who has as his best employee Greg Parker, a man who's found a sure-fire method to get women he meets to go to bed with him: he brings them to the fire. When Chance is critically injured in an accident, his friend tells Greg to go get Chance's previously unknown daughter Tish (who was living with her mother) so she can see him in case he dies. Chance is still under anaesthesia when their office gets called that a fire has broken out. It's money, so everyone goes, except Tish, who wants to go, but everyone in the company (including Greg) who knows about Greg's womanizing, realize it wouldn't be a good idea if Chance found out that Greg took his daughter to a fire. She then shows up on her own anyway. When she goes back to see her father when he wakes up from anaesthesia after surgery, she innocently tells her father that she went to a fire with Greg. Chance calls Greg into the hospital room and cold cocks him for taking his daughter to a fire, only to discover that almost immediately after they met at the fire, Greg and Tish got married.
  • This turns out to be the twist in (500) Days of Summer. Summer breaks up with Tom and marries another man several months later. She tells Tom that it felt right with her husband.
  • John Carter has the Big Bad (actually, he's The Dragon) offer to marry Dejah in order to stop the ancient feud between the city-states of Helium and Zodanga. Naturally, it's only a political marriage and doesn't fit this trope, except John Carter offers to marry Dejah after knowing her for only a few days. We never find out how their marriage would have turned out, as he is sent back to Earth by the real Big Bad the following night and spends the next 10 years looking for a way to return to Mars.
  • Spaceballs has this happen between Lone Star and Princess Vespa. When they meet, she's the spoiled royal brat and he the less than utterly thrilled hired help who's only there because her father promised him a bucketload of money. Rescue Romance quickly ensues as they first run from, then fight the evil eponymous Spaceballs over the course of perhaps a few in-universe days, and finally they end up getting somewhat spontaneously married at the end. (The last part is actually somewhat justified since finding another prince also allows Vespa to legitimately get out of her arranged marriage to Prince Valium at the very last second...and of course it is a comedy.)
  • A running theme in The Last Picture Show.
  • Taken Up to Eleven in The Shop Around the Corner, where the female lead falls in love with the hero by reading his letters and considers getting engaged without having even seen him once.
  • In Notorious, Honey Trap Ingrid Bergman gets the villain to propose to her after a couple of dates.
  • In Titanic, right before the ship hits the iceberg, Rose tells Jack that when the ship docks, she's getting off with him. Somewhat justified, as transatlantic cruises such as the Titanic and her sister ship Olympic were known for people meeting and falling in love during the six or so day voyage; the only unrealistic bit is this happening between people of different social classes.
  • Invoked in Seven Chances, where the hero, being single, is required to be married the same day by 7 p.m. in order to get an Unexpected Inheritance of Seven million dollars.

    Literature 
  • In Anansi Boys, Charlie proposes to Daisy after just a few meetings. Granted, proposing to her on the spot was about the only way he could save their lives (It Makes Sense in Context), but after the threat has passed, he doesn't pull out of it but instead solidifies it with an actual engagement ring instead of the symbolic engagement lime. Similarly, it takes Spider only a couple of days to realize that Rosie's the one woman for him, and it doesn't take too long for Rosie to come around after leaving him for the whole "I pretended to be your fiancé" shtick.
  • In the third Provost's Dog book, Beka and Farmer decide to marry after knowing each other for two or three weeks. They meet on the night of her fiance's funeral, albeit a fiance she no longer loved. Granted, it was a busy month, but still kind of jarring compared to the long-term relationship in Pierce's other books.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor, Aral and Cordelia have known each other for only a few days when he proposes (he says it was Love at First Sight, despite the unromantic circumstances).
    • Towards the end of his series, Miles' marriage proposals were heading for this territory as he became increasingly desperate. Elena, he waited seventeen years to propose. Elli, although they'd known each other for several years, he proposed on their first date (and kept on proposing even after being shot down repeatedly.) And with Ekaterin, he proposed before she even knew she was being courted. (He panicked.)
  • Twilight: Protagonists Edward and Bella know each other for all of what — a month or two at most? — and by the end of it Bella's begging to be vampirized so she can stay with Edward. Not just married. Vampirized. Two months is too short a courtship to justify giving up her humanity.
  • Faulkner's As I Lay Dying - Anse is married again by the end of the novel. This is played as an extreme Jerk Ass move, however, as he'd only just buried his previous wife.
  • In the Deep Space Nine relaunch series, Jake Sisko marries a Bajoran artist that he's known for about three weeks.
  • Garth Nix's Sabriel has the main characters getting together after roughly a week of knowing each other. Then again, it was a very intense week...
  • At least five Nora Roberts books have main characters who get engaged after about three weeks. The longest two relationships were probably Montana Sky, which had two that had known each other since childhood, and two who dated for a year before marrying.
  • Played several times in Stephen King's The Stand where a number of couples become committed (though not technically marry, since there aren't any churches or officials around...unless you count Judge Farris)within weeks to a month of the plague. Or six weeks in Stu and Frannie's case.
  • In Heian Japan, the setting of the Tale of Genji, three nights of sex and eating some cakes together constituted a legal marriage.
  • In Rose Daughter, it takes seven days for Beauty to fall in love with the Beast and tell him she wants to marry him. Compare that with Robin McKinley's previous "Beauty and the Beast" retelling, Beauty, where Beauty has known the Beast for several months before she decides to marry him.
  • While Karl Oskar and Kristina have known each other for a few years by the time they get married in The Emigrants they've only actually met a handful of times. Kristina points this out the first time he proposes and once more the second time.
  • In Tales of the Frog Princess, it took a total of three days for Li'l and Garrid to fall for each other.
  • The couples in most P. G. Wodehouse stories—justified, of course, in that that's exactly the way it was done at the time. Couples didn't really go steady unless they were engaged, so it wasn't uncommon for young men to propose to girls that they'd only met recently. Of course, fairly few Wodehouse engagements actually make it to the altar; the average Bertie Wooster plot, for instance, revolves around his attempts to escape from an unpleasant engagement.
  • In 1632, Jeff rescues Gretchen at the Battle of the Crapper. They get engaged that night, and married four days later. Despite not having a common language. Nevertheless, their relationship works, and is still going strong five years later.
    "This has got to be a record," chuckled Ferrara. "Meet a girl and propose in one day, maybe. But using a dictionary?"
  • Lanen and Akhor only have to meet twice, over two days, before they realize that they're very in love, and the next meeting has them doing a version of the Flight of the Devoted, which is as binding as marriage. They note, themselves, that this is highly irregular, both because it happened so fast and because one is human, one is a dragon.
  • By the end of the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Death and Diplomacy, Bernice Summerfield and Jason Kane have known each other for maybe a week, including the day or so when she thought he was a creepy alien as well as the later period when she just thought he was a creep. The book ends with them announcing their engagement and the wedding is in the next one.
  • In Sorcery and Cecelia, the marquis of Schofield proposes marriage to Kate after only week or so of acquaintance—not more than mildly unusual to those around them, given that the setting is the London Season in 1817—but it is as a cover-up for his plan to defeat the villain plotting against him. He later attempts to break off the engagement, but she refuses; by the end of the novel they’re in love and planning to be married within a few weeks, though this trope still kind of applies since it’s only been about three months since they met. The same goes for James and Cecy who, though they never had a sham betrothal, did meet and eventually get married in an almost identical time frame.
  • In Francine Rivers’ Redeeming Love, Michael begins proposing marriage to Angel the first time they meet each other, though it isn’t until after the third or fourth time that he is actually successful in gaining her consent (more or less). It should also be noted that this is very much a case of Honor Before Reason, since Angel couldn’t stand the sight of him and he was, far from being in love with her (though he did admit she was stunningly beautiful), obeying a divine mandate.
  • In The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Cimmorene and Mendanbar get married after just a few days of knowing each other, despite both being reluctant to marry before hand, and Daystar and Shiara are implied to be in love after knowing each other less than a week, though they don't want to get engaged. Averted with Morwen and Telemain, who knew each other for a long time before they got married and were implied to have had a romance before the series started.
  • In the Heraldsof Valdemar book Exile's Valor, Queen Selenay gets married to Prince Karath of Rethwellan after having known him only several months. Her fellow Heralds all think it's the worst idea they've ever heard, but they don't protest it, since they know that would just make her more fixated on the idea and an alliance marriage with Rethwellan is a good idea anyway. Once they're married, the relationship quickly turns sour, because Karath seduced her from a script and got tired of acting after the knot was tied.
  • In Prince of the Blood, when Jimmy the Hand encounters Gamina it's love at first...well, telepathic contact; he proposes marriage half an hour later.
  • In the Elemental Masters series, characters have gotten married or engaged in relatively short periods of time. However, all of them are Elemental Masters or Mages, which means they can usually tell in a short amount of time if they are right for each other or not. One character in Steadfast mentions that he's heard of magicians that meet for the first time and then elope in Gretna Green the following week, not having the patience to wait to get a license and post banns.
  • In Relativity, Sara and Greg get married after knowing each other only approximately four months. This is actually lampshaded by Sara's best friend Madge earlier in the saga:
    Madge: You always do this, Sara. You always get so caught up with a guy. Three dates and you’re ready to get married.
    • Actually, they have only two official "dates" before they get married, but they see each other quite often in that time.
  • Miss Price of Bedknob and Broomstick meets Emelius and within a weeks, most of which time they are not in contact with each other, he proposes to her and she accepts.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the sitcom Becker, John's friend Jake marries a woman he met the day before. Throughout the season their marriage has been on the rocks.
  • A Sex and the City episode "The Chicken Dance" has Miranda invite a friend to stay at her apartment for a week with the hope of wooing him. He and Miranda's interior decorator hit it off and they got engaged a week later. Their wedding becomes the topic of conversation for the rest of the episode. Among the main cast themselves is Charlotte and Trey, who were engaged and married in a ridiculously short period of time. Reality Ensues—Trey's impotency aside, the marriage is troubled almost from day one and despite valiant efforts on both parties part to make it work, it ultimately fails.
  • Bewitched - It's established in the early seasons of the show that Samantha and Darrin's romance was pretty rapid. Short enough for neither set of parents, nor Darrin's social circle, to know till after the wedding.
  • Ross and Emily from Friends. The marriage lasted about as long as the courtship.
  • Don't forget Matt and Sarah's first date marriage on 7th Heaven, though they did have a big wedding several months later.
  • The final episode of The Vicar of Dibley.
  • The main plot of Dharma and Greg is that the Odd Couple got married after only one date. If you want to be technical, they got married while on their first date!
    • Dharma seems to think they knew each other in a past life or something, though. Plus the cute little kiddy prologue. Not that either really makes the situation saner...
    • They were once surprised to meet another couple that got married the same day they met. It turns out she was a Mail Order Bride.
  • Subverted in How I Met Your Mother when Ted gets engaged to Stella after only a few months of dating, and very few visible dates, but then Stella calls off the wedding at the last minute. Multiple episodes leading up to the wedding call attention to the rush to the altar.
  • Kind of played with in a Venezuelan telenovela. The mismatched couple of a pampered architect and a construction worker meet and fall in love with passion and true honesty, then get a quick marriage using the looophole of "legalizing" a long concubinary relationship, although they have known each other less than a month, so she can get away from her family. Unfortunately they get in an accident which not only separates them, but also gives her Easy Amnesia and puts her in the custody of a millionaire who finds her. The Love Triangle ensues when she falls in love with this second man, and then her husband (now a rich man) finally finds her.
  • Noah's Arc: Fourth date is an exaggeration, but its revealed early on that Chance and Eddie have only known each other for six months at the start of the series, considering marriage (and get married very soon into the series) and are moving in together. This is also notable for being portayed as a Fourth Date Marriage in-universe.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures has "The Wedding of Sarah Jane", where the title character is about to marry a man she's known for at best a few months, and a single episode. Of course, Genre Savvy viewers immediately know that things can't possibly be right.
  • A literal example occurs in Grey's Anatomy: a heart patient is brought in at Thanksgiving and told she has to hold on until New Year's, when she has a good chance of receiving a donor heart. Her very new boyfriend remains by her bedside for weeks, and proposes when they hear a heart has been found. She points out that they have had only four dates, then says yes.
  • In Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules meets his love Serena in one episode and the two share a kiss by the end of that episode. By the middle of the very next episode he proposes marriage to her and marries her in same episode.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Earl is playing pool at the Crab Shack with his brother. Not far away, looking at them, is a pregnant Joy and her two friends. She's telling them how she got thrown out of her parents' house because of her premarital pregnancy, and how she needs to find a husband to provide for her and the kid ASAP. The women scope out the men at the bar, initially choosing Randy, but Joy rejects him because he's rather a Cloud Cuckoolander. She is, however, attracted to Earl, but she is Genre Savvy enough to know most men won't marry a woman who's six months pregnant with another man's baby. So she enlists her Girl Posse to get him drunk, which they do, and she introduces herself to Earl. Joy drives him to Las Vegas, where they have a quickie-wedding.
    • Funny thing is, the final episode (before the cancellation) reveals that the boy actually is Earl's (they hooked up for a one-night stand at a costume party and didn't see each other's faces), so in a weird kind of way he ends up making an "honest" woman out of her (if that word can even be applied to Joy).
    • Earl's other two marriages were an example of this trope as well. His second marriage was to his friend Ralph's elderly mother, after it was revealed that Earl drunkenly slept with her some years back and Ralph was threatening Earl's life over it. The marriage was annulled within two weeks, because Earl wouldn't consummate the marriage and she slept with the old man in Earl's Garage Band. His third marriage was to his friend Frank's ex-girlfriend Billie, after a coma dream convinced Earl that she was The One. He found out the hard way that sometimes Wanting Is Better Than Having, and ultimately she divorces him after she found inner peace on Camdenite farmland she was using to hide out from the police.
  • In True Blood, each episode takes place over the course of about 24 hours, and each one follows right after the other with a two-week time skip at the end of Season 1. This means that Bill and Sookie have sex for the first time about a week after meeting. Then, when Bill proposes to Sookie at the end of Season 2, they had known each other for a total of 43 days. Since Bill was born in the 19th century this may have been his expectation from the start.
  • Often seen in soap operas, most notably The Bold And The Beautiful, which will have characters planning a wedding within a month of meeting.
  • The first scene of Army Wives has Trevor propose to Roxy having dated her for four days. They marry shortly after that.
  • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Hikaru and Urara marry on the same day they first confess their feelings for each other, although they'd had half a season of Ship Tease in advance.
    • Plus, N Ma had revived and proclaimed that he would destroy all life in a matter of days, so it's not like they had a lot of time to devote to the courtship.
  • On Parks and Recreation, April and Andy decide to get married out of the blue after a season of Ship Tease and Will They or Won't They? and about a month of actual dating. Played with in that Leslie spends a whole episode trying to convince them how wrong their decision must be and that they're rushing into it, and finally realizes that maybe she should just give them a chance and let them do what they want.
  • On Community, Abed attempts to invoke this trope with Jeff and Britta. He has a wedding party with a best man and musical performers standing by just in case.
  • Fourth date near-marriages are fairly common in The Golden Girls with each of the women having at least one man propose to them within a week of meeting them. They almost always consider it a strong possibility, and get angry with their friends for not being happy for them. The only time it's completely Played Straight is in the season finale, when Dorothy actually goes through with it.
  • In My Family, a psychic tells Janey she will meet her true love at a wedding she's due to attend. She does meet a guy there, and marries him ten days later. She runs off with another man at the reception for her own wedding, and asks her husband for a divorce on the same day.
  • In the classic Star Trek episode "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky," the female alien leader is totally ready to marry McCoy after spending a few hours with him (even though he's dying of a rare disease), but then for her it was Love at First Sight.
  • In the first episode of Robin of Sherwood, Robin and Marian meet while Robin is trying to escape from the Sheriff of Nottingham (Marian is his ward). He bursts into her bedroom, looking for a place to hide, and they immediately fall in love. Marian helps him escape, and when he later he saves her, she decides to stay in Sherwood Forest with him and his band. They get married at the end of the second episode.
  • In the Doctor Who serial "The Green Death", Jo Grant is Put on a Bus by getting engaged to Professor Clifford Jones, a man she met for the first time earlier that story, when he yelled at her for ruining an experiment. (Other companions also left for a man they'd just met, but Jo is the only one where they actually announce their engagement. At least until Bernice Summerfield in the Doctor Who New Adventures.)
    • There's parallels to this with the early habit of having female companions Put on a Bus by having the Doctor leave them in some godforsaken time period because they've fallen in love with someone. Susan's relationship with David is implied to take place over the course of several months, but Vicki's relationship with Troilus explicitly takes place over the course of two days and is still intense enough that she abandons her life of adventure and her adoptive grandfather in order to live in a time period before modern medicine (when "The Web Planet" had established she was disturbed even by the idea of swallowing aspirin tablets due to how primitive it was) and knowing that there is an Alpha Bitch there who detests her to the point she's tried to have her killed.
  • Taken to ludicrous extremes in a 1985 storyline on Neighbours: Jim and Anna meet in episode 12, go out to dinner in episode 14, admit that they both love each other by episode 15, get engaged by the end of episode 16, then break up in episode 18 due to the opposition of Jim's daughters. Keep in mind this is a daily, half-hour Soap Opera we're talking about.
  • On ER, Gallant and Neela marry without even really having had a proper date. They were good friends with Unresolved Sexual Tension for several months before he was shipped off to Iraq. They correspond via mail for months

    Oral Tradition 
  • A lot of Fairy Tales, due to the Rule of Three, have the romantic leads meeting three times before being united for good and all the fourth time they meet. As the obvious examples, there are versions of "Cinderella" where Cinderella attends three balls in disguise, and only loses her slipper (or whatever it is in that version) on the third occasion.

    Theater 
  • Anthony and Johanna in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Anthony in particular is ready to elope with Johanna after meeting her once and exchanging a grand total of no words with her. Possibly deconstructed, in that a running theme of the play is the naivety of youth versus the cynicism of experience.
    • Depending on how it's performed, there's also the justification on Johanna's side that she's desperate to escape the depraved Judge Turpin.
  • Nellie and Emile in South Pacific have only known each other for two weeks, and Emile has already proposed, though Nellie hasn't said yes or no.
  • William Shakespeare was fond of playing this trope straight in his comedies and deconstructing it in his tragedies:
    • Famously deconstructed in Romeo and Juliet; two hormonal teenagers are driven to Elopement AND a Suicide Pact, all because of their families' pointless feuding (Romeo's previous infatuation at the top of the play suggests that, if things had taken their natural course, his affair with Juliet would have burned out of its own accord). The Prince of Verona publicly calls the Montagues and Capulets out on this at the end of the play.
      • Played somewhat straighter in the musical adaptation West Side Story, though with a similar message at the end.
    • Like everything else, played with and played straight in A Mid Summer Nights Dream: Demetrius's Love at First Sight with Helena half-way through the play is brought about by a literal plot device, the love potion; nonetheless, it sticks, and they are ready to be married by the end of the play.
      • The play does hint that Demetrius and Helena had a relationship before he started pursuing Hermia, which explains why Helena is so convinced that he really loves her. It still has him thrown back into love with her, though.
    • Twelfth Night, even by Shakespeare's standards, deserves special mention. Sebastian marries Olivia, a woman he has literally just met, without even telling her his name.
    • As You Like It has a partial example in Orlando and Rosalind, who spend most of their time pre-marriage while Rosalind is disguised as a man, so up until The Reveal, Orlando is prepared to marry a women he's met once in his life.
      • Similarly, Oliver and Celia jump very quickly from first meeting to marriage, which is lampshaded by Orlando.
  • Miss Saigon: Kim and Chris are madly in love and planning to move in together after one night together. After moving in, he declares his intent to take her back to the US with him and officially marry her there. It's explicitly stated several times that their whirlwind courtship has lasted all of two weeks.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride makes The Hero choose between three girls: Bianca, Nera, and Debora. Of those three, the only one he's spent any time with is childhood friend Bianca (whom he hasn't seen since he was six), and the game seems geared towards her as the "right choice".
  • Possible in The Sims. Heck, it's possible to have a first-date marriage, if you're so inclined. With enough hacking, two Sims that don't even know each other can be married. Justified in all games after the first as those include lifespans and ageing mechanics, with time advancing at very high speed - each "day" is representative of several months, resulting in solid dating history before marriage happens.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has no way of showing the passage of time in most of the main campaign, but it seems like it takes place over maybe a month. And in the space of a month, you can get an elf (notoriously patient species) for males or a paladin (very cautious about this sort of thing) for females to be declaring undying love for you by the end. Then again, Elanee actually makes more sense than most examples, and being thrown into a waterfall of life-or-death situations would tend to make romantic involvement progress rather quickly.
    • Mask of the Betrayer takes place over around three weeks, given its internal traveling time estimates. Then again, both of the possible love interests have a decent excuse.
    • It is ambiguous how long you spend wandering around the Underdark with Nathyrra (or Valen if your character is female), but somehow it doesn't seem long enough for what results. The timeframe for the player character and either Aribeth or Arin (depending on gender) in the original campaign is a lot more feasible.
    • This trope quite frequently lampshaded by Diana on her romance path in the community module Sanctum of the Archmage, which combines this with Love Before First Sight.
  • Justified for a male player character and Bastila in Knights of the Old Republic, due to their force bond. Less so for a female player character and Carth.
    • It's possibly averted. It's not really clear how long the quest for the star maps takes.
  • Potentially averted in Dragon Age: Origins, as the events of the Blight take place over roughly a year. This allows the Warden to make a move immediately, or spend fairly good span of time to develop their relationship with Alistair/Morrigan/Leliana/Zevran. The characters each take a different span of time to fall in love, even if their approval is very high; "love" requires their personal quest to be completed, which for Alistair could be done the first time you enter Denerim, but for Zevran requires the Landsmeet to have been called, approaching end-game.
    • Completely averted in Dragon Age II. The events of the game take place over ten years, and it takes three for Hawke's relationship with his/her chosen significant other to move to a physical level. The end of the game takes place ten years after the beginning, and Hawke's love interest is the sole companion to remain by his/her side after the events of the endgame.
      • Practically inverted in Dragon Age II's case, considering how little changes for most characters in the course of what's supposed to be that many years.
  • Mostly averted in Baldur's Gate II. The romance dialogues (which there are about 20 for each option) happen roughly every half hour or so in realtime. In game time this usually translates in more than three months.
  • You can invoke this in certain Harvest Moon games due to Good Bad Bugs. Arguably, a lot of Harvest Moon games feature this unless you believe all events involving you two romantically are dates.
    • If one figures out what items the various love interests like, it can be ridiculously easy to get them to love you in very short periods of time, with minimal interaction.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, in which all marriage requires is having completed a quest for a given NPC and then speaking to them while wearing an amulet that signifies you're available and looking. Some require you complete whole questlines, which presumably would give you time to get to know each other (not much, but some time) while others require only a simple fetch quest, and some require only that you beat your potential spouse in a bare-knuckle brawl. The priest of Mara who explains this to you points out that this is not unusual at all in Skyrim, as, well, its freaking Skyrim, one of the most dangerous regions in the world, and people don't involve themselves in long courtships when death is literally right down the road.
  • Can be played straight in Fire Emblem Awakening if Chrom marries the Female Avatar (a girl whom he meets by the start of the story - it's not clear how many days/weeks pass from the beginning to the chapter where Chrom marries her or any other of his brides) or Olivia (who appears at the same chapter where he has to get married).
    • If a male Avatar marries Chrom's sister Lissa quite early in the story, it can be the same deal.

    Webcomics 
  • Hasting's long string of divorces in Ugly Hill is partly due to him marrying new women at the drop of a hat.
  • Fred and Faye in Something Positive were married after knowing each other only two months. Many years later, Faye talks about this:
    Faye: When we first married, you asked if I regretted rushing into it after just two months of dating. I said no, but I do ... Two months was too long. I'd have married you after the first date.
  • Not marriage, but in Sunstone Ally and Lisa manage to move in with each other before they start dating. Three weeks after they meet and started an intimate relationship, and three months after they met online, but still some time before either of them pluck up the courage to finally ask the other out for Date #1. The narrative acknowledges how rash this was and chapter four deals with the consequences.
  • Knights Of Buena Vista averts this with Bill and Mary, who had known each other over three years before Bill proposed. Yet when he did, Mary thought that was was instead having his Player Character propose to hers. Then they decided to actually include that as an In-Universe Throw It In.

    Web Original 
  • In Echo Chamber, Tom seems to have a very juvenile idea of what love is. He thinks he has a future with Porn Girl, and says he loves her after one date. It doesn't end well. Mostly because Tom asked Zack to film all of their dates.
  • From a chain letter in this Snopes article: "Richard S. Willis sent this letter within 45 minutes of reading it. Not even 4 hours later walking along the street to his new job interview with a really big company, he ran into Cynthia Bell, his secret love for 5 years. Cynthia came up to him and told him of her passionate crush on him that she had had on him for 2 years. Three days later, he proposed to her and they got married."

    Western Animation 
  • In Thumbelina, the title character falls in love with a fairy prince after half an hour and goes on a quest to find him and marry him. This is all just because he's the same size as she.
    Thumby: I think I'm gonna marry him.
    The Nostalgia Chick: I mean I've known him for all of twelve hours!
    • Incidentally, this is a step up from the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, which has Thumbelina meet the prince for the first time, fall in love with him, and marry him at the very end of the story.
  • Subverted in Moral Orel when Clay and Bloberta got married after one date (and it's really tough to call it a date since they just went to a reception together after attending the wedding separately). It's quite clear both of them regard it as a mistake, but go through with it anyway, since Clay wants someone around to help him and Bloberta just wants to be the one getting married.
    • Most poignantly, when asked by her son why they married, all Bloberta could muster for an answer is 'why not?'.
  • Almost happened to Bolin in Season 2 of The Legend of Korra with Korra's cousin Eska. He skips town before going through with it, but she does not take this well. At all.
  • Family Guy: Adam West asks Lois's sister Carol to marry him after one date. Lois herself thinks it's a bad idea, but rather than telling them to take it slow she tries to break them up. It all works out in the end.

    Real Life 
  • French president Nicolas Sarkozy: get divorced in October 2007, find a new girlfriend in December of the same year, get married in February 2008: the whole process took little more than 100 days.
    • Of course, he is (well, was) the president of France and she is Carla Bruni.
  • Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss: SNL does a Mad Men sketch. Amy Poehler is supposed to play Moss' character but she goes into labor a few hours before showtime. Moss happens to be in New York, so they bring her in at the last minute to do the sketch. She meets the cast members, and when she meets Armisen, in the words of someone else, "it was like a bolt of electricity. Everyone in the room felt it." They start dating and three months later announce their engagement; they married in October 2009 and have since separated.
  • The infamous 2000 Reality TV show Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire — which saw 50 contestants try to win the heart of a millionaire whom they had never even seen, let alone met — resulted in a woman marrying a stranger in front of 22 million people. The total length of the marriage? About a month and a half.
    • The makers of the show, being a bit Genre Savvy about the whole thing, had them sign annulment agreements before they got married.
  • Not uncommon for those who find love in their senior years of life to marry their sweethearts within a short time of meeting them
  • Happens a lot in the Ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish community- many become engaged after a grand total of ONE half-hour date at home, or beshow. Before that their parents do a lot of research and- that's basically it, besides for the family pointing the guy out to the girl in synagogue. While it's an arranged marriage in a sense, they do have the opportunity to say no. It does seem to work.
    • In non-Hassidic Orthodox Jewish communities, it's more of a blind dating construct, but engagements are still pushed after fewer than ten dates, which can be compressed into a period of about a month. Longer than that is discouraged. Unlike Hassidim, however, who generally tend to have long engagements, non-Hassidim generally get married VERY soon after engagement (a month or two).
  • In the 1950s, if you were dating someone for longer than a few months without getting married, it was usually considered improper, as they were "trying to have it all."
  • David Duchovny and Tea Leoni got married after dating for about nine weeks, which is even more amazing when you consider that for much of that time Duchovny was in Canada shooting The X-Files and Leoni was in California shooting The Naked Truth. They've been married for over 13 years.
    • They were married for over 13 years, which is still an impressive record for anyone with a Real Life example of this trope.
  • Buddy Holly proposed to Maria Elena Santiago on their very first date. They met in June 1958. They married on August 15th of the same year. Of course, we all know how that turned out...
  • Writers harvey Pekar (of American Splendor fame) and Joyce Brabner decided to get married after meeting each other once, after a long phone and mail courtship. They were married on their third date. They were married for over 25 years until Pekar died in 2010.
  • Reality staple Kim Kardashian met New Jersey Nets player Kris Humphries on the opening game of 2010 and was engaged to him by the end of the season. After a massively hyped (and expensive) wedding in August 2011, Kim dropped divorce papers on him after only 72 days.
  • While marriage is not expected immediately, the premise of the series Millionaire Matchmaker is that the matchmaker sets up a millionaire and a girl or guy who fits what said millionaire is looking for in a partner out on a series of dates. The matchmaker asks both how they felt the dates went and gives advice on how to make the relationship work better. Generally, the idea is at least for the couple to continue to see each other after the first few dates.
  • The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are notorious for this sort of thinking, even if the winning couple aren't expected to marry right away.
  • Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe and Pamela Anderson only knew each other for 4 days before they got married.
  • A happily positive example is James Garner (The Rockford Files, The Notebook) who married his wife, Lois Clarke 14 days after they first met in 1956. They've been together ever since.
  • In an appearance on The Mercer Report, Justin Trudeau revealed that he proposed to his wife, Sophie Gregoire, after meeting her for the first time, stating that he told her "forget boyfriend/girlfriend."
  • Columnist Emily Yoffe was engaged within 6 weeks of meeting her future husband and married 4 months after that. Her response to any letters displaying this trope is to declare that she's hardly one to judge, given how things evolved with her husband of nearly 20 years.
  • This is a common occurrence at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, as well as its branch campuses in Hawaii and Idaho.
    • And at other Mormon-populated colleges, too. Seems to be a Mormon thing—relationships among college-age Mormons usually seem to start within a week of the two meeting each other for the first time, and within the next month or two they've either broken up or gotten engaged (and Mormons tend to have their weddings pretty quick after being engaged, too).
    • Christian colleges in general are notorious for this. Women attending them are jokingly said to be studying for an "Mrs Degree."
  • A common event in the military, at least in the United States. It is not uncommon to see young couples get married to someone that they can tolerate in order to recieve better living conditions (single soldiers are quartered in a barracks, where they will often share communal living and bathroom facilities with upwards of 30 other people, while married personnel receive apartments or houses for them and their families) and better pay (married soldiers will get extra money if seperated from their family for an extended period, alongside the added financial benefits that come with marriage such as filing joint taxes and reduced insurance costs).
    • Plus, if you know you're about to be deployed, it makes sense to Altar the Speed in case you don't make it back. The widow of a service-member killed in action gets $100,000 plus a pension of 1.375% of his high-3 pay times the number of years he served. His fiance, on the other hand, gets nothing, even if he left her Someone to Remember Him By.
    • Has been used by couples who are both in the service with one soon to be deployed overseas to a peaceful location as a way to increase the odds of their new spouse likewise getting an assignment in that country. In at least one case of this, the marriage was the first date, and may have never been consummated.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. proposed to Coretta Scott on their first date, after knowing each other for only two weeks.
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson also proposed to Lady Bird on their first date. Shocked, she rejected him, saying it was too soon...only to accept a month and a half later.

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