Love Makes You Uncreative
What happens when someone involved in artistic or other creative endeavors enters into a relationship with a person only for his work to seemingly go downhill as a result? That's the question raised by the Love Makes You Uncreative trope.
In stories involving this trope, the artist in question may be in an extremely happy relationship but his significant other functions as the opposite of The Muse
(i.e., an anti-muse). In some cases, there may be nothing wrong with this person—in fact she may be perfectly charming and likeable—except for the fact the artist's relationship with her has somehow caused him to start producing inferior work
or no work at all
. In other instances, if the artist character is a musician in a band or part of some other type of creative team and his object of love causes strain with the other members and alienates fans, there can be overlap with the Yoko Oh No
trope. There also can be overlap with the Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend
trope if the artist begins involving and displaying overt favoritism toward the significant other in his projects—often to their detriment. This situation is made even worse if the other person is an untalented Golddigger
who's latching on to the artist
for the purposes of gaining fame and/or money.
Related to True Art Is Angsty
: an unloved, lonely and depressed artist is more likely to create "true" or "compelling" art than one in a happy relationship. Creator Recovery
would be a supertrope. Compare Love Makes You Dumb
. Contrast Creator Breakdown
and Creator Couple
which, when combined with this trope, can lead to a Couple Bomb
Love Makes You Uncreative is a trope found in both fiction and Real Life
. However, in the case of the latter, the decline in someone's work after his or her hook-up with someone unpopular with the Fandom
is often subjective. Thus, this trope is limited to In-Universe Examples Only
- The Big Bang Theory:
- When Sheldon has to team up with Kripke on a project he realizes that Kripke's work is much better than his. Kripke discovers the same thing, but assumes that because Sheldon has a girlfriend (and therefore is having sex) his work has suffered as a result. In order to save face Sheldon decides Sure, Let's Go with That.
- An Invoked Trope on the episode where Dennis Kim, a teen prodigy that is Sheldon's Always Someone Better, appears. The guys look for a girl that can date Kim in order to sabotage him; much Hilarity Ensues when they cannot find one, but fortunately, Kim manages on his own. The last scene of the episode has Kim hanging out with the girl and his friends, implied that he abandoned his chance at scholarship... and the guys (except Sheldon) discuss whether they would fall under Nerds Are Sexy or not, because of their (up to that point lousy) love lives.
- In Spaced, Brian realizes that his relationship with Twist is preventing him from painting, because he can only paint when he is unhappy. Subverted, because the realization that he must choose between his relationship and his career makes him unhappy, allowing him to paint successfully again.
- Subverted in Seinfeld with hilarious results. When George stops having sex in "The Abstinence," his IQ goes off the chart now that his brain is free to focus on things other than getting laid, and he even gives New York Yankees home run hitting champs Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams advice on how to use physics to improve their game. However, when Elaine sees what happened to George and decides to give up sex to help her boyfriend pass the medical board, her IQ drops dramatically.
- This trope somewhat comes into play in Paddy Chayefsky's The Latent Heterosexual, where Morley, a "faggot junkie poet," enters into a Perfectly Arranged Marriage and gives up not only homosexuality and drugs but poetry, too.
"When I first met my husband, he was a faggot, junkie, poet. Well, he stopped being a faggot, he kicked the junk, and he hasn't written a word since last spring."
- Gil accuses Agatha of this in Girl Genius after she breaks down over Tarvek's deadly illness. She's an amazingly strong and smart Mad Scientist, but she's so worried that she's incapable of thinking of an invention that could help.
Gil: Agatha, listen, I... I can see you really like this toad—
Agatha: What?! How- I mean- Why would you say that?
Gil: Listen to yourself. You're a strong Spark, but you're holding it back. You're so afraid of hurting him, you've gone all sloppy and helpless.
- In Ménage à 3, when Zii finally gets into a relationship with DiDi, she starts being late for and careless about band rehearsals. This might be a minor case — she may still be adequately creative — but the relationship also causes her difficult relationship with Sonya, her bassist, to fail completely, and Sonya has little difficulty convincing Yuki, her drummer, that Zii has betrayed them both. One careless conversation later, Zii has no band.
- Legorobot, an MS Paint webcomic infamous for its Black Comedy, Crossing the Line Twice surrealist humor, and Memetic Mutation had a page where the author gushes over his girlfriend, causing him to evolves into a Bulbasaur. The entire strip comes off as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment, especially considering this was the same webcomic that featured "Anger Powered Jetpacks", and an MS Paint penis stretching past the border and leading to a photograph of someone's testicles with the title "You People Will Laugh At Anything."
- In The Fairly Oddparents episode "Chin-dred Spirits", Timmy grows bored with the Crimson Chin comics because the superhero has become a sobbing wreck of loneliness in the most recent issues, so Timmy wishes for a girlfriend for him, the superheroine Golden Locks. He then wishes to see next month's issue in the hope of seeing some long-awaited superhero action, and finds that the Chin's fallen so head-over-heels that the comic's become absolutely mushy.
- In a parody of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, in The Simpsons episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", after Barney (who is the best vocalist in the Be Sharps) begins dating a Japanese conceptual artist, he creates an awful conceptual song which is basically a repeat of the Japanese artist saying "Number 8" over a loop of Barney belching.
- In the South Park episode "The Succubus", ladies' man Chef finally finds true love... only for his sensual baritone singing voice to turn into that of a high-pitched dweeby white guy. As is evident from the title, his fiancée' turns out to be a soul-draining succubus.
- Averted in the Oscar-winning short "The Danish Poet" - Caspar falls into a depression after his beloved marries another man, and only becomes productive again once they are reunited.