Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
The traditional four things a bride must carry at her wedding:
The final line "...And a silver sixpence in her shoe" is all-but-forgotten nowadays, at least in part because sixpence pieces aren't used any more in Britain and never were in the USA. Some people buy antique coins especially (for considerably more than 6p) — whether that also counts towards their Something Old is up for debate.
For Shotgun Weddings
, the Something New is the baby.
The Something Blue is usually a ribbon, or brooch, or some other minor accessory. Before 1840, when Queen Victoria
was married in that year, blue was the choice colour for wedding dresses as it was the colour for purity (being associated with the Virgin Mary).
Wedding episodes are frequently named after this
, occasionally split into Cross Referenced Titles
for a multi-parter.
Anime and Manga
- Manga series The Embalmer refers to this tradition in its opening episode. The embalmer's client's fiancÚ is killed in a car accident shortly before the wedding - the embalmer conceals the stitching of the woman's reattached leg with a blue garter (an item also borrowed from a friend), so that when the body is displayed during her funeral it completes a symbolic wedding to offer the client some solace.
- The Plot Coupons in Wedding Peach, called the "Saints Something Four". Each of the four girl gets one and they become a Holy Hand Grenade in the second Season.
- Wedding Peach Abridged spoofed this in an Omake, with Momoko thinking it was the penny in the shoe, and telling all the girls to check their footwear.
- An Ivy the Terrible strip where Ivy tried to get the four things for a friends wedding. First she went into a fish and chip shop to ask for something really ancient, and got chased out. She later got a vase from an antique shop for something old, and borrowed a baby blue whale as something new borrowed, and blue.
- A plot point in the 1956 psychological thriller A Kiss Before Dying. The sister of a murder victim is able to deduce that her pregnant but unmarried sister's "suicide" had been staged, and that she had actually been murdered, when she realizes an odd collection of clothing items her slain sister was wearing included "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue". The sister hadn't gone to kill herself; she had gone—so she thought—to marry the father of her unborn child. Instead, the sister's murderous boyfriend lured her to a deserted building on the pretense that they would get married, then pushed her off the roof, having already taken steps to make her death look like a suicide.
- In film of In Her Shoes, Rose's grandmother lends her - big surprise - a pair of shoes: old, but not to Rose (new), not given to her (borrowed), with little blue decorations on the inside.
- In Disney's Babes in Toyland, Mother Goose is helping Mary Mary Quite Contrary make her wedding dress and recites the "Something old, something new, something borrowed..." Upon which the film's Big Bad shows up, causing Mother's pet goose Sylvester to crack, "Something old and ugly, too!"
- There's a Babysitters Club book where Kristy's mom gets married, and her underwear is her "something blue." Too Much Information.
- Dawn's mom did it too in a later one.
- Laura invokes the trope in These Happy Golden Years when her mother objects to her getting married in the new black dress they are making for her ("Marry in black, you'll wish yourself back!"); she cheerfully suggests that she can wear it with a blue-lined bonnet that she's owned for several years and her mother's gold brooch, to which Ma Ingalls allows that there's probably no truth in these old sayings.
- In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, the Doctor has to get married because it'll somehow save the world from extradimensional baboons. Fitz mentions it's too bad they can't bring the TARDIS into the chapel, because it would count as all four.
- In Breaking Dawn, Bella gets roped into a fancy traditional wedding as a favor to Alice. "Something old" and "Something blue" are the sapphires that Charlie and Renee have put into a set of her grandmother's hair combs, "Something new" is her dress and "Something borrowed" is Alice's garter.
- How I Met Your Mother does it twice:
- The final two episodes of season 2 that show Marshall and Lily's wedding are titled 'Something Borrowed' and 'Something Blue'.
- The final two episodes of season 8 that lead to Barney and Robin's wedding are titled 'Something Old' and 'Something New'.
- Frasier has a season finale titled 'Something Borrowed, Someone Blue.'
- Also used as a joke during the wedding arc in Ugly Betty, in which one character says the bride herself is "something old," to which the bride replies, "well, with your varicose veins I certainly have something blue."
- When Chandler and Monica decide to get married in Vegas on impulse, they shoplift a blue sweater to count as something new, borrowed, and blue. For something old:
Chandler: I have a condom in my wallet that I've had since I was twelve.
Monica: That'll work!
Chandler: I don't think so.
- Phoebe gets married outside in the snow - when asked if she's going to be cold, she says "I don't care. I'll be my something blue!"
- There was an episode of Touched by an Angel where this appeared.
- In an episode of 30 Rock, Liz reluctantly agrees to be one of Cerie's bridesmaids. Cerie then hugs her and cheerfully says "Now I have my something old!"
- On Roseanne she and Darlene argued about whether Darlene should bother with it- Jackie's failure to adhere to the superstition and subsequent marriage implosion is used as evidence.
- On The Nanny, Fran's friend Val fails to find her a something blue and she freaks out, resulting in:
Gracie: "Fran you're choking her!"
Fran: "Well then at least I'll have something blue won't I?"
- Played with in a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode in which Sally almost got married. Harry ends up getting her an old guy whom he borrowed from the tip top club. This guy played the blues and was Harry's new friend.
- The episode of Torchwood wherein Gwen and Rhys get married is called "Something Borrowed" and in this case it refers to the alien fetus that Gwen has accidentally had transferred to herself.
- In the Doctor Who episode The Big Bang, Amy Pond at her wedding to Rory Williams quotes "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" in regards to the TARDIS, which is all of them.
- All of which was carefully planned by the Doctor to avoid being permanently forgotten.
- Similarly, the Buffy episode where Buffy and Spike get hit by one of Willow's accidental spells and fall madly in love is called "Something Blue."
- An episode of Top Chef was based around 4 teams, each having to make food based on one of the four categories for a wedding reception.
- The Sabrina the Teenage Witch finale has a Running Gag of Sabrina trying to find her four items. Finally they decide her dress counts as New, they paint one of her toenails Blue, Morgan borrows $10 from the flower girl and hands her a bracelet she grabbed from her jewellery box as Old. Unfortunately the bracelet is significant in reminding Sabrina that Harvey is the one she loves and runs off with him.
Roxie: I guess that's the Something Old she needed.
- In Grey's Anatomy's season 5 finale, when Meredith and Derek decide to get married, Cristina gives her an old grocery list, a new post-it, and her favorite blue pen (which also counts as borrowed, since she wants it back).
- Source of much drama in Mad Men, when Roger's second wife gives some very expensive jewelry to her step-daughter for her wedding.
Margaret: in tears Well, it's blue. And it's new.
- The Cheers episode where Rebecca is about to marry Robin Colcord references this with Lilith giving Rebecca her "something new".
Rebecca:Now, I just need something old, something borrowed, and something blue.
Carla:How about Norm's liver?
Norm:I am almost finished with it.
- The BBC's adapatation of Agatha Christie's The Sittaford Mystery (extensively rewritten from the source material) involves the protagonists realizing that a suspect was married to the murder victim due to the fact she was wearing something old, new, borrowed and blue the day before.
- Used in an episode of Xena.
- Referenced in Animal Crossing, of all things; occasionally the "Perky" animals will ask girl players if they've chosen theirs yet.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, the four heirlooms which are the key to finding the Ultimate Insult are something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue respectively. (They were intended as wedding gifts.)
- Following a similar scheme in rhyme and purpose (in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge), in order to make a voodoo doll, you need Something of the Head (dandruff, hair, lice, what have you), Something of the Thread (a thread or cloth sample from the victim's clothing), Something of the Body (spit, phlegm, blood...whatever), and Something of the Dead (a bone or something from a dead relative).
- While not quite a wedding ceremony, a magical ritual in City of Heroes calls for the participation of a old mage, a young witch, a powerful psychic in a borrowed body and somebody whose name is Cerulean.
- Occurs in World of Warcraft in the Twilight Highlands zone, where Alliance players must help along a dwarven marriage for political reasons. Of course, being dwarves, the gifts are slightly different, being "something bold, something brewed, something stolen, something stewed".
- In the Borderlands 2 DLC Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre'', Moxxi and the Vault Hunters make a love potion using the recipe "Something new, something old, something borrowed, something gold". They end up using the tears of a baby they kidnapped (something new and borrowed), an aged whiskey (something old) and parts from a golden robot (something gold). Later on, Moxxi and Ellie note that the saying might not go quite like that.
- PvP had Skull the Troll as the blue thing.
- Something Positive had main character Davan give best friend Aubrey a bruise (blue) when she was freaking out about not having something for it.
- A Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy's brother Spike is getting married to Fifi the poodle. The kids go through the whole process of new, old, borrowed, blue. (They were all bones.)
- On The Simpsons, in the flashforward episode where Lisa marries Hugh (almost), Lisa's pearls are old, her dress is new, she borrows a locket from Hugh's mother, and a lock of Marge's hair is blue.
- There's also an episode' where Bart has to marry Cletus' daughter, who brings the four things to her wedding, although instead of something blue, she has 'something stew.'
- There's an episode of DuckTales where Scrooge is about to marry a gold digging bitch (and is unaware of her bitchess; his nephews are of course trying to convince him to no avail), and just before she walks down the aisle, she says "Something old: my money. Something new? His money. Something borrowed: more money. And something green... ALL the money!"
- In one episode of Thomas And Friends, Percy is asked to help find the "Good Luck Package" at the last minute for the wedding of Mrs Kindly's daughter. I forget what was Borrowed, but the Old Slow Coach was Something Old, a set of buffers right from the factory was Something New, and Thomas of course made an appearance as Something Blue.
- The something borrowed was the flat truck the new buffers were on.
- In Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Rules of Engagement", we learn that Tetramand brides have to collect four items to present to the groom's parents; Something conquered, something bruised, something severed, and something blue. Princess Looma Red Wind, whom Ben got into an Accidental Marriage in a previous episode, returns and collects Ester, proving she conquered the Kraaho, Julie, who was bruised during the fighting, Fistina's forearm, and Rook.