->''"And oft she saw the closet door,''
->''and longed to look inside.''
->''At last she could no more refrain,''
->''and turned the little key,''
->''And looked within, and fainted straight''
->''the horrid sight to see;''
->''For there upon the floor was blood,''
->''and on the walls were wives,''
->''For Bluebeard first had married them,''
->''then cut their throats with knives."''
-->-- '''Jack Torrance''', ''[[Literature/TheShining The Shining]]'' by Creator/StephenKing

The SpearCounterpart of the BlackWidow, the Bluebeard is a man who appears [[TheCasanova charming]] but hides a nefarious secret: he keeps marrying women and then murdering them.

Unlike the BlackWidow, the Bluebeard is rarely motivated by {{greed}}, though in RealLife, historically that was a fairly common motivation. Often, he just does it for [[MonsterMisogyny kicks]] or as the epitome of DomesticAbuse. If he has a pattern of cheating on his current wife with the woman who will become his next wife, it's RemarriedToTheMistress.

Named after the [[Literature/{{Bluebeard}} famous fairy tale]]. Not to be confused with RedRightHand, although the TropeNamer's beard fell under that category. Not to be confused with the character from WesternAnimation/{{Felidae}} either. Nor with CaptainColorbeard; Bluebeards usually aren't pirates.

A subtrope of MurderInTheFamily.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* A ''Anime/LupinIII'' episode dealt with this: a rich man married 99 women, murdered them, and encased their bodies in wax so he could preserve them. He planned to add Fujiko to his collection, but Lupin and the gang put a stop to that.
* In ''LightNovel/ShinigamiHimeNoSaikon'', [[spoiler:Lord Kashburn's father was one of these. Originally, he lured noblewomen with the promise of wealth, then murdered them; when the money ran out, he moved onto the servants and farmers' daughters. In the end, Kashburn killed him.]]
* Conwellians have this as their ''hat'' in ''Manga/LevelE'', as their BizarreAlienReproduction entails devouring their females and digesting them in order to fertilise their eggs. [[TragicMonster Even if they genuinely loved their mate.]] They destroyed their planet over a battle between a faction who were dedicated to genetically altering their species to remove this trait and a faction who thought that this was an intolerable heresy.
* Zanoba from *LightNovel/MushokuTensei ripped off his wife's head because she looked like a doll.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Bluebeard appears in the comic book ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'', although his wife-killing days are supposedly behind him. Of course, given how wise the characters have become over the centuries, this might be as much because no one is willing to marry him as because he's genuinely reformed.
* In the ''ComicBook/GrimmFairyTales'' version, the wife who opens the room finds what she feared: His previous wives' bodies, lots of blood, and all that. On his return, he flies into a rage, and she manages to stab him. [[spoiler:Only then does she learn the truth. The room was enchanted, and had shown her what she feared to see. He was only looking for a wife who could trust him.]]
* ''The Haunt of Fear'' (one of the original 1950s comics on which ''ComicBook/TalesFromTheCrypt'' is based) had a one-off story about a woman who discovers her new husband is Bluebeard's great-great-grandson and has indeed killed off all his previous wives. Predictably, he kills her as well so she can't tell anyone.
* Creator/EmilyCarroll's "A Lady's Hands are Cold," in the collection ''ComicBook/ThroughTheWoods'', draws on this legend. [[spoiler:After an ArrangedMarriage, Wife #2 finds pieces of Wife #1 hidden all over the house, then reassembles her. Wife #1 is not as grateful as one might expect.]]
* He-She, a one-shot ''Crimebuster'' villain, married a landlady and swindled her out of her money, all the while keeping their [[TwoFaced right, female half obscured]]. Once she found out, He-She killed her and stuffed her in a wall. Crimebuster even calls them a Bluebeard once he finds the body.
* Before joining the ComicBook/{{Runaways}}, Klara was married to an older man who had convinced her mother that he was a devout, God-fearing man, but who turned out to be a lazy drunkard who abused Klara in every way imaginable.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* The ''Literature/{{Bluebeard}}'' from the 1697 fairy tale kept murdering his wives, reasoning that they had fallen to their curiosity by opening the door he had strictly forbidden for them to open. Traditionally, the room behind the forbidden door contains the bodies of his previous wives. [[ValuesDissonance Earlier versions use this as a moral for women not to disobey their husbands]] [[CuriosityKilledTheCast or get too curious]]. In a few versions, the story itself gets inverted to serve this message: specifically, the wife successfully resists the temptation to look, and this somehow grants her power over her husband to make him do whatever she says when he returns from his trip and finds himself deprived of his excuse to kill her.
* A variation of this tale appears in many versions of "The Robber Bridegroom" by the Grimm Brothers and others. In this story, the murderer is a member of a gang of cannibalistic bandits. After he invites the potential fiancée to his house, she gets some help from the bandits' servant, an old woman who hides her behind a cask. The would-be bride then witnesses another woman being murdered and devoured, and later, the old woman helps her escape on the condition that she brings her along (presumably because the bride knows the way and the old woman doesn't). The bride brings along a ring from the victim of the murder she witnessed, and on the day of the wedding, exposes her fiancé with the evidence. The story ends with the Bridegroom and the other bandits executed.
* ''Fitcher's Bird'' is another variation -- the main difference is that [[ActionGirl the bride rescues herself]].
* The bride in the Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} ''The Outlandish Knight'' manages to save her life. "Six pretty maidens have you drowned here/And the seventh has drowned thee."
* There is a version that completely subverts the story with a PerspectiveFlip. Bluebeard strictly forbids his wife from entering a particular room, but when she does, she finds that the room is perfectly normal and empty. It turns out that Bluebeard simply uses the room as a private place to rest when he doesn't want to be disturbed. He's understandably pissed when he finds out that his wife entered the room when he asked her not to, and ends up divorcing her and kicking her out of the house for her lack of trust.
* ''Mr Fox'' is another version of this story, where the woman discovers the dead women and witnesses the mutilation of one of them. She presents the evidence to Fox, who flees, but then is either torn apart by villagers and their dogs or arrested, convicted in a court of law, and executed. Unusually for the trope, the title character is explicitly indicated to be at least partially motivated by {{greed}}, as he takes special interest in one victim's diamond ring.
* There is an Italian version called "Il Naso D'argento" ("The Silver Nose"). The "stranger" has a silver nose, and he is actually the Devil. The Forbidden Room is Hell, where he threw the first two disobedient wives. The wife's little sister, however, manages to save them. The "silver nose" was typically a prosthetic nose used by men who suffered from severe syphilis, which could cause one's nose to rot off. Thus, it would have been an early warning that the stranger was not very trustworthy.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'': Emily's fiancé [[spoiler:Lord Barkis]], tricked her into getting ready to run away with him, then killed her before their wedding and took her money and family jewelry. She became known in the underworld as the "Corpse Bride", waiting for her true love she could marry. The villain wants to do the same with one more girl ([[spoiler: Victor's girlfriend Victoria Everglot]]), and perhaps there were more unfortunate ladies. [[spoiler: Towards the end of the movie, after Emily lets go of Victor so he can return to Victoria's side, she sees Barkis and recognizes him as her killer; soon he properly dies, and Emily's undead friends [[TheDogBitesBack happily and viciously attack him]].]]

[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]
* The villain in ''Film/SoulsForSale'' marries women, takes out insurance policies on them, and kills them.
* The title character of the Creator/CharlieChaplin film ''Film/MonsieurVerdoux''.
* Legendary screen cad George Sanders essays a modern-day (as in circa 1960) version of the role in ''Bluebeard's Ten Honeymoons''.
* Played fairly straight in the early-'60s French film ''Landru'', based upon the story of Henri Landru (see the RealLife entry below).
* There is Catherine Breillat's film version of the legend.
* The bad Richard Burton film ''Bluebeard'' (1972) ups the ante by making Bluebeard a NoSwastikas NaziNobleman, and, for additional {{Squick}}, throwing in a dash of ILoveTheDead.
* The title character of the horror movie ''Film/TheStepfather'' marries women with children, only to slaughter them when they fall short of his expectations. He has ridiculously high standards, and so he goes through families fairly quickly.
* Harry Powell from ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter''. The film's main plot is him chasing after the children of his latest victim.
* In the original ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1959'', eccentric millionaire Frederick Loren (Creator/VincentPrice) is currently on his fourth wife. The first one disappeared, and the second two died of heart attacks, despite being in their 20s. [[spoiler:At the end of the film, he frightens his fourth wife to death, but only because [[GoldDigger she was plotting to kill him for his money]]. It's implied that her predecessors may have been similarly interested in becoming rich young widows.]]
* Creator/FritzLang's ''Film/SecretBeyondTheDoor'' (1948), starring Creator/MichaelRedgrave and Joan Bennett, combines the Bluebeard motif with a hefty helping of HollywoodPsych.
* Implied to be the case with [[MeaningfulName Blue]] in ''Film/SuckerPunch''.
* Spoofed in the old Italian comedy ''Le Sei Mogli di Barbablu'', starring the great Toto (Antonio De Curtis). Bluebeard's previous wives in this one, including a young Creator/SophiaLoren in one of her first roles, [[spoiler:haven't actually been killed, but are being held in suspended animation, and are revived by Toto]].
* A variant occurs in the 1942 grade-Z horror movie ''Film/TheCorpseVanishes'', starring Creator/BelaLugosi. Lugosi's character is running a scheme where high-society brides are being put into a near-death state in the midst of their weddings, then abducted, having their blood drawn to provide the raw material for a formula which is intended to keep Lugosi's wife in a state of eternal youth, and then killed. The IntrepidReporter who investigates the case finds the bodies of several of the victims in morgue drawers when she goes poking through the villain's lair.
* The 1934 movie ''Film/TheBlackCat''. This time, Bela Lugosi plays an ex-prisoner of war whose wife and daughter were married, then murdered by his evil rival (played by Boris Karloff.) Karloff's character was a Satanist who preserved his murdered wives and displayed them in his creepy house.
* Invoked in ''Film/BatmanForever''. Dick Grayson asks what's behind a door (it contains the hidden entrance to the Batcave), and [[DeadpanSnarker Alfred]] replies, "Master Wayne's dead wives."
* Uncle Charlie in Alfred Hitchcock's ''Film/ShadowOfADoubt'' is one, although his motivation has more to do with being a misogynistic SerialKiller than it does with greed.
* In ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'', Peter has a book titled ''Bluebeard'' on the shelf by his computer, perhaps as a hint to [[spoiler: Peter falling in love with and eventually (accidentally) killing Gwen]].
* In ''Film/ExMachina'', Nathan is a pioneer in designing and building lifelike A.I that can pass the Turing test and fool real humans. He uses this technology to build robotic women that he uses for [[SexBot his own pleasure]] before eventually torturing and destroying them. He even has a secret closet with wrecked prototypes in it.
* In ''Film/CrimsonPeak'', [[spoiler: Sir Thomas Sharpe has been married three times already and none of his wives lasted that long, and although he was fully complicit it was his sister Lucille who actually poisoned them. Unlike most Bluebeard stories, Thomas actually falls for his latest wife.]].

* The Sultan in the framing device of the ''Literature/ArabianNights'' stories is an extreme version, except that he makes no secret about it and has his wives executed. He kills off all his wives after one night to prevent them becoming unfaithful. The stories are told by his latest wife, Scheherezade, [[ScheherezadeGambit who uses a series of]] {{Cliffhanger}}s to keep him interested enough to delay her execution. By the time she runs out of stories, it's been years and she has birthed the Sultan several children, and he realizes he is madly in love with her.
* Creator/AngelaCarter's ''Literature/TheBloodyChamber'' has a "Literature/{{Bluebeard}}" retelling.
* Edna St. Vincent Millay's sonnet "Bluebeard".
* There's a short story called "Captain Murderer", in which the titular character keeps marrying women and, a month after the wedding, asks them to make him a pie... and when they're done making the pastry, he kills them and [[ImAHumanitarian uses their flesh as the pie filling.]] He gets done in when a girl whose sister was killed by him catches on to the plot, marries him, and, just before he kills her, [[TakingYouWithMe poisons herself.]] He eats her and dies from the poison.
* In ''Literature/TheShining'', Danny recalls Bluebeard as he opens the door to a certain hotel room.
* In ''Literature/WhichWitch'', the ghost haunting Arriman's home murdered a ridiculously long line of wives and spends his death hitting his head in grief. [[spoiler:This is PlayedForLaughs when he is brought back to life and does absolutely nothing but prattle on about his wives and how he killed them for the most petty reasons (having a small, yappy dog, smelling bad, eating too much, etc). The protagonists eventually are rid of him by hooking him up with Madame Olympia, who was infamous for murdering her husbands. After the two run off, there's speculation as to which will off the other first.]]
* Lord Laphroig of Terry Brooks' ''Literature/APrincessOfLandover''. Like Henry VIII, it was in order to produce a male heir. (And then he killed the heir and his mother when he found a better match in [[AmbitionIsEvil the daughter of the king]].)
* In Creator/DorothyGilman's ''Literature/TheClairvoyantCountess'', the stepfather murdered his stepdaughter after her mother had left her all the money; it turned out he had murdered the mother as well, and a fair number of earlier brides.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' gives us many reasons to ask questions before marriage:
** Not that King Maegor "the Cruel" Targaryen allowed his [[ShotgunWedding six brides]] many questions back in the day. Of those six, however, "only" three wound up dying, one possibly not by his hand. However, the spirit of the trope was very much alive and well.
** The trope is downplayed by House Bolton, which goes through wives (and other... sources of entertainment) at a ''very'' alarming rate. Ramsay has killed only one and severely domestically abused the other -- although it's pretty plain he'd probably increase the number of horribly dead wives, given the chance. He's hardly secretive about it, either. However, his father has gone through two wives under mysterious circumstances, as well. House Bolton has, from time to time, had this reputation for centuries. Increasingly while reading, you suspect it's not been without cause. And, probably, played rather straighter for some than others.
** Gregor Clegane doesn't have any known offspring, legitimate or otherwise. That's because his wives (and other partners) tend to die before they have a chance to either conceive or give birth thanks to horrific DomesticAbuse and his general ForTheEvulz tendencies. It is known that he's been married a few times (certainly twice). The problem is, none of his wives ever gets given a name. Nor is anybody, even in-universe, quite sure how many times he ''has'' actually been married. Even his brother doesn't know: not that Sandor would have bothered to keep track, anyway. He knows what his brother is like... all too well.
** Cregan Karstark has, like Gregor and Roose above, had two wives for (presumably) political reasons. Both are also rather suspiciously dead without any children having had the chance to occur. [[spoiler: He was planning on a third wife (his cousin)... except she made a break for it and put a spanner in that plan of his and his father's. Even describing this trope as one of her major reasons ''why'' she's wild about the idea of [[TakeAThirdOption Taking A Third Option]], as she quite honestly assumes that she'd also wind up "accidentally" dying. With the caveat on it being most likely contingent on her having produced at least one male heir for Karhold to solidify his hold on her claim to the title and place.]]
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Gaspard, the reputably insane Count of Lorn has married, and suspiciously lost, three wives. This trope is one possible explanation for this. (The other is that the wives are being assassinated by the Count's younger brother, who wishes to inherit the family title.)
* ''The Seventh Bride'' by T. Kingfisher (aka Creator/UrsulaVernon) is a retelling of a Bluebeard-type story. Rhea, a miller's daughter, is claimed by a local lord and sent to live at his house, where he sets her deceptive tasks with a fearful penalty for failing them. In this version, he is a sorcerer, and what he did to his previous six wives wasn't anything as simple as murder.
* [[EvilOverlord Ul Vas]] in ''[[Literature/JohnCarterofMars Swords of Mars]]'' is the evil ruler of Ombra who changes consorts very frequently. He has his men scour their world in search of the most beautiful women to be his newest wife and, once he finds one, [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness he disposes of the previous one to make room for her replacement]]. His current wife Ozara begs [[TheHero John Carter]] to help escape her fate.
* According to ''Literature/DaveBarrySleptHere'', UsefulNotes/HenryVIII "could barely get through a day without beheading a wife," sometimes during the wedding ceremony itself.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'''s episode [[spoiler:"Ted", Ted is an [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot android]]]] who kills his spouses -- and is [[spoiler:Buffy's mother]]'s newest boyfriend. [[spoiler:Perhaps he just stuck them in the closet and left them, since his goal was to bring his creator's wife back.]]
* A FracturedFairytale show put a twist on this trope -- the Bluebeard [[spoiler:sold his wives' souls to the devil, to represent the SevenDeadlySins. In the end, his seventh wife [[HoistByHisOwnPetard catches him in his own trap]].]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Ramsay has a penchant for killing lovers who bore him, as Myranda is pleased to explain and enumerate for Sansa.
* Naturally, shows up on ''Series/TalesFromTheCrypt'', with the expected comeuppance: [[spoiler:his now-dead wives lure him to their graveyard, declaring they can't live... or die... without him]].
* DomesticAbuser Michael Dobson, played by Larry Miller on ''Series/LawAndOrder'', had his wives killed by hitmen on two separate occasions for the insurance money.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheCloser'' they encounter a man who is in the habit of marrying Japanese women and killing them. When he's discovered he's already killed two wives (plus his four-year-old daughter from the second marriage) and has a new girlfriend, who claims he saved her and her son from her abusive husband back in Japan.
* One of the killers whose statue is displayed in ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "The New Exhibit."
* Played for laughs with the character Dr. Mickhead from the series ''Series/{{Scrubs}}''. He's suspected of murdering his wife, and it's an OpenSecret amongst the Sacred Heart staff, and several scenes has him attempting to hide evidence(including giving a hammer to JD's then-girlfriend for safekeeping) before getting carted off in handcuffs.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' was based on this story, although he wasn't killing them, but keeping them for breeding.

* Music/JoannaNewsom's "Go Long" is a version of "Literature/{{Bluebeard}}".
* Music/LadyGaGa's boyfriend in the video for "Paparazzi" is implied to be one.
* The traditional ballad "False Sir John" is about one wife-killer.
* The seventh track of Music/SoundHorizon's album ''Märchen'', "Aoki Hakushaku no Shiro" (meaning "the blue earl's castle"), deals with this story.

* Bartok's ''Bluebeard's Castle'' is a Freudian re-examination of the story. His castle is his subconscious, and Judith (wife #4) is casting light on his past by opening up every door with him, hand in hand. [[DownerEnding It doesn't end well...]]
* Offenbach also wrote an opera on this story.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'' fought one of these in ''The Bluebeard Affair.''

[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* On a singles cruise, a woman meets a handsome older man. She talks to him, and they're hitting it off, when the man mentions he's a widower.
-->'''Woman:''' Oh, you are?
-->'''Man:''' Yes, I've had three wives, and they all died.
-->'''Woman:''' Oh, what happened?
-->'''Man:''' Well, the first one... she ate poisoned mushrooms.
-->'''Woman:''' Really?
-->'''Man:''' Yes, and the second one... really tragic, she also ate poisoned mushrooms.
-->'''Woman:''' My goodness! What about the third one?
-->'''Man:''' Well, she was strangled to death.
-->'''Woman:''' Strangled! What happened?
-->'''Man:''' She wouldn't eat the mushrooms.

* A limerick by Creator/OgdenNash:
--> An elderly bride of Port Jervis\\
Was quite understandably nervous\\
Since her apple-cheeked groom\\
With three wives in the tomb\\
Kept insuring her during the service!

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The folkloric Bluebeard rules one of the realms in the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' campaign setting.
** There is also the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent nosferatu]] darklord of Valachan, who frequently marries young beautiful women; however, no matter his original intentions, his tailor-made curse invariably makes him more and more mistrustful of his current bride each day, until he snaps and kills them in a paranoid rage. None of his brides survived to see their first anniversary so far.
* [[http://www.magpiegames.com/bluebeards-bride/ Bluebeard's Bride]] is this trope: The Game, told from the perspective of the bride as she discovers the truth.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* Outside of ''Ride/TheHauntedMansion'' at Ride/DisneyThemeParks, there is a large tombstone where a Bluebeard is buried. He apparently killed six wives, but the seventh managed to kill him.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Nikolai Belinski, the Russian soldier in ''VideoGame/NaziZombies'', has murdered at least five of his wives. Some of his weapon pickup quotes have him remarking on how it's the same one he shot one of them with. It is intentionally PlayedForLaughs. However, ''Gorod Krovi'' reveals that [[spoiler:he had only one wife, and her loss in an aird raid pained him so much that he began drinking to try and forget her.]]
* Zoltan Carnovasch from the first ''VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria}}'' was made for this trope, with [[spoiler:Don almost following in his footsteps.]]
* The freeware Doom-engine game Judith, in which a series of flashbacks of a wife finding a secret room in her husband's castle with a torture victim inside and the subsequent mercy-killing of the victim leads to the wife encountering a particularly haunting version of this trope.
* A popular strategy in ''VideoGame/CrusaderKings II'' is "Bluebearding" - marrying women for their dowries and high birth, assassinating them, and repeating the process. Despite the otherwise [[ArtificialBrilliance good AI]], the VillainProtagonist will [[KarmaHoudini suffer no repercussions for his actions]], unlike most of the evil strategies in the game.
** This is often removed by {{GameMod}}s, however, on the grounds of historical accuracy.
* The actual Bluebeard - the one from the fairy tale - appears in the bonus chapter of the eighth installment of the ''VideoGame/DarkParables''. His reason for killing his wives is a little different this time.
* In ''The Premature Burial,'' the third game in the ''VideoGame/DarkTales'' series, the villain is this. It's known that his current wife died very recently and very suddenly, and those who love her are suspicious because his previous wife died in similar circumstances. [[spoiler:And in the bonus chapter, the player learns that he had ''another'' wife who died that way as well. All three of them were buried alive!]]
* In ''VideoGame/DivinityDragonCommander'', the ''player'' can become this trope if you marry one princess and opt to sacrifice her to Corvus, the captive demon that powers your airship. Its well very possible to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Kech9d3VSE kill all four available brides]], with the crew quickly piecing together you are responsible and [[EveryoneHasStandards act appropriately disgusted with your actions]]. While nobody turns on you despite being a [[MoralEventHorizon prolific wife murderer]], you aren't exactly a KarmaHoudini either since your mentor forbids you from marrying anyone else until the crisis is settled and in the end, its revealed [[spoiler:Corvus is the true BigBad of the game, and you have inadvertently empowering him with the sacrifices making this a very poor decision in hindsight.]]

* ''Webcomic/BrunoTheBandit'' tries this as one of his many schemes in [[http://www.brunothebandit.com/d/20010507.html Old Money.]] Too bad his new "beloved" turns out to be not just an old rich woman, but also the BlackWidow.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** General Tarquin has had ''nine'' wives: while we know that he simply divorced the first one ([[spoiler:Elan and Nale's mother]]), the ninth recently died 'of mysterious circumstances'. It also turns out that some of his former wives were convinced to marry him through [[ColdBloodedTorture brutal torture]]. It's also distinctly possible that [[spoiler:when he said he was going out of the way to keep from having children (he didn't want an heir), he meant he was killing his wives for getting pregnant.]]
** Subverted in the case of Tarquin's ninth wife, who really ''did'' die due to mysterious circumstances. [[spoiler:She had conceived a child with a descendant of a certain black dragon whose family line Vaarsuvius cast the infamous Familicide spell upon.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeMonkeys'', Gameavision head honcho Larrity has had seven wives, all of which have died under mysterious circumstances. Added to the creepiness factor is that he has several of them stuffed and on display in either his office or his vault.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', [[EvilOverlord Baron Ünderbheit]] has the heads of his seven ex-wives mounted on his dining room wall.
* Sideshow Bob briefly became one in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Black Widower", planning to kill Selma after he married her for her money (which she had gained from buying stock in a mace company). He might have succeeded if not for Bart...
** Also, one of the unnamed men in "Regarding Margie".

[[folder:Real Life]]
* "Bluebeard" is the ''official'' FBI designation for this type of SerialKiller.
* Some believe that the fairy tale has its origins in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conomor Conomor the Cursed,]] known for murdering his wives as soon as they got pregnant.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Desire_Landru Henri Landru]] is an infamous TruthInTelevision example who was motivated by greed.
* Henry VIII, who had [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wives_of_Henry_VIII six wives,]] is often considered to be a Bluebeard though "only" two of said wives (second wife Anne Boleyn and fifth wife Catherine Howard) got the axe, both convicted of adultery.[[labelnote:*]]Although the king was [[DoubleStandard no stranger to adultery himself]], and Anne's real "crime" was failing to give him a son. It wasn't producing a male heir that was the problem; it was producing a ''legitimate'' male heir who would actually be able to become king. This led to some zany schemes like planning to marry his illegitimate son to his legitimate daughter. Catherine Howard almost certainly ''was'' guilty, though -- not that this excuses her unhappy fate.[[/labelnote]] Two of the others (first wife Catherine of Aragon and fourth wife Anne of Cleves) were divorced, the third (Jane Seymour) [[DeathByIrony died of natural causes after producing a male heir]], and the last one (Catherine Parr) survived him. His reputation in this area is augmented by how he had so many ''other'' people executed over the political and religious complications involved in his HighTurnoverRate of wives. In that time period Catherine of Aragon's death was attributed to him as well, with rumors of him or Anne Boleyn poisoning her, or his imprisoning her in a decrepit castle undermining her health, or even that she died of a broken heart. (Modern historians attribute her death to heart cancer.)
* Drew Peterson is a former cop from Illinois who has been married four times to increasingly younger women, to the point that his 4th wife, whom he began dating when she was ''17'', was 30 years his junior. He physically abused all of them--his second wife is certain that he cut the brake lines on her car in an attempt to kill her--and cheated on each with the woman who would become the next. He was recently convicted of the murder of his 3rd wife Kathleen and is the sole suspect in the disappearance and likely murder of his 4th, Stacy. Ironically, had Stacy not vanished, cops would probably have never taken a second look at Kathleen's death, which had heretofore been believed to be an [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident accidental drowning]].
* In 1968, Robert Weeks' wife Patricia disappeared after a dinner date in which they were to hash out the terms of their divorce. Her car was later found abandoned at a local shopping mall. In 1980, his girlfriend Cynthia Jabour disappeared after a dinner date in which she intended to break off the relationship. Her car was found abandoned in a casino parking lot. Three guesses what happened to his next girlfriend, Carol Ann Riley. In April 1988, Weeks was convicted of murdering Patricia and Cynthia, even though no trace of them, Carol Ann, or his ''male'' business partner (who had apparently discovered his unscrupulous business dealings) was ever found.
* John David Smith's first and second wives disappeared without a trace. Each had complained that he was abusive and controlling and each was planning to file for divorce. While his first wife's remains were eventually found and he was convicted of her murder, his second wife's whereabouts are still unknown.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjTSBKgkDsc Jack Reeves]] was a housepainter and Army vet with a penchant for young brides. He was forced to annul the marriage to the first (only fifteen at the time). Wife #2 was planning to leave him, and ended up "[[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident committing suicide]]" with a shotgun. Wife #3, a MailOrderBride, drowned in a shallow lake and her relatives noticed scratches and bruises on her body that indicated it wasn't accidental. Wife #4, also a MailOrderBride, vanished without a trace after planning to leave Jack for [[LipstickLesbian another woman]]. The police couldn't find Wife #4 or her body, and Wife #3 had been cremated. So, they had another look at Wife #2 and found the story Reeves told didn't match up with the evidence on the body or the crime scene photos. When they went to arrest Jack Reeves for the murder of his wife, he looked at the arresting officer and asked "Which one?" He was convicted of Wife #2's murder, and an additional life sentence was added when they found the remains of Wife #4 in a remote campground.
* So called [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_death "dowry deaths"]] are still pretty common in certain parts of India, although dowry has officially been prohibited since 1961.
* H.H. Holmes, born Henry Muddgett was one of America's first known and prolific serial killers and was even called "The Modern Bluebeard" by the press of the day. Curiously, however, Holmes was actually an inversion of the trope because despite being in the exact situations as his victims, he never murdered any of the three women he properly married. Instead he would kill his secretaries, female lodgers and random wealthy-seeming women he would lure back to his massive Chicago home (which had been specifically engineered as a massive death trap/torture dungeon/mad science lab.
* [[https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lowell_Amos Lowell Edwin Amos]], who murdered his mother and three wives over a 15-year span from 1979-1994, [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident disguising their deaths]] as from old age and drug overdoses, respectively. Police became suspicious at the amount of money he [[InheritanceMurder inherited]] from each death and his IncriminatingIndifference--going on a spending spree ''two days'' after his 3rd wife died.