The Bride With A Past
A friend, family member, or employer brings his fiancée to the family house. One of the cast knows the woman already, revealing that she was a hooker/stripper/transsexual. Family debates on whether the groom-to-be should be told. Hilarity Ensues, except not. Often, the prospective groom already knows, and the episode ends with An Aesop about tolerance...usually, going directly against the attitude the episode took to such things up to that point.
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- In You Again, Marni realizes her brother is about to marry the Alpha Bitch who made her life miserable in high school.
- In Kill Bill, the central character is all set to marry an unsuspecting young man (hence her being known as "the Bride" for most of both films) when her ex shows up. And he brings a whole group of old friends. Things don't end well. For the uninvited guests, either.
- Not a bride, but the main plot of Scott Pilgrim is Scott's journey to come to terms with Ramona's past, in terms of emotions and fight scenes.
- This is the basic plot of the novel Redeeming Love, in which a former prostitute in the Old West marries a good man who treats her with kindness and respect, despite the attempts of people he knows to convince him to get rid of her. It’s not played for comedy; in fact, the groom’s argument with his horrified brother gets quite ugly, especially once the groom reveals that he already knew the woman was a prostitute when he married her. It takes almost the entire novel for them to resolve this.
Live Action TV
- Happy Days: Howard remembers that he saw Fonzie's fiancée as "The Lone Stripper" at a hardware convention. Having been under the impression that his lady was a virgin, they break up.
- Step by Step directly rips-off Happy Days when Frank recognizes Cody's potential bride as a stripper by her distinctive laugh just as Howard recognized Fonzie's.
- ''Family Matters'’ – Carl's boss's woman. It turns out he knew about his fiancée's past.
- Inverted in Friends when Phoebe visits her boyfriend's stuck-up parents and proudly announces a few shocking details of her past to them without any prompting. The Aesop-y end result is the same.
- Moonlighting: Addison's father was all set to marry a younger woman, who Addison recognizes instantly as he had engaged in some extremely intense sex with her some years earlier. Finally confronting her, she tells of her troubled past in which she slept with so many men that she didn't even remember their faces (including his). And that Addison's father had won her over not only by not sleeping with her, but treating her like a lady. Shamed and guilt-ridden, Addison gives the marriage his blessing.
- In The George Lopez Show, Ernie is dating a woman who has a history of alcohol abuse and gambling problems. Angie tells George that the woman is pregnant, but not sure who the father is. Unfortunately, she tells Ernie it's his.
- On Angel, Doyle's ex-wife visits with her new fiancé, who turns out to be a demon. The ex-wife is informed, but already knew. In this case, it's Played for Drama in a different way—Doyle is half-demon himself and assumed that this was why his ex-wife left him, but this proves that no, it was his reaction to the news that ultimately ruined their marriage. (Oh, and also, the new beau wants to eat Doyle as per his species' tradition, though the ex-wife doesn't know that part).
- In Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert Barone is still not being allowed to forget that his first wife Joanne was formerly a "dancer" in Atlantic City. His mother brings this up practically every time her name is mentioned.
- Dharma and Greg has a variant: while attending the wedding of Kitty's housekeeper, Dharma and Greg run into her now-married niece, whom Greg supposedly lost his virginity to as a teenager. This information reaches her husband, who's angry because she told him that she was a virgin on her wedding night. Eventually Greg confesses that the two almost had sex, but he, er, finished rather early. Greg explains this to the Spanish-speaking husband (the priest offers to translate), who finds it hilarious.
- The George Jones song "She's The Rock" is about a guy who's married to a woman with a shady past. He not only knows about it, but he forgives her for it and defends her to people who bring it up.
- The song "The Flower of the Plateau" from mothy's Evillious Chronicles franchise; the bride, Mikulia, was previously a prostitute. In a variant of this trope, it's two outsiders (her old handler and her abandoned son) who come and threaten to reveal her past. So she kills them.